Posted: 09 Jul 2008 12:46 PM CDT
Ardent Barack Obama supporters are registering disappointment, leveling criticism and expressing anger over what they perceive to be Obama's shift to the middle on a variety of issues in recent weeks.
In what is being called "something of an online mutiny" Barack Obama supporters are registering dissent and leveling criticism at him and they are using his own website to do so.
There choice of venue to express their dissatisfaction is on Barack Obama's own official website, MyBarackObama.com.
Thousands of supporters are actively organizing against him, using his site, with anger being shown over his recent decision to back the FISA bill that is due to be voted on today, to which Obama is specifically flying in to register his vote in support of the bill that was passed by the house on June 20, 2008 and sent to the Senate for a vote.
The controversy centers on modifications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the government's quest to monitor suspected terrorists that civil libertarians worry could infringe on the privacy rights of others. Obama had pledged earlier this year to oppose—even filibuster—legislation that would immunize telecommunications companies against lawsuits that challenge cooperation with federal authorities in warrantless wiretapping.
Obama more recently stated that he would back the compromise bill and that very same day, members of the Obama site formed a group called "Senator Obama—Please Vote NO on Telecom Immunity—Get FISA Right". this group has grown to over 22,000 members, making it the largest group on MyBarackObama.com.
The anger shown has seen members threatening to demand their campaign contributions be returned to them with others declaring they will not even vote in November but will instead just sit out the election and one man claiming he has removed his Barack Obama bumper sticker off his car, saying, "It's the first and only bumper sticker that I've ever put on a vehicle that I owned, so my disappointment felt personal and significant."
The group is eagerly waiting to see if Obama will speak from the Senate floor on the issue, something Pincus said could generate an "Obama moment," like those triggered by other passionate speeches he has given on such topics as race.
Not all Obama supporters are expressing this anger, some say they are disappointed but believe this is a "pragmatic" decision and say they will still support Obama and vote for him in November.
The group has caused such ripples that Barack Obama felt the need to issue a statement back on July 3, 2008, reiterating his stance and he even provided members of his staff which stayed online to respond to comments for over an hour-and-a-half.
The comments generated from that statement equaled 2, 517 to date, some supportive and understanding and others angry, bitter and demanding.
Obama has denied that he is shifting to the center, to which he stated in Georgia on Tuesday, that people who accuse him of moving to the middle, "haven't apparently been listening to me."
Today the Senate has rejected three separate amendments trying to either strip the immunity from the FISA bill or limit retroactive immunity, and they are expected to have a final vote on the bill by the end of the day, which President Bush has already indicated he will sign.
The first amendment rejected was from Senator Christopher Dodd, Amdt. No. 5064, to strike Title II (Protections For Electronic Communications Service Providers) from the FISA bill, and that was rejected with a 32 to 66 vote.
The second one was the Specter Amdt. No. 5059- To limit retroactive immunity and that was rejected with a vote of 37 to 61.
The third was the Bingaman Amdt. No. 5066- To stay pending cases against certain telecommunications companies and that was rejected as well with a vote of 42 to 56, not enough votes to bypass a filibuster, where 60 votes are needed.
Barack Obama did vote for these amendments, although he did say that if these and any other amendments fail to pass, he will vote for the actual FISA bill whether immunity has been stripped or not.
Barack Obama is in between a rock and a hard place here. His supporters want him to vote against the FISA bill as long as immunity is included, yet he understands that the GOP would use that as ammunition against him in the general election campaign.
He also could have stayed away and simply not been there for the vote, where he wouldn't actually have had to register a yeah vote for the bill, but he took a stand that many might say is brave by standing up to his base and not allowing himself to be pressured into changing his mind.
Then again, brave might not be the word because he knows that his supporters have no options but to vote for him....unless they want to sit out the election.
How this stand will play out with his base, only time will tell.
Posted: 09 Jul 2008 10:31 AM CDT
Barack Obama decided late in the game to give his acceptance speech at Denver's Invesco Field instead of at the convention center which has put broadcasting executives, who have spent months planning their coverage of the event, in a bit of a financial bind.
Broadcast executives are debating whether to limit the coverage of the Democratic convention this year due to the financial costs associated with Barack Obama's decision to change the venue where he will be officially accepting his party's nomination.
The Politico reports that several network executives have confirmed that major speeches will undoubtedly be covered but beyond that all options are being considered as they look to save money and balance out what the estimated costs surrounding the Invesco Field event.
The networks contend that the change would costs them hundreds of thousands of dollars. Each network has budgeted millions for the conventions, but according to reports those monies were already accounted for and this change would force them into dip into their 2008 campaign budgets.
The senior vice president at CBS News, Paul Friedman, states that Obama's decision "makes it enormously more expensive. It does add to the overall question of how the networks should cover what is a non-news event."
ABC News' executive in charge of convention coverage, Bob Murphy, reiterates that same outlook by saying, "We're trying to figure out ways to cover what we need to cover and still stay in our budget. The change in the schedule clearly has put some very severe cost issues on the table and we are trying to figure out how to deal with that."
Among the options now being considered by broadcast executives is a reduction in staffing at the Democratic convention, with some news staff being asked to stay back in New York or Washington instead of traveling to Denver — though that is a measure the networks hope to avoid.
The potential limiting of network coverage poses a problem for the presumptive Democratic nominee because traditionally, in the past, there has been some separation between the Democratic convention and the Republican convention. In that time after the Democratic nominee is officially crowned, so to speak, they generally receive massive coverage which helps with the "convention bounce" otherwise known as a poll number bounce.
The convention bounce defined is:
A presidential candidate's surge in popularity immediately following his formal nomination at a national convention, with all the attendant media coverage and public interest.
This year, unlike previous years, the Republican convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, begins on Sept. 1, 2008, which is just four days after the Democratic convention ends,
The Democratic leaders were so concerned with that loss of "bounce" that they even seriously considered knocking one day off the Democratic convention to give their Obama one additional day to "capitalize" on the convention.
Network coverage is extremely important during the convention as well as the days after the convention because four days later, the networks will all be covering the Republican convention.
The LA Times goes to report that inside the Democratic circles there is growing speculation that John McCain will seize the spotlight even before that four day period between conventions by announcing his running mate after the Democratic convention and before the Republican convention starts.
The person quoted in that piece is the man who managed Bob Dole's presidential bid in 1996, Scott Reed, who said, "I'd expect McCain to name his choice on the Friday after the Democratic convention. It would be a good way to quash Obama's bounce."
Time will tell what decisions the broadcasting networks will make, but limiting the coverage when there is already a considerable shortening of the time to take advantage of polling bounce for the Democratic nominee, may prove that the late change in venue of where Obama will give his acceptance speech, might have been a counterproductive decision in the long run.
Posted: 09 Jul 2008 09:02 AM CDT
From the CBC:
Now, of course the war resisters are up in arms (yes, pun intended....lol) and going to be rallying etc...blah blah blah. If you want to know more about Long and his fellow American war resisters, go here.
I understand about having principles and all, really I do. But again, I read that Long received orders to Iraq in 2005. No military genius here, but that tells me he signed on with the military after we had gone to Iraq. What did he think he would be doing in the military? Basketweaving? And, if he is that adamant that the war in Iraq is wrong, why NOT stay in the US and go a legal route? Ya know, like stand by his principles? There appear to be more than a few lawyers willing to step up and defend him.
The insanity continues!
Posted: 09 Jul 2008 07:41 AM CDT
File this under: "Something new I learned today." Despite Obama smearing anyone else who talks about race - apart from him of course - as racist, it seems there really IS a group called "The Race." Michelle Malkin has a column up at Family Security Matters, and it is an eye-opener:
Every American should read the rest of this here.
Cross-posted in all the usual places ;)
Posted: 08 Jul 2008 08:22 PM CDT
In a case dating back to 2004, when a patient awoke and discovered that Doctor. Naum Ciomu had made a "surgical error" while operating on the man's testicles and mistakenly severed his penis instead of making an incision to the testicle itself.
In Romania, a Doctor has been fined $795,000 for accidentally severing a patients penis during a surgical procedure, calling it an "error".
Four years later, July 4, 2008, it was reported that the Romanian Bucharest Magistrates Court has ordered the surgeon to pay the patient $795,000 for the error and a suspended prison sentence of one year.
The man underwent further surgery where they used a piece of his arm muscle to attach to where his penis used to be. The new muscle is not functional.
The lawyer to the 33 year old man says that one does not have to be an expert to understand that the patient is "isn't in a good state of mind."
After reading about this, I looked to see if there was any further information and found that this isn't the first time a medical mistake like this has happened.
In a case that happened in 1999 but was later settled in 2003, in Texas, a 67 year-old man, Hurshell Ralls, woke up after having surgery to remove a cancerous bladder, which would have included the removal of his prostate gland.
It was alleged the doctors in that case mistakenly thought the cancer had spread to Ralls' penis, which pathology tests later showed no signs of cancer, although those tests were disputed by attorneys for the doctors..
Ralls' initiated a $ 5 million lawsuit and the case was settled out of court with the doctors not having to admit any wrongdoing and no monetary disclosure was reported to know how much Ralls was paid in the settlement.
Imagine waking up from surgery to look down and find you didn't have a penis anymore just to hear it called a "surgical error".
Posted: 08 Jul 2008 02:42 PM CDT
The hard place are the Republicans who want an alternative to the Democrats energy bill, and the Republicans have the majority of the public behind them in wanting to expand offshore drilling.
The rock is that there are many in the Democratic caucus that agree and want to drill where the Republicans want to drill and the Democrats are running so scared of having to vote on the Republican's alternatives, so they simply aren't even scheduling the energy measure for floor action, according to The Hill.
No matter what polls you look at, the majority of the American public agree with the Republicans about drilling here, drilling now.
Reported on June 26, 2008, the InsiderAdvantage/Poll, asks "Do you favor or oppose increased exploration and production of oil and natural gas off the coasts of Florida?"
Zogby- June 26, 2008: "74 percent support offshore oil drilling in U.S."
The Hill, today:
While Democrats were in their districts advocating their plans to end gas price-gouging, rein in speculation, pass "use it or lose it" and even call for President Bush to release millions of barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), Republicans were touting polls showing that a healthy majority of Americans now support increased domestic energy production.
So, when backed into a corner and put between a rock and a hard place, what does the Democratic leadership do?
The simply refuse to even deal with the issue at all and they do not schedule it for any floor action.
One Democratic aide discusses the Democratic leadership's strategy by saying, "Right now, our strategy on gas prices is 'Drive small cars and wait for the wind"
Yes, that is a good strategy (NOT) to take and they think the public isn't watching and taking notes?
The problem here for the Democrats is very simple....they cannot seem to get out of their own way!
In the meantime, the longer they delay this, the more the conservatives are going to pound their inaction (rightly so) and highlight their refusal to listen to the American public.
Is it any wonder that Congress now holds the lowest confidence rating ever?
Only 12 percent of Americans say they have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress as an institution – the lowest level ever for any US institution since Gallup began asking the question 35 years ago. Congressional job approval, a slightly different question, has dropped to 18 percent.
Yes, they are worried about it, just not enough to actually get anything accomplished.
Posted: 08 Jul 2008 12:34 PM CDT
Going straight to the heart of Barack Obama's words of hope, John McCain releases a new ad in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The ad speaks to McCain not telling people what they "hope" to hear, but the reality instead. (YouTube URL here)
The text of the ad shown above starts with the narrator speaking about John McCain's service, contrasting Woodstock and the Summer of Love with his love of country and continues on to speak of "hope".
Text from narrator:
"It was a time of uncertainty, hope and change, "The summer of love". Half a world away another kind of love, of country, John McCain, shot down, bayoneted, tortured, offered early release he said "no". He'd sworn and oath.
Words of hope make people feel good but many of us would rather hear the truth, even if it isn't what we "hope" to hear.
A feel good message is only worth the time it takes to say it if that message and the offer of hope is realistic, not when it is empty words.
Campaign after campaign we hear promises made that have no chance of realistically being implemented, yet campaign after campaign there are those that will believe those promises for no other reason than they "want" to, not caring about realism or whether those promises can be kept, but caring about the words themselves.
For example, the LA Times has a piece out which does the math on the promises that Barack Obama is making to his supporters, the actual monetary costs.
They state straight out at the beginning:
Obama will be hard-pressed to keep his blueprint intact. A variety of budget analysts are skeptical that the Democrat's agenda could survive in the face of large federal budget deficits and the difficulty of making good on his plan to raise new revenue by closing tax loopholes, ending the Iraq war and cutting spending that is deemed low-priority.
An official in President Clinton's Office of Management and Budget, Isabel Sawhill, who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution states, "I don't think it all adds up. " She continues on to say, "There will definitely need to be a recalibration of these proposals once someone is in office. The fiscal situation just isn't going to permit doing what Sen. Obama or anyone else would like."
Among other proposals during the course of the campaign, Obama has said he would strengthen the nation's bridges and dams ($6 billion a year), help make men better fathers ($50 million a year) and aid Iraqis displaced by the war ($2 billion in one-time spending). Last week, he pledged to give religious and community groups $500 million a year to provide summer education to low-income children.
The article goes on to list a couple of specific proposals such as , Obama's staff insisting that ending the Iraq war would free up at least $90 billion a year, yet budget experts disagree with that.
One of which is Alice Rivlin, who directed the Office of Management and Budget for several years under President Bill Clinton, who states, "Savings from the Iraq war will not be all that great."
Another man, Stuart Butler, who studies domestic policy at the Heritage Foundation, says, "You cannot justify a longer-term commitment to a program based on a one-time saving on the war in Iraq."
Then you have Barack Obama's plan to generate $180 billion from closing tax loopholes and a variety of other cuts in spending, which sounds good, but according to Len Burman, who is the Director of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and a former Treasury official in the Clinton administration, "If you look at official revenue estimates, the numbers come out to be less than half of what they say they're going to raise."
Only one of the quotes above was from a conservative source, which is the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. The other quotes were from former members of Bill Clinton's administration and can hardly be considered "conservative" criticisms.
Promises are always part of campaigning but people eventually need to ask themselves if promises are enough or if having the capability of keeping those promises should be a consideration when voting for someone that has a message of "hope".
Offering people hope can never be a bad thing but promising them false hopes based on promises that cannot mathematically be fulfilled, should have people pushing for the answer of "how" will you keep these promises.
Those are questions that should be asked before any election instead of people complaining after an election when those promises are forgotten by everyone except those that dared believe.
Each candidate in the coming months will be offering more details on their economic planning strategy and it is up to the people, the voting public, to analyze the plans offered by both and make a decision on which plan is actually viable and which is not.
Those that do not do so nor ask the question of "how" before the election, deserve exactly what they get and should not complain after the election when promises are broken.
(Note- Any mistakes in the transcribed text from the above video are mine- Susan)
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