Friday, May 30, 2008

Obama's Political Past

Grassroots movements have always held a place close to me, because they bring power to people who have a lot to lose. When I first found Senator Obama running for the Senate a few years ago, my fingers went flying on the keyboard to find out all I could about this civil rights activist. I was delighted at the prospect of having a non-political politician in Washington, finally.

Now that he’s running for president, a lot of Senator Obama’s political past has come out into the open. Like how he managed to get into the Illinois Senate by eliminating all of his competition over petition signatures, including a long time celebrated civil rights activist and incumbent. I told myself that it’s pretty low to do something like that but I quickly dismissed it, thinking he did something like that while he was young, he won’t repeat that mistake. Now, with the Florida and Michigan vote controversy, it’s interesting to see Senator Obama crying foul as Senator Clinton tries to play the game Senator Obama once played in Illinois.

*Note: CAIR-Illinois does not endorse any political candidate*

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Senator McCain and Senator Clinton

Senator McCain, not so subtly, took jabs at Senator Obama about his views on North Korea. Senator Obama said he would be open to talks with North Korea while Senator McCain wants to make sure that the country is forced to dismantle all of its nuclear weapons.

Senator Clinton is being advised, in the event (more than likely, according to most political pundits) of a loss to Senator Obama, to channel her efforts into becoming a great senator. Senator Edward Kennedy, who ran for president in the 80s and lost, returned to his seat as senator, saying that running for the president made him realize how much he loved being in the Senate. He advises Senator Clinton to do the same….

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Obama Win's Oregon and Hilary Sweeps Kentucky

Last night’s primary election in Oregon in gave Obama and his supporters a boost. Analysts are now saying that Obama will most likely win the number of delegates he needs by the final set of primaries on June 3 (Montana, North Dakota, and Puerto Rico). However, lets not forget Clinton, who won Kentucky by a very large margin and is now using the argument that she’s been using even more. She says that she will be able to deliver the working class white vote in November, something she disputes Obama can’t deliver. Clinton has had victories though Appalachia, winning Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania.

Last night’s speeches from both candidates, I have to admit that it was refreshing to not see mud-slinging. Both candidates were respectful of each other’s campaigns but at the same time firm on who will win the nomination. Obama is now shifting focus and acting very much like the Democratic nominee. In fact, he even started campaign in Florida, where he is behind on votes (Republican candidate for president, John McCain is there too).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Today's News: Obama & Clinton's Projected Victories & McCain's Shady Dealings

Senator Obama is expected to sweep Oregon today, giving him what could be the victory that he needs to win a majority of the votes. But according to most sources, Senator Clinton will win Kentucky tonight (by how much is still to be seen) and will make the argument (which she has already been making) that Obama can’t seem to reach out to working-class Americans, who have been Clinton supporters as shown by states like West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Senator McCain faces scrutiny about his finances. For someone who has spoken out against the strong influence of lobbyists in Washington DC, his campaign seems to be heavily tied to people with such records. Now, he’s being called out on it. What does that mean for his campaign? He’ll have to a lot more work to convince people that he’s the right man for the job.

Monday, May 19, 2008

and all of the DNC's delegates couldn't put the party together again...

Humptey Dumptey sat on a wall. Humptey Dumptey had a great fall…in the end all of the king’s horses and men coun’t put poor Humptey together again.

Is that where the Democratic Party is heading too?

I can’t say whether I hope so or not but I can say that it would be very advantageous of Senator John McCain this fall, if Senators Clinton and Obama don’t reconcile their differences (as much as any two opposing forces can) before the general election.

From name calling to accusations, their campaigns have seen it all. Clinton supporters call Obama’s campaign sexist while Obama supporters insist that Clinton’s campaign is racist. I feel like in the middle of a yelling match between two fifth graders!

If the factions continue, Clinton and Obama may create so much disunity among Democratic voters that it might be too late to pull the party back together again, before November. My idea was to let the two battle it out in an ultimate fighting match and letting the winner just take all of it but of course, the primaries are pretty much the bloody match.

Dollar and Cents: The Election Goes On

Everyone is talking about how Barack Obama has the Democratic Party’s nomination secured, especially with the Oregon and Kentucky primaries happening this Tuesday (Clinton is projected to sweep Kentucky while Obama is said to have locked in Oregon by a landslide). So much so that Obama’s campaign has changed his speeches, where he now sounds like he’s making a general election speech, as THE Democratic candidate. So he’s taking shots at John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee.

McCain is having his own problems though. Where Senator Obama has found unprecedented success in fundraising, Senator McCain has run his campaign for president on a very tight budget. In fact, according to the New York Times, he’s going to be relying heavily on the Republican National Committee to fund his campaign. That, and he also has President Bush raising money for him.

This year’s presidential race is shaping up to be the most expensive presidential race in history (well, each election year in the last few decades has been the most expensive in history, before its followed by a new, more expensive race). Given the situation and the serious dollars its bringing out, a proposal for public financing of presidential campaigns will mostly likely be abandoned by both candidates (technically there are still three, with Senator Clinton still officially in the race).

That’ll knock some cents into the candidates!

Friday, May 09, 2008

McCain's Statement on Muslims

I don't know how to react. I don't know what to say.

Note: Senator McCain has since rejected Parsley's endorsement

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Time to back off?

Clinton won Indiana and Obama won North Carolina yesterday. Maybe those ads worked out after all.

Former Sem. George McGovern, who had initially endorsed Clinton and had said "I think that if we can elect her president, she'll be a greater president even than her brilliant husband", is now urging her to drop out of the Democratic presidential race on Wednesday. He said he feels it is impossible for Clinton to win the nomination now. He too, is now jumping on Obama's bandwagon. Isn't everyone?

Despite the loss, Clinton's campaign said that North Carolina also represents progress for them because she carried the white working class vote by a large margin. They represent a key voting bloc for the fall campaign. Campaign spokesman G oward Wolfson said this morning, "This candidate and this campaign continues on."

In the mean time, she can expect to get a lot of calls from within the party to step out of the race.

This has been a very long, tight that's keeping me at the edge of my seat. Come oooon November!


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Turnabout is fair play


Attack: Obama's campaign launched an ad calling Clinton's proposal to suspend the gas tax "a classic Washington gimmick." It argues that if her plans are implemented, oil companies will benefit from the suspension of the gas tax and will not pass the savings onto drivers.

Response: To counter that point, the Clinton campaign said that Obama is siding with the oil companies over hard working voters. I fail to see how..


Attack: Obama's campaign released a response that charged Clinton with offering "More of the same old negative politics."

“A war that should never have been waged. An economy in turmoil. Record prices at the pump. America held hostage to foreign oil," the ad's announcer states.

“Her hometown newspaper says she's taking the low road - her attacks do nothing but harm," the announcer also says. “The same old Washington politics won't fix our problems."


Response: This morning, there was a 30 second ad released by Clinton's campaign which asked, "What has happened to Barack Obama?" The announcer said, "He (Obama) is attacking Hillary's plan to give you a break on gas prices because he doesn't have one."

What's next?


Monday, May 05, 2008

Nuking Iran

Repetition. Although I've been keeping up to date with the news since the election fever started, I feel like it's died down right now. Everything seems repetitive. I wondered if I was the only one who felt that way but survey says, not at all. The recent debate between Clinton and Obama was over the same issues and we heard nothing but regurgitated and rehearsed responses.

However, something Clinton slipped in between her answers caught my attention. She said, "An attack on Israel would trigger massive retaliation." Did she just silently threaten Iran?

A few days later, I read this on The Jerusalem Post.

"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," said Democratic Presidential hopeful Senator Hilary Clinton Tuesday in an interview on ABC News.

"In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them," she added.

Let's first review what 'obliterate' means so that we may fully understand her point:

: remove or destroy all traces of; do away with; destroy completely.

Ahh, I see. There's a background to this. This video shows the entire interview.

I can't help but have mixed feelings about her statements. While I admire her for being bold, straight forward, and calculative, her statements remind me of elementary school kids saying, "If you hit me, I'll hit you back." Does this kind strategy really work? It'll certainly help Israelis go to bed feeling a bit safer. After all, this could mean that they won't have to take any preemptive strikes against Iran thanks to Clinton.

However, will it deter Iran? Couldn't they retaliate by getting other countries to back them up as well? Or how about the fact that Clinton brought up a threat that does not yet exist?

Her point is this; we need to be able to deter other countries from obtaining weapons. From my understanding, she believes that if countries obtain nuclear weapons, then they should provide deterrent backups. Since Iran isn't, her idea of preventing them to not use nuclear weapons is by saying that the United States will "destroy (Iran) completely."

With that said, I wonder what affect these statements will have on diplomatic attempts with Iran in the future, if she becomes President. I suppose if she said that she would respond the same way if another country, say Saudi Arabia got attacked, I would feel a bit comfortable with her bold statements. However, when George Stephanopoulous asked her this question, she carefully dodged it. Observe.

What's Obama's response to this? His position is no different, however he didn't explain his plan of action the way Clinton did. He said, "If Iran used nuclear weapons on Israel, or any of our allies, we would respond forcefully and swiftly, but in some ways, this hypothetical presupposes a failure to begin with. We shouldn't allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. Period. I have consistently said that I will do everything in my power to prevent them from having it and I have not ruled out military force as an option."

When asked about her choice of words, he said, "a bunch of talk using words like obliterate doesn't actually produce results."
Here's a clip of his answer.

True, but again, I feel that he's saying the same thing. He just knew how to use a thesaurus. This reminds me of the time he brought up Pakistan. His first few comments sounded like he just wanted to bomb the country and Clinton was there to remind us unlike him, she believes in building a relationship with Pakistan. However, Obama cleared up his rep. by saying that
if Pakistan is unwilling or unable to strike against key officials of Al-Qaeda, the States will take action. He made it clear that he will not allow any country to be a training ground for terrorists. But now Clinton's on the hot seat. Does she have any plans on clearing up her statements?

"Why would I have any regrets?" she told George Stephanopoulos and group of Indiana voters on ABC's This Week. "I am asked a question about what I would do if Iran attacked our ally, a country that many of us have a great deal of, you know, connection with and feelings for." Right..thanks for making thousands of Americans who don't necessarily feel a connection with Israel feel alienated..and from this response, I don't think she's planning to clear up anything.

As a result of her threat, Iran's
U.N. ambassador, Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi called her statements "provocative, unwarranted and irresponsible" and "a flagrant violation" of the U.N. Charter. He also stated that Clinton "unwarrantedly and under erroneous and false pretexts threatened to use force against the Islamic Republic of Iran."

In a letter sent to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moo, Danesh-Yazdi said, "Iran is a leading nation in rejecting and opposing all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons." He added that Iran has repeatedly declared "that nuclear weapons as the most lethal and inhumane weapons have no place in the defense doctrine of the country."

Iran has also campaigned to make the Middle East a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone since 1974, he said; "Moreover, I wish to reiterate my government's position that the Islamic Republic of Iran has no intention to attack any other nations," Danesh-Yazdi said. "Nonetheless ... Iran would not hesitate to act in self-defense to respond to any attack against the Iranian nation and to take appropriate defensive measures to protect itself" as authorized under the U.N. Charter. Source.