Monday, March 31, 2008

Obama marched with Farrakhan

Can this get any worse? Post below lifted from Weekly Standard. See the original for links

Hugh Hewitt links a 1995 profile of Obama in the Chicago Reader. It's worth reading in full. He shares his views on black churches and the Christian Right, and he makes clear his preference for "collective action" over individualism. And at the end, after discussing his participation in Minister Farrakhan's Million Man March:
"But cursing out white folks is not going to get the job done. Anti-Semitic and anti-Asian statements are not going to lift us up. We've got some hard nuts-and-bolts organizing and planning to do. We've got communities to build."

It doesn't seem like Barack had any real problem with cursing out white folks or making anti-Semitic and anti-Asian statements, it's just not as productive as he'd like. It's the same when he discusses the "wonderful preachers" in Chicago. "As soon as church lets out," he says, "the energy dissipates." You see it's not enough to just say "God Damn America" on Sunday, you have to organize your community and get on with the damning come Monday.

Update: Since Hugh's linked back response to his question ("Did many mainstream Dems join that march?"), the short answer is no. Only two members of Congress attended, as did a couple of mayors (including Marion Barry), Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton. President Clinton gave a speech endorsing the goals of the march, but condemning its organizer.

At the time Clinton said "One million men are right to be standing up for personal responsibility, but one million men do not make right one man's message of malice and division." He did not refer to Farrakhan by name, but in retrospect this looks like pretty strong stuff compared to Obama's "Anti-Semitic and anti-Asian statements are not going to lift us up." And of course Clinton didn't actually attend the march.

Obama: Babies are Punishment

Post below lifted from STACLU. See the original for links

After I exposed four gaping holes in Obama's platform yesterday, he platooned himself again today in Pennsylvania by calling babies a punishment. Of course, the Politico writer thinks Obama's answer was intuitive:
"Look, I got two daughters - 9 years old and 6 years old," he said. "I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

The answer appeared to be in response to his opposition to abstinence-only education, but rather a preference of comprehensive sexual education that includes some abstinence sprinkled in.

Regardless of your feelings on sexual education, this statement oozes with animosity. It also reveals the true heart of Barack Obama. Despite his so-called "understanding" of both sides of the abortion issue, any person that could utter such cold, abhorrence when discussing a fellow human being has no intention of displaying any goodwill to pro-lifers.

The man with no ideas of his own

No wonder his policy proposals are just Leftist boilerplate

Evidence is accumulating that Barack Obama is an equal opportunity plagiarist, readily borrowing some of the catchiest lines in his campaign speeches and ads from a variety of literary, movie, political and popular sources, all without giving credit or attribution to the original source. The charges began when the Washington Post reported on Feb. 18 a Clinton campaign charge that Obama delivered a speech in Wisconsin including a near-identical passage to a speech delivered two years earlier by then-Democratic Party candidate for governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick.

"In many respects, he [Obama] is asking the public to judge him on the strength of his rhetoric," said Howard Wolfson, a top Clinton advisor, according to the Washington Post article. "When we learn he has taken an important section of his speech from another elected official, it raises very fundamental questions about his campaign." A video plays side-by-side the similarity between Patrick's and Obama's speeches.

An ABC analysis later showed Patrick's 2006 speech quoted many famous phrases, "'We have nothing to fear but fear itself,' . just words. 'Ask not what you can do for your country,' just words . 'I have a dream,' just words," he said, quoting Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

Obama's Wisconsin speech was nearly identical, with Obama saying, "Don't tell me words don't matter . 'I have a dream.' Just words. 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' Just words. 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself.' Just words. Just speeches."

Appearing on ABC on Feb. 19, Patrick defused the controversy by claiming the charge of plagiarism was "unfair." "It's an elaborate charge and an extravagant one," Patrick said on air.

On Feb. 18, at a press conference in Youngstown, Ohio, Obama admitted he should have given credit to his friend, Gov. Patrick, saying, "I was on the stump, and, you know he [Deval Patrick] had suggested that we use these lines. I thought they were good lines. I'm sure I would have [given him credit], didn't this time." "Deval and I do trade ideas all the time," Obama continued, "and, you know, he's occasionally used lines of [mine]. I, at a [fundraising] dinner in Wisconsin, used some words of his."

A second video clip on shows Obama using another Patrick speech segment nearly word-for-word, again without attribution to Patrick for the original use of the language. Patrick is heard to say, "I am not asking anybody to take a chance on me. I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations." Obama's speech contains nearly identical language: "I'm not just asking you to take a chance on me. I'm also asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations."

Analysis by Internet bloggers has shown that Obama's heist of language was not limited to Patrick's speeches. "Bamboozled" is the title of a Internet piece in which blogger Seymour Glass tracks Barack Obama's many instances of plagiarism, in which Obama readily borrows from a wide range of sources, including film producer Spike Lee's script for his 1992 feature film, Malcolm X.

Glass pointed out that in many primary states, including South Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, and Texas, Obama has used over and over the words "bamboozled" and "hoodwinked," arguing how the truth has been hidden from voters. He traced the word back to dialogue Spike Lee wrote for Denzel Washington to speak, playing the character of Malcolm X in Spike Lee's movie of the same name about the radical African American activist of the 1960s. Grace also pointed out that Malcolm X never uttered "bamboozled" or "hoodwinked" regarding political maneuvering in the African American community. Again, a clip on shows exactly how the words "bamboozled" and "hoodwinked" appear in both Obama's speech and in Denzel Washington's speeches in the movie, playing the character of Malcolm X.

Jay Freeman, writing in the Boston Globe, traced the words "bamboozled" or "hoodwinked" back to Lord Greville's memoir in 1885, "Palmerston never intended anything but to hoodwink his colleagues, bamboozle the French, and gain time." And also in H.L Menken, writing in 1928, "He does not merely tell how politicians hoodwink, bamboozle and prey upon the boobs; he shows precisely how." Freeman was writing to show the two words were not uncommonly connected, such that Spike Lee using the words in "Malcolm X" was not a unique use from which Obama necessarily copied.

Yet the showing the comparison with the Spike Lee movie also shows clips where the Obama phrase, "We are the ones we have been waiting for," echoes back to a music album by the Visionaires by the same title, a book by Alice Walker also using the title, a Dec. 12, 2007 column by New York Times writer Thomas Friedman and a Dennis Kucinich campaign speech in April 2004 also using the same phrase.

The same video traces a phrase Oprah Winfrey used at a Dec. 9, 2007 rally in Columbia, S.C., to identify Obama. "He is the One," traces back to the Warner Brothers 1999 movie, "The Matrix."

Even the phrase "Si, se puede," that Obama has used as the English, "Yes, we can," traces back to Caesar Chavez and his organizing of Hispanic workers in the United Farm Workers in the 1960s. More recently, according to the Moscow Times, the slogan has been heavily used by a former Soviet official who has ruled his republic of Russia since 1991. That the phrase "Yes we can," became firmly identified as a signature phrase with the Obama campaign is witnessed by the "Yes We Can" Barack Obama music video produced by, now viewed on over six million times.

The video clip ends making the point that many similarities in Obama's speeches, including phrases such as, "I choose hope over fear . ," or "I'm not just asking you to take a chance on me, I'm asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations .," may trace back to Obama's campaign manager David Alexrod, who has introduced similar themes and phrases into the campaigns of many of his clients, including John Edwards (2004) and Deval Patrick (2006).

New York magazine has found yet another instance where Obama has lifted lines from a movie. In the 2006 movie "Man of the Year," Robin Williams plays a comedian who gets elected president. In the movie, Williams gives a speech in which he says, "Red States, Blue States. There [are] no Red States and Blue States. There's only the United States of America." Obama, in his 2008 Iowa caucus victory speech said, "Because we not a collection of Red States and Blue States. We are the United States of America."


A Decades Deep Treasure Trove

Barack Obama's supporters are quick to level the cherry-picking charge in any discussion of Reverend Jeremiah Wright's video vitriol, claiming that Obama's critics are selectively condemning the pastor with but a few exceptional sermons out of twenty-plus years of weekly sermons.

The problem with that argument is that the church's gift shop packaged and sold in DVD format the very sermons that are being used now with such devastating political effect, characterizing them as a "best of" series. One can only speculate as to whose characterization that is, but after seeing the Rev's rather formidable ego demonstrated in the videos and in television interviews, I do not think he is one who would delegate the task of selecting his best sermons for resale purposes to any subordinate; which leaves us to conclude that Reverend Wright himself holds those cherry-picked videos in very high esteem.

Now, do any of us skeptics out here really believe that if those videos are the Rev's choice for his "best of" series, that they are the only exceptional examples of thirty-six years of preaching from that pulpit? Are we to accept that after three and a half decades, the Rev can point only to that skimpy handful of videos and say, "There is the sum total of the very best of the fruits of my labors in service to the Lord?"

So what becomes most intriguing here is the question as to just how long the church has been recording and selling the Rev's weekly exhortations to his flock and just how many of those tapes may be out there in circulation. Obviously, from what we've already seen, the church has been taping at least since the week after 9/11, which means there could be hundreds of tapes in just that time, perhaps multiple thousands if one considers that most likely every performance (three services every Sunday) is taped to provide the collection from which a "best of" series can be selected.

Obama's supporters try to reassure themselves that this will blow over; but I wonder how many of them lay awake wondering just how many more of these tapes are out there and just when one of the Clintons' opposition research operatives is going to pay some disgruntled, or just greedy, former parishioner a very hefty sum for his extensive collection of the "best of" series? That cannot be a sleep-inducing thought within the Obama campaign, especially if one of those videos should contain audience shots that include an enthusiastic, wildly cheering Barack and Michelle.

And just think there's only twenty years of possibilities in this potential treasure trove. Once the Clintons get through digging, there may even be a jewel or two left for Republican oppo investigators should Obama win the nomination.



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