Saturday, May 31, 2008

Obama Finally Quits Wright's Church

After spending 20 years in a church pastored by the minister of hate, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama finally decided to do what most people of sound judgment would have done much, much sooner -- today Obama resigned as a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ.

If Obama's politically motivated attack of sound judgement wasn't so pathetic, it might be funny.

Obama didn't see fit to resign from this radical church when Wright called on God to "damn America":

"The government gives them [African Americans] the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

Obama didn't see fit to resign from this radical church when Wright preached that we support state terrorism against the Palestinians:

After September 11, 2001, he said: "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back into our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

Obama didn't see fit to resign from this radical church when Wright said we invented HIV:

The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lies.

No, what finally caused Obama to exercise the judgment to leave this radical church was a surrogate spiritual mentor preaching a sermon mocking Hillary Clinton.

You can watch the racist sermon in the following video:

Obama's exercises such poor judgment, and has the audacity to hope we won't find it peculiar that he argues he should be president because of his judgment.

Democrats Try To Make Up With Florida And Michigan

The Democratic Party's Rules and Bylaws Committee will meet today to undo the Party's disenfranchisement of Florida's and Michigan's Democrats.

Now that Obama leads Hillary by about 200 delegates, the Rules and Bylaws Committee is likely to compromise and, following the Republican Party's example the Democrats should have adopted last year, agree to seat half of the Florida and Michigan delegates.

Hillary is pushing hard to seat all the delegates:

Counting the two states' votes could bring Clinton close enough to Obama's total among pledged delegates which in turn could help persuade the party's "superdelegates" that she is the more electable general election candidate.

The Democrat's fight over the Florida and Michigan Delegates may not be resolved today. In March, Hillary threatened to fight all the way to the Democrat's national convention:

"I have no intention of stopping until we finish what we started and until we see what happens in the next 10 contests and until we resolve Florida and Michigan. And if we don't resolve it, we'll resolve it at the convention -- that's what credentials committees are for."

Al-Qaeda Facing Setbacks Globally

CIA Director Michael V. Hayden says Al-Qaeda essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world, including in its presumed haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border:

In a strikingly upbeat assessment, the CIA chief cited major gains against al-Qaeda's allies in the Middle East and an increasingly successful campaign to destabilize the group's core leadership.

While cautioning that al-Qaeda remains a serious threat, Hayden said Osama bin Laden is losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Islamic world and has largely forfeited his ability to exploit the Iraq war to recruit adherents. Two years ago, a CIA study concluded that the U.S.-led war had become a propaganda and marketing bonanza for al-Qaeda, generating cash donations and legions of volunteers.

[. . .]

"On balance, we are doing pretty well," he said, ticking down a list of accomplishments: "Near strategic defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat for al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Significant setbacks for al-Qaeda globally -- and here I'm going to use the word 'ideologically' -- as a lot of the Islamic world pushes back on their form of Islam," he said.

Hayden's assessment is certainly good news and further evidence that the strategy President Bush implemented after September 11, -- going on the offense and taking the fight to the terrorists -- is working.

Hayden also warned against complacency and excessive optimism:

Despite the optimistic outlook, he said he is concerned that the progress against al-Qaeda could be halted or reversed because of what he considers growing complacency and a return to the mind-set that existed before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"We remain worried, and frankly, I wonder why some other people aren't worried, too," he said. His concern stems in part from improved intelligence-gathering that has bolstered the CIA's understanding of al-Qaeda's intent, he said.

"The fact that we have kept [Americans] safe for pushing seven years now has got them back into the state of mind where 'safe' is normal," he said. "Our view is: Safe is hard-won, every 24 hours."

"Safe is hard-won, every 24 hours," well said.

Tensed Verbs - McCain Campaign Conference Call

My esteemed RedState colleague, absentee posted a fine write-up about the conference call fight a bunch of reporters had, on behalf of Obama, with Senator Jon Kyl and McCain's senior foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann:

The call was regarding a small dust-up with the Obama camp over a statement Senator McCain made on the campaign trail yesterday. "I can tell you that it is succeeding. I can look you in the eye and tell you it's succeeding. We have drawn down to pre-surge levels. Basra, Mosul and now Sadr city are quiet and it's long and it's hard and it's tough and there will be setbacks."

The Obama campaign is making this out to be a significant error in the facts.

[. . .]

Most of the questions on the call related to, and excessively used the phrase "verb tenses." Reporters pressed for an admission of guilt, and the campaign firmly continued to point out that the underlying point Senator McCain made was fundamentally correct: that the surge has worked, and that as a result, surge troops have been assigned to return home.

Scheunemann made the excellent point that Senator Obama claims this kind of politicking is obsolete, that it is more important to focus on the heart of an issue than the superficial tit for tat of campaigns past. Yet here he is, sending out John Kerry (John Kerry, Senator? Seriously?) to latch onto "verb tense" to try and paint McCain as not in possession of the facts about Iraq.

Still, the point was pressed again and again. And again. Verb tenses. Verb Tenses? Verb Tenses! Verb tenses?! Verb. Ten. Ses. The press seems eager to join the Obama campaign's point of view, which basically amounts to "nevermind about the surge, what is today's date?"

At Politico, Ben Smith also covered the call.

I wasn't going to add my two cents to this, but I can't get over my impression of just how far the mainstream media reporters went to support Obama in this conference call fight.

For example, because Kyl and Scheunemann, defended McCain, Michael Dobbs decided to give the campaign three Pinocchios.

I've been on many campaign conference calls during this election and this is the first time that I found any mainstream media reporter to be as disrespectful or as darn right insulting as I did Mr. Dobbs.

Liz Sidoti of the Associated Press was able to ask polite questions and write a balanced article. So did Scott Helman. I don't understand what got into Mr. Dobbs.

I also wonder why it required dogged attention from bloggers, before Mr. Dobbs decided Obama's Auschwitz "error" merited any mainstream media coverage. And why the mainstream media still, after more than five years, says nothing about Obama's Treblinka "error."

I'm fond of referring to the mainstream media as the biased media wing of the Democrat Party, but still.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Campaign Admits Obama Would Ignore Commanders And Facts During Potential Iraq Trip

I will listen to General Petraeus given the experience that he has accumulated over the last several years. It would be stupid of me to ignore what he has to say. -- Obama on Fox's "Fox News Sunday," 4/27/08

Yesterday, on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Obama Communications Director Robert Gibbs said that Obama would go to Iraq to see how he can withdraw:

MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski: "And, Robert, is your candidate - I mean, just this whole Iraq thing is now being revitalized a bit because of the book. But is your candidate going to go to Iraq? Is that in the plans?"

Gibbs: "Well, as he said yesterday Mika, it's under discussion about going overseas and going to Iraq sometime between now and the campaign.

You know, I don't think we'll be taking that trip with John McCain because as Senator Obama said yesterday, the work that the men and women in our military are doing over there is just far too important for them to be props in some sort of political stunt or photo-op.

You know, what they're doing over there is separated from their families, giving for their country. It's truly, truly amazing, and I think we would want to go over there and talk to them and see what sort of difficulties they're facing and see how it is that we can begin to carefully remove them and carefully bring them back to their families and bring them back to the United States."

You can watch it at the 2:00 mark in this video.

Why has Obama decided not to remain open to facts demonstrating the progress achieved by the revised strategy President Bush adopted in 2007?

In February 2008, Obama told CBS' Harry Smith that the President has to be "mindful of the situation on the ground and what the commanders say:"

CBS' Harry Smith: "If you are to be elected president and your commanders on the ground there and your Secretary of Defense said, 'Hold back; you can't be pulling these people out; we're going to create a civil war and a bloodbath,' what would you do?"

Obama: "My job as commander in chief is to keep the American people safe. But I firmly believe that we have to send a signal to the Iraqis that it is time to withdraw. We will not have a permanent base there. We will not have a permanent occupation there."

Smith: "Even if - "

Obama: "Within those constraints - "

Smith: "Even if it meant the beginning of civil war?"

Obama: "No, no, no. Within those constraints, I think there is going to be some flexibility. And obviously I would consult with commanders. We have to be mindful of the situation on the ground and what the commanders say." (CBS' "The Early Show," 2/4/08)

Last month, Obama said he would be stupid not to listen to General Petraeus:

I will listen to General Petraeus given the experience that he has accumulated over the last several years. It would be stupid of me to ignore what he has to say. (Fox's "Fox News Sunday," 4/27/08)

President Bush Loosens Up

President Bush seems a little more relaxed lately:

Obama Reconsiders Iraq

"Look at what happened in the last two years since Senator Obama visited and declared the war lost," the GOP presidential nominee-in-waiting told The Associated Press in an interview, noting that the Illinois senator's last trip to Iraq came before the military buildup that is credited with curbing violence.

"He really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time," the Arizona senator added. "If there was any other issue before the American people, and you hadn't had anything to do with it in a couple of years, I think the American people would judge that very harshly

It started on Sunday, when Senator Lindsey Graham noted Obama's long absence from Iraq and floated the idea that Obama and McCain should go to Iraq together to be briefed by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Asked whether he'd be willing to take such a trip, McCain told the AP: "Sure. It would be fine."

Obama's initial reaction was derisive. He called the proposed fact-finding trip "nothing more than a political stunt."

Feeling the heat over the criticism that he is not open to considering the facts which may not support his view, Obama announced yesterday that he is now considering a trip to Iraq.

McCain reacted positively to Obama's changed position, saying he is “confident” a trip to Iraq will convince Obama that victory is possible:

“I certainly was…glad to hear that Senator Obama is now quote ‘considering’ a trip to Iraq. It’s long overdue. It’s been 871 days since he was there,” McCain said at a nearly 30 minute media availability Wednesday afternoon, after slamming Obama on the issue at an earlier town hall in Nevada. “I’m confident that when he goes he will then change his position on the conflict in Iraq because he will see the success that has been achieved on the ground…Presidents have to listen and learn. Presidents have to make judgments no matter how unpopular or popular they may be. So the success in Iraq is undeniable.”

[. . .]

“The facts on the ground, I’m sure would convince any objective observer. That’s why I say that I’m encouraged that he’s going because the facts on the ground are very, very clear. The statistics are there. Facts are facts,” McCain told reporters. “And I’m confident that he would certainly…recognize that this strategy is succeeding, and we have drawn down troops to the pre-surge level and we will come home with honor and victory and there will be stability in the region and that will make for a long term benefit to the United States and our national security interests.”