Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Obama Says New Yorker Insulted Muslim Americans

By now you have probably seen the New Yorker magazine's satirical cover depicting Obama and his wife as flag-burning, fist-bumping radicals. You know, the cartoon which depicts Obama in traditional Muslim clothing -- sandals, robe and turban -- his wife, Michelle, with an assault rifle slung over one shoulder and dressed in camouflage and combat boots and her hair in an Afro, while an American flag burns in a fireplace and a portrait of Osama bin Laden hangs above the mantel.

Obama says the cartoon doesn't bother him but that it was an insult to Muslim Americans:

"You know, there are wonderful Muslim Americans all across the country who are doing wonderful things," the presidential candidate told CNN's Larry King. "And for this to be used as sort of an insult, or to raise suspicions about me, I think is unfortunate. And it's not what America's all about."
According to the associated Press article, "Obama blamed himself for not being forceful enough in challenging some of the rumors about him, including that he is Muslim."

For once I agree with Obama. He has only himself to blame for the lingering perception that he is Muslim. As I have said before, Obama must confront his Muslim issue head on.

The caricature of Mrs. Obama would have far less punch had Obama dissociated himself from Bill Ayers, along with his wife Bernardine Dohrn. Ayers was a 1960s leader of the American terrorist group the Weathermen, a Communist-driven splinter faction of Students for a Democratic Society. Ayers is said to have summed up the Whethermen's ideology as follows: "Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, Kill your parents."

According to Wkipedia, the Weathermen, conducted a series of bombings against the US government throughout the early 1970s, bombing several federal buildings. Dohrn is a principal signatory on the group's "Declaration of a State of War" (1970) that formally declared war on the U.S. Government, and completed the group's transformation from political advocacy to violent action. Dohrn also co-wrote and published the subversive manifesto Prairie Fire (1974), and participated in the covertly-filmed Underground (1976).

Image Credit: Associated Press via the Baltimore Sun.

9/11 Billboards Spark Controversy

Billboards bearing a photo of the Twin Towers burning and a plea not to vote for Democrats has sparked controversy in Orlando, Florida.

The person behind the billboard, Mike Meehan, is holding the Democrats responsible for the 9/11 attacks:

Abc_billboard2_080716_mn"I'm holding the entire Democratic Party responsible for the attacks on 9/11," said Meehan, who wrote, sang, produced and recorded the song. He said people should not vote for Democrats because they are too focused on solving the problems in the economy when they should be focused on the war on terrorism.

[. . .]

"Democrats are relaxed on fighting the war on terrorism," he said. "But it's just as important as the economy. The economy and terrorism go together."

Terrorists had warned they would destroy the American economy financially, and we can see their success in the high prices of oil, Meehan said.
Meehan's website advertises a CD and music video titled "The Republican Song," with the chorus, "Don't vote for a Democrat." He sells CDs for $5 to cover the cost of getting his message out.

According to ABC affiliate WFTV in Orlando, both parties have criticized the billboards.

Meehan knows people will find his ads offensive, but he said, "It's more offensive that our nation is forgetting about the attacks." We must never forget.

Image courtesy of ABC.

McCain Pledges More Education Options

John_mccain_official_photo_portraitThe Associated Press reports John McCain is telling the NAACP that he will expand education opportunities for children in failing schools.

In excerpts released ahead of his speech, McCain says that the worst educational problems in the country are often found in schools in black communities and that he will provide greater school choices and scholarships for such students:

As in other challenges African Americans have met and overcome, these problems require clarity of purpose. They require the solidarity of groups like the NAACP. And, at times, they also require a willingness to break from conventional thinking.

Nowhere are the limitations of conventional thinking any more apparent than in education policy. Education reform has long been a priority of the NAACP, and for good reason. For all the best efforts of teachers and administrators, the worst problems of our public school system are often found in black communities. Black and Latino students are among the most likely to drop out of high school. African Americans are also among the least likely to go on to college.

After decades of hearing the same big promises from the public education establishment, and seeing the same poor results, it is surely time to shake off old ways and to demand new reforms. That isn’t just my opinion; it is the conviction of parents in poor neighborhoods across this nation who want better lives for their children.

[. . .]

Over the years, Americans have heard a lot of “tired rhetoric” about education. We’ve heard it in the endless excuses of people who seem more concerned about their own position than about our children. We’ve heard it from politicians who accept the status quo rather than stand up for real change in our public schools. Parents ask only for schools that are safe, teachers who are competent, and diplomas that open doors of opportunity. When a public system fails, repeatedly, to meet these minimal objectives, parents ask only for a choice in the education of their children. Some parents may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private school. Many will choose a charter school. No entrenched bureaucracy or union should deny parents that choice and children that opportunity.

[. . .]

If I am elected president, school choice for all who want it, an expansion of Opportunity Scholarships, and alternative certification for teachers will all be part of a serious agenda of education reform.

Obama Erases His Criticism Of The Surge

In a silly effort to hide how wrong Obama was about the surge, Obama's criticism of the surge has been removed from Obama's campaign Web site.

The New York Daily News, was first to report that Obama's campaign website was scrubbed over the weekend to remove criticism of the U.S. troop "surge" in Iraq.

The following video highlights the poor judgment Obama is trying to erase:

Unlike Obama, McCain long advocated that more troops were needed to win in Iraq.

According to the Associated Press, McCain says "Obama is failing to acknowledge success." Someone should tell Obama it's usually best to simply admit when you are wrong. Scrubbing Obama's website to erase Obama's judgments that proved to be wrong won't work well in today's YouTube world.

Time for Some Campaignin'

Take a few minutes, relax, and enjoy a good laugh. "Time for Some Campaignin'" isn't as good as JibJab's 2004 efforts -- "This Land" and "Good to be in DC" -- but it is still enjoyable. Watch as the good folks at JibJab bid farewell to Bush and welcome Obama and McCain to center stage: