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Entries in obama (8)


"Arrogant Americans" and the Right

Garnering cheers from the French of all people, President Obama declared, "In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." Consider that Obama spoke these words just 500 miles from the beaches of Normandy, where the sand is still stained with 65 year old blood of "arrogant Americans." - Peter Heck

This section of an article published by Peter Heck a few weeks ago, contains the two things that I hate most about the "opinion as fact" world of media that we are stuck in at present. (1) It takes a quote entirely out of context and (2) makes a statement that hyperbolizes the sentiment he is trying to foment.

I'm tired of sitting around and waiting for the American people to wake up and realize that in today's media world, you can't trust anything anyone says, myself included. You have to verify, and what Mr. Heck, and the other dozen or so "conservative" commentators have done with this quote is use it as one more way to demonize a President who has been in office for  just over 3 months. So, I did what I do when I receive this kind of thing in my email inbox, forwarded on from a well meaning friend of mine, I went out and found the quote, in context. Here it is:

At the crossroads where we stand today, this shared history gives us hope -- but it must not give us rest. This generation cannot stand still. We cannot be content merely to celebrate the achievements of the 20th century, or enjoy the comforts of the 21st century; we must learn from the past to build on its success. We must renew our institutions, our alliances. We must seek the solutions to the challenges of this young century.

This is our generation. This is our time. And I am confident that we can meet any challenge as long as we are together. (Applause.)

Such an effort is never easy. It's always harder to forge true partnerships and sturdy alliances than to act alone, or to wait for the action of somebody else. It's more difficult to break down walls of division than to simply allow our differences to build and our resentments to fester. So we must be honest with ourselves. In recent years we've allowed our Alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy, but we also know that there's something more that has crept into our relationship. In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.

But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad.

On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated. They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone, but that Europe cannot confront them without America.

So I've come to Europe this week to renew our partnership, one in which America listens and learns from our friends and allies, but where our friends and allies bear their share of the burden. Together, we must forge common solutions to our common problems.

So let me say this as clearly as I can: America is changing, but it cannot be America alone that changes. We are confronting the greatest economic crisis since World War II. The only way to confront this unprecedented crisis is through unprecedented coordination

- Transcript from the White House Press Room

Strasbourg, is 626 miles (not 500)  from Normandy, although I'm not really sure what his proximity to the beaches of Normandy has to do with his statement. There are many American soldiers buried in cemeteries the world over, an unfortunate byproduct of the position our great country has attained.

President Obama was speaking about the need for the Unites States and Europe to eliminate needless animosity, and to forge a stronger bond between our countries, unions and most importantly our citizens. He was not, as Mr. Heck and others would have you believe, disparaging America, or it's veterans. But, in a world where we we expect, and unfortunately allow, others to do our thinking for us, we get what we deserve, and that my friends is a whole bunch of pundits who want one thing and one thing only, for you to agree with them.

I don't want you to agree with me, if you do that's fine, but it's not my end goal. What I want is for the people of this country to stop just accepting what they're given and to rediscover the independent spirit that made this country what it is. In order for this country to function properly, we, the citizens, need to be constantly questioning authority, and authorities. If we let down our guard and allow ourselves to be spoon fed then we are sewing the seeds of our own destruction (wow, that was kind of cliche, but I'm sticking with it).

So do me a favor, go out and question someone that you think is an authority. Do some checking to see if you're getting the truth from Olbermann or O'Reilly, I think you'll be rather surprised, and if you're anything like me, severely dissapointed.


And out come the wolves...

When Fareed Zakaria, Kathleen Parker and George Will say it's time to go, it's probably time to go:
Zakaria: "I greatly admire John McCain, a man of intelligence, honor and enormous personal and political courage. However, for him to choose Sara Palin to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. He did not put the country first with this decision." Zakaria: McCain's VP decision is 'fundamentally irresponsible' - CNN.com. Parker: "Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League." Palin Problem: Kathleen Parker on National Review Online Will: "By picking Palin, McCain got the country's attention. That is a perishable thing and before it dissipates, he should show the country his veto pen." George Will::Townhall.com::The Palin Bubble
To be honest, I thought this was a strange selection from the get go, figuring McCain would play it safe and pick someone that he felt he could trust, or at least would add significant credentials to his campaign. Palin is most assuredly trustworthy (at least in that she is locked into McCain's message) but she doesn't add anything to his campaign, aside from the evangelical vote (but Mike Huckabee would have helped there as well). What I find interesting is that there is a possibility that both tickets could change before election day.  With rumours circulating about Joe Biden stepping down after the debate on 10/3 and pressure being put on McCain to drop Palin, could we still see an Obama/Clinton vs. McCain/Huckabee ro Romney or Giuliani ticket? I'm actually looking forward to the VP debate, if for no other reason than to see what kind of ammo Biden and Palin give to the SNL writers.
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Push Polling Makes a Comeback

This report from Politico.com may be the first true "push-polling" i've heard about during this election cycle.
Jewish voters are complaining of a poll that, after confirming their religion, asks a series of questions that appear aimed at alarming Jewish voters, including linking Barack Obama to Palestinian terrorist groups. The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn, who took notes, and lists the negative messages:
  • Obama has had a decade long relationship with pro-Palestinian leaders in Chicago
  • The leader of Hamas, Ahmed Yousef, expressed support for Obama and his hope for Obama's victory
  • The church Barack Obama has attended is known for its anti-Israel and anti-American remarks
  • Jimmy Carter's anti-Israel national security advisor is one of Barack Obama's foreign policy advisors
  • Barack Obama was the member of a board (sic) that funded a pro-Palestinian chartiable organization
  • Barack Obama called for holding a summit of Muslim nations exlcuding Israel if elected president
Ben Smith's Blog: Jewish voters complain of anti-Obama poll - Politico.com.
Those who have received these calls claim that they are being conducted by "Research Strategies". The McCain campaign will obviously disavow any knowledge of these polls, even if the first result in a google search for "research strategies polling" is:

Wilson Research Strategies| Home

Opinion research firm serving Republican candidates, conservative organizations, public affairs campaigns, and major corporations. www.w-r-s.com/ - 19k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Perhaps that's all a little too convenient, but it doesn't bode well.  I would have hoped that this distasteful method of campaigning would not have been seen in an election featuring the man it has most prominently been used against, John McCain. I honestly hope for McCain's sake that this is being done by some rogue 529, but given the way this campaign has been going, it seems like both sides are more than willing to pull out the stops, go negative and play fast and loose with the facts to get to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. as a temporary resident.
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CBS pulls "lipstick" ad, Fox News cries wolf

This little "fair and balanced" gem come to us via Fox News (a.k.a The White House News Network):
CBS News has jumped into the middle of the presidential race, forcing YouTube to take down a Web ad by John McCain’s campaign that the network calls “misleading” in its use of Katie Couric. The McCain campaign is still featuring the ad prominently on its Web site and copycats have been uploaded onto YouTube by other users. The Illinois senator used the The Illinois Senator used the lipstick on a pig analogy...while describing his Republican opponents policies. lipstick on a pig analogy at a campaign event in Lebanon, Va., on Tuesday while describing his Republican opponents. CBS News Forces YouTube to Pull McCain ‘Lipstick’ Ad - America’s Election HQ.
To begin with the CBS Corporation (formerly Viacom) is against any of it's content being used on YouTube, regardless of the group presenting it.  Second, the ad presents statements made by a CBS employee (Katie Couric) completely outside of the context in which they were made.  Third, the McCain/Palin campaign violated copyright laws. Fox News claiming that CBS "jumped into the middle of the Presidential race" is a false assertion, the McCain/Palin campaign pulled them in when they infringed CBS copyright. I'm sure in the eyes of the WHNN this move is simply another ploy of the liberal media to prevent the convervative's from getting their message out.  Well, it's not. Of course, this is completely overlooking the fact that the ad itself is based solely on a manufactured slight of Sarah Palin.  I don't think anyone in their right mind would actually think Obama was calling Sarah Palin a pig (especially since Obama himself stated last night on Letterman that if anything 'had I meant it this way — she would be the lipstick” and McCain’s policies would be the pig, [Obama] said.'

Obama to prosecute Bush if elected?

“If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued,” Biden said during a campaign stop in Florida on Monday, ABC News reported. “Not out of vengeance, not out of retribution. Out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president — no one is above the law.” Biden promised that an Obama-Biden government would go through Bush administration data with "a fine-toothed comb" and pursue criminal charges if necessary. Newsmax.com – Obama May Bring Criminal Charges Against Bush.
Maybe it's me, but doesn't this just seem like a bad thing to bring up at a time when your overwhelming lead has become less than overwhelming? I really don't see how this helps the Obama/Biden ticket cosy up to moderate voters. Don't get me wrong, I am all for prosecuting those who break laws, especially at an executive level, but this just doesn't seem like anything more than posturing. Plus, this isn't what they should be focusing on this close to the election, they should be focusing on sharpening their message as we rapidly approach November, this just murkies the already muddy water of this election.