Liberal, Irreverent

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Roland Martin: How Obama can get beyond Rev. Wright

By Roland S. Martin
CNN Contributor
Join Roland Martin for his weekly sound-off segment on Live at 11:10 a.m. Wednesday. If you're passionate about the topic, he wants to hear from you.

(CNN) -- Let's not kid ourselves. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright was going to be a part of this presidential campaign through November, whether Sen. Barack Obama smacked his former pastor upside the head, or not.

Now that he has taken the necessary steps to separate himself from Wright, Obama must go on his most vigorous offensive to date and make it clear that he is running for president, and not Wright.

Sen. Hillary Clinton is doing all she can to make the case to undeclared Democratic superdelegates that Obama is a wounded duck because of Wright; that she has a better shot at winning white working-class voters; and he's not tough enough to take on Sen. John McCain.

With that said, Obama is leading among the pledged delegates and the popular vote. He's also significantly closed the gap between himself and Clinton in superdelegates. Bottom line: He's winning.

But now it's time for him to ratchet up his message and to take back the stage from Clinton, McCain, and of course, Wright. One way to do that is to be far more forceful in advocating his position and direction for the country. Here are a few suggestions:

Let voters know that you will be calling the shots, not Wright. I've seen e-mails from voters who say they will not vote for Obama because of Wright. The junior senator of Illinois must challenge them directly.

Tell them flat out that Wright will not keep their homes from foreclosure.

Tell them that Wright has absolutely nothing to do with gas prices doubling under the presidency of George W. Bush.

Make it plain that your name is on the ballot and not his, and you're the guy who has the right plan to transform the country.

Have your supporters increase the book sales of Alan Greenspan. McCain said last year that the economy wasn't his strong suit, and that he needed to read up on the books of the former Federal Reserve chairman. I would put some of those young supporters to use and have them greet McCain at every campaign stop with a copy of a Greenspan book. Even print up some Greenspan masks and hound him to death.

Then you must back that in-your-face campaigning with an economic message that speaks to the masses, especially those blue-collar voters. Show them that the Bush tax cuts that McCain wants to continue will benefit those same business owners who are shipping their jobs overseas.

Tell blue-collar voters that the hedge fund owners that are snapping up companies and slashing their jobs don't care about them, and will be happy to fund the campaign of McCain.

Make the case that he might be a good guy, but he's more concerned about the tax bracket of his wife (she's worth in excess of $100 million) than the middle- class voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

They say you've got a white problem? Tell those white rural voters that voting against their economic interests is political suicide.

Make it clear to women, especially white women, that Roe v. Wade will be extinct if McCain wins. The next president is going to choose three Supreme Court justices.

There is no way -- no way -- that the religious right will let a President McCain appoint anyone with a moderate bone in his or her body. Remember Harriet Miers? Bush even said he knew her heart, and they told him to go to hell.

What Obama has to tell those women, who are supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton in huge numbers, and will be disappointed if she's not the nominee, is that sitting at home on Election Day, or crossing the aisle and voting for McCain, virtually assures that a woman's right to choose what to do with her body will be taken from her.

I would run an ad slapping a large "C" for conservative on the faces of Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia, and make it clear that three other justices will likely step down.

If McCain chooses, the new justices will vote with the conservative bloc. That is a day the pro-choice movement never wants to see.

Make college tuition a cornerstone of your campaign. You and Michelle paid off your student loans three years ago -- why keep that such a secret? Hit folks over the head with it.

With Sallie Mae cutting back and being more selective on student loans, parents' ability to pay for their kids to go to school is a huge issue. Push it. Hard. Don't let it be just one of many items on the list.

Convene a panel in Indiana, North Carolina and Oregon of parents and young folks and let them express their fears about not being able to go to college and get a good job. There isn't a parent, aunt or uncle who isn't concerned with that issue.

The war still matters. I'm watching Lanny Davis, a big-time Clinton surrogate on "Larry King Live," challenge Obama's judgment on attending Wright's Chicago church for 20 years. Obama must re-engage the electorate and say that the judgment of Clinton and McCain has led to a war that has cost us 4,000 lives and billions of dollars.

Those costs are real. Don't let it slide by. Ratchet up the sound. Don't let voters forget for a second that the wrong choice was made by your opponents.

A lot of folks are assuming the doom-and-gloom scenario for Obama. Everyone is saying he's toast, and this race is over. But we forget that conservatives really don't love McCain, and the evangelicals aren't hot in love with him either.

Go back to who you are: Mr. Change. Drive the issues home in a more forceful manner. The election is little more than six months away, and a whole lot can happen between now and November 5.

Roland S. Martin is a nationally award-winning journalist and CNN contributor. Martin is studying to receive his master's degree in Christian communications at Louisiana Baptist University. You can read more of his columns at

John McCain can't run or hide from his own words

Mainstream Media Disservice on this election


If you haven't realized it yet, the main stream media is treating John McCain with silk gloves. And while it is true that for sensationalist purposes the democratic primary provides more material, that is not an excuse to give a pass to McCain on issues where they would be all over Hillary or Barack.
The reality is that the press is in love with John McCain and long time ago they decided that John McCain just deserves to be President. What nobody expected was the rise of Barack Obama as the political phenomenon he resulted to be. So, President McCain was now threatened by this young, smart and articulate black man that breaking with all molds and expectations, jumped to the front of the line in the presidential race.
So, the mission was clear. To destroy Barack Obama's aspirations, while obviously maintaining the impression of fairness in reporting. So, what we have seen lately is the same tactic used against Howard Dean and his infamous scream. Repeat, pander and hammer over the same inconsequential issues that nothing has to do with the real issues, but that could be easily spinned into media frenzy, raising doubts in the minds of those voters who does not have either the time, capacity or inclination to dig more for the truth.
Knowing that a big chunk of the voting population just pays attention to oversimplified sound bites, it is easy to link and tag to Obama's image and reputation one-worded ideas that create doubts like patriotism, anti American reverend, flag hater, naïve, inexperienced, etc., etc., etc.
So while:
We have Americans dying in Iraq due to John McCain's friends' lies,
While people are dying here in America on a daily basis just because they don't have access to the right medical care at the right time,
While our youngsters drop from school at higher numbers then ever before,
While families are losing their homes and becoming literally homeless,
While breadwinners are losing their jobs,
While drugs and guns destroy America,
While kids are being raped,
While children and seniors go to bed every night without a warm supper,
While children has to start a school day with an empty stomach because they are too poor to afford a breakfast on a daily basis,
While the economy is in ruins with one man and one party managing to transform the largest surplus in history to the largest deficit in history in less than a decade,
While we have lost our power and standing to stand up to communist China because everyday they own more of America than Americans,
While all this happens our press spent the limited time available to inform and educate the people in senseless fabricated issues and sound bites instead of what the candidates have to say and propose on the real issues.

A John McCain administration in 2009…just what terrorists crave

We have heard republicans saying that a democrat in the White House is what terrorists crave. That with a democrat in the White House America is weaker.
However, I submit to you that it is actually the other way around. Terrorists gain more if John McCain and republicans wins the 2008 election. It does not take much to understand that Islamic radicalism has grown and multiplied more under the Bush administration. The reason is that the myopic policies and cowboy attitude of Bush, Cheney and Rice has done more to inflame the anti-American sentiment around the world than anything else we have done.
A John McCain administration will be just a third administration of George Bush and that's just what terrorists need and hope. That the next administration continues giving them excuses to keep anti American sentiments high, so they can continue recruiting and fundraising.
A democratic administration will restore America's image around the world which will be a big blow to Osama Bin Laden and all others.

Losing respect for Hillary Clinton

I am concerned that Hillary Clinton is really willing to say anything regardless how crazy or irresponsible is just to score a few points with voters. Recently Hillary proposed to suspend the gas tax to help consumers at the pump. However, practically every economist is in agreement that step is a very bad idea. Their reason is logical and anyone who has been in business before will understand it.
When you eliminate a tax that was built-in before, initially the vendors will pass a high percentage to consumers (they will keep a portion to "offset" any administration necessary to comply with the new regulation). But eventually it is the psychology of business that if consumers were paying that high price before, it is already built in the budgets. So, it is just a matter of time (and wouldn't be too long) that all vendors push their prices back to the pre-regulation price. The consumers end up paying the same price and the businesses end up getting new higher profits equal to the amount of the previous tax.
Now, why Clinton would propose that idea? My only guess is that she knows that it resonates well in the ears of the struggling working class to lower their gasoline bills. But she is a smart woman and she has economists in her team that probably would have advice her, but she did it anyway. So, it is my thinking that she prefers say something crazy and irresponsible, just because if sounds well to voters who does not have the same level of understanding. And that is completely irresponsible! These are the type of things that make people lose respect for her as the polls show that she is the candidate that people trust less.

John McShame also abandons veterans

Along with the long standing republican tradition of letting people to hang dry and abandoning them to their luck, John McShame does not support the new GI Bill that updates the old program to the current education realities veterans face when coming back from war and try to get the education they were led to believe will receive when joined the armed forces. As many student veterans put it when interviewed, the few hundred dollars a month they received only pays for transportation.
Even though the current proposed bill has broad support from both sides, the White House expresses concerns that the proposed bill is "too good". John McShame has jumped into that boat proposing a competing bill that is more in accord with the W.H. Now we have said in the past that John McSame is just that, John McBush in disguise and a continuation of the Bush administration. What better proof than Bush, Cheney and Rice saying JUMP! and McCain just asking how high? If Bush is a corporate mole and a puppet of his corporate masters, then what can be worse than a puppet of the puppet?
Anyway, the proposed GI Bill is "too good" according to McCain and the White House, but I guess the "too good" wasn't brought when asking our young men and women to give their limbs and lives in Iraq. It is too good to give them enough money to study, but they are not too good to die.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Republican Supreme Court showing its true colors

March of 2008, a month that will live in infamy!

1) The Supreme Court of the United States of America in alliance with Republicans in the Senate have turned their back to women and others by allowing pay discrimination to continue.

2) The Supreme Court of the United States of America has turned its back to voters by allowing states ran by their republicans bosses to impose more roadblocks to the poor, elders and disabled. States can require voters to re-identify themselves at the polling station. These states know that these groups who lean democratic will have the higher problems securing an photo ID due to cost, time and inconvenience. (Anything to make sure that Bush stays in power for another 4 years).

John McPain Health Care plan just smoke and mirrors

Anyone who thinks that under John McPain's health care plan the 50 million of uninsured Americans will get the necessary health coverage, needs to get the head checked. Many more millions of Americans with crappy coverage still do not have access to the appropriate care. Thousands of Americans die every year unnecessarily because they just cannot pay for the care they need when they need it. Yet John McPain is happy preaching "personal responsibility", which means for the poor and working class to pay out of pocket and then wait for a possible tax deduction after the fact, one year later, while behind the scened he work to keep the insurance companies fat and happy.

Voter ID Supreme Court Ruling…the Republicans trying to steal the election…again

The Supreme Court ruled that states can require voters to produce photo IDs in order to exercise their constitutional right to vote. There are a lot of problems with that ruling, and it is indeed a politically motivated ruling.
Citizens are already required to produce documentation when registering to vote initially, so asking us to produce documentation again at the polling place is an undue burden to all of us. If someone could produce proof that we have a widespread voting fraud problem then we could understand why a measure like that could be necessary.
But the reality is that the groups that will likely have the most troubles producing a photo ID are the poor, minorities, the elderly and disabled. All these constituencies lean democratic, are outraged with republicans, are more motivated to vote in 2008 and have the more to loose if cannot vote.
So, it is not surprising that republican state legislatures and governors are trying to win at all cost, even of that means disenfranchising all these sectors of their population. After all we have seen that republicans don't care about counting votes (Florida 2000), but win at all cost.
I guess that after installing the President of the United States in 2000, the Supreme Court feels all powerful now and are making sure their bosses stay in power.

George Bush, Sr. ties to Bin Laden

Did you know that George H. W. Bush was having breakfast with Osama Bin Laden's brother the morning of 9/11?
I guess that by the current standards of guilt by association used against Barrack Obama, this would make the former president a terrorist, traitor, anti-american, etc., etc., etc.

Senate Republicans block pay disparity measure

Thanks to the republican Supreme Court and the republicans in the Senate, employers can continue paying women and others (mostly minorities, elders and disabled) less than their peers with the same position, experience, education, job description, etc., cross their fingers and hope nobody finds out only after the status of limitations expires. This is consistent with the long standing Republican and Conservative tradition of screwing the poor for the benefit of the rich and corporations.

U.S. Consumer Confidence Falls to 26-Year Low

According to the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer-sentiment survey, the nation is in economic RECESION. Why? Because the moron that we have for president is doing with the nation what he has done with all his personal businesses ventures, take them to bankruptcy. Now, what hope we will have that we can improve under John McSame, when he has admitted that he knows jack about economy? (only about war and bomb, bomb, bomb).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Condolezza Rice Must Resign

During the immigration debate, Reppiblicans have filled their mouth with the slogan "the United States is a nation of laws". Well...I guess that applies only to Mexicans and other immigrants coming to this country looking for their piece of the "American Dream". Because we have seen the Bush administration breaking the law many times and I guess the "nation of laws" does not apply to them.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

6 months...

No matter what happens in Iraq, the Bush administration and John McCain always have an answer: 6 more months.

When the "surge" began a year ago, they told America things would get better by September. In September, they said we'd know more by spring. And this week, General Petraeus is on Capitol Hill asking for—you guessed it—6 more months. Senator McCain and President Bush couldn't agree more.

They don't have a plan for getting us out of Iraq. So they're trying to sell endless war on an installment plan.

Six more months won't change anything—except the body count and the price tag.