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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ABC News Calls Out Clintons for Consistent Lies about Obama

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told South Carolina's The State newspaper that former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, are lying about him and his record purposefully.

“There is a concrete strategy by the Clintons,” Obama said.

Any objective review of how Bill and Hillary Clinton have been twisting comments Obama made about Ronald Reagan and the Republican party would concur.

As we've previously reviewed, Obama, asked by the editorial board of the Reno Gazette-Journal, how his being the nominee might help down-ballot candidates, such as Senators and Congressmen, get elected, said: "I think that we're shifting the political paradigm here. And if I'm the nominee, I think I can bring a lot of folks along on my coattails. You know, there's a reason why in 2006, I made the most appearances for members of Congress. I was the most requested surrogate to come in and campaign for people in districts that were swing districts, Republican districts where they wouldn't have any other Democrat.

"That was based on their read of the fact that, you know what, this is somebody who can reach out to independents and Republicans in a way that doesn't offend people…I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times.

"I do think that, for example, the 1980 election was different. I mean, I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. They felt like, you know, with all the excesses of the 60's and the 70's and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating and he tapped into what people were already feeling. Which is, people wanted clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamic and entrepreneurship that had been missing, alright? I think Kennedy, twenty years earlier, moved the country in a fundamentally different direction. So I think a lot of it just has to do with the times.

"I think we're in one of those times right now. Where people feel like things as they are going aren't working. We're bogged down in the same arguments that we've been having, and they're not useful. And, you know, the Republican approach, I think, has played itself out. I think it's fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last ten, fifteen years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you've heard it all before. You look at the economic policies when they're being debated among the Presidential candidates and it's all tax cuts. Well, you know, we've done that, we tried it. That's not really going to solve our energy problems, for example. So, some of it's the times. And some of it's, I think, there's maybe a generation element to this, partly. In the sense that there's a, I didn't did come of age in the battles of the 60's. I'm not as invested in them.

"And so I think I talk differently about issues. And I think I talk differently about values. And that's why, I think we've been resonating with the American people."

You can watch the whole thing HERE.

Sen. Clinton twisted this into: "I have to say, you know, my leading opponent the other day said that he thought the Republicans had better ideas than Democrats the last ten to fifteen years."

That's not what Obama said.

And in Buffalo, N.Y., former President Bill Clinton twisted this into Obama "said President Reagan was the engine of innovation and did more, had a more lasting impact on America than I did. And then the next day he said, 'In the 90s the good ideas came out from the Republicans. Which it'll be costly maybe down the road for him because it's factually not accurate.”

What's factually not accurate is what President Bill Clinton said.

I know he wants his wife to beat Obama. And it seems that unleashing the Big Dog seems to be working for the Clinton campaign.

Perhaps some voters are even touched by his passion.

But let's be clear -- Bill Clinton is spreading demonstrably false information.

There's winning ugly, and there's winning with honor.

Does it matter? Or is all fair in politics and war?

-- jpt

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Fred Thompson Quits GOP Presidential Primary Race!

Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson withdrew Tuesday from the White House race. Here's his statement:
McLean, VA - Senator Fred Thompson today issued the following statement about his campaign for President:

"Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people."

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Barack Obama Speaks at Dr. King's Church

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Kid giving Hillary "the look"

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(Ouch!) Giuliani is trailing even in NY!

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is trailing in the race for the Republican presidential nomination even on his home turf of New York state, a new poll showed on Monday.

The WNBC/Marist poll ahead of the February 5 primaries in New York showed 34 percent of registered Republicans support John McCain, compared to 23 percent for Giuliani. Among Republicans likely to vote, McCain kept his 34 percent support, while Giuliani was tied in second place with Mitt Romney at 19 percent.

McCain's campaign has been boosted by wins in New Hampshire and South Carolina in the state-by-state race to pick the two candidates to contest the November 4 election to succeed President George W. Bush.

Giuliani, whose once large lead in national polls has evaporated, largely bypassed early voting states and focused on Florida, which votes on January 29.

As the former New York mayor who won national recognition in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, Giuliani would hope for a strong showing in New York.

But the poll showed 46 percent of registered Republicans in New York think Arizona Sen. McCain is the Republican most likely to beat the Democratic candidate in November. Nineteen percent saw former Massachusetts Gov. Romney as the most electable and 15 percent picked Giuliani as most electable.

Another local politician, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, appeared to be in a strong position ahead of the New York primary for the Democratic Party nomination.

The poll showed her with the support of 48 percent of Democrats likely to vote in the primary, followed by Illinois Sen. Barack Obama with 32 percent.

The survey of 1,467 New York state registered voters was conducted January 15-17, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent, the poll said.

Neither party has established a clear front-runner, as the first major state-by-state battles produced multiple winners.

Responding to the New York poll, the Guiliani campaign issued a statement from New York Republican Rep. Peter King saying the former mayor would win in the state. "The people of New York know better than anyone that Rudy is the bold and gutsy leader our country needs right now to tackle the tough challenges," King said.

(Reporting by Claudia Parsons, editing by Vicki Allen)

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Barack OBAMA on Present VOTES

Obama was just attacked on present votes in the Illinois Senate. Here's the truth about these votes:

Obama Was Praised for Standing Up on Tough Issues – Because His Senate Seat Was Not Vulnerable, He Used His Position To Help More Vulnerable Senators Do The Right Thing. Zorn wrote, “Obama, however, was in a safe district and never faced a serious challenge for his legislative seat. He had no need to shy from hard-line stands on gun control and abortion rights. He actually took such stands frequently and is now highly praised by advocates for both causes. [Chicago Tribune, Zorn, 3/9/04]

Anyone Who Thinks A Present Vote Is A “Duck” Doesn’t Understand How the Process Works. “There is a presumption, if one is not familiar with the mechanics of the General Assembly, that a present vote is a “duck.” Pam Sutherland, the CEO and President of Illinois Planned Parenthood said of [this] Hull argument: “I think it’s not well-based…I think it’s somebody who doesn’t understand how the legislative process works.” [Chicago Daily Herald, 3/10/04]

Criticizing Present Votes Indicates “You Don’t Have A Great Understanding Of The Process.” “‘Criticizing Obama on the basis of ‘present’ votes indicates you don’t have a great understanding of the process,’ said Thom Mannard, director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.” [Chicago Tribune, Zorn, 3/9/04]

Voting Present in the State Legislature is Used as A Signal to the Other Party, Not As a Way to Duck the Issue. “An aspect of Obama’s State Senate voting record that is drawing attention is his “present” votes. A present vote is a third option to an up or down “yes” or “no” that is used with great frequency in the Illinois General Assembly. It has many varied and nuanced meanings that, in the context of the actual bills, border on boring. It’s most important use is as a signal – to the other party, to the governor, to the sponsor – to show a willingness to compromise on the issue if not the exact bill, to show disapproval for one aspect of the bill, to question the constitutionality of the bill, to strengthen the bill. [Chicago Daily Herald, 3/10/04]

Obama Would Vote ‘Present’ On Unconstitutional Bills, Saying He Tried To Resist Bad Votes That Make Good Politics. The AP reported, “Obama says his ‘present’ votes often come on bills that he believes are unconstitutional. ‘I have tried to not succumb to the temptation of voting on bad laws just because it makes for good politics,’ Obama said.” [AP, 9/9/04]

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Obama Calls Hillary Out On Being A Wal-Mart Board Member

"Slumlord" Barack Calls Hill The Evil Pawn Of Wal-Mart!

Tonight's Democratic debate got OMG nasty. And surprise! No one went easy on the black guy. First, Hillary Clinton sort of unabashedly misrepresented Barack Obama's recent statement about Ronald Reagan to mean he had a boner for all Republicans. So in response, he dragged out Hillary Clinton's history as the First Lady of the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart. Hillary struck back with some weird shit about how Republican loving Obama's law firm once represented a church that was doing a deal with a known slumlord...And when Obama pointed out that, duh, all this shit is petty and stupid, she countered with the fact that she had been dealing with such petty stupidity for sixteen years. Which is kind of also a lie, since I don't really think writing crap like Dear Socks, Dear Buddy really qualifies as putting yourself in the "line of fire", but I'll allow for some polemicist license. Dave Chappelle was there, incidentally. Oh -- and so was John Edwards! [Wash Post]

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Shut up, Bill

Dear Bill,

We loved Bill Clinton as president.

When you told us you didn't inhale, with that little twinkle in your eye, we believed you and loved you even more.

When you got more than just a twinkle in your eye and a cigar in the -- well, we stuck by you. We rallied against the vast right wing conspiracy and ushered Newt and his fellow reptilians out of office.

Man, the 90s were fun - huh? The Macarena alone... But now we're in a new decade. Web 2.0, YouTube and camera phones; preemptive wars and terrorist attacks. It's a new era. And we've spent 8 years under the thumb of a royal son.

We're ready for change. We have some amazing Presidential Candidates. Edwards, Obama, and of course, the candidate like family to you - Clinton.

I know you want your wife to win. A lot of us want a Democrat in 2008. But you're getting mean Bill. That twinkle in your eye is starting to look more like crazy eye.

You're making accusations that Karl Rove & Co. will eat up and spit back out at us come time for the general election.

You're actually disenfranchising folks this time around, dividing the electorate at a time we need to come together.

And Bill, you're starting to make stuff up. And this time, we're noticing. It's a new era, Bill; everything you say is recorded and broadcast.

So what we're asking, Bill, is that you just shut up.

Just shut up.

Sincerely, Pretty Much Everyone

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Senator Edwards, We Need You To Lead

ohn Edwards should challenge his rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to go back to Washington, DC and fight against retroactive immunity for the telecoms.

The Republicans are not going to let Reid punt and extend the Protect America Act for another 18 months so it looks like the FISA bill is going to come back up again on Monday. Chris Dodd's objection to Unanimous Consent still stands, so they will pick up in the middle of the Motion to Proceed debate.

Glenn Greenwald:

It will be increasingly difficult to listen to Edwards, Obama and Clinton tout their supreme leadership attributes and their commitment to "changing the way Washington works" if they choose to sit by, more or less mute, and allow such a blatant and corrupt evisceration of the rule of law -- and such a vast and permanent expansion of the limitless surveillance state -- to occur without a fight. Any one of them, or all three, has a unique opportunity to actually demonstrate with actions, rather than pretty speeches, their commitment to the principles they claim to espouse.

John Edwards is the perfect person to lead with this message. Such an action would illustrate his genuine commitment to change and fighting vested interests in Washington, and hopefully it will channel that intense anti-immunity passion toward his campaign. He won't be able to participate in the filibuster himself, but by offering to leave the campaign trail and go back to DC with Clinton and Obama he'll be able to show leadership in challenging all Democrats to put thoughts of personal gain aside and join together in the fight to save the constitution.

Without the help of the presidential candidates, we are doomed to lose this fight. And all their calls for change will ring hollow if they allow George Bush to railroad this bill through a supine Democratic-controlled Senate because of their absence.

You can email Senator Edwards directly at

(We'll be working with Glenn Greenwald and others to fight against retroactive telecom immunity in the coming days. If you'd like to receive updates about what you can do, sign up here. You can contact Clinton, Obama and McCain here.)

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Bush Determined To Strike In Iran

The Wall Street Journal ran an article last week (subscription req’d) that Bush was using an investigation into a 1994 terrorist attack on a Jewish Community Center in Argentina as a way to continue to strain and maintain pressure on Iran.

The only problem? There’s no real evidence that Iran was involved in the bombing:

(I)t is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the case against Iran over the AMIA bombing has been driven from the beginning by US enmity toward Iran, not by a desire to find the real perpetrators.

Evidence? We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence. Nobody could anticipate the president initiating a pre-emptive war against a sovereign nation on trumped up evidence, could they? Oh…wait…

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Barack Obama's Speech at Ebenezer, MLK's Church (Video)

Barack Obama spoke Sunday at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Here is the video ...

For the full text of his remarks as prepared for delivery, click here.

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Bill Clinton has a dream during MLK speech

Bill Clinton Caught Nodding Off During Service to Honor MLK

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