Monthly Archives: March 2008

Obama’s Response

On Faith and My Church

by Barack Obama

The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He’s drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents.

Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.

Because these particular statements by Rev. Wright are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Rev. Wright and my membership in the church. Let me therefore provide some context.

As I have written about in my books, I first joined Trinity United Church of Christ nearly twenty years ago. I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago. He also led a diverse congregation that was and still is a pillar of the South Side and the entire city of Chicago. It’s a congregation that does not merely preach social justice but acts it out each day, through ministries ranging from housing the homeless to reaching out to those with HIV/AIDS.

Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he’s been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.

The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church.

Let me repeat what I’ve said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.

With Rev. Wright’s retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good. And while Rev. Wright’s statements have pained and angered me, I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said, but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be President of the United States.

Buddy, spare a quarter?

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Twelve BILLION dollars a month.

That was TWELVE BILLION DOLLARS A MONTH! 

Let’s get real. What in the world are we getting for our money? Dead soldiers, $4 a gallon gas? This is precisely why the insanity must stop. Can’t we see that this administration is just trying to save face? Where is the benefit?

Someone please tell me.

Consider for one minute what this money could do for our country, for our “recession”.

We could probably build a frickin’ force field and isolate ourselves from the thugs. Or we could probably develop a cool spaceship and transport all the frightened to a new and wonderful utopia somewhere in the galaxy.

Here’s the bad news…..

“In 2008, its sixth year, the war will cost approximately $12 billion a month, triple the “burn” rate of its earliest years, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and co-author Linda J. Bilmes report in a new book.

Beyond 2008, working with “best-case” and “realistic-moderate” scenarios, they project the Iraq and Afghan wars, including long-term U.S. military occupations of those countries, will cost the U.S. budget between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion — or more — by 2017.

Interest on money borrowed to pay those costs could alone add $816 billion to that bottom line, they say.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has done its own projections and comes in lower, forecasting a cumulative cost by 2017 of $1.2 trillion to $1.7 trillion for the two wars, with Iraq generally accounting for three-quarters of the costs.

Variations in such estimates stem from the sliding scales of assumptions, scenarios and budget items that are counted. But whatever the estimate, the cost will be huge, the auditors of the Government Accountability Office say.”

How can this disaster continue to be justified?

The View

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I never thought I’d be citing “The View” in any way, shape or form, however to reflect my view (no pun intendend), I watched the ladies discuss the aforementioned comments by Rush Limbaugh.

Most importantly, they actually play the segment from Rush’s show. I encourage a close listen. If it doesn’t make you feel extremely yucky then I guess we would just agree to disagree.

However, tell me that THIS type of American snobbery and elitism isn’t precisely what most of us and the rest of the world find so hypocritical about our great melting pot of American civilization.

That we should proudly stand as this shining example of freedom and diversity in the world, yet our most popular radio show spouts this tripe. Freedom of speech? most definitely. Bring it on, Rush. I would just hope that someday the fallacy of what he speaks is readily apparent to all fair-minded people.

To fathers of daughters, to minorities, to anyone living the “American Dream”, to Christians, Jews, and Muslims, to any true American, I urge you to consider the video below….

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The View (video)

Welcome, Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

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The race for my “Fear-Monger of the Year Award” is tightening, no question about it. Besides the ludicrous Rush Limbaugh, exposing dense ignorance and elitism, we’ve heard from the out-of-touch radio talkshow host Bill Cunningham yelling from high on the mountaintop, “Barack HUSSEIN Obama”. 

We’ve also seen Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) come out of the closet sans lapel flag pin, hypocrytically crying about Sen.Obama’s taste in fashion accessories.

What do these guys have in common? Well for starters they’ve made alot of noise about why Barack Obama should NOT be the President of the United States. In their view, they caution American voters about casting a ballot for Sen. Obama…..

A) …because he has worn traditional nomadic African elder garb.

B) …because of his middle name…I repeat: because if his MIDDLE NAME!

C) …because he does not wear a flag pin. (note, that the politician criticizing him also was NOT wearing a flag pin.)

These are some shrewd intellectuals, no doubt. They have obviously focused on the tough issues that matter to Mr. & Mrs. American voter.

But wait, before we resign ourselves to a three-horse race, let’s welcome to the fold U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

Here’s what this gem of a “leader” had to say about the Obama candidacy….

U.S. Rep. Steve King on Friday announced his bid for a fourth term in Congress — and he raised some eyebrows with comments about National Security under a potential Barack Obama administration.

It was during a stop at the KICD studios in north Spencer that he also talked about the presidential campaign….

“I don’t want to disparage anyone because of their race, their ethnicity, their name – whatever their religion their father might have been,” he said.

“I’ll just say this: When you think about the option of a Barack Obama potentially getting elected President of the United States — I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world? What does it look like to the world of Islam?”

He continued: “I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al-Qaida, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11 because they will declare victory in this War on Terror.”…

…”Additionally, his middle name (Hussein) does matter,” King said. “It matters because they read a meaning into that in the rest of the world. That has a special meaning to them. They will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name. They will be dancing in the streets because of who his father was and because of his posture that says: Pull out of the Middle East and pull out of this conflict.”

He continued: “There are implications that have to do with who he is and the position that he’s taken. If he were strong on national defense and said ‘I’m going to go over there and we’re going to fight and we’re going to win, we’ll come home with a victory,’ that’s different. But that’s not what he said. They will be dancing in the streets if he’s elected president. That has a chilling aspect on how difficult it will be to ever win this Global War on Terror.”

…..okay, I get it. Enough already. I don’t know what is more ridiculous, King’s fear of Obama’s election or the threat to this country of dancing Muslims. I saw this move, it was called “Footloose”.

But wait, there’s more…..

Steve King seems to want it both ways. He’s preaching about his fear of dancing terrorists, and about winning the war against this threat to his beloved Iowa. He wants us all to believe how dangerous it is out in that dark alley known as “the world”.

It’s filled with “THEM”and they are are not like us. They have middle names given to them by their FATHERS, who may or may not have been of a certain religion. From there I guess its one small step from a complete takeover of DesMoines.

Or maybe he’s more afraid of something even closer to home?

Take a look at what he said on the House Floor back on June 12th, 2007….

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) downplayed the violence on the ground in Iraq, claiming his wife is taking a greater risk by living in Washington, D.C. King said:

“27.51 Iraqis per 100,000 die a violent death on an annual basis. 27.51.”

“Now what does that mean? To me, it really doesn’t mean a lot until I compare it to people that I know or have a feel for the rhythm of this place.”

“Well I by now have a feel for the rhythm of this place called Washington, D.C., and my wife lives here with me, and I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, she’s at far greater risk being a civilian in Washington, D.C. than an average civilian in Iraq. 45 out of every 100,000 Washington, D.C. regular residents die a violent death on an annual basis.”

Okay. I think we can surmise from this that Rep.Steve King is scarier than horror-writer Stephen King.

He sounds like someone who is afraid to come outside at night, who is afraid of the “big city”, who is afraid of anyone and anything that doesn’t look like him, sound like him, dress like him, or smell like him. It sounds to me like he’d rather rid the country and the world of anything different.

He’s worried about his wife in D.C. He’s worried about his constituants in Iowa. He’s worried about happy Muslims.

Or maybe he’s just worried that the band will soon stop playing HIS dance, “The White Man Stomp”.

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