Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category

Thoughts on the RNC

September 4, 2008

Did Giuliani irritate you as much as he did my roommates and I last night? I was trying hard to refrain from punching the TV as he sneered on stage. I’m so tired of old, rich, white men, esp the ones who surprise announce they want a divorce for the umpteenth time via press conference. And for as much as they criticize Obama for inexperience for being a “community organizer,” as if that was the only job he has held, Palin was virtually unknown before 2 weeks ago–who mind you has her own corruption scandals. so hypocritcal. and if Obama’s teenage child was preg out of wedlock, i’m sure the rep party would say, “do you think a man that can’t control his own family is fit to be the commander in chief? or “liberal family values…” and last time i checked, having served in the military and having been tortured–while very heroic and praiseworthy–does not automatically make you fit to be president, which apparently everyone last night thought!

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Obama’s National Muslim/Arab-American Coordinator Resigns

August 11, 2008

Senator Barack Obama’s newly appointed national Arab-American and Muslim outreach coordinator has resigned amid questions over his brief connection to a man whom the Justice Department named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the racketeering trial last year of several alleged Hamas fundraisers.

Mazen Asbahi, a Chicago lawyer with the law firm Schiff Hardin, was appointed June 26 to help Obama reach out to Muslims and Arab-Americans. Ten days later, amid questions posed by the Wall Street Journal about a possible link between him and an imam who had questionable ties to Hamas, Asbahi stepped down.

The Wall Street Journal had inquired about Asbahi’s relationship with Jamal Saaed. The two served together for a few weeks in 2000 on a board that is a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust, which holds titles to mosques, Islamic centers, schools, and other real estate nationwide. Saaed, an imam at a reportedly fundamentalist-controlled mosque in Illinois, had been named in an investigation of alleged Hamas fundraisers, which ended in a mistrial last year, the paper reported.

The connection between Asbahi and Saaed was first noted by the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, a Washington based web site that tracks the international activity of that Islamic party and its international supporters.

In his resignation statement released by the Obama campaign August 5, Asbahi explained, “In 2000, I agreed to serve as a member of the board of trustees of the Dow Jones Islamic Index Fund. I served on that board for only a few weeks before resigning as soon as I became aware of public allegations against another member of the board. Since concerns have been raised about that brief time, I am stepping down from the volunteer role I recently agreed to take on with the Obama campaign as Arab American and Muslim American outreach coordinator in order to avoid distracting from Barack Obama’s message of change.”

After his appointment, Ashbahi had written on the campaign’s blog, “We need Muslim Americans to get excited about the Campaign, and there’s a lot to get excited about.

“Sure, there have been mis-steps,” he said. “And of course there are added sensitivities with our faith given the “smear” campaign trying to paint the Senator as too exotic and too un-American to be President.”

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter, said Asbahi was a victim of Internet rumors. “This incident just shows how Islamophobia and the political climate is right now. Baseless smears about a Muslim with a very good reputation was used to marginalize not only him but the community from the political process,” Walid said.

America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group defended the Democratic presidential hopeful two days after Asbahi resigned his volunteer post.

“Muslim bashers play a ‘six degrees of separation’ game of guilt by association with any Muslim who dares to engage in positive social or political activism,” said Ahmed Rehab, executive director for the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The Obama campaign has announced it will appoint a new person to the job.

What are your thoughts? Should the Obama campaign have asked Asbahi not to leave? Are brief connections such as the one between Asbahi and Saaed even relative?

Updates on the Election Campaign Front

August 10, 2008

False rumors about Obama’s religion seem to be haunting him again and have proven to be affecting his chances at becoming the next U.S. president.

A new Pew poll has found that Democrats who mistakenly believe Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is a Muslim are significantly less likely to vote for the Illinois senator.
The New Yorker magazine’s controversial cover portraying Obama as a radical Muslim has renewed focus on public misperceptions of the Illinois senator’s faith.
The misperception that Obama adheres to Islam has persisted over the course of the 2008 presidential election campaign and seems to be affecting a substantial percentage of Democratic voters.

The belief that Obama is Muslim appears to have virtually no effect on Republican voters–who overwhelmingly support Republican presidential hopeful John McCain regardless. But a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and Press revealed that Democrats who share the misperception are significantly less likely to support the democratic candidate.

Democratic voters who either believe Obama is a Muslim or who don’t know because they’ve heard different things are 28 points less likely to say they support Obama for president than are those who believe he is Christian (62% vs. 90%).

Among Independents, the relationship between views of Obama’s religion and the vote is far less substantial—those who believe he is Christian are split evenly between the two candidates, while those who think or have heard Obama is Muslim favor McCain by a 50%-to-34% margin.
The Pew survey found that 12 percent of respondents—both Democrat and Republican—believe Obama is Muslim.

While believing Obama to be Muslim does not necessarily translate to votes, 51 percent of the 12 percent who say he is Muslim support McCain. However, 37 percent who hold this view say they intend to vote for Obama. Among the majority who identify Obama as Christian—60 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans—these figures are reversed, with 52 percent supporting Obama for president and 39 percent backing McCain. In total, 63 percent of voters who say they support Obama for president correctly identify him as Christian, while 9 percent say he is Muslim.

But questions about Obama’s faith may have an effect beyond those who straight up believe Obama is Muslim. Twenty-five percent of voters say they don’t know what religion Obama adheres to, including 10 percent who say the reason they don’t know is not that they “just don’t know enough about him,” but instead that they’ve “heard different things about his religion.” Significantly, those who have heard different things about Obama’s religion favor McCain by a margin of 48 percent to 33 percent, while those who simply don’t know enough about it favor Obama 48 percent to 33 percent.

Who’s to blame? The Republican party? The Media? Obama? How should Obama respond so as to not offend the Muslim community but also to clarify that he is in fact Christian?

Race is a Reality–so why is it so Off-Limits in the Election Campaign?

August 10, 2008

Race is a Reality–so why is it so Off-Limits in the Election Campaign?

The McCain campaign is at it again, calling Obama out for using the “race-card” after he told an Iowa crowd Republicans would try to scare voters by pointing to his “funny name” and the fact that “he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills.” “Nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they’re doing to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he’s not patriotic enough. Well you know, he’s got a funny name, and he doesn’t look like all the presidents on the dollar bills and five dollar bills…”
The McCain camp immediately responded and said, “Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck.”

But isn’t race a reality? People talk about McCain’s age and Hillary’s sex, so why not Obama’s race? It seems as though spreading rumors about Obama’s religion is cool but God forbid he brings up the race issue. What does everyone else think???

Celebrity Support Doesn’t Always Help…

August 10, 2008

Celebrity Support Doesn’t Always Help…

Scarlett Johannsen, Caroline Kennedy, George Clooney, Ed Norton, Will Smith, Rob Reiner, Laurence Fishburne, Warren Buffet, Kristen Chenoweth, Matt Damon, NAS, Sharon Stone, Stephen Colbert, Halle Berry , Ben Affleck, Jessica Biel and Pete Wentz are just some of the names in Hollywood who are supporting Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. But do celebrity endorsements and support always work in favor of the candidate? Not in this case. Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris has come out in support of the Illinois senator with his new song “Politics: Obama is Here.”

But as much as the song praises Obama, it rags on Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, President Bush and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Ludacris’s lyrics include lines like:
— Paint the White House black and I’m sure that’s got ’em terrified ,” in reference to an Obama victory. — McCain don’t belong in any chair unless he’s paralyzed. — Yeah I said it cause Bush is mentally handicapped –Ball up all of his speeches and I throw ’em like candy wrap ’cause what you talking I hear nothing even relevant and you the worst of all 43 presidents — Hillary hated on you, so that bitch is irrelevant. — The first black president is destined and it’s meant to be. The threats ain’t fazing us, the nooses or the jokes. So get off your ass, black people, it’s time to get out and vote!

The Obama campaign responded to the song saying it was” outrageously offensive” to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Republican Sen. John McCain and President Bush. “As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn’t want his daughters or any children exposed to,” campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail statement this week. “This song is not only outrageously offensive to Sen. Clinton, Rev. Jackson, Sen. McCain and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics.”

What do you think? Should Obama have denounced the song or appreciate the rapper’s support?