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emilyg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 02:26 AM
Original message
On Policy , Obama Breaks Little New Ground
updated 11:50 p.m. ET, Wed., May. 28, 2008
WASHINGTON - Already famous for his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama entered the Senate with more than the usual aspirations about the impact he could have.

So in 2005, he had his office arrange informal seminars so that experts on health care, the economy, energy and education could brief him. "I'm not running for president," he told a group of experts at his Capitol Hill office in the spring of 2006. But he said he had a "national voice" and wanted to use it.

When Obama changed his mind and decided to run for president after only two years in the Senate, however, he effectively dismissed the importance of policy proposals, declaring in one speech in early 2007, "We've had plenty of plans, Democrats," and in another: "Every four years, somebody trots out a white paper, they post it on the Web." He cast his "new kind of politics" in terms of his ability to transcend divisions and his unique biography and offered few differences on issues from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and the other Democratic presidential candidates.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24865784/displaymode/1176/r...
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 02:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. People tend to like morality.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 04:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. They may
but they should not look to it from politicians.

If they do they will be mightily disappointed.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 04:47 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Like all blanket generalizations, this one is only true to a degree.
There are always exceptions. Not saying Obama is one of those exceptions, but I can definitely think of others.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. There are some it is true
who have tended more toward the moral end of the spectrum.(As I define morality) Most were not elected or re-elected in modern times at least.

I certainly do not see Obama on the moral end of most spectrums.
And it is always a complex matter. One person's morality is another's vice and weakness.
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 02:29 AM
Response to Original message
2. His DNA alone breaks the biggest "new ground" there is....
...
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 04:45 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. You don't know much about DNA then.
Did you mean skin color?
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PretzelWarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 02:30 AM
Response to Original message
3. and Bill Clinton ran one of the more backward states in the union.
so wtf does your thing mean?
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RichardRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 02:50 AM
Response to Original message
4. I don't need him to break new ground...
It would do fine for starters to just get a crop in and harvest it on the ground that's already been broken. Most of it has been lieing fallow for way too long.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 04:51 AM
Response to Original message
8. What about leveling the fucked up crooked ground already in place?
looks like the guys who constantly "break" ground support Obama. So what does this journalist know that they don't?

Wexler announces support for impeachment hearings
In an e-mail to supporters on November 7, 2007, Representative Robert Wexler, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, stated about H.R. 333:

I will urge the Judiciary Committee to schedule impeachment hearings immediately and not let this issue languish as it has over the last six months. Only through hearings can we bring begin to correct the abuses of Dick Cheney and the Bush Administration; and, if it is determined in these hearings that Vice President Cheney has committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors, he should be impeached and removed from office.

In mid December of 2007, Congressman Wexler launched a website (Wexlerwantshearings.com) to promote his effort for impeachment hearings. The site included a You Tube video where he explained his position and a petition for like-minded people to sign. Wexler set a goal of getting 50,000 Americans to join his cause. In just two weeks, over 160,000 people signed the petition and over 70,000 people watched his You Tube video.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wexler



John Conyers and the Downing Street memo

On May 5, 2005, Conyers and 88 other members of Congress wrote an open letter to the White House inquiring about the Downing street memo, a leaked memorandum that revealed an apparent secret agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom to attack Iraq in 2002. The Times reported that newly-discovered documents reveal British and U.S. intentions to invade Iraq and leaders of the two countries had "discussed creating pretextual justifications for doing so". The documents go on to say that Tony Blair decided the U.S. would need to "create" conditions to justify the war.

The memo story broke in the United Kingdom, but did not receive much coverage in the United States, prompting Conyers to lament: "This should not be allowed to fall down the memory hole during wall-to-wall coverage of the Michael Jackson trial and a runaway bride."

CNN picked up the story on May 12. Fox News had a story about two weeks later on June 1.

Conyers and others reportedly considered sending a congressional investigation delegation to London.<3>


What Went Wrong In Ohio
In May, 2005, Conyers released What Went Wrong In Ohio: The Conyers Report On The 2004 Presidential Election, which discusses the voting irregularities in the state of Ohio during the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election. The evidence offered of wrongdoing consists of statistical abnormalities in the differences between exit poll results and actual votes registered at those locations. The book also discusses reports of faulty electronic voting machines and the lack of credibility of those machines used to tally votes.

He was one of the 31 who voted in the House to not count the electoral votes from Ohio in the United States presidential election, 2004.<4>


The Constitution in Crisis
On August 4, 2006, Conyers released the final draft of his report, The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retributions and Cover-ups in the Iraq War, an edited collection of information intended to serve as evidence that the Bush Administration altered intelligence to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The Constitution in Crisis examines much of the evidence presented by the Bush Administration prior to the invasion and questions the credibility of their sources of intelligence. In addition, the document investigates the conditions that led to the torture scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, as well as further evidence of torture having been committed but not made known to the public. Finally, the document reports on a series of "smear tactics" purportedly used by the administration in dealing with its political adversaries.

The document calls for the censure of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Notably, however, he refuses to back impeachment proceedings.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Conyers


Waxman had a reputation for a vigorous approach to oversight long before becoming ranking Democrat on what was known as the Government Reform Committee in 1997.
He was well known for insisting that witnesses appearing before his subcommittee testify under oath, thus exposing them to perjury charges if they didn't tell the truth. For example, in 1994, he forced the chief executives of the seven major tobacco companies to swear under oath that nicotine was not addictive.

In 1998, he created a "Special Investigations Division" to investigate matters that he felt the full committee had neglected. This was possible because the committee has broad powers to investigate any matter with federal policy implications, even if another committee has jurisdiction over it. <1> He has also harshly criticized the Republicans for ignoring their "constitutional responsibility" to conduct oversight over the government. <2>.

On the day after the 2006 elections, Waxman directed his aides to draw up an "oversight plan" for the panel. He had already let it be known that he wanted to investigate Halliburton, as well as its alleged malfeasance related to government contracts in Iraq. It is very likely that he could also investigate the numerous scandals surrounding Jack Abramoff. This led to concerns among Democratic aides that the Government Reform Committee under Waxman would stage a repeat of the committee's performance under the Clinton administration, when it issued over 1,000 subpoenas. However, Waxman told Newsweek that he is interested in accountability and not retaliation. <3>. Despite this behavior, Waxman has refused to allow whistleblower Sibel Edmonds to testify on various issues involving alleged crimes and cover-ups of the US government<4><5>.

On March 16, 2004, at Waxman's request, the Committee on Government Reform Minority Office published "Iraq on the Record, the Bush Administration's Public Statements on Iraq"<6> a detailed and searchable collection of 237 specific misleading statements made by Bush Administration officials about the threat posed by Iraq. It contains statements that were misleading based on what was known to the Administration at the time the statements were made. It does not include statements that appear mistaken only in hindsight. If a statement was an accurate reflection of U.S. intelligence at the time it was made, it was excluded even if it now appears erroneous.

On January 4, Waxman changed the committee's name to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, or the Oversight Committee for short.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Waxman
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Aloha Spirit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 05:46 AM
Response to Original message
10. I'm glad we have you to check our enthusiasm.
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quaker bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 05:52 AM
Response to Original message
11. Finally!
A candidate who understands that policy white papers do not win elections. We already have plenty of good ones gathering dust on the shelves.

Win the election, then bring out the wonks. I knew this guy had unusually strong skills for this profession, but I am pleased to hear that he has gotten this principle and taken it to heart. Elections are won with a broad brush, governing is done with fine print. Governing only happens if elections are won.
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Kokonoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 06:09 AM
Response to Original message
12. If Senator Obama was writing great plans on paper
He would not now or ever be our nominee.
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
13. Leadership has little to do with specifics of policy programs. Dontcha get it?
The Dem. Party candidates will, of course, all have similar viewpoints and plans and policies. That's why they all belong to the same party and agree to abide by the same party platform.

There are some differences in positins, of course.

But people don't vote for specific plans or programs. They generally vote for who in their gut they think will be the best leader that represents generally their interests and the interests of the country.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Policy and legislation do help though
Don't you agree?

If we don't seem some mighty big effort in that direction then we are all going to be mighty disappointed in a democratic president.
I would certainly look to see some heavy duty proposals emerging. If Obama is the nominee he can turn to Clinton for ideas. She has a whole raft of excellent ones ready to go.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
15. You better get all your cheese and low blows in now - because it's over next week.
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jenmito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
16. I look forward to your support of Obama after next week.
:hi:
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
17. That's why he and Hillary were last on my list.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
18. One HUGE difference from Clintons - Obama's for open government, Clintons protect closed government
and the secrecy and privilege of the powerful elite who benefit from closed government.

Not that Clinton devotees care much for open government.
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Lucinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
19. Hadn't seen this. Thanks!
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papapi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
20. Have you also considered his promise to CHANGE the way Washington works?
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
21. The difference is, he will get it done.
He has the integrity to pursue what he promised, the people respond to his persuasive oratory, and
he will have a Dem majority in Congress because more Dems will come out to vote for him in the GE.
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