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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:06 PM
Original message
Holding Barack Obama Accountable


yes, the time has time.



Holding Barack Obama Accountable

Thursday, 14 February 2008


by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
That was then. This is now.

The 2008 Obama presidential run may be the most slickly orchestrated marketing machine in memory. That's not a good thing. Marketing is not even distantly related to democracy or civic empowerment. Marketing is about creating emotional, even irrational bonds between your product and your target audience. From its Bloody Sunday 2007 proclamation that Obama was the second coming of Joshua to its nationally televised kickoff at Abe Lincoln's tomb to the tens of millions of dollars in breathless free media coverage lavished on it by the establishment media, the campaign's deft manipulation of hopeful themes and emotionally potent symbols has led many to impute their own cherished views to Obama, whether he endorses them or not.

To cite the most obvious example, the Obama campaign cynically bills itself as the movement, the continuation and fulfillment of Dr. King's legacy. But the speeches of its candidate carefully limit the application of all his troop withdrawal statements to combat troops and combat brigades, omitting the six figure number of armed mercenary contractors in Iraq, along with training, counterinsurgency and other kinds of troops. Obama also presses for an expansion of the US Army and Marines by more than 100,000 troops and a larger military budget even than the Bush regime. The fact that both these stands fly in the face of the legacy of Martin Luther King, and flatly contradict the wishes of most Democratic voters is utterly invisible in the establishment media, and in the discourse of established Black leaders on the Obama campaign. The average voter is ill-equipped to read Obama's statements on these and other issues as closely as one might read a predatory loan application or a jacked up insurance policy, trying to determine exactly what is covered.

Who Will Speak Truth to Power? And When?
.

But in 2003 Obama was a mere mortal. Now corporate media have made him a rock star, Joshua, a prince on his way to a coronation. Those who raise questions about Obama's commitment to a progressive agenda will have to struggle to be heard. That's just the way it is. They may even have to be impolite at times. That's just the way it is too. Rock stars, royalty and the uncritical adulation they require make little room for polite criticism or democratic discussion.

.

Below are links to the original pages in which we called Barack Obama out for apparently running away from his early opposition to the war, and his ties with the DLC

This is their current article:
http://tinyurl.com/2saq8h

More of BAR's articles on Obama.
http://tinyurl.com/343ost
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thunder rising Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. I hear a tear falling, sniff
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. ARE your tears for obama real?
Edited on Fri Feb-15-08 08:20 PM by rodeodance


Sarcasm button on.
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Freida5 Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
3. Good post.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I think the only way he will be held accountable is if the media starts questioning
his speeches, his words his actions, his past--like they have done for years for Hillary Clinton
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. The media will start questioning him if he gets the nomination.
Oh baby, will they question him then! But not before. The time isn't right yet.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. NO< they need to do it NOW.
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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
87. But they won't....
once again the corporate media is choosing our candidate for us. But not too many people seem to be noticing this. They're all caught up in the Obama "movement", the forest and trees analogy.

I don't believe the corporate media will be so forgiving, so willing to carry Obama's water for him, when the one on one Presidential race begins. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he IS the "second coming" and he'll remain the darling of the corporate media. But I doubt it.
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sueragingroz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. BINGO
I've been saying this over and over again. They are holding back.

Y'all are getting Roved again.
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MNDemNY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
79. Great....President McCain,then?
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #79
86. I think that's the plan. n/t
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trthnd4jstc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
88. Hopefully Obama is preparing for this.
He will need to honestly address his short comings without appearing unelectable. A difficult task indeed.
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Freida5 Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
17. The media has basically given his a pass. It is frightening how the fourth estate has abdicated its
role.
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tripitaka Donating Member (61 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #17
102. not getting a pass, getting set up is more like it
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CatnHat Donating Member (669 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
56. When will the media
be held accountable? Haven't we had enough of their bullshit yet. Obama comes out of nowhere, accomplishing next to nothing, and now the media and the Obama crowd is drooling and pissing their pants over this guy. Bizarre. :crazy:

If the media had asked the "hard" questions about Bush and Iraq War in the beginning, maybe four thousand of our soldiers might be alive today. The media has the responsibility to "inform" the American people, what do we get:
more trash than substance. The American people have lost a voice, the media chooses and we, as American citizens loose. Where are all the "stand-up" journalists who are not paid off by corporate America?
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Raejeanowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #56
63. Sitting Down? n/t
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balantz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #56
95. The media will not be held accountable
until we break the corporate hold in America. The media is not journalism and unbiased facts. It is completely owned by corporations that are making a killing by manipulating us.

We lost our chance to have a Democratic nominee who would have busted the corporate monopolies. And the media saw to it that we didn't have that choice.
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cloud75 Donating Member (737 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #56
100. The media (news organizations) used to be about truth and
holding the government accountable whether or not they made money for the company. But that has changed now it's all about making money for the company. And how do you make money you must have good ratings and in order to have good ratings these days he must do stories like the ones people magazine does or the national enquirer does.
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kikiek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. Great article thanks...I think at least Bloomberg is looking closer. Here comes the questions Obama!
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. thanks i will take a look
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Freida5 Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
22. Thanks for the good link. It is hard to believe that a network like Bloomberg is doing a better job
at exploring BO's background. You would think that the mainstream news network would do a better job.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
26. umm.. they are talking in the GE:---Obama'a Chicago ties will be fuel for Repugs.


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=aMzI3I6BAo_U&refer=politics

Obama's Ties Might Fuel `Republican Attack Machine' (Update2)

By Timothy J. Burger
Enlarge Image/Details

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Hillary Clinton questions whether Barack Obama would be able to withstand what she calls the ``Republican attack machine.'' If Obama does become the Democratic presidential nominee, his Chicago ties might provide the fuel.

While the Illinois senator has never been accused of wrongdoing, some of the associations he formed as a community organizer and politician in Chicago may provide fodder for attacks, Democratic and Republican political experts say.

Besides his relationship with indicted businessman Antoin Rezko, Obama might face Republican criticism over contacts with a former leader of the Weather Underground, a banker with ties to a convicted felon and even his church.

``He has had relationships with individuals who are controversial, he has had relationships with individuals who are in trouble,'' said Cindi Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
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kikiek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. Yea so much for "I'm a better candidate because they will pile a truckload of dirt on Hillary"
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #31
43. the public has heard all the dirt on her so far. I think most will just roll their eyes
if the repugs try that approach.
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #26
65. "McCain, 71, was among five senators who took contributions from S&L exec Charles Keating ..."
Edited on Sat Feb-16-08 12:48 AM by Straight Shooter
It was in the late 1980s when the scandal broke, so McCain would have been in his late forties when he was actually engaged in wrongdoing, right? Somewhere about the same age Obama was when he got such a great price on his property with the help of Rezko's wife.

McCain can play the "it was a boneheaded mistake" card, just like Obama did.

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trthnd4jstc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
90. The Bloomberg Article is not all that.
Yes there is the Rezco connection, and the Ayers history to deal with. But Sen. Obama did nothing illegal, nor unethical.
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islandmkl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
6. 16 words into the post and "slickly" surfaces...a term most politically-recently
attached to Bill Clinton effectively. The Clintons could have at least had the hatchet-wielder use a different adverb. Oh wait, it was an adjective when used against Bill. To oppose Obama is one thing...to deny the tidal wave he is creating, in fact to attempt to redefine that groundswell of popular support as being a result of voters who are "ill-equipped" to know what they are doing is not only ludicrous, but insulting. Exactly how do you explain telling people they don't know what they are doing, yet you WANT THEIR VOTE!! F****** HYPOCRITES.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. MY GAWD---YOU ARE blaming this ON the clintons?? Where do you get off saying that?


The Clintons could have at least had the hatchet-wielder use a different adverb.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. wow -- how terrribly anal!
You bitch about an ADVERB?

That's what happens when the chorus tries to play like the pundits. What's next? If Hillary should happen to wear the same color on the same day as Ms. Obama -- it's a *****GASP****** conspiracy!!!



Back to the kiddie table with this one. :rofl: :rofl:
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. I'm gonna be frank here. Bruce Dixon and the black agenda report despise Obama.
It drips thru every column about him.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. probably. But the article asks good questions.
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Yes, they do. But that doesn't mean their opinions are to be dismissed.
They also have comments by their readers expressing opinions on the pros and cons of their articles, which makes for interesting reading. So, in that regard, they do try to present a more diverse viewpoint.

The Black Commentator's editor also indicates on their web site that its staff is split about 50-50 on their support for Obama.

Barack isn't everybody's hero. The more he enjoys frontrunner status, the more apparent that will become.
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miceelf Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. LOL
Even though you said that in strong fashion, it's still an understatement!!!

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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
15. see what Obama did and what he said about Florida delegates ..
http://www2.tbo.com/content/2007/sep/30/obama-vows-do-whats-right/?news-breaking
Barack Obama held an impromptu news conference after a Tampa fundraiser Sunday.


By WILLIAM MARCH and ELAINE SILVESTRINI The Tampa Tribune

Published: September 30, 2007



TAMPA - Barack Obama hinted during a Tampa fundraiser Sunday that if he's the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, he'll seat a Florida delegation at the party's national convention, despite national party sanctions prohibiting it.

Obama also appeared to violate a pledge he and the other leading candidates took by holding a brief news conference outside the fundraiser. That was less than a day after the pledge took effect Saturday, and Obama is the first Democratic presidential candidate to visit Florida since then.Obama and others have pledged not to campaign in Florida until the Jan. 29 primary except for fundraising, which is what he was doing in Tampa.

But after the fundraiser at the Hyde Park home of Tom and Linda Scarritt, Obama crossed the street to take half a dozen questions from reporters waiting there.

The pledge covers anything referred to in Democratic National Committee rules as "campaigning," and those include "holding news conferences."

Obama seemed unaware the pledge he signed prohibits news conferences. Asked whether he was violating it, he said, "I was just doing you guys a favor. If that's the case, then we won't do it again."

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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. "if he's the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, he'll seat a Florida delegation"

so, he said last fall that he would seat them.

And now??
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sueragingroz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. it's the audacity of hypocracy...
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. i have not heard that phase--sure does fit.
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thevoiceofreason Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #16
55. "The presumptive democratic nominee"
Do you even read this stuff? If he's the presumptive nominee, of course they can be seated -- IT WON'T MATTER, HE'LL ALREADY HAVE IT SEWN UP. Hell, I think he should go ahead and do it now. The differential wouldn't be that great.

You Clinton folks need a hobby or something. Barack isn't bad or evil -- he's just going to win.

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BlackVelvet04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Thank you. n/t
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Cameron27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #15
77. Whoa,
good find!
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MNDemNY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #15
82. How dare you try to impugn the integrity of Lord Obama?
Edited on Sat Feb-16-08 12:08 PM by MNDemNY
And by using FACTS,none less. A pox on you!
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
21. The Obama faithful had better wake up.
Edited on Fri Feb-15-08 08:38 PM by oasis
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MNDemNY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #21
83. They can't dream, unless they are asleep.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
23. where's the dems' powerful stance on carbon emissions?
Obama wants tradeable allowances.....

this is not nearly enough, for me.....


110th Congress, 1st Session
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
AS INTRODUCED IN THE SENATE

CLIMATE STEWARDSHIP AND INNOVATION ACT OF 2007

S. 280

2007 S. 280; 110 S. 280

Retrieve Bill Tracking Report

SYNOPSIS:
A bill to provide for a program to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by establishing a market-driven system of greenhouse gas tradeable allowances, to support the deployment of new climate change-related technologies, and to ensure benefits to consumers from the trading in such allowances, and for other purposes

DATE OF INTRODUCTION: January 12, 2007

SPONSOR(S):
Sponsor and Cosponsors as of 01/12/2007
Lieberman, Joseph (I-CT) - Sponsor
Obama, Barack (D-IL) - Cosponsor
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. I wish Al Gore would at least make a statement of who is the "greener" candidate.
There's arguments on both sides, but for many Gore's word is gold. RFK Jr.'s endorsement of Hillary Clinton was the clincher for me.
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bellasgrams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #28
40. Why doesn't RFK stump for Hillary, it would likely help
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. I don't watch television, I don't know if he is or not doing so actively.
My guess is that RFK, Jr., is campaigning for her in a behind the scenes way. Unfortunately, he has not been blessed with a great voice, which might explain why he is not in the public eye in that regard.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #23
33. I heard B. Clinton talk of Hills enviromental-health policy a few weeks ago--It envisions
a green jobs creation--to get the economy going--rather like a fdr works program.
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Beausoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
24. "uncritical adulation". Sadly, that sums it up.
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AX10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
29. It's about time that the media took a look at he and his record.
:thumbsup:
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. the msm is afraid of being call racist if they do-----like happens he on DU--the race-baiting card
gets tossed out. and for the most part it shuts down conversation!
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AX10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #30
39. It is getting too absurd by any standard.
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Raejeanowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #39
62. Indeed n/t
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
32. an unknown before 04 and a rise to the pinnacle of US Govt in so short a time is scary...not in ...
Edited on Fri Feb-15-08 08:59 PM by ElsewheresDaughter
our history has this happened....

Who is backing this unearned incredible rise to power?

the corporate media that we all disdain and have NEVER trusted all of a sudden you all are swallowing EVERYTHING they feed you about this rock star politician.

This above all truly scares the shit out of me!



"better the devil ya know than the devil ya don't know"...whoever said that I think I', just beginning to understand it
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. but I think that IS there story==its new to them. They are creating this movement
as well as 'reporting' on it.
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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #32
38. That's why they invented Faith and Hope
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. The article talks of Marketing---Hope is rather hard to attack.
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #42
54. The Century of Self....a Must watch ...here....
Edited on Fri Feb-15-08 11:36 PM by ElsewheresDaughter
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jasmine621 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
34. One person's truth is another person's "attack."
Anything Hillary Clinton says will be portrayed as an attack so she may as well really attack.
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. I agree...but nobody wants to be stigmatised with being the 1st to do so.....
Edited on Fri Feb-15-08 09:01 PM by ElsewheresDaughter
tho Obama uses the media to do his dirty job
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. Then they'll accuse her of baring her fangs and drawing her claws.
Edited on Fri Feb-15-08 09:02 PM by Straight Shooter
I guess we can counter that Barack needs to stop hissing and speaking with a forked tongue?

"Take me in, oh, tender woman, take me in for heaven's sake ..." :)

edit I had some redundant descriptors
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. A Savior does do that--sounds more like the D***??
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. Oh, I wouldn't accuse him of being you-know-who ...
But he's no saint, he's no savior, and he's not what he appears to be.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. haha--
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #34
58. Isn't that a fact? I considered making a post about how everything
anyone says against Obama is considered an attack or racist. There is no way anyone can say anything negative about Obama without getting thrown to the lions or crucified. It's unfair and it's disgusting. The Clinton hatred and Obama adulation has driven many Hillary supporters off this site. It seems to almost be an official Obama site and not a general Democratic site. Just take a look at the pro Obama threads. I bet there is about a 4:5 ratio.
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Tatiana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
46. Bruce Dixon has an agenda to push regarding Obama. Which is sad because they used to work together.
I personally think he is jealous and that used his position as Associate Editor at The Black Commentator to continuously distort and misrepresent Obama's positions on the issues, accusing him in a June 5, 2003 column of being part of the DLC:

Obama's web site features a praiseful article from the March 6 - 12 issue of N'Digo Magazine - a piece that could have been written by Obama's own hand, last October: "Shunning the allure of huge corporate dollars and the recognition that would accompany them, Obama's philosophy is grounded in altruism," said the magazine. How, then, does one explain his association with the DLC, the corporate money apparatus of the Democratic Party?

This is not the Barack Obama that Illinois progressives would like to support. It is not the Barack Obama who can win a primary or general election in a season where the President kicks off his campaign from the deck of an aircraft carrier impersonating Top Gun. It's not the Barack Obama who can win in the year that Republicans will wind up their convention at Ground Zero NYC, the second week of September 2004, screaming "Terror!" at the top of their lungs. Unless Barack Obama recovers his lost voice, he will have no answer.

Instead, Obama seems to be listening to the voice of DLC founder and CEO Al From, who in February declared to so-called New Democrats, "Your most formidable opponent isn't Bush or your fellow contestants for the nomination. Your real enemy is the ghost of Democrats past." Those "ghosts" are the "activists" and "special interests" of the Democratic Party - the very same code words that Republicans use for Blacks, unions and advocates of Obama's own, cherished "altruism."


And Obama responds:

Dear Black Commentator:

I read with interest, and some amusement, Bruce Dixon's recent article regarding my campaign, and his suggestion that perhaps my positions on critical issues facing this country are somehow being corrupted by the influence of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Given that Bruce worked together back in 1992 to empower communities through organizing and the ballot box, I wish he'd taken the time to give me a call and check out his facts.

To begin with, neither my staff nor I have had any direct contact with anybody at DLC since I began this campaign a year ago. I don't know who nominated me for the DLC list of 100 rising stars, nor did I expend any effort to be included on the list beyond filling out a three line questionnaire asking me to describe my current political office, my proudest accomplishment, and my cardinal rules of politics. Since my mother taught me not to reject a compliment when it's offered, I didn't object to the DLC's inclusion of my name on their list. I certainly did not view such inclusion as an endorsement on my part of the DLC platform.

As for Bruce's larger point -- that I've begun to water down my criticisms of the Bush administration during this early phase of my campaign -- I'd invite him to join me on the campaign trail here in Chicago for a couple of days. I'm proud of the fact that I stood up early and unequivocally in opposition to Bush's foreign policy (and was the only U.S. Senate candidate in Illinois to do so). That opposition hasn't changed, and I continue to make it a central part of each and every one of my political speeches. Likewise, I spend much of my time with audiences trying to educate them on the dangers of both the Patriot Act, Patriot Act 2, and the rest of John Ashcroft's assault on the Constitution. The only reason that my original anti-war speech was removed from my website was a judgment that the speech was dated once the formal phase of the war was over, and my staff's desire to continually provide fresh news clips. The "bland" statement that Bruce offers up as an example of my loss of passion wasn't an official statement or speech at all, but a 30 second response to a specific question by Aaron Brown on CNN about the mood of Illinois voters a few days after the war started.

In sum, Bruce's article makes nice copy, but it doesn't reflect the reality of my campaign. Nor does it reflect my track record as a legislator. In the last three months alone, I passed and sent to Illinois governor's desk 25 pieces of major progressive legislation, including groundbreaking laws mandating the videotaping of all interrogations and confessions in capital cases; racial profiling legislation; a new law designed to ease the burden on ex-offenders seeking employment; and a state earned income tax credit that will put millions of dollars directly into the pockets of Illinois' working poor.

As Bruce may tell you, I've always preached the need for elected officials and candidates to be held accountable for their views. I don't exempt myself from that rule. I'd simply ask that folks take the time to find out what my views are before they start questioning my passion for justice or the integrity of my campaign effort. I'm not hard to reach.

In the meantime, I'll talk to my staff about sprucing up the website!

Sincerely,

State Senator Barack Obama

Candidate for U.S. Senate

http://www.blackcommentator.com/47/47_cover.html


After Dixon and the BC simply refused to let the DLC accusation die and decided to ask Obama about his views on NAFTA, universal health care, and the Iraq war, Obama responded a bit more firmly:

Dear Black Commentator:

Let me begin by saying that Ive enjoyed the dialogue that we seem to be developing on these e-pages, and hope it continues as my campaign progresses.

I also appreciate your desire to focus on specific issues that should be of interest to all progressives, both inside and outside of the Democratic Party. My views on universal health care, the unilateral use of force in Iraq, and NAFTA are in fact what you might expect given my previous history and voting record.

I favor universal health care for all Americans, and intend to introduce or sponsor legislation toward that end in the U.S. Senate, just as I have at the state level. My campaign is also developing a series of interim proposals such as an expansion of the successful SCHIP program so that we can immediately provide more coverage to uninsured children and their families.

I would have voted against the October 10th congressional resolution authorizing the President to use unilateral force against Iraq. I believe that we could have effectively neutralized Iraq with a rigorous, multilateral inspection regime backed by coalition forces. Nothing since the end of the formal fighting has led me to reconsider this stance; indeed, the inability of Saddam Hussein to mount even token resistance to American forces, the failure to discover any significant, deployable arsenals of biological or chemical weapons inside Iraq, and the on-going turmoil currently taking place in post-war Iraq, have only strengthened my views on the subject.

And although I believe that free trade - when also fair - can benefit workers in both rich and poor nations, I think that the current NAFTA regime lacks the worker and environmental protections that are necessary for the long-term prosperity of both America and its trading partners. I would therefore favor, at minimum, a significant renegotiation of NAFTA and the terms of the Presidents fast track authority.

You are undoubtedly correct that these positions make me an unlikely candidate for membership in the DLC. That is why I am not currently, nor have I ever been, a member of the DLC. As I stated in my previous letter, I agreed to be listed as 100 to watch by the DLC. Thats been the extent of my contact with them. It does appear that, without my knowledge, the DLC also listed me in their New Democrat directory. Because I agree that such a directory implies membership, I will be calling the DLC to have my name removed, and appreciate your having brought this fact to my attention.

I do think a broader question remains on the table. What is the best strategy for building majority support for a progressive agenda, and for reversing the rightward drift of this country?

One important part of that strategy - and on this I think we agree - is for progressives within the Democratic Party to describe our core values (e.g. racial justice, civil liberties, opportunity for the many, and not just the few) in clear, unambiguous terms.

A second part of that strategy - and again, I think we agree here - is to stake out clear positions on issues that put those values into action (e.g. the need for universal health care), and to stand up for those values when they are under assault (e.g. opposition to the Patriot Act).

But the third part of this part of the equation and on this we may disagree must be to gain converts to our positions. My job, as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, isnt to scold people for their lack of ideological purity. Its to persuade as many people as I can, across the ideological spectrum, that my vision of the future is compatible with their values, and can make their lives a little bit better. Thus, while I may favor common-sense gun control laws, that doesnt keep me from reaching out to NRA members who are worried about their lack of health insurance. I favor affirmative action, but Im still going after the votes of white union members who oppose affirmative action, because I think I can convince them that its Bushs economic agenda, and not affirmative action, that is eroding their job security and stagnating their wages. And while I may object to the misogyny and materialism of much of rap culture, Im still going to spend the time reaching out to a hip-hop generation in search of a future.

In other words, I believe that politics in any democracy is a game of addition, not subtraction. And I believe deeply enough in the decency of the American people to think that progressives can build a winning majority in this country, so long as were not afraid to speak the truth, and so long as we dont write off big chunks of the electorate just because they dont agree with us on every issue.

All of which explains why Im not likely to launch blanket denunciations of the DLC or any other faction within the Democratic Party. I intend to engage DLC members, just like I intend to engage everybody else that I can during the next year of campaigning, in a conversation about the direction our country needs to take to give ordinary working families a fair shake. In some instances, I may even agree with DLC positions: their insistence on the value of national service, or the need to harden domestic targets like chemical plants from potential terrorist attack, to cite a few examples I just pulled from the DLC web-site, make sense to me. Where I disagree with them and, as we have already discussed, I disagree with them strongly on a lot of major issues - I intend to let them know, firmly and without equivocation, just why I think they are wrong.

To some, this approach may appear nave; to others, it may appear that Im headed down a path of dangerous compromise. All I can tell you is that in my twenty years as an organizer, civil rights lawyer, and state senator, Ive always trusted my moral compass, and have thus far avoided compromising my core values for the sake of ambition or expedience. Hopefully, by listening to the people I seek to serve, and with the occasional jab from friendly critics like The Black Commentator, I can stay on that course, and ultimately do some good as the next U.S. Senator from the state of Illinois.

Sincerely,

State Senator Barack Obama

Candidate for the U.S. Senate

http://www.blackcommentator.com/48/48_cover.html


I think Dixon's agenda and Obama's words speak for themselves. Obama has asked that the public hold him accountable. He welcomes an exchange of ideas and accepts disagreement. What he is not, is a man who marches lock-step with anyone in order to "play it safe."
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. But it's all objective if Bill Clinton's former campaign manager endorses Obama?
If people have an ax to grind with people they know personally, that's all well and fine, because closeness in politics leads to hard feelings. But to dismiss BAR because Dixon doesn't like Obama personally, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Do visit The Black Commentator site. They aren't all thrilled with Barack, either.

You're cutting and pasting Obama's self-serving letters. I'm sure Dixon can write some self-serving letters of his own.

(Obama is extraordinarily verbose. I believe that was one of the major criticisms of Kerry. How times change.)
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. "Obama is extraordinarily verbose." Hillary is a huge hypocrite and she's running a lousy campaign:
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Tatiana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. It's entirely fair to filter anything Dixon writes about Obama through a careful lens.
He does have an ax to grind.

I haven't commented on Bill Clinton's former campaign manager endorsing Obama. I don't view the endorsements of campaign managers as important.

As far as the BC goes, I have have been reading it for years. And, the site proves an excellent point: namely that that African-Americans are capable of and do engage in independent thought, instead of marching lock-step with one another.

The BC provides an important progressive perspective. Criticism in and of itself is not a bad thing and Dixon is not a "bad" guy. But his criticisms of Obama dating back to Obama's time in the IL legislature have drifted more away from policy debate and into the realm of the personal. I do recognize jealousy when I see it and I do recognize when someone is pushing an agenda. I was simply pointing out the context through which Dixon writes his latest article. There are two sides to every story and with Dixon, I felt the other side deserved to be represented.

:hi:
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #51
61. It's important to filter anything anybody says, and be wary of hidden agendas.
Thus my contempt for the so-called MSM.

:hi:
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
50. I have never understood
why supposedly thinking people will allow themselves to be caught up by their emotions, without ever looking beyond the speeches for substance.

I first heard Obama speak at the '04 convention. Of course, I was already disappointed in Kerry's nomination, and disgruntled by the "free speech zone" put up by the party, by the eviction of Medea Benjamin, and by what I perceived as a pro-war tone.

Still, the first time I heard him speak I noted his obvious gift for public speaking, and the way he stirred the crowd, without feeling stirred myself.

That hasn't changed in the ensuing years. When I look beyond the speeches to the stances behind them, I find that they don't have the substance I'm looking for; don't have what it takes to move the nation the direction I'd like to be going. In 2008, the "uncritical adulation" has reached hysteria, and I am repulsed by the whole thing.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #50
53. I've been waiting to be stirred myself.
I think my stirometer must be on the fritz or something. It's just not happening.
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #53
72. "Stirred." LOL. The martini candidate. n/t
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #50
59. I agree ..Obama's speech in Boston in 04 was great ...JFK's writer Ted Sorenson wrote it...
of course he was great...Sorensen could make McCain or Bush sound like JFK too

Obama was groomed a year before for that day....Marketed hope
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Aussie leftie Donating Member (430 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
52. k & r n/t
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respublicus Donating Member (99 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #52
97. excuse me, but who are K & R? thx
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #97
105. K & R means "kick and recommend"
When you post anything in response to a thread, you are kicking it; that is, it gets kicked back up to the top of the discussion forum.

By clicking on the recommend button of the original post at the top of the thread, you are recommending it; that is, you think it is a post you recommend to others, or you think some of the responses in the thread are worthwhile.

Welcome to DU :hi:
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KAZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
57. Nice circle jerk you have going. And your time has passed.
regardless of how much time your time has.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #57
60. funny though, your candidate won't go any further than these Democratic primary contests
Edited on Sat Feb-16-08 12:56 AM by bigtree
. . . without support from those who've voted for and supported Hillary Clinton.

Sure , they'll, more than likely, vote for him in the end, but will they campaign and canvass for him, donate to his campaign, convince their friends, neighbors and co-workers? Or, will they just turn off the news, turn away and leave the fate of Obama in the general election in your * hands?
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KAZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #60
64. Funny, my candidate is the the Democratic candidate.
I will vote, support, contribute, and work, for whoever the fucking Democratic nominee is. I've made this point clear in countless posts. You want to piss on your friends? Fine, have at it.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #64
67. just responding to your own gloating. The 'your time has passed' bull*
Edited on Sat Feb-16-08 12:59 AM by bigtree
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KAZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #67
69. Sorry. I was trying to rib Rodeo on the "time has time" thing in
the OP.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #69
71. strike, *arrogant
:)
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:47 AM
Response to Original message
66. I must politely but firmly call bullshit on this left wing elitist tripe.
Any time a candidate who is not firmly in the pocket of David Rockefeller and Corporate America catches the ear of the public and starts looking like has a chance to win (Las Vegas is giving odds of 6 to 5 on Obama), we start hearing that he is too "establishment."

We heard it about George McGovern in 1972.

We have heard it about every great civil rights leader.

After months spent trying to build up Obama as the Anybody But Hillary candidate (like the Anybody But Carter candidates from 1976) the powers that be learned on Feb. 13 that on a head to head Obama will always beat McCain. Keith Olbermann showed them as much. Now they want to take it all back and let Hillary be the nominee.

In a situation like this, every disgruntled left winger with an axe to grind will suddenly find himself being courted by the corporate media. Obama is about to become tainted with front runner status-itis . His integrity will be called into question. Everyone will be told that success is the downfall of all populist candidates.

I ain't buying it.

Obama is going to crush McCain in the general. Every dirty trick that the Swiftboat Vets throw at him, he will shrug off with another great speech. And he will be a fine Democratic president.

I have never gone out on a limb and called an election this early in my life, but Obama has winner written all over him. That is why you are going to see the attacks coming from all directions--even from the left.


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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #66
70. Obama is no McGovern or King
He's a dyed in the wool politician from Illinois, not unlike Clinton. Two establishment senators. It will be constructive, though, for the populist veneer to come off and for folks to see the depths of his politics, good and bad, to judge in an objective way, instead of mainly responding to whatever image he's portraying at the time.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #66
76. Wow. Great right-wing propaganda there.
You know, referring to the left wing as "elitist," and what the left wing has to say as "tripe."

Funny how this site bills itself as

"one of the Web's most active left-wing discussion boards."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/about.html

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MNDemNY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #66
80. Maybe he can "speachify " us into world peace.
hope for change.
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tripitaka Donating Member (61 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #66
103. how'd you like president Dukakis btw?
The polls in Feb have you saying "Obama will always beat McCain".

Dukakis led by 16 in June iirc. Kerry and Gore also had leads bigger than what Obama has now, closer to the actual election.

I really think folks are underestimating McCain. I know I know, by every rational index Obama is going to win this thing going away, but when Huck won Iowa, I turned to my bro in law and muttered "McCain just won the presidency." I still feel that in my gut.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
68. I see the word 'truth to power' and my brain shuts off...
i HATE that figure of speech. :banghead:
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Johnny__Motown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 02:28 AM
Response to Original message
73. So you can't be strong on defense AND fulfill Dr. King's legacy? I don't agree with the premise
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respublicus Donating Member (99 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 05:02 AM
Response to Reply #73
75. It's not defense, it's attack. Aggression. The Pentagon is DOA, not MLK.
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LulaMay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:45 AM
Response to Original message
74. Great post. Thank you.
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Raffi Ella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
78. Wow,now that is some perspective.
Obama followers should go to that site with their eyes open and take it in.

Seriously,as much as you people hate Hillary Clinton the only difference between her and your Messiah is his MLK Impersonation...



INCREDIBLE post R.D.,thank you so much for this.I'ma pass it around as far as I can.This needs to be seen by the masses.

K&R

:kick:
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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
81. Perhaps less of a Joshua than Elmer Gantry, if you ask me
And there are suckers born every minute, as old P.T. Barnum would say.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
84. K and R....
Thx, rodeodance for posting this. Will be sending to some people...maybe eyes will open or at least we plant some seeds of doubt.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #84
89. ask yourself this:
why did Obama team up with Orrin Hatch, the republican senator from Utah, to over-rule a NY state judge's decision concerning middle class people who had filed for bankruptcy?

the judge said individuals filing for bankruptcy cannot have exemptions for donations to charities and religious organizations

the bill sponsered by Obama and Hatch overruled this decision and said that those filing for bankrupty protection could nevertheless still be allowed exemptions for contributions to "charitable" and religious organizations

the real intent here is to give preference to religious donations....adding charitable is just a cover up

why give preferential treatment to organized religions?

why not allow donations to the sierra club? as one example

or leave the judge's ruling alone, and not allow exemptions for any voluntary donations?



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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. I've looked at the website of the
church that Obama attends...looked creepy. But I am NO fan of organized religions...they just seem to start wars.

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trthnd4jstc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
85. I appreciate your thread, still I am backing Obama
Sen. Obama is a Politician. He is obviously not perfect, nor has he fought to protect our nation, nor serve the people of Illinois as fully as he could have. I do support him, even with his short comings. By far, Sen. Obama will be a better president than Sen. McCain.
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ClericJohnPreston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
92. Nice post rodeo
Though I am an Edwards style Democrat, I am repulsed by Obama and mostly by his cadre of cultists.

They offend every DEMOCRATIC sensibility I possess. From alerting mods when they can't refute you or respond, putting most on ignore unless you are in their echo chamber of absurd chants, to trying to turn this board into their own narrative, it is antithetical to TRUE Democratic thought processes.

Currently, they are mimicking a Fundamentalist RIGHT Christian sect by posting , in almost overt fashion, a cynical manipulation of their masses that Obama is Jesus. Have we all lost our minds? This is permitted under the guise of a feel-good buzz?

I have spent my entire blogging career taking FUNDIES, LIBERTARIANS and CONSERVATIVES to task, as I feel they most threaten Dermocratic initiatives. Now, we tacitly support a moderate at best, conservative at worst, nominee in Obama, whose cynical acolytes are now taking threads about Obama to the ultimate metaphor, "PEACEMAKER", ie, JESUS.

The post: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x4614667

I reach out here to the last outpost of REASON. This heretical mixture of politics and religions must be squashed, lest we become everything we always hated about the Rethugs! We have fallen into FUNDIE like rapture over a teleprompter reading moderate, slinging platitudes as policy. Sorry, his minions can all HOPE for a CHANGE, I'll keep FIGHTING FOR IT!

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Matteon Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #92
98. Hmm.
In order for Obama follwoers to have him on a level with Jesus he needs to still be revered by billions 2,000 years from now. Wake me when that happens.

This Obama-Jesus stuff comes exclusively from people outside of his supporters. Criticising people for strongly supporting their candidate seems wrong to me.

Also, it makes a lot more sense to look at Obama's supporters and consider that they might actually be on to something than to write them all off as cultists.

The "they're all being duped" argument is weak.

The truth is that Obama has found a campaign ideal that people can connect to, and it's working. If he ends up getting elected in november he'll have to put his money where is mouth is.

The fact that Obama is so successful has a lot to do with the fact his opponent is a known commodity that many don't like and see as more of the same shit. It really has gotten, for many voters, to be like the last scene from "Groundhog Day" where Bill Murray says "anything different is good".

I can certainly understand apprehension about someone without a lot of experience in Washington getting elected, but, if you think about it, that's really the only way to ever get a president who's not already bought and sold. Change always involves taking a chance on something new. Call it the lesser of the evils if you want, but I support Obama because I'm willing to take that chance.
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indimuse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
93. THX rodeodance..another great one. BLOW_Bama economy...101~!
A Growing Poverty Trend Earns Illinois the Unfavorable Distinction of Being the Worst in the Midwest
A Growing Poverty Trend Earns Illinois the Unfavorable Distinction of Being the Worst in the Midwest
A Growing Poverty Trend Earns Illinois the Unfavorable Distinction of Being the Worst in the Midwest
A Growing Poverty Trend Earns Illinois the Unfavorable Distinction of Being the Worst in the Midwest


Where has Obama been..? What has Obama done for the Great State of Illinois?
Where are his achievements...He DID acquire a HUGE MANSION Between 1996-2008..Makes you wanna go HUM???

WHAT legislation has he passed to help this Great State?? What has Obama prevented in is OH SO MANY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE!!?? (Manufacturing Job Losses ARE UP UP UP!!! And many plants have closed....Great job Obama!) Oh..yeah...A Great Big MANSION!!! And Lots O Lots O $$$ From REZKO>>> REMEMBER People...Feb 25th the Beginning of the END of this Charade!!!

<><><><><><><><><Peace To ALL my Peeps <><><><><><><><><> wink wink...;)


http://www.povertylaw.org/news-and-events/poverty-action-report/february-2006/illinois-poverty.html
A Growing Poverty Trend Earns Illinois the Unfavorable Distinction of Being the Worst in the Midwest
Illinois has the worst poverty rate in the Midwest and ranks last on 14 other economic, health, housing, and education indicators despite being one of the richest

states in the region. This information and much more can be found in the 2006 Report on Illinois Poverty, newly released by Heartland Alliance


by Amy Rynell


Illinois has the worst poverty rate in the Midwest and ranks last on 14 other economic, health, housing, and education indicators despite being one of the richest

states in the region. This information and much more can be found in the 2006 Report on Illinois Poverty, newly released by Heartland Alliance. The report explores

poverty in Illinois in order to foster dialogue and promote policy changes that aid the most vulnerable Illinoisans.

The growth of Illinois poverty is startling. Since 1999, there has been an increase of 342,716 new people living in poverty. The poverty rate has climbed from 10 percent

to 12.4 percent, meaning that over 1.5 million Illinoisans live in poverty. Thirty-one Illinois counties had an increase in the rate of poverty from 2002 to 2003, and one in

four Illinoisans lives near povertyenough people to fill Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota combined.


These disturbing poverty trends and Illinoiss bleak standing in the Midwest have been exacerbated by the state budget crisis which has resulted in a $387 million

decrease in state human services funding from 2001 to 2004. Over time, the cumulative impact of the states failure to keep up with inflation combined with real

program cuts has significantly increased pressure on local providers and service delivery systems to do more with diminishing support from the state.

Behind these trends, numbers, and rates are real people who have very real struggles and are discovering that work is no longer a guarantee to living without poverty.

Illinoisans have suffered from the most mass layoffs in the nation, and nearly 25 percent of all Illinois workers are making the equivalent of poverty-level wages for a

family of four. Illinois minority workers are watching their wages continually fall behind those of white workers, and the number of employers offering health insurance

and other benefits to their workers is declining.

In addition to declining wages and the lack of meaningful work opportunities for Illinoisans, the report highlights that many Illinoisans have few to no assets. One in

every five Illinoisans is asset-poor with Illinois women and minorities experiencing much higher rates of asset poverty. Despite the accepted notion that assets are vital

for economic stability, assets are becoming increasingly difficult for Illinois families to accumulate. Median value for owner-occupied units in Illinois rose 20.8 percent

from 2000 to 2004, tuition and fees for four-year public Illinois universities have skyrocketed 47 percent, and the bankruptcy rate in Illinois has doubled in the last 10

years.

The problem of poverty in Illinois spans racial, ethnic, age, gender, familial, and geographic boundaries. No group is immune, and no region is without hardship. While

9 percent of Illinois seniors live in poverty, nearly half would be in poverty without social security benefits. Over a half-million Illinois children live in poverty, and 31.4

percent of Illinois women live near poverty. Although some positive change has occurred, 34 of Illinoiss 102 counties were placed on either the Poverty Watch or

Warning lists indicating serious struggles with critical indicators including high school graduation rates, teen birth rates, unemployment rates, and poverty rates across

the state.


Illinois has yet to make comprehensive changes to ensure that each Illinoisan lives free from poverty. However, encouraging signs on the horizon illustrate how Illinois

can construct a pathway out of poverty.


Illinois has raised its minimum wage above the required federal level, has committed to ensuring that each Illinois child has access to affordable health insurance, and

will soon launch the largest state-run rent subsidy program in the nation. Further investments in policies such as these, those that reward work, provide stability, and

expand asset-building opportunities for all, are necessary to afford opportunities to vulnerable Illinoisans, strengthen the Illinois economy, and ideally move Illinois from

worst in the Midwest to best in the Midwest.


A downloadable copy of the 2006 Report on Illinois Poverty is available here.

For more information contact Amy Rynell at Heartland Alliance


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jason_13 Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
94. Silliness, look at the record
I keep reading all these silly stories... Obama's short but
pertinent record suggests exactly what he is an honest and
progressive liberal.  He was a community organizer, a
COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, a grueling and thankless career choice. 
His record of sponsored and co-sponsored bills in office is
pretty great; better, more liberal, more progressive, and much
longer than Hillary's. Read it. And he's been in office a
shorter time period than Hillary.  What has Hillary done? I
don't get it. Look at the facts.  Hillary is trying to
snowball everyone into believing she's this great candidate,
this great person.  Do you remember when she had to return
hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of china she had STOLEN
from the white house.  Do you remember all the corporate
scandals she and Bill were involved in? Obama's not that slick
guy, Hillary is. Marketing shouldn't be a campaign tool? What?
What the?  Marketing and the political process are one and the
same these days like it or not.  What the article really says
is this:  Too bad Hillary and her campaign have done a
horrible job of it (marketing), too bad David Plouffe and
Barack Obama are campaign running, web building, grassroots
fund raising, buzz building geniuses, because I really like
Hillary and her campaign is horrible.
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #94
104. Obama was a community organizer because it looks good on your resume.
He's no dummy. A lot of high school students volunteer for extracurricular volunteer-type activities because it puts them in a favorable light for job interviews. It never hurts to be portrayed as community-oriented.

Remember that Obama was in Bobby Rush's district, a Black Panther who redeemed himself by doing things for the community. If Obama was going to go up against the likes of Bobby Rush, then he had to earn his dues by helping the community, too.

You tear Hillary down and then say, too bad, you really like her. She didn't steal china, by the way, and your hyperbole is reminiscent of FR. Do some homework, then come back to DU.
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tripitaka Donating Member (61 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #104
106. sigh. do we have to reach this far?
I mean this guy could have named his own salary in addition to picking his employer. A corner office demand would probably have been agreed to. He was *that* hot. So, a plus on his resume, sure, but he could just as easily have done a few years in private practice and then gone into community work. The Edwards approach, get the money first and do good later.

Plus it's not beyond the imagination that Obama honestly might have felt a new way of reaching voters was necessary to improve our politics. So far I'd have to say he's really on to something.

Btw re Hillary, she did something similar, she didn't go for the bucks out of Yale Law, she went to Oakland to defend the Black Panthers, iirc. Maybe not as evocative as wading among used needles and crackheads on a daily basis but she doesn't cede the high ground on this imho, Hillary was very much the idealist as a young woman I think.
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jason_13 Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-17-08 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #104
111. Oops you were so angry you misunderstood
I didn't say "to bad...I really like her" that's
what the article was saying to me. At any rate, I have some
homework to do. Ha!
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-17-08 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #104
114. I could say the same thing about Clinton and the Childrens' Defense Fund
Except that I would be completely full of shit just like you are.
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paulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #94
108. please list the "corporate scandals" that the Clinton's were
involved in - followed by the convictions that resulted...

------------------


I find it fascinating that yet another newbie Obama supporter spends 3/4 of their initial post trashing Hillary and Bill Clinton.
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jason_13 Donating Member (10 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-17-08 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #108
112. I can't think of a better word than silly.
I'm pleased that I've fascinated you.  Do you remember the
article that we're having so much fun commenting on? 
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balantz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
96. I can't believe how blind people are.
Once again we lost our chance to have a candidate vowing to break the corporate hold on our government and society.

Instead Americans are voting for the American idol. In Joshua's day it was the golden calf.
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cloud75 Donating Member (737 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
99. These questions need to come out in the next debate he must answer
them before we crown him. If anything these issues will come out during his presidency and it will weaken him just like it did Bill.
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debbierlus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
101. Obama is no movement - he is a face of change, NOT CHANGE

I think that is what Obama's supporters don't understand. He offers no history and no current policies or statements that equate to real change...

Another favorite....

Working man's seat at the table with corporations.

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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
107. Bookmarked
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
109. BO is a political chameleon who goes along to get along. n/t
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-16-08 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
110. OH SHIT! I'm changing my vote again!
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COLMustard159 Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-17-08 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
113. You are wrong. Stop muddying the waters.
Edited on Sun Feb-17-08 02:10 PM by COLMustard159
Now I'm quite wary of replying to rodeodance's post. I'm quite tired of getting into online fisticuffs and he seems like a fellow who might (deliberately or otherwise) misunderstand me.
1) Marketing is a part of democracy. We live in an economy where advertising can manufacture consent. Democracy and politics is not a laundry list of policies and goals. (See President Reagan and Fox News as a the propaganda wing of the Republican Party. See all campaigns in the history of the U.S. and their slogans.) rd ignores the basic tenets of human nature. How many times have any of you been right, but the people around you wouldn't listen because you didn't say it in the "right way."

2) Second coming of Joshua? Wow! So much for rd's strict and cold logic! I didn't know such poetry would follow after the third sentence!

3) As for "imput their own cherished views on Obama," President Reagan leveraged this successfully to push an agenda through thanks to "Reagan Democrats" in Congress. If you challenged me to find a voter who agreed with every policy of Obama, I'd suspect you were sending me on an fool's errand. Most people, I suspect, are willing to set aside minor differences for the greater good (or if you wish to mince words, what they perceive to be the greater good). Example: Republicans who are strictly pro-life but realize that in spite of this position, support Obama (who is invariably pro-choice).

4) Obama doesn't believe in the use of contractors. The forces that remain after the withdrawal will be responsible to the U.S. (i.e. the real army). But gosh darn it! I can't find out exactly where he said that so maybe I'm just being "hopeful."

5) "The average voter is ill-equipped to read Obama's statements on these and other issues as closely as one might read a predatory loan application or a jacked up insurance policy, trying to determine exactly what is covered." I find this statement quite offensive. It might be true, but good heavens, what are we supposed to do about it? Improve the educational system? Make fun of them on Jay Leno? Make voting one of those privileges you earn like driving? This violates the fundamental premise of democracy and is civic blasphemy especially since (s)he gives no good reasons why he believes this is so.

6) I checked out the first link. Now I could have become entrapped and wasted my morning reading the whole thing, but one contradiction nipped that in the bud. It asserts that Obama removed his anti-war speech from his website during the primary for the Senate. This is false.
Here is the decisive evidence:
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.obamaforillinois.com
Click on the different dates and click on the News tab on the left. You should be able to find the anti-war Iraq speech there.
archive.org periodically archives websites to the benefit of Internet hounds.
I will admit, there may be true information in rodeodance's links, but how can I forget the phrase: "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me!"

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