The primaries are over… the general election is on.

Over million voters read Senator Barrack Obama’s web site daily.  His list of donors has reached almost unmanageable proportions.Quadrennial pomp and pageantry to pamper the voter will begin in Denver next week at the Democratic Party Convention. It does not get more scripted than this. No insider free-for-alls are expected like in the sixties. The 47 year old Barrack Obama would become the first Black candidate in US history to be made the party nominee. The animus of a hard fought primary may finally vanish as Hillary Clinton gets prime time spot. Spotlight will shine on Obama as he makes his acceptance speech to a 76,000 cheering crowd at the Mile High stadium. The speech would be one of the best ever, most predict.

Media hordes would telecast at least one hour of prime time broadcasts every day in over 100 TV channels during the convention. Wooing a multiplicity of voting blocks is like a tight rope walk. Hispanics, Asians, Blacks, Whites, , Catholics, Evangelicals and Academic liberals-to name a few of the power groups- will either be won or lost by what Obama has to say

Conventions were do or die battles in the sixties when the delegates tried to nominate their favorite candidate over and over gain calling for one more roll call. Delegate leaders from each of the fifty States announced their choice one by one until the required number of delegates for victory was achieved. There will most likely be one roll call and Hillary Clinton’s name may also be in it.

This year, the election battle is very close with Obama showing a slender lead. Stakes are high as about fifteen states are considered battle ground areas: .Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, South and North Carolina and Virginia may be some of those states

US voters have an unenviable task of picking one candidate out of a myriad of images projected on TV screens, media outlets and advertisements. A photo of Obama not wearing a lapel pin may be construed as unpatriotic behavior. McCain pondering about keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years could become fodder to the opposing side. Politics is very much local and personal nowadays. Character and personality are the norms for judging how good a candidate is. An old time protector of America versus an untried new-comer is how the debate is defined by the Republicans. Democrats paint McCain as a clone of George W. Bush.

The convention next week will bring a glorious opportunity to Obama to highlight and contrast his style of campaigning and drive home the image that McCain is anachronistic and generates little excitement. Republicans have made Obama the issue calling him a vacuous opportunist with an empty rhetoric and little to offer. His father’s Muslim heritage is often made an issue. Caricature is now the accepted norm in politics.

Conventions still serve a purpose. A bump in the polls would be expected for Obama after next week. It is estimated that about ten percent of the voters may be influenced by Conventions. The fifty states are sliced and diced as the campaigns target different voting blocks. Conventions offer a chance to address all of them under one roof.

Obama’s campaign Chief David Plouffe is renowned for his fiercely competitive style. He has so far handled the fundraising, field organization and media projection with an expert touch. Obama’s foot soldiery is unprecedented. Even in the Republican pocket borough of Alaska there are field workers canvassing for Obama. They are also doing that in McCain’s home state of Arizona. Over million voters read Obama’s web site daily. His list of donors has reached almost unmanageable proportions. Plouffe is offering the best convention ever. It is no doubted best funded, organized and presented. People are eager to se how it works out.

Source – Asian Tribune –

United States Senate.

The latest advertisement for United States Republican presidential candidate John McCain is questioning Democrat Barack Obama‘s benefit to families.

Last week the BBC reported that the McCain campaign had released an advertisement comparing Obama to American celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, calling him “the biggest celebrity in the world.”

McCain’s newest advertisement, released early this week, continues along those same lines.

United States Senate.

“Is the biggest celebrity in the world ready to help your family?” the narrator asks, according to The Boston Globe and a video of the ad displayed on its website. “The real Obama promises higher taxes, more government spending. So, fewer jobs.” With images of wind turbines in the background, the narrator says, “Renewable energy to transform our economy, create jobs and energy independence, that’s John McCain.”

The Boston Globe reports that McCain’s latest ad does not acknowledge that Obama’s economic policy, especially the proposed rollback of current president George W. Bush‘s capital gains tax cuts, would largely affect the wealthiest of America, not the middle class.

Obama, the BBC reports, is quoted as calling McCain “cynical,” “desperate” and “in the pocket of Big Oil.”

The latest Obama video, shown on the USA Today website, touts McCain as “just more of the same” politics employed by George W. Bush. The ad cites a May 22, 2003 Fox News Channel interview where McCain says “the President and I agree on most issues. There was a recent study that showed I voted with the President over 90 percent of the time.” The ad then criticizes McCain’s policies on tax cuts, money for oil companies, and “tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.”

USA Today does note that “[w]hile the ad shows McCain touting the fact that he had voted “with” President Bush more than 90% of the time, the Arizona senator did criticize the administration’s conduct of the war in Iraq — calling early on for more troops to be sent there. He also voted against the president’s original tax cut plan — though McCain now says he supports extending those tax cuts. And, he proposes cuts in all kinds of corporate taxes, not just those on oil companies.”

McCain is set to appear at an Ohio furniture plant Wednesday to reinforce the messages in his latest advertisement.

“America has the second highest business tax rate in the entire world,” he plans to say, according to prepared remarks issued by his campaign, and released by The Boston Globe. “Is it any wonder that jobs are moving overseas when we are taxing them out of the country? Unfortunately Senator Obama’s plans would raise taxes on businesses even more. He has promised tax increases on income, tax increases on investment, tax increases on small businesses. This is exactly the wrong strategy. Raising taxes in a bad economy is about the worst thing you could do because it will kill even more jobs when what we need are policies that create jobs.”

Obama spokesman Bill Burton responded:

“Is the biggest proponent of George Bush’s tired, failed policies ready to bring about change? Another day brings another dishonest attack from John McCain. While Senator McCain knows that Senator Obama has proposed cutting taxes for 95% of American families, what he’s not telling us is that he wants to give $4 billion in tax breaks to the oil companies, continue giving tax breaks to corporations that ship our job overseas, and provide no direct tax relief for more than 100 million middle-class families. It’s time to retire these old policies and bring new energy to America.”

Source : wikinews

ImageAfter Exxon Mobil released an earnings report that showed a record quarterly profit of $11.68 billion, Barack Obama released a statement that criticized McCain’s oil company friendly energy policy.

“Perhaps the only thing more outrageous than Exxon Mobil making record profits while Americans are paying record prices at the pump is the fact that Senator McCain has proposed giving them an additional $1.2 billion tax break. While Senator McCain’s plan has succeeded in helping his campaign raise over $1 million from oil and gas company executives and employees just last month, it won’t lower gas prices or end our dangerous dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said.

He also called for a new energy policy, “Instead of an energy policy that reads like an oil-company wish list, it’s time to create a new American energy economy
by investing in alternative energy, creating millions of new jobs, increasing fuel efficiency standards, and ending the tyranny of oil once and for all.”

We all know that John McCain doesn’t have a real energy policy. He has completely embraced the GOP catch phrase “drill more, use less.” The problem is that this slogan doesn’t concern itself with the development of alternative energy, and since the GOP is in the back pocket of the oil companies, so they will never embrace any proposal that could result in decreased profits for Big Oil.

Ask yourself, what kind of party would oppose increasing healthcare for children, but favor billions of dollars in tax breaks for an industry that is reaping record profits, as Republicans have done. McCain’s energy policy which is nothing but a collection of Republican proposals that have been floating around, doesn’t address the real problem, which is oil is a finite resource that is running out. Our national efforts should be directed towards finding an alternative energy source, not protecting profits and providing tax breaks for wealthy corporations.

Says ‘the most important thing to do
is not just offer words, but offer deeds’

(Patricia McDonnell for The Boston Globe)

Sen. Barack Obama told a meeting in Chicago the U.S. should review how it can make amends for “offenses” committed during its history.

And one author is speculating that might even include reparations for al-Qaida soldiers, since, after all, they’ve been held in violation of their “rights.”

Obama’s comments came in a meeting with members of UNITY ’08, an event for journalists who claim membership in various minorities.

Obama, according to the report in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, stopped just short of endorsing an official U.S. apology to various groups. He said instead the nation should acknowledge treating certain groups poorly.

“There’s no doubt that when it comes to our treatment of Native Americans as well as other persons of color in this country, we’ve got some very sad and difficult things to account for,” Obama told the convention.

He has told Hawaii reporters he supports a federal plan to recognize native Hawaiians. He was asked for his thoughts about a formal U.S. apology to American Indians.


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“I personally would want to see our tragic history, or the tragic elements of our history, acknowledged,” he told conventioneers.

“I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it’s Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds,” he said.

The issue of reparations to African-Americans for the historic slave trade or Native Americans for the “invasion” by Europeans periodically has been raised. Several years ago a lawsuit was filed claiming damages for labor at a current value of $1.4 trillion.

At Renew America, Michael Gaynor also publicly wondered about Obama’s statements to a recent “Meet the Press.”

Obama said, “The biggest problem that we have in terms of race relations, I think, is dealing with the legacy of past discrimination which has resulted in extreme disparities in terms of poverty, in terms of wealth and in terms of income. Our inner cities are a legacy of what happened in the past. And the question is less assigning blame or rooting out active racism, because that’s not the reason that those inner cities are in such bad shape, but rather figuring out are we willing to make the investments to deal with that past history so we can move forward to a brighter future? And that involves investing in early childhood education, fixing the schools in those communities, being willing to work in terms of job retraining. And those are serious investments.”

Asked Gaynor, “Is ‘serious investments’ code for ‘reparations’? And how expensive and devastating would Obama’s income redistribution policy be?”

The comments were being discussed just as the U.S. House of Representatives issued an apology to black Americans for the “fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow” segregation.”

The resolution sponsored by Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., a white Jew who earlier this year tried unsuccessfully to join the Congressional Black Caucus, was passed on a voice vote.

In February, the Senate apologized to Native Americans, and in 2005 it apologized for standing by during the lynching of blacks last century.

But at the American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord, CEO of QubeTV and former Reagan White House political director, said the logical extension of such thought obviously could include reparations for al-Qaida.

“Does Barack Obama believe it’s time for America to apologize to al-Qaida?” he asked. “You think I’m joking, right? Wrong.”

“The push has begun among Obama’s fellow-liberals for reparations to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida warriors. Look no further than the Los Angeles Times review of the new book by liberal journalist Jane Mayer, ‘The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals.’ Mayer’s indictment of the Bush administration’s fight against terrorism has predictably received glowing reviews from the gatekeepers of liberalism, including a July 15th review from Times staff writer Tim Rutten.

“In wonderfully liberal style that is beyond parody, Rutten uses a book review to endorse the idea of paying money to Osama’s fighters who, in the eyes of liberals, have been denied their ‘right’ of habeas corpus at Guantanamo. The denial of habeas to non-Americans captured on foreign battlefields is, of course, also a major campaign point for Senator Obama. Obama, restating his long-held position about captured al-Qaida fighters having the right of habeas corpus, was prompted by the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush.

“The liberals on the Court, with the mind-boggling addition of Reagan appointee Anthony Kennedy, held that contrary to Bush administration and congressional policy, not to mention all of American history, the prisoners of war or ‘detainees’ picked up off the battlefields (in this case Afghanistan and Iraq) are in fact entitled to the same constitutional rights as American citizens.”

Obama’s allies now are “lobbying not simply for habeas corpus rights for al-Qaida but reparations as well,” Lord wrote.

“In other words, if you have been captured on the field of battle fighting the U.S. military on behalf of the global jihad and, as a result, are now on an extended stay at Gitmo, liberals feel the appropriate policy of the United States government is to 1) apologize for capturing you and 2) pay you some cold American cash to ease your pain and humiliation.”

Lord cited the Nuremberg trials for war criminals from Nazi Germany. “We still gave them a day in court and that taught the entire world about who we are but also the basic principles of rule of law,” he quoted Obama saying.

But he said that’s wrong. “If America’s only problem was with a sum total of about 1,800 German soldiers, why all that disturbing fuss known as World War II.”

In reality, half a million prisoners of war were “stashed in 511 internment camps sprinkled all around the good old USA from North Carolina to Iowa to California,” he wrote. “Not a single one of these men were given their habeas corpus rights. They were not tried. Not one. They were held as prisoners, forced to do whatever labor their American captors thought suitable until America had won the war.”

He continued: “Will Obama … have the courage to follow [the] arguments to their logical conclusions? If the idea is to have American taxpayers fork over damages to Osama’s men, why not Hitler’s? Where are the trial lawyers who have been flocking to Guantanamo? The size of the damage pot in a suit against the U.S. government for the treatment of Nazis would, one suspects, be considerable.”

“What is the difference between, say, German detainees Hans, “R,” and Jerry and an al-Qaida Gitmo resident named Abdullah Salih al Ajmi? The first three remained lawyerless while they waited out World War II in Iowa and Minnesota. The last, Abdullah, went through Gitmo’s thoroughly lawyered process and was released. On March 23, 2008, he showed up in Mosul, Iraq, when he drove a truck packed with 5,000 to 10,000 pounds of explosives into an Iraqi Army base. He killed 13 Iraqi soldiers and wounded 42 on his last mission, a mission that would never have occurred were he still in Gitmo.”

Source :

United States Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, spoke to over 200,000 last Thursday in Berlin, Germany at Tiergarten Park. His speech was focused on building a stronger connection with Germany and Europe. Obama also called for German troops to be deployed to Afghanistan, and for greater German participation in international crises.

Barack Obama while giving speech in Berlin

Barack Obama while giving speech in Berlin

The speech was received very well in Germany and back in the United States. The German newspaper Bild stated that “unlike George W. Bush, [Obama] wants to do this in cooperation with others, especially Europe.”

The National Reviews Jim Geraghty commended Obama on pushing Germany for more help in Afghanistan: “If Barack Obama can convince the Germans to contribute more to the mission in Afghanistan, God bless him, I mean that.” Germany’s own Der Tagesspiegel commented that the speech “was the signal of a new era for a new generation on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The McCain campaign said that the speech was “eloquent praise for this country.” However McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds also said that “while Barack Obama took a premature victory lap today in the heart of Berlin, proclaiming himself a ‘citizen of the world,’ John McCain continued to make his case to the American citizens who will decide this election.”

Barack Obama arrived in Berlin on July 24. His stop in Berlin was part of his Middle East/European tour that he has conducted to shore up his foreign relations record. Friday, Obama continued on to Paris, France.


PARIS — This was one of four Obama headlines last Friday in Le Figaro, the conservative newspaper whose favorite conservative is President Nicolas Sarkozy:

“Sarkozy: ‘Obama? C’est mon copain!” (‘Obama? He’s my buddy!”)

This was one of five from the liberal journal Liberation:

“OBAMANIA: From Berlin to the suburbs of Lyon, the Democratic candidate who fascinates the world shows the making of a president.”

I could go on in many languages, if I knew them. The headlines and most of the stories in Europe are mostly not political. In an interview in Liberation, the French historian Justin Vaisse, now at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said the most important political fact about Sen. Barack Obama under this headline: “Obama’s trump card? He’s not George Bush.”

That analysis was followed by a story about a new club in the suburbs of Lyon: “The Committee of Friends of Barack Obama.” That was about French people in the “les banlieues” — that translates literally as “suburbs,” but has come to mean something like “ghettos” — who are putting together diversity groups of black and white, Christian and Muslim. The founder of an older group, the Diversity Club of Rhone-Alps, Ali Kismoune, said: “The identification with Obama is not about his ideas, but of the man himself.”

That is the news from Europe. These folks don’t vote in the United States; to them Obama is more than a politician. He is a cultural figure, who has landed here with the impact Charles Lindbergh made when he flew the Atlantic alone more than 80 years ago.

Obama, at the moment, represents all things to all men and women. Diversity is a cultural issue, used by politicians but not strictly political. In some ways, the most powerful line in his Berlin speech, which was in many ways an old-fashioned American pitch for cooperation between Europe and the United States (with the United States as senior partner), was this: “I know that I don’t look like the Americans who’ve previously spoken in this great city.”

The politician he is most like, as seen from here, is John F. Kennedy, who, like Obama, represented a new generation taking over the most powerful country in the world. Kennedy was no revolutionary and neither is Obama. The Financial Times of London quoted a German analyst, Jan Techau:

“‘Many Germans see Mr. Bush’s stance on a range of issues almost as an insult, and therefore see Mr. Obama as something of a savior.’ He warned, however, that such hopes were likely to be dashed if Mr. Obama actually took power.”

That’s politics. What we saw last week was beyond politics. What was similar about Obama and Lindbergh — forgetting the flyer’s later politics — was that they physically embodied the future. The first solo flight across the Atlantic not only made the “Lone Eagle” the most famous man in the world, it was a symbol of new technology and eventually a smaller world, where diverse peoples would have to get to know each other.

Barack Obama, in the eyes of Europeans, particularly younger Europeans grappling with diversity, represents the future. He represents a smaller world where more people look like him than look like Kennedy or Ronald Reagan. That is what makes him different, and that is why so many people who may not understand the language he speaks still cheer his words.

They are actually, as Monsieur Kismoune said, cheering the man. And, an American here hopes, cheering the country that made a Barack Obama. At a symposium at Sciences Po, the elite school of political studies here, an American in Paris, Constance Borde, the president of Democrats Abroad, was asked what France could do to produce its own Obama. Her answer was short and a bit blasphemous at test-driven Sciences Po: “Try affirmative action.”

I don’t know whether Obama is the future. He doesn’t know himself, and he has acted with great discipline during his dazzling World Tour of 2008. And, of course, John McCain has some of his own ideas about everything written and cheered here.

What Obama demonstrated in the Middle East, and now here in Europe, is that, whatever his opponents say and have said about his inexperience, he is politically a man of the world. He is not only smart — we all knew that — but he listens to other people and actually seems to care about what they think and want in this new world that looks like him.

source :

Barack Obama (right) and Frank-Walter Steinmeier

BERLIN (AFP) — US presidential hopeful Barack Obama was due in Paris on Friday a day after telling a vast crowd of 200,000 people in Berlin that Americans and Europeans must tear down walls between estranged allies, races and faiths, in a soaring challenge to a new political generation.

Obama’s aides did not detail his agenda, but the Illinois senator was expected to land at Le Bourget airport and head into Paris solely for the Sarkozy meeting before leaving for London soon afterwards.


Obama and U.S. Gen. David Petraeus

It seems like just about everybody has spent the last week beating up on the media for showering too much love on Barack Obama, during what John McCain’s camp derides as the Obama World Tour.

True, statistics show broadcast networks have devoted more than twice as much airtime in recent weeks to the Democrat than to the Republican.

Source :,0,2428475.story

Obama meets with troops in Iraq (NECN: Iraq) – Barack Obama is getting his first on-the-ground inspection of Iraq. The Democratic presidential candidate met with troops on the ground in Iraq. His stop in Baghdad is the second major leg of a war zone tour that opened in Afghan…