March 3, 2008

"Clinton is pressed to say that Obama is not a Muslim. She does - but then she pulls it back."

Andrew Sullivan is looking at this video:



Here's the whole "60 Minutes" segment, which aired yesterday. Watching the short excerpt, I was inclined to minimize Clinton's "as far as I know," because it seemed as though Steve Kroft was using a technique of continuing to ask the same question until he extracted the quote that would make news. Clinton's initial response is completely appropriate, and, to my ear, it seemed as if the backing off in the end was a lawyerly precision about her lack of personal knowledge of the subject rather than a sly attempt to stimulate doubts.

But let's look at the whole context (at the end of the segment):

1. One seriously confused citizen, interviewed on camera, expresses the belief that Obama is a Muslim and says that's what he's "been told."

2. We see Barack Obama, interviewed by Kroft, who tells the candidate that something that's "popped up" on their "radar screen" — "not widespread" — is the idea that he is a Muslim. "60 Minutes" has skipped over any independent effort to trace the rumors. Kroft simply asks Obama: "Where's it coming from?" Obama says: "This has been a systematic email smear campaign that's been going on since actually very early in this campaign. Clearly, it's a deliberate effort by some group or somebody to generate this rumor."

3. "60 Minutes" shows the African garb photograph of Obama that, we're told, was on the internet and "attributed to people in the Clinton campaign."

4. Kroft informs us that "Senator Clinton denied any knowledge of it," and then we see Clinton talking not about the source of the rumors, but about whether she believes Obama is a Muslim. Her denials then come across as a little too smilingly cute and constrained. She doesn't know.

Now, I think this "60 Minutes" segment is very poor journalism. We're shown one ignorant man, told about rumors that are some unknown degree short of widespread, then treated to the statement of one candidate who asserts there is a "a systematic email smear campaign," followed by the statement that the one photo was "attributed to people in the Clinton campaign." What kind of reporting is that? Why don't you tell us the extent of the rumor, what was in the emails, and investigate the source? Why is there no following up on Obama's assertion that there is "a systematic email smear campaign"?

Instead, the Obama interview is edited to allow him the chance to profess his longstanding belief in Christianity and to say some magnanimous things about Muslims. Obama seems delightfully warm and flashes a beautiful smile. Hasn't he — with the help of "60 Minutes" — just slyly facilitated the rumor that the Clinton campaign is the source of the email?

Hillary Clinton has no way to know this is the set up, and her interview is cut to make it seem as though she's unwilling to squelch the rumor. But what exactly did she say about whether her campaign is the source of the email or the photograph? Did Kroft probe? It didn't make the edit. Maybe it wasn't punchy and entertaining enough, and maybe "60 Minutes" meant to leave her looking like the insincere face of an underhanded campaign.

ADDED: Mickey Kaus agrees with me:
It seems like mere reflexive politico-legal ass-covering on her part, not innuendo-spreading. If you're Hillary, you have to have learned not to make sweeping declarations of fact about things you can't really know--e.g., "Obama is not a Muslim"--without adding a caveat. Her sin, if any, was not realizing that this instance was an exception to the normal rule --an occasion where she'd be expected to make a sweeping declaration of fact about something she couldn't really know. And to do it on 60 Minutes--where smart politicians are normally primed be very cautious.
AND: There's room here to criticize Hillary for being too much of a lawyer, but there is also an argument that she is being distinctively Christian. It is a Christian point of view to see religion as something internal, known only to the individual and to God. You might go to church every Sunday and still not be a Christian, in Christian terms. Thus, if the question is whether someone else is a Christian, the most you can ever say is as far as I know. To claim to know more is to put yourself in the place of God.

119 comments:

Fen said...

Obama: it's a deliberate effort by some group or somebody to generate this rumor.

Her name is Lucy Ramirez. She gave 60 Minutes a memo which has not been proven to be a forgery.

Ann, at what point are corrupt information brokers scorned and ignored?

Fen said...

We're shown one ignorant man, told about rumors that are some unknown degree short of widespread

I'm skeptical that the "ignorant man" is even genuine.

Verso said...

The Nation magazine published an excellent story recently about the "off the radar" world of the right-wing email forward. This is the layer of collective Republican consciousness that exists below talk radio.

I personally know a dozen different people who have received that "Obama is a Muslim" email.

The New Right-Wing Smear Machine

Sloanasaurus said...

I thought Hillary was clear about it.

It is clear that Obama is not a Muslim. What is not clear is whether or not Obama has a certain attachment to another part of the world and culture that an American president should not have. Most of us blogging here can identify with most of our politicians' upbringings - i.e., they attended American grammer and high school, their parents were millworkers at a South Carolina mill, etc... Most, however, cannot identify with Obama's upbringing and that includes African Americans.

Ann Althouse said...

Verso, if that's the source, the HC was treated outrageously unfairly.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Hillary Clinton has no way to know this is the set up"

No, but she should have realized, it being 60 Minutes, that it was a set up.

Or maybe she's just used to being in the Obama role within the 60 Minutes paradigm, and had no way to know that they have a new fave?

George said...

The Muslim thing is meat for the groundlings.

The question is, re: the Rezko trial, was Obama just a clueless dupe for hostile foreign powers or worse?

What would you think if you learned that in 1944 Thomas Dewey, the GOP candidate against FDR, took $300,000 from a Brooklyn lobbyist (whom he knew was under FBI investigation) who got the money from a former top official of Hitler’s government living in Switzerland who had been convicted in Swiss courts of corruption and who was suspected of smuggling arms to the Nazis?

What would explain Dewey’s behavior? At one end of the spectrum, one might say it was just a mistake and no quid pro quo was involved. At the other end of the spectrum, one might say that Dewey was a traitor who took the money in return for unknown support of the Hitler regime.

Change the scenario.

In 2005, Sen. Obama bought a $1.65 million home for $300,000 less than the asking price in a deal with Tony Rezko, then under FBI investigation. Rezko was basically broke. Where did he get the money that helped Obama and himself? (At the same time, Rezko bought an empty lot next to Obama for $625,000.) Again, where did the money come from?

It came from billionaire Nadhmi Auchi, a former top Iraqi oil ministry official who had been convicted in France of political corruption charges and who the Pentagon believes was involved in Saddam’s ‘Oil for Food’ scandal. Oh, the Pentagon says he also smuggled weapons to Iraq. Auchi and Rezko did lots of Chicago real estate deals together. And Auchi and Obama met once at a Chicago hotel, according to Robert Novak.

And Rezko made 26 trips to the Middle East between 2002 and 2006. To places like Syria. That’s about five trips a year or one every two months. There are lots of things that can be said in Damascus behind closed doors that one might not want to say on cell phones or in emails.

Imagine, for a moment, American politics from the point of view of Arab leaders hostile to the United States. You are looking for American politicians who might, just might, be friendly to your interests. I’m not talking about spying, just being friendly. You want to cultivate this person over five, 10, 15, 20 years. He’s young. Clearly ambitious. Part of a big political machine. And, hamdulillah (Praise Allah), his father was Muslim. And his Christian priest holds friendly views. And he himself is sympathetic to us.

What, ladies and gentlemen, could be better?

Obama says his Rezko deal was “boneheaded.” Yes. But not necessarily so much the deal, it was the friendship itself with Rezko who was probably a spy for…Syria? Iraq?...that was stupid. The most charitable conclusion I can draw is Obama in his youth, inexperience, hubris, zeal to do right by his family, and disinclination to support the GOP and President Bush’s Middle East policies let himself get played, ensnared by sinister foreign interests far more insidious than he could imagine.

It’s a con game. First, you meet the mark, say nice things, then buy him dinner, then socialize more, then a gift for his children, some contributions, then you help him buy a home, and then after 20 years, maybe the mark reaches a position of influence in the American government, and by then you have some dirt on him that you can use. Maybe its just the relationship itself. But Rezko's handlers didn’t count on Rezko's getting arrested or that Obama would be so impatient for power. As the old saying goes, God smiles on fools, drunkards, and the United States.

This is my take on John Fund’s WSJ op-ed today. Fund doesn’t take it this far, but I think it’s the logical conclusion.

Hillary Clinton can't say the above because of all of her and her husband's sheisty dealings, so she's reduced to drivel about his being Muslim, and partly that's easy for the average Joe to grasp; the Rezko stuff, like Whitewater, is complex.

SteveR said...

While its easy to attach the "Obama is a Muslim" email train to a vast right wing conspiracy its more like the "government is going to tax email" rumor of several years ago. For obvious reasons it got a lot of traction and now its fuel for the failure of the inevitable one.

Sloanasaurus said...

George is right on. Obama would be a first choice for foreign influence, especially from arab-muslim countries, because of his background. With Obama, you could have a head start because he might be naturally sympathetic from a cultural point of view. In contrast, Hillary shares no culture with any foreign power.

Obama is a risk.

Verso said...

Ann referred to "One seriously confused citizen, interviewed on camera, expresses the belief that Obama is a Muslim and says that's what he's 'been told.'"

There really are a lot of people who believe he is a Muslim. By the time the Republicans are done with him, the belief he is a Muslim will be as widespread as the belief in early 2003 that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the September 11 attacks, or that he was working with Al Qaeda.

Here are some more Republicans who believe Barack Obama is a Muslim:

We Need God in Our Governments

Max said...

I'm a big Obama supporter, but that whole segment was so biased against Hillary I felt awful for her.

I especially liked the "question" Steve Kroft posed to Obama:

Q: So if you do well in Ohio or Texas, you're basically the nominee.

A: That's correct.

The Drill SGT said...

I think it is clear that Obama is a practicing Christian at this time. One can have issues with his choice of church and whether he selected that one as part of his political base building. But he is a Christian now.

However, it is fair to say a couple of other things on the issue as well:

1. I think it is likely that Barack Hussein Obama Sr. thought that Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was a Muslim at his birth. That is a tenet of Muslim faith as I understand it. It would be interesting to see what his Kenyan birth certificate says, but I doubt the Obama campaign will release that.

2. Just as clearly, when he living as a child in Indonesia, his Muslim father registered him as a Muslim at a school that offered Muslim religous training, which he attended. He also attended Mosque regularly as a child.

Does this make him a Muslim today. No. Does it mean he was never a Muslim. No again. It will be interesting to see what impact his apparent appostasy has on his reception in the Muslim world.

Verso said...

Ann said, Verso, if that's the source, the HC was treated outrageously unfairly.

Although I haven't had a chance yet to watch the full 60 Minutes report, I'm inclined to agree. I suppose it's theoretically possible that this rumor started with, or has been fueled by, the Clinton campaign, but I highly doubt it. I've seen that email flying around since late 2006, and in every case, it comes from a conservative and is sent to other conservatives.

The fact that a couple of low-level people in the Clinton Iowa campaign forwarded it in late 2007, however, allows Republicans to try to pin the entire thing on Hillary.

I talk politics with a lot of different people, and by and large, the liberals/Democrats have never even heard of this smear, while the conservatives not only have all heard it. It's just a common topic of conversation in conservative circles. It's one of the top strategies for destroying Barack Obama so that the Republicans can retain control of the White House. We ain't seen nothin', yet. We all better put on a rubber suit between now and November to protect ourselves from the toxic slime that will be spewed by conservative blog commenters, Fox News, talk radio, an the entire class of professional Republicans (pundits, politicians, party operatives, PR flacks, etc. etc. etc.)

fred said...

this site is getting closer and closer to Drudge-like innuendo and counter innuendo.

downtownlad said...

Obama is definitely a Muslim. This is not even up for debate. After all, his middle name is HUSEIN.

Huseim, Husein, Husein!

He's a Muslim I tell ya.

Verso said...

stever said, While its easy to attach the "Obama is a Muslim" email train to a vast right wing conspiracy its more like the "government is going to tax email" rumor of several years ago. For obvious reasons it got a lot of traction and now its fuel for the failure of the inevitable one.

Except that the email tax rumor was nonpartisan. You didn't have to be a REpublican or Democrat to forward it on to other people.

The Obama is a Muslim smear, however, mainly appeals to conservatives. That's who predominately reads it and that's who mainly forwards it. That's who is susceptible to believing it. It's a right-wing phenomenon. Sure, there are some low-intelligence liberals or Democrats who probably fall for it, too, or forward it once they've received it. But it circulates mainly in conservative circles.

How many people here have recieved it in their email?

Here is the Snopes page about it:

Who is Barack Obama?

AllenS said...

His middle name is Hussein. Learn to spell.

rhhardin said...

Whatever gets the best audience ratings gets reported, taking account of who their audience is.

News and journalism are far from the consideration, except as to the format, which is the presented marketing surface.

So deep questions of fair and unfair may be completely detached from what's happening.

One should probably always quote ``journalism'' lest somebody think you mean it. Has it ever been good?

ricpic said...

Accepting that Obama is not a muslim, the fact is his father was a muslim and he spent a very formative stage of his life, from age 6 to 10, in Indonesia.

Nothing illegitimate about this raising doubts in a voter's mind concerning his stance relative to radical Islam and to the Arab/Israeli conflict.

tony said...

i think you nailed it ann. i also think there is a difference between reading the transcript, and hearing clinton answer this question. thank you for posting the video.

Verso said...

The Drill SGT shows us how this is done. Nice work, Sarge. You've found a way to toe the line perfectly to spread the rumors while appearing to be fair and balanced.

Your characterization of his school is misleading, and by rhetorically asking "Does that mean he was never a Muslim?," then answering, "No," you are in effect calling Obama a liar: he has said he was never a Muslim.

As far as this conservative meme which you are spreading about the "tenet of the Muslim faith" which holds that Obama is a Muslim whether he knows it or not, I fail to see the point. Even if that's true, who cares? What could it possibly signify? It's just another clever way you and your kind will help to foster fear of Obama's secret Muslimness.

Very slimy.

Verso said...

Ricpic also shows us how it is done, with this priceless gem: "Nothing illegitimate about this raising doubts in a voter's mind concerning his stance relative to radical Islam..."

This is how it is being done, and they're just getting started. These are just the first tentative baby steps as they ramp up to the full smear.

Ricpic,
Since you want to talk about it, what do you think Obama's stance is relative to radical Islam? When has there ever been ANY suggestion that Obama has any connection at all to radical Islam? What could possibly justify raising doubts in voters' minds about his stance on it?

codepoet said...

I saw the whole thing too. And Clinton's dissembling was as transparent as glass!

Roger said...

Considering the 5 pillars of Islam require adherents to, among other things, pray five times a day and fast for an entire month, somehow either Senator Obama is at best apostate, or simply not a Muslim. And why is this even an issue?

I am aware that some of my wife's in-laws regularly receive right wing emailings--and I have little doubt there are not similar left-wing emailings. Probably the price of the internet.

downtownlad said...

But his father was a Muslim.

It's completely irrelevant that his father was an avowed atheist before Obama was born.

And it's irrelevant that his parents got divorced when Obama was two, and Obama never saw his father after that (save one visit).

That's all irrelevant. His middle name was Hussein. Therefore he's a member of Al Queada.

Sloanasaurus said...

But his father was a Muslim. It's completely irrelevant

Hillary needs to ask whether Obama is 100% culturally American or whether he has a cultural affinity to muslims in the middle east.

Obama has a different background than any other president or candidate. It's a fair question.

John Burgess said...

Now, I think this "60 Minutes" segment is very poor journalism.

This, any, all, and every segment of '60 Minutes' is poor journalism. Unless we're defining 'gotcha journalism' as good journalism.

Unfair edits, juxtapositions that leave unproved implications hanging in the air, and similar journalistic malpractices have caused smart people (not in need of national TV coverage) to just stay the hell away from '60 Minutes' cameras. Broadcasts, too, for that matter....

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Obama may not be a practising Muslim NOW, but he was raised as a Muslim by his Step-Father during the years when children form much of their core beliefs.

I said it before: If I were registered as a Catholic in school by my parents. Went to Catechism weekly for several hours on Saturday and attended Mass on Sunday from the age of 6 to 10. Wouldn't you be correct in saying that I was raised as a Catholic? Even though I don't go to church at this time, might you not make the claim that I have had Catholic training and viewpoints taught to me that might still resonate in my adult life?

You would. And the reason that you don't say the same about Barack Obama is due to pretzel bending political correctness.

The Media, who has taken it upon themselves to annoit the chosen candidate, are hiding information from us and distorting information so their "chosen one" will win. I think that Hillary was and is being unpleasantly confronted with the fact that SHE is no longer the chosen one and instead it is "He who shall not be middle named".*

*I can't take credit for that.. I think Iowa Hawk.

ricpic said...

It's legitimate to doubt how gung ho Obama would be about answering the next major Islamic terrorist attack -- which will come.

Roger said...

oops--"little doubt there are similar left-wing emailings...."

downtownlad said...

Actually Obama went to Catholic school during his "formative years". That's the deal breaker for me.

rcocean said...

Because the Republicans can't win on what McCain is for - he's the ultimate status quo/establishment Republican - they're going to spend the next 8 months spreading rumors that Obama is a black extremist and/or a Muslim.

And why doesn't 60 minutes hire Dan Rather to track down the source of the rumor? He's a fighter for truth AND he speaks truth to power - just like Lucy Ramirez.

Verso said...

I think the comments here in the Althouse blog are demonstrating quite nicely that a lot of conservatives are willing to entertain, play with, soft pedal, and otherwise promote either the outright belief in, or at least doubts regarding, Obama being a Muslim.

And remember: This is a moderate blog with moderate commenters.

Go to Free Republic and read some of the threads over there.

Part of the problem: One of the biggest drivers of conservative behavior is their hatred for liberals. They hate liberals so much that they feel the need to disagree with them about whatever they say. So, as the left-wing denials about Obama's Muslim faith escalate in coming months, so will conservative rebuttals. This will escalate like any other left-right divide, and to be considered a respectable conservative in four or five months, you will HAVE to indicate your suspicion about Obama's possible Islamic faith.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama may not be a practising Muslim NOW, but he was raised as a Muslim by his Step-Father during the years when children form much of their core beliefs.

Again, the religion part of it matters less than the cultural part. There are plenty of Christian Palestians that hate Israel as much as the next palestinian muslim. Obama, may be a Christian, but he has cultural muslim roots. Should we assume that he has shed these roots?

In contrast, Hillary has only American roots.

Adam Shields said...

Dusty Bunny Queen...you disprove your own point. Do you know that about 60-80 percent of students in Catholic schools are not Catholic. They attend mass have religious training, but even the Catholic church doesn't claim them. The issue for the parents is that the public schools are crap. My guess is that there was a similar issue for Barak's parents.

jendo89 said...

It's legitimate to doubt how gung ho Obama would be about answering the next major Islamic terrorist attack -- which will come.

Uh huh, and at the same time hammer him for saying he'd bomb known terrorists in a foreign country without begging for permission?

Neat trick.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

They hate liberals so much that they feel the need to disagree with them about whatever they say.

Ha Ha, your response is typical. You are just more evidence of critics on the left trying to stifle intellectual debate. You do it by rationalizing to some sort of emotion, racism, etc... You don't want to debate it so you just call your opponent a racist, like all good lefties.

Go read David Horowitz's Radical Son. He explains the roots of this typical criticism better than me.

Meade said...

"It's legitimate to doubt how gung ho Obama would be about answering the next major Islamic terrorist attack -- which will come."

Uh, ahem, excuse me? Maybe you haven't been listening. If Obama becomes our president there won't be a next Islamic terrorist attack.

Dude, try to keep up: Hope. Change.
Duh.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jendo89 said...

My italicizing disappeared -- the first line there is a direct quote of another posting -- not me!

jendo89 said...

It's legitimate to doubt how gung ho Obama would be about answering the next major Islamic terrorist attack -- which will come.

Uh huh, and at the same time hammer him for saying he'd bomb known terrorists in a foreign country without begging for permission?

Neat trick.

Pogo said...

Weird.

I am surprised that people take 60 Minutes or items coming out of CBS news as anything but fiction.

I quit watching them in about 1983, and haven't regretted it since. It took too much effort to separate the news from the bias from the outright bullshit, so I gave up trying.

If Hillary is stupid enough to give 60 Minutes the time of day, she's not smart enough to engineer NIG on some jammies, and way too gullible to be President.

Verso said...

Uh huh, and at the same time hammer him for saying he'd bomb known terrorists in a foreign country without begging for permission?

LOL, good point. But you know, they're throwing whatever they have at him.

A similar example is that he is both a secret communist and a radical Muslim.

I've been talking to a couple of friends who insist Obama is really a Bolshevik. Not just a communist, but specifically a Bolshevik. This because he says he wants "change from the bottom up," which apparently is something Bolsheviks used to say.

I guess I would just laugh if I didn't expect it to work. Republicans have proven they can get away with an amazing amount of bullshit.

Verso said...

LOL, from Dust Bunny's blog:

"Obama who may or may not be a Muslim raised by communistic anit-American parents and who is associated with an anti- Semetic and Black Separatist church."

Note that "may or may not be" is good enough for many people to not consider voting for Obama. They don't need to PROVE he's a Muslim, just raise doubts, as several commenters in this thread have done.

Henry said...

Ricpic (and to a lesser extent, Sloan and Drill Sgt.) -- it seems to me that you're just playing the flip side of the Israli-lobby single. You know the tune: the neocons are all Jewish and Joe Lieberman is Jewish, and they can't be trusted on their stance relative to the Arab/Israel conflict.

By all accounts, Obama's attitude toward Israel is that of a typical mainstream Democrat -- supportive of Israel, while dismayed about the plight of the Palestinians. The latter puts him well to the right of Jimmy Carter while the former is the default Democratic position.

The idea that you can draw any conclusions about a candidate based on the history of their pre-teen "formative" years is an identity-politics canard.

Rolling Stone is running a headline this month about McCain's "lust for war." Why not? He was born on a military base and spent his "formative" years on U.S. military bases. He must be hardwired for blood.

Liberals have created a mythology about Bush in which his invasion of Iraq is an Oedipal projection (when it's not the over-assertiveness of the recovering alcholic). Commentary on Obama's father's religion is just as idiotic and dishonest. You do yourselves and your conservative cause no favors by indulging in this line of guilt-by-assertion.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Actually Obama went to Catholic school during his "formative years". That's the deal breaker for me"

Yes. And while attending he was registered by his parents as Muslim and went to the equivalent of Islamic Catechism and attended the equivalent of Islamic Mass.

From the Baltimore Sun: "His former Roman Catholic and Muslim teachers, along with two people who were identified by Obama's grade-school teacher as childhood friends, say Obama was registered by his family as a Muslim at both schools he attended. That registration meant that during the third and fourth grades, Obama learned about Islam for two hours each week in religion class"

This doesn't make Obama a defacto Muslim, but it certainly means that he was raised with Muslim/Islamic conditioning for a period. To deny this is to be extremely disingenuous and possibly dangerous.

Adam: I do know that many non-Catholics attend Parochial schools for the quality of the education. If they attend Catechism classes at the same time they are also absorbing some of the tennants of the Church. Like it or not, small children are sponges who absorb EVERYTHING.

I don't think Obama is a practising Muslim. However, when you couple his Muslim upbringing with the radical anti-American, Black Separatist church that honors Farrakhan who represents the Nation of Islam that he attends, it is a much more worrisome issue.

Again....to be willfully blind to these things is indicative of a closed mind and/or stupidity.

John Lynch said...

It must be tough for Hillary to be treated like a Republican in the media.

Roger said...

Re evil rethugicans who mercilessly beat up on innocent democrats: I take it, Verso, you have never read the bile and vitrol that pervides Democraticunderground.com or daily Kos. Hate is just is not a right wing value; the left-wing/progressive types share it as well.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

They don't need to PROVE he's a Muslim, just raise doubts, as several commenters in this thread have done.

And Verso doesn't need to think or address the question or issue. Just type LOL.

Sloanasaurus said...

This because he says he wants "change from the bottom up," which apparently is something Bolsheviks used to say.

So far the change I understand that Obama wants is:

put more limitations on free trade

Raise taxes on anyone who had a tax cut under Bush's tax cuts.

Eliminate the social security cap.

Withdraw from Iraq.

Create a government health care insurance program.

Punish companies who move operations overseas (as opposed to encourage companies from overseas to move here).

Engage in talks with murderous dictators.

Are there more....

Broken Yogi said...

Guys, you are either total morons, or total propagandists.

Obama's father was raised a muslim, but became an atheist, or at least an agnostic, before Obama was born. It was his step-father who was Muslim, but Obama himself was never raised as one. His mother was a detached Christian, not a member of any particular church, and she exposed him to all kinds of religions, from Buddhism to Shintoism to Chinese religion to native Hawaian religion while he grew up. She tried not to impose any religious views on him as a child, but wanted to expose him to the full range, and decide for himself. As an adult, he chose to become a Christian, and has been one for over 20 years.

PatCA said...

No, he's not a Muslim. He is though our most liberal and far left senator, if you look at his college, work, and political careers, and his 20-plus years with an Afrocentric church that's kind of Farhakany.

I would add to George's analysis, what were Obama's advisers doing in Syria lately? http://www.nysun.com/article/71123

The question is really what foreign leaders think of him, how they will use him to get what they want, how he will respond. That's a lot more scary than how he was brought up.

Mark said...

I am not going to try defend 60 Minutes journalistic standards as to the entire piece. But the notion that Hilary was innocently involved in a set up in which the interviewer asks the same question repeatedly until he gets a juicy quote strains credulity. Hilary knew exactly where these questions were going from the outset and, as a lawyer, knows how to give an unequivocal response. Moreover, her answer "not as far as I know" is the sort of qualification someone gives as a witness in a proceeding when she wants to leave open the possibility that if the fact at issue is proven, she was innocently unaware of it. Its the kind of response that in this context Hilary might claim she was justified in giving, on the premise that one must be carful to give accurate information. But it was not a qualification that was in any way necessary in this context and in reality only serves to suggest that what is suggsted may be true. Too much can be made of these things in the heat of battle, and it is posible that her qualification was reflexive, but at a gut level, I am not convinced. If she wanted to take this issue off the table, she easily could have done so. She didn't and her response unfortunately seems calculated to keep the issue alive.

George said...

Can the Muslim crap.

Like Woodward and Bernstein said....Follow the money.

Sen. Obama was befriended by Rezko who between 2002 and 2006 made 26 trips to Syria (and other Mid East nations with whom we have no extradition treaties).

He lets Rezko help him shave $300,000 off the purchase price of his home (next door to Rezko's own $600,000 lot).

When Obama does the transaction he knows that Rezko is under FBI investigation.

What's more, the money came from a corrupt former Saddam official (a billionaire convicted on corruption charges in France who the Pentagon thinks smuggled arms to Iraq), and Obama met that man a Chicago hotel.

Something going on is funny here.

Obama calls it a "boneheaded" mistake.

When was the last time a possible Syrian-backed influence peddler financed with Saddam Hussein's money helped you buy a $1.6 million house?

Please, Sen. Clinton, stay in the race.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I take it, Verso, you have never read the bile and vitrol that pervides Democraticunderground.com or daily Kos. Hate is just is not a right wing value; the left-wing/progressive types share it as well.

Its not bile if you actually believe what those on the 'progressive' side thinks.

After all, Verso gets his knickers in a twist over some Obama=Muslim email but I'm wondering what he thinks of all the nutball theorists who believe that Bush personally wired the WTC with C4 so we could invade Iraq to quench our thirst for oil and Muslim blood.

So far Verso, the only ones 'smearing' Obama seem to be coming from the Democrat camp. Considering Hill and Bill are doing such a good job, the GOP doesn't probably feel the need to get in the way.

Meade said...

"As an adult, he chose to become a Christian, and has been one for over 20 years."

Hold on. "Chose?" "To become?"

Haven't we already had such so-called "born again" Christians as president?

Carter? Clinton? Bush?

How did THOSE work out?

Kryptec said...

I must confess I'm fascinated. What would constitute or be defined as 100% culturally American? Would it be someone who was born and raised for a short time in Central America before moving here? Would it be a person who attended school in Great Britain during early adulthood? Are children raised in Little Saigon in Orange County, CA as culturally American as someone raised in a extended Cajun family in Houma, LA or perhaps a Amish family living in Southeastern, Ohio?

PatCA said...

Kryptec,
Your question is the subject of millions of words generated by university papers the nation over. If the haute monde can question American identity, I think the electorate can too.

And what about Obama's ties to his politically active family in Kenya? Is that worth asking about, or is that racist? http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2008/03/obamas-militant-muslim-brother-abongo.html

howzerdo said...

Verso, I have received the email twice. Once from a very vocal Clinton supporter, once from someone I assume is going to vote for McCain (I write assume because the email was forwarded before it was obvious that he would be the nominee - also we've never discussed 2008 voting preferences - but in the past this person has voted GOP). Regardless, what these two folks have in common is that they forward a lot of email urban legends and cutesy crap to everyone in their address books, and they never check snopes first.

Kathy said...

sloanasaurus wrote:
Most of us blogging here can identify with most of our politicians' upbringings - i.e., they attended American grammer and high school, their parents were millworkers at a South Carolina mill, etc... Most, however, cannot identify with Obama's upbringing and that includes African Americans.

I was brought up in a European family: my father was Dutch, born and raised in the Netherlands; my mother was French, born in Paris and raised in France and Belgium, until she fled the Nazi menace in 1939 with her father and brother.

Unlike Obama, who is first-generation American only on his father's side, I am first generation on both parents' sides. I was raised in a family with European cultural and historical sensibilities. My parents did not attend American grammar or high schools, or work in a South Carolina mill.

Can you identify with MY background?

Patm said...

I can't stand Hillary Clinton but I think she was being straight up there. This stinks of a set up.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I must confess I'm fascinated. What would constitute or be defined as 100% culturally American?

I guess it depends on the individual. A child raised in Little Saigon could probably be as culturally American as one raised in Xena OH. It simply depends on whether the individual assimilates as an American or chooses to live culturally as a Vietnamese who simply happens to live in the US. One can be born and raised red-blooded American and disavow everything being an American stands for.

Fen said...

Verso: The Nation magazine published an excellent story recently about the "off the radar" world of the right-wing email forward.

The Nation? Ha. Love the way you're trying to attach Hillary's smear campaign to the right-wing. Typical of your partisan bullshit.

Drill Sgt is spot on: my parents raised me as a Methodist. When I came of age, I exercised choice and left the church. Obama is the same. No one thinks he's a Muslim now simply because he may have been raised as one by his parents.

Keep deflecting Verso. Its entertaining.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I was brought up in a European family: my father was Dutch, born and raised in the Netherlands; my mother was French, born in Paris and raised in France and Belgium, until she fled the Nazi menace in 1939 with her father and brother.

That's interesting because most of the people fleeing the Nazi menance in 1939 were Poles. I didn't think many people in France were anticipating a need to flee prior to France surrendering in June 1940.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My Mother was Irish Catholic, father raised as a Quaker but non-committal to any religion. I learned about Quakerism from my Grandmother and Catholcism from my Mother.

Father's family lived in Mexico as legal residents for 25 years. I was Baptized in Gaualalupe and lived in Mexico City and Taxco for several years as a child (about the same age as Obama in Indonesia) and spent every summer there through high school.

Most of my in-law relatives (married to my Aunts and Uncles) are first or second generation immigrants or those who still live in their native countries: Mexico, Argentina (of Italian heritage),Japan and an Aunt from Germany who's father was a Brown Shirt in Hitler's Germany. My Grandfather on my Father's side was a first generation Welsh immigrant who spoke no English. Family reunions are interesing.

Can anyone identify with my upbringing?

All of these childhood experiences and family influences shape the adult. Why are we so timid about attempting to "know" what shaped Obama and how those core beliefs might affect the man?

Polictial correctness.

Fen said...

Sorry, anytime someone mentions The Nation, I remember Katrina Van Whats-Her-Name pursing her lips to enunciate "Pro-cess"

Prah. Cess.

Hysterical.

Adam Shields said...

Dust bunny, it is not about political correctness as much as fear-mongering. If Obama went to catholic school the issue would be mute. But there is this fear that he might be a "muslim" (insert scary music here). It is very similar to the communist baiting that was happening around the 1950s. It was not about communism then it was about fear and the power that comes from scaring people into believing in you. That is what is going on now. So if the question is, how has your childhood influenced you. Then yes it should be an open question. And really it is one that has been written about by him fairly extensively. But it if about "how has your muslim background influenced your secret desire to assist terrorists?" then no, we should resist that type of politics strongly. That is not political correctness.

MadisonMan said...

Why are we so timid about attempting to "know" what shaped Obama and how those core beliefs might affect the man?

Because our everyday experiences tell us that such things don't matter a lot. Because in America, people are valued on what they've done themselves, and on how they've moved beyond the restrictions of their family and youth.

DWPittelli said...

This past week we've seen a fairly major frontal assault by opinion-makers about regret that we might be stuck with Obama, when we really don't know what kind of vicious attacks the Republicans will make on him -- the things way too nasty for Clinton's people ever to bring up, because you know they've only been going with the weaker material, because they're that virtuous -- and besides, have you heard of Rezko? And won't the Republicans take advantage of the fact that Obama hates America, and is really kind of foreign himself, and wayyy too sensitive about the race issue?

Obama's association with Rezko is easily almost half as fishy as the Clinton's with Norman Hsu, and you know the Republicans will have a field day with Obama's questionable associations, which will hit him ten times as hard, because really, all Obama has going for him is that he is putatively not the old sleazy type of politician, whereas with the case of pardons for donations, pardons for FLN terrorists for votes, pardons for larcenous community leaders for votes, pardons for $100,000 payments made to two of Hillary Clinton's brothers, and lobbying for Kazakh uranium contracts for $10 million contributions -- there's just no way the Republicans could use that old news against Hillary -- let alone the really old news which Hillary has actually had to answer questions about, like the $100,000 commodities payoff, and her legal work furthering the Whitewater scam.

Yes, in the fall it will be the Clintons who will be wearing the teflon.
Because we already know who we're dealing with when it comes to the Clintons.

She's just too tested. And all evidence from the primary to the contrary (you know, poor strategy, wasted money, tin ear), we all know it's Hillary that can go up against John McCain in the general election.

And did I mention that she's been tested -- as only the wife of a President Clinton could be?

And that, having been "mislead" by Bush into voting for giving war a chance, Hillary is just the one to be trusted with pulling us out of it? And that, having screwed up politically and legally on health care and then losing the Congress to the Republicans, we know that only Hillary has the wisdom of experience to do it again, to completion this time?

Fen said...

it is not about political correctness as much as fear-mongering

/via Don Surber

Fear mongering. It is Barack Obama’s answer to everything.

What was the Obama camp’s reaction to a picture he posed for of him in a turban that popped up on the Internet?

“Fear mongering"

And what was Mrs. Obama’s reaction to people using the middle name his mama gave him?

“Fear mongering"

And what was Obama’s reaction to Clinton’s newest ad that does not even mention the senator’s name?

“Fear mongering"

What did Obama tell the good people of Myrtle Beach?

“We’ve got to overcome the politics of fear in this country.”

Thomas said...

George: You are on patently false ground with your claims about Obama and Rezko here.

To sum up, he had no such "deal" with Rezko regarding his home purchase. He purchased some of Rezko's $600,000 lot (for around 125k) from Rezko so that his house would have a little bit more space between him and Rezko's impending development. That is the deal that Obama is on record as having said was bone-headed.

Obama purchased for slightly below the asking price (300k on a 1.6 M house is no great mark-down) because it had been on the market for a long time, the seller had moved away and wanted to finish the sale. Everybody makes hay of the fact that Obama and Rezko closed on the separate purchases on the same day, but that was only because the seller had to be in town for the closing, and demanded the closings be on the same day.

George- your whole line of thought is so ill-researched and spurious as to appear (if not truly be) a partisan fabrication.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If Obama went to catholic school the issue would be mute.

Which is why so many Catholics have been elected President.

Sloanasaurus said...

If I were Obama, I would use my upbriging as an advantage. I would say, "yeah I was raised in a Muslim environment. That gives me an advantage because Muslim countries might trust me more....etc... in reaching an accord with Israel. It could be like a Nixon going to China or LBJ pushing through Civil Rights moment.

Obama isn't doing that though. He is running away from it.

George said...

Thomas:

Why did Sen. Obama try to help a Baathist Iraqi (and his American friends) try to rip off the Iraqi people (and the US government) in 2005 and 2006? Was it because he favored Rezko's commercial ties to the detriment of American interests and the new Iraqi government?

What's below comes from a badly written article in Human Events magazine. I've tried to reorganize some of the grafs so that the story makes more sense........

"After [Iraq's Minister of Electricity Aiham] Alsammarae left his ministry post in 2005, he was reported that summer to be forming a Sunni political organization with participation by insurgents, some of whom threatened in public declarations to murder him. An intelligence analyst with knowledge of Syria commented that this episode may illustrate Mr. Alsammarae's then-strong, active links to the Baathist elite in exile in Syria, who have been a major source of money and operations to the Iraqi insurgency these last years; and that Mr. Alsammarae's freelancing rankled the so-called foreign elements in the insurgency....

"[Alsammarae] stole $650 million from the people of Iraq, and from the people of the United States, and he was tried and convicted in an Iraqi court in October 2006 for his crimes...He plundered the Ministry of Electricity. Dates, bank accounts, dummy companies, a lot of them in the States. [The Iraqi government] wants him, and we want the money back...

Why is what Mr. Alsammarae knows important to [the Rezko trial] as well as to political observers? An Iraqi politician with extensive knowledge of the Iraqi diaspora before and after the fall of Baghdad explains, "Aiham Alsammarae is the weakest link in the chain of people who stole money from the CPA and the Iraqi people since 2003. The evidence against him is strong and convincing. His conviction is a problem for the people in his gang. The Baathists." An Iraqi official with knowledge of the case agreed, commenting, "Baathists are like a cult. Viscious sons-of-guns. They don't talk."...

Mr. Alsammarae is said to have enjoyed a strong link, dating back to his Baathist youth in Iraq, to Wafiq al-Samarrai, the head of military intelligence in Saddam Hussein's army. Wafiq al-Samarrai is also reported to have been a Baathist official secretly linked to pre-war American intelligence. After the fall of Saddam, Wafiq al-Samarrai was an aide to President Talibani until he was identified in the Saddam trial as involved in the gassing of the Kurds; he vanished into Syria....

"Does Senator Obama know that, through his unfortunate association with Mr. Rezko, he was once exposed to grand larceny at the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity [by Mr. Alsammarae]?....

in April 2005, one month before Mr. Alsammarae left his post, his Ministry of Electricity signed a contract for $50 million with Companion Security to provide training to Iraqis to guard electrical plants by flying them to Illinois for classes....

Companion Security was headed by a former Chicago policeman with a troubled history, Daniel T. Frawley, in partnership with Mr. Rezko and in association with Daniel Mahru, the lawyer for the original contract and Mr. Rezko's former business partner. In April 2006, Mr. Frawley entered negotiations with Governor Rod Blagojevich's staff to lease a military facility in Illinois to be a training camp. In August 2006, Mr. Frawley started negotiations with Mr. Obama's U.S. Senate staff to complete the contract.

The discussions with Mr. Obama's staff continued over many months, including e-mails and conferences with an Obama staffer, Seamus Ahern. Questions raised by this contact go to the issue of whether or not Mr. Obama ever favored Mr. Rezko's commercial ties. Mr. Obama has said often that he performed no favors for Mr. Rezko.

The timeline of Companion discussions in 2006 is important to note: April 2006 Frawley speaks to governor's office; August 2006 Frawley speaks to senator's office; October 2006 indictment of Rezko revealed; October 2006 Rezko arrested upon return from Syria; October 2006 Alsammarae convicted in Baghdad and makes his first escape attempt; December 2006 Alsammarae escapes from Baghdad.

Did Mr. Obama's staff and Governor Blagojevich's staff not know how these events related to their discussions with Mr. Frawley? Importantly both Governor Blagojevich's office and Mr. Obama's office later explained they did not know of the link between Mr. Frawley and Mr. Rezko. Senate staffs are expected to perform due diligence on inquiries, such as is this matter about campaign contributions or unsavory activity. What was the nature of Mr Obama's staff's inquiry into the Ilinois resident Mr. Frawley's ability to secure a contract with the CPA's Ministry of Electricity in Bagdad from April, 2005?...

tituspleay said...

Interesting story I have about Clinton fellow republicans which confirms what Althouse wrote on this blog awhile back.

I went to Providence Rhode Island last Saturday last minute to visit a friend. It is a fairly short trip from NYC.

If you haven't been to Providence go. It is really a great little city. The club scene is really quite good for a small city and they have tons of strip joints.

So I went out with my friend to a club called Dark Lady which was a big drag queen bar. And when I mean big drag queen bar I mean the drag queens were really tall. The place was having a huge party for Hilary for President. The queens love the bitch.

Next I went to a place called The Eagle. Does every city have a gay bar named the Eagle? They actually deliver pizza during the evening to the patrons. The crowd scarfed the pizza down. In NYC that would be a sin. None of the queens in NYC would be seen eating a slice of pizza in a bar but I digress.

There was a queen there registering voters as well as another queen handing out Hilary pins and Hilary signs in between the faux western fences at this "western" bar...in Providence.

I starting speaking with the Hilary pin dispenser. She offered me a pin and I said no and she said you are not a republican and I calmed her down and said no. She is from NYC and has traveled all over the country during the election to hand out Hilary pins at gay bars during elections in each state and gets paid for it. I could do that but I would probably lose the pins and just find hog. She told me that 1/2 of Hilary's staff is gay and that she will be the next "gay president" as if we need that.

The interesting thing is that while talking to many of the Providence men and drag queens all of them were voting for Hilary. I could not find one draq queen or gay man voting for anyone else.

I also went to 4 other gay bars while there and it was gay Hilary Mania. Hilary signs, tshirts that said Hot for Hilary, a bartender actually had Hilary painted on his chest. I was like this isn't Madonna we are talking about girls.

So I guess Hilary has the draq queen vote and the gay vote.

I know she got the gay vote in NYC big time and that actually is a large population. Not sure how big the gay population is in Providence but from my experience there it seemed like a pretty gay city for such a little city.

Oh and I was propositioned 6 times and saw a guy I did when I lived in Boston who was begging me to go back to his house in Cranston-isn't that the city where The Family Guy is supposed to live? I was like enough of this Hilary bullshit I need to be seeing how my stock is doing and thankfully it surged in the Renaissance City.

Thanks and have a great day.

Middle Class Guy said...

verso said...
Part of the problem: One of the biggest drivers of conservative behavior is their hatred for liberals. They hate liberals so much that they feel the need to disagree with them about whatever they say.


Oh, and the Liberals are so loving toward their Conservative bretheren? You seem to ignore the virulent hatred of the liberals that borders on criminal insanity.

There is hatred on both sides verso. The hatred is being fed by the radicals and estremists of the parties and it has infected all rational and objective debate.

If this election would have done one positive thing, it would have destroyed the two parties. Unfortunatly, we are stuck again with two parties that have nothing to offer.

The Drill SGT said...

Thomas said...
George: You are on patently false ground with your claims about Obama and Rezko here.


what I find curious is that Mrs Rezko bought the lot in the first place and paid 600k.

As I look at MSNBC video, it is clear to me that:

The Rezko lot is in fact the back yard of Obama's house. The only way to get to it is across Obama's land.

Then I understand that Rezko sold a 100k chunk to Obama, and that makes the resultant lot to small to build on even if you could get an easement across Obama's lawn.

so the question is: Why did Rezko buy the lot other than as a gift to Obama?

inquiring minds want to know.

tituspleay said...

Oh and of course there was a Hilary draq queen in Providence walking around the bar shaking the gays hands.

She was there with the Chelsea draq queen and they were holding hands.

tituspleay said...

Also I found out the mayor of Providence is a big gay.

That's a gay city.

tituspleay said...

I think the media could bring up anything on Obama and it won't stick.

Hilary has tried and it isn't happening.

He could be labeled a muslim, wacko liberal, anti american, anti semite, flap pin non wearer, Koran swearing drug dealer-which I guess he has and people really don't give a shit.

They like him anyway.

Good luck to John Mccain and the RNC and all the 527's- they have their work cut out for them.

Revenant said...

60 Minutes has always been a tabloid journalism show. People just didn't realize it before the internet made information more widely available.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't think that the real issue is whether Obama is Muslim or not. There is no reason to believe he is, and all evidence points to him being Christian.

BUT, the real issue I see is his loyalties. We are at war right now with several different strands of militant Islam. To an extent, his position right now is similar to that of the Japanese-Americans during WWII, and German-Americans, at least during WWI, and to a much lesser extent (given their assimilation) during WWII. It is mostly a question of his sympathies. Is he too sympathetic with Muslims? Esp. militant ones? Is his anti-war stand based on his somewhat Islamic upbringing? Or on general principles? What would he do if president in response to another 9/11 style or level attack?

This is part of why Obama's Rezko, and through Rezko, Auchi connections are so problematic. Did Obama benefit financially from Auchi's Iraqi Oil for Food grafting?

Also, Obama appears to be taking a much more pro-Palestinian position on Israel. Is part of that due to pro-Islamic feelings due to his quasi-Islamic upbringing?

As to the fund raising, etc. scandals though, the Hillary! campaign is not in any better shape. The Clintons have repeatedly found themselves taking large bundled contributions from Chinese, some of which seem to have come straight from the PRC. Combine that with the appearance of giving away state secrets to the PRC during her husband's Administration, and you have just as dirty looking scandal.

What I can't figure out though is why these Democrats are so insensitive to the problem of taking contributions from our foreign enemies. Most politicians at the national level have to take contributions wherever they can, and there are often apparent conflicts of interest involved. But it is worse, at least for me, when those making the contributions are closely allied with our enemies.

Fen said...

Good luck to John Mccain and the RNC and all the 527's- they have their work cut out for them.

Not really. Who said:

the United States is not in a position to invade Iran, but missile strikes might be a viable option - Barack Milhouse Obama, 2004

[bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran]

if President Pervez Musharraf were to lose power in a coup, the United States similarly might have to consider military action in that country to destroy nuclear weapons it already possesses. - Barack Milhouse Obama, 2004.

[bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Pakistan]

my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman - Barack Milhouse Obama 2004

Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more up front. - Barack Milhouse Obama

via http://sweetness-light.com/archive/obama-was-for-hitting-iran-against-gay-marriage

And I'm not even on the op research team.

George said...

Titus—

You may be right.

Consider the April 2007 $3,500,000 wire transfer Rezko got from Beirut that was “routed in ways that avoided his personal accounts.”

This is according to prosecutor Fitzgerald’s motion to have Rezko confined. (Page 4, bottom)

(Here a weird little tidbit…Rezko also owns property next door to a partner at the law firm that represents him. Is that a pattern or what? Talk about getting close to your American friends.

Who sent the money? Iraqi billionaire Auchi, the former Saddam Hussein associate who the Pentagon thinks was his arms smuggler and money launderer.

I also find on the front page of today’s USA TODAY….US pursues Iraqis on charges of Saddam-era spying.

“Federal prosecutors are using documents seized from Iraq's intelligence ministry and other government buildings in at least a dozen spy cases against alleged Iraqi agents operating in the USA during the Saddam Hussein era.
The Justice Department has not brought charges against so many foreign agents from a single nation since the Cold War days, says Ken Wainstein, head of the department's national security division. The quiet prosecutions reveal a little-known aspect of Saddam's regime and his desire to control opposition groups in the USA.”

Now, ask yourself, what does Syria export? Minivans? Xbox games? Machine tools? No. Is it possible that it exports spies? Sleepers, too, maybe.

Where is Rezko from? Aleppo. Syria.

Middle Class Guy said...

tituspleay said...
Oh and of course there was a Hilary draq queen in Providence walking around the bar shaking the gays hands.

She was there with the Chelsea draq queen and they were holding hands.



Was the Hillary DQ pimping out the Chelsea DQ?

Sloanasaurus said...

so the question is: Why did Rezko buy the lot other than as a gift to Obama?

The answer is that Obama got an expensive favor because he was a U.S. Senator. Normal people don't have influential land barons doing these kinds of favors for them. When it was happening, Obama could have turned it down. He didn't. Now Obama says he made a mistake - he says that because he got caught. It was a mistake that someone with good JUDGMENT would not have made. Senators are not supposed to be using their office to get these kinds of personal favors. This is no free ticket to a baseball game either. This is big $$. Obama should have known better - he should have taken his office more seriously.

Kathy said...

I didn't think many people in France were anticipating a need to flee prior to France surrendering in June 1940.

That might be true; I haven't researched the countries where Jews were fleeing from prior to 1940 (or at all), so I don't know. Very few Jews were allowed into this country at any time before or during WWII, anyway, regardless of what country they came from.

That said, my maternal grandfather was unquestionably more farsighted about what was about to happen, or what was starting to happen, than probably most Jews were at that time, of any nationality. I think he definitely saw it clearly much sooner than most European Jews did.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That said, my maternal grandfather was unquestionably more farsighted about what was about to happen, or what was starting to happen, than probably most Jews were at that time, of any nationality. I think he definitely saw it clearly much sooner than most European Jews did.

That's interesting. I had heard there was a fair amount of anti-Semitism in France at the time but not to the extent that Jews there felt the need to flee. That said, your maternal grandfather was probably mor prophetic than farsighted as absolutely no one would have imagined that France would have been beaten by the Germans, much less capitulate in six weeks as it turned out.

Fen said...

she fled the Nazi menace in 1939 with her father and brother... my maternal grandfather was unquestionably more farsighted about what was about to happen

The French/British betrayal of the Czechs at Munich was Sept 30, 1938. I wonder what your grandfather thought of that, and if it was the catalyst that motivated him to move.

Middle Class Guy said...

If Hillary Clinton and all the Clintonistas what to bring up rezko, than it is only fair to bring up Hillary's clients.

Jim McDougal ring a bell? He makes Rezko look clean as a whistle.

Fen said...

then it is only fair to bring up Hillary's clients.

But remember, Obama is supposed to be different, above all the partisan spite and typical corruption.

tituspleay said...

Actually if there was proof in Obama's past that he did a guy and that guy came forward that may do him it in.

It would be hot but he would probably be done.

tituspleay said...

If Obama had any gay inklings but has not acted upon them I would be willing to act with him.

I will promise to be discreet and keep it as our own little secret.

I am very shy and private so he can know that it won't go any further than just he and I.

All of the stress of the campaign may be getting to him and if he needs a little gay release I am there for him.

tituspleay said...

You won't see me on CNN like that whore who did Ted Haggard.

A camera may follow me out of my fabulous loft but I will be wearing my Jackie O sun glasses and scarf as I rush to the cab and say no comment.

tituspleay said...

When I leave the Yoga studio with my Yoga Mat and am drinking my Protein Shake my friends will guard with me their Yoga mats (from the prying cameras) but not uttering a word.

That is how loyal I will be regarding my sexual experience with Obama if I ever have the opportunity.

tituspleay said...

And finally when I am at Marc Jacobs looking for the perfect blouse to wear and Fox News Bill O'Reilly barges in with his cameras (hopefully getting a statement from me about my hopeful sexual experience with Barack) I will have my faithful sales queens at Marc Jacobs rush him and protect me with the new Marc Jacobs spring raincoat as I exit the back door which I then forget to give back to them.

former law student said...

Other Rezko dupes, according to wikipedia. I agree these people have suspicious involvements in the Middle East which should be investigated, especially the last dupe listed. For obvious reasons, HRC cannot harp on the Rezko-Bill Clinton connection:

Democrat Dupes [6],
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich,[7] Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Comptroller Dan Hynes, former Cook County Board President John Stroger, and Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

Republican Dupes:
former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar,
George W. Bush (Rezco co-chaired a megamillion-dollar fund-raiser for W. in 2003.[8])

Rezko made 26 trips to the Middle East between 2002 and 2006. To places like Syria.

Rezko was Syrian, for pete's sake. Don't you ever go back to your home town, to see Grandma, at least?

Also note that Rezko's former development partner was a Jew, Dan Mahru, in a no doubt sinister sounding Arab-Jew connection.

And it is possible to buy a house below the asking price. I have done it myself, without the aid of a sinister Oriental developer.

Rezko's wife bought the adjacent lot, the former side yard of the house. The sellers of the house subdivided their property into the two lots. The side yard fronts on the same street as the Obamas' house, according to the Google earth map used by ABC news. The Obamas bought a tenfoot wide strip of the side yard, which measured 7500 square feet.

Pogo said...

Are there any honest Illinois pols?

Meade said...

Wow. What an eye-opening day. First we find that Titus isn't, in fact, a real fellow Republican; he's been, I don't know, GOOFIN' with us or something. But then why would he do that?

Then it turns out, not only does he DO back doors, he STEALS them from copy cat fashion designers.

People, we have been manipulated by a pseudonymous internet blog commenter. In America. How could that be allowed to happen?

Personally, I'm rattled. My faith in the simple veracity of my fellow man has been shaken. It even has me wondering whether Jesus, I mean, Barak or ANY of these politicians really are who they say they are. Turns out Hillary's a drag queen. I didn't know that. Why has 60 Minutes been keeping that a secret? What next? McCain isn't really a hundred years old; he's only 70?

I need a drink.

Cedarford said...

Adam Shields - Dust bunny, it is not about political correctness as much as fear-mongering. If Obama went to catholic school the issue would be mute.

Well, if you are Catholic or have Catholio roots, you have many barriers to leap before you are accepted by Democrats as a member in good standing. Mainly rejecting church doctrine on life, homosexuality, what is sinful, the nature of charity vs. government coercion of welfare funding, the existance of good and evil.
The long running joke on Teddy Kennedy is he backed off his Catholicism so much by saying he would only keep is beliefs deep and personal to himself that even he has forgotten what they are - so deep and private within him as they are.

Catholics also face a lesser sort of questioning from Southern Fundies.

And Jews running for office about transnationalism, loyalty to Israel if any nation at all, avarice, and past family ties to communism.

Obama has many issues about Islam that will not go away, especially since Obama raised those ties as a reason "he gets" other cultures in a way no American of more pedestrian background does...

****************
The problem of Obama is that the fawning media that craves a 1st Black President to fulfill their Identity Politics needs have given him a pass on several influences. The Hillary people have blundered, but even has the race card or Islamophobia card was thrown back at them by the PC crowd - most Democrats on the Left think any questioning on what they call the "postive diversity" of minority voices is unthinkable.

Afrocentrics, Hard Left Jews of red dioper backgrounds, Muslim sugardaddies, Black Muslims, anti-American terrorists of the 60s? They would still defend Obama mindlessly and call questioning his background "attacking welcome diversity"

So we have any question about Obama thrown instantly back on people as unwarranted, bigoted, racist attacks! Which does stifle and intimidate Clintonites and the Dems - but which will not work in the General election.

Where the following matters will be raised:

1. His Muslim background. Not just childhood, but his request to have a Muslim roomate in college (a Pakistani), and his long relations with elements of Farrakans black muslims inc. having two in high places (Treasurer and staff hiring manager) in his Senate run that had to resign when his Jewish sugarmommas and daddies raised questions.

2. His speech being requested by a former SDS member, Marilyn Katz, to be given at an antiwar rally led by Jesse Jackson. A rally attended by noted 60s radicals, even former terrorists Bill Ayer and Bernadette Dohrn. A speech that was basically the same speech given globally by others in Oct 2002 of "superior judgement" like Vladimir Putin, Jacques de Villepin, Kofi & His Kabal of bribed UN officials calling it a unwise, dumb war. Saddam Hussein and Ayman al-Zawahiri who also framed it as a bad idea. And the usual suspects on the Left that agreed with Obama's superior judgement out of idealogy, not facts...(which Obama later said he didn't have and might have voted differently in the Senate).

3. Obama's mansion being paid for in part by an Iraqi Sunni Muslim with ties to Saddam.

4. His insistance that his adult reconnection with his Muslim Luo tribe gave him a deep insight and wisdom to work well and get along with Africans and understand their needs. Statements made before his Luo cousins began locking the Christian Kyiuko tribe in Kenya up in churches and setting them on fire. Listen to the wisdom of the Luos! I know them. They will guide my harmonious relations with Africans through the deep insight they give me!

5. Obama's long ties to his church and the Black Muslim's afrocentrism. Not just spiritually, but in projects.

6. Obama was funded from his earliest intimations of running for Senate by powerful Jewish billionaires on the Left that are eager to do business in the Islamic world, are in the Petrodollar investment game, or who at least see the Muslim threat as solved by less "imperialism". Penny Pritzker, Bettylu Saltzman, the Crown Family, Sumner Redstone, Goldman Sachs managing partners. When one "follows the money" of anyone running for President, the path leads back to Enron and similar entities. So what is it they want that they thought only Obama had? We will learn.

7. Obama's past as a "community organizer" has not gotten any play other than gushing press and Dem activist play on how "noble it was" Obama fought for people rather than "sold out" for a good-paying 9 to 5 job.
But with the main election, the bulk of the population wil again be reminded that the main goal of "minority community organizers" is to get the money of people that do pay taxes and redistribute it "for free" for those that pay no taxes.
And community activists and organizers are known to use not just persuasion, but subtle or overt acts of intimidation, protest, threat of lawsuits, riots, and "the people's retaliation" as told to vote - to get that "free" money. From local taxes, from state tax increases, from Feds for both programs and funds to put activists in well-paying jobs. And or corporate shakedowns - like U of Chicago thinking "community relations" in a heavily black area is important enough to hire blacks with clout from Mayor washington's staff who will - for the right money for such "non-sellouts" - have U of Chicagos back - protection money. People like VP of community affairs Michelle Obama, who was paid 319,000 a year in part to ensure that U of Chicago people and property stayed safe.
It is worth noting that thanks to "community activists" like Jesse Jackson and the Obamas in Chicago, Chicago now has the highest tax rate of any major American city.

8. Obama's white relations in Hawaii were leftists for the most part, with communists in the family past, and communists as some of his mother's pals here and in Indonesia. Obama described one of his greatest advisors as a teen was a black "philosopher" that was a past member of CPUSA living in Hawaii that was sort of a surrogate father. He has radical friends and associates, as well as liberal and centrist ones. He is the most liberal Senator by voting record, and was (outside his stances urged on him by corporate donors) one of the most radical members of the Illinois State Senate.

......It is that stuff, and some other background issues - that is poised to breal out from the press and Dem Lefts PC "Omerta" - and become more discussed in subsequent months amidst cries that such matters cannot be discussed as racist, Islamophobic, counter-progressive, "hating the poor", etc.

DWPittelli said...

Fen,

You can't really favor Hillary over Obama because of gay marriage. Note, e.g., this 2/29/08 Bloomberg piece:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=aiNYMQ9HFaEg&refer=home

Clinton, 60, and Obama oppose same-sex marriages while supporting civil unions. A major difference between the candidates is that Obama supports full repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, a law signed by Bill Clinton -- under pressure from a Republican-dominated Congress -- that prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages and permits states to do the same. Hillary Clinton wants to roll back only part of the law.

``That's a big deal,'' said Eric Stern, who joined Obama's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender policy-advisory group after heading former candidate Edwards's gay steering committee. More than half of the members of that 49-member group are now backing Obama, Stern said.

Murphy said...

Good grief...is this what we've come to as a nation?

The Clinton's may not have been party to starting these whisper camapaigns, but they are most certainly perpetuating them.

Which is exactly why folks are moving to Obama. They are sick and tired of this kind of BS politics.

I'm really saddened to read this thread and it's comments.

If there are issues, put them on the table and compare ALL the candidates stances/history.

If Rezko is a big deal, why isn't the Clinton Foundation funding a big deal? I would like very much to know the whole story behind BOTH these supposed scandals.

If Obama's religion is an issue, what's the history of ALL the candidates religion?

This is such BS. We have serious issues facing this nation and we are spending all our time hashing and rehashing trash.

The Clintons of all people should understand how bad this is for our nation. If they had any moral fiber at all, they would not equivocate even slightly when one of their own is hit with trash like this.

Shame on them and shame on all of us for even gracing it with discussion.

Kathy said...

I had heard there was a fair amount of anti-Semitism in France at the time but not to the extent that Jews there felt the need to flee.

There was a lot of anti-Semitism in France at the time; there had been for a long time. Remember Alfred Dreyfus?

It was not necessarily a matter of prophesying the invasion of France, though. The persecution of the Jews in Germany had been steadily, continuously escalating since shortly after Hitler came to power in 1933. This timeline shows it.

You will note that by 1938, Jews had been stripped of their citizenship and their right to vote, could no longer own or run businesses, and had to carry special ID cards and have their passports stamped "J," among much else.

The Anschluss (annexation of Austria) was in 1938. Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1939. 1939 was when Jews in Nazi-controlled countries had to start wearing yellow stars of David to mark them as Jews.

And there was Kristallnacht, in November 1938. On that night, Nazi stormtroopers rioted through the streets smashing store windows, killing hundreds of Jews (many savagely kicked and beaten to death) and arrested tens of thousands of others.

Kristallnacht actually is widely considered to mark the start of the Holocaust, because it was after that that Jews began to be rounded up into ghettoes and deported.

I obviously wasn't there, so I don't know what my grandfather's exact thinking was, but I think, rather than being "prophetic," it would probably be more accurate to say that he was able to see the import of what was going on, and had been going on, in front of his eyes, so to speak. Others saw it too, but refused to believe or did not want to believe -- were in denial, in short. I guess my grandfather was not inclined to deny the reality of what was happening.

By the way, just so I don't make him look like a total saint or hero, my grandfather was a bastard in almost every way. He was very abusive to my mother, and she suffered the emotional damage for her entire life.

But in *this one way,* he truly did the right thing. And I feel I have to give him credit for that, because where would I be if he hadn't?

Kathy said...

Fen wrote:

The French/British betrayal of the Czechs at Munich was Sept 30, 1938. I wonder what your grandfather thought of that, and if it was the catalyst that motivated him to move.

I don't know; it certainly could have figured in to his decision along with all the other stuff I mentioned above.

I actually did not know the exact date of Munich. I didn't know it was Sept. 30. My daughter's birthday is Sept. 30. How odd.

tituspleay said...

Meade I apologize you have been shaken and I feel terrible but don't drink it will exacerbate (spelling) your pain.

I have another confession...please sit down...take a deep breath...

I am not gay. I life in Bismarck North Dakota. I didn't go to college. I have never been to NYC. I have never left North Dakota. I don't have a fabulous job. I don't have a fabulous loft I just read somewhere that gays like lofts like lesbians like sealife. I live in an apartment where I pay 250.00/month. I don't have rare clumbers. Instead I have 32 cats, a snake, 2 love birds and 4 guinea pigs. I am fat. I am 4'10 and weigh 230 pounds. I have never been to a 4 star restaurant. I have never stayed at the W Hotel. I have never been to a gym. The only shake I have had was from Mcdonalds. I have never seen my third eye and my chakras are not aligned. I have never had sex and I am 62. I can not see my penis because my fat is in the way. I don't understand Project Runway. And I work as a data entry clerk making 8.00 an hour, part-time, with no benefits, for the state of North Dakota.

I feel so much better. I only hope I haven't misled or disappointed all who have loved and respected and counted on me to bring light and happiness to them while reading my blog comments.

Embrace me fellow commenters, hold me, love me, forgive me.

Fen said...

Fen, you can't really favor Hillary over Obama because of gay marriage.

Oh I don't. I'm in favor of gay marriage but voting McCain because foreign policy strength trumps everything else for me.

My point is that Obama says whatever you want to hear atm, and I don't think he really believes in the things he lectures us about.

The Canadian flop is a good example.

George said...

Murphy--

Sure, the Clintons are probably doing more than create a "whisper campaign" against Obama.

But Sen. Obama has not helped himself by having a friend and political favor seeker and "neighbor" like the mysterious Syrian-born Antoin Rezko who is presently on trial in federal court on a 24 count indictment....fraud, extortion, payoffs....charges that might bring down Illinois' governor...

...Prosecutors have alleged that [Gov.] Blagojevich told a former political operative now cooperating with federal authorities that he could steer contracts, legal work and investment banking their way in exchange for fundraising."

There is no "shame" in ridding the joint of its cockroaches.

tituspleay said...

Also, I don't shop at Marc Jacobs. I read somewhere that gays like that label.

I get my clothes at Lane Bryant.

The Rational Inquirer said...

If Hillary had simply said, "No, he is not. and I DENOUNCE AND REJECT any suggestion that he is," this would not be news. Instead, she left just enough doubt hanging out there for this to grow and fester.

Had Obama been confronted with a question of Hillary's sexual identity or the state of her marriage, and he had left loose ends like this, you'd be all over it, claiming "swift boat" tactics.

tituspleay said...

And I think what I read was lesbian like sea mammals not all sea life.

Just sea mammals.

Sorry for the confusion.

former law student said...

3. Obama's mansion being paid for in part by an Iraqi Sunni Muslim with ties to Saddam.

The Obamas's income the year before they bought their house was supposedly 1.6 million dollars, the same as the price of the house. I'm a little jaded by 1.6 million dollar houses, because here people bought them only to tear them down and build something nice.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If Obama's religion is an issue, what's the history of ALL the candidates religion

Well, it sure seemed to me that the Press made a big f**king deal about Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith. Even dragging in his Grandfather. Huckabee has been raked over the coals about this Baptist preacher background. Giuliani has been reamed as a lapsed Catholic. Thompson, not so much as they were concentrating on the lazy, slow, too late, bibmo wife meme for him.

So...yeah.... I think we know a lot about the religions of some of the candidates. Whats good for the goose (Republicans) should be good for the gander (Democrats) doncha think?

Fen said...

3. Obama's mansion being paid for in part by an Iraqi Sunni Muslim with ties to Saddam

If it turns out Obama was involved in the UN's Oil for Food scandal, he's toast.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, I want to know exactly why J. Sidney McCain III left the Episcopal Church.

LoafingOaf said...

Verso, if that's the source, the HC was treated outrageously unfairly.

Althouse told us we'd be naive to think the Clinton campaign wasn't intentionally trying to send subliminal messages to us that Obama is a lazy and inexperienced nigger. Now I'm supposed to believe it would be unfair to think she wants voters to wonder about Islam in Obama's childhood? When her own campaign didn't deny that one of their peeps circulated the Obama pic the other day?

tituspleay said...

Yea, why did John Mccain leave the episcopal church?

That pisses me off as I am religious conservative and want the answers.

This is incrediby important.

People the voters don't give a shit.

Get over it.

tituspleay said...

By the way did anyone watch that video clip Verso put on here earlier of the religious freaks from TN?

God, that was depressing.

tituspleay said...

The per capita income in Lynchburg TN was 19,000 US dollars. This is where the video was taken from the heartland religious americans who are real americans as opposed to the rest of us godless whores.

Hmmm. Is their a correlation with ignorance and poverty??

$19,000 a year is one poor country in this country.

What the hell do these people do when they are filling up with over 3.00 gasoline?