Archive for the ‘Iowa’ Category

Coulter’s mouth helps no one.
May 8, 2007

Submitted by Nathan Lean, Director of Rock with Barack

Ann Coulter, the Republican mouthpiece and media maggot has done it again. The conservative columnist recently said that Obama’s urging poll numbers are helping Al-Qaida, proving to people with brains that extremism is not a concept limited to terrorism.
“I think this is Newsweek doing more push polling for al-Qaida,” Coulter said in an interview recently.

I thought it would be appropriate to show our readers the types of comments Coulter has made in the past as to draw realization to fact that she is really Rush Limbaugh in a dress.

“I’m a Christian first and a mean-spirited, bigoted conservative second, and don’t you ever forget it.”

“It is preposterous to assume every passenger is a potential crazed homicidal maniac. We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war”

“I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I’m – so, kind of at an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards, so I think I’ll just conclude here and take your questions.”

(speaking about the death of Princess Diana) “Her children knew she’s sleeping with all these men. That just seems to me, it’s the definition of ‘not a good mother.’ Is everyone just saying here that it’s okay to ostentatiously have premarital sex in front of your children? [Diana is] an ordinary and pathetic and confessional – I’ve never had bulimia! I’ve never had an affair! I’ve never had a divorce! So I don’t think she’s better than I am.”

The “backbone of the Democratic Party” is a “typical fat, implacable welfare recipient.”

(speaking to a disabled Vietnam vet) “People like you caused us to lose that war.”

Perhaps Ann Coulter is afraid that her Republican buddies don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected in 2008 and therefore is doing all she can now to trash talk the man who she will soon refer to as Mr. President.

Personally, I am thankful Barack Obama is a man of hope and unity, not division and cynicism. I personally believe Coulter deserves the fate of Don Imus … forced extinction.

We’ll be praying for you Ann.


“Show Me the Funny!” The press, policy wonks, red meat and America’s need to be entertained
May 1, 2007

The first post of May comes from our contributing blogger, Linda Hansen

“Where’s the beef?” “All sizzle–no steak!”

That’s what we’re hearing. We get it from right-wing media, from mainstream media hankering for the story they want, when they want it. Barack Obama, they say, may be trying to parlay personal qualities, outsider creds and sentiment into an easy glide to the Oval Office. He looks good, sounds good, they say, but where’s the substance? Where are the vaunted position papers, the policy-speak in loquacious detail, every answer to every possible issue facing a troubled nation? We cannot afford, they tell us, another president like George W.; a neophyte who needs on-the-job training.

Give me a break.

If the mainstream media had been half as invested in knowing the facts–the “beef”–about the policy, strategy and purpose behind the Bush Doctrine in Iraq and the ensuing rush to war, we wouldn’t be bogged down in an endless, disastrous war today. If the press had done its job, we’d have known the difference between the truth and the lies, the whole story and the cherry-picked version offered up by the White House. But they did no serious digging, failed to demand answers to hard questions. For the most part, the media served as overpaid stenographers for the Bush administration, slavishly copying down what they were told and running it as fact.

Now some of them are carping about the Obama campaign. They want policy spelled out and they want it with all due speed. How do we respond?

Barack Obama is not George W. Bush. He didn’t muddle his way through college, scraping by academically, partying hearty. Barack Obama finished Columbia University and Harvard Law School without the safety net of wealth. He had to perform. And he performed well enough to be elected president of the Harvard Law Review; the first African American to hold that office. His peers, who elected him, called him “an impressive student, a natural leader.”

He worked with the poor, the disenfranchised in Chicago. He practiced civil rights law. He served as Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He served in the Illinois State Legislature. He’s no lightweight.

Barack Obama can pronounce the word “nuclear.” He knows the difference between a Sunni and a Shia Muslim. He’s an intellectual, a gifted communicator, a candidate whose commitment to economic parity, to social justice, is firmly rooted in his life experience. Real time in the street with real people. He gets it.

Here’s the truth, you latecomer media hardliners: You want a policy wonk? Really? We gave you a serious policy wonk in 2000. Al Gore gave you policy–up front and in detail. What did you do? You ridiculed him. He was, you snickered, like the smartest guy in the classroom–the one who always knew the right answers, the nerd who wore a pocket protector and thick glasses. Nobody likes a know-it-all, you said, but everybody likes the guy they’re comfortable with, the one who makes them feel good. Everyone likes the “regular guy” they can hang out with, have a cold one with, the one who doesn’t bore them to death with information. Like, say, happy-go-lucky George W. What an endorsement.

We offered you another policy wonk in 2004. It didn’t work then, either.

Americans don’t jump on the position paper bandwagon. Hard news goes the way of the dinosaur while Britney (with or without underwear), Paris and Anna Nicole grab the headlines and the imagination of a public that prizes entertainment over information. We like our sex and scandal served straight-up. The politics-of-the-gutter, smears, fears, half-truths, outright lies–all of it sells better than real news. Or real policy.

We’re offering you another policy wonk for 2008. But this time we’re offering one smart enough to know he must first capture the imagination and the hearts of American voters. Barack Obama will deliver the “steak” when the time is right. He’s smart enough to know there is no easy, black and white, simplistic answer to every problem we face as a nation. He’s smart enough to take the time necessary to offer sound solutions. He’s unlike George W., who sees everything in Public Policy With Dick and Jane’s Pet Goat terms and fails to consider nuance–or any dissenting opinion. Obama is a thoughtful, intelligent candidate who will draw on the best minds available, think things through, imagine the possible unintended consequences of policy actions. Position papers will come soon enough.

Note to mainstream complainers, Fox News, et al: The Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan, told us he’d pay down the debt, balance the budget, increase military spending (to keep us safe) and lower taxes–all painlessly done–within his first term. Bush 41 promised NO NEW TAXES. Dubyah pledged to “Restore honor and dignity to the White House.” He would rectify, he said, a U.S. military stretched too thin worldwide and put an end to a ruinous policy of “nation-building.” Not one of them kept their word. There’s your “steak.” So much for “positions.”

You won’t push us, you won’t scare us and you won’t dictate the terms of a relevant candidacy. We’ve had quite enough of politics-as-usual according to your rules. We can do better. And, with Barack Obama, we will.

State of the Union 3-9-07
March 10, 2007

Welcome to “State of the Union.” Here we will be taking some quick hit looks around the country. Not much here will be Obama-related but we feel it’s just as important to give an overview of the country as a whole. Otherwise, how can we justify the great need for Barack Obama in this nation.

Now, with no further ado…the State of the Union

  • The NY Times ran an article examing the after-effects of the Scooter Libby sitution. Apparently, there is talk of a Bush pardon for Libby. I’m torn. The moralist in me wants to see Libby punished for his actions as determined by the United States legal system. No one is above the system. However, the politician in me wants to see George W. Bush pardon Libby just so Bush and all of his White House “posse” can see if the American people are willing to take this situation any longer. My guess would be that something like this would push a big chunk of the country over the line. How much longer is Washingtong going to be this dirty and corrupt? It’s all up to us, folks.
  • Honestly? I think Libby is just the scapegoat here. I don’t think anyone will come down and save him. He’s the fall guy…everything is pretty much going according to plan. Again, it’s all up to us folks. We’ve got a pretty big election coming up.
  • My friend Evan Lowry, who will soon be joining the Blog Team officially when we announce it sometime soon, sent me this link yesterday. He followed it with this note: “My question is, with three thousand dead American soldiers in Iraq, is this what we need CNN to be covering?” Good point, Mr. Lowry. Good point.
  • My retort: the top headline was “Obama Pays Harvard $375 for Outstanding Parking Tickets.” No mention of the Scooter Libby trial. It’s almost as if they are trying to intentionally make conservatives look better than Democrats. Oh wait.
  • Seriously though, it seems as if Fox News (as well as most conservatives) have two agendas right now: besmirching Barack Obama and Rudy Giuliani. Could this be because they know Obama is the best Democratic candidate while Giuliani is the candidate that most Democrats would prefer losing to in an election? I say yes. I’m flattered. You know when Fox News goes after you, you’ve made it. Then again, you could just be a Democrat with unpaid parking tickets from two decades ago. But what do I know, I am but a blogger.
  • In another shocking revelation, the Justice Department decided that the FBI misused the Patriot Act. To quote the great Will Smith: “Somehow “I told you so” just doesn’t quite say it.” Oh well, at least it’s coming out now.
  • In a decisive setback for gun control, “a federal appeals court in Washington today struck down on Second Amendment grounds a gun control law in the District of Columbia that bars residents from keeping handguns in their homes.” This will be interesting to pursue as it develops. In the election it could become an interesting issue. Obama is pro-gun control while many of his opponents are split. Definitely look for this in an upcoming “Rock with the Issues.”
  • The biggest story this week, however, has to be what is going on Iraq-wise. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates approved more troops to be sent to Iraq on Wednesday and according to General David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander, that number might only increase if the U.S. stays in Iraq. Fortunately, Congress Democrats quickly responded by setting forth their proposal for pulling out of Iraq. Quoting from the latter article, “the Democrats’ leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said the bill would get US troops out of Iraq “safely, responsibly and soon.” I think we can all agree that that’s we want more than anything; to get out boys back home safe. Obviously, this situation is very complicated and has many intricate subplots. I simply wanted to introduce it here because this will be the first issue we will be discussing in “Rock with the Issues.” So let the settle as we delve into this election process and hear what Barack Obama has to say about the war.
  • Those are my quick hits for this time…so until the next State of the Union entry,

    Keep rocking,

    Will Nomikos
    Internet/Blog Team Director

Vilsack Petition
March 7, 2007

Our executive director, Nathan Lean, has been kind enough to explain the purpose of the petition we’re pushing right now. I’ll leave you with that until our next real blog entry.
– Will Nomikos

Iowa is a field of dreams when it comes to Presidential primary elections. It’s the magical place that can make or break any Presidential hopeful and for years has become the go-to stomping ground for candidates and their platforms. It’s unlike any other caucus in the country and since 1976 has been a strong indicator of which Presidential candidate might win the nomination at their party’s national convention.

We believe that Barack Obama is the best person for the job and we support him. Rock with Barack has created a way to help Sen. Obama win the support of Iowa. We have drafted an official petition urging the support of former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack by requesting that he endorse Barack Obama and his bid for President. We want you to help us by signing up. Youth votes in this election will be more important than ever and we plan to create enthusiasm for Barack that will help him win Iowa. An endorsement by Vilsack would help tremendously as we believe many of the former Governor’s supporters would reach out to this “politics of hope” and embrace the vision and leadership of Barack Obama.

All we are asking for is your signature. Thirty seconds of your time could help us take back America! Let’s do this for Barack!

You can find the petition online here:

I leave you with this quote from Barack Obama himself:

“I’ve learned that meaningful change always begins at the grassroots, and that engaged citizens working together can accomplish extraordinary things”

We need a “more perfect union.”

We need a “politics of hope.”

We need you.

Be sure to visit our website at

Thanks for reading!

Nathan Lean is a senior piano major at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC and the Executive Director of Rock with Barack. He is a Master’s in International Studies candidate with a focus in political science and cultural arts. He has spent time living in and touring Morocco and has performed various concerts as a guest of the United States Embassy.