Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Something to think about…
August 20, 2007

This video was recently posted on Daily Kos and I thought it would be interesting for our readers to see it for themselves here!


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.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sects–But Were Araid to Ask
April 12, 2007

Thoughts on sects by contributing blogger Linda Hansen

Surge or no surge, Baghdad is burning. And there’s a reason. Sects in the city. Sunnis and Shi’ites are killing each other just for being, well, Sunnis and Shi’ites–and both sides in this civil war are killing Americans.

If Dubyah had been a student of history, he’d have seen it coming. If he’d had the intellectual curiosity or the competence necessary to lead this nation, he’d have taken the time to learn a little something about the culture, the people of Iraq, before he invaded. Maybe if he’d done his job, been a little smarter, thousands of Iraqis and Americans would have been spared. And maybe our troops wouldn’t be caught in the middle of a religious civil war today.

The Sunnis and the Shia have been at each others’ throats for nearly 1400 years. It all started in 632 A.D. when their Prophet, Muhammad, died. They couldn’t agree on a successor.

Shia Muslims believed that, since Muhammad was the Chosen of God, his bloodline was holy. True divinity–by sacred sanction–ran in the family. It’s understandable. For centuries Europeans held similar beliefs about their leaders. The Divine Right of Kings, they called it. You didn’t mess around with inherent righteousness. Seems God was never too busy to pump up the red cell octane in the veins of royalty everywhere. Shi’ites had double indemnity in making their case for succession-by-blood: Muhammad’s daughter married Muhammad’s cousin, Ali. They would produce an infallible line of Imams for Muslims. It was a done deal.

But Sunni Muslims had other ideas. They liked the notion of choosing a successor from among their most trusted religious leaders. No matter whose blood ran in his veins.

Where was the divinity in that? Some irate fundamentalist Shi’ite probably said something like “The only way to heaven is through the Son of the Prophet. Or through the daughter and cousin, in this case.” To which some equally strident Sunni hollered “Who died and left you the sole authority on who gets into heaven?” And the war was on.

Clearly George W. didn’t know all this. His worldview is amazingly narrow–a “Don’t mess with Texas!” sort of thing. If someone on his staff told him the facts, Dubyah must have believed he could Shock and Awe ’em into getting along. We bombed and invaded. Surely we meant well. After all the fires went out, after the bodies were buried and the rubble was swept into a tidy pile, after the Victory Parade where millions of happy Iraqis threw flowers at our feet, we’d get rid of all those nasty WMD. Then we’d give ’em our version of democracy and convert ’em all to Christianity. Who wouldn’t want to embrace the system of government and the religious faith that brought them all that peace, prosperity and freedom? Presto change-o! Everyone would be friends. We’d have permanent military bases in the Middle East and control of Iraqi oil! Hooray for our side! Hooray for Halliburton and Exxon-Mobile! Other nations in the region would be so impressed they’d fall in line like so many born-again dominoes. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything. We didn’t learn a thing from Vietnam, where a total failure to grasp the complexities of the culture doomed us to lose the war–even if it had been a just one. History repeats through ignorance. Ignorance breeds haste and hubris. Ignorance tainted U.S. foreign policy in Iraq from day one. And the 1400 year long holy war between Iraqis rages on.

Bush and his rubberstamp Congress lacked the foresight to look before they leaped. We need a president who won’t make that kind of mistake. We need a man who recognized, from the start, that this war was unwinnable; that we’d find ourselves impossibly mired in a debacle with no positve way out.

In 2002 Barack Obama made his position crystal clear: This war was a bad idea. He was against it. He knew the difference between “a necessary war and a dumb war.”

Enough said.

Why do we support Barack Obama
March 29, 2007

This is the first of (hopefully) many contributions by our latest blogger, Linda Hansen. Linda is not a student but rathern a more experienced liberal. Her perspective is completely different from that of the other bloggers on this blog and of many bloggers in general. See her bio for more information. I think you will enjoy reading what she has to say.
– Will N.

Why do we support Barack Obama? Another good reason:

Here’s the Myth of gays/lesbians honorably serving their country in the armed services: They are dangerous. They are “bad for morale.” While our straight military men and women are courageous enough to fight in the wild terrain of Afghanistan, in the streets of Baghdad and Fallujah, brave enough to face IEDs without adequately armed vehicles and bullets without adequate body armor, a gay/lesbian comrade-in-arms is a deadly threat. A gay/lesbian soldier scares them senseless. There’s something rotten about those sexual deviants. They’re unfit to serve…unless they refuse to tell the truth about who they are. Some things have to be covered up. For the good of the war on terror. For national security. For the good of a “Christian” nation…

What’s rotten here is the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. It serves no practical purpose. It denigrates gay/lesbian men and women who have served their country–and died for it–in the past. It denigrates those who choose to serve today. It glorifies dishonor and dishonesty.

And this official policy of lies has been adopted by the White House. In one scandal after another, one act of misfeasance or malfeasance after another committed by this administration, Congress has no right to ask, Bush cronies/aides have no obligation to tell. The truth about going to war in Iraq? Don’t ask, don’t tell. Gitmo, black sites and torture? Don’t ask, don’t tell. Illegal wiretapping, spying on American citizens? Don’t ask, don’t tell. Outing a 20 year undercover CIA agent and compromising every contact she ever made? Don’t ask, don’t tell.

Now it’s the firing of eight DOJ prosecutors because they failed to “be loyal to the administration…and its policies.” What did they do wrong? One went after Duke Cunningham. Others refused to drop active cases to go after Democrats the White House wanted smeared before the 2004 election because, to paraphrase one of the prosecutors, “There’s no case here!” One was, well, just inconvenient. Rove wanted his own fair-haired boy to have the job in Arkansas. They were fired for political reasons, blamed for “poor performance”, their reputations damaged in the process.

New policy: Alberto Gonzales lied. At a March 13th press conference he denied he participated at all–ever–in any discussion about firing the attorneys. He swore he never saw any documents about the firings. Newly released documents prove that he did, indeed, attend a meeting on November 27, 2006, with senior aides to discuss the firing of selected DOJ attorneys and approved “a detailed plan to carry out the dismissals.”

Dubyah says he will not permit any of his gang to testify in open session, under oath, about any of this. Executive privilege. National security. Monica Goodling, Gonzales’s liaison to the White House, says she will invoke her fifth amendment right to refuse to answer any questions asked by Congress. Why? Her answers might incriminate her. Gonzales, his aides and the White House declare they have done nothing wrong. So why the need for fifth amendment protection? Why the demand for secret interviews with no swearing in and no transcripts?

When a democracy dies, the public’s right to know the truth is the first thing to go. The tyrant shrieks “I’m the Decider!” Neither Congress nor the voting public merits any explanation. He will veto one, ignore the other. His word becomes law.

Don’t ask, don’t tell. It’s for your own good, America. It’s how we keep you “safe” from homosexuals and terrorists. It’s how we keep you deaf, dumb and blind while we eviscerate the Bill of Rights and strangle the life out of a free nation.

Why do we need Barack Obama? Why do we commit, recommit, to this candidacy? Because he is an expert in constitutional law, in civil rights law. Because he cherishes both ideals. Because he is the anti-Bush.

Petition Information!
March 25, 2007

Hey folks!

Just wanted to drop you a brief line and let you know about our new online petition!

As you may know, Tom Vilsack will endorse Hillary Clinton this coming Monday. Fear not, your names will be delivered to him so he knows of the extensive and expansive grassroots support for Barack! I thought that this disappointing event may give us some motivation to convince another leading political figure that Obama is the only person for the job, thus today I am happy to say that we have drafted a petition to Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. Clyburn is a very influential political and serves as the Majority Whip in Congress. Having him back Barack would do a wonderful things for South Carolina’s primary election and also the African American vote!

Would you please take a minute and sign it?

You can find it here.

Thanks for your continued support!

Nathan Lean

Executive Director

Rock with Barack

Blog Team
March 5, 2007

Dear Rock with Barack members and Barack Obama members,

The blog is still under construction but I’m about to start up the blog consistently and keep it active for as long as we and Barack need it. I need some passionate people to join me on a small blog team. We will be blogging and keeping up a lively internet discussion. This will be a chance to make a difference through this fun and relatively new way of communicating with people. If you are interested in being a part of our team and this great opportunity to help out Barack Obama, please message me.

We will be looking for a limited, committed number of people to be available for blogging with me as an editor and part-time contributor. As easy as it could be to limit this blog team to people we know or the few officers here, we’re looking to get as many of you involved in this as we can. This team will function like a crucial magazine or newspaper room. We will be very active and constantly doing things to help Barack Obama.

Please note, even if you do not think you can be committed to the blog team, we will be running several guest entries so feel free to contact me about that as well.

Hope to hear from lots of you soon,

Will Nomikos
Blog Team Director
Rock with Barack

p.s. Hope you’ve signed the Vilsack petition!

Why Barack Obama is ready for the Presidency
February 13, 2007

Our first guest post comes from Marcus Gadson. Marcus is a history student at Dartmouth college and spent time in 2004 campaigning for the Kerry-Edwards camp.

Barack Obama’s visit to New Hampshire in December received a great deal of attention from the press. There is no question that Obama is a star in the Democratic Party, and many among the grassroots are excited at the prospect of an Obama candidacy. However, despite all his charisma and oratorical skills, one nagging question remains: Is he ready to be President of the United States and leader of the free world? The answer to that question is an unequivocal yes.

A long resume, and decades of experience is simply no guarantee of a good performance once in office. Vice President Cheney is a terrific example of this. Cheney has been a congressman from Wyoming, a white house chief of staff, CEO of Halliburton, and a defense secretary. In other words, Cheney is amply qualified for his office. Yet despite all this experience, Cheney has been a leading architect of an utterly failed policy in Iraq. Much of President Bush’s team is similarly well qualified. Donald Rumsfeld had already served as Secretary of Defense, but that experience didn’t stop him from ignoring the advice of commanders on the ground, or badly mishandling a deteriorating situation.

Plenty of other Presidents who had decades of experience and lots of high positions in government have been failures as chief executive. John Quincy Adams was brilliant. He was a Harvard Professor, a congressman, and a secretary of state before occupying the White House. But today, no one can name a notable achievement of his while he was in office. Most Americans probably couldn’t even name him. In spite of all his intelligence and experience, Adams had a lackluster and forgettable tenure.

The most egregious example must be James Buchanan however. Again, Buchanan held many previous positions and had decades of experience. He was a US Senator, and a Secretary of State. Despite all this experience, Buchanan did nothing as the Union crumbled around him during the lead-up to the Civil War in the 1850s. These examples and many more show that years of experience do not prepare aspirants to the White House for the Presidency.

Buchanan’s successor was another man from Illinois who had only spent two years in Congress. His name was Abraham Lincoln, and he did what previous Presidents (all of whom had spent more years in government) failed to do: he saved the Union. He managed to do so because of his dogged determination, and his undying vision of one United States. It’s also worth noting here that Lincoln took advice from his commanders on the ground, and was willing to try different strategies to beat the confederacy, a lesson our current President would do well to learn.

What the electorate should look for in President is vision and judgment. These are things that can be readily discerned during a heavily scrutinized campaign. During the debates, and the campaign rallies, and the major policy addresses, and the stump speeches, we can see where a President wants to lead the country, and how he or she behaves under pressure. The campaign will answer for all the question of who has the most compelling vision for America, not a polished resume.

I maintain that Obama has that compelling vision. His address at the 2004 Democratic convention showed he believes strongly in personal responsibility, honesty in government, better access to healthcare, and a world-class education system. He is a fresh face who wants to move beyond the intense partisanship of the Clinton and Bush years, and has reached across the aisle, even to conservatives like Sam Brownback. For Americans who are tired of being divided by Karl Rove and Machiavellian political strategists, Obama represents a chance for a new politics of civility and purpose. He is of a different generation of politicians than Hillary Clinton and John McCain, and therefore does not have the same political baggage they do. His vision is best summed the title of his latest book, the audacity of hope. Obama is America’s chance for a more hopeful politics and a better future.

I also strongly believe that Obama is running for the right reasons: he has a clear vision that he wants to take before the country. Obama has said before that you don’t run for the Presidency on the basis of ambition alone. The Presidency is too serious and sober a responsibility to run just for that reason. Obama knows there is a desperate need for unity and hope in our country, and thinks he can deliver both as a President.

One of the most critical questions facing America is how to conduct its foreign policy. Here, Obama’s biography gives him a unique ability to understand the problem of global poverty, which is one of the root causes of terrorism. As a kid he attended various schools in Indonesia, and witnessed the distress of third-world poverty first hand. He knows the plight of the world’s poor, and I predict he will make the first bona fide effort of any President to do something about the poverty rampant in many parts of the globe. If anyone understands the link between national security and global poverty, it is Obama.

Detractors will always find reasons why Obama couldn’t or shouldn’t be President. They say his middle name is Hussein, that he smoked pot once, and that he made a bad land deal. But the country is ready for a new politics, and a new generation of leadership. America needs a man of vision and principle. Obama is that man, and I submit that he is more than ready to lead.