Category Archives: democrat

The Day Obama Became ‘the Black Candidate’

 

obama1.jpgI couldn’t wait to hear Obama’s speech and how he would respond. Surely he would make the attempt to distance himself from the conspiracy laden diatribes of his “former” minister; I say former because he reminds us every chance he gets. I believed he would try to reassure us: No the CIA didn’t throw crack into inner cities to destroy young black men, nor did the U.S. government invent AIDS to destroy African Americans.

When he brought up his white ancestry, more specifically his grandmother, I thought, hey, maybe he’s going to delve into his unique cultural background to demonstrate his how he won’t be bound by labels or defined only by his relationship African American pastor and the black community. Instead, he used his grandmother to remind Americans that, hey, there are plenty of white racists too.

 

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

 

 

Thanks, but, I’m married to a dark skinned Italian with a heavy accent. I don’t need Obama to remind me there are still racists in America, I know all about it. A police officer once threatened to have Riccardo deported, telling him, “I don’t know where you come from but you’re as ignorant as you can be.” His accent is frequently the subject of snide comments and jokes. A distant relative even refused to call him by his full name, shortening it instead to create a ridiculous cartoon like persona.

But unlike Wright and the members of his afro-centric church, my husband is proud of the opportunity this country has presented him. He’s also well aware that despite his occasional racist encounters and America’s ugly past, the U.S. is the most racially tolerant nation on the planet.

To escape the self-created firestorm, Obama turned to the tired old liberal tactic of shifting the blame from the offender to the offended. It’s whitey’s fault for his minister’s outrage and conspiracy theories. And America’s slave-owning descendants are responsible for black men loitering on street-corners without jobs.

 

He sought to allay the fears of Americans through today’s speech. In my estimation, he’s only deepened them.

Will our new President be an Amerilover or an Amerihater?

If you compare the two videos, the contrast is stark.

From his wife’s thesis to his minister’s hate-speech, Barack sure surrounds himself with those who hold little regard for America. It sure seems like Obama is seeking the top job in a company he doesn’t even like, while McCain is vying to lead the country he almost died for.

Just a thought.

Rush Limbaugh Wins Texas and Ohio

Turning around Obama’s catchy, yet irritating “Yes we can,” Senator Clinton’s Ohio supporters chanted “Yes we will,” as she celebrated her big Ohio win.  But the phrase of the evening should be, “Yes he did.” More specifically, Rush Limbaugh.

By encouraging his listeners to cross over in the open Texas primaries and vote for Hillary, Rush just might have saved Hill’s political career, in addition to salvaging Republican hopes to retain the White House. According to early exit polls, ten percent of the Democratic Primary voters in both Texas and Ohio were Republicans.

By late Tuesday, Obama’s five-percentage point lead from early voting had evaporated. Although it’s anyone’s guess as to who will emerge the electoral victor in Texas, Hillary looks like she’ll take the popular vote.

But make no mistake, the real winner of Tuesday was one radio host in Palm Beach.

 

Criticism that Sticks

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While living in Italy, at least early on, I bristled at the European accusation that we, the U.S., were always minding other countries’ affairs. Meddling. Interfering. But it didn’t take long before I realized they had a point. The long and growing list of examples of America’s nosing into other people’s business includes our recent push to gain EU membership for Turkey. Just last month after a meeting with the President of Turkey, Bush argued, “It’s in the interest of peace that Turkey be admitted into the EU.”

 

I wonder how Europeans, more specifically Germans, feel about Bush’s hyperbolic assertion. I certainly know how many Italians feel about the growing Islamic influence in Europe. I wrote about it extensively in my book, The Absentee Ballot. 

 

Speaking Tuesday before Turkish Parliament, Prime Minister Erdogan referred to Germany’s practice of assimilating Turkish immigrants into German society as a “crime against humanity,” after just last week proposing that Germany should begin creating Turkish language high-schools…in Germany.

Just three percent of the German population is of Turkish descent, yet the headscarf aficionado, with a straight face, is lobbying Germany for the creation of new high-schools, hiring teachers from Turkey and instructing students in Turkish. How outraged would we be if the Mexican President came to the United States and demanded Spanish only high-schools? Spanish speakers make up nine percent of the U.S. population. At least President Calderón, would have a better argument.

A journalist for the German newspaper Der Spiegel called the Turkish language high-school suggestion “a novel idea,” but I’m not sure the German population shares that multicultural outlook. Conservative politicians most certainly don’t. The governor of Bavaria Gunther Beckstein spoke to Germany’s N24 TV and had this to say (from Der Spiegel):

      “The task (for Turks) is to be good citizens in Germany, to learn German, to speak German in their families.”  Erdogan’s remarks are   “nationalistic” and “highly displeasing.”

Conservative German newspaper Die Walt opined:

“This is the message that will stick: The Germans don’t want integration; they want to rob the Turks of their Turkishness, of their culture. That is grist for the mill of the not especially small number of Turks or Turkish descendants who aren’t very interested in integrating and who try to blame the Germans for that.”

 “Integration also involves assimilation. A person who grows into another culture changes by doing so. He leaves much of the culture he descends from behind. He gives up the old to become someone new. It’s a beautiful, painful process. In the long run it makes no sense to refuse to accept that.”

Maybe it would be in America’s best interest for Turkey to gain EU membership, but would it really benefit our partners in NATO? Europeans, not Americans, are the ones forced to confront the radical change occurring within their societies. Setting cars ablaze, threatening newspapers, inciting hate at radical mosques and murdering artists don’t exactly reflect the enlightenment values of their adopted nations.  

When Europeans tell us to mind our own beeswax, well, maybe we should.

No Mercy!

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Under normal circumstances I would be inclined to feel pity for the industry that has slowed the global economy and impacted thousands of families. Of course I’m talking about the mortgage companies. But in light of recent experiences, it is truly difficult to feel much sympathy.

A week ago, my mother, a real estate broker, showed a pre-foreclosure property, a two-year old townhouse located in a new development popular with presale flippers in Orlando, Florida. Aside from the few holes in the wall and rotten food left in the refrigerator by an angry foreclosee, the buyers loved it. They liked it so much that they instructed my mom to make an offer.

She called the listing agent and advised him that her clients were ready to make an offer on the townhouse.

 “Oh, it’s not in foreclosure yet and the lawyers for the bank don’t get paid unless it goes into foreclosure,” the agent responded.

“So, it’s useless they make an offer?” she asked.

“Pretty much”

If that weren’t bad enough…My next door neighbors are in the process of remodeling and is seeking out around 50k to make the improvements. They are half-way through their 30 year mortgage and their credit rating is in the high 800s which is phenomenal. Dawn, the one assigned to research their options, spoke with numerous brokers and none seem excited to give a fixed loan for a second mortgage. Instead, they are all trying to convince her to settle for an adjustable rate which is of course the type of mortgage that has greatly contributed to the crisis. They’ve also advised her to spend any excess money on a flat-screen TV or furniture, instead of paying back part of the principle. “It’s good for the economy” one agent told her.

The industry doesn’t seem humbled at all. They appear as greedy and foolish as ever.

Are Republicans after the Anti-Bush?

John McCain Hangry

Lost in the analysis of the ever-changing complexion of the Republican primary—more specifically the ascension of John McCain—is why conservatives seem to be bucking conventional wisdom by gravitating toward someone who hasn’t simply bucked party principles but has been the party maverick, the one most likely to appear first under results of a ‘Republican outcast’ Google search.    

Some pundits cite a less than stellar field as a rationale for McCain’s popularity, and perhaps they’re right. Others believe it’s his electability, in so much as he might be the only one that can knock off Hillary Clinton. But there is one motivation for the McCain surge not making the editorial roundtables—Bush fatigue. Usually mentioned in connection with Democratic frustration and voter turnout, it’s rarely mentioned as an explanation for McCain’s emergence.

Republicans haven’t forgotten McCain-Feingold or his roguish ‘gang of 14’. They also don’t share his view on immigration. From Zogby:

“An overwhelming majority of American adults say a candidate’s stance on immigration is important to their voting decisions, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows. More than 76 % of the online poll respondents said a candidate’s position on immigration is a “very important” or “somewhat important” factor in their decision on who to vote for in the presidential elections of 2008”

So obviously, many Republicans are ignoring recent history with regards to McCain, his amnesty proposal and his forever needling of conservatives. Maybe they too want change and are looking for the anti-Bush.

Who better than that Republican who has been most openly critical?

Did You Know …

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Around the world

France

Tuesday’s ruling of the European Court of Human Rights gave a sharp rebuke to a French court decision while simultaneously overturning their adoption legislation. The ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) took on the case of a French teacher who was denied permission to adopt based upon her homosexuality. Because French law allows single parent petitions, the court ruled that France had discriminated against the woman and awarded her 10,000 euros in punitive damages.

The lawyer for the teacher rejoiced in the decision in an interview with LeFigaro, “Now, France can no longer refuse approval of adoption to a single person because she is homosexual.”  I imagine, however, Europeans opposed to a European constitution and expansion of EU powers weren’t quite as enthusiastic.

Italy

 In Lombardia (the northern region of Milan and Como), the period of time a woman can obtain an abortion was shortened to 22 weeks and 3 days from 24 weeks

Everything is Relative

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From Michigan to Florida, voters are anxious about the direction of the U.S. economy and how the downturn will affect their pocketbook. Their anxiety is understandable, but a proper perspective might dampen their increasing negativity.

 From today’s Italian newspaper (with the help of Google translator), Il Corriere Della Sera According to ISTAT, 14.6% of Italian families (one in seven) say they have a hard time at the end of the month to pay their bills. One out of ten have difficulty with the most essential expenses: bills, heating, and medical treatment, while 4.2% of families in Corsica had problems, at least once, to stock their refrigerator. The Istat survey was in 2006.” 

Americans face tough times, but in looking around the world, even in Western Europe, they still sit top the figurative list of world’s luckiest populations.

The Quality of Color

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Oofah!

“In the Obama candidacy, there is a potentially history-making quality that we should reflect on. It is one that is especially relevant on the sensitive topic of race — because South Carolina and the South as a whole bear a heavier historical burden than the rest of our country on that front”

 Even more amazing than the quote is the party affiliation of the author. The Republican Governor of South Carolina penned the rather embarrassing op-ed in The State, South Carolina’s largest newspaper.  Not only did Gov. Sanford insult South Carolinians by reminding them of their shameful past with respect to racism, but if you read between the lines, he’s saying an Obama vote is a vehicle for atonement. Kind of sad, really.  He goes on…. 

“Nonetheless, what is happening in the initial success of his candidacy should not escape us. Within many of our own lifetimes, a man who looked like Barack Obama had a difficult time even using the public restrooms in our state.”

 Maybe the premise of Shelby Steele’s book White Guilt is accurate. And maybe those who suggest that the discrepancy between the Iowa caucus vote and the New Hampshire primary vote have a point. Perhaps those white Iowans didn’t want to look un-hip, un-cool and even slightly racist. Nobody wanted to be the guy with his hands down when the Obama roll call came.  

Apparently, the most important qualification Senator Obama has is his color. And silly me, I thought we were past this.

Even Socialists are Hip to Tax Cuts

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The first part of tonight’s debate had Romney, Thompson and Huckabee fighting over who could be relied upon to carry on the Reagan tradition of cutting taxes. But as painful as our taxes in America are, they don’t compare to taxes in Europe.

 

Earlier today on the other side of the Atlantic, another leader attempted to stem his poll numbers from their continual slide.  Despite his ostensible reformation from a communist into a redistribution happy socialist, Prime Minister Prodi announced his plans for the extra cash, from Italy’s unexpected growth in the third quarter of last year, in a speech where he proposed the unthinkable, at least for a socialist. He cut taxes.

 

Perhaps paying down the deficit would have been more prudent, but hey, at least he’s providing relief for hard-working Italians, who, like most Europeans, pay too much of their income in taxes. But his speech today on lowering taxes proves just how desperate he is to maintain his tenuous grip on power and how dissatisfied the Italian people are with his lackluster tenure.

 

Lowering taxes, or promising to, is one electoral move sure to raise even cellar-dwelling approval ratings.