[UPDATED] Culinary Union : Vote for Obama or Stay Away From the Caucus

Taylor Marsh spoke with a culinary union member this evening. Apparently, this union member was allegedly told to vote for Obama or stay away from the caucus.

Taylor attaches an audio of the conversation and it is very riveting. Scary stuff!

Please read Taylor's post here: http://www.taylormarsh.com/archives_view .php?id=26839

Jon Ralston talked about it this morning on MSNBC

Food for thought from Taylor Marsh:

After you listen to the tape, think about this. How do the union members get out for the caucus? It's during working hours so they have to get permission to be let out of their shift. So they have to sign cards, as the woman on the tape said. But according to her, if you don't sign the pledge card specifically for Obama you can't go to the caucus. That's because the company won't have a record of your intention to caucus. It's the very definition of coercion.

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Obama Plays Down Present Votes: HRC Offers Fact Sheet

HRC's campaign just released a fact sheet on Obama's 129 Present Votes.

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/relea se/view/?id=5193

Today, Sen. Obama's campaign held a conference call to defend his record of voting present on choice issues. But the Obama campaign failed to address the fact that Sen. Obama voted present 129 times on a wide array of issues, including choice, privacy for victims of sexual assault, and school violence. In fact, the Obama campaign claimed that Sen. Obama's present votes were part of a legislative strategy but failed to mention that Sen. Obama was the lone present vote on a number of key issues.

Sen. Obama's Present Votes By The Numbers

Sen. Obama voted 'present' 129 times while in the State Senate. [New York Times, 12/20/07]

In 1999, Sen. Obama voted 'present' more often than he voted 'no': According to state records, Obama voted 'present' 43 times in 1999, while voting 'no' just 29 times. [ilga.gov]

At least 36 times, Sen. Obama was either the only State Senator to vote present or was part of a group of six or fewer to vote that way. [New York Times, 12/20/07]

Other Present Votes of Interest:

Sen. Obama was the only State Senator to vote 'present' on a bill that sought to protect the privacy of sex-abuse victims, and the only state senator to not support the bill. [HB854, Passed 58-0-1, 05/11/99]

Sen. Obama was the only State Senator to vote 'present' on an adoption bill that imposed stricter requirements for parental fitness, and the only State Senator to not support the bill. [HB1298, Passed 57-0-1, 5/6/1999]

Sen. Obama voted 'present' on a bill that would increase penalties for the use of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. The bill called for the mandatory adult persecution of a minor at least 15 years of age being tried for using a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. [SB759, Passed 52-1-5, 3/25/1999]

Sen. Obama voted 'present' on a bill to prohibit the presence of adult sex shops near schools, places of worship, and day care facilities; bill allows local governments to regulate the presence of adult sex shops. [SB609, Passed 33-15-5, 3/29/2001]

Illinois Now on Obama's Present Votes On Choice:

During Sen. Obama's 2004 Senate campaign, the Illinois NOW PAC did not recommend the endorsement of Obama for U.S. Senate because he refused to stand up for a woman's right to choose and repeatedly voted `present' on important legislation.

As a State Senator, Barack Obama voted `present' on seven abortion bills, including a ban on 'partial birth abortion,' two parental notification laws and three 'born alive' bills. In each case, the right vote was clear, but Sen. Obama chose political cover over standing and fighting for his convictions.

"When we needed someone to take a stand, Sen. Obama took a pass," said Grabenhofer. "He wasn't there for us then and we don't expect him to be now."

*You can't vote present as PRESIDENT!*

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Race Talk Through the Media's Eyes

I've had enough of the Media telling me what is up, down, or side ways. Today Bob Johnson, founder of BET Slammed Obama in SC and the Media immediately pounced.

Read the article here: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/ 01/13/bet-chief-raps-obama-in-sc/index.h tml?hp

Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, who is campaigning today in South Carolina with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, just made a suggestion that raised the specter of Barack Obama's past drug use. He also compared Mr. Obama to Sidney Poitier, the black actor, in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."

Please read Bob Johnson's direct quote:

Dr. King had led a "moral crusade," Mr. Johnson said, but such crusades have to be "written into law."

"That is the way the legislative process works in this nation and that takes political leadership," he said. "That's all Hillary was saying."

He then added: "And to me, as an African-American, I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues since Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood -­ and I won't say what he was doing, but he said it in the book -­ when they have been involved."

Moments later, he added: "That kind of campaign behavior does not resonate with me, for a guy who says, `I want to be a reasonable, likable, Sidney Poitier `Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.' And I'm thinking, I'm thinking to myself, this ain't a movie, Sidney. This is real life.

I knew what Bob was trying to say. He wasn't taking about Obama's past drug use, he was talking about his time as a community leader/organizer." Did I miss something here? How can one tie what Johnson said to Shaheen's statement?

After Mr. Johnson was criticized he released a clarification statement, through the Clinton campaign:

My comments today were referring to Barack Obama's time spent as a community organizer, and nothing else. Any other suggestion is simply irresponsible and incorrect.

"When Hillary Clinton was in her twenties she worked to provide protections for abused and battered children and helped ensure that children with disabilities could attend public school.
That results oriented leadership -- even as a young.

Based on how this thing unfolded today and how the Media covered it, we are take from it that an African American cannot question or criticize another African American, especially if that African American is Barack Obama without being immediately labelled a racist or race baiter?

Taylor Marsh puts this issue into perspective:

I'm just going to put this out there for you to think about. At some point, the White Folk covering the presidential primaries are going to have to understand that there is a real battle going on among African Americans right now centering on Barack Obama's candidacy v. the Clinton's record on civil rights, and whether Hillary Clinton has earned the right to represent African Americans even though she's white.

Please read Taylor's entire post here: http://www.taylormarsh.com/archives_view .php?id=26820

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Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-D) Defends Bill and HRC

Sheila Jackson Lee went on with Wolf Blitzer on CNN (after the MTP segment on NBC] and cooly and candidly said that neither Bill or HRC are racists; the comments have been 'divaricated' by journalists; and that people like Donna Brazile and James Clyburn have been fed untruths by journalists looking for a gotcha moment about HRC and Bill Clinton.

Jackson-Lee stood up strongly for HRC, saying that the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death was approaching, and she knew Hillary Clinton's dedication and commitment to King's ideals, her hard work on behalf of King's civil rights ideals, her lifetime of dedication to the King family and to King's legacy. She quite clearly--nicely, but firmly--put this 'racist' BS to rest, that it was just not true.

Thank you to Sheila Jackson-Lee for standing up to Barack Obama's race baiting tactics.

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HRC on Meet the Press: Smacks Down Obama, Tim Russert

HRC kicked Tim Russert's behind on MTP today.  Here's just a portion for your enjoyment.

What he was talking about was very directly about the story of Sen. Obama's campaign, being premised on a speech he gave in 2002 and that was to his credit. He gave a speech opposing the war in Iraq. He gave a very impassioned speech against it and consistently said that he was against the war, he would vote against the funding for the war. By 2003, that speech was off his website. By 2004, he was saying that he didn't really disagree with the way George Bush was conducting the war. And by 2005, 6, and 7, he was voting for $300 billion in funding for the war. The story of his campaign is really the story of that speech and his opposition to Iraq. I think it is fair to ask questions about, what did you do after the speech was over? And when he became a senator, he didn't go to the floor of the Senate to condemn the war in Iraq for 18 months. He didn't introduce legislation against the war in Iraq. He voted against timelines and deadlines initially. So I think it's important that we get the contrast and the comparisons out. I think that's fair game." - Hillary Clinton

What did you think of HRC's performace?

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On A Lighter Note: HRC smacks Chris Matthews Before NH Primary

I thought we all could use a good laugh.  

I love HRC. And here's the reason why...

Enjoy!

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Hillary's Closing Ad in Iowa

Meanwhile, Obama calls upon another star.

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The Blogosphere Weighs In On Obama's Gore/Kerry Comment [UPDATED]

Update [2008-1-2 17:43:30 by lonnette33]: The Washington Post has picked up on this story. Please read the entire article here.

...and it isn't pretty.

Molly Ivors:

A serious question: what the hell is up with Barack Obama?

I don't get the guy. Is he a Dem? Or is he prepping to run with Michael Bloomberg should this whole "Democrat" thing not pan out?

I realize Iowa is two days away, and people are getting edgy, but between his health plan, attacks on Social Security and unions, and now Al Gore and John Kerry, he sounds like nothing so much as a Republican.

http://whiskeyfire.typepad.com/whiskey_f ire/2008/01/i-never-asked-f.html

Atrios:

In his own subtle way, running against the party - at least to the extent that its part and parcel with the Village in general - has long been Obama's message. But he's also long been good at blurring just what that meant, wink wink nudge nudge suggesting he was running to its left even as he used rhetoric which suggested he was running as David Broder's love child.
http://atrios.blogspot.com/2007_12_30_ar chive.html#8442493036638828583

Kos:

You know, I was going to vote for Obama and even announced that a week or so ago. But this is a great example of why it's best to wait and see how things shake out. Not being blinded by candidate worship, it's easier to sniff out the bullshit. And you have to have your head stuck deep in the sand to deny that Obama is trying to close the deal by running to the Right of his opponents. And call me crazy, but that's not a trait I generally appreciate in Democrats, no matter how much it might set the punditocracy's hearts a flutter.
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/1 /1/133841/9311/412/428780

Digby:

There are reasons why the country has been polarized, but it's not because of Al Gore or John Kerry. (And anyway, Gore won the popular vote by more than half a million votes. There was a little issue down in Florida that lost that one.)

I guess there's nothing wrong with running against former Democratic candidates, but it seems kind of gratuitous. Maybe it'll work, though. Everybody knows that divisive Democrats are the problem (although it's the first time anyone's made a point of that in a Democratic primary. Bold move.)

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/d ivisive-dems-by-digby-this-just-makes.ht ml

Ezra Klein:

On the down side, some of his closing-weeks attacks are a bit, err, worrisome. Going after trial lawyers, for instance? Flooding the radio with ads claiming "Clinton would force people to buy insurance even if they can't afford it" and "Barack Obama will cover everyone"? Suggesting that nominating Al Gore was a mistake and suggesting, wrongly, that Kerry was a divisive figure when he was nominated? Some of those statements are simply conservative arguments being uttered by a progressive. Some simple aren't true.
http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezrak lein_archive?month=01&year=2008& base_name=the_obama_close#103413

John Tapper from ABC News provides more insight.
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/ 2007/12/was-obama-slamm.html

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Russert's questions for Obama: What a joke!

Tim Russert ought to be ashamed of himself.

1) Senator Obama, your numbers have slipped a bit, can you explain that?

2) Do you think General Musharraf provided Bhutto the proper security?

3) Do you think Senator Clinton's vote caused the events surrounding Bhutto's death?

4) Are we rolling the dice electing you?

5) Why do you have to run now?

6) You called HRC the "Master of the System". What does that mean?

7) You also said you wouldn't allow a lobbyist to work in your White House...If a lobbyist agreed to your terms, they could work in the White House?

8) Senator Clinton made some interesting comments...Have you been fully vetted? Is there anything else we need to know about you?

9) Do you think these stories (drug and Muslim) have caused an unease about you?

10) Let's watch the Obama Health Ad. Let's read Ron Brownstein's article. Mandates? Quasi-Mandate?

11) If you don't win this time, you won't run again?

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Photo Surfaces with Obama and Indicted Chicago Lobbyist

Obama the "reformer"? A picture has surfaced with Obama and indicted Chicago Lobbyist, Tony Resko. The photograph is undated. When was it taken? It looks fairly recent.

Yesterday Obama said:

"I'm the only candidate in this race who hasn't just talked about taking power away from lobbyists, I've actually done it. So if you want to know what kind of choices we'll make as President, you should take a look at the choices we made when we had the chance to bring about change that wasn't easy or convenient," he said yesterday, referring to reform legislation he advanced in Illinois and Washington.

The story was written by Ben Smith of the Politico .

Ben writes:

That shouldn't be a surprise to anybody who's watched him first advertise a new kind of politics, then refuse to be boxed into a toothless, reformist "new politics" that seemed to suggest this year. But it seems like a trait worth keeping in mind.

Everyday there is something new with this guy.

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