Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Barack courts California, California pleads headache

In his first visit to southern California since May and his third since taking office, Obama was repeatedly interrupted by a number of listeners who attacked him on his policies barring gays from openly and equality serving in the military when he was delivering a speech at a reception at the California Science Center.
He was also questioned by opponents at a dinner later at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Repeating a pledge he made at the State of the Union Address on Jan. 27, Obama said his government will repeal the controversial policy. "Hey hold on a second. We are going to do that," he said.
As the protesters continued yelling, he was forced to stop his speech. The protesters come from GetEQUAL, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group that also organized similar protests recently.
A coalition of groups called for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S.troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Welcome to California, President Barack Obama. The above is from Lin Zhi (Xinhua) repoting on Barack's attempt to fundraise on behalf of Senator Barbara Boxer's increasingly challenging run for the US Senate. In an effort to appease the protesters, Barack made the ridiculous claim that he and Barbara were leaders on Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal. That kind of crap would fly in NYC -- where Panhandle Media would lap it up because it sounds good to them. But in California, we know Boxer's done nothing. We know that Senators Roland Burris and Kirsten Gillibrand have been doing more and doing more in public and that both were just appointed to the Senate in 2009. Boxer's a senator from California who's been elected to her seat repeatedly. She bragged in 2004, in fact, that she won a greater percentage of the vote than did Bully Boy Bush. She should have been leading on this issue. Instead, allegedly due to the Prop 8 vote and the video of her that's supposed to portray her as disrespectful of the military, she's hung in the background.

Well . . . hung in the background and promoted her badly written (co-written) latest attempt at Harold Robbins. Bad books, after all, rarely sell themselves.

How out of it, how non-leadership is Barack on this issue? In the middle of the protest, he had to ask Boxer if she voted for Don't Ask, Don't Tell originally and she said she didn't at which point he informed the audience "I just checked with Barbara, so if anybody else is thinking about starting a chant, Barbara didn’t even vote for 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in the first place." Thanks for that 'breaking' news, Barack. If she had voted for it, you better believe she would have been a one term senator. For just a moment grasp what took place.

Barack claims he wants to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And he claims he is in Los Angeles standing by his friend Barbara Boxer . . . and he doesn't even know how she voted? That tells you exactly how distant Barack actually is from this issue. Ed O'Keefe (Washington Post) reports of one protester, "'I am protesting because while I volunteered for, voted for, and still believe in Obama, I also believe is time to repeal don’t ask don't tell,' an apparent protester wrote on tumblr.com."

When not spinning Boxer's professional lethargy, the two were confronted by people such as Iraq War veteran Mike Prysner, of March Forward!, who the AP quotes telling Barack, "As an Iraq War veteran, I understand the importance of stopping these unjust wars. Too many civilians and soldiers are dying, too much money is going to fund death and destruction, while so many of us are hurting here at home."

We are in the Great Recession and it probably doesn't help Barack look 'of the people' when the Los Angeles Independent reports, "A ticket to the dinner was $17,600 per person, a figure arrived at by combining half the maximum $30,400 contribution to a national party committee combined with the maximum $2,400 donation to a candidate. All the events sold out." They also report Barack whined about the issues he faces as president. Oh, I'm sorry, did he think it was all pageant waving and super market openings? Cover shoots and Jay Leno interviews? Andrew Malcolm (Los Angeles Times) also notes the price:

As The Ticket reported here earlier Monday, Obama flew across the country for no public events but just two fundraisers for the embattled liberal Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer seeking a four Senate term where tickets ranged up to $17,600 to sip wine and hear the president.

Obama's batting average campaigning for fellow Democrats is a pathetic 0-7 in recent months,. But Boxer needs help (especially in the money department in this expensive state) even in liberal California where she's been unable to reach the key 50% approval rating this year against a trio of potential Republican opponents.

The following community sites updated last night and this morning:

In the US, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee continues to highlight the economy and finances in a number of videos this week. Click here to be taken to the DPC video page. And we'll note this one by Senator Bill Nelson of Florida.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends