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Obama Gets Back to Work

By Perry Bacon Jr.
On his first campaign stop since returning from a brief vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Barack Obama adopted a tactic that voters are likely to hear often if the Illinois senator becomes the Democratic presidential nominee: likening presumptive GOP nominee John McCain to George W. Bush.

Attacking McCain's speech yesterday on the mortgage crisis, Obama said McCain's approach was "the road that George Bush has taken for the last eight years."

"It's the idea that the government has no role at all in solving the challenges facing working families," Obama said at a stop in Greensboro, N.C., according to NBC News, "that all we can do is hand out tax breaks to the wealthiest people and let the chips fall where they may. George Bush called this the 'ownership society,' but what he really meant is 'you're own your own society.'"

"If you lose your job, you're on your own," Obama chanted. ... "If you were lured in by deceptive mortgage practices, you're on your own."

McCain, in his speech, had suggested much more limited government help to both businesses and homeowners affected by the mortgage crisis than Obama or Hillary Clinton have proposed, saying "it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers."

McCain of course has outlined proposals to help middle- and low-income families, such as offering tax credits for health insurance and keeping in place broad-based tax cuts passed under the Bush administration.

His possible rival, Obama, had spent several days at a Caribbean resort before his trip to North Carolina, but he did not seem to come back that relaxed.

When an audience member told Obama that she hoped he enjoyed his vacation, he quickly retorted, according to NBC: "Let me tell you, two and a half days is not a vacation. It's a long weekend, but it's not a vacation."

Obama also sought to move beyond the controversy involving controversial remarks made by the former pastor of his church, Jeremiah Wright.

"We can't afford to be distracted ... every time somebody somewhere says something stupid that everybody gets up in arms and we forget about the war in Iraq and we forget about the economy," Obama said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 26, 2008; 3:43 PM ET
 
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Comments

sheridan1:

I do think of Stalin when I hear the name "Joseph" (although more so in the original Russian: Иосиф Сталин ; )

raulffer:

I was actually referring the U.S. invasion of North Africa -- they never invaded or even declared war on us!!!

Seriously, though, are you asking me how many "fascists and rats" are Pro-Life?

Posted by: JakeD | April 1, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

JakeD: read the books, go to a library. After the Japanese attack on 12/07/1941, Hitler declared war against USA on the next day, and german submarines started to strike american ships at same moment. He was keeping his agreement with the Axis (Berlin, Rome, Tokyo). So, FDR didn't send young men to Europe for nothing.
But I'm still wondered how many fascists and rats USA nowadays have. And are all of them Pro-Life? Not Pro-iraqs lives, for sure.

Posted by: raulffer | March 28, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

USA Ranking on Adult Literacy Scale: #9
(#1 Sweden and #2 Norway)- OECD

USA Ranking on Healthcare Quality Index: #37
(#1 France and #2 Italy)- World Health Organization 2003

USA Ranking of Student Reading Ability: #12
(#1 Finland and #2 South Korea)- OECD PISA 2003

USA Ranking of Student Problem Solving Ability: #26
(#1 South Korea and #2 Finland)- OECD PISA 2003

USA Ranking on Student Mathematics Ability: # 24
(#1 Hong Kong and #2 Finland)- OECD PISA 2003

USA Ranking of Student Science Ability: #19
(#1 Finland and #2 Japan)- OECD PISA 2003

USA Ranking on Women's Rights Scale: #17
(#1 Sweden and #2 Norway)- World Economic Forum Report

USA Position on Timeline of Gay Rights Progress: # 6 (1997)
(#1 Sweden 1987 and #2 Norway 1993)- Vexen

USA Ranking on Life Expectancy: #29
(#1 Japan and #2 Hong Kong)- UN Human Development Report 2005

USA Ranking on Journalistic Press Freedom Index: #32
(#1 Finland, Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands tied)- Reporters Without Borders 2005

USA Ranking on Political Corruption Index: #17
(#1 Iceland and #2 Finland)- Transparency International 2005

USA Ranking on Quality of Life Survey: #13
(#1 Ireland and #2 Switzerland)- The Economist Magazine ...Wikipedia "Celtic Tiger" if you still have your doubts.

USA Ranking on Environmental Sustainability Index: #45
(#1 Finland and #2 Norway)- Yale University ESI 2005

USA Ranking on Overall Currency Strength: #3 (US Dollar)
(#1 UK pound sterling and #2 European Union euro)- FTSE 2006....the dollar is now a liability, so many banks worldwide have planned to switch to euro

USA Ranking on Infant Mortality Rate: #32
(#1 Sweden and #2 Finland)- Save the Children Report 2006

USA Ranking on Human Development Index (GDP, education, etc.): #10
(#1 Norway and #2 Iceland)- UN Human Development Report 2005


So much for those "socialist" Europeans and those "backward" Asians, hm?
We can do better than this.

Posted by: sheridan1 | March 27, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama should be proud to be named Hussein
The attacks on Barack Obama's middle name have begun, but the likely Democratic nominee joins a long line of famous Americans with Semitic names, from Benjamin Franklin to Omar Bradley.
By Juan Cole

Feb. 29, 2008 | In Cincinnati, Bill Cunningham, according to the Los Angeles Times, introducing presidential candidate John McCain at a rally Tuesday, "ridiculed Democratic contender Barack Obama for his intention to meet with 'world leaders who want to kill us' and pointedly referred to the Illinois senator as 'Barack Hussein Obama.'" John McCain repudiated Cunningham's low tactics and said that using the middle name like that three times was "inappropriate" and would never happen again at one of his rallies.

I want to say something about Barack Hussein Obama's name. It is a name to be proud of. It is an American name. It is a blessed name. It is a heroic name, as heroic and American in its own way as the name of Gen. Omar Nelson Bradley or the name of Benjamin Franklin. And denigrating that name is a form of racial and religious bigotry of the most vile and debased sort. It is a prejudice against names deriving from Semitic languages!

Christian, Western heroes have often been bequeathed Middle Eastern names. Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, the medieval Spanish hero, carried the name El Cid, from the Arabic al-Sayyid, "the Lord."

Barack and Hussein are Semitic words. Americans have been named with Semitic names since the founding of the republic. Fourteen of our 43 presidents have had Semitic names (see below). And American English contains many Arabic-derived words that we use every day and without which we would be much impoverished. America is a world civilization with a world heritage, something Cunningham will never understand.

Barack is a Semitic word meaning "to bless" as a verb or "blessing" as a noun. In its Hebrew form, barak, it is found all through the Bible. It first occurs in Genesis 1:22 -- "And God blessed (ḇāreḵə) them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth."

Here is a list of how many times barak appears in each book of the Bible.

Now let us take the name "Hussein." It is from the Semitic word hasan, meaning "good" or "handsome." Husayn is the diminutive, affectionate form.

Barack Obama's middle name is in honor of his grandfather, Hussein, a secular resident of Nairobi, Kenya. Americans may think of Saddam Hussein when they hear the name, but that is like thinking of Stalin when you hear the name Joseph. There have been lots of Husseins in history, from the grandson of the prophet Mohammed, a hero who touched the historian Gibbon, to King Hussein of Jordan, one of America's most steadfast allies in the 20th century. The author of the beloved American novel "The Kite Runner" is Khaled Hosseini.

But in Obama's case, it is just a reference to his grandfather.

It is worth pointing out that John McCain's adopted daughter, Bridget, is originally from Bangladesh. Since Hussein is a very common name in Bangladesh, it is entirely possible that her birth father or grandfather was named Hussein. McCain certainly has Muslim relatives via adoption in his family. If Muslim relatives are a disqualification from high office in the United States, then McCain himself is in trouble. In fact, since Bridget is upset that George W. Bush doesn't like her "because she is black," and used her to stop the McCain campaign in South Carolina in 2000, you understand why McCain would be especially sensitive to race baiting of Cunningham's sort. The question is how vigorously he will combat it; he hasn't been above Muslim taunting in the campaign so far. (And the McCains really should let Bridget know that she is Asian, not "black." The poor girl; Bush and Rove have done a number on her, and Cindy's confusion can't help.)

The other thing to say about grandfathers named Hussein is that very large numbers of African-Americans probably have an ancestor 10 or 11 generations ago with that name, in what is now Mali or Senegal or Nigeria. And since so many thousands of Arab Muslims were made to convert to Catholicism in Spain after 1501, many Latinos have distant ancestors named Hussein, too. In fact, since there was a lot of Arab-Spanish intermarriage, and since there was subsequent Spanish intermarriage with other European Catholics, more European Americans are descended from a Hussein than they realize. The British royal family is quite forthright about the Arab line in its ancestry going back to Andalusia.

Obama, being a cousin of Dick Cheney on one side and having relatives in Kenya on the other, is just more and more typical of the 21st century United States.

So, anyway, Obama's first two names mean "blessing, the good." If we are lucky enough to get him for president, we can only hope that his names are prophetic for us.

Which brings me to Omar Bradley. Omar is an alternative spelling of Umar, i.e., Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second caliph of Sunni Islam. Presumably Gen. Bradley was named for the poet Omar Khayyam, who bore the caliph's name. Omar Khayyam's "Rubaiyat," in the "translation" of Edward FitzGerald, became enormously popular in Victorian America.

Gen. Omar Bradley, who bore a Semitic, Muslim first name, and shared it with the second caliph of Sunni Islam, was the hero of D-day and Normandy, of the Battle of the Bulge and the Ruhr.

Would Cunningham see Omar Bradley as un-American, as an enemy because of his name?

What about other American heroes, such as Gen. George Joulwan, former NATO supreme allied commander of Europe? "Joulwan" is an Arabic name. Or there is Gen. John Abizaid, former CENTCOM commander. Abizaid is an Arabic name. Abi means Abu or "father of," and Zaid is a common Arab first name. Is Cunningham good enough to wipe their shoes? Is he going to call them traitors because they have Arabic names?

What about Rep. Darrell Issa of California? ("'Isa" means Jesus in Arabic). Former Cabinet secretary Donna Shalala? (Shalala means "waterfall" in Arabic.)

I won't go into all the great Americans with Arabic names in sports, entertainment and business, against whom Cunningham would apparently discriminate on that basis. Does he want to take citizenship away from Kareem Abdul Jabbar (meaning "noble the servant of the Mighty") and Ahmad Jamal (meaning "the most praised, beauty")? What about Rihanna ("sweet basil," "aromatic")? And Tony Shalhoub (i.e., Mr. Monk)?

Let us take Benjamin Franklin. His first name is from the Hebrew Bin Yamin, the son of the Right (hand), or the son of strength, or the son of the South (yamin or right has lots of connotations). The "Bin" means "son of," just as in modern colloquial Arabic. Bin Yamin Franklin is not a dishonorable name because of its Semitic root. By the way, there are lots of Muslims named Bin Yamin.

As for an American president bearing a name derived from a Semitic language, that is hardly unprecedented.

John Adams really only had Semitic names. His first name is from the Hebrew Yochanan, or gift of God, which became Johan and then John. (In German and in medieval English, "y" is represented by "j" but was originally pronounced "y.") Adams is from the biblical Adam, which also just means "human being." In Arabic, one way of saying "human being" is "Bani Adam," the children of men.

Thomas Jefferson's first name is from the Aramaic Tuma, meaning "twin." Aramaic is a Semitic language spoken by Jesus, which is related to Hebrew and Arabic. In Arabic, twin is tau'am, so you can see the similarity.

James Madison, James Monroe and James Polk all had a Semitic first name, derived from the Hebrew Ya'aqov or Jacob, which is Ya'qub in Arabic. It became Iacobus in Latin, then was corrupted to Iacomus, and from there became James in English.

Zachary Taylor's first name is from the Hebrew Zachariah, which means "the Lord has remembered."

Abraham Lincoln, of course, is named for the patriarch Abraham, from the Semitic word for father, Ab, and the word for "multitude," raham. Abu, "father of," is a common element in Arab names today.

So, Mr. Cunningham, Barack Hussein Obama fits right in this list of presidents with Semitic names. In fact, we haven't had one for a while. We are due for another one.

A blessed and good one.

Posted by: sheridan1 | March 27, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

It is a sad commentary on American politics that all the not-pickers get caught up personal attack mode and lose sight of the larger picture.
In a piece about Senator Obama getting back to policy discussion, so many of you are still obsessed with gossip topics that you cannot refocus on economics. Aren't you falling into the trap of being persuaded to ignore reality for that which will entertain you?

Posted by: LiveFree | March 27, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks again Wolf Blitzer, and CNN! :-)

Posted by: rat-the | March 27, 2008 12:31 PM

**************************
GASP, he gives money to black based charities! REALLY, heavens call the po-po, this man has done gone crazy.

And CNN - The Clinton National Network - whatevahhh, rat.

Posted by: LABC | March 27, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

JakeD-Not sure if it was this thread or another(Too lazy to look!), BUT

Jeremiah Wright?

Of the Church Obasama donated $22,000 To Fame?

While contributing $5,000 to his Wife's Black Dance group, $13,000 to CARE(African Charity), and other remaining amounts of their $60,000 Donations to OTHER Black Based Charities!

Oops, more than you needed to know!

Thanks again Wolf Blitzer, and CNN! :-)

Posted by: rat-the | March 27, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

raulffer:

Luckily, your are not voiting in this election. As the last remaining world super-power, the USA has increased burdens and responsibility -- I have a feeling you are fine with America flexing its muscles when you agree with the end result -- for instance, you didn't mind when FDR sent many more than 4000 American young men to their death "in a foreign country who DID NOT attack USA" right?

Posted by: JakeD | March 27, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

raulffler-Thank-you for reminding ME, why I promote development in Western South America, and Central America! ;~)

Go drink some Ethanol!

Posted by: rat-the | March 27, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

As a brazilian citizen, I become wondered how some Americans are so naive about politics. The sermons of that pastor from Chicago... it actually doesn't matter a lot. Did he steal money (great amounts) from American people, as some are doing in Iraq? Did he steal ballots from electors as some did in Florida/2000 and Ohio/2004? Did he send 4000 Americans young men to death in a foreign country who DID NOT attack USA? Did he bring death and destruction ("Awe and Shock") to thousands and thousands of innocent people? Those are some real questions for the American people think about till November...

Posted by: raulffer | March 27, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, flarrfan : )

Posted by: JakeD | March 27, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

This is the true Obama:
http://www.obamaunveiled.com/

Posted by: rmary65 | March 27, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,

I am an avid reader of WaPo and I can't hold back any longer...I have grown so tired of your comments.

If you are so well educated and have such profound insight into the world of politics, wouldn't your energy serve a greater good if you were out and about working rather than using the comments section of a publication to further your not-so-insightful views? I mean seriously, is all you do sit in front of the computer and argue?

Posted by: soccrmom6 | March 26, 2008 05:41 PM

*********************************
God bless you for trying, soccrmom6! I swear, between the resume embellishing and the opinions that do not sound like they are from such an educated person, it is exhausting to read these posts. Why do folks like these always have to list their degrees and alleged background as if that excuses their egregious comments?

Give us a break, JakeD, the only reason you started using the middle names of Clinton and McCain was because you got called out on it not too long ago. Even people not as "educated" as you are know why you are doing it. You are the sort who would vote for McCain in any case.

And frankly, if you are retired, you should spend less time hunched over the computer. Inactivity is a killer to your age group.

Posted by: LABC | March 27, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: glclark4750 | March 27, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

let us stick to the issues,Iraq war,increasing gas prices,homelessness,home forclosures,education,drugs,gangs...I could go on and on..this stuff is real .If Hilary or anyone else wants to lie,"mispeak" or anything else so be it..Thank God that all these do gooders only get one vote..so lets all just vote our conscience .And let Barack run for the Human race because there is only one race.

Posted by: violet.thorpe | March 27, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

http://biz.yahoo.com/ibd/080115/issues.html?.v=1
Obama's views @ Yahoo.
Obama lied about Tony, He lied about his senate record. Now he lies about his pastor and what he heard for 20 years. and what he allowed his children to learn in this church> Hate/ Racism. Lies about america. http://media.townhall.com/Townhall/colpics/columnistBlackwell.g Ken Blackwell - Columnist for the New York Sun It's an amazing time to be alive in America. We're in a year of firsts in this presidential election: the first viable woman candidate; the first viable African-American candidate; and, a candidate who is the first frontrunning freedom fighter over 70. The next president of America will be a first.
We won't truly be in an election of firsts, however, until we judge every candidate by where they stand. We won't arrive where we should be until we no longer talk about skin color or gender. Now that Barack Obama steps to the front of the Democratic field, we need to stop talking about his race, and start talking about his policies and his politics.

The reality is this: Though the Democrats will not have a nominee until August, unless Hillary Clinton drops out, Mr. Obama is now the frontrunner, and its time America takes a closer and deeper look at him.
Some pundits are calling him the next John F. Kennedy. He's not. He's the next George McGovern. And it's time people learned the facts.

Because the truth is that Mr. Obama is the single most liberal senator in the entire U.S. Senate. He is more liberal than Ted Kennedy, Bernie Sanders, or Mrs. Clinton. Never in my life have I seen a presidential frontrunner whose rhetoric is so far removed from his record. Walter Mondale promised to raise our taxes, and he lost. George McGovern promised military w eakness, and he lost. Michael Dukakis promised a liberal domestic agenda, and he l ost.

Yet Mr. Obama is promising all those things, and he's not behind in the polls. Why? Because the press has dealt with him as if he were in a beauty pageant. Mr. Obama talks about getting past party, getting past red and blue, to lead the United States of America. But let's look at the more defined strokes of who he is underneath this superficial "beauty."
Start with national security, since the president's most important duties are as commander-in-chief. Over the summer, Mr. Obama talked about invading Pakistan, a nation armed with nuclear weapons; meeting without preconditions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who vows to destroy Israel and create another Holocaust; and Kim Jong II, who is murdering and starving his people, but emphasized that the nuclear option was off the table against terrorists - something no president has ever taken off the table since we created nuclear weapons in the 1940s. Even Democrats who have worked in national security condemned all of those remarks. Mr. Obama is a foreign-policy novice who would put our national security at risk.

Next, consider economic policy. For all its faults, our health care system is the strongest in the world. And free trade agreements, created by Bill Clinton as well as President Bush, have made more goods more affordable so that even people of modest means can live a life that no one imagined a generation ago. Yet Mr. Obama promises to raise taxes on "the rich." How to fix Social Security? Raise taxes. How to fix Medicare? Raise taxes. Prescription drugs? Raise taxes. Free college? Raise taxes. Socialize medicine? Raise taxes. His solution to everything is to have government take it over. Big Brother on steroids, funded by your paycheck.

Finally, look at the social issues. Mr. Obama had the audacity to open a stadium rally by saying, "All praise and glory to God!" but says that Christian leaders speaking for life and marriage have "hijacked" - hijacked - Christianity. He is pro-partial birth abortion, and promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will rule any restriction on it unconstitutional. He espouses the abortion views of Margaret Sanger, one of the early advocates of racial cleansing. His spiritual leaders endorse homosexual marriage, and he is moving in that direction. In Illinois, he refused to vote against a statewide ban - ban - on all handguns in the state. These are radical left, Hollywood, and San Francis co values, not Middle America values.

The real Mr. Obama is an easy target for the general election. Mrs. Clinton is a far tougher opponent. But Mr. Obama could win if people don't start looking behind his veneer and flowery speeches. His vision of "bringing America together" means saying that those who disagree with his agenda for America are hijackers or warmongers. Uniting the country means adopting his liberal agenda and abandoning any conflicting beliefs.
But right now everyone is talking about how eloquent of a speaker he is and - yes - they're talking about his race. Those should never be the factors on which we base our choice for president. Mr. Obama's radical agenda sets him far outside the American mainstream, to the left of Mrs. Clinton.

It's time to talk about the real Barack Obama. In an election of firsts, let's first make sure we elect the person who is qualified to be our president in a nuclear age during a global civilizational war.

Posted by: ladya2004 | March 27, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Oh MY God! That man Obama is back, talking about the "stupid" remarks by the Rev. Wright? STUPID, OBAMA? IS THAT HOW YOU'RE NOW CHARACTERIZING THEM? WHAT ABOUT THE 20 YEARS AND 20K THAT YOU'VE GIVEN TO THAT MAN, REV. WRIGHT, YOUR SPRITUAL ADVISOR, THAT FILTHY RACIST TRASH THAT HE HAS SPOUTED, AND WHICH YOU AND YOUR WIFE HAVE INTERNALIZED ALL THESE YEARS, AND YOU NOW WANT TO CONVINCE THE GOOD PEOPLE OF PA. THAT SUCH REMAKRS ARE INSIGNICANT AND "STUPID"???

OH NO, YOU ARE STUPID OBAMA, FOR THINKING THAT ANYONE WHO USES THE BRAIN THAT GOD GAVE THEM WOULD VOTE FOR SOME LYING, HYPOCRITICAL, DISINGENUOUS AS HELL, THROW YOUR POOR GRANDMOTHER UNDER THE BUS, NO EXPERIENCE SELF, THAT'S WHAT OBAMA! THIS DEM WILL CAMPAIGN FOR MCCAIN BEFORE I WOULD EVEN LOOK IN YOUR DIRECTION!

Posted by: schmetterlingtoo | March 27, 2008 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Now here are a few observations/truths from out here in Canada:

a) Sept 11 was not a beginning of a conflict. It was an outcome of Arab resentment of American presence and control of Arab lands, particularly Saudi Arabia, where the hijakers came from. Much of this was connected American dependence on Saudi oil as well as a massive military presence left there after the first gulf war (an oil war). I'm not justifying the attacks, just pointing out the causality.

b) Barak will not disown Mr. Wright who made some inflammatory comments. Hillary will not disown Bill who had sex with Lewinski and many others. Hillary's assertion that she would have disowned Wright is not supported by her own actions. Also, Mr. Wright is not running for president.

c) Hillary did not misspeak about Bosnia - she lied.

d) Barak's description of the racial problems in the USA shows his understanding that problems are complex - and are not just a case of good vs. evildoers like some other politicians see things. He is more likely to create effective solutions as a result.

e) In America, you can't get very far in presidential politics unless you believe in Jesus. It's a pity, because Jesus was a regular guy, and God does not actually exist. If you are reading this and you are Chritian, understand that your belief is a result of where you were born and the prior conquest of your land (through disease and war) by European Christians. This does not make your religion true - I'm sorry.

f) It's real funny to see Americans telling their government to get gas prices down. Low gas prices in the past are exactly what has created a society so dependent on this commodity they dont have.

g) The right way to solve the mortgage crisis is to allow homeowners to default/foreclose without a permanent bankrupcy record. This would put the pain where it belongs - irresponsible investors, lenders and borrowers, and would bring prices back to where they would be affordable by the smart people that never climbed on the bubble.

h) It is strange to see how all the US politicians avoid talking about the 100,000's of Iraqis that have died as a result of the US invasion - why is that?

i) If you are more than skin deep, at least take the time to listen to the WHOLE of Mr. Wright's speech: http://odeo.com/audio/17889043/view

j) And if you elect Clinton for president, don't expect to renew your country - you wont.

Over and out

Soulsurfer

Posted by: russel_horwitz | March 27, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

JakeD

You are a bigot ............too bad there is no cure for it

Posted by: netsa14 | March 27, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

JakeD

You are a bigot ............too bad there is no cure for it

Posted by: netsa14 | March 27, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton began her negative campaign way before Iowa and she is continuing to this day with her lies and deceptions. She won't hesitate to cross any line for more money and more power, even if this means crossing her own party.

Hillary understands very well that she will not win the nomination and she is playing for 2012 by making sure that the democrats will lose in 2008. Insiders in her campaign admit that the chances for her to win the nomination are slim to none: see the articles

CLINTON'S CHANCES VIRTUALLY NIL...

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/campaignmatters?bid=45&pid=301838

STORY BEHIND THE STORY: THE CLINTON MYTH

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0308/9149.html

Let's hope that the superdelegates will put an end to the campaign of this kamikaze who believes in ressurection; after all, she is supposed to be Jesus or one of his associates if Bill Richardson is Judas.

Vote Obama or McCain rather than for this power and money driven heartless #$@%! who wears faith and patriotism on her sleeves.

Posted by: Logan6 | March 27, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Bill is fighting to return to the WH, and that is anti-constitutional. Senator Obama has to contest the Clinton dynasty machine, not just Hillary. As for Walter Mondale's claim that it is harder for a woman to be elected POTUS instead of a black man, ask Mondale how many (white) women are in the House and Senate in contrast to how many black men. How many women attend college in contrast to black men. How do (white) women do in life with money and housing and health and mortality in contrast to black men? As a successful professional woman, I am heartily ashamed to hear someone I used to admire play the race and gender card to advantage the Clinton dynasty. Carville also speaks for the Clinton dynasty. Carville has shown tremendous disrespect for the first and only Hispanic governor and should be drummed out of the Democratic party, if the Clinton campaign will not disavow him. Hillary is a horrible liar who cannot tell the difference between truth and lie.

Posted by: shirleylim | March 26, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

GOD dammed Egypt for mistreating his people, God dammed Solomn and Gamora for corruption of his people, God dammed the whole world with a 40 day and 40 nights with a flood, GOD even dammed Adam and Eve, for not listning...there is a difference people between dam and dammed.
Each instance above resulted from the lack of love and respect for GOD'S creation...HIS CHILDREN...WHICH MEANS ALL OF US IN EVERY PART OF THE THE WORLD!
If you watch the entire video,on the same site youtube.com, or just listen for a minute you will see GOD WISHES is noone be mistreated, but loved as he has LOVED.
The greatest gift from GOD is to be love.

Posted by: sweetp_b307 | March 26, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I see now Hillary's people are attacking both Richardson AND Pelosi, since a Hispanic and a woman dare declare that Superdelegates should basically support the will of the people rather than risk a nightmare scenario where the people's vote appears to have been "stolen" by a supposedly Democratic party of, for, and by the people... especially after Florida 2000!

Posted by: eljefejesus | March 26, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

GOD dammed Egypt for mistreating his people, God dammed Solomn and Gamora for corruption of his people, God dammed the whole world with a 40 day and 40 nights with a flood, GOD even dammed Adam and Eve, for not listning...there is a difference people between dam and dammed.
Each instance above resulted from the lack of love and respect for GOD'S creation...HIS CHILDREN...WHICH MEANS ALL OF US IN EVERY PART OF THE THE WORLD!

Posted by: sweetp_b307 | March 26, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Now that Obama is back working again, can we assume that his solution for OUR mortgage woes will be for us to find a rich, influential neighbor in the real estate business, one with government ties, and get a "really good deal" on a new house and mortgage? How can a man who was not "on his own" in his own ownership give credible advice to other people? What about his own deceptive property ownership practices? Hey, maybe he'll co-sign for us. While we are at it, how can a man take an oath to protect America and simultaneously protect a man who DamnsAmerica? He is an incredibly gifted orator, sort of a black Elmer Gantry, but his substance is mostly smoke and mirrors, like a black Dusty Rhodes.

Posted by: deucebollards | March 26, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

flarrflan-Actually, I am usually ranting on the Postal around late-Morning through Lunchtime.

Maybe Mr. Hannity gets his stuff from ME?!

It is not like HE does not know Exactly who I am from previous correspondences!

As do Several other Talking Heads-or at least their Staff!

World Behold:

RAT-The! ;~)

Accept no Substitutes!

Posted by: rat-the | March 26, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I applaud Barack for grabbing the bull by the horns. By McCain's own admission, he knows nothing about the economy. He just wants to fight -- for 100 years -- with anybody he feels like fighting, even though he cannot name who is fighting who.
Barack Obama will make a great president, just like Kennedy and Lincoln. He's a great leader and we are very blessed to have him!

Posted by: wanakeeh | March 26, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I challenge all of you who want to condemn Barack Obama for the comments of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to listen to the whole sermon. For a start, the 'chickens coming home to roost' statement is attributable to former US Ambassador to Iraq, Edward Peck but of course those like Hannity who seek to use the Reverend's words for incitement cut that piece out. Take 20 minutes and listen to this sermon and then challenge this paper to print a transcript so that people have a chance to decide for themselves if this sermon is anti-American.
http://odeo.com/audio/17889043/view

Posted by: janjon | March 26, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Two days ago Hillary said during a press conference, that while strolling through Manhattan , the day before ,she saw that a construction tower crane was crashing to the ground .She ran inside a phone booth took off all her clothes and emerged from the booth as "Super Hillary."She flew up ,held the crane in place and saved the day.Next day the NY Post showed a front page picture that showed a shattered crane on the ground that had destroyed two buildings .In the background there was a naked ,and apparently disturbed woman , running in the opposite direction.!!

Posted by: tiskono | March 26, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

rat-the, Sean Hannity is on from 3-6 pm ET every weekday...but then I guess you already knew that, since you love to parrot the slime machine's talking points.

Baa Baa Baa
(the sounds of Hannity's sheeple)

Posted by: flarrfan | March 26, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Awww, Three Dimocrats have been indicted for getting a Paid Trip from Saddam PRIOR to the Invasion. :-o

Breaks my Heart! :-(

NOW, we have to waste Money EXECUTING THEM! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 26, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

OH, My-My-My!

All I do is thank Wolf Blitzer at CNN for answering an inquiry I had about Barack Hussein's 2007 Tax Filings;

specifically;

WHAT, Charities received the 60,000 Dollars of Tax deductible gifts, and if by some off the wall chance, they were ALL for just one particular Racial Group?

And Lordy Lordy...

Why, you might think somebody was thinking I was out to somehow insinuate something.

All I did WAS ASK?! ;~)

That and Publicly thank Wolf for being sooooooo gracious as to let me and the rest of G'Damed White America know! :-)

Now, what do you call someone who only wants to promote ONE RACE? :-/

Posted by: rat-the | March 26, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why everybody wants to pile on JakeD. If more of Obama's supporters would adopt my strategery on other boards (I proudly use the name Hussein---don't do it here because the WaPo fills in my registered name for me), then maybe we wouldn't be having all these discussions. It's going to be heard a lot more between now and November, so you better learn to like it, not avoid it. I would like to see the candidate show a little more pride in his full name. Besides, compared to the usual right wingnuts that populate this and other boards, Jake is downright moderate and at least civil. He likes to use sarcasm at times, but that is just skillful wordsmithing. How 'bout letting him do his thing? If you disagree, respond respectfully or ignore it. And to the poster above who suggested he was racist...well, you need to save that for people who truly are bigots (there are a lot of Hannity sheeple posting here and elsewhere), and I've seen nothing from Jake that would indicate he's over the top.

Posted by: flarrfan | March 26, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

WSJ/NBC poll released this evening.

Hillary LOST points in her approval, now down to 37%, and GAINED in her negative, now up to 48%.

Meanwhile Obama's positive rating is 50%, and his negative rating is only 29%.

More: Obama leads Clinton nationally 47% - 45%, marking the first time in the WSJ/NBC poll he has led.

Still more: MATCHUP against McSame, Obama leads by two, Clinton trails by two.
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/26/821438.aspx

It's all over Hillary. Time to go. Desperation is not something we want in a president. And that's all she has left.

Just keep talkin that Wright crap. Voters know a scam when they see it, and this poll shows the vast majority of voters are not nearly as stupid as Republicans who thought Wright was the end.

Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States of America!

Posted by: infuse | March 26, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Dave27

Can you please provide a link to confirm the statement you made about prepared questions.

Posted by: chersplace | March 26, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Ladies and Gentlemen it is without question that Barack Obama will be the Democratic party nominee. He won more votes, more pledged delegates, more states. You cannot simply move the goaI posts any longer just ask Bobby Bowden or Nancy Pelosi. I for one appreciate the tempering Senator Obama has received from Billary's "kitchen sink, Tonya Harding" strategies. Senator Obama will be stronger for having risen above her divisiveness and our candidate will thus be prepared for the Karl Roves and their fear be afraid be very afraid techniques. The Democrats lost the House of Representatives, the Senate adn ofcourse the white House thanks to Bill Clinton ready for more of that?

John McCain Senator "McWar" cannot create more make believe boogeymen; the American people are now on to that b.s..

I fought in Iraq in the All Americans 82nd Airborne and join the now legions of my comrades opposed to the war which has cost 4000+ of my comrades in arms their lives and maimed another 25,000+. How much does a trillion and counting cost each American family? I ask any citizen who doubts the price of this war to visit the nearest Veterans hospital to them. The one I visit for therapy has a plaque on it that states The price of freedom is clearly evident here. The price for Iraq is way too high for a war which we should not be in. No WMD, No ties to Al Qaeda Etc. Etc. I pray that our country is really prepared to show courage and turn the page away from the dismal George W. cowboy with no guts or sense years and put our great nation on a better path.

Vote Barack Obama America.

Posted by: pedraza1 | March 26, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow such commentary, Everyone has issues, especially our current President. Leadership as defined by most is the ability to lead. Finding fault is quite easy, especially guilt by association. Obama has caused people to think, especially those who were once unwilling to think, whats wrong with hope. Don't we all want better, black or white. What divides us is nothing, regardless of income or education or gender we all want better. The real issue from what I see is that here's an articulate black senator running for the Presidency and the issue comes back to race. Whats next. No let's let Bush stay in office four more years and see where we'll be then. It's time for change, but who's change. Get your hands out my pocket!!! Is there really anyone who can save this country. It's just that simple.

Posted by: Polkuntheye | March 26, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

It does not matter if Obama's color is green, blue or white:

What matters is being a big spender...
Big Spenders raise taxes...

Obama's promises are like growing mushrooms:

Keep the voters in the dark and feed them lots of manure and fancy promises.

Posted by: alance | March 26, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

"did did ever" = "did every" : )

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I believe I am indeed using his (and everyone's) middle name everytime -- I did ever time here on this thread -- feel free to remind me if I miss it on any other thread.

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Then go for it, JakeD. Copy and paste in Obama's middle name ten times in every post. You know you want to. Just do it. Show us how much you mean it.

Posted by: zenagain | March 26, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama 2008! Evidence that a great nation can become even greater. Even after a disaster like Bush-Cheney has been at the helm for eight years, making 69% of Americans ashamed. If a decent, intelligent man like Obama is not prevented from becoming President of the US simply because his skin is dark, there are a hundred nations that must ask themselves why it could not happen to them.

Posted by: zenagain | March 26, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Clintons invited Rev Wright to white house (if he is such a hate monger, then why invite him to white house?).
Bill sent airforce and navy seals to Haiti and almost caused an all out civil war when Jimmy Carter was there getting a peace deal signed.
Bill was more interested in attacking N. Korea instead of dialogue and peaceful resolution. He didn't care to give Carter permission to travel to N Korea for talks.

I haven't a single instance where Hillary congradulating Obama on any of his primary wins. I have seen many instance of Obama congradulating Hillary on her wins.

Afer insulting the African American folks, it took over two months before an apology was issued by the Clinton camp. Even that came only because of primary in Mississippi was approaching. I can't understand why people still support selfish liar Clintons.

Even Jimmy Carter said that Clintons will be your friend only when they need something from you. Carter is an old man doing charity work by building homes for the poor and delivering medicines to people in poverty and decease ridden parts deep in Africa. There is no reason for him to say anything untrue about Clinton. Even when Carter reveals the truth about Clintons, some people still refuse to take a second look the the true face of Clintons. A chronic liar is not someone I want as my president. I don't know about the other half of Democrats who still support the Clintons.

One more thing about N Korea. Jimmy Carter managed to get former president of N Korea to agree to back down from threats and allow nuclear inspectors in his country. Then Bush took office and threw the agreement out the window and calle N Korea an axis of evil. I want a president interested in PEACE, not WAR.

McCain promised to get close with allies. What about the rest of the nations on the planet? Keep them on the bad list and poke them into starting wars? I don't want a president who is only interested in talking to nations that posses nulear war heads. I guess mothers of none of the republicans told them that all lives are precious, and that we need to help and get along with all people.

Posted by: Dave27 | March 26, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

ebmaryon and zenagain:

I am not a Republican, but I wouldn't vote for Hillary DIANE Clinton in a million years. Why should I care what Karl CHRISTIAN Rove thinks?

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Carolp23 said: "He makes me proud to be an American. Obama '08."

Right on, Carol! Me too. That's the main thing about Obama - he's aroused the patriotism of millions of Americans who were feeling down about their country because of Bush. People who oppose him have no choice but to go negative and stay negative, they try to pass it off as being negative about HIM, but in fact they're afraid to be proud of their country in anything but a negative way.

Posted by: zenagain | March 26, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Haven't you seen the interview of college students where Hillary held her initial campaign speeches and qa sessions?

Students told news reporters that Hillary's campaign staff gave pre-printed questions to ask Hillary during the q/a session, and the unsuspecting students fell for it. I am not making this up.

Now Hillary sniper-fire Clinton might be trying to change the subject from her Bosnia lies. She is trying to get the sympathy votes.

Hillary and her camp is trying to divert attention from her sniper-fire Bosnian trip.

She is a liar.
No liars for president.
No crooks for president.
No more pity votes.
No more sympathy votes.
Release your tax return.
Let us see your land dealings.
Let us see your sources of income.
Let us see whom you paid to murder Vince Forster.

Posted by: Dave27 | March 26, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, you might like to know that Karl Rove has discouraged Republicans from emphasizing Obama's middle name.

"Rove said that the use of "Barack Hussein Obama" would perpetuate the notion that Republicans were bigoted and would hurt the party."

You can find that report about Rove here:
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/14719.html

So, if you'd like to perpetuate the notion that YOU are bigoted (and a goofball), and thereby improve Obama's chances, please DO continue to obsess on his middle name. I suggest you not only put it in caps, but copy and paste it in maybe ten or twenty times, so that those of us who don't see your point from just one copy may see the light after the tenth copy or so...

Posted by: zenagain | March 26, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I think JakeD and others here are a bit racist. In fact, the whole Wright "scandal" gives a whole cohort of Anglo-heritage light pigmented humans a little excuse to raise a hue and cry against "anti-white", "anti-American" darker pigmented humans, many of which have african ancestry. C'mon, folks, don't you love yelling about this group of people that you stereotype and secretly hate or fear. This whole controversy says so much more about you than Rev. Wright or Mr. Obama.

I'm not at all surprised to find so many in the Clinton camp. The Clinton's play them like a violin, and they parrot back the Hillary "fightin" talk that is constantly dished out to bring Obama down. Shame on you small minded fools. You reveal your latent racist feelings about dark skin pigmented people, you bolster a negative campaign born of desperation, and you weaken your own party while whining that you will vote for McCain if Obama wins the nomination. Now I remember why, having voted twice for Bill, I despised him by the time he and his co-prez had finished pardoning their long list of pals!

Posted by: ebmaryon | March 26, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

No (to both questions).

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Jake, were you in Bosnia with Hillary running from the snipers?

Senator Barack Obama will be our next President. Get over it.

Posted by: GraceMN | March 26, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama is back from his rest in St. Thomas. Maybe he has more inspirational words for us - probably got them from his kids who he made read scriptures on Easter Sunday. The kids are 6 and 12 and he made them read scripture. What do you think - Love the neighbor or an eye for an eye.

Posted by: willygoo46 | March 26, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

The nation's housing slump and accompanying foreclosure crisis-which has hit Nevada harder than any other state-could have been avoided if leaders in Washington, D.C. had been paying attention, Democratic president candidate Barack Obama said in Reno today.

"Ten of the country's largest mortgage lenders spent $185 million lobbying Washington so they could keep engaging in these destructive practices," he said. "And they got what they paid for.

http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080114/NEWS19/80114024

Posted by: FebM | March 26, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

So, you are saying there's NO possibile way that BK judges massively re-writing loan terms would rattle credit markets or lead to higher interest rates at all -- that's just GOP scare tactics, huh -- excluding any crank 3rd party votes, I've voted for 3 Republican presidential candidates and 4 Democratic. Next question?

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I watched his North Carolina speech at work online and it was great. Everytime I hear him speak, I like him more and more. He detailed his plans on a variety of subjects and was humorous and charismatic as always. During the Q&A at the end I loved the question about how Jesus played into his decision making and Obama's answer was brillant (you had to see it to understand). I don't know how people can say negative things about this man. He's not perfect but he's honest and WILL be one of U.S's greatest Presidents. He makes me proud to be an American. Obama '08.

Posted by: Carolp23 | March 26, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"Third, what part of 'Providing bankruptcy courts the authority to reduce mortgage debts by judicial decree would lead to higher interest rates on future loans, further rattle credit markets, and be unfair to the millions of homeowners who have made the hard spending choices necessary to pay their mortgages on time every month' don't you understand?"

The part I do understand is how this is an excuse to not restructure mortgages in a way that would hurt lenders, couched in words meant to scare borrowers. What the Bush administration is proposing here, as in every other case, is intended to help huge companies (in this case the lenders) and screw over the little guy (in this case the borrower in over their head).

An independent, huh? Estimate for me the percentage of Republicans you've voted for in your life vs. Democrats. And please exclude any crank 3rd party votes. It's your actions (voting record) and words (the support of Bush and McCain, and the goofy uttering of Obama's middle name in every post), that tell me whether you're a Republican or not. Your voter registration card means nothing.

If you walk like one, and quack like one .... you're a Republican! And you, sir, are a HUGE Republican!

Posted by: deanderson03 | March 26, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

First, I think there are signs that the market is correcting so your question is pre-mature. Second, I'm registered Independent. Third, what part of "Providing bankruptcy courts the authority to reduce mortgage debts by judicial decree would lead to higher interest rates on future loans, further rattle credit markets, and be unfair to the millions of homeowners who have made the hard spending choices necessary to pay their mortgages on time every month" don't you understand? Lastly, it's more than "nothing" as you tried to argue.

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,

Despite all of these measures, the crisis just gets worse, doesn't it? So the question is, are they enough and were they delivered in a timely fashion to help people in true crisis?

The rising foreclosure rates and financial firm bailouts seem to indicate that Bush's measures have been insufficient and late. He denies bankruptcy judges the ability to change mortgage terms, a step that many think is a painful but necessary step to stem the financial floodwaters of the rising crisis.

He proposes to reduce closing costs. But how exactly would that help someone who has an existing mortgage but can't afford the payments? Many of these folks couldn't afford ANY closing costs, let alone reduced closing costs on a re-fi. And do you think mortgage companies will give borrowers like this free re-fi's? Not unless the government or courts force them to, which of course Bush is unwilling to do.

The bottom line is, playing around the edges with cute proposals for HOPE NOW hotlines, reduced closing fees on future mortgages that wouldn't help anyone in crisis right now, and measley 30-day extensions, won't address the problem as head-on as it needs to be addressed.

But this kind of okey-doke proposal is what we've come to expect from you Bushies. Throw a bunch of stuff out there to act like we are addressing the problem, without really addressing the problem. It makes perfrect sense for a crew that went to war with Iraq to eradicate a terrorist threat initiated in Afghanistan. You Repubs are too much! You just need to go away and stop wrecking our country.

Posted by: deanderson03 | March 26, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

ajtiger92:

This thread is about Barack HUSSEIN Obama "Getting Back to Work" likening presumptive GOP nominee John SIDNEY McCain to George WALKER Bush -- why are you posting about her instead?

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

pga:

Ronald WILSON Reagan?

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Crappy reporting, clear as mud.

Bacon, clowning around:
"he did not seem to come back that relaxed.

When an audience member told Obama that she hoped he enjoyed his vacation, he quickly retorted, according to NBC: "Let me tell you, two and a half days is not a vacation. It's a long weekend, but it's not a vacation.""
====================

Notice all of the drama is supplied by Bacon, not Sen Obama. Why is Mr Bacon supplying drama? He's supposed to be a news reporter.


I like this line from Sen Obama:
George Bush called this the "ownership society but what he really meant is 'you're own your own society'"
=============
Snappy, and I happen to agree with the sentiment.

Posted by: zukermand | March 26, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's a quick summary since I suspect you to busy blogging versus educating yourself.

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/samgrahamfelsen/gGBhcB

Posted by: ajtiger92 | March 26, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

exhooper (and ajtiger92):

This thread is about Barack HUSSEIN Obama "Getting Back to Work" likening presumptive GOP nominee John SIDNEY McCain to George WALKER Bush -- I'm sure another "Bash Hillary" thread will be up soon enough -- why are you posting about her instead?

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

What great American said the following:

"Go where you may. Search where you will. Roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World. Travel through South America. Search out every abuse. And when you have found the last, lay your facts by the everyday practices of these United States and you will say with me that for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival."

Seems Americans have gotten soft when it comes to criticism of her policies. How do we grow as a nation unless we can endure the discomfort of brutal honesty and even crackpot sounding rhetoric of our visionaries?

Posted by: pga | March 26, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

What great American said the following:

"Go where you may. Search where you will. Roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World. Travel through South America. Search out every abuse. And when you have found the last, lay your facts by the everyday practices of these United States and you will say with me that for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival."

Seems Americans have gotten soft when it comes to criticism of her policies. How do we grow as a nation unless we can endure the discomfort of brutal honesty and even crackpot sounding rhetoric of our visionaries?

Posted by: pga | March 26, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow! JakeD for a guy who supposedly has a law degree from Stanford you must spend more time on the blogs than researching Hillary Clinton's claims and experience. If you need a weblink or several weblinks to Hillary's claims (or should I say false claims) of experience, the first one is her own website.

Posted by: ajtiger92 | March 26, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

look up in the sky;its a bird, its a plane, no its a sniper lol.....Hillary you big liar....Obamas preacher stated facts but its anti American because a white guy didn't say.....you may wanna check the record America......days after 9/11 he wasn't the only antiamerican preacher preaching.....he just appens to be someone you can try and pin on Obama......Obama is the future and I wish the old people would realize that ......their hayday is over and they want to blow it for me and my children....and future generations to come.....Change08

Posted by: exhooper | March 26, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

deanderson (whether you agree with it or not, it is more than "nothing"):

Taking Responsible Action to Help Homeowners and the Economy

President Bush Sets Forth Principles For Appropriate Government Action To Address The Economy And Housing Market

On March 14, 2008, President Bush delivered remarks at the Economic Club in New York and discussed the appropriate role the government must play to strengthen the economy and protect our communities. The U.S. economy is structurally strong, but we are experiencing a period of economic challenge. Concern over the housing market has shaken the broader economy, but the President believes the government can respect the principles of the free market, while also taking sensible, focused action to help responsible homeowners weather a rough patch.

The President remains deeply concerned about the housing issue and strongly believes that any government policies must be responsible. Government actions often have far-reaching and unintended consequences. Any time the government intervenes in the market, it must do so with clear purpose and great care.
Many of the sweeping government solutions that have been proposed recently would only serve to make a complicated problem even worse, and end up hurting far more homeowners than they would help.

It does not make any sense to spend billions of dollars buying up homes that are already empty when the goal is to help more Americans keep their homes. One bill proposed in Congress would provide $4 billion for State and local governments to buy up abandoned and foreclosed homes. If mortgage lenders believe that the government will intervene, they will be less likely to help borrowers work out their mortgages.

Providing bankruptcy courts the authority to reduce mortgage debts by judicial decree would lead to higher interest rates on future loans, further rattle credit markets, and be unfair to the millions of homeowners who have made the hard spending choices necessary to pay their mortgages on time every month. If a bank thinks that judges might step in and write down the value of home loans, they would charge higher interest rates to cover that risk.
In addition, any action the government would take to artificially prop up home prices would hurt millions of Americans - including those who have been priced out of the market because of the irresponsible decisions of speculators and others that inflated home prices. The market is now in the process of correcting itself, and delaying that correction would only prolong the problem.

The Administration Has Taken Strong Steps To Assist Homeowners Who Have Made Responsible Buying Decisions And Can Avoid Foreclosure With A Little Help

In August, the President and his Administration launched a new initiative at the FHA called FHASecure. FHASecure expands the FHA's ability to offer refinancing by giving it the flexibility to work with homeowners who have had good credit histories but cannot afford their current payments. Since FHASecure was announced, FHA has helped more than 120,000 families stay in their homes by refinancing about $17 billion worth of mortgages. By the year's end, this program is expected to have helped nearly 300,000 homeowners in all.

FHA recently announced its expanded efforts to reach at-risk homeowners by sending letters to 850,000 Americans who face adjustable rate resets and who would likely qualify for an affordable FHA-backed loan. 280,000 letters was sent the first week of February, and another 570,000 letters will be sent in coming months.

Secretaries Paulson and Jackson facilitated the creation of the private-sector HOPE NOW Alliance, which has developed multiple strategies to help distressed homeowners. HOPE NOW is a cooperative effort among mortgage counselors, servicers, investors, lenders, and trade associations to maximize outreach efforts to struggling homeowners in distress and to help homeowners who want to stay in their homes. HOPE NOW membership covers over 90 percent of the subprime mortgage market.

HOPE NOW reports that the number of borrowers receiving work-outs is rising faster than the number entering foreclosure. The loan modification rate doubled in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to the rate in the third quarter.

As of the fourth quarter of 2007, 92 percent of American homeowners with mortgages - about 51 million households - were paying their mortgages on time. Only two percent were in foreclosure.

Last month, HOPE NOW announced the Project Lifeline initiative, which will help even more Americans stay in their homes by giving servicers a new tool to reach out to seriously delinquent homeowners. Project Lifeline offers, where appropriate, to "pause" the foreclosure process for 30 days while other longer-term solutions are explored.

In the last three months, HOPE NOW members have sent more than one million letters to at-risk homeowners who had previously been unresponsive to other outreach efforts. Before HOPE NOW, the response rate for letters like this was about two percent; now, the response rate to Alliance letters is closer to 20 percent. This higher response rate means almost 200,000 borrowers have reached out to HOPE NOW for help.

All HOPE NOW servicers are contacting subprime adjustable-rate mortgage borrowers 120 days before their interest rate resets. It is important to remember that at-risk borrowers need to do their part and respond to these outreach efforts.

HOPE NOW's nationwide hotline (888-995-HOPE) has been publicized and expanded. The HOPE NOW hotline is staffed by hundreds of trained foreclosure prevention counseling professionals who are able to work with at-risk borrowers to evaluate their situation and to help connect them with mortgage servicers to work on a possible solution.

Servicers and investors are now providing funds for housing counseling; previously, the Federal Government and foundations were the main sources.

The Federal Government is acting to make the housing market more transparent and fair in the long run. In order to increase safeguards for homeowners, Federal regulators have proposed new guidelines that would require lenders to provide borrowers with complete and accurate information about their mortgages - including the possibility of changes in future interest rates.

The Administration Is Taking Additional Long-Term Steps To Protect American Homeowners

To help American homeowners better understand their mortgages and allow them to shop for the best loan offer, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today proposed reforms to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Under this proposal, home buyers would be presented for the first time ever with a standard form disclosing the important aspects of a loan. This new disclosure would ensure that home buyers are provided, early in the buying process, complete, accurate, and understandable information about their mortgages. This would include the interest rate, loan amount, fees, and the possibility that their monthly payments could rise dramatically over time. This proposal will make the home buying process more transparent and reduce the likelihood that today's lending problems would happen again in the future. Specifically, it would:

Consolidate closing costs into major categories to prevent "junk fees" and display total estimated settlement charges prominently on the first page, allowing consumers to easily compare loan offers and shop for the best deal.

Specify what charges can and cannot be changed at settlement so home buyers are not surprised.

Save the typical homebuyer almost $700 in closing costs, according to HUD estimates. Homebuyers regularly pay over $5,000 in closing costs, totaling more than $67 billion each year.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson yesterday announced moves that would raise consumer and investor confidence in our markets without constricting capital markets. The recommendations would:

Strengthen oversight of the mortgage industry.

Improve the way credit ratings are determined for securities.

Ensure proper risk management at financial institutions.

The Federal Reserve Has Taken Action To Bolster The Economy

Today, with the support of the Treasury Department and the SEC, the Federal Reserve took additional actions to mitigate disruptions to our financial markets. Earlier this week, the Fed announced a major move to ease stress in the credit market by adding liquidity, because some financial institutions that borrowed money to buy securities in the housing industry now must repair their balance sheets before they can make further loans. These actions will help financial institutions continue to make necessary credit more available.

Congress Must Now Build On These Efforts By Passing Responsible Legislation To Address Problems In The Housing Market

President Bush continues to call on Congress to quickly pass responsible legislation modernizing the Federal Housing Administration. A modernized FHA that is granted appropriate downpayment and pricing flexibility could help even more families without the need for more taxpayer funds. Passage of this bill is the appropriate next step to help bring stability to the housing market. The President first sent his FHA modernization bill to the Hill in April 2006 - now it is time for Congress to act and ensure that this program, created during the New Deal, remains a good deal in the 21st century.

Congress needs to pass legislation permitting State and local governments to help troubled borrowers by issuing tax-exempt bonds for refinancing existing home loans. Under current law, cities and States can issue tax-exempt bonds to finance new mortgages for first-time homebuyers, but States are unable to do the same for homeowners seeking to refinance.

Congress needs to pass legislation to reform the regulation of Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The statutory mission of the Housing GSEs is to provide liquidity to the secondary mortgage market, and it is vital that they operate safely and soundly. The President has called on Congress to pass legislation that strengthens the independent regulator of the GSEs and ensures they are adequately capitalized and focused on their mission.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/economy/

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Rezko will underwrite McCains mortgage. Once he's out of jail.
Tricky politicians always has tricky ideas for the rest of us.

Posted by: hhkeller | March 26, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead JakeD, lay all of the Bush mortgage crisis measures on me .... except please exclude those that bail out huge financial corporations, give a measley 30-day extension on foreclosures, or token $1,200 tax refunds that will help people for all of about a month. Do you think the recession will be over in a month?

And I don't think giving the middle finger to a struggling middle class during a recession is a particularly winning strategy.

But go ahead, run your "Flip the Bird to the Middle Class" campaign if you wish.

Posted by: deanderson03 | March 26, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

This thread WAS about Barack HUSSEIN Obama "Getting Back to Work" likening presumptive GOP nominee John SIDNEY McCain to George WALKER Bush. Why are we all talking about her?

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Please be more polite.

HILLARY DID NOT "LIE" !!

(she just "mis-spoke")

Posted by: kevinlarmee | March 26, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"Obama is not old enough or experienced enough to take on the role of the president"

Well, six of the 43 thus far were younger than Obama, not counting the adolescent currently occupying the White House.

Posted by: Stonecreek | March 26, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

soccrmom6:

Not really -- I retired back in 1995 -- I was golfing yesterday morning, if that counts.

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

ajtiger92:

Hillary never said she experienced sniper-fire on her Bosnia trip. LIE!

Hillary never said she created SCHIP. LIE!

Hillary never said she negotiated peace in Northern Ireland. LIE!

Hillary never said she negotiated border opening in Macedonia. LIE!

Hillary never said she created FMLA. LIE!

Hillary was, indeed, publically against NAFTA. So, that's not a lie.

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Someone who wants war and actually fighting in that war...or sending their kids to fight? Dream on!

When's the last time you've read that the Bush twins were fighting in Iraq?

Cheney's daughter?

Is Chelsea Clinton fighting in Iraq ?

No, it's fine for your kids to die in their wars....They start them, they vote for them, and then it's your kids who fight & dies in them.

Posted by: kevinlarmee | March 26, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,

I am an avid reader of WaPo and I can't hold back any longer...I have grown so tired of your comments.

If you are so well educated and have such profound insight into the world of politics, wouldn't your energy serve a greater good if you were out and about working rather than using the comments section of a publication to further your not-so-insightful views? I mean seriously, is all you do sit in front of the computer and argue?

Posted by: soccrmom6 | March 26, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

mbshults:

I don't hate Muslims, but I was in the Army during war too.

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Go get 'em Obama!

Meanwhile the Hillary Clinton exaggerations of the truth get bigger and bigger.

Hillary experienced sniper-fire on her Bosnia trip. LIE!

Hillary created SCHIP. LIE!

Hillary negotiated peace in Northern Ireland. LIE!

Hillary negotiated border opening in Macedonia. LIE!

Hillary created FMLA. LIE!

Hillary wasn't for NAFTA. LIE!

Posted by: ajtiger92 | March 26, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Actions speak better than words.

Mr Obama choose Mr. Wright as his spiritual teacher for 20 years and included Mr. Wright in his election staff, these are the actions of Mr. Obama. When shocking hate messages began to flow from the mouth of Mr. Wright on television, hyperbole spin was written for Mr. Obama distancing Mr. Obama from Mr. Wright. The weird thing is, some people actually believe the spin written by Mr. Obama's election machine. But regardless what Mr. Obama says, he chose Mr. Wright as his spiritual teacher for 20 years and added Mr. Wright to his election staff.

If you make the choice to listen and learn from Hitler every week over 20 years, do you expect me or any other rational being to believe that you wouldn't be or want to be influenced by Hitler's ideas? And what does that say of your personal integrity if you chose American hating Mr. Wright, or Mr. Hitler as your guide in life?

And also consider recent announcement that the chief of the firm involved in the State Department's passport breach is one of Obama's adviser. And that Obama has been caught lying about Rezko, regarding the amount of money Rezko gave him, and that Obama still hasn't come clean about his Rezko land deal. Or further, how Mrs. Obama makes a phenomenal $317.000 a month at a hospital in Chicago that is famous for turning away the poor, especially the black poor.

If Obama were to become president, what would stop Mr. Obama from appointing Mr. Wright to his cabinet? And after Mr. Wright's appointment, if anyone complained they would be called racist. And it seems as if this strategy - that it is racist to criticize a black man - is already in effect as Mr. Obama can do anything corrupt with minimal impunity by the public or the press. But if Hillary so much as sneezes, she is taken through the laundry and hung out to dry and then beaten some more. Such bias treatment towards Mr. Obama because of his race is racial discrimination. And I believe another reason why Mrs. Clinton is unfairly criticized to such an extreme is because a handful of powerful men in the media can't stand the idea of a woman for president - likely a libido thing.

We should have as our country's leader someone with wisdom and knowledge, whose goal is the selfless betterment of the world. We should not elect someone with a personal agenda of personal power or select them because of the fashionably of their race or the preference for a gender.

Obama is not old enough or experienced enough to take on the role of the president, and if had simple wisdom, instead of a misguided desire for power, he would know this.

Posted by: olandug | March 26, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Rat,

It really is amazing that the only reference point you accept on what kind of church Obama attends is a few clips on YouTube. But then that reinforces your own beliefs so that makes it easy. It makes it easy to see racism in others so that your own internal prejudices seem OK.

You are prejudiced and should open up to the fact that this church addresses community issues like housing, AIDS, and helping the those suffering from poverty.

Giving to an institution such as this is charitable and that is a GOOD thing. Very community-minded of Obama.

Posted by: mbshults | March 26, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Bush met with mortgage inductry and got them to voluntarily offer help. He pushed for, and signed, the stimulus package. Earlier this month, HUD unveiled a proposal that will probably take effect this summer whereby prospective home buyers would get easier-to-understand information on mortgage terms and save an average $700 in closing costs (the proposed overhaul to a 1974 law requiring lenders to give what's called a "good faith estimate" is aimed at making it simpler for consumers to comparison shop when they buy a house or refinance a mortgage). The White House is also going to propose more legislation targeting the problem as well . . .

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/20080324-0939-creditcrisis-congress.html

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I guess that it is safe to be a bigot against Muslims and it is more acceptable than being a racist against blacks. That makes it OK to vent the nasty personal hate that turns and churns within such as JakeD.

Hey, JakeD shouldn't you be scared that all the womanizing and adultery of McCain might be really covering up the fact that McCain has a secret life of dresses and wigs, where he or maybe she goes by Sidney McCain?

But seriously Jake, give it a rest. Remember that what you put out you get back 10 fold and you are spewing hate. Sad to see the freedom of speech I enlisted in the Army to protect so diminished.

If you hate Muslims go join up and spend some time fighting in Iraq like I did. Maybe then you can appreciate the small pond of your own mentality and have some perspective.

Posted by: mbshults | March 26, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

hey rat,

You probably spent hours poring into obama's last 6 yrs tax return and Eureka!!! You found one thing you that you can brag about for next 8 months.

Guess what, if hillary or mccain open their tax returns, the sh*t that will come out will so stinky that it will make the wright controversy look like day on the beach.

Posted by: catchsandy | March 26, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

rat-the:

Do you know who was Wright QUOTING when he said: "Italians Look Down Their Garlic Noses ... Gave Jesus Public Lynching Italian Style"?

Who was Michelle Obama QUOTING when she said: "It's easier to hold on to your own stereotypes and misconceptions, it makes you feel justified in your own ignorance...That's America"?

deanderson03:

I think it's a given that low and middle class voters who are losing their homes won't be voting for McCain in the first place. Besides that fact, do you really want me to post everything "limited" that the Bush Administration has tried so far re: housing crisis?

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

JakeD... huh?

McCain was paraphrased saying more limited government help should be offered in this mortgage crisis than the Dems have proposed, which is Republican code for .... "You'll get nothing (unless you're EXTREMELY wealthy or a huge corporation) and like it!!"

Which is the same as how Barack characterized his position, "You're on your own."

McCain himself admits he knows very little about economics and he will prove that during this election ... while concurrently proving he cares nothing for low and middle class voters who are losing their homes and struggling to pay their bills every month. This double whammy alone should ensure his defeat in November.

Posted by: deanderson03 | March 26, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Wolf, at CNN-THANK YOU!

It would seem an earlier suspicion of Mine, has been CONFIRMED!

NOT, that I am accusing Barack Hussein of being a "Racist", But;

Of the $60,000 some-odd "Charitable" Donations, $22,000 went to a Church headed up by a "White" America Damning Pastor named Wright, and all the rest to Black and African Groups!

What a "Uniter"!

Black Muslims and Black Christians-Against Whitey! :-(

Posted by: rat-the | March 26, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I am registered Independent, I am not nervous, and I use John SIDNEY McCain / Hillary DIANE Clinton's middle names too.

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh, the Republicans are working hard on these blogs, mentioning BO's middle name and what not. It's actually funny seeing how nervous they are! If you have to resort to silly attacks to win over voters, you're candidate is more likely than not, NOT qualified to be prez.

Posted by: jone775 | March 26, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

cmss1:

I graduated from Stanford University, undergrad and Law School; how about you?

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Go get 'em Obama! Keep Americans focused on the immediate issues that really matter, like the economy and the War in Iraq.

Obama needs to re-iterate his short term economy fixes and long-term economy fixes. I'm sure due the short attention span of many Americans, we have forgotten.

Also Obama's campaign need to reinforce the Bush Iraq War doctrine as being McCain's war doctrine. Tie Bush and McCain together all the time!

Posted by: ajtiger92 | March 26, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Interesting how much less punch the whole "Hussein-in-caps" is now that we've spent the last two weeks talking about Obama's pastor.

But, Jake, you keep giving it the ol' college try. (Assuming, of course, you went to college.)

Posted by: cmss1 | March 26, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama may be talking social, but it seems this is getting him some major attention in PA, as these statistics show;

Pennsylvania Primary- Hillary vs. Barack:
The Google Factor...

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=57

Posted by: davidmwe | March 26, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"If you were lured in by deceptive mortgage practices, you're on your own."

Maybe Obama didn't have to sit down and sign the ream of disclosure documents when he bought his house because of some sweetheart deal with Rezko paved over all that unpleasantness, but everybody that I know that took out a mortgage or refi did.

Posted by: edbyronadams | March 26, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

So, which one is it, Barack HUSSEIN Obama:

(a) "If you were lured in by deceptive mortgage practices, you're on your own."

or

(b) "[M]ore limited government help to both businesses and homeowners affected by the mortgage crisis than [Dems] have proposed"?

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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