McClatchy Reports that Bush Donors are Giving Money to Obama…

Former Bush donors now giving to Obama

There are lot of quotes from people who say thay are “taken” with Obama….

hundreds of people who gave at least $200 to Bush’s 2004 campaign have donated to Obama.

Among them are Julie Nixon Eisenhower, the granddaughter of the late GOP president Dwight Eisenhower; Connie Ballmer, the wife of Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer; Ritchie Scaife, the estranged wife of conservative tycoon Richard Mellon Scaife and boxing promoter Don King.

They mention his 2004 Convention speech, the Iraq war, dissatisfaction with the way the country is going, and the need for change.

But look deeper into the story and you’ll see quotes like this:

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My Tribute to Corrine Brown Who Has Been Fighting for the Vote Since 2000 and (Is Fighting) Update: FOUGHT for Hillary Clinton Today UPDATE 2: State Senator Athenia Joyner, not Brown Represented HRC

I keep going back to the 2000 election debacle and the horror show in Florida. But one person, besides Gore, really has stuck in my mind ever since then, and that is Rep. Corrine Brown, FL-3rd District. I remember her speaking, begging for one member of the Senate to agree to challenge the vote. She was one of the most outspoken members of the Black Caucus, which walked out in protest the day the electoral college votes were counted. From the CNN transcript of that day’s events:

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Check out “American Pie” or: “Political Landscape for Dummies”

The name of the site may tick off some people and, for sure, Stop-Obama.org takes no prisoners, which may tick some people off even more.

Today, Gregory Chang has created a series of graphics that even the most politically obtuse person can understand. (Please excuse the “squishing” of the pies due to my reducing their size.)

He takes two representations of the political American Pie and shows how bites are taken from total, vs a vs McCain vs. Obama and McCain vs. Clinton. The result is a clear illustration of Hillary Clinton’s case for being the nominee.

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ALERT! Local Paper Actually Allows Vets to Say Something Not Fawning about Obama Visit!

…but offers enough other comments to offset their impact…a few Obama clone comments, anti-Clinton, pro-Clinton comments, too. (Of course, my comment would never be printed since I nailed the paper for complicity…)

Here we go!

I am insulted. Mr. Obama and Gov. Richardson both came here to pander votes. I am a veteran, Navy, 1963 to 1966. I wasn’t invited to the speechmaking. To hear that Richardson compared Obama to President John F. Kennedy is the ultimate insult. Neither of them served. For Richardson to make such a comparison insults President Kennedy, a Navy veteran.

(The) Sen. Obama … event was limited to veterans by invitation only. I am a veteran of World War II. I am also a registered Democrat. I am active in community affairs. Did I get an invitation? No! Guess who I am going to vote for. Nobody! None of the candidates is good enough to be my president and commander-in-chief. What a sorry state our political system is in.

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Final Update: Obama in NM Results in Excuses, 3 Pinocchios, and a Rebuff from Vets?

I just got back and was in the process of editing my final report from Las Cruces on Obama’s Memorial Day visit when I found out about Obama’s Las Cruces gaffe. I had glanced hurriedly through the speech text that day but went on to focus on the reporting and the Bush-like arrangements barring the public from the event, so I never caught it. But what did cross my mind was was the very real possibility that some Vets actually didn’t want Obama at their memorial ceremonies…more on this later in the post…

Of course, by now you’ve heard about the Washington Post‘s awarding of 3 Pinocchios, so here is the bottom line just to go on the record:

“I had an uncle who was one of the, um, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps. And the story in our family is that when he came home he just went up in the attic and he didn’t leave the house for six months.”
–Barack Obama, Memorial Day speech, Las Cruces, NM.

In an attempt to burnish his credentials with America’s veterans, Barack Obama has frequently talked about his grandfather “who served in Patton’s army.” He has now added a new episode to his World War II repertoire: the uncle who liberated Auschwitz. Unfortunately, the story shows that the presumptive Democratic nominee has a poor grasp of European history and geography.

The Pinocchio Test

Before hearing from the Obama campaign, I gave the candidate four Pinocchios for this howler. I am subtracting one Pinocchio in view of the explanation that Obama confused the two concentration camps and that the underlying story was accurate. Three Pinocchios for “significant factual errors.”

As I had mentioned in a prior post, Obama didn’t repeat a gaffe he had made on the language of translators in Iraq, but he more than made up for it with this one. But it also hasn’t gotten any more mainstream media scrutiny than his infamous “the primaries are like the Bataan Death March” attempt at humor which was one heckuva stinker.

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Now to a recap of how the media reacted here in Las Cruces/El Paso.

The story written for the El Paso Times was full of fawning quotes about how incredible it was that Obama had answered a few questions, most likely planted. It used the 300 crowd estimate from the blogger, who reported during the speech with obviously breathless awe.

The local paper, the Las Cruces Sun-News in its story entitled Veterans at the Heart of Obama’s Memorial Day Talk came up with an estimate of only 200 attendees. A related story, Obama Gets Warm Reception from Las Cruces Crowd This story reported that “Veterans in uniform sat interspersed throughout the audience,” which doesn’t sound like they got any special treatment after all. This after the banner headline announced that the Obama visit would be EXCLUSIVELY for veterans. The reporter, annoyingly, refers to the event as a “forum,” which was what the the original announcement said…but this was no forum.

This story also quoted adoring supporters:

Numerous attendees at the event, some of whom sat as long as three hours outdoors without shade, walked away with sunburns.

But Margaret Torres of Doña Ana and Raul Alvillar of Mesilla Park, with reddened arms and faces, didn’t seem to mind. The two, because of family ties to a campaign official, were granted a few minutes after Obama’s talk to meet with the senator.

“It’s an honor to be able to be here,” Torres said. “Most people in the city weren’t able to … shake his hand, take pictures.”

Torres said Obama was “very personable” and “down-to-earth.”

I guess being “granted” a few minutes is really “down-to-earth”… Also alon those lines were these comments by another guy I didn’t vote, which were IMMEDIATELY CONTRADICTED by the Obama’s camp refusal to be interviewed by the paper! (Although he answered a few questions from the press corp later on…so, what were the questions and what were the answers???)

“He’s an extremely eloquent speaker,” said McCamley. “But the best part of the event was his willingness to answer questions. A lot of politicians won’t do that. They won’t put themselves out there to truly talk with people. I’m very impressed a candidate for president would do that.

The campaign declined several requests by the Sun-News for an interview with Obama, though the senator did answer some questions for the press corps later in the afternoon. Obama acknowledged the importance of campaigning in western states, including New Mexico.

A key part of the story was the attention paid to the excuses for the event not being open to the public.

The event was invitation-only, not open to the public at large.

Asked about why a larger venue wasn’t chosen so more people could attend, Obama campaign spokeswoman Amy Brundage offered this response:

“Due to the holiday, Senator Obama wanted to have a discussion with a smaller group of veterans and hear from them about the issues of concern to them,” she wrote in an e-mail. “Therefore, we worked with local veterans groups and elected officials to reach out to local veterans and their families in Las Cruces and surrounding areas to participate.”

Doña Ana County Democratic Party Chairwoman Melinda Whitley said she received her own invitation to the town hall forum about 9 a.m. Monday and had heard of some Democrats who were likely inadvertently skipped over. She said, however, she understands because that’s how campaign events sometimes go.

“I appreciate the fact he’s in Las Cruces and that there a good group of people from every walk of life here,” she said. “There are even some Republicans that are Obama supporters. It’s great this opportunity was offered to us to come and see him.”

I still haven’t seen any evidence of a “discussion” with veterans at this event. A few questions were allowed, but this was NOT the town hall forum that was originally announced!

Furthermore, excuses for not being open to public do not fly, since the visit was announced on the paper’s website on May 22 (Thursday) and on the next day (Friday, May 23) in the top headline the front page of the paper, with a picture of Obama–plenty of time to get more Democrats and also announce a venue to the general public!! In fact, a story I posted in an early blog entry actually stated that the event location was DELIBERATELY being kept secret and only the media knew where the event would be held!

Following the speech, Obama made a “surprise’ visit to Bataan Memorial BEFORE the Vets held their own ceremony. It seems to me that if he had wanted to talk to Vets he could have stayed for their ceremony. Couldn’t he have talked to more personally if he had milled around that group rather than holding a rally with Vets “interspersed” among the crowd? My guess is that Obama wanted to cover his bases for the fall in case the GOP brings up his insensitive “Bataan Death March = primaries” comment: by showing up at the Memorial, Obama could use that quick visit as evidence that he has acknowledged and apologized for the gaffe…although he has done NEITHER. (And just for the record, (Remember, this local paper has NEVER reported the joking comment made by Obama comparing the primaries to the Bataan Death March, so I’m afraid very few even in this area know about it…)

OR MAYBE THE VETS REALLY DIDN’T WANT HIM THERE. Remember…on Sunday, the paper had reported that “An ex-commander with the VFW has said that he had heard that Obama will be showing up a the Veterans Wall at Veterans Park, which is also the site of a dramatic memorial to the Bataan Death March.” But Obama made a quick stop BEFORE the ceremony…

This is how the ceremony went:

Las Crucens Mark Memorial Day by Honoring the Fallen

“We welcome residents’ participation on the special days when we raise and lower the (garrison) flag,” said J.R. Turner, veteran services officer for the New Mexico Department of Veteran Services. “This is far and away the most people we’ve ever had help us.”

Women and children gathered around the garrison flag and together, they helped fold it.

“I was impressed that the crowds were bigger this year,” Archuleta said. “These ceremonies were all nice because each in their own way symbolized to me what Memorial Day is supposed to be all about.”

Retreat

Memorial Day ended with a moving ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park, where the city’s garrison-sized U.S. flag was lowered with the help of as many as 40 residents.

“It’s a day we remember,” said Army Lt. Col. Bradley D. Gavle, New Mexico State University professor of military science, as his voice began choking with emotion. “How do we remember the estimated 1.72 million men and women who have died, there are several ways. We attend ceremonies such as these. …We remember those Gold Star families who have sacrificed so much. And, you vote your conscience. It’s been paid for by the blood and honor of those who sacrificed themselves to give us that right.”

Moments later, members of the Marine Corps League wheeled a flag-draped coffin and placed it in front of the Veterans Memorial Wall, which includes the names of more than 7,000 Doña Ana County residents who have served in the military from the Spanish-American War through the Gulf War. A wreath was also placed next to the coffin.

Three rifle volleys followed, and “Taps” was played.

Residents who attended the ceremony were then invited to assist veterans in lowering of the garrison flag. At 5 p.m., the flag was lowered, there was a cannon salute — as is military tradition, and a Marine Corps League bugler played “Retreat.”

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I can’t imagine anyone wanting Obama to intrude on that ceremony and turning it into a political event…

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I capped off my Memorial day by writing to the Las Cruces Sun-News, knowing that what I wrote will never be printed:

So, the vets didn’t get an “exclusive” town hall after all…and the general
public was treated to secrecy and being cut out again by Bill Richardson
(remember how the public couldn’t hear him speak at the school about the
spaceport?) On a day when we’re supposed to ‘honor those who fought for our
freedoms” we’re handed an event in the mold of a Bush event–select audience,
closed to the public, with a complicit press corps in attendance. (When has the
Sun-News ever posted video of entire political event before?) Sounds like the
Soviet Union to me, not the United States we once knew…the event sure didn’t
honor vets…it was pure politics of the most exclusionary kind…

I guess that about says it all…

UPDATE 3: Video of Memorial Day NM Obama Visit Up…Local Press TOTALLY & SHAMELESSLY COMPLICIT in Boosting Obama

Wow, I’m totally stunned by what’s going on in the local press. I knew the press would be complicit, since no one but they and the Obama supporters knew about the town hall rally.

I have never seen VIDEO of an entire political event put up for any candidate before. I’ve attend events for Kucinich, Edwards, Gore, Kerry and Clark in the recent past, but never have I seen such a push for a candidate.

Click here for all videos which show the entire event. (These are OFFICIAL “Las Cruces Sun-News” videos, too, not just links to video that someone posted on their own.) The banner on the page I chose is titled “Reaction to Sen. Barack Obama’s speech to veterans at Farm and Ranch” and the true believers are on tape and ready for a campaign ad. I’m not sure, but I guess that’s a flag pin on Obama’s suit today…

I am utterly disgusted by how this has been handled…the secrecy, cutting out the public, Richardson, and, of course, the total COMPLICITY of the press. On a day when we’re supposed to be “honoring those who have fought for our freedoms” we see a re-enactment of a BUSH-ROVE type of event, barring the public and a press corps that is not asking any questions. Hey, “progressive bloggers”–you now like a candidate who packages events like the old Soviet Union??

NOTE: I am all blogged out this weekend…so I may be off for a day or two as I catch up on things I need to do!! I also have to recover from hearing Richardson describe Obama’s IMPECCABLE CHARACTER and his being a man of PRINCIPLE and a “ONCE IN A GENERATION LEADER” who is a PATRIOT and who loves this country with ALL HIS HEART. He ends by speaking in Spanish, but works in JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY in plain English. Oh, please…

UPDATE 2 on Obama in New Mexico, Memorial Day–Nothing Like an “UNBIASED” Press…

Obama has left the rally. He shook hands for about 15 minutes before leaving at around 2:20 pm local. He apparently did take a few questions from the audience, which was not exclusively VETS. I am guessing that they had to combine the “Vets Only Town Hall” with the “few other stops” as reported originally so that they could create a big enough media event. The blogger in his first post reported only about 100 vets out of a total of about 300 people.

The event is “reported” over a series of 10 short posts. A couple of them are devoted to Obama’s speech, which is quoted. One has to wonder if it is really transcribed or if it was handed out to the media before the event–because, after all, ONLY THE PRESS and the SELECT AUDIENCE was told of the venue ahead of time! I would guess the blogger plugged it into the report verbatim from a text handed to him.

Overall, It sounds like pretty typical campaign stuff on military issues, tied into thanking the military.

“I speak to you today with deep humility,” Obama said. “I don’t know what it is like to march into battle, as many of you do. … I am the father of two young girls, and I cannot fathom what it is like to lose a child.”

“Our sadness today is mixed with pride” for our veterans who gave their lives.

(I hate to be snarky, but he doesn’t seem to care about what his two girls hear at church…)

The questions that were REPORTED on by the Times blogger were about the VA, Blackwater, the economy, and “ballistic missles versus language training because in our current war, we didn’t have people to speak the language of our foes or allies.” Obama apparently didn’t foul up like he has before on the language actually spoken by local translators. He kept his answer nice and generic.

Here’s the part of this report that is really questionable. This is how the blogger/apparent reporter for the El Paso Times signed off from the blog…

Obama shook hands for about 15 minutes, then left to cheers. That’s all I have for now. I’ll give you more when I return to the office.

In closing, Obamanos!

What’s that all about?? Is it supposed to be PERSONAL?? As in, we ALL love Obama?? And he’s reporting??? Or is that the secret code word for all the Obama supporters in the area? (Don’t forget, Clinton won NM…)

No reports of swooning, or if there was any, it was most likely due to heat prostration or sunstroke…

Tomorrow I will see how the local sister paper plasters this all over the front page and report on that, too.

PS–It will be interesting to see if anyone calls into the “Sound Off” line with a comment about how disrespectful it was to turn a “Veteran’s town hall meeting” into a rally on Memorial Day…especially when we are supposed to honor those who “fought for our freedoms” which apparently DOES NOT INCLUDE allowing the general public to attend!!

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