Part 1–THE LINEUP: A Who’s Who of The Associates of Barack Obama

~~By Grail Guardian

EDITOR’S NOTE: Part I has been combined in a double post with the follow-up with more Obama connections in Part 2 HERE.

For months now, we’ve been reading and hearing from the Obama campaign that it’s not experience that matters for Barack Obama (whose paper-thin resume includes being a Community Organizer, Chair of the failed Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and running for public office), but rather the excellent judgment that he displays. In light of the continued media frenzy favoring Obama and shielding him from public scrutiny, I decided that it would be timely to revisit that judgment in the form of the people Obama associates with professionally and personally (both past and present). I personally have been able to find few people that are close to the Illinois Senator that I would want anywhere near the Oval Office, but I’ll let you be the judge. I intend this article to be part of a much needed grassroots effort to educate those that only get their news from the Main Stream Media or do not follow politics closely, so feel free to link it, print it, e-mail it, or do whatever you need to do to get the word out (giving proper credit and/or links to Insight Analytical and myself is always appreciated). You can consider it an Obama 101 Picture Book Primer and a serious attempt to save this great nation.

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The Past Week: Recaps & Random Thoughts, September 14-20 (Dog Activism; The Palin Wars; More McCain Offices Open; Joe Biden; We Need 30%; Odinga Revisited; A “Comment” on Congress)

It’s been a grueling week, hasn’t it?  The polls have shifted and the Palin bashing is intolerable.  And then there’s the little matter of the financial mess…I’m feeling a little panicky these days about the political situation all of a sudden…

You may have noticed that I put up a new picture in the blog header. I took it on September 15, the date of the last full moon.  I stood outside and watched the moon rise rapidly from behind the Organ mountains and, by some good luck, caught it in a shot that lines up perfectly in the header. The moon represents the feminine and every time I see it when I open the page, I feel something powerful…

Speaking of pictures…Courtesy HillBuzz, approved by Toro, Tico, and Slicker.

Now, a quick look back…

The Palin Wars took a few twists this week…

Bill Clinton opined about Sarah Palin and, unlike many in the media and the Obama camp, showed her some respect, a rarity these days. Pagan Power has the video in case you missed it…

***

You know, I’m surprised someone hasn’t dug up a video of a weeping Sarah Palin yet so it can be used to further tear her down.

So, check out Part 3 of CNN’s program, “Joe Biden Revealed,” which Mountain Sage posted early in the week in 6 parts. Watch as Biden talks about the loss of his wife (starting at about 5:11 minutes into the video).  Biden, reading a passage from his biography,  obviously chokes up with intense emotion over the memory of his first wife and describes how meeting his second wife, Jill, “gave him permission to be me again.” It’s an extremely moving moment.  But, can you imagine if Sarah Palin had revealed that sort of emotion?  What do you think the reaction would have been? Admiration or derision?

***

On Tuesday, Riverdaughter posted this piece, The 30 Percent Solution: Why Democratic Women Are Voting for McCain/Palin which references Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s book, “Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated. This passage grabbed me:

McCain and the Republicans are willing to elect a woman to the Executive Branch for the first time in the history of our country. They are advancing the 30% Solution. Obama and the Democrats are not, and are not. Do you get it now, Obamans?

It is time to make the Democratic Party take women seriously, for the first time since Mondale put Geraldine Ferraro on the Presidential ticket. It is time to acknowledge that, as Hillary said, Womens’ rights are human rights. And it is time to cast your vote for a woman this Election Day. I am casting my vote for two women, McKinney/Clemente, unless McCain comes close enough to win New York, in which case I will vote McCain/Palin at the top. And after this election, I am only casting my vote for women, unless I have no alternative.

I’m pretty much on the same page, and in New Mexico, if things are close, I may be doing the same thing in order to stop Obama and his odious machine.

***

Another example of something odious is The Democratic Underground, which I donated to and which became my second home (after Buzzflash).  I haven’t visited either site in ages, so I admire Texas Hill Country for braving it and reporting on what’s going on at that cesspool in his post, Democratic Underground – Bastion Of Sexism?

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In my post from a couple of days ago discussing the advent of Sharia Law in Britain (see “This Week’s Posts,” below, for the link), I made passing reference to Barack Obama and his “cousin” Raila Odinga, who is a proponent of Sharia Law. What’s interesting is that a post I did back in April which delves into the Obama-Odinga relationship as well as Odinga’s interest in Sharia Law, is actually one of the top 3 active posts on this blog, according my blogstats; it’s still getting hits every day.  So, here it is, revisited:

Obama-Odinga:50-50 Split Demands Sound SOOOO FAMILIAR…

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On Monday (9/15) an article titled “McCain Team Hustles Amid Rising Interest” caught my eye:

The exploding interest in Sen. John McCain’s campaign, fueled in part by the addition of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the ticket, has his staff scrambling to expand events.

A loosely organized and sometimes ad hoc approach to campaigning has been part of Sen. McCain’s political persona. But after he announced his running mate two weeks ago, thousands have been attending the rallies that have replaced Sen. McCain’s intimate town-hall meetings.

The campaign is expanding the number of Pennsylvania offices to 30 from 14, and its Ohio offices to more than 35 from 18. The formerly lean McCain campaign and Republican National Committee payrolls have doubled in size in recent weeks, an expansion that can be attributed in large part to Gov. Palin joining the team.

The intense final stretch is also driving expansion of the already large campaign operations of Sen. McCain’s Democratic opponent, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. But the McCain campaign, which 15 months ago was in disarray, faces a steeper climb.

One top Republican operative compared the McCain operation to a group of young talents who plan an ad-hoc musical in a 1940s film. Every morning, campaign organizers get together “and say, ‘Hey, let’s put on a show!'” the operative said.“This campaign is emboldening our target-state strategy with expanding, but measured growth, which is much better than Barack Obama’s retreating 50-state strategy,” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. “So if someone believes that’s a problem, we are glad to have it.”

So, the GOP believes Palin has energized its base and many more offices are being opened in key states. What do you make of the last comment about the “target-state strategy” expanding in “measured growth”? Obama appears to have stopped McCain’s momentum for the moment, so we’ll have to see if McCain can regain it with the moves described in the article.

***

Yesterday, I posted the press release from the new “Democracy in Sufferage” PAC, whose goal is to stop Obama.  Just a reminder to help spread the word on this effort…

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Ready for some humor?

This video is meant to put down Sarah Palin, of course, but it’s still funny to see Michael Palin’s qualifications for President via a bunch of Monty Python clips…

On the other hand, you might enjoy this joke courtesy kenosha Marge more!

A Joke from kenosha Marge

An old country preacher had a teenage son, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought to choosing a profession. Like many young men his age, the boy didn’t really know what he wanted to do, and he didn’t seem too concerned about it. One day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment. He went into the boy’s room and placed on his study table four objects.
1. A bible.

2. A silver dollar.

3. A bottle of whisky.

4. And a Playboy magazine.

“I’ll just hide behind the door,” the old preacher said to himself. “When he comes home from school today, I’ll see which object he picks up. If it’s the bible, he’s going to be a preacher like me, and what a blessing that would be! If he picks up the dollar, he’s going to be a business man, and that would be okay, too. But if he picks up the bottle, he’s going to be a no-good drunken bum, and Lord, what a shame that would be. And worst of all if he picks up that magazine he’s going to be a skirt-chasing womanizer.”

The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son’s footsteps as he entered the house whistling and headed for his room.  The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave the room, he spotted the objects on the table With curiosity in his eye, he walked over to inspect them. Finally, he picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm.

He picked up the silver dollar and dropped into his pocket.

He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink, while he admired this month’s centerfold.
“Lord have mercy,” the old preacher disgustedly whispered.

“He’s gonna run for Congress.”

***

I’ll wrap up this roundup with an update on the gardening situation here in Southern NM. I ripped out all my lima beans and spent a couple of hours shelling and freezing them and have prepped the bed for planting my winter greens.  Soon, I’ll put up the plastic for the “greenhouse” and I look forward to some good crops collards, kale, broccoli and mustard.  This year I’m also trying turnips.

Out in the arroyo, the earth moving machines have destroyed a lot of habitat as the stream bed is being redirected and widened to prevent further damage to the slopes on the side of the arroyo across from me. I don’t know when the bunny and quail populations will return…it’s really shocking to see how much was destroyed. They only good thing is that the native plants WILL grow back relatively quickly.  Maybe I’ll put up a picture after the work is completed to give you an idea of what’s been happening on the other side of the wall.  My squirrels are safe, however, since they have their burrows up the slopes…and they are raiding the tomatoes with gusto!

THIS WEEK’S POSTS

*By kenosha Marge

“Democracy in Suffrage” PAC Formed, Press Conference 9/26…Goal: To Defeat Obama

While Hillary and Sarah Get Trashed in the U.S., Muslim Women in Britain Get Sharia Law

SHILLING and CHURNING–the State of the Media and the “Mass Production of Ignorance” (A Double Post by kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL)

*American Media Shills for Obama
“Flat Earth News” The State of ‘Churnalism’”

McCain LIVE at the Clinton Global Initiative, Obama by Satellite (Too Busy Cramming for the 1st Presidential Debate the NEXT DAY?)

Sarah, Joe and Liza the Chicken

*Sarah, the Mooseburger Mom

The Past Week: Recaps and Random Thoughts, September 7-13 (Where’s Obama’s Empathy?; Body Language a la Clinton/Obama (Experts on THE HANDS); Lower Pay the Obama Way; And a Finger Back at ‘Ya, Barack!)

While Hillary and Sarah Get Trashed in the U.S., Muslim Women in Britain Get Sharia Law

As Israel appears on track to have its second woman Prime Minister, things seem to being going backwards here in the U.S. We’ve learned a lot about the state of politics and the media when it comes to women here during this election season as we’ve witnessed the trashing of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin… but things aren’t looking very good in Britain, either, especially for Muslim women. And the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chief Justice aren’t helping matters much.

Last February, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in a controversial statement, opined that it was inevitable that Sharia law would come to Britain:

The Archbishop of Canterbury provoked a chorus of criticism yesterday by predicting that it was “unavoidable” that elements of Islamic sharia law would be introduced in Britain.

Christian and secular groups joined senior politicians to condemn Rowan Williams’ view that there was a place for a “constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law” over such issues as marriage.

Dr Williams told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One: “It seems unavoidable and, as a matter of fact, certain conditions of sharia are already recognised in our society and under our law, so it is not as if we are bringing in an alien and rival system. We already have in this country a number of situations in which the internal law of religious communities is recognised by the law of the land as justifying conscientious objections in certain circumstances.”

He added: “There is a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law as we already do with aspects of other kinds of religious law.”

SNIP

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the Government had moved to accommodate some aspects of sharia law, such as stamp duty on mortgages (without special provision, the tax would be payable twice), but declared: “The Prime Minister believes British law should apply in this country, based on British values.”

–The Independent, February 8, 2008, Archbishop of Canterbury warns sharia law in Britain is inevitable

Then in July, the Lord Chief Justice chimed in:

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the Lord Chief Justice, strongly backed Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, over his suggestion earlier this year that aspects of sharia should be adopted in Britain.

The archbishop’s remarks sparked a national debate and led to calls for his resignation.

Risking inflaming that controversy again, Lord Phillips has said that Muslims in Britain should be able to use sharia to decide financial and marital disputes.

The judge did add that only the criminal courts should have the power to decide when a crime has been committed and when to impose punishment.

But his suggestion that different religious groups should run their affairs according to different rules sparked warnings that community cohesion could be undermined.

Now, The Daily Express, The Times of London, The Telegraph, and The Brussels Journal are all reporting that Sharia law has already been operating in Britain. All these publications are conservative, but facts are facts. The Daily Mail has a particularly good summary of the entire situation.

From The Times of September 14, 2008:

ISLAMIC law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.

Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.

It has now emerged that sharia courts with these powers have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network’s headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, whose Muslim Arbitration Tribunal runs the courts, said he had taken advantage of a clause in the Arbitration Act 1996.

Under the act, the sharia courts are classified as arbitration tribunals. The rulings of arbitration tribunals are binding in law, provided that both parties in the dispute agree to give it the power to rule on their case.

Siddiqi said: “We realised that under the Arbitration Act we can make rulings which can be enforced by county and high courts. The act allows disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals. This method is called alternative dispute resolution, which for Muslims is what the sharia courts are.”

The next day, the Daily Express reported on the backlash as it was revealed that Sharia Courts had already heard “more than 100 cases.”

Labour last night faced a backlash over claims the Government had quietly sanctioned powers for Sharia judges.

SNIP

Last night MPs and pressure groups said the courts would divide the British legal system.

Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said: “These tribunals have no place in passing binding decisions in divorce or criminal justice hearings. Far from handling more criminal cases they should be handling none at all.”

Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: “I think it’s appalling. I don’t think arbitration that is done by Sharia should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state.”

SNIP

Until now the rulings of Sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.

From the Telegraph:

It has also emerged that tribunal courts have settled six cases of domestic violence between married couples, working in tandem with the police investigations.

SNIP

There are concerns for women suffering under the Islamic laws, which favours men. Mr Siddiqi said that in a recent inheritance dispute handled by the court in Nuneaton, the estate of a Midlands man was divided between three daughters and two sons.

The judges on the panel gave the sons twice as much as the daughters, in accordance with sharia.

Had the family gone to a normal British court, the daughters would have got equal amounts. In the six cases of domestic violence, Mr Siddiqi said the judges ordered the husbands to take anger management classes and mentoring from community elders.

There was no further punishment. In each case, the women subsequently withdrew the complaints they had lodged with the police and the police stopped their investigations.

Mr Siddiqi said that in the domestic violence cases, the advantage was that marriages were saved and couples given a second chance.

So far, no good.

Srdja Trifkovic writing in Chronicles, a Magazine of American Culture (a scholarly publication devoted to “Western Christian civilization”), discusses why the introduction of Sharia Law differs from Jewish and Catholic courts and tribunals that exist in Britain and expresses fears about the future:

Muslim activists point out that allegedly similar Jewish family courts (Bet Din) and Catholic marriage tribunals have existed in Britain for many years, but there is a major difference: such courts explicitly claim jurisdiction only over their believers, whereas according to orthodox Islamic teaching shari’a is the only legitimate law in the world, with universal jurisdiction over Muslims and non-Muslims alike. To a devout Muslim the incorporation of shari’a into British law is by no means the end of the affair. It is merely a major milestone on the road that cannot stop short of subjecting all Britons, regardless of faith, to the strictures of Allah’s commandment and Muhammad’s example. The Islamic law, the Shari’a, is not a supplement to the “secular” legal code, it is the only such code and the only basis of obligation (Kuran 4:8).

Only time will tell, of course, if the tensions between government and Sharia law that are described above will actually increase to this extent.

Britain, of course, is not the only place where there’s a push for Sharia law.  Canada has had it’s own controversy, and, of course, there’s Kenya, where Obama’s “cousin” Raila Odinga is a proponent. In 2006, the Justice MInister of the Netherlands expressed being open to Sharia Law.

What about the U.S.? The Second District Court of Appeals in Texas, of all places, has adjudicated a case involving arbitration of a Sharia Law agreement which a few conservative sites like this one have seen the case as the first step onto a slippery slope; here is the actual court ruling so you can judge for yourselves. I think this is a different situation though…the judge upheld the provisions of an arbitrated contract, but the judge isn’t using Sharia to uphold the ruling and Sharia isn’t enshrined in the legal system…at least, that’s what I take away from the ruling. But it’s clear that Sharia Law is being conducted here, like everywhere else. It’s just a question of if and when pressure mounts to have it made part of the legal system in places where there are large Muslim populations here.

It seems to me that the introduction of Sharia Law could easily create a class of women with fewer rights within Britain.  The question is, why should Muslim women in Britain suffer from treatment that other women in Britain do not have to experience?  Would you feel comfortable witih this sort of thing here?  I know I sure wouldn’t. It’s bad enough hearing cases involving women who have been subjugated by husbands or church doctrines…but having unequal treatment applied to a whole segment of the population based on religious law?    Gives me the shivers..

And reminds me of “The Handmaid’s Tale“….

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NOTE: For an overview on how Sharia Law is being followed in the financial world, including the U.S., see “The Zero Percent Solution” (11/4/2007) in the Boston Globe.

Information on Margaret Atwood and “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Latest Update on Kenya Elections: Odinga’s Party Wins 3 Seats of 5; UPDATED 2X (Just Say No Deal)

FINAL ELECTION UDPATE: JUNE 13

The Daily Nation reports that:

ODM scooped three parliamentary seats as its main rival and grand coalition partner PNU snatched two in the Wednesday by-elections marred by violence and claims of rigging in some areas.

(SNIP)

The win increased ODM’s strength in Parliament to 103 and PNU’s to 48. ODM also suffered a major setback on Tuesday following the deaths of Bomet and Sotik MPs in a plane crash.

Now only Nairobi’s Kamukunji constituency is unrepresented in Parliament since last December’s General Election due to a court case.

It was on Tuesday joined by Sotik and Bomet following the deaths of Ms Lorna Laboso and Mr Kipkalya Kones respectively.

What it boils down to is that 3 seats remain empty, with 2 of them resulting from the deaths of two members from Odinga’s ODM. (I’m not sure which party the seat involved in the court case belongs to.)

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Kenya Elections Held Today (June 11) After All…With Fears of Ethnic Violence (5pm EDT Update) (Just Say No Deal)

I hope they run elections better than they write news stories in Kenya…It seems the crucial by-elections for 5 parliamentary seats has been going on today after all! Turnout in the morning was low, which is not unusual for a by-election.

(See my previous post for background: In Kenya, Struggle for Parliament is Happening Now–Odinga’s Party Issues Warning (Sounds Like Cousin Obama)

Raila Odinga’s party hopes to retain 3 of the 5 seats. If the party loses their parliamentary majority, Odinga’s position in the coalition government becomes uncertain. BBC News reports:

“The numbers are very tight in terms of who controls parliament. With the death of the minister and the assistant minister now the ODM has 100 MPs and the PNU coalition has 102 MPs,” says analyst Kwamchetsi Makokha.

The BBC’s correspondent describes the coalition as already being “decidedly fragile.”

There have already been reports of hate leaflets being distributed in one area, which raises fears of renewed ethnic violence and post-election violence.

The big question is, of course, whether the “Grand Coalition” survives and what Odinga’s moves will be…

Note: Here is a link to the story from Kenya in the Daily Nation…

Polls open in fight for Kenya’s parliamentary majority