BAGNews Notes: Muslim Issues

BAGNews Notes

Muslim Issues



I just received this and thought you might be interested.

It’s the October issue of the Veterans of Foreign Wars featuring John McCain squaring off against, uhh, I don’t know who that is exactly… the angry brother of Jafar from Disney’s Aladdin?

Notice, by the way, how McCain is deeper inside the ring associating him more with the American eagle and the presidential seal.


Politico: Affirmative action change under Obama?


Affirmative action change under Obama?

Among the California voters suffused with hope at the prospect of the election of Barack Obama is one Ward Connerly. 

He supports Senator John McCain out of small-government principle, but on the cause for which Connerly is best known—the drive to end the programs referred to by most as “affirmative action” and by him as “race preferences”—he says of a potential Obama administration: “I’m hopeful.” 

“[Obama] is a very, very bright man who thinks through the nuances of issues and I cannot help believe he realizes the inherent flaw in race preferences,” Connerly, 69, said in a telephone interview last week. “If you listen to him carefully, you cannot help but think he is really torn by this issue, and that he is leaning in the direction of socio-economic affirmative action instead of race preferences.” 

The election of the first black president would inevitably alter views of race in America. The campaign itself, in which Obama has played better in lily-white Montana than in diverse South Carolina, has revealed a complex picture. Should Obama move into the White House, it would further change the country’s conversation about race, though not necessarily in predictable ways. 

A black president from a troubled big city could turn new attention to the problem of race or make the political choice to take his black support for granted; his own race may convince some of the benefits of diversity while others would take it as proof that racism is so far in the past as to no longer needs remedies. 

Affirmative action has not been on the agenda of either presidential campaign, and while it’s been a hot issue at times on the national stage, it’s not a necessary feature of the White House agenda.

Educational policy is conducted largely at the state and local level, and broader economic woes have pushed the battle, and most other socially charged issues, into the background. 

But experts say that President Bush’s additions to the Supreme Court could come down harder against race-based affirmative action then previous courts had, and a conservative group’s recent lawsuit against the University of Texas could force that question during the next president’s term. 

And Connerly is one of several opponents of race-based affirmative action who say they think Obama is far more likely than Senator John McCain to abolish, or profoundly alter, that system. Their hopes are founded on Obama’s remarks that well-off black children don’t need the program—something that he, unlike most Democrats with a national profile, could say without rebuke, because he was referring to his own daughters. 

Minnesota Independent: Religious Right Watch: ‘Values voters’ would vote for Satan before Obama

Minnesota Independent

Religious Right Watch: ‘Values voters’ would vote for Satan before Obama

In the final days of the election, the anti-Obama rhetoric from the religious right has reached a fevered pitch. One religious right leader says that conservative evangelicals would rather vote for the devil than Barack Obama and a religious right author says Obama could be the anti-Christ, but Obama doesn’t know it yet.

“Barack Obama could be running against the devil and you’d still have high turnout among values voters,” said Mat Staver, of Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal entity affiliated with the late-Jerry Falwell. Staver is also the dean of the law school at Falwell’s Liberty University.

“Obama has, by virtue of his liberal positions on values issues, energized values voters to show up and cast a vote against him,” Staver told Politico.

Meanwhile, Michael O’Brien, author of several Christian end-times novels including Children of the Last Daysshares his view of whether Obama is the anti-Christ.

He is indeed a powerful manipulator of crowds, even as he appears ever so humble and wholesomely charming. I doubt that he is the long-prophesied ruler of the world, but I also believe that he is a carrier of a deadly moral virus, indeed a kind of anti-apostle spreading concepts and agendas that are not only anti-Christ but anti-human as well. In this sense he is of the spirit of Antichrist (perhaps without knowing it), and probably is one of several key figures in the world who (knowingly or unknowingly) will be instrumental in ushering in the time of great trial for the Church under its last and worst persecution, amidst the numerous other tribulations prophesied in the books of Daniel and Revelation, and letters of St Paul, St. John, and St. Peter.

RaceWire: Bigots for Obama


Bigots for Obama

A friend who lives in Philadelphia recently sent me this City Paper article, “The Fishtown Effect: Can You Be Racist and Vote for Obama?”, about a notoriously racist, low-income white neighborhood in the City of (Not for that Kind of) Brotherly Love. Will white racism cost Obama the election in key states like Pennsylvania and Ohio? I think any pollster who tells you she knows the answer for certain is probably full of it, given all the unknown factors.

But, this Fishtown article seems to suggest Obama can win the support of bigots at the polls given these hard economic times. It’s an interesting read for several reasons, including choice quotes like this one that give us a preview of what the policymaking climate around racial justice could be like under a President Obama. Asked if race would be an obstacle to the Illinois senator’s quest for the White House, a union carpenter supporting Obama responded:

“Not at all — not for anybody who’s a working man paying taxes. First of all, he’s not all black. And maybe if a black person gets in there to be president, it’ll keep all the crybabies from crying discrimination.”

Ahhh, can’t you just feel the warmth and coziness of “Post-Racial America,” y’all?


AmSpec Blog: Obama Surrogate Says Obama Lacked “Political Courage” To Leave Wright’s Church

AmSpec Blog

Obama Surrogate Says Obama Lacked “Political Courage” To Leave Wright’s Church

Pamela Geller of Atlas Sruggs captured this video of New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, arguing with Jews at a Boca Raton, Florida synagoguge. Nadler, who made the visit to make the case for Obama, argued that Obama joined Trinity United Church for political reasons because it was the largest church in his Senate district, and “he didn’t have the political courage to make the statement of walking out” once he had joined, even though he didn’t share the views of Rev. Wright. It’s actually an explanation that I think is a lot closer to the truth than what Obama and most of his defenders have argued, but quite shocking that Nadler would make that argument so close to the election. In another clip, he declared, “Let Russia invade [Georgia]. It’s right next to them.”

Nashville Post Politics: What You Know Eskimo?

Nashville Post Politics

What You Know Eskimo?

Sarah Palin explains the source of her empathy for black folk:

video here

Nashville Post Politics: Varying Definitions Of “Them”

Nashville Post Politics

Varying Definitions Of “Them”

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 10:44 am

A white working class voter tells a brown skinned Indian why she will not be voting for a black candidate for president:

A scrawny white woman in her 50s answered the door, smoking a cigarette. When she found out I was for Obama, she smiled and told me I had the wrong house which I did. But we still got talking and she told me she could not vote for him because he is black and he would only take care of black people. She went on to say “His mom is white.. why does he call himself black? He is half-white but he calls himself black because he only cares about black people.”

I could not really respond to this but as I was leaving after more small talk about the election, she said
with a air of resignation, “It’s true.. I cannot afford more years like these last years.” with a heaviness that spoke to me immediately despite what I had just heard from her.

Most of all, I came away very surprised that someone would tell me such racially charged things in the most pleasant manner when I clearly stood out as a brown-skinned Indian-American in that poor white working class neighborhood.

Nashville Post Politics: Hard Right

Nashville Post Politics

Hard Right

Hard Right

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 6:56 am

TNGOP Chair Robin Smith makes the case for hard right populist conservatism in Tennessee:

State GOP Chairwoman Robin Smith, though, rejects any notion of a moderate Tennessee electorate or an Obama-built Democratic insurgency growing anywhere near the state’s rural interior.

“Without question, the Obamacrats are strong in the urban areas and the areas where people are dependent on a welfare state,” Smith said. “(But) Democrats in their literature, piece by piece, point by point, if you took their names off, will look Republican.”

She added: “I think it’s absolutely hypocrisy and a lie that they have any coattails of Barack Obama in this state.”

Smith said she thinks there is enough distance between Tennessee Republicans and the heavily criticized national party to allow the local group’s influence to grow in the state, forecasting a full legislative takeover in the near future.

“If we don’t make history in this election cycle, I think we will in 2010,” she said.

Talking Points Memo: Republican Mailer In Ohio Targets Wright, Says Obama’s “Friends” Are “Hostile To America”

Talking Points Memo

Republican Mailer In Ohio Targets Wright, Says Obama’s “Friends” Are “Hostile To America” 


The Republican Jewish Coalition — which recently hit Pennsylvania mailboxes with a mailer implying a vote for Obama could produce a second Holocaust — is now hitting Ohio with a wave of incendiary new mailers that directly target his association with Reverend Wright.

“Barack Obama’s friends and advisors: Pro-Palestinian, Anti-Israel, even hostile to America,” reads the mailer, adding that his associates harbor “anti-Israel views” that are “dangerous, naive and reckless.”

A second mailer attacks Obama on Israel with a picture of the Wailing Wall, a holy site whose use in a political attack could prove offensive to many Jews.

Ironically, both mailers, which are presumably targeted to Jewish voters, landed in the Columbus-area mailbox of Cliff Schecter, the author of the anti-McCain book “The Real McCain.” Schecter sent them in to us.

Here’s the Wright mailer, with the Reverend’s photo squarely in the center, above the words “hostile to America” (click on the images to enlarge):


And here’s the Wailing Wall mailer, which hits Obama for supposedly backtracking on his support for an undivided Jerusalem, a claim strongly disputed by the Obama camp:


Washington Independent: Hey, You Know What This Election Is Missing? Mercenaries

Washington Independent

Hey, You Know What This Election Is Missing? Mercenaries

I voted early on Friday, since I’m about to board a plane to go to Ft. Leavenworth for a TWI assignment. And while I waited on the hour-long line at One Judiciary Square in D.C. to cast my ballot, I thought to myself: Shouldn’t there be some jackbooted mercenaries around here? You know, to protect the integrity of the electoral process?

Luckily, Nathan Hodge at Wired’s excellent Danger Room blog reports that voters in Oregon may not have to suffer the way I suffered.

CIA-linked private military contractor Evergreen Defense & Security Services offered to post sentries at Oregon polling stations on election day, detaining troublemakers” and making sure voters “do not get out of control.”

In an e-mail to local election supervisors, obtained by the McMinnville, Oregon News Register, Evergreen president Tom Wiggins said he “recognized the potential conflict” that could occur on November 4th. “Never has there been a more heated battle in the race for president.”

You don’t want those voters to get out of control, right? Especially those, you know, NEGROvoters??? Everyone reacts well to the sight of geared-up paramilitary dudes in front of polling places, particularly those from the African American community, who remember what it was like to have the cops “protect” them at the polling places.

Alas, Hodge writes, Evergreen’s sales pitch was turned down. Is there no justice in this world anymore?