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Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 01:08 PM PST

Barack Obama, Establishment Man

by L C Johnson

By L.C. Johnson (bio/blog)

What's wrong with this picture?  Barack Obama runs as the "outsider" fighting against the "special" interests.  Barack claims:

“I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not get a job in my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.”

— Barack Obama, Speech in Des Moines, IA, November 10, 2007

Okay.  Then if he is the candidate of change fighting Washington, why did a majority of the Washington, DC and the government employees in the surrounding suburbs and those pesky lobbyists and their spouses and employees, vote for Barack?  You see, I believe that people act in their own interest.  So, when the folks who live inside the beltway, vote in large measure for Barack, then maybe he is not what he claims to be.

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Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 10:38 AM PST

Obama's African Hubris

by L C Johnson

By L.C. Johnson (bio/blog)

I suppose it is too much to ask of Obama supporters to read the following material and appreciate the arrogance and ignorance displayed by Senator Barack Obama, but folks, it appears he is going to do for Africa what George Bush has done for Iraq. Only worse. He is taking sides in a tribal war in Kenya that is on the verge of becoming a Rwanda-like genocide.

Really? Let's start with this uncomfortable fact. The leader of the Kenyan Orange Democratic Movement opposition leader, Raila Odinga, is Barack Obama's cousin. Barack may not put much stock in the relationship, but tribal allegiances are still strong in Kenya and Barack is clearly viewed as a Luo by his fellow tribesmen. Robert Ethan reported recently that:

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Sun Jan 13, 2008 at 03:03 PM PST

Why Not Johnson for President?

by L C Johnson

By L.C. Johnson (bio/blog)

No, not me.  I'm referring to Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television.  Mr. Johnson (no relation, unfortunately, but I'm willing to be adopted) is an accomplished businessman.   If you are looking for someone with a proven track record of successfully organizing and managing large organizations, then this Johnson is for you.  The man also is not afraid to speak his mind about Senator Obama's backdoor efforts to call Hillary Clinton a racist.  Check out this piece at the NY Times blog:

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Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 03:36 PM PST

Obama, What Drugs Are You Using?

by L C Johnson

By L.C. Johnson (blog/bio)

It has to be drugs.  How else do we explain Senator Obama decrying the influence of lobbyists--health care lobbyists in particular--and then putting one of those very lobbyists in as his New Hampshire campaign chair?  Are all Obama supporters just a bunch of Jim Jones kool aid drinkers or does this blatant hypocrisy cause you to question the commitment of Senator Obama to produce real change in Washington?

There is no way to spin this.  The facts are simple.  Here's what the good Senator said in Augustabout those dastardly pharmaceutical and healthcare lobbyists:

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By L. C. Johnson (bio/blog)

     The upcoming Tuesday primary in New Hampshire should have some surprises.  The slate of candidates for both Republicans and Democrats sets up an interesting dynamic.  Party registration in New Hampshire is not hard and fast--Republicans and Independents can vote Democratic and Democrats and Independents can vote Republican.  I do not recall a time in the last 30 years when you have had the kind of competition and national implications at stake as exist in the candidacies of Mike Huckabee for the Republicans and Barack Obama for the Democrats.

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Tue Jan 01, 2008 at 02:40 PM PST

No Time for Amateurs

by L C Johnson

By L.C. Johnson (blog/bio)

Bill Clinton may have run a dandy domestic policy during his first term, but his foreign policy was a bust.  Somalia and Rwanda were two of his worst moments.  The appointments of Les Aspin as Secretary of Defense and James Woolsey as Director of CIA, in retrospect,  were busts.  And then there was the debacle of National Security Adviser Tony Lake (who so happens to be Obama's foreign policy guru) who reprised the role of Nero and fiddled while Rwanda was consumed in an inferno of ethnic cleansing.  

Barack Obama may be scoring some debating points when he quotes Bill Clinton defending himself against charges that he lacked experience to run for President (e.g., "The same old experience is not relevant: You can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience,")  But the question of experience in organizing and managing a foreign policy team is relevant.

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The tragic murder of Benazir Bhutto in the midst of a Pakistani election campaign is a jarring reminder that politics, particularly in that part of the world, is a contact sport.  Many American pundits and politicians already are filling the airways deploring the attack and calling for democracy.  This shows me we have learned nothing from our debacle in Iraq.

The majority of people in Pakistan favor Islamic fundamentalism.  Got that?  If there is a fully free election we should not be surprised if the winner is someone who is not in sync with a Western view that values pluralism and secularism.  Also, we probably would not be able to count on them insisting that Israel's right to exist be protected.  OK?

Update [2007-12-27 16:7:32 by L C Johnson]: It is important not to confuse or conflate Islamic fundamentalism with Islamic extremism.  I am not arguing that the majority of Pakistanis favor the extremism espoused by the likes of Al Qaeda. ...

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In the spirit of full disclosure I have contributed money to only one campaign this year--retired Admiral Joe Sestak.  I am not working for any campaign and I am not lobbying for a job in any Administration, Democrat or Republican.  I live in Mayland and have little hope of having a voice in who is selected to run as our next President beyond what I can write on these pages.  Understood?

Good.  Then why are pro-Bush Republican newspapers and magazines working so hard to ensure that Barack Obama is the Democratic candidate come November 2008?

Following close on the heels of  Obama endorsements from the neoconservative Weekly Standard and the conservative  Republican newspaper the Sioux City Journal, yet another conservative  Republican newspaper the Dallas Morning News has now rushed to support  Obama.

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By L. C. Johnson (blog/bio)

When Forrest Gump, aspiring shrimp boat captain, was asked, "Are you stupid or something?"   He replied, "Stupid is as stupid does."  So what is Bob Novak's excuse?  Stupidity seems too simple an explanation.  I wonder how many people will be required to pull Novak's fat head out of his ass.  It is obviously lodged in a deep, dark place.

His latest column, Subverting Bush at Langley, is one of the most ignorant, error-ridden diatribes I have read in quite sometime.  How can he even be considered a credible journalist?  Oh wait, never mind, he's commenting at Fox News.  Answered my own question.

Consider these nonsensical assertions from today's piece:

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Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 02:35 PM PST

Am I a Hillary Cheerleader?

by L C Johnson

By L. C. Johnson (bio/blog)

    Several of you are wondering who I am backing to be the next President.  I have not decided on a final choice because, to be candid, I have little say in the matter.  I live and vote in Maryland.  By the time primary season rolls around in my neck of the woods and bay inlets, the die will be cast.

Of the current field of democratic candidates I like three in particular--Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards.  If I were participating in an Iowa caucus or voting in New Hampshire, I'd go for Joe.  But he is not getting any traction.  So that leaves me with Hillary and Edwards.

I favor giving Hillary more coverage at No Quarter for a very simple reason--no other candidate for president in my memory has been subjected to as many vile, baseless attacks as this good woman.  You don't have to be a rightwing nut to know or believe some of  this garbage.   According to these critics Hillary is a murderer, a practicing lesbian who is getting it on with her Saudi chief of staff, a swindler, a cheat, and a coverup artist.   Oh yeah, her and Bill employ, so we are told, their own hit squad who run around silencing critics.

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Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 11:01 AM PST

Waterboarding and Torture

by L C Johnson

By L C Johnson (bio/blog) -- and don't miss the photo below the fold

   The media are woefully ignorant on the subject of waterboarding and torture.  Consider the coverage of former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, who is telling his story as an interrogator of Abu Zubaydah and insisting that waterboarding is an effective technique.   ABC and CNN are repeating this absurd propaganda.  However, if you read the transcript of his interview some key points are obscured in the media propaganda push (part 1 and part 2):

  • Kiriakou never witnessed the waterboarding.  It was carried out by another group of individuals (nfi).
  • None of the information provided by Zubaydah concerned threats inside the United States.

The ABC interview with Kiriakou provides some important insights into the whole question of the CIA's role in using torture, which is now euphemistically called "enhanced interrogation".

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Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 09:50 AM PST

Torture Tapes

by L C Johnson

By L C Johnson (blog/bio)

Looks like the cat is out of the bag and the "new family jewels" were destroyed.  What am I talking about?  Today's revelation in the NY Times that,  "the Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about its secret detention program, according to current and former government officials."

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