Clinton Rejects Democrats Call To Quite Race

While I am not a Hillary fan, I think this is the right decision and those that called for her to drop out should apologize to all Americans.

By calling her to drop out of the race, goes against the whole point of the race, letting the people decide. It is not like Obama is so far ahead that she does not have any chance what so ever. He is leading by a couple of hundred votes, but he is still far from obtaining the necessary delegates to guarentee a win.

If the problem is the war between the candidates, then the Democrates should be working to stop it, however it just shows that the Democratic Party is not united, but another divided entity. How in the world is Obama going to unite the country if his own party is so divided?

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) — Sen. Hillary Clinton on Saturday rejected calls by supporters of rival candidate Barack Obama to quit the Democratic presidential race, and Obama said Clinton should remain in race “as long as she wants.”

 

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Some of Sen. Barack Obama’s best-known backers are urging Sen. Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race.

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“The more people get a chance to vote, the better it is for our democracy,” the New York senator and former first lady told supporters at a rally in Indiana, which holds a May 6 primary.

“There are some folks saying we ought to stop these elections,” she said.

“I didn’t think we believed that in America. I thought we of all people knew how important it was to give everyone a chance to have their voices heard and their votes counted.”

Clinton has won primaries in the biggest states so far, but Obama has won more total contests and leads her in the race for delegates to the party’s August convention in Denver — where the Democratic nominee will be formally ratified.

Two of Obama’s leading supporters, Sens. Christopher Dodd and Patrick Leahy, said Friday that Clinton should rethink her chances of overcoming that deficit and consider folding her campaign.

Leahy, of Vermont, said Clinton “has every right, but not a very good reason, to remain a candidate for as long as she wants to.”

Speaking in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Obama said he did not discuss Leahy’s call for Clinton to drop out with the Vermont senator, who serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“My attitude is that Sen. Clinton can run as long as she wants,” the Illinois senator said.

“She is a fierce and formidable competitor, and she obviously believes that she would make the best nominee and the best president. I think that she should be able to compete, and her supporters should be able to support her for as long as they are willing or able.”

Pennsylvania is the scene of the next Democratic primary, on April 22, and is the largest state that hasn’t weighed in on the party’s presidential race.

Obama called fears that the Democratic Party would be damaged by a long campaign “somewhat overstated.” But he added that both he and Clinton should avoid campaign attacks “that could be used as ammunition for the Republicans” in November.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Thursday suggests that the bickering between Clinton and Obama could affect Democratic turnout in November.

One in six Clinton supporters said they would not be likely to vote in November if Obama gets the nomination; an equal number of Obama’s supporters said the same about Clinton.

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean said Friday that he would like the fight wrapped up before the Denver convention, and said party leaders have had “extensive discussions” with the Clinton and Obama campaigns about cooling down their rhetoric.

“I don’t think the party is going to implode,” he said. But he added that personal attacks “demoralize the base” and that campaigns should focus on issues like the economy and Iraq

Clinton Campaing Manager Was Board Member Of Sub-Prime Mortgage Lenders

Well it turns out that long time associate Maggie Willams, Campaign Manager for Hillary Clinton, earned $175,000 for being on the board of directors for Delta Financial Corporation. Delta was the 9th largest Sup-Prime lender until it went bankrupt last year.

Look at the numbers below for detailed information on what this country did to the poor people trying to buy homes. In summary, an average 14.9% interest rates…

No I can see why Hillary has been so gungho about bailing out the mortgage companies…

WASHINGTON – While Hillary Clinton campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination in neighborhoods where many have lost their homes in unscrupulous lending schemes, her campaign manager, Margaret “Maggie” Williams, sits on the board of one of the nation’s once-largest and now-bankrupt sub-prime mortgage lenders.

Williams joined the board of directors at New York-based Delta Financial Corporation in 2000, one month after a federal settlement was reached with Delta Financial over discriminatory lending practices.

As of September 2007, Williams owned 12,500 shares of Delta’s common stock, and by 2007 had earned at least $175,000 for her board obligations, according to company filings available in the Securities & Exchange Commission online database.

Clinton’s Tough Stand on Housing Crunch

Intently focused on the nation’s housing crisis in recent appearances, Clinton has been clear that sub-prime mortgage lenders, particularly in poor, working class urban neighborhoods shoulder much of the blame for the credit crunch.

“I am reminded every day as I meet with families and listen to their stories that the effective functioning of our financial markets isn’t just about Wall Street. It’s about Main Street,” she said recently.

In a proposal last week, Clinton suggested giving “a $30 billion lifeline to avoid a crisis for Wall Street banks” by providing assistance to at-risk communities and families facing foreclosure. In a speech earlier this week, the New York senator suggested protecting lenders from lawsuits by investors who bought mortgages expecting big profits off high interest rates.

“Many mortgage companies are reluctant to help families restructure their mortgages because they’re afraid of being sued by the investment banks, the private equity firms and others who actually own the mortgage papers,” Clinton said.

“This is the case even though writing down the value of a mortgage is often more profitable than foreclosing,” she said, offering legislation “to provide mortgage companies with protection against the threat of such lawsuits.”

Delta’s Sub-Prime Lending

But as it turns out, Clinton’s top aide is on the board of what had been — until its bankruptcy — the ninth-leading sub-prime lender in the nation, handling almost $800 million worth of sub-prime lending in the third quarter of 2007 alone, according to National Mortgage News.

Delta Financing — and subsidiary Delta Funding — made much of its money by turning around and selling its loans at a profit — either through securitization or straight sale. Financial statements and federal filings indicate that Delta made huge profits between 2004 and 2007 mostly by refinancing loans to homeowners with moderate and middle incomes, in urban neighborhoods.

In 2006, it reported a net income of $28.8 million compared to $18 million a year earlier. It also originated a record $4 billion in loans that year, a 5 percent increase over 2005. In 2006, it had increased its line of credit by $500 million to a total of $1.75 billion.

Te average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage is 6.25 percent. Financial sources and the company’s public records show that in the last decade Delta brokered thousands of fixed-rate refinancing loans with rates of anywhere from 11.3 to 13.6 percent.

Reports provided by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), an inter-agency body that proscribes standards for U.S. financial institutions, found that in 2006 the vast majority of Delta’s refinancing loans had rates of around 13.3 percent. The average rate on home mortgages was 14.9 percent.

“They were basically trying to extract whatever blood they could get away with and then sell their loans on the secondary market,” said Irv Ackelsberg, a Philadelphia attorney who assists homeowners in complaints against lenders and brokers.

Industry experts say the company’s demise did not come from its struggle against various lawsuits or foreclosures, but its being a victim of the credit market. The value of its loan-backed securities plummeted at the same time its investors stopped buying new loans. Delta’s creditors soon came calling and the company couldn’t keep up with its own financing agreements.

Delta’s status is in the hands of a federal bankruptcy judge. All operations out of its Woodbury, N.Y., headquarters have ceased.

The Williams Difference

Williams joined Delta’s board less less than a month after one federal official said Delta’s practices were “turning the American dream of homeownership into a nightmare.”

At the time, Delta had a 5 percent foreclosure rate nationwide — double the industry standard — and was in the midst of settling several state and federal lawsuits that alleged predatory and discriminatory lending practices.

Williams, now 53, was between jobs with the Clintons when she got the overture to join the board at Delta. She had worked as the former first lady’s chief of staff from 1993 to 1997, and had just become president of Fenton Communications, one of the largest public relations shops in the country in 2000. It made her the highest-ranking African-American woman in a top 50 public relations firm in the country. Williams joined Bill Clinton’s Harlem office in 2001. She later became a partner in management consulting firm Griffin Williams.

The Clinton campaign did not return requests for comment from FOXNews.com, but according to a June 2000 article in Directors and Boards magazine, Williams spent the six months prior to her decision to join the board asking a lot of questions and making a flurry of calls to Hugh Miller, president and CEO of Delta Financial Corp.

It was the period of time when Delta was embroiled in the state and federal lawsuits. According to the magazine, Williams said she was convinced that the company was enabling individuals who would otherwise not qualify for mortgages to get loans.

“There are people who miss payments and have bad credit for all kinds of reasons,” she told the magazine. “It is a very middle-American kind of problem, although I believe it does affect poor people disproportionately.”

Miller told the magazine he was most attracted to Williams’ skill at anticipating “issues and problems before they come up and then develop(ing) a battle plan. It’s something that we’ve previously been remiss in doing.”

Delta company officials would not elaborate on Williams’ role other than to say that “like other board members, Ms. Williams served in an advisory and oversight role and did not have a role in the day-to-day operations and management of the company.” A 2002 annual report, the only one found with this figure, shows Williams attended at least 70 percent of the company’s board meetings.

Predatory Practices

Delta, which declared bankruptcy in December 2007, settled lawsuits with both federal and state regulators in 2000, before Williams’ era, but has maintained dubious lending practices, allege consumer advocates in New York and Philadelphia.

“They were one of the worst and most abusive sub-prime lenders in New York City,” said Josh Zinner, co-director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP).

Zinner helped bring a 1999 lawsuit against Delta Funding through the New York State Banking Department and then-state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office. The case was settled with an agreement that included $12 million in payouts to borrowers. It has been caught up in court ever since over the price tag.

A separate class action suit against Delta by some 67,000 New York borrowers in 1998 is also ongoing, according to attorneys for Lopez v. Delta Funding Corp. In that case, the company agreed to settle on claims that Delta violated federal and state statutes governing fair lending practices. The plaintiffs are appealing for additional restitution.

In March 2000, the federal government charged Delta with violating consumer protection and fair lending laws by approving and funding loans regardless of the borrowers’ ability to pay, paying unearned fees and kickbacks to brokers and disproportionately charging African-American females higher rates and fees than “similarly situated” white males.

The immediate settlement of the suit filed jointly by the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and Department of Housing and Urban Development did not result in restitution to anyone but an agreement by the company to adhere to stricter, fairer lending standards and to submit to greater governmental oversight.

Delta never admitted any wrongdoing in the New York or federal cases, and not everyone believes the company was as nefarious as the headlines made it out to be. Jonathan Pinard, a lending expert and president of the Empire State Mortgage Bankers Association, said Delta “stayed in the agreement” set out in the federal settlement and kept its nose clean. Later, when the sub-prime lending market went sour, Delta was “painted with a broad brush” as one of the bad guys, he said.
But since Williams joined the board, Ackelsburg has assisted clients embroiled in predatory lending schemes that involve Delta.

“(Delta) didn’t have as big a market share as they did in New York,” Ackelsberg said. “But the most unscrupulous brokers tended to work with Delta.”

He pointed to a near million-dollar settlement presided over by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in 2002, in which an African-American brokerage firm linked to Delta was found guilty of predatory lending and discriminatory practices in predominantly black Philadelphia neighborhoods.

In six of the cases named in the Taylor, Poindexter v. McGlawn & McGlawn and Reginald McGlawn lawsuit, the loans were signed with Delta Funding. At least four of the 10 loans had originated in 2000 or afterward.

Each of the individuals who received Delta loans through McGlawn & McGlawn also filed complaints with the PHRC against Delta Funding, according to commission sources. Those cases were all settled, but terms of the agreements are confidential. Delta officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment by FOXNews.com.

“I would say Delta Funding, in the ’90s in particular, sort of epitomized predatory lending,” said Zinner, who worked for the Foreclosure Prevention Project at South Brooklyn Legal Services at the time of the New York suit. After the 2000 settlement, Zinner said his group “didn’t get the high volume of calls (about Delta loans) … but we definitely got quite a few complaints.”

Live Leak Folds To Muslim Threats And Takes Down Fitna

Due to threats from Muslim Terrorists, Liveleaks has removed Dutch Lawmaker Geert Wilders film Fitna. For your viewing pleasure and a protest against the Islamification of the Internet I have posted the YouTube video below.

The Dutch lawmaker who made a controversial film that criticizes Islam and the Koran, defended his work after protestors in Pakistan and Europe condemned the movie.

The 17-minute movie, posted on the Internet, shows terrorist attacks and quotes lines from the Koran, Islam’s holiest book. Among the quotes from the Koran used in the film are: “When ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks” and “Fight them until there is no dissension.”

“The Koran is not an old book somewhere on the shelves that no one is looking at,” the film’s maker, Geert Wilders, told ABC News. “But this is indeed the base of a lot of terrible things happening throughout the world.”

Wilders is the leader of a Dutch anti-immigration party that holds nine seats in the national parliament. He wants the Netherlands to ban all Muslim immigrants and more than that, he wants Muslims to change their ideology, which he likens to Nazism.

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“I believe that our culture is far better than the Islamic culture,” Wilders said. When pressed on what he meant by “better,” Wilders replied, “Well, we have a separation of church and state, we treat women equally.”

Friday night, the Web site hosting Wilders’ movie, “Fitna,” an Arabic word that means discord, said said it had decided to take down the film “following serious threats to our staff.”

In the Netherlands and across Europe there is anger. Many Muslims say they feel insulted, but there has been no violence so far.

There have been demonstrations in Pakistan and elsewhere. Anticipating trouble, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende condemned the movie.

“We believe it serves no purpose other than to cause offence,” Balkenende said.

In 2005 violent protests broke out around the world and more than 100 people were killed after a Danish newspaper printed cartoons portraying the Prophet Mohammed.

“I think his message is even worse than those cartoons,” said Abdou Bouzerda, who heads the Dutch chapter of the Arab European League. “His political message is that Muslims do not belong here.”

For now Dutch Muslim leaders are urging debate and restraint.

Wilders says his film is about freedom of speech and says if it fans the flames of violence, it’s not his fault.

“If it unfortunately would happen, of course the people who use this violence, use these non-democratic means, can be the only ones held responsible,” he said.

More Gore Lies On Global Warming

Gore’s latest lashing out at the Climate Change Naysayers is nothing more than another advertisement for the companies he is invest in.

What is really starting to piss me off is that Gore, with degree in the field, is suppose to be taken at face value when he blames climate change on mankind. He latest assertation is that a very small number of people, including the scientific community do not believe that Global Warming is all man’s fault. Each day that goes by, more and more scientists are coming out disputing his evidence, however Gore is unwilling to debate with them about the subject. He has closed the door to any other possibility for the cause of Global Warming. The question is why? If he was truely concerned about the future of the planet, he would keep and open mind and explore all possible causes of Global Warming. The fact that he is not willing to do that, indicates to me that he is pushing his agenda for one single reason. Money.

The founder of the Weather Channel, John Coleman is considering a lawsuit against Al Gore and company, just so they have to disclose the evidence they have pointing to man being the main cause of Global Warming.

Read John Coleman’s Brief on Global Warming here.

Weather Channel Founder: Sue Al Gore to Expose Global Warming Fraud

 

By now most people are aware that the founder of The Weather Channel, John Coleman, said global warming is “the greatest scam in history” last November.On Monday, while speaking at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change being held in New York City, Coleman took his criticisms further by advocating that all those involved in the sale and marketing of carbon credits, including Al Gore, should be sued “to finally put some light on the fraud of global warming.”As reported over at the Business & Media Institute by my colleague Jeff Poor (emphasis added throughout, h/t to many): 

Coleman also told the audience his strategy for exposing what he called “the fraud of global warming.” He advocated suing those who sell carbon credits, which would force global warming alarmists to give a more honest account of the policies they propose.

“[I] have a feeling this is the opening,” Coleman said. “If the lawyers will take the case – sue the people who sell carbon credits. That includes Al Gore. That lawsuit would get so much publicity, so much media attention. And as the experts went to the [witness] stand to testify, I feel like that could become the vehicle to finally put some light on the fraud of global warming.”

How delicious. Of course, for those that are interested, Nobel Laureate Gore was invited to speak at this conference — was even offered his normal fee to attend! — but refused. As reported Monday by Anthony Watts, one of the conference speakers (emphasis added):

I was surprised to learn that Al Gore had been offered an opportunity to address this conference, and his usual $200,000 speaking fee and expenses were met, but that he declined.

I also know that invitations went out to NASA GISS principal scientists Dr. James Hansen, and Dr. Gavin Schmidt weeks ago as evidenced by their writeup of the issue on their blog, RealClimate.org a week or so ago.

They have declined the formal invitation sent, even though it would be easy for them to attend, given that NASA GISS is located just a few blocks away at Columbia University.

Since recent polls indicate that about 50% of Americans remain unconvinced that global warming is a serious issue, it would seem this would be a perfect place for Mr. Gore, Dr. James Hansen, and Dr. Gavin Schmidt to bridge the crevasse.

Exactly, Anthony. Sadly, these folks don’t want to speak to the half of the nation not buying into their junk science, for it is so easily exposed as such, and that would bring an end to the fraud.

Of course, one has to wonder how all those that do believe in this myth feel about the fact that the leaders of their cause not only refuse to debate the issue, but won’t even attend a conference dealing with it.

Regardless, Coleman on Monday also pointed his finger at The Weather Channel:

“The Weather Channel had great promise, and that’s all gone now because they’ve made every mistake in the book on what they’ve done and how they’ve done it and it’s very sad,” Coleman said. “It’s now for sale and there’s a new owner of The Weather Channel will be announced – several billion dollars having changed hands in the near future. Let’s hope the new owners can recapture the vision and stop reporting the traffic, telling us what to think and start giving us useful weather information.”

We at NewsBusters share your hopes, John.—Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and Associate Editor of NewsBusters.

Other experts, who have degrees in related to climate and atmosphere changes are also disputing Mr. Gore’s claims.

While a politician might be faulted for pushing a particular agenda that serves his own purposes, who can fault the impartial scientist who warns us of an imminent global-warming Armageddon? After all, the practice of science is an unbiased search for the truth, right? The scientists have spoken on global warming. There is no more debate. But let me play devil’s advocate. Just how good is the science underpinning the theory of manmade global warming? My answer might surprise you: it is 10 miles wide, but only 2 inches deep.

Contrary to what you have been led to believe, there is no solid published evidence that has ruled out a natural cause for most of our recent warmth – not one peer-reviewed paper. The reason: our measurements of global weather on decadal time scales are insufficient to reject such a possibility. For instance, the last 30 years of the strongest warming could have been caused by a very slight change in cloudiness. What might have caused such a change? Well, one possibility is the sudden shift to more frequent El Niño events (and fewer La Niña events) since the 1970s. That shift also coincided with a change in another climate index, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

The associated warming in Alaska was sudden, and at the same time we just happened to start satellite monitoring of Arctic sea ice. Coincidences do happen, you know…that’s why we have a word for them.

We make a big deal out of the “unprecedented” 2007 opening of the Northwest Passage as summertime sea ice in the Arctic Ocean gradually receded, yet the very warm 1930s in the Arctic also led to the Passage opening in the 1940s. Of course, we had no satellites to measure the sea ice back then.

So, since we cannot explore the possibility of a natural source for some of our warming, due to a lack of data, scientists instead explore what we have measured: manmade greenhouse gas emissions. And after making some important assumptions about how clouds and water vapor (the main greenhouse components of the atmosphere) respond to the extra carbon dioxide, scientists can explain all of the recent warming.

Never mind that there is some evidence indicating that it was just as warm during the Medieval Warm Period. While climate change used to be natural, apparently now it is entirely manmade. But a few of us out there in the climate research community are rattling our cages. In the August 2007 Geophysical Research Letters, my colleagues and I published some satellite evidence for a natural cooling mechanism in the tropics that was not thought to exist. Called the “Infrared Iris” effect, it was originally hypothesized by Prof. Richard Lindzen at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

By analyzing six years of data from a variety of satellites and satellite sensors, we found that when the tropical atmosphere heats up due to enhanced rainfall activity, the rain systems there produce less cirrus cloudiness, allowing more infrared energy to escape to space. The combination of enhanced solar reflection and infrared cooling by the rain systems was so strong that, if such a mechanism is acting upon the warming tendency from increasing carbon dioxide, it will reduce manmade global warming by the end of this century to a small fraction of a degree. Our results suggest a “low sensitivity” for the climate system.

What, you might wonder, has been the media and science community response to our work? Absolute silence. No doubt the few scientists who are aware of it consider it interesting, but not relevant to global warming. You see, only the evidence that supports the theory of manmade global warming is relevant these days.

The behavior we observed in the real climate system is exactly opposite to how computerized climate models that predict substantial global warming have been programmed to behave. We are still waiting to see if any of those models are adjusted to behave like the real climate system in this regard.

And our evidence against a “sensitive” climate system does not end there. In another study (conditionally accepted for publication in the Journal of Climate) we show that previously published evidence for a sensitive climate system is partly due to a misinterpretation of our observations of climate variability. For example, when low cloud cover is observed to decrease with warming, this has been interpreted as the clouds responding to the warming in such a way that then amplifies it. This is called “positive feedback,” which translates into high climate sensitivity.

But what if the decrease in low clouds were the cause, rather than the effect, of the warming? While this might sound like too simple a mistake to make, it is surprisingly difficult to separate cause and effect in the climate system. And it turns out that any such non-feedback process that causes a temperature change will always look like positive feedback. Something as simple as daily random cloud variations can cause long-term temperature variability that looks like positive feedback, even if in reality there is negative feedback operating.

The fact is that so much money and effort have gone into the theory that mankind is 100 percent responsible for climate change that it now seems too late to turn back. Entire careers (including my own) depend upon the threat of global warming. Politicians have also jumped aboard the Global Warming Express, and this train has no brakes.

While it takes only one scientific paper to disprove a theory, I fear that no amount of evidence will be able to counter what everyone now considers true. If tomorrow the theory of manmade global warming were proved to be a false alarm, one might reasonably expect a collective sigh of relief from everyone. But instead there would be cries of anguish from vested interests.

About the only thing that might cause global warming hysteria to end will be a prolonged period of cooling…or at least, very little warming. We have now had at least six years without warming, and no one really knows what the future will bring. And if warming does indeed end, I predict that there will be no announcement from the scientific community that they were wrong. There will simply be silence. The issue will slowly die away as Congress reduces funding for climate change research.

Oh, there will still be some diehards who will continue to claim that warming will resume at any time. And many will believe them. Some folks will always view our world as a fragile, precariously balanced system rather than a dynamic, resilient one. In such a world-view, any manmade disturbance is by definition bad. Forests can change our climate, but people aren’t allowed to.

It is unfortunate that our next generation of researchers and teachers is being taught to trust emotions over empirical evidence. Polar bears are much more exciting than the careful analysis of data. Social and political ends increasingly trump all other considerations. Science that is not politically correct is becoming increasingly difficult to publish. Even science reporting has become more sensationalist in recent years.

I am not claiming that all of our recent warming is natural. But the extreme reluctance for most scientists to even entertain the possibility that some of it might be natural suggests to me that climate research has become corrupted. I fear that the sloppy practice of climate change science will damage our discipline for a long time to come.

Roy W. Spencer is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. His book, Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor, will be published this month.

According to statics provided by Gore, Global warming will benefit mankind, however he spins it that things will get worse as pointed out by Joe Bastardi from Accuweather.

UNBELIEVABLE: Gore to 60 MINUTES: Doubting Global Warming Is Manmade Like Believing Earth Is Flat.

I am absolutely astounded that someone who refuses to publicly debate anyone on this matter and has no training in the field narrated a movie where frames of nuclear explosions were interspersed in a subliminal way in scenes of droughts and flood, among other major gaffes, can say these things and then have them accepted… by anyone.

The list of degreed meteorologists, climatologists, scientists, that signed the Manhatten declaration stating their disagreement with Mssr. Gore’s premises grows by the day.

What gets me most is he goes on unchallenged one-on-one on this. Never in all my years of competition have I seen someone elevated to a level that he is, in any thing, without any face-to-face competition to establish credibility.

When someone gets a PhD, his or her thesis is normally attacked, for lack of a better word, in something known as the “orals,” at least it was for those venturing into those waters at PSU.

In other words, a group of people still in a higher academic standing than you, one you want to ascend to, will try to get you to defend what you do in a way where you show what you know, not by some programmed unchallenged remark, but by competition with the people that are criticizing. Why? Because you can defend what you know, if you have worked hard enough. It is typical of the mentality of this person, that he thinks that he should be able to get something for nothing, just go on unchecked, hurling insults at people who have forgotten more than he will ever know.

You be the judge of this statement, and consider the source: Gore to 60 MINUTES: Doubting Global Warming Is Manmade Like Believing Earth Is Flat.

In fact, here is an excerpt : “…I think that those people are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view, they’re almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the world is flat,” says Gore. “That demeans them a little bit, but it’s not that far off,” he tells Stahl.
I want to say that I have tried my best to be opened minded about this issue. But the more research I do, the more some of the claims of Bill Gray and John Coleman ring true.

However, I am all for non-carbon based energy as a way of increasing the quality of life, and that has nothing to do with what I consider grossly overstated scare tactics. Let me direct you to a site to keep an eye on: http://www.francis.edu/ActionCenter.htm I have been told they are developing some kind of home-based energy generator powered by wind. The idea is you store the energy created by wind. Given I live in the Boulder, Colorado of the East, count me in. As it is, we are getting a house with a geothermal unit in it that cuts electric bills by up to 50%. So I don’t need to hear I am some kind of nut that thinks the Earth is flat, especially from a man who refuses to stand up one-on-one with anyone that can confront him fact for fact.

Last night I read an interesting story. GLobal warming is responsible for 770,000,000 people on Earth starving. Is that so? Never mind it could be a myriad of things, let’s say that is right. The article also says that my 2085, that number may be 880,000,000.

These people have to assume that we are plain stupid. Seriously. The Earth’s population has increased four-fold in the last 100 years. Suppose we assume in the next 80 years we only double the population. Right now the percentage of people starving because of global warming (and I am being nice in giving them their figure, even though any objective person would question that) is about 13 percent of the world’s population. In 2085, assuming 12,000,000,000 people, (it’s liable to be more) if only 880,000,000 million are starving because of the climate, that means the percentage has dropped to less than 8 percent. So if we use that reasoning, global warming would have increased the chance of feeding a greater percentage of people.

But you see what is done here. It’s the same thing that is done across the board. Games played, and unless you look, you’ll get taken.

It is funny. Lenin said, in his statement that was meant to say the ends justify the means as far as building his utopian society, that one has to break a few eggs to make an omelet. We can argue if that is valid, for one would have to assume almost a messianic quality to the person to know they are right about the future. Is Mssr. Gore assuming that about this issue? But if one destroys the entire egg itself, one cannot make an omelet (I hard boil my eggs and only eat the whites, so maybe that is why all this is hard for me to understand).

It’s astounding, I am constantly reading and re-reading counter arguments to this idea. Let’s remember, some of the major proponents with high powered doctorates that are on the other side, brilliant minds no doubt like Dr. Hansen and Dr. Mann, did not get their doctorate DEFENDING their global warming stance. It is not like there was a PhD dissertation with six PhDs, three pro and three con, challenging the assertions here. These come out of the natural curiousity and good will of these men, and I do not think they are anything less. However, you see the same thing with me in a way, when convinced of an idea on the future, because of hard work and research it’s very tough to back away. There is a difference, though, of blowing the 3-inch line on a snowstorm, or that Omaha’s winter was colder than I thought. We are talking issues that ORIGINATE WITH THE WEATHER, but have far reaching tentacles.

Now, anyone that believes he knows absolutely what is going to happen with the climate in the future, well you be the judge as to who is the card carrying member of the flat Earth society, that person, or the skeptic.

Muslim Hate Site In The US Run By Former Jew

Another POS website hosted and run in the US  by a terrorist supportor who uses his Freedom of Speech to spread hatred, bigotry and support for Terrorists. What is sad is this is a Jew turned Muslim. Someone needs to take him out and beat him for a few days, maybe send him to some terrorist training camp and see what they do to him there. Maybe he can get the Daniel Pearl treatment too… 

I have an idea Yousef, if you hate America so much, GET THE FUCK OUT.

NEW YORK, N.Y. —  On any given day, log on to RevolutionMuslim.com and a host of startling images appear:

— The Statue of Liberty, with an ax blade cutting through her side;

— Video mocking the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl, entitled “Daniel Pearl I am Happy Your Dead 🙂 “;

— Video of a puppet show lampooning U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq;

— The latest speech from Sheikh Abdullah Faisal, an extremist Muslim cleric convicted in the UK and later deported for soliciting the murder of non-Muslims.

Even more surprising is that RevolutionMuslim.com isn’t being maintained in some remote safe house in Pakistan. Instead, Yousef al-Khattab, the Web site creator, runs it from his home in the New York City Borough of Queens.

Click here to view photos.

Click here to view video mocking the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

And, because al-Khattab enjoys the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, all the authorities can do is watch.

Formerly known as Joseph Cohen, al-Khattab is an American-born Jew who converted to Islam after attending an Orthodox Rabbinical school, which he later described as a “racist cult.”

The 39-year-old New York taxi driver launched RevolutionMuslim.com with the mission of “preserving Islamic culture,” “calling people to the oneness of God” and asking them to “support the beloved Sheik Abdullah Faisal, who’s preaching the religion of Islam and serving as a spiritual guide.”

In 2003 Faisal was convicted in the U.K. for spreading messages of racial hatred and urging his followers to kill Jews, Hindus and Westerners. In sermon recordings played at his trial, Faisal called on young, impressionable Muslims to use chemical weapons to “exterminate unbelievers” and “cut the throat of the Kaffars [nonbelievers] with [a] machete.”

Authorities believe Faisal’s sermons have influenced 2005 London transport bomber Germaine Lindsay and “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, who attended mosques where Faisal preached.

At times, al-Khattab’s postings are farcical, such as a picture of him holding the book “Nuclear Jihad” with a wry smile on his face. Other messages call for radical Muslim rule worldwide.

Al-Khattab claims the Sept. 11 terror attacks were an “inside job,” and he blames U.S. foreign policy for spawning the terrorism that carried out the attacks.

He calls Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and beheaded in 2002 by Islamic extremists in Pakistan, “a convicted spy.”

“I could care less about Daniel Pearl,” al-Khattab said in an interview with FOXNews.com. “I’m happy to see that he’s gone.”

Click here to view RevolutionMuslim.com.

The content changes constantly. One reason is that the fast flow of information allows messages to spread through cyberspace quickly. Another, terrorism analysts say, is to make it difficult for law enforcement to monitor the site.

Despite his radical anti-Western views, al-Khattab says he does not support terrorism of any kind.

Yet, RevolutionMuslim.com claims to be the official site of “North American representatives” for Sheikh Faisal, and it appears dedicated to spreading his radical doctrine.

He says Faisal “never said to kill innocent people” and was unjustly imprisoned. He says the real terror organizations are the U.S. Army, the CIA, and the FBI — and the National Coast Guard, “to a lesser extent.”

According to RevolutionMuslim, Faisal — who was deported to his native Jamaica in 2007 — is now receiving donations solicited on the site, including money for a new laptop and DVD burner to spread his message.

It’s not illegal to post these messages or collect money for Faisal, but it would be if Faisal were designated a terrorist by the U.S. government. He currently is not listed on any government terror list; a Department of Justice spokesman could not confirm or deny if Faisal is being investigated for any terror related activity.

RevolutionMuslim may look amateurish when compared with other extremist Web sites, but it is no less of a threat, says Mia Bloom, political science professor at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs.

“It may lead people who become radicalized by it to turn to other, more dangerous Web sites,” such as those run by terrorist organizations, she said.

Bloom characterized al-Khattab’s message as “narrow” and “misinformed” and said he is attempting to “proselytize or radicalize people who share some of these same ideas.”

“[He] has obviously been duped or is duping others because that’s not what Islam preaches,” she said.

On his site al-Khattab appears to condemn the very democracy that guarantees him the freedom to express himself — a freedom he cites in a disclaimer on his homepage:

“We hereby declare and make absolute public declaration that revolutionmuslim.com operates under the first amendment right to freedom of religion and expression and that in no way, shape, or form do we call for war against the U.S. government or adhere to the enemies of the United States elsewhere.”

Under the law FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said it is difficult to bring criminal charges against the operators of Web sites like RevolutionMuslim.com unless specific threats are made against an individual or individuals.

Kolko while not speaking directly about RevolutionMuslim said radical sites like these are not often prosecuted.

“It’s usually a First Amendment right if they don’t cross the threshold of making any threats,” said Kolko. “There’s nothing we should or could do.”

“Until the rhetoric reaches the point in which it’s no longer protected speech under the first amendment, it’s hard to stop it,” said security expert, Harvey Kushner.

Barack Back In Black

Another Lie by Barack Obama… I know, the liberals call it an imbelishment…

Barack, unable to come to terms with his mixed heritage, is trying so hard to be black, that he makes up stories about his struggles during his youth… Now he is claiming that his birth is the direct result of Martin Luther King’s marchs. I guess this is part of his claim that he can unify the country. I doubt this as he has done everything he can to erase his Whiteness… It’s sort of like Michael Jackson in reverse…

When will Americans wake up and realize that this man is nothing more than a liar. He has odd bed partners, Rezko and Wright, and stands by those friends until public opinion shifts the other way, then he comes out and say, well I didn’t know…

This is a grown man, still struggling with trying to be black enough, what is he going to do as President, if he does not know who he is now.

Now Barack Obama turns out to have rewritten his own life to prove he’s really black.

I’ve said before he made a mistake in choosing to be black – and so black that he sought out the most aggressively white-baiting church he could find. So black, in fact, that he’s since shopped his white grandmother to defend his racist black preacher.

As Shelby Steele, the African American author of Bound Man, a book on Obama, put it:

The fact is that Barack Obama has fellow-traveled with a hate-filled, anti-American black nationalism all his adult life, failing to stand and challenge an ideology that would have no place for his own mother… He was driven by insecurity, by a need to “be black” despite his biracial background. And so fellow-traveling with a little race hatred seemed a small price to pay for a more secure racial identity.

And now comes the latest proof that Obama’s key flaw is not just his Leftism, but his fragile sense of racial identity that’s led him to assert his “blackness” in ways that aren’t just divisive but preposterous. Hot Air now reports:

In his speech commemorating the 42nd anniversary of the (black civil rights) march (led by Martin Luther King) on Selma, Alabama, he credited the march with his existence — even though he was almost 4 years old at the time:

What happened in Selma, Alabama and Birmingham also stirred the conscience of the nation. It worried folks in the White House who said, “You know, we’re battling Communism. How are we going to win hearts and minds all across the world? If right here in our own country, John, we’re not observing the ideals set fort in our Constitution, we might be accused of being hypocrites.” So the Kennedy’s decided we’re going to do an air lift. We’re going to go to Africa and start bringing young Africans over to this country and give them scholarships to study so they can learn what a wonderful country America is.
This young man named Barack Obama [Obama’s father] got one of those tickets and came over to this country. He met this woman whose great great-great-great-grandfather had owned slaves; but she had a good idea there was some craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided that we know that the world as it has been it might not be possible for us to get together and have a child. There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don’t tell me I don’t have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don’t tell me I’m not coming home to Selma, Alabama.

The first march on Selma took place on March 7, 1965 (there were three of them). At the time, Barack Obama was three and a half years old. Now, Obama also mentions the Birmingham march as part of this speech — but that took place in May 1963. Obama would have been 20 months old when Dr. King led that demonstration.

There’s only one reason Obama falsely claimed to be almost literally a child born of Martin Luther King’s march. To prove his blackness.

New Black Panther Party Endorsement On Obama’s Site Authorized By Obama’s People

Obama’s camp has publically said they do not want the support of the New Black Panther Party and said they do not control who creates pages of support on Barack’s campaign website. However YellowLimes, has shown that the camp does control who has pages published on Barack’s site, therefore, his camp did authorize the creation of the supporting pages of hte NBPP. Caught in yet another lie…

Obama Supporters for Marijuana Law Reform; Updated: Site Admin Must Approve Groups Before They Appear; Updated-Other Interesting Groups

Just looking at Barrack Obama’s campaign website, specifically the my.barackobama.com section where individuals and groups can voice their support for the Illinois Senator’s Presidential bid, there appears to be more than 12,000 groups. Since there are so many groups currently, and I’m sure more join everyday, there is probably no real easy way to keep tabs on all of them nor what they claim to support or believe in.

However, I don’t see any disclaimer about not necessarily supporting all the groups that join or what they believe in on the Obama website. So that does make one wonder, perhaps the campaign does support all the groups on the site and what they believe in. Regardless, it doesn’t seem like the smartest thing for a campaign to do.

One of the groups I found on there earlier today was “Obama Supporters for Marijuana Law Reform”.

[click image to expand]
There is more troubling news concerning this topic. Yesterday, Fox News reported on an endorsement from the New Black Panther Party on Obama’s site.


What was the Obama campaign’s response? Well, to blame others of course, most notably Fox News for running the story.

Apparently, today was a slow news day.

So Fox News evidently decided to pore through our millions of user-created pages on My.BarackObama.com and put a screenshot of inflammatory content on the front page of FoxNews.com.

You see, more than 700,000 people have created accounts on the system. You can create one right now if you choose, in about a minute — anyone can.

Now, from time to time people get up to no good — creating fake profiles (like one for Sean Hannity created today), or posting profane or inappropriate content. When they do, the community reports the offending content and if it violates our terms of service it is removed (as the Sean Hannity profile was).

My.BarackObama.com has been at the core of our bottom-up organizing strategy. The tools available have been put to work by a community of supporters that is bigger and more powerful than anything presidential politics has ever seen.

Evidently, Fox News didn’t think it was a big deal that hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans are participating in the democratic process creating groups and local events in communities all across the country.

But they did think it was a big deal that one random person on the Internet, [or one random statement by some pastor eh? -ed. mine] without the knowledge of the Obama campaign, posted a profile in the system with the image of the New Black Panther Party on it.

When we were alerted of the existence of this page, we pulled it down. Yet even after we pulled the page, Fox News continues to disingenuously and prominently feature this “story” on their homepage.

“When we were alerted”…kinda like when Obama was “alerted” to those statements by his “spiritual adviser”.

Update 1
Well, that’s funny, I just created my own group on the Obama site and never saw or had to read a “terms of use” page. Also, after I created my group, this is the page that I was directed to…

[click image to expand]
After creating my group it tells me that a site administrator must approve the group before it will appear on the site.

Question: Did this practice of approving groups before posting them to Obama’08 begin today or has it been this way all along?

10:46am ET

Update 2
Nearly 4 hours after I created my test group at the Obama campaign’s website, the group is still not published. Clicking here will take you to the url where the group will be but it still shows the same screen as shown above. I’m going to keep checking to see when the group finally does get published.

2:11pm ET

Update 3
Here is another interesting group I found on the Obama website, created on Feb. 23, 2007

Marxists/Socialists/Communists for Obama

[click image to expand]
The group has this statement on the home page:

The members of this group are not Leninists, Stalinists, etc. and do not support or condone the actions of North Korea, China, Cuba or any other self-procalimed “Marxist States.” They do not in anyway represent the Marxist philosophy nor do they represent Socialism/ Communsim. We support Barack Obama because he knows what is best for the people!

3:02pm ET

Obama Foreign Policy Advisor’s Company Center of Passport

Barack Obama’s Intel and Foreign Policy Advisor, John Brennan’s company, The Analysis Corporation, is responsible for the breach of the passort information of all three candidates.

While most think this is insignificant, there are major concerns from this. First and foremost, is that TAC was contracted to head up automating the terrorist watchlist. With security like this, how good is the information in the system. Second, Brennan is Obama’s advisor on Intel and Foreign Policy, yet he employs persons of questionable character and values.

I have to also imagine that his role as Intel and Foreign Policy advisor to Obama, is a conflict of interest with the job his company performs for the State Department.

Now should this turn out to be politically motivated, then will Barack step down gracefully or will he come up with another excuse for another associates actions. This sounds like another Rezko problem for Obama, however I think that will be covered up and the trail will lead to individual actions not associated to Obama in any way.

“Mr. Obama said the series of attempts to “tap into people’s personal records” were “a problem not just for me but for how our government functions.”

The above quote says a lot about Mr. Obama, This breach was conducted by Brennan’s company, what role with Brennan have in the government if Obama is elected President. Barack tries to also shift the blame onto the current government, well, Mr. Obama, don’t forget you are part of that goverment.

The State Department investigation of improper computer access to passport records of three presidential candidates is focusing on one remaining employee — a contract worker with a company headed by an adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama

The probe by State’s inspector general will include polygraph tests for supervisors in the passport section to find out whether the three contract employees who accessed the records had a political motive or were part of a political operation to obtain personal data on Mr. Obama, Sen. John McCain or Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Two of the three contract employees had been fired before The Washington Times first reported Thursday on security breaches involving Mr. Obama’s passport records. The furor expanded yesterday to incidents involving the passport records of Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton.

The third employee, who has not been fired, worked for The Analysis Corporation (TAC), which is headed by John O. Brennan, a former CIA agent who is an adviser to Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign on intelligence and foreign policy.

The TAC employee is the only individual to have accessed both Mr. Obama’s and Mr. McCain’s passport information without proper authorization, a State Department spokesman said. That employee, who was not named, triggered an electronic alarm system, officials familiar with the probe said.

The accessed records have the data provided in passport applications and used by the department to issue or renew travel documents.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said he was unaware of the specific activities of the IG investigation but said all three contract employees will be questioned.

State Department officials said Thursday and yesterday that the intrusions appeared to be the result of “imprudent curiosity” on the part of contract employees who were hired last summer to help process passport applications.

In Portland, Ore., Mr. Obama said the series of attempts to “tap into people’s personal records” were “a problem not just for me but for how our government functions.”

“I expect a full and thorough investigation. It should be done in conjunction with those congressional committees that have oversight so it’s not simply an internal matter,” Mr. Obama told reporters.

Mr. McCain, who is traveling in France, called for an apology and a full investigation of the breach. “The United States of America values everyone’s privacy and corrective action should be taken,” he said.

Mrs. Clinton had not publicly commented by yesterday evening.

Mr. McCormack said the investigation also will determine whether the records of other high-profile political candidates were accessed improperly and whether there are “systemic” problems.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice promised that the department will carry out a “full investigation” and expressed anger about the breaches, as well as the failure to notify senior officials.

“It should have been known to senior management. It was not, to my knowledge. And we also want to take every step that we can to make sure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again,” she said, adding apologies to all three candidates, starting with Mr. Obama.

“I was sorry and I told him that I myself would be very disturbed if I learned that somebody had looked into my passport file,” Miss Rice said of her telephone apology yesterday to the Illinois senator. She also called Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McCain.

Officials do not know whether information was improperly copied, altered or removed from the database during the intrusions.

“We are looking at [whether] there is anything more to why these people did this other than inappropriate curiosity,” said Patrick F. Kennedy, undersecretary of state for management, who is in charge of the passport offices.

State Department officials met for about 90 minutes with the Senate staffs of each candidate, along with the staff of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who has jurisdiction over the Foreign Service.

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat, sent a letter to Miss Rice demanding to know the names of the contract employees.

Besides the TAC employee, the State Department said the other two employees worked for Stanley Inc., a 3,500-person technology firm based in Arlington that this week won a $570 million contract to continue providing passport services to the State Department, work the company has done since 1992.

TAC, a McLean-based information firm that has helped the State Department automate the Terrorist Watchlist over the last several years, issued a statement last night that it had been notified earlier in the day that one of its contractors had acted improperly. The firm said it had honored a State Department request not to fire its consultant to help the investigation.

“This individual’s actions were taken without the knowledge or direction of anyone at TAC and are wholly inconsistent with our professional and ethical standards,” the company wrote.

Calls to the Obama campaign about Mr. Brennan were not returned.

Mr. McCormack said yesterday there was a fourth person who breached the passport records, although he described it as a case of inadvertance. He said a passport office trainee last year was learning how to work with passport electronic records and searched for Mrs. Clinton’s file as a test, but was “immediately admonished, and it didn’t happen again.”

Working-level supervisors confronted the three employees after a computer alarm system was triggered by the effort to access Mr. Obama’s records.

“What didn’t happen is that that information didn’t rise up to senior management levels, so that we could be made aware of it. That should have happened,” Mr. McCormack said.

If senior officials were alerted to the intrusions, additional safeguards would have been used to protect the data, Mr. McCormack said.

Officials said the computer alarm that was set off includes a notification mechanism that should have alerted State’s inspector general. However, it is not clear whether the IG reviewed the improper computer activities, the officials said.

Acting Inspector General William E. Todd and the chief IG branch investigator, James B. Burch, a former U.S. Secret Service agent, are leading the passport probe, which began Thursday. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said his department was no reason yet to investigate.

Miss Rice and Mr. Kennedy did not learn of the breaches of Mr. Obama’s personal data until The Times e-mailed questions about the security breaches on Thursday.

“As soon as we realized that there were these unauthorized accesses for Senator Obama’s passport files, we collected the information, we briefed the secretary, we briefed Senator Obama’s staff, all before we ever replied to the reporter,” Mr. McCormack said.

“Then we replied to the reporter, and then we all talked to the rest of you as the questions came in,” he said.

Jerry Seper contributed to this report.

English Only Cheese Steak Shop

Joe Vento, owner of Geno’s Steaks in Philadelpha, PA had the courage to put up a sign thatsaid “This is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING ‘PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH'”. The amazing thing is the Commision on Human Relations ruled that this is not descriminatory and does not violate Philly’s Fair Practice Ordinance.

Critics of the sign, and most likely the ones to complain to the CHR claim that it discourages non-English speaking people from going there. Well so what. If it hurst Vento’s business he will change to survive, if it does not hurt his business then more power to him. People have a choice of where to eat and if people do not like his place for any reason, they should go someplace else to eat. His staff should not have to waste time trying to figure out what someone wants if they cannot order it in English, and other patrons should not have to wait for the staff to figure out what these non-English speakers want.

This is the beauty of free enterprise.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) — A Philadelphia agency has ruled that English-only signs at a famous cheese steak shop are not discriminatory.

The Commission on Human Relations says in its Wednesday ruling that the signs at Geno’s Steaks do not violate the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance.

Joe Vento posted the signs at his shop in October 2005. They read “This is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING ‘PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH.’ ” Video Watch a 2006 report on the issue »

Critics allege the policy discourages customers of certain backgrounds from eating there. They say the signs discourage non-English speakers from going to the shop.

Vento says he has never refused service to anyone because they couldn’t speak English.

Obama’s Campaign Fails To Stop Bleeding

Barack Omaba and his campaign thought a simple little speech would solve their problems. Well for the liberals, it did, however those with half a brain are looking at what he said and realizing that he did nothing more than try to divert the issue and blame White America for the racist remarks spewed out by Wright.

If you pay attention to the aftermath coverage, it is blatently obvious Barack does share the same basis as Wright. Barack Obama is continuing the division line in race, even with his words about uniting, he is not going to turn his back on his “African American” Community.  Hey Barack what about your White Community, remember you are a half white, I know you don’t really like to talk about it that much, but remember it was your White Mother that raised you, was there for you and supported you when you Black father abandoned his family…

His refusal to cut the embilcal cord with Wright show Obama’s own contradiction and reverse racism, which is the core of Wright’s “Black Belief” System. You see, what Omaba forgets is that Racism is a two way street, just because you are black does not mean you are not a racist and that your comments are not equally wrong not matter how your ancestors were treated. See below for article on Barack’s call for Imus firing for racist remarks.

Barack’s Speech:

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched Americas improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nations original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution – a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time. /**/

And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part – through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk – to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign – to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.

This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.

I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Pattons Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. Ive gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the worlds poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

Its a story that hasnt made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one.

Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans.

This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either too black or not black enough. We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.

And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn.

On one end of the spectrum, weve heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that its based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, weve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as Im sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm werent simply controversial. They werent simply a religious leaders effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

As such, Reverend Wrights comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems – two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way

But the truth is, that isnt all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing Gods work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

In my first book, Dreams From My Father, I described the experience of my first service at Trinity:

People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverends voice up into the rafters.And in that single note – hope! – I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lions den, Ezekiels field of dry bones. Those stories – of survival, and freedom, and hope – became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world. Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didnt need to feel shame aboutmemories that all people might study and cherish – and with which we could start to rebuild.

That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinitys services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that weve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.

Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, The past isnt dead and buried. In fact, it isnt even past. We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still havent fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between todays black and white students.

Legalized discrimination – where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments – meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of todays urban and rural communities.

A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for ones family, contributed to the erosion of black families – a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods – parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement – all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.

This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. Whats remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didnt make it – those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations – those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wrights generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politicians own failings.

And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wrights sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans dont feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as theyre concerned, no ones handed them anything, theyve built it from scratch. Theyve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when theyre told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments arent always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.

This is where we are right now. Its a racial stalemate weve been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy – particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.

But I have asserted a firm conviction – a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people – that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice is we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.

For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances – for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs – to the larger aspirations of all Americans — the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives – by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

Ironically, this quintessentially American – and yes, conservative – notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wrights sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

The profound mistake of Reverend Wrights sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. Its that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country – a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old — is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know — what we have seen – is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination – and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past – are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the worlds great religions demand – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brothers keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sisters keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina – or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wrights sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that shes playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, well be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, Not this time. This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids cant learn; that those kids who dont look like us are somebody elses problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who dont have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesnt look like you might take your job; its that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never shouldve been authorized and never shouldve been waged, and we want to talk about how well show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

I would not be running for President if I didnt believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation – the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.

There is one story in particularly that Id like to leave you with today – a story I told when I had the great honor of speaking on Dr. Kings birthday at his home church, Ebenezer Baptist, in Atlanta.

There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and thats when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

Now Ashley might have made a different choice. Perhaps somebody told her along the way that the source of her mothers problems were blacks who were on welfare and too lazy to work, or Hispanics who were coming into the country illegally. But she didnt. She sought out allies in her fight against injustice.

Anyway, Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why theyre supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man whos been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why hes there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, I am here because of Ashley.

Im here because of Ashley. By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.

But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins.

From ABC News:

Distancing himself from the inflammatory remarks made by his longtime pastor, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., today attempted to move beyond the racially charged tone that has dominated the presidential campaign for the last week with a renewed call to focus on “problems that confront us all.”

Without question, the Illinois Democrat found himself speaking about race in the city of brotherly love because some rather unloving comments made by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright were publicized.

Today, Obama called Wright’s statements “divisive,” “racially charged” and “views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation.”

In a 2003 sermon that has seen much media play this last week, Wright said, “The government gives them drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants to sing ‘God Bless America. No, no, no, not ‘God Bless America’ — ‘God Damn America.'”

That clip and others like it led Obama to distance himself from his longtime spiritual adviser and late last week Wright left the campaign’s African American Religious Leadership Committee.

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Still, Obama sought to explain his spiritual history with Wright. “As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me.”

Comparing Wright to his maternal grandmother, he said, “I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world,” Obama said. “But a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”

“These people are part of me,” Obama said, “and they are part of America, this country that I love.”

Obama’s decision to give a speech on race was born last Friday in light of questions about how Wright’s inflammatory rhetoric squares with Obama’s message of uniting the country, as well as racially charged comments made by the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., most notably those by former vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.

“We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demoagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias,” Obama said.

“But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Rev. Wright made in his offending sermons about America — to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.”

Distancing himself from the inflammatory remarks made by his longtime pastor, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., today attempted to move beyond the racially charged tone that has dominated the presidential campaign for the last week with a renewed call to focus on “problems that confront us all.”

Without question, the Illinois Democrat found himself speaking about race in the city of brotherly love because some rather unloving comments made by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright were publicized.

Today, Obama called Wright’s statements “divisive,” “racially charged” and “views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation.”

In a 2003 sermon that has seen much media play this last week, Wright said, “The government gives them drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants to sing ‘God Bless America. No, no, no, not ‘God Bless America’ — ‘God Damn America.'”

That clip and others like it led Obama to distance himself from his longtime spiritual adviser and late last week Wright left the campaign’s African American Religious Leadership Committee.

Still, Obama sought to explain his spiritual history with Wright. “As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me.”

Comparing Wright to his maternal grandmother, he said, “I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world,” Obama said. “But a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”

“These people are part of me,” Obama said, “and they are part of America, this country that I love.”

Obama’s decision to give a speech on race was born last Friday in light of questions about how Wright’s inflammatory rhetoric squares with Obama’s message of uniting the country, as well as racially charged comments made by the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., most notably those by former vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.

“We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demoagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias,” Obama said.

“But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Rev. Wright made in his offending sermons about America — to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.”

With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, Obama sees himself as uniquely able to deliver this call for the nation to move forward together.

Today he said his background “hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts — that out of many, we are truly one.”

That very postracial appeal is at risk with Obama’s 20-year relationship with Wright, a man who says among other things, the U.S. government created AIDS to kill black Americans.

It will be quite the high-wire act for Obama to address Wright’s anger without seeming to justify it, while taking on the most sensitive subject in American discourse.

Todd Boyd, a professor of race and popular culture at the University of Southern California, says the challenge that faces Obama is considerable.

“We’ve never really had a proper discussion about race and racism in this society so when comments come about as they have throughout this campaign we really don’t know how to act,” Boyd said. “We really don’t know what to do with them. Whatever Obama has to say about race at some level he might as well be speaking to the wall because it’s not going to make any difference in a society where people don’t know the ins and outs and outs and ins about talking about a very volatile issue.”

The more pressing questions for Obama, of course, may be the political ones.

Why wasn’t this issue dealt with until now? What else do voters not know about Obama? And how does his pledge to unite the country square with his attendance at a church where those of his mother’s hue might not feel comfortable?

ABC News’ Susan Rucci contributed to this report.

From Fox News:

As Barack Obama wrapped up his ambitious speech on race, politics and the historical origin of his longtime pastor’s heated sermons Tuesday, advisers questioned whether he had achieved a simple and practical objective: halting the “loop.”

The “loop” is the barrage of anti-American invective from Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. that has saturated national television for the past week.

Obama has vigorously disavowed Wright’s inflammatory remarks, but in Tuesday’s speech refused to disavow the pastor himself or the 20-year relationship he’s had with him. Some political observers say the Illinois senator still has some more mending to do.

“I think it goes on,” National Public Radio national correspondent Juan Williams said of the controversy.

Williams, a FOX News analyst, questioned why Obama allowed himself to remain publicly associated with Wright. He said Obama did not address the “judgment and character” issues that he’s running on.

“I think he had to take responsibility … and that’s what he didn’t do,” Williams said.

But CitizenJane.com Editor Patricia Murphy said it’s too late for Obama to try to divorce himself completely from Wright.

“There’s no way he didn’t know the nature of that church. He knows what goes on there, both good and bad. If he were to denounce this church and leave this church right now, it would look like nothing more than political gamesmanship, and for somebody who is selling himself as an honest broker and trying to paint Hillary Clinton as someone cold and calculating, that will be totally unproductive,” Murphy said. “The horse has left the barn on that.”

GOP strategist Fred McClure praised the speech but said it’s no antidote for Obama’s pastor problems.

“The winds are going to keep swirling around Senator Obama as this campaign goes forward, even though he, I think, very strongly denounced the words of Reverend Wright,” he said.

For a solid week, Wright’s comments have been in heavy rotation, with sermon highlights showing Wright blaming the United States for HIV and the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, rejecting the Clintons as anathema to the welfare of American blacks and portraying the country as institutionally racist.

Obama’s association with Wright, who officiated his wedding, baptized his children and served as his spiritual adviser, was developing as a potentially damaging credibility problem for his campaign of hope and change. The direct political effects of the relationship remain unclear, but some telling clues showed Obama had a pastor problem.

A Rasmussen survey taken from March 14-16 of 1,200 likely voters showed 56 percent of those interviewed were less likely to vote for Obama because of Wright’s comments.

Other national polls continue to show Obama and Hillary Clinton flirting with the lead in their ongoing fight to become the Democratic presidential candidate.

Seeking the quell the outcry, Obama condemned Wright’s statements on Friday, Saturday and again on Tuesday. But he walked a fine line, using his address to explain and give context to his pastor’s commentary.

“As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. … I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother,” Obama told an audience at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

He later added: “To simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.”

Crisis management consultant Mike Paul told FOX News that Obama needs to go a step further.

“Any time you are dealing with a crisis, you have to go to the root of the problem. The root here is the pastor. As those comments continue, the crisis will continue. Unfortunately, the rhetoric of the speech will not solve that,” he said.

Paul suggested Obama sit down with Wright and try to “melt his heart” and change his way of thinking. He said Obama needs to offer the public a “solution” to the controversy Wright has caused.

“That’s something that Barack Obama should be able to do as a potential president,” Paul said. “You’ve got to have a changed man come out.”

But Rev. Jesse Jackson told FOX News he thought the speech was effective.

“I thought he bared his soul today,” Jackson said, urging the candidates to return to the issues. “This campaign is ultimately about candidates, not surrogates and not about supporters.”

Obama is making a clear attempt to move back to issues, announcing what the campaign billed as back-to-back “major speeches” over the next two days on Iraq and the economy. He plans to speak on Wednesday in North Carolina and Thursday in West Virginia.

For her part, Clinton has not drawn attention to Wright’s sermons. On Tuesday, she said she didn’t hear Obama’s speech.

“I did not get a chance to see or read Senator Obama’s speech, but I’m very glad that he gave it,” she said in Philadelphia.

“It’s an important topic. Issues of race and gender in America have been complicated throughout our history,” Clinton said. “But we should remember that this is an historic moment for the Democratic Party and for our country. We will be nominating the first African-American or woman for the presidency of the United States, and that is something that all Americans can and should celebrate.”

Democratic strategist Tanya Acker, an Obama supporter, said she had no idea whether the speech would put the controversy to rest, but she downplayed the fact that Obama never explicitly disavowed Wright.

“What he tried to do is explain that some of those statements … he was really addressing a bitterness in the African-American community,” she said. “That may make other people feel uncomfortable, but it is truly there.”

Barack’s Call for Imus Firing:

In an interview with ABC News Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., called for the firing of talk radio host Don Imus. Obama said he would never again appear on Imus’ show, which is broadcast on CBS Radio and MSNBC television.

“I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus,” Obama told ABC News, “but I would also say that there’s nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude.”

Obama said he appeared once on Imus’ show two years ago, and “I have no intention of returning.”

Racial Slur Stirs Trouble for Shock Jock

Last week, Imus referred to the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, most of whom are African-American, as “nappy-headed hos.” He has since apologized for his remarks, and CBS and MSNBC suspended his show for two weeks.

“He didn’t just cross the line,” Obama said. “He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African-American women — who I hope will be athletes — that that somehow makes them less beautiful or less important. It was a degrading comment. It’s one that I’m not interested in supporting.”

Though every major presidential candidate has decried the racist remarks, Obama is the first one to say Imus should lose his job for them.

His proclamation was the latest in an ever-expanding list of bad news for Imus.

Sponsors, including American Express Co., General Motors Corp., Procter & Gamble Co., and Staples Inc. — have announced they are pulling advertisements from the show for the indefinite future.

Tuesday, the basketball team held a press conference.

“I think that this has scarred me for life,” said Matee Ajavon. “We grew up in a world where racism exists, and there’s nothing we can do to change that.”

“What we’ve been seeing around this country is this constant ratcheting up of a coarsening of the culture that all of have to think about,” Obama said.

“Insults, humor that degrades women, humor that is based in racism and racial stereotypes isn’t fun,” the senator told ABC News.

“And the notion that somehow it’s cute or amusing, or a useful diversion, I think, is something that all of us have to recognize is just not the case. We all have First Amendment rights. And I am a constitutional lawyer and strongly believe in free speech, but as a culture, we really have to do some soul-searching to think about what kind of toxic information are we feeding our kids,” he concluded.