Monday, June 18, 2007

There Is An Albert Einstein On The Obama Campaign Staff

First there was that major MySpace debacle. And now this weird tangent into Indian territory.

Bad MySpace Move By Barack Obama

In 1996 the Republican machine went after these Buddhist monks in California who had donated to the Dems. The Dems did not defend the monks. Making political donations is the most mainstream thing that happens in American politics. It is so mainstream, it is disgusting. But I guess you have to be white and Christian to pass. If you are a Buddhist monk, you arouse all sorts of suspicions. That was plain racism. As a Buddhist myself, I take deep, personal offense. The gay people are for gay marriage because they want to get married. I am for gay marriage to piss off the fundies.

1996 United States campaign finance controversy - Wikipedia, the ...

The word "outsourcing" is as misplaced as the term pro-life. It is not pro-life, it is anti-choice. When a woman choses not to abort, that is a pro-choice position.

Countries that are predominantly agricultural will over time end up with vibrant industrial and service sectors. There are a whole bunch of people in America who are offended that India and China are no longer countries of subsistence farmers. When Indians and Chinese get richer, that is good news for America. They will have more money to buy American products and services. It is racist thinking to get offended on news that the poor countries are getting richer.

India and China could grow to just trade with each other, but if that were to happen, America would miss out. Goods, services, talent and jobs will be traded. That is the new world.

There are some very real challenges that America faces due to the good news of globalization and the internet. The American people and their leaders have to take responsibility for the unmet challenges. It is not India's responsibility that America does not have universal health care. It is not India's problem that America has made a trillion dollar mistake in Iraq. It is not India's problem that America has chosen to end up with its huge debt and humongous deficits. It is not India's problem that America is not investing enough in its people, in terms of universal pre-K, and job training, and micro credit in low income neighborhoods. It is not India's problem that America has lagged behind in broadband.

Most Indians who live in America today probably grew up in India. The ties are very active and strong. And it is great that that is the way it is. India is not an abstract concept to most Indians living in America. If you disrespect India and its aspirations, Indians in America are going to get offended.

The Indians in America are the most successful ethnic group in America, not numerous but successful. An average Indian American family makes twice as much as an average white family in America. Going by their income, most of them should be Republican, and some are, including Bobby Zindal in Louisiana. But the vast majority are Democratic. And that is so for social reasons. Let's face it, the core of the Republican party is xenophobic. They tend to be hostile to non-whites. And so most Indians in America have made home in the Democratic Party. And that must be respected.

Let's grow, and let's trade, and let's together spread democracy. There are no two countries on the planet that are better positioned to be each other's closest partners. India has to be thought of as America's number one partner, more so than Britain. It is because America and India are the two most vibrant democracies on the planet. And there are security implications. There are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan, than in any Arab country. And the Indian Muslims breathe democracy. India perhaps is better positioned to help with a total spread of democracy in the Arab world - the only way to win the War On Terror - than America. America needs India.

There is yet another important security angle. India has been growing at close to double digit rates. India has been and will consume a whole bunch of energy over the next few decades and beyond. And that energy better be nuclear. The planet can not afford the endless burning of fossil fuels. The message to India and other poor countries across the Global South can not be that they should not grow economically, but it is important to set up a strong global regime to make sure all security anxieties to do with nuclear power are met in a just and fair manner. And India there can set an example.

The Energy Solution: Nuclear Energy

And amidst all this good news you have some weirdo on the Obama staff - it is probably the same guy who was behind the MySpace debacle - who is out there demonizing India and Indians. This is not going to fly.

Memo 1 | Memo 2

These memos have put Hillary back in double digit leads.

In The News

Nepal: Something Still Rotten The Economist last year a warrant was issued for the arrest of Sitaram Prasain, who was accused of stealing $4.3m from his own bank. This plunged the partly state-owned outfit, set up to lend to small businesses, into insolvency. Yet somehow the police could not find him. He seemed invisible, even when many of the country's top politicians attended his son's lavish wedding. ........ the Young Communist League, a squad of thugs run by Nepal's Maoists, kidnapped Mr Prasain this month and paraded him in front of the press before handing him to the police ..... Prasain had given generously to various political parties. ..... no one can recall anybody important in Nepal ever being punished for anything. ..... the Maoists in fact have more ways—legal and otherwise—to raise revenue than any other party, and have amassed large sums of money. ...... “It goes to the feudal character of our society,” says Devendra Panday, a former finance minister who is now a campaigner for peace and democracy. “In the patron-client system there is no incentive to clamp down on corruption.” Nepotism and party bias in appointments undermine institutions. “The country is full of incompetent people as well as corrupt ones.” ..... International donors are big providers of good jobs for the local elite.

The Backstory on Obama-Clinton Attack Memos New York Times, United States
Can He Crush Hillary?
New York Times, United States
Political Memo A New Kind of Politics Closely Resembles the Old New York Times “In this business, half the time we are being attacked for not being tough enough, and now we’re being attacked for being too harsh,” said David Axelrod, the campaign’s chief strategist. “The truth is that this is a tough, competitive business.” ....... today’s technologically driven political campaigns. ..... threatened to create a substantive problem for Mr. Obama by leading an Indian-American group to accuse Mr. Obama of engaging in racial stereotyping. ...... “Will we be judged by a different standard? We have, in many ways, held ourselves to a different standard,” Mr. Axelrod said, but added: “When they throw the stink bomb at you, you can’t be caught unaware.”
US-India body seeks clarification from Obama Hindu, India
Obama campaign offers apology for memo's tone
Concord Monitor, NH
Indian Americans take exception to Obama note on Hillary
Udayavani, India
USINPAC Sends Letter to Senator Obama Regarding Allegations of ...
Indian American group denounces Obama's campaign
Indian Muslims, CA
Indian American group denounces Obama's campaign
India, India
Indians caught in Hillary-Obama campaign crossfire, India
Indians caught in Hillary-Obama campaign crossfire, India
More on that Obama oppo
Obama's faux pas: Missing the global whirl
Times of India, India So outsourcing is back as a front and centre issue in the American election campaign, thanks to Barack Obama. .... Obama is picking up where John Kerry left off four years ago: Hit the outsourcing alarm button and see if there is any jolt of response from the American voters. ..... That's not a very smart thing to do in a global world. All Obama has got to do is examine his shoes or shirt or sneakers or slacks, and he might find that it is the product of some third world labour that fed a family of four, quite likely at the expense of an American worker. ...... employees of Cisco Systems contributed some $50,000 to Hillary's campaign and the firm paid Bill Clinton $300,000 for two speeches ..... There are hardly anything the US manufactures these days; there is a good chance that pretty much everything Obama and his men use and operate is made some place else at the expense of US jobs but adding to the bottomline of US corporations which in turn fund US political campaigns. .....Let's see Obama's last available financial disclosure. It shows he holds stock in a company called SkyTerra Communications. Not exactly Cisco, but SkyTerra has deep investments in India-based Hughes Systique. Oops. ..... his book was published by Random House (advance $425,000), the head honcho of whose main imprint is Ajai Raj Sonny Mehta, an Indian, who also advanced similar big bucks to Bill Clinton for his memoir. Oops, oops. ..... In the fine new world that he wants to lead America into, there should be no room for xenophobia.
Flutter over Hillary’s India ‘links’
The Statesman, India
The ‘macaca’ moment in the race to be the Democrat’s candidate for the post of the US President may have occurred, with the campaign of Sen Barack Obama attacking Sen Hillary Clinton for her close ties with India and Indian-Americans. ...... The memo made a special reference to hotelier Mr Sant Chatwal’s fund-raising commitment of five million dollars to the Clinton kitty and cited cases of financial misdoings that had been registered against him. ....... On a prominent blog operated mainly by Indian-Americans, Sepia Mutiny, the memo was reported under the title “Obama Just Got Less ‘Brown’ Friendly”, with most of the comments decrying the memo as highly offensive and even racist. ......... Within a few hours of the memo being highlighted in the press, USINPAC wrote a letter to Sen Obama expressing their concern “about media reports indicating your staff may be engaging in the worst kind of anti-Indian American stereotyping”. .... “The memo may be the work of a lower-level staff, but why was there no filter to prevent such material from going out in the Obama campaign,” he asked.
Obama regrets hitting out against Hillary Times of India, Indiam Obama, has launched a major damage control exercise by expressing "regret" and offering explanation. .... The move is seen as an attempt to assuage the feelings of the influential community, which is becoming a major contributor to election campaigns. .... a major embarrassment and a public relations disaster at a time when strenuous efforts are being made to set up "Indians for Obama" chapters - on the lines of "Indians for Hillary" chapters - across the country. .... the community leaders in New York and elsewhere were still discussing the intent of the Obama's campaign
NRIs ask Obama to explain remarks
Indian Express, India
Goodbye Barack, hello Hillary
Indian Express, India
Obama campaign rankles Indian community
Chicago Tribune, United States
Barack Obama gets key Indian American backing
Hindustan Times, India
Obama accuses Hillary of close ties with NRIs
Hindustan Times, India
With Opposition Research, Tone Is Revealing
Washington Post, United States
Political Memo A New Kind of Politics Closely Resembles the Old
New York Times, United States
Hillary pilloried for India 'connections'
Times of India, India
Latest Politics Blog Obama's Indian-American Backers Seek Further ...
New York Sun, NY
Clinton vs Obama: Outsourcing a delicate issue
Times, India
'Punjab' Paper Outs Obama on Defense, FL
Bam's India-memo bomb lingers
New York Daily News, NY
Obama's 'Pun'Jab' may turn his 'Macaca Moment'
India, India
Obama, chasing Hillary Clinton in the race for Democratic nomination, apparently had no idea what it means to take a 'panga' with the Indians when his campaign suggested that the former first lady was more of a senator from Punjab. ...... the Clintons have reaped significant financial rewards from their relationship with the Indian community. ..... What miffed them all the more was that Obama, who himself is trying to woo the Indian community, had chosen to take a leaf from 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's book to play the outsourcing card. ..... would he escape with a little rap on the knuckles as Joe Biden did after suggesting that one cannot visit a 'Dunkin Donut' shop in America without having a slightly Indian accent?
Hillary, a Democrat from Punjab: Obama The Tribune, India
Indian American Group Denounces Obama's Campaign
NEWSPost India, India
Bam sorry he hit Hillary on India
New York Daily News, NY
New York Post, NY

Poll Shows Obama Leads Dems; Thompson, Giuliani Close In SC
Bihar to set up its first pvt sector power plant
Obama's DC House Catches Fire Fox 28 the fire appeared to be on the third floor of a town house in northeast Washington, and was probably caused by a fan that had malfunctioned. .... Obama rents an apartment on the second floor. .... Fire department spokesman Alan Etter called it "a relatively minor fire."
Barack Obama Tops South Carolina Democratic Poll, Though Hillary ... FOX News had the support of 34 percent of likely Democratic voters, compared to 25 percent for his nearest rival ...... Clinton ......... Nationally, Clinton was leading Obama in the Democratic race by 33 percent to 21 percent in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted earlier this month. The same survey had Giuliani with 27 percent, McCain with 19 percent and Thompson with 17 percent. ..... A USA Today/Gallup Poll released on Monday showed almost identical results to the AP-Ipsos survey for both races. In early June, a USA Today/Gallup Poll had Clinton and Obama statistically tied.
Clinton leads Obama by double digits in new poll Boston Globe Clinton leading Obama 39 percent to 26 percent .... An earlier USAToday/Gallup survey conducted June 1-3 had put Obama 1 percentage point ahead of Clinton, at 30 percent to 29 percent.
Don't patronize Barack Obama Chicago Tribune only 35 percent of black men graduate from high school in Chicago, and that nationally only 22 percent of black men who enter college ever graduate. .... he graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, and his wife graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School.
Obama's South Asian-American Supporters Take Issue Atlantic Online In addition to being offended by the clear anti-Indian sentiment in the memo, we were particularly disturbed because the memo flies in the face of what we respect most about Senator Obama -- his inclusive message and his ability to relate to people of all backgrounds. ....... the memo did not reflect Senator Obama's views regarding the Indian American community, and he was deeply disturbed by its content. (Indeed, the memo even appears to contradict some the Senator's own statements regarding outsourcing.)
Clinton: Obama's office offers explanation showing much of her campaign funding coming from the wealthy Indian American Democratic lobby.
Hillary Clinton always comes prepared Salon the letter-perfect quality of her preparation. ..... she reveled in her mastery of the scientific details surrounding this issue.
Clinton Speaks Out on Stem Cell Research Wyoming News
Clinton vs Obama: Outsourcing a delicate issue Times “The Clintons have reaped significant financial rewards from their relationship with the Indian community, both in their personal finances and Hillary's campaign fundraising....” ..... the feelings of the influential community, but Obama's statement could do him more harm than good. John Kerry's defeat to incumbent George Bush in the last Presidential election was proof enough of the Indian-American community's political clout.

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