State & National Elections is now State & National Politics. Please subscribe, read, and follow!
If link doesn't work: http://statenationalpolitics.blogspot.com/

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nader, McKinney and Green

No Green for Nader
By Tom Ralph Nader will not be the Green Party’s candidate this year because they are already running former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. I wonder if Nader is going to get himself on any ballots this year? ...
Nowhere-Fast.net - http://www.nowhere-fast.net/index.php

Courage! Watch this woman speak truth!!
February 23rd event at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, featured Cynthia McKinney, Richard Gage, and Steven Jones. Following is video of Cynthia's presentation (click Read More for part 2); more will be posted here as we ...
911truth.org - http://www.911truth.org/xml/911truth.xml

Corporations Lie About Kucinich
By Freedom Rider(Freedom Rider) That is good news, but his enemies are still out to get him. They too have ads on the air and Republicans are being urged to cross over party lines and vote against him, a la the campaign that ousted Cynthia McKinney. He.
Freedom Rider - http://freedomrider.blogspot.com/

Nader Shows Up a Spoiled System, Helps McKinney
By Rachel Treichler All voters benefit from their efforts. Nader’s independent campaign helps all third parties and third party presidential candidates. His campaign particularly helps the Green Party and the campaign of Cynthia McKinney. read more.
Green Commons - netroots of the... - http://www.greencommons.org

By Democracy Lover(Democracy Lover)
They will probably avoid Nader this time because he might get too many votes in a swing state, and nominate Cynthia McKinney, who is actually somewhat better qualified than Nader, but is unknown to 98% of the electorate and hated by ...
Democracy Lover - http://democracylover.blogspot.com/

Ralph Nader????????????????
AfterEllen.com - USA
Ralph Nader is the President of his own fan club. John McCain ought to be happy--not only does he have someone who can take votes away from the ...

Death by Botox? The Hidden Toll of the Quest for Beauty
Natural News.com - Phoenix,AZ,USA
Because that's what women are doing when they choose to receive Botox injections, based on analysis by Ralph Nadar's watchdog group, Public Citizen ...

Nadar runs again; Making new bid for White house
Chatham Daily News - Chatham,Ontario,Canada
Ralph Nader on Sunday announced a fresh bid for the White House, criticizing the top contenders as too close to big business and dismissing the possibility ...

Ralph Nadar makes bid for Presidency
Durant Daily Democrat - Durant,OK,USA
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ralph Nader on Sunday announced a fresh bid for the White House, criticizing the top contenders as too close to big business and ...
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

McCain disavows comments about Obama

CINCINNATI - Republican John McCain quickly denounced the comments of a radio talk show host who while warming up a campaign crowd referred repeatedly to Barack Hussein Obama and called the Democratic presidential candidate a "hack, Chicago-style" politician.

Massachusetts Green Presidential Primary Results Likely in One Week

Massachusetts Green Presidential Primary Results Likely in One Week
Ballot Access - San Francisco,CA,USA
The Massachusetts primary results will be interesting, since Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney were both on the ballot. The only other Green presidential ...

Cynthia McKinney — More Relevant than Nader.
By Justin Were you aware that Cynthia McKinney is running for the Green Party nomination for President? I mention this in light of Ralph Nader’s announcement of his new completely irrelevant presidential run, where he is sure to double to vote ...
Skull / Bones - http://www.struat.com/election

Cynthia McKinney: The New Face of the Green Party
By LaKeshia Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is also in the running as a candidate representing the Green Party. A lifelong Democrat, McKinney was a staunch supporter of the party’s involvement in anti-war and human rights legislations ...
Kreative Talk - http://kreativetalk.blogspot.com/

Why Is Nader Receiving So Much Coverage
By Chris Bowers Also, whenever the several hundred news outlets covering Nader's announcement decided to become Pacifica Radio, it must have been after the point when Cynthia McKinney announced her campaign for President, which pretty much was only ...
Open Left - Front Page - http://www.openleft.com

Mumia Abu Jamal Endorses Cynthia McKinney’s Presidential Run
By Manila Ryce Are Americans really so naive as to believe the Democrats will offer them change, or do they simply not want change? Political Prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal discusses the difference between the illusion of change and the substance of change ...
The Largest Minority - http://www.jwharrison.com/blog

McCain no longer the oldest man on the ballot
By Mary Clyens Presently, former Congress-woman Cynthia McKinney is running for the GP nomination, and is certainly the best-known of the announced candidates. But she certainly doesn’t seem to score very high on that likability-meter. ...
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

News Round Up

Clinton battles to derail Obama in Ohio debate
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Faltering Democrat Hillary Clinton Tuesday faced one of her last chances to derail Barack Obama's presidential express train at their final debate before make-or-break nominating contests next week.

DNC Files Suit Against McCain for Spending Limits
(CNSNews.com) - The Democratic National Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Monday claiming that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) violated spending limits associated with receiving matching public campaign funds. Political experts, however, noted that candidates who receive public funds are at a disadvantage due to the large sums spent in campaign politics

Barack Obama prefers cooperation abroad
WASHINGTON - Based on his Senate history, Barack Obama as president would likely push to expand human rights and reduce poverty abroad using cooperation rather than confrontation. If foreign events permit.

Senator Obama's Coming Out Party in Cleveland
There has been a great deal of controversy generated over Senator Barack Obama's views towards Israel and the America-Israel relationship. The arguments have revolved around his close associations with people who harbor problematic views toward Israel, his list of foreign policy advisers, and some of his own views on the course of America's foreign policy. American Thinker has run a series of articles on this topic. Supporters have rallied to Barack Obama's defense.

Obama's Real Experience: His Candidacy
The best evidence of Obama’s readiness to lead the nation is the ability with which he has run for president. After all, what is more difficult, complicated, or challenging than getting elected president? What other life experience better illustrates one’s qualification to hold the office than a manifest skill in seeking it. For anyone who has ever been elected president, the race that sent them to the White House was the single most important event in their lives and dwarfs any other experience they might have had before running.

Ellen Visits Clinton Fundraiser
WASHINGTON -- Hillary Rodham Clinton was speaking at a fundraiser Monday on the campus of The George Washington University when Ellen DeGeneres popped up.
"Sorry to interrupt, but how's everybody doing?" quipped the talk show host, who was beamed into the auditorium by satellite from her studio in New York, prompting loud cheers from the audience.

Delegate Gap Won't Hurt Clinton in Pa.
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton fell at least 10 candidates short of fielding a full slate for the 103 delegate slots to be allocated in Pennsylvania's primary _ unlike rival Sen. Barack Obama _ but that disparity has more symbolic than substantive impact.

Obama Pal Chides Clinton Over Plagiarism
WASHINGTON -- Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick chided Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday for accusing his friend and political ally Barack Obama of plagiarizing lines from Patrick's speeches.

Poll: Obama With Slight Texas Lead
Monday, February 25, 2008 5:00 PM

Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Sen Dodd to endorse Obama in White House bid: source

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Reuters) - Former Democratic presidential hopeful Chris Dodd will endorse Barack Obama in his bid for the White House on Tuesday, a source close to the Obama campaign said.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Obama Discusses Retirement Security Agenda at Roundtable in Cincinnati

Senator Barack Obama held a roundtable today to discuss his retirement security agenda with Ohioans struggling to save for their own retirement. Obama has proposed strengthening Social Security, ensuring that all Americans have access to a portable retirement accounts, protecting pension plans, and providing all Americans with the incentives to save throughout their working careers.

“A secure retirement is no longer a guarantee for the middle class,” Senator Obama said today. “It’s harder to save and harder to retire. Pensions are getting crunched. The promise of social security may grow harder to keep for future generations. That’s why my agenda for retirement security will protect Social Security, lift up savings for working people, and reform bankruptcy laws to protect working people.

Senator Obama has proposed retirement security agenda that includes the following tenets:

Creating automatic workplace pensions
Expanding retirement savings incentives for working families
Eliminating income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000
Requiring full disclosure of company pension investments
Reform corporate bankruptcy laws to protect workers and retirees
Strengthen Social Security

An Ohio-specific fact sheet on Senator Obama’s Retirement Security Agenda is available HERE.

Senator Obama’s remarks at today’s roundtable follow as prepared for delivery:

Remarks on Retirement Security
Senator Barack Obama
February 25, 2008

As prepared for delivery

Americans who work hard their entire lives have earned the right to retire with dignity and security. That’s the promise that each of us wants to be realized within our own families, and it’s a promise that we must keep for all American families. But Washington is not working to preserve this fundamental part of the American dream.

A secure retirement is no longer a guarantee for the middle class. It’s harder to save and harder to retire. Pensions are getting crunched. The promise of social security may grow harder to keep for future generations. That’s why my agenda for retirement security will protect Social Security, lift up savings for working people, and reform bankruptcy laws to protect working people.

It starts with protecting Social Security today, tomorrow, and forever. For millions of Americans, Social Security is the difference between a comfortable retirement and the risk of poverty. We have an obligation to secure the future of one of the most successful programs in our history. That starts with talking straight to the American people about the challenges that lie ahead. Social Security is strong, but as more baby boomers retire, the long-term cash-flow needs to be addressed. We have to make sure Social Security is there for future generations.

I don’t believe we need to raise the retirement age or cut benefits. I’m also against privatization, and stood up in the Senate against President Bush’s misguided plan to create private accounts. Right now, the Social Security payroll tax only applies to the first $97,500 a worker makes. I think the best way forward is to adjust the cap on the payroll tax so that people like me pay a little bit more and people in need are protected.

But Social Security is not enough. We have to encourage savings so it’s easier to retire. But today, personal saving is at an all-time low. Americans are dealing with higher costs for everything from tuition to childcare to the price at the pump. Meanwhile, 75 million working Americans and over 7 million Ohioans don’t have employer-based retirement plans.

That’s why I’ve proposed automatic workplace pensions. There will be no red tape or complicated forms – employers will provide a direct deposit of a small percentage of each paycheck into your account. You can add to it, or you can opt out at any time. And employers will have an easy opportunity to match employee savings. If you switch jobs, your savings will roll over into your new employer’s system. If you become self-employed, you will control your account. The federal government will match these savings to help you reach a secure retirement. For families that make under $75,000, we’ll match 50 percent of the first $1,000 you save.

Studies show that about 80 percent of Americans will enroll if given the option to pursue my plan. This will put a secure retirement within reach for millions of working families, and lift up the amount of savings in this country.

We also need to reform bankruptcy laws that put special interests ahead of your ability to save. Today, even if you work hard and play by the rules, you risk losing everything if your company goes bankrupt.

When I first arrived in the Senate, I opposed a bankruptcy bill that protected banks and the credit card industry instead of your savings. And as President, I’ll make working families my top priority. Instead of saying it’s ok for Americans to lose everything if they get sick, we’ll help you back on your feet if you go bankrupt because of illness. Instead of protecting banks and credit card companies, we’ll protect your pensions. We’ll limit circumstances when retirement benefits can be cut. We’ll increase the wages and benefits that workers can claim in bankruptcy court. And instead of cutting the safety net for workers while protecting golden parachutes, we’ll prohibit executive bonuses during bankruptcy.

We also need to press companies to be more responsible. Millions of Americans depend on their pension funds to get by. Yet across the country, workers have had the rug pulled out from under their retirement because of risky investments. Well I think workers have a right to know what their money is being invested in – so I’ll require full disclosure of pension fund investments, and press firms to make their pension funds solvent. You work hard for your pension – you need these pension funds to work for you.

Making these changes won’t be easy. We’ll have to talk straight with the American people. We’ll have to push back against the special interests. And we’ll have to come together to keep America’s promise – the promise that in this country, folks who work hard will be able to retire with the dignity and security they have earned. That’s a principle worth fighting for. And that’s what I will do every day when I am President of the United States of America.
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

A few Obama stories...

Obama's Fiction and the Reality of Globalization
The President should have visited Cairo this week – Cairo, Illinois that is.A new Gallup poll confirms America’s “surging pessimism” about the job market coupled with an ongoing decline in consumer confidence. Strikingly, one in four Americans surveyed were worried that they or their spouses would lose their job in the next twelve months.

Obama: Hoping Away Reality
When the competitive edge begins to dull, successful organizations and individuals often regroup and reevaluate their methods. In sports, when a gifted-new talent contributes extensively to upsetting a dominant team, a wise coach frequently refocuses his athletes on the fundamentals of the game.

Islamic Links on Obama Web Site Stir Criticism
(CNSNews.com) - A page for Muslim supporters of Sen. Barack Obama -- hosted on Obama's presidential campaign Web site -- promotes events sponsored by controversial Islamic groups.

Obama targets NAFTA but says supports free trade
LORAIN, Ohio (Reuters) - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama assured U.S. trading partners on Sunday that he did not oppose free trade despite making increasingly critical comments about multilateral deals such as NAFTA.

Conservatives Place Hold on Obama's Global Poverty Bill
(CNSNews.com) - Two conservative members of the U.S. Senate have anonymously placed a hold on Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) global poverty bill, Cybercast News Service has learned. The effort is an attempt to slow down the progress of a bill (S. 2433) that conservative analysts say could eventually force the U.S. to increase its foreign aid by hundreds of billions of dollars.

This Just in From Venus: Hillary's The Tough One, Obama's The Nice One
The Democratic candidates have landed, just in from somewhere out there in the stars. The surprise is that Hillary's from Mars, and Barack Obama's from Venus. She's tough; he's nice. She's strident; he's soothing. She insists that she's hard enough -- even mean enough when it comes to that -- and ready to be commander in chief on day one.

Obama, Clinton Fight for Votes as Battle Rages to Take On McCain
The best political gift of the day for Barack Obama’s campaign has been served up by Iowa’s Des Moines Register, the largest newspaper in the swing state that put the Illinois senator on top in possible head-to-head match-ups in the fall election.

Play by Play: Obama Wins Votes One at a Time
CINCINNATI — Colleen Munninghoff challenged Sen. Barack Obama politely Monday to win her vote in next week’s Ohio primary. And he did.
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Clinton accuses Obama of inexperience abroad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called rival Barack Obama a risky choice to lead U.S. foreign policy even as Obama gained ground in the battleground U.S. states of Ohio and Texas on Monday.

Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Clinton: Obama wavers on foreign policy

WASHINGTON - Hillary Rodham Clinton characterized rival Barack Obama on Monday as rash and inconsistent on foreign policy issues. Shifting to foreign policy after two days of hammering the Illinois senator over their differences on health care, Clinton paired two of Obama's campaign statements to support her conclusion.
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Obama photo in turban, robe causes stir

WASHINGTON - A photograph circulating on the Internet of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama dressed in traditional local garments during a visit to Kenya in 2006 is causing a dustup in the presidential campaign over what constitutes a smear.
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Ralph Nader and Alan Keyes

Friday night I spoke at the Galveston County, Texas Lincoln Day Dinner.
It was a great event. Maybe 300 people came on a Friday night to chat with each other, greet candidates, bid on tshatshkes placed on tables against the back wall which no one really wants or needs to help raise money for their county party, and listen to a speech
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Islamic Links on Obama Web Site Stir Criticism

(CNSNews.com) - A page for Muslim supporters of Sen. Barack Obama -- hosted on Obama's presidential campaign Web site -- promotes events sponsored by controversial Islamic groups.

Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Obama Discusses Job Creation Plan with Workers at National Gypsum in Lorain

Senator Barack Obama visited the National Gypsum plant in Lorain today to meet with workers and discuss his plan to invest in job creation—particularly “green jobs” in the clean energy sector—end tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas. Obama also stressed his opposition to unfair trade deals like NAFTA and vowed to fight for fair trade.

“Now, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that we can’t stop globalization in its tracks and that some of these jobs aren’t coming back,” Senator Obama said today. “But what I refuse to accept is that we have to stand idly by while workers watch their jobs get shipped overseas. We need a president who’s working as hard for you as you’re working for your families. And that’s the kind of President I intend to be.”

National Gypsum is a leading manufacturer of gypsum wallboard products. The workforce is represented by the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, which endorsed Senator Obama last week.

“I’ve proposed a job-creation agenda that starts with making sure trade works for American workers,” Obama said. “We can’t keep passing unfair trade deals like NAFTA that put special interests over workers’ interests.”

Highlights of Barack Obama’s plan to create jobs and reward companies that keep good jobs here in America:

Support Job Creation: Barack Obama believes we need to increase federal funding for basic research and make the research and development tax credit permanent to help create high-paying, secure manufacturing jobs. Obama will also make long-term investments in education, training, and workforce development so that Americans can leverage our strengths - our ingenuity and entrepreneurialism - to create new high-wage jobs and prosper in a world economy.
End Tax Breaks for Companies that Send Jobs Overseas: Barack Obama believes that companies should not get billions of dollars in tax deductions for moving their operations overseas. Obama will also fight to ensure that public contracts are awarded to companies that are committed to American workers.
Reward Companies that Support American Workers: Barack Obama introduced the Patriot Employer Act of 2007 with Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to reward companies that create good jobs with good benefits for American workers. The legislation would provide a tax credit to companies that maintain or increase the number of full-time workers in America relative to those outside the US; maintain their corporate headquarters in America if it has ever been in America; pay decent wages; prepare workers for retirement; provide health insurance; and support employees who serve in the military.

You can read more about Obama’s plan to strengthen the economy HERE, and you can download his full economic agenda, Keeping America’s Promise, HERE (pdf).

Senator Obama’s remarks follow as prepared for delivery.

Remarks for Senator Barack Obama
National Gypsum
Lorain, Ohio
Sunday, February 24, 2008

As prepared for delivery

Our economy has been struggling for some time now. And as I’ve traveled across Ohio, I’ve seen the face of this economy – a mother who told me she can’t afford health care for her sick child; a father who’s worried he won’t be able to send his children to college; and seniors who’ve seen their pensions disappear because the companies they gave their lives to went bankrupt.

I don’t have to tell you about this. Folks around here have been directly impacted by the changes in our economy – whether it was the loss of steel jobs over the past few decades, or the closing of the Ford plant that was here for so long. And folks in this area are still worried about whether they’re going to lose their jobs and how they’re going to make ends meet if that happens.

Now, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that we can’t stop globalization in its tracks and that some of these jobs aren’t coming back. But what I refuse to accept is that we have to stand idly by while workers watch their jobs get shipped overseas. We need a president who’s working as hard for you as you’re working for your families. And that’s the kind of President I intend to be.

I’ve proposed a job-creation agenda that starts with making sure trade works for American workers. We can’t keep passing unfair trade deals like NAFTA that put special interests over workers’ interests.

Now, Senator Clinton has been going to great lengths on the campaign trail to distance herself from NAFTA. Yesterday, she said NAFTA was “negotiated” by the first President Bush, not by her husband. But let’s be clear: it was her husband who got NAFTA passed. In her own book, Senator Clinton called NAFTA one of “Bill’s successes” and “legislative victories.”

And yesterday, Senator Clinton also said I’m wrong to point out that she once supported NAFTA. But the fact is, she was saying great things about NAFTA until she started running for President. A couple years after it passed, she said NAFTA was a “free and fair trade agreement” and that it was “proving its worth.” And in 2004, she said, “I think, on balance, NAFTA has been good for New York and America.” One million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio. And yet, ten years after NAFTA passed, Senator Clinton said it was good for America. Well, I don’t think NAFTA has been good for America – and I never have.

I didn’t just start criticizing unfair trade deals like NAFTA because I started running for office – I’m doing it because I’ve seen what happens to a community when the factory closes down and the jobs move overseas. I began my career as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, fighting joblessness and poverty in neighborhoods that were devastated when the local steel plant closed.

And it’s because of this longstanding commitment to working families that I will not sign any trade agreement as President that does not have protections for our environment and protections for American workers. And I’ll pass the Patriot Employer Act that I’ve been fighting for ever since I ran for the Senate so we can end tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and give those breaks to companies that create good jobs with decent wages here in America.

It’s also time to let our unions do what they do best – organize our workers. If a majority of workers want a union, they should get a union. It’s that simple. We need to stand up to the business lobby, and pass the Employee Free Choice Act. That’s why I’ve been fighting for it in the Senate, and that’s why I’ll make it the law of the land when I’m President of the United States.

We can also invest in American jobs by investing in America, and rebuilding our roads and bridges. I’ve proposed a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank that will invest $60 billion over ten years. This will multiply into almost half a trillion dollars of additional infrastructure spending and generate nearly two million new jobs – many of them in the construction industry that’s been hard hit by the housing crisis we’re facing.

In addition, we’ve also got to do more to create the green jobs that are jobs of the future. My energy plan will put $150 billion over ten years into establishing a green energy sector that will create up to 5 million new jobs over the next two decades – including jobs right here in Ohio that pay well and can’t be outsourced. We’ll also provide funding to help manufacturers convert to green technology and help workers learn the skills they need for these jobs.

We know that all of this must be done in a responsible way, without adding to the already obscene debt that has grown by four trillion dollars under George Bush. We cannot build our future on a credit card issued by the bank of China. And that is why I’ll pay for every part of this job-creation agenda – by ending this war in Iraq that’s costing us billions, closing tax loopholes for corporations, putting a price on carbon pollution, and ending George Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

But in the end, enacting this agenda won’t just require an investment. It will require a new spirit of cooperation, innovation, and shared sacrifice. We’ll have to remind ourselves that we rise and fall as one nation; that a country in which only a few prosper is antithetical to our ideals and our democracy; and that those of us who have benefited greatly from the blessings of this country have a solemn obligation to open the doors of opportunity, not just for our children, but to all of America’s children. That’s the kind of vision I have for this country, and that’s the kind of vision I hope to make real as President of the United States.

Obama Discusses Universal Health Care Plan at Columbus Roundtable

After visit to OSU Medical Center, Obama meets with uninsured Ohioans and medical professionals to share plan to cut costs and improve care

Chicago, IL —Following a visit to Ohio State Medical Center today, Senator Barack Obama held a roundtable with uninsured Ohioans and medical professionals to discuss his plan to fix our broken health care system. Obama shared his plan to make quality health care available to every American by focusing on prevention and shifting to electronic record-keeping to cut costs and improve care.

“One out of every four dollars we spend on health care is swallowed up by administrative costs – on needless paperwork and antiquated record-keeping that belongs in the last century. We also spend far too much on treating illnesses and conditions that could’ve been prevented or managed for far less,” Senator Obama said today. “Family premiums in Ohio have risen more than 40 percent over the last eight years, and the number of uninsured now stands at around 1.2 million people. That’s unacceptable, and we can’t afford to let these costs keep going up year after year.”

Before the roundtable, Obama visited the OSU Medical Center, greeting with nurses and physicians and touring the 9th floor Kidney/Diabetes Ward. Diabetestreatment is a leading expense within the health care system and represents an area where enhanced prevention could vastly cut costs. The Medical Center has been recognized for eight consecutive years as one of America’s Most Wired Hospitals because of its leadership in using information technology to cut costs and improve patient care.

Barack Obama believes we live in the greatest country in the world and that when it comes to health care America can and must do better. Obama has a three part plan to build upon the strengths of the U.S. health care system, including innovative state efforts, and address its glaring weaknesses, such as affordability. The Obama plan will save a typical American family up to $2,500 every year on medical expenditures by:

Providing affordable, comprehensive and portable health coverage for every American;
Modernizing the U.S. health care system to contain spiraling health care costs and improve the quality of patient care; and
Promoting prevention and strengthening public health to prevent disease and protect against natural and man-made disasters.

You can learn more Obama’s Plan for a Healthy America HERE.

Senator Obama’s full remarks at today’s health care roundtable follow as prepared for delivery.

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama
Ohio State University Medical Center
Saturday, February 23rd, 2008
Columbus, Ohio

We had a great tour of the Medical Center just now, and one of the most promising things I saw were the technological innovations here that are cutting the cost of health care and improving its quality. For eight consecutive years, OSU has been recognized as one of America’s Most Wired Hospitals because it’s been a leader in the use of information technology in patient care and research.

This must be the future of health care in America – not just because every patient deserves the best care possible, but because they deserve the most affordable care possible. And bringing our health care system into the 21st century is one of the best ways to do that.

We now spend over $2 trillion on medical care every single year. It would be one thing if all this money went directly towards making us healthier and improving the quality of our care. But it doesn’t.

One out of every four dollars we spend on health care is swallowed up by administrative costs – on needless paperwork and antiquated record-keeping that belongs in the last century. We also spend far too much on treating illnesses and conditions that could’ve been prevented or managed for far less. Our health care system is turning into a disease care system, where too many plans and providers don’t offer or encourage check-ups and tests and screenings that could save thousands of lives and billions of dollars down the road.

And of course, the biggest obstacle in the way of reforming this system are those who profit most from the status quo – the drug and insurance companies who pocket an enormous chunk of the skyrocketing medical bills that working families are struggling to pay.

I’ve heard these stories day after day over the last year of this campaign. The husband and wife who own a successful small business but are now on the verge of bankruptcy because they’re paying nearly half their income on premiums. Or the young woman who gets three hours of sleep a night because she works the night shift after a full day of college and still can’t afford health care for her sister who’s ill.

The same stories are happening right here in Ohio. Family premiums have risen more than 40% over the last eight years, and the number of uninsured now stands at around 1.2 million people.

That’s unacceptable, and we can’t afford to let these costs keep going up year after year. We can’t afford to keep talking about health care reform in every election and then fail to act when we go back to Washington. We can’t afford to let the drug and insurance lobbyists stand in our way, or the same partisan bickering stop us getting this done. Not this time. Not this year.

I know how scary it can be when you don’t know whether or not you’ll be able to pay your medical bills. My mother died of ovarian cancer when she was only 53. And in the last months of her life, the one thing that worried her most was whether or not her insurance company would still cover her and pay for her treatments. So this is personal for me.

When I got to the Illinois state Senate over a decade ago, I brought Republicans and Democrats together to expand health care coverage to another 150,000 children and parents. I passed a bill cracking down on hospital price gouging of uninsured patients, and helped expand coverage for routine mammograms for women on Medicaid. And we also created hospital report cards, so that every consumer could see things like the ratio of nurses to patients, the number of annual medical errors, and the quality of care they could expect at each hospital.

In this campaign, I’ve put forth a universal health care plan that will cut costs and guarantee coverage to every American. Under this plan, if you’re uninsured, you’ll be able to get the same kind of health insurance that members of Congress get for themselves. We’ll stop the insurance companies from discriminating against any American just because they’re sick or have a preexisting condition, because those who are the American who need help the most. And we’ll lower premiums for the typical family by $2500 a year.

We’ll cut these costs in part by requiring that our public plan includes evidence-based, preventive care so that we’re not treating illnesses or conditions in the Emergency Room that could’ve been caught with a check-up or managed with the right care. And we’ll also reduce waste and inefficiency by instituting new technologies like you’ve done right here at OSU Medical Center and moving from paper records to electronic medical records. This is a reform that will reduce deadly medical errors, shorten the length of hospital stays, ensure that nurses can spend less time on paperwork and more time with patients, and save billions and billions of dollars in the process.

Now, both Senator Clinton and I have put forth similar plans, and we share the goal of universal health care. The main difference between us is that Senator Clinton includes a mandate, which means she’d have the government force you to buy health insurance, and she said she’d consider ‘going after your wages’ if you don’t. I disagree with that approach. I believe that the reason Americans don’t have health care isn’t because no one’s forced them to buy it, it’s because no one’s made it affordable, and that’s why my plan does more to cut costs than any other that’s been offered in this race.

But the truth is, both of our plans are far better than what’s being offered by John McCain – more of the same Bush health care policies that haven’t worked in the past and won’t work today. It’s a tax break that doesn’t guarantee coverage and doesn’t make sure that health care is affordable for the working families who need it most. It reflects the agenda of the drug and insurance lobbyists, who back his campaign and use money and influence to block real health care reform.

This is an area where I disagree with Senator McCain and Senator Clinton. She’s taken nearly a million dollars from lobbyists in this campaign and says they “represent real Americans.” He takes their money and has put them in charge of his campaign.

This is standard operating procedure in Washington. And that’s what I’m running to change. Because if we don’t challenge the power of the drug and insurance companies and the lobbyists who hold sway, we’ll still be talking about these problems years from now.

At the end of the day, all the good plans in the world won’t mean anything if we can’t get them passed – if we can’t break through the partisan bickering in Washington, open up the process to new ideas and new voices, and bring people together to get this done. That’s how we’ll overcome the lobbyists and special interests. That’s how I passed health care reform in Illinois. That’s how we can make this time different than all the rest, and that’s what I intend to do as President of the United States.

Hillary Discusses her Jobs Agenda, Workforce Development with Columbus Families

Today, Senator Hillary Clinton participates in a "Solutions for the American Economy" town hall at the Community Education and Workforce Development Center at Columbus State College. At the town hall she will release her "Jobs Agenda" for Ohio workers and families. She will be joined by four people who will share their own stories of triumph in the face of economic challenge, hard work and support of a new "green" economy.

"We need to get real about America’s future and move from good words to good works, from sound bites to sound solutions," said Senator Clinton. "The American people need a champion in their corner. I will listen to their voices and work my heart out for families across the country and people like the ones who joined me today."

At the age of 29, Jason White, of Lewis Center, OH, was a bartender, working nights when he broke his wrist and he didn’t have healthcare. After that experience and nearly losing everything, Jason started looking into Columbus State College and signed up for the Construction Management Program. He is now an Assistant Project Manager overlooking the rebuilding and construction of elementary, middle and high schools in Newark, OH.

Jason’s construction projects have all started to include energy efficient materials, insulation and monitoring systems to measure how much energy is leaving the buildings.

Tom Robbins, a full-time faculty member in Columbus State’s new Program of Sustainable Design, also joined Hillary today. The Program of Sustainable design is the only one of its kind in central Ohio. It has been running for two years and roughly a dozen students have enrolled. The students who have participated in the program have included architects, manufacturers, and construction management students.

Tom has witnessed a surge in focus on energy efficiency in manufacturing, construction and architecture and believes people are becoming more and more aware of the importance and benefits of "going green." One particular course offered focuses on energy systems and how they function in the long run and how they should be approached to ensure energy efficiency.
Pam and Wally Ohert of Columbus, OH talked with Hillary about their lives working hard to raise 12 children together including their 20-year-old daughter Belinda, who attends Columbus State. Wally retired as an electrician with IBEW Local 683 after a near fatal heart attack that left him in a coma for four days. He worked as an electrician for 30 years and was a leader in his union. Pam is a Patient Financial Specialist at Mt. Carmel Health System in Columbus, OH. She processes applications for the patients who do not have health insurance.

HILLARY CLINTON’S JOBS AGENDAHelping Create Good Jobs and Prosperity for Ohio Families

With our economy slipping into recession, American workers and families need a President ready to fight for their economic interests from day one. Americans need a President who will fight for good, high-paying jobs here in the U.S. that cannot be outsourced. The unemployment rate in Ohio is 6.0%, up more than 13% from a year ago. The state has lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs since the Bush Administration took office, and across the country we have lost more than 3 million manufacturing jobs. Hillary has a comprehensive plan to create good jobs here in the U.S., train and equip our workers for the 21st century, and revitalize America’s manufacturing industry.

An Immediate Plan to Jumpstart Job Growth and Help Our Workers: While Hillary strongly supports immediate tax relief for working families and seniors, she knows it will take more than tax rebates to fix our economy. That’s why she has proposed extending unemployment insurance to help those who have lost their jobs and are struggling to find work. And it is why she is the only candidate in the race who has proposed making immediate investments to jumpstart green collar job growth, including a program to train green collar workers, weatherize homes, and retrofit public buildings.

Restoring a Strong, Vibrant Manufacturing Sector in America: Hillary believes that we cannot remain a great country with a strong economy if we don’t make things in America. As co-chair of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, Hillary knows and understands both the challenges and opportunities facing American manufacturing. As President, she will invest in development of processes and products that could lower costs, improve efficiencies, and create more jobs in our manufacturing base and keep America competitive. She will provide $20 billion in Green Vehicle Bonds to help American auto companies retool the oldest auto plants to meet her strong efficiency standards. And she will expand the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which for a $100 million investment yields $910 million in new investments and trains or retrains 50,000 workers.

Providing New Support to Help Small Businesses Create Good Jobs. At this time of economic uncertainty, small businesses are more important than ever. They have accounted for 80 percent of net new jobs since 1990 and employ more than half of all private sector workers. As President, Hillary will double funding for the Small Business Administration, which has been cut by 50% under the Bush Administration. Hillary will also provide new tax credits to small businesses to make it easier for them to create new jobs with health care for their workers here in the U.S.

Investing in Infrastructure to Create Good Jobs, Ensure our Safety, and Enhance our Economic Competitiveness. New Orleans, the Minnesota bridge collapse, and the recent levee break in Nevada are all reminders that we have failed to invest sufficiently in our infrastructure. Hillary’s infrastructure plan would invest $10 billion in funding to help states review and repair their critical infrastructure; modernizing seaports; expanding funding for public transit and intercity rail; incentivizing environmentally sensitive land use policies; and a greater focus on reducing congestion. She is also a co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation to create a national infrastructure bank that would evaluate and finance large infrastructure projects.

Ending Tax Breaks for Companies that Ship Jobs Overseas, and Investing Those Resources to Spark the Innovative Potential of Our Economy. Hillary believes that investing in innovation is a key to creating the jobs of the future, stimulating economic growth, and ensuring American leadership in new industries. Hillary's plan calls for establishing a national broadband strategy; doubling the research budgets at the major federal agencies; strengthening education from pre-K to post-graduate study; making the R&D tax credit permanent; and restoring integrity to science by ending the Bush Administration's war on science.

Creating a $50 Billion Strategic Energy Fund That Will Help Create at Least 5 Million Green Collar Jobs. In 2007, many of the largest oil companies recorded record profits. Exxon earned $40.6 billion, the highest profit for any U.S. company in history. Hillary’s energy plan would give large oil companies a choice: invest more in renewable energy technology or pay into a Strategic Energy Fund that would jumpstart a clean energy future by injecting $50 billion over ten years into research, development and deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean coal technology, ethanol and other homegrown biofuels. These investments will lay the foundation for our economy to create at least 5 million high-paying green collar jobs over the next decade.

Making Trade Work for Working Families. Americans need a President who will fight for fair, pro-American trade policies that will not trap them in a race to the bottom. Low wages in other countries are costing America jobs and putting pressure on wages here at home. With approximately one quarter of our gross domestic product linked to international trade, we need trade policies that better manage globalization. As President, Hillary will make trade work for working families. She is the only candidate with a detailed plan to fix NAFTA, by dramatically strengthening its labor and environmental provisions; changing its investment provisions that grant special rights to foreign companies; strengthening its enforcement mechanisms; and reviewing NAFTA regularly. Hillary will also demand strong labor and environmental provisions in all trade agreements; implement a trade "timeout" to formulate a genuinely pro-worker and pro-American trade policy; appoint a new trade prosecutor; crack down on China’s currency manipulation; and strengthen support for workers adversely affected by trade.

Hillary Clinton: Addressing the Needs of Families In Today’s Economy

Today, Hillary Clinton outlined her agenda to provide tangible benefits for Ohio families, too many of whom are struggling to stay afloat in an economy that is sliding towards recession. Hillary’s plans will help Ohio’s parents manage the responsibilities of caring for their children and caring for their aging parents, afford quality health care, and enable their children to attend college, which opens the door to more job opportunities.
Since 2000, Ohio’s median household income has decreased by 6.6%. Over the same period, health insurance premiums increased by 43% and the cost of college grew by almost 60%. The average gas price in Ohio is now $3, up from $1.50 in 2001. The average home heating costs have gone from $945 to $1,059 in the past year alone, an increase of 12%. Ohio’s families are facing rising costs while they face lower wages.
It’s time for a president who will put Ohio’s families first. As President, Hillary will: create jobs; lower health care costs; increase access to college; create new tax credits to offset the cost of caregiving and long-term care; enact paid leave for all workers; provide more affordable child care; provide guaranteed sick days; and establish American Retirement Accounts and tax benefits for retirement savings.
Hillary’s Family Agenda for Ohio:
Job Creation: Hillary has a comprehensive plan to create good jobs here in the United States, train and equip our workers for the 21st century, and revitalize America’s manufacturing industry. She will dramatically strengthen NAFTA’s labor and environmental provisions; change NAFTA’s investment provisions that grant special rights to foreign companies; strengthen NAFTA’s enforcement mechanisms; and review NAFTA regularly. She’ll also call for a time-out on all new trade agreements until the US has developed a comprehensive, pro-worker, pro-American trade policy that is enforceable, and end tax breaks for shipping US jobs overseas. She is the only candidate in the race who has proposed making immediate investments to jumpstart green collar job growth, including a program to train green collar workers, weatherize homes, and retrofit public buildings. She’ll also invest in restoring a strong, vibrant manufacturing sector in America and provide $10 billion in funding to help states review and repair their critical infrastructure.
A Health Care Plan that Covers Everyone: Hillary has offered the American Health Choices Plan, which would provide guaranteed affordable quality health care for everyone in Ohio. Through this plan, Hillary will end discrimination against the sick and enact a tax credit that covers a portion of the cost of health care premiums, so that premiums never exceed a reasonable portion of one’s income. Under Hillary’s plan, the days of people losing their health care because they lose their job or change jobs will come to an end. She’ll lower costs with an aggressive plan to modernize the health care system, reduce medical errors, and provide better care for those with chronic diseases. And she’ll change our system from a system of sickness to a system of wellness - preventing disease from occurring in the first place. This plan will ensure that the 1.1 million Ohioans without health insurance and the millions more who are underinsured receive affordable, quality care.
Making College More Affordable for Americans. Sixty percent of Ohio college students graduate with an average of $20,525 in student debt. Hillary has a real agenda to make college affordable and accessible for Ohio’s families. She will double the HOPE scholarship, providing a $3,500 tax credit for college; restore the Pell Grant to its original earning power; create a Graduation Fund to increase the graduation rate of community colleges; require colleges to set their tuition several years in advance so students and families can plan; provide a $10,000 scholarship for individuals who participate in public service full-time for a year; get rid of the burdensome federal financial aid application and replace it with a check-off box on the federal tax form; and enact a Student Borrower’s Bill of Rights to ensure that every student borrower has access to clear, transparent information about the monthly payment, interest rate, and term of the loan, and affordable loan payments. Up to 600,000 college students in Ohio, including 280,000 who are receiving Pell Grants, would benefit from Hillary’s college affordability agenda [NCES]
A New $3,000 Caregiving Tax Credit. Hillary will offer a new $3,000 Caregiving Tax Credit to any person with substantial long-term care needs or to their caregivers. On average, unpaid caregivers pay more than $5,000 in out-of-pocket costs, often dipping into their savings or forgoing their own health care. The credit will not require a complex accounting of out-of-pocket costs, but instead would be available directly to any individuals with substantial long-term care needs or their caregivers. Hillary’s Caregiver Tax Credit will provide generous new assistance to at least 180,000 Ohio residents. [CRS, 2007; Census 2007]
A New Long-Term Care Insurance Tax Credit: Hillary will offer a new tax credit to help those planning for their long-term care needs afford high-quality insurance policies that are right for them. This new tax credit will cover 75 percent of long-term care insurance premiums up to $1,500 per year for qualified long-term care insurance policies that meet strong new consumer protection requirements. The credit will reward middle-class families that take steps to prepare for their long-term care needs. Hillary’s new Long Term Care Insurance Tax Credit will benefit at least 333,000 Ohio’s seniors and near-retirees. [www.ahipresearch.org (p. 27)].
Paid Family Leave. Hillary will expand the Family Medical Leave Act to cover employers with 25 or more workers, a change that will provide legal protection for unpaid leave to 13 million additional workers. Hillary will also create a State Family Leave Innovation Fund to support the establishment and expansion of state-level leave programs for new parents and those caring for their aging parents. She will ensure that every state has a paid leave program by 2016. In Ohio, this proposal could impact approximately 4.4 million private-sector workers who do not have paid family leave. [National Partnership for Women & Families]
Increased Support for Child Care. Hillary has worked to expand access and improve quality of child care in our country for decades. The Bush Administration has essentially frozen the level of child care funding for the last eight years. As a result, the real purchasing power of child care subsidies has fallen significantly. According to the Bush Administration’s own estimates, 300,000 children will lose child care assistance by 2010, and 150,000 have already lost child care assistance since 2000. Hillary believes we need to increase child care funding through the Child Care and Development Block Grant and return the program to it’s original intent: to serve working families. Hillary’s policy will help the 270,000 children under six and 25,000 infants in Ohio parents in the labor force who are unable to access formal, full-time child care [National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies]
Sick Days. Forty two percent of Ohio employees do not have sick leave for themselves; one-third of Ohio’s employees do not have sick leave to cover days when their children are ill. These workers must go to work sick or forego pay when they or their children become unexpectedly ill. Hillary will ensure that every full-time worker has access to 7 sick days. Part time workers will receive a proportional share. Hillary’s policy would ensure that 2.2 million Ohio workers have access to sick leave. [Policy Matters Ohio]
American Retirement Accounts - Hillary will ensure all middle class Americans can open a new American Retirement Account. These accounts will allow individuals to contribute up to $5,000 per year on a tax-deferred basis. She will also provide a 50% match on the first $1000 of savings for every couple making between $60,000 and $100,000, which will be phased out after that. This matching tax credit will be available to all Americans in existing 401(k) type accounts as well as the new American Retirement Accounts. 3.2 million Ohio families will be eligible to open an American Retirement Account under Hillary’s plan. [Current Employment Survey]

In Ohio: Obama Flip-Flops On Outside Political Spending

Change in Position Marks Second Flip Flop on Campaign Finance Issue in as Many Weeks

ARLINGTON, VA - While Barack Obama once decried outside expenditures as a "major loophole in campaign finance reform" and urged his primary opponents to do more than just "talk the talk," the Obama campaign today tacitly embraced a significant, last-minute outside expenditure effort being organized on his behalf by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW).

The UFCW intends to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in the state Ohio running pro-Obama advertising.

"The politics of hope is increasingly becoming the politics of hoping no one notices that Obama says one thing but does another," said Howard Wolfson, Communications Director for the Hillary Clinton campaign. "Obama's trying to have it both ways, decrying political loopholes two months ago and using them to his advantage now. That's hardly change you can believe in."

Sen. Obama blast John Edwards for criticizing 527s and then benefiting from their spending. "John yesterday said that he didn't believe in 527s - those are the independent groups that raise money without disclosure. Nobody knows who's giving the money or what's going on. He said, 'I don't believe in them because this is a major loophole in campaign finance reform laws, you have these outside groups helping out candidates and it is a way to get around campaign finance laws.'... So you can't say yesterday you don't believe in them and today you have three-quarters of a millions dollars being spent for you. You can't just talk the talk. The easiest thing in the world is to talk about change during election time" [New York Times, 12/22/07]

Sen. Obama: "Yesterday my understanding was that (Edwards) said he did not approve of 527s, these independent groups where there's no disclosure so you don't know who's funding them and how much is being spent... Part of what we need is some consistency when it comes to the positions we take, not just taking them when it's politically convenient." [Radio Iowa, 12/22/07]

Sen. Obama criticizes Edwards for using 'outside groups' as a way of 'getting around the campaign finance laws.' "You've got these outside groups that are helping out candidates and it's a way of getting around the campaign finance laws. So he said he's opposed to them - we found out today that there is an outside group spending $750,000." [MSNBC, 12/22/07]

Obama campaign decried 'big interests' that had poured a 'flood of Washington money' into Iowa in 'underhanded' efforts to support his rivals. "Sen. Barack Obama's campaign manager has spent the final days of the Iowa campaign railing against 'big interests' that have poured a 'flood of Washington money" into the state in 'underhanded' efforts to support his rivals. But more than three-quarters of that money has come from a pillar of the Democratic Party: labor unions." [Politico, 1/1/08]

Clinton - Fact Check: Obama Continues To Mislead on Hillary and NAFTA

"Senator Obama’s insistence on repeating attacks that have been demonstrated to be false by independent entities proves once and for all that his speeches about the new politics are just words. That’s not change you can believe in."
—Clinton spokesman Phil Singer
Today, Sen. Obama said the following:
And yesterday, Senator Clinton also said I’m wrong to point out that she once supported NAFTA. But the fact is, she was saying great things about NAFTA until she started running for President.
This is false. Hillary criticized Sen. Obama for sending out a mailer that claimed she said NAFTA was a "boon to the economy" when she never did. Today, the University of Pennsylvania's FactCheck.org concluded "We do judge that the Obama campaign is wrong to quote Clinton as using words she never uttered, and it has produced little evidence that she ever had strong praise of any sort for NAFTA's economic benefits."
Also, Hillary has been critical of NAFTA long before she started running for President. For example, here's Hillary in March 2000:
What happened to NAFTA I think was we inherited an agreement that we didn’t get everything we should have got out of it in my opinion. I think the NAFTA agreement was flawed. The problem is we have to go back and figure out how we are going to fix that. [Working Families Party, 3/26/00]
Sen. Obama touts his consistent opposition to NAFTA. But speaking in Illinois in 2004 Obama said the United States "benefited enormously" from exports under NAFTA and talked about the need to continue to pursue trade agreement like NAFTA that support "a system of free trade in this nation that allows us to move our products overseas."

HUBdate: Resolved (Clinton)

If You Read One Thing Today: The Akron Beacon Journal endorsed Hillary. “Listen to her closing words in the CNN debate on Thursday evening, and Hillary Clinton offered a concise reminder of the virtues of her candidacy.” Read more.
If You Watch One Thing Today: “Bastrop women ages 91 and 101 vote Clinton.” Both Texas women were born before women had the right to vote. Read more and watch.
New Ads: The campaign began airing four new ads, “Resolved,” “Deliver,” “Proud,” and “Level.” Watch.
By the Numbers: In Rhode Island, a new American Research Group poll has Hillary up by 12 points over Sen. Obama (52-40).
Students for Hillary: The Daily Texan, the student newspaper for the University of Texas at Austin, endorsed Hillary! Read more.
Previewing Today: Hillary holds a rally in Providence and a health care roundtable in Central Falls, Rhode Island and attends a low dollar fundraiser in Boston, Massachusetts… President Bill Clinton holds an early vote event in Arlington, Texas and rallies in Bowling Green, Lima, and Springfield, Ohio.
Active in the States: Today in Ohio, Hillary supporters canvass in Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, Delaware, Lancaster, Marietta, Massillon, Medina, New Lexington, Sprinsboro, Sprinsboro, Toledo, Troy, and Wooster… Yesterday in Texas, the campaign opened an office in Lubbock, conducted visibility in Waco with “Cosby Show” star Erika Alexander, and hosted an early vote event in San Antonio with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros.
FactCheck: In Ohio, Sen. Obama’s campaign is shamefully distorting Hillary’s record on health care and trade in two dishonest mailers. Get the facts.
In Case You Missed It: “Sen. Barack Obama… took hundreds of thousands of dollars from partners at dozens of firms that lobbied Congress in 2007.” Read more.

Akron Beacon Journal Endorses Hillary

Today, Senator Hillary Clinton received the endorsement of the Akron Beacon Journal in the upcoming Ohio presidential primary.
In their endorsement editorial, the Beacon Journal wrote, “the country is best-served by the president with the knowledge, savvy and temperament to push Washington forward… Hillary Clinton is the more proven leader.”
Excerpts of the endorsement follow below:
Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary
"This editorial page has in mind the question of which candidate would make the stronger president, which candidate is more prepared for all the Oval Office presents its occupant, and the many challenges before the country at home and abroad.
"We recommend a vote for Hillary Clinton in the March 4 presidential primary...
"The regrettable thing is, too little time in this campaign has been spent acknowledging the past eight years that Clinton has spent representing New York in the U.S. Senate. She has moved beyond those harshly partisan times. She has worked effectively with Democrats and Republicans, even those who once pushed for the impeachment of her husband. She has won praise from the Pentagon for her work on the Armed Services Committee.
"Many military officers recognize she would be a formidable commander in chief.
"Her resilience has deserved more attention, too. Many Clinton watchers point to her grit. There is something larger at work: Her temperament stands out as one of her finest qualities. Lose in a bid for sweeping reform of health care, and Clinton comes back with a program less ambitious but still substantial, achieving broader insurance coverage for children. The 1990s taught lessons, Clinton shedding much self-righteousness, acquiring the skills to navigate successfully in Washington.
"Most impressive is her keen intelligence. No candidate in this race, Republican or Democrat, can match her command of issues, foreign and domestic. Consider health care and education, two of the country's highest priorities. Clinton speaks to each with depth and clarity, articulating, say, the value of universal health coverage or ways to repair the troubled student loan program.
"This race hardly has left room for fiscal discipline, amid all the promises and plans. Yet Clinton has demonstrated the most restraint. She articulates an approach overseas that involves this country playing a leading role, yet finding ways to work with others, understanding that issues such as combating terrorism, curbing climate change and opening trade require global strategies...
"One frequently noted virtue of Hillary Clinton is that she is battle-tested, ready for whatever the Republicans throw at their opponent. Actually, she is tested in a more telling way. Neither John McCain, nor Barack Obama, nor Hillary Clinton has much direct management experience. Still, of the three, Clinton has been on the scene in the governor's office and in the White House, alert to the pace and the breadth of the job. That makes a difference. She understands well the unique demands of the presidency...
"If both candidates represent a certain change, one seeking to become the first black president, the other the first woman president, the country is best-served by the president with the knowledge, savvy and temperament to push Washington forward, building coalitions at the political center. Barack Obama carries much promise of doing so. Hillary Clinton is the more proven leader."

Clinton News Roundup

Clinton, Obama sharpen their attacks
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (Reuters) - Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama sharpened their attacks on each other on Sunday, trading barbs over health care, trade and experience as they head for key showdowns in Texas and Ohio on March 4.

Clinton assures donors after losses
BOSTON - Attempting to reassure anxious donors, Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday outlined a road map she said she will follow to beat Barack Obama in the Ohio and Texas primaries March 4.

Never Count Out the Clintons
The first rule of politics is, “Never count out the Clintons.” Their political conglomerate, Clinton Inc., is like Glenn Close in that bathtub scene in the movie “Fatal Attraction”: It always comes back to life a second or third time.

Obama hits Clinton on NAFTA support
Barack Obama accused Democratic presidential rival Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday of trying to walk away from a long record of support for NAFTA, the free trade agreement that he said has cost 50,000 jobs in Ohio, site of next week's primary.

Clinton Says Obama NAFTA, Health Care Attack Mailers Are Unfair
As the battle for the labor vote between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is heating up in the crucial March 4 primary battleground of Ohio, Clinton leveled new charges on Saturday of unfair attacks by her Democratic presidential opponent.

In Texas, Clinton has history and Obama has buzz
Hillary Clinton likes to remind Texans that she first came here to ask for their votes in 1972 as a young Democratic campaign worker.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The New York Times And The Washington Post On Obama's Waffling On Public Financing

"A year ago, before Barack Obama's prodigious fund-raising powers were clocked in at $1 million a day, the senator made a great show out of raising a good idea: He would take the narrower road of public financing in the general election if he secured the nomination and his opponent did the same. Senator John McCain, then a long shot, agreed. ... Well, Mr. McCain is now the presumptive Republican nominee and says he is eager to take Mr. Obama up on the idea if he beats Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Sounds good? Not so fast." -- The New York Times

"[T]his kind of backtracking and parsing isn't what the millions of voters who have been inspired by Mr. Obama are looking for. It's not befitting Mr. Obama's well-earned image as a champion of reform. ... [I]t's better for voters if candidates spend more time talking to them and less time cozying up to donors. It's better for democracy if candidates are less indebted to big bundlers who have raked in six- or seven-figure amounts for their campaigns. Mr. McCain seems to understand this. What about the Democrats?" -- The Washington Post

Read Their Lips
The New York Times
February 16, 2008

A year ago, before Barack Obama's prodigious fund-raising powers were clocked in at $1 million a day, the senator made a great show out of raising a good idea: He would take the narrower road of public financing in the general election if he secured the nomination and his opponent did the same. Senator John McCain, then a long shot, agreed. Mr. Obama even secured a ruling from the Federal Election Commission that he could return unused private donations and then accept public financing.

Well, Mr. McCain is now the presumptive Republican nominee and says he is eager to take Mr. Obama up on the idea if he beats Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Sounds good? Not so fast.
Representatives of Mr. Obama are cautiously saying this plan was an option, not a pledge, and it will not be definitively addressed unless Mr. Obama secures the nomination. An idea floated by a contender is now too "hypothetical" for a front-runner.

Campaign seconds will spar eagerly over what "option" and "pledge" mean. But researchers from government watchdog groups found a candidates' forum from last November where Senator Obama answered with a firm "yes" when asked if he would participate in public financing, should the Republican nominee do the same. He promised to "aggressively pursue" this route.

We urge Mr. Obama to return to that position, and Mrs. Clinton to follow suit. She has not made a firm commitment, even as she endorses an updating of public financing subsidies to make it more attractive. After the hundreds of millons in private donations being splurged on the primaries, public financing would limit the general election nominees to $85 million each. This seems generous enough, particularly with the political parties and independent groups free to spend even more.

Enacted after the big-money political scandals of Watergate, public financing served the nation well as the major nominees' chosen option for 30 years. But Congress failed to keep public financing in pace with inflation and private money is king once more. This election presents a chance to revive the public option.

Read The New York Times Editorial: "Read Their Lips"


Mr. Obama's Waffle
His Commitment To Pursue Public Financing For The Fall Campaign Suddenly Looks Soft.
EditorialThe Washington PostFebruary 16, 2008

AS RECENTLY as November, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was unequivocal about whether he would agree to take public financing for the general election if his Republican opponent pledged to do the same. "If you are nominated for president in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?" the Midwest Democracy Network asked in a questionnaire. Mr. Obama's answer was clear. "Yes," he wrote. "If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election."

Or maybe not. Mr. Obama deserves credit for obtaining a ruling from the Federal Election Commission that allowed him to raise money for the general election campaign but reserve the right to return the funds if he were to win the nomination and manage to arrange a cease-fire with the other side. That outcome, once improbable, is now within reach. The presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, agreed long ago to Mr. Obama's deal, back when his prospects for securing the nomination seemed slim. Mr. McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, reaffirmed that pledge this week at a lunch with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

But Mr. Obama's campaign, which has been raking in money at an astonishing clip of more than $30 million a month, is starting to hedge. Speaking to the Associated Press, Mr. Obama's spokesman, Bill Burton, downgraded the Obama plan to "something that we pursued with the FEC and it was an option that we wanted on the table and is on the table." Asked about the campaign's earlier position, Mr. Burton said, "No, there is no pledge."

It must be tempting for a campaign that has reached dizzying new financial heights to give up the guarantee of $85 million in federal funds for the prospect of being able to rake in even more -- and to get a financial edge over an opponent whose fundraising has been lackluster and whose party seems dispirited. It must be chastening to think about the financial advantage that Mr. McCain will have in the months leading up to the convention, when Mr. Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), his remaining Democratic opponent, may still be battling for the nomination while Mr. McCain is spending "primary" money to build the necessary architecture for the general election.

But this kind of backtracking and parsing isn't what the millions of voters who have been inspired by Mr. Obama are looking for. It's not befitting Mr. Obama's well-earned image as a champion of reform. Instead of waffling, Mr. Obama should be pushing Ms. Clinton to go beyond her spokesman's statements that she would "definitely consider" forgoing public financing.
Why not let the candidates raise as much cash as they can and save the taxpayers' money? Because it's better for voters if candidates spend more time talking to them and less time cozying up to donors. It's better for democracy if candidates are less indebted to big bundlers who have raked in six- or seven-figure amounts for their campaigns. Mr. McCain seems to understand this. What about the Democrats?

Read The Washington Post Editorial: "Mr. Obama's Waffle"

News Round Up

Where is our Obama?
Ha'aretz - Tel Aviv,Israel
Barring surprises, Obama will be the Democratic Party's presidential candidate and John McCain will be the Republican candidate. Two decent individuals who ...

Local Presidential Primary Process
KAUZ - Wichita Falls,TX,USA
If a Republican candidate gets 50 percent or more of the vote in Texas, he'll take away all 138 delegates. Even with all the confusion, the bottom line from ...

GOP hopefuls in state House race focus on illegal immigration
Dallas Morning News - Dallas,TX,USA
Clint L. Roberts is the only Republican candidate who hasn't already taken a run at the seat vacated by retired state Rep. Anna Mowery. ...

Voting(or not) May Determine Excommunication
NewsByUs - Boise,ID,USA
Bottom line, no matter how distasteful voting for a Republican candidate might be, many more infants will die an excruciating death if a Democrat is elected ...

Clinton Camp Goes After Obama Over General Election Campaign Financing Plans
Hillary Clinton's campaign on Sunday accused Barack Obama of "flip-flopping" on the use of public financing in the general election campaign, claiming he has abandoned an earlier "unequivocal" pledge from a year ago to do use public funds.
Obama said last year he would accept public financing in the general election if his Republican rival agreed to as well. Obama said the pledge was necessary to minimize the role of special interest financing in presidential elections. His posture — unique among the field of Democrats at the time — won plaudits from campaign finance reform groups and some editorial pages.

McCain Says No New Taxes
WASHINGTON -- Republican John McCain says there will be no new taxes during his administration if he is elected president.


Democrats: What Clinton must do to win

WASHINGTON - Ask a dozen die-hard Democrats around the country what Hillary Rodham Clinton can do to beat Barack Obama and win the presidential nomination and they have plenty of ideas — some of them contradictory.


New Clinton economic message has echoes of Edwards

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (Reuters) - White House hopeful Hillary Clinton has a message for hairdressers in Wisconsin, postal workers in Ohio and autoworkers across the United States who are struggling financially: She cares.


McCain looks to November vote

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - John McCain, with little Republican opposition, looked forward on Sunday to the November presidential election while Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton prepared for their next big fight in Wisconsin.


Sunday, February 10, 2008


During a visit to McKinstry Company, a Seattle-based mechanical contractor that retrofits buildings to make them energy-efficient, Senator Barack Obama today laid out his comprehensive plan to create a green economy and combat climate change through investment in new clean energy technology.

“In this campaign, I’ve proposed a comprehensive solution to our energy crisis. It’s a plan that will develop and deploy the next generation of energy – a plan that will create new industries and millions of new, good-paying jobs right here in America. They are jobs that can’t be outsourced and won’t disappear. They are jobs like ones right here at McKinstry, and they are the future of our economy,” Obama said.

Obama’s plan would create millions of new American jobs by investing $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of green energy technology and infrastructure, provide job training and transition programs to help train workers for employment in the green economy and establish new national energy standards to spur demand for clean, sustainable sources of energy.

The plan would also provide incentives to improve building efficiency – a market that McKinstry Company tapped into several years ago, resulting in rapid growth and increased profitability for the family-led company that was named a 2007 “Best Places to Work” by Seattle Business Monthly.

Obama was joined on the visit by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, a leader in addressing the causes of global warming both in his own city and across the country. Three years ago, Nickels launched an effort to urge U.S. mayors to agree to enact their own greenhouse gas reduction programs in their cities. Six-hundred and fifty mayors in all fifty states have now signed that agreement.

Obama’s comprehensive plan to create a green economy and combat climate change includes:

Implementing a market-based 100% auction cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Investing $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid.
Using proceeds from the cap-and-trade auction program to invest in job training and transition programs to help workers and industries adapt to clean technology development and production.
Creating a Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund and investing $10 billion per year in it for five years to fill a gap in U.S. technology development.

Requiring 25 percent of all electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025 and at least 30 percent of the federal government’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020 to ensure less carbon intensive energy is used in our energy supply.

Setting a goal of making all new buildings carbon neutral, or produce zero emissions, by 2030 and establishing a grant program for early adopters.

Flipping incentives of energy utilities to ensure companies earn increased profits for improving energy efficiency, rather than higher energy consumption, and expanding Federal efficiency grant programs to help to improve efficiency of buildings.

Investing in a digital smart grid to enable a tremendous increase in renewable energy generation and accommodate 21st century energy requirements.

Senator Obama’s program to create a green economy can be viewed HERE.
Senator Obama’s full climate change and energy independence plan can be viewed in full HERE.

This is Obama’s second visit to Seattle since announcing his plans to run for President. Earlier today he received the endorsement of Washington Governor Christine Gregoire who will join him later today at a rally at the KeyArena.


2/8/08 Today Frank LaMere, Nebraska superdelegate and chairman of the Democratic National Committee's Native American Caucus, endorsed Senator Barack Obama for President and released the following statement.

"We, as Native Americans, have always stood four square with the Democratic Party and they have always stood four square with us. We will continue to do so in 2008 as we elect a Democratic President to restore the national vision that has been blurred during the last eight years. I ask your help in this endeavor.

All in this country know that Native people continue to suffer disproportionate need. In light of the service and sacrifice of or young men and women during times of war it is hard to reconcile why this should be. We must continue to pray that things be better for the children, the elders, the sick and incarcerated, all of the dispossessed among us. We must pray for those who have no voice. More importantly, we must continue to hope. Our forebears have taught us that the survival of the generations to come is dependent on our willingness to hope and to change things for the better.

To this end, there is a man who talks of this audacity of hope and of the need for change. He is Barack Obama. He has engaged the Indian Nations with his message and we have listened. It is now time to act.

Hope has always been the basic tenet of the Democratic Party and not an obscure backdrop. Change should be looked at in terms of generations and not what we might be able to do to win the next election without affecting anyone's comfort level.

Hope and change require that we be audacious and Barack Obama knows this better than anyone. We must acknowledge this bold man among us and the good heart that he has for all of the people.

As Chairman of the Native Caucus of the Democratic National Committee and as a Winnebago Indian mindful of what I may leave for my children, my grandchildren, and all of the generations to come I am humbled but pleased to endorse Barack Obama to be the Democratic nominee for the presidency of the United States.

I beg your indulgence and respectuflly as that Native people from the four directions join with me in this work as we are all related. It will be good. Pi-nah-gi-gi. Thank you.

Frank LaMere


During a visit to T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria today, Senator Barack Obama held a discussion with Northern Virginia parents on his plan to ensure that all children receive a world-class education from the day they are born until the day they graduate college.

During the discussion, Obama addressed the group’s concerns about American students continuing to score lower on math and science tests than most students around the world, financial disparities among school districts dictating the quality of education children receive, and insufficient teacher pay preventing schools from recruiting and rewarding the best educators.

“I do not accept this future for America’s children,” Obama said. “I do not accept passing a law called No Child Left Behind and then leaving the money behind. I do not accept an education policy where a child in southwest Virginia starts at a disadvantage because her parents can’t afford quality pre-school. I do not accept teachers working at Dunkin Donuts to make ends meet, or reaching into their own pockets to pay for school supplies. Every child in America should have the opportunity to succeed, from birth through college.”

Obama’s comprehensive plan begins at birth with his Children’s First Agenda, which provides learning and support for families with children from zero to five by increasing Head Start and Early Start funding and creating Early Learning Grants to help states create their own systems of high-quality early childhood education, and continues into the college years by providing an annual $4,000 tax credit for every student that needs assistance paying for higher-education in exchange for a commitment to perform community service.

The Obama plan also invests in recruitment of outstanding teachers by launching a program to pay for a college education for all Americans who commit to teach in a high-need field or location, expanding mentoring programs to pair new teachers with their more experienced counterparts and rewarding quality teaching with increases in pay.

“I am running for President because I want to work for a world in which my two girls have every opportunity to achieve their dreams – and because I want every American child to share those opportunities,” Obama said. “If we come together in this country, I know we can create a more hopeful future for our kids. If we recognize that the success of all of our children is linked – through our schools, our communities and our country – I know that we can make sure that every child has the same kind opportunity that I had.”

Obama’s comprehensive plan to provide a world-class education for all children from birth to college can be viewed in full HERE.