Category Archives: 2008 Election

Survey: Nearly 80% of Americans don’t trust the government

Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

Reuters | Apr 19, 2010

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly 80 percent of Americans say they do not trust the U.S. government to do what is right, expressing the highest level of distrust in Washington in half a century, according to a public opinion survey.

Only 22 percent of Americans say they trust the government “just about always” or “most of the time,” according to the Pew Research Center survey released on Sunday.

Americans’ trust in the federal government has been on a steady decline from a high of 73 percent during the Eisenhower administration in 1958, when the “trust” question was first posed in a national survey, the research center said.

Economic uncertainty, a highly partisan environment and overwhelming discontent with Congress and elected officials were all factors contributing to the current wave of public distrust, the report said.

Related

Pew Study: Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor

The long, bitter debate over the healthcare law that U.S. President Barack Obama signed last month made negative feeling about government, particularly Congress, even worse, according to the report based on a series of surveys of some 5,000 people.

About 25 percent had a favorable opinion of Congress, the lowest in 25 years of surveying, and less than half (40%) said the Obama administration was doing an excellent or good job, Pew said.

Americans were found to be more frustrated than angry, with 56 percent expressing frustration with the federal government, compared with 21 percent who said they were angry.

Forty-three percent of Republicans, 50 percent of independents who lean Republican and 57 percent of those who agree with the Tea Party movement said the government presents a major threat to their personal freedom.

That compares with 18 percent of Democrats, 21 percent of independents who lean Democratic and 9 percent of those who disagree with the Tea Party movement.

The main survey of 2,505 adults was conducted March 11-21. Three other surveys of about 1,000 adults each were conducted March 18-21, April 1-5 and April 8-11. The margin of sampling error for the surveys is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

FBI destroyed file on Obama’s grandfather

Dunham befriended communist Frank Marshall Davis, mentor of future president

WorldNetDaily | Apr 12, 2010

By Jerome R. Corsi

Frank Marshall Davis

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the FBI has formally acknowledged a file existed on President Barack Obama’s grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, that was destroyed May 1, 1997.

The FBI previously released some 600 pages of the FBI file of Frank Marshall Davis, the Chicago-based journalist and poet who as a member of the Communist Party USA retired in Hawaii and befriended Dunham.

Obama frequently sought advice from Davis during the future president’s elementary and high school years.

See the movie Obama does not want you to see: Own the DVD that probes this unprecedented presidential eligibility mystery!

Until the FBI’s response to the FOIA request, there was no public disclosure of the existence of a file on Obama’s grandfather.

The file raises the question whether the FBI considered Dunham to be a national security risk, possibly because of his association with Davis.

WND previously reported Davis, frequently accompanied by young Obama and his grandfather, sold marijuana and cocaine from a Chicago-style hot dog cart Davis operated near his home on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki in the early 1970s.

Cliff Kincaid, president of American Survival, filed the FOIA request, only to be informed by David M. Hardy, FBI section chief for record/information dissemination in the records management division, that no information was available on Dunham’s file because it had been destroyed. Kincaid is also editor of Accuracy in Media’s AIM Report.

WND contacted the FBI but received no response to a request for comment on this story.

Grandpa introduced Obama to Davis

London Telegraph Washington correspondent Toby Harnden reported in an Aug. 22, 2008, article that Dunham first introduced Obama to Davis when Obama was only 10 years old.

As WND previously reported, the Obama 2008 campaign admitted in a published response to the New York Times No. 1 best-selling book “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality” that Davis was the “Frank” that Obama mentioned in his autobiography “Dreams from My Father.”

The 2008 Obama campaign’s published reply to “The Obama Nation,” titled “Unfit for Publication,” objected that Davis was not a “mentor” to the future president, arguing “Dreams from My Father” characterized Davis “as a figure from his youth who ‘fell short’ and whose view of race was ‘incurable.'”

However, in “Dreams from My Father,” Obama himself tells readers he was listening to Davis’ advice right up until the time Obama left Hawaii to attend college in California.

Davis told Obama college was “an advanced degree in compromise,” insisting that if he went to college, he would be “trained” into a white middle class world of “corner offices” and “fancy dinners.”

“Until you want to actually start running things, and then [white people will] yank on your chain and let you know that you may be a well-trained, well-paid n-gger, but you’re a n-gger just the same,” Obama reports Davis saying regarding whether or not to attend college.

Obama said Davis ultimately relented, agreeing Obama should attend but advising him to “keep your eyes open” and to “stay awake.”

Obama consulted Davis after the shock over learning his grandmother had been frightened not because a panhandler approached her, but because the panhandler was black.

Obama, on page 91 of “Dreams,” shares with readers some of Davis’ wisdom.

“She understands that black people have a reason to hate,” Obama quotes Davis as saying. “For your sake, I wish it were otherwise. But it’s not. So you might as well get used to it.”

Communist ties

The 600-page FBI file on Davis documents his membership in the Hawaiian Communist Party dating back to the early 1950s.

On Dec. 5, 1956, Davis appeared in executive session before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee investigating “the scope of Soviet activity in the United States,” one of the McCarthy-era committees seeking to expose communists considered to be a security threat.

Invoking his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, Davis refused to answer a direct question asking if he was then a communist. A year earlier, in 1955, a Commission on Subversive Activities organized by the government of the Territory of Hawaii identified Davis as a member of the Communist Party USA.

The committee singled out several articles Davis published in the Communist Honolulu Record that were critical of the commission.

The commission also found objectionable a 1951 story Davis published, “Hawaii’s Plain People Fight White Supremacy,” in the November 1951 issue of a New York City communist tabloid.

Kenyan official: Obama “born here in Kenya, not even a native American” became president

In debate over constitution, minister urges African nation to emulate U.S. inclusion

WorldNetDaily | Apr 11, 2010

Kenyan official: Obama born here

By Drew Zahn

Kenyan MP James Orengo

A Kenyan lawmaker told the nation’s parliament last month that Barack Obama was born in Africa and is therefore “not even a native American.”

During debate over the draft of a new Kenyan constitution, James Orengo, the country’s minister of lands and a member of parliament for the Ugenya constituency, cited America’s election of a Kenyan-born president as an example of what can be accomplished when diverse peoples unite:

“If America was living in a situation where they feared ethnicity and did not see itself as a multiparty state or nation,” Orengo posited, “how could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the president of America?”

Related

Kenyan officials affirm: Obama ‘son of this soil’

FBI destroyed file on Obama’s grandfather

Orengo held up the U.S. as a country no longer “living in the past,” since Americans elected a Kenyan-born president without regard to “ethnic consideration and objectives.”

Debate is then recorded in the Kenyan government’s official March 25, 2010, hansard – a traditional name for printed transcripts of a parliamentary debate – as continuing with no other MPs mentioning or attempting to correct Orengo’s comments about Obama.

As WND has reported, several other sources – including National Public Radio – have claimed Obama’s birthplace as Kenya prior to his election as president.

WND also reported when a video appeared in which Michelle Obama said her husband’s “home country” was Kenya, though her comments didn’t specifically suggest his birth there.

Full Story

2008 NPR program hailed “Kenyan-born” Sen. Barack Obama

“Son of Africa” Obama with his Kenyan Grandmother

NPR archive describes Obama as ‘Kenyan-born’

Description accompanies interview about ‘son of Africa’

WorldNetDaily | Apr 8, 2010

By Bob Unruh

Those crazy “birthers” are citing National Public Radio.

Really? NPR?

Archives for the tax-supported organization reveal that a 2008 report described then-Sen. Barack Obama as “Kenyan-born”  and a “son of Africa.”

NPR’s promotion for the story included a brief description of West African correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who “describes the stories that have been exciting, including the U.S. presidential race of Kenyan-born Sen. Barack Obama.”

After discussing various issues developing in Africa at the time – such as Kenya’s violent elections, the attacks in Zimbabwe and the presidency of South Africa – the conversation on the program “Tell Me More” turned to Obama.

New strategy unveiled today on answering Obama’s eligibility questions. See how you can help.

At about 9:45 of the audio report, interviewer Michelle Martin said “a son of Africa. Barack Obama is poised to at least have the opportunity to become the next president of the United States.” She asked, “How does this campaign look overseas?”

Quist-Arcton responded by describing Obama as a member of the Kenyan Luo tribe and reporting how Africa viewed the race.

“You know [the campaign] has absolutely fired the imagination not only of American people but of people in Africa,” she said. “For a start Barack Obama’s father is from Kenya. People were very excited and because they had had a failed election in Kenya, and the opposition leader Raila Odinga comes from the same tribe as Barack Obama’s father, the Luo. The joke was going around Kenya that America is going to have a Luo president before Kenya does.”

She continued, “There’s huge interest. Not just in Kenya. All over the continent. … The fact that a black man and one with African blood has managed to get this far … you know, I think has made young people sit up and listen and watch and follow the campaign and made the older generations who lived through the colonization and independence say, ‘Well, well, well. So it can happen in American too.”

WND also reported this week when a video appeared in which Michelle Obama said her husband’s “home country” was Kenya.

The video, posted April 3 on YouTube and forwarded by a score of Internet e-mails, shows Michelle Obama saying, “When we took our trip to Africa and visited his home country in Kenya, we took a public HIV test.”

The reference drew attention because of the claim made in numerous lawsuits and other challenges to Obama’s occupancy of the Oval Office that he is not eligible to be president under the requirement of Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution that the president be a “natural born citizen.”

Full Story

. . .

Related
Trial and Triumph: Stories Out Of Africa

The U.S. presidential race of Kenyan-born Sen. Barack Obama.

NPR | Oct 9, 2008

by Ofeibea Quist-Arcton

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR’s Africa-based correspondent, tells why her beat has proved one of the most interesting this year.

She discusses the stories that have been painful and devastating for many nations on the continent such as the violent political fights that have led to power-sharing deals.

She also describes the stories that have been exciting, including the U.S. presidential race of Kenyan-born Sen. Barack Obama.

Listen to the Story

Sarah Palin on Fox says she thought Iraq was behind 9/11

POLITICO | Jan 12, 2010

By ANDY BARR

In her debut as a contributor to Fox News, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin admitted Tuesday that leading up to her 2008 vice presidential debate she thought Iraq may have been behind the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Interviewed by Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly on his show “The O’Reilly Factor,” Palin trashed many of the critical accounts of her candidacy in the new book “Game Change.” But one story from the book that Palin did not say was “made up” or “a lie” was the description of her uncertainty as to whether Iraq had a hand in the planning of the September 11 attacks.

“I did talk a lot to [campaign strategist] Steve Schmidt about the history of the war and where the attackers could have come from,” Palin said of her debate prep during the fall of 2008 – more than five years after the start of the war in Iraq and seven years after the terrorist attacks that hit New York and Washington.

“I do admit to asking questions about that,” she said.

Palin appeared for the first time as a paid contributor on the network, smiling and eagerly answering each of O’Reilly’s questions. “I’m grinning today and I’m so appreciative to be here with you today and the team at Fox News for the fair and balanced news that voters of America deserve,” she said.

Overall, Palin had a very negative take on the book written by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.

“These reporters were not any part of what I was doing there as the VP candidate,” she said. “I don’t know who they are. I haven’t met these guys.”

Asked about the book’s assertion that she did not know that the Korean peninsula was separated into two vastly different countries, Palin responded: “That’s a lie.”

“It’s pretty made up,” Palin said of the book, which she said she has not read. Palin said she did not watch interviews with the two reporters or Schmidt on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday because she was warned it was “bull.”

During the “60 Minutes” interview, Schmidt relayed a story about how he was told Palin’s debate performance would be a “debacle of historic and epic proportions.”

Palin disputed Schmidt’s account, saying that the story “was not true. And Steve Schmidt told us how overjoyed he was by the debate.”

“I felt good about it,” she said of the debate. “Steve Schmidt felt great about it”

Palin said she was not worried by what Schmidt or the reporters said on the program because “the American people are immediately neutralizing programs like ‘60 Minutes.’”

But while Palin had issues with her depiction, she had no problem seizing on quotes within the book from Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who credited President Barack Obama’s attractiveness as a candidate to his lighter skin color and lack of a “Negro dialect.”

“You can’t defend those comments,” she said. “His thinking and articulation of that thought are quite perplexing.”

When O’Reilly pointed out to Palin that Reid was not standing by the remark, the former Republican governor responded: “He says he’s sorry.”

Hillary Clinton salutes Ron Paul’s campaign

hillary_salute

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton let it be known today that she thought highly of Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s sway with his supporters. (NEWSCOM)

“I just want to say, having campaigned during the last presidential election, you had the most enthusiastic supporters of anybody I ever saw,” she gushed.

“I love to hear that,” he replied.

CSM Vote Blogs | Apr 22, 2009

Hillary Clinton digs Ron Paul

By Jimmy Orr

Love was in the air this afternoon on Capitol Hill. Some bipartisan love.

No, it wasn’t between President Obama and Rush Limbaugh. Today they proved they couldn’t be any further apart.

It happened when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was testifying in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Among the numerous topics discussed, Clinton shed light on the administration’s thoughts on piracy, Cuba, relations with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a nuclear-armed Iran, and the future of Indonesia.

Could there be a better array of topics to spark some romance?

Full Story

‘Congratulations Barry,’ say Obama’s Indonesian schoolmates

AFP | Jan 21, 2009

JAKARTA (AFP) — US President Barack Obama’s former classmates in Indonesia brimmed with pride and expectation Wednesday after the chubby kid they knew as Barry became the most powerful man in the world.

Dewi Asmara Oetojo, a lawmaker in Indonesia’s parliament who went to primary school with Obama in Jakarta in the late 1960s, said her old classmate was a peacemaker with a “global” vision.

“For sure we’re very proud and grateful that Barry, who was part of our childhood, has been elected president of the most powerful country in the world,” she told AFP the morning after Obama’s inauguration.

“We’re convinced that he’ll be able to bring change because even when he was a kid he already had a ‘go global’ attitude.

“It will be easy for him to bridge all the differences between West and East. He will bring peace to the world.”

Obama’s ex-classmates, who have followed his rise to the presidency, gathered Wednesday at his old school in the leafy central Jakarta suburb of Menteng for a party to celebrate the inauguration.

“We all want to congratulate Barry, his wife and his daughters and we will have a party here at our former school to celebrate his inauguration,” Oetojo said.

US Ambassador Cameron Hume joked in a speech to the gathering of former and current students of Menteng One primary school that he hoped to see Obama “shooting hoops” at the school on a visit to Indonesia soon.

The son of a white American mother and a black Kenyan father, Obama was raised in Hawaii and moved to Indonesia when he was six after his divorced mother remarried an Indonesian.

In his memoirs he recalled his time in Indonesia as the “bounty of a young man’s life.”

Onny Padma said he was “very, very, very proud” of his old playmate.

“It never crossed my mind that my friend, an Afro-American with a chubby face, would be elected as American president,” he said.

“He has a good understanding about Asian people. When he lived here he learned a lot about our culture. It will be easier for him to build better ties between Indonesia, Asia and America.”

Indonesia is the largest Muslim-majority country in the world and has had a love-hate relationship with the United States since the 1960s, marked by US support for military dictator Suharto, who was ousted in 1998.

Many Indonesians opposed the Bush administration’s “war on terror” and its approach to foreign relations, and are hoping Obama brings a new style to US leadership with an emphasis on dialogue and understanding.

About 21 pupils from Obama’s old primary school performed traditional dances at a dinner in a posh hotel here late Tuesday to celebrate his inauguration.

One child read a letter entitled “Hope, Prayers and Expectations of the Children of Indonesia,” calling for an end to poverty and war and for better education around the world.

Newspaper salesman Iwan Tresna, 45, said he was doing brisk business as he wandered the tightly packed traffic jams in central Jakarta offering the news to motorists with the cry: “Obama is president! Buy! Buy!”

“Normally sales pick up when there’s big news. I’ve sold 80 copies today from 6:00 am to 11:00 am when normally I’d have only sold 60,” he told AFP.

“I think I can finish early today. I usually finish at 7:00 pm but today I can go home at 3:00 pm,” he added with a grin.

He said many people were buying two copies of newspapers when usually they would only buy one.

Rising fame for Obama ‘lookalike’

OBAMA/

A combination photo shows U.S. president-elect Barack Obama (L), taken January 17, 2009 as he speaks during a ceremony in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Indonesian photographer Ilham Anas, taken January 20, 2009 in Jakarta. Anas, 34, who from some angles bears a resemblance to the new U.S. president, shot to fame in Jakarta after Obama, 47, won the election in November. Reuters

BBC | Jan 21, 2009

A “shy” photographer in Indonesia is in great demand because of his resemblance to the new US President, Barack Obama.

Ilham Anas, 34, is already a celebrity in Jakarta, where Mr Obama once lived, but his fame is spreading.

He has appeared on Indonesia’s premier TV talk show, done an advertisement as Mr Obama, and received other marketing offers from companies in the region.

The real Barack Obama went to school in Jakarta in the late 1960s, when his classmates knew him as Barry.

Mr Anas told Reuters news agency: “I was in the airport in Malaysia in transit and a man approached me and asked: ‘Are you Obama?’. I was very surprised when he asked to take a picture together and bought me a meal.”

Mr Anas’s increasing popularity arose after his colleagues, at a local teenage magazine, asked him to pose with a suit, tie and American flag, following Mr Obama’s election victory in November.

I see my resemblance to Obama as a blessing – I used to look at the mirror and I had a negative perception of myself
Ilham Anas

Soon, they were taking photos and sending them to friends. “The pictures spread very quickly on the internet. It was phenomenal. Then TV stations and an advertising agency got in touch with me,” he said.

Mr Anas was born and raised in Bandung, West Java. He says he is happy to cash in but there are limits.

“I will take all the opportunities that come my way, as long as they don’t violate ethical codes and my personal values,” he told AFP news agency.

And he admits that all the attention has given him something of a boost. “I’m actually a shy person. I don’t like being put in the spotlight.

Many Indonesians have a keen interest in Mr Obama, who lived in Jakarta for four years after his American mother, Ann Dunham, married Indonesian Lolo Soetoro following the end of her marriage to Mr Obama’s Kenyan father.

Obama’s school in Jakarta celebrates his inauguration

Antara News | Jan 22, 2009

Jakarta  (ANTARA News) – Nestled in a quiet street in Menteng, central Jakarta, State Elementary School (SDN) 01 celebrated Barack Obama`s inauguration as the 44th president of the US.

The basketball court, just a few steps away from classroom 3B where Obama spent one of his three years as a student, was converted to host the event for over one hundred guests.

Outside the main gate of the school, entrepreneur Liansatri sold t-shirts picturing Obama for Rp 25,000 each. On the back was the phrase: “Change We Can Believe In.”

Inside, US Ambassador to Indonesia Cameron Hume wished the new president well and credited the school for providing his early education.

“In this year of crisis, when Americans look for a leader, they wanted a leader who had a sense of personal reserve, a leader who conveys that he would think before he acted, a leader who was sensitive to people of different backgrounds,” he said.

“I personally believe that those are skills we can see in that man, in large part bacause of his experience here at this school and I think that Americans have a reason to be greateful,” he added.

He went on to praise the Indonesian culture. “I think that we should be comfortable in the occurance that it is a person who was able to spend important years of his life here and to learn the wisdom that is evident in Indonesian society and the confidence that a person who benefited from that wisdom is in a position to lead,” he said.

Remembered by teachers as a curtious boy who waited until his friends finished their afternoon prayers before going out to lunch, Obama was honoured by retired principle Tine Hahijary and a traditional Indonesian `Gambang Kromong` musical performance.

Eleven years old Alifa Salsabila, who sang as part of the festivities, praised Obama for his kindness. “He is very, very smart and I hope he is a good president to the people,” she said.

Hopes of a shift in the perception of the Muslim world have dominated Obama`s rise to the Presidency. In his inaugural address in Washington DC, Obama spoke of mutual interest and respect between religions as the only way forward.

Obama`s former classmate, Colonel Danardono, described the inauguration ceremony as an unbelievable event in history. “I hope that he can fulfil what his people hope and also internatioanlly. Then we can build a natural understanding between the United States and Indonesia,” he said.

Another calssmate of Obama`s, Dewi Asmara Oetojo, spoke of how proud she was to have once known the president. “This is a celebration for the people. A win for the people,” she said.

US Ambassador Cameron Hume neither confirmed nor denied that President Obama will visit Indonesia this year as predicted. “I hope and expect that Barack Obama will be able to come to Indonesia this year.

So far its 12:30 at night on the day of his inauguration. He`s doing what we`re doing; He`s celebrating. He hasn`t had time to tell me what his travel plans are,” he said. (*)

China Censors Part of Obama Speech

NY Times | Jan 21, 2009

By EDWARD WONG and JONATHAN ANSFIELD

BEIJING — President Obama’s 18-minute Inaugural Address on Tuesday was generally lauded by Americans for its candor and conviction. But the Chinese Communist Party apparently thought the new American president’s gilded words were a little too direct.

China Central Television, or CCTV, the main state-run network, broadcast the address live until the moment President Obama mentioned “communism” in a line about the defeat of ideologies considered anathema to Americans. After the off-screen translator said “communism” in Chinese, the audio faded out even as Mr. Obama’s lips continued to move.

CCTV then showed an anchor asking an analyst about the economic challenges that President Obama faces. The analyst was clearly caught off guard by the sudden question.

The offending line in the president’s speech was this: “Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.”

Later, the president went on to say: “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Chinese translations of the speech published Wednesday by state-run news organizations here and on prominent Web portals omitted that line and the word “communism” in the earlier line. The government, however, allowed the full English text of the speech to be published.

This is not the first time that the Chinese have censored an American official’s remarks. In 2004, former vice president Dick Cheney visited Beijing and was told he could speak, live and uncensored, to the Chinese people. But the broadcast on Chinese television received no advance promotion or even a listing in the Chinese news media and was not repeated.

The authorities promptly provided leading Web sites with a “full text” of the vice president’s remarks, including his answers to questions after the speech, that struck out references to political freedom, Taiwan, North Korea and other issues that propaganda officials considered sensitive.

In 2003, a government-owned Chinese publisher issued an authorized Chinese version of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s autobiography, “Living History,” that changed most of Mrs. Clinton’s references to her and former President Bill Clinton’s visits to China.

In the case of the Obama speech, the censorship might actually have drawn more attention to the address.

Word of the deleted references circulated rapidly online, and Chinese Internet users vented their displeasure. “This rubbish translation is edited at points,” groused one post attached to the translation on Sina.com, a popular Web portal. The post characterized the translation with an expletive.

Another user took offense at the speech itself rather than the act of censorship. The user posted a comment vowing to “defeat American imperialism.”

Some Internet users expressed outrage that President Obama lumped communism with the clearly reviled ideology of fascism.

Propaganda officials in China often deploy teams of commentators to post patriotic messages on Web sites and online bulletin boards, and it is often difficult to get a broad picture of public sentiments from a small sampling of anonymous postings.