Singer Katy Perry Wears a Dress With Obama’s ‘Forward’ Slogan at Political Rally
Posted November 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm by Billy Hallowell
MILWAUKEE (TheBlaze/AP) — Pop star Katy Perry isn’t holding back when it comes to her choice for president. The Christian-turned-secular singer sported a skin-tight minidress with President Barack Obama’s campaign slogan “Forward” emblazoned across it at a political rally in Milwaukee on Saturday.
Perry came on stage initially wearing a red, white and blue dress and holding a microphone shaped like the Statue of Liberty’s torch. This, of course, was only a temporary outfit, as the singer’s real pro-Obama political message was being worn beneath it.
After her first song, a cover of Al Green’s soul hit “Let’s Stay Together,” she tossed aside the dress to reveal the bright blue minidress. Obama’s slogan “Forward” is also Wisconsin’s state motto.
But politics wasn’t the only agenda the singer pushed during the concert. Perry paused midway through her set to make a pitch for donations to victims of Superstorm Sandy.
This isn’t the first time Perry has gone out and performed to help get Obama re-elected. USA Today has more about a concert she held in Las Vegas late last month (and another campaign event she helped with in Los Angeles):
Katy Perry’s doing her best get-out-the vote effort: At a rally for President Barack Obama, she wore a tight white dress imprinted like a ballot, and a square box on her right hip filled in the names of Obama and Joe Biden.
Perry gave a free concert at a park in a historically minority neighborhood just northwest of downtown Las Vegas to screaming fans at about 9 p.m., the same time Air Force One landed at McCarran International Airport across town. [...]
Perry, who recently also played a free concert at an Obama event in Los Angeles, paused before the last song Wednesday to exhort people in the Las Vegas crowd to vote early.
Here’s some home video from the event:
Obama’s rally with Perry comes before he’s set to be in Madison on Monday with rocker Bruce Springsteen.
Mayor Bloomberg: Roughly 143,000 Voters’ Polling Stations to Change Because of Sandy
Posted November 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm by Erica Ritz
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday that roughly 143,000 New York City residents will be asked to vote at different polling stations than in the past, due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Just days before the election, however, it’s still unclear who exactly is being reassigned.
The Board of Elections informed him of the plan, Bloomberg told a press conference… “Over the next day it’s going to be critical that the Board of Elections communicate this to their poll workers,” he said.
“Unfortunately, there is a history of not communicating changes to their poll workers,” Bloomberg said, adding the board has proven to be “dysfunctional” in recent years.
The last-minute change will undeniably add to the confusion and chaos on November 6, but local leaders are doing what they must in Sandy’s wake. Some of the hardest hit in New Jersey will be allowed to vote online, TheBlaze reported yesterday, despite concerns of fraud.
The Valerie Jarrett Incident You Have Probably Never Heard About
Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm by Charles C. Johnson
It’s no secret that close Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett can be a fiery figure. In fact, while researching her past work in Chicago, it quickly became obvious that her tenacious, and controversial, attitude was present long before her days in the White House. No story illustrates that better than when she used the press to lambaste a business for an innocuous omission that she saw as a racial slight.
While serving as the Department of Planning and Development Commissioner, Jarrett once harassed a white business owner for not paying sufficient deference in print to the memory of the city’s first black mayor in the mid-90s. As Ellie Monty, one of two white owners of the small firm targeted by Jarrett saw it, it was a contrived racial incident. And while she maintains there was “never intended to be a political agenda,” Jarrett saw otherwise.
Jarrett told The Chicago Defender, a local black newspaper, that she was “completely outraged” and was “thinking of seeking legal redress” against the company for failing to mention Mayor Harold Washington in an ad book for the city.
“They printed this ad book that included the city logo, giving the impression that it was done with our consent when we did not,” Jarrett told The Defender’s Chinta Strausberg, who described Jarrett as “irate.” “What they have done is offensive and tantamount to fraud.” (Chinta Strausberg, “City Outraged Over ‘Bogus’ Ad Book,” The Chicago Defender, November 3, 1994.)
“The book mentioned that in 1979 Jane M. Byrne was listed as the first female elected mayor but neither listed the late Mayor Harold Washington as the city’s first Black elected mayor, nor the fact that Haitain-born[sic] Jean Baptiste Pointe du Stable founded the city,” wrote Strausberg.
But Ellie Monty, president of the small firm, told Strausberg then and me in 2012 that there was nothing political about the ad book. “It had no agenda,” she told me.
“It was never intended to be a political agenda. The only reason [we] mentioned Jane Byrne was in 1979 it was pretty unusual for a woman to be mayor,” Monty told Strausberg.
“There was no intention of eliminating anything. It was a total random thing. I had a page to fill. It was an interesting exercise in Chicago history. The city never saw it. I’m being held accountable for things I did not say rather than what I did,” Monty said.
“Monty said she was shocked to learn about the outrage and denied her company falsely used the city seal in obtaining ads,” wrote Strausberg in the article.
“It was for a commemorative program. We were trying to position the city in a positive, not negative light for 1,500 people” who reportedly will be relocated in the area.
Monty said she spoke with Jarrett’s office and said: “We did not do anything without their approval. We hosted an event for corporate mobility. It was a relocation agenda…had nothing to do with politics.”
That didn’t stop Alderman Robert Shaw and DuSable Museum Charles Branham, who are both black, from bringing the perceived slight to Jarettt’s attention. “The oversight of not listing Washington and listing John Kinzie as the father of Chicago might be seen by African Americans as a slap in the face. We’re concerned that history be presented accurately,” Branham told Strausberg. Kinzie, the article notes, was white.
While Byrne was eventually added, the ad book excluded any mention of mayors Eugene Sawyer, Richard M. Daley, or his father, Richard J. Daley. According to Jarrett and her then-spokesperson, Gregg Longhini, Monty offered the city a free ad in its book to promote Chicago as a business location to Chicago Employee Relocation Conference.
This wasn’t the only scandal that marked Jarrett’s tenure as commissioner for the Department of Planning and Development. “Some of Mayor Daley’s aides were critical of her handling of some projects, including some projects, including the recommendation of a West Side movie deal the mayor later dropped after he learned of the alleged mob ties of the developers,” wrote Strausberg in a September 1995 article about Jarrett’s resignation.
After Jarrett’s resignation, she was CEO for The Habitat Company, a housing company that thrived in large measure thanks to the generous housing subsidies sent its way by politicians like Barack Obama.
At minimum, Jarrett’s treatment of Byrne over the perceived slight of a black mayor seems to show the singlemindedness that so many in the White House have noticed (as both Ed Klein’s book “The Amateur” and Jodi Kantor’s book “The Obamas” points out). But it also could point to an obsessive focus on race that both her boss, Barack Obama, and his wife seemed to have demonstrated earlier on in their lives.
3-Year-Old Boy Killed After Falling Into Zoo Exhibit and Getting Mauled By Wild Dogs
Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm by Madeleine Morgenstern
Pittsburgh zoo officials say a 3-year-old boy was killed Sunday after falling into an exhibit and getting mauled by African painted dogs.
Tracy Gray of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium told the Associated Press it was unclear whether the little boy died from the fall or from the attack, which happened around 11:45 a.m. Sunday.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported a Pittsburgh police officer shot and killed one of the 11 dogs in the exhibit.
Zoo president and CEO Barbara Baker told the newspaper the boy was visiting with his mother when he fell over a railing and off a mesh barrier into the exhibit.
Visitors told zoo staff members, who immediately responded along with police officers. Zookeepers were able to quickly draw seven of the dogs away but four remained, leaving staff unable to reach the boy.
“Unfortunately, the dogs were in pack mentality and not responding,” a news release said.
Three more dogs were eventually drawn away, but one “aggressive” dog would not leave and was shot and killed by an officer, the Post-Gazette reported.
“It’s clear that the dogs did attack the child, but whether he died of the attack or the fall has yet to be determined,” Baker told the Associated Press.
The zoo described the dogs as the size of medium-sized domestic dogs, 2 to 2 1/2 feet high and 37 to 80 pounds. They are considered endangered and are also known as cape hunting dogs, spotted dogs and painted wolves.
Police and the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office are investigating.
The facility has been shut down until further notice and Baker told the Post-Gazette no decision had been made about the exhibit’s future. It was the first visitor death the zoo had had.
In May, nine of the 11 dogs caused a brief zoo shutdown when they escaped part of their enclosure into an area that’s usually closed.
Romney Landslide: Here Are the Biggest Names Predicting It & How It Will Happen
Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm by Benny Johnson
More and more pundits on both political sides are taking the electoral leap and predicting a landslide for Mitt Romney. Here are some notable ones:
1. CNBC Anchor Larry Kudlow
Kudlow said on his CNBC show “The Kudlow Report” on Oct. 25: ”I am now predicting a 330 vote electoral landslide.”
2. MSNBC Host Joe Scarborough
Based on Scarborough’s insights on Politico:
“But my gut tells me there are two likely scenarios: (1) President Obama will squeak out a narrow Electoral College victory or (2) Mitt Romney will carry Ohio and be swept into office by a comfortable margin.
After practicing politics for 20 years, I suppose I would rather be in Mitt Romney’s shoes than Barack Obama’s. Incumbents who are under 50 percent two weeks out usually go down to defeat.”
3. Strategist Karl Rove
Rove said Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal:
“In addition to the data, the anecdotal and intangible evidence–from crowd sizes to each side’s closing arguments–give the sense that the odds favor Mr. Romney. They do. My prediction: Sometime after the cock crows on the morning of Nov. 7, Mitt Romney will be declared America’s 45th president. Let’s call it 51%-48%, with Mr. Romney carrying at least 279 Electoral College votes, probably more.”
4. Columnist George Will
George Will outlined a huge Romney Election Day in an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” predicting a 321-217 landslide that included nearly every swing state including Minnesota.
5. Pundit Dick Morris
In a recent editorial for The Hill, Morris explained in detail his landslide prediction:
“Reasonable voters saw that the voice of hope and optimism and positivism was Romney while the president was only a nitpicking, quarrelsome, negative figure. The contrast does not work in Obama’s favor. His erosion began shortly after the conventions when Indiana (10 votes) and North Carolina (15) moved to Romney (in addition to the 179 votes that states that McCain carried cast this year).
Then, in October, Obama lost the Southern swing states of Florida (29) and Virginia (13). He also lost Colorado (10), bringing his total to 255 votes.And now, he faces the erosion of the northern swing states: Ohio (18), New Hampshire (4) and Iowa (6). Only in the union-anchored state of Nevada (9) does Obama still cling to a lead.
In the next few days, the battle will move to Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (15), Wisconsin (10) and Minnesota (16). Ahead in Pennsylvania, tied in Michigan and Wisconsin, and slightly behind in Minnesota, these new swing states look to be the battleground.”
Morris also predicted a huge day for the GOP in the Senate:
“The most likely outcome? Eight GOP takeaways and two giveaways for a net gain of six. A 53-47 Senate, just like we have now, only opposite. Barack Obama’s parting gift to the Democratic Party.”
6. Columnist Micheal Barone
The Washington Examiner columnist says Romney will walk away with 315 electoral votes:
”Bottom line: Romney 315, Obama 223. That sounds high for Romney. But he could drop Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and still win the election. Fundamentals.”
7. Las Vegas oddsmaker Wayne Allen Root
Root said in a column posted on FoxNews.com:
“I’m predicting a 5 to 7 point popular vote victory. Electorally it won’t even be that close. Romney will win many states that went to Obama in 2008. I’m predicting Romney victories in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Indiana. I predict a Romney victory by 100 to 120 electoral votes.”
Abe Katsman of the Times of Israel writes of the Romney landslide among American voting in Israel:
“The Presidential election results are in. Well, at least the votes from Americans in Israel. Not one to keep readers in suspense, I’ll reveal the most important numbers up front: Gov. Mitt Romney received 85%–85%!–of the vote; President Obama managed only 14.3%. This, according to exit polling just released by iVoteIsrael, the non-partisan group promoting and facilitating voting by U.S. citizens currently in Israel. Their statistics reveal some fascinating results. More importantly, these results have implications for the outcome of next week’s election. (Again, not to keep you in suspense: those implications favor the Republicans.)”
BONUS: Glenn Beck
“321-217 victory for Romney in the electoral college.”
Ohio GOP Senate Candidate’s Liberal Cousins Take Out Full-Page Ad Slamming Him on Gay Marriage
Posted November 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm by Sharona Schwartz
Among small government proponents he’s wildly popular, but Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel is taking flak from his liberally-minded cousins who took out a full-page newspaper ad to air the family’s proverbial dirty laundry in public. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:
Ohio Republican Senate hopeful Josh Mandel married into one of Ohio’s most wealthiest and most prominent Jewish families. But they’re also mostly Democrats — and some haven’t been too keen on his Senate candidacy against liberal stalwart Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Now some of Mandel’s cousins-in-law have taken out an ad in the Cleveland Jewish News rebuking him for his opposition to same-sex marriage and to gays serving openly in the military. In their open letter, the cousins note that one of their family members has a same-sex spouse and, like Mandel, has served in the military.
The cousins write in their open letter published Friday:
Four years ago you came into our family. We still remember the excitement surrounding your wedding, and how happy our family members were as they described it afterwards. So we were deeply saddened when you announced during your October 18th debate with Senator Sherrod Brown that you believe only some people should share this right to marry the person they love, while others should not.
Your cousins, Ellen Ratner and Cholene Espinoza, are among the many wonderful couples whose rights you do not recognize. They were married almost eight years ago in Massachusetts, at a time when it was the only state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage. Their wedding, like yours, was a beautiful and happy occasion for all of us in our family. It hurts us that you would embrace discrimination against them and countless other loving couples in Ohio and around the country.
We are equally distressed by your belief that gay men and women should not be allowed to serve openly in the military. Like you, Cholene spent many years in the armed forces. A graduate of the Air Force Academy and an accomplished pilot, she became the second woman in history to fly the U-2 reconnaissance plane. And yet, you have argued that she, like many gay and lesbian soldiers, should be forced to live a life of secrecy and lies.
Mandel’s cousins-in-law accuse their Republican relative of bigotry and appear to talk down to the 35-year-old Marine veteran and Ohio state treasurer, writing that his “discriminatory stance violates these core values of our family. Nevertheless we hope that over time, as you advance in years and wisdom, you will come to embrace the values of inclusiveness and equality as well.”
JTA provides more biographical information on the well-heeled relatives, some of whom are New Yorkers “including Bruce Ratner, developer of the new Brooklyn Nets arena; Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights; and Elizabeth Ratner, a journalist and critic of Israel.”
Glenn Beck interviewed Mandel on his radio show Friday, where Mandel expressed his belief that the federal budget needs “aggressive cuts.” He said that unlike many other Republicans, he would also consider cuts in military spending. He told Beck, “I’m a proud full spectrum conservative. While I am a Republican, I’m a conservative first and I’m a constitutional conservative and in Washington some of the Republicans are oftentimes just as much a problem as some of the Democrats.”
Regarding those Democrats to whom he’s related, Mandel spokesman Travis Considine told the Columbus Dispatch, “Josh has never met any of those ‘cousins’ who signed that letter and has no idea who they are. He looks forward to having the opportunity to meet them someday — if they ever come to Ohio.” The spokesman further said that the signatories are not “the Ratners from Cleveland,” don’t live in Ohio and didn’t attend Mandel’s wedding in Israel.
Obama Releases Ad Touting His ‘Christian Faith’ & Claiming He’s Leading America ‘With Faith Values’
Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm by Billy Hallowell
Just three days before Americans head to the polls to decide who will be victorious in the 2012 presidential election, President Barack Obama’s campaign released a new ad aimed at courting faith voters. Despite some bumps in the road with the faith community following his administration’s controversial contraceptive mandate, among other policy moves, Obama is still actively courting left-of-center religious voters.
The three-minute clip, “President Barack Obama is Leading With Faith Values,” features numerous faith leaders, including Bishop Vashti McKenzie, a leader in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, professor Stephen Schneck of the the Catholic University of America and Chicago Pastor J.R. Kerr, among others.
“In my moments of prayer, I’m reminded that faith and values play an enormous role in motivating us to solve some of our most urgent problems,” Obama proclaims in the video’s introduction.
Throughout the remainder of the spot, the president is praised for living out religious values and translating Biblical views into policy. McKenzie showers accolades upon Obama, claiming that he is “leading with faith values.” Schneck calls the president “a man of deep Christian faith.”
Kerr also extols Obama for taking the steps to ensure that individuals maintain employment so that families can survive in a tough economy. The pastor highlights his belief that the president realizes that “when one part suffers, every part suffers” and that this ideal “comes out of the scriptures.”
“This president cares. He’s compassionate. He’s living out his faith in this way,” McKenzie adds.
The main thrust of the ad is to tout the notion that Obama’s policies on bailing out the auto industry, among other actions, were rooted in his Biblical belief that helping one’s fellow man is essential. While any Christian would embrace the notion that assisting those in need is a faith-based tenet, the idea that the government, without restriction, must embrace this responsibility is highly debated.
Watch the ad, below (the campaign has also setup a web page encouraging people of faith to support Obama):
BlazeCast Rewind: Sunday Election Special!
Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm by Scott Baker
This broadcast will run from 2pm ET to 3pm (or so!) ET.
To join the chat — there is a button on the top right of the player window or you can hover your cursor over the player window for options.
To ask a question — click the button at the bottom. We’ll be able to display your question or comment in the player window!
And as always you can leave other comments in the regular comment section below!
If you are having any issues with the stream — we understand that the Chrome browser works very well with this technology.
Oops: Joe Biden Mistakes Obama For Clinton During Speech
Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm by Mytheos Holt
Vice President Joe Biden made one of his characteristic slip-ups Sunday while campaigning in Ohio, when he described Mitt Romney’s “Jeep ad” as accusing “President Clinton” of taking Detroit bankrupt.
“That ad you’ve seen that says, ‘President Clinton bankrupted Chrysler so that Italians could buy it to ship jobs overseas to China…’” Biden said in a 14-second clip that quickly circulated Sunday.
This Freudian slip and its attendant nostalgia for the 90s will no doubt strike Republicans as more evidence of the vice president’s capacity to provide quality entertainment.
21-Year-Old Man Busted for Allegedly Forging Documents & Lying About His Age…To Play High School Football
Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm by Madeleine Morgenstern
A 21-year-old Michigan man has been busted for allegedly forging documents and lying about his age in order to play high school football.
According to the Mount Pleasant Morning Sun, James Nash moved from Lansing and enrolled at Mount Pleasant High School under the name Javier Jones. He played varsity football for the first two months of the year and was planning to play basketball in the winter.
The school’s athletic director, Jim Conway, said he received an anonymous tip from a parent to check “Jones” out.
“I received an anonymous tip from a parent, it was an adult that had a conscience, that said you better check this,” Conway told the Morning Sun Friday. “Earlier this week we dug up his file, the police became involved (and) all the school officials, and found documents had been altered and forged. There was a couple days of investigation, looking into that and what we have found is this individual is not the individual that was on the transcript.”
State rules say a student is not eligible to play sports if they are 19 before Sept. 1. Conway said Nash has been expelled from the school district.
Conway said the Michigan High School Athletic Association had called it “unprecedented” for someone to change their age from older to younger in order to play.
A decision has not been made on whether the school will have to forfeit its two wins with Nash.
‘Today Show’ Co-Host: Hurricane Sandy Sent to Obama ‘Seemingly From Above’ to Help Him Court Independents
Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm by Billy Hallowell
NBC News’ “Today Show” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie is catching some heat after making a controversial comment about President Barack Obama and Hurricane Sandy. During “Meet the Press” Sunday, she said the devastating storm has offered Obama the opportunity “seemingly from above” to appeal to independent voters.
In making her comment, Guthrie was attempting to explain that the Obama campaign’s strategy of late hasn’t hinged on reaching middle-of-the-road voters. Instead, the president has purportedly attempted to court his base.
While observers likely won’t find a problem with these strategic statements, the claim that the opportunity to reach independents came “seemingly from above” is certainly raising eyebrows. Here’s a transcript of her statement, in context:
“When you have a race this tight, a thing like a hurricane can move the needle. In the last three or four weeks of the campaign, I don’t think he had been going out of his way to appeal to independents whatsoever. Here was a moment, handed to him seemingly from above, where he could look like that strong, independent, steady-in-the-storm — very appealing to middle-of-the-road voters and, I might add, unmarried women voters who are going to be very key in this election.”
Watch the comments below:
This isn’t the first political statement to be made about the storm. On Wednesday, Hollywood director Oliver Stone noted that Hurricane Sandy might be “punishment” for Obama and Republican Mitt Romney declining to speak out about climate change.
Also on Sunday, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour spoke out about the storm on CNN’s “State of the Union,” claiming that “the hurricane is what broke Romney’s momentum.”(H/T: Mediaite)
Obama: ‘I’m Sort of a Prop in the Campaign’
Posted November 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm by Madeleine Morgenstern
President Barack Obama said Saturday night he’s become “a prop” in the campaign and that it’s now up to his supporters to see the election through on Tuesday.
“I was backstage with David Plouffe — some of you guys know he’s, you know, sort of a mastermind of campaign organization. We were talking about how, as the campaign goes on, we become less relevant,” Obama said during a rally in Bristow, Va. “I’m sort of a prop in the campaign. He’s just bothering a bunch of folks calling, asking what’s going on. You know but the power, the power’s not with us anymore. The planning, everything we do, it doesn’t matter because now it’s all up to you.”
First-Ever Video of Rev. Wright’s ‘Audacity to Hope’ Sermon Extolling Malcolm X & Condemning Chicago as City That ‘Hates Blacks’ — the Homily Obama Said Brought Him to Christ
Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:25 am by Billy Hallowell
- This is first video to be released, to TheBlaze’s knowledge, of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s “Audacity to Hope” sermon
- Delivered numerous times with varying degrees of political imagery, this is the homily (at least a version of it) that President Barack Obama claims brought him to Christianity
- In the sermon, Wright accuses Chicago of being a city that “hates blacks,” while seemingly praising Malcolm X in front of a mostly-white audience
- Other versions of the speech range from apolitical to overtly controversial in their inclusion of racial and political themes
Freelance writer Charles C. Johnson contributed to this report.
It’s widely known that President Barack Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope” was named after a sermon that has been delivered numerous times by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. TheBlaze has secured footage from the fascinating homily — an address that, in many ways, has shaped the president’s faith, worldview and career (Obama claims he responded to an altar call and became a Christian after first hearing the sermon in 1988).
Before explaining the contents of Wright’s speech, it’s important to highlight a few facts. To begin, this is the first time, to TheBlaze’s knowledge, that a video version of “Audacity to Hope” has been released. While the video presented within this article is not the same sermon that led Obama to the Christian faith, it is one of the many scripted deliveries of the controversial pastor’s message (and is likely similar in content, though potentially toned down, to what Obama first heard). While it is not clear when and where this version of “Audacity to Hope” was delivered, the clip comes from Eden Theological Seminary in Saint Louis, Missouri.
WRIGHT’S “AUDACITY TO HOPE” VIDEO SERMON: AN OVERVIEW
Contrary to his past sermons that have gained media attention, this version of Wright’s “The Audacity to Hope” is calm in nature and appears, on the surface, to embrace universal ideals that apply to most Christian adherents. While there are some racial themes, they are isolated, toned down and much less pronounced than one might expect (however, other versions of the speech are more fiery, as we will explore).
Wright opened the sermon (circa 1990) by discussing a trip to Richmond, Virginia, he took several years before. He recalled hearing another preacher, the Rev. Frederick G. Sampson, speak about a painting that Wright was familiar with. The piece of artwork, by artist George Frederic Watts, entitled, “Hope,” features a woman playing the harp and sitting on top of the world, and it is one of the centerpieces of Wright’s 1990 address.
“The world on which this woman sits — our world — that world is torn by war, destroyed by hate, decimated by despair and devastated by mistrust,” Wright told his audience.
The faith leader goes on to explain that, while the image looks harmonious on the surface, the woman is, in fact, sitting on a world that is on the “brink of destruction,” with famines ravishing “millions of black and brown inhabitants.” Wright also proclaimed that the painting depicts a world with “enough nuclear warheads to wipe out all forms of life except for cockroaches.”
Clearly, Wright was making a statement about how the piece of art, which depicts suffering in the world, can be applied with today’s inequality-filled global schema. This is perhaps best encapsulated in another statement he made that the situation depicted in “Hope” is one “which is more concerned with the color of skin than it is with the content of character.”
The reverend further highlighted the painting’s overall theme — that, while situations and peoples’ lives may sometimes look positive, when digging behind the surface, potentially-ugly realities may emerge.
“We give the allusion of being in an enviable position, but when you look closer at our lives, what you begin to find is the reality of a pain almost too deep for the tongue to tell,” Wright proclaimed. ”Lots of things that look good on the outside don’t look good on the inside, like the woman in Watts’ painting.”
At the center of the sermon is 1 Samuel 1-18, which Wright spent a great deal of time focusing upon. In the story, Hannah was one of two wives to Elkanah and, according to the Bible, she dealt with some serious challenges (among them, she was barren).
“What looked like power and illusion, was in reality pain,” Wright said of Hannah’s life.
Watch this portion of the sermon, below:
Wright went on to speak about Hannah’s personal hell, subsequently relating these challenges to the problems that those in his audience likely face in their own lives.
“While I’m talking about Hannah, I want you to be thinking about that private hell in which you live,” he told a mostly-white audience. “You know what it is. I don’t have to call the role. You live there.”
Watch these comments, below:
Throughout the speech, the terms “audacity,” “hope” and “audacity of hope” were prevalent (the transcript of a separate version of the address, while somewhat different, can be read here). While heralding Hannah who continued to pray, despite not getting the answers she was hoping for (she appealed to God for a child), Wright encouraged those in attendance to have the same perseverance. Here’s a transcript of one of the more powerful portions of the address:
“We glory in tribulation, because tribulation works patience and patience works experience and experience works hope — the vertical dimension — and hope makes us not ashamed. The vertical dimension balances out what is going on in the horizontal dimension. That is the real story here in 1 Samuel 1 — not the condition of Hannah’s body, but the condition of Hannah’s soul — the vertical dimension. She had the audacity to keep on hoping and keep on praying — and keep on praying when there was no physical sign on the horizontal level that that that which she was praying and hoping would ever be answered in the affirmative. That which she wanted most in life had been denied to her.”
Wright made a designation between “horizontal” and “vertical.” The pastor explained that the former is the physical dimension, with the latter serving as the spiritual. Despite praying without ceasing, Hannah didn’t give up and continued appealing to God. According to the Bible, she eventually gave birth to Samuel and her prayerful appeals to the Lord paid off. The preacher related the story of hope and continued faith to those in the audience.
“There may not be any physical sign of a change in your individual situation whatever your private hell is, but that’s just the horizontal level,” Wright said. “Check out the vertical level like Hannah and you may, as the African slaves, be able to sing.”
He implored the audience to “have the audacity to hope” for children, husbands, homes, schools and other areas of life in which congregants may be suffering. The controversial preacher also told those listening to “keep on hoping, keep on praying, keep on waiting,” as he remained calm throughout the majority of the address.
RACIAL CONTENT IN WRIGHT’S VIDEO HOMILY
While race was certainly not the focus of the speech in this video version, Wright did make some controversial comments toward the end of the sermon. Here’s a transcript of these claims — statements that seem out-of-step with the remainder of the homily:
“In order for some ex-slaves to turn defeat into victory to turn devastation into liberation, to turn nothing into something…somebody had the audacity to hope. In order for a race despised because of its color to turn out a Martin King and a Malcolm X, a Paula Giddings and Paule Marshall, a James Baldwin and a Toni Morrison…[and]…another preacher named Jesus, somebody had the audacity to hope. In order for a poor black boy from the south side of Chicago to rise from the ghetto, go to college, graduate from law school and become the first black mayor in a city that hated and still hates blacks — in order for a Harold Washington — somebody had the audacity to hope.”
Watch the last segment of Wright’s speech below (the aforementioned portion starts at 3:40):
While, to TheBlaze’s knowledge, this is the first video version of the speech to be released to date, some audio versions have been floating around the internet for quite some time. The most cited version of the address, which follows an almost identical structure but lacks most of the racial elements, was published by Preaching Today, a resource of Christianity Today.
Many have pointed to this audio selection to claim that Wright is moderate and to defend him against critics who have decried his more controversial sermons. Preaching Today originally published the speech in 1990; in 2010, the web site, again, posted Wright’s words, with a caveat.
An editor’s note before the text acknowledges that the company was aware of the speech’s controversial nature. It reads, “Editor’s note: In light of current political controversy, questions have been raised about the following sermon by Jeremiah Wright. Preaching Today published this sermon in 1990.”
THE “AUDACITY TO HOPE” AUDIO SERMON: AN OVERVIEW
At the beginning of the audio file, which was posted on YouTube by someone outside of the Christianity Today realm (it appears to only be available in its official form to members of the Christian web portal) an introduction to Wright’s sermon claims that the pastor originally prepared “Audacity to Hope” for the Chicago Sunday Evening Club. Listen to part one, below:
And here’s part two:
So, there you have it — a video version and an audio version of “The Audacity to Hope” (two slightly different variations). As TheBlaze has previously highlighted, Obama has noted the importance of this sermon in his own life — and career — before.
OBAMA’S CONNECTION TO WRIGHT’S CONTROVERSIAL SERMON
“I’m not plugging the book, but the title of it, ‘The Audacity of Hope.’ Some people have noticed that I actually used that line in the speech that I gave at the 2004 Democratic Convention,” Obama told a Pennsylvania crowd at a political event in November 2006. “But I tell you what: I’m confessing to all of you here today — it’s a big crowd, 2,000 people — I’m confessing in front of the TV cameras: I actually stole this line from my pastor, Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.”
It’s clear that the two, aforementioned versions of the speech were not the only ones that Wright delivered (remember: Obama claims to have heard the sermon in 1988 as well). Back in 2008, National Review’s Stanley Kurtz explained that there may actually be at least three, separate “Audacity” speeches. At the time, he wrote about another, more political version of the homily:
It seems clear that the sermon text posted by PreachingToday.com and reposted on many blogs during the height of the Wright controversy in March is not, in fact, a complete text of what Obama heard on that fateful day. A longer and decidedly more political text, can be found in What Makes You So Strong? Sermons of Joy and Strength From Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. The “Audacity to Hope” sermon reprinted in that volume may not be precisely what Obama himself first heard, but it does seem significantly closer to the original than the text posted last month at PreachingToday.com.
In any case, the book version of the famous “Audacity” sermon, like the other sermons reprinted in What Makes You So Strong? provides a fascinating window into Reverend Wright’s political and social worldview. Out of this collection come passages equating Zionism with racism, offering criticism of the Catholic practice of Holy Communion, defending Louis Farrakhan, and attacking American military interventions in Panama, Grenada, and the first Gulf War. [...]
It’s difficult to draw firm conclusions about the relationship between the “Audacity of Hope” sermon described in Obama’s book, Dreams from My Father, the sermon-text posted on PreachingToday.com, and the text printed in What Makes You So Strong? The sermon described in Obama’s book appears to have been delivered sometime in the late winter or spring of 1988. The text posted at PreachingToday.com dates from 1990, and the version in What Makes You So Strong? was delivered in early 1991.
Kurtz explained that, based on his analysis, “What Makes You So Strong?” description is most likely more similar to what Obama heard — at least based on the president’s analysis of the speech in his book. Here’s a portion from the “What Makes You So Strong” (“Audacity to Hope”) version of the sermon (as collected by Kurtz):
In order for a people to have taken a negative and turned it into a positive, surely somebody had to have had the audacity to hope. In order for a race held in bondage to slavery to have taken a proclamation not worth the paper it was written on and to have turned it into a proposition that produced a race full of giants, somebody had to have had the audacity to hope. Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the “Great Emancipator” of the slaves, but in reality, he did not see black Africans as equal with whites. (The issue of slavery was paramount for him because it threatened the unity of the country. The primary reason that the Civil War was fought was not to free the slaves, but to save the United States…. [p. 104]) [...]
It was all right for this preacher [MLK] to protest against North American apartheid and segregated lunch counters, but when he dared speak the message God gave him against our racist, militaristic posture in South Vietnam and our racist involvement in South Africa, he was iced and isolated by all the establishment blacks. And in order for him to hang in and hold on, in order for him to have the audacity to hope, he had to have a vertical hookup that assimilated Negroes had forgotten all about. It was a hookup that said “before I’d be a slave [a slave to conservative theology that enslaves and preaches love], before I’d be a slave [a slave to right-wing ignorance that wears black robes on Sunday morning and white robes on Sunday night], before I’d be a slave [a slave to white America’s corporate dollars that hold and pull the purse strings of so many national black organizations], before I’d be a slave, I’d be buried in my grave, and go home to my God and be free.”….Martin was a man who integrated the buses of Montgomery and the streets of Selma, yes, but Martin also took on the unjust economic system of our country. He took on the iron-fisted military system….
[N.B.: The brackets in this passage were inserted by Wright himself, as a way of updating the meaning of an old anti-slavery spiritual. Also, “vertical hookup” here means “connection to God.” (p. 105)]
Kurtz notes that discerning between the three versions of the speech is difficult, but that the lack of political messaging in the Preaching Today selection does cause one to pause and wonder if it was, indeed, tamed down (or if it is purposefully being floated in an effort to make Wright look more moderate).
Of course, the preacher was also addressing a mostly-white audience in the video version of the speech we presented — a factor that may have impacted the lack of racial content in the Preaching Today audio version of the speech as well (however, we do not know much about the audience in this latter selection).
In the end, the address provides further background on one of the influencing factors that helped to shape Obama’s faith and worldview.
Editor’s note: TheBlaze Editor-in-Chief Scott Baker discussed this story with writer Billy Hallowell during Sunday’s live BlazeCast — here is the archived version of that discussion:
TheBlaze would like to credit Gateway Pundit, as he was an invaluable resource in obtaining the video version of “Audacity to Hope.”
Shock: New York Daily News Endorses Romney After Picking Obama 4 Years Ago
Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:08 am by Madeleine Morgenstern
Four years ago, the Daily News endorsed Obama, seeing a historic figure whose intelligence, political skills and empathy with common folk positioned him to build on the small practical experience he would bring to the world’s toughest job. We valued Obama’s pledge to govern with bold pragmatism and bipartisanship.
The hopes of those days went unfulfilled.
[...]The trend over the Obama years: Goodbye to middle- and high-income jobs in New York City; hello to positions that pay less than $45,000 a year.
Recovery from the disaster that Obama inherited was going to take time. But four years is a long, long slog. Had the President guided a typical upswing, America would by now have regained essentially all its lost jobs. At his present pace, Obama would reach that milestone in the third year of a second term.
The regrettable truth is that Obama built a record of miscalculations and missed opportunities.
Romney’s approach is the stronger.
Critically, he has tailored his policies to create jobs, jobs, jobs.
No, Romney’s not perfect. His overall immigration policy falls below comprehensive reform, and he’s no friend of gun control. But, under these circumstances, growing the economy takes precedence.
Offering a rosy vision of a country already on the rise, Obama argues that he would lead a resurgence by staying the course. He posits that spending in areas such as education and clean energy would be beneficial, and he sees raising taxes on high-income earners as key to “balanced” deficit reduction. Each on its own is attractive, but the whole comes up short.
The presidential imperative of the times is to energize the economy and get deficits under control to empower the working and middle classes to again enjoy the fruits of an ascendant America.
So The News is compelled to stand with Romney.
The Daily News is one of the largest newspapers in the country, and the third-largest in New York behind the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
These Are the Shockingly Long Gas Lines in New York and New Jersey After Sandy
Posted November 4, 2012 at 10:09 am by Madeleine Morgenstern
NEW YORK (TheBlaze/AP) — Filling stations with “No Gas” signs taped to the pumps are confronting drivers across New York City and coastal New Jersey amid fuel shortages following Superstorm Sandy.
Those lucky enough to find stations with gas for sale face long lines to reach the pumps.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Saturday implemented a gas-rationing system reminiscent of the 1970s, where residents with license plates ending in an even number are able to purchase gas only on even-numbered days and those with odd-numbered plates can buy it on odd-numbered days.
The gas crisis is expected to end within days as electricity comes back across the region, allowing fuel to be pumped from refineries, through pipelines, off tanker ships, out of terminals and to gas stations.
But in the meantime, getting gas for vehicles and home generators can mean protracted hunts for open stations and then hours spent in line.
In Staten Island, drivers seemed to be taking the long wait with calm. Sammy Cruz sat for three hours Saturday and still had 20 cars in front of him.
“People are happy to be getting something,” he said. “Nobody’s complaining.”
Award-Winning Conservative Playwright Reminds Jewish Voters: Ballot Is Secret (So No One Will Ever Know if You Don’t Vote Obama)
Posted November 4, 2012 at 9:23 am by Sharona Schwartz
Award-winning playwright and screenwriter David Mamet, an outspoken political convert to conservatism, has penned an open letter in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal to Jewish Americans planning to vote for President Barack Obama on Election Day.
Invoking Bible imagery in the title of his piece, “A Note to a Stiff-Necked People,” he implores Jewish voters to cast a ballot reflecting their most closely-held values, which he implies are more in line with Mitt Romney’s positions, though he never invokes the Republican presidential candidate’s name.
In the letter which is comprised of a series of rhetorical questions, he asks his coreligionists who have traditionally voted Democratic:
Are you prepared to explain to your children not the principles upon which your vote is cast, but its probable effects upon them?
Irrespective of your endorsement of liberal sentiments, of fairness and “more equal distribution,” will you explain to your children that top-down economic policies will increasingly limit their ability to find challenging and well-paid work, and that the diminution in employment and income will decrease their opportunity to marry and raise children?
Will you explain (as you have observed) that a large part of their incomes will be used to fund programs that they may find immoral, wasteful and/or indeed absurd?
And that the bulk of their taxes go to no programs at all, but merely service the debt you entailed on them?
Will you tell your children that a liberal government will increasingly marginalize, dismiss and weaken the support for and the safety of the Jewish state?
Will you tell them that, in a state-run economy, hard work may still be applauded, but that it will no longer be rewarded?
A prolific writer working in the overwhelmingly liberal entertainment industry, Mamet is uniquely placed to voice his concern that more government control in key sectors of society could impede a citizen’s ability to speak freely:
Will you explain that whatever their personal beliefs, tax-funded institutions will require them to imbibe and repeat the slogans of the left, and that, should they differ, they cannot have a career in education, medicine or television unless they keep their mouths shut?
Suggesting they give pause before pulling the lever for Obama, Mamet implies that voters in traditionally liberal communities can employ a “don’t ask, don’t tell” posture upon exiting the curtained booth:
Please remember that we have the secret ballot and, should you, on reflection, vote in secret for a candidate you would not endorse in public, you will not be alone.
Besides the award winning plays and films for which he is famous, David Mamet authored the book, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture in which he detailed his conversion from liberal champion to devoted conservative. In 2008, he wrote an op-ed in the The Village Voice, “Why I Am No Longer a ‘Brain-Dead Liberal.”
A tracking poll of American Jewish voters last week showed Obama at 69.3 percent with Romney at 29.7 percent. By contrast, Israeli Jews that were polled favor Romney 57 percent versus 22 percent for Obama.
Bomb Squad Detonates 2 Suspicious Packages Found Outside Early Voting Site in Central Fla.
Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:54 am by Madeleine Morgenstern
The bomb squad detonated two suspicious packages found outside a central Florida polling site Saturday, suspending voting for more than four hours on the final day to cast early ballots.
The first item, described as a cooler with a USB cord sticking out of it, was found outside the West Park library Saturday morning, WESH-TV reported. A bomb-sniffing dog later reacted to a bag of garbage near the library’s front door, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Both items were destroyed with a water cannon within an hour of each other.
The library was evacuated after the first item was discovered just before 11:30 a.m. and voters were allowed to get back in line shortly before 4 p.m., Central Florida News 13 reported.
Long lines plagued Florida’s early voting sites all week, with wait times stretching to six hours at one polling place in Miami-Dade county, according to the Associated Press.
Outside the West Park library, about 100 voters decided to stick it out and wait while the bomb squad attended to the items. Resident Tracy Jackson told the Sentinel it was “voter intimidation” to try and keep her from voting for President Barack Obama.
“I feel like there’s more to it; this is a ploy,” Jackson said.
According to News 13, all voters in line by 8 p.m. were permitted to vote.
Approximately 3.9 million Florida voters cast early ballots, either at early polling sites or by voting absentee.
SNL’s Romney Makes His Closing Argument: ‘Nothing I’ve Said in the Past Should Be Any Indication of My Positions in the Future’
Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:09 am by Madeleine Morgenstern
Saturday Night Live’s Mitt Romney made his final pitch on the eve of the election, declaring that “if there’s anything people should know about Mitt Romney at this point, it’s nothing I’ve said in the past should be any indication of my positions in the future.”
“Weekend Update” host Seth Myers had asked Romney about his past remarks about eliminating FEMA from the federal government.
“In my defense, that was a comment I made during a Republican primary debate. That’s like judging a person’s behavior while they’re pledging a fraternity,” Romney said. “I want to make it clear that when I said we should get rid of FEMA, it was sunny.”
Check it out below, via NBC:
SNL: Christie Hates Having to Vote for Romney Now, Bloomberg Says Obese New Yorkers Would Have Been Floating Down the River Without Soda Ban
Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:42 am by Madeleine Morgenstern
Saturday Night Live’s Chris Christie and Michael Bloomberg each gave post-Hurricane Sandy news conferences, with the New Jersey governor lamenting that he’s pledged his vote to Mitt Romney and the New York City mayor touting the importance of the city’s large soda ban during the storm.
Bloomberg, accompanied by his “pizzazz”-filled sign-language interpreter, said in a message to President Barack Obama that he endorsed him for re-election but if he dares show up to the city with his traffic-blocking motorcade, “I will have you arrested.”
He said of the soda ban: “Had it not been in place you would have seen many obese New Yorkers floating helplessly down the Hudson River.”
And later, “I know these are trying times but I beg all New Yorkers to try and not seek comfort in trans fats.”
When it was Christie’s turn at the podium, he heaped praise on Obama for his actions in the storm’s aftermath.
“On Election Day I’m voting for Mitt Romney, but if I had to pick one guy to have my back in a crisis it would be Barack Obama,” he said. “He’s been amazing, so kind, such a leader, such a true inspiration. I’ll be a good soldier, I’ll vote for Romney but I’m going to hate it!”
Watch below, via NBC:
Tired Of Campaign Commercials? Here’s 60 Years Worth Of Ads In Four Minutes
Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:29 am by Mike Opelka
If you live in a swing state or have visited one in the past week, then it’s likely that you have seen enough political commercials to last you a lifetime.
So, what’s a few more?
This clever compilation of Presidential campaign ads from “Ike to Obama” was created by a gentleman named Hugh Atkin, and it’s worth a look.
Akin’s YouTube post describes the collection this way:
A supercut of US Presidential election ads from the 1952 Eisenhower campaign to the 2012 Obama campaign. Find out what’s changed and what’s remained the same over the past 60 years.
If Atkin’s name sounds familiar, he is also responsible for a YouTube video featuring President Obama’s “You didn’t build that” statement cleverly woven into a parody of MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.”
Officials: New Jersey Residents Hit by Sandy Can Vote by Email, Fax
Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm by Erica Ritz
(TheBlaze/AP) — New Jersey will allow residents displaced by Superstorm Sandy to vote by email or fax, alleviating concerns by some that the devastation could suppress the vote or even cause the election to be postponed.
Officials announced Saturday that registered voters can vote electronically, but must submit a mail-in ballot application by fax or email to the local county clerk.
When the request is received, a ballot will be emailed or faxed back, and ballots must be returned no later than 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno says the effort will help alleviate pressure on polling places Tuesday, many of which are far more difficult to access in the storm’s wake. The damage is so complete in some areas that New Jersey is using military trucks in the place of damaged polling stations.
Officials say electronic voting is also an option for emergency workers, and one that is already open to New Jersey voters overseas and in the military.
However, while many say they would rather vote online if they had the option, there is also a concern that the lack of face-to-face contact will make it much easier to commit voter fraud.
Avi Rubin, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University, weighed in on the issue last year and concluded that online voting was “unsafe” and something “no technological breakthrough” he could anticipate would change.
“People’s computers are not getting more secure,” he remarked. “They’re getting more infected with viruses. They’re getting more under the control of malware.”
Officials have not specified how many people they expect to vote online, or whether they are putting in extra security measures for the presumably increased number of voters.
Comedian Will Ferrell Says He’ll Do ‘Anything’ to Get You to Vote for Obama
Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm by Erica Ritz
Hollywood funny-man Will Ferrell, who starred in memorable flicks like Anchorman and Old School, has recently appeared in a campaign ad for President Obama telling Americans he’d do “anything” to get them to vote.
Those who have seen Anchorman will recognize the style of the video– Ferrell’s exaggerated self-confidence mixed with the absurdity of his statements resembles his character Ron Burgundy.
“I’m not kidding,” Ferrell remarked before proceeding to list all the things he’d be willing to do.
“Hungry? How about a home cooked meal– I hope you like angel hair pasta. You need a guy to help you move a couch? Done. I’ve even got my own van. If you agree to vote in this year’s election, I will personally give you a tattoo– fair warning, I do not know how to draw. I’ll do a dance, just for you.”
After an awkward interlude of Ferrell dancing, the actor continues:
“If you vote I’ll eat anything you tell me to. Garbage, hair, human toenails, underpants, whatever. I’ll do it. I’m serious, I’ll do anything to get you to vote. I’ll punch myself in the face, I don’t care. Whatever it takes. Just go to the polls on November 6, and vote. Vote Obama.”
Ferrell concludes the ad by catching a football, saying “it’s a slam dunk.”
Watch the entire ad, already being pushed by Obama for America in emails, below:
This Chart Shows How Much Fed Debt Per Household Has Risen Since Reid’s Senate Passed a Budget
Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:15 pm by Becket Adams
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Friday vowed to refuse to work with Mitt Romney should the GOP candidate win the presidential election.
“Mitt Romney’s fantasy that Senate Democrats will work with him to pass his ‘severely conservative’ agenda is laughable,” Sen. Reid said in a statement.
“Mitt Romney has demonstrated that he lacks the courage to stand up to the tea party, kowtowing to their demands time and again. There is nothing in Mitt Romney’s record to suggest he would act any differently as president,” the statement added.
But you know what? The idea that Sen. Reid doesn’t want to accomplish anything shouldn’t surprise anyone. Indeed, as majority leader, it has been more than 1,200 days since Reid’s senate has passed a budget.
And do you know what has happened since then? Federal debt per household has risen by a whopping $43,000, as the following chart from the Senate Budget Committee Republican staff under Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) clearly illustrates:
Good job, guys.
Final Thought: Remember how Democrats went on and on about Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) remarks about denying President Obama a second term?
How much you want to bet Sen. Reid gets a pass for vowing to stonewall Mitt Romney?
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
Front page photo source courtesy the AP.
Obama Campaign Tries (And Fails) to Explain ‘Revenge’ Remarks
Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm by Becket Adams
“Don’t boo, vote! Vote! Voting’s the best revenge!” he said.
Unsurprisingly, the Romney campaign was quick to seize on the president’s “ugly and small-minded moment,” as the Washington Examiner’s Byron York puts is, to draw a contrast between the two campaigns.
“Yesterday, the president said something you may have heard by now that I think surprised a lot of people. Speaking to an audience, he said, ‘You know, voting is the best revenge,’ ’’ Romney said. “He told his supporters, ‘Vote for revenge.’ Vote for revenge? Let me tell you what I’d like to tell you: Vote for love of country.”
As these are the final moments of both campaigns, now is the time to make a rousing and inspiring closing argument. What was the president thinking?
Surely, the Obama camp has an explanation for “revenge.” They do. Well, they say they do.
Apparently, the president’s off-the-cuff remarks were made while he was discussing Romney’s “scare tactics” in Ohio.
The GOP candidate is “frightening workers in Ohio into thinking, falsely, that they’re not going to have a job,” Obama campaign official Jen Psaki said, according to a White House pool report.
“And the message [Obama] was sending is if you don’t like the policies, if you don’t like the plan that Gov. Romney is putting forward, if you think that’s a bad deal for the middle class, then you can go to the voting booth and cast your ballot. It’s nothing more complicated than that,” she added.
Mr. York is quick to note the glaring problem in this supposed explanation:
The problem is, the president was actually not speaking in the context of Romney’s highly-controversial ads about bailed-out Chrysler adding production of Jeeps in China. In fact, Obama had not said a word about the Jeep controversy when he said “revenge.” His speech had touched on Hurricane Sandy, on the progress the American economy has made in the last few years, on his national security accomplishments, on the choice Americans will make on November 6, on Bill Clinton’s record — on a lot of things, but not on Jeep.
Indeed, it took the president six paragraphs after talking about revenge to mention Jeep. Simply put, at no point before telling his supporters to get “revenge” did President Obama say anything about “scare tactics,” Jeep, or false ads.
Final Thought: Considering how close we are to the election, and knowing what we know about the context of the president’s speech, what an odd thing to blurt out. What was he thinking?
The Romney campaign’s message today is revenge, ours is the President’s plan for the middle class.I’ll take that contrast any day.
— Jim Messina (@Messina2012) November 3, 2012
Apparently, words no longer have any meaning and campaign managers expect us to forget things that were said less than 24 hours ago.
Here’s the president’s speech leading up to his revenge remark:
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Ohio! (Applause.) Thank you! How’s it going, Wildcats? (Applause.) There definitely are some Wildcats in here. (Applause.) You’re fired up! Are you fired up? (Applause.) Are you fired up? (Applause.) Fired up? (Applause.)
Can everybody please give Alicia a big round of applause for the great introduction? (Applause.)
It is great to see all of you! (Applause.)
For the past few days –
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you!
THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. I do. (Applause.) I do.
For the past few days, all of us have been focused on one of the worst storms in our lifetime. And everybody in Ohio obviously has been watching the images on TV. We are so saddened by those who lost their lives. We can only imagine what their families are going through, and our thoughts and prayers are with them.
I had a call this morning with my emergency teams, and one of the things that I’ve emphasized to everybody on the East Coast — people all around the country want to send a message, and that is we will stand with folks in New York and New Jersey and Connecticut every step of the way until they have fully recovered. (Applause.) That’s a commitment we’re making to them.
When I make those commitments, I don’t make those commitments just as President. I make those commitments on behalf of the American people. (Applause.) And what’s interesting is, during these kinds of crises, these disasters, as tough as it is and as sad as it is, we’re also inspired because we see heroes running into buildings and wading through water to save their fellow citizens. We see neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy. We see leaders of different parties working to fix what’s broken, not to score political points. We see a spirit that says no matter how bad a storm is, no matter how tough times are, we’re going to make it because we’re all in this together. (Applause.) We rise or fall as one nation and as one people. (Applause.)
And that spirit, Ohio, has guided this country along its improbable journey for more than two centuries. And it’s also guided us and carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last four years.
In 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, our businesses have created nearly 5.5 million new jobs — and this morning, we learned that companies hired more workers in October than at any time in the last eight months. (Applause.)
The American auto industry is back on top. (Applause.) Home values, housing starts are on the rise. We’re less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is ending. Al Qaeda has been decimated. Osama bin Laden is dead. (Applause.)
So we’re on the move, Ohio. (Applause.) We’ve made real progress these past four years. But the reason all of you are here today, the reason I’m here today, is because we know we’ve got more work to do. As long as there’s a single American who wants a job but can’t find one, our work is not done. As long as there are families working harder but falling behind, as long as there’s a child anywhere in this country who is languishing in poverty, barred from opportunity, our fight goes on. We are not finished yet. We’ve got more work to do. (Applause.)
We’re here because we understand this nation cannot succeed without a growing, thriving middle class – (applause) — without sturdy ladders for folks who are willing hard to get into the middle class. (Applause.) Our fight goes on because America has always done best when everybody is getting a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody plays by the same rules. That’s what we believe. That’s what you believe. That’s why you elected me in 2008. And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!
THE PRESIDENT: Now, in four days, Springfield, four days — (applause) — just four — four days for four years. (Applause.) In four days, you’ve got a choice to make — it’s not just a choice between two parties or two candidates. It’s a choice between two different visions for America. (Applause.) It’s a choice between going back to the top-down policies that got us into this mess — or the middle-out, bottom-up strategies that have gotten us out of this mess and are going to keep us going. (Applause.)
As Americans, we believe in free enterprise, and we believe in the strivers and the dreamers and the risk-takers who are the driving force behind our economy. That’s how we create growth and prosperity, the greatest the world has ever known. But we also believe that our economy does better, our businesses do better, our entrepreneurs do better when everybody has got a chance to succeed; when all our children are getting a decent education; when all our workers are learning new skills; when we support research in medical breakthroughs and new technologies.
We believe America is stronger when everybody can count on affordable health insurance and Medicare and Social Security — (applause) — when our kids are protected from toxic dumping and pollution; when our consumers aren’t being taken advantage of by credit card companies or mortgage lenders. (Applause.)
We believe in a democracy where everybody’s voice is heard, where you just can’t buy an election. (Applause.) And we believe in politicians that understand that there’s some things the American people can do better for themselves — for example, that politicians in Washington, mostly men, shouldn’t be controlling health care choices that women can make perfectly well for themselves. (Applause.)
For eight years, we had a President who shared these beliefs — a guy named Bill Clinton. (Applause.) And so our beliefs were put to the test. His economic plan asked the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more so we could continue to invest in our people, continue to invest in ideas and innovation, invest in our infrastructure. And at the time the Republican Congress and a Senate candidate by the name of Mitt Romney –
AUDIENCE: Booo –
THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no — don’t boo, vote. (Applause.) Vote! Voting is the best revenge.
But at the time Mitt Romney said Bill Clinton’s plan would hurt the economy and kill jobs, it turns out his math back then was just as bad as it is today. (Applause.) Because by the end of President Clinton’s second term, America had created 23 million new jobs, and incomes were up and poverty was down, and our deficit became the biggest surplus in history. So our ideas were tried and tested, and they worked. Their ideas were also tried, and they didn’t work out so well.
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Front page photo source courtesy the AP.
MSNBC Host Gives Wild Global Warming Speech: ‘You Are Either on the Side of Your Fellow Citizens…Or the Side of the Storms’
Posted November 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm by Erica Ritz
MSNBC host Chris Hayes recently went on a lengthy global warming rant after discussing the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, arguing that we need a “crash program” to “re-engineer” our lifestyle to avoid similar natural disasters in the future.
Newsbusters’ Tim Graham joked that Hayes seemed to be under the impression he was giving the “Greenhouse Gettysburg Address,” he was so intent on the subject.
After reading Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement of Barack Obama and its reference to climate change, Hayes began, characteristically exaggerating the articulation of every syllable:
It’s not sustainable. Things that can’t go on, don’t. It’s true– Sandy was a freak storm. A bad luck confluence of a number of low probability events that could conceivably have happened in some alternate climate that wasn’t warming. But this climate, our climate, is warming, and as it does low probability events like this will become more probable, and more intense. Carbon emissions are trapping extra energy in our atmosphere, and with extra energy come more extremes. Higher sea levels, dryer droughts, hotter heat waves and heavier, wetter storms.
We need a crash program in this country right now to re-engineer the nation’s infrastructure to cope with and prepare the climate destruction we have already ensured with the carbon we’ve already put in the atmosphere, as well as an immediate, aggressive transformation of our energy production, economy, and society to reduce the amount of carbon we will put into the atmosphere in the future. [Emphasis added]
But that’s not all. As Tim Graham noted, Hayes then appeared to give a “you’re either with us or you’re against us” challenge, though not quite in those terms:
The story of civilization is the long tale of crusaders for order battling the unceasing reality of chaos, and it is a kind of miracle that we have succeeded as much as we have, that airplanes fly through the air and roads plunge beneath the water, and the entire teeming latticework of human life exist in the manifold improbable places it does.
But it is the grand irony that imposing this improbable order on the world we’ve released millions of years of stored-up carbon into the atmosphere, which is now altering the climate and threatening the very monuments of civilization that we so cherish.
We absolutely have it within us collectively to beat back the forces of chaos once again, but we must choose to do so, and the time for choosing is now. You are either on the side of your fellow citizens and residents of this planet, or you are on the side of the storms as yet unnamed. You cannot be neutral. So, which side are you on? [Emphasis added]
What exactly does that mean, you might ask?
Presumably, it means we need to take global warming more seriously, and side with the party that lists it as one of its many number one priorities. If you’re a skeptic, or don’t believe in “re-engineering” society to reduce carbon emissions, apparently “you are on the side of the storms.”
Here’s video of the unexpectedly intense monologue, via MRC-TV:
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