Category Archives: Barak Obama

Ideas for Obama: White House Summit on Abortion Reduction

America Magazine Online | 2008-12-17 | Michael Sean Winters

The President-Elect needs to focus like a laser on the economic crisis once he takes office next month. Not only is there a great deal of human suffering wrapped inside the rising unemployment numbers, but a host of other governmental challenges become more difficult the longer the economic downturn continues. The federal deficit, the solvency of entitlement programs, health care reform, all become more intractable every day the economy is in recession.

But, it is a mistake to think that the economy is the only issue voters care about and it would be a mistake for Obama to entirely neglect other issues. For Catholics – to be more precise, for centrist Catholics who voted Republican in the previous two election cycles but for Obama this time – the economy was certainly a concern. But, many of those Catholic swing voters were only willing to give Obama a hearing on the economy because he had convinced them he was serious about another issue of importance to them: reducing the abortion rate. A group of prominent and not-so prominent pro-life Catholics went to the mat for Obama, starting with Professor Doug Kmiec, and the administration cannot simply throw them under the bus.

Make no mistake: Obama’s initial actions on the abortion issue will not be pro-life. While concern about the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) was mostly a scare tactic employed by GOP operatives (the bill has no chance of passing), Obama will undoubtedly rescind the Mexico City gag rule which prevents agencies that receive federal funding from counseling about abortion services. This and a few other marginal changes can be enacted by executive order. Obama is pro-choice and there is no finessing the point.

But, he can twin his pro-choice executive orders with a call for an abortion reduction summit at the White House for the fall of 2009. The timing provides him eight months of undiluted focus on the economy. He can appoint prominent pro-life Democrats to….Read the Full Article Here!

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Catholics’ open letter asks Obama to reconsider FOCA support

We received the following article via e-mail at our AUOCC office.

CNA STAFF, November 19 (CNA).-A group of Catholics has addressed an open letter to President-elect Barack Obama, professing an eagerness to cooperate with his administration while pleading that he reconsider his support for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).

The open letter, initiated by Henry C. Karlson III, has been signed by several prominent Catholic bloggers and commentators, including the Catholic apologist Mark Shea.

Praising Obama’s call to end harmful forms of partisanship, the writers of the letter said they too wanted to encourage people to “work together for the common good,” saying “It may change the hearts of many, and it might alter the path of our nation, shifting to a road leading to a better America.”

Citing Obama’s call for unity and his professed willingness to engage in dialogue with others, the letter turned to the issue of abortion.

“As men and women who oppose abortion and embrace a pro-life ethic, we want to commend your willingness to engage us in dialogue, and we ask that you live up to your promise, and engage us on this issue.”

The open letter cited Obama’s agreement to limit late term abortion with exceptions for the health of the mother, and his stated desire to work to reduce the actual number of abortions by alleviating those social issues which make women feel they have to abort.

“There is much we can do together,” the letter said. “There is much that we can do to help women who find themselves in difficult situations so they will not see abortion as their only option. There is much which we can do to help eliminate those unwanted pregnancies which lead to abortion.”

The letter then turned to Obama’s January 22, 2008 pledge to pass the Freedom of Choice Act as president. This commitment to FOCA, the letter suggested, “might well undermine your engagement of pro-life Americans on the question of abortion. It might hamper any effort on your part to work with us to limit late-term abortions.”

“FOCA does more than allow for choice,” the open letter argued. “It may force the choice of a woman upon others, and make them morally complicit in such choice.”

Under FOCA, doctors and hospitals which otherwise would not perform abortions might be forced to do so “even if it went against their sacred beliefs,” the group of Catholics said.

“Such a law would undermine choice, and might begin the process by which abortion is enforced as a preferred option, instead of being one possible choice for a doctor to practice,” the letter continued.

“If FOCA can be postponed for the present, and serious dialogue begun with us, as well as with those who disagree with us, you will demonstrate that your administration will indeed be one that rises above partisanship, and will be one of change. This might well be the first step toward resolving an issue which tears at the fabric of our churches, our political process, our families, our very society, and that causes so much hardship and heartache in pregnant women.”

The letter also voiced concern about Obama’s statements that he might override some of President George W. Bush’s executive orders, encouraging him to have a dialogue with the American people on the matter and warning a change in policy would undermine the “political environment” he wishes to establish.

“Among those issues which concern us,” the letter explained, “are those which would use taxpayer money to support actions we find to be morally questionable, such as embryonic stem cell research, or to fund international organizations that would counsel women to have an abortion (this would make abortion to be more than a mere choice, but an encouraged activity).”

Calling on Obama to “set aside particular promises to a part of your constituency,” the open letter said such a move would show his plan to reject “politics as usual” and truly become “a change we need.”

The full open letter can be read at Henry Karlson’s blog Vox Nova:

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what altered Obama’s life?

“It’s an image of a woman, who’s sitting on the world, bent over, blindfolded, holding up a harp – “bruised and bloodied, dressed in tattered rags, the harp reduced to a single frayed string… and yet consider once again the painting before us. Hope! That harpist is looking upwards, a few faint notes floating upwards towards the heavens. She dares to hope. She has the audacity… to make music… and praise God… on the one string… she has left!”

The Audacity Of Hope!

wattshope_84605tYou have just read a portion of the Rev Jeremiah Wright’s preaching, in Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago 20 years ago, about this picture.

Read More Here from

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Where Do We Go From Here?

The Obama Administration: Who Could Get Picked
by Sam Stein | Huffington Post

Corzine, Summers said to be on Short List for Obama’s Treasury Secretary
by Joseph Lazzaro | BloggingStocks

Obama Turns to Task of Building Administration
by Nedra Pickler (AP) | Political Base

Early Transition Decisions to Shape Obama Presidency
by Shailagh Murray | Washington Post

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A Bizarre Form of American Socialism

NDP Left blog | October 30, 2008

Obama, the Daily Show & American Socialism

Last night came the much anticipated appearance of Democratic presidential front runner Barack Obama on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. Amidst all of the usual banter arose an interesting exchange in which Stewart and Obama made light of the attempts by the Republicans, who are now truly grasping at straws, to paint him as a Socialist. Obama quipped that maybe they were thinking of the time in kindergarten that he shared toys with the other kids.

Obama, of course, is correct. His agenda and his Obamanomics (as the New York Times Magazine termed it in a cover piece a couple of months back) bear no resemblance to a remotely Socialist platform. Far from feeling that a restructuring of the basic underpinnings of the nature of ownership and income distribution in the US economy is required, Obama is an avowed free marketeer who would use the powers of government in a, at best, modest way to ensure members of the poor, the working class and the lower middle class (although in the US of course these are all described as the Middle Class!) do not face total destitution if they become ill or fall behind on mortgage payments.

While, in the face of a real crisis of capitalism, which may or may not be at hand, he would surely, like FDR, be far more likely to plot an interventionist path on behalf of these groups than the Republicans, he is not in the least interested in following an even Social Democratic course.

Oddly, though, the Republicans and Democrats may have helped to open a door towards greater interventionism and the emergence of a more truly left wing both inside and outside the Democratic Party through their unabashed and flagrant use of the powers of government to combat the crisis facing many of the capitalist institutions and businesses whose interests they represent.  Read the Full Article!

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American Socialism is pro-Democratic; anti-Communist.

At present the American Union of Orthodox Christian Citizens is just an informational digest blog. It is the creator/editor’s hope that other like minded Orthodox Christians who are neither encrusted on the Right or embolden on the Left of the political spectrum will choose to unite in fellowship & action as a real grass-roots AUOCC organization in order to influence legislation and social change on the one hand and on the other, to support a viable unity amongst all of us; what might be known in the future as the “Orthodox Church of The Americas”.

When the AUOCC is populated and organized the members will decide on the appropriate policies, strategies and alliances based upon its founding purpose. In the meantime, this blog does not alley itself nor endorse any particular organization, political party or campaign. Neither do we support any one local expression or representation of the (Eastern) Orthodox Church rather we look to the catholicity and apostolic reality of the Mystical Body of Christ that is the Orthodox Church. –Praxis editor.

With that said, we would like to point out that the American conscious seems to have forgotten the reality and existence in this nation of the pro-democracy movement in the late 19th & early 20th century known as the Social Democrats aka Democratic Socialists or Socialists/USA. This movement was very pro-labor union, supporting the working class and strongly against Communism, Marxism and Leninism and all types of fascist and anarchists thinking. So it was a misnomer for Sara Palin to denounce Sen. Obama as a Socialist. In the American context of this term it was more of a compliment to the Senator. If however she meant that Obama would “spread the wealth” (we don’t believe him to be “Socialist” enough to do so) in the face of what the Republicans stand for then we can understand her use of the label.

Please note that Capitalism is not inherently democratic as an economic philosophy.

Here, in the right hand column, there are several Social Democratic links you may wish to visit. Below is an excerpt from the blog, ‘Democratic Socialists for Obama‘ that speaks a bit about what they stand for:

“The Social Democrats, USA–Socialist Party of America is what remains of the legacy of the socialist party of Debs, Thomas, Randolph, Zeidler, Harrington, and Rustin. Anyone can claim this heritage, or some part of it, but the SDUSA–SPA is the only group actually running candidates as socialists / social democrats who intend to win and hence to govern as socialists. For too long socialist political activity consisted of running candidates for positions they had no hope of winning, just to raise the “red flag”. This is not our socialist tradition. The Socialist Party of America of the early part of the twentieth century included twelve thousand office holders. In 1916, when Debs’ health prevented him from running for president he made a serious bid to be elected to the US Congress. it should be remembered that Norman Thomas relieved nearly a million votes in 1932. This had a major influence on New Deal legislation as the Socialists continued to pose a serious challenge to the capitalist parties.

Even after the Party began to work within the Democratic Party in did not abandon independent political activity. Witness the candidacy of Richard Parrish for Manhattan Council. Parrish was a black trade-unionist. His nominating petitions were hand-carried to city hall by Norman Thomas and Bayard Rustin. This was in 1964. The year before, Bayard Rustin had been the lead organizer for the March for Jobs and Justice. The March is best remembered for Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech. It was the Socialist Party in the form of A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, Tom Kahn, and Rochelle Horowitz who made the March happen.

The March for Jobs and Justice lead to the 1964 Voting Rights Act and the 1965 Civil Rights Act. These were the first steps in eliminating discrimination in the United States. We now are engaged in another step. Barack Obama’s candidacy will test how far we as a nation have come as regards private racism and discrimination. I believe Obama made a terrible error in not choosing Hilary Clinton as his vice-presidential partner. This error may well cost him the election. It reminds me a great deal of Fredrick Douglas’ refusal to demand that the fourteenth amendment enfranchise women as well as black men. Women, of course, did receive the national franchise, fifty-five years later! Many women are justifiably upset that they worked so hard to nominate a women who may have a real shot at becoming president. Senator Clinton, for reasons I don’t understand, also became the candidate of many working-class whites. I am not sure that Joe Bidden can capture that same vote for the Democrats.” Read the Full Article.

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Dear Greek-American Voter:

Election 2008 is upon us during an important and challenging moment in our nation’s history. America must restore our economy’s health, secure the home-front and lead the democracies of the free world. Barack Obama and Joe Biden have the qualities – the good judgment and intelligence – to meet this challenge. In choosing Joe Biden, Senator Obama has demonstrated his excellent judgment because Senator Biden is one of America’s leading policy experts, someone with a clear knowledge of the issues facing America throughout the world. In the United States Senate, Joe Biden and Barack Obama have worked with both parties to bring about progress for the American people.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden are friends of the Greek American community, championing causes that are important to us all. Senator Obama has demanded that Turkey honor the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which includes ending the seizure of Greek Orthodox Church property and the reopening of the school of theology in Istanbul. Senator Obama supports a solution in Cyprus based on the rule of law and his selection of Joe Biden ensures a White House that will be well-versed on the Cyprus question. Senator Biden has stood for justice on Cyprus since 1974. Senator Obama is an original co-sponsor of Senate Resolution 300 which calls on FYROM to stop its hostile activities and work with the United Nations and Greece to find a mutually acceptable name for FYROM.

We need a President who will act prudently to ensure that the democracies of the world cooperate to meet the economic challenges and security threats that face America and her allies. And we need a Vice-President who has the demonstrated skills and experience to lead and if necessary – step into the Oval Office. Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden are able leaders who can lead America in the 21st Century. This November we urge you to vote for Obama-Biden as the right choice for America.

1988 Presidential Nominee Governor Michael S. Dukakis
Senator Paul S. Sarbanes
Congressman John Brademas
Congressman John P. Sarbanes
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas
Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias
California Treasurer Phil Angelides

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