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Barack & Roll, Betches 
21st-Mar-2008 05:00 pm
In response to Fox News' latest smear regarding Obama's link to the New Black Panther Party:
Apparently, today was a slow news day.

So Fox News evidently decided to pore through our millions of user-created pages on My.BarackObama.com and put a screenshot of inflammatory content on the front page of FoxNews.com.

You see, more than 700,000 people have created accounts on the system. You can create one right now if you choose, in about a minute -- anyone can.

Now, from time to time people get up to no good -- creating fake profiles (like one for Sean Hannity created today), or posting profane or inappropriate content. When they do, the community reports the offending content and if it violates our terms of service it is removed (as the Sean Hannity profile was).

My.BarackObama.com has been at the core of our bottom-up organizing strategy. The tools available have been put to work by a community of supporters that is bigger and more powerful than anything presidential politics has ever seen.

Evidently, Fox News didn't think it was a big deal that hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans are participating in the democratic process creating groups and local events in communities all across the country.

But they did think it was a big deal that one random person on the Internet, without the knowledge of the Obama campaign, posted a profile in the system with the image of the New Black Panther Party on it.

When we were alerted of the existence of this page, we pulled it down. Yet even after we pulled the page, Fox News continues to disingenuously and prominently feature this "story" on their homepage.

If you have feedback for Fox News, you can email foxnewsonline@foxnews.com.

Also, check this out:
With Obama competing with rival presidential contender Hillary Clinton for gay votes in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary, revelations of Wright’s controversial sermons have raised questions among some activists about whether Obama’s longtime pastor was among the preachers who delivered fire-and-brimstone sermons attacking homosexuality.

“Absolutely not,” said Rick Garcia, political director of Equality Illinois, the Chicago-based state gay rights group.

“Trinity has been among the strongest supporters of LGBT rights,” Garcia said. “I have the highest regard and admiration for Rev. Wright.”

Gay Chicago resident Ronald Wadley, a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, said Wright enthusiastically backed suggestions by gay church members to create a gay and lesbian singles ministry as part of the church’s existing ministry to heterosexual singles.

“We call it the same-gender loving family ministry,” Wadley said. “It’s a ministry that was formed to allow people to have an outlet to reconcile their sexuality with their spirituality,” he said.

“He has always been supportive on gay issues,” Wadley said of Wright. “He has a stance that we all go by, under the credence of John: 16 — that we are all created by God.”

Wright could not be reached for comment for this story. Spokespersons for Trinity United Church of Christ, including the Rev. Otis Moss II, the new pastor, and the Rev. Stacy Edwards, an official with the church's community ministries, did not return calls by press time.

‘He stuck up for me’

Bishop Kwabena Rainey Cheeks, pastor of Washington’s Inner Light Ministries, which has a mostly black gay congregation, said Wright has given him strong support and encouragement in Cheeks’ role as an openly gay minister in the 17 years that the two have known each other.

“When I was on a panel with him at a religious conference [in Alabama], some ministers expressed anti-gay views,” Cheeks said. “He stuck up for me. He defended me and spoke out on my behalf.”

Cheeks noted that Wright started one of Chicago’s first church-run AIDS ministries at Trinity and has boasted about having a sizable number of gays in his congregation.
21st-Mar-2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
"As a leader, Wright defied convention at every turn. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune last year, he recalled a time during the 1970s when the UCC decided to ordain gay and lesbian clergy. At its annual meeting, sensitive to the historic discomfort some blacks have with homosexuality, gay leaders reached out to black pastors. At that session, Wright heard the testimony of a gay Christian and, he said, he had a conversion experience on gay rights. He started one of the first AIDS ministries on the South Side and a singles group for Trinity gays and lesbians—a subject that still rankles some of the more conservative Trinity members, says Dwight Hopkins, a theology professor at the University of Chicago and a church member."

source: http://www.newsweek.com/id/123604/page/2

The entire article is rather interesting.
21st-Mar-2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
BTW, sneak a peek at the reply I left for Brad under this same thread. I suspect it might make good fodder for one of your Daily Barack Fanboi Posts. ;-}}}}
21st-Mar-2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Along the same lines, last night I asked the following of a rabid Clinton supporter (as in "If Clinton's not the nominee I'll either vote for McCain or not vote at all" rabid), and have yet to receive a response. And I think it's a question worth asking, and getting an answer, even if not from the person to whom I posed it:

On Barack Obama's webpage, under "People", is a direct link to the section of his website addressing LGBT voters. This is a serious query, and in no way meant to be snarky, but where on Hillary's website is something equivalent? If she's got a section that speaks directly to "Us", it's so well-hidden that "Us" can't find it.
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Mar-2008 12:14 am (UTC)
"I do not apologize for my support of Hillary."
Nor should you, my friend.
22nd-Mar-2008 03:19 am (UTC)
Since I'm being quite prolix tonight, I'm gonna do this in two replies, because LJ is bitching at me about my length. The first time in years that that has happened, but I Won't Go There. :-}}}}

As to our last interaction, with Brad's permission I'll just Say My Piece here and let it be. I didn't "run" from it, nor try to "hide behind the veil of LJ". You didn't seem to be open to any viewpoint, any perspective, any verbiage other than that which would affirm your own. If I was mistaken in that, I apologize, but your tone and general demeanor came across as "I AM RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG AND YOUR MOTHER DRESSES YOU FUNNY".

I saw no need in continuing to exert my own time and energies when it seemed clear to me that any such expenditure would have been a waste for me, and for you as well. We weren't discussing, we weren't conversing, we weren't talking with each other; from my perspective, we were talking at one another, and spectacularly unsuccessfully, to boot. I may be a fat, bald inbred Coal Miner's Grandson, but I know when the seam of coal has run out. And that one, in my opinion, (Obligatory Hillbilly Reference) needed the mine shut down and sealed.

We've both now Had Our Say about last week. Peace?
22nd-Mar-2008 03:30 am (UTC)
Obviously, I struck a nerve with you with my original request in this thread. Clinton's fundraiser hosted by Elton is a capital-g, capital-t Good Thing, and I mean that in all seriousness. That said, I repeat my query, in general and not to you specifically, George - "We" are linked directly from Obama's main page, with a long list of posts by and from his campaign about issues of concern to the LGBT community(ies). On Hillary's main page, all I could find concerning "Us" was, yes, the link to the Elton John fundraiser.

I have Clinton's website up in another tab as I type in this reply. In fact, I'm on her "Issues" page - http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues - where she discusses many things I hope to see this country accomplish in the next 4 or 8 years. What I do not see on that page, nor on the "HillaryHub", nor on "The Fact Hub", is anything which addresses any single thing concerning "Us" as Gays, "Us" as Lesbians (OK, so maybe you and I only dress the part when we're in flannel :-}}}} but you get my point), "Us" at all. Nothing, other than the link to the Elton John fundraiser on the front page.

No link that I could find saying anything about gay marriage or civil unions. No link that I could find with an outreach to the LGBT community(ies). Just a "please give me money" link. And, I'm sorry, I want more from the person I could potentially be casting my vote for. I want to be spoken to. I want to be spoken with.

Me, and not just my wallet. Barack is speaking to me as well as asking for my money. Is it too much to wish that Hillary could do both, as well?

If any such LGBT section of her website exists save for the Elton John fundraiser, it's so well hidden that I, as a computer geek of almost 30 years' experience, cannot find it. I see nothing "absurd" about asking a straightforward question and wanting a straightforward answer to it.

May I now surprise you, and possibly our host as well?

I don't have a dog in this hunt. I really don't.

What I see are two excellent potential POTUSes, and (after Joe Biden dropped out) it tore me apart inside before the Tennessee primary to have to try to choose between them. At the time, the only thing that tilted me to voting for Obama was the freshness of the shenanigans that Bill pulled the week before in SC, with his not-so-veiled parallels between Obama's victory there and Jesse Jackson's success in that state in 1984 and 1988. Had it not been for that, I can only presume that I would have still been going back-and-forth on my choice as we drove to our precinct that morning in February.

Make no mistake about it - regardless of which one finally prevails in Denver, come November my hubby and I shall be casting our votes for the Democratic nominee. The issues this country faces are too grave, and the potential for more fuck-ups too real, to allow the Republicans to continue controlling the Executive branch of the Federal government.

The "icing on the cake" for me is that with either nominee my late, bigoted, racist, sexist grandfather-I'm-the-spitting-image-of (born in Virginia in 1913, lived most of his life in Bartley, WV, and died in Tazewell, VA, in 1978) will absolutely be spinning in his grave on the VA/WV border at the thought that one of "his" would be voting for a woman or a "colored boy" for POTUS. Well, spinning harder than he already is with his only grandchild being a Big Ol' Fag-O-La. Speaking again of that Hillbilly Thang. :-}}}}

You don't apologize for you support of Hillary? GOOD! I definitely salute your passion. Please keep in mind, however, that your fellow Democrats aren't the "enemy" here, whether they're actively supporting Obama or (as I am) not actively supporting Hillary but happened to cast a mostly-meaningless vote for Obama in a mostly-meaningless primary in an overwhelmingly red state.

The "enemy" is coming in November, and (repeating myself here in Brad's blog) once we're past the convention in Denver we as Democrats must all reconcile and come together to ensure that McCain is McCan't. And McWon't. And McNeverWillBe. We simply mustn't lose sight of that in the "fog of war" which is the primaries.
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Mar-2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
I've admittedly relished playing the role of Devil's Advocate, and it's your choice to believe or disbelieve my statements concerning who eventually receives the nomination, but what I stated was the heart-felt truth. I truly don't have a dog in this hunt, regardless of whether or not you think I'm lying for expediency's sake. I may have cast my ballot for Obama in February, but as time has passed I've become completely comfortable with the thought of casting my ballot for Clinton in November. More important for me than one particular candidate obtaining the nomination is that, whomever that nominee might be, we ensure the victory of that nominee in the general election.

And, for me, LGBT issues are pretty much my priority this year. This will be the first election since 2002 where I won't be casting a vote on a hateful "Marriage Protection Amendment", simply because Tennessee already has one in effect. After being in the middle of those battles in Georgia in 2004 and South Carolina in 2006, I've finally had it hammered into my thick skull that the region I've called "home" for my entire 46 years of life would prefer that I just go away, or even better, just shut the fuck up, go back into the closet, and die.

As an example - when we moved to Tennessee last year, my hubby and I had one helluva fight with our insurance company over our renter's coverage. In spite of our July, 2007, marriage in Markham, ON, since Tennessee doesn't recognize our marriage, the insurance folks insisted that we were just "roommates" and thus we would each have to carry full coverage for all our belongings. And you can bet, had Something Bad happened, that all they would have had to have done to deny any and all claims is to insist that what I filed against was really Bryon's and what he filed against was really mine. Thankfully, our kick-ass agent was able to use copies of our marriage certificate in a looooooooong battle with the carriers, and was finally able to obtain for us as close to a "married couple policy" as she could get in this state.

I'm tired of being a second-class citizen in my own country. I'm tired of being told that my relationship of a decade-and-a-half doesn't "count" because we're not Ozzie and Harriet with 2.2 children. I'm tired of being demonized because I'm gay, then further demonized when I try to speak out against the demonization of my gayness.

I would prefer a candidate who, as I said above, speaks to me about what I'm concerned with, as well as my speaking to my wallet. If that's not to be - and, obviously, that jury is still out until we reach Denver - then that's not to be. So be it, let it be, doo-be-doo-be-do, could I use the word "be" eleventy-gazillion more times in one paragraph?

Given the energies needed by the campaigns, I didn't want to take up any of that on a question I had hoped that a supporter could answer for me. I was hoping that I was just being Obliviously Blind To The Obvious when I went to Clinton's webpage. Apparently I wasn't, and your suggestion of contacting her communications staff is an excellent one.
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