Obama Responds to Clinton Attacks on NAFTA and Health Care

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It seems generally agreed that Hillary Clinton’s “Shame on you” attack on Barack Obama indicated the frayed state of her campaign. Certainly pundits who were telling us a few weeks ago that it was all dead even have changed their tune.

But the attack seemed to bode ill for any continuation of the amicable conclusion of last week’s Austin debate.

Obama’s response to the Clinton outburst is below. They would seem to preclude a Clinton victory in the war to claim the high ground.

Governor Strickland looks as though he would prefer to be somewhere else.


Dear Hillary —

I have watched this video several times and I’m afraid you have no real basis for your charges. The mailers have been out for a while now. If you were just shown them, it merely reflects a campaign which is not with it. If this was simply responding to another tack, as in a sailboat responding to the winds, it really does not present you well.

Everyone knows that your “imperial campaign” is four years too late. Everyone. with the possible exception of Dan Rather, knows you are bound to lose. And this outburst merely suggests that the time should be sooner than later.

You are making it very hard to concede this gracefully. So in response to your dipping into the Karl Rove basket, I will simply say you have my sympathy. Things will go better for you when you have finally decided that your ship began to sink in Iowa and has never, since then, regained momentum.

All the best,


And here are a few salient quotes from FactCheck.org’s page on the outburst.

We frankly find Clinton’s past position on NAFTA to be ambivalent. Bloomberg News reported last year that Clinton “promoted her husband’s trade agenda for years.” Bloomberg quoted her at the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as praising corporations for mounting “a very effective business effort in the U.S. on behalf of Nafta,” and adding, “It is certainly clear that we have not by any means finished the job that has begun.”


In closing, we’d just note that Clinton is no innocent on sending out misleading mailers. We reported on Feb. 6 that a mailing by her campaign contained a “big distortion” of Obama’s position on Social Security taxes and falsely implied that he had “no plan” to address mortgage foreclosures. It also attacked him for voting for a “Dick Cheney” energy bill that gave “huge tax breaks to oil companies,” when in fact the bill gave a net tax increase to oil companies.

These paragraphs favor Obama and there are some paragraphs more friendly to Clinton, but in essence FactChech leaves this a wash, and hardly anything to occasion a valid outburst of the vehemence dinplayed by Clinton. I doubt any of this has helped either candidate.



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abba's way

The Congregation of All People (CAP) — The Non-Instititutional Church of the Future


CAP is my term for The Congregation of All People. CAP is not an institution. CAP is an idea. CAP is movement of the people in the direction of a more peaceful world.

My way of affirming this is to wear a simple CAP.

When I wear my CAP, I feel more at peace with everyone. I am more aware that Abba showers everyone on earth with the same free and loving grace. Indeed that Abba is within everyone and available to all.

CAP has the following premises:

BELIEF AND UNDERSTANDING are more important than religious affiliation.

You can know truth in many different ways. As Krishnamurti says, truth is a pathless field. Taking our cue from Krishnamurty, and possibly from Jesus himself, we must move beyond today’s world of institutionally-tied religions and ideologically-bound religious understandings.

We must combine a radical individualism with a radical understanding that only individuals standing as who they are in their own inalienable right can be part of viable families, communities and societies.

Cyberspace makes a new, universal awareness at least possible.

NOTE FROM AN ONLINE FRIEND: Having now seen Steve’s CAP in person, it is the germ of a delightful idea, one designed to provoke a “teachable moment”. It is kookie, and it is humorous, but it does make its point. I like it.

Cyberspace is the birthplace of a non-religious, iconoclastic affirmation of a world beyond creed.

Reapprehending Jesus as a world teacher.

Jesus related to anyone he met regardless. When he spoke in parables and beatitudes, he outlined poverty of spirit as the simple reality that enables us to confess we are indeed imperfect vessels. We are set free and are set free by the completely unreasonable love of Abba — the One to whom Jesus addressed the only prayer he ever taught.

I has an early CAP experience out West when I left my bag in a cloak room and went to get it. The attendant said of my CAP, What’s that, a CAP?

I said, No. Ccongregation. Congregation of ALL people.


The way he nodded and said, Yes! was a neat moment for me.

No more isms.

No more legal-corporate religious institutions.

CAP is not an institution. It never will be one.

CAP is an accessible idea whose manifestation rests with anyone. Particularly the one who says, I am not going to imitate that guy who wears that cap! I will do it my own way.

Is there a litmus test?



Jesus said the temple should be a house of prayer for all nations. No temple made by hands can be. Peace is within individuals or it is nowhere. It can only be transmitted by individuals.

Wearing a CAP is your way of saying to the entire world that you subscribe to the peaceful, tolerant and helpful way of Abba.

Christians can understand CAP in the following way:

Because Abba took the form of a Servant — one who poured out all of his life and was despised, betrayed and rejected — Abba’s triumph should be shared in the context of that ultimate self-giving.

A dogmatic, authoritarian, triumphalist sort of evangelism builds walls. It does not save souls. CAP believes that all souls have already been saved for all time and that opening of eyes, ears and minds will reveal this to be true.

We should share the Phillipians message of Jesus the Servant, who does not count equality with God a thing to be grasped — who pours out God’s love on all who come freely to the fountain of life.

CAP is an IDEA pure and simple.

But ideas that speak truth are ultimately more powerful than institutions.

Wearing my CAP. I can look into the eyes of anyone who asks and say that is Jesus the way, truth and life.

That is evangelism. Free. Open. Universal. Global. And cyberspace could one day be its revolutionary medium.


Patience is the gift love brings
Kindness is the song love sings
Love’s not jealous, boastful, proud
Doesn’t need to know the future now

Love does not cleave to its own way
Love does not seek to win the day
Irritation robs its force
Resentment moves it from its course


In a mirror dim
We see the way
We’ll know the fullness
Of love one day
The perfect does not pass away
Finally only love remains

Love rejoices in the right
Things go wrong there’s no delight
Follows through believes all things
Only to perfection clings

In a mirror dim
We see the way
We’ll know the fullness
Of love one day
The perfect does not pass away
Finally only love remains


I’m grown up now, my childhood’s o’er
I’m traveling toward love’s blissful shore
Faith, hope and love, we know these three
But only love remains eternally

In a mirror dim
We see the way
We’ll know the fullness
Of love one day
The perfect does not pass away
Finally only love remains

Finally only love remains

Another song:


I am a point of light within a greater light
This point of light is neither body, mind, nor what I feel
The larger light surrounds the light within me
It is pure energy, its source divinity, it lives within me

I am a point of light within a greater light
This point of light is also the point of pure consciousness
It’s rays can warm mind, body and all feelings
I will to let it grow, so daily I will know, its power to heal me

I am a point of light, within a larger light
This larger light where e’er I roam is always home to me
I can embrace all creatures that surround me
When points of light are known, their beacons can be shown, and I am happy

I am a point of light within a larger light
And as I choose the light I can be purified
My life can mirror light that comes from holiness
See how it flows within, see how we can begin, to know its closeness

I am a point of light within a larger light
The life I lead can be a simple harmony
Love, courage, caring — light-directed will
Can be the gift it gives, can help me as I live, so let it fill me

The greater light will flow where e’er we let it go
It will not force itself on a resisting soul
With patient care each tender beam is seeking
To bring us all to love and teach the meaning of your holy passion

I am a point of light within a greater light
This point of light is neither body, mind, nor what I feel
The larger light surrounds the light within me
It is pure energy, its source divinity, it lives within me

CAP As A Meditation

When Jesus says, in Luke 8:17
All secrets shall be manifest
All hidden things revealed
He speaks to those he means to see God’s light

A light of goodness so transparent
Good news is believed
A light that comes
When Jesus speaks of God

The God of Jesus is no hostile Parent
No blind justice ruling from afar
The God of Jesus is the One called Abba
Close as breath and near as whispered truth

At first this Abba is the secret Jesus brings
A presence of pure goodness, therefore scorned
Cross nailed, entombed, yet somehow unextinguished
Abba shines
If not in us, then in the word preserved
Eternal possibility
Made manifest upon a shadowed hill

Jesus leaves no hiding place from choice
Repent, reject, recoil from all this show
These spinning wheels of sophistry
This glamour built on force
Submit instead to Abba
And believe
Believe good news
Believe good news

But few submit and few believe
And as we look around we see:
The goodness Jesus calls us to
Is not yet manifest in us
Our faith is ill-defined and principalities hold sway

The time fulfilled is strangely unfulfilled

So we will be here for a while yet
Until there is more light upon the hill


The WAY OF ABBA is to be happy or blessed. Minus blessing and the sense of blessing, connection to the Way of Abba cannot be said to exist.

The early placement of the Beatitudes in the Gospels is a sign that Jesus (and the earliest Christians) meant them to be taken with complete seriousness — as fact.

Two things need to be understood in reading these initial blessings.

First, they apply to now.

Second, by applying them to now, the conditions they refer to are either altered or fulfilled, now or in the future.

Sufficiently important are these blessings that they cannot be listed as though we could pick from them and find our niche in the blessing pool. All of the qualities that are blessed, all the conditions that are affirmed, are aspects of character and will and action that we can happily aspire to and whose fruits will become manifest.

Poverty of spirit is the first and greatest blessing, that state of emptiness and ignorance and spiritual at-sea-ness that makes us open, as we must be, not only because this is a repentant state but also because it is a fully receiving state.

The term kingdom of heaven refers to the sum total of gifts Abba is showering now upon earth, to he extent that we are open to receive them. Poverty in economic terms remains relative through all history, but the clear implication is that because poverty creates lack of illusion and marginality the poor will more easily receive than those encumbered with place, things and pride.

Mourners are now comforted because, Jesus makes plain by his resurrection, heaven is the destiny of the blessed. And mourning is a sign of the depth of feeling that Jesus honors in all who suffer loss.

The hunger and thirst for righteousness, Abba’s setting right all human hypocrisies and rationales, Abba’s achievement of peace and justice, is being, and shall be, satisfied.

Prophets have the job of showing how this is always the case.

Meekness should be a cause for happiness in the knowledge that the meek inherit the earth. Clearly those who bend to the created ways of the earth will inherit it, despite human efforts to parcel up, rape and dishonor Abba’s gift to us.

The possession of earth by predators is transitory and so to is the presence of the predatory nature in those who turn, empty themselves, and receive Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Do Unassuming Good In The World

The WAY OF ABBA is to do unassuming good in the world.


Ralph Nader Lies on Meet The Press

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Nader has said about ten things in just a few minutes that are flat out lies based upon the probable fact that he has not read the 194 things Obama would do as president. I am not worried.

Nader will get less than the .03 percent he got in 2004 after winning more than 2 percent in 2000.

Nader is telling us that he did not have any part in Gore’s defeat. Really? The election hung on Florida.

Now Nader is engaged in an odd and egotistical blowhard operation. He cannot push Obama to be more progressive than he already is. At best he can get an audience for views that are no more progressive in most respects than Obama’s are.

Barack has flagged Nader perfectly. Nader wants everyone to think he has all the answers. Like when he wrote Unsafe At Any Speed, a book which helped perpetuate the automobile industry and made him a hero. To me he was not a hero but an inadvertent apoligist.

Nader has not read what Barack has said. He has not inferred what Obama can do or what he means. It is really pathetic.

I say, let Nader run. Nader will, whatever anyone says.

Nader can only be running for ego as he himself conceded the probability of a Democratic landslide.

Tendentious. Bothersome. Ultimately irrelevant. His only slogan is, “(Irrelevant) power to me!” I hope he is gratified to have a free platform for being … tendentious and self-referential.

The odd possibility from all this is to up Bloomberg’s chances of rejoining the Democrats as one of the two options proposed in the poll above.



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The New York Times Editorializes Wrong … Again

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The first New York Times editorial gaffe was its ill-advised endorsement of Hillary Clinton. I believe it is almost a certainty that if they had been able to read the writing on the wall, they would have endorsed Barack Obama. It is neither here nor there, but it does tell.

Now The New York Times has published a throw-away lead editorial in which it actually takes seriously the political games being played in Ohio. It is not worth reiterating.

Let me jump to the simple fact that neither Democratic candidate has skimped when it comes to recognizing the need to compete in a very different way in the future than in the past … in our global world economy.

Of the two, Obama is the most hip to the reality.

The reality is that there is a gold mine in creating a world beyond the tyranny of oil. Whether one calls the outcome “green collar jobs” or my preferred “new human settlements”, the educational task confronting Obama is huge.

He is not going to win in Ohio by explaining how revolutionary the new economy must be. Change, yes. But be gentle.

There is a silver lining — again too advanced to be viable as a campaign talking point:

The move beyond oil will revive manufacturing in this country. It will do so because the move beyond oil involves a move into lego-living. Pardon me for being exuberant about this. Things are falling into place.

New human settlements will essentially be beyond the automobile. They will be built around the absence of the car in the area where people congregate. There will be communities, pilot at first, the product of contests involving architects and engineers, that integrate high tech and pattern language a la Christopher Alexander.

None of this is possible to spell out. It has not even been planned yet. But it is the ballpark where the future US economy will be developed.

As the rest of the world strangles itself in the fatal mimesis of automotive development, we will morph into a high tech resuscitation of Hillary Clinton’s village. Irony upon irony.

The New York Times has not even had an op-ed columnist capable of surmising what I can see in the back of Obama’s mind when he talks about the end of oil.

So it is not surprising that a mother-hen editorial like today’s misses the point.

The key to the future is what I’ve called Obama’s Moon, his aim translated into a ten year program that will help move us beyond the tyranny of the car and the dying oil economy.



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Vermont Poll Gives Obama Close to a 2-1 Lead Over Clinton

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Vermont may border New York State but the most recent Vermont poll spells bad news for the beleaguered Clinton campaign.

The current poll suggests that Obama may do better than predicted in Vermont.



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