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OBAMA REALITY CHECK

WARNING: THE ABOVE MAY NOT BE AN EXACT REPLICA OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS PACKAGE

POSITIONS TAKEN DURING AND BEFORE THE 2008 CAMPAIGN

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

"I also think that we have to think about affirmative action and craft it in such a way where some of our children who are advantaged aren't getting more favorable treatment than a poor white kid who's struggled more. That has to be taken into account.'

ANTI-TRUST

Obama said he would pursue a vigorous antitrust policy and singled out the media industry as one area where government regulators would need to be watchful as consolidation increases. . . We're going to have an antitrust division in the Justice Department that actually believes in antitrust law. We haven't had that for the last seven, eight years," Obama said. - Reuters

BUSH CRIMES

OBAMA ADVISOR WARNS AGAINST HOLDING THOSE IN POWER LIABLE FOR CRIMINAL ACTS

Aggressively opposed impeachment action against Bush

BUSINESS INTERESTS

Has offered few good ideas about how to handle the current economic crisis.

Cass Sunstein, a constitutional advisor to Obama, told Jeffrey Rosen of the NY Times: "I would be stunned to find an anti-business [Supreme Court] appointee from either [Clinton or Obama]. There's not a strong interest on the part of Obama or Clinton in demonizing business, and you wouldn't expect to see that in their Supreme Court nominees."

Wrote that conservatives and Bill Clinton were right to destroy social welfare,

Supported making it harder to file class action suits in state courts

Voted for a business-friendly "tort reform" bill

Voted against a 30% interest rate cap on credit cards

Had the most number of foreign lobbyist contributors in the primaries

Is even more popular with Pentagon contractors than McCain

Was most popular of the candidates with K Street lobbyists

In 2003, rightwing Democratic Leadership Council named Obama as one of its "100 to Watch." After he was criticized in the black media, Obama disassociated himself with the DLC. But his major economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, is also chief economist of the conservative organization. Writes Doug Henwood, "Goolsbee has written gushingly about Milton Friedman and denounced the idea of a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures."

Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer: "Top hedge fund honcho Paul Tudor Jones threw a fundraiser for him at his Greenwich house last spring, 'The whole of Greenwich is backing Obama,' one source said of the posh headquarters of the hedge fund industry. They like him because they're socially liberal, up to a point, and probably eager for a little less war, and think he's the man to do their work. They're also confident he wouldn't undertake any renovations to the distribution of wealth."

CITIES

Has no meaningful urban policy

CIVIL LIBERTIES

In first 100 days would review all Bush executive orders

Supports the war on drugs

Supports the crack-cocaine sentence disparity

Supports Real ID

Supports the PATRIOT Act

Supports the death penalty

Opposes lowering the drinking age to 18

Helped fight for restoration of habeas corpus at Gitmo.

Refused to take a position on the anti-constitutional Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

COMMUNITY ORGANIZING

WHY WHAT OBAMA IS DOING IS NOT COMMUNITY ORGANIZING

CONSERVATIVES

Went to Connecticut to support Joe Lieberman in the primary against Ned Lamont

Paul Street, Z Mag - Obama has lent his support to the aptly named Hamilton Project, formed by corporate-neoliberal Citigroup chair Robert Rubin and other Wall Street Democrats to counter populist rebellion against corporatist tendencies within the Democratic Party. . . Obama was recently hailed as a Hamiltonian believer in limited government and free trade by Republican New York Times columnist David Brooks, who praises Obama for having "a mentality formed by globalization, not the SDS." . . .

Times, UK - Obama is hoping to appoint cross-party figures to his cabinet such as Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator for Nebraska and an opponent of the Iraq war, and Richard Lugar, leader of the Republicans on the Senate foreign relations committee. Senior advisers confirmed that Hagel, a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran and one of McCain's closest friends in the Senate, was considered an ideal candidate for defence secretary.

Richard Lugar was rated 0% by SANE. . . rated 0% by AFL-CIO. . . rated 0% BY NARAL. . . rated 12% by American Public Health Association. . . rated 0% by Alliance for Retired Americans. . . rated 27% by the National Education Association. . . rated 5% by League of Conservation Voters. . . He voted no on implementing the 9/11 Commission report. . . Vote against providing habeas corpus for Gitmo prisoners. . .voted no on comprehensive test ban treaty. . .voted against same sex marriage. . . strongly anti-abortion. . . opposed to more federal funding for healthcare. . .voted for unconstitutional wiretapping. . .voted to increase penalties for drug violations

Chuck Hagel was rated 0% by NARAL. . . rated 11% by NAACP. . . rated 0% by Human Rights Coalition. . . rated 100% by Christian Coalition. . . rated 12% by American Public Health Association. . . rated 22% by Alliance for Retired Americans. . . rated 36% by the National Education Association. . . rated 0% by League of Conservation Voters. . . rated 8% by AFL-CIO. . . He is strongly anti-abortion. . .voted for anti-flag desecration amendment. . .voted to increase penalties for drug violations. . . favors privatizing Social Security

CONSTITUTION

MCCAIN HELPED PASS UNCONSTITUTIONAL MILITARY COMMISSIONS ACT; OBAMA OPPOSED IT

COURTS

Obama spoke admiringly of Chief Justice Earl Warren, the former California governor who led the court in the 1950s and '60s, when it struck down racial segregation and championed the cause of civil rights.Obama has also praised current Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David H. Souter. "I want people on the bench who have enough empathy, enough feeling, for what ordinary people are going through," Obama said.- NYT

CUBA

In 2004 Obama favored ending the Cuban embargo. He now says he won't end it. He would, however, immediately allow "unlimited family travel and remittances to the island."

DEMOCRACY

Has inspired a lot of young and minority voters to get involved in politics

DRUGS

OBAMA'S DRUG POLICY: MORE OF THE SAME

Supports failed war on drugs

Would curb federal enforcement on state medical marijuana suppliers.

Endorsed US involvement in the failed drug war in Colombia: "When I am President, we will continue the Andean Counter-Drug Program, and update it to meet evolving challenges."

ECOLOGY

Voted for a nuclear energy bill that included money for bunker buster bombs and full funding for Yucca Mountain.

Comes in at 48th in the ranking of senators by the League of Conservation Voters

Supports federally funded ethanol and is unusually close to the ethanol industry.

EDUCATION

Obama has promised to double funding for private charter schools, part of a national effort to undermine public education.

Supporrts the No Child Left Behind Act while expressing reservations about its emphasis on testing.

Opposes vouchers.

ELECTORAL REFORM

Obama supports instant runoff voting.

FAIRNESS DOCTRINE

Opposes reintroduction of the fairness doctrine for radio and television.

FOREIGN POLICY

OBAMA WILLING TO BOMB IRAN  

AND INVADE PAKISTAN

OBAMA AGAIN SAYS ISRAEL GETS JERUSALEM

Favors expanding the war in Afghanistan

OBAMA WILL GET THE TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ . . .EXCEPT FOR THE ONES HE LEAVES THERE

His top Iraq advisor wrote that America should keep between 60,000 and 80,000 troops in Iraq as of late 2010. Obama, in his appearances, blurs the difference between combat soldiers and other troops and has given no indication that he would reduce the massive mercenary force in Iraq.

Has hawkish foreign policy advisors involved in past US misdeeds and failures

Supports Israeli aggression and apartheid. Obama has deserted previous support for two-state solution to Mid East situation. Refuses to negotiate with Hamas.

Favors turning over Jerusalem to Israel

Has voted numerous times to continue funding the war

Favored cluster bomb ban in civilian areas

Promises not to sign a trade bill without environmental and labor protections.

Won't rule out first strike nuclear attack on Iran

Called Pakistan "the right battlefield ... in the war on terrorism." Threatened to invade Pakistan

FRIENDS

Used Jim Johnson and Eric Holder to vet his Veep choices

GAY

Opposes gay marriage

HEALTH

Opposes single payer healthcare

Supported restricting damage awards in medical malpractices suits

Favors healthcare individual mandates that would help insurance companies and banks but not citizens

Received $708,000 from medical and insurance interests between 2001 and 2006

HONESTY & CONSISTENCY

Wrote in his own book, "I am new enough on the national political scene that I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”

LOBBYING

Obama's top aide, David Axelrod works for a PR firm serving major corporate interests

MERCENARIES

According to US News & World Report, Obama was overheard saying "Blackwater is getting a bad rap."

MILITARY

Would expand the size of the military.

MINORITIES

Wouldn't have photo taken with San Francisco mayor because he was afraid it would seem that he supported gay marriage

NAFTA

OBAMA DITCHES NAFTA POSITION THAT HELPED HIM WIN THE PRIMARIES

NATIONAL SERVICE

Favors a national service plan that appears to be in sync with one being promoted by a new coalition that would make national service mandatory by 2020, and with a bill for such mandatory national service introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel.

"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." - Barack Obama, 2 July, 2008, Colorado Springs, CO

NUCLEAR POWER

REUTERS Sen. Barack Obama.has issued supportive statements about nuclear power . . . Though nuclear energy is key to meeting U.S. climate concerns, the issue of disposing of nuclear waste from U.S. plants and solving nuclear proliferation concerns are also paramount, Obama's campaign said on its website.

OIL

Obama dropped his opposition to drilling for offshore oil to supporting a major program of offshore drilling.

PERSONAL

OBAMA PADS HIS RESUME

PROGRESSIVES

Dissed Nader for daring to run for president again

Called the late Paul Wellstone "something of a gadfly"

Progressive Punch ranks Obama 24th in the Senate.

PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING

OBAMA THROWS PUBLIC FINANCING UNDER THE BUS

PUBLIC EDUCATION

Supports No Child Left Behind

Supports charter schools

RELIGION

Has run his campaign as though leading a cult rather than a political movement.

Has indicated a willingness to name rightwing Christians to his cabinet.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Said "everything is on the table" with Social Security early in campaign. In May 2008 he indicated opposition to privatizing Social Security, raising the minumum age, or reduce cost of living increases.

SUPREME COURT

Obama would nominate far more liberal justices than McCain, a critical issue given the age of the sitting bench.

TAXATION

THE DIFFERENCE IN THE MCCAIN & OBAMA TAX PLANS

Obama is backtracking on his plan to rescind Bush's tax cuts for wealthy Americans, saying he won't do it if the country is in a recession.

MORE THAN 85% OF AMERICANS WOULD DO BETTER UNDER OBAMA'S TAX PLAN

According to data supplies by the Washington Post, the McCain tax plan would lower taxes on the top one percent of taxpayers by an average of $269,000 while Obama's plan would raise their taxes by $701,000. At the other end, the bottom 60% of taxpayers would see cuts of $19-$319 under the McCain plan and $567-$1042 under Obama.

Would increase capital gains and taxes on those earning more than $250,000.

Would eliminate income taxes for those over 65 earning less than $50,000.

WIRETAPPING

OBAMA SUPPORTS AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL SEARCHES