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Thread: Obama's Closest Friends & Advisers

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    Obama's Closest Friends & Advisers

    To get an idea of who has the ear of Barack Obama it's a good idea to find out who is on his panel of advisers.

    Some of their backgrounds are quite revealing:

    1. Valerie Bowman Jarrett (born 1956) is a Chicago lawyer, businesswoman, and civic leader. Senior adviser to 2008 Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate Barack Obama.
    Valerie Bowman was born on November 14, 1956 in Shiraz, Iran, where her father, Dr. James Bowman, ran a hospital for poor children.
    She received a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University in 1978, and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.
    She was married to William Robert Jarrett from 1983 to 1988. They had one child - a daughter - who is currently a Harvard Law student.
    Jarrett is one of Senator Obama's longest serving advisors and "closest campaign aides – an insider widely tipped for a top position in an Obama administration.


    2. Gregory Bestor Craig (born Norfolk, Virginia, March 4, 1945) is a Washington-based lawyer. He has represented numerous high-profile clients, including the would-be assassin of President Ronald Reagan. As assistant to the President and special counsel in the White House of President Bill Clinton, Craig directed the team defending Clinton against impeachment. He was a foreign policy advisor to Senator Edward Kennedy and to United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. More recently Craig became foreign policy adviser to presidential candidate Barack Obama.

    Craig served as Senator Edward Kennedy’s Senior Advisor on Defense, Foreign Policy and National Security issues for five years (1984-88).

    In 1997 Secretary of State Madeleine Albright made Craig one of her senior advisors, and he served as Director of Policy Planning from 1997-98. In late 1997 he was appointed as a special coordinator to focus attention on China's suppression of Tibet's cultural and religious traditions.

    In September 1998 President Clinton appointed Craig as Assistant to the President and Special Counsel in the White House, where he directed the President’s team defending against impeachment. He was also a member of the President’s trial team in the United States Senate.

    In 2004 Craig played rival candidate President George W. Bush in mock debates to coach Democratic nominee John Kerry for his three general election match-ups against the incumbent.

    Craig has had numerous controversial and high-profile clients. An early such, in 1981, was John Hinckley, Jr., who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. He was the architect of Hinckley's successful insanity defense.[6]

    Craig represented former boss Senator Edward Kennedy during the 1991 rape trial of William Kennedy Smith.

    He represented the Cuban father of Elián González during the 2000 child custody dispute that ended in the forcible seizure by U.S. Marshals of Elián González from the Miami, Florida home of his relatives.[8]

    Craig represented United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan during the Volker Commission's investigations in 2004 into the scandals involving the oil-for-food programme.

    Most recently, he has represented Pedro Miguel González Pinzón, a Panamanian legislator wanted in the US for the murder in 1992 of a US soldier, and the attempted murder of another. The Dallas Morning News called on Senator Obama to ask Craig to choose between the campaign and involvement in the case. Craig had earlier represented the Panamá government during the trial in 1990 of the former president, General Manuel Noriega and had sought the return to Panamá's treasury of funds stolen by Noriega.




    3. David Axelrod is an American political consultant based in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known as a top adviser to Barack Obama, first in Obama's 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Illinois and currently as chief strategist for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

    In 2004, Axelrod worked for the presidential campaign of John Edwards. Axelrod currently serves as the chief strategist and media adviser for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Axelrod contemplated taking a break from the 2008 presidential campaign, as five of the candidates—Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, and Tom Vilsack—were past clients.

    In 2006, Axelrod consulted for several campaigns, including for the successful campaigns of Eliot Spitzer in New York's gubernatorial election and for Deval Patrick in Massachusetts's gubernatorial election. Axelrod also served in 2006 as the chief political adviser for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel for the U.S. House of Representatives elections, in which the Democrats gained 31 seats.


    4. Jeremiah Alvesta Wright, Jr. (born September 22, 1941) is the former Senior Pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), a megachurch in Chicago with around 10,000 members. In early 2008, Wright retired after 36 years as the pastor of his congregation and no longer has daily responsibilities at the church.

    Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for President, first met Wright and joined his church in the 1980s, while he was working as a community organizer in Chicago before attending Harvard Law School. Wright officiated at the wedding ceremony of Barack and Michelle Obama, as well as their children's baptism. The title of Obama's memoir, The Audacity of Hope, was inspired by one of Wright's sermons.


    5. Antoin "Tony" Rezko (born 1955 in Aleppo, Syria) is an American political fundraiser, restaurateur, and real estate developer in Chicago, Illinois convicted on several counts of fraud and bribery in 2008. Rezko has been involved in fundraising for local Illinois Democratic and Republican politicians since the 1980s. He focused primarily on Chicago-area Democrats; for example, Rezko was one of Barack Obama's first major financial contributors. After becoming a major contributor to Rod Blagojevich's successful gubernatorial election, Rezko assisted Blagojevich in setting up the state's first Democratic administration in 20 years. Rezko was able to have business associates appointed onto several state boards. Rezko and several others were indicted on federal charges in October 2006, for using their connections to the state boards to demand kickbacks from businesses that wanted to do business with the state. While the others pleaded guilty to the charges, Rezko pleaded not guilty and was found guilty of 16 of the 24 charges filed against him.

    5. Pete Rouse (born 1946) is chief of staff for Senator Barack Obama. Rouse had filled a similar role for South Dakota Senator Thomas A. Daschle, the former majority leader. Reportedly, after losing re-election, Daschle had hoped that Rouse would continue to work with him. Instead, Rouse was contacted by a Harvard Law School friend of Obama's and chose to work for Obama in 2004 (Bacon 2007).

    Rouse helped prepare a memo, "The Strategic Plan," for Obama's first year in the Senate.[1] Helping Obama navigate Senate politics and yet remain an outsider, Rouse advised Obama against criticizing Democratic Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) while voting against ethics reform legislation. (Obama worked with Senator Russell Feingold on strengthening amendments). [2] Similarly, he suggested that Obama speak with Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Joseph I. Lieberman in the early stages of exploring his presidential candidacy. Rouse also is credited with persuading Obama to vote against the nomination of John G. Roberts, Jr., who is now Chief Justice of the United States (Bacon 2007).


    6. Paul Adolph Volcker (born September 5, 1927 in Cape May, New Jersey), is an American economist. He is best known as Chairman of the Federal Reserve ("The Fed") under United States Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan (from August 1979 to August 1987). He is today an economic advisor to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

    In April 2004, the United Nations assigned Volcker to research possible corruption in the Iraqi Oil for Food program. In the report summarising its research, Volcker criticized Kojo Annan, son of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and the Swiss company Cotecna Inspection SA, Kojo's employer, for trying to conceal their relationship. He concluded in his March 2005 report that "there is no evidence that the selection of Cotecna in 1998 was subject to improper influence of the Secretary General in the bidding or selection process". However, while Volcker did not implicate the Secretary General in the selection process, he did cast serious doubt on Kofi Annan, whose "management performance...fell short of the standards that the United Nations Organization should strive to maintain." Volcker was a director of the United Nations Association of the United States of America between 2000 and 2004, prior to his being appointed to the Independent Inquiry by Kofi Annan.


    7. Jason Furman (born 1970) is a senior economic adviser to Senator Barack Obama's 2008 campaign for President of the United States.

    Furman served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy in the Clinton Administration. He is a Visiting Scholar at New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.[2] He has been a visiting lecturer at Columbia and Yale Universities. In addition, he served as a Staff Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers, Senior Economic Adviser to the Chief Economist of the World Bank, and Director of Economic Policy for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. Furman has conducted research and policy work on issues that include taxes, health care and Social Security.

    Furman worked most recently as a budget expert at the Brookings Institution heading the Hamilton Project, an economic policy research group that develops policy proposals to achieve shared economic growth.[3]

    Furman received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. He has worked together with former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

    Furman is often parodied on the Glenn Beck Program as Obama advisor "Honkey Whitesville," a recurring call-in guest portrayed by Steve Burguiere.


    Obama's selection of Jason Furman as economic advisor is criticized - Los Angeles Times


    8. Susan Elizabeth Rice (born 1964) is an American foreign policy expert. She served on the National Security Council and as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during the second Bill Clinton administration, from October 1997 until January 20, 2001. Rice is currently on leave from the Brookings Institution as a senior foreign policy advisor to Democratic Senator Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign.

    Susan Rice serves on the boards of several organizations, including the National Democratic Institute, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

    UNICEF has signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), a Saudi charity of massive scope that keeps branches in more than 20 countries and has over 100 offices worldwide.

    According to UNICEF, it will be teaming with the charity’s domestic Saudi branch to “promote children’s rights, health, equality and education,” in the oil-rich kingdom — but the organization has been doing more than just charity work.

    The U.S. Treasury Department has designated the IIRO’s branches in the Philippines and Indonesia as terrorist entities for funding and supporting terrorist groups that have killed hundreds in East Asia. The Philippine branch was founded by Usama bin Laden’s brother-in-law, Muhammad Jamal Khalifah, and has long had ties to Al Qaeda.
    This is only a partial list.

    Obama has folks working for him that represented a person that shot Reagan, former dictators, have ties to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and have ties to senior Democrats.

    Where's the change he's promising. It seems that Obama is just a front-man for the same old Democrat government that has been screwing this country up for decades.
    Last edited by mudwhistle; 19 Sep 08, at 12:27.

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    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudwhistle View Post
    Obama has folks working for him that represented a person that shot Reagan, former dictators, have ties to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and have ties to senior Democrats.

    Where's the change he's promising. It seems that Obama is just a front-man for the same old Democrat government that has been screwing this country up for decades.
    So, anyone who works for UNICEF also works for Al-Queda?

    Quote Originally Posted by mudwhistle View Post
    Obama has folks working for him that
    .
    .
    .

    have ties to senior Democrats.
    Yeah, I am sure that knowing a senior democrat is a felony

    Quote Originally Posted by mudwhistle View Post
    Where's the change he's promising. It seems that Obama is just a front-man for the same old Democrat government that has been screwing this country up for decades.
    Care to substantiate that? The Republicans enacted legislation that allowed financial insitutions the leeway to dig their own graves and it is the Democrats who have been screwing the country???

    By the way, I am concerned about Gregory Bestor Craig and Antoin "Tony" Rezko, but I guess we need to read about it ourselves rather than just relying on this biased note of yours

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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    So, anyone who works for UNICEF also works for Al-Queda?



    Yeah, I am sure that knowing a senior democrat is a felony



    Care to substantiate that? The Republicans enacted legislation that allowed financial insitutions the leeway to dig their own graves and it is the Democrats who have been screwing the country???

    By the way, I am concerned about Gregory Bestor Craig and Antoin "Tony" Rezko, but I guess we need to read about it ourselves rather than just relying on this biased note of yours
    UNICEF has been funding terrorists for decades. Where have you been?

    Now we find out one of Obama's senior advisers was on the board of directors.

    Being tied in with the Democrats that have been in Washington for decades doesn't spell change at all. Yet Obama picks one to pull his cheese out of the fire and makes him his VP.

    Obama has a foreign policy adviser (Greg Craig) that represented [b]Kofi-Annan, the UN General Secretary, John Hinckley, Jr. who shot Ronald Reagan, General Manuel Noriega, William Kennedy Smith, and the father of Elián González in his son's custody battle.

    One of his other advisers investigated the Oil For Food Scandal which was one of the primary reasons for the invasion of Iraq. (Paul Adolph Volcker)

    And the icing on the cake is David Axelrod who specialized in black candidates in Chicago politics and was the campaign manager for John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer, and a senior adviser to Rahm Emanuel.....the primary source of many of the scandals that have plagued the Bush Administration.

    "Emanuel was so angry at the president's (Clinton) enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting 'Dead! ... Dead! ... Dead!' and plunging the knife into the table after every name."His "take-no-prisoners attitude" earned him the nickname "Rahm-bo".

    After his role in helping the Democrats to win the 2006 elections, Emanuel was believed to be a leading candidate for the position of Majority Whip. Nancy Pelosi, who became the next Speaker of the House, persuaded him not to challenge Jim Clyburn, but instead to succeed Clyburn in the role of Democratic Caucus Chairman. In return, Pelosi agreed to assign the caucus chair more responsibilities, including "aspects of strategy and messaging, incumbent retention, policy development and rapid-response communications". Caucus vice-chair John Larson remained in this role instead of running for the chairman position.

    The Committee of Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Members of the Ways and Means Committee cannot serve on any other House Committees, though they can apply for a waiver from their party's congressional leadership. The Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including:

    U.S. Constitution requires that all bills regarding taxation must originate in the House of Representatives, and House procedure is that all bills regarding taxation must go through this committee. These stipulations make this House committee particularly powerful, especially in comparison with its Senate counterpart, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.

    The Ways and Means Committee in the 110th Congress is chaired by Representative Charles Rangel of New York.




    Rahm Emanuel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Rahm Emanuel is on the Ways and Means Committee.

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    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudwhistle View Post
    UNICEF has been funding terrorists for decades. Where have you been?
    Thankfully, not in your world...

    The UNICEF has to answer to member countries as per its charter, unlike some other multilateral organisations. If you feel that certain rogue elements within that roganisation are misusing their positions, feel free to join UNICEF for the sake of punishing these miscreants, don't libel the an organisation serious about welfare of children

    Quote Originally Posted by mudwhistle View Post
    Obama has a foreign policy adviser (Greg Craig) that represented [b]Kofi-Annan, the UN General Secretary, John Hinckley, Jr. who shot Ronald Reagan, General Manuel Noriega, William Kennedy Smith, and the father of Elián González in his son's custody battle.

    One of his other advisers investigated the Oil For Food Scandal which was one of the primary reasons for the invasion of Iraq. (Paul Adolph Volcker)
    Volcker was also responsible for exposing corruption in the UN. And now it seems like you are trying to blame the Democrats for the invasion of Iraq. Oh by the way, was that not because Iraq had WMDs

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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Thankfully, not in your world...

    The UNICEF has to answer to member countries as per its charter, unlike some other multilateral organisations. If you feel that certain rogue elements within that roganisation are misusing their positions, feel free to join UNICEF for the sake of punishing these miscreants, don't libel the an organisation serious about welfare of children



    Volcker was also responsible for exposing corruption in the UN. And now it seems like you are trying to blame the Democrats for the invasion of Iraq. Oh by the way, was that not because Iraq had WMDs
    Exposing corruption..........then letting all of the guilty parties walk?

    Boy he sure nailed their behinds to the wall.


    Ever hear of using a 'non-biased' investigator to paper over a crime?

    No I guess you haven't.
    Last edited by mudwhistle; 19 Sep 08, at 23:42.

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    Distant Deeps or Skies Senior Contributor HistoricalDavid's Avatar
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    Valerie Bowman was born on November 14, 1956 in Shiraz, Iran, where her father, Dr. James Bowman, ran a hospital for poor children.
    Er... I got one sentence into the info and I saw this.

    I'm not sure how to take this... but is that her crime? Being born in Iran?
    HD Ready?

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    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HistoricalDavid View Post
    Er... I got one sentence into the info and I saw this.

    I'm not sure how to take this... but is that her crime? Being born in Iran?
    How come she is not in Guam

    By the way. Mudwhistle, I was referrring to your following comment about Volcker
    One of his other advisers investigated the Oil For Food Scandal which was one of the primary reasons for the invasion of Iraq. (Paul Adolph Volcker)
    That made it seem as if Volcker's report caused all this brouhaha regarding the WMDs in Iraq

    I will definitely read more about the IIC and get back to you

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    Quote Originally Posted by HistoricalDavid View Post
    Er... I got one sentence into the info and I saw this.

    I'm not sure how to take this... but is that her crime? Being born in Iran?
    Crime?

    No crime.

    Just a red-flag.

    Try reading the rest of it.

    Common-sense tells one that when you're at war with someone.....it doesn't make any sense to employ someone who may be a bit shaded in your enemy's favor and you don't put them in charge of your government. If she were undergoing a security investigation this would be a red-flag worth investigating further.

    Now is not the time to blow stuff like this off.......like everyone blew off a threat from Japan before Dec. 7th 1941.

    The media was able to ruin Mitt Romney's Presidential run just by mentioning he was a Mormon. I think everything needs to be open to discussion.
    Last edited by mudwhistle; 20 Sep 08, at 00:39.

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    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    I think this is a load of BS. Have you ever heard of the six degrees of Kevin Bacon? I'm sure we can somehow connect every person you listed to Kevin Bacon.

    The lady at the top of your list... what's the relevance of her having been born overseas? Nobody can control where they're born, and if it even mattered in the first place, Iran was an ally of the United States in 1956. Like Turkey or Israel are today.

    Second you have a lawyer who defended Bill Clinton... who cares? Lawyers defend people, that's their job.

    You have Madeleine Albright highlighted... OK, she was secretary of state. So was James Baker. I don't see how this piece of the puzzle fits.

    You have some more lawyers who've represented some more people... again, that's a lawyer's job. I don't see the connection between Obama and Manuel Noriega.

    I don't see anything demonstrating a link between Obama and people with ties to Al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

    Rezko's the only "connection" here I find the least bit sketchy...

    I'm going to have to ask you to refrain from posting stuff like this.

    Thread locked.

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