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Barack Obama

1) We should continue in this war until Iraq is a stable democracy


"I don't oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war." —Barack Obama Anti-War Rally, Chicago 200, Obama 08

Barack Obama opposed the war in Iraq from the start and advocated a time line for phased withdrawal in 2005. In January 2007, he introduced legislation to start redeploying troops by May, 2007 and to remove all combat brigades within a year. His plan would allow some troops to stay on to continue training Iraqi security forces and to provide protection. Obama also wants the U.S. to participate in regional conferences including Iran and Syria.

Plan to End the Iraq War, Obama 08

"Barack Obama on War and Peace," On the Issues

Senator Barack Obama and U.S. Foreign Policy, About: Foreign Policy U.S.

2) Efforts to combat global warming should be increased


"There may still be disputes about exactly how much we're contributing to the warming of the earth's atmosphere and how much is naturally occurring, but what we can be scientifically certain of is that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to a point of no return. And unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to global catastrophe."— Barack Obama, "Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet," Barack Obama, U.S. Senator for Illinois

Barack Obama seeks to stabilize emissions from global warming over the next ten years. He's pushed for legislation to cap carbon dioxide emissions, and he wants federal subsidies to create fuel from coal (funding dependent upon eliminating greenhouse gases in the production process). Recently, Obama co-sponsored legislation to set carbon emission standards for electricity plants, to create carbon emission standards for cars, and to establish carbon credit trading. Obama encourages the use of ethanol, which has less carbon than coal.

Burchfiel, Norman "Democratic Hopefuls Sign on to Global Warming Bill" CNS (05/10/07)

Dorning, Mike "Obama on Global Warming" The Swamp, The Chicago Tribune

Global Warming News (06/29/06) Environment Illinois

Obama, Barack "Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet,"

Barack Obama, U.S. Senator for Illinois (04/03/06)

Roberts, David "Barack Obama is not serious about global warming," Gristmill (5/11/07)

3) The federal government should provide a universal health care system


If elected president, Barack Obama pledges to provide universal, high quality, and affordable health care for all by the end of his first term. It's a high priority, and he believes it is a right not a privilege. His plan would allow individuals and small businesses to buy health care plans similar to those of federal employees. No one would be turned away or charged more because of illness. He proposes a National Health Insurance Exchange to reform the private insurance market and Americans could enroll in participating plans. His plan would insure all American children and expand SCHIP and Medicaid. He'd require all employees to contribute to the health care of their employees. Obama says his plan would save costs by improving health technology systems, improving access to preventive care, increasing competition in the insurance and drug markets, reducing the costs of catastrophic illness, requiring hospitals to collect and report health care cost and quality data, and allowing safe drug importation.

Barack Obama's Plan for a Healthy America, Obama '08 (pdf)

"Creating a Health Care System That Works," Obama 08

"Health Care," Barack Obama, U.S. Senate

4) Same-sex marriage should be banned


Barack Obama personally believes marriage should be between a man and a woman but opposes any federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. He believes that marital regulations should be left to the states. Obama supports civil unions and does not consider homosexuality to be immoral.

"Floor Statement of Senator Barack Obama on the Federal Marriage Amendment," (06/05/06) Barack Obama, U.S. Senator for Illinois

Same-Sex Marriage, CNN Election Center 2008

The Candidates on Gay Marriage, Religion and Politics, The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

5) The civil law should be reformed so that lawsuits are less common and damage verdicts against individuals and businesses are lower


Barack Obama voted in favor of legislation (CAFA, 2005) that constricts the ability of plaintiffs to file class-action lawsuits and increases federal court jurisdiction over large class-action lawsuits. In an article co-authored with Hilary Clinton in the New England Journal of Medicine (2006), he calls for reducing the amounts patients can collect for preventable injuries as well as the liability insurance premiums health care providers must pay. Moreover, Clinton and Obama state that "malpractice suits often result when an unexpected adverse outcome is met with a lack of empathy from physicians and a perceived or actual withholding of essential information," and they advocate improved communication between patient and physician as well as greater transparency.

Clinton, Hillary Rodham and Barrack Obama "Making Patient Safety the Centerpiece of Medical Liability Reform" New England Journal of Medicine (05/25/06)

" On Passage of the Bill (S. 5 )" U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 1st Session

6) The US should increase foreign aid


“We must neither retreat from the world nor try to bully it into submission — we must lead the world, by deed and example.” – Barack Obama

Zeleny, Jeff Obama Outlines His Foreign Policy Views, New York Times (04/23/07)

Barack Obama hopes to double foreign aid spending to 50 billion by 2012. Recognizing that "America’s larger purpose in the world is to promote the spread of freedom," Obama says more is required than "simply deposing a dictator and setting up a ballot box." He believes "a relatively small investment in these fragile states up front can be one of the most effective ways to prevent the terror and strife that is far more costly – both in lives and treasure – down the road." America, he says, should insist on reform and eliminate corruption but must do so "not in the spirit of a patron, but the spirit of a partner."

"Remarks of Senator Barack Obama to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs," Obama 08 (04/23/07)

Clamons, Steve Crunching Obama's Numbers on Global Aid TPM Café (04/25/07)

Zeleny, Jeff Obama Outlines His Foreign Policy Views, New York Times (04/23/07)

7) Murderers should face the death penalty


As a state senator in Illinois, Barack Obama pressed for capital punishment reforms and authored legislation to videotape interrogations and confessions. Nevertheless, he supports the death penalty when "the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage."

"The Candidates on the Death Penalty," Religion and Politics, The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

" Topics in the News: Death Penalty," On the Issues

8) The government should stop subsidizing farmers


Barack Obama represents Illinois, an important agricultural state, and sees supporting farm subsidies as an important means of representing his constituents.

Elder, Larry "Obama in Africa: Is he really for the poor?" World Net Daily (08/31/06)

Swanson, Ian "Financial services groups look for bigger say in Doha round," The Hill (04/26/07)

9) Before the social security system runs out of money, we should increase social security taxes to maintain benefits


Barack Obama has not specifically advocated taxation to fix the impending Social Security shortfall, but he believes all alternatives, short of privatizing Social Security, should be explored. This may include postponing the age of retirement, increasing caps on which earned income is taxed, or many other commonly proposed solutions. As a senator, he proposed an additional tax credit for Working Families Savings Accounts (July 2004). He opposes Bush's proposal to divert some Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts.

Barack Obama On the Issues

Behrend, Bruno Obama, Social Security, and Empty Suits (quotes from interview with George Stephanopoulos), Extreme Wisdom.1220 WKRS (05/16/07)

Social Security, Issues CNN Election Center 2008

10) The federal government should be able to hold a suspected terrorist indefinitely without charging them with a crime


Under current procedure, Barack Obama maintains that "a perfectly innocent individual could be held and could not rebut the Government's case and has no way of proving his innocence." Obama has consistently voted against legislation seeking to suspend the constitutionally-guaranteed writ of habeas corpus, which allows defendants to challenge their detentions before a court and to be charged with a crime or released. He acknowledges that the war against terror is extraordinarily difficult and that "our law enforcement agencies are able to detain and interrogate whoever they believe to be a suspect. There are going to be situations in which we cast too wide a net and capture the wrong person. But what is avoidable is refusing to ever allow our legal system to correct these mistakes."

"Floor Statement on the Habeas Corpus Amendment," Barack Obama U.S. Senator for Illinois (09/27/06)

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama on the Military Commission Legislation, Barack Obama U.S. Senator for Illinois (09/28/06)

11) The War on Drugs is a failure and should be curtailed.


Obama has not recently spoken specifically about the War on Drugs but has said: “In today’s globalized world, the security of the American people is inextricably linked to the security of all people. When narco-trafficking and corruption threaten democracy in Latin America, it’s America’s problem too." He has written with candor about his own drug experimentation as a young man and regards that period in his life as a troubled time.

"Remarks of Senator Barack Obama to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs," Obama 08 (04/23/07)

"Barack Obama On Drugs, " On The Issues

12) America should take stronger and more consistent measures against the presence of illegal immigrants in the United States


Barack Obama seeks to improve border security and to regulate people who come in and out of the U.S. He supports building a border fence and favors employer sanctions for those who do not check an immigrant employee's legal status. He approves a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here who pay a fine, stay free from criminal activity, learn English, and wait behind legal applicants applying for citizenship. Obama supports the creation of a guest worker program and has co-sponsored bills to help immigrant higher education students achieve legal status and in-state tuition costs. Nevertheless. He worries that the new "Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2007" will "replace the current group of undocumented immigrations with a new undocumented population … and potentially drive down wages of American workers." Obama will be challenging the proposed bill's point system, saying it devalues the family and "our tradition of having family and employers invite immigrants to come."

Davis, Julie Hirschfeld Senate Votes to Cut Guest Worker Program (AP) Yahoo News (05.23.07)

The Presidential Candidates on Immigration," The New York Times Election Guide 2008

Barabak, Mark Z. "An immigration divide: The compromise bill offered by the Senate is causing Democrats and Republicans to split within party lines," Newsday and Los Angeles Times (05/20/07)

Immigration: CNN Election Center 2008


Postivie Quote of the Day American Labor Party