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Obama's Penny Pritzker talking points memo

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WASHINGTON--Barack Obama finance chair Penny Pritzker sent out a talking points memo --sort of an Obama 101-- last week to the National Finance Committee, the high dollar best fund-raisers on the Obama team.

Taking note: the memo makes clear people still have questions regarding Obama's stand on Israel.

Obama Chief of Staff Jim Messina offers some "staggering" numbers from the field: Contacts made last week: 1,567,919.
Total Volunteers signups since June: 1,831,633.
Total email signups from field staff since June: 2,902,423

click below for the memo

Talking Points Requested on NFC call

Dear NFC,

On last night's call, Jim Messina gave us some staggering information that
demonstrates the strength of our field organization.

- Contacts made last week: 1,567,919

- Total Volunteers signups since June: 1,831,633

- Total email signups from field staff since June: 2,902,423

These encouraging numbers are proof that the resources you are helping provide
are making a direct impact on the ground.

Please see below for talking points on Israel, Iran, and Direct Diplomacy as
well as economic message and taxes. Also, I recommend this youtube video
as a tool to combat any attacks on
Senator Obama's position on Israel.



Israel, Iran, and Direct Diplomacy

McCain is offering four more years of policies that have strengthened Iran

· John McCain is offering four more years of the Bush policies that have
strengthened Iran.

· During the Bush Administration, Iran has dramatically expanded its
nuclear program, going from zero centrifuges to more than 3000 centrifuges.
During the Bush Administration, Iran has expanded its influence throughout a
vitally important region, plying Hamas and Hezbollah with money and arms. During
the Bush Administration, Hamas took over Gaza. Most importantly, the war in Iraq
that John McCain supported and promises to continue indefinitely has done more
to dramatically strengthen and embolden Iran than anything in a generation.

· McCain promises an Iran divestment campaign, even though he refused to
sign on to Barack Obama's bipartisan divestment bill, refused to get his
colleagues to lift an anonymous hold on the bill, and willfully ignores the fact
that trade and investment between Iran and Iraq continue to expand. He
stubbornly refuses to engage in aggressive diplomacy, ruling it out
unconditionally as a tool of American power.

· John McCain stubbornly insists on continuing a dangerous and failed
foreign policy that has clearly made the United States and Israel less secure.
But the United States and Israel cannot afford four more years of an
unwillingness to change course.

Working for peace, in the knowledge that Israel still has bitter enemies

· Barack Obama will work on behalf of peace with the full knowledge that
Israel still has bitter enemies. We see their intention every time a suicide
bomber strikes. We saw their intentions in the Katyusha rockets that Hezbollah
rained down on Israel from Lebanon in 2006. And we see it today in the Qassams
that Hamas fires into Israel every day from Gaza.

· Obama believes we must not negotiate with a terrorist groups intent on
Israel's destruction. We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce
terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements.

· As President, Obama will do everything that he can to help Israel
protect itself from these and other threats. He will make sure that Israel can
defend itself from any attack, whether it comes from as close as Gaza or as far
as Tehran. The defense cooperation between the United States and Israel has been
a model of success, and Obama believes that it can be deepened and strengthened.

Getting tough on Iran, and using tough diplomacy

· The gravest threat to Israel today comes from Iran. Barack Obama's
goal as President will be to eliminate that threat. Ending the war in Iraq will
be an important step toward achieving this goal, because it will increase our
flexibility and our ability to deal with Iran. Make no mistake - Iran has been a
strategic beneficiary of this war, and Obama intends to change that.

· We can't just keep talking tough from Washington in the naïve belief
that bluster alone will cause Iran to give up its nuclear program and support
for terrorism. The time has come for tough, principled, and direct diplomacy to
lay out our clear terms: an end to their pursuit of nuclear weapons; an end to
their support of terrorism; and an end to their threats against Israel and other
countries. To achieve this goal, Obama believes that we must offer incentives -
like the prospect of better relations and integration in the international
community; as well as disincentives - like the prospect of increased sanctions.

· He would seek these sanctions through the United Nations, and
encourage our friends in Europe and the Gulf to use their economic leverage
against Iran outside of the UN. We will be in a stronger position to achieve
tough international sanctions if the United States shows that we are willing to
come to the table.

· And Obama would continue the work that he started in the Senate by
enacting his legislation to make it easier for states to divest their pension
funds from Iran. And make no mistake: if and when we ever have to use military
force against any country, Barack Obama knows we must exert the power of
American diplomacy first.

Jerusalem will always be Israel's capital

* Barack reaffirmed his previously-stated position that Jerusalem must remain
the capital of the Jewish state and must never be re-divided. Jerusalem, which
is one of the most sensitive issues in the conflict, is a final status issue,
which means that both parties have agreed its status will be resolved in the

* But Obama believes certain principles should apply to any agreement on
Jerusalem. Jerusalem will always be Israel's capital. And Jerusalem should never
be re-divided by barbed wire and check points, as it was from 1948 to 1967.
Beyond that, the parties will have to agree on arrangements that they both can
live with.

More work remains as Israel's journey continues

· As we celebrate six decades of independence, we know that more work
remains to be done to secure a lasting peace for the children of Israel. That is
the work that Obama intends to do as President.

· Justice is at the heart of the Jewish journey. Justice is at the heart
of Israel's existence. The journey has been long. In the journey ahead, America
must stand shoulder to shoulder with our ally Israel. Together, we can
strengthen the ties that bind America and Israel. And that is what we will do
when Barack Obama is President of the United States.

Economic Message and Taxes Talking Points

Main Message:

* If you believe our economy needs to change, there's only one choice in this

* Barack Obama will bring the change we need by reversing the policies of the
last 8 years and rebuilding an economy that works for the middle class.

* He'll break the grip of the special interests, and put the middle class
first by giving a tax break of up to $1,000 to 95% of hard working Americans.

* Under Barack Obama's plan middle class families will face the lowest income
tax rates in over 50 years. And overall taxes will be below what they were under
Ronald Reagan.

* Barack Obama will create jobs by ending tax breaks for companies that ship
jobs overseas, and cutting taxes for small businesses and companies that create
jobs in America.

Contrast with John McCain:

* John McCain believes "we've made great progress economically" under George

* Yet, unemployment is at a 5 year high, home values are plummeting, and
household incomes have dropped $2000.

· John McCain's stubborn insistence that the 'fundamentals of the
economy are strong' shows that he is disturbingly out of touch with what's going
in the lives of ordinary Americans.

· He just doesn't get it.

* He's giving nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks for corporations over the next
10 years, but doesn't offer any tax relief to 101 million families or to any
small business.

* In fact, he'll raise taxes by $3.6 trillion on health insurance for average

* While Americans can barely afford a tank of gas, he'll give billions in tax
breaks to Big Oil.

* That's not change we can afford - that's not change at all..

* That's just more of the same failed Bush economics that got us into this
recession to begin with.

* So, the choice in this election is clear. If you are better off than you
were eight years ago and want four more years of a President who puts the
biggest corporations first, then you should vote for John McCain.

* If you believe that it's time for fundamental change in Washington and a
President who puts the middle class first, then you'll vote for Barack Obama.

Joe Biden's Comments on Taxes and Patriotism, and Obama's Tax Plan

Q: Did Joe Biden mean to suggest that it's "patriotic" to pay higher
taxes? Do you agree with what he said?

A: John McCain used to say the he couldn't "in good conscience" support a
massive tax cut for the wealthiest "at the expense of middle class Americans who
most need tax relief." Now he's changed his mind to try to win an election--but
most Americans understand the need for fiscal responsibility, and they're
willing to do what's necessary to turn this economy around. That's what Joe
Biden was talking about.

The middle class has always been the foundation of this country--but working
people have come under assault from the George Bush's economic policies. And
that John McCain wants to continue. Under an Obama presidency, middle class
families will face the lowest income tax rates in over 50 years. He'll offer a
$1,000 tax cut to 95 percent of working families, and overall tax rates will be
below what they were under Ronald Reagan.

Q: Will Barack Obama raise taxes?

A: Under Barack Obama's plan, middle class families will face the lowest
income tax rates in over 50 years. And overall taxes will be below what they
were under Ronald Reagan.

If your family makes less than $250,000 a year, Barack Obama will not raise your
taxes at all--not income taxes, capital-gains taxes, dividend, or payroll taxes.
Obama will provide a tax cut of $1,000 for 95 percent of workers and their
families--real relief for Americans who need it the most. He'll provide
struggling homeowners relief by offering a tax credit that covers ten percent of
their mortgage interest payment every year, and he'll eliminate income taxes
entirely for seniors making less than $50,000. Experts have found that the
middle class will get three times as much tax relief under Obama as they would
under John McCain. He'll cut taxes for small businesses, and for companies that
create jobs in America.

John McCain's tax plan shows just how out of touch he is. He'll
leave out 101 million middle-class families while offering $4 billion in new tax
giveaways to the oil and gas companies. And while you're struggling to fill up
your gas tank and provide for your family, McCain will tax your health benefits
as income for the first time. Maybe that makes sense for someone who thinks "the
fundamentals of our economy are strong," but it doesn't make sense to
hardworking American families.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 29, 2008 10:12 AM.

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