Talk:Barack Obama/Archive 65

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Obama admits delay on Guantanamo

Currently in the article: "ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp "as soon as practicable and no later than" January 2010." Yes, but there is a change, read: Add: "Barack Obama has for the first time admitted that the US will miss the January 2010 deadline he set for closing the Guantanamo Bay prison." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:33, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Maybe this is relevant to the Presidency of Barack Obama article, but we really need to get away from dropping every development of his presidency into his BLP. QueenofBattle (talk) 23:00, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Agreed. What Obama declared in his first days is still relevant to the "First days" section. The slippage of this date will not actually happen until January 22, 2010. By that date, presumably there will be some official news on the trials of the detainees, on the preparations to hold prisoners elsewhere, and on revised plans for the closing of the detention facility. At such time as this is news about something that has actually happened or a formal change of plans and not mere speculation—even correct speculation "admitted to" by the president—it's not relevant to an encyclopedia that is based on the past and not the future. At such time, it will be presented in his biography only as is appropriate to that biography, i.e. this is more about his presidency than him as a person. We might write at such later date as we know how this actually wound up playing out that Obama took delays in stride, or that Obama ultimately overcame Congress' resistance, or that Obama was blocked from keeping this promise as a result of X or Y and the result, as in so then he responded by finding another solution, or so then he responded by forcing their transfer to the U.S. even before a suitable place here was prepared for them, or because of this he resigned the presidency and became a porn star.
The point isn't he said X but X+2 happened, it's the relevance to him as a person. The wheels have been turning all year toward this, it wasn't a forgotten promise. If I tell you I've got reservations to fly in on the red eye and spend the whole day with you, and then a combination of bad weather and problems at the airline cause my flight to be delayed, so I'll be getting in a little later than I expected, it doesn't say anything about me. If, instead of simply making other plans for breakfast and keeping your cell nearby to hear the new ETA, you start thinking less of me and telling everybody I say one thing and do another, that says something about you. Abrazame (talk) 23:18, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Ditto.  Frank  |  talk  02:57, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

For me your comments raise many red flags. You write that this is not relevant here, but in this case why you mention the close of Guantanamo in the main article? Or the good news should be included here, the bad news is somewhere else, like in presidency etc. pages whose visitor's frequency is much lower. I think that it is very important, because Guantanamo, like Afghanistan's and Iraq's war is a symbol in Obama's life, especially after receiving the Nobel peace prize —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:23, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

I'd be inclined to think there is no great harm in a clause stating that in November 2009 Obama stated that the deadline would not be met. Whatever the consensus of editors thinks is right is right. No big deal.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:30, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
We could save space by cutting out "as soon as practicable". Just excess verbiage now.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:32, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
In two successive sentences you miss both the editorial and situational points. To the editorial: threshold for article inclusion isn't "no big deal". Encyclopedias are for big deals, the bigger the deal of the article subject the bigger the deal the threshold for inclusion. To the situational: "as soon as practicable" is now more relevant—not less so—than "one year from now". You do get that, right? One year wasn't practicable, but we're still moving toward the goal and the recent announcement of the trials is the most significant indicator of that? Abrazame (talk) 01:41, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I would say that it goes to the person, not just the policy. However, I'm not inclined to argue about it.--Wehwalt (talk) 01:44, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
What "it" do you mean as going to the person? Abrazame (talk) 01:59, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
It's certainly nothing that Obama did or didn't do that is delaying the situation. When you look at it, it's understanding considering that there's nowhere to put both the guilty and innocent detainees currently held there. Europe won't take the innocent ones like they said they would, the American people hardly want to try them, let alone put them in their prisons. It's probably relevant to describe this whole situation, in the Presidency article of course. Grsz11 02:05, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, we do currently address it at Presidency, though it seems the section was edited to remove some of the content explaining the delay. I've restored the material, which was sourced to the same ref at the end of the paragraph that sources all the other material therein. I've also amended it to note that trials are now scheduled, some in military and others in civilian courts. Sharp trick that, removing the reasons for why something has been delayed and then trying to blame someone else for it. No wonder everyone from anons to admins are confused. Abrazame (talk) 10:16, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I have replaced the paragraph in the Presidency article about the "reasons" with the following text to aid in resolving this. I tried my best to pare it down to the facts as we know them (via the RS) and keep it on Obama's presidency:
By November 2009, Obama stated that the US will miss the January 2010 deadline he set for closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, and acknowledged that he "knew this was going to be hard" as officials are trying to determine what to do with some 215 detainees still held at the US prison. While Obama did not set a specific new deadline for closing the camp, he said it would probably be later in 2010, citing that the delay was due to politics and lack of congressional cooperation.
At the very least, I think we can agree that this belongs in the Presidency article and not here. I'd even go so far as to propose that the current text in this article be removed or pared down quite a bit for the reasons I stated above. QueenofBattle (talk) 15:19, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Obama has terminated the services of Greg Craig over this, signaling that it has been a significant failure. It is notable enough to include in the biography. I agree with 81's assessment that there is a tendency among certain editors to say "the good news should be included here, the bad news is somewhere else." Throwing out all negative information, no matter how notable, into child articles has been a notorious problem on this page. Remember WP:WEIGHT and WP:NPOV. Skoal. Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 16:53, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

I am suggesting that we throw all the information, positive and negative, about this into the appropriate child article. This is a discussion about something that is happening during his presidency, and driven by decisions he has made as president. It is not the same as biographical information, which gets deposited in the BLPs. QueenofBattle (talk) 17:06, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Phoenix and Winslow, that is not what has been happening here. What's been happening is that some editors want to include negative material in the the Barack Obama article when it really belongs in the Presidency of Barack Obama article. Then other editors try to add balance to the entries and it becomes part of this article. Almost the whole entry under Barack_Obama#Presidency should be moved to Presidency of Barack Obama, except that it is already there. I don't think you are reading WP:WEIGHT and WP:NPOV correctly. Or at least not also considering other factors. DD2K (talk) 18:43, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I strongly disagree. Guantanamo Bay is Obama's signature issue. He campaigned on it. Within 24 hours of his inauguration he signed an executive order to close it within one year, and he did it with a fluorish and great media fanfare. This is his version of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Perhaps he should have thought it through more carefully, and considered all of the pitfalls before making that commitment. He may not have already failed, but he knows he's going to fail and he's admitted it. Imagine how notable it would have been if, 10 months after making his proclamation, Lincoln had admitted that he wouldn't be able to free all the slaves! It would have been an enormous personal defeat. So is this.
Obama's involvements with Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, William Ayers, Rod Blagojevich and ACORN have all been carefully reduced to a few words or confined to child articles, even though they have nothing to do with his presidency and (except for Blago) are clearly reflections of Obama as a person, rather than a politician. All are negatives. How do you explain this, if it hasn't been the practice here to throw all negatives into the child articles, and keep only the "good news"? Skoal. Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 21:50, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't disagree with a lot of what you type. Namely, I think the BLP should include much more robust (or at least more balanced) discussions of Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, William Ayers, Rod Blagojevich and ACORN. But, Guantanamo Bay as Obama's signature issue?! Come on. I can think of several issues he is hyped up about before I think of Gitmo: The economy, change for change's sake, America's standing in the eyes of the world, Muslim/American relations, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ethics in government, expensive universal healthcare, the BCS, etc., etc. QueenofBattle (talk) 22:54, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
On Day One of his presidency, why do you suppose he selected this particular issue to act on, over all the others? It was his signature issue during the campaign. At least, that's my impression. On Day One, he did not declare war on the recession, he did not declare that we would be out of Iraq in 16 months (as promised), he did not introduce a health care reform bill ... all of those issues had to wait. First things first. Actions speak louder than words. He chose to act on Gitmo (or at least declare that he would act) because that was his signature issue. If it was a minor issue, he wouldn't have fired Craig over it. Craig used to be a Clintonite: very, very loyal to the Clintons. Craig stabbed them in the back and went over to Obama's camp. This is how he's being treated, now that he's burned his bridges with the Clintons. It's very noteworthy. Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 23:01, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
The fact that you are claiming that closing Gitmo is President Obama's "signature issue", comparing it with the Emancipation Proclamation(showing further that you are misinformed about that issue as well as Lincoln's "promise's), while also wanting more discussion about Wright, Rezko, Ayers and ACORN, shows that your goals seem to be very much in line with trying to POV push. DD2K (talk) 00:41, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Don't you think that's a rather dismissive way of putting it? Also, you are addressing P&W and it was QofB who made the Wright/Rezko/etc comment.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:47, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, first of all, that's incorrect. QoB responded to P&W's suggestions of adding more about those figures with a response that maybe they should be more robust or balanced. QoB did not make some pretty off base claims(Obama, Gitmo, Lincoln, Emanc.Proc.) and then suggest adding more about controversial figures from the 2008 primary/election. My own feelings on those figures are that most were used as a sort of 'guilt by association' smear campaign(most of which President Obama's main opponent refused to take part in, and WP:BLP shows we should be careful about using those type of associations. While I don't mean to be totally dismissive of other editors contributions, it's hard to WP:AGF here. DD2K (talk) 01:22, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) We have to alter the Guantanamo information. Currently, the First Days section says that he announced that the prison would be closed by a certain date. If no further mention is made, the reader will be given the mistaken impression that the intended January closing date will be met (and eventually, that it was met). We could remove the reference from Final Days, but as was pointed out above, it's in there now to indicate what matters he had chosen to give priority during his start. We need a sentence in the Foreign Policy or Iraq War sections along the lines of, "During a tour of Asia in November 2009, Obama announced that he would be unable to meet the January 2010 deadline for the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison, which he had set on the first day of his presidency. The President cited technical, political and legal obstacles as the reason for the delay, and predicted that the final closure would come later in 2010." Okay, two sentences. It may seem like undue weight to some, but the President himself treated it as important, so we should, too. (Looking at the sentences, I recommend placing them at the end of the current Foreign policy section. CouldOughta (talk) 04:18, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

What about a footnote? I should add that I'm entirely an outside voice here, I came in when there was a call for neutral admins to monitor the article. Still, I see POV on both sides. It is POV to say ACORN/Adkins/whatever and it is POV to say yes, he said it then but we aren't actually at Jan 22 yet and it's Congress's fault. Suggest a compromise be found.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:41, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
The problem here is we have two sides: one side that sees political implications (per their own personal ideologies) that may have a huge impact on Obama and his future presidential re-elections (I.E. "look he can't keep his promises!") and the flip side who see the broader picture. This is the same argument that has arisen with the poll numbers, ACORN, etc. A foot note would be best, but I always advocate for a historic look and not rush to anything. Heck, if we wait instead of rushing to judgment, we may see this blow up in Obama's face and become the reason for his loosing the elections, this may work out with little fan fair and everything turned out all right, or it may be the leading cause to his re-election. Either way we don't know and cannot know per WP:CRYSTAL. So instead of jumping around saying "Look look he won't be able to keep his promise" we should instead wait until the event has come and gone, then report on it. By then we will have lots more information and also have much more of a view of how much of an impact it had on Obama. Brothejr (talk) 11:02, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah, one side has personal ideologies, the other sees a broader picture, and presumably lacks personal ideologies? How idealistic. No, it is not quite the same as ACORN. ACORN, the argument was for inclusion of information that was not already there in the article. Here, it is for updating something already there. If Obama's Gitmo pledge is not important enough to be updated, I respectfully suggest we strike it from the article. Incidentally, I'm not going to go and find the diff that the Gitmo closure was added to the article, but it was in January, a quick search shows that. Historic view? We also have the Health Care bill passing one House of Congress in the article, the equivalent of one hand clapping. Historic view? I await with bated breath your deleting, to start with, the health care passage "until the event has come and gone, then report on it. By then we will have lots more information and also have much more of a view of how much of an impact it had on Obama." Be bold.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:18, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
(Ignoring sarcastic remarks) The Gitmo pledge in the article is fine, but as of right now he has not failed to keep that pledge. He only said he might not be able to keep the pledge. However, after the date has come and gone and the pledge was broken, then yes include it, not before per WP:CRYSTAL. I'm not sure how the health care debate has any impact or was brought up here in this section on Gitmo? However, using historic view would mean waiting until there is a bill passed or if it is defeated. Then we would report that it passed or defeated and report the impact it had on Obama's presidency. This is the same issue as ACORN in that it is mainly a political issue and the politics of the day. It has to do with "We must get as much dirt on him and tie as many scandals or supposed scandals around his neck" attitude. If you remove the heated politics of the day, then the issue carries less weight and does not merit inclusion in this article. It's all about politics of the day (I.E. ideologies) and if you remove them then the issue looses weight. Brothejr (talk) 12:09, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
You said, "He only said he might not be able to keep the pledge." Wrong. He said he WILL not be able to keep the pledge. A significant difference. It may reasonably be argued, that since nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize closed about a week after he was inaugurated, it was this pledge that won him the Nobel Peace Prize. Regarding any WP:NOTNEWS complaints, the facts of Obama's election and inauguration were reported here instantly. Commentary about other editors' motives might as well be directed at your own. Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 17:35, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
It's not sarcasm. As for WP:CRYSTAL, I'd respectfully suggest it doesn't apply. If a spaceship is sent to Neptune and it doesn't make it past Mars and is drifting out there, must we wait until nonarrival at Neptune to report it? Obama has stated that the camp will not be closed in that time frame. Stretching back into the law school days, I remember a concept, I think called anticipatory repudiation which says that if one party says a contract will not be completed, the other side can sue based on that and does not have to wait until the technical noncompletion. I'm not comparing what Obama said with a contract, I'm simply saying that announcing it will not be fulfilled relieves us of any need to wait until Jan 22 As for the health care thing I am suggesting that by the same logic applied by you, that no "progress report" such as passage by the House should be in the article.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:49, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Wehwalt, although I do see the point being made about mentioning the fact that President Obama will not meet the self-imposed deadline of January 22nd, 2010, your analogy is a poor one. The 'spaceship' is not 'drifting out there' it's still on it's way to Neptune and almost every aspect of the flight plan is still in place. Although it's delayed. While mentioning that the date will probably be delayed, it's absolutely absurd and shows an obvious WP:POV comparing the delay to Lincoln not freeing the slaves and claiming it's a 'failure'. If one has even the slightest inclination of how Washington D.C. works, arguing about how many detainees go to Illinois or about how many go to Michigan, is not a 'failure', but part of the process. So if Gitmo is closed on February 12th, or March 13, instead of January 22nd, the deadline wasn't met but the promise was fulfilled. Anything else is just WP:POV. DD2K (talk) 15:05, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Sending a spaceship to Neptune generally involves bouncing it off the gravity wells of several planets, so if it isn't making it past Mars, it isn't in position of the next richochet shot. By your logic, Neville Chamberlain was quite correct with "peace for our time" (my current project, btw), our time is not yet come. But it may come someday ...--Wehwalt (talk) 22:14, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Collecting some arguments from one side:

  • "Maybe this is relevant to the Presidency of Barack Obama..." User:QueenofBattle
  • "it's not relevant to an encyclopedia that is based on the past and not the future..." User:Abrazame
  • "I'd even go so far as to propose that the current text in this article be removed..." User:QueenofBattle
  • "What about a footnote?" User:Wehwalt
  • "Heck, if we wait instead of rushing to judgment..." User:Brothejr

So hide this new information or even delete the whole sentence about Guantanamo from the main article to avoid the inclusion of the bad news. Or make an unvisible footnote by one point of lettersize. Or wait.

And what happened? Nothing. There is no change. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:57, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Well, I've made suggestions, but even though I'm an admin, I'm just another editor when it comes to consensus and there is not consensus for what I've proposed.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:30, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

There seems no reason to wait until the deadline expires, since Obama has said clearly that the deadline will not be met. Eventually the deadline will pass and we'll probably update the text, as appropriate, to say that the date passed as predicted. A footnote next to the appropriate sentence in the First Days would work in most contexts but not here; most readers would assume it's a source reference rather than an explanation. The language I proposed above is clear, nonjudgmental (for example, says "announced" rather than "admitted"), and leaves in place the First Days' mention of Obama's original deadline, which is there now because it was the consensus that it merited inclusion in this article. CouldOughta (talk) 02:59, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Economic growth and stimulus

Vis-a-vis this edit[1] I do not wish to edit war, but it takes things in the wrong direction to remove a reliably sourced (and rather obvious) statement that a consensus among economists believe that the federal stimulus contributed to the short-term economic growth numbers, in favor of a statement cited directly to the opinion piece in question that a certain "award-winning" (an unencyclopedic descriptor) economist believes it did. Why should we care what one particular economist thinks instead of any other? The point is that the stimulus, a program backed by Obama, contributed to economic growth. This is an article about the president and to a lesser extent his policies, not about what individual economists have to say. We could simply say that the stimulus stimulated growth, something obvious that many reliable sources simply say directly. The stronger claim that the stimulus caused the end of the recession is widely believed, but less widely so, and therefore it's better to go with the more modest claim that a consensus of economists (per the UPI source) believe the stimulus had an effect. We can probably find other reliable sources that cite polls of different groups of economists as well, if additional sourcing is necessary. It's pretty important to say that the stimulus created short-term growth, because without that the comments about the "double-dip" concerns over deficit spending don't have any context. The issue here is balancing the short-term stimulus of increased deficit spending versus medium and longer-term economic results, first of ending the stimulus program and later of the accumulated debt and its effect on credit markets. Anyway, we need some way to characterize the effects of the stimulus if we're going to say anything. Quoting one economist doesn't show much; quoting multiple economists is overkill and still doesn't prove anything. Words like "some", or "many" are weasel-words. So we need some way to characterize the prevailing / majority opinion. "Most" may overstate things, or maybe not. "Consensus" is sourced, and about as good as it gets. I note also that User:ThinkEnemies is correct to use the revised 2.8% figure instead of the initial 3.5% figure for 3Q economic growth. - Wikidemon (talk) 19:56, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps I shouldn't have given so much weight to Paul Krugman's opinion. My intention was just to correct the third quarter growth, I saw the consensus claim and attempted to fix what was seemingly an absurd statement. Economists cannot find consensus on what bought us out of the Great Depression, let alone the effects of Obama's stimulus, or Bush's TARP. This is where the consensus claim originated: New Consensus Sees Stimulus Package as Worthy Step. I'm sure we can use this article, the trick is to do it, NPOV. ThinkEnemies (talk) 20:30, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Is your objection specifically to the word "consensus"? I think you're right that the news articles (though reliable sources as such) are using the word to announce something that doesn't happen, economists agreeing on things. Maybe they're struggling with the same thing we are here. It's obvious that most economists in one way or another credit the additional spending stimulus package with being a net upward influence on the short-term economics numbers. Whether that gives the package "credit" for ending the recession may be a different story. We could say something like "various economists" (?) have opined that the stimulus package resulted in short-term improvement in the economic growth numbers, and then cite Krugman and a few others. Then go on to say (as we do now) that Obama (and others?) have voiced concerns that too much stimulus can have negative effects such as causing a slide back into recession or long-term drag on growth. Is there a good way to say this? - Wikidemon (talk) 22:08, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, if feel that "consensus" would be an inaccurate description. I agree with your proposals, I'm not sure we should into get detail in this BLP. Maybe the Presidency of Barack Obama article would be a better location. For now, I'll get rid of Krugman and change to the NYT reference, replace "helping the economy emerge from a recession" with your edit "helped create economic growth," and go from there. ThinkEnemies (talk) 01:11, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
These edits look good.[2] Thanks for discussing. I think this little section ended up stronger than either of our initial efforts! - Wikidemon (talk) 03:35, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Obama's first state dinner's crashed

Closed - Editor blocked for WP:3RR, misuse of multiple IPs for block evasion
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.


Add: "It's not clear if the pins on the man's tuxedo actually are official, but his presence at President Obama's first state dinner wasn't, and neither was his wife's." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:31, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, a curious event. I think the most logical place to mention that would be as an aside in an article about the state dinner itself (if one exists) or an article about the couple should it come to pass that they are in fact on the "real housewives" show and thereby become "notable" per Wikipedia standards. - Wikidemon (talk) 21:40, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

10,000 additional troops to Afghanistan

Closed - Editor blocked for WP:3RR, misuse of multiple IPs for block evasion
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.


Possibly add: The Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama seeks 10,000 additional troops for Afghan war. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

It seems not notable to Obama the person, and a bit too recent (as well as a subtle attempt to justify criticism). Less subtlety makes for better articles - rather than looking for news articles that can be used to justify criticism (criticism is good!), why not try to develop well-written additions that provide proper weight to the proper article? I do agree that the situation in Afghanistan is a béka segge alatt, but I don't think it is yet perceived by reliable sources as being Obama's "Vietnam War". --4wajzkd02 (talk)
I think it's impact is important. How many Nobel Peace Prize winner asked more troops for a war, which is yield more deaths? "criticism is good" the number of occurences of the word "criticism" is only 2 in the main article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:10, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Please see WP:SOAPBOX --Loonymonkey (talk) 00:20, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Also, consider signing up for an account. You post here regularly using a variety of IPs - why not become an established editor (its not like you're not easily identifiable)? Could you also please sign your posts? You've received a number of notices (both manual and automated) asking you to do so. --4wajzkd02 (talk) 00:30, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I know the anon is soapboxing, but the question "How many Nobel Peace Prize winner asked more troops for a war?" seemed minorly interesting. Off the top of my head, I can think of: Al Gore; Shimon Peres; Yitzhak Rabin; Frederik Willem de Klerk; Menachem Begin; Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat; Lê Ðức Thọ; Henry Kissinger; Cordell Hull. There might be others who fit the affirmative answer though. LotLE×talk 22:14, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Interesting. Regarding soapboxing, how does one tell the difference between that and trolling? On another high-traffic article on probation, one similar post by an IP led to weeks of discussion pro and con. It was then noticed that the edit was the IPs first and only edit to WP. Sometimes I think contentious articles are too great a source of Lulz to the easily amused. --4wajzkd02 (talk) 23:28, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Obama Job Approval Down to 49%

Wikipedia doesn't track daily vagaries in politicians' approval ratings.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

read: "The latest Gallup Daily tracking results show 49% of Americans approving of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, putting him below the majority approval level for the first time in his presidency."

Quite remarkable to mention it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:28, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

There is a good article for this information, and it is --> over there. LotLE×talk 23:38, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
This has already been included in the Presidency of Barack Obama article, where it is relevant. BLPs are about someone's life, not necessarily what happens during their presidency. QueenofBattle (talk) 02:37, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) The steep nose dive in Obama's job approval ratings is notable. It has declined from 70% to 48% in Obama's first 10 months according to Gallup, a very reliable polling group, and has been confirmed in several other polls. This is faster than any other president in recent history. I believe it is notable enough to mention in his biography. Judging from the number of Google News hits, it's very notable. Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 16:49, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

You must remember this is an encyclopedia biography of the man, not a day to day news report of the ups and down of his popularity. (Also note what we believe, speculate, want to believe in our gut, etc, does not play into what goes into this article or Wikipedia as a whole.) Also, we must remember to take a historical approach which means what might look big now might not be that really big later on and what we might over look now could be really be big in his life, but we don't know it yet. While the numbers look bad, and they are, for all we know they could quickly change direction and skyrocket. We don't know that and thus we should and can not speculate on anything. Also, finally while the talking heads, blogs, and editorials may be speculating on something, we do not. Brothejr (talk) 18:19, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
This isn't "day to day," Bro. (I've always wanted to call somebody that, now I have an excuse.) ;-) This is a cumulative result over the course of his first 10 months in office. It's remarkable considering his enormous early popularity, and when compared to other recent presidents. I repeat, no other recent president has experienced a slide in popularity this steep. If the 2012 election were being held today, he might lose. And if he's a one-term president, this 10-month period is about 20% of his presidency. It's significant enough. Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 21:43, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
It seems fine to note a general declining arc in the President's popularity, because after ten months in office and such a significant swing, in my opinion this (barely) cracks the surface of being biographically significant enough to mention. I'm okay leaving it off as well (but if we leave the decline off we should also remove the initial popularity because that's no longer the case). Who knows where it goes from here? We definitely shouldn't include every peak, valley, and twitch in the numbers, but a sentence or two describing the popularity overall of the presidency is okay IMO. I won't get into speculating what this bodes. Prognostication is for other people, other articles, and other websites. - Wikidemon (talk) 22:56, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
The reason I call it day to day (and it is) is because how the wording was and how quick certain editors were to introduce the new numbers, especially if they are negative. (It seems certain editors are always quick to cite negative info but slow to cite positive info or take a historical approach due to the politics of the moment.) While there may be historical implications that the drop is the largest seen in many years, what about the next couple months? Will it go down lower? Will it rise? Who knows and we cannot and will not speculate what things means until well after the event has come and gone per WP:CRYSTAL. This is the main biography, not his presidency article. These type of daily numbers (and yes they are) should be better reported in the presidency article and if they become something big enough, with enough historical look at them, then they could be included in main bio. Brothejr (talk) 11:09, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
They're already big enough, Bro. Like I said: it's the steepest decline in job approval of any recent president. This is already notable, just like his election, his inauguration, and his Nobel Peace Prize. Certain editors were very quick to introduce those positive facts, but I'm not questioning their motives. I don't see any encyclopedic point in delaying this entry. Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 21:30, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
The encyclopedic point would be that the approvals will change again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after... It's no more notable that Obama's Gallup rating has taken a dip than it is that his WaPo rating has gone relatively high (56%). His inauguration is history - nothing can change that he was inaugurated. His Peace Prize is also history. Today's approval ratings? News, not history. --GoodDamon 21:42, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Approval ratings from 20 January to 24 November are also history. Nothing can change them either. The fact that a different job approval rating is recorded by the Gallup Organization for 25 November does not alter the Gallup rating for 24 November, or any previous day. More to the point, Obama's slide in the ratings from 20 January to 24 November is history. It is the steepest decline of any president in recent history; this is a notable and well-sourced fact. If such facts are not to be included, why have a section on "Cultural and political image" at all? This is undeniably a dimension of his political image. Phoenix and Winslow (talk) 23:13, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

(Resetting indent) A couple of things... First, you appear to be suggesting that we should track Obama's daily approval ratings. That's not what an encyclopedia is for, and this is certainly not the right article for anything like that. Just because Gallup has recorded approval ratings for Obama doesn't mean 1) that they particularly impact his life (remember, this is a BLP) or 2), that they're particularly notable, when they're still in high territory, above his disapproval ratings. So Gallup (and, like I pointed out, Washington Post) have had blips. So what? They've been holding steady (with statistically insignificant variation) for three months now - see If there was a serious dip that affected him directly, such as the one into the 20s George W. Bush suffered near the end of his presidency, that might arguably be worth mentioning in his BLP. As is, his approvals remain higher than his disapprovals, and remain steady. They don't appear to have affected him personally or politically. --GoodDamon 23:48, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

And now I see today Gallup has Obama's favorable rating up again. Yet somehow, no one's suggesting that this absolutely, positively must go into the article. I'm gonna go ahead and close this as resolved. --GoodDamon 23:42, 30 November 2009 (UTC)


article is already semi-protected due to vandalism
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

There should be more protection on it to help provent vadlism! [[User:wikigoogleplex|="brown"|wikigoogleplex —Preceding undated comment added 02:35, 2 December 2009 (UTC).

Why? --OuroborosCobra (talk) 04:23, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Truth is Vandalism at Barack Obama. Don't you know that there cant be anything negative at that article. Read the FAQ's. Other people who are smarter than us have already decided what can be in the article and what is (Ahem), left out.--Palin12 (talk) 21:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Attacking Wikipedia when it doesn't support your view point, but citing Wikipedia policy when it does is an excellent rhetorical tactic. I'll leave out any comment about the ethical connotations because that would be assuming bad faith. Manticore55 (talk) 22:34, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Recent Afghanistan speech

Are people planning on creating a subarticle on this? If so where is the article being worked on? Remember (talk) 01:31, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

I would think it would belong in the article on the Presidency of Barack Obama. This is a biographical article, and more time will need to pass before we know the biographical legacy on Barack Obama's life. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 04:25, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
We should at least briefly mention it in the "War in Afghanistan" section of this article. Nothing wordy, just that on December 1, 2009, he announced that he would send 30,000 more troops over to Afghanistan. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:05, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with OuroborosCobra, Presidency of Barack Obama is where it should be mentioned. (talk) 23:54, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Yep, we really need to resist dumping everything that happens while the man is president into his BLP. QueenofBattle (talk) 06:02, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
To keep our 1:5 ratio of substantive, straightforward responses at this page, I'd note that User:Remember was not suggesting it be added to this article, and tell him that it's my guess from these responses (and no others) that no editor active at this page is working on one. You would be welcome to try your hand at creating one yourself if you'd like. It may prove useful in determining what, if anything, to distill about the speech and/or reaction to it to the Presidency or Public image articles. Good luck. Abrazame (talk) 16:50, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

img not showing up?

Is it just me or is the image under the "Presidency" section not showing up? (File:US_President_Barack_Obama_taking_his_Oath_of_Office_-_2009Jan20.jpg) Despite the code appearing correct the thumbnail image is not being generated. [[File:US President Barack Obama taking his Oath of Office - 2009Jan20.jpg|thumb|right|Barack Obama takes the [[oath of office]] of the president of the United States.]]

Barack Obama takes the oath of office of the president of the United States.

I already refreshed the page but no image...It only seems to show up when I specify the image size right after the file name.

With size specified it shows up

-- GateKeeper (talk) @ 08:58, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

I see that image in the Presidency section fine, at the appropriate size. Can anybody explain why this user is having this trouble? Abrazame (talk) 18:36, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Is the right chart filled out currectly?

Banned user
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

It says [3] next to "christian" for his religon which should not be mentioned... if it should be mentioned I doubt that's accurate and I don't see anything about how he got to be Senator of Ilinois. he was not native to that state. —Preceding unsigned comment added by B.o.isdevil (talkcontribs) 18:16, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Follow the sources in the article, the information is accurate. He is a Christian, and being native born of Illinois is not a requirement to serve as a senator. Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts and had previously run against Ted Kennedy for his senate seat, despite being born and growing up in Michigan. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 18:52, 5 December 2009 (UTC)


Starting a new section though there is a similar one above. Obviously we currently have a section on Afghanistan, but it is now outdated given recent events. The speech last week was by far his most important statement to date, and discussing the newest strategy is a bigger deal then mentioning the fact that McChrystal replaced McKiernan. I don't think we should necessarily expand that section (or only expand it slightly), but rather condense what we have now and then update the situation, probably using some of the basics here and elsewhere (I'm not sure which sub-article, if any, in the "Obama series" has the latest info on the war in Afghanistan).

Are there any objections to me working on some revisions along these lines? I'm not trying to import every detail from his presidency into his bio article, but since we already talk about Afghanistan and would at least behoove us to keep the information current. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 23:57, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

No objections by me. I believe it's a good idea to update the main page with a mention that the POTUS gave a significant speech on the war and is sending X amount of new troops.
Although most of the new information should go into the Presidency_of_Barack_Obama article, there should definitely be a mention here too. DD2K (talk) 00:13, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Considering that it does represent a major policy decision, and possibly his most significant action regarding Afghanistan to date in his presidency, I would support revising the section. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 00:12, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

why isnt obama being the FIRST president to use a teleprompter not their? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gofrog1 (talkcontribs) 01:36, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Well first, this comment doesn't belong here. Secondly, President Obama is not the first President to use a teleprompter, Dwight D. Eisenhower was. Truman could have been the first, but declined to use one. Every other President after Eisenhower used one at one time or the other. President Reagan used a teleprompter almost exclusively:
Also, the main reason President's like Reagan and Obama use a teleprompter is because they are good at it and it's more comfortable for them to use than the index cards that were used before(and still in some cases). I hope that answers your seemingly innocent question. DD2K (talk) 01:55, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Getting back to Afghanistan, I recommend keeping the addition to the Afghan war section short, as for example, adding these two sentences to the end of the current last paragraph: "McChrystal requested still more reinforcements in a report submitted the following August. After an extensive policy review, Obama announced in a speech at West Point that he would send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops, with the expectation that troop levels could be reduced again after 18 months." I think that covers the vital points: the source of the request, the fact that there was a substantial review, the notable venue for the announcement, and the idea that Obama views it as a temporary increase. We could give the duration of the review, since it was much remarked upon, but I think it's a little too minor for inclusion. At first I thought we'd need to say that McChrystal was implementing a counterinsurgency plan, but on review I think it's already implied by the earlier mention that McChrystal was chosen because his background made him a good choice to implement a counterinsurgency strategy. We might soon want to add a short sentence on the debate that accompanies the congressional financial authorization, if enough Democrats oppose and Republicans support to make the party reversal notable. CouldOughta (talk) 04:15, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

First Nobel peace prize winner who leads two wars

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Please add this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Nowhere in the criteria of being a Nobel Peace Prize winner does it say you cannot be in charge of a nation at war. I'd remind you that Yasser Arafat was given the Nobel Prize while the PLO and its descendants still had armed conflict with Israel as one of the central stated policies. It is not notable to the award in actuality, therefore it is not notable to add it here for the sake of POV pushing and activism. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 20:49, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Don't forget Henry Kissinger. - Wikidemon (talk) 20:50, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

(<-) WP:DNFTT - WP:SOAPBOXing editor previously blocked for WP:3RR, misuse of multiple IPs for block evasion, as documented here --4wajzkd02 (talk) 20:57, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Attempts on life?

Nothing is said on the attempts on his life of which there were allegedly four. Kind of useful information considering that he is the prez (talk) 05:07, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

See the articles 2008 Barack Obama assassination scare in Denver and Tennessee.--JayJasper (talk) 05:17, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

The IP referred to "allegedly four" attempts. Were there more than two documented? --4wajzkd02 (talk) 21:12, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Featured Article?

Obama has been President of the United States for 10 months only. For those of you who don't know, that's less than one year. As to why this is a featured article, while President George Bush's isn't, I have no clue. He hasn't done enough noteworthy things in his life to make this one of "Wikipedia's best articles". The man isn't even a year into his presidency yet! His life before his presidency is uneventful. In addition to all of that, much of this page demonstrates Wikipedia's major flaw of bias opinions in articles. Within the "Economic Management" section, it says "Various economists have credited the stimulus package with helping to create economic growth", and while it mentions the opinions of possibly only a few individuals, it mentions nothing about any opposing arguments made from any credible sources. This article is about a less-than-noteworthy individual to be a featured article and also fails to completely Wikipedia standards. i do not feel it should be a featured article and think that the star in the upper right hand corner should be removed. --Stevedietrich (talk) 21:46, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

This has been a featured article since well before he ran for president. "Featured Article" status is not a way of conferring an honor upon the subject of an article. Rather, it is a way of recognizing articles that are well-written and meet certain criteria for quality on Wikipedia. I'm really not sure I would call the President of the United States "less than noteworthy" but it doesn't really matter. Far less well-known subjects also have featured articles written about them. --Loonymonkey (talk) 21:51, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) Featured Articles are those that have appeared on the front page of Wikipedia, and have if necessary survived a review process to ensure that they are still of sufficient quality. The assessment is based on the quality of the article and, sometimes, interest to a general audience. They are not rewards to the article subject nor are they based in the case of people on their amount of experience or whether they deserve it. We can't go back in time to change history - the article was on the front page so it is a featured article. Why would you think that having Obama as a featured article would mean we should have Bush as opposed to, say, the Prime Minister of England or premier of some other country? They definitely are not tit-for-tat matters where featuring a thing of one persuasion necessitates featuring another for balance - although I'll note that on election day 2008 Obama's and John McCain's articles were both featured, a huge effort in terms of editing time and as far as I know a first for Wikipedia. If you want to know the process by which this became a featured article - twice - you can follow the links relating to the featured article nominations and reviews. If you have a specific suggestion for the economics section feel free to propose it but, again, "balance" is not really a goal here. It is to present the prevailing viewpoints and any significant minorities. Most, perhaps nearly all, economists would say that an economic stimulus of federal deficit spending does exactly that - it creates a short term stimulus to the economy. One of the cites I believe describes a "consensus" among economists, although if you read the sections immediately above this one there was a reasonable objection to using the word "consensus" even though the source said so. - Wikidemon (talk) 21:56, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Today's Featured Article is on Henry Wells (general). I'm not sure whom we need to feature as the tit-for-tat pair to Wells :-) (it indeed looks like a nice article, FWIW, of someone I had not myself heard of before today). LotLE×talk 22:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

I understand. Thank you for explaining this to me. However I think in response to the economy, that opposing views should be expressed right next to the supporting views, because balance I believe IS ESSENTIAL to a good, and certainly a featured Wikipedia page, or else the article becomes biased. If it only shows one side of the argument, then readers new to the subject may not even know objection exists, technically speaking. It is our jobs as contributors to Wikipedia to present facts and to give a reader understanding of a topic. I understand now why the article is Featured.--Stevedietrich (talk) 22:59, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Balance does not mean that "the good" must be equally weighted by "the bad". Please familiarize yourself with WP:NPOV. Tarc (talk) 13:35, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

"The man isn't even a year into his presidency yet!" - This statement indicates that only through a significant time period, in office, he can truly succeed. The truth is, this man has already won the nobel peace prize for his incredible efforts, both nationally and internationally. He has also, might i add, lived a very full and debated life before coming to his current position. If you think that people are only noteworthy when they have spent a reasonable time in office, then think again. This man has already a lot more to say for both his life, and presidency, than George bush. The fact is, this brilliant wikipedia article reflects his life fully. Stakingsin (talk) 13:32, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

"this man has already won the nobel peace prize for his incredible efforts" -- Are you serious? "This man" himself said he has not earned this honor. While I agree with you that Barack is certainly noteworthy, I can not see how ANYONE could see the award as anything but a political statement by a small liberal-leaning group. And to say that this article with WP restrictions and limited space "reflects his life fully" is just a ludicrous. Codron (talk) 17:37, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

First African-American President?

It is not definitively known who was the first African-American president, and evidence exists that other presidents besides Obama may have had African American ancestry. Evidence is particularly strong for Warren G. Harding, who in some reports is stated as saying he himself had no idea whether or he was of African American ancestry. The Harding case has been studied extensively in academia, and through genealogical reports there is a very strong case to be made that Harding may indeed be the first african american president. As such i believe that the sentence stating that barak obama is the first african american president be changed to either state that he is possibly the first african american president rather than the definitive statement that is currently in the article. I had previously changed this and added a footnote from a reliable academic source from yale. The change would only add one word of prose to the text, and would allow this article to conform with the Warren G. Harding article which states (and has so for quite some time) that President Harding could possibly be the first African American president.XavierGreen (talk) 15:32, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Obama is credited by the vast majority of sources to be the first African-American president. Obscure, speculative, or technical arguments to the contrary aren't enough for Wikipedia to go against the grain on this. Race is a socially constructed concept, albeit with some roots in ancestory, appearance, genetics, ethnicity, etc. Harding did not self-identify and was not perceived by others as African-American during his lifetime - in fact, he denied it and the only public proponent of the notion was a racist antagonist who dug up old family rumors and scandals that Harding wanted suppressed. The question is not whether there is a traceable tie to an ancestor from Africa. We all have African ancestry. But in this case there is very little dispute that Obama is African-American, and very little acceptance now or during his lifetime that Harding was. The source in the Harding article says that if it had been revealed that Harding had an African ancestor, then the whites of America would have rejected him as black according to the [racist] one-drop rule at the time. Those two qualifications are important. He never was revealed to be black so it's all a contingent argument, and if he had been it would have been according to the standards of the time, not today's standards. By today's evidence and standards, Obama is African-American and Harding was not. All of this could make an interesting footnote to the Obama article, akin to the New York Times piece on the subject, but the article is too long to get into tidbits. Once we get into ancestry and genealogy, Obama is related to Dick Cheney and the British royal family. We could devote entire articles to distant relations. - Wikidemon (talk) 17:31, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Wikidemon is absolutely right. People thought of him as being a White person. Even if there were Blacks/African-Americans in his family tree, that wouldn't make him Black/African-American. Barack Obama is the first Black/African-American President. Harding shouldn't be able to get that honor based on a technicality. SMP0328. (talk) 17:39, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree totally with Wikidemon. The only 'evidence' that Harding had African ancestry is from his political opponents that tried to pin the label on his for political reasons and as a derogatory hit piece. According to the theory of evolution, we all came from Africa. Small technicalities that have no basis in fact don't belong in a WP:BLP. There is no concrete proof. In fact, the innuendo is flimsy at best. DD2K (talk) 18:45, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
There were allegations that the Harding family had African American ancestry before Warren G. Harding was even born. This is not an issue of race, it is an issue of origin. You have confused race with origin. It is possible to be an African-American and not see oneself as being black. The term African-American does not constru self identified race. The wikipedia definition of African American states "In the United States, the terms are generally used for Americans with at least partial Sub-Saharan African ancestry." Had the article stated that Barack Obama was the first black president i would not have brought the arguement up, however it states that he is the first African-American president. I do not advocate removing the sentence, only to insert the word possibly as there is still doubt from reliable academia. As for the arguement that Obama should not be denied the honor of being black, i think that would be a unsourcable matter of opinion.XavierGreen (talk) 19:18, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
As per Wikipedia:BLP the entire sentance would have to be removed, as there is no way to identify whether or not Barak Obama was indeed the first African American president.XavierGreen (talk) 19:29, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
The keyword there is "allegations"; we're talking about a period of history where accusing someone of having "Negro blood" was a serious slur. There is little to substantiates these things about past presidents, none of whom was ever widely described as being anything but Caucasian. We're not about to insert dubious qualifiers like "probably" into this article. Tarc (talk) 19:43, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
That Obama is the first African-American president is verified by the vast majority of reliable sources. There's no mistake about the term - African American, which in American discourse is more or less synonymous with black, refers to race as socially constructed, a blend of self and external identification, not distant or speculative ancestry. At any rate, the job of the encyclopedia is to report what the sources say (that Obama is the first AA president) and then if necessary explain that for the reader, not to decide on our own definitions in advance then try to fit the facts into them. It is an interesting historical footnote, and would make an interesting footnote here, to say something like "Although Obama is the first president known to be of recent black African ancestry, and the first to be acknowledged generally as African-American, there were allegations made during the lifetime of a former president, Warren Harding, that Harding's great-grandmother was black." However, there are very few sources for this historical curiosity, and not enough as a WP:WEIGHT matter for Wikipedia to go against the grain of the sources. That may be useful in a different article. - Wikidemon (talk) 19:50, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I did not make up this definition i am espousing, it is present on the African-American page, it is not synonymous with the term black. The term African-American refers to ethnicity similar to German-American or Mexican-American, whilst the term black refers to race such as white or latino do. Not all of the sources state Obama is the first african-american president. There are even books on the subject that state he is not. I do agree that there is a signifigant difference between Obama and Harding, so would adding the word self-identified with a footnote be a more acceptable solution? The statement currenty in the text does not comform toWikipedia:BLP as it cannot be completely verified because there are sources stating to the contrary. As for weight, there are dozens of sources which suggest that Harding is of African-American ancestry. There are sources from Yale University stating this. Now if you don't regard that as a reputable source what do you?XavierGreen (talk) 21:20, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
The question of BLP violations, and removing the statement that Obama is the first African American president, are red herrings and don't bear further discussion, at least not from me. We have broad consensus to the point of adding a FAQ (see #2, above), and the overwhelming weight of the sources. As far as I know there are no reliable sources that say Obama is not the first AA president on account of there being an AA before him, and scant few that claim that he isn't AA because of some different version of AA. Regarding whether Harding is worth a footnote or parenthetical comment here, I haven't seen many sources that mention the theories regarding Harding's ancestry in the context of Obama (sources that discuss Harding outside of the context of Obama are impertinent, because describing them in the article would constitute WP:SYNTH). A few sources, even a few thousand, does not establish much weight next to the hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions that describe Obama as the first AA president. I think we've laid out our positions, and my opinion is as I said that it's interesting but not substantial enough to be worth a mention here. You're welcome to try to gain consensus and if the balance of other editors here thought it is worth mentioning I would defer to that. But it seems a long shot. - Wikidemon (talk) 21:44, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
German Americans are Americans of German descent, not persons born in Germany. I doubt that a discussion that has lasted only 6 hours could be considered to have reached consensus. As for a reliable source, Harding himself stated that he did not know if he was of African-American decent or not, and left the possibility open. See Another possible solution that would allievate my concerns, would be to change the word African-American to black and add a footnote about Harding. That change would seem to be acceptable since you believe the two words are one and the same.XavierGreen (talk) 22:04, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
As for FAQ#2 it does not address my concerns as i am not putting forth the arguement that Obama is not an African American, which is the scope of that faq.XavierGreen (talk) 22:08, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
The overwhelming consensus, and reliable sourcing, indicate Barack Obama is the first African American President. There would have to be at least some sort of reliable information to even consider changing the lede. There is not, it's all speculation and innuendos, and there is no possible way that it will be or should be changed. We are not going to change the wording on the fact that Obama is the first AA President because of some accusations made towards Harding or his family. That should be the end of this. No criteria for change.DD2K (talk) 23:12, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

(<-)As te editor that reverted XavierGreen's addition on this topic, I agree with those that oppose the addition (everyone else who has commented, so far). --4wajzkd02 (talk) 23:34, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

*Digging even a little further into this, I see that this has been removed numerous times from the Warren G. Harding article, and it doesn't belong even there. Wikipedia editor Stude62 provides a long explanation why this does not belong on Wikipedia, and then again here.

*Hardings ancestry is listed here, and there is nothing there about any African American ancestors. This addition is nothing but innuendos and accusations to this portion of Harding's life. This not only doesn't belong in the Barack Obama article, it doesn't belong in the Warren G. Harding article(except for mentioning that it was a racial attack made by Harding's opponents), and surely doesn't belong in the List of African American firsts as this same editor inserted here. Someone should contact an admin and have these removed. Giving a NYT link that discusses the issue but provides no proof means nothing. The same with claiming that Yale is a reliable source. Neither pieces prove anything and there is nothing to the pieces but accusations made by other people. DD2K (talk) 03:09, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

What about the words spoken by President Harding himself? The source you cited for his ancestry is not complete, nor does regulary state the ethnicity of anyone. Such a presumtion that it infers anything would be synthesis. I did not edit the Warren Harding article to state what is there currently, someone else did and i would not have used the source they suggested as there are more reputable sources such as the one i presented earlier. I do believe it belongs somewhere, and if i am turned down here that does not mean that it should not be listed on the African American firsts page.XavierGreen (talk) 05:46, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we need to erase history here, certainly Obama can stand up for himself BLP-wise. That Harding was accused of being of African descent (by a racist, but not without some basis, and without insinuating that African ancestry is anything to be disparaged) is certainly true. Perhaps he was. That is information of an encyclopedic nature. The issue, I think, is where to put it and how to describe it. I have been advocating that this main article about Obama is not the best place. That doesn't mean we should ignore it though. - Wikidemon (talk) 07:43, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
His own words? You mean when he said "how do I do" or something like that, when asked if one of his ancestors ever 'jumped the fence'? That's your proof? Listen, 75 years from now if some editor tries to edit the Barack Obama article with notes from the Jerome Corsi book to claim Obama was the first Kenyan born American President, there would be the same reaction. You can't use cited text from a political attack book, with no basis in mainstream reality, to make claims on Wikipedia. Where it should be mentioned is the Warren G Harding article, and only there as a political attack. There is absolutely no basis in fact for these claims. DD2K (talk) 11:41, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

His former pastor/alias

Answered, no reason to leave thread open.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Why isn't his former anti americain pastor mentioned in his page. He called this man his mentor and a mentor is one who helps create a man.

Also why isn't his alias mentioned in the page. Barry Sotto or however it was spelled.

These are signs of the liberal bias that is always be thrown at wikipedia. If you wish to be taken serious then include the bad with the good. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:16, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

First of all, both points are covered in separate articles because they are just simply to trivial to be covered here. Jeremiah Wright controversy & Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories cover these two points you have raised.--Sooo Kawaii!!! ^__^ (talk) 13:26, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

I understand that they are covered else where. But saying they are to trivial to be covered here is your OPINION and not based in any facts, a direct contrast with wikipedias rules.

Often in wikipedia, a persons mentor is mentioned in their bio. By hiding his, we are covering up Barracks influences in his life.

Also my mention of Barry Sotto has nothing to do with his citizenship. I just think its important to name a persons AKA's in their bio.

Example my name is Daniel but I have been known as Danny. Therefore if I had a wiki bio I would want that included.

Barrack Bio should include his also known as. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:04, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

A couple points:
  • Reverend Wright and his controversial comments are mentioned in this article, with a link to the larger article dedicated to the controversy. So you are simply incorrect about that, as was the individual who replied to you before. I imagine that reply was a little knee-jerk, since this article sees more-or-less continuous efforts by conspiracy theorists to insert birtherism into it. Reverend Wright is definitely a major figure in Obama's life, so your original question regarding his importance in this article would be valid, were he not already mentioned in it. But since he is, it's moot.
  • Obama's previous nickname is also mentioned in the article already. It's by no means prominent, but that's perfectly reasonable for a nickname he doesn't publicly use anymore.
Please try to assume good faith. While the reply you received wasn't completely correct, the fact is, there's no need to have a further discussion about these topics, as they are already duly covered in the article. --GoodDamon 20:24, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you would prefer here. Grsz11 20:27, 17 December 2009 (UTC)


Since there seems to be little support besides my own views in regards to adding a footnote stating that harding could possibly be the first african american president, id be willing to comprimise. If no one comments anything further for inclusion of the footnote on this page in the next two days than i would be willing to let the issue go and support including the information on the African American firsts page as there was support from another editor on that page for the footnotes inclusion there. Consensus seems to be that it should be included somewhere, and that seems like it might be an appropriate place to put it.XavierGreen (talk) 22:09, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

You cannot develop consensus here to put something in a specific other place; all that can be done effectively is determine that here is not the appropriate place. If you wish to place something on another page - one that will surely have the same sourcing and consensus requirements as this page does - you'll have to take it up at that page. But claiming here that if you don't hear anything in two days, you'll do something there isn't going to fly very well.  Frank  |  talk  22:25, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
All i am saying is that in the previous discussion there was consensus that it should be placed somewhere on wikipedia and that if no one else supports putting it on this page in the next two days im willing to put it somewhere else though i still think that it belongs here.XavierGreen (talk) 22:56, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
There's no reason to wait. If you see the consensus is to not put it here, you can take up the discussion elsewhere whenever you want. But do be careful of WP:FORUMSHOPping.  Frank  |  talk  23:31, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
XavierGreen, I will state what I wrote before. Those accusations do not belong in the Barack Obama article, and the only articles they do belong in are the Warren G Harding article(as a reference to the attack book and accusations) or the article of the person who made those accusations or wrote that book. Innuendos that are not based with any provable sources and accusations made by political opponents are not part of references for footnotes. Except in the person who was being accused or the accuser. You can't go around Wikipedia and insert footnotes into every article that is affected by those accusations, as if they were a proven fact. DD2K (talk) 23:51, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree that this isn't the place to discuss changes to the "list of" article. But chiming in here from the peanut gallery, that seems a logical place to put it. Conceptually, the statement "Barack Obama is the first African-American President (*but, footnote, there were rumors / accusations at the time that remain unresolved today that Warren Harding had a black African ancestor)" makes some logical sense at an article that is much more focused on marking milestones than this one is. Although somewhat trivial in nature, so is the statement that Obama is the first president from Hawaii, and lots of other things. That's the nature of firsts. You'd have to convince the editors there, and I can't speak for them, not having participated on that article. Cheers, - Wikidemon (talk) 23:57, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Barack Obama should be listed as Multiracial not 100% African American

See FAQ#2 at the top of this page.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

The opening sentence in the wikipedia article where it mentions that he is the first african american president is somewhat false. Barack Obama is multiracial, his mother was white[1] and his father was african american. He should be listed as the first multiracial president. Wikipedia has many other notable multiracial people listed as multiracial why not Barack Obama? Sammy8912 (talk) 14:39, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Name one (just one will suffice) individual who is "100% African American ". Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:47, 23 December 2009 (UTC) There is a whole list of African Americans there without one white parent. Barack Obama is considered multiracial since his mother was white. If both of his parents were of african heritage then I would agree that he is 100% african american. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sammy8912 (talkcontribs) 14:53, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
That is some real racialist junk. no-one is 100%-something. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:55, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, Obama's father was not African American - he was African. And his mother is not white, she is varying shades of pinkish brown, and also of African descent (albeit removed from her African roots by maybe 103 generations or so). African American is a social construct, not a genetic one. But as other have said, what is important is the presentation in reliable sources, and they agree that he is African American. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:04, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Notable Controversies

Moving on...
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

In the 'Proposed Changes' section I mentioned that I found this in the Wikipedia rules for the Wikipedia:Lead section guidelines:

"The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including any notable controversies. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources, and the notability of the article's subject should usually be established in the first sentence."

Now, my question is, what should be the 'notable controversies' surrounding Barack Obama to be included in his introduction/lede?

Prominence/notability, as well as available reliable sources will play into this. I am interested in seeing what people think should be mentioned as 'notable controversies' in the lede. Again, what controversies are mentioned should then be compared by their prominence and sourcing. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 23:46, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

I am not aware of any controversy that would be considered notable, let alone notable enough for the article lede. -- Scjessey (talk) 00:27, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, that is a bit of a misstatement, as notability is a test of article suitability, not whether something is of due weight, relevance, and encyclopedic quality to be in the lede. It's not saying that we must include controversies in the lede, only that we include them if they're noteworthy enough, and don't avoid them. A better statement would be that controversies that are significant enough to be a major part of the article are not excluded from the lede simply because they are controversies. I'll probably propose a minor change to WP:LEDE to avoid confusion (in case you notice the obvious, over there). - Wikidemon (talk) 00:33, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. I've been reviewing the Wikipedia guidelines a lot lately and can find nothing saying that controversial content may not be included, which I think fits your statement of "A better statement would be that controversies that are significant enough to be a major part of the article are not excluded from the lede simply because they are controversies." I agree that it needs to fit the test of notability.
However, looking at the Notability guidelines showed me something else - the earlier controversial subject that started all of this, Obama's controversy with live birth abortion, may not only meet the standards of notability, but since notability is defined as "notability determines whether a topic merits its own article" and the sourcing on this issue is so unusually strong for an Obama-related topic, the topic may even merit its own page.
As the notability page states, "If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article." And, "Substantial coverage in reliable sources constitutes such objective evidence, as do published peer recognition and the other factors listed in the subject specific guidelines."
Now, take this commentary on Obama's history on live birth abortion:
  • Background: Barack Obama beginning from his time in the Illinois Senate opposed numerous bills that would have stopped a practice where children surviving late-term abortions could be left to die. He considered them, though completely outside the womb and breathing, 'fetuses'.[[3]] (pp. 85-86) Bills included the 2001 Born Alive Infants Protection Act[[4]][[5]](pp. 85-88), the 2001 SB 1661 Induced Birth Infant Liability Act[[6]][[7]](pp. 88-89), the 2001 SB 1095 Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act[[8]][[9]][[10]] (pp. 50-66), and the 1997 SB 230 Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act[[11]][[12]]
  • Notability: Alan Keyes, Obama's general election opponent for the 2004 U.S. Senate, made the issue his primary talking point.[[13]][[14]] At the time, activists such as Jill Stanek[[15]] and Phyllis Schlafly[[16]] also opposed Obama on such grounds. Keyes to this day continues opposing Obama on what he calls 'infanticide'.[[17]][[18]] During the 2008 elections, both Sarah Palin[[19]] and John McCain[[20]][[21]] criticized Obama over the 'Born Alive' controversy as well.
  • Prominence: There has been no shortage of mainstream media coverage on this issue. During the 2008 Primary Election, Hillary Clinton and the National Organization of Women[[22]][[23]], as well as other Congressmen[[24]][[25]], accused Obama of voting 'Present' instead of 'No' on abortion bills. The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" also addressed the issue, noting his very lengthy voting history on the subject, but also pointing out that it was an agreed-upon strategy between pro-choice politicians and Planned Parenthood as a way to avoid public attention on controversial abortion bills.[[26]][[27]] Obama defended himself by saying it was an agreed-upon strategy with Planned Parenthood.[[28]] In 2007 ABC News[[29]] and the NY Times addressed this Planned Parenthood-Obama-present votes connection [[30]][[31]] and both FactCheck[[32]] and PolitiFact[[33]][[34]], as well as Time Magazine[[35]], Fox News[[36]], the Boston Globe[[37]],[[38]], the Huffington Post[[39]][[[[40]]]], and NPR[[41]], all chimed in referencing the connection as well. In August 2008 there was also a lengthy back and forth between Obama, David Brody of CBN[[42]], and the National Right to Life Committee[[43]][[44]] concerning his record on live birth abortion. Another exchange occurred between Obama's campaign, Jill Stanek, and Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune.[[45]] As covered by the NY Sun, Obama was facing attacks from all sides, and had first erroneously claimed he would have voted for the federal bill, but then upon confrontation with senate records dug up by the NRLC, his campaign admitted he'd voted against an Illinois bill with similar language.[[46]] FactCheck shortly thereafter supported this claim, and upon examination of the claims by both Obama's campaign and the NRLC wrote a widely covered[[47]] article called "Obama and 'Infanticide'" stating that Obama was misrepresenting his record on the issue, though it thought the term 'infanticide' open to interpretation.[[48]] David Freddoso, who also covered the born alive issue in his best-selling book, 'The Case Against Barack Obama' in August 2008, wrote in an article for the National Review that Stanek and O'Malley (primary sponsor of the born alive legislation previously mentioned) had teamed up on legislation such as the 1095 bill, and notes that Obama was the only legislator to speak against it on the senate floor.[[49]]
  • Other Notable Coverage: The Huffington Post in April of 2008 attacked Deal Hudson for criticizing Obama on the issue of infanticide.[[50]]
I would posit that few other controversies are going to be as comparably notable as this. Or that few could rival the depth of sourcing (I deliberately included a few liberal and conservative secondary sources, though most were meant to be neutral ones). At any rate, as I read the guidelines more and more, the more I am convinced that the subject of controversy surrounding Obama's history on live birth abortion can meet the Wikipedia guidelines for notability, neutral point of view, no original research, and verifiability. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 01:35, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I strongly recommend that this is the last time you use this talk page as a dumping ground for this perversion of the facts. Frankly, this claptrap about infanticide that you keep peddling absolutely disgusts me. This BLP-violating abomination should be eradicated from this talk page. -- Scjessey (talk) 02:07, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
It only violates the BLP, as I've said before, if the sources are wrong. Which is why I went out of my way to provide numerous accredited sources. And as has been pointed out, it is not biased to simply report that the accusation has been made. Everything I stated was sourced. If you think it violates the BLP, please state how. I see nothing wrong with the sourcing, the prominence, notability, relevance, etc. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 05:45, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Jzyehoshua - your attempts to find any consensus for these items have not met any success so far. That's an indication that they cannot meet guidlines for notability, neutral point of view, no original research, and verifiability. You continue to plaster "when-did-you-stop-beating-your-wife" statements but few proposed changes to the article itself. The "infanticide" issue is a total non-starter. Keyes is unimportant in a biographical article about Obama. The list goes on. I suggest you put individual proposed changes in separate sections and attempt to gain consensus on each one separately. You can see from this page that there is little or no support for what you've tried thus far.  Frank  |  talk  02:39, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
But the problem is, those who are disagreeing are not disagreeing with whether the material meets the guidelines or not. They are disagreeing because it is opposed to their worldviews and opinions, which is why they refuse to consider consensus. As I've showed, many of the major newspapers and neutral fact-checking organizations on the web, as well as even TV news agencies, have covered this issue. That suggests the objections raised here are ideological, not substantial, in nature. After all, the sourcing, relevance, and prominence are all undeniable. The issue is whether people on here like it or not, and they don't, because many of those here are liberal. I expected that. Again, consensus is not reached solely because nobody likes the views. Otherwise, I would expect to see more statements about why my sourcing fails to measure up or does not meet the guidelines. There is difference between lack of consensus because of bias and lack of consensus because of objective reasoning.
P.S. I have challenged perhaps half a dozen times now those suggesting I violated guidelines to state how and give specific examples. Only Wikidemon has provided tangible constructive criticism and examples. The fact is that those guidelines do not prevent controversy or negative statements being reported on (so long as it's done objectively). They only require exceptional sourcing for exceptional remarks. The controversies surrounding conservative politicians are reported on their pages and there is far less opposition to doing so than is seen here. What is more, I am sure many of them have less sourcing or even available sourcing than what is used here. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 05:45, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Look, I already quoted verbatim from the NPOV guidelines, the WP:BLP guidelines, and the Wikipedia:Lead section guidelines. At some point I expect those criticizing me of violating the guidelines to actually use this as more than just an attack, and actually give examples of what parts of the guidelines are being violated, and give examples of what parts of my works are violating them. I mean, I've been doing all the work citing this stuff. I can't be expected to be hypersensitively defending myself against every little accusation of violating a guideline with lengthy essays quoting from said guidelines if the accuser is too lazy to even give examples and cite what part of the guidelines and my writing is at issue. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 06:24, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Bottom line: can you show where there is WP:CONSENSUS for the change(s) you are thinking about? I say there is not, for two reasons: 1) I don't see it on this talk page, and 2) I don't even see a specific change request. This is not just any article on Wikipedia - it's one of the most watched, with over 1800 watchers. I understand that consensus is generally not a reason to revert a change, but for such a highly-visited (and watched) page which is on probation, things are different. Nobody's saying you can't edit the article. What's being said is that changes of a controversial nature on a WP:BLP article that is highly-visited and highly-watched and is on probation should be discussed first. I still don't see any specific proposals for changes to the article. What I see is a bunch of accusations and references and original research - but no specific changes being requested.  Frank  |  talk  14:57, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Please. If you don't have consensus - I don't care how many policies you cite - you cannot make these types of additions to the article. It can't get much simpler than that. Since you clearly do not have consensus, drop it. There have been a dozen or more of us who have given you quite clear-cut reasons why we cannot include multiple insignificant controversies, fringe theories, or the comparatively insignificant views of others about Obama. By the way, you are not helping your case by accusing us of being liberal, or accusing us of not providing tangible evidence against. WHSL (Talk) 06:50, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

According to the Wikipedia Don't revert due to "no consensus" page, "Sometimes editors will undo a change, justifying their revert merely by saying that there is "no consensus" for the change, or by simply asking the original editor to "first discuss". Except possibly on pages that describe settled Wikipedia policy, this is not very helpful. After all, that you reverted the edit already shows that there is no consensus. But you neglected to explain why you personally disagree with the edit, so you haven't given people a handle on how to build the consensus with you that you desire.
Next to that, the behaviour discourages bold contributions, which are essential to building Wikipedia. Moreover, if you can't point out an underlying problem with an edit, there is no good reason to immediately revert it. Finally, there may in fact exist silent consensus to keep the change. Consensus is not unanimity, and is thus not canceled by one editor's objection."
Wikipedia encourages contributors to be bold in editing articles. Reverting a bold contribution solely on the basis of "no consensus" is a sign that the reverter simply did not like the edit. Keep in mind that no one can own an article. Moreover, if one editor favors a new addition (i.e. its contributor), and another opposes it (i.e. the potential reverter), consensus is no closer to being against it than for it until more editors comment or edit, or until the two editors in question can move toward a compromise, preferably through editing.
It is best to first consider whether there is a substantive problem with the edit in question. If it added unsourced or poorly-sourced information, try to find said information yourself, or failing that, note that in the revert summary. If it made the presentation of material awkward, edit to make the presentation less awkward. If it added a biased statement, try to find a way to recast it into a neutral mode. If it added instructions on how to do something, explain that Wikipedia is not a manual. If it removed content with no explanation or an unconvincing one, note that you are restoring valid content, and why the explanation is unconvincing (if the edit summary box is too small for this, continue on the talk page).
But if you feel that an edit should not stand yet can't point to any specific reason, for heavens sake, stop and think before you act. (never make any edit without a reason!)
In general:
  :1. Stop. Think.
  :2. Try to edit the page to better incorporate the edit in question
  :3. If you really can't find a way to incorporate the edit, revert it
  :4. Explain in detail what you tried, and why it didn't work. 
  :Even if the reason seems obvious to you, it will not always be obvious to someone else."

Also, according to the Wikipedia Consensus page, "Consensus is not immutable. Past decisions are open to challenge and are not binding, and one must realize that such changes are often reasonable. Thus, "according to consensus" and "violates consensus" are not valid rationales for making or reverting an edit, or for accepting or rejecting other forms of proposal or action."

As shown here, Consensus is not a reason in and of itself for reverting an edit, or "accepting or rejecting other forms of proposal or action." And furthermore, Consensus must be REASONED Consensus. "Reverting a bold contribution solely on the basis of "no consensus" is a sign that the reverter simply did not like the edit." Ultimately the basis of "no consensus" is a straw man that is an unsuitable qualifier - ultimately it comes down to, as the article states, "whether there is a substantive problem with the edit in question". Furthermore, those involved with the Consensus argument also have a duty to be attempting to "better incorporate the edit in question" and "explain in detail what you tried, and why it didn't work."
I do not like calling people out like this, and would prefer to work towards agreement objectively, but the fact remains that over half those commenting right now on my proposed edits are not providing any of the constructive material the previously quoted page says should be involved. They are telling me to achieve Consensus without following the Consensus page guidelines themselves. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 08:29, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
You might want to slow down a bit on the rule interpretation but to address the points you raise: lack of consensus should not be the sole reason for opposing an edit, just as lack of a citation should not either in most cases - there has to be a good faith bona fide objection to the material, at which point it becomes the job of the person proposing the change to achieve consensus, or wanting to include the material to find appropriate sources. If people are objecting to your desire to add something to the article under claim of "no consensus" what they really mean is that the objections are stated elsewhere and to their mind you have not (yet) established that there is consensus to overcome those objections. If they feel it is against policy and guidelines you would have to demonstrate a consensus for the interpretation / analysis that the proposal actually is permissible per the policy and guidelines. Policy / guidelines are mostly exclusionary, creating thresholds to meet before things can be added. Relatively few of them demand that something be included, they just permit it. So if it's within the territory of editor discretion you would have to establish consensus not only that the content is permissible, but that it should be added. You can look at WP:BRD for a widely-followed essay on that. You're right that having too many nay-sayers on an article discourages bold edits. This is a mature, featured article so the gradualist approach is probably a good thing. Otherwise good articles start falling apart to the entropy of hasty edits. It's probably gone too far here, and definitely too far on some of the other Obama articles, which are losing ground in their efforts to stay current because it is so hard to make major additions. Cest la vie. We can't solve that problem in a day. Contrary to the language you're quoting (or is that your own analysis?) on high-traffic important articles there is a role for precedent and for deferring to past decisions. The Arbitration Committee weighed in on the issue fairly recently with respect to this particular article, and said roughly that although consensus can change, excessive and contentious rehashing of matters that have been decided can be disruptive to the editing process. The answer is somewhere in between. Proposals should have a realistic chance of success - if something has been discussed and rejected a few times already, and it wasn't long ago, and there is no change in the subject we are covering or new sources about it, and the same editors are still here, it is pointless to repeat the same discussion. It also doesn't work, you can rarely win consensus to edit the article by wearing out people's patience for discussion. I do agree that the people arguing against your proposals are not providing constructive criticism. I'll hazard a guess as to the reasons. I think you started off on the wrong foot with an overly bold edit and some aggressive comments on the talk page. Some people here are very alert to trouble and perhaps see it where none is intended. I think that is unfair to you but given the history of the article it's not surprising. And finally, these discussions have been going on a long time and gotten off track. I think people just don't feel like talking about it anymore. I'm not one to talk about brevity, but I think many of your posts - the last one a case in point - are very long and quote long stretches of policy that you could just link to, plus the extensive use of bold is distracting, people liken that to ALLCAPS or shouting!!!!! I actually think a number of your content proposals are good ones, and people would probably accept them if we could find a more effective way to discuss it. I'm still planning to propose some modest changes along those lines one at a time, so if we can all take a deep breath and try to be patient, we'll work through this. Anyone who's gotten this far, can we all chill out a little bit? Cool? Wikidemon (talk) 09:21, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
True, that's all I've been saying, that those accusing me of no consensus or violating a policy should state exactly what's wrong with it, and how it violates the policy. I tried numerous times now to get specific users to start a conversation over source validity, prominence of the sources, relevance to a section, neutrality of wording and how to improve it, etc. What statements on this I actually heard I actually compromised on very, very early on. For example, I agreed quickly that if the word 'infanticide' was too offensive to some then it could just not be used and an alternative like live birth abortion specified in its place. I've also tried to avoid framing and asked others how they thought sentences could be reworded to avoid violation of NPOV. I specifically brought up such high quality and high profile sources, as well as examples of mentions by all major campaigns, to combat the 'fringe' theory that keeps making the rounds. Not that it would matter either way.
According to the Wikipedia Fringe theories page it should be abundantly clear that fringe theories which are notable, well-sourced, and covered well by the mainstream media still warrant inclusion. I'll avoid posting this one out unless there continues to be disagreement over that. And also, sorry about the bolding - I've just done that primarily for quoted material to make clear what parts I most wanted read and to ensure they wouldn't get overlooked. I like to quote surrounding material as well to show context but then like the bolding so it shows exactly what I'm concentrating on, and since it's WP guidelines, didn't think it as much an issue as if I was bolding my own words, which I've mostly avoided here (the starting paragraph in the Consensus section is the one exception I can think of).
I would like to try the WP:BRD page's outline of resolving this dispute, as there seems little alternative at this point save arbitration, but since this is a protected page, am not sure I will be able to do so. And yes, all the language being quoted was from the articles except for a few points towards the end. It made it tough to tell since I left the original double quotation marks from the page in instead of changing them to single quote marks.
You're also right it may just be an instance of my using an overly bold edit at the beginning - however, to be fair I was unaware the term infanticide would be so poorly received. Here in Illinois that term has been used quite a bit in the news during the earlier Obama election involving Alan Keyes so I was, I thought, just using a popular media term to refer to the situation that would quickly ring a bell for those who'd seen it in the news. Once I realized how many people were unfamiliar with Obama's elections and the terminology, I quickly backed off from the term and began proposing alternatives. I suppose it is more widely used here in the U.S. than in other countries, and I notice many are surprisingly from the U.K. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 15:35, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I must ask: outside of this one editor's opinion (and yes, by an outsider's look it is an opinion) is this is a huge thing and not some rambling of a pro-lifer who really doesn't like the president. How has this made news today? Is it being carried on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc? Is it a big topic in the news papers? (excluding blogs and opinion pieces) Outside the pro-life community, is this topic really being associated with the president (I.E. the common person on the street would spout this when asked about the president?). In all honest opinion, this looks more like a big point to extreme pro-lifers then it does to the country at large. Finally, and more to the point, is this such a large issue, I mean really a glaring issue that everyone in the country recognizes it and believes it or questions it, to be included in this article? Brothejr (talk) 09:58, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that's the proposal on the table. Bear with this, I think we can restate the various content proposals in a focused, productive way at some point. - Wikidemon (talk) 10:20, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
If it involves Keyes and infanticide, it will surely be rejected. This sort of distortion must be discouraged, because it violates WP:BLP quite seriously. -- Scjessey (talk) 14:21, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it is a major issue. That is why I brought up its relevance by major politicians. The fact that Alan Keyes in the 2004 senate election, Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary election, and both McCain and Palin in the 2008 general election made it a talking point against Obama should've been, I thought at least, a major red flag here. When his last 3 major opponents in elections have all brought it up, and when it's been referenced in what at least here in the U.S. are some of the major news publications - it's pretty big. Here in Illinois especially, it has been the major issue involving Obama that people will be familiar with. That is why I quoted so much from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and other Illinois newspapers - to show out of state users just how major an issue this has been here in Illinois particularly. The major newspapers and news channels have addressed it extensively, particularly during the 2004 elections. The NRLC, primary pro-life group here in the U.S., has also been pushing the issue for years, and thus it has been a back and forth between them and Obama's campaign to the extent that major fact-checking groups like the Washington Post's Fact Checker and have objectively weighed both sides. I already quoted from the Fox News and MSNBC articles where the subject came up. In the Consensus section, I even noted that several Fox News anchors and guests have accused Obama of infanticide:
-Sean Hannity[[51]]
-Glenn Beck[[52]]
-Rush Limbaugh[[53]]
-Newt Gingrich[[54]]
-Ann Coulter[[55]]
-Dr. Jerome Corsi[[56]]
Also, here is another example of Fox News reporting, though in print, of coverage of the infanticide issue.[[57]]
Fox News in particular has allowed this issue to be brought up many times now.
I don't follow CNN as closely but found evidence it has been addressed there as well.[[58]][[59]] The issue has received so much coverage in fact that a CNN reporter even questioned Obama for CNN about the issue.[[60]]
I did some more Googling and didn't find evidence yet of it being addressed by MSNBC on public television yet. However, there is plenty of overall evidence out there. Simply google the name of a major news network and the terms Obama infanticide (possibly video as well) and you will see for yourself. There is plenty of sourcing out there that can be found at any time simply by using Google to search for it. It is why it is so easy for me to find sources on this stuff at will right now.--Jzyehoshua (talk) 15:35, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
This is beyond a joke. All the sources you have found fall into 3 distinct camps:
  1. Obama's political opponents (like Keyes) making wild unsubstantiated claims.
  2. Right-wing media pundits (the rogues gallery you list above) taking the wild unsubstantiated claims and trying to make them into a bigger deal than they are.
  3. Normal mainstream media (which does not include FOX, by the way) debunking the wild unsubstantiated claims when they are not covering runaway balloons.
If you really believe this stuff is important, you have been duped by the first 2 groups. You are doing exactly what they want you to do, which is to try to push their agenda into Wikipedia articles. In doing so, you are committing multiple violations of WP:BLP, and quite possibly defaming Obama. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:55, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
At this point, you're going to disagree with any sources I provide. You'll just keep Moving the goalpost no matter what I do. First Brothejr said, "How has this made news today? Is it being carried on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc?" Then when I provide evidence from Fox News you say it's not a news network (contrary to the prior comment he made implying it "made news today" and when I provided evidence from CNN you threw in the "runaway balloons" comment alleging that even if it could be proven CNN had covered it, that it would just be mistaken coverage anyway. Ultimately, there's simply nothing I could do to convince users like you, so why bother? I think it better to just accept that you and I won't agree on this, so that focus may be put on areas where Consensus can be achieved. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 16:10, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
What are you talking about? I did not ask those questions. You are attributing statements made by others to me. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:16, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I recognized it and changed it almost instantaneously (same minute) that you made the comment, when I realized it was by brothejr and not you. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 16:19, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
If the proposal is that we make some overarching comment that there is a controversy over Obama's support for abortion, or any mention that some people accuse him of infanticide, then no - BLP problems, poor sourcing, NPOV, and undue weight. The "rogues gallery" of professional agitators mentioned above just isn't encyclopedically important, except on the rare occasion when through their outrageous prose and antics they manage their way to bootstrap their way into the national stage. Not just because they said it -- they say lots of stuff -- but because it actually creates an impact beyond their own typical audience. Keyes is particularly fringe-y here. He may not have been acknowleged as such at the time but at this point as one of the more vexatiously litigious birthers his relevance and credibility level is nill. If Keyes' primary campaign strategy in the election was to attack Obama on abortion that can be stated neutrally and is arguably worth five or six words in the section devoted to that election, more in the article on the subject. But there's a strong counter-argument that given the election margin, his ineffective election tactics made no difference to Obama or anyone else so they aren't worth covering at all. I think this is the weakest of the content proposals. Best to start with the stronger ones that have more of a chance of passing scrutiny. - Wikidemon (talk) 17:51, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Obama is out of office Takes a Holiday

Nothing to see folks Sceptre (talk) 00:59, 26 December 2009
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Add the following text: Despite of the world financial crisis and double digit unemployment rate the Obama's family take two weeks in Hawaii for Vacation.

Video reference: Róbert Gida (talk) 00:44, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Seems both irrelevant and NPOV issue. How many days has he been on vacation thus far, and how does that compare to the previous POTUS? --averagejoe (talk) 00:55, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Try it, type in Google Obama in Hawaii. You will get hits for his previous vacation. I think his number of vacations is approaching to the first year of G.W.Bush's number. But note that after 911 there was much less vacation. (talk) 01:24, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Utterly irrelevant, which means I don't even need to point out the original research or point of view in the comment. He's the President of the US, not the Justice League. Dayewalker (talk) 00:59, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

FAQ Regarding Obama's Status as first african American president

Since there seems to be little consensus at putting the possibility that harding might be the first african american president under some definitions in the article at all i suggest adding something in regards to it to the FAQ section of the talk page. I'm quite sure another editor some day or another will attempt to introduce the same thing i have tried to introduce (maybe they will have better luck then i did) but since topics tend to be repeated in the talk page quite often, maybe it would be good material for inclusion as a FAQ.XavierGreen (talk) 03:03, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't think that this is a claim that is frequently made; and as far as I can see, in the replies to your remarks some way above, nobody says that it's frequently made (or a "question" that is frequently "asked"). -- Hoary (talk) 03:59, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Searching the archives, its come up at least seven seperate times on the first page of search results alone, it appears every couple months or so. id say thats quite frequent would you?XavierGreen (talk) 08:10, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
You're more energetic (and perhaps also more memorious) than I am. I knew that related questions had indeed come up often, but not that this one had. Well, perhaps it indeed is worth faqqing. -- Hoary (talk) 08:14, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Xavier, do I understand you to be saying that the spurious claims of Warren G. Harding's racial identity has given rise to seven different threads in the archives of Talk:Barack Obama (not counting the three threads you have created on this particular page alone), or are you conflating the Harding rumor with arguments that Obama is half-white (or ineligible for some crazy reason), and so should not be called the first African American president? Because we already do have FAQs for those, Q2 and Q5. Abrazame (talk) 08:32, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
There are more than seven, those are just the ones that appear on the first page of results. There were arguements about before obama even became president. I could care less about Obama's ancestry, the page states that Obama is the first african american president there is evidence that he might be the second and a chance harding could be the first. It is not a fringe theory or suprious, established proffesors at Yale have written about the issue and Harding himself stated he did not know. The issue is completely different from the FAQ about Obama's ancestry. My concerns do not challenge that at all.XavierGreen (talk) 16:40, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
That's just not true. It is both a fringe theory and spurious. There is no proof whatsoever that Harding had African-American ancestors, and the fact that Harding was quoted as saying "How do I know" when asked if some distant relative 'ever jumped the fence' is ridiculous to cite as something that indicates Harding 'did not know'. I have already pointed you to numerous sources that dispute the allegations about Harding, one from a Warren G Harding scholar. If Harding had a 3rd cousin that 'jumped the fence', it has no relation to Harding's ethnicity. None. There is no provable doubt whatsoever that Barack Obama is the first African-American President. None. Even if someone did prove, without a doubt, that Harding had an African-American ancestor, Harding identified himself as of European decent and as white. You can't cite the musings of some professor about an attack book, or innuendos about a family, and then make the sort of claims you are making. It's just not even remotely allowable. I'm changing my vote to no.DD2K (talk) 19:01, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
It doesnt matter what someone identifies themself as. I could call myself a tree, but does that really make me one? Theres no probable evidence that Harding was not african american either, so your point is moot. The majority of your comments seemed to be fueled by political ideology. I am not attempting to make some wild ideologically driven claims. I am not stating that it is proven that Harding was part African American and im not stating the opposite. What i am trying to do is address the historical fact that Hardings ancestry is not clear. As the topic has been brought up frequently in discussion, it should be included in the FAQ. By including this topic in the faq the frequency of the topic reappearing on the talk page would hopefully decrease.XavierGreen (talk) 20:40, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
It's not ideology to want proven facts, and not innuendos, lies and accusations, treated as the source for an encyclopedia. To claim that Hardings ancestry is 'not clear' gives credence to the accusations and innuendos. I think an encyclopedia would be willing to treat the accusations as a tidbit found somewhere inside it's vast articles, but not treated as something proven and definitely NOT something that alters proven facts in other articles. In other words, adding as an accusation in the Harding article is ok, but adding it in the Harding article to cast doubt on Harding's ancestry is NOT. You are trying to take a route that is not in the best interests of the facts. To claim that Harding's ancestry is not clear is not true. All the facts that Harding have given about his ancestry are there, and the Harding scholars have long discredited the claims about his AA ancestry. I gave you some links before, and there are many more.DD2K (talk) 22:48, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
As stated above, this Harding trivia is not a FAQ, so there is no need to update the FAQ. thanks, --guyzero | talk 20:48, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

:I would say we can WP:AGF on XavierGreen about this issue. Sometimes when delving into historical tidbits that are not widely known, editors like to have these available for readers, because they are interesting. I believe that is also why Wikidemon is interested in this little nugget of American history. The problem is, it's not well sourced and it's only real sources tend to prove it's not true. Personally, I would have no problem with it's inclusion in the FAQ, depending on the wording. And addition to state that the rumors has no verifiable proof, and quite the opposite. We can quibble on the exact wording, but if the editor wants to propose an addition to the FAQ, I think that perhaps something can be added if there is enough consensus. DD2K (talk) 13:11, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

This is the epitome of fringe; just because the idle speculation originates from a professor and not some blog doesn't make it any less so. Tarc (talk) 16:48, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
DD2K, I'm curious why you seemed to change your mind on this?[61] Reading through the sources proposed here, and the Harding article, the sources look strong for the proposition that (a) a political opponent at the time accused Harding of having a black ancestor; (b) Harding denied and did his best to bury the claim, without disproving it; and (c) both then and now there is no strong evidence it is true, nor conclusive evidence it is not. We have two seemingly respectable mainstream biographies, and a New York Times analysis that goes into detail on the subject. On the face of it, it is hardly fringe to say that there were unproven rumors that Harding had a black ancestor, and it seems to be true... that such rumors existed. Vis-a-vis Obama I don't think that statement is fringe, it's just not pertinent. So what if those rumors existed? Harding was not considered AA, and Obama is, end of story. The Harding thing has come up several times in the last year, and if everyone wants we can add somethign to the FAQ to head this off should it come up again, e.g. notwithstanding unproven claims and rumors that other presidents, like many Americans, had distant ancestors of African ancestry, Obama is the first to be generally recognized, and self-acknowledged, as AA. Or not... but it looks like a fair question, unless others are seeing something that I'm not. - Wikidemon (talk) 20:53, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Agreed its not really pertinent to Obama for exactly the reasons you give, WD. My feel is that the longer the FAQ gets, the less useful it becomes. 7 times in one year isn't really a "FAQ" for this page compared to the "HE'S HALF WHITE" threads that appear here much more frequently. --guyzero | talk 21:02, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
*Wikidemon, I did not change my mind, I changed my stance. Also, I have given links to arguments about why these accusations are not true and should not be taken as anything other than accusations and attacks by political opponents or enemies of the Harding family. There are many more, and if one can talk to a Harding scholar from Ohio, you will see that these accusations have long been proven false. To claim that they have never been 'proven false' is a double negative. I could accuse you of something, write a book about it, and you could deny it, but years later someone could claim you never proved your innocence. That doesn't mean the accusations are true or worthy of citation. And they should never, ever be treated as citations of fact in an encyclopedia. Especially when you alter other articles and try to change the facts of those articles with the accusations. On the other hand, it's definitely not 'fringe' to state that the accusations happened. I have no problem with that. I do, however, very much have a problem with treating the accusations as if they were even remotely proven. You can't use accusations that have no basis in reality and treat them as citations. I changed my stance on this because the editor in question seems to want to use the accusations as citations, instead of preventive edits.DD2K (talk) 23:01, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
You seem to misunderstand, i dont think the case that Harding is part african american has been proven or disproven. As for the number of times this has been brought up on this talk page, the majority of articles on wikipeda see most issues brought up once or twice in their entire existance, as such i think that something brought up seven times in one year not to mention that it was brought up last year as well is certaintly a question that has been brought up frequently, and to be honest if there was something in the FAQ about it I probably would have never suggested including it in the article in the first place.XavierGreen (talk) 23:32, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) To DD2K - Understood, with one caveat... the statement that the claims have a basis and have not been disproven is sourced to the New York Times article, not a Wikipedia WP:SYNTHESIS. Although it's irrelevant to Obama's article, the difference between a completely baseless claim made by opponents and an unproven claim that some reputable modern sources believe to have a basis, is significant. Those maintaining the Warren Harding article should think this through and make sure they're comfortable with the way it's treated there. Perhaps they have, but if the claim is that farfetched / fringe-y, I would take the issue up on that page. Here, it's really a non-issue because even if it were true it wouldn't merit changing the article. - Wikidemon (talk) 23:40, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps we could have a sub-FAQ to uncollapse separately. The top 8-10 in the main one, and then a remainder bin for all the others? - Wikidemon (talk) 23:40, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
You see, this is what I don't get. The NYT is not the source of an article about this, an Assistant Professor(Beverly Gage) is, from an essay. And all she does is cite the racist attack book and use 'supposedly' and 'rumors', along with innuendos and speculation. I can't see how anyone could take any of that as even a tiny bit factual. Interesting? Sure, but it is definitely not the NYT citing that Harding could have AA ancestry.DD2K (talk) 00:18, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
It's an analysis piece, not an op-ed or opinion piece. As such, I believe it does get fact-checked, is subject to editorial control, and a reputable organization puts its reputation on the line by printing it, the main hallmarks of a reliable source. Things that are a matter of academic opinion are fairly clearly laid out in the piece. It's clear where the facts end and the speculation begins. If we were taking this more seriously I would do to her what other people do to Wikipedia, i.e. check her sources and look for corroboration... also see what other sources say to see how mainstream / accepted this all is. One NYT article + 2 non-online sources in the Harding article isn't really enough to decide. That's really for the Harding article, not here, because I don't think it matters either way here. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:25, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
The faq doesnt have to take a side on the issue one way or another, all it has to say is why the claims are not included in the article, which would appear to be that they are not notable enough/do not have to do with a biographic text on obama. All it has to do is explain why it was not selected for inclusion into the text in a neutralist fashion. XavierGreen (talk) 00:31, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
The point is, the issue isn't relevant enough to Obama to warrant inclusion. Tarc (talk) 00:34, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I've been digging around some more and it's very interesting stuff. Prof. Gage, an untenured Yale Professor, has been hitting the talk circuit (NPR, etc) with her interest in this. She herself gives the rumors only faint credibility, mostly interested in their impact and what it says about the history of the time than the truth behind them. Anyway, maybe anyone interested can reconvene at Talk:Warren G. Harding? - Wikidemon (talk) 01:17, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Well i wouldnt oppose working on that article in respects to this issue, but i still think that something regarding it should be included into the FAQ here, otherwise we might as well delete the whole FAQ.XavierGreen (talk) 01:42, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Except that the FAQ contains actual FAQs. Having any simple issue like this come up and be answered once every 8 weeks is not a big deal. The FAQ becomes less useful (or worse per WP:BEANS) if we put tons of topics into it. thanks --guyzero | talk 02:09, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

I think it is worth noting one of our core principles here, which is that Wikipedia is about verifiability, not truth. It really doesn't matter what some (several, few, many, whatever) people are saying, whether some of us consider it fringe, almost fringe, serious...what matters is that the vast majority of reliable sources list Obama as the first African American president. That really should be the end of it. If that ever changes - that would be the time to have a discussion about what this article should say. For example, Pluto was a planet for about 76 years. There were many reliable sources to indicate that. It no longer is considered a planet, but rather a dwarf planet, and that's what our article on the matter says. If we eventually find out that someone else was the first African American president, the sources will exist to support it. Until then...this is a non-issue and really not even FAQ material.  Frank  |  talk  16:01, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Well then why not put that in the faq as the answer to the question, that obama is regarded by the majority of sources as the first african american president? It doesnt matter if the information is included in the article or not, what matters is that multiple people have brought up the issue mutiple times. If this does not meet the requirements of going into the FAQ then what does?

What is the limit? How many times does something have to be brought up before it is eligible to be addressed by the FAQ? XavierGreen (talk) 16:31, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

I can't see any reason why it couldn't be in the FAQs. Anything to stop people asking about it would be a good thing. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:34, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I think WP:CONSENSUS is the answer to that. There are any number of things that have appeared on this talk page and been removed or closed summarily, more than once, but which don't appear in the FAQ because they're not credible enough to generate consensus to keep them. I personally don't think this is necessary to include in the FAQ, but more importantly, I don't see any consensus to include it in the FAQ. And maybe I should WP:AGF a bit more on this one, but I doubt people who will come here and post that question are going to read the FAQ first and then not post the question.  Frank  |  talk  16:37, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I did read the FAQ before i posted about this on the talk page, any veteran wikipedia would. The key is to reducing volume on the talk page and i think that by adding it to the FAQ it would.XavierGreen (talk) 18:42, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps we should consider the possibility that we need transient FAQs - a few questions and answers that take care of whatever the issue du jour happens to be, but only exist for a few weeks or months as needed? -- Scjessey (talk) 16:47, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Another thing that would reduce volume on the talk page, Xavier, is if people like yourself would drop the effin' thing after consensus develops against their suggestion, rather than trying every which way to link their issue with this article, fulfilling themselves the misunderstood prophecy of a frequently asked question. Alternately, we could judiciously cut off these cyclical arguments with people who don't get and/or respond to salient editorial points by closing the thread. If editors persist in reopening or restarting threads about arguments where no game-changing references or points are made, they should be officially tag-warned on their talk pages as doing so repeatedly with no good reason is tantamount to vandalism.
Why, you ask? Well, I could slanderously link Obama to fringe theory X, fallacious partisan POV Y, heinous crime Z, what-have-you; then I could pester the page with several threads (occasionally no doubt getting a few anti-Obama fringers to pop in or even start one or two themselves), and then one of us or someone else could come along and say, "Frequent issue: let's handle this non-issue—that shouldn't even be noted, even on the talk page, in some cases, due to BLP and other issues—by placing it for perpetuity in bold text at the very top of this page in a FAQ", much less strewn across the archive.
There are already general Wikipedia guidelines and specific article FAQs that deal with the general issues relevant to fringe rumors with no proof. If I were going to do anything to the FAQ it would be to broaden one of those to more clearly show to would-be troublemakers working or feigning to work within the guidelines that the underlying reason for not including the other fringe rumors is not issue-specific. We will not honor each individual rumor with its own FAQ. Next someone will suggest we put a FAQ explaining the ideological and religious differences of opinion about abortion.
To Scjessey, respectfully, FAQs should not be temporary, because all somebody has to do is arrive and "ask" again in order to "prove" that it's not a temporary issue. Instead, as I say, we should work to ensure that it is clear when the answer to one FAQ is the same as the answer to another question at talk, and indicate in the FAQ Question that this should be extrapolated to other issues as well. (Which should be obvious to editors, like Xavier, who claim to have read them, yet are understandable to editors who have only skimmed the questions without opening the answer.) We then simply note, "See FAQ" and nip a long discussion in the bud. That's the point of FAQs, not to spend time arguing for a new one for every bloody thing, but to save time by hitting the broader points and not getting out into the weeds on every last tactic.
There are times this page has been too trigger-happy to close discussions that may already be dying down, or on the other hand have a responsibly made editorial point that has true potential for an actual article change. Recently we pulled back from that impulse, rightfully so. The pendulum, however, has swung way in the opposite direction right now, and we now need to correct again without overshooting.
I would direct you to FAQ13 for why. The answer there provides the reason why your alleged seven threads begun over the Harding allegation do not themselves justify a FAQ. It reads,
"Swift closure is common for topics that have already been discussed repeatedly, topics pushing fringe theories, and/or topics that would lead to violations of Wikipedia's policy concerning biographies of living persons, because of their disruptive nature and the unlikelihood that consensus to include the material will arise from the new discussion. In those cases, editors are encouraged to read this FAQ for examples of such common topics."
It says examples of such common topics are found in the FAQ, not that each common topic gets its own FAQ or even its own mention therein. The concept of extrapolation is implicit. I would advise that editors who are bending over backwards to be amiable on the current page should ponder the concept of disruptive nature, as opposed to sincere efforts to understand policy through a long but focused discussion, and be more vigilant that they don't amenably enable the former as they happily and appropriately do the latter.
My point, obviously, includes the concurrent debate over abortion (and, variously a dozen other issues that IP has yet thought of). Abrazame (talk) 01:46, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I continue because i dont believe consensus has been reached in favor of not adding to the FAQ. To the contrary there seems to be support here for an addition to the FAQ in this regard in some form or another. I once again ask you, what determines what is in the FAQ and what is not? I still yet to hear a concise answer to the question, FAQ 13 gives no answer to the question so what is the answer?XavierGreen (talk) 07:26, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
In answer to your question, once a few of these fringe theories have been cited as prime examples from which to extrapolate, what determines that we do not add more is the simple principle of redundancy. Why we might seriously consider adding another specific FAQ would be if there was some unexamined territory from a FAQ coverage standpoint (not from the standpoint of some new — or newly exhumed — conspiracy) that responsible editors recognize the existing answers to the FAQs are deficient in addressing. I'm sure now that I have explained this, it strikes you as common sense. The main effect of doing otherwise at this point (to add further examples, or new examples for each wrinkle of answer, instead of simply broadening the question and/or answer of an existing FAQ that is already discussing a smaller part of the relevant concept) would be to give credence to the fringe theory and its connection to this article, rather than to dispense with it. The purpose of a FAQ is not to admit that, gee, this fringe idea is drawing a lot of traffic, so we'll note it here instead of in the article; it's to really address as thoroughly and succinctly as possible an argument of an editorial rationale that has already transpired at great length several times over.
Okay, so I've answered your question, how about you answer mine. I asked you once or twice already if seven threads were begun with Warren G. Harding as the impetus in challenging Obama's being "the first African American president", as opposed to secondary digressions in arguments for Obama's being "half-white", or misunderstandings that mixed heritage prevents one from claiming either, or — the actual crux of the matter — that people don't understand what African American means. Given that you have apparently already distinguished which threads are which, and I have failed in a perfunctory effort to see if I might stumble upon one of the seven, would you link all seven for me and the other editors here? If you are unfamiliar with how the linking works, I would accept your telling us the title and date of each of the seven threads. I want to make sure we're even talking about something that has been raised as a serious question, much less one that has given rise to seven full-fledged discussions. After all, if we were going to construct a FAQ to determine how the question has actually been asked, and what the response has been, it would be prudent to review all seven. To end with another answer to your question, in case my "newly exhumed" comment was too subtle, but to incorporate Scjessy's comment about temporary FAQs, it is no longer actually frequent if the bulk of the questions came at a much earlier date and has, as of late, only been brought up by yourself, this week. Abrazame (talk) 10:37, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I object. If we include the 'fact' that Harding was the first black President, I insist we also include that Taft may have been the first Muslim president, and that FDR may have been the first communist president, and that Nixon, by starting the EPA, was the first liberal treehugger president. Also, I must insist that all FAQ question s be written as double binds of the 'When did president Obama stop beating his wife?' style of question. And I'm sure I can find (or make) some attack blogs to source the first one, the second one can almost certianly be cited to LGF or brietbart, and I think Sarah Palin recently said something about the EPA being a liberal plot. Aren't those references good enough? ThuranX (talk) 12:36, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Once again,the reason why it is not being included is because it is not notable enough for inclusion into the article, not because it is fringe. As for the different threads there are around 10, though it is possible i have missed one or two. It is mentioned at least once in each of these threads in one context or another. Simply search each one for Harding within your browser and you will see where it is mentioned.

XavierGreen (talk) 16:39, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

You have made your argument for inclusion, many times, and the argument has IMO been pretty much rejected by all involved. Can we wrap this up? Tarc (talk) 16:44, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Concur with Tarc, and others. This is nothing more than a fringe theory (contrary to what Xavier might believe, theories espoused by a few academics can still be "fringe") and there's no reason to include it in the FAQs or in the article. UA 16:51, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

1.) The first link is, as you profess, to a thread about Harding. Three of the four posts, including the IP, were of one sentence apiece, one of which was "Obama is actually half-African American, half-Cacutian." I suggest we determine if this Cacutian thing is legit. Isn't that the planet they were from in The Day The Earth Stood Still? This qualifies as a thread about Harding, but not one with any substance. It is from October 2008. Counts as maybe 1/4

2.) This link is to a thread entitled Validity of the term 'President Elect'. The poster, who did aver as fact that "Warren G. Harding had enough African-American blood to be recognized as black in the eyes of the law", also argued that as of November 18, 2008, we should not call Obama "President Elect" any more than we should call him a woman, if I understand him correctly. His next post reads, "I'll drop the Harding point completely. But I will not drop the president-elect point because the constitution is so blatantly clear on the issue." The thread then goes on for PAGES about the constitutional matter, so basically not a thread about Harding. Counts as barely 1/4 more for the editors who seriously responded than for the editor was not in earnest in mentioning it.

3.) Not a thread about Harding, it was another early (June 2008) misunderstanding of the definition of African American. The only mention about Harding is the second-to-last post in the few-pages thread that is not a question, as you contend, but is someone bringing it up to point out that crazy theories abound but are not proven and so are not relevant, apparently in response to a claim about Andrew Jackson. Doesn't remotely count.

4.) Again, an avalanche of threads about the perceived difference between bi-racial and African American. As I've already pointed out to you, we have a FAQ about this, because we do realize that this is a popular misconception that needed to be addressed with a FAQ because we had a good many variations on this thread. Way down deep in there one person brings up Andrew Jackson and another person — again someone who recognizes it as a canard, and not someone who is suggesting it is relevant or asking a question about it — responds with what seems to be, "yeah, and Warren G. Harding, so what". Doesn't count as a FAQ.

5.) Again, a thread called He's multi-racial. Harding's name is mentioned twice. The first person mentions five presidents, and the second — who offers his opinion on the first — does so as an aside and that is not the point of his post. The discussion here is not about Harding, it is a FAQ we already have.

6.) This is a thread arguing against calling Obama "Irish American". He is mocking the idea of including Harding as an African American, not suggesting or questioning it. C'mon, man. Absolutely doesn't count.

7.) This is truly disingenuous, Xavier. The sole post mentioning Harding here says, "For example, it's now well known that Warren Harding had some black ancestors, but no one would claim he was America's first black president or even the first African-American president." They are wrong on the "well-known fact" aspect, but even though they apparently believe it is true, they have actually ridiculed the idea you are suggesting here, again, as a debating point, as an analogy, not as a sincere discussion of the Harding issue. If this counts, it's as a point against you, not for you.

8.) Again, this is a conversation about calling him "the first" anything, including the first black president of The Harvard Law Review. In this thread it's more clear that the editor from a previous thread is joking by noting Harding, when he says in response to a refutation of the suggestion on the grounds of reliable sourcing, "Come on - is there any other authority to rival Stephen Colbert?" I don't know if you're an American, but Colbert is a satirist who pretends to be a neo-con bringing up absurd things like this.

9.) Not like I'm expecting any different, but again, as I predicted because I ignore these threads often, this is not about Harding, for crying out loud, it's the same misunderstanding that you cannot be both "half-white" and "African American".

10.) I'm not even clicking on 10 because if it were the most thorough and cogent contemplation or the most heated loggerhead debate it is buried under 9 non-starters and so couldn't possibly make this into a FAQ.

Basically, Xavier, I see three possibilities. One, that you didn't actually read these threads, you just noted "hits". Your laziness wraps us up into three lengthy threads on this page in a week and you didn't have the decency to admit this up front when I called you on it. Two, that you knew they were not what I asked you if they were, but that you thought you'd bluff us. This is just a game to you to see if you can crowbar some sham into the FAQ permanently. Or three, that you read them and can't tell the difference. If the first is true, give it up. If the second is true, didn't work. If the third is true, we can and we're telling you what it is. Perhaps there's a fourth possibility I don't see, but I'm not really interested insofar as you have been thoroughly refuted each time you have tried to push this point and this should be the end of it.

"Yo momma" is not a biographical footnote, particularly about someone else. Canards about other people do not mitigate reliably sourced information about Barack Obama. This is not a FAQ issue, it's a WP:RS issue. The FAQ issue those threads are really about is, appropriately, already a FAQ, as I already told you. End of story, end of thread, end of issue. Abrazame (talk) 06:10, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

First of all i only said that each of these threads mentioned the issue. Second of all I did read each of the threads, and i in no way shape or form endorse what the majority of them say. Thirdly i do not appreciate being ruthlessly assaulted with personal attacks by you. For the most part every other editor here has acted with civility and i have attempted in every effort to do the same. I sir would hardly call myself lazy, if so i would not have pursued the issue as long as i have nor spent as much time looking into the issue as I have. You asked me to prove that there were seven threads mentioning the issue at hand, i provided you with ten. The issue at hand, unlike some in the FAQ, will continue to arise as long as this article exists. Athough you sir may not agree with me, there are others at hand that do. If i felt i were alone, then i would have abanonded the issue long ago as i did with including it within the article itself.XavierGreen (talk) 08:03, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
What I asked you was:
"Xavier, do I understand you to be saying that the spurious claims of Warren G. Harding's racial identity has given rise to seven different threads in the archives of Talk:Barack Obama...or are you conflating the Harding rumor with arguments that Obama is half-white (or ineligible for some crazy reason), and so should not be called the first African American president?"
Your response was:
"There are more than seven, those are just the ones that appear on the first page of results."
Clearly you were conflating the one issue with the other, you were mischaracterizing the inception, amount and degree of these threads, and now, just as clearly, you're denying it all, further obfuscating the issue. Harding being name-dropped to little or no response (and often with ironic or satirical intent) in threads about other issues is not what I was asking you about. Whether you like how those discussions went, or didn't go, has nothing to do with whether you get to claim them as previous discussions of questions that cry out for a FAQ. These are not ten threads begun about Harding, and these are not ten threads begun about other issues which jumped the tracks to delve into the Harding question, thereby becoming the basis of a FAQ, which is the way you misrepresented them.
Incidentally, two things inherent about seeing three possibilities is that A) not all of them would be true at once, and B) perhaps none of them are true at all. You are not accurately representing the facts. Whatever the reason for doing so may be, it's holding this page hostage to an issue that you are not accurately representing and are unwilling to accept consensus against.
This is not a side issue, the accurate representation of a source is the cornerstone of an encyclopedia and the truthful answers to direct editorial questions is the cornerstone of an article talk page. I didn't respond at all to your first two threads on this, and in the third my first post was a quite civil and helpful request that you clarify — for yourself and for us — your characterization of those threads you were representing as arising from the frequent asking of a question. Your response to my civil helpfulness was to more blatantly misrepresent. So, quite a few posts and two days later — giving you time to get the gist so I wouldn't even have to deal with your misrepresentation — I layed the helpfulness on a little thicker. Your response to that post was to quite obliviously and erroneously claim consensus for your suggestion (showing you did indeed require something above and beyond what has been said to you over three long threads) and ask me a question. I answered your question and repeated my initial question of you, giving you the opportunity to correct your mistake. But you did not correct your mistake, you further misrepresented these threads and made me check each one to prove what I already suspected.
It's not as if you haven't already been refuted on the merits of your suggestion even if this had been a frequent, major issue beleaguering editors at this page, of the sort that spawns a FAQ here, yet you go on and on, as is the general practice here all of a sudden.
Let's say I'm wrong, at this late stage in your shifting barrage of erroneousness—and after discovering your misrepresentation of not one but more than half a dozen links—to ponder at what would make you do so. Per your suggestion, how about you respond to the editorial content of my posts? Abrazame (talk) 09:17, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I am not conflating anything, and i could care less who the first African American president of the United States is or how Black Obama really is. The subject has come up in at least ten different discussions on the talk page. How the issue was presented or used in a discussion is not really any of my concern. All I am arguing for is that the issue be presented in some shape or form in the FAQ and state that it was not considered notable enough for inclusion. The issue will return, and since there is no explanation why it is not addressed in the article, i think that the FAQ should explain why that is. After all that is the entire reason for the FAQ. Otherwise you should just close every arguement that has already occured without an explanation and not bother having a FAQ at all.XavierGreen (talk) 20:36, 27 December 2009 (UTC)


Closed - Editor who started thread indef blocked for being a probable sock puppet of Multiplyperfect -- Scjessey (talk) 16:01, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

When was it added? Do we really need it? "Obama is the fourth U.S. president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the third to become a Nobel laureate during his term in office, and the first to be recognized in the first year of his presidency."

This leads probably to nowhere. Sometimes I feel that Obama's page is like a collection of Guiness world records. Róbert Gida (talk) 16:16, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

If you want to find when something was added to an article, look at that article's edit history.
No, Nobel prizes aren't Guinness records. -- Hoary (talk) 16:56, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Have you ever read a Guiness book? In that you can read such details who is the first(/second/third) in a particular subject. But that is unencyclopedic here. Don't you feel that Obama's page is full of records? Róbert Gida (talk) 17:11, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
What is quite notable and is reliably sourced is not unencyclopedic. A lot of "firsts" listed on Obama's article are quite historic - the "first African American President" one being the most eminent example - and cannot be compared to, for instance, "man with the most tattoos", which is indeed unencyclopedic. Your specific example refers to the Nobel Peace Prize, and you feel that this is useless trivia. The Nobel Peace Prize is not trivia. It is one of the most noted accolades in our world today. WHSL (Talk) 23:34, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Proposed / enacted

User:Joker123192 has changed "proposed" to "enacted", mirroring this earlier edit doing something similar. The provided sources do not support "enacted" or "imposed". I would change it myself, but I have a 1RR restriction. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:24, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Done. To Joker123192, if there is a reference that the specific proposals they were moving forward with have since been enacted, please provide it with your next revert. Abrazame (talk) 16:36, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Coverage of Controversies?

Collapsed for readability; nearly 100KB of text but no further discussion in 9 days. Result of this discussion was largely to separate out individual points, done elsewhere later on this page.  Frank  |  talk  22:35, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I notice that conservative political profiles have mentioned on them scandals and public criticisms such as Palin's (McCain's this time last year was noticeably critical, unlike Obama's) yet not liberals. I imagine this to be because of the disproportionate impact liberals have on the internet, a fact, by the way, which is statistically provable. According to the 2009 political typology report by the Pew Research Center, there are 9 different profiles of voters, 3 Republican, 3 Democrat, and 3 Moderate. The 17% that are overwhelmingly socially liberal (19% of registered voters), and the only wealthy one of the 3 Democrat groups, are also the group of all 9 to go online most frequently for their news (37%, with no other group but the Moderate Upbeats, at 34%, close - no other group but the Republican Enterprisers is at even 26%).

At any rate, I am proposing the following section, although, I notice that Wikipedia is now changing to avoid sections labeled 'Political Controversies' even though I noticed another politician with just such a section just today, so perhaps it would be best to not label it that, but instead make it merely historical referenced, as part of his senate career:

Proposed text collapsed for readability.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Political Controversies
Support for 'Infanticide'

Former 2004 Senate opponent Alan Keyes, who entered the 2004 Senate race after Obama's original opponent, Jack Ryan, dropped out due to a sex scandal, began accusing Obama just one day after entering the race of taking the 'slaveholder's position' because Obama termed children surviving late-term abortions "fetus]es]" and supported the right of hospitals to let them die of abandonment

[2]. Obama in 2003, before the Illinois Senate, questioned whether a bill known as the Born Alive Infants Protection Act could be summarized as follows:[3]

"Senator O’Malley, the testimony during the committee indicated that one of the key concerns was – is that there was a method of abortion, an induced abortion, where the — the fetus or child, as – as some might describe it, is still temporarily alive outside the womb. And one of the concerns that came out in the testimony was the fact that they were not being properly cared for during that brief period of time that they were still living. Is that correct? Is that an accurate sort of descriptions of one of the key concerns of the bill?"

After Senator O'Malley answered in the affirmative, Senator Obama's reply included the following:

"Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a -- a child, a nine-month-old -- child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it -- it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute. For that purpose I think it would probably be found unconstitutional. The second reason that it would probably be found unconstitutional is that this essentially says that a doctor is required to provide treatment to a previable child, or fetus, however way you want to describe it. Viability is the line that has been drawn by the Supreme Court to determine whether or not an abortion can or cannot take place. And if we're placing a burden on the doctor that says you have to keep alive even a previable child as long as possible and give them as much medical attention as -- as is necessary to try to keep that child alive, then we're probably crossing the line in terms of unconstitutionality."

During his time in the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama would vote against other bills addressing this subject of 'live birth abortion', including the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act (which included statements by Senator Cullerton that closely mirrored the aforementioned and later arguments of Obama)[4] and the Induced Birth Infants Liability Act (with both Senators Obama and Cullerton speaking, Obama elaborating).[5]

In August of 2008, officially recognized some truth to the claims of infanticide, stating "We find that, as the NRLC said in a recent statement, Obama voted in committee against the 2003 state bill that was nearly identical to the federal act he says he would have supported. Both contained identical clauses saying that nothing in the bills could be construed to affect legal rights of an unborn fetus, according to an undisputed summary written immediately after the committee's 2003 mark-up session."[6]

Chicago Politics

As reported on by the Chicago Tribune[7] and later the Houston Press' Todd Spivak[8], Obama defeated early political opponents by challenging their petition signatures. In this way he was able to defeat activist and popular incumbent Alice Palmer, who had earlier supported him, when she was forced to hurriedly collect petition signatures before the filing deadline.

As Spivak points out about the legislative record of Senator Obama, "It's a lengthy record filled with core liberal issues. But what's interesting, and almost never discussed, is that he built his entire legislative record in Illinois in a single year." Then Senate Majority Leader Emil Jones was approached by young Senator Barack Obama, who told him "You have the power to make a United States Senator."[9]

During his last year in the Illinois Senate Obama sponsored 26 bills that were passed into law. Jones had Obama craft legislation dealing with key issues in the news. But what is more, as reported on by Spivak, "Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills. 'I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen,' State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. 'Barack didn't have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.'"

Further commentary

Now, all of those are mainstream criticisms of Barack Obama. I would like to see the reasoning behind those who would deny the inclusion of them. I would also ask, if there is a consensus to be achieved on whether to put this in, how long will it take, and how will it be decided? After all, if hypothetically, liberals were more obtuse in refusing to allow criticisms of Obama yet conservatives were able to agree to allow valid criticisms of conservative candidates, would that mean that just because one side is hypocritically unjust in disallowing a consensus that variable and discriminatory means should be permitted to coexist? --Jzyehoshua (talk) 23:12, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Are you kidding? This isn't a political advertisement website that has a place for one side or the other to post their political adds against political figures. If you want to go around Wikipedia and accuse WP:BLP of killing children, you're not going to last very long. My suggestion for you is to either drastically reduce the size of your last edit here(there is a 500 word limit) and strike the portions that are purposely inflammatory, or just revert the whole thing. DD2K (talk) 23:51, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Hey, hey, hey, keep the ad hominems to yourself. If you want to accuse me of using political ads then why don't you say what part of the heavily sourced facts you disagree with? Those are major sources I'm using to back up every little statement, even the inflections and tones of voice, when referring to Obama. The least you can do is state what you disagree with.
I am not sure if those citations I gave are easily clicked on, I was trying to figure out how, so they may not work here in the discussion, but I will post them out.
1. Keyes assails Obama's abortion views, August 9, 2004, [69], Associated Press.
2. State of Illinois General Assembly 92nd General Assembly Regular Session Senate Transcript, Illinois General Assembly, March 30, 2001, [70], pages=85-87 2009.
3. State of Illinois General Assembly 90th General Assembly Regular Session Senate Transcript, Illinois General Assembly, March 18, 1997, [71], pages=61-63.
4. State of Illinois General Assembly 90th General Assembly Regular Session Senate Transcript, Illinois General Assembly, April 4, 2002, [[72]], pages 30-35.
5. Obama and 'Infanticide',, August 25, 2008, [73].
6. Barack Obama knows his way around a ballot, Chicago Tribune, April 3, 2007, [74].
7. Barack Obama and Me, Houston News, February 26, 2008, [75].
8. Obama: How He Learned to Win, Time Magazine, May 8, 2008, [76].
Look, I could play you and take the other side and say you shouldn't have the negative stuff about the Bridge to Nowhere or her governorship stuff on Sarah Palin's website because this isn't a place for 'political ads'. Just because it's politically controversial does not mean it is untrue, un-historical, factually inaccurate, or defamatory. It's only defamatory if not very clearly true and unsourced. Which is why I challenge you to back up your accusations against me and show even one word I said that is a matter of opinion rather than simply covering the subjects.
It's because I don't think Wikipedia should treat itself like a political campaign website that I am opposing you on this. You're treating Obama's page here like a glorified billboard praising his beautiful attributes while avoiding anything critical of him, and denying the very different manner of approach used elsewhere for politicians on Wikipedia. I am saying that you should do one or the other. Either be willing to show the factual criticisms of him, or remove the criticisms for all other politicians.
And again, if you think I am being opinionated or not backing up any statements in any way - then show how. Say it. Where's the beef? I wrote a well-sourced article and if you're going to throw around attacks like that against it and against me, then at least show the courtesy of saying why you disagree with them. Anyone can accuse an article or article writer. It's a whole other thing to actually provide reasoned arguments and logic-based critiques.
As soon as I wrote this, I had someone come on my page and tell me I had to be [censored] kidding. Another one who wasn't even a moderator came and told me the post was reverted and then laughed when I asked them why it was reverted, told me I needed to get my eyes checked. There is a liberal community on the web that composes less than 20% of the American populace but will exert their influence over the rest of society whenever they can to further their agendas by silencing free speech through whatever means necessary.
We saw that in the large scale with the leaking of the climate change emails, which showed the liberal members of the scientific community were willing to go so far as bias in peer review and discrimination to remove or disallow all alternate points of view - and any evidence that did not fit their beliefs.
Bottom line - I quoted from Obama's own words off the senate floor and major news articles from the Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine, and the Associated Press. was referenced as well. Whether you like the POV or not is irrelevant here. If it is a major issue than it should be covered, and the fact that you are trying to silence it without being able to provide any reasonable basis shows something here. I noticed a recent user tried to remove this part of the discussion and all my comments. The attempts by the Wikipedia community to prevent this from even being discussed are shameful and disgusting.
--Jzyehoshua (talk) 05:37, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Ideological disagreement is not encyclopedic material. None of this has the slightest chance of appearing in a biographical article on the Wikipedia. Tarc (talk) 05:53, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree. But what part of my post resorted to 'ideological disagreement'? I merely reported the facts and points of view of major news outlets in covering this, and stuck entirely to the facts. If I did otherwise, then show it. And if I did so, and this is still inappropriate, then state WHY.
--Jzyehoshua (talk) 05:55, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Furthermore, there are any number of articles on Wikipedia that provide critical facts and reporting references on the pages of politicians or organizations that are less well-sourced than mine. All I see is a hypocritical double standard.
--Jzyehoshua (talk) 06:01, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Then you're doing yourself a disservice in not becoming familiar with the policies and guidelines that have been pointed out to you. Here's another: WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. Nobody here is saying keep criticism in other articles, and you claiming that is false. Grsz11
So then, you are saying Wikipedia would support my removing anything negative about a person, regardless of its factual basis? So the fact that George Bush started a false war over WOMD, I could remove all reference to that on his page? Because it is the same scenario here. There is factual, well-sourced basis for historical criticism of Barack Obama that can be stated objectively in a reasonable manner. Just because the Republicans use mudslinging all the time against him, doesn't mean there are no criticisms of Obama. It's just that so much of their junk is flying around that their stuff gets discredited and when they actually find something that is valid, it's like the boy that cries wolf, and nobody listens. Anyway, I just don't like it that Obama's being treated specially here and anything negative of him can't be written. I hardly think Wikipedia intends to allow a policy where anything written negative about anyone can be deleted for no other reason than making everything positive about everyone. And no, I'm not saying I want to remove all negative stuff about everyone, just pointing out that it seems ridiculous such a standard is being applied here. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 12:37, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
In answer to "what part", I would respond "all of it". The Obama article isn't a soapbox for your anti-abortionist propaganda, nor is it for delving into minutiae about Chicago politics. This is an encyclopedia, not a blog. Tarc (talk) 06:07, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Way to be specific. If it's "all of it" then surely you can provide even ONE example, right? Because I've been challenging anyone to provide one the last several hours and still have yet to see anything tangible.
As for 'minutiae' about Chicago politics, we're talking minutiae being reported on by the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine, Washington Post, New York Times, and Among others. That's some pretty substantial minutiae.
You have needed far less excuse to report negative stories about politicians or organizations elsewhere on Wikipedia. For example, the article on Microsoft needs very few or no sources to accuse the global corporate giant of different things. The article on Alan Keyes, the 2004 Senate opponent of Obama, mentions the media attacks on him at the time of carpet-bagging and 'selfish hedonism'. I don't see you standing up to say that is too negative of him. You want to be able to put the negative stuff about him but balk at anything critical of his opponent being put on Wikipedia.
As I have said, double standard. If you are going to make claims, back them up from now on. I am getting tired of the mudslinging done here with no accountability for attacks on others and their posts.
--Jzyehoshua (talk) 06:17, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
You only have 2 sections, one is "Support for 'Infanticide'", the other "Chicago politics". Let's not play coy about what we're talking here; your material, while wordy, is not terribly complicated. There is absolutely nothing worthwhile, encyclopedic, or relevant in the "Infanticide" section. Alan Keyes is a marginal politician who holds a decidedly fringe view regarding abortion the details of his infanticide charges have no bearing on a biographical article on the president. The other is a simplistic treatise on the rough and tumble style of politics that Chicagoans are infamous for. Nothing really special about Obama being another in a long line of them. No offennse, but all of this text is just a big pile of "meh", more suited to the freerepublic or the Conservopedia. Tarc (talk) 06:28, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Both of which deal with 2 major parts of his entire history. To deny them is to deny all of the facts about his past. People don't know much about Obama or his past in general. I live in Illinois. I followed the events of these elections. I went to one of his town hall meetings back in 2004. These are not being reported by Wikipedia because they are attacks on Obama. They are not being reported because, despite being major historical aspects of the real Barack Obama, the only Obama Wikipedia wants presented is a rosy picture with major pieces of that picture missing.
Of his early political career in 2004 nothing is mentioned negatively. Not that he used these tactics to defeat Palmer. Not that the racial profiling bill he sponsored was originally the work of a guy who is still so sore about it (Hendon) that they had a physical confrontation in the last 2 years. Any other politician and this stuff would be put in right away. You are deliberately keeping out all critical aspects of his career in a way that no other politician on Wikipedia is treated.
As for the infanticide, that has been pointed out by almost every major news publication you could name at one point or another. It's been picked up on heavily across the web., who has a better reputation for fact-checking than Wikipedia, admitted it had merit. That is a part of his career that Alan Keyes, Jill Stanek, and others have criticized him publicly over for years. You just want it covered up so that nobody can even consider that it might be an issue - though it is, clearly.
I made only 2 sections because I only wanted to deal with the content I was most familiar with and knew was indisputable. I wanted to avoid controversial facts when posting to Wikipedia so everyone could agree they were facts, since there is still no denying any of the things I said.
As I said before, I don't support the exact wording being put in. But it should be mentioned at points in the article that Palmer was treated as she was, and that Alan Keyes prominently opposed him for the reasons he did. And concerning Keyes, he ran a campaign against Obama primarily on that one issue alone with less than 3 months in the election and no built-up campaign structure whatsoever, yet still managed almost 30% of the vote. When he came in, Obama had been campaigning for months and the press attacked Keyes from the beginning, and did not give him equivalent time in debates or in the newspapers, and many took time to even learn Keyes was running at all.
As for those 'fringe views', the majority of Americans for the first time were pro-life as opposed to pro-choice, according to Gallup. What is more, only 23% say abortion should be legal under any circumstances, and never has that percentage been higher than 34% - meaning the majority of Americans overwhelmingly say abortion should be legal only in cases where the mother's life is in danger or rape/incest has occurred.[[77]]
As for your excuse that this is just another part of Chicago politics and thus not worth reporting on, that does not prevent Wikipedia from having a big long 'Controversies' section for Mayor Richard M. Daley and ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich. But of course I'm sure you'd say those are different, right? -.^
--Jzyehoshua (talk) 09:31, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Since Jzyehoshua seems to be having serious difficulty understanding this, it seems we have to point it out in very simple terms. There are absolutely no circumstances whatsoever under which any biography will assert that a view on abortion equates to support for infanticide. None. If you want to write crap like that, go to Conservapedia or Free Republic. Any editor who tries to do this in an article will almost certainly be blocked if not banned, and any editor who edit wars to include such ridiculously loaded terms on a talk page will also very likely end up blocked. I hope this is sufficiently clear that the fools edit warring over this idiocy will now understand. Guy (Help!) 09:03, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Even use of the term, though it is being used widely by the pro-life movement including the NRLC, and referred to by, as well as major publications, can not be used? You are not even allowing the issue to be broached, no matter how major an issue it is. At this point it has reached the same level of liberal bias evident in NBC and reported on by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, a study revealing the press provided levels of bias not only in how much extra air time they gave to Obama as opposed to McCain, but also the levels of favorability. It found considerable bias by all major news channels but Fox News in favor of Democrats.[78]
This is also shown by the levels of industry donations for the media. 70% historically of all donations go to Democrats, and just 29% to Republicans. For 2010, it was 76% for Democrats.[[79]]
Therefore, you can call names all you want, using the ad hominem tactics all you want, and I'd imagine you'll have a few straw men to throw into the mix as well, but that doesn't negate the fact that you are wrong, you know you're wrong, I know you're wrong, and whatever the decision reached here becomes, that does not make the record of your evil any less.
--Jzyehoshua (talk) 09:31, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I will repeat this, since you have difficulty comprehending it. There are absolutely no circumstances whatsoever under which any biography will assert that a view on abortion equates to support for infanticide. This is not a grey area, and if you continue to agitate for it then you will almost certainly be out of here. Nobody cares what the political support is for the pro-life or pro-choice movements, it is 100% unequivocally unacceptable to describe a pro-choice position in terms of infanticide, that is a characterisation that is so far from WP:NPOV that it is simply never going to be appropriate. If you think the article fails because of that then you are in the wrong place, go to Conservapedia. Guy (Help!) 10:39, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
My original article never used the term infanticide except in mentioning that had written an article called "Obama and 'Infanticide'", and in the title - where I still put infanticide in parentheses just to make clear it was just referring to the assertions of others, not trying to push the accusation itself. As I've said repeatedly now, had I known people would get so offended at simply quoting the use of the term by others I would have just used a different term for it like live-birth abortion. The article was simply citing who had used the term and referring to senate opponent Keyes, who did call Obama's voting record infanticide. In retrospect, I'd meant to provide a quote of Keyes using the term infanticide, but just forgot while writing. I never said Wikipedia should assert a view on abortion is similar to infanticide, the article when I wrote it was just pointing out it was a major criticism of Obama's and then quoting the exact statements by Obama that led to the controversy, as well as mentioning the objective examination of this by independent research evaluator, If you read what I wrote, you'd see I was trying to avoid framing it, and simply to state the facts, only mentioning that it was the primary criticism of Obama's 2004 senate opponent and thus addressed by I did not render an opinion about it myself. Nevertheless, I have proposed edits different from that original article now, that I likewise feel avoid presenting an opinion but rather simply report the facts. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 15:35, 20 December 2009 (UTC)


BOTTOM LINE: As I said before, I recognize now that Wikipedia is trying to get away from such 'controversies' sections, even though I think it odd that such sections still exist for the other aforementioned Illinois politicians like Rod Blagojevich and Mayor Richard M. Daley. However, while I would NO LONGER support the inclusion of my original section with its lengthy discourse on infanticide, I still state that it should be mentioned that certain points in Obama's past had negative aspects, to avoid liberal bias. These should include:

    • Early political tactics. When mentioning Alison Palmer, it should be noted that she and the other 3 early opponents of Obama were knocked off by ballots rather than beaten in political races as a result of him challenging their petition signatures. If there is going to a 1996-2004 section mentioning Palmer, it might as well mention this valid historical aspect of what happened.
    • Details about the Keyes race. If it is going to be mentioned like that, it might as well be mentioned that Keyes had just 3 months left before the elections when entering, and was challenging Obama primarily on the issue of late-term abortions. If people don't want to see the term 'infanticide' used I am fine with that, although it was one used heavily by Keyes and others. It could also be mentioned that the media played a part in deciding the race's outcome, first by attacking Keyes as a carpetbagger and later for his daughter Maya Keyes being gay (both of which were major aspects of the race).
    • It could also be mentioned what Obama's role was with Senator Emil Jones in gaining his U.S. Senate seat, and how he is recorded as asking for that seat, an unusual step. However, I know this will take talking about as it will need to be heavily sourced. Nevertheless, I am confident the sources can be brought forth. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 09:57, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
You want the article to have three additions. One of these you say needs better sourcing, and another in part concerns reasons why another candidate failed (reasons that you haven't linked above to Obama at all). Perhaps you should concentrate on whatever you think is your strongest point. Phrase it persuasively, and it might persuade. -- Hoary (talk) 10:21, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, in the article itself, it states about the 2004 Senate Campaign, "Two months later, Alan Keyes accepted the Illinois Republican Party's nomination to replace Ryan. A long-time resident of Maryland, Keyes established legal residency in Illinois with the nomination. In the November 2004 general election, Obama received 70% of the vote to Keyes' 27%, the largest victory margin for a statewide race in Illinois history." For so major an event in Obama's life, the election to the U.S. Senate, this race is effectively covered in about 3 sentences, and glosses over the reasons why Keyes came to Illinois and the fact that the election was virtually over, seemingly to portray Keyes as negatively as possible. In essence, it is bringing up the carpetbagging stuff again and the concept that Obama won in a landslide, without mentioning anything about why Keyes came or why Obama won that way. There are no details given, it is vague, and again that's a major election in his history being glossed over with a few sentences. I don't see why adding a few more paragraphs about the election circumstances would be a bad thing.
As for the sourcing, I think I provided adequate sourcing (earlier articles by the Chicago Tribune and Houston News both provide evidence) but expect one or 2 more major sources might be ideal given that this was a less-reported-on issue. I still think all 3 should make it into the article.
Also, I notice that the information about the 2008 Presidential Campaign on John McCain's page is more detailed and mentions lobbyist criticisms, but here avoids mentions of the much more prominent fiscal issue in Obama's campaign, public financing. Again, reading different pages for candidates on both sides one can see very different treatment, whether comparing Bush:Obama, McCain:Obama, Palin:Obama, Keyes:Obama, etc. Noticeable negatives are stated on the other pages, but never on Obama's, quite noticeably. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 11:14, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
In response to the earlier "Both of which deal with 2 major parts of his entire history", I will say that, no, they really don't. "Abortion as infanticide" is a fringe opinion, and will not be given equal weight alongside mainstream POV. The other part is, astill, just a criticism of being a Chicago politician. Nothing special. As to comparisons with other articles, perhaps you could head on out there and improve those if you feel they are flawed, rather than making this article worse so they will all match. Tarc (talk) 12:36, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Umm... what are you talking about? I never said abortion was infanticide. We're not talking about babies INSIDE the mother's body here. The reason it's controversial with Obama is he supported the killing of children who survive abortions and are OUTSIDE the mother's body. Didn't you read what I wrote? --Jzyehoshua (talk) 12:40, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I did, but that is what we call a distinction without a difference. This is not the proper venue to discuss anti-abortionist rhetoric though, this is to discuss the article of Barack Obama. This sort of material is certain;y of pressing significance to Alan Keyes, Operation Rescue and the like. But it has no bearing here. Tarc (talk) 13:35, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
You may not consider it immoral that Obama supported leaving newborn children to die on hospital beds. But it resulted, as he said on the Illinois senate floor, in a situation where even normally pro-choice members of the Illinois legislature supporting the bill to stop such a heinous practices. It is why the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act passed, not even normally pro-choice Congressmen could conscientiously support such a form of 'rights' where newborn babies are considered fetuses. It is why Obama has had to hide this aspect of his voting record from people many, many times. He has tried various defenses, including:
A) I would have voted for the Federal version of the bill but the Illinois version lacked the same language. addressed this distortion by agreeing that the NRLC was right - Bart Stupak introduced an amendment to make the Illinois version word for word identical with the federal one, but Obama never let it get in. He brought it up in the Health and Human Services Committee, that he chaired, and voted against it. Thus Obama was lying about that.
B) The current Illinois laws already prevented such a practice. However, nurses Jill Stanek and Allison Baker both worked in an Illinois hospital, and were the key witnesses for the federal case - meaning this dealt with Illinois law first and foremost. This was pointed out in one of the earlier senate transcripts I provided, either the 2001 or 1997 one.
C) We shouldn't be talking about divisive subjects and focusing on what unifies us, the issue is unimportant. This despite the fact that he consistently speaks much differently about it on the senate floor, addresses it before Planned Parenthood unabashedly, and is just unwilling to show himself about it to the general public.
Many of his other defenses are detailed here by Jill Stanek.[[80]]
It is dishonest of you to try mentioning a lesser known group in conjunction with former U.N. Ambassador Alan Keyes in an attempt to continue your campaign to paint him as a fringe unknown, while avoiding the fact that the National Right to Life Committee, the primary pro-life group in the United States, has been tirelessly criticizing Barack Obama for years on this issue. You should be more forthright and forthcoming about this issue, rather than trying to deny the clear facts about this case. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 13:55, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
All of which bears the stamp of a singular point of view and, as noted before, a decidedly fringe one at that. Anyone that approaches any wikipedia article on a living person with the intent to insert charges of "infanticide" into it in reference to the abortion debate is already starting off with two strikes against them, IMO. By the way, worldnetdaily is a sterling exmaple of an unreliable source. Anything "detailed" by WND cannot be used as a citation in a Wikipedia article, apart for basic factual statements about themselves. I think this is at a dead-end. Tarc (talk) 14:09, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Considering that the term infanticide has now been used in reference to Obama by:
-the National Right to Life Committee[[81]]
-CBS/The Associated Press[[82]]
-The Washington Post[[83]]
-Chicago Tribune[[84]][[85]]
-Time Magazine's Real Clear Politics[[86]][[87]][[88]]
-The New York Times[[89]]
-Newsweek[[90]] (the FactCheck article)[[91]]
-U.S. Senator Rick Santorum[[92]]
-U.S. Senator Pat Moynihan[[93]]
-Sean Hannity[[94]]
-Rush Limbaugh[[95]]
-Ann Coulter[[96]]
-National Review[[97]][[98]]
-Jill Stanek[[99]][[100]]
-World Net Daily[[101]]
Obama even felt enough heat on the issue to address the Chicago Tribune about it directly with his website FightTheSmears.[[102]][[103]]
That is not even including those like John McCain[[104]], Sarah Palin[[105]], and the National Organization of Women (Clinton supporters)[[106]] who accused Obama of it but did not specifically use the word 'infanticide'.
Therefore, if you want to consider me discredited for using the word 'infanticide' in reference to Obama, I consider myself in good company, and find no problem with having done so, since I was merely following precedent in using a common term to refer to his voting record that has been frequently applied to him in the media and by national figures. As far as I am concerned, it is you who have long since been discredited for suggesting opposition to infanticide does not matter and is a fringe view, while considering discredited many major news organizations in the U.S.
--Jzyehoshua (talk) 15:46, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
P.S. It should further be pointed out that there is ALREADY a Wikipedia article addressing Jill Stanek's claims of Obama's infanticide (and yes, it uses that term).[[107]]
You are intermingling coverage of the charges with advocacy of the charges, which I'm sorry to say is a rather intellectually dishonest approach to the matter. Half of that list consists of unreliable sources, then a pair of opinion pieces by Senators, and the rest a handful of reliable sources. The CBS citation for example notes "Abortion opponents see Obama's vote on medical care for aborted fetuses as a refusal to protect the helpless. Some have even accused him of supporting infanticide". That doesn't give weight or credence to the allegations, it simply reports that political opponents have said it, as does the passage in Stanek's wiki-article. No in-depth analysis or coverage, because it is a trivial and dismissible charge, much as "baby killer" would be in reference to Bush in regards to the Iraq invasion. was setup for the precise purpose of shooting down conspiracy-tinged idiocy such as this. This is why we have a separate Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories article to cover the Birthers and their Certifi-gate campaign; it has no real bearing on the biographical article of Obama, as it is a criticism so far out of the mainstream as to be almost laughable. I'm sorry that a favored cause of yours...induced abortion == murder...isn't gaining the traction that you'd like it to. But you're in the wrong place in attempting to fight that battle. I think that is about my last word on this subject, as it is beginning to get circular. Tarc (talk) 16:23, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
It was never intended to be a good list of links. All it was meant to do was show that the use of the words 'Obama' and 'infanticide' occurred by major news outlets, to disprove your argument that because I did that anything I said was disqualified. Obviously I was not trying to make a good list of links, merely ones showing that such a view is not the fringe view you've said, and has received national media attention. In that regard, my list achieved its goal.
I had 8 links in my original post and already provided those. Those were the original sourcing and I have seen no one try to deny their validity as of yet. Nor am I seeing anyone who dislikes my proposed consensus above as of yet except you. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 02:37, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
You have misunderstood a fundamental fact about sources. When you say that the term infanticide has now been used in reference to Obama by the sources, you are misrepresenting the facts. The sources all note that the term has been used by some (usually un-named) activists in the pro-life movement, that is a very long way from saying that these sources endorse or subscribe to that view. It is an extremist POV, something the sources make clear. There are not eight sources for the assertion, there's one: the National Right to Life Committee. And they are absolutely not neutral. Guy (Help!) 10:49, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
The NRLC was not one of my original 8 links. 3 of the 8 original links did not even deal with the infanticide issue. 1 was simply reporting on Keyes' statements about infanticide and 2 were senate transcripts simply recording the Obama conversations. And the FactCheck one simply addressed the NRLC's accusations against Obama. Are you sure you are addressing the 8 links I posted in my 'Further Commentary' 05:37, 18 December 2009 (UTC) post, which were those mentioned in the originally archived post suggestion? --Jzyehoshua (talk) 15:11, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
You're missing the point. When the press report what extremists say, that does not validate the extremist view or make it anything other than a view held by extremists. What you are proposing is partly a novel synthesis form published facts and partly giving undue weight to extremist views. Worse, you seem to be having trouble comprehending the patient explanations you've been given. Guy (Help!) 22:14, 20 December 2009 (UTC)


This article is blatantly in favor of Obama. There isn't even a criticisms area. In the economic section, not a word is devoted to any of the bailouts made available to Wall Street or foreign banks. Nothing is stated about the trillions the Fed handed over to recipients they refuse to disclose. The AIG scandal is left completely out. There is nothing in this article that lends any opposing voice to Obama's presidency.

I believe I'm done editing Wikipedia articles. Places have turned into travel brochures instead of accurate representations of the areas (Downtown Eastside is an excellent example of this propagandizing) and living persons are often idolized. When an individual steps up to fix the article, it is often removed by rabidly partisan Wiki-ers. Wikipedia is nothing like it was in years past. What began as an honest attempt is now a mouthpiece in a popularity contest.

NoHitHair (talk) 23:49, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Probably because you are looking in the wrong article. Most of those things would be in the Presidency of Barack Obama, not this, which is a biography of the man, not a play by play of his presidency. Have fun leaving though, it's always great to work with people who shout a lot and then say they hate you. Don't let the Internet ports slam in your ass as you close them. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 00:20, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand how the second half of that could be imagined to be helpful. -- Hoary (talk) 10:16, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
As OuroborosCobra correctly states, most information about Obama's presidency is contained in Presidency of Barack Obama. Since this article is supposed to be a biography that is intended to provide a brief look at his entire life, it doesn't make sense to put more about the presidency than is already there. Also, Wikipedia discourages criticism sections. They do not provide for neutral articles, and criticisms (cited of course) should be incoporated into the rest of the article. WHSL (Talk) 13:40, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't be surprised if it weren't mentioned in this response if three more editors had already posted here, because the economic literacy in this world is not the greatest, but this is a simple issue of recent memory of timelines: the AIG "scandal" is the result of a "bailout" that began in the late summer of 2008, before the 2008 election and during the Presidency of George W. Bush, and that—and not the Presidency of Barack Obama article—would be where this "scandal" bears mentioning. Whether someone who would suggest it be added here will actually go through with adding it there or not remains to be seen, but as with every subject raised at this page, I would highly recommend actually reading an article on the subject before suggesting its addition here.
Wikipedia, in fact, has an article about AIG to remind readers such as yourself of this timeline, and it notes that AIG disclosed "a list of major recipients of collateral postings and payments under credit default swaps, guaranteed investment plans, and securities lending agreements" including Goldman Sachs and Société Générale, again, something that transpired in 2008, prior to the presidency of Barack Obama.
Finally, the upper amount involved in the AIG "bailout" is $182.5 Billion, some of which actually purchased mortgage-based assets (thereby not technically part of a "bailout", but instead a "buyout", the sort of investment it's not unheard of for the government to make) and some of which is an as-yet unused credit line (and so still actually in the hands of the U.S. government and not AIG). So it is some fraction less than one-twentieth of the "trillions" that you characterize it as being. Again, getting your facts somewhere within the ballpark before making an editorial suggestion would vastly improve your chances of not being considered an uninformed ideologue simply out to smear someone with revisionist history.
To the contrary of your accusation of POV in favor of Obama, I would say is there not a negative POV advanced by failing to mention in this article that the major banks have now all paid back their TARP "bailout" money to the government ("taxpayer") with interest? I would ask is there not a pessimistic or negative POV advanced by failing to mention in this article that the DOW has risen almost 4,000 points since March lows? Is there not a negative POV advanced by simply noting an unemployment number, yet failing to explain that new job losses, which had risen throughout the last couple years of the Bush administration to 700,000 a month by the time Obama took office, have decreased profoundly ever since? It's no surprise that the sort of people suggesting negative POV at this article miss the negative POV already there, but it's a disappointment that those battling the negative POV are so unaware or ambivalent about the imbalanced negativity in the article.
Recently, I substantively responded, with references, to erroneous comments in a conversation about the Stimulus, yet not a single editor here commented and after 14 days it was archived. The true POV is against adding positive facts, not the resistance to the sort of vague, unreferenced hearsay grudges that dominate these pages. Just every once in a while, we need to wrap our minds around an issue and respond with more than the stock "take it to Presidency" answer. I'd point out that nobody's really discussing anything at Presidency lately. The entire talk page there is two sections, with only a single, unresponded-to comment in the past month. Sometimes a thread can seem to include elements of specific responses to other editors, but when substantive, supported statements salient to a point of contention and relevant for article consideration are made, editors are more than welcome to weigh in with their acknowledgement of their veracity and relevancy to the article. When there was nothing going on but delinquency at both of these pages, it was hard to keep up with more substantive editorial discussions; now that there is so much less heat, let's acknowledge the light every once in awhile. Abrazame (talk) 14:15, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
All of which is true. Nevertheless, it was a Democrat-run Congress those last few years of the Bush presidency. And Obama voted in favor of the Bush tax cuts and TARP. He also voted in favor of ALL Bush's war funding requests.
In July of 2008 the Wall Street Journal even ran an article pointing out the similarities and suggesting Obama was Bush's third term.
CNN meanwhile ran an article pointing out 20 similarities between Bush and Obama on policy issues
Many people do not realize that Obama even copied Bush's state of the union address from 2000, when he said 'Juntos Pudemos' or 'Together We Can'. If you look into their backgrounds and personality types, you might find more similar than you'd think.
PolitiFact also labeled as 'True' the statement by the McCain campaign that Obama supported the Bush campaign half the time.[[108]] It was noted in 2005 that Obama supported attacking Iran with missile strikes to stop their nuclear program.[[109]] --Jzyehoshua (talk) 14:32, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Text collapsed for readability, to avoid off-topic conversation dealing with personal attacks and straw men. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 11:01, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
For Pete's sake, quit littering this talk page with your propaganda. It has nothing to do with the biography of Barack Obama. These are political attacks made by his opponents during elections. I don't know how many times I've seen "Well, there was a Democratic Congress the last few years of the Bush Administration", which is an insinuation of blame put out by people either totally unfamiliar with the electoral process or how Legislation works or people who do not care. Democrats gained control of the Congress in both Houses in January of 2007, which gave them limited power with a Republican President. And two years, not 'a few', much of which was taken up by the Democratic/Republican Primaries for President and the General election(January 2008-November 2008). There was no way to override a Veto for those 2 years, and the situation was a check and balance. I really wish people would look into your agenda here and do something. It's blatantly obvious you do not wish to improve this article, or the Wikipedia project. You agenda is to disrupt and battle. DD2K (talk) 14:49, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
So, those articles by CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and PolitiFact were nothing more than "political attacks made by his opponents during elections"? Interesting, I'm sure such news organizations would be very interested in hearing that you have such an opinion of them. Of course it couldn't be that maybe they just recognized there was validity to the points, enough so to compose major news releases on them.
McCain and company weren't the ones pushing this stuff. McCain was too busy buddying up to George W. and trying to look the part of Mr. National Security, the perfect 'W' predecessor.
And strong as the Republican presence in Congress was, they did not have filibuster power like the Democrats do now. Meaning some Democrats were involved too, probably ones not held accountable either. You want to make this a partisan issue even though I'm not a Republican. I just don't like it when people like you want to hold one side accountable and not the other. I'm all for criticizing Bush and the Republicans, I just wish you'd cut the hypocrisy and look at your side too.
--Jzyehoshua (talk) 16:04, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Whether you do not understand that citing outlets that report on the accusations made by fringe groups is not proof that the accusations are true or not, I don't really care. Citing Pat Buchanan-quoting Patrick Moynihan on a RealClearPolitics blog and claiming that it was Moynihan accusing Barack Obama shows that you either have an agenda that cannot be reasoned with, or that you just don't care. There are plenty of conservatives and Republicans on Wikipedia that strive to make the project as balanced as possible, with the goals of having articles adhere to the Wikipedia guidelines. I just do not believe that you really are trying to accomplish that. As much as we are supposed to WP:AGF, you make that almost impossible for me. So I will now withdraw for this portion of the discussion and leave my obvious vote on the record. No. DD2K (talk) 16:36, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I never said it was proof the accusations were true, but nice use of the strawman fallacy. I cited them to prove that it's not a matter of fringe groups. If national media figures and organizations are addressing them, maybe it's time you rethought whether this is just a 'fringe' movement. After all, it's less than 25% of the U.S. that supports abortion under all circumstances according to Gallup, as I earlier mentioned. How much less so you think when it involves something so clearly wrong as live birth abortion?
And no, I'm not a Republican. Keyes is not a Republican any more either. He became part of the Constitution Party following my recommendation to him on his forums. I have never voted for a major party candidate in a presidential election, only 3rd party candidates. And I most closely affiliate myself with DFLA, the Democrats For Life of America. I simply have been hammering the GOP to make changes the last few months since I know they're getting desperate to find something that works. Thus why the profile never said I was Republican. And if you read anything I write over there, you'll see I criticize the GOP very heavily and suggest they should partner with DFLA in working together by dropping partisanship.
And I realize btw what you're doing. First tactic of any ad hominem proponent wanting to attack their adversary to distract from a losing argument is to bring up personal issues, get them talking, and then find material to attack them on. Not that I care at this point. I made my points.
And I don't expect people to agree with me. Not trying to please everyone. I am trying to adhere to the guidelines, and I have run into a lot of people in my time who can't put aside their biases to look objectively at the logic of other's views. I don't think this is about whether I can back up any points on the article objectively or with sources, or whether it's Wikipedia-permissible to do so under the rules. I think this is just about some liberals wanting to stonewall anything critical of Obama, who is idolized beyond reason by them. I run into the same thing with Republicans when I criticize stuff like free trade, Iraq, George Bush, and tax cuts. Each side has their articles of faith it seems. For liberals it's abortion, evolution, etc. For Republicans it's deregulation, capital punishment, and might makes right. Everybody on both sides has trouble thinking for themselves and I get people on BOTH sides trying to pigeonhole me to make themselves feel comfortable as the other side. If you agree completely with one side or the other, I would politely suggest that one is not thinking for themselves. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 16:58, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Please cease from pushing this issue at this page; in any event, stop talking about it and yourself in this particular thread, which is about AIG and this article's flawed coverage of the economy to date. Abrazame (talk) 17:06, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

The minute somebody starts referring to members of the Democratic Party as "Democrat" instead of "Democratic", I stop paying attention. Try rewriting your tl;dr text so as not to offend those you are trying to convince. Woogee (talk) 23:20, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Comment about proposal

Title altered from "absurd propaganda" so as to remain neutral - Wikidemon (talk) 03:40, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Does anyone, including the admins here, really believe that the absurd propaganda being pushed by Jzyehoshua should be added to the Barack Obama article? I think it should be deleted from the talk page. As for WP:NPOV, does anyone think that is a user went to the George W. Bush article and tried to insert stuff about him killing babies in Iraq or whatever that it would be added to the article, or if the user went to the talk page and littered it with election propaganda or accusations, that the user would not be reprimanded? Do we allow editors to do that type of vandalism to articles about anyone? Are the 'truthers' given a voice on the GWB talk page? Everyone should know that the fringe is not allowed into the WP:BLP and that even on the talk pages it is against policy. How long are we going to allow this to go on in the guise of being neutral? DD2K (talk) 15:04, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Jzyehoshua has been instructed to achieve WP:CONSENSUS on this talk page before adding the material to the article. The process is running its course. Name-calling and calls for admins to "do something" (previous thread) won't help at this point. Whether or not any of the material can be added will be decided by consensus. Whether or not a user will be blocked will depend on adherence to policy. I don't see a need for any more consideration than that.  Frank  |  talk  15:18, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
So the addition of Jzyehoshua asking if Barack Obama supports killing infants is ok? That is allowed, even on the talk page? Don't get me wrong, if members of Code Pink were on the George W Bush article pushing their agenda(accusations of murder and such), I think the same warnings should apply. The user in question is obviously not trying to 'achieve WP:CONSENSUS and is using the talk page as a soapbox to push an agenda. I don't see how anyone can see it differently. How can his edits be described as coming from a WP:NPOV? In any way? DD2K (talk) 15:28, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
When a relatively new user (under 200 total edits, along with only three this year before edits to Barack Obama) comes in, guns blazing, and is told the right way to do things around here, and then complies, I think the process is working. That's not the same as saying I think any particular edit is OK. And, in fact, the implications (which are WP:OR anyway) are inappropriate. But we cannot expect new users to understand all the vast workings of Wikipedia instantly.  Frank  |  talk  15:41, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I understand, and think your suggestions were very appropriate when the user tried to add the text to the article. My problem lays with the wording on the Talk page, not the procedure. The accusations of murder should not have any place here, on articles or talk pages. And that what is being accused here, the definition of the word is clear, 1, 2, 3. Allowing those accusations to stand, even on the talk page, should obviously be against the rules. DD2K (talk) 15:54, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
We must have a place for some amount of discussion, even if the entire thrust of the conversation is to point out that a particular view is unsupportable, at least in a Wikipedia article. At some point - possibly following the list added above which includes the assertion that (late) Senator Moynihan has commented on Obama - editors with views which are considered fringe (whether sources exist or not) will "get it". One way or another. But if we just say "go away, we don't like you", we're not doing the project any good and indeed are supporting the (incorrect) view that only certain points of view are allowed. WP:CONSENSUS, WP:V, and WP:NPOV are actually somewhat tricky concepts, I think...and that has nothing to do with Wikipedia. Add to that the fact that this is an online-only medium, and it becomes trickier still.  Frank  |  talk  16:05, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Frank, nobody's expected to read all the links from an ideologue pest hopping from thread to thread pushing the same strident issue like this, but Moynihan—who died in 2001—obviously did not comment on Obama. Moynihan probably never heard of Obama. This editor is simply reaching back into history to note that Moynihan made a general characterization about partial-birth abortion. When a relatively new user dredges up all his favorite comments about abortion even when they're unrelated to the subject of this article, simply to push a point about abortion, he shouldn't be allowed to post his treatise and pursue it all over the page, he should be directed to the abortion article. This is a real and difficult issue, and I respect what I presume is the editor's position on the issue, but it is clear that it is not one with particular relevance to the biography of Barack Obama. Parading issues like this one through BLPs and their talk pages is editorially irresponsible campaigning. You seem to have a misunderstanding of the concept of consensus. Consensus is not about a gang (or a gang of one) to win the exclusion of relevant, salient, properly-weighted, balanced, encyclopedic and contextual facts, in favor of some mistaken POV, nor is it about allowing activists to trot out patently unacceptable, irrelevant propaganda in an effort to draw smeary connections to an individual that aren't really there and create a controversy where there isn't one. Moynihan's non-Obama-related quote is repeated in another of his refs, which he erroneously calls "Time Magazine's Real Clear Politics" but which in fact is an opinion piece by Pat Buchanan; the other ref there is an opinion piece by Rush Limbaugh's little brother. As if somebody even has to click on any of the refs when the final one is World Net Daily. Abrazame (talk) 17:00, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Of course, because a few articles you can discredit void the ones by the New York Times, Washington Post, et. al. Perhaps you should be reading the Argument from fallacy page, or better yet, the article on Cherry picking. There is a reason they were listed lower, they were simply thrown in as fillers. And with Moynihan, his quote is used not just by the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post but other articles as well dealing with Obama and infanticide, making one wonder if perhaps the quote did address Obama somehow. At any rate, stating a few dislikes with a few of the many sources posted, particularly those farther down the list, shows how desperate you are to debunk anything critical of Obama, and how willing to reach you are indeed. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 17:58, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
That's an inappropriate comment. If you continue, this discussion will soon be closed. Please review and follow the terms of article probation, described by link at the top of this page. The Washington Post and New York Times sources do not check out, and given the loaded language you are proposing and the derogatory comments directed at other editors I and others are not willing to further entertain a discussion on the topic at this time. If you want to propose a specific change in the article, particularly one describing a minority position, please support it with a few concise, apt citations, and do not use the occasion to make accusations about the motives of other editors. - Wikidemon (talk) 18:10, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I already said sometime ago (and put it in bold) that I had no problem with replacing the word infanticide with any of the other synonyms used to refer to the process. I also said multiple times, including in my first post, that I did not want to use the original article I wrote in the page anymore. It should've been very clear from that bolded 'Bottom Line' post that we were not discussing any specific phrasing but the content validity itself and the possibilities for mention of the subject matter itself in the Obama page.

As for the links themselves, I am just not understanding why all the focus on attacking them. Obviously they were not main article supporting, content-related links like the list I originally posted (1-7), and it should've been clear from the discussion that I was simply doing a quick 20 minutes of research to find links showing that the word 'infanticide' has been used by major publications, in response to someone who said that my use of the word 'infanticide' disqualified anything I could say. Why editors are treating these like my primary source links, when I never said they were, is utterly incomprehensible to me. It seems very dishonest of them to attack the 20 minute research links and avoid the primary links I originally mentioned.

As the discussion should have shown, the goal in posting them was not primary support for the infanticide criticism itself, but simply to show that major news outlets have used the term 'infanticide' in reference to Obama, and that by using the term I had not 'disqualified' myself from being able to make a reasonable argument. The subject was not on standalone links to support my original written piece, but whether infanticide had been used in reference to Obama by major news outlets, and using the term in reference to him was a 'fringe' view.

In that regard, I still believe my links all achieved their purpose, regardless of whether people like who wrote them or not, it remains a fact that major news outlets let the words Obama and infanticide coexist in their publications, and thus I should not be ridiculed like those here wanted me to be simply for following precedent in using the term in reference to Barack Obama. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 01:58, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Juxtaposing "Obama" and "infanticide" will take an enormous weight of bullet proof reliable sourcing in order to comply with WP:BLP, which is policy. The fact that folks out there have made that juxtaposition does not automatically merit inclusion in this article. Folks have made a wide variety of claims of all different fashion, and wikipedia is not here to air them all out, but merely to summarize what the majority of mainstream reliable sources say to comply with WP:NPOV and to avoid WP:UNDUE weight to fringey commentary. Jzyehoshua, there is no consensus to add your text. You can chalk it up to whatever type of bias or guardianship you like, but the truth of the matter is that these claims do not pass WP:BLP --guyzero | talk 18:09, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────But I already said above in my 'Bottom Line' post that I have no problem with another word like 'late-term abortion' or 'partial birth abortion' or 'live birth abortion' if the word 'infanticide' was dissatisfactory. My only reason for using it at all as a prospective headline was that it's a concise term referring to the unique situation with Obama that as I showed was used heavily by the press. I feel I adequately pointed out more than enough proof to pass any standard of Wikipedia for sourcing on Obama's questionable history here. There should be no doubt that not only does he have a questionable voting record and statements before Congress on this issue that can be easily quoted and sourced, but also that it was a major enough issue to draw national criticism. With that said, I think it incredible that Wikipedia editors would deny it could even be referred to in the page. As my 'Bottom Line' post shows, I have not been arguing for inclusion of the specific post I originally wrote. I recognize now that would be unsatisfactory simply because of its structure, and perhaps objection to the titles (which again, were simply references to the media terms used to summarize the situations - both Fox News and the articles reporting on his early election history refer to 'Chicago politics'). It wasn't my intention to put content that was framing or anything else, merely to advocate for the facts alone being included in whatever form we here could determine would be alright. My frustration was with the steady attacks on me and my character by those here while stubbornly refusing to even consider what I was proposing could be included - they'd made their minds up before I even started talking, and that was brought out my frustration (plus, I don't like fallacy tactics against me, and many were using them). --Jzyehoshua (talk) 01:58, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

I am fully aware of how consensus works, and you may note I referred to Moynihan (d. 2003) above as a thin "reference". I get it (and you already know that). I'm not at all asserting a user (new or otherwise) should have free reign to parade these sorts of issues all over the project. I'm just saying we're not doing ourselves any favors if we start yelling for blocks as soon as someone stumbles in here with 7K of text in an article that pretty much doesn't belong and is unlikely ever to be put in the article in any form. If we don't explain the process, it won't be understood. The question here isn't whether or not I understand consensus...the real point is whether or not a user with under 200 edits who suddenly decides the world needs to know something more about Obama understands it, and shutting down conversation isn't going to achieve that understanding. Having said all that, I suspect there has been enough conversation - in this thread and certainly above - that the process is revealing itself rather quickly and specifically as regards this article, which is all I was suggesting was appropriate. At least - that's what I was trying to suggest.  Frank  |  talk  17:19, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
(ec) The "right way to do things" certainly does not involve repeatedly starting and perpetuating this kind of discussion. This is a distraction, with no reasonable likelihood of leading to any changes to the article or anything else productive. In form, yes, reasonable proposals should be discussed civilly and rationally on talk pages. But going through that motion with a proposal so vastly inappropriate is a hollow gesture. Worse, when proposals like this are accompanied with accusations of bad faith and ad hominem attacks on the body of editors here for being part of a supposed liberal cabal, they're dead on arrival - and a clear violation of the article probation terms. We have not had real trouble on the article for months, but at other times when events external to Wikipedia brought people flocking here on a mission, things degenerated. If a new editor needs some training wheels I don't think this is the place. Humoring bad requests sends the wrong message to an editor here with a political agenda inconsistent with the project, that they can soapbox on important articles. A firm but polite "no thanks" should suffice, with a pointer to the rules. If that doesn't sink in I think we should close down the discussion, and let the editor ponder why their approach isn't working rather than pondering how they might shoehorn bad content into the encyclopedia. - Wikidemon (talk) 17:08, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
For what I anticipate to be my last comment on this issue, in response to User:Jzyehoshua's above comment to me, I wasn't cherry-picking; I don't play games with myself or evade salient editorial issues on this page, I went for the two I thought were the least likely to be desperate partisan editorial diatribes—the ones you attributed to Time magazine—and yet in fact that is precisely what they were.

So, just to prove to myself that I was not wrong about your litany of references, I clicked on The Washington Post link to arrive at an Op-Ed piece written by Michael Gershon during the campaign. Gershon was recruited by Karl Rove to serve as George W. Bush's campaign as speechwriter and, erm, did so well at it that he served as Bush's chief speechwriter from 2001 until June 2006, as a senior policy advisor from 2000 through June 2006, and was a member of the White House Iraq Group, apparently coining the unproductive phrase "Axis of Evil" and suggesting the inclusion of the unfounded phrase "mushroom cloud" in the run-up to war. He was named by Time magazine as the 9th most influential Evangelical in America in 2005. He went on to write for Newsweek and other periodicals. (Further to the issue of media impartiality, I would note that his replacement as Bush's speechwriter was Wall Street Journal chief editor William McGurn.)
As to your NYT ref, the page to which you link points out that the Catholic stance on abortion would be a tough standard for any supporter of abortion rights to meet, and acknowledges that it was a campaign tactic of the Republicans to try to depict Obama as a radical because of his vote on that bill, regardless of his explanation of that bill's unconstitutionality.
I would point out to Frank that he wasn't clear at all in what he wrote about Moynihan (I acknowledge his correction that Moynihan retired in 2001, and passed away in 2003), as evidenced by this editor's being still here writing "(Moynihan's) quote (being used by the WSJ and Washington Post) mak(es) one wonder if perhaps the quote did address Obama somehow." Perhaps it makes one wonder, but this page isn't for the wonderings of a single Wikipedian, least of all one who doesn't realize that Obama's position on abortion in 1996-'97, when Moynihan's statements were made and Obama would have only just been running for the Illinois State Senate, would not be a blip on Moynihan's radar (some years prior to the night he became a "rising star within the Democratic party"). That so many deeply partisan Republicans were still quoting the esteemed late Catholic senator more than a decade later, in the midst of a presidential election, seems like the desperate cherry-picking reach to me. Though it hardly makes one wonder. Abrazame (talk) 19:03, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

The question of including Jz's proposals is irrelevant, as long as he has no consensus for those additions. GoodDay (talk) 20:13, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Hmm... Can I take it you didn't bother reading that big, bolded post I made starting with the words "Bottom Line" which aimed at just that, a consensus, and to state where I stood on this perfectly? I only bothered bolding one post you know, and it seems few here have actually read it. I bulleted it too. Perhaps I should just make it a new section too.
--Jzyehoshua (talk) 02:26, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
  • ehem* putting that last little outburst aside…I think it’s time to move along. What Jzyehoshua tried to add to the article was absurd and continuing to debate about it is a waste of editors time.--Sooo Kawaii!!! ^__^ (talk) 20:39, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

I have 2 points I would like to make:

  • I made a consensus post. I bolded it, bulleted it, and now made it a new section just in case it was still getting overlooked. Nobody but Hoary and Tarc addressed it at all, with Tarc the only one critical of it. And yet there were still people saying I had not suggested a consensus, which made no sense.
  • Why this was closed with such a comment attacking Alan Keyes I am not sure. I am not sure what Sceptre is hearing about Keyes over there in England, but I have lived through the 2004 Illinois Senate race, attended an Obama townhall meeting in the area, and supported the Keyes campaign at the time. Keyes has received a lot of bad press, but simply disqualifying any talk about a subject because he was mentioned (and was not even a primary subject in the discussion either), and ending the discussion with use of the Association, 'Appeal to Ridicule', and Hasty Generalization fallacies, not to mention a potential straw man, seems an poor method for a moderator.

Nevertheless, I feel I proposed a consensus that did not sustain much objection and thus suppose the discussion has at any rate run its course. I appreciate those that provided input without resorting to personal attacks.

--Jzyehoshua (talk) 03:26, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

It is hard to know who is responding to what because this discussion has become so long and disorderly, but I count User:DD2K, User:Misortie, User:GoodDay, User:Guyzero, User:Abrazame, User:JzG, User:Grsz11, User:Tarc, myself, and possibly User:Frank objecting at one time or another to various proposals, without a single editor expressing explicit support (although one or two have chimed in with general complaints about the article). There is also discussion currently at WP:AN/I about the length and heat of this section being a problem. If you can propose some specific text that is neutral in tone, with facts reasonably supported by reliable sources both as to their accuracy and their WP:WEIGHT as a relevant and significant part of Obama's biographical history. If you decide to go that route, please propose these things respectfully and without accusing other editors of things or declaring that your arguments are superior or have consensus. That way they can get a fair hearing. Don't be offended if they are rejected or if people's patience for this is running thin - the proposals to date have been biased and weakly sourced. Further, even if described fairly some of them have been considered and rejected before, and are probably better for other articles than this one. Further information about Obama's senate campaigns and career, for example, may be found in other articles. There is another article about his political positions, and one about his presidency. - Wikidemon (talk) 04:26, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Talk page censorship

In this edit, Sceptre rendered a section invisible, with the comment "I'm closing this as a massive clusterfuck. I can't seriously believe we're seriously discussing comments by Alan Keyes here."

For some reason it rendered more than one section invisible, at least as my particular browser (Epiphany) views the page. Perhaps that was because another HAT/HAB pair was nested within it. Merely in view of what it did to the rest of the page, Sceptre's edit, no matter how well-intentioned, was not a helpful one.

That technical matter aside, if any editor takes Keyes seriously, does this really render everything else the editor says thereabouts as unworthy of consideration?

Of course inane or mindlessly repeated objections can and should be rendered invisible or even deleted, and I've done this myself in my time on this very page (particularly for the comments of a vigorous, multinamed person who seemed to be of Hungarian extraction). But I strongly disagree with what I see as an overeagerness here to render objections invisible. I believe that most of the objections are unwarranted and a lot of the rejoinders to them are good. However, many of even what I consider unwarranted objections seem reasonably phrased. They merit refutation (or pointing toward a refutation), not deletion. Yes, editorial policy in this talk page is turning the talk page into the pastiche that its critics say it already is.

And if you must render material invisible, please use the "Show preview" button. -- Hoary (talk) 03:24, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Please don't use this page to accuse other editors of censorship. There is an apparent consensus to close. It is not a productive discussion. The format problem probably was caused by nested hat / hab templates. If you believe that editors conduct here is inappropriate you're welcome to take that up at the appropriate place, not here. The proposal to accuse Obama of infanticide, among other things, was pretty much dead on arrival but nevertheless remained open for considerable discussion. There is no actionable content proposal and the discussion was accompanied personal attacks and accusations of bad faith. This is exactly the sort of thing that article probation is supposed to enjoin. I had before an edit conflict refactored the closing comment to be more civil and fixed the formatting problem. Please don't reopen a closed discussion like this that is disrupting normal operation of the page. If there are no reasonable objections I urge that it be re-closed shortly so that we can return to productive discussion here. - Wikidemon (talk) 03:39, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Are you reading the entries by the user Jzyehoshua on this page? Have you looked at his edits of the Barack Obama article? I find it pretty unacceptable that a user has been allowed to accuse a WP:BLP of murdering infants numerous times, over and over, and to spam this talk page with comments well past Wikipedia limit. Over and over. This(the closing) has nothing to do with Alan Keyes. Does someone have to file a WP:BLP violation report on this, or are we going to fix it and warn the user? This whole diatribe is unacceptable. I am all for teaching new users the rules, but this is DEFINITELY not the way to do so. Allowing the murder allegations, allowing the user to give links that don't say what he claims they do, and to monopolize the page with idealogical diatribes over and over, is unacceptable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DD2K (talkcontribs) 03:51, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
No actionable content proposal? What about the Consensus section above that was bolded and is still not being replied to? If you wanted specific statements about what that would involve, I could write them up very quickly. I was just waiting for more input on that section, which never came. As far as I was concerned, it already achieved consensus. But if editors would like me to provide the exact edits I would now make given the aforementioned Consensus section, I can provide them. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 03:44, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
What on earth are you talking about? If you propose something and it's rejected or ignored, it's quite a stretch to declare that you've "already achieved consensus." --Loonymonkey (talk) 03:54, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Wikidemon's totally right. And on the point about Alan Keyes: he's just a carpetbagger who blindly follows his party line—which, as a party line normally is, is 99% hot air—, lost by one of the greatest margins in American history, and was so butthurt by that fact that he continues to call Obama a communazislamosocialist fascist who was born in Kenya to this day. Sceptre (talk) 03:53, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

What did you know of Keyes? Do you really think he would come into a race he had zero chance of winning to carpetbag? A former U.N. Ambassador who was already running in his native Maryland for Congress and doing well, as well as for President - why do you think he came to Illinois with less than 3 months in an election against a candidate who'd been campaigning unopposed for months when he had no built up campaign structure or recognition? You really think he thought he'd get an office out of that?
His reason for coming was the voting record of Barack Obama on live birth abortion that I have been telling everyone about. He began criticizing Obama on that one day after entering Illinois, and said that was his reason for being here. He followed his heart to oppose what he saw as the greatest evil, or he surely wouldn't have taken such a political risk.
You are name-calling and using derogatory attacks against someone you've likely heard only second-hand information about. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 04:12, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I understand that you have a low opinion of Keyes. (So do I, as it happens.) If you'd like to expand on it, you might consider doing so on a blog. -- Hoary (talk) 04:04, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Please don't reopen a closed discussion like this that is disrupting normal operation of the page. It was precisely the closing of the discussion that disrupted the normal operation of the page.

An accusation on a talk page that Obama committed, encouraged or condoned infanticide is ludicrous. Mention on the talk page that others claimed this is not necessarily ludicrous (after all, the US punditocracy is famous for the number and vigor of its nutballs), and, since Obama is prez and the US prez is about the most public person there is and routinely gets a lot of stick for just about anything (or indeed nothing at all), is hard to square with "BLP" measures designed for very different articles. In a few days, the section above will drift off into an archive, where it will be forgotten. That is the normal operation of this talk page. -- Hoary (talk) 04:00, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

That's not the way it works. Discussions that mess up the page get closed, and occasionally rejected proposals, overly long things, etc. Please don't undo that unless there's consensus, because it does truly disrupt our ability to discuss productive things around here. - Wikidemon (talk) 04:17, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. On most talk pages that's the protocol, but this isn't a normal talk page. This may be the bitter European liberal cynic in me speaking, but America has one of the most ignorant populaces in the developed world. I mean, I can't think of another first-world country where forty percent of its population deny reality (most of them traditional Republican voters, go figure). We need to get rid of the crazies in both of the sources and the talk page, so we don't waste all of our time when we could be discussing ideas with an air of credence instead of this stupid "abortion is infanticide" line of discussion. Sceptre (talk) 04:54, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Just checked. It's worse: 43%. For comparison, in Western Europe it ranges from 8% (Iceland) to around 20% (Germany, Italy, Ireland). Sceptre (talk) 04:57, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Sceptre, the longer you bang on about the iggernance of Americans in general and Republicans in particular, the more partisan appears your enthusiasm for clamping down on discussions. So please put a sock in it. -- Hoary (talk) 05:08, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
It was to reinforce the point that this talk page is for serious issues regarding Obama. You know, stuff to failure to commit to campaign promises. Not issues almost exclusively thrown around by reality deniers. Sceptre (talk) 05:11, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
All the same, let's all take a deep breath and try to de-escalate things, particularly the meta-discussion. If that contradicts anything I've said earlier, then maybe I've just taken a deep breath myself. If you're about to hit that "save page" button, maybe edit it once or twice to take out any loaded words? Think how it's going to sound to the person you're addressing? Even if someone has fringe beliefs (in your opinion) they're still a person trying to get along here, so we should treat everyone with the utmost dignity, kindness, and respect. That won't kill anyone, eh? Some of this we can talk about on each other's talk pages. There's an irony, because if the goal here is to steer the discussion back onto reasonable discussion for improving the article, the more we talk about the talk page and what's going on here, the less we're talking about content. I'm inviting Jzyehoshua to make measured, sourced, proposal unadorned with commentary about other editors, and to be fair we can respond in kind. Whether you want to archive the talk page or just start a new discussion, it won't kill us to try fresh. - Wikidemon (talk) 05:50, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the discussion. As promised, I've provided some sample edits to the page that I think can avoid any loaded words anyone might object to while still stating only clearly sourced and undeniable facts about Barack Obama's past, with the one exception being his Nobel peace prize. As I've kept stating, I gave up from the first post on the idea of trying to make a controversies section once I recognized Wikipeda wants to get away from those, and am trying to make them in the body of the page as 1 and 2 sentence changes here and there just to provide necessary elaboration when it won't go out of the way and is relevant. Anyway, thanks again for the opportunity! --Jzyehoshua (talk) 05:38, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
  1. ^,8599,1729524,00.html
  2. ^ "Keyes assails Obama's abortion views". Associated Press. August 9, 2004. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  3. ^ "State of Illinois General Assembly 92nd General Assembly Regular Session Senate Transcript" (PDF). Illinois General Assembly. March 30, 2001. pp. 85–87. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  4. ^ "State of Illinois General Assembly 90th General Assembly Regular Session Senate Transcript" (PDF). Illinois General Assembly. March 18, 1997. pp. 61–63. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  5. ^ "State of Illinois General Assembly 90th General Assembly Regular Session Senate Transcript" (PDF). Illinois General Assembly. April 4, 2002. pp. 30–35. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  6. ^ Henig, Jess (August 25, 2008). "Obama and 'Infanticide'". Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  7. ^ Jackson, David (April 3, 2007). "Barack Obama knows his way around a ballot". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  8. ^ Spivak, Todd (February 26, 2008). "Barack Obama and Me". Houston News. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  9. ^ Weisskopf, Michael (May 8, 2008). "Obama: How He Learned to Win". Time Magazine. Chicago,IL. Retrieved May 8, 2008.