Tuesday, April 29, 2008
His convoluted explanation of African-American right-brain 'oral' culture as more creative, musical, and spontaneous versus European left-brain traditional analysis could never have been given by someone white to that audience without justifiably earning booing and catcalls.
I see that Michelle Malkin has weighed in. As one growing up through the racial desegregation era, I have been weaned on the idea that stressing differences leads us back to Jim Crow. But Jimmy Carter has no problem with Wright's statements.
Republicans are howling over what appears to be Nancy Pelosi’s plan to bypass the House Appropriations Committee on the upcoming Iraq war supplemental, complaining that the move will be the beginning of the end of the usual appropriations process and will further consolidate power in the hands of a speaker who already has a lot of it.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Sources familiar with the video say it also shows that the Syrian reactor core's design is the same as that of the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, including a virtually identical configuration and number of holes for fuel rods. It shows "remarkable resemblances inside and out to Yongbyon," a U.S. intelligence official said. A nuclear weapons specialist called the video "very, very damning."
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Finally, I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, "Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for 'spiritual counseling?' THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!"
I wonder if someone will check this out?
Monday, April 21, 2008
Here's another thing I don't like about this primary: now that there are only two Democratic candidates, it's suddenly horribly absolutely crystal-clear that this is an election about gender and race. This may have always been true, but weeks ago it wasn't so obvious -- once upon a time there were eight candidates, and although six of them withered away, their presence in the campaign managed to obscure things. Even around the time of Ohio, when there were primarily three candidates, the outlines were murky, because Edwards was still in there, picking up votes from all sectors.
But now there are two and we're facing Pennsylvania and whom are we kidding? This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don't mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can't even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder -- after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn't believe any of those articles.)
Lloyd Elam says he supports Hillary Rodham Clinton at his own risk.
At least that's what the African-American accountant felt when he entered his DeSoto Democratic caucus in March and found the room packed with vocal Barack Obama loyalists, most of them black.
"I felt like if I stood up and said I was for Hillary, there was no telling what would have happened," Mr. Elam said. "I went home early and watched the results on television."
Ben Barber later wrote a 2001 book about this and other Clinton salons with intellectuals, and I remember him taking lots of notes at Camp David -- which obviously lay the basis for his 2001 account. In that book, which many of us read when it came out years ago, he gave vivid and accurate renditions of the discussions I heard and participated in, and I have spoken to other attendees at various Clinton salons who agree on Barber's accuracy. Obviously, contemporaneous notes and a book written years ago, long before today's arguments, are the best possible evidence -- especially since Barber is reportedly now a Hillary Clinton supporter. His previously documented reports are much better evidence of what was said in 1995 than instant "recollections" now scrounged up by the HRC and Obama campaigns.
Barber reports in his 2001 book that Hillary Clinton said "Screw 'em" about southern working class whites who did not support Bill Clinton. Two other scholar-particiants, Alan Wolfe and Harry Boyte, agree she said this. Reported demurrals (and not a clear denial) come from Clinton staffers Bruce Reed and Don Baer, not from the independent intellectuals in attendance. But independent witnesses who keep notes trump employees any day.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Though he is little known in the West, Coptic priest Zakaria Botros — named Islam’s “Public Enemy #1” by the Arabic newspaper, al-Insan al-Jadid — has been making waves in the Islamic world. Along with fellow missionaries — mostly Muslim converts — he appears frequently on the Arabic channel al-Hayat (i.e., “Life TV”). There, he addresses controversial topics of theological significance — free from the censorship imposed by Islamic authorities or self-imposed through fear of the zealous mobs who fulminated against the infamous cartoons of Mohammed. Botros’s excurses on little-known but embarrassing aspects of Islamic law and tradition have become a thorn in the side of Islamic leaders throughout the Middle East.
Botros is an unusual figure onscreen: robed, with a huge cross around his neck, he sits with both the Koran and the Bible in easy reach. Egypt’s Copts — members of one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East — have in many respects come to personify the demeaning Islamic institution of “dhimmitude” (which demands submissiveness from non-Muslims, in accordance with Koran 9:29). But the fiery Botros does not submit, and minces no words. He has famously made of Islam “ten demands” whose radical nature he uses to highlight Islam’s own radical demands on non-Muslims.
It looks like most pundits are counting Hillary out even if she wins Pennsylvania. I don't sense the amount of "political chatter" about her compared to Obama.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Clinton and Obama mistakes, exaggerations, and misstatements have been widely reported. As I look at this, here is what I see:
CLINTON: I think she does have experience and has tried to make an impact on policy going back to her days in Arkansas. But somehow the implied impression that being a presidential spouse is preparation for the big job is just too presumptuous. And you combine that with a number of other statements like her description on sniper fire in Bosnia--it is almost as if she is trying too hard to show she can do the job. Where is the line between reality and fantasy? Some reports indicate she has a vindicative streak, but as president the issue is not getting even, but getting something done. This requires negotiation with "enemies." I keep wondering if she will handle this like she did her failed health care plan in the early first administration of her husband. I can't say how much she was involved in this, but certainly she and Bill have used his White House years to make themselves into multi-millionaires. At least Jimmy Carter built some houses for Habitat for Humanity.
OBAMA: He is a great public speaker, but as the African-American founder of BET TV recently said, a white man wouldn't be in this position with his kind of experience. He could turn out to be an excellent president, but there are a lot of risks. He has been compared to Kennedy, but Kennedy's administration was all charisma--his foreign policy failures were many and it also took LBJ to fulfill his domestic program. The times today are just as dangerous. Also some of Obama's foreign policy advisors trouble me and I don't know how you can sit under a pastor without getting some sense of who he is (unless of course he agreed with him, but can't say that now). He is an "elitist," but so is Hillary. With him somehow I don't sense that I have seen into the real "him."
MCCAIN: Boring. . .but he has gone through some tough times which can mature and temper an individual. I don't think age should necessarily be an issue, but it has to be considered. I am watching who he will choose as VP. I like his independent streak and I don't necessarily see him wedded to Bush's Iraq policy, although he is a strong supporter of it. But I am just not sure he gets it on Iraq, but then again do Obama and Hillary?
I like what David Brooks has to say in the NYT.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Oh, and check this out: "Yet within the Asian-doctor category, there is a troubling shortage of Samoan, Cambodian and Hmong doctors, the report found, decrying the overall pool of doctors statewide as inadequate." I guess I didn't realize that Samoans really need Samoan doctors, and Cambodians Cambodian doctors — but if they do, then why not worry about whether there's a disproportionately low number of, say, Serb immigrant doctors, or, if you prefer, doctors of Serb extraction? Why are all whites matched with all white doctors, but Asian ethnic groups seen as needing special help from members of that particular ethnic group?