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NYT Editorial On Wright And Hagee

cross-posted to jack and jill politics Thanks to Craig Hickman for the link. I'm just clipping the closer. My emphasis added in bold.
It was the most forthright repudiation of an out-of-control supporter that we can remember. We would like to say that it will finally take the racial charge out of this campaign. We’re not that naïve. It is an injustice, a legacy of the racist threads of this nation’s history, but prominent African-Americans are regularly called upon to explain or repudiate what other black Americans have to say, while white public figures are rarely, if ever, handed that burden. Senator John McCain has continued to embrace a prominent white supporter, Pastor John Hagee, whose bigotry matches that of Mr. Wright. Mr. McCain has not tried hard enough to stop a race-baiting commercial — complete with video of Mr. Wright — that is being run against Mr. Obama in North Carolina. If Mr. Obama is the Democratic presidential nominee, we fear that there will be many more such commercials. And Mr. Obama will have to repudiate Mr. Wright’s outbursts many more times. This country needs a healthy and open discussion of race. Mr. Obama’s repudiation of Mr. Wright is part of that. His opponents also have a responsibility — to repudiate the race-baiting and make sure it stops.
Wow NY Times. Go head. All they were missing was to call out the Clinton campaign for its race-baiting. To those who have written in saying "but McCain repudiated Hagee immediately" or that the situation is somehow incredibly different. I say "false." 1. McCain's campaign actively sought the endorsement of John Hagee. That is an entirely different thing. It's not like Hagee was just out there in the mood to endorse. When you seek someone's endorsement, you are saying you're completely cool with that person. 2. While it is true that McCain "distanced" himself from some of Hagee's statements on Feb 29 he didn't fully "repudiate" them for several more weeks. 3. Some have commented here that Obama's "pastor judgment" indicates he cannot be trusted with running the country. Fine. Now listen to what McCain's campaign said to explain the Hagee endorsement
A McCain adviser acknowledged on Monday that the campaign had failed to look into Mr. Hagee’s background adequately and said that as a result the campaign’s procedures for vetting endorsers had improved.
Oh my stars! What on Earth would happen if we let McCain be president and he failed to look into the background of people offered national security clearance? We'd all be killed, that's what would happen. Brown terrorists would walk across the Mexican border and kill our babies dead, all of them. Clearly John McCain doesn't have the judgment to lead. We don't need a president who learns how to vet people "on the job." 4. It's not just a Hagee situation for McCain. Remember Jerry Falwell? Jerry Falwell was "an agent of intolerance" according to the John McCain of 2000, but come election 2008, Mr. McCain saw fit to speak at the commencement of Falwell's Liberty University. I know that's what I do with agents of intolerance. Why just the other day, I gave a speech at a luncheon for the Chattel Slavery Restoration Society Of Norfolk. What can I say? Their French onion dip was to die for. Jerry Falwell also blamed America for 9/11, but his argument was much weaker than Wright's. He didn't even go so far as to blame American foreign policy, preferring instead to blame lesbians, gays, feminists, abortionists and the ACLU. What a damned idiot, rest his soul. The point being, John McCain and every other Republican seeking national office has made a quadrennial ritual out of kissing the ring finger and asshole of vile, ignorant, hate-filled, so-called Men Of God, who use their pulpits to enrich themselves and launch baseless attacks on large groups of Americans. Don't pretend Mr. Straight Talk somehow exercised magically superior judgment. His hands and the hands of his entire party are filthy with explicit appeals to the very worst of human nature, and you don't have to dig through years and years of DVDs to find the perfect soundbite. These boys do it out in the open. That's how little they think of us. That's how much we're being played.

Ok, Obama Did His Press Conference. Let's Call Up Catholics, Clinton and McCain

cross-posted to jack and jill politics See for yourself:

That's gotta hurt. I don't envy Senator Obama right now, and seeing him distinguish between Wright on Moyers and Wright at the National Press Club helped me see the difference as well. So have the commenters here. I truly believe the press and the Right would harass Obama on this issue to no end regardless of what Wright said, but I can see how he made it a little easier. Moving on. So, this is the part in the show where all Catholic politicians are asked why they haven't left a church that sanctioned mass child rape right? Or is it the part in the show when Hillary Clinton is dragged before the cameras to explain her association with The Family? My bad, it must be the part of the show where John Hagee gets death threats and McCain is harassed for weeks on end about his choice of a spiritual advisor who is promoting war against Iran because he thinks it will accelerate the Second Coming. Or not. What a farce.

Easy Question: Are PA Voters Actually Offended?

cross-posted to jack and jill politics It's a simple question. All these old, white millionaires on TV are saying Obama made a big mistake. That he chose poor words. That he offended small-town Pennsylvania. How do they know? They all live in Los Angeles and Manhattan. They eat sushi and drink mad lattes. They read the NY Times. None of these commentators owns a gun. I bet most don't go to church. I bet most don't know financial hardship because their town wasn't decimated by the end of the industrial era in this country. It's all bullshit. Almost everything you see on TV is just bullshit. These idiots have big ass microphones and cameras and soapboxes. They are in the top percentile of wage-earners. Yet somehow they know the hearts and minds of a rural voter? It's a complete farce. They waited all of 30 seconds to say his comments were wrong, but they didn't ask any of these allegedly-0ffended voters. They just made it up. They pulled political analysis right out of their buttholes. And yet, their uninformed opinions dominate the news and dominate the discussion. Just look how much time we've spent on this topic, and we're supposed to be new media. Granted, I think we serve a useful purpose in these distraction-debates when we call bullshit. When we counter with information. When we don't simply amplify or get baited (like Hillary) into a meaningless conversation. However, it's not easy. So do I have special insight? Not much, but I have family that's lived in rural PA and post-industrial Michigan. I also think I use my brain more than these TV people. And I still live in the real world. The dangerous part is that if PA voters were not offended before, they might be now because they don't hear the context of Obama's statement (a reaction to a question about what they might face as volunteers going to PA). They only hear "elite" and "out of touch" and "condescending." Thus Obama gets defined beyond his control. If it could happen to Max Cleland, of course it can happen to a half-black dude who grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia and graduated from Columbia and Harvard. It's so frightening and certainly not isolated to this candidate or this event. So, can anyone point to actual -- and I know this is crazy -- evidence that rural or post-industrial small town voters would be offended by Obama's comments? If not, then just realize we're all being bamboozled and distracted. Meanwhile, there are food riots in the developing world due.
In the last year, the price of wheat has tripled, corn doubled, and rice almost doubled. As prices soared, food riots have broken out in about 20 poor countries including Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, and Mexico. In response some countries, such as India, Pakistan Egypt and Vietnam, are banning the export of grains and imposing food price controls. Are rising food prices the result of the economic dynamism of China and India, in which newly prosperous consumers are demanding more food—especially more meat? Perennial doomsters such as the Earth Policy Institute's Lester Brown predicted more than a decade ago that China's growing food demand would destabilize global markets and signal a permanent increase in grain prices. But that thesis has so far not been borne out by the facts. China is a net grain exporter. India is also largely self-sufficient in grains. At some time in the future, these countries may become net grain importers, but they are not now and so cannot be blamed to for today's higher food prices. If surging demand is not the problem, what is? In three words: stupid energy policies.
I'll be writing more about energy and food policy later.

Combatting Ignorance: Report From Someone Actually At The Obama San Fran Event

cross-posted to jack and jill politics What would we do if all we had were cable news yappers and Clinton backstabbers to explain what was going on? Read the entire thing. Here's an excerpt:
Imagine my surprise to see an article in the Huffington Post by Mayhill Fowler describing his answer as "a problematic judgment call in trying to explain working class culture to a much wealthier audience." and his answer being like "explaining the yawning cultural gap that separates a Turkeyfoot from a Marin County." I guess Ms. Fowler thought that, unlike herself, the other attendees had never gone outside the large house in Pacific Heights where the event was held. I grew up working class in Texas. I thought it ironic that Ms Fowler, was attempting to paint Obama as a condescending elitist, while at the same time she was stereotyping everybody at the event with her omniscient insight. In any case, her agenda was clear. Despite Ms. Fowler talking about the people at the fundraiser being middle class in an earlier post, the "rich man poor man" theme fit better with the "Obama as a judgmental elite, talking to judgmental elites" spin. This also seemed to fit with some of her earlier articles where she had described Obama as cocky, arrogant, and even "flirty". What a coincidence that she now writes an article putting another twist on Obama's personality. All she had to do was a sneak a recorder in an small event for Obama supporters and do a little bit of crafty writing and out of context editing. Now Fox News and Lou Dobbs are having a field day.
I say again, the people moderating our political discourse are dangerously unqualified and irresponsible. I'm amazed this country still functions at all with the amount of well-financed ignorance that passes for media coverage. Amazed.