"From now until November, any Republican criticizing Wright will be accused of playing the race card. It’s a way to shut down discussion of Wright’s poisonous worldview, and of what it says about Obama. These rules stack the deck and stifle legitimate debate. Republicans must reject them."
Saturday, April 26, 2008
"McCain responded that it’s clear who Hamas wants to be President. So does Daniel Ortega. “I will be Hamas’ worst nightmare,” said McCain. McCain noted that Iran is stepping up their export of explosives to Iraq, and they wouldn’t want him to be President either. New slogan: John McCain: America’s enemies’ least favorite candidate."
I'M WATCHING A KUDLOW DISCUSSION OF ETHANOL and I think that most of the panelists -- except for Frank Gaffney -- are bashing ethanol rather uncritically. The problem with ethanol is a government-subsidy problem, and a trade-barrier problem. It's not a problem with ethanol itself. Make it out of something other than food, and lower the barrier to Brazilian ethanol imports, and it would help our current situation a lot. We're not doing that because of farm-subsidy politics. The problem is, basically, the Iowa caucuses and the pandering that results. But simply bashing all biofuels uncritically is dumb.
UPDATE: On the other hand, the new farm bill demonstrates that Congress is dumber:
We have a program that makes us overpay for sugar, and now we're going to start a new program to subsidize the ethanol we create from it — because without the subsidy, the inflated sugar price we've created will make the ethanol unprofitable.
Upside: Everybody involved has an incentive to pay off some Senators.
Friday, April 25, 2008
"I don’t know if Trinity Church is a cult but I think Wright is un-American and filled with hate speech. And if I said the things Wright said only I directed them at black people and their institutions, Wright would have every right to think I am anti-black and hate-filled, too.
Nevertheless, Wright believes the criticism was unfair and unjust:"
Thursday, April 24, 2008
It's almost as if Wright is working for Hamas - he attacks and then draws enough fire so that he can claim that the white folk are racist and out to get him. If he really cared about his boy, he would shut the f--k up and let Obama's momentum take over.
But he is obviously more intent on rubbing salt into the wounds, and creating the self-fulfilling prophesy of black failure due to white racism. Then he can blame and preach some more..... Very Palestinian of him, don't you think?
I get really nervous when journalists start getting in bed with the government.
Corporate media, professional journalism organizations, and journalism schools seem determined to carve out special rights from the government in the practice of the profession.
"If he was hoping to rekindle a flagging peace process, Carter is doomed to failure. But is that really what he was attempting to accomplish? A hint lies in the very organization he said he was representing on this trip, the Carter Center. His not-for-profit research and activist organization has prospered as a direct result of Arab largesse. Saudi Arabia, the source of 15 of the 19 plane hijackers on 9/11, and whose royal family has funded terrorism outside the kingdom, has channeled tens of millions of dollars into the Carter Center. In 1993 alone, the late King Fahd gifted $7.6 million. More recently, the King’s nephew, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, donated at least $5 million. The Saudi Fund for Development is a recurring supporter, as is the family of Osama bin Laden."
"It would seem Carter is acting as a lobbyist for foreign interests and should be required to register as such. At the very least, he should come clean and disclose all foreign sources of funding for his center. It is indeed a sad day in American history when a former president lowers himself to becoming a propaganda tool for terrorists bent on harming our country and the democratic principles by which we live."
"Nevertheless, it was a breath of fresh air. Not only is Corzine proposing to reduce spending, he's doing it by one of the few ways that will actually work. Rather than making incremental changes that will reduce the effectiveness of his government more or less across the board, he's making a decision that there are some things the government should no longer be doing at all because it can't afford it."
The Grateful Dead, whose songs celebrated personal freedom, American idealism and mind-altering drugs, will donate a cache of their papers, posters and props on Thursday to the University of California, Santa Cruz, which plans to use the musical miscellany as part of a research center to be known as Dead Central.It bothers me more than just a little that all of the "old" counterculture has gone so damn mainstream; and I have a feeling that Jerry would not really approve of this either. But what do I know? It seems that every commercial and TV intro has a song from the Who; and the Louis Vuitton ads with Keith Richards make me want to wretch.....
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
In recent weeks, watching the Times editorial page waver and contort over the paper's Clinton endorsement has been agonizing. As I reported back in February, the Gray Lady's editorial board was deeply divided over the paper's endorsement leading up to the New York primary. Initially, the 20-member board had supported Obama, but then some, including editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal, tilted back toward Clinton. Ultimately, Times Chairman and Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., a close friend and confidant to Clinton donor Steve Rattner, weighed in and made the decision for the Times to back Hillary. Clearly, the paper was uncomfortable with the Clinton endorsement--and still is.
Hizballah is rebuilding and rearming in Lebanon at a frightening rate, and United Nations “peacekeepers” just run away when they stumble across the terrorists smuggling weapons: UNIFIL finds Hezbollah arms; gunmen scatter peacekeepers.
To make it worse, the UN apparently buried the story, giving it only a brief mention in a larger report.
While I personally have nothing against torching buildings and brawling under appropriate circumstances, I can't understand why Paul Auster simply can't say, "I ripped out the fence because I wanted to. I rioted because I decided to." The idea that a 61 year old man might act irrationally because the mere thought of US policy in Iraq deprives him of reason is a pretty disturbing. It suggests there's a whole population of people of seemingly normal people out there just waiting to go berserk at the mere mention of politics they disapprove of.
It's my hope that the next time he goes on a rampage it's because he's decided to.
I was going to write my own post about this very disturbing Times Op-Ed piece from this morning; but Wretchard is so much better then me. But do try to remember the moment in Forrest Gump when Jenny's boyfriend smacks her around and than blames in on Lyndon Johnson - not much difference at all, is there?
"We are at the beginning of a contest likely to repeat itself through November: between that part of the press prepared to put hard questions equally, and all the rest, including those who'll mount the barricades when their candidate is threatened with discomfiture. Let the wars begin."As I have said many times already, the left wing in this country feels that their self-appointed candidate should be in the White House right now - no election, no primaries, no questions asked. Just seeing how annoyed the Times is warms the cockles of my heart. Very monarchist, don't you think?
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
"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.)"
Or, maybe, it is an election about who is the most intolerant elitist out there....
Monday, April 21, 2008
If you are one of the foolish folks who thinks that this isn't merely an attempt to embarrass the Bush Administration, play with the American election, and find yet another reason to send rockets reigning down on Israel - then I feel sorry for you.
Update: It appears that LGF agrees with me....
"Aliza Shvarts may be a kind of genius when it comes to generating publicity for herself. But I believe her performance, whether or not it involved real semen and abortifacients, was morally repugnant. (It would be much worse if it did, of course, but then we enter into the realm of serious mental pathology not to say—let me employ an old-fashioned word here—sin.) The invocation of “art” doesn’t change that one whit. Indeed, as a society, we suffer today from a peculiar form of moral anesthesia: an anesthesia based on the delusion that by calling something “art” we thereby purchase for it a blanket exemption from moral criticism—as if being art automatically rendered all moral considerations beside the point. George Orwell gave classic expression to this point back in 1944 in “Benefit of Clergy: Some Notes on Salvador Dalí,” a review of Dalí’s autobiography."
Please read the whole thing, and then disqualify Yale as an educational institution....
Still, it felt like the show lingered on death this evening. The close-ups of Paul Giamatti as the series’ make-up people edged him closer to the grave felt overdone. It felt like the entire purpose of the final installment was to show lots of dying, crying, and the brutality of aging. The election of John Quincy Adams was given short shrift, as were the administrations of Jefferson and Madison. Instead, we got drawn-out treatments of Nabby Adams’ mastectomy, and tortuous, agonizing deathbed treatments of Jefferson’s, Abigail Adams’, and finally John Adams’ passing (complete with a leak of spittle dropping from the corner of his mouth, in case you weren’t quite sure he was dead).
It was difficult to watch all of the bad skin, bad teeth close-ups of this wonderful series. Life was hard back then; and I imagine that the show's creators were intent on showing that fact. Read the whole thing...
"My no-doubt-regrettable tendency when reading things like this, however, is to guess that all heavily political talk radio show hosts are crazy conspiracy theorists, and assume that Randi Rhodes probably isn t much different from her counterparts on the right.
The problem is, I have no evidence for this. And I m not going to acquire any, because doing so would force me to actually listen to Randi Rhodes and Rush Limbaugh for an extended period of time."
Sunday, April 20, 2008
It boils down to this: as a journalist, do you feel you have a responsibility to dig into the claims made by your guests, seek out evidence and come to a professional judgment as to the real facts? Or do you feel if a charge is breathtaking enough, thoroughly checking it out isn’t a necessity?
I know you might be concerned that asking these questions could restrict your ability to make sensational charges on the air, but don’t you think you have a responsibility to provide even a shred of supporting evidence before sullying the journalistic reputations of MSNBC and NBC?
"It's an attack on two of the critical advantages the United States holds over most of the rest of the Western world. In the other G7 developed nations, nobody clings to God 'n' guns. The guns got taken away, and the Europeans gave up on churchgoing once they embraced Big Government as the new religion."