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Saturday, September 06, 2008
Sambo Story

What a ridiculous story:

“So Sambo beat the bitch!”

This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

According to Lucille, the waitress serving her table at the time and who asked that her last name not be used, Gov. Palin was eating lunch with five or six people when the subject of the Democrat’s primary battle came up. The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively.

Okay, let's start with the easy stuff. Little Black Sambo may have been a well-known character in fiction in my parents' childhood. I'm about 7 years older than Sarah Palin, and all I know is that some tigers were running around the tree he was perched in and turned into butter. Or something. So I would not be surprised if Sarah Palin had never heard the Little Black Sambo story. Indeed, it appears that the writer himself doesn't know the story:

Besides insulting Obama with a Step-N’-Fetch-It, “darkie musical” swipe....

Second, consider the way the "reporter" got the story. He doesn't spell it out but:

It’s not easy getting people in the 49th state to speak critically about Palin – especially people in Wasilla, where she was mayor. For one thing, with every journalist in the world calling, phone lines into Alaska have been mostly jammed since Friday; as often as not, a recording told me that “all circuits are busy” or numbers just wouldn’t ring. I should think a state that’s been made richer than God by oil could afford telephone lines and cell towers for everyone.

So it appears that he called a couple of restaurants in Wasilla, asked to speak to a few waitresses and then asked them for any dirt on Palin. Note as well, that Lucille and others are effectively anonymous sources for this story. But that's a feature, because it reinforces the writer's second point, that Palin is vindictive.

And this really stretches things:

people who know her say she refers regularly to Alaska’s Aboriginal people as “Arctic Arabs” – how efficient, lumping two apparently undesirable groups into one ugly description – as well as the more colourful “mukluks” along with the totally unimaginative “f**king Eskimo’s,” according to a number of Alaskans and Wasillians interviewed for this article.

Never mind that her husband is an Eskimo himself, you know.
Obama: Don't Worry That I'm Lying to You


“If you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it,’’ Obama said. But the Illinois senator could still see skeptics in the crowd, particularly on the faces of several men at the back of the room.

So he tried again. “Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress,’’ he said. “This can’t be the reason not to vote for me. Can everyone hear me in the back? I see a couple of sportsmen back there. I’m not going to take away your guns.’’
Friday, September 05, 2008
The Community Organizer

Michelle Malkin has a column about Obama's work there:

As I've reported previously, Obama's community organizing days involved training grievance-mongers from the far-left ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). The ACORN mob is infamous for its bully tactics (which they dub "direct actions"); Obama supporters have recounted his role in organizing an ambush on a government planning meeting about a landfill project opposed by Chicago's minority lobbies.

With benefactors like Obama in office, ACORN has milked nearly four decades of government subsidies to prop up chapters that promote the welfare state and undermine the free market, as well as some that have been implicated in perpetuating illegal immigration and voter fraud. Since I last detailed ACORN's illicit activities in this column in June (see "The ACORN Obama knows," June 19, 2008), the group continues to garner scrutiny from law enforcement:

Last week, Milwaukee's top election official announced plans to seek criminal investigations of 37 ACORN employees accused of offering gifts to sign up voters (including prepaid gas cards and restaurant cards) or falsifying driver's license numbers, Social Security numbers or other information on voter registration cards.

I thought I'd read a little about what Obama himself said about his community organizing days. One immediate thought is that Obama never really explains where the idea came from. That he did it intentionally is clear; what is unclear is the impetus:

In 1983, I decided to become a community organizer.
There wasn't much detail to the idea; I didn't know anyone making a living that way. When classmates in college asked me just what it was that a community organizer did, I couldn't answer them directly.

Now, can you think of anybody embarking on a career path who can't explain exactly what they will be doing? I'll grant you that I sometimes have a hard time explaining what I do to people; every year or two my sister will ask me again, but that's because what I do is fairly specialized.

Obama dresses up his idea as being inspired by the civil rights movement:

At the time, about to graduate from college, I was operating mainly on impulse, like a salmon swimming blindly upstream toward the site of his own conception. In classes and seminars, I would dress up these impulses in the slogans and theories that I'd discovered in books, thinking-falsely-that the slogans meant something, that they somehow made what I felt more amenable to proof. But at night, lying in bed, I would let the slogans drift away, to be replaced with a series of images, romantic images, of a past I had never known.

They were of the civil rights movement, mostly, the grainy black-and-white footage that appears every February during Black History Month, the same images that my mother had offered me as a child

Obama couldn't find anybody to hire him, so he got a regular job. But then an opportunity arose from a man named Marty Kaufman:

He ordered more hot water and told me about himself. He was Jewish, in his late thirties, had been reared in New York. He had started organizing in the sixties with the student protests, and ended up staying with it for fifteen years. Farmers in Nebraska. Blacks in Philadelphia. Mexicans in Chicago. Now he was trying to pull urban blacks and suburban whites together around a plan to save manufacturing jobs in metropolitan Chicago. He needed somebody to work with him, he said. Somebody black.

Or was he really something else? Obama admits in Dreams From My Father that some of the characters are composites. According to this post, Kaufman is one of two people:

[Obama press secretary Reid] Cherlin said Kruglik is a character named Marty Kaufman in the Obama memoir; in a 2004 interview Obama said Kaufman was Gerald Kellman, the man who hired him to come to Chicago to work as a community organizer.

This is, of course, one of the problems with Obama's book. Although the foreword to Audacity of Hope includes a gushing review of Dreams about how honest Barack had been, the book is undependable.

Meanwhile, the Netkooks are grousing that Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani derided Obama's community organizing days. Of course, Palin's comment was intended as payback for Obama's dismissing her as a small-town mayor. But some perceive darker motives:

But look, let’s call a spade a spade: When Giuliani sneered about community organizers on the “South side” of Chicago, it’s pretty clear what he was saying: Barack Obama spent his time rabble-rousing among black people. It’s no different then when the RNC called him a “street organizer.” A community organizer can be a PTA member or a Christian Coalition lieutenant. Indeed, there’s something deeply conservative about the vocation, which informally organizes citizens to demand better, fairer, and wiser treatment from detached government bureaucrats. But that’s really not what Palin and Giuliani and the RNC are getting at. Community organizer isn’t being used to describe a job but a background. Obama organized poor black people. Helped channel their anger and grievances and anxieties. That’s change you can fear.

The Kos Kids have been spreading the meme that "Jesus was a community organizer; Pilate was a governor". Never mind that comparisons to Jesus are probably not helpful given McCain's success with "The One" ad.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Obama: Surge Succeeded Beyond Wildest Dreams But He'd Still Vote Against It

Why does Barack Obama hate the Iraqi people?

As recently as July, the Democratic presidential candidate declined to rate the surge a success, but said it had helped reduce violence in the country. On Thursday, Obama acknowledged the 2007 increase in U.S. troops has benefited the Iraqi people.

“I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated,” Obama said while refusing to retract his initial opposition to the surge. “I’ve already said it’s succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”

And yet he would not vote for it. Un-freaking believable.

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They Have Got to Be Kidding

Vanity Fair tries a little class warfare:

Cindy McCain's $300,000 Outfit

Well, it turns out to be a $3000 dress and $600 shoes and about $300,000 of jewelry. And this made me chuckle at the chucklehead that wrote it:

Wow! No wonder McCain has so many houses: his wife has the price of a Scottsdale split-level hanging from her ears.

If you think you can get a Scottsdale home for $300,000, you're dreaming. And split-level? That's something that people back east have, like basements.
Andrew Throws a Fit

Sorry, that's sort of common, isn't it? I'll give my massive traffic to Ace rather than linking Sully:

"10.40 pm. We've just seen a picture of a seven year old cradling and stroking the hair of a Down Syndrome infant. This, apparently, is relevant to deciding who should be the next vice-president of the United States."

As compared to spending an entire weekend repeating ridiculous Trig Truther rumors about that Down Syndrome infant? Choke on it, Andrew.
Ann Coulter: Lesson Not Learned

I apologize for talking about a Hillary Clinton supporter around here, but Ann's latest (no link) was recommended to me as a very funny Ann Coulter column. But despite my obvious elation at Governor Palin's terrific speech, I cannot help but deplore Coulter's reaction:

Our motto: Sarah Palin is only a heartbeat away!

My motto: Ann Coulter's bankruptcy filing is only a book sale away. So don't buy that book.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Wow! A Grand Slam Home Run!

Ohmigod, what a speech!
Liberal Women Hearing Echoes in Criticism of Palin

Glad to see that some feminists are beginning to denounce the sexism coming out of their own party:

And Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn wrote: “Of course, women can be good mothers and have careers at the same time. I’ve done both. Other women in public office have children…but…a mother’s role is different from a father’s.”

The message? Sarah Palin: bad mother.

On that count we have no doubt these accusations would never be made about a man. In that sense, Sally Quinn is right – and that’s why things have got to change.

The very notion that Sarah Palin should not have accepted this nomination because she is a mother with demanding challenges underscores just how far we have to go.

This comes from Women Count. Who are the people behind Women Count? Must be a bunch of fundy anti-abortion, anti-American fundy fundies, right?


Susie Tompkins Buell is the co-founder of ESPRIT. Since selling her business in 1996 she has been heavily involved in political activities. A longtime friend and supporter of Hillary Clinton’s, her main focus is to support and encourage women to enter the political arena as she believes the imbalance of men and women in government is the cause of many of our problems.

Rosemary Camposano (Communications Director, WomenCount) is a former communications and public relations executive working in Silicon Valley for such companies as Motorola, Oracle, Seagate, 3Com, and others. After eight years at home raising her son, she became impassioned about the rapid deterioration of American civil liberties and has become active politically as a result.

Jehmu Greene (Political Director, WomenCount) is the former President of Rock the Vote. She is a regular guest on Fox News Channel and has been featured on The Daily Show, The O'Reilly Factor, Anderson Cooper 360°, MTV News, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, ABC World News, and all major cable news networks. She has also previously worked as Director of Women's Outreach and Southern Political Director at the Democratic National Committee.

Are they deploring the pick of Palin even as they deplore the sexism of the attacks against her? Nope:

This historic election continues to be noted for its "firsts," and now here's another one: the first woman to be on a Republican presidential ticket. The choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be John McCain's running mate sends a clear message - women voters are the most coveted demographic in this election. The selection is a deliberate effort to reach out to women in this election. After all, women make up more than half of the electorate, and recent polls show that women comprise a majority of undecided voters.

They do highlight that they don't agree with her positions:

Much will be said and written in the days ahead about Gov. Palin's views on issues, and we urge you to consider these positions with depth and thoughtfulness - she is anti-choice, pro-gun, and pro-big oil.

Which is certainly their right as liberal women. But they also make it clear that they will be watching:

It is good for the political process that woman politicians will continue to play such a central role on the campaign trail. Gov. Palin's selection also means the media has another chance to get it right when it comes to covering a serious woman candidate in a presidential election. Just as with Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain, we'll be watching closely to see how she is treated when it comes to gender bias. We need you to be our eyes and ears on the campaign trail. If it happens, WomenCount will be right there.

So please, liberals, continue to tell us that Palin's not a serious candidate.
How Obama Lost the Election

I'm not as confident as the writer, but this strikes me as on the money:

Obama will spend the rest of his life wondering why he rejected the obvious road to victory, that is, choosing Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential nominee. However reluctantly, Clinton would have had to accept. McCain's choice of vice presidential candidate made obvious after the fact what the party professionals felt in their fingertips at the stadium extravaganza yesterday: rejecting Clinton in favor of the colorless, unpopular, tangle-tongued Washington perennial Joe Biden was a statement of weakness. McCain's selection was a statement of strength. America's voters will forgive many things in a politician, including sexual misconduct, but they will not forgive weakness.

As I said when the nomination was announced, Palin was a choice from surprising strength, a nomination that said, "I'm going to win this thing." Biden was a choice from surprising weakness, a nomination that said "I hope I don't blow it."
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
A Woman Can't Handle the Job?

That's what liberal voices are saying today. Check out the Moderate(ly Liberal) Voice has to say this morning:

Look long and hard at this photograph, America. I mean really long and hard. Because when all is said and done, this is what selecting a vice presidential running mate is all about.

The picture shows LBJ being sworn in as President on the plane back from Dallas. Nice to see that Libs do know how to play the fear card, despite their wails every time the Republicans bring it up.

Of course, if Barack Obama is elected, he'll be taking that oath, no bullet required. If Sarah Palin isn't qualified, then neither is Obama. But maybe the LBJ picture serves a dual role; maybe his point is that we shouldn't worry about Obama's lack of experience because somebody will shoot him and then we'll have Steady Joe Biden at the tiller?
Monday, September 01, 2008
Actions Have Consequences

I don't know what else to say in response to this post from John Hawkins of Right Wing News, on his not being accepted as a blogger at the RNC this week. John knows why it happened:

My best guess as to why I'm not being allowed to go to the RNC is a post I wrote back in March called, "Why I Will No Longer Support John McCain For President." The piece savagely denounced McCain for his breathtakingly dishonest flip-flop over illegal immigration, was widely linked, and a source of mine inside the campaign told me they were very aware of it.

Yeah, I'd guess that's the reason. John often notes that he's a conservative first and a Republican second; well, this is not a conservative convention it's a Republican convention.

Complicating matters is the undeniable fact that Right Wing News is one of the most important blogs around. Some liberal blogs have apparently been allowed to attend; what's the difference?

The difference is that what Hawkins says matters to conservatives. He can and probably has influenced a lot of people with his "Why I Will No Longer Support John McCain for President" post. That's why he wrote it, no?

I like Hawkins' blog a lot (although for some unknown reason I didn't enjoy it as much in the primary season). John has been very supportive of Brainster, Kerry Haters and Screw Loose Change over the years, and I would be a back-stabber indeed if I did not note that he has given his support freely to my efforts and those of many other smaller blogs.

But at some point you have to accept the fact that your favored candidate didn't win in the primaries. I know that's easy for me to say, since mine did. If you say that nothing McCain can do will change your mind, then why in the world should they reward you for that opinion with coveted access to the convention? What's Ann Coulter doing these days?

People who make these "I can never support that man" pledges seem to feel that there is some viable third option on the ballot other than Democrat or Republican. I remember those folks in 1992, assuring us that if we just sat on our hands and let Clinton win in 1992, he'd be so awful for the economy that everybody'd be happy to elect a real conservative in 1996. And then of course Clinton did not flop as predicted and we came a couple hundred votes in Florida from losing four straight elections and any shot at control of the Supreme Court.

There is no "lose today, so we can win tomorrow". If Obama is elected, he will almost certainly serve eight years as president of the United States. He'll do the brilliant triangulation that Clinton pioneered and the media will swoon over his every move. With a compliant congress there is literally almost no limit to what he can accomplish in the next two years.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Obama Fans On Palin

Zogby reports McCain with a two-point lead on Obama with polling after the Palin announcement. It's Zogby, so don't get too excited, but it certainly indicates that Obama did not achieve liftoff in Denver. But note this addendum:

The interactive survey shows that 22% of those voters who supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in their primary elections or caucus earlier this year are now supporting John McCain.

Now I keep hearing snorts of derision about Hillary supporters switching to McCain. And it's probably true that the most fervent Hillary supporters are on the Obama bandwagon. But what about moderate Republicans and independents who were drawn to the historic nature of her candidacy?

We heard a lot during the campaign from the Hillary supporters about the sexist nature of some of Obama's supporters. And it's not all crying wolf, as this amazing thread at JREF, a (usually) very intelligent forum demonstrates. Following Sarah Palin's announcement as the Republican VP, a commenter over there noted that she had her water break in Texas and flew back home to Alaska to deliver the (last). Further, it was discovered that Palin had gone back to work as governor three days later.

Well, the enlightened liberals were horrified. Ben Burch:

Some parents of course are more involved than that and the day care is what they need because the demands of such a child 24/7 are enough to exhaust anybody, but clearly Ms. Palin is not that sort of parent; She has left her child to others to go off and fight a hopeless political battle. She is about as unfit as they come, therefore.

So, you can take your smarmy self-righteousness away with you; I know what a parent's duties to a child are and this does not meet them.

Yes! He knows what a parent's duties to a child are. A woman's place is in the home!

Now Ben Burch is not just some schmuck on the internet; he runs a site called the White Rose Society, where liberal/progressive talk radio archives are found for many of the major lefty yakkers, like Thom Hartmann, Mike Malloy, etc. And he sounds like one of those "Iron My Shirts" guys:

Were it my child, and having had a close friend with a Downs baby who did not make it to her fourth year, I would have quit everything to be home to take care of that child and make its every living moment as good as it is possible to be under those conditions; Career be damned.

I think, even if it is her child, and I assume right now that it is, she needs to do the right thing and go take care of it.

Get thee to the nursery!

And Burch was even more dismissive of her reasons for flying back home (the contractions were still far enough apart that it wasn't an issue, and in fact when she got to Alaska the gynecologist had to induce labor). No, there was a better reason for her flying:

on the other hand, maybe she flew thinking she might lose the baby in a way that would bring no blame down upon her?

Wow. I assume that similar things are going on elsewhere. One can only hope that the feminists are watching and learning.


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Brainster in the Media

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