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March 14, 2008

Comments

Here's an interesting op-ed on Obama, by Cass Sunstein, who's a colleague of his at the U. Chicago Law School, a stellar legal theorist, and by all accounts an immensely decent guy.

The Masons? Seriously?

The Elks' temple & world headquarters is in Chicago! But it is in Lincoln Park, not the South Side. I have never gone insider, but somehow, I doubt they are quite as involved in the community as Trinity. Somehow.

Either black churches are not providing enough choice for marketplace of people looking for churches, or the marketplace is telling us that all black people damn America...

Again, I think that there are very very few churches that offer the things that Obama's church does. When my wife moved to northern Virginia, she spent months looking and found zero outside of DC proper. She wasn't even looking for a church that met the criteria I described above; she just wanted one that made some attempt to integrate the state of the world into a religious context and made some effort at doing good work in the community. She also wanted a community that was not completely 100% white, but she knew that was impossible.

Look, Obama used to teach constitutional law and his wife was a high powered executive. These are smart people, and, in my experience, most churches of any kind tend to be theologically and intellectually vacuous. People go to church in order to nurture their own spirituality and its hard to do that if the guy at the pulpit is so small minded that he never addresses what's happening in the larger world outside the church or if he feeds you that prosperity gospel pablum crap that is so common these days (honestly, turning Christianity into a crappy version of the Secret sucks).


A church exists as a community of worship. Obama could have found a church to worship in that did not preach resentment against whites and black victimhood.

As a church-going person, this strikes me as completely wrong. For many people, worship means a great deal more than just sitting passively through a religious service. It means devoting every aspect of your life to God, and that may mean talking about history and state terrorism and civil rights in a sermon. Many Christians struggle to integrate their spiritual beliefs with their understanding of how the world works and has worked in the past.

Just as I start getting a head of steam up about something Thullen comes around and deflates me so thoroughly I’m left scratching my head at what the hell I got so worked up about to begin with.

It's not surprising to me that so many commenters agree with the "God Damn America" attitude. I'm not going to say that they aren't patriotic, but lookit, there is some evidence. That was a 1967 Valiant, by the way. So anyway, the "God Damn America" stance might appeal to people like Michelle Obama who gets paid $313,000 as a PR person, but has all these problems arranging play-dates for her children. Hey, things are tough all over, Michelle. If you can figure out a way for your husband to hire a "household management team", (which I need, by the way), then go for it. Just don't be ashamed of America because there is no Department of Play Dates in the Cabinet.

The Masons??

For the love of God, Montressor!

interesting that Clinton is now the superior candidate in an election against McCain according to the average poll results.
How things change eh...
I guess this sort of stuff has hurt him.

*Sigh*
If only Rev. Wright had patiently explained as did McCain's moral advisor Rev. Hagee did that God was helping terrorists attack America because of the tolerance Americans show toward gays and abortion and uppity womenfolk then there wouldn't be a furor at all. Rather he'd be trumpeted on Fox News as a moral leader. After all, there's more than one way of saying "God Damn America." Rev. Wright should have spent more time watching old video of Falwell or Robertson.

Obama has more problems. I think he's about to get Wolfowitzed.



One of Obama's Earmark Requests Was for the Hospital That Employs Michelle Obama

Dan Riehl notes, via Amanda Carpenter, that in the list of earmarks he requested, $1 million was requested for the construction of a new hospital pavilion at the University Of Chicago. The request was put in in 2006.

You know who works for the University of Chicago Hospital?

Michelle Obama. She's vice president of community affairs.

As Byron noted, "In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama’s compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office."

Looks like that raise was worth it.


Barak Obama blatently lies about knowing about the vile and dispicable racist sentiment of his close personal friend and pastor:

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2007/8/8/194812.shtml

An excerpt by an eyewitness to Obama being present when Wright was preaching:

>>>Wright laced into America's establishment, blaming the "white arrogance" of America's Caucasian majority for the woes of the world, especially the oppression suffered by blacks. To underscore the point he refers to the country as the "United States of White America." Many in the congregation, including Obama, nodded in apparent agreement as these statements were made.<<<


Nice link Hilzoy. The Sunstein.
I can see why Obama spooks some people. As if he’s too perfect; our submersion in the effluence of consumerism leads us to doubt the possibility let alone likelihood of genuine humanity in any public figure.
The one thing that always nags at me is his statement in an interview early on (don’t have the link at hand, it may already be familiar) that he’s aware of being a blank canvas for people’s hopes. Note he didn’t speak of it as a tool of manipulation, nor in my judgment has he displayed any evidence he sees it so. That is, he hasn’t used his strength to twist things. ken for certain will disagree, and who knows who else. But those of us who admire him, must find his abilities wonderful and daunting.

Dan Riehl notes

ah, Rheil... the very model of the modern D-list conservative shill. nothing has ever come out of his mouth (or gone in, i'd wager) that wasn't in service of the GOP. he's like TownHall without the ad revenue.

...also applause for russell; consistently fine posting.
And appreciation for Turbulence. Admirable thought well expressed.

crr,

You've got to be kidding. According to the 2006 annual report, the UC Hospital system took in $884 million and spent $871 million. And you think they care about a measly $1 million grant? Do you have any idea how large organizations that deal with real money work? Do you really think that an institution that has assets well over a billion dollars is willing to risk a corruption investigation in order to secure a measly $1 million, especially when they know that the Bush administration has politicized the justice department?

Also, on a side note, the UC Hospital system is huge. It delivers a tremendous amount of care to the people of Chicago.

If only Rev. Wright had patiently explained as did McCain's moral advisor Rev. Hagee did that God was helping terrorists attack America because of the tolerance Americans show toward gays and abortion and uppity womenfolk then there wouldn't be a furor at all.

Yes, Hagee confines his god-damning to the city of New Orleans and, on a bad day, the Catholic Church.

Thanks -

A question for the Democrats reading this thread. Which do you find more troubling: (1) the over-the-top rhetoric of the Rev. Mr. Wright (which Senator Obama has repudiated), or (2) the endorsement of Senator Clinton, for purposes of the Democratic Primaries, by Rush Limbaugh and Limbaugh's efforts to procure votes for her (which the good Senator has never repudiated)?

If the Rev. Mr. Wright and the blowhard Mr. Limbaugh were both drowning and you had but one life preserver to throw, would that be a difficult choice?

Turbulence and cleek,

I appreciate the fact that neither of you disputed the details of the post.

Can you guys please point to some links that might actually dispute it?

My questions, which will be asked for months if Obama wins are as follows:

Did he get an earmark for a million bucks to the hospital where his wife works?

Did she double her salary in such a short time?

Why don't you guys do him a favor and put this to rest now?

Turbulence,

Since you seem so "smart" on how large organizatoins work and I am just a moron maybe you can answer the above questions and give me a little educatin'.

Can you guys please point to some links that might actually dispute it?

Why? You need a website for common sense?

By the way, market rate for a VP at a major hospital is wayyyy more than a measly $125K. That figure doesn't pass the sniff test.

gwa,

No I don't need one for common sense. However if I was looking for one for jerks I think I would no where to go.

C'mon people. Quit attacking the messenger. Is this really any different than Wolfowitz. Her salary doubled. No one here is curious about that at all?

If that's the case it certainly isn't me that lacks common sense.



But the spectacle of a bunch of people who didn't get this worked up over a monster like John Hagee endorsing McCain

So if Hagee is a monster what is Wright? Just curiuous. Do you consider him a monster also?

crr: some of the stuff you ask can be easily discovered by either reading the papers or googling. However, just to start you off:

"Senator Barack Obama on Thursday released a list of $740 million in earmarked spending requests that he had made over the last three years, and his campaign challenged Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to do the same.

The list included $1 million for a hospital where Mr. Obama’s wife works, money for several projects linked to campaign donors and support for more than 200 towns, civic institutions and universities in Illinois.

But as the Senate debated a bill to restrict the controversial method of paying for home-state projects — a measure defeated Thursday evening — Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign also said that only about $220 million worth of his requests had been approved by Congress. And among those that had been killed were his request in 2006 for $1 million for an expansion of the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Mr. Obama’s wife, Michelle, is a vice president."

So: no, he didn't get the earmark for the hospital where his wife works.

I googled "Obama wife earmark" to find that, and clicked on the first news story I saw, on the first page. It's pretty easy, once you get the hang of it.

Turb, Cleek, Gwa do you know many people that have doubled their salary in a year?

Has anyone here had their salary double in a year?

Ironically, I will be the first to admit that mine has. Due to a startup business. But I don't know anyone who has doubled their salary working within an organization. Maybe this is common.

Please feel free to let me know if you think that is normal.


It's going to come back an haunt him in the general election. If this is the best defense you guys can come up with good luck convincing people on the fence.

If I may, I'd like to change the subject to the latest outrage from She Who Must Be Obeyed.

The CLinton campaign has encourged some multi millionaire Florida donors to demand their money back if the Florida delegates don't get seated.


Since I've gone from not liking her much to disliking her heartily, I don't think I have a very good perspective for assessing this. will this be seen as blackmail? Will the supers finally get sick of her? I wish the would.

crr: note that I dispute at least one implication of Riehl's post. I assume that when he says "Looks like that raise was worth it.", he means it was worth it because they actually got the earmark, and not because, for instance, she was a good employee and they were lucky to have her, or something similarly innocuous.

Since they did not, in fact, get the earmark, that implication is just wrong.

As I said, this stuff is not so hard to find, since it's in today's NYT. Riehl could have, you know, done some research before hitting the post button. As, needless to say, could you.

Turb, Cleek, Gwa do you know many people that have doubled their salary in a year?

Yes.

And you figures STILL don't pass the sniff test. For example, MedCorp, a group of hospitals in Fredericksburg, VA, with revenues about half that of UC Chicago, paid salaries to VPs and upper execs in 2003 that were $200-400K. That was before a 30-40% raise on top of that. A $121K salary seems suspiciously low.

Hilzoy,

So after she got her big raise he did try to get it. He put it in the bill, but then two days ago it got killed due to others and not himself.

So the story was accurate, but I should have said, "Did he try to get a million bucks for the hospital his wife worked at?"

Thanks.

Geez, you guys are a touchy group. I can only imagine how your heads are going to explode come November.

I just wanted to make clear that the line about black churches not being able to provide enough choice was supposed to be a wry comment.

No one here is curious about that at all?

Sure. A link would be helpful.

So if Hagee is a monster what is Wright?

Hagee is a guy whose religious beliefs lead him to think that all gays are going to hell, that the Pope is the antichrist, and that God sent Hurricane Katrina to punish the city of New Orleans for allowing a gay pride parade.

Wright is a black man who is pissed off at the way other black folks are treated in the US, and at the way the US conducts itself in the world.

I don't call either guy a monster, personally, but I do see a difference between the two. You can sort it out for yourself.

Just as an aside, but I hope noone here would be shocked to know that the basic level of anger and frustration voiced by Wright is not at all uncommon in the black community. It's not all milk and honey out there.

And yes, lots of professional people have had their salary double in a year at some point in their life.

Not saying there's nothing to your claim, I'd just like to see more than a couple of graphs quoting Dan Riehl. I'm sure you can understand my skepticism.

Thanks -

Not saying there's nothing to your claim, I'd just like to see more than a couple of graphs quoting Dan Riehl.

among those that had been killed were his request in 2006 for $1 million for an expansion of the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Mr. Obama’s wife, Michelle, is a vice president.

crr -- dude, never mind.

Thanks -

crr: I'm not touchy because you criticized Obama. I'm annoyed because you came here without bothering to do your own research, and then expected us to do it for you.

I don't have this reaction when someone just asks: what's up with this? But when someone comes on and just starts listing questions which, for some reason, s/he expects other people to answer even though s/he could find out the answers quite easily, and being all combative and "ha, if this is the best you guys (sic) can do", I find it mildly irritating.

There's something mighty familiar-like about that crr character...

There's something mighty familiar-like about that crr character...

Really? Most of the usual suspects aren't that incompetent.

Russel,

Down in flames, I think not. He's going to get Wolfowitzed whether you guys think a million bucks is no big deal and a huge increase in salary is common.

Hilzoy,

I only responded about the research because neither one of them dealt with the details of the post. Not because I really wanted them to do my work. I admit to not catching the update in the NY Times, but c'mon that was just all released. It's easy to miss something like that given the timeline. Even you said it got cut out on Thursday.

So all this came out around Thursday. Perhaps we could cut him and myself a little slack.

Can I assume you are okay with the fact that cleek responded to me with no substance... just accused him of being a shill and Turb responded by accusing me of not knowing how large organizations work? Is that acceptable to you? Are posts that assume the other is ignorant and don't deal with someone's actual post more appropriate?

I responded back by pointing out they had no substance and suggested how they could respond with substance. I wasn't trying to get them to do my work. I was trying to suggest that name calling isn't a really an effective response.

Anyway, I do find it interesting that at the time Obama's million bucks gets denied for his wife's employer he releases his earmarks. That worked out pretty good. Really good timing.

Innocuous? Hey what's a little innuendo between friends. I'm sure you have played that game a time or 2.

But, I am having a hard time with the math.

If in 2005 she made about 121 grand and in 2006 she made 316 grand is that's between a 100% to 200% raise, right?

If she got a 200% raise that would be 121+121+121 grand or 363 grand.

That's too much.

If she got a 160% raise in one year that would be around 121+121+72.4 or around 314 grand.

Is that right? About a 160% raise in one year?

I'm bettin' good money this haunts him for quite a while.

That's doesn't raise anyone's eyebrows in the slightets?


It's simple:

Mr. Obama did your wife get over 160% raise in her job?

Mr. Obama did you try to get a million bucks for her employer.

Over and over again. And then maybe again.

I admit that I can't stand Hillary, but she's the only dem who has a shot at winning in the general election. Love her or hate her she's already been vetted. We've only just begun with Obama.

we are in the woods now.

through Rev. Wright we are about to find all of the complaints, hopes and dreams of black people projected onto obama, and, as white people... we just can't vote for that.

it will be interesting to see if White America can tolerate knowing that there is even a tiny bit of truth to complaints by blacks as to how they have been treated in this country by white america.

Evidently this was the promotion which gave rise to the pay increase:

“Michelle Obama has been appointed vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Obama, who was previously the executive director for community affairs at the Hospitals, will be responsible for all programs and initiatives that involve the relationship between the Hospitals and the community. She will also take over management of the Hospitals' business diversity program.”

It’s no concern of mine really, but if the Dan Riehls of this world can make useful propaganda out of Michelle Obama’s pay increase, then the American people might as well outdo Caligula and elect the winner of the Kentucky Derby. Give them the government they deserve.

Hilzoy,

Most of the usual suspects aren't that incompetent.

Is this more the type of post you prefer?


Kevin,

I'm not saying that she didn't deserve it. But can't we admit that it does look highly suspect?

That's a might big raise in 1 year.

Kevin,

I'm not saying that she didn't deserve it. But can't we admit that it does look highly suspect?

That's a might big raise in 1 year.

Generally, if you get a better job, you get higher pay. You obviously don't know what are market rate salaries are in the profession, even after given a hint.

Really think you DO need that web site on common sense.

“Michelle Obama has been appointed vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Obama, who was previously the executive director for community affairs at the Hospitals, will be responsible for all programs and initiatives that involve the relationship between the Hospitals and the community. She will also take over management of the Hospitals' business diversity program.”

OK, now THAT passes the sniff test. Director level pay is generally low six figures, particularly in a major metropolitan market. VP/top ten executive in a major organization is often mid to high six figure. Climbing a substantial run on the job ladder often brings with it a substantially higher salary.

"It's not surprising to me that so many commenters agree with the "God Damn America" attitude. I'm not going to say that they aren't patriotic, but lookit, there is some evidence."

Hey, go for it, DaveC. Your definition of patriotism may not match mine, so by your definition who knows how I'd rank?

I think a lot of what is called patriotism in the US is actually a form of idolatry. A person should love the country they live in, just as they should love their family, but if a family member is a thief, a wife-beater, or something like that, you're supposed to get angry, and if another family member says "God damn this disfunctional family", you may want to listen to what they have to say rather than act all shocked and appalled by the language.

Though that said, I may not read your response. Like Jes, I'm trying to decide if people being wrong on the Internet is worth my weekend.

A few months after Obama became a U.S. senator, he and Rezko's wife, Rita, bought adjacent pieces of property from a doctor in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood -- a deal that has dogged Obama the last two years. The doctor sold the mansion to Obama for $1.65 million -- $300,000 below the asking price. Rezko's wife paid full price -- $625,000 -- for the adjacent vacant lot. The deals closed in June 2005

I'm starting to think that maybe it all really does make sense.

Buy house for $300 grand under market.

check

Wife more than double her salary.

check

It's a pretty good business plan as far as I can tell.

It's a pretty good business plan as far as I can tell.

If you can't get the stuff Riehl talked about right, why in heaven do you think you're proving anything by another quote that may be as poorly researched and brain dead stupid as that one was? And why would WE think you were anything else but brain dead stupid?

Maybe you can clarify this:

is a thief, a wife-beater, or something like that, you're supposed to get angry

A thief? What has been stolen? Have any charges been brought?

If only we could invade a country that had a lot of oil, then we could take it all and bring down the cost of oil in the US. That might help our economy some

Wife-beater?

Who has beaten their wife. Are you referring to Iraq and/or Afghanistan?

If Iraq maybe you should read UN resolution 1441. I only wish Hussein had fully opened up his country for inspections. All of this could have been avoided if Hussein had done so.

Afghanistan? Remember we are all Americans today.

I'm just not sure what you are referring to for it to be justified in damning America.

brain dead stupid as that one was?

Hilzoy?
Hilzoy?
Hilzoy?

That's my online impression of

Bueller?
Bueller?
Bueller?

Name calling... who can argue with that?

Regarding Rezko, Obama is the one who said me made lapses in judgment.

If he can admit he screwed up why should his defenders deny it?

Crr, if you're not familiar with the sorrier aspects of US foreign policy than you have led a sheltered life. We've supported mass murderers and torturers and on occasion even genocidal killers and the 9/11 terrorists, horrible as they are (or were), are no worse than some of the people we've supported. Wright mentioned South African violence and Israel's violence against Palestinians (much of which has nothing to do with legitimate defense against Palestinian terrorism). There's a long list of countries--Chile, Angola, Indonesia, East Timor, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Turkey, Iraq and others--where innocent people have died with our help.

Now what you're supposed to say is something like "We had no choice" or we chose the lesser of two evils, or something along those lines. You're not supposed to make it sound like you've never even heard that the US has ever done anything wrong.

Anyway, arguing against people being wrong on the internet--I probably do have better things to do.

To the point. Don’t know, maybe this was brought in before. Olberman asking Obama about Wright and Rezko.

It’s not so much the images of Wright. It’s the images of Obama’s back-slapping and whooping congregation buddies.

Obama, after locking up the delegate count, has now been defined as the angry black candidate in the minds of many. He will get soundly beaten among white and Hispanic demographics in the contests going into the convention. He will arrive in Denver as damaged goods, having distanced himself from a large part of the electorate. Whoever engineered this is pretty smart.

The Democrats have three choices:

1. Move forward with damaged goods in the form of Obama and probably lose (flag image, Michelle statements, Wright, forthcoming Iraqi financing Michelle’s garden scandal)
2. Move forward with damaged goods in the form of Clinton and experience riots and the loss of the black vote.
3. Pick an outside candidate. One who has experience in the Executive branch, operates a profitable carbon-credit business, and holds a Nobel Peace Prize.

This is becoming interesting.

Well, grr, kind of gave yourself away there.“I admit that I can't stand Hillary, but she's the only dem who has a shot at winning in the general election.” and“A thief? What has been stolen? Have any charges been brought?”
Right.
Slimy slippery snaky. Puberty a present problem perhaps?

Bill, I suppose I should admire your vigorous cynicism, your devotion to sophistry.
Plus I can see how you would oppose Obama, because he opposes everything you ‘stand for’.
That’s what we who admire him admire him most deeply for.
Damaged goods? What you’re showing is a low-grade MadAv mind. Wouldn’t recognize integrity if it sank its incisors in your gluteus.
Good luck with your eye problem.

The entire incident is blown so far out of proportion as to make it ludicrous. That and why doesn't Hagee get equal treatment? Of course it makes great 527 fodder that the superficially involved voter may kneejerk to when going to vote, but those are the voters the Republicans desperately need to show up at the polling places come November. Obama will have to go on the offensive early in the general to mute the effects of the slime this will generate.

Be careful about defining your personal value systems around Chicago politicians felix culpa. Especially ones with fund-raising buddies currently going through discovery.

I’d advise the Federalist Papers as a better place to start.

"Puberty a present problem perhaps?"

No, I don't think so. Based upon reasoning power, it is something to look towards though.

Let's put it this way. Chicago journalists, despite what you may want to believe, would love to uncover the dirt that destroys Obama's campaign. Specially two fo them, Carol Marin and Lynn Sweet.

I think they have dreams of Pulitzer in their future.

Today, after long sitdowns with Obama dealing with Rezko issues and Wright, they both have said there is nothing really there. Oh, they make little stabs, but it is obvious that the stabs are only out of desire to seem upset about something.

A little point about Obama and Wright. When the whole Enron thing went down, there was a lot of talk about how Bush and Lay where such friends, immediately denied by Bush.

Obama is sticking with both Rezko and Wright because he does believe in a little thing called loyalty, not in the sense that Clinton and Bush view loyalty, but in the real meaningful way.

And to anybody who outright calls Obama a liar about all this, and states they don't believe him, without any evidence to the contrary and a lot of evidence to support what he says, then you have basically lost all credibility with me.

I hereby call you all liars on any statement you have made about yourself. Prove me wrong. You can't, not to the level of proof you appear to be requiring.

Dan Riehl Democrats are the new swing group. They will be the key to the general election. Our only hope is to beg Hillary for mercy and hope she will pardon us and take us back into the fold.

If we are lucky we will be granted a vision of the future: a health-care mandate stomping on a human face forever, perhaps.
Also, we have always been at war with East Obamasia.

crr found a nut.

Before everyone gets too exercised about the earmark for the hospital, they might want to actually read Senate Rule 37, which governs conflicts of interest.

The relevant paragraph is here:

"4. No Member, officer, or employee shall knowingly use his official position to introduce or aid the progress or passage of legislation, a principal purpose of which is to further only his pecuniary interest, only the pecuniary interest of his immediate family, or only the pecuniary interest of a limited class of persons or enterprises, when he, or his immediate family, or enterprises controlled by them, are members of the affected class."

Please take note of the phrase, "principal purpose," as well as the word, "only," which appears three times.

crr: it wasn't an update in the NYT; it was in the 3rd para. of the article. And I have no idea what you meant by this: "Even you said it got cut out on Thursday."

I don't see any objection to calling Reihl's post incompetent. It was. He hadn't bothered to do the most basic checking. Whether that term applies to someone who just repeats Riehl's post without bothering to check it out him- or herself, I leave to you.

Myself, I think it makes a difference whether that person writes: "I just read this; does anyone know anything about it?" (polite, entertains possibility of error), or something more along the lines of: "ha! ha! got him now!" In the latter case, I think some attempt at fact-checking would be in order. Ymm, and plainly does, v.

Clinton lost more ground to Obama today, as the county caucuses in Iowa saw seven delegates flip from Edwards to Obama.

Garth and Phil -- Thanks for calling the bullshit as you see it. I think Barack's response was wimpy and he needs to do a whole lot better on responding to this crap. This denouncing thing is getting old and annoying. He didn't do anything wrong or suspect by attending TUCC, and Wright didn't do anything wrong in his sermons. I thought there was something called freedom of religion and expression in this almighty and wonderful country. Here again, this

As I read all these blogs about the "manufactured scandal" as CaseyL put it, I can also see a profound and wilful ignorance about the relationship between race, religion and politics in American life. Membership in a congregation cannot be just about spirituality in a racist society. For those of us, especially white folks (sorry, I disagree with you on this hilzoy) who think that church/worship can be divorced from the political in the US, just check out who you are worshipping alongside. Chances are, if you're christian, you are participating in a a racially or economically segregated group. Ironically, this is far less likely to be true for Muslims...go figure.

Black people don't go to church "just" to worship; the act of "worship" is itself a social practice that is tied up with rituals and feelings of belonging. Being black matters a whole lot at TUCC and is part of that experience. If you don't like and have an affinity for black people, you can't worship there. That goes for white folks, black folks and others. By the way, you all really really should do your homework about TUCC. The depictions, even among the more sympathetic posters here, are stereotyped and so completely inaccurate as to be unrecognizable. I would know because I am a member of that church.

Every time there is a discussion about the relationship between religion and politics for black people in the US, the same pernicious and racist ideas are reared and played out in the media and among white liberals: that black people are mindless sheep, who cannot think for ourselves, and who are controlled by our all powerful male religious leaders like Farrakhan, Wright, King et al. Check yourselves, please.

If Obama cannot defend the rights of Black people to worship as they choose, he will lose our respect, even as he will lose in the run for presidency. And yet, as we are seeing right now, many white people are just crazy afraid of black people who have a positive self-identity. I would rather Obama lose and come out of campaign looking like a person of integrity rather than someone willing to condemn their own grandma (and pastor!) in order to get a vote. That's just disgusting to me.

"Be honest, Slarti: before he got his name thrust into the limelight very recently through no doing of his own, did you even know who David Patterson was? Heck, I live in New York, and wouldn't have been able to identify Spitzer's Lt. Gov. to save my life!"

"And no, until recently the name of David Patterson was, to me, just as obscure as that of Jeff Kottkamp."

Um, no offense, but apparently you guys still have no idea who the former Lt. Gov., now Governor, is.

(Well, you're hot, anyway.)

(And one can't have lived in NYC very long without knowing Basil Paterson, although one could certainly miss his son if one knows nothing whatever about the State government, which is to say, ~94% of the population.)

Branch Rickey asked, no pleaded, no demanded, that Jackie Robinson take all of the crap the Enos Slaughter's of the world could dish out during his rookie year.

Jackie did.

Mr Rickey was a very smart man. He knew how to get Robinson through that primary year.

But after his first year with the Dodgers, after having stayed above it all, and agreeing with Mr. Rickey that staying above it all was the best way to forge change, you did not want to be the guy covering second or third with Jackie Robinson coming in hard, spikes up, aimed at your shins, your crotch, and your throat.

You did not want to be the pitcher when Jackie Robinson was on third, dancing half way down the line during the stretch and into the wind-up, and you did not want to be the catcher when stay-above-it-all Jackie made you look like a pantsless Barney Fife when somebody finally figured out to throw you the ball.

By the time the ball got to home plate, Jackie had scored and was in the dugout and even Enos Slaughter, well maybe Solly Hemus, said to himthemselves that's how you play the game.

As to Michelle Obama, a number of years ago a black man (I'm sorry, I don't recall his name) was named manager of a a major league team after lots of back and forth about his suitability and a few problems in his past, blah, blah, blah, and one day soon after a reporter stuck a microphone in Frank Robinson's face (he having broken new ground as the first black manager of a major league baseball team in 1975) and asked him what was up, how come this guy got the job ... and Frank took it all in and looked at the reporter and said:

"The guy got a job. What exactly is the problem?"

Russel,

Down in flames, I think not. He's going to get Wolfowitzed whether you guys think a million bucks is no big deal and a huge increase in salary is common.

Two l's in Russell. I've never met a real live Russell who spelled it any other way.

Thanks.

Wolfowitzed, nothing.

Obama is going to be Norman Mailered, Maxwell Taylored, John O'Hara'd, McNamara'd, Rolling Stone and Beatled till he's blind.

He'll be Ayn Randed, nearly branded, Communist cause he's left handed.

That's the hand he uses, well never mind.

Or, whatever the current version of all of that is.

Obama is going to be put through more wringers then you have ever imagined in your faintest dreams. His wife's raise and whatever relation they bear to any earmarks he may have brought back to Illinois are just the tip of the iceberg.

The Rezko proceedings are sure to be full of entertainment for us all.

That's the way we do things here in the good old USA. Thanks for playing.

My issue with you isn't that you're bringing accusations against Obama. My issue with you is that you quote a couple of paragraphs from Dan Riehl and expect us all to go "Oh, snap!" and then stand back in admiration at your wit and wisdom.

You need to bring more to the table.

Thanks -

Off topic!

I was googling The Dwarves and got AstroBoy , which is pretty cool.

That's what the choir at my ideal church would sound like. Mind you, I am aware of some of The Dwarves other songs, and I completely disapprove of them. And I wouldn't play those songs for my children, or take my children to a Dwarves concert, either.

"!) So I started flipping around to other local stations. It was everywhere. It’s a good ad and if he is saturating the Pittsburg market the way he is saturating the Philly market he is going to own PA."

Radio ads are, unsurprisingly, far cheaper than tv.

[...] Or to churches which preach that women must be subservient to men.

I hadn’t heard of such a thing

Um, my.

"I can't imagine sitting in a pew for 20 years and listening to those kinds of comments."

How familiar would you say you are with African-American culture?

If anyone's interested, this is the Chicago Trib's verdict on Obama and Rezko. (You probably need to register to read it, if you haven't already.)

Oh, my, Tracy Morgan just gave quite a reply to Tina Fey on "b*tch is the new black."

Also, OCSteve.

Incidentally, I'm just back a while ago from the Boulder County Democratic convention, which I was going to say something about (which I don't want to do at my own blog, because I have local political folk who might read it, and I'd rather be honest. :-)); but there isn't an open thread. Oh, well.

Gary: please, feel free to use this one. :)

Can I copy a comment from another blog? OK, no , but anyway at Althouse they are discussing whether wearing a veil empowers Muslim women:

Well we have to be sensitive to people’s religious concerns. It would be same thing if someone in Barack Obama's church is caught talking to a white person. You could understand how the congregation would shun them. We have to be respectful of other people’s cultures and religious practices.

You've gotta love that, even if it is from Trooper York.

Oh and also this link was there:
which I am all for.

I am supporting and behind Kristen.

crr - can't you read your own quotes? "Below asking price" is not the same as "below market price." If you have ever bought a house, you paid less than the original list price, am I right? Everybody asks for more than they can get, everybody lowers the asking price.

Has anyone on this list ever paid MORE than the original asking price for a house? IF so, did you feel a bit foolish in retrospect?

Obama said it was a dumb move because the guy who he split the purchase with was under criminal investigation at the time. That WAS dumb, for a politician. The reason it was dumb, is that it gave people like you the opportunity to create guilt-by-association scenarios, and ignore the actual facts.

"I can't imagine sitting in a pew for 20 years and listening to those kinds of comments."

How familiar would you say you are with African-American culture?

Well, that's the problem, innit, Gary?

Not a whole lot of imagination of how to deal with other subcultures, of how non-whites actually FEEL, of how other groups might use righteous anger in ways other than they're used to in order to motivate, of how---

Aw crap...folks haven't learned much since the 1960s, have they? Same old BS, without even bothering to change the wording...

I love it when people who are upset about Rev. Wright say, "It's high time we had a national conversation about racism in this country."

I've got news for them: We're having it. And it's not going particularly well.

Trilobite -- in the community where I live, at the time we bought our house (2002), the standard thing was for houses to sell above their asking price -- it was not unusual for "bidding wars" to occur raising the price substantially over asking. We paid approximately 5% over the asking price for our house and did not feel foolish about it. In this time of declining values it is still worth more than what we paid. (Hopefully that will remain the case going forward, all I can do is cross my fingers.)

Gary: How familiar would you say you are with African-American culture?

I’d say not very, or rather that the African-Americans I know fairly well would probably not be considered representative of this Chicago congregation. But for me I think it’s more a matter of being unfamiliar with the church/religious culture. What I know of it is second hand – via my FiL. Based on discussions with him, I find the concept to be rather strange. As a peer group, they seem to exert an awful lot of pressure in shaping his life. That is, he makes most if not all decisions in his life based on “what the people at church would think”. I have to admit that is a totally alien concept to me.

But understanding how influential such a group can be is the reason this whole thing bothers be a little. I’ve said a couple of times that the negativity coming from the campaign bothers me (building a market for hope) and now I think that the basis for it (at least partly) is this church.

Again – not a deal breaker, just something I find a bit bothersome.

[i]It’s not so much the images of Wright. It’s the images of Obama’s back-slapping and whooping congregation buddies.

2. Move forward with damaged goods in the form of Clinton and [b]experience riots[/b]and the loss of the black vote.[/i]

Shorter Bill: N****rs sure is rowdy.

The Modesto Kid: That was the experience when my wife and I lived in the DC metro area as well, and were thinking about buying a house. The very act of listing a house would usually generate an average of 10 offers in the first 72 hours, all of them above the asking price. That persisted for a good 3-4 years. But DC is an unusual combination of demographics, zoning and demand that results in that kind of weirdness.

"Well we have to be sensitive to people’s religious concerns. It would be same thing if someone in Barack Obama's church is caught talking to a white person. You could understand how the congregation would shun them. We have to be respectful of other people’s cultures and religious practices."

That's from DaveC, quoting Trooper York. Since there are white people who go to Obama's church, I fail to see why DaveC posted this unless we are supposed to be appalled by the white racist ignorance on display.

I’ve said a couple of times that the negativity coming from the campaign bothers me (building a market for hope)

OC, can you unpack this a bit? I've read it a couple of times now, and I'm not following.

How is "building a market for hope" negative?

Thanks -

OCSteve: Often, things you write make me recognize assumptions I hadn't brought to light, for which I thank you. (This is utterly non-ironic.) In this case: I was assuming (based on everything I've read, especially his first book) that his church would mean a lot to him, as a community, but that he is, in general, the last person on earth to rely on any community to tell him what to think.

It's one reason I thought my church experience might be relevant, though obviously it differs in a zillion ways: I always took it for granted that it wasn't my church's job to form my political opinions. (I mean: it might do so indirectly, the way any experience, and in particular any experience involving a set of conversations, might, but it wouldn't do more than that.)

I took this for granted because for all my many faults, not being able to figure out how to come up with political opinions for myself has never been among them. This was as true when I was 15 and looking for a church as it is today. I'm not in need of someone, or some community, to tell me what to think, and if someone tried, it would be pretty unlikely to work.

Again, I don't think Obama and I are alike in a lot of ways, but I think we are probably alike in this one. Lack of independent-mindedness is not his problem, and I can't imagine any community playing the role you describe, for him.

Again, this is how I imagine him, so I'm not saying something like: I am necessarily right. Just: this is how I was thinking about it. But I hadn't made this part clear to myself until I read your comment.

russell: How is "building a market for hope" negative?

If the main product you are selling is “hope”, then convincing people that everything is a mess is building the market for your product. That’s not to say this is anything new or that Obama’s campaign is doing anything other than what politicians have done since the first caveman convinced his tribe to let him be chief.

I just don’t agree that Obama’s main message is positive or uplifting. His main message (to my ears) is that “your life sucks right now, but I have a big old bag of hope right here”. I understand that other people aren’t seeing this the same way – but that’s just my opinion.

hilzoy: for which I thank you

My pleasure. ;)

Actually FWIW I don’t think that Obama’s opinions are controlled by his church. But belonging to a congregation is a foreign concept to me and what I know of it comes via my FiL. His church does control his life, to an extent that I find downright scary. So that shades my thinking on this I’m sure.

He doesn't have to manufacture discontent--even despair--with the way things are right now. Obviously I'm speaking for myself here, but I don't think it's just that: have you been following the "is America on the right track or wrong track" polls in recent years? They basically plummeted after 2004 & have remained there. Here's a chart

I'm jumping into the conversation in midstream, because I've been too busy too keep up with these threads. But I can't pass by without responding to the idea (from OCSteve) that Obama's message is "negative" because:

His main message (to my ears) is that “your life sucks right now, but I have a big old bag of hope right here”

First, a disclaimer. I have a lot of baggage around people calling other people "negative." I'm not going to launch into a long autobiographical digression, I'll just say that I spent a lot of my earlier life around people who felt -- insistently and sometimes in my opinion after the fact abusively -- that naming a problem was "negative." Hence the elephants -- the whole zoo -- in the living room could never be addressed, because even just mentioning that it was there was "negative."

I say that to (try to) make it clear that if I edge off into snarkiness, it's not aimed at you, OCSteve (I don't feel that way about what you write here), but flowing along on the energy of my own past experiences.

Bottom line: People don't need Obama to tell them that "their lives suck" -- as you put it. Or even if their lives don't suck yet, they may start sucking any day now.

Between the war, the economy, the fear of climate change -- in more concrete terms, stuff like the price of gasoline rising visibly practically every day, and raising the price of just about everything else along with it; severe cuts in services for people most in need (happening now, where I live) -- the list could go on and on.

It isn't negative to say aloud what's happening, and invite people to come together to deal with it. In fact, that's just about the most positive thing I can think of. Obama's idea of "hope" seems to be firmly tied to the notion that "hope" comes from rolling up our sleeves and working together to deal with the (pretty much eternal and universal) fact that life tends to be a mess.

How about this: Wright's comments are a boon to Obama. He gets to denounce (etc.) his pastor's statements, which gets played in the media as "disowning" his pastor, thus distancing Obama from any statement the pastor has made that might be seen as controversial, even if Obama might agree with them.

Maybe that's too crazy.

Also, being depressed about the state of the country & thinking your own life sucks aren't synonymous. Obviously a lousy economy is going to make "wrong track" #s worse, but I think what first drove them into the cellar was:
(1) Iraq
(2) Katrina

Intriguing, the opposed perspectives from which OCS and I approach Obama’s appeal.
This in a context of an apparently not-wholly-divergent manner of speaking of the experienced world. Our differences are doubtless manifold, but we both are able to feel at home here, and often see or at least acknowledge differences, to speak and to be spoken to by a community of voices.
But to those who see things as OCSteve describes them, Obama is ‘in the game’ for the same self-interested low-minded reasons we would both associate with a lower form of life.
By contrast, others here see in Obama the embodiment of extraordinary qualities we associate with the best, balanced in, given the scope of his vision, a deeply admirable way. An outrageous embodiment of possibility that things must not necessarily head for Hell in one big handbasket.
An alternative to sorrow and regret while looking toward humanity’s future.
As before, yet again; having just become an official senior, any political idealism I’ve retained has found no nourishment, or at least none immediately memorable, since the excitement over McGovern. And that was a puff of warm air through a crack in the door compared to the fresh wind of change coming in the window now.
Always interesting how differently similar eyes can see things. (hoping you don’t feel tarred with my sharing a brush.)

"Gary: please, feel free to use this one. :)"

Thanks. It was last night, after I finally got home, that I was really too wired to do other than talk about it, though.

Uh, let's see. I got to shake a lot of hands, including several congressional reps, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, and more state officials than I can count.

The slightly embarrassing moment was when this fellow shook my hand and said "Hi, I'm "this name," and I hadn't recognized him until then, despite my knowing perfectly well what he looks like.

I just hadn't expected to find him at the other end of my hand, which was silly, really, because half the Democratic state politicians were there.

There was a great deal of disorganization, and very bad organization, and everything ran over 5-6 hours late, which made just about everyone but me mad, it seemed. I just expected that as a sure thing.

I was particularly amused to sit back and nod quietly and patiently while several people bitched like mad to me, as a sympathetic listener, because it's usually me bitching, but I've learned not to have high expectations about these things; b) I've long learned that while all the bitching may be correct, it doesn't do any good now save where there's something left to change.

And in this case, few of the problems were last-minute fixable.

Although the most amazing moment came for me during our breakouts in Congressional Districts to elect our delegates, finally, as the last order of business, to the CD and State Conventions next month, and it turned out that, aside from all the other wacky non-procedure, the following was going on:

We were given written ballots with the names of everyone who had gotten in their paperwork by March 10th. People self-nominating at the Convention were to stand up, and say their names, so everyone could write them in, if desired.

But nobody thought of having people sign, or identify themselves, on their ballots, until I pointed out that there was no possible way to validate them, otherwise, or do a re-count, or prevent someone from submitting 20 ballots, otherwise.

The experienced people running the meeting looked shocked and surprised when I ran up and pointed this out quietly. (The ballots should have required us to put in our Convention ID numbers, as well.)

So they belatedly announced a signature requirement. Sheesh. Genius.

Moreover, the people running our CD meeting were also simultaneously plumping for their own organization's ticket ("Grassroots for Obama"), and seemed utterly unaware that that's was a complete conflict of interest, and that it was utterly wrong to, as officials, be telling people to please vote for this particular slate, and why we should.

It was largely of a par like that, so I'm glad I wasn't seriously interested in advancing in the process.

And there was, of course, all the silliness.

I have a shiny new apple, from our millionare Congressional candidates, with the unlikely name of Jared Polis. He can afford many apples.

But I'm supporting his opponent, former State Senate President Joan Fitzgerald.

I have to say that at least two Obama people were rude, though, regrettably.

One interrupted former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb's speech for Clinton towards the end by shouting "In conclusion...." That was just rude.

The other did something similar, I forget what.

It's true that Webb went on for about 20 minutes, rather than the 5 he was entitled to -- which also happened with the Clinton representatives at the precinct caucuses too -- but still, not nice. We all have to work together in the end, most of us hope, no matter who the candidate is.

Oh, then there was the mother-daughter team running for the state convention dressed as bees....

"We're the B Team!" With bee deely-boppers, and all yellow and black striped costumes.

Then there was the 8 year-old on stilts, with signs for Obama on each stilt.

And there was a kid maybe 13 that I pegged to several people as our future governor.
He was asking *everyone* if they'd like an Obama sticker, ma'am, sir?

Something like, ten times each, he'd ask everyone, over the course of the day. He was a [verb]ing steamroller.

I also got to feel Very Old, talking to all these kids -- some of the delegates were literally teenagers, including my ~20-year-old co-Precinct Captain, who seems like a wacky combination of a Zapatista-supporting Young Republican (which I didn't want to say at my own blog) -- and I ended up in various conversations where I was literally being asked stuff like "Gary Hart -- what year did he run again?" and "remember when Walter Mondale ran against Ted Kennedy?," and the like. (Yeah, that latter never happened, if you were wondering.)

And so on and so forth.

OCSteve: "But for me I think it’s more a matter of being unfamiliar with the church/religious culture. What I know of it is second hand – via my FiL. Based on discussions with him, I find the concept to be rather strange. As a peer group, they seem to exert an awful lot of pressure in shaping his life. That is, he makes most if not all decisions in his life based on 'what the people at church would think'. I have to admit that is a totally alien concept to me."

Me, too, but the same is true for me of lots of normal stuff lots of folks believe.

In this case, though, I was referring largely to understanding part of why African-Americans may hold some anger over their contemporary treatment in American society on a day-to-day basis at times, as well as the recent past, as well as the more distant past.

I tend to think that the more familiarity one has with the African-American, or simply dark-skinned, experience in America, both in my lifetime, and even right now, the more one understands being angry about it to one degree or another, and being apt to take it out and share it more when not around pale-skinned people who are apt to, please forgive my characterization, clutch their pearls and wonder Why These Folks Are So Angry, And Isn't It Disturbing?

It's actually more than reasonable anger, and it doesn't actually result in many riots these days. It's a highly good thing to try to learn more about the basis of that anger, in my view, and a good thing to try to get past any defensive feelings (hey, I and my family haven't taken anything away from any other folks!) that might otherwise be engendered.

But it's only my view, of course.

Obama also doesn't strike in the least as someone prone to relying on what a mass of other people think to figure out what he thinks.

I support Obama, felix culpa, but I sure don't see him as you do. I don't necessarily blame him for running away from Wright, or rather, I blame the country more. Though maybe he (and I) are misjudging the country.

In a better world (by my lights anyway), Obama would have said "I disagree with some of the specifics my pastor has said, and in other cases I think he could have expressed his views without giving unnecessary offense, but fundamentally, he is right to be angry at many of the things America has done at home and abroad."

Obama could, of course, do a much better job than I can expressing those sentiments. But anyway, Obama apparently feels that many voters are too childish or immature to hear "radical" points of view--they are unable to stop and wonder if Wright might be making legitimate points, even if they don't like how he does it. So Obama distances himself from his pastor's remarks and doesn't dare do what hilzoy did in part 1 and maybe, from the viewpoint of winning the election, this is the correct decision. Frankly, I hope this is a political calculation, but it depresses me to think that this is what I consider to be the more optimistic interpretation.

To be fair, Obama is running away from his pastor's remarks, not the pastor himself. I would prefer that Obama say that his pastor is making some legitimate points, perhaps not in the best way to reach some Americans who need to hear it.

But my advice would probably sink his candidacy.

Modesto Kid -- fair enough, I sometimes forget just how intense the sellers' market was for a few years. No offense intended.

But most of the time, the price goes a little down, not up. That's for houses, not necessarily for lots -- I don't think it's strange that Rezko paid full price for the lot, and nobody has found any evidence that it was some kind of special favor for Obama. In fact, there was a competing buyer for the lot, but not for the house, which both explains why the price of one but not the other went down, and tends to confirm that the lot was worth buying, no special explanation needed.

IIRC, the house had been on the market for quite a while, because it was an awkward size/price, which is why the owner was trying to split the house and lot in the first place.

Basically, the deal shows that Obama is a good negotiator and problem solver.

Oh, and: "I’ve said a couple of times that the negativity coming from the campaign bothers me (building a market for hope) and now I think that the basis for it (at least partly) is this church."

I don't see any basis for that in the slightest, except pure imagination by you, I'm afraid.

There's more than enough horribly negative out our nation as it is, let alone after 7+ years of G. W. Bush.

And that's without even touching on the African-American experience.

With respect, OCSteve, maybe you're just sensitive about hearing America spoken of in critical, let alone harsh, terms?

Which would be unreasonable. America has been a great force for good in the world, and also responsible for the slaughter of innocent millions of people around the world over the past century or so, even if we just started with the Phillipines Insurrection, and went on through all the foreign interventions, and foreign oppressions we supported and aided (need I list dozens of names of countries and dictators and wars and revolts and slaughters?) and didn't count anything like mere human chattel slavery, genocide, or Jim Crow apartheid, on CONUS.

It's equally important to be fully aware of the details of both the good and bad America is responsible for: not just one, if you'll forgive me slipping into lecture mode.

There's an awful lot of both. One could spend a hundred thousand hours listening just to lectures on the good or the bad.

Feeling all pearl-clutchy at the truth isn't a useful approach for understanding the truth.

hilzoy: "if I had stumbled into Wright's church, I would have thought I had died and gone to heaven."

Sounds like Christian heaven is a place where all 'whites' are castigated for the plight of all 'blacks' through eternity.

Jay: "What do you think the topic of conversation in African-American churches all over this country will be this weekend?"

That promoting and perpetuating institionalized black 'outrage' and white 'blame' is still alive and well in most AA churches?


John Thullen: "The way this is going, when Obama is giving his inauguration speech next January, I hope it goes something like this: "My fellow Americans, the chickens have come home to roost…"

Which half of the chicken has come home to roost - his black half or his white half?

Phil: but the fact remains that, were someone to start reading off the names of the Fortune 500, and asking you what color each company's CEO was, you'd have a 98% chance of being correct every time if you said "white." That's not a number I'm making up -- 490 of the 500 CEOs in question are white. Five are black, and five are of Asian descent.
What about the number of blacks and Asians board-of-directors, those who decide the policies of Fortune 500 companies, including who becomes the CEO ? Although still disproportionate to the general population, blacks and Asians have been quickly increasing in number over the past decade. African-Americans now hold 8.1 percent of the board seats on Fortune 500 companies. And the percentage of Fortune 500 companies with Asian or Asian Pacific Islanders increased to 15% in 2006 from 11% in 2005.

So, blacks who make up about 12% of the population are still under-represented (but catching up), and Asians and Pacific Islanders, who make up about 4% of the populations, are over-represented.

Why are Asians doing so much better then Blacks, not only in appointments to Fortune 500 directorships, but across the board, in almost all professions? Does the 'White Male Power Structure' like them better? Or are there other factors involved - like differences in ethnic educational values, for instance, and more willingness for Asians to play the 'let's get ahead on our own merits game' instead of the 'blame the generic white male game.'


ken: Obama could have found a church to worship in that did not preach resentment against whites and black victimhood."

From all us agnostic-atheists, amen, brother…
And, yes, community service organizations are good options to engage in community work to help people (I recommend the Lions Club; our primary mission is to aid people with vision problems, and though meetings are generally opened with the pledge of allegiance, you're not required to recite it; and those of us who are free-thinking non-believers are free to leave out the 'in god we trust' part).

hilzoy: "Here's an interesting op-ed on Obama, by Cass Sunstein, who's a colleague of his at the U. Chicago Law School,

And here's an interesting follow-up on Obama's campaign contributions ("Its a little tin box, a little tin box, that a little tin key unlocks.") and his $2 million dollar home purchase ("But I know I'm a lucky man, God's given me a pretty fair hand, Got a house and a piece of land, A few dollars and a coffee can.)

Donald, I don’t want to convey any loss of critical faculties (even as those losses no doubt exist). I respect Obama for his qualifications, and admire him as one opening the window.
My principle disquiet may be with him seeming too perfect. Imperfections of judgment don’t signify catastrophic failure as a matter of course, though under the various magnifying and distorting glasses of the campaign, most bets are off.
Deep inside me something is cringing against the day his clay feet turn to mud. Something else is patting its back and saying Don’t worry it’ll be okay you’ll see.
Can’t say I’m really sure of anything. My enthusiasms are often misguided. But Obama rings more properly-tuned bells than I would have imagined possible. To this ear.

Indeed:

[...] But when he finally sat down with the Tribune editorial board Friday, Obama offered a lengthy and, to us, plausible explanation for the presence of now-indicted businessman Tony Rezko in his personal and political lives.

[...]

We fully expect the Clinton campaign, given its current desperation, to do whatever it must in order to keep the Rezko tin can tied to Obama's bumper.

When we endorsed Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination Jan. 27, we said we had formed our opinions of him during 12 years of scrutiny. We concluded that the professional judgment and personal decency with which he has managed himself and his ambition distinguish him.

Nothing Obama said in our editorial board room Friday diminishes that verdict.

Here's the audio of the interview. Here's the text. Here's confirmation that "Previous owners confirm Obama's description of home sale."

Feel free to bring this clearing of Obama's name to everyone's attention, Jay. We Obama supporters appreciate your spreading the word as widely as possible, so I hope you'll continue to do so. Thanks!

"That promoting and perpetuating institionalized black 'outrage' and white 'blame' is still alive and well in most AA churches?"

So it's your view that there is no significant racism against dark-skinned folk in America today, and that anyone who claims otherwise, or "blames" anyone for such a thing is "racist"?

It seems clear that, regardless of whether or not it's fair to label you a "racist," you are blind enough to genuine racism, and its contemporary effects, and confident enough of your opinions in asserting that white racism, and being angry at white racism, are equally important and wrong, that your opinions about racism in American demonstrate little or no knowledge of what an actual minority or discriminated-against experience is like, and specifically that you have no clue whatever as to what the African-American experience is like.

That you are prone to breaking into denunciations of African-Americans for their alleged "racism," while you simultaneously find it difficult to refer to Senator Obama other than with terms like "his skinny little rump" doesn't add to your standing in being able to knowledgeably discuss the African-American experience, or to lecture African-Americans on how to behave in less uppity fashion.

hilzoy: I googled "Obama wife earmark" to find that, and clicked on the first news story I saw, on the first page. It's pretty easy, once you get the hang of it."

I googled "Obama wife earmark" too, hilzoy, and the first news story I saw at the top of the page reported this:

"Sen. Barack Obama requested $8 million for a military defense contractor that has close ties to one of his most prodigious fundraisers."

Guess there's more than one pig's ear in Obama's pot to explain.

And earmark or no earmark, Michele Obama received a lucrative promotion within months of the time her husband became a US Senator -- don't you find that at all... er... coincidental?

Could someone please release from captivity the response I wrote to Jay Jerome?

Thanks.

"And earmark or no earmark, Michele Obama received a lucrative promotion within months of the time her husband became a US Senator -- don't you find that at all... er... coincidental?"

Jeebus, Jay, it's fortunate there are no questions about the Clintons financial dealings, or her tax returns, or donors to his presidential library, or....

Obama has run an amazingly high-minded campaign; he hasn't gone near any of this stuff.

It's not really a line of questioning that favors Senator Clinton, this "I suggest there are underhanded and suspicious financial dealings of the candidate that should be investigated more, and we should make as many unsupported innuendos about it as possible," approach.

But, fine, everyone should be as sensitive as possible to the appearance of financial improprietry, and the Obamas and Clintons should be equally fully forthcoming. I'll be happy with the results of that.

When the Clintons release their financial information, tax returns, library donor info, and make themselves available for as many hours with the Chicago Trib reporting staff and editorial board, that is.

When's that scheduled again, please?

felix culpa: "But Obama rings more properly-tuned bells than I would have imagined possible. To this ear."

But it's starting to sound like a lot more clunkers in the tune.

G. Farber: the Obamas and Clintons should be equally fully forthcoming. I'll be happy with the results of that."
I agree 100% with that, Gary.
"When the Clintons release their financial information, tax returns, library donor info, and make themselves available for as many hours with the Chicago Trib reporting staff and editorial board, that is."

So, if the police track down a thief who robbed a house near Sunset Blvd. they shouldn't charge him with the crime until they catch another thief who robbed a house near Vine Street?

G. Farber: "It's equally important to be fully aware of the details of both the good and bad America is responsible for: not just one.."

I'm on a roll of agreement with you, Gary-- now if you'll kindly forward that advice to the Rev. Wright, and his successor at Trinity Church, that would be helpful.

Aaaaaaand Jay Jerome goes ahead and plays the "n*****s is stupid" card, confirming a) my decision not to interact with him is the right one, and b) yeah, he's a racist.

felix culpa: Intriguing, the opposed perspectives from which OCS and I approach Obama’s appeal.

What I’d ask you to understand is that I’ve always been skeptical of politicians. And now I have lost my entire party. I am kind of floating out here. I hate the thought of McCain or HRC winning. I like Obama, I think he is a fantastic speaker, but the “hope is not a plan” business is getting to me. I’ve blindly voted for president before, and that got us Bush. I’m trying to be more critical this time. Still – it is Obama by a mile at this point.


we both are able to feel at home here, and often see or at least acknowledge differences, to speak and to be spoken to by a community of voices

Absolutely. This is where I spend 90% of my online time.

hoping you don’t feel tarred with my sharing a brush

Not at all. I thought it was a great comment.


Gary: I really appreciate your blow-by-blow descriptions of the process. I mean – it scares the heck out of me that this is how we actually do this – but I find your first-hand experiences invaluable. Please keep it up.


With respect, OCSteve, maybe you're just sensitive about hearing America spoken of in critical, let alone harsh, terms?

Oh definitely. Feel free to call me Pavlov's Dog in this respect. There are certain things that get my back up – and then I don’t always consider what is being said. It’s like you walk up to me – slap me in the face – and then want to talk about the price of gas… I know you have a valid point to make, but it is lost on me by that point.

if you'll forgive me slipping into lecture mode

Wait! You have another mode?!? (I keed, I keed…) ;)

How do you manage to have even a passing awareness of the problem, Slartibartfast, when you "don't categorize people by racial tags"?

Simple: I don't tend to categorize people that way, but others do, and do so in a way that's quite hard to miss, even if you're trying.

There. That wasn't so hard, was it?

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