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October 30, 2008

Lévy's Challenge to the Left

An interview with the iconic liberal French writer, Bernard-Henri Lévy. Setting aside his bizarre characterization of McCain supporters, there are a lot of reasons here to hope he has Obama's ear (if, by some chance, Obama wins.) Read it all, but here's a segment on Jimmy Carter and the Arab brand of fascism...

Bernard-Henri Lévy: For forty years, I’ve been in favor of the Palestinian state. A sovereign one. I wrote that for the first time in 1969, forty years ago. But, I am able to recognize, and one should be able to see differences among Palestinians (as among any people) between the democrats and the fascists. The problem with Jimmy Carter is that he is unable to do that. When he treats Hamas as responsible people, Hezbollah as respectable people—both as regular interlocutors—he is just blinding himself and trying to blind us to this main difference, without which we are in dark times. Hamas is a fascist party. They rely on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, they believe in it, they have it in their chart, they have a cult of martyrdom, they have a religion of the blood, a conception of the race and anti-Semitism, by the way, which are the components of a new form of fascism, a new version, which just by its being Arab does not make it innocent. You can have a French fascism and an American fascism; you can have an Arab fascism.

Guernica: I suspect there are still many American liberals who aren’t aware that certain Arab nationalist groups (like the Baath Party) and Muslim groups (like the Muslim Brotherhood) are fascist movements with ties to European fascism. Paul Berman, of course, writes about this here in the U.S. You have written about it, too.

Bernard-Henri Lévy: We Frenchmen know that such a tradition can be vibrant as long as it is not acknowledged, criticized, or mourned. As long as we did not acknowledge the depth of our fascist temptation, it was living in our unconsciousness. It’s a long process. It’s painful. It’s difficult. A people, a nation has to do it. You are criticized when you do it. I was shot down, morally speaking, when I wrote The French Ideology, the thesis of which was that France’s problem was not that it was occupied by a foreign army, but that it held homemade fascism, which was our specialty. We did that. You in America, it took you one century to acknowledge that you have in the depths of your history a very dark side. Segregation. Racism. The Ku Klux Klan. You had to engage in a quasi-revolution in language to get rid of all that. It’s a huge task. Every nation has to do that.

It’s the same for the Arab world. They have the same task. They have to look in their memory. They have to look in their past. They have to mourn their dark temptation. To tell them fairy tales, to help them blind themselves is the worst we can do for them. Democracy—which has some vibrant elements in the Muslim world, among women, intellectuals, the young generations—needs this work of mourning, this work of sorrow, this work of truth, about the past. By which territorial, by which providential privilege would the Arab world be immune to or out of reach of fascism? No way. You had fascism in Japan. You had fascism in Europe. You had fascism in people like Lindberg in America. You had fascism in Latin America and in the Arab world.

Guernica: The problem may be that some Americans hear “Islamo-fascism” for the first time from partisans with a very right-wing agenda. What your book does, what Paul Berman does, and what others have done is to point out that this is a very concrete tie.

Bernard-Henri Lévy: It is not a slogan. It’s a concept.

Guernica: It’s a fact, according to your book, according to Berman.

Bernard-Henri Lévy: It’s a fact. I gave all the historical evidence on one side, ideological evidence on the other, of this tie. It is not a fatal tie. I don’t believe in eminent guiltiness. I don’t believe that there are blessed people or damned people. No angels and no beasts. You have in Islam, like in France, like in Europe, a battle, a very fierce fight, between those who want equality for women, anti-racism, the triumph of human rights, and those who want the values which have been built and popularized by the fascists. It’s a battle.

Big of him to acknowledge that just because we hear the term "Islamo-fascism" coming from the political right, doesn't mean it is necessarily discredited as a concept. In fact he challenges the Left to examine their own knee-jerk opposition to anything supported by their political opponents:

When I was a very young man, I was told, You should not criticize the Soviet Union because the French Right does it, too. So what. I’m going to bless the killings of millions of people in concentration camps on the frivolous motive that I have some stupid right-wing Frenchman who agrees with me? He will be forgotten. Bush is the same. Bush is nothing. I take rendezvous with you in two years, and nobody will care about Bush. I take rendezvous, and Bush will be opening his library. You will see, it will be a non-event. So I’m not going to sacrifice, I’m not going to let die, I’m not going to betray all these heroic women, courageous young men who fight for democracy because Bush seems to want to help them also. Maybe he does, by the way. I don’t care. Bush is nothing. He was something. He is nothing now.

A left-handed compliment, to be sure, but a bold admission for any person of the Left in 2008 to say that, yes, Bush "seems to want to help" the very same people that Lévy himself, and presumably, freedom-loving liberals everywhere wanted to help. He makes these remarks in the context of a discussion about the Palestinian territories and Hamas, but it actually comes close to granting Bush the presumption of having acted in good faith in his relentless promotion of freedom and democracy around the world....mixed in with just a dash of smug elitist contempt for the man himself. Though their values intersected, the man on the French Right in Lévy's youth is "stupid", and Bush is "nothing". Any virtue, apparently, resides solely with him and his fellows. Sigh.

But when it comes to identifying the fascists and the democrats in Palestine, or Iraq for that matter, and calling them by their name, Levy has principles that are beyond Bush-hatred. And that's refreshing coming from a man of the Left in this place and time. It's a good read....Lévy on anti-semitism, Obama, and Iran.

(via aldaily.com)

Iowahawk: Priceless

As a Conservative, I Must Say I Do Quite Like the Cut of this Obama Fellow's Jib


Will he be on time for the inauguration?

Amazing Race

Mark Steyn

This is an amazing race. The incumbent president has approval ratings somewhere between Robert Mugabe and the ebola virus. The economy is supposedly on the brink of global Armageddon. McCain has only $80 million to spend, while Obama's burning through $600 mil as fast as he can, and he doesn't really need to spend a dime given the wall-to-wall media adoration. And tonight Chris Matthews' doctors announced that his leg tingle has metastasized leaving his entire body like a vibrating cellphone whose ringtone is locked on "I'm In Love, I'm In Love, I'm In Love, I'm In Love, I'm In Love With A Wonderful Guy".

And yet an old cranky broke loser is within two or three points of the King of the World. Strange.

October 28, 2008

Beyond Parody

Brendan O'Neill at the Planet Gore blog.

"...satirizing Greens is forever an uphill struggle, as one’s campaign to mock environmentalism continually threatens to be derailed by the latest ridiculous utterance from the Greens themselves."

The Last Straw


(Thanks, Steve)

Creeping Regulation

Jesse Walker, managing editor of Reason, says concerns about revival of The Fairness Doctrine are probably misplaced, but that there are plenty of other reasons to watch Obama's FCC. Pack a lunch.

Beyond the Fairness Doctrine

October 27, 2008

Declaration of Dependence

Mark Steyn is a great read today. The dog is about to catch the car

October 25, 2008

Creative Destruction

This is sad.

Someone today predicted an imminent bailout request for this bunch.

Maybe it's just another industry going the way of the buggy whip.

October 24, 2008

He's So Cool....

ScrappleFace Editorial Board Endorses Barack Obama

The Stalwart

Krauthammer the contrarian:

The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the last year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts, but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?

There's just no comparison.

October 23, 2008

Punishing Achievement

Penn and Teller characterize the Obama tax plan. (I doubting Penn and Teller had anything at all to do with this video, but they're in it)

(via Randy)

The folks making that observation at the end of the video apparently don't know that the word "socialist" is code for black. (What am I saying? Of course they know that. They're the ones using the code!)

All code aside, for many Americans, a socialist is a rather discredited thing to be, what with all the history of mass murder and famine and gulags and all. Which is why this evidence is being avoided like the plague by the major media. Evidence of Sarah Palin's husband's fringe party affiliation 20 years ago is newsworthy for our hard-working press, but the prior political party memberships of the Democratic presidential candidate are off limits. Talk about a code.

Read more about Obama's relationship to the socialist left in the U.S. Congress. It's helpful to remember that there is an ongoing movement within the U.S. government to radically redistribute wealth and restructure the entire economy according to collectivist principles. And voters deserve to see the extent to which Barack Obama is a part of that movement.

Digging Holes

Jacob Sullum at Reason, says "Beware any politician who promises to create new jobs". Of course they all do. But even someone with a better understanding of the private sector, and less antipathy toward it than Obama has, couldn't efficiently plan and bring to fruition the "Green economy" of campaign rhetoric, from a perch in Washington.

In fact, Obama's party is already serving notice that they will be in all-out war mode against the U.S. private economy if Obama is elected. Add to the business-killing Card Check legislation they have planned, and the promised capital gains tax hikes, the latest proposal for economic suicide.

The Democrats in Congress admit they are considering eliminating the tax breaks employers get on matching funds in employee 401k plans, which would naturally eliminate the incentive for employers to contribute matching funds. But Uncle Sam would ride to the rescue with a meager check, and in one swipe, the Democrats would have co-opted the largest private retirement savings and investment vehicle in the country, on behalf of the federal government.

Why does this not sound like a good deal? Especially since those harmed most would be low and middle income workers, who must rely on those 401k dollars to live in their senior years. Responsible, planful people have 401k's because the Social Security system is headed off a cliff, and they know it.

The political left is about fostering more government dependency, and they figure undermining the retirement savings plans of the millions of American citizens of all income levels who have 401k 's is a damned effective way to do it.

This idiocy is just in the proposal stage, although the Dems admit "it's part of the discussion". An academic with an idea, naturally. The professor allows that under her plan "401k's can continue to exist, but they won’t have the benefit of the subsidy of the tax break."

Read more, including link to Ed Morrissey at OneNewsNow.com (via Bob Stolz)

Don't miss Ed's take.

More from James Pethokoukis (via IP)

October 21, 2008

The Case Against BHO

From Hot Air, the work of Guy Benson, Mary Katharine Ham, and Ed Morrissey, The Case Against Barack Obama.

There's a lot here. Bookmark, distribute, email, link. There must be a few undecideds out there.

Must Read Stuff

Wow! The best piece I have read anywhere in months.....

An open letter to journalists and newspapers from a principled Democrat - Orson Scott Card.

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.


These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.


Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.

And after Freddie Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.

If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.

But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign — because that campaign had sought his advice — you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.

You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.


If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie — that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad — even bad weather — on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth — even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means . That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time — and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter — while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?


If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

Hey, I guess shaming them is worth a try, just to see if they are capable of shame. I have excerpted liberally, but please read it all.

News For Warmists

A funny thing happened on the way to the Al Gore movie...

Lorne Gunter: Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof

Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, "It's practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling," as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an "almost exact correlation" between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost "no correlation at all with CO2."

An analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing, Michael J. Myers of Hilton Head, S. C., declared, "Man-made global warming is junk science," explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year "equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere's CO2 concentration ... This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun's radiation. This is an insignificantly small number."

Other international scientists have called the manmade warming theory a "hoax," a "fraud" and simply "not credible."

While not stooping to such name-calling, weather-satellite scientists David Douglass of the University of Rochester and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville nonetheless dealt the True Believers a devastating blow last month.

For nearly 30 years, Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA's eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, "variations in global temperatures since 1978 ... cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide."

Their first clue must have been when the globe stopped warming a few years ago, while CO2 emissions kept rising. How very embarrassing this must be getting for the true believers, and how inconvenient for the anti-capitalists and statists who have been encouraging and exploiting them.

October 20, 2008

Thanks For Noticing

Melanie Phillips of the Spectator, with a view from the UK: "Pinch Yourself" (via Dr. Sanity)

You have to pinch yourself – a Marxisant radical who all his life has been mentored by, sat at the feet of, worshipped with, befriended, endorsed the philosophy of, funded and been in turn funded, politically promoted and supported by a nexus comprising black power anti-white racists, Jew-haters, revolutionary Marxists, unrepentant former terrorists and Chicago mobsters, is on the verge of becoming President of the United States. And apparently it’s considered impolite to say so.

Yep, that's about right. Read the whole thing.

Preempting Criticism

Joe Biden lets the mask slip once again. The message is...we know better than you... you must not criticize us, even when you are unhappy with the policies we pursue. Biden's quote is followed by Abe Greenwald's commentary

I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, ‘Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? Why is the polling so down? Why is this thing so tough?’ We’re gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I’m asking you now, I’m asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you’re going to have to reinforce us. . . There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision.’

The fact that Biden is announcing that an Obama administration will be acting against the will of the American people is not even the scary part. What’s fundamentally unacceptable is the autocratic condescension implicit in the idea that he and Barack Obama know what’s best for us, and we should therefore resist the urge to protest their actions. As Biden said, “I’ve forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know, so I’m not being falsely humble with you.” You can say that again! This is so profoundly un-American, and so obviously integral to the Obama ticket’s outlook, we can’t risk labeling it a mere “gaffe.” We’ve seen strains of this throughout the campaign. It’s what Michelle Obama meant when she said her husband “is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.” The message is: Barack Knows Best, and you can draw a line straight from Michelle’s comments, through Obama’s insistence to Joe the Plumber that he knows how wealth should be spread around, to Joe Biden’s plea to trust them against your own better judgment. It’s getting very stuffy in Obama’s America.

UPDATE 10/21: A commenter to the above at contentions:

It’s funny that no one in Biden’s party made the same claim that the president deserved support despite low approval numbers when the president was somebody else. When it’s a Republican, low approval ratings = failure. We were told by Democrats repeatedly that, based solely on poll numbers, Bush should pull out of Iraq.

But when it’s a Democrat, low approval ratings = voter ignorance. Be patient, you idiots. Remember how excited you were when we told you those comforting lies.

Heads I win…

October 17, 2008

Card Check A Winner For McCain

You'd think that the so-called Card Check legislation now promised early in an Obama administration by Nancy Pelosi, and supported by Obama, would be a winning campaign issue for McCain in the last two weeks.

The legislation, already passed by the House and Senate but held up so far by a Bush veto threat, is the price extracted from Democrats by Big Labor for their considerable backing, and the bill is coming due. It would strip U.S. workers of the right to the privacy of a secret ballot in union organizing elections, rights that have been in place since the Wagner Act of 1935. Read. More. Please.

In polls, over 80% of Americans favor the preservation of the right to a secret ballot in union votes, a process satisfactorily overseen by the NLRB for many years to insure fairness.

This ad, not identifying with either party or candidate says "tell the candidates to protect worker privacy".

This video is of an employee who experienced union organizing abuse.

It's way too illiberal for George McGovern. McGovern's WSJ op-ed here. The USA Today editorialized against the legislation (the right-wing rag). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce naturally opposes this anti-business measure.

McCain should challenge Obama to explain to the American people why in an Obama administration, the right to secret ballot that they enjoy in every other election of their societal leadership, would be denied them in their decision on whether or not to accept union representation in the workplace.

McCain should highlight the contradiction between the high-minded Obama rhetoric about the corruption of catering to special interests, and his carrying of water for labor interests who have donated millions of dollars to his campaign.

McCain should challenge Obama to explain why worker protections in place for 70 years are now going away simply because the big unions want it that way.

Maybe the McCain ads are already out there. I haven't seen them. Lots of video on the topic at YouTube.

October 16, 2008


Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit has a handy and comprehensive "Complete Guide to ACORN Voter Fraud" up at PJM.


IBD op-ed:

It's a sad day when a court has to order a state's top election official to take steps to fight massive and orchestrated vote fraud. The full 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has done just that by ordering Ohio's Democratic Secretary of State, Jennifer Bruner, to use other government records to check the thousands of new voters registered by ACORN and others for registration fraud. She must also notify local election officials when fraud is discovered.


October 10, 2008

Swimming Easily in the Fetid Pond

Krauthammer on Obama's associations with execrable characters.

Why are these associations important? Do I think Obama is as corrupt as Rezko? Or shares Wright's angry racism or Ayers's unreconstructed 1960s radicalism?

No. But that does not make these associations irrelevant. They tell us two important things about Obama.

First, his cynicism and ruthlessness. He found these men useful, and use them he did. Would you attend a church whose pastor was spreading racial animosity from the pulpit? Would you even shake hands with -- let alone serve on two boards with -- an unrepentant terrorist, whether he bombed U.S. military installations or abortion clinics?

Most Americans would not, on the grounds of sheer indecency. Yet Obama did, if not out of conviction then out of expediency. He was a young man on the make, an unknown outsider working his way into Chicago politics. He played the game with everyone, without qualms and with obvious success.

Obama is not the first politician to rise through a corrupt political machine. But he is one of the rare few to then have the audacity to present himself as a transcendent healer, hovering above and bringing redemption to the "old politics" -- of the kind he had enthusiastically embraced in Chicago in the service of his own ambition.

Second, and even more disturbing than the cynicism, is the window these associations give on Obama's core beliefs. He doesn't share the Rev. Wright's poisonous views of race nor Ayers's views, past and present, about the evil that is American society. But Obama clearly did not consider these views beyond the pale. For many years he swam easily and without protest in that fetid pond.

Until now. Today, on the threshold of the presidency, Obama concedes the odiousness of these associations, which is why he has severed them. But for the years in which he sat in Wright's pews and shared common purpose on boards with Ayers, Obama considered them a legitimate, indeed unremarkable, part of social discourse.

Do you? Obama is a man of first-class intellect and first-class temperament. But his character remains highly suspect. There is a difference between temperament and character. Equanimity is a virtue. Tolerance of the obscene is not.

That was the second half of a column that's worth clicking for the rest. First of all though, I'm not so sure Obama has conceded "the odiousness of these associations", except perhaps his half-hearted claim that the Jew-hating, anti-American pastor he discovered after 20 years in his church was "not the Reverend Wright I knew". It's not like disavowing your grandmother or anything. OK, bad example.

As far as I know, he has not been pinned down on the subject of Ayers' more recent expressions of his hatred of America either, (since we've been told ad nauseum that Obama was only eight years old when Ayers was setting bombs as his way to bring about change.)

It would surely put a lot of American minds at ease if Barack Obama would just publicly renounce socialism as the manifestly discredited social and economic model that it is, and embrace the individualism that is the very basis of America's existence. Then the radicalism of Ayers and the race-based liberation theology of Wright, and the contempt for America they share, could be more easily seen as phases Obama has outgrown.

But I've seen zero indication that this is the case.

To me, the funny part is that Wright has been "retired" to the million dollar condo in the gated community, while his successors at Trinity in Chicago doubtless preach on about disavowing the pursuit of middle-classness as a sellout to Whitey. For Wright, as with Ayers, it was a gig. Working in the private sector wasn't a real possibility for these guys. Profit is evil, but they needed a paycheck just like the next guy.

And for community organizers like these guys the first requirement is to create the environment for manipulating and exploiting people's sense of victimhood. The object for their resentment can vary as required, the government, white people, rich people, all do nicely. Then, later, if they happen to end up rich, or working for the government, well, that's different. They were well-intended. Pass the plate.

I get no vibe from Obama that is beyond this same kind of self-serving opportunism, nor beyond the same kind of arrogant self-regard evident in Wright and Ayers. Nor do I get any sense that he has experienced any corrective to the effects of the swamp of radical leftism in which he has been immersed since his early childhood. I wish it were otherwise, believe me. I just haven't seen it.

October 9, 2008

Learning About ACORN

The most recent piece by Stanley Kurtz on the emerging ACORN scandal.

Planting Seeds of Disaster

October 8, 2008

Not The ______ I Knew

VDH - Obama's problematic friends are jettisoned on the basis of political expediency, not principle.

Ross Douthat says the Ayers issue is dead... played out....over. I think he's right. I think the issue of Obama's association with Ayers is a more serious one than he does, but I think he's right that it's played out.

At least it's played out until President Obama has to go on TV in response to some future bombing by a terrorist here in the U.S. and try to summon some credible moral outrage.

And wouldn't it be interesting if it were eventually proven that Ayers ghostwrote "Dreams From My Father"?

Victimhood is Out, Man

This has been up a couple of weeks now, but I hadn't seen it till today. (Via Jay Nordlinger)

Thank you, whoever you are.

October 6, 2008

Ayers, Obama and School Reform

Sol Stern at City Journal, on Bill Ayers, "The Bomber as School Reformer"

On Meet the Press Sunday morning, Tom Brokaw—who will be moderating tomorrow’s debate between the presidential candidates—picked up this now conventional wisdom and described Ayers as “a school reformer.”

Calling Bill Ayers a school reformer is a bit like calling Joseph Stalin an agricultural reformer. (If you find the metaphor strained, consider that Walter Duranty, the infamous New York Times reporter covering the Soviet Union in the 1930s, did, in fact, depict Stalin as a great land reformer who created happy, productive collective farms.) For instance, at a November 2006 education forum in Caracas, Venezuela, with President Hugo Chávez at his side, Ayers proclaimed his support for “the profound educational reforms under way here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chávez. We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution. . . . I look forward to seeing how you continue to overcome the failings of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane.” Ayers concluded his speech by declaring that “Venezuela is poised to offer the world a new model of education—a humanizing and revolutionary model whose twin missions are enlightenment and liberation,” and then, as in days of old, raised his fist and chanted: “Viva Presidente Chávez! Viva la Revolucion Bolivariana! Hasta la Victoria Siempre!”

As I have shown in previous articles in City Journal, Ayers’s school reform agenda focuses almost exclusively on the idea of teaching for “social justice” in the classroom. This has nothing to do with the social-justice ideals of the Sermon on the Mount or Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Rather, Ayers and his education school comrades are explicit about the need to indoctrinate public school children with the belief that America is a racist, militarist country and that the capitalist system is inherently unfair and oppressive. As a leader of this growing “reform” movement, Ayers was recently elected vice president for curriculum of the American Education Research Association, the nation’s largest organization of ed school professors and researchers.

Despite the Times story, American voters still don’t have an accurate picture of the relationship between Obama and Ayers during their work on the Annenberg Challenge. The paper’s account quoted several people who worked on the project as saying that they didn’t think Ayers had any role in selecting Obama for his position as chairman. But we haven’t heard a word about the subject from the two principals. For the first time in his life, Ayers seems to be observing Democratic Party discipline and won’t be talking until after November 4. Meanwhile, in one of the Democratic primary debates, Obama said that Ayers was just “a guy I know in the neighborhood”—which certainly qualifies as one of the biggest fibs told by any of the candidates so far.

The idea that this true hater of America has ascended to a position of influence in the selection of curricula for educating our country's teachers is a thought that physically sickens me. And they want to start "educating" our children even earlier in their young lives, with mandatory Pre-K. The sooner they can start teaching them how oppressive their country is. Truly despicable.

UPDATE 10/6: Read Jennifer Rubin too.

UPDATE 10/7: Stanley Kurtz in The Corner, and in The Weekly Standard

McCain on the Offensive on Subprime

Again...finally. Pass it on. Please. (Via Hot Air)

October 5, 2008

Pryor Cool in Wisconsin

Freshman Terrelle Pryor took some shots and learned some lessons Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium, but he drove the Buckeyes to the winning score with a minute to go, and snapped a long home win streak for the Badgers. Here's my game story at The Cleveland Fan


ESPN.com recap

Scout.com game story

Bucknuts.com game story

Nice game highlights video

October 4, 2008

Finally...Straight Talk

I believe this is the ad Republicans and other McCain supporters have been wanting to see, and couldn't believe McCain had thus far refused to run.

It appears he wanted to wait until the bailout legislation passed before delivering the message. That's fine...as long as they push that message now...long and hard, until election day.

(via Hot Air)