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February 23, 2008

Comments

Jane

Can we now expect a daily hatchet job on McCain by the Times? I'll set my watch to it.

clarice

I'm softshoeing it--With kudos to Jerome Kern and permission to TM to steal for his next headline on the topic

A FINE ROMANCE:

A fine romance, with no kisses
A fine romance, my friend this is
We should be like a couple of hot tomatoes
But you're as cold as yesterday's mashed potatoes
A fine romance, you won't nestle
A fine romance, you won't wrestle
I might as well play bridge
With my old maid aunt
I haven't got a chance
This is a fine romance

anduril

Iseman sounds like a talented lady. According to the WaPo:

Iseman, 40, was raised on a farm outside of Homer City, Pa., and attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1990 with a degree in elementary education.

She went to Washington and got a job as a receptionist at Alcalde & Fay in Northern Virginia. Within a year, she had risen to special assistant to the firm's president. She was later promoted to lobbyist and was made the youngest partner in the firm in the late 1990s. She specialized in telecom issues, and one of her primary clients was-based Paxson, which was rapidly purchasing a series of broadcast stations to create a national network.

Sad to see that talent lost to our elementary school students. This a perfect example of what's wrong with our educational system--we don't pay enough to keep the really talented young teachers in the system. From elementary education to specialization in telecom issues. With a flexible intellect like that, think of the good she could have done for the children.

Daddy

"A Fine Romance" is an excellent tune. Billie Holiday's version of it is great.

Too bad we don't have any Tin Pan Alley guys available nowadays to write a Musical Spoof of The Waltzing New York Times, complete with catchy tunes and flippant lyrics.

Perhaps a Saturday Night Project for idle JOMer's with idle fingers...

MayBee

NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/opinion/24pubed.html?pagewanted=1&ref=politics>Ombudsman weighs in.

Bill in AZ

"Can we now expect a daily hatchet job on McCain by the Times? I'll set my watch to it."

For the next 8 months - count on it.

SteveMG

It's been quite clear for a couple of decades that these minority-owned radio stations and the licensing procedures were a terrific out for larger companies to manipulate FCC regulations and ownership limits.

My guess - well it's more than a guess - is that McCain and others on the committee were willing to allow games to be played with the licensing process with the cover of protecting or helping minority businessmen and women out.

To the benefit of the companies, members of Congress and minorities. A win-win-win for all parties. Except perhaps the tax payer.

My second hunch is that if Congress tried to prevent such shenanigans, the poohbahs on the Times editorial page would be screaming about attempts to silence minority voices.

It does have the effect - a proper one - of knocking McCain down a bit when he self-righteously claims to be the anti-lobbyist crusader.

Small summer storm, though, nothing more.

anduril

Steve, I agree. This is very much the downside of having a Senator running for president--especially one with a long track record (unlike Obama, who has virtually NO record). I suspect the MSM will be sniffing around this story for some time to come. Iseman's background is too suggestive for them to just let it go.

SteveMG

Speaking of political corruption, real and imagined, keep these handy for tomorrow's "60 Minutes" allegations of Rove's involvement in the prosecution of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman.

Link 1 and Link 2.

The first is a piece by Quinn Hillyer, former editorial page editor of the Mobile Press-Register. The second is by former Press-Register reporter Eddie Curran whose reporting uncovered Siegelman's illegal activity.

The allegations by Jill Simpson on Rove's involvement are risible. That "60 Minutes" apparently uncritically accepted them is appalling.

BTW, Siegelman is a close friend of Al Gore.

Larry

Wow, Clarice. I hear the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald. I have all her "songbook" vinyls around here somewhere.

JM Hanes

The game's afoot! First you make Vicki Iseman a household name (even if you have to risk your reputation to do it?), then you start the real shooting in your follow-ups -- secure in the knowledge that every time you link McCain & Iseman thereafter, folks will be paying attention to the "news," nodding their heads, and thinking that the smoke they're seeing is actually fire.

I suddenly found myself looking at this little clip on the reporting process from the Times Q & A in an entirely new light as well:

As the story noted, Mr. McCain contacted the newspaper once, calling Mr. Keller to complain about the reporters’ inquiries, in December. The first extensive interview between Mr. McCain’s representatives and the reporting team took place at the lobbying offices of Charles Black, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain, on Dec. 14. In that session, the New York Times reporters requested various documentation, including phone records, office schedules and airplane manifests dating to the 1990s. The reporters followed up with several questions about Ms. Iseman’s lobbying efforts before the senator and his committee. Mr. McCain’s aides agreed to provide as much of the requested information as possible, but noted that this would take some time (they ultimately said they could not locate some of the documentation). Three of the reporters also met with Mr. McCain’s attorney, Robert S. Bennett, at his offices later in December.

The exchange of questions and answers continued off and on until Wednesday, when the newspaper submitted another request for an interview with Senator McCain. That request was denied. And, through Mr. Black, Mr. McCain declined to comment on former associates’ accounts of meetings in which he was confronted with their concerns about his ties to Ms. Iseman.

It almost reads like extorting evidence to me. Do you make McCain's crowd think you're looking for romance, so they'll give you anything you ask for? Or make them think you're looking for corruption, when you're hoping to find evidence of romance in the phone records? Or would just gaining access to every call he made for years be treasure trove enough? Or do you just go around asking provocative questions at a critical point in the primary season, in order to get yourself unparalleled access to a nervous candidate? We still don't know who actually leaked the story to Drudge in December, do we? Was McCain aware there was an endorsement hanging fire when all this was going on?

I'm not sure how the endorsement plays into the story here, but I did notice that Keller passed that question off to the political editor in the Q & A, which struck me as more than odd, since the newsroom honcho -- as he himself made clear -- was in no position to answer it.

I'm not buying a whole conspiracy to derail McCain's candidacy as New York Times policy, but there's something really crummy going on here.

Daddy

Mister Smith Goes To The Big Apple

Starring Jimmy Stewart as naive, but honest cub reporter from small town Missouri, showing up at the New York Times as an apprentice.

Scene 1: he meets Editor Pinch Truthburgler, gumshoe Tad Lackogumpshun, and the skirt, Lacey Liesalot. At the meeting for next days headline, Pinch sings the opening number to Jimmy Stewart, explaining Times Journalism.

(Sung to the tune of Tea For Two)

Picture this in Letterhead
Senator McCain with a girl in bed
a Lobbyist in red with a bosum full of favors to plead

Nobody near 'em to see 'em or hear 'em
No aides or relations to confirm negotiations
Lets make up a fable and watch the Conservative bleed

Then day will break and the country will awake
to a story half-baked and completely fake
with anonymous sources and denials from the horse's own mouth

We'll smear our opponent with lies and innuendo
wrapped in the First Amendment as we sing the crescendo,
Oh that's the way that we murder the Truth at the Times.

kim

Larry, the Lady Be Good.
===============

vnjagvet

Time to roll out "Lobbyists For Truth" to set the record straight.

Doesn't quite have the cachet of SwiftVets, though, does it?

Ann

If you thought the NYT was a hatchet job against McCain, wait to you hear what 60 minutes will try and do to Karl Rove tomorrow evening.

Hatchet Job Against Karl Rove

The American Spectator has background:

The False and the Absurd

Sue

Ann,

Democrats can't help themselves. They just really want to rally a base that is asleep at the moment.

Ann

Sue, you would think that after the demise of Dan Rather they would get a clue. I think these old media farts still haven't figured out the internet and how important it is.

The fact that they don't understand the movement of radio talk "listeners" is another nail in their coffin. As long as, they think we are minded numbed robots, the better. ;)

Topsecretk9

Why would Rove want photographs if he could just listen in and tape the corrupt Governor's phone calls?

Topsecretk9

Maybe 60's want to do it no matter how fraudulent to screw Dan Rather's lawsuit?

Topsecretk9

from SteveMG's LINK

ttached was an article published Jan. 21 in The Independent, under the double headlines, "Siegelman's judge's firm got $18 million contract;" and, "The same day he denied Siegelman's appeal bond."

The article was by Scott Horton, an Internet columnist for Harper's magazine. It began:..Perhaps most importantly, I hope that you hold Scott Horton in contempt for the bully, liar, phony and pompous ass that he is.

Confederate Yankee has detailed a lot outrageous unsubstantiated claims by Horton as well as his own conflict of interests

See Here and Here and Here

and heck, actually there is a lot more on CF about Scott Horton.

Topsecretk9
At this point, sanity should have prevailed and Simpson, having pocketed her 15 minutes of fame, should have been forgotten. Instead, Siegelman, Democratic congressional leaders, and national media outlets led by the New York Times cited her statements about the phone call and more as evidence of a political hit job against Siegelman.

To my knowledge, the Birmingham News is the only newspaper that has reported that Simpson had conversations with Siegelman, Scrushy, lawyers for both men, and at least two Siegelman operatives prior to filing her affidavit. This should give anyone pause.

What's more, she also provided background research on Fuller, including ordering a credit report on him - an act of questionable legality...

Gee...wonder where the illegal practice of ordering credit reports came from? Hmmm?

Jane

Ralph Nader just announced. He's in!

clarice

Gosh--Now I really don't know what to do, Jane.

At AT Baehr looks at Rasmussen and says the tide is shifting in McCain's favor (over O) and pegs that to the reaction to the NYT' smear.O is falling slightly v. Hill and he pegs that to the almost universal reaction to Mrs O's chip on her shoulder proud of America gaffe.

Pofarmer

Speaking of Mrs O's chip. I got a link to an article on her senior Thesis.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8642_Page2.html

This passage at the end troubles me.

"I hoped that these findings would help me conclude that despite the high degree of identification with whites as a result of the educational and occupational path that black Princeton alumni follow, the alumni would still maintain a certain level of identification with the black community. However, these findings do not support this possibility."

Who's dividing us again?

Jane

Mrs. Messiah really feeds into the whole Manchurian candidate paranoia. As does the meeting with Ayers, the ties with Louis Farrakan and things like that. That will peel away at that level of the electorate that pays just enough attention.

Clarice,

I think it's early for that trend because there is too big of a chance to go in the other direction. Several publications are gonna come out with McCain cavorts with lobbyist hit pieces this week, which will make the NYT piece seem more credible than less. It's not like it's a cabal or anything.

ben

"Several publications are gonna come out with McCain cavorts with lobbyist hit pieces this week, which will make the NYT piece seem more credible than less."

Actually, this won't make the NYT article seem more credible, unless there is some shocking sexual twist to it, with evidence....in the world of fast paced news and "gotcha politics", this McCain-lobbyist story is already old news, most people will perceive it as the liberal press following the leader. This topic will be a campaign issue for the Democrats in the general election, no doubt, but it remains to be seen how much mileage they can really get out of it given their ties to special interests of all sorts.

Pofarmer

I dunno about Manchurian candidate, but she certainly seems like somebody who isn't comfortable in her own skin. Who would lament about the fact that Blacks or any other minority could blend into the fabric of America?

And with that, I have a little story. I roomed with a Black dude in college for a year. Great guy, smart, had attended private schools in Kansas City. Our dorm floor had a dominate "minority wing" if you want to call it that. Those boys would come over and chit chat, talk about how oppressed they were. Never mind these guys were driving BMW's and Mercede's and I was driving a 1984 Cavalier with 120,000 miles on it at the time,(around 1990). These guys liked to get together and talk about how they needed to form Black Power companies and have Black Power hairspray and Black Power this and that. These are educated guys who obviously had access to money, or something. Yet, they couldn't understand that the very fact that they could sit around and discuss all this was the evidence that they didn't need it. Why make a Black Power product at all? Make the best product you can and market it to everybody, nobody knows your color from the other side of a store isle. I just wish that folks like Michelle Obama fundamentally "got it". That they live in the greatest country in the world, and integrating into the society that made it great is not some sort of "defeat". Indeed, it is victory of the highest level. It's been 150 years since emancipation. How many generations is that? I think it's about time to let this go.

clarice

Talked to my 88 year (almost 89) old condo commando southern Fla resident mom this morning. I definitely got the idea that (a) she doesn't think much of Hill or O and (b) she thinks the attacks on McCain are overblown and rather outrageous. I don't think with either of their top candidates the Dems can count on the old timer Jewish vote in Fla. even from people who hae resisted the notion for years that FDR isn't still the guiding hand of the party.

kim

Yay, Ralph. A home for disaffected Democrats, and there will be a bunch of them this year.

It's homelessness for the disaffected Republicans. Oh, well. I troll from under a bridge anyway.
=========================

JM Hanes

Jane: "Manchurian candidate"

You took the words right out of my mouth. That's what a lot of this oppo research, fellow traveler talk sounds like to me. In the end, what I think we'll be uncovering is a standard issue left liberal couple who are products of the identity based culture they grew up in (a mindset reinforced by Democrats and black politicians for decades), which they see themselves transcending. The fact that so many other folks see them as transcending that divide as well is a good thing, really. If Michelle Obama is finally proud of her country because she's discovered than any child really can dream of being president one day, I'd say that's a good thing too. Beating her up for coming late to the party seems pretty short sighted.

hit and run

JMH -- you might say Charlie is an Über Cool Nerd God ... just not the dumb/dorky/awkard kind.

hit and run

Ooops, that was meant for the Chiling thread.....

Larry

Irony of ironies: Russert asks D. K. Goodwin to comment on Obama's plagiarism.

Larry

Irony of ironies: Russert asks D. K. Goodwin to comment on Obama's plagiarism.

Larry

Never even hit post on that one. Preview only once.

Jane


If Michelle Obama is finally proud of her country because she's discovered than any child really can dream of being president one day, I'd say that's a good thing too. Beating her up for coming late to the party seems pretty short sighted.

JMH,

That certainly is the grown-up take on things. (Just give me a minute to haul myself out of my playpen.)

Okay, I'm out. You've added perspective to all that "hope" stuff. Good.

MayBee

It may be short sighted, but I'm going to pile on a little.
If she realizes she's been wrong about the country, that's great. If she thinks the country has just now changed, I still want to be in the playpen a little longer and criticize her for that.

boris

Beating her up for coming late to the party seems pretty short sighted.

Sure if one cherry picks the indicators, dismiss the flag pin, pledge, and domestice terrorist pals. There seems to be a little "hope" of the wishful thinking sort here.

I have no problem with the left running an up front unapolagetic charming fellow. Better then the stealth version (RW) I say. I even like them so there.

Just don't fool yourself.

GMax

Ralph Nader just announced. He's in!

OK who thinks the Democrats will double down and again actively work to keep Ralph off the ballots in as many states as they can manage?

Apparently Ralph still has quite a few ongoing lawsuits against various defendants Democratic, and if any of them looks promising I would think that having to pay twice would not look so attractive to them.

Besides, maybe with the Messiah, they dont need to try to surpress a guy from exercising his constitutional right of free association.

Liberal Fascism on display in aisle three!

Rick Ballard

"Just don't fool yourself."

Now, Boris - if we don't all clap, Victibelle will never leave her cocoon and dry her beautiful wings under the great sun of Hope shining so brightly up in the beautiful sky of Change. She'll remain forever mired in the terrible Slough of Despond and it will be all our fault.

Now, clap for Victibelle - or buy some very warm clothing.

MikeS

"Beating her up for coming late to the party..."

I'm calling this idea bunk. Michelle Obama's speech is a "malaise" speech about what is wrong with this country. She expresses the opinion that many Democrats have about this country, but she didn't maintain any deniablity. Most Dems criticize the U.S. for particular things and claim that other than those instances they love and admire the country.

Michelle wasn't that careful. Mrs. Obama describes a specific time when she was "not proud" of her country. She wasn't 'un-proud' because of an incident or a mistake her country had made. She was 'un-proud' for all of her adult life.

That sounds awfully close to the definition of unpatriotic.

clarice

Sounds awfully like thousands of nice middle class Black kids shipped off to college to learn to act like street bums or revolutionaries.Ostensibly the colleges are encouraging their attendence because of diversity but once they get there they are herded into separate dorms, organizations, encouraged to believe everyone else is a closet racist, etc. If they're still into that game after sophomore year, you know there's a screw missing.

GMax

So apparently after the Paxson Chairman is quoted as saying he thinks he did meet with McCain, today the Paxson President who says it would be rare that a meeting on the matter did not include him, and that he never met with McCain on the subject and seriously doubts the Chairman did either.

So if this story has legs, it must be really short stubby ones.

No evidence of any sexual relationship. Multiple McCain votes on the record against the interest of the company the lobbyist represents. Now its starting to look like the meeting that was suppose to be evidence that McCain misspoke about there not being a meeting, is also at least subject to its own questionability.

Where was Dan Rather when the NYT was cooking up this witches brew? Now that guy knows how to create a real scandal story. Plus Dan would have told them to wait, it just too early and he will have time to respond and everyone will see what putzes you guys in Manhattan really are.

GMax

I wonder if Keller is so oblivious that he does not realize that he is being compared to Rather in a lot of venues, and he is coming off looking unfavorable in the comparison!

centralcal

"If they're still into that game after sophomore year, you know there's a screw missing."

I would disagree, Clarice. I think there might be too many screws!

Changing subjects, have you seen the picture of Obama in his Somali elder outfit (Sweetness & Light)? I giggled when I saw it, because it reminded me of Kerry in his blue plastic outfit, that made him look like an Easter bunny with his ears lopped off.

centralcal

GMax - Keller and Pinch sold their journalistic souls years ago. Nothing fazes them now - not even falling stock value!

Rick Ballard

"If they're still into that game after sophomore year, you know there's a screw missing."

You mean if they actually believe the carp, there's a screw loose, right? Because there's a ton of dough to be made if you're good at pretending to believe it. Play it right and you wind up with a million dollar mansion in Hyde Park.

Jane

I think the point was that assuming Mrs Messiah has come around she could be an agent of change for the chip-on-their-shoulder community.

The real question is where will her newfound pride go if she loses the election?

JM Hanes

MayBee:

I'm suddenly reminded of an old Ogden Nash fav:

If you convinced me
And I convinced you
Wouldn't there still be
Two points of view?

Alternatively, chacun á son playpen! I have a black employee who recently asked me, "Do you think they'll really let a black man be president?" There's a lot she doesn't buy into, from Jesse Jackson to Oprah to victimhood; that question comes straight out of a lifetime of experience. The day the answer is an unequivocal yes is the day a lot of blacks will finally feel empowered in ways that I do think a lot of white Americans fundamentally take for granted. I don't think it's a good reason to vote for (or against) Obama as president, but given the choice between Obama and Hillary, I think it's a major plus.

Ironically, that same employee blames blacks, not whites, for one of the things she resents the most: being called an African-American instead of an American. Regardless of how that term originated, or how cynical race based politics have become, I think being classed as an African-American may be emblematic when it comes to how people think about the "country" they live in. Even as a simple matter of pragmatics, I just don't see the logic of piling on Michelle at what might be a watershed moment for the innumerable others who have grown up feeling just as she did and who would otherwise be following her into the light. IMO, taking people to task for how they ought to feel, instead of what they do, is a dangerous, damaging business.

JM Hanes

Jane:

Yes, that's it really. I think actually winning the nomination would be a real tipping point, regardless of the election outcome. It might be affected if the result were a popular landslide for McCain, but barring big surprises, I don't really see that happening.

glasater

JMH--There is a whole lot of wisdom in your words. But if Obambi or MO didn't feel their hearts break on 9/11 or feel some kind of patriotism for our country--I just don't know what it would take for those two people for feel otherwise.

glasater

***to feel***

boris

will finally feel empowered ...

Yeah? Clanence and Condi might qualify that slightly.

A Republican running might garner more white votes but dunno about blacks. If he/she won dunno about how empowered the feelings would be.

boris

** Clarence and Condi **

MayBee

IMO, taking people to task for how they ought to feel, instead of what they do, is a dangerous, damaging business.

Oh, I agree with you on that. Completely.
But isn't that what we're talking about, to some extent? I don't think black America is horribly treated by white America. Yet white America is supposedly so racist. We secretly "feel" certain ways. Yeah, I guess I'm tired of having been secretly racist all these years. If in her mind America was a certain way, she was blaming us all for how she thought we felt.

I just don't see the logic of piling on Michelle at what might be a watershed moment for the innumerable others who have grown up feeling just as she did and who would otherwise be following her into the light.

My main concern is what it says about people (not black people, necessarily) that agree with her on many levels. I don't know that her "proud" moment was just about race, she said it was about "change". Change can be many things, and I want to make sure I understand what it is the Obamas are offering.
I recall the day after 9/11 when people were shamed over flag-waving because not everybody feels "that way" about America. I'm thinking about the college professors that were reported on that day to have said things to the effect, "Anyone that can take down the Pentagon is a hero to me," or the people that nodded along with the Ward Churchills and his "little Eichmanns" comment.
I fear she is among that kind of group. The Chicago Hyde Park academic elites starring the Weather Underground for whom this country will never be right. Is she a believer that they are among the group that finally can see the America they want?

I want her to explain her world view a little better. That's all.

MayBee

s/b ***dayS after 9/11***

boris

I challenge the notion that pointing out a POV they have lived and are open about is "taking them to task". Since when? Is the basis because some disapprove of that POV so therefore noticing it is assumed to be disapproval of them? If so, not so.

If the success they have enjoyed so far is insufficient to realize they are not oppressed, I don't really see the wisdom of electing one president just to prove the point.

clarice

Rick"You mean if they actually believe the carp, there's a screw loose, right?" Right. If it's a simple gig they're playing for money or power or to get dumb girls into bed , you know I eould never criticize..
(When I was in college I was on friendly terms witth an absolutely gorgeous black girl with whom I'd joke about all the nice white middle class girls putting out for black middle class boys who were pretending to be radical.She was herself so into Black power she'd not even let let her white dorm mates sit on her bed.
Years later an orthodox Jewish guy I knew introduced me to his Black girlfriend. Both were lawyers and had met at the FTC where they both worked. I kept saying she looked familiar and we kept going back in time until we both realized we'd been pals observing the scene at the Rathskeller decades before.
(They married, had three gorgeous kids, and are very conservative politically.)

JM Hanes

boris:

"I don't really see the wisdom of electing one president just to prove the point."

It seems we agree then:

"I don't think it's a good reason to vote for (or against) Obama as president...."

Jane

Maybe over the course of this campaign we will determine how much MO is propelled by liberal elitist hate and how much by chip-on-her-shoulder race.

She better work on getting over both if she expects any "change" in this country.


glasater

HBO had a biography of Joe Louis on last evening and it was very nicely done. How this fine man was treated by the IRS after WWII is enough to make one weep--and I did.
But beside that sadness--in the old movie footage showing Joe Louis' early adulthood--all the black people were nicely dressed and spoke so that I could understand them.
Sure Joe was in the stratosphere of black society of that time and his wife wore furs and jewels but there was a "strata" and the ordinary black folks spoke and dressed well also.

PeterUK

If the only thing that makes her proud of her country is the chance of her husband becoming president,Mrs O is going to have an unhappy life.

MayBee

I want to point out that I don't buy into the idea that there is or should be a White America and a Black America. That's an idea that's been created for political purposes.

glasater

Did not mean to imply there should be a White America and a Black America.
There are very few black people who live in my community and they are treated almost like royalty--truly.

boris

It seems we agree then:

Sure, but when I wrote "wisdom of electing one president" I meant one of the Obama's.

bgates

The day the answer is an unequivocal yes is the day a lot of blacks will finally feel empowered in ways that I do think a lot of white Americans fundamentally take for granted.
Must be tough for them, thinking they can rise no higher in life than Senator, Governor, Supreme Court Justice, Secretary of State, Academy Award winner, Fortune 500 CEO, Ivy League professor, best-selling author....

clarice

HEH!

Jane

So, not to change the subject, but I'm not a movie goer and I'm a little confused at how gaga men and women alike are over George Clooney.


What's that about?

PeterUK

bgates,

Don't forget music,jazz and popular.

Ann

I thought George Clooney was absolutely gorgeous until he started talking without a script; not so cute anymore!!

Stupid is not good looking. :)

cathyf

Yeah, I hafta say I was heartbroken when Tom Cruise opened his mouth without a script...

Patrick R. Sullivan
HBO had a biography of Joe Louis on last evening and it was very nicely done. How this fine man was treated by the IRS after WWII is enough to make one weep--and I did.

The IRS treated everyone that way back then. Movie stars, best selling authors, athletes...anyone with a six figure income was facing 90% marginal tax rates. You were guilty until proven innocent as far as they were concerned.

But beside that sadness--in the old movie footage showing Joe Louis' early adulthood--all the black people were nicely dressed and spoke so that I could understand them.

You'll see and hear the same thing with the old musicians. The guys in Ellington's band, for instance, when you see them reminiscing in one of those PBS begathon shows; they speak grammatically correct English.

Billy Strayhorn spoke French fluently. We've come a long way from the days when Strayhorn took the directions Duke gave him on how to get to his apartment in Harlem, and wrote a somewhat famous tune for them.

MayBee

"Do you think they'll really let a black man be president?"

Do you think they'll really let a woman be president?
Do you think they'll really let a jewish man be president?
Do you think they'll really let a latino man be president?
Or a black woman?
Or a mormon?
Or an Asian?

The idea that someone is *letting* someone have the position is troublesome enough.
I think that stems from the idea that certain people have been held down all along, and I see in that the very politics of victimization.

PeterUK

Sad thing about the Ellington band,they were so badly paid they had to share one cigarette between them.

bgates

"Do you think they'll really let a black man be president?"
...
Do you think they'll really let a jewish man be president?

Wait - I thought 'they' were 'the Jews'.

PUK - I didn't think holding up black achievement in music or sports helped the argument about the breakdown of racial barriers, since I don't think anyone can claim Jesse Owens or a young Louis Armstrong demonstrated proved racism was a dead issue by 1940.

Jane - I really enjoyed George Clooney's neo-con movie, "Three Kings", which portrayed the horror of life under Saddam's rule. It was a strong, emotional justification for regime change. Is he still making movies?

PaulL

It's Nader's turn to win. He's been itching for the Presidency longer than Mrs. Clinton has. He deserves it. He's entitled. Go Ralph!

MikeS

"Do you think they'll really let a black man be president?"

Yup, and I hope Michael Steele is the one.

PeterUK

"I don't think anyone can claim Jesse Owens or a young Louis Armstrong demonstrated proved racism was a dead issue by 1940."

They started the ball rolling.

Porchlight

My husband is watching the Oscars in the other room and I was unable to escape snippets of Stewart's opening monologue. Pretty much a Democratic rally by the end of it. I was surprised it got so overtly political so early in the show. Gonna be a long night.

Larry

George Clooney. What's that about? Posted by: Jane | February 24, 2008 at 06:49 PM His aunt
Rosie was another fave of mine.

Strayhorn took the directions Duke gave him on how to get to his apartment in Harlem, and wrote a somewhat famous tune for them. Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan | February 24, 2008 at 07:23 PM
they had to share one cigarette between them. Posted by: PeterUK | February 24, 2008 at
07:39 PM You're talking real music now! LOL, P U K.

Larry

Watching the Oscars when NASCAR is on?

Jane

We don't get NASCAR in the blue states.

Jane

And BTW, what's with NASCAR?

PeterUK

"And BTW, what's with NASCAR?"

Like a Prius that hasn't been gelded.

Porchlight

Watching the Oscars when NASCAR is on?

Not my choice, believe me.

ben

I could be wrong, but I think the first black U.S. President will be someone willing to wear his country's flag on his lapel and to salute the flag....

Porchlight

Apologies if this has been posted already, but if you're talking to your secular liberal friends and they scoff at the notion that there are overt religious overtones surrounding the Obama movement and the media's coverage of it, you may want to direct them to this blog:

Is Barack Obama the Messiah?

The blogger provides no commentary - just clips from (mostly MSM) media accounts of the campaign, with the really obvious bits bolded for emphasis. And some really interesting photos and campaign poster images, too. The cumulative effect of scrolling and skimming through all the stories and photos is pretty eerie.

clarice

TEST

JM Hanes

MayBee/Jane:

I probably should have put everything after "chacun á son playpen" in a separate post, because I didn't mean to give the impression that the rest of my comment was aimed at you specifically. Ditto that for Jane & the Manchurian candidate.

I've really been describing my reaction to a lot of what I've been reading in multiple venues and trying to explain my own perspective -- a point of view that has been shaped in large part by having spent so much of my life in the South. As a white southern Republican engaged in political discussions on the web, I know what you mean about the kind of "closet racist" charges that try the patience if not the temper. On the flip side, I've seen enough real racism, and endemic racism -- the last occasion mere days ago -- to believe we've got at least a generation to go before we are really in a position to get comfortable about discounting it.

I don't think "recovery" requires shouldering white guilt, but I also think we tend to forget just how recently real integration began, or at least I know I do. When Obama was born, blacks couldn't even drink at white water fountains in the south. The modesty of the changes Martin Luther King originally sought is simply stunning in retrospect. Obama was already 7 years old, when Dr. King was assassinated. His unusual family history may have a lot to do with his success; most of his black generation were reared by parents who were legally excluded from the American dream into adulthood, and excluded in practice far longer than that -- including those who migrated out of the south to settle in northern cities like Detroit. So I don't find it all that remarkable that their children might grow up unsure or insecure about their place in the world, or their country, or suspicious of white motives. Transcending your own family's fears and prejudices and/or those of community from which you emerge is no simple pychological exercise.

When I look at the Obamas I see two people trying to do just that by engaging fully in the political process, despite the kind of baggage it looks like Michelle may still be dragging. I'd be more surprised if she came baggage free. The flip side of all the black support Obama is getting, of course, is a kind of black man's burden that he's carrying as well. That doesn't mean I'd give them a pass on corruption, or misguided policy, or vote for Obama either, but I'm willing to cut folks some slack where issues of black identity, and yes, if some insist on such framing, black patriotism is concerned. It just wasn't that long ago that black America and white America were discernably and legally different places.

"The idea that someone is *letting* someone have the position is troublesome enough."

I agree, but what I have been attempting to convey is that in the case of the woman who asked me that question, for example, the formulation reflects her experience, not her politics. I regard the politics of victimization as a kind of extortion which has done more harm than good, but there are, in fact, substantial as well as questionable reasons that rhetoric has had such resonance. Unfortunately, the hypocrisy of racial politics has made it far too easy to dismiss the realities which all too many have faced.

JM Hanes

I'm posting a link to an exhibition called Without">http://www.withoutsanctuary.org/main.html">Without Sanctuary, but I want to do so with some caution. It is strong stuff, although it's even more powerful in book form, which is how I first saw it. As described in the introduction, it consists of "photographs and postcards taken as souvenirs at lynchings throughout America" and it fundamentally altered the historical lens through which I view race and politics in America. In the context of this discussion, I found glasater's comment about the heartbreak of 9/11 suddenly reminding me of how I felt when viewing this collection. For me, it was like visiting a kind of holocaust museum. I don't mean to suggest that we as a country are somehow forever diminished by the history it represents, but I do think it's important to understand it and remember it. That doesn't mean I think I owe my black neighbors political or material reparations either, but just as I would never think of telling a Jew it's time to get over the holocaust, I wouldn't think of telling American blacks it's time to forget the past and move along. YMMV.

MayBee

case of the woman who asked me that question, for example, the formulation reflects her experience, not her politics

I do agree.
But I know as a northern woman, I too have had my experiences. Any woman has.
I remember my older sister, an engineer, being invited out for Secretary's Day because she was the only non-secretary female in the office and they didn't know what to do with her.
I remember my own experience, having a business degree in a technical field, being questioned about my qualifications in a job interview with a Big 3 automaker because I would "have to get dirty". I remember how I was treated when I worked on the manufacturing floor in my skirt and heels.
I remember my other sister having to convince a future employer that she could handle traveling overnight on business with male co-workers.

So. We've all been tested in our small ways. How would these stories be different if they were race based rather than gender based?

I'm not discounting Jim Crow, racism, etc. I'm just saying, there's a point where you have to just.....let go. Not see every experience through the prism of someone else's negative perception of you. Not see individual experiences as pieces of some imagined whole.

I think it is too easy to dismiss our hardships as being the result of someone else's attempts to hold us down. I think that for all the bigotry out there, overall people are much better than we imagine them to be.

Ann

And the Oscar goes to Hillary for telling the truth about OBAMA:

"Let's just get everybody together. Let's get unified. The sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect. Maybe I've just lived a little long, but I have no illusions about how hard this is going to be. You are not going to wave a magic wand and have the special interests disappear."

How she wins with " No Hope" is another thing all together

Drudge has the link to the video. Are the gloves off and the next debate will be something to watch or should we take Other Tom's advice and go out to dinner and have martinis?

Topsecretk9

Just came from my annual Oscar's party - I got 8 categories right having oly seen Juno - I was tied with 4 other guessers,

My bestest! (dear friend) anti-gay marrige gay man was present and made the whole otherwise boring and dll affair enjoyably delicious.

He told me a wicked funny joke, it's crude but I'm still going to share

Q- What did the lesbian frog tell the the NOPE CAN'T TELL IT HERE,,,

Jane

I would never think of telling a Jew it's time to get over the holocaust, I wouldn't think of telling American blacks it's time to forget the past and move along.

I think I would, particularly 4 generations later. I'd also tell a woman living the past to do that, and a gay living in the present. It simply doesn't get them anything. I'm not saying that you can't honor the past, but if you want to live in the future, live in it because that is where success lies. Adversity is a good preparation for greatness but only if it propels you forward instead of holding you back.

And none of that is meant to discount the struggle.

JM Hanes

MayBee:

"Not see every experience through the prism of someone else's negative perception of you."

Or perhaps not see someone else's experience through the prism of your own as well? When you ask "How would these stories be different if they were race based rather than gender based?," I hardly even know where to begin. I'm having real trouble trying to figure out some way to describe what I'm talking about that will make sense to someone who hasn't seen what racism does when it's not an incident or a challenge but a defining feature of your existence. Unless you (in the general sense) really understand that, I don't see how you can understand the enormity of the changes that have occurred within a single generation.

I'm not trying to make excuses for blacks, and I'm not lobbying for affirmative action! But for every person claiming victim status there are scores upon scores of people who have not, who have suffered extraordinary wrongs with diginity, and fought their way to self-respect, and acted with all kinds of courage that are worthy of anyone's admiration. There are powerful reasons that black culture is a defensive culture, and that's not easy to change just because the law is no longer an official instrument of oppression. It's a long hard slog, and there are more people than you might imagine who aren't entirely sure that shift is permanent. If you grew up under the impression that laws were made to protect you, then you grew up living in a different universe than the one I'm trying to describe. "The Man" may not be keeping Obama's generation of blacks down now, but in a lot of this country he kept their parents down. The Man doesn't actually have to beat you down, you just need to know he could if he wanted to and live your life -- and teach your children -- accordingly. I have a lot of respect for the people who managed to come out whole on the other side of that long enforced dependency, and I'm not sure that just letting go of the culture and attitudes that allowed them to do it is necessarily their best choice.

When we decided to start our family, my childrens' father and I had a choice between settling in two different areas of the south. I refused to consider one option, and he agreed, because I didn't want to have to struggle against the kind of racism that my children would be exposed to at every turn. I didn't want to face that grinding fight -- and I was on the white side of the divide. I'll defend today's south against racist generalizations now, and I would never summarily condemn southern culture at any time, but while the place I rejected some twenty odd years ago was already something of a backwater by then, when I was growing up, it would have been closer to the rule than the exception. When my high school was integrated, you know how they did it? They were afraid if they started admitting boys, there would be violence, so in a school of twelve hundred students, they admitted one black girl to see how things would go. Of course, if she had run off to get married to a fellow student, they'd have both gone to jail. Having a legitimate interracial child was a legal impossibility. There's so much more that would just take too long to write about or explain, or that I wouldn't feel comfortable about using as examples, or would simply have a hard time putting down on paper because I just don't like to use the words it would take.

This is not remotely ancient history to a whole lot of people, and the attitudes that spawned such laws and permeated much of society didn't just evaporate when the civil rights act was passed, and neither did the coping mechanisms which develped in response. Alabama didn't even bother with the symbolic gesture of taking its law against interracial marriage off the books till Y2K! While the idea of letting go might seem emminently sensible, the reality is not as simple as wiping a slate, it's a process of coming to terms with what is useful and what's not, and some people get that figured out sooner than others.

I feel badly because I think this subject is so important and I know I'm mucking it up. My sense is that white Americans resist coming to terms with all this history themselves. You may be an exception, but I do know that while a lot of people will acknowledge things like Jim Crow in passing, they really couldn't tell you much about it. Yet our black history is as distinctly American as anything else, and trandscending the unforgivable parts of it is more difficult, and ultimately a greater achievement, than ignoring it. And having managed to transcend so little here, I'll just stop now, hit post, and hope that maybe it will mean something to someone.

kim

Very eloquent, and I hesitate to trammel, but what about 'blonde' jokes?
=============

sbw

I will not be held hostage to history.

The only value of history is to learn from it.

JM Hanes

You can't learn from history you don't know.

clarice

JMH-I always find your posts dense with meaning. I also find Jane and MayBee have useful points of view and well-expressed.

Jane

JMH,

You aren't mucking it up. It's clear that you know exactly what you are talking about even if we don't all get it. (I feel the same way when the issue of gay marriage comes up because I witness that emergence on a daily basis)

I think the battles are always won by the people who insist on marching forward regardless of the pain in the past. I hope that is the lesson that comes from Obama.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame