“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Senator Obama, where is your indignation over Democratic big shots laughing about hurricane coming to New Orleans?
Here is the HOPE artist months ago in New Orleans. Heard anything from him yet about this? Anyone seen anything on CNN, New York Times, Washington Post?
The Grand Poobah of the MSM (Misogyny Stream Media),Tom Brokaw, on "Meet The Press" has defended the deep inexperience of Barack Obama by saying his experience is augmented by the fact that he has been running for President for twenty months. That is obviously a new Democratic talking point. Let me remind the Democrats and Tom, Pompous of Mumble, that this is the same resume of Paris Hilton. Paris Hilton is famous because she is famous. Barack is qualified to be President because he has experience running for President.
I will try and restrain myself in expressing my utter contempt for the Democrats. Listen to a sitting Democratic Congressman from South Carolina Don Spratt and Don Fowler, former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, gleefully talking about the calamity that will be wrecking American lives in Louisiana. In a less enlightened age they would be hog-tied, tarred and feathered. Hat tip : Powerline
"Everything is cool."
Saturday, August 30, 2008
In the game of Chess the Queen is the strongest piece on the chessboard from the standpoint of being able to move, attack, capture, and generally to create havoc for the opponent. While the Kings are the most powerful pieces on the chessboard, the Queens are second in command. Removing an opposing Queen and seeking to keep the player's Queen is a key focus and a strategic advantage. Does McCain play Chess?
Obama foolishly gave up his Queen and now has to fight with the lesser Bishop Biden. McCain has his Queen in play. The Democrats are rashly seizing on the youth and lack of experience of Palin and in doing so are exposing their King Obama. The more the Democrats focus and try to diminish the unknown Palin, they reduce her stature in the eyes of the public, but what happens when the public actually meets Palin? They expect little, but Palin will surprise them.
Today, she was stunning.
The more the Democrats foolishly spend energy attacking her, they waste time that should be used to protect their King.
Palin got a field grade promotion, of that there is no doubt, but Obama barely finished boot camp. Palin is not his opponent. That is McCain and now everyone is talking about Palin. Obama surely does not want to talk time in grade and service with John McCain.
Who even cares about Joe Biden? Interesting game.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Alaska Gov. Palin is McCain's VP pick
Sen. John McCain has chosen Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice-presidential candidate on the Republican ticket for the White House, CNN has learned.
If it does, you would not be the first. The youth in this old video clip were obviously hungry for change and not terribly interested in the details. They were tired of the old and yearned for a new era, a thousand years of it if I recall.
Absurd comparison? Like Obama and Michelle, political orators always have that tinge of anger and remind their audience of a shared victimization by the powers that be. It is part of an irresistible formula that has predictable results on us mortal beings.
Spread the verbal and visual smorgasbord before the crowd and you will get the familiar results known by all natural leaders. However, the party always ends and rarely ends well. Some may even pine for the oratorically challenged "w."
A Speech to the Delegates
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: August 29, 2008
My fellow Americans, it is an honor to address the Democratic National Convention at this defining moment in history. We stand at a crossroads at a pivot point, near a fork in the road on the edge of a precipice in the midst of the most consequential election since last year’s “American Idol.”
One path before us leads to the past, and the extinction of the human race. The other path leads to the future, when we will all be dead. We must choose wisely.
We must close the book on the bleeding wounds of the old politics of division and sail our ship up a mountain of hope and plant our flag on the sunrise of a thousand tomorrows with an American promise that will never die! For this election isn’t about the past or the present, or even the pluperfect conditional. It’s about the future, and Barack Obama loves the future because that’s where all his accomplishments are.
We meet today to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans, a generation that came of age amidst iced chais and mocha strawberry Frappuccinos®, a generation with a historical memory that doesn’t extend back past Coke Zero.
We meet today to heal the divisions that have torn this country. For we are all one country and one American family, whether we are caring and thoughtful Democrats or hate-filled and war-crazed Republicans. We must bring together left and right, marinara and carbonara, John and Elizabeth Edwards. On United we stand, on US Airways, there’s a 25-minute delay.
Ladies and gentleman, I never expected to be speaking before you today. Like so many of our speakers at this convention, I come from a hard-working, middle-class family. I was leading a miserable little life, but, nevertheless, overcame great odds to live the American Dream. My great-grandfather fought in Patton’s Army, along with Barack Obama’s great-grand uncles’ fourth cousin once removed.
As a child, I was abandoned by my parents and lived with a colony of ants. We didn’t have much in the way of material possession, but we did have each other and the ability to carry far more than our own body weights. When I was young, I was temporarily paralyzed in a horrible anteater accident, but I never gave up my dream: the dream of speaking at a national political convention so my speech could be talked over by Wolf Blitzer and a gang of pundits.
And today we Democrats meet in Denver, a suburb of Boulder, a city whose motto is, “A Taxi? You Must be Dreaming.”
And in Denver, we Democrats showed America that we have cute daughters who will someday provide us with prestigious car-window stickers. We heard Hillary Clinton’s ringing endorsement of “the weak-looking thin guy who’s bound to lose.”
We heard from Joe Biden, whose 643 years in the Senate make him uniquely qualified to talk to the middle class, whose family has been riding the Acela and before that the Metroliner for generations, who has been given a lifetime ban from the quiet car and who is himself a verbal train wreck waiting to happen.
We got to know Barack and Michelle Obama, two tall, thin, rich, beautiful people who don’t perspire, but who nonetheless feel compassion for their squatter and smellier fellow citizens. We know that Barack could have gone to a prestigious law firm, like his big donors in the luxury boxes, but he chose to put his ego aside to become a professional politician, president of the United States and redeemer of the human race. We heard about his time as a community organizer, the three most fulfilling months of his life.
We were thrilled by his speech in front of the Greek columns, which were conscientiously recycled from the concert, “Yanni, Live at the Acropolis.” We were honored by his pledge, that if elected president, he will serve at least four months before running for higher office. We were moved by his campaign slogan, “Vote Obama: He’s better than you’ll ever be.” We were inspired by dozens of Democratic senators who declared their lifelong love of John McCain before denouncing him as a reactionary opportunist who would destroy the country.
No, this country cannot afford to elect John Bushmccain. Under Republican rule, locusts have stripped the land, adults wear crocs in public and M&M’s have lost their flavor. We must instead ride to the uplands of hope!
For as Barack Obama suggested Thursday night, wherever there is a president who needs to tap our natural-gas reserves, I’ll be there. Wherever there is a need for a capital-gains readjustment for targeted small businesses, I’ll be there. Wherever there is a president committed to direct diplomacy with nuclear proliferators, I’ll be there, too! God bless the Democrats, and God Bless America!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Turkish protests at US and Nato warships moving into the Black Sea
Georgia: Europe unites to condemn Kremlin
David Miliband joined a chorus of Western leaders to condemn Russia, accusing the Kremlin of jeopardising European security by recognising Georgia's two breakaway regions.
By Con Coughlin in Kiev, Adrian Blomfield in Tbilisi and Harry de Quetteville in Berlin Telegraph
6:08AM BST 28 Aug 2008
The rhetorical salvoes showed the new strain on relations with Russia. For its part, the Kremlin said it had only defended its citizens in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, argued the decision had been "unavoidable".
Speaking in Ukraine's capital, Kiev, the Foreign Secretary said that Russia was "more isolated, less trusted and less respected" as a result of its actions in Georgia. These breached a United Nations Resolution, approved by Moscow last April, which reaffirmed Georgia's sovereignty over Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Mr Miliband placed the onus for avoiding a new Cold War firmly on President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia. "The Russian President says he is not afraid of a new Cold War. We don't want a new Cold War. He has a big responsibility not to start one," he said.
Comparing Russia's actions to the Prague Spring of 1968, when Moscow suppressed a reformist Czech government, Mr Miliband said: "The sight of Russian tanks in a neighbouring country on the 40th anniversary of the crushing of the Prague Spring has shown that the temptations of power politics remain. The old sores and divisions fester. And Russia is not yet reconciled to the new map of this region."
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany's foreign minister, issued a stark warning. "If we don't watch out, Europe's whole security architecture will start to falter with unforeseeable consequences for all of us. The spiral of provocation must stop immediately," he said.
France, which holds the European Union's rotating presidency, expressed concern that Moscow, emboldened by its military success in Georgia, could turn on other former Soviet republics with breakaway provinces and large Russian minorities.
Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, described the situation as "very dangerous" and said: "There are other objectives that one can suppose are objectives for Russia, in particular the Crimea, Ukraine and Moldova."
Moscow backs separatist rebels in Moldova's region of Transdniester in much the same way that the Kremlin supported South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russian nationalists have frequently called for the return of the Crimea, which was transferred to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.
So far, only the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has followed Russia and recognised the independence of the two regions. Mr Lavrov, the Kremlin's foreign minister, said: "I can only say that we will not be roving the globe, twisting hands and twisting arms of people for them to recognise South Ossetia or Abkhazia."
He added that Russia taken this step for the sake of its citizens in both enclaves. "This recognition was absolutely unavoidable. Short of losing our dignity as a nation, we couldn't act otherwise," said Mr Lavrov.
America did not join the verbal barrage against Russia. Instead, the US Coast Guard ship Dallas docked in Georgia's port of Batumi and unloaded humanitarian aid. The USS McFaul, a destroyer armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles dropped anchor nearby in the Black Sea.
Mr Medevedev claimed yesterday the American ships were supplying arms to Georgia. Raising the possibility of a naval confrontation, he ordered the Russian cruiser "Moskva" and two missile boats to deploy off the coastal city of Sukhumi in breakaway Abkhazia.
This summoned memories of the first confrontation of the Cold War when the USS Missouri was deployed in the Black Sea in 1946 to deter Russian threats against Turkey.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Obama Speech Stage Resembles Ancient Greek Temple
August 26, 2008
DENVER (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's big speech on Thursday night will be delivered from an elaborate columned stage resembling a miniature Greek temple.
The stage, similar to structures used for rock concerts, has been set up at the 50-yard-line, the midpoint of Invesco Field, the stadium where the Denver Broncos' National Football League team plays.
Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington's Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party's nomination for president.
He will stride out to a raised platform to a podium that can be raised from beneath the floor.
The show should provide a striking image for the millions of Americans watching on television as Obama delivers a speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination.
Politicians in past elections have typically spoken from the convention site itself, but the Obama campaign liked the idea of having their man speak to a larger, stadium-sized crowd not far from where the Democratic National Convention is being held, at the Denver pro basketball arena.
Obama was taking a page from the campaign book of John Kennedy in 1960 when the future president delivered his acceptance speech to 80,000 people in the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Once Obama speaks, confetti will rain down on him and fireworks will be fired off from locations around the stadium wall.
Democratic convention organizers said the theme for the evening is "Change We Can Believe In," which has been a consistent message of Obama's presidential campaign.
Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson will sing the national anthem that night.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; editing by David Wiessler)
In case you missed it:
Some good comments on the last thread, but Maureen Dowd nails it:
High Anxiety in the Mile High City
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: August 26, 2008
The New York Times
I’ve been to a lot of conventions, and there’s always something gratifyingly weird that happens.
Dan Quayle acting like a Dancing Hamster. Teresa Heinz Kerry reprising Blanche DuBois. Dick Morris getting nabbed triangulating between a hooker and toes.
But this Democratic convention has a vibe so weird and jittery, so at odds with the early thrilling, fairy dust feel of the Obama revolution, that I had to consult Mike Murphy, the peppery Republican strategist and former McCain guru.
“What is that feeling in the air?” I asked him.
“Submerged hate,” he promptly replied.
There were a lot of bitter Clinton associates, fund-raisers and supporters wandering the halls, spewing vindictiveness, complaining of slights, scheming about Hillary’s roll call and plotting trouble, with some in the Clinton coterie dissing Obama by planning early departures, before the nominee even speaks.
At a press conference with New York reporters on Monday, Hillary looked as if she were straining at the bit to announce her 2012 exploratory committee.
“Remember, 18 million people voted for me, 18 million people, give or take, voted for Barack,” she said, while making a faux pro-Obama point. She keeps acting as if her delegates are out of her control, when she’s been privately egging on people to keep her dream alive as long as possible, no matter what the cost to Obama.
Hillary also said she was happy about the choice of Joe Biden because he added “intensity” to the ticket. Ouch.
She added insult to injury by coming out Tuesday night looking great in a blazing orange pantsuit and teaching the precocious pup Obama something about intensity and message. She thanked her “sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits,” and slyly noted that Obama would enact her health care plan rather than his.
She offered the electrifying fight that the limpid Obama has not — setting off paranoia among some Democrats that they had chosen the wrong nominee or that Obama had chosen the wrong running mate. “It makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together in the Twin Cities because these days they are awfully hard to tell apart,” she said.
Afterward, some of her supporters began crying, as they were interviewed by reporters, saying that her speech had proved that she would make a better president than Obama. And, as one said, she would only give him “two months” to prove himself.
Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania, compared Obama to the passive-aggressive Adlai Stevenson and told The Washington Post that Obama gives six-minute answers and “is not exactly the easiest guy in the world to identify with.”
At a meeting of the Democratic women’s caucus Tuesday, 74-year-old Carol Anderson of Vancouver, Wash., a former Hillary volunteer, stood in the back of the room in a Hillary T-shirt and hat signed by Hillary and “Nobama” button and booed every time any of the women speakers mentioned Obama’s name.
She’s voting for McCain and had nothing nice to say about the Obamas. What about the kids, I asked. “Adorable,” she agreed. Well, I said, Michelle raised them.
“I think her mother does,” Anderson shot back, adding: “I wonder if Michelle would give the Queen one of her little knuckle punches?”
Bill’s pals said he was still gnawing at his many grievances against the younger version of himself he has to praise Wednesday night; the latest one being that the Obama folks, like all winners, wanted control over Bill’s speech, so that he did not give a paean to himself and his economic record, which is what he wanted to do, because he was incensed that Obama said a couple critical things about his administration during a heated campaign.
Finally, Obama had to give in on Monday and say he would allow the ex-president to do exactly as he likes, which is what he usually does anyhow.
Obama’s pacification of Bill made his supporters depressed and anxious that he was going to be a weaker candidate than they had hoped and fearful that, as in Obama’s favorite movie, “The Godfather,” every time Democrats try to get away, the Clintons pull them back in.
And Democrats have begun internalizing the criticisms of Hillary and John McCain about Obama’s rock-star prowess, worrying that the Invesco Field extravaganza Thursday, with Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, will just add to the celebrity cachet that Democrats have somehow been shamed into seeing as a negative.
So that added to the weird mood at the convention, with some Democrats nitpicking Obama’s appearance, after Michelle’s knock-out speech and the fabulously cute girls, with a reassuring white family in a town he couldn’t remember at one point. They wondered why he wasn’t wearing a tie, fearing he looked too young, and second-guessed Michelle’s green dress, wondering if it clashed with the blue stage, and fretted that there wasn’t a speaker Monday night attacking McCain and yelling about gas prices.
“I’m telling you, man,” said one top Democrat, “it’s something about our party, the shtetl mentality.”
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
This is open to blogging as you see it, real time. Hillary, according to Dick Morris, is out to outshine Biden.
Biden got about 6000 votes to Hillary's 18 million.
Obama's and Michelle's egos would not allow them to pick the VP that would have won the election for them.
Now she has to put on the show. It should be good. Hillary will come out of this looking better than Obama and Biden.
And the video, Obama does not want you to see:
Monday, August 25, 2008
Michelle shared her telepromted revised history of the Obama's and looked very nice in a smart blue dress, the blue dress being an obvious olive branch to Bill Clinton.
Michelle also had some very nice words to say about her new heroine Hillary.
Ah yes, but the Stepford treatment was not complete. The hint of the old Michelle was still there, as she saw and described Hillary as almost successful but still enshrined in victimization by the system.
Michelle pointedly noted that Hillary put 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling.
There was hardly a dry Democratic eye to be seen; even Screaming Joe looked weepy. Unfortunately for me, I am in a country that fails to recognize the appeal of MSNBC, so I am at a loss and also disadvantaged at not being able to experience Chris Matthews convulsed in emotion. If any of you did see him, please share.
EU President Rules Out Sanctions Against Russia
By Lisa Bryant Voice of America
25 August 2008
Current EU president France has ruled out sanctions against Russia as European Union leaders consider ways to pressure Moscow to fully comply with a ceasefire agreement. Lisa Bryant reports from Paris that EU leaders will meet next week to discuss the crisis in Georgia.
In an interview on French public radio Monday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the European Union did not foresee sanctions against Russia, even though Moscow continues to have troops in Georgia.
Kouchner said the worst had been avoided in Georgia and the majority of Russian troops had retreated from Georgian territory.
Kouchner spoke a week before European leaders meet in Russia to decide how to deal with the Georgian crisis that flared up over the breakaway region of South Ossetia. France currently holds the rotating presidency of the 27-member European Union. Acting on behalf of the bloc, French President Nicolas Sarkozy flew to Russia and to Georgia earlier this month to negotiate a cease-fire after clashes between the two over South Ossetia.
The EU divided over how to deal with Russia, with some members wanting a tougher position against Russia than others.
Moscow has refused to fully retreat from Georgia, arguing the cease-fire deal gives it the right to keep some forces there. On Monday, Russia's lower house of parliament vowed to back independence for South Ossetia and another breakaway region in Georgia.
Kouchner said it was important to control the corridor in which the Russian forces patrol - and it would be easier after the summit to send observers from the EU and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to Georgia to monitor the cease-fire.
August 24, 2008 Politico
Rendell: Obama coverage was embarrassing
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell was supposed to give “closing remarks” during this afternoon’s Shorenstein Center-sponsored panel discussion with all three Sunday show moderators — NBC’s Tom Brokaw, ABC’s George Stephanopoulous and CBS’s Bob Schieffer — but instead, he opened up a can of worms about bias in 2008 election coverage
"Ladies and gentleman, the coverage of Barack Obama was embarrassing," said Rendell, in the ballroom at Denver's Brown Palace Hotel. "It was embarrassing."
Rendell, an ardent Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter during the primaries, now backs Obama in the general election. Brokaw and Rendell began debating campaign coverage, including the on-air comments by Lee Cowan, and when MSNBC came up, Rendell went after the cable network.
“MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign," Rendell said, who called their coverage "absolutely embarrassing."
Chris Matthews, Rendell said, "loses his impartiality when he talks about the Clintons.”
At that point, PBS's Judy Woodruff, who was moderating the moderators event, said: "Why don’t we let Governor Rendell sit down."
That was met with applause from the crowd of big-time media figures, which included Arianna Huffington, Gwen Ifill, Al Hunt, and Chuck Todd.
Woodruff allowed Brokaw to respond, and in defending the network, he said that Matthews and Keith Olbermann are "not the only voices" on MSNBC.
...author of "Christ is a Dixie Nigger"
Take a long and hard cold look at what makes Barack Hussein Obama and ask yourself "Is this the man you want to set and control the American education system for your children and grandchildren?"
How important is a family and education to a young person? What of the early family and friends of Barack Hussein Obama?
Frank Marshall Davis, alleged Communist, was early influence on Barack Obama
New details about a black poet in Hawaii who was a key early influence in Barack Obama’s life can be revealed by The Telegraph. (hat tip: Bobal)
By Toby Harnden in Washington Telegraph
Last Updated: 9:25PM BST 24 Aug 2008
Barack Obama visited Mr Davis on several occasions to get his advice when he was grappling with racial issues Photo: AFP
Although identified only as Frank in Mr Obama’s memoir Dreams from My Father, it has now been established that he was Frank Marshall Davis, a radical activist and journalist who had been suspected of being a member of the Communist Party in the 1950s.
Obama's true colours: Making of the man who would be US president
Mr Davis moved to Honolulu from Chicago in 1948 with his second wife Helen Canfield, a white socialite, at the suggestion of his friend the actor Paul Robeson, who advised them that there would be more tolerance of a mixed race couple in Hawaii than on the American mainland.
A bohemian libertine who drank heavily and loved jazz, he became friends with Stanley Dunham, Mr Obama’s maternal grandfather in the 1960s. Mr Davis died in 1987 at the age of 81, five years before Mr Dunham.
“He knew Stan real well,” said Dawna Weatherly-Williams, a close friend of Mr Davis “They’d play Scrabble and drink and crack jokes and crack jokes and argue. Frank always won and he was always very braggadocio about it too. It was all jocular. They didn’t get polluted drunk. And Frank never really did drugs, though he and Stan would smoke pot together.”
While his mother was in Indonesia during part of his teenage years, Mr Obama lived with his white grandparents. Mrs Weatherly-Williams said that the poet was first introduced to the future Democratic presidential candidate in 1970 at the age of 10.
“Stan had been promising to bring Barry by because we all had that in common - Frank’s kids were half-white, Stan’s grandson was half-black and my son was half-black. We all had that in common and we all really enjoyed it. We got a real kick out of reality.”
Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama's half-sister, told the Associated Press recently that her grandfather had seen Mr Davis was “a point of connection, a bridge if you will, to the larger African-American experience for my brother".
In his memoir, Mr Obama recounts how he visited Mr Davis on several occasions, apparently at junctures when he was grappling with racial issues, to seek his counsel. At one point in 1979 Mr Davis described university as “an advanced degree in compromise” that was designed to keep blacks in their place.
Mr Obama quoted him as saying: “Leaving your race at the door. Leaving your people behind. Understand something, boy. You’re not going to college to get educated. You’re going there to get trained.”
He added that “they’ll tank on your chain and let you know that you may be a well-trained, well-paid nigger, but you’re a nigger just the same.”
It has also been established that Mr Davis, who divorced in 1970, was the author of a hard-core pornographic autobiography published in San Diego in 1968 by Greenleaf Classics under the pseudonym Bob Greene.
In a surviving portion of an autobiographical manuscript, Mr Davis confirms that he was the author of Sex Rebel: Black after a reader had noticed the “similarities in style and phraseology” between the pornographic work and his poetry.
“I could not then truthfully deny that this book, which came out in 1968 as a Greenleaf Classic, was mine.” In the introduction to Sex Rebel, Mr Davis (writing as Greene) explains that although he has “changed names and identities…all incidents I have described have been taken from actual experiences”.
He stated that “under certain circumstances I am bisexual” and that he was “ a voyeur and an exhibitionist” who was “occasionally mildly interested in sado-masochism”, adding: “I have often wished I had two penises to enjoy simultaneously the double – but different – sensations of oral and genital copulation.”
The book, which closely tracks Mr Davis’s life in Chicago and Hawaii and the fact that his first wife was black and his second white, describes in lurid detail a series of shockingly sordid sexual encounters, often involving group sex.
One chapter concerns the seduction by Mr Davis and his first wife of a 13-year-old girl called Anne. Mr Davis wrote that it was the girl who had suggested he had sex with her. “I’m not one to go in for Lolitas. Usually I’d rather not bed a babe under 20.
“But there are exceptions. I didn’t want to disappoint the trusting child. At her still-impressionistic age, a rejection might be traumatic, could even cripple her sexually for life.”
He then described how he and his wife would have sex with the girl. “Anne came up many times the next several weeks, her aunt thinking she was in good hands. Actually she was.
“She obtained a course in practical sex from experienced and considerate practitioners rather than from ignorant insensitive neophytes….I think we did her a favour, although the pleasure was mutual.”
On other occasions, Mr Davis would cruise in Hawaii parks looking for couples or female tourists to have sex with. He derived sexual gratification from bondage, simulated rape and being flogged and urinated on.
He boasted that “the number of white babes interested in at least one meeting with a Negro male has been far more than I can handle” and wished “America were as civilised as, say, Scandinavia”. He concluded: “I regret none of my experiences or unusual appetites; for me they are normal.”
According to Mrs Weatherly-Williams, Mr Davis lost touch with Mr Dunham some time in the 1980s. John Edgar Tidwell, who wrote the introduction to Davis's memoir and edited a collection of his work, said that there was no mention of Mr Dunham or Mr Obama in any of Mr Davis’s papers.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
August 24, 2008
The Obama-Not Hillary Ticket
By Dick Morris Real Clear Politics
It doesn't take a political genius to realize that Barack Obama needed to nominate a woman for vice president. Obama's key
problem is that there is no gender gap. In the most recent Zogby poll, he runs only 2 points better among women than among men. A Democrat should be running 10 to 15 points better among women.
If Obama is to have a hope of winning, he needs to improve his performance among female voters. The Fox News poll indicates that only about half of those who backed Hillary Clinton in the primaries are voting for Obama and that fully one in five is now planning to back McCain. Attractive to women voters because of his maverick positions on issues and his willingness to defy the Republican orthodoxy, McCain is garnering votes from women who should be part of Obama's core constituency.
So why didn't Obama name a woman? He couldn't nominate Hillary because she came with such baggage that he'd be spending his entire campaign swatting away charges directed at the Clintons. It would be priceless to see Obama trying to justify Bill's refusal to publish the names of the donors to his library or to explain what Bill is doing in Dubai and Kazakhstan.
But what about Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius? While not a national figure, she is attractive and articulate, and would have made a fine candidate. But Obama was terrified that the Clintons would wreck vengeance if he named a woman other than Hillary. But it was all a bluff.
Hillary's delegates would have celebrated the selection of a woman and would not have held it against Obama that it was someone other than Hillary. Hillary, for her part, would have had to grit her teeth and support Sebelius or risk alienating her core constituency. But Obama didn't dare do what he needed to do. He wimped out.
The fact that Barack Obama named Joe Biden as his vice presidential candidate will have relatively little impact on the strategic framework of the race. Biden was the best of the names on Obama's short list. His experience in foreign affairs, his tough advocacy of the Democratic agenda and his skill at handling himself will all help Obama's campaign, but not decisively. The other options were worse. Tim Kaine, governor of Virginia, had as little experience as Obama. Evan Bayh, senator from Indiana, is way too soft spoken and mild for a rough and tumble campaign.
But the most important thing is that Obama did not choose a woman. He needed one. With Hillary's evident availability for the nomination, his failure to name her or some other woman stands out starkly to women voters. It doesn't matter to them that he chose Biden over Bayh or Kaine. What matters is that he did not choose Hillary or another woman.
Now, John McCain can take advantage of Obama's blunder by coming back with a woman nominee for president. Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison would be an excellent choice. She's been around for decades and is not going to start making mistakes now. Her nomination would be a signal to American women that McCain takes their aspirations seriously, even if Obama does not. Hutchison is not charismatic. But her circumstances would be if she were nominated. The prospect of a woman vice president would electrify women throughout the nation.
I have previously written about the advantages of Joe Lieberman for vice president. His nomination would send a signal of bipartisanship that would be notable and would hasten Democratic defections. But conservatives would be horrified by the choice of Lieberman. And Obama's failure to nominate a woman is such a glaring misstep that McCain should pounce and take advantage of it.
The ticket will nominally be Obama-Biden. But, to millions of American women it will be Obama and not Hillary.
The Democrats keep touting the benefits of negotiations and one-on-one communications as a panacea for all that ails the political world. Does it work? The short answer is "maybe and maybe not."
It has done little with Russia. The Bush design to work through personal channels with Vladimir Putin is a wreck, but no one can fault George Bush for not having tried.
The idea was to include Moscow into the western civilization of the new millenium. That was based on the delusional religion of inclusion and multi-culturalism. Common sense and human observation should have told us that little would change in Russia.
It hasn't and it wont. The Washington Post has noticed:
Who Needs Russia?
The United States should make a clear-eyed assessment of the fruits of strategic cooperation.
Washington Post Editorial
Saturday, August 23, 2008
ON THURSDAY, while overseeing his country's continuing occupation of neighboring Georgia, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev found time to meet with visiting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Assad, who is under suspicion of ordering the murder of political opponents in Lebanon, lavishly praised Russia's invasion of Georgia and asked for more Russian weapons. Mr. Medvedev acceded to this request, according to his foreign minister.
This was a small and unsurprising event in the annals of Russian diplomatic history. But it's worth noting as the United States and its European allies consider how to reshape relations with Russia in the wake of its Aug. 7 invasion of Georgia. A common theme of commentary since the war began has been that the United States is constrained in its condemnation of -- or sanctions against -- Russia because it needs Russia too much in areas ranging from counterterrorism to checking the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran. But you can't lose what you never had, and it's fair to question how much help Russia has been providing in any of those areas, even before Aug. 7.
Iran provides a useful example. Russia has participated, with Germany, France and Britain, in talks aimed at persuading Iran to abandon its nuclear program and even has gone along with some sanctions enacted by the U.N. Security Council. But Russia's principal contribution has been to slow the process and resist meaningful sanctions, stringing the Bush administration along just enough to convince it that truly effective measures -- sometime, somewhere down the road -- might be possible. Iran's nuclear program has proceeded without inhibition. Meanwhile, Russian experts help develop Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, and Russia sells Iran air-defense weapons it can use to protect its nuclear sites and anti-ship weapons it could use to menace Persian Gulf shipping traffic in the event of conflict. While the administration blames Iran and its proteges, including Hamas and Syria, for destabilizing the Middle East, Russia sells arms to all of them, and to Venezuela and Sudan.
None of this means that the United States should seek or welcome a new cold war with Russia. Russia could make life far more difficult for many of America's friends if it chose to do so, just as it could, if it chose, help combat terrorism and nuclear proliferation. But President Bush's imagined partnership with president-turned-prime-minister Vladimir Putin has been pretty much an empty husk for a long time. We hope and believe that the West would not under any circumstance barter away the independence or territorial integrity of a small, free and helpless nation in exchange for a promise of big-power cooperation. But when that promise is an illusion, the calculation should become even easier.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
While you're all thinking about that, here's a little lesson on the law of unintended consequences.
Of course, Sam's the sheepdog but who are the others? I think I know who the Bassett is, but...
You know, there's already two alpha dogs, a rottweiler, two pitbulls, a chihuahua, a bassett hound, a mixed breed, a (serious) shi'tzu, a standard French poodle, and moi, the Heinz 57 mutt; oh, and an Australian multilingual sheepdog.
While you're all thinking about that, here's a little lesson on the law of unintended consequences.
Posted by Anonymous at 8/23/2008 07:59:00 PM
A Biden Problem: Foot in Mouth
After Announcing Presidential Bid, Biden Slammed for Obama Remarks
By JAKE TAPPER
WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2007
Senator Joe Biden, D-Del., the loquacious chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who launched his presidential campaign today, may be experiencing an ailment not entirely unknown to him: foot in mouth disease.
Biden is taking some heat for comments he made to the New York Observer, in which he said of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a rival for the nomination: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."
Immediately the conservative media establishment -- Rush Limbaugh, the Drudge Report, bloggers -- publicly pounced. At Townhall.com, Mary Katherine Ham wrote: "A clean black man? The first black guy on the American political scene who can both shower regularly and speak properly? Is that really what Biden thinks? If a Republican had said this, we'd have a national outpouring of grief over the residual ignorance and racial insensitivity in our country, and the guy would be in sensitivity training until around about the time John Kerry is elected president."
"'He is a clean African-American'?" Limbaugh asked. "If Biden thinks that Obama is clean then he has to think that others are not clean. Does he mean that he knows that Jesse Jackson is not clean? Does he mean that he knows that Reverend Sharpton is not clean? ... See, folks, this is the problem for the libs. Once they get off script they expose their idiocy, they expose their prejudice."
But it wasn't just conservatives.
"When I heard his comments I thought Joe Biden was referring to a bygone era," said Donna Brazile, the former campaign manager for Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign and a prominent African-American political consultant. "Years ago when white folks referred to black people with education they often used words like articulate. To suggest they were different, they were acceptable. That they were OK as compared to rest of African-Americans. So I think it came across that Joe Biden was referring to Sen. Obama as if he was a candidate running in the 1960s, not in the 21st century."
"They are loaded words," Rev. Jesse Jackson told ABC News. "And that's why he should interpret what he meant by those loaded words. It was an attempt I thought to diminish Barack's attributes and dismissive of our previous campaigns that made Barack's candidacy possible."
Jackson said Biden's remarks "could be divisive."
ABC News January 2007
I am told from a neighbor and friend of Joe Biden that he be the man. I cannot cite the source but I see that CNN is now making the call.
Drift and complacency are dooming Obama's campaign
By MARTIN SIEFF
Aug. 22, 2008 at 1:12 PM
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Sen. Barack Obama heads into his nominating convention in Denver next week on the skids: Four years ago Sen. John Kerry, the doomed Democratic contender against President George W. Bush, was in a far stronger position heading for his nominating convention in Boston than Obama is now.
Three major polls this week put Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican putative presidential nominee, either breaking even or ahead of Obama by as much as 3 percentage points. McCain's gaffe about how many houses he owns isn't likely to significantly change the situation. Obama's eagerness to zero in on it makes a mockery of his overconfident and naive pledge to stay positive throughout his campaign.
Devastating to Obama is the polling data that say as many as 20 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters now say they will vote for McCain. Obama, riding into a convention where his nomination is assured, therefore remains burdened by a resentful, confused and highly divided party, even though there are actually no major contentious issues that should divide it. It is McCain, against all the Conventional Wisdom predictions of earlier this year, who presides over an increasingly united party rallying to his support.
The race is obviously far from over, but the skid in Obama's standings over the past month has been extraordinary: The Dog Days of August, so fatal to Democratic nominees like Kerry and Michael Dukakis in 1988, have eaten Obama alive, too.
Obama has committed no obvious super-blunders, but he has had his share of embarrassing bloopers, as has McCain. The campaign for the presidency of the United States is now so grueling that either of the main contestants would have had to come from the planet Krypton to be immune to its pressures. However, the mainstream U.S. media have magnified and even distorted McCain's every hiccup and ignored the far more numerous gaffes from Obama.
The idea that race has become a key issue in the campaign is also absurd. It is true that 9 percent of those polled in one survey said they were reluctant to vote for a black candidate. But they were never going to vote for a liberal Democrat of any persuasion anyway.
Everyone knew Obama was an African-American from before the moment he threw his hat in the ring for the Iowa caucuses: Indeed, as a freshman senator aged only 46, with no national experience beyond his four years so far in the Senate and a virtually non-existent record on key votes and legislative accomplishment there, he would not have gotten within a prayer of his party's presidential nomination had the romance of his Kansas-Kenya background not made him a dream candidate first.
Also, Obama was riding consistently high in the polls a couple of months ago, with leads as great as 12 points or more in some polls. His victory over a conservative septuagenarian after eight years of a Republican in the White House with gas prices at a record high, the dollar plummeting and the housing market in chaos seemed assured.
Obama has not veered from his planned message. He has meticulously masterminded every detail of what was supposed to be his imperial progress. The problem is that none of it is working.
When Obama moved to the center on a host of issues to sound reassuring, he sacrificed his reputation for bold, innovative change and for courageous integrity. When he wowed world leaders and public audiences on his foreign trip from Afghanistan to Berlin, he came across at home instead as a celebrity on a Paris Hilton scale. The more the U.S. media gave his grand tour favorable coverage, the more his poll numbers fell.
Even Paris Hilton's famed YouTube video hurt Obama in the end much more than it did McCain, because Hilton, like McCain, spoke coherent, honest and detailed sense on energy issues. She acknowledged the nation's need to maintain and expand offshore oil drilling and other conventional energy resources.
By contrast, the alternative energy resources that Obama advocates are still largely non-existent in terms of technological and engineering capability. When Hilton shows a greater, more confident and far more detailed mastery of one of the three key issues in the entire campaign than the Democratic nominee, he really has problems.
Most of all, Obama and his strategists never anticipated that McCain, with fewer financial resources and a far smaller, more informal staff, would prove energetic, aggressive and effective in his daily counterpunches at the Democratic candidate.
Although McCain is more than a quarter-century older than Obama, he is the one who has been far more intellectual, coherent, energizing and dynamic in the national debate. Obama's favorite means of presentation -- the long, usually vague but inspirational soaring rhetoric of a prepared speech -- was great to rally Democratic Party hard-core activists back in the early days of the campaign, but MTV generation America has no time for it. McCain's punchy messages are making far more impact there.
If Obama loses after everything he had going for him, including the biggest financial war chest in U.S. political history, the venerable liberal establishment of the Democratic Party is likely to be eaten alive by a neo-populist new generation over the next few years. To lose three times in a row -- especially in an election in which every economic indicator pointed to a Democratic landslide -- will make sweeping, unprecedented change and upheaval in the party inevitable.
Worst of all, Obama has been in apparent denial about his collapsing poll numbers when the one thing above all the public craves from its national leader in a time of fear and economic crisis is, as the greatest of Democratic presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, famously said in his first inaugural in April 1933, "action, and action now."
Obama simply must deliver a credible, detailed plan of action to confront the economic and energy issues facing the nation in Denver next week. If he doesn't, his goose is cooked.