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Recommended Reading

In a loose, conversational, style:

Top Billing! Coming AnarchyVOTE NIXON!  He’s got my vote.

Gunnar has a good piece on Charlie Rose interviewing Warren Buffett

Sam Liles opines on Taleb’s The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable with his review White swans: Along with ducks spray painted black

Nice post by Dave about Issues 2008: Reforming Government featuring typical Illinois style corruption, where the state is simply a fleecing machine for suckers.

Matt Armstrong recommends this post on propaganda by Lines and Colors.

The SWJ Blog and WaPO think that the next president should keep Robert Gates as SECDEF. So do I – though I’m not holding my breath.

The Kings of War have preliminary impressions of Martin van Creveld’s new book, The Culture of War and they are decidedly mixed – Van Creveld and his targets. Tom gets some advance comments on his new book Great Powers: America and the World After Bush from General Petraeus ( sidebar: it appears that Dr. Barnett’s trusty webmaster, Sean Meade, has managed to scrounge up an unusually cheery header pic for the blog. Perhaps it was taken after a Packers victory or something)

Criticizing Senator Obama’s political relationship over a period of years with ex-Weatherman terrorist and still Leftist radical Bill Ayers -and the Obama campaign’s attempt to spin it away as “some guy in my neighborhood” – will get you tarred as a “segregationist“. I’m getting the vibe that the Obamaniacs, who already see “political opposition= racism”, will, if victorious, be all too willing to use the hand of government to pressure critics into silence.

Does anyone besides me find it somewhat ironic to hear praises for Stoicism being sung from these quarters?

27 Responses to “Recommended Reading”

  1. Smitten Eagle Says:

    Ironic that the barbarian Maureen Dowd takes up stoic thought.  My critique is that stoicism when expressed as such is merely another externality that is beyond the Stoic’s control, and therefore embracing a stoicism just because the world is going to pot is actually very non-stoic.  She’s no sage.  She’s but an opportunistic amateur, conveniently citing a bit of history.
    Dowd is merely a polemicist, and as such, is part of the problems America is having, not the solution.  She is one of the people that cues the crowds to chant.
    Agree on the Obamaniacs.  I also find it ironic that it now appears that Obama was once a member of the far-left New Party, allegations which he is doing his best to ignore.  Wasn’t it not long ago that people were going nuts about Palin’s (non-)membership in the AIP?  Yet Obama gets a pass on such things.

  2. Mithras Says:

    I’m getting the vibe that the Obamaniacs, who already see “political opposition= racism”, will, if victorious, be all too willing to use the hand of government to pressure critics into silence.

    *sigh* You’re very smart when you write about other things.

  3. Mithras Says:

    I’m writing a blog post on this at my place. Just wanted to let you know in advance. Nothing personal against you, zen. I’m not actually angry, just disappointed. I do think this is an opportunity to discuss the problem of partisans completely misunderstanding one another.

  4. zen Says:

    Hi Mithras,
    No offense taken. Part of my point is that being in the arena means accepting that you are going to have to take your lumps as part of the discussion.  I’ll come visit and see what you had to say and comment.


    On the merits, Rep. Lewis, of all people, knows it’s a ridiculous analogy ( George Wallace ? I guess a "Bull" Conner reference wouldn’t work unless they could get a pic of McCain with a fire hose)  and he said it to achieve a certain political effect. What effect ? To deter criticism of Obama’s past associations with local radicals and some of Chicago’s more colorful Machine figures.
    And yes, I realize all too well  that John McCain is no champion of the first amendment.

  5. Eddie Says:

    I would ask Sarah Palin who the other terrorists are.. since she continually refers to him "palling around with terrorists". Yes, Ayers is/was one, but it seemed the political elites in Chicago and much of Illinois from both sides of the aisle had no problem with that.  Her and McCain release an ad falsely accusing him of condemning the troops for doing nothing but killing Afghan civilians. They say nothing in response to wackjobs at events screaming terrorist, "Kill him", etc. (Yes, McCain did finally cut a woman off on Friday who called Obama an Arab, but that was after a long week of internal dissension in his camp about the kind of nutjob reactions his strategy was getting on the trail).

    Rep. Lewis was pointing out the kinds of bitter fruits this policy of (largely false) demonization bear, having experienced this firsthand in the 60’s and 70’s. Probably less of a racial thing than an identity matter; the caricacture of Obama for a bit of the white electorate is this Arab (why the emphasis on his middle name of Hussein by so many middling speakers at McCain campaign events?), Muslim, gun-confiscating anti-troops elitist.

    While I could agree on the latter, I strongly refute the first four. Combining them together as Palin, McCain and some of their supporters have done at different points makes him out to be the anti-Christ and we don’t need to see hours of embarsssing Youtube videos of white trash acting its rhetorical worst in response to the prospect of such a combination of evils ascending into office in January.

    McCain’s campaign head in Virginia was described in Time this week as talking to people about the similarties between Obama and Osama. Really, that’s the kind of nonsense Lewis was getting at. That’s the type of talk that gets people shot at and killed. I wouldn’t want to be on Obama’s Secret Service detail with people listening to
    idiots like that seriously.

  6. Eddie Says:


     Her husband was a member of the party for nearly a decade and ended his association just a few years ago. The AIP is a treasonous organization, could you imagine the outcry if Michelle Obama was a member of such a group? Or if Obama himself had cultivated such a group’s membership and support the way Palin did as Mayor and Governor just this year?

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/10/07/palins_unamerican/ (the AIP sought the assistance of Iran in the early 90’s (Just two years before Todd Palin joined) to support putting its grievances against the USG on the UN agenda)

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/10/10/palin_chryson/ (where these folks go on the record about her support and favor)

    Now she has been found guilty of abusing her office by a bipartisan group of legislators (including a few of her own Republican allies) in Alaska from an investigation she asked for herself. We are supposed to take this woman seriously? Even better, do we need to get into the obsecene laundry list of lies she continued to tell for weeks after they were thoroughly proven to be false (such as the Bridge to Nowhere, her tax record as mayor, Alaska’s contribution to America’s total energy output)?

  7. zen Says:

    hi Eddie,
    " Yes, Ayers is/was one, but it seemed the political elites in Chicago and much of Illinois from both sides of the aisle had no problem with that"
    Bill Ayers is from a very prominent and powerful Chicago family. His father and Mayor Daley’s father were on the best of terms ( or at least as good of terms as a big business Republican and the Boss could be) which was unsurprising as Tom Ayers sat on the board of the Trib. If, say,  a Pritzker family kid in college today set off a few bombs in support of…well….whatever, he’d be on the board of trustees for the Field Museum by age 35. That’s how things work here. The Mayor pere was once a gang member ( The "Homburg Club"). We have ex-Black Panthers and FALN cheerleaders in the Congressional delegation ( actually, I think we have ex-FALN members on the state payroll) but their Leftism is a distant second to Machine politics.
    I don’t buy your explanation of Rep. Lewis actions. You’re being unduly charitable because of his admirable personal history & ignoring that Lewis is also a sharp political operative. He’s playing hardball, as is Palin. Both of them know exactly what they are doing when the say things and how/where/to whom they choose to say them.
    Obama is the victim of a nasty, whispering,  smear campaign, most likely by GOP operatives. That’s the state of kitchen table political discourse in this country today. Bush is Hitler and Obama is Osama. The question is: How do we fix it ?

  8. Vonny Says:

    "How do we fix it?"

    This is, IMO, up to the electorate.  Why are the top stories of the local evening news largely about the day’s murders and other negative events?  For whatever reasons, that’s what sells.  If it didn’t, those stories would not be the lead.  Why do negative ads, character assassination, and all the rest that are part of campaigns, ever see the light of day in the first place, over the actual issues and policy proposals that will end up making the difference in people’s lives?  The  negative aspects of campaigns are used only because, more often than not, they work with certain groups of voters beyond the base.  If they did not tend to work, campaigns would not resort to using negativity and would move on to something else that worked.  How do we fix it?  I suppose the fix will come when voters decide elections on merit, ideas, character and policy, and ignore the truly venomous attacks and rhetoric.  It’s not obvious to me if that will ever happen in general…I suspect it will be an election-to-election decision. 

    If the smear campaign against Obama backfires, and his lead actually increases and he wins with a larger electoral count than anticipated, perhaps that signals a good number of people have stood up and said "Enough."  Of course, who knows if that is the underlying message or if voters are pissed McCain is throwing out distractions instead of staying on message and trying to figure out how to fix the biggest economic collapse in our lifetime.  The latest polling suggests further increases in Obama’s lead after McCain-Palin have gone on their all-out attacks, with large margins wanting McCain to stick to issues.  Time will tell.

  9. A.E. Says:

    I’m going to write in a vote for Chancellor Bismarck.

  10. Eddie Says:

    Hi Mark,
     Thank you! She is a VERY gifted pol.
     I agree with you that Lewis is playing hardball. I still think he is getting worried though, and not about Obama’s electoral fate.
    This desperate strategy of extreme negativity well-calculated to raise the level of fear of an Obama presidency into outright hysteria among supporters to ensure they turn out is reckless. You draw the nuts to these sort of events, the kinds who take an Obama monkey doll with them, get whipped into an orgy of anger by the repeated mention of the name Hussein by local surrogates and are dumb enough (as a few in Greenville, NC and elsewhere found out at her recent events) to verbalize their dreams of violence against Obama and other godless socialists in front of law enforcement officials.

    Greensboro, Charlotte and Raleigh PD’s are going plainclothes in full force into the upcoming events because of the kinds of near-do-wells who plan on attending. There’s a good reason reasonable people like Thomas Barnett and McCain’s old strategist John Weaver have spoken out on the hopes this type of anger-raising does not turn violent.

  11. Eddie Says:


    Ah, this is the guy behind much of the whisper campaign. Not exactly a Republican, more just a litigation happy wanderer.

  12. NYkrinDC Says:

    Hey Mark,

    Have you seen the FactCheck.org post on the Bill Ayers claim…they pretty much come down on the much a do about nothing side of it…


  13. A.E. Says:

    Yes, I’ve seen that one Eddie. Pretty nutty….

  14. NYkrinDC Says:

    I partly disagree with you, in terms of placing all opposition to Obama as racism. I do see the danger there, and think that Obama has to make it clear, early on, if he wins that doing this would be just as bad as what the Bush administration did, when branding anyone who disagreed with them as unpatriotic, blame America firsters.

    In this instances, and here comes where I disagree, I think that some of the campaign rallies that Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin headlined, things were getting completely out of hand. For example, in one, Sen. McCain was asking, "Who is Barack Obama?" and someone yelled out "A TERRORIST." There was no correction, even though you could see that Sen. McCain had not expected that response. However, the lack of intervention to correct that, like he did a few days later, seemed to give a green light to others making such characterizations with regard to Sen. Obama. The same goes for Gov. Palin’s statement that Sen. Obama "palled" around with terrorists. Given the rancor in the campaign, Sen. McCain finally did the right thing by telling that elderly lady that Sen. Obama was not a Muslim, but a good decent American he had policy differences with. Still, even the role of that lady has come under scrutiny since in an interview, she claimed that she had sent out 400 letters claiming that Obama is a Muslim.


    This without taking into account the Virginia GOP chairman who has been pushing for volunteers to go door to door with talking points such as:

    the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: “Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon,” he said. “That is scary.”

    All this said, I don’t think Sen. McCain can control all of this, but he should at least make it crystal clear that he neither condones it, nor will tolerate it if his campaign engages in this sort of game. I mean, challenging Sen. Obama’s judgement for associating with Bill Ayers is one thing, and probably fair game, but insinuating that Sen. Obama is either a Muslims (and maybe a terrorist), or anti-American, is something completely different that crosses way to many lines that should not be crossed. It reminds me of the "McCain fathered an out-of-wedlock black child" trash that was going around when he ran against Bush in 2000.

  15. NYkrinDC Says:

    Sorry, here’s the link for the Virginia GOP chairman example listed above.


  16. Lexington Green Says:

    I will take the other side on this and  say that is long overdue for Obama’s political and professional connections to be "vetted" in public, something McCain supposedly failed to do with Palin, but which the entire country has failed to do with Obama.

    If McCain’s political career had started in the living room of a hypothetical Timothy McVeigh, who only failed to blow up the Murtaugh Federal building due to incompetence, then escaped prison due to either luck, prosecutorial incompetence, family connections or a combination of the three, and if our hypothetical right wing terrorist and his terrorist wife had then gone on to work to promote Aryan values in public schools, and had never uttered any apology or regret for their attempted murders, and if McVeigh had remained a friend, supporter and ally all these years — Well, would that be worthwhile to talk about in criticism of Sen. McCain, or would it be a "smear"?

    Sen. Obama’s only executive experience is with ACORN.  Its activities need to be publicly "vetted", including the current spate of vote fraud it is trying to perpetrate.

    The hatred directed at Barack Obama by many people who are going to vote against him is mirrored by the contempt and hatred shown to Gov. Palin and to a lesser extent to Sen. McCain. 

    Jesse Jackson excuses violent crimes by young Black men as "frustrated rage against oppression".  Voters who have seen the news media do everything in its power to prevent public examination of Sen. Obama, and to vilify, smear every person who dares to talk about his record, and to ignore and suppress every damaging fact are experiencing frustrated rage of a different sort, and it is a rage that is becoming increasingly vocal.

    I share the anger. 

  17. zen Says:

    As I said, there is a whispering campaign in full gear against Senator Obama, some by GOP operatives, some by independent, conspiracy nuts. It’s wrong and it’s an all too frequently used tactic in American politics.
    Re: Ayers – Bill Ayers holds Maoist political views pretty much the same as he did during the 1960’s, according to his own memoir, minus the violent tactics. As a senior professor at UIC,  Ayers is a leader of the "dispositions" movement in education to require prospective teachers to subscribe to a litmus test of far Left political positions in order to get a teaching certificate.
    Now in my humble ( but in the case of public ed. , expert) opinion, the colleges of education and their teacher training programs – and by extension, our public schools- are already troubled enough without adding a dose of culturally revolutionary consciousness raising.
    Ayers and Obama were, it must be fairly said, never close personal friends. The "palling around with terrorists" charge by Palin is hyperbole.  They were however, politically cooperative over a period of years with numerous mutual associates in common ( most of whom were, like Ayers, far left, ex- 60’s radicals gone bourgeois) when they worked on the Annenberg project, which had an effect on Chicago schools that ranged from simply wasting a ton of grant money that might have helped needy children get an education to being a train wreck that actively caused chaos in  many schools. The latter aspect has received zero attention from the media. 50 million bucks is a hell of a lot of money, even in a school system the size of Chicago’s and the results were so unimpressive that the State eventually handed all power over to Mayor Daley.
    My problem with Obama is that he is well to my political Left and I don’t subscribe to much of his likely worldview, part of which is rooted in the Daley machine. BTW, for the out-of-staters, the Machine does not -and has never – run "reformers". The latter are the enemy of the Machine far more than are Illinois Republicans, who have been cutting deals on patronage and state contracts with Chicago city hall for fifty years. "Reformer" and having State Senate President Emil Jones as a "political godfather" cannot be squared.
    The only reformer of note in Illinois in my lifetime was Obama’s predecessor, Senator Peter Fitzgerald, who brought a real Federal prosecutor and not a machine hack to Illinois as U.S. Attorney General in the person of Patrick Fitzgerald ( no relation). A prosecutor of the Mob, terrorists, a governor and a large number of Daley apparatchiks ( and, most likely, our current governor Rod Blogojevic in 2009)
    A courageous move that cost Senator Fitzgerald his political career in Illinois and opened the way for Senator Obama.

  18. Ben Says:

    I realize you are just ‘taking the other side’ here, but this defense is getting really old and the only reason I can come up with for why you guys are sticking with it is that it’s the only way you have of sharing a feeling of outrage with one another. I’ve been looking for a genuinely Pro-McCain blog posting for the past couple of weeks and have yet to find one – you know, one where a Republican actually makes a positive case for McCain.

    Look, the Republican Party, it’s supporters, Alaskan Independence Party members, Ron Paul and Joe and Jane Sixpack are free to bring up whatever they want about Obama’s past. Vet away. Publish reports on the internet, read them, send them to your friends. Have O’Reilly do some serious investigative journalism. It’s all good. Keep bringing up Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, ACORN. Dig deep.

    But, come on, this just isn’t true:
    "The hatred directed at Barack Obama by many people who are going to vote against him is mirrored by the contempt and hatred shown to Gov. Palin and to a lesser extent to Sen. McCain. "

    There’s deep dislike, even some genuine hatred. But you just can’t be so naive (I don’t know, maybe you haven’t lived in the South?) to compare the personal dislike of Palin or Bush and the perfect storm of pregidous that Barack Hussien Obama has created in the right. I feel sorry for the G.O.P. facing a candidate who doesn’t just represent, but literally embodies their political worst nightmare. But you guys have had your share of those candidates, now it’s our turn!

    (P.S. There’s no hatred for McCain, just disappointment – he was a big Bush critic, we all liked the guy. And I really think that those who actively hate Palin are a very small minority, which is why Dems got so nervous after her introduction – she’s very appealing, and I don’t mean her looks. It would be cool (and very bad for the Dems)  if she was the genuine Sarah Connor Freedom Fighting All American Margaret Thatcher that was being sold as. Oh well, maybe next time.)

  19. Lexington Green Says:

    "But you just can’t be so naive (I don’t know, maybe you haven’t lived in the South?) to compare the personal dislike of Palin or Bush and the perfect storm of pregidous that Barack Hussien Obama has created in the right. "
    I absolutely deny this.  The Democrats respond with anger and hatred at even the prospect that McCain / Palin would try to win this election. 

    The crack about the South is the usual smear that anyone who opposes Sen. Obama is a racist.  Sorry, no, wrong.  Obama should not be president because he is an ideological leftist who is running a sham campaign which disregards his entire actual record. 
    The disappointment with McCain is that he actually tried to win the election instead of presenting his neck to the guillotine as the ritual sacrifice before Barack’s coronation. 
    "…those who actively hate Palin are a very small minority…"  How many moons are in the sky over YOUR planet?  The there are a huge number of people in the media who hate Palin or at least express contempt and disdain for her, for the fact she has five children, goes to church, did not go to an elite school, has a blue-collar accent and way of expressing herself.  This is virtually the entire mainstream media, and is a very large number of Democrats, especially feminists. 

  20. joey Says:

    I’m sorry but Sarah Palin is way to light weight to inspire hate, bemusement maybe, but hate is far to strong an emotion.  I quite liked Mc Cain, he seemed like a good guy, inteligent, not an ideologue.  But he is not in control of his campaign, he picked Palin on what seems to be a whim, I’ve never been able to figure out what platform he was running on. 
    In short, when you look at Obama and you know what your going to get, a tight controlled administration that is’ent going to jump into anything without thinking about it long and hard. 
    You look at Mc Cain and worry, he’s spooked me, he’s spooked a lot of people.   People dont want a maverick, they want some who seems stable.

  21. Lexington Green Says:

    Of course you liked McCain, Joey.  He looked like a polite old man who would easily lose to Obama. 
    "Picking Palin on a whim" shows you fail to understand much about the decision and what it gained him.
    Your dismissive comments about Gov. Palin shows the kind of smug, ignorant attitude I have come to expect.   No respect for how she resigned from an appointed position and took on her own corrupt party?  No respect for how she took on the oil companies and made them puke out some money for the taxpayers of her state?  Nothing, right?  Things that would have made her a hero if  she were a Democrat are ignored by the supposedly smart people. 
    Here is Michael Barone on the "balance of hatred" equation. 
    The facts are undeniable unless they are willfully ignored.

  22. Mithras Says:

    What joey said. If Obama runs his administration the way he runs his campaign, we’ll probably do okay.

    Of course, McCain could still win this thing, although it looks increasingly unlikely. What a McCain administration would look like, I couldn’t tell you. Like George W. Bush’s, but with even more blundering and crankiness?

  23. NYkrinDC Says:

    This being a presidential season, emotions are obviously high and we must consider that before replying to each other’s posts. No one can be truly objective, and we all have our biases and these come through more so, than at other times, when emotions are high.

    That said, I agree with Lexington and Mark that Gov. Palin has been subjected to a very harsh light. This, was partly driven by many on the left who after being told that their candidate was not qualified enough, that he did not have enough experience, where in a sense, dumbstruck to find out that Sen. McCain’s pick for his VP turned out to be, not only a relatively unknown governor from Alaska, but also someone with only two years experience in elected office.

    This contrast, to the McCain campaign’s prior focus on experience versus inexperience, infuriated many on the left, and blind sighted many on the right and the middle. That is partly what made Gov. Palin a good choice from a political stand point. In addition to this, initially, not only did she seem to reinforce Sen. McCain’s message of being a reformer, but her popularity within a party that up until her choice had derided Sen. Obama’s lack of experience, seemed hypocritical to many. I mean, one of the best politically comedic videos out there was from the Daily Show, which showed Karl Rove arguing that if Sen. Obama picked Gov. Kaine from VA (and former mayor of Richmond) as his VP choice, he would demonstrate to the country that he did not have the future of the country in mind, but rather his on political ambitions. In that video, Rove derided Richmond (pop 200,000) as being only one of the one-hundred biggest cities in America, and yet, another clip showed him defending Gov. Palin’s experience as the mayor of the largest city in Alaska (Wasila, pop. 6000).

    Add to this, the fact that when questioned about her foreign policy credentials, Steve Doocey on Fox & Friends argued that she had FP experience because Alaska was close to Russia.  What made this more astounding, was that Gov. Palin and the campaign ran with it, and repeated it over and over again, without being able to explain how being close to Russia (given that the Federal government handles our foreign relations and trade missions) gave her any experience in that arena whatsoever. In short, she painted herself into a corner, and rather than drop the argument, pursued it making it sound more asinine by the minute.

    Some sectors in the media (Fox News usually pointed to OK magazine, Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and MSNBC) went after her ferociously, aided and goaded into it by blogs that began to spread rumors and innuendo about her personal life, which was not only idiotic, but also despicable. Idiotic, because it made her into a victim at a time hen given her entrance into the national political scene, she needed to be asked questions related to her experience and policies instead of pressed on whether her down-syndrome was actually hers. This of course, gets me to the despicable. Bringing up such questions, and having people spread it virally was sickening to watch, but probably inevitable given this internet age we live in. After all, regardless of how many times it is corrected, the hush campaign stating that Sen. Obama is a Muslim is alive and well in the right blogosphere. These attacks on her, the rumors of her having an affair with a business partner of her husband’s were also stupid and moronic. However, a large part of the attacks on Sen. Palin center on her half truths about things such as the bridge to nowhere, which although she claimed she told Congress "thanks, but no thanks" and "if we wanted the bridge, we would build it ourselves," at a time when it became clear that not only did she support the bridge while running for governor, but also disavowed it only after it was clear that Congress would not (and it had become a symbol of the evils of earmarks). Add to this the fact that she was essentially hidden from the media, which had the effect of preventing Americans from getting to know her. This was compounded by the disastrous interviews with Gibson and Couric, where not only did she seemed to be replying overtly rehearsed answers, but more to the point talking points without any underlying substance, and you see the image that began to build around her. The fact that interviews came only few and far in between, only amplified the image cast by these interviews, further eroding her image overall.

    In short, if you can call this short :), yes, the part of the media was extremely harsh on Gov. Palin, but the McCain campaign was also responsible due to their missteps and reluctance to allow Gov. Palin to do more interviews.

    As if that were not enough, the McCain campaign made the decision to send her on the attack against Obama, which only drove her favorability rating down, by presenting her in a negative light at a time when most people knew very little about her, her accomplishments and mistakes. Of all things, to begin attacking Sen. Obama on the fact that he has not been vetted and needs to answer more questions about his past associations ringed a little hallow given the fact that she herself has refused to answer questions about her  time as governor, mayor, or her experience.  The problem when it came to her attacks was that although rightfully questioning Sen. Obama on Bill Ayers, and alluding to Rev. Wright, she did it in a way that insinuated more than was there, or as Mark called it "hyperbole," which politically may have seemed as a good move at the time, but given the heightened political and emotional season we are in, led to a few supporters to start screaming out "he’s a terrorist" about Sen. Obama, a United States Senator and current Presidential candidate, while others screamed "kill him!" All, well within earshot of the republican presidential and vp candidates and neither ceasing to either condemn these calls or to tell their supporters that such statements were uncalled for, until the media began reporting it.

    Do I think Sen. Obama needs to answer questions regarding his associations, yes, and I think that in many of these instances he’s gotten a free pass.  That said, having read some of the reports of his time at the Annenberg Challenge, it seems clear that his "association with Ayers was far less than what some have insinuated."

    Mark, you can correct me if I’m wrong here, but from most of what I’ve heard and read, it seems as if Bill Ayers is seen now more as an educator and education reformer (whether you agree with his views or not) than as Bill Ayers the 1960’s radical terrorist. I mean, he even received a citizen of the year award, and has served on the Annenberg Board with not only Sen. Obama, but also prominent Republican legislators and thinkers interested in education reform there. From what i remember from the Times article, as well, many republicans who served with him and Obama, not only remember that Obama angered many in the radical left through his pragmatic approach to programs and openness to divergent viewpoints. Moreover, they don’t believe that serving on the board with Ayers should be used against Sen. Obama now that he runs for President.

    I still want to know more about why Sen. Obama initiated his political career at Bill Ayers house, but wanted to write the above as a means of showing that there are those,  including republicans, who say too much is being made out of very little.

    I don’t want to keep writing, because its late and I think I’ve already more than tripled your original post Mark, but depending on where this conversation goes, I’ll try to either amend, or expand on what’s already written. I hope you don’t mind. Also, for Lexington and others, please bear in mind that the above is not the entirety of my views of Gov. Palin. To boot, when she was first selected, I wrote a rather lengthy and generally positive post on her selection.


  24. Eddie Says:

    Sarah Palin is a gifted pol but that does not obscure her utter lack of good judgment or gravitas for the VP role.

    Christopher Hitchens has an exceptional bs detector honed over years of writing about the creeps and cretins that populate our politics) said it best this week in Slate:

    "It turns out that none of her early claims to political courage was founded in fact, and it further turns out that some of the untested rumors about her—her vindictiveness in local quarrels, her bizarre religious and political affiliations—were very well-founded, indeed."

    This woman was found guilty by a bipartisan group of legislators (which Palin asked for) in Alaska (which included some of her legislative allies) of abusing her office. You complain about the media being pro-Obama, yet where is the coverage of Palin’s corruption? I have yet to see or hear a single report from NPR, CNN, CBS, etc. about her being found guilty of abusing her office and violating the trust of the people of Alaska. This should be front-page news! If that was a Democratic VP candidate guilty of that (like a Tim Kaine or Kathleen Sebilius) the GOP would be hitting on that every day until the election, and rightfully so!

    There is another "Internal" investigation going on in AK which is due to be released before the election, an investigation Palin and co. thought they could game by stacking with her supporters but which apparently is going even more in detail about her abuse of power in office.

    She ran up a huge deficit as mayor of Wasilia and was a pork queen for years. She didn’t have the common sense to not lie about the Bridge to Nowhere when there were photos, notes and speeches proving she was for it. Now she’s a fiscal conservative and earmark maverick?

    She has shown little semblance of qualification for her prospective job. She recited talking points and dodged questions during her debate because she lacks a grasp of policy in most areas? She whines about Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson (who gave her reasonable, easy questions you or I could have hit out of the park)… how the heck is she going to handle Putin or the Ayatollah if she is the president? 

    Her husband was a proud member of a treasonous party for seven years, a party she warmly addressed throughout her time in office as mayor and governor. Again, where is the outrage from a media outlet or even from the Democrats?

    We could go on for days about her, without once being unfair to her record or to her personally. How many more reasonable, honest conservatives* have to come to terms with reality about her (Yes, she is a skilled, fierce pol, no she is not much of anything else) before the fraud is finally admitted to?

    (David Frum, Kathleen Parker, Peggy Noonan, Ross Douthat, Rod Dreher, Heather Mac Donald, etc.)

  25. NYkrinDC Says:

    I wanted to correct this before someone else did. Above I wrote "but also someone with only two years experience in elected office." I meant to write, <i>but also someone with only two years experience in what could be considered "national" elected office.</i>

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