Saturday, June 14, 2008

U. S. Army's 233rd Birthday

Our Army can proudly say today, June 14, 2008:

This 233rd U.S. Army birthday commemorates America’s Army – Soldiers, Families and Civilians – who are achieving a level of excellence that is truly Army Strong both here and abroad. Their willingness to sacrifice to build a better future for others and to preserve our way of life is without a doubt, the Strength of our Nation.
Every American has reason to give thanks to our Army and all our serving forces, veterans and the families who produced, love and sustain them.

Friday, June 13, 2008

No Churchill post June 13

I'm in England now and spending a lot of time with my family.

The Churchill Series will resume on June 16.

Thank you for your understanding.


News from “inside” the Raleigh N&O

In Spring 2006 the Raleigh News & Observer led the Duke lacrosse media witch hunt, trashing the students of the lacrosse team as racists and drunkards, and promulgating the “wall of silence” lie as it told readers about the “ordeal” of the “frightened young mother” which ended finally in “sexual violence.”

The N&O did all that even before Nifong began speaking publicly about what was a coordinated frame-up attempt in which the N&O used Nifong as an anonymous source.

The N&O hasn’t admitted that to this day, even as it’s reported the State Bar’s disbarment of Nifong and his later jailing for lying to the court about the case.
With that as background, we read the following excerpts from an N&O news competitor, WRAL. I comment below the star line.

WRAL begins - - -

The News & Observer is preparing to lay off about 10 percent of its newsroom staff and will announce other cuts affecting its news operation, sources inside the N&O tell

A formal announcement may not come until next week, however. The N&O is part of the McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) newspaper chain, and the group reportedly is planning to announce corporate-wide cutbacks, one newsroom source said. McClatchy also owns The Charlotte Observer. …

Asked about layoffs, Felicia Gressette, vice president of marketing for the N&O who spoke on behalf of publisher Orage Quarles III, said, “We’re just not going to comment.”

When asked about other cost-cutting moves, Gressette noted: “Any changes will be announced in the N&O, not”

The layoffs could affect as few as 15 or as many as 30 newsroom staffers, the sources said.

Numerous people had expected the layoffs to be made Monday following an announcement by John Drescher, the paper’s senior vice president and executive editor, at a recent staff meeting that layoffs would take place.

Gressette noted that Drescher talks often with the newsroom “about the great changes” the newspaper industry faces and that “more are headed our way.” Drescher did say that there would “likely be more staff reductions,” Gressette said. However, she added, that comment “did not mean there would be layoffs.”

“Management put out the word that layoffs were coming,” one source said. “There was no timeline.” Among the staff, “no one knows the criteria” that will be followed in determining who is let go, the source added.

A person in direct contact with several newsroom staffers described the atmosphere at The N&O as “incredibly anxious. … People are waiting for the hammer to fall.”

Word of the pending layoffs surprised many among the “rank and file,” according to one source who spoke on the basis of anonymity. They had expected that a series of voluntary buyouts offered by the N&O in April would be enough to pare newsroom expenses as the paper struggles with its finances, but, “Things just changed at the corporate level,” the insider said. …

Other cutbacks and changes include:

• The folding of the Business section into the City/State section. Business is currently published as a separate section, although the newspaper no longer runs extensive stock listings.

• The size of the space devoted to news will be reduced.

Drescher also could announce what a source described as a “major” reorganization of the news operation.

When asked about that move, Gressette said, “We are always looking for ways to be more efficient.”

The N&O recently said it would increase subscription prices. ...

The entire WRAL story’s here.



I’m never glad to hear hard-working, able and honest employees are losing their jobs.

At the N&O, there are some reporters and editors of the type I’ve just mentioned.

There are also hundreds of N&O support staff – phone operators, accountants, security staff, subscription services staff and others – who are also “hard-working, able and honest employees.”

For all of those people, I’m sorry their jobs are at risk.

As for the people at the N&O who brought us those framing stories in Spring 2006 even as they knew they were biased or even outright false, I can’t summon any regret if they lose their jobs in the news industry.

I feel the same way about the people at the N&O who made the decision not to tell us our former ground commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, said in a prepared speech that most MSM in Iraq was biased against our military and that their reporting had caused the deaths of some of our forces. ( See On Sanchez: The N&O deceived us )

News reporting jobs need to be for people who report news.

Those who deceive us don’t belong at news organizations.

I’ll keep following this story.

Hat tip: Walter Abbott

Putting the best face on Obama’s Johnson mess

Newsweek’s Howard Fineman tries with this:

…What we learn is that Obama by instinct is no revolutionary, but rather a soothing semi-insurgent seemingly eager to reassure the very Establishments he claims to be eager to assault.

We learn that he has yet to master the art of keeping his cool when someone (an opponent or the press) has the temerity to question his decision-making. We learn that his first instinct is to brush off criticism with a flick of a finger.

But we also learn that Obama has absorbed much from his crash course in presidential campaigning. One lesson he has internalized is how to cut his losses quickly.

It took him months to ditch the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the Trinity Church of Christ.

It took him weeks to distance himself from the likes of Samantha Power.

It took Obama only a day to throw Johnson under the bus. …
Fineman’s entire article’s here.

I’m sure there are others in the Anything for Obama media club who are also trying their best for Sen. Obama, but my vote right now goes to Fineman.

If you find someone putting a better face on the Johnson mess, please let me know.

While visiting Westminster Abbey yesterday

Readers Note: I know many of you come to JinC and skip The Churchill Series posts.

No problem. Read what you like.

But visiting Westminster Abbey yesterday with my wife and granddaughter I thought of this "olden golden" series post and told myself only a cur would not enjoy it.

So I'm republishing it confident you'll all give it a look and smile.


( One of a series of weekday posts abouy the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

This post is about Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation in June 1953. But not our Winston Churchill.

The Winston Churchill in this post is the great man’s grandson who, in his autobiographical Memories and Adventures, tells us a bit about what happened when he was invited to serve as a page at the Coronation. He was 12 at the time and attending Eton:

As may be imagined I was thrilled at the prospect of being a page at the Coronation, not least for the fact that it would mean getting away from school on at least three occasions, including twice for rehearsals. …

For the first rehearsal in May all those with specific parts to play in this splendid and ancient ceremony, excepting only the sovereign, were assembled in Westminster Abbey. We were directed to our places, under the eagle eye of the Duke of Norfolk, the hereditary Earl Marshal of England, and told precisely what was required of us at each point in the ceremony, from the highest functionaries of Church and State down to the smallest pageboy….

Though short of stature and ruddy of face and, viewed from across the great expanse of the Abbey, looking like nothing so much as Mr. McGoo, the Duke of Norfolk, trailing a long microphone lead behind him, instantly asserted his authority over the proceedings by the brusqueness of his commends but, above all, by his precise knowledge of every detail of the ceremony. …

There was a splendid moment when the Earl Marshal commanded the Archbishop of Canterbury: “Archbishop! Pray bring the crown!” The Archbishop shuffled off into a corner and reappeared a few moments later bearing a crown in his hands.

The Earl Marshal took one look at it from a distance and instantly proffered the stinging rebuke: “Archbishop! That is the wrong crown! Pray bring St. Edward’s Crown!”

It had an electric effect on the assembled company and thereafter, each one of us, from the Chiefs of Staff downwards, determined not to give the Earl Marshal any ground for offering us so stinging a public rebuke.

For the dress rehearsal just a few days before the great occasion, my mother supervised my turnout in minute detail, arranging for my hair to be cut and giving the barber precise instructions as to how it was to be done. No sooner had we arrived at the Abbey than I was accosted by Field Marshall Montgomery who could never readily restrain his instinct to be a busybody: “Boy! Tell your mother to get your hair cut before the day!”
I hope you’re smiling. Have a nice weekend.
Winston S. Churchill, Memories and Adventures. (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) (pgs. 75-76)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jun. 12. 2008


Today's post is a "golden oldie" I've posted here.

I hope you're all back tomorrow.


Obama could learn from Rove and Reagan

So you think Sen. Barack Obama is sexy.

You don’t care that Obama listened to Rev. Wright’s racist and anti-American sermons and then brought his children to Wright’s church for their religious instruction.


But surely you don’t disagree with Karl Rove when he says today in the WSJ - - -

"Don't tell me words don't matter!" Sen. Barack Obama thundered at a Wisconsin Democratic Party dinner in February. He should have remembered that at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference last week.

There, Mr. Obama defended the outrageous promise he made last July to meet, during his first year as president and without precondition, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. Mr. Obama's eagerness to undertake a "World Tyrants Tour" is both naive and foolhardy, and how he dealt with those concerns at AIPAC raises the question of whether he's done his homework.

Mr. Obama knew the audience was wondering what could come from such meetings, except propaganda victories for thugs and a loss of prestige for America. He tried to mitigate the damage of his promised meetings. But the man who criticizes George W. Bush for unilateralism ended up denouncing a multilateral approach to Iran, saying it would "outsource the sustained work to our European allies."

Mr. Obama also said he would practice "tough and principled diplomacy." There would be "careful preparation." He would "open up lines of communication, build an agenda, coordinate closely with our allies."

And then he brought up Ronald Reagan. He said he'd be "tough" like Reagan, who "understood that diplomacy backed by real leverage was a fundamental tool of statecraft."

But what do Mr. Obama's words mean? What would his preparations be? What would his agenda be? Does he want to coordinate closely with allies or not "outsource the sustained work" to them? And would he really be anything like Reagan?

As early as March 1975, Reagan described the leverage he would require before sitting down with the Soviets. His key insight was that "We need to remove [the Soviets'] incentive to race ahead by making it clear to them that we can and will compete . . . at the same time we tell them that we prefer to halt this competition and reduce the nuclear arsenals by patient negotiation." …

The rest of Rove’s column is here.

I hope Sen. Obama reads it. He could learn a lot from it.

Informal notes from Britain

The past 10 days I’ve been in the Britain with my wife and granddaughter.

This is about my 45th trip to the U. K. during the past 30 or so years.

I’d guess my total time spent here amounts to more than two years.

With that as background, I offer the following informal “this and that” notes from Britain in no particular order of importance - - -

People here are fed up with taxation to a degree I’ve never seen before.

Taxes are often the first subject people mention; and it doesn’t take much to get them started.

I walked into an antique shop the other day and greeted the woman with “How are you today?”

“I’d be a lot better if they hadn’t started taxing my pension.”

“I’m sorry that happened.”

“Then you don’t want to hear what they’re planning for the road tax.” (That’s a tax a lot like a property tax in the States on your car. I’m assured by friends here the government can and does seize your car within two months of your failure to pay the road tax.)

“But have a look around if you like.”

Almost all of what a British motorist or lorry driver pays for petrol is taxes.

Many people mention that and add: “You in America are so lucky to have gas at $4.00 a gallon. We’d be happy to pay that.” ( I don’t know what the price per gallon is here, but I’ll find out and let you know. If you know, please let me know, with a link if possible.)

I can sum up what just about all Brits I’ve listened to have said and what I glean from the newspapers with this:

“We went along with tax increases based on promises of better health care, better education standards, better control of immigration and greater public safety.”

“We got the higher taxes, but nothing got better.”
You’d guess from what I’ve just said that PM Gordon Brown’s Labour government’s in trouble; and you’d be right.

Polls show Labour at its lowest point in decades; trailing the Conservatives by 15 points or more.

Since British general elections are much more about party preference than our national elections, Labour’s current poor poll showings are far more significant than would be similar Rep-Dem preference poll findings.

If you ask people here what the U. K. voter preference poll numbers mean, they’ll tell you: “Labour’s lost the country.”

I hear that not just from Tories and Lib Dems; Labourties say the same thing.

Enough of British politics for now.

How are folks here looking at the Yanks?

Well, for one thing, the Dem nomination race has been widely followed, with most people favoring Sen. Obama.

I said “widely” because I was readying to say most people here haven’t followed the nomination contest to the point they have anything like what you’d call “some depth of understanding”

Typically, Obama is wonderful because “he’s young,” “seems to want to listen,” and “really excites me, although I know he needs to do more than that.” Hillary Clinton had support here because “she’s a woman” (same as in the States), and “she seems to know what she wants, and that’s good in a leader.”

With Obama now the nominee, almost everyone I talk to wants him to win.

I’ll say more about why tomorrow.

Now about the weather.

Many of you know the Eastern U. S. has been sweltering.

So are people here asking if I blame global warming for that?


In fact, no one here’s brought up globel warming this trip.

That may be because many parts of England have just had one of their coldest and wettest Spring’s on record.

Final note - - -

With a few stinkers of the kind every country has excepted, I've find the British people extremely likable.

I wonder how they ever got the reputation of being standoffish.

They’re wonderful.

Fleischer shreds McClellan’s MSM “too soft” claim

Ari Fleischer was White House press secretary from January 2001 to July 2003. Writing today in the Guardian he get right to his main point - - -

Among the allegations in former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's book is his assertion that the national press corps was "too deferential to the White House", and that the media were "complicit enablers" of President Bush's agenda. The press, he charges, failed to aggressively question the rationale for war.

As someone whose duty it was to assume the position of a human piƱata every day in the briefing room, I only wish Scott were right.

Liberals have made this charge for years, and prominent reporters have split their verdicts. Critics and journalists have also said they were intimidated after 9/11, and pulled back from tough questions.

Katie Couric, who was at NBC in the lead-up to the war, has called it "one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism".

ABC's Charlie Gibson says journalists did ask hard questions but that the White House didn't answer them.

At the risk of agreeing with one of my toughest protagonists in the briefing room, NBC's David Gregory, the press was tough, plenty tough. I have the scars - and the transcripts - to prove it.

Less than five hours after the September 11 attacks, as we flew on Air Force One, the travelling White House press corps asked me if the "president should be satisfied with the performance of the intelligence community". "Has he asked to find out where the gaps were," reporters demanded. "Is he concerned about the fact that this attack of this severity happened with no warnings?"

Even before the fires were out at the World Trade Centre, journalists pointed fingers and raised important questions. On a personal level they were stunned, like everyone else. On a professional level, they dug in.

Over the next few weeks - during the period when critics charge that the press did not do its job and was caught up in the post-9/11 patriotic fervour - I was challenged every day about intelligence mistakes, military plans and whether George Bush was "going soft" on Vladimir Putin to gain his support.

During the war in Afghanistan, I was grilled over the conduct of the war itself. I refused to answer questions about operational military details, questions that no White House press secretary should ever answer. I often returned to my office beaten down from the clashes in the briefing room. But those clashes have always been part of the job.

As for Iraq, as soon as Bush indicated that he was even considering using force against Saddam Hussein, the press challenged the White House. "Is the president willing to prepare to sacrifice American and Iraqi innocent lives to take out Saddam Hussein?" Helen Thomas asked in September 2002, more than six months before the war began.

In the lead-up to the war, no matter what position the president took, the press took the opposite.

One reporter quoted foreign leaders as saying that Bush would "destroy the war on terrorism" if he went to war, and of course almost all the press said Bush's actions were unilateral - despite support from Britain, Italy, Spain, Denmark and practically every nation in eastern Europe. …

There’s more refutation by Fleischer here.

I hope you read his entire column.

IMO – The column is a “clip-and-save” to have handy the next time you see some of the McClellan “MSM too soft on Bush” nonsense in your local paper and decide you’ll write the editor and set the record straight.

You couldn’t cite a better source than Fleischer. He has "the scars - and the transcripts - to prove" what he says.

And he provides some powerful examples to cite in your letter.

Kerry sails out of his depth

From John McCain. com with my comments below the star line.

Among the accusations he leveled this morning, Senator Kerry said Senator McCain "confuses the history going back to 682 of what has happened to Sunni and Shia."

Now, we at the McCain Report have been receiving a great number of panicked emails from supporters all morning, deeply troubled by Senator Kerry's suggestion that Senator McCain is anything less than totally familiar with the finer points of 7th century Islamic history. And frankly, we were worried too, at first.

After all, we know that -- more than keeping America safe from its enemies abroad, more than getting our economy back on track, more than breaking through the partisan gridlock that is preventing Washington from solving the problems we as a nation face -- Americans want, nay demand, that their next Commander in Chief is intimately familiar with the "history going back to 682 of what has happened to the Sunni and Shia."

There's only one thing that gives us pause. The date Senator Kerry cited this morning -- 682 A.D. -- has no significance in explaining the sectarian schism between Sunnis and Shiites.

Shiites trace the split to 632 A.D. -- the year that Muhammed died -- not 682. The battle of Karbala -- one of the most important battles in the history of Islam, commemorated by Shia Muslims the world over during the holiday of Ashura -- took place in 680 A.D. Still two years off.

Now, obviously, it would be more than a bit ironic if it turned out that Senator Kerry himself -- in the midst of pompously trying to show off his superior knowledge and erudition -- got confused about the history of the Sunni-Shiite schism. But based on his adroit performance in the 2004 presidential campaign, we're sure that he'd never commit such a gaffe.

Still, we can't help but wonder -- just what exactly was Senator Kerry talking about?


I hope the Shiites and Sunnis at least agree Kerry’s never released all his Navy records or spent Christmas in Cambodia.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jun. 11, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

In yesterday's post I said:

Whenever Churchill’s wartime leadership is discussed, his determination and ability to inspire hope are invariably cited as two of his most important leadership qualities. There’s no doubt about the importance of either of those qualities.

But I want to introduce here and in a follow-up post tomorrow something I think was very important to the success of Churchill’s wartime leadership, but doesn’t receive much attention from historians.

It’s what for want of a better term I’ll call Churchill’s ability to remind people at certain key psychological moments about "on the other hand.”

Churchill used not the words “on the other hand” but the sense of their meaning to help the British people moderate the emotional highs that followed victories and the lows that followed defeats. He knew emotional "roller coasters" could destroy the constancy the public needed to see the war through to final victory.

As he so often said, "In war, resolution."
Today I want to share with you an appreciation of Churchill's "on the other hand" leadership found in Jon Meacham's Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship.

Meacham explains how Churchill presented to the British people the news of the great victory at El Alamein in November, 1943:
[Churchill] did not want the good news from North Africa to lull his listeners into thinking the hard work was over. "I promise nothing," Churchill said. "I predict nothing."

Winning battles did not mean winning the war, and just as the British has borne early defeats with equanimity, so now they must resist overreacting to success.

This was insightful psychological leadership on a grand scale: The natural reaction of a war-weary people to the glory of El Alamein – it had indeed been a long time since London could celebrate a victory – was to exhale and begin to think that perhaps the worst was over.

Churchill knew better and told the nation so. “I know of nothing that has happened yet which justifies the hope that the war will not be long, or that bitter and bloody years do not lie ahead,” he said.
(p. 203)
Between them, Churchill and Meacham make my point so well there’s nothing I feel I need to add except to wish you a nice day.


Drill for ANWR oil? Sure, we’ll get natural gas, too.

Here’s some of a June 9 USA Today editorial. I comment below the star line.

Surging gasoline prices have prompted renewed calls for drilling in environmentally sensitive areas, particularly Alaska's potentially oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

We supported drilling in ANWR long before gas topped $4 a gallon and continue to do so. But let's be clear about what it would and wouldn't do.

It wouldn't bring relief from today's high prices, as President Bush implied Monday. And it wouldn't make the United States energy independent.

So does that mean, as critics suggest, that it's not worth doing? Not at all.

Drilling in ANWR and offshore is an important piece of any long-term strategy to make the nation less vulnerable to oil-producing nations and supply disruptions. It is one of many imperfect steps needed to both increase the supply of oil and curb the demand for it, while seeking energy alternatives.

It's true that any serious oil production from ANWR would take about 10 years. But dealing with the energy situation requires an ability to look beyond quick fixes. The fact is, ANWR oil would be flowing now if President Clinton hadn't vetoed a drilling bill in 1995.

Environmentalists charge that drilling would despoil a pristine area in northern Alaska that is about the size of South Carolina and is a critical habitat for caribou, musk oxen, bears and birds. In fact, exploration in the 19 million-acre refuge would be confined to 1.5 million acres, and drilling to just 2,000 acres, an area less than half that of Atlanta's airport. …

The entire editorial is here.



I’m mostly in agreement with USA Today’s editorial.

However, I wish the editors, as well as saying,

” [ANWR drilling] is one of many imperfect steps needed to both increase the supply of oil and curb the demand for it, while seeking energy alternatives[;]”
had gone on to say something like this:
”ANWR drilling will surely make available a great amount of energy in the form of natural gas, which is environmentally safer to extract, easier and environmentally safer to transport, and a ‘clear burn’ when consumed.

“in fact, it’s very likely ANWR drilling will produce as much or more energy in the form of natural gas than as oil.”

“That leaves us wondering why the Bush administration has failed to stress that fact when advocating drilling.”

“We’re also left to wonder why environmental organizations continue to oppose drilling in ANWR when they know the alternative is more environmentally costly hauling of a greater amount of oil over a greater distance, with that hauling producing greater energy consumption than need be if the energy was produced closer to the continental U. S. market.”

Where's Obama on "Durbin's pal and prisoner abuse?"

Back on June 17, 2005 I published Durbin's pal and prisinor abuse.

I'm reposting it today because presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has quite rightly been outspoken in his denunciation of prisoner abuse by members of the American military.

But as far as I know, he's done very little about prisoner abuse in the Cook County Jail not far from his home.

The jail is notorious as one of the worst in America. It's been run for decades by members of the same Daley machine that Obama's a part of.

At the end of the post, I provide an update.


(Welcome visitors from Betsy's Page, Captain's Quarters, Michelle Malkin, Ombusmax and The Mudville Gazette. Please consider writing a letter to your editor expressing your thoughts and feelings about Senator Durbin's abominations. Thanks, John)

Illinois Democrat Senator Richard Durbin compared American servicemen and women serving at Guantanamo to Hitler's Nazis, Stalin's gulag thugs, and Pol Pot's murderers.

But I could find no criticism by Durbin of his pal, political ally and Cook Country's Democrat Sheriff, Michael F. Sheahan, who's run the notorious Cook County Jail since 1990. I used Google and Yahoo search engines. The Senator's office didn't return a phone call inquiry about Sheahan and prisoner abuse at the jail.

During the 15 years Sheahan’s run Cook County Jail, there have been numerous reports by rights groups, attorneys, and a grand jury documenting systematic prisoner abuse there, including rapes and beatings by guards.

Legal action by Chicago University's Law School's public-service law firm, The MacArthur Justice Center, led to a grand jury finding that a failure by Sheahan’s office to investigate prisoner beatings constituted “obstruction of justice.” The MacArthur site details other actions its brought against Sheahan and other responsible officials.

In a Chicago Tribune op-ed, MacArthur attorney Jean Maclean Snyder gave readers this graphic example of prisoner abuse at Cook County Jail:

(a) squad of 40 guards took over a maximum-security division of the jail in 1999 for the sole purpose of beating and terrorizing the prisoners. A jail investigator determined that the guards' misconduct was covered up by Cook County medical personnel, who filed false reports and refused or delayed treatment to the prisoners, and by the Cook County inspector general, who refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Snyder want on to describe a meeting with a prisoner who'd been beaten:

the whites of his eyes were nearly obscured by the red from blood vessels that had ruptured during the beating, and deep lacerations were held together by staples that had been applied to his scalp.

Chicago newspapers have reported and spoken out against the abuses in Cook County Jail.

Now they and the rest of the national media who've given voice to Senator Durbin's attack on the military need to ask him about his pal, Sheriff Sheahan, and Cook County Jail.


Sheehan is no longer sheriff, but the jail is still run by members of the Daley machine.

The media has been shy, to say the least, about asking Sen. Obama about abuses in the jail so close to his home and run by his political supporters.

A group of attorneys in Chicago representing prisoners who they say have been tortured in the Cook County jail are fighting the Daley machine for disclosure and accountability. You can read more about it here, where you'll find 20 questions the attorneys have been pressing Daley and some of his aides to answer.

I'll report again on this story in a few days.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jun. 10, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Whenever Churchill’s wartime leadership is discussed, his determination and ability to inspire hope are invariably cited as two of his most important leadership qualities. There’s no doubt about the importance of either of those qualities.

But I want to introduce here and in a follow-up post tomorrow something I think was very important to the success of Churchill’s wartime leadership but doesn’t receive much attention from historians.

It’s what for want of a better term I’ll call Churchill’s ability to remind people at certain key psychological moments about "on the other hand.”

Churchill used not the words “on the other hand” but the sense of their meaning to help the British people moderate the emotional highs that followed victories and the lows that followed defeats. He knew emotional "roller coasters" could destroy the constancy the public needed to see the war through to final victory.

As he so often said, "In war, resolution."

So, for example, in the midst of the national euphoria following “the miracle of Dunkirk” in May/June 1940 which delivered almost all their army on the Continent back safe to the home island, Churchill reminded his countrymen “wars are not won by evacuations.”

(to be continued tomorrow)

When a church agrees to be tax exempt

The other day I posted Readers comment on Obama's Revs' tax exampt status. It's drawn a number of comments. I urge you to read the thread, if you haven't already done so.

I want to comment here on two of the comments.

Here are the comments in italics, with my responses in plain.

First Commenter - - -

The Black church has been a place for preaching on politics and social issues for a long time. History and tradition support this. If America wants to challenge this they will have to do so in a whole lot of churches, not just Trinity.

There's been politics preached in churches with black and white congregations for a long time. But that doesn't make it right, especially when a church accepts tax exempt status with the expressed understanding and agreement it will avoid political activity.

There's nothing preventing a church which fore goes tax exempt status from engaging in political activity.

You can call it a double standard if you want but I hope that there is not an attempt to take the discussion of politics out of the HBC.

I just explained above how any church can engage in "the discussion of politics," if it wishes.

What you seem to be advocating is a situation where certain churchs can violate their agreement to stay out of politics in exchange for tax exempt status.

Do I have that right?

Just a big can of worms. It is what it is. In my opinion it is not so much a democract vs republican double standard. The fact is most Black churches are made up of democrats and the discussion from the alter of politics is the norm.

The next commenter very effectively refutes the key points in your last sentences so I'll yield to that commenter.

Second Commenter - - -

Would you care to explain why "it is what it is" is any different from the old segregationist refrain "we've always done it like that?"

This double standard flies in the face of every principle this nation was founded upon. What would be your reaction to a White racist rant from the pulpit of a church? Would you feel that was harmless and supported by "history and tradition?"

The Second Commenter's reference to the "history and tradition" of pulpit politics which has included white racist rants as well as black racist rants, is a reminder of why we should keep politics out of the pulpits.

Also - if I may put it this way - for God's sake the American public shouldn't support any pulpit politicking by granting tax exempt status to churches and other house of worship which do it.


Regulars have no doubt noticed whenever I report or comment on bias and rank dishonesty evidenced by MSM organizations, I do one of two things: either specify the journalist/commenter and particular news/opinion outlet involved, or, in those cases where the bias and/or dishonesty is appearing in most outlets (eg. the Duke lacrosse hoax coverage ), qualify my criticisms with words like “most,” “almost all,” etc.

Doing such qualification can “slow the story flow” and even seem awkward at times, but its fair to the folks in MSM who are doing a good job covering whatever I’m writing about.

And it’s fair to you, readers, because most of you don’t want “the innocent charged with the guilty.” You appreciate my standard even if it “slows the flow.”

Today, there's an example of why its important to use qualifiers. A leading journalist at the Washington Post, its editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, has used his editorial page to present to WaPo readers , who include almost all the Washington establishment, including the Inside the Beltway media, critically important news and commentary that directly contradicts what most of them have been saying.

Hiatt makes clear the “Bush lied about Iraq” crowd were and are wrong. And he tells readers why what he calls “the phony ‘Bush lied’ story line” which so much of MSM and the Dems propagated is dangerous for America.

Hiatt’s column follows in full, with no subsequent comment by me.

Search the Internet for "Bush Lied" products, and you will find sites that offer more than a thousand designs. The basic "Bush Lied, People Died" bumper sticker is only the beginning.

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, set out to provide the official foundation for what has become not only a thriving business but, more important, an article of faith among millions of Americans. And in releasing a committee report Thursday, he claimed to have accomplished his mission, though he did not use the L-word.

"In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted or even nonexistent," he said.

There's no question that the administration, and particularly Vice President Cheney, spoke with too much certainty at times and failed to anticipate or prepare the American people for the enormous undertaking in Iraq.

But dive into Rockefeller's report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find.

On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president's statements "were substantiated by intelligence information."

On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information."

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information."

As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you've mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush's claims about Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to terrorism.

But statements regarding Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." The report is left to complain about "implications" and statements that "left the impression" that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.

In the report's final section, the committee takes issue with Bush's statements about Saddam Hussein's intentions and what the future might have held. But was that really a question of misrepresenting intelligence, or was it a question of judgment that politicians are expected to make?

After all, it was not Bush, but Rockefeller, who said in October 2002: "There has been some debate over how 'imminent' a threat Iraq poses. I do believe Iraq poses an imminent threat. I also believe after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. . . . To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? I do not think we can."

Rockefeller was reminded of that statement by the committee's vice chairman, Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.), who with three other Republican senators filed a minority dissent that includes many other such statements from Democratic senators who had access to the intelligence reports that Bush read. The dissenters assert that they were cut out of the report's preparation, allowing for a great deal of skewing and partisanship, but that even so, "the reports essentially validate what we have been saying all along: that policymakers' statements were substantiated by the intelligence."

Why does it matter, at this late date? The Rockefeller report will not cause a spike in "Bush Lied" mug sales, and the Bond dissent will not lead anyone to scrape the "Bush Lied" bumper sticker off his or her car.

But the phony "Bush lied" story line distracts from the biggest prewar failure: the fact that so much of the intelligence upon which Bush and Rockefeller and everyone else relied turned out to be tragically, catastrophically wrong.

And it trivializes a double dilemma that President Bill Clinton faced before Bush and that President Obama or McCain may well face after: when to act on a threat in the inevitable absence of perfect intelligence and how to mobilize popular support for such action, if deemed essential for national security, in a democracy that will always, and rightly, be reluctant.

For the next president, it may be Iran's nuclear program, or al-Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan, or, more likely, some potential horror that today no one even imagines. When that time comes, there will be plenty of warnings to heed from the Iraq experience, without the need to fictionalize more.

The McClatchy train wreck

At McClatchy Watch there’s more news of “the slow motion McClatchy train wreck.”

This time the news is the Charlotte Observer’s just announced job cuts.

You can read about them in this McC Watch post which also has links to previous posts on McClatchy’s decline.

McC Watch does an outstanding job covering McClatchey, America’s second (or maybe third) largest newspaper chain whose papers include the liberal/leftist “Anything for Obama” Raleigh News & Observer.

I’ve only one disagreement with McC Watch’s latest post.

I don’t think we’re watching a slow motion wreck.

McClatchy’s on the fast track to disaster.

Within the last 5 years its stock has traded in the mid 70s.

According to AOL Money & Finance McClatchy (symbol mni) closed yesterday, June 9, @ 7.81, down from its 52-week high of 28.73 and just above its 52-week low of 7.77.

McClatchy is loaded with debt; its bonds are rated junk; and its ad revenues are declining. So is print circulation at just about all its papers.

A blog friend who knows something about finance and a lot about the newspaper business says he won’t be surprised to see McClatchy declare bankruptcy before the end of this calendar year.

Meanwhile, McClatchy's business plan seems to be: "More steam, engineer."

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Churchill Series - Jun. 9, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Just before Christmas, 1941 Churchill and a British war-planning party arrived in Washington. Churchill stayed at the White House.

His bedroom was just across the hall from FDR’s. Many nights the two leaders stayed up talking into the wee hours; their friendship at high tide.

On December 26 Churchill delivered a speech to a joint session of the Congress. It was very well received by the lawmakers and the nation.

In An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, Jon Meacham tells us the speech’s positive reception concerned some of FDR’s aides, but not their chief:

The men around Roosevelt were worried that their guest’s rhetorical triumph on Capitol Hill would overshadow their boss as the State of the Union message drew near. [Press Secretary] Steve Early, “fiercely loyal and jealous of his Chief’s prestige,” [Speechwriter Robert] Sherwood recalled, “kept a chart showing the fluctuations of the size of the President’s radio audiences and he did not welcome the appearance of a new star attraction in a field which Roosevelt had so long monopolized.”

Roosevelt was as competitive as any man who ever lived, but in this flush season of friendship, Sherwood said, he “was not troubled; he was greatly amused by his friends’ concern.

Churchill may have sensed something of the behind-the-scenes drama, for when Roosevelt read a draft to him, Churchill was flattering. “It went over big,” Roosevelt told his advisers later.

Perhaps one reason Roosevelt was able to laugh off his aides’ anxiety about his rank in the rhetorical arena was that the politician in him understood that whatever the style of the speech, it s substance would guarantee his preeminence in the emerging firm of Roosevelt & Churchill (p. 158)
Churchill and Roosevelt were often rivals but the source(s) of their rivalries were, I think, less a matter of their egos clashing than is was the genuine policy and strategy differences the two men had.

A point where I’d question Meacham: How does he know Churchill responded to FDR’s reading of his draft State of the Union address with flattery?

Churchill’s praise may have been genuine.

Bush WH rollovers on phony Plame “outing” (Post 1)

I promised recently to say more about why the Bush White House rolled over when charged falsely by Dems and their MSM surrogates (NYT, for example) with “outing undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame.”

The “Plame outing story” was bogus from the start, even when the NY Times was demanding a criminal investigation.

How do you “out” a “covert CIA agent” who’s been commenting the past 5 years from her home in DC to CIA headquarters in VA?

Even the Bush-bashing MSM didn’t try to answer the question; they just ignored it.

Reporting on it would have blown their “the Bushies outed Plame” cover and exposed most of MSM and the Dem congressional leadership for peddling a bogus story whose only purposes were to hurt the President and weaken public support for the war in Iraq.

But if the “Plame outing” was a bogus story which could’ve easily been refuted, why was the Bush WH so defensive about challenging it?

Worse, why did the President give the story “legs” by promising to dismiss anyone at the WH connected with “outing” Plame?

I can’t give you “the answer” to either question, but I’ll say some things I think reasonable people will agree are worth considering.

First, there never was “a plot in the White House to out” CIA commuter Plame.

Regarding Karl Rove, for example, all TIME’s Matt Cooper (husband of Mandy Grunwald, long-time Democratic party activist and Clinton insider) testified to was this: At the end of an interview on an unrelated subject, and weeks after deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage, a Bush foe opposed to the war in Iraq, had "leaked" Valerie Plame’s CIA employment to WaPo’s Robert Woodward he, Cooper, mentioned to Rove that Bush-basher Joe Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA. (Only Cooper didn’t call Wilson a Bush-basher)

All Rove did, according to both Cooper’s testimony and Rove’s testimony, was confirm he’d heard the same thing.

Such confirmation of what's already known doesn't constitute an "outing," but from such stuff most of MSM and the Dems can manufacture “a scandal.”

But even if you accept there was no “deep, dark WH plot” to “out” Valerie Plame weeks after MSM favorite Armitage had already "outed" her, you can still fairly ask the two questions I posed above:

1) But if the “Plame outing” was a bogus story which could’ve easily been refuted, why was the Bush WH so defensive about challenging it?

2) Worse, why did the President give the story “legs” by promising to dismiss anyone at the WH connected with “outing” Plame?

In fact, given the "outing" story was bogus from day one, the two questions are, for many of us, especially puzzling given the absences of a WH "plot."

In follow-up posts, I’ll say more about both questions.

Dems now the party of the far Left

At American Thinker Rocco DiPippo describes how the Democratic party came to be the party not of liberals as we used to know them, but of the Far Left that’s OK with Rev. Wright’s racism and anti-Americanism so long as it doesn’t cost Sen. Barack Obama votes.

Just as bad, the Dems have positioned themselves such that as
Charles Krauthammer has said, the party’s now invested in our defeat in Iraq.

The Dems invoke the names of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy but they’re really now the party of Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan and the millions who mock the man they call General Betray Us.

Here's how DiPippo begins his lucid, detailed and persuasive accounting of how the Dems became what they are today: the party of the far Left - - -

There was a pre-Lewinsky time, before moral relativism blurred America's vision, when associating with people like Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers would have automatically excluded someone from attaining the highest office in the land.

Back then, anyone with well known connections to such America-averse personalities would have been rejected by a super-majority of the electorate during primary season and almost certainly blocked by the Democratic Party before they could have gotten to within a mile of the White House.

But those days -- when patriotic, true liberals like Joe Lieberman were considered typical Democratic Party politicians -- are gone. Now politicians like Lieberman are banished to the Party's periphery and leftists, not liberals, like Denis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders, Jim McDermott, John Kerry, (who served in Vietnam), Jim McGovern, Patrick Leahy, Richard Durbin, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have replaced them.

Until recently in our history, a President Barack Obama would have been an impossibility. But given the political and ideological climate that exists today in America, the ascension of a leftist like Barack Obama into presidential politics makes perfect sense.

Beliefs like domestic terrorist William Ayers's and racist, anti-US preacher Jeremiah Wright's are no longer met with utter scorn or a trip to behind the woodshed, but are embraced, promoted and defended by many Americans.

Think MoveOn, International ANSWER, think hordes of young neo-communists and their indoctrinating, puppet-master Marx-spouting professors.

Think Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill and his acolytes. Think NYU, Columbia, The New School and Harvard.

Most importantly, ponder the makeup and direction of the Democratic Party leadership. Like Barack Obama and his radical friends, it is appallingly far Left.

DiPippo's entire essay's here.


I hope you read the essay. It's a "long haul" but DePippo keeps putting the facts out there.

At the end of just about eveery paragraph I was saying something like: "He keeps making these strong statements but he keeps supporting them with facts."

I need to finish a post on Sen. Obama's connections to Minister Farrahkan.

Then I need to post further on the N&O's tanking for Tim Tyson.

But once those are done and I've put a few other posts up, I'll be posting in support of what DiPippo is saying.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Nominee Obama’s “first clear, serious mistake?”

Jennifer Rubin at Pajama Media reports: “Obama’s New Advisor Stained by Clinton Pardon Scandal”

Rubin begins - - -

You may not always agree with his political analysis but [former Clinton White House insider] Dick Morris, perhaps better than anyone willing to talk about it, knows his Clinton-ology.

Morris reminded us that Eric Holder, recently appointed by Barack Obama to his vice presidential search committee, played a leading role in one of the most infamous events of a presidency filled with infamy: the pardon of billionaire fugitive Marc Rich.

Morris dubbed the decision to select Holder as Obama’s “first clear, serious mistake.”

Rich, of course, was the commodities trader who fled the country in 1983 to escape prosecution for tax evasion, racketeering, and trading with the enemy.

Rich’s attorneys circumvented normal procedures, took the pardon to the White House attorneys, and gained pardon for their client, whose wife just happened to be a friend and major donor to the Clinton library, the Democratic Party, and Clinton’s legal defense fund.

A firestorm ensued as did congressional investigations in which Democrats as well as Republicans excoriated the Clintons’ conduct. …

Rubin's entire report is here.

Now, some more, folks.

On Mar. 13, 2002 the NY Times reported on the congressional investigation findings.

The Times’ story included this - - -

A forthcoming Congressional report on the last-minute pardons by President Bill Clinton says Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was a ''willing participant in the plan to keep the Justice Department from knowing about and opposing'' a pardon for Marc Rich, the financier.

The 476-page report, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, harshly criticizes the Clinton White House for its handling of the 177 pardons and commutations granted on its last day. …

The most controversial pardon went to Mr. Rich, a commodities trader who fled the country in 1983 rather than face trial on charges of tax evasion, racketeering and trading with the enemy.

The report says that Mr. Rich's lawyers tried to circumvent prosecutors, who would oppose the pardon, and take their case straight to the White House.

Mr. Holder, the report says, played a major role, steering Mr. Rich's lawyers toward Jack Quinn, a former White House counsel. Mr. Rich hired Mr. Quinn, whose Washington contacts and ability to lobby the president made the difference, according to the report.

It says that Mr. Holder's support for the pardon and his failure to alert prosecutors of a pending pardon were just as crucial. …

The panel criticized Mr. Holder's conduct as unconscionable and cited several problems. It cited his admission last year that he had hoped Mr. Quinn would support his becoming attorney general in a Gore administration.

The report quoted an e-mail message on Nov. 18, 2000, that Mr. Quinn sent others on the Rich team as they wrote the pardon petition. In the message, Mr. Quinn recounts speaking to ''Eric'' the night before. ''He says go straight to wh. also says timing is good,'' Mr. Quinn wrote, using shorthand for the White House. …

The report faults Mr. Quinn for lobbying the White House at all in light of prevailing ethics rules that barred top aides from lobbying former colleagues for five years after leaving government.

Mr. Quinn argued that the rules allowed flexibility for judicial proceedings.

But Judge Denny Chin of United States District Court in Manhattan ruled in December that Mr. Quinn's role was more lobbying than lawyering. …

The entire Mar. 13, 2002 NYT report is here.


I don’t know whether appointing Mr. Holder to his VP selection committee is Sen. Obama’s “first clear, serious mistake.”

It may well be that.

But right now we don’t know what else Obama did after he became the presumptive Dem presidential nominee.

Maybe we’ll learn in time he made an even more serious mistake.

What we do know now is that Obama’s appointment of Holder provides the first of the post-nomination Obama- Clinton baggage stories.

Dream ticket, anyone?

Thanks to AC who was first to alert me to this story and to others of you who also sent “heads-up.”

It made me smile

This post by Knoxville resident Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit - - -

IT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ACCURATE, but it was smart!

Allison Glock's New York Times piece on Knoxville contained this introduction: "KNOXVILLE is often called 'the couch' by the people who live there. It’s a place too unassuming to shout about but too comfortable to leave."

That's a nice intro, but nobody in Knoxville can remember ever hearing it called "the couch." But thanks to that bit, Glock's story is the most-blogged item in the Times at the moment.

My advice to travel writers -- always open your point with a minor error that's sure to get under local bloggers' skins, and watch your traffic and rankings soar!

Can Obama refuse Yon’s offer?

Iraq based independent journalist Michael Yon keeps getting it right on the war there. Many people have taken to calling him “the Ernie Pyle of the Iraq War.”
Yon’s just published An Open Offer to U. S. Senators.

Here are parts of it - - -

One of the biggest problems with the Iraq War is that politics has frequently triumphed over truth. For instance, we went into Iraq with shoddy intelligence (at best), no reconstruction plan, and perhaps half as many troops as were required. We refused to admit that an insurgency was growing, until the country collapsed into anarchy and civil war.

Now the truth is that Iraq is showing real progress on many fronts: Al Qaeda is being defeated and violence is down and continuing to decrease. As a result, the militias have lost their reason for existence and are getting beaten back or co-opted. Shia, Sunni and Kurds are coming together -- although with various stresses -- under the national government.

If progress continues at this rate, it is very possible that before 2008 is out, we can finally say "the war has ended." Yes, likely there still will be some American casualties, but if the violence continues to drop and the Iraqi government consolidates its gains, we will be able, in good conscience, to begin bringing more of our people home.

I will be paying very close attention to the words of Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, who is replacing General Petraeus as the overall commander in Iraq.
Whatever we do in Iraq from here forward, we must strive to make better decisions than those made between 2003 and 2006. And one way to achieve that is by making certain that our civilian leaders are fully informed. …

I hereby offer to accompany any Senator to Iraq, whether they are pro-or anti-war, Democrat or Republican.

I will make this offer personally to a few select Senators as well.

Our conversations during the visit would be on- or off-record, as they wish. Touring Iraq with me, as well as briefings by U.S. officers and meetings with Iraqis, would provide an accurate and nuanced account of the progress and challenges ahead, so that the Senators might have a highly informed perspective on this most critical issue.

Our civilian leaders need to make decisions based on the best information available.

The only way to learn what is really going on in Iraq is to go there and listen to our ground commanders, who know what they are doing. Generals Petraeus and Odierno have years of experience in Iraq, and vast knowledge of our efforts there.

But the young soldiers who have done multiple tours in Iraq also have unique and invaluable perspectives as well. These young soldiers have personally witnessed the trajectory of the war shift dramatically, and can articulate those changes in concrete and specific terms. …

Yon’s entire letter’s here.

I plan to comment further later today on Yon's offer.

The short of my comments: Yon's bang on.

Barone sees a new electoral map

Michael Barone is arguably America’s best presidential election vote analyst. Today he tells us we're looking this year at a very different presidential electoral map than the one we're grown used to. Some former battleground states are no longer looking like battlegrounds and some former safe states are no longer looking safe.

Here’s some of what Barone's finding - - -

…To be sure, both candidates lead by only a narrow margin in some states, and the numbers in some states may be skewed by polls that were just plain wrong. And enough states are close -- carried by a candidate by 7 percent of the vote or less -- to suggest that we are headed to an election as close as 2000 and 2004.

But it's not going to be on the same battlegrounds. McCain has narrow leads in some familiar target states -- Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire and Ohio. But he also leads narrowly in states that were not on the target lists last time -- Alaska, Montana, North Carolina, Virginia and (!) Texas.

Obama has narrow leads in some familiar target states -- Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. But also in some states not on 2000 or 2004 target lists -- Colorado, New Jersey and (!) Massachusetts.

Moreover, some states that were prime targets in 2000 and 2004 may not be this time.

McCain leads by 8 percent in Florida and by 18 percent in West Virginia -- until 2000 considered safely Democratic. Obama leads by 8 percent to 10 percent in Minnesota, Oregon and Wisconsin.

As I counseled some months ago, it's time to throw out that old map of the red states and blue states. There are more states -- and some different states -- in play this time.

It may be time, too, to throw out the old rule that says that economic distress moves voters toward Democrats. McCain is maintaining or improving on George W. Bush's performance in Michigan, which has the nation's highest unemployment rate, and in economically ailing Ohio. Obama is running significantly better than John Kerry or Al Gore in economically vibrant Virginia and North Carolina.

In these changes on the political map you can see reflections of the tribal warfare in the Democratic primaries. Obama clearly underperforms the potential Democratic vote among older, downscale, Latino, Jewish and Appalachian voters. Whether that will remain the case is uncertain. But right now, at midpoint, this looks like a presidential race unlike any other.

Barone’s entire column is here.

Commenter on Wright’s words, Obama’s responsibilities. My response.

Here’s a comment responding to Wright’s sexist slime of Rice. Obama said nothing:

The comments are reprehensible but so is Rev Wright.

But Obama is NOT responsible for what his pastor says. The only real question is why did he not resign a decade ago. Obama is either a hypocrite, or more likely, as Wright accurately said, he is first and foremost a politician who joined the church that could most advance his career. The fact that he is well spoken is incidental. –
My response - - -

The comments are reprehensible but so is Rev Wright.


But Obama is NOT responsible for what his pastor says.

Agreed, again, but not as fully.

In this case, Obama, while not directly responsible for Wright’s racist and anti- Americanism pulpit rants, bears a considerable personal responsibility for “lending consent” to Wright by his membership in Trinity, his bringing his children to it for religious instruction, and his hefty financial support of Trinity.

The only real question is why did he not resign a decade ago. Obama is either a hypocrite, or more likely, as Wright accurately said, he is first and foremost a politician who joined the church that could most advance his career.

I don’t believe Wright has ever said Obama joined Trinity to advance his political career.

I won’t question Obama’s claim he joined Trinity for religious reasons.

To you Commenter and all others reading here, I’m sorry if I didn’t make clear before this that I don’t hold Obama responsible for what Wright’s preached, but for his, Obama’s, lending Wright’s ravings various forms of support and leaving thoughtful Americans who love this country to ask what sort of political leader would endorse and praise Wright until just recently.

Thank you for commenting.