"Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid apologized on Saturday for saying Barack Obama should seek — and could win — the White House because Obama was a "light skinned" African-American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." -- Chicago Tribune
With his apology for the truth, Reid joins Vice-President Joe Biden on the shamed truth-teller podium for his 2007 remark: ""I mean, you got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."
Error slut Alessandra Stanley is at it again at the New York Times with An Appraisal - Cronkite’s Signature Mix of Authority and Approachability. Now there are corrections and corrections, but by any order of magnitude this is a whopper.
Correction: July 22, 2009 -- An appraisal on Saturday about Walter Cronkite’s career included a number of errors. In some copies, it misstated the date that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed and referred incorrectly to Mr. Cronkite’s coverage of D-Day. Dr. King was killed on April 4, 1968, not April 30. Mr. Cronkite covered the D-Day landing from a warplane; he did not storm the beaches. In addition, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, not July 26. “The CBS Evening News” overtook “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” on NBC in the ratings during the 1967-68 television season, not after Chet Huntley retired in 1970. A communications satellite used to relay correspondents’ reports from around the world was Telstar, not Telestar. Howard K. Smith was not one of the CBS correspondents Mr. Cronkite would turn to for reports from the field after he became anchor of “The CBS Evening News” in 1962; he left CBS before Mr. Cronkite was the anchor. Because of an editing error, the appraisal also misstated the name of the news agency for which Mr. Cronkite was Moscow bureau chief after World War II. At that time it was United Press, not United Press International.I'll give her a pass on the "editing error" of UP vs. UPI since that's laid off on some functionaries at the times that are laughably referred to as "editors." The rest of the roster, however, is just down to the kind of sloppy drivel that Stanley has become infamous for. I'd call for a special Dumbth Award with oakleaf cluster for getting the date of the moon landing wrong 3 (Three!) days before the 40th anniversary of same, but it is all too typical of this Timesian's bumbling career of error.
Craig Silverman @ CJR sums up her recent career score in Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong with
Stanley has been responsible for nine corrections so far this year. By my count in Nexis, she had fourteen corrections in 2008, twelve in 2007, and fifteen in 2006. Averaging just over a correction a month is not something to be proud of. But that’s still better than before she attracted so much attention. Stanley had twenty-three corrections in 2005, the year everyone noticed her predilection for error, and twenty-six in 2004. Perhaps the decline in corrections between 2005 and 2006 was in part due to the attention focused on her.But it goes beyond that when we reflect that the correction itself references an "editing error." With an error rate such as Stanley's you have to ask if there was any editing oversight at all on the story? Slim to none would be my guess.
This also raises into high relief the "fact based reality" of a lot of Times stories. After all, it cannot have been news to the newspaper that Walter Cronkite was, for many years now, on the way out. It cannot have escaped the people responsible for obituaries at the Times that they'd best keep their files up-to-date and factually bulletproof. Are these files kept in a New York Times fact lock-box so that scribblers such as Stanley can't access them? Is Wikipedia blocked at the Times much as Twitter is blocked at the White House? Or has the culture of lies, misdirection, "unnamed sources" that have no names, Obamallatio ™, and obfuscation set in so deeply at the New York Times that they just don't give a damn any longer?
I suspect it is the latter. Maureen Dowd avoids it all by just pulling her pungent quotes from "unnamed sources" out of her email or her ass. Maybe Stanley should do the same. The lingering question about her continued employment turns the crude question "Who do I have to blow around here to get a job" on its head to become, "Who does Stanley have to not blow at the New York Times to get fired?"
"Visas? I don't got to show you no steenkin' visas!" You'd think some people would at least try to stay on the down-low, but no. Marco Lugo walked through Miami International Airport Monday after arriving on a flight from Mexico City for a family visit.
Where's a suicide bomber when you need one? On the bus? Of course....Continued...
Michael Steele, the Already Rusting Great New Hope of the Republicans, beclowned himself -- not for the first and not for the last time -- when he offered up the brain-dead observation:
"Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh's whole thing is entertainment," Steele said. "Yes, it is incendiary. Yes, it is ugly."
Actually, it seems to me that the ugly thing going in the Republican Party these days is the cheap effort to "compete" with the style and appearance of the Democratic leadership rather than the substance of its nefarious aims. It certainly cannot be said that the rise of Steele is utterly unconnected to the election of Obama, but if Steele's slam of Limbaugh is indicative of his "substance," I'll wait for the resurrection of "The Know-Nothings or the Whigs before giving allegiance to any party.
I don't know about you, but I am fed up with the current Republican party-animal-line of trashing their supposed constituency.Continued...
Please help! I took my husband's i-phone and found a raunchy picture of him attached to an e-mail to a woman in his sent e-mail file (a Yahoo account). When I approached him about this (I think that he is cheating on me) he admitted that he took the picture but says that he never sent it to anyone. He claims that he went to the Genius Bar at the local Apple store and they told him that it is an i-phone glitch: that photos sometimes automatically attach themselves to an e-mail address and appear in the sent folder, even though no e-mail was ever sent. Has anyone ever heard of this happening? The future of my marriage depends on this answer! - Apple - Support - Discussions - Pictures automatically attach to e-mail? ...
Color me with many coats of Schadenfreude. I know, I know. I'm weak. I can't help it, but I just love stories like this: Times Company Stock Hits Another 52-Week Low
"With the new charge and related tax adjustments, the Times had a net loss of $106 million, or 74 cents a share, in the third quarter, compared with a profit of $13.4 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier."Continued...
That stalwart conservative and relentless social bouder, T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII (known as T-Bag to his twinks) has just chimed in with a ripping rant:
"How can I say this, you ask? One look at this Obama chap is all the answer you need. Suave, tanned, unflappable, Harvard connections; it's obvious that here is a man to the conservative manor born. One imagines him at the helm of the Ship of State, basked in the sunlight diffusing through the seaspray over the bow, like some beautiful rugged Othello from a rapturous Ralph Lauren catalog, calmly issuing instructions to the deck crew in that magnificent mellifluous baritone of his. It's that easy-going, almost effortless grace that has all the A-list conservatives like David Frum and Kathleen Parker whispering Reaganesque in hushed tones. Even Peggy Noonan -- the Grand Dame of Gipperism -- has succumbed to Obama's undeniable conservative charms. Just last month I listened to her wax poetic about the Adonis of Chicago between chukkers at the Newport Club polo tournament final. "Why Peggy, you old dowager," I quipped, "I believe you just had an orgasm." - iowahawk: As a Conservative, I Must Say I Do Quite Like the Cut of this Obama Fellow's JibJolly good, what?
Ah, the massed chants praising the leader rising in the background. The glazed eyes. The metronomic nodding. The sprinkling in of 3rd tier celebrities with ordinary people. The ritual gestures. The awestruck worship. The slickness. The repeating slogans. The slowly gathering masses.
When's the last time we saw this kind of popular delusion take hold of crowds?
And people like Ann Althouse are concerned with imagined letters in the night?
Some years ago I recall leafing through a slight volume of the collected sayings of New York City taxi drivers. One that stuck in my mind was that of a Bengali driver who observed, "Bicycle messengers, they thirst for death."
Watching the blistering salvos fired against a McCain ascendency throughout the net in the past week has put me in mind of that observation, only applied to the incondite arguments of recondite Republicans:
The gist of the Republican argument against McCain seems to be that he is not pure enough for many conservatives. I submit that that is precisely the point. The pure products of extreme ideology don't win elections in this country. The pure products of ideology start, well, civil wars.
NeoNeoCon has a long exegesis on this bizarre phenomenon at Conservatives jump the shark: party purity über alles where she states the obvious:
Candidates don't win by ideological purity. That's a delusion to which the extreme wings of both parties are subject.
But it turns out that for some, it's not even about winning. It's about party purification, about who owns the soul of the Republican Party.
It reminds me of the Biblical wandering in the desert. Forty years of that, and the Jews were ready to enter the Promised Land.
If you'd like a crash course in the current extreme Republican insanity, you might take a brief tour through the comments to that post above. Most illuminating when it comes to understanding that not all moonbats inhabit the cave on the left.
Does all this spuming and carping about McCain bode ill for his candidacy? I like to think not. I like to think that what we are seeing in the last week is simply the froth that always rises to the top of a hot cup of blather on the Internet.
Still, it is instructive to follow the heft of the arguments that shore up the ruins of the Republican party. These seem mostly to stem from McCain's real or imagined positions on "The Big 3 Issues" -- abortion, immigration, homosexuality -- plus -- just for fun -- some sort of running around outside his marriage a decade or more back. The latter is often thrown in because it just wouldn't be politics as usual without some mud in the mix.
Why the blow-up on the Right. It's not really about McCain. The conservative rage to my mind is powered not by the actual prospect of McCain candidacy itself. The looming reality of McCain's nomination brings a deeper failure into focus. That knowledge is powered by the unconscious awareness that, on "The Big 3 Issues", the culture war is over. And the conservatives have lost. Reaction? Consume your own.
Here's the news on "The Big 3 Issues:"
Abortion: Alas, this is a done deal. There will not come a time in the foreseeable future when abortion on demand will not be available in the United States. The best that can be hoped for at this point is a widespread understanding among the populace that abortion, though perfectly legal, is morally wrong except in certain, widely understood, circumstances. (And, no, I'm not going to spell those circumstances out -- that's up to you. Work it out with yourself, your family and your friends.)
The law and public morality are not coterminous, nor should they be. When they are the result is dhimmitude. Not really the state one is seeking, correct?
Homosexuality and gay marriage: This too is a done deal. To paraphrase Gay Rights activists from years ago, "They're here. They're queer. Get used to it."
Democracy, at the bottom, runs on a simple axiom: "Everybody's in. Nobody's out;" although these days you might want to cast the last part as 'Everybody's out.' If people want to enter into a state of marriage, that's up to them, not the state. The official recognition of gay people's right to be married or not married is merely generational. It will roll forward, couple by couple, state by state. As the poet says,
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
-- Omar Khayyam
Indeed, rather than resist the desire of gay Americans to marry, it seems to me that insecure straights who for some reason have it in for gays should welcome their entrance into the twisted state that secular marriage has become. After all, it is a staple of comedy that straight marriage brings not bliss but woe and regret and the death of romantic love. Think of the decades of rich comedy material gay marriage will bring all Americans. Think positive. Think -- "Gay Divorce Court." Ratings to the moon, Alice. To the moon!
Reversing Illegal Immigration: Done deal #3. I know that, like visions of sugarplums, visions of some sort of "fence" protecting America from the hordes of marching Mexicans dance in the heads of Americans who just want them all to turn around and march back. But, alas, that too joins the previous two issues in the category, "It Ain't Gonna Happen."
I know, believe me, all the designs for a kinder and gentler fence that will have hi-tech detectors and some sort of ready interdiction corps sitting on helicopter scramble pads across the southern border. I know all the arguments for expanding the ever-so-effective techniques used to stop the flow of illegal drugs to stop the flow of illegal aliens. None of these will prove any more effective than "The War on Some Drugs" we've be squandering billions on over the decades.
What would work would be some sort of East German wall 1,969 miles long. This monstrosity would have guard towers, mine fields, attack Dobermans, armored cars, and about 100,000 armed border guards with a shoot on sight policy (3 shifts of 17 guards per mile). After around 500 Mexican civilians were shot dead, this might have some effect on reducing the flow. I'm not quite ready for this draconian a solution. Are you?
Then there is the extended policy of finding those illegals here and, well, just deporting them. Another 25-watt idea.
Okay, let's follow that one home with the vision of hundreds of buses chock full of thousands of illegals (rounded up in armed swoops through the US barrios) departing daily for Tijuana and all points south. The first problem is finding and then imprisoning the illegals. That would mean raids into homes and apartment buildings around the country as well as stop and frisk identity checks on the street for "looking Mexican." Then you'll have to refurbish those Japanese internment camps in the Owens valley and elsewhere as holding pens. Think the Manzanar Concentration Camp to the 10th power on the outskirts of every major city. You start opening those up and armed Mexicans are going to be the least of your problems.
Which brings up the small problem of resistance since male members of La Raza are not known for their submissiveness. No, not all of these armed roundups would be met with a tug of the forelock submission. And it is best to remember that this America is, first and foremost, a heavily armed country -- especially in the barrios. Are you ready for gun fights across the US? I'm not sure I am. But that's what we'd get since many illegals, faced with internment and deportation on a mass scale, would not go quietly.
Next, let's suppose that, after countless "regrettable" deaths (Each one of which is given the full "Pobre Maria Treatment" on NPR and in the New York Times. Yes, your head will explode.), that after these deaths hundreds of thousands of Mexicans did indeed show up at the border in surplus Greyhound buses. (Don't kid yourself, we're going to need a lot of buses.) What if Mexico decided, "Hey, we don't recognize any of these people as ours, and just what do you mean 'looks' Mexican?"
Are we then going to use the armed forces to force Mexico to take back their huddled masses? And even if they did, do we really want a country as corrupt and unstable as Mexico to become even more unstable? If you want to see a wall come up on the southern border overnight, just wait until a full-scale revolution breaks out in Mexico. Think "American Civil War" X 2 with automatic weapons and plastique explosives. If one side wins you get Nazi Germany to the south. If the other side wins you get Communist China during "The Great Leap Forward." Neither is what you'd call a "desirable outcome." Either will make you wish for the status quo ante when decent yard work and fine tacos everywhere were a staple of American life.
For these reasons and many more, the concept that a McCain candidacy and presidency would be "unacceptable" to Republicans and Americans is, in the land of realpolitik, simply delusional. When you want "everything" out of a president, you get "nothing." Huckabee is not the answer since he's too evangelical for the middle. Romney is not the answer since, well, the middle feel -- no matter what you say about it -- there's something too weird about being a Mormon. McCain's not only the best shot at the middle, he's really -- when you come down to it -- all the Republicans have in their quiver. And in politics, you don't beat somebody with policies and purity. You gotta beat somebody with somebody.
This, of course, will neither still nor stifle the true believers among conservatives. Like the sorely afflicted BDS democrats who have yet to get over the fact that Al Gore lost the election of 2000 fair and square, so there will always be those MDS conservatives among us who have not gotten over the fact Goldwater was skunked by Johnson in 1964. History has no lessons to teach the true believer.
Many of these mossbacks seem to feel that four more years of the Clintons or the first four years of Obama will be a small price to pay for ideological purity.These folks simply will not see that, as the TV infomercials say, "AND... it doesn't STOP there!" I know I am shoveling seaweed against the tide here, but I would ask those people, for but a brief moment, to consider these two potential line-ups:
This is, for so many reasons, the Democrat dream ticket and the pure Conservative's worst nightmare. Not the least because it means, at the outside, the potential of 16 years of a Democrat with a big socialist jones in the Whitehouse. Let's spell that out: S I X T E E N - Y E A R S.
Give one party sixteen years in power and you could, dare I say, appoint every single justice of the Supreme Court. Especially if you've got congress on your side.
"Not voting" to register a protest is also, in this case, not an option. A "not vote" counts as two against you; the vote you did not cast and the vote you did not cancel.
So, what the Republicans have to ask themselves before signing off on the No-McCain purity test is, "Do you feel lucky? Well, punks, do you?"