Buck up, campers

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That might have been a better way to encourage the nation through tough economic times than what Sen. Phil Gramm said this week.

When Sen. John McCain’s chief economic adviser told Americans we’re in a “mental recession” and complaining too much, there may have been people who agreed with him. But McCain was not one of them. Yet again, a candidate’s surrogate has sent the campaign into damage control.

The criticism has been coming in from left and right, and McCain was one of the first to denounce the remarks. Michelle Obama’s remarks on the campaign trail about angry and frightened Americans are fair for comment and critique, and so are Gramm’s.

Both campaigns have been getting edgy lately, the Times notes.

Senators Barack Obama and John McCain have pledged to wage respectful, dignified and honest presidential campaigns.

Yet there was Mr. Obama this week,… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 11 JULY 2008

Barack’s friends

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All the media are devoting a lot of reporting and analysis, time and energy, to the latest controversy connected to Sen. Barack Obama.

Then along comes this little note from my friend Linda, with her perceptive comment.

Does anyone else see a trend developing?  A lot of Barack’s friends are apologizing — apologizing for just being themselves rather than who they want people to think they are.

The perception thing is the real point here.

click here to read whole article and make comments



We’re talking about race a lot in America

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And some of us didn’t know we were still so divided. Many thought the Obama candidacy finally proved that we’ve moved past that painful past. What it’s really done is put the issue front and center. And forced underlying issues to the surface.

Like the Rev. Jesse Jackson controversy of the moment. There’s a much better conversation going on beyond the buzz of talk shows and sensational journalism.

Like some of the points made in this little piece Fox put out online.

John McWhorter, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and author of “All About the Beat: Why Hip Hop Can’t Save Black America,” believes most black audiences connect with the message of figures like Obama and Cosby.

McWhorter, who is among those prominent black leaders who emphasize individual responsibility, told FOX News that the era when racism drove debate in black communities is over.

“Mainstream black… click here to read whole article and make comments



Where the candidates stand

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You almost have to search for it right now, but Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama have made statements about the Iran threat.

This, from The New York Times.

Iran’s saber-rattling missile tests quickly became a flash point in the presidential election on Wednesday as Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama each seized on the tests to try to validate their differing policies on Iran.

This is the first we’ve heard of McCain lately. It took Ahmadinejad to get him some attention.

Each man spoke of the growing threat posed by Iran, and each called for tougher penalties against the country. But Mr. Obama called once again for pursuing what he called “direct and aggressive diplomacy with the Iranian regime,” while Mr. McCain warned against that approach and said that the tests highlighted the need for a missile defense system in Europe.

click here to read whole article and make comments



It’s been a painful week for liberal Democrats

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Words can be so relative in politics and the culture these days. One man’s ‘flip-flop’ is another man’s ’shift in emphasis.’ Over the past week, some of the most liberal mainstream media have been pained to explain (or question) Sen. Obama’s lurch to the political center. Now they have to deal with Rev. Jesse Jackson’s critical remarks about Obama. Gut check time.

What happened? Here’s Reuter’s version:

U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson complained on Tuesday that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama can seem to be “talking down to black people” at times and should broaden his message.

How mild. That’s not exactly what he said….but that’s another story. Sticking with this for another minute…

But Jackson apologized for a disparaging remark about Obama at the weekend while he was speaking into an open microphone that he thought had been turned off and which CNN said… click here to read whole article and make comments



This week, it’s the economy

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At least this time, no one is adding “stupid”. We’re all in this bind, both presidential candidates have ideas for relieving it, and both are focusing needed attention on it starting this week. Neither one ‘owns’ the issue or clearly defines the solution.

What will they do?

The crush of bad economic news — six consecutive months of job losses, rising rates of home foreclosures, gasoline prices seemingly headed toward $5 a gallon — is increasingly setting the contours of the race between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.

Both candidates plan to spend this week focusing almost entirely on the economy. But both face political problems with the issue.

Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, has been shadowed by his statements earlier in the campaign that he is not expert in the subject of the economy and by the likelihood that voters will associate him with the economic… click here to read whole article and make comments



The new Mr. Obama

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Throughout the primary season, nearly all the media focused on the inevitability of Barack Obama. What they did not count on what that his trajectory would ultimately require him to accommodate some politics and policies they scorned.

This is change alright, and the New York Times editorial board doesn’t like it one bit. At least, not this writer.

First, he broke his promise to try to keep both major parties within public-financing limits for the general election. His team explained that, saying he had a grass-roots-based model and that while he was forgoing public money, he also was eschewing gold-plated fund-raisers. These days he’s on a high-roller hunt.

And he’s pulling them in, starting with billionaire George Soros. But the turnaround on public financing is just the beginning.

The new Barack Obama has abandoned his vow to filibuster an electronic wiretapping bill if it includes an immunity clause for… click here to read whole article and make comments



McCain needs new wheels

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Or something to get the express back on track. It’s either gone off the rails lately, or just seems to have. And it not only has to carry him and his campaign, but his whole party. That’s almost too much for any vehicle right now.

What’s happening to the Republicans? Here’s the opening statement on a piece in The American Spectator:

No question, the GOP brand is mush. President Bush’s popularity is in the tank. House Republicans cannot let go of earmarks or the Farm Bill.

At Human Events, Bob Novak reports:

From the standpoint of morale, enthusiasm, and confidence, the presidential election can be called no contest–Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain. The Republican candidate has not used the long period since he clinched the nomination to establish an effective campaign strategy. The level of depression among Republicans outside the McCain inner… click here to read whole article and make comments



Obama is running on the promise of change

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Trouble now is, some of his supporters see him changing some of his promises. As he appeals more to moderates and independents, liberal Democrats are finding his new outreach unappealing.

This AP analysis claims the Republicans are taking advantage of Obama’s change. It’s clearly written by one of his supporters, but all things in perspective, it makes some interesting points about the candidate.

On Iraq, Obama said Thursday that his upcoming trip there might lead him to refine his promise to quickly remove U.S. troops from the war.

He now supports broader authority for the government’s eavesdropping program and legal immunity for telecommunications companies that participated in it, supporting the bill after some protections were added.

The handgun control proponent reacted to the Supreme Court overturning the District of Columbia’s gun ban by saying he favors both an individual’s right to own a gun as well as government’s right… click here to read whole article and make comments



About 60 black activists staged a demonstration

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And almost no media came to cover it. In a presidential election year. In which race and politics and social issues are more prominantly debated than anytime in the last four decades.

The post below on this reports the basics. Let’s get back to that. There’s a fascinating and important story here.

The Washington Times is one of the only media that covered the event. Julia Duin has a few different stories on it - good reporting - and she originally noted that the absence of media coverage was oddly conspicuous. But that’s hard to find now. It may be there, I’m just not accessing it easily. So here’s what Duin reported the other day:

I noticed two discordant events during Thursday’s pro-life demonstrations by black activists on Capitol Hill.

One was the lack of TV cameras. They said a Fox crew showed up early, then… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Sheila Reports promises a perspective here that you may not be getting in mainstream media and the politically charged blogosphere. Don’t expect political correctness, because politics doesn’t determine what’s correct. This space is grounded in the natural law and moral order. And it expects civility, goodwill and an openness to truth and reason.

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