RALEIGH, N.C.--Barack Obama seemed to mix up black television sitcoms "Sanford and Son" and "The Jeffersons" in a speech Wednesday, where he was making the point that if Social Security had ever been privatized--as Republicans tried to do a few years ago, folks invested in the stock market would have been whacked with giant losses because of the economic meltdown.
"Can you imagine if you had your Social Security invested in the stock market these last two weeks, these last two months.
You wouldn't need Social Security. You'd be having a, ya know like Sanford and Sons, 'I'm coming Weezy."
Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet told a Chicago radio duo this morning that Sen. Joe Biden was not referring specifically to Barack Obama in his now-famous comment at a fundraiser that the Illinois senator would be "tested" by a crisis in the first six months of his administration. (h/t e-mail tipster Rose Wagner)
LYNN SWEET, Chicago Sun-Times: It turns out that the Republican National Committee spent more than 150,000 [dollars on Gov. Palin's wardrobe].
DON WADE, co-host: Wait a minute. It's hard to focus on a story like that when Joe Biden is warning that we're going to have an international crisis if Barack Obama is elected and nobody wants to talk about that. Nobody's asked Joe Biden what do you mean by that?
Who you choose to surround yourself with makes you what you are and we already know Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama's associations with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko and William Ayers.
Today's dose of unintended humor from the Chicago Sun-Times is Mary Mitchell's "McCain slings mud up from the low road." It's a standard anti-John McCain diatribe from the increasingly venomous Mitchell. To buttress her contention, she falls into tailoring her facts:
Throughout his campaign, Obama has been loathe to talk about race. And frankly, that apparently was a winning strategy since most people can't talk about race without getting angry.
And while black people used to be accused of whining when they talk about race, we're now called racist for daring to believe anyone can be racist.
But white people can apparently talk about race and get away with it.
Sun-Times columnist Andrew Greeley called out Palin in a way only a white writer can.
OK, Mary, let's try this once more. Obama has not "been loathe to talk about race." He's the one - or do you prefer The One? - who injected race into the campaign.
The son of an 8-term Democratic congressman from Illinois has pleaded guilty to having sex with jail inmates under his charge, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group reported today. Yet the congressman's Democratic Party affiliation was left out of the story altogether:
The son of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush will spend six months in jail after pleading guilty to having sexual encounters with two female inmates and arranging encounters with another while serving as a state prison official.
Jeffrey M. Rush, 42, of the 700 block of Brookfield Court in Lake Zurich, pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of official misconduct and agreed to a sentence of 180 days in the Kane County Jail and three years probation, according to a release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.
Two of the charges stem from sexual relationships Rush had with two female prison inmates between Feb. 1 and June 18, 2007, while he was serving as head of security at the Fox Valley Adult Transition Center at 1329 Lake St. in Aurora, the release said.
"South Pacific" is a morality play for our time. Sarah Palin is the Ensign Nellie Forbush -- an All-American girl as racist, this time a racist with her eye on the White House. She can stir up crowds to shout "Kill him!" at the mention of the presidential candidate of the other party a couple of weeks before the national election.
Playing the race card explicitly merely guarantees what I have thought from the beginning -- racism in this country precludes the possibility of a sepia-colored man becoming president. However, the last-ditch attack on him guarantees that McCain and Palin will be blamed as the candidates who were content to hear crowds calling for the death of Obama.
Picking up on an AP story, the Chicago Sun-Times posted the now-infamous video of a group of kids singing about Sen. Barack Obama (paragraph breaks removed):
A video featuring children singing a song in tribute to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is a hit on YouTube, garnering 596,000-plus views in just one version. Obama's critics have ripped the song, comparing it to a video of North Korean children singing to their dictator. Supporters defend it as just cute children singing. Judge for yourself.
Nowhere in the brief Web site posting did the Sun-Times or the AP note that professional Hollywood expertise went into the production of the video. As blogger Bob Owens noted at Confederate Yankee:
In a Thursday story by Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney that has been linked by Drudge, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on the latest developments relating to what was supposed to be a Barack Obama-sponsored $1.1 million botanical garden in an economically blighted area on the South Side of Chicago -- complete with "a gazebo, a parrot sanctuary, and a walk of fame."
While an Illinois state senator in 2001, Obama, as the Sun-Times reported in July, "gave $100,000 in state money to a campaign volunteer who failed to deliver" on the initial phase of the work or to garner additional community funds, leaving "what was supposed to be a six-block stretch of trees and paths ..... a field of unfulfilled dreams, strewn with weeds, garbage and broken pavement."
Now Illinois' Attorney General is investigating, and has determined where much of the money went -- sort of (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Get the scene. The McCain/Palin ticket wins in November and soon afterwards mobs of wild eyed bible-toting evangelicals will burn stacks of books in giant bonfires. Sound ridiculous? Well, that is exactly what Andrew Greeley is laughably claiming in his latest Chicago Sun-Times column ominously titled, "Next Chapter for radical right: Burn books." Years ago, Greeley sounded somewhat sane but lately he has gone off the deep end such as his claim in June that it is racist not to vote for Obama. Greeley's latest sanity-challenged screed presents a bleak future of crazed book-burning evangelicals taking over the country. Try not to laugh too hard as you read Greeley's rantings (emphasis mine):
By now you may have read how former Democratic presidential contender Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) has canceled her planned appearance at an anti-Ahmadinejad protest in New York City due to the fact that John McCain's running mate would also be in attendance. In reporting her decision to back out of attending, the AP's Devlin Barrett dutifully pushed the Clinton line that she was "blindsided" by the Gov. Sarah Palin invite:
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has canceled an appearance at a New York rally next week after organizers blindsided her by inviting Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, aides to the senator said Tuesday.
Several American Jewish groups plan a major rally outside the United Nations on Monday to protest against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Chicago Sun-Times picked up on the "blindsided" language in Barrett's lede and used it in the headline for the article on the paper's Web site: "Hillary blindsided: Palin also got rally invite."
You don't see this in the media every day. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed offers a counter argument to those that use the mainstream media pulpit to attack Sarah Palin from the feminist mantle. While peers like Mary Mitchell display their disdain for Sarah Palin with emotional editorial outbursts Michael Sneed is lending Palin some support in her column headlined "Revoke my feminist card -- I like Palin".
Hmmm. Maybe . . . I am not a feminist after all.
Maybe . . . working in a man's world for 42 years and busting my butt to beat them up the ladder deletes me from the feminist category.
Perhaps . . . struggling to be a good single mom in a very married world -- yet meeting my five-day-a-week column deadline -- doesn't earn me a feminist handle either.
Certainly . . . because I'm not appalled or sickened or shocked by Sarah Palin's stealing the thunder from Obama the orator, I am not a feminist.
Here at Newsbusters we are not surprised to see liberal bias in the media. In fact it is to be expected. But there are degrees of bias; typically falling somewhere in between the subtle undertones of contextually stretched reporting to the overtly blatant thrill up the leg sort.
But there is another type of bias that is so mean spirited and over the top that you have to wonder if we aren’t observing a nervous breakdown on a mass scale. It seems that many in the media are becoming unglued over the concept of a McCain-Palin ticket.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Lynn Sweet, seems to have changed hats from journalist to Obama fundraiser promoter. In reporting on new fundraising efforts by the Obama campaign due to their worry over the energized McCain-Palin team, Lynn slips from straight reporting to acting as a flat out PR agent for an upcoming Chicago fundraiser. First Lynn mentions the new concern about the rise of the Republican presidential team in her column:
WASHINGTON--The McCain-Palin ticket is up in the polls--but wait--it's a fund-raising opportunity for the Obama team, a chance to sound the alarm to high end female donors. The Obama campaign is planning a major fund-raising push aimed women next month in Chicago. Men are welcome--if they donate at least $1,000--the price of a general admission ticket. To be a national chair of the event, raise $100,000 or contribute $57,000
The media and the Obama campaign (but I repeat myself) are comparing the "experience" of'the Democrats' presidential nominee to that of the GOP's vice-presidential pick -- meaning, one must assume, that the debate over his experience vs. John McCain's is over, in McCain's resounding favor.
Let's look back a couple of months at a post I put up on July 14 (with minor revisions) that gives a, uh, concrete example of one of Barack Obama's management "experiences" -- one that the national media has (of course) totally ignored.
After hearing Palin speak, I'm afraid she's going to take McCain someplace he doesn't really want to go.
During her debut, Palin electrified the Republicans, but she also shook up every registered voter in the 'hood.
Besides mocking the historic breakthrough of Barack Obama emerging as the Democrats' nominee, Palin was relentless in her use of language that reinforces divisions among black and white voters -- particularly pitting small-town people against the rest of us.
Mitchell doesn't provide examples of the governor's relentless use of divisive language, so we're expected to just accept her assertion. Moreover, the columnist doesn't mention how the "small-town people against the rest of us" sentiment may have been initiated. The Washington Post reported on August 30:
This morning Mitchell is heaping a new sort of praise onto Sarah Palin, implying that her speech was a mean spirited attack, labeling her as backwoods and stating that discussing her record of experience is a "Republican ploy", i.e. - a trick to highlight Barack Obama's lack of experience.
Sarah Palin may come from the backwoods of Alaska, but she has the heart of a street fighter.
So Democrats shouldn't get entangled in the Republicans' "experience" ploy.
Palin isn't on the Republican ticket because she has been the governor of Alaska for two years.
The people who cooked up this scheme don't care whether Palin will be a heartbeat away from the presidency if something happens to the 72-year-old McCain.
Palin's on the ticket because she's a woman and she isn't afraid to engage in the Republicans' mean-spirited personal attacks.
The following is the News Alert on the front page of one of Sen. Barack Obama's hometown papers (emphasis mine):
John John McCain tapped little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate on Friday in a startling selection on the eve of the Republican National Convention. In an announcement, the campaign said that Palin, who has been governor less than two years, "has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of."
Kind of amusing considering Chicago is the town that brought America a little-known junior senator to prominence as the Democratic nominee for the presidency.
Jay Mariotti, a firebrand sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, announced he is quitting the print biz loudly proclaiming that newspapers are "dying" and that he didn't want to go down with the ship of the struggling industry. Naturally, the management of the Sun-Times is not amused.
Mariotti told Chicago's CBS 2 news that newspapers are in serious trouble and he wanted out before he was forced out. "It's been a tremendous experience, but I'm going to be honest with you, the profession is dying,'' Mariotti told CBS 2, "I don't think either paper [Sun-Times or Chicago Tribune] is going to survive.
Windy City newspapers this morning are devoting coverage to a he said/she said mini-scandal roiling among Democratic Convention delegates. From the Chicago Sun-Times.:
DENVER -- A black Hillary Clinton delegate on Sunday accused state Senate President Emil Jones of calling her an "Uncle Tom."
Jones -- Barack Obama's political mentor -- denied using the racially loaded slur against Chicago political consultant Delmarie Cobb, but two aldermen who said they witnessed the Saturday night exchange back up Cobb's account.
"Last night, I was called an 'Uncle Tom' by Emil Jones in the lobby of the hotel, right in front of [Ald.] Freddrenna Lyle and [Ald.] Leslie Hairston and [Ald.] Latasha Thomas," said Cobb, a member of Clinton's Illinois Steering Committee. "I walked over to him and asked him, 'What did you just call me?' "
The embarrassing flap came on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, which will open tonight with a string of Chicago speakers talking about Obama's life story. Jones is often referred to as Obama's "political godfather.''
Today's Chicago Sun-Times features "It's time for Obama to prove his passion" by columnist Carol Marin. Amazingly, she finds an itsy bitsy problem with Barack Obama; he's just too darn cerebral. He needs to show voters what's truly in his heart, the things about which he's genuinely passionate. Marin manages to take a quick swipe at President Bush:
But Obama is a guy, wide smile and well-crafted message notwithstanding, who seems to give the electorate more of his head than of his heart. And though, lord knows, after George Bush we need a president with a head, the heart part is not incidental.
For 10 minutes, the talk show host grilled his guests about whether "George Bush's mental weakness is damaging America's credibility at home and abroad." For 10 minutes, the caption across the bottom of the television screen read, "IS BUSH AN 'IDIOT'?"
Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama has positioned himself as the champion of the poor and all those that can't afford health insurance.
Maybe he should direct his efforts to the hospital his wife Michelle works for, as it appears the University of Chicago Medical Center "steers patients who don't have private insurance -- primarily poor, black people -- to other health care facilities."
As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times Saturday (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer saw the light, photo courtesy NY Daily News):
"Daley scoffs at worries of political purge," reads a August 20 Chicago Sun-Times headline recording the dismissive reaction of the city's Democratic mayor about how his city worker firing spree could turn into a political purge. Only Daley's Democratic Party affiliation was nowhere mentioned in Fran Spielman's nine paragraph story:
Mayor Daley on Tuesday scoffed at a federal hiring monitor's demand for guarantees to prevent the threatened layoff of well over 1,000 city employees from turning into a political purge.
"A layoff is done because of union rules. I don't know where you get that" concern about firings based on politics, Daley told reporters after a firefighters graduation ceremony at Navy Pier.
For the first time since 1984, after six successive appearances on the podium, the Rev. Jesse Jackson will not address the Democratic National Convention in Denver later this month.
There are people who will applaud that fact. I won't be among them.
In her tribute to Jackson, Marin claims that "the unassailable fact of the matter is that he helped set the stage for the history that has already been made this year as an African American and a woman finished first and second in the race to nomination." Whether he indeed "helped set the stage" is in my mind questionable given Jackson's polarizing influence, but that's just a matter of opinion.
Obama can certainly lose this race. But McCain's going to have to find a better way to win it than by invoking Paris Hilton or by sniping in his most recent ad how "life in the spotlight must be grand but for the rest of us, times are tough."
What's tough for McCain is that despite having had a practice run at the presidency once before, it didn't limber him up, cause him to realize that even the elderly now skillfully navigate the Internet or help him craft a "vision thing."
In the short run, jealous jabs at Obama for having too much face time on the covers of Rolling Stone and GQ may appear to close the gap in national polls. But the aggregation of images -- Obama in Germany, Obama with his cute girls and beautiful wife, Obama visiting his grandmother in Hawaii -- is by dribs and drabs helping America feel familiar with him, visualize him on foreign soil, and see him, perhaps, as both human and presidential.
In some ways the tightening numbers work for Obama, not against him.
The Chicago Sun-Times today includes Mary Mitchell's column, "We can deny it, but race slithers into campaign." The subheadline reads "Obama, his campaign trying to transcend it -- but can't." The article makes a startling assertion about Senator Barack Obama:
Obama tries to avoid talking about race, as do his surrogates, staffers and supporters.
In her August 4 blog post -- "Energy fueling Monday's agenda. Obama, 47 today, acts, McCain reacts" -- Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet glossed over a ludicrous statement by Sen. Barack Obama wherein the presumptive Democratic nominee suggested that properly inflating tires would eliminate the need to drill for more domestic oil.
Sweet noted that Republicans are :
[P]laying defense, because talking about oil prices is the Obama team agenda--are offering tire gauges to reporters, mocking Obama for suggesting that people keep their tires inflated properly in order to save gas.
But the Illinois senator didn't just echo some public service announcment about how properly inflated tires improve fuel economy. What Obama critics are making light of is this recent comment from last week where he suggested it does much, much more. It would eliminate our need to drill for more oil (emphasis mine):