Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Friday Fun

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  • James Bremner,

    Obama's has had another nutty preacher blow up in his face over the last few days, another 20 year friend and acquaintance who is a complete loon, called Father Pfleger, and he and his wife have withdrawn his membership from the now world famous Trinity Church.

    It will be hard for Obama to convincingly distance himself from all this crazy stuff, it is now clear that this is way beyond an isolated happening; it is pretty clearly a long established pattern of behavior of his. You are who your friends, acquaintances and colleagues are. I would tend to think that this nutty pastor stuff is a bigger problem for Obama than Willie Horton was for Dukakis. It goes directly to his narrative, the post racial healer, which has been so appealing. How can a post racial healer have these kind of guys as his friends and spiritual advisors? The views that these nutty pastors espouse are far outside the mainstream in the US.

    Two questions spring to mind. How on earth did Hillary not find out about this and use it to stop Obama, and how did the people who have backed and promoted Obama not found out about this and, if they did, then not realize that is a very serious, potentially fatal problem in a general election?

    Maybe the legendary Clinton political machine is not so effective after all. I assumed that if there was any dirt anywhere on Obama, Hillary would find it, after all she was in charge of destroying the women her husband had slept with or abused (or raped - Juanita Brodderrick) who popped up as a problem when they were in the White House. She was very effective and utterly ruthless at this task (the feminist aspect of this, a woman trashing other woman to protect her husband is a topic for a whole other discussion)

    The other interesting thing right now is that the meta narrative on the US is changing, specifically Iraq, Afghanistan, Al Qaida and the US economy.

    A foundation stone of the liberal media, the WaPo editorial page, is telling Bazza that he needs a plan for success in Iraq. If progress is so obvious that even the MSM can’t ignore or deny it any longer, things really have changed for the better.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/31/AR2008053101927.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    US deaths in Iraq are at the lowest point since the beginning of the war and progress continues to accelerate:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSL01687040

    Afghanistan is getting better as, like the insurgents in Iraq, the Taliban have been on the receiving end of a good old fashioned ass kicking:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/frontline/2062440/Afghanistan%27s-Taliban-insurgents-%27on-brink-of-defeat%27.html

    Al Qaida is in a downward spiral (again, this is from the WaPo, MSM outlets are always lagging indicators on this subject)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/29/AR2008052904116.html?hpid=topnews

    Muslims decide Al Qaida sucks, after all:

    http://hstoday.us/content/view/3621/128/

    And the US economy is not going to go into recession this year. If it didn't in the first quarter (growth revised up from 0.6% to 0.8%, 2.5% ttm) there is no reason to believe that it will go into recession and any later quarters, the credit crunch is past and oil is more likely to go down than up going forward.

    Bazza will need to change his tune of doom and despondency on these subjects to reflect these new realities, but he has tied himself very strongly to the pessimistic view, which the articles above prove to be a poor exercise of judgment. So like resigning from Trinity after 20 years, it will strain credibility when he changes his tune on these big picture subjects.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Obama's has had another nutty preacher blow up in his face over the last few days, another 20 year friend and acquaintance who is a complete loon, called Father Pfleger, and he and his wife have withdrawn his membership from the now world famous Trinity Church.

    Thanks James -- it's always handy to get an update on what the right-wing talking points are.

    Pfelger's speech taunting Clinton was a calamity, and he's clearly unorthodox, but his Wikipedia article actually makes him sound quite admirable:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Pfleger

    Certainly, Obama has closer links to Pfelger than McCain has to Hagee and Parsley, but they're several orders of magnitude crazier than Pfelger is. Parsley is on record declaring that America was created to destroy Islam, and Hagee's opinions on Jews and Catholics are basically fascist.

    Bazza will need to change his tune of doom and despondency on these subjects to reflect these new realities, but he has tied himself very strongly to the pessimistic view ...

    Haha. Good one. I'd think his challenge revolves more around not blowing the chance to take advantage of unprecedented dissatisfaction with the incumbent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    BTW, James, did you realise Pfleger is a Catholic? Please, Senator McCain, go out and tell seventy million Catholic voters that they're a pack of whack jobs.

    You are who your friends, acquaintances and colleagues are.

    Unless you're a Republican -- Wright is wrong, but kissing up to hate-mongering clerics is A-OK as long as they're white and right(-wing).

    Bazza will need to change his tune of doom and despondency on these subjects to reflect these new realities, but he has tied himself very strongly to the pessimistic view ...

    Well, a little reality in the room would be welcome. Whether that's going to come from someone who's been having (under-reported) "verb tense problems" when talking about troop numbers in Iraq today. Oy...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    the feminist aspect of this, a woman trashing other woman to protect her husband is a topic for a whole other discussion

    James Bremner, Feminist Theorist. Now I've really heard it all!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3669 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    James Bremner, Feminist Theorist. Now I've really heard it all!t

    And with nary a hairy armpit, too. Bewdy.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    A brief return to Friday Fun-ness. This vid (NSFW: language) is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. (tip from Spareroom).


    A first ever look at the man behind the camera that set off Bill O'Reilly's Inside Edition tirade.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Thanks James -- it's always handy to get an update on what the right-wing talking points are.

    I've always previously got them from www.rightwingtalkingpoints.com, but having James around is like our own private RSS feed.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6227 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    With regard to Pfleger:

    "but his Wikipedia article actually makes him sound quite admirable:"

    Well that should tell you a thing or two about Wikipedia, shouldn't it? The guy is a certifiable nut case. Period.

    Craig, yes I do realize that Pleger is a Catholic. Shame on the Catholic Church that they hadn't cleaned this guy out a long time ago, but that would be par for the course for that institution.

    The issue for Obama is not so much the fact that his pastors are ignorant morons, but rather that his pastors completely contradict his post racial healer rhetoric that he used to introduce himself to the American public, and which is at the core of his attractiveness. And he has been closely connected with these guys for the majority of his adult life.

    In contrast McCain has been around since Adam. Everybody feels they know who he is and what he is about, like it or not, and it will take something quite significant to change that, a lot more than the endorsement of a couple of pastors of dubious distinction. Consequently, his pastors aren't getting much attention at all in the media (any segment of the media), and I don't see that changing.

    Bazza will need to change his tune of doom and despondency on these subjects to reflect these new realities, but he has tied himself very strongly to the pessimistic view ...

    Well, a little reality in the room would be welcome.

    Craig, I linked to a WaPo editorial that was telling Bazza to get a new narrative on Iraq. When a liberal gets told to get a grip by the WaPo, you know they have a problem!!

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    the feminist aspect of this, a woman trashing other woman to protect her husband is a topic for a whole other discussion

    James Bremner, Feminist Theorist. Now I've really heard it all!

    Hillary Clinton, who got where she is not on her own merit, but as the wife of Bill, who trashed women to protect her husband, and who allowed herself to be treated like a piece of shit over a period of decades by an adulterous husband (bloody dangerous in the age of Aids). Quite how she is a great feminist icon escapes me, but as you allude to, feminism is most definitely not my area of expertise.

    Still, warts and all, I would vote for her in a heartbeat ahead of Baz OBambi , if they were the two choices on a ballot I was casting.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, yes I do realize that Pleger is a Catholic. Shame on the Catholic Church that they hadn't cleaned this guy out a long time ago, but that would be par for the course for that institution.

    Yes, James. But I'm sure you're very pleased lDouglas Kmiec -- American law prof whose conservative bona fides are as close to impeccable as as you can get -- was denied communion because of his public endorsement of Obama.

    If anyone need to be told to pull his fucking head in, I think Pleger should get in line behind those who presume to use the sacraments as an offensive political weapon in a manner that, to be blunt, constitutes a serious breech of cannon law.

    I know that probably means nothing to you, James. But it scares the shit out of me. And before Republicans get too keen about this turn of affairs, they should have a look at church teaching regarding torture.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    James, why pretend you'd ever vote for either of 'em?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And just as a matter of interest James, how would you feel about the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference instructing priests to refuse communion to known supporters of parties that don't act in full conformity with their teachings? How sending out a pastoral letter the week before the general election instructing New Zealand Catholics how to vote, on pain of excommunication?

    Giving the term "bully pulpit" a meaning Teddy R. never intended might be interesting, but I sure don't think it's a healthy or desirable innovation.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Hillary Clinton, who got where she is not on her own merit, but as the wife of Bill, who trashed women to protect her husband, and who allowed herself to be treated like a piece of shit over a period of decades by an adulterous husband (bloody dangerous in the age of Aids). Quite how she is a great feminist icon escapes me, but as you allude to, feminism is most definitely not my area of expertise.

    Heh. Parsing that paragraph might actually be beyond my mental capacity. It's, like, really sexist *and* fake-assed feminist *and* dismissive, but all at once! You've got skillz...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3669 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Hillary Clinton, who got where she is not on her own merit, but as the wife of Bill

    I'm not a fan of Clinton, but I think she had just a little bit to do with both getting herself to where she is, and getting her husband to where he got to as well.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6227 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Just so, Danielle. One of the really clever things about James' oh-so-predictable piece of misogyny is that he disses Hillary Clinton for having the courage to stay in a marriage and be faithful to her marriage vows, even though her husband was cheating on her, whereas if she had chosen to leave him, he could have dissed her for breaking up her marriage. Amazing.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Jeebus, James, do try and keep up. GI JOHN HEARTS HILLZ!

    Meta-ironic money quote:

    After noting that he and Clinton had "stark differences" on issues, McCain continued: "But I admire the campaign she has run and I think she deserves a great deal of credit."

    Awww...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Pfleger is fantastic & Wright was right.

    I love these guys. I haven't seen any hate from either of them, enthusiastic proponents of another point of view, but not hate.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    James, firstly your definition of the WaPo as the 'liberal media' when one considers how hard they banged the drum for the Iraq war is just plain odd.

    Secondly, I find the your gloating over progress there (Iraqis were dying at 20 a day last month still..good news indeed, eh?) more vile than odd.

    I'm pleased that violence is down...after half a decade it should be, but no drop in violence is gonna turn what is and was a disaster in a thousand different ways into anything else or return whatever number of Iraq corpses to the land of the living. It's not that easy.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    With regard to Pfleger:

    "but his Wikipedia article actually makes him sound quite admirable:"

    Well that should tell you a thing or two about Wikipedia, shouldn't it? The guy is a certifiable nut case. Period.

    Oh, come on James. Did you read the article? Or was there no need to risk finding out something that might contradict the talking points?

    Anyway, he made an apology.

    I'm more disturbed by the deluge of hate mail and death threats Pfleger got than by anything he actually said.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    And James, perhaps a little does of reality to temper your unpleasant gloat fest.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This suggests that, fortunately, the truly crazed Clinton supporters are noisy, but not numerous.

    **Clinton donors poised to back Obama**
    By Matthew Garrahan in Los Angeles

    A leading fundraiser for Hillary Clinton says her supporters will back Barack Obama with donations once he finally wins the Democratic presidential nomination, and says Mr Obama could raise as much as $500m to spend on the election campaign.

    Mr Obama has raised about $240m to date, thanks in part to an internet campaign that has attracted individual donations from more than 1.5m people.

    But Noah Mamet, a Democratic party consultant and fundraiser who has organised high-profile events in Los Angeles for Mrs Clinton, told the Financial Times that Mr Obama’s finances would be boosted by Mrs Clinton’s backers, when he wins the nomination.

    “Almost all [Clinton’s] donors will support Obama,” he said, adding that Mr Obama’s online campaign had yet to realise its full potential. “Eighty per cent of people who have given money to the Obama campaign [via the internet] haven’t come close to giving him the maximum amount.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    looks like she's all over, at least according to the Huffington Post headlines

    CLINTON TO DELIVER MAJOR SPEECH IN NEW YORK TOMORROW NIGHT
    Expected To Suspend Campaign... Major Donors, Supporters Coming... Bill: "This May Be The Last Day I'm Ever Involved In A Campaign Of This Kind"... Major Hillary Supporter Vilsack: It's Over... Majority Whip Jim Clyburn Endorses Obama... CNN: Most Uncommitted Senators To Endorse Obama... Top Advisor: Clinton Wants To "Significantly" Help Obama... Obama, Clinton Speak About Post-Primary Coordination...

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    James:

    You might also care to ask yourself WTF the Republican Party has come to when someone like Kmiec (who only becomes a liberal if you've dropped a mega-dose of very bad acid) is saying "laters" and endorsing a Democrat. FFS, we are talking about someone who teaches at Pepperdine (which is hardly Berkeley); a highly vocal anti-abortion advocate; and was an advisor to Mitt freaking Romney. He also held a senior post in the Reagan Justice Department.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    Craig,
    With regard to the Catholic Church what has surprised me for along time is that they still give the sacrements to staunch abortion advocates, people who enable something the Church considers a terrible sin. The Pope was over here recently and he gave communion to Ted Kennedy, Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi amongst others. What is the point of considering something a sin if you play all cutsey with those that enable it?

    I am not a Catholic or a particularly religious person, but it seems to me that the Catholic Church or any Church should be able to give or not give communion as they see fit. How is it that outside people or organizations should dictate to them how they are to conduct their Church, as long as they are with in the law.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    Craig,
    You are correct about the Republican party. They got spanked in 06 over spending, earmarks and corruption, but they don't seem to have learnt a thing. Just the other day they joined the Dems in passing a massive and bloated and in todays high agricultural prices, totally unneccessary Farm bill. With today's high gas prices pissing everyone off, they should be beating the Dems like a rented mule over the fact that the Dems have for decades prevented any expansion of drilling and production of oil in the US which would make a huge difference (and reduce the importance of the Middle East). But what are they doing on this? Nothing, absolutely nothing. It is like they want to be beaten, it is pathetic.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

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