Patterico's Pontifications

4/13/2008

Jeremiah Wright, In His Words (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 6:24 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Rev. Jeremiah Wright is on sabbatical from his position as pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ but he used a congregant’s eulogy to share his views on America and its Founding Fathers:

“The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., former pastor of Barack Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ, has kept a low profile since some of his sermons landed him in the middle of a political firestorm.

But on Saturday Wright made his first extensive public remarks since the controversy began as he paid tribute to his friend, former appellate judge R. Eugene Pincham, a congregant at Trinity since 1987.
***
And while Wright made no mention of terrorism, he did revisit the topic of America’s mistreatment of blacks, saying America’s founding fathers “planted slavery and white supremacy in the DNA of this republic,” and adding that Thomas Jefferson wrote, “‘God would punish America for the sin of slavery.’ I guess that makes Thomas Jefferson unpatriotic,” he said to the cheers of the congregation.”

Jeremiah Wright could be channeling Fred Phelps when he claims God will punish America for its sins. Still, I guess now we know that Wright believes bigotry (and, by extension, affirmative action) will never end. After all, if racism is in America’s DNA, it must be here to stay.

In addition, Wright also had a few choice words for Fox News and its broadcasters:

“Escalating into full-preaching mode, Wright thundered, “Fox News can’t understand that. [Bill] O’Reilly will never get that. Sean Hannity’s stupid fantasy will keep him forever stuck on stupid when it comes to comprehending how you can love a brother who does not believe what you believe. [Pincham’s] faith was a faith in a God who loved the whole world not just one country or one creed.”

At that point, congregants nearly drowned Wright out with a booming standing ovation.

Wright also referred to Fox News as “Fix News.”

You can listen to the audio at the Chicago Sun-Times website.

UPDATE Fox News adds:

“Rev. Jeremiah Wright told a congregation in Norfolk, Va., on Sunday that reporters sneaked into a private funeral service a day before, in which he blasted America’s founding fathers for slavery and white supremacy and received standing ovations for attacking FOX News for covering his anti-American sermons.

Barack Obama’s retiring pastor delivered a sermon at Bank Street Memorial Baptist Church, where his late uncle had been the pastor, about overcoming trouble. The public appearance was his first since news broke that the Democratic presidential candidate’s pastor frequently rails on the United States.

“Some troubles that come up in your life come up out of nowhere,” Wright said. At the end of the two-hour-plus service, about two dozen ministers gathered around Wright and his daughter to pray for them. One of the ministers asked God to give Wright courage as “the world tries to demonize him.”

Wright reportedly also said that Thomas Jefferson partook in “pedophilia.”

— DRJ

Deconstructing Obama’s Statements about Small-Town Americans

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 3:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From Victor Davis Hanson posted at the Corner:

“Here is what Sen. Obama said:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Here is what Sen. Obama now says he said:

“So I said, ‘Well, you know, when you’re bitter you turn to what you can count on,’ ” he continued. “So people they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country or they get frustrated about, you know, how things are changing. That’s a natural response.”

VDH’s analysis of Obama’s statements piece-by-piece, with Hanson’s comments in bold:

Then: “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them …”

Now: ‘Well, you know, when you’re bitter you turn to what you can count on,’ he continued. “So people they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community.”

“1. Note how version #1’s “cling” becomes version #2’s “vote about” and “take comfort from”—as the condescending dismissal becomes empathetic understanding.

2. Note how version #1’s “religion” and “antipathy to people who aren’t like them” becomes version #2’s “faith” and “their family and community” —as fundamentalist xenophobes now become beleaguered folks who band together against the unfairness.”

Then: “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to … anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Now: “And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country or they get frustrated about, you know, how things are changing. That’s a natural response.”

“3. Note how version #1’s “anti-immigrant” becomes version #2’s “mad about illegal immigrants” —as the nativist who opposes all immigrants, legal and illegal, now becomes understandably angry only about those coming here illegally.

4. Note how version #1’s “as a way to explain their frustrations” becomes version #2’s “they get frustrated about” as the misguided scape-goaters become those who react understandably to adversity.

5. Note no explanation in version #2 for version #1’s “anti-trade sentiment”—and no wonder since Obama himself is embarrassed that so far he’s voiced far more “anti-trade sentiment” than those he caricatured.”

6. Note how version #1’s “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter” becomes version #2’s “your’e” and “you” and “Thats a natural response”, as the condescending use of the embittered and distant “they” now morphs into a kindred “you” and the quip “not surprising” becomes the sympathetic “natural.”

Finally, VDH notes that what Obama didn’t say tells us more than what he did:

Then: “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.”

Now: “_______”

“7. Note how version #1’s idiotic logic that Middle-America has only become religious or pro-gun in the last 25 years as a result of job loss is simply omitted [in the second version].

8. Note how there is sudddenly no “context” for the landscape of version #1: an elite Bay-area audience that is told stories about those Pennsylvanian gun-toting zealots.”

I have thought for some time that Obama is trying to adopt John Edwards’ “Two Americas” strategy but Obama’s version isn’t as refined as Edwards’. Some have speculated that may be why Edwards hasn’t endorsed Obama. Ultimately, Obama will have to come up with something more than change for his platform so I expect that, in the future, he will refine his message to sound more like John Edwards’.

— DRJ

Politico: Hillary is Holding Back on Obama

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Politico claims that Clinton advisers believe that if Obama is the Democratic nominee, Republicans will unleash on Obama in a way Hillary has been unwilling to do, and it will ensure a Democratic loss next November:

“In fact, the Democratic race has not been especially rough by historical standards. What’s more, our conversations with Democrats who speak to the Clintons make plain that their public comments are only the palest version of what they really believe: that if Obama is the nominee, a likely Democratic victory would turn to a near-certain defeat.

Far from a no-holds-barred affair, the Democratic contest has been an exercise in self-censorship.

Rip off the duct tape and here is what they would say: Obama has serious problems with Jewish voters (goodbye Florida), working-class whites (goodbye Ohio) and Hispanics (goodbye, New Mexico).

Republicans will also ruthlessly exploit openings that Clinton — in the genteel confines of an intraparty contest — never could. Top targets: Obama’s radioactive personal associations, his liberal ideology, his exotic life story, his coolly academic and elitist style.

This view has been an article of faith among Clinton advisers for months, but it got powerful new affirmation last week with Obama’s clumsy ruminations about why “bitter” small-town voters turn to guns and God.

There’s nothing to say that the Clintonites are right about Obama’s presumed vulnerabilities. But one argument seems indisputably true: Obama is on the brink of the Democratic nomination without having had to confront head-on the evidence about his general election challenges.”

There’s much more at the link, including that Hillary won’t drop out of the race because she is on a mission “to save Democrats from themselves.”

I’ll be right back. I need a drink to wash down all this popcorn.

— DRJ

Bill Richardson Talks about the Clintons

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:30 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Bill Richardson’s March 21st endorsement of Barack Obama came at a critical time for Obama because he was under attack for his connection to and support of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Now Obama is again being criticized — this time for comments he made about small-town Americans — and who should come forward with an attention-getting interview but Bill Richardson.

In an LA Times interview, Richardson re-visits why he didn’t endorse Hillary Clinton:

“Before he endorsed Barack Obama, before he drew the wrath of the Clintons and was likened to Judas, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson nearly endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president.

But Richardson hesitated, and as the Democratic campaign turned ugly, he grew angry.There was that “3 a.m.” TV ad, in which Clinton questioned Obama’s personal mettle. “That upset me,” Richardson said.

There were some ham-fisted phone calls from Clinton backers, who questioned Richardson’s honor and suggested that the governor, who served in President Clinton’s Cabinet, owed Hillary Clinton his support. “That really ticked me off,” Richardson said.

Still, even as he moved from Clinton toward Obama — “the pursuit was pretty relentless on both sides” — Richardson wrestled with the question of loyalty. After 14 years in Congress and a measure of fame as an international troubleshooter, Richardson was named Clinton’s U.N. ambassador, then Energy secretary: “two important appointments,” Richardson said.

He finally concluded that he had settled his debt to the former president: He had worked for Clinton’s election in 1992, helped pass the North American Free Trade Agreement as part of his administration, stood by him during the Monica S. Lewinsky sex scandal, and rounded up votes to fight impeachment.

“I was loyal,” Richardson said during an extended conversation over breakfast this week at the governor’s mansion in Santa Fe. “But I don’t think that loyalty is transferable to his wife. . . . You don’t transfer loyalty to a dynasty.”

Richardson compared how the candidates sold themselves to him:

“Their manner of courtship — one wooing, the other arm-twisting — seemed to reflect the candidates’ different personalities and campaign styles, he said.

Obama preferred the soft sell, calling Richardson every three days or so — “dialing the phone himself, no operator” — for long discussions about policy and campaign issues. The two developed a bantering relationship, building on the camaraderie they shared off-camera during debates, when they would roll their eyes at some of their rivals’ statements.

Clinton was more persistent and tactical. There were eight or more phone calls a day, Richardson said: “Bill calling, Hillary calling, friends of mine that were in the Clinton administration, Clinton operatives, Clinton Hispanic operatives, New Mexico Clinton Hispanic operatives.”

Some callers, who suggested Richardson had an obligation to back Clinton, did more harm than good. “I think the Clintons have a feeling of entitlement . . . that the presidency was theirs,” Richardson said, and the persistent lobbying from “Washington establishment types” convinced him of a need for some fresher faces on the scene.”

When politics on either side of the aisle focuses on personalities, it can end up sounding like petty bickering. I’m not sure this is doing either Democratic candidate much good.

— DRJ

Attention: Houston Area Criminals

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 12:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I wonder when Houston area criminals will get the message that homeowners may be armed?

“A 63-year-old woman fired a shot to scare off an unknown man who broke into her Friendswood home Saturday morning, authorities said.

The woman was sleeping in a first-story bedroom of her home in the 400 block of Regency about 11:15 a.m. when she heard a loud noise and then her home alarm system sounded. She then heard footsteps going to the second floor, authorities said.

After grabbing her pistol, the woman told investigators she walked into her living room and found a man standing near the back door inside the residence. She then fired a single shot in the direction of the intruder, authorities said.

The man ran through through a glass door — shattering it — in his attempt to flee the house, authorities said. The woman was unharmed. Officers searched the surrounding area, but were unable to find the the man.”

This one knows. I hope he tells his friends.

— DRJ

BREAKING!!! Britney in Minor Fender Bender!!!!

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Media Bias,Morons — Patterico @ 10:39 am

Not that long ago, the Los Angeles assistant bureau chief for the Associated Press told his troops: “Now and for the foreseeable future, virtually everything involving Britney is a big deal.”

He wasn’t kidding. From the AP today: Spears in minor accident on Ventura Freeway.

Britney Spears’ motoring misfortunes continue.

The pop star was involved in a minor traffic accident late Saturday, but no one was injured and no vehicles were damaged, authorities said.

Stop the presses, baby!

The L.A. Times is not immune to this silliness. In fact, I found the bombshell story about the Britney accident on the main page for the Los Angeles Times web site today. I wonder how many stories about murders of Compton teenagers will have to be squeezed out of the print edition to make the necessary room for the Britney fender-bender story. [UPDATE: Or, as commenter Sam points out, “non fender-bender story” — since no fender was bent.]

Chinese Scripted “Tibetan” Attack on Wheelchair-Bound Woman?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:09 am

A wheelchair-bound Chinese woman defending the Olympic torch against a Tibetan protester has become a heroine in China:

It was a moment so perfect that it could have been scripted by Beijing’s propaganda masters. A beautiful young Chinese woman, bravely ignoring her physical handicap, is shielding the Olympic flame with her body to protect it against Western attackers.

The incident, captured on video, has galvanized China’s masses and created a new national hero. A star has been born, and she is 27-year-old Jin Jing of Shanghai, an amputee in a wheelchair who was carrying the Olympic torch in Paris this week when she was confronted by protesters who wrestled for the torch.

The one-legged Paralympic fencing champion, whose picture has been splashed across front pages in China, has become an iconic image of everything the Chinese want to believe about the innocence of their country and the dastardliness of the West.

All week she has been mobbed by fans and glorified in the Chinese media, who dubbed her the “smiling angel in a wheelchair” and “saviour of the national honour.”

That opening sentence is interesting: a “a moment so perfect that it could have been scripted by Beijing’s propaganda masters.”

Because Sachi and Dafydd at Big Lizards have documentary evidence suggesting that it was. (Or, at the very least, that the attacker was pro-Chinese.)

L.A. Times Shortens the Mile

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:23 am

This morning, the L.A. Times cuts the mile to about 1/6 of its traditional length:

Five people were injured, four critically, Saturday afternoon when a twin-engine aircraft crashed nose first into a Compton house and sliced into the one next door with one of its wings, authorities said.

The Cessna 310 crashed just before 4 p.m. in the 500 block of West Cypress Street, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. The craft came to rest with its tail sticking almost directly upward from the middle of one of the houses in a neighborhood of spacious, modern homes.

The plane, which was registered in Nevada, was heading from San Diego to Hawthorne Municipal Airport, Gregor said. It was about a mile and a half away from Compton/Woodley Airport, a general aviation field, but he said it was unclear whether the pilot was trying to make an emergency landing.

Unless the mile has become considerably shorter than the 5,280 foot mile we had when I was growing up, the paper is way off. Because when I plug 500 W. Cypress St. into Mapquest, it looks to me like it’s maybe 1200 feet — less than a quarter of a mile — away from the airport:

compton-plane-crash-mapquest.JPG

And yes, that is Compton/Woodley airport depicted in that map.

The LAist blog puts the crash at about a quarter-mile away. That sounds more like it. But then, they looked it up, like I did.

By the way, I looked up the address on Mapquest only because I drive by that airport every day on the way home from work. This just reinforces Patterico’s First Law of Big Media Stories: if you have personal familiarity with any aspect of a story that appears in Big Media, you will find an inaccuracy in that story.


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