Patterico's Pontifications

3/11/2012

Derrick Bell Spoke at Jeremiah Wright’s Church?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:35 pm

That’s what Joel Pollak seems to be saying in this piece:

Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s incendiary Chicago pastor, admired radical Harvard Law School professor Derrick Bell, inviting him to speak at Trinity United Church of Christ and referring to him from the pulpit.

It’s an invitation that was apparently accepted, according to Ben Shapiro, who confirms it in this post about Critical Race Theory:

[Critical Race Theory, or CRT, is] what Obama believed – and believes.

And that is why Obama’s association with Jeremiah Wright was so dangerous for him. Wright was a big backer of CRT. Bell spoke at Wright’s church. The problem was that Wright was a CRT supporter with the fiery passion of the critical race theorists, and without the gentle soothing language that Obama was so careful to cultivate. And so it was extremely important for Obama to disassociate from Wright, and CRT, as soon as possible during his 2008 presidential run. The conflict between Obama’s belief in CRT and his political need to move away from CRT is obvious throughout his 2008 Wright-under-the-bus speech. First, he disowns Wright’s “profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America.” He pays lip service to the Constitution. Then he proceeds to talk about all that is wrong with America and little that is right with it, to bash the America that arose under the Constitution, and to suggest that “we’ve never really worked through” the problem of race in America. 

Bell’s speaking at Wright’s church is mentioned as a seeming afterthought in both Pollak’s and Shapiro’s posts. I’m not sure whether this apparent burying of the lede is deliberate or inadvertent. It could be part of a rollout strategy.

In any event, they sound pretty confident about this.

I have no idea what evidence they have to back this up.

I hope it’s videos.

Eric Holder in 2004: No Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens; Eric Holder in 2012: Kill Them Instead

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:09 pm

At Verum Serum, Morgen quotes Eric Holder from a 2004 speech. See if you can Spot the Irony:

And yet a disturbing pattern has emerged. Lawyers for this administration have attempted to sanction the wholesale roundup and extended detention of Middle Eastern men on routine immigration violations, and the indefinite detention of American citizens with minimal judicial supervision, and without access to legal counsel.

We must be aggressive in the conduct of the war, and in the interrogation of prisoners taken in that war. But this Administration’s view, that the President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief can almost always overcome what it views as burdensome laws, restrictive International treaties, and tired old customs is extremely dangerous.

Now let me be clear. This is not to equate American al-Qaeda sympathizers with law abiding Japanese-American citizens. But citizenship must mean something. The guarantees that come with it must be respected.

Well, of course, citizenship means something, Mr. Holder. Under your leadership, and that of Barack Obama, it means that we won’t tolerate the indefinite detention of our citizens with minimal judicial supervision.

We’ll just kill them.

President Obama, who came to office promising transparency and adherence to the rule of law, has become the first president to claim the legal authority to order an American citizen killed without judicial involvement, real oversight or public accountability.

That, regrettably, was the most lasting impression from a major address on national security delivered last week by Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.

When will someone in Big Media ask Eric Holder why he opposes indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, but is OK with killing them?

P.S. From the above-linked editorial:

[T]he administration has refused to acknowledge that the killing took place or that there is in fact a policy about “targeted killings” of Americans.

It has even refused to acknowledge the existence of a Justice Department memo providing legal justification for killing American citizens, even though that memo has been reported by The Times and others. It is beyond credibility that Mr. Obama ordered the Awlaki killing without getting an opinion from the department’s Office of Legal Counsel. Even President George W. Bush took the trouble to have lawyers in that office cook up a memo justifying torture.

Will Big Media continue to demand the production of the memo justifying killing Americans?

Is the New York Times cheerleading for a bad economy?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 9:53 am

[Posted by Karl]

Of course not.  However, given the NYT’s reputation, it is worth noting they had some of the most balanced coverage of Friday’s seemingly good unemployment report.

Quite a bit of the establishment media was unabashedly political in its coverage of the report, often right in the headlines. For the Washington Post, “Obama’s re-election case gets a boost from jobs report.” At AFP, an almost identical take: “Jobs data boosts Obama’s reelection argument.” For BusinessWeek, “Obama’s Re-Election Case Bolstered by February Employment Report.”  The verdict at the Wall Street Journal? “Jobs Report: Better News for Obama.”  And so on.

To be sure, the NYT editorial on the jobs report was overtly political, tossing in a “do-nothing Congress” meme as a chaser.  But the regular news coverage of the report did not get into the politics until paragraph 5, with a cautious tone:

Such improvement, if it continues, will most likely be a boost for President Obama as he makes a case to voters that his economic policies have been working. Republicans quickly criticized it as too little, too late. Still, the report coincided with other signs of strength, like a surge in consumer confidence and growing strength in manufacturing.

“There is no real cloud in the silver lining of this morning’s jobs report,” wrote Steven Blitz, chief economist of ITG Investment Research.

The big question was whether such improvement could be sustained, or even accelerate, as is necessary to significantly drive down the unemployment rate. Most projections call for slower economic growth in the first quarter of this year than the last quarter of 2011, and a second report on Friday further reduced expectations. The report, showing a higher-than-expected trade deficit, prompted firms like JPMorgan Chase and Macroeconomic Advisers to lower their growth forecasts for this quarter.

The focus, though, remained on more encouraging signs…

The NYT’s business reportage was even more subdued.  David Leonhardt wrote about “Why Job Growth Is Likely to Slow,” with the answer being that overall economic growth is expected to slow:

Why do economists expect growth to slow? The warm winter has probably pulled some spending forward into the last few months and will reduce spending in coming months, says Joshua Shapiro, an economist at MFR Inc. in New York. Rising oil prices also play a role. So does the continuing debt overhang, which makes a sustained recovery difficult.

Leonhardt linked to other similar pieces at the NYT, including a detailed piece by Binyamin Appelbaum which ran last December.

Why does any of this matter, aside from the novelty of the NYT providing balanced coverage?  It matters because if this widely expected slowdown occurs, the right will almost surely be accused of cheerleading for a bad economy for talking about it.  Conversely, even amid the good news, business outlets like CNBC and political outlets like National Journal will drop in complaints from the Economic Policy Institute, a blatantly left-wing, Big Labor think tank.  It is totally acceptable to badmouth the economy — as long as you are cheerleading for bigger government.  Take the NYT’s current coverage to your memory bank; you may want to cash it in later this year.

–Karl


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