John McCain’s latest ad goes all-in on white fear of black welfare mamas.  It uses the word “welfare” in relation to Obama no less than three times and then follows up with, “Just as you suspected, Barack Obama is not truthful about taxes.”

So to recap, Barack Obama’s the lyin’, welfare-takin’ baby daddy you always knew hung out in places in the city you’ve never been.  No reason to trust that sort of thing, now, is there?

Billboard in Missouri cries out with irony.  You could eat the contradiction with a spoon.

Billboard in Missouri cries out with irony. You could eat the contradiction with a spoon.

A friend sent me this picture in email this morning. It’s a billboard which is apparently hanging up somewhere in public in the great state of Missouri.  Things are getting pretty bald-faced nasty in that state, it would appear.  There is nothing quite as unsettling in that Big Brother way than billboards like this one or the churchie signs on Rt 15 through Pennsylvania.

But when I look at this billboard in particular, I’m overcome with a sense of irony.  The sign begins by baldly stating that Barack Obama is a Muslim, therefore an extremist, therefore a terrorist.  Then it goes on to list all the things Barack Obama would foster as president.

Man, oh man.  I can hardly think of a person more qualified to eliminate abortion and taxes, kill gays and remove restrictions to guns than a religious extremist.  If they don’t want those things they wrote about on their billboard, they should really hire a terrorist religious freak to be president.  Oh, wait.  They already did that once, didn’t they?

And to add irony on top of irony, John McCain less qualified to uphold their “family values” than even Barack Obama is.

Hillary Clinton? Bob Lonsberry? Are you taking notes:

Ben Smith’s Blog: Obama apologizes to Muslim women; apology accepted – Politico.com

Sen. Barack Obama today called the two Muslim women who were barred from sitting behind him at his Detroit rally to apologize, one of the women and two other sources said.

“Sen. Obama called himself and he apologized to each of us,” one of the women, lawyer Hebba Aref, told me just now.

Senator Obama’s campaign screwed up – it was a couple volunteers at a local event, but it was still technically his campaign – and they refused to let a few Muslim women in hajib, or traditional headscarfs, sit behind Obama at a rally. Most likely, the volunteers objected for fear of eliciting more “Obama is a Muslim” rhetoric from the fringe Right. Whatever is the case, it’s still wrong.  And Senator Obama called each of the women to apologize because he knew it was wrong.

He could easily have dodged the problem by “firing” the volunteers.  He could easily have made excuses for why it didn’t happen the way the reports said it happened.  He could have blamed the volunteers and said, “that’s what happens when you use volunteers.”  He chose to do none of these things.  He assumed responsibility, took three whacks, and got it over with like a decent human being.

I’m not saying it’s easy, but its the right thing to do.  Especially for a leader.

Rachael Barnhart has an exclusive story on the Goodman St. gay bashing incident that paints a much more confused story than the one we’ve been led to believe was the case to this point. There seems to be some indication that the alleged victims in the case refused to help finger suspects in photo line-ups, among other curiously suspicious acts:

13WHAM News Exclusive: RPD Report Finds No Hate Crime – 13WHAM.com

Investigators identified four people who fought with the alleged victims, but at no point did they consider those four people suspects. Yet two weeks after the incident, Chief Moore announced the department was looking for four suspects, two men and two women. The incident report says, “Per our criminal investigation, no suspects have been identified or interviewed by us thus far.” According to the incident report, three of the alleged victims refused to talk to the investigators and none of them would help identify photos of the four people.

This is why, under normal circumstances, everyone involved in a bar fight that is dumb enough to let the cops see them spends a little time in the joint. Get a bunch of hot-head kids together with alcohol and this happens over and over again. The police report rings very, very true for anyone who has spent time hanging around South Goodman bars.

But a lot of the onus is on the Rochester Police Department to be more clear with the public on this issue. I realize there is a limit to how clear one can be with an ongoing criminal investigation, but at what point to they have an obligation to straighten out the story? Some people – many people – have already walked away from this story with whatever their opinion might be.

I’m sure the local media bears a great deal of responsibility, too. Clearly, some details have gotten lost along the way that might have led us to a different conclusion.

The NYT gives us a glowing endorsement of Barack Obama’s speech on race of yesterday morning. This is a fairly good summary of a speech that we’ll be talking about for a while. Obama is also set to give another speech tomorrow on Iraq and another one on the economy. I’m not sure thats all that good of an idea, since this one was so good. P.T. Barnum always said, “leave ’em wanting more.”

But despite many in the media who keep asking over and over again, “is this dumb enough for the American people to handle?” this speech is getting lots of air time, and I think it will prove that we don’t need the distillation that the media insists on: the need for brevity is a byproduct of television news, not a necessity of the public:

Obama Chooses Reconciliation Over Rancor – New York Times

He faced a choice: Having already denounced Mr. Wright’s ferocious charges about white America, he could try to distance himself from the man who drew him to Christianity, married him and baptized his two children. Or he could try to explain what appeared to many to be the contradiction between Mr. Wright’s world view and the one Mr. Obama had professed as his own.

To some extent, he did both.

When you’re trying to make the media and the voters swallow a completely incomprehensible explanation for your campaign’s alleged activities, does it help or hurt your cause to introduce another apologist who makes even less sense and introduces new absurd claims?  I’m not sure, but I’m guessing the Clinton Camp thinks it does.  And Stephanie Tubbs Jones seems to think that Barack is, in fact, Somali:

Matt Drudge reported that Clinton Campaign advisers are circulating an image of Barack Obama dressed as a Somali elder, positing that if it was HRC, she would be all over the covers of every newspaper. Even Drudge does the right thing and points out lots of other American figures – yes, including Hillary and Chelsea (ggrrow!) – have worn traditional or accepted garb in various other countries as deemed appropriate. Obama campaign adviser Plouffe responds in Politico:

Obama slams smear photo – Mike Allen – Politico.com

Plouffe said in a statement: “On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election. This is part of a disturbing pattern that led her county chairs to resign in Iowa, her campaign chairman to resign in New Hampshire, and it’s exactly the kind of divisive politics that turns away Americans of all parties and diminishes respect for America in the world,” said Plouffe.

Let me go a step further and point out the obvious: what is objectionable to Hillary advisers is a black man dressed any other way but the way “Americans” dress. This isn’t just about “divisive politics,” that “diminishes respect for America,” but rather specific and unambiguously racist hate rhetoric that says that people in other parts of the world who dress funny are dangerous. It implicitly states that brown people in other parts of the world and dressed differently are terrorists. It says that a black American man cannot be trusted to travel abroad because he might “go native.” This is a rather specific thumb in the eye of every other nation where such people might reside, and it is beyond shameful.

Hill Boosters can claim that the advisers simply saw what they believed to be media bias. But this photo is years old, where did it come from? Ultimately, they looked through a bunch of photos till this one hit a nerve and they decided it was somehow beyond the pale. They found something here worth attacking and their reflexive Liberal guilt wouldn’t allow them to state in plain terms what they know damned-well they saw.

It also says that Clinton advisers are so prejudiced that they don’t even recognize the depths of their own ignorance: the garb Obama wears in the above picture is about as directly indicative of being somehow associated with terrorists as a traditional Indian wardrobe would be. Or an Eskimo snow suit, for that matter. It’s not that he looks like a terrorist; it’s not that he looks like an Arab (which, in fact, he does not); it’s that it looks like one of those dirty brown people you can’t trust.

So please, everybody: let’s all overlook the MLK comment; let’s all overlook the Jesse Jackson “black candidate” comment; lets all set aside every single, solitary shred of evidence that there is a consistent problem with racism on the Clinton team and just take it at face value that someone once dubbed William Jefferson Clinton “the first black president,” and without a token (pardon the pun) of further evidence, assume that this imparts the same untarnished, unassailable reputation to Hillary Rodham-.

You know, just do like the rest of that whole “35 years of experience” canard does.

It’s been whispered – quietly, infrequently – that one of the main problems with Barack Obama’s campaign is that Americans have had an unfortunate habit of supporting the candidacies of black politicians right up to the point of no return and not beyond. Jesse Jackson, while he might never have been in serious contention for the White House, saw his numbers plummet in Iowa. Elections elsewhere are filled with examples of similar let-downs. In fact here in Monroe County, support for Mayor Johnson in the County Executive race was, IIRC, much higher before the vote than after.

Whether that’s because people change their support based on prejudice at the polls or they support black candidates early simply based on race and change their minds later, support is often found lacking when it counts. In this race, support for Barack Obama has been soft among black voters, too. Many pundits have held forth that this was because black voters are concerned that a similar abandonment will take place again.

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. . . or really, anyone non-white not living in America? Check out the image they chose to use to illustrate Pakistan’s election troubles:

Fraud claims already cloud Pakistan vote – Yahoo! News

Less than a month before Pakistan’s election, the opposition is already claiming it will be rigged, pointing to a stacked judiciary, media intimidation and ballot papers that have allegedly been pre-marked.

Why does it always need to be people yelling and raising their fists? I understand that there is always a vibrant political discussion in most Middle Eastern cities happening in the coffee shops in the marketplaces. But you don’t see that, do you? Nope, just a lot of scary images of pissed off brown people.