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Last Dance in Havana

Last Dance in Havana

By Eugene Robinson
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I’ve Had It With Rev. Wright

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Posted on Apr 28, 2008

By Eugene Robinson

Note: This column has been updated since its original posting in light of Barack Obama’s Tuesday speech.

    WASHINGTON—We all have our crosses to bear. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright has become Barack Obama’s.

    I’m sorry, but I’ve had it with Wright. I would never try to diminish the service he performed as pastor of his Chicago megachurch, and it’s obvious that he’s a man of great charisma and great faith. But this media tour he’s conducting is doing a disservice that goes beyond any impact it might have on Obama’s presidential campaign.

    The problem is that Wright insists on being seen as something he’s not: an archetypal representative of the African-American church. In fact, he represents one twig of one branch of a very large tree.

    It’s understandable, given how Wright has been treated, that he would want to attempt to set the record straight. No one would enjoy seeing his 36-year career reduced to a couple of radioactive sound bites. No preacher would want his entire philosophy to be assessed based on a few rhetorical excesses committed in the heat of a passionate sermon. No former Marine would stomach having his love of country questioned by armchair patriots who have done far less to protect the United States from its enemies.

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    Given Wright’s long silence, I thought he had taken to heart Jesus’ admonition to turn the other cheek. Obviously, I was wrong.

    I’m through with Wright not because he responded—in similar circumstances, I certainly couldn’t have kept silent—but because his response was so egocentric. We get it, Rev. Wright: You’re ready for your close-up.

    He made some good points Monday when he entered the lion’s den of the National Press Club. I especially liked this one: “My goddaughter’s unit just arrived in Iraq this week while those who call me unpatriotic have used their positions of privilege to avoid military service while sending over 4,000 American boys and girls of every race to die over a lie.”

    But his basic point—that any attack on him is an attack on the African-American church and its traditions—is just wrong. In making that argument, he buys into the fraudulent idea of a monolithic, monocultural black America—one with his philosophy and theology at its center.

    In his speech Sunday at the NAACP dinner in Detroit, Wright spoke at length about how “different” does not mean “deficient.” He talked of how European and African musical and rhetorical traditions are different, and how that doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. The point was that there is no one way to preach the Gospel. In this, Wright is right.

    Where he overreaches is in claiming, as he did at the Press Club, that the criticism he has suffered “is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright; it is an attack on the black church”—and in claiming that this episode “just might mean that the reality of the African-American church will no longer be invisible.”

    The reality of the African-American church, of course, is as diverse as the African-American community. I grew up in the Methodist church with pastors—often active on the front lines of the civil rights movement—whose sermons were rarely exciting enough to elicit more than a muttered “Amen.” They were excitement itself, however, compared to the dry lectures delivered by the priest at the Catholic church around the corner. And what I heard every Sunday was nothing at all like the Bible-thumping, hellfire-and-damnation perorations that filled my Baptist friends with the Holy Ghost—and even less like the spellbinding, singsong, jump-and-shout sermonizing that raised the roofs of Pentecostal sanctuaries across town.

    Wright claims to represent all these traditions and more, but he does not. He also claims universality for the political aspect of his ministry. It is true that the black church, writ large, has been an instrument of social and political change. But most black churches are far less political than Wright’s—and many concern themselves exclusively with salvation.

    I point all this out not to say that one tradition is better than another; as Wright said, different doesn’t mean deficient. But what Wright did was try to frame the issue in such a way that to question him or anything he has ever said was to question the long, storied tradition of African-American religion.

    Historically and theologically, he was inflating his importance in a pride-goeth-before-the-fall kind of way. Politically, by surfacing now, he was throwing Barack Obama under the bus.

    On Tuesday, Obama returned the favor.
   
    Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.
   
    © 2008, Washington Post Writers Group


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By cann4ing, May 2, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Joe, now that the real threats to the GE corporate bottom line (Gravel, Kucinich & Paul) have been eliminated, it is simply a matter of degree.  Corporate media, as a whole, would prefer McCain as McCain would support both further media consolidation—which is worth billions—and advocates perpetual war, which enhances the booty of the military industrial complex.  As to MSNBC, you are mistaken.  Outside of Keith Olberman, who they keep on as a counter-balance to Bill O’Reilley at the Fox propaganda network, I would seriously question whether any of its pundits have said much in favor of Obama.

By the way, if you want a real quick look at the inner workings at Fox and why I call Fox a “propaganda network,” pick up the Robert Greenwald DVD “Outfoxed:  Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism.”  If you want a quick read and view of something demonstrating how “all” cable networks produce propaganda, purchase Danny Schechter’s paper back “Weapons of Mass Deception.”  Inside the cover you will find a DVD by the same title.

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By Joe Sixpack, May 2, 2008 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

It matters in the world of deception in campaign fundraising, that’s for sure. See if you want to appear to be a post-modern politician and you want to run on the theme of changing Washington and thus not be beholden to any ‘special interests’ it just wouldn’t do to becaught taking money from said ‘special interests’, right? So what you need to do in that case is to encourage the individuals, their wives, kids, girlfriends, nannys, paper boys and personal assistants to make the maximum individual donation to the campaign. Best of both worlds. You get the money you so desperately need and you can then make the (false) claim that you don’t accept money from lobbyists and special interest groups. See how easy it is?

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By Leefeller, May 2, 2008 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

Such an ugly underbelly we have for our government, Wright has every reason to call attention and question our government, with such a colorful history.

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By Joe Sixpack, May 2, 2008 at 1:45 am Link to this comment

Thank you for the recomendations. I’ll give them a look.

Why would MSNBC be so interested in seeing Obama win, as he seems to be the biggest dove of the campaign season? My sense is that the media sees the biggest upside in helping Obama reach a certain apex then follow the long popularity slide back to earth. Like the Don Henley song, Dirty Laundry - “Kick ‘em when their up, up, kick ‘em when their down…”

We saw a bit of a preview of all of this during the Wrightscapades.

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 1, 2008 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

WRIGHT is RIGHT!

Rev. Wright is always right, his attackers and enemies’ rants not withstanding. He is following on the footsteps of the great Prophets and reformers of the past who spoke truth to power and challenged the evil status quo of their times.

Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad were all revolutionaries and reformers who spoke against the erring ways of their peoples and the evils of their times, and their first enemies were from among their own families, tribes and people. They were all persecuted, called names and forced out of their own birth places. Yet their names, teachings and reforms have passed into history as the most upright, truth speakers and reformers.

They stand throughout the centuries as great luminaries, intellectual and spiritual giants against the little midgets who hated and opposed them. I’d rather be in the company of those great personalities than in the company of the midgets, dubious, pervert, misguided, intellectually and spiritually challenged and pure evil ones.

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By cann4ing, May 1, 2008 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know about the AIDS virus, Bill, but consider the following excerpt from Alfred McCoy, “A Question of Torture:”

“From 1953 to 1963 MKUltra and allied projects dispensed $25 million for human experiments by 185 nongovernmental researchers at eighty institutions, including forty-four universities and twelve hospitals.  At first, Director Dulles complained that ‘we have no human guinea pigs to try these extraordinary techniques.’  To overcome this critical shortage, the agency adopted testing methods marked by cruelty, illegality, and, with surprising frequency, failure.  Seeking unwitting subjects, the CIA injected not only North Korean prisoners, but also spiked drinks at a New York City party house, paid prostitutes to slip LSD to their customers for agency cameras at a San Francisco safe house, pumped hallucinogens into children at summer camp, attemted behavior modification on inmates at California’s Vacaville Prison, and collected powerful toxins among Amazon tribes.  For ‘terminal experiments’—those that were pushed to possible fatal limits—agents trolled Europe for dubious defectors or double agents deemed ‘expendable.’”

MKUltra’s chief scientist, Sydney Gotlieb, “devised his own LSD tests on unsuspecting subjects, once spiking the drinks of colleagues during a meeting at a Maryland lodge, in November 1953.  One of the other CIA scientists, Dr. Frank R. Olson, suffered an immediate mental breakdown and, several days after taking the drug, jumped or was pushed from the tenth floor of New York’s Statler Hotel, where the agency had confined him for observation—a crime that the CIA covered up for the next twenty years by reporting the death to his family as suicide.”

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By cann4ing, May 1, 2008 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

Joe, I would be delighted, but keep in mind that it isn’t just MSNBC.  The entire corporate media operates as a propaganda network.  Their principle accomplishment is their ability to convince more than 250 million Americans that We the People are actually in charge.

An especially quick read that will provide a solid overview of how media operations is John Nichols & Robert McChesney, “Tragedy & Farce:  How the American Media Sells Wars, Spins Elections & Destroys Democracy.”  I know that Dr. Helen Caldicott had a book in the 90s that contained an entire chapter on MSNBC’s conflict of interest on this subject.

A little known fact about election eve 2000 is contained in Mark Crispin Miller’s “Fooled Again” where, despite a Voter News Service exit-poll proclaiming Al Gore to be the winner in FL by a whopping 7.3% margin—some 435,000 votes.  it was this margin, coupled with a track history that exit-polls are almost never wrong and are relied upon by our own government to determine whether there has been fraud in a foreign election, that prompted some networks to initially announce a Gore victory, a decision abruptly reversed when John Ellis, Bush’s cousin, later that evening, announced over Fox News that George W. Bush had won.  “NBC News then seconded Fox’s call (at the insistence of parent company General Electric’s CEO Jack Welch, who personally marked into the network newsroom to demand that that NBC ‘confirm’...).  Within minutes the other networks followed suit.”

In Oct. 2007 MSNBC announced it was excluding Sen. Gravel from a debate because he had not raised over $1 million for his campaign.  Gravel observed:  “The fact that NBC is owned by General Electric, one of the world’s leading military contractors, is frightening and certainly smacks of censorship at the most outspoken critic of the influence that the military-industrial complex has over this nation.”

MSNBC’s criterion for exclusion is telling.  For the corporate media the standard for determining whether someone is qualified to run for President is not the strength of their ideas but the amount of money in their campaign coffers.  That standard would make no sense in a true democracy.  But, from the point of view of the corporate elites, the ideal is not one person one vote but one dollar one vote.

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By john doreami, May 1, 2008 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

McCain: completely full of shit

Clinton: completely full of shit

Obama: completely full of shit

Wright: not so much full of shit

Keep Wright on the air, fire the others.

Crimes of the State
http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/

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By Joe Sixpack, May 1, 2008 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

You might be a good person to ask, so I will. Is there a ‘must read’ on the topic of corporations making editorial decisions for their media entities? I’d love to know why MSNBC is so in the tank for Obama. I know it goes deeper than the person preferences of the ‘talent’ on air. I’d like to become more informed on the subject.

Can you recommend something?

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By cann4ing, May 1, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

MSNBC’s parent company is GE, whose subsidiary, Raytheon, is the second largest weapons manufacturers in the nation.  GE is also steeped in the development of new generations of nuclear weapons.  Once MSNBC dispatched the principle threats to the military-industrial complex by excluding Gravel and Kucinich from critical debates, with the rest of the corporate media falling in line, they were finally in a position to begin attacks on the candidate who would least likely enhance the GE bottom line, both with respect to military spending and media consolidation (Obama) while giving “Let’s have endless war Mad Dog McCain” a free pass.  That is why you hear the name Rev. Wright over, and over, and over again, but scarcely a word about the insane End-Timer, Rev. John Hagee, whose support Mad Dog McCain actively sought, eventually appearing on stage with his arm around that right-wing religious nut-job who thinks our Middle East policies should endeavor to hasten Armageddon.

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By PatrickHenry, May 1, 2008 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

I wonder who David Duke is endorsing, McCain or Clinton?

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By Bill Blackolive, May 1, 2008 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am glad to see some Wright fans. I watched Wright, found him hip and talented, a great performer.  I don’t know he has fully said the USA planted the AIDS virus.  He said he would not put it past a government who let sypilis be given to black prisoners without their knowing, in order to study sypilis.  Meantime, the US government is guilty of terrorism, certainly.  The US government attacked its own people, see patriotsquestion9/11.  Yes, Israel commits war crimes every day and the US press ignores this, the European presses do not ignore it.  Meantime, this night I watched Jerimiah carrying on, he was so funny, I believed he would be taking pressure off Obama - I had not seen how Wright could be offending even the most scared US whites.  Next day I suffered mild shock seeing what the corporate news was doing.  They panicked nice black guys like Eugene Robinson.  Yes, this stricken land needs a “black” president, but I would prefer Obama were tougher.  He should say: Let the loose bowels typical whites lose their potential greatest president, and I will fight on as champion of their children.  Ah, sadly ever more, this is not reality.  Whew.

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By Conservative Yankee, May 1, 2008 at 8:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Never checked that out… does it matter?

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By Leefeller, May 1, 2008 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

With all the campaigning for Wright coming from the Hillary and McCain crowd, I must say I may vote for him, Oh! I guess he is not running?

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By Joe Sixpack, May 1, 2008 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

Why is it that we democrats seem to feel that electing a Sunday School teacher is the right direction to go in. If we elect the nicest person we can find then what can that person hope to accomplish against the bullies of the world on the playground?

I’m tired of nominating wimps that can’t get elected.

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By Joe Sixpack, May 1, 2008 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

Now these contributions you speak of. Are they from the corporation itself, or all of it’s officers and lobbists as individuals?

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By Joe Sixpack, May 1, 2008 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

So what you’re trying to say is that it won’t take 20 years for Obama to decide that someone is politically damaging? Can you give me an example?

Rezko? Nope.
Ayers? Nope.
Wright? Nope.

Did I miss anyone? Oh yeah.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakan? Not him either.

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By Joe Sixpack, May 1, 2008 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

Glad you’re excited. Keep it up. You might be the only one who’s happy that Wright is “over” and will be old news in the general. Do you believe in the tooth fairy too?

Oh gee. I said fairy. Is that close enough to “fairy tale” to be considered a racist remark? If so, I do appologize.

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By Violavicki, April 30, 2008 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I totally agree that MSNBC is constantly talking about Obama and how much Wright has damaged him. Well, MSNBC has damaged themselves as much as Fox News. Obama is very popular and will have continuing support because we know he is a smart man who is needed as our president right now. We can’t wait 4 more years with McWar Monger or with Clinton who is becoming a republican herself.

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By cann4ing, April 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Cheney also claims he’s not a member of the executive branch, so I suppose he doesn’t have to answer to Bush either.  But then, the reality is that Cheney and Addington have always called the shots.  Poor dumb George is just a puppet.

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By Hammo, April 30, 2008 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

Sure, Wright has not been politically correct. But let’s look at him from another angle.

Check out ...

“Marine Jeremiah Wright, SEAL Jesse Ventura speak bluntly” 

Joint Recon Study Group blog
April 30, 2008
http://jointreconstudygroup.blogspot.com

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By cyrena, April 30, 2008 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

On Cheney..remember this from last year..when he said that his office was NOT a part of the executive office?

He and his guys and girls are at it again.

Cheney Lawyer Claims Congress Has No Authority Over Vice President
  By Elana Schor
  The Guardian UK


  Tuesday 29 April 2008

  The lawyer for US vice-president Dick Cheney claimed today that the Congress lacks any authority to examine his behaviour on the job.

  The exception claimed by Cheney’s counsel came in response to requests from congressional Democrats that David Addington, the vice-president’s chief of staff, testify about his involvement in the approval of interrogation tactics used at Guantanamo Bay.

  Ruling out voluntary cooperation by Addington, Cheney lawyer Kathryn Wheelbarger said Cheney’s conduct is “not within the [congressional] committee’s power of inquiry”.

  “Congress lacks the constitutional power to regulate by law what a vice-president communicates in the performance of the vice president’s official duties, or what a vice president recommends that a president communicate,” Wheelbarger wrote to senior aides on Capitol Hill.

  The exception claimed by Cheney’s office recalls his attempt last year to evade rules for classified documents by deeming the vice-president’s office a hybrid branch of government - both executive and legislative.


The rest at the link:

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/042908B.shtml

This of course has been on-going for what seems like forever now, and the fascist thugs have indeed brought us to complete ruin, while we sit around blasting the few possible ways of saving our collective asses…

I think I’ll take a walk while I still can…

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By Greg Jones, April 30, 2008 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dig this truth…Special thanks to CNN (especially Wolf & Campbell Brown), Fox News, especially Hannity the media king of race baiting, Joe (keep her in so we can win)Scarborough, Pat ‘hate anyone of color’Buchanan, Laura Ingraham, Flush Limbaugh, and the whole GOP media gang (Medved, Prager, Hewitt, etc.) for running the Rev. Wright story totally in the ground. Now that the whole Wright issue has been settled, all superdelegates can now come to Obama’s side without fear that the Wright ordeal will be an issue in the GE. When the GOP brings it up in the general….it will be old news. THANKS MEDIA ! (can you say…..back-fired!)

FIRED UP….READY TO GO !!!!!!!!!!

Greg Jones
http://www.Blacks4Barack.org
(A Multi-Racial, Grassroots Org…Dedicated To Truth)

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By marywendyroberts, April 30, 2008 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Mr. Robinson.
I am a white woman of 63 and I think Obama is a wonderful candidate and I was sickened to see the Jeremiah Wright controversy threaten to derail him.
Lets face it, being part of a 8000 member congregation, and not having gone to every Sunday service.(especially while in Washington DC or at the legistature )..he likely had no idea that this old man whom he knew for his good works and whom he tolerated in his occasional odd ideas…would be seized as an excuse to doubt Obama’s whole record, own platform and dedication. After all, he did not realize how he would be judged unlike a white candidate…on his minister. No one has discussed Hillary’s associations with her powerful prayer group…or with the nutty ministers that McCain has as his religious advisors. Obama is the most inspiring candidate,the best candidate, and is speaking truthfully…and not down to the American people. I hope people listen.

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By tft, April 30, 2008 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Joe, where you goin’ with logic in your head?

You think, now that Obama has denounced not just the statements by Wright, but the man himself, that Obama “trusts” wingnuts?  When did Obama ever say he trusted Wright with nukes?  Your logic is tortured, to say the least, and just stupid, to say the truth.

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By Joe Sixpack, April 30, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

So who exactly is Barack Obama?

Is he the guy who couldn’t see what we all could could have from a mile away? That Rev. Wright was too controversial to be associated with until yesterday? Is he a dupe?

Or

Is he the guy who wants to get hired for a job that requires him to quickly decide what kind of person he’s dealing with on the world stage?

Tim Russert: “So, President Obama, how was your face-to-face with President Ahmadinejad?”

Obama: “Well you know Tim I think he came across as a decent guy who’s done good works for his country. I’m ready to give him the benefit of the doubt. Let me be clear though, so get back to me on that in 20 years, OK?”

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By Joe Sixpack, April 30, 2008 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

Oh yeah I agree for sure. Any woman who can stand by her man and work out serious marital problems should be punished for it. I’m sure if she had keyed his El Camino in the driveway or spraypainted “I hope the pussy was worth it” on his boat you’d be a lot happier about her.

You must be looking hard for things that can distract you from the awful truth today. The super delegates aren’t likely to turn their backs on the entire future of the African American electorate, but instead will almost certainly nominate a candidate who is DOA in the general election.

Yeah, I think I understand why you’d rather spend the time thinking about the women Bubbas been with than the coming four years of President McCain.

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By Sue Cook, April 30, 2008 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

...make that one more thump, (Thump, Thump, Thump,)

as this makes 3-times he has thrown Rev. Wright underneath the bus.

But,... three times still will not necessarily mean he is out.

I agree with you.  Barack’s words accusing Hillary of saying and doing anything to get elected is now coming back at him, and making him just a “politician saying what he has to to get elected”.
(quote from Rev. Wright.) on their “bruised ego” tag match they’re having.

He also sounds desperate.

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By Expat, April 30, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

^ one, somewhere.  Hey, I feel a movement coming, but not in the toilet.  Roosting chickens, hell yeah!

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By cann4ing, April 30, 2008 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

See my response to this and your other posts at Tom Hayden strikes back.

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By DennisD, April 30, 2008 at 7:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dead on target Patrick Henry - I’d have settled for half as much coverage.

The corporate press is only interested in sensationalism for its own sake, pulling back the curtain to expose the Wizard of Oz is far more important to them than giving a real candidate an opportunity to share his views on real issues to a wider audience.

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By Purple Girl, April 30, 2008 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

I watched all his media ‘blitz’ from beginning to end (when allowed by MSM). these were well constructed Funnel agruements- granted the national Press Club lacked his usual focus). having Written papers in college called “Arguement’ papers I relaized quickly - it must taken in Totality.
Actually I am MORE upset by the time wasted on this NON Issue and the imbalance when compared to many Hate spewing Evangelical comments. Even now avoiding MSNBC due to their use of buchanan for every topic- including Economics (wht BS) -but still watch Keith for You & Rachel (can’t staand Scarbough even on ‘Race to the WH)We get back to discussing REAL Issues- esp the Crimes of this Admin (and their Inc sponsors) & Congress’s complicity?Therre are Far more Dangerous Men amongst US then Rev Wright!And these ACTUALLY weld Power over US

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By John Hanks, April 30, 2008 at 6:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They are inner-directed men in an other-directed world.
He is like an Old Testament prophet who tells it like he thinks it is.  Obama tries to be honest and fair.  The crooks has succeeded once again in using the media to divide.  But, they still don’t rule ... yet.

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By Sue Cook, April 30, 2008 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

These two are playing (wounded ego) tag against each other.

Obama is stuck with Rev. Wright whether he denounces him or not. It’s far too late for that, because now it is being seen as more politcal than sincere on his part. 

He thinks he can simply call a press conference, feign outrageousness, stumble his way through an explaination of his views on the subject and then expect “bitter” people to accept this, and all will be better.

I’m sorry, but he should have done this a long time ago.  It’s just not credible now.

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By Leefeller, April 30, 2008 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

Love it!  Next it will be tattoos.

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By Leefeller, April 30, 2008 at 6:17 am Link to this comment

Actually sixpack Maine, as I polish my Nazi Jack Boots, I occasionally vent just for the hell of it. 

It is very simple, I do not like Hillary Clinton, because of her handling President husbands Bill’s indiscretions, especially how she treated the other women, it is almost as if Hillary were the Talaban stoning the whores on the streets. 

So I prefer Obama!

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By Conservative Yankee, April 30, 2008 at 5:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Joe Sixpack, April 30 at 4:14 am #
“... believe there has been no McDonald Douglas Aircraft company since 1997. That’s when Boeing bought it, right?”

Absolutely correct… But the Clinton’s have been accepting campaign contributions since 1978 at least…

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By Joe Sixpack, April 30, 2008 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

I believe there has been no McDonald Douglas Aircraft company since 1997. That’s when Boeing bought it, right?

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By Conservative Yankee, April 30, 2008 at 5:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve never witnessed a food-fight where the food won…until now.. 

Despite his faults many many faults, it looks like McCain in the fall. The Democrats have once again pulled defeat from the jaws of victory… What an incredibly STUPID party.

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By Joe Sixpack, April 30, 2008 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

Leefelther,

Hey man don’t sugar-coat it. By all means tell us how you really feel. Keeping your true feelings locked up inside is bad for you. You should learn to let those bad feelings out into the open before they create enough pressure to pop one of the blood vessels in your skull.

On the other hand Abraham Lincoln cautioned us that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

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By jackpine savage, April 30, 2008 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

You know, as long as Gregorio isn’t going hungry…what’s the problem?  Something tells me that when the food crises comes here, Gregorio will be asking for every heart to bleed for him.  Cheap calories at the grocery store are his birth right.  All those poor countries should be sending their food to the US, because Gregorio likes grapes in December.

Black humor and a kitchen garden will be the only things that carry the day when America wakes up and cries, “Oh, Lord, where have all the twinkies gone?”

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By Joe Sixpack, April 30, 2008 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

“I can no more disown him (Rev. Wright) than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother…”

For those of you keeping score at home, Obama disowned his granny (She’s, you know, a typical white person) and now has disowned his pastor.

By throwing Wright away in several increasingly strong ways since the decision was made to run because Wright is a campaign killer, is Obama also disowning the black community?

Nope. I suspect the black community knows what Wright knows. Obama is a politician doing what he must to win an election.

What was that Obama used to say about Hillary saying anything and doing anything to get elected?

What was that old arguement Obama used to be able to make about having better judgement than Hillary? How could he possibly claim to have better judgement now? He needed Trinity to begin his political career but needed to shed it before it dragged him under the waves and finished it?

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By Joe Sixpack, April 30, 2008 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

“Had it with the Wright story…”

I’m sure you have. The MSM has as well from the looks of things this morning. It must be nice to be able to give an ‘angry’ press conference and have an issue immediately go away forever.

Obama disowns Paster. From this moment forward no one can discuss this mess ever again. Right.

I bet Howard Dean was pretty convinced the whole silly ‘scream’ thing would blow over.

You think Al Gore seriously thought that taking credit for helping the government create a secure communication system that could survive a nuclear war would come back to haunt him? “Al Gore created the internet!!!” (Insert laughter here)

I’m sure that John Kerry was sure no one would remember his silly quote about “American soilders are war criminals”.

Could Dukakis have imagined at the time that Willy Horton would be his downfall?

“READ MY LIPS!!!” Naw. That never resurfaced after Bush gave a speech to explain it.

If Hillary Clinton had given the same statement yesterday and said:

“That’s a show of disrespect to me. It is also, I think, an insult to what we’ve been trying to do in this campaign.’‘

This morning the MSM would be hammering her for making it about her and her campaign. How come Rev. Wright is disrespecting Obama all of a sudden? Isn’t it a distraction and disrespectful the issues that are much more important to the voters in Indiana and North Carolina? Why is it an insult, exactly? Because Wright overshadowed Obama for 4 days? Because it was killing Obama politically?

What happens today when someone from the media catches up with Wright and Wright keeps the story going one more news cycle by saying “Obama is a politician who has to distance himself from me, but I know what he really believes in his heart.”

Isn’t that what Wright has been saying all along?

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By jackpine savage, April 30, 2008 at 4:32 am Link to this comment

Though my daily clothing has no lapels, i’d wear a roosting chicken pin somewhere.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, April 30, 2008 at 4:03 am Link to this comment

Ernest, these are some of the very chickens coming home to roost that Wright talks about. 

I think someone should come out with a roosting chicken lapel pin.

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By Joe Sixpack, April 30, 2008 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

I watched the Moyers interview. I would have liked to hear answers to some different questions.

Rev. Wright, by agreeing to be on this program some people will wonder why now?

What do you hope to accomplish by speaking now, just a week before two important elections?

Do you have any evidence you could share that the US Government created AIDS in order to inflict genocide on the african american population?

You’ve accused the US Government of importing drugs and distributing them in inner cities in order to enslave young, black men. What led you to this belief?

The Nation of Islam is admittedly an anti-semetic organization. Do you see a conflict between your Christian teachings and the hatred of jews?

Can you explain in a way that the average Joe might understand how the US Marines are the same as Al Quieda?

What do you mean when you suggest that Obama says one thing in a political setting like the campaign and believes something else in private?

Did it make you angry when you were suddenly uninvited to the public portion of the Obama ‘08 announcement ceremony?

Is your publicity tour some sort of payback for Obama needing to distance himself from you for political reasons?

OK I get that he couldn’t have asked all of those sensitive questions, but how about ONE of them? Is that too much to ask? I guess so.

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By Joe Sixpack, April 30, 2008 at 3:01 am Link to this comment

No sir, Outraged. Not sure what movie you are referring to. I was making an awkward reference to Obama’s campaign being a slowly sinking ship. It’s hard to stay afloat with a 500 foot gash just below the waterline. He’s taking on a lot of water. While democrats like you rearrange the deck chairs and play classical music for the drowning, I suggest we all find a life boat and quickly.

As for your weird KNOW, HAVE, RACE thingy? I have not a clue what you are trying to communicate. I can guess though, because you confuse my refusal to drink Obama Kool-Aid with racisim. It’s OK, a lot of people are making the same mistake all over the country this year, so don’t feel alone, OK?

I read somewhere, Baltimore Sun maybe? Anyway I read, “If getting rid of racial problems was that easy, we Americans would have done it long ago. Before we can get beyond race, we have to work out our racial issues.”

One of our racial issues is that WHITE people are not allowed to discuss BLACK people without risking being DENOUNCED by idiots like you, Outraged. In order to trancend race, as you would have us all do, one must GET OVER THEMSELVES to the point where a fucking DISCUSSION is even possible.

So go ahead. Keep calling me a racist out of one side of your mouth and accuse me of not knowing how to trancend race out of the other. The Obama campaign sure knows how to use race as a weapon. Maybe you need a few more lessons?

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By Outraged, April 29, 2008 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Sixpack

In order for one to KNOW race-transcendency one would HAVE to transcend RACE.  I realize this is foreign concept for you, but for the sake of argument try..TRY…really hard! Ok, I guess you can’t..  As per that “lifeboat” comment…  did you see the old “Lifeboat” movie?  You remind me of the Nazi who wouldn’t share his food…did you see that one?  Whew…not good.

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By Sassy, April 29, 2008 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I love your columns, Eugene.  You seem to have a knack for zeroing in what’s troubling me.  As for Reverend Wright, I think he needs a spiritual advisor. He’s not the only one, of course.  There are a lot of other preachers who urgently need spiritual advisors these days, including McCain’s good buddy Hagee.

All things considered, I still believe Obama is the best candidate. I can hardly look at McCain these days without hearing that Beach Boy tune. His crazed performance of “Ah, ba ba ba ba, bomb bomb Iran, oh, ba ba ba ba, bomb, bomb Iran” was downright creepy and it’s not the kind of thing one easily forgets.  The U.S. is dealing with a lot of tough issues these days and the last thing we need is a President who thinks this kind of thing is cute.

As for Hillary, I believe she could benefit from a spiritual advisor as well.  One can only assume if someone runs a dirty manipulative campaign, things will not improve once they get to the White House.  We’ve had almost eight years of this kind of thing under Bush and we simply don’t four more years of the same.

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By G.Anderson, April 29, 2008 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

I was actually hoping that the Rev. Wright would get his own half hour show on one of the neworks, so that his views can be highlighted to the fullest extent that they deserve.

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By Max Shields, April 29, 2008 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Ok, you will not accord. Fine. Then let me accord - Eugene Robinson has been a faithful Obama supporter in print and tv media. He is trotted out on NBC and affiliates to make the Obama case. We can quibble about the term mouthpiece.

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By cann4ing, April 29, 2008 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, no doubt you are familiar with the distinction Malcolm X made between the House slave and the field slave.  Which of those two categories do you think Malcolm would have applied to Eugene Robinson.

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By cann4ing, April 29, 2008 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Excellent post, Bob.  Isn’t amazing how Jeremiah Wright, a man who served honorably for two years in the Marines and four years in the Navy, can be branded as an America hater while a man like Dick Cheney, who received used one deferment after another to evade service, can go onto the corporate media Sunday talk show circuit, and with a smug look on his face, lie after lie on his lips and the American flag on his lapel takes this nation into a war of aggression, a war that has already killed more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers and perhaps some 1.1 million Iraqi civilians, and no one, and I mean no one, from the corporate media has dared to call his patriotism into question, let alone call for his impeachment and prosecution for war crimes.

What is wrong with this picture?

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By Spinoza750, April 29, 2008 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

This Mr. Robinson sounds like an Uncle Tom. Enough with these milk toast wishy washy right wingers.

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By cann4ing, April 29, 2008 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

My post was a criticism of the author of this article, Eugene Robinson, and of the corporate media.  I no more accord Robinson the status of “Obama’s mouthpiece” than I would accord that status to Rev. Wright.  While I am a strong proponent of res publica and civic responsibility, in the end each of us is personally responsible for what he or she says or does.  Others are not.

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By BobZ, April 29, 2008 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Bill Moyers is such a great interviewer he doesn’t have to resort to attacking his guests like Bill O’Reilly or Hannity. Moyers got the information from Wright that his viewers were expecting. It was probably the single best interview this year an individual we don’t know that much about. Reverend Wright is not on trial. He didn’t commit any crimes. He served his country honorably and has been a minister of great repute to his flock. If anybody should be on trial here it is the media and their shabby reporting of this entire issue. I have a much higher respect at this point for Reverend Wright than I do for the MSM and the cable networks.

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By Max Shields, April 29, 2008 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

Ernest,
No, and you’ve answered my question: there’s absolutely no comparison between Obama and MLK. And so your post was simply away of critizing the Obama mouthpiece - Eugene Robinson.

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By Leefeller, April 29, 2008 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

Yes, I can see Hillary loosing the lug-nuts on the Obama Bus, before it slows down.  A clear picture in me mind.

Master chief that she is, a dash of Bigotry, slice of racism, a pinch of divisiveness, and whole lot of pablum,  master meal of politics. Yes, so nice to fool the simple folks. 

This campaign has become the Elm Street rehash and Freddy is you know who!

Will it never end?

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By cann4ing, April 29, 2008 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Come on Max, you are not going to ask me to do the same with Obama that the corporate media has insisted Obama do with Wright, are you?  Obama does not measure up to MLK; neither does Wright, Nader, you nor I.

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By Max Shields, April 29, 2008 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

Amazing…MLK a great American. While I think Wright echos what we know about the American legacy, I really don’t see how this matches up with your guy Obama.

I mean it’s like night and day.

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By cyrena, April 29, 2008 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

Had it with the Wright story, (I know a few of you just LOVE it…Joe6pack…your mama’s calling you)..

Well, try THIS for a change of pace..maybe get an idea of what the Rev is speaking to…

Half of Vets Suffering Brain and Mind Injuries Go Untreated, but Pentagon Pretends Nothing’s Going On
  By Penny Coleman
  AlterNet
  Tuesday 29 April 2008

An activist travels to the DoD’s annual suicide prevention conference, only to find the military brass living in a parallel universe.

  The silverbacks are grooming and posturing at the microphones.

  Camo and khaki, wall to wall. Bob Ireland, an Air Force psychiatrist and consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General, welcomes the audience to the Department of Defense’s sixth annual Suicide Prevention Conference and makes jokes about how suicide prevention has been the DoD’s bastard child, homeless and parentless.

  In January 2008, the child nobody wanted finally managed to find a home. The Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury assumed responsibility for an issue and an injury that the military has hidden and denied for generations.

  It’s been left up to Lt. Col. Steven Pflanz, the senior psychiatry policy analyst for the Air Force surgeon general, to report on the mental healthcare practices that have been developed for those on active duty. Kerry Knox, director of the VA’s Center for Excellence on Suicide Prevention, was scheduled to share with him these introductory remarks, but is not in attendance. Apologies are made, but no one mentions how obviously difficult it would be for her to get into the self-congratulatory HOOAH! spirit of this conference when her boss just got busted big time for hiding VA suicide statistics, not just to the media but to Congress as well.

  “Shh!” Ira Katz, the VA’s mental health director, coyly began an email to the agency’s chief communications director - and inconveniently made public just this week. “Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among the veterans we see in our medical facilities. Is this something we should (carefully) address ourselves in some sort of release before someone stumbles on it?”

In another email, he acknowledged that an average of 18 war veterans manage to kill themselves each day - five of whom were under VA care at the time.

  OK, Katz is toast. Democrats are already calling for him to resign, which seems rather mild considering how many lives were damaged by his attempts at damage control. But do the math: That’s 12,000 veterans a year - VA patients - trying to kill themselves. On top of that, of the 6,570 who on average succeed each year, 1,825 of them are also patients at the VA. How is possible not to mention that kind of news at a conference on military suicides?

  This must have been a challenging week for the conference organizers. How to deal with the Katz e-mails and the new RAND Corporation report, which is devastating in its description of DoD and VA failures. And the RAND report can’t be blown off as the ravings of a bunch of leftists with an anti war agenda; RAND conducts research and analysis for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Commands, the defense agencies, the Department of the Navy, and the U.S. intelligence community.

  The report revealed that nearly 20 percent of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan - that’s 300,000 men and women - have symptoms of post-traumatic stress or major depression. Of those, only slightly more than half have sought VA treatment. Soldiers say that hesitation to seek help arises from fear that it will harm their careers.

more at the link
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/042908S.shtml

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By Dr. Wright and Dr. King, April 29, 2008 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If the good Reverend could get past his religion to his politics, we might have a leader. His words of history and culture are true. Dr. King was reviled by white America by the time of his murder but he is conspicuously the greatest leader of living Americans in hindsight. While I enthusiatically endorse Barack Obama, the good Reverend is more likely to take us to true peace and reconciliation. And to the racists in Pennsylvania, some of you my close friends, confrontation against your racism might get us farther than foregiveness.

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By cann4ing, April 29, 2008 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

Joe, you seem to be one of those individuals who mistake angry diatribe for journalism.  I would respectfully suggest that you spend a little time at http://democracynow.org and less time watching the faux news from Fox.  Perhaps then you will come to understand the meaning of the word, “journalism.”

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By cann4ing, April 29, 2008 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for your kind words, Cyrena.

As to Eugene Robinson, his words echo those who condemned Dr. King for speaking out against Vietnam.  Consider the following passages from Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam.”

“‘Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King?  Why are you joining the voices of dissent?’  “Peace and civil rights don’t mix,’ they say.  ‘Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people?’ they ask.  And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling.  Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which we live.”

Dr. King went on to note, “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

Dr. King added, “The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit….I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.  We must rapidly begin…the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.  When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

From Vietnam to Iraq, the position of our own government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and the “triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism” has remained a constant since Dr. King spoke so eloquently in 1967.  It was this reality which was the subject of Rev. Wright’s address bearing the unfortunate words “God Damn America” which has been so profoundly twisted, so removed from context that they bear no relationship whatsoever to the profound message Wright was seeking to convey. It is the ability of the corporate media to so profoundly twist the message, coupled the vice-into virtue “greed is good” philosophy which suggest that our nation is very near the spiritual death Dr. King warned us of.

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By cyrena, April 29, 2008 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Bravo Ernest Canning. I’m always so glad to hear/read your depth of character and integrity. Which…by the way, leaps to life right off of the sceen or pages.

I thank you, and of course I concur.

I might also add that Eugene Robinson has ‘torn his drawers’ with me. Not the first time this has happened, but it’s always a disappointment.

And yes, look how much Dr. King is revered now. On the other hand, (and I hate admitting this, but it’s the reality) the most die hard of the racists, (and we have them posting right here—-just too many to spell out) DO NOT revere Dr. King, and have yet to appreciate his contribution to ALL of society. And, they never will.

They may pay lip service to some sort of recognition when they’re forced to, but behind closed doors,(or on the Internet) they’re still talking the same old racist crap.

Anyway, thanks again for noting this. Those who need to be most aware of it will conveniently ignore it. We know who they are.

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By Fadel Abdallah, April 29, 2008 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

And I’ve had it with you Eugine Robinson! The arrogance and complacency of the errant mainstream media is well echoed in your piece. You’re no match for Rev. Wright and your condescending tone is not much different from what Obama was accused of when he made his highly-popularized statements about the Philadelphia people! It seems that you are suggesting that Rev. Wright should shut up and allow the talking to you who know it all.

You know Eugine, I am willing to bear the smell of the sh..t that emits from Rev. Wright back before I trust thousands of hollow words coming from your not so-good smelling mouth!

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By PatrickHenry, April 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

I wish Ron Paul would have gotten as much press as the Rev. Wright has gotten.

Its funny what the press will and will not report on.

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By Joe Sixpack, April 29, 2008 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

You need look no further than Obama’s own schedule to find out the truth. At 11:30 PM, some 15 hours after Rev. Wright to his loony Q&A;at the press club, Senator Obama was telling people and the press this was no big deal in his usual mono voice style.

Fast forward to this morning. Still no big deal.

FLASH!!!

BREAKING NEWS!!!

OBAMA CALLS EMERGENCY PRESS CONFRENCE

BREAK. BREAK.

This afternoon he walks out to his press conference and displays a curious amount of emotion and indignation for a man who’s known Wright for 20 years. He was a little more pissed off than anyone has ever noticed before.

Methinks he put out a poll last night…

POLL RESULTS: Wright is killing you. For the love of god do something and be pissed about it!!!

Let me remind you that today Obama proved that he could, in fact disown a man who introduced him to Christ. It was what? Five weekes ago when he told us how he could, “No more disown this man than my white grandmother.”

What exactly changed in those 15 hours that was any different than the last 15 years?

I think it’s called political expediency. So much for the new kind of politics, huh?

So much for the race-trandscendency from Mr. Obama.

So much for the post-racial candidate.

Good luck and make sure you find your lifeboat soon.

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By Joe Sixpack, April 29, 2008 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Giacobbe,

You are a gentleman. That was the nicest thing anyone has written about me on this site. I do appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Joe

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By Joe Sixpack, April 29, 2008 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Oh come on! Moyers didn’t ask ONE tough question in the entire “interview”.

“When did you first get the call to preach?”

Oh my goodness! That was a toughie!!

Moyers isn’t going to win a Peabody for that lame excuse for journalism.

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By cann4ing, April 29, 2008 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t it remarkable that the corporate media can bombard us with propaganda, like the thoroughly deceptive, looped sound-bite that creates a false caricature of Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a supposed hater of America and then complain when the target of the propaganda campaign steps forward to defend their reputation? 

Specifically, the media played over-and-over again a sound-bite of Wright shouting, “Not God Bless America.  God Damn America!”  The deceptive message was that Wright hates the very country Obama seeks to lead.

Next, we have an exercise in real journalism.  Bill Moyers, a man who has devoted his life to speaking truth to power, conducts an in-depth interview—not a shouting match/put down that many have come to expect from the likes of Bill O’Reilly, but a calm and dispassionate interview during which Jeremiah Wright, the man, is revealed to be a learned and very reasonable individual; a fact-based interview that revealed that this supposedly anti-American man of African decent served two years in the U.S.M.C. and another four in the U.S.N.—six years longer than the military service of our Vice President, who when asked about his Vietnam-era deferments said he had “more important things to do.”  It was an interview which exposed the lie contained within the out-of-context and looped sound bite.  Wright didn’t call on God to Damn America.  He was simply reciting Biblical passages revealing that God does not bless atrocities carried out in the name of imperialism.

His “chickens coming home to roost” argument is an assertion that 9/11 was a case of “blowback” relating to past U.S. imperial conquest—a contention not only widely supported by academics but reflected in later analysis of our intelligence agencies suggesting that the carnage we are currently responsible for in Iraq will serve to create new generations of terrorists.

So when Jeremiah Wright, the man, steps forward to defend his Swift Boated reputation, it proves too much a media pundit like Eugene Robinson.  “I’ve had it with Wright,” Robinson says.  Shame on you, Eugene Robinson!  People who are unfairly smeared have a right to step forward and defend themselves.

I, for one, have had it with lazy media pundits who act more like stenographers than journalists; who never scratch beneath the surface of either the official view of reality or the sound-bites they are fed.

Finally, it is worthy of note that Wright is by no means the first African-American minister to be assaulted by the corporate-owned media for criticizing U.S. imperialism.  During his 4/1/67 “Beyond Vietnam” speech, Dr. Martin Luther King lashed out at the “glaring contrast between poverty and wealth” and the immorality of Western investment in and removal of resources from the Third World without regard for the social well being of those living elsewhere.  He warned that a “nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”  Dr. King is much revered, now!  Back then, Time magazine called King’s speech “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi….”

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By noora, April 29, 2008 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

I don’t blame Rev. Wright or Sen. Obama for any of the drama that has untangled before our eyes.  I really blame the media.  For one thing, the media started this when it made a spectacle out of Rev. Wright.  The pundits put him center stage, and now they are wondering why the spotlight is on him?  They ridiculed him, took him out of context, used and abused what he said, and now they are crying foul because he is talking back?

There’s nothing egocentric about defending your point of view or sharing your philosophy.  You only think it’s egocentric because you are pitting Obama against Rev. Wright.  You just can’t take Obama’s word when he says he doesn’t agree with the Reverend on everything.  It’s as if Obama’s survival is dependent on the destruction of Rev. Wright’s message.  The media could have used this a chance to debate and discuss race issues, but instead it irresponsibly squandered it.  Debate, not dismiss. 

All day yesterday, the cable networks played out their talking points.  Every pundit said a variation of the same thing (at least when I was watching MSNBC) as if we’re some kind of drones.  Quit manipulating us with your propaganda.  You’re wasting our time and insulting our intelligence when you think we can’t handle what Rev. Wright said.  That somehow we need to champion Obama to silence it.  Look at us.  We can’t even talk about race or how certain African American communities feel in this country.  Race is only a spectacle when it’s talked about in the media. 

No one has to fully agree or disagree with Reverend Wright.  It’s completely fair to say that he doesn’t speak on behalf of the Black Church in its entirety.  But do we have to dismiss EVERYTHING he said because we disagree with part of it?  I’ve concluded that there’s absolutely no maturity in the media.  And it’s never enough with these opinion shows.  After Obama made his statements today, I heard Chris Matthews question the nature of the people who attend Rev. Wright’s church when he asked, “If they are really good people, then why are they still attending this church?”  Dare I ask Chris Matthews, what does he know about being poor, black, or living in the south side of Chicago in the first place to pass such judgment on people?

People are dying in Iraq, they are losing their homes, they are getting killed on the streets, their government has failed them in natural disasters, and pundits are talking about Rev. Wright’s ego.  What has this country come to?  If only they scrutinize our blundering President as much as they’ve scrutinized a man who has spent the last 40 years trying to lift his community up.

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By 99, April 29, 2008 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was happy to think of voting for him for the sake of all the kids who want him, but Rev Wright is hundreds of times more worthy of our respect and even reverence than ANY of the candidates for president.

Why the hell can’t America sit down and listen, sit down and think, sit down and decide to do the right things?  Because we can’t listen to the kinds of things people like Wright are telling us… also known as THE TRUTH.

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By Allen Wood, April 29, 2008 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I could not have said it better. The average American butt kissing fool is afraid of the truth. Its about time someone told them the truth. By the way, I never heard a reply from that piece of garbage war, mongering, money is everything to me VP? Has anyone heard a response? I didn’t think so.

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By John Brown, April 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Robinson almost every sentence in your column distorts reality and twists the facts. When that happens someone is pursuing a hidden agenda. Any sincere analysis of the total picture would report that as soon as Barack Obama evolved into a serious candidate for president, a racist attack on him was a sure thing—inevitable. This attack would use any and every prop and every person who might stir up the racist fears of white people, no matter how tenuous their connection to Obama. Minister Louis Farrakhan and Rev. Jeremiah Wright are two examples of this strategy in execution.

It was also inevitable that this attack would be carried out through the major corporate media. That explains the nearly identical cluckings of you and Bob Herbert of the New York Times today. Two of the nation’s most prominent African-American editorial writers hammering Barack Obama and disguising it as criticism of Rev. Wright. And offering opinions completely out of step with the masses of Black Americans.

Clearly, this is the expected attempt to politically assassinate Barack Obama, but how to explain the participation of you and Mr. Herbert? I always check with fallen warriors on these matters. Before he was assassinated Malcolm X taught about the dynamics of race-based oppression in the parable of the House Negro and the Field Negro. In Spike Lee’s film Malcolm X the parable is voiced by Denzel Washington in the title role thus, “...you must know that historically there are two kinds of slaves, House Negroes and Field Negroes. The house Negro lived in the big house; he dressed pretty good; he ate pretty good and he loved the master. Yeah, he loved him more than the master loved himself. If the master’s house caught fire, he’d be the first to put the blaze out. If the master got sick, he’d say: “What’s a matter, boss; we sick?” WE sick! If someone said to him, “Let’s run away and escape. Let’s separate.” He’d say, “Man, are you crazy? What’s better than what I got here?” That was the House Negro.”

Obama’s support in the African-American community, which this campaign is intent on isolating, is best described in the other half of Malcolm’s parable, “Now the Negro in the field caught hell all day long. He was beaten by the master; he lived in a shack, wore castoff clothes and hated his master. If the house caught fire, he’d pray for a wind. If the master got sick, he’d pray that he’d die. And if you said to him, “Let’s go, let’s separate”, he’d yell, “Yeah, man, any place is better than this.” You’ve got a lot of Field Negroes in America today. I’m one.”

So Malcolm identified himself proudly as a Field Negro, what about you?

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By Allen Wood, April 29, 2008 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Christ died because he preached the truth, and sorry to say after all of this time there are a great many people from every camp that are still AFRAID OF THE TRUTH. In my opinion, the Reverend may be telling the truth in more instances than he is lying. The Almighty knows without question what is truth, and what is lie. I say let him judge because he, and only he has the authority. Do you believe differently?

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By Allen Wood, April 29, 2008 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All of my 51 years of Life I have been told by family and friends that there are 3 things that will never happen in regards to the election of the president of the United States. They are as follows, and I am starting to believe them more and more as this farce of an election continues:
#1 No poor man will ever be elected to the presidency
#2 No Black man will be elected to the presidency
#3 No Woman will hold the office of the president.

Does anyone but me see that Mr Bush knows that Mr McCain will assume the presidency because all three of the above scenarios cannot be allowed to transpire. The Illuminati has pulled the wool over the sleeping eyes of America for the 3rd time. When McCain attains the office of the president, that is if Dubya does not cancel the elections under Martial Law, WELCOME TO BUSH III. I hope you all like waterboarding in a FEMA Camp. Have Fun You Idiots.

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By Margaret Currey, April 29, 2008 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Rev. is right in what he says, some might not like his delivery, what I heard is not you should not sing “God Bless America but “God Damn America, but he is not directing anyto sing anything he is just using the words but I did not hear him directly tell his congregation to sing “God Damn America, and he knew that noone would take the action literly.

The word is out there like anyone who back Barack would not know this, I think that somehow Mr. Clinton started this race thing by comparing how Obama won with how Jesse Jackson won and Obama won more than J.J. did so Bill brought it out, Hillary added to it by the eletist comment which was a code word for “upitty” and if you don’t know what the word means I will not explain it.

Indeed people are bitter and as in some countries when there is suppression of democracy people turn to extreme religion, just look at the middle east, the religion controls a woman’s going out and her comming in, she has to be careful that the male of their community is not excited, I mean if a woman must use self control, why can not the men do the same if these men were changed into woman would they like the same treatment, being a slave to religion and society, there is something wrong here.  Not is not to lay that the dress code has gotten a little on the sexual side among the young people, but parents will tell their daughters that it is not cool to have a part of your body showing and does not the stomach not get cold in the winter when it is exposed.

This is off the beaten path, because the media does not want to have people think, if I listed to the ravings of the talk people, they get paid to do the the bidding of the corporate media that does not care about truth and justice.

Seems as though Karl Rove wrote the book about how to “throw people under the bus”.

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By Gregorio, April 29, 2008 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

You posted to the wrong article.  Wake up or grow up or take your medications before your bleeding heart sickens everyone in the room

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By Don Stivers, April 29, 2008 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

If Kucinich or Wright is not going to be President, then Obama should be.  Hillary and McCain are not fit.

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By Karen, April 29, 2008 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was greatly impressed by Rev. Wright’s interview with Bill Moyers and his NAACP speech.  In fact, when he talked about how we view accents differently (for instance, John Kennedy not being able to say Cuba, but rather pronouncing it Cuber), he got me thinking about how I get irritated when I hear a Black person saying “ax” rather than “ask.”  It’s different, not deficient!  I get the message, Reverend—and BIG THANK YOU for making me see this.

Now isn’t that just what a good sermon is supposed to do?  Make people think!

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By Conservative Yankee, April 29, 2008 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please tell me, beyond campaign boilerplate what makes Hill the business-shill better than Obama, McCain, Bush?

She’s getting her money from the same places, she’s a Walmart honey, She’s an apologist for terrorists, and she’s in bed with the unlimited visa crowd.. She won’t do a thing about the sub-prime crisis (Citi-group paid their dues) She won’t end the wars (She owes Raytheon, McDonald Douglas, and Dow Chemical) Her supreme Court Justice pick (replacing the most liberal member of the court) will be centrist (like Breyer and Ginsberg)

So what’s her big draw??? 

Oh, and BTW she’s also got the Democratic nomination all sewn up… always has.

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By Max Shields, April 29, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

The point, and I’ve made it elsewhere, is that Obama has run a race based on grass-roots organizing. But grass-roots organizing is not built for the national arena.

Building deep grass-roots movement is something third parties like the US Green Party has been trying to do with minimal success to date. You cannot get that kind of movement simply because you have one of the worst Presidents in recent memory running the country into the ground. There is just too much history around the status quo.

So, Obama is at once trying to provide this message of change on the fly without a deep movement to carry the message. And at the same time, he’s trying to appeal to a nebulous mass of “Americans” from a centrist position. The worlds clash and he has nothing to support his message but a light headed sense of change with nothing but the same rhetoric of his opponent. His opponent, at this time, has begun to look like she’s at least a fighter.

BTW, I’m not a Hillary or Obama supporter. I think we need as many choices as possible, throw more and more democracy at this. Open the doors let the ideas flow from all kinds of quarters.

But this is how I see the Obama phenom. High as a kite and ready to come to earth just as quickly.

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By Max Shields, April 29, 2008 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

Yes, I’ve said it elsewhere. If Obama was for real he would have had a real movement (not the suped up rock star crap) to take the message forward.

So, when bumps are hit there is no traction to pick up the beat. Look at his spokepersons, many are neoliberal/Lieberman hand-me-downs. These are sunshine warriors. They duck as soon as the going gets just the slightest bit “tough”.

Obama is part of the evil (lessor or otherwise) and that doesn’t have staying power. He pushed Rev. Wright under the bus, and is trying to be centrist on the one hand and change agent on the other. HAH!!! You can almost see the collective heads spinning…

I can hear those wheels coming off.

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By Joe Sixpack, April 29, 2008 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

You’re point is well taken.

I fear the more liberal elite members of my party will keep their electabilty blinders forever. It’s as though keeping the music playing as democrats board their lifeboats is the most important thing to be doing right now.

It’s gut-check time for the super dels, isn’t it? My hope is that Hillary, who seems to have found her stride at long last, can win somewhere she isn’t suppossed to. How great would it be for John Edwards to cut his Disney vacation a little short and come home to North Carolina and appear with Hillary and help close the shrinking Obama lead there?

If she could widen the lead in Indiana and pull off an upset in NC then you could see some super delegates come off the fence in a hurry. The only way she can get this nomination is to keep winning. Obama is weak and getting weaker. Maybe she can come all the way back and put this guy away in a more convincing way than he’s been able to.

Hillary or McCain? It just might be that simple. Obama is DOA in the general.

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By cyrena, April 29, 2008 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

Since Truthdig hasn’t, I guess I will. (post this) Nope, has nothing to do with flagpins or bowling scores.

Leave it to the UN to fix the crises we help create.
UN Taskforce to Tackle Global Food Crisis

  By Allegra Stratton
  The Guardian UK
  Tuesday 29 April 2008

  The UN secretary general today said he would head a special taskforce to address food shortages and price rises around the world.

  Ban Ki-moon said the move was an attempt to avert “social unrest on an unprecedented scale.”

  Convening a crisis meeting of world leaders in June, he also appeared to criticise the international community’s response to the crisis.

  He said people had not heeded warnings from the UN’s food and agriculture organisation (FAO), amongst other bodies.

  “The first and immediate priority, that we all agree, is that we must feed the hungry,” Ban added as he outlined his taskforce plans.

  He said the World Food Programme estimated that it needed a further $775m (£382m). A total of $475m (£240m) has already been pledged.

  The FAO estimated that world price for foods such as cereals, dairy, produce, meat, sugar and oils was 57% higher last month than in March.

  “Without full funding of these emergency requirements, we risk again the spectre of widespread hunger, malnutrition and social unrest on an unprecedented scale,” Ban said.

  The secretary general was speaking in Switzerland, where he and the heads of 27 other international agencies were holding talks.

  Robert Zoellick, the head of the World Bank, and Pascal Lamy, the head of the World Trade Organisation, also attended the discussions.

  Acknowledging that farmers needed assistance in planting and producing more crops in the face of rising energy and fertiliser costs, Ban said the FAO had developed a $1.7bn plan to aid agriculture in the world’s poorest countries.

  Many farmers had committed to selling their harvests at rates fixed before the recent dramatic increase in wheat, corn, rice, dairy, and oils prices.

  Economists linked the rises to factors including drought, the use of crops for biofuels and speculation by commodity traders and hedge funds.

  “We must make every effort to support those farmers so that, in the coming year, we do not see even more severe food shortages,” Ban said.

  Presenting research compiled by the World Bank, Zoellick said people “are not planting more because they are fearful that they face very high input costs”.

  He added that 100 million people were estimated to have been pushed into poverty over the past two years.

  “This is not a natural disaster,” he said. “This crisis isn’t over once the emergency needs are met.

  “The world can afford this. I think we’ve now got the attention of the world community.”

  Lamy said it was unrealistic to expect that farmers would immediately benefit from the increase in food staple prices.

  Increasing food production and matching crops with the goods in highest demand would take more time and depend on fair and clear international trade rules, he added.

  The WTO said it had been working for seven years to conclude a new deal to slash tariffs and subsidies skewing the global prices of agricultural goods, making it hard for poor country farmers to sell their crops abroad.

Here’s a related article also at the link

Ethanol Part of Food Crisis, Says Durbin
  By J. Taylor Rushing
  The Hill
  Monday 28 April 2008
  Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Monday that U.S. ethanol policies may be partly to blame for a global food crisis threatening to leave millions hungry.


http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/042908F.shtml

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By MaryinNC, April 29, 2008 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree that Eugene while most times I agree with his articles, he’s dead wrong on this.  I’ve watched the media lynching of two highly educated well spoken black men.  I’ve watched black pundits (Eugene included) come on TV and agree with the ‘right wing’ talking points demonizing both these men.  Only Roland Martin of CNN try to explain and educate america people on what goes on in some black churches.  Rev. Wright has every right to defend himself, no one else did or will.  You, Eugene may be tired of Rev. Wright but don’t forget you are part of MSM that kept this story alive.  Where were you when the ‘right wingers’ came for Obama and then Rev. Wright?

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By BobZ, April 29, 2008 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

It is no big deal, unless you are calling the majority of American’s racist. How can you speak for the man in the street? The media is keeping the Wright balloon afloat, but they will soon find another balloon to blow up to amuse their viewers and readers. But at some point as the economy sinks to even lower lows, American’s might wake up and start looking at who is looking out for them. Answer: it ain’t John (100 million dollar wife) McCain.

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By cyrena, April 29, 2008 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

“... I got to wonder after witnessing this Pastor get crucified, how African-Americans can turn their backs and say he is not one of us. Some things never change….”

RdV…

I agree, and said the same myself. Wright didn’t start this shit.

Meantime, I’m with you on any African-Americans who could turn their backs and say that he is not one of us. Just to keep it clear, Barack Obama did NOT say any such thing. Rather, he said Wright was the same as a FAMILY MEMEBER, and I know he meant it.

It does not surprise me however, that other African-Americans could turn their backs an say that he is ‘not one of us’. All I can say to those that would, is that somebody should slap the shit out of them.

Eugene?

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By tony, April 29, 2008 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We now know what FOX NEWS exclusively and other media outlets in conjunctions can get right. They invaded Rev. Wright’s world and lifted him into the spotlight. Yes he is a public figure in the pulpit but NOT in politics. By rerunning a ten second clip nonstop that did not truely represent his normal position on life’s dilemas. THEY DESTROYED HIM by forcing him to defend his GOOD name in an arena that was much larger than anything he had ever aspired to enter. They could not find anything offensive in Obama’s life or his wifes so they started looking for those around him. THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED. Some of the things that Rev. Wright said were inexcusable I agree. I just wonder what you or I would do if we were the chosen one. I’m grateful that he did lash out verbally and not internalize such pain or exibit in ways that others in today’s society have done. As an ex-marine we should count our blessing he did not find a bell tower to shout(shoot)from.

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skmacksk's avatar

By skmacksk, April 29, 2008 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Your singular talent to trivialize the real, the actual and valorize the trivial is certainly a talent, that would make you a sought after commentator, in the world of mainstream American punditry. But sir your talent is thin! What are you doing here?

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By mike, April 29, 2008 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well my hope for obama is dropping after he came out today and said that the rev comments are disive and hatefull.  And most of all for saying that they rev blames america for 9-11.  HE DOES NOT BLAME AMERICA .  If I tell a mugging victim who was walking down a dark alley in bad area of town with 20 dollar bills haning out of his pocket that that was not smart,  am I blaming him ? NO.  I thought that maybe obama was brave enough to accullty talk about this but no he wants votes.  This whole election has proven to me how F**K up or system is.  From the media that will ruin a man over sound bites and wont even give you the full story   to the politicians that would sell their own child for a vote.  I vote for starting over.

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By BobZ, April 29, 2008 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Not sure what you’re trying to say here but as it pertains to Reverend Wright, his congregation wants their church to be reflective of the community they live in and not some artificial sanctuary. That means they don’t ignore the reality of what goes on in the world outside, but use their religion to cope with it. You are free to go to a church that doesn’t subscribe to Reverend Wrights philosophy. It’s a free country. He seems to have done ok, since his ministry has increased from 87 members to over 6000.

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By rage, April 29, 2008 at 11:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This was damage control, and possibly alienated a lot of Obama’s black church supporters in the process. The speech in Philadelphia was sufficient. Anyone who was using Pastor Wright as a reason to not support Obama will simply find another reason he isn’t fit and well enough vetted in the coming weeks. Wright was never the problem. The problem was that, in case folks hadn’t noticed it, Barak Obama is, well, black.

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By Apostle Gideon, April 29, 2008 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

When politics screams from a pulpit, “My politcal activism is protected by Christ,” Well…...What is a church, what is a tax, and what is a tithe?

The Reverend’s comments are not what I pay my tithes for or to hear from Christ’s pulpit. Nor, or they in support of what, I believe Christ died for…Giving grace freely to those in need of it.

http://benevolentlybeloved.com

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By kevin99999, April 29, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As an Obama supporter, Robinson has carried the water for him in his columns by consistently attacking Obama’s opponents. Now the Wright is speaking out to defend himself, Robinson seems to be upset by the potentially negative impact this may have on Obama’s nomination. Robinson will attack anyone that has undermining influence on Obama’s nomination. That is fine but he should not pretend to be objective.

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By BobZ, April 29, 2008 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

RDV,

Chris Matthew’s was especially obnoxious yesterday. He was unbelievably ill informed about the totality of the Reverend Wrights body of work and the good he did for his community and how he built his congregation from 87 members to over 6,000 members. His sermons were trashed by having them cut into sensationalized sound bytes for mass consumption to whites prepared to see the worst from black people. Matthews has lately taken on some of the same trappings as Bill O’Reilly as the spokesperson playing on the fears of the blue collar white middle class. Arianna Huffington is right, our MSM and cable news network is being controlled by a right wing agenda underwritten by people like Rupert Murdoch.

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By Aegrus, April 29, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

You watch and see what happens. I’m confident Obama will not be harmed much by this silly damage control by Wright.

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By RdV, April 29, 2008 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

was in stating that Wright made it all about himself. It wasn’t him who made it all about himself—Wright was strung out like the archtypical angry black man—all you have to do is witness the media chorus of condemnation. Start with stupid white man, bar none, Chris Mathews turn on the inflamatory attack rhetoric. I can’t imagine he would tolerate any spun soundbites looped endlessly by the pedaphile-enabling pope. No word of criticism allowed for the Pope’s pompous proclamations from his throne, notably absent any commentary on illegal war or torture..Not even a singular word for the Right-wing Zealots and vultures McCain has lined up behind him—Hagee, for example who referred to the Catholic Church as the “great whore”...No endless soundbites, no deliberate smears—so why the hell should the African-American church be set up as whipping boy. Huh? I got to wonder after witnessing this Pastor get crucified, how African-Americans can turn their backs and say he is not one of us. Some things never change.

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