Agam's Gecko
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Barack Obama
Barack Obama appears at a fund-raiser on April 9, 2007. Yes, that is George Soros next to the stairs, and no this is not PhotoShopped.
Photo: New York Magazine

ust like most other people, I was first introduced to the phenomenon of Barack Obama with his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, when his party put forth John Kerry as their candidate to take on President Bush. I had been able to watch most of the important speeches of that event, and after the convention I wrote the following on July 31:
But in my opinion, Kerry and everyone else, including Ted the Lionhearted and past presidents, were all seriously upstaged by the keynote speaker. I feel like I might well have seen the very first self-introduction by the first black president of the US. Barack Obama is simply amazing. He sounded so completely different from all the others, because he had not a single streak of meanness anywhere in his address. No backhanded or subtle slurs on anyone (plentiful in Kerry's speech)... Barack Obama came across to me as a transcender -- all the labels and categories just don't fit.
I knew nothing about him except what I'd just heard him say and I was favourably impressed enough to later compare him with Michael Steele, a rising black Republican, and envisioned a potential presidential election between those two men (perhaps by 2012 or 2016).

I would never have predicted that Obama would be running for that office while his first term in congress was barely half finished. Americans unquestionably know more about him now than they did then, but not by much. Even stranger, questions aimed at getting to know who he is are now denounced as racist questions. I certainly never saw that coming, given what he was projecting on that big national stage four years ago.

A similar meteoric rise can be seen in Sen. McCain's running mate, Governor Sarah Palin. While she is evidently the most popular state governor in the country (with remarkably favourable opinion even among Alaska Democrats), the country as a whole didn't know her yet. By contrast, anything and everything was fair-game for probing, including apparently her uterus. Formerly respectable pundits were crying out for DNA tests to disprove baby Trig's suspected emergence from Sarah's daughter's (never mind the physical impossibility of giving birth and still being pregnant afterwards).

The Palin choice at the end of August launched the most vicious, vile smear campaign by the "independent media" I have ever seen in my life. Had this been done to an approved Democrat (Hillary never faced a fraction of this), the feminism movement would have been on the warpath and taking scalps. In this case though, they piled on with the despicable campaign as its most fervent supporters. A "feminist" Democrat politician claimed Sarah was only chosen because "she had not had an abortion." Baby Trig should not have been given the chance to live, in other words. Other "feminists" said she was neglecting her children for her career, as though they actually wished to keep her barefoot in the kitchen.

She was portrayed in mainstream media opinion pieces as a kinky dominatrix (yes, illustrated by PhotoShop), as a dumb snow-jockey from Hicksville who personally shoots wildlife from helicopters, and even as "not really a woman" (for not adhering to the format of "progressive leftist" women). And yes, that was from the pen of a "feminist" as well. The deceitful hits on this conservative woman (as far as I know, it's not yet a crime for a woman to be one) have been too numerous to count, although Charles Martin has made a valiant effort.

Here's an example of how unhinged some "reporters" are getting. Kathryn Lopez of National Review's The Corner came upon this gem, a call for help from psychologists by freelance writer Daphne White, for a project in a "major daily newspaper." Posted on the Help a Reporter Out website:
"Psychologically (NOT politically) speaking: What makes Sarah Palin such a polarizing figure? How is it that she hooks into people (especially women) so strongly? Does she show signs of having borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder? Is that why women have such a strong emotional response to her? I would particularly like to hear from therapists whose female clients have been discussing Palin in their therapy. Also, do you have clients who are strong Obama supporters while their husbands are for McCain Palin? How is that affecting their marriage? Short emails are fine: I will be conducting phone interviews."
Get that? What is psychologically wrong with Palin, that makes us go so absolutely bananas? I've no idea whether the story was ever written.

Sarah Palin
"OMG, she winked at us!"
Photo: AP / J. Scott Applewhite
Of course all the wild charges, given credence by a mostly pliant national media, have had their intended effect. The surge of excitement that she brought to the campaign was quickly reversed by the mountain of spurious innuendo -- but even with that she is still drawing huge crowds. After giving the media a rap on the knuckles for their advocacy journalism (ignoring them for a short while, which Obama has also done), she sat for some interviews. The menopausal schoolmarm-ish Charlie Gibson peered down his nose at her, and later made sure that any impressive statements she made ended up on the cutting room floor. Compare with the full transcript if you doubt this.

The comedians at Saturday Night Live have been having a field day, and anything is fair game where Palin is concerned. What a shame that nobody got to hear the actual context of the "We can see Russia from Alaska" comment she had made. That too was left on Charlie's floor. Now, it's a punchline. But, making a joke that her husband Todd, an Inuit snow-machine racer, oil rig worker and house husband, was diddling his daughters? Is that also fair game now? Ask yourself whether SNL would have dared to make that same joke about Barack.

I haven't heard any feminist activists, apart from Tammy Bruce and one or two others, come down on the openly misogynistic attacks against Palin. On the other hand, any questions about the Messiah's background are roundly denounced by his side as racism. And by "his side," I mean to include the news agency AP (which at one time used to be an abbreviation for "Associated Press"). Palin has brought up one of the issues the media has tried its best to avoid -- Obama's long working relationship with William Ayers, in common cause. Palin puts it on the table, the media can't avoid it however much they wish to. AP writer Douglass K. Daniel manages to squeeze one truth, one fib, and one whopper into his second sentence:
And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.
William Ayers
Bill Ayers, a proud terrorist who hates his country.
The uninformed would have to think that William Ayers is black, for that to make any sense. Here's a candidate who refuses to talk about any of his radical associates, who disowns a couple of them only when absolutely politically necessary (Wright, Farrakhan), and who has managed to keep hidden all his records from both Columbia and Harvard. His political career was launched in Bill Ayers' living room 13 years ago. But asking about the relationship with Ayers is somehow "racist." If you click only one link from this piece, read Jeff Goldstein's How the Left Hijacked the Magic Words.

Ayers and his domestic partner, Bernadine Dohrn, were both top leaders of the Weathermen Underground which bombed public buildings in the early 1970's. People were killed, including some of the inept bombers. Ayers denies nothing, famously saying that he was "guilty as hell and free as a bird" (on a technicality).

Both Ayers and Dohrn continue to say they're only sorry they didn't do more for the revolution. It's only a coincidence that a story about Ayers, in which he said he didn't do enough bombing in those days, was published in the New York Times on September 11, 2001, a remarkable stroke of bad timing. Dohrn is on record with her fascination with the Manson family, marvelling at how that gruesome gang ate dinner after their slaughter of "the pigs" and then stuck forks in their victims' bellies. Cool!

The media will tell you that Obama once went to a "coffee" at Ayers' house. They don't seem willing to tell you that the event was Ayers' introduction of Obama to the Chicago political stage -- it launched his campaign for state senate. Everyone in Chicago knew Ayers' history at that point, Obama would have to pretend not to read newspapers if he would wish to feign ignorance about it.

Yet he went on to work with Ayers on many projects, sitting together on boards of directors at the Woods Fund and Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Both these foundations funnelled millions to radical "activist" groups, including the housing reform group ACORN, which repaid the favour by acting as an activist arm of Obama's political campaigns (ACORN is currently implicated in many voter fraud cases across the country). CAC was intended to support improvements to education in Chicago schools, but the money all went to support Ayers' pet projects to instill 'revolutionary awareness' instead of the three R's. A follow-up study found no discernible improvement in education, 150 million dollars later. Obama has cited his CAC chairmanship as a recommendation for higher office.

Digging into the community activist / ACORN nexus (Obama himself trained ACORN activists) leads right to the heart of the current credit crisis -- a likely reason the media isn't inclined to dig there. Start with this and move on to this. Yeah, I know, the American Thinker and the NY Post. It may actually be less than 10% of the media which doesn't absolutely worship The One.

The author of the second piece, Stanley Kurtz, has had a very difficult time getting hold of the CAC papers for his research, but he's unearthed a lot in any case. Both he and author David Freddoso, who wrote The Case Against Barack Obama, were recently invited (separately) to Chicago radio host Milt Rosenberg's show, along with representatives of the Obama campaign. They provided one for Freddoso but declined for Kurtz. The campaign preferred to mobilize followers, through an 'Obama Action Alert,' to deluge the station with thousands of emails and callers demanding the men not be permitted to air their findings. Presumably because it would be racist, or something.

John McCain
Joe Biden
Senator McCain's record and reputation are well known for his quarter century on the national stage. The same can be said about Senator Biden, almost four decades in his case. The public now has a firmly implanted narrative of Sarah Palin's history, even though three quarters of what they think they know is actually wrong (for those thinking of book bannings, rape kits, or any of the other popular tropes, see the first link).

But Senator Obama? He's still a closed book for the majority, and they don't seem to mind. His biggest accomplishments have been two biographies of himself. And being a community organiser, which his followers feel makes him much like Jesus. I don't think the radical left knows as much about Jesus as they think they do.

After passage of the bailout bill, and with less than a month to the election, attention must finally turn to the two principal candidates. Who are they? Everything that could possibly have been dug up on John McCain over the last quarter century has been spread out for viewing. Most people know almost nothing about Barack Obama, nor had they ever seen him before that 2004 speech. Who is he, really? The public will only know what their media, conservatively estimated at 90% in the tank, is willing to tell them.

It's not willing to tell them everything, and it's frightening that so many American people are willing to go along with this. Aren't you curious, just a little? What about: "Let's get to the bottom of this Ayers relationship as deeply as we got to the bottom of the Keating Five scandal all those years ago." After that investigation, the lead attorney (a Democrat) had said McCain's name should be dropped from the list because he hadn't done anything wrong. But then it would have been the "Keating Four Democrats," so McCain's name was not dropped in the interest of bipartisanship.

He made some bad associations, and he apologized for it (which is all that's required from Obama now). Now, if there's any new evidence that McCain was unethical, bring it forward and stop blocking inquiries into Obama's background. Americans should know them both equally well, and at this point they don't.

Barack has been on the fast track. After his first run for state senator had failed without support of the Daley dynasty in Chicago, he joined them and made it on the second try. Moving on up, the famously corrupt Chicago political machine soon presents, your next United States Senator. Part way through first term, runs for president. Cites running for president as "executive experience" for being president. I don't get it. He must be relying on the messiah factor. Those people don't ask any questions.

I have many times recently poked a sarcastic stick at Xinhua and other Chinese state-controlled media. In China, state-controlled is the same as party-controlled. I've also criticised media bias in the West during the life of this blog. But I never expected American media to so much resemble a party-controlled, albeit diversified, institution. It may be funny to joke about Xinhua reporting events that hadn't happened yet, and quoting words that hadn't been spoken. Let's have a laugh also at CNN's Soledad O'Brien (just a handy, brief example) totally making it up about what's in front of our own eyes.

After the Vice-Presidential Debate last week, I saw this happen. Luckily, someone YouTubed it for posterity. Show of hands, who won the debate?

She looks at the Biden show of hands, saying "OK, that looks overwhelming," and after the Palin show of hands, she says, "So, small hands, well Joe Biden wins by a significant margin there."

By my count, there are 29 people visible, 17 on the left side and 12 on the right -- including some who are mostly obscured, but not their responses. Biden took the left bleacher 10 - 7. Palin took the right bleacher 7 - 5. Biden wins by a 15 - 14 squeaker. You can't split 29 people any finer than that.

OK. That looks overwhelming. Not the show of hands, that other thing. The thing which is so obvious, by a significant margin.

Here is an investigation into Obama & Friends: History of Radicalism, in a playlist of six clips. If you have time, watch it. I know, I know, shoot the messenger. But watch it anyway. And ask yourself, why is CBS / ABC / NBC / CNN / NYT / WaPo / PBS etc., etc. not willing to go anywhere near any of this? Will they be able to keep it quiet for another four weeks? Take another look at Soledad before answering that question.


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