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"Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He's the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by."

--- Karl Rove, describing Barack Obama

When I first read about this comment, my immediate reaction was that I couldn't think of a single country club that would admit a black man named Barack Hussein Obama. Then I thought Rove was doing his usual shtick, i.e., take his greatest weakness and ascribe it to his opponent. In other words, I felt that he was describing George W. Bush at the club, not Obama. Makes much more sense that way, given Bush's history with alcohol -- and his smart mouth. It was much the same technique Rove used to destroy John Kerry's Vietnam war record in 2004, all but accusing the nominee of being a liar and a coward. All this while Bush was hiding his "war record" in plain sight.

But a commenter at Talking Points Memo unpacked Rove's comments differently than me and I think he nails it:

The key to the statement is that (in the image) he is with "a beautiful date." Not Michelle Obama or, in the abstract, his wife, i.e. a wife like Michelle Obama. When you think of a "beautiful date" specifically at a country club, do you picture an African-American woman? Would Rove's target audience?

Or do you picture him there, a black man, smoking a cigarette indoors at a country club, with a white woman on his arm?

When I thought of this, I got a chill. When you think of Obama's vulnerability, I think the primaries showed that race remains a real and very serious obstacle, particularly with white Americans over 50. When you think of where we are with racism in this country, I think its a pretty safe bet that the final freak-out factor to overcome may be black men dating white women, in particular, one's daughter.

If I were a completely amoral Republican operative, I'd try to find some white women that Obama dated before Michelle and get them into the public's stream of consciousness anyway I could. Its a tactic so vile I don't even like speculating about it, but if you want to be ready for the worst, I think Rove just tipped his hand at where they plan to go.

In all fairness, I have to ask if there is (or isn't) the analogous scenario that an "amoral Democratic operative" could spring on McCain? Remember, in order for it to work, it has to resonate at the emotional level and be absolutely radioactive in the extreme. It has to address a fundamental fear that the electorate has about McCain.

That's the number of times George "Dead or Alive" Bush granted one of the over 5,000 clemency requests that passed his desk prior to giving his co-conspirator Scooter Libby a pass.

Marcy Wheeler, still recovering from the FISA debacle, lives up to her reputation as one of Blogtopia's (ysctp!) most valuable players by summarizing ScottBot McClellerator's appearance before the House Judiciary Committee today -- so we can find out what the hell they're doing instead of impeaching Bush and Cheney, and that miscreant Scalio too.

What will pass as news in all this today is that McClellen said, under oath, that Karl Rove is a liar.


While certainly not the most important, nor most newsworthy information to come out of the hearing, this question by Jerrold Nadler was one of my favorites:

NADLER: Do you know when the president gave instruction to cover Libby's rear end, did he know about Libby's involvement? Scott didn't know that.
Okay, maybe that's not a direct quote or anything, but it sure does bring to mind some interesting mental pictures, No?


Kinda says it all for a Congress that not only refuses to go after corruption and lawlessness in the current regime in any meaningful way, but actually enables the perpetrators to cover their tracks by letting the Telecoms, along with White House, get off the hook.

We Have Met The Enemy

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Get your lobbying resume tweaked, Steny. After we've purged the body politic of the miscreants with "R"s next to their names, we're coming after you.

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]

"I don't like obscene profits being made anywhere. I'd be glad to look not just at the windfall profits tax -- that's not what bothers me -- but we should look at any incentives that we are giving to people, or industries or corporations, that are distorting the markets."

---- McCain speaking on May 5 in North Carolina.

"[Obama] wants a windfall profits tax on oil, to go along with the new taxes he also plans for coal and natural gas. If the plan sounds familiar, it's because that was President Jimmy Carter's big idea, too. And a lot of good it did us."

---- McCain, speaking on June 17 in (oil-rich) Texas.

Even CNN is beginning to notice McCain's flip-flops.

How much longer before McCain's reputation as a straight-talker is shot to hell?

KO's Special Comments are not, often, easy to watch. He dials it up to 11 every time and then, after that, there's nowhere else left for him to go.

But you know what? In the end, he's the only guy who says what needs to be said. In the context of cable and network news, only one person -- Keith Olbermann -- delivers the unvarnished truth.

And speaking of context, KO thrashes McCain for complaining that his "not that important" comment was taken out of context:

You have attested to: a fairly easy success; an overwhelming victory in a very short period of time; in which we would be welcomed as liberators; which you assured us would not require our troops stay for decades but merely for years; from which we could bring them all home, since you noted many Iraqis resent American military presence; in which all those troops coming home will also stay there, not being injured, for a hundred years; but most will be back by 2013; and the timing of their return, is "not that important."

That, Sen. McCain, is context.

And that, Sen. McCain, is madness.

The Government Accountability Office just released a study Tuesday that concludes that one out of every ten soldiers sent to Iraq, takes with them medical problems "severe enough to significantly limit their ability to fight."

In five years, we have now sent 43-thousand of them to war even though, they were already wounded.

And when they come home, is "not that important."

Jalal al Din al Sagir, a member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, and Ali al Adeeb, of the rival Dawa Political Party, gave a series of interviews last week about the particulars of this country’s demand for a "Status of Forces," agreement with Iraq, a treaty which Mr. Bush does not intend to show Congress before he signs it.

The Iraqi politicians say the treaty demands Iraq’s consent to the establishment of nearly double the number of U.S. military bases in Iraq, from about 30, to 58, and from temporary, to permanent.

Those will be American men and women who must, of necessity, staff these bases - staff them, in Mr. McCain’s M.C. Escher dream-world in which our people can all come home while they stay there for a hundred years but they’ll be back by 2013.

And when they come home, is "not that important."

Make you a deal: if watching Keith Olbermann is too exhausting for you, read the transcript. But if you want the full multi-media experience -- something at which KO and MSNBC excel -- let's go to the tape:

(Cross posted on Daily Kos)

Plenty of articles today, and earlier, about Obama's pushback on the Internet whispering campaign targeting him and Michelle.

So, today, when I received an email from a friend that contained some of the most vile, bizarre and heinous stuff I've ever read about John McCain...well, you tell me what you think:

John McCain's infamous temper has been wildly underreported in the media. For instance: The beautiful young woman who is presented to the media as his daughter is really an actress - McCain beat his real daughter to death when she was two and crying with hunger (the McCains do not believe in pampering the young by feeding them).

...and so forth and so on. Like I said, crazy stuff, totally unbelievable and bordering on the hilariously insane.

Now, this friend (who thinks we can defeat islamofascism by nuking Mecca) wasn't the sort of guy to spread this sort of stuff around.

Or was he?

I emailed him back and asked him where he found this. While I was waiting for his response (which never came, natch) I googled the email and found ... well, here's what I found:

Unhinged Obamaton: McCain Receives Payments from Ayatollahs and the Mob, Beat His Daughter to Death and Killed Vince Foster

Yes. Well. Obamatons. Of course!

Let's cut to the chase: this guy claims that the personal pages at are overrun with whackjobs spreading vicious crap about St. John, proving that Obama followers are insane. This blogger links to additional crap (now gone from the Obama site) to prove his point ... and then links to (wait for it) Little Green Snotballs which is apparently in a pearl-clutching frenzy and looking for their fainting couch over this affair.

Now, after thinking about it for about 12 nanoseconds, it occured to me that whoever posted this crap about McCain is most likely carrying water for the Republicans.

For example, remember this story?

[In the] 1986 Texas gubernatorial race...[Karl] Rove's candidate Bill Clements was taking on Democratic Governor Mark White. Just before a debate between the two candidates, Rove spun the story that his office had been bugged. No proof. But the insinuation that White's people had carried out the bugging was reported by the media. In the election, Clements defeated White.

So get ready for a slew of stories about vicious Internet rumors sliming St. John McCain -- coming from the Obama campaign, no less -- and be ready to push back hard against it.

I'm Voting Republican

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R.W. Thorne II, general counsel: I'm voting Republican because corporations should not have to pay to clean up environmental damage. The EPA is an outmoded idea. If people want clean water, buy it in a bottle.

Veronica Oakes, student: I'm voting Republican because I don't want to know if the food I'm eating has been gentically modified or exposed to radiation. I don't want to have to live with that fear, you know? So, if the label says it's food, that's good enough for me.

KO's Countdown put together a pretty funny look back at the Republican and Democratic primaries (10 min):


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Now that Hillary Clinton has “suspended” her campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, millions of angry, white women are turning their disappointment-led ire toward Barack Obama and assuming that it is his responsibility to heal the party:

Obama is the victor, now let's see what he does. The burden is on him as it should be.
Now let's see if Obama can deliver. He has much to do and undo. Yes, his unfortunate comments "Hillary, you are likeable enough" spoke volumes. He was some work to do.

First, let’s get one thing straight: Barack Obama did nothing to Hillary Clinton or her supporters that he should or could undo.

  • One Democratic candidate said that the Republican presidential candidate was obviously qualified to be president and suggested that the other Democratic candidate was not.

  • One Democratic candidate repeatedly claimed that the other Democratic candidate might not be able to beat the Republican.

  • One Democratic candidate derided the other Democratic candidate’s capabilities (and, by extension, that candidate’s supporters) as nothing more than empty rhetoric.

  • One Democratic candidate’s campaign was dismissive of the other Democratic candidate’s numerous state primary/caucus wins.

  • One Democratic candidate’s campaign implied that racial bias was behind their successes and failures.

  • One Democratic candidate tried to change the party’s rules mid-race to boost their campaign.

  • The other Democratic candidate said that candidate one was, “likable enough”.

In fact, Obama only brought up his opponent in response to the most unfair and divisive rhetoric (see above), rhetoric that is dangerous to the party and the country come November.

This TPM reader and Hillary supporter at least gets it half right:

She did so much "just right" and could have won it had she not had the rough treatment from the media.

This person at least understands who was unfair to Hillary. But it is a wild stretch of the imagination to say that she “could have won it” if not for the misogyny and Clinton-animus displayed by a number of prominent media gasbags. In fact, backlash against this unfair treatment may have been a driving force behind Clinton supporters and is widely credited for her late, come-from-behind victory in the New Hampshire primary. Her campaign might have been over many months ago had she not won that contest.

Finally, this Clinton supporter lobs one additional insult at Obama supporters:

If there are those Democrats who still feel it is necessary to denigrate Senator Clinton and her run for the Presidency, I would ask them to think about the change they advocate and the no more politics as usual. The only way to say no to the Washington politics of the past 20 years is to stop hating and start moving forward.

Every man that has lived with a woman knows about resentment built on perceived slights. And it isn’t surprising that this Clinton supporter should project her resentment on Obama supporters. But the truth of the matter is that most Obama supporters seem heartsick (perhaps I’m projecting somewhat here), not hateful, about what the Clinton campaign did to the Clintons and yearn for the party to unite against our common enemies.

And, incredibly, this last Clinton supporter seems to think that saying “no to the Washington politics of the past 20 years” requires Democrats to “stop hating” when it should be obvious, particularly to a Clinton supporter, that the politics of the past 20 years has been all about Republican hatred of liberals and Democrats and the abject failure of the corporate media. It will take everything liberal Democrats can do to overcome this deep ignorance and mass media turpitude and teach even many Democrats who our real enemies are.

[Cross-posted at Dispassionate Liberal]



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