THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† How To Tell If You’re A Closet Racist (For Whites Only): Neal Boortz pointedly asks: “And just who didn't see all of this coming? Come on, folks! Having [sic] you been paying attention for the past 30 years? In virtually every state and community in this nation liberals have been blaming racism for any failure, miscalculation, controversy or outright act of corruption by black elected officials.”
For its part, The Associated Press takes a more philosophical tack:
Everybody's racist, it seems.
Republican Rep. Joe Wilson? Racist, because he shouted "You lie!" at the first black president. Health care protesters, affirmative action supporters? Racist. And Barack Obama? He's the "Racist in Chief," wrote a leader of the recent conservative protest in Washington.
But if everybody's racist, is anyone?
The word is being sprayed in all directions, creating a hall of mirrors that is draining the scarlet R of its meaning and its power, turning it into more of a spitball than a stigma.
"It gets to the point where we don't have a word that we use to call people racist who actually are," said John McWhorter, who studies race and language at the conservative Manhattan Institute.
McWhorter believes that, "In 100 years, when people chronicle how America got past race, the uptick in white people calling blacks racist is going to be seen as a symptom of the end." If this prediction comes true, the irony is that the hate-spewing Rev. Jeremiah Wright will have had a more transformative effect on the country than its first bi-racial president.
† Never Mind Marxism. Will An Obama Administration Be Totalitarian?: Part II: Washington Post columnist George Will observes that the National Endowment for the Arts conference call scandal “illuminates … the Obama administration's incontinent lust to politicize everything”:
Did the White House initiate the conference call-cum-political pep rally? Or, even worse, did the NEA, an independent agency, spontaneously politicize itself? …
The NEA is the nation's largest single source of financial support for the arts, and its grants often prompt supplemental private donations. He who pays the piper does indeed call the tune, and in the four months before the conference call, 16 of the participating organizations received a total of nearly $2 million from the NEA. Two days after the call, the 16 and five other organizations issued a plea for the president's health-care plan.
† Updates To Previous Posts (second item, Is Obama Already A Lame Duck?): The Washington Post and The New York Times both note that though Obama is treated like a rock star on his foreign trips, he’s made little headway in getting world leaders to support his policy objectives.
According to The WaPo, “[e]ight months into his presidency, Barack Obama has become a global celebrity, far more popular abroad than he is at home and sometimes eclipsing foreign leaders among their own people”:
He has sought to use his renown to repair America's image in the world, extending an "open hand" in major speeches on trips to more than a dozen countries. Obama has restarted talks to limit nuclear weapons, begun engaging adversaries, helped orchestrate the world's response to economic collapse and reversed Bush-era policies that had angered allies and distanced the United States from the world community.
But just as his domestic honeymoon has clearly ended, international events have demonstrated the limits of Obama's personal charm.
As he takes the stage to address the United Nations for the first time Wednesday, Obama will face world leaders - adversaries and allies alike - whose rebukes of the new American president serve as reminders that the world's differences with the United States transcend who is in the White House.
European nations have refused to send significant numbers of new troops to aid the U.S.-led war effort in Afghanistan. Few countries have agreed to accept detainees held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Scottish officials ignored Obama's plea to keep the Lockerbie bomber in prison, and U.S. efforts to head off a coup in Honduras were ineffective. North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons, Iran may be doing so, and Middle East leaders have rebuffed Obama's efforts at peacemaking.
"When he came into office, there was kind of a sigh of relief around the world because he wasn't Bush," said Leslie H. Gelb, a former president of the Council on Foreign Relations. "What was he going to do to solve these problems? They haven't seen that yet."
The New York Times reports, “eight months after his inauguration, all that good will so far has translated into limited tangible policy benefits for Mr. Obama”:
As much as they may prefer to deal with Mr. Obama instead of his predecessor, George W. Bush, foreign leaders have not gone out of their way to give him what he has sought.
European allies still refuse to send significantly more troops to Afghanistan. The Saudis basically ignored Mr. Obama’s request for concessions to Israel, while Israel rebuffed his demand to stop settlement expansion. North Korea defied him by testing a nuclear weapon. Japan elected a party less friendly to the United States. Cuba has done little to liberalize in response to modest relaxation of sanctions. India and China are resisting a climate change deal. And Russia rejected new sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program even as Mr. Obama heads into talks with Tehran.
Aside from supporting The Stiletto’s thesis, these two articles confirm Professor Robert G. Picard’s contention that people don’t want to pay for content because MSM journalists churn out articles that are indistinguishable from one another, producing “extraordinary sameness and minimal differentiation across the media landscape.”
† Updates To Previous Posts (fifth item, Not Giving Credit Where Credit’s Due): The hard drive of a computer belonging to alleged al Qaeda suspect Najibullah Zazi contained research on baseball and football stadiums, as well as venues at which events were held during NYC’s recently concluded Fashion Week, reports ABCNews.com:
Zazi, 24, had been scheduled to spend a fourth day today being questioned by the FBI but his lawyer, Arthur Folsom, canceled the session.
"He has taken the day to consult with his client," said Wendy Aiello, a spokeswoman for the lawyer. …
While officials say they do not know the targets of the alleged plot, the contents of Zazi's computer are considered a valuable insight into what he might have been planning. …
Zazi's lawyer, Arthur Folsom … told ABCNews.com "no deal has been offered," but authorities say Zazi is preparing a "proffer" of information he would be prepared to testify about as part of a plea negotiation.
Investigators also found notes in Zazi’s handwriting on how to make bombs, and they also discovered his fingerprints on double-A batteries and a scale - which that could be used to make explosives - during a raid at a home in the Queens, NY, on Sept. 14th.
Zazi, his father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, and alleged accomplice Ahmad Afzali, an imam at a Queens mosque, weretaken into custody by the FBI on charges of making false statements during questioning. Federal agents are interrogating six other NYers with ties to Zazi, and have up to a dozen suspects under surveillance.
Editorial Note: Afzali has the temerity to complain: "Are we going to be treated like this for the rest of our lives? Every Muslim across America is fed up with this kind of mistrust." And right-thinking Americans nationwide are fed up with having to watch our backs 24/7, given the numerous jihadi training camps and plots to kill us that have been uncovered since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
The hatred and violence directed against us by dangerous elements of the Muslim community gives infidels (that is to say, Christians and Jews) ample cause for remaining wary and vigilant, despite President Barack Hussein Obama’s declaration in Cairo that, “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” These arrests bear out the unpleasant reality that Islam is at war with us, and rather than fight “negative stereotypes” our commander-in-chief needs to make it his top responsibility to fight against the enemy that is already amongst us. A step in the right direction is going against his liberal base to push for reauthorization of the provisions of The Patriot Act set to expire at year’s end.
† Updates To Previous Posts (fifth item, Why Middle Class Americans Can’t Afford Health Insurance: Part II): Consumer Watchdog, a CA-based advocacy group that favors the public option, released internal insurance company documents that show the definition of “pre-existing condition” is broad enough to deny healthy people coverage or jack up their premiums, reports The Washington Post:
Health insurers have issued guidelines saying they could deny coverage to people suffering from such conditions as acne, hemorrhoids and bunions.
One big insurer refused to issue individual policies to police officers and firefighters, along with people in other hazardous occupations.
Some treated pregnancy or the intention to adopt as a reason for rejection. …
"What these documents show is the lengths to which insurance companies are willing to go to make a profit," said Jerry Flanagan, health-care policy director of the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, which distributed the documents Friday. "What it shows is that insurance companies want premiums without any risk."
PacifiCare, Health Net, Blue Cross of California and WellPoint counter that the medical underwriting guidelines made public by Consumer Watchdog have been updated and are no longer in use.
Nonetheless, you don’t need a gargantuan government-funded healthcare plan to put an end to such practices as denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, post-claim underwriting and rescission. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), and Reps. John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) say that curbing such abuses has always had bipartisan support. Another way to keep health insurers honest is to force them to compete across state lines. With Dems and Repubs agreeing on several modest proposals that narrowly target specific problems in affordability and accessibility of healthcare, one can only conclude that Obama - who has an unfortunate tendency towards ego-driven grandiosity - is pushing for his own New Deal-type legislation in a desperate attempt to ensure that his single-term presidency is not remembered as “the second coming of Carter.”
† Updates To Previous Posts (King Of The Heels): After determinedly ignoring the scandal during the primary campaign, The New York Times reports in a front-page story that former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) “is considering declaring that he is the father of [Rielle] Hunter’s 19-month-old daughter, something that he once flatly asserted in a television interview was not possible”:
Mr. Edwards dismissed an initial report in The National Enquirer in 2007 that he was having an affair, and the matter was largely ignored by the mainstream news media. …
The notion that Mr. Edwards is the father has been reinforced by the account of Andrew Young, once a close aide to Mr. Edwards, who had signed an affidavit asserting that he was the father of Ms. Hunter’s child.
Mr. Young, who has since renounced that statement, has told publishers in a book proposal that Mr. Edwards knew all along that he was the child’s father. He said Mr. Edwards pleaded with him to accept responsibility falsely, saying that would reduce the story to one of a political aide’s infidelity.
In the proposal, which The New York Times examined, Mr. Young asserts that he assisted the affair by setting up private meetings between Mr. Edwards and Ms. Hunter. He wrote that Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band. …
Ms. Hunter gave her daughter the middle name Quinn, and people who have spoken with her said its resemblance to the Latin prefix for five was to proclaim that the baby was Mr. Edwards’s fifth child. (He had four with Mrs. Edwards, the oldest of whom was killed in a car accident).
Elizabeth Edwards is said to be set against her husband claiming paternity of baby Frances. For her part, Hunter plans to move from NJ to NC with her daughter.