REV. WRIGHT IN FULL, UNEDITED CONTEXT
By Charles Johnson
The full video of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s now-infamous “God Damn
America” sermon has been posted by Fox News here, in three parts: Sermon Video Presents Obama’s Former Pastor in His Own Words.
Watch the whole thing—because despite the outcry from mainstream
media and Obama supporters (there’s a difference?) that Wright’s vile
comments were taken out of context, when you watch his complete sermon
it’s even worse.
And now we have more examples of completely in-context hate speech, from other sermons by Rev. Wright, at Hugh Hewitt’s blog: Providing Context For Reverend Wright: The New Audio Of His Sermons. Sunday, April 27, 2008
THE SCHOOL OF CARTER POLICY
By Michael Ramirez
AN OBAMA PAYOFF?
By Ed Morrissey
Did Barack Obama make a payoff to a campaign contributor with a state grant? The Los Angeles Times
reports on a one-hand-washing-the-other relationship with Robert
Blackwell Jr, who employed Obama as an advisor while he served in the
Illinois state senate. In return, Obama pushed the state tourism board
to send a $50,000 grant to Blackwell’s company (via Rick Moran):
After an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2000,
Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama faced serious financial pressure:
numerous debts, limited cash and a law practice he had neglected for a
year. Help arrived in early 2001 from a significant new legal client —
a longtime political supporter.
Chicago entrepreneur Robert Blackwell Jr. paid Obama an
$8,000-a-month retainer to give legal advice to his growing technology
firm, Electronic Knowledge Interchange. It allowed Obama to supplement
his $58,000 part-time state Senate salary for over a year with regular
payments from Blackwell’s firm that eventually totaled $112,000.
A few months after receiving his final payment from EKI, Obama sent
a request on state Senate letterhead urging Illinois officials to
provide a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company,
Killerspin specializes in table tennis, running tournaments
nationwide and selling its own line of equipment and apparel and DVD
recordings of the competitions. With support from Obama, other state
officials and an Obama aide who went to work part time for Killerspin,
the company eventually obtained $320,000 in state grants between 2002
and 2004 to subsidize its tournaments.
Obama’s staff said the senator advocated only for the first year’s
grant — which ended up being $20,000, not $50,000. The day after Obama
wrote his letter urging the awarding of the state funds, Obama’s U.S.
Senate campaign received a $1,000 donation from Blackwell.
This looks like a rather obvious quid pro quo. Coming from
someone who casts himself as a representative of a new brand of
politics, the Blackwell connection — especially the campaign donation —
reveals something much less new and much more Chicago about Obama’s
politics. In exchange for $118,000 in salary, Blackwell received
$320,000 in state taxpayer money and influence at the highest level of
And it recalls another Chicago connection for Obama, his
relationship with Tony Rezko and the purchase of his house. When Obama
wanted to buy his current residence, he needed another buyer to come in
with him to purchase an adjoining lot. Enter indicted fixer Rezko, who
despite having all sorts of legal and financial problems at the time,
comes up with $125,000 in a down payment and qualifies for a $500,000
mortgage in order for the Obamas to get their home. It turns out that
Rezko got the money from shady Iraqi financier Nadmhi Auchi, after
meeting Obama at a reception thrown by Rezko for Auchi to meet the
power clique in Illinois.
The media has apparently just decided to start vetting Obama,
fifteen months after his entry into the presidential campaign as a
neophyte and a political cipher. Better late than never, but
unfortunately for Obama, they have plenty of time to keep digging into
his political connections. Sunday, April 27, 2008
LEFTIES SEETHING OVER OBAMA ON FOX
By Charles Johnson
Barack Obama’s decision to appear on Fox News Sunday with Chris
Wallace (today at 11am/3pm Pacific) has provoked a round of extreme
seething among the leftist blogs.
Open Left has Obama figured out; he’s a right-wing undercover operative.
Obama is sucking up to Fox News, and beyond that, the
campaign operative who said he would just out and out gave false
You can’t trust the Obama campaign, they will lie to you to promote right-wing institutions.
And a Kos Kid swears not to vote for Obama, now that he has Fox cooties on him: Daily Kos: Obama Lost My Vote By Going on Fox.
Obama’s appearance on Fox news was a tactical mistake of
massive proportions. In addition, it legitimized the greatest threat to
our country — fact free debate. As such, Obama has lost my vote.
Fox News — the greatest threat to our country!
UPDATE: Another Kos Kid pleads for them to be pragmatic: Daily Kos: This is Who Obama Is.
At the core of Obama’s political philosophy is the belief that real divisions should not stand in the way of conversation. He
has always believed that it is right and necessary for us to speak to
folks on the other side of the aisle, to speak with our enemies.
That to do so is a sign of strength, of problem-solving, and that it
can be done without having to compromise any of our own values in the
I don’t agree with this strategy. At all. But I
respect it. I understand it. And I made my peace with it long ago when
I came around to openly supporting Obama’s candidacy at the beginning
of the year. For progressives to suddenly complain about this suggests
they either haven’t been paying attention to Obama’s core values, or
have conveniently decided to only remember them now in order to beat
him over the head.
The irony here is completely off the scale. These are people who advocate speaking with our real mortal enemies,
enemies who chant “Death to America” and kill American soldiers and
civilians, but they’re unyielding when it comes to ... Fox News? Sunday, April 27, 2008
By Glenn McCoy
the image to view the slideshow several caches of Iranian-made weapons
seized in February and March. Images courtesy of Multinational Forces
Clashes between the Mahdi Army and US and Iraqi forces continue in
northern and eastern Baghdad over the weekend despite a call by Muqtada
al Sadr for his fighters to cease attacks. US air weapons team killed
seven Mahdi Army fighters in Sadr City on Saturday and early Sunday
morning while the Mahdi Army attacked a police patrol in the Sha'ab
neighborhood and launched mortars at the International Zone. Meanwhile,
an Iraqi general has said Iran is involved with arming and training
Shia terrorists to conduct attacks in Iraq.
The Seven Mahdi Army fighters were killed in four separate engagements
in Sadr City on April 26 and 27. The Mahdi Army fighters were observed
by unmanned aerial vehicles as they transported weapons and plant
roadside bombs in the Mahdi Army stronghold.
US and Iraq troops have used unmanned aerial vehicles and manned
helicopter teams to strike at Mahdi Army fighters planting roadside
bombs and launching rocket and mortar attacks against the International
Zone. The Mahdi Army took advantage of a sandstorm in Baghdad to launch 10 mortars
at the International Zone on Sunday. No casualties were reported in the
mortar attack. US manned and unmanned aircraft were grounded as
conditions made flying unsafe.
Outside of Sadr City, Mahdi Army fighters ambushed an Iraqi police patrol
in the Sha'ab neighborhood. Three police were killed and 14 Iraqis,
including seven police, were wounded in a roadside bomb attack near a
playground, Voices of Iraq reported.
Map of Baghdad neighborhoods. Click to view.
The Sha'ab neighborhood hosts a dangerous Mahdi Army group led by Arkan Hasnawi. A brigade commander in the Mahdi Army, Hasnawi has been linked to multiple attacks on US and Iraq security forces. He was behind the kidnapping of Shia and Sunni tribal leaders in Diyala province in October 2007. His network was also behind the kidnapping
of six Sons of Iraq from a checkpoint in Baghdad’s Ur neighborhood on
Feb. 7. US and Iraqi forces fought multiple battles with the Hasnawi
network in February and captured a key lieutenant during a raid.
The Sha'ab neighborhood (numbers 21-23 on the map) sits to the
northwest of Sadr City (numbers 26-28). Iraqi and US troops currently
control the Ishbilya and Habbibiyah neighborhoods (numbers 26 and 27)
and have walled off these areas to restrict the movement of weapons and
supplies. The Mahdi Army has used these neighborhoods to launch mortar
and rocket attacks against the International Zone (made up of parts of
numbers 50-52). Last week, General Abud Qanbar Hashim the chief of the
Baghdad Operational Command said 82 people had been killed and 476 wounded
in rocket and mortar attacks since fighting began on March 25. A large
majority of the mortar and rocket strikes were launched from Sadr City.
The Iraqi government and military have begun to connect the fighting
in Baghdad and the South with Iran. Major General Qasim Atta, a
spokesman for the Iraqi military, said Iranian-made weapons, including
rockets, mortars, and the deadly explosively formed projectile roadside
bombs, have been used in attacks inside Baghdad. "We have found many
Iranian-made weapons -- Katyusha and Grad rockets, and smart roadside
bombs and smart bombs. We have also seized some documents and
identified some people," Atta said. "In the past month 712 rockets and
mortars have been fired. Most of these were Iranian-made."
OBAMA ON FOX: I SUPPORTED ROBERTS WHEN I OPPOSED HIM
By Ed Morrissey
Barack Obama this: he performed a lot better on Fox News Sunday today
than he did in the debate on April 16th. He stammered less when
challenged, allowed his considerable personal warmth to surface, and
kept his annoyance and anger in check. On the other hand, he offered
about the same level of commitment to his answers as he did in
Philadelphia, and gave at least a couple of whoppers.
One of the more interesting answers came in regards to Jeremiah
Wright. He called Wright a “legitimate” campaign issue, which will seem
rather shocking to the New York Times, the McCain campaign, and others
who have demanded an end to the North Carolina GOP’s television ad.
Obama complained that people took Wright out of context, but said
Americans were honestly offended by Wright’s remarks, and that his
relationship with Wright can inform voters of his values — but that
voters should take into consideration the totality of Trinity United
and Wright on those issues, and not just sound bites.
Obama sounded a lot less convincing when it came to responding to
the William Ayers controversy. He called Ayers “tangential” to his life
and suggested that Chris Wallace probably serves on boards with people
whose politics he otherwise detests. Unfortunately for Obama, Wallace
doesn’t devote a web page on his site defending those people as
“mainstream”, as Obama does for Ayers and Dohrn. The pair still talk
about overthrowing capitalism and parts of the government they find
objectionable, and approvingly quote Mao lieutenant Chou En-lai while
railing against the “unimaginable authoritarianism” of the American
government. His answer, intending on freeing himself of the charge of
equating Coburn and Ayers/Dohrn, instead made it clear that he sees
both as political activists, morally equivalent at least in the present.
His final gaffe — and one that may make a few Republican commercials
— came when Wallace challenged Obama to come up with real examples of
bipartisanship and compromise on tough issues. He claimed he would have
supported the partial-birth abortion ban if Congress had included an
exception to protect the mother’s health, which would have been used as
a dodge around the ban in every instance. Other than a single vote on
tort reform, he could come up with no example of a time when he bucked
The most hilarious point came when Obama tried to claim credit for
bipartisanship on the John Roberts confirmation vote — not because he
supported Roberts. He voted against Roberts.
However, Obama wanted credit for defending the few Democrats who did
support Roberts on Daily Kos, and taking the venom of Kos’ readership
for his defense. That’s bipartisanship — standing up to the Kos
Kiddies? If that amounts to an act of courage for Obama, it tells you
how bipartisan he will be prepared to be as President.
It wasn’t a disaster, but it still reveals Obama to be out of touch and hard to the Left. Don’t expect this to help in Indiana. Sunday, April 27, 2008
WHAT'S MISSING FROM THE BBC'S REPORT ON IRANIAN ELECTIONS?
By Ed Morrissey
The BBC reports
today on the election run-off in Iran, in which the “conservatives”
prevailed over the “reformists” and now hold an overwhelming majority
in their parliament. Unfortunately, Auntie Beeb reports this as if it
wasn’t a foregone conclusion, thanks to election-rigging by the
Guardian Council. The British broadcaster glosses over the fact that
the GC disqualified almost 2,000 so-called reformers before the
Iran’s conservatives have consolidated their victory in
the country’s parliamentary elections, after taking more seats in a
Conservatives now have 69% of all seats, reformists 16% and independents over 14%, the interior ministry says.
Eighty-two seats in which no candidate managed to win 25% of the vote in last month’s first round were contested.
The first round had already given conservatives a big majority, but many are critical of President Ahmadinejad.
Many reformist candidates had been disqualified from standing in the election by the country’s non-elected Guardian Council.
Many? Even NPR
puts the number on it, showing the scope of the GC’s rigging to get
exactly the result the BBC reports. Their disqualifications eliminated
over 20% of the field, leaving Iranian voters little choice but to
endorse the ruling clique’s politics. These elections are as free and
fair as Cuba’s, where the only people allowed on the ballot are those
who pass the Fidel Castro test of loyalty to the junta.
The BBC completely fails to mention another inconvenient fact: the Guardian Council holds all of the real
power in Iran. The parliament has limited authority to handle
day-to-day matters, but all policy and strategic planning gets handled
by the mullahcracy. They handpick their parliaments like they hand-pick
their presidents — to serve their interests and to act as a buffer for
That’s what makes their assertion that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces
problems because of the parliamentary elections so ignorant. If
Ahmadinejad has problems, it’s not with the parliament but with the
mullahs of the Guardian Council. Ahmadinejad has lost popular support,
and so the mullahs have rigged the assembly to allow a release of that
discontent and criticism. It serves as a way to keep the pressure low
so that the Iranians don’t push the mullahs up against the wall in a
Ahmadinejad may get ousted in the next presidential election, not
because the parliament will diminish him, but because the mullahcracy
might consider him a liability at home and abroad. His successor will
owe his position to the same forces that put Ahmadinejad, an obscure
mayor, into the office in the first place — and those forces have
nothing to do with the Iranian people. April 26, 2008
AP REEKING OF BIAS AS USUAL
By Charles Johnson
The incredibly biased wire service reporting from the Palestinian
territories is relentless, no matter how often they’re criticized and
caught lying. Today Associated Press propagandist Ibrahim Barzak
reports on a clash between Hamas terrorists and the IDF in which a
terrorist’s daughter was killed, and gets seven paragraphs into his
slanted article before mentioning that the heavily armed thugs inside
the house started shooting first: Palestinian girl killed in heavy Gaza clashes.
And of course, in risible pieces of agitprop like this, you’ll never
find a hint of awareness that Hamas creeps regularly surround
themselves with children on purpose, as human shields.
It’s a win-win for the terrorists. If the children get killed in the
crossfire instead of serving their purpose as shields, Hamas still gets
a propaganda bonus from the Associated Press.
The only real loser here is the 14-year old girl.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli forces grabbed a Hamas
field commander from his Gaza home Saturday, setting off heavy fighting
that killed the wanted man’s 14-year-old daughter and wounded 10
Palestinians, including seven gunmen.
The battle in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya pitted Israeli
helicopter gunships and tanks against Hamas men with mortars, homemade
bombs and automatic rifles.
The fighting illustrated that Egypt’s latest attempt to broker a
truce between Hamas and Israel remains a long shot at best. Hamas has
offered to hold its fire for six months, provided Israel ends its
nearly yearlong blockade of Gaza, but Israeli officials have been cool
to the idea.
Damascus-based Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said Saturday that
acceptance of a cease-fire would be merely a “tactic” in the group’s
struggle with the Jewish state.
The target of Saturday’s arrest raid was Talat Hassan Marouf, a
Hamas field commander in northern Gaza. Hamas did not provide details
about Marouf, but as a field commander in the border area with Israel
he would presumably be involved in firing rockets at Israeli border
The Israeli military did not publish his name, saying only that troops had seized a wanted militant.
At some point, Israeli forces surrounded Marouf’s house, with the family inside, and heavy fighting erupted. The military said troops came under fire from inside the house. Sunday, April 27, 2008