Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The New York Times Does It Again

The Pride of the Gray Lady

NYT Op-Ed Columnist Bill Kristol

I really can't even stand it anymore. Was The New York Times ever really the "paper of record" as people like to say? Or is that just a line of marketing bullshit? Whatever it was, it's really just another fishwrap rag now. For the latest on this unbelievably bad political hackiness, click here to read Glen Greenwald's scathe. No sense in my repeating it all here, but I'll summarize. Kristol tries to belittle Obama's campaign fortitude after the West Virginia primary, by saying that he cannot recall a "single recent instance" where a candidate lost a primary by 41% and then became his party's nominee. Apparently neither Kristol nor any of his editor friends at the Times could remember as far back as 3 months ago when John McCain lost the Utah primary to Mitt Romney by 85%. These are newspeople? Or reporters? Or something?

This is so demoralizing. We need to know that somebody out there is upholding standards. Who are our pillars? Where are you?

This would never happen at Bloomberg.

Anyone know how this guy managed to get a Harvard Ph.D.?

Robert Byrd Endorses Obama - More Primaries

The most senior Senator in the United States, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, has endorsed Barack Obama for President. Well, so what? Good question.

Senator Robert Byrd, West Virginia

Byrd is a legend and hero among all of the ignorant, uneducated, "working class" white people that don't seem to want to vote for Obama no matter what. These are the George Wallace Democrats, now known as the Reagan Democrats, who consistently vote for whichever party promises to cut their unemployment benefits, medicaid, and public school funding, while sending their kids off as cannon fodder to protect oil company assets throughout the world.

But Byrd may be able to help turn that around. He's a big deal to Appalachian dwellers. He's also a smart and savvy politician, as well as a pretty wise man.

Why did he endorse Obama? Probably because he sees it as the sensible thing to do. But the stated reason, and the best reason, is that Obama had the good sense and foresight to see just what a mistake the Iraq War II would turn out to be. And so did Robert Byrd.

Today the Kentucky and Oregon primary elections will be held. Byrd can have some influence in the Kentucky primary, which Hillary is expected to win by a large margin. We'll see how much influence Byrd has in his neighbor state. Back in colonial times, Kentucky was considered the most beautiful and bountiful part of the New World. It has a lot going for it, but it also suffers a lot of poverty and backwardness. Obama will have to penetrate this to be the leader he wants to be.

University of Kentucky Spokesperson and Kentucky Jewel Ashley Judd

Here is Byrd's speech on the eve of America's war in Iraq.

Sunday March 23 2003

I believe in this beautiful country. I have studied its roots and gloried in the wisdom of its magnificent Constitution. I have marvelled at the wisdom of its founders and framers. Generation after generation of Americans has understood the lofty ideals that underlie our great republic. I have been inspired by the story of their sacrifice and their strength.
But, today, I weep for my country. I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of strong yet benevolent peacekeeper. The image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned.
Instead of reasoning with those with whom we disagree, we demand obedience or threaten recrimination. Instead of isolating Saddam Hussein, we seem to have isolated ourselves. We proclaim a new doctrine of pre-emption which is understood by few and feared by many. We say that the United States has the right to turn its firepower on any corner of the globe which might be suspect in the war on terrorism.
We assert that right without the sanction of any international body. As a result, the world has become a much more dangerous place.
We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances are split.
After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe.
The case this administration tries to make to justify its fixation with war is tainted by charges of falsified documents and circumstantial evidence. We cannot convince the world of the necessity of this war for one simple reason. This is a war of choice.
There is no credible information to connect Saddam Hussein to 9/11. The Twin Towers fell because a worldwide terrorist group, al-Qaeda, with cells in over 60 nations, struck at our wealth and our influence by turning our own planes into missiles, one of which would likely have slammed into the dome of this beautiful Capitol except for the brave sacrifice of the passengers on board.
The brutality seen on 11 September and in other terrorist attacks we have witnessed around the globe are the violent and desperate efforts by extremists to stop the daily encroachment of Western values upon their cultures. That is what we fight. It is a force not confined to borders. It is a shadowy entity with many faces, many names and many addresses.
But this administration has directed all of the anger, fear and grief which emerged from the ashes of the Twin Towers and the twisted metal of the Pentagon towards a tangible villain, one we can see and hate and attack. And villain he is. But he is the wrong villain. And this is the wrong war. We will probably drive Saddam Hussein from power. But the zeal of our friends to assist our global war on terrorism may have already taken flight.
The general unease surrounding this war is not just due to 'orange alert'. There is a pervasive sense of rush and risk and too many questions unanswered. How long will we be in Iraq? What will be the cost? What is the ultimate mission? How great is the danger at home?
What is happening to this country? When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomatic efforts when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy?
Why can this President not seem to see that America's true power lies not in its will to intimidate, but in its ability to inspire?
I along with millions of Americans will pray for the safety of our troops, for the innocent civilians in Iraq, and for the security of our homeland. May God continue to bless the United States of America in the troubled days ahead, and may we somehow recapture the vision which for the present eludes us.