Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fox peddles lies about Obama, prompting Obama to stiff Fox

Poobahs at Fox seem regretful that their on-air slackjaws (like Doocy) passed along fiction about Obama from a far-right source. The Washington Post has the story.

Is Tony Dungy homophobic?

The Super Bowl pits a team coached by a guy named Lovie against a team coached by a guy who gives money to an anti-gay group.

Go Bears!

Biden stumbles out of the gate

Joe stupidly characterizes Obama as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

Bye, bye, Biden.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Inspired word of God?

The Rascal read something the other day to the effect that the Koran shows Islam to be a dangerous and violent religion, especially as compared to Christianity as based on the Bible.

But the piece had nothing to say about these words from God in the Old Testament:

"If your brother, the son of your father or of your mother, or your son or daughter, or the spouse whom you embrace, or your most intimate friend, tries to
secretly seduce you, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods' unknown to you or
your ancestors before you, gods of the peoples surrounding you, whether near you
or far away, anywhere throughout the world, you must not consent, you must not
listen to him; you must show him no pity, you must not spare him or conceal his
guilt. No, you must kill him, your hand must strike the first blow in putting
him to death and the hands of the rest of the people following. You must stone
him to death, since he has tried to divert you from Yahweh your God."
(Deuteronomy 13:7–11)

How come the TV preachers never mention that passage from The Good Book?

Hey! Maybe Dave Syverson could recruit Alan Keyes again -- or perhaps take the plunge himself

The Illinois GOP can't find anybody to run against Dick Durbin. Small wonder.

Madigan wants primary election moved to February

The idea, says the speaker of the Illinois House, is to help Barack Obama. The move would have much broader ramifications.

Is ethanol made from corn a bad deal?

Paul Krugman thinks so.

Vets speak out

Click here to see a powerful ad.

Hooray for political bickering

Michael Kinsley's got it right.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Barack Obama and Charles Box

Political junkies in the Rockford area, as much as in any other locale, should recognize that Sen. Barack Obama's African-American heritage is more likely to be a boon than a bane in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

We have the example of Charles Box as guidance in this matter. Box, a black man, won three terms as mayor of Rockford in the '80s and '90s, the first two by massive landslides -- in a city where blacks made up only 15 percent of the population.

Box benefited from the same dynamic that some observers expect to help Obama in next year's presidential race.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown puts it this way: "There are more white people than ever before who would like to think they are at least fair on matters of race -- and who might be willing, even eager, to demonstrate it by voting for somebody like Obama. For them, Obama's race is a plus, not that they necessarily even think of it in those terms. I think we saw that to some extent in Obama's Senate race in Illinois. I think there was a large part of the country hoping at one point that Colin Powell would be the one who gave them the chance to prove it."

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn concurs. He writes: "Black voters will turn out in huge numbers for Obama, no doubt. But, as others have noted, many white Americans are eager to demonstrate to themselves and to the world that we are evolved enough to elect a president of African-American heritage. Their number will dwarf the number of wild-eyed racists who'll vote only for whites."

That's what happened with Charles Box in Rockford in 1989. The city had never before had even a black candidate for mayor, and at least one seasoned observer of the local political scene -- State Rep. Zeke Giorgi, the reigning Democratic poohbah of 25 years standing -- figured the electorate was not yet ready for a person of color in that post.

Said Giorgi: "You're not going to take away the built-in hang-ups that people have when they go into the polling place. If they're bigots, they're going to vote that way...I'd like to say it was possible for him (Box) to be elected, but knowing Rockford as I do, I don't think the numbers are there...(Rockford) is too racist to elect a black mayor, even if he was qualified...So help me, I've heard a lot of people bring that up."

Even after Box won the Democratic primary by a wide margin over two well-known opponents, Giorgi clung to the theory that the general election would be different.

The only thing different about it was that Box's margin of victory over Republican Len LaPasso was even wider. He carried all 14 wards and prevailed by more than 10,000 votes.

Box later said that his campaign had strategized from the outset to allay the notion that a black candidate had no chance. The method was the planting of yards signs in white neighborhoods -- 2,500 of them -- quickly creating a widespread perception of Box's candidacy as far more formidable than Giorgi had anticipated.

When white folks saw Box's campaign signs on their neighbors' lawns, they knew it was all right to jump on the bandwagon. Indeed, many of them seemed eager to demonstrate that a new day in local race relations had dawned.

We shouldn't be surprised if similar attitudes among white Americans give Barack Obama a big boost in his quest for the White House.