Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Bill Ayers

BREAKING NEWS

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BREAKING MUST CREDIT GERRYCANAVAN.BLOGSPOT.COM: Bill Ayers just told me he is Barack Obama’s real father. Developing…

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October 7, 2009 at 8:19 pm

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The Company You Keep

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Who’s Barack pallin’ around with now?

The attack ad just writes itself.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 7, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Early Voting News

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The debate begins in just a few minutes, but there’s time to appreciate some good early voting news: ‘Obama Dominating Among Early Voters in Five Swing States.’

There’s also time to worry a bit about some bad early voting news: Republicans in Ohio have won a court case requiring Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to create computer programs to cross check all new voter registrations so that county boards of elections can doublecheck new registrants. Voter suppression there just got a whole lot easier.

It may not matter: no matter what McCain says or does, it looks like people are voting for Obama anyway.

54 year-old white male, voted Kerry ’04, Bush ’00, Dole ’96, hunter, NASCAR fan…hard for Obama said: “I’m gonna hate him the minute I vote for him. He’s gonna be a bad president. But I won’t ever vote for another god-damn Republican. I want the government to take over all of Wall Street and bankers and the car companies and Wal-Mart run this county like we used to when Reagan was President.”

The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. “Well, I don’t know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I’m sick of paying for health insurance at work and that’s why I’m supporting Barack.”

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October 16, 2008 at 12:42 am

Academics Signing Petitions

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Nothing will quicker defuse the Ayers issue than a pro-Ayers petition signed by thousands of academics. That’ll show ’em!

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October 14, 2008 at 2:14 pm

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Lit Links

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Lit links.

* Emily Dickinson: sexpot.

* On James Baldwin and Barack Obama. Until now I’d thought that Bill Ayers had secretly ghostwritten Obama’s memoir, but I see now that it was probably James Baldwin.

* TV show as megamovie. Via Kottke.

* Reinterpreting Red Dawn.

Red Dawn is not an exact parallel to our situation, of course. The Iraq we invaded was no functioning democracy; our Army does not execute civilians; many Iraqis favor the American occupation. But Red Dawn certainly didn’t stir the mad, patriotic fervor I felt when I heard Howell shout, “Wolverines” 24 years ago. MGM is so far tight-lipped about the plot of its Red Dawn remake, but I wonder: Will the new Wolverines be us—or fighting us?

* And Toothpaste for Dinner has obviously never taken one of my classes.

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October 13, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Politics Links

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Politics links.

* The NSA has been shamelessly spying on people they knew had nothing to do with terrorism. More at Washington Monthly. Why is nobody in jail over this?

* Matt has a flashback back to 2004 to argue that thinking we would win back them is nothing like thinking we’re going to win now.

* Will a reverse Bradley effect benefit Obama? Maybe, but it’s certain that corrupt voter-roll tampering will once again help the Republicans. Why is nobody in jail over this?

* You can only steal a close election. West Virginia is a tossup?

* The GOP is grumbling in Nevada and Virginia.

* Can the Dems hit 60 in the Senate? Ezra Klein look at the possibilities, while Matt Yglesias says 59 isn’t really all that different from 61. (Maybe, but I’d still like 61.)

* What are the candidates transition teams like? Did you just say one of them doesn’t have one?

* Obama gives his most direct statement on Ayers yet.

Obama “had assumed” from Bill Ayers’ stature in Chicago, he told the Philadelphia-based Michael Smerconish, that Ayers had been “rehabilitated” since his 1960s crimes.

In the interview, which was taped this afternoon and will air tomorrow, and which you can listen to above, Obama recalled moving back to Chicago after law school, and becoming involved in civic life there.

“The gentleman in question, Bill Ayers, is a college professor, teaches education at the University of Illinois,” he said. “That’s how i met him — working on a school reform project that was funded by an ambassador and very close friend of Ronald Reagan’s” along with “a bunch of conservative businessmen and civic leaders.”

“Ultimately, I ended up learning about the fact that he had engaged in this reprehensible act 40 years ago, but I was eight years old at the time and I assumed that he had been rehabilitated,” Obama said.

* And George Packer, touring rural Ohio in the lead-up to the election, writes up his experiences there in the New Yorker.

Dave Herbert was a stocky, talkative building contractor in an Ohio State athletic jersey. At thirty-eight, he considerably lowered the average age in Bonnie’s. “I’m self-employed,” he said. “I can’t afford to be a Democrat.” Herbert was a devoted viewer of Fox News and talked in fluent sound bites about McCain’s post-Convention “bounce” and Sarah Palin’s “executive experience.” At one point, he had doubted that Obama stood a chance in Glouster. “From Bob and Pete’s generation there are a lot of racists—not out-and-out, but I thought there was so much racism here that Obama’d never win.” Then he heard a man who freely used the “ ‘n’ word” declare his support for Obama: “That blew my theory out of the water.”

A maintenance man at the nearby high school, who declined to give his name, said that he had been undecided until McCain selected Palin to be his running mate, which swung his support to Obama.

“So you’re a sexist more than a racist,” Herbert joked.

“I just think the guy Obama picked would do better if he got assassinated than McCain’s if he died of frickin’ old age in office,” the maintenance man said.

Four women of retirement age were sitting at the next table. All of them spoke warmly of Palin. “She’d fit right in with us,” Greta Jennice said. “We should invite her over.” None had a good word to say about Obama. “I think he’s a radical,” a white-haired woman who wouldn’t give her name said. “The church he went to, the people he associated with. You don’t see the media digging into that.”

“I don’t know anyone who’s for Obama,” said Jennice, a Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton and who won’t vote in November.

“If they are, they don’t say it, because it would be unpopular,” an elderly former teacher named Marcella said. That had not been true of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, or John Kerry, she added.

“I think the party-line Democrats are having a hard time with Obama,” Bobbie Dunham, a retired fourth-grade teacher, told me. When I asked if Obama’s health-care plan wouldn’t be a good thing for people in Glouster, she said, “I’ll believe it when I see it. If it’s actually happening, I’d say that’s good.” But she and the others had far more complaints about locals freeloading off public assistance than about the health-insurance industry and corporations. Dunham declared her intention to write in a vote for either Snoopy or T. Boone Pickens. “I’m not going to vote for a Republican—they’ve had their chance for the last eight years and they’ve screwed it up,” she said. “But I really just don’t trust Obama. He only says half-truths. He calls himself a Christian, but he only became one to run for office. He calls himself a black, but he’s two-thirds Arab.”

I asked where she had learned that.

“On the Internet.”

Written by gerrycanavan

October 10, 2008 at 12:40 am

Douchenozzle

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The McCain campaign directive that ‘The Ayers smears we’ve been enjoying from the McCain campaign since the weekend are apparently no longer operative’ (issued, you may recall, just yesterday) is apparently no longer operative.

I guess this was the “major announcement.” (UPDATE: Martin confirms it was.)

Well done, sir.

UPDATE: Somebody owes Alex $20.

Eliminationism Update and Sarah-Palin-as-Cancer

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Nick Beaudrot at Cogitamus has an eliminationism reality check: as bad as McCain/Palin have been the last few days, they haven’t quite reached the fever-swamp heights of the Republican Party of the 1990s. That’s…comforting. I guess.

The good news is the McCain camp really does seem to be pulling back from the brink on this, with news today that Sarah Palin’s stump speech is now Ayers-less. Perhaps this is partly a result of heightened media attention on their rallies; Biden and Obama spokesman Bill Burton were both asked about the rabid crowds on TV today.

In other Sarah Palin news, via Washington Monthly, David Brooks has called the vice-presidential candidate “a fatal cancer to the Republican Party,” echoing my statement earlier today that if Republicans have any sense they’ll put Palin permanently out to pasture on November 5:

[Sarah Palin] represents a fatal cancer to the Republican party. When I first started in journalism, I worked at the National Review for Bill Buckley. And Buckley famously said he’d rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty. But he didn’t think those were the only two options. He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas, who celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on that, and that was also true for a lot of the other conservatives in the Reagan era. Reagan had an immense faith in the power of ideas. But there has been a counter, more populist tradition, which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I’m afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices.

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October 8, 2008 at 7:48 pm

The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

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The difference between strategy and tactics: The Ayers smears we’ve been enjoying from the McCain campaign since the weekend are apparently no longer operative. If this is a case of McCain stepping up and doing the right thing, then good for him, but I’m afraid I suspect Greg Sargent’s theory is more likely:

If it’s really true that the McCain team is holstering this pistol, it suggests that the McCain campaign’s internal polling on how the Ayers stuff is playing is just brutal, likely among independents. It also suggests that Obama’s counter-attack — lambasting McCain’s campaign for wanting to change the subject from the economy to personal attacks — has been effective.

The Keating 5 and Council for World Freedom counterattacks probably helped clarify things a bit for them, too.

It remains to be seen whether Palin and other McCain surrogates will really put Ayers back in the box, or not.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 8, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Sean Hannity, Anti-Semite

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Sean Hannity, anti-Semite.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 8, 2008 at 4:51 am

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A Little Bit of Politics

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A little bit of politics.

* Yesterday’s Tina Fey/Sarah Palin skit was another instant classic. It’s no exaggeration to say that Tina Fey may have single-handedly saved America from a Sarah Palin presidency, and for that she deserves our deepest thanks.

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* As for what Gwen Ifill thought of the debate she (poorly) moderated, on Meet the Press this morning she seemed a little miffed that Palin “blew [her] off.”

* For better or for worse Obama has decided that the Keating Five scandal is now fair game. I say “or for worse” only because it’s not clear to me that aggressive negative campaign is still necessary anymore; the Ayers smear to which it is a response is very old news, and there’s strong evidence that McCain has permanently damaged his own brand through his lying and smearing. There’s also good reason to think McCain is already beat, which makes me wonder whether it’s worth it at this point to climb back down to McCain’s level and potentially damage the Obama brand as a consequence.

* Open Left also has a post on realignment elections with some nice very nice historical maps.

* And Nicholas Kristof tackles privilege in the time.

One of the fallacies this election season is that if Barack Obama is paying an electoral price for his skin tone, it must be because of racists.

On the contrary, the evidence is that Senator Obama is facing what scholars have dubbed “racism without racists.”

Written by gerrycanavan

October 6, 2008 at 3:16 am