~~Posted by kenosha Marge, July 31, 2008

Doesn’t take much to get the blogosphere in an uproar. One hint, one suggestion, one soupcon of an indication that something might be presumed to have a hint of racism and they’re off!

The number of words declared verboten by Obama fans, fanatics and supporters grows daily. Articulate, Fairy Tale and now presumptuous are words that must not be spoken when describing the “One” sayeth these racist-speech monitors. Presumably they know a racial slur when they hear one even if no one else does.

This being a free country, sorta, people are usually allowed to support whomever they want to without being called a racist. Playing the race card any time anyone dares to say anything negative about your darling is not good for the candidate, the party or the country.

Let’s take a trip in the way-back machine to when this primary season was young and almost fun.

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Let’s Face It, PUMAs—Uninformed, Conforming Voters are Our Worst Enemy….No Matter How Smart They Are (Updated 1X)

Sigh.  I had gone through this months before with a woman I’d see while walking the dogs. This was before the Obama machine had really swung into full gear with its divisive and strong-arm tactics. It was before even I had decided he was NOT the one.

I had raised a few questions about Obama and why I had some doubts and was met with an “I don’t care, I LIKE him.”  My parting words were “I hope you’re not disappointed.”

This woman was my age, so hearing this sort of thing was a bit unnerving at the time  I would have thought that someone older and wiser would have had more substanative reasons for “liking” a candidate.

Last night I had a conversation with another woman, this time a 26-year-old PhD candidate studying “counseling psychology.”  Now, months later, as the talk turned to politics, the conversation was even more frustrating.

I couched my end of the discussion with phrases like “I know you’re so busy,”  “I know being a grad student can be rather isolating,” “I know you probably have less time to really read a lot about what’s going on than I do,”  etc., etc. I was trying to make it easy for her…

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Enabling Bad Behavior…


A big WELCOME to kenoshaMarge, who is honoring this blog with her first contribution!  KM has “known” me since the old Buzzflash days and managed to find her way here after my hasty departure from that site during the primary season. I’m so glad we’re “together again” and I hope visitors will enjoy reading her thoughts.  (She’s from the “North Country” and I’m in the Southwest, so it will be interesting to perhaps see different perspectives.) She’ll be posting when she gets the inspiration to get something out there…

AGAIN, WELCOME kenoshaMarge!!




Many voters are like parents who will not accept that their offspring might do bad things. Such parents will go to any lengths to convince themselves and others that little Johnny/Janie would never do drugs, have sex, lie, steal, or cheat.

Voters that believe that “their”party would never do bad things while demonizing the “other”party are like those close-minded parents. Denying a problem ensures that the behavior will not change. Not with kids and not with political parties.

I believed for most of my life that the Democratic Party was “better”than the Republican Party. I believed that because I thought Democrats stood for the things that I believed in, the things that were important to me. I thought they would fight for those things. That was back before I saw that Democrats would fight for nothing except re-election and their COLA.

The Republican Party wasn’t a comfortable fit for me except about fiscal responsibility. That was before Republicans decided to agree with the Democrats about fiscal responsibility. Such bi-partisanship goes to show that whenever two parties agree about something it doesn’t necessarily work out well in the long run. In fact, usually bi-partisanship means that both parties screw the public instead of one or the other.

For the last 6 months I have watched the party I always supported in dismay. Why are they undermining all they supposedly ever stood for? Any remarks they now make about Republican corruption will be like Madonna accusing another female of sluttish behavior.

The Democratic Party in their arrogance has let this get so far out of hand that nothing they do now will satisfy everyone in their party. Thus nothing will unify it. They broke it, now they own it. Millions of average Americans will pay the price as they always do.

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British Commentators: The Chosen One Looked “Shattered” After Meeting Brown….and Did Cameron/Obama Discuss “Conservative Means” to Achieve “Progressive Goals”?

I decided to look behind the headlines to see what British commentators from some of the print media have been saying about the Obama visit.

Perhaps the most revealing column is by Cole Morton, writing in the Independent (perhaps my favorite of all the British publications).   In a piece entitled “Obama on Tour: Three Special Relationships in One Day,” Morton writes this interesting passage:

When Barack Obama arrived at No 10 yesterday, he looked happy, relaxed and pleased to be there. He smiled and waved to photographers on the other side of Downing Street, calling a cheery, “Hello!” Camera flashes caught Gordon Brown waiting for him in the shadows of the hallway.

But when the US presidential candidate came out again two hours later, after a long chat with the beleaguered Prime Minister, he looked shattered. The smile had faded. Now he spoke so softly that only the closest microphones could hear him. As usual, the cut of his sharp, dark suit echoed the Kennedy era, but the charisma had drained away.

He had no advice for Mr Brown. But he did have an observation. “You’re always more popular before you’re actually in charge of things,” he said. “Once you’re responsible, you’re going to make some people unhappy.”

In case you haven’t heard, Gordon Brown is in a very precarious position at this moment. There are rumors of moves by his own party to have him removed. (Echoes of the forces that worked against Hillary Clinton?)

Morton goes on to say:

Afterwards Barack said their chat had been “wonderful”. But after the euphoria of Berlin and the glory of Paris, his Washington entourage was shocked to be made to sit outside on the tarmac. One said the White House would never be allowed to look as tatty as the grimy No 10. In one window the nets had been pushed aside for a cardboard packing case. The symbolism was unfortunate.

The senator talked about Afghanistan and Iraq, climate change and the credit crunch, saying some problems were best solved together. Was there still a special relationship? “Absolutely.” He paid tribute to British troops. Then he seemed to lose interest.

If he lost interest on this visit, what’s he going to do if he has a hard morning in the Oval Office? And isn’t his staff just “precious” about their horror of waiting out in the street and being put off by the less-than-grand 10 Downing Street?

Meanwhile, the Telegraph has the results of a new poll on the public’s attitude to David Cameron, the Conservative leader.

The first detailed analysis of the public’s perception of the Conservative leader reveals that his popularity is increasing rapidly but there is still concern over his substance and ability to connect with ordinary people.


Today’s poll found that half of the British public regarded the Conservative leader as a “lightweight” with 44 per cent of those questioned saying he is “not in touch with ordinary people”. Only 27 per cent of people describe Mr Cameron as “deeply serious” with 39 per cent saying he is “somewhat shallow”.

Mr Brown and Labour have repeatedly accused Mr Cameron, a former public relations executive, of being a “shallow salesman”.

However, the poll also finds that the Conservative leader is increasingly popular with the public and his strategy of moving the party away from its nasty image is beginning to work.

“Lighweight” but “increasingly popular”….  Sound familiar? And a forrmer PR guy as Prime Minister?  WOW!

In the Sunday Times, Richard Wood details the Obama-Cameron encounter in his piece, “Barack Obama: He Came. He Saw. He, er, Left.”

The two met outside in New Palace Yard. The senator placed a hand on Cameron’s shoulder, and Cameron gestured up at Big Ben, an image of old and new, power and changing times that probably had Brown gnashing teeth and biting nails all at once.

Cameron rammed home the point that he’s the same sort of new kid on the block by giving Obama a selection of CDs by the Smiths, Radiohead and Gorillaz.

For more than an hour Obama talked with Cameron, overrunning his allotted time as they discussed world affairs, the Middle East (again) and balancing politics with family life. Tory insiders later claimed that the senator had said to Cameron: “I want to congratulate you on all you’ve achieved.”

Onlookers chanted: “Oba-ma! Oba-ma! Oba-ma!” But in truth, the prophet underwhelmed. As he implied, he is neither genius nor idiot, just an everyday global saviour.

I’d like to ask Obama exactly what he thinks Cameron has achieved…is he referring to his admiration of the Cameron’s PR skills??

Wood also provides more detail about the “time to think” exchange.

Cameron:“These guys just chalk your diary up.”
Obama:“Right. In 15-minute increments . . .”
Cameron:“We call it the dentist’s waiting room. You have to scrap that because you’ve got to have time.”
Obama:“And, well, and you start making mistakes, or you lose the big picture. Or you lose a sense of, I think you lose a feel . . .” Cameron:“Your feeling. And that is exactly what politics is all about. The judgment you bring to make decisions.”
Obama:“That’s exactly right. And the truth is that we’ve got a bunch of smart people, I think, who know 10 times more than we do about the specifics of the topics.
“And so if what you’re trying to do is micromanage and solve everything then you end up being a dilettante but you have to have enough knowledge to make good judgments about the choices that are presented to you.”

Yup, Obama is ready to rely on all those advisors he has because they know “10 times” more than he does. Well, considering that he knows zip, how much more can these advisors know?  Not encouraging.  He sounds EXACTLY like George Bush when he was running in 2000.

But what’s missing from the accounts of the “new kids” confab is the the subject which Cameron brought up a couple of weeks ago, before the arrival of The Chosen One.

A little over a month ago I wrote about an interview in which Cameron praised Obama’s Father’s Day speech (Breaking: Tory Leader David Cameron “Hearts” Obama Talks About “Progressive Goals” Achieved by “Conservative Means)

Even more interesting is a comment Cameron made about how he views the modern Conservative Party in the UK.

Cameron “appeals to the centre and left ‘to recognise that the modern Conservative party is on the brink of a very big and exciting argument that if you want to pursue progressive goals in Britain, whether it is greening the environment, tackling poverty, unlocking social mobility, there is a really good case to say that you can best achieve those by Conservative means.'”

MMMMM. Are Cameron and the Tories following Obama’s lead, or is it the other way around?

I’m still wondering about that statement. And I still think it describes the way Obama thinks to a “T.” He talks a good game, but in the end, many of his ideas sound like they could fit in with Republican approaches. We’ve seen his flip-flopping vote on FISA. Social Security is one area I wouldn’t trust him on…all that money from Wall Street is coming in for a reason. And, how “progressive” was his bill on nuclear safety after he caved to the “conservatives”/GOP and re-wrote the bill to help out Exelon?

If there’s one thing that should be kept in mind as this miserable election season progresses, it is Cameron- the-PR-man’s clever phrase “progressive goals…best achieved… by conservative means.”  It sound great as a slogan, but what would actually happen if Cameron–or Obama–wound up in charge?

My guess is that with Obama we’d get “watered down progressive goals” to achieve the satisfaction of “conservatives.”  And that’s reality, not PR…

This Racist Celebrates Mick Jagger’s 65th Birthday by Recalling When She Was NOT a Racist…(Updated 1X)

Once upon a time, long ago, I was NOT a racist.  Hard to believe, these days, isn’t it?  But times change, and now with Obama being The Chosen One and his new breed of campaign managers and followers, it is clear that I am now out of step and have descended into the cesspool of racism.

Mick Jagger’s 65th birthday yesterday (July 26) took me on a trip down memory lane to those days when I was a proud non-racist.

My days as a non-racist actually go back quite awhile  I was already enjoying the “black music” that was on Top 40 radio before and just after the “British Invasion.”   Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters, remember “Cry Baby?” in ’63? And Fontella Bass with “Rescue Me” in ’65? The Chiffons, the Crystals, the Shirelles were part of me. And Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Otis Redding–who can forget?

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July 21st Editions of Newsweek & Time Pander as Obama Travels: One “Revisits” His “Spiritual Quest,” the Other Uses Mandela (and Fudges His Birthdate, Prints an Old Web Story as Current, and Uses a “Black Power” Fist to Illustrate) (Update 1X)

For some masochistic reason, I chose to pick up the July 21st edition of NEWSWEEK while waiting for my allergy shot on Thursday.  Who could miss it?  A huge close-up picture of Obama, apparently deep in solemn prayer, with a “Faith and Politics” teaser alongside.  The website also says “What He Believes:The Truth About Obama’s Faith.”

A few minutes later, I happened across the July 21st edition of TIME (scroll down for the link to the story). On its cover was a big closeup of Nelson Mandela, with the teaser, “Mandela at 90: The Secrets of Leadership.”

My curiosity was now piqued.  First, I wondered about the Newsweek issue.  OK, you might say, “How odd, Newsweek isn’t talking about THE TRIP, it chose to focus on religion.” But, with Obama’s mega-publicity foreign tour starting just about the time this issue appeared, I wondered (although I didn’t have to work very hard at it) if it was planned bolster Obama’s image here while he was overseas. My conclusions later…

Like many others in a waiting room, I didn’t have the time to read the entire piece then (not to mention those who would lose interest and moved on to “People”).  But I did notice the very serious highlighted sections in the magazine, starting with the opening “Top of the Week” page which featured “Obama’s Spiritual Quest” across the top.

Proceeding to page 26 to the article itself, which was entitled “Finding His Path,” I noticed that on page 25 there was a full-page portrait of Obama in profile, again looking very “spiritual” against a background of “stained glass” as he gazed forward with great solemnity.

From page 26 to page 32, the article by Lisa Miller and Richard Wolffe (Olbermann’s frequent sidekick) spews forth. On page 30, under a small heading which reads “World View,” there is the line “More a Matter of Mystery than Magic.”  Jon Meacham opines in this section that “It seems that for Obama, faith is about enduring questions.” And, of course, he associates Obama’s beliefs with Abraham Lincoln’s evolving faith and humility during the Civil War!

At this point I almost burst out laughing…we’ve been hearing about Obama’s “World View” all through his trip, which is looking a lot like the “Magical Mystery Tour” as it trundles on.  Did Newsweek have advance copies of Obama’s campaign objectives or did it come up with the heading “World View” and plug it in because it just had to go somewhere?

One of the “highlighted” quotations from the interview section that the reader sees reads:

“I’m a big believer not in not just words, but deeds and works.”

Coming from a guy who is mostly words with very little in the “deeds and works” department, this seems a poor choice to put into big print.  (But, then again, Newsweek is owned by the Washington Post Company, and the Post isn’t exactly blazing the way on great journalism when it comes to covering Obama.) Miller and Wolffe also opine that Obama  is now ” a little spiritually rootless” again since supposedly severing ties with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. OK…

If you put yourself in the shoes of the average person thumbing through the magazine, all the highlighted sections probably present a pretty glossy view of Obama and his beliefs. If a person didn’t read any further, they’d see Obama as a serious, serious man, indeed! Mission probably accomplished, at least in waiting rooms? And if the reader DOES delve into the entire article, he or she will get the same impression! Did you know, for example, that Obama was “monkish” while in New York?

After page 32 I figured I’d see a section on John McCain’s spirituality, since the cover had said that this was a an edition of Newsweek focusing on “Faith in Politics.”  Well, there was no such section on McCain, I suppose since he’s was raised as a plain vanilla Episcopalian (now calls himself a Baptist)  who doesn’t flaunt religion every time he opens his mouth. And, although McCain recently gained the endorsement of 100 religious leaders during a meeting in Denver, McCain has had to work at getting it since the “religious right” hasn’t been wildly enthusiastic about him.  In the meantime, Obama has had his meetings with mega-pastors and Christians who are ex-officials from Bush’s Justice Department and apparently has been giving CBN’s David Brody “scoops.”

So, I guess Newsweek figured Obama was the way to go in the “let’s do religion” department. And, of course, the serious nature of the piece turns out to be a great way to remind the reader how “weighty” Obama is as he travels overseas.

And what DID Newsweek write about on McCain?  “Vietnam Loves John McCain” was the story in the “International” section that followed the Obama spread.  Well, I’m sure that’s very nice, but what does it have to do with “Faith and Politics”?  My immediate reaction was that it further “pigeon-holed” McCain as being a relic from the past.  After all, except for us aging baby-boomers, who knows anything about Vietnam?  It’s just another irrelevant piece of history that McCain can be saddled with, right? Obama himself said the Vietnam war had nothing to teach anymore and that it was time to move on in that infamous Las Vegas interview before the Nevada primary. Newsweek’s choice of bringing up Vietnam seems stuck in that  “OLD and from the PAST” frame re: McCain as well.

Furthermore, a great deal of the article goes back and forth on the arguments over whether the torture was or wasn’t used in the prisons where McCain and other U.S. soldiers were held.  What’s the point? To cast doubt on McCain’s war experiences while Obama prances around Europe?

Now getting irritated, I turned to TIME to peruse the Mandela story.  Opening to the article, guess what I found on the page facing the start of the piece?  A raised, black fist in the old “black power” gesture.  Wow, that brought back old times…And, that picture is NOT on the website, just in case you are wondering.

Of course, CNN just happened to air “Black in America”  week on July 23 and 24 as Obama did Germany. Gee, who owns CNN and Time? (Yup, Time-Warner, the largest media company in the world.)


The Time story in the print edition, which focused on “Eight Lessons from One of History’s Icons”  begins with a passage about how Mandela’s 90th birthday is coming NEXT WEEK (which would be the week of July 28th, right?). So, I figured, why wouldn’t Time actually publish this cover story NEXT WEEK, instead of the week when Obama was overseas charming the locals?

I flipped through the article, but I never found an EXACT DATE for Mandela’s birth.  Now, I wondered, why is that??

So, I did some research and found, in every place I looked, that Mandela’s birthdate is apparently JULY 18th!  Which means, it would have been BEFORE Obama’s trip.  Wouldn’t you figure that Time would publish the Mandela cover and story in the July 14th issue–only a few days BEFORE Mandela’s birthday?

And, what’s with the statement that Mandela’s birthday was coming up, rather than being already over??

Ah, but look! On the web version of the article, the publication date is: Wednesday, July 9, 2008.  BUT THERE WAS NO OBVIOUS MENTION of this in the print edition and NO EXPLANATION of why the story was published in print a week and half later to coincide with Obama’s trip and AFTER Mandela’s birthday.

I must have been subconsciously rebelling against all this (well as consciously rebelling!) , because in writing this piece, I’ve been repeatedly spelling “Newsweek” as “Newseek.”

…which is what these two rags seem to have been doing…looking for anyway possible to bolster Obama’s image as he rolls through the Middle East and Europe. Obama’s religious quest and Nelson Mandela…can’t do any better than that!

Update…Oops, Time just reported the “leak” of  Obama’s “private prayer” at the Western Wall!


Related Posts:

Part 1: Obama’s Conservative Meeting Guests–Non-Pastors (UPDATED 1x)

Part 2: Obama’s Conservative Meeting Guests–The Pastors

Matthew 25 Network PAC Hits Christian Radio with Pro-Obama Ad as Christian Conservative Leaders Decide to Support McCain (UPDATED 1X)

Welcome to “Brainwave Analysis”–Where Brainwaves are “Taken, Analyzed, Cleaned-up, Processed” and the Metrics are “Extracted” (Coming to a Future Political Campaign Near You?)

I don’t listen to morning radio very often, but Tuesday (July 22) I was out early and happened to tune in to NPR’s “Morning Edition.”  I came in on the middle of an interview about something called “neurofocus” and thought it was related to a new medical finding. As I listened further, however, I realized that it had nothing to do with medicine.

The segment was actually about a company named NeuroFocus, Inc. (“Brainwave Analysis for Audience Engagement”) which is gathering data about how people respond to messaging in a new way which is problematical downright SCARY.

According to the company’s website:

NeuroFocus, Inc. is an innovative company applying the latest advances in neuroscience to the world of advertising and messaging. Leveraging a rapidly growing body of research and insights into how the human brain processes stimuli like ads, messages, and products, we are able to track millisecond-by-millisecond brain responses to messaging.

Our breakthrough techniques utilize advances in measuring attention challenges, emotional engagement, and memory/retention to measure the effectiveness of advertising. Our measurements are precise, unambiguous, and repeatable. The measurement method is established EEG technology, which is simple, non-invasive, non-influential, and comfortable for and familiar to consumers.

Their “Neuroinformatics Database” is a much different animal that the “Gallup Brain” project which I discussed briefly in a recent post, “Musings on Pollsters: Confessions of a Former Gallup Study Director…(Updated 1X).”  Gallup’s project merely involves a set-up that involves using millions of records from six decades of surveys.

No, what NeuroFocus is doing is entirely different.

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