Wear a scarf at your own risk these days if you’re going to appear in an ad on the internet.
Food Network star Rachael Ray donned one to hawk Dunkin’ Donuts new iced coffee and conservative bloggers screamed jihadist. The ad got dunked, and Ray's image is taking beating as well.
Is Ray pushing terror by wearing something that may or may not look like a keffiyeh, the traditional scarf of Arab men? That’s what blogger Michelle Malkin says.
Or, is the whole thing moronic, as Businessweek.com blogger David Kiley writes.
Is there any doubt?
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wear a scarf at your own risk these days if you’re going to appear in an ad on the internet.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
“I still like and admire President Bush. But he and his advisers confused the
propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally
needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war. … In this
regard, he was terribly ill-served by his top advisers, especially those
involved directly in national security.”
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
“It’s a rotten predictor of college grades. It’s a very reliable predicator
of family income. If you are picking students from the higher end of the SAT
Bell curve you are overwhelmingly picking students from economically
Friday, May 23, 2008
The Onion, as usual, gets the scoop:
"No other ticket is capable of rallying this nation around a clearer, more unified message of chaos and hopelessness," the candidates said in unison from three separate podiums, each adorned with its own American flag arrangement and personal message. "Together, we will lead this nation into the future—a future where absolute deadlock over even the most minute decisions and total inefficiency on matters of the war, the economy, and the environment will launch a bold new age of confusion and social decay. For America, the only choice is [indecipherable]!"
Got a worse suggestion?
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Another Charlotte man is dead at the hands of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, and once again the department will investigate its own actions in that shooting. Aaron Quentin Winchester was shot twice in the back Tuesday and died on a residential street north of uptown.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Right-wing syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker got some attention last week for writing a distinctly un-American, and somewhat fascistic, column (which ran in The Observer May 15) describing Barack Obama as not being a "full-blooded American." Parker defined the concept thusly: "It's about blood equity, heritage and commitment to hard-won American values. And roots." This concept is many things, but one of them is a device that's historically been used to deny the possibility that rootless, cosmopolitan Jews can be full members of a society.
Anyway, my friend Paul Campos points out that this column is now running on "Jewish World Review." I wonder how many of the readers count as full-blooded Americans?
Monday, May 19, 2008
“Under a “More Choices” bullet point on the education policy page was this prescription: “Parents know better than the government what is best for their children. We need to lift the cap on charter schools and provide tax incentives for parents who choose to send their children to non-traditional public schools.”
As Hal noted, this seemed to suggest that McCrory was proposing tax credits or some sort of government benefit for parents who opted for a different brand of public schooling. In the case of CMS, for example, that would presumably extent to its crazy quilt of magnet schools and its school-within-a-school offerings, such as the multiple high schools now housed at Olympic High."
Hmmm. Now you see it now you don't. Did McCrory change his
mind? Was this a strategic flip-flop? Did he take off the charter schools
bit in hopes of appealing to Democrats whose votes he needs?What do you think?
Friday, May 16, 2008
The Boston Phoenix thinks the media largely has given Sen. John McCain a pass on his stands on issues as he’s campaigned for president. But as the presidential race shifts into high gear for the fall elections, reporter Adam Reilly offers some places to probing:
1) The economy: This past January, the Huffington Post reported that, in a meeting with the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, McCain said he “doesn’t really understand economics.” McCain denied the report. But what is McCain’s economic IQ? And what concrete steps, beyond tax cuts, would he take to keep America’s economic woes from worsening?
2) Islam: There’s reason to question McCain’s foreign-policy aptitude, especially regarding things Islamic. He’s confused Sunnis and Shiites on multiple occasions. Understanding Islam and the Middle East is absolutely essential to America’s national security. Does McCain grasp them well enough to be president?
3) Money/politics/ethics: Does McCain’s reputation as a reformer dedicated to reducing the influence of money on politics square with his own actions? Remember the Keating Five savings and loan scandal? What about charges he’s gotten over a million dollars in campaign contributions from lobbyists, who had interests before the Senate Commerce Committee which McCain chaired at the time.
4) Faith: McCain has his own pastor problems. McCain has cozied up to assorted figures on the religious right – including the late Jerry Falwell (McCain spoke at the commencement ceremonies of Liberty University, which Falwell founded, in 2006), Rod Parsley (an Ohio minister who’s urged the eradication of Islam, and whom McCain called a “spiritual guide” this past February), and John Hagee (a televangelist who, among other things, has called the Catholic Church the “Great Whore”). McCain has said that he doesn’t share all his endorsers’ views but hasn’t condemned them emphatically or given up their support.
For the entire list go to http://thephoenix.com/article_ektid61555.aspx. What do you think? Is this a worthy list to explore? Or are these baseless attacks unworthy of even considering digging into? Do you have your own list of stories to pursue?
Thursday, May 15, 2008
"When the Army’s famed 82nd Airborne Division dedicated its own memorial to paratroopers killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, three sides of the wide
granite column were blank. Three years later, there is no more room. The last name belongs to Sgt. Clayton G. Dunn, killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in May 2007. Since then, roughly 50 more names have been etched onto a granite wall that now stands behind the original column - each a grim reminder that the 13-ton granite tower wasn’t big enough to honor all those who have fallen and continue to fall."
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Hillary Rodham Clinton thoroughly routed Barack Obama in West Virginia Tuesday but it hasn’t slowed Obama’s march to the Democratic nomination for president. He picked up two more superdelegates today.
So what’s the deal? Time magazine, in this week’s issue, asserts Clinton “made at least five big mistakes” in her quest for the nomination. Here they are:
1. “She misjudged the mood” – that is, Clinton was slow to see the country embracing “change,” the theme of Barack Obama’s campaign, and clung to the old incumbent’s strategy of “running on experience, preparedness, inevitability – and the power of the strongest brand name in Democratic politics.” Voters weren’t buying it.
2. “She didn’t master the rules” – that is, she let loyalty to her trump skilled campaign leadership. Her chief strategist, Mark Penn, wasn’t even versed well enough on Democratic rules. He predicted that an early win in California would put Clinton over the top in delegates because she would pick up all the state’s 370 delegates. But Dems, unlike the Republicans, apportion their delegates according to vote totals, so she wasn’t going to get all of California’s delegates.
3. “She underestimated the caucus states” – Clinton thought she could win by taking the big states but Obama trumped her by piling on delegates in smaller, caucus states. She helped kill her chances by ignoring those constituencies.
4. “She relied on old money” – Money was her Achilles Heel. Obama tapped into a new, small donor base on his Web site while Clintion clung to the old fundraising ideal, the big donor. It wasn’t enough.
5. “She never counted on a long haul” – Clinton underestimated Obama’s appeal and staying power so she had no strategy beyond an early knockout punch. As far back as Feb. 21, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe was spotted in Raleigh, N.C. He told the News & Observer that the state’s primary, then more than 10 weeks away, “could end up being very important in the nomination fight.”
Clinton operatives didn’t see it – and neither did most of us in North Carolina at the time. But we did turn out to be very important indeed.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Ladies and gentlemen! In one corner we have the majority of Charlotte’s City Council, including a coalition of Democrats and Republicans who are almost always on opposite sides of key votes. In the other corner, three Democrats, one of which rarely backs partisan votes.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Holden Thorp, UNC Chapel Hill’s new chancellor, may never be as famous as the Tar Heel’s household word, ol’ Roy, but he’s pretty good at cracking a joke.
After the UNC Board of Governors offered him the job Thursday, he told the story of how President Erskine Bowles offered him the job. Seems the two of them had taken a road trip to Greensboro to talk with board chairman Jim Phillips.
On the way home, they stopped for gas, and Mr. Bowles apparently popped the question while pumping.
"Bet you never thought you’d get offered this job at a gas station," Dr. Thorp remembered Mr. Bowles telling him.
"Erskine, I’m never going to forget the Exxon on Wendover," Dr. Thorp said at the board meeting, turning to Mr. Bowles.
"I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t go in and get some nabs," he added.
Ouch! In a Pew Research Center survey, Americans last year picked Jon Stewart – a comedian – as one of the journalists they most admired. He was tied in the rankings with real journalists and anchormen Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, and cable host Anderson Cooper. So it’s no surprise – or is it? – that Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism took time to study the content of Stewart’s “The Daily Show” to find out what’s up.
The show is very popular. According to Pew researchers, nearly as many people watch The Daily Show regularly – 16 percent – as watch Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor (17 percent) and more watch it than PBS’ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (14 percent). Researchers looked at a year’s worth of content, all of 2007, and compared it to more traditional news media, examined its guest lineup and segments.
In results released today, they found – ta da! – that the show closely resembles a number of cable news shows as well as talk radio. The show blends fact and fantasy, makes heavy use of news footage and requires significant prior knowledge of news to get the jokes. Guests are pretty balanced politically but Republicans tend to get the brunt of the criticism. Ummmm. And?For more, go to http://journalism.org/files/Daily%20Show%20PDF_3.pdf
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Make of it what you will, but Democratic voters in North Carolina and Indiana provided pollsters some intriguing tidbits that could have great impact come November. According to exit interviews done by Media Research of Somerville, N.J. and Mitofsky International of New York City for the National Election Pool:
- More voters in N.C and Indiana feel Barack Obama can beat John McCain in the general election - 50 percent to 47 percent in Indiana; 55 percent to 39 percent in North Carolina.
- More voters in both states feel Obama shares their values - 66 percent to 63 percent in Indiana; 70 percent to 61 percent in N.C.
- More voters feel Obama is honest and trustworthy - 66 percent to 54 percent in Indiana; 71 percent to 49 percent in North Carolina.
- The states split on who's more qualified to be commander in chief. Indiana voters gave the edge to Clinton, 54 percent to 43 percent; N.C. voters gave the edge to Obama, 50 percent to 45 percent.
- The two states also split over who was most likely to improve the economy. Indiana voters voters again gave the nod to Clinton, 49 percent to 47 percent. North Carolinians gave the nod to Obama, 53 percent to 42 percent.
Those views shine some light on the voting patterns in the states Tuesday too - Obama's overwhelming win in N.C. and Clinton's squeaker in Indiana.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
1. They chose an African American - Barack Obama - as a nominee for president of the United States by a healthy margin. That’s never happened before.
2. Beverly Perdue clobbered Richard Moore for the Democratic nomination for governor. She is the first woman party nominee for state’s top post.
3. Two women also will face off in November for one of North Carolina's two seats in the U.S. Senate - another first. Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole will face State Sen. Kay Hagan of Greensboro.
Why do you think that happened in this election?
Mike Easley's endorsement of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary wasn't enough to help her overcome a big lead by Barack Obama. Major news organizations were calling the race for Obama minutes after the polls closed Tuesday evening, underscoring Clinton's loss and the lack of a boost from the governor, who has showed pretty good popularity numbers throughout his seven-plus years in the governor's office.
Of course, those numbers were among the general citizenry, not just Democrats, and Easley has been anything but an avid party man like his predecessor, Gov. Jim Hunt, who lived and breathed Democratic Party politics all his life. Easley won the governorship almost despite the Democratic Party.
I've never bought the argument that Easley really wanted a top job in Washington in a Democratic administration, but if he did, Tuesday night's vote probably didn't move him any closer to that job as U.S. Attorney General at the Department of Justice. (From Jack Betts)
How enticing is today’s full-scale Democratic presidential primary? So enticing even some Republicans want in. The News & Observer reports the N.C. Board of Elections has received complaints from GOP voters who’ve asked for Democratic ballots. Here’s what the paper reported:
“At Raleigh’s Falls River precinct (in Raleigh), voter Diane Earp said she was
frustrated to learn that the state does not allow crossover voting in the
primary.‘I am so disgusted with my Republican Party of the last eight years
I want to change my position,’ she said.”
Unaffiliated voters can choose which primary they want to cast ballots in, but party crossover voting is not allowed in North Carolina. Should it be? Or would that open the door and let voters in one party manipulate the outcome of the other party’s nomination?