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House Hunting

"Why? Because Americans simply will not elect a liberal when they feel fear. Without Bush's success against terror, a leftist newcomer with little experience -- like Barack Obama -- would never be considered for the presidency. Similarly, Americans could only elect Jimmy Carter because they felt safe. The chill between America and the former Soviet Union had thawed considerably by 1976."

I don't think it's true that they will not elect a "liberal." I do think it's true that they will not elect someone who has scant foreign policy experience and is not a plausible commander-in-chief. As a Texas governor who couldn't name the leader of Pakistan, George W. Bush would have had a hard time getting elected if he'd first run after9/11.

Salon deconstructs one of the nutty e-mails floating around the Net, titled "OBAMA'S MILITANT RACISM REVEALED

" In her senior thesis at Princeton, Michele Obama, the wife of Barack Obama stated that America was a nation founded on 'crime and hatred'. Moreover, she stated that whites in America were 'ineradicably racist'.

"Actually, that's a lie -- she doesn't make either of those statements anywhere in the 64-page thesis or the appendices, which tabulate answers to a survey she conducted of black Princeton alumni and then include the survey form. The thesis, entitled 'Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community,' comes to a conclusion that might not shock most college graduates -- black students identified strongly with other blacks while at Princeton, but after graduating, their attachment to the black community decreased . . .

"But rather than revealing 'MILITANT RACISM' (or even the less threatening lowercase version), the thesis actually shows Obama rejecting stereotypes. 'An individual who is more personally comfortable with Blacks than with Whites on an individual level need not hold political ideologies which support the separation of Blacks and Whites on a community level,' she writes.

"The 1985 thesis, titled 'Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community' was written under her maiden name, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson.

"Like the opening reference to 'Michelle Obama (a/k/a Michelle laVaughn Robinson),' the line about the thesis being 'written under her maiden name' seems designed to imply an attempt by Obama to hide her association with her husband when she wrote the thesis. Of course, in reality, Michelle Obama was 21 years old when the thesis was published, and the Obamas wouldn't marry until seven years later."

The news that Air America's Rachel Maddow is getting her own MSNBC show draws only qualified praise from the New Republic's Sacha Zimmerman:

"I really like Maddow and have found her thoroughly compelling throughout this latest campaign season, but I am not so thrilled about this trend toward partisan networks and news. By all means we should have progressive and conservative commentators and analysts, but is there no room for argument between the two? Where have all the iconoclasts gone?

"With this split in the networks and a near perfect red-blue divide nationwide, it seems that we are more and more retreating to our comfortable trenches and refusing to acknowledge anything but spite, paranoia, and conspiracy theory when it comes to the other side. And, since cable news is not exactly renowned for its nuance or intellectual rigor, knee-jerk reactions can pass for smart commentary. I think Maddow will be a wonderful host (and God knows MSNBC could use a smart woman), but how exciting is it really if she is just preaching to the choir?"

And just for laughs, the Center for Media and Public Affairs study finds that Obama is considered not very funny, at least to Leno, Letterman and Conan:

"Future Democratic nominee Barack Obama has attracted only 169 jokes from late-night TV talk show hosts in 2008, far fewer than his opponent John McCain's 322 jokes, and less than half as many as the 382 jokes aimed at Hillary Clinton, despite her departure from the presidential race on June 7th. George W. Bush tops the list with 428 jokes."

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