Weekly Standard Blog: Begora!

Weekly Standard Blog


Ben Smith reports that Seamus Boyle, president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, has sent John McCain an angry letter in response to the senator’s telling of an Irish joke in Scranton:

It was a great meeting but when you began your speech with a joke about the Irish, I and many of our fellow Irish Americans in the Ancient Order of Hibernians, were shocked. It was really an insult to a whole nationality to be stereotyped as drunks. The Irish are a jovial people who enjoy life, work hard, help the needy, support our community and our country yet get depicted as drunkards and partiers. As you stated in your speech yesterday the Irish have a great education and work ethic.

Wall Street Journal: Ku Klux Klan Members Plan to Appear at Presidential Debate Site

Wall Street Journal

Ku Klux Klan Members Plan to Appear at Presidential Debate Site

When the University of Mississippi hosts the first presidential debate tonight, the two sides of its troubled racial history could converge.

The Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan plan to be on campus for the face-off between Republican nominee John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, the first African-American nominee of a major party, according to a Friday report in the university’s student newspaper.

University officials haven’t commented. But, since winning the bid as host a year ago, they have used the attention to promote the university’s efforts toward racial reconciliation.

The university newspaper, the Daily Mississippian, first reported earlier this month that the white supremacist group planned to appear among the throngs expected on the Oxford, Miss., campus. The emperor of the White Knights group, whose identity was withheld as a condition of the interview, said his members would be “invisible … Our people won’t be in regalia or demonstrating. So, I guess you’ll just have to guess which of the people present are Klansmen.”


Washington Monthly


Roll Call’s Stuart Rothenberg has a column this week that’s drawn some attention, and for good reason. He makes one of the less persuasive arguments I’ve seen in a while.

I have a hunch Rothenberg didn’t quite think this one though before submitting it for publication.

Cravins, he says, isn’t getting a fair shot because of racism is southwest Louisiana. This is comparable to labeling a John McCain presidency as Bush’s third term because, well, Rothenberg just thinks so.

First, part of the problem with Rothenberg’s argument is that he’s debating a strawman. No one is saying McCain would be a third Bush term because of their shared party affiliation — people are saying McCain would be a third Bush term because McCain agrees with Bush on every substantive policy issue on the national (and international) landscape. Indeed, that’s why we’ve seen and heard all the ads about McCain voting with Bush 95% of the time — it’s about record, not partisanship.

Second, Rothenberg’s comparison is largely backwards. If voters were to give Cravins more of a chance, and look at the substantive policy details, they might like what they see. On the other hand, if voters were to give McCain a closer look, and look at the substantive policy details, they’d see his agenda is, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from Bush’s. In other words, upon closer scrutiny, Cravins would dispel preconceived ideas about him being the same as other African-American Democrats. Meanwhile, upon closer scrutiny, McCain would reinforce preconceived ideas about his similarities to conservative Republicans. These are disparate, not comparable, observations.

National Review: Cause and Effect?

National Review

Cause and Effect?

I really thought this was a joke, but it’s not. WaMu’s final press release, before it sank beneath the waves (h/t Sailer):

WaMu Recognized as Top Diverse Employer—Again

Company ranks in top ten of Hispanic Business’ Diversity Elite and earns perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index

SEATTLE, WA (September 24, 2008) – Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM), one of the nation’s leading banks for consumers and small businesses, has once again been recognized as a top employer by Hispanic Business magazine and the Human Rights Campaign.

Hispanic Business magazine recently ranked WaMu sixth in its annual Diversity Elite list, which names the top 60 companies for Hispanics. The company was honored specifically for its efforts to recruit Hispanic employees, reach out to Hispanic consumers and support Hispanic communities and organizations.

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) civil rights organization, also awarded WaMu its second consecutive 100 percent score in the organization’s 2009 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which measures progress in attaining equal rights for GLBT employees and consumers. WaMu joins the ranks of 259 other major U.S. businesses that also received top marks in the annual survey. The CEI rated a total of 583 businesses on GLBT-related policies and practices, including non-discrimination policies and domestic partner benefits.



Salon: Glen Greenwald: National Review asks: Did WaMu fail because it employed minorities?

Salon: Glen Greenwald:

National Review asks: Did WaMu fail because it employed minorities?

National Review‘s Mark Krikorian notes that (1) Washington Mutual became the largest bank to fail in American history yesterday and (2) its last press release touted the fact that it was named one of America’s most diverse employers, having been “honored specifically for its efforts to recruit Hispanic employees, reach out to Hispanic consumers and support Hispanic communities and organizations”; for being “named [one of] the top 60 companies for Hispanics”; for “attaining equal rights for GLBT employees and consumers”; for having “earned points for competitive diversity policies and programs, including the recently established Latino, African American and GLBT employee network groups”; and for being “named one of 25 Noteworthy Companies by Diversity Inc magazine and one of the Top 50 Corporations for Supplier Diversity by Hispanic Enterprise magazine.”

While juxtaposing these two facts — (1) WaMu has a racially and ethnically diverse workforce and (2) WaMu collapsed yesterday — the National Review writer headlined his post: “Cause and Effect?” He apparently believes that the reason Washington Mutual failed may be because it employed and was too accommodating to large numbers of Hispanics, African-Americans and gays. Is that why Lehman Brothers, AIG, Bear Sterns and so many others also failed — too racially diverse of a workforce? Ironically, the night before, National Review‘s Mark Steyn and Hugh Hewitt agreed with one another that The Atlantic Monthly was forever destroyed as a journalistic entity because it employs Andrew Sullivan, whose writings about Sarah Palin are “a form of mental illness.”

At roughly the same time, Law Professor Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds promoted this article by University of Oklahoma Professor David Deming, which described “Obama’s thinly veiled hatred for this country’s unique culture and institutions” and said he was “a hollow man that despises American culture,” and the article predicted that “more Americans will come to this realization and elect McCain/Palin in a landslide.” Professor Dunning explained that Sarah Palin compares favorably to Obama because she — unlike he — was “unassisted by affirmative action” and “is not embarrassed by being an American.” Then, this shining light of the right-wing blogosphere lavished praise on that article in a post entitled “Alien Obama” and explained that “Barack Obama despises America and American values because he has never known or experienced them, as he did not grown up in a normal American culture”; that “Obama is un-American”; and that “[Obama] is not one of us” (Professor Reynolds then linked to that “analysis,” too).

NY Times: Statler and Waldorf

NY Times

Statler and Waldorf

Racelicious: Addicted to Race 96 – Race, Gender and the Election

Racelicious (9/26/08)

Addicted to Race 96 – Race, Gender and the Election

Addicted to Race is New Demographic’s podcast about America’s obsession with race. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find in this episode:

Does the new AP/Yahoo poll on race actually tell us anything we didn’t already know? Does Sarah Palin really represent “a brand new style of muscular American feminism?” What’s the difference between a black conservative crossing party lines to vote for Obama and a white female liberal crossing party lines to vote for Palin?


Washington Monthly (9/26/08)


Kathleen Parker, a columnist syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group, is not exactly a moderate. In May, she wrote one of the more offensive columns of the entire presidential campaign, defending the notion of judging candidates’ patriotism based on whether they have “blood equity” and “heritage.” Obama’s “bloodlines” were deemed unworthy, because they are not traced “back through generations of sacrifice.” It was like reading a Know-Nothing Party tract 160 years later.

OpenLeft: I Found My Gut Reason for Voting Obama

OpenLeft: David Sirota (9/26/08)

I Found My Gut Reason for Voting Obama

I’m voting for Barack Obama to reject the people and the views I met head on earlier this week in a debate with fringe-conservative radio host Dennis Prager.
David Sirota :: I Found My Gut Reason for Voting Obama
The debate took place at a suburban high school in Denver in front of 1,500 people. These were almost all fans of Prager – I’d say the breakdown was 85%-15% Prager fans, to progressives. It was an almost uniformly white suburban crowd, and – judging by the giant SUVs and luxury cars in the parking lot – a wealthy one. At each and every turn when Prager slandered blacks, poor people, Muslims and liberals, the crowd went wild.For example, Prager said race in America is as significant “as shoe size” and then blamed African Americans for a society still struggling with structural racism. He said blacks are victims of liberals who tell them that there’s racism, when – according to Prager – there isn’t. That’s right, Prager insisted that African Americans are so stupid that they can be programmed by “liberals” to see a racism that he says doesn’t exist. When he said this, the crowd went crazy with applause, and when I pointed out the self-absorbed paternalistic insult of an all white crowd assuming such mindless ignorance of an entire community, I was booed.

Prager styles himself as a biblical “scholar” and he flaunted his conservative interpretation of the Bible as proof that conservativism is morally just. When I cited food stamp cuts as an example of how  conservatives don’t really govern in any way that respects the Bible’s words about helping the poor and sick, Prager laughed and said he never knew there was a Biblical passage on food stamps. Again, the crowd went crazy with celebration, and later, I got an email from one of his fans not taking issue with my point, but saying that it was unacceptable for me to make the point I made because Dennis Prager is a “biblical scholar” and apparently, that means no one can question him.