Hoosier Favorite

Monday, May 05, 2008

Clarence Page, columnist for the Chicago Tribune, gives a preview of the fast-approaching Indiana Primary.


Clarence Page

Comments [98]


Hey, it's not just clothing (sarong) but language (pimp) that's interpreted differently in different circles...

May. 05 2008 11:36 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Got it. I'll resist your invitation to call you crazy :-)

May. 05 2008 11:23 PM

just IMO

May. 05 2008 11:21 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Don't mean to quibble, but what she actually said was "we would be able to obliterate them." Which is actually a statement of the obvious, since it is true now.

May. 05 2008 11:09 PM
mc from Brooklyn

That is the most tortured argument I have ever heard. I think that most people would consider "pinping" something that is overwhelmingly done with females of all ages.

May. 05 2008 11:07 PM
AB from NYC

Iranian support of Hizbollah is horrid, but it pales in comparison to what they really would do with land armies and air forces if they only could. I guess if they could have, wouldn't they have done it by now?

May. 05 2008 10:56 PM
AB from NYC

lb #60
Just want to understand what is really fact here. Hillary said she would 'obliterate' Iran as a warning. When you say Ahmadinejad vowed to kill Jews anywhere, are you sure he is not pandering to his electorate who expect him to be tough on countries they see as imperializing/western antagonists? Just like many voters here expect Hillary to posture as much as a male Republican will? I guess I don't understand the source of your surety on the meaning of Ahmadinejad's statements. Iran is a powerless country right now. They mess around in conventional fighting through terrorist nets, but economically they are suffering and have no resources to mount a ground war, air war, and long long time for a nuclear one. Although, Israel does have those weapons thanks to the US outright or otherwise help. The Iranian people have been in sanctions for decades, and the rhetoric machine enflames the West and Israel as the cause of that. Even though the real cause was the militant actions taken in the Revolution against America because of the FBIs involvement in anti-communist purges during the Shah and democratic years, which enflamed America against them. I guess I hear all the rhetoric there, but I hear it as posturing and pandering to a restive country, which sees and knows itself to be powerless once again at the hands of Imperialists. Just like I hear all the war pandering over here.

May. 05 2008 10:56 PM

If Chelsea had been born XY, and thus named Charles, I can also imagine someone saying "pimping Charles". The word "pimp" used as a verb to denote a meretricious use of someone else to sell something has become fairly non-gender-specific, but that's just IMO. The ultimate pimping: Romney's horrific sons. They were so media-ready, it was really unnerving. And call me crazy, but I didn't find "pimping Chelsea" any more offensive than I find the idea of a President's daughter, with all her connections, going to work for a hedge fund, instead of doing something beneficial for the world - I mean, she'd already pimped herself, all the more odd since she didn't need the money. I can understand a kid with major school debt going to work for a hedge fund, but even then...

May. 05 2008 10:54 PM
mc from Brooklyn

As far as I know there has not been a response to this particular episode. You may remember the "pimping Chelsea" episode. It involved the same guy, David Shuster. He did appologize for that. I can't figure out what is up with him. This is an Emmy award winner.

I can't figure the blog's part about all criticism has to go through the prism of someone's race or sex. I could not disagree more with that. I do think, however, that the comparison with the "articulate" comment (which was made by Joe Biden) to the jokes about voice and laugh are fair, to a certain extent.

May. 05 2008 09:06 PM

sorry, no pass for the pen, I was just freaked out by the blog. The pen is ridiculous, and makes your point that sexism is much more excused by the media. Then again, I guess we only have to look at the looks of female vs. male newscasters/commentators to deduce that, but the pen is really inexcusable. Have the TV commenters in question responded to criticism of this?

May. 05 2008 08:56 PM
mc from Brooklyn

What I took from this is that making fun of her voice or laugh has the same loaded history as saying he is "articulate." Context does matter. Of course you can criticize them both without being racist or sexist. I'm disappointed that you seem to be giving the pen itself a pass. Can you imagine a similar device with Obama's likeness playing on cable TV?

May. 05 2008 08:47 PM

Sorry, mc, I just went to the blog you posted. I don't know about these blogs... Here's a quote from the part 83 bit: "As I've said before, you can't divorce criticisms of women from the context of womanhood."
Ugh... so if I criticize a woman I have to put it in the context of her gender? Thus a woman surgeon who screws up a procedure has to be considered in the context of her XX chromosomal inheritance? And thus I can't take issue with Hillary's vote on authorization for the Iraq invasion without considering that she's a woman? I'm sorry, this is where the identity group stuff gets to be too much for me. Waste of time, and just gets people all hotted up. Yes, there's sexism out there, but I worry that the author is just THRILLED that there's still fuel for their bonfire.

May. 05 2008 06:41 PM
mc from Brooklyn

If anyone is still interested in the pen it can be found on:

MSNBC Live guest host, David Shuster gives the "Jabber Jaw" pen to Tucker Carlson and they have a good laugh. Ha ha.

May. 05 2008 05:58 PM
Keith Brown

"Cackling Pen" is also a play on "Cackling Hen", which has all kinds of sexist implications.

May. 05 2008 05:38 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Yeah, you could be right about the cynical thing. I guess I may be reading too much into the relationship, but the guy married him and Michelle, he blessed their house and baptized their daughters. From the outside it looked like there was real warmth there.

I know he sounds like a kook, but I have heard almost all of those ideas before. He looks to me as though he is trying challenge people to think about things in a different way and his method is to suggest outrageous theories. Some of the theories I found fascinating, especially the part about the different sides of the brain and how that might be cultural. I also, as a musician appreciate his knowledge of the 2-4 beat as opposed to the 1-3 beat.

May. 05 2008 05:30 PM

fascinating your thoughts on Wright. Like Obama, I did not know how to integrate into either of my racial communities growing up, and like Obama, I also joined an ethnic church where I had no freaking idea what the priest was saying in order to try to fit in. IMHO, Obama was just trying to learn to be an American black (Hawaii is SO asian), in the same way a lot of biracial kids try to figure out this stuff, with sometimes bad results. I think once Obama realized his race was "President" he couldn't care less about Wright. Sorry, that's a bit cynical, but I see him as someone VERY human and overly ambitious, but who has a real chance to get the younger voters involved for the long term. I admire Wright's service as a medic, but the guy's off his nut, and I think Obama did the best he could, not knowing how outacontrol Wright would get in the past few weeks.

May. 05 2008 05:22 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I looked up some pictures of sarongs. I think I had them confused with thongs. Big difference. My bad. Sheepish grin :-} What do I know- I'm from Ohio. LD did compare her to Adele H who went insane over unrequited love. Still sounds sexist, but not as offensive.

It's hard not to be sensitive about this stuff when you see double standards all over the place. This goes both ways. I have watched HRC deal with the worst attacks, many of them misogynist for over 15 years now.

But I felt sick also watching BHO twist in the wind over Rev. Wright. I feel really bad that he felt he had to cut him off, because I think this is a man who was very important to him. I could be projecting, of course, but I know how I feel about my spiritual mentors, and I do not think that a white candidate would have had to pay such a high price.

May. 05 2008 05:07 PM
James from New York

Hillary should have said 'annihilate' rather than obliterate & she wouldn't be in such hot watta.....

May. 05 2008 04:53 PM

mc, you wrote that you "dont buy the excuse for Larry David." I was just writing that you don't have to. I didn't think of it as an excuse, just an explanation of the term and the guy's humor, but like you said, it's about perception.

May. 05 2008 03:16 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I don't have to...? What? Not making me...?
Not getting it.

I'm somewhat divided as well. As you can see from these posts, it is all about perception.

May. 05 2008 02:58 PM

Carl Bernstein is no one to talk about thick ankles! Dude needs a face bra. (Joke!)
Seriously, one of my favorite jokes is Nora Ephron on Bernstein's many infidelities during their marriage:
"That man would make love to a venetian blind."

May. 05 2008 02:52 PM

you don't have to. (I'm not making you!) :) separately, i thought the boy comment, well... I'm divided on what the best response to such comments are, because it draws attention to the comment, which can actually backfire, because there are a lot of bigoted people out there, and also because the whole politics-of-victimization bit is something I don't want to see Obama, or any Dem candidate for that matter, tarnished with. I think Hillary and Obama have done best (by me) when they have just barreled forward, or even when they've acknowledged that their own group/gender can make mistakes. I thought one of the strengths of Obama's speech on race was his willingness to criticize the politics of victimization.

May. 05 2008 02:50 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I completely agree with you about humor. I am raising two boys. One of the things I am trying to teach them is that much of what they find funny probably has an element of cruelty in it. So I laugh, they laugh, and then we try to see who is victimized.

You are right, it is the sexist antagonism that I object to. I really see a double standard here, I I don't think I am alone. If the sarong is not a good example, then the pantsuit comments,the jacket comment by Edwards, and the "thick ankles" comment by Carl Bernstein might be better.

May. 05 2008 02:48 PM
mc from Brooklyn

The cackling pen is something that I found as I was following links from a Rachel Sklar post on the Huffington Post. It is a pen with the head of Sen. Clinton that laughs like her when you manipulate it in some way. This was shown to the public on MSNBC by an anchor whose name escapes me right now. It was a gift intended for Chris Matthews and the youtube video shows them having a great time with this "it made my day!"

Clinton does not advocate this particular tax cut. But my point was that they both pander outrageously on economic issues.

May. 05 2008 02:42 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Ah, yes. I rememeber. The guy from Kentucky. Disgusting! Also, I think someone referred to Obama as a waiter or there was some reference to him going back to waiting tables. Awful.

I'm still not sure I buy the excuse for Larry David.

May. 05 2008 02:39 PM

Re: humor. One thing we have to acknowledge is that a big part of humor will always be ethnic and sexual. Even monoracial people, regardless of sex, possess stereotypically "feminine" and stereotypically "masculine" qualities, and the majority of people interact sexually with the opposite sex with some frustration... thus, the source of much humor going back to Aristophanes. Ditto Shakespeare. I know that's different from what mc is concerned about though, which isn't humor, but is sexist antagonism. We need to make a distinction, and in this heated campaign, it's become difficult. Thus, I cannot reject and denounce Larry David, since his most vicious remarks are always reserved for himself, and he's male.

May. 05 2008 01:59 PM

Sorry, mc, you voied agreement with #43, so I assumed you were talking about "scold". What's a "cackling pen"?
I did not suggest that you were saying anything about anyone's income level. If you read my post, I wrote: "As for people commenting on..."
Re: middle class tax cut? Are Clinton and Obama that far apart on taxing the middle class?
I really hear you on the sexism bit, but again, I think there's a point where it goes overboard and detracts from a valid argument. I don't think it's fair to lump me in with people who make sexist jokes. (Not that that's what you're doing, I just want to make that clear.)

May. 05 2008 01:52 PM

Sorry, mc, but in our part of the world (California) a sarong is most definitely unisex. Matt McConaughey is frequently photo'd in one on the beaches of Malibu. Not far from where Larry David lives, incidentally, so maybe it's best not to read so much into his comment? By seeing things when they aren't there, you are robbing the salient part of your argument of its force.
As for boy? See Geoff Davis April 14:

May. 05 2008 01:42 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I did not say that "scold" was sexist. That was someone else. I have no comment nor have I had a comment on the woman making $25,000. Unlike some others, I do not characterize people according to their economic station.

As to the economists: she is trying to defend the gas tax holiday, which I think is indefensible. But Obama is talking about a middle class tax cut which is also indefensible especially when even his advisors seem to have no idea how to pay for it.

I have not seen evidence in this country of a sarong being unisex. I also do not consider Larry David a political whiz. I just think that he and others get a pass on sexist humor while racist humor is far less tolerated (as it should be).

I think that Rush understands that the lsft wing media is carrying half the water for him and so off he goes in his crazy way. Hannity is after Obama full time.

May. 05 2008 01:38 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I appreciate your comments. Who called Obama a "boy?" Here is why a sarong is hostile: yes it is a piece of beach apparel. Usually this sort of apparel is worn by or pictured as being worn by women and it is very revealing an overtly sexual. So the implication is that women should go back to being sexual and stop running for office. I am not mad at Larry David for being an asshole. I am mad at everyone else for thinking that this kind of humor is mainstream and OK.

May. 05 2008 01:33 PM

I thought a sarong was unisex? Though if the comment was made in reference to her pantsuits, that's below the belt. Without any context, it sounds like an intentionally absurdist reference to an airy garment amid the stiff macho posturing of McCain and Clinton. One would feel absurd saying we're going to obliterate Iran whilst wearing a sarong.
But I also think at the point we start parsing the political wisdom of Larry David, we have gone down the rabbit hole.

May. 05 2008 01:00 PM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

mc, my mistake. I was quoting Jane on the "insidious" part. Anyway, is sexism treated more lightly than racism in this country? Yes. Absolutely. But, that said, you have not seen a public official use a historically virulently anti-woman term to describe Hillary. That was where the scandal was over the "boy" comment. That is why it was such a big deal.

I think the nutcracker thing is terrible. The "sarong" thing, on the other hand, I think is totally different. I mean if somebody said Obama should get out of politics and should go grab his swim trunks and hit the beach, I don't think anybody would've thought anything of it. He named a piece of beach apparel. Is it hostile? Sure. But at the end of the day, is there something really there, or are you just mad at him for being against Hillary?

May. 05 2008 12:46 PM

I don't want to misquote HRC, so here's an excerpt pasted from the Times:“I’m not going to put in my lot with economists,” she said on the ABC program “This Week.” A few moments later, she added, “Elite opinion is always on the side of doing things that really disadvantages the vast majority of Americans.”
(Meanwhile, Rush is aksing Hoosiers to go out to vote for Hillary.)
Lastly, Clarence Page is ALWAYS good. It's my impression that they don't let black columnists/commentators visit the "classy media" (jim lehrer, etc) if they're not obsessively objective.

May. 05 2008 12:45 PM

I hear you on the sexism, but I disagree that "scold" is now a sexist term. I think the sexism you've seen thus far is starting to make you see things that are actually innocuous as sexist.
Also, when I read HRC's comments yesterday about elite economists disadvantaging regular folk, I actually thought of you, and thought there was a good chance that you, too, would have had enough of her.
As for people commenting on the woman making $25K, let me tell you, I've known Ivy League educated people in New York who live on half that much. They found matchbox apartments to support their writing or their music, and up until the mid-90's when many of them were middle-aged, they were relatively at peace with it.

May. 05 2008 12:33 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I think "insidiousness" is in the eye of the beholder. We all understand the history behind the word "boy." What I don't think we all understand is the pervasive objectification of women. Is there an Obama equivelent to the nutcracker? Or the pen? If there is, I have not seen it and I would guess that you will not find them in airports or on cable TV. No one in Congress has called her a "bitch" however, the word has been used on the campaign trail (by a McCain supporter) and was not really addressed. I do not think that either of the candidates engage in this sort of thing. What I object to is that there seems to be a pass given on some of it. You would probably have to experience the objectification to be offended by it. It is so common that I think it is not really noticed much of the time by the non-victims.

May. 05 2008 12:25 PM
Elena from East Village

well said #61
why the hell does Iran want to brutally attack Israel anyway?

what did Israel ever do to Iran?


May. 05 2008 12:20 PM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

mc, you were comparing "insidious" sexism to overt racism. You can't do that. The later examples you cited are certainly bad. However, as I pointed out, there is an additional level beyond the "wrongness" of the comment. It also has to do with the history of the particular word he used and the fact that there was no way in hell it was going to be considered socially acceptable. It's as shocking in its stupidity as much as it is outright offensive. I have not, as of yet, heard any member of Congress call her a "bitch" or any similar word, and until I hear that, I don't think there's a comparable incident.

May. 05 2008 12:10 PM
lh from Manhattan

To #60:
Ahmadinejad's intent is to kill Jews anywhere they can be found. Iran supports the terrorist group Hizbollah, which is responsible for bombing a Jewish center in Argentina and killing scores of innocents. Hezbollah has taken the country of Lebanon hostage while it also makes war on Israel. Iran supports Hamas which turns Palestinian children into fighters and suicide bombers against Israel. Israel tries only to defend itself against the aggression of these parties. It has never threatened or attempted genocide.

May. 05 2008 12:04 PM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

To LH,

Nobody survives a nuclear war. That’s why we never had one during the cold war. Israel has a better surveillance system then we do. They will have their nukes launched before Iran’s nukes even hit he ground. Israel can level Iran just fine without our help. That’s what’s so crazy about Hillary so willing to nuke Iran.

But what if you flipped the coin, what if Israel nuked Iran first? Who’s side would we be on? Would it be considered a genocide on an Islamic state? And if not, then why not?

May. 05 2008 11:46 AM
mc from Brooklyn

James #50
Add to that a serious discussion of how much health care we really need. Health care does not follow the supply and demand principles of the free market and the sooner we figure this out, the better.

May. 05 2008 11:30 AM
lh from Manhattan

Ahmadinejad has calculated that Iran could survive a nuclear exchange but would emerge the winner because Israel, small as it is, would be obliterated after an Iranian first strike. Ahmadinejad is willing to sustain the death of millions of Iranians in order to wipe out the Jews. Hillary Clinton showed strong leadership in making plain to Ahmadinejad that he will not get away with genocide. Her remark is appropriate in the context she made it. If the world ignores his incitement against Israel, he gets the message that he can carry out what he has already threatened.

May. 05 2008 11:28 AM
mc from Brooklyn

What about the cackling pen? MSNBC, I believe, one of the anchors. Does this sink to the level of a "boy" comment? I think what we are objecting to is an objectifying of the candidate. Have you seen the nutcrackers? Do you think that people would think it was funny if Larry David made an equivilant comment about Obama (his comment about Hillary was that she should put on a sarong and go to the beach). Hmm, I don't even want to imagine an equivelant.

May. 05 2008 11:28 AM
michaeld from nyc

re: Jane @ 43

So, now Obama's TONE reflects "insidious misogyny" and the word "scold" is a sexist hate word?

While I totally agree Clinton has received lot of sexist hate, I certainly don't think it's coming from Obama himself. And your comparison with the "boy" comment is absurd.

May. 05 2008 11:27 AM

Good segment about

"If the whole World was made up of the NPR audience."

May. 05 2008 11:22 AM
a. m.

Russert wasted the first 25 min. on MTP on the Wright issue. Voters are ready to move on to the pressing issues now but it truly is the media that keeps the Wright issue alive. Thankfully Hillary's bombast (obliterate Iran) was addresssed. Obama's is the voice of reason on this issue--and so many others--it is time for us to start LISTENING to him more. Of course, the right questions have to be asked and I'm not hearing them being asked.

May. 05 2008 11:17 AM

Don't quote just a part of my description of this woman. Smart alone isn't the point. The point is the whole list of attributes, which bespeak a person with the time (at a premium for someone making 25 G), background and inclination to be so intellectually developed.

Many highly paid PR mavens and speechwriters would kill to develop, stand up and deliver in such an intense, insightful and focused way. I saw this woman--she's of an age where her potential should have been achieved in something more than a $25g job.

She's either not living up to her potential, is in charity work, has some pressing domestic issues, has a partner whose employment allows her to work part-time--or is a plant.

Whatever, the whole episode smells fishy. Wake up and get over your "classist" knee-jerk reactions.

May. 05 2008 11:13 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

I don't think you can compare someone using the word "boy" to the remarks made about Clinton. I'm with you on the fact that they shouldn't be tolerated, but "boy" is truly jaw-dropping in this day and age. It's especially draw-dropping not just from the visceral emotional reaction one has but also the pragmatic part of you that's astonished that any public figure could be so stupid to say it.

That said, I certainly think that there's definite sexism on the part of certaiin commentators when describing Hillary, and I think those need to be addressed. Regardless of how absurd I think she is, she's a Presidential candidate, a serious contender, and should not be subjected to these kind of crude, snickering, boys' club comments. That's what comedians are for.

May. 05 2008 11:10 AM
Frank from NYC

How can Stephanopoulos be an unbiased commentator on the Democratic race? I thought his inclusion in the last debate terribly skewed the questions, with Clinton having general unoffensive questions and Obama receiving specific and pointed questions.

I respect Stephanopoulos' views and efforts for the Democratic Party, but his roll in the primary seems more like a pawn of the Clinton public image machine.

May. 05 2008 11:08 AM
James from New York

Democrats often run against free market economists, so all these left-wing minimum wage, rent-control, agricultural-subsidy "populists" blowin' a gasket about Hillary's cynical populist lapse to appeal to working class voters on suspending the gas tax is just sour grapes! BOTH Clinton & Obama have chosen NOT to take the high road on complicated economic issues. Neither is honest about the net benefits to America of free trade. Neither is honest about the many long-term economic problems that Americans face that require many changes in some fundamentally unwise economic behavior patterns. Neither is honest about telling voters that they need to spend less, save more, cut up the credit cards, stop signing credit & mortgage agreements that they haven't read or don't understand to get control of their economic situation - or exercise more, eat less & stop smoking (Obama can start with that maybe) to get their health care costs down. Neither is telling voters concerned about their economic well-being need to turn off the pop media junk they watch & get serious about their own schooling & education. Neither tells voters to take some responsibility for their own lives & choices. Both are quick to override free-market economics if that is the more popular path. This new-found respect for free markets & economists amongst Obama's supporters is all hot air! They're just being "out-pandered" & they don't like it.

May. 05 2008 11:08 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Jane #43
I hear you. It has even infected the venerable Daniel Shore. Cackling pen heads, references to her jacket, her pantsuits, it's endless.

But of course, we are just imagining it. Where is our sense of humor?

May. 05 2008 11:00 AM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

I think the question should be if Israel was Islamic and had the same foreign policies it had now and Palestine was a Jewish state, would Israel still be our friends or considered a terrorist state? I think we all know the answer to that one…..

May. 05 2008 10:58 AM
hjs from 11211

why is defending one of allies controversial?
what would Obama do if Poland or Israel were attached?
remember that Clinton quote when McCain is in the white house. when 6 or 7 right wing judges are on the supreme court. when the same bushie faces are still in government for 4 more years. it will be year 10 of a 100 year war.
can we focus.

May. 05 2008 10:55 AM
michaeld from nyc

"This obliteration speech is really directed at voters. No one in Iran is listening to these broadcasts over here."

Iran IS listening. Clinton is already making our relationship with them WORSE:

And I have to disagree with Brian who suggests she and Obama are basically saying the same thing. A retaliation of, say, taking out the leadership is very different than "obliteration" which obviously suggests a nuclear strike and massive civilian casualties.

And you should have played the clip of Clinton saying "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists." and "We've got to get out of this mindset where somehow elite opinion is always on the side of doing things that really disadvantage the vast majority of Americans." Those, I think were the real "take away" quotes from the clinton interview.

Finally, OBAMA WON GUAM! How could you guys get a simple thing like that wrong?

May. 05 2008 10:54 AM
mc from Brooklyn

steve #42

I think the distinction is that Israel is an ally. So a better comparison would be: what would we do if Iran (or someone else) dropped a nuke on Germany, or Canada, or GB etc.

I still think the comments were unhelpful.

May. 05 2008 10:52 AM
ejpenny from the bronx

I've been trying to understand Obama by the gimmick of analogy.
First I thought of him and Michelle as the New Camelot.
Then I decided he was the first Black Bill Clinton.
But recently he seems more like
the Robert Redford character in The Candidate==especially in the final scene with PeterBoyle/(Axelrod).
But, unfortunately, most apt is Adlai Stevenson, whom the earnest Democrat party twice insisted on nominating against a military hero, thus suffering two political defeats, albeit moral victories, in November.
An Adlai Stevenson with charisma is not going to CHANGE that result come this fall.

May. 05 2008 10:51 AM
Jane from Montclair

Well, since we're talking about language here. How 'bout Obama's use of the word "scold"--and his condescending tone of voice--on Meet the Press when he describes Clinton's criticism of his foreign policy comments. I'm so sick and tired of this double standard. Someone calls Obama a "boy" and everyone jumps all over it--for good reason. But people don't comment on, or even perhaps realize, the insidious misogyny in the language used by the other candidates to describe Clinton.

May. 05 2008 10:51 AM
steve from NJ

Turn the question around to Hillary:
If Israel dropped a nuclear bomb on Iran, how would you retaliate?
Would Hillary "obliterate" Israel?
Interesting, isn't it?

May. 05 2008 10:46 AM
mc from Brooklyn

RosieNYC #41
I have to challenge this notion that Clinton speaks as a Republican. She does say some unpleasant things but I have to point out that to say it is necessary to have universal participation in the paying for a national health insurance program is a Democratic ideal and implying that we can get there by giving people a choice is a Republican ideal. Also, conflating Social Security and Medicare and making of from that a Social Security "crisis" is also a Republican talking point. Both have been espoused by Senator Obama, however, no one here is calling him a Republican.

May. 05 2008 10:45 AM
Albert from Greenwich, CT

Response to #34
So now people can't be smart, informed, sophisticated, alert, well spoken and only earn $25G per year. Having an education does not automaticaly give you wealth. I swear, sometimes I read some of the comments on this page and I start to feel like my brain is running out of my nose.

May. 05 2008 10:39 AM
In Chicago

[32] Posted by: Gaines HubbellMay 05, 2008 - 10:27AM Knoxville, TN Aren't most truckers part of a trucking company that pays the gas price? So wouldn't cutting the gas tax pay off for companies not consumers???

...i believe most truckers are independent owner-operators.

[34] Posted by: GeneMay 05, 2008 - 10:28AM
Who was this smart, informed, sophisticated, alert, well-spoken woman who only earns $25G a year??
Something smells entirely fishy about this. A plant? Whatever, she hasn't told us the whole story.

...have you BEEN to Indiana? It's kind of a ramshackle state. But anyway, sounds like she's making about 12 bucks an hour, which could be a secretarial job.

May. 05 2008 10:37 AM
Melissa from Hoboken, NJ

The gas tax relief is such a bad idea -- Obama's seen it in action in Illinois. Here's another example: When the federal government offered the airlines some temporary relief from taxes, they raised fares to the level that had been in place with the tax, and then the 10% tax was reinstated (because we need to maintain airport & FAA facilities, even though in reality Congress uses the funds to offset deficit).

And a windfall tax on oil companies -- even if there were enough courage in congress to pass one -- won't help consumers. The oil companies must raise prices to meet business profit goals. We'll pay at the pump. They're benefiting from the weak dollar and the dollar basis for oil in the international market. To bring down our fuel costs & relieve the pressure to use food as fuel, we need to get the dollar back on a strong footing.

The Fed needs to quit flooding the US economy with cheap federal dollars. We need to reduce our credit-based lifestyle for a few years & let the dollar get back on an even footing in the international currency market. What's wrong with our media that no one can address this simple fundamental problem?

May. 05 2008 10:35 AM
RosieNYC from NYC

I am afraid everytime I hear Senator Clinton talk, she is sounding more and more like a republican by targeting voter's fears and feelings instead of reason in order to advance her agenda, increasingly using negative campaigning and gimmicky measures to fix a very serious problem such as a "tax holiday". She is looking more and more as the perfect match for as a Mc Cain's running mate than a democratic candidate.
Senator Obama got my vote because he talks to my reason. He doesn't say what people want to hear but what has to be said. It is not a coincidence that supporters of Clinton and Obama are divided along educational level.

And not, Ms. Clinton, there is a huge difference between an "elitist" person and an "intelligent" person. And even if he was an elitist, look at a "common folk president" has done to our country in these last 8 years. After the train wreck called The Bush Presidency, do not think any person with an inch of gray matter would fall for the "common folk, I am like you" gimmick again. Heck, if I wanted someone like me, I might as well run for president. Someone like me good to party, someone a heck of a lot smarter than me to run my country.

May. 05 2008 10:34 AM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ


Imagine that, you can be smart and only make only 25K a year… Please, are you saying only stupid people make 25K a year? Thats not fair. Besides, even if she was Obama himself in drag, she/he makes a good point…..

May. 05 2008 10:34 AM
et from here

Clarence Page is a BIG Obama supporter.
He can barely contain it.

May. 05 2008 10:33 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Gaines #32
Most truckers are independent contractors who are barely making ends meet now. Their tax is 24 cents a gallon because it is diesel. They don;t have to bargaining power to push the increased cost of driving onto the companies whose goods they transport.

May. 05 2008 10:31 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

Eliminating the gas tax AND imposing a new tax on the gas companies will be a double whammy to the consumer, and gas prices will go WAY up as a result. The third pillar that would be needed to produce the price results she wants is a cap on prices, which would then cause a gas shortage and lead to lines of people waiting at the pumps like we saw in the 1970s.

May. 05 2008 10:31 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I appreciate Clarence Page. I was really skeptical that a columnist from Chicago would be as even-handed as he seemed to be.

May. 05 2008 10:29 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

EricF: This is a valid point as well. This is just more of the "Don't worry, we'll take care of it" attitude of the Cold War that made our allies so completely dependent on us.

May. 05 2008 10:29 AM

Who was this smart, informed, sophisticated, alert, well-spoken woman who only earns $25G a year??

Something smells entirely fishy about this. A plant? Whatever, she hasn't told us the whole story.

May. 05 2008 10:28 AM
Gaines Hubbell from Knoxville, TN

Aren't most truckers part of a trucking company that pays the gas price? So wouldn't cutting the gas tax pay off for companies not consumers???

May. 05 2008 10:27 AM
the decider from new york city

what if russia attacks poland? will we obliterate russia?

May. 05 2008 10:27 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Brett B #23
The Iranians are paying attention. They issued a formal protest over the Clinton comments late last week.

May. 05 2008 10:27 AM
Steve Mark from NYC

Clinton's position should put emphasis on taxing the oil company's profits and/or eliminating their tax breaks. Reducing the cost of gas may be a side benefit but we need to bring responsibility to Big Oil.

May. 05 2008 10:26 AM
Katie from Forest Hills

Did anyone discuss what is Obama's position regarding whether or not to attack Iran if Iran attacks Israel since Hilary said she will have the US attack Iran is Iran attacks Israel?

May. 05 2008 10:25 AM






May. 05 2008 10:23 AM

on the retaliation issue:

what about respenct for the sovereignty of our allies? dosen't israel have a voice in this?

israel has the means to retaliate on it's own and if those means are crippled by an attack shouldn't the request for US retaliation on their behalf come from them?

May. 05 2008 10:21 AM
iran from new york city

So, does Hillary mean we will 'obliterate Iran' just like we did Iraq or even Afghanistan, or maybe like wer got Osam Bin Laden 'dead or alive'.
Has she talked about how she would do this any differently thyan Bush? Maybe she woulod just Nuke them? How ius this different from the 'for us or against us' talk? What about sll the people in Iran who do not deserve to be 'obliterated'? This talk is simply narrow minded. Nobody can have diplomatic power if they already speak about obliterating then enemy. They give it away, they become impotent.
How can talk of obliterating people diplomatic? Hillary is rousing the same hysteria that the republicans did and if we cannot see through this by now than it is a truly sorry state of affairs.

May. 05 2008 10:21 AM
Tom Gerhard from winter park, fl

The only Sunday commentary I watch is Face the Nation -- a clear and fair discussion of the issues without the blustering buffoonery of Russert and the sycophantic frat-boy schmooze of Stephanopolis (especially after his Clinton boot-licking moderation in the last debate).

This segment unfortunately validates the shallow sound-bite journalism that NPR, and WNYC in particular, normally takes great pains to avoid.

May. 05 2008 10:21 AM
Brett B from Riverside Drive

Real interesting.
This obliteration speech is really directed at voters. No one in Iran is listening to these broadcasts over here. Just like we aren't listening to theirs. We rail at Ahmadinejad for his anti-American rhetoric, but that is directed at his voters too. She, and McCain I might add, is doing the same thing the Ahmadinejad nut case is doing! Pandering for votes. The Persians have been dominated by foreign empires for 1000 yrs and yes, it is in their DNA to want to be free from the oppression of self-serving foreign nations. What is wrong with that? That sounds kind of like American to me! At least the way America used to be. We should be helping Iran and the moderate forces in Iran and in diaspora who would like to see Iran return to its democratic and Sufi origins. The isolation we've created is creating a monster in a crucible, and yes it may just explode one day all over Israel, a lot of other people, and us! (then we'll have learned our lesson about meddling for Imperial business up front and personal)

May. 05 2008 10:19 AM
James Brownski from Harlem

Why exactly is it so obvious that we would have to retaliate for Israel? I disagree with both on this issue. Israel has been able to do rather well protecting itself and even going on the offensive in the region. I am against war in general, and totally against use of nuclear weapons. Have we not learned from WWII and Japan. Even if we do retaliate, why would we have to obliterate them. That is just political tough guy posturing and a very poor choice of words.

May. 05 2008 10:19 AM
Ned Stresen-Reuter from manhattan

It's absurd that the press is even asking such silly questions about Iran. Anyone in the position of The President would have to act with force if any state dropped a nuclear bomb anywhere. Hypothetical questions such as this get our country into more trouble than it's worth. It makes our country seem dumb and angry.

May. 05 2008 10:19 AM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

Why doesn’t Hillary just nuke OPEC? She could take care of the gas tax and the Iran all at the same time.... OR even better, why doesn’t she change her last name to Bush because she’s sounds more and more like him every time she opens up her mouth…..

May. 05 2008 10:18 AM
mc from Brooklyn

He won Missouri as well. A big state. He won it by a hair, though.

May. 05 2008 10:18 AM
akenataa hammagaadji from new york

Why make a leap to a hypothetical question about Iran attacking Israel with nuclear weapons when, with the fact being that Israel HAS nuclear weapons why isn't the question what will America do if Israel attacks anyone with nuclear weapons which is more probable? The double standard is stark and must continue to be denounced.

May. 05 2008 10:17 AM
David from Queens

Take it from someone who grew up there, and worked in Democratic Politics there. Indiana Primary Politics is more crony-driven more than anywhere else. If Obama isn't ahead by 10 points, he won't win. The Cronies are on the Clintons' side. PS - The federal gas tax is .14 per gallon

May. 05 2008 10:17 AM
Michael from Brooklyn

Hillary's adoption of saber rattling and bandaid solutions like the gas tax holiday are dismaying.
She should stop peeing in the primary pool and make a real case for her ostensible superiority as a candidate. I voted for her in the NY primary, but would take it back if I could.

May. 05 2008 10:17 AM

Also.. if anything, right now the most likely scenario is that of Israel bombing its neighbours rather than the contrary

May. 05 2008 10:16 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Becca speaks sense...why do we have to protect Israel?

May. 05 2008 10:16 AM

" Obliterate" appeals to the clueless underbelly
of America, it demonstrates an inclination to exploit fear and ignorance rather than appealing to commons sense and the international community.
It's a huge deal and very indicative of the consideration that these two candidates have of the electorate.

May. 05 2008 10:15 AM

can someone please explain to me why we need to defend israel at all? if clinton is all about changing our foreign policy, then why are we continuing to stick our big noses into the middle of other countries' issues?

don't they have nuclear weapons?

i was a clinton supporter 100% until this comment.

obliterate is immature language to use. i don't think we have the right to "obliterate" the oldest culture and country in the world. or else, if we do, we'll be on the receiving end shortly thereafter.

May. 05 2008 10:14 AM
Gaines Hubbell from Knoxville, TN

It was the clash of the pushovers on Sunday morning talk. Stephanopoulos is always soft on Clinton and hard on Obama, and Russert is a softy for Obama.
I finally decided to watch Russert because I wanted to hear Obama do damage control on the Festival of Wrights.

May. 05 2008 10:14 AM
Mary Bon from Westbrook, CT

Does it even matter that Iran is on the record that it is NOT persuing a nuclear weapon. Is the media just going to go along with the drumbeat for yet another war without even questioning the assertions. Our national intelligence agencies, for what they're worth, side with Iran on this point.

May. 05 2008 10:13 AM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

Well, Hillary says we have to be clear, but at the same time, threatening a country with "obliteration" is delightfully vague as well? Obliterate the regime with concentrated precision bombing and invasion? Obliterate the COUNTRY as in wipe it from the face of the Earth killing tens of millions of innocent people? What does "massive retaliation" mean? When she's asked to explain the language, she starts dancing and refuses to provide a concrete plan to this albeit highly unlikely situation. Belligerent language is not the same thing as policy although she would have us believe otherwise.

May. 05 2008 10:13 AM

Wright didn't come up.

Now that that Obama disfriended the good Rev --

does that mean his Achilles Heel operation was a success?

May. 05 2008 10:12 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I think the Iran comments are a tempest in a teapot. While I don't think they are particularly helpful, they state the obvious. Of course we are able to obliterate Iran, it doesn't mean we will. Anyone running for president who does not commit to defending Israel is committing political suicide, whether it is a good thing or not.

May. 05 2008 10:12 AM
becca from boerum hill

israel HAS nuclear weapons. we do not need to fight their nuclear battles for them.

May. 05 2008 10:11 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Brian, I think that was backwards. Obama by 7 votes.

May. 05 2008 10:07 AM
Tom from Upper West Side, NYC

Why is no one in the media pointing out that both Clinton's and McCain's Federal Gas Tax Holiday is a fantasy? Is such legislation REALLY going to be written, filed, debated, voted on by two houses of Congress and signed (NOT) by the current president...all in time for summer driving relief.

Come on, stop wasting time, ink, paper, air waves and bytes on this meaningless topic!!!

May. 05 2008 10:05 AM

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