March 21, 2008

The Persian Pragmatists
12:00 AM

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Iran's recent parliamentary elections, conducted on Friday, stuck closely to a script familiar from the past four years: Conservatives predictably won the majority of seats from a ballot cleansed of reformists by the Guardians Council; turnout in cosmopolitan Tehran was lower than the provinces; and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blasted the U.S. for interfering in Iran's elections.

There Will Be Guns
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One thing seemed clear from Tuesday's Supreme Court oral arguments in District of Columbia v. Heller: The justices are poised to recognize that the Second Amendment confers on individual Americans the right to own guns. The court's conservatives--save Justice Clarence Thomas, who maintained his customary silence at arguments--evinced little doubt of this proposition. And even Justice Stephen Breyer seemed open to the possibility that the amendment's right to "keep and bear arms" isn't just about militias--though he's inclined to uphold the D.C. handgun ban anyway.

In My Life
12:00 AM

MADRID, Spain--For reasons I needn't go into here, I recently had to search out some old photographs, in particular photos from my childhood and early youth.

Transcript Of A Jeremiah Wright Sermon
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In this week's issue of the New Republic, Dayo Olopade writes about Barack Obama's pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

March 20, 2008

A More Perfect Soundbite
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Barack Obama’s speech acquired a title nearly as soon as it was delivered. On both the campaign website and YouTube, where it has been seen more than two million times, it was identified as “A More Perfect Union.”The four words refer, of course, to the preamble to the Constitution, which was appropriate both as a gesture to Obama’s hosts (Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center, conveniently located in Pennsylvania) and as a reflection on our very imperfect society.

Cool We Can Believe In
12:00 AM

Save for the odd occurrence of a black contestant managing to win more than fifteen cents on “Deal or No Deal,” I rarely feel any racial pride.

The Wright Rage
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WASHINGTON--Let's ask the hard question about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright: Is he as far outside the African-American mainstream as many of us would like to think? Because Barack Obama's speech on race in America was so candid about both the legitimacy of black and white grievances--and the flaws in those grievances--it carries the risk of offending almost everyone. The man who, by parentage, is half black and half white took it upon himself to explain each side's story to the other.

Full Faith
12:00 AM

Jeremiah Wright, the preacher who brought Barack Obama to Jesus, also brought him the week from hell. Anyone within reach of even the most primitive forms of media now knows that Wright, the retired pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ, has preached sermons that veered into the swamp of anti-Americanism and indulged in wild conspiracy theories. So, after being subject to a rumor campaign that pronounced him a stealth Muslim, Obama was now widely deemed to subscribe to a defective brand of Christianity. What other politician has been so plagued by matters involving God?

Remember John Kerry?
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If only John Kerry would keep quiet.  But he doesn't, and maybe he can't.  In any case, in a characteristically soporific interview with the Bay State's SouthCoastToday, Kerry did some deep thinking about why Barack Obama appealed to him as a presidential candidate. This deep thinking was reported to the nation by ABC senior political correspondent Jake Tapper who could barely keep himself from laughing."It would be such an affirmation of who we say we are as a people," said Kerry, "if we could elect an African-American president, young leader, who is obviously visionary about the ability to i

Black Guy Needs White House
12:00 AM

A riff on Obama and "change"--the best work I've seen from the Onion in many years. Key passage: Those who encountered the black man Tuesday said he engaged in erratic behavior, including pointing at random people in the crowd and desperately saying he needs their help, going up to complete strangers and hugging them, and angrily claiming that he is not looking for just a little bit of change, but rather a great deal of change, and that he wants it "right now." Avert your eyes, ye hard of heart. --Dayo Olopade