Obama Just "Trying to Bring People Together," but GOP Dredges Up "Race Wars"

Plus: Sotomayor Speaks to Cafeteria Workers, in Spanish!
MSNBC host Norah O'Donnell: "Sheryl, what about that? I mean it's no surprise that Rush Limbaugh is a huge critic of this president. But using words first, like she's a racist or a reverse racist, and now today essentially comparing her nomination to that of comparing, to nominating, David Duke to the Supreme Court. This extreme view, and sometimes, you know, can be helpful to the opposition. But when Rush Limbaugh is now someone that no one in the Republican Party will publicly denounce, how difficult does it make it for the Republicans?"
New York Times White House reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg: "Well I think it does make it hard. But I also think it's important to note that the people who actually will vote on her nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee, have so far distanced themselves. We saw Orrin Hatch saying the other day, I disagree, I don't think she's a racist, he was disagreeing with Newt Gingrich, who called her a reverse racist. And also I think that it's important to note that this comes in the broader context of race relations in this country, with an African-American president trying to bring people together, now we're seeing those old ugly culture and race wars bubble up, and it'll be interesting to see if President Obama himself can kind of tamp that down ." - Exchange from the May 29 edition of MSNBC's "New York Times Special Edition."
- May 16 story on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who accused the CIA of deliberately misleading her in 2002 about waterboarding.

That About Sums It Up
"On June 4,Newt Gingrichis to address a shrinking Connecticut Republican Party that has sworn off God, guns and gays aswedge issuesand rallied around the Yankee ideals of ''common sense'' and ''fiscal responsibility." - Mark Pazniokas greeted a forthcoming speech by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in this snide fashion, May 10.

. Now, as first lady, she is bringing some of that sensibility into the Executive Mansion, particularly when it comes to laying out the day-to-day thrills and challenges of her domestic life." - Rachel Swarns, May 28.

Not a Story From The Onion
"Switzerland's leading rapper, Stress, has come out with a new album...." - From Thursday Arts section story by Michael Kimmelman in Zurich, xxx "In Quiet Switzerland, Politically Outspoken Rapper Takes on the Far Right."

the foiled conspiracy by four converted Muslims to shoot down a military aircraft and bomb Jewish synagogues in the Bronx.
"The authorities have made no overt claim that the four suspects - James Cromitie, Onta Williams, David Williams IV and Laguerre Payen - hatched a plot in jail or that their experiences behind bars led to their alleged acts. In fact, it is uncertain just how much of a role their faith played in their motivation." - Reporter Daniel Wakin, May 24.

Jennifer Steinhauer "Reporting" From California
"Further, the governor has gone after some spending not covered by mandates enacted by voters through ballot measures, a quirk of California budgeting that has helped create the mess the state is in." - Jennifer Steinhauer, May 31 on California's budgetary woes.

Angry Anti-Abortion Demonstrators Angry
"About 100 anti-abortion demonstrators shouted angry slogans at the edge of campus, angrily heckling back and forth with a smaller number of abortion rights demonstrators....Many demonstrators had no affiliation with Notre Dame and were not even Catholic." - Peter Baker in the initial version of his story on Barack Obama's commencement address to Notre Dame, posted online May 17 and no longer available at nytimes.com

Gross Goodman
"Still shaking off the cobwebs of its failed experiment in Maoist utopia, China was home to 1.3 billion people whose wallets awaited credit cards, 2.6 billion feet eager for Nike sneakers, and 13 billion fingers waiting to be licked in the thrall of KFC chicken." - Peter Goodman, May 17 Week in Review.