Sarah Palin Fans Racist or Something

Plus: Blood-for-oil allegations lead a news story, and the Obamas hold the greatest state dinner in the history of state dinners.
Sarah Palin Fans Racist or Something

"That demographic is white and non-urban: Just look at the stops and the faces on her carefully calibrated book tour. The affect is emotional - the angry air of grievance that emerged first at her campaign rallies in 2008, with their shrieked threats to Obama, and that has since resurfaced in the Hitler-fixated 'tea party' movement (which she endorses in her book)....Palin is at the red-hot center of age-old American resentments that have boiled up both from the ascent of our first black president and from the intractability of the Great Recession for those Americans who haven't benefited from bailouts." - Columnist Frank Rich on Sarah Palin's fans, November 22.

Blood-for-Oil Allegations in the News Pages

"More than six and a half years after the United States-led invasion here that many believed was about oil, the major oil companies are finally gaining access to Iraq's petroleum reserves. But they are doing so at far less advantageous terms than they once envisioned." - Lead to Timothy Williams' December 1 story on U.S. oil companies in Iraq.

Times "Bows" to White House Claims Obama Followed Protocol in Japan

"Even the ballyhoo from right-wing bloggers back at home over Mr. Obama's deep bow to Emperor Akihito did not seem to dent Mr. Obama's image in Japan; his aides said he was unfazed by the criticism." - Helene Cooper and Martin Fackler, November 19.

Thank Goodness "Chest-Beating" Bush Not Around

"White House officials maintained they got what they came for - the beginning of a needed give-and-take with a surging economic giant. With a civilization as ancient as China's, they argued, it would be counterproductive - and reminiscent of President George W. Bush's style - for Mr. Obama to confront Beijing with loud chest-beating that might alienate the Chinese." - Helene Cooper in a November 17 story on Obama's trip to China.

Americans Want to Live Longer? How Gauche

"This week, the science of medicine bumped up against the foundations of American medical consumerism: that more is better, that saving a life is worth any sacrifice, that health care is a birthright. Two new recommendations, calling for delaying the start and reducing the frequency of screening for breast and cervical cancer, have been met with anger and confusion from some corners, not to mention a measure of political posturing." - Health reporter Kevin Sack, November 20.

C of C Prez's "Reactionary Pursuit of Anti-Environmental Policies"

"And his legendary pugnacity has not faded. It was on display again this fall as he and the chamber found themselves in a maelstrom over climate change policy after a number of member companies noisily resigned in protest over the chamber's hostile stance on climate legislation. A wave of criticism arose from Congress, the White House, environmental organizations and some businesses that accused the chamber and its president of a reactionary pursuit of anti-environmental policies. Mr. Donohue was not cowed. 'Bring 'em on,' he growled at a briefing for reporters last month." - From John Broder's November 19 profile of Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue.

Flattering Terrorist-Helping Radical Lynne Stewart

"In sentencing Ms. Stewart, Judge Koeltl wrote that she had engaged in 'extraordinarily severe' criminal conduct. But he also acknowledged her long record of representing the disadvantaged, the destitute and the despised. Indeed, over the years, Ms. Stewart often took on cases nobody else wanted. She won an acquittal for Larry Davis, who had been accused of wounding six police officers in a 1986 shootout in the Bronx, and represented David J. Gilbert, a member of the Weather Underground convicted in the 1981 robbery of a Brink's armored car in Rockland County. Other clients, however, were merely poor and obscure, and Ms. Stewart was a passionate advocate for them." - From Colin Moynhan's profile of radical lawyer Lynne Stewart, convicting of aiding a terrorist, the blind Egyptian cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman.

The GOP Is (Again!) Coming Apart (Just Ignore Those 2009 Wins)

"But even as conservatives exult in Mr. Obama's declining job approval ratings, the drive for ideological purity inspired by the populists of the right has left many elected Republicans nervous and concerned. Just ask Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina or Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, rock-solid Republicans who now are accused of being insufficiently ideological. Consider too the recent election in upstate New York, in which a dispute between conservatives and moderates cost Republicans a House seat they had held for generations." - Richard Stevenson on Sarah Palin in the November 22 Week in Review.

Probably the Greatest State Dinner Ever Held

"It is an old tradition, a White House dinner governed by ritual and protocol that happens to be this city's hottest social event. But at their first state dinner on Tuesday night, President Obama and his wife, Michelle, made sure to infuse the glittering gala with distinctive touches. They hired a new florist, Laura Dowling, who bedecked the tented outdoor dining room with locally grown, sustainably harvested magnolia branches and ivy. They selected a guest chef, Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit in New York, an American citizen who was born in Ethiopia, reared in Sweden and cooks up melting pots of flavors and cuisines....And don't forget the dinner plates. For an administration that publicly prizes bipartisanship, what could be finer than an eclectic mix of Clinton and Bush china?....The evening was a potent mix of politics, diplomacy and glamour, with the administration's favored donors mingling with lawmakers from Congress, cabinet secretaries, Indian dignitaries and Hollywood celebrities decked out in tuxedos and designer dresses." - Rachel Swarns, November 25.

Signs You're Reading a Liberal Paper, Parts I and II

"I myself became devoted to the 82 percent cacao extra-dark bar, with its unctuous mouth feel and fruity, acidic punch." - From magazine writer Arthur Lubow's November 22 op-ed, "My Chocolate Meltdown."

"Lately more people have begun to express an interest in where the meat they eat comes from and how it was raised. Were the animals humanely treated? Did they have a good quality of life before the death that turned them into someone's dinner?....the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer in his story 'The Letter Writer"...called the slaughter of animals the 'eternal Treblinka.'" - From Bucknell professor Gary Steiner's November 22 op-ed, "Animal, Vegetable, Miserable."