Thursday, May 15, 2008

What's in a name (Hussein)?

Someone once said ignorance is bliss, but they were not living in the United States of America today.

Now, ignorance is just ignorance and a strategic tool for appealing to what is worst in us.

We saw ignorance in the West Virginia primary where the light of knowledge has been extinguished by the darkness of grim poverty.


Many supporters Sen. Barack Obama have adopted the moniker: Susan "Hussein" Smith and John "Hussein" Jones are how they identify themselves in the frenetic back-and-forth through cyberspace that so characterizes the candidate's grass roots.

But not everybody gets its.

A West Virginia woman was videotaped saying she would not vote for Obama because of his middle name. She's had "enough of Hussein" she explained.

And her vote weighs the same as someone more thoughtful and less fearful.

But the more thoughtful and less fearful are not whom George W. Bush staked his reelection on and they were not who he targeted in his speech before this Israeli Knesset on Thursday.

Lousy at governance, but effective at campaigning, Bush was reaching out to the ignorant West Virginian in every state, because no territory has a monopoly on darkness any more than one can exclusively represent the pure light of reason.

Taking aim at Obama who, alone among the presidential candidates, has admitted that we must talk with those who threaten us, Bush said, "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have it all wrong."

Which is to get the first part right and the second part wrong while putting words in someone else's mouth.

Nobody who has seen the horror of random terror on civilian populations can hope there are arguments that "dissuade."

But we need forums, ongoing ones, at which arguments can be aired, steam blown off, common ground found or developed, and solutions rooted in something other than designed violence.

White House press secretary Dana Perino replied to the Obama campaign's promp protests in the snarky fashion made popular by FOX News and so readily adopted by the Bush administration: "I understand when you're running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you - that is not always true and it is not true in this case."

Is it not?

Or is the president so irrelevant and his belated attempts at Middle Eastern diplomacy so hopeless that the only way to inject himself into the national dialogue is by referencing the man who has become the biggest story in the country for nigh on four months now?

"We have heard this foolish delusion before," said Bush who went on to make the tired and ridiculous parallel between Adolf Hitler's daunting war machine and the low-intensity evil of today's shadowy cabal of militant Muslims.

But the "delusion" is that Mr. Bush's solution of bombing a country until it is a pile of rubble has somehow worked. That his mild increase in troop size coupled with the walling off of Baghdad neighborhoods from each other is some kind of success.

That delusion is born of ignorance, too. For the president and his party not only fan the flames of fear, but manufacture their own brand as well.

The photo above is from this month's "Columbia Journalism Review" (CJR). It is the kind of place an Obama-backing, latte-swilling, college-educated person has to go for such fare, because long ago the administration forbade photographs of our returning war dead.

Over time, ignorance of the war's wages has spread as news coverage, never encouraged, has decreased.

Beneath the picture is some text explaining how the photo is of Maria Calle beside the coffin of her fallen son, Private George Delgado, who may or may not have been the four-thousandth casualty of Bush's war.

CJR said that the 4,000 marker, while noted, has hardly been absorbed, with more than one-third of those queried in a Pew Research Center survey thinking the number was just 3,000, and 11 percent pegging it closer to 2,000 dead.

And that's because the American people have engaged in what the periodical called an "emotional distancing" from the war coupled with a notable decrease in press coverage.

To wit: When Bush announced his surge in January 2007, nearly a quarter of news stories across all media was devoted to Iraq, whereas this March the number had dropped to 5 percent.

Delusion indeed.

Into this darkness ride the Swift-boaters and wedge-issuers, not the least of whom is John McCain who told John Stewart that Obama is Hamas' preferred choice for the next American president.

"So you're taking Hamas at its word!" quipped the Daily Show's brilliant host, but McCain should know better and, if he doesn't, shouldn't be running for president.

To the extent he does not know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite, McCain has no business mocking someone else's plan for getting the hell out of Iraq, but the fact he would peddle in pure ignorance should disqualify his candidacy were it not for everybody else's ignorance.

A few days ago, the "New York Times," ran a Op-ed column by a gentleman named Edward Luttwak, fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

It was called "President Apostate?" and designed to blow holes in the idea a President Obama could live up to the "unrealistic hopes," his remarkable candidacy is engendering, but ended up as useful foil to McCain's ruse.

Luttwak addressed the idea that Obama's presidency would be a welcome development in the Arab world and effectively debunked it, while debunking McCain's use of Hamas to tar Obama at the same time.

It would seem that Obama, who was born Muslim and converted to Christianity, is actually guilty of "irtidad" or "ridda," which is a kind apostasy to all Mohammedans.

So severe is this offense, Luttwak writes, that it, "would complicate the security planning of state visits by President Obama to Muslim countries, because the very act of protecting him would be sinful for Islamic security guards."

It is simple information worthy of discussion, but hardly heard at all beneath the clanking and clutter about "Hussein."

"Change We Can Believe In," is okay for an Obama campaign slogan, but, "What's In A Name?" might have been more to the point.

In Memory of...

Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Temecula Soldier

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Spc. Mary J. Jaenichen, of Temecula , CA :

“Maria and I were deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Specialist Mary Jaenichen. She devoted her life to serving our country with courage, pride and honor. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary’s family and friends as they mourn the passing of this brave and dedicated patriot.”

Jaenichen, 20, died May 9 of a non-combat related injury in Iskandariyah , Iraq .

Jaenichen was assigned to the Brigade Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, United States Army, Fort Stewart , GA.

In honor of Spc. Jaenichen, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Four Camp Pendleton Marines

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the deaths of Lance Cpl. Casey L. Casanova of McComb , MS ; Cpl. Miguel A. Guzman of Norwalk , CA ; Lance Cpl. James F. Kimple of Carroll, OH; and Sgt. Glen E. Martinez of Boulder, CO:

“The sacrifices made by these four extraordinary patriots will be remembered forever by the people of California . They served our country with honor, loyalty and an unwavering commitment to the cause of liberty for all. Maria and I extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these brave American heroes during this time of mourning.”

Casanova, 22, Guzman, 21, Kimple, 21, and Martinez , 31, died May 2 supporting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq . They were assigned to the Combat Logistics Battalion 1, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps, Camp Pendleton , CA .

In honor of Lance Cpl. Casanova, Cpl. Guzman, Lance Cpl. Kimple and Sgt. Martinez, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Fort Irwin Soldier

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Sgt. Guadalupe Cervantes Ramirez, of Fort Irwin , CA :

“Sergeant Guadalupe Cervantes Ramirez sacrificed his life to protect the values and freedoms which define our nation and its people. His devotion, loyalty and unfailing courage in the face of danger serve as an inspiration to all Americans. Maria and I extend our deepest condolences to Guadalupe’s family and friends as they mourn the loss of this brave Californian.”

Ramirez, 26, died April 23 at Camp Arifjan , Kuwait , of injuries suffered in a vehicle incident. Ramirez was assigned to the 2nd Transportation Company (Heavy Equipment Transport), Echelons Above Brigade Support Battalion, National Training Center Support Brigade, United States Army, Fort Irwin , CA .

In honor of Sgt. Ramirez, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Camp Pendleton Marine

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Maj. William G. Hall of Seattle, WA:

“We are forever grateful for Major William Hall’s service to this country. He answered the call to defend freedom with pride and honor — traits which define our men and women in uniform. Maria and I join all Californians in paying tribute to William’s sacrifice and offering our sincere condolences to his family and fellow Marines as they mourn his loss.”

Hall, 38, died March 30 from wounds he suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq , on March 29. Hall was assigned to the 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, Marine Air Control Group 38, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps, Camp Pendleton , CA .

In honor of Maj. Hall, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

"Vedette" an Eric Hoffer Prize Winner

highwayscribery wanted to take a few inches of your time to report the success of his novel "Vedette or Conversations with the Flamenco Shadows," in the Eric Hoffer Awards.

the scribe was nonplussed upon receiving the news a few weeks ago because the "grand prize" ($) went to someone else and all he got was a gold "badge" he used to have posted where the certificate now sits, next to a picture of Hoffer, until someone from the Hoffer Foundation ordered him to remove both "copyrighted" images.

You have to love it when, as an anonymous and ignored writer, you get the odd and rare comment on your blog and it's from someone threatening you for posting the badge you won, but still had to pay for.

the scribe is sure Hoffer would be thrilled working writers are being treated in such a way, in his name.

Anyway, and as the scribe was saying, he wasn't too raved up about the distinction, but then we had a dinner guest over who gave Scribe Jr. a book about which she was very excited because it had just won the Eric Hoffer prize (different category). The fact this literary event had repercussions outside our own home's echo chamber was cause for great excitement and so we pass the news along in all lack of humility.

We have never heard of Hoffer whose big book - out of nine total - was called "The True Believer," and which highwayscribery will read and report back on with "all deliberate speed," as the Warren Court put it.

Apparently, Hoffer was a migrant worker, Nevada gold miner, and longshoreman with almost no schooling and bad eyesight, which should give you parents struggling to pay for Montessori and expensive eyeglasses pause.

He read, wrote and worked throughout the Great Depression counting himself amongst the new pioneers of migrating Okies and Arkies. By 1964, he had graduated to the post of research professor at UCal-Berkeley.

Eric Sevareid called him the "first important American writer, working class born, who remained working class in his habits."

The Hoffer people put out an annual collection of "Best New Writing" and the 2008 edition says of the novel:
Siciliano's "Vedette" is a fantasy, brilliantly intertwined with the myth of flamenco and the history of the Spanish Civil War. Vedette is part Lolita and mostly a survivor, and much to the author's credit, her story is told in shaded points of view that only increase the mystery. Like the people she supposedly haunts, Vedette's story frequents your thoughts long after reading.

The Hoffer people put out an annual collection of "Best New Writing" and the 2008 edition says of the novel:

Siciliano's "Vedette" is a fantasy, brilliantly intertwined with the myth of flamenco and the history of the Spanish Civil War. Vedette is part Lolita and mostly a survivor, and much to the author's credit, her story is told in shaded points of view that only increase the mystery. Like the people she supposedly haunts, Vedette's story frequents your thoughts long after reading.

Finally, a word about art and literature.

"Vedette," often classified as difficult for the time and place it seeks to portray, was entered along with "The Sidewalk Smokers Club," a follow-up effort at being more current, more easy to relate to, more topical and, hence, more commercial.

"Smokers," although it has had a respectable showing in this year's round of contests, did not place in the Eric Hoffer Awards and "Vedette" did, which should give pause to all you working scribes out there about the intentions and reasons for writing what you write.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Indiana and North Carolina

SAN DIEGO - scribe on the road here, with the following message: That ought to do it.

Yes, the Clinton camp now informs that the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination has suddenly increased by 200 or so.

You have to wonder where they'll find the corresponding states to house those delegates. But blessed be the party Democratic that allows those losing to move the finish line and proportionately awards delegates to runners-up, otherwise Sen. Clinton's institutional advantage in the "big states" would have been decisive for her.

And, again, they're crying Michigan and Florida, but that fish won't fly since the media has finally blown the whistle on the Clinton-directed narrative; starting with Tim Russert's stentorian proclamation that, "We now know who the Democratic nominee will be...."


Of course, highwayscribery has been telling you that since Billary got caught with her pantsuit down after Super Tuesday did not turn out as planned.

Indeed, an "unnamed Clinton adviser" told "Salon" (or didn't) that "we lost this thing in February."

And a lot of money since then. On both sides.

Driven to paranoia by the faux "pastor controversy" and other rites of passage peculiar to the American process-presidential, Obama-philes flicked multiple middle fingers at the man and his media by dumping mounds of moolah into the mother of all fundraising machines.

Of course, underneath the media hysteria the Obama campaign was going about its business and meeting a May 6 goal of assembling a contributor base totaling 1.5 million people.

Obama-ites reveled in uniquely themed money drives such as one for Mother's Day that urged everyone to donate $5.11 every day until Mother's Day (5/11).

There is no knowing for sure, but money being the mother's milk of politics (to stretch the metaphor), they could console themselves that Pennsylvania might have been worse without the extra cash.

Freed of this oppressive panic after Tuesday night's success, the Obama Army was online in force today, donating and constructing phone banks for contacting West Virginia that might render Clinton's demographic advantage a nullity.

Which is why smart politicians know when to go.

Clinton may not be the smartest pol to ever hit the hustings, but her candidacy has certainly been instructive.

Persistence in the pursuit of personal goals is cant in our culture, but Hillary has provided a sterling example in praxis. After getting her clock cleaned in Wisconsin for the umpteenth time, she pressed on where lesser men (for she was truly alone in the gender sense), would have folded, and was almost able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

That most American of philosophers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, counseled us to "take your place in the universe, for the world meddles not," which is probably true except when you're running for president, which is a much-coveted slot, although you've got to wonder why.

Sometimes even rich and powerful people like the Clintons don't get what they want.

That's the promise of America as opposed to, let's say, Spain, where the King's team, Real (Royal) Madrid, always wins the soccer title.

America generated the Amazin' Mets of 1969 and this year it is producing the black guy from Hawaii who never really got to know his father.

Hope, indeed.

Tom Waits Taps Omar Torrez

highwayscribery thought the news that guitarist Omar Torrez would be playing for Tom Waits on the upcoming "Glitter and Doom" tour of the United States and Europe worthy of time and space.

Some of you know that Omar and the scribe collaborate on a project entitled "Vedette Does La Danza," which couples this writer's novel "Vedette" to Torrez' stunning flamenco artistry.

As for Waits, suffice it to say, he has been a fixture on the American art scene since the 1970s. We say "art" scene, because although he is a musician and songwriter of note, Tom has also successfully transcended genres diverse as opera writing and acting.

He is that rare character who never seems obligated to compromise yet somehow holds the limelight with his truly unique voice and we are especially excited, though not surprised, about his choice of Torrez.

Read about it at Omar's My Space Page where a video of Waits announcing the tour at a faux press conference can be viewed.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Book Report: "Heartsnatcher," by Boris Vian

In "Heartsnatcher"Boris Vian put the Western world on the couch for an examination and decided the best solution was to hide from it.

Like many writers, Vian had no particular claim to the title of social psychoanalyst other than the frequent contemplation of his navel, which he found time to do in between stints as an actor, jazz trumpeter, engineer and mechanic.

This French scribe, of little import beyond his native nation's borders, was part of a post-World War II Parisian ebullience springing from the magical city's Latin Quarter.

A practitioner of le swing in a band that included two of his brothers, Vian played host to such jazz luminaries as Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, and Charlie Parker.

He was part of a hedonistic crosscurrent in the Saint German-des-Pres world upon which politically committed intellectuals like Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Andre Malraux had put their own stamp.

The two groups clashed frequently. The serious crowd probably had a more lasting impact, and the hedonistic crowd more fun, which is pretty much how things work.

In his introduction to the Dalkey Archive Press edition of "Heartsnatcher," John Sturrock writes, that Vian's 1950 play L'Equarissage pour Tous, "a spoof of the Normandy invasion in World War II, was vilified as 'shameful spittle' by Elsa Triolet, wife of Louis Aragon, the French poet, journalist, and staunch member of the French Communist Party. Jean Cocteau, already disliked by the communists, came to Vian's defense and compared the play's spirit to that of his own Les Maries de la Tour Eiffel."

Anyway, the novel appears to be part of mid-century Western lit's larger effort to break with traditional storytelling modes.

In her introductory essay to Jack Kerouac's "On the Road: The Original Scroll," Penny Vlagopoulos noted, that, "Like the European avant-garde artists of the preceding decades, Kerouac sought to collapse the distance between life and art."

Although a contemporary of Kerouac's, Vian's novel would suggest he was up to the same tricks with a focus on the interior life, rather than topographically focused screeds of the Beat poet.

"Heartsnatcher" is refreshing in that the story takes turns not normally associated with the paces of traditional storytelling, even if that means the payoff comes with less clarity and satisfaction.

In fact, it is a little hard to tell what is truly going on in "Heartsnatcher," which hails from a great French tradition that obligates you to work the brain instead of serving up its pearls on a freshly shucked oyster.

The story, such as it is, opens up with the main character, the psychiatrist Timortis, delivering triplets to a rather complex lady named Clementine, who has barred her husband Angel from the momentous event and, eventually, from her life.

"She preferred," Vian tells us, "to suffer and scream alone because she hated her swollen belly and wanted nobody to see her in that condition."

In a conversation with Angel, we learn Timortis comes from the outside with a plan to psychoanalyze the members of Clementine's household on a cliff above the sea and fill his own "empty vessel," in a firm nod to the Mr. Freud, with the subconscious detritus of residents from the nearby, unnamed village.

Timortis tells Angel he wants to learn the villager's "most terrible, heart-rending secrets, his hidden ambitions and desires; the things he does not even admit to himself; everything; everything - and then everything that lies beyond that everything."

The village turns out to be the great scummy id of humanity itself; complete with an "Old Folks Fair" that peddles Golden-agers as cheap labor, requiring men to display what Cervantes called, "the meats" as part of the bidding process, while treating broken crones no better than burros.

Shocked, Timortis questions the "Knacketeer" running this travesty about the woeful lack of scruples and gets a punch in the mouth for his troubles.

Later, he witnesses the brutes of the burg literally crucify a stallion for its sin of copulating with a mare. The narrative is peppered throughout with the deaths of wan little boy apprentices driven until they drop.

A "scarlet stream" filled with indescribable mucks and mires runs near Clementine's house and through the village. Along the waterway works a man in a barge named "Glory Hallelujah," who retrieves dead and decrepit things from the bottoms with his teeth, as required by an agreement with the villagers who pay him in gold, but forbid him to spend it.

"They pay me to feel their remorse for them," explains Glory Halleluhah.

There is a local Vicar whom holds his flock in the highest disdain and will not petition God that their fields be watered with rain until threatened with violence.

His religion is different than the one his followers practice. "Come on Sunday," he tells Timortis, " and you'll see...You'll see how I attack there materialism with an even more materialistic materialism. I'll rub the noses of the brutes in their own messes. Their apathy will find itself striking against an even greater apathy...and a worrying anxiety will grow from this collision which will land them back to religion...the religion of luxury."

Such luxury includes bread and circuses pitting the vicar and his curate in brutal fistfights given for a little local excitement.

Up at the house on the hill Clementine stores a rancid piece of meat in a drawer and eats a piece everyday as way of drawing the dangers of the world away from her triplets and toward her.

Isolated, sexually deprived yet inflamed, she works her mind into feverish fits, inventorying the many dangers from which she must protect them the little boys.

Her task grows even more difficult when they learn how to fly so that the compound is progressively walled in, pruned of all tree coverage, and ultimately outfitted with cushy cages of ready pleasure into which the little scamps are locked for their own safety.

And there's your story. One understood by those who opt for the ivory tower or have set out in youth to make the word a better place.

It does not tell us everything about Vian. As a matter of fact it is a later work from a short life and considered an attempt by him to generate "serious" literature.

Yet while his flights and fancy and non sequitir grotesqueries may try a reader's ability to maintain suspension of disbelief, the prose often graze the body poetic - a statement which obligates the scribe to go dig out an example...

....Here we go, right from the second paragraph of the book, "Timortis sauntered along, looking at the deep bloodred centers of the calamines throbbing in the flat sunshine. At each beat a cloud of pollen rose and, soon afterwards, settled on the dreamily trembling leaves. The bees had all disappeared on holiday."

His greatest success came with, "I'll Spit on Your Graves," an American noir detective send-up, which he wrote in two weeks, under a pseudonym, for handsome royalties and a prosecution for perversion.

Ah success!

"Boris Vian
has been caught
in the cogs
of the machinery of the laws
constructed by his fellow men
and has appeared
before their practitioners
because he wrote
'I'll Go Spit On Your Graves'
under the name of
Vernon Sullivan
although even that's
far from being the whole story"

Which is part of a poem about Vian by Raymond Queneau, about that particular and unpleasant episode.

The future Socialist President of France, Francois Mitterand, served as his attorney, and after a lot of unnecessary grief, Vian got a slap on the wrist.

The book literally killed him. Watching a movie version in the theater that he disapproved of, Vian stood up to publicly air his gripes and keeled over dead.

Sort of. For writers reach beyond their own times; often successfully.

Writes Sturrock: "He became the hero of youth following his death in 1959. And of course when May 1968 arrived, with its benign if hopeless insistence that imagination take power in France, Vian did better still, he was the very prophet the gallantly fantasizing students needed."

Looking to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the May '68 uprisings in Paris, highwayscribery chose to remember Vian in a way that links the literature and politics of that tremendous moment.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Between a Rock and Reality

Flash! The mainstream media is an embarrassment.

If there is one positive thing years of Republican misrule have achieved it has been to make clear our nation's broadcasters and publishers, rather than some oracle of objectivity, are actually a political interest unto themselves; that they and their reporters have agendas.

Although discerning said agenda is not always easy, it would appear, given the distorted (by them) evidence before us, that they have it out for Barack Obama.

Rather than a sober debate of the crucial issues facing our nation, we've gotten another week of Reverend Wright.

For example, Robert Novak aimed another assassin's bullet at the candidate's character this morning.

David Broder took a more even-handed tack, but still sifted through the same tired ashes.

The senator tried in vain to get reporters to do their job by disposing of Reverend Wright, but he will never go away, nor will questions of "how much damage" the wacky pastor did to him.

"How much damage?" is really code for "How bad have we, the media hurt him?"

To wit: The "New York Times," produced the results of a poll that found Democrats are less sure Obama would be the nominee than before, which is really a poll about nothing; or a poll wherein the media attempts to measure its own importance.

But the bottom line is that, out on the campaign trail, Obama continues to draw crowds who, in turn, leave the arena convinced of his excellence, his intelligence, his promise.

There is nothing like seeing a human being explain himself when compared to a sliced and diced celluloid character cooked up to serve up its creator's purposes.

The people who slurp up the thin gruel served by cable news and scan the national dailies are political junkies so involved that this endless and useless swill does not sway.

Among them are the fabled superdelegates themselves. The Associated Press reported that, for all this sturm and drang occurring over the airwaves, Sen. Obama has essentially erased Sen. Clinton's lead amongst that critical bloc, halving it during the two months of debates on "bitter," flagpins, and the reverend from hell.

These are the people, you'll remember, that hold the key to her overturning the hard math of the primary season and whom the media view as a magical tribunal acting in lockstep, logical concert...

"Now she can got to the superdelegates and say I'm not black and can win..."

But the article observes that, "the problems [with Wright] aren't stopping his ability to win support from superdelegates who are likely to cast the deciding votes in the Democratic race."

That's because superdelegates aren't as dopey as the media take the American people to be, and it's a pretty good bet the American people no longer genuflect before our paltry press either.

No wonder people are shifting to blogs over traditional outlets.

Take Politico.

The blog reports that congressional insiders believe most elected officials have made up their minds and are going for Obama, as the trend in the above AP article would suggest.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) told Amie Parnes or Josephine Hearn that the ensuing announcements are just a matter of time and it would seem that a coordinated effort to unveil superdelegate support in a trickle rather than in one big news blast has been underway for some time.

While the media gnashes its teeth about how much damage it's lousy job of covering issues is hurting Obama, the

"Los Angeles Times" reports that an Indiana superdelegate once supporting Clinton came out for Obama today.

Which is to say the Illinois senator is clearly holding his own, as per usual, in a very nasty environment.

Perhaps, most telling is the Republican Party's sustained attack on Obama and relative silence when it comes to Clinton, who, Josh Martin of "Politico" reports, "has been erased from the picture, Soviet-style. Republicans mostly act like she doesn't exist - an unusual turn of events considering her run of big-state victories and the fact that not so long ago Republican campaign plans were predicated on the idea of Clinton as the Democratic nominee."

The piece claims the GOP are planning a $500,000 media attack on Obama in two upcoming House elections.

Better spent paying Rev. Wright to keep yacking, but they know the steam will run out of that machine and a new way of linking Obama to advertising sales will have to be concocted by the Popes of the press.

And it will.