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Jan 21, 2007 6:07 pm


Sunday Notes



Last week, I noted the agreement between the National Archives and Footnote.com to digitize millions of documents from the Archives and make them available to researchers on the net. Dan Cohen takes a closer look at the agreement and compares it to the agreement between the Smithsonian and Showtime."From now until 2012 it will cost you $100 a year, or even more offensively, $1.99 a page," Cohen points out,"for online access to critical historical documents such as the Papers of the Continental Congress."

Joshua Green,"Take Two," Atlantic, November, is a fascinating and fresh-from-behind-the-firewall take on Hillary Clinton, who announced herself a candidate for President of the United States yesterday. Meanwhile, you can get an early sense of what we may be in for in the next 21 months from this article in Insight.com. Without naming a source, this rightwing rag claims that Clinton's team has already done oppositional research into Barak Obama's"Muslim background." The story is making the rounds on other rightwing sites here and here. Snopes.com has a recently updated entry on this urban legend. Thanks to William Harshaw and my own anonymous tipster.

"50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2006," The Beast, 12 January. GWB comes in only at #3, but there's something on this list to irritate everyone. Thanks to Josh Marshall and David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo for the tips.

Of Sacha Baron Cohen in Roland White,"Borat's Easy ... Being Me is Odd," TimesOnLine, 21 January: He was a student"... at Haberdashers' Aske's, a private school on the outskirts of north London. Baron Cohen left there to enjoy a gap year on a kibbutz and then went on to study history at Cambridge, where he wrote a dissertation on Jews in the US civil rights movement ...." Brendon O'Neill,"Backstory: Borat Write Thesis. It Niiiice. You Like Read?" Christian Science Monitor, 21 November, explored the connection much more fully. David Garrow tells me that Tony Badger was the advisor on Cohen's project.

Sheri Klouda had a tenure track position, teaching Hebrew, at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Dallas, TX, until authorities at the seminary recalled that Sheri was a she. That seemed to violate the words in I Timothy:"I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man." Offering a teaching position to their graduate, explained the chairman of Southwestern's board of trustees, was a"momentary lax of the parameters." Idiot. Thanks to Margaret Soltan at University Diaries for the tip.

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Nonpartisan - 1/22/2007

Here's what that comment, er, comments, were trying to say:

The most critical debunking of the Hillary/Obama story is not the obviously untrue notion that Barack Obama is a Muslim, but the much more nefarious implication that Hillary Clinton is trying to exploit the story. Media Matters has the goods:

"None of the four radio or television hosts cited any evidence that Clinton was responsible for promoting the madrassa story, beyond the InsightMag.com article, which cited no one by name. On December 13, Jason Zengerle, editor of The Plank, the weblog of The New Republic, predicted that Republicans would 'launch a savage and despicable whispering campaign against the guy (Barack Hussein Obama, etc.) and then blame it all on Hillary.'"

A lot of big bloggers were "had" by this aspect of the story, including Ali Eteraz, proprietor of the largest Progressive Muslim community blog on the web (who apologized and fixed the error when it was revealed). The temptation to beat up on Clinton, who is reviled by a large segment of the liberal blogosphere, was too strong for many -- which was, of course, precisely the point of the smear.


Nonpartisan - 1/22/2007

The most critical debunking of the Hillary/Obama story is not the obviously untrue notion that Barack Obama is a Muslim, but the much more nefarious implication that Hillary Clinton is trying to exploit the story. Media Matters has the goods:

None of the four radio or television hosts cited any evidence that Clinton was responsible for promoting the madrassa story, beyond the InsightMag.com article, which cited no one by name. On December 13, Jason Zengerle, editor of The Plank, the weblog of The New Republic, predicted that Republicans would "launch a savage and despicable whispering campaign against the guy (Barack Hussein Obama, etc.) and then blame it all on Hillary."


A lot of big bloggers were "had" by this aspect of the story, including Ali Eteraz, proprietor of the largest Progressive Muslim community blog on the web (who apologized and fixed the error when it was revealed). The temptation to beat up on Clinton, who is reviled by a large segment of the liberal blogosphere, was too strong for many -- which was, of course, precisely the point of the smear.


Nonpartisan - 1/22/2007

The most critical debunking of the Hillary/Obama story is not the obviously untrue notion that Barack Obama is a Muslim, but the much more nefarious implication that Hillary Clinton is trying to exploit the story. Media Matters has the goods:

None of the four radio or television hosts cited any evidence that Clinton was responsible for promoting the madrassa story, beyond the InsightMag.com article, which cited no one by name. On December 13, Jason Zengerle, editor of The Plank, the weblog of The New Republic, predicted that Republicans would "launch a savage and despicable whispering campaign against the guy (Barack Hussein Obama, etc.) and then blame it all on Hillary."


A lot of big bloggers were "had" by this aspect of the story, including Ali Eteraz, proprietor of the largest Progressive Muslim community blog on the web (who apologized and fixed the error when it was revealed). The temptation to beat up on Clinton, who is reviled by a large segment of the liberal blogosphere, was too strong for many -- which was, of course, precisely the point of the smear.


Manan Ahmed - 1/21/2007

I hear that Ralph Luker has a KooRan in his library!!!!!! He is a totall WAHABI!


William Harshaw - 1/21/2007

Snopes.com has done a piece on this.
http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp

They rate the e-mail as False.


Sudha Shenoy - 1/21/2007

What silly tosh. Obama spent _four_ years as a _child_, between the ages of 6 & 10, living in Indonesia, & going to a Muslim school for perhaps two years. That's all.

Incidentally, Indonesians then were still very relaxed about Islam. Wahhabi influence has come in only during the last ten years or so -- some 20 years or so _after_ Obama returned to the American territory of Hawaii.

At 10, Obama _returned_ to Hawaii,the American territory, to be raised by white grandparents from Kansas_, for heaven's sake. How much more American can you get??

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