Lucas John | 1 Jun 01:51 2008

Re: Fwd: CNN Breaking News

Does this mean he's a Muslim again?  ;)

: )


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Michael D. Findlay | 1 Jun 03:14 2008

Re: Fwd: CNN Breaking News

Wow, nothing like striking while the iron is hot.  He just got right on that didn't he?   
Obama has done something I didn't think anyone was capable of doing - make me a fan of Hillary.
Mike F.

From: [] On Behalf Of Ronald Hatton
Sent: Saturday, May 31, 2008 5:38 PM
To: DADL (off topic)
Subject: [DADL-OT] Fwd: CNN Breaking News

Me-o, my-o....

Begin forwarded message:

Date: May 31, 2008 6:23:04 PM EDT
Subject: CNN Breaking News

-- Barack Obama has resigned as a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, his campaign says.

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Peter T. Chattaway | 1 Jun 04:31 2008

Re: Fwd: CNN Breaking News

On Sat, 31 May 2008, Michael D. Findlay wrote:
> Obama has done something I didn't think anyone was capable of doing - 
> make me a fan of Hillary.

Eh?  How so?  Shouldn't his willingness to separate himself from these 
guys make Obama *more* attractive?


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Peter T. Chattaway | 1 Jun 04:45 2008

a couple more comments on obama's latest reversal

. . . This is of course the same church that Obama said contained within 
it every aspect of the black community (which raises the question of 
whether he is, by the same logic, resigning from the black community). 
There's something about this decision that raises more questions than it 
answers. Is Obama doing this now because he is on the verge of securing 
the nomination and no longer needs to worry so much about disappointing 
his base? Or is he worried there is more to come on YouTube from the 
Trinity United stage and he wants to have dissociated himself from it all 
beforehand? Is he going to have to give another major speech on race to 
revise and amend his previous speech on race?

- - -

. . . Well, we can now call Obama's claim that he is devoted to the church 
and not Wright "inoperative". This seems to undermine the argument of his 
apologists that there was nothing wrong Trinity United and lots of people 
attend places with rabbis or ministers with whom they "disagree". Now that 
it is plain that this church welcomed and celebrated anti-white, 
anti-woman and anti-Semitic hate speech it is fair to ask why now, why 
only now would he leave? Well, he's got a general election to run and the 
old Obama - the one with Rev. Wright and Father Pfleger as mentors - needs 
to be pushed out of view.

Imagine if the roles were reversed and John McCain had attended a white 
separatist church for twenty years. Would his resignation after two 
decades cure the concern that he had lived some sort of weird double life, 
cavorting with racists but talking about equal opportunity in his public 
life? I would imagine he'd have been forced out of the presidential race 
by now.

So the question remains: was Obama the least observant church congegrant 
on the planet (racism and anti-Semitism at Trinity? No!) or a hypocrite? 
Let the voters decide.


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Michael D. Findlay | 1 Jun 06:28 2008

Re: Fwd: CNN Breaking News

It is oh so politically transparent at this point.  If he had done it when
the Rev. Wright stuff broke that would be one thing, but now it is obvious
to me that it is mere and sheer political expedience.  I know one could
argue better late then never, but the lateness of this one screams
"hopefully now is better than never".  

I don't mean to suggest that I would ever vote for Hillary if there was any
candidate right of center as an alternative, only that Obama is so
disgusting that she is a preferable alternative.  With some of the coverage
I'm actually beginning to think I like her.  

Mike F. 

-----Original Message-----
From: dadl-ot-bounces@...
[mailto:dadl-ot-bounces@...] On
Behalf Of Peter T. Chattaway
Sent: Saturday, May 31, 2008 9:32 PM
To: DADL (off topic)
Subject: Re: [DADL-OT] Fwd: CNN Breaking News

On Sat, 31 May 2008, Michael D. Findlay wrote:
> Obama has done something I didn't think anyone was capable of doing - 
> make me a fan of Hillary.

Eh?  How so?  Shouldn't his willingness to separate himself from these guys
make Obama *more* attractive?

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12:25 PM


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Karl | 1 Jun 06:32 2008

Re: Fwd: CNN Breaking News

Well all along he has maintained that the church was not unusual, so caving
now could show that he used his membership for political gain and ignored
the reality of what they preached (which his critics maintained), or it
shows he is bending to criticism regardless of the facts.

Either of those two might cause people to see this as a weakness or a sign
of desperation...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: dadl-ot-bounces@...
[mailto:dadl-ot-bounces@...] On
> Behalf Of Peter T. Chattaway
> Sent: Saturday, May 31, 2008 7:32 PM
> To: DADL (off topic)
> Subject: Re: [DADL-OT] Fwd: CNN Breaking News
> On Sat, 31 May 2008, Michael D. Findlay wrote:
> > Obama has done something I didn't think anyone was capable of doing -
> > make me a fan of Hillary.
> Eh?  How so?  Shouldn't his willingness to separate himself from these
> guys make Obama *more* attractive?
> --
> dadl-ot mailing list


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Peter T. Chattaway | 1 Jun 07:00 2008

Re: Fwd: CNN Breaking News

On Sat, 31 May 2008, Michael D. Findlay wrote:
> It is oh so politically transparent at this point.  If he had done it 
> when the Rev. Wright stuff broke that would be one thing . . .

Well, he still would have had to dodge the "How could you have attended 
this church for 20 years?" questions.

What makes it so nakedly, even cynically, political *now* is that the 
church hasn't really changed at all since the nature of the church first 
caught the mainstream media's attention.  The church that Obama defended 
last month, and last year, and perhaps even in the months and years before 
that, is exactly the same church that Obama is now trying to distance 
himself from.  The church hasn't changed.  What *has* changed is Obama, 
perhaps, and certainly the political situation in which Obama finds 
himself.  And that raises the usual "character" questions, etc.

> I don't mean to suggest that I would ever vote for Hillary if there was 
> any candidate right of center as an alternative, only that Obama is so 
> disgusting that she is a preferable alternative.  With some of the 
> coverage I'm actually beginning to think I like her.

Heh.  Think she's smiling tonight?


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Peter T. Chattaway | 1 Jun 07:56 2008


Steyn on America
Sunday, 01 June 2008

I was watching the Big Oil execs testifying before Congress. That was my 
first mistake. If memory serves, there was lesbian mud wrestling over on 
Channel 137, and on the whole that's less rigged. Representative Debbie 
Wasserman Schultz knew the routine: "I can't say that there is evidence 
that you are manipulating the price, but I believe that you probably are. 
So prove to me that you are not."

Had I been in the hapless oil man's expensive shoes, I'd have answered, 
"Hey, you first. I can't say that there is evidence that you're sleeping 
with barnyard animals, but I believe that you probably are. So prove to me 
that you are not. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence and 
prima facie evidence, lady? Do I have to file a U.N. complaint in Geneva 
that the House of Representatives is in breach of the Universal 
Declaration of Human Rights?"

But that's why I don't get asked to testify before Congress. So instead 
the Big Oil guy oozed as oleaginous as his product before the grand 
panjandrums of the House Sub-Committee on Televised Posturing, and then 
they went off and passed by 324 to 82 votes the so-called NOPEC bill. The 
NOPEC bill is, in effect, a suit against OPEC, which, if I recall 
correctly, stands for the Oil Price-Exploiting Club. "No War For Oil!," as 
the bumper stickers say. But a massive suit for oil — now that's the 
American way!

"It shall be illegal and a violation of this Act," declared the House of 
Representatives, "to limit the production or distribution of oil, natural 
gas, or any other petroleum product ... or to otherwise take any action in 
restraint of trade for oil, natural gas, or any petroleum product when 
such action, combination, or collective action has a direct, substantial, 
and reasonably foreseeable effect on the market, supply, price, or 
distribution of oil, natural gas, or other petroleum product in the United 

Er, okay. But, before we start suing distant sheikhs in exotic lands for 
violating the NOPEC act, why don't we start by suing Congress? After all, 
who "limits the production or distribution of oil" right here in the 
United States by declaring that there'll be no drilling in the Gulf of 
Florida or the Arctic National Mosquito Refuge? As Congresswoman Wasserman 
Schultz herself told Neil Cavuto on Fox News, "We can't drill our way out 
of this problem."

Well, maybe not. But maybe we could drill our way back to 
three-and-a-quarter per gallon. More to the point, if the House of 
Representatives has now declared it "illegal" for the Government of Saudi 
Arabia to restrict oil production, why is it still legal for the 
Government of the United States to restrict oil production? In fact, the 
Government of the United States restricts pretty much every form of energy 
production other than the bizarre fetish du jour of federally mandated 
ethanol production.

Nuclear energy?

Whoa, no, remember Three Mile Island? (Okay, nobody does, but kids, and 
anyone under late middle age, you can look it up in your grandparents' 
school books.)


Whoa, no, man, there go our carbon credits.

Okay, how about if we all go back to the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa 
Fe, and start criss-crossing the country on wood-fired trains?

Are you nuts? Think of the clear-cutting. We can't have logging in 
environmentally sensitive areas such as forests.

Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz believes in "alternative energy," which 
means not nuclear (like the French) but solar and wind power. At the 
moment, solar energy accounts for approximately 0.1 per cent of US 
electricity production, most of which is for devices which heat swimming 
pools. So if there was a tenfold increase in swimming pool construction 
you might be able to get it up to one per cent, but the only way all those 
homeowners would be able to afford to build their new swimming pools is 
through the kinds of economic activity which depend on oil, gas, and other 
forms of federally prohibited energy. So instead Congress hauls Big Oil 
execs in for the dinner-theatre version of a Soviet show trial and then 
passes irrelevant poseur legislation like the NOPEC bill. Plus ca change 
you can believe in, plus c'est la meme chose. The NOPEC bill is really the 
NO PECS bill — a waste of photocopier paper passed by what C.S. Lewis 
called "men without chests."

The New Yorker ran a big piece the other day called "The Fall Of 
Conservatism." Indeed. This November isn't going to be pleasant for those 
of us of a right-wing bent. Many conservative voices in the media say: 
This is the way it is, get used to it. Voters want the government to "fix" 
health care and "fix" gas prices and "fix" the environment and, if all 
you're offering is the virtues of small government, you too sound small 
— and mean and uncaring about the real issues in real people's real 
lives. Standing athwart history yelling "Stop!" was a cute line from 
William F. Buckley, but it's not a practical position for a political 
party that wishes to stay in business. "The fact of change is the great 
fact of human life," writes my National Review colleague David Frum in 
Comeback, his thoughtful critique of the conservative movement.

David's right. Change is a constant. You're a big railroad baron and 
things are going swell and then someone invents the horseless carriage and 
a big metal bird that holds hundreds of people and you never saw it coming 
— because you thought you were in the train business rather than in the 
transportation business. That kind of change is the great exhilarating 
rhythm of American life.

But government "change," Obama change, NOPEC change is nothing to do with 
that. In fact, it obstructs real dynamic change. On energy, on 
environmentalism, on health care, government "change" generally does 
nothing more than set in motion the next crisis that the next 
change-peddling pol has to pledge to address. So we complain about 
four-dollar-a-gallon gas, and our leaders respond with showboating 
legislation like NOPEC and feel-good environmental regulatory overkill 
like putting the polar bear on the endangered species list, while ensuring 
that we'll continue to bankroll every radical mosque and madrassah on the 
planet. In Britain, new "green taxes" do nothing to "save" the planet, but 
they are estimated to cost the average family about $6,000 a year. That's 
change you can believe in.

The New York Sun, May 27th 2008

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Bruce Geerdes | 1 Jun 15:58 2008

That License to Kill Is Unexpired

That License to Kill Is Unexpired

IAN FLEMING, had he lived, would have celebrated his 100th birthday on
Wednesday. James Bond, his greatest invention, is probably a bit
younger, strictly speaking (the evidence in the books is a little
contradictory) — except that Bond, of course, is ageless and immortal.
Never mind those three packs a day; he has wind to spare. His liver,
astoundingly, is still holding up. He has survived not only Fleming
but Kingsley Amis and John Gardner, who, among others, kept on
publishing Bond novels in Fleming's stead. With a new Bond book just
out — "Devil May Care" by Sebastian Faulks — there are now, in
addition to the 12 Bond novels that Fleming actually wrote, almost
twice as many that he didn't.

In the movies, whenever a Bond shows the least sign of faltering, he
is immediately unplugged and a new one wheeled in. Sean Connery was
unforgettable in the role, and Daniel Craig has yet to wear himself
out. His second Bond picture, the 22nd in the saga, called "Quantum of
Solace," whatever that means, is scheduled for release in November.
But who any longer remembers poor George Lazenby, even though his sole
Bond film, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," was actually one of the
best, or Timothy Dalton, whose two Bond flicks were among the worst?
As for Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan, they blend in memory into a
sleek, somewhat ironic Bond — a little weary, you feel, from carrying
all that history around.

Mr. Faulks's new book, on the other hand, featuring a slightly weary
Bond, improbably injects new life into the formula.

"Devil May Care" is in many ways a stronger novel than any that
Fleming wrote, both because it's better written and because it has all
the Bond lore to draw upon. It's a satisfying thriller in its own
right, set in the early '60s and beginning in Paris — very
satisfactorily — with a man getting his tongue pulled out with pliers,
then traveling to Iran and Russia.

But it's also a fond and at times funny homage to all the other books
in the series. Felix Leiter, Bond's old American friend, turns up,
only now without an arm and a leg after being tossed into a shark tank
in "Live and Let Die." The villain has one hand that resembles a hairy
monkey's paw, and his sidekick, an Oddjob-like character named
Chagrin, has to wear a kepi because after an operation to render him a
psychopath, his skull plate no longer fits. And the plot is full of
little nods in the direction of famous Bond landmarks: there's a
crooked tennis game, for example, reminiscent of Le Chiffre as a
cardsharp in "Casino Royale" and of Goldfinger as a cheater at golf.

At a certain level all the Bond stories are the same story. There's
the villain, the girl (in "Devil May Care," the appealing and
surprising Scarlett Papava) and the plot that threatens the end of
civilization. Bond thwarts the first, sleeps with the second, gets
beaten or tortured, and then reunites with the girl, often while still
in his wet suit.

The movies are even more similar, and almost invariably include set
pieces like the opening sequence with the gun barrel and the
inevitable, flirty interview with Miss Moneypenny. What varies is
mostly the escalating gimmickry of the gadgets, the special effects
and the sexiness of the actresses. Ursula Andress, emerging from the
waves in a bikini in the first Bond pic, "Dr. No" (1962), set the bar
very high, and in some ways viewers have been jaded ever since.

But to a considerable extent it's the series of Bond movies, one of
the most successful franchises in film history, that have kept the
books going, after a fashion, and not the other way around. In recent
years neither the Fleming originals nor the knockoffs have sold
particularly well, though Doubleday has high hopes for the new one and
is printing an initial 250,000 copies.

Fleming lived long enough to see only the first two Bond movies, "Dr.
No" and "From Russia With Love," which happen to be the most faithful
to his texts. Many of the others have little in common with what he
wrote other than a title, and the Bond most of us think we know —
suave, debonair, unflappable and, in his later incarnations, a little
bland — is more nearly the movie character than the one Fleming

Albert R. Broccoli, a producer of the first 17 Bond films, could be
said to be a co-creator of this other, meta-Bond. It was he or his
writers who made a trademark of the "Bond. James Bond" line, for
example, and who insisted on the "shaken, not stirred" business.
Fleming's Bond is not nearly so fussy about what he drinks, as long as
there is plenty of it. He's as apt to slug down bourbon as a martini.
This Bond is also much more fetishistic about smoking than he is about
drinking and makes a point of ordering his cigarettes (with three gold
bands on the filter) from Morlands of Grosvenor Street. (In a pinch,
though, he'll also smoke Chesterfield kings by the carton, and it's
little short of miraculous that he can climb a flight of stairs, let
alone swim for miles, as he so often does.) He likes fast automobiles
but hates gizmos, except for the odd concealed knife, and wouldn't get
caught dead with the laser watches, ejector seats, tricked-out cars
and exploding key chains the movie Bond has been kitted out with, not
to mention that embarrassing jet pack.

Fleming's Bond also has a dark streak of world-weariness and
melancholy we never get to see on screen. He's casually racist (in
"Live and Let Die" especially), misogynistic (giving women the vote
encourages their lesbian tendencies, he believes) and anti-Semitic in
a way that would never be permitted in the movies. And he's far
kinkier sexually than any of his movie incarnations. Good sex for Bond
is sex that has "the sweet tang of rape"; when he first goes to bed
with Vesper Lynde, in "Casino Royale," we're told, he "wanted to see
tears and desire in her remote blue eyes and to take the ropes of her
black hair in his hands and bend her long body back under his." And in
a surprising number of incidents Bond is beaten or burned around the
genitals — most famously by Le Chiffre in "Casino Royale' but also by
Blofeld in "You Only Live Twice" — to the point where his potency is
in question.

In all these respects Bond bears a more than passing resemblance to
his creator, except that Fleming was a far nastier piece of work. He
was born in Mayfair, London, in 1908, the second son of a well-to-do
member of Parliament. Like Bond (whose offense was "trouble with one
of the boys' maids"), he was kicked out of Eton, and he dropped out of
Sandhurst. He subsequently failed as a journalist and a stockbroker,
and the war was his salvation. With few other qualifications than
knowing the right people, he became assistant to the director of naval
intelligence and eventually rose to the rank of commander (same as
Bond), in charge of his own special operations unit.

After the war he returned, half-heartedly, to journalism and more
enthusiastically to his main interest: womanizing. In 1952 he married
Lady Anne Rothmere, with whom he had been carrying on during her two
previous marriages. Their relationship was intense but not
particularly faithful on either side, and it was based on a shared
taste for what the French call le vice anglais. "I am the chosen
instrument of the Holy Man to whip some of the devil out of you," he
wrote to her once, "and I must do my duty however much pain it causes
me. So be prepared to drink your cocktails standing for a few days."

Fleming died in 1964, a premature wreck done in by Bondian habits: 70
cigarettes and a bottle of gin a day. By then he looked, friends said,
like a bloodhound who had been out in the sun too long. But the
novels, which some of his writer friends, like Evelyn Waugh and Cyril
Connolly, delighted in poking fun at, brought him satisfaction and a
sense of purpose, not to mention a very nice stream of income. He
wrote the first, "Casino Royale," in just four weeks in 1952, and once
he hit on the formula he never deviated, publishing a Bond novel a
year until he died. There are better Bond books, and worse ones, but
they don't really evolve, any more than Bond himself does.

At a certain level the Bond books are cold war fantasies, celebrating
material comfort and diplomatic importance at a time when Britain
didn't have a great deal of either. When Fleming began writing,
British families were still using ration cards and the Empire was
mostly a memory. So the books were really wish fulfillments; they took
British readers to places, like Jamaica and Haiti, where most of them
could never imagine going, and on Bond they projected an image of
competence and worldly wisdom.

The plots run as efficiently as Bond's 4.5-liter Bentley, with
scarcely a wasted word, but the books are also extravagant, with their
over-the-top villains — Hugo Drax, Emilio Largo, Goldfinger, Ernst
Blofeld and his creepy consort, Irma Bunt — and their parade of barely
clad heroines so absurdly named they sound like lingerie brands:
Solitaire, Tiffany Case, Honeychile Rider, Kissy Suzuki. You get the
sense that Fleming — bored, cynical and out of sorts — wrote them to
entertain himself as much as the reader. All of them were knocked off
at Goldeneye, his estate in Jamaica (now a boutique hotel), with time
out for cocktails and snorkeling.

The formula seems easy to imitate, but most of the Bond knockoffs are
pretty disappointing. The dozen or so by Mr. Gardner are particularly
bad; they're clumsily written and manifest a regrettable politically
correct tendency, giving Bond low-tar cigarettes to smoke, for
example, and a Saab to drive. But even Mr. Amis's Bond novel, "Colonel
Sun," which was published in 1968 under the name Robert Markham, is a
little stiff and joyless. Mr. Amis, who also wrote "The Book of Bond,
or Every Man His Own 007," loved the Bond novels and wasn't slumming
when he agreed to try one.

If anything, he took the project too seriously. "Colonel Sun" is
fussily written, without Fleming's flair for sweeping generalizations,
and the plot — a Communist Chinese scheme to wreak havoc on the Middle
East — is literal and overly complicated. Even worse, the girl, a
Greek partisan named Ariadne, and the villain, Colonel Sun, are dull
and uninspired. The latter's evilness seems to consist mostly of just
being Chinese, or "a yellow slug," as M., Bond's superior, calls him.
Mr. Amis doesn't even do much with the sex scenes, which are of the
"they had become one creature with a single will" variety, though he
does manage a nice torture sequence, with the colonel, who scorns
genital assault as "too unsophisticated," preferring to drive a skewer
through his victim's eardrum.

Mr. Faulks is not a thriller writer but a highly regarded writer of
literary fiction, probably best known for "Birdsong," set in World War
I, and "Charlotte Gray," set in World War II. Both feature a certain
amount of spying, though not of the Bondian sort. His last book,
"Engleby," is about a journalist who becomes a psychopath.

When Mr. Faulks was first approached by the Fleming estate, he
"thought it was pretty droll, actually," he said in a recent phone
interview from London, where he lives. "I thought I was a very odd
choice indeed, and I was amused by the whole idea." But Mr. Faulks was
between books at the time, so he agreed to reread the Bond novels,
which he hadn't looked at since he was a teenager. "They were quite a
lot better than I thought they would be," he said. "I wouldn't say I
was on the edge of my seat, but I did enjoy them, and I thought they
were pretty well written, in a journalistic way — free of cliché.
There are some very silly things, like the plot of 'Goldfinger,' and
some of the names of people are just ridiculous. But on the whole my
reservations rather evaporated."

One key to a successful knockoff, he decided, was finding the right
story, and eventually he came up with one that involved both the
catastrophic cold war ominousness that Fleming so loved and the kind
of specific crime plot that energizes the best of the Bond novels. In
"Devil May Care" the villain is trying to undermine Western
civilization by addicting everyone to cheap drugs. A subplot involves
a rogue C.I.A. operative who wants to drag Britain into Vietnam.

"Mostly I just had fun," Mr. Faulks said. "I wrote the book the way
Fleming did — 2,000 words a day, except I left out the cocktails and
the snorkeling."

"Tuning into the style was the difficult thing," he continued. "You
have to hear the tone. That applies to your own book as well as to
anyone else's. And so finding that style, that pitch, was
all-important. With Fleming, once I'd got his voice I developed a
sentence structure that was about 20 percent mine and 80 percent his —
plenty of verbs, not many adverbs or adjectives. The real danger was
getting too close and then winding up in parody territory."

He added: "I didn't anguish, and I didn't feel Fleming looking over my
shoulder. The only difficulty I had was when I wanted to slow the
story down, to allow a page or two for something significant to sink
in. I thought that I could draw a little on Bond's inner life, but I
found that Bond doesn't really have an inner life."


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Peter T. Chattaway | 1 Jun 16:44 2008

Obama quits Trinity United Church of Christ

The AP reports:

    Barack Obama said Saturday he has resigned his 20-year membership in 
the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago "with some sadness" in the 
aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his longtime pastor, the Rev. 
Jeremiah Wright, and more recent fiery remarks at the church by a visiting 
priest. ...

    "This was one I didn't see coming," Obama said Saturday when he [was] 
asked if he had anticipated the firestorm that would erupt over his 
relationship with Wright.

Huh? "This was one I didn't see coming?" What kind of would-be President 
of the United States wouldn't see this one coming? Heck, I saw it coming 
for him in March 2007 <>.

Of course, the latest Trinity brouhaha doesn't directly concern Wright, it 
involves a well-known far leftist Catholic priest, Michael Pfleger, who 
was invited to preach at Trinity by Wright's successor Otis Moss III. A 
month ago, Obama said of Moss, "Well, the new pastor, the young pastor, 
Reverend Otis Moss, is a wonderful young pastor."

As I've said, Obama is running a Karl Rove style campaign designed to do 
the absolute minimum to get him 51% of the Democratic vote and 51% of the 
general election vote.


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