Elaine Lafferty: Sarah Palin’s a Brainiac

Elaine is a Democrat and former editor in chief of Ms. magazine. While she does comment on Palin’s intelligence she shifts gears quickly and goes after hypocritical feminists who’ve been exposed by Palin’s selection:

Many of those—not all—who decried the sexist media treatment of Hillary Clinton have been silent as Palin has been skewered in the old ways that female public figures are skewered, as well as a host of sexualized new ways as well. Some feminists have weighed in; “Even the reportedly clear glasses she wears to play down her beauty queen credential and enhance her gravitas can’t make up for experience,” writes my heroine Suzanne Braun Levine, former editor of Ms. Oppose her on policy? Fine. But how sad for feminist leaders to sink this low, especially when Palin has worn glasses since she was 10 years old.

Last month a prominent feminist blogger, echoing that sensibility, declared that the media was wrongly buying into the false idea that Palin was a feminist. Why? Well, just because she said she was a feminist, because she supported women’s rights and opportunities, equal pay, Title IV—that was just “empty rhetoric,” they said. At least the blogger didn’t go as far as NOW’s Kim Gandy and declare that Palin was not a woman. Bottom line: you are not a feminist until we say you are. And there you have the formula for diminishing what was once a great and important mass social change movement to an exclusionary club that rejects women who sincerely want to join and, God forbid, grow to lead.

More examples of this behavior, some graphic, can be found here.

Orson Scott Card: Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

The facts hardly seem to matter anymore and that is the problem:

I remember reading All the President’s Men and thinking: That’s journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn’t come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It’s a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can’t repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can’t make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It’s as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn’t there a story here? Doesn’t journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren’t you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. “Housing-gate,” no doubt. Or “Fannie-gate.”

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

I wholeheartedly agree with Card on every point but I also think that both mainstream parties have failed us tremendously. If you want to get picky about it the ultimate responsibility can be traced back to each one of us. The American people, at least the majority, are getting the government and media they deserve.

Anti-War Movement Exposed by The War in Georgia

Well, this is not the least bit surprising:

Well, as of this morning, you can find no mention of the war on A.N.S.W.E.R.’s home page. The group is addressing many other pressing matters, but apparently not the unremitting attack on Georgia. Code Pink? Nyet. Democracy Now!, which is a left-wing media group, has lots of news about American wars on its web page but nothing about Russia or Georgia. Nothing from the comrades at Peace Action. Stop the War Coalition? What war? You can search the home pages of left-wing groups until the cows come home and not find anything on the Russo-Georgia war.

C’mon guys, Human Rights Watch — to its credit — was all over this on Saturday with a boilerplate press release (although you would not know it from the scant press coverage it received, neither Israel nor the United States being involved). The least you can do is copy that one.

So far, at least, it is safe to conclude that these organizations are not so much anti-war as they are anti-American and anti-Israeli. It is useful to clear that up. And, by the way, if they decide to organize massive anti-war rallies against Russia and belatedly reveal themselves as intellectually honest, I will be the first to say so.

It looks like Democracy Now! has a brief mention of the conflict up but TigerHawk’s take on the hypocrisy of the Left remains valid. It would be amusing too, if so many people didn’t fall for it.

H/T: Memorandum