Bush Years "One Long, Dumb, Dirty Joke"

Plus Racist Hillary Voters and John "Two Americas" Edwards Takes a Bow
Bush Years "One Long, Dumb, Dirty Joke"
"If you think the last seven years have been one long, dumb, dirty joke - or maybe if, sometimes, you just wish you could believe as much - then "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay," written and directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, just might be the perfect movie for you." - From a movie review by chief critic A. O. Scott, April 25.

Lieberman's "Lurch to the Right"?
"As Mr. Gore steadily migrated leftward from his roots as a hawkish, centrist New Democrat, Mr. Lieberman lurched to the right, so much so that he now makes common cause with Republicans, at least on the war." - From John Broder's April 20 Week in Review piece on Al Gore and Joe Lieberman's cooled relationship. Lieberman's lifetime rating with the American Conservative Union is 17, with 100 being a perfect conservative score.

Take a Bow, John Edwards - There Are Many Americas
"The new research adds weight to the political construct popularized by former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, that there are two Americas (if not more), measured not only by wealth but also by health, and that the poles are growing farther apart." - Kevin Sack's April 27 Week in Review story on the decline in life expectancy rates of some Southern women.

Overheated Elliott
"But Ms. Almontaser's downfall was not merely the result of a spontaneous outcry by concerned parents and neighborhood activists. It was also the work of a growing and organized movement to stop Muslim citizens who are seeking an expanded role in American public life." - Andrea Elliott's April 28 front-page profile of the ex-principal of a Muslim school, Debbie Almontaser, titled, "Her Dream, Branded as a Threat."

Is That Some Kind of Compliment?
"Mrs. Clinton has spent her whole life climbing the ladders of education, wealth and power. Now, as part of her effort to hold off Senator Barack Obama and claim the Democratic presidential nomination, she is climbing back down them, sounding less like a Wellesley alumna than Roseanne Barr's old sitcom character, the den mother of her factory floor ." - Jodi Kantor with Hillary Clinton in Fort Wayne, Ind., April 28.

High Crime Due to America's Lack of Social Programs
"Criminologists and legal experts here and abroad point to a tangle of factors to explain America's extraordinary incarceration rate: higher levels of violent crime, harsher sentencing laws, a legacy of racial turmoil, a special fervor in combating illegal drugs, the American temperament, and the lack of a social safety net. Even democracy plays a role, as judges - many of whom are elected, another American anomaly - yield to populist demands for tough justice." - Legal reporter Adam Liptak, April 23.

Over-Dramatize Much?
"Rupert Murdoch is moving to tighten his already-imposing grip on American news media, striking a tentative deal to buy his third New York-based paper, Newsday, and getting his first chance to appoint the top editor of The Wall Street Journal, after the resignation of the editor on Tuesday." - Lead sentence of an April 23 front-page story by Richard Perez-Pena and Tim Arango.

Obama-Resisting Hillary Voters Must Be Racist
"The composition of Mrs. Clinton's support - or, looked at another way, the makeup of voters who have proved reluctant to embrace Mr. Obama - has Democrats wondering, if not worrying, about what role race may be playing." - From Adam Nagourney's April 24 front-page story.

GOP Racial Divisiveness, Part I....
Despite objections from Senator John McCain, the North Carolina Republican Partyis planning to roll out a television advertisement on Monday attacking two Democrats who are running for governor by linking them to Senator Barack Obama and playing a clip of his former pastor excoriating the United States. The release of the commercial, which Republican officials in North Carolina said would make its debut during the 6 p.m. newscasts, injects a potentially divisive racial element into the campaign for the state's Democratic presidential primary, which is on May 6." - Michael Luo, April 24.

...and II

"Yet Mr. Obama also faces challenges ahead: According to Republican Party officials, party members in North Carolina - which holds its primary on May 6 - are considering running an advertisement against Mr. Obama that highlights his ties to controversial figures like his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. That ad could have the effect of adding a racially divisive element to that Southern state's primary." - Patrick Healy, April 23.

No Liberals in Louisiana Politics
"[Louisiana Democratic congressional candidate Don] Cazayoux, 44, steered clear of Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York while repeatedly mentioning his endorsement by the so-called Blue Dog coalition of conservative Democrats. That stance provoked a burst of frustration from [Repubican Woody] Jenkins - "it's a tactic of the Democratic Party to talk conservative in campaigns" - and has unleashed a deluge of advertisements and fliers from Republicans and conservative groups seeking to redefine Mr. Cazayoux as a "liberal," an unlikely appellation in a state where at most a handful of black politicians from the larger cities meet the definition." - Adam Nossiter, May 2.

A Flood of Anti-GOP Cynicism in New Orleans
"Mr. McCain, who was on the fourth day of a tour of America's "forgotten places" to try to prove that he is a compassionate Republican, ticked off a long list of mistakes: "There was unqualified people in charge, there was a total misreading of the dimensions of the disaster, there was a failure of communications....Mr. McCain has seemed both moved and awkward this week, and at times defensive about his own more privileged past. But he and the Republican Party are unlikely to let voters forget about his time in the forgotten places before the election in November." - Online filing by Elisabeth Bumiller with John McCain in New Orleans, April 25.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Victim of White America
"Mr. Obama gave his speech on race in Philadelphia, a long, pained, nuanced take that purchased distance between himself and his mentor, even as he struggled to explain Mr. Wright's hurt to the larger world." - Michael Powell and Jodi Kantor, May 1.