Michelle Obama, "whitey," Larry Sinclair and the blogs

Dateline: Mon 09 Jun 2008

Years ago, Ernie Bushmiller, creator of the Little Nancy and Fritzi Ritz cartoons, did a fabulous send-up on cynicism. (If you don't know Fritzi, think 1940s and 50s for the hey day).

This particular strip ran in a 1950s comic book and showed the silhouetted backs of Fritizi's curly black head and that of her boyfriend, Phil. They're at the movies, gazing up at the silver screen. Fritzi is an adult, right? So is Phil, a short guy with red hair.

So the couple is sitting there, and in each panel, a beautiful star is shown on the screen. Phil says something predictable each time: "Oh, I love Clark Curtis. He's such a great talent." Fritzi: "He was really a clown in a circus. He never acted a day in his life." This continues thru 7 or 8 panels, with Phil, again, admiring yet another star, followed by the typical put-down diss from Fritzi. She always has the real dirt about the Hollywood hero or heroine.

Finally a dog -- a handsome German shepherd Rin Tin Tin type -- is on screen.

"Oh, what a beautiful dog," says Fritzi.

"He's not really a dog," says Phil. "He's a wolf. He ate his former trainer and he attacked a baby. He also had rabies."

The perfect squelch, as they used to say, and that is exactly what is needed for all the naysayers on the nattering net who keep up a steady stream of anti-Obama slurs and other bad craziness.

OK, you heard it here first; Obama is a politician. He has dirt under his nails. He is no Messiah. He did not spring full-grown from the loins of a god. He has made deals and compromises all his adult life, and he will make more. This, as we say, is life in the big city. And yes, he smokes.

But until somebody can step forward with some real goods, how about chilling out on the non-stop, absurdist nonsense -- tales that Obama shared sex and drugs with a convicted creep named Larry Sinclair, who has almost as many names as he does raps for crimes of dishonesty, and the latest -- that Michelle Obama went off on a racist rant at the Obamas' former church.

The latter is referred to as the "whitey" tape, because supposedly Michelle blistered "whitey" during a Rainbow coalition conference and is caught on film doing so. The anti-Obamaites, who are in as much of a rapture/fit as the pro-Obamas, claim such a tape exists, but of course, it has yet to be produced.

For the record, "real" people, or civilians in the argot of citizen journalism, pretty much don't know and do not care about these things. This is the difference between responsible journalism and the scandal s--- that sometimes constitutes what makes the Internet. "Real" people are pretty much sticking to well-known blogs and web versions of newspapers.

But the net is a factor to be reckoned with, and so the rumors are out there, in cyber print and outer space, attracting flakes like bad laundry draws lint.

I've watched from afar as Indy bloggers and attorneys Gary Welsh (Advance Indiana, an anti-Obamaite) and pro-Obama guy Chris Worden, (IPOPA) wade in on these matters. Gary has the agenda: he really really really hates Obama and he is determined to print what he sees as "the truth," including the Larry Sinclair stuff. Chris, who supports Obama, is simply trying to keep abreast of the undercurrent in the campaign. In fairness, for both these bloggers, these are relatively old stories -- June 4 and June 5 are the most recent posts.

From this corner: fuhgetabout it. Focus on the facts. In that spirit, John Kass of the Chicago Tribune -- no slouch in the reporting department -- ran an excellent piece June 5 about Chicago's Tony Rezko, calling him Obama's "real estate fairy.

Titled "Rezko is not just Obama's problem," Kass lays out the connections between two GOP boss hogs from Illinois and their Rezko history. Says Kass:

"But even as the Republican National Committee uses Rezko to thwack Obama, the RNC has a Rezko problem of its own. And they forgot to mention it on Wednesday.

"It's a big Rezko problem. A big fat one known as Big Bob Kjellander and Big Bill Cellini.

"That's at least 500 pounds of angry Republican boss hog, being pestered by the idea that Rezko could cut a deal and talk not only of Democrats but Republicans, too. Republicans like them, I mean."

Kass lays out the history lesson on the Illinois GOP power brokers and Rezko, detailing how they are implicated in the case against Rezko.

"In trial documents, Rezko friend Kjellander is called, somewhat poetically, 'Individual K.' He made millions in finder's fees on state bond deals with Democratic Gov. Rod "The Unreformer" Blagojevich.

"Now Kjellander is putting the chocolate mints on John McCain's pillow at the Republican Convention.

"Kjellander's political boss is Illinois Republican power broker, asphalt king and casino magnate William Cellini, another featured player in the court papers and in the trial.

"Though neither Kjellander nor Cellini was charged in this case, both have been implicated. Cellini was named 'Co-schemer A' by prosecutors and called "The Pope" by insiders manipulating billions of dollars in state pension fund investments."

Kass also tells it like it is on Obama -- not a bunch of Larry Sinclair crap, but the facts:

"As most adults know but pretend otherwise, Obama is backed by the Daleys of Chicago, yet he's run a personality-cult campaign tied to the idea that he's the archangel of political reform. The national story line has been all about Camelot and Obama as the boy king, knighted by Ted Kennedy, a story too full of mist to be believed except by children. Yet finally, with the Rezko verdict, the focus is on the real Chicago, not the fairy tale."

I'm down with that. Let's focus on what is real, not what is made up.

Sure, Rin Tin Tin had problems. But was he a wolf? Get real.

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