THE SKITTLES AFFAIR
Give props to legal eagle and radio host Mark Levin. At the opening of his show Wednesday, he highlighted the plight of New Haven, Conn., eighth grader Michael Sheridan, an honor student and school vice president who was suspended and stripped of his honors for buying a bag of Skittles candies from a classmate.
Levin gave out the phone number of the spokesperson for the New Haven school district, but asked his listeners to be civilized about the calling. The civilized part was easy. Getting through was another matter. Within ten minutes of the number’s being given out, the New Haven school district’s phone system crashed, as did its website.
Within an hour of that, the wheels were already in motion to clear Sheridan’s name and restore his and the other student’s good standing.
THE WRIGHT STUFF
Before Sen. Barack Obama announced his presidential ambitions, according to a former Obama campaign adviser, advisers sought to distance their man from his Chicago church, the Trinity United Church of Christ, and its controversial pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., whom Obama has previously identified has his spiritual adviser.
“The United Church of Christ was going to be a bit of a problem no matter what, because it’s so liberal,” says the former adviser. “But Trinity and Wright were going to be an even bigger problem.”
It was such a concern, says the adviser, that some Obama aides proposed that the Obama family shift churches from Chicago to one in Washington, D.C. that would be politically less controversial.
“The problem is you have tithing records in Chicago, you have the fact that Senator Obama and Reverend Wright are so close, that the shift would have just seemed too contrived and politically cynical. That isn’t what this candidate is about.”
But Trinity and Wright have created and will create problems for Obama, though the United Church of Christ is a church that certainly fits with the candidate’s radical, leftist roots. For example, the UCC helped to found not only the nation’s, but the world’s largest gay and lesbian house of worship, the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas.
“The things the Clinton campaign have attacked us on are the things we were prepared for,” says the former adviser. “Trinity, his close financial and ideological relationship to former SDS members, we knew it all going into this, and they haven’t disappointed. But it hasn’t mattered too much. It may in a general election, but it hasn’t hurt us yet.”
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