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Barack Obama said Friday morning his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, is gravely ill and might not live until election day. He’s been with her in Hawaii, where he was born, leaving the campaigning to Joe Biden, Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

So how did the Repubican ticket make the most of a day without the front-runner on the scene? As Rachel Maddow put it, they had a cringe-inducing day, like pimples on prom night. This six-minute clip shows why Maddow is cable’s rising star; her ratings have doubled in one month.


The Obama campaign says there is no tape showing Michelle Obama using the word whitey, as claimed by Rush Limbaugh and a pro-Hillary blogger. The Fight the Smears page of Obama’s website refutes the claims one by one, with perhaps the most noteworthy being Michelle Obama never spoke from the pulpit of Trinity United Church and has not used the word. Nothing ambiguous there.

The site also includes a clip of Republican attack dog Roger Stone backing off his claims and innuendo about the purported tape, one day after promoting the myth.

It’s so trite to say I told you so, but I did.

If you’ve ever wondered what could possibly put right wing gasbag Rush Limbaugh and an equally gasbaggy Hillary Clinton supporter on the same page, it’s that purported-to-exist tape of Michelle Obama using the word whitey. They’re both beside themselves about it.

I don’t think it exists.

Sunday, the Clinton supporter, Larry Johnson, promised on his staunchly anti-Obama blog that by 9 AM Monday he would post a bombshell. The appointed hour came and went, all of Monday came and went, and nothing. He is convinced the tape exists, though, writing (and I refuse to give his blog a link) this tooth fairy explanation:  “I have not seen it but I have heard from five separate sources who have spoken directly with people who have seen the tape. ”

Third-hand sourcing like that reminds me of a song from about 100 years ago, about the then-Prince of Wales who went on to become Edward VIII who abdicated in 1936. The song goes like this: I danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales.

Johnson, Limbaugh and to a lesser degree, Fox News, and their devoted sheeple are going on and on about the tape and how it could give Hillary the nomination justlikethat. Like people predicting the end of the world and changing the date when the earth keeps turning on its axis, we are now told to expect the bombshell after Barack Obama wraps up the nomination.

And if it does exist? Whitey is hardly a slur. It’s not like honky. Whitey doesn’t offend me, and I am one, although when I was a girl I was a Brownie and looked terminally dorky in that little beanie.

Whitey is just a word although there are plenty of noteworthy Whiteys. From left to right – click to enlarge – we have baseball great Whitey Ford, Whitey’s Ice Cream of Rock Island, Illinois — order online at — and Whitey Bulger, a mobster who’s been missing for 13 years, but maybe you have to be a Bostonian or an FBI guy to care about him. There’s also Whitey Herzog, but one athlete is enough.

Rounding out the gallery is my favorite Whitey, the one who hung out with the Beav on TV.

Stanley Fafara was a child actor who played Beaver’s friend Hubert ‘Whitey’ Whitney on Leave It to Beaver, which is still shown on TV Land. He died in September 2003 in Portland, Oregon of liver and kidney failure after surgery for a constricted intestine. He was 54.

Whitey. Say it. Whitey, whitey, whitey, whitey. Whitey!

There now. That didn’t hurt a bit, did it?


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