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In today's pages: Barack's bad speech, Clint's termination, Garth's wisdom

March 24, 2008 | 10:12 am

Toon24marColumnist Gregory Rodriguez says Barack Obama's speech on race may have been brilliant, but it was the wrong move:

Throughout the campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton's surrogates repeatedly tried to bait Obama into talking about race; they worked to pigeonhole him (and marginalize him) as the "black candidate." But in the end, it was Obama's own alliances that tripped him up and obliged him to directly address a subject (one that he now says we "cannot afford to ignore") that he had so deftly avoided -- or as the Obamaphiles had it, transcended. For all the kudos the Illinois senator has received for his candor, the very act of delivering Tuesday's address was a defeat. Obama was a much more powerful force for racial progress when he so effortlessly symbolized it, rather than when he called on us to address "old wounds."

Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Garden Grove) argues that SAT subject tests should stay, in part because they give recent immigrants a chance to show their strengths. Loyola Law Schools' Karl Manheim and Consumer Watchdog's Jamie Court say health insurance mandates of the Clinton and Obama kind may not pass constitutional muster. And writer Joe Queenan wonders why Garth Brooks gets a spot in his kid's academic calendar.

The editorial board notes new Census numbers showing that California sprawl is slowing down, and looks at why double amputee Oscar Pistorius was barred from the Olympics for being too fast. The board also explores why Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger dismissed fellow film icon Clint Eastwood and brother-in-law Bobby Shriver from a state commission.

Readers react to the violence in Tibet. Sherman Oaks' Elke Heitmyer says, "Tibet has been 'another Burma' for a long time already."

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