March 30, 2008

Walking into the lion's den

Hearts are aflutter in the "progressive" blogosphere over Hillary's meeting with Richard Mellon Scaife. One commenter, on a blog which escapes me now (No Quarter, I believe) couldn't figure out what all the wailing and gnashing of teeth was about, after all, paraphrasing said commenter, it's not like she went on a weekend tryst with him, she was there to meet the editorial board and he owns the freekin' paper.

And as always, when people actually meet her, she changes minds.
Walking into our conference room, not knowing what to expect (or even, perhaps, expecting the worst), took courage and confidence. Not many politicians have political or personal courage today, so it was refreshing to see her exhibit both.

Sen. Clinton also exhibited an impressive command of many of today's most pressing domestic and international issues. Her answers were thoughtful, well-stated, and often dead-on.

[...]

Does all this mean I'm ready to come out and recommend that our Democrat readers choose Sen. Clinton in Pennsylvania's April 22 primary?

No -- not yet, anyway. In fairness, we at the Trib want to hear Sen. Barack Obama's answers to some of the same questions and to others before we make that decision.

But it does mean that I have a very different impression of Hillary Clinton today than before last Tuesday's meeting -- and it's a very favorable one indeed.
Update: It's after ten at night, and I need to get in bed, but I just had to update and bump this post. Over at MyDD bobbank reflects on this article as well.
This seems to me consistent with many in the media, whose disposition toward the Senator from New York ranges from skepticism to contempt. Indeed, I confess that I was once guilty of this bias myself. While all who know her describe her as warm, I was taught she is "cold". Despite the fact that she has a strong, proven record for working across party lines, I was taught that she is "polarizing". Despite her campaign's consistent focus on the articulation of real policy, I was taught that she is "negative".
I can certainly identify with this. Until I looked for myself, I bought into the narrative as well.
One of the most disconcerting aspects of this primary contest has been the herd mentality that many, including prominent pundits, exhibit. There is a tendency to latch onto whichever opinion piece best resembles your own. And there is a stark determination not to learn the truth, when the truth is not convenient.

I remember my mindset, when I cast my vote for Barack Obama in the Virginia primary. I believed that I was voting for change. I had hoped that, despite his lack of qualifications, Barack Obama might be the "real thing". And I was willing to take a chance on that. In short, I accepted unquestionably the caricatures that the media had invented, crutches that alleviated the challenge of thinking critically about these two historic candidates.

[...]

All of this serves to underscore the contrast between the characters of Clinton and Obama, and the real people behind those characters. In that sense, the results of Hillary's recent interview with the Pittsburgh Trib are not so surprising. Finally able to meet the real person, and question her for over an hour, they walked away with the same impression that many have after spending time with Hillary Clinton: a competent, thoughtful person who is imminently qualified to be our next President.

And in the comments HillaryKnight08 links to this video, saying:

It is clear that many people have interpreted Hillary Clinton's expression of emotion in New Hampshire as cold and calculated. But, what they don't know, is that Hillary has always been a warm and caring person. She is fighting for Universal Health Care. She has always been so passionate about this.

TRUTH: Hillary is NOT cold and calculating. Please view this video. It is very important that you see the true, concerned and caring Hillary that she really is.


Don't forget Jill Derby


She's taking on Dean Heller once again and she needs our help.
Please donate before the midnight deadline tomorrow night.

Excellent!

And this is it in a nutshell

Writing about women's rugby, this post by Shaker Em rings true on so many levels.

The sexpot and the nagging killjoy: two classic misogynist views of women, all in one post! See, ladies, complain about how we treat you and you will magically grow green fur and bushy eyebrows! And then we won't want to fuck you, and wouldn't that be sad?

Funny how still there is no image of a woman athlete...you know, the sort of woman that the union and the site are supposed to be representing? Funny, that.

[...]

Rugby is the only contact sport in the world where the laws are exactly the same for men and women. It is truly the finest example of a level playing field in the sports world today—at least, that is, in terms of theoretical opportunity. Let me make that a little more explicit…

In rugby, we.are.EQUAL.under.the.law.

In real terms, however; that is, in how many women get to truly access those opportunities?—well that's a bit different. Women's teams are consistently underfunded, understaffed, underwomanned, and placed lower on the totem pole than men's teams. [...] We are losing ground, and if the old boy network that still controls many of the LAUs around the country is any indication of our commitment to women, we will continue to lose ground.

You know what attracted me to rugby? That chance to be completely equal, just for 80 minutes on ten or so Saturdays every year. No bubble, no bigger or smaller ball, no different three-point arc, just me and my team, together, playing the game by the exact same laws as every other side across the world. The one field on which I can make a hit by the same rules as anyone else. That's fucking special. What you don't seem to realize is that, despite how much you guys have done for rugby and women's rugby as a whole, your behavior on this particular incident has SET RUGBY BACK as a whole.
Read the whole thing.

Miles to go before I'm home

So here I am, coffee in hand, I plop myself in front of my computer, pop open my home page (iGoogle), click on the Google News icon and see this (second main story down):
























I think, "I know this has to be a joke, so why is it here?" I click on the link, and as I suspected, the link takes me to an Andy Borowitz story at The Huffington Post. Okay, fine, but why is a satire article in the News Headlines section of Google News?

Not content with that, and being a real masochist, I click on the main link for HuffPo and take a gander at the home page.


Deluged? From Obama supporters I am sure. But I guess at the Obamington Huffington Post those are the only voices that count. Let's take a look elsewhere, shall we?

SusanUnPC at No Quarter writes:
    You wanna know Barack’s big problem? He can’t close the deal. My daughter said to me months ago, “Mom, if he were really that charismatic, he’d have had this sewn up a long time ago.”
    Precisely.

    Oh, and if you can point me to where Barack is calling for "unity" in this article, I've got a Unity Pony™ for you. He says he can unite the country. He can't even unite the Democratic Party.

    More on the unity front, it's nice to see articles like this. Now, if only the MSM would pick up on it.

    But other senators, especially rivals Clinton and Republican John McCain, have been irked by what at times they considered Obama's holier-than-thou posturing. Some others said they hadn't seen much evidence of Obama's desire or ability to cut deals, bring together disparate forces, or engage on legislation that didn't fit into the political narrative he wants to shape for himself.

    "Aside from working with him on the ethics bill, I really had very few dealings with him," said Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine). She supports McCain but enjoys rare status as a Republican moderate, which makes her a go-to person for Democrats.

    "In some ways, that's telling, because usually people who consider themselves to be working across party lines, the people who are inclusive, know the moderate Republicans well, and he did not," she said.

    Hmm.

    Huh?

    And if anyone can figure out what side Obama is on

    Barack Obama promised that his foreign policy would be a return to what he says was the realist approach practiced by George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

    "My foreign policy is actually a return to the traditional realistic policy of George Bush's father, of John F. Kennedy, of in some ways Ronald Reagan," he said Friday.

    [...]

    Obama claimed that since 9-11, the way foreign policy was viewed had turned from one that understood the limits of military power and had placed a greater emphasis on diplomatic and economic strength to one that placed its sole emphasis on country's military might.
    Note: no mention here of Clinton's diplomatic successes.
    He described the conventional thinking in Washington on foreign policy as "bipartisan" and this "both ideological and highly political."
    Which is it?
    "I do think that Senator Clinton would understand that George Bush's polices have failed," Obama added. "But in many ways she has been captive to the same politics that lead her to vote for the war in Iraq. Since 9-11 the conventional wisdom has been you have to look tough on foreign policy by voting and acting like the republicans. And I disagree with it."
    But...um...you want to act like the Republicans too. Oh, my head hurts!

    March 29, 2008

    This is what we're talking about

    From the Wall Street Journal: At the Barricades In the Gender Wars

    ...Just as Barack Obama's campaign has been empowering for African-Americans, Sen. Clinton's run has inspired women across the country, drawing millions to the polls and putting her in a neck-and-neck battle for the nomination. She has already gone farther than any woman before her -- a source of great pride for her women supporters.

    But her campaign has also prompted slurs and inflammatory language that many women thought had been banished from public discourse. Some women worry that regardless of how the election turns out, the resistance to Sen. Clinton may embolden some men to resist women's efforts to share power with them in business, politics and elsewhere.

    [...]

    Katherine Putnam, president of Package Machinery Co., a West Springfield, Mass., equipment manufacturer, recalls that at a lunch she attended recently, a group of male chief executives "started talking about what an awful b---- Hillary was and how they'd never vote for her." She says she kept quiet. "I didn't want to jeopardize my relationship with them," she says. "But their remarks were a clear reminder that although I could sit there eating and drinking with them, and work with them, instinctively their reaction to me isn't positive."
    What astonished me when I read this paragraph was the freedom the men felt to say the things they said even as a woman sat with them. She was invisible to them, as far as they were concerned, or such sentiment is so easily accepted, it didn't even cross their minds that they might be offending any woman within earshot.
    Jean Yarnal, who has worked in local government for 41 years, says she was unnerved recently when a man she knew came into her office and asked for help with a zoning issue. When talk turned to politics, she says, he denounced Sen. Clinton as a "lesbian" and used several slurs. Ms. Yarnal says she didn't respond, but thought to herself, "That's the last time I do you a favor."

    "It's like the feelings against women are getting stronger," says Ms. Yarnal. "It's like men are saying, 'We want to put you women in your place -- watch out, don't go too fast.' "

    Charles McCollester, a professor of industrial relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania who works with union members, says he is ready for a woman president, "just not this woman." He supports Sen. Obama. "Several of my really close female friends feel this is unleashing some kind of antiwoman sentiment. But I don't see it. We love women. I just never cared much for Hillary. She has set out to become as male as all the rest of the boys."
    And this is really depressing:
    Some young women who support Sen. Obama -- sometimes to the chagrin of their pro-Hillary mothers -- say they too are troubled by the gender gap in the workplace. But many say they don't feel comfortable being called "feminists," and that they look to different role models than Sen. Clinton.

    "It isn't easy being a woman in academia," says Amanda Moniz, a 36-year-old Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Michigan. "I want a woman candidate who is strong, but also feminine, and who doesn't feel she has to be tougher than men to succeed," she says. "Although Hillary has achieved a lot on her own, she wouldn't be where she was if not for her husband -- and that isn't an inspiring lesson."

    Alexa Steinberg, 25, a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, says she recognizes "that women only make 78 cents for every male dollar, and there are still hurdles for women that I'll face." She says she thinks it's only a matter of time before she'll be supporting a female candidate for U.S. president -- but it won't be Sen. Clinton. "Politically and personally, she's trying to take on the male persona, and isn't a woman in the way I want a woman candidate to be," she says.
    Excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall.

    I'll be following this

    A new series is starting at Corrente: Why Hillary Should be President (WHSBP) - Untold Stories

    FrenchDoc starts out the series with a post on microcredit:

    This series outlines issues on which Hillary Clinton was ahead of the curve, starting with microcredit. I have posted consistently on microcredit (here, here and here) but it is one obvious issue where HRC got it before everyone else.

    [...]

    This is actually one of the things that surprised me when I read Muhammad Yunus’s book, Banker to the Poor.

    “It was not until the mid-1980s that people in the United States began showing real interest in applying Grameen principles to their own poverty problems. I supposed it all began in 1985, when Bill Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, was looking for ways to create new economic opportunities for the low-income people in his state. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s college roommate, Jan Percy, had just returned from working in Bangladesh with an American organization and was at the South Shore Bank in Chicago. She introduced the Clintons to Ron Grzywinski and Mary Houghton, Chicago-area bankers who had done much to convince the Ford Foundation to support Grameen.” (176)
    So, the four of them Bill and Hillary Clinton, Ron Grzywinski and Mary Houghton started meeting, according to Yunus, to design the plans for a bank that would provide microloans to the poor in Arkansas. The Clintons also invited Yunus and as he writes
    “As I spoke, both the governor and his wife were drawn into my story. After half an hour, Mrs Clinton declared, “We want it. Can we have it in Arkansas?” (…) Hillary Rodham Clinton’s support for the Grameen idea has never diminished. She visited us in Bangladesh in April 1995 and she has visited microcredit programs on three different continents. She also co-chaired the Microcredit Summit in 1997.” (176)
    Yunus then goes on to describe the details of putting together what is now the Southern Good Faith Fund, developed in partnership with South Shore Bank (check out their website if you are interested in socially responsible investments).

    [...]

    Now one with a brain would suggest that micro-credit is THE ultimate solution to solving global poverty, but it is one tool that can be used to do so alongside other policies. Yunus himself never stated that his idea is the panacea. He is much too smart for that. However, this is what I care about when I think of experience in a presidential candidate. I want someone who is intellectual smart and curious (even if the cool kids, the Village elders and now the Big Boyz Bloggerz think it’s soooo 90s). I want someone with a clear pulse on our global world and has the wherewithal to get in touch with the right people to get things done in a decisive fashion.
    (Emphasis mine)

    Can I get an Amen?

    "in all good conscience"

    Anglachel takes on the super delegate rule in this insightful post. Referencing this article, which provides some history regarding super delegates, Anglachel writes:

    The super delegates arose, as Elaine Karmack writes in the article linked above, because of Teddy Kennedy's arrogant campaign against a sitting president and the way he relentlessly hounded and pursued delegates to get them to vote for him rather than Carter. It is very liekly (sic) that Carter lost to Reagan (the election was that close) because of Kennedy's nasty campaign. Ironically enough, Kennedy's battle was against a rule that bound delegates to the candidate, and tried create a situation where all delegates are up for grabs. Rule 11 (H) was changed to make the pledge of the pledged delegates a little less strict, providing wiggle-room to deviate from the votes that selected the delegate: "Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.” (Emphasis mine)

    Kennedy, who is now arguing for strict adherence to the voters' sentiments, was for allowing the delegates to vote as they pleased. Wouldn't Teddy rules be fun today? Geraldine Ferraro created the compromise that allowed for the acceptance of unpledged super delegates. I find this all deeply ironic.

    The bottom line is that the Obama rulz that all delegates pledged to him must vote for him and that all super delegates from states that he won must vote for him, and that no super delegate from a state Hillary won is required to vote for her (cough - KennedyKerryRichardson cough), and that all other super delegates should also vote for him because he has won the popular vote (not counting MI, FL and the states yet to vote), are in violation of the actual party rules about how delegates - super and otherwise - should exercize their convention vote.

    This is the same rule that applies at all levels of the delegate selection process. Delegates elected from their precinct caucuses, as well as from their county conventions, are free to change their minds and throw their support to another candidate at the next level. Something to keep in mind as we head into the Nevada State Democratic Convention in May.

    March 28, 2008

    A night at the movies

    Well, Barack must've gotten some fire about the Bataan Death March comment, so he's changed his whine a bit about the length of the primary.

    Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., offered a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania crowd an analogy on the Democratic primary race, saying it is like, "a good movie that lasted about a half an hour too long."
    As poster ssmith said over at Taylor Marsh,
    "GET MORE POPCORN!!! OR GET OUT OF THE THEATRE!!"
    I like this comment from Hillary (much like the Energizer Bunny, she just keeps on going):
    As she prepared to depart for two more campaign events in Indiana today, Mrs. Clinton was asked to comment on a remark Mr. Obama made while campaigning in Pennsylvania. He said the presidential race was akin to a good movie, which had lasted too long.

    With a smile, she said simply: “I like long movies.”

    An Open Letter to Howard Dean

    March 28, 2008

    Governor Howard Dean, Chairman
    Democratic National Committee
    430 S. Capitol Street, SE
    Washington, DC 20003

    Dear Governor Dean,

    I just received your email asking me to contribute to the DNC to help support the 50-State Strategy so that we will be able to take on John McCain and put a Democrat in the White House in November.

    You may not be aware of this, but I was one of your staunchest supporters in your bid for the presidency. I was the original coordinator for our Meetup in Reno, Nevada and worked my hind end off for you. When you dropped out of the race I was heart-broken, but I listened to you when you asked me to get involved in my local party. And I did it. Even though our party’s nominee wasn’t my first, second or third choice, I still walked precincts, phone banked, tabled and did what I could for John Kerry. I moved up in the party in Nevada and finally, after your ascension to DNC chair, I was proud to be hired as one of your first “boots on the ground” as the rural organizer in Nevada. I stepped down from that position in May of last year, but continued my activity with the Democratic Party as the secretary and web master of our county party, holding the chairmanship of the Nevada Democratic Rural Caucus, serving on the executive board of the state party, conducting activist trainings, organizing our caucuses and convention, and on and on and on.

    Governor Dean, I believe in the 50-State Strategy.

    But where has it gone?

    As far as I can see, we’ve got a 48-State Strategy right now and one that will certainly lead to defeat for Democrats in November. We most certainly won’t win the White House, and heaven knows what sort of down-ticket damage will be done by the millions of Democrats who will stay home, or worse, vote for John McCain, because the Democratic Party was more concerned about some arcane rules than counting the votes of two million of its members.

    I never in my life thought that my party would allow anyone to stand in the way of voter enfranchisement. But it appears that the party is doing just that, for as you know Barack Obama has singularly tied the hands of Democracy by not agreeing to a revote in Florida or Michigan.

    So it appears there is only one solution. Seat the delegates of Michigan and Florida. And seat them just as the original primary votes shook out. The Democratic Party has always stood for letting voters be heard. We must not stop now. If we do, then I can no longer call myself a Democrat.

    Economics and the current batch of candidates

    Paul Krugman in today's New York Times:


    Loans and Leadership

    ...The moral is that it’s important to take a hard look at what candidates say about policy. It’s true that past promises are no guarantee of future performance. But policy proposals offer a window into candidates’ political souls — a much better window, if you ask me, than a bunch of supposedly revealing anecdotes and out-of-context quotes.

    [...]

    All in all, the candidates' positions on the mortgage crisis tell the same tale as their positions on health care: a tale that is seriously at odds with the way they're often portrayed.

    Mr. McCain, we're told, is a straight-talking maverick. But on domestic policy, he offers neither straight talk nor originality; instead, he panders shamelessly to right-wing ideologues.

    Mrs. Clinton, we're assured by sources right and left, tortures puppies and eats babies. But her policy proposals continue to be surprisingly bold and progressive.

    Finally, Mr. Obama is widely portrayed, not least by himself, as a transformational figure who will usher in a new era. But his actual policy proposals, though liberal, tend to be cautious and relatively orthodox.

    Do these policy comparisons really tell us what each candidate would be like as president? Not necessarily - but they're the best guide we have.

    If Hillary had said this...

    "For those of you who are just weary of the primary, and feeling kind of ground down or that it's like a Bataan death march, I just want everybody to know that the future is bright," Sen. Barack Obama told a group of fundraisers in New York on Thursday, according to a pool report.


    Words fail me.

    The Bataan Death March

    (Updated on 3/28/08)

    March 27, 2008

    Can't he come up with any ideas of his own?

    Obama's at it again. And this isn't the first time. Time and time again Hillary has come out with a plan and a week or so later Obama comes out with his own plan that is virtually identical to hers.


    From the Clinton press office:

    Obama Copies Hillary’s ‘Second Stimulus’

    Last Thursday, Senator Clinton called for a "second stimulus package" with $30 billion to help states and localities fight foreclosures. One week later, Senator Obama announced a "second $30 billion stimulus package".

    Clinton policy director Neera Tanden: "If Senator Obama has to copy policy ideas when he's a candidate on the campaign trail, how is he going to solve people's problems if he's president? When it comes to fixing the economy, we need leadership, not followership."

    1) Hillary called for a $30 billion fund to help states and localities to fight foreclosure in their communities. [Clinton Campaign Press Release,3/20/08]

    One week later, Barack Obama called for an economic stimulus package of $30 billion to provide ‘immediate relief to areas hardest hit by the housing crisis.’[Reuters, 3/27/08]

    2) Hillary’s plan introduces idea of ‘second stimulus.’ “That is why Senator Clinton is calling on Congress and the President to pass a second stimulus package. This time around, the primary focus should be on addressing the growing housing crisis. And by investing new, temporary resources in a housing-focused stimulus package, we can avoid the worst fall-out from the current downturn, keep families in their homes and stabilize communities.” [Clinton Campaign Press Release, 3/20/08]

    Obama’s plan uses the exact same language: ‘Enact a Second $30 Billion Stimulus Package to Address the Mortgage Crisis, Protect Vulnerable Families and Strengthen the Economy.’ [Obama Plan to restore Confidence in the Markets ,3/27/08]

    3) Hillary's plan reiterated her support for increasing unemployment insurance: "While this second stimulus package should focus predominantly on the housing crisis, Congress should also consider temporary measures to help struggling workers like extending unemployment insurance." [Clinton Campaign Press Release ,3/20/08]

    Obama's plan includes the same call for increasing unemployment insurance: "Barack Obama believes we must extend and strengthen the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program to address the needs of the long-term unemployed, who currently make up nearly one-fifth of the unemployed and are often older workers who have lost their jobs in manufacturing or other industries and have a difficult time finding new employment." [Obama Plan to restore Confidence in the Markets,3/27/08]

    March 26, 2008

    It ain't over folks

    How Bad is it for Obama In Pennsylvania?
    (Real Clear Politics)

    Statewide among Democrats, Clinton holds a lead that ranges from 16 to 26 points. The Real Clear Politics consensus estimate is roughly 16 points. She is winning every major region of the state except Philadelphia, while Obama has actually slipped slightly with blacks and more substantially with younger voters--two demographics that are critical backstops for him in the contest. He has also lost support with other key constituencies including white males and evangelicals.

    Moreover Clinton is seen by voters as the overwhelming favorite to deal with the economy and healthcare, two of the three issues Pennsylvania voters care most about, and she is virtually tied with Obama as the candidate voters most support to end the war.

    Clinton has established her lead by accomplishing three critical campaign objectives: successfully appealing to several important voter groups, maintaining support across most major regions of the state, and convincing most voters she will deliver on the critical issues.

    9/11 widow has a question for Barack

    Here.

    Now forgive me, but I do not recall the help (or the voice) of any Barack Obama from Illinois. Indeed, I cannot recall hearing or feeling the impact of any one speech from the Illinois Senator. Did he attend the rally on the mall in Washington? The marches and protests in NYC? Did he conduct national press interviews? Did he write any editorials? Organize any protest rallies? Mobilize the people? Did he write any petitions? If he did, I never saw any of them.

    Yet according to Barack Obama, because he spoke out in 2002 against the war in Iraq, he is better qualified to be president.

    And according to Barack Obama, since Hillary Clinton voted to authorize the president to go to war in Iraq, she is unfit to be President.

    As Democrats we need to remember exactly who took us to war in Iraq. We need to remind ourselves exactly who is to blame for the huge price tag our soldiers and their families have paid. We need to never forget that it was George Bush who created this debacle. Costing us billions in dollars and worldwide respect.

    Maybe that's what bothers me most about Barack Obama. He keeps talking about working with the Republicans. Reaching across the aisle. Compromise. Well, I've been to Washington. I have fought battles in Washington -- most of them against the Republicans -- to get 9/11 legislation passed into meaningful law.

    And if there is one thing I know for sure right now, I do not feel like reaching across the aisle and finding compromise with Republicans particularly on any of the following issues: Roe v. Wade; torture; FISA surveillance and illegal wiretapping; unfounded wars with Iran, Syria, or any place else; stem cell research; the erosion of our constitution; alternative energy and global warming; and/or healthcare reforms.

    March 23, 2008

    Women: Assembly Instructions?

    H/T to Donna Darko for pointing me to this essay. Below is just a fragment. Read it all

    Women, they say above, should travel through life begging pardon and asking permission for being, and in order to be, women.

    And traveling a path full of barbed wire.

    A path which must be traveled by crawling, with head and heart against the ground.

    And, even so, despite following the assembly instructions, gathering scrapes, wounds, scars, blows, amputations, death.

    And seeking the one responsible for those sorrows in oneself, because condemnation is also included in the crime of being women.

    In the assembly instructions for the merchandise known as "Woman," it explains that the model should always have her head bowed. That her most productive position is on her knees. That the brain is optional, and its inclusion is often counterproductive. That her heart should be nourished with trivialities. That her spirit should be maintained by competition with others of her same gender in order to attract the buyer, that always unsatisfied customer who is the male. That her ignorance should be fed in order to guarantee better functioning. That the product is capable of self-maintenance and improvement (and there is a wide range of products for that, in addition to salons and metal and painting workshops). That she should not only learn to reduce her vocabulary to "yes" and "no," but, above all, she should learn when she should speak these words.

    There is a warranty included in the assembly instructions for the product called "Woman" that she will always have her head lowered.

    And that, if for some involuntary or premeditated manufacturing defect, one should lift her gaze, then the implacable scythe of Power will chop off the place of thought, and condemn her to walking as if being a woman were something for which one must ask forgiveness and for which one must ask permission.

    [...]

    At home, in the fields, the street, the school, work, transportation, culture, art, entertainment, science, government. Twenty-four hours a day and 365 days a year. From when they are born until they die, women confront this assembly process.

    But there are women who confront it with rebellion.

    Women who, instead of asking permission, command their own existence.

    Women who, instead of begging pardon, demand justice.

    Because the assembly instructions say that women should be submissive and walk on their knees.

    And, nonetheless, some women are naughty and walk upright.

    There are women who tear up the assembly instructions and stand up on their feet.

    There are women without fear.

    They say that when a woman moves forward, no men move back.

    Women's History Month and Nevada 's Women Bloggers

    Sven, over at My Silver State, has asked the women bloggers in Nevada to weigh in on Women's History Month. Well, the month is nearly over, but I finally got my answers to him today. He'll be posting them at My Silver State, but I thought I'd share what I wrote.

    What, if anything at all, does Women's History Month mean to you?
    I love celebrating women and the contributions we have made to society but I wish we didn't still feel the need to have a Women's History month. Just as I wish we didn't feel the need have to have "Black History Month" either. We don't have a "Men's History Month" now do we? Women and Blacks have made substantive contributions all through our history, and there should be no separation of their history from the larger story. You would have thought by now our history textbooks would have been rewritten.

    I've noticed that Nevada's main female bloggers all blog anonymously. Why do you think that is and what's your reason?
    Protection mostly. Fear of harassment. I think I may be the only one who doesn't blog anonymously, and it was a conscious decision to do so. Blogging anonymously works for most, but for me, I didn't want to be afraid to put my name to whatever I posted. I take the words of Maggie Kuhn to heart: "Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes."

    Why do you blog and what do you most like to write about?
    I've always kept a journal and I love engaging with people about important (and sometimes whimsical) topics. To me, blogging serves both of those needs. Writing has always assisted me in sorting out my thoughts and reasoning things through. Right now I'm focused on the presidential race. I write mostly about politics but do throw in other things as well. Blue Lyon, like me, will continue to evolve.

    What influence do you think female bloggers have both in Nevada and nationally?
    Desert Beacon and Myrna the Minx are my two favorite Nevada bloggers when it comes to local stuff, and how national issues affect us here in Nevada and up north specifically. I think both of them have tremendous influence in Nevada. Taylor Marsh is in a league of her own and has attracted an international following and is very important in the national dialogue.

    Who is your favorite female blogger?
    I have too many to name.

    How would you evaluate the political landscape for women in Nevada?
    Fair to middling. We've got women in positions of power all over the state, but have yet to put them into the top spots.

    While a lot of women are involved in Nevada politics, and a lot of the top elected positions are and were held by women, Nevada has yet to elect a female Governor or U.S. Senator. Do you think that will be changing any time soon?
    I hope so. We've got some incredible women that would serve this state well.

    In that respect, why do you think Dina Titus lost against Jim Gibbons?
    Two words (and this is blasphemy for many in my party): Clark County. They failed to deliver the Democratic vote. End of story.

    What do you think is the attitude toward women in politics in Nevada today? How has it changed in recent years?
    Nevada is very independent and though there is some of that "good ol' boy" network still around, I've also realized that Nevadans, for the most part, want you to prove yourself. Do we have to work harder? Yeah, you bet. Not much different from the rest of the country in that respect, but I've also seen a willingness to give women a chance to make their case. I've only been in Nevada for about ten years, so I cannot address how it has changed, but from what I know, Nevadans have have shown a willingness to elect women and we gave women the vote in 1914, six years before the 19th amendment was ratified. I think that speaks well for Nevada as a whole. But who knows, maybe I'm just an optimist!

    March 21, 2008

    Update: I am Hillary Clinton

    Started by The Red Queen, "I am Hillary Clinton" is catching on. Check it out. It started with this post and in the comments the "I am Hillary Clinton" meme was born. The idea was to show how the sexism directed at Hillary really does affect all women.

    The Red Queen posted first. Then I had to get in on the act.

    Pocochina at The Raging Prosecutrix does it to and so does Tobes at Hear Me Roar. And celiloquy.

    Shakespeare's Sister give The Red Queen a shout out.

    Edit #1 and bumped to the top:

    ouyangdan at Random Babble picks up the meme.

    As does unclekracker

    March 19, 2008

    ABC is now The National Enquirer

    Jeezuz on a triscuit. Glad their crack investigative unit was on this story. And this is news? In what way?

    (walking away, shaking head and muttering)

    Five Years

    Sign on to the plan:

    A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq - Click here to add your support

    Attend a vigil. (MoveOn and I don't see eye to eye these days, but this is bigger than our dispute. I'll be on the corner tonight.)

    Not that George Bush is listening.

    March 17, 2008

    Oh man, I wish I could go to this

    Omigosh, I am such a huge fan of Elton John, from way, way, way, way back. Like, when no one knew who he was. I had Empty Sky fer cryin' out loud!

    Elton for Hillary

    I am Hillary Clinton

    What The Red Queen said.

    On Edit: My Take

    And every time when she’s called a know-it-all, I have to remember not to check myself when I know exactly what to do better than anyone else in the room, because I didn’t want to be “pushy.”

    And every time she is called cold, I am stung, because when I am in control I can appear “cold” too. So that means I have to put a phony lilt in my voice and a smile on my face, because nothing is worse than a cold woman, right?

    And every time she is called ambitious, I am reminded that I should aim high, but I must never, ever, let on how bad I want it. In all things I must be coy.

    And every time I see her daughter smile at her proudly, I am reminded of the bond that I share with my mother and my daughter, and I know that our bonds have been tested in fire and there isn’t a soul on earth who can know what we know.

    I am Hillary Clinton, and I vote.

    March 16, 2008

    Thief

    http://browardsblog.blogspot.com/

    He's cutting and pasting Taylor Marsh's posts with no attribution or link. Don't how much of the rest of the blog is other people's work as well.

    There was this other guy...

    Barack Obama speaking of his "spiritual mentor" on Countdown with Keith Olbermann (3/14/2008):

    "Now, one thing that I do hope to do is to use some of these issues to talk more fully about the question of race in our society, because part of what we're seeing here is Reverend Wright represents a generation that came of age in the 60s.

    He's an African-American man, who, because of his life experience continues to have a lot of anger and frustration, and will express that in ways that are very different from me and my generation, partly because I benefited from the struggles of that early generation. And so, part of what we're seeing here is a transition from the past to the future."
    From a poster over at Taylor Marsh:
    Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

    And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    I have a dream today!
    pssst, Obama, don't blame your pastor's racist rhetoric on the 60s...see there was this other guy... ~
    And if anyone believes that Barack Obama was not in church on September 16, 2001, I've got a bridge to sell you. Nearly everyone in the country was in church on September 16, 2001. Churches were packed to the rafters with Americans looking for comfort and community, trying to make sense of it all. Even me. Even my husband. And Barack wants us to believe that he wasn't sitting in the church that he had attended for over a decade that fateful Sunday in 2001 when his pastor shouted these words, "God Damn America!"?

    March 15, 2008

    Peep Show


    Thanks Cheryl. I needed a laugh.

    March 12, 2008

    Smear Tactics

    I've been very disturbed by a trend I've been observing during this election cycle: the willingness of the left-wing blogosphere to hang its collective hat on every negative word about Hillary Clinton in the MSM. The same MSM that said left-wing bloggers here-to-fore took great pride in challenging, dissecting and fact-checking. Nowadays? Not so much. One of the many untruths that they have seized upon is the scurrilous notion that Hillary eiher has not sufficiently denied the email smears regarding Barack Obama's religion (the relatively gentle view) or, in the extreme view, is using it to benefit her candidacy. Both ideas are completely wrong, but typical of what I am reading in the pro-Obama blogosphere. Some writers have taken this on.

    From today's Daily Howler (emphasis mine):

    KILLERS AND SMEARS: What should Hillary Clinton have said when Steve Kroft asked her—three separate times!—to state her view about Obama’s religion? We can’t give a perfect answer to that. (We have written many times about the interpretive problems involved in “The Cult of the Offhand Comment.”) But we strongly recommend Brother Boehlert’s post about the way this matter has been reported. [Media Matters] And we’ll recommend that you think for a moment about the third answer Clinton gave:

    CLINTON (3/2/08): Look, I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors. I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time.

    That was Clinton, discussing Obama. In that statement, Clinton correctly described these attacks on Obama as a “smear.” The next day, she repeated that language. We will offer three observations about her use of “smear.”

    The world’s leading expert: Clinton is surely one of the world’s leading experts on “ridiculous rumors” and “smears.” She has been endlessly smeared in the past; fellows like Kroft never seemed to be bothered. In August 1999, for example, Hardball let Gennifer Flowers spend a half-hour accusing Clinton of serial murders. (At the time, Clinton was first lady.) Result? Flowers’ performance was so outrageous, she quickly got a full hour on Hannity & Colmes, where she repeated her inexcusable claims—and threw in the bonus claim that Clinton was a big giant lesbo. But so what? Pool boys like Kroft forgot to say boo when their nation’s first lady was smeared in that manner. Who knows? Perhaps a thrill ran up Kroft’s leg when he saw the buxom balladeer say it. (As Peter Baker might have put it, “Some will surely wonder.”)

    The correct term: Clinton used the accurate term. Obama is being widely smeared, and many voters are dumb enough to believe what they read in their e-mails. How can voters be so gullible? In our political culture, it’s considered rude to ask. Again, we’d love to see Saturday Night Live tackle this important topic.

    “Journalists” won’t go there: Hillary Clinton used the right term—but don’t expect your “journalists” to go there. Hacks like Chris Matthews sit around, cherry-picking what Clinton said. (See Boehlert’s piece.) But one of the cherries Matthews won’t pick is that important term: Smear. You see, admitting that a smear is underway might require him to follow its pathways—to ask about who is conducting such smears. We don’t know what a search might find. But don’t worry—Chris Matthews won’t go there.

    Why won’t Matthews talk about smears? (This part of Clinton’s Q-and-A has been relentlessly disappeared.) We’ll guess: People like Matthews have been deeply involved in sixteen years of smears by this time. Sometimes, they’ve been involved by looking away; frequently, Matthews himself has played alpha male in pimping smears against both Clintons and Gore. Matthews is up to his eyeballs in smears; smears have been a key part of his ministry. He super-smeared Gore for two solid years. (No one did more.) Today, he complains about Iraq.

    Killers like Matthews have lived by the smear. When someone actually says the word, they tend to disappear it. Quite quickly.

    Clinton used an accurate term. But in this matter, as in so many more, you hear the snippets they want you to hear. It has been their method for many years: The parts that flatter her disappear. The parts they recite sound unlovely.
    From the Media Matters post linked above, Eric Boehlert writes:

    After parsing Clinton's answer and then conveniently setting aside key sections of it, journalists at NBC, MSNBC, The New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Time, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post, among others, declared her response had been wholly deficient. Worse, Clinton's answer simply confirmed that she was running a "slimy," "nasty" contest. It was a "galling" comment; "the sleaziest moment of the campaign."

    The only thing sleazy about the episode was the type of journalism being used to concoct a Clinton slur.

    When people suggest that the press employs a separate standard for covering Clinton, this is the kind of episode they're talking about. There simply is no other candidate, from either party, who has had their comments, their fragments, dissected so dishonestly the way Clinton's have been.

    The fact is, if you look at Clinton's exchange with Kroft in its entirety, which lasted less than one minute, I count eight separate times in which she either plainly denied the false claim that Obama was Muslim, labeled that suggestion to be a smear, or expressed sympathy for Obama having to deal with the Muslim innuendo. Eight times:

    [...]

    The 60 Minutes controversy -- specifically the intense media spin it sparked -- highlights a disturbing rise in a new form of campaign journalism, which might be best described as post-parsing.

    Here's how it works: A candidate (almost always Hillary Clinton) makes a statement, any statement out of the thousands made on the campaign trail each week, and that statement is seized upon by the chattering class and then dissected in order to determine what the real intention was. Experts pore over the text and announce what the candidate should have said during an impromptu exchange with the media. It's not that the statement in question is wrong, or blatantly malicious, it's that the statement wasn't quite right. It should have been a little bit more this or a little more
    that. Plus, based upon the pundits' expert training and analytical skills, they're able to spot a deeply disturbing, unspoken meaning right below the surface. Alarmed, they then rush to alert voters.


    [...]

    Lots of the journalism surrounding the story was simply unfair. Meaning, the only way journalists could make the Clinton response to the Muslim question newsworthy was to pretend that when Kroft pressed her, she essentially refused to answer the question and then when she finally did, qualified it with "as far as I know." Journalists had to hide the most pertinent parts of the answer -- the context -- in order to make the exchange newsworthy. And lots of reporters and pundits did just that. [cls: several examples at link]

    [...]

    Much more consistent on the whole matter was Matthews' MSNBC colleague Joe Scarborough, the former Republican congressman and foot solider in the 1990s Gingrich Revolution. Scarborough saw nothing unusual in Clinton's Muslim comments. And when MSNBC reporter David Shuster appeared on Scarborough's morning program on March 4, brought up the 60 Minutes comments, and quickly echoed the media's conventional wisdom that the comments reflected poorly on Clinton, Scarborough slyly turned the tables to illustrate the absurdity of demanding absolute answers when badgering an interview subject about somebody else's faith:

    SCARBOROUGH: Let me ask you this question, David Shuster, do you think [co-host] Mika Brzezinski is a Christian? She says she is. Is she a Christian?
    SHUSTER: Yeah, I believe she is. But here's the point --
    SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second. You say you believe she's a Christian. You 'believe.' What does that mean? Is she or isn't she? Is she a Christian or not?
    SHUSTER: Well look, Mika and I have never actually had that conversation and I've never heard anybody have a conversation about her religion.
    SCARBOROUGH: But Mika says she's a Christian. So you're saying you don't know if she's a Christian or not?
    SHUSTER: That's fine! To me it doesn't matter.
    SCARBOROUGH: Oh, it doesn't matter? So now you're saying it doesn't matter.

    Scarborough perfectly proved the larger point: The Clinton-Muslim story was a soggy game of gotcha, and not much more.


    Over the years I haven't always agreed with Joe Scarborough, but I'm able to give credit where credit is due. He may be a Republican, but I've noted that he is not blinded by ideology and has a reasonably-honed bullshit detector.

    March 11, 2008

    Hillary's Plan for Rural America

    As one who lives in a small rural town in Nevada, I see the desperate need for good jobs, decent health care and thriving local businesses. Hillary has shown that she can deliver for rural upstate New York. I trust that she can do the same for the rest of us. Here is her plan.

    Hillary has a vision for rebuilding rural communities to ensure that opportunities are available and people can still achieve the American dream.

    At the core of Hillary's vision is her strong support for family farms. Hillary understands that vertical integration is affecting every aspect of our food and fuel production. She knows that we can preserve family farms by offering greater opportunities for farmers to sell their produce. From renewable energy to building more direct-to-consumer markets, to investing in conservation efforts, Hillary will build more avenues for our farmers and ranchers to stay in business and pass along their operations to the next generation.

    Hillary also believes that there are many other opportunities to create good jobs and improve key services in rural areas. Production of biofuels, wind power, and other clean energy sources offers enormous potential to create jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and reduce the growing threat of global warming. Her health care plan will cover all Americans, and her education plan will help recruit more teachers to rural America.

    To realize her vision for rural America, as president Hillary will:

    1. Create a Strategic Energy Fund that would inject $50 billion into research, development and deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency, ethanol, and other homegrown biofuels.
    2. Expand access to capital and strategic advice for rural entrepreneurs and small businesses and bring together businesses, community colleges, and four-year universities to ensure workers have the training needed to compete in the global economy.
    3. Ensure that we get broadband to rural Americans who don't have access now.
      Hillary will strengthen tax incentives for extending broadband to underserved areas and support state and local broadband initiatives to expand wireless
      technologies and high-speed fiber optics.
    4. Enact her American Health Choices Plan, a plan to provide affordable, high
      quality health care for all Americans.
    5. Fight vertical integration, which has crippled American agriculture, by
      establishing mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for all U.S. products; pushing for a ban on packer ownership of livestock; having her Justice Department investigate agriculture consolidations; and ensure that the small- and medium-sized producers compete on level playing field with corporate
      agribusiness.
    6. Target our commodity payment programs so that family farms -- not corporate farms -- are the key beneficiaries. Hillary favors closing loopholes that disproportionately benefit wealthy corporate farmers and those who do not directly take part in the operations or management of their farms. Hillary also supports establishing a permanent disaster program to assure producers aid will be there when they need it most.
    7. Work to expand market opportunities for farmers through innovative, direct-to-consumer marketing and niche markets to provide U.S. farmers with more
      options for selling their products. Hillary will work to expand farmers' markets, provide value-added marketing grants, and create food distribution opportunities for farmers from across the country to earn more for their hard
      labor.
    8. Expand and enhance conservation programs in the Farm Bill and support carbon credit trading for producers who incorporate environmentally friendly farming practices.

    MIA

    March 10, 2008

    WTF?










    (NYT Photo)

    Did he think he wouldn't get caught?

    One of the sources said Spitzer is identified in a criminal complaint as "Client-9," and that Spitzer's alleged involvement was caught on a federal wiretap.

    The criminal complaint involved an alleged high-end prostitution ring run out of New York. Four individuals were charged last week with allegedly running it.

    Prosecutors say the ring provided prostitutes costing as much as $3,100 an hour. The criminal complaint did not name any customers, but authorities did intercept text messages, e-mails and telephone calls.
    Jeesh!

    March 9, 2008

    Something to think about

    And exactly who is going to have your back against the corporations? Let's take a trip back in the Way Back Machine to the vote to approve the "every-day-is-Opposite-day" Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. You remember this bill, don't you? This is the one that gave corporations protection under the guise of "tort reform." This bill could force many state-level class action lawsuits into federal court, possibly leaving multi-state suits out in the cold.

    Grouped By Vote Position
    YEAs ---72
    Alexander (R-TN)
    Allard (R-CO)
    Allen (R-VA)
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Bennett (R-UT)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Bond (R-MO)
    Brownback (R-KS)
    Bunning (R-KY)
    Burns (R-MT)
    Burr (R-NC)
    Cantwell (D-WA)
    Carper (D-DE)
    Chafee (R-RI)
    Chambliss (R-GA)
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Coleman (R-MN)
    Collins (R-ME)
    Conrad (D-ND)
    Cornyn (R-TX)
    Craig (R-ID)
    Crapo (R-ID)
    DeMint (R-SC)
    DeWine (R-OH)
    Dodd (D-CT)
    Dole (R-NC)
    Domenici (R-NM)
    Ensign (R-NV)
    Enzi (R-WY)
    Feinstein (D-CA)
    Frist (R-TN)
    Graham (R-SC)
    Grassley (R-IA)
    Gregg (R-NH)
    Hagel (R-NE)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Hutchison (R-TX)
    Inhofe (R-OK)
    Isakson (R-GA)
    Jeffords (I-VT)
    Johnson (D-SD)
    Kohl (D-WI)
    Kyl (R-AZ)
    Landrieu (D-LA)
    Lieberman (D-CT)
    Lincoln (D-AR)
    Lott (R-MS)
    Lugar (R-IN)
    Martinez (R-FL)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Murkowski (R-AK)
    Nelson (D-NE)
    Obama (D-IL)
    Reed (D-RI)
    Roberts (R-KS)
    Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Salazar (D-CO)
    Schumer (D-NY)
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Smith (R-OR)
    Snowe (R-ME)
    Specter (R-PA)
    Stevens (R-AK)
    Talent (R-MO)
    Thomas (R-WY)
    Thune (R-SD)
    Vitter (R-LA)
    Voinovich (R-OH)
    Warner (R-VA)

    NAYs ---26
    Akaka (D-HI)
    Baucus (D-MT)
    Biden (D-DE)
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Clinton (D-NY)
    Corzine (D-NJ)
    Dayton (D-MN)
    Dorgan (D-ND)
    Durbin (D-IL)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Inouye (D-HI)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Lautenberg (D-NJ)
    Leahy (D-VT)
    Levin (D-MI)
    Mikulski (D-MD)
    Murray (D-WA)
    Nelson (D-FL)
    Pryor (D-AR)
    Reid (D-NV)
    Sarbanes (D-MD)
    Stabenow (D-MI)
    Wyden (D-OR)

    Not Voting - 2
    Santorum (R-PA)
    Sununu (R-NH)

    Polished Like Gold

    I missed this town hall just before the Texas primary and I had heard of this segment but hadn't had the opportunity until today to see it. 91-year-old Jewell Hodges speaks eloquently of her support and affection for Hillary Clinton.

    Delegates and Legacies

    Anglachel's Journal dissects "The Inevitability Game" This in an excellent post and much too good to pull apart. Please go read the entire post. Her thesis:

    Instead, let me put on my political scientist hat and talk about elections, delegates and political judgment critically, ditching mockery for truth, which may be less palatable because more difficult to dismiss.

    While you are there, you may want to check out her latest post, as well.

    Larry Johnson has something to say about Bush's veto of the the waterboarding ban yesterday. (Emphasis mine)
    Scheuer believes that terrorism represents a unique, unprecedented threat and that we must be prepared to do anything to stop it, including the use of torture. Poor Michael, a victim of inadequate public education. He wants you to believe that Islamic terrorism is a greater, more deadly threat than any other threat the United States has ever faced?

    Okay, let’s try some hard facts.

    Is the terrorism threat greater than the threat we faced in World War Two? During World War Two we fought the Nazis, the Italian Fascists, and the Japanese. An estimated 61 million people died. Two hundred and ninety five thousand Americans died in the four years America fought. The Nazis were working on a nuclear bomb. The Japanese had active biological weapons research programs underway.

    How about the Cold War with the Soviets? If you add up the wars in Korea and Vietnam we are well over 100,000 American fatalities. The Soviets also deployed submarines with nuclear missile launch capability, long range bombers, and inter-continental nuclear ballistic missiles that could reach U.S. cities in less than thirty minutes. Oh yes, almost forgot, the Soviets also had a huge surface naval fleet and funded proxy wars against U.S. interests in South and Central America, Africa, and Asia.

    Now we face terrorism. Since less than 10,000 Americans have died in terrorist attacks around the world. Got that? Less than 10,000. No terrorist organization on the face of the earth has an air force, naval fleet, submarine fleet, or armed force capable of striking the United States with anything even approximating 10% of the Soviet capability in their hey day. No terrorist force on the face of the earth has a nuclear arsenal ready to be launched at a moments notice that would destroy all major U.S. cities.

    [...]

    Tyrants who use the fear of terrorism to excuse torture and imprisonment without recourse to habeus corpus is not a new phenomena. But now we have crossed a threshold and by our conduct as a nation have aligned ourselves with the likes of Hitler and Stalin. We are not torturing on a scale approaching that achieved by the Germans, the Japanese, or the Soviets–well, at least not yet.

    But we are employing methods used by those we condemned in war crimes trials. And we are excusing our conduct because we are protecting the homeland. We will preserve our homeland at any cost. We will do anything to survive. And we will excuse any outrage against a human being as long as we can assure ourselves they are an enemy combatant. And in the process, we become the evil that we once condemned in both word and deed. This is a Bush legacy I cannot wait to erase. But these stains are not easily removed and the scars on our nation’s conscience will linger for years.

    He wants a promotion?

    Barack Obama admits that he hasn't held one meeting of his subcommittee that oversees Afghanistan and NATO because he was too busy running for president to do so. So, the American taxpayers are paying him to do a job, he isn't doing it, and now he wants us to promote him? Oh really? Have you ever worked for a company where that has happened? If so, how did you feel about it?

    Yeah, that's what I thought.

    And now, we've got Barack Obama telling the American voters one thing, and intending something else as shown by this You Tube video I received in my email.

    Who is bamboozling who, exactly? What's that about the ol' "okie doke?" "Tryin' to hoodwink ya!"

    March 3, 2008

    "Hey, when was it our turn? I keep hearing that we've had our turn?" She says "It was five minutes in 1972. You must have blinked."

    The title of this post comes from the comments section of this heartfelt post over at Whiskey Fire.

    And so we who look at this primary season as another example of systemic prejudice often have reasons for doing so. Dismiss them as personal or petty if you like, but don't pretend that we are emotional and you the disinterested arbiters of what is and is not fair game. I have been accused of everything from willful stupidity to “vaginal solidarity” over these last weeks. It's insulting and demeaning...
    H/T to Taylor Marsh

    March 1, 2008

    Hillary's National Security Cred

    Obviously these military leaders think Hillary Clinton is ready to be Commander-in-Chief.

    Flag Officers Endorsing Hillary Clinton for President and Commander-in-Chief

    General Wesley Clark
    General John M. Shalikashvili
    General Henry Hugh Shelton
    General Johnnie E. Wilson
    Admiral William Owens
    Lt. Gen. Joe Ballard
    Lt. Gen. Robert Gard
    Lt. Gen. Claudia J. Kennedy
    Lt. Gen. Donald L. Kerrick
    Lt. Gen. Frederick E. Vollrath
    Vice Admiral Joseph A. Sestak
    Major General Roger R. Blunt
    Major General George A. Buskirk, Jr.
    Major General Edward L. Correa, Jr.
    Major General Paul D. Eaton
    Major General Paul D. Monroe, Jr.
    Major General Antonio M. Taguba
    Rear Admiral Connie Mariano
    Rear Admiral Alan M. Steinman
    Rear Admiral David Stone
    Brigadier General Michael Dunn
    Brigadier General Belisario Flores
    Brigadier General Evelyn "Pat" Foote
    Brigadier General Keith H. Kerr
    Brigadier General Virgil A. Richard
    Brigadier General Preston Taylor
    Brigadier General John M. Watkins, Jr.
    Brigadier General Jack Yeager

    By comparison (from Wikipedia, nothing on the Obama web site)

    Barack Obama's Military Endorsements

    Clifford Alexander, Jr., former Secretary of the Army
    Susan Ahn Cuddy, first female gunner officer in the U.S. Navy and daughter of Korean Independence fighter Ahn Chang-ho
    Tom Daniels, Texas Air National Guard
    Richard Danzig, former Secretary of the Navy
    Donald Joseph Guter, former Judge Advocate General of the Navy, current Dean, Duquesne University School of Law, Pittsburgh
    Richard D. Hearney, former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps
    John Hutson, former Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy
    Jeh Johnson, former General Counsel of the U.S. Air Force
    Lester Lyles, former Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
    Merrill A. McPeak, former Secretary of the United States Air Force
    John B. Nathman, former Vice Chief of Naval Operations
    F. Whitten Peters, former Secretary of the Air Force
    James Smith, former Deputy Commander, Joint Warfare Center, US Joint Forces Command

    Hillary Clinton today in Texas: “When my opponent says it’s fear-mongering to talk about who is ready to protect America, I say: If you can’t have that debate with me, how can you have it with John McCain?”

    Five generations

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    In celebration of Women's History Month, and the women who came before me and after, I thought I'd post this poem, which has been my favorite for a long, long time:

    First Lesson

    Lie back daughter, let your head
    be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
    Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
    your arms wide, lie out on the stream
    and look high at the gulls. A dead-
    man's float is face down. You will dive
    and swim soon enough where this tidewater
    ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
    me, when you tire on the long thrash
    to your island, lie up, and survive.
    As you float now, where I held you
    and let go, remember when fear
    cramps your heart what I told you:
    lie gently and wide to the light-year
    stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.

    Philip Booth