June 30, 2008

Bye Bye Blogger

Well, well, well. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Magically, my posting privileges are back. Blogger sent me this email:

Hi there,

On behalf of the Blogger Team, I want to apologize for the recent trouble you've had with your locked blog. Automated spam detection is not yet a perfect science, and although we are constantly working to improve our tools, it appears that our filters have caused some Blogger accounts to mistakenly be blocked from creating new posts.

While we are still investigating, we believe this may have been caused by mass spam e-mails mentioning the "Just Say No Deal" network of blogs, which in turn caused our system to classify the blog addresses mentioned in the e-mails as spam.

Regardless, we have restored posting rights to your blog, and it is very important to us that Blogger remain a tool for political debate and free expression.

So once again, we apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience as we looked into the problem.

Sincerely,
The Blogger Team

Automated spam detection is not yet a perfect science

Huh. Well, don't you think your system should be able to tell a blog with nearly 700 posts and that's been around for oh, say, THREE YEARS, from a "spam" blog???? Let's work on that, shall we? And in the absence of this sort of flagging on YOUR end, how's about a little benefit of the doubt for the next set of bloggers that get caught in your "automated spam detection" maze.

"...we believe this may have been caused by mass spam e-mails mentioning the "Just Say No Deal" network of blogs, which in turn caused our system to classify the blog addresses mentioned in the e-mails as spam..."

Sorry, but no. Not buying it. Whenever the JSND coalition sends out an email, it does not list all of the blogs, but merely directs people to the web site where we are all listed. If there was any spamming going on, it wasn't from Just Say No Deal.

And furthermore, how many flags does it take for a blog to get shut down? One? Five? Twenty? A hundred?

In the meantime, I'm happily settled in over at WordPress. Loving the new blog smell.

June 23, 2008

That didn't take long

Guess they couldn't take the ridicule.

In plain sight...

Digby

So, it's not really a capitulation. It's a strategy.
ghost2 muses at Alegre's Corner on the FISA capitulation and suggests that it happened with Obama's full support and direction.

This is not only Pelosi's position, but also Obama's position.

You are naive if you think the compromise happened without the knowledge of Obama, and he is issuing a statement after the fact. That cannot be.

An expolosive, controversial issue like this could hamper the nominee. Why would Pelosi bring it up now?

Note carefully. It's the quiet time. Reporters mad at Hillary Clinton for prolonging the primary have just now gotten their vacations. It's summer, just before 4th of July. What better time to throw Campaign Finance, FISA under the bus?

Superdelegates LOVE the money networks Obama has and are drooling at the prospect of that money. He is even careful and not issuing fundraising emails for anyone, b/c that means some cherished donors will also end up on somebody else's big email list. That's his ace, and he is not letting go of it.

Remember, the first thing that came for Obama was MONEY. You'd think that network of bundlers, lobbyists, and corporate bosses with connections didn't expect anything in return?

Obama will throw a lot of people under the bus, but he is too smart of a politician to throw his money backers there. That won't happen.

FISA and immunity were the first thing delivered by Obama. You, Glenn and everyone else can ignore that at your peril.
Even Hunter (Why do we care about FISA?), over at DailyKos says:
Because of all the issues we've faced, in the last few years, this one was an absolute no-brainer, the one thing that the Democrats, no matter how stunningly incompetent, humiliatingly ineffective or bafflingly capitulating they may be, could manage to win simply by sitting on their damn hands. But no; it took serious work to lose on this one. Serious, burning-the-midnight-oil work to manage to quite so cravenly negate their own oversight duties.
Hunter assumes that the Dems wanted to "win" this (that is, come down on the side of the Constitution). It's obvious they do not.

In other news...

Turkana points out to us what else our Democratic Congress gave Bush: Funding for the war, no strings attached, through July 2009.
While you were distracted by the Democrats' capitulation to Bush on domestic spying and telecom immunity, you probably didn't even notice that they were also busy capitulating to him on the war.
Oh, and Cheney? He's off the hook too.
What can we say about a leader who can't stand up to the most unpopular president ever? No strings attached. In exchange for a few small bills that the Democrats could have hammered Bush for not supporting. If they weren't political imbeciles. But now the war is funded through July 2009. The biggest blank check ever. Because Nancy Pelosi took the war off Congress's plate. You have to love that metaphor. Because it calls to mind Pelosi's previously having taken impeachment off the table. Which set the table for this, as reported by The Hill:

Vice President Dick Cheney has won his battle to withhold records from the public despite efforts by Congress and other critics who say they should be open to scrutiny.

The Democrats are conceding defeat. The party’s top investigator in the House of Representatives acknowledges that there is nothing more he can do to force the vice president’s hand.

“He has managed to stonewall everyone,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “I’m not sure there’s anything we can do.”

Waxman said that despite Cheney’s turning this administration into “one of the most secretive in history,” there’s not much he or anyone else can do because the administration has only a few more months left in office.
Sure. And Waxman's one of the good guys. But there's nothing more he can do. Against perhaps the only government official in this country who is even more unpopular than Bush. Because once impeachment was off the table, it was clear that Bush and Cheney could do whatever they wanted. There are no consequences. So, they thumb their noses and laugh. They are above the law. And Congressional Democrats agree. But don't worry about it. Just another day in Washington.

June 22, 2008

When did they have the Democratic Convention?

I just received this in my inbox from State Senator Stephen Horsford via the Nevada State Democratic Party:

Dear Democratic leaders,

On the eve of Sen. Barack Obama’s first visit to Nevada since becoming the Democratic presidential nominee, Democratic leaders in Northern and Southern Nevada will hold news conferences to to talk about the Democratic unity behind Sen. Obama’s bid for the presidency.

In Reno, Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie and Treasurer Kate Marshall will lead a news conference, and we hope you will stand with them as they discuss Sen. Obama’s plan for Nevada and the nation, and pledge to “Turn Nevada Blue.” At the same time in Las Vegas, Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid and I will spearhead a similar news conference.

As you might have seen, recent polls show Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain in a neck-and-neck race here in Nevada. I hope you can attend this event to show Nevadans that Democrats are united around Sen. Obama and will work together to change our country.

What: Unity news conference on the eve of Sen. Obama’s visit to Las Vegas
When: Noon, Monday, June 23
Where: Washoe County Democratic Party Headquarters
1465 Terminal Way, Suite 1, Reno

For more information, please contact myself at (702) 985-7535 or Kirsten Searer at (702) 236-1498.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Steven Horsford
Senate Minority Leader
Um. No. Until the convention, Barack Obama is the "presumptive" nominee.

Bob Somerby and We Irish

If you are not making The Daily Howler a regular stop you're missing out on some of the best media criticism on the web. Go review this past week's postings. Somerby isn't afraid to take on the sacred cows. In this post on "We Irish" Somerby takes on Jack Welch's NBC news division.

Is there really something wrong with assembling a news division in the way Jack Welch did? We think the problem is already evident here—and we think it became a good deal more evident as this discussion proceeded.

In this discussion, you see three East Coast Irish Catholics "starting with the religious piece.” “This is probably the one night we’ll ever do it on Hardball,” Matthews said—and let us translate that for you too. Almost surely, this was “the one night” on which these men will tell you, anywhere near this frankly, how they really see the world. Indeed, in the passages we’ve already quoted, a great deal has already been said.

What happens when you’re raised as Russert was raised? Buchanan stated his view of the matter. “I think it creates in you a certain type of individual,” he said. And then, he said what type of individual he had in mind. If we remember who Buchanan was discussing, we think he made a striking assertion:
BUCHANAN: [Russert] was unique, he was sui generis, because he came out of that working class Catholic urban ethnic Buffalo neighborhood, parochial school, church, "Sister this.” And you’re respectful. You were obedient. And I think it creates in you a certain type of individual. I don’t care what side of the party of the political party you’re on, we are culturally very much the same.
What happens when you’re raised as We Irish were raised? According to Buchanan, you become a respectful person. You become obedient. And not only that: The Jesuits “did imbue in you certain certitudes, beliefs of right and wrong. They were hammered into you.”

But here’s our question: Are those the traits you want to see in your nation’s leading journalists? And then too, were those really the traits of you saw in the work of Tim Russert? We had planned to postpone this discussion, but we think the ideas being blabbed all about are too important to be delayed. So how about it: Do you want an obedient, respectful news corps? A news division full of people who got their “certitudes” “hammered” into them during the early years of life? And is that really what Russert was like? We think these questions are especially relevant because of what Matthews said to Olbermann last Friday night.

It seems his words may have been disappeared. But in his comments to Olbermann, Matthews did describe an obedient man, a man who bought the company line—the “patriotic” line—at a time when his nation really needed a hard-headed type of analysis. There is much to ponder in last night’s discussion; we’ll continue with it tomorrow. But according to Buchanan, We Irish were raised to be respectful—obedient. And everybody seemed to agree: We Irish are better than the rest.

June 21, 2008

Obama and the Supreme Court

This is troubling.

Cass Sunstein is an advisor for Obama for America? That is extremely troubling as Cass Sunstein holds views that I believe should be anathema to most progressives.
In the comments it is mentioned that Sunstein is often mentioned as Obama's first SCOTUS pick.
That is a scary thought (5.00 / 3) (#57)
by talex on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:13:36 AM EST

Although Presidents do tend to nominate those who are in within their circle of influence. And that is the case here.

As others have said here if their was one reason to vote for Obama over McCain it would be because of their choice for the SCOTUS. But in this case if it were Sunstein then we no longer have that reason to vote for Obama.

It could be correctly argued that it would be easier for a Democratic majority to beat back a bad McCain nomination than it would for them to beat back a nomination from a Democratic President.

Think about that people.
And:
My oh my (5.00 / 6) (#23)
by hookfan on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:29:27 AM EST

and the reasons for women to vote for Obama seem to be getting less and less. I thought SCOTUS was the big reason to vote for Obama. Couple this with his change on withdrawal from Iraq, flip on Nafta and campaign finance, and now fisa, explain to me again why a progressive would vote for Obama? Is the only reason to be against McCain?

I'm through. I won't vote for Obama now. Nor will I support a party that has brought us this debacle. Where will I go? I dunno. Guess I will wander in the wilderness for awhile. . .

Get Over It

How many times in the last 7 1/2 years have we heard that?

In 2000 the US Supreme Court stops the counting in Florida thereby handing the presidency to George W. Bush. Those of us who were willing to acknowledge GW as the legitimate winner of the election, but wanted to be sure by having the votes counted were told constantly by the rightwing to just "get over it." Worse, even John Kerry in 2004 told us to quit crying in our teacups and "get over it." I remember the outrage from the left blogosphere over that.

Since Super Tuesday, Obama supporters have been telling Clinton supporters to give it up, Obama's winning, "get over it."

And finally, in a stunning show of empathy and unity, Barack Obama tells us the same thing.

Via iam0nly1 at Alegre's Corner:

Obama agreed that a lot of work needs to be done to heal the Democratic Party, and that he hoped the Clinton supporters in the room would help as much as possible.

According to Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Obama then said, "However, I need to make a decision in the next few months as to how I manage that since I'm running against John McCain, which takes a lot of time. If women take a moment to realize that on every issue important to women, John McCain is not in their corner, that would help them get over it."
iam0nly1 notes:
Now we know why Obama has sent out all the female Democratic Senators (sans
Hillary) out with their "Checklist" to reel back in Hillary's female
supporters...it's women's work, and Obama's having none of it.

Trusting Barack

madamab at Oooh, nuance! discusses why so many of us cannot trust Barack Obama. Short version: No record and a habit of lying about pretty much everything. (Seriously, read the entire post) Two snippets:

It would be "the height of ideology" to stick to a campaign promise that you used to win the anti-war left to your side? Seems to me that it is the height of cynicism to pretend you are something you're not.

If Senator Obama will pull back from his campaign position on Iraq, what else will he "change" his mind about?

Public financing, perhaps? Jerusalem? Iran? NAFTA?

How about FISA?

[...]

So no, please don't tell me that he and Hillary Clinton believe in the same things and would fight the same fights as President. The fact is, I don't have any idea what Barack Obama believes in. I have no sense of what his goals are. He would have to actually do something - pass a law, take a stand, make something happen in the Senate - in order to push aside that fog of cynicism even the eensiest little bit.

June 20, 2008

Tell me again, what are the Democrats doing?

Oh yeah . . .

The bill, which was passed on a 293-129 vote, does more than just protect the telecoms. The update to the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an attempt to balance privacy rights with the government's responsibility to protect the country against attack, taking into account changes in telecommunications technologies.

"This bill, though imperfect, protects both," said Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., and a former member of the intelligence committee.

[...]

Key senators voiced strong opposition to the compromise, although they're unlikely to have the votes to either defeat or filibuster the bill. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, condemned the immunity deal. He said that nothing in the new bill would prevent the government from once again wiretapping domestic phone and computer lines without court permission.

Specter said the problem is constitutional: The White House may still assert that the president's Article II powers as commander in chief supersede statutes that would limit him actions.

"Only the courts can decide that issue and this proposal dodges it," Specter said.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California disputed that, saying FISA would from now on be the authority for the government to conduct electronic surveillance.

Yeah, and we know how well Bush has observed the law so far.

(Banging head against wall)

Update: Glenn Greenwald weighs in.
Surrendering and fearful: that's the face of the Democratic Party. It's how they show they're not weak. The most succinct summary of what the Democrats just "negotiated" came from Russ Feingold: "The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation."

[...]

I'd like to underscore the fact that in 2006, when the Congress was controlled by Bill Frist and Denny Hastert, the administration tried to get a bill passed legalizing warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty, but was unable. They had to wait until the Congress was controlled by Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to accomplish that.

[...]

She [Pelosi] doesn't have the courage to say if she supports it -- that is superb and strong leadership -- but in praising the bill, she invokes the justification so obviously misleading that it should insult anyone who hears it: namely, that we should all be grateful because this bill "empowers the District Court, not the FISA Court, to look into issues that relate to immunity."

Indeed. What a wonderful concession that is. Instead of ordering the FISA court to give amnesty to the telecoms in secret, the bill orders the District Court to give amnesty to the telecoms in secret. What a very significant and meaningful improvement that is.
Oh goody, Barack is supporting the "compromise." So much for protecting and defending the Constitution. Greenwald goes after him:
Nobody should be fooled by Obama's vow to work to remove telecom amnesty from this bill. Harry Reid is already acknowledging that this "effort" is likely to fail and is just pure political theater: Reid said: "Probably we can't take that out of the bill, but I'm going to try." The article continued: "Reid said the vote would allow those opposed to the liability protection to 'express their views.'"

We should continue to demand that amnesty is removed from the bill -- and fight it to the bitter end -- but this whole separate vote they'll have in the Senate on whether to remove amnesty is principally designed to enable Obama, once he votes to enact this bill, to say: "Well, I tried to get immunity out, and when I couldn't, I decided to support the compromise." It's almost certainly the case that Hoyer secured Obama's support for the bill before unveiling it.

Either way, Obama -- if amnesty isn't removed -- is going to vote for warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty, and his statement today all but sealed the fate of this bill.
Please read the entire Greenwald piece. It's a tour de force.

Rewarmed leftovers

How is Checklist for Change 2.0 any different from the Checklist for Change 1.0 released by the Senate Democratic Women nearly two years ago to the day?

2008 New Hopey Changey Checklist

  • Provide Equal Pay for Equal Work
  • Keep Good Jobs in America
  • Make Health Care Affordable
  • Take Care of Our Military Families and Veterans
  • Restore America's Credibility in the World
  • Protect our Environment
  • Make America Energy Independent
  • Prepare for Future Disasters
  • Enforce Fiscal Accountability
  • Protect the Family Checkbook

2006 "Checklist"

  • Safeguard America's Pensions
  • Keep Good Jobs in America
  • Make College Affordable for All
  • Protect America and Our Military Families
  • Prepare for Future Disasters
  • Make America Energy Independent
  • Make Small Business Health Care Affordable
  • Invest in Life-Saving Science
  • Protect Our Air, Land and Water
And how is it different from the Six for '06?
  • National security
  • Jobs and wages
  • Energy independence
  • Affordable health care
  • Retirement security
  • College access for all
Anyone notice what's missing? Hint: It's what the doomsayers all say we will be sacrificing if we don't start riding the Unity Pony™.

    The Women's Auxiliary

    Riverdaughter is a goddess. That is all.

    More reactions on Obama's decision to reject public financing

    This Obama supporter will be withholding his financial support.



    This Obama supporter is having second thoughts about Barack altogther.

    June 19, 2008

    Except . . .

    Obamacans: Is this the kind of change you all had in mind?

    Obama opts out of public funds against McCain

    Obama said in a video message to supporters he would refuse $84 million in public funds available for the November general election. He is the first U.S. presidential candidate to bypass the system since it was created after the Watergate scandal in the mid-1970s.
    Just another example of Obama's rhetoric not matching his actions.
    "It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections," Obama said in the video message.
    Obama's thought bubble: "Except for me."

    ETA (6/20/08): I spoke with a staunch Obama supporter last night and even he is disappointed with Obama over this. Not so much over the money part (insert standard rationalizations here) but with Obama's rhetoric (!). If the system is so broken, my friend said, shouldn't Obama set the example? I pointed out to him that all the things he objected to (RNC, 527s) already exist and Obama's not taking public financing won't make any of that go away. He agreed.

    ETA #2- Russ Feingold thinks this is a bad move. Bob Shrum (excuse me while I go throw up) thinks otherwise. When Ben Smith says this move is not out of character for Obama, he doesn't mean it in a good way.
    Obama's move wasn't out of character. In fact - though he has at times adopted popular reform causes - Obama has never been a traditional reformer.

    He came to politics through the community organizing movement, whose radical founder, Saul Alinsky, mocked highbrow reformers, and focused instead on the acquisition and use of power, with the ends often justifying the means.

    In Obama's political life, that approach has translated into pragmatism. He's kept his distance from elements of the Democratic Party that demand purity, from Washington reformers to more ideologically-motivated liberal bloggers. Instead, his campaign has sought the Kennedy mantle, modeling the candidate after a revered Democratic family not known for its scruples.

    "Their campaign is brutally pragmatic," said one Democratic operative. "They have the most exciting candidate since JFK and like that operation, they have their share of talented, ambitious and at times ruthless people. Barack gets to stay above the fray, while his campaign does whatever it takes to win."
    And now this is a good thing? When Hillary was accused of "doing anything to win" it was a bad thing.

    Forgive me, but I've spent the last 7 1/2 years in Opposite Day Land with the Bush administration. I'd like leave.

    June 16, 2008

    Word

    "I don’t think we thought about who they loved - more that they knew what love was and that they would have love in their lives," he explains. "You know, it’s interesting even just thinking about having this interview. Katherine and Diane and I and her aunt and Sarah were all talking about, you know, would we give an interview to announce one of our kids was straight? It’s just not about the public ... it’s just about making sure that they had the fullness of their personality and their humanity.


    H/T to Pocochina

    June 15, 2008

    New baby in the house



    Nina, 6 weeks old

    Father's Day

    It's complicated, my dad and me.

    You see, he left my mother for my step-mother when I was two. I have no memory of seeimg my mother and father in the same room, let alone speaking to one another. One of my earliest memories of my father is a visit to their new home where my brother and I broke out in chicken pox. I remember apple juice. I found out later that at the same time my mother got chicken pox too and had quite the rough go of it. Did anyone give her apple juice?

    When I was around five or so, my older brother left the home my younger brother and I shared with our mother to go live with dad and my step-mom. I found myself jealous of his move. After all, at Dad's house there were no babysitters watching me while mom went off to work or out on a date. Dolly was there to care for us, and she provided meals and a dependable presence. She never spanked us. But...Mama...I mean...how could my brother leave Mama? She whose bedroom, and most especially, her bed pillow pulled me in with the scent of her maternity that to this day touches something quite primal in me. (And mine does the same for my daughter). How does one turn from this?

    Well, my mother tells me that there was effort made on my father's side to "win" my brother over, and when she began to see the same script starting to play out in my life, she made a decision to leave California and settle us in Hawaii. That was January 1964.



    After safely ensconsing us at a Filipino family's home in Kalihi, my mother had to return to the mainland to fight my father in court for custody. Obviously, she gained custody of her two remaining children, but those are the only details I know. Did my father, as was often common in those days, try to portray my mother as unfit? I don't know. I do know that my mother has carried her unforgiveness to this day in ways that for a long time to me seemed illogical. These days I've become much more understanding.

    I spent my youth living with a real mother who showed me love, anger, irrationality at times, and who also did her best to provide a good, full, and sometimes uncoventional life for my brother and me. She wasn't perfect, but she loved us with the same depth and fierceness that I discovered at my own child's birth. Growing up I had only had my imagination to hang on to about my father, so I developed quite a fantasy. I was his only daughter among five children. I must be special, you see. It's just that he's far away, and he's busy, and if he could, he'd come get me, or come see me, or ... I won't even into how that affected most of my love relationships, but you can guess.

    You see, I never once got a card or letter from him in all the years I was growing up. Child support checks were dutifully sent, but my step-mother was "in charge" of making sure birthday and Christmas gifts were bought, wrapped, and mailed. She sent all the minor holiday cards too. I loved, and still do, my step-mother. She is a good woman, just as my mother is.

    Through my growing-up I made all sorts of efforts to get my dad to acknowledge my achievements. It never seemed to come. I'd send him report cards and stuff, and I'd hear back from Dolly, but not him.

    Don't get me wrong. My dad is no villain either. He's had his own demons, mainly from an alcoholic father of whom I've only heard my father speak once and it was to refer -to the hell of his childhood. With that as his father model, what could he possibly learn about what being a good dad looked like?

    Still, in my adult years I continued to reach out to my father and we've been able to develop a decent relationship. When we shared, finally, our father-daughter dance at Sweetie's and my nuptials to Sinatra's "The Second Time Around" it was a deeply emotional moment that neither of us will forget.

    We've explored a bit of our history, or lack thereof, but I still don't know what really makes my dad tick. What really excites him? Saddens him? Leaves him cold? I don't know.

    He has a lot of hurt inside, and I've never gotten to talk to him about that either. Maybe it would be too hard for him, I don't know. But someday, soon I hope, I'd like to try. I'd like to sit down with my dad and sift through our mutual and individual histories and just acknowledge it.

    Unacknowledged pain is toxic and a mind-killer.


    [+/-] Read more/Close

    June 14, 2008

    A new voice

    The blogosphere has been blessed by the addition of another voice. I say this, not just because Cathylee is my dearest friend, but because she's also a great writer and has a strong voice. I've been trying to get her to guest blog here, but she's gone ahead and set up shop for herself. Go over and check out Fiery Side.

    Average Nevadans

    Desert Beacon is awesome. DB is THE Nevada blog for pointing a laser beam at how national policies affect average Nevadans. Her research is impeccable. This post is just another example.

    Today there was more uncomfortable news for average wage earning Nevadans who are already having trouble meeting average expenditures. Wall Street may be happy with today’s Labor Department announcement saying the core Consumer Price Index edged up only 0.2%, which is nice, but that figure excludes “volatile food and energy costs” thus meaning that those people in the country to choose not to move anywhere for any reason, and who can manage not to eat for a month, faced only mild inflation. The rest of us? – not so much. For the remainder of us folk who drive motorized vehicles and eat food, the CPI was up a steep 0.6%.
    Go. Read it all.

    I work in Reno. I have to. There are no good paying jobs in Lyon County. It's just a fact. The days of cheap gas are gone, and so are seeing Fernley, Dayton and Silver Springs as mere bedroom communities of Reno. County Commissioners, are you listening? Better yet, Lyon County residents, can you see this as well? We are either going to have to face the music and really develop a plan that will allow this county to self-sustain, or we are going to dry up and blow away.

    Skepticism vs Cynicism

    From the American Heritage Dictionary:

    skep·ti·cism, also scep·ti·cism
    (skěp'tĭ-sĭz'əm) n.

    1. A doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety. See Synonyms at uncertainty.
    2. Philosophy The ancient school of Pyrrho of Elis that stressed the uncertainty of our beliefs in order to oppose dogmatism.
    3. The doctrine that absolute knowledge is impossible, either in a particular domain or in general.
    4. A methodology based on an assumption of doubt with the aim of acquiring approximate or relative certainty.
    5. Doubt or disbelief of religious tenets.

    cyn·i·cism
    (sĭn'ĭ-sĭz'əm) n.

    1. An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others: the public cynicism aroused by governmental scandals.
    2. A scornfully or jadedly negative comment or act: "She arrived at a philosophy of her own, all made up of her private notations and cynicisms" (Henry James).
    3. Cynicism The beliefs of the ancient Cynics.

    I am a skeptic trying desperately not to become a cynic.

    See also: The Skeptics Guide to the Universe and Skepchick (Rebecca rocks with this post wherein she addresses the commenters on the Skepchick blog and reveals the Comment of the Week)

    June 13, 2008

    Rest in peace

    Tim Russert, dead at 58.

    What a terrible shock. My sympathy to his family and friends.

    9:45 pm: Edited to add: Melissa covers Tim over at Shakesville. She includes Tom Brokaw's broadcast obit. Poor fellow, he could barely keep it together. My heart goes out to all who loved him.
    Love this quip by Melissa:

    UPDATE 2: If there is consciousness after death, I am, upon reflection, quite certain that Tim Russert is cursing that he died just in time for the Friday evening news hole—an observation I make with the sort of wry news junky humor that I suspect Russert appreciated.
    I read it to Sweetie and he and I both chuckled. Neither of us can think of a better way to go: quickly and doing what you love.

    But too soon. Much too soon.

    Okay, one more



    (What makes you think I've been drinking?)

    My favorite place for awww and laughs



    cat
    more cat pictures

    And then, there's GraphJam As a database geek, this cracks me up.

    Detox #2


    Three days on 30mg.

    So far so good. I am below the "therapeutic" dose and am doing okay. I was a bit dizzy today, and my eyes are having some issues. It's like I feel them moving in my sockets. Weird. Emotionally: fine. What I'm getting excited about is that I am starting to "feel" more. Slightly more intense emotions. I like it.

    Thanks for all your positive comments.

    What I find really interesting

    ...is that while I've got tons of comments under R-E-S-P-E-C-T, most of them telling me how I should behave if I really am a feminist, not a soul has commented on my post decrying the misogynist treatment of Michelle Obama.

    Just something I just noticed.

    No way will I be voting for this guy

    John McCain on Supreme Court decision

    The United States Supreme Court rendered a decision yesterday that I think is one of the worst decisions in history,” he told about 1,500 people attending a town hall-style meeting in the Burlington County College gymnasium in Pemberton, N.J.

    Mr. McCain was one of the chief architects in the Senate of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which stripped the federal courts of the right to hear detainees’ habeas corpus petitions -– a provision the court on Thursday declared unconstitutional.

    [...]

    Mr. McCain, who on Thursday after the decision said he could not comment until he had read it, went at it again, speaking to reporters after the town hall meeting.

    “I think that it opens up a whole new chapter and interpretation of our constitution,” he said. “It says that people who are not citizens of this country and are enemy combatants, some of them still ardently seeking to destroy the United States of America and all that we stand for and believe are now granted habeas corpus rights.”

    [...]

    He predicted the decision would result in a host of frivolous lawsuits from detainees demanding special diet requests or reading materials. Those cases, he lamented, would be heard by “civilian judges with no military background or expertise.”
    WHAT? Habeas corpus means you get to know what you've been arrested for, not what you prefer for dinner.

    Habeas corpus
    Also known as "The Great Writ," a writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum is a summons with the force of a court order addressed to the custodian (such as a prison official) demanding that a prisoner be brought before the court, together with proof of authority, allowing the court to determine whether that custodian has lawful authority to hold that person, or, if not, the person should be released from custody.

    A word to Obama commenters


    Note that I have published all of Marco's comments whether I agreed with them or not. Why? Because he's had something to say, and he's said it decently. Note also that he does not slam my chosen candidate but instead defends his, backs it up and engages. Those sorts of comments will be published. But if you come here, crap in the punchbowl and insult me or my candidate? Well, this is still my blog, and as such, I am happy to show you the door by refusing to publish your comments.

    Keep it in mind.

    Taylor Marsh has been hacked

    Her site shows up briefly and then...goes elsewhere.

    June 12, 2008

    It's never okay

    What the Red Queen says:

    Did you have the false sense of security that your flavor of misogyny was special and good and right when hurled at Hillary and her supporters? Are you feeling peeved now that the misogyny is being hurled at Michelle Obama instead?

    [...]

    We may not like the sexism that comes out of Michelle Obama's own mouth, but we will certainly call out people for throwing all that leftover misogyny at her now that the favorite punching bag has suspended her campaign.

    It's never okay. Never, ever, ever, never.

    Misogyny hurts all women, regardless of its target.

    Not your sweeties

    I've been getting a lot of email regarding my decision to leave the Democratic Party. Many old-timers completely understand my move. Most of the newcomers or low-activity Dems do not. Pocochina sums it up well in her post-primary post. She brings it all up: Classism, sexism, religion, racism, race-baiting, the netroots, DNC complicity, and on and on. It is so comprehensive that I dare not chop it up. Just go read it all.

    Her ending says exactly what many of us are feeling:

    I think that non-feminist Obama supporters, and particularly male non-feminist Obama supporters, have this idea that we are just irrationally angry, our feelings are hurt and we should get over it or we’re just silly, don’t we know how bad McCain is, maybe they’ll just tell us one more time. The choice not to support Obama is a long-run rational choice. Right now, there is a party that hates women all the time, and a party that used to humor us, but hates us when it is convenient. It is our job to never, ever let it be convenient again, or there will be no one in government advocating for our rights.

    We are not your sweeties, who just need candy and flowers to come around.

    We are not your bitches, that is not a leash in your hand. Our bodily integrity is not a choke chain you may use to threaten us. If you think it is, you are no better than the Republicans. And yes, the “But! But! But!” Roe stick is just that - a threat. Politically involved women know exactly where we stand on Roe, and we know the Democrats haven’t been all that bothered to even look like they’re trying to protect it, these last seven years. We know what an anti-choice Supreme Court looks like, because we read Gonzales v. Carhart and our hearts broke in fear for ourselves and our sisters and nieces and daughters.

    When you tell us that we’d better get in line and vote for Obama, OR ELSE ROE, you are holding our own bodies hostage against us, as if they were yours to take. You are actively, proudly, literally threatening us with our lives. Is that the change we should believe in?

    I’ve left versions of the following comment on a couple of journals/blogs over the last couple of days:

    What hurts the most is that I really thought I might have a chance to vote for someone in whom I really believed, and now no matter what I do I will be compromising more than ever. There is no choice that does not reward hatred of myself and those that I love. A write-in for Clinton or McKinney will be held against Clinton; a vote for McCain sanctions the Republican war machine, and a vote for Obama sanctions the (new ?) Democratic misogyny machine.

    I was thinking of myself, and my own disappointment, and while I still think that’s legitimate, I am willing to say that I missed the broader context. The party’s eagerness to push her out, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY (particularly in the case of Representative Cohen) was in reaction to this very feeling. They have come to rely on women not expecting any better. They have grown dependent on the Bush Administration’s vile abuse of women, so that their burden of accountability to us is lighter. They were terrified of rank-and-file Dems realizing that there is better out there. And there is, and she still lost, and with her she brought down the pretenses of the party. The bullying we're all getting now is an unapologetic part of that - baby, you need me, nobody else will love you.

    If he really is such a unifier, surely we don’t need to be threatened. Surely he will come through, with his famous ability to reach out, and let us know that it’s our party too. Surely it will happen. At least, I hope - though I confess I am not holding my breath.

    Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!!!

    On my iGoogle page, I've got Reno and Its Discontents on my RSS feed, so I clicked on a story that interested me but it didn't take me to Myrna. It took me to another blog and (LOL) he's got a survey about ME on his blog. All I can do is laugh. A little too much spare time on your hands Zeke? Oy vey.


    I "Heart" Riverdaughter

    Walk it back, Dr. Dean

    Walk it back, Dr. Dean. Better get Obama to stop ignoring those of us he *thinks* he has in his pocket so that he can be free to pursue the religious right. The number of trolls on our site has increased many fold and the messages are all carefully crafted to elicit the correct response but we’re not buying it. We know what’s going on here. You can pretend we aren’t needed but your messages to us say otherwise.

    Better start fixing this problem before the convention because afterwards, our hearts will be hardened and we will follow our consciences in the voting booth. And from what I’ve been hearing, no one this year is inclined to reward a traitor.

    This song goes out to all you sweeties. We know what you’re going through. But we’re not going to sign onto Obama without making him earn it. We do not subscribe to the “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” philosophy of the current Democratic “leadership”. Too bad for you. Whether you like it or not, you gotta marry us before we put out.

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T

    This article by Sheri Rivlin and Allan Rivlin nails it and lays out some things Obama and his supporters can do to win us back. We don't want to be wooed. We want to be treated with respect and acknowledgement.

    Despite many optimistic statements from the candidates and party leaders, true healing of the anger and hurt feelings will be quite difficult for some of the candidate's most enthusiastic supporters - and this is as true of Obama's supporters as it is of Clinton's. The "I told you so-s" of Obama supporters are no more focused on winning in November than the take-my-ball-and-go-home threats of Clinton supporters. Both are symptoms of aggrieved feelings that cannot just be willed away by references to party loyalty or the challenge ahead.

    By winning the nomination, Obama supporters may feel that they have gained the upper hand in debates with Hillary supporters, but this is a false perception. This campaign is not over until the race is over. Political campaigns can never afford the luxury of feeling superior to anyone. Obama may have won the nomination but it will mean nothing if he does not win the General Election in November, and to do that he needs the votes and even the enthusiastic support of Hillary and her supporters. Clinton's supporters cannot be insulted, bullied, or guilted into enthusiastic support in the fall. Like any other key voting bloc, Obama and his supporters can only gain these votes by understanding Clinton's supporters' real concerns, making a connection with them and making a compelling case for their support.

    We have no doubt that Barack Obama will personally offer Hillary Clinton his deep respect and ask for her support, and she will respond with her enthusiastic endorsement. But Obama supporters are not as reliably likely to think deeply and clearly about their real feeling toward the life-long Democrats who make up the backbone of Hillary's electoral success. Hillary's supporters' threats to back McCain, or more likely sit the contest out, are more than just idle.

    Leaving the question of Hillary's support among blue-collar workers, Hispanics, and Jews for a future discussion, we are talking about Clinton's base among mostly white, mostly college educated, mostly over-40 women, or to put it another way, the women who grew up in the women's movement, and then turned much of that energy toward electing Democrats. In a lot of communities across America, if you call a meeting of the top Democratic officials and reliable campaign workers, that's who will show up. But they will not show up to be insulted, and consciously or unconsciously, Obama supporters have been relentless in insulting this group throughout this extended campaign.
    Personal example: Just this morning I was having an email conversation with an Obama supporting friend, and while the exchange started out civil, said friend then sent me something they had written that called Hillary a fascist and a racist and that her troubles had nothing to do with sexism. How's that for unity? For respect? For acknowledgement?

    The authors lay out some ways Obama supporters can draw us back into the Democratic Party fold.

    • First, stop labeling Clinton and her supporters as the politics of the past.
    • Second, Democrats need to reclaim the luster of the Clinton years.
    • Third, embrace feminism as one of the indispensable pillars of the Democratic coalition.
    [...]

    The party must stand together against the current cultural backlash against feminism in a way that lays the groundwork for women (and men) to support the next woman who runs for the presidency without continuing fear of ridicule. In victory or defeat, Clinton and her supporters deserve to be heard regarding their views about the sexist climate of this campaign. The sexism that just as much as racism persists in our culture, and consciously or unconsciously in our political campaigns must be "denounced and rejected." The Chinese proverb, "women hold up half the sky" does not even fully describe the Democratic Party where numerically, women account for substantially more than half of the votes we will need to win in November and this core group of Democrats deserves real respect from the Democratic Party and its new presidential nominee.


    [+/-] More on the flipside/Close

    Here is real hope

    Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Courts

    “The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court.

    June 11, 2008

    I don't know how I missed this


    Riverdaughter extends An Invitation to Democrats in Exile

    Welcome all you newly “unaffiliated” voters! If you’re like me, you realized sometime in the last couple of months that you are part of the “old coalition” of the Democratic party. But you’re not cool enough to be courted by the “new coalition” because you’re working class, gay, hispanic, asian, a woman, old or a brilliant combination of an *uneducated* working class, sino-peruvian lesbian. And you said, “Um, that’s not really who I am” Actually, that’s NOT who I am, except for the woman part. (Lemme check *peeking down shirt* Yep, I’m a woman)

    [...]

    Now that I am “unaffiliated”, I’m like one of those really attractive singles on hot dating sites. Obama is going to want my vote big time. When I was just a Democrat, I was completely unsexy. But I have shed that old skin, sort of like dermal abrasion, and I’m brand sparkling new and beautiful and so much smarter than I was just a few minutes ago.
    Me too! I just sent in my Change of Registration form to the County Clerk yesterday. I am now one of those "swing voters" the Democratic Party lusts after while ignoring its base. Funny, the Republican Party doesn't make that same mistake. And which party has won 7 of the last 10 Presidential elections?

    I'm not holding my breath for Obama to come a'courtin' though. He's too busy wooing the right-wing evangelicals to have anything to do with us wimmin just yet. Hmmm...what's he going to be promising them that he can't promise me?

    Is he ever going to ask for my vote?

    Obama Spammers at it again

    Today's Obama spammer didn't make it past moderation. Uppity posts on our latest incarnation, Phoebe.

    When someone shows up here and acts like a concern troll, doesn't respond to anything I've actually posted, my bullshit detectors start vibrating. A quick click on the commenter's profile link is usually all I need to know because (A) they don't usually have a blog or (B) hide their profile or (C) have a brand new profile (single digit profile views) which tells me that it was created just for the purpose of catapulting the propaganda. Spammers, please note this post and give it up.

    June 10, 2008

    Detox


    I hesitated as to whether I would write this and then keep you posted on my progress, but why not? It's a bit of a change-up and might help me keep my sanity in the next weeks.

    For six months I've been on Cymbalta, starting in the week before Christmas. Good thing, because I was a mess, crying daily in the car and just altogther ready to pack it in. Everything was just an overwhelming burden. I couldn't find the energy of even desire to prepare for Christmas. We agreed to have family over and it seemed like a monumental effort and a week before I hadn't even started preparing. Gifts hadn't been bought for even my immediate family. You get the picture. My psyche was in a pit a million feet deep and I saw no way out. I spent more time crying than just about anything else. Finally, I reached out to my doctor of ten years. She tried to hide her shock at my appearance which by then looked exceedingly tired and desperate. Some people sleep through depression, I stay up, then suffer later from the lack of sleep. Viscious cyle.

    I was prescribed a low (30mg) dose to get my body used to it, but in a week I went up to the therapeutic dose (60mg) and have been on them for the past six months. It did its job, but its power has begun to fade and my body has been rebelling physically to the daily regimen.

    It's time to wean myself. The stress of the primary election is over, and another loss (menses) means I need to be clear thinking on how to proceed with THAT. And although the drug got rid of my really really low lows, it also got rid of my delicious highs. I want them back. No...I've not been diagnosed bipolar, just clinical depression (runs in the family). Cymbalta stabilizes mood, I am told. I'm ready to shake off being a flatliner with a dip or rise here and there and get back to feeling, really feeling.

    So...tomorrow begins my first day cutting back to a daily 30mg capsule, which will begin a three week taper, followed by another 3 weeks of taking a pill every other day. Things may go smooth, or they may go rough. As I understand it, this is one of the hardest drugs to quit.

    We know what could be, but we don't know what my withdrawal will be like, but as always Sweetie is in my corner, and is my rock.

    6-11-08: Edited in the cold light of morning to correct ridiculous typos.

    [+/-] Read more.../Close

    Shoulder to shoulder


    We are not alone.

    Jean B. Grillo, an "over 50" writer in lower Manhattan, was pretty straightforward: "I am so tired as a white, ultra-liberal, McGovern-voting, civil-rights marching, anti-war fighting highly educated professional woman who totally supports Hillary Clinton to be attacked and vilified as racist and or dumb."

    I'm a failure

    -22

    As a 1930s wife, I am
    Very Poor (Failure)

    Take the test!

    H/T The Red Queen

    ETA: On the other hand...I'd make some lucky woman a dandy husband!

    103

    As a 1930s husband, I am
    Very Superior

    Take the test!

    June 9, 2008

    Not sure what to make of this

    Obama, Elizabeth Edwards to Partner on Healthcare?

    ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: At the first event on his "Change That Works for You" tour, presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama was joined by John and Elizabeth Edwards, making known for the first time that he'll enlist Elizabeth Edwards' help in health care policy.

    Thirty minutes into his speech, Obama interrupted his prepared remarks and pointed to the wife of his former Democratic rival to declare his intention of her role.

    "I'm going to be partnering up with Elizabeth Edwards - we're going to be figuring all this out," Obama said when addressing his proposed reform to the health care system.
    Everyone knows that UHC is Hillary Clinton's signature issue. So what does it say that Barack Obama plans on on partnering with Elizabeth Edwards on healthcare? I adore Elizabeth and think she would be fantastic, but this feels like another snub by the Obama camp. Furthermore, what does this mean? The article goes on to say:

    Mrs. Edwards has stated in the past that she supported Senator Hillary Clinton's health care plan because it mandated people to have health insurance – a requirement that Senator Obama's plan does not include.
    So, is Obama coming over to the Edwards/Clinton plan (with mandates), or will Elizabeth have to suck it up, for unity's sake? If he's coming over, what the hell was all that wailing and gnashing of teeth for in the primary? If not, why is Elizabeth on board?

    Edited Post - On principles, emails and Obama

    I am editing this post as I violated a trust in posting a portion of a private email. That was wrong of me, and I publicly apologize. What follows is a condensed version of my original post. I think it important to keep this part, because the arguments I heard from my friend are ones that I have heard over and over again, and I'd like my words to stand.

    My answer below is to those who are encouraging me to support Obama in the General Election and who think that those of us who are struggling with whom to support in the general, or who have made their decision not to support Obama, to leave the Democratic Party, or what ever other road they have taken are doing it merely out of spite or anger about our loss. What follows is my opinion, and again, I apologize for the trust I violated.


    Dear Obama supporters:

    This isn't about Hillary. It is about something much larger. It is about the Democratic Party. And it is about principle. I have been a member of the Democratic Party since I was eighteen years old and first registered to vote. That would be 1974, right at the end of the Vietnam War. We fought to get 18-year-olds the vote, because, gee, if one was old enough to die in a war, shouldn't they be old enough to vote?

    I joined the Democratic Party because it was as close to my hippy/social justice/progressive ideals as I could find: Civil rights, women's rights, environmental care, workers rights, equal opportunity, education, fair play, etc.

    Yes, My Party is supposed to stand for certain key issues, chief amongst them: women's rights and voting rights. This primary has shown me that the Democratic Party, while full of real people down here on the ground who genuinely care about these issues, has leaders that will stand silently by while one of their own is slandered in the media and by surrogates of the Obama campaign. The sexism and outright misogyny of the MSM, and the willingness of the Obama campaign to paint two of the most devoted civil rights activists in the Democratic Party, Bill and Hillary Clinton, as racists was beyond the pale. The inference also that anyone who supported her was either racist, uneducated or a dried up old feminist, didn't win any brownie points either. I've been through a lot of contentious primaries, but I've never been on the receiving end of such vitriol from members of my own party.

    However, the final straw that broke my Democratic back was the RBC meeting in which the committee met behind closed doors, came up with their own solution, held a sham of a public hearing and then awarded delegates to Barack Obama that were not his, even as defined by the "RULES" that the Obama people, and a personal note from Howard Dean to me, kept telling me HAD to be followed. From the moment when the DNC RBC made the decision back in 2007 to slash the Florida and Michigan delegations I have opposed the move. What happened on May 31st was just the final nail in the coffin. To blatantly disregard their own rules about "uncommitted" delegates and award them to a candidate who removed himself the ballot. Barack Obama was not "left off" or "removed" by some subterfuge of some demonic "other" but by his own choosing, even though he was under no obligation to do so. It was a bad campaign strategy, but the RBC chose to reward him for it. You do know that the highly vaunted "rules" allow for uncommitted delegates to attend the convention if they reach a certain threshold of support, usually 15%, which was more than met in Michigan with 40% of the votes going to "uncommitted." The rules do not allow the DNC, the RBC, to allocate those delegates to a candidate. Nor do the rules allow the RBC to use some arbitrary finger in the air method to divine voter intent and take legitimately earned delegates from one candidate and award them to another.

    This is the heart of the matter. It matters not to me that Obama may eventually have won. The finger the RBC put on the scale to shove Obama over the finish line is unforgivable (pardon the mixed metaphor) and goes against everything our democracy stands for. In 2000 when the Supreme Court stopped the counting and awarded the presidency to Bush, I was physically ill for weeks. But I thought it was just "them" - the evil Republicans. Until now. Now I see that the Democratic Party is not above thwarting the will of the voter either.

    Worse yet, the Democratic Party no longer has the moral authority to lecture the Republicans about election fraud because the actions of the DNC and the Rules and Bylaws committee. This is the bigger picture. Not a Democrat in the White House.

    You all keep reminding me of what's "at stake." My thoughts:

    Iraq: Obama claims he was against the war from the beginning based on ONE speech he gave in a very liberal district in Illinois. What peace marches did he lead? What editorials did he write? More importantly, what has he done since being in the U.S. Senate to give anyone the idea that he is vehemently opposed to the war?

    The Environment: He voted FOR Cheney's oil bill. Clinton and McCain opposed it. He supports nuclear and clean coal.

    Economy: He voted against the 30% cap on credit card interest rates. He said it was because it was too high. Really? At least it would have been something rather than the NOTHING we have now. Clinton supported it. I have no confidence in his ability to turn the economy around.

    Women's Rights: Obama says that woman should have "some" control over their bodies. WHAA? He voted "present" on key choice bills in Illinois. Frankly, I am not sure where he stands. And the fact that he stood silently by while the MSM savaged Hillary speaks volumes.

    Choice: Though I am past the point personally of needing to worry about this issue, however, in many parts of our country the right to choose has been severely crippled, and for all intents and purposes, Roe-v-Wade does not exist for many women. Yet Roe-v-Wade still "stands." For too long this issue has been used as a club by the left AND the right to keep their respective constituencies in line and coming out to vote. You all just can't hold that over our heads any more.

    Gay rights - You do know who Donny McClurkin and Rev. James Meeks are don't you? You do know that Obama would not get his picture taken with Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco. I hardly think Obama is a friend of the gay community. Yes, I know he's given some anti-homophobia lip service, but again, words vs action. It's very important to me.

    Respect around the world: It is Bush and his neocons that have destroyed it. I do not think that John McCain, should he be elected, will be the bellicose child that GW is.

    Health Care for all - Hillary's passion is health care and she promises universal health care. Obama says we can't do it and he's not even going to try. John Kerry, the last Democratic nominee I campaigned for (even though he was my fourth choice) says Hillary's plan was DOA in the Senate. Say what? A core Democratic ideal is DOA? One that's been in our party platform since 1948? DOA? Are you kidding me?

    Barack Obama will not get my vote, not just for the sort of campaign he ran, but for many of the reasons you bring up. He can put anything he wants on his web site, but they really are "just words" because I have not seen anything in his actions that tell me he is nothing more than an opportunist, with a paper thin resume, who is willing to throw key Democratic constituencies as well as his own family and life-long friends under the bus in order to win. When I began to examine the candidates, and though I opposed the AUMF vote and was deeply disappointed at the time with Hillary's vote, I took a look at the bigger picture and found Hillary's commitment to core Democratic issues compelling.

    Furthermore, what is Obama's signature issue? I can't figure that out either. What is his "baby?" What is the issue he is most at home with, knows details no one else does? Has taken fire for?

    I wanted to be able to support Obama, and in fact, did not begin this primary season feeling as I do now. His 2004 speech at the Democratic Convention thrilled me and I thought that he would be a rising star and followed him closely, but once he got to the Senate, he continually disappointed me as just another go-along-to-get along Democrat. A year after he began in the Senate, he already had his eye on the next prize, so much so that he couldn't be bothered to call any meetings of the NATO sub-committee he was given chairmanship in January 2007 because, as he ADMITS, he was too busy running for President. Hillary, on the other hand, managed to call several hearings of her sub-committee during the same time when she also was running for President. You see? She's the wonk. She's the work horse. She honored her New York constituents by continuing to do the job they sent her to Washington to do, even while running for higher office. I don't support her because she is a woman. I support her because she is the most qualified, most issue-oriented, most willing to put in the hours needed for the American people. Next in line of experience? John McCain.

    Finally, if John McCain is elected, it is the duty of a Democratic-controlled Congress to keep the President in check, but based on the actions of the Democratic majority these past two years, I see little hope of that happening. However, hope springs eternal and to that end I will be supporting Democrats down-ticket and hope that a larger majority might help them to locate their spines. That's the best I can do.

    And in the meantime, I'm saying what I've heard many say before me and never understood before: "I didn't leave the Democratic Party, it left me." Man, I owe those people an apology.



    [+/-] Read More/Close

    June 8, 2008

    Tough Love

    From a commenter at a blog I frequent:

    Okay, here is what I’m writing in reply to the countless Unity emails I receive from Democratic Leadership sites:

    Dear Democratic Leaders,

    This here is one 56 year old life-long Democrat who will support John McCain in November. The Democratic party has left me, and I believe the only way my formerly beloved party will go back to its original values will to be shocked back into reality party members like myself.

    I know the risk, and do not make this decision lightly. I will concentrate on supporting true liberal down-ticket Democrats to help assure a veto-proof majority in the Congress and Senate, as to keep Mr. McCain’s agenda in check. But my money and the thousands of volunteer hours I’ve given over the years, have come to a halt.

    You can thank the DNC. The RBC meeting anointing this inexperienced Chicago politician was the very last straw.

    I’ve observed the moral and ethical decline of the Democratic Party over many years, but I’ve always held my nose and supported the party-line faithfully, in the hope that things would get better.

    But after watching the spineless groveling of our 2006 elected Democratic House and Senate majority, facing a (war criminal) 28% approval rating bully law-breaking president, I have lost all hope for party reform from within, and this final election debacle was the last straw I needed to tear myself away from “my” beloved party.

    I am heartbroken over it, but I firmly believe that now it’s time to cut the cancer from the sick patient. Like chemotherapy, it will be arduous and painful, but I believe with all my heart that at this point it is the only way to save true Democratic values and our already partially dismantled constitution.

    I have torn up my party registration, and my donations and thousands of past volunteer hours have come to an abrupt halt. I still hope to be able to come back one day, but, for now , the “Hope and Change” being promised to me is so far nothing but words.

    Sincerely,

    XXXXXXXXX

    The Age of Aquarius?

    “When the moon is in the seventh house,

    And Jupiter aligns with Mars,

    Then peace will guide the planets…”

    Everyone! Sing it with me!

    Remember how Bush-bots were just rapturous about W, and how they were sure that GOD had put him in the White House? Remember how appalled we all were? Well, welcome to the Age of Enlightenment folks. Seriously, WTF?

    June 6, 2008

    Puma Power, Puma Wisdom

    Puma’s Wisdom Includes:
    Being a Generalist
    Being Known by Many Names
    Lessons in the Use of Power
    Leadership
    To be True to Oneself
    Purposeful Action
    Strength and Elusiveness
    Coming Into Your Own Power

    P.U.M.A.

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    The PUMA movement is not about revenge. It is not about racism. It’s not about being immature. It is about holding the Democratic accountable for abandoning its principles and the people who strengthened its foundations. It is about not rewarding a Party that uses voter suppression techniques on its own members. We want to belong to a party that respects us and works with and for us. We don’t want to hand over our votes without representation. ~ Riverdaughter

    June 5, 2008

    Some posts worth a look

    I'm hanging out at work for a document they want me to put together, so...a few items for your consideration.

    ronkseattle at The Confluence: "The State of Play"

    J Cifre's Righteous Indignation at Savage Politics (no...not that Savage)

    Ouyang Dan at Random Babble writes a letter to Barack Obama

    Anglachel riffs on the rock and the hard spot Obama finds himself between.

    Turns out I don't have to stay after all...see you after I get home.

    I'm still here

    Friends are expressing worry that I haven't posted in awhile. Still catching my breath from vacation, returning to work, and everything else that has gone down in the past few days.

    I've got my shiny new voter registration form that's all ready for me to fill out. I've got a post rattling around in my head but it may take a day or two.

    In the meantime, I've made some decisions and done a lot of reflecting. You'll hear about it soon.

    Thanks for hanging in there

    June 2, 2008

    Back on the mainland

    Sitting at SFO waiting for our connecting flight to Reno. Will arrive around midnight and one more hour of driving and we'll be home.

    No Means No

    This brought tears to my eyes.

    Steve Corbett:

    This party is the Democratic Party and Saturday’s meeting of its pompous rules and bylaws committee did more to dampen support for the mainstream party than any Republican ever could.

    The party elite told the protestors, by and large Democrats, that they would decide what is best for them.

    The protestors explained that they were not slaves and would decide their lives for themselves. By that they meant that they would also decide the party’s future. By that they meant they just might quit.

    “I didn’t quit my party,” one young woman later explained. “My party quit me.”

    Without them, many analysts believe the Democrats cannot win the White House in November. Without them, Democrats will rally around a flawed candidate who will further divide the party into the haves and the have-nots. Without them, the party will go down in females, rather than in flames.

    Men have aligned themselves with the protest as well.

    I, too, stood in the rain.

    [...]
    What is known, though, is that many Hillary supporters, mostly women who have been loyal to the party all their lives, feel abandoned. Abused by a disloyal party whose leadership is made up mostly of men, they have finally had enough.

    The separation is about to commence.

    And the divorce will be messy.

    But when the split is complete, their freedom of choice, the liberation of walking out, will renew their strength in themselves.

    Even if Barack becomes the nominee – and I’m not convinced that will happen – these protestors will know forever that they have power they never before experienced. The power to say no constitutes freedom in the face of a society that expects you to say yes.
    No means no – even in the political arena.
    Much more at link. Go. Read it.

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    Illegitimate

    Anglachel nails it. Again.

    Think about this. Really think about this. A committee of people, behind closed doors and under pressure from a specific candidate to shore up his crumbling support, has functionally declared Michigan's votes null and void and has reallocated the delegates to suit themsleves. The will of the people was considered advisory, not definitive, and the will of the committee was substituted. As for the argument that "the state wanted this outcome," it doesn't hold water. This outcome was not on the ballot. Obama did not put himself up for a vote at the time of the initial primary, nor would he agree to doing so when there was time to organize a second primary. His solution was simply hand him half the delegation and fuck the voters of Michigan. It is no consolation that he didn't get all of the delegates he wanted to steal, just most of them.

    Again, the RBC handed out delegates to a candidate who removed himself from the ballot and who will not accept the penalties of his campaign choice. They have removed delegates earned by one candidate and handed those delegates to the other person because they want him to be the winner. They did this to prevent the popular vote winner from earning her fair share of delegates and to force her out of the race.

    I myself made the mistake of focusing on the four hand-over delegates yesterday, when the fact is Obama did not deserve a single delegate from Michigan. He removed himself from the ballot to game the system, which removed any legitimate claim he had to the votes, but his fixers in the DNC gave him more delegates than he would have won had he competed. I have said before that I think Obama could have won a revote outright, but why bother with all that campaigning and earning votes crap if your buddies will just hand you delegates?

    If the DNC is claiming the authority to reallocate delegates based on what they believe voters would have wanted had things been different, then what is the point of the delegations? Why not, as Hartina Flournoy someone (Ickes, I think) scathingly said in the meeting, just decide the votes for 2012 while you're at it?* Why bother with primaries at all if certified votes are merely advisory and you can decide what the people really want?

    How is this any different than the Supreme Court declaring that Florida went for Bush no matter if a ballot recount showed it going for Gore?


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    June 1, 2008

    Off to our last dinner in Hawaii

    It's our last night here and we are off to the neighbors' for a potluck dinner. I swear I've gained five pounds since I've been here. Mom thinks it's her job to feed us constantly and though I try to keep it under control, it's well nigh to impossible.

    So, I won't be back to moderate posts for awhile. I'll be up in the morning and then on an afternoon flight back to (sigh) Nevada in the afternoon, landing in Reno around midnight.

    See you all later.

    ETA at 9:21 pm Hawaiian Time (12:21 am PDT) - Dinner was marvelous. Wonderful mixture of people and we had a great time. I am going to miss this place so much. It's my home, no two ways about it.

    Yes, she does

    Lead in the popular vote count, that is. Now that Michigan and Florida have been recognized (cough) by the DNC, we can now add in the popular vote from those two primaries into the popular vote count. I pulled my data from RealClear Politics, but corrected the final PR total to the total after 100% of Puerto Rico's votes were counted per CNN.


    Popular Vote Clinton11,129,044
    Popular Vote Obama w/o MI10,684,839
    DifferenceClinton +444,205

    Okay, but what if we add in Michigan's 238,168 uncommitted votes to Barack's column? Now, since he removed himself from the ballot, the Michigan Secretary of State didn't award them to him, but let's pretend we're the DNC and give him the votes he forfeited. What do we get?

    Popular Vote Clinton11,129,044
    Popular Vote Obama w/ MI10,923,007
    DifferenceClinton +206,037


    Whoops! Looks like she wins all that one too.

    ETA: Even if you add in Obama's estimated gain of 110,224 votes from the IA, NV, WA and ME caucuses (per RealClearPolitics*, he is still down 95,813+ votes.


    *The estimate from these four Caucus states where there are not official popular vote numbers increases Senator Obama’s popular vote margin by 110,224. This number would be about 50,000 less if the Washington primary results from February 19th were used instead of the Washington Caucus results.

    Response

    I received a number of responses to my post below and started to reply in the comments, but when a comment becomes blog-length, it's time to move it to the front page. My responses on the flip side.

    To Lynne: Did the voters of the states break the rules? No, they did not. Their respective state legislatures did. However, the elections were fair and certified by each state. Revotes were offered. Obama refused them.

    Is it fair to take votes from Hillary that she won and award them to Barack Obama who chose to remove his name from the ballot even though there was no requirement that he do so? My name wasn't on the ballot either. Can I get some of Hillary's votes too?

    This post lays out what would have been a fair decision. Shorter version: respect the will of the voters.

    Like Harold Ickes said today, you don't start down the road to unity by hijacking votes.

    Do I want McCain to be president? No. But I don't want Obama to be president either. He neither deserves it nor has the experience. He cannot accept responsibility for anything and I have yet to hear him condemn either Wright or Phleger for the despicable things BOTH of them said about Hillary Clinton from the pulpit of TUCC. Barack can start riding his Unity Pony™ right there.

    To Mike: You and I know each other, and I know that we like and respect each other. I have no complaint with you, but I've had to deal with some toxic Obama supporters, and the treatment we received at our caucus was awful. You see, there are lots of hurt feelings on each side and in tennis matches, to used a hack metaphor, it's the victor who is supposed to jump the net and make nice with the loser, not the other way around. I have no complaints with you. Contrary to your opinion of Barack Obama's 'gentlemanly' ways, many of us have a less than stellar opinion of his behavior and are still waiting for a clear and public apology. In fact, this is about all he has said regarding Pfleger's remarks:

    Mr. Obama, through a statement released to reporters, said he was “deeply disappointed.”

    “As I have traveled this country, I’ve been impressed by not what divides us, but by all that that unites us,” Mr. Obama said. “That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger’s divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn’t reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause.”
    Since I have not been able to find a transcript of his prepared remarks from yesterday, only his Q&A with the press, I cannot find what you assert he said yesterday. If you can point me to a transcript, I'm happy to review it.

    To texex: You know me as well. Where in my post did I say I was supporting McCain? And please, don't send me links to DailyKos. I gave up that sewer months ago. Send me legitimate links and I'll click on them.

    To Susan: At this point I've put in lots of time working with and for the Democratic Party. Pretty much everything I've suggested has fallen on deaf ears. Basically there are those in the power structure, both nationally and statewide, that have a vested interest in maintaining their own kuleana and will brook no dissent.

    I haven't left my liberal ideals. I haven't left Democratic ideals. But I sure am thinking my party has. That's it in a nutshell.

    To Cathylee: Amen.


    To all: Right now I feel as though no party represents me, but I may wait until after the mid-August state primaries to change my registration, in case there is a down-ticket race I may want to have a say in. On the other hand, in my county the only primaries that exist so far are on the Republican side, and since they control my county, perhaps I should become an R, just to provide a moderating voice? Do you all see my dilemna? There was a reason I wrote my blog tagline as I did.

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