Monday, March 31, 2008

Blind Sullynness

Andrew Sullivan sometimes displays that he's capable of cogent thought devoid of contradiction, for instance when he has decried torture or homophobia. Yet, he remains stubbornly blind to his toxic case of Clinton Derangement Syndrome, which occasionally competes with his annoyingly twerpish bias against Al Gore. More troubling, his anti-Hillary "gender" rhetoric promotes hostility toward and indifference to women.

Two examples... the first one that Sully understands inherently.

Here, he criticizes the WaPo newsroom's "homophobic decision" to closet the sexual orientation of a "fallen American military hero," Major Alan Rogers, a gay intel officer, whose obituary Sully had righteously denounced:

As treasurer of an organization to end the military ban and with countless sources testifying to his sexual orientation, the decision of the Post and NPR to enforce the closet even after his death cannot be expained [sic] except by a view that somehow being gay is shameful or private. . .We already persecute these gay heroes when risking their lives for their country. For the MSM to maintain the shame, stigma and persecution after their death is unnacceptable [sic].

Naturally, as a gay man, Sully can relate to homophobic bigotry and tyranny of the closet. So can I as a lesbian.

However, here, somehow blinkered to the rampant misogyny in our political discourse of which we, awakened travelers, have witnessed against Hillary, he accusingly writes citing from an odorous TNR column that quotes Adam Nagourney:

Clinton plays the gender card:

In a conversation with two Democratic allies, she compared the situation to the "big boys" trying to bully a woman, according to interviews with them.

Only a comatose nitwit would have missed the sexist dynamic that has been publicly enacted during this campaign season. Digby delivered oh-so-good, vintage satire on Hillary playing the gender card:

Hillary goes to her alma mater and says that her education at the women's college prepared her to do battle with the political boys club and the gasbags' eyes roll back in their heads and they start drooling and whining that she's broken the rules.

Well boo fucking hoo. The rules are changing. Get used to it.

Half of this country is female and they've noticed, in case these manly men haven't, that presidential politics is a very exclusive boys club and we don't find it all that odd to mention it.

When Hillary audaciously mentions it, horror! Gasp! Send in the woozy gurney. Swooning he-men and colonized women mimicking them projectile vomit all over Clinton as if they can rid themselves of their damnable, ingrained hatred because that's what it is: hate born of ignorance and disowned fear. Cultured gentry like to think they're expressing disdainful o-pin-ion. They are, after all... civilized. Not screaming Ralph Kramdens. But whatever gift-wrapped rationalization they want to twist around the imp locked up in the tank, it's still insidiously festering prejudice.

The two above Sully examples motivate me to want to unfairly characterize of the first, Sullivan plays the homophobe card. But then I descend to his level of dismissive wankerishness. Perhaps I could call him a reflexive twit and be done with him. But appealing to the "better angels of our nature," a snip from Feministe (with emphasis):

Please keep this in mind when you read critiques of the gender-based slurs and framing and tactics and dismissals of Clinton. Those hurt all of us, as women, and tolerating or excusing them just makes it harder for women to be taken seriously.

Attack her all you want on her positions, on her record, on her tactics — but don’t stand for gender-based attacks on her. They’re not acceptable, no matter what you think of her and no matter who they’re coming from.

I hope--but I won't hold my breath--that Sully self-reflects on how he's part of the problem women face to live freely without fear of discrimination. I would like to think he could relate but one should never underestimate the epidemic of denial that seems to have sapped the introspective gene from our collective DNA.

The Hillary Clinton edition


Maybe Rembrandt didn't have this in mind




Clinton and Scaife... Uh oh! Josh Marshall, Kos, and the Boy Blogz, who have contracted a terminal case of CDS, won't be happy. As eriposte warned, Hillary Clinton meeting with Richard Scaife could stimulate the "sound of several heads exploding" in the netroots Obamasphere.

See snips from The Left Coaster of an article by Scaife on "Hillary, reassessed." One comment from Scaife: "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. . . Call it a 'counterintuitive' impression." Now eriposte's closing, "Very troubling indeed. Sen. Clinton has this ugly and detestable habit of impressing people who get to know her well - especially independents and Republicans! The result? A powerful Republican and media magnate who hated the Clintons came dangerously close to endorsing her! We certainly can't have that! After all, according to The Clinton Rules and The Obama Rules it is only acceptable if Republicans endorse Sen. Obama - he who has courted them aggressively - in support of his campaign of hope, unity and change."

The Goddess will git you for that! Egalia at Tennessee Guerilla Women on McCain's veep pick: "I've seen a number of stories this week suggesting that Condi Rice wants to be John McCain's VP. If the old guard Democrats were to succeed at pushing the woman off the Democratic ticket only to face a Black woman on the Republican ticket, that would mean there really is a goddess and she really is pissed. And it would mean that Democrats might well be waiting another 50 years for their next 2-term president." Go read the rest from Egalia. Truth meter: 100%. M'yeah, the Goddess is pissed!

Destroying Hillary in the press. . .and: Susie Madrak shared notes from EschaCon that included Media Matter's Eric Boehlert, who said, "...it goes back to Gore’s press in 1999 which was 'really unfair and really weird.' What’s happening online now is potentially dangerous: HRC has gotten dreadful press, not fair, 'gotcha,' and so on — there’s a portion of the blogosphere that has ignored that and there’s a portion that has encouraged that." Ya think?!!!! No disrespect intended, but the Boy Blogz have smeared Hillary relentlessly and turned a blind eye to Barry's faults and exaggerations. And what about Hillary bloggers? Boehlert has been "interviewing Clinton bloggers for a book... how bloggers are affecting the 2008 presidential campaign, and was 'shocked' to hear again and again that people felt they could no longer speak freely in the blogosphere. . . bullied into silence." More.

Sexist attacks on Hillary hurts all women! Read and learn: "Why calling out misogyny matters" by zuzu at Feministe, a superb, in-depth post and worth your time. Intro graf: "I’ve gotten a lot of criticism lately whenever I do a post about the primary, and, specifically, about misogynistic language or sexist framing used to tear down Hillary Clinton. Invariably, someone accuses (and it’s always an accusation) me of being a Clinton shill, or grills me about why I don’t write a whole bunch of balancing posts about racist language and framing being used against Obama, or tries to dismiss what I have to say because Clinton did X, Y or Z that the commenter found offensive." Highly-recommended reading. (H/t Susie)

Hillary can seat MI and FL! Barry's BFF Donna Brazile is wrong and Clinton is right. "Clinton can actually gain a majority on [the Credentials Committee], and thus seat the existing Florida and Michigan delegations." Of course, it depends on Hillary winning enough delegates in the upcoming contests. Details at TalkLeft. I wonder if my blogger friend Bryan in Florida has heard about this? Best solution is a revote but Obama's opposition, DNC bias, and those pesky Republican state legislators... Still.

The dream ticket: Mentioned earlier in an update to "Hillary Clinton will go all the way," but worth repeating: The Cuomo Dream Ticket Plan. I'm biased thinking that Hillary should top the tick' for many reasons, but bring it on!

Clinton fact checks Obama and the senator from Illinois has some explaining to do. Nine exaggerations ranging from taking "credit for nuclear leak legislation that never passed" to "his assertion that lobbyists 'won't work in my White House.'" Why am I unsurprised?

A compilation of sources making the case for Hillary from admirals, generals, Ambassador Joe Wilson, Krugman on the economy, lowering taxes on the middle class, veterans, job creation, and more.

Who's the best candidate for fixing the economy? It's not wackydoodle "Let them eat cake" McCain or "cautious and relatively orthodox" Barry. C'mon, you know the answer. Hillary! If you watch the video at the link, notice how Donna Brazile repeats an Obama line about "crisis on main street." M'yeah, she's a DNC shill for Barry and a total disgrace for her cock-up involving the MI and FL primaries. But I digress. If you're worried about the economy, then Clinton is the best choice for prez. "[H]er policy proposals continue to be surprisingly bold and progressive."

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The McCain economy

Krugman, Monday, March 24:

[McCain's] chief economic adviser is former Senator Phil Gramm, a fervent advocate of financial deregulation. In fact, I’d argue that aside from Alan Greenspan, nobody did as much as Mr. Gramm to make this crisis possible.

Krugman, Saturday, March 29:

Seriously, the Gramm connection tells you all you need to know about where a McCain administration would stand on financial issues: squarely against any significant reform.

When Republicans talk about free markets and how good deregulation is for competition, just remember, it's a scam.

McCain. Bush III. Fleecing the middle class. Economic doom.

Go read Krugman, March 24, for why Clinton and Obama must address "the need to reform our out-of-control financial system." Troubling how "the securities and investment industry is pouring money into both Mr. Obama’s and Mrs. Clinton’s coffers."

Did Obama read Krugman's Monday column? He expressed similar points in his Thursday speech. Slick recovery to blunt criticism, eh? Or maybe a coincidenk. M'yeah.

Hillary Clinton will go all the way

“Pennsylvania Women for Hillary” Event in Blue Bell

Hillary reaffirmed that she's in the race all the way to the convention despite the mounting pressure from Obama supporters for her to drop out.

JOHNSTOWN, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Defying mounting pressure from some party leaders to bow out, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton told The Washington Post she will stick it out through the remaining primaries and the contested Florida and Michigan results are resolved.

"I know there are some people who want to shut this down, and I think they are wrong," Clinton said in an interview in Sunday's editions.

"I have no intention of stopping until we finish what we started, and until we see what happens in the next 10 contests, and until we resolve Florida and Michigan. And if we don't resolve it, we'll resolve it at the convention."

Give 'em, hell, Hill! Send her some love if you admire her grit, her strength in facing all the derisive crap and negativity that's been tossed at her. She's still fighting, still ticking. That's the kind of president I want in the WH, one who will go to the mattresses for policies that we all know will meet great GOP resistance.

And she should persevere all the way to the convention in August. Obama's lead is paper thin in delegates and the popular vote, a standing that will be whittled down in the upcoming primaries in most notably Pennsylvania. More problematic for Obama and beneficial for Clinton: the Democratic Party must fairly resolve Michigan and Florida to the satisfaction of those voters--not for what's convenient for the DNC who created the problem--or invite defeat in November having disenfranchised two key state constituencies necessary for an Electoral College victory.

Pay no attention to the poppycock of Obama supporters urging Hillary to quit like the hand-wringing Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), who "said last week that Mrs. Clinton could not win the race," an assertion based on a future that's highly unpredictable, and "that her attacks on Mr. Obama were hurting 'more than anything that John McCain has said.' " Is Leahy kidding? Or do his remarks reflect the queasiness of establishment elites afraid to take up challenges? D.C. Dems like Speaker Pelosi have failed to stand up to George Bush or Dick Cheney, stonewalling impeachment hearings, so their opinions matter now because of why?

Absent from Leahy's and Obama supporters' wackydoodle presumption--Hillary is hurting the party, helping McCain--is the damage that Obama singularly self-inflicted in his opposition of a revote in Michigan and Florida. Such obstructionism alone unmasks him as divisive, not the uniter that he paints himself, more focused on his self-interest of winning than "our most sacred rights as Americans." The more chances that voters get to see Obama's campaign tactics, the more his promise of a new kind of politics falls flat, revealing in word and deed that he behaves like an ambitious politician who will do and say anything to get elected. Such criticism has been leveled at Hillary. So what's the diff? What James Wolcott said.

But it is mighty nice of Obama to bless Hillary's determination:

"My attitude is that Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants," Obama told reporters in Johnstown, Pa. "Her name's on the ballot, and she is a fierce and formidable competitor, and she obviously believes that she would make the best nominee and the best president."

He added, "I think that, you know, she should be able to compete and her supporters should be able to support her, for as long as they are willing or able." And that could be into early June, through all 10 remaining primaries, Obama said. "We will have had contests in all 50 states plus several territories. We will have tallied up the pledged delegate vote, we will have tallied up the popular vote, we will have tallied up how many states were won by who, and then at that point I think people should have more than enough information to make a decision. "

He downplayed the notion that an extended contest could bruise the eventual winner, to Republican Sen. John McCain's advantage. "I think that the notion that the party's been divided by this contest is somewhat overstated," Obama said. "There's no doubt that, among some of my supporters or some of her supporters, there's probably been some irritation created. But I also think, every contest you've seen, in every state -- huge jumps in Democratic registration, including independents and Republicans who are changing registration to vote in the Democratic primaries. You know, those are people who are now invested in what happens. And I think that bodes very well for us in November."

Obama puts a happy face on a troubling situation and clearly, at least by his words, places a lot of stock in independents and Republicans who have switched over to the D column. Sorry, I don't buy it.

Much has already been written about a large contingency--28%--of Hillary supporters who say they will defect to McCain if Obama wins the nomination. The Gallup study showed the largest at-risk defectors are independents leaning Democratic (39%) and conservative Democrats (38%). One could speculate that these numbers will decline once the convention ends and Democrats rally around the nominee. You gotta love Hillary for jump-starting the call to unite.

Assuming that Hillary voter defections to McCain will indeed drop off, I'm still uncertain what percent will vote for Obama if he's nominated due this caveat. Some Clinton supporters such as myself cannot in good conscience vote Republican and will head to other parties--e.g., the Green Party--or stay home ultimately refusing to vote for Obama in the general election.

I've already visited the Green Party website to examine their party platform and I've explained what deal-breaker scratched Obama's name off my ballot. What initially landed me in the Clinton camp with both feet, when the race narrowed to a few candidates, was her depth of policy positions, gay/lesbian equality, women's issues, experience, and how she's changed listening to better ideas, i.e., John Edwards on health care, getting out of Iraq, among others. Sure, Hillary's made mistakes and I can cut Obama slack for some of his missteps. However, two hugely inexcusable errors--aligning with homophobes and enabling sexism--speak poorly of Obama's judgment and leadership... and honey, it will be a cold day in hell before I reward that BS, self-respecting lesbian that I am.

When co-chair Jesse Jackson Jr., ramped up the misogyny, unforgivably mocking Hillary's tears (video), I changed "that stupid lock" (thank you, Gloria Gaynor) on the door I had slammed on Obama's candidacy. Then Barry the Magnificent himself disparaged Hillary's emotions, and oh, boy. I sent a scorching email to my superdelegate congressman.

Obama's foreign policy advisor Gen. Merrill McPeak, who later apologized, clobbered Hillary with an ugly smear saying, Obama "doesn’t go on television and have crying fits; he isn’t discovering his voice at the age of 60." Aren't these acts an anathema to Change We Can Believe In? Oh, Barry, Barry. You shouldn't have written checks that go boing.

If one applies Hillary rules (See No. 4. "Sauce, goose, gander.") to Obama, then I can accept Mark Penn as long as Barry keeps his co-chairs. I can also overlook Phil Singer for peddling The American Spectator article that maligned McPeak after his recent outburst accusing Bill Clinton of McCarthyism. More repugnant is the WWTSBQ bare-fanged howling from the Big Orange 527. If Obama's campaign manager had a lick of sense he would decry the "politics of bloodsport" coming from cyber-surrogates 'cause they are galvanizing opposition to Obama.

I have read numerous comments on blogs that if the superdelegates pick Obama--and the supers will decide the nom, no avoiding that reality--then Hillary supporters will vote for McCain to punish the Democratic Party, an extreme reaction, passionate but misguided. Voting for McCain simply put is insanity. Others will argue that selecting a third-party candidate could indirectly lead to a McCain presidency. Remember Nader, 2000, Al Gore, Bush. M'yeah. For me personally, living in a solid-red southern state, I can vote for whomever I deem worthy; my ballot will not impact the outcome, why I wish presidents were decided by the popular vote, not the Electoral College.

To my way of thinking, a pragmatic solution to the Democratic nomination conundrum and a path to solidarity to beat McCain would comprise a history-making Clinton-Obama ticket that could mean 16 years of a Democrat in the WH, time enough for Vice President Obama to grow his presidential stature, mend fences with voters he's pissed off, and play a significant role in a Hillary Clinton presidency. The perils confronting our nation requires an against-all-odds relentlessness that Hillary embodies.

Arguably, Barry's not there yet, not having run a marathon of public gauntlets that Clinton has endured, overcome, and adapted. He's more an idea guy or as Wolcott articulated, "his charisma is on a more ethereal plane, and I don't look to politics for transcendence and self-certification." Or as NYCweboy said, "I need more than that. And Hillary Clinton is the person, with the specifics, who offers more. And that's why she's my choice."

So keep sluggin', Hill. We're behind you.

UPDATE: See what I get for missing the Sunday talk shows and failing to check my RSS reader. The Cuomo Dream Ticket Plan. Bring it on!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Marc Rudov calling Dr. Freud

Piece of advice: Don't expect successful relationship tips from Marc Rudov. With emphasis:

During the March 26 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, guest host and conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham interviewed Marc Rudov, whom she described as a "self-proclaimed relationship expert," on the eve of the premiere of his radio show on MarcRudovRadio.com. When Ingraham asked Rudov to explain "why men feel emasculated today," Rudov stated: "You know, you started talking about female happiness before, would women be happier and why our men are depressed. Men are depressed, and it's their own fault, because men are allowing women to take over the world," adding: "You know, female happiness is an oxymoron. When you go to the checkout in the supermarket, just look at the titles on the women's magazines. How many of them presume women to be happy? Not one. They're all saying, the key to happiness is more jewelry, more shoes, more liposuction and bigger implants."

After Rudov went on to assert that "most of the women who get [breast implants] are unhappy" and that "[e]ighty percent of women in this country are unhappily married, according to AOL and Woman's Day," Ingraham said: "I don't believe any of this. I just -- I don't believe any of this. I don't know what qualifies either of us to talk about relationships." Ingraham then asserted: "You seem to really have a problem with women in your website," . . .

OMG! I agree with Laura Ingraham. Responding to a raving head case could pair friend and foe in an emergency.

...to which Rudov replied: "I don't have a problem with women, Laura. I have a problem with little girls occupying adult female bodies. And any women who feel entitled to wining and dining and jewelry and free vacations are not adults." Ingraham then asked, "Do you pay for dates, Marc? Do you pay on dates or no?" Rudov replied: "Fifty-fifty, Laura ... Reciprocation, Laura. Women -- you know, if women -- if women are so entitled, Laura, if women are so entitled -- Laura, if women are so entitled and they're such delicate little flowers, we shouldn't have one running the U.S. Marines." He further stated: "Laura, when a woman feels entitled to anything, then she's not worthy of love, and she doesn't know how to give love. Women -- these kinds of women are takers."

Is a lunatic capable of discerning that a women running the U.S. Marines isn't a delicate flower? Could he evaluate qualities and behaviors in another human being? Nah, probably not.

Later in the segment, Rudov asserted: "When a woman wants to marry a man who's uglier than she is, she's doing it because she wants power and control." Ingraham replied: "OK. She's not really in love with him." Rudov concluded: "That's right. She wants a man who's going to do double backflips over her, so she can keep him under control so then she can cheat on him and get her sex with the hot men outside the home, Laura."

Totally clueless about women, loving relationships, intimacy, oh, you know the drill, and yet another misogynist whose self-awareness barely competes with the mindfulness of a bothersome gnat.

If you watch the video at Media Matters, at one point Marc says to Laura, "If you get to know women..." Hold the line, caller! By jennies, somehow, some way, Marc knows women but Laura, poor fragile violet, doesn't. One of those anomalies of life, n'est-ce pas?

As previously noted, Rudov suffers from a very bad case of sexism wallows in the sexist trough of Frank T.J. Mackey and arrogantly exudes ignorance laced with a sadistic bent. Bravo! Just what the world needs--one more unconscious incompetent, another assholish freaktard jamming the air waves with stupid machismo.

Would someone, please, intervene and escort Marc to the nearest Control Freaks Anonymous meeting?

Boyz gone wild edition


Maybe Rembrandt didn't have this in mind




Has feminism gone too far?
Nah, of course not! Ouyang Dan at Shakesville explained why. Kewl dude rating: 10.

Clinton Derangement Syndrome: If you had any doubts that our press elites lie, distort, and generally behave like sociopathic gits, get your Jamison Foser fix as he enumerates how, The media proved Bill Clinton right. Well done, J.F.

Who's the party uniter? Clinton or Obama? Turn on your pixels with the premiere episode of "Great Moments in Modern Punditry - Part 1" by eriposte. The recent Gallup poll demonstrated that Barry's wildly confident assertion--"I have no doubt that once the nomination contest is over, I will get the people who voted for her. Now the question is, could she get the people who voted for me?"--remains *cough* to be *cough* seen. With a 48-state strategy, highly improbable.

Dems poised to snatch defeat: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) joined the dingbat chorus calling for Hillary to drop out. Someone, please, make 'em STFU! Such dumb rhetoric alienates Clinton voters, makes 'em more fiercely opposed to Obama. Heh.

Taylor Marsh: "To be blunt, Senator Patrick Leahy is exhibit A on why Democrats lose presidential elections. Some of these elite DC Democrats just don't know how to fight. It's the reason Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leder [sic] Reid find themselves beat on the PR campaign on Iraq at every turn. Bush has cleaned their clock." Spot on! Dem congressional leaders have behaved like spineless sell-outs.

TM also pointed to a very interesting primary analysis from Marc Ambinder via Jay Cost. Basically, the statement that "Hillary can't win" the nom, well, is speculative. Michigan and Florida are key. My take: If Dems want to lose in November, just go along with Obama's efforts to suppress those states' primary votes. If they're counted, Hillary could win the popular vote. No surprise, the Boy Blogz along with DC elites want her to quit the race. Why do they hate democracy?

If it's true that "superdelegates tend to listen to the media more than other entities" as Ambinder said, then it's time to get a letter-writing campaign going. I've already written my congress-critter. But the media...hmmmm. Time to organize, hit local and national press, no?

Krugman speaks! The truth about the Social Security trust fund. Don't believe those "scare-mongering" talking points that Obama spread. WTF does he know? Oh, wait. Spinning a controversy to attack Hillary and pandering appealing to homophobes swing voters... M'yeah. Politics as usual.

Another reason to get off the oil teat: As if there aren't a gabillion reasons, but pressuring Saudi Arabia to reform its barbaric practices must top the list. Beheadings, torture, warped medieval justice... its human rights abuses are legion. And we've helped make the oppressors rich. SSDD, eh? One thing you can do is save Fawza Falih's life. The Women's International Perspective offers a bunch of news links about Fawza's story, a women sentenced to death by beheading for allegedly using witchcraft to make a man impotent. Sign the petition here. Some forms of "sanctioned" slavery still exist.

If you're for comprehensive immigration reform, read Dave Neiwart's latest on the DREAM Act. Show your support. Sign up demanding "a pledge from Clinton, McCain, and Obama to enact the DREAM Act in their first 100 days."

Boing Boing! Best comment moderation policy I've ever read! I heart "disemvowelling." Thanks for the tip, Avedon.

Liss has a way with words that I envy. Whew: "Shorter Nicholas Kristof: Hillary's a bitch, and she only has a right to stay in the campaign if she behaves like a good girl. Also, the Clintons are an amorphous two-headed beast who are barely Democrats. . . Actually, Mr. Kristof, she has every right no matter what kind of campaign she runs. That's an American right, and it is operable for men and uppity bitches." (H/t Tom Watson)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Obama blog bias unveiled

Josh Marshall took the plunge changing TPM to the official non-official Obama Talking Points Memo.

BTD at TalkLeft provided the details. The gist:

By doing an attack video on Hillary Clinton, TPM demonstrates that not only has it become an Obama site, it is one of the most virulent and unfair of such sites.

Did Josh feel a thrill go up his leg?

Claptrap in the afternoon

Props to Suzie for her version of "If Clinton gave a speech on gender." Quite amusing. And poignant.

Unfortunately, my darn cat-like curiosity bested me and I clicked the Slate link. Big mistake. I must suffered a masochistic stroke 'cause I read as far as...

8) Men, we understand and honor that many of you are taking paternity leave and folding the laundry and eating takeout because we forgot to turn on the crockpot. We get that everything has changed very, very quickly, and it's hard to come home to a wife who's coming home at the same time. You are doing more than your dads ever did around the house, and we still get mad when you forget to clean out the lint filter. It's nuts. But it's getting better. Stay with us.

Thank the Goddess, my labrys-shaped mouse made it stop!

Back to the crossroads

PHOTO CREDIT: Peter Hellebrand of Rotterdam

I jumped on my wayback machine this morning to remember the moment long before Super Tuesday that crystalized my strident opposition to Obama, the No. 1 reason Barry never made my short list and never will: Donnie McClurkin.

As I flew through the liberal blogosphere in reverse, I found from October of 2007, like-mindedness from bloggers, some of whom have since flipped:

All might have been forgotten or forgiven between Barack Obama and the netroots over gospel singer/'gay-basher' Donnie McClurkin's appearance at an Obama Columbia, SC, gospel concert 10/28, but the fact that McClurkin emceed the event and reportedly "turned the final half hour of the three-hour concert into a revival meeting" became the last straw for many in the community. Reactions include:

* AMERICAblog's John Aravosis: "Obama's anti-gay religious right activist used the opportunity Obama gave him last night to preach his hate to thousands of African-Americans. That's just great. And the white preacher who Obama picked to help explain to the audience that gays aren't minions of Satan? CNN reports that he said nothing at all -- just a short little prayer, then he left. ... So, in the end, Obama let his "best" and "favorite" artist slam gays to thousands of African-Americans, in his name, and neither he nor his hand-chosen white gay preacher said anything in response. Class act, that Obama campaign."

* DailyKos' founder Markos Moulitsas: "It's an all-out implosion by the Obama campaign. This truly is indefensible."

* Open Left's Matt Stoller: "Obama's not a homophobe, he is probably more comfortable around gay people than any presidential candidate and he has a great record on LGBT rights. It is a significant incident though, because it's about priorities. ... This looks like Obama is giving a wink and a nod to bigots. ... It's not about positions and it never has been about positions, it's about constituencies and identity, and prioritizing your values. And it's not an accident, it's a choice."

* Atrios: "A fascinating thing about Democratic politics is that progressive activists, especially those in marginalized groups, are expected sit down and shut up and take it because they're supposed to be smart enough to know that nods and winks to bigots are just crass political maneuvers that candidates make to court votes."

* Fire Dog Lake's Jane Hamsher: "Obama's message of hope and bipartisanship stays positive by letting proxies do his dirty work for him. Sorry, no sale here."

* Pastor Dan at Daily Kos: "I tried to defend -- or at least recontextualize -- Barack Obama's association with Donnie McClurkin the other day, but the latest revelations are just too much. Clearly, Obama has thrown his lot in with defending a bigoted fathead. I kept hoping that he would take the appropriate steps to distance himself from said bigoted fathead, without much luck. If anything, he's even more tightly wrapped up in McClurkin now."

Obama's campaign did not help their cause by giving MSMers a three-page memo which included the following in all caps: "MCCLURKIN DOES NOT WANT TO CHANGE GAYS AND LESBIANS WHO ARE HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES AND HAS CRITICIZED CHURCH LEADERS WHO DEMONIZE HOMOSEXUALS." AMERICAblog's John Aravosis responds: "So David Duke's only problem, per the Obama campaign, is that he vilifies the happy Jews and the happy blacks? Keep digging, guys. Obama keeps making clear that he hasn't learned his lesson, he doesn't understand what he did wrong, and he will continue to coddle those who attack our community so long as it wins him votes and money."

The memo even led Open Left's Chris Bowers to stop defending Obama: "This isn't simply a mistake, despite what I first wrote. If the Obama campaign is not only keeping McClurkin as the headliner of the concert, but also issuing memos defending his views, producing videos endorsing McClurkin before the event, and then allowing McClurkin to emcee the event, it is pre-meditated, not a mistake."

I guess Hillary-hatred trumps everything. Amazing.

I can forgive missteps and overlook past errors, but I will not vote for anyone who panders to homophobes. That's a deal-breaker. I've heard the excuses and how Obama has allegedly redeemed himself by reaffirming gay/lesbian-friendly policies. But I don't trust his 'homophobic mishaps' compounded by the sexist crap that's rolled out of his mouth and through his campaign minions' teeth.

I solidly support Hillary who has marched in Gay Pride parades and openly declared her support for equal rights including a repeal of sections two and three of DOMA [cached text if the site won't load]. She's not a perfect candidate, but on LGBT rights coupled with women's issues among other positions, she eclipses Obama. Go read reporter Eric Resnick's experience with the BO's campaign. I'm sure others would argue for Barack but do us both a favor... Save it. I'm done arguing.

If Sen. Hillary Clinton does not win the Democratic nomination, which means I'll vote for a non-Democratic, alternative progressive candidate, then so be it. I will not vote for Obama.

I have sacrificed my vote for the greater good, a practice I've had to undertake with a pinched nose in the polling booth time after time. I've served my country long enough.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Belated Easter greetings

WTF? Another Easter egg hunt?! What about carrots? When you invite me to these events, do you even think about me? But, nooooo!

I've been away this weekend but I ran across a bunny rabbit that was quite perturbed. Can't blame him. 

Friday, March 21, 2008

Clinton vs. Obama on national security

Former Ambassador Joe Wilson:

Senator Clinton has a long and well documented history of involvement in many of critical foreign policy issues we have confronted and will continue to confront as a nation. Critics can quibble about the details of the health plan she fought for in the 1990s, or whether hers was the decisive or merely an important voice in the Northern Ireland peace efforts, but there can be no denying that she has been in the arena for a generation fighting for what she believes in, gaining experience and developing leadership skills. She has traveled the world and met with international leaders both as the First Lady and as a respected senator on the Senate Armed Services Committee. As NSC director on Africa I experienced her direct positive involvement in U.S.-African relations; it was she, as First Lady who advanced through her own travel, then urged and made possible President Clinton’s historic trip. In the Senate, she has aggressively exercised her oversight responsibility and held the Pentagon’s feet to the fire on plans related to withdrawal from Iraq, shaped legislation requiring reports to Congress, and cosponsored legislation with Senator Byrd to deauthorize the war with Iraq. She has exercised the levers of power because she knows how to do so. That is not a small thing; it is not a campaign theme. It is simply true and goes to the heart of whether she, or anyone, is prepared to be the president to manage at once two wars and a global economic crisis.

Senator Obama is clearly a gifted politician and orator. I disagree profoundly with his transparently political efforts to turn George Bush’s war into Hillary Clinton’s responsibility. I was present in that debate, in Washington, from beginning to end, and Obama was nowhere to be seen. His current campaign aides in foreign policy, Tony Lake and Susan Rice, were also in Washington, but they chose to remain silent during that debate, when it mattered.

Claims of superior intuitive judgment by his campaign and by him are self-evidently disingenuous, especially in light of disclosures about his long associations with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko. But his assertions of advanced judgment are also ludicrous when the question of what Obama has accomplished in his four years in the Senate is considered.

As the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee subcommittee on Europe, he has not chaired a single substantive oversight hearing, even though the breakdown in our relations with Europe and NATO is harming our operations in Afghanistan. Nor did he take a single official trip to Europe as chairman. This is the sum total of his actions in the most important responsibility he has had in the Senate. What are his actual experiences that reassure us that when the phone rings at 3 a.m. he will know what to do, which levers of power to pull, or which world leaders he can count on?

Obama has stated that he will rely upon his advisers. But how will he know which ones to depend upon and how will he be able to evaluate what they say? Already, one of his chief foreign policy advisers, Samantha Power, has been compelled to resign for, among other indiscretions, honestly revealing on a British television program that Obama’s public position on withdrawal from Iraq is not really his true position, nor does it reflect what he would do. Her gaffe exposed a vein of cynicism on national security. How confident can we be in his judgment? In fact, the hard truth is that he has no such experience.

Obama has tried to have it both ways on the issue of national security. On the one hand, he claims his intuition somehow would make him best equipped to handle the difficult challenges that face the next president. On the other hand, he tries to ridicule and dismiss as relatively insignificant the idea that actual experience with and intimate knowledge of foreign affairs and leaders, the U.S. military, the intelligence community, and the intricacies of diplomacy matter. He has even suggested that talking about the problems of national security amounts to exploitation of "fear." One of Obama’s fervent supporters, a Harvard professor named Orlando Patterson, who has no expertise in foreign policy, wrote absurdly in a New York Times op-ed that the 3 a.m. ad wasn’t about national security at all, but really a subliminal racist attack. Delusions aside, sometimes a discussion about national security is about national security.

See The Daily Howler on the racially-concocted dumb-assery of Patterson. Pro-Obama fans, surrogates, and Villagers have screamed race/race/race so often that the accumulated expulsions require a dumpster-sized pooper scooper. The Clintons have played the race card! Oh, puh-leeze, spare me. Think about it: "[I]ndulging in racial politics would be a sure-fire way for the Clinton campaign to shatter its own coalition," a tactic that defies logic, that would invite political suicide. For someone who allegedly "would do anything to win," the accusation makes zero sense.

What does make sense, what matters in a national security battle with John McCain for the White House:

There will, in fact, be 3 a.m. phone calls for the next president. They are not make believe. I have been there for such calls. The next president cannot be afraid or hesitant of handling the enormous national security crises that President Bush will leave behind. One thing is certain -- the calls will come. Obama has only an abdication of his chief senatorial responsibility as a basis for assessing what his judgment might be if and when the phone rings. Which of his shifting coterie of volatile advisers would he turn to? Will it be the one who repudiated his withdrawal plan, exposing his real intention, prior to being forced to resign? Or will it be those advisers who remained silent until politically convenient -- several years and several thousand lives after the shock and awe invasion, conquest and disastrous occupation of Iraq?

The calls are real and experience is real, too. The campaign might be treated as a game by the media, but those calls are serious, deadly serious.

I'm confident in the intelligence of Obama, that with more experience and demonstrable leadership, he can answer the call. But not yet. Not in 2009, when so many challenges--both economic and foreign crises--will remain in limbo or compounded until the current Incompetent vacates the Oval Office. But Hillary Clinton can answer those 3 a.m. calls. And she will in marked contrast to the disastrous Bush policies that a McCain presidency would continue.

As Wilson said, "She has exercised the levers of power because she knows how to do so." With "two wars and a global economic crisis," now is not the time to test someone unseasoned.

(H/t Lambert)

Creationism excommunication

Oh, sweet irony! Reading James Wolcott this morning, I was curiously moved to click through to a wickedly funny episode involving PZ Meyers.

Last evening, Meyers--a well-known critic of intelligent design, a biologist, and an advocate for science, and thus, evolution--attempted to attend the flick, Expelled, a "creationist propaganda movie." As he stood in line with his companions having reached the point of signing in and showing ID, he was asked by a police officer, and then subsequently by the theater manager, to leave the premises. Evidently, the producers had placed Meyers on a blacklist. A scientist who debunks myths masquerading as "science" apparently scares the bejesus out of certain quarters of the creationism movement. Here's the kicker:

They singled me out and evicted me, but they didn't notice my guest. They let him go in escorted by my wife and daughter. I guess they didn't recognize him. My guest was …

Richard Dawkins.

He's in the theater right now, watching their movie.

Tell me, are you laughing as hard as I am?

Hilarious!

I may have my own spiritual ideas, but I freely admit they are beliefs, not scientific fact. I'm quite comfortable co-existing with atheists on the subject of evolution over creationism, and I reject the creation story of Genesis, which I view as a metaphor not to be taken literally.

If ever the scientific method indisputably proves that there is an intelligent design to the universe, until such time, the concept is a belief system, a religious point of view. Never confuse the two: One is religion and the other is science.

I vote for science in the classroom. Beliefs do not belong in scientific curriculum. The war on science must end.

Second Coming: Return of the Goddess

The Second Coming: Return of the Goddess
Oil on canvas, 16”w X 20”h. Prints available here.

The vernal equinox, Ostara, a time for Eostara observances when the hours of daylight and night come into balance, seemed like an appropriate opportunity to explore the creation of a new story, a visual narrative based an old Christian myth that I long ago shed.

I'm taking a break from political preoccupations and celebrating the return of the Goddess with a different interpretation of what has been popularly known as the Second Coming.

A vast majority of Christians believe in a Second Coming of Jesus, some sort of Apocalypse, an Armageddon, a Rapture that will transpire in the near future. For millennia, this melodramatic myth has persisted yet the planet continues. Life goes on despite great catastrophes that have decimated wildlife, turned seas into deserts, split continents, and driven species to extinction over the course of billions of years. And yet Earth survives. Life moves on.

Has anyone thought that these disasters may be natural occurrences and part of a cycle of correction and rejuvenation? Ever notice how a burnt forest springs back to life more vibrantly after a fire? If our civilization continues at its present pace, ignoring the need to exist in harmony with nature, deaf to the trumpet to change behavior and confront the effects of global warming, we may indeed face an irreversible planetary crisis. Worse case scenario: The human species may not survive as we know it. Evolve? I pray so.

In the painting of The Second Coming: Return of the Goddess, I call for a return to balance, a spiritual correction that heralds the arrival of a female messiah in the form of a blue pasture rose symbolic of Holy Mother, Goddess, the sacred feminine. She has been subverted for far too long and we need her power to balance our male-dominated civilization, its preoccupation with achievement, colonization, and conquest with little regard for Mother Earth and life. The drive for progress has gotten out of kilter. Something's missing. What is it? I dare to say it is the other half of our divinity, our sacred feminine that's been disowned by both men and women.

To atone after tens of thousands of years of male domination, the way-showing Christ--the masculine aspect of divinity--calls forth and welcomes the return of the sacred feminine in the picture above. Together, the balancing complement of masculine and feminine spirituality heralds the dawning of a New Age, a transformation that restores heaven on earth in tune with all life, mind, body, and spirit.

When I hear End of Days or End Times, I want to say, good-bye and good riddance to out-dated patriarchal ways. I think of new beginnings, a time to balance, a time for correction, and a time for transformation culminated in a Second Coming that transcends and inspires. I think of the return of the Goddess--not in replacing God--but in Them joining together, equal at last.

Let it be so is my prayer for this day of equal light and dark.

IMAGE: For a larger version of the painting, click here and then click on the image for it to enlarge.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Michigan revote chances die

Yesterday, I noted that the DNC had approved a plan for a Michigan revote. Not so fast:

LANSING, Mich. — Chances for a June 3 do-over of the Democratic presidential primary in Michigan evaporated Thursday afternoon when the state Senate adjourned for two weeks without taking action.

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, a Republican, said he saw no point in taking up the primary legislation since Democrats loyal to candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama disagreed on whether to go forward.

Thursday was considered the last chance to pass a bill to allow a primary before the state Legislature left for a spring recess. Florida Democrats scrapped their proposal for a primary re-do Monday after facing obstacles inside the party and the presidential campaigns.

What else can I say but $@#*&^*%!

The ball is back in the DNC court. Surely, the Democratic Party wouldn't dare disenfranchise Michigan and Florida voters by not seating their delegates at the convention, would they? Crikey, what an obscene situation.

As a reminder, Riverdaughter's post on the DNC rules and Anglachel on trying to win the General Election without these critical states.

Ugly reality



Morning has spoken





Democratic presidential hopes dashed in November without FL or MI or OH or... or... Oh, go read Anglachel's Fun With The Electoral College for the scoop and analysis. (Via Bryan via Lambert)

Stained blue dress media -- Jeebus! Our fetid press corps converted Hillary's WH schedule into a fetish in another episode of Desperate Perverts. See also The worst, sleaziest press corps possible. Susie Madrak, also disgusted, plucked the jewel: "The enemy isn’t Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. It’s the corporate media." Amen, sister! Click the link, make the call, send email.

More Clinton-friendly bloggers! Thank goodness for patches of blue. Riverdaughter expands the list. (H/t to Tom) So we are not alone and we're rolling. But, by jennies! I need to update my blogroll. Always something to do. *Sigh*

Hating Hillary -- Bob Somerby wrote, "Barring some sort of extraordinary event, it’s hard to see how Hillary Clinton can end up getting the Dem nomination. So how did the Dem nomination fight flip? For one thing, Obama is an exceptional candidate in many ways (as is Clinton). And then too, the press corps helped—as they tried to do during Campaign 2000, when Bradley, their massive preference in the Dem race, was less outstanding than Obama. In 2000, Gore made it through. This year, the press corps interceded surprisingly late, but in three major ways..." I'll summarize briefly so go read The Daily Howler for the whole megillah.
(1)
The October debate, the "gang bang" perpetrated by Russert and Williams,
(2)
Nov. '07-Feb. '08, the press corps ravaged Hillary by "doing what they did to Gore from Day One—-taking every pointless event and turning it into a vast moral outrage..." and,
(3)
"the lurid novel the press corps began to type about race."
People need to wise up to how our media picks our presidents. Blog Boyz shamefully have aided and abetted. A pox on their Paypal accounts.

Feminist primer: Refresh yourself. Part I: Inhale and then Part II: Exhale. Now for some exercise: Shariah law and whether it's good for women. I don't think so, not at all, but some women do and that boggles my mind.

U.S. Media blackout on military atrocities -- Echidne quoted FAIR: "Dozens of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars gathered in Silver Spring, Maryland last weekend for the Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan hearings (3/13/08-3/16/08), where they offered harrowing testimony about atrocities they had witnessed or participated in directly." Click the link for details.

Name That Misogynist! Queensland Edition, a cleverly-written, amended news report about MWHW by Twisty.

Post mortem: The "shock and awe" of the incredibly clueless (and heartless) architects who gave us a five-year Iraq War anniversary.

Hecate wrote about the war anniversary and mentioned one of my favorite authors, Riane Eisler... how war is "a symptom of patriarchy...the Culture of the Blade, rather than the Culture of the Chalice."

Global warming: A new paper from NASA's Hansen concluded, "The stakes, for all life on the planet, surpass those of any previous crisis. The greatest danger is continued ignorance and denial, which could make tragic consequences unavoidable." Aha! The Armageddon that eschatologists have anticipated, a self-fulfilling prophecy if we don't radically change our ways.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Michigan revote approved by DNC

BTD speaks for me:

No excuse left for Barack Obama and his ardent supporters. Once so outraged by so called attempted "disenfranchisement" by Hillary Clinton, prove that their concern for the voters was false, as they either cheer or stand silent to Barack Obama's attempts to stop the revote in Michigan. The DNC has given... the thumbs up to the MI revote plan...

[Snip]

No more excuses Barack Obama. No more excuses Obama supporters who claimed a love for voters rights. Your hypocrisy is revealed. As they love to say, this is a question of what type of Democratic Party we will be - one that aims to enfranchise voters or disenfranchise them.

The FactHub offered Obama's record on his previous pledge for a Michigan revote and his arguments against it.

C'mon, Obama. You like to say it often... Yes, we can!

A more perfect union



Morning has spoken





Obama's speech
-- YouTube video link. Transcript PDF. Full text non-PDF (Courtesy Avedon). See also commentary from Watson, my good man, dday at Hullabaloo, and Glenn Greenwald at Salon. (H/t Tom).

Why We're Liberals: A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America by Eric Alterman, a review of his new book at Publishers Weekly. Need to update my reading list.

Anti-war Murtha endorsed Hillary -- Jeralyn at TalkLeft cited WashPo: " 'Her experience and careful consideration of [health care, education, the economy, and the war in Iraq] convinced me that she is best qualified to lead our nation and to bring credibility back to the White House,' Murtha said. He said he 'whole-heartedly' recommends Clinton to all voters in his state." That's some PA mojo.

Fighting for a Michigan revote: "Clinton is adding a quick trip to Detroit to her Wednesday campaign schedule in a high-profile push for a primary contest revote there so Michigan’s delegates are counted in the Democratic nomination fight." (The Caucus) C'mon, Obama. Stop resisting a revote. Go ahead. Just say it: Yes, we can!

Polls! McCain is up and beats both Barack and Hillary in favorability ratings. In PA, Clinton moves up, 53% to Obama's 41% among likely primary voters. TM

Notice to Hillary bloggers! If I'm taking TPM to task, then by jennies, I'm also holding Clinton bloggers accountable. They must end their unseemly affinity with "Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newsmax, and Fox News as sources to buttress their arguments that Obama is an unelectable dewdrop with a hate diploma from Jeremiah Wright's religious academy." So not credible, so wingnutty. Stop it!

Unsurprisingly, I agree with Wolcott regarding Obama's speech. I also "question that a 'conversation' or dialogue about race is what the country wants or needs right now--it may be a pedagogical aria that appeals to the political media elite and other word-crafters but occupies a plane irrelevant to most people's concerns as the economy implodes." Survival trumps everything.

More Rev. Wright videos -- "The alleged 'racist' nature of the United States government has been a recurring theme in sermon after sermon by Obama's longtime pastor." (ABC News) The Wright stuff isn't going away easily.

Belated St. Patrick's Day note -- Ireland hearts Hillary: Prime Minister Bertie Ahern "called Mrs. Clinton 'hugely helpful' in the process both as first lady and as a U.S. senator, and suggested some of the criticism of her are unfair." What are the criticisms? That she exaggerated her role in the Northern Ireland peace process. Video at the link.

P-FLAG rally scared Sally! Pam reported on a gay and lesbian protest at Oklahoma City over Rep. Sally Kern's homophobic tirade. She fled. "The door to Kern's office was locked and the lights were out following the rally. She did not return telephone calls from The Associated Press to her office and home seeking comment."

Lost environmental documents -- Before you chuck 'em, it's a good idea to scan 'em for the Internet. But the EPA didn't.

Gender-bashing wingnut Laura Ingraham mocked Brett Favre for crying at his retirement presser. "All these years, and I didn't know there was a woman quarterback in the NFL." (Thanks, Amanda.)

Unbelievable headline -- Cheney again links Iraq invasion to 9/11 attacks. Isn't it about time to conduct a psych evaluation of Dick?

Why lies work: "[A] paradox of social psychology, a problem for myth busters everywhere: repeating a claim, even if only to refute it, increases its apparent truthfulness." As Arachnae said, "It all starts to make sense now, everything from the War in Iraq to Rush Limbaugh." So that's why Cheney keeps pushing that Iraq-9/11 link.

Thank you, thank you! Mary at The Left Coaster said it nicely: "Kudos to the Democratic challengers who have come up with a very credible plan for getting out of Iraq. Here's to Darcy Burner, Donna Edwards, Chellie Pingree, Tom Perriello, Sam Bennett and Jared Polis." Check Darcy's website for video and PDF of "A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq."

Obama Talking Points Memo

Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler has written at length about the misleading commentary authored or endorsed by Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo. If you search Somerby's archive, you can find examples of Josh's lackluster performances and blatant wankery over the years. Also, check this archive at TalkLeft, where Armando (Big Tent Democrat), an Obama supporter, demonstrates how to blog fairly about both Clinton and Obama.

Two recent examples via Somerby's passing observation yesterday, when taken together, document TPM's favoritism of Obama and bias toward Clinton deceitfully honed. A caveat: Josh can endorse whomever he wants. What is problematic is how he presents his "reporting" as factually correct, when actually he distorts information to fit his point of view. Such misleading tactics one would expect from the sleazy wingnutosphere. Evidently, the liberal blogosphere has its own share of propagandists.

Monday, Josh tasked the notoriously fallacious Bill Kristol for citing Newsmax in his column that stated Obama had attended Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial service:

Bill Kristol forgets that fact-checking is important, even in a hit piece.

Later on Monday, Greg Sargent posted an update to the story:

In his latest column, Bill Kristol falsely claimed -- based on reporting by Newsmax, of all things -- that Obama had attended Trinity Church last July 22nd, when Wright blamed blamed [sic] the “arrogance” of the “United States of White America” for much global suffering.

The Obama campaign responded with an aggressive fact-check last night, saying that, no, in fact Obama was not at the service.

Somerby recalled that last month on the morning of February 25, Marshall used an unsubstantiated allegation from right-wing Matt Drudge as a source to smear the Clinton campaign as if fact-checking isn't important for him, but it is for Bill Kristol. Interesting double standard, no?

He just couldn't help himself in citing the spurious Mr. Drudge. The story was too juicy to hold up, insinuating that the Clinton camp was out to get Obama, reinforcing errant gossip that Barack might be a Muslim. He didn't "want to take Drudge as a fact witness for anything." But, waah! Waah! He just had to do it. Who or what made him post a Matt Drudge allegation?

Why it was those darn Clintons running "a terribly inept" campaign and the pressure of inquiring readers who were to blame. Not Josh. Heaven forbid.

He "pushed and pushed"--Bless his heart!--to get what he needed, a Clinton campaign response before he posted the specious Drudge allegation. When the Clinton camp didn't meet his idea of what he "knows" campaigns should say to unequivocally deny an allegation, to disavow that they had anything to do with the Obama dressed in Muslim garb photo, Josh plunged ahead to spread a Matt Drudge "hit piece" as if he was a victim of circumstance.

Of course, none of TPM's readers have any idea how Josh phrased his inquiry to the Clinton campaign before he posted, That Drudge Headline, because he didn't tell them. He didn't publish his line of questioning for transparency's sake--we're to trust his unfailing integrity--because he knows his readers don't come to TPM "to get insights into our editorial process." Odd, that he mentioned that last point.

Without verifying sources for hard evidence, he linked to the Greg Sargent's 9:50 AM posting of the Obama campaign's "David Plouffe condemning the Hillary campaign and saying it's part of a 'disturbing pattern' from Camp Hillary." Yet, no high-level Obama staffers offered "any evidence or info as to what happened beyond what appeared on Drudge."

Later on February 25 at 2:36 PM, Greg Sargent posted:

On a conference call with reporters just now, Hillary spokesperson Howard Wolfson strongly denied any official campaign role in pushing the photo of Obama in a turban and Somali garb.

Drudge reported this morning that Clinton staffers had "circulated" the photo. He didn't say who circulated it, what level of Clinton staffer had circulated it, or to whom it had been circulated. Drudge is the sole source for this email's existence. Nonetheless, the media has been all over the story today.

Josh couldn't wait to post a Matt Drudge "hit piece" on Clinton but what did Josh say in his afternoon follow-up to his rancid "reporting"?

On a conference call, Howard Wolfson just made pretty much the kind of 'loosely categorical' statement about the Obama picture that I said in the post below that we were surprised not to have heard. Here's our report on the conference call.

Not a hint of how Wolfson "strongly denied any official campaign role"--the type of explanation Josh expected for a campaign to provide when he "pushed and pushed"--and he described the denial as "loosely categorical." He merely offered a link to "our report on the conference call" without correcting his original erroneous "report."

Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler is right:

Incredibly, Marshall eventually linked to Sargent’s story—while pretending that Wolfson’s statement didn’t go beyond what had already been said. Not being stable-boys ourselves, we won’t bother to scoop Josh’s piles; you can limn his posts for yourself. But go ahead: Read his original post, then his update, then read his link to Sargent’s report. There’s nothing new here, the moo-cow said, as he linked to a report which opened like this:

“On a conference call with reporters just now, Hillary spokesperson Howard Wolfson strongly denied any official campaign role in pushing the photo of Obama in a turban and Somali garb.”

If you didn’t click on Josh’s link, you wouldn’t know how absurd his characterization was. But certain types have long played this game. The assumption: You rubes won’t bother to click on that link! Therefore, you won’t see that what has been said is pure, Grade A, moo-cow nonsense.

Fact-checking is important for Bill Kristol, "even in a hit piece." The right-wing, fact-challenged Newsmax isn't a reliable news source as Media Matters have repeatedly documented. The same is true about Matt Drudge.

But it's OK if you're Josh Marshall to use Clinton-hating, right-wing Drudge as a source without checking facts. Josh called his post "reporting." That's a quaint term for sophistry.

When the dubious wingnut Bill Kristol doesn't get his facts straight, using a proven unreliable source, Josh and Greg pounced on the "hit piece." Why? Kristol had linked Obama with the Rev. Wright controversy. Damage control had flung into full throttle.

Does Josh commit to the same level of diligence when the Democratic candidate is Hillary? No. Not as "a generally subtle, practitioner of Clinton Derangement Syndrome." He's been silent on the sexist crap. And that leaves plenty of doubt about his objectivity when his misleading spin and the "slide-toward-propaganda" thoroughly undermines and discredits "Josh Marshall’s once-superlative work."

Tell me why I ought to ever consider TPM a credible blog on news stories in the future?

Shilling for Obama must pay well. Isn't it time for a name change? Obama Talking Points Memo sounds about right.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The morning after edition

Florida, the Wright stuff, boyz blaming Hillary, and more




No Florida revote! May be old news to some but what's next.

For those who would like to understand the DNC rules affecting Michigan and Florida, see Riverdaughter for in-depth details.

Peter Daou's email about the litany of Obama campaign's attacks on Hillary Clinton is online via eriposte (H/t Avedon). I had already decided that Sen. Obama's new kind of politics spiel didn't pass the smell test. In Iowa, he criticized John Edwards over a 527 ad "attacking no one." But Barack fell mute over a dubious 527 radio ad in Nevada that smeared Hillary and supported him. Furthermore, as eriposte said, "Some of the top "progressive" bloggers have either been wilfully [sic] blind to the campaign tactics of Sen. Obama or given him a pass while going after Sen. Clinton in a very ugly and mendacious manner."

Another hat tip to Avedon for pointing me to Bryan of Why Now? to peruse his Florida archive over the DNC's cock-up of the state's primary and its delegates. I've noted before the Florida Jan. 29 date was about "a property tax initiative [that Democrats] had hope[d] to defeat... on the ballot that day." Glad to read a Florida blogger's viewpoint, and learn about the FL lawsuit against the DNC.

Boyz blaming Hillary -- I've thought it but Anglachel penned it beautifully so props are in order. What's up with "the murderous misogyny of the A-List Blogger Boyz and their grad school mentality"? "It's all about Iraq and their own guilty consciences." They were for the war before they were against it, "all rah-rah war supporters when it first began." And they were wrong. Had they been U.S. senators, would they have voted, "Yea!" for the AUMF? I'm guessing in a snap. Watching the drama unfold, witnessing the pillory of Hillary as if the Blog Boyz had morphed into Beltway hacks or right-wing freaktards has been creepy. Talk about divisive! Go read Anglachel's entire post. I'm leaving out points for the sake of brevity. Caution: Don't lump Atrios into the boyz group.

Who wrote this of Hillary? "She is willing -- nay, eager to split the party apart in her mad pursuit of power." Answer: Someone who has lost his kewl and many who have fled in protest. Cap'n Ahab is willing to split his blog apart in his obsession to harpoon Clinton. I whole-heartedly agree with Lambert: GFY, Kos.

The Wright stuff -- Obama's favorable ratings have slipped five points in five days and "lost ground" to McCain. Taylor Marsh offered the good, the bad, and the ugly of Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. At Shakesville, Melissa McEwan talked about Amanda Marcotte's post on "media's fixation on the beliefs" of Rev. Wright and their "indifference" to the religious extremists of the GOP, and then hits the core issue of religious litmus tests and separation of church and state. My two cents: There's too much religion enmeshed with politics.

Time's managing editor Rick Stengel used the Wright controversy to flip it against Ferraro and Clinton on Tweety's freak show. Shameless.

More immigration factoids from Orcinus and that "noxious" term, illegals.

Got an email about Elton John's concert for Hillary. One night only, Radio City Music Hall, April 9. Tickets and info on the Elton-Hillary Event Committee.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lambda Literary Awards

The 20th Annual Lambda Literary Awards nominated my friend Kittredge Cherry as a finalist in the LGBT Arts and Culture category for her breakthrough book, Art That Dares. I'm tickled for Kitt! She deserves the recognition for her hard work in creating a history-making art book.

You can read a summary about the book at Cherry's Jesus In Love website. I've typed the beginning grafs from the Introduction (pg. 7) of my personal copy signed by Kitt to give you a flavor of what's inside:

Two dramatic new visions are coming into consciousness: the gay Jesus and the woman Christ. They break gender rules and gender roles. Their very presence stirs controversy. These radically new Christ figures embody and empower people who are left out when Jesus is shown as a straight man. They can free the minds of everyone who sees them.

Artists who dare to show Christ as gay or female have had their work destroyed--if they can find a way to exhibit it at all. Now for the first time these beautiful, powerful, sometimes shocking images are gathered together for all to see.

Art That Dares features the work of eleven brave, visionary artists who portray the gay Jesus, the woman Christ, and more. Here they tell the stories behind the images, including the controversies that erupted when the art was exhibited. In some cases the artists faced censorship, hate mail, violence, death threats, and/or vandalism that destroyed their work. Many were accused of blasphemy. Religious freedom clashed with freedom of expression, raising important legal issues. The most virulent opposition came from the religious right, but some were also criticized by feminists and queers for being too Christian.

The paintings, photographs, and sculpture selected for Art That Dares were done over the last thirty years by a diverse group of artists. Most work was done independently, in isolation from the others. Each arrived at the revolutionary images in a unique way. They run the gamut from well established to emerging artists. They are women and men of various races and ethnicities who come from both the United States and Europe. They are among the best of a growing number of artists all over the world who do queer or female Christ figures (Comparable images from Africa and Australia could not be included due to limited resources.)

The artists in this book stand both inside and outside the institutional church. Their religious backgrounds include Buddhism and Judaism as well as Christianity. Some still claim those traditions, while others decline to label their current spirituality. A few hold official church positions. All tried to portray Jesus in a way that honors his life and teachings. The profiles in Art That Dares are based on the author's interviews with the artists, their written statements, and/or news reports.

Full disclosure: I'm one of the "daring" artists in her book:

Jill Ansell
F. Douglas Blanchard
Alex Donis
Becki Jayne Harrelson
Robert Lentz
Janet McKenzie
William Hart McNichols
Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin
Edwina Sandys
Gary Speziale
Sandra Yagi

At Amazon, you can "look inside" and read an excerpt of Kitt Cherry's enchanting prose with a historical bent that hopefully you'll find as fascinating, inspiring, and educational as I do.

I'm crossing my fingers that when the Lambda presenter opens the envelope during the Lambda Literary Awards ceremony in West Hollywood, May 29, the announcement, "And the winner is..." will be followed by "Kittredge Cherry."

POSTSCRIPT: Reading the customer reviews of the book at Amazon one can understand why Kitt was nominated as a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.