Wednesday, April 30, 2008

For the record

Lambert at Corrente is the author of "Chutzpah on race from Mr. Hopey." Maybe James Wolcott will update his article giving credit where credit is due.

I also don't think of lambert as a cynic. Delightfully sarcastic, yes, as is Wolcott, one of my favorite writers. Funny un-ha-ha that JW didn't notice the satire since he can certainly dish it up like "flaming shish kebabs." One other aside to Wolcott's column: he failed to mention the insidious misogyny of the A-List bloggers who propagated the WWTSBQ rift in the 'sphere. I blame the omission on that nagging shoulder hoverer called word count. The subject could consume an entire VF edition if treated fairly sans girlish soft porn on the cover.

I attempt to acknowledge bloggers who coin clever terms such as "The Precious" by Anglachel.

And moi minted the Orange Sippy Cup™ for that blog also known as the Orange Satan (don't know the author of the latter.)

If I use a blogerrific term without giving credit to the authoring blogger--and you know who originated it--just email me or leave a comment. I will gladly recognize the blogger with a special credit line.

Kiss, kiss.

The delusional based community

The Orange Sippy Cup™ King audaciously claimed he's part of the reality-based community because, yo! He criticized Obama for appearing on Faux News. Moulitsas pronounced:

"Yo people, Obama isn't beyond reproach or criticism. I want him to win the primary and the general, but I ain't gonna keep my mouth shut and carry his water when I disagree with him. If you have a problem with it, you might want to go elsewhere, because this is the reality based community, not the 'Obama can do no wrong' community...."

Reality based? Then explain why the Kiddie King got his facts all a-jumbled with Obama talking points advanced by Axelrod that are wrong, wrong, wrong. Sipping that BO Kool-Aid again, eh, Kos?

Several liberal bloggers are criticizing Clinton for supporting a gas tax holiday that she opposed during her 2000 Senate campaign:

Moulitsas slams "Clinton's shameless hypocrisy on the fuel tax": "Honestly, why take the 18 cents out of the federal budget? Why not take it out of the oil company profits? The $10 billion in revenue the federal government would lose, at a time when our roads are crumbling and bridges literally collapsing, is only a quarter of Exxon Mobil's annual profits. [...] And that's just Exxon Mobil, excluding every other Big Oil company. Add them all up, and $10 billion would be but a blip in their balance sheet. So why do McCain and Clinton want to penalize the federal government at a time of record oil profits?"

Oh, nice spiel associating Hillary with Republican McCain on the issue. Don't expect a CDS sufferer like Kos to be able to fact check himself. The 2000 propaganda advanced by--Surprise! War-profiteering General Electric's NBC!--is wrong (with emphasis):

NBC's First Read implies that Hillary's plan for a gas tax holiday contradicts her position in 2000. This is false.

Hillary's plan today is financed exclusively with a tax on windfall profits from oil companies. She opposed a plan in 2000 for a gas tax holiday because it was financed with transportation funds:

"Clinton, whose daughter, Chelsea, joined her on the campaign trail for the first time yesterday in Manhattan, contends that getting rid of the gas tax would eliminate the funding stream for important transportation projects in New York and elsewhere…" [Newsday, 6/27/00]

"While New York sends $300 million a year to Washington in gas taxes, Clinton said it gets back $477 million in highway funding annually. The first lady said Lazio's plan would have a 'damaging impact' on the state." [Associated Press, 6/27/00]

The OSCK must have a dedicated email account for Obama's chief political/media advisor and Chicago Daley's former PR strategist David Axelrod. The Kiddie King can disseminate BO's BS quicker than projectile diarrhea. The facts:

This afternoon [4/28] on Hardball, Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, falsely claimed that Hillary's plan to suspend the gas tax this summer would be financed by diverting funds for federal transportation projects:

He'll invest in our infrastructure, which badly needs it. We know that. That's one of the reasons this diversion from the federal highway trust fund that Senator McCain and Clinton have proposed makes no sense.

This is false. Hillary's plan is financed by a tax on the windfall profits of oil companies. Details here.

To summarize Hillary's plan:

  • Imposing a windfall profits tax on oil companies and using the money to suspend the gas tax for the peak summer months;

  • Closing $7.5 billion in oil and gas loopholes and using the funds to provide assistance for lower-income families to pay their energy and grocery bills;

  • Cracking down on speculation by energy traders and market manipulation in oil and gas markets that are driving up the price of oil by at least $20 a barrel;

  • Pressuring OPEC to increase oil production, including by filing a WTO complaint against OPEC countries

  • Stopping new additions to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and standing ready to release oil to counter market spikes and reduce volatility.

Details at the link with this opening line: "Hillary will impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies and use the money to temporarily suspend the 18.4 cent per gallon federal gas tax and the 24.4 cent per gallon diesel tax during the upcoming peak summer driving months."

The OSCK falsehoods are a disgrace to the reality-based community. Pro-Clinton bloggers deserted the the Orange Sippy Cup™ for a saner environment "sick and tired of being sick and tired over the hate, ignorance and hostility directed at Hillary and her supporters." Former diarist alegre called for writer's strike stating she would "refrain from posting [at DKos] as long as the administrators allow the more disruptive members of our community to trash Hillary Clinton and distort her record without any fear of consequence or retribution."

Distorting Hillary's record... wonder where the Kossacks got that idea? The Kiddie King sets the standard.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's Clinton's fault

Incurable CDS sufferers see only one person to blame: Hillary.

Someone has been gulping too much Kool-Aid:

There was little doubt left in today's remarks by Obama, who recently said he could no more disown Wright than he could the black community. He pretty much disowned Wright today. Obama described himself as "outraged" and "saddened" by "the spectacle of what we saw yesterday."

But now, it turns out, we should have been paying a little less attention to Wright's speech and the histrionics of his ensuing news conference and taken a peek at....

who was sitting next to him at the head table for the National Press Club event.

It was the Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds, a former editorial board member of USA Today who teaches at the Howard University School of Divinity. An ordained minister, as New York Daily News writer Errol Louis points out in today's column, she was introduced at the press club event as the person "who organized" it.

But guess what? She's also an ardent longtime booster of Obama's sole remaining competitor for the Democratic nomination, none other than Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York. It won't take very much at all for Obama supporters to see in Wright's carefully arranged Washington event that was so damaging to Obama the strategic, nefarious manipulation of the Clintons.

Could someone book a few rooms the psych wing for delusional press members and Hillary-haters suffering from advanced CDS? On second thought, may need to build a hospital dedicated to 'em... a big one.

IMAGE: An alteration of M.C. Escher's Eye.


Perfect timing

Obama chose today to reject his pastor of 20 years.

Today, Obama repudiated Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the controversial pastor whom Bob Herbert described as being on an “I’ll show you!” tour. Herbert also emphasized a few points--although portraying the pastor in an unflattering light--about Wright:

The thing to keep in mind about Rev. Wright is that he is a smart fellow. He’s been a very savvy operator, politically and otherwise, for decades. He has built a thriving, politically connected congregation on the South Side of Chicago that has done some very good work over the years. Powerful people have turned to him for guidance and advice.

So it’s not like he’s na├»ve politically. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Forget the gibberish about responding to attacks on the black church. That is not what the reverend’s appearance before the press club was about. He was responding to what he perceives as an attack on him.

This whole story is about Senator Obama’s run for the White House and absolutely nothing else.... ...My guess is that Mr. Wright felt he’d been thrown under a bus by an ungrateful congregant who had benefited mightily from his association with the church and who should have rallied to his former pastor’s defense....

...For Senator Obama, the re-emergence of Rev. Wright has been devastating. The senator has been trying desperately to bolster his standing with skeptical and even hostile white working-class voters. When the story line of the campaign shifts almost entirely to the race-in-your-face antics of someone like Mr. Wright, Mr. Obama’s chances can only suffer.

Beyond that, the apparent helplessness of the Obama campaign in the face of the Wright onslaught contributes to the growing perception of the candidate as weak, as someone who is unwilling or unable to fight aggressively on his own behalf.

Hillary Clinton is taunting Mr. Obama about his unwillingness to participate in another debate. Rev. Wright is roaming the country with the press corps in tow, happily promoting the one issue Mr. Obama had tried to avoid: race.

Mr. Obama seems more and more like someone buffeted by events, rather than in charge of them. [Emphasis added.]

Not so fast! Obama struck back:

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Sen. Barack Obama today strongly criticized the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor, saying that Wright's comments about the United States in recent days have been "appalling" and "outrageous."

Using his sharpest language yet to describe a series of Wright performances that he said left him angry and sad, Obama accused Wright of exploiting racial divisions at the same time the Illinois senator is aiming to heal them and bring the nation together.

"When I say I find these comments appalling, I mean it," Obama told reporters in firm and somber tones. "It contradicts everything I'm about and who I am. Anybody who has worked with me, who knows my life, who has read my books, who has seen what this campaign is about I think will understand it is completely opposed to what I stand for and where I want to take this country."

Obama, calling reporters together for the second time in 24 hours to address an issue that threatens to weaken his campaign, said he decided to speak out after watching videotape of Wright's theatrical performance at the National Press Club, where he attacked the U.S. government and Obama alike....

..."I have spent my entire adult life trying to bridge the gap between different kinds of people. That's in my DNA, trying to promote mutual understanding. To insist that we all share common hopes and common dreams as Americans and as human beings. That's who I am," Obama said.

"Yesterday, we saw a very different vision of America," he went on. "I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday. . .There has been great damage," Obama said. "I do not see the relationship being the same after this." [Emphasis added.]

It's seemed odd to me that Wright chose the past few days to defend his brand of theology and himself in a highly-visible manner. Why not wait until after the election? What was the rush? Why provide more fodder to add to inflammatory sound bites that could come back to haunt Obama? It didn't make sense, since after all, Wright understood that Obama was a politician. He had predicted in an interview more than a year ago, "If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me. . . I said it to Barack personally, and he said, 'Yeah, that might have to happen.' "

Barry needed to rid himself of a longtime association that's hurt him politically. He needed to remove the potential damage that could be inflicted in a fight with McCain. Wright's media blitz followed by Obama's rejection today brought the controversial relationship to a head, their ties now officially severed.

With upcoming primaries and questions about Obama's electability that could affect superdelegate decisions, the break between candidate and pastor was perfectly timed, no?


IMAGES: Montage comprised of AP photos by Jae C. Hong, an Obama campaign image, AP photo of Rev. Wright by J. Scott Applewhite, and stock imagery.


Working class meme

Quick! Change the subject:

...the meme is circulating that Obama’s problem is that white working-class voters are all a bunch of Archie Bunkers who are too racist to vote for him. This meme is being pushed aggressively by the Obama campaign, especially after the huge Pennsylvania loss. Straight from Axelrod’s mouth to the pages of the New York Times, where it’s dressed up as thoughtful analysis.

The purpose of the racist meme is fivefold:

1. To distract from Obama’s real weakness — that he has nothing to offer working people and can’t get them to vote for him to save his damn life;
2. To excuse his failure by instead blaming the voters;
3. To imply that the only reason people vote for Hillary is because they’re racists, which just goes to show how nasty and icky Hillary is;
4. To subliminally remind people that the Clintons themselves are racists, at least according to the Obama campaign;
5. To once again mine the seemingly inexhaustible vein of white guilt that sends shivers up the legs of the liberal elites.

The constant repetition of the phrase “white working class” (or variations thereon) is crucial to propagating the meme. And it’s false, because it erases Latino/Latinas along with every other non-AA ethnic group, and shifts the focus away from “working class” (which is where it belongs).

So please, stop saying white working class. Don’t play into Axelrod’s game.

P.S. Similar thing with older voters.

The media has been all too willing to accommodate the meme. Why are they carrying water for the Obama campaign?

From this morning, Google News search results for white+working+class

The meme continues with the latest twist toward Wright. Chicago Sun-Times op/ed from today:

Obama's key challenge in Indiana is wresting blue-collar white voters from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).... ...One Obama adviser, who declined to be identified in order to speak candidly, said Wright has become a "huge distraction. At a time when Obama is trying to appeal to blue-collar and working-class voters, Jeremiah Wright is dragging this campaign into a conversation about race . . . and that's not what white voters want to hear."

A new Gallup poll out today explains that the difference in preference between Clinton and Obama is education, but... ahem! Their survey included an "overall sample of 7,999 non-Hispanic white Democratic voters." Politico picked up the meme in a report on former Edwards supporter, now endorsing Clinton, Gov. Easley of NC:

...[Easley] does carry a popular name and a symbolic validation of her central argument: That she, better than Obama, connects with the working-class white people who are traditional swing voters.... ..."Her numbers went up in the same demographic she controlled in Pennsylvania to win – which is white male, specifically blue collar white males," said Dean Debnam, president of North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling, which found Monday that Clinton had cut Obama's lead from 25 percentage points to 12. "Obama had been pulling closer to her in the white vote, and she had regained that strongly in the past week."

However, an editorial from Vermont breaks from the script:

The implication of articles in the New York Times and Washington Post, and in the opinions of some commentators is, of course, that Hillary Clinton had better quit before she alienates African Americans by attacking Barack Obama and kills the party's chances in November....

...There is racism in America, to be sure, but are those people likely to vote for any Democrat? No, they aren't. They haven't for decades; why should they start now?

Among working class Democrats, the issues are strictly economic, stupid.... ...Working class Americans see themselves as shafted in an economy dominated as never before in the memory of most families by the upper middle classes and the wealthy. Those people — many of the college-educated liberals who favor Sen. Obama — are seen as taking an ever-widening slice of the economic pie and leaving crumbs for those near the bottom. In that sense, they are viewed almost in the same light as upscale Republicans. [Emphasis added.]

The focus on voters diverts attention from solutions. Who's the best candidate to deliver an upturn in jobs and the economy? Who's fighting for working-class Americans? The Obama camp would rather play a game than answer the question.


POSTSCRIPT: Via Lambert.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Still sexist after all these years

A larger image of the cartoon available at Cornell University Library.

Egalia of Tennessee Guerilla Women stopped by to comment on Olberman's misogynistic hate speech against Hillary. So I popped over to TGW and found this:

Who is Keith Olbermann? With the aid of the in-your-face caption: A Slut and Battery, Keith Olbermann reports in the video clip (2006) below that Paris Hilton was "punched in the face." To the laughter of the boys in the background, Olbermann opines that Paris Hilton has "had worse things happen to her face." Taking vicious shots at young celebrities is a routine feature on Olbermann's show. But there is one rule, Keith's shots are always fired at women. Cuz, just like in the 1950s, girls are sleazy sluts and boys are honorable studs.

Egalia has the KO video clip. She also quoted Sandi Burtseva from 2007. The grafs that jumped to my attention via Burtseva were her insights into KO's denigration of Paris Hilton:

Regardless of how astute his political criticism is, I am no longer willing to tolerate Keith Olbermann’s misogyny. Olbermann has a nasty habit of making sexist, derogatory statements about female celebrities. The things he’s said are shameful and should never have been uttered, let alone on television. While he is certainly not alone in his reprehensible treatment of women, Olbermann is widely admired by progressives; unlike other trashy gossip commentators, he must be held to progressive standards....

...Bloggers pointed out that he kept [“A Slut and Battery" regarding Paris Hilton] on the screen for 20 seconds of a 32-second clip, but I don’t see the relevance. Even if he’d only thrown it up long enough to read, this caption (coupled with the vitriol he spewed) tells us everything we need to know about Olbermann’s attitude toward women:

  • He thinks it is acceptable to judge women for their sexual choices.
  • He thinks women who make particular sexual choices are to be taken less seriously when they claim to have been assaulted.
  • He thinks it’s amusing to, um “cleverly” invert a phrase often associated with domestic violence and use it to belittle women.

My former admiration notwithstanding, I dismissed Olbermann then and there, but it seems many others have been willing to give him a second chance. It is my unfortunate duty to note that Olbermann persists in his misogyny.

On Monday, Olbermann devoted some airtime to that most important of world events: Britney Spears’ hairstyle choice. (Story number two, for anyone keeping track, was a similarly distasteful, if slightly more reserved, bashing of the late Anna Nicole Smith. He began his coverage by calling Spears a “pop tart and went on to opine that “… the question now turns to what was she thinking, if not what was she on…”

In the eyes of Olbermann and his ilk, Spears made two mistakes: She dared to be overtly sexual and she dared to shed one of the defining markers of her femininity. I neither know nor care how much sex Spears has and with whom, or why she shaved her head, but I have this radical proposition: In spite of the fact that she’s made sexy music videos, Spears’ body is her own and should not be subjected to Olbermann’s disgusting views.

Both Burtseva and egalia alerted me to something I did not know, not being a KO or MSNBC viewer: Olbermann's pattern of misogyny.

More disturbing, the SCLB's A-List Blog Boyz have watched KO's sexist inclinations and either didn't notice or shrugged indifferent. Misogyny on display? Where? Last, year, Jessica Valenti at Feministing exhumed the Orange Sippy Cup™ King's brain-dead denial:

Markos on Kathy Sierra and female bloggers being harassed and getting death threats:

Look, if you blog, and blog about controversial shit, you'll get idiotic emails. Most of the time, said "death threats" don't even exist -- evidenced by the fact that the crying bloggers and journalists always fail to produce said "death threats".

So let me get this straight: blogging about the oh-so-controversial world of software development means you should expect to get death threats. After all, nothing brings out the crazies like tech-talk. And besides, she probably made it all up anyway.

...Email makes it easy for stupid people to send stupid emails to public figures. If they can't handle a little heat in their email inbox, then really, they should try another line of work.

I mean come on, if you can't handle your address and social security number being published along with threats of rape, hanging, suffocation and death--you're a fucking lightweight.

Seriously though, it's one thing to argue--as Markos does--that a blogger code of conduct would be ineffective. Fine. But dismissing online misogyny and Sierra's experience (without even bothering to do any research on the subject, to boot) is reprehensible. Though predictable given the source.

I unplug when I paint as I did last year for an art exhibition and I missed, as we headed into the primary season, a key understanding: misogyny has been festering amongst the fauxgressive patriarchs of the SCLB. Unleashing it like a volcanic eruption, they targeted Hillary Clinton with a vengeance.

Why is it mostly up to female bloggers to call out sexism? Is anti-feminism so entrenched that fauxgressive men can't shake the legacy of patriarchy to invade, subvert, colonize, and oppress? Is it what Jeff Fecke of Shakesville reiterated in the blindness of privilege?

It takes work to see evidence of oppression when one is not the one being oppressed. It is far easier to simply ignore it, even when one knows one shouldn't.

Also at Shakesville, Melissa McEwan blogged about "a very common misperception that sexism is subjective." Go read her essay. I couldn't do it justice with a fragment.

Some progressive men get it. A few male bloggers I read regularly--Tom Watson, Joseph Cannon, Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler, and Jeff Fecke--do (and certainly more than I follow). Why can Watson, Cannon, Somerby, and Fecke identify and criticize sexism but WKJM and the Orange Sippy Cup™ King don't? Keith Olbermann doesn't but he's an imperious cog in a media machine that rewards ratings, ad revenue, and corporate profits more than truth and justice. I expect better from the liberal blogosphere. The best explanation that I've read recently came from Anglachel:

...why are so many middle and upper-middle class men, typified by the A-List Blogger Boyz, who claim to be progressives such virulent anti-feminists? My answer is rational self-interest, also known as weeding out the competition.

Another way of putting it is why, if white racism is so persistent in this nation, why does this slender sliver of America appear immune to its siren call? Why does Hillary Clinton scare the crap out of the guy who kidnapped Josh Marshall, but he feels no anxiety (that he'll admit to) around The Precious? We can go into analysis of oedipal fantasies and the pervasive influence of patriarchy, yadda yadda, but my point is that this cohort of dudz is exactly the one that claims to be "post-" all those nasty -isms.

The answer is surprisingly simple. They face a lot of competition from white women for their social and economic successes, but not very much from black men. They get a lot more payoff from bashing, dominating, and fucking over women than they do from doing that to men of any color. They can get solidarity from the guyz against the hos. This cannot fully explain the anti-feminist behavior of self-identified liberal men, but it's one hell of a contributing factor.

In Maslow's hierarchy of needs, survival trumps self-actualization. Elbows starting flying when the watering hole gets crowded. All the talk about post-partisan unity gets lost in the mud because vision doesn't address the reality of the oppressed; one must design solutions with a commitment to execute them. When those solutions undermine the privileged class that's fighting to control the watering hole, commitment evaporates. Poof!

Until women and men who love women commit to solving "all those nasty -isms," sexism will to continue to thrive. So who's ready?

CREDITS: Fauxgressive, a term I picked up from Melissa McEwan of Shakesville, where one can also read Jeff Fecke.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Media and Republicans: BFF

Must-read column every Friday: Jamison Foser at MediaMatters.org.

Yesterday's column headline sums up the present state of media bias...

The media render the RNC obsolete

The media favor Republicans. What you need to know when you watch, listen, and read... The media favor Republicans.

A side note: Tony Snow, former Faux News anchor/Bush's WH press secretary, has joined CNN. Wolf Blitzer must get exhausted acting as a press agent for John McCain.

Malignant Absurdity, Vol. I

Cropped image of The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893.
Oil, tempera, and pastel on cardboard.

I usually scroll past comments that express outrageously sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and general wingnuttia but maybe taking the temperature of BlogHell can heighten the awareness of the Malignant Absurdity™ that's eating away people's brains with divisiveness and hatred.

Something to ponder: are the authors below incurable wacky-doodle bigots or a vanguard of a concerted ratfucking effort? If you're unfamiliar with the term, ratfucking, a Wiki definition: "...an American slang term for political sabotage or dirty tricks. It was first brought to public attention by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their book All the President's Men. Read on for details.

IOW, are Republican operatives (who refined ratfucking into a dark art) spoofing Obama or Clinton supporters to alienate voter blocs from the candidates and Democrats in general?

WARNING--highly offensive snippets ahead.

Last night's stumbling-upon comments... Clinton-bashing, misogyny, racism, verbal violence, and Obama disinformation via a WashPo post on Clinton in Indiana at The Trail:

Clinton is st8 ridiculous. Everyone knows men and women are different. The rest of the world knows this. Muslims keep their women in check. It's time for real men in America to do the same. If your a real dude, keep your women in the kitchen. The 21st Amendment was the worse thing to happen to America. It's time to take this woman out. The politics of change is here, and we got a skirt - thanks to the liberal media - and elite white ppl who are on some messed up idealogoical sh**. Men and women are different; history does not lie, and the rest of world doesn't either. This is troubling times we're in, and we need the politics of change. Hillary get yourself back in the hot kitchen. Real dudes, keep your woman from voting (thats the only group she got along with racist white folk), and keep them and Hillary in the kitchen where they belong. Our time has come, move over. 1.

Posted by: Treyshaun1 | April 25, 2008 8:49 PM

Treyshaun1, my brother. Once again your words bring tears to my eyes. When I see your comments on various blogs, I know that there will hope and real black leaders in the future. I can only pray that my son will have half your strength. It is time for us to unite and take this woman out. We've come a long way, and we got this woman whose still stuck in la la land. Racism is alive and well in this country, and these white folk will get whats coming to them. Our time has come, hehe. Treyshaun, my brother, stay up. 1.

Posted by: Masai Hanley | April 25, 2008 8:53 PM

The next poster, JakeD, politely corrects the erroneous reference to the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition--the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote--and he also noted, "this is the second time I've seen it (mistakenly) used against [Clinton]." Hmmm, curious, isn't it? Followed by another raving wacky doodle, further descent into depravity:

I used to work hard and I used to follow the American Dream and tried to pick myself up from the bootstraps and provide opportunities for my children that I didn't have. I kept quiet and worked hard. I was accountable for my own actions, and knew that I determined my destiny. I would rise and fall by my own merits. But I have learned something from black people.

I HATE WHITE PEOPLE. Saying this, believing this, and blaming my economic situation on white people will get white people's attention. This is the lesson I've learned from black people. It works. I think I will now proceed to rob white people, kill white people, rape white people, and blame all my problems on white people.

Hard work has gotten me nowhere. I thank black people and white people stupid enough to listen to them for showing me that the American Dream is dead and traditional American values are dead. We live in a new era, and I'm ready for the CHANGE.

KILL WHITEY, RAPE WHITEY, ROB WHITEY IS THE NEW WAY OF THE FUTURE.

Posted by: Mexican President | April 25, 2008 8:58 PM

JakeD - your one intelligent white man (sarcasm added). Thank you sir, for correcting my brethren. I bet it makes you happy when we tripped up on one detail. Treyshaun is right though, we have the politics of CHANGE. And we got a racist skirt whose stopping the change for her own selfish ambitions. And its white folk like you who like focus on ever misstatement or mistake that black males make. Why don't you focus on your own pathetic life and your own inadequacies, time's are changing, and your time is done. My boy Treshaun, 1.

Posted by: Masai Hanley | April 25, 2008 9:01 PM

Mexican President,
Are you serious? No one cares about your people or Asians. I'm tired of white folk talking about how successful Asians are, or why is it that some slant-eyed dude from the Orient can do well on SAT's, get into good schools, and get good jobs without affirmative action. Or why can't blacks work as hard as Mexicans. I'll tell u what boy, we ain't like u. We're not as stupid as Latinos and Asians to be toiling for the white man and trying to assimalate into his racist culture. We live in a government of white sponsored racism. If Latinos and Asians can't see that, thats they bad. CHANGE is coming, and we'll get u fools too. Our time has come. When your white master's time is done, who you gonna run to?

Posted by: Masai Hanley | April 25, 2008 9:06 PM

[...]

Hey Treyshaun and Masai, Obama has already planted the CHANGE in Kenya when he worked so hard to get Odinga elected. I don't think a lot of people know that Odinga is not only a communist Muslim whose first order of business was going to be to replace Kenya's democracy with Islamic law, but that he shares a vision with Gaddafi to see Africa become a Pan African/Islamic socialist nation. That's why besides Obama, Gaddafi also supported Odinga's campaign. Although Odinga didn't get to become president of Kenya, he was able to do a little ethnic cleansing of around 1000 Kenyans which secured him the title of prime minister. Anyway, now that he's Kenya's prime minister, any day now he'll attempt a coup like he's done in the past and kill the president of Kenya so he can take his place and finally impose Islamic law. I'm sure you'd both be much happier living in Kenya then in the United States. There you'd be able to fully appreciate and enjoy the CHANGE and even have a front row seat watching it happen. You can probably even join in on the ethnic cleansing festivities. May I suggest giving Farrakhan a call to help you out with the airfare.

Posted by: Ijane | April 25, 2008 9:34 PM

The spittle keeps flying if you dare to read the entire thread. After I scanned WashPo's Post a Comment policy at The Trail--"User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site...."--methinks someone is falling down on the job. Aren't they? Or...? Wouldn't be the first time the Pravda on the Potomac acted as a tool for GOP propaganda.

Are the above quotes examples of Malignant Absurdity™ or ratfucking or both?

POSTSCRIPT: When Anglachel referenced the violent rape-and-murder hate speech aimed at Hillary Clinton in her commentary on Keith Olbermann, she wasn't kidding. It's far more disturbing to read it on SCLBs.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Olbermann's answer to WWTSBQ

Anglachel doesn't mince words. And neither do I in agreeing with her. Keith Olbermann's solution to WWTSBQ is to kill Hillary and it's unmitigated hate speech:

Other blog posters have stepped around the obvious intent behind Keith Olbermann's recent verbal assault on Hillary Clinton. I know why. It's a hell of a step to take. I've spoken extensively about the irrational and boundless fury at this woman who has done nothing to deserve the outrages inflicted upon her. I've blogged before on the level of violence in the reaction to Hillary Clinton. I've blogged on how the shame of the Left when confronted by her - shamed by how she has been trashed, shamed by how badly she beats their darlings - underlies the demands that she be eradicated from politics, a symbolic honor killing....

...What Keith Olbermann said yesterday is not symbolic. He flatly said a (male) Democratic super delegate should take Hillary Clinton into a room, and only the man should emerge.

Keith Olbermann is openly advocating the murder of Hillary Clinton.

We need to say this. It does not preclude talking about the other elements that may be subsumed under that final act, that she would also be battered and raped, but the clear message sent out by Keith Olbermann is he wants someone to murder this woman.

Over the months, I have read various bits of bullshit talking about how "people" are "worried" that Obama might be an assassination target. This is such an obvious line of sensationalistic crap from his campaign to try to create a false aura of danger (Quick! Flock to Barry's defense! Those terrible white racists are gunning for him!) when there has been nothing in the public realm to back it up. Let me be perfectly clear. I think it is probable that there is some nutcase out there who would like to try to assassinate Obama, and I think this because there is always some nutcase out there who thinks killing a public figure is a peachy idea. Or just some nutcase who wants attention - remember the would-be suicide bomber at Hillary's New Hampshire office? However, certainly within the liberal blogosphere and the MSM (I do not venture into the wingnut fever swamps), there is no drumbeat for violence against Obama.

This is not the case with Hillary. I have myself read comments advocating rape and murder. I have read main posts saying she was inciting violent acts against her, or saying they could "understand" the position of those who wished violent harm to befall her, her husband and her daughter. The descriptions of what Obama should do to Hillary verge on the pornographic. Not a day goes by that some prominent voice on the left or in the MSM does not demand her submission, subordination and public humiliation.

Anglachel is right to point out these attacks on Hillary for they speak to the evil--yes, it is evil--of the pervasive battering of females and the resentment of women's autonomy and authority. Violence against women in America borders on epidemic, part of the war on women worldwide. At least one in three women experience abuse by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.

For Keith Olbermann to trivialize this harsh reality with a veiled threat against Hillary isn't funny. It's dark, criminally-negligent speech implying that violence against women is OK. His words promote immoral behavior forged by old patriarchal attitudes: women who won't do what men want can be controlled through physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. In his attack on Hillary, Olbermann suggests if a female co-worker competes for a man's job, intimidate her, and if necessary, take her out. In Keith's dog-eat-dog world, the dog reserves the right to beat the b***h. Olbermann needs to go as well as the other NBC/MSNBC misogynists of Jack Welch's Lost Boys Club.

These unrepentant news men perpetrate immeasurable harm when they approvingly disseminate gender-based bashing. What kind of role models are they for anyone to see and hear and most especially for our youth to witness? I rarely watch NBC and I refuse to subscribe to programming that would bring MSNBC into my livingroom. I don't want to subject myself, my partner, or any young person to the sexist crap that flows off the chauvinistic tongues of Matthews, Scarborough, or Olbermann.

Anglachel also articulated a double standard in the SCLB: "Any blogger who fails to condemn Olberman for this blunt and unequivocal statement has no business writing a critical word about Bush and Cheney's torture policies, because you would be just cool with it being done to this individual simply to be rid of a political rival." Just as hypocritical is denouncing racism while enabling misogyny to flourish in their own commentary or discussion threads. I don't recognize the Obamasphere as being liberal anymore due to its sexist bent with the exception of a few bright spots, e.g., Digby (a woman).

The perverse idea that anything goes in politics--including an unforgivable jest that physical harm to one's opponent is an option--is never acceptable or justifiable, shouldn't be condoned or ignored. Keith demonstrated by his hate speech against Clinton that he's shameless and a sham as a "journalist."

We can collectively stop watching NBC, its local TV affiliate, and its cable TV extension MSNBC to send the message that we won't tolerate hate speech. Don't lift a finger to enrich their ratings unless it's to tune in long enough to make a list of advertisers to boycott.

If you want to change the sexist, misogynistic speech on the air waves, stop buying the advertised products or services on the offending media outlet. And tell the advertisers why you aren't purchasing. At the very least, complain to the advertiser about the media channel. The Religious Right and its minions have used this technique to attack LGBT-friendly activities such as Gay Day at Disney. Unlike them, our cause is just--not to inject discrimination--but to decry sexism and verbal violence in the news media, to ultimately foster a healthy, safe environment.

Before anyone gets up on the high horse of the First Amendment, criticizing a tactic to inform advertisers of dissatisfaction with their choice of media, a reminder: boycotting and dissent is also free speech. Shall we use the First Amendment to lift us all up or to oppress? Which would you reward? It's a choice we all have the right to exercise.

Pull the plug on Keith. We all can pull the plug on NBC/MSNBC. Let's do it.

UPDATE: A lame apology from Olbermann, "It is a metaphor. I apologize: the generic 'he' gender could imply something untoward." I'm not buying it. The generic would have been superdelegate or someone. Explaining he as the generic gender reinforces the old patriarchal attitudes that empowered Olbermann to suggest taking Hillary out in the first place. Go Cheney yourself, Keith. How's that for a metaphor?

Don't ask, don't tell movie

From ASK NOT, a documentary film about closeted American service members
and activists fighting against homophobia and for the right to serve openly without retaliation. Opens Saturday, April 26, in San Francisco. Check the link for screenings.

I have no doubt that homosexuals have served and are today serving in the Armed Forces with distinction. But most of them--and this is very important--are not today openly disclosing that sexual orientation.... I also believe, however, that we must give careful consideration to the advice of our military commanders on this subject. Gen. Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has stated that in view of the unique conditions of military service, active and open homosexuality by members of the armed services will have a very negative effect on the military morale and discipline. -- Sen. Sam Nunn, Feb. 04, 1993.

See previous post for more information on Sam Nunn's role in DADT.

The movie's website describes the documentary by John Symons:

ASK NOT is a rare and compelling exploration of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The film exposes the tangled political battles that led to the discriminatory law, and profiles charismatic young activists determined to abolish it. As wars in the Middle East rage on, ASK NOT reveals personal stories of gay Americans who serve in combat under a veil of secrecy.

Looking forward to its release on DVD (I hope, I hope), a must-have for my library. According to David Mixner, PBS will air the film later this year or in 2009. He also notes that the film "will make it impossible for President Clinton to spin any longer that he had no choice." No argument here. Bill didn't display Truman's bravery and grit when Harry desegregated the military by executive order.

I look to Hillary to make amends. Obama, IMO, is talk-talk and more like Bill, a Triangulator.

For those interested in DADT documents on the statutes, litigation, hearings, etc., Stanford offers a comprehensive archive.

Homophobes unite!

Oh, look. A unity pony exists. Obama's website proudly displays the endorsement from Georgia's former U.S. senator Sam Nunn as Barry continues to build his coalition of homophobic bigots. Obama responded to the Nunn-Boren endorsement, "I am honored to have the support and counsel of two of our nation’s leading voices on national security, and two of our most respected advocates for national unity."

National unity? Who's he kidding?

As Chair of the Senate's Armed Services Committee during the 1990s, Sam Nunn took the lead in forging Don't Ask, Don't Tell and sided with Republicans in opposition to Bill Clinton's initiative to lift the gay/lesbian military ban. Does Obama understand the historical impact DINO Nunn had on the LGBTQ community? Let me put it another way: if Sam Nunn had stridently opposed racial desegregation of the military and Hillary began touting his endorsement on her website, would that offend Obama? African Americans? Liberals?

On Obama's website, Nunn said, "I believe that [Obama] will also attract skilled, experienced and energetic people to government and will have the sound judgment to put together an outstanding governing team, bringing people together across old boundaries." Is Obama aware that DADT has purged thousands of "skilled, experienced and energetic" gays and lesbians out of the military? A GAO report released in 2005 estimated that DADT has cost U.S. taxpayers $200 million and the loss of "valuable personnel over the last decade." So pardon moi if I don't believe a word Nunn says or Barry's commitment to LGBTQs.

I believe Sam Nunn is looking for a payday for his foundation. Plus, Nunn serves on the boards of big corporations -- GE (media, war machine), Chevron (petro-military complex), Coke (environment and health concerns) and Dell (outsourcing). He runs the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a seemingly worthy enterprise that received $3 million from the U.S. government beyond its private money. NIT advisor Warren Buffet pledged $50 million toward an IAEA nuclear fuel bank if a member state or states contribute(s) $100 million. Maybe Nunn's courting Obama with hopes of American tax dollars to answer Buffet's proposal and Obama is eyeballing more corporate donors to add to his stable of Wall Street, Big Oil, and K Street power brokers. Washington politics as usual.

What I object to most: Sam Nunn is the homophobe who gave us DADT:

Nunn, foreseeing problems of equal treatment for "hand-holding," "kissing" gays and non-gays under a new code of conduct, said that "if people keep their private behavior private, if they don't declare and advertise their private behavior," they are currently able to stay in the service as long as they perform their duties. The interim compromise "may be a pretty good place to end up," he said.

Sam Nunn espouses post-partisan poppycock but he has never made amends for the damage he's done:

January 29, 1993 -- ATLANTA (UPI) -- A coalition of Georgia gay and civil rights groups Friday urged Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., to end his opposition to President Clinton's proposal to lift the ban on homosexuals serving in the military.

Nunn, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has opposed lifting the ban and had proposed a six-month waiting period during which federal hearings would be held to consider the impact of removing the restrictions....

..."We are here today to call upon Sen. Sam Nunn to stop obstructing President Clinton's effort to end discrimination in the United States military,'' said Don George, the Atlanta field coordinator for the Human Rights Campaign Fund.

"Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter ruled the military ban against gays and lesbians to be unconstitutional,'' he said.

"Today, we ask Senator Nunn to abide with the court ruling and stop standing in the schoolhouse door and to work with President Clinton to end this 50-year-old injustice against lesbian and gay Americans,'' said George....

...Wesley Temple Jr., chairman of the Georgia chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Veterans of America, said members of his organization are testimony to the fact that gays and lesbians have never caused problems in the military.

"We strongly condemn Senator Nunn's decision to side with the same bigots who opposed integration of African-Americans into the military in 1948,'' Temple said. "Morale and discipline problems have not been experienced by 11 of the 16 NATO countries which do not have a ban on gay and lesbian personnel....

...Larry Pellegrini, lobbyist for the Georgia chapter of the Gay Political Action Committee, also asked Nunn to abide by Hatter's ruling that declared the military ban unconstitutional.

"Republicans and Republican wannabes like Senator Nunn are still fighting an election that's three months over,'' he said. "What 50 people in the line of succession died and made him president?'' [Emphasis added.]

For more details on Nunn's despicable behavior as the "architect" of DADT and his submarine episode, when he advanced the "canard that homosexuals are sexual predators, and that knowingly sleeping or showering near one would be a nightmare to which no straight man should be subjected," read ducdebrabant series of comments here.

First, Obama courted homophobe Donnie McClurkin.

Obama played us stupid with homophobe Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell and his ex-gay ministry that promoted a program for "those seeking freedom from homosexuality, lesbianism, prostitution, sex addiction and other habitual sins.”

Obama has made divisive remarks about being a Christian vs. same-sex marriage as if the two are somehow incompatible.

It's now 1,540 days since Obama has spoken to the local LGBTQ press.

And Obama further signals how unimportant the LGBTQ community is to him by throwing us under the bus for a Bloomberg pal with corporate and national security gravitas.

He's playing us LGBTQs and all of us stupid with his "no money from lobbyists" promise.

Does Obama cross his fingers when he speaks? Or is he flipping us the finger?

The more I learn about Obama, the more I dislike him. I would have to hold my nose for a Clinton-Obama 2008 ticket. I would do it for Hillary. But Obama+whomever? Don't hold your breath.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Voices in their heads

From the annals of WWTSBQ, senior editor Michelle Cottle at The New Republic published an attack-Hillary campaign column, "Voices in Her Head, Inside Hillaryland's fatal psychodrama."

Can the faux press present themselves more obnoxiously and with more blatant bias? Note the side order of misogyny. Wooo! Hillary is not in control of Team Clinton and not suitable for the Oval Office. And yet, voters keep voting for Hillary Clinton. Oh, the enigma!

Cottle leads off her column:

By the time Hillary Clinton's campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle finally packed up her lovely corner office ... [blah, blah, blah...] ...Penn had attended a March 31 meeting with the Colombian ambassador... [blah, blah, blah...] ...resembles an unruly rock band plagued by dysfunction and public infighting... [blah, blah, blah...] ...insiders acknowledge that the former president has never been wholly manageable... [blah, blah, blah...] ...has publicly admitted his wife gave him a talking-to about keeping his yap shut on the matter.... [blah, blah, blah...] ...it's a wonder Hillary could keep a grip on her message at all.... [blah, blah, blah...] ...even as Hillary's chances of capturing the nomination grow ever more remote... [blah, blah, blah...] ...Whether driven on by dedication, desperation, or delusion, some of Hillary's not-so-happy warriors find themselves unable to give up the fight--not just against Barack Obama, but also against each other.

See? I saved you from wasting your time with mind-numbing, yawn-inducing piffle. And why should you waste your time reading TNR? As the General summed up:

It's not easy to market yourself as a magazine for progressives when you consistently offer yourself up to the neocons like a gaggle of strapping young Republican men at a Patrick McHenry "greek night' party, but somehow you've managed to pull it off.

...it's much harder to see why your right-leaning Democratic subscriber base would continue to support you when you attack their candidates. And that's exactly what you did when you skewered both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in your latest issue.

But then again, it's not really their politics that bothers you, is it. It's more than that. Looking at the Clinton piece, it's obvious why you went after her. The cover, article, and photos were a celebration of misogyny. All of the best old stereotypes were there. She's hysterical. She's a slave to her hormones. One is left wondering whether you believe that she should be forced to prove she's post-menopausal, lest she nukes Kansas while under the spell of a menstrual rage?

'Nuff said.

TNR nausea scale: 10.

Dukakis-Obama watch

With Clinton's 10-point victory over Obama in Pennsylvania, the specter of Gov. Michael Dukakis has arisen and attached itself to Obama. Dukakis, whom Poppy Bush defeated in PA in 1988, was the last Democratic presidential nominee who didn't carry the state in the general election.

Checked in at Google News and abracadabra! The name, Dukakis, popped up like a rabbit out of Obama's hat. A few articles and op/eds (Dukakis name emphasized.)...

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's conservative columnist Jim Wooten [Bleh!]:

It is noteworthy, as others have pointed out, that Democrats are about to nominate another candidate in the mold of John Kerry, Michael Dukakis, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore — and one who’ll get the nomination by winning smaller states, like South Carolina, that the party has no hopes of winning in November. Except for his home state of Illinois, Hillary won the big states: New York, New Jersey, California, Texas, Florida Ohio and others essential to Democratic success in November.... ...[Obama's] base is blacks, liberals and young voters. Blue-collar workers making less than $50,000 a year, older women and Hispanics — key constituencies the party needs — aren’t with him yet.

Another conservative, David Frum at NRO, Obama = Dukakis?

Back in 1988, the elder George HW Bush defeated the Democratic challenger Michael Dukakis by convincing America that Dukakis was radically unacceptable: too left-wing, too weak, too out of touch with the values of ordinary voters.... ...So, the thought is spreading – can McCain win by doing to Obama what George HW Bush did to Michael Dukakis? If so, then his lack of a domestic platform may not matter much. Who remembers George HW Bush’s 1988 platform?

Frum concluded that Dukakis-izing won't work this time; 2008 is very different than 1988. M'yeah. But GOP smear tactics aren't.

TIME's A Willie Horton Hit on Obama?

Starting Tuesday, a group of conservative activists led by Floyd Brown, author of the famous Willie Horton ad used so effectively against Michael Dukakis in 1988, will begin a campaign to tar Obama as weak on crime and terrorism, a strategy that aims to upend Obama's relatively strong reputation among Republican voters.... ..."The campaign by Hillary Clinton has not been able to raise Obama's negatives," said Brown on Monday. "It is absolutely critical that Obama's negatives go up with Republicans."

Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Obama's patriotism:

Barack Obama believes his patriotism can't be challenged. Maybe he should talk to Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, and John Kerry.... ...Obama wants the race for the White House to be about hope. It probably won't be.... ...In 1988, Dukakis said the campaign was about "competence, not ideology." His opponent, George H.W. Bush, made it all about ideology. The GOP turned Dukakis into a civil liberties-loving elitist who let convicted felons free to strike again.... ...But Obama should be ready to face the political reality that accompanies some controversial choices... ...They include his decision to stay in a church whose pastor blamed America for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; and his association, however tenuous, with a Vietnam-era radical named William Ayers.

John Dickerson at Slate, She's Got a Friend in Pennsylvania:

Clinton has some useful data to mine in the exit polls, particularly about those blue-collar voters we've been watching all election. Obama just can't get to them. He's tried everything: policy changes, bowling, drinking beer, and shelving all talk of arugula. He still lost to Clinton 54-46 among that group. The Clinton team will argue that without these voters, Obama will be like Michael Dukakis, a liberal favorite unable to compete against Republicans in Ohio and Pennsylvania because he can't woo regular people. Obama did win these voters in New Hampshire and Missouri but hasn't won among them since the Wisconsin primary in mid-February.... ...For those still debating whether Obama's remarks about small-town voters harmed him, the data suggest he hurt himself. Among gun owners, Clinton won 60 percent of the vote. Among small-town voters, she won 59 percent of the vote to Obama's 41 percent. In previous contests, Obama's had a slim 49 percent to 45 percent edge among small-town voters. Clinton also won among religious voters.

We don't really know what the Clinton campaign will argue. Dickerson speculated. However, if Hillary ends up with the popular vote edge including MI and FL coupled with the fact that she has won the big states critical to an Electoral College victory, then superdelegates need to weigh who can beat McCain in November.

Consider this from Sean Wilentz at Salon, Why Hillary Clinton should be winning:

Apr. 07, 2008 | The continuing contest for the Democratic presidential nomination has become a frenzy of debates and proclamations about democracy. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign has been particularly vociferous in claiming that its candidate stands for a transformative, participatory new politics. It has vaunted Obama's narrow lead in the overall popular vote in the primaries to date, as well as in the count of elected delegates, as the definitive will of the party's rank and file. If, while heeding the party's rules, the Democratic superdelegates overturn those majorities, Obama's supporters claim, they will have displayed a cynical contempt for democracy that would tear the party apart.

These arguments might be compelling if Obama's leads were not so reliant on certain eccentricities in the current Democratic nominating process, as well as on some blatantly anti-democratic maneuvers by the Obama campaign. Obama's advantage hinges on a system that, whatever the actual intentions behind it, seems custom-made to hobble Democratic chances in the fall. It depends on ignoring one of the central principles of American electoral politics, one that will be operative on a state-by-state basis this November, which is that the winner takes all. If the Democrats ran their nominating process the way we run our general elections, Sen. Hillary Clinton would have a commanding lead in the delegate count, one that will only grow more commanding after the next round of primaries, and all questions about which of the two Democratic contenders is more electable would be moot. [Emphasis added.]

An aside worth mentioning: no one--Obama or Clinton--can win the Democratic nomination without superdelegates. The Obamasphere likes to disregard this fact as if Obama's pledged delegate lead is the Holy Grail, an idea propagandized by Barry's campaign and NBC. Nonetheless, it is true. The superdelegates will decide the nominee. Like it or not.

Paul Lukasiak at Corrente--an excellent blogger with both feet firmly grounded in reality--presented Survey USA polling analysis of nine states surveryed in April--CA, IA, MA, MN, MO, NM, OH, OR, and WI--compared to the SUSA 50-state poll conducted in February. Obama's ability to beat McCain is weakening. Hillary is getting stronger:

Barack Obama is hemmorhaging support against John McCain in states where Democrats can/should win in November.... ...In the last six weeks, Barack Obama has been losing support, while Hillary Clinton has gained support, when matched against McCain. Much of Clinton’s additional support is from voters who were undecided in late February, and Clinton essentially “split” the “recent deciders” with McCain; as a result there is little change in her margins against McCain. But people who were undecided whether they preferred Obama or McCain are also making up their minds – and choosing McCain. As a result, Obama’s margins against McCain are looking much worse.

Democrats may think they have the presidency sown up after the carnage and incompetency of Bush-Cheney. The GOP brand is in the tank. M'yeah. I thought only an idiot would vote GOP in 2004. So color me skeptical.

Clinton-Obama 2008. That's the ticket to decisively beat McCain.

Hillary wins Pennsylvania!

Woo hoo! Hillary is a heavyweight who can take a punch and win the big matches.

With 99% of the precincts reporting, Clinton won 55% to Obama's 45%. PAers went double-digit for Hillary. In big-swing state PA, Obama outspent Clinton 3-to-1 with $12 million in advertising and he campaigned in PA for six weeks. But she still took the state. She's a tough fighter. White blue-collar voters love her, having voted for her in large numbers, and I think they did because they identify with her grit, feel good about Clinton's strength on the economy. I don't accept the spin that these voters are largely racists.

During CNN's primary coverage John King compared Obama to Democratic nominee Gov. Dukakis, whom Poppy Bush defeated in PA in 1988, the last time a Democrat lost the state in a general election. Uh-oh. Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler predicted the media would Dukakis-ize Obama. King also said Hillary "thumped Obama" in PA. "She won the elderly vote, she won the Catholic vote... an impressive demographic and geographic sweep." She won lunch-bucket Reagan Democrats. Oh, my... that reality must have gotten superdelegates' attention.

Bucks County, where 5% of PA's population lives, broke large for Hillary. Montgomery and Lackawanna also boomed for Hillary. Bill Schneider of CNN related Hillary's win to neighboring NJ and OH, states she also won by 10%, perhaps a harbinger of what may happen in adjacent IN, WV, and KY.

The dang CNN pundit heads, David Gergen et al, said if the superdelegates give the nod to Hillary, the decision would mobilize African Americans to leave the party and anger young voters. Puh-leeze. Thank goodness Clinton supporter Paul Begalas weighed in and said, nah! Oh, no. That won't happen. Gergen later came back saying Obama's "bitter" comments hurt him in PA. What the heck do pundits know? They have written Hillary off... how many times now?

When Hillary took the victory stage, she was welcomed by chants of, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!" During her speech, Hillary said the "road to Pennsylvania Avenue runs through Pennsylvania!" She's "ready to lead on Day One." And the crowd roared, "Yes, she can! Yes, she can! Yes, she can!"

A few of Hillary's remarks: "You know, some people counted me out and said to drop out. But the American people... the American people don't quit, and they deserve a president who doesn't quit, either.... And you deserve a champion who stands with you.... And, of course, all across the world, our men and women in uniform, some on your second, third, or fourth tour of duty, you deserve a commander-in-chief who will finally bring you home..." An inspiring speech, the transcript is here.

CNN reported at 12:13 AM that HillaryClinton.com had raised more than $2.5 million within the past two hours.

Counting both FL and MI, Hillary moved ahead of Obama in the popular vote tally. She garnered 200,000+ in PA--1,250,193 to Obama's 1,035,361 votes--with 1% outstanding.

Still more primaries ahead in NC, IN (May 6), WV (May 13), KY, OR (May 20), Puerto Rico (Jun. 1), SD, MT (Jun. 3), and a caucus in Guam that comes up next (May 3). So send Hillary some love.

Yaaaaaaaaaa-hooooooooooo! The nomination is still up for grabs. Obama may have the pledged delegate lead, having won a lot of small states (some of which won't turn Democratic), his home state, and caucuses that disenfranchised working-class voters... but he can't close big battleground states like PA and OH. And don't forget MI and FL.

Superdelegates and the DNC need to reconsider the Cuomo Dream Ticket proposal with Clinton at the top. Obama is still too green. He would, however, make a great choice for veep helping to rebuild the damage done by Bush, working to win over voters who are Hillary supporters. Democrats could possibly hold onto the WH for 16 years.

OMG! What a history-making ticket: Clinton-Obama 2008. Democrats would win by a landslide, IMO, and shore up down-ticket races. Sure would love to see the number of Senate Democrats rise to 60.

POSTSCRIPT: Newsmax/Zogby poll was wrong unless one gave credence to John Zogby's conditional footnote as I did. H/t to TalkLeft for PA county info.

UPDATE: Heard conflicting reports about how much Obama spent on ads in PA. NYTimes reported: "In March, in the run-up to the Pennsylvania vote, the Obama campaign spent $31 million, compared with $22 million by the Clinton campaign. A large part of that went into television advertisements. According to CMAG, a firm that tracks television advertising, the Obama campaign spent $11 million on campaign commercials from March 18 to April 16, compared with the Clinton campaign’s $4.5 million."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nora Ephron's white people

The white people of Nora Ephron's movies.

Joseph alerted me to Nora Ephron's insipid column on "White Men." The Ephron excerpts that he quoted:

This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don't mean people, I mean white men.

Hillary's case is not an attractive one, because what she'll essentially be saying (and has been saying, although very carefully) is that she can attract more racist white male voters than Obama can.

Oh, gawd. Go read Joseph for his political viewpoints and to get the link to Ephron's column. He's absolutely right about Ephron's implied threat, Vote as I tell you to vote, or I'll call you a racist or a sexist.

What nauseates me about Ephron? Her blindness to her projection onto Hillary of the very criticism of which she's made a career: white woman meets white man, relationship unfolds toward commitment. M'yeah. Meg Ryan, who played the romantic lead in Ephron's movies, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, represents a white female who isn't happy without the white man of her dreams played by actor Tom Hanks. Has Ephron considered how she's contributing to the sexist, racist storyline she now decries? She depicts a world in which her main characters are all white. Have Pennsylvania voters become influenced by all the Hollywood movies that reinforce white racial hegemony? Has Ephron considered the underlying racist narratives in her films? Silly idea, isn't it?

Of course, it ridiculous in Nora's mind to entertain the possibility that PA voters prefer Clinton's policy positions over Obama's. Or maybe PA's white male voters have been repulsed by Barry's negative and dubious campaign attack ads against Clinton. I dunno. But I can say with confidence that skin color doesn't qualify a candidate to solve the economic worries that voters say are their top concern. I support Hillary because she offers solutions I prefer. Perhaps Obama hasn't convincingly persuaded PA voters on the issues more than Clinton. But to Nora, those white men in PA are racists and so is Hillary. Disregard that their voting preferences may be predicated on their wallets and who can best fill them with job income and better economic conditions.

I'll set aside the anti-feminist argument that a woman needs a man for her self-fulfillment because humans do crave companionship. How Nora represents these human yearnings irk me as a feminist. Simply, she infers sexist stereotypes. Funny that Nora hasn't discovered the log in her eye.

There's another reason to discount Nora Ephron's ramblings: she mishandles facts. In her column she stated (with emphasis):

Even around the time of Ohio, when there were primarily three candidates, the outlines were murky, because Edwards was still in there, picking up votes from all sectors.

Edwards dropped out of the presidential race before Super Tuesday on Jan. 30, 2008, when he declared, "It's time for me to step aside so that history can blaze it's path." Ohio's primary date was March 4. Hello! Earth to Nora. Edwards was not in the race "around the time of Ohio."

So pardon moi if I open a can of bwahahaha when Ephron makes an fallacious, inflammatory assertion without any proof that Hillary is saying although very carefully that "she can attract more racist white male voters than Obama can." Proof, Nora, present your evidence if you can without mangling the facts. When a pundit undertakes the serious allegation to smear a candidate implying racism, it's her job to present evidence. Subjective propaganda and opinion isn't acceptable. Show me the proof to substantiate the claim or to my thinking, the accuser is an unmitigated slanderer or a hopelessly irresponsible ninny.

Historically, white racists vote Republican (see the Southern Strategy). Why would they turn out for a Democratic primary? I can think of a reason: vote for the unelectable candidate, the one they think their GOP candidate can beat in the fall. I could speculate that spoilers are crossing over in open primaries to help Obama beat Clinton so they can vote against him in November since Clinton is more likely to defeat McCain.

Secondly, Ephron evidently lacks a depth of political knowledge to realize that playing the race card isn't a new invention used against a Democratic presidential opponent. Bill Bradley maligned Al Gore in 2000 when he "ripped the vice president for injecting racism into the 1988 campaign by raising the Willie Horton case against Michael Dukakis.” It wasn't true--Gore is not a racist--but our mindless press corps picked up the racial theme against Gore and spread it, just as our biased media have painted the Clintons as slobbering racists in this campaign. [Ed. note: Al Gore never mentioned Willie Horton in case you don't click the The Daily Howler link. H/t to Joseph Cannon in comments.]

Why liberals fall for this specious propaganda, one can only speculate, but none of the answers are good when allegedly intelligent people follow the plot lines our morally-bankrupt news media concoct. If the Clintons are such super-smart politicians, why the hell would they commit electoral suicide undermining Hillary's chances of winning? It defies logic, but don't expect to find sound reasoning in Ephron's column (or from rubes who swallow such drool).

Based on Nora's own "insights," how has Ephron exempted herself from the fact that she devises a world on film that is predominantly white-skinned? Are we to assume, based on Nora's suppositions, that she is saying she can attract more racist white movie-goers than Spike Lee can (and has been saying, although very carefully)? Goose, gander, sauce, Nora.

Ephron bemoans, "after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are. . . after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power." You know what's ironic? The swooning of Nora's female characters into the arms of men in her cinematic works. In You've Got Mail, the Hanks character owns a bookstore chain that eventually puts our struggling heroine's independent bookstore out of business. The female lead played by Ryan can't stand the powerful businessman who precipitates her company's demise. Yet, in the end, they fall in love. Cue soundtrack, Over The Rainbow. Can you believe it? Maybe it's time to start boycotting her sexist movies where men "turn out (surprise!) to have all the power."

Why Nora continues to churn out intellectually-shallow polemics is a mystery. In her "White Men" column, I wonder if she's attempting to assuage her white guilt for having been racially insensitive in casting and writing screenplays that tell stories about white people. Just a guess. I have no proof other than her filmography, which relegates African-American actors to bit parts. To foster such an argument is as overly-simplistic as Ephron saying that Hillary can "attract more racist white male voters than Obama can."

Maybe Nora hasn't paid attention. Obama is attracting more African American voters than Hillary, but I wouldn't particularly assign a racial component to Barry's voting bloc. History-making and enthusiasm? Yes. Racist? No. Sexist? Maybe. Of course, there are racists, sexists, and homophobes. But are we to blame the candidates for how bigots vote? Not if they don't pander to them. What's also troubling is Ephron's judgment that "white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them." Ahem. Making judgmental generalizations isn't helpful in healing whatever divides men, women, ethnic groups, or any segment of our society.

I don't have time today--aren't you lucky--to analyze why women like Nora dislike Hillary enough to slime her. But there's something deeply pathological and psychologically disturbing going on. Using racial smears is ugly business. Doing so without facts is libelous.

One thing you can bet: Winged Tasmanian wombats will fly out my bum before I waste one dollar on any Nora Ephron enterprise past or future.

POSTSCRIPT: One key observation from Joseph that I failed to mention: "People like Nora Ephron do the Republican Party's work so expertly that I wouldn't be surprised to learn of a covert GOP pay-off."

IMAGE: Cropped from a movie poster of Sleepless in Seattle. Poll graphic from Yahoo! News.

UPDATE: Edited for clarity.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dear Senator Obama by a lesbian Christian

Obama's quote from the Chicago Tribune, Mar. 25, 2007:

I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.

In response, Ann Canas, lesbian, writer, producer/actor, media host and member of the Metropolitan Community Church of LA, wrote an open letter to Sen. Barack Obama at The Advocate on why his speech "sends a subtle message that being gay and being Christian are mutually exclusive." A few excerpts:

Your and Senator Clinton’s voting and legislative records are for the most part identical on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues and are generally supportive of basic GLBT civil, social, and legal rights and protections. Although both you and Senator Clinton decline to support gay marriage per se, it is your statements on this issue that seem alienating, divisive, and uninformed and that subtly contribute to the persistence of one of this country’s worst forms of religious persecution and social bigotry. Even the possibility that you and your platform -- wittingly or unwittingly -- may contribute to the perpetuation of bigotry and prejudice in any way against anyone is, to our sensibilities, unthinkable.

While you are careful to appear to uphold and defend the GLBT community’s basic safety and legal rights, in a March 25, 2007, Chicago Tribune story that referenced comments you made during your 2004 run for the U.S. Senate, you led off your objections to gay marriage with the statement “I'm a Christian” [Ed: see above quote]. On its own as a part of your personal profile or in answer to a query about your personal beliefs, this statement is both appropriate and informative. But linked to your objections about gay marriage and by extension the gay lifestyle, it serves to entrench modern attitudes of religion-based bigotry and persecution and effectively implies that “gay” and “Christian” are mutually exclusive. This is not only wrong and uninformed but also flies in the face of the most basic Christian values and beliefs of unconditional love and acceptance. There are over 500,000 GLBT Christians attending over 200 churches like my church, Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles, as well as hundreds of similar open and affirming churches all over America and around the world. We do not believe that you or anyone in thought, word, belief, or action can separate us from our religion, our faith, and our rightful place within the heart and love of Jesus Christ.

And while we recognize the sensibilities of many of our fellow Americans concerning the traditional configuration of the institution of marriage, our loving and lifetime commitments to our partners, our families, and our children cannot be diminished in heart and spirit and are fully as valuable and sacred as your own. Regardless of convention and interpretation of the word marriage, your brave new American Dream must embrace us and our loved ones as sincerely and unconditionally as you have extended it to all other segments of our society.

Considering that you represent and are clearly the preferred candidate for a majority of African-Americans, we are also concerned about the quiet but pervasive problem of homophobia among blacks -- a problem that is deeply rooted in the Christian fundamentalist context of many black churches and denominations. This undercurrent of belief-sanctioned fear and ignorance continues to divide families, separate loved ones, break hearts, and exacerbate the pathology of rejection and social alienation within the black community....

...You of all people cannot forget that once upon a time not so long ago, many of those who made the case against civil rights for blacks and who condemned interracial marriage also cited religious beliefs as their justification for separation and conditional treatment.

You and your presidential campaign are living proof of an evolution in the consciousness of a nation. We are living proof of an evolution unfolding in human consciousness: namely, the awareness that love transcends gender as surely as race and that spirit is not contained by black or white or male or female or any other characteristic of human condition or appearance....

Mr. Obama, you have clearly stated your reluctance to allow your private religious beliefs to shape your public policy. This is wise in theory but difficult in practice, because while you are free to interpret your personal religious beliefs in any way you choose, as a talented orator you realize that words are powerful and can also crucially shape both public policy and public opinion. This letter is not an attempt to change your personal opinions or religious beliefs on this or any other issue, but it is an invitation for you to reexamine your spoken expressions and public statements toward a segment of Americans about whom you clearly evidence a lack of knowledge and experience.... [Emphasis added in bold.]

Well said and beautifully written.

The subject of being LGBT and the bigotry of Biblical literalist interpretations at odds with what Jesus taught has been my mission as an artist, to expose hypocrisy and contradictions, reintroduce the sacred feminine that's been edited out of the Bible, and offer a more inclusive, unconditionally loving deity in my artistic narratives. And I am not alone.

Many LGBT folk have spiritual leanings as do I. As Ann Canas does. Some of us express artistic visions that incorporate queer theology--painters, sculptors, and photographers--as can be seen in the illustrated book nominated for a LAMBDA Literary Award, Art That Dares, written by Kittredge Cherry. And Cherry as author has written two ground-breaking novels about a queer Christ, Jesus In Love and Jesus In Love: At The Cross.

There's a teeming spiritual LGBT community that's risen up to say Jesus embodied unconditional love and never did he condemn LGBTs for being LGBT. Why does the traditional church? We have formed our own churches or gravitated toward those that delivered a more universal belief than a strictly Christian one. Or abandoned religion all together. Individuals and orgs like Mel White and Gary Nixon of Soulforce, the CLOUT sisters, Rev. Irene Monroe, Bishop Gene Robinson on the LGBT side, and John Shelby Spong, Rabbi Michael Lerner of the Spiritual Progressive Network on the non-LGBT side--to name only a few, there are many--minister to us through their work and their words. There are also a few LGBT-inclusive churches that have embraced us realizing that sexual minorities are part of the natural tapestry of life.

I hope that Sen. Obama will reverse his beliefs--for they underpin his words--and awaken from what I have perceived as his own religious-based homophobia. But I'm not optimistic. He turned his back on us over the objections of the LGBT community when he invited Donnie McClurkin to fundraise for him. And he has behaved in other ways that have been disappointing (see related below). IMO, I think he values winning more than risking the alienation of a portion of the African American community and people of all colors who judge us LGBT people as against God's will and living in sin. I would love to be proven wrong about Obama by Obama.

The subject of Obama and the LGBT community causes me a bit of grief in remembering how much I miss Coretta Scott King. I truly wish she were still alive to show Obama the way. She understood completely that unconditional love, courage, and justice are intertwined as the beautiful soul who graced us with her mighty presence here on earth.

In the meantime, let me say, thank you, Ann Canas.

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