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      We’re down to street fighting in Donetsk.  The Russian leaders resigned in the last two weeks.  The rebels appear to be done, at least in terms of their conventional military phase (of course, I could be wrong depending on how much stomach Ukrainian troops have for house to house fighting).  It seems like that would [...]
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This explains the “Obama Youth”


Remember long ago in 2007 when a rookie senator from Illinois used a paltry hundred million dollars in seed money he got from Wall Street and other Joe Moneybags special interests to build his own cult of personality? Remember how the media gushed about his ability to recruit young people from college campuses and enlist them into a virtual army to win the caucus states?

Ever wonder how so many smart kids could be so fucking stupid?

Study: Many college students not learning to think critically

An unprecedented study that followed several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that large numbers didn’t learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education.

Many of the students graduated without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event, according to New York University sociologist Richard Arum, lead author of the study. The students, for example, couldn’t determine the cause of an increase in neighborhood crime or how best to respond without being swayed by emotional testimony and political spin.

There’s the answer.



I can’t believe I missed this one


Marc Rubin wrote this last week:

So amazingly, even in a year and in an election where it was virtually impossible for the Democrats to lose, the leadership of the Democratic party found a way to lose. It took two years and Obama botching everything from healthcare to the stimulus to the Bush tax cuts,but the defeat of the Democrats in the last election solely because of Obama’s failures was breathtaking in its scope.

Geraldine Ferraro was absolutely right even though she was torched by a knee jerk news media for saying it, that if Obama had been white he would have been a joke as a presidential candidate. Now Obama is president but the only ones laughing are Republicans while liberals, moderates and independents keep trying to figure out what went wrong. And the answer still is, nothing went wrong. Obama has been exactly the same duplicituous politician he was during the primaries and in his prior political career as he has been as president.

That Hillary Clinton was clearly the most qualified candidate was obvious then and more painfully obvious now. But those at MoveOn and the Huffington Post, and NY Times and the Nation and all those who turned a blind eye to Obama’s lack of qualification and character flaws because they wanted to support a black candidate for president, ironically had to take everything Martin Luther King lived for and took a bullet for — the idea that people should be judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin — and threw it in a dumpster in order to do it.

You don’t have to wonder how different things would have been had the DNC and the press did nothing more than simply be honest. If the process had played out honestly Clinton most likely would have been the nominee since there would have been no disenfranchising of 1,600.000 voters in Florida and Michigan who voted for Clinton over Obama in landslide numbers (which is the real reason for the Florida and Michigan fiasco), and the entire set of expectations, fueled by the press, would have been different.

There’s more and you should read it. I guess I was so busy preparing for the Airing of Grievances that I missed it.

I know some people think we should stop talking about the past and move on. Yeah, that’s always worked so well before. To paraphrase Santayana, “Those who forget the past have no future.”


Same planet, different worlds

F**@#$^%%!!


Rebecca Traister comes clean two years too late:

In 50 years it could be a magnificent miniseries or something. What are some examples of big stories that people either don’t remember or weren’t even aware of at the time?

Here’s a thing that I didn’t know at the time. When Hillary won New Hampshire, she became the first woman in American history to win a primary. I mean, I sort of knew that, of course, what she was doing was historic. But this was a massive thing, a change in 220 years of presidential history. I didn’t know, and it was my job to know.

And I went back and looked at the New York Times article that sort of summed up the events the next day: Hillary Clinton and McCain win New Hampshire. The article goes into great detail about her crying and all that. But it doesn’t mention that this was the first time in American history that a woman had won a presidential primary.

There were lots of smaller things, too. When I tell people about the NPR producer who compared Hillary to Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction,” people would say “What?! Somebody said that?!”

[...]

A lot of the misogyny, as well as the racism. A lot of that stuff on television, because there were so many channels going at the same time, and we were all struggling to keep up, we missed so many of the things that were being said.

[...]

I actually assumed that anti-Hillary misogyny would take the form that it did in the beginning, the Hillary nutcrackers and the “two fat thighs and a left wing” jokes. This loutish, mostly right wing anti-Hillary spew that we have gotten for decades.

The thing that had a radicalizing impact on me began after [Hillary lost in] Iowa. Because there was this pile-on, and to me it was mind-bending. It was coming often from people on the left. It was like something they had been keeping inside as they bit their tongues and covered this woman who had the gall to be the front-runner and the “inevitable” candidate, which was the word that they threw out there. And finally she had shown weakness, and they were just going nuts.

I wrote a piece for Salon about how, despite the fact that I was not a Hillary supporter, had I lived in New Hampshire I would have voted for her that week, because I was so pissed off. I didn’t know it at the time, but Rachel Maddow said something very similar about feeling like she wanted to defend her on air. There was a video made by Dana Milbank at the Washington Post, just laughing, sneering at Hillary for giving a rally where she answered all the voters’ questions and it went on for a long time. Showing these voters yawning and saying, “Whoa, she’s such a snooze.” I began to see in this very active, palpable way how she was being talked about as Tracy Flick, or Margaret from Dennis the Menace, or Hermione Granger — you know, the know it all girl. And that’s when I began to switch.

[...]

Well I was no fan of Hillary going in. For a long time, prior to her campaign, my feelings were negligible. In fact, I felt a kind of embarrassment that women were expected to have such strong feelings about Hillary. I admired her from a distance, but politically I had less and less in common with her as she moved to the center.

I was one of those few, proud, now deeply embarrassed John Edwards supporters. So when it came to super Tuesday I had to choose between her and Obama, about whom I felt roughly equivalent. I wound up almost flipping a coin and voting for Hillary, but I was still completely ambivalent about her.

Eventually I became a lot more aware of the ways in which not only Hillary but also her supporters were being talked about. I became increasingly sensitive to the scorn directed at her, and it built and built as she continued to fight, and it drove me nuts. Because I thought her continuing to fight was awesome and hilarious. I thought it was completely redefining how we view women and our expectations for them in public and political life. She would not comply. She would not give in. She would not do what the pundits wanted her to do, what her opponents wanted her to do, what reporters were insisting that she do, what everyone was telling her was the smart thing to do or, in one case, the classy thing to do. She just kept going.

But the more she did that, the more anger — biting anger — I began to see, both in the media and amongst the people I knew, and amongst Obama supporters, and that was what began to radicalize me in my support for Clinton, so that by the end I was an ardent Hillary supporter. That does not mean that I did not still find fault with her. I did, and I do. And there were a lot of terrible missteps she made during that campaign. But I was a devoted Hillary supporter by the end, so much so that I, with much humiliation, actually wound up crying after she conceded. I was in the [National Building Museum covering the story for Salon], and I had to run out of the press area, and I was trying to find a place behind a column, and I’m, like, choking out sobs, and I realize I’m standing next to Matt Drudge.

Except for the “terrible missteps” that’s pretty much how I saw it at the time, and still do. If you think everyone saw it the same way as us, think again. From the comments at Salon:

Ugh, seriously?

Hillary’s supporters spent the entire campaign season after Iowa complaining that anyone and everyone who won’t vote for her is actually not voting for her because she’s a woman. Don’t say “That didn’t happen”, because I, as an Obama supporter who thought Hillary was ok and would be a good president, got that thrown in my face continuously from January to June. Meanwhile, the Obama camp got a ton of racism thrown their way (often from the Hillary camp itself!) and let most of it go unless it was some serious shit. Guess which one won? The one whose campaign slogan wasn’t “You’re getting in the way of a historical moment, Asshole”.

I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of people who didn’t vote for her for being a woman. I’m not saying there weren’t a LOT of people on the 24 hour news stations making fun of her for being a woman. I’m saying there’s a lot of us Democrats who didn’t vote for her because she wasn’t the best of the two choices given to us. Get over it.
—bffoley

Yeppers, we even started our own blogs so we could host virtual cross-burnings while throwing bogus accusations of sexism into the faces of those poor, mistreated Obama supporters.



(h/t Susie Madrak)

Corzine: “She would have been able to handle this Congress”

Corzine knew better

So, the former governor of New Jersey attended a birthday party for the Big Dawg and in one sentence managed to sum up everything that is wrong with the Democratic party right now:

“…Susan and Alan Patricof watched the slenderized and beaming couple kick it up to “You’re Still the One” as former New Jersey Senator John Corzine looked on wistfully. “I just wish,” Corzine said shaking his head, “I mean I knew — she would have been able to handle this Congress… but it was just Obama’s time.”

Stand back, Myiq, I can handle this.

Dear Jon, this statement exemplifies why you aren’t the Governor of New Jersey any more.  I voted for you for Senator and Governor.   After Christie Whitman left, I thought it was time for a Democrat to take control of the state and work on property tax reform.  You remember property taxes?  Those things that increase mortgage payments by roughly 50%?  Yeah, the voters of NJ expected you to do something about that, like adopt a more Pennsylvania like tax system.  You know, spread the responsibility, move towards a more equitable income tax solution, or hit your buds to pony up more, maybe consolidate some municipalities so they shared services, work with the teacher’s unions to make sure teachers proved themselves before they got tenure.  You know, stuff like that.  But you examined the problem only briefly, threw up your hands and declared yourself powerless and expected us to just kind of suck it up and vote for you again.

It reminds me of some of Obama’s legislative “victories”.  His supporters say he’s powerless to influence the big bad, nasty, wasty Republicans so his proposals are weak tea and do nothing to alleviate the suffering of millions of Americans.  But, Golly!, he certainly has a record of legislative accomplishments, doesn’t he?  No one since FDR has dones so much.  I guess all that Civil Rights legislation and Great Society stuff and Medicare doesn’t count.  LBJ must be rolling in his grave.  But isn’t Reagan delicious??

But I digress.  Let’s look at what your statement actually says.  We’ll break it down for the slow witted.

1.) “I knew — she would have been able to handle this Congress”.  That’s a very interesting admission, Jon.  Presumably, you had insight into Hillary’s capacity to govern because you had seen her in action.  You were in the Senate at roughly the same time.  You worked with her.  And she would have had a very powerful mentor at her side at all times who she could have asked for advice.  Initially, you were a Clinton Superdelegate.  That’s because even you could see that after eight years of George Bush’s devastating disaster of a presidency, the country was going to need a responsible, capable, experienced leader to clean up.  It would have been a thankless job too.  Because avoiding a financial crisis like the one we have now wouldn’t have the same impact as fixing it now that the economy is totally broken.  If Hillary had been elected and structured the TARP in such a way that the big banks had been taken over, that homeowners had been able to keep their houses and paid the banks on time and real, ready-to-go infrastructure projects had put people back to work, she would have just looked like a good president.  If we elect her in 2012 and she does all of these things, she will look absolutely Rooseveltesque!  Obama might not like that much but, trust me, the American people will love it.

2.) “…but it was just Obama’s time.”  No, Jon, it was OUR time.  That is, the American people’s time.  It was time for us to stop being terrified of scary Muslims.  It was our time to stop the slide of the middle class towards destitution.  It was our time to invest in infrastructure and our future.  We needed a leader who was ready and able to help us do that.  It wasn’t feminists’ time or African Americans’ time.  The prize of the presidency of the United States was not a personal accomplishment for Barack Obama.  He wasn’t ready for a commitment as big as this one.  And this is where you made your fatal mistake.

Where the hell do you get off substituting your opinion for expressed wishes of the voters of your state?  As a superdelegate, you can do whatever fool thing you want with your vote.  But you don’t have the right to take the primary results of millions of people of the state you govern and dump them in nearest waste paper receptacle because you are dazzled by a Wall Street shmoozer who thinks it is his destiny to rule the world.  You may have thought the local Democratic machine wouldn’t stand in your way if you did it anyway but the voters had the right to hold you accountable for your lack of effort and your bad judgment.  That’s why you’re not Governor anymore.

If there’s anyone to blame for Chris Christie’s win in NJ, it’s YOU, Jon.  All you had to do was act like you actually cared about the voters in your state.  Instead, you behaved with arrogance, detachment and wrong headed stupidity.  You saddled a lot of New Jersey residents with taxes they struggle to pay and you deprived them of a voice in the most crucial election of their lifetimes.  And for that, the voters held you personally responsible.

And that’s going to happen to Congress this fall.

Thanks for nothing.

BTW, Happy Belated Birthday, Bill.

(And so’s your wife)

Private Party

We keep getting Obama apologists here who insist that we “get over it”.  They are referring to the primaries of 2008.  We’re not going to get over it but in spite of all of our efforts, the Obama whiners and the DNC still do not seem to understand why the primaries of 2008 were the turning point for many of us newly created independent liberals and Democrats in Exile.  I think the reason for this is because they continue to see this as an internal accounting issue within a private party and it’s no big deal.  It’s just that one candidate who was a Democrat beat another candidate who was a Democrat.  Yeah, things got a little hairy and words were said that were misinterpreted as promises and some voters got screwed but, jeez, it’s two years already.  When are you people going to move on?

The answer is, never.  Or not until the Democrats understand the depth of anger we have in their violation of our trust.  So, let me explain it one more time to the dimwitted out there.

Let’s say that all of the crappy things the party pulled on us didn’t happen during a primary.  Let’s say it happened during the general election and the electoral college in the aftermath of that election.  In this scenario, the following might have happened:

- McCain’s supporters with clout meet with the federal elections authorities to make sure that there are caucuses in the south west and that these caucauses have disproportional representation at the electoral college later.

-McCain buses in his supporters to these caucuses and they use hooligan tactics to intimidate Obama’s voters and rig the caucus results.  Complaints by Obama’s campaign to the federal elections authorities fall on deaf ears.

-McCain takes advantage of some timing issues in Florida and Michigan to make sure that none of the votes count during election night.  BUT, knowing how bad that PR will be in the final analysis, works with the federal election authorities to make sure those votes count during the electoral college proceedings so that the voters in those states don’t cause a fuss and discredit the election results.

-McCain’s backers buy off a lot of electoral college superdelegates and delegates so that when it comes to count the electoral college votes, whole states that went overwhelmingly for Obama are given wholesale to McCain.  When the number of delegates needed for McCain to win is reached, none of the other states that voted overwhelmingly for Obama are allowed to cast their delegate votes.

McCain becomes our new president.

Now, if you think for one minute that anyone in this country would stand for such a thing, you’ve got another thing coming.  It’s one thing to have the supreme court decide an election in 2000 and many Democrats did not get over it.  It’s quite another to see violation after violation of fairness in elections happen right before our eyes by our own side.  No country in the world would respect such an election.  Our democracy would be thoroughly discredited and we would have massive demonstrations in the street.

The only reason Democrats were allowed to get away with it was because the whole mess wasn’t covered by the media to show what really happened.  AND because the Democratic party is a private party.  They can make or break the rules any way they want.  The only problem is that they used state taxpayer money to run their sham primary elections.  Millions of people went to those polls thinking that their votes counted.  In reality, it was a pointless exercise because the outcome was predetermined in some smoke filled room.

Now, I don’t care if the Democrats want to go back to smoke filled room politics.  But they should announce in advance that that’s their plan so I don’t waste my time campaigning and making phone calls and going door to door trying to convince people that my candidate is better.  And I don’t think any state, especially one the size of NJ, should be wasting precious tax dollars running fraudulent elections by people who don’t really give a damn what the voters think.  That money could be used to employ some teachers.

As for the results of the 2008 elections, well, nothing good every grows from a bad seed.  The results, as far as I and many others are concerned, are invalid.  The nomination was rigged for Obama and there is nothing anyone can say that would convince me otherwise.  If the Democrats don’t like it that we feel this way and are holding them responsible for the aftermath, tough.

Get over it.

Hindsight allows us to see an Ass more clearly.

So, I’ve just gotten into the West Wing recently, and I’ve plowed through until Season Seven. I just watched the Debate episode last night, and it inspired me (because apparently I’m a MASOCHIST) to re-watch all of the Democratic primary debates from the 2007/08 primaries. I watched them all the first time through, and through those debates I became a rabid Hillary supporter, and later on a rabid Obama critic. Both of which I remain. I continue to be curious how many of my friends who were vocal about their political allegiances during the primaries actually Watched the debates and stayed up to date on the race beyond the mainstream media’s talking points and their candidate’s website. I did, but I had a lot of time on my hands, and I’m more obsessive than is generally good for me. At any rate, I’m re-watching the debates now, and let me tell you, the shit that comes out of the candidates’ mouths is transformed into comedy gold (well, cynical and dark comedy gold) by hindsight. Also, the softballs lobbed at a certain candidate becomes more obvious in retrospect. I would encourage you all to re-watch (or just watch) the debates, but I warn you, they aren’t for those with weak stomachs or no sense of irony. These aren’t all of the debates, just the ones I could find easily on YouTube. If anyone has links to the missing debates, please comment with them.

Continue reading

The “creative class” – today’s “best and brightest”

You're not worthy


(RalphB found this little gem and I decided to frontpage it)


From Neal Gabler at The Boston Globe:

WHEN AUTHOR David Halberstam wrote his account of what got this nation into Vietnam, he didn’t find that the architects of the war were obtuse or illogical or commie-obsessed or infatuated with American might. Instead, in Halberstam’s now iconic term that became the title of his best-selling book, they were “the best and the brightest’’ — a superior governing class that was the product of America’s best families, its most prestigious prep schools and universities, and most august law firms and investment banks. The irony is that these geniuses turned out to be so dangerously wrong that the very term “best and the brightest’’ became a sarcastic euphemism for a hubris that leads to disaster.

One might have thought, then, that the “best and the brightest’’ would have been eternally discredited like the war they promulgated. But Barack Obama has such a strange, almost reverential faith in the very sorts of folks Halberstam flayed that the president threatens to lead his administration and the country down the same hubristic path.

[...]

The difference between 1.0 and 2.0 is that 2.0 are not all Protestant, white males sprung full-blown from the Establishment as 1.0’s fathers and their fathers’ fathers were. Like Obama himself, they are by and large onetime middle-class overachievers who made their way into the Ivy League and then catapulted to the top levels of class and power by being . . . well, the best and the brightest. But in elitism as in religion, no one is more devout than a convert, and these people, again like Obama, all having been blessed by the Ivy League, also embrace Ivy League arrogance and condescension. On this, the Republican critics are right: The administration exudes a sense of superiority.

So what difference does it make if our policy-makers think they are above criticism? As Halberstam shows in “The Best and the Brightest,’’ people who are concerned not with the fundamental rightness of something but with its execution, because the rightness is assumed; people who see what they want to see rather than what is; people who see things in terms of preconceptions rather than of human conduct; people who are incapable of admitting error; people who lack skepticism and the capacity to grow beyond their certainties are the sorts of people who are likely to get us in trouble — whether it is an ever-lengthening war in Afghanistan or ever-deepening economic distress here at home. After all, we’ve been there once before.

Gabler is talking about Obama and the people working in his administration, but I think he has nailed the typical “creative class” Obama supporter that Poetry Major Chris Bowers talked so glowingly about over at BadPrognostication.com:

Cultural Shift: Out with Bubbas, up with Creatives: There should be a major cultural shift in the party, where the southern Dems and Liebercrat elite will be largely replaced by rising creative class types. Obama has all the markers of a creative class background, from his community organizing, to his Unitarianism, to being an academic, to living in Hyde Park to shopping at Whole Foods and drinking PBR. These will be the type of people running the Democratic Party now, and it will be a big cultural shift from the white working class focus of earlier decades. Given the demographics of the blogosphere, in all likelihood, this is a socioeconomic and cultural demographic into which you fit. Culturally, the Democratic Party will feel pretty normal to netroots types. It will consistently send out cultural signals designed to appeal primarily to the creative class instead of rich donors and the white working class.

Anyone who has ever argued with an Obot will recognize that part about arrogance, condescension and exuding a sense of superiority. They “know” they are right and you are wrong. They are very open about the fact that they are smarter, better informed and better looking than us and everyone else. Not only are we always wrong, but they are better people than us morally and spiritually.

Remember when Obama said this?:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Do you remember the shock and dismay in the “progressive” blogosphere at those words? If you do you’re hallucinating, because the creative class reaction was “So what? It’s true.” Their main concern was that Obama got exposed by Mayhill Fowler for saying it.

According to the Obot creative class types, Hillary supporters are middle-age and older white women (the “dry p*ssy demographic”) who were not politically aware or active until one of their own ran for President. They also believe that in addition to being “low information” voters Hillary supporters were racists who didn’t want a black man to win.

It was obvious to them that Obama was the superior candidate and anyone who disagreed had to be:

a) stupid
b) racist
c) not a Democrat
d) all of the above

Who cares if the majority of the Democratic voters chose Hillary? They’re mostly working class (i.e. the lowest common denominator) and the creative class will replace them.

So what if the caucuses got gamed, the rules got manipulated and delegates got pressured? Obama got the nomination and that’s what really mattered. You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.

Ironically the Obot creative class/best and brightest don’t have the courage of their convictions. They don’t try to sell their progressive ideology, they either try to trick or bully people into voting for it.

Obama’s 11th-dimensional chess thingie that the Obots jizz in their pants over? It’s just a fancy way of saying manipulation. But saying “Obama really excels at manipulating people” doesn’t sound as cool. Not to mention they might start to figure out who he really manipulated back in 2008.

“Barack Obama had a gift, and he knew it. He had a way of making very smart, very accomplished people feel virtuous just by wanting to help Barack Obama.”Newsweek

Over in Obotia there are two main schools of thought these days. One group thinks Obama is the most wonderful Democrat since uh, well . . . ever. The other, somewhat larger group is trying to figure out how to make help Obama become the progressive messiah they know he *really* wants to be.

That’s the funny thing about hubris – it almost never leads people to the right decisions and good outcomes. If President Obama was even 10% of the advertised product that was Candidate Obama we would be cheering not jeering. But he’s not.

The “historic candidate” is an epic failure. Once again the hubris of the “best and brightest” has led us to disaster.

Once again they are smugly confident it’s not their fault.


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