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    • The End of the Rebels in the Ukraine and the Ukraine’s Future
      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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Tweety and Barney Frank give Tony Perkins a Swirly Over Marriage Equality

What’s up with Tweety?  He almost seems to have a soul on occasion and then he goes and swills some cocktail weenies with Sally Quinn and declares that the only reason Hillary got elected to the Senate was because people felt sorry for her, unlike Scott Brown who is a braintrust. Jeez, it still pisses me off whenever I remember that but that’s not the subject of this post.

This post is about how Tweety and Barney Frank took on Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the kind of guy some in my family adore like he is a dreamy uber-Christian demigod, striding the marbled halls of justice with the wind in his fists and the stars round his wrists.  Anyway, someone must have spiked Tweety’s tea because he went after Tony relentlessly going as far as showing instant replays.  It’s a thing of beauty.  Why can’t we see the conservatives get swirlied like this on a regular basis?  I might even reinvest in cable to see that.

But the best part (or worst part, depending on you perspective) is when Tony Perkins goes all psycho on special needs children.  Apparently, they’re not worthy of loving parents and no one wants to adopt them anyway.  Well, well, well, we can now see what Tony really thinks of children born to the wrong parents.  Nice white, asian and south american infants are peachy keen for intact heterosexual families but an older kid or a kid with the wrong skin color or HIV status or disability doesn’t deserve parents at all no matter what kind they are.  Anyway, check it out.

Yeah! Give’im hell, Tweety.  Ask him to explain that whole ugly business with Lot’s daughters and the bear that ate the kids who made fun of Elisha’s hair.  Why stop with Abraham?

**********************

Also, there’s this little bit on Fox where the hosts are discussing Obama’s drug use.  I guess it’s a tit for yesterday’s tat on Romney’s stupid and mean haircutting escapade.  If I were the Obama campaign, I wouldn’t have gone there because now, Fox is going to feel justified bringing out all of the drug stuff and even if they tip towards the racist side (and how could they not, they’re Fox), nobody is going to care when the Obama campaign cries “wolf!”. The crocodile tears and faux outrage over racism is going to backfire this year. Fox goes as far as accusing Obama of selling drugs- and then apologizes for getting that wrong.

What’s that saying about a lie making it halfway around the world before the truth gets its shoes on?

Late Night Open Thread: Evan Thomas says Obama is “God.”

Soros%20and%20his%20messiah

This is too much. Peter Daou posted on Twitter earlier this evening about Evan Thomas’ appearance on Hardball tonight. I found a post about it at Newsbusters and it’s actually true. Check out the video. Evan Thomas says Obama is like God, standing above the world. What is wrong with these people? Here is the relevant portion of the transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Evan, you remember ’84. It wasn’t 100 years ago. Reagan and World War II and the sense of us as the good guys in the world, how are we doing?

EVAN THOMAS: Well, we were the good guys in 1984, it felt that way. It hasn’t felt that way in recent years. So Obama’s had, really, a different task We’re seen too often as the bad guys. And he – he has a very different job from – Reagan was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is ‘we are above that now.’ We’re not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, we’re not just provincial. We stand for something – I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God. He’s-

MATTHEWS: Yeah.

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Sotomayor Round-up: It’s about more than abortion

But if you are of child bearing age, stock up on Plan B.

Realistically, the Republicans have already won the Roe v. Wade battle.  Anthony Kennedy is persuadable, given the right case.  He nearly caved on Webster v. Casey back when Sandra Day O’Connor was on the bench.  She had to talk him out of it but it was touch and go for awhile there.  Kennedy only reluctantly agreed with her in the end.  There’s no Sandra Day around anymore but there are a whole lot more blustering, former altar boys on the bench.

Sotomayor may not be an Antonin Scalia but the sense I am getting from her is that she’s no Souter either.  I was stunned to learn from Gibbs that Obama never asked her what she thinks of Roe.  It’s probably because he doesn’t need to know.  It’s beneficial to both parties for Roe to stay on the books.  So, it’s likely that a test case like Webster will never come up again.  No, instead we will have more of the kind of cases where the right to have an abortion remains but the actuality of obtaining one is very difficult.  Maybe we’ll go back to the days of the early 70’s where you had to take a trip to New York.  And Sotomayor will probably be just fine with that.  It allows her a certain amount of cognitive dissonance.  She never has to outlaw it or condone it outright.  She can be technically pro-choice while being practically pro-life.

This doesn’t come as any surprise to those of us who followed Obama’s rhetoric on the subject last year.  It was above his paygrade to comment on it but any such decision needs a supermajority from all of your friends, family and religious authorities.  Women, you can’t do this by yourself.  Your eency-weency brains and underdeveloped sense of morality require the assistance of others wiser than you.  If you decide you want an abortion after all, they can shame you for being a wanton woman and if you decide to put the kid up for adoption they can call you heartless and non-maternal.  If you keep it, you will be a burden to your family.  Gosh, don’t you miss the olden days when it was everyone else’s business to know what is going on in your life and pass judgment on it?  I doubt that Obama appointed a truly pro-choice nominee because the evangelical base might desert him.  He’s not too worried about you 20 somethings.  I mean, where else are you going to go?  As long as he is also technically pro-choice, he’s going to be heads and tails better than any Republican, right?  Oh, right, they already have 5 votes to overturn Roe.  Funny, they had that *before* the 2008 election too.

I sure feel smart that I voted for the woman:

Sotomayor has accumulated a record on church-state issues, insurance cases and employment law.  I haven’t read everything and I don’t claim to understand all of it anyway.  But my sense is that she is very deferential to authority.  Maybe that’s why George H. W. Bush appointed her as a judge in the first place and why she was offered by the Democrats to the Republicans during the last administration.  It may very well be the case that her upbringing will have an impact on her judicial temperament but not in the way Republicans fear.  In fact, they almost seem to be playing tar-baby with Sotomayor.  What kind of person comes out of an ethnic, urban, working class, Catholic upbringing, who spent years in a parochial school and excelled at pleasing those paragons of virtue and authority, the formidable Catholic nun?  What kind of person does that produce?  I mean, other than Maureen Dowd and Chris Matthews?

Yeah, imagine Chris Matthews on the SCOTUS.  That’s Sotomayor.

The Funniest Thing I’ve Read All Day

The Establishment?

The Establishment?

This is hilarious. Howard Fineman of Newsweek says that “The Establishment” is turning against Barack Obama.

Luckily for Obama, the public still likes and trusts him, at least judging by the latest polls, including NEWSWEEK’s. But, in ways both large and small, what’s left of the American establishment is taking his measure and, with surprising swiftness, they are finding him lacking.

But who is “they?” Fineman provides no examples of Establishment figures who have been whispering in his ear, nor does he bother to clearly define what he means by “The Establishment.” In my mind, the term refers to the ruling class of a country–the top government figures as well as the heads of the most powerful corporations and foundations, and the most influential members of the national media. Here’s Fineman:

If the establishment still has power, it is a three-sided force, churning from inside the Beltway, from Manhattan-based media and from what remains of corporate America. Much of what they are saying is contradictory…

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Thursday: Mutual, I’m sure

Hat Tip to Radiowalla at Alegre’s Corner for finding this little gem of an exchange between Dick Armey (his name conjures up so many amusing images) and Joan Walsh.
They were discussing Rush Limbaugh’s control over GOP members of Congress when Dick (so appropriate) starts talking over Walsh and finally tells her, “I’m so damn glad you could never be my wife”. I’m guessing that Walsh was equally relieved.
Note that Dick talks over Walsh, snickers and laughs at her comments and is generally dismissive of what she has to say.  This is not unusual behavior for men in the workplace but this clip is one of the best examples of the behavior of the species that has been caught on tape.
Yep, guys, we put up with this crap every single day.

Diane vs. Tweety: Diane wins!

Diane vs. Tweety

Diane vs. Tweety

Diane Mantavoulos, co-founder of Just Say No Deal and number one instigator, went up against Chris Matthews on Hardball tonight.  Chris was actually *decent*.  Bravo, Chris!  I would say you can be taught but I have a feeling you will backslide sooner or later, probably sooner.  Anyway, Diane was disciplined and managed to fit in the caucus fraud issue.  More on than that in a minute.  Bonnie Erbe of US News and World report discussed what she’s found out about us.  Actually, I think we are a broader demographic than pensioners and forty somethings.  But one thing we most certainly are is able to detect BS when we see/hear it.  The Hopey/Changey message just isn’t resonating with us.

Anyway, I can’t embed the msnbc video into wordpress but here’s the link if you want to see how it’s done (if you get multiple video options, choose the one that says “The Hillary Factor).  Nice job, Diane!

Now, about the caucus fraud issue.  Tonight, Lynnette Long issued her caucusanalysis1, a 98 page compilation of eyewitness accounts and caucus procedures from all around the country. Don’t forget that we also have two films in production on the subject of the caucuses.  There will be a premiere party for the Audacity of Democracy in Denver on Sunday night.

Without the caucuses, Obama would not have been able to pull ahead of Hillary.  Well, that and withholding her FL and MI delegates from her total.  Never before have the caucuses trumped the bigger D and swing states in pushing one candidate so far ahead of another.  Their procedures were vulnerable to manipulation and Lynette has put together a manual of sorts of how it was done.

The process was highjacked and as a result, a weak candidate who gamed the system was able to nullify the votes of more than half of the Democrats who voted.  Those Democrats who were discarded would have made Hillary the nominee in any other year.  By the time the TX and OH primaries were held in early March, it would have been all but over and Barack Obama would have been giving his concession speech.  His inability to close the deal in the Big D and swing states is one of the reasons there will be no unity this year.  Those of us who have been shut out of the decision making process will exercise our power in November in order to make sure that the DNC gets the message that we tried to deliver in the Spring.

Tweety on Hillary: “Can she obey?”

I didn’t want to mess up the Obama-free zone in the previous thread, so here I am.  The prodigal daughter returns from her self-imposed Obama-free life, which has also involved eschewing political blogs, reading my once-beloved New York Times (and the crossword puzzles), and of course, virtually all TV news.

In this special time, I’ve re-read four Jane Austen novels — Emma, Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice and Mansfield Park — and am about to start Northanger Abbey, which I’ll be reading for the first time.  I had a brief virtual affair with the new American Idol, David Cook.  I actually voted for him.  Several hundred times, I think.  I am 52 years old.

I did a trial.  I’m still doing the post-trial briefing.

I’ve had my first job interview in 26 years. Not sure I even want to get a new job, but in times like this I feel like I should test the strength of the inertial forces.  Naturally, the guy interviewing me was an Obama supporter.

I just helped my daughter get dressed for her senior prom.  She looked beautiful.

I went to Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico primary.  Bill was there.  I also ate arroz y habichuelas rosadas, mofoungitos y bistec

A friend who had persuaded me to go to an expensive Hillary fundraiser last fall unexpectedly argued with me when I protested the RBC “compromise” on Florida and Michigan.  It turned out that he had switched his support to Obama a month ago, and hadn’t told me. He’s a friend of the Clintons, and sadly told me of his “difficult” call to Hillary.   He urged me to unite behind Obama.  I told him that if Obama wanted the party to unite behind him, he shouldn’t hold his breath waiting for everyone to fall in line.   “Oh, I know, I’ve been telling them [the Obama camp] that.”  Keep telling them, I said.  There has been serious damage, I said, and they have to take responsibility for it.  “Yes, yes, I’ve told them.  I’m going to call you.  I’m going to get you involved.”  Communications thus far?  {{crickets}}

I just turned on MessNBC for the first time in weeks, because I don’t want to miss Hillary’s speech.  And I heard Tweety talk to Howard Fineman and KO about the possibility of Hillary Clinton as Obama’s running mate, which is why I was compelled to post.

Tweety to KO: “But can she obey?  Because that’s what a vice-president has to do. She has to obey the president.”

KO expresses skepticism. about Hillary’s capacity for obedience.  Tweety repeats: “I have to go back to this.  Can she obey?”

A few minutes later, Tweety asks Fineman: “Can she take the oath of obedience?  After eight years of political independence, can she accept the subservience?”

That’s what it comes down to.  Not can she help Obama win. Not whether her supporters can forget the sexism of the campaign.  But can she obey, can she be subservient?

I have the TV on CNN with the sound off.  Hopefully I won’t miss the beginning of her speech.  I think Rico needs to open the bar.

 

 

Mixed Emotions

Mike Leibovich of the New York Times Magazine wrote a profile on Chris Matthews for this Sunday, titled, The Aria of Chris Matthews. The piece depicts an insecure man with the hyperactivity of a 4 year old on 10 bowls of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs. It’s much as you might expect. Matthews doesn’t think he’s sexist, doesn’t think he’s ever acted disrespectfully towards women on his program and hates Hillary for reasons I still can’t understand but may be rooted in his intense desire for acceptance by his peers. (More on this later.) In the meantime, here are a few passages that made me go Hmmmmm.

For example:

Friends say Matthews is wary of another up-and-comer, David Gregory, who last month was given a show at 6 o’clock, between airings of “Hardball.” It is a common view around NBC that Gregory is trying out as a possible replacement for Matthews. Before the flight from Cleveland to Washington took off, an NBC staff member noted that Matthews, Russert and Andrea Mitchell were all on board, and if the plane were to crash, it would devastate the network’s talent pool. Matthews quipped that Gregory was outside the plane arranging for just that. (“I hadn’t heard that,” Gregory told me. “I’m quite sure he was joking.”)

Continue reading

MSNBC and the Hopes of Adolescent Girls (with pithy update)

Here is the letter that I sent to MSNBC this morning:

Dear MSNBC,
You’ve probably gotten a lot of letters like mine in the past couple of days so I’ll keep this short. But I would like you to pay attention to WHY I am taking these actions.
Due to the macho, frat boy behavior of your hosts on MSNBC in the past couple of months, I am removing Countdown with Keith Olbermann from my DVR schedule. You can find more details on my reason for doing this at my blog http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/thats-it-im-taking-countdown-off-my-dvr-schedule/. According to my blog statistics, this post is number one among the people who were referred to my blog.
And here is my #1 reason for doing it: I have a 12 year old daughter who is a regular consumer of Countdown. She’s very gifted. She’s at a crucial age, a turning point, where there are both subtle and overt pressures put on girls like her to squelch their interests in math and science. It’s not womanly to be so smart. Think about how much talent the world loses when girls like her turn off their minds so they can fit into the world of men.
So, I can’t let her be exposed to the systemic and pervasive sexist behavior at MSNBC. The worst offender is Chris Matthews but I don’t have him on my DVR schedule. I am recording Countdown nightly. And I know that at 3am every morning, my satellite company does disk diagnostics on my DVR, looking at what I’ve recorded and watched. And I suspect that they pass that information on to you so you can present it to advertisers and Keith can brag about it. And Jack Welch, that master of “Rank and Yank”, the uber salesman whose bottom line at all costs method of getting ahead in the world is probably the source of this aggressive machismo, will use the ad revenue to decide what program stays on MSNBC. (See? We girls aren’t stupid)
In any case, you’ve lost me as a viewer. You suspended Shuster but you should have suspended Matthews. You apologized but an apology is insufficient. We’ve heard apologies before and Chris has said that he “gets it”. Subsequent shows of his indicate that he does not get it at all nor do many of your male hosts.
So, I can’t let my daughter’s self-image be tainted by this anymore. I’m sure that if more of your hosts had adolescent daughters, they’d think twice about behaving this way.
Too late now.
Sincerely,

My name, etc, blah-blah-blah

UPDATE: ARghhh! Don’t you just hate it when the point you’ve been trying to make crystallizes after you’ve hit the send button? Here’s the nugget at the core of the MSNBC controversy:

Throughout the American experience, we have said that the aspirations of boys are unlimited. Every boy in America has the ability to grow up to be president if he wants to. He just has to set his goal and work hard and someday he could be President of the United States. bill clinton shakes JFK’s hand

MSNBC is saying the exact opposite to girls. It is saying: no matter how hard you work, how much you accomplish, how you aspire or dream, you will NOT be President of the United States because we won’t let you, you’re a girl.HR delivers commencement speech

That’s it. No other reason. We just don’t let girls be president. We will make sure to promote the boy at your expense and we will make fun of you. Your self-worth is meaningless to us. It’s tradition. Now run along and bring me a beer.

This is what MSNBC is saying.

Alegre has a another take on this in her diary at DailyKos. Check it and rec it.

By the way, if anyone has sent me email recently and didn’t receive a reply, please send it again. There was a glitch in my account but it’s been fixed now. Unfortunately, the previous email is irretrievable.

Ponderings

pinky and the brain

  • Even NewJerseyans can be dim sometimes. This article from NJ.com highlights the campaign stop that the Big Dawg made in Camden. The media and Obama’s campaign has been somewhat successful at shutting the Big Dawg up. But it’s sorta in his nature to not hold back. Actually, I don’t have a problem with that but it has to be done very carefully. He’s larger than life and that kind of stature always comes with a proportionally sized magnifying glass. On the other hand, Obama will never be able to relax as long as the Big Dawg is out there. But getting back to stupidity. The Clinton campaign has NOT been playing the race card for one simple reason- Hillary can’t win black voters by doing it. Accusing them of doing it has been very successful but it doesn’t parse logically. As for the Jesse Jackson statement, just because something is true doesn’t mean it was meant to be racist. Obama was always going to be favored in South Carolina. He pulled out all of the stops and spent a lot of money there which meant that Hillary had to campaign there as well in a state she was guaranteed to lose the minute Obama announced his candidacy. But that’s because it was South Carolina. And anyone can see that Obama is an intelligent, charismatic candidate. The state that started to put things in perspective is Florida because there was little campaigning done there, the population is quite diverse and it appears that experience *does* matter. But, whatever. I just hope that when this is all over that Obama makes amends for driving a wedge into the heart of the party.
    There is plenty of visual evidence that the Obama campaign is making its stand in black neighborhoods. The borough of Somerville which has a diverse population in the midst of the mostly white and asian central NJ suburbs is festooned with Obama signs. Oh, Hell, I actually like Obama, OK? I said it. I will work like a fanatic for him if he’s the nominee. But I want the best qualified person to be in the WH in Jan, 2009 because it’s going to be so bad that even the best will be over her head.
  • I have to agree with Digby on MSNBC’s coverage of the Florida primary last night. I had to turn Countdown’s coverage off, last night. That’s how bad it’s become. The anti-Clinton theme fairly jumps off the screen. And not just from Tweety. Plus, they’ve relegated Norah “Betty Crocker” O’Donnell to standing in front of a scoreboard distracting us with weird catalog model hand positions. (Do models and women broadcasters take lessons in that subject?) And I don’t even like Noron but I don’t like to see women subjected to silly Vanna White status. Can’t you make her wear a nice pantsuit so she can stick her hand in one pocket while she gesticulates with the other to make her point? Better to just replace her altogether with another Rachel Maddow and let Tweety stand at the scoreboard with nothing much to say. C’mon, guys, do you have to be so obvious? If you’re going to turn into another outpost of DailyKos Obama delirium, I’m going to start hanging out at CNN more. Think about that, KO, Anderson Cooper will be stealing your mojo. Anderson COOPER.
  • Florida *did* count. I suspect that next Tuesday is going to be huge for Clinton but between now and then, the media is going to pull out all the stops to show how young and sexy Obama is and what a dried up old prune Clinton is. That goes doubly so with the supporters. All the Obamaphiles will look like Sports Illustrated athletes and swimsuit models. All Clintonistas will look like Bea Arthur and short indigenous Honduran illegal immigrants who collect the shopping carts in the local grocery store parking lot. They will conveeeeeniently forget that there are many well educated 40 something women pulling in decent salaries that can’t wait to push that big lumenescent Hillary Clinton button on the Sequoia voting machine. Oh, yeah, baby, Tuesday is going to be great. It’ll be just me and several million of my fellow New Jerseyans pushing Hillary buttons all day long. Orgasmic. Tweety will never know what hit him.
  • Many of you Kossack alums who I love dearly will have received invitations to post here. And I really mean it. Please take me up on the offer. You can probably tell that I get a little crazy when I’m by myself too long. At first, I didn’t think that anyone would read this outpost. Kos had assigned me to raving and blathering in the dark and scary wilderness outside the warmth and light of the palisade. But it’s actually not too bad. In just over a week, I’ve gotten more than 1000 hits. I’ll never be a big orange satan and I’m not aspiring to it. That would be a full time job. But even as a part time job, it’s a bit time consuming. So, I would really appreciate some lucid voices. If you guys are holding back because the name of the blog is too closely identified with me, we *could* change it. I found the page (among many administrative pages) that will allow us to do so. So, if that’s the only thing holding you back, give me a new name and start posting!
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