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      Quantitative Easing, to put it simply, no matter what form you do it in, is only marginally effective. Most of the money goes to the rich, you may or may not get a technical win in GDP, and in many cases the money may flow out of the country. If you want to improve the [...]
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Tea Party Thoughts

I didn’t pay much attention to the buildup to the “Tea Parties” that were held on April 15, and I didn’t follow any of the coverage of these events after they happened. I had gotten the impression that the “tea parties were a right wing phenomenon focused on high taxes. Since I actually would like to see higher taxes for the super-rich and corporations, I didn’t think I would fit in. It turns out the “Tea Parties” were also about other issues, like protesting the bank bailouts that most Americans, including myself, didn’t want. Apparently, the “tea parties” were heavily promoted by Fox News Channel as well as former U.S. Representatives Newt Gingrich and Dick Army.

I also thought it was interesting that so-called “progressive” bloggers like Jane Hamsher and Mike Lux along with professional organizers Joe Trippi and Zephr Teachout organized a protest on April 11 called “A New Way Forward.” Please note that the rallies were heavily promoted by William Greider and The Nation magazine. Greider even appeared on The Bill Moyers show to promote the “movement.” Here is a report on the Washington DC “a new way forward” demonstration, attended by Jane Hamsher. The video has a Republican bias, so tune that out if it bothers you.

Our own Riverdaughter attended the “new way forward” rally in New York City, and reported that it was a little small and disappointing, although she did meet two very nice young people there named Zach and Alana.
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Monday: Separation Anxiety

Melissa Ethridge

{{sigh}}

I don’t want to start another flame war.  I love her songs and her passion.  What bothers me is her slavish devotion to hopium when reality is smacking her upside the head.  But she, like a lot of people who make their money in front of adoring crowds, has to watch what she’s saying.  No, no, I don’t mean she should censor what she says.  I mean that the crowd can turn on her and regardless of her sexual orientation, Ethridge is a cross over singer.  Her career could very easily take a Natalie Maines type path if she pisses off the global warming, crunchy granola, Whole Foods, “we are so enlightened we even listen to lesbians” crowd.

But I think there is a little more to it than that.  Someone recently pointed out that the country has a strong civil rights narrative and it was stirred up last election cycle.  Well, that’s civil rights when it comes to African Americans at least.  The rest of us can take an old, cold tater and wait.  Barack Obama, the post partisan, unimpressive, unaccomplished candidate rode that baby straight to the White House.  The guy who claimed to be running a post racial campaign never let us forget for one minute that he was black.  He brought it up *constantly*.  In fact, it was his secret weapon.  He identified so closely with the struggle to overcome that even *I* was touched when I saw that sea of humanity in Grant Park.  The whole Obama phenomenon didn’t make sense to me until that moment.  But as I watched that joy and triumph, I was able to separate the nation’s ability to overcome the color barrier from Obama, the candidate who exploited that cultural narrative.

I guess I have always been able to see Obama as a post racial candidate.  Ironically, that made me a racist in the eyes of many.  But the color of his skin wasn’t as important to me as the content of his character, which I eventually found severely wanting.  In the last couple of weeks, the orgasm has started to fade away for many and the content of the character has become more and more obvious.  There seems to be an almost frantic response to the idea that Obama is just a man, and not a liberal one, after all.  He now appears to be less than agile as a politician.  He’s pissed some people off.  His economic plans seem underwhelming when a huge, monumental action is called for.  He seems to be pretty cool with Gitmo and the war and torture.  And he has no trouble telling us how we all need to sacrifice.  Like handing over $700 billion to the robber barons and sitting on pins and needles waiting for the pink slip isn’t sacrifice enough.

We’ve seen David Shuster go bat-$#%@ insane over Sarah Palin’s reading list even though Sarah lost already and have heard newly fledged pundits go way off on a tangent justifying their support of Obama because Hillary never told us why she wanted to run for president while Obama did.  And now we have Melissa Ethridge cozying up to Rick Warren saying he’s not so bad after all.  Um, yes, Melissa, he really is that bad.  Give yourself permission to loathe him. Even Ms. Magazine has lost it with its inaugural edition cover of Obama as Superman, bringing hope into the darkness for women.  Tennessee Guerilla Women has a collection of reponses to that cover from around the blogosphere and asks this very pertinent question: Does feminism even need women?

This is what the Kool-ade drinkers bought.  They allowed the Obama magicians to fuse Obama the Unready with Obama the successor to Martin Luther King Jr.  Now that they have discovered he is not who they thought he was, they have separation anxiety.  It’s nervewracking to think you might have been fooled again and that the person you love is not who they said they were.  So, they cling harder, like little kids left with strange babysitters for the first time in their lives.  They can’t let go.

Let it go, guys.  Just because it turns out that Obama is just another fallible human being, albeit more dishonest, insincere and corrupt than most Democrats who run for office, doesn’t mean you are a racist for thinking so.  Just because his campaign was so bad that he needed the RBC hearing to rig the primary so he could “win”, doesn’t mean you are a stupid, old, ugly woman for finally coming to that realization.  You can still enjoy the inauguration of the first African-American, because that will be his only moment of glory.  He ran as a symbol of his race, whatever race means in a strictly genetic sense, and he won.  Celebrate with the country’s African Americans.  We can live it up because the triumph wasn’t Obama’s, it was OURS as a nation.  Learn to separate the guy who flogged that racism baby harder than anyone ever has from the country’s victory from the shackles of bigotry that bound us to old white guys for president for hundreds of years.

The struggle for equality isn’t over by a long shot.  No one in the LGBT community should relax and women have just had the clock reset for them by forty years.  It is going to be a long, hard slog for us, make no mistake about it.  And Obama is already a failure as a president IMHO because he didn’t bother building accountability into the Paulsen Bailout Bill when he had a chance back in September and October of last year like Hillary was trying to do.  But that is the hand that the Kool-ade drinkers have dealt us even if they are now sobering up.  But we have to make the next week of inaugural BS shoveled down our throats palatable.  So, try to live in the moment because the good times won’t last more than a nanosecond.

Don’t forget to vote in the 2008 Weblog Awards. Here are our recommendations:

For Best Liberal Blog, vote for The Confluence here

For Best New Blog, vote for Uppity Woman here

For Best Small Blog, vote for Nice Deb here

For Best Hidden Gem, vote for Deadenders here

For Best Food Blog, vote for Cake Wrecks here

For Best Pet Blog, vote for F**k You, Penguin here

For Best Podcast, vote for This American Life or NPR’s Planet Money- here.

And then there are the Bloggies!  Today is the last day to nominate.  Thanks for your support!

David Shuster Meets His Match

Since I never watch MSNBC anymore, I was fortunate to see these videos posted at No Quarter by Curt of Flopping Aces. These interviews are amazing.

We already know that David Shuster is one of the most misogynistic “reporters” in the media, standing out even among his koolaid-chugging colleagues at the Obama Network. For example, during the primaries he accused Hillary Cllinton of “pimping out” her daughter, simply because Chelsea Clinton, a mature adult, freely chose to make campaign appearances for her mother. In another blatant display of CDS, Shuster brought a “Hillary laughing pen” onto the set during a discussion of primary results and used it to mock Hillary for her “cackle.” Shuster was also one of the most rabid of the TV talking heads in his attacks on Sarah Palin during the general election campaign. There are endless examples of his over-the-top CDS and PDS.

On Friday, Shuster “interviewed” (actually harrangued) John Ziegler a libertarian-conservative radio talk show host turned docmentary filmmaker, whose film Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected will be released in February. Ziegler maintained a good humored tone as he stood up to Shuster’s attempted battering. Apparently Shuster felt he’d been beaten, so he invited Ziegler back a few hours later for another attempt, which was again a failure. Watch and enjoy.

Discuss.

Update: John Ziegler has been “distressed by the general nature of the liberal response” to the preview of his documentary that was posted at you tube.

I should probably hold off (for now) on sharing the over-the-top,hate-filled, profanity-laced, rationality-less e-mail I have received, but you can just go to the comments section of the video and see for yourself!

While I guess I should not have expected much from the followers of a false Messiah virtually installed by an adoring media, even I have been a bit taken aback by the absurdity and intensity of much of the reaction to the video and the Zogby poll that I commissioned.

We Conflucians are not surprised, of course. We also know that the Obots are not really liberals. They are Obamicans.

Sunday: Talking SLOOOWWLY to the media

It took me a couple minutes after I first heard the “symbolic vote” meme to figure out what was wrong with it. I have a million different thoughts in my mind at any one time and I have to admit that it took longer than it should have for Hypergraphia to run it through the logic processor in my mind.  But here is what finally popped out:

If it is just a symbolic vote, then why the f%*) is Obama’s campaign team working overtime to intimidate, woo, deceive and invalidate Hillary Clinton’s delegates?

Yeah, mull that over in your head David Shuster.  I don’t think you’re really that dumb.  You just play a blustering, overly aggressive moron on TV.  It’s a nice gig you’ve got going there, spending your evenings manipulating the perception of the average middle aged white guy who cringes at the thought of wimmin in the driver’s seat.

Come on, can’t you guys do better than this?  Obama didn’t have a fricking choice in the matter.  He’s not even the presumptive nominee and you *KNOW* this, DA-VID.  When MI and FL are returned to full strength, as every sentient person knew would have to happen before convention time, the numbers needed to snag that title change and he’s no more presumptive than Hillary.  Neither one of them can win without superdelegates and it’s beginning to sound like Obama’s losing ground with them too. By the way, when they start circulating reports of the snub Obama’s organization gave them about their role at the convention, it means they want to make Obama “unlikeable”.  Two reports is a trend, three reports is a correlation.  I’d say Obama is in a heap of trouble.

Of course you’ve got the bigger billboard and can get your falsified, bullying, totally illogical version of the story out better than I can set the record straight.  But pretty soon, the non-blogger dudes are going to wake up and wonder why it is that a guy who presumably has the whole thing sewn up is pulling out all of the stops to poach every last damn delegate he can get in any dirty, low, underhanded way he can get away with.  I smell fear.

And don’t even get me started on how he won more votes than she did.  The guy couldn’t win CA, NY, NJ, MI, FL, PA, OH, TX or MA.  He’s a predetermined failure for the presidency against McCain.  I know it, she knows it and YOU know it.  The question is, why are you so determined that John Q Public doesn’t know it?

Note to John Q, when it comes to the Obama campaign and the DNC, pay attention to what they *do*, not what they say.

One more thing, David: You may have heard of factional in-fighting but that’s just because you are seeing a division that doesn’t exist.  There are many, many flavors of PUMA out there and we’ve all pulled together to form one coalition called Just Say No Deal.  So, for example, we are Conflucians and PUMAs and we are also part of Just Say No Deal.  It’s an economy of scale thing so we don’t duplicate our efforts.  Not really a very difficult concept.

Fundraising continues today.  PUMAPac’s goal for today is $6000.  All those who have contributed can pat yourselves on the back and go have a picnic.  Everyone else, step up and donate a $10 spot or a yuppie foodstamp.  You can make your donation here.   Little bits were all it took for us to make $4980 yesterday.  Of course, if you can spare more, Murphy will be eternally grateful.  If your checkbook is emty but your inkjet printer is not, Murphy has a whole list of action items you can do this weekend that will be just as effective.  You can also make a donation to Just Say No Deal who is organizing events at the media center.    It can be done.  Thank you very much for your support of our outreach efforts in Denver.  Let’s reset the counter, Carol!

Keith Olbermann becomes his own worst enemy

I had taken Countdown off my DVR schedule and had restricted our access to MSNBC because I didn’t want my adolescent daughter exposed to the ridicule and contempt for women that passes for news on that channel, But I dropped into Countdown last night for a few minutes to check the coverage of the Deval Patrick beta test of Obama’s campaign and was horrified by what I saw. There was Keith Olbermann, his voice dripping with contempt for Hillary Clinton with every word.

Having isolated myself from everything but C-Span for the past couple of weeks, I had no idea it had gotten this bad. If you watched cable TV, you might very well get the impression that Clinton’s campaign is hanging on by a slender thread and every action by it makes it more likely to snap at any second. There is no stupid move she and her advisors are not capable of making and they inflict so much damage to her that *when* she finally gives up, she won’t be able to recover politically. Why doesn’t she just drop out now and spare us having to watch her being humliated, as the new media feels they must? Why does she insist on tearing the party apart by continuing to run, as Howard Fineman suggests?
The over the top hand-wringing, the contempt, the “expert” after “commentator” who tsk-tsk’d and made their grave pronouncements was reminiscent of something. I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

Then it hit me this morning.

There was a day back in 1998 when Keith Olbermann had his first show on MSNBC when he was talking to a quartet of some blonde bimbo Republican “elves”, going over the Lewinski scandal, ONE MORE TIME, when I saw the same look of disgust on Keith’s face as must have flashed across mine last night. It’s the same damn thing! He was being forced to rehash the same sordid material night after night and over time, his disdain for the scandalmongering was becoming more evident. The elves would go on about how Clinton was a disgrace to his office, he couldn’t do anything right, no one liked him, why were we being subjected to having to watch this and why didn’t he just resign for the good of he country? And Keith *hated* it. Hated having to talk about the same sordid details all of the time. Hated how we couldn’t move on to anything else. And who cared anyway? Clinton was still wildly popular.

I remember Keith resigned not long after than night. It was pretty obvious why he did it. If he was going to have a new show, he wanted to report the real news. So, he started cable hopping from sports desk to sports desk and then finally, back to MSNBC as the reincarnation of Edward R. Murrow.

Or that’s how it seemed until recently. Now, he’s doing the work of the elves himself. He’s indulging in the same over-the-top breathless coverage of Hillary Clinton that he so despised in the Lewinski years. He’s not a journalist anymore but a tabloid specialist, channeling mob violence on the Villagers’ and Big Blog Stores’ behalf. He has become his own worst enemy.

But here’s the thing. Hillary Clinton is liked by a lot of the same people who didn’t give a rat’s ass what her husband did in the Oval Office cloak room. No one cares if the Villagers are raving lunatics who are going to bay at the moon until Hillary leaves the public stage. Keith should know this. He should know that this over the top vicious coverage of everything Clinton is what drove many of us away from TV news in the first place. He makes a big deal about how reprehensible Fox “News” is but then he is copying the Fox 1998 script almost identically. It does more damage to his brand name than to hers. If she’s driven off, this whole episode will be notorious as being the worst abuse of media power that was ever imposed on a presidential campaign.

I want to know what made Keith do it. What made him sell out and start attacking a person who we all know doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment. I’ve been following her campaign and it’s not performing badly. It made some adjustments, it’s had to raise some money. But if these are the kinds of things that should doom a campaign, John McCain should have been out months ago. And no one seems to be concerned that Obama’s campaign is dropping wads of cash in states that he can’t win. That doesn’t sound efficient or smart but I guess because he has more money than God (or he *used* to) his campaign tactics are above scrutiny.

Someone from the Village should clue me in. What is it about the Clintons that drives otherwise perfectly rational people absolutely insane? Seriously, Keith, I want to know. Because I don’t see it. Is it criminal behavior? Is it something personal? Did they cut you off in traffic, waterboard you, steal your iPod? What?!

I suspect that part of the reason Keith is acting out is that David Shuster was suspended over what he said about Chelsea Clinton. Yes, that was pretty rough and I expect that the Clintons were pretty mad about it. But until you have your own daughter, Keith, you will never understand that they were not overreacting. And it certainly doesn’t give YOU any excuse for behaving like your worst enemies.

And as for Hillary, you know what to do.

BTW: I’m back to work today so posting will be light. If anyone has some tasty links, put them in the comments and I’ll do a web roundup a little later.

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.

That’s it, I’m taking Countdown off my DVR schedule

I’ve watched Keith Olberman faithfully for a couple of years now and I used to think that David Shuster was a pretty good reporter. But the Obamagasm and testosterone poisoning on DailyKos and other of the Big Blog Stores has infiltrated Countdown and MSNBC in general and made them a less credible source of news for me.

It’s very annoying. First it was the major network news programs that couldn’t be trusted, Fox never was, CNN started copying Fox to remain competitive and we progressives had nowhere else to turn. Then MSNBC started to take up the cause for us and Countdown delivered brilliant commentary channeling our frustration and anger.

They are channeling something else now. The skewed coverage of the primary elections is apalling and very disappointing. In an effort to increase the bottom line, they have latched onto the Obamania inspired circlejerk of the Big Blogs. It doesn’t seem to bother them that the voters of the big Democratic states are voting for Clinton by wide margins.

I blame Jack Welch. The bottom line is everything to him. Countdown wouldn’t even exist anymore if a lot of us didn’t schedule him on our DVR’s and if the satellite companies didn’t collect data that GE uses to woo advertisers. So, buh-bye, Keith. I’d rather stick to C-Span or CNN than listen to another jerk call Hillary, “Babe” or accuse her of pimping her daughter. The frat boy crap has got to stop.

Better yet, I’m going to reset my DVR for Bill O’Reilly. Yeah! That’s the ticket! I don’t have to watch him, or at least I don’t have to be in the same room when I play the DVR back. Oo! Oo! I have TWO DVRs! I can program the other one to do the same thing! Oo! Oo! I actually have a dual DVR on my one TV in the living room and the other half of it is awaiting my new TV for the basement. Now is the perfect time to buy that third TV and set the DVR to pick up Billo on it.

3 DVR’s all recording BillO every frickin’ night for the foreseeable future. Boosting his ratings. Increasing his ad revenue. It will go straight to his massive head.

I want to hear KO and Shuster to cry uncle and make a sincere effort to get the rest of us back. Ooops! There will be no way I can tell they are contrite BECAUSE I WON’T BE WATCHING!

You want to know the worst part of the MSNBC turn to MAXIM Media on steroids? The worst part is that my 12 year old daughter was a faithful Countdown viewer. But if you think I’m going to let her self-image be tainted by this overt appeal to males at her expense, you are sadly mistaken.

I don’t know what the rest of you readers are going to do but someone’s got to draw the line. I’ll go first.

Update: It looks like David Shuster will be suspended. Why not suspend Tweety too while you’re at it? And have a written notice placed in Russert’s permanent record. It’s too late, guys. You’ve probably lost your female viewership at this point, that is, the portion not slavishly worshipping Obama.

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