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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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Hoodwinker and bamboozler: Burris and Blago

Burris and Blagojevich have no problems kidding the kidders

Burris and Blagojevich have no problems kidding the kidders

Burris and Blagojevich had no problem playing Harry Reid and the rest of a the Senate like a violin. They race-baited, they turned hasty and stupid claims about the Senate’s power back on the Senate, they masterfully orchestrated p.r. And all along any ordinary non-politician knew that these two were just like Paul Newman and Robert Redford in The Sting.

See reports here, here, and here for why that comparison is so apt and see who’s laughing now. Let’s see if the DNC and the DCCC get behind Kirsten Gillibrand’s reelection in 2010 or whether they leave her to fend for herself while they try to vindicate the Burris appointment by a “redemptive” election.

You Solve It, Pass the Chips

Bachelorette party food by rlj.

The Prez wrote me an email today. You can read it below. Did you get one, too?

Riverdaughter suggests that we PUMAs host our own party and contact the new DNC Chairman, Governor Tim Kaine, directly. We can let him know what we think about the President’s placation of Republicans in removing the birth control funding from the handout that doesn’t solve anything and still leaves out homeowners, women, and longtime unemployed stimulus package. Thanks for the direct link to new leader’s helper, RD.

I’d like to underline the insidious Big Brother notion of these house parties. Now, I’m as much a party-lover as the best of you. However, this house party meeting model with email and web sign-ups is taken directly from moveon.org’s organizational tools to influence the government they just helped put in power. It was also adapted by the DNC to host parties during the 2008 campaign season. If memory serves, the DNC even used a similar web-based organizational tool to promote Obama events on their website during the Democratic Primaries in April 2008 when Hillary Clinton was still in the race. The house party model consists of a central, piped in speaker, by video and/or phone, with question and answer period to go along with meet yer neighbors, let’s have food, and get to know each other and who’s in our camp.

I’ve been touting the effectiveness of this model for nine months after seeing how an org of which I was a charter member used it to help put Barack Obama in power. In doing so, moveon.org members were subsequently used and thrown under the bus. I wonder if they’ll ever awake to find that they’re in intensive care?

Our PUMA movement could use this model to start cooking up recipes in the kitchen. Obama said we’re the ones he was counting on for change and that the American people need to get involved. I guess he hopes we’ll come up with some pretty good ideas after Big Brother tells us what’s good for us about spending our money.

Lady Boomer –

The economic crisis is growing more serious every day, and the time for action has come.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will jumpstart our economy and put more than 3 million people back to work.

I hope to sign the recovery plan into law in the next few weeks. But I need your help to spread the word and build support.

It’s not enough for this bill to simply pass Congress. Americans need to know how it will affect their lives — they need to know that help is on the way and that this administration is investing in economic growth and stability.

[IMPORTANT NOTE TO READERS: And about that stimulus plan . . . You can read Puma PAC's decoding of it here. Our community and the whole country owe a debt of gratitude to Puma PAC members who devoted their time and noggins to bring to light what the people who run our government are trying to shove down our throats.]

Governor Tim Kaine has agreed to record a video outlining the recovery plan and answering questions about what it means for your community. You can submit your questions online and then invite your friends, family, and neighbors to watch the video with you at an Economic Recovery House Meeting.

Join thousands of people across the country by hosting or attending an Economic Recovery House Meeting this weekend.

The stakes are too high to allow partisan politics to get in the way.

That’s why I’ve consulted with Republicans as well as Democrats to put together a plan that will address the crisis we face.

I’ve also taken steps to ensure an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. Once it’s passed, you will be able to see how every penny in this plan is being spent.

You can help restore confidence in our economy by making sure your friends, family, and neighbors understand how the recovery plan will impact your community.

Sign up to host or attend an Economic Recovery House Meeting and submit your question for the video now:

http://my.barackobama.com/recovery

Our ability to come together as a nation in difficult times has never been more important.

I know I can rely on your spirit and resolve as we lead our country to recovery.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

P.S. — If you can’t host or attend an Economic Recovery House Meeting, you can still submit your questions for Governor Kaine and then share the video with your friends and family this weekend. Learn more here:

http://my.barackobama.com/recovery

Party to solve the country’s problems, anyone? I know! Soon there’ll be a fundraiser component to it, where we just raise money flat out for the government, instead of the DNC, RNC or moveon. You in?

Oh, and speaking of which . . . Excuse me, is it weird to have the New DNC Chairman appearing in a supposedly neutral role to the whole country at these parties? Perhaps, then we can become more familiar with our Party leaders, so they’ll become just like all the other neutral people in power who are unselfishly interested in bettering our lives? What the ????

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

Why I’m PUMA

melanistic_panthera_onca4I am a PUMA today for the exact same reason I went looking to become something that didn’t yet exist on May 31, 2008; I object to the manner in which Barack Obama became my president.  And nothing I’ve seen before or since has mitigated that essential truth in the slightest, in fact, the more I see of the way he operates, the more upset I get.  Barack Obama offends my sense of fair play.  From what I’ve been able to determine through my research of him, he has pushed the against “da roolz” envelope in every contested election he’s won.  Though he cannot be accused of outright cheating, he has built his entire pseudo-impressive career out of finding obscure loopholes to screw to his orgasm, thereby raping the process to his pleasure and advantage.

As has been extensively chronicled, in 1996, Obama won his first election to the Illinois Senate by contesting the voting petition signatures gathered for all of his challengers, getting them all disqualified, and running unopposed.   Before he could complete his second term of office, after winning re-election in 1998 over African American Republican Yesse Yehudah (whose name later emerged in Obama bribery allegations) he mounted a disastrous 2000 campaign for sitting Congressman Bobby Rush‘s seat, who beat the pants off him like he was a red-headed stepchild, by playing his “my black card on the table trumps the Uppity Magic Negro card up your sleeve.”   It worked, and Obama never let that happen again.

Given Illinois’ convoluted system regarding Senate terms…

Every Senate district elects its members to serve two four-year terms and one two-year term per decade.

…and Obama’s predilection for reticence, the details regarding his Illinois Senate runs are rather sketchy.  However, considering that his opponent in  1998, Yehuda, won approx. 10% of the vote, and that in 2002 he ran unopposed, its safe to assume that, for some reason, Obama’s re-elections were basically a rubber-stamp formality.  Curiously, Wikipedia mentions that Obama was re-elected to the Illinois senate in 2002, presumably in November, yet numerous sources report that he had already begun preparing for a run at the U.S. Senate by June of that year.  From the Boston Globe:

In mid-2002, Obama began to focus on the upcoming US Senate race. The incumbent, Republican Peter Fitzgerald, seemed beatable, and it was not clear Carol Moseley Braun, who had held the seat before Fitzgerald, would try to reclaim it. Obama and his wife made a deal: This would be, as his wife puts it now, “the last hurrah.”

And, from a Chicago Maroon piece written July 12, 2002:

Democratic State Senator and University Law School Senior Lecturer Barack Obama has begun assessing his chances in the 2004 US senate race. Obama has commissioned a statewide poll by the Colorado firm Harstad Strategic Research, and he has filed for federal permission to begin fundraising. Obama will have to win the democratic primary in order to face incumbent Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald in ’04.

Note the article from 2002 refers to Obama as a “Senior Lecturer” not “professor,” as he has claimed to be; a claim which was backed up, but “nuanced” (their word, not mine)  by Fact Check.org via the University of Chicago.  Another example of Obama’s fondness for “nuance”regards his now, much bally-hooed, then, largely ignored, unfilmed, 2002 Iraq war speech:

“My objections to the war in Iraq were not simply a speech,” Obama said. “I was in the midst of a U.S. Senate campaign. It was a high-stakes campaign. I was one of the most vocal opponents of the war.” (Obama delivered the speech in October 2002; he did not officially declare his candidacy for the U.S. Senate until January).

Even in this era of YouTube and camera phones, a recording of Obama’s speech is all but impossible to find. The Obama campaign has gone so far as to re-create portions of the speech for a television ad, with the candidate re-reading the text, with audience sound effects.

So, according to the above article from NPR, this cornerstone and centerpiece of Obama’s presidential campaign was actually an insignificant speech delivered to about 1,000 people by a little known guy running unopposed for the state Senate, at somebody else’s (Jesse Jackson) rally.    Even Obama’s campaign manager, David Axelrod, has admitted as much.   Quoted in the New York Times Caucus blog lamenting the lack of recorded Iraq war speech material:

“I would kill for that,” he was quoted as saying. “No one realized at the time that it would be a historic thing.”

Similar “nuance” marks the man’s entire biography, yet he has somehow managed to create the illusion of transparency.  When David Axelrod joined (became) Obama’s team in 2004, the elements of Obama’s new, “I am, too, black enough, but not too black, just short of under-handed envelope pushing” political philosophy began to successfully knit themselves  together.  On his AKP&D Message and Media website, “the Axe” takes his full share of credit:

In 2004, Axelrod helped State Senator Barack Obama score a landslide win in his U.S. Senate campaign, developing a message and media strategy that enabled Obama to defeat six opponents in the Democratic primary with an astounding 53% of the vote. He is currently serving as media advisor to Obama’s presidential campaign.

Continue reading

My Voting Strategy: Integrity

http://pos-psych.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/integrity.jpg

I’ve been a Democrat since Adlai Stevenson, the first Presidential candidate I can remember, ran against Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, and lost. He had been Illinois’ 31st Governor, and was later the 5th US Ambassador to the UN during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. I remember him as a hopeful, staunch negotiator with integrity, who was unafraid to take a stand.

Democrats were always the inclusive, big tent Party, which is what I liked. Even when I had to hold my nose and vote, because they were too conservative for me, I pulled the lever for the straight ticket. Over the years I volunteered at the polls, registered voters, and worked for the Party during presidential campaign years. I was a moveon.org member from their beginnings in Berkeley, CA, where I lived during the late 1960s and again from 1993-2007.

As a perennial, idealistic baby boomer with hippy roots, and after a lifetime of controversy, I’m coming to terms with what seems to be my l-lot in life: I get in trouble for expressing my mind and trying to walk my talk. I don’t seem to make the most pragmatic point A to point B choices, perhaps because I’ve used my gut and intuition to guide me. That’s how I became an artist as a child and later a fifteen-year resident of a large Utopian-style commune, whose mottoes were: “Question authority,” and “Out to save the world!”

We chose a collective lifestyle and worked hard on all levels to pursue our ideals. Therefore, if someone makes a similar promise, I take it seriously. I married out of my religion and culture over my parents’ and grandparents’ objections. I became a healer and a body-centered practitioner, and in this election cycle, a blogger and a PUMA. It’s not an easy path, the warrior path. A teacher of mine said that once you declare a path, obstacles will come up to meet and challenge you along your journey.

I make choices based on:

  • my assessments and those of others
  • coherence between what I see, hear, notice, and feel
  • my personal goals and standards
  • what I want to have happen in the world
  • what and how I am being promised or am promising
  • if and how the promise has potential to be fulfilled, and if it is or not

Making promises is the politicians’ stock-in-trade, not just during the election cycle, but throughout their political life. Politicians make verbal, written, and implied promises from their particular point of view, to their political party, constituents, colleagues, and families—based in a broader promise to uphold the Constitution and laws of the land. Sometimes, the interests of the aforementioned parties collide.

To make a promise is a profound act. Within each promise lies the possibility and vulnerability of trust, and the hope of a desire fulfilled. —Jen Cohen, Leadership Coach

When someone keeps a promise, they are in integrity. When someone breaks a promise, it breaches trust, and unless re-negotiated or acknowledged, the promise-breaker is out of integrity. According to wikipedia’s scientifically-oriented definition, “Integrity comprises perceived consistency of actions, values, methods, measures and principles.” In my book, living in integrity means you walk your talk within truthful, ethical guidelines, and have inner and outer coherence or congruity.

The PUMA and Just Say No Deal movement happened because of a collective zeitgeist. A bunch of people saw something at the same time and could not remain silent. They saw that the Big Tent Party was out of integrity. For me it began in January ’08 with the blatant disrespect and misogyny directed toward Hillary Clinton by the DNC, the Democratic candidates, and the mainstream media. I was alarmed, wrote an email to friends and colleagues, got back some kool-aid replies, and in defiance learned how to create a blog and started publishing Lady Boomer NYC.

Obama’s promise was to create a new kind of politics. Instead we were handed: sexism, ageism, class-ism, misogyny, race-baiting, caucus and voter registration fraud, threats, intimidation, mean-spirited sniping directed toward the Clintons and their supporters, and . . . last but not least, over-turning and subverting the will of 18 million Hillary Clinton voters with sham rulings, votes, and procedures at the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee Meeting and the Democratic National Convention.

If a guy goes a-courtin’, and he isn’t trying his darnedest to impress a gal and her folks, do you think he’ll start after he gets her? Progressives barely flinched when Obama reversed his positions on: NAFTA, Israel, FISA, DC gun laws, Iraq, Iran, and preconditions for meeting with rogue nation leaders. There was a promise for honesty and to root out crooked financial dealings, yet we saw Democrats like Dodd, Frank, and Obama receive large donations from the mortgage and banking industries. Obama raised over $500,000,000 during his campaign to make the Democratic Party over in his image, spending millions on slick branding and product placement. He broke his signed pledge to take public financing. Does that sound like someone who’s concerned with your money?

It saddens me that in making these integrity calls and various decisions as a result, some friends seem to be very upset with me. They think I’ve turned into a Republican or can’t understand what happened to me. Me—I’m keeping my promise to make my own decisions and follow my inner guides, same as always. Scarier still, is that for the first time since Reagan was elected, my mom and I agree about politics; and now I only watch FOX News!

Hillary Clinton was the integrity candidate, and the Democratic leadership took away my potential to vote for the candidate who won the primaries, and whom I considered to be the most electable, responsible person to lead this country. In justifying the means for the ends, the Democratic Party and Obama failed in their promise for a new kind of politics. Therefore, I am casting my vote as a protest against them and their steamroll to power.

For the first time in my life, I will vote for a Republican at the top of the ticket, and for down-ticket Democrats. I will not write-in Hillary’s name, because I don’t want her to be held responsible if Obama fails. I’m in a blue state, so it won’t count in the end, but I am making a statement and voting for someone whom I think can and will lead well: John McCain. In the past, he has acted with integrity in taking stands for immigration and campaign finance reform, and against torture of war prisoners. I don’t agree with everything Palin stands for, but she has been  running a state with an $11 billion budget and 24,000 employees, was running a household, and sharing her life with her five kids and husband. They look happy and healthy. Pretty good management skills, I’d say.

Whoever wins the Presidency, on the following day, November 5, we will have our work of reforming the primary, caucus, and electoral college systems ahead of us, plus a lot more. We expect to have a Democratic majority in Congress, so Roe v. Wade are fine. This isn’t about a Republican victory, it’s about a protest vote. I’ve had to break ranks with my peers and do what I feel is right instead of following external pressure. I haven’t been part of the group campaigning for McCain/Palin, but I’ve tried to write about what I’ve observed, and be a voice for PUMA and a source of information and inspiration for voters.

Although Hillary requests that we follow her lead in voting straight Democratic ticket, and would object to this choice, many PUMAs cannot. We honor her immense contributions and profound service, especially in the face of adversity. We must do what keeps us in integrity and continue our work. We’ve made a damned good beginning!

Your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles . . . you taught me so much.

To my supporters, to my champions, to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, because you never gave in, and you never gave up. Together we made history. . . .

And even in the darkest moments, that is what Americans have done: we have found the faith to keep going.

My mother was born before women could vote, my daughter got to vote for her mother for President. This is the story of America, of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.

So how do we give this country back to them? By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her life to bring slaves to freedom along the underground railroad.

On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice:

‘If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they’re shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop, keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.’

And even in the darkest moments. That is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going.

—Hillary Rodham Clinton, August 26, 2008 Speech, Democratic National Convention

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The Chicago Thugs are measuring the drapes

Lynn Sweet from the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Obama’s Thug crew is moving on up already -Chicago  Quid Pro Quo style:

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. endorsed by Chicago Defender to replace Obama in Senate

WASHINGTON–As Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) noted Sunday, he
believes it is pre-mature to speculate who Gov. Blagojevich will tap to  replace Barack Obama if he is elected president. Nonetheless, the Chicago Defender called for Jackson to succeed Obama, and the lawmaker blasted out the news in an e-mail.

Others in the top tier for Blagojevich to consider:
Illinois Veterans Affairs chief Tammy Duckworth
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)

Rahm Emanuel on being President Obama chief of staff; interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos

WASHINGTON–With
Barack Obama’s lead growing and John McCain’s path shrinking,
speculation is growing about who will serve in an Obama White House. On
Sunday, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.)
whether he would be interested in serving as Obama’s chief of staff.
Emanuel did not rule it out.

Former Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta—a native of
Chicago’s North Side–is quietly overseeing Obama’s transition
operation, dealing with personnel, policy and process. The transition
operation commissioned white papers on how to turn campaign promises
into action; arranging security clearance for those involved in the
handover; figuring decision time lines out how the executive office
should be organized.

Obama has been pondering transition matters since at least last
April, I have learned, with activity stepped up as it looked more
likely he will win. The Obama team has been trying to keep all
transition matters secret for fear of raising the hubris factor
.

UPDATE:

Other names being mentioned for Obama White House Chief of Staff are former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), whose own team made up the core of the Obama operation; real estate executive Valerie Jarrett, the confidant of Michelle and Obama who has known them for years and banker William Daley, the former Commerce Secretary and Mayor Daley’s brother.

This is not the party I once supported and knew.  This is a complicit and systematical Chicago Machine takeover on the national scale – at all costs.   This Neo-Democratic thug crew is measuring the drapes and cutting their pieces of their pie while our votes are thrown in the trash.   This is their reward for a “job well done” – for pissing on Democracy, Free Speech and Women Rights, among so many other rights the current 2008 DNC has violated.   And God help me, as long as I have breath in me, I’ll resist it to the end.


UPDATE: (H/T to Woman voter reminded us that :  Matt is on My Two Cents on Blog Talk Radio:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/My-Two-Cents/2008/10/27/My-Two-Cents-Radio

¡Que viva los PUMAs!

Our PUMA Anti-Convention

Lady Boomer NYC as Miss Piggy Puma, courtesy of Gary and Mawm

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Our PUMA Anti-Convention

“So, how’d it go at the Democratic Convention?”

I get that a lot from my family and friends. They know I had been working the entire year to get Hillary Clinton elected President while “raging against the machine,” and that I was going to Denver to protest. I replied,

“Ummm . . . good. . . . I, I wasn’t really at The Convention.

We were like . . . the Anti-Convention!”

Post-Denver, although still mourning for what could have been, most hardcore, grassroots Hillary supporters have moved on — in one way or another. They know, or are deciding, what they will do with their votes and/or their efforts. Will they work for one campaign or other at the top, or just support down-ticket candidates? They are mulling over whether to: vote nothing on top, vote third party, write in Hillary’s name, stay home, or cast a protest vote for John McCain. For most, that would be their first Republican vote ever, and they do not take it lightly. The only reason they would do it is to protest Barack Obama and Democratic Party leaders who subverted the democratic process and 18 million voters.

But I can’t fully move on yet. This story is roiling around inside me, unwilling to be forgotten. One week plus is old news, past prime, but I keep getting these “little messages.” Last week I ran into my neighborhood Brazilian Café and struck up a conversation with husband and wife owners, Marcello and Juliet. I’d been socked away in my “Puma Den” for the last six months, making rich stove top espressos at home on the cheap.

Marcello asked, “I heaven’t seen you for a while. Where have you bean? What have you been doing?”

I hesitated protectively, having lived undercover using my handle for so long that I had to consciously produce my real name in my head before saying it. “Actually, I’ve been doing a lot of writing most of the year, political writing. Do you know what blogs are? I have a blog and contribute to other sites and efforts.”

They continued the conversation as they scurried about their business, “Oh really, and who were you supporting for President?”

My personal self gulped inside my political self having been so underground and divided, “Actually, I was supporting Hillary Clinton, working to get her elected. I still support her and believe she would make the best President.”

They both jumped to attention and gravitated back to the counter to face me, “Really? We’re for her too!”

(See why I can’t stop?) “That’s great,” I cooed, as I came clean, telling them about my blog and links to others, our efforts prior to and during Denver, and our work to ensure a roll call, a floor vote, and a record of the truth about this election.

They pointed out to me, “It’s just like 2000, Gore and Bush!”

“Right!” I answered, “and now from our own. It seems so much worse that way. Did you know that Democrats have a weird gene that makes them eat their own?”

They laughed. We talked about the delegates. They had seen the same things that Puma and Just Say No Deal Coalition members have been uncovering, observing, highlighting, and shouting about all year long: the subversion, bullying, and undemocratic processes. They could not believe when they saw the vote halted and delegates switched. “We voted. We went in and pulled the lever. Why should we even bother?”

“I KNOW. How do they do it in Brazil?”

“We vote. It gets recorded. Somebody gets elected. That’s it.”

Continue reading

Null and Void: Democrats’ Roll Call in Retrospect

[Bumped] This fabulous post has been bumped for your sleepless pleasure.

Suspending Rules and Winning “By Acclamation”

I am proud to call on the Senator from New York to make the following presentation, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Madam Secretary, on behalf of the great state of New York, with appreciation for the spirit and dedication of all who are gathered here, with eyes firmly fixed on the future, in the spirit of unity, with a goal of victory, with faith in our party and our county, let’s declare together in one voice, right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate, and he will be our President. (yays and boos)

Madam Secretary, I move that the Convention suspend the procedural rules and suspend the further conduct of the roll call vote. All votes cast by the delegates will be counted, and that I move Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this Convention by acclamation as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States. (yays and boos — Hillary, Hillary, Hillary, chanting)

“Wuh Roo?” said Scooby Doo, “What Did I See On TV?”

This was bothering me. Many of you have moved on to whatever’s next in your PUMA/Just Say No Deal/Democrat or anti-establishment lives. But I’m not that way. I can’t move forward until I understand and sort out what I have witnessed.

What exactly did we see on the “Democratic” Convention floor last Wednesday, August 27, 2008? Why was the roll call halted halfway through? Why did state after state in which Hillary won the primary election and a majority of delegates declare their votes for Obama? Who and what do all those delegates’ votes represent? As each “Great State of” our Union called out its numbers, I wondered, what was the actual delegate count? I felt compelled to compare the roll call vote with the delegate count that we were supposed to get. After all, why pull the lever if it doesn’t even matter? Wow, now that’s deja vu all over again, ain’t it?

What About My Vote?

I will recap three points that we’ve been saying for months. I’m restating, because many citizens do not realize what happened right before their eyes: The delegate count in this election was not a fair reflection of the Democratic Party electorate. 1) Hillary Clinton WON the popular vote. (Resources and numbers nearly impossible to reconcile, based on FL, MI, and caucus votes) 2) There exists growing documentation, compiled by Lynette Long and ordinary poll and election worker reporting, that caucus fraud was rampant. This occurred in the form of systematic, deliberate suppression, misinformation, pressure, and bullying, mishandling of voter and caucus rolls, and ignoring basic caucus rules. 3) Each delegate elected from a district or region in a primary state represents approximately 12,225 primary voters, but only 2,110 voters in a caucus state. Accordingly, a caucus delegate represents about 5.8 times fewer voters than one elected in a primary. So, when Obama “won” a caucus, each of those delegates stood for far fewer voters. This is especially important in the general election in the red and swing states. Pat Buchanan called Wednesday’s spectacle a phony roll call vote in his op-ed, “And If Obama Loses.”

Why Is This Year Different Than Any Other Year?

Laying that aside for now, let’s talk about how the Democratic Party screwed Hillary Clinton and everyone who was connected to her around that roll call vote. At least that was my impression leading up to and viewing it on TV. Even the scheduled time was in flux. In my recollection, in every other election year, it had been held at night for everyone to view. But this year, Hillary Clinton, the person who won the most primary votes in history, had to negotiate for her right to be on the ballot and have a roll call vote on the convention floor. Her supporters wrote thousands and thousands of letters, emails, and blogs. They raised money, ran political ads, and spoke out in the media to help the delegates stick with the one that brung ‘em. All this, because the DNC leadership and Obama’s campaign were so afraid of Hillary’s success after saying they could win the general election without all of us old and new dedicated party regulars. All year they tried to strong-arm us in to Unity and make her quit.

Our dedicated coalition members worked tirelessly to have a full roll call vote and a nominating speech for Hillary on the floor during prime time. We appealed to delegates and Superdelegates with petitions, and petitions on top of petitions. We didn’t know what would happen until the last minute, although we suspected. The same with Bill Clinton’s speech: off on, off on, but not during prime time, after they edited him.

And Then It Happened . . .

All of a sudden the roll call was on, but many of us were unable to get the live-streaming on our computers, so we ran several blocks away to a “Hillary-friendly” Denver bar. We saw states yield to other states on their votes, then the Convention floor was all abuzz, as our candidate was introduced as a simple Senator, with no mention of her historic win — just one of the guys delegation. She was on the floor with her fellow NY legislators. Then they made her eat sh*t, while they had her turn around and f*cked her up the a**, while reading a “stop the vote, we’re all onboard” speech. (Oh, I should have warned you: XXX, not my usual sedate lady self, is it? I feel a little strongly about this.) Everything was orchestrated, as CA, IL, and NM yielded so that Hillary, in a great show of U-N-I-T-Y, could cast all votes of her own NY State for Obama, throwing the delegate totals over the top. Oh, right, she likes it like that, because she’s a politician. But I’m not.

Yes, we’re all good soldiers and must move on to the next front. Many already have and are considering both individually and as a group what to do leading to November and beyond. However, many people aren’t clear about what happened, and are incensed that the vote was stopped mid-stream. Below, I’ve compiled the number of delegates won by state and candidate, how the numbers changed during the roll call vote, total number of delegates, and total number of votes cast. This list is variable, depending on the source and date and because it contains Superdelegates. On the morning of the roll call vote, 10 delegates flipped back to Hillary, and the petition effort was contacted by several Superdelegates who wanted to switch to her as well, some under the lights of the press.

Fair Reflection? Arkansas, Florida, and Michigan

Just a few words about fair reflection: Arkansas flipped. The Chairman of their delegation and DNC party head, Bill Gwatney, had been murdered two weeks prior. Heard anything in the news about it? Word is that his entire delegation had signed the 300 petition to ensure that Hillary’s name be placed on the ballot. In a twist of irony, his wife delivered their state’s votes to the Convention: Unanimous for Obama, after Hillary had won their state of origin by the largest margin of the primary: 70%. Arkansas.

Florida and Michigan votes were denied and blocked by Obama, until the May 31, 2008 DNC RBC meeting when he became a charity case. The committee donated four of Senator Clinton’s Michigan delegates and all the uncommitted vote delegates, which had included votes for other candidates. Obama had removed his name from that state’s ballot, fearing a loss would taint his chances in Iowa. However, Clinton kept hers on, stating that although the votes wouldn’t count, the voters should have a say. She was smart and right.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee refused to tackle their problem of fully seating delegates representing 2.3 million voters in both states. Instead they made each delegate into half-votes, and referred an incensed Harold Ickes, attorney for Senator Clinton, to the more appropriate Credentials Committee to contest their ruling in Denver on August 24, 2008. On August 5, Obama wrote a letter to that committee, requesting that those delegations be seated and counted in full. On August 20, when they no longer had any effect on Hillary’s campaign, as they would have had they been counted when she won them, those delegations were seated in-full. I learned on August 24 that the Credentials Committee and the Rules and Bylaws Committee were comprised of the exact same people. So I guess they really meant: talk to the hand.

How Am I Driving? Pass and Yield

Lastly, how about that orchestrated roll call, pass/yield deal? It began like any other roll call. Hillary would have her due. It had been rumored for over a week that she might release her delegates before a roll call vote on the floor. This prompted a new 20% or 826 delegate petition requiring a vote. Then came word of a secret hotel vote, then a Wednesday meeting with Clinton and all her delegates in which she released them and advised they vote their conscience. She’d cast hers for Obama.

Back to the roll call: First, California passes on casting their 441 votes, of which Hillary won over half. As Barbara Boxer yields to Hillary supporter Art Torres to make the announcement, she gleefully turns to her delegation and giggles. It’s as if Boxer was saying, “Ooo, what a coup! Aren’t we clever!” Come their turn, Illinois passes. New Mexico yields back to Illinois, who yields to New York. Then a hustle bustle on the floor, so Clinton could deliver the perfect Unity blow, right into her own back. Gee, it just doesn’t get better than this, does it?

Is It Safe To Vote?

Exactly, why do we vote if “delegates” can just switch their votes, and on the first ballot no less? Why should Superdelegates be able to have a more influential vote than any ordinary citizen, enough to sway their state and an election, as perpetrated by a biased and corrupt political party? I am committed to reforming the system to one person one vote. If we don’t have that, what do we have as citizens? It’s our most basic democratic right.

The chart below shows by state the combined delegate/Superdelegate count awarded to each candidate, the first ballot floor vote, total number of delegates per state, and total votes each cast during the convention. I completed the chart for the rest of the states. By directing Superdelegates to declare their endorsements before the convention in a DNCC and DSCC letter, in press conferences and public appearances, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid nullified their original intent. The numbers, which include SDs seem less close than they actually were.

Democratic Delegate Count vs. Roll Call Count

Democratic Convention, August 27, 2008

STATE      HRC DELS  BO DELS  HRC ROLL  BO ROLL  TTL DELS  TTL CAST
AL           28        29        5        48        60        53
AK            4        14        3        15        18        18
AM SAMOA      6         3        0         9         9         9
AZ           35        31       27        40        67        67
AR           38         8        0        47        47        47
CA          232       200       PASSES             441         0
CO           23        45       15        55        70        70
CT           36        24       21        38        60        59
DEL           8        14        0        23        23        23
DEMS ABRD     4         7        2.5       8.5      11        11
DC           13        25        7        33        40        40
FL          104        78       51       136       211       188
GA           29        70       18        82       102       100
GUAM          4         5        3         4         9         7
HI            8        21        1        26        27        27
ID            3        19        3        20        23        23
IL            0         0       PASSES               0         0
IN           42        41        6        75        85        81
IA           17        35        9        48        57        57
KS           10        30        6        34        41        40
KY           40        16       24        36        60        60
LA           26        39        7        43        67        50
ME           10        21        8        24        32        32
MD           39        55        6        94       100       100
MA           66        51       52        65       121       117
MI           76        72       27       125       157       152
MN           27        58        8        78        88        86
MS           13        25        8        33        41        41
MO           41        46        6        82        88        88
MT            7        17        7        18        25        25
NE            8        22        3        28        31        31
NV           13        20        8        25        34        33
NH           12        15        0        30        30        30
NJ           71        55        0       127       127       127
NM           20        17       YIELDS TO IL        38         0
IL           49       133       YIELDS TO NY       185         0
NY          159       121        0       282       282       282
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           1321      1482      341.5    1831.5    2907      2174

NC           51        78
ND            5        15
OH           82        74
OK           25        21
OR           23        41
PA          101        80
PR           42        19
RI           21        10
SC           14        39
SD            9        12
TN           46        35
TX CAUC      29        38
TX           79        75
UT           11        17
VT            7        14
VI            3         6
VA           33        63
WA CAUC      31        61
WV           23        12
WI           34        53
WY            6        12
--------------------------------
            675       775
          +1321     +1482
--------------------------------
           1996      2257

Source, delegate count: CNN Primary Results Scorecard
Source, roll call vote: CSPAN live tape up top

Total number of delegates: 4234
Number delegates for nomination, including FL, MI: 2211
Chart numbers include Superdelegates: Obama 438, Clinton 236

Et tu, Brute?

So why did so many states flip? Sources say that on the morning of the floor vote, everything was complete. Many opinions say it was finished on or before the May 31, 2008 DNC RBC meeting. But not believing our eyes and ears, in service of democracy, we kept on to preserve our and the rights of our candidate. We’ve since learned that as late as August 27, during the convention, swing-state delegations were being threatened with loss of Party funding for their states and candidate campaigns if they didn’t vote for Obama. Evidently, Obama needed Hillary more than she needed him. Otherwise, they would not have had a sham roll call or a Mile High speech to prop him up.

Oh, and as far as going Repug, it ain’t me, babe, although I will never cast a vote for Obama. In my life, the means are absolutely as important as the end, and I cannot support a candidate who derives power “by any means necessary.” If I have to cast a protest vote, I will. However, remember who brung Brazile? Her info emails with Karl Rove beginning in 2003 helped him help her promote the most unelectable Democratic candidate. So, let’s not forget who’s still trying to pull the strings and who’s still laughing all the way to the bank. Criminal, ain’t it? Too bad, Dems still ain’t got a clue.

In conclusion, Hillary and Bill Clinton were in an impossible, lose-lose situation. Some supporters got disgusted and thought they caved. I don’t think so. In order to come out of this, being seen as having done everything possible to nominate and elect Barack Obama — a far more generous and political act than exists in his little finger — The Clintons did everything possible, Bill while holding his nose, and came out smelling sweet as a rose. Party people all the way, and on to the next challenge. Yes, I’m getting there.

["Evita," music Andrew Lloyd Weber, lyrics Tim Rice]

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

addendum: Sorry, I had a columns formatting problemo, and while editing the post it went offline. Here ’tis again, hopefully all will stick. LBNYC

It’s a Conflucian “Caption This!”

I know my Conflucian bretheren can come up with something for this photo:

 Here’s my caption:

UPDATE: Join Matt tonight at 11PM ET, where he interviews Philadelphia lawyer Phillip Berg, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/My-Two-Cents 

H/T to Ben for suggesting this song, which sums up a lot of our feelings lately:

This is an open thread.  What did you do today other than hang out here? 

Sunday: It was your name, DNC

I am very disappointed that some of our best and brightest bloggers do not understand the source of our resistance.  They seem to think this is all about Hillary.  On the contrary, we made it clear to Hillary’s campaign back in June before her suspension speech that the resistance to Obama had spiralled far beyond her ability to call it back.

The Obamacans and trolls and newly converted think it is all about gender and identity politics.  No, if you want to see an example of identity politics, you need look no further than the 90% of African-Americans who voted for Obama in the primary.  We don’t blame them.  It’s a natural response.  We *do* have an issue with the RBC committee members and other Dolores Umbrage types who can’t seem to see past Obama’s African-American heritage.

We find it very irritating when the Obamacans, trolls and newly converted scream at us like we don’t understand English that we are too stupid to realize that John McCain is using a woman, a conservative woman at that, to fool us into voting for him.  That kind of attitude is beyond condescending and offensive.  I would like to clear a few things up to the permanently addled on Obama: 1.) Not all of us are voting for McCain.  Loyal Democrats such as myself have a very hard time crossing that ideological divide.  and 2.) We are quite aware of what John McCain is up to and the people he is playing for fools are the Obamaphiles and DNC who thought they could wrest away the Evangelical base from the Republican party.  That he picks up some disaffected Hillary voters is icing on the cake for him.

No, the primary source of our disaffection and resistance to the DNC, Obama and even Hillary herself is that the party has lost its moral authority.  In its zeal to select Obama as its nominee, it compromised all that it claimed it believed.  It set up a system that favored one outcome, allowed states to pay for sham primaries, duped voters into thinking their votes counted, reapportioned delegates to suit its needs, intimidated and harassed delegates.  And all in the name of UNITY, which it most certainly did not get.

But the biggest shame falls on the delegates and superdelegates who succumbed to pressure during a vicious witch hunt.  They completely missed the point of Hillary’s brilliant speech which was not to cave but to keep going.  Yes, she stood up for Barack Obama but she was exhorting the delegates to stand up for themselves and their voters.  But they caved.  We know that Obama whips followed them down the hallways of the hotels like dogs at their heels, screaming at them to sign onto Obama or their political careers would be finished.  We know how they trapped delegates in hotel rooms and used strong armed tactics to get them to switch.  But none of them had to do it.  And if they had hung together and resisted, then the machine that looked so powerful would have been stripped of its formidable image.  It is nothing if there are no people supporting it.

There was an opportunity last Wednesday for all of the delegates to find the core within that would guide them.  That core would have told them what it means to be a loyal Democrat.  That core would have said to count every vote, honor every voter, resist fear, put the common good first, keep their eyes on the future.  Some did.  Most did not.

In those moments on Wednesday, the delegates signed away the name of the Democratic party.  It will not have another in my life.

That is the source of our resistance.

Delegates Mad As Hell: Scramble for Floor Vote

Clinton Delegates are pissed. The Clinton National Delegate Network, a grassroots movement of delegates is on the streets of Denver collecting signatures from Hillary delegates. This eleventh hour effort is being organized to ensure that delegates who were elected to represent the voters of each state can and will vote for the candidate they were pledged to.

The DNC and Nancy Pelosi, the Chairman of the Democratic Convention, are doing everything in their power to make sure that does not happen. With Obama’s flagging support, according to the polls, running neck and neck with McCain, they are very worried that Hillary will get the nomination if a roll call vote takes place on the convention floor. That is why they are making the delegates have a secret hotel vote, instead of the floor vote that’s been done since forever. The hotel vote will purportedly take place on Wednesday morning, August 27, 2008.

However, there is a DNC rule that says if 20% of a candidate’s delegates sign a petition for a roll call vote, it must happen. This means that Hillary needs 826 of her delegates to sign this petition. I visited their headquarters along with BettyJean, Pagan, Hill08, and BrendaLynn. As we set out on our mission, we got three signatures in less than one block. They headed for the Pepsi Center to collect more, and got about 40 in an hour, and I came back to Puma Headquarters to blog. Last word I got was there were over 400 signatures gathered.

Pagan reports that he talked to a delegate who originally supported Hillary. The delegate declined to sign or divulge the delegation he was from. He said he would vote the way his state party told him to vote and that Terry McAuliffe had instructed them in how to vote. When Pagan asked if he’d mind sharing what that way of voting would be, he also declined, and then just turned his head and refused to engage in the conversation anymore.

Delegates have reported to us that Obama supporters are stationed outside of each delegation’s room with clipboards, ready to make sure that once again, despite their best efforts to represent their constituents (approximately 12,225 voters per delegate in the case of primaries, and 2,110 in the case of caucuses), that Hillary delegates and voters are ROBBED of their democratic rights.

As recently as this afternoon, we knew that the hotel vote would take place in each delegation on Wednesday morning, and that Hillary would have a special luncheon with her delegates at 1pm. Rumor had it that she might release her delegates then.

However, we have an unconfirmed report coming from someone inside the Pepsi Center that Hillary Clinton will make a special announcement tonight during her speech. Although I’m ever the optimist, call me paranoid: Will she try to pre-empt this grassroots effort by releasing her delegates tonight?

I can’t even imagine the pressure she is under by party leadership. We even heard that President Clinton’s speech would not be televised live in prime time.

Oh my, is the DNC running scared or what? We need divine intervention. If you’re a praying person, give it your all.

Please Note: I don’t mean to cut in on LadyBoomer’s brilliant post but Sheri Tag says that NO WE WON’T will be on after Hillary’s speech.

[cross posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

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