Bill Bradley disenfranchises MI and FL. AND CA, NJ, NY, MA, AZ, OH…

Bill Bradley and Nita Lowey were on Meet the Press this morning and Tim Russert (aka Pumpkinhead) and Bradley had the following exchange:

TR: What should happen to Michigan and Florida?

BB:Well, I think the rules are the rules. MI and FL both knew that they wouldn’t be seated if they moved their primaries up. They decided to do that anyway. I mean if we want to make sure that MI and Fl are seated, well, then, don’t let that determine the outcome. They get a 50/50 division and go into the convention, everybody will be there.

TR: Are you disenfranchising the voters of MI and Fl with that position?

BB: Well, I think this is not the voters, per se, but the parties of those states made that decision and there are consequences for that decision.

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Sunday: Solidarity

Welcome new readers of The Confluence. We are a merry band of bloggers, exiles by our own choice or our own words, standing on the brink of a new progressive blogosphere. Make yourself at home and join us in solidarity.

  • If you haven’t read ronkseattle’s summary of the DailyKos writer’s strike so far, please do. At the heart of this strike is the idea that free speech really should be free. It should not be held hostage to the proprietors of large web sites. As dissenting voices are chased from the marketplace, so are the ideas that go with them. We do not know what the future holds for the political blogosphere but there are hundreds of voices that go unrecognized because their sites do not reach the threshhold level of size. Stay with us as we brainstorm on how to change this model.
  • Tom Watson puts his finger on the problem in his post on The Left Splits: Writer’s Flee DailyKos over Clinton Bashing. Here’s the money quote:

    The resentment among non-Obama backers is growing rapidly – you can see it in the comments here, and I can see it in my emails. There’s a real split among party activists, and it’s getting wider. Some of it is motivated by the media’s love affair with one candidate – and hatred for the other; Keith Olbermann’s embarassment drove many over the edge. But much of it comes from boorish, Stalinist behavior online – the kind of “you’re either with us or against us” attitude we saw so much of when the Bush crowd was flying high. It’s disturbing, particularly because so many of the targets are women. This is not the Democratic Party many of us have worked for; this is not the progressive blogosphere we’ve supported. Without blaming the worthy candidacy of Senator Obama in any way, this is not a progressive movement – it’s a harsh, echo-filled politburo bathed in faux post-racial hosannas and the gauzy camera lens of “hope.”

    This is also the time to note the lack of leadership in the party.

  • A funny thing happened on the way out of Macy’s yesterday. I was on the way to my car when I passed two retail assistants talking to one another while on a smoking break. One turned to the other and said, “Yeah, but what about Michigan and Florida?” *ping!* Did I hear that right? Just two average NJ Joe’s standing on the sidewalk in front of Macy’s, dragging on their Camels and talking about delegate counts? Yes, my droogs, they knew the frickin’ delegate counts and they knew which states were important and they knew what was going on. So, as I passed them, I updated them that Michigan was headed for tha do-over but I didn’t think that Florida needed one. One of them burst into howls of laughter while the other just smiled and nodded his head. The laughing one stopped and asked, “So, didn’t Hillary win Florida?” and I told him, “Yes, 1.75 people can’t be wrong. They certainly voted like they knew what they were doing.” He started laughing again and he and his friend went on talking as I went to my car. Now, I don’t know about you, but it is my humble opinion that when the average cashier at Macy’s knows what the score is and who is ahead, it is going to be very difficult to spin the Florida controversy as a win for Obama. This experience is not atypical for what is going on all around me in NJ. When people spot my Hillary button in Starbucks, they start to talk politics like it is second nature. My asian colleagues hash it out with me at lunch. My *sister* who is not a politico, sucks up information like a sponge on this stuff. People are tuned in and are following this like a real horserace. And I think they know what is going on, who is pulling the strings and just how much they can trust the media. Thank you SNL. So, if I may make a recommendation: wear your Hillary button (or Obama button, if you must *sigh*) on your jacket or your backpack or your sleeve when you’re out in public. And don’t be afraid to engage people in political talk. You know what’s going on and can fill in the missing pieces. Listen to what people are saying. Hold back the emotional aspect and just listen. The public is waking up and using its mind. And that is a powerful thing that we need to encourage.
  • Oh, give me a BREAK, Josh! How the hell do *you* know Hillary unleashed the Jeremiah Wright stories in the news? Do you have proof? Have you seen the secret drop site somewhere in the DC metropolitan area where an operative from Hillary’s campaign stands, slouched up against a park bench with a package full of already publicly available videos of Wright going off on a tangent? Oo, Oo, maybe there is a balcony somewhere where a geranium is changing position on a daily basis. Will you get real? Anyone could have dragged that stuff out. The Republicans have picked their candidate. The primary season is over for them. They can spend all of the rest of the year picking off our candidates. And it’s not like Obama didn’t share some culpability for his situation. After all, Hillary didn’t force him to associate with Wright for 20 years or include him on his spiritual advisory panel. But so what if Hillary’s campaign *did* whip up this frenzy? Politics is not a tea party. Are you going to come to Obama’s defense every time something negative comes out about him? Can’t he fight his own battles? This is just silly and unworthy of a Polk Award winner. It’s just another example of the Clinton Rules/Obama Rules. Put up or shut up, Josh.

Friday- Follies

Chew on some of this for breakfast:

  • Keith Olbermann is a lousy lay, so reports the New York Post. A woman claiming to be a one-night stand of Keith’s, says he is inept and didn’t want to stick around afterwards. He didn’t call either. Hmmm, let’s just say I have my doubts about this gossip. Oh, not about whether Olbermann is lousy in bed. No, it’s the source I question. From what I recall, Keith Olbermann hooks up with rich, young chicky babies and has no reason to start up email relationships with what might be loopy groupies. But, hey, after what Eliot Sptizer did, what do I know? Anyway, I took KO off my oogle list after I found out he was hanging out with women who just graduated from the jailbait list.
  • Barack Obama’s extraordinary mother, Stanley Ann, Dunham, gets a nice piece in the New York Times. Ann Dunham had a PhD in anthropology and wrote her dissertation on the lives of Indonesian blacksmiths. She was an iconoclast, a liberal and probably an atheist. I think I would have liked her very much. I wonder what she would say about how Obama is handling his campaign right now?
  • Speaking of women, commenter Jawbone pointed me towards this defense of Hillary’s work on Northern Ireland by Nuala O’Faolin.  There are many sides of peace negotiations.  And the people who get it done don’t put all of their faith in just the paperwork.  There is a personal aspect to it, a need to understand what is going on at a human level and the knowledge that comes with that can be invaluable to the people hammering out the details.  This is the role that Hillary played.
  • Paul Krugman writes an ominous column about the uncertainty of the financial market and how economists are entering unknown territory. Last night on the way home, NPR discussed the declining dollar and how the worst case scenario probably won’t happen but if it did, there would be a sudden, extreme and precipitous decline in the dollar that would send shockwaves around the world. Yesterday, my friends and I discussed the rising cost of milk and other good and how it must be affecting people who are living on the margins. This is the oil crunch hitting close to home. It made me think that now might be a good time to make a donation to a food pantry. Brook always makes me buy a coupon for the food bank at the supermarket cashier as we are checking out. (I like that about her) America’s Second Harvest might be a good place to start if you feel like donating a percent of your tax return. In fact, NJ often gives taxpayers an opportunity to donate a portion of their tax returns to worthy causes like breast cancer research and wetlands protection. Every little act of good strengthens us against the destructive effects of selfishness. It doesn’t take much.
  • I see you guys have been busy, sending out very well thought out and polite (for the most part) emails to Mr. McNamara. I’m sure he appreciates all of the fan mail. If you need further encouragement, you might want to check out this piece on NPR this morning about how Obama sees Michigan and Florida redo’s as being unrealistic. I love this quote:

    “We were told that these contests would not count,” he tells Steve Inskeep.”Sen. Clinton agreed. Our name was taken off the ballot in Michigan, and in Florida we did no campaigning. Now, if people think that that is a normal democratic way of running an election, then that’s not the America that I know.”

    Does the America that Obama knows include the voters of Florida and Michigan, ‘cos the last time I checked, it did. Hmmm, are the redos as unrealistic as hoping the Floridians and Wolverines will turn out for you in the fall in spite of the fact that you dissed them and millions of others in NY, NJ, CA, AZ, MA and OH? You mean *that* unrealistic? Hokay.

  • One last thing: Today, we are nearly two months old at The Confluence. I’d like to thank all of you for making this blog such a success. We have had over 70,000 hits and many of them have come in the last two weeks. I couldn’t do it without all of your contributions and comments and good wishes. You guys are the best. ;-) I’m getting all verklempt. Talk among yourselves.
  • One MORE thing: I was perusing the NPR website and found this piece on one of my favorite electronic music artists, Cheb i Sabbah. I have his CD Shri Durga and absolutely LOVE listening to it while I work. It is a rich combination of ragas, ambient sounds, Muslim calls to prayer and electronica. Sublime and almost synesthetic. I swear I see colors when I listen to it and feel sparkling water from cooling fountains. Highly recommended.

I call it “raw”

Here is a post from TIME on the FL and MI proposal currently under discussion:

–Michigan’s 156 delegates would be split 50-50 between Clinton and Obama.

–Florida’s existing delegates would be seated at the Denver convention—but with half a vote each. That would give Clinton a net gain of about 19 elected delegates.

– The two states’ superdelegates would then be able to vote in Denver, likely netting Clinton a few more delegates.

The betting: Florida and Michigan delegates, the DNC, and the Clinton campaign would all — some reluctantly– accept this deal.

Then it would be over to you, Barack Obama.

To *me*, it looks like asking for a complete capitulation from Hillary. Does anyone see something different?

Bumped up from the comments from Tucsonlynn:

From an email I just got. I suggest using it. to express your outrage.

“Word is filtering out from the campaign that we should contact people we know at the DNC ASAP. The FL and MI decision will be going down soon. The person we should really pressure is Phil McNamara. Phil will not be making decisions but he is the staffer who runs all affairs for the Rules and Bylaws Committee. Also if he receives a flood of messages it will get back to Dean.

Obama is pushing for a 50-50 split of the delegates. That doesn’t refelct the will of the people. It reflects the wishful thinking of the Obama campaign.”

Phil McNamara
mcnamara@dnc.org

Now’s your chance, guys. Make your voice heard, especially if you are in a state that went decisively for Clinton. Without FL and MI, our votes are meaningless as well. Let them know that there are millions of us out here who know what’s going on and the jig is up. Make it polite, of course. But if you must, tell them, “Don’t make me come to Denver and cause a scene.”

Meanwhile, Obama says no redo in MI either

For those of you joining the story late, it appears that Obama is playing Florida: No seating of primary delegates, no redo of primary by mail and if they try it, he’s going to tattle on them to the Bush Administration’s DOJ, you know, the one that tried to load the voting rights division with lawyers who thought that white voters in Mississippi were being oppressed.

Now, he’s decided that there shouldn’t be a do-over in Michigan either. That’s right, he’d be happier if the DNC would just split the votes in Florida and Michigan 50/50 even though Clinton decisively won Florida and won by default in Michigan.

So, how do the good people of Michigan feel about that? Well, why don’t we drop in on some of them and see for oursleves? See this from Michigan Liberal. It’s not looking good for Barry.

(Isn’t Michigan called the Wolverine State? And aren’t they vicious and carniverous when taunted?)

One other thing:  If today’s events leave you somehow unsatisfied, make success the best revenge and donate to Hillary’s campaign.  Even $5 or $10 bucks can do a lot of work when combined with thousands of others.  Click here.

Late Afternoon Developments- Holding Pattern

My curiosity has been piqued by the following interesting developments:

  • Admiral “Fox” Fallon is retiring. Yep, the guy who referred to General Petraeus as “an @$$-kissing, little chicken$hit” is calling it quits. Fallon was the last surviving top military honcho to stand between Dick Cheney and his Iran bombing Viagra. As Jane at FDL points out, retiring means he is free to spill the beans.
  • Eliot Spitzer is not resigning today. He may not resign tomorrow. It is unknown when he will resign. Except that the Republicans in the NY State legislature printed the Articles of Impeachment sometime back in January and it would be a shame to waste them. So, it appears that he may be trying to work out a deal to avoid indictment on some of the charges before he beats a hasty retreat. Oh, and apparently, his NY cheesecake was not cool with Silda.
  • John Boehner is threatening to close up the House if the president and the telecomms don’t get their way with FISA. There is a deal in the works to not give them blanket immunity but instead bring each infraction before a federal judge to determine whether there is a state secret involved. BUT we forget that Republicans have been in charge of nominating federal judges for the past 28 out of 40 years so what are the chances?
  • Pelosi scuttles any chance of a joint Clinton-Obama, Obam-Clinton ticket. Whew! That’s a relief. I guess she knows firsthand what it’s like to be the first female leader in her organization who has a male second in command forced on her who ignores her every word. Well, we’ll see, Nancy. It’s likely you won’t have any say in *this* matter either.

Guys, I don’t have to remind you that 3 out of the 4 items up above are a direct result of Republican skullduggery. They are nasty pieces of work who will scheme right up to the last minute when they are escorted off the premises and just before they leave, someone will give the signal to type “rm *” at the sys admin console while logged in as root at /. (I’ll bet the unix geeks just got a shivver from that)

In the meantime, item 4 shows how much we have let our guard down with respect to the Bushies while Obama has accused Clinton of being the Grand Master of the Chapaqua Branch of the KKK and the Obamaphiles are flipping out over the fact that Hillary says McCain has more national security creds than Barry. And what about the FL and MI delegates, guys? Could you please wrap it up so we can get onto keeping the barbarians from making any further incursions until we can send reinforcements?

Priorities, people!

NJ’s Corzine makes Obama an offer he can’t refuse

My governor, Jon Corzine, is going to make sure that my vote counts. The delegates of the state of NJ will count for nothing without the critical mass of the Florida delegation and if we add Michigan as well, the more the merrier. I think that is what makes me incensed about this whole disenfranchisement debacle. By enforcing the RULZ, Dean, Brazile and Obama are screwing CA, NJ, NY, MA, AZ, TX,OH , FL and MI and a bunch of other states. Our votes are being held hostage to Idaho and Utah. It’s outrageous. The total delegate count won’t change much but, by golly, without FL and MI, Obama looks like he’s got more delegates when he doesn’t.

So, what about it, Barry? Do you want to waive the rules or have a do-over and lose again? This time you can campaign and we’ll see just how much Florida loves you for throwing out their original votes. And let’s face it, no matter who funds this do-over, you will have just wasted their hard-earned money from January when they bought the *first* primary.

Thanks to Governors Corzine and Rendell, who are looking out for their constituents’ interests.  We stand in Solidarity with Florida and Michigan.

The Latest on MI and FL: Obama digs deeper

green-eggs-and-ham.gifReaders may remember that on Wednesday, well before Mark Schmitt got the credit (*sigh*, so typical. The guy always gets the credit), The Confluence presented the plan to seat the MI and FL delegates in Look, It’s Very Simple. (There was a followup with A Modest Proposal) The plan was, have both candidates agree to waive the rules and seat the Florida delegates or have the holdout pay for a mail-in primary. For Michigan, the current results would be thrown out, because not all candidate names were on the ballot, and a mail-in primary would be conducted. This was a win-win for both candidates. Hillary gets her delegates, the voters of CA, NY, NJ, OH, TX etc, get their critical mass, Floridians get their votes counted and since Barry will not win Florida anyway, he gets their good will in the unlikely event that he is the nominee. In Michigan, Hillary gets the goodwill of Edwards and Obama supporters by requesting a re-do and Barry has an opportunity to win this state legitimately through a primary, not a caucus.

But it seems that Barry is a little hesitant about this. No doubt, the angel on his left shoulder, Donna Brazile, is urging him to let the RULZ dictate and Howard Dean, who has forgotten his role as the head of the Democratic National Committee, is dithering as well in order to continue his experimentation with the 50 State Strategy. (Um, Howard, that would mean that Obama would have to win at least *some* of those big, Democratic states, like MINE.)

Well, it isn’t looking good for Barry. Passing up his chance to be magnanimous and to unite the voters in November, Barry has decided to go with the self-interest of having the perception of an artificially inflated vote count. James Carville spoke on Clinton’s behalf yesterday and went one further. If Obama insists on a re-do in Florida, thereby becoming the only candidate in primary history to lose the same state twice, Hillary has backers who would offer to foot the bill up to $15M. It’s a little like Sam-I-Am, chasing the hapless seussian around with a plate of Green Eggs and Ham. “Would you eat them on a train, would you eat them on a plane? Would you eat them here or there? Would you eat them anywhere?” So far, Obama is resisting with “Sam, let me be!”

He doesn’t want to be VP. He doesn’t want want to waive the RULZ. He’d rather piss off the voters in Florida. And I’ve heard that there is a new twist to this. Apparently, Gov. Crist in Florida can decertify the Democratic party in Florida if its delegates aren’t seated and the name of our nominee can be left off the ballot in November. (Thanks Boston Boomer for the reference) Obama’s in a tight spot alright. Too bad he isn’t listening to the better angels of his nature and taking the sure thing, even if it results in what could be a temporary loss of frontrunner status. Under these circumstances, it would be stupid for Carville and buddies to not milk the story of Obama, The Great Disenfranchiser, for all it’s worth.

With political acumen like this, he’d be a lousy president.

Howard Dean gives CA, NJ, NY, MA, OH, TX, voters the finger

Yup, that’s what it feels like to this New Jersey voter for Clinton. By stubbornly and *selectively* enforcing “the RULZ!” for Florida and MI and no other jump-ahead early voting state, he is removing the critical mass that the rest of the Clinton voters need to put her ahead and help resolve this whole thing. He is suppressing not only Floridians but New Jerseyans and Californians and New Yorkers by artificially inflating Obama’s vote totals.

If you’re in one of these states and you don’t particularly like Howard and Donna putting their thumbs on the scale for Obama, maybe it’s time you made sure they remember you’re out here and you’re still watching. Because if Obama wins the nomination because Howard and Donna managed to negate more than half of the Democratic electorate in a manner that is outrageously reminiscent of the Presidential election of 2000, there will be hell to pay. Denver will be full of very unhappy Bennies and Shoobies being their obnoxious selves and crashing the party with loud abrasive New Jersey and New York accents.

Let your state party know how you feel about Howard and Donna’s voter suppression. As Anglachel says:

The Florida and Michigan delegates are not being seated because they would allow Hillary to win. Period. Unlike the first two issues, which are structural, this one is political. In a pathetic attempt to stack the primary season for John Edwards, the DNC shoved these two, must-win states out in the cold, probably figuring they would fall in line and support the eventual nominee and all damage could be fixed before the convention…. Something I have not seen discussed much in the blogosphere, in great part because voters who support Hillary are not seen as having cast legitimate votes, is that Florida knows it is the king-maker in this convention, and it damn well is not going to revote. In this game of chicken, Howard Dean loses. “The rules” aren’t going to count for squat when Florida demands to be seated. If Obama’s forces refuse to seat Florida for the sole purpose of denying Hillary delegates, he will lose Florida in the general, and probably Michigan, too, and there goes the election. To try to wrangle a win out of a convention that does not seat Florida and Michigan is to lose massive amounts of legitimacy. Do you think my mother-in-law and all her senior female friends who turned out en masse to vote for Hillary in Florida are going to vote for Obama after he denies FL a voice at the convention?

Yes, that’s exactly what it feels like. The “white male graduate student” bloggers and Howard and Donna have decided that votes for Clinton are somehow illegitimate. They decided ahead of time thatEdwards or Barry would be the nominee so we never did count. Was there pressure applied to delegitimize Florida and Michigan last summer? Were they not cut a break? What kind of choices were given that made “The RULZ” what they are?

It reminds me of what happened to me when I was trollstormed off DailyKos. Markos said he would reinstate after the primaries. Like somehow in a rigged game of musical chairs, my chair was removed and I am no longer allowed to play the game. Such is the case with Clinton. Her candidacy is completely irrelevant to them. She merely gets in the way and makes the first round of the game last longer that it should. So, they rigorously enforce the RULZ! so she can’t play anymore. And Markos and the others just assume that the rest of us who lost out in the first round because of their game rigging are going to be cool with the outcome. We’ll join in later after *they’ve* decided. Well, it’s not just MI and FL. There are all of the millions of the rest of us who are not giving up our chair simply because The Precious was able to score in Idaho and Utah.

Well, if this is not a scenario to your liking, why let Jennifer Granholm and the head of the Florida Democratic party go it alone? Call your local powerbrokers and let them know how you feel. Tell them that you want to fire Howard Dean and Donna Brazile. There are more of us Big State voters than there are Big Box Store bloggers and nutty Obamaphiles. In New Jersey and New York, governors Corzine and Spitzer might be a good place to start. In OH, Ted Strickland. In CA, try Diane Feinstein. In MA, Barney Frank. Find your state party chairmen and pound them with email and phone calls and tell them you will not be ignored. Because if Florida and Michigan don’t count, none of US do either.

Look, it’s very simple

This silliness with the MI and Florida primaries tells me all I need to know about Howard Dean. Actually, I kinda knew this about Howard in 2004, which is why I wasn’t a Deaniac. He is an “Idea Rat”. He’s not into implementation. That’s why things are so incredibly FUBAR’d. Todd Beeton has some of the gory details at MyDD:

“We’re glad to hear that the Governors of Michigan and Florida are willing to lend their weight to help resolve this issue. As we’ve said all along, we strongly encourage the Michigan and Florida state parties to follow the rules, so today’s public overtures are good news. The rules, which were agreed to by the full DNC including representatives from Florida and Michigan over 18 months ago, allow for two options. First, either state can choose to resubmit a plan and run a party process to select delegates to the convention; second, they can wait until this summer and appeal to the Convention Credentials Committee, which determines and resolves any outstanding questions about the seating of delegates. We look forward to receiving their proposals should they decide to submit new delegate selection plans and will review those plans at that time. The Democratic Nominee will be determined in accordance with party rules, and out of respect for the presidential campaigns and the states that did not violate party rules, we are not going to change the rules in the middle of the game.

Howard is spewing the Obamaphile line. “It’s the RUUUULZ!”. Uh-huh, tell that to Mr. and Mrs. Friedman of St. Pete, Florida. They’re in their 80′s and can’t drive like they used to.

Look, it’s very simple. Here are the options:
1) Ask both candidates to accept the votes for Florida. If one of them objects, *he* has to pay for a new primary.
2) Have a mail-in primary in Michigan only. There is no reason to hold a primary in Florida. The vote isn’t going to change.
3) If there absolutely MUST be a primary in Florida because The Precious must have his way, it should also be by mail.
4) Fire Howard Dean. He and Donna Brazile have their thumbs on the scales for The Precious. There is absolutely no reason that I can think of why this foolish consistency is hobgobbling anyone’s minds. If those were the RULZ, they need to be applied consistently or not at all. What is done to Florida and Michigan should be done to Iowa, NH and South Carolina.

Did I mention firing Howard Dean? Yeah, I did. But that one can’t be emphasized too strongly. He’s costing Florida, where over 1 million people voted, a lot of money and headaches and very hard feelings. Oh, and were there any caucuses in my options? No, there were not. To suggest a caucus is blatantly and cynically showing a bias for Obama.

‘git.

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