Is this a Christian Nation?

Set aside a couple of hours and watch this documentary about a fight in a town in North Carolina over whether a Christian flag (let that sink in for a sec) can be flown over a public monument to American military veterans. Rarely will you ever hear the religious speak so candidly.

You know, I’ve been accused of being paranoid about a particularly malignant form of fundamentalist Christianity. I’m not referring to mainstream Christians, like UCC, mainstream Presbyterians and Methodists, who for the most part are pretty harmless. I’m talking about Christians who take the bible literally. These are the kinds of people who would slaughter you if God told them to do it. They’re the kind of people who would deny their children blood transfusions.

It’s time we stopped giving them so much status and respect and started to make them prove themselves. What is that saying about extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary proof? Yeah, I’m thinking it’s time we started demanding that or subjecting the claimants to some well deserved ridicule.

When politicians start catering to religious fundamentalists for votes, the consequences to the culture can be quite serious. The Israelis are starting to understand what this means to women because the parties have been appealing to the ultra orthodox in recent years. Its been a disaster with little girls being spat upon for no covering up enough to professional female researchers being denied the right to address conferences or accept awards. Some of this behavior is being sanctioned by government officials on behalf of these ultra conservative Jews who traded their votes for enforcement of their particular brand of conservatism. And let’s not forget that in this country, Obama actively courted the evangelical vote in 2008. It shouldn’t be a surprise that they saw this as a green light to reinforce their socially conservative worldview to our detriment. How Obama approaches them this year will tell you a lot about what women and other disenfranchised groups can expect from the White House no matter who is elected.

Here’s the link. Prepare to be horrified, fascinated and scared shitless by these people.

Saturday: Drumbeat

Good Morning, ladies and gents. Sorry I’m a bit late this am. I had to take Brook to the pediatrician for a physical and the kid refuses to take her clothes off in front of the doctor. It’s a gorgeous day in NJ so I’m going outside to play.

The drumbeat is getting louder and steadier and harder to ignore for Dean, Pelosi and Brazile. The Dauphin of Democracy’s Road Trip didn’t turn out like they planned. (Steely Dan fans can finish that song)  They turned out the crowds alright but most Berliners can’t vote (at least, not last time I checked but you never know with the Chicago crew…). And “presumptuous” doesn’t even begin to describe the scene he set up in Berlin, acting like he’s already president and delivering his State of the World speech on terrorism, as if Europe doesn’t already have a more extensive history in fighting it. What’s next for Obama? Delivering a speech on trade with China in Beijing during the Olympics next month? Has anyone told him yet that he can’t have an award ceremony and listen to Hail to the Chief while the flag is raised if he doesn’t actually win a gold medal in a sport? No matter. I’m sure he and David Axelrod will figure out some reasonable facsimile — that the American public will see right through.

But back to Dean. edgeoforever reports that Dean’s road trip is getting rave reviews from the PUMA set. Dean has added a new description to the growing list of endearments the DNC and friends have been using to entice us to vote for Obama. Now, we are “low class”. Riiight.  I guess that’s why people who choose to express their first amendment rights at the Convention in Denver deserve to be put behind a chain link fence far away from the nice, clean, cultured convention attendees.

So, in the last week, we have become “fatiguing and irritating, low-class militants”. I’m having trouble conjuring up an image of that. Is it like a mullet headed Che Guevara with ADHD? And of course, we aren’t Democrats. Well, this much is true, at least for me. I’m not rejoining the Democratic party officially until Dean and Brazile are gone, gone, gone. I’m a Democrat in Exile, not a Republican.

The convention is 30 days away and the pace is accelerating. We’re getting attention. People are getting nervous. Their beautiful theories are getting brutally destroyed by ugly facts. The party is NOT unified just because they said so and now they in grave danger of losing face. Yes, well, what could be more embarrassing than losing a presidential election in a year when you had absolutely everything going for you? The DNC deserves a nomination for a Darwin Award for not recognizing that the old models based on gender, economics and education are no longer predictive. We are watching natural selection in action and it’s not pretty.

In the meantime:

  • Darragh Murphy is on tonight!  Tune into Meet Me In Denver with Darragh Murphy and friends on the NQR of blogtalkradio.  The show starts at 9:00pm EST.  She’ll catch us up on the latest plans for Denver and get an update from Brad and Lori on the film they’re making of the 2008 election process.  Set your batchannels.
  • Don’t forget that NO WE WON’T with Sheri Tag will feature two very special guests, Lanny Davis and Ricki Lieberman.  That’s Sunday at 8:00pm EST.
  • For those of you who want music to go with your politics, check out Goddess Radio with Swannie at CygnusRadio.  This morning, Swannie did an Eva Cassidy set and anyone who likes Cassidy is a friend of mine.  This is available on iTunes?  Cool.

Here’s a song that gets my blood pumping from the movie Working Girl.  Remember that movie?  The one about the smart girl who’s underemployed and finally gets her crack at running things?  Yeah, never settle for second.

Wednesday: There is no unity without FL and MI, Don-na

Donna Brazile did an awful lot of eye-rolling last night. I caught her doing it on several occasions when Paul Begala pointed out the obvious. But it wasn’t Paul that made the outrageous statement of the night. It was Donna herself:

BRAZILE: Well, Lou, I have worked on a lot of Democratic campaigns, and I respect Paul.*** But, Paul, you’re looking at the old coalition. A new Democratic coalition is younger. It is more urban, as well as suburban, and we don’t have to just rely on white blue-collar voters and Hispanics. We need to look at the Democratic Party, expand the party, expand the base and not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

***There are a couple good reasons to respect Paul Begala, Donna. He has actually won the presidential campaigns that he’s worked on. You, unfortunately, have not. I think you ought to listen to him.

This is what followed:

Ok, now let’s think about what Donna has just said: *WE* are part of the “old coalition”. We are working class, hispanic, women, seniors, asians. We cut across all socio-economic and education levels. We are over-represented in Florida and Michigan. What sets us apart is that we vote for Clinton. Therefore, we MUST be white trash Bubbas and Archie Bunkers. You can almost hear the contempt she has for us in her voice. That word “old” probably has a double meaning for Donna. (BTW, I happen to fit the Obama demographic but at this point, I’m beginning to think my mom is right. He is the anti-Christ, just with a lot less experience and the inability to win a debate.) Just where does Donna think the “old coalition” is going to go? And how about all of the women in that “old coalition”?

But this is not the only thing that bothers me about Donna. No, I think the thing that bothers me most is her consistent threat that if African-Americans don’t get Obama, bad things will happen. As if race is permitted to triumph over every other criteria we should use to pick a president. And Obama’s campaign has done the most despicable thing you can do to a fellow Democrat He’s destroyed Clinton’s character by manipulating her words and calling her and her supporters racists. But as we can clearly see from the election results, it is the African-American community that votes based on color of the skin, not content of the character. This is the sordid truth behind his win in urban areas, NC and other southern states where he holds 90+% of the African-American vote. In IN, we have the Gary’s mayor deliberately sitting on votes for hours. We can only speculate what was going on there but it doesn’t look pretty.

And here is Obama’s “new coalition”: college students, DINKS, African-Americans and crossover troublemaking Republicans who will not vote for him in the fall. It isn’t a new coalition. It’s a losing one without us. And without Michigan and Florida, it’s an illegitimate nomination. As Begala said, “Count me out”. Oh, that’s right, Donna already has.

Donna needs to be fired.

One More Thing: This race is not over. There is still KY and WV next week. But the late call for Clinton for Indiana didn’t give her the moment she needed last night to make a triumphant speech and ask for money. Forgive my tin foil hat but for all I know, the votes were withheld for just this reason. Now’s the time to make up for that. If you have a few dollars, throw it her way. Contribute here.

One more thing x 2: Yesterday during one of the breaks in my all day meeting, I had several people approach me to say they would never vote for Obama. They are not politicos and the statements were delivered without any prompting from me. They just flat out said, “We’re voting downticket but will skip the presidential if Obama is on the ballot.” So, Donna and Dean better get control of this situation and soon. There are many, many people who do not appreciate being drowned out by caucuses and the monolithic racial Frankenstein’s monster that Obama created.

Nuclear nightmare scenario: Guam determines nominee

It could happen.

The votes were close in IN and not so close in NC. But we all know why this is. Indiana was an open primary. We don’t yet know how many crossover votes there were to make havoc. Plus, Obama *should* have had a major geographical advantage and Chicago media market spillover. It *should* have been a blow out for him in Indiana as well. It doesn’t look like his urban-youth-DINK-Republican crossover vote was enough though. Most of those Republican votes will not be staying with us for the general, of course. He won urban areas where African-American votes are highest. He did the same in NC where he won the middle of the state where 2/3 of the population lives. And 35% of the state is African-American.

I think what we’re seeing here is a real racial divide. It was engineered, deliberately, by Obama’s campaign in order to separate African Americans from the Clintons. It has worked spectacularly well. Obama consistently wins urban and southern AA voters, by lopsided margins. It didn’t have to be this way. There was no reason for the African-American community to spurn Clinton. But in this America, in 2008, color is everything. It seems like the civil rights movement of the 60′s was just a dream. As long as you are the right color, you’re golden. Color masks a multitude of deficiencies- experience, knowledge base, earned coalitions, even interest. Obama has not reached out to the working class, to women, to the elderly, the loyal base of the Democratic party. But he has managed to exacerbate the fault line in the party when it comes to race. There’s no doubt about that now.

Winning NC does not make me like him more nor do I have an elevated desire to vote for him. Let me dispel the notion that he and his supporters have about me voting for him in the fall: unless Florida and Michigan are seated and have an impact on the nomination, I will not consider the nomination legitimate. That doesn’t mean I’ll vote for John McCain. It just means that I don’t know what I’ll do when I stand in front of that button. And don’t hang this on Hillary. If it comes to that, I’m sure she would do her best to GOTV. It has nothing to do with her. It has to do with how deeply offended I am by how Obama has split my party on racial lines and pitted race against their regular party members, as if there was a real split there to begin with. As if I were the enemy. He has pitted Dem against Dem. I am insulted that Howard Dean and Donna Brazile have put their thumbs on the scales for Obama instead of encouraging him to agree to revotes in FL and MI. The thought of voting for him under these circumstances fills me with revulsion. And there’s no amount of cheerleading that Hillary can do to make me change my mind. It’s not her. It’s him.

A win is a win and we will gladly take it and whip his butt in WV and KY and maybe even Oregon. But don’t expect me to support the guy who won with Guam at the expense of Florida and Michigan. I don’t care how tropical it is.

Indiana and North Carolina Primary Cocktail Party

What the heck, Champagne for everyone, Rico. We’re going to have fun regardless.

The polls have closed in Indiana. That was fast. Wolf Blitzer is reporting that with about 1% of the vote in, Hillary leads Obama 64% to 36%. As I understand it, Indiana processes its ballots very quickly so we should know fairly soon what the score is.

I read on some blog today (they did give us bathroom breaks) that Obama had a meeting with big money contributors. Maybe that’s what that single closed door meeting in NC was all about yesterday. I’ve been expecting this for awhile. Obama has to have a really high burn rate. He is spending money like a sailor on ads in a lot of states and the firm he hired to do them gets paid by the ad, hence the incentive to do even more. When NC commenters started saying there didn’t seem to be many Obama lawn signs, that suggested to me that they are starting to feel the pinch. Don’t be surprised if his money starts to dry up if he doesn’t win NC by a healthy spread.

Anywho, sportsfans, let’s party!

Tuesday: In my mind I’m going to Carolina

Whoever keeps scheduling these training classes on primary days is a sadist. I’ll try to check in during breaks but I’m going to have to leave it to others to make posts for much of the day. You’re probably bored with me anyway and Kbird, BB, ronk and gary are my favorite reads these days.

So, Hillary should win Indiana. Of that we are fairly certain. It would be nice to win by 10 but we will be happy with winning. Carolina though is still anyone’s guess. Obama is likely to win it but by how much is just speculation at this point. Jerome Armstrong has been pretty good at predicting these things and he says Obama by 6. Or 12. *sigh*

Just keep sending good thots to Hillary. It’s going to be a good day for her.

In other news:

  • Obama tries to woo white working class voters by taking his jacket off and loosening his tie. This is to dispel the notion that he and Michelle are elitist intellectuals. Well, I would NEVER call Obama an intellectual. He’s smart, sure, but hardly an egghead. Hey, I’ve got an idea! Why doesn’t he stop calling them bitter and undignified? Or better yet, he could stop acting like an extra $30/month is pocket change. Or not call them cheap dates.
  • Gas tax? In Obama is wrong about the gas tax, George Frost at Salon says Obama was for it before he was against it. Obama voted to lower the gas tax in Illinois in 2000 and guess what? Some of that savings went into consumers’ pockets. Fancy that!
  • Joan Walsh talks about Michael Wolff’s sex life and projection. Apparently, Mr. Wolff thinks that we stupid old women should give up our sex lives like adults give up getting lots of gifts for Christmas. It’s just part of getting old for women. Men on the other hand, spend their middle age figuring out how they can have affairs with younger women and get away with it. And this is an explanation for what in this political season? That middle aged men can’t identify with any of the candidates and Obama is too young? Wha? Huh? How come Obama is the same age as me but he’s young and I’m old? Joan is right. The endless primary season is making people progressively sillier.

OK, Conflucians, here’s a fun little exercise. We know that Hillary will have a good day today so how will the media sing her death knell? Last night, Hardball raised expectations for her to stratospheric heights. If she doesn’t trounce him by 35 points in both states, she’s a loser. For some reason, they’ve also got it into their pinheads that she’s looking for a VP position if she doesn’t win North Carolina. That’s some mind reading because, to *me*, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Why would tbe more qualified person want to take second place to a guy she’s beaten in the primaries? Oh, I forgot. Guam was an Obama win so it counts. Florida and Michigan were Clinton wins so they don’t. All’s right with the world.

So, predict the spin tonight. Will it be, “Now that she’s won Indiana and held Obama to a single digit win in North Carolina, her campaign must be trying to figure out how to concede gracefully. She can’t keep winning like this and actually expect the superdelegates to make her the nominee. Howard, what’s your take on this? Will she sweep the remaining primaries and THEN concede or will it be sooner than that?”

Clinton Cocktail Hour: My baby just cares for me

SUSA has Hillary winning handily in IN tomorrow but there is still much consternation about North Carolina. SUSA has her trailing by 5, and really, that’s not bad. In a state where Obama was supposed to blow her out of the water, it looks like the extra scheduled events helped tremendously. Obama, oddly, had only one closed door meeting today in NC. Anyone care to speculate what that’s all about? Chris Matthews covered Bill Clinton;s numerous campaign stops in North Carolina today, as did David Shuster. He does his stump speech for her on some person’s porch. No big arena or theater. Just a porch and some neighbors, times 11, all across the state. Garychapelhill says his last stop tonight is Raleigh and his partner will be there. I can’t wait for the update later tonight.

In the meantime, welcome to the Clinton Cocktail Party. This is the time of day where we celebrate a healthy campaign season with our friends and soon-to-be friends. The bar is to the left of the door. Rico is glad to be back bartending on a regular basis. Tonight, his featured cocktail is the Carolina with plenty of champagne. But you can order anything you like.

North Carolina has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to musicians. It’s pretty amazing actually. Among the best are John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk and Tory Amos. Our musician tonight is the feisty Nina Simone. Born in North Carolina in the era of segregation, she was a gifted pianist. When she was a teenager, she gave a recital for her town. Her parents sat in the front row until they were asked to move to the back to accomodate a white couple. She refused to play unless they were moved back. That’s pretty gutsy for a kid and she never lost that spirit, being an activist in the civil rights movement all her life. Here she is doing an unusual take on one of her signature songs.

We love guests and want to keep the bar fights to a minimum. So please consider checking your discouraging words with Florence our lovely check room attendant. The waiters will be circulating shortly with spicy shrimp on creamy grits, mini corndogs and pickled okra. Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

Monday: The Homestretch

Today is going to be frantic. Hillary has added two new events in North Carolina. She’s probably got one of those Hermione Granger hourglass thingies where she can squeeze two lives into the same hour. What’s really spooky is meeting yourself at the airport.

What does it say about the state of the race in NC that she is adding events there? Obama is doing the same, by the way. To this semi-amateur politician (I *did* win a school board election. /snark), it sounds like there are numbers that show it really close. Maybe she can’t win it but she can shave enough points off of his lead so that his aura of invincibility is severely quashed,leaving WKJM and the OFB weak in the knees. Oh, zealots will always manage to tell themselves a new fantasy and regroup. The problem is, there may not be a sufficient supply of true believers in the other remaining primary states. The OFB may start to look like a bunch of left wingnuts pretty soon. I mean to the rest of the country. They’ve looked like that for awhile to us.

And here is where Obama may have made a fatal mistake: The Gas Tax. I don’t know who’s been giving Clinton advice lately but this was pretty, fricking brilliant. WE know that any gas tax holiday would be short term, made up with taxes on excess profits and those taxes could be structured to take the incentive out of manipulating the markets. The benefit to consumers would be small but not insignificant. And out comes Obama with an ad that essentially tells consumers to suck it up because Clinton is pandering to them. Then he offers them a tax cut. Bwahahahahah! I swear, Obama and his fanbase have no clue. They want so desperately to jettison the working class. They think they can win without them. We’ll see. One thing I know for sure: undecideds make up their minds based on the last thing they heard as they walk into that voting booth and Hillary always has a killer ad on the last day.

In other news, the Shrill One recaps recent efforts by the Fed’s Ben Bernanke to head off a financial meltdown in Success Breeds Failure. The problem is that in doing so, he gave the financial institutions in question enough strength to resist further reforms. It’s sort of like alcoholic co-dependence. If we could only figure out a way of isolating the institution in question and limit the damage to it and no one else…

This piece on NPR this morning about Mazdar City in the United Arab Emirates is very exciting. The UAE is partnering with MIT to design a city in the desert without a carbon footprint. Yeah, imagine that. Instead of spending billions of dollars to seize the oil fields, They’re planning on investing in a city that’s totally green.

Saturday: “I want to be seduced”

If you are an armchair election jockey living in Indiana or North Carolina or a surrounding state, you should know that the best way to snag a voter for Hillary is to canvass. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, canvassing is going door to door in a neighborhood, sort of like a Jehovah’s Witness except that most voters actually *want* to see you. Yeah, as long as you don’t ask them if they want a Watchtower they’ll open their doors, come out on the front stoop and engage you in conversation.

See, they have something that you want. They are just holding it out in front of you and saying, “What’s it worth to you?” They want to be seduced. Their vote is very valuable and they know it. It gives them a heady sense of power to see you groveling before them saying. “Baby, Baby, Baby, don’t be like that”. Lucky for us that Hillary has some sweet nothings to whisper into their ears about universal healthcare, getting us out of Iraq, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, the new green economy, strengthening scientific research, etc, etc, etc.

Then there’s her confidence, experience, long list of accomplishments as first lady and senator, her knowledge base, her intelligence, her “testicular fortitude”. Damn!, She’s hot. Even the Obama supporters check her out.

And it’s really not hard. I prefer canvassing to phone sex, er, phone calls. There’s much less chance for rejection. This election year is high stakes so people want to engage in conversation and they’ll interrupt whatever they’re doing to take your literature and talk. Besides, it gives you an opportunity to meet people face to face and show them what kind of people support her. We’re anything but old, stupid or bitter. The fresh air will brighten your skin, the exercise brings a rosy glow to the cheeks, the excitement makes the eyes glisten. Oh, yeah, before long, you’ll have them eating out of your hand. Put another notch on your tally sheet.

Here’s how to hslp GOTV (Get Out The Vote) this weekend:
In Indiana, check out this page.
In North Carolina, go here and sign up.

Make History!
In other news:
Pacific John at MyDD details some possibly fraudulent shenanigans that happened during the Texas caucuses. I know, you’re shocked. Hey, if you’re going to run a caucus, at least have some rules that everyone has to follow and referees you can call to mediate disputes on the spot. Or, better yet, just get rid of the damn things. They sound chaotic and vulnerable to abuse and manipulation.

Here’s a bit of fluff on the interview that Hillary gave People. Yeah, I didn’t know what a Red Bull was until last year either.

Gov. Mike Easley campaigned with Clinton in the hills of North Carolina. The BFF and I hiked in the Panthertown Valley region of North Carolina several years ago and it was beautiful On the mountaintops there are fields of dainty little wildflowers and multicolored mushrooms, and waterfalls to stand under after hours of climbing under a heavy backpack.Schoolhouse Falls But, ok, the wolves howling at night while we slept in a little tent miles away from civilization? Spooky. Still, it’s very beautiful.

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