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The Usual Suspects

Harold Ickes at RBC Meeting, May 31, 2008

Harold Ickes at RBC Meeting, May 31, 2008

Dan Balz has a piece in the Washington Post today about the efforts by both parties to “reform” the presidential primary system. The article is mostly about the Democrats’ problems though. Surprisingly, Balz to some extent acknowledges that the 2008 Democratic primaries were handled in a way that severely damaged Hillary Clinton’s chances. But he has it mostly wrong.

…there’s no disputing that the rules governing the nomination process can affect candidates’ fortunes. Just ask supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The DNC’s decision to punish Florida and Michigan for staging their contests in violation of party rules, particularly the penalty against Florida, robbed her of victories that could have changed the outcome. The Obama campaign’s mastery of the nominating rules clearly contributed to his victory over Clinton.

Um…Dan, “the Obama campaign’s mastery of the nominating rules?” Obama won by taking the small red-state caucuses, while Hillary won the big states. In the end, Clinton had more popular votes than Obama, and she would have had almost the same number of pledged delegates as Obama if it hadn’t been for the DNC’s refusal to count the votes of Florida and Michigan voters. The DNC rigged “the roolz” from day one in favor of Obama and they got plenty of help from the media in doing so. The RBC committee had to fiddle with the Michigan primary results, taking away four votes from Hillary and giving them to Obama along with “uncommitted” votes he didn’t earn in order to cement his “victory.”

Let’s get in the way-back machine and go back in time to May 31, 2008, shall we? Continue reading

Whose Art Is This, Anyway?

In light of the fact that Shepard Fairey, the artist who “created” the Obama “Hope” poster was arrested last night for “tagging,” I decided to re-post this piece I wrote earlier in the week about his copyright infringement lawsuit by the Associated Press.  In a side note, it seems like sexism, misogyny and threats of violence against women have been with us at least since antiquity.  From Wkikipedia entry on graffiti:

Quisquis amat. veniat. Veneri volo frangere costas
fustibus et lumbos debilitare deae.
Si potest illa mihi tenerum pertundere pectus
quit ego non possim caput illae frangere fuste?
Whoever loves, go to hell. I want to break Venus’s ribs
with a club and deform her hips.
If she can break my tender heart
why can’t I hit her over the head?
-CIL IV, 1284.

s01-art-shepard-faireyThe Associated Press says that the most annoyingly ubiquitous piece of Obama pseudo-art in the whole, entire freaking universe and beyond, and then ten paces beyond that, Shep Fairey’s “Hope-A-Dope” horror movie-colored Warhol Soup Can ripoff (can you tell I don’t like it?) infringes their copyright.  From an AP article posted on CBS News:

The image, Fairey has acknowledged, is based on an Associated Press photograph, taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia at the National Press Club in Washington.

The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.

“The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission,” the AP’s director of media relations, Paul Colford, said in a statement.

So, this Fairey guy, who supposedly has a badass maverick rebel’s disregard for “da roolz,” Googles “Obama photo,” finds one, steals it, and uses it without permission to make money?  Open and shut no-brainer, right?  Don’t be dense.  Haven’t you ever heard of “fair use?”

“We believe fair use protects Shepard’s right to do what he did here,” says Fairey’s attorney, Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University and a lecturer at the Stanford Law School. “It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment beyond that at this time because we are in discussions about this with the AP.”

Fair use is a legal concept that allows exceptions to copyright law, based on, among other factors, how much of the original is used, what the new work is used for and how the original is affected by the new work.

I wish I hadn’t read that.  Every time I hear the word “fair” associated with an Obamazoid, I’m reminded of Harold Ickes pleading with the Rules and Bylaws Committee of my old party, the Democrats, to apply the party’s own standards of “fair reflection” in determining the outcome of Florida and Michigan’s delegate appropriation in light of their “rule breaker” status, only to be told by Carl Levin that “fair reflection” couldn’t be applied to a flawed process.  Bastard.

I’m sorry, but I remember every minute of that fiasco of a debacle of a circus of a joke, and I’m still so fucking pissed off about it, I get happy every time another creep assed fuck seems to realize just how screwed we all are because they encouraged and enabled the KoolAid pushing “boneheaded screw-up” they were sucking off to cheat and exploit the system all the way to the White House.  Now, they all want to know why he seems to be so tentative, wishy-washy, unsure.  Because that’s what he always was, you dipshits! That’s who he is! When you (s)elect an inexperienced, incompetent, TelePrompTer reader as Commander in Chief, that’s what you get.  And when you cheat to do it, that’s just so much worse.

Obama’s fighting Pelosi and sucking up to Republicans.  No shit?  We told you he was going to do that.  We yelled our heads off and blogged our fingers raw, and you followed your leader’s email instructions and sabotaged us at every turn.   And cheated.

I’ve written blog posts about it, as have many others, including Alegre, who says we must never forget.  I agree.  We must never allow the Pretender President and all his paid-off enablers to forget that we remember, and let them get away with re-writing their clear-cut history of cheating.

In Michigan, nobody was supposed to campaign or fund raise, but there was no imperative to remove one’s name from the ballot.  The state was having a primary, anyway, so what noble stance would one be taking by removing one’s name from a “beauty contest” that “wasn’t going to count for anything?”  The obvious answer is kiss my ass, none.  Just like there was no reason to campaign for votes under the guise of encouraging Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to vote “uncommitted” in a “beauty contest that wasn’t going to count.  Like Barack Obama did.

This blogger at Our Michigan laid it all out.  However, Obama’s intentions were never secret; the Washington Post, CNN, Politico, Huffington Post, Newsweek, and others documented the ploy, all giving complimentary details of the John and Monica Conyers/Carl Levin-led campaign to get people to vote “uncommitted” for Barack Obama.  They needn’t have bothered; it was on my.barackobama.com, now Organizing for America:

A group of several hundred Michigan voters plan to knock on doors, make calls and hold rallies for a rather unconventional candidate in next Tuesday’s primary — “Uncommitted.”

The only way that backers of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards or New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who withdrew their names from Michigan’s Democratic primary ballot, can show their support is to vote “uncommitted.”

Detroiters for Uncommitted Voters, most of whom say they are supporting Obama, want to make sure that people don’t avoid the polls Tuesday because their favorite candidate isn’t on the ballot.

“We really want to educate people on what they should do,” former Wayne County Commissioner Edna Bell said. “If Michigan voters want change, the uncommitted vote is their way to make their voices heard.”

He cheated.  So, it’s no surprise that one of his followers is doing the same thing.  The only surprise is that so many people seem so surprised how things are turning out.

Updated from an earlier post at Cinie’s World

*I noticed my own glaring omission in not noting that The Confluence as well as all the individual posters here with their own sites have been diligent in chronicling and documenting all aspects of Obafraud.  My apologies for the slight, it was unintended.

Election Day: Remember, Remember on the 4th of November

Remember, Remember on the 4th of November
The DNC highjack and plot
I see no reason why the DNC treason
Should ever be forgot.

Lest we forget, here is a clip from the infamous roll call vote where in the name of Unity, the DNC felt it necessary to humiliate Senator Hillary Clinton and her voters. Pay particular attention to the roll call from Arkansas that starts at 4:00.  The state of Arkansas went for Clinton by 70%.  But she was not allowed to keep even one of these 47 votes.  Clinton told her delegates to vote their consciences, not capitulate completely.  But we’ll get to that in a minute.  For now, just watch.

And here’s the one that sticks in my craw.  My own Governor, a Hillary superdelegate, seems almost giddy to turn over MY vote, a vote for Hillary Clinton, and all of the other Hillary Clinton votes from NJ, *unanimously* to Barack Obama.  Hillary Clinton won the state of NJ and millions and millions of her voters by 10 points.  She didn’t get even one delegate.  It was beyond disgusting.  Unless this primary system is fixed, I will NEVER vote in another primary in NJ.  Why waste my time and money?

Let’s not forget that going  into the convention, she trailed Barack Obama by a mere 17 pledged delegates and *should* have been leading if the Rules and Bylaws committee hadn’t given over 50 uncommitted Michigan delegates to Obama on May 31, 2008.

Let’s not forget that he wasn’t even on the ballot in Michigan and was not more entitled to those uncommitted delegates than Clinton.  Let’s not forget the Edwards delegates at the convention who expressed the desire to change their votes to Clinton and were told by party leaders that they couldn’t.  Let’s hear about some of the threats and intimidation in their own words.   delegate_accounts_compiled_by_rlieberman:

CONNECTICUT:  “I felt blindsided, bullied, mugged.  I saw delegates being verbaly arm twisted with threats of loss of positions.”  “One Obama delegate was bright red, yelling right up in my face”.

FLORIDA: Barbara Bassett to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “Do not be party to the DNC and its efforts to further disenfranchise the voters of our state.  Had our votes counted on Jan 29, 2008, we would be looking at the nomination of Senator Clinton. Again if our votes counted on May 31, 2008 we would be looking at the nomination of Senator Clinton… Stand up and say, ‘We the People of the great state of Florida vote for Hillary Clinton’.  I want to be heard, once during this election.  I want to be heard. ONE person, ONE vote. I count, I matter.  We voted, we spoke and we look to you to honor the integrity of our vote”.

Ladyhawwke: To Former President Jimmy Carter  BY FAX: (404) 331-0283.  “I am one of the 18m who supported Senator Hillary Clinton in her quest to become the first female president in history.  I had hoped for a fair roll call in order that Sen. Clinton’s delegates would have the opportunity to vote for her as our Party’s nominee.  I am angry and disillusioned.  I have never seen such a farce that was perpetrated upon the American people by the sham roll call. Where were you when our voices were crying out to be heard?  Why is it important to have fair elections abroad and not in the U.S.?  Why were the delegates threatened by members of congress, Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean?”

A delegate insisted that someone take notice that the state, which voted heavily for Hillary and was punished by having its delegates halved, somehow announced 136 votes for BO and 51 for Hillary.  At least 6 Clinton delegates had been replaced by Obama supporters before the Convention.  Others were intimidated and warned their jobs and positions would be pulled.”

GEORGIA: (text message) “This is insane.  They are yelling at the delegates to vote bo or their political careers are over”.

IDAHO:  A delegate: “the feel was of a Republican convention, totally controlled and scripted.  No humor or mistakes”.

The reason you are going to the polls today without the candidate of your choice on the ballot, the reason you are angry and confused is because the entire primary system was rigged by the DNC and the Obama campaign to make Barack Obama, the junior, less than one term senator from Illinois, the nominee over a more qualified, dedicated public servant who was also a woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Not only was the rigging unfair to Hillary Clinton, it has the intended result of ruining this woman’s career.  Running for president is no easy feat.  It costs a lot of money and donors have a reasonable expectation that the candidate’s own party won’t knife her in the back.  As far as Hillary is concerned, we can no longer be sure of this, at least not until the Dean Democrats are sent packing.

But more than this, the primary was rigged against us.  It was rigged against us by a bunch of party leaders who substituted their “wisdom” for ours, the voter’s.  They know what’s good for us.  We are like children and simple minded sheep that need to be schooled in race relations.  We need to be taught proper values.  We need to suck it up when it comes to soaring electricity bills.  We need to realize that investment bankers need to be protected from risk but average Americans do not.

This election is about character.  It is about the character of the Democratic party and it’s nominee.  If these two entities can’t respect the will of the voter before the general election, it sure as Hell isn’t going to respect it afterwards.  You are stuck with the person you elect for four, long years.  He is going to use race as a bludgeon against anyone who dares to criticize him.  He is going to do it HIS way, against the advice of his advisors (who told him to pick Hillary as VP).  He is going to teach you stupid voters some valuable lessons on conservation even if it causes you and the economy severe pain, because it will be for your own good in the long run. He’s going to pretend to work for women while he expects them to get in line in a manner that differs little from that of some Saudi prince.   What other decisions is he going to make on your behalf that you, the stupid, uneducated, working class, asian, latino, gay, woman aren’t going to like?  You will be forced to suck it up by the “creative” class Whole Foods Nation and its media that installed him against your wishes.

I urge you to reject Barack Obama and the Dean Democrats who put him in office.  Reject the media haka that tells you that you have no other choice but to elect this man.  Reject misogyny and race baiting.  A person with great character wouldn’t have brought us to this point in such a manner (H/T Sugarn’Spice).

Go vote and choose someone who has one.

For another point of view, go read what Violet hath wrought in If You Vote for Obama, This is What You’re Voting For (Reminder #14).

One more thing: Brook’s 7th grade had a mock election with real voting machines the other day.  She said she doesn’t remember the exact tally but it was REALLY close.  Obama edged out McCain by just a tiny bit.  This is in a slightly red NJ suburb so it could be that the vote reflects the will of the parents but I thought it very interesting in that it shows that we may not be as reliably blue as people think.  If the number of signs are any indication, McCain will do better than expected in NJ.

Saturday: RBC Day of Reckoning

Please see garychapelhill’s live blog below straight from the RBC venue.

I am still at home. Going to DC today turned out to be trickier than I thought. But fortunately for us, garychapelhill was able to snag guest blogger credentials for the meeting. I think we are in good hands.

Continue reading

Thursday:Anything less than 2209 is Affirmative Action for the Token Male

Yes, I expect those words to get a lot of negative attention but hear me out. Feminists have used that term for years when it applies to men. Society is set up to reward men simply for having a Y chromosome. They don’t have to do anything special. They just take it for granted that they will rise to the top, paths will be cleared, obstacles removed. Isn’t that what the whole Angry White Male, Rush Limbaugh phenomenon is all about? Men resenting the fact that now they have to compete with women and “feminazis”? Their slice of the pie just got smaller. Suddenly, their future prospects are not so rosy. But let’s not fool ourselves. There is still a huge affirmative action program out there for men and far fewer breaks for women in the workplace and society at large. He can get profit from and get away with far more things than she can.

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: if it weren’t for the fact that Barack Obama is the token male in this primary race, it is hard to see how he and Hillary Clinton would be sharing the same stage. Her CV is much thicker than his and her command of the qualifications for what it takes to be president far exceeds his. Their debate performances highlight how unevenly they are matched. Her presentation is detailed and fluid; his is sketchy, long winded and unfocussed. At the end of this long campaign season, she has seemingly boundless energy and is all but unflappable; he is showing fatigue and calls professional women “sweetie”. Yet, here they are, together. She is forced to share a stage with a male who is competing for the same position and it is a wonder to the rest of us how he ever got this far.

And this is where the Affirmative Action part comes in. Because the bar has been lowered for Obama. As a consequence (or perhaps by intent) of the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the DNC Barack Obama only has to reach 2025 delegates to snag the nomination. But Hillary Clinton has to reach 2209. Yep, let that sink in for a second. Despite all of the big and swing states she has earned, despite the fact that she’s still winning strong, the path to *her* nomination depends on Michigan and Florida while these two requirements have been conveniently waived for Barack Obama. With the “all or nothing” narrative of the “pledged delegate count trumps all”, none of her delegates count without all 50 states; all of his count with 48.

Now, the Obama supporters and Donna Brazile can scream about RULZ until the cows come home but this is the naked truth that the whole country can see- he is being given a 2.3 million voter break. It’s like a test score that we have lowered just for him. Not only does he not have to win any crucial states but he can get away with fewer of them and it has been this way the entire primary season where his campaign has been able to use this inequity to its advantage, conditioning the public to believe that she is behind him.

Enough is enough. Let’s call it what it is and let the DNC know that you will be watching on May 31 when the Rules and Bylaws Committee meets. Are they going to set the Obama Affirmative Action Program in stone and carry out one of the most flagrant abuses in power since the US Supreme Court ruled on Bush v. Gore? Or are they going to honor the wishes of 2.3 million voters and make the nomination a merit based system? One decision gives the better candidate a fighting chance, the other signals to society at large that this kind of behavior is ok and women are acceptable targets. What’s it going to be?

The whole world is watching.

One more thing: I served 3 years on my local school board before I resigned (too many committments). One thing I learned about politicians is that no matter how dug in their heels are, they are vulnerable to public pressure. The more noise you make, the more likely they are to yield. The problem is that this hs to be done face to face where they can see the anger and frustration. If they are out of earshot, it doesn’t work. You have to patiently and persistently get in their faces and make them listen and there is power in numbers. I can’t tell you hpw many times I saw the board start the evening with a perfectly good plan, like charging $18/month for courtesy bussing and after a couple hundred very vocal spoiled yuppie parrents have spoken, see them cave completely so that bussing is free for everyone with no distance standards. We just have to figure out a way of doing it. Email might work, phone calls might be better, in-person argumentation is best.

One more thing thing: So last night Dukakis endorsed Obama, eh? That makes Kennedy, Kerry, Edwards, Dukakis, Carter. See a pattern here? It starts with an “L”.

This song goes out to all of the tough women who aren’t backing down:

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