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The Clinton Cocktail Hour

Rico Hi, guys! Welcome to the Clinton Cocktail Hour. As you can see, we’re in a new venue. The owner of the other place has temporarily closed his doors to the organizer. But this place is friendly and everyone is welcome.

Congratulations to the winners of today’s Nevada caucuses. That would be all of us. We just look so damn good next to the screwed up Republicans it ain’t even funny.

The bar is to the left of the door and we were able to hire Rico away from the old place. Rico is our bartender with flair, so don’t get too close when he starts tossing the bottles. Today’s featured drink is a Carolina . Champagne and celebration, perfect together! Our music for this evening is provided by the rich baritone of Andy Bey. You can purchase his new CD Ain’t Necessarily So from iTunes or Amazon.

We don’t have TR’s at this site but the comments are being filtered for trigger words. If you’d like, you can check your trigger words with our lovely check room attendant, Florence.

The waiters will be circulating shortly with some Southern fried chicken appetizers, picked okra and mini corn-dogs. Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

Topic for today: There is a Newsweek article suggesting that Bill Clinton is under fire from other Democrats for being too hands on in Hillary’s campaign. Is Bill helping or hurting Hillary and who has the most to gain by making Bill shut up and sit down?


Cocktail Hour at 6pm.

Blue MargaritaPass it on…

Tweetyitis on MSNBC

Tweety TroubleAyayay, David Shuster. I had such high hopes for you. You seemed like such a good reporter. The Firepups who covered Scooter Libby’s trial with you gave you thumbs up. So, what gives, David? Your comments to Joe Scarborough about Chris “Tweety” Matthews are all over the internet. Jamison Foser’s post at Media Matters gives some of the gory details and Digby fills it out:

SHUSTER: Just one comment about Chris Matthews. I’ve worked with him for five and a half years. I’ve been alongside him, on camera, off, good times and bad. Nobody is more gracious and has a bigger heart, and has contributed more in a positive way to our political discourse than Chris Matthews.

SCARBOROUGH: Now, let me say, let me say —

SHUSTER: And to see him have to go through this is absolutely infuriating, to see the way these groups used him for pure political gain is absolutely infuriating.

You just can’t learn some people.
Here’s the deal guys: Unlike racism, which is primarily a function of speech and cultural references, attitudes towards women are embedded in body language. You have to admit it, when a person’s body language doesn’t match what comes out of their mouth, it’s obvious. A perfect example is when Obama told Hillary that she was “likeable enough”. Not only was the reposnse tepid but he looked dismissive, did not address her directly, made no eye contact, glanced down and away from her as if she was “free to go”. She was a non-person, a subordinate to him. It was one of the most disrepectful things I have ever seen. You’d never see him treat John Kerry that way or John Edwards. But it was OK to behave that way to Hillary? That moment crystallized Obama for me. I find it hard to look at him without seeing that image in my mind.

But add to the body language a persistent pattern of dismissive language and you’ve got a real problem. Tweety can’t hide his disgust for Clinton. It’s apparent in the downturned corners of his mouth and the way he squints his beady little eyes when he talks about her but then he has to pepper his talk with all these sexist dogwhistle words.

C’mon, guys, if you want Hardball to be the equivalent of Maxim for political junkies, just say so up front. Have a disclaimer like: “The following program contains material of a sexist nature and may be offensive to viewers who have graduated to the 21st century. Viewer discretion is advised.”

In fact, make that a disclaimer for the entire network which is notorious for minimizing the role of women in the public forum. Everyone from Rutgers female basketball players to female journalists to female presidential candidates have been fair game. MSNBC advertises itself as the place for politics but then conveniently “forgets” that half of the population of this country are women. In this year, when the network has a chance to really set a standard for political journalism, it mystifies me why they are not going out of their way to actively court the female audience. We’ve got the first viable female presidential candidate in our country’s history and they think they can just continue on as if positions of power are the territory of the men’s club.

Get it straight, David, Tucker, Joe and Tweety, we don’t want to see the faux outrage because one of you is getting called on the carpet. We don’t care if you’ve done it all of your lives. Don’t do it anymore. We don’t care if it’s embedded in the very fibers of your souls. Excise it. We don’t care if it’s a habit that’s hard to break. Work on freeing yourself of it. If you don’t like the emails and the enraged calls and the complaints, stop behaving badly. Women are not going back to the days where we took advice about laundry detergent from some disembodied male voice and we’re going to vote for our own over your objections.

If you want to make amends, and there is no indication so far that you do, replace Tucker Carlson with Rachel Maddow. She’s earned it and she’d be a hell of a lot more interesting to listen to than Tucker ever was. Heck, she’d only be a token at this point but the media landscape is chock full of middle aged white guys who seem to think they represent the body politic. They don’t. So, give up Tucker and give us Rachel as a start to show your goodwill and STFU about defending the indefensible.

PS. Keith Olbermann shouldn’t get too comfortable. His relentless pursuit of everything Britney has been really getting on my nerves lately. Whatever is happening to her is pretty sad and maybe the hopelessly gay teenager was right, just leave her alone. That goes for Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Miss Teen South Carolina and any other female celebrity. It was amusing for a few seconds but you’d think that male celebrities never act like airheads. And we know you like sweet young things.

Yeah, well, so do I.

Public Service Announcement: Ladies, Update Your Records

riverdaughterThe topic of the day is “voter fraud”. The League of Women Voters filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court regarding the Indiana Voter Fraud Law. And here’s another piece on it from NPR.And here’s the money quote that should give you chills:

The devil, Smith contends, is in the details of Indiana’s law. He cites, for example, the case of a woman who made three trips to the motor vehicle bureau in a vain attempt to get a free voter ID card. Her problem, even after she obtained her birth certificate, was that it was not in her married name. While the state does provide free voter ID cards, Smith observes, voters incur considerable costs in time and money to secure the documents the state requires as a condition for getting the cards.

Scary, eh?

I mentioned this a couple of months ago in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pantsuit. At the risk of sounding like Miss Teen SC, I personally believe that the voter fraud case is being brought to the USSC not just because states and their Republican enablers are trying to suppress minority voters. I think they’re after women this time. Because it’s much harder to try voter suppression tricks ala Ohio 2004 on half the population. Those long lines in Ohio worked to kill minority turnout but women are a MUCH larger portion of the population. The media is bound to notice that even if we do have to smack them on the head with an iron skillet.

Now, who here thinks that the US Supreme Court will reject Indiana’s voter fraud law? Speak up! Anybody?

That’s right. Not with Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito on the bench. All you need to do is be an obsequious toady for Kennedy and his sense of greatness at being the tiebreaker will go straight to his head. He leans conservative, so I think it is a given that he will not find the fraud law burdensome.So, how will the Rovians swing this to suppress us? Well, here’s a clue: about 7 years ago, the IRS sent me a letter telling me I had misrepresented myself on my tax return and that my IRS name and my Social Security name did not match and would I please send $2100.00 as quickly as possible. Yes, believe it or not, the IRS and SS administration do not cross reference their databases. Crazy but true. And I, being a paperwork averse person, had never bothered to update my name with my new married name because I never thought the government wouldn’t index their database on SSN. Call me naive.And, although the state law does not specifically discriminate against women, real life will. Because men do not generally change their names in their lifetimes but women do, sometimes several times. And the paperwork to change all of the bills and credit cards and driver’s licenses and mortgages is a pain in the ass so many of us, myself included, put it off.

So, what does that mean for us? Well, say Tweety keeps it up and people see more of Hillary that they like and they vote for her on SuperDuperTuesday and she becomes our nominee. (Hey, anything can happen at this point) Then the Supreme Court rules that the Indiana voter fraud law stands and voter registration databases all across the country are purged of women whose names do not match with their SSN or passport number or driver’s license or birth certificate or <insert favorite official document here>. The Republicans manage to suppress thousands and thousands of women in key battleground states and poof! McCain, or Huckabee or Romney is sworn in.

Don’t let it happen to you. I might be paranoid, but when I start hearing persistent s%^& like this voter fraud thingy, my tinfoil antenna start twitching telling me that something’s up.Get your affairs in order, make sure all of your documents and database entries are consistent, track down all of the marriage licenses and divorce decrees you have and make sure everyone who needs a copy gets one. Don’t wait til the last minute. Then find out when registration closes for your state and call the office to make absolutely sure that you are on the registration rolls.Don’t leave it to chance, don’t put it off, don’t forget to follow up. Because you know that Karl and his friends are working overtime to take us out any way they can.

Pass it around.

Good Government is not Inevitable

Yesterday, Governor Corzine announced that New Jersey has a budget deficit. It’s the third largest behind NY and CA. We are in hock up to $3 Billion. And, to be honest, I’m just scratching my head, trying to wrap my brain around how this could possibly be.NJ is a wealthy state. We make some of the highest salaries in the country. But we also have a very high cost of living. And most non-NJ Kossacks would have coronaries at the sight of our property tax bills.In spite of all of that, the state is pretty well run. Budgets are super tight but we’re managing. The roads are in decent shape, bridges get built, the schools in the suburbs have very good teachers and curriculum (except for the gifted kids, but don’t get me started).But if you are the child of a recently laid off engineer with a hefty mortgage payment and you need treatment for some chronic health problem, well, you’re SOL.

It’s a crazy, topsy-turvy world we’re living in. Every year, NJ sends billions of tax dollars to the Feds and it gets distributed to places like Wyoming and Mississippi and Iraq. We pay more into the system than we can ever expect to get back. Our schools don’t get built, teacher’s pensions get dumped onto seniors on fixed incomes who can least afford to pay them and until a couple of weeks ago, thousands more NJ taxpayers were going to get stuck with a tax increase if the AMT had not been fixed.And now our three most prosperous states, all blue, are running massive deficits.This was no accident. It was engineered.The Republicans set out to drain blue states and saddle them with the tax burden that their disastrous policies have generated. We aren’t eligible for most of the programs that the working class is entitled to in other states. That tends to breed resentment. Our wealthier districts are represented by Republicans in whose interests it is to never move away from a burdensome property tax system that funds our state.And yet, our tax money is held hostage to an endless war. We derive no benefit from it and our cultural landmarks and industries are at risk from attacks by inflamed extremists.This is what George Bush did to my state and my country. He trashed it. His merry band of cavalier and careless cohorts saw wealth sitting around and decided they should have it. The money that could have been used to build infrastructure and fund research and improve education and healthcare was simply siphoned away. In it’s wake, we have underfunded and antiquated federal regulatory systems, an interior that is auctioned off the highest bidder and ruined cities. Our civil liberties are in name only, our privacy violated, our security compromised. And my state is $3 billion in debt. Without the additional funding from the SCHIP expansion, a lot of NJ children and their family’s finances are at risk. We can’t afford to fund our own.

We will not know the extent of the damage until January 2009. And all of the hard work that went into the creation of a prosperous middle class from the 1930’s to the 1990’s, all the work of FDR and Truman and Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton, all that has been reduced to the barest minimum as Wall Street investors, including you and me, demand higher profits from the corporations we work for and love to trash.

I don’t think I have to tell you how serious this situation is but some of you need to think about what it’s going to take to put it right. Because once the Bushies are gone, the $$%^’s going to hit the fan. The money from China will last only so long, the mortgaging of our economy has undermined our viability and the oil crisis is going to accelerate our downward slide.

The tendency of the universe is towards disorder and energy is needed to keep it in check. To reverse it, we need to make bonds and introduce order.

Disorder and chaos prevent progress and can’t be wished away. And order can’t be beaten into our friends and enemies until morale improves. To suggest that good government is an inevitable result of hope or flagellation ignores nature. The only way to restore order and put things on the proper footing for going forward is to work very hard and create coalitions.

There never was an inevitable nominee. You have always had a choice.

Choose wisely.

Oh, No, Not Again! Quick, Get Barack the Smelling Salts!

I’m feeling faintOh my God! Hillary contrasted herself with Barack Obama!Does it get any more negative than that? What will that villainess think of next? Dragging out their SAT scores? Perish the thought!
Watch out, watch out! I think Obama is going to swoon dead away! Oh, this is serious. i have never seen anything so vicious in my entire life as Hillary Clinton merely suggesting that she is a candidate that has no hidden skeletons. Some of us untutored may see that as a positive affirmation that she has survived the relentless Republican attacks on her character including a $70 million crotch shot of her entire life that turned up very, very little to nail her on. How naive we all were. She was really just gearing up to take him down.Oh, it may sound innocuous, but look at him freaking out. He is apoplectic!

    He is purple with rage! He is hysterically looking for a fainting couch to recover himself.
    It is too much strain for the poor man. Wasn’t it enough that he put his own drug use out there for everyone to see? Wasn’t it enough that he gave hope to millions of poor and confused adolescents to not give up on themselves?Didn’t she see the fricking copyright to his story? It’s right there on the page in the corner, um, oh nevermind. I’m sure it’s there under a blacklight.
    He even trademarked the word “cocaine”.Heavens to Betsy, what if Mark Penn had said “crack”? Well, that would be the end of the Clinton campaign. Obama would have had to protest too much more and demand an immediate concession from her. She would have to bring her own tar, feathers and rails and submit graciously to his leadership.
    Oh, woe is me! My candidate just can do anything right. I know this because Tweety tells me so. He says that Obama is nicer and prettier and more cool and has more friends. If the generalities got any more glittering, I would have to wear sunglasses indoors. Hillary is just a witch who cackles, stridently, and her shrillness is off-key. It’s too sharp. I can’t verify this because I don’t have perfect pitch like Tweety does but I will rush to the music store tonight and grab a pitch pipe so I can be absolutely sure that he’s right.
    I *am* sure that he is right because I just know that Tweety is a manly man. He practically drowns his guests in Aqua Velva spit. He has all of those babes on with him who are just dreamy over Barack. If it weren’t for Tweety’s largess towards the weaker sex, they might never get a chance to even be on TV, pontificating on how Barack’s feet seem never to touch the soil, while Hillary is knee deep in mud.
    Barack, Barack! We hardly knew ye. Surely you will expire from the shock to the system of Hillary’s blitzkrieg attack. She’s coming at him with both guns blazing. She is nuking him with statements of fact. Oh, it is too horrible. Make it stop!Apologies simply will not do. Stuffing a sock in the Big Dawg’s mouth is insufficient. Nothing except complete cessation of hostilities on her part will assuage the wound she as inflicted on this man’s tender sensibilities. His delicate constitution will simply collapse from the weight of the onslaught.There, there, Barack. It will all be over soon. She may be bad but she’s not nearly as bad as those nasty Republicans. You should see what they did to Kerry.


    The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pantsuit

    There I was on Thursday night, letting my Sandstone Pearl toenails dry while I reread one of Rebecca Wells Ya-ya books and trying to decide whether to watch Steel Magnolias or Terms of Endearment on the DVD, when I heard a familiar word coming from the background noise of the Democratic Presidential Debate that I use to relax.”Campbell”, it said.Hmmm, there was something very knowing and mysterious about that voice. So, I backed up the DVR and replayed it.There was Hillary Clinton in her light gray tweedy jacket and asbestos pants (and great makeup, by the way) gently chiding the gravid Campbell Brown.And it suddenly occurred to me: Karl Rove must be sweating big time. It will be so much harder to suppress the female voters than the African-American voters. Someone might notice.

    I mean, sure Campbell Brown is married to former Iraq CPA official, Dan Senor. Sure, she’s bought into the Villager cocktail party circuit, where they are no doubt planning her baby shower complete with Peg Perego stroller with a mini-bar, reclining seat and internet connection for the little tyke.

    But when Hillary said, “Campbell”, we women instantly recognized the voice of authority of the high priestess reminding the backslid acolyte of her obligations to her sex. (Note to self: buy new candles for the altar and perform the rites tonight in the nude.)

    I sipped my Cosmo pensively. I’m very concerned about Tweety. He will be so exorcised over this in the next week that if he doesn’t speak fast enough, he will surely drown in his own spit. The “He Man Women Haters Club” has no place for an upstart girl who will want to come in and reupholster the chairs in a Laura Ashley floral. There is no room in the tree house.

    But Tweety has nothing to fear, really.

    No, just because every woman can remember some time in her life when she was given a little less attention than the boys in math class or got less praise than Raymond C. Persic in Organic Chemistry (Nyah-Nyah, scored higher than you on the ACS exam), that doesn’t mean anything.

    Or all of the times when our ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands called us “bitch” and “c$^t” when we dared to assert our rights. Or the times that our bosses gave the one raise in the department to a guy with a newborn- year after year after year, there’s no reason to think we might want to level the playing field.

    Or the fathers who preferred our brother’s company after we became adolescents. Or all of the family members who told us we could never succeed in science or medicine or law because we were the first in our families to want to go to college and it was too much money to spend on a girl who was probably going to get married anyway, perish the thought of righteous indignation.

    Or the husbands who questioned our expenses, by saying, “What did you spend your allowance on anyway?!” (You women my mother’s age know what I’m talking about.) Or just because of the men who said, “*I* make the money, I make the rules!”, we are not looking for a champion.

    Or the church elders who chastised our skirt lengths while we were going through a growth spurt, simultaneously staring at our shapely calves and thighs. Or the priests and bishops and fundamentalists who condemned us to hell for having SEX out of WEDLOCK while setting the terms of that wedlock to be perpetual obedience to our husbands, does not mean that we have any expectation that a manly God will exact justice on our behalf.

    No, Tweety, you have nothing to worry about. Do not be troubled that we might want to exercise a little authority, assert our rights, seek vengeance or see one of our own, who seems to know what the fuck she’s doing, succeed to the most powerful position on earth.

    It’s not like Hillary Clinton is a personification of a pagan moon goddess who is going to re-establish our supremacy through some matriarchal social system, even if that did kinda work out for us. Ha-ha-ha!, that is so silly of you. I mean, there’s no reason to vote for her because she’s a girl

    No, that would be petty and anachronistic and un-Christian and speaks of gender identity politics and that is soooo outre. We aren’t out to settle the score for the millenia of mistreatment and disrespect. Perish the thought!

    Then again, I did detect a little glisten in Campbell’s eye. Just a little one. I saw it. And if I’m right about these things, Dan will completely miss it as Campbell gently kisses him on the lips and pinches the baby’s cheek just before she steps into that voting booth next year to worship at the Temple of the Sisterhood.

    BTW, sisters, make sure you update your social security cards, driver’s licenses and voter registration ID to be consistent before going to vote. Karl’s not finished yet.

    Updated: I’m really serious about the ID.

    This could be the very reason we are turned away at the voting booth. Don’t wait until the month before. Get all your notarized divorce papers in order and make sure the IRS, Social Security office, driver’s licenses and the voter’s registration office all have the same name for the same person.

    For all we know, they are purging the databases as we speak, looking specifically at name mismatches.