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    • Here was my neighborhood last night
      Because the family of a mentally ill Philadelphia man holding a knife called for an ambulance, and the cops showed up. They claim he “charged” them and they shot and killed him. The mental health unit is a pilot program and isn’t paid to work on the weekends. Protesters didn’t do this, looters did. (Maybe … Continue reading Here was my neighborhood last nigh […]
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      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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Obama finally meets the press. They’re mean.

Barack Obama held a press availability in San Antonio today.It did not go well, and the Gautama Obama was not pleased. Subject matter? Goolsbee, Rezko, Jewish votes. Ended abruptly: “C’mon, guys, I just answered, like, eight questions.”

[UPDATE: Halperin provides transcript ]

Significant play in print and on air tonight. Not the way you want to tee up a key state.

WaPo’s Dana Milbank gives him the business: Continue reading

Clinton Cocktail Party- Tequila Sunrise

woman-with-cocktail-glass-and-rose-is611-019.jpgHi, all. Well, tonight is the night before the last round-up in Texas. I’m pulling for Hillary to pull this one out. She seems to be adapting. Maybe she didn’t know she even *had* a grassroots before. Let’s hope she discovers our power on the plains of Texas.

Welcome to the Clinton Cocktail Party. Sorry I’m late with this post. The BFF and I went on a fruitless search for a new MacBook Pro in NJ. The one we wanted was sold out in 3 locations. It sucked up most of my Saturday. But here we are now. Say hello to Rico, our bartender with flair! Tonight’s featured drink is a Tequila Sunrise. You probably don’t even need the recipe for that one. But if you’re not into that, order anything you like. We’re easy (but not cheap).

Tonight’s entertainment consists of a compilation of Texans and their music. We have a little bit of everything from Leadbelly to Bessie Smith, Lyle Lovett to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Don Henley to Willie Nelson. I’m going to start us off with a Texas Playboys number that is actually sung by a lady from OKlahoma, Carrie Underwood. San Antonio Rose. (Bear with the intro.)

The rest of the compilation is in a playlist you can find here. (I tried to embed a custom player but it wasn’t working out. If anyone knows how to get the suckers to work in WordPress, let me know)

When everybody is having a good time, it would be a shame to get trigger happy with your words. So feel free to leave them with Florence, our lovely check room attendent. The waiters will be circulating with some guacamole, piggy back dates and assorted munchies. Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

“I swear, they came out of *nowhere*!”

That’s my prediction of what the Big Blog Stores are going to be saying when the new lefty blogosphere bursts on the scene suddenly.

That thought occured to me when MABlue drew my attention to the nasty innuendo in a post from John Aravosis that was highlighted on TalkLeft.

What is John going to say? That Hillary is a lesbian? Yeah, right, like we haven’t heard *that* before. And like we would care anyway. What about Bill? What more can they explore that we don’t already know that wasn’t printed in the NYTimes for our titillation? Yes, I think they’re empty threats. But it sure seems like the so-called progressive blogosphere is becoming unhinged over the merest possibility that Clinton could win OH and TX. What’s that all about? I mean, the stakes are high for us too but we’re not going around threatening people. The Big Blogs seem to have invested so much of their energy in pushing Obama down our throats it seems like they just can’t comprehend why their sheer willpower alone isn’t sufficient for him to win. It’s weird. It’s almost like the rest of us voters don’t have a right to exist. Am I interpreting this right?

You know what’s also strange? Granted this is a little outpost in the middle of nowhere but we’ve managed to get almost 36000 hits since I opened the doors and I get very, very few Obamaphiles through here. So, are they just hoping that if they ignore me and Corrente and some of the other nascent blogs that we’ll just go away? Or do they have a blind spot where the neutral to pro-Hillary blogs are concerned?

Someday, they may wake up and find that their traffic has been siphoned off to TalkLeft, MyDD and Corrente, that Anglachel is the new Digby and lots of little blogs like this one sprang up because there was a need that they pretended so hard didn’t exist that they bought their own spin.  The ad revenue will be like water, seeking the path of least resistance and the blogs that lost their heads will be marginalized.  Maybe FireDogLake will even get the recognition it deserves.  At least FDL has taken pains to be fair even if it occasionally misses.

For Kos and Josh and Matt and Chris, there may be a rude awakening.

Factory Girls

Katiebird pointed to this extraordinary post from linfer at MyDD that I think is well worth a read.

Factory Workers at Sunrise

One of the things that has really ticked me off about the angry white male supporters of Obama and their media support group is that too often working class women have been characterized as “uneducated”. There are a lot of reasons why people don’t get degrees but to suggest that these people are uneducated or, what is clearly implied, stupid, would be a gross misunderstanding of the working class in our country. I come from working class roots. My paternal grandmother was the only one to have a high school diploma. My grandfather left school in eighth grade after his mother and sister died and his father abandoned him. His grandmother took him in but made it clear he had to make his own living. My maternal grandmother skipped two years of school, got bored and dropped out in 10th grade to marry my maternal grandfather, a happy-go-lucky guy, champion swimmer and steel mill worker. My parents did not have 4 year degrees. Both took college level classes for various things. My father was trained by the navy to maintain nuclear reactors at one of the toughest training schools that exist. My mother took classes but our constant moving made it impossible for her to attend seriously. My aunts and uncles all took the vocational route or homemaking. I was the first person on either side to finish college.

The reason I bring this up is because everyday I talk to people who have degrees but can’t think their way out of paper bags. This even occasionally happens with people with hard science degrees. I sometimes think that some kids would be better off pursuing a vocational degree than pushed into a worthless degree from a liberal arts college and for which they put no effort and learned nothing. But there are people in factories who go to work who through no fault of their own, or even by choice, do not have educations. And these people are turning to Hillary because they know that their vote is valuable and they are going to give it to the person who comes to them and asks them for it, not to the person who disparages their life situation in order to appear sexier to the young, the male and the snobby.

There’s a lesson in that. But I doubt that Obamaphiles, with all their degrees will understand it.

Ruh-Roh! Ahmadinejad in Iraq at Maliki’s invitation

oil_glory_200.jpgOne of my (incredibly well read and politically astute) Indian colleagues filled me on the rest of the world at lunch today and pointed me to this article from the BBC.  It seems like Maliki and Ahmadinejad are buddy-buddy and the success the surge was as real as a Vronsky Feint.   As my friend SR pointed out to me, this is typical behavior of all guerilla movements.  You lull your enemy in to a false sense of security and then hit them when they’re least expecting it.

The region still remains a powder keg with Saudi’s backing the sunnis and Iran backing the shiite and the US in the middle of a proxy war.  Thanks, George.  The media and the administration has been doing a pretty good job keeping the Iraq situation out of the media, probably because Hillary is a better candidate in the national security/foreign policy arena than Obama, who has yet to hold one hearing of his NATO and Afghanistan subcommittee.

For those of you who want a little more background on how problematic Iran can being in the future, listen to Terry Gross’ interview with Steve Levine on  Parsing Petro Politics in the Caspian Sea from Fresh Air.  Nuclear devices are the least of our worries and forceful diplomacy is needed toot sweet.

Tucsonlynn checks in

Tucsonlynn, our intrepid Confluentian from Arizona, is in El Paso, Texas this week and sent in the following:

El Paso is an interesting town. I was apprehensive about coming here, but the democrats rule this city!
Campaign signs for every local candidate are all over the place, the Hillary office is a firestorm of activity, the locals are all interested in what is going on…this has been a really good experience and great lesson in how to run campaigns.
The hotel I am in has one of the most beautiful lobby bars in the world, it makes the expensive swill go down better.

and a little later…

I had a semi wonderful/bad experience today, not really related to Hillary, but ..
I drove my own old car here from Tucson.
No problems, no big deal, but today, driving around planting signs, being visible, I heard banging and clangin. I stopped, a nice man yells from across the street, lady, it’s your exhaust pipe!. Shit. now what? No AAA, no that would be too sensible of me..I gingerly make my way back to my hotel, park back in the garage and ask Guillermo the bellman and my new best friend if there is anyone that can tie it up till I can get it to a shop. I may as well have gone to the lovely bar, it all got taken care of. Guillermo got Carlos and Eddie from engineering to do a temporary fix, they came back and said they could permanently fix it if I wanted them to, to save me money, they gave me directions to an auto parts store, I drove thru some really interesting barrio neighborhoods to get there, and practically every house had Hillary signs in the windows and on the fences. The shops in that area all had Hillary rally signs in the windows and it was a great thing to see. I would have missed it had my car not broken.
gqmartinez, this is a very friendly town!

TL: Keep the color commentary flowing. We are there with you in spirit. Or spirits, depending on how good the bar is. (Pics not necessary but ads to our vicarious thrills) 😉

TalkLeft posts some encouraging news on Texas polls. The SUSA poll is the gold standard and they are statistically tied. Obamamentum has slowed significantly,

Get’em in, round’em up, Tucsonlynn!

Tomorrow’s Vote is a Referendum on the Press

mad-as-hell.jpg Walter Shorenstein, founder of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University and Hillary Clinton supporter, has penned a memo about the unprofessional and biased coverage of the Democratic party primary race between Clinton and Obama. I can already hear the Kossacks howling with rage because he is a friend of Hillary’s, as if that negates all of the outrageous behavior of the press. But it’s hard to argue with the facts and Shorenstein’s got’em. And when SNL starts to point it out, then it has reached a threshold of absurdity that merits some serious discussion of what we should do about it. One thing we *can* do about it is urge Ohio and Texas voters to send a message to the press that we will pick our own presidents without all the emotional frenzy they have generated.

They tormented Bill Clinton, they snickered at Gore, giving us Bush, they destroyed Kerry’s career giving us even MORE Bush and now they are on the verge of doing something much more serious- allowing the first viable female candidate for president to get slimed by overtly negative and in some cases, misogynistic press. This time, not only are they helping to nominate the weaker candidate but they are setting back women’s accomplishments by 40 years. Don’t let them do it, Texas and Ohio. We need you to fight back and tell the media to cover the primaries professionally. Your vote is more than just a vote for Hillary or Obama. It’s a referendum on the press. Help us take our country back. Vote for the best candidate, not the one with the media halo.

Here is Shorenstein’s memo with supporting document

Stormy Monday?

More work, work, work! Make it stoooopppp! Send positive thots so I can finish up some outstanding items and get back to the blog. In the meantime, here’s some links to chew on ala breakfast granola:

  • Talkingpointsmemo jumps the shark. Ok, many of you probably thought this happened months (or even years) ago. I have to say that I am sincerely appalled by Josh Marhall’s complete abandonment of any sort of rationality. I can deal with the fact that he’s pro-Obama. There are plenty of those types of bloggers around. But unlike Big Tent Democrat at TalkLeft, for example, Josh seems to think his pro-Obama advocacy must also mean viciously savaging Clinton over nothing. Jeez, Josh, if you’re going to go after her, could you do it based on something actually real and not something speculative?
    So she says there is no evidence that Obama is a Muslim as far a she knows. That little “as far as I know” is an admission of her guilt? Wha? Josh, this is just absurd. And what’s with Obama throwing Muslim Americans under a bus anyway? Like I’ve said before, here in NJ, they are all over the place. It’s really important to not get all freaked out every time you see a woman in chador and hijab shopping for shoes with her husband. Unfortunately, Obama’s attitude is exacerbating the fear of Muslims. Personally, I wish he’d knock it off. (For a first hand account of what has happened to Muslim Americans since 9/11, try this piece from This American Life called “Shouting Across the Divide”. It’s really not pretty.) And, really, Josh, this is just beneath you. Hillary was very clear about what she said. There is no reason to read meaning into something that isn’t there.
  • Here’s another outrage from our own side that BTD is pointing to today. I’m in agreement with BTD. Dick Durbin and John Kerry should just STFU. I voted for Hillary and so did half the primary voters so far. If I’m mistaken, she’s ahead in the popular vote. Where do these two get off telling the rest of us to just suck it up and go away? Presumably, Obama is going to need us before the end. Or would they prefer that we do as anonymous is suggesting in the Nader youtube: “expect us to not lift a finger to help you”. Jerks.
  • Paul Krugman once again shouts into the hurricane. Sorry, Paul. People who are voting for Obama aren’t thinking with their heads. Obama is very much about an appeal to emotion. It doesn’t much matter whether he will adopt high-Broderism tactics or not. Obama is all about “the triumph of hope over experience”. He really hasn’t been in Congress long enough if he doesn’t realize that the Republican minority revels in its ability to keep the rest of the government and country hostage to its whims. As long as they can filibuster, Obama’s hopes might well be ether. That goes for Clinton too, but unlike Obama, she has no illusions about what lies before her. Her knowledge base of all of the pressure points in government is bigger than his. As much as I appreciate Krugman’s appeal to reason, unlike Josh Marshall cited above, the power of personal politics says that you can’t argue rationally with a person in the midst of an internal emotional whirlwind. The Republicans are very good at stirring up emotions in the public mind and this year, the Democrats have latched onto the technique, with the media’s help. As the saying goes, “when your heart’s on fire, smoke gets in your eyes”. Let’s hope that SNL’s recent attempts to pull back the curtain on the absurdity of the media’s Obamaphilia will blow some of that smoke away. We still have to deal with the misogynism this campaign has revealed in the “progressive” blogosphere. But one thing at a time. Let’s get through Tuesday, then we can pound on the “He-Man Wimin Hater’s Club”.
  • Taylor Marsh has a bit more on the NAFTA kerfuffle with Goolsbee, who our own Ronk profiled several weeks ago. No matter how you slice it, it appears that much of Obama’s posturing on NAFTA is so much political theater and he’s not in favor of doing much more than cosmetic changes to it. Not that it matters much. It looks like no one is paying much attention to the NAFTA issue. It’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to globalization and the export of American jobs elsewhere. I’m more worried about the export of chemical and biological expertise to China and India. When we start to lose our creative class, then we’re in big trouble. And yes, it is happening at an accelerating pace. I’d be very surprised if I end up retiring from my present career. We research professionals are like sitting ducks, watching in dumbfounded shock at the number of layoffs going on around us as our jobs are shipped off to Hyderabad. (Funny how the Marketing guys never face this prospect. Hmmm…)
  • What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see this headline? Gun Incident Near President Bush’s Ranch. Yeah, mine too. Gotta stop inviting Dick to barbeques.
  • Finally, this youtube deserves a reprise just before tomorrow’s primary in Texas. Let’s hear it for the girls. We’re counting on all of you Texas Bluebonnets and San Antonio Roses (and you Sensitive New Age Guys) to take the kids out for a night at the caucuses. Yee-haa!