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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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    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      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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Nightcap- New Old Friends

Joe’sIt’s getting late. But some of us aren’t ready to call it a night yet. So much going on and our minds are working overtime to take it all in and make sense of it. But we need to wind it down, kick back, relax, feed our cells (that means you gqmartinez)

So, we’re hanging out at Joe’s. It’s always cool and dark here. The bar is a long gleaming wood affair that Joe keeps in tip top shape with daily doses of lemon cream polish like the kind my grandmother used to use.

There are small tables and chairs and dark secluded corners. That blonde singer is back. She does the blues so well, like she feels it deep down. “The eagle flies on Friday…Lord have mercy on me”

Set’em up Joe. I’ll have a Baker’s bourbon OTR.

Welcome Union Members!

I would like to extend a hand to all of the Kossacks who officially threw in the towel tonight. I know it can’t have been easy, although a few of you will assure me that it was. Please feel free to use The Confluence as your online picket line and refugee camp.

As you may have noticed, although we have only been in operation for a couple of months, our infamy has grown quite a bit. We have gotten mentioned at many fine blogs and have a reputation for offering a safe place to express your opinion with other non-Obamaphiles. Continue reading

What goes around, comes around

So, Obama is having another Terrible, Horrble, No-Good, Very Bad Week. It seems that his pastor has been “caught on tape” making some statements that indicate poor judgment. And this pastor has been associated with Barack Obama for 20 years. The firestorm seems to be getting pretty hot. I confess that I have only critiqued one video of Rev. Wright. Apparently, it was the more mild of the bunch and the others are really quite offensive to many white Americans (although Wright’s “God Damn America” and Michelle Obama’s statement that for the first time in her adult life, she was proud of America *do* sound like they come from the same place.).

Personally, I don’t care for these types of media scourges. Many of the offensive statements are taken out of context and blown out of proportion. If the media feels that it was successful over some innocuous statement that was deliberately misconstrued as racism, it just gets emboldened to try it out on someone else. And if a candidate benefits and *encourages* the said deliberate misinterpretation of innocuous remarks as racism and piles on gratuitously, then it should come as no surprise that the media monster will bite even harder the next time.

So, Obama has been forced to renounce the pastor’s words in the strongest possible terms. But Rev. Wright will remain on the Obama campaign’s board of spiritual advisors. Meanwhile Fox and other media outlets keep fanning the flames, giving us all a little taste of what it has in store for Obama in the future. It is very difficult for me to find sympathy for Obama over this matter. His campaign never fails to capitalize on a screw up on Clinton’s part. In some ways, it is regrettable that this media firestorm may be the thing that causes Obama to lose the nomination. I would have much preferred that he lost on something more substantive, like lack of experience, inadequate policy development or being cool with disenfranchising Florida voters and all of the rest of us who voted for Clinton. But losing his lustre and the nomination may be the unfortunate results unless he can pull his own ass out of the fire. I hope he doesn’t expect the stupid, non-creative, working stiff, prematurely aged women to come to his defense.

As they say, “What does not kill you makes you stronger” or “People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity”

Or, “Turn about is fair play”

Update: Ohhh, so now that the shoe is on the other foot, Obama wants everyone to be friends. Let’s just pretend nothing ever happened. No more accusations of racism and being a monster and you tell your surrogates to stop adding fuel to the Wright problem. Hmmm, and what will happen just before the NC primary? Will Lucy pull the football away? If Clinton is smart (and I know she is), she will “Trust but verify”. See? Reagan was good for something.

Update II: Ruh-roh, it looks like Rezko is going to pour gasoline on this fire.  The GOP is wasting no time in bringing Obama down.  Maybe they figure that they’ve split the party sufficiently that Clinton can’t put it back together before November.

Gifts from Pittsburgh

Today, the mayor of Pittsburgh, my hometown, endorsed Hillary Clinton.  It’s a great fit.  In honor of the occasion, I thought I’d dig up another gift from Pittsburgh, Gene Kelly, who demonstrated with energy and grace how to live through stormy days:

Now, go play while I do some work.

The Florida Mail-in Revote Plan: Action Alert!

Big Tent Democrat at TalkLeft, has put up the proposal from Karen Thurman of the Florida Democratic party, for a revote by mail of the 2008 Florida Primary. They are soliciting comments at this time until 6:00pm tonight. If you are a Floridian and you have an opinion on the matter (and I’d find it hard to believe if you didn’t), please read the proposal in its entirety and the accompanying press release with FAQs and respond to Thurman’s request for input. This might be your last chance to chime in on it. This voter from NJ is in solidarity with the voters of Florida and Michigan and demand that their full delegations be seated or a revote conducted as expeditiously as possible. We all hang together or we will surely hang separately

See the post and documents at TalkLeft.

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.