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      by Tony Wikrent North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Strategic Political Economy Economist Mariana Mazzucato has demonstrated that the real driver of innovation isn’t lone geniuses but state investment. [Wired, via The Big Picture 10-19-19] ….Mazzucato, an Italian-American economist who had spent decades researching the economics of innovation […]
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Celebrating Goldberry — Our Riverdaughter (an Open Thread)

We’ve been whispering about it for hours — but here’s the Story of Confluence:

The Campaign Toll:
When Democrats Go Post-al
By James Wolcott (Vanity Fair, June 2008)

. . . .

At Daily Kos, Clinton’s supporters felt not only outnumbered but patronized as objects of sexist condescension, pummeled like tackling dummies. One regular diarist, who went by the handle of Goldberry, exited the Daily Kos and set up her own blog, the Confluence, rolling out a welcome mat for fellow “Kossacks in Exile.” Toward Markos himself, she bore no ill will: “I totally respect Markos. He’s created a beautiful thing.” But the beautiful thing he created has been overrun by ruffians, leaving refugees like herself to hole up in the hills “until the ravagers run out of fuel to burn.” In an open letter to the liberal blogosphere, a fed-up Daily Kos regular named Alegre urged a writers’ strike . . . (Here’s the whole story)

RD here: Ok, I’m going to get a gigantic ego, except some of Wolcott’s piece was scathing so I think we are “on notice” (better get one of those big boards to keep track). I appreciate that Wolcott gave us a mention but this site wouldn’t be possible without all the other people who blog here like Katiebird, ronkseattle, bostonboomer, and our latest addition , garyinchapelhill. And there are all the commenters like shainzona, litigatormom (anyday now), MABlue, ghost2, DCDemocrat, tucsonlynn and many, many more. BUT *we* couldn’t do it without:

TaylorMarsh, Jeralyn Merritt and Big Tent Democrat at Talkleft, Lambert, Vastleft, Sarah, myiq2xu at Corrente, Sugar at Sugar ‘n Spice, Anglachel and Tom Watson, eriposte and turkana at TheLeftCoaster and the whole rest of the growing Progressive Blogosphere 2.0 that sprouted up like mushrooms in the wilderness outside the palisade of the Great Orange Satan. Let’s raise a glass to each other.

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Hillary doesn’t take the bait

Huffingtonpost has a clip of Hillary’s interview with Bill O’Reilly that is to be aired tonight and tomorrow night on The O’Reilly Factor. She says people should make up their own minds about Rev. Wright after BillO relentlessly goads her about him.

To put her comments in context, let’s look at what she said in her last debate appearance with George Stephanoplous and Charles Gibson:

“One’s choice of church and pastor is rooted in what one believes is what you’re seeking in church and what kind of, you know, fellowship you find in church,” Clinton told moderators Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos.

“But I have to say,” she continued, “for Pastor Wright to have given his first sermon after 9/11 and to have blamed the United States for the attack, which happened in my city of New York, would have been just intolerable for me. And, therefore, I would have not been able to stay in the church.”

It doesn’t take a lot of acrobatic artistry to interpret her meaning. She understands full well that our choice of religion and church are rooted in our individual cultural backgrounds and traditions. But what she found offensive and outrageous about Rev. Wright was his statement that America was somehow responsible for 9/11. The truth is, some zealous fundamentalist Islamacists took it upon themselves to bring America to its knees by destroying certain iconic American targets. They are PO’d over corruption of the Saudi family and its enablers. No one in those towers, planes, Pentagon or NYC rescue units deserved to pay for Osama bin Laden’s megalomania. But Rev. Wright pinned the blame squarely on America as if the dead had it coming to them. That was the outrageous offensive remark. Religion has little if anything to do with it.

Now, Rev. Wright may have been a good friend, a loving pastor, a faithful Christian, but he has a lot of power in church to bring people to a heightened emotional plane. I’m guessing that in the moments that he said these incredibly stupid and offensive remarks, he was feeling that rush of power and instead of exercising self-control, he gave into it. What is the proper response of a parishioner? I think it depends on whether you are also swept up in the moment. If you are, you approve the sentiment and say nothing. If you aren’t, it’s your responsibility to discuss it with your friend and get him to see reason. If he doesn’t, you have to walk away.

Well, we know what Obama did.

Oh, and Guillermo del Toro is going to direct The Hobbitt and Ian McKellen will reprise his role as Gandalf.

Obama Debate Acceptance Watch- Day #5

It’s been five days since Hillary Clinton offered Barack Obama an opportunity to debate mano a mano on the back of a flatbed truck without debate moderators or gotcha questions (that the candidates couldn’t manufacture themselves). A Lincoln- Douglas style debate doesn’t even focus on policy, so she’s cutting him a break. At first his campaign said, “No way”. Yesterday, his campaign floated a teaser in Montana that they would consider it, but only after May 6, which is kind of like calling in sick the day of the test.

And what about today? What have we heard on the debate watch from the Obama campaign?

{{crickets}}

BUT, the Obamas (yes, Michelle, too, who is finally for once in her adult life “proud to be an American”). will be hogging Hillary’s limelight tonight with an Interview with NBC’s Meredith Viera. Portions of the interview will appear on NBC’s Nightly News and MSNBC tonight and it will air in its entirety tomorrow on the Today show. How sweet. I know they were just trying to helpfully distract the audience from watching The O’Reilly Factor tonight, as if there is a possibility for Keith Olbermann to swipe Bill-O’s audience. Dueling interviews. Cue the Deliverance banjo music.

When this is all over…

…I hope someone writes a book about the incredible ups and downs of this campaign. It’s like one damn miracle after another. First, she loses Iowa, then she lets down her guard and wins New Hampshire.

She watches one state after another fall to her rival as he gets help from her own party and as he severs her ties to the African American community. And then she wins OH and TX in a do or die gambit.

She’s told she MUST win PA by at least 10 points, she gets outsepent in ads 3:1 and she does it, give or take a bit.

And her campaign has been on the brink of insolvency a couple of times and yet it always seems astonished when her grassroots, ones she didn’t even know she had, reward good behavior with their millions of dollars.

Guys, I know you’ve given and given til you can’t gives no more. But I’m going to ask you to do it one more time. Because it looks like your dollars will be matched ala public radio pledge week specials. Contribute $25 before midnight and your money will be matched. $50 turns into $100. You know the drill, er, except instead of a nifty tote bag or coffee mug, you get a brand new president!

Make history and contribute before midnight!

Wednesday: Fire Festival

Today is Beltane Eve, that time of year in the Celtic calendar marking the first day of the summer pasture season. It’s also the time when the world of faerie and the world of men collide and unusual things are apt to happen. Beltane celebrations feature fire, a sort of purification symbol, and can range from the ancient rustic innocent where participants dig a hole in the earth, fill it with fire and make egg custards and oatmeal cakes, finishing it off by leaping over the flames, to the wiccan versions where the May Lord and Lady are “united”. (makes you almost want to convert, huh?)

The modern version of the Fire Festival of Beltane is celebrated every April 30 in Edinburgh. There are elaborate processions and rituals and bonfires.

Our own primary season is a trial by fire of sorts. How are our candidates doing this morning?

  • Hillary Clinton is wearing out her press corps as she leads them in a merry chase from state to state. NPR’s David Greene recounts yesterdays schedule for our Energizer Bunny in A Candidate on the Campaign Trail.
  • Yesterday, she practiced leaping over some bonfires at her interview with the Indianapolis Star. Her response on China policy will make your jaw drop. (The link is from TalkLeft. Hint for using the player: Click the On Demand link)
  • Did Obama pull his bacon out of the fire yesterday? The New York Times ponders his problem with Rev. Wright in Obama’s Break with Ex-Pastor Sets Sharp Shift in Tone. The issue now extends to the superdelegates. Is it enough to give them pause? Will they be worried that he won’t be able to withstand the flames of the general election? I’m a little concerned that people are focusing too much on the quality of the excuse and not the credibility. As to the latter, it’s pretty much shot in my estimation. The last part of the NYTimes editorial on the subject was just bizarre:

    This country needs a healthy and open discussion of race. Mr. Obama’s repudiation of Mr. Wright is part of that. His opponents also have a responsibility — to repudiate the race-baiting and make sure it stops.

    Are they serious?! What kind of fools do they think we are? (don’t answer that) If they want repudiation of race baiting, they need look no further than Obama himself and their own writing on the subject. His “opponents” didn’t start this. Obama did and now it’s coming back to get him. Well, even if the NYTimes doesn’t get this, the voters most likely do. They are the next trial by fire and, right now, Obama looks a bit flammable.

  • Eriposte at TheLeftCoaster is burning and smoldering over the latest character assassination attempts from Obamaphiles directed towards Rev. Barbara Reynolds, a member of the National Press Club’s board, and by extension, Hillary Clinton. Eriposte thinks along the same lines that I do on the Wright matter: He’s said some pretty preposterous things but he has been a respected preacher for years. It’s a shame that his character has also been destroyed, even if he gave it a little help. Just go read it. These Obama supporters know no shame. I guess they figure we’re just too stupid to know what’s really going on. They must be friends with whoever wrote that ridiculous NYTimes editorial for ttoday. Can we talk about something else now? Like the incendiary price of gas?

Things we wish we’d written: Case #2

Joanne Parrent at No Quarter must have been listening in to a conversation with one of my sisters:

A Family Fight or a License to Hate?

When I asked my sister why she didn’t want to vote for the first viable female candidate for President – and a brilliant person as well – she told me that she “hates” Hillary Clinton. Stunned at the intensity of her feelings, I asked her “Why?” She proceeded to give me some reasons that I found startlingly similar to the Obama campaign talking points:

1. Sister: Hillary voted for the war in Iraq.

Me: Actually, she voted to give the President the authorization to go to war so the threat of war would force Saddam Hussein to allow UN inspectors back into Iraq, which it did. Bush, not Hillary, then decided to stop those inspections before they were done and invade Iraq. (I sent her an article in the Huffington Post by anti-war activist, former Ambassador and husband of Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson, about this. Joseph Wilson, Huffington Post) Continue reading