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Happy PUMA 1-month Birthday!

PUMA stare

It’s me, SM!  My very first post!  WordPress wouldn’t let me have a two-lettered username, so sm77 will be my “name” when I post.





Wow! Our little cub of dissent has grown into a fear-inducing beast of majestic proportions, to the point that anti-PUMA sites are cropping up lately (see Governor Ed Rendell’s H.O.U.N.D.)  Anti-PUMA articles fill up with comments, brimming with conspiracy and rat-f&ckery such as the latest new rumor “PUMAs are Republicans.” Or that PUMAs are, as Riverdaughter quotes a certain orange-tinged blogger, “shrieking bands of paranoid holdouts.” 

Here at the Confluence, we all witnessed our PUMA cub’s birth on June 1st 2008 in a wee little comments section, a feline mutt that’s half Snarky and half Rebellious Defiance.  We giggled and cooed how cute and funny she turned out.  Whenever we would say her full name, it was like seeing Happy the New Year Baby’s big ears.  Party Unity My Ass, hee-hee! 

Yet Mother Riverdaughter’s muse, the inspiring Hypergraphia, retreated from the gleeful crowd.  In calm seclusion, Hypergraphia gave the cub potent megavitamins of symbolic purpose, chanted shamanic prayers of justice and taught little PUMA how stand on its own two feet.   Like watching the Aurora Borealis color a once-barren night sky, we stood in awe as PUMA arose from its tiny snark paws into a fierce beast of political dissent.  

That same day, PUMA wandered out from its birthplace, reaching official 527 status through Murphy’s PUMAPac.  Each hour-second-minute that ticked on June 1st reaching virtual light speed velocity, PUMA grew faster, bigger, stronger, charging through teh intertubez and resonated with millions of voters who agreed that something wasn’t right with the DNC/RBC ruling, famously demonstrated by PUMA Elder Priestess-in-Chief, Harriet Christian.

Then a week later on June 8th, 2008, the PUMA Priestess-in-Prada Diane Mantouvalos and PUMA Chieftain Supreme Will Bower appeared on the MSM networks, announcing PUMAs’ arrival to the talking heads, miraculously herding a 2,000,000+ PUMA pride coalition at JustSayNoDeal.com.  Through small Midwestern towns to large cosmopolitan cities, through laptops, desktops, telephones and word-of-mouth, emails and thread comments, interviews and soundbites, the PUMA cat not just flew outta the bag, it shredded the bag to pieces.  Yummy. 

But where does PUMA get the energy to move so fast and furious, to charge through the valleys of vote-stealing politicians, through the meadows of blogger boy chicanery, scaling mountains of mainstream media hubris?   

It’s YOU.  And me.  And the people you intertube with.  And your mom, your dad, your daughter, your son, your friend, your boss, your co-worker, your convenience store clerk, your pharmacist, your dry cleaner, your pizza delivery kid, your customer service representative, your nurse, your rooftop installer, your lover, your migrant worker, your ex-boyfriend’s mom and dad, your former best-friend,  your high school teacher, your doctor.  All of YOU.

What we all have in common is that we are all life-long Democrats that defy the RBC ruling on May 31st, 2008.  We defy the sexism, the false accusations of racism, the mainstream media’s relentless drive to choose a nominee for us without having a majority of the popular votes.  And so many other things – but I digress.

PUMA, I am here to celebrate your first month of life.  Thank you for empowering me and millions of disenfranchised voters.  You gave us a voice that was taken away from us on May 31st, 2008.  Thank you for fueling us to fight the injustice that our own Democratic party has inflicted.  One person, one vote” should not be replaced by “my candidate is better than yours so move over, bitch” politics.  And as long as the Democratic Fraternity Party appeases this un-Democratic behavior, PUMAs will pounce and growl louder than ever. 

¡Que viva los PUMAs! 

(Long live PUMAs!)

Mid-Afternoon Breaktime Open Thread

It’s been mentioned in the threads that Corbett at WILK radio in Scranton will be covering PUMA today. Riverdaughter just sent this message:

He asked me to call in around 3:35pm

And from the Comments (Hugh Gagner)

If you want to call in, ESPECIALLY if you live in PA, call 570-883-0098


November To Remember

Here’s a link to more information (thanks grlpatriot!)

This? Is an Open Thread.

Monday: The Racism Backlash

I’m running a little late again and I suspect I have a meeting this morning at work. But in the 6 minutes I have, I would like to relate a little story about what happened here in my school district back in the 90’s. Note to teachers: this incident may be isolated and is in no way intended to disparage a whole generation of educators.

I ran for the school board (and won) back in the early 90s when I went to a curriculum goals team meeting and the only thing the curriculum supervisors wanted to talk about was teaching values. Call me fussy but I don’t think it is the role of the school to teach values. It is the role of the school to teach. Reading, writing, arithmetic, calculus, spanish, english, you know, stuff like that. And I preferred that they do it well. Not my school district. No, they were more interested in making flowery statements about how “Children are the messengers that we send into a future we will never see…” Seriously, that’s the opening line of our district goals. {{gag me}}

So, anyway, I ran and won. Then came Diversity Day 1996. Oh. My. God.

Diversity Day was set up by those same educators who thought it was a good idea to teach values. And in a way, it sounds like a great idea. All ethnicities, races and lifestyles are able to show students what they are all about in a non-threatening and safe environment. Cool and groovy. Except, there were some parents who were strict fundamentalists who kept their kids home on Diversity day because they didn’t like the Gay and Lesbian students who had their own kiosks. Hey, whatever you may think about whether this is right or not, the parents must *still* have the final word about this. I think they are wrong but they are still parents and Diversity Day is a non-academic school day. So, they kept their kids home.

No can do, said the administration. An absence on Diversity Day was to be recorded as an unexcused absence, even you were sick. So, everyone was forced to attend. To give parents some leeway, students got to choose which presentations they could attend. But once a section filled up, they got diverted into another one, involuntarily.

Which leads me to the AIDS activist. She was a poet from around here and she was quite, um, assertive? She started out her presentation with a recitation of the F word. She wanted everyone to get comfortable with it. Then she talked about masturbation and fantasies. One of the more interesting fantasies was if you could discuss your fantasies with your parents at the breakfast table (no I am not making this up). Then she said that everyone should take a good look at their vagina and if you didn’t have one, maybe you could borrow someone else’s. Then, to top it all off, as if that weren’t enough, she put a condom on a purple dildo – with her mouth.

What the principle and the curriculum supervisors didn’t realize s that there was a reporter from the local rag in the audience who took down every word of it and was so shocked she told the principle. The principle asked the AIDS activist to leave out the F word for the afternoon session.

When I got home from work, I immediately started getting phone calls from angry parents who couldn’t understand how I could let something like this happen (I didn’t know about it before hand) to reporters looking for a quote to take out of context (I learned my lesson that day).

The board meetings were normally held in the HS library but the throng that threatened to show up at the next one was so large that they shifted it to the HS Auditorium. I walked to my seat from the wings and HOLY HEMIOLA! The place was packed and there were klieg lights and national media and a fricking circus.

For 3 hours, I listened as parent after parent raked us over the coals. It was humiliating. But the worst thing was the stupid educators who got up to defend themselves because, after all, how else would students know how to protect themselves? They were just taking on the role that parents who were too timid to perform the task themselves. The demonstration was necessary.

I was speechless. The role of the educator was not to invite an amateur sexologist and public health specialist to a school to allow her to highjack a presentation and turn it into a national spectacle. The role of the educator is to have the health teachers perform these tasks in a professional way and TO MAKE SURE THE STUDENTS CAN READ THE GD CONDOM PACKAGE!

Backlash? Honey, you haven’t seen backlash until you see hundreds of angry parents who want your head. None of them thought they were so ignorant that they couldn’t talk to their children about sex. But the fact that educators sought to take this right away from them because they knew how to teach these values better just pissed them off to no end. These are well educated suburban parents and they mightily resented it when the principle et al implied they were ignorant, backwards, prudes who couldn’t understand kids these days. No, my droogs, that did not go over well. A lot of those parents became regulars at school board meetings.

So what is my point? I see a lot of the same kind of stuff going on with the election this year. You’ve got a lot of pretentious liberals who have interrupted the most important election of my lifetime and have decided to turn it into a teachable moment about race. This is a baaaaad idea. Because they have insulted the character of so many voters who do not see the election in racial terms. They think this election is about the future of our country and they are not pleased to be sidetracked by racism nor are they happy about being called racists by people who think they know better.

Backlash is coming, complete with Klieg lights and cameras.

Latenight: Grace

Conflucians, I’m planning to go on vacay the week of July5-12. I’m not certain that there is going to be good wireless or high speed internet at the shore where I’ll be staying. So, if I’m not here in the morning when you get up that week, I’m hoping one of the other Conflucians can get your days started in the right frame of mind.

In any case, withdrawal symptoms will set in during the drive. We need more blogtalkradio!

Some of you may have wondered what the phrase Holy Hemiola! means. Well, it’s a sanitized version of Holy $%#^ and something my choral director used to say. A hemiola is a musical term that means “grace note”. Here is one of my favorite pieces of sacred music by Mozart that features the hemiola. It is the Laudate Dominum from his Missa Solemnis. Sit back, close your eyes and let you spirit soar on the grace notes of the amens at the end. You will feel like a lark ascending.

PUMA Action!

Our conference call was cut short tonight due to bad telephone connection but there are some interesting things in store this week:

  • There are now entries at the action page of JustSayNoDeal.com.  There are links for making phone calls, writing letters, donating to Hillary, etc.  Check it out at the action page.
  • There is an opportunity coming up to make a viral video/ad featuring the many ordinary Ammericans who are disenfranchised Hillary supporters in “1 in 18”.  Check out the page 1in18 and submit your photo.
  • There will be a mass action fundraiser for Hillary Clinton on July 4, 2008.  We want to give Hillary her independence so all of us in the coalition will be out in force asking our members to contribute $20 to the cause.  Think about it.  Think who you can hit up for a yuppie food stamp.  Or I will sic Carol on you.
  • There is a coalition blogtalkradio show and there will be a chance for you to listen and call in tonight at 8pm at NO WE WON’T.  Will Bower will be hosting tonight.  Tell him where YOU first heard of PUMA.

Feckless Petitions. Ooooo! I’m Scared.

This is too funny. It seems that a bunch of Obamaphiles have gotten together to start a petition to stop the PUMAs. They think we are a front for the Republicans.

Check it out here: Stop PUMA


{{gasping for air, wiping face, breathing deeply}}

But here’s what’s REALLY funny: who the f&*( are they going to send it to? I mean, we’re a coalition with a conference call. What are they going to do? Cut off our grant money? (nonexistent) Are they going to run to the Republicans and ask them to step in and stop us, we who don’t even know any real live Republicans? Yeah, that’s going to work. More likely, the Republicans will take credit for it, ‘cos that’s what Republicans do, then they’ll say, “Make Me!”

These people are *completely* unarmed.

Unity Through Purge

This Friday, my partner Gary and I traveled to New Hampshire to protest the sham Clinton/Obama unity event orchestrated by the Obama campaign. The event reached new heights of bizarre political theatre, as they bused a couple thousand Obama supporters into a town of 1500 whose one main road had to be blocked off to accommodate the several hundred bus trips in took to ferry them back and forth to their cars parked ten miles away.

The event was never about people. It was about a town’s name and its location. The event was held in a town called Unity. Leave it to Obama to elevate symbolism over substance, and to choose a location so remote dissenters may have a really hard time getting there, especially if the dissenters happen to be working people who are usually busy on Friday. It might also be hard to get there if you are elderly, or if you are not really rich, since going to out of the way places uses up a lot of gas, which costs $4.30 now, if you hadn’t noticed.

But “wait”, you say, “You are being unfair to Obama.” This event really was about uniting the Democratic Party, healing the rift, and all singing Kumbaya. If that we’re so, why did they never address the Clinton supporters who came there to express their disgust with the party? Every single one of the people who were most vocal described themselves as life-long Democrats. No one ever asked us about our concerns. No one ever tried to help us unify. Instead, we got told to go to a “free speech zone” down the road away from the event. I thought I was witnessing a rally for George Bush. Didn’t he invent the “free speech zone”?

Other attempts at Unity by the Obama campaign consisted of throwing out a Hillary supporter who had a sign that read, “Democratic party, A House Divided”, and getting the secret service to remove another who dared to hold a sign about 2nd amendment rights.

The following video and stills are of one of the PUMA supporters who was removed from the event (her daughter was still inside). I put up one pic earlier, but this is the whole story:

She did get back in (the secret service guards refused to heed the Obama campaign’s demands that no signs be allowed into the event). I got these stills of her being accosted by two campaign members:

There is a final video clip to this series where I ask the man on the left (a campaign member) why they took her sign. He says that the rules were that no “handmade signs” are allowed. When I point out the other pro Obama “handmade signs” he walks away. I haven’t rendered the video yet, but will add it on here when I do.

Obama campaign never cared what our issues were. He never asked. He never sent anyone to ask.

I know from talking to a lot of Clinton supporters that there are many reasons to be upset with the party and Obama. However, let me just explain what I think is my biggest beef in case Obama is reading this blog, and for a brief second cared to know why we feel the way we do

On May 31st , 2008 at the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee held in Washington DC, the Democratic Party took a giant leap backwards, retreating into its old-politics proverbial “smoky back rooms”. Instead of honoring voters, the committee violated their own sunshine rules and met behind closed doors where they struck a deal to give delegates to Obama from voters that had chosen Clinton. The hunch that the DNC had been rigging the primary to defeat Clinton was confirmed to be true for a lot of her supporters. In order to install Obama quickly, the committee was willing to trash one of the core principles the Democratic Party has come to stand for in America, voting rights.

Now, as more evidence comes out about Obama’s anti-Democratic practices in the primary, his blatant lies, and broken promises, his use of the worst divisive techniques, a trifecta including racism, ageism, and classism, more and more Clinton supporters are hardening their hearts to him. Many believe a vote for him in November would be a vote for voter suppression and fraud. To some, a vote for him would mean saying yes to using race as a weapon to deflect any criticism. Others have long not accepted that someone who has essentially never had a full-time job, who continually seeks higher office without ever having accomplished anything, and who has no foreign affairs experience should ever become President. They have lived through the Bush years.

Another dose of reality for the Obamabots.

To any Obama people who were at the rally:

Did you notice how many African Americans were at the rally? The few we saw were selling bootleg shirts, with Obama grafting 10% of the top of their profits.

Obama cares about you so much, he made you park 10 miles from the event, and forced you to ride buses. You were stranded at the event until Obama said it was time to leave, And you know what? He didn’t even care about you enough to make sure there was enough shelter in case it rained. But remember? It did rain, and the tents that were for the security service detail weren’t enough for everyone to stand under, so you had to stand out in the rain. Some of you didn’t even have umbrellas. I felt bad for you. Once Obama is through with his props, he doesn’t need them anymore.

See you next time Obama wants to unify.


Your dearest Mawm

********* Intermission **************

OK guys. I have so much more to tell you. Gary and I have been working like little faeries to get this stuff out. I have to pause because the NYC Gay pride parade is going to start in short order, and I feel I must warn the LGBT community the danger Obama poses to our community.

So here are our outfits. We’ll be capturing interesting things from the parade, so stay tuned. Gay Pride is always a blast!

Finally, from GCH, here is the video of MAWM being interviewed on Cavuto:

MUCH MORE TO COME: more suppression of free speech, an obamaphile calls gary racist, and much, much more….please stay tuned!!!! (we shot the video in HD so it is taking forever to compress and render–but its coming)

Sunday: Tell me again, who’s stupid?

I keep getting told how stupid I am. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz suggested as much the other night on Larry King. The Obamaphiles tell me Every. Single. Day. Even Governor Ed Rendell told me that HOUNDS are brighter than PUMAs.

And why shouldn’t they feel this way? After all, we’ve had 8 years of the presidential rule by the dumbest guy on the planet, save Doug Feith. We sooo want it to be over. We want SCHIP passed, stem-cell research funded, our civil liberties and habeas corpus back. Believe me when I say, oh superdelegates, we feel your pain most acutely. Some of us spent YEARS on DailyKos and canvasssing for our favorite congressional candidates and writing our representatives and protesting the war and we are tired, sick, disgusted and worn out of Republican rule. If we could load up the trucks and move the Bushies to Beverley today it would be seven years late but not a moment too soon.

So, why are you guys behaving so stupidly?

I mean, the rest of the country woke up. They were just as fed up with Republicans as we are. They snapped out of it, looked around and thought, “don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”. This was the year to put a strong Democrat in office. They wanted a DEMOCRAT. Sort of the kind that Hillary Clinton is. About where they are in terms of social policy. Ready to embrace the diversity of the American population in terms of ethnicity and lifestyles. Finally realizing that controlling what people do in their bedrooms won’t put bread on the table. Looking forward to competent, intelligent, wise governmental policies. And what do we give them? Mr. Obama. A man whose resume should have garnered him no more than a low level cabinet position, if that, where he can learn the ropes in safety, is now shooting for the highest office in the land.

And how did we get here? F%&* if *I* know. But there sure are a whole lot of factions supporting him who have virtually nothing in common with one another. The Libertarian Democrats and the academic pretentious liberal would have little to talk about at a cocktail party. The African-American faction is in the backyard having their own party. The young wouldn’t be caught DEAD at this soiree. Are you kidding me? The last thing they want to do is hang around with the old people who are trying way too hard to convince themselves that their tits don’t sag.

There’s no THERE there. No core Democratic principles sticking the whole amalgamation together. Not only that, they need the people they think are permanent losers: the working class, women, latinos, the elderly, Muslims, gays, you name it. Anyone who is unpopular or not one of the beautiful people or just not wealthy enough are not on their A list. And they let us know what they think of us all of the time. We’re stupid, we’re old, we’re women without educations, we’re old stupid women without educations. And we’re going to ruin everything for them. Everything! It is going to be all our fault because we won’t just shut up, sit down and fork over our votes.

God! What insensitive, stupid, selfish, racist idiots we are. We have *their* votes. They have to get their votes from US. Like they have time for this. If only we could see how important this is to them we wouldn’t be so ignorant and self-centered. Why am I not more reasonable with my vote? Sitting right under my old, stupid, racist, fat ass. Funny how that works. The older, stupider and more racist I am to them, the fatter my ass gets. I can barely move it now. Damn, I have NO idea how I’m going to give them my vote now. My ass just won’t budge.

Go figure.

PUMA Cocktail Party: The Year of the Cat

Hey there PUMAs, tonight we kick off the new cocktail party. For thse of you new to The Confluence, the Clinton Cocktail Parties are an old tradition. But now that we are PUMAs, we need to put a little space between us and Hillary. She needs to do what she needs to do and we need to take on the DNC. But for those of you who want to help her out so she doesn’t have to humiliate herself in the name of Shmoonity anymore, I have a suggestion. But before i get to that, I’d like to say a few words of praise for Hillary.

A couple of months ago, about the time that the Not Going to Take it Anymore/BITCH video came out, I wrote a snippet about how Hillary didn’t start out to win the WH for women but that whether she liked it or not, she was now carrying the weight of half of the US population around on her back. She assumed a burden for us. It became her responsibility to carry that ball as far down the field as she could on behalf of all American women. And, my Goddess, Conflucians, did she ever. She poured her heart, soul and fortune into it for us. Have we or will we ever see the like again in our lifetimes? I will always be eternally grateful for everything Hillary has done for me and my daughters.

And my friends, we owe it to her to cut short the dog and pony show that the DNC and the OBama campaign is putting her through in order to persuade his donors to help her pay off her campaign debt. Hillary put more than $10 million of her own money into her campaign. She considers that an investment. But there is still more than $10 million in outstanding debt to her vendors. We can thank the Big Boyz for suppressing some of the donors on her behalf. Let’s get even, PUMAs.

Here’s the plan: If 10% of Hillary’s 18 million voters donated $2 each, she’d be debt free in very short order. But let’s say that 1.8 million people don’t read blogs. Let’s say that only half of that have friends and relatives that read blogs. Heck, let’s make it 500,000. If 500,000 of us contribute $20 each, she will be debt free before the end of the week. But let’s say that even that number is too high, let’s make it, 300,000, the approximate number of popular votes that she beat Obama by. If there are 300,000 voters who read blogs or know someone who reads blogs and can recruit them, all they need to do is donate about $35 to Hillary’s campaign to make sure she never has to sit next to Obama on his campaign plane. For a little more than $1 in a 30 day month, you can free a wonderful presidential leader from having to put up with Obama’s droning ahhhhs and ummmmms during interminable campaign speeches. You can save her from his juvenile and arrogant behavior. you can put her in much better company.

Just think of it: $35 dollars, less than a tank of gas, is all it would take if 300,000 of us donated to pay off her debt and free her from the indebted servitude to Obama and Donna effing Brazile. Contribute here.

Welcome to the PUMA cocktail party! This is the time of the week where we take a load off and put our latest kill away to finish later. The bar is to the left of the door. Our favorite bartender Rico has signed on for the duration of the PUMA movement. Rico has flair and is a Clintonista through and through. We’re so glad to see him back. Tonight, his special drink is a Hep Cat but you can order anything your heart desires.

Our entertainment this evening is an oldie but goodie. Al Stewart had a string of hits in the late seventies and early eighties. I’d love to track down his version of The Road Goes to Riyahd on iTunes but so far, I can’t find it. But here is the one song I always associate with him, an edgy, mysterious, pensive song about a woman “in a silk dress running like a watercolor in the rain”. Enjoy!

PUMAs, we love to talk here. It’s that kind of party. But trigger words are best left for other blogs so please consider leaving them with our lovely checkroom attendant, Florence. The waiters will be circulating with mushrooms stuffed with crab, chicken sate with peanut sauce and golden potato slices with cilantro chutney. Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

Saturday: Ed, you’re making this too easy

Bostonboomer forwarded the following announcement to me:

By Governor Edward G. Rendell

Click here to join Hound

We have formed HOUND (Hillary-Obama-United-Not-Divided) in response to the creation of PUMA (party unity, my ass — or its cleaned up moniker, People United Means Action).

PUMA advocated that Hillary Clinton supporters do not vote for Barack Obama just for the sake of party unity. Even though we in HOUND are loyal Democrats, we agree that no one should cast a vote for President because of a desire to achieve party unity. We believe Sen. Clinton supporters should vote for Sen. Obama because, as Hillary herself said so forcefully and poignantly in her great speech a few Saturdays ago, the best way to achieve the changes she has fought so hard to bring to America, and on which she based her campaign, is to support Sen. Obama, whose policies are almost identical to hers.

The Clinton-Obama plans on health care, the economy, energy, education and on ending the war in Iraq represent the core values that made us all Democrats – values and positions that are light years apart from the conservative policies enunciated by Sen. McCain (e.g., voting against S-CHIP, voting against raising CAF standards, voting against equal pay for women, voting for increased tax credits for big oil and against extending the credit for the production of renewable energy, expanding an increase in the Bush tax cuts, promoting a war without end in Iraq, etc.) If you care about these things, and we believe PUMA members do, then you must support Sen. Obama.

No one worked harder than I did for Hillary and I believe no one could admire her and what she represents more that I do. But we must get over our disappointment and, as Hillary said, not waste time looking back and thinking about what might have been. Our country’s challenges must be addressed immediately, not four years from now. Our beloved country simply cannot afford four more years of Republican do-nothing-for-people government. PUMA members risk just that – it could be a Ralph Nader 2000 redux. Don’t let that happen. Close your eyes and think about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton standing together united at a ceremony for the bill signing of legislation that guarantees every American affordable, effective healthcare.

One last point – HOUND is not anti-PUMA. We agree with many of your grievances. For example, we, too, believe that the Democratic Party’s nominating process is unfair and undemocratic. We must change the policy where some votes are more important than others and some areas receive more delegates than their number of voters would justify – it violates the spirit of “one person, one vote.” We must eliminate caucuses that are inherently undemocratic and disenfranchise seniors (no absentee voting for those who can’t go to the polls), shift workers and our military. Forcing people to declare their preference in public also violates another cherished principle that undermines our democracy.

So, we are asking all PUMA members to curb your disappointment, mute your anger and frustration and join HOUND to help change America. While the PUMA may be more swift and athletic, the HOUND is smarter and more perceptive.

Nice try, Ed, but HOUND sounds an awful lot like Yellow Dog Democrats and that’s exactly what we are not. To be fair, you make a lot of good points. The caucuses *are* un-democratic. And I will admit that you were loyal to Hillary to the very end. Even now, we understand the nature of your loyalty. Hillary’s and your identities are inextricably wed to the Democratic party until death do you part. There is a lot to admire in that and the allusion to you not being “high class” is just part of the song and not to be taken seriously. No one has shown more class than Hillary and the stalwarts who stood by her.

But here is what you seem to not understand from the voters’ point of view. First, many of us are *not* planning to vote for John McCain. But if John McCain happens to win by default, we will not have a guilt trip laid on *US* for all the floods, famines and earthquakes that follow. The delegates, superdelegates and party leaders had a choice.

You would have us vote for Obama because Hillary asked us to. But, Ed, we are (or were) Democrats. We are not Republicans. If is not in our nature to fall into line when our consciences are on the line. We did it for Dukakis, Mondale, Kerry (we actually *liked* Gore) but we can’t do it for Obama. And you unintentionally allude to all the reasons why Obama is an exception in your letter. We have good reason to suspect that he is not for S-CHIP, CAF standards, equal pay for women, reproductive rights, universal healthcare, the Green Economy or ending the war in Iraq. For the last item, as well as preventing our country from falling into an economic disaster caused by financial “instruments” and the high cost of oil, we do not think he is ready or capable of assuming the office of president of the United States. Nothing in his debate appearances or comedic and disrespectful monologues at rally events (Brush the dirt off your shoulder much, Ed? I know YOU would never do it, so why should our nominee?) give us confidence in his abilities. He has deliberately kept his policies as vague as possible as a campaign strategy in order to lure the independent, libertarian and disaffected moderate Republican voters while at the same time slamming working class, Appalachians and the small town voters in your own state.

And let me tell you about those voters, Ed, the ones I spoke with on the phone, hundreds and hundreds of them. They were stung by the accusations of racism that were hurled at them because they didn’t think Obama was ready. That hurt them to the core of their beings. It attacked their character. No Democratic candidate in my lifetime has ever treated the voters so disgracefully.

You may have noticed I haven’t brought up the subject of sexism yet. The media and others have mischaracterized the PUMA movement as a reaction to it from the post-meonpausal set. But our protest is based on the fact that our party (or former party) did not choose the best *person* for the job. Many of us were early on very intrigued by Senator Obama. But once we got beyond the fact that he is very smart, we saw that there was no wisdom that went along with it. At the same time, we saw that his campaign operatives took a slash and burn attitude to the Democratic party that was in existence. His hooligans chased off or forced off women from the bigger more influential online outlets, yours truly included. I was thrown off DailyKos in January. That’s why I’m here. That’s why a lot of us have found ourselves on the outside of the party looking in at an ever shrinking voter constituency. Systematically, Senator Obama’s hooligans have made women, working class, Appalachians, latinos, gays, native Americans, Asians, Muslim Americans and the elderly personas non grata. Obama sought to recreate the party in a different image, one that didn’t include the poor, the dependent, the entitled to social security, the unpopular.

Is this new Democratic party the one you want me and the other PUMAs to rally around? No, Ed. No. The biggest mistake Clinton made during the primary season was not that she didn’t win the caucuses. The biggest mistake was that she was too nice to Obama and failed to pin him down. She failed to make him solidify out of all of the ethereal smoke he consisted of. He kept himself and his policies nebulous and indistinct so that his young, pretentious and more conservative voters could project whatever politician they wanted on to him. Forcing him to take a stand on something, *anything* would have broken off a chunk of those deluded voters. But one thing the PUMAs can say for sure is that he doesn’t resemble any Democrat we’ve ever seen nor does he adhere to any of our most cherished core Democratic principles. If he had, he couldn’t have attracted so many people not of our party in a year when the vast majority of voters didn’t want a Republican lite candidate anyway. Obama has actually squandered an opportunity. The voters were more than ready to accept a strong Democrat and we are giving them, what, exactly?

Either we all go forward together or the party deserves to lose in November. Either Senator Obama connects with the base or he loses them in November. Either the party power elite listens to the voters or it deserves to lose in November. We would be stupid if we demanded any less. We do not subscribe to the old saying, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” but apparenly Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and Senator Obama do.

Here’s what we want: We want a fair, open and transparent convention in Denver. We want Florida and Michigan’s delegates to be restored to full strength. We want Obama to give up his Michigan delegates. After all, he keeps insisting that he never wanted his name on the ballot in the first place. So, we should honor his wishes: no ballot position, no delegates. After all, if Hillary can’t make the same argument about all of the voters who couldn’t get to the caucuses in spite of their intent to vote for her, Obama shouldn’t get freebies from Michigan by having the RBC honoring the imaginary voters who failed to turn up during a record breaking turnout for the Michigan primary in January.

Jeez, Ed, and you guys call *us* stupid. Logic has been completely missing from this campaign season. By February 5, 2008, Hillary had won MI, FL, NV, NH, CA, NY, NJ, MA, AZ, TN, AR and a handlful of other little states. In any other year, Obama would have thrown in the towel and gone home. In 1980, Ted Kennedy won a big slice of these very same states and with a 600 delegate deficit, he *still* created havoc at the convention. But this year, we couldn’t even honor the states that moved up their primaries so that they could make a difference? Like my state, NJ? We are going to a convention where the candidate who has won the biggest Democratic prizes and swing states has been almost completely shut out and you are asking us to accept this, get over our disappointment, anger and frustration? Fine. We’re over it. But we still insist, no demand, that our votes count for something. I want the millions that my state spent on a primary in lieu of spending even one dime on gifted and talented education to be honored. The party owes us that much.

And if it goes against their beautiful theories and plans for party unity (shmoonity), if it ends up with a win for a person who they apparently loathe, along with all of that honorable candidate’s 18 million voters, well, too bad. They will not get party unity until they honor the voters, Ed.

Pumas are watchful and patient. And when the time is right, they strike. There is still time to achieve unity. There are two months before the convention. But if the voters aren’t honored by then, we strike.

For different perspectives, check out myiq2xu’s version at Klownhaus and Reclusive Leftist’s most excellent post on Leverage.

And what has got to be one of the funniest comments I have read since MABlue declared that Donna Brazile had provoked in him negative feelings towards the South American country, Karolina NYC presents this comparison of the day in the life of a Dog vs a Cat.