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Nitecap: Thursday

It’s been a rough week and I’m back at Joe’s. Too many meetings yesterday, nonstop from 8 am to 5. Reports due. I need a break.

I come to Joe’s when I need some down time. The brightest lights are the amber glow over the polished wood surface of the long bar. Joe polishes it nightly with lemon oil and elbow grease. There are dusky niches with little round tables all clustered around a small stage.

I’ve seen this musician before, the slight girl with the long blonde hair. She can really sing the blues. But tonight she’s singing that Sting song that sounds about a thousand years old. I went to England for my brother’s wedding about 12 years ago and remember the golden fields of barley on the rolling English hills near Stonehenge. The older daughter carried the video camera up the path to an ancient hill fort. “Beautiful”, she said in her little girl voice into the camera microphone, “It is lovely all around.”

Set’em up, Joe. I’ll have a Macallans again if you’ve got it. And send a round to my friends, all 18 million of them.

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The Heat is On

How do we know? US Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), who announced his intention to boycott the Democratic National Convention just last Sunday, today announced his endorsement of Barack Obama “with enthusiasm and excitement” (in company with three other House members from Florida who have been supporting Clinton).

This is an open thread. (That doesn’t mean Obamabot scolds are welcome.)

The State of Play, June 5, 2008

What happened this week? What’s happening? And what’s going to happen? You have questions, we can narrow down the answers and discuss in comments.

What happened? Hillary won the week on the ground, dominating Obama 2-1 in Puerto Rico and finishing ahead in SD and MT on a combined apples-to-apples basis. More evidence surfaced that Obama’s pledged delegate lead (like his debatable parity in the popular vote) came only from the caucuses, and that caucuses are lousy indicators of popular preference even in caucus states.

We got kneecapped by the Rules and Bylaws Committee. FL and MI delegations will be half-seated, but MI won’t be seated as won, and major violence was done to the bedrock of Party rules in the process.

And Obama won the one that counts — the mindshare primary — convincing the preponderance of pundits and pols that the nomination goes to the candidate with the most pledged delegates. Continue reading

A spreading stain — Links from around Hillary Land

Saturday, millions of us watched as the DNC stole 4 Michigan delegates directly from Hillary, reallocated the Uncommitted Michigan delegates and handed them to a candidate whose name didn’t even grace the ballot and the — and THEN — cut the Florida and Michigan delegates in half, making them virtually ineffective in influence.

Or so we thought.

We didn’t realize the subtle brilliancy of the Obama-Dean alliance when they successfully negotiated that poisonous compromise. But as riverdaughter put it last night:

Hmmm, now we know why the RBC did what the did. She had over 100 delegates from Florida and 73 from Michigan. If he got zero from Michigan and both states had been able to seat with full strength, she could have added over 86 delegates and he would have lost 59. Hmm, that brings her total to 1725 and Obama’s to 1707. Day-um! I wouldn’t concede either.

Friends, riverdaughter isn’t alone in her observations: In offices and shopping malls all across the country friends are sharing their impressions of this election. As of today they’re whispering their doubts but, as The Summer of Revelations drags on those whispers will grow bolder.

The word will spread from blog to blog and friend to friend and cubicle to cubicle: The Democratic Nomination was Stolen:

Barack Hussein Obama is not a horrendous candidate BECAUSE of his skin color (some might say he is in spite of it), but race WAS and IS a factor in this election. Obama has become one of the most corrupting influences in our political/public life, exactly because of his race-baiting and dishonesty.

And

Hillary got the majority of votes cast in this Primary. She lost most of the caucuses because working men and women, the ill and infirm and many others could not attend to stand for her.

The DNC stole Michigan votes from her and gave them to BO; it also gave him the “uncommited” votes so all these voters were disenfranchised and, he had taken his name off the ballot and refused to allow a fair and open revote.

And

The big buzz of course is when will Hillary “quit” (How about never? Is never good for you?) and “accept” that she is done with and silently retire to live a life of penance and contemplation. Chuckle. Nice try, guys. She has the upper hand. She doesn’t owe anyone in the DNC, the media, the blogosphere or the Obama campaign anything. Her supporters are totally behind her and furious at her treatment. There is nothing anyone can offer her that she wants more than what I quoted last night, and that includes the VP slot. Her good favor is required for Obama to win the general, but it is a time-limited deal. With every day that passes, every insult offered, a portion of her backers turn away from Obama and even this magnificent, compelling woman will not be able to woo us back. I’m gone but you might still be able to win over the spousal unit if you act quickly…

And

As soon as the verdict in the Antonin “Tony” Rezko corruption case was announced today, the Republican National Committee was ready to start firing away on Obama’s relationship with the now convicted Rezko. This ad is scheduled to run on national cable channels.

Finally, as VastLeft says, Don’t Bullshit Me. The whispers have started in my office. Have they started in yours?

Note to new readers

Welcome to The Confluence. We have noticed over the past couple of days that our readership has spiked. We know why you’re here. We understand what you’re wrestling with. The rest of the blogosphere may consider us cockeyed optimists or just “shrieking band of paranoid holdouts” (is that what Kos called us?), but we know better.

You are not alone. You are not crazy. You aren’t a racist. Or immature.

What you are is angry and mystified at how the Democratic Party could stupidly turn on one of its own and pick the weaker candidate in a year when they should have swept the field.

You’re sick and tired of being a second class citizen who always has to wait for the boyz to cast their merciful eyes upon you.

You’re disgusted with the way the media has once again chosen our nominee.

We hear you. We’re not going anywhere. We are 18 million strong. We are located in large Democratic states and swing states who got royally reamed by Donna Brazile and Co. last week. We *will* be heard. We’re still working out the details on how that’s going to happen. But one thing is for certain: we are legion. If we stick together and hold our ground, we will be heard.

Keep your heads and hang in there.

One more thing: Many of you may be unfamiliar with the concept of a haka. A haka is a maori war dance. The purpose of the haka is to intimidate and undermine the confidence of the opponent. The Obama campaign, in collaboration with the media, has been very skillful in the use of the haka. It is psychological warfare. Some of you may be listening to talk radio lately and hear people calling in saying they are going to vote for Obama because even though their candidate lost, they are still Democrats after all and they have to be loyal to the party. Now, some of these people may sincerely feel this way. But my gut feeling is that some of these callers may be part of a haka to make you feel helpless and hopeless.  That leads to depression and resignation and if you go that route, then you can’t be of any use to Hillary and her goals, whatever they may be. She needs to get a lot accomplished and she needs your support. So, no matter what anyone else tries to talk you into, hold fast to your beliefs. Do not compromise your principles. Stand your ground. Keep your eyes on the prize. “Choose something like a star to stay your mind on and be staid”.

Basic site guidelines: We do not engage in character assassination or rumormongering. Speculation is OK, accusations are not. We object to the use of right wing talking points regarding Senator Obama. There is no need to call him a muslim or denigrate his racial background. There are many other reasons to not want to vote for him. GOP memes are not some of them. Trollish comments will be deleted. You know who you are and we won’t let our readers be harrassed. This is not censorship. You have plenty of places on the web where you can register your opinion. Feel free to roam. I went through the spam filter last night and death threats are definitely uncool whether directed at us or to one of the candidates. Those will be taken very seriously and we will take appropriate action if we need to.

Thursday: Ya’ gives gives em books and gives em books

but all they do is chew on the covers.

The party elders must have their way. Now there is rumor that Charlie Rangel has decided to throw in the towel. Well, Congressman Rangel, I know what you think you are trying to accomplish. You *think* that if she bows out gracefully and her supporters realize they no longer have a choice that somehow we will come to accept this and transfer our loyalties to Senator Obama and all will be ticketyboo by November.

And who can blame the idiots in charge for thinking this? It’s been true of nearly every other primary that they’ve ever experienced. But they don’t realize that this one is different. And here is why:

  • Senator Obama has practiced scorched earth warfare against half of his own party. Even James Clyburn is getting in on the act. We’re not racists and we’re not immature and we really resent this crap. What we are is 18 million people that the Democrats have decided to cut loose but still need our votes. Insulting us is not the best way to get them.
  • We are witnesses to a very flagrant and public vote rigging scheme. It started by dampening Hillary’s momentum by taking her wins in Florida and Michigan away, continued to a seriously corrupt vote count in Gary, Indiana and finished with that travesty at the RBC meeting last Saturday. Telling people to suck it up and vote is unbelievable chutzpah.
  • Hillary is the stronger, more experienced candidate and we;ve known all along that the media and Republicans would like nothing so much as to sideline her-permanently. They are gleeful and incredulous that we would actually fall for it.

Getting Hillary to drop out and forcing her to humiliate herself by campaigning for Obama is not going to work Our anger must be acknowledged. We can’t be hustled without a resolution to what is important to us. We must have an accounting for why it was so important to dump Hillary and leave us open to the possibility of losing in the fall.

The problem we have with Obama is much bigger than Hillary is able to fix because she is not responsible for it. Our anger is directed to Mr. Obama and the party itself. We know that the Republicans are no good but right now, our prospects with either party are pretty bleak. The Republicans just want to win; the Democrats are more interested in committing political suicide by jettisoning its base and lecturing *US* about race.

If you guys want party unity, there is only one way to get it: Let’s go to Denver and have a fair fight on the convention floor. Let’s stop the bleeding of the superdelegates to Obama like cowardly rats abandoning a ship that isn’t even close to sinking. We have to witness for ourselves that she lost legitimately and that Obama has won legitimately. Otherwise, you will be in danger of suffering another sobering defeat this fall.

By the way, I can’t find any recent examples where a candidate has not won the majority of the large D and swing states and won the election. The last candidate who failed to capture the majority of them in the primaries was Jimmy Carter in 1980. He lost the popular vote by 10% and lost the Electoral College by 90% to Ronald Reagan. The final EV tally was a humiliating 489 for Reagan to 49 for Carter. Just 10% could swing this election to McCain.

Now you may resume chewing on the covers.

(gits)

bringiton at Corrente says Hillary Clinton should continue her campaign

And so it begins….

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Rezko Scandal Already Casting Shadow Over Presidential Race

CHICAGO – A corruption scandal involving a fundraiser who bankrolled the campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich is guaranteed to take on fresh life as the nation heads into a hard-fought presidential election.

Chicago businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko, 52, was convicted Wednesday of fraud, money laundering and aiding and abetting bribery in a plot to squeeze illegal payoffs out of firms hoping to do business with the state.

Republican spin doctors are already capitalizing on Rezko’s ties to Obama — the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Continue reading