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      Saying that humanity is currently the best off it has ever been (a dubious proposition in any case) is like saying “I’ve never been warmer” as you burn down your house. People like Pinker have been trotting out stats to claim that we’ve never been better off. Those stats are questionable, based on a definition […]
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Latenight: Still waters

Scandanavian culture has always intrigued me.  There’s a certain fatalistic stoicism about the Norwegian bachelor farmers of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Woebegone.  The concept was reinforced in the quirky film Kitchen Stories where a cool detached Swedish statistician is assigned to study the kitchen efficiency of-  the Norwegian bachelor farmer.  For anyone who has never seen this hillarious movie, don’t let the subtitles intimidate you.  Words are few and almost all of the comedy is visual.  

But the odd thing about Kitchen Stories as well as some of the literature I’ve read, such as anything by Sigrid Undset, is that Scandanavians are anything but cool and detached.  They are roiling with passion beneath that calm exterior.  The statistician’s grand experiment is jeopardized when he inadvertantly becomes the subject and by the simple acts of kindness he and his subject share, crossing the boundary into biased interpretations of data.  The desire for human contact and friendship overwhelms the demands of science.  

Undset’s characters are medieval men and women struggling with their duty, honor and the impulsivity of the adolescent sex drive.  Lust, murder, infidelity leads to lifetimes of heartache for the few moments of stolen ecstasy.  Penance, pilgrimage, forgiveness and self sacrifice are needed to repair the broken soul held hostage by the weakness of the flesh.  After an Unset saga, you come to see that the only thing cool in Scandanavia is the winter.  

Commenter B, from Sweden has dropped in from time to time to offer support and solidarity and with her keen insight, recommends this song for the intensity of the PUMA movement, watching, waiting, ready to be released.   

Set’em up, Joe.  I need to quench this fire.

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Is the DNC Pro-Choice?

Hillary or Obama?

Hillary or Obama?

What is the difference between having your name on a roll call vote and being explicitly nominated for president at the Democratic Party Convention in Denver? It turns out that one is merely symbolic and the other is a real threat to Barack Obama.

If Hillary Clinton’s name is on a roll call vote, her delegates have the opportunity to vote for her but their votes have no more weight than “present”.  They only count if her delegates create a petition to have her name entered into nomination.  If she signs the petition, she can be nominated and the roll call will count, provided the DNC doesn’t contest the petition or try to block it in some way.

It turns out that the DNC is negotiating with the Clinton camp to make the convention as scripted as possible,  That is, every possible avenue to put her name in nomination is being systematically blocked.  The rational is that if the DNC can have only one nominated name on the ballot, then the roll call will look like it is unanimous.  Obama will declare UNITY!  The balloons will drop, or will be set free if the acceptance is at Invesco Field.  Or may there will be no balloons at all in order to keep with the green theme.  Maybe they will let loose 2 million snow white doves to carry the message of unanimous, unity, unanimity to all points of the country.  On the wings of snow white doves!  Fly, little birdies, fly!  May they release little packets of unisoness on Howard Dean and his henchman Donna Brazile.

I am getting carried away. Ahem!

As a New Jersey voter, I choose not to vote present.  Hillary Clinton won my state by 10 points.  Barack Obama got trounced here.  Present just doesn’t suit me.  I’m not a “present” kind of gal.  I want to make a statement.  Something along the lines of “F%^& You, Howard Dean and Barack Obama.  COUNT MY VOTE!”

So, my question is, is the party pro-choice or not.  Do we get a selection of candidates to choose from?  You know, the one who won the biggest and swing states plus popular votes vs the one who won Idaho?  Is this a pro-choice party or is it a Potemkin party?  Are we Americans and do we believe in Democracy or are we Zimbabweans where the winning candidate is forced to remove his name from the ballot?  It’s looking like Zimbabwe these days with the way this election has been run so far.  Damn!  I just KNOW that’s going to end up in a “Riverdaughter is a Racist” blog.  Unfortunately, corruption and corrupt elections look the same in every country.

Keep it in mind, PUMAs because in the next couple of days, we will need your help settling the question once and for all.

For updates on this and other activities going on here at the PUMA savannah, tune into NO WE WON’T with Sheri Tag and Will Bower tonight at 8PM EST.  There will be details on the upcoming Pre-Convention PUMA Conference as well.  Be there!

Here is the correct sports metaphor

Don and Alice gave us some pretty lame sports metaphors in their stupid letter.  But we can’t deny our lying eyes.  Here’s what we saw:

Now, if I were you, Don and Alice, and all you Superdelegates (yes, we know you’re out there), I would fix this vote toot suite before you find yourselves in suspension for 4 years.

(H/T to rktothemk for the reference.)

Holy Hemiola!  DailyKos produced some excellent writers, none of whom stayed at DailyKos.  Here’s another example from Anna Shane at Alegre’s Corner: David Lynch and Hillary Clinton

And here’s another by Campskunk: Obama, the Not-So-Stealth Centrist.  It’s an embarrassment of riches.

Sunday: President McCain is Howard Dean’s Responsibility

We now have at least three pieces of evidence that there is trouble in the DNC paradise caused by those annoying and irritating deadenders.  Let’s review:

  • About a week ago, in a conversation with a potential donor, Obama reveals that he hasn’t ruled out Clinton as VP.  Nothing in this campaign happens by accident.  It’s too tightly scripted, managed and marketed.  This was floated out there to keep the public interested and to have them accept Clinton in the #2 spot.  It also gave Obama a chance to bash the Big Dawg.  Now, that’s a mixed message, because it shows the degree of animosity between the two camps.  So the fact that he is forced to admit that he is considering her as VP makes him look like he’s vulnerable.
  • About a week ago, David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign strategist, creates a video for a DNC beg-a-thon.  It turns out that the RNC is raking in the big bucks and now has an almost $100 million dollar warchest.  The DNC?  Ehhhh, not so much.  I can not imagine why the DNC isn’t raising funds.  We could probably make the DNC rich overnight.
  • A few days ago, Don Fowler, former head of the DNC and Alice Germond, RBC member, write what will surely become a letter that will live in infamy.  If these two are not politically tone-deaf, then the only possible explanation for this incredibly insulting letter is to provoke Hillary’s supporters to loudly and emphatically demand her comeback.  I must conclude that Fowler and Germond are secretly working with the Clinton campaign.

In science, three data points is a trend.  (except if you’re a biologist who seems to be satisfied with two).  This list of datapoints is by no means exhaustive.  I think there was someone in Texas recently who was complaining about emails and letters but that hardly counts.  We all hate emails and letters cluttering up our in-boxes.  Oh, yeah, there was a report that when Obama mentioned Hillary’s name at an event recently, he was greeted with deafening applause.  That went on.  And on.  And fatigued and irritated the Dauphin.  Ahh, here is the citation:  Crowd erupts during Obama speech– but it’s over mention of Clinton.  (Thanks to SM77 for the hint)

It appears that the party is getting a tad impatient with us deadenders.  We who issue demands for our votes.  Damn us!  We are going to ruin everything.  We hear this everyday.  Like, here is a polite version of this message that I fished out of the spam dungeon:

Scott Erb

  • This Darragh Murphy has proven what kind of person she is with her slime against Cristina at “yestodemocracy.org.” Christina has also proven that PUMA, a tiny impotent group of mostly Republicans, was organized by and is strongly influenced by the GOP. The kind or irrational desire not to support Hillary’s natural political ally because of emotion over personality will only infect a small group of people. Think about the issues at stake. I certainly understand that you believe Hillary to be the better candidate, but in politics someone wins and someone loses, and this was a very close race. Now it’s McCain and the GOP vs. Obama and the progressives. If because of irrational emotion you can’t see the issues clearly, I pity you. I think, though, you guys are caught up in groupthink and immune to rational argumentation.

Well, at least he pities us.  There are others who think we’re not funny anymore.  Now THAT really bothers me.

I’ve mentioned this before but apparently it needs to be repeated periodically.  Our votes belong to us.  If a politician wants our votes, it is his obligation to come to us and grovel and scrape and make us promises he does not intend to keep in order to get them.  Every voting bloc since time immemorial has had the power to compel the politician to do this sometimes humiliating exercise in sucking up.  Some of them do it better than others.  So far, Senator Obama and the DNC have decided they do not need to do this to get the votes of the old, working class, uneducated, sino-peruvian lesbian category to which we Clintonistas have been involuntarily assigned.  This is a big mistake on their part because we now have a huge lever and the motivation to use it.

Dr. Dean should have had enough classes in science to understand inverse proportionality.  The more the DNC disses us and tells us to get in line, the less likely we are to do so.  Howard is forgetting the rules of human behavior.  We are not chattel or indentured servants.  We do not belong to the DNC.  We can’t be told to get in line if there isn’t anything in it for us.  BUT, if the DNC fails to provide us with sufficient reasons to vote for its candidate, we do have the means and motive to punish the DNC for abandoning us and its principles in its pursuit of younger, more affluent and conservative voters.

Now. how did we get to such an impasse?  To me, it looks like Howard Dean dd not exercise good leadership.  He allowed his strategy and ideology to get ahead of him.  He pursued a 50 state strategy that favored sparsely populated mountain and western states over the richer hunting grounds of the coasts.  In order to reward these states that we will never win in the fall, his candidate of choice has had to adopt a Blue-Dog persona at the expense of the bigger, more progressive states that have had to wait on their hands for the last 8 years while their tax dollars are siphoned away from state needs to line the pockets of Republican cronies and contractors.

Howard allowed the social engineering nannies of the Rules and Bylaws Committee to restructure the delegate counts so that Barack Obama, the first African-American potential nominee, would “win” at the expense of the first woman potential nominee who also happened to be the most qualified. They conveniently forgot that women outnumber African-Americans.  They stupidly tried to rope us in with the tired Roe v. Wade argument, as if Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be better able to defend women against its reversal..This was irresponsible.  Now, the only way to bestow legitimacy on the nominee chosen at the convention is for Howard Dean to guarantee that Hillary’s name is placed in nomination.  A floor fight is the only way to ensure that we all grudgingly accept the nominee.  Way to go, Howard.  Because if after 2 months of fluffing this sham of a candidate you have to backtrack to appease the rest of us, you are going to piss off a whole new constituency of young, idealistic and deluded Obama supporters.

Howard Dean has royally screwed the party.  He did not exercise appropriate control of the various factions of the party and he allowed bias to creep into the selection process.  He has allowed his various committees and their clueless mouthpieces to write off half of his base.  He has allowed the DNC treasury to be depleted, putting at risk dozens of downticket Dems who are running to displace Republicans who will be more flush with cash.

If the result of all this stupidity and poor leadership is that John McCain is elected president because half of us won’t vote for or support this empty suit of an inexperienced African-American male who was carried across the finish line at the expense of his more qualified challenger who was the real DEMOCRAT, there is no one to blame but Howard Dean and his incompetent leadership.

If you want a Democrat in the White House this year and solid majorities in Congress, it is time for Howard Dean and his henchman, Donna Brazile, to go.  Don’t expect us to even listen to the plaintive wails and whinings of the DNC until they are gone.

BTW, what kind of coward goes in front of a friendly audience the day after he gets thoroughly trounced by his opponent in the last debate he agrees to and disses her like she’s bird poop?  He can’t win a debate against her so he gets in front of his clique and insults her when she isn’t around to defend herself?  Yeah, that’s classy.  That’s brave.  No it’s not.  It’s immature and cowardly.  We’re supposed to vote for this guy?  Seriously?  Not until he apologizes for this and every other chickenshit act he did throughout the campaign.