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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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Misogyny: It’s Not Just For Hillary Anymore.

Why Do Those Stupid Bitches Hate Me?

Why Do Those Stupid Bitches Hate Me?

Remember when we began, PUMAs? Remember when we used to frequent the blogs like The Cheeto, The Big Blue, HuffPo and AmericaBlog? Remember how we used to think Air America was actually liberal, instead of a bought-and-paid-for 24-hour orgy of Hillary Hatred?

I know it’s painful to think about now, but remember when you tried to fight back against the raging misogyny at these so-called “progressive” media outlets? What was their excuse again?

“I’m ready to vote for a woman President. Just not THAT woman. This hatred is brought on by Hillary herself. If she were a man she would have gotten the same reaction from me.”

Well, fellow PUMAs, looks like that excuse has gone bye-bye.

Over at the Cheeto (Daily Kos), they are in meltdown mode. (Won’t link to that place.) From “real moms” disputing Governor Palin’s tale of her pregnancy to a “reasoned” analysis of how Alaska is OMG like really small and so that means she OMG like has no experience at all despite her years of being Governor and OMG she is not qualified to be President despite the fact that she is not running for President and OMG McCain is going to die like tomorrow and that means this woman will be President OMG OMG!!!111!!!

Continue reading

The Power of Narratives

The incomparable Bob Somerby at Daily Howler often talks about narratives.  His background in teaching is apparent because he repeats his lessons over and over until they sink in.  Some people never learn.

Although Somerby’s focus is on the media and the way they make up stories to force Democratic candidates into their preconceived narratives, that is not my topic here.

Narratives are a form of story-telling shorthand.  They set the stage, identify the characters and usually determine the ending of the story.  In the old Hollywood westerns, the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black hats.  If the character was wearing a white hat, you knew right away that he was a brave and virtuous protector of the innocent, and that he would triumph over evil before the movie ended.

Over tha past several decades, the Republican party has been very successful in establishing narratives that give them an enormous advantage in electoral politics.  The first narrative is that Republicans are “regular people” and that they are brave and patriotic people of faith.  They also can be counted on to protect America from criminals and foreign threats.

The other narrative is that Democrats are hypocritical elitists that are unpatriotic, immoral and corrupt.  They are weak in the face of foreign aggression and they care more about the rights of criminals than they do about victims. 

I am not saying that either of those narratives is true, in fact I know that they are not.  But those narratives exist, and they affect the way people perceive events and evaluate candidates.  You can think of them as “default” settings or rebuttable presumptions.  That puts the burden on each Democratic candidate to prove that both narratives are false, otherwise the Republican candidate wins by default.

If you take those narratives and apply them to the last few weeks of this election campaign, you can see that the Democratic party and the Obama campaign seem determined to prove that those narratives are true.

First you have Senator Obama, who is the poster child for arrogance, building his own Greek temple at Invesco Field to give his acceptance speech.  After the earlier flaps over the “Great Seal of Obama” and the cult-like nature of his supporters, that was the height of political tone-deafness.  He continues to reinforce the “elitist” narrative over and over. 

Obama is trying to sell himself as a person of faith in order to court the fundamentalist vote.  But his credentials on religion are tied to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who says things like “God damn America” and “U.S of KKK-A” which don’t appear very patriotic.  Obama’s relationship with William Ayers strongly reinforces the idea that he is unpatriotic.

The sexism and misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton from within the Democratic party reinforces the “hypocritical” narrative, and the sham roll-call vote fits the definition of “corrupt.”  The wankfest over how many house John McCain and his wife own just helped to reinforce the “corrupt” narrative because it allowed McCain to bring up Tony Rezko. 

Which brings us to John McCain.  When the angry chihuahuas of Obamanation started yapping about the false allegation that McCain plagiarized the “cross in the dirt” story from Aleksandr Solzhenisyn, they were pushing a story that involved McCain’s experience being tortured as a POW during the Vietnam War.  IOW – to attack McCain over what was at most an irrelevant lie, they reinforced the “brave,: “patriotic” and “protect America” narratives.  And now that the plagiarism issue is debunked, it turns out they also reinforced the “people of faith” narrative.

So on Friday, when John McCain announced the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential nominee, what did Obamanation immediately do?  They attacked her on issues that reinforce the narratives.

They criticized her for being from a small town in a sparsely populated states, which was a two-fer because it reinforced the “regular people” narrative for her and the “elitist” narrative for the Democrats.  They picked on the fact that she is a working mother (“regular people” and “Democrats are hypocrites”) and launched misogynistic attacks on her (hypocrites)

Then to top it off, they started a wankfest dubbed “Troopergate” where they accused her of acting inappropriately to get her abusive ex-brother-in-law fired from his job as a state trooper.  The message that the non-Koolaid drinking public will hear is that Sarah Palin will protect them, and that Democrats don’t care about victims.

So what have the Democrats and the Obama campaign done to rebut the narratives?

I’ll have to get back to you on that.

Creating a Refuge

When Riverdaughter created The Confluence she said:

The picture in the header is of the convergence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers to form the Ohio at The Point in downtown Pittsburgh. It seems like an apt metaphor for bringing the divided together again. We will start with the Democratic party and then work to bring together the rest of the country. We will come together at our common goals and go forward together, strengthened and mighty.

And thus The Confluence began as a haven for for those of us who lost our blog homes in the turmoil of the 2008 Presidential Primaries.

With the end of the primary season we’ve been deluged by waves of antagonistic assaults from commenters claiming to support Barack Obama’s presidential campaign — sometimes at the rate of 100 comments an hour! We try in a variety of ways to control the infestation with humor, warnings or outright deletion.

Up until now our moderation has focused on the brand of commenter known as “trolls.” We’ve never had to worry about the regulars stepping over the line (what line?) I guess our shared joy in having this safe place kept the general tone kind and upbeat even in our darkest days.

For some reason, over the course of the last few days there has been an increase in what I call “Hard-Talking” attack comments. “Increase” might not be the right word, I’ve never noticed these sorts of comments before. I’ve seen comments today that could fit comfortably in a diary at The Daily Kos. And I don’t like it.

The Confluence is a refuge and a haven. And any comment that threatens our identity will be modified or deleted.

Disclaimer: The Confluence is also known for it’s humor and snark and if you can’t take that you might not be comfortable here. In our world “refuge and haven” does not mean dry, dull or boring.

People Get Ready: Hurricane Gustav

National Hurricane Center Image- Hurricane Gustav

National Hurricane Center Image- Hurricane Gustav

Conflucians, I am posting something that Katmoon wrote in the comments yesterday:

And….
ssued by the Red Cross 45 minutes ago:

WASHINGTON, Aug 30, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — As mandatory and voluntary evacuations force Gulf Coast residents to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Gustav, the American Red Cross encourages everyone affected by the storm to prepare before evacuating.
If you or your loved ones are in the potentially affected areas, register yourself on the Red Cross Safe and Well Website at http://www.redcross.org, or call a loved one and ask them to register you. The Red Cross provides this online tool to help families and individuals notify loved ones that they are safe during an emergency, which can help bring peace of mind in challenging times.
The Safe and Well website is easy to use:
1. Visit http://www.redcross.org, and click on the Safe and Well link
2. If you are currently being affected by these disasters, click: “List Myself as Safe and Well,” enter your pre-disaster address and phone number, and select any of the standard message options
3. If you are concerned about a loved one, click “Search” and enter the person’s name and pre-disaster phone number or address. If they have registered, you will be able to view the messages that they posted
4. If you don’t have internet access, you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800- 733-2767) to register yourself and your family. Follow the prompts for disaster information.
If you are evacuating, you need to bring important items with you, including but not limited to:
– Medical supplies, such as prescription medications and dentures
– Toiletries
– Clothing and bedding-a change of clothes and a sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member
– Games/comfort items for children
– Disaster supplies-flashlight, batteries, radio, first aid kit, bottled water
– Car keys and keys to the place you may be going (friend’s or relative’s home)
If you have not been advised of an evacuation, prepare these items now in case you have to leave. For more information on how to prepare for an evacuation, visit http://www.redcross.org.

I am listening to a FEMA briefing about how the Gulf Coast natural gas supply operations may be affected.  This is a troubling situation. Even my favorite NOLA foundation, Make It Right, has the following announcement on its website:

Please keep your ears alert for any way that you can help.  And remember, as Clinton Democrats, we leave no one behind. I’m sure that donations to the American Red Cross would be greatly appreciated.

Dean Democrat Bloggers: the new prudes

I’ve been hearing a lot about how diarists at the Big Orange Cheeto and Americablog are digging into Palin’s past.  Like, was her first child conceived out of wedlock?  Was her 5th child really hers or was it her daughter’s?  Is she just covering up for her wayward teen?  Well, it wouldn’t be the first time something like that has happened but teenagers rarely have children with Down’s Syndrome. That is usually the effect of aging ovum, typical of someone getting pregnant in their 40’s.

Gawd, these morons can’t even parse logically anymore before they concoct new conspiracy theories.

I thought Dean Democrats were all progressive and enlightened.  There are a lot of people, including yours truly, whose parents didn’t quite wait for the wedding.  (The whole Catholic wedding shebang was in the works.  I just happened to be in attendance surreptitiously)  But isn’t this Okay with the Dean Democrats?  Is there more Peyton Place in Progressive Blogosphere 1.0 than there is in the conservative Christian community?  If the rumors are all true, Palin did the right thing according to her community’s standards.  She eloped and had a child as a married woman. Her community has gotten over it and forgiven.

But this is hardly the point.  Barack Obama is surely a product of a similar situation.  (It’s the Math! The MATH!!)  Not only that but his father was a bigamist.  Or trigamist, I forget how many wives he ended up with.

No, the point is, it’s none of our damned business.  We aren’t electing Jesus Christ, who would have been stripped of his delegates to be handed over to Barack Obama.  The Obamacans would have just treated his whole retinue of “Love Your Enemies” disciples as a bunch of patsies to be harassed and badgered until they were thrown to the lions.

We are electing people, human beings, with feelings and flaws and children who can get hurt in the crossfire.  Let’s not go there people.  Your hypocrisy is showing.  It is bad enough that the mysogyny that was buried deep in the Democratic party is displaying itself and spinning out of control for all the world to see.  But to use human sexuality, which progressives celebrate, as a weapon against one’s opponents reveals a “win at all costs” attitude that will come back to bite all Democrats in the end.

If we could just single out Dean Democrats and not Clinton Democrats…

Sunday: It was your name, DNC

I am very disappointed that some of our best and brightest bloggers do not understand the source of our resistance.  They seem to think this is all about Hillary.  On the contrary, we made it clear to Hillary’s campaign back in June before her suspension speech that the resistance to Obama had spiralled far beyond her ability to call it back.

The Obamacans and trolls and newly converted think it is all about gender and identity politics.  No, if you want to see an example of identity politics, you need look no further than the 90% of African-Americans who voted for Obama in the primary.  We don’t blame them.  It’s a natural response.  We *do* have an issue with the RBC committee members and other Dolores Umbrage types who can’t seem to see past Obama’s African-American heritage.

We find it very irritating when the Obamacans, trolls and newly converted scream at us like we don’t understand English that we are too stupid to realize that John McCain is using a woman, a conservative woman at that, to fool us into voting for him.  That kind of attitude is beyond condescending and offensive.  I would like to clear a few things up to the permanently addled on Obama: 1.) Not all of us are voting for McCain.  Loyal Democrats such as myself have a very hard time crossing that ideological divide.  and 2.) We are quite aware of what John McCain is up to and the people he is playing for fools are the Obamaphiles and DNC who thought they could wrest away the Evangelical base from the Republican party.  That he picks up some disaffected Hillary voters is icing on the cake for him.

No, the primary source of our disaffection and resistance to the DNC, Obama and even Hillary herself is that the party has lost its moral authority.  In its zeal to select Obama as its nominee, it compromised all that it claimed it believed.  It set up a system that favored one outcome, allowed states to pay for sham primaries, duped voters into thinking their votes counted, reapportioned delegates to suit its needs, intimidated and harassed delegates.  And all in the name of UNITY, which it most certainly did not get.

But the biggest shame falls on the delegates and superdelegates who succumbed to pressure during a vicious witch hunt.  They completely missed the point of Hillary’s brilliant speech which was not to cave but to keep going.  Yes, she stood up for Barack Obama but she was exhorting the delegates to stand up for themselves and their voters.  But they caved.  We know that Obama whips followed them down the hallways of the hotels like dogs at their heels, screaming at them to sign onto Obama or their political careers would be finished.  We know how they trapped delegates in hotel rooms and used strong armed tactics to get them to switch.  But none of them had to do it.  And if they had hung together and resisted, then the machine that looked so powerful would have been stripped of its formidable image.  It is nothing if there are no people supporting it.

There was an opportunity last Wednesday for all of the delegates to find the core within that would guide them.  That core would have told them what it means to be a loyal Democrat.  That core would have said to count every vote, honor every voter, resist fear, put the common good first, keep their eyes on the future.  Some did.  Most did not.

In those moments on Wednesday, the delegates signed away the name of the Democratic party.  It will not have another in my life.

That is the source of our resistance.

Actually? I’m glad I don’t have to explain this

Bumped: Everyone should view these videos.

Because some things are just beyond reason. The title of this video is Foul Don Fowler Amused by New Orleans Hurricane.

And Michael Moore thinks it’s funny too.

Full Disclosure

In keeping with Murphy’s warning that everything in our sordid little lives is about to be exposed, I thought I’d get out in front of it all now:

Arrests: None; Speeding tickets: none; DUI: none; traffic violations: a couple, usually involving young, stupid drivers in an accident prone area (when it’s your turn to go, GO!  Don’t edge up a few feet and stop)

Law suits: One.  A cross guard claimed I hit her with my car.  I was completely exhonerated in civil court.  Jury trial and everything.

Yep, clean as a whistle in the legal department.

Divorced. Irreconcialble differences.

No drug use except some marijuana- decades ago.  Haven’t touched the stuff in a very long time.

No naked pics.  (That I am aware of)

Never had my utilities tuned off, although I do set all my bills up to pay themselves and the water company for some reason doesn’t have autopay.  It can be disconcerting.

No social diseases.  Good employment record.  Once I nearly got kicked out of my association pool for not having a current yearly sticker.  But I’ve never missed an association payment and they left me alone for the afternoon.

I’ve run for my local school board and won.  Served for 2.5 years before I resigned due to family obligations.

Never bounced a check.

I can’t think of what they might dig up except that my youngest daughter is a bit of a smart mouth in school.

I have to say that I am not surprised.  Given the way the Obama campaign has run things this year, it’s just par for the course that they would set out to harm us in our personal lives.  But I am no worse nor better than any other American.  I am a law abiding citizen, try to stay out of trouble and keep to myself.  There are things that I have done that are cringeworthy but they’re probably mild when all is said and done.  Social faux pas, or just not living up to my own standards of behavior.  Eh, nothing to get all worked up about.  There’s probably reams of hours of me on tape from my school board days and stupid comments from my Kossack days and if one wanted to distort my history, it could be done.  Heck if they could call the Clintons racists, anything is possible.

In any case, attempting to destroy the lives of private citizens simply because they do not agree with you is pretty low.  Funny that it is coming from the Democrats this year since the Republicans have nothing to fear from us.  Unless there is a Rovian ratf%^*ing operation underway.

So, there you have it.  All of the sordid details fo my life that I can think of. Just in case it comes up.

Scratching Post Saturday Night – Democracy is more important than my LadyParts

 

We are the ones no one was expecting, and boy are they pissed.  Our votes are PRIME REAL ESTATE – but if the O-borg, particularly Joe Conason from the New York Observer, keeps writing stuff like this, what makes you think we’re voting for “Mr. Yes He Can’t?”

To take her at her word — as those who constantly proclaim their devotion ought to do — means joining her behind the new Obama-Biden ticket. Rather than sulking over the slights and stupidities of the primary, she speaks about the disastrous implications of a Republican victory as well as the policies and values she holds in common with Sen. Obama. Do the rejectionists think that her speeches on his behalf are insincere — that when she says she wants him to win, she is being false? Such assumptions are an insult to her.

Still more confounding is the threat by some of her supporters to defect to John McCain. His campaign’s latest commercial features a grinning Clinton supporter who praises his “maverick, independent streak” as well as his “experience and judgment,” and promises that “it’s OK, really” to vote for the Republican. Is this the politics of revenge? Is it the cult of personality? Is it just stubborn idiocy?

Whatever else it may be, it is not OK. No, it is emphatically not OK to mislead Sen. Clinton’s supporters into lining up behind a candidate whose positions are the opposite of hers, whose judgment on many issues is woefully deficient, and whose maverick independence is no more than a memory.

Sen. McCain, too, deserves to be taken at his word — which makes it all the more astonishing that anyone who claims to have voted for Sen. Clinton would consider voting for him. He has declared his firm opposition to reproductive rights and promised to appoint Supreme Court judges who would restrict those rights. He would continue the U.S. occupation of Iraq and may well expand the war to Iran and beyond. He opposes universal health care and denounces Social Security as a “disgrace” that should be privatized. He dropped his principled opposition to the regressive Bush tax cuts and his support of immigration reform to pander to the Republican right.

Speaking of right-wing Republicans, their encouragement of the intransigent Clintonites is a clue for the clueless. The sudden affection lavished on Sen. Clinton by neoconservatives and other assorted wingnuts could hardly be more transparent or insincere — or predictable as soon as Sen. Obama, their erstwhile favorite, secured the Democratic nomination. Pundits who beseeched Democrats to join the Obama campaign as a crusade to destroy the Clintons now demand respect for her. But their insincerity is blatant. They merely want to exploit her most disappointed supporters, whose eagerness to cooperate in that strategy is mystifying.

Private opinions about Sen. Obama and his chances of victory notwithstanding, Sen. Clinton clearly understands that her own political future, her family’s political legacy and the causes she holds dear will all depend on the vigor of her support for the Democratic ticket this fall. And despite persistent hisses of complaint from both the Obama and Clinton camps during the convention week, she knows there is no upside in recalcitrance and no downside in enthusiasm. As a lifelong advocate of racial and gender equality, she should appreciate the historic moment that she and Sen. Obama have the privilege to share on the public stage. None of her supporters should stoop to tarnish it.

You know what Joe?  F__K You.  F__K you and your vote stealing candidate.  Had you done your job as a journalist, you would’ve discovered that Obama stole this convention through caucus fraud, SuperDelegates donations through Nancy Pelosi’s PAC, with the help from the RBC and Fake Role Call meetings.  So get your nose out of my uterus. I will support DownTicket Dems even if they were a participant in the Death Of Democracy in the Democratic Party – because they will ensure that McCain and Palin’s power do not go unchecked.  And numbers say that in 40 years and 5 Republican presidents with very conservative Supreme Court majorities haven’t turned over Roe v. Wade, so why should they now?  Obama stole a campaign and attacked with his rabid cyber-dogs and cultlike supporters in the media.  What makes you think he’s going to protect MY rights as a woman after he let misogyny be the main weapon to suppress dissent?  Democracy is much more important to me than my uterus, so go do your job instead of deciding what my ladyparts should be doing/thinking.

Rico has his Pink PUMAs and Mountian Lion Martinis – Flo has her catchers mitt, so Smiegels beware!  For entertainment tonight, nothing like a good Latin Jazz timbal duet between Tito Puente and Shiela E. 

PLUS: Join Matt from “My Two Cents”  11PM ET tonight!  Topics: DNC convention, McCain’s stunning VP pick, polls, tactics used to sway Hillary supporters/pumas to Obama through fear and doubt. Special guests will drop by to weigh in!!!  http://www.blogtalkradioshow.com/My-Two-Cents

¡Que viva los PUMAs! (Long live PUMAs!)

Fair is Fair!

If you are a feminist, womanist, or a liberal/progressive who thinks women should cast their votes based solely or primarily on “woman’s issues” then you cannot rightfully criticize any woman who casts her vote in order to help a woman break the glass ceiling and become the first female Vice President.

If you have argued or agreed with the idea that there is nothing wrong with African Americans voting for for an African American candidate over a white candidate, even if the white candidate has a longer record of working to advance the interests of African Americans and advocates policies that are more beneficial to the African American community, then you are a hypocrite if you criticize a woman who votes for another woman based on gender, even if the male candidate advocates policies that a more beneficial to women.

As a white male, I don’t have a dog in this fight.  I have never criticized the overwhelming support given to Barack Obama by the African American community.  I think it is perfectly logical and reasonable for them to support an African American candidate in the hope of seeing him become the first African American President of the United States.  I also understand why so many women supported Hillary Clinton.

My issues with Barack Obama have nothing to do with the color of his skin, and my support of Hillary Clinton has nothing to do with her gender.  But anyone who supported Barack Obama in whole or in part because of his race, cannot criticize anyone who supports Sarah Palin in whole or in part because of her gender.  Fair is fair.

The primary campaign was historic because it saw one of the two major political parties select a Presidential nominee who is African American.  It would have been just as historic if Hillary was selected as the nominee, because she would have been the first woman to reach that milestone.

This election continues to be historic because the “highest, hardest” glass ceiling that has kept women and minorities from either of the two highest offices in the country will be shattered regardless of who wins in November.  If the person who shatters that glass ceiling is Sarah Palin, I will have mixed emotions.

I will be happy and proud to see a woman reach the nation’s second highest office.  I will be sad because that woman is a Republican, and because Democrat Hillary Clinton deserves the honor of shattering that barrier.

If the Democratic leadership had not been infected with CDS, they would have given Hillary the Presidential nomination that she both deserved and rightfully earned, and had he run a clean campaign they could have selected Barack Obama as her running mate. 

Had the Democratic leadership done so, both candidates would have blasted the glass ceiling to smithereens in November, and a more experienced Barack Obama would be perfectly positioned to follow Hillary into the Presidency eight years from now.  That would be sixteen straight years that the Oval Office was not occupied by a white man.

But the Democratic leadership was too full of hatred for the Clintons, and Barack Obama too arrogant and impatient to wait or to allow a woman to go first, so John McCain and the GOP have seized the golden opportunity presented to them.  Until yesterday morning I thought John McCain would more likely than not defeat Barack Obama in November.  Barring any unseen developments, I am now certain of it.

Four years from now, the Democratic party will have a final opportunity to ensure that the first woman President of the United States is a Democrat.  They can nominate Hillary Clinton, and watch her beat either McCain (if he runs for reelection) or Palin (if she is nominated to replace him.) 

She would also beat the stuffing out of any other Republican the GOP could nominate.

So if you supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination, don’t come whining to me about “McSame” or “4 more years of Bush” when McCain and Palin open a big can of “Whoop-Ass” on Obama and Biden this November. 

If you do, this will be my response:

“I TOLD YOU SO!”