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Caption these photos & Open Thread

While waiting for PUMAmobile & Riverdaughter updates, I thought maybe we can have a little fun.  Please add your Conflucian snark to the following photos:

 Photo 1:


Photo 2:

For the more studious minded – please read:

DENVER – On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama said Sunday he hoped a week of political speechmaking would persuade reluctant middle-class voters to swing behind his bid for the White House, while Republicans sought to stir discontent among Hillary Rodham Clinton’s supporters.

Clinton was having none of it. Obama’s rival in a bruising battle for the nomination was expected to release her delegates at midweek in a unity gesture.

Obama, bidding to become the first black president, campaigned through swing-state Wisconsin, then flew home to Chicago to work on the acceptance speech he will deliver before 75,000 partisans on the convention’s closing night.

Previewing the week ahead, he said he hoped convention viewers would conclude, “He’s sort of like us. He comes from a middle-class background, went to school on scholarships. He and his wife had to figure out child care and how to start a college fund for their kids.'”

Clinton outpolled Obama among working-class voters in many states through the winter and spring, and Sen. John McCain and the Republicans have worked relentlessly in more recent weeks to depict the Illinois senator as an elitist who is out of touch with blue-collar concerns.

Ha!  MORE SPEECHMAKING is going to get that “reluctant” middle class to support Obama alright.  How many speeches are we going to hear?  Haven’t we heard enough Obama speeches? 

How about counting the votes and making sure each delegate gets to cast their vote on the convention floor without private “backroom dealing” hotel roll calls? How about putting Democracy back into the Democratic Party for a “change we can believe in?”

Also commenter “Matt” has a new Blog Talk Radio show “My Two Cents”:

Hey Guys,

My first Radio broadcast starts tonight 11PM ET
Tonight’s Speacial Guest are the “Super Genius” brothers– John Villarreal[McCain Supporter] and Paul F. Villarreal[Hillary Supporter]. My guest Co-host will be the blogmaster of POC PUMA!

Topics: Reaction to Obama’s VP Pick, Polls, Electoral Map, Delegation confusion, DNC and RNC Conventions 2008.

Join Me Tonight at 11PM ET

NO WE WON’T tonight

UPDATED:  All Links Fixed!

Sheri is broadcasting tonight from Denver from the media loft. NOT WE WON’T starts at 8:00pm EST. Stay tuned….

The Newest DNC Twist to Screw Us Over

This is unconfirmed. I have only heard it second hand. Apparently, Delegates have been told that they must indicate their choice for President and Vice President in writing by 4:00pm Wednesday and turned over to their state chairman.

Now, what possible reason could there be for pressuring delegates to do this before the actual nomination and role call vote. Hmmmm, think, think, think….

Well, if you are planning to vote for Hillary, they can strong arm you and make your life miserable. And if you try to fake them out by *saying* you are going to vote for Obama, you will be assigned a bathroom monitor to make absolutely certain you don’t backslide. I can just imagine them chasing the hapless delegate around, waving the paper around, “You promised. You PROMISED!!!”, like persistent, bratty kids.

Your DNC at work. It wasn’t enough to rig the caucuses. They have to rig the convention as well. But isn’t it interesting that they feel they have to go to such lengths to keep Obama from being replaced by the more qualified candidate. The Superdelegates must be getting restless. Bwahahahahahahhhh!

(very crowded in here. Fun but wildly distracting. Just got a contingent of reinforcements from Pittsburgh. YEAH!!)

Update and clarification:
Still unconfirmed. Delegates have been calling us to say that their state chairmen have told them that their votes must be submitted in writing, some as early as 10am. The vote will be processed in the hotels. The votes will be final. The votes will tabulated before the roll call on the floor. In other words, it will be a sham roll call vote. Also, there is a report that a Hillary person infiltrated the Hillary delegates. This person was never onboard for Hillary who is misdirecting the delegates. This part is unclear to me but it appears the the delegates have been tampered with from the inside. The delegates that are affected are confused and demanding answers.

This is still unconfirmed. Will the networks follow up on this?

Talk to the hand ’cause the DNC don’t understand

Talk to the hand cuz the face don't understand!

Despite Obama having an endorsement lead, the RBC/DNC and Obama campaign still have yet to give back those 4 Hillary delegates from Michigan, plus 600,000 “uncommitted” votes which violates the DNC’s rule of “Fair Reflection.”  If anyone has any news on the extra 4 MI delegates the RBC took from Hillary, please post it in the comments and I’ll update this post.

Here’s how AP is reporting it:

Dems give Michigan and Florida full voting rights

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 7 minutes ago

DENVER – Democratic delegates from Michigan and Florida were awarded full voting rights at the national convention Sunday, despite holding early primaries against party rules.

The convention credentials committee voted unanimously to restore the voting privileges at the behest of Barack Obama, the party’s presumptive nominee for president. The states were initially stripped of delegates for holding primaries before Feb. 5. The party’s rules committee restored the delegates in May, but gave them only half votes.

Democrats hope the gesture will strengthen their standing in two important battleground states while ending a contentious chapter of the nominating process.

“The only way we will be successful is if we are unified as a party and all Democrats know we are full partners,” said Chris Edley Jr., a committee member from California who introduced the resolution to restore Florida’s votes.

The party’s move raises questions about whether it will be able to control its primary calendar in the future. A commission will work on the issue over the next two years.

Representatives from Florida and Michigan said they were penalized enough. None of the major candidates campaigned in the states before the primaries, and the delegates’ votes weren’t restored until after the nomination was decided.

“We realize that mistakes have been made, but we’re excited in Florida,” said Scott Maddox, a former Florida Democratic chairman and a member of the credentials committee. “We have suffered enough.”

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan called Sunday’s vote “a victory for change in the system.”

Levin has been working to challenge the early voting status of Iowa and New Hampshire.

“We had the guts to take the system on, and we made progress this year,” he said.

Obama’s former Democratic rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, won both primaries. Obama’s name was not on the Michigan ballot and neither candidate campaigned in Florida.

Some of Clinton’s supporters were outraged that the delegates were not fully reinstated in May. They were also angry that Obama claimed some of the delegates won by Clinton in Michigan.

Obama clinched the Democratic nomination June 3 and he has been working to win over Clinton’s supporters ever since.

The credentials committee’s work is expected to win ratification by the whole convention Monday.

Florida has 211 delegates, including superdelegates, and Michigan has 157. Both states are expected to be battlegrounds in the November election.

Restoring their voting rights increases the total number of delegate votes at the convention to 4,419. It will take 2,210 delegates to win the nomination.

Obama ended the primaries with a 365-delegate lead over Clinton. Reinstating the Florida and Michigan delegates will not affect that lead because Obama has more endorsements from the states’ superdelegates.

I stand by my Floridian voter’s opinion:  

If a bank robber was caught stealing money and at their trial, they made a plea bargain to give most of the money back – it still doesn’t exculpate them from the crime they committed.  The robber should be punished regardless.  PUMA was formed to protest the DNC’s hijack of Democracy.  We want Democracy back in the Democratic Party, and you will not get our support and votes until our Democratic leaders start acting Democratically again. 

In Florida, our votes are used like toilet paper since 2000, and since the DNC’s leadership mostly ignores its voter base, they thought the best way they can win an election is by copying the Rove playbook.   How about counting our votes and LISTENING to your voters for a change?   Everytime they do listen, Democrats win the General election.  Had Ted Kennedy been the 1980 DNC candidate, Reagan would have never won nor started the Neo-Conservative movement.   I still resent that the Democratic leadership did not fight for Al Gore’s votes in 2000, had they fought like their Democratic voter base asked and pleaded them to, we would not have 8 years of the most destructive presidential administration in this country’s history. 

We put our trust in a party that we thought valued and represented Democracy and that would fight for our votes and for clean and transparent elections processes.   But since they won’t fight for Democracy, we will.

What happened on May 31st, 2008 was a crime against Democracy.  4 delegates and 600,000 votes were STOLEN in order to cushion Obama’s popular vote and delegate pile.   Had Obama won fair and square, if he had a popular vote lead (which Hillary does and Obama doesn’t)  and had won his delegates without the caucus fraud and DNC/RBC fiasco on May 31st, we’d be a united party. 

As far as I’m concerned, this changes nothing.  We still have an illegitimate candidate that won through illegitimate means.   And PUMA will continue to be a consciousness that lives in all of us here at this little corner of the blogosphere until Democracy is back in the Democratic Party.

As Carol Diamonds says: PUMA HAKA!

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

PS: Gary & Mawm updates coming soon!  PUMAMobile is somewhere near Kansas.

Sunday: Working out the kinks in Denver

I just drove around Denver and Oh. My. Gawd. What a nightmare. It took me half an hour to go about 2 miles. The barriers are going up everywhere. I was using a GPS and the poor dear was busily recalculating every couple of blocks. There is a visible No More War presence downtown surrounded by an even more visible presence of cops. The city is on lock down and from what I hear, the residents are PO’d.

In the meantime, more of us have arrived overnight. Sheri Tag is here, chipper as ever. LadyBoomerNYC is lending us her calming presence. There is media on all of the networks. Diane is busily setting up interviews. I have been asked to give a short speech at The Beautiful Protest and Rise tomorrow evening. Things are picking up here.

Just one more note: Darragh Murphy is doing a fantastic job and her mother is here as well. They are pulling out all of the stops to get things done. We are resetting our watches for Mountain Time and we do not expect to have any more glitches.

The Credentials Committee is going to meet at 11:30am at the Colorado Center. Eastern? Mountain? See if you can catch it on CSPAN.

Hang in there, Conflucians. It’s going to be a wild ride!

Meanwhile, here is some very good news:

The grassroots petition that roared

When the Clinton and Obama campaigns announced last week that Senator Clinton’s name would be placed into nomination, a group of Clinton delegates cheered for a moment and went right back to work. With Hillary Clinton’s name “officially” on the ballot, the petition signatures were no longer technically needed. But this group of determined individuals pressed on.

“When we started this effort, it was the ONLY way for us to be able to vote in Denver to represent the people who elected us,” said a Clinton delegate from Texas. “We’re proud of what we did. We’re going to see it to the end. Just like our candidate – we don’t quit.”

According to DNC rules, a floor nomination petition needs a minimum of 300 signatures from voting delegates to be submitted. In July, a small but determined group of Clinton delegates and volunteers started reaching out to fellow delegates in true grassroots fashion – one by one – to collect the signatures. This proved to be slow going since Democratic Party officials would not provide contact lists for delegates. The 300 Delegate Petition group was born.

After national and international mainstream media attention, petitions started pouring in. When they received the requisite number of petitions, they once again took a breather and went back to work. DNC rules state that no more than 600 petitions can be submitted. They’re working on it.

“We’ve got well over 300 petitions now in hand,” explained Sue Castner, a Clinton delegate from Portland, OR. “Since we never consulted with Senator Clinton’s campaign, we don’t know if ‘the petition that wouldn’t die’ had anything to do with the two joint campaign announcements made last week. We will probably never know but it certainly made us feel good.”

Signatories include a governor or two, county Democratic party chairs, members of the diplomatic corps, and even some brave Obama delegates. The names of those who signed the petition will remain a mystery unless Senator Clinton decides to file the petition, in which case, their names will be a part of recorded history.

As a meager reward for those delegates who saw the nomination process as a path to party unity and signed this historic document, a numbered commemorative pin will distinguish them from fellow delegates. Rest assured, the green pin, featuring the number 300 with a pen, will be THE most coveted pin in Denver.

One more thing: CBS coming over for a cup of sugar at 2:30pm. We’ll let you know when you can expect to see us.

When Obama Loses, Whose Fault Will It Be?

Obama Respects Hillary

Obama Respects Hillary

The Obama/DNC Conglomerate’s.

Not Hillary’s. Not McCain’s. Not the PUMAs’ (although some PUMAs wouldn’t mind taking credit for it!). No, Party Leaders and Obama himself must share the blame for snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.

DNC PARTY LEADERS – You did the following, assuring that you would split the Party among racial, sexual and ideological lines:

  • Decided that Hillary and Bill Clinton must not be given another shot at the White House.
  • Ran an African-American against Hillary so that anyone who didn’t want to vote for him could be labeled racist, including the Clintons themselves.
  • Allowed the most vile and hateful sexism to be directed at Hillary and her supporters by Obama and his campaign.
  • Perpetrated anti-democratic election fraud by apportioning delegates to Obama in a state where he had removed himself from the ballot. Even worse, your “compromise” actually took delegates from Hillary and gave them to Obama. So much for the will of the people and the Democratic Party’s commitment to democracy.
  • Allowed Obama to move your operations to Chicago, even though he had not even won the nomination at the time – and still has not!
  • Forced Hillary to suspend her campaign and withdraw from the race despite the fact that she had just as much right to the nomination as Obama, if not much more, considering her overwhelming tally of blue-state and swing-state primary victories AND her popular vote victory (which in any other year, would have unquestionably won her the nomination).
  • Told Hillary’s voters to stay home in November, and that we were not welcome in the “New Democratic Party.”

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