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    • What Protests in Lebanon, France, Chile and Ecuador Have In Common
      There’s some important events happening today: another Brexit vote, and the Canadian federal election (whose results are not obvious), but we won’t know how either of those end till later, so let’s discuss some popular protests of massive size. In France the protests were sparked by an increase in diesel taxes. The demands included an […]
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Thanksgiving Traditions and Favorite Foods: Open Thread

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With “Turkey Day” right around the corner, how about sharing some of your favorite traditions?  What’s on YOUR menu — share those unusual recipes and rituals.   Plus – what are you thankful for this year?

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Obama the Secret Progressive

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Many years ago scientists in a top-secret progressive think-tank, seeing the ascendancy of Reagan conservatism, trained a young a young man to be a stealth candidate who would pose as a center-right moderate, so that once he was in office they could hatch their diabolical plan. From Chris Bowers:

According to Ambinder, hiring centrists and Republicans for top positions in the Obama administration actually means that Obama intends to govern in a clearly progressive direction. For Ambinder, Obama is hiring centrist and conservative advisors not to give their policy advice any credence whatsoever, but instead so that they provide public and political cover for a strongly progressive agenda which those advisors would personally oppose. It is another instance of the “secret progressive” theories, where doing something anti-progressive, like hiring all centrists and Republicans for top cabinet positions, is interpreted as actually pro-progressive.

Put down your sippy-kup Marc, and check this out:

A senior Obama campaign official shared with The Washington Note that in July 2008, the McCain and Obama camps began to work secretly behind the scenes to assemble large rosters of potential personnel for the administration that only one of the candidates would lead.

WE TOLD YOU SO!

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Best Christmas Movie Ever Open Thread

Hey, if the stores have the decorations up, it’s not too early.

I spent five consecutive Christmases working in the “retail industry.”  Do you know how much I HATE Christmas music?  Bah f***ing humbug! 

So these are my five favorite Christmas movies:

1.  It’s a Wonderful Life

2.  A Christmas Carol (w/ Alistair Sim)

3.  National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

4.  Bad Santa

5.  Reindeer Games

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

The “Strict” 30% Solution?

Discussin

Discussing

There was a very interesting discussion on The Confluence last night about the 30% Solution. Some concerns were being raised about always voting for a woman, no matter what. People were calling such an approach the “strict” 30% Solution. As the coiner of this term, I had never heard this variant, and I’d like to address it in this post.

First of all, the 30% Solution is not just about voting. It is important to vote for women in order to achieve it, but in countries where the critical mass has been reached and surpassed, voting was not the only method of putting more women into national office. Some used quota systems, some revised their election procedures – some enshrined the percentage into their Constitution. In other words, the change occurred both at a grassroots level and at a governmental level. Thus, the entire responsibility for the success of this effort does not rest solely on your vote.

In fact, one of my ideas for reaching critical mass earlier is to use our many, many PUMA voices to reach out to the RNC and the DNC, and demand that in 2010, the next slate of new candidates for national office will include at least 30% women.

As many may be aware, John McCain promised gender equity in his Cabinet and a significant increase in the number of women in power by the end of his first term. This makes me think that the Republican Party may be open to my idea, in order to appeal to what could become the largest voting bloc in America – women and men who support them! And if the Republican Party does it, the Democratic Party might feel inspired to do the same.

I am hoping to start some discussion on this idea by posting it here. What do you think?

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Normally I would say “So what?”

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From Politico:

OBAMA SKIPS CHURCH, HEADS TO GYM

President-elect Barack Obama has yet to attend church services since winning the White House earlier this month, a departure from the example of his two immediate predecessors.

On the three Sundays since his election, Obama has instead used his free time to get in workouts at a Chicago gym.

The usual suspects are in full knickers-twist mode:

OMG, OMG, OMG — it must be because he and Michelle are too busy making “Whitey” tapes or something!

Although, apparently Martin does have the keen eye of a stalker

Except nobody said that, nor did anyone stalk the presumptive President-elect.  This is what life in the spotlight is like for the occupants of the White House, so Obamanation better get used to it.  When GOP politicians do things that are inconsistent with their carefully cultivated public images, it’s news.  Just ask Larry Craig.  So it’s only fair when the media does the same thing to Democrats.

Now I don’t really care if Barack Obama attends a church, temple, mosque or gym every weekend.  But he’s the one who made a big deal over his religious faith.  From Flopping Aces:

This is the same guy who never missed a service at Rev. Wright’s church (”God damn America, U.S. of K.K.K.A”) for 20 years but can’t recall one sermon. I guess he no longer needs the political and social connections that church provided.

It’s the hypocrisy, stupid!

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Monday: Oh, Brother!

A couple of years ago, when my brother and his family were at the peak of their mystical, charismatic, magical, super awe inspiring evangelical experience where they attended church every moment they weren’t working or sleeping, I had to meet him at his church one afternoon to bring him something or pick something up or something like that.  That weekend, his church was doing some kind of membership drive, like an open house.  They had set up a huge tent on their parking lot and had a portable stage and risers and a baptismal font and two big screens for a multimedia production.  Oh, yeah, it was that kind of church.

My brother plays the bass.  He’s played it since he was Brook’s age.  So, he found a place for him in the church gospel rock band while his wife, the former cabaret dancer with the extension that first caught my brother’s eye, sang back-up vocals.  I came to the performance a little late.  The band wasn’t playing yet.  Instead, there were some of those swelling hymns playing over the PA system while children of about 9 or 10 walked up to the baptismal font to be baptised by full immersion.  Then the band started jamming and the solo singer with a beautiful voice sang some uplifting Christian rock song while baptism images flashed on the screens.  It was overkill.  And incredibly effective.  It was hard for even the rational christian such as myself to not be moved.  Even Brook, the committed atheist from the age of nine, looked at me and said, “How do I pray?”  I had to get us out of there quickly.

Because no matter how seductive they were, they still think that homosexuality is a sin, premarital sex is a disgrace to women, Charles Darwin was possessed and there is nothing better in the whole wide world than getting in other people’s business and telling them how to live.

That’s how we have to look at Obama.  The election was exhilerating and stirring.  But he’s still a corrupt politician and we must still be on our guard for the people who were sucked into his cult of personality through training camps that differ little from the big tent evangelism, with appeals to emotion and well rehearsed mind-f^&king,

Then there are the people who are starting to realize what we tried to tell them all along.  Obama is not nor never has been a progressive.  He’s a political opportunist who made a deal with the status quo.  But he still has his own evangelical movement, though this group looks much bigger than its actual numbers.  The next two months are going to be one big revival.  It’s going to look bright and promising but there is  a dark and troubled side to it.  But let’s stay together and remember to duck outside the tent periodically for some mind cleansing fresh air.

Stay vigilant.