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If you come here, you’d best make nice
For I’m a man who has his price.
To me, it’s just a game I play,
If you want in, you’ll have to pay.

A senate seat you want? That’s fine–
I’ll wait for coin in hand to shine.
For me, it’s a commodity,
Not something to hand out for free.

The public I am sworn to serve,
But if from virtue I should swerve
I’m just a man who seeks what’s mine,
With pockets that I need to line.

Now if your senate seat be sure,
Then tempt me with a sinecure,
Show me a coin that I may hoard,
My spouse put on a corporate board.

What I seem to have failed to see,
Was that the feds were on to me,
So if you watched the news today,
You might have seen me led away.

So in the hoosegow I will be,
But not for long its walls I’ll see,
For me, I’ll let my money talk,
And in a moment, I will walk.

And so I go my merry way,
My lucre lost for just one day,
Unless in court they prove their case,
For then I would some trouble face.

So what if we’re in our last throes
When office to high bidder goes?
A pardon– wouldn’t that be nice.
I just hope Barry has his price.

Where is Our Common Consciousness?

Who Are You? Who Do They Believe You Are?

Who Are You? Who Do They Believe You Are?

Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. All, nevertheless, flutter round it. They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, How does it feel to be a problem?

And so begins the substance of W.E.B. Du Bois poignant and thought-provoking philosophical essay on the “double-consciousness” experienced by African Americans, “The Souls of Black Folk.”  I remember studying this work in college and what it imprinted on my soul was his premise that this group of human beings looked at themselves from two separate and distinct perspectives:  from their own perspective, as a human being, with talents and desires, deserving of equality and the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and from the perspective of others, specifically white people, who saw them first as African American.  Du Bois called this a “double-consciousness.” It was this ability to see themselves, albeit tragically, from the perspectives of those who discriminated against them, that tied their souls together in common bond.  It was this common bond that motivated their struggle to break free from the oppression of bigotry.

To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word. And yet, being a problem is a strange experience,…

As women do we see ourselves from these two perspectives?  Are we cognizant of the second consciousness that informs us of the bigotry that exists to oppress our gender?  After the experience of this election, it is clear to me that we view ourselves differently than many others around us- men AND women.  We may see ourselves as strong, competent, women who deserve choices and equality of experience but we’ve learned that others view us as lesser than men; dependent upon men; beholding to men; valued for our beauty and our baby-making abilities but not taken seriously in “a man’s world” for our strength and competence.   Apparently for many, we are quickly associated with sex and stripper poles, but not so quickly with Office of the Presidency.  Why is this?  We are a majority of the electorate.  How is it that we find ourselves rated one step below the wearers of the penis?  The comparisons of “experience” between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama bear this out – it’s undeniable.  For some of us this was a revelation that struck us like a fierce thunderbolt.

Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil. I had thereafter no desire to tear down that veil, to creep through; I held all beyond it in common contempt, and lived above it in a region of blue sky and great wandering shadows.

What has been most disconcerting for me is the complicity of our own gender in sustaining this patriarchy.  Are there really that many women who are oblivious to this second consciousness?  How can they not see that calling Sarah Palin “stupid” or Hillary Clinton a “whore” or wearing a “Sarah Palin is a C*nt” T-shirt only endorses the sexism and mysogyny that is unacceptably pervasive?  Is it because these women remain oblivious to this veil…the veil that locks us out of equality but fails to bond us together?  What would drive NARAL and NOW to endorse a “penis wearer” when a more qualified woman was in the race?  The “Choice” issue?  The one that will never go anywhere but forever be held over our head like the Sword of Damocles?

We are the majority of the electorate, yet we were unable to bond with a common desire to break free from this oppression.  The African American community rallied their common consciousness on behalf of Barack Obama.  Many of us chided them for doing so, myself included; yet now I’m beginning to understand and appreciate their solidarity.

We should take a lesson from them. All of their gains have been due to their ability to unite in common cause to free themselves from their oppression.  Their community of action, driven by the awareness of how others saw them is what helped them break free.  It is why they have been a major force in electing the first African American president.  They are to be commended and we must now look introspectively at our own plight. It is this common consciousness that our gender lacks.

We do not experience the mutual bond of a common oppression.  We spend our time projecting and judging each other as if WE are the ones who are doing it right and the “other” women have it all wrong.  Hillary should have left Bill; Hillary should have stood up and complained loudly about the sexism; Hillary should have fought the DNC; Hillary should have left the DNC and ran as an Independent; Hillary shouldn’t have campaigned for HIM; Hillary shouldn’t take the Secretary of State position; Hillary should have taken a more public stand about the mysogynistic behavior of Obama’s speechwriter… and on and on and on we go.

That sky was bluest when I could beat my mates at examination-time, or beat them at a foot-race, or even beat their stringy heads. Alas, with the years all this fine contempt began to fade; for the words I longed for, and all their dazzling opportunities, were theirs, not mine. But they should not keep these prizes, I said; some, all, I would wrest from them. Just how I would do it I could never decide: by reading law, by healing the sick, by telling the wonderful tales that swam in my head, — some way.

By what “way?”  By attacking and accusing and judging each other? She’s “just” a stay-at-home mother; She works and has small children; She put her career first; She put her career second; She keeps having children; She didn’t have any children.  We judge, we project, we ostracize, we reject each other…and we fail each other.  SHE doesn’t owe ME anything.  I am the one who must stand up and fight; I must help other women recognize the common bond we share in this “double-consciousness” so that we-too can break the veil.  I must be the one to come to the aid and protection of other women.  Our gender needs to adopt a mindset of “I got your back sister.”

Until we find a way to raise and merge the consciousness of all women, regardless of race, creed, color, political affiliation, marital status, with or without children or sexual orientation we will be hopelessly trapped in a culture that pushes us aside so that the ‘wearer of the penis’ can get through.  We will remain in a culture that feels empowered to sexualize and degrade our gender for their entertainment.  We will continue to be divided by religion, ideology and political platforms.

We can blame ‘the wearers of the penis’ for our troubles, but we are spinning our wheels if we fail to hold our own gender accountable for the sexism and mysogyny we experience.  Where is our “double-consciouness?”  Let me help you — they see us as the lesser of two genders.  Wake up and inform your second consciousness.  It’s time to break free sisters.


An “epilogue” of sorts: We all saw the CNN video of James Carville telling “us” we’re stupid, silly, sick, and in need of psychiatric help for complaining about the Favreau incident.  This is the way THEY see us.  His colleague, Campbell Brown is apparently, in his view, one of those stupid, silly, sick, nutjobs for complaining about the sexist nature of Favreau’s actions.  Will SHE take him on?  Can she now see what we’re talking about; or will she remain blinded to the awareness of how SHE, and the rest of us, are viewed?

Campbell…join our movement.  Can you see it now?

Odds & Ends


Just a few things:

1.  Patrick Fitzgerald did not proclaim that Barack Obama was innocent.  Joseph Cannon at Cannonfire provides more details.  Expecting to find an honest politician in the Chicago Machine is like looking for a virgin in a whorehouse.  In Chicago, an “honest politician” is one who stays bought.

2.  Expect to see lots of trolls today.  Please ignore them.  We will dispose of them as quickly as we can.  If you feed them they will never leave and may bring friends.

3.  There are certain sites dedicated to hating PUMA.  They are essentially troll dens.  We do not refer to them by name because they crave attention and we’re not going to give it to them.  If you refer to them by name in your comments don’t be surprised if your comment is edited or deleted.

4.  Regarding comment moderation, some is moderated automatically and some is done manually.  If your comment is accidentally grabbed by Spammy the Moderator, please be patient and we will try to release it promptly.  Please keep in mind that The Confluence is a refuge from the kind of stuff that goes on at Cheetoville and other unhinged blogs. 

This is Riverdaughter’s soapbox and she shares it as she sees fit.  If you want to spread Obamanation talking points, misinformation or spam, or you want to blogwhore, post about fringe topics,  or abuse other commenters then get your own damn soapbox.

5.  December’s “Tin Foil Hat Tuesday” will be next week on 12/16/08 at 7pm EST.

Consider this an open thread.

(graphic courtesy of Cannonfire)

Illinois Governor Blagojevich Arrested

Blagojevich and Friends

Blagojevich and Friends

I guess Blago shouldn’t have advertised in the Chicago Tribune:

FOR SALE: U.S. Senate seat – like new, barely used

From the Chicago Tribune:

“Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges.


Blagojevich was taken into custody hours after the Tribune reported that the investigation into allegations of pay-to-play politics within his administration had been expanded to include his pending choice of a Senate replacement for Obama.”

Is this the change we have been waiting for?



From Mark Halperin:

A federal official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that the allegations include that the governor took money from at least one individual in connection with naming a successor for the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by Obama. The official declined to be named publicly because the investigation was still under way.

Blagojevich is charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery.



From CNN:

By this time, media reports indicated that Senate Candidate 1, an advisor to the President-elect, was interested in the Senate seat if it became vacant, and was likely to be supported by the President-elect. During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated, “unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying.”

ROD BLAGOJEVICH later stated, “I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I’m saying. And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself.” Later, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the Senate seat “is a f-ing valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

(h/t Plural)



A copy of the 78 page indictment is here

Tuesday: Jon Favreau Must Go

I was very disappointed in James Carville’s remarks last night.  He condoned, even praised the “boys will be boys” attitude of Mr. Favreau and his buddies.  I hope that Carville sits a minute in thought over this one.  Here’s why Favreau must go:

  1. Because Favreau is now the face of the Obama administration.  Everytime Obama opens his mouth, we will see Favreau and his frat boy drinking buddies acting like young macho thugs.  He is writing the words for the President of the United States.  Obama’s credibility is already compromised with us.  Every time Obama pulls out the hopey-changey shtick from now on, we’re going to know that it came from the mouth of Jon Favreau.
  2. Because it means that Obama has no real understanding of the kind of discrimination and behavior that women are subjected to in public, at work or in the family.
  3. Because Hillary Clinton is not the only one disrespected by it.  Jon might as well be groping all of our breasts.
  4. Because the longer it sits out there, the more it looks like Obama is insensitive to the disrespect shown towards women.  We already know this but we think it is time for Obama to get with the program and shows us that he gets it and will not tolerate male adolescent fantasies of degrading powerful women.
  5. Because dismissing groups like The New Agenda as a bunch of female whiners sends a strong message that women’s priorities are inconsequential to Obama.
  6. Because Obama stole the primary with hooligan idiots like Favreau and we want these idiots punished.

Either Obama is going to be the president for all of us or he’s going to be the president for only males.  He’s either going to respect all of us or only the people with Y chromosomes.  We already know that our primary votes didn’t count.  Keeping Favreau on as his head speechwriter is the biggest “Fuck you” I think he could be sending us right now. At this point, the best thing Obama can do is replace him and send Favreau to State where he can undergo some sensitivity training.

We are watching and we’re not going away.

Contact the obama transition team and demand that Jon Favreau resign.

copy and paste these email addresses into your message:




deanh@dnc.org; info@hillpac.com; donna@brazileassociates.com; tflourno@aft.org; germonda@dnc.org; griffinassoc1@aol.com; alicehuffman@sbcglobal.net; hickes@msek.com


202-540-3000 press option # 2 for a live person.

Item #2: What the Hell was Ted Kennedy implying in this message to Governor David Paterson?

The elder Kennedy (D-Mass.), who’s battling brain cancer, has sent word to Gov. Paterson’s office that Caroline Kennedy, 51, has contacts and family connections that would mean legislation affecting New York would receive prompt attention, family sources said.

Here’s how I interpret this: “Nice attention all your legislation is getting in the Senate.  You wouldn’t want anything to *happen* to it”.  This is extortion plain and simple.  “Hire my niece and you get attention and connections to make your legislative fantasies come true – or else.”

Now that I think back on it, there have been 2 times when the Democratic party has gone off the rails in recent history and in both cases, Ted Kennedy was involved.  The first was in 1980 when he initially refused to back down at the convention when he was far, FAR less entitled to a floor fight than Hillary Clinton.  Actually, Hillary Clinton won the primaries.  This is an easily proven fact.  She was denied her party’s nomination in large measure by Ted Kennedy.  But in any case, it was Kennedy’s machinations and temper tantrum which led to the creation of the superdelegate system.

But this last child and permanent baby of the Kennedy clan isn’t finished stamping his foot and demanding his way.  Now, he’s insisting his niece, who has never expressed an interest in national politics before, jump ahead of several more deserving women.  And it sounds very much like he’s willing to use extortion to get his way.  No Caroline, no attention to your legislative agenda.  Niiiiicce.

If you can’t say something nice about someone, say nothing at all but it is past  time for Ted Kennedy to retire.

Let Governor Paterson know you want an experienced politician who has earned her right to be Hillary’s replacement.

To Write To The Governor:
David A. Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224


To Email The Governor:
Click here to email the Governor.

Responses may be sent via the U.S. Mail.

For Information on Legislation:
Please access the New York State Legislative
Session Information page at

Et tu, James?

James Carville defends John Favreau on CNN (video & audio start after 15 seconds):