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      (Back to the top, this one was fundamental and needs some more time.) So, we have had a right-wing coup in Brazil. In Venezuela, the left still controls the Presidency, but has lost control of parliament. In Argentina, the right has won the election. I have been asked how to stop right-wing reversals. First it’s […]
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Senator Diane Feinstein says that Roland Burris’ Appointment is Legitimate

popcorn_22

Fox News Reports:

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee that soon could take up Burris’ case, said Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has the right to appoint a senator despite the allegations of corruption against him.

“Does the governor have the power, under law, to make the appointment? And the answer is yes,” Feinstein said, urging the Senate to settle the matter. “If you don’t seat Mr. Burris, it has ramifications for gubernatorial appointments all over America. … Mr. Burris is a senior, experienced politician.” Continue reading

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We Get Letters

Cue the bouncy 50’s ad music.

Good evening, Conflucians. Today was the second day to vote for Best Liberal Blog at the 2008 Weblog Awards. Did you cast your vote today? One vote per person per day. We want to win fair and square.

I’d like to thank Wonkette for boosting our blog stats today. Things got a little slow during the holidays and post election but we’re doing pretty good today for an itty bitty liberal blog. {{Snarf!}}  Wonkette’s writers committed the cardinal sin of blogging.  One *never* acknowledges one’s rivals.  They have just realized that they have made this strategic error and are trying to call it back but it’s TOO LATE!  We never considered Wonkette to be rivals so it’s fine and dandy for us to ride this baby for awhile.

Tonight, I’d like to read a few of our letters from our readers. These letters were carefully selected from our SPAM filter. I had to dispose of the hipwaders afterwards but let’s give our fans credit for their, um, creativity.

Let’s go to the first one. This is part of a spam message from Lauren. I would print the whole thing but Lauren is messianic in her anti-feminist zeal and it gets old after awhile. But I happen to agree with her, in part, on point number 4 in her commentary regarding the video compilation of misogynistic advertisments:

4. Shoddy research– the Puma sneaker ad with the dripped semen is a well known fake/joke. It was not produced by their company and its inclusion in the video shows that the producer is out of touch and may not be getting all the subtext in these ads. That’s unfortunate, because it would have been a great commentary on marketing messages–

“Cute girls who wear Pumas totally give head! Drop of a hat! WEARING THEIR SHOES! They don’t swallow, though…”

No one takes ads like that literally, not consciously or subconsciously. No one. I think we damage our cause as feminists when we deliberately refuse to recognize bawdy humor, because most young people quite literally do not have the excess energy to be ticked off all the time after they get done with work and school. I think, “Ha! I get it!” is a better angle for dialogue, but YMMV.

I like bawdy humor. It’s raunchy and acknowledges the differences between men and women in a fun, harmless way. Sort of like Olaf and Lena jokes. Or something stupid that myiq2xu posted in his Balloon Juice days. We are patiently housebreaking him because he’s really smart and we know he has a good heart. Well, what’s left of it anyway.

But Lauren, some of those ads are not parodies. Some of the Heroin Chic ads are deliberate because pale, skinny women look good when the  clothes they wear are flapping around them like laundry on the line in a breeze. We just object to pale, skinny women who look drugged lying at the feet of some guy who is standing over them in a menacing way OR throwing her in the trunk of his car, not that there’s anything wrong with riding in the trunk aside from the carbon monoxide and general lack of breathable air. Hey, if Lauren likes shooting up only to be bundled into the trunk of her boyfriend’s car in an unconscious state, who am I to tsk-tsk her bawdy fun? Jocularity! Jocularity!
Moving on.

Our next letter is from GoldJeffBlum:

MAKE ME A SAMMINCH YOU UGLY, SMELLY WIMMINZ!!!!!! I AM REINFORCING YOUR OPINIONS!!!! AASSSFUCKING!!!!

Mr. GoldJeffBlum has us confused with Ana Maria Cox who as I recall wrote odes to the art of ASSF$^&king. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Reader Patrickkelley makes some predictions:

Okay, I know I’m going to get tagged as spam, but I’ll try anyway. Here’s my prediction, inspired by the “I will work for Hillary in ‘12″ comment somebody posted. Hillary will be Obama’s VP in 2012. Biden will bow out. They will probably win. In 2016 it will probably be Hillary versus Palin, and Palin will clean her clock. I almost this.

By the time all this comes through, this blog will still be whining and spamming comments from anybody that laughs at you over it.

Wow, that was amazing! Mr. Kelley’s comment was tagged as spam just as he said it would be. But maybe he didn’t really deserve to be put in the spam filter. Let’s look at the rest of his comment. He predicts that Hillary will try to run for president again but that Palin “will clean her clock”. Interesting. Actually, I think the chances of Hillary ever running again approach a limit of negative infinity. Hmmm, I wonder if Mr. Kelly even knows why he hates Hillary?

A for whining and spamming comments, pish-tosh, we don’t give a flying fig. Most of the time, the spam filter picks up the offensive material automatically. We never even see it. And in the spam filter, no one gets to hear you scream.

We have time for only one more. Let me see if I can find a truly offensive one. It’s pretty hard to do these days. During the primary, we got death threats but this stuff is kind of mild.
Ah, this one by SheWomanWomanHater is really over the top:

I read Wonkette religiously. I am also a woman. Before you go suggesting that I am self-loathing, understand that I am a staunch feminist. My mother is continuing to blaze trails and bust balls in a male-dominated profession and she taught me everything she knows.

She and my father taught me to exercise tact and to take time to laugh at myself. Perhaps I can extend these lessons to The Confluence. Getting bent out of shape when a humor blog has some laughs, crying foul at even the most minor encroachment, and calling Wonkette readers childish names while lifting yourself up as the righteous and mature parties is not the way to win favor.

You’ll probably say that you don’t care if you piss us off or not, but realize this: No movement gains traction without popular support.

If I were a fundy, I’d say SWWH had committed blasphemy but she’s likely to think I meant that seriously when I’m really just making fun of her.

The nerve! She is threatening to keep us from sitting at the popular lunch table. Apparently, the entire civilized world beats a path to the door of Wonkette everyday and she is going to withhold all of the splendors of being on the inside if we don’t learn to respect our elders. The entire, vast blogosphere with billions and billions of blogs revolves around Wonkette and we will be thrown into the primordial echo of the Internet Big Bang, forced to ftp our comments and posts and all because we cannot keep a civil tongue in our mouths. How DARE we?!! I am shocked and appalled by our behavior. To think that we would aspire to take them on and win all of the fabulous prizes? What were we thinking?

Well, I was thinking, “Who the hell reads Wonkette anymore?” I stand corrected. Clearly we have overestimated the intelligence of the left blogosphere.

Live and Learn. Keep those cards and letters coming.

Burn It Down, Women

I dare you to watch this and not be shocked, humiliated and enraged. Via Partizane and Gabnet.

This is what the victory of Barack Obama means for women: We are all fair game. It’s fine to advocate violence against Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, over and over and over. You can win a national election by doing that, no matter how unqualified and corrupt you are. It’s also fine for Obama’s chief speechwriter to feign date rape against Hillary Clinton and not only keep his privileged position in the Administration, but to write the inaugural speech.

Respect

Respect

Continue reading

When did mean and vicious become “funny?”

 icepick_new_year

The picture above was posted on New Year’s Eve at a blog called Rumproast by the blog owner, “Kevin K.”  The picture is titled “icepick_new_year.”  It was taken from a video posted today at Wonkette by managing editor and part-owner Ken Layne.  At both blogs the picture/video were treated as “humor.”  The comment threads speak for themselves:

Ok, I wasn’t going to start drinking for another couple of hours.  First beer cracked upon setting my eyes upon that horror.

and

 It’s like her face is trying to get away from her body. That is so cool and gross.

Earlier today, a “Wonktard” (their expression) had this to say about Wonkette:

“. . . their rapid-fire satire and off-the-cuff riffing is without equal in the blogosphere and is some of the most hysterically funny political commentary I or my friends have ever read.”

Molly Ivins was the funniest liberal who ever lived, bar none.  Here’s what she said (emphasis mine):

There are two kinds of humor. One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity — like what Garrison Keillor does. The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule — that’s what I do. Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel — it’s vulgar.

Vulgar is right.

The woman in the picture and video is not an elected official.  She is not wealthy or powerful.  She never hurt anyone.  So why do Rumproast and Wonkette feel she deserves mockery and scorn? 

Because she is woman, a PUMA and a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

How can someone who claims to be a liberal or progressive have so much hate in their hearts for the weak and powerless?  How can they have so little empathy, pity, or shame?

By the way – Rumproast is a 2008 Weblog Award finalist for “Best Small Blog.  Wonkette is a 2008 Weblog Award finalist for “Best Liberal Blog.”

I hope their parents are proud.

Tuesday: What is PUMA?

The PUMASPHERE is open for business

The NY Times asked this question yesterday, or so I’ve heard.

I’ll tell you what we’re not.  We are not the kind of people who are concerned with whether our vaginas are as fresh and sweet as a Massengill douche.

Oddly enough, our ability to make noise and vote appear to be independent of our vaginal status.  Some of us don’t even HAVE vaginas.  {{gasp!}}

We *do*, however, have a Credo*, which is the reason we consider ourselves to be USDA approved prime cut liberals.

Oh, and BTW, Wonkette readers, someday, if you’re lucky, you will live long enough to be old.  Your tits will sag, your scrotums will lose their perky tautness and young, stupid adolescent males will make fun of you, unless, of course, the PUMAs make them insignificant.  Someday, you may thank us.

In other news:

Amy Siskind of The New Agenda must have read our post on the Double X, where we call for scrutiny of the next Congress’s legislation in order to ensure that women benefit from any stimulus packages that are proposed.  She pointed me in the direction of this post by Sheryl Robinson, Obama should appoint a woman to Commerce because jobs are not a given.

Now that Bill Richardson has resigned, er, before being appointed, Obama has another opportunity to appoint a woman to his cabinet.  He hasn’t made a very good start to being the Change! president.  He’s appointed about as many women as George Bush did.  When Clinton was president, nearly half of his cabinet were women.  How does one explain this?  How was Bill Clinton able to create an efficient, well run executive branch, half of the departments managed by women, but Obama can’t do this?  If we know it *can* be done, why isn’t it being done?  In fact, isn’t it possible that Obama is doing his country a disservice by passing up superior managers because his little band of advisors consists of a bunch of adolescent minded Wonkette readers? But I digress.

Robinson points out that during recessions and depressions, women suffer disproportionately and frequently don’t benefit from stimulus packages which focus on infrastructure jobs:

Women typically suffer greater hardship than men in times of economic downturn. More women in government means more support for issues that affect women, according to the UNIFEM report released this Fall. For this reason, Obama should appoint a woman to replace Bill Richardson, who has withdrawn as U.S. Secretary of Commerce-designate.

This week in the Greensboro News Record, Eileen Boris, Lisa Levenstein and Sonya Michel looked at the parallels between Obama’s economic stimulus plan and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the latter of which neglected to provide for women. In their article “Obama’s stimulus plan must include jobs for women, too,” they wrote:

Women make up 46 percent of the labor force, and they’re almost as likely as men to be the principal supporters of their families.

However, women are not likely to be hired for jobs rebuilding infrastructure. Therefore some women, they argue, ought to be trained and hired for “nontraditional” employment, ie. “men’s work.” Nevertheless, they say, his won’t be sufficient to ensure women get equal support:

[E]ven if the stimulus package guarantees women an equal chance at the new jobs, it still won’t address the occupational sectors in which most female wage-earners are concentrated, such as education, child care, social work, health care and care for elders and those with disabilities.

There are really two problems going on here but they are systemic.  Women dominate the “pink economy” and these jobs frequently pay less and provide fewer benefits.  And yet we are still not seeing a push in our public schools to encourage girls in math and science.  Oh, sure, it’s better than it was 30 years ago but not by much.  I’ve seen it happen to my Brook who has been effectively cut out of the higher level math programs regardless of her stellar test scores and interest in the subject.  Her middle school upper algebra class consists of 14 boys and 7 girls in spite of the fact that recent studies show that girls are just as capbable of doing higher level math as boys.  The split that takes girls on the path to the pink economy happens in middle school.  Maybe the problem is that we need a female trained in the hard sciences to run the education department.

In any case, the Robinson and Siskind make a lot of good points about keeping an eye out for women’s interests in the new adminstration and Congress.  And as we have heard before, once women make up 30% of the elected government, the prospects for society in general improve.  Even Wonkette readers would benefit.

Just another reason to vote for The Confluence for Best Liberal Blog at the 2008 Weblog Awards.

Finally, we’ve been recommending other worthy blogs for your votes and I have another recommendation this morning.  Actually, I think this blog is in the wrong category.  It’s called Cake Wrecks and it’s been nominated for Best Food Blog.  The blog consists of cake disasters.  Well,  not all of them are disasters.  Some of the cakes are works of art in fondant.  But as in many areas of life, the number of poorly executed cakes and mispelt greetings outnumber the beautiful and literate.  Warning: Do not drink coffee while viewing this site if you value your keyboard.

*Our Credo pre-dates the PUMA movement.  The Confluence has been in business since January 2008.

Wonkette Gets Pwn’ed

Tutti F**kin' Fruity!

“one very petulant clown”

 From Wonkette:

So we checked out our “competitor,” the Confluence blog, and, as many of you have already discovered… it’s a PUMA site! They have a post called, “An Interview with Harriet Christian, NY Senate Seat Contender.” Oh man. Welcome to our radar, Confluence!

I thought it was priceless when Blogstalkers was fooled by the Harriet Christian satire, but now an “A” lister got taken too, hook, line and sinker!

Can someone please explain what’s “liberal” about this?:

Is confluence codespeak for menstruation?

or this?:

the site was originally called an_army_of_stale_vaginas_fused_shut_over_40-50_inactive_and_bitter_years.com but the name was too long.

Strangely enough, Wonkette is currently leading in the Weblog Awards polling for “Best Liberal Blog,” with more votes than everyone else combined.  “Everyone else” includes “A” listers TPM, Crooks & Liars, Hullaballoo and Glenn Greenwald, as well as a lowly non-list blog called The Confluence.

Although The Confluence had an early lead, Wonkette began moving up steadily in the poll.  At approximately 11pm EST they were at 49%, then 50%, 51%, 52% and they are now over 53%!  In fact, as of about 4am EST, they are the only blog seeing any voting action. 

Wonkette supporters must be like tireless little ‘bots, casting their votes while most of the rest of the nation sleeps.  In the time (3am-4:30am EST) that it took The Confluence to gain 5 votes to go from 541 to 546, Wonkette gained 76 votes to go from 2306 to 2377, giving them 53.2% of the votes!  The Confluence at 12.2% is holding a steady lead over the rest of the field for second place, but we are all losing ground to Wonkette. 

I didn’t think there were that many Wonkette fans, but it’s a freep country.

———————————————————————————–

Don’t forget, Captain Spaulding says VOTE!

For Best Liberal Blog, vote for The Confluence here

For Best New Blog, vote for Uppity Woman here

For Best Small Blog, vote for Nice Deb here

For Best Hidden Gem, vote for Deadenders here

If you feel obligated to cast a vote in every category, Captain Spaulding says Ace of Spades is 2% less evil than the other nominees for “Best Conservative Blog” so you can vote for them here

Obacrats Can’t Be This Stupid

05burris-600Whoever thought maneuvering Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich into a position that allowed U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to officially criminalize machine politics-as-usual for political advantage has got to be the biggest neophyte yahoo rube to come down the pike since…Barack Obama.  Let’s review.  Barack Obama, the only African American in the Senate for two years, mysteriously generates enough money and clout to mount a successful run for the presidency out of a political environment so corrupt that “Lincoln would roll over in his grave,” how?  By being an all-around, all-American, above-board, swell, good guy, of course.  Sure.

Surrounded by his personal band of proselytizing disciples; Rahmbo the Emanuel, Valerie Magdalene, King David of the Astroturf, Antonin of Houses, and Jon, the Groper of Graven Images, to name a few, the Obamessiah scampered above the sewer waters of Illinois corruption as if they were a North Side private gymnasium treadmill.  As a fisher of men, He was often unfortunately touched, but not tainted by, the activities of the unworthy among those He assembled and attempted to make pure, as has been dutifully chronicled by the mainstream media Keepers of the Holy Book of the Obamessiah.  However, Barack remains the Reformer, bathed in the Light.

Clean, bright and articulate by resume, the recent machinations by the Combine Machine of the Obacrats are threatening to reveal enough cracks in the Obamirror of Righteousness to expose His Holy Stupid-as-a-Stumpness in a nationally broadcast Naivete Scene.  Did it never occur to the No Drama Obama crew that manipulating a fellow player not of their clique into a corner carried risks?

When one of their number, Antonin of Houses, stumbled and fell by the wayside, the Obasciples simply stepped gingerly, single-file around him, leaving him where he lay, disavowing him three times as they boarded the Obabus he rolled under when they continued confidently on their preordained journey to the Promised Land.  The Obamessiah did not lay hands upon him, nor did He absolve him of his sin; He simply denied knowledge of him as He brushed His Holy shoulders and allowed Himself to be driven on.  This was a Holy boo-boo.

For Antonin of Houses had special knowledge of Valerie Magdalene and the Obamessiah, and Antonin was pisseth.

Fast forward to the twenty-first century post-election ensconcement of the Obamessiah as President-In-Training Wheels.  Having written and disseminated his own Holy backstory to the Chroniclers, and having consumed their regurgitated praise to his overfill, the Obamesiah, drunk with his own Obamessiah-ness by proxy, allowed Himself to believe He, Jr. Father, Knew Best.  Thus began the chess match, whereby playing unopposed, the Obamessiah cleverly checkmated Himownself.

Seeing a way to eliminate his only real threat to absolute power in His own backyard, Barack of Hyde Park decided to continue to attempt to appear to levitate above the machinations of His betrayed Obasciple of the Houses,  and the locust-and-honey-eating way clearer, the crude Rod the Blagojevich, while shining His Holy Light upon their common evangelical activities, forgetting He too, was bathed in His Own Light.  Thus, He Screweth Himself.

Okay, enough of the Obamessiah allegory; it’s not only making me nauseous, I’m not nearly as good at it as John, South of Melrose over on Liberal Rapture or Gerald Baker; plus I need to be free to call bullshit without all this pseudo-Christian baggage.  So, let’s get back to brass tacks, shall we?

The fact remains that Obama screwed the pooch when he tried to play innocent while pointing the finger at Blagojevich.  Everybody in Illinois knew Blags was under investigation, he even hinted at the worst kept secret in politics the day before he was arrested.  Everybody also knew that even with Rezko’s making like a canary, Fitzgerald didn’t have enough to indict.  He still doesn’t.  But when the president-elect bats his exaggeratedly wide-open eyes and tilts his head in your direction when somebody else calls you a crook, people sit up and take notice.

Obama and company knew that if they dangled the vacant Senate seat plum just right while they dropped unsubtle hints that Fitzgerald was sure to pick up, the investigation against Blags was sure to intensify.  However, methinks they underestimated the existing intensity of the ongoing investigation.  Thinking that the tentacles would subsequently stretch out in all directions, they never considered that they already did, that it wasn’t just one Blagojevich phone that was tapped, and that more of their pre-cleanup involvement was already caught on tape.

Now, the smartest president in the room and his gang have been interviewed in a pay-to-play scam and have proclaimed their innocence, just like Blagojevich, just like Bill Richardson.  Though Blago has been arrested, before his alleged crime could criminally implicate anybody else, he hasn’t been indicted, he was released on a paltry bond, and he remains free to exercise his duties as governor.  And, now that he has done just that, the Obacrats, who for their own nefarious reasons, swept Obama to power, are desperate to get Blags to nullify himself, since they know they have no legal, or moral, authority to do so.  They also know now that Blagojevich knows it, too; by making the appointment, the Obacrats are not only rendered impotent, they’ve handcuffed  and prevented themselves from exercising any power they might once have wielded.  For, even if they impeach Blago, or he now resigns, there’s nothing that would make Roland Burris’ appointment to the Senate retroactively invalid.  From Politico:

The Democrats’ preferred solution to the Burris problem is for the Illinois Legislature to impeach Blagojevich, paving the way for Democratic Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn to take his place and appoint someone other than Burris to Obama’s vacant seat. But even that could create a legal headache, legal observers say, since the Burris appointment would still be pending.

“Even if Blagojevich is impeached, that doesn’t undo all the actions he has taken as governor,” said Andrew Raucci, a former chief justice for the Illinois Court of Claims and now a Chicago-based attorney.

Democrats say that if Burris hasn’t been seated by the time Quinn takes over, he could name someone else to the seat by rescinding Burris’ certification papers.

Burris was having none of it. At a news conference at Chicago’s Midway Airport, the former Illinois attorney general testily said to reporters, “Why don’t you all understand that what has been done here is legal? I am the junior senator from Illinois, and I wish my colleagues in the press would recognize that. All the drama — I guess it keeps you all in a job.”

And, to make bad matters worse, not only is Burris adamant that he is the junior senator from Illinois no matter what ticky-tack maneuvers the Obacrats try to pull, the potential criminalization of day to day political manipulation makes every satellite in the Oba-universe vulnerable.  Just ask Bill Richardson.

The best laid plans of mice and men, gang aft aglae.