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Saturday: The blame starts at the top

Artist's rendering of Obama Administration's Principles

Artist's rendering of Obama Administration's Principles

The stimulus package passed but it needed the meddling of Republicans and centrists to get it into a form where it was acceptable- to Republicans.  I suppose they threatened to filibuster.  It seems you can have an overwhelming majority of Democrats in the Senate and the Democrats can still get rolled by Republicans.  Funny that.  When the Republicans had just a razor thin majority in the Senate, they were able to ram through whatever the f%*& they wanted.  Something about Republicans puts the fear of god into Democrats.

The bill by all accounts is inadequate.  The centrists took a utility knife to some of the provisions like new school construction.  Brief detour here:  I was on the school board when our district tried to build a new high school.  Our schools were dramatically overcrowded and out of date.  We presented a new high school that didn’t even have an auditorium (it isn’t used most of the time anyway).  At $52 million, it was going to be state of the art with an efficient use of space.  It was forward thinking.  We would have saved money for the district eventually because the size of the school, with smaller Hogwarts style subschools built in, would have allowed us to repurpose the schools we already had.  We begged, pleaded and cajoled the public to support the plan.  We lost by less than 300 votes due to a massive campaign by the Libertarian party who opposed higher taxes.  Long story short, we ended up building two additions to the high school instead and a new elementary school.  The biggest obstacle is buying the land, which has certain space requirements for athletic fields, etc.  It usually means we are buying family farms.  Anyway, the resulting school facilities are inadequate.  Taxes went up anyway but now there is no place to build any new schools without raising taxes even more.    The Libertarians made it much more expensive for every homeowner in my town in the end and the schools are overcrowded again.  Thank you Libertarian party.

My point is, there are communities around the country dealing with really old, decrepit school facilities and they could use the money.  But Susan Collins and Ben Nelson took the money out.  What were they thinking?  It isn’t in Democrats’ or Republicans’ best interest to screw the kids.  That kind of mistake comes back to haunt you years down the road.  Even more pointedly, what was Harry Reid thinking?  How is it that he let even one Democrat break ranks to negotiate important provisions away and collaborate with the enemy on more tax cuts?  I know that some of the damage they wrought was undone but the result is still an inadequate bill.  Does Harry Reid have no understanding of what is at stake in this debate?  This is a major economic crisis and it requires bold decision making based on core Democratic principles.

Ahhh, yes, core Democratic principles.  There’s the rub.  We have a president who made a point of running away from core Democratic principles.  During the campaign, he seemed almost afraid to call himself a Democrat.  Should we be surprised that there is a void at the top where a governing political philosophy should be?  Let’s not forget that Obama took a lot of money from Wall Street and they expect a return on their investment, not that they’ve been any good with their risk taking in general lately.  They’ve got a hold on Obama.  If he wants to win again in 4 years, he’s going to have to keep on their good side.  Unless he puts the banks into receivership and forces the bankers to take a loss, in which case, they presumably won’t have a lot of money to fund anyone’s campaign.

Paul Krugman commented about the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach yesterday.  The recession is going to end up being longer and harder than it has to be and it is directly related to the void at the top.  With Obama, all of his principles operate on a sliding scale.  Everything is negotiable.  There is no internal discipline or line that shouldn’t be crossed.  Obama is all about process, not principle.  And that lack of discipline serves as an example to others in his party who are behaving like Democrats in name only.

Could Al Franken have made a difference?  Funny how his swearing in keeps getting delayed, just long enough to have missed this important vote.  Regardless, unlike Bill Clinton who faced a hostile Congress controlled by Republicans, Obama triangulated when he didn’t have to.  That must really frost Kos’s crockies.

One more thing:

There is an inter-site debate going on right now about why it is that so many of PUMA friendly bloggers sat it out last year and hurled “you are a racist blogsite because I deliberately misinterpreted something one of your frontpagers said that was not racist but anyway, you shouldn’t have let them say it” missiles at us.  I don’t want to pass judgement on them.  However, it’s not our struggle.  We know who we are and what we stand for.  I stand by all of our frontpagers.  Not one of them has disappointed me or has written anything I would remotely characterize as racist.  The problem resulted from interpretation and by individuals who were sensitized to see certain events in purely racial terms. That is not surprising given the level of viciousness in the accusations of racism from the Obama campaign to even the most trivial comments.

I think the failure to unite last year under one organization, whether it was called PUMA or something else, was a result of relentless peer pressure and psychological warfare from the Obama campaign.  It could make a person question their committment to equality or any principles.  That was what it was designed to do.  It was meant to break down the personality and rebuild it in another’s image.  And we at The Confluence saw it coming, as did other sites.  There were plenty of evil trolls on this site last year who were breathing propaganda.  We could smell it from ten routers away.  (and yes, we know who you are and where you’re blogging from, Katherine from Arizona State University) But there is something about PUMAs and the frontpagers at *this* site in particular that make us a bit different and resilient.  Maybe it’s because so many of us grew up with parents or relatives in fundamentalist religions.  We recognize emotional manipulation much more quickly than others and are able to resist it because we know how to take our emotions offline.  Growing up fundy gives us weapons of resistence.  That is something I think people who grow up more conventionally do not easily acquire.

I admire the bloggers who resisted to any extent last year.  The pressure was intense and relentless.  I only wish they hadn’t turned on those of us who were on their side.  It made us a less powerful force and without critical mass, we were unable to achieve what needed to be done.  I hope we have all learned a lesson from this.  If you want to have power, you have to trust one another, hold hands while crossing the street, look both ways and stick together no matter what comes your way.

And now, let’s put it behind us and begin again.

292 Responses

  1. This is a great post, Riverdaughter — it’s exactly what I like to wake up to. (and WHAT a beautiful banner: I really like it)

    I admire the bloggers who resisted to any extent last year. The pressure was intense and relentless. I only wish they hadn’t turned on those of us who were on their side. It made us a less powerful force and without critical mass, we were unable to achieve what needed to be done. I hope we have all learned a lesson from this.

    I totally agree.

  2. About that pic, no matter which picture of The Point I use, the fountain still sits directly under the title.

  3. RD–Great post, but I think that this is the proper link to Krugman’s latest op-ed piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/opinion/13krugman.html?em

    The current one goes to an op-ed piece called ‘The Great Illusion’.

    Why is that Krugman so shrill? 😉

  4. Is it just me and my computer or is there something wrong with the “conceptualizing” graphic up top?

    BTW – that bright banner hurts my eyes.

  5. Okay, the graphic is fixed, but I don’t have enough coffee in me to understand it.

  6. PUMA’s afraid to be called PUMA’s comes down to the race bludgeon.

    The Obots have tried their damndest to make PUMA’s into racist feminazi’s so that others who were sympathetic or on the same page shunned us too.

    They didn’t want to be called racists. they let us take the hit, and just to be sure they weren’t called racist, joined the bandwagon.

    It is shameful really.

  7. myiq: I changed the hole-in-sky pic. It wasn’t coming out right.
    As for the banner, you really need to leave your, um, “hobbies” in the basement once in awhile or you’re going to end up like one of those kids in Austria.

  8. Not “basement” – “dungeon”

  9. I used the r word, can someone release me.

  10. I’m no syncophant, nor do I play one on tv, but damn, you do have an amazing ability to paint a picture with words!

  11. Wait are you telling us to make up with the party? Oh! No I feel like the Dixie Chicks, “I’m Not Ready To Make Nice”. I live in California, and there is not one Democrat that I would want voted back in at their next election, not one, not for city, state or federal office. I don’t believe we have had a good Mayor in Los Angeles since Tom Bradley. Thats got to be about 40 years ago. Since then we have become a city where if you don’t speak Spanish, you can’t get a job. WTF???

  12. Delurking

    I think that there was an element of PUMA that prevented bloggers like Anglachel and Corrente from joining us. This element went completely bat$hit insane over things like the Certificate of Live Birth, Obama’s supposed Muslim ties, and Larry Sinclair and hurt our credibility.

    Those voices drowned out the more reasonable bloggers like the Confluence and PUMA PAC who insisted that the DNC gamed the nomination process for Obama, that he wasn’t a progressive Democrat (FISA anyone?) and that he wasn’t ready for job.


  13. Wow, you’ve captured it all! Great post! O’s intent was indeed to fracture the focus so that we’d eventually be at each other’s throats and indeed it seemed to have happened there for a while – you’re right – it’s time for us all to settle down and reassess – once everyone sees what his aim was and what he did some, not all, will realize that without a critical mass we can’t accomplish the big things – and even some of the smaller things.

    The “stim” was president’s day sale to the highest bidder- they’ve taken everything but our lunch money – and that will soon be gone too. My husband and I recently retired – but have kept working at least part time as we saw what was happening and know that a real retirement may not be part of our future.

    This is indeed economic terrorism – it started a long time ago – I’m just wondering who owns us now. 😕

  14. Socaldem: No, not the party. I mean other blog sites like Corrente and Anglachelg. They held out a long time but eventually, even they started to succumb to the pressure tactics. I hope they see now that they were targets and they have to develop a thicker skin. The Obama campaign must have been relieved that we didn’t all join forces together. Glenn Greenwald had a post yesterday about lack of resistence from the left. In part, this is what he is talking about. There was no push back to Obama or effort to hold his feet to the fire except for us PUMAs and we were scorned by some of the sites we considered friendly. That was the intent of the smear campaign against us when anything we said or did was interpreted in racist terms. It was disgusting. and some of our friends fell for it. Charles Lemos had a spectacular supernova when he ditched us. He wrote some emails to us in private that I won’t share but let’s just say that they were amazing pieces to read. They really got to him. It was embarrassing. We were finally forced to part ways completely, it was that bad. I also got emails from other bloggers who flat out asked us to verify that we were deleting racist comments. Like we were supposed to save them instead of simply delete them in case we needed to *prove* we weren’t the KKK scum of the earth.
    Yeah, it was pretty bad. And if those sites didn’t learn from it, the Obots will use it again.
    The new meme is that we are just like Rush Limbaugh. Let’s see how long it takes before that one takes hold.

  15. Great piece RD”!
    I am so upset with anyone & everyone that brought this,
    “Stimulate Nothing” plan to the American people. Being a “middle person”; I blame both parties:
    The Republicans for signing off on every spending program presented when THEY had the power. WHY?? All because they wanted to pay for their stupid war.
    The current Democrats that are saying…”Well now it’s OUR turn to spend the $$”.
    Ugh…. Hillary KNEW that if she was made President she would NOT be getting a TURN at spending, “YET”!
    1st we needed as a nation to be “Grown-Ups” & stop the “bleed” on the economy. The choices & decisions would have been difficult, painful & necessary; but she was “Ready on Day one” to make them.
    As a NYer I’m VERY disappointed with my new Senator & out-raged about Shumer’s behavior. To me I was comforted that Gillibrand “Never Voted” for any of these insane spending plans. Of course until NOW. “If” we were going to get a “mini-me” to Shumer, I would have said..No Thanks!
    Because Obama has no substance & is ALL about the SYMBOL. It looks like the American people are STUCK paying for him to be signing this in time for PRESIDENT’s Day.

  16. This element went completely bat$hit insane over things like the Certificate of Live Birth, Obama’s supposed Muslim ties, and Larry Sinclair and hurt our credibility.

    Those were three taboo topics here, but we had no control over who called themselves PUMAs.

    PUMA started here and went viral within days. There were people using the name that we wanted nothing to do with, but people like Tommy Christopher tried to make them (and not us) the face of PUMA

  17. Piper: Agreed. But there was also an element who went batsh*t crazy over Palin as well. They began to sound a lot like the Obots in their unyielding “love” of a candidate and to be honest, it got a little tiresome after awhile.

    I understood that Palin was being unfairly targeted by a sexist MSM, and that she was facing the brickbats that Hillary had to endure, but if you were a casual viewer you might walk away thinking that her policies were wholly acceptable from some of the comments being written in her support.

    I am not saying they were wrong, only that I prefer to look at a candidate from a purely skeptical lens. The expectation level from both Obots and Palin supporters was extremely high. The original intent of calling ourselves Democrats in Exile and our challenge to the DNC was becoming obscured. There was an element who began to “scrub” the last 8 years of Repub governance with a neater version which may have led to the opinion that we had thrown over one party in favor of another. It really was never the case.

  18. Hear beautiful voices that will not be drowned out !!!The Women of independent music on


    click here to listen or copy paste this link into your player where it says play URL

  19. Another day in moderation hell and I am not even dressed yet!

  20. I love the new banner, RD. I didn’t even notice until Katiebird remarked on it. I tend to be oblivous to my surroundings. Duh!

  21. BB: Didja notice The Point goes to the left?

  22. Put on some clothes and maybe Spammy will quit grabbing you.

  23. What I never understood is if we were so insignificant, so out of touch, so bigoted and undereducated, that they would lob so much vitriol at us. I would think their best course of action would be to “euthanize” us altogether and be done with it.

    It was not as though we were planning a coup, only expressing what we felt at the time.

  24. Love the “hole in the sky” pic too. I was wonder what the “artist’ conception” would be? It’s perfect!

  25. myiq: &^%&^%&^%^%^&*!!!! And it is only 10am!

  26. RD,

    Yes, I noticed it was from a different point of view. To be honest, this is the first time I saw the fountain. Like I said, I’m usually oblivious.

  27. “Victory” for passing the stimulus package has now been achieved. Onward to the gutting of Social Security and other entitlement programs for the benefit of Wall Street and the Bernie Madoff’s in waiting.

    This is what passes for progressive these days.

  28. Shouldn’t an artist’s rendering of Obama’s principles be a convenience store?

  29. RD: “The new meme is that we are just like Rush Limbaugh. Let’s see how long it takes before that one takes hold.”

    I haven’t seen that meme yet, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see it show up at the “A” site or the “C” site. I don’t read the “A” site much, and most of the people at the “C” site don’t have unconscious psychological issues, so I forgive them.

  30. I’m sure the fact that TC has over 5.3 million hits has them a little annoyed 😯 more likely baffled because they’ve never taken the time to learn and understand what we’ve “got” here 😆

  31. Myiq said: Shouldn’t an artist’s rendering of Obama’s principles be a convenience store?


  32. For some inchoate reason, I’m am in such a good mood today that I plan to go to “Whole Paycheck” and splurge a tiny bit.

  33. I dont care what anyone called me .. I always have and remain PUMA PROUD …
    I have yet to read anything on these pages from front pagers or regular commenters that is in any way shape or form r@cist or hateful.
    The hatefilled and r@cist stuff was from tr0lls … and obots ; still is it would seem …

    For me this place is the sanctuary of reason and insight , and if some people are only now coming down from their kool – aid high because their wallets have been “waffled with ”
    … I am not sorry ; all I have to say to them is where were you when we needed you ??

  34. bb: I am going to Target and B and N. The weather, for once, is agreeable and the itch to get out of the house is beckoning.

  35. Making PUMA’s into racist feminazis by the Obots means they are EXACTLY like Rush Limbaugh, but the other side of the coin.

    Even Digby is mourning what they THOUGHT Obama was, versus what he is really turning out to be. She was especially distressed by Obama’s “entitlement reform” the other day.

    Had she paid more attention to RD and those who are NOT invited to Yearly Kos, she’d have seen it coming. Basically, Digby lived in her own little “Village,” too.

    Oh well.

  36. Here, here, Swan!

    Where is everyone this AM?

  37. The new meme is that we are just like Rush Limbaugh

    I have a problem with the idea that if someone on the right says something we have to disagree with it or we are “propagating right-wing tropes.”

  38. Oops! In search of Paul Krugman, I accidentally read this article at the NYT. Maybe I won’t go grocery shopping after all.


  39. Hey, guys, I’ve got my nieces visiting this weekend. They’re in the basement right now watching Harispray. So I’ve got to run and make them breakfast and entertain them.
    Might be scarce for the rest of the day.

  40. I had to endure being called a r*cist. I took it on the chin when we were compared to old bitter knitters. I even accepted it when I was considered a “traitor” from deviating from the party line.

    But the first person who accuses me of morphing into Rush Limbaugh had better get a weapon handy. That would be the lowest of the low insult wise.

  41. Pat,

    B & N? Ohhhhh….the pull of the giant bookstore. Must stay out of bookstore, must stay out of bookstore….

  42. In 2008 I figured 2009 had to be a better year.

  43. bb: OMG!!!

  44. Have a fun day, RD!

  45. BTW – I’ll be doing a “Love Stinks” thread tonight for those of us that are home alone on Valentine’s day.

    Married people can join in too.

  46. bb: OMG!!!

  47. It seems that they believe that “bipartisan” means we’ll discuss things and then do it my way they have no real understanding of the concept of negotiation and focus on those whom you represent – they are only interested in fulfilling their own needs – the voters are no longer part of the equation.

  48. Pat,

    I am a bookaholic.

  49. I’m not sure you can “begin again” until those other sites acknowledge that they overreacted and place TC back on their blog-roll. They don’t sound like they’re interested.

  50. Oh, you meant my link. Yes, OMG!!!!

  51. Maybe I won’t go grocery shopping after all.

    Just think of it as extra protein.

  52. Love is a wonderful thing. It’s just than I’m no good at relationships.

  53. bb: Me too. And I have leftover gift certificates from Christmas to get rid of. However, I have been doing more and more shopping off Amazon lately and you can really get some good buys in their second hand outlet online.

  54. bb: I will second that thought. I guess some of us are “losers” in our own way.

  55. The banner is beautiful RD , really really great ….

    I am right here…catching up on my reading and i have missed so much … waaahh

    and playing music on

    .recovering from a killer week at work , and counting the days til I can work part time 🙂

  56. Pat,

    Amazon is my undoing. I do buy the used books though, and sometimes you can even get them with free postage if Amazon is the seller. But actually going to a bookstore and browsing is so much fun and so relaxing. When I get stressed out, I go to bookstores. Some people compulsively buy clothes, I buy books.

  57. myiq2xu-Yeah, I know that The Confluence never bit on those topics. That’s why I keep coming here. It’s a shame that Anglachel and Corrente didn’t recognize that. Instead, they insist on pointing to a citation made by dakinikat as justification to keep their distance.

    My hope is that as we get further away from the wounds of the election, sites like Anglachel and Corrente will realize that we’re all on the same side.

  58. They don’t sound like they’re interested

    It’s their loss. TC went from zero to “B” list within months, while many older blogs are stuck in “C”

    And we did it our way.

  59. Once I bought some organic veggie juice and there was a dead bee in it. I think I drank it anyway.

  60. The hole in the sky is in aviation terms called a “Sucker” hole. A pilot sees the hole and climbs above the clouds thinking he/she can fly around then come back down through the hole. The only problem is thst quite often the hole closes up and the pilot is then trapped above the clouds. This can be a very dangerous situation depending on the airplane characteristics and the pilots ratings.

    That being said I think it is a very appropriate symbol of “The Plan”. We have taken a very shaky gamble that we can fly above the clouds and the hole doesn’t close on us. I hope we don’t end up “Suckers”.

    I mean “we” in the collective sense, we are all committed to this thing now because the pilot just took us all through that “Sucker hole”.

  61. I can only speak for myself, how I see it is that I held fast to a core principle.

    I urged people to make protest votes. I did not work for the GOP, I did not endorse John McCain. I tried my best to steer clear of the issues mentioned above.

    Take a look around now and see which big blogs are calling themselves PUMA. We have been PUMA from the beginning.

    Just Say No Deal was a coalition to reach an end goal, get Hillary into the nomination # 1, and then for people like me, Darragh and RD it was to protest the vote because of the wrongs that were done over the primaries and run up to the general election.

    Will Bower decided he was going to endorse John McCain and we went our separate ways at my request. I left the JSND coalition. I always felt endorsing John McCain was the easy thing and wrong thing to do. I hold no ill feelings towards Will, I think he is a very nice person. But endorsing McCain wasn’t something I was willing to do. And I have always felt that doing that is what split PUMA’s right down the middle. PUMA’s should have continued on with the PROTEST VOTE, like RD, Darragh Murphy and I did. I think most PUMA’s ended up making a protest vote and some other groups decided they were NOBAMA only and worked and supported John McCain. But still that was their choice. I just feel we could have remained more cohesive as a group had JSND not thrown their lot in with John McCain and stuck with the initial core principle which was to make a protest vote.

    Where is JSND today? PUMA is alive and well! So I think we made the correct principled decision. JSND was a one trick pony. PUMA’s are the real thing.

    It was always about a protest vote for me. Obama was the inexperienced candidate. He stole delegates to win, the party helped him do it. The sexism from him and his campaign was enough to make me never vote for him. We told people they did not know who he was, that he was no liberal. Now look how the tables have turned today.

    I refuse to run to the Republican Party for answers or talking points. I will make up my own mind, because that is what I think a PUMA is. Someone who can think for themselves!

    I fought against bush and republicans for eight long years. Now I hold the democrats feet to the fire as well and try to get everyone else to see what we saw so hopefully we can make a difference the next time.

  62. Pat and BB
    I am an amazonaholic too ..
    scary what you can do with one click … my failings are the books and especially the downloadable music … If someone suggests and new artist .. i can go to AMAZON and download their music and play it on my show while I am live streaming on air
    ( if they are indies of course ) ..amazing how those little 99 cent downloads add up while I get the rush from the technology enabling me to do that as well LOL

  63. BB- OT but

    I’m not sure if you saw my apology on the thread where ideology was discussed, but so I wanted to say again that I did not mean to be thoughtless. I have almost zero time now as my dept. may get the ax (one of several). All “managers” been given new goals to meet (after surpassing recent ones) and we’ve been working long hours to meet them. None of my staff can afford to lose their jobs. I will put something together next week and post it as a comment.


  64. Sorry, but PUMA’s perception problems are not Sarah Palin’s fault. And it’s not the fault of people who supported McCain/Palin, or simply voted for them. That’s a quite a bit revisionist since PUMA’s perceptions problems started long before Palin arrived on the national scene. Defending Palin from the onslaught of misogyny was interpreted by many who dislike PUMA as PUMA being pro-Palin. It’s a red haring they created to cover up the fact that they were either not interested in the misogynist attacks on Palin, or flat-out joined in perpetrating them. (I’m talking to you, Robin Morgan, among countless others.) I did not see a single poster here at TC that supported Palin who did not also point out the issues on which they disagreed with her. So, no, there was never any Palin love-fest here. The interpretation that there was is false.

  65. I never trusted Will Bower – he gave me a bad vibe.

    The problem was we were caught on the horns of dilemma. I couldn’t vote for Obama without compromising on my principles.

    So my choices were throw my vote away (by not voting or voting 3rd party) or voting for McCain. Any of those choices was really a protest vote because Obama had a big lead here in California.

  66. Protein content from dead buggies and stuff have been in food for along time…
    I remember VIVIDLY when i was a new child bride .. in 1966 .. I opened a frozen box of BIRDS EYE green beans to find a whole entire caterpillar ….. just as pretty and dyed green as the rest of the beans which evidently had made it thru the process intact ..

    Well i had a fit….. wrote and called the company .. ha ha
    they offered me a case of frozen vegetables to make up for the “mistake ” and I said why in the world would I want more bugs in my beans.. and I dutifully went to the library and did the research .. and the allowable protein content from bugs was pretty high even then …

    To this day i have never knowinlgy eaten Birds Eye foods …

  67. Voting for Obama would have validated his “where else are they gonna go” philosophy.

  68. It was only a protest vote for me as well. I watched people here struggle with their final decisions as November approached. We had been placed in untenable positions for the first time and the choices we were handed were mediocre on both fronts. Our own party had corrupted the process. Do we “reward” them in the end by giving in or do we find solace in the opposition by voting otherwise?

    I am not of the mindset of switching back and forth party wise. The Repubs gave us 8 years of the worst governance known so far. They have gutted the constitution, engaged us in an unnecessary war, have the blood of the innocent on their hands, have looted the treasury, condoned torture, halted scientific research, and forced their religious beliefs down our throats. And there were Dems who acted in concert, so I leave no one off the hook. The combined efforts have led us to the precipice and there is little to be grateful for on either side.

    Most of us were exhausted from always having to choose the lesser of two evils and this year this conundrum was in full force. Four mediocre candidates were offered for our consideration. Choosing one brought forth migraines. Whoever won, we were the losers.

  69. In moderation again.

  70. PUMAS
    are part of modern history now, that is no small feat !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…. thanks to the people here !! That is fantastic and we can certainly go and grow from here !! i am looking forward to it !!

    I see us as… rather than the chicken littles of history either way ..
    more like the little red hens and roosters 😉

  71. DYB: With all due respect, there were some who did take that route. With some it turned into an obsession. I understand our support of a female candidate for reasons we all can relate. But there were comments posted that portrayed her in the same unquestioning light that we saw with the Obots.

    She was to be the “savior”, the answer to all the ills that were to come. To intimate otherwise would be to overlook the fact that it did occur.

  72. I think the failure to unite last year under one organization, whether it was called PUMA or something else, was a result of relentless peer pressure and psychological warfare from the Obama campaign.

    Indeed. Because one just had to love Barry above principles and core beliefs. It was Barry Barry Barry Uber Alis!!

    How’s that working out?

  73. Before the election there were some regulars here who were very pro McCain and Palin, constantly saying that they were going to win and they’d be great for the country. I’m thinking of Carol Diamonds, Iron John and someone named Ben.
    Then, after the election, they-pouf-just disappeared.
    I’ve never seen a discussion about this and I don’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings but I do think that’s interesting.
    BTW, Happy Cupid Day

  74. My name is speaktruth and I am a bookaholic, too.

    (Hi, speaktruth.)

    Love, love, love B and N.

    But, really, I can quit any time I want.

  75. paper doll: It was hard to escape. He was everywhere!

  76. Looking,

    I’m sorry. You didn’t owe me an apology, but I saw it and I replied. Would it be OK if I e-mailed you privately? I’ve been thinking it would be a good idea to have a post about this topic and then we could all brainstorm in the comments. What do you think? That is what I wrote to you in the old thread too.

  77. speaktruth: LOL!

  78. Speaktruth, LOL!

    I admit I am powerless over my book addiction and I know I can’t quit anytime.

  79. I see Pat-as usual-has covered this ground already and more discreetly.

  80. Sweet Sue,

    We never told people who to vote for. But this site didn’t endorse a candidate. We just allowed people to freely discussing their voting decisions and philosphy. If the “A” site and the “C” site couldn’t handle that, that’s their problem.

  81. Sam Stein at HuffPo:

    Here is Plouffe on Gov. Sarah Palin: “Vice presidential picks rarely but sometimes make an electoral difference. Our view was it probably wasn’t going to matter that much. It’s the most over-covered story in politics. This was the one exception to that. It did have an effect.”

    “She was our best fundraiser and organizer in the fall.”

    So it really was all about misogyny after all

  82. When I was a childbride (well, not quite) and pregnant in
    the late sixties, I found a big beatle in my Dannon
    blueberry yogurt.
    Actually, I ate it, thinking it was a blueberry. (I was
    probably busy reading). Luckily, I spit it out, because it
    was a very hard blueberry.

    I kept it out on a paper towel because I was sure my
    husband wouldn’t believe it.

    I continued to buy Dannon for a long time (till Stonybrook
    Farm organic), but have NEVER had blueberry yougurt

  83. BB, That’s why I always thought it was really weird that trolls would claim we were stifling opinions — I disagreed with a lot of our commenters. I disagreed with friends.

    It wasn’t disagreeing with me (or any moderator) that sent people to SPAM-hell.

  84. What you say is absolutely true, BB. I was surprised when some popular regulars just disappeared.

  85. To be fair, we all reached deep within ourselves in order to justify our party defection. Trying to find reasons emanating from the other side that would allow us to vote against our own candidate for the first time. I am not absolved from this either.

    But as it took root, objectivity was lost as well. I admit to taking the cowardly way out. My state was going for Obama with or without me so my vote would leave little impact in the end. Had I been in a swing state, my decision may have been different. Who knows.

  86. SweetSue:

    We had a few conservatives who mistakenly thought we agreed with them on the issues. On of them kept calling Obama a socialist until I told him he was making Obama sound better to me.

  87. SweetSue, I think that some people never quite got the idea that EVERYONE has a right to an opinion and emotions — even Riverdaughter.

  88. I’ve never found any recognizable creature parts in my food-thank God. I did almost swallow an ant who had drowned in my hot coffee but that wasn’t Gevalia’s fault.
    This topic is creepy.

  89. So much for Dannon Yogurt …. for this PUMA …..

    😉 SpeakTruth ……..

  90. Amen, Katiebird. Some people did leave because they couldn’t stand it that RD had a different opinion than theirs. Personally, I enjoy talking to people with different opinions than mine.

  91. Love the pic, love the column.
    And, a new post/thread is up.

    Good morning all.

  92. It wasn’t disagreeing with me (or any moderator) that sent people to SPAM-hell

    There was something about Obots that just made it impossible to allow them to participate here.

    1. Rudeness
    2. Dishonesty
    3. Cut-and-paste talking points
    4. Insulting everyone

  93. Some feel that if you do not agree with them 100% they take it personally and leave. Most of the time it is their choice.

  94. bostonboomer, on February 14th, 2009 at 10:59 am Said:
    Amen, Katiebird. Some people did leave because they couldn’t stand it that RD had a different opinion than theirs. Personally, I enjoy talking to people with different opinions than mine.


    I think I live for that bb! ha! 😉

  95. It is a creepy topic and it’s all my fault. It happened because I clicked on the Krugman link in the post and ended up somewhere else.

  96. That’s only one of the reasons I love you, taggles!

  97. Well, you know, it’s the same way at Liberal Rapture. There are a few commenters there who don’t get that the blog’s title is sincere. They think it’s Jerry Sienfeld post-ironic or something.

  98. Also some people lose interest in politics after an election is over.

    But, I think it’s not politics that interests me as Issues. And the issues never go away….

  99. luv u 2 BB!

  100. Long before I was privileged to be asked to post here, I chose not to publish vicious comments, from anybody, over at Potpourri. So much of public discourse is now filled with gratuitous potshots. By building a tone of respect along with toleration of disagreement you get: The Confluence.

    Two other blogs, both of which I have some admiration for, asked me if I would be a regular for them. But they hadn’t worked on creating the communicative culture that RD and the moderators have worked so hard at here. And so, I publish only here and Potpourri. As we’ve learned, if people want to go off on any one of us, they can go find their own corner of the web and write insulting things. I for one stand by my words and by my deeds.

  101. SweetSue, on February 14th, 2009 at 11:01 am Said:

    They think it’s Jerry Sienfeld post-ironic or something.

    lol! I also think they believe they will convert others….PUMA can be madding to both ends of the political spectrum.

  102. taggles, on February 14th, 2009 at 10:30 am Said:

    I agree with everything you’ve said.

  103. That bizarre foods guy totally creeps me out Sweet Sue … bleahhh

    Even tho I do believe we need to diversify our diets …. I just cannot go there …

    and myiq2xu, on February 14th, 2009 at 10:53 am Said:
    Sam Stein at HuffPo:

    Here is Plouffe on Gov. Sarah Palin: “Vice presidential picks rarely but sometimes make an electoral difference. Our view was it probably wasn’t going to matter that much. It’s the most over-covered story in politics. This was the one exception to that. It did have an effect.”

    “She was our best fundraiser and organizer in the fall.”

    So it really was all about misogyny after all

    They used it like the weapon it is , I can never forgive that , that was as sickening to me just as sickening as anyone attemtpting to use real r@cism against bo ,, no matter how remorseful anyone is that bo isnt the person they thought he was ..
    now that his hand is in their pockets

  104. I think that rd was sensitive to the fact that most of us here had been run off other sites last year because we challenged the Obamafest and were ridiculed and demeaned as a result.

    I know I was about to give up when she issued the invitation to join her at The Confluence as a Democrat in Exile. It was like a breath of fresh air to find like minded voices who shared the same concerns.

    We have had our ups and downs along the way but mostly we have been more right than wrong in our observations. And you don’t get nominated for a blog award just for carving out a spot on the blogosphere to shoot the breeze with one another. The recognition is in the content of discourse.

  105. BB-

    Absolutely. I missed your response in the previous thread. I check TC every so often during the day, but sometimes miss posts when a new thread is up.

    I’m not sure how to give you my private email address?

  106. And that nomination was completely spontaneous — we certainly didn’t coordinate it.

  107. If we had allowed Obots free access they would have flooded the threads with pro-Obama/anti-Hillary talking points like they did at all the sites we came from.

  108. Pat> There were people here at TC who worshipped Palin? Regular posters, not one-off tr0lls? I never saw them.

    Full disclosure: I like Palin. But I recognize her flaws and wouldn’t consider my feelings about her to anywhere near worship.

  109. Exactly. And this is not about Hillary, it is about maintaining some degree of integrity in the process and speaking out when that process is corrupted. To sit and ruminate in silence is as grave a sin as accepting whatever sh*t and shinola is passed on to us without review.

    What got us into this mess is the unflagging support of members from either side who insist on putting the party above all else. What differentiates from other sites is that we feel free to criticize those considered “our own” when it warrants. Nancy, Harry, Rahm, etc. They may share the party label, but they do nothing for us and need to be held accountable. Simply shrugging them off would be an offense.

  110. I have been thinking recently that there are issues that
    could hurt the PUMA movement. I don’t have any
    solutions but want to put them out there.

    As in any movement, and any party, there is a big
    diversity of opinion, basically, in the range from left to
    I rejected Obama for many reasons (his lies, inexperience,
    plagiarism, arrogance, CHEATING), but one of my major
    ones, was his praise for Reagan, and bipartisanship rhetoric.
    I saw this as being tied to corporate, rightwing,
    Repub interests.

    So when I hear Pumas praising Repubs, either specific
    people (there are no good Repubs) (snark – I actually do
    admire some things about Palin, but just some), or right-wing
    concepts or ideas, I am disturbed. Sometimes I feel there
    is no place for me, I am truly a Dem in exile. But my home
    is definitely not in Repub territory.

    Sometimes I worry that Repubs will play on Pumas
    dissatisfaction, to try to bring us into their fold. Actually,
    how do Repubs bring any, except multi-millionaires and
    billionaires, in, except by playing on various dissatisfactions,
    and fooling people into believing Repubs are the answer.
    (See book What’s the Matter with Kansas.) As in Reagan
    using racism, convincing people they too could be rich one
    day, so they should vote for needs of the rich. (See Joe
    the Plumber).

    OTH, we need as many as we can get, and big tents are
    good. Do we need to define what Pumas are? We are
    defined so far by what we aren’t – not going along with
    Dem Party.

    I guess this diversity of opinions is unavoidable, as in all
    parties. If we are to wield power we need broad base.

    Dialogue with Corrente is great idea, myiq. Fun, too.

  111. DYB: Yes, there were. And they were not tr0lls. And I think if you review the comments from today you will see that others here agree with that assessment so I am not pointing out something that did not occur.

  112. One of our strengths was that this site was always a place where being pro-Hillary was a given.

    We didn’t constantly have to justify or explain ourselves here.

  113. So many were asked to put aside thier principles to stay on the Barry love train when they had a WTF moment like FISA. etc. Naturally those who choose not to do so came in for alot of redirected anger. We stopped looking for that pony at the sight of shit…..while many kept digging though it and are digging still.

  114. I suspect Palin was also the Republicans’ best fundraiser. There’s a reason why Chambliss asked Palin to campaign for him after the election. I suspect a lot of Republicans will ask her to stomp for them in 2010. Plouffe’s statement that she was their best fund-raiser sounds like something Limbaugh would say about Hillary. (Let’s not forget Plouffe made a statement on the day Bennazir Bhutto was assassinated that linked Hillary to the assassination.)

  115. This election year was really hard on all of us – I still feel like I’m in free-fall – but have reconciled to the fact that it will take a little more time to determine where we are going to end up.

    The fact that some Obots are just waking up to the fact that they’ve been had is hopeful – just not enough of them yet to make a difference.

    I’m kind of in a watch and wait mode – but have not stopped contacting my elected representatives and letting them know how I feel about their actions or inaction.

  116. Pat> I am reviewing the comments, thanks. I saw a couple of posts, but they made the point that these appeared to be Republicans who thought PUMA agreed with them and they haven’t been seen since the election.

  117. But my home is definitely not in Repub territory.

    Stop thinking in terms of parties and think in terms of ideology.

    I am a liberal and I support liberal candidates and policies. When none are available I will vote strategically.

  118. Wow speaktruth, said all of that and I haven’t been on this site lately but to post a few jokes.

    PUMAS like you have made it clear that my opinion is not wanted here. You have no worries from me of trying to play on anyone and turn them into a republican.

    I hang out at Little green Footballs if anyone wants to find me.
    I thought that PUMA could be a bi-partisan place where women could feel safe but it will never feel like that with opinions like Speaktruth and Cwaltz, and JMAC.

    I love everyone but I won’t take crap from other posters who are divisive.

  119. Myiq said: One of our strengths was that this site was always a place where being pro-Hillary was a given.

    Yes, and that’s why many of us have stayed.

    I found Palin refreshing in as much as she was what she was – she stuck by her ideals and if you didn’t like it that was fine with her. I didn’t agree with her ideology nor could I say I’d “support” her politically – but I liked her attitude.

  120. Good for Palin. She was nominated and made the most of it. Her name is out there and she may be their choice in the future. She is just not my candidate at this juncture. Others feel differently. She was bruised unnecessarily as a female candidate just as was Hillary which put them on equal footing in that department.

    What I saw developing was a little of the same “worship” that had been afforded Obama. That scares me.

  121. I am also a bookaholic. Our local library is very good and they have insanely good book sales – selling under-circulating books that are often better than the popular books. Anyway…. the best place I have found to buy books is:

    salebooks.com It is associated with Daedalus, a journal I used to subscribe to. I have been getting their catalogs quarterly, in the mail, for years.

  122. There is plenty of Hillary worship too, including at TC.

  123. I think the GOP will use Palin as a rainmaker and then throw her over for Jeb or Mitt. Things are along class lines now more than ever…it’s like our political system isn’t based on left or right anymore, but top and bottom

  124. DYB: Yep.

  125. It must be Spring! The new masthead! Something good must have happened because the darkness is gone.

    Well, I’m with RD right here:

    “Ahhh, yes, core Democratic principles. There’s the rub. ”

    Look how the stimulus looks out here!

    “Reporting from Sacramento — The average Californian’s taxes would shoot up five different ways in the state budget blueprint that lawmakers hope to vote on this weekend. But the bipartisan plan for wiping out the state’s giant deficit isn’t so bad for large corporations, many of which would receive a permanent windfall.

    About $1 billion in corporate tax breaks — directed mostly at multi-state and multinational companies — is tucked into the proposal.”

    Yeah, Libertarians… it seems like core principles of both parties have gone that way, no?

    I won’t even get started on my state…

    Or the schools…

    I have no loyalty to any political party anymore — only to the “people” themselves — their actions, deeds, records.

    ps: I thought the pic from “Full metal Jacket” below was just perfect miq2xu — considering the news this morning.

    Well, anyway — Happy V Day to all around here. Have some candy at least — it’s going to be a long four years — but, we have each other covered under that banner!

    Just like all of last year.

    The PUMAtribe is all that is left of the old Democratic Party — the part that meant it! We spot fakes, Libertarians, faux totalitarians and other assorted clowns trying to think they are political — right away.

    It is just sooooo all about the DEEDS —

  126. Pat, I will agree to a certain extent with you. there was a force out there, which I touched upon earlier, that gave me hell for not endorsing McCain/Palin. Blaming me and others like me for McCains loss.

    I was a staunch defender of Sarah Palin against the misogynistic DNC, Obama Campaign and Media.

    I made a protest vote.

  127. Oh, Afrocity – I was wondering why we didn’t see you so much – I missed you – I find you to be a valuable thought provoker here and thoroughly enjoy your comments. I ask BB pointed out earlier look for diversity of thought – that’s the only way we can learn, how boring it would be if we all thought alike.


    From NBC’s Chuck Todd
    Obviously, I’m one of the newbies here in the White House press corps, so maybe I’m unfamiliar with the ways of how this place works. I have to say, nothing is more frustrating than covering an actual event here at the White House if you at all believe in anything remotely having to do with the First Amendment.

    For instance, today, the president gave a speech in the East Room to the business council, an audience of dozens of CEOs and major business leaders in America. As per usual, we’re allowed to watch the event behind a ropeline. Ok, standard procedure for any event for any candidate, let alone a president. But unlike public events, here at the White House, when the event ends, we get no access to the audience unless the audience happens to amble up to the ropeline and chat with the press.

    Today, it was so bad that we were kept behind closed doors so that these CEOs and other business leaders could leave without accidentally mingling with us poor press peons. Once the CEOs were clear and escorted downstairs, then we were let out of our East Room pen. And it’s not like we could rush over to the east side of the White House and find anyone left to interview about their role on this business council. By the time, a member of the press leaves out the one exit they can come in and out of, those guys and gals would be history. I’m sure most of them had cars at the ready to quickly get them to their next meeting.

    After being called a whiner, this was his response

    *** UPDATE, RESPONSE TO COMMENTORS: “This isn’t about us not having access, this is about ANYONE having access… if it’s NOT us, it’s the public!…Beat us up all you want, but this isn’t about us whining, it’s about us not even being able to do the job you want us to do and that is be the people’s questioner here. But, of course, having a respectable debate on this issue with some is impossible. The irony, of course, is that many of you would be just as upset about the lack of access as I am if the occupant of the White House were someone else.


  129. I’m an amazonholic also. Yesterday I ordered from amazon.uk the blu-ray of “Pride and Prejudice” (the one with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth) because I can’t wait for the US release in April.

    And today you can download Dean Martin’s “Love Songs” CD for 1.99


  130. Fran, on February 14th, 2009 at 11:31

    OMG Fran! don’t get in the way of a bookaholic and a “berry” sale The usually mild mannered book lover becomes a beast!! One can get hurt out there! lol!

  131. Afrocity, I’m sorry if it makes you unhappy but, this site is almost totally based on Liberal Values. We’re happy to make friends wherever we can but, we’re not going to stifle our commitment to them.

  132. Katiebird said: “…some people lose interest in politics after an election is over.”

    This is exactly the thought I had yesterday while reading Glenn Greenwald’s piece, and in fact, is one of the primary reasons there has been so little push back from the left. Obama’s “left,” his core constituency, consisted of fair weather voters engaged in the political process for the first time who were interested only in the symbolic nature of Obama’s election. In other words, once he was elected, their job was done. They had no interest in keeping tabs on how he actually governed–hence no push back.

    Of course, this explains only why there’s been so little protest from the “faux left.” What’s happened to the “real left” is another matter. If David Sirota is what passes for the current-day face of progressivism, the movement is in serious trouble.

  133. As I see it this past election was a choice between two center-right politicians, one with experience and character and the other with neither.

    The next election will be between Obama and a conservative Republican. No matter who wins 2016 will probably be a GOP win.

    That means we won’t get a shot at a liberal President until 2020. If McCain had won we would have a chance in 2012.

  134. vbonnaire, on February 14th, 2009 at 11:32 am Said:
    “The PUMAtribe is all that is left of the old Democratic Party — the part that meant it! We spot fakes, Libertarians, faux totalitarians and other assorted clowns trying to think they are political — right away.”

    Thanks for this, vbonnaire. It is spot on, and something I need to be reminded of. This is a painful time to be part the PUMAtribe in that we should have finally felt like we were in the majority. Intellectually, I know better: true liberals are almost never in the in the majority – fighting for the dignity and welfare of every individual in the face of entrenched group interests is always going to feel lonely. But the lonelieness is drag.

  135. Obama’s “left,” his core constituency, consisted of fair weather voters

    A lot of his online support was astroturf. That seems to have disappeared.

  136. I am in moderation

  137. I think that there was an element of PUMA that prevented bloggers like Anglachel and Corrente from joining us. This element went completely bat$hit insane over things like the Certificate of Live Birth, Obama’s supposed Muslim ties, and Larry Sinclair and hurt our credibility.

    I refuse to feel bad about any of that, Obama does have muslim ties, so what? Why not show the certificate?
    Much worse was lobbed at Hillary and the sexism was an outrage against all women.
    And yeah, I knew EXACTLY who Palin was and I voted for her because I was sick to death of the misogyny on the left even among my friends and relatives. And frankly I do not see a lot of difference between her and Obama on social issues.
    Could she have found MORE offensive inaurguration speakers than Obama? I doubt it. His church for 20 years was just as mega church loony hate as her might be. His votes on choice are not exactly stellar… and she had more executive experience.
    So no, I think we need a major sea change on how we judge what is important to women and their equality. Political power/clout is more important than getting hysterical about abortion as if that were our only concern.

  138. vbonnaire,….what slays me is, business is given everything because they will fold or slash jobs otherwise….they MUST have the perks!!!! or the little guy will be hurt!!!! and of course after they get the perks, the jobs are slashed anyway.

  139. paper doll> I agree with your comment at 11:32. The establishment of the Republican party will use her as long as they can because she seems to have enormous grassroots support. She drew huge crowds at her rallies, including after the election. But the establishment looks down on her (as was shown when they started spreading stories about her like “she didn’t know Africa was a continent.”) In that regard I think she’s operating a bit like Hillary. There’s grassroots support and Palin will try to get as many establishment members as she can on her side by campaigning for them (a la Chambliss) in 2010. Will they stick by her or will they all throw her overboard the way so many in the Democratic party threw Hillary overboard when they thought she was no longer of any use to them? Time will tell and Palin is proceeding at her own risk.

  140. “afrocity”
    I read many of your comments & find them very insightful.
    As a “middle person”, I’m not sure of what is happening here today?
    I changed to a registered independent after the 2004 election. I realized then that during the general election it was the middle people that decided the outcome. Since, except for President I had voted recently for either party I changed. Unfortunately, being in NY I could not participate in the primaries & so my political activism became, on behalf of my then Senator…you know who.
    I felt that the PUMA movement’s place during this election cycle & hopefully going forward was/is that of being “the middle people”. Ones that would keep a “mirror” up in the faces of them both. The neutralizers that can help America hold on to what is right & just.

  141. myiq2xu, on February 14th, 2009 at 10:40 am Said:

    Voting for Obama would have validated his “where else are they gonna go” philosophy.


  142. taggles: I don’t see us being on separate pages. I wholeheartedly agree with where you are coming from. Ours was a protest vote and not an endorsement. My point is in that those who may have popped in or lurked on this site may have gotten the overall impression that we were in solid support of McCain rather than our need to send a message to our own party.

    McCain did not lose because of the lack of endorsement from PUMA sites. He lost because his own party basically withheld their support.

  143. ps… I have no problem being identified with people who have no education and little money, the blue collar workers we were called to embarrass us. It is disgusting that this is supposed to be an insult. After all these are core democratic party voters and core American work force too.

  144. tpt/ny, i think you are correct, that is how i see it. As I said on Wednesdays our own personal ideology is what might get in the way.

    We all do have much common ground to stand on, but democrats who became puma’s do not like either party. Republicans who became PUMA’s still like their party and think it is the answer.

  145. Yes, Theresa – I was a very strong Hill supporter but what drove me up the wall and still does is the double standard – everyone had to divulge all kinds of information except O. 😈

  146. teresainpa> Palin, a conservative Christian, has already done more for gay people than Obama, a….I’m not sure what he is. Also, Palin’s church was recently burned down. Obama’s is still standing.

  147. teresainpa, on February 14th, 2009 at 11:39 am Said:
    …..And frankly I do not see a lot of difference between her and Obama on social issues

    This is an excellent point

  148. DYB… yup, imagine, we may not like what she says, but there she was in Alaska protecting the rights of gay people.

  149. Pat Johnson, on February 14th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    here, here

  150. but democrats who became puma’s do not like either party.

    Exactly why some of us in MA can feel free to criticize the likes of Kerry and Kennedy without feeling as if we have committed a mortal sin as a result. Just because someone has a D after their name does not give them license to go unchallenged. If that were so, Blago would still be a sitting governor instead of a talk show guest.

  151. Pat, I feel your pain, here I am in PA and the party shoved Bob Casey down my throat.

  152. next time i read old threads, remind me to drink lots of coffee first, oy oy oy oy oy

  153. teresainpa, on February 14th, 2009 at 11:42 am Said:
    ps… the blue collar workers we were called to embarrass us. It is disgusting that this is supposed to be an insult

    that always pissed me off as well . Also why is it called ” class warfare ” when the bottom complains, but a ” necessary bailout ” when the top steals?

  154. How could ANYONE approve of this bumbling, compromising, dishonest (transparency?!) performance thus far? WAKE UP PEOPLE!

    Public still sky-high on Obama ‘brand’

    With Barack Obama’s victory in passing a massive stimulus package marred by days of bad press—as not a single House Republican backed the bill, his Health Czar went down in flames and his second pick for Commerce Secretary walked away—the administration has been cut down to size, and lost some of its bipartisan sheen.

    Such, at least, has been the beltway chatter, but so far the numbers don’t back it up.

    Obama’s approval rating remains well above 60% in tracking polls. A range of state pollsters said they’d seen no diminution in the president’s sky-high approval ratings, and no improvement in congressional Republicans’ dismal numbers.

    “It’s eerie—I read the news from the Beltway, and there’s this disconnect with the polls from the Midwest that I see all around me,” said Ann Seltzer, the authoritative Iowa pollster who works throughout the Midwest.

    That’s a perception treasured by Obama’s aides, who spent a two-year presidential campaign safeguarding “the brand,” as they called it, of a new, post-partisan sort of political figure.

    “If you look at any number of public polls, and private polls support this, it’s not just Democrats and Independents who support the way he’s gone about advancing the stimulus plan—it’s a certain amount of Republicans too.”


  155. You do see the conundrum though right, Pat?

    Puma Dems do not like either party and will criticize both equally.

    Puma Reps like the republican party and think it is the answer.

    So when they hear criticism of it, they take it personally.

    That is the root of the problem.

    I just do not think Puma Reps have gotten to the point that we have in understanding the absolute corruption and collusion the parties use to lull us into another major clusterf*ck.

  156. Afrocity

    Plz don’t get offended by anything other commenters say. You have a place here just like everyone else. And we all enjoy your points of view.

  157. We should expect all candidates, from dog catcher on up, to leave their religious beliefs at the door. But come 2012 watch for another enlightening hour of Rick Warren quizzing those presidential candidates of their dogma and beliefs while we sit here once again in amazement that anyone with an ounce of common sense would agree to it in the first place. Stupid.

  158. heidili said,
    ……fighting for the dignity and welfare of every
    individual in the face of entrenched group interests is
    always going to feel lonely.

    Too true.

    But think about it. This is crazy – in a democracy. Who
    wouldn’t want that? So what’s the problem?

    I think we have to look at that – and change it. We aren’t
    communicating that thought well enough. Of course, the
    real problem is the other side distorting the truth and
    everything we say. They have to, to get even one vote.
    And then there’s the media supporting their lies.

    But still, we need to be much much better at getting the
    word out. We need PR – PR and publicity. Marketing.
    Money helps, but it’s not the only way. Preaching to the
    choir has its place, helps to clarify and make connections,
    but it’s only a start. Now we have a core group who share
    these values. Next step is to reach others, educate.
    Not propogandize, but spread the truth. Debates with
    opposing views are fine, too, just as long as we are out there.

  159. taggles: I am with you 100%. Of course I see the difference. The mantra has always been “never criticize another Repub” as the Dems always managed to appear like opening night at the World Wide Wrestling Match.

  160. You do see the conundrum though right, Pat?

    Puma Dems do not like either party and will criticize both equally.

    Puma Reps like the republican party and think it is the answer.

    I see it.

    I am rigorous about deleting personal attacks (I think) but, I can’t imagine trying to police every reference to the Parties. I’m sorry if that makes The Confluence unpleasant.

  161. the commenter:

    TC become an echo chamber of ideological rigidity that is closed to authentic dialogue.

    What are you talking about? “ideological rigidity” ??

    Please give some examples.

  162. Great post, Riverdaughter.

    PUMAs did not demand conformity. The PUMA sites, especially this one, were filled with thoughtful, reasonable posts and comments from a wide variety of intelligent commentators. A wide spectrum of views and ideas were encouraged, as long as the comments were not racist or nasty. There is a civility that was missing on other sites (where if you were not “with the program 100%” you became the enemy).

    It has been much appreciated, so happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

    I agree that we should try to set aside differences, if possible, with other liberals (or even bloggers who think they are liberal but behaved badly in the last year) and try to encourage liberal behavior from this administration. It will be difficult, but the stakes are too important. The last time we had a depression, the country was largely rural and people knew how to grow their own food. It would be even worse in today’s world.

    The administration has really confused the heck out of me. One needs 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a veto, so 60 votes were important for Democrats — when we had President GW Bush in office. He is not there any more. Yes, the Republicans in the Senate could filibuster — let them! And start a campaign to get their out of work constituents to start calling their offices to tell them to knock it off. What we have now is a bill that may have insufficient money, especially for health care and education, to get us up the icy hill of recession (to use Professor Krugman’s analogy). If President Obama has to worry about funding from liberal supporters or even about them staying home in the next election, maybe we can nudge him to the left.


  163. I have said that their is no “aisle” any longer separating the two parties. Their common ideology is based on power and money. They may oppose one another in public but in private they all accept the big money donors with equal interest in gaming the system.

    Each is beholden to whomever writes the check with the end result of securing that seat in congress which has become less and less about serving us than about enriching them. How else to account for Daschle and the like earning millions from corporations after leaving office? This standard applies to each party and person who benefits so richly upon leaving office. No wonder he never questioned the limo and driver service being offered. It is part of the norm down there.

  164. my reference to that is not a critique on moderation of this board katiebird. I do not understand what you mean.

    It was an observation of the overall PUMA movement.

    The other thing is that PUMA repubs don’t understand how we may not be open to conservative talking points or issues. But they can totally understand when we criticize dems or disagree with dems.

    But they are still PUMA’s.

    It is an issue and I can see the fault lines overall. that is all I was trying to say.

  165. Puma Dems do not like either party and will criticize both equally.

    Puma Reps like the republican party and think it is the answer.

    That’s very well put. A good friend of mine, a conservative Republican (McCain was too liberal for her), she and I always make fun of Obama. And she always tells me the latest Rush said about him and that I really should give Rush a try, I’d really like him. And I have to keep reminding her that the only thing Rush and I (and she, for that matter) have in common is that we don’t like Obama. But even our reasons for disliking him are worlds apart. I’m under no illusion that my friend (and Rush) are some sort of ideological compadres. But she keeps forgetting it, bless her.

  166. Heidi, WOW — that’s perfect!

    “I don’t want to lose members of our community who feel uncomfortable, but I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable because they are outliers on some matters.

    I’m an outlier in this community on some matters. But I’d rather be an outlier here than an a total centerpiece somewhere else.”

  167. there is absolutely no way I could ever be a republican with their freakish attachment to fundamental christianity there … if folks want to be fundamental christians, then they need to go to church, not overrun a poltiical party

  168. speaktruth, on February 14th, 2009 at 11:58 am Said:

    Re need for some p.r. – although this only relates to some of the issues we talk about at here (e.g., gender equity), 51 Percent will be doing a p.r. campaign for women’s history month. We are really getting schlocky – send us a donation of at least 10.51 between now and the end of March, and you will get a 51 Percent lapel pin, which I really hope you will wear so as to be a bit of walking advertisement for us. (A donor researched pins and made a contribution for the purpose of supplying them.)

  169. if Obama does the same thing (which it looks like he is) with church people sticking their noses in the air over everything they don’t like then, I will the say damn thing, go hang out in church instead of political parties

  170. “taggles”
    Thanks for the acknowledgment.
    You’re comment @ 11:54am states my “personal” dream for the future of “our” movement. That is, that we all choose our “own” party to join; but KEEP the PUMA name.
    Then stay connected through sites such as this one. Through example “we” can prove Hillary’s motto:
    We can disagree / without being disagreeable.

  171. I think that there was an element of PUMA that prevented bloggers like Anglachel and Corrente from joining us. This element went completely bat$hit insane over things like the Certificate of Live Birth, Obama’s supposed Muslim ties, and Larry Sinclair and hurt our credibility.

    Isn’t that the same kind of broad generalization that Corrente and that set made about us? The reason they diasassociated themselves with most of us is because they are snobs, plain and simple.

    Now Charles Lemos…that’s batshit crazy for ya…

    {{{waves to katiebird}}}

  172. We have all gotten our hands slapped at one time or another. No one finds fault with me if I criticize a Dem but should I pull back on Palin I am taken to task for being anti feminist which is not the case at all. I just happen to disagree with her politics.

    When I find fault with Nancy or Claire, it usually goes unchallenged. But let me not embrace Palin and I become relegated to an anti feminist stance which just does not happen to be true. Sometimes there are days when you just can’t win.

  173. Puma Dems do not like either party and will criticize both equally.

    Either party as they exist right now. This Dem Party is not the Dem Party I thought it was…

    I do object to any kind of “thought orthodoxy” though. Sometimes, if I find a relevant link from a conservative source, I’ll post it here, and there is resistance. I am not a Republican, or endorse someone like Limbaugh, but this is a place of ideas, and if an article, quote, or argument is made that can add to the conversation, why are people so threatened by a different opinion? The most crucial thing I learned this year is that Dem = good, Republican = bad is simplistic, absolutist thinking. There is no monopoly on good ideas. If you disagree with a point, make your case–but do we need to reject entire categories of people because they are “one of them?” There are lots of insults about “right wing nuts,” but that just makes us “left wing nuts” doesn’t it? I prefer to use critical thinking to analyze and support or reject all options. Usually, that means I am center-left, but I will no longer dismiss entire groups of people for an “us” or “them” war.

    Having said that, I love Afrocity’s contribution to this blog, and I’d hate to think she feels she has been “chased away.” This is RD’s blog, and she is not bullying anyone to leave if she disagrees. She will debate them, not try to limit dialogue if it is respectful–and especially if it is snarky and witty 🙂

  174. katiebird, on February 14th, 2009 at 12:06 pm Said:
    Thank you.

    The parties are a fact of life. Can’t have a political blog without mention of them. Nobody here is in the slavish grips of either party. We know what guts it took just to be conscientious objector and not vote the top of the ticket this past fall. That decision, which is the choice I made, will be one I am the most proud of in my own small political life. But I respect all the choices people if they made them after reviewing THE FACTS and after they took off blinders they might not ever have known they were even wearing.

  175. ((((((((((((((((((gary))))))))))))))))))))))))) hello!!!!!!

  176. Hi Gary! Charles Lemos, OMG! It makes me laugh just to remember that name.

  177. Pat Johnson, on February 14th, 2009 at 12:12 pm
    good point

  178. Pat> Who took you to task and accused you of being anti-feminist for not supporting Palin?

  179. Pat, I understand. My advice to you and others is to just not take it personal and keep moving along.

    I think that is what most do.

    It makes for interesting debate anyhow.

    I do see and understand what you are saying and have run into it myself.

  180. Hillary’s motto:
    We can disagree / without being disagreeable.

    exactly–very succinct.

  181. garychapelhill, on February 14th, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    True! ” snob” is an S word that needs more usage…it’s a fit

  182. fif: You have a point but most political pundits and blogs are agenda driven. We saw so much of that from our own side this time out that it made us aware of easily we ourselves had been manipulated into thinking as they would have us do.

    Take into account that few GOP blogs ever saw fit to criticize Bush during these last 8 years even when fully and completely warranted. The left wing blogs railed against it.

    But when the left wing blogs, almost in concert, began beating the drum for Obama, it became apparent that each side was no better than the other.

    This is what makes most of us wary when those talking points enter the room. Hard to accept either point of view.

  183. {{smooching gary}}

    taggles, I didn’t take your comment as a complaint at all. I was using it as a response to afrocity. I’m sorry it wasn’t clear.

  184. TC become an echo chamber of ideological rigidity that is closed to authentic dialogue.

    I don’t know who wrote that, but they must not hang out here much if they feel that way…we have plenty of fierce dialogue here, debating all kinds of issues.

    Have to run out for the day, but just want to wish my friends here a


  185. hey Dakinikat! 🙂

  186. DYB: It does not serve any purpose to name those who disagreed with my stance. They have an equal right to their opinion . All that I am saying is that I have been criticized as well. It is up to me to either accept it or as taggles says, “move on”.

    Questioning my fem credentials does not make me less of a feminist so why let it bother me? We are 4 years away from the next r*ce and there seems to be little reason to be arguing points about who is the best candidate from here. And browbeating one another is not a guarantee of submission.

  187. We moderate personal attacks – ideas have to fend for themselves.

  188. hey, afrocity, many more of us appreciate you than you realize!

    don’t worry about what any one else says …

  189. Hey Gary!

    Long time- no see

  190. hey gary! where the hell you been???? I miss ya!

    —no worries kb! 😉

  191. fif: You have a point but most political pundits and blogs are agenda driven. We saw so much of that from our own side this time out that it made us aware of easily we ourselves had been manipulated into thinking as they would have us do.

    I hear ya Pat. I guess I just see that Conflucians are so immune to manipulation of that kind that I feel it’s safe to post an “outlier” comment now and then, because people here will see what is true and what is b.s. and be able to discuss how it is/isn’t relevant. There’s no lack of analytical thought here, so we can tolerate more dissonance. I’m not talking about pushing propaganda of course, just introducing anecdotes, posts, or counterpoint to a dialogue.

    Now, I must run–this blog makes me late for everything! xxox

  192. i’m still learning to bear the burden of being the one that got the confluence labeled r@cist … and it seems RD and a few folks still like me here too … afrocity, just appreciate the folks that appreciate you here, and there are many of us!

  193. Did I miss a personal attack against Afrocity? I thought I was keeping a close eye on things….

  194. katiebird: Read upthread.

  195. It was not an attack on Afrocity personally; it was an anti-conservative and anti-Republican statement.

  196. Pat J – as usual you are talking good sense.

  197. i’m still learning to bear the burden of being the one that got the confluence labeled r@cist

    Mandos is at it again today. I’m still trying to figure out how suggesting that giving loans to people who couldn’t afford to pay them back is a bad idea translates into Willie Horton

  198. katiebird: I’ve seen folks ask afrocity not to link to places like American Thinker, etc and be upset by the link. I’m not sure if I’d call that a personal attack or what …

  199. i don’t think folks minds are going to melt by being exposed to a few places where folks think differently … but then I have an active BS filter and can see the parts that might be useful and separate that from the agenda pushing nonsense

  200. taggles, this election left me literally ill. I had to take some time to fix that.

  201. i was always taught to ‘consider the source’ frankly

  202. dakinikat,

    I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but we were a racist site long before your post.

  203. katiebird: wow, I guess I’ll have to turn back my toaster for the recruitment prize 😉

  204. I’ve seen folks ask afrocity not to link to places like American Thinker, etc and be upset by the link.

    Somebody had a meltdown recently over favorable comments about Rush or links they didn’t like.

    That person got themself 86’d.

    OTOH I personally have objected to links to Lyndon Larouche.

  205. are u back now? we need u!

  206. (or was that the one I got for making everyone a sino-peruvian lesbian?)

  207. I hold on to my Democratic principles even if the Party does not. It is the only way I can explain it. I honestly feel like a Democrat in Exile and the only way to survive is to be an Independent in thought. Does that make any sense? And believe me, I won’t feel bad if it does not.

  208. PJ, I feel the same way. Have you listened to my show lately?

    If not you would know this.

  209. pat: that’s my line exactly, so it makes sense to me

  210. We’d better upgrade the prizes if all you got was a toaster for coming up with “sino-peruvian lesbian”

    I don’t even remember where/when we got that.

  211. Afrocity,

    I didn’t make it personal. Not at all.

    For me, it’s the ideas and definition of Pumas and TC.

    When I realized how my party had changed and no longer
    represented me, I felt in exile (lost, lonely). Suddenly blogs
    that used to give me support were like pod people. Then I
    found No Quarter, which was great, except that some there
    called Obama a Socialist, and tended to conservative,
    with many Repubs. As someone (myiq?) said, they started to
    make Obama look good.

    Then I found TC, and I loved RD, all front pagers, commenters,
    its combination of snark and intellect. I lurked for a long
    time, trying to discover more about it. Now it’s the place
    I go after or before a hard day.
    I’m not much up for fighting lately, because it often
    gets personal and ugly, and I hate that.

  212. ha! KB, we were racists beginning mid january, where was mandos then?

  213. My thinking is that if you need a decoder ring to figure out if something is racist or not it probably isn’t.

  214. myiq2xu: he can’t possibly live in a city like I do where these folks are now camping out in diseased riddened abandoned houses covered with katrina debris and rats because they not only got thrown out of their houses, there’s a list a mile long for access to public housing and the rents are sky high. Plus, a lot of those loans when to yuppie speculators for condos in los vegas with whom I have NO sympathy at all

  215. taggles: I have been there. Just glance over to the side during the show and you will see me commenting right along with the others. I’m with you.

  216. wasn’t RD herself who first earned that badge? I liked this response to it myself:

    I see a lot of the same kind of stuff going on with the election this year. You’ve got a lot of pretentious liberals who have interrupted the most important election of my lifetime and have decided to turn it into a teachable moment about race. This is a baaaaad idea. Because they have insulted the character of so many voters who do not see the election in racial terms. They think this election is about the future of our country and they are not pleased to be sidetracked by racism nor are they happy about being called racists by people who think they know better.

    Backlash is coming, complete with Klieg lights and cameras.

    Not yet, but its coming….

  217. dakinkat:

    What annoyed me is that they (Mandos, Anglachel and Lambert) didn’t even explain why they thought it was racist, they just slapped the label on all of us and ran off.

  218. Gary, I think it’s (the backlash) coming a lot faster than any of us even thought possible.

  219. Your writing never ceases to amaze me, Riverdaughter. You have just proven that you are above any of the bloggers who believe that this site is beneath them. While they attack you, you instead show them understanding and compassion. It’s something Hillary would have done. Kudos.

    Hi GaryChapelHill! You should stop by more often. We love your new site but we miss you here too.

  220. katiebird: i think that was RD that started that … before my time here … i came over about the time folks on FDL started trashing me every time I posted something, went to Troll Mart until the warnings switched from Obots to Hillary supporters around may or so

  221. And MyIQ, you’d think they would have been just a little sensitive about the accusation considering how often they must have been accused of it themselves. Oh, wait. They are STILL being accused of racism, aren’t they…

  222. oops, katie: i’m in moderation for something oohhh, the tr0ll word

  223. PUMAs are still finding their way. Kicking through the debris is not an easy task. Hell, we can’t even come up with the proper definition for “feminist”.

    To me the bottom line is: I want my original party back. A party who actually cares. A party who would forfeit the millions to host a celebration in DC costing millions and perhaps funding some decent housing in New Orleans for those at the bottom who truly know the meaning of suffering.

    A party who is unconcerned with religion but nonetheless practices compassion to all. Who supports science and the possibility of lessening pain. Who believes everyone should be covered by healthcare. Who believes in fair trade but stands by the word “fair”. Who is not awash in Wall Street money and is not concerned about reelection as much as they are to the common good. Who honestly and truly believes in human rights. Who wishes to do away with “don’t ask, don’t tell” as it is discrimination.

    Who does not believe in torture and prefers to spend money less on creating and selling deadly instruments of war but would rather put that money to better use in education and health.

    But that is just me. I can only speak for myself.

  224. PUMA = brains and backbone.

    We were smart enough to look beyond the facade .
    and strong enough to stand up to name callers and fools.
    I am very proud to be a PUMA and feel privileged to be among people who put principles and country before party .



  225. you’d think they would have been just a little sensitive about the accusation

    It’s still not as bad as people who recently converted (like kos and John Cole) deciding who is and who isn’t a Democrat

  226. well i think it’s easy to throw that word around when you live in a safe little gated enclave and you have no idea what the reality is …when you are perpetually confronted with a gumbo of different types of people trying to get along in a very difficult situation, you learn really fast what is real and what is not … your credibility is based on the way you behave towards your neighbors, not theoretical discussions on a blog like mandos’ that no one even reads unless he can create a controversy somehow

  227. I personally don’t object to links to conservative articles. It’s important to know everyone is saying. I keep surprising myself in conversations with friends and acquaintances about politics where I’m able to state more facts than they are. One woman categorically refused to believe me when I said that Michelle Obama and Bernadine Dohrn worked in the same law-firm once upon a time. She said I was just making that shit up! She’s a smart, educated woman, single mother of two, volunteered for Obama’s campaign. Another friend was surprised when I said that Obama went to a fancy prep-school. Everyone keeps telling me that Palin tried to fire some librarian, and none of them know anything about her vetoing a Republican bill that was going to take health insurance away from partners of gay workers in Alaska. They get their news from all the usual suspects. Somebody here once wrote that the general public wasn’t getting any facts during the election; instead they were watching the news. That nails it.

  228. Hell, we can’t even come up with the proper definition for “feminist”

    Instead of worrying about labels we should focus on goals and strategies to achieve them.

  229. Isn’t being anti-Puma the fabric which binds the sites that find true satire and irony too much of a sysyphean hill? It is much easier and a much higher traffic generator to pick an enemy and us “sino-peruvian lesbians” were the enemies du jour. Those who picked on the smart ones in class were always the ones who made the guidance counselors jobs easiest — they were the ones who could fold their own paper hats.

  230. “it’s easy to throw that word around when you live in a safe little gated enclave”

    But, I don’t think Lambert lives in that sort of place at all.

  231. my little house looked like the united nations after katrina, so many folks houses were in ruins and there was no place to stay and I opened mine up to every one that i could possibly take in, i had folks from india, nepal, china, and around the city staying here… i took students in, etc … he can stomp his little foot all he wants

  232. katie: i was referring to mandos

  233. Mandos. I don’t acknowledge his existence.

  234. dakinikat: You have nothing to prove. It is they who must still convince us why they chose Obama over competency. No one yet has offered a solid reason for supporting a man who had little, if any, managerial or executive background, who came loaded with baggage from the Chicago cesspool, whose resume was paper thin, and who never displayed any groundwork of principle outside of a speech from 4 years earlier.

    Perhaps if I had some concrete proof that he was worthy of all that adulation I may have come to a different conclusion. So far, nothing has changed my mind.

  235. I was watching NPTV Washington Week in Review last night and the discussion over there was basically about how amateurish the last three weeks had been … i can’t believe ANYONE expected any thing different.

    they were even saying they hadn’t seen anyone’s appointments crash and burn so fast and so frequently AND that to have a major policy announcement send the dow down 500 points was beyond belief …

    believe it or not, Buchannan was the ONE defending Obama’s performance, every one else was aghast, the press is like the key stone cops these days … they can’t decide which way to go

  236. PJ said: But that is just me. I can only speak for myself.

    Nooo – I don’t think it’s just you – that’s exactly why I’m here and I think it’s why many others remain here.

  237. Rock on Helen!

  238. myiq2xu: I have to run all my academic references through the politically correct checker, I guess.

  239. Yes, Kat I was listening to a conversation othe radio yesterday and they said that Obama’s first month made Clinton’s beginning look as smooth as glass and I think we all remember what a rough start that was.

  240. wasn’t dubya getting all kinds of accolades for supposedly making this an easy transition too? that sort’ve indicates the obama group has no one to blame but themselves for this mess … probably didnt’ help they took the entire thing to chicago before moving it back to DC … that seemed like a stupid move to me

  241. Am I missing something?

    I was the one named by afrocity as attacking her. Am I being
    attacked for attacking Repub or conservative ideas or
    comments? That’s what I thought I was doing. Is that not
    okay? Is that what people are saying when they say to refer

    I mentioned no name, don’t like personal attacks. But I’m
    wondering if posting opinions that offend some people are
    not okay here? I guess I have a problem with that.
    I know afrocity mentioned my name, and two others
    who have disagreed with her. I mentioned no name.
    I would honestly like feedback – because I’m
    feeling very uncomfortable about some of the comments.

  242. speaktruth,

    I mentioned no name, don’t like personal attacks. But I’m
    wondering if posting opinions that offend some people are
    not okay here? I guess I have a problem with that.
    I know afrocity mentioned my name, and two others
    who have disagreed with her. I mentioned no name.
    I would honestly like feedback – because I’m
    feeling very uncomfortable about some of the comments.

    Official Feedback:

    You did nothing wrong. Absolutely nothing wrong.

    At least 2 moderators have been following this thread closely and neither of us had any problem with your comments.

    I think we both tried to make that clear as a response to Afrocity. I’m VERY sorry she feels she has to leave. But, I don’t know what we can do to change that.

  243. See What’s In the Stimulus Bill That Will Be Signed Into Law; Listen to W.A.M. Radio This Weekend to Find Out MORE…(UPDATED 1X: Corrected link to Show)


    And more info on the upcoming bills that will be shoved down our throats …they will BLOW YOUR MIND!!

  244. I let Afrocity’s comments stand (even though she did -by naming names – make personal attacks) because they were a part of her farewell comments.

  245. “DYB”
    I believe your comment proved the point I was trying to make earlier. That is “too me” PUMA stands for people who are able to see the world around them “clearly” & not clouded by ideology. This election cycle “FREED ME” from supporting just on view, because it has become comfortable. When the “liberals” in my life call me a “republican”, because I’m going against the current leadership. I tell the “I’M A NOTHING”! I believe the are “both” capable of good ideas & of being corrupt.
    Then they will call me a “ra@ist” just to shut down any open debate.

  246. I have to run all my academic references through the politically correct checker, I guess.

    I’m kinda curious what credentials you-know-who has to act as if he is an authority on anything.

  247. speaktruth: You did nothing wrong. Hell, we all expressed opposing opinions. It is again important to point out that the blog is considered as Democrats in Exile. It can be very difficult attempting to mix ideologies in the hopes of arriving at a consensus.

  248. No earmarks. That’s what they said.

    $30 mil to protect the salt marsh harvest mouse in SF. Duh. Nancy. Pelosi.

  249. Ooopps sorry
    one view
    they are

  250. I probably should have left earlier to go shopping. I am sure my point of view rubbed the wrong way as well.

  251. {{Pat}} NEVER

  252. Thank you, katiebird and pat.

  253. I don’t consider us an echo chamber here at all. As an example for myself, I’ve posted on gasoline taxes. Lots of folks disagree with me on that. No one every stops me posting about them. I get arguments against and for them. I don’t think any one goes home with their feelings hurt. I don’t take the disagreements personally. I think it’s an issue we have to look at and discuss. I don’t rub any one’s nose in my arguments, I offer them up, we discuss it.

  254. oops, i’m in moderation for something again … silly kat

  255. speaktruth: No thanks necessary. As posters we know, or at least should know, that when we take it upon ourselves to put something out here it can invite a negative response. And unless it is a personal attack, it must be viewed as an opinion.

    I am sorry that anything I may have said was taken personally as that was not my intent. And as I have said, I too have been derided for saying something that may not have been agreed with by other posters. Heck, I even stuck my neck out and criticized Hillary a few times and received unfavorable feedback.

    It is a risk at all times. But it is never, nor should it ever be, personal.

  256. i got yelled at the other day for being anti-catholic for posting the Magadalen Laundries thread … I didn’t take that too seriously at all, most of my friends were raised catholic, but left the church for a lot of reasons, i don’t have a problem with catholics, just a lot of things the church patriarchy does… can’t you criticize actions and policies with out it being labeled anti-whatever? or pro whatever?

  257. dakinikat: I’m Catholic (or a remnant at least) and I was with you 100%.

  258. Pat: well said and right on …

  259. Looks like a missed a lot while I blew all my money at Whole Paycheck. I just want to say that I for one am still in the mode where I want to read and hear many differing opinions and if that means I listen to ideas from Republicans then I do. Certainly I value Afrocity’s ideas and opinions and I hope she didn’t mean she was really leaving TC for good. Although most of us here are liberals, I like having input from people with other points of view. I liked hearing Carol’s ideas when she was here, and I still miss her.

    As for Palin, I can’t help liking her as a person, although I may disagree with her political philosophy. I’m not really sure what it is though. I have a feeling I would agree with her on some things.

  260. Garychapelhill: “The reason they diasassociated themselves with most of us is because they are snobs, plain and simple.”

    I agree. And it’s wonderful to see you Gary!!!!!

  261. Pat – Well, thank you again, even if not necessary.

    I was feeling kinda freaked out. Amazing how intense
    it can get with personal feelings sometimes, even though
    it’s “just a blog.”

    I always appreciate you expressing your edgy opinions,
    and mostly agree, including re Palin and even criticizing
    Hillary (though with some nuance on my part).

    This blog is still really new, and we’re all finding our way.
    It’s an amazing blog, for many reasons, but playing the edges
    is part of it, people willing to take risks.
    In ecology theory, the more diverse the ecosystem is
    the healthier it is. Along the edges (meadow to woods,
    water to land), it’s the most diverse, therefore most healthy,
    interesting and creative. And productive. So you expand
    the edges – wavy instead of straight lines.

    That’s TC, too. Edgy.
    And diverse. And interesting, creative, and productive.

    My obot BF just filled me in again on that concept. See,
    even obots can be good for something. (lol).

  262. I was feeling kinda freaked out.

    You shouldn’t. We can passionately disagree without being disagreeable.

    Me & Taggles had a knock-down drag out a while back and we’re both still here.

  263. And Speaktruth, there was nothing wrong with your comment, IMO. Everyone is allowed to have diverging opinions here.

    As I said before, I occasionally read some conservative sites now and American Thinker is one that I sometimes read. I don’t have to agree with them, but I think it is a generally intelligent site. I found something there that I wanted to share, I would post a link and I hope I wouldn’t be attacked for that. I am still of the opinion that what we need is more women in government. I am still open to voting for a Republican woman over a Democratic man if I have the choice.

  264. I occasionally read some conservative sites

    I visit about 40 different sites everyday – from Moonbat to Winger, and I even hit a few Kool-aid and anti-PUMA blogs.

  265. Here is the point: what appears here is nothing more than a hopefully informed opinion session. It does not represent the end of the world as we know it nor does it appear to have all the answers to world problems.

    It is a loose congregation of uniformly like minded people who share their beliefs for good or ill. In the scheme of things, it means nothing, nor does it exert an overwhelming impact on world events. It is what it is.

    Everyone is entitled to his/her own take on things. And if pointing out the ills of the last 8 years is offensive than what is the alternative? Just sitting here in silence as not to “offend” because someone sports a different take on the facts? We openly criticize Dems so there is every reason to suggest we would do the same to Repubs.

    If my being less than enthralled with Palin is reason enough to attack me because I disagree with her policies then there no longer is an argument to be had. I never once made a disparaging remark against her in any sexist way but I am unable to reconcile her views to mine. If I am free and unfettered to criticize a Dem then the same applies to any Repub.

  266. The saddest thing I’ve seen recently “THROUGH-OUT” the “PUMA-WORLD” is many, “turning on each other & trying to get people to choose sides”. As a “Middle Person” I am “pained to see this happening”. I remember clearly how I found this site:
    Before Hillary was closing down her site & backing BO it was like the “Titanic” where we were all frantic, as to where we would go next. Someone mention this site, I came, I liked and I stayed. It’s hard sometimes b/c I’m more “verbal” than “written”; so many times, “I feel ignored”. However, I’m grateful for the outside personal connections I have made through this site.
    “I hope afrocity” does not leave this us.
    For those of you that “left” other “liberal” blog sites:
    “Please TRY to remember WHY you left them & don’t allow the same thing to happen here”.
    As I wrote before:
    Let us “THE PUMA’s” be an example to others that:
    “We can DISAGREE” without being “DISAGREEABLE”!!

  267. Pat,

    I don’t know who attacked you for criticizing Palin, but if I see it happen, that person will be told to mind their manners and worse if necessary. All politicians can be criticized. That’s what it’s all about.

  268. I wish Afrocity well and understand her reasons for leaving. However, I do not apologize for being a Democrat who will criticize both Obama and Republicans. I think PUMA will become what the Obots have charged us with if we start becoming Republican apologists. Last year was a special case for most of us. A vote for McCain was a protest vote. Afrocity has decided to leave the Democratic Party and embrace Republican policies. This is something she is free to do but I won’t join her. I hope she comes back when she feels comfortable joining us in holding Obama’s feet to the fire. But if she is looking for other Republicans and right-wing Independents, maybe another site would be best for her.

  269. I read that other site but not as much as I used to.

    I enjoy some of the posters there, others…not so much.

    But I always got the impression from that site and another that we at this blog were the beer-truck drivers while they were rolling along in their Volvo or BMW. I hold no ill will toward the ones in the mighty bldg, but just feel we were not considered much of anything to be seriously considered.

    And besides, it’s been fun here on the beer truck! 🙂

  270. “if we start becoming Republican apologists”

    I can’t possibly be a Republican apologist — unless they somehow become the party that supports Universal Health Care for Everyone and other items on the Liberal Agenda.

    I just don’t think it’s possible that this site could be hijacked in such a way.

  271. As we saw last year, some people treat arguments as fights.

    They can’t see the distinction between saying “I disagree with that idea,” “That’s a stupid idea” and “You’re stupid.”

    We encourage the former, prohibit the latter, and occasionally allow the one in the middle.

  272. posting a link is good. but if someone disagrees with it’s content are they suppose to keep quiet about it because it might offend the person who posted it.

    spamming a board consistently with one viewpoint is another thing entirely. I don’t see that here.

    So it leads one to think the main issue might be one of sensitivity.

    Yes Myiq and I did have a knock down drag out and I think we both came out better for it. 😉

  273. bb: Not to worry. It happened way back in the Fall when the campaign was in full swing. As I said, I had a few push back at me because they viewed it as my inability to support a female candidate. As it was, I did vote McCain out of protest but it was nothing more than that.

    I have learned that one must pick their battles before the blood letting begins. Arguing who is or is not a true feminist based on competency of the person involved is specious. And to be honest, had Hillary been the nominee Palin would not have been a consideration at all.

  274. There was also mention the other day of Ann Coulter. I posted that there was nothing that she could “teach” me and pointed out that this was the same day that the 9/11 widow as killed in the plane crash, a member of a group of women referred by Coulter as “media whores”.

    Was I expected to remain silent? Was it unnecessary of me to also point out that Rush was a gasbag who made fun of people like Michael J. Fox for his disability?

    Silence can also be interpreted as applause. I refuse to let people like that slide. This is what I meant by reinventing history with a shrug.

  275. Taggles,

    I don’t think anyone should have to keep quiet about their opinions. The only rules we have ever had here are that you can’t post Obot talking points and spam and you have to be courteous to the writers and regular posters. If someone want to tell me that they don’t like a link I post, fine. If they personally attack me for posting it or they want to ban me for posting it, then I have a problem with that.

  276. bb, totally agree.

  277. The truth is that we are all very opinionated. Otherwise there would be a lot of dead air here as we all stared into space.

  278. Of course not, Pat. People have to be able to accept different opinons and not take them personally. Obviously we are all thin skinned at times–I plead guilty. But of course you shouldn’t remain silent. You have posted about listening to Rush at times though you disagree with him. Just the mention of his name shouldn’t be verboten. But anyone who comments here should know that most of us are liberals and they are risking disagreement if they praise Coulter or Limbaugh.

  279. Thanks, guys.
    My inner child was feeling rejected.
    (standing in corner, sucking thumb, twirling hair).
    Now she’s feeling much better, ready to go back into the
    (climbing up on monkey bars, kicking off a BOY
    climbing up behind her trying to race her).

    I also have come to respect some Repubs lately. (Well,
    maybe one, Palin. And then there’s that really really cute
    dark-haired Congressman from Calif. – forget his name.
    Could really respect him like crazy).
    My favorite cousin growing up became a Repub, too.
    Haven’t seen him in years, though.

  280. Speaktruth,

    We all feel that way at times.

  281. One thing this year taught me is that party labels mean nothing.
    It is our job as voters to try an pick the best person for the country not the party. I used to believe that the democratic party had the best interests of the people pf country as its core value. I was wrong and it hurt to find that out. Do I think republicans are any better? No. I am allowed so far to criticize all parties if they are not in my best interest. If this offends some people tough. My job is not to make other people happy it is to pick the best for the country.
    In listening to many voices and ideas I have a chance to do my job. We are lucky enough here at TC to have many voices and ideas.



  282. I never did make it out today. Maybe tonight. And tomorrow is just another day.

  283. Just read the last comments after posting. (I left for a little

    Disagreements are good, healthy and necessary. Stating
    opinions, of course, is what this site is about. I think the
    trick is about not making it personal, attacking a person
    instead of an idea. And accepting others’ opinions, while
    Then, it’s our job to discern the difference,
    and sometimes emotions (and inner children) get in the way.

  284. Totally agree, Helen.

  285. Helen always manages to cut to the chase!

  286. There’s nothing wrong with criticizing the content in an article form a conservative site. (Or any site). But I’ve seen people attack the very act of posting an article from a conservative site. That, I think, is uncalled for.

    Except Ann Coulter. The only time anybody posts anything by Coulter should be done for the purpose of laughter and mockery.

  287. RD — awesome post once again! We need to stick together no matter what. I’ve had that racist mantra hurled at me so much this past election season, I nearly believed I was one; anyway, it was an internal struggle. I wish I had found you all much sooner. I was still posting at the cheetos, doing my own research and came late to Uppity Woman and you all sometime later where I lurked for quite awhile. You are totally onto something about us coming from fundamentalist backgrounds. Once you survive that shit you can smell it from miles away. One thing about it I can feel grateful for. I actually felt glad when Jerry Falwell died cause he swindled my family along with the PTL club. Anyhow, I’m glad I have a home with like-minded sisters and brothers!

    One point of disagreement though: ” Obama is all about process, not principle. ”

    I believe he is about neither. He completely willingly disregarded the democratic processes of the Democratic Party. He brought campaigning to a new low by flipping off Hillary and then shouting she’s on the rag when he had to defend himself. And he is anathema to the Constitution which sets the process for how this country is supposed to operate (not just mere interpretation conflicts and intrinsic argumentation among lawyers), but I believe learns the process to completely dismantle it. The drive for post-partisanship or bipartisanship or whatever the hell he calls it, is just a dog and pony show while he seeks to undermine our basic Democratic principles.

  288. I read just a small part of the conversation here — it’s massive and wonderful as usual, and I’m late to the party.

    I do want to say that I’m having a major coming out dilemma, as a writer, and someone who’s trying to make a living that way —

    I’ve written as LBNYC for almost a full year now, done some of my best work, and not earned a penny for it (nor have any of us, of course.) Sometimes, I’d like to come out, so I can point to my writing as part of my resume, and because I’ve published on other topics. However, like when we were under hyper troll attack less than a month ago, it does not feel safe.

    For me, the attacks have not been racist although there’s some of that, so much as they’ve been demeaning, anti-social, crude, crass, uncivil, misogynistic, and sexist. It’s felt like the McCarthy era–being called out and ostracized for having an opinion, voicing, and taking action on it. Being shut down by self- anointed “progressives.”

    That era was before my time, and I don’t think I’ve experienced anything like this in my personal life, except from the government around Viet Nam protests. This time, as far as Obots I know and love, the harassment–and sometimes it’s underground–is from people who have rebelled against the government heretofore, which is what makes things feel so topsy-turvy.

  289. I am a 30%er. So, yes, I support Palin and, when I have it, I will probably send money to her PAC because I view her as a serious contender. For me, voting for Palin (R) was not any different than voting for Tim Kaine (D). I regret voting for Kaine who is now head of the DNC. (And I can not begin to express how ticked off I am about that!) But I do not regret voting for Palin because I truly believe that the only way to create real change is to put more women in political office. This is now my goal and, unless I find a woman’s politics extremely unpalatable (such as zealously anti-choice), I will vote for her regardless of the letter beside her name. But then I live in Virginia and the Dems here are not all that far removed from the Repubs.

  290. Interesting discussion. There are a lot of emotions around this, I see.

    I was a PUMA, outraged by the Democratic Party and its tactics. I’m not sure I ever was all that bent over sexism in the campaign. I definitely did not like the direction of the party, however. On that, I was clear.

    After the primary, I spent time at various blogs, and that helped a lot to sort out what I personally thought. I listened in the GE carefully and decided to vote Republican. I frankly just agreed more with McCain than with Obama on key issues. I also was fairly certain that Obama’s momentum would actually work better, in terms of moving the country forward. When the crash occurred, then it was all over. Everyone knew it.

    But it was great fun for me, anyway. I’d never voted Republican in my life, so it felt pretty liberating.

    Today, I can agree with sometimes with Democrats, other times with Republicans. I find this freedom from partisanship nice.

    I get called names regularly. Apparently, I drive more than a few progressives and some conservatives up a tree. 🙂

    That makes me laugh, frankly. I’d never allow them that kind of power over my own mood.

    PUMA didn’t seem to make sense to me once it stopped discussing the ways the Democratic Party could be revised to better reflect the will of the people. I still feel strongly that the caucus system needs to be addressed, for example. And PUMA efforts regarding sexism didn’t interest me personally. I never have thought that a direct approach works very well.

    My favorite insult is when people insist I must be a man. I have no clue as to where that comes from, but it puts the sexism stuff into a fun perspective for me.

    Anyway, I thought I’d toss my 2 cents in. I absolutely saw that I wasn’t about to make my own decision about my vote based on anything other than my own conscience, my ideas about what I thought were best for the country, and sheer preference. I’ve not regretted my vote.

  291. Great post.

    Hey, Gary!

  292. After reading it all, my 2cents
    I loved that I was here when the PUMA acronym was invented – and I relished the run. The only reason I don’t use it as identifier for myself anymore is the “P”. For me these days, partisan and nonpartisan are equally loathsome concepts and I don’t want to call myself something that starts with the word “party”
    Anyway, TC has been my perfect home – both ideological and on a personal level almost from the time I lost my former home – a forum that started because of a stolen election and got to a point of profiting from one.
    The only times I had a few chills in my otherwise perfect home is when I see the tendency to kick our own people. Sometimes – in the comments, not entries, little cliques are formed and fellow PUMAs bashed for some infinitesimal differences. It bothers me a lot.
    But this is rare, and again – I fit right in at every turn – defending Palin against sexism but not endorsing, voting McCain in protest only etc. But if we don’t like what Anglachael did to TC, maybe we shouldn’t turn on TNA or JSND either.
    Unless our purpose is to become the tiniest little niche of identical convictions.
    Personally, I’d like to see everyone who sees the truth today acting together – no matter where they were during the elections last year.

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