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Sunday: Israel/Palestine rears its ugly head again

Palestine UN Partition Plan- 1947  How far back will we go?

Palestine UN Partition Plan- 1947 This map?

The issue that caused the “Great Schism” on The Confluence (or the excuse anyway) is back in the news.  Rahm Emanuel has signaled to the Israelis that there will be conditions on our support.  From Mid-East Peace Pulse:

Rahm Emanuel told an (unnamed) Jewish leader; “In the next four years there is going to be a permanent status arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of two states for two peoples, and it doesn’t matter to us at all who is prime minister.”

He also said that the United States will exert pressure to see that deal is put into place.”Any treatment of the Iranian nuclear problem will be contingent upon progress in the negotiations and an Israeli withdrawal from West Bank territory,” the paper reports Emanuel as saying.  In other words, US sympathy for Israel’s position vis a vis Iran depends on Israel’s willingness to live up to its commitment to get out of the West Bank and permit the establishment of a Palestinian state there, in Gaza, and East Jerusalem.

Obama is also not going to be taking last minute invitations to have a talk over drinks with the Israeli Prime Minister next time he’s in DC for an AIPAC conference.  Our protection of Israel from the Persian meanies in Iran seems to be contingent on Netanyahu bargaining in good faith. (H/T Corrente)  Plus, Obama is easing up on restrictions of financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.  I’m not sure how far the pendulum should swing in this regard.  After all, Hamas has links to terrorism and Israeli’s do have a legitimate concern for their safety.

Or this one?  Pick one quickly.  We havent got all day.

Or this post 1967 one? Pick quickly. We haven't got all day.

On the other hand, electing an right winger like Netanyahu sounds like an attempt by Israelis to move the Overton window as far hardline as possible in anticipation of a change in US policy.  Maybe they think they can reach some homeostasis by pushing ferociously back to where they started at the end of the Bushie administration.   But it looks like the US is saying the jig is up and we will be expecting compliance from Israel for a two state solution regardless of who is prime minister.  I have a feeling that recitations of past horrors inflicted on the Jewish people may be met with “Tell it to the chaplain”.  There may be an expiration date on emotionalism.  Israelis can still make legitimate claims about the threat of terrorism but inhumanity cuts both ways these days.

Sounds like Hillary and George Mitchell have their work cut out for them.

In other news:

From the files of No $%@! Sherlock, it has come to the attention of some Washingtonians on the Democratic side that Obama is not a fighter:

Mr. Obama has not conceded on any major priority. His advisers argue that the concessions to date — on budget items, for instance — are intended to help win the bigger policy fights ahead. But his early willingness to deal or fold has left commentators, and some loyal Democrats, wondering: where’s the fight?

“The thing we still don’t know about him is what he is willing to fight for,” said Leonard Burman, an economist at the Urban Institute and a Treasury Department official in the Clinton administration. “The thing I worry about is that he likes giving good speeches, he likes the adulation and he likes to make people happy.”

So far, he said, “It’s hard to think of a place where he’s taken a really hard position.”

In some of his earliest skirmishes, Mr. Obama eventually chose pragmatism over fisticuffs.

So funny that the left blogosphere worked so hard to push back the Republicans and elect Democrats who would finally act like Democrats and what did we end up with for a President?  A shmoozer who hijacked the Democratic party and has jettisoned all that Democratic stuff to ride out four years of the worst economic crisis we’ve seen since the Great Depression by catering to the Blue Dogs.  It sounds like some Democrats in the party who caved to the Obama faux juggernaut last year are starting to realize that he is going to seriously damage the party’s reputation.

Obama has taken a pragmatic approach because he doesn’t want to get into a partisan fight- with his own party.  This man has been given every opportunity to turn around the hardass, mean-spirited policies of the Bushies and he chooses to sit on his hands and deal pragmatically.  Where is the big Change™ agent?

Markos Moulitsas has a lot of explaining to do.

237 Responses

  1. @But it looks like the US is saying the jig is up and we will be expecting compliance from Israel for a two state solution regardless of who is prime minister. @
    you really have n idea what you’re talking about do you? Not that I’m surprised.

    • If soopermouse is here it must be an I/P thread

      • Yes! It *is* an I/P thread. And I/P thread rules apply:

        1.)There will be no mention of the Holocaust during this thread.

        2.)Anti-semitic remarks will be deleted. Anti-semitism according to Conflucians is defined as “the irrational hatred of Jewish people and their culture which may be expressed as derogatory comments about Jewish culture, discrimination and violent acts”

        Play ball!

      • I notice that “soopermouse” isn’t inclined to enlighten us as to his/her specific critique of the post. He/she prefers to fling meaningless insults.

        How very unhelpful.

        • Well, it’s going to be a lot harder for him to debate the issue now that we have insisted on a level playing field where both anti-semitic remarks and emotional manipulation are not allowed.
          One might actually have to debate on the merits. That’s a lot tougher to do than simply insult and throw a temper tantrum claiming than no one understands you.

    • Actually, mine is hardly a minority opinion. You don’t have to be a lifelong resident of the middle east to see the political game that is being played out here. Politics and strategy play by common rules everywhere in the world.
      The tide of public opinion is turning. The Bushies are no longer in power and Israel is no longer infallible. It won’t get everything it wants and the AIPAC lobby is going to meet with resistance. All in all, I think this is a good thing. We have been entirely too lenient and undemanding when it comes to Israel. It’s time it started to bargain in good faith.
      Why don’t you just concentrate on making sure that the tide doesn’t turn too fast because Obama still doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing.

    • soopermouse is suspiciously like TL’s antagonist, squeaky.

  2. Why is this coming form Rahm Emanuel?

    • That is what I was wondering about too. I’m in for a two state sollution. It can be done.

    • No fricking clue. It sounds a little like good cop/bad cop. Emanuel is saying, “Don’t blame me, this is what Obama wants.”
      In general terms, I have no problem with our foreign policy being less deferential to Israel. But I worry that Obama’s inexperience may lead him to go too far in the opposite direction.

    • Maybe because he’s the only “tough guy” the Obama administration has?

    • Me thinks it’s a rumor started by hawks that support Israel. It doesn’t make sense any other way. Obama has been very low key with Iran, which I’m sure does not please Israeli hawks who see Iran as Israel’s greatest threat to Israel’s hegemony in the Middle East. The rumor is meant to put pressure on Obama to be more belligerent towards Iran. This is where the rubber meets the road because Obama cannot vote “present” with the Israel/Palestinian issue.

  3. I too have no problem with our foreign policy being less deferential to Israel. Guess that means I don’t know what I’m talking about either.

    Guess the great schism remains.schismed. Or however you say no meeting of the minds on this issue.

    • It’s hard to have a meeting of the minds when one of the schismatics emails you to say, “Never contact me again” when you offer an olive branch and then trashes you on her new homepage by writing a fictional account of what happened and then proceeds to copy and imitate everything Dakinikat has done in the past couple of weeks.
      Yep, I think we will have a split for a long time. It’s hard to trust people like that again. We have tried to be nice and had no comment but I think we should point it out when we’ve been insulted. They had no reason to complain when they were writing here. Our posting rules are not burdensome in the least. They simply decided to take a very hard line approach to the I/P issue and they held a gun to our head. I call that irresponsible. It undermines the movement they claim they are trying to create. That movement requires that we work things out together, not that we pick up our ball and go home because we are too cowardly to debate the issue for fear we might lose in the court of public opinion. The Confluence has principles and our positions on things depend upon those principles. That means our positions on some issues are not locked into place but by necessity adapt in order to be consistent with those principles. We support the state of Israel but not everything it does. If Israel abandoned democracy and became a hardline authoritarian state that excessively discriminated against Palestinians, our position of support would be inconsistent with our own values and principles. Should we abandon our own values and principles? No, of course not. It is better to insist that Israel comes into compliance. The schismatics disagree with us on this.

      • Kinda funny how their first post talked about leaving PUMA and now they’re talking as if they’re in charge of the un-party

        • They might be fair writers, but leaders, they are not. Their group will have a difficult time expanding enough to have an impact.

          • Au Contraire. A fair number of our commenters have followed them to their new digs. Like I said, they were given a fictional account of what went on. And commenters would probably prefer not to have to pick sides. I understand that.
            But I do agree with you that the way this has all gone down has struck a severe blow to our alliance and in this regard, you are right. They are not leaders.

          • Leaders would have found a way to come to a compromise all could live with. I don’t comment much on the net, but I’ve read many a blog since the beginning. Many of those who left in a huff from here also left other sites in a huff after the primaries, and again after the election.

            I predict their new group will eventually explode in a battle of differing opinions, as well.

        • Maybe you prefer not to say, but who are we talking about here & where is this fictional blog? I am obviously out of the loop , but I have seen a lot this past year & I am comfortable with the consistency here. If I don’t agree with something , I speak up, but do not feel I am forced to adopt anyone’s view–just debate my perspective. Reports of insults and lies are particularly disturbing, considering why we sought refuge here. Human nature strikes again.

          • The blog we are referring to is not fictional but one of the first posts there was fiction of the fantasy genre. The ones who left have made themselves unavailable to set the record straight without us revealing emails in the entirety, which we won’t do. But we do know that some of the ones who left have cherry picked emails and shared them with others who were not originally in the email list. We suspect this was done in such a way as to make them look like they were the injured party. This would be incorrect.

          • RD – you’ve taken the high road, and that’s all you can do. As with all things, eventually the truth wins out. Your posts are brilliant, they are founded in facts and fairness, and never cluttered with the petty stuff that seems to be so common elsewhere. To make a difference in the political fabric of our country right now, it is the posts found here that inform. You remain the influence that you started out to be.

            It’s not hard to find the other site for those who google.

      • As for me, when someone calls me a liar and a hypocrite and tells me to fuck off, I tend to shy away from further contact.

      • Can’t we just pretend like nothing happened and leave it to that? Don’t visit their website or read what they say about you so it won’t make you mad. They won’t do the same. Give it a few months and all we be fine.

        • How can we pretend nothing happened, when Dakinikat’s hard work is stolen? I don’t understand how that would work. Someone had to read Dakinikat’s posts in order to steal from them…

          • The more this feud continues, the bigger the fraction it will create. They quoted Dakinikat which means they atleast still come here to read some of the posts. The longer the feud continues the harder it will be to find a common ground again. Let Dakinikat’s work be the common ground. Did anyone write them and ask to give Dakinikat credit whenever they used/quoted some of her work?

          • Downticket,

            The only “feud” is coming from the people who left here. As RD said, she made efforts to reach out and hit a brick wall. The ball is in the other court. Why are you telling this to us? If you have any way to contact these people, you can write to them. As RD said above, she was told to “never contact me again.”

          • bostonboomer, on April 19th, 2009 at 10:55 am

            The reason I mention it here is because I thought it was dealt with after the post that explained what had happened. I am surprised that
            no understanding has been reached.
            If we start writing about it here, then they will do the same and pretty soon we will see a blog war. We need to move on. Whatever happened happened.

          • Downticket,

            We have been moving on. We haven’t stopped doing what we have always done. But to suggest that stealing of ideas should simply be ignored? I have a problem with that. If they wanted to write a response to Dakinikat’s posts, that would have been fine. But to write something so similar, and give no credit? That’s unacceptable.

            You said in your comment that they quoted Dakninikat. Where did that happen? I just searched through the post in question and I found no mention of Dakinikat or the process she has been working so hard to facilitate. In fact, I saw in a comment the statement that “I don’t have contact with TC anymore.”

          • Wow, good thing spring break is over and I no longer have the luxury of sleeping in late and taking long strolls with the dog before signing on.

            Yeah, when I saw a link on someone’s blog and followed it over there, I felt I’d just been ripped off. I worked hard to reach out via facebook and all the folks under the PUMA umbrella to try to get some overreaching ideas and was hoping we could all do it peacefully together.

            I talked about doing this thing year way back before the end of last year as part of our where do we go from here series so it’s not like it shouldn’t have been a surprise to any one.

            So, lemme just pull the knife outta the back and move on with it … I’ve asked Jangles to help with formatting some possible wording on missions and principles. RD is working on an online conference and we will extend an OPEN invitation to every one. There will be no exclusions and again, we’re keeping contact with as many as possible.

            We’ve had nearly a 1000 comments and suggestions on all of this so far, and I’m trying as much as possible to work through and get a broad consensus as well as a network of groups that can focus on their own action, strategies, and more specific missions.

        • Nah gah happen. I would have been perfectly fine not going over there and generally I don’t unless someone alerts me to something they find “unkind”. They are very talented writers and I wish them luck, And this is a big blogosphere. There is plenty of room for all. I believe in natural selection too, If they write a better blog, the world *should* beat a path to their door.
          HOWEVER, all that being said, they have done serious damage to our efforts. We are trying to reconstitute a presence on the left and they have undermined it by taking offense to a minor disagreement we had on I/P policy and then blowing that minor offense out of all proportion. The whole incident has opened my eyes quite a bit. I learned a lot about the personalities of some of those who left. I’m sure none of us stood up well to the extra scrutiny but there will be some posters who will never be welcomed back. Happily, these are few in number.
          In any case, whatever their motivations are now, they have compromised our ability to be a force for change. This is the degeneracy I was talking about. As long as we keep splintering for trivial things like whether we like Israel or whether we LOVE ISRAEL UNCONDITIONALLY, we will never be able to get back together. Same with the whole patriarchy thing. We either agree to work for equality or we have to admit that all men are slime, women are victims and portrayals of female sexuality is rape. There are no gray areas for some of the splitters.
          We prefer to “choose something like a star to stay our minds on” and not be subject to mob rule.

        • By the way, those posters who still have accounts here are always welcome to come back. madamab was the only one who explicitly requested that we cut all ties with her. We removed Shtuey and gary for other reasons. But there is no reason why taggles, angienc, LadyboomerNYC or any of the others aren’t free to come back and post on whatever topic they like. They can even tell us to go to hell, but at least we will discuss it rationally.
          They choose not to. Nor have they extended an invitation to us to post with them. I think it is time we realize that they split with us intentionally and the reasons extend beyond I/P. Only they can explain their decisions in this regard and they haven’t shared their thoughts with us. We invited them to talk with us. They refused. They would go. If they’re breaking up this alliance, it is entirely of their own volition, not ours.
          Go figure.

          • I had no idea the waters were quite this murky. The whole affair has left a lot of confusion and sadness in its wake. It’s all very disappointing. I’m baffled as to why certain commenters who don’t seem to have been part of the fractiousness seem to have abandoned TC recently and gone over to the new site. You’re right to not divulge TMI, but this does leave room for head scratching.

          • I had no idea things were that bad.

            There are times when I don’t agree with issues here or on other blogs that I like and visit. That’s going to happen.

            But since I have more things I agree with the nice people at the Confluence than I disagree with them about I will usually just make a comment or two and then be on my merry way. Like you said RD, it’s a big blogosphere.

            I tend to stay as far out of the I/P argument as possible. I know what I believe and no one is going to change my mind. Calling me names certainly won’t do it. You would think that people that were here when PUMAs and Hillary Clinton supporters were being called names would see that clearer than most.

            Ah well, I hope those that have moved on don’t regret their actions as much as I suspect they will. If they do not respect the right of others to disagree with them then it’s best they go.

            I suspect it will not make them happy but perhaps they will find contenment in their self-exile.

          • Responding to myiq @ 3:25: my question was rhetorical, because I know that’s not the case here. Unfortunately, it sounds like that’s how some people chose to deal with this one issue at that point in time. Such a shame considering how hard many have worked to build community here. The thing I like most about this blog is the civil, if spirited, discourse. Since when do we storm out in a huff when someone expresses a contrary view? I wasn’t here for that particular debate, but I have never seen any evidence of bigotry from RD or the main posters, and to accuse her–and others–of that impulsively, without being willing to discuss it further is just destructive to everything we have attempted to create. Sad-making.

      • RD, MYIQ, BB, Dakinikat, Katiebird: I am a lurker here and I want to thank you all for sticking with this blog. You each must put a good deal of time and effort into keeping it going and I appreciate it. This blog has been a bright spot for me this last year and a refuge from the hate that overtook most of the blogs I used to read. I appreciate not only the well-written, thought provoking posts but the quick moderation of comments as well. Sorry this isn’t about the I/P problems, but I have been wanting to say this for a while.

        • Thank you much for saying it!

        • Hear hear! Agreed. I’m staying here. (And would love to have TIME to comment more often — thank God our semester is over week after next!)

    • Personally, I would really like U.S. foreign policy to be a little more deferential to U.S. citizens and taxpayers.

  4. What do actual Israelis think about all this? Obviously, they elected this government but I also understand that it does not have an overwhelming majority.

    What about the order O signed allowing Hamas refugees to enter the US? Was that a shot across the bow?

    • Now, see, this is where i have an issue with the Obama administration. Were Hamas refugees allowed in for humanitarian reasons like medical care? Or are we offering these people political asylum? That’s very dangerous territory.

  5. I have heard two explanations why the Clinton talks failed. One is the negotiators had a deal worked out an Arafat nixed it at the last minute. The other was a Bush operative told the Israelis they’d get a better deal if they waited for a republican administration to broker it.

    • Both sound entirely too plausible. And we have had eight years of disaster because the Palestinians failed to trust.

      • Aren’t you being too one sided? Both sides never trusted each other and that is part of the problem. It is also understandable considering what has happened between them. I just don’t accept the its all the Palestinians fault that there has been reached an agreement evah

        • I just don’t accept the its all the Palestinians fault that there has never been reached an agreement evah

        • No, I’m not being one sided. But think of it this way: The world is ready for this conflict to be over. If Arafat had taken the deal, he would have gotten major mojo for it and even if the Bushies had promised a better deal to the Israelis, the interim between the end of the Clinton era and the beginning of the Bush era might have been enough time to make a Clinton deal hard to break.

          • hey rd who is they & whats the name you were talking about

          • Arafat could not have taken the deal. He had to talk to other Arab leaders and all sides agreed to continue the negotiation.

            The Palestinians clearly lost the PR on that one because the story known to most people is that Arafat had a very could deal and he refused to take it.

            That wasn’t quite so simple.

          • One reason I hate discussing I/P is that it’s nigh impossible to get to get certain facts straight and agreed upon by people on different sides of the debate. But I would just note that it cannot truly be said that Arafat simply walked away from the Camp David agreement because the negotiations continued on with the Taba talks, where still further progress was made until negotiations were again stalled once and for all. I have similarly heard varying explanations for why the Taba talks failed, but certainly the upcoming Israeli elections and subsequent election of Sharon. who had no interest in continuing the peace talks, played a part.

            But I don’t pretend to be an expert on I/P politics–I’ve just read enough differing accounts from the varying sides to get a headache at the mere prospect of an I/P debate.

          • IMO, Elements on both sides very much want it to keep going . The” better deal” Bush offered was keeping it going along the lines, Ariel Sharon, Baby Bush’s Mid-East mentor, wanted . It was no accident that Sharon went to Temple Mount just before Bush got in to kick start the current round of fun.

            It’s said Arafat didn’t make the deal . I’m no Arafat fan, but rarely do people look at the position of Ehud Barak, the Israeli PM at the time. At that time , Ehud Barak had very little support in Israeli power circles , he was on his way out and he really couldn’t make any deal either….certainly not about the settlements etc. So it was demanded Arafat hand over Jerusalem forever, which they knew he couldn’t do ….and oops! There’s no deal! and it’s all Arafat’s fault!

            If Barry is holding Israel” more accountable” , it’s only that in the Chicgo way, everyone pays and he can’t stand to see even a bit of free ride without a shake down.

          • Paperdoll

            That last paragraph of yours really cracked me up! And yet it is probably a much more astute take on the situation than my earlier, far less cynical one.

  6. I feel so battered over this issue that I’ve started about 8 totally different comments and erased them all. I understand why it’s there (giving us another chance to explain the rules-of-the-thread) but letting a troll have the first comment is a bit of a conversation stopper.

    Anyway, this development is one of the reasons I don’t think of myself as Opposing Obama. If his administration can come with a successful I/P policy AND successfully negotiate it, I’m all for him. Just as if he can come up with a reasonable Health Care policy that gives EVERYONE affordable access to health care, I’ll be all for that.

    I’m deeply skeptical that he’ll feel a deep enough commitment to either issue. And (because of his lack of real commitment) that he’ll be unlikely to use any significant amount of his political capitol on any group that doesn’t include himself.

    • Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to let the troll have a first comment. It shows what we’re up against and how hard it is to have a civil conversation on the subject. Some people get offended just because we dare to weigh in on the subject or that we have a non-emotional response to a cartoon. When it comes to I/P, there is a lot of reconditioning we have to do. Better to see what the problem is to begin with.

    • I feel exactly the same way that you do, KB. I am especially skeptical of Obama’s commitment to UHC (or at least affordable UHC) but I’m at least willing to be pleasantly surprised. As to these latest developments on the I/P front, my gut cries out “we’ll see”–but I certainly would welcome some sort of progress over there. I can’t help but be pleased by this development.

      • We all welcome progress, but BO will always be illegitimate to me. When he used voter suppression & manipulation to secure the nomination (among the many other sleazy and hypocritical tactics) he became persona non grata toe, I wish the best for this country, but he lost me.

      • I’m more willing to be pleasantly surprised on foreign policy than domestic policy/social programs, to be honest. Although I am yearning for UHC (and high speed rail) from the bottom of my leftwing little heart, I am also well beyond horrified at the magnitude of the generational theft (thank you bank bailout) that B0 and his minions have inflicted in three short months.

        • No problem: he has been promising publicly and privately that the “reform” of Soc. Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will pay for the shortfall…if that doesn’t send a chill up your spine.

          • Yeah, I noticed that. So let’s review what my kids are going to inherit: (1) Higher education that even now leaves new grads ~30K in debt, and upwards of ~150K if they go to grad/professional school; (2) Paying for this bailout and that bailout until G-d knows when; (3) Supporting me in my old age because well, there are no more pensions, and all the sacrifices I made to shovel $ into my 401(k), like the $ I put away for their educations, has disappeared into the giant sucking hole of the market meltdown; and (4) When I shuffle off this mortal coil, no actual inheritance from me, see inheritance #3.

          • Btw, I agree with you both. I just thought I’d try to sound hopeful for a change. But even in the unlikely event that tough guy Emanuel is able to push for some sort of two-state solution in the Middle East, for me that won’t make up for the utter debacle of the $13 T bank bailout and ongoing generational theft of our Soc. Sec. funds and other assets that have already been wrought by this administration.

  7. What about the linkage offered? Is Obama pledging to attack Iran in return for Israel’s cooperation?

    • I think attack would be the wrong word to use. I think he is likely saying that Israel’s action or inaction in the West Bank will determine how strongly we are willing to negotiate with Iran or drum up support for a confrontation with Iran over its nuclaer weapons program.

  8. bostonboomer, on April 19th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I have only been to their website once. I believe it was 5 days ago. From what you and RD posted, I gathered they had used Dakinikat’s work and not credited her (right or wrong?) and you both didn’t like that – right? All I am suggesting is to ignore it.

    • We are trying to. Unfortunately, some of our commenters are not. THIS is what we object to, Downticket. There is an attempt to compete, not cooperate. Competition is not bad per se but this is what is leading to a disintegration of our efforts. We do not have reciprocal posting rights and they have made it very clear that we shouldn’t contact them further. It is very destructive. Sorry I didn’t make this clear before. We are trying to set the record straight with some of the people who may be hanging out there. This is not a schism of OUR making.

    • I still don’t understand. If you had written an article for the New York Times, and someone very soon after published something quite similar, would you ignore it? If you wrote a book and then discovered while reading another book on a similar topic that your work had been plagarized, would you simply ignore it? I just don’t understand your point.

      We tried very hard to avoid conflict with these people. It didn’t work.

      • It is not right but this is the internet and I think stuff like this happens a lot. Since there are already disagreements with that group, we should just let it pass.

        • I think RD has the right tack. She’s pointing it out in an inovert manner. Folks who have read over there now know that the information was “shared” without the permission of its originator. Sh’es letting them know that she is aware they are plagiarizing(and that is wrong) without getting in their face about it. She didn’t post a link or a site name to the guilty party which means that she probably prefers an explanation or for them to stop than a huge blow up confrontation. I think she’s been very mindful that these are our natural allies(on everything other than I/P)

        • Again, let us be clear about what this disagreement was all about. They asked us to remove Cannonfire from the blog roll because they claimed he was anti- Semitic. Some of us thought Cannon was being deliberately provocative but not anti- Semitic. Cannon asked people not to link to him so we took the easy way out and didn’t link to him. Too late, the damage was done. There ensued a series of emails where many insults were hurled and many feelings deeply hurt. We asked for a cooling off period and an online conference to get a precise definition of anti- semitism so that no one could be accused of insensitivity. The ones who left chose not to attend. They preferred to leave instead.
          We published an Oliphant cartoon and asked whether it was anti- Semitic or political in nature. The ones who left decided that we were siding with the anti- Semites and they wrote about it on their own blogs. The Oliphant cartoon was conflates with obviously anti- Semitic cartoons. Dakinikat tried talking with madamab on her blog but madamab preferred to think of us as stupid, simpletons who couldn’t possibly understand what was going on. This much is publicly available on her site Ooo Nuance. Go look it up.
          In short, we were accused of extreme insensitvity, stupidity and anti- semitism both directly and by guilt through association. All of my overt and behibd the scenes efforts to get rid of anti- Semites and LaRouchians as well as other forms of racism that cropped up on the PUMA movement came to nothing and *I* feel my reputation has been tarnished.
          This is what happened when a simple disagreement over a link was blown ip to the proportions of an international incident. The damage has been grave indeed and I think it is time we stopped allowing themselves to be portrayed as victims of some oppressive Conflucian canal with whom we now have a mere “difference of opinion”. No one chased them away. They went on their own.
          On the other hand, katiebird, bostonboomer and myiq all stuck it out even though they were put on the hot seat for wanting cannon. They were willing to kiss and makeup. The leavers wanted no part of it. They are waiting for an apology. They will not get it. So, they prefer to flatter us sincerely by imitation. Thus begins the degeneracy of the movement.

          • Pardon the typos. I am typing on an iPhone with the sucky keyboard.

          • Would it make you feel better to know that madamab has been in more than one big fight in the blogs? One became so heated she had to get angienc involved to defend her in case CL followed through with his threat to sue her.

        • BTW, Charles Lemos flamed spectacularly last year. he was desperate to jump on the Obama bandwagon and he really went after us hammer and tongs in some amazing emails that I will not share. Let’s just say that I stuck up for my posters against Charles Lemos last year and that included madamab. She didn’t do anything wrong in that respect.

      • Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery

        • Oh yes! But plagiarism is also proof that the plagiarist is lazy and weak-minded. And, of course, the lazy and weak-minded will eventually self-destruct (or fragment and fritter away).

          • Unfortnately, lazy and weakminded people are capable of 8 years of the worst presidency of our lives. They can do a lot of damage before in the meantime.

        • Hm.

          Myiq2xu, I remember you getting really snotty when someone over at Alegre’s Corner accused you of plagiarism. The posts were about that Digby business last summer. You two said the same things, but the Alegre guy had posted his piece all over the web the day before you posted your piece here.

          You did another Digby piece after the blow-up, and you took from him again. I’m thinking of the Manchurian Candidate bit.

          • In order to plagiarize someone you have to read them first. When I “take” from anyone I give them credit.

            But I won’t give credit to someone whose stuff I never read.

            Thanks for playing, please try again.

          • Myiq2xu, the reply function to your response is disabled.

            The guy scooped you at the very least.

            Your piece with the Manchurian Candidate bit appeared after all that. Are you saying you didn’t read his piece after the accusations?

          • I finally read some of his/her stuff after I was first accused, and I couldn’t see any similarity between my work and his/hers.

            I haven’t read any of it since then either.

            I may have been “scooped” but that’s all. I’m not shy about “taking” from other people but when I do I give them credit.

            So what’s your point?

            BTW – reply wasn’t disabled, nesting only goes 5 levels deep.

          • My point is that I found your parent comment ironic.

            I guess those-who-shall-not-be-named can now claim that they didn’t plagiarize dakinikat, they were just “scooped” by her.

          • Nope, it’s pretty clear that she or someone else on her blog read Dakinikat’s posts.
            BTW, I don’t recall myiq pagiarizing anyone. It frequently happens thaat we all reach the same conclusion more or less simultaneously but its really hard to be as similar in as madamab has been without doing a lot of lifting.
            But it’s not the only place where I see lifting on that blog.

          • “those who shall not be named?”

            They’ve been named in this thread.

          • My comment would only be ironic if I had plagiarized someone.

            Since I did not, your belaboring the point is moronic.

            BTW – When did I ever do a “Manchurian candidate” post?

          • RD, bostonboomer, et al., I’m not looking to cause trouble. I like you, I like the site. I like lurking here, and I occasionally enjoy commenting. I was frankly ready to drop this, but I don’t take kindly to seeing things I write described as “moronic.” Particularly when the person doing the insulting has left me with the impression, then as now, of “Methinks, he doth protest too much.”

            myiq2xu, I teach college composition. I’ve had to refer any number of students to the dean at my school for plagiarism. You seem to think that no accusation of plagiarism is justified if you won’t admit to it. I know of a lot of expelled students who wish that were so.

            The back and forth between myiq2xu and Pol C/Robert Stanley Martin (the original writer) is in the comments here. The guy has a lot of valid points to back his accusations up. Myiq2xu’s response is to avoid addressing any of them. He just screams his innocence over and over.

            It took some looking, but here’s the Manchurian Candidate bits from the postings:

            Robert Stanley Martin, 8/06/08

            Her [Digby’s’ description of a “dog whistle,” quite frankly, all but sounded like something out of The Manchurian Candidate. […] Digby implies that some people are human robots waiting for the likes of Angela Lansbury (or, if you must, Meryl Streep) to say the right words to activate the latent racist within. This is absurd.

            myiq2xu, 2/22/09

            Not only do these “racists” not know they’re racists, they firmly believe they’re not. And we don’t know how to tell them apart from other people who aren’t racist at all! It sounds like one of those cold war movies with brainwashed Soviet moles waiting to be activated by some secret phrase that would turn them into assassins and saboteurs.

            Note: Yes, I know myiq2xu’s piece quoted above doesn’t reference Digby. But Martin’s stuff always seems to echo through myiq2xu’s writing on racism, wouldn’t you say? Of course, I’m sure he’ll respond by saying that no one has any right considering him a plagiarist if he won’t cop to it. And, of course, he never read any of the stuff in question.

            After rereading the Alegre exchange, I have a question for you, myiq2xu. Have you begun checking the links in comments on your own site before you let them out of moderation?

          • If you’re not looking to cause trouble then why are you trying to cause trouble?

            You can keep beating a dead horse but it won’t get up and run.

            You obviously are associated with whats-his-name and are intent in proving his case. But you’re missing an essential element.

            Refer me to the dean of whatever if you want. What do you hope to achieve?

          • BTW – If I wanted to avoid addressing this issue I would have simply deleted your comments from the spam filter.

          • I had to go back and look but my more recent piece you quote from not only didn’t mention Digby, it had nothing to do with her.

            It was a reaction to a post by Paul Rosenberg at OpenLeft.

            Did your friend “scoop” me with a reaction to that one too?

          • Wow, I just read a portion of that thread at Allegre’s place. I don’t know who that guy is, but he’s pretty full of himself. Is that the only thing he ever wrote or something? It’s not at all uncommon for a bunch of blogs to post about the same thing in a short space of time. We are mostly all reading the same stuff on line.

            I didn’t think myiq sounded snotty either. Especially considering the wild accusations that person was throwing around.

          • If I’m so off-base, why does it bother you so much?

            I just know the guy from his posts on Alegre, which are generally pretty good. Most of the stuff he writes about on his own site isn’t about politics, and it isn’t of much interest to me. If I were some ally of his, I’d have come after you long before now.

            As for why I’m going about it, there are two reasons. The first is that plagiarism disgusts me. The second is that your attitude really pisses me off.

            As for the dean, I guess here that’s Riverdaughter and the other front-pagers. What to do with you is their call. Although it might be a good idea to deal with the plagiarist in their own midst before complaining about it on other sites.

          • Why does it bother YOU so much?

            You’ve spent the whole day on this one issue.

            I’m guessing you’re Pol C with a new alias.

          • What should my attitude be anyway?

            I did nothing wrong, and your opinion doesn’t change that.

          • WOW! “professor” Brassai has an axe to grind.

            I would hate to be his student given that his accusations of plagiarism by MYIQ are absolutely false…no where, in the passages Prof B exerpts, does MYIQ lift whole passages or ideas.

            Brassai, your accusations deserve an “epic fail” grade.

          • If “Professor” Brassai/Pol C is expelling students who dare to write wholly different essays on the same topics because they have similar ideas then that school has a strange definition of plagiarism.

            Pol C should keep his tinfoil hat on at all times otherwise I might steal his ideas with my mind control rays.

  9. Mr. Obama has not conceded on any major priority.

    Except women’s health, and who cares if a buncha bitchez can’t get birth control? Shoulda kep dere legs shut. Sluts.

    Whoops, was that out loud?

    • Janis,

      Tell us how you really feel. 😉

      He’s going to care when he can’t get his “social program” costs under control. I swear it’s positively moronic to believe that bringing children into the world before their parents are prepared for them is smart. Children come with a financial cost. If their parents aren’t prepared for it, then the country has to be prepared to pick up the tab.

      • He’s going to care when he can’t get his “social program” costs under control.

        And then he and his foamy followers will do what is always done: blame the women. Same with HRC. They picked this idiot, grudge-holding empty suit, and now that he’s showing his true colors, they are not saying, “How foolish we were! I wish oh how I wish I had done the smart thing and voted for Hillary!”

        Nope. More like, “How foolish we were! And thank God we didn’t vote for that bitch, because she would have been EVEN WORSE! We are smart and to be congratulated for keeping things less awful than they could have been! Go us!”

        Never assume ANYONE will EVER come to their senses in a way that prevents them from making the same stupid mistake in the future.

        • Exactly. A friend said, when will obots wake up from thier delusions? I said, when are you gonna wake up from your delusion that they will?

  10. Rd key issue Dems have is nailed in 2nd half of this — “adulation”

    ps: I read an article in the LAT yesterday I want you to read, bigly. It’s not political — more for you.

    Remember how last night the convo was all about pumaforward?
    2nd article:

    Remember last year when you were supporting those women who were running — I can’t remember their names at the mo, but — no reason in the future that a Dem candidate might not want to run an ad on a DemPuma site — especially a thinking Dem site like the Conf.?

    Of course, anyone who did that would have the sort of values the Conf has. And Confy pals are going to trust this blog. So, these candidates are going to be able to get a lot of exposure to a huge American audience.

    The web shaped this election — it was target marketed. That will be the future from now on. However?
    I highly doubt anyone will be able to pull off a stunt like we saw happen again.

    The great leveler is going to be debate, dialogue, and brains — plus the platforms?

    The Conf might do an interview in future?

    Just sayin’

    from me!

  11. I didn’t vote for Obama, and I don’t like what I’ve seen up to now, but if he can give the Palestinians a state, then, I will be happy he was elected. I will believe it when I see it. Hillary has been supporting a two state solution since she was in the WH, and I think she’ll work towards that end if Obama supports it.

    • Then give credit where it’s due. If there is an agreement, I’m betting Hillary has a lot to do with it.

      • Me too. She is the only hope he has of coming out of this smelling like roses.

  12. Just for the sake of information:

    A primer on what happened in the I/P negotiations of 2000/2001

    This really helps to debunk a couple of prevailing myths.

    • I don’t see anything there about the Bushies sending envoys before the elections to both parties in the agreement telling them they’ll get a better deal if they didn’t make Clinton/Gore look good.

  13. As somebody whose been raked over the coals quite a bit the last few days, not about the subject being discussed, and not necessarily by the people referred to here, (though, not necessarily exclusive of all of them either) all I can say is, whatever you believe in, fight for. Any way, anywhere you can. I’ve tried to stay out of the middle of the personality clashes, but, that’s only so possible. But, I’ll go where the debate is, and engage as the spirit moves me. Otherwise, it’s tempting to retreat to a neutral corner just to try to avoid the stress. After a pretty nasty encounter last night, I woke up to nausea and tension headaches. No fun. I’m not knowledgeable enough about the I/P issue to debate it, but what I’m noticing lately is the whole PUMAsphere is getting contentious. Maybe there’s no getting around it, maybe it’s to be expected, but I think it’s something to be mindful of.

    • {{Cinie}} I’m so sorry

    • yup, yup, what Cinie said. Foreign policy issues have never been my thing and I really have to listen to others on things like the I/P problem because they are so grounded in a lot of history and things over which I have no in-depth knowledge.

      I would just like to restate that it’s best to discuss issues without getting personal. It’s one thing to disagree with a person’s opinion. It’s completely a different thing to be disagreeable and insulting because some one has an opinion you don’t share.

      I think every one here tries to stick with debating the issues at hand and I applaud that. It’s really draining when you’re told you’re stupid because you didn’t see something the same why some one else does.

      • exactly–didn’t we all learn that last year?? I can only go by my own experience & I have always found TC to be a nuetral zone for witty discussion & fair debate.like Bill said of Hill: I’m “sticking!”

    • Read your Puma post and found this a fine ad for puma sites

      Rather than “narrow the focus” and “adapting a platform” or other such deliberately disarming tactics, we should be doing everything we can to grow the PUMAshere by leaps and bounds, encouraging everyone we can recruit to blog, Facebook, Digg and Twitter ourselves silly under our umbrella. Why limit ourselves to this or that “reform” when we have the means to take all the issues we care about on simultaneously? Let PUMAPac organize prowls and protests to their hearts’ content and support them to our full ability and comfort level. Same with Hillbuzz and other more activist PUMA sites. If The Confluence idea of encouraging PUMAs to enter primaries appeals to you, go for it. You like City Tavern’s Constitutional activism approach ? They’re there, waiting for you to join up, join in, participate and plan. Daily PUMA lists all of our blogs, as well as those outside our umbrella that might appeal to you. Got a feminist bent? There are many PUMA-identified, or PUMA-friendly blogs ready, willing and able to accomodate you. Need a bit of snarky insight? I’ll keep trying to provide it. So will John-South of Melrose over at Liberal Rapture, and quite a few others (Myiq2xu, I’m talking about you). Like your politics a little more hardcore? Try RBO, or Cannonfire, or No Quarter. Don’t like bullshit? Neither do Uppity Woman and Sugar. But, for Goddess’ sakes, let’s not “narrow our focus” into irrelevance.

    • Taking a short break is helpful to focus on WHY it is so important we continue.

      My daughter and I had a beautiful evening together talking and it helped me deal with the tea party brouhaha where we disagreed on whether or not the tea parties were positive for the PUMA movement.

    • Cinie,

      As far as I’m concerned, you have been a model of courtesy and kindness. I tend to agree with much of what you have written on this topic.

      • BB, I try to be civil, but, I AM starting to get pissed. Trying to reign it in, but, trust me, it ain’t easy. It’s really hard not to lash back and let people know that cussing people back can be fun, and I’m really, really good at it.

        • Well, I hope I’m not one of those people. I don’t want to get on your bad side, Cinie.

          • Never, you, BB, and to tell you the truth, not that many other people either. But then, it only takes one to make us go off, right? But like I said, I’ll keep myself in check.

    • Then you can imagine how angry and sucker punched I felt by those email I got over the cannonfire issue.

      • To be honest, that pissed me off–in my view, you have repeatedly proven your integrity, principles, & have earned the benefit of a doubt & then some. You have given so much of your time & energy to build a community here & for others who have enjoyed that refuge & solidarity to attack & dismiss you without accepting an opportunity to dialogue says much more about them than you. If we have learned anything, it is to stand up for what we know is true. Just keep doing what you do best RD & we will rebuild.

      • Why is this being seen as a personality thing? Was the KOS blogosphere 2.0 meltdown over personalities or because they had secret money to blog favorably about BO? No, the same thing happened on blog after blog. My own current conspiracy theory says the settler/one-state/hard-line Jewish lobby is the single biggest threat to peace in the Middle East right now. I think the one-staters are being culled from the herd in order to remove their voices from any mainstream blogs.

        At almost the same time the one-state-solution crowd at the PAC came out from their late night venue and into prime time with the new “Islam sucks” campaign. I’m pretty obviously in favor of a two-state solution, so I would be happy to discuss it with them, but unfortunately they have been experiencing technical difficulties and my login no longer works over there. The same week as the Confluence dust up. Coincidence, probably, right?

    • Cinie–hugs! You’re awesome and whoever is mean to you sucks!!!! My mind is Swiss cheese right now and the past week is down the memory hole, so if I had anything to do with it, I’m sorry.

      I can’t figure out if the net is a net positive or negative, even for chronic insomniacs like me. I got so stressed out once me shoulders, arms, and hands ached with tension for days–is the carpal tunnel worth it? 🙂

      • LOL!!!!

        (at times my nose starts bursting blood!!!-that’s when I know I need a break)

        • OMG! That’s horrible–I would be scared to death if blood burst from my nose!

  14. This is regarding “the schism” and other rifts:

    I have followed some of the ongoing threads on the PUMA Pac blog and on The Confluence, and some of the recent threads on The Widdershins. I have been calling for a major PUMA conference for many months now. I believe more now than ever that we all seriously need to meet personally, either on a national or regional level to discuss our common ground as well as our differences.

    I have heard some murmurs from PUMA leaders about a possible conference this spring on the East Coast in commemoration of the May 31, 2008 RBC meeting that led to the launch of the PUMA movement. I have been waiting to hear more about this and I have been asking for it for such a commemoration for quite a while now. So far, I am still waiting …

    My point in writing this is: I have seen so much arguing and flaming among PUMAs recently, and I believe more now than ever that these issues cannot be ironed out through blog posts or emails back and forth. The only way to solidify our movement and attempt to get all PUMAs on the same page to some extent is to have face-to-face meetings. There is no other way. When people who are all dedicated to a common political goal disagree on how to reach that goal, they need to start talking to each other directly about strategies, methods of operations, talking points when dealing with the opposition, etc., to coordinate actions. Face-to-face meetings are the only way out of this bogdown.

    I hope our leaders will put together a national, or at least regional, PUMA conference. As PUMA approaches the one-year anniversary mark, we need to re-define what makes us PUMAs, and resolve our differences to the point where we can at least agree on some common goals. We need solid organization and very strong leadership right now.

    … Just my ten cents (which is only worth two cents here in NYC where we have the highest cost of living in the country).


    • I’ve been reaching out to some of the others out there to do an online conference. I’ve also had some contact from a few Hillary Loyalists and Friends that are planning to work on issues near and dear to her that are basically domestic policy since she’s busy at State. I’m not going to let this drop. I think now is a good time since we’ve had a 100 days of Obama and we know where things are now and the new car smell is wearing off.

    • This is a very good point. Meeting face to face would help us to take our momentum to the next level. And help people work things through, too, I would think.

      I am a bit distressed about all this conflict. I totally missed the entire process, but have been dismayed over the outcome. If we are going to effect change in the Dem party, in the election process, or in any way deemed important in the PUMA world, we must work together, and our sheer numbers are important.

  15. A great deal about this spit has been kept on the QT, for which I’m gratful. That’s why a number of us even wonder which site is being refered to. I do know a number of those that left , often had a habit of leaving in a huff, were begged by other posters to come back and they usually did. If they don’t return now at least there will be less of the ” I’m leaving!! ” high drama. That’s a plus

    • What’s interesting about leaving of a few from The Confluence is that new voices are coming out of the woodwork. In the end this may be a good thing. Long time lurkers are delurking and adding their voices.

      I’ve been on the road (8,000 miles in two months) touring the southwest and trying to keep up.

      The I/P will always be a tough topic — it started long before any of us were born and it will continue long after we die. It’s sort of like a family fight — with the added confusion of distant relatives who take sides not knowing all the issues.

      Strip the emotional responses away — and look at the hard cold facts — this is the only way we can learn.

      This is why our founding fathers knew that this new nation had to have a separation of church & state — it had to be a thick wall between the two. We are seeing a breach of that wall — and that scares the hell out of me.

    • I agree. I’ve always been the stick around and work things out type. The high drama affected me the way Cinie described above–severe headaches, nausea, uncontrollable shaking, among other unpleasant symptoms.

  16. I believe the money is going to Abbas, who has at least extended effort to unarm militants undermining peace. I do not believe the money is going to the West Bank where Hamas has control(if I remember reading rightly). Hamas was primarily elected because of the “good works” it does. It creates hospitals and schools. The idea might be to show the Palestinian people that we will be willing to help fund schools and hospitals if they actively pursue peace.

    I am betting the folks being granted asylum are being granted asylum for political reasons which could be good or bad. Hopefully Obama learned fromBush’s mistake with Chalabi, that people can have motives that may not be in the best interests of our country and subjective accounts of what is occuring should be verified before going in blindly accepting that the screed is political reality.

    So far, my perception of Obama’s foreign policy has been positive. He’s opened up dialogue with people we often have dismissed outright. However, my opinion on Obama in this area has always been more positive than in domestic policy(I tend to be less hawkish). I do like that he put Clinton on as State because I do think they do have a diametrically different way of looking at foreign policy and she can temper him in areas where he might be optimistically naive.

    I’m glad we are approaching foreign policy differently. It is pretty clear that how we were operating was only creating enemies out of everyone with the exception of the Brits.

    • I do not believe the money is going to the West Bank where Hamas has control(if I remember reading rightly).

      No, Hamas has control of Gaza. Hamas won an election, mostly because of corruption issues (welcome to the Middle East), but refused to share power and attempted a complete takeover. They were forced out of the West Bank by the Palestinian Authority and ran to Gaza. We started supporting the PA financially shortly afterwards.

      The apparent thaw towards Hamas on the part of the Obama administration I believe is based on models of the successful Irish peace process. The Irish peace process started working when the groups doing the bombing were brought into the negotiation process.

  17. am in moderation

  18. That NYT quote is priceless

    “The thing we still don’t know about him is what he is willing to fight for,”

    I remember having solved that doubt about a year ago with a resounding “Nothing”

  19. http://themedialine.org/news/news_mideast_daily.asp?Date=04%2F19%2F2009&category_id=8

    The Obama administration has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians acknowledge the Jewish nature of the state of Israel as a precondition to resuming peace negotiations. In addition to adding to external pressures, the American position adds domestic pressure as the issue threatens to become a point of contention between Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, whose Labor Party is seen as unlikely to back the prime minister’s position. Tension already exists over Barak’s reported difference of opinion concerning Netanyahu’s call to postpone talks on the Palestinian track until the Iranian nuclear threat is neutralized.

    • Included in that source:

      The Netanyahu administration was informed that U.S. President Barack Obama won’t be in Washington when Israel’s new premier had planned to pay his first official visit – a back-and-forth Mideast watchers are scrutinizing for hidden messages. Apparently, the scheduled visits of Jordan’s King Abdallah II and Palestinian leader Mahmoud ‘Abbas will go ahead as planned before Netanyahu gets his shot.

      • Very interesting — the order in which the foreign leaders are getting their “audience” with the “ruler”.

        Remember what 0zero’s people said — that he would “rule” — not lead, but “rule” America — as a king rules. Makes me wonder how much real “schooling” the ONE really had. Some students can pass tests — but they don’t retain the information — no do they make an effort to really understand any subject. Obama strikes me as that sort of student. He reads the teleprompter — but seems to have no comprehension of the meaning of the words.

        • It’s somewhat similar to Obama’s treatment of Brown vs. The Irish guy (can’t remember the name right now).

        • That’s how I see it too.

          The man who actually can not walk and chew gum at the same time, has to concentrate so hard on his cadence, his (mechanical) gestures, his headswirling, that no way does he grasp, what he’s reading.

      • Oooooh! Interesting.

    • Why should the Palestinians must recognize the “Jewish nature” of the state of Israel? And why would the US (which supposedly was founded on the separation of church and state) even consider insisting on such a thing?

      I’d be down with a single state solution: all the residents of the territories captured way back in ’67 (and their descendants) are citizens of Israel. And while they’re at it, they can put in place a constitution that separates religion from politics.

      • The irony being that Obama has 5 religious leaders providing him council.

        I think acknowledging that Israel is “Jewish in nature” ought to take a backseat to the fact that Israel has a right to exist and that Palestinians need to stop trying to blow it and its citizenry up myself. As of yet, there are many that don’t even want to acknowledge their right to exist let alone their “nature”.

        • What no one talks about is what would Israel do with the right wing among the settlers if peace was somehow achieved? Israel would actually have to deal and live with the militant Jewish settlers rather than forever quarantining them on Arab land and letting them whale on the locals. You know , like the guy who shot Yitzhak Rabin? That wasn’t a Palestinian . If peace somehow breaks out, the extreme right wing of the settlers will be a big problem for the government.

          I also maintain one can care very much about Israel while protesting its policies .

  20. Spammy ate my comment — damned that guy is too sensitive.

  21. Sigh. As usual I’m in moderation.

  22. Hubby got me a refurbished laptop that he added more RAM to. I recommend University surplus auctions to folks. Hubby picked up a Desktop for the kids for $30. We need to add more RAM to it but still hard to beat that price.

  23. Can we make this the US Election theme song? It damn sure fits, and better every day.

    Salt of the Earth: Rolling Stones & Guns ‘n Roses

    Raise your glass to the hard working people
    Let’s drink to the uncounted heads
    Let’s think of the wavering millions
    Who need leaders but get gamblers instead.

    Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
    His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
    And a parade of the gray suited grafters
    A choice of cancer or polio.

  24. Thumbs up on this one, ralph. Can we have a national referendum?

    • national referendum, it could win. maybe we could replace congress en masse by national referendum 🙂

      • Could we also change the national anthem to Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land?”

        • Sounds good to me!

        • i think the land was mortgaged by WAMU, turned in to Mortgage back bonds by Freddie and Frannie, then turned into Credit Default Swaps by Goldman Sachs which were rated by Moody’s and insured by AIG, then turned into campaign funds for Barrack Obama so that taxes could be turned over to all of the above so they could report profits this month while conveniently forgetting December using Stupid Accounting Tricks.

          so, it’s really this land is the bankster’s land

  25. Hmmmm?

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people as a condition for renewing peace talks is unacceptable to the United States, the State Department said during special envoy George Mitchell’s visits over the weekend to Ramallah and Cairo.

    • just posted another reference to that up thread 🙂
      you may want to check it out!

    • Obviously, George Mitchell is insensitive, stupid and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    • The Israelis have historically put up all kinds of obstacles and preconditions to sitting down to talk. That’s ridiculous. The more differences, the greater need for communication. When I was over there they were demanding an end to violence incidents before starting talks. That meant Arafat would have had to have complete control over all factions before talks could take place. Any nation who wanted to keep the Palestinian turmoil going in order to have a common enemy that would solidify their own political power would only have to set off a suicide bomber to stall the beginning of talks yet again.

      • In moderation.

        I suspect the talks were being intentionally delayed so The Wall could be completed. I have always thought that once the Wall was a done deal, a lot of the resistence to talks would evaporate.

  26. hey i think when 5-31-9 come we need do plan something big really big

  27. ““The thing we still don’t know about him is what he is willing to fight for,” said Leonard Burman, an economist at the Urban Institute and a Treasury Department official in the Clinton administration. “The thing I worry about is that he likes giving good speeches, he likes the adulation and he likes to make people happy.”

    So far, he said, “It’s hard to think of a place where he’s taken a really hard position.”

    In some of his earliest skirmishes, Mr. Obama eventually chose pragmatism over fisticuffs.”


    We knew this before November, and they knew it in Boca too. Here’s Jerrold Nadler on Obama: “Not Politically Courageous.”

  28. This is completely OT. but

    I don’t know if anyone has tried to link to cannonfire from the blog links on the right, but the link is wrong.

    • it’s an in joke

    • Yeah, seems there are about 4 others that go nowhere, as well.

      • No kidding?

        • Ahhhh, another insider only joke. See, these are the things that make it easier to just read the posts and stay away from comments.

          BTW, you want to make a difference, the environment needs to be inclusive.

          I think I’ll go back to lurking. The posts here are exceptional.

          • Don’t do that. It’s not really an “insider” joke. That Cannonfire link was that cause of the “split.” Hard to believe, I know, but that little link was the cause of a lot of rage several writers “taking their ball and going home.” Did you read the post? Comments?

    • Might as well put it back up-I keep on having to go over to Cinie’s to go to links (which isn’t the Confluence we once knew)

      • I keep all my favorte blogs on my “favorites” list. I would put the real link back if it were up to me though.

  29. Dakini—you have mail; I will be glad to help you just say what and when.

  30. I’m up for a national convention, meet, greet and tweet. I think the memorial day for 5/31 is on the money. Never will air fares, meals and lodging be so cheap. Las Vegas I think has some remarkable deals as does Reno.

    If we were to have a national conference for the Pumasphere, does anyone have any idea of how many people would show up?

    • Argghh! I have to go to a conference for work on May 31. The conference starts on June 1.
      May I make a suggestion? I suggest online conferences during the summer with a live conference in the fall. Also, as much as I loved the yearlykos style conference in Las Vegas, many people just can’t afford it. It means flights, hotels, meals. It’s just too expensive. I also don’t want a repeat of the PUMA conference we had last year. The venue was all wrong. But, there are camps that offer conferencing facilities. There is one run by the YMCA in Newton, NJ that I went to with my daughter’s seventh grade pod. The facilities are not plush but they are affordable and most people can do it. Besides, we would all get to sleep in the woods and toast marshmallows and stuff! It could be fun!

      • Hi, RD,

        I would love a live, in-person conference on 5/31/09. The date is significant and it should be commemorated. However, I don’t know if arrangements can be made in time. The frustrating part of that is that I have been asking about it for *months* and I don’t know why no one was trying to put something together long before now. Oh, well …

        I just posted to dakinikat’s blog about this, and I will support whatever arrangements are made, whether it it an online conference, a camp-out … whatever (except that I would only go to the camp if they have cabins, since I don’t have a tent).

    • I’ll be having my oral defense in late May, but I couldn’t afford to travel that far anyway.

      • Good luck, bb. I know you’ll do well. (I would say “great,” but I don’t want to put too much pressure on you.)

      • Just remember that at this point you know more about your subject than anyone on your committee does.

  31. I would be happy to go to the East Coast too!

  32. OK, I’m a guilty party in some of what is posted above.
    In my apparently misguided attempt to appeal to the other blog’s Puma/liberal hearts, I summarized the points of Dak’s post for the future focus of the Puma un-party. In my defense, I thought Dak’s summaries of many other posters comments meant she did not take credit alone. I’m sorry, I will do better in the future.
    I also thought not mentioning her name might slip past their defenses better.
    I thought that if they were enthused about the process they might put aside their rancor and join in once again. Some sort of re-alignment, a joining of forces.

    When they started with their own exploration, personally I thought, great- let’s see who comes up with the answer first. I don’t care who does it- be it the Confluence,Pumapac,Widdershins,whoever. Somebody just Do It!

    In the long run, we will be stronger and more successful if we can retain our alliances and not alienate those who actually have common goals. Not pointing fingers here, but be mindful of what you say.

    Having said that- be gentle.

    • I’m not mad that you discussed what was said during the process of here. You’re right in that I don’t have ownership of the comments because they were a synthesis and restatement of others. However, I’m not really happy that a process that I introduced over here to get some forward movement and some cohesiveness was co-opted and presented as something original that no one saw any forward movement on before. That’s what I found disingenuous and that wasn’t your fault.

      • Thanks for letting me off the hook.
        I hope at some point in the future we can work with those
        who are our allies at heart and put this behind us.

        I think we also are going to have to bury the hatchet with
        disillusioned Obots at some point in time too.

        • I’m not really holding my breath. Realizing you were wrong then saying it appears to be difficult for many folks. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday who was telling me that she and others were beginning to have doubts about Obama’s capabilities. She also said that some of his issues are just being discovered. I said, sheesh, I was telling you that a year ago, why didn’t you hear it then? Then she glazed over again and said she wasn’t really ‘complaining’ just wondering. For just a moment, I was thinking she was coming out of denial.

          • I guess it depends on where you bury the hatchet


          • She seems ready to admit Barry may not be what she thought….but admitting she was wrong and you were right, is still a bridge too far . It’s amazing….as soon as you point out the information isn’t just coming out, but indeed, was under her nose a long time ago, she reaches for the comfort of the kool-aid . Obots tend to think they are ” the smart ones” . But Obotatization is an emotional event and has little to do with smarts .

  33. Oh my. Well for the record I visit the *other* site to chat with some of the folks; same as I do here.

    I really do not wish to have to “pick” one over the other and hope my comments here will be taken as such; just comments.

    FWIW- I go to Cinie’s site and read her stuff as well as uppity’s site, deadenders and Liberal Rapture. Hope that doesn’t put me in jail.

    • of course not, i used to go over on the blogs of others for awhile until i got called stupid for something I disagreed with some one on

      • also, I was privy to the entire email exchange, I have to say that some of the email exchanges were beyond anything I could possibly describe.

        • Not to belabor the point, but according to other reports, “RD called them jerks, and they never called her/you anti-semitic.” Someone is not being honest here, and it’s not fair to pretend otherwise, especially since it’s caused so much pain.

          As I said earlier, I can only go by my own experience, and I’m following my instincts here–that’s what made me a PUMA in the first place. I wasn’t involved, have seen no evidence here of debased judgment or behavior (though JC’s style of communicating is quite incendiary for my tastes at times…) and I love it here, so I’m going to leave it at that. I wish everyone–on both sides–well.

          Back to policy debate and future goals. 🙂

      • Well that’s uncalled for. No reason to make those types of comments.

  34. Wow, lots of heat on both the I/P issue and the sad little plagiarizing people that couldn’t handle some disagreements and took their toys home. I’d mostly ignore them. But if there is something particularly pathetic, it might be worth doing something like Bob Somerby does in his columns about some of the MSNBC chumps. But then you’d have to link. Double edged sword I guess.

    So back on the I/P, I think a little shake-up could be a good thing. But I have to admit I don’t have much hope there. As for the deal that fell through, I remember how angry B.Clinton was about it, but I’m not sure it was that great of a deal for the Palestinians given the Jerusalem issues. But then things sure have sucked for all concerned since. I’m not sure it will ever happen from the inside, I think perhaps in the end it will only happen if forced from outside. We’ll see. Good point about which lines though. I think most people agree with 67 now. But Jerusalem is the big sticky bit. I kind of like the idea of an international city, or really separate country kind of like Vatican City.

  35. I am still persuaded that the two-state solution only prolongs the conflict and that a one-state solution is the only sustainable option. Nobody wants to discuss it, it’s a real hot potato because Israel raises holy apocalyptic hell every time it comes up, but it needs to be aired and discussed openly.

    RD, myiq2xu, dakinikat and others: I had NO IDEA about all the shenanigans that went on here, or the abuse you all underwent. Sheesh…what a clusterfrack. I want to thank you immensely for hanging in there and continuing to produce an outstanding site day after day. I didn’t realize how childish and counter-productive some of those posters were. Jeeminy.

  36. I just read a comment I made here come out of someone else’s mouth at another site– presented as their own. That gave me a feeling I did not like. Sampling other’s work without attritubtion simply isn’t right. I get inspired by others all the time, and perhaps incorporate their ideas into my own thinking– hell, that’s what dialogue is all about– hopefully we listen to each other and build on each other’s work. But if you take someone’s phrasing and idea wholecloth- you need to acknowledge that. Even if you just say, “I read this somewhere, can’t remember who said it.”

  37. I will not be unhappy if a “just and lasting” peace treaty eventuates under Mr. Obama’s influence. Quite the contrary. It’s high time.

    However, I have long thought that that is the wrong goal. Obama is willing to give the project 4 years. That might mean 4 more years occupation, and the occupation is now 42 years old. And Mr. obama may change his mind or turn out to be less powerful than he thinks. and Israel and Palestine, BOTH, can be expected to be obdurate.

    Therefore, with great respect, I suggest (again) that Mr. Obama work toward a LAWFULLY-CONDUCTED OCCUPATION “as if there is no peace negotiation” even while he works toward peace (even “as if there were no occupation”).

    The first step toward a LAWFULLY-CONDUCTED OCCUPATION would be the removal of the WALL wherever it exists within occupied territory and the removal of all Israeli SETTLERS from any part of any occupied territory. This is a goal that can be achieved without Palestinian OK and without Israeli OK, because it depends solely on international humanitarian law, which is well-settled, even if Israel and the US have been disposed to ignore it until today. The US (and EU and UN) can coerce toward achievement of a LAWFULLY-CONDUCTED OCCUPATION without regard to the possibility that “peace is just around the corner” (or that it isn’t, a more likely prospect). it is the right thing to do and should be done.

    Working toward peace is also a lovely idea. Go for it.

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