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    • Seven Rules for Running a Real Left-Wing Government
      (Back to the top, this one was fundamental and needs some more time.) So, we have had a right-wing coup in Brazil. In Venezuela, the left still controls the Presidency, but has lost control of parliament. In Argentina, the right has won the election. I have been asked how to stop right-wing reversals. First it’s […]
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We Didn’t Start The Fire

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This particular passage in Part 1 of Eriposte’s interview with Eric Boehlert at The Left Coaster caught my eye:

“Irrational loyalties,” was how one prominent blogger described the situation from the 2008 primary season. That blogger was taking a swipe at both camps, but I think the larger point stands. I’m still not sure why the debate from the spring of 2008 generated into what it did, and I’m not sure many bloggers today really want to look back and search for answers to that question. I don’t think there’s any question that the blogosphere, at least for a while there, became unrecognizable in terms of walking away from the high intellectual standards it had set for itself in previous years. Obviously, the campaign season was going to create various splits since the blogosphere was not going to automatically coalesce around one candidate. And as I mentioned in the book during 2007, the split was between Edwards, Obama and Clinton and the debates online were mostly rational and earnest and intelligent. But then Edwards got out of the race in January, 2008, and pretty much all hell broke loose right after that and the old blog rules sorta went out the window. Today, online backers of Obama and Clinton say the other was to blame (i.e. they started it.) (emphasis added)

There is no question who is to blame and the evidence is there in the posts and comment threads to prove it. It was the Obots that started it.

I’m not saying that no Hillary supporter ever said anything outrageous and inappropriate about Obama, nor am I claiming that no one on our side ever flamed anyone on theirs. In fact, I’m proud to say I charcoaled more Obot asshats than I can remember. But when I did I was shooting back.

Comb through the archives of Cheetoville and the other “A” list blogs (if you have a strong enough stomach) and you’ll find that Hillary supporters in the blogosphere were badly outnumbered from the beginning. But it wasn’t just numbers – the viciousness of the Obots was (and still is) stunning.

I served in the army and spent a good part of my adult life in male-dominated occupations, so suffice it to say I have heard some pretty salty language before. I’ve also worked several jobs that involved dealing with violence and I have had guns pointed at me more than once and I’m not easily intimidated, especially not by anonymous strangers over the internet.

I have been arguing politics since I was a teenager but I never saw the kind of deranged attacks I saw last year. I was blown away.  Any criticism of Obama (or defense of Hillary) elicited insulting tirades and graphic rants from total strangers. I’m not talking about a single troll in a comment thread, I’m talking about pack attacks that went on without interference from moderators.

Over at Cannonfire Joseph Cannon has documented some of the hateful things that were said about Hillary at Cheetoville. The stuff they said about her supporters was as bad or worse. That wasn’t the only place where things were unhinged. I still recall one comment made by a wonktard that compared the vaginas of PUMA women to pulling apart a grilled cheese sandwich.  That’s actually  one of the less-graphic things I recall, but I won’t repeat the really bad ones.

The Confluence was founded as a refuge for Hillary supporters from the unhinged attacks of Obamanation. I’m not aware of any blogs that were started to give the Obots a safe place to meet and talk, but I am aware of several stalker blogs founded for the purpose of harassing and annoying PUMAs.

At it’s core, PUMA is a coalition of the refugees from the purging of Left Blogistan. Oh sure, there have been some loons and nutjobs running around calling themselves PUMAs but the vast majority of PUMAs are liberal Democrats-in-exile. (I suspect that many of the ones taking the PUMA name in vain are Obot ratfucker sockpuppets)

The idea that PUMA was a GOP operation is absurd.  It has it’s roots in the Obot memes that Hillary was really a Republican and was trying to kneecap Obama so that McCain would win.  Later they just shifted that lie over to PUMA.

I’m not saying that the GOP didn’t try to take advantage of the split in the Democratic party caused by Obama’s divisive campaign strategy.  But to believe that PUMA was a GOP group you would have to believe that the Republicans recruited PUMA leaders like Riverdaughter out of high school and had them spend decades building up liberal cover resumes, waiting for the opportunity to disrupt the Democratic party.

“Agent K, we have new orders.  We want you to go online to this place called “Dailykos” and other progressive “blogs” and register as “Goldberry.”  Pose as a liberal and begin posting on a daily basis, advocating things like universal health care, gay marriage and protecting a women’s right to choose.  Support liberal Democratic candidates too.  Win their trust, and we’ll let you know when it’s time to betray them.  By the way, keep your day job because you’re not getting paid for any of this”

The Obots can try to rewrite history, but we were there and we remember. They deserve the blame, as do all the bloggers who stood by and silently watched it happen. In case they forget, I plan to stick around and remind them.

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Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence


  • Tragedy In The skies
  • France and Brazil Press Search for Missing Plane

    Working through the night, ships and aircraft from the French and Brazilian militaries continued to search Tuesday for the wreckage of an Air France jet that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday evening during a flight from Brazil to France.

    The Airbus A330-200, carrying 216 passengers and a crew of 12, apparently went down in a violent thunderstorm after encountering “very heavy turbulence,” Air France said.


  • Smearing Sotomayor
  • Double Standard: Funny how the achievements on Sonia Sotomayor’s resume suddenly count for so little.

    ON PAPER, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor resembles one of her would-be colleagues on the high court: Princeton undergrad, Yale Law School, an editor on the Yale Law Journal, experience as a prosecutor and years of service on the federal bench.

    Yet Judge Sotomayor, President Obama’s pick to replace retiring Justice David H. Souter, is not being compared by some conservatives to Princeton/Yale alum Samuel A. Alito Jr., widely acclaimed as smart and qualified when he was nominated. Instead, they are trying to peg her as “President Obama’s Harriet Miers,” after the nominee of President George W. Bush who took herself out of contention as conservatives savaged her reputation and raised doubts about whether she was smart enough for the job.

    More in GOP make race focus of Sotomayor nomination

    Since the introduction last week of Sonia Sotomayor, Republican senators wary of attacking the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee have lashed out at conservatives in their party who branded the would-be justice a racist and have even predicted a smooth confirmation.

    But several of those same GOP senators said yesterday that they would now make race a focus of the Sotomayor nomination battle – and they were far less eager to criticize conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich for their racially tinged critiques.

    Way to go GOP. That probably explains this massive shrinkage


  • Dems Got Problems
  • GOP salivating for New Jersey governorship

    With New Jersey Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine lagging in the polls, Republicans couldn’t be more enthusiastic about their chances of ousting him in November.

    Democrats’ fundraising numbers worry some

    [A]t a time that was supposed to be a golden era of Democratic fundraising, with a popular president in charge and Congress firmly ensconced in Democratic hands, the early fundraising hauls have been, well, downright ordinary.

    Dating back to the start of the year, Democrats barely hold a financial advantage over the GOP, despite the current toothless state of the Republican Party, its dispirited base and its dim prospects of taking back control of any branch of government in 2010.

    President Obama to the right of Cheney on same sex marriage and to the right of Bush on Government secrecy.


  • “Torturegate”
  • Judge rules against sealing Guantanamo detention information

    A federal judge on Monday rejected an attempt by the federal government to seal information it submitted justifying the continued detention of Guantanamo prisoners

    Why’d Obama switch on detainee photos? Maliki went ballistic

    President Barack Obama reversed his decision to release detainee abuse photos from Iraq and Afghanistan after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki warned that Iraq would erupt into violence and that Iraqis would demand that U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq a year earlier than planned, two U.S. military officers, a senior defense official and a State Department official have told McClatchy.


  • The Future For Women and Pro-Choicers?
  • The Deadly Toll of Abortion by Amateurs

    Abortion is illegal in Tanzania (except to save the mother’s life or health), so women and girls turn to amateurs, who may dose them with herbs or other concoctions, pummel their bellies or insert objects vaginally. Infections, bleeding and punctures of the uterus or bowel can result, and can be fatal. Doctors treating women after these bungled attempts sometimes have no choice but to remove the uterus.

    Security stepped up at abortion clinics

    Planned Parenthood ups security in wake of shooting

    Sotomayor’s record shows she’s no sure vote on abortion

    Activists on all sides can find solace in different parts of Sotomayor’s record on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She backed some abortion clinic protesters and a restrictive Bush administration policy on international family planning. At other times, she agreed with prosecutors who were seeking to charge clinic protesters with criminal contempt.

    Kan. doctor refused to quit: `I know they need me’

    “He never wavered,” says Susie Gilligan, who knew Tiller as part of her work in the Feminist Majority Foundation. “He never backed away. He had incredible strength. When you spoke to him, he was a soft-spoken man, a very gentle man. He said, ‘This is what I have to do. Women need me. I know they need me.'”


  • Economy Watch
  • Confidence in U.S. Economy Builds Even as Recovery Still Seems Distant

    [T]hree months after signs of hope emerged, the evidence of improvement still exists only in the form of glimmers. A slew of recent economic data and other news, including yesterday’s bankruptcy filing by General Motors, make clear that the nation is still muddling through a deep recession.

    How GM Lost Its Way

    Decades of dumb decisions helped send General Motors to a bankruptcy court yesterday, but one stands out.

    In GM, Wall Street Gets Another Bailout

    The bankruptcy of General Motors Co. is a historic low point for automakers, but it’s going to mean a big payday for another bailed-out industry: Wall Street.

    Mankiw & Rogoff: Why We Don’t Need Economists

    Rogoff and Mankiw think heightened inflation is the cure for our sagging economy. In Rogoff’s case, he’s advocating “6 percent inflation for at least a couple of years”, while Mankiw says the Federal Reserve should pledge to create “significant” inflation.
    […]
    If Rogoff and Mankiw get their way, what many term the greatest economist crisis since the Great Depression will intensify. Worse, and maybe this is a good thing, the reputation of conventional economists will plummet even more than it already has.

    For those who missed it:
    The 31-Year-Old in Charge of Dismantling G.M.

    It is not every 31-year-old who, in a first government job, finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism.

    But that, in short, is the job description for Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry.


  • From The World of Medicine
  • Scientists hail the first effective treatment for skin cancer victims

    Scientists have developed the first “personalised” drug shown to be effective against advanced melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer which is on the rise in Britain.

    Deep brain stimulation: Expanding its reach to new patients

    Electrical therapy, used for years to treat Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, may soon tackle depression and more.


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    Morning Rainy Tuesday Post: Cheney Is to The Left of Obama On Gay Marraige

    I… I am speechless.

    Dick Cheney rarely takes a position that places him at a more progressive tilt than President Obama. But on Monday, the former vice president did just that, saying that he supports gay marriage as long as it is deemed legal by state and not federal government.

    Speaking at the National Press Club for the Gerald R. Ford Foundation journalism awards, Cheney was asked about recent rulings and legislative action in Iowa and elsewhere that allowed for gay couples to legally wed.

    “I think that freedom means freedom for everyone,” replied the former V.P. “As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don’t support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. … But I don’t have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that.”

    And it is so very interesting, isn’t it, that this is just about the exact same position our Current Secretary of State has:

    In an appearance early Wednesday evening in front of roughly three-dozen LGBT leaders, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton indicated that she would not oppose efforts by Eliot Spitzer, the odds-on favorite to become the new governor, to enact a same-sex marriage law in New York.

    Oh, and…

    “Every single time since I’ve been elected speaker, I ever time I’ve picked up the phone to ask Senator Clinton to help the LGBT community, she has said yes,” Quinn said. “She’s assigned staff, she’s taken her own time and political capital to put in on the deal.”

    And just to beat the Damned Horse to Death:

    In honor of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and on behalf of the State Department, I extend our appreciation to the global LGBT community for its courage and determination during the past 40 years, and I offer our support for the significant work that still lies ahead.

    At the State Department and throughout the Administration, we are grateful for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees in Washington and around the world. They and their families make many sacrifices to serve our nation. Their contributions are vital to our efforts to establish stability, prosperity and peace worldwide.

    Human rights are at the heart of those efforts. Gays and lesbians in many parts of the world live under constant threat of arrest, violence, even torture. The persecution of gays and lesbians is a violation of human rights and an affront to human decency, and it must end. As Secretary of State, I will advance a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

    This, as the article linked above notes, is to the right of the position Bam has on “Gay Marriage.” Which is described as follows:

    Caught up in the debate is the Obama administration. The president has said he supports civil unions for gay couples but that he remains committed to marriage being between and man and woman. His press department has been completely quiet about the recent California Supreme Court case upholding a ban on gay marriage in the state — something that, it seems, Cheney would object to in spirit if not law.

    That’s interesting isn’t it, that Dick Cheney is more evolved on this issue than the President is? DICK CHENEY!

    You might have noticed that I am slightly obsessed with the issue of Gay Rights, and yes, I am. I admit it freely and without shame.

    My identity as a Bisexual Fag Hag aside, the truth is that it was Gay Rights that inspired my half hazard interest in Politics in the first place. (Granted, I have always followed politics since I was very young, but I am talking about politics as a, er… hobby, or whatever you want to call it.) I have mentioned before that a close, old friend of mine committed suicide two years ago. She was a lesbian, and also died in April of 2007. The Presidential Campaign was starting to get it’s water boiling on the stove, but what actually caused me to start paying attention so early was what happened a few weeks after her funeral. That old superstition “Death Comes in Threes” applied in this case. Before she had died, another close friend of mine had also killed himself. And while he wasn’t Gay (he had a crush on me), he was constantly bullied with anti-gay slurs, day in and day out, until he broke.

    For those of you who seem to think that bullying isn’t a problem in schools, I’m very happy for you. You seem to live in some kind of alternate reality, and it must be very pleasant: filled with Elves, Unicorns, Journalism, Liberal Baptists, and other things that either have never existed or are now nearly extinct.

    But for the rest of us who do live in reality, losing two close friends in one month to suicide can be very hard, to put it mildly. Aside from that, it was just not a good time in my life. The “Third Death” was the loss of a family friend. She was very old and it was her Time, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.

    The day after she died, I spoke to one of my friends’ father’s on the phone, and he told me, “You should try to set this aside for a while… focus on something else besides all of this.”

    But I have never been good at ignoring or compartmentalizing my own feelings. I could not “set it aside” but I could try to understand why these sorts of things happened to people who didn’t deserve it, on my own time and on my own terms. I could channel my feelings into something important, somehow.

    My senior year ended up being only six months long- I graduated from High School early. And thank the Goddess for that. But when I wasn’t working or in school (and that wasn’t very often) I shut myself up in my room and refused to answer phone calls and/or pleading emails from friends and family (before you start lecturing me, I did confide in one person, but that is a moot point). Mostly I was just avoiding my parents, which is always a must, but I was also reading books, thinking, playing Enya on my Xbox to try to make my splitting head aches go away, avoiding my parents some more (I was grounded 99% of the time anyway. Sometimes for breathing too loudly), and doing homework, if it was warranted.

    While all this was going on, I was watching The Situation Room on CNN and getting Google updates on the Election in my cell phone. I think the reason I started to get very interested was because of the Research Paper I had to do. It was supposed to be twelve pages, which was the most I’d ever had to write for a paper, and I had to turn it in four months earlier than the rest of my class, since I would be leaving for good after Mid Terms. I tried doing it on a book my old Republican English Teacher had suggested when I asked her for advice, called A Thousand White Women. I liked A Thousand White Women, but there was no way I could do a twelve page research paper on it.

    A friend of mine told me I would probably like a book that she was reading called The Mists of Avalon. It was a book, she explained, about King Arthur and Camelot, but it was told entirely from the point of view of the women that wielded power behind Arthur’s “Throne.”

    I ended up loving the book. And I did my research paper on it, which ended up being twenty two pages long. The book is focused on Matriarchy; Egalitarianism, even. In the story, Morgan Le Fey is a Druid Priestess and the plot’s tragic protagonist, and the climax occurs when she betrays “Avalon”, the Isle of Apples for King Arthur’s court, causing a sequence of events that eventually leads to the fall of Egalitarian Avalon and the Rise of Patriarchal Camelot through warfare and Religious Dogma.

    My paper’s focus was on how the plight of the women of Camelot could be applied to the difficulties women of our society faced. While I was writing it I was all ready keeping track of the sexism of President Obama’s Campaign, even if I did this secretly and thought I was all alone in my thinking.

    What struck me most about the story was the sexual antics, the freedom in particular, of the Druid women, particularly Morgan Le Fay. Her sexual orientation isn’t really discussed in the book, but it can’t be described anyway. She loses her virginity to her half brother, has sex with women, copulates with Sir Lancelet, who is Gay, and boinks various other men throughout. At one point she even helps the High Queen Guinevere have a threesome with Arthur and Lancelot so the High Queen can conceive a legitimate child on the throne. (Morgan LF also reminded me of our current SOS… in her character and in the resulting public dehumanization of her by Camelot and King Arthur’s Court that was done by Religious Leaders because of what she was and what she stood for.)

    But with the entrance of Patriarchal religious dogma, represented by a rather unflattering portrayal of St. Patrick, women’s sexualities were restricted, their bodies and divinity diminished. In turn, Dogmatic figures seemed almost obsessed with sex, and their intention to control every aspect of a woman’s life seemed to be focused primarily on sex and sexuality.

    I noted privately, of course (not in my paper), the duality in our own society. The Clintons had been the last semi-egalitarian Democrats to control the party and the White House, and Right Wing Extremists seemed so obsessed with both Hillary and Bill’s sex lives it was creepy and almost unhealthy.  I was beginning to draw a connection that would take me to the conclusion I am at today: that Patriarchy and Male Social Dominance should be eradicated, or else NOTHING will ever change (you may disagree with me on this if you like, but I will be writing a series on it later, so take it there, if you want to debate it).

    Through all this, I remembered a conversation I’d had with my now lost friend, a few months before she took her own life. It was the end of winter break and I asked her what she’d done, and she said, “I came out of the closet to my dad (her father being a phony pseudo religious man). He wouldn’t speak to me all break. He wouldn’t look at me. And on Christmas all he gave me was a Bible with the passages about homosexuality highlighted.”

    She was a religious person. There were a lot of factors that drove her to do what she did, and I had long since made peace with her death. That didn’t, however, change my conclusion about that memory. Homophobia, like racism, sexism, ageism, and a number of other things, is a direct result of Male Social Dominance. Homophobia and Misogyny is about sexuality because sexuality and sexual identity is part of being human. And to demean someone on sexual terms is make them less than human.

    I graduated from High School on the day I turned in that paper. My Diploma and Community Service Cord was mailed to me a few months later. On the day of my Commencement, I went to  Cedar Point, North East Ohio’s very best Amusement Park, and rode Roller Coasters. To say that I wanted nothing to do with my graduating class and all the baggage that came along with it would be an understatement.

    My concern for Gay Rights comes partly from a personal experience. But had that experience never occured, I wouldn’t be writing this right now, I wouldn’t understand the importance of what we are doing here, and at least that is worthwhile. For my part, I still don’t understand what I set out to learn two years ago as a result of those events- but the truth is, I don’t think I ever will.

    In other News! This is how a Pro Lifer who is sane and has a conscience

    Morgan Le Fay with the Sword of the Druid Regalia

    Morgan Le Fay with the Sword of the Druid Regalia

    reacts to the News of the Death of poor Dr. Tiller.

    Alaska Governor Sarah Palin released a statement Monday responding to the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a doctor in Wichita, Kansas who performed late-term abortions.

    Gov. Palin has a staunchly pro-life record. She opposes abortion in all cases, including rape and incest, except when a mother’s life is in danger.

    Her statement on the Tiller murder was posted on her personal website:

    “I feel sorrow for the Tiller family. I respect the sanctity of life and the tragedy that took place today in Kansas clearly violates respect for life. This murder also damages the positive message of life, for the unborn, and for those living. Ask yourself, ‘What will those who have not yet decided personally where they stand on this issue take away from today’s event in Kansas?’
    Regardless of my strong objection to Dr. Tiller’s abortion practices, violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message.”

    Governor Sarah Palin


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