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Socially Unacceptable


Remember a couple weeks back when Barack, Michelle and their media entourage flew to New York City one Saturday night for dinner and a show?  Imagine what would have happened if the following week David Letterman did a “Top Ten” list of the worst moments of their trip and said this:

Number 2 – Finding out that the restaurant didn’t serve fried chicken and watermelon

Not only would Letterman be retired right now, but so would the writers and producers of his show and the head of CBS would be offering profuse apologies to the Obamas. There would be protests, advertising boycotts, and denunciations of Letterman from the leaders of both parties. You can be sure Keith Olbermann would be ranting “How dare you sir!” and he wouldn’t be blaming the Obama’s for political opportunism. People would be outraged, and rightly so.

Not that long ago racism was socially acceptable and racial discrimination was legal.  Academics prepared scholarly treatises asserting the superiority of the white race.  Many (white) people believed that it was the “white man’s burden” to exercise control over the “lesser” races for their own benefit.

Senator Robert Byrd of West Virgina is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. That was in 1942.  He is now third in line of succession to the Presidency. Former senator and Supreme Court justice Hugo Black is another prominent figure who once belonged to the Klan.

At it’s peak in the 1920’s the Klan had millions of members from all levels of society:

Indiana’s Klansmen represented a wide cross section of society: they were not disproportionately urban or rural, nor were they significantly more or less likely than other members of society to be from the working class, middle class, or professional ranks.

Once upon a time the Klan had major political influence in the South and Midwest. Nowadays the Klan is a fringe group that is viewed with disgust by the vast majority of the nation.

Continue reading

Zero Tolerance for Birthers

We hoped this would go away after the election but lately it’s been getting worse.  Just so we’re clear:



There is absolutely no legal basis to doubt Barack Obama’s eligibility to be President of the United States.  Any comments related to his eligibility, including but not limited to whether or not he is a “natural born citizen,” his COLB, his adoption by Lolo Soetoro, his place of birth, Philip Berg and/or Dr. Orly Taitz will be deleted and the commenter banned.  You have been warned.

Comments are closed on this thread – there is nothing to discuss.

Twittering the Revolution, Day 2

AP photo/Vahid Salemi

AP photo/Vahid Salemi

I just discovered the power of Twitter a couple of weeks ago when we decided to add a Twitter feed to The Confluence front page. Little did I know how addictive it would be! I found I could learn about breaking news stories from reporters on the ground–before the stories were actually published or broadcast.

Back in the ’60s and ’70s we had underground newspapers that were passed out free on street corners. People had to find ways to bypass the status quo mainstream media and these newspapers gave outlets to new and exciting writers. In recent years, as the media has become even more corporate-controlled than it was in those days, people have used internet newsgroups and then the hunger for real news fueled the explosion of blogs that allowed direct communication of ideas among engaged citizens.

Last night at TC, we noted and dicussed the power of social media in the political process, as Iranians on the ground twittered news of the riots following the possibly rigged election by satellite, begging for attention and support from the West. Continue reading

Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

  • Ahmadinejad’s Landslide Fraud Election: The Aftermath
  • I would like to congratulate my co-bloggers and all the commenters here at The Confluence for a spectacular job on the Iranian election last night. The play by play here was second to none.

    Iran reformists held after street clashes

    Up to 100 members of major Iranian reformist groups have been arrested, accused of orchestrating violence after the disputed presidential election.

    Iran erupts as voters back ‘the Democrator’

    A smash in the face, a kick in the balls – that’s how police deal with protesters after Iran’s poll kept the hardliners in power

    Report: Defeated Ahmadinejad rival arrested in Iran

    Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi was reportedly arrested Saturday following the reformist’s defeat at the polls by hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Supporters of Mousavi, the main challenger to Ahmadinejad, have responded to the election with the most serious unrest in Tehran in a decade and claim that the result was the work of a dictatorship.

    Ahmadinejad to hold victory rally amid protests

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepared to hold a victory rally Sunday, a day after he was declared the winner of the country’s presidential election, spurring violent street protests from opposition supporters who claimed ballot fraud.

  • The Repercussions
  • Ahmadinejad Re-election a Blow to U.S.-Arab Allies

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s announced election victory Saturday could deal a blow to Washington’s Arab allies, who have been alarmed by Iran’s regional ambitions and hoped his ouster might moderate them.

    The President needs to know the eyes of the world are on him

    For Western policy-makers, this makes for a peculiarly Iranian election where the apparent decisiveness of the victory has only reinforced the ambiguity of the situation.

    Obama’s Iran dilemma

    The notion of an “Obama effect” sweeping the Middle East appeared to collide with the realities of the Islamic Republic of Iran Saturday, as the country’s confrontational, anti-American president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, celebrated a landslide victory in Friday’s election amid wide doubts about the honesty of the official vote count.

  • More Middle East
  • Netanyahu to outline Israel’s policies in speech

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver a major policy speech on Sunday that officials say will outline his vision of how to advance the peace process with the Palestinians and the Arab world.

    Netanyahu’s moment of decision

    Can Netanyahu Repair the Rift With the U.S.?

  • War On Terror: The Central Front
  • Mission Accomplished?
    Iraq gets ready for the Yanks to go home

    American forces will soon start to withdraw, leaving a power vacuum that Sunnis, Shias and Kurds hope to fill

    Campaigning Iraqi MP Harith al Obeidi shot dead outside Baghdad mosque

    Iraqi Leaders Rally After Sunni Murder

    Judge Rules Terrorist Can Sue Over Torture Memos

    A convicted terrorist can sue a former Bush administration lawyer for drafting the legal theories that led to his alleged torture, a federal judge has ruled who said he was trying to balance a clash between war and the defense of personal freedoms.

  • Around The World
  • U.S. drone kills 3 in Pakistan; bomb kills 7

    A suspected U.S. drone aircraft fired a missile on Sunday killing three militants in northwest Pakistan, while elsewhere in the region, a bomb blast in a market killed seven people, officials said.

    Guantánamo Bay Uighurs start first day of freedom with shopping

    Pakistan Taliban leader faces threat from fellow tribesman

    North Korea declares all-out push for nuclear weapons

    Regime retaliates against fresh UN sanctions by announcing it will turn all its plutonium into bomb material

    How Strong is the Evidence Against Amanda Knox?

  • Economy Watch
  • Americans Get Poorer More Slowly

    According to just-released Federal Reserve data, U.S. household wealth fell by $1.3 trillion in the first quarter, blessedly less than the previous three months’ $4.9 trillion loss, the biggest quarterly decline since such records started being kept all the way back in 1952. But it was the seventh straight quarter of declines, also a record for the series.

    Has Government Crossed the Line?

    From bank bailouts to auto bailouts to executive pay, business is increasingly nervous about the heavy hand of the Obama Administration

    U.S. jobs rebound is expected to be long, slow and scattered

    While signs indicate that the worst of the recession may be over, only six metropolitan areas across the country are expected to regain their pre-recession employment levels by the end of 2009, according to projections from IHS Global Insight, a leading economic forecaster

    Regulators Feud as Banking System Overhauled

    Two of the nation’s most powerful bank regulators were once again at each other’s throats.

    State stimulus spurs growth in China

    Hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency government spending has given the Chinese economy a shot in the arm, with official figures showing factory output and retail sales surged last month.

    G-8 Starts Planning Stimulus Exit Strategies on Recovery Signs

    Ride Over? Six Flags Declares Bankruptcy

    Elizabeth Warren: Riding Herd on the Bailout

    As part of her new job, this well-mannered career academic has to bully some of the world’s most powerful men.

  • Health Care Battle
  • High noon on the Hill for health care reform

    One thing is clear: There will be no free lunch. For all the promise of universal coverage, for all the “billion-dollar bills just lying on the sidewalk” that Obama economic adviser Christina Romer described last week as the monumental waste waiting to be saved, health care reform will be expensive.

    The healthcare war has officially begun

    Will Obama stand up to lobbyists and insurers to give Americans a needed public option?

    Obama’s Campaign on Health Care: Papering Over the Details

    Something’s Got to Give in Medicare Spending

  • GOP, Quo Vadis?
  • GOP Comeback Limited by Demographics, Political Forces

    For the past few months, political analysts and demographers have been poring over the results of the 2008 election and comparing them with presidential results from the past two decades. From whatever angle of their approach — age, race, economic status, geography — they have come to a remarkably similar conclusion. Almost all indicators are pressing the Republicans into minority status.

    Newt Gingrich, zombie politician

    [Y]ou’ve probably become familiar with the term “zombie bank,” a financial institution that can continue operating, thanks to government support, even though its debts outweigh its assets. Now it’s time to add a related descriptor to our public discourse: “zombie politician.” The term describes a political figure whose electoral worth is less than zero and whose ideas are totally bankrupt, but who can continue to offer up political guidance because he’s kept on life-support by media-generated oxygen

    Frank the Firefighter no Joe the Plumber

    The Obama Haters’ Silent Enablers

    WHEN a Fox News anchor, reacting to his own network’s surging e-mail traffic, warns urgently on-camera of a rise in hate-filled, “amped up” Americans who are “taking the extra step and getting the gun out,” maybe we should listen. He has better sources in that underground than most.

  • Bad Science
  • Cocaine study that got up the nose of the US

  • War On Drugs: A Real Life Thriller
  • Four Days on the Border

    An American kid hired as an assassin for a Mexican drug cartel sits in a safe house in Laredo and brags about his hits and the one he’s planning next — only this time Texas police are watching.

    Please — DIGG!! and SHARE!!!

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    Late Night Open Thread: Iranian Uprising

    We are all Iranians tonight.