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Christmas Eve at The Confluence

Good Morning Conflucians! It’s hard to believe, but The Confluence is nearly two years old. In early 2008, Riverdaughter started this blog as an oasis for disaffected Kossacks who dared to question whether Barack Obama was the right choice for the Democratic nomination.

Riverdaughter hung in day after day, posting her intelligent and snarky commentary on daily events in one of the most hard-fought nomination fights I can remember. Gradually this blog grew into a small but powerful alternative voice in the liberal blogosphere.

After the RBC meeting on May 31, 2008, when the deal was sealed to install Obama as nominee, SM came up with the PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) acronym, and her idea went viral. Although we have been reviled for our dissident views, and we had to fight off numerous ugly troll-storms, we hung together through the Convention farce and the general election campaign.

After the election we continued on as an alternative liberal voice–a thorn in the side of the prog blogs and Obama syncophants who thought we would slink off and never be heard from again. Fat chance! Unfortunately, the puma label was twisted into things we had never intended, so we don’t use it anymore. We’ve moved on to be a voice in the wilderness, providing political commentary from the point of view of people whose eyes were wide open all along instead of clouded by Koolaid haze.

Each day that passes shows how right we were in our trepidation about Obama. More and more Americans are waking up to the reality that Obama isn’t much of a change from Bush. These days you see griping about Obama’s policies all over the liberal blogs, but no one wants to acknowledge that we were right all along. Jane Hamsher, for example would rather work with Grover Norquist and the tea party crowd than include us in her efforts to fight the health insurance bailout bill.

Something tells me we’ll continue to hang in there. My best Christmas present this year is waking up in the morning knowing that TC is here and I can count on all you Conflucians to pick me up when I’m down. And lately there have been more mornings when I wake up to find a brilliant Riverdaughter rant to read! I appears that RD’s hypergraphia is back, and that makes me really happy this holiday season.

So on this Christmas Eve, 2009, I want to thank each and every one of you for your contributions to this blog. That is the best Christmas present I can think of.

Here are some links to get the discussion going. Please post your own choice links in the comments.

Danny Glover: I See No Difference Between Bush And Obama Policies

“I think the Obama administration has followed the same playbook, to a large extent, almost verbatim, as the Bush administration. I don’t see anything different,” the activist movie actor said of Obama’s policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. “On the domestic side, look here: What’s so clear is that this country from the outset is projecting the interests of wealth and property. Look at the bailout of Wall Street. Why not the bailout of Main Street?”

That’s a good start, but Glover goes on to blame the system for Obama’s actions:

“What choice does he have—in four years, eight years? Let’s just call a spade a spade. Really. There are no choices out there. He may be just a different face, and that face may happen to be black—and if it were Hillary Clinton, it would happen to be a woman—but what choices do they have within the structure?”

Um…How come the Republicans always had choices–even when they didn’t control Congress–but the Democrats don’t? The Democrats have a supermajority and they’re still acting like Republicans. Danny Glover has a way to go before he completely wakes up to reality, but it’s a start.

And from the Black Agenda Report where no one was fooled by Obama’s lies: Barack Obama and Langston Hughes on “Grumblers” and “Merry Christmas”

When US presidents offer us their holiday greeting messages, do we know what are they really saying? How hard can it be to figure that out? Langston Hughes died in 1967, but he knew what every US president, including Barack Obama is really saying, underneath and behind the mask.

Go read the whole thing!

Of course the big news of the day is that the Senate has passed their monstrosity of a “health care reform” bill.

Senate Passes Sweeping Health-Care Bill

Thursday’s vote was a victory for President Barack Obama, who made the issue his top domestic priority despite lingering divisions among Democrats and the fierce opposition of Republicans. And it was a validation of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to build consensus on his side of the aisle, rather than reach across party lines, a move that would have forced a lowering of ambitions.

What a pile of crap that is! What ambitions? Does the WSJ really believe that Republicans don’t want to hand over wads of money to giant health care corporations? And if Obama is the victor, who are the vanquished? Women mainly.

If the Stupak and Nelson language survives reconciliation between the House and Senate versions of the bill, abortion will effectively be abolished in many parts of the U.S. If the abortion isn’t covered by health insurance, doctors won’t perform them, and medical schools won’t provide training (many already do not). On top of that the conscience rules are strengthened in this bill to protect health care and pharmacy workers who refuse to provide treatment to women who need abortions, including rape victims who ask for the morning after pill and women who want birth control in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

More articles on the Senate vote:

NYT: Senate Passes Health Care Overhaul Bill

Ezra “anything Obama does is OK with me” Klein: Winning ugly, but winning

From some formerly united-behind-Obama prog blogs:

Crooks and Liars: State Prosecutors Probe Constitutionality Of Nelson’s “Nebraska Compromise” In Health Reform Bill

Emptywheel: Peace on Earth Air Strike in Yemen

David Sirota at Open Left: Permanent Militarism: When Bioweapons & Land Mines Aren’t Even Mentioned

At the Great Orange Cheeto, they are still busy bashing their new object of hatred, Jane Hamsher.