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Afternoon Open Thread: Blogging around the Block

The only thing wrong with my morning walk is that I can’t take the Internet with me.  Theses are some of the stories that are pulling me out of my funk:


Almost a poem, Death and Rebirth of a Republic at Ian Walsh’s place.

 


I still miss her but Alegre’s Corner is going strong & Pacific John has been on a roll :

 

Has obsession over a primary ever lasted this long?

Top HRC organizer and fundraiser, Jeff Campagna asks this on FB:

When in your lifetime can you remember such a large chunk of either political party obsessing over the losing candidate from the previous presidential primary two and a half years after the end of those primaries? Just an observation.

My response…

It’s never happened before. The reason why is, a huge swath of Democrats do not think the nomination process was legitimate. It could have been, but a transparent, open process might have elected another nominee, so it wasn’t allowed.


As a former Girl Scout (7 years including my years as a Brownie!) this post quoting an interview with the CEO of Girl Scouts of America, “The Girl Scouts are right: Today, to be a leader is to be a liar” caught my eye:

 

In the minds of these young women, leadership and lying have become one and the same choice. A leader is a liar – simple as that. Obviously we can find leaders who are not liars – sure we can. But that’s not the point, is it? The point is that these girls now associate the entire call to leadership as a compromise of integrity and honor. And whose fault is that? Surely we must all ask ourselves that question.

Lambert followed up with this comment:

Out here on the margins, the truth is the only weapon we have; even leaving morality aside, we don’t have the funding to sustain the vast edifice of bullshit and lies that supports the kleptocracy; professors, think tank “fellows,” pollsters, public relations consultants, strategists, oppo researchers and even the meme laundries at career “progressive” blogs are all very expensive!

And Anglachel had more to say in “Taking the Lead

One of my next criticisms is due to my gender alarm going off. Why is it the GIRL Scouts who are handing back the line that leaders are liars and that they don’t want to be compromised by being one? Why is the answer they give back to eschew power rather than sully their purity. Why not say “And I intend to bring my ethical convictions into that area and clean it up!” or “And when I am there I will not stand for that kind of behavior!” or something that involves engagement and change? One of the cultural tropes used to discourage women from advancing into positions of authority is that decision-making, authority-wielding positions are “dirty”, compromised, nasty places that nice girls don’t want to be. It will make you “hard”, “bitter”, “ruthless”, and other character traits that are acceptable for men who are facing the “hard choices” but anathema for women. Are Boy Scouts similarly disinclined to pursue such leadership positions, for example? How do they respond to the idea that leaders are liars? How much of our response to this claim is coming out of our own gendered expectations of appropriate female behavior?

Next, I criticize the gullibility of the readers. Did you read about Girl Scouts saying they don’t want to be leaders? No, you read that the CEO of the Girl Scouts is claiming that the girls don’t want to be leaders because they feel their principles are being compromised.


I think we should say this everyday ::

 

Black Agenda Report: “Lower Retirement Age to Free Up Jobs for the Young

With 11 million jobs missing from the American economy, “increasing the retirement age under Social Security is exactly the wrong way to go,” says economist James K. Galbraith, of the University of Texas, at Austin. “It would simply force older workers, including many unemployed workers, into a futile competition for available jobs.”


Of course I’ve heard about “The Deficit Commission” (Or it’s popular nickname, “The Catfood Commission”) but I confess, I didn’t realize there were THREE of them!

 

The Deficit Commission Tsunami

There are three separate deficit commissions prepared to share their wisdom with the American people before the end of the year. These three commissions all have two important features in common: not one member of these commissions warned of the catastrophe that would be created by the collapse of the housing bubble, and they all think it is a good idea to cut Social Security.

. . .

But these commissions that want to tell the public what is best for us don’t feel that they need to bother with trivialities like the economic collapse. In fact, the commissions include many of the people who had helped guide our economy off the cliff. They see their credentials in this capacity as lending to their credibility. This is sort of like an officer from the Titanic using this experience as a basis for being appointed ship’s captain.

In fact, these commissions don’t have much other than their credentials to support their recommendations for cutting Social Security and Medicare. While the media have been hyperventilating at length to try to build fears about the budget deficits, it is easy to show that these fears are unwarranted.


And Finally — when in doubt, take a nap! The year I tested gravel for highway construction, I had an hour commute each way between the gravel yard and my home. I was OK in the morning but the drive home was torture — I had about 45 minutes of oomph and then it was like someone pulled the plug. I remember actually dreaming and driving once before pulling off to the side of the road for a nap — 3 miles from my house. [Eventually I learned to buy a can of cold Coke just to hold against my face. The shocking chill got me through those last few miles.]

 

Study examines toll of drowsy driving

Although drowsy driving is eclipsed as a highway hazard by speeding, drunken driving and distracted driving, 41 percent of drivers say they have done it, according to the report from the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Falling asleep while driving results in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 accidents each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates.

27 Responses

  1. The worst thing about that statement is that the the so call leaders won’t make the connection that what they are doing is wrong. And so many wonder why we as a nation are slipping.

    Asshats.

    Hillary 2012

    • The statement by the CEO of the Girl Scouts, I mean….

    • It’s weird isn’t it? When I was a Girl Scout, we were taught to be leaders…. But, now they’re taught to despise leaders?

      • It’s not just weird, it’s incredibly disturbing. I was a girl guide leader (Canada eh) and this is a terrible indictment of the current state of affairs. I can still recite the Guide Oath and law (I’m a killer at trivial pursuit because for some reason my brain retains all sorts of info)

      • I was in Camp Fire Girls, instead of Girl Scouts, but yes, we were trained to be leaders in those days.

        Do the right thing with confidence and people will follow. Look at our SOS!

        djmm

  2. I am at the piano lesson. Brooke and her teacher are playing The Swan by Sanson(sp). Do you remember when oksana baiul skated to that at the olympics? Lovely.

  3. I’m still trying to learn that new way of holding the yarn while I knit. I’m jumping into it on the sweater …. I hope it won’t be screamingly obvious that I made the change!!

  4. People are also “obsessing” about the former primary candidate because many of the the other voters have awoken from their Kool Aid haze to realize they made a really really bad mistake, and the real leader is somehow not in that position.

    Doh!

  5. Glenzilla:

    This morning we have a living, breathing embodiment of America’s political culture and its ruling class: a prototypical featured article in Politico by Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei which “reports” on the widespread anger at President Obama from — as they put it — “virtually every group that matters in American politics.” Who, to Politico, are the only groups that matter in American politics? “Congressional Democrats. . . Democratic state party leaders . . . . Democratic lobbyists . . . business leaders . . . Republicans.” And of what does this “reporting” consist? A bunch of petulant, cowardly royal court functionaries — hiding as always behind “journalistic” anonymity — whining in Politico about a series of petty ceremonial slights. That’s what makes this article such a perfect exhibit of our self-absorbed political culture, and this article will undoubtedly shape much cable news chatter for today at least.

    With a massive unemployment crisis, millions of foreclosures, rampant elite lawlessness and plundering, and pervasive, severe anxiety over America’s decline, this is what the “groups that matter in American politics” are anonymously complaining about:

    – In July, Obama was visiting GM and Chrysler plans in the Detroit area and invited the local House member – but other Democratic lawmakers who stood to benefit from the exposure were left in the cold.

    – When Obama was giving the commencement address in the University of Michigan’s “Big House” stadium last May, he mingled in the home-team locker room with university deans and regents. Across the tunnel, in the visitor’s locker room, several members of Michigan’s Democratic congressional delegation — including Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers Jr. — waited patiently.

    Some had brought grandchildren so they could get their picture taken with the president. But they never got to see him. Obama didn’t cross the tunnel to see the lawmakers.

    – In June, during an East Room reception for top supporters at Ford’s Theatre, several of the attendees were disappointed that they didn’t get to shake the president’s hand and take a photo, as they had in the past. Instead, Obama greeted a few people down front, reaching over a rope line.

    “People thought they were going to a reception with the president, not a campaign event,” one attendee recalled.

    – One veteran Democrat recalled a group of Obama donors who were chatting at last December’s State Department holiday party, hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Half of them were upset because they had not been invited to a White House party,” this Democrat recalled. “The (other) half was upset because they had been invited to the White House, and were kept behind a rope line instead of getting to greet the president.”

    – The president invited Senate chairs and ranking members over for dinner in March 2009, but came in after they were seated and went back to the residence without shaking hands or visiting each table. . . .

    Other executives complained that Obama did not do enough outreach, even after the friction became clear. And executives who did get an audience complain that he is too often behind a podium, not doing the off-the-record question-and-answer sessions that would make them feel more involved and maybe promote understanding between the two sides.

    There, ladies and gentlemen, is the mentality of the “groups that matter in American politics.” That’s what these people are worried about and focused on.

    I wish Glenn would leave Salon. Then I wouldn’t have to visit there anymore.

  6. thanks for this post, Katie. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this or not,but The New Republic has a really interesting piece up by Sean Wilentz (who I think is the guy who disputed the race charges against the Clintons). It’s called ‘Live by the Movement, Die by the Movement’ and I linked to it from Real Clear Politics. Anyway, he explains who and how Obama’s social movement was put together.

    I would link it, but–I need to learn how.

  7. thank you also, Katie. I saved the info.

  8. From Sean Wilentz:

    “Obama in office upheld the community organizers’ post-partisan credo, trying to bring together opposing forces and finding common ground…”

    Where are people getting this definition of ‘community organizer?’ Al Sharpton is a community organizer and his credo is definitely not ‘bringing together opposing forces.’ For better or worse, a good CO concentrates the community into a political weapon, then joins the hunt. Negotiating from relative weakness (compared to big money) may be part of the skillset, but that’s circumstantial. There is no ‘post-partisan credo.’ If you can get the bums indicted, get their permit revoked, vote them out, embarrass them in the press, cost them money, boycott their ass, get them fired, or just do their jobs for them, good.

    Nobody knows what Obama actually did as a CO. That tells me he wasn’t a very good one. But CO does not equal wimp.

  9. Nobody knows what Obama actually did as a CO.

    He was supposed to work on registering voters. GOTV, and other activities in Chicago’s South Side in support of Mayor Harold Washington.

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