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Tuesday Morning: Melange

There’s no consistent theme in this collection of posts.  Or maybe there is but I can’t find it yet.

To start off, let’s say for a moment that Democrats actually get their $#@% together and decide to primary Obama.  (not exactly a fantasy and not nearly as remote as it was last week at this time)  Who is the most likely person to succeed, I mean, besides the obvious?

My guess is Jim Webb, Senator from Virginia.  Now, Webb has a few liabilities and I’ll get to them in a minute.  But with Webb versus Obama, you would get the classic matchup between the Stevensonian and Jacksonian parts of the Democratic party.  The Stevensonians have their hands on power right now, or what’s left of it, since they’ve made a total mess of things.  But the Jacksonians have the votes the Democrats need to win next time.

RealClearPolitics featured a conversation with Webb yesterday about how to win back the Reagan Democrats.  I actually don’t like the term “Reagan Democrat”, which is why the media is probably going to use it every chance they get.  I’m certainly no fan of Reagan and have been a liberal all my life.  But Webb actually gets it better than most people who are sticking a label on disaffected Democrats:

We’re talking about why voters didn’t come around. Webb is weighing my report the morning after the election: Democrats won the smallest share of white voters in any congressional election since World War II.

“I’ve been warning them,” Webb says, sighing, resting his chin on his hand. “I’ve been having discussions with our leadership ever since I’ve been up here. I decided to run as a Democrat because I happen to strongly believe in Jacksonian democracy. There needs to be one party that very clearly represents the interests of working people … I’m very concerned about the transactional nature of the Democratic Party. Its evolved too strongly into interest groups rather than representing working people, including small business people.”


Webb seems less at home today. He identifies himself as a Democrat. But he has few Democratic leaders to identify with. He won’t say this. His criticism is discernibly girdled. He begins to tell a story about a conversation with a Democratic leader and pulls back. “I don’t want to talk about that,” he mutters. “I have had my discussions. I’ve kept them inside the house. I did not want to have them affect this election, quite frankly. I didn’t want to position myself in the media as a critic of the administration.”

But criticism is in order. Democrats’ suffered historical losses from Congress to the state houses last week. It’s an apt moment for Webb to step in. He is an atypical politician. Politics is not his alpha or omega. He’s authored more than half a dozen books, succeeded as a screenwriter and won an Emmy for his coverage of the U.S. Marines in Beirut. This success outside politics empowers him to be less political. Yet what suits Webb to criticism is not that. It’s the political sociology he embodies.

Webb represents an endangered species. It’s more than his red state Democratic stature, although that would be reason enough. The moderate House Democratic coalition lost more than half its lawmakers last week. But that Blue Dog set is still more common than Webb.

Webb’s one of the last FDR Democrats. An economic populist. A national security hawk. His Democratic politics are less concerned with social groups than social equality (of opportunity, not outcome). His values were predominant in the Democrat Party from FDR to JFK, the period in the twentieth century when Democrats were also dominant.

Before we go on, notice how the conventional wisdom saturated media, in its quest to shape a narrative (or under orders from someone else) positions Blue Dog Democrats as “moderates”.  Anyone who has been paying even a minimal amount of attention to politics knows that Blue Dog Democrats are just as conservative as their Republican colleagues.  But I digress.

In some respects, Webb is similar to Hillary Clinton.  (He could have lifted that last paragraph right out of our credo.) He’s got enough governmental experience to make Obama look completely unqualified: Combat vet, former Secretary of the Navy, Congressional liaison, novelist, journalist, Emmy winner, lawyer, Senator.  His son enlisted and served in Iraq, yet he is not an Iraq War proponent.  In 2008, there were rumors that he was up for consideration as Obama’s VP.  But he made it clear that he wasn’t interested in the VP position.  Is it because he had concerns about Obama or because he wanted the top position some day?  As far as superdelegates go, I think he held out as uncommitted for a long time.  Actually, I wish all of them had waited but that’s besides the point.  Karma will take care of the ones who jumped aboard the Obama bandwagon early.

Now, for his liabilities.

He had a problem with women serving in the military back when he was Secretary of the Navy.  That was more than 30 years ago.  People do change, especially after women prove themselves and put stereotypical concerns to rest.  (Myiq is coming around nicely)  But he wrote  some position paper on the subject at the time that may dog him.  And although he claims to not particularly like special interest group politics, women are not a special interest group.  They are half of the population.  It is unacceptable for any politician, no matter his personal beliefs, to discount their issues as the self-absorbed concerns of a special interest group like Obama has.  He’s going to have to address this.

Then there is his personal life.  He’s on his third wife.  Hey, some people are difficult to live with.  But more than that, his current wife is a securities and corporate lawyer.  Now, I don’t know about securities and corporate lawyers.  Law never did appeal to me.  Too dry and the word parsing would drive me nuts.  But I would very much like to know where Hong Le Webb stands on certain issues because she could potentially have significant influence on her husband.

The rest of the liabilities are trivial.  The media had a minor $%^# storm over one of his books when he was running in 2006.  He will have to learn how to tame them if he wants to be president.  It can be done but he’ll have to gird his loins.

As for us, we should never just accept what the party operatives send up to test the prevailing winds.  As voters, we are obligated to research every one of these potential presidents very carefully.  Failure to do so could result in another Obama.  So, what else do we know about Webb and can we live with it?

On another note, Anglachel has two new posts to savor slowly over your morning coffee. Check out The Truth of the Bitter White Elite Class for these nuggets:

Well, let’s see. If most men vote Republican and most women vote Republican, just where are the voters to give Democrats a victory? I think men and women pretty much have the electorate covered. The problem is not just that the Democrats have failed miserably in delivering something that resembles even the watered down version of liberalism that was promised two years ago. The Republicans delivered less on their campaign promises and created greater pain for ordinary people in their regimes since 2000 than the Democrats have managed to do, so why are the Dems floundering so badly?

A percentage can be ascribed to the backlash against any party in power. Except for FDR, the majority party always loses a little in the midterms. A big percentage of the backlash vote, but an even greater amount of the voter attrition – failing to vote at all, should be laid at the feet of the pitiful performance of the White House and Congress to get Main Street economics back on track. The Merry Banksters, of course, are flush. Not everyone is suffering in the Great Recession. Frankly, on both of these counts, the Republicans can’t claim any high ground. They lose when they are the majority party, and they would have been shoveling even bigger buckets of cash to their Wall Street base.

The rest of the rejection needs to be chalked up to the unrelenting assault on the cultural and ethical integrity of the white working class voters, something the Republicans do not do. Oh, they hold that class in as deep contempt as the Obamacans do, and they actually do engage in comparable attacks on those same people. The difference is they go after “unions”, which is a voluntary association, not after their color or their cultural expressions. The attack on unions allows them to treat the working class with contempt as well as to undermine an institution that provides upward a for women as well as men, and for anyone regardless of color.

But the Stevensonians have reified the concept of racism into a demographic – the bitter white working class – and have identified that group as the traitors to the good and the just, the filthy apes who once were true to the party but followed the siren call of Reagan racism and now delight in their infamy. The proof of this betrayal is that they voted for another Bubba when given a chance, someone all the Very Serious People know was trying to rise out of his place. The wretched, bitter Bunkers, clinging to guns and God, they are doing The Precious in.  Never mind, as per Bartel and Krugman, that the working class whites were the least likely to defect from the Democratic party and were the first to return when offered something material.

Hmmm, maybe there is a theme to this morning’s post after all.

In her most recent post, Democrat for a Day, Anglachel rips The Precious for apologizing for being a Democrat.  Painful.

Pivoting in a different direction, Derek Lowe of In the Pipeline has a couple of posts that could be related – to each other.  The first, Engaging the Public,  is about a recent editiorial in Science regarding how we sciency types can engage the public.  Many of us geeks cringe when we read the mainstream media’s reporting on science in the news.  Unfortunately, Science the journal, doesn’t have much to offer as a remedy.  Lowe is critical of the pablum Science serves up but concludes:

Real scientific research is quite bizarre by the standards of many other occupations, and I don’t think that people get to understand that. (I might add that the ways in which science gets compressed for dramatic effect tends to obscure all these things – TV and movie scientists are always so sure of themselves, and get their rock-solid results so quickly). So rather than start off by trying to teach everyone lots of details, I’d rather that more people understood what the whole effort is like. . .

I have to agree with Lowe on the movie star image of science and geek culture.  If you’re into science or technology, you’re either a bitter social outcast like Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network or an arrogant SOB trying to play god with an improbable set of scientific breakthroughs, ala Splice.  Do any of you non-geeky types have any suggestions on how we can open up our world better so you can grok what we do?

His other post is about Where Drugs Come From: The Numbers and is a brief summary of a paper that recently appeared in the journal Nature Reviews.  Derek dispels the notion that industry ruthlessly exploits government funded science:

First, the raw numbers. In the 1997-2005 period, the 252 drugs break down as follows. Note that some drugs have been split up, with partial credit being assigned to more than one category. Overall, we have:

58% from pharmaceutical companies.
18% from biotech companies..
16% from universities, transferred to biotech.
8% from universities, transferred to pharma.

That sounds about right to me. And finally, I have some hard numbers to point to when I next run into someone who tries to tell me that all drugs are found with NIH grants, and that drug companies hardly do any research. (I know that this sounds like the most ridiculous strawman, but believe me, there are people – who regard themselves as intelligent and informed – who believe this passionately, in nearly those exact words). But fear not, this isn’t going to be a relentless pharma-is-great post, because it’s certainly not a pharma-is-great paper. Read on. . .

Don’t hold back, Derek.  We pharmabots can take it.  Go read the whole thing if you want some easy to read analysis of where drugs get discovered and by whom.

And now, a couple of podcasts to recommend.

If you’re interested in where women fit into the Enlightenment, check out Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time podcast on Women of Enlightenment Science.  You have to have an appreciation of somewhat dry, intellectual conversation in upper crust British accents.  But this podcast is full of fascinating details about famous women you probably have never heard of, like Emilie du Chatelier.

The Naked Scientists, also from across The Pond, podcast from Cambridge University.  If you’re interested in all things geek with a bit of cheek, check them out.  One of their recent podcasts features neurobiology  how it is being used by marketers, retailers and no doubt, a politician near you.  To be forewarned, and all that rot…

And now, for our musical interlude to start your day.

Get out there and work your ass off!

65 Responses

  1. Whoever runs against Obama, east of Atila the Hun has my vote.
    If Atila the Hun runs, I write Hillary in.

  2. He sounds great!
    (But I still want Hillary. But I know she’ll never primary a sitting Dem President.)

    What are the scenarios of a Dem, say Webb, primarying Obama? Because that’s what he would have to think about:

    a) Webb primaries Obama, Webb loses to Obama, Obama loses re-election, Obama et al blame Webb and grind his career to dust.

    b) Webb primaries Obama, Webb wins nomination, Webb loses election, Obama et al blame Webb and grind his career to dust.

    c) Webb primaries Obama, Webb wins nomination, Webb wins election

    I suppose C is a good outcome for the nation, but it still makes me sad that it’s not Hillary.

  3. Just finished reading Anglachael’s piece. Brilliant – starting with the headline – works on so many levels!
    His problem now is that having blown the D party to smithereens, the Obamacratic party also shrank to microscopic dimensions.
    The midweek DUdies are here – and the Obamacrats – finally found the right name for them – the Os in short – think Clinton had it easy being white and all, but poor Obama is criticized way more by the media and the rest of the raycists

  4. Suggestion for scientists, don’t use the word grok.

    As far as a primary challange to Obama do it and the Dems will lose the black vote.

    • Well, they already lost the women, gays and the working class – it’s all or nothing time!

    • With all due respect…so what.

      No one should be voting for someone just because they are “something”. The President is president for everyone and look what damage identity politics has delivered.

      If an african american person can’t look past Barack Obama’s color and see what damage he is doing to the entire country…. then oh well…. last time I checked there are more gay voters than african american voters….and MOST of us are working class.

      Hillary didn’t receive the black vote and still won the popular vote count.

      • bu US I mean Americans not LGBTs

        • If I were African American, I’d be a little insulted by the idea that my vote is owned by a guy who made my economic position less secure.
          2008 was special. I can’t balme any African American for voting for Obama, though I do fault many for turning on Hillary and accusing her of racism. But it’s 2010 now and Obama has done squat for everyone except the bankers. Are you telling me that race is the only thing that is important to people of color? They’re more invested in identity than putting food on the table for their families? I don’t believe it.
          One more thing: what last week’s election shows is you can’t win without women. Most African Americans go into the D column. But their numbers are relatively small. Women OTOH, comprise half of the population. You don’t need much of a swing with women to lose. Because their numbers are much larger than african americans, a small loss of support from them has a much bigger overall impact.
          Lastly, Hillary Clinton would have picked up female voters from the Republican party, even with Sarah Palin as VP candidate. I doubt if Hillary would have run against Sarah. It was easy for Obama to run against her and distract from the fact that McCain was his real opposition. But Hillary would have wiped the floor with Sarah. And voters would have seen the difference. Sarah would have reverted to type running as a mom. Hillary could have said, “Im not running for mom of the united states, I’m running for president.”. But it was not to be. Nevertheless, the potential loss of the African american vote would have been made up of women. That would have been a turkey historic moment.

      • I agree with your general sentiment, but from a coldly political standpoint it won’t work.

        Hillary won the Dem primary without the black vote. Not the same as the general. No Dem is going to win a general election without it. Numerically impossible, or close to it. And a Dem congress in either house is toast if the black vote is lost.

        • How do you figure? don’t you think most registered african amercian voters are democrats?

          ..ergo they were just as highly motivated to see him win the nomination as the general.

          Besides … I’m not believing they wouldn’t vote for someone else…. many of my AA friends are deeply disappointed in this man.

          • Yes, they are mostly democrats. And you’re right that there are more white D voters than black D voters, which is how Hillary won the primaries. But the number of white Rep voters in most states is much much higher than the number of white Dem voters. The general is a very different animal from the primary.

            Take the black vote out and the R wins. Take even a good number of them out and the R wins. Hillary could likely primary Obama and win. But the general would be another thing entirely if black voters were pissed and sat it out.

            There is almost no way for a Dem to win nationally against an Rwithout the black vote.

    • When the Obama crowd decided to play the race card against the Clintons they did irreparable damage to the D brand.
      For someone who supposedly worships at the altar of Reagan, Obama didn’t follow the rule of not speaking ill of fellow party members.
      Were they that desperate to win against Hillary they were willing to poison the well?

      • Yes. They had rigged everything they could and he still could not win. This was the nuclear option and half of the party is still irradiated.

        • Irradiated but not dead–kinda like Bruce Banner. 😈


    • Another thought … 2012 will be a “been there done that” for many who voted for Obama in 2008.
      Will they bother to show up at the polls?

    • The use of the word “grok” was deliberate and meant to be ironic.

  5. Jim Webb is not like Hillary. I don’t know how this nonsense even gets started. Jim Webb has alienated Vietnam veterans this year with his attacks on Eric Shinseki’s Agent Orange efforts. Jim Webb doesn’t stand a chance of hell of winning the presidency and may face a challenge in the Senate. This is not a minor issue and if you visited veterans website, the problem would be even more obvious.
    I think a little more effort needs to be put in before “I like him!” memes start. He is not a friend to women and he has written racist books.
    Needed research was not done on this post.

  6. Oh, the spin, the spin, the spin for the banksters continues. Good news! Banks have EASED LENDING says the happy headline!

    Banks further eased standards and terms on some types of business and household loans in the past three months, a Federal Reserve survey showed, while many said it would take years for standards to return to long-term norms.

    Oh, so this is a glimmer of hope, right? Gonna get that economy moving again, because banks are starting to lend! So what is it? Mortgage refis? Small business loans for cheap? With the money they are getting FREE from the Fed, and thus from we the taxpayer? Nope.

    Banks were more willing to make consumer installment loans and eased standards on credit-card loans, the central bank said in its quarterly survey of senior loan officers through the middle of October. At the same time, demand for mortgages remained weak, while demand for business lending fell, after having been unchanged in the previous survey.

    Well, gee, thanks. We’re so grateful that you guys are “more than willing” to take money that you borrowed at ZERO and focus it on loans to us that tend to run a mere 15 and twenty and thirty fucking percent.

    So glad to see that while none of us can qualify for a reasonable-interest mortgage or a business loan, we the desperate can count on you to bone us with easy easy EASY! qualifying coupled with enormous interest rates on survival money – which is what credit cards and “consumer installment” loans are right now. Your magnanimity is noted.


    • Along that theme, here is an optimistic San Francisco Fed saying they have determined that our persistent unemployment is almost entirely cyclical and not structural…in other words due to a temporary downturn in the economy and not a more lasting systemic mismatch in the skill set of our labor force. Which means all this money that the Fed is printing and pumping should do the trick. Except that small businesses are still not hiring and the remaining government stimulus programs will wind down by year end. There is a little bit more confidence in the markets, whatever that means. Yes the stock market is up.

      • The San Francisco Fed is so full of shit! QE2 will throw >600B into the hands of the bankers but who knows if they will be lending a dime of it for anything worthwhile. Maybe a little inflation won’t hurt, maybe?

    • One Law for the Rich, One Law for the Poor
      The new foreclosure crisis reveals the shocking unfairness in how the law treats struggling homeowners.
      By Joseph E. Stiglitz

      It is important to keep enterprises alive as going concerns, in order to preserve jobs and growth. But it is also important to keep families and communities intact. So America needs a “Homeowners’ Chapter 11.”

      Lenders complain that such a law would violate their property rights. But almost all changes in laws and regulations benefit some at the expense of others. When the 2005 bankruptcy law was passed, lenders were the beneficiaries—they didn’t worry about how the law affected the rights of debtors.

      Growing inequality, combined with a flawed system of campaign finance, risks turning America’s legal system into a travesty of justice. Some may still call it the “rule of law,” but it would not be a rule of law that protects the weak against the powerful. Rather, it would enable the powerful to exploit the weak.


      • All you need is $$$ to pay off your congress member and you to can have legislation passed that benefits only you at the expense of others.

        If I did the arithmetic right, Meg Whitman could have given each voter in California $20 for their vote instead of spending it on advertising.
        I mean why should congress members be the only ones paid for their votes by special interest groups?

      • With the paperwork fraud – I was thinking a lawyer is last thing people who were losing thier home could afford to defend them against the deep pockets of the bankers.

        To me, it means there are a lot of homeowners who lose because they can’t afford to fight.

  7. I don’t know about Webb. I have serious concerns about his views on women, especially since he’s on his THIRD wife. What? The other two weren’t submissive enough? Or couldn’t take the military hierarchy? I was around for Tailgate and it was really nasty stuff.

    I would say otherwise he’s more than okay. Because he does have a lot to offer aside from the misogyny. But it was blatant misogyny in my book. And I think that disqualifies him, certainly with older women, unless he can prove he’s a changed man. Color me skeptical.

    • Webb’s Wife Steps Into Onstage Role, Denouncing Criticism of Va. Candidate

      She said her husband often teases her about the escape. “He says that if [U.S. troops] hadn’t rescued me, I’d be snaggletoothed and selling pencils on the streets of Saigon,” she said. “It wouldn’t be too far from the truth. If I’d stayed behind in Vietnam, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

      OK, I think I get the gist of what you are saying, and his third wife despite her wealth of education repeats what he says, that isn’t too pc nor respectful of people. They forget that NOT everybody has the opportunity to go to college and fewer onto graduate degrees. I think, he too would not connect with the base Hillary connected to, as the above comment is too telling for me.

      • I think they were just funnin’. Note what news entity highlighted that.
        Let’s stick to his actual policies. I’d rather have a reformed sinner than a dishonest guy pretending to be simpatico when he really doesn’t give two hoots about women.

        • Jim Webb: Women Can’t Fight

          “Your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable—it is to win wars,” Douglas MacArthur told the 1962 West Point class. In this story, a Naval Academy graduate, a combat veteran of Vietnam, says the country’s fighting mission is being corrupted, with grave consequences to the national defense. One of the main problems, he says, is women.

          There is a place for women in our military, but not in combat. And their presence at institutions dedicated to the preparation of men for combat command is poisoning that preparation. By attempting to sexually sterilize the Naval Academy environment in the name of equality, this country has sterilized the whole process of combat leadership training, and our military forces are doomed to suffer the consequences.


          Well, his own words in print, on how he sees some the progress women have made as good while other progress not. His attitude is too close to Christine O’Donnell’s as to women not being educated where they both think their male leaders nurtured to lead as males.

          Women to begin serving on Navy subs in 2011, officials say

          The first women chosen for the program will be selected by the Navy among upcoming graduates from the Naval Academy, the collegiate Reserves Officer Training Corps — also known as ROTC — and officer candidate schools.

          I salute all the military and their efforts, but I do think women should aspire to be anything, even astronauts, as a young Hillary R. Clinton did, only to be told they didn’t take females (closing the doors).

          The film includes epic aerial footage in stunning HD including the last ever F-14 Tomcat dogfights and rare naval archival and wartime footage. Thanks to unprecedented access granted by the navy, Speed and Angels gives an inside look at people’s journeys as fighter pilots as it has never before been seen.

          p.s. A buddy was a Fighter Pilot trainer in the Air Force and my best friend in the 80s/90s was a Flight Engineer on C-140s during the first Gulf War.

          • I think I already referred to this paper. It is several decades old. Not only that but recent history suggests that women can and do fight. So, he was wrong 30 years ago. The question is, does he still believe it, because that would be a problem.
            And BTW, we’re comparing him to Barack Obama who doesn’t really believe anything he said about women.
            Look, I’m not ready to jump on Webb’s bandwagon. I’m just pointing out that he clearly sees an opportunity and may jump at it.
            Caveat emptor.

  8. Here’s more on political neuromarketing from Fast Company…partisan view but interesting. Probably behind campaigns like Carly Fiorina’s demon sheep ads.

  9. I’ve about read enough on “white rain”……..to me, it’s more garbage in and garbage out. The dems are not really looking at what caused all this distress, other than point fingers at the whites, and let it rain on them.

    I’ve heard that they (scientist) can put a chip in a pill,
    and when you swallow that pill, the government can
    watch your ever step. As I was reading the article on where the drugs comes from, it took me back to
    a very few months ago, when my husband was fighting
    MRSA while in hospital. The doctor said he had pills
    (wonder who funded them?) that would really work but would not be covered by our insurance. Ok, then get back to us on the cost, when he came back the amount
    was $1,000 per pill. I looked at him, and told him he needs to go back and find a pill that our insurance would cover, because we couldn’t afford those wonder
    pills………story is those pills are for the rich people of this country, and not the working folks, and I point blank told him so. WTF!

  10. Here are  couple of the the voices on the left that vere shouted down at a time when, as Matthew Rothchild said, so-called Progressives were “foursquare behind Obama”:

    First Big Tent Democrat from Talk Left:

    Obama: Democrat for a day
    January 14, 2008:
    An Obama Nevada precinct captain (Taylor Marsh has a copy of the flier) is circulating a flier with the following language:
    You can be a Democrat for one day. Vote for Obama and then return to your voting status as you chose [sic].

    Everyone regardless of party is welcome to be a Democrat for one day and vote. Republicans, Independents, Everyone, you can make THE difference. If you think a Democrat will win in November and you don’t want Hillary you can come to the Democratic Caucus and vote for Obama.

    As I have said before, Obama is a fighter for Obama. He is not a fighter for the Democratic Party or Democratic values. This flyer is emblematic of everything that is wrong with the Obama campaign. Be a Democrat FOR A DAY. For Obama. But not for the Democratic Party or for Democratic values.

    And political historian Anglechel

    Anglachel’s Journal: Democrat for a Day
    [on Obama’s 60 Minutes appearance]

    He is not apologizing for being a Democrat. He is griping that people are calling him one when he has made clear he wants none of it. That is not his tribe. It is not so much a lack of conviction as a mismatch between the party and the politician. In all of his campaigns, in all of his sales brochures, whenever he has spoken about himself, he has disavowed his connections to the governing philosophy of the Democratic Party, again and again praising the opposition for their anti-government, anti-democratic principles. His current apologists should have believed what he said way back when.

    He only ever wanted to be a Democrat for a day, election day.

    Im glad i read these Two Democrat’s work in primary 2008. I wish they could have held more sway with progressives who rushed to the transformational One. 

    • Obama, the ultimate Blue Dog?

      • Come to think of it, weren’t the O-bots accusing the Clinton campaign of doing the same, encouraging republicans to vote for Hillary in open primaries?
        That’s a page right out of the republican dirty tricks book, accuse your opponent of the thing you are doing.

  11. 4 female heads of state will add luster to G20 summit

    Four female leaders who smashed through glass ceilings in the male-dominated political arena will gather in Seoul to attend the G20 summit. This will be the largest number of female heads of state present at one place in the history of the G20 summit.

    Gillard and Merkel are challenged to distribute their power to improve the lives of fellow females around the world: one of the summit agenda issues will be aiding developing countries and many people are hoping the leaders will bring freedom for financial deals among women in these countries ― two thirds of adults in developing countries, or 2.7 billion people, don’t have access to a saving or checking account.

    “We know that when women are accorded equal rights and afforded equal opportunities, they drive social and economic progress. But for many women, the financial tools to lift themselves and their families out of poverty or to take small business to the next level are still out of reach,” said Hilary Clinton, U.S. secretary of state, in her opening speech at the women’s agenda forum held at the National Assembly, Tuesday, urging G20 leaders to lift the barriers and open a new era for underprivileged women.


    • Sweet irony. . .The headline is about 4 female heads of state but the money quote is from a non-head of state.

  12. Obama isolated ahead of 2012

    But many Democrats privately say they are skeptical that Obama is self-aware enough to make the sort of dramatic changes they feel are needed — in his relations with other Democrats or in his very approach to the job.

    “This guy swept to power on a wave of adulation, and he learned the wrong lessons from that,” said a Democratic official who deals frequently with the White House. “He’s more of a movement leader than a politician. He needs someone to kick his ass on things large and small and teach him to be a politician.”


  13. Rush Limbaugh has nothing on you folks.

    I thought his Obama bashing was good, but the material you guy’s provide is top level haterism. Quality hater product.

    Anyway, carry on and take your time with it. It is 2008 forever around here and time won’t restart until Obama’s out of office. You’ve got at least another 2 years of living in 2008 to go.

    Good times.

    When Obama wins again it is going to be SWEET.

    • It must be hard for you…seeing him reduced to his level of experience like this.

    • OMG, it’s the last person left on the planet that still thinks Obama is a good president (other than O of course). Look kids, watch him in his own habitat. Don’t get too close though, he might charge the cage.

      • If he bites you you’ll turn into a brain-eating zombie just like him.

        • I’m guessing the parent or grandparent of that guy who posted at 11:20am said back in Nov. 1978, “When Carter wins again it is going to be SWEET”. 😈

          • Oh, so the guy’s initials are what got Spammy’s knickers twisted.

            Can we call him “Sir Nose D’Void O’Funk”? 😛

    • I’m guessing a parent or grandparent of ABG said back in November 1978, “When Carter wins again it is going to be SWEET”. 😈

    • Have you noticed that these are all links from mainstream sources–across the political divide? Sorry the truth hurts. Must be very lonely waving that O-B-A-M-A! banner all by yourself now. Chin up, you’ll always have the memories.

  14. The only thing I can say about Webb is that he is a Blue Dog, which I like and he recently met with Hillary privately…it was all over the news several weeks ago.

  15. I don’t think Obama will run again….a taste of the republicans next year will most certainly drive him the rest of the way to insanity.

  16. Jim Webb is out for me after his “myth of white privilege” spiel.

    Between that and Obama’s “black men need to take care of their kids”, mainstream dems ought to just shut the hell up about all things “race” as far as I’m concerned.

    • I disagree with the implication of your comment.

      Jim Webb frequently draws attention to the fact that the working class whites are left out of many things. He actually made it explicitely clear that he wasn`t talking against the interests of African Americans.

      With the vanishing of jobs in states such as PA, OH, and WV, there are a lot of poor working class people hurting very badly. It is WRONG to bunch them with bankers when talking of “white privilege“. Webb talks like a FDR democrat when talking about the poor, but talking about the poor people is now out of fashion in democratic party. Perhaps they (i.e. democrats) are afraid of being accused of bringing class warfare, or of being called socialists.

      • There is no implication…

        it’s directly in the TITLE of his article.

        “America still owes a debt to its black citizens, but government programs to help all ‘people of color’ are unfair. They should end.”

        This is where I point out that the group to benefit most from these programs Jim Webb wants to end are white women.

        His “solution” to the dominance of “white elites” over the poor is not to challenge the system itself, but to write an article in the WSJ calling for and end to affirmative action.

        He can argue for and end to affirmative action all he wants, but please don’t tell me it’s because he’s speaking UP for “poor people”.

        • I have seen many interviews with Webb, when he emphasizes working for the the working class poor, as Riverdaughter also mentions below. The article in the WSJ is not the only thing he has done.

          And reasonable people can differ in their perspectives on that article.

          Personally, I think the elephant in the room today is discrimination based on class. Everyone wants to ignore the elephant, because then they`d be accused of *many* things, among them class warfare. BUT, the working poor, whether African-American, hispanic, white, men or women, deserve to have their voices heard, and their causes taken up.

    • Have you read “Born Fighting”? Before you pass judgement on Webb, you owe it to him to read where he’s coming from. It might not change your mind but it will give you another POV. His championing of scots-Irish working class is valid.

  17. Myiq is coming around nicely

    What are you trying to do, ruin my reputation?

  18. I will not vote for Webb. When we called his office on FISA his excuse for voting for it was it will never make it past the House(How’d that work out for the American people Jim?). Kicking the can is unacceptable and putting the onous on governing on others is not what I want in a President.

    Frankly, I’d also prefer someone who also doesn’t use the canard that we can’t defund something because it means that we’d be forcing the soldiers to use rocks and eat camel by doing so(It’s an insult that Jim Webb would think a former military member would be so ignorant as to not be aware that the military has contingencies that allow for a orderly exit from any theater.)

    No I’d definitely say Jim Webb would not be my choice. I want someone less in bed with the military industrial complex and someone more aware of the value of my rights as an American citizen.

    • No one said you had to. I’m only throwing it up there for discussion because I think he could win back working class voters. There’s a reason why he gave this interview and used the words he did. It’s because he smells opportunity. All those voterrs, left on the table. Someone is going to snatch them up. And he’s a natural for that voting block.
      I’m quite aware that he has baggage. What politician doesn’t? But if I had a choice to vote for Obama or Webb in a primary, I’d go with Webb. I’ve already seen what Obama can do and I don’t like it.

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