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      Let’s point out the obvious. Russia had no reason to attack its own pipelines. If it doesn’t want gas to go thru them it just turns off the tap. Sabotage to the pipelines weakens Russia’s position, since it will be months before they can offer to turn fuel back on, which they would have wanted to offer during the winter in order to pressure Germany in specif […]
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Friday Morning at The Confluence

Is it just me or does it seem like the Professor and the Policeman story is getting more airplay than the Michael Jackson story did? Obama and Axelrod must be giggling and snickering right now. Talk about astroturf! The topic of the weekend was supposed to be health care, but just one planted question and now health care is on the back burner. It appears the vote that was so important to the President, is now off, and it’s no biggie.

“As long as I see folks working diligently and consistently, then I am comfortable,” Obama told a crowd gathered in a high school gym for a town-hall styled meeting here today. “But I don’t want to delay just because of politics.”

Um…isn’t politics precisely the reason for the delay?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says there will be a vote in September. But will it happen? The New York Times reports that the White House has been negotiating madly with blue dog Dems to keep the bill alive.

The White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, led a hastily called three-hour negotiating session at the Capitol with conservative Blue Dog Democrats, the group of fiscal hawks who have stalled action on the health care bill in the House.

But the wrangling over health care is pushing back other items on Obama’s agenda.

While Congress can resume its efforts in the fall, other major items on the president’s agenda, like climate change and rewriting financial regulation, have also been postponed, and are likely to be further delayed until the health care debate is resolved.

[….]

Democratic leaders fended off suggestions that health care legislation could lose momentum if there is no action until the fall. But the delay will give Republican opponents ample time to highlight what they say are the bill’s flaws, and will subject moderate lawmakers, many of whom are on the fence, to a barrage of questions, including whether the nation can afford the $1 trillion, 10-year price tag.

Oh well…who cares if thousands of Americans die for lack of health care? Now we have another media circus to distract us–the Prof. Skip Gates vs. Sgt. James Crowley road show. Both the cop and the prof. are milking this thing for all it’s worth–talking about the incident on every available media outlet. In a few months will these two guys be starring on a reality TV show?

I don’t mean to make light of a very serious issue–racial profiling–but I really thought this story morphed into an embarrassing spectacle today. Here are just two of the dueling media appearances made by Crowley and Gates.

Radio interview on WEEI, Boston Sports Radio with Sgt. James Crowley (both hosts are right-wingers)

Crowley sounds very reasonable, but I noted two interesting things. When talking about what happened inside the home, Crowley speaks in the passive voice. The rest of the description is in the active voice. That strikes me as odd. Crowley also says he told Gates to “calm down” and “lower his voice.” Saying “calm down” is almost never useful, and I wonder why such an experienced policeman wouldn’t know that.

There is an interesting blog post on Dissenting Justice about the notion that Crowley’s attempt to save Reggie Lewis’ life proves he harbors no racial bias at all.

CNN interview with Henry Louis Gates:

To me Gates comes off as more than a little over the top–calling Crowley a “rogue” police officer and mind-reading–claiming to know for sure that Crowley had a profile in his mind when he arrived at Gates’ house and then tried to fit Gates into that profile. I’d like to get MABlue’s take on this interview.

Later in the day Crowley was refusing to talk to the media. Was he told by his superiors to clam up?

NPR’s Talk of the Nation covered this story today. I found the show very interesting. You can listen to the broadcast here.

A few more stories on the prof.-cop story:

Cop who arrested black scholar is profiling expert

Bias, Racism, Being a Jerk, and Abuse of Power

Sergeant Who Arrested Professor Defends Actions

Obama stokes racial passions, police anger

GOP siezes on Obama cops remark

Other Stories of Interest (to me anyway)

Nation’s ENT Surgeons Respond to President Obama’s Press Briefing Remarks on Tonsillectomy Procedures

White House Response to CREW Suit for Health Care Execs Visitor Records Insufficient

New Yorker says he would have been suicide bomber

Michael Vick Could Be Reinstated by NFL

New Scientist: Enigma of the 23-year-old baby (Highly Recommended!)

Surgery ends the tale of the five-legged dog

When Legislators Attack: 10 Political Brawls Caught on Tape

Why does the soda taste different in a bottle than a can?

Please feel free to post links to stories you found interesting and/or important–or funny, we could use funny! It’s Friday, after all. TGIF!!

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The Genius of Obama’s Magic Donor List

barack-obama-from-dc-examinerYou know, I’ve been thinking a lot about how and why Black Obama was shoved down America’s throats and all the attendant events surrounding the Obamenon of the Obamanationization of Omerica.  I think of how he came out of nowhere with money grown on trees dripping out of his ass, beloved of all though none had yet met him, and I go, “Huh?  What the fuck is up with that?”  Then I marvel at how fortunate he is to appear black on the anniversary of so many noteworthy events in black history that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, like the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.  There’s not much doubt that were it not for the monumentousness of the historic nature of a having a candidate who appears to be black run for president, that one might have come and gone without proper deference being paid.  I mean, in normal, non-monumentally historically natured times, who the hell makes a big deal about a 45th anniversary?  So, right there, you have a reason to be thankful that there is Obama.

Then, there’s the inescapable fact that without the awe-inspiring presence of the Inspirer of Awe, black Americans like me might have continued to go about our business blissfully unaware of our longing for our collective, unspoken need to validate ourselves be fulfilled by installing a man who appears to be black in the Oval Office.  Without the Obamessiah deigning to play Joshua to Dr. King’s Moses, black Americans might still be inclined to lobby and petition the government for things previously denied, but now obviously guaranteed them, like, jobs, education opportunities, access to health care services and equal treatment under the law.  Thank God we don’t have to worry about stuff like that anymore.

Yet, the most wondrous of things to behold is the sheer genius, nay intellectual artistry, employed by the architects and engineers of Obamania.  A political campaign propelled by a new media source whose birth, growth and development mirrors the candidate, now president’s own, how lucky is that?  A campaign designed by a man as notorious for his ability to create faux grassroots support on his clients’ behalf, creating the illusion that the poison they spew is desired by teeming hordes of consumers, as he is for getting black guys elected, meets a candidate who appears to be black and whose past, failed attempts at community organizing can be exploited as a dedication to grassroots organization, are you kidding me?  Match made in Heaven my ass!  This…is…Kismet!

And, in the ultimate stroke of genius, corporate sponsors desperate for up close and personal access to power to buttress their inflated sense of self importance can be recruited as co-conspirators in this win-win good-for-everybody exercise in democracy at work by encouraging them to subvert the campaign donor laws while contributing massive amounts of cash necessary to promote the wondrous goodness of He Who Would Come To Be Known As The One to the huddled masses yearning to be seen as tolerant of black people.   By breaking up the obscene amounts of money being funneled into the campaign by corporate entities into individual employee donations, the campaign Astroturfer can not only grow the campaign donor list, he can inform the conveniently nascent alternative media sources of the wonders of perpetuating the small donor myth now afforded him by the swelled numbers of individual contributors.  In addition, the black man manipulating Astroturfer now possesses an alternate, invaluable tool for indoctrinating the gullible, since the real campaign donation sources include individual  mainstream media information disseminators among other purveyors of influence.  Thus, at any time, thousands of media and other influential employees of institutions of higher learning, government, and finance, can be directly contacted at a moment’s notice and given information, talking points and marching orders straight from the Astroturfer’s mouth.

Direct access to the validation seeking black Americans and their fellow hopeless country-men and -women desperate for change via the Bullies of the Blogosphere and the Mainstream Media Maniacs by way of the White House in 1 easy step through the courtesy of Corporate America.  Thousands of employees of Citigroup, JP Morgan, Pepsi, Time Warner, MTV, BET, Dreamworks, Microsoft, Stanford, Columbia, etc., along with the other “small donors” on the list, now get to hear straight from the Astroturfing man with the office next door to the president any time he feels like telling them something.  Now we know why Obama 2.0 wants us all to have stimulus package house parties.

Combine that with daily talking point exchanges between the White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel and two of CNN”s “Democratic strategists,” Paul Begala and James Carville, and you’ve got the country on information lockdown.

Gotta love that.

Now if I could just figure out who hired the Astroturfer in the first place…

X-posted at Cinie’s World