• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    William on Jeopardy!
    jmac on Jeopardy!
    William on Jeopardy!
    riverdaughter on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    campskunk on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Memorial Day
    eurobrat on One Tiny Mistake…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Evil people want to shove a so…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Evil people want to shove a so…
    riverdaughter on Evil people want to shove a so…
    campskunk on Evil people want to shove a so…
    eurobrat on D E F A U L T
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Tina Turner (1939-2023)
    jmac on D E F A U L T
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    June 2023
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

  • Top Posts

WTF Friday – Squishy Goo-Goo Edition

I knew I could count on poetry major Chris Bowers over at Cheetoville to bring WTF Week to a big finish:

As the election approaches, the buzz in Democratic activist circles is the need for GOTV. If we can turn out the vote, and get the composition of the electorate back to what it was in 2008, then Democrats will win.


Here at Daily Kos, we are going to engage in very different, but still very important, form of election activism. It’s a type of activism no one else is working on, and it is well-suited to our medium as a blog. It’s a grassroots-based search engine optimization campaign, which I call Grassroots SEO for short.


The goal of Grassroots SEO is to get as many undecided voters as possible to read the most damaging news article about the Republican candidate for Congress in their district. It is based on two simple premises:

1. One of the most common political activities people take online is to use search engines, mainly Google, to find information on candidates. (For more information, see the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s report on 2008 online political engagement.)

2. These results of these searches are always in flux based upon hyperlinks anyone posts anywhere on the Internet, including message board comments and social networking sites (but not email).

As a result of this, not only is it possible for us to use our hyperlinks to impact what people find when they search for information on candidates, but we would be foolish not to do so in a way that benefited our preferred candidates. We are already impacting search engine rankings whenever we post any hyperlink anywhere, so we need to make sure the way we use hyperlinks helps result in our preferred political outcomes.

IOW – “Hey kids! We’re gonna Google-bomb ’em!

Who thought this shit up, Bill Ayers?

If you extend this line of thought out, what Mr. Squishy Goo-Goo is saying is that after winning back control of Congress in 2006 and capturing the White House in 2008, the Democrats have done such an historic job of running the country that the only way they can win on November 2nd is by trashing the Republicans.

I guess John Cole forgot to tell Chris that Obama was the most successful Democratic President in his lifetime.

Chris didn’t talk to Steve Benen either:

I don’t expect the public to have an extensive knowledge of federal policymaking history, but I at least hoped Americans would realize the scope of recent accomplishments. We are, after all, talking about a two-year span in which Congress passed and the president signed the Affordable Care Act, the Recovery Act, Wall Street reform, student loan reform, Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, new regulation of the credit card industry, new regulation of the tobacco industry, a national service bill, expanded stem-cell research, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the most sweeping land-protection act in 15 years, etc. Policymakers might yet add to this list in the lame-duck session.

If Chris had talked to John and Steve and Greg Sargent and Jonathan Chait and the rest of the cheerleaders over in the Kool-aid Kingdom he would know we’re living in a progressive paradise.

What does Obama’s 2008 campaign manager think will happen 3 1/2 weeks from now?

Trying to reshape expectations for the midterm elections, David Plouffe said Thursday that the Republicans should be expected to make a full sweep of Congress – and key gubernatorial races – given the environmental advantages they have. Anything less, he said, should be seen as a disgrace.

Hopenchange motherf**kers! Hopenchange!

A Sailor’s Daughter Discusses “Salty Language”

Crossing the line

Chris Bowers  headed to the fainting couch yesterday when Eric Massa violated his delicate sensibilities.  Massa recounted his days at sea and talked about the Crossing the Line ceremony for sailors who cross the equator for the first time.

My dad was one of those guys who crossed the line, having spent most of the Vietnam War at sea.  He was no typical squid.   He was a serious, family guy (or so we think).  He never swore.  When his ship was in port, we would sometimes go onboard and check the place out.  Those ships were labyrinthine places with lots of chutes and ladders that sailors would slide down on their elbows.   The food was pretty good, especially when my dad was in charge of the mess.  The sleeping quarters were tidy but cramped with narrow metal bunks  riveted onto the wall and stacked three bunks high.  Forget privacy.  People were coming and going at all times of the day and night as they finished their shifts and climbed into bed.  That’s where my dad lived for 8 months at a time while we lived in relative luxury at home.

Dad filmed a crossing the line ceremony once.  The film had that garish coloring of the home movie and was shot on a brilliantly sunny day somewhere in the Pacific.  What I remember of this hazing ritual was that the fattest sailor on the ship was dressed up like King Triton.  A bucket of something vile and disgusting was brought out and smeared on his belly.  The polliwogs were forced to crawl on their knees to the King and kiss his belly.  There were attendants to the king dressed up in drag with stringy blonde wigs.  My little sister and I were grossed out and fascinated at the same time.  Did our daddy have to do that too?  Ehh, by the time the film was shot, my dad was a veteran of such affairs.

We’re pretty sure that a shipful of males in the prime of their lives in the middle of nowhere on an endless sea communicate in a lot of salty language.  They must have gone nuts.  People are social animals.  They need family and friends and physical touch.  I can’t  imagine spending eight months at sea and never deliberately touching another human being.  I’m betting that my dad had some stories to tell, although I’ve heard that the really kinky sailors are on subs.  Even sailors like my dad were wary of them.   It’s different these days because life shipboard is not exclusively male.  Back when my dad was a sailor, it was the path for lower middle class guys to learn something and get ahead.  That’s probably why stories like Massa’s seem so foreign to the Chris Bowers and Josh Marshall’s of the world.  They can’t fathom what it’s like to be a poor working class guy stuck on s flat gray hunk of metal in the middle of the ocean months away from their wife and kids.

Eric Massa is an extrovert.  He looks like he’s a bit of a loose cannon as well.  I kinda like that about him.  And his stories of life aboard ship are going to resonate well with a lot of working class guys who took a similar route in life.  Maybe Massa can shake things up a bit while he has some face time with the public.  What does he have to lose at this point in time?  His leadership has apparently made an international incident out of something that took place at a wedding reception when he behaved like a drunken sailor and got carried away.  He regrets his behavior as unbecoming of a congressman, as well he should.  But if Massa were the standard for politicians, then Cheney should have been thrown out of office for telling a Senator to go fuck himself, Newt Gingrich would never be taken seriously again for getting blowjobs in his car from a staffer, and Jim Bunning would be publicly reprimanded for giving reporters the finger last week.  Let’s not pretend that Washington is a place where every day is a cotillion.  There are a lot worse sins than Massa’s and harrassment cases a lot more straightforward and unambiguous.

Bowers and Marshall reveal their revulsion of working class people when they get all fluttery over Massa’s life as a sailor.  But more than that, they reflexively smear a Democrat who challenges authority.  They get all nervous when a Democrat doesn’t conform.  They repeat the smears of Democratic leadership without reflection.  Does what Massa did rise to the level of impeachment?  Was it really harrassment?  Or is this a case of a guy who won’t stay in the lines and therefore must be punished? I really wish the A listers would stop and think about what they’re doing for a change.  Their initial reason for being was to stand outside the status quo.  Now, they are the status quo and carrying the water of the type of people they once railed against.

So, Eric Massa is going up to 11.  While I don’t particularly care for Glenn Beck, no publicity at this point is bad publicity.  Eric has nothing to lose.  Go for it, Eric.  Give’em hell.

And Chris Bowers can go frak himself.

Chris Bowers opens mouth, inserts foot. Again.

We're not laughing *with* you, Chris

So, someone wrote an editorial at WaPo asking why liberals are so condescending and Chris Bowers wrote a post upholding the right of liberals to be condescending jerks.  He cites scientists as his models of excellence:

Less than 10% of scientists consider themselves Republicans or conservatives.  Why shouldn’t liberals consider their positions to be based on fact and reason, and see conservative views as largely illegitimate?

And the public largely praises the efforts of scientists, too.  Only 6% of Americans think science has had a negative effect on society.

Science is both the most popular, and the least conservative, institution in America.  What the public doesn’t know is that a very small percentage of scientists consider themselves to be conservatives.  But, it is something that should be pointed out whenever conservatives whine about how condescending and “fact-based” liberal positions are.  Without liberals, and their emphasis on science, reason and facts, conservatives couldn’t even use things like the internet, or even television, to continue their whining.  They would still be stuck in the frakking middle ages, which is maybe what they wanted all along.

Ok, I’ll handle this.

So, 9 out of 10 scientists do not consider themselves to be Republican or conservative, eh, Chris?  Let me tell you something about the scientists I know, since I am one and work with them all fricking day long.  Most of the scientists I know voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary of 2008.  Yeah, they used their abilities to reason and examine the facts to determine that when it came to a choice between Obama and Clinton, the choice was clear.  There was NO DATA TO SUPPORT OBAMA.  We looked and looked and looked and all we could find were missing data points.  He was tofu.  You and your creative class wannabes slapped some progressive special sauce on him and called him a savior.   We looked at his anti-war creds, which is all you guys seemed to care about, and there was no there there.

New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, states with a high number of extremely bright, scientific people, did not vote for Barack Obama in the primary of 2008.  Asian scientists, and they are the bulk of our scientific minds nowadays, went for Hillary by landslides.  And the ones I talked to told me the same damn thing: they thought he was a phony.  They knew in advance that he was a sweet talker because(and this is just my theory) English is not their native language.  So, they paid attention to body language and really spent time deciphering his words instead of being bowled over by his image.  I had colleagues stopping by my office throughout the primaries telling me the same thing.  They had concluded that Obama was a charlatan who was not in Hillary Clinton’s class.

It was all about presentation with us, Chris.  We spend our lives listening to our colleagues present their work and we know when they’ve actually got game and when they’re just bullshitting their way through their slides.  We ask questions about what presenters say.  We ask questions about what presenters *don’t* say.  We know when the data supports what they’re saying and when it doesn’t.  That’s why we didn’t vote for Obama.   You should have been paying better attention to us in 2008, Chris and you wouldn’t have made such a bone-headed mistake.

You are not a scientist, Chris, as your stupid pick of weakling president shows.  Please don’t try to be one of us.  And as for condescension, the country doesn’t venerate us or give a damn what happens to us.  We are losing jobs left and right.  Our scientific infrastructure is being decimated.  Pretty soon we will go the way of the dinosaurs as we wait for Democratic lawmakers to get their shit together and stop the hemorrhage of our jobs to India and China.  And the last thing we needed was for snotty, know nothing Chris Bowers types to act like we working class scientists are somehow above it all.  We are one with the rest of working class America, Chris. Get a clue.

And get off your frickin’ pedestal.

Why do Elitist Liberals Support Obama?

A few days ago, I heard famed nature writer and novelist Peter Mathiessen interviewed on the NPR show On Point with Tom Ashbrook . Since then, I haven’t been able to get what Matthiessen said out of my mind.

Peter Mathiessen’s first book The Snow Leopard won the 1979 National Book Award for nonfiction. He has written numerous other books, including novels and short stories. Matthiessen graduated from Yale and was a founder and editor of The Paris Review. Although he is 82, he certainly qualifies as a weathy, elitist liberal and member in good standing of the “creative class.”

I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that Matthiessen supports Barack Obama for President. But why does he support Obama? See if you can figure out why from this exerpt of his interview on NPR. Continue reading

Creative Class to Chris Bowers: Cease and Desist

Dear Mr. Bowers.
It has come to our attention that you are defaming the brand name of the “Creative Class”. We have checked our membership databases and can find no entry for Chrisopher J. Bowers. We, the members of the creative class, take our image very seriously and would ask you to please provide credentials to us immediately verifying your qualifications for membership. To qualify, please provide the following information:

    Which division of the creative class are you applying to? Some examples of our authorized divisions include, biotech (subdivisions: chemistry, biology, pharmaceutical sciences, genomics, structural biology, fermentation engineering, electrophysiology) telecommunications, art, architecture and design, entertainment, (subdivisions: screenwriting, cinematography, editing, CGI special effects, sound engineering), computational sciences (subdivisions: hardware design, processor design, software, network design and implementation) (Blogging does not qualify), Green Sciences, alternative energy, low carbon footprint architecture (PhD not necessary but desirable.), library and information science, bearded Princeton professors of Economics

    Which peer reviewed journals in the authorized divisions have your publications been accepted? Please provide citations.
    Please list any patents or “records of invention” that you have achieved or are pending.

Divisions that do not qualify: writers of unintentional self-parody.

It should also be noted that geographical location near one of our creative class centers does not meet the criteria for automatic inclusion.

If your qualifications are acceptable, we will notify you by email. If you do not qualify, we must ask you to immediately cease and desist from referring to yourself as a member of our class. Your statements regarding our attitudes and political preferences are misleading and defamatory. In short, you are giving us a bad name.

One final note: apparently unbeknownst to you, we have now joined the ranks of the working class. This means that we frequently work with our hands as well as our heads. Should you still feel the desire to join our class, this is something you should keep in mind.

You attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,
“Bubba” Riverdaughter “Bunker”

Are you telling me I’ve turned into a damned, dirty ape? *

We talked about the descent of Chris Bower last night in our open thread but, it’s a trend that goes beyond poor Chris (Donna Brazile kicked us all to the curb on election night on national TV). The Bower’s post defies parody — in fact to assure yourself that it isn’t self-parody — you might find yourself reading the whole thing. Excerpt follows:

So, unless Obama somewhat surprisingly does not become the next President of the United States, the Democratic Party will experience its first changing of the guard since the late 1980’s. What differences will be in store? Here are the three major changes I expect:

Cultural Shift: Out with Bubbas, up with Creatives: There should be a major cultural shift in the party, where the southern Dems and Liebercrat elite will be largely replaced by rising creative class types. Obama has all the markers of a creative class background, from his community organizing, to his Unitarianism [sic], to being an academic, to living in Hyde Park to shopping at Whole Foods and drinking PBR. These will be the type of people running the Democratic Party now, and it will be a big cultural shift from the white working class focus of earlier decades. Given the demographics of the blogosphere, in all likelihood, this is a socioeconomic and cultural demographic into which you fit. Culturally, the Democratic Party will feel pretty normal to netroots types. It will consistently send out cultural signals designed to appeal primarily to the creative class instead of rich donors and the white working class.

I dreamt about this damn post all night; stewing and steaming and muttering. I want to be a lady but, I find myself thinking in streams of expletives. Thankfully Anglachel came to the rescue. Her post, Revolution of the Saints, puts The Movement into historical perspective. Then it moves on to compare the two candidates and their vision of the role of the Democratic Party:

Hillary, in stark contrast, is ministerial in her approach. This is a job, it is the most demanding job in the world, and here are her credentials and body of work to demonstrate that she is the most competent and capable to fulfill the needs of the position. Minister in this sense would be both political and religious – someone who tends to the needs and concerns of the beloved community. It’s hands on, sleeves rolled up, get dirty helping raise the barn or negotiate that treaty. Power is present and necessary, wielded for the sake of others, which requires her to explain in as much detail as you want to hear exactly how she will use the authority granted to her. It is straight up attention to material interests.

What I see rising from the other side is clearly of two kinds. Half of Obama’s support is simply racial identity voting. The other half is from the faction of the party that is significantly insulated from the stark world of need and want. There is a love of the other-worldly where the beauty of the idea and the ideal matters more than the base. The political “base” is seen as base – low, uncouth, adulterated, impure, unworthy. They are not among the saved and the saints. I honestly cannot remember a previous time when so many people in the party were reviled for doing nothing except vote for a conventional candidate. These are not Naderites or Wallace supporters. They are middle-of-the-road solid Democrats who voted Kerry, Gore, Clinton, Clinton, Dukakis, Mondale, Carter, Carter, and so on down the line. The contempt of the saints for the fallen has always been there, but is emerging without a filter or much in the way of self-consciousness this time. The code we learned to speak in our liberal arts colleges falls to the wayside, and I read claims of being rid of the old evil “white working class” (What of us who are not that thing? What of those of us who are?) in a final conflict to end all conflicts and there will be a purified party to which will flock millions of new, young, untainted followers, ready to be led into the land of Goshen.

Chris Bowers and Donna Brazile have made it clear: A vote for Obama is a vote against the poor. A vote for Obama is a vote against workers. A vote for Obama is a vote against good government. A vote for Obama is a vote against the future of the Democratic Party.
* Title stolen from a comment by Lori at Anglachel’s Journal

Bluegrass and Anthracite

We’re finishing up the primary season in an area of the country that was near and dear to Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s heart- Appalachia. The mountains of West Virginia and Kentucky supply much of the country’s coal and is home to the hard working but eternally poor. Those rich veins of coal extend up into my hometown region of PA where occasionally an old abandoned mine will subside and swallow houses whole. The area was settled by Scots-Irish Americans. For those of you interested in this fierce breed, check out Jim Webb’s fascinating book, Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.

Appalachia was the scene of one of RFK’s most moving journeys. I was only a little girl when it happened but some memory of it remains. People who live there are proud and self-reliant but had lives cut short by black lung disease and malnutrition. About a month before his assassination, he gave an interview with David Frost and had this to say about his commitment to fighting poverty:

Something about the fact that I made some contribution to either my country, or those who were less well off. I think back to what Camus wrote about the fact that perhaps this world is a world in which children suffer, but we can lessen the number of suffering children, and if you do not do this, then who will do this? I’d like to feel that I’d done something to lessen that suffering.
“There are children in the Mississippi Delta whose bellies are swollen with hunger … Many of them cannot go to school because they have no clothes or shoes. These conditions are not confined to rural Mississippi. They exist in dark tenements in Washington, D.C., within sight of the Capitol, in Harlem, in South Side Chicago, in Watts. There are children in each of these areas who have never been to school, never seen a doctor or a dentist. There are children who have never heard conversation in their homes, never read or even seen a book.” RFK

(It’s a compassion and solidarity thing, Chris. You wouldn’t understand) I’ll have more to say about hunger tomorrow morning and what you can do about it.

The mountains are also home to one of America’s unique sonic landscapes- bluegrass music. The sound can be sharp and twangy with percussion plucked from a banjo and melody scraped off a fiddle. Or it can be sweet and sad with mandolin, guitar and “high lonesome” harmony. Once of my favorite bluegrass artists, Ricky Skaggs, had to wait many years before he could break a record contract and make his first bluegrass CD. Someone paired coal and Skaggs and made this video. Enjoy!

I’ve Overestimated Chris Bowers’ Intelligence

Or has he underestimated ours?

From his post SuperTuesday analysis:

There are only two paths to the Democratic nomination now. One path, for Clinton, is based on her maintaining a tie or a narrow lead among pledged delegates, thus allowing her to seal the deal through a rules and bylaws engine that focuses on superdelegates and the Michigan / Florida delegate seating process. The other path, for Obama, is based on him taking a narrow pledged delegate lead, and then slowly building that lead through a string of victories that will eventually make Clinton’s super delegate lead a democratic farce, and her Michigan / Florida claims irrelevant. Which situation are we in now? Well, unless one is simply incapable of counting pledged delegates and simultaneously blind to Obama’s gaping caucus advantage and resource advantage, you simply have to conclude that the latter scenario is more likely now.


Like California and NY and NJ and MA, FL and MI voters are just going to cry uncle when Obama has them in a choke hold. “Ok, Ok, we give in. You can be the nominee. We didn’t know what we were thinking. We just let that most densely populated, most diverse, most tech savvy states status thingy go to our heads. Oh, and women forgot to check with their husbands before they pushed the buttons. We’re sorry, sorry, SORRY! Ow, ow, ow, you’re hurting us.”

Chris, if you and the rest of the big blog stores and the media keep this up, there is going to be a backlash and it isn’t going to be pretty. Obama is not going to be the nominee by the big states graciously conceding our delegates to him because he won more Utahs and Alaskas. Nah gah happen. It has nothing to do with superdelegates or party establishment. The voters of the largest Democratic states in the nation have spoken- decisively. I don’t think that Obama is going to want to piss us off.

Last night, Clinton proved conclusively that despite all of the vicious media and blogger attacks, she is an admired and viable candidate for president. It can only go up from here. Please don’t bore us with this stupid cognitive dissonant zealotry. Obama gets VP if he’s nice. Hillary tops the ticket.

Deal with it.

Oh, and one other thing: I’ll be campaigning for Clinton throughout April in PA, which is right over the border and I’m going to recruit my sister and mother to do the same since they live there. In fact, since there won’t be much else for we NY and NJ people to do before the convention, we will have lots of time on our hands during the weekends to help out.

Good Day, Sir! I said, GOOD DAY!

The Creative Class for Obama Myth

If I hear this crap from Chris Bowers one more time, I’m going to reach right through the ether and give him a wedgy.

There are plenty of creative class people voting for Clinton. In fact, many of my colleagues, who actually *work* in the creative class are voting for Clinton. The people I know who are voting for Obama are NOT creative class people. Oh, sure, some of them might be teachers of English or lawyers or administrative assistants. But the people who actually do creative activities like research in the high tech field that *I’m* in are by and large Clintonistas. That goes for a large number of Asian Americans who have recently gotten their citizenship who are planning to vote for Clinton.

Yes, there are exceptions who will vote for Obama. But the ones who are voting for Obama tend to be pretty young, or here’s something interesting: they are much more tuned in to conventional media. They don’t blog.

In the past year, I have found that a lot of Asian Americans (Indian and Chinese) are passionate about politics. It’s really quite amazing. They can remember details about debates that even I miss. And they notice stuff in appearance and demeanor that go right past me. I think this is because even though they’re still working on English fluency, they have to rely on their powers of visual observation. And they like Hillary.

And these people are very highly educated, in their 30s and 40s. They send their children to Chinese schools on the weekends. They love good music and good food and trips to the City. They demand excellence of themselves and others. By any standards, they are the creative class.

So, knock it off, Chris. It’s not creativity that sets the Clinton crew apart from the Obamaphiles. It’s powers of observation.

Go back and pick a different set of descriptors, Chris. And use PCA/PLS this time. This former Clarkie is pretty sure you’re worng.