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    • What Would Chinese Democracy Look Like?
      A few months ago I read a couple of books by the Singaporean intellectual Kishore Mahbubani. In “Has China Already Won he discusses Taiwan. The one exceptional trigger for a war involving China is Taiwan. Most of the time, the Chinese leaders have a lot of policy flexibility. There are no strong domestic lobbies to worry about. But the one issue where the Ch […]
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Conflucians Say Cocktail Party

Well, it looks like the girl with the big ideas was left out of the room again while the boys made plans.  The question is, will they take the time to do it right so they don’t have to take the time to do it over?  Yep, she was the one.  She had the policies all worked out in advance.  She saw the problem from multiple angles.  She seems to have the courage to buck the conventional wisdom.

But we ended up with HIM.

{{sigh}}

No use crying over spilt milk.  There’s still plenty to do.  Like, annoying your congresscritter with persistent calls on the issue.  Don’t let them try to keep a low profile.  Tell them they are on the hook for what happens later.  And that goes doubly so for Senators and Reps who are superdelegates.  They are responsible for giving away the store and saddling the taxpayer with massive debt.  As Marcy Kaptur said recently, we can’t expect the financial geniuses to socialize the profit but we are always expected to socialize the risk.  We’re tired of that.

But we also have to add more progressives to Congress.  And what better way to help them along than by contributing time and money to their campaigns.  The Obama Product is sucking up most of the available funds, leaving many downticket Dems high and dry while their races are tightening.  Let’s put them back on track.

Welcome to the Conflucian Cocktail Party.  Every Thursday from now until election day, we are dedicating our cocktail party to raising money for downticket Dems.  Make yourself at home.  The bar is to the left of the door manned by Rico, our bartender with flair.  His special drink tonight is an Autumn in New York.  You can also purchase a causmo for $10.  You have several causmos to choose from.  You can contribute to our Fab Four Slate of women running for congress and senate.  Or put your money to work on our broader slate in our ActBlue for The Confluence.   Last week, we made $700! I got an email from Dennis Shulman this week.  He could use some money to keep his TV ad running in NJ-03 so give him a hand, woncha?  Or, should you feel so inclined, you can help our friend Heidi Li purchase ads for Democrat for Principle before Party.  Of course, you can order whatever you like.

Our entertainment this evening is from a sax player who I’ve never heard of but feel like I should.  This recording of, what else, Autumn in New York, was recorded in 1951.  Sit back and cradle your cocktail and listen:

Ladies and gents, let’s not harsh our mellows with trigger words.  If you feel one starting to get the better of you, take it to Florence, our lovely checkroom attendant who will keep the sucker safe.  The waiters will be circulating soon with some apples and grapes and sharp New York cheddar cheese and a lovely Hudson Valley fois gras.  Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

Also, you can bring your cocktails to Conflucians Say tonight at 10PM EST.  We’ll be talking to Heidi Li Feldman of the Denver Group and Democrats for Principle before party and our own dcinkat will be answering all of our burning questions on the financial bailout.

Saturday: Obama wants to do it himself!

The Self-Esteem Puppets, coming to a school near you!

The Self-Esteem Puppets, coming to a school near you!

RealClearPolitics has the latest on Clinton’s comeback and they wring their hands in angst for Barack Obama:

But the deal Obama struck with Mrs Clinton must have stuck in his craw. The contention, moreover, that it was his idea that her name should be placed into nomination is an insult to our intelligence. By allowing the roll call, Obama has ceded control of what happens on the convention floor.

No doubt Obama decided that a bad agreement was better than none at all but the outcome reeks of appeasement and indicates that, with the polls showing John McCain, improbably, almost level, his bargaining position was weak.

But he was outmaneuvered and the Clinton show in Denver will help lay the foundation for a 2012 presidential bid or, if Obama does emerge victorious, possibly in 2016, when she will still be four years younger than McCain is now.

Even the plan for the former First Lady to cast her own vote for her erstwhile rival and direct her delegates to swing behind the Illinois senator – being spun as a magnanimous gesture of unity – risks undermining Obama. Despite the closeness of the primary battle, he won the nomination; the image of Mrs. Clinton graciously anointing him is exactly what he does not need.

What was Hillary thinking?!  Didn’t she take a whole bunch of child development courses?  She is wrecking Obama’s self-esteem.  How is he ever supposed to feel good about himself if Hillary is standing there all of the time stealing his limelight?  The poor dear.  And what’s worse is that she might even “graciously anoint” him {{gag!}}.

Stand back, people, I think there is a temper tantrum coming on.  Make room for the little tyke and his friends so they don’t hurt themselves when they thrash and roll on the floor screaming, “I WANT TO DO IT MYSELF! I WANT TO DO IT MYSELF!”

Little male egos are so fragile in this developmental stage.  One harsh word could just crush him and damage his self-image forever.  Does Hillary really want that on her conscience?  Oh, we know that he bullied and pushed her voters around and stole her delegates so he could “win”, but boys will be boys, right?

I wonder why no one is worried about Hillary’s self-esteem. After all, the two candidates are separated by less than 100 pledged delegates when the FL and MI contingents are restored to full strength. If it weren’t for the Superdelegates folding at the first sign of Obama and his pals screwing their faces up for a good, long, noisy howl, they might have done the right thing and thrown their weight behind the candidate who actually *earned* the nomination.

Ah, woulda, coulda, shoulda. Well, I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be the Superdelegates 2 years from now, wracked with guilt, waking up in the middle of the night, reaching for that bottle of scotch and wondering where they went wrong. Did they not show enough love? Were they too easy on him? Too lax in their discipline? My guess is that they will think back to that June in 2008 when instead of giving in, they should have given him a four year time out.

Kids: you can’t live with them and you can’t spank them anymore.

**********

On another note: Heidi Li had a perceptive post yesterday.  If the vote is symbolic, it doesn’t count and the voters are just as screwed as they were before.  But we all know that Obama and Dean wouldn’t have even agreed to such a thing if they weren’t forced to by the rules of the party and the process itself.  So, why is Dean allowing the meme to percolate through the media that the vote is “symbolic”?  His attitude is reminiscent of the same passive-aggressiveness that he displayed at the height of the misogynistic media frenzy on Clinton.

Look, I realize that he seems to loathe Hillary Clinton with the same intensity of Sally Quinn.  I think we can all see that he gets more bang for the buck with Barack because, let’s face it, Obama owes the DNC “leadership” big time.  There is no secret about that.  But if Dean cares at all about the party he “runs”, doesn’t he have an obligation to act like he’s impartial?  Isn’t it his responsibility to see that all votes are given equal weight?  Or is it that “All votes are equal but some votes are more equal than others”?  I know it takes the public a couple of days to have one of those, “Hey, wait a minute!” moments, so why not get out in front of it now?  Dean has an opportunity to atone for himself and his party for not standing up for Hillary while the media shredded her during the primaries.  It’s time we held his feet to the fire to make him do it.

Howard, stop the meme now.  We aren’t buying it and it’s strengthening our resolve to take you down in the fall.

**********

It appears that we have spawned a new species: the sustainable cat.

**********

Our friend, Betty-Jean, got some rather bad news recently.  Her daughter who is living with ovarian cancer hasn’t responded to her latest round of chemo.  Last March, Betty-Jean made this moving video about universal healthcare and what it means to her and her family.  Betty-Jean, our thoughts are with you and your daughter, and we pray that her next round of chemo is more successful.

Wednesday: Across the Divide

The party sure is divided.  Yep, I’m thinking Grand Canyon territory.  The party loyalists, their eyes glazed and glittering with feverish intensity, are screaming UNITY with an urgency that belies the reality of that claim.  Witness Debbie Wasserman-Schultz last week on Larry King Live insisting that Obama addressed the Women’s Congressional Caucus and everything was fine now.  There were air kisses and make-up sex and no, no one had an orgasm but they sure did come close!

As the Cry of the PUMA video says in it’s final frame “Simply proclaiming UNITY doesn’t make it so”.  And may I say something to the party leaders that I’m sure they will ignore, because why start paying attention now?  It isn’t Hillary’s job to unify the party. I know, I know, this comes as a shock to some of you but it’s true.  Hillary is not the presumptive nominee.  If you wanted her to unite the party, something that would have been a piece of cake for her, you shouldn’t have *selected* the guy.  You should have let the election process play out without a year’s worth of interference.

Hillary *could* just sit out the rest of the primary season and work on paying off her campaign debt.  Just like Joe Biden and Chris Dodd and John Edwards, nothing more should be asked of her but her support.  There is no need to drag her along on some dog and pony show where she is forced to ask her reluctant and adamant supporters to vote for Obama.  Either we will or we won’t. The party is behaving like evangelists who will not stop trying to convert us in spite of years of persistence and emotional blackmail and shaming and every other trick in the book. We got the message.  You can stop now.  Some of us LIKE being heathens. If we’re not going to paradise with you, maybe it’s because the thought of spending an eternity with fundamentalist evangelicals makes us physically ill.

But whatever.  It looks like some of the blogosphere are starting to figure out what’s causing the rift, some more cogently than others.  For example:

  • Did you know that Markos is a racist??  Yeah!  Yesterday, he decided to withhold his maxxed out contribution to Obama. (No, I am not providing a link) He claims that he hasn’t given a dime to any of the candidates during the primaries, no doubt to preserve the credibility of his famed impartiality (snort!).  But yesterday, Markos realized that Obama’s turn to the right was unacceptable.  There are a lot of things he could overlook, like throwing working class, elderly, women, gays, asians, latinos and Muslims under the bus and using Rovian campaign techniques to destroy Bill and Hillary’s characters when it comes to race.  No, those things were OK.  But when Obama shoved the Dirty F%&@ing Hippies under there, that’s when Kos blew the whsitle.  Well, we won’t say we told you so but we *did* mention on more than one occasion in the comments that Obama was going to have to turn to the right after he snagged the nomination but the Kossacks would have none of it.  And he will probably have to continue going right now because he’s on a bit of a slippery slope.  The more he goes right, the more votes he loses in his base, the more he has to go right.  That’s because he doesn’t have any core Democratic Principles to begin with to know where to stop.  That’s what we’ve been trying to tell you all this time, Kos, but you and your “shrieking band of adolescent zealots” just keep calling us racists.  You might as well send the $2300 bucks.  After all, as the party leaders have told us, “Where else are you going to go?”  Oh, and look for your “Now that you’re a Racist” welcome package in the mail with brochures on our program and coupons for free gifts.  It will arrive in a white envelope.
  • Speaking of “Where Else Are You Going to Go?” go read Anglachel’s brilliant piece on the subject titled “No Where Else To Go”.  I’m starting to get the feeling that the Clinton supporters are being punished by the Stevensonians because so many of the working class defected to the Republicans during the 80’s and 90’s.  Nevermind that the rest of us didn’t or that they have come out of their trance now and want a true Democrat this year.  They ain’t gonna get one.  The party elite is determined to hold us down and force Obama on us and they are filling the void of the country club voters that the Republicans deserted in their quest for world domination through movement onservatism.  For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s over yet.  There are still two months and a lot could happen between now and then especially if we make a lot of noise and Obama keeps alienating people like Kos.  For sure the swing voters he is courting right now don’t want anymore moralizing on patriotism, faith and race.  They just want to be able to fill their gas tanks.  Go read the whole piece.  Well worth it.
  • Heidi Li Feldman is trying to give the DNC one last chance to heal the divide before we take our votes and walk.  She has set up The Denver Group whose goal is to persuade the party to conduct the convention in a fair, open and transparent manner.  The means to do this are through advocacy for the millions of voters whose votes need to be honored at the convention.  This may require buying media so The Denver Group is accepting contributions for ads.  Please take a look and if you have the means, contribute to this worthy cause.

The blue PUMA is actually the old logo for my alma mater’s mascot, the Pitt Panther from the University of Pittsburgh.  I completely forgot that the panther is really another name for PUMA.  It must be in my blood.  And remember, JustSayNoDeal,