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    • Inequality is Unnatural
      I’ve been reading UltraSociety, by Peter Turchin. Turchin’s a biologist turned to mathematical models of human society, and he’s done interesting work, not all of which I agree with (or agree is quite as radical as he claims.) But one of the points he makes in UltraSociety, which has been made by many archeologists and […]
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Midday at the Watering Hole: We’re 40% of Dems??

Hey, PUMAs and Conflucians.  Lookee what CNN has posted:  Preston on Politics: PUMAs Stalking Obama.  This piece has a little something for everyone and does a pretty good job of presenting everyone’s point of view.  But it also gives us a tantalizing glimpse of the discontent behind the Democratic party’s Unity Screen.  Here’s the money quote:

Should the Obama campaign be worried about the PUMAs? A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll showed that more than four in 10 Democrats still preferred Clinton as the nominee. But Obama is leading McCain in early general election polls. And as Clinton continues to vocalize her support for Obama, it is probably safe to say that more Clinton backers will likely fall in line behind him.

Crikey!  The media can lie to you but numbers rarely do.  Oh, sometimes you need to know how to read them and all but in this case, no complicated math is required.  Four in 10 can be converted to a percentage very easily.  That’s roughly, no, *exactly* 40%.  And note that the article says that the number of Clintonistas not supporting Obama is actually more than four in 10 Democrats.  Now, I know that Rasmussen’s presidential tracking poll has the two presumptive nominees statistically tied.  But why isn’t it higher for Obama given that he’s now on his Presidential Grand Tour of Europe and the Middle East?  Talk about positive thinking.  He hasn’t snagged the nomination yet, more than 40% of his party doesn’t want him and he’s tied in the tracking poll.  Man-o-mah, I sure would HATE to be Donna B., Howard Dean and all of those hornswaggled SuperDelegates if Obama starts looking like a loser.

I’d hate to be Taylor Marsh too.  She has really started raking us over the coals.  I had no idea that Will Bower was an opportunistic phony.  *I* thought the guy quit his job so he could devote his life full time to bringing the Democratic party back in line with its voters.  I was completely taken in by the cad.  And Diane Mantavoulos of JustSayNoDeal and HireHeels is a publicist???  OMG, I had roommates like her.  So much fun and dressed to kill but I had NO idea how low they could sink in their careers.  Don’t they rank right between chimney sweeps and nannies?  PUBLICISTS, Conflucians!  We’ve been hanging out with adjunct media specialists!  We will be shunned, *shunned*, I tell you at the next meeting of The Passionate, Committed But Unheard Bloggers meeting.  We won’t be able to show our faces.  What did our mothers tell us?  Hang around with THAT type and you’ll end up with your mug on TV.  Perish the thought.

And Harriet!  How dare she call herself a Christian?  There she was speaking her mind, saying what all of us were thinking, but not the least bit biased against anyone.  And now Taylor finds that she hangs out in bars and drinks– alcohol.  I don’t know how Taylor deals with it all day, living where she does in that saintly, pure, idealistic haven of Las Vegas.  Mature Manhattanite women surely never go to bars in Las Vegas.  (Come to the dark side, Taylor.  We know you want it.)

Look at the company we keep, Conflucians.  Now that I think about it, I’m going to have a piece of my mind with that Republican incognita, Darragh Murphy tonight on a special edition of NO WE WON’T on blogtalkradio.  We call it The Lion’s Share.  We’re going to do a bit of experimentation tonight with one of madamab’s One Act Plays and Gary and Mawm will tell us about what life is like for PUMAs on the road.  Set your batchannels for 8:00pm EST tonight.

Tomorrow, we will be having virtual cocktails at The Scratching Post, right here, starting at 7pm EST.  We’re offering a special drink: $10 per Causmo.  I’ve heard that fundraising has been pretty successful but there’s no confirmation so far.  Personally, I hope we’ve far exceeded our goals and can now start thinking about the future while we put the past debt behind us.  But let’s leave nothing to chance.  If you can’t afford a Causmo, I’m sure Rico can whip up just about anything to whet your whistle.  Everyone is welcome, even you shy OPUMAs who are going cold turkey on the Kool-Ade.  We can probably get you some Crystal Lite to help clarify things for you.

One final thing: Ugghh, I just sat through a painful scripted press conference on the Middle East from Barack Obama who is in Israel.  It’s one thing to have to listen to 4 years of the “uhhhhs” and “ummms” but I just can’t take the “baffle them with Bullshit” technique.  His presentation is just so shallow and spotty that I simply cannot take him seriously, especially after I know that Hillary’s would be crisp, clear, detailed, in-depth and well reasoned.  Shoot me now.

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The Map to Denver: It’s the Map, Not the Math

Prolog

Yesterday I had the honor of talking with Senator Hillary Clinton on a conference call of Hillary Bloggers. The invitation alone was an incredible honor but, I also got “my hand up” in time for me to ask a question. Taylor Marsh recorded the entire conversation and posted a link on her site. Someone at TalkLeft suggested that listening to this recording should be required for every Hillary supporter. After listening you will come away from the conversation uplifted by the fact that Hillary Clinton is in this race to win, that she has no intention of quiting before the convention and that she is totally and deeply committed to seeing that the Florida and Michigan Delegations are seated with full voting rights.

WWTSBQ? — not this summer.

It’s the Map, not the Math

The meat of the conversation is that Hillary sees a clear path to the nomination. She said that the campaign had “acknowledgment” that Hillary is ahead in the popular vote. And (she said) she expects to be ahead on the popular vote after the last primary on June 3rd.

In addition to that since our big win in West Virginia, she has won states totaling 300 electoral votes while Barack has won states with 217 electoral votes. AND she has far fewer deep red states in her list.

The Map includes Florida and Michigan

Again and again the conversation came back to the Florida and Michigan issue. She said that it was not only ironic but actually inexplicable that the Democratic Party would have a deeper commitment to rules than Democracy.

And it’s clear this issue resonates with Hillary Bloggers. Both Armando (Big Tent Democrat) and Allegre asked about it in their questions.  Armando has been openly worried about this issue for nearly a year; hearing him express that concern directly to The Candidate was one of the highlights of the conversation.  But Allegre nearly brought the house down when she told Hillary that she’ll be bringing her children to the May 31st DNC Rules meeting.  Allegre’s deep personal commitment is felt by all of us it wonderful to hear as she gave Hillary a direct illustration of how and why she is in this campaign.

Please, visit Taylor Marsh and listen for yourself.  I know that you’ll find yourself energized and empowered — and convinced that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic Presidential Nomination.

Tuesday: Look over there!

I was listening to Taylor Marsh this morning on podcast, because, doesn’t everyone do that at 2am? She was pondering how the media is going to cover Hillary’s win in West Virginia today. I think I know the answer to this one: they won’t. Oh, it will be mentioned in passing, maybe a 30 second clip, “*yawn*, sooo boring. Besides it doesn’t change anything, Hey! Look at all the footage of the earthquake we have from China!” We’re going to make our own kind of music. For those of you who missed it, here’s Taylor’s latest podcast. It’s a good one.

She also says she got blamed for organizing a letter writing campaign to the superdelegates. Sam Stein at HuffPo writes about Clinton Supporters send Last Ditch Obama Attack Emails to Supers and calls her out but, er, I think it was us that suggested it. If I recall correctly, we recommended politeness. Then again, Donna Brazile seems to be the only one complaining… In any case, Sam should know that any push back directed to the supers is a direct result of the Obama campaign itself and its enablers, like DFA, who is actively soliciting signatures for a petition to gag the supers. We would really appreciate it if Obama’s campaign didn’t encourage stuff like that on its behalf. But that is the divisive nature of *Obama’s* campaign, not Hillary’s. We are not affiliated with Hillary’s campaign. If we’re mad at Obama, the DNC, DFA or Donna Brazile, it’s because they have offende US.

Speaking of US, it turns out that 64% of us want Clinton to hang in there. I interpret that to mean that voters want to have options, not Andrea Mitchell and Tim Russert picking our president. Maybe they are hoping that Oregon sets the record straight and stops Obama. Maybe the Obamagic is wearing off and Clinton is looking like a great candidate. Even John Edwards said as much. That reminds me of something else that Taylor mentioned: Republicans are looking on this with awe because they can’t believe that we are giving them the weakest candidate this fall. She mentions Rush Limbaugh specifically at being astonished at how the Democratic party is about to self destruct by passing up the stronger candidate. I don’t have much to add to that correct assessment except that there is no way I could ever contemplate voting for Clinton as Obama’s VP. If there has to be a unity ticket, she must be at the top. It looks more and more like there will have to be a unity ticket as much as I hate the idea. I think we can get African-Americans to sign on to him being her VP. That would get him the experience he needs and he can run in 2016. It’s the only viable option and would be a killer ticket, even if Michelle wants to dig out someone’s eyes about it. Any other combination of Obama on the ticket is a deal breaker. But the concept is so sensible that we can expect Donna and Nancy to shoot it down.

So, let’s cheer her on to finish out the primary season strongly. The media won’t be satisfied unless she wins 90% of the voters in West Viginia but I suspect that the supers will be happy if she just does very well.

Go Hillary! Rise and Shine.

“Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud, hatch out.”

Commenter Boston Boomer brings this to our attention:

“…Did you all see the post over at Taylor Marsh on Linda Hirshman, a writer who was dumped from TPM, apparently because she wrote articles about women voters and their preferences? She wrote to ask why, and the end of the e-mail exchange was this:

“I’m not sure the accusation of bias is particularly helpful. For now, like I said, we’re focusing on getting our long-standing regulars and folks covering things we don’t on the blog. I recognize that you think female voters should be one of those things, we disagree.”

Unbelieveable!!”

Yes, but now we can see their agenda in the full light of day. We now know *what* they’re doing. They’re squelching our voices on the web. The question now is, why are they doing it? Do they think we are unimportant? Do they think that our numbers in the blogosphere are small enough that we can be safely ignored? Do they want Obama to win so badly that they are willing to suppress the voices of pro-Hillary females so they don’t get any traction at all? Are the advertising dollars just so good from Obama ads that they don’t want to piss off his campaign? Do they want to be partners with Olbermann and Co. and are targeting a male demographic? Are they completely in the bag for Dean’s 50 State Strategy? Is it some combination of all of the above? Questions, questions.

Well, one thing is for sure. We should all give a great big welcome to Linda Hirshman. Welcome to Progressive Blogosphere 2.0!!

So, where’s your new blog? 🙂

See Taylor Marsh for details…http://www.taylormarsh.com/

PS. If you would like to express your righteous indignation to Josh personally, he can be reached at talk@talkingpointsmemo.com. Of course, we do not recommnend profanity.

About Linda: Linda R. Hirshman retired as the Allen/Berenson Distinguished Visiting Professor at Brandeis University. With almost no effort, she landed spot No. 77 on Bernard Goldberg’s 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. She is the author of Get to Work … And Get a Life Before It’s Too Late, and, recently, ” Sixteen Ways of Looking at A Female Voter,” (NYT Magazine, Sunday, February 3, 2008).

More on the NOW-NY response to Kennedy’s endorsement-Updated

I’ve only started to read Taylor Marsh in the past couple of days but she wrote a brilliant post yesterday about the NOW-NY response to Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama. Here’s the money quotes:

It took one woman working day after day over decades, plus having the connections of her husband, to get in the spot where she can have the opportunity to run for president, doing so in the midst of incredible odds, the worst press coverage ever, while everyone has decided to adorn the young man with little experience as the next possibility, because we have to turn away from the past. Tell that to the National Nurses Organization.That “past” that Kennedy and others are encouraging people to walk away from is the very foundation on which Clinton has built a lifetime of service to prove she has the mettle to be president. It’s the dues a woman must pay to get the chance to lead, because those dues are required of her. A standard to which her lesser accomplished male opponent is not being held.

No doubt Barack Obama is talented, having a gift of rhetorical flourish that any politician should admire, even covet.

Whereas Hillary Clinton, the woman who could only rise to the position she’s now in to finally have an opportunity to compete did so through hard work over a lifetime, because youth alone for her, even if she had the gift of rhetoric, would be judged as insufficiently experienced to be president.

It’s likely this tired old resume double standard that brought NY NOW’s press release out without an edit. Because the very thing that makes Hillary Clinton qualified to be president is being pushed aside and called “the past.” Let’s face it, if Clinton was Obama in a dress, er, pantsuit, she wouldn’t be getting the time of day, let alone Teddy Kennedy’s endorsement.

Taylor echoes what Gloria Steinem said in her NYTimes OP/Ed piece just before New Hampshire. If Barack Obama was named Achola Obama but was identical in every other way, NO one would be taking him seriously as a candidate. His lack of qualification would have gotten immediate and unrelenting attention. But because he is a man, he jumps ahead of Hillary Clinton despite the fact that she is more qualified. It’s like the female supreme court justices who graduated at the top of their law school class but could only get jobs as paralegals and secretaries while their husbands joined law firms as lawyers. (Was that Bader-Ginsburg or O’Connor? Well, I have a 50% chance of getting it right, there have only been 2.)

There was a backlash against feminism in the 80’s and ever since then, many women have been afraid to say they are feminists even as they went about their lives, earning degrees, becoming managers, running states as governors, becoming astronauts. They just took it for granted that at some point in time in the not too distant future, they would have the opportunity to be president of the United States. It was all happening without having to adopt the feminist stereotype of short hair, unshaven legs and no-bra. No one had to march for anything. Oh sure, abortion laws have become tighter and contraception is now in jeopardy as well. But I guess we all assumed that with the right people in charge, things would right themselves.

After yesterday, I don’t believe that anymore. It’s time to get in their faces.

Update: Now SusanG gets into it over at DailyKos with the typical “Wimin’s libbers say things that make me feel oogy”. Hey, I might not have phrased it their way either but if you’re focussing on the tone of voice of the release, you are completely missing the point. The point is that Clinton worked her ass off for this job and puts up with bad press everyday and in comes Obama with less experience that Clinton has in her pinky finger and he jumps to the head of the line. The *point*, Susan, is that if he were a black woman, Achola Obama’s first debate performance would have nailed the lid on her political coffin. Yet we get all weak kneed over Obama’s fumbling attempts to argue a point because, because, why exactly? Please tell me what Change! is all about other than a more lefty version of High Broderism. Please tell me how two years in the senate qualifies him for this job. Tell me how he governs with a stump speech with all of the Bush mess headed our way. Take your time, I’ll wait.

Oooo, Susan is not going to be associated with that type of activist. It’s unseemly. It’s strident. It’s shrill. It’s so unfair to our male patrons. Susan has been taking lessons from Tweety. She must be singing that Nellie McKay song “Feminists Don’t Have a Sense of Humor” in her sleep. Give. Me. A. Break.