jump to navigation

Move That Bus! Move That Bus! 31 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, U.S. Senate.


[I see that The Economist has noted the Great Political Lecturing Finger as well]

Yes… that would be the bus over white granny*.  If one pokes around at Chicago Trib and Chicago Sun-Times in the background stuff on Obama, the publicly told story on white granny, a linchpin of his Race Speech, gets awkward, shall I say. 

One interesting tidbit I read at ChiTrib was that the Dunhams left behind Methodism and Southern Baptist, in the 50s, to join the Unitarian church when they were living in Bellevue and on on Mercer Island, WA.  They attended at the local Unitarian church, so lefty that, in the McCarthy era (the real one), it was generally referred to as the “little red church on the hill”. 

However, this from the Honolulu Advertiser has information I had not seen on her work/professional background.  Considering that the Dems like to paint the Dunhams as all but latter day Dust Bowl out of Kansas blown by failure and near poverty ever westward, well, let’s just say that is not born out in Hawai’i.

 The white grandmother of Barack Obama blazed a trail for women in Honolulu’s banking circles in the 1960s and 1970s as her grandson grew up surrounded by racial insensitivity.

While Obama’s views on race relations in America were being shaped, his maternal grandmother — Madelyn Dunham, now 85 — received a series of promotions at Hawai’i’s top bank. And in December 1970, she was named one of the first two female vice presidents at Bank of Hawaii.

Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, declined last week to comment on Obama’s speech about Wright or his reference to their grandmother — or their grandmother’s attitude on race.

Dunham has repeatedly declined to comment to reporters. Dunham did want to be interviewed for this story, Soetoro-Ng said, but declined because it would be unfair to other media who have made requests.

Soetoro-Ng teaches at La Pietra-Hawai’i School for Girls. She visits her grandmother at least once a day and brings her 3-year-old daughter to Dunham’s Beretania Street apartment as often as possible, she said.

The National Journal has a listing, with little analysis, of the so-called inner circle of advisors around Obama. Some names have been around, but some less so…

*For the record, I did not like it when Harold Ford jr, a Clinton/DLC stable pol, threw his black granny under the bus and said she was white (via BAR).  LOL  Let’s be sure to be even handed…  Would not want to be called a racist… oh noo…..


Switch Bitch * 29 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Abortion Rights, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Italy, Sex / Reproductive Health.


*snitched the title from one of Roald Dahl’s books… 😉

AND I snitched this from a diary at PFF….

 [D]id he support the distribution of taxpayer-subsidized condoms in Africa to fight the transmission of H.I.V.?

What followed was a long series of awkward pauses, glances up to the ceiling and the image of one of Mr. McCain’s aides, standing off to the back, urgently motioning his press secretary to come to Mr. McCain’s side.

The upshot was that Mr. McCain said he did not know this subject well, did not know his position on it, and relied on the advice of Senator Tom Coburn, a physician and Republican from Oklahoma.

His press secretary, Brian Jones, later reported that Mr. McCain had a record of voting against using government money to finance the distribution of condoms.  ::snipsnappy::

sure he is a little old, a tad fuddled, but like most pols he just wants a position crafted for him, a few saleable reasons to give for it, if asked… whammo!, good enough for a government job! and home to whatever is the indulgence of the evening.

So often a partisan angel in the crowd:

This went on for a few more moments until a reporter from the Chicago Tribune broke in and asked Mr. McCain about the weight of a pig that he saw at the Iowa State Fair last year.

A pig rescue, so appropriate… Let ’em hang, I say.

… just a slight bit of nothing for an overnight thread……


Friday [Updated: OK ballot measure] 28 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

      Mistress Liliane, Folsom St Fair, 2007 Chronicle photo

Mistress Liliane again, from the Folsom St Fair, 2007


I read a few weeks ago that several states would have ballot measures to ban Affirmative Action schemes… and Newsweek has done an article on it.  This go round it is only 5 or 6 states, not 13 as was done for the anti gay measures in 2004.

Ward Connerly, whom we know very well out here in CA, is the heavily backed mover:

The next test of Barack Obama‘s “postracial” persona may come from some unlikely places: Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. That’s where Ward Connerly, the country’s most innovative and successful opponent of affirmative action over the past decade, is launching an effort to get an initiative on the ballots that would prohibit public institutions from considering race, sex or ethnicity in areas such as hiring and college admissions. Connerly’s political savvy on matters of race is worth considering. Since cutting his teeth in 1996 as a key backer of the  California ballot initiative known as Proposition 209–which amended the state Constitution to prohibit affirmative action in the public sphere–Connerly has steered successful ballot drives in Washington and Michigan to do the same.

His decision to target these five states in 2008 has less to do with their electoral impact than the fact they allow for ballot initiatives and that Connerly thinks he can win big in all of them. But given Obama’s oft-declared intention to redraw the political map, it’s hard to see how he can avoid the issue of affirmative action in some, if not all, of the states Connerly is targeting.

Mounting a ballot initiative in even one state, much less five, can be prohibitively expensive and logistically tough. Thousands of voter signatures have to be gathered in support and verified months ahead of time, all while building a war chest to pay for issue ads in the fall. But Connerly, who describes himself as one-quarter black, appears to have a wealthy donor base; his nonprofit American Civil Rights Institute has drawn big contributions from right-wing tycoons like Rupert Murdoch (two donations totaling $300,000 during one 2003 campaign) and Joseph Coors (a $250,000 loan for the same race). (Connerly is not required to disclose current donations. Those donor disclosures were compelled due to a California lawsuit over that particular campaign, though current contributions to his group are private by law.)

In all the years I had not read that Connerly makes mention of being “one-quarter black”, which certainly brings up the old words for mixed race in the US, mulatto, in his case quadroon.  Octoroon.  Thank you Ward.  We so needed that slap back to the past.  “A single drop of blood” will be mentioned soon…

“Bi-racial” or “multi-racial” seems aligned to ideas of fusion which, as I see it, is an ultimate form of resolution, rather than division.  But of course division is what Ward is all about.  And, since the passage of 209, minority admissions to universities and colleges has declined.  Which was the point.


UPDATE, 9:12 am

James added information about the Oklahoma ballot measure:

James | | |

Some of our self-styled pwogs have fallen hook line and sinker for the Ward Connerly ballot initiative in my state of Oklahoma. I called out one of them (a blogger who goes by the misnomer “SoonerThought”), when he chose to misrepresent video footage of a protester opposing the Orwellian titled Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative. I have a bit more about the initiative under the title, The Civil Rights Initiative That Wasn’t.

Mar 28, 9:01 AM —


Rubber hip boots. Goggles. Lobster bib to the waist. Little plastic rain kerchief. Asbestos umbrella. 27 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, U.S. Senate.


          Prunes… that is what all three are.  Prunes.

Suitably attired… I think if we hold hands so no one drowns… we are safe to go to the National Review Online and Geraghty on Obama in Pennyslvania.  Or not in PA, as it happens.

 When the Democrats, one half of the Eternal Government, start drooling what I call Liberal Sugar, I ran fast to the righties. 

If, as current polls predict, Barack Obama loses Pennsylvania by a double-digit margin on April 22, the truly ominous omen will not be the loss itself, but his campaign’s catastrophic inability to tailor its message to vital demographics.

Since the numbers for the Ohio and Texas primaries came in, the entire political world has known [but the Democrats are working hard to keep it hidden… still jamming that glass slipper on his foot!  — Mcat] that Obama had to improve his numbers among the white working class, particularly union members, Catholics, and seniors. (Obama has similar problems among Hispanics, but they aren’t likely to be a key demographic in Pennsylvania.)

There simply aren’t enough blacks, young voters, and latte liberals to build a successful coalition for a Democratic candidate in a general election.

Sad, but true!

[Pollster and political science professor G. Terry] Madonna [of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster] points to the Obama campaign’s recent $330,000 television advertising buy in the Philadelphia market, spread over six affiliates.

 One ad‘s message was about Obama’s efforts on ethics reform and his refusal to allow “special interests” to run his campaign or his White House.

Another ad features Republican Illinois state lawmakers praising his negotiation skills and bipartisanship.

The third, a 60-second, heavily biographical ad, mentions workers laid off by steel plants, and tax cuts, health care, and helping veterans, but ends with a note of standing up to “narrow interests” out to “capture the agenda in Washington.”

“Pennsylvania wouldn’t be on anybody’s list of top-ten reformist states,” Madonna notes. “It didn’t strike me as a terribly moving issue, or making a connection with people. It wasn’t a bad introductory note, but it wasn’t the most effective. He’s going to need something else. There’s this theme of ‘change,’ well, change is change. He’s still giving these very rhetorical, generalized talks that sound good but don’t have enough specifics attached to them.”

hmm mm.  Big air ad war in Texas too.  4 pt loss… but listed at his site (on the map) as a win. (Counting delegates before they hatch.  Or roost.)  GMAFB!  I have read reliably that had he won TX by a single point (not delegates, which are like tp on sale at Safeway!) that much rumored 50 Super Dels were ready to move to him..  Think of the trauma that night.  They did seem to expect to win.

Don’t worry!  I have been reading John Morgan (who is still a Democrat and neutral in the race) at PA Progressive as well. And i know he is heading to PA on Friday for the 6 day bus tour.  Probably something about the elephants and the Alps is why he is running late…

 Obama Bus Tour Begins Friday

And I am sure Sully has sent him a perfumed note, on lovely rag paper, asking that he please try to look less aloof.  But those glass slippers pinch.  They really do.

Here is a real cry with some stress in it, from Morgan:

[P]ennsylvania was an opportunity for Barack Obama to end the nomination process, wrap things up and heal the Party.  He has elected not to do so for whatever reasons he and brain trust have concluded.

Why is it that each time he seems to have Sen. Clinton on the ropes he is unable to deliver the knockout punch?   What does this say about his prospects against John McCain this fall?

Now, there is a real opening.  If Obama can clench his teeth and do something with it:  Bosnia (No-Sniper-Gate).  HOWEVER!  Almost two weeks ago, Duffy and Tumulty covered it in Time, weak squeaks from Obama (I realise he was a little busy).  The Time report was even buttessed by a report on Bosnia in Bostom.com.  Still weak squeaks.

Buck up Boyo. I just heard his speech in NC from yesterday, a rather passive call for the camps to get on with it.  Then do!   It is always disconcerting when they flag, appear not to have fire in the belly or go to the Caribbean.  No really.  I mean that.  Don’t do it.  Slog on.  Between Texas and Ohio he has spent three days in Pa (I got that from John Morgan).  Not enough!

Two days after Morgan’s post, a contributor at Pa Progressive who supports Obama weighed in:

[T]o date how many open events has Clinton done in PA? 3, 4…5?

How many open events has Obama done to date?  ZERO

Is it any wonder the point spread has risen from 6 to 15? I repeat…..DUH!!!!

I want to see the man and his campaign fighting for the state. I am truly not seeing that.

No doubt the campaigns have different strategies, I would expect that. The Clinton campaign seems to have a clear strategy to go after the big states with lots of electoral college votes that can win her the election. She wants to use those wins to swing super-delegates to her side and gain the nomination based on her ability to garner those states during the general election. That is a fair strategy and so far it’s worked pretty well.

The Obama camp seems to have a strategy based around winning lots of states and the popular vote hoping to swing super-delegates to his side based on wide support across the country. That too is a fair strategy and it too has worked pretty well.

I truly believe Obama had an opportunity to stop the Clinton camp dead in their tracks by winning Pennsylvania and now I see Plouffe saying Obama would try to do “as well as he can” here and people wonder why I’m a little irked????? I would bet that Clinton would not have recovered from a loss in PA.

How do you expect me to react to that statement after not seeing the man do a single open event in the past two weeks and allowing his number to drop from 6 to 15 points down?

Bring on the flaming but take a moment and explain how I’m interpreting Plouffe’s statement incorrectly? Explain why Obama has not done ANY open events in PA in the past 2 weeks.  ::snip::

She may be a horror (and she is) but he is weak.  Very worrisome – or it would be if it was not a Chinese puzzle game, by now….  But I have to say, after watching this bag of bones faking it as a party … so richly deserved.


last, StupidAsshole dropped off a link to his diary about attending a small dinner for Cindy Sheehan.  I have not made it over there yet to read, but am about to:

Here’s my report from a fundraising dinner I attended last night for Cindy Sheehan’s campaign to unseat Pelosi: LINK


SPQR 25 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, WAR!.

     National Guard Staff Sargeant Ryan Mota 

I stumbled across this interesting article in Texas Observer on the modern era of military tattoos… and found this snip worth noting: 

The second type of military tattoo is for soldiers who want to make their uniform permanent. Some do this for practical reasons, tattooing dog tags complete with military ID and Social Security numbers onto their torsos in case they become separated from their heads during combat. These tattoos, called “meat tags,” can be elaborate: One Killeen variation shows the dog tags in an open wound, wrapped around an exposed rib.

From articles I hve read in the past, the Iraqis are doing the same, in case they are dismembered, perhaps a shard of their former selves can be indentified by a tattoo…



Liberation 23 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, AFRICOM, Border Issues, Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, The Battle for New Orleans, WAR!.

        James Cone

In all the swirl and whirl… I remembered that Moyers had James Cone, of Black Liberation theology, on his show a few months ago… dug up the transcript

BILL MOYERS: What does it say to you? I mean, Jena’s one thing because of the tradition and history of the south. But, how do you explain the presence of these nooses anonymously– placed in the New York area? Columbia, as you say? Long Island where I lived for 25 years. Not far from where we’re sitting right now. How do you explain that phenomenon?

JAMES CONE: You know, racism and white supremacy is– was not confined to the south. It was all over America. It’s just expressed in different ways. So, it’s as deeply– in many ways, more deeply felt and present in the north of the – or outside the south largely because it was not acknowledged.

BILL MOYERS: We just — recently saw this book called Lynching in the West:, photographs from Ken Gonzales-Day, as he went searching for California’s lynching trees. This is California.


BILL MOYERS: Three hundred–

JAMES CONE: Yes– yes.

BILL MOYERS: –lynching trees he found out there. I mean, that’s the far west. That’s not the south. That’s–

JAMES CONE: Lynching happened all over. In Pennsylvania, in New York, in California. All over America lynching happened. Now, it was more prominent in the south like Mississippi and Georgia. But and the terror – was deeply embedded there. But, it was a part of America. And that’s why Malcolm X said, “Mississippi is America.” It’s not– you know, it’s not separate. And so, you know, Malcolm X came from the north. And his voice was a lot more militant than King’s who came from the south. And so Malcolm was trying to get people to listen to something that they didn’t want to listen to. Now, King knew. His truth was obvious. Malcolm’s truth was not so obvious.

BILL MOYERS: The truth that?

JAMES CONE: Truth that white supremacy is as present in New York City as it is in Jackson, Mississippi. That’s the truth. And when America can see itself as one, not just the south did the lynching, but it is a part of American culture, then we can figure out how we can start to overcome that. You can’t overcome something if you never acknowledged its presence.

BILL MOYERS: Do you acknowledge the presence of crucifixion and lynching today?

JAMES CONE: Yes, I do.


JAMES CONE: It’s in the prisons. It’s in prisons. It’s all over. Prisons, I would say, is the most prominent.

JAMES CONE: Crucifixion and lynchings are symbols. They are symbols of the power of domination. They are symbols of the destruction of people’s humanity. With black people being 12 percent of the US population and nearly 50 percent of the prison population, that’s lynching. It’s a legal lynching. So, there are a lot of ways to lynch a people than just hanging ’em on the tree. A lynching is trying to control the population. It is striking terror in the population so as to control it.  ::snip::


He touches very briefly on Obama during the discussion, he does not know him personally.

Moyers was prompted to have Cone on as he caught a tape of a 2006 speech Cone gave at Harvard on The Cruxifixion and the Lynching Tree.  I tried to attach a link to the video of the speech but it seems (and I had suspected) that part of the freeze and crash I have been having relates to some videos.  Whether I run them or not, something in the code or whatever hangs up the computer.

Sorry… but if anyone wants to see the speech it is eaily googlable.


Just a thread number nine thousand whatever………. 22 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, WAR!.

     clowns, they can’t open their mouths fast enough to denounce!

Hopefully we have a couple days off the chorus of denounce, reject, repudiate, and whatever else.


The Thousand and One Nights 20 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, WAR!.


945 Buwayhids; 1055 Seljuks; 1258 Mongols led by Hulagu; 1340 Jalayrs; 1393 & 1401 Mongols led by Tamerlane; 1411 Turkoman Black Sheep; 1469 Turkoman White Sheep ; 1508 Safavids ; 1534 Ottomans under Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent; 1623 Safavids; 1638 Ottomans under Sultan Murad IV; 1917 British; 1941 British again to depose pro-German government; 2003 Anglo-American invasion

anti war protest, March 19, 2008

Protesters gather for March of the Dead
At 9:30 a.m. on March 19, the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, protesters from Activist Response Team and others march to symbolize military and civilian war dead. The march began at the Women’s Memorial in Arlington Cemetery.

photo by:  Robert A. Reeder


I caught Sinan Antoon last night on Charlie Rose and was reminded of this beautifully wrenching piece he wrote just after the invasion Of Bridges and Birds

He was wonderfully forceful last night about what we have wrought with our invasion and the years of sanctions and bombings that preceeded the invasion, Charlie brought out his radio announcer’s voice but could not drown him out.. that voice he has used on anyone speaking truth whom Charlie deems not his peer, from Amy Goodman to Randall Robinson…

[H]aving a fascination with birds, I liked to go to Suq Al-Ghazl where birds and animals of all kinds were sold on Fridays. I also liked to sit on our roof and watch as the pigeons kept by our neighbour’s son would take their usual flight in the afternoon Baghdad sky. At times, these birds would dodge, and compete with, the kites flown by kids. Sometimes I could spot a flock of birds flying high above, en route to their breeding grounds in the north. Perhaps I remember this now because of something I read a few days before the US-led invasion. Reuters reported that these annual migration routes could be disrupted when the war erupted. In the period between mid-March and mid-April, one finds the greatest number of birds in Iraq. Since many of these birds cannot make it to their breeding grounds in one flight, they stop and “refuel” on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates and in the southern marshes drained by Saddam.

Every year around this time I would look for the one or two white storks that used to nest on the dome of the old church in Bab Al- Mu’azzam. I wonder if they have made it to Baghdad this year? I doubt it. I clipped that Reuters article from Al-Hayat and left it lying around. When I read the article again on the second day of the war, American B-52 bombers were taking off from Fairfield Airbase in England and heading towards the skies over Baghdad. Someone on Fox News described them as “beautiful birds”, and Rumsfeld spoke of “the humanity which went into the making of these weapons”.

If they don’t perish first, the storks will try to return next year.

And this:

I felt pangs of pain a week ago as I watched an American tank crawling across Al- Jumhuriyya Bridge in the heart of Baghdad. I have crossed that bridge hundreds of times, and I used to linger a bit half way along, especially when walking alone, and look down at the river. The Tigris splits Baghdad into two sections: Al-Karkh, on the western bank, and Al-Rusafah on the eastern. I used to recite Ali Ibn Al- Jahm’s famous line about the enchanting, almond-shaped eyes of the Baghdadi women who used to cross from one bank to the other in the nineth century. On a lucky day, I would encounter a descendent or two of those women. Now the moon-like faces celebrated in thousands of verses are hiding in houses on both banks, white voyeuristic satellites are hovering above and scrutinising every inch of the city’s body.


In 1991, the US bombed the bridge about which I am writing, slicing it in two. The justification then, as for the other acts of destruction now, was that it was part of the city’s “command and control network”. I rushed out the next morning on my bike to see for myself. Hundreds of Baghdadis had also come and were looking on in silence. Now unable to link Baghdad’s two banks, the bridge resembled a broken smile.

My best friend and I used to roam Baghdad, surveying the daily destruction and checking on friends and relatives to see if they had been consigned to the dubious category of “collateral damage”. The bombing had severed all communications in the first week, and the phones were dead. Now, tanks spit their fire towards a row of houses on the eastern bank of the Tigris, and blazes go up. A correspondent announces that Apaches are hovering over Baghdad for the first time, but, alas, this is a familiar species in our part of the world. They have come to make sure that Baghdad’s residents join the Palestinians as the fortunate recipients of the latest form of lethal “liberation”.

Rivers of blood are flowing along the Tigris as America tattoos its imperial insignia into the bodies of Iraqi children, stamping their futures with its corporate logos in order to “safeguard” it. There is an abyss in and around Iraq, and it is widening by the moment.

… from his close:

In The Thousand and One Nights, otherwise known as the Arabian Nights, that great work that is eternally synonymous with Baghdad, when morning comes, Sheherazad, mother of all narrators, must embrace silence and leave her readers to wonder where the narrative will go next.

For me, it is mourning time, and Baghdad is now enveloped in a long, cruel and starless night. But, just as she’s done in the past, she will wake up once more and try to forget. And I must tend to her scars, ward off her future nightmares, and shower her with kisses and love from afar.


Just a multifarious nefarious thread… 18 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC.


Angry Arab 

Obama on Israel: “Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country — a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.” (thanks Ali)

Posted by As’ad at 9:16 AM

Well! As long as we are certain it is the radicals!


Up at bat! 17 March 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, U.S. Senate.


10:15 am ET Philadelphia… Be there or catch it on endless cable runs… 😉

Surely there is something else going on somewhere.  War, pestilence, plague… collapsing bears?


This just seems … dumb: 

 Durbin’s New Defense of Obama on the Wright Issue   [Byron York]

The Obama campaign has just wrapped up a conference call with reporters.  On the call, top Obama supporter Sen. Dick Durbin claimed that “many” of the controversial statements made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright were made before Barack Obama joined Trinity United Church of Christ.  “Many of the quotes that have been disclosed publicly were made by Reverend Wright at a time before Barack Obama became part of his congregation and in places where Barack Obama was not even present,” Durbin said.  Later, asked about fallout from the Wright affair among Democrats, Durbin said, “Let me just say that the people I have spoken to understand, as I hope we all do, that to hold Sen. Obama accountable for speeches and sermons that were given before he joined the church is fundamentally unfair.”

To my knowledge, Wright’s statements “God damn America,” “America’s-chickens-are-coming-home-to-roost,” and “U.S. of KKK A” were made while Obama was part of the Trinity congregation, although the senator says he was not present in church for any of them.  I don’t believe Obama has claimed that they were made before he joined the church, and I’m not sure why Durbin is using that argument now.

The Obama campaign quickly ended the call after the second Wright question.

And one reason when the Dems are really up a tree I like to walk thru the conservative tulips…

And the catch up:

Durbin’s Mistake   [Byron York]

I just asked the Obama campaign whether Sen. Dick Durbin was mistaken when he told reporters a couple of hours ago that, “Many of the quotes that have been disclosed publicly were made by Reverend Wright at a time before Barack Obama became part of his congregation…” and that, “the people I have spoken to understand, as I hope we all do, that to hold Sen. Obama accountable for speeches and sermons that were given before he joined the church is fundamentally unfair.”  I got back a one-word answer: Yes.