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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 —




1. James - 28 March 2008

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.

2. marisacat - 28 March 2008


Thankyou for the links… will move your comment up into the post…


3. James - 28 March 2008

There’s also apparently reason to believe that the initiative has run afoul of petitioning laws, and there is (as of this month) a legal challenge pending.

4. rif - 28 March 2008

Casey endorsed Obama.

5. bayprairie - 28 March 2008

casey’s joining obama on his bus trip through PA too, so it appears they’re in a warm and loving embrace, like new lovers.

casey sees an opportunity to play king-maker in PA, or at least claim credit if it’s an upset. bet he’s got vice-presidential stars in his eyes.

seals my non-vote though. casey’s a bastard. and endorsements cut both ways.

6. marisacat - 28 March 2008


From The Caucus:

Mr. Casey is going against the grain in his state, where polls show Mrs. Clinton ahead by at least 12 percentage points and where she has the endorsement of most of the state’s major Democratic figures.

But a person close to Mr. Casey said that the Senator had traveled to Florida over Easter and that rain had forced him to stay inside and he began to think more seriously about an endorsement. “He spent a lot of time thinking about it,” this person said, and he came to the conclusion that the race was “too important” to remain on the sidelines.

“He was asking himself, what’s more important than this?” the person said. “He was also just terribly frustrated with where Bush is going on Iraq and the economy and he felt he had to jump into the fray.”
Read more …

what a scream, if we are to believe simple little tales from pols. He was a shut in for a few days and Jesus came to him.


7. bayprairie - 28 March 2008

a white guy looks “perfect” for obama. he just needs him a hard core catholic, or a, red-neck, white guy as running mate with conserv credentials who better than casey? have to make those big tent moves to appeal to the racist anglo independents.

along the same lines a little bird told me a few days boober was promoting jim webb for the vice-presidental slot the other day.

gotta love that!

8. marisacat - 28 March 2008

I assume Casey is touring the hard core Catholic areas. I read that Mrs Ted Kennedy, who I think is Kathleen Sullivan, is being sent in as well to preach tot he Catholics.

yes I could see the Veepessa slot as being a draw there…

9. marisacat - 28 March 2008

The View is on… and they better bring on Obama.

The wimmens are making fools of themselves. IMO.

10. marisacat - 28 March 2008

transcript of Obama on CNBC/Bartiroma

11. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

I see Whoopi, a Clinton supporter, is the only one woman with her leg crossed away from Obama.

12. wilfred - 28 March 2008

Except the idiot Elizabeth who is trying to score points with whatever right-wing think tank supplies her with bilge, the other gals have their pheromones a flyin’ today.

13. marisacat - 28 March 2008

Here we have gone to the first break… Obama having spent god knows how many mins on Wright.

Geesh good luck.

14. marisacat - 28 March 2008

he wants a stable Iraq.

More good luck.

Every American to have health care.

Good luck again.

15. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

Question from the back of the room:

Obama said he agrees with McCain that some people irresponsibly got home loans that they knew they couldn’t afford (paraphrasing) and that those types of people shouldn’t be helped (something McCain was criticized for saying yesterday, btw). How would he or McCain sort that out to figure out who deserves help and who doesn’t? That sounds like micromanagement from hell.

16. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

Dean wants closure by July 1

A potential game-changer from CBS News and “The Early Show.” Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says he wants superdelegates to make a decision by JULY 1 — the most specific he has been in his effort to prod the party to decide between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton before the Democratic National Convention in late August.

I’m thinking of doing a “Leave the Superdelegates Alone!! YouTube video.

17. marisacat - 28 March 2008

Amy Goodman managed to toss a couple of questions at Obama from the rope line at Cooper Union:

AMY GOODMAN: Senator Obama, quick question: 70 percent of Iraqis say they want the US to withdraw completely; why don’t you call for a total withdrawal?

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Well, I do, except for our embassy. I call for amnesty and protecting our civilian contractors there.

AMY GOODMAN: You’ve said a residual force—


AMY GOODMAN: —which means [inaudible] thousands [inaudible].

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Well, no. I mean, I don’t think that you’ve read exactly what I’ve said. What I said is that we do need to have a strike force in the region. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in Iraq; it could be in Kuwait or other places. But we do have to have some presence in order to not only protect them, but also potentially to protect their territorial integrity.

She gets points for trying…

18. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

Right. And just how do you protect civilian contractors in Iraq when you’re sitting in a base in Kuwait? And if civilian contractors choose to be there for whatever reason (soaking up the oil etc.) why should US forces protect them? Seems they can hire other civilian contractors – like Blackwater.

Clusterfuck, no matter who wins.

19. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

Can someone please keep Roland Martin off of the cable shows? He just excused Wright’s use of “garlic noses” to describe Italians by telling CNN’s host that you have to look at the context ie. Wright was talking about the Italians/Romans in biblical times. Oh yes. That makes calling them “garlic noses” that much better, doesn’t it? Sheesh.

20. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

Leahy says Clinton should drop out of race

(Leahy) “There is no way that Senator Clinton is going to win enough delegates to get the nomination. She ought to withdraw and she ought to be backing Senator Obama. Now, obviously that’s a decision that only she can make. Frankly I feel that she would have a tremendous career in the Senate.”

21. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

Brrrreaking: Hillary’s holding a news conference shortly to announce new endorsements. My spidey senses tell me that G*d is waiting behind that curtain.

22. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

Beliefnet has a God-o-meter for the candidates. lol

23. wilfred - 28 March 2008

LOL, maybe Silda Spitzer is endorsing her.

24. marisacat - 28 March 2008

Noam Sheiber speculates Obama Casey.

hell why not, a conservative religious ticket. Christian Democrats With a Wallop.

You know the Dems, Emanuel Schumer etc Reid Pelosi want jsut that.


25. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

23. maybe Silda Spitzer is endorsing her.

The League of Previously-enjoyed Women Voters?

26. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

And, btw, as a divorced woman, I refer to myself as “previously-enjoyed” so that’s not meant as a slam.

27. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

I find it odd that dkos didn’t have a rec diary about Obama’s appearance on The View.

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2008

Takes his bribes campaign contributions, goes home:

Al Wynn Resigns From His SeatWynn, who lost his primary challenge to Blue America candidate Donna Edwards, will leave the house in June rather than serve the remainder of his term.

29. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2008
30. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

That was a quick fall!

WASHINGTON – An aide to President Bush has resigned because of his alleged misuse of grant money from the U.S. Agency for International Development when he worked for a Cuban democracy organization.

Felipe Sixto was promoted on March 1 as a special assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and stepped forward on March 20 to reveal his alleged wrongdoing and to resign, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Friday. He said Sixto took that step after learning that his former employer, the Center for a Free Cuba, was prepared to bring legal action against him.

Stanzel said the alleged wrongdoing involved the misuse of money when Sixto was an official at the center.

Apparently, the word “vetting” still doesn’t appear in the WH dictionary.

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2008

Obama, from the Bartiromo link:

Sen. OBAMA: Well, you know, I haven’t given a firm number. Here’s my belief, that we can’t go back to some of the, you know, confiscatory rates that existed in the past that distorted sound economics. And I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton, which was the 28 percent.


Fucker. I really, really am fucking sick of donklephants. Confiscatory? Taxing CAPITAL at a rate as least as high as you tax actual fucking human labor is the fucking LEAST you can do.

32. marisacat - 28 March 2008

The whole al wynn whatever has been a hoot!

Let’s hope Donna Edwwards is better.

33. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2008

IOZ, re: today’s American airstrikes in Iraq:

After five years of this bullshit, it’s really remarkable that an artfag living in the slow-flowing provinces of Western PA should be called upon to elucidate martial terminology to people who supposedly dedicate their lives to fighting and reporting on wars, but mine is the land of the Whiskey Rebellion, so, heavy alas though the burden may be, I’ll bear it in the spirit of our lost distilleries.

How the hell do you “oust Shiite militias”? They’re militias. Citizens. Not. A. Regular. Army. The motherfuckers live there. They’re not visiting from Shiitopia, dropping in for some combat before heading home for dinner. They’re not bivouacing. The motherfuckers motherfucking live there. I mean, how do you “oust” them unless you kill all the men in . . . oooohhhhhhhhhhhhh.

34. marisacat - 28 March 2008

re: confiscatory

LOL IIRC Bill lowered it 8 pts which was more than BushCo 1 lowered it.

Out on the hustings, Saint Honey is all about ‘come to Jesus’… but I think in the back rooms it is all about money and war.

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2008

since the Roman emperors became xtians, it’s ALWAYS been about money and war.

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2008

Potentially tolerable Maher tonigh:

Guests: John Cusack, Robin Wright, Robert Klein, Dan Savage, Tavis Smiley.

What, no crazed wingers? (unless Robert Klein is a winger).

37. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2008

oops, forgot to close the blockquote. sorry!

38. Victor Laszlo - 28 March 2008

Robert Klein (the comedian, not the man who tailors my shirts) is mostly apolitical:

Lewis Black has said that scandals and outrages are happening so frequently it’s hard for him as a comedian to keep up. Klein said: “I don’t chase too much what’s happening today, unless I’m on Bill Maher. That will get so old so quickly by the time HBO comes out. And the box set (which will include all of his HBO specials, dating back to 1975, would make the material even more outdated).”

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2008

From “Body of War” – No More

40. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2008

Rigorous Intuition – update to an earlier post:

All through the Bush years, scores of non-Republicans have anticipated the brutal full-flowering of traditional dictatorship with all the trappings: martial law, mass internment and the cancellation of elections. Through much of the Clinton years, many non-Democrats looked for the same. It didn’t come (though some are still waiting). It’s as if they’ve not only expected the worst, but sought it, to put them out of their misery. But the worst exceeds their expectations, and their misery is to be protracted indefinitely.

The Kennedys and King, the October Surprise and Mena, anthrax and Wellstone, Gore and Kerry, Florida and Ohio: you might think that would be enough to make most Democrats say You know what? This isn’t working out. But elections are paced like the Olympics, and in another four years the Jamaican bobsledders may really have a shot. Hey, anything’s possible. And so long as people believe that, and that anything means everything they want, the cycle repeats and self-perpetuates.

The great assassinations of the Sixties were decapitation strikes, never intended to kill the host or to extinguish hope. It’s only the hopeless who are dangerous. Hope must be encouraged, because you don’t need to do anything to have it, and it keeps the prey from becoming wise to its own nature and seeking extraction from the cycle. Hope makes it possible to write and believe such things as “Al Gore will save the planet but Barack Obama will save this country.” Hope that the system works, even if it is just a digestive system.

Restrained predation upon the Democratic Party may be at an advanced stage of domestication, but it also mimics molecular endosymbiosis with the injection of alien organelles in the form of the Trojan horse DLC to which, of all the contenders, both Clinton and Obama are closest in tactics and ideology. Funny how that happened.

And how did that happen? I think there’s an institutional instinct at work, in the Deep Context, that maintains the insectival social engine of power. Does Obama know his role? That may be irrelevant, because the volition and cognition of the individuals who form the living manifestation of the system may be grossly overstated. They have given themselves to the system, the system has groomed them and raised them above all others, and they instinctively know what the system requires.

Is it hopeless? Thank Christ, yes, so get used to it. There’s a liberation to hopelessness, in knowing what can’t be done (or more typically, politically, be done for you), which I personally find preferable to another four years of huffing one’s own jenkem. There’s no salvation within the political cycle of death and rebirth, consumption and excretion – jellies eat and shit through the same simple hole, which could also be a reasonably sophisticated media analysis – and to hope for such a savior is to be the doomed hero of Lovecraft’s fiction.

41. marisacat - 28 March 2008

Frankly I think CATHOLIC senators should take a step back.


Leahy (and clarifies today)


I am guessing Durbin makes a call for her to drop out sometimes this wseekend.

Then what, the Jews start? then some cadre of black reps from the House?


Nader has called for her to stay in.

What a hoot this run is.

42. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

Just watching Bill Moyers’ show about racism and poverty. This quote that I saw earlier today came to mind:

ABC World News interviewed Barack Obama, who said, “I am not interested in having, in wallowing in a, lengthy conversation about race. What I was trying to do in the speech was point out that we often use racial divisions, or politicians also often use racial divisions, as a way of ignoring the common problems like terrorism, or the foreclosure crisis. And so, my argument is not that we should focus obsessively on race. My argument is, we should acknowledge the dangers of racial division. Precisely in order to pivot and focus on those problems that we all have as common Americans.”

That word, “wallowing”, has grated at me all day.

He just really needs to say that he doesn’t want to talk about racism – period. Forget about talking about it “obsessively”. He certainly doesn’t have to worry about that.

43. moiv - 28 March 2008


Not to worry. He’s back to wallowing in adulation for Reagan.

GREENSBURG, Pa. – Sen. Barack Obama said Friday he would return the country to the more “traditional” foreign policy efforts of past presidents, such as George H.W. Bush, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

At a town hall event at a local high school gymnasium, Obama praised George H.W. Bush — father of the president — for the way he handled the Persian Gulf War: with a large coalition and carefully defined objectives.


“The truth is that my foreign policy is actually a return to the traditional bipartisan realistic policy of George Bush’s father, of John F. Kennedy, of, in some ways, Ronald Reagan, and it is George Bush that’s been naive and it’s people like John McCain and, unfortunately, some Democrats that have facilitated him acting in these naive ways that have caused us so much damage in our reputation around the world,” he said


“I do think that Sen. Clinton would understand that George Bush’s policies have failed, but in many ways she has been captive to the same politics that led her to vote for authorizing the war in Iraq,” he said. “Since 9/11 the conventional wisdom has been that you’ve got to look tough on foreign policy by voting and acting like the Republicans, and I disagree with that.”

See? Obama’s nothing like Clinton — he’s one of the good Republcans.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said Obama “represents an absolute departure” from Reagan and other presidents “whose strength in the face of an outspoken and determined enemy won the greater peace for a generation.”

44. moiv - 28 March 2008

Of course, REAL Democrats are perfectly OK with that.

90% likelihood that obama is the dem candidate to (0 / 0)

the white house. How much longer will crap like this diary be tolerated on dkos

by power2truth on Sat Mar 29, 2008 at 12:10:22 AM CDT

45. marisacat - 28 March 2008

well I am listening to Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark NJ, on with Moyers…making tons more sense that Dear obamaLeader makes.

And at the top of his conversation with Moyers he rejected, in low key fashion with no mention of Obama’s name, ‘race transcendant’ politics. Very smartly worded too. Will hunt up the transcript in a bit…

A boat load of white conservative elements in the US want Obama as a face man.

Well fuck that.

46. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

43. Heavy rationalizations are in order. Obama supporters just don’t care.

47. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

44. I see we found the same diary.

Wake me up when Obama tells Olmert to tear down his apartheid fence.

48. liberalcatnip - 28 March 2008

I’m sure the orange kool-aid drinkers would have been thrilled if Nancy had endorsed Obama instead of McCain.

49. marisacat - 28 March 2008

Moyers Journal/transcript:

BILL MOYERS: To what extent is race still casting a pall over what you’re trying to do here?

CORY BOOKER: It concerns me especially now that a new generation of African-Americans are coming to the fore and I hear reporters ask me all the time, that “You are part of a generation of blacks who is creating a race-transcending society.” And that bothers me–


CORY BOOKER: Well, I don’t want us to be an America that is sanitized, homogenized, “deodorized” as a friend of mine says, and forgets about race. The richness of America is that we are diverse. We’re not Sweden. We’re not Norway. We are a great American experiment.

And as soon as we start trying to forget race or turn our back on race, number one, we don’t confront the real racial realities that still persist. But, number two, is we miss the great delicious opportunities that exist in America and no where else.

So, I don’t want to be a race transcending leader. I want to be deeply understood as a man, as African- American, as a Christian, all that I am. But, ultimately it’s a portal to punch through to a deeper and more textured, more nuanced understanding of the beauty and the brilliance of America. So, that involves a difficult conversation — not a sound bite.

50. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008

49. He was just “wallowing”, obviously.

51. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008

Former secretaries of State: Close Guantanamo. Bush responded, ‘La la la…I can’t hear you!’

52. bayprairie - 29 March 2008

i’ve been stewing over the asshole bob casey, jr. endorsement all day. and of course i start thinking about his brother too, and about DFL and the anti-choice donks. so i started wondering about the 95-10 feminist, and whether or not she has made any mention at all of the casey endorsement on her site (no).

but guess what she’s up to!

Well, I’m finally in Cambridge for the WAM! Conference. It’s been a long day*, but I anticipate it being crazy busy (and fun) for the next day and a half, so I’m stoked. My panel for RH Reality Check is at 11AM tomorrow, for those who are here and wanting to see the badassest panel on the media narrative on reproductive rights vs. the reality of reproductive rights.

i sure hope she doesn’t try filling the attendees full of this garbage

I think the 95-10 legislation is a good bill for pro-choicers.

but if she brought both of her faces to cambridge she just might.

53. marisacat - 29 March 2008

but if she brought both of her faces to cambridge she just might. — bay

she’s a special girl.

54. marisacat - 29 March 2008

Not to be too rude but I laughed out loud yesterday when Casey surfaced (tho I fully recognise and share the utter distaste and disgust at the confluence) but I did laugh. Two or three days after Garlic Noses, the Italian crucifiers, etc., surfaces… and a big time conservative Catholic, if not Italian nearly as good!, surfaces for obamaBambi.

What a hoot! Another version of old white guy Teddy, sent to haul his ass over the finish line. If they can. My guess, one of the ways the R will run against him is what Bobby Rush did in ;00, run agaisnt him as an effete elite, detached.

I am always interested in just how vulnerable the Dem candidates manage to be. This one is stellar. Yes I know the Dems are madly spinning the very opposite. Does not wash however.

55. moiv - 29 March 2008


I have always suspected that she’s never read more than the press release for 95-10 — which details nothing but the candy coating on the bitter pill — and has no idea of what’s really in it.

Certainly nothing she’s ever written about 95-10 betrays any familiarity with its contents. All she probably knows about it is what most people know — the bait that DFLA put in the brochure.

“Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” … or by extra-special superficiality.

56. aemd - 29 March 2008

CME and NYMEX up margin requirements. Hopefully this, along with tighter lending requirement, will decrease speculation and stablize commodity prices, at least for a while…. 😎

What a mess.

57. marisacat - 29 March 2008

Gosh, which is the more gag-worthy?

Face the Nation: Richardson, Philadelphia Mayor Mike Nutter, Joe Trippi, Slate’s Dickerson.

This Week: Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Sens. Kerry, Lieberman

Fox News Sunday: Sens. Lindsey Graham, Jack Reed

Late Edition: Sen. Bill Nelson, Carville, Ex-State Dept. adviser Aaron Miller

Meet the Press: CIA Director Hayden, Columnists Brooks, Beinart Permalink

58. JJB - 29 March 2008

Maliki’s offensive, the Surge within the Surge (or Pocket Surge, if you prefer), is turning into a disaster on the lines of the US backed and encouraged invasion of Laos by South Vietnam in 1971. From Juan Cole:

Police Mutiny, Refuse to attack Sadrists;
Clashes continue in Basra; Sadrists open New fronts throughout Shiite South

The Times of Baghdad reports in Arabic that clashes continued on Friday between Iraqi government forces and the Mahdi Army in Baghdad and the provinces of the middle Euphrates and the south, causing hundreds of casualties, including among women, children and the elderly. The fighting also did damage to Iraq’s infrastructure, as well as to oil facilities and pipelines, damage that might run into the billions of dollars.

The US got drawn into the fighting on Friday. US planes bombed alleged Mahdi Army positions both in Basra and in Sadr City in Baghdad (as well as in Kadhimiya). Kadhimiya is a major Shiite shrine neighborhood in northwest Baghdad, and the spectacle of the US bombing it is very unlikely to win Washington any friends among Iraqi Shiites.

Despite the US intervention, government troops were unable to pierce Mahdi Army defenses or over-run their positions.

Al-Zaman says that the police force in Basra suffered numerous mutinies and instances of insubordination, with policemen refusing to fire on the Mahdi Army. The government response was to undertake a widespread purge of disloyal elements.

[Hmm. I wonder where fired policemen with combat training and guns could find another job . . . Maybe with the Mahdi Army?]

The Mahdi Army opened a number of new fronts in the fighting, in Nasiriya, Karbala, Hilla, and Diwaniya, as a means of reducing the pressure on its fighters in the holy city of Karbala. Local medical officials reported 36 dead in the fighting in Nasiriya.

The Mahdi Army used its position near Nasiriya to attack government troops attempting to go south to join the effort in Basra, and is said to have inflicted substantial casualties on them.


The Iraqi minister of defense, Abdul Qadir Jasim, admitted in a news conference in Basra that the militiamen had taken the Iraqi security forces off guard. He added that the Iraqi government had expected this operation to be routine, but was surprised at the level of resistance, and was forced to change its plans and tactics.

There’s much, much more. BTW, that bracketed comment is in the original, and is Cole’s, it’s not a comment by me.

59. JJB - 29 March 2008

A comment in Moderation, I think.

60. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 March 2008

Noam Chomsky: Why Don’t We Ask What’s Best For the Iraqis?

Just as the Palestinians learned when they elected Hamas into power, the will of a people in their own land is only legitimate when it coincides with our imperialistic Western vision for the region.

American politicians are regularly asked what they think the best option is for Iraq. As Chomsky bluntly states, aggressors have no rights. Our occupation is criminal. What Americans want for Iraq is irrelevant.

61. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 March 2008


62. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 March 2008

Chomsky link in spam, I think.

63. melvin - 29 March 2008

Suffer not a witch to live!

In a possible new low for dkos, a diarist accuses Oprah of witchcraft.

64. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

In a possible new low for dkos, a diarist accuses Oprah of witchcraft.

Hmm Leviticus. Well, as far as the Palestinians go, the Democrats are rather fond of the Israeli government’s implementation of Deuteronomy 20.


65. marisacat - 29 March 2008

Madman and JJB rescued…

Sorry for the delay!


66. marisacat - 29 March 2008

Someone popped me this…

Donna Edwards moves right. As fast as she can.

67. melvin - 29 March 2008

66 Sounds about right – another great success for mamz.

68. marisacat - 29 March 2008

Honestly I think when you challendge someone like Wynn… it is highly likely s/he, the incumbent, for whatever reason, has gathered some enemies. Personal ones, as we all know nothing else matters.

And/or the challenger has gone to the pertinent backers and promised to be as much if not more.

IIRC she came up the local organiser then non profit management route. And we all knwo they are the bestest people!

69. marisacat - 29 March 2008

Heileman in NYMag on the Edwards non-endorse – of Obama that is…. And a few other things too.

LOL if the description of Obama at the Edwards house, the meet seeking the endorsement, is accurate (and it would match my take on him) well! POPCORN FUTURES just went up.

70. Victor Laszlo - 29 March 2008

Madman, #40, Re: the article by Jeff Wells at his Rigorous Intuition blogspot:

Best damn summary I’ve ever read of why the leaders of the Sixties were snuffed out, one by one. And the assassinations weren’t just limited to Malcolm, Martin, John, and Bobby, although those are the four that leap into our minds first.

Simply put, we are held in thrall by hope, by Scarlett O’Hara Syndrome: Tomorrow is another day. Except that come the morrow, all we get is a fresh hell (thanks to Dorothy Parker and Margaret Mitchell for the literary inspirations!).

I see that Jeff also seized on the occasion of Arthur Clarke’s death to explore some of the meaning of what I consider Clarke’s most brilliant novel, Childhood’s End, though not for the reasons that Clarke intended:

The Overlords of Childhood’s End hide their true form for the first 50 years of their benevolent space brother stewardship, calculating that a half century of alien new order will be sufficient to overthrow millennia of religious patterning and superstition. It almost is. But there is still shock at their appearance: barbed-tail, horns and leathery-wings, like the demons of discarded faiths. The classic imagery of a demon had been a prefigurement imprinted upon humanity at the revelation of its doom, and cast back through race memory as an instance of reverse causation.

The Overlords who seized control of Earth had a benign purpose, of course: to hasten human evolution to its pinnacle (which thus upended all of those cheesy “monster aliens attack the Earth” SF scenarios). But imagine if the Overlords were malignant instead of benign, yet wearing a mask of friendliness to hide their true nature.

Well, that’s what I’m going to call the people who run the US: the Overlords. I believe that wu ming, writing here a few days ago, had a very perceptive take on the new “stateless” class of rulers, people who hold high office in governments and corporations and universities in many different nations, yet whose interests are aligned not with their nation-states of origin but rather with their own class. These are the free trader and pirate financiers who have bankrupted entire economies (such as the US) and are in the process of looting others (Iraq) for their natural resources and strategic value. The US army has become the police force for the Overlord class, the global capitalists who are something more out of classical Marxist theory than Clarke’s elegant science fiction.

As wu ming pointed out, only one side is organized in this struggle (thus far): the Overlord class. Irony of ironies, turns out that the global geosynchronous communication satellite network that Clarke helped envision makes it possible for the Overlord class to coordinate their efforts across all continents. Whether and when our side fights back, I don’t know, but the tools of communication are in the hands of the Overlords, and they can shut them down at a moment’s notice.

That’s why “American” companies such as Microsoft have gladly co-operated to help the Chinese install politically-motivated filters on the Internet in China, and that’s why “American” companies such as AT&T happily conspired with the federal government to spy on Americans: they fear our use of the same tools of communication that facilitate their own dominion.

So I suppose one small step we could take towards making the fight at least possible is to keep the Internet as free and open as possible. Unfortunately, we seem to be losing that fight, as well….

I wonder, though. It seems that in the late 1940s and again in the late 1960s, there were spontaneous uprisings in many nations across the globe. And the same thing happened before on a smaller scale in the revolutions of 1848, when the tools for coordination and communication were of course far more primitive.

The Overlords may, in other words, have spun their own hangman’s rope: the global communication tools, especially the Internet.

But I am not hopeful. Tomorrow is (just) another (damned) day, and FUBAR.

71. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008


“When every white supremacist in the country crawls out from under their rocks to smear Obama will we go to the Black community and say he doesn’t deserve their support because he voted for CAFA? When every dirty trick is used to suppress the Black vote across the country are we going to stand outside polling stations with toilets urging people to cast their votes there? Not if we don’t want to earn the special place in peoples hearts that has been previously reserved for the Spartacist League.”

Lemme start with some questions: Can’t we oppose the racist outpouring (that has already started) without supporting the imperialist politician it is aimed at? Can’t we acknowledge that “an important debate has been triggered by the election process (and underlying contradictions)” without needing to support the politician who was forced into the center of it?

72. Victor Laszlo - 29 March 2008

#49, re: Marisacat on Mayor Cory Booker:

Booker is a smart cookie, no doubt about that. But Booker will not rise higher in the echelons. The Overlords have a way of co-opting most (the lure of money is strong and grows stronger as one grows older and more worried about college tuition funds and one’s own retirement) and of destroying those who will not be co-opted.

Obama has already shown himself to be our worst possible nightmare: an accommodationist, a half-loaf man, all too eager to check his spine in the cloakroom (sorry for the mixed metaphors) before entering the White House.

The Republican attack machine can and will eat Obama for breakfast and crap him out at four o’clock.

The Clintons used to be tougher, but they learned their lesson during the “health care reform” fiasco, when they got rolled into the gutter after the Republicans store their watches and wallets. When the Clintons picked themselves up and dusted off their clothes, instead of coming back into the fight with both fists flying, they put their hands in their pockets and said to the Republicans, “Let’s make a deal.” That’s why Clinton reneged on his promise to let gays serve in the military, and why every subsequent year of his presidency was a shocking betrayal of everything progressives hoped for and dreamed of since the days of FDR.

The most effective Republican President of the 20th century was Bill Clinton, the man who did what even Saint Ronnie could not do: demolish the New Deal welfare state and leave the poorest and weakest among us nothing but prey.

73. Victor Laszlo - 29 March 2008

Oprah’s a witch? Burn her! She turned me into a newt!

But I got better.

74. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

This about sums it up for me:

I think we can (and should!) oppose the white racist madness without “supporting” him electorally (with ALL that this means, regardless of what we tell ourselves). I think we can oppose and expose it, in ways the liberals can’t — in ways that could “go viral” (far beyond our reach) because of their clarity and explanatory power. I believe it is likely Obama will be savaged in truly relentless and shameful ways– dirtied and torn down in public relentlessly until he is “damaged goods.” If Obama is savaged before the Democratic convention (and the nomination is stolen from him) — millions of people will be bitter at the Democratic Party. If Obama is savaged after the nomination (and the general election is seized from him that way) — millions of people will be very bitter at this society (and at the white people who were stampeded to McCain). I think we can speak to these moods and events (powerfully) without supporting Obama

75. Victor Laszlo - 29 March 2008

#71, Hair Club:

What Black vote? This is a post-racial society. Quit wallowing. Americans are all color-blind now!

Well, Obama’s not going to be President (I mark McCain for that), but if Obama does somehow slip into the White House, shoved there by his many helpers, those who voted for and against him are in for, respectively, rude and delightful awakenings: because Obama is going to be Black Reagan. That’s his highest aspiration, sick as that is.

76. melvin - 29 March 2008

75 Well there is a certain line that goes Obama will have stirred up a bunch of new folkswith such high expectation that they will become a movement beyond his control, and that he will respond to that pressure, a new dialectic . . . . .

I also have some choice real estate you might be interested in. .

77. marisacat - 29 March 2008


yes I agree Cory Booker will not rise. But I believe America will only save itself in places, here and there, locally… where, for what ever reason, people managed to come together.

And not under false xtianist slobber propaganda such as Obama and his mites sludge out. It really is intolerable excrement laid down..

yes Obama and wif will be a crunchy breakfast for the R, neatly expanding their business end of electoral politics. People loved to say that this or that one would escape the R machine. IN WHT UNIVERSE?? Geesh they already have Obama screwed to death at his home and now his church. A good start.

And he is passive, weak. Like most pols he reacts only from personal pique.

As for Bill collaborating with the R… Democrats were collaborators with the Reagan regime. Walter karp had traced it bck to Dems collaborating with the R, to that business (war business) in Manila Harbor… And Obama and wif are very anxious to get on with the business of being appeasers.

78. Miss Devore - 29 March 2008

Ok MCat, if you think Obama is passive and weak, who do you see as an example of strength and assertiveness?

79. marisacat - 29 March 2008


It’s not a comparison issue.

80. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

who do you see as an example of strength and assertiveness?


81. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

Well there is a certain line that goes Obama will have stirred up a bunch of new folkswith such high expectation that they will become a movement beyond his control, and that he will respond to that pressure, a new dialectic .

I don’t think that matters. The correct position it seems to me is to oppose both Obama and the racism directed against him (and both Hillary and the misogyny directed against her).

I think it’s probably a bit more strongly marked off with Obama, however, because I think a lot of people see Hillary as being Bill and Hillary, one WASP male and one WASP woman where in Obama’s case they just see black.

But I don’t think you can oppose imperialism by opposing Obama and by NOT opposing the racism directed against him.

82. Miss Devore - 29 March 2008

79. by your declaration, I guess.

83. Victor Laszlo - 29 March 2008

#78 Miss Devore (although the question wasn’t addressed to me):

Obama has reacted to events, rather than seizing control. When attacked, he has rolled up in a ball and played dead.

Any Obama supporter who isn’t deeply disturbed by Obama’s reaction to the attacks on Reverend Wright should be: Obama swiftly denounced Wright (who is receiving death threats) and Wright got forced into early retirement.

Obama’s response should have been:

“This is America.

Reverend Wright has free speech under the First Amendment.

I’ll denounce Reverend Wright when the right-wing nutjobs denounce Pat Robertson and Billy Graham. Pat Robertson said that the United States DESERVED 9/11 for its wickedness (and so did Jerry Falwell, God rot his soul) and Billy Graham is an infamous anti-Semite.”

Why the attack on Obama’s preacher? It’s called “testing defenses”. The Republicans wanted to poke at Obama’s defenses and see what’s around the perimeter.

Turns out there’s nothing, just some strawmen propped up with fake rifles like some bad remake of “Beau Geste” to make it look like the fortress is heavily defended.

As for who’s assertive: there isn’t one national politician who IS assertive. That’s the whole damned point: you’re not allowed to get that high up if you ARE a threat of any kind to the Overlords. That’s why Cory Booker will not rise higher, at least not in his current incarnation.

Reverend Wright is most certainly “strong and assertive” and Obama fled from his side as quickly as if the man had the plague. Bush Junior, on the other hand, sticks by even his most odious friends and allies (such as the execrable Karl Rove) and has been repaid by loyalty in kind, and by a grudging respect from his enemies. People respect you if you stick by your friends, and Obama didn’t: the Republicans handed Obama a knife and said, “Get to it”, and Obama happily shivved Wright in the kidneys.

If that’s not weak, I don’t know what is. It was an appalling sight.

Marisacat’s almost certainly right: parts of the country will turn away from the federal government’s dominion and save themselves, and a man like Cory Booker might be part of that.

We are most definitely on our own in the future. Most people just aren’t awakened to that fact yet. The federal government is good for nothing but wars, taxation, and spying on us, along with windy lectures on the immorality of women who have abortions and gays who want to get married.

84. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

Obama’s response should have been:“This is America.Reverend Wright has free speech under the First Amendment.

I don’t know if it’s about personal qualities. Is Obama weaker than Mike Gravel personally? Does strength stand in the way of success. It’s a philosphical question open to debate.

BUT I also think it’s a copout to say “well I’m not supporting Obama so who cares about the racist attacks.” When Rush/O’Reilly/McCain start in earnest after August (and what we’ve seen from the Clntons is nothing) it’s my fight whether I support Obama or not, perhaps BECAUSE I DON’T support him it’s even more my fight.

85. marisacat - 29 March 2008

Testing defenses…

I read the other day (and had no memory of htis one) that Carter wanted to nominate Sorensen for … oh I forget now, Def or State… and the R lined up the shooting gallery.

How dare he. When Sorensen was very young he had been a full on pacifist. How dare Carter, blah blah blah blah…

Carter caved. pronto. The R had taken the temperature. Tepid. Goadable.

And over and over the Dems fall on a sword of putty. Bleed to death in public then swear nothing happened.

86. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

Stuff about Booker is interesting because he was widely perceived to be sort of a pre-Obama, a white/corporate friendly black Ivy Leaguer who would replace the old civil rights leadership with something further to the right.

87. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

Carter caved. pronto. The R had taken the temperature. Tepid. Goadable.

Right but once again there’s a difference between liberalism and the right here.

The right CAN be more aggressive. The right CAN be more loyal to its friends because the right’s agenda and corporate America’s agenda is identical.

Liberals on the other hand have to walk a tightrope between their base and their corporate masters. In order to stay viable/electable their corporate masters DEMAND they diss their base every once in awhile.

You can successful defend your base but then boom, you’re in Kucinich land.

Name me one liberal on a statewide or higher level who’s successfully withstood this kind of hazing.

88. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 March 2008

Carter caved. pronto. The R had taken the temperature. Tepid. Goadable.

It’s a dynamic that has defined that party for decades now.

89. marisacat - 29 March 2008

the pre Obama is Deval.

90. raincat100 - 29 March 2008

This is great:

News Dissector Takes on C-NBC

Go Danny!

91. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

Booker did do an OK job of dissuing the racial tension around the Ivy Hill Murders. He did refuse to fan the hysteria. I’ll give him that.

92. melvin - 29 March 2008

The problem is who has the strength and aggressiveness (substitute whatever you like) and is crazy enough to want the job of president and all the horseshit it takes to get there.

You can’t throw a rock without hitting someone more qualified than the entire GOP field put together. Just here in the upper left I’d offer Christine Gregoire and Jay Inslee. Take your pick. Neither of them would ever dream of running.

93. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

Is that CNBC woman wearing a khaffiyeh?

94. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

I’d have to say though if it weren’t for Schechter those protesters would have looked foolish.

It’s called a demonstration because you WANT to be seen. If you’re not prepared to talk to the media, what’s the point?

Of course they’re unfair. But saying you’re afraid of the surveillance society when you’re demonstrating seems like a real contradiction.

I’ve sent press releases out to the NY Post and the NY Sun. I’m fully aware they’re passing my name on to the NYPD.

But that’s a given.

95. raincat100 - 29 March 2008

Oops, I missed Schechter’s piece in E&P:

Where Was Media When Sub-Prime Disaster Unfolded?

96. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

Don’t hold your breath for him to figure it out. Where is our mighty media that devoted so many acres of print to investigating Eliot Spitzer’s victimless hypocrisy in looking into a far deeper failure that affects all of us and the future of our society? Will we wait for the first credit-inspired riots to recognize the size and scale of this catastrophe or only read about it in the British press?

Or will we have to go to the Guardian to read about the credit inspired riots?

97. Victor Laszlo - 29 March 2008

#92 Melvin:

That’s part of Marisacat’s point about the nation as a whole being beyond self-redemption. People here and there are waking up (I think) and will choose to save themselves from the predations of the federal government, which is not used for anything good, but the federation as a whole is a failed experiment.

Nobody who strongly asserts progressive policies can be President of the United States in its current configuration. It’s clearly not allowed.

I had forgotten about Jimmy Carter’s many examples of rolling over for Republicans, so thanks for the reminder, Marisacat. The Republicans have actually tested Obama before he even got into the White House. Obama hasn’t got a chance of doing anything remotely progressive while in the White House, if he should be so lucky as to stumble across the finish line. The only thing that would possibly push Obama over the top is a full-blown senile dementia episode from McCain on national television, and/or a major heart attack live during one of the presidential “debates”.

And even then I’m not sure.

“What Senator McCain meant to say when he claimed not to remember his own name or that of his wife or any of his staff members, and couldn’t recall that this is the year 2008, is that he will pursue a reasoned foreign policy.”

Oh, that’s ok, then.

98. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 March 2008

Students bring city to a halt

As a rally comprised of several speakers came to an end, organizers urged the crowd to participate in an approximately 4 mile march in which students took control of city streets, forcing cars and buses to a standstill. The only exception the crowd made was allowing a lone ambulance passage through the masses.

Students said they decided to march for many reasons. School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Anthony Fuscaldo said he stands against the government’s war for financial reasons.

“I’m tired of seeing the taxpayer’s money that is contributing to the deaths,” he said. “Where’s the money for education?”

As marchers passed buses packed with stranded students, they held up peace signs to the passengers and chanted.

“We can’t take it anymore! Students can stop this war!” they called in an effort to motivate bus passengers to join their cause.

Throughout the march, New Brunswick Police Department squad cars often led the way stopping traffic from going any further so demonstrators could pass. Officers on foot flanked the protesters on four sides to make sure things remained peaceful.

Members of Rutgers Against the War and Tent State University led the protest with a front banner that read, “End Campus Complicity! Divest!” as part of RAW’s campaign to end to University spending that indirectly aids the war effort.

99. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

Students bring city to a halt

I’ve got to get on more and better spam lists. That’s only a few miles from where I live.

100. marisacat - 29 March 2008

VictorL out of moderation.

I have to reboot… so will be offline for a few mins.


101. marisacat - 29 March 2008

Not to worry!

The righties are on to the Wright expansive home.

… where this ends, nobody knows.

In other news, Gore has “unplugged the phones” and is “not applying” for the position of broker.

102. melvin - 29 March 2008

Noticed the tiger victims have have filed their lawsuit. And one was arrested for shoplifting. Not really the smartest move when one is preparing to go to court.

Their claim for being denied the use of their impounded BMW reminds me that a mop of mine seized over five years ago is still languishing in the county’s evidence room – if the bastards haven’t stolen it. It was a nice mop, commercial cleaning quality. I really miss it, so much that it’s absence has caused me a lot of pain and suffering.

103. marisacat - 29 March 2008

The whole thing was a terrible event. But the Daliwahl (I might be slighty off there) brothers are not going to be getting a lot of sympathy.

Talk about a comedy of utter horror.

104. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008

Students bring city to a halt

But protests are just a useless fossil from the 60s and a complete waste of time.

105. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008

Of course, that is the same kos whose next book is about “digital activism” (or some such manifestation of stroking his ego) following on the heels of a recent poll that revealed that only 1 in 5 Americans bother to read political blogs.

106. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008

a diarist accuses Oprah of witchcraft.

I guess we’ll have to find out if she floats or not.

107. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008

Oh those poor Obamamaniacs: what to do, what to do when even Obama says Hillary should stay in the race?

They’ve had the torches and pitchforks out for weeks to get her out of the way and then Obama screws it all up. But, of course, he’s brilliant! for saying that (after they acted like a bunch of bloodthirsty loons).

108. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008
109. liberalcatnip - 29 March 2008

They really should call this race ‘Ego-erection 2008’.

110. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

They really should call this race ‘Ego-erection 2008

It’s more like The Lord of the Rings. Everybody wants “the precious” (the White House). The Democrats remind me of Frodo. They win in 2006 (they’re just about to throw the ring into the fire) when all of a sudden, Pelosi and Reid put the ring on. “It’s mine Sam.” And you’re like “oh no. Not this shit again.”

111. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 March 2008

The Wright Controversy Revealed America’s Deeply Insecure Side

But whether or not any of Wright’s “controversial” statements have any validity at all is beside the point. The point is that a country that had any balls at all — that was secure enough in its patriotic self-image to stare vicious criticism right in the face and collectively decide for itself, in a state of sober reflection, what part of it was bullshit and what wasn’t — such a country wouldn’t do what it did in the case of the Wright flap, which is to panic instantly, collectively leap off the ground in terror like a bunch of silly bitches, and chase the criticism away in a torch-bearing mob with its eyes averted without even bothering to talk about what was actually said.

Yet naturally this is what was done in this case; the very first response of the entire national media apparatus was to denounce Wright as a kind of living disease and shriekingly demand that Obama do the same.

These controversial occasions, it should be said, are favorites of the national punditry. They offer an opportunity for slothlike, couchbound columnists everywhere to dress themselves up in white-hot outrage and to pen long accusatory columns in a tone suggesting that all contentment and happiness in their lives will henceforth be impossible until the offending agent is fully and completely shunned by society.

You get articles like the one written by Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe (“It’s still a question of Wright and Wrong,” March 19) in which Jacoby noted that if his rabbi had said such hateful things, his congregation would have risen as one and ridden him out of town on a rail; expressing disappointment that this had not happened at Obama’s church full of appallingly approving black folk, Jacoby then expressed sorrow that Obama, who delivered a racial-reconciliation-themed speech this week echoing Martin Luther King (40 years after his death, mainstream America’s current symbol of acceptable protest), would not reject a pastor who drew his inspiration not from King but seemingly from Malcolm X, James Cone and Louis Farrakhan (symbols of unacceptable protest).

This “clanging double standard,” Jacoby wrote, “raises questions” (these milquetoast pundits never just say they think a guy sucks; they always say his behavior “raises questions”) about Obama’s character and judgment, and about his “fitness for the role of race-transcending healer.” Now, me personally, as a white guy, I have to admire Jacoby — I’m not sure I’d have the balls to tell black America that it is permitted to criticize whitey in the style of Martin Luther King but not in the style of Malcolm X. I mean, no one sent my grandfather to be injected with syphillis at Tuskegee, or strung up my great-uncle for smiling at a white girl, so no matter what I actually think here, I’m keeping my mouth shut. But not Jacoby, and not the bulk of the media apparatus. They have no problem telling anyone, at any time, where the boundary lines of acceptable opinion are, and what the penalties are for straying beyond them.

112. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 March 2008

Taibbi link in spam.

113. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

The point is that a country that had any balls at all — that was secure enough in its patriotic self-image to stare vicious criticism right in the face and collectively decide for itself, in a state of sober reflection, what part of it was bullshit and what wasn’t — such a country wouldn’t do what it did in the case of the Wright flap, which is to panic instantly, collectively leap off the ground in terror like a bunch of silly bitches, and chase the criticism away in a torch-bearing mob with its eyes averted without even bothering to talk about what was actually said.


114. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

Yes minus the obvious misogynistic use of the word “balls” since it’s probably men who are all up in arms about Wright (although women are acting irrationally these days too).

115. Hair Club for Men - 29 March 2008

You get articles like the one written by Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe (”It’s still a question of Wright and Wrong,” March 19) in which Jacoby noted that if his rabbi had said such hateful things, his congregation would have risen as one and ridden him out of town on a rail;

Somewhere on the Daily Kos is a dairy about the anti-Iranian, pro war rants at the diarists synagogue. I’m too lazy to find it right now but it’s from the beginning of 2007.

116. marisacat - 29 March 2008

Well for sometime I have thought that many in the US self hypnotise, and this is as good a description of it as any (from Taibbi, who seems to want it all in that article):

A laid-off worker in Ohio will go to a Hillary Clinton speech, hear Hillary talk about the dangers of electing a president without “experience,” and then five minutes after the speech he’ll be shaking his fist at the ceiling at the very idea of someone without “experience” even trying to run for president. A teacher in New York will go to an Obama event looking curious and happy, then come out furious at the politics of “the past,” rambling like it’s been on his mind for years about how we need to “look to the future” instead of staying stuck “where we are.” A Republican turns on the TV, hears some asshole like Michelle Malkin say the surge is working, then turns around and with his arm draped around his wife gives you a long spiel about how the surge is working and how those damned liberals don’t want to admit it.

As for people running screaming from Wright, count in Obama. He cannot keep a story line going.

Geesh. It tells me that the internal polling on Wright/issues arising from, is a lot tougher than the public polling.

Christalmighty, with a bullshit con the likes that Axelrod and Plouffe are running thru their FULLY RACE BASED candidate, what in the hell did they expect when Wright emerged. And the issue has only hung fire for a year, fully. WIth no plan B for the day it blew.

Obama sold himself as some latter day Booker T Washington doll (the sort of black Repubs, righties, conservatives and, secretly, many many Democrats/lunatic liberals just WUV).


117. Victor Laszlo - 29 March 2008

Re: The theme of the United States going gaga.

Is it possible for an entire nation to contract a kind of mass neurosis or psychosis? It seems to me that the United States had a nervous breakdown on 11 September 2001 and has never fully recovered.

At the risk of false personification: I used to “know” the United States as a country and could predict its behavior in most circumstances. But now I find that the United State is increasingly erratic, wild, and just plain unpredictable.

The only pattern I see is that there is no pattern. Obama is as peripatetic as the country he wants to lead, bouncing from one thing to another with no rhyme nor reason, no logical connection, no plotline at all that I can discern.

This is America: The Postmodern Novel. We can’t be certain who the villains are because this novel doesn’t have any. No heroes, either: just 310 million characters in search of a plot.

118. marisacat - 29 March 2008

Not to excuse people (not my job anyway), but one of the big big problems with people in the US is sheer fatigue. The commute, first not too long then for 25 years possibly very long commutes (1.5 to 4.0 hours perday), is just unprecedented.

I think that is part of it. They zone out, accept messaging and emotion, evidence of life, is reaction. Sonambulist thinking.

I realise this is spit up all the time by knee jerk liberals (a European contrast), but reality is with no guaranteed bloc of tiem for vacations, increasinly non existent for hourly, contract, or salaried but low paid workers, no one rests. I just contrast France as I have seen it in action, regular national breaks, paid holidays, 3 – 5 weeks of real vacation per year, peopel have a chance to rest.

America long ago fell into a frantic, driven but drained, cheer leader mode… frantic being the operative word. No wonder they elected a cheerleader.

119. melvin - 29 March 2008

117 In my limited travels, it seems to me that people are much more willing here to turn on the tv and nod along to whatever lullaby they are being told. Young people especially. They ust accept the narrative of the day.

Never been to Australia, but it is interesting to listen to their reporters grilling pols and candidates. They will interrupt, call bullshit with just the barest veneeer of courtesy, etc. Here it is oh so improper to question whatever evasive talking points are handed out. Horrors!

Take a working class tavern in London. Instead of nodding yes yes that’s right to the national garbage blaring out of the tv, there is open hostility, raspberries. I remember a very nicely dressed old gal, a survivor of the blitz, turning to me as Blair smiled away on the toob. “‘E likes to show ‘is fooking teeth, ‘e does. Better to eat us with.”

120. bayprairie - 29 March 2008

i read that jacoby article. it was possibly one of worst i read, and i read a ton of articles on wright, all across the spectrum.

i bet he’s a real piece of work.

121. marisacat - 29 March 2008

hmm just dropped in at Pa Progressive to see what is up and saw this in a round up post of snippets:

In more serious news the Philadelphia Sheriff has put a freeze on home foreclosures to provide time for homeowners to seek assistance before losing their homes due to predatory lenders. The Black community in Philadelphia was especially victimized by these immoral bankers and is hard hit by foreclosures. Sheriff Green ran on a platform of providing relief to these residents. Glad to see he’s sticking by his word.

122. James - 29 March 2008

#106 – Well, Oprah turned me into a newt….I got better.

123. marisacat - 29 March 2008

nu thred…………..


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