Sunday, March 09, 2008
Samantha Power: You can't make a commitment in whatever month we're in now, in March of 2008 about what circumstances are going to be like in January 2009. We can't even tell what Bush is up to in terms of troops pauses and so forth. He will of course not rely upon some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US Senator.
The following exchange took place last week on BBC and it's truest because, as Sammy notes, Bambi's just tossing out more chicken sop for the soul to trick American voters.
Sunday and so early for us! That's due to a number of things including ignoring Flickr which will not upload this morning. We'll have a picture feature next weekend. We're not adding it when we can get Flickr upload later today.
Here's who worked on this edition:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
and Marcia SICKOFITRDLZ.
and Dallas! We thank everyone for their help.
Truest statement of the week -- It really is the truest and what's the most frightening thing about it is the coverage it's getting or not getting.
Editorial: The Whores of Indymedia -- Not getting. The Whores of Indymedia are refusing to cover Sammy Power's revelation that Barack Obama's 'pledge' to withdraw combat troops from Iraq in 16 months of taking office is meaningless and not anything to take seriously. She explained that to the BBC shortly before leaving the campaign last week.
TV: Goodman and Rose 'honoring' bad TV past -- An Ava and C.I. masterpiece. What can you say? We asked (and they're not answering) whether they're referencing to two entertainment shows in this look at Democracy Now! and The Charlie Rose Show to be sure readers aching for Ava and C.I.'s return to reviewing entertainment programming don't feel left out? Again, they aren't answering. This is one of those things that when I (Jim) read it outloud to everyone, I have to stop as I go along because I start laughing. It's hilarious and hard hitting. As the rest of know it, they are biting their tongues on about seven things currently and if they get pissed off enough, they're about to let loose. Though we don't with them to get pissed off, we won't regret it when they let loose. Yes, Coffee Fetchers, they do hold back.
'Baby Jessica' Valenti (Dona) -- This is one of the main reasons we're done at a reasonable (for us) time this morning. Dona read Jessica Valenti's latest nonsense at The Nation Saturday and said, "I'm writing a commentary." We're all glad she did. Baby Jessica is a solid embarrassment (and, Ava and C.I. note, Sam Seder was, once upon a time, happy to note that as well). This is a wonderful article by Dona and, yes, I'm biased here but everyone loved this when Dona read it to us. Dona says, "Big thanks to Ava and C.I. for reassuring me every few paragraphs when I'd go bother them, as they were working on their commentary."
Roundtable -- This is the first thing we posted. Currently, all names are not in bold when people are speaking. We didn't have time, we wanted to get something up or the temptation would be to go to sleep, we were really tired. Instead, we posted this and managed to get everything (except the picture feature) up. Illustrations will be added later if possible to upload (Betty's son photo will be added to this period). C.I. was picked to question Dallas (thank you to Dallas for participating in this) because C.I. (a) knew this issue better than anyone participating having read e-mails all week from Texas community members and (b) Dallas felt most comfortable talking about this with C.I. (Others would have noted the second 'reason' a crackpot had for voting for Obama. C.I. knew Dallas didn't want it brought up and just summarized it in general. It is a false rumor -- as far as anyone knows the man suing Obama is just off balance.) Dona points out that there's a third reason, C.I.'s knowledge meant nothing would slip by and that's obvious in the summaries and quesitons C.I. offers as well as when C.I. stops me as I'm about to wind the discussion on the Texas caucuses down. We're really thankful to Dallas for sharing this. The entire roundtable is solid but, as I note in it, I would have been fine if we'd ended it after Dallas was done.
The death of Our Modern Day Carrie Nations -- Sammy Power. We'll now have to pick a new arch-nemesis (non-media) with her death.
Oh no she didn't! -- Katha Pollitt, providing comedic aid to the nation.
Highlights -- Mike, Rebecca, Betty, Marcia, Elaine, Cedric, Wally and Kat wrote this and picked out the highlights unless otherwise noted. We thank them for it.
And that's what we've got. We're eating breakfast and then all going to sleep. Including C.I. The Common Ills will post this evening. There should be a new comic by Isaiah (we plan to insert last week's in our editorial when we can get into Flickr) and Kat's completed her CD review (it's of Jack Johnson) so that will go up in addition to "And the war drags on . . ." and possibly another entry by C.I. We'll see you next week.
-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.
One that not only gets longer daily, but more obvious. It's a huge stable of Media Whores.
Last week the BBC aired an interview with then-foreign advisor to Barack Obama, Samantha Power:
Stephen Sackur: You said that he'll revisit it [the decision to pull troops] when he goes to the White House. So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out within sixteen months, isn't a commitment is it?
Samantha Power: You can't make a commitment in whatever month we're in now, in March of 2008 about what circumstances are going to be like in January 2009. We can't even tell what Bush is up to in terms of troops pauses and so forth. He will of course not rely upon some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US Senator.
No, it's not a commitment but check out the Media All Whores and attempt to discover that news.
So determined to not only avoid the reality but also smear Hillary Clinton, Air Berman (The Nation) spent Friday digging through Meet The Press transcripts. The allegedly anti-war Nation magazine has yet to tell their online readers of the revelations broadcast on BBC.
Truthout, so quick to editorialize that Hillary Clinton should drop out of the race, has no story up about the revelation. BuzzFlash is working overtime to smear Hillary Clinton but has nothing to say about Bambi's Iraq realities. Common Dreams is avoiding the subject as is The Progressive, CounterPunch, Truthdig, go down the list. All have time to smear Hillary, none have time to tell the truth about Bambi's 'pledge.' Where is Tom Hayden!
Remember when Americans Against the Escalation (or whatever the name of that faux grassroots 'movement') imploded? There was Tommy, mere second later, writing about it online at The Nation. A call to the magazine got the story pulled but it resurfaced a day later, on Sunday, in a slightly different form with an additional note tacked on. Certainly Bambi's non-pledge is as important as the implosion of a non-peace group.
Like Bambi's use of homophobia in South Carolina to scare up voters, The All Whores of Panhandle Media appear to be operating on the belief that if they don't discuss it, no one will ever know it took place.
That really is what's going on, that is how the 'movement' around Bambi was built. A lot of silence. When he does wrong. It also takes a lot lies, a lot of astro-turf, a lot of echo chamber and a whole lot of Media Whores to create a candidate out of nothing.
It also takes attempting to enforce a new system of rules. Did you know that it was off limits to note Robert Dole or Al Gore, or John McCain or Michael Dukakis' middle name? You didn't? That's because the rule didn't exit then. Your name was your name. But as Joan Vennochi's
"A Delicate Line for Michelle Obama" (Boston Globe via Comon Dreams) informed, "Last week, she said that when rivals use her husband's full name -- Barack Hussein Obama -- they are throwing 'the obvious, ultimate fear bomb. . . . When all else fails, be afraid of his name'." "She" is Michelle Obama. We hope that wasn't a "fear bomb" -- either "Michelle" or "Obama." What a stupid, stupid fool.
But side-boob's far from alone and the Bambi campaign's pulled that crap all along. On March 4th's Charlie Rose Show last week, Professional Liar (and Obama campaigner though she rarely bothers to disclose that in her media appearances) Melissa Harris-Lacewell declared, "If anything the notion that there's been greater scrutiny of Barack Obama as a candidate strikes me as odd. I there's been a great deal of questioning of Barack Obama as a human being and odd questions about his identity, about his positioning as a true American patriot, those questions."
What's odd is that Princeton is reportedly only tabulating Harris-Lacewell's misconduct at this point and not yet calling her to the carpet (it's an ethical violation of Princeton's guidelines for Harris-Lacewell to not make clear in media apperances that she's working for the Obama campaign). What's odd is that questions about his relationship with his political mentor Antoin "Tony" Rezko (now on trial for a federal indictment) are seen as questions about Bambi "as a human being". What's odd is that his being confronted by the press last Monday about lying (his campaign was in touch with the Canadian government to advise them that Bambi was just offering pretty words on NAFTA in the Austin debate and didn't really mean them) don't go to his qualifications to be president in the 'academic' mind of Harris-Lacewell.
Question Bambi and you're called out. You're throwing "fear bombs" just for mentioning his middle name. They've played that over and over with the media and most of the media (Real Media, not Panhandle Media) is pretty damn tired of it and realizes they were taken for a ride. Bambi storming out of a Monday evening press conference (on his plane) only confirmed their judgement that he really is not up to the task of being president.
But Panhandle Media created him.
Now they're faced with a choice. Confronted with the reality that Bambi's tossing pretty words at the American people on Iraq in order to trick them into voting for him (confirmed by Sammy Power before she stepped down as foreign policy advisor), what are The Whores of Indymedia going to do?
Do they really think they can get away with playing silent? Do they really think this is going to go away?
Sammy Power confirmed what Elaine and C.I. have been saying for years now, Bambi's not about ending the illegal war. Power's remarks weren't shocking to them because he told them face-to-face, in the midst of his US Senate run, that he wasn't for withdrawal of troops. At the time, he was leading the public to think otherwise. At a fundraiser for big donors, he spoke more honestly. Now he's running for another office and promising America he will pull combat troops out within 16 months of assuming office. In fact, in Houston, Texas, he shortened the time further, he said it would happen within a year of his taking office. Tommy Hayden was so giddy by that one sentence, he wrote a whole column about it.
What's a matter, Tommy, too depressed to tell the people truth about what Sammy Power said?
Well which of you little panhandlers is going to step up to the plate and call him out now? Didn't Laura Flanders and Tom Hayden (after they endorsed him) both say that his feet needed to be held to the fire? Well come on, kiddos, you can't work the red-light district forever, hold his feet to the damn fire.
Let's be really clear here, anyone who claims to be against the illegal war and doesn't seriously probe what was said is not against the illegal war.
Furthermore, offering excuses such as "realisitically . . ." won't cut it. Bambi's not asking voters to be realistic about his 'pledge' -- he's telling them he will do it. He's lying to them. He's lying to them and he got caught. That's called news on any subject. When the topic is the Iraq War, anyone refusing to cover it is prolonging the illegal war and stating they are okay with it. Choose your side.
Illustration is Isaiah's "Pinocchio Obama" (thank you, Isaiah) and we're adding "MEMO: Obama's Iraq Plan: Just Words" (HillaryClinton.com):
To: Interested Parties
From: The Clinton Campaign
Date: March 8, 2008
RE: Obama's Iraq Plan: Just Words
Once again, it looks like Senator Obama is telling voters one thing while his campaign says those words should not to be mistaken for serious action.
After months of speeches from Senator Obama promising a hard end date to the Iraq war, his top foreign policy adviser that counseled his campaign during that period is on the record saying that Senator Obama will "not rely on some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator."
Voters already have serious questions about whether Senator Obama is ready to be Commander-in-Chief. Now there are questions about whether he's serious about the Iraq plan he's discussed for the last year on the campaign trail.
Senator Obama has made hard end dates about Iraq a centerpiece of his campaign and has repeatedly attacked Senator Clinton for not being clear about her intentions with regard to troop withdrawal.
It turns out those attacks and speeches were just words. And if you can't trust Senator Obama's words, what's left?
This latest incident is part of a larger pattern where Senator Obama doesn't deliver on the promises he makes on the campaign trail -- whether it's his 2004 Senate race or his 2008 White House campaign.
In 2003, Senator Obama said he was for a single payer health system, but now opposes plans that cover every American. He promised to repeal the Patriot Act, but then voted to extend it. He promised to normalize relations with Cuba, but flip-flopped when he started running for president.
In 2008, Senator Obama rails against NAFTA in Ohio while his top economic advisor assures the Canadians his rhetoric is just "political positioning." He promises to opt in to public financing if the GOP nominee does, but then breaks that pledge in real time. He promises to withdraw from Iraq within 16 months, and now his top foreign policy adviser says that he's not relying on the plan.
With a short record to run on, Senator Obama's entire campaign is based on the speeches he makes on the campaign trail. So when he and his advisers dismiss the plans he touts on the stump, it undermines his entire candidacy.
Americans have heard plenty of speeches. It's time they got serious solutions and that's what Hillary is going to deliver when she is President.
Take Madonna's guest spot on Will & Grace in season five which found the writers working overtime to provide The Aged Girl with funny lines and found Megan Mullally working her ass off to make the scenes take off. They never did and you can consider that appearance to be Madge's final screen-test. Like Our Lady of Perpetual Self-Promotion, John Nichols hammers the nails for his own coffin and there he was Friday on Amy Goodman's Democracy Somtimes! (soon to be renamed Bambi's Hour Of Power!) acting like such a fool and such a liar that the rest of his long descent will seem superfluous.
Goody, a one time journalist or semi-convincing actor who once passed herself as such, intro-ed Nichols as "the Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine and [he] maintains the blog The Online Beat at thenation.com. He is also associate editor of Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin. John is actually joining us from Toronto, Canada." Offering all but what he ate for breakfast and whether or not he'd changed his underwear that morning, Goody implied he was the perfect guest to address the program's first topic: Michigan and Florida's Democratic primaries. Read over his QV as listed by Goody again and scratch your heads over that 'logic'.
Nichols was booked because he LOATHES Hillary Clinton. He loathes her again and again. Just when you assume he has to have purged of all loathing, he reaches deep and finds more. Which made him the perfect guest for Goody whose tired little act is beginning to show on her face.
Florida and Michigan jumped the gun on their Democratic primaries. As a result, the Democratic National Committee has been threatening that they will refuse to seat the delegates from either state at the DNC convention this August. If the delegates are not "seated," the votes they represent will not be counted. That's a bit more background that Amy Goodman managed to offer, but we'll get back to that.
Bound and determined to lie more than Nichols (and she probably succeeded), Goody told her audience that her guest "has been closely following what's emerging as a critical issue here in 2008's race." Here? Did she mean Toronto? No she was referring to the Democratic vote in those two states and the aftermath. And she was, as usual these days, lying through her pursed lips. Did he closely follow the Michigan primary? No. As Kat pointed out in early January, "John Nichols titles a column 'On to Michigan, Nevada… and Maybe Oregon' but in his very long column, he never mentions Michigan." Including "Michigan" in the title of your scribbles is not "closely following." Amy Goodman didn't closely follow it either -- even when she had complaints before the primary took place. They didn't closely follow Florida either although Goody had to give it a little bit of attention (dismissing it as a "beauty pageant" the day after it took place) due to the fallout.
By contrast, NPR's The Diane Rehm Show repeatedly followed both Michigan and Florida's primaries, repeatedly discussed and addressed them. Why couldn't Goody or, for that matter, Nichols? The answer was demonstrated in how Goody provided background for her segment on Friday: a clip of Howard Dean, chair of the DNC, speaking. It was really amusing to watch Goody and Nichols lie and attempt to act concerned about Democratic voters in Florida and Michigan on Friday when the reality is neither gave a damn in real time and neither gave a damn on Friday. That was why they were silent. The national branch of the party decided the votes wouldn't count ahead of time and, like good little lackeys, alleged 'independent' journalists Goody and Nichols took their marching orders from the DNC -- the voters be damned.
Amy Goodman's "going to where the silences are" does not include taking on the Democratic National Party and standing up for voters. Nor is "populist" John Nichols too concerned about them either as they demonstrated on Friday as well as in real time. In what was, for all intents and purposes, the first real coverage of the two state's primaries, Goody took a pause before beginning because it was really important she get a big lie out of the way early. Noting that Nichols was in Canada, Goody let Nichols smear Hillary Clinton with a false whisper (that two days later still hasn't panned out) presented as a "revelation" by never-a-journalist John Nichols. Remember how Bambi talked big and strong in the Texas debate about NAFTA? Probably not because he mainly repeated the answers Hillary had already given. But he did. He talked big, he talked strong. Down with NAFTA! But his campaign also talked to the Canadian government and assured them that, basically, you have to say certain things to get elected, you know, you have to put one over on those stupid American voters.
Amy Goodman likes to put one over on viewers which is why, before the show began, she was laughing with John Nichols about how they could introduce the unsourced smear against Hillary. (We are actually told she was "cackling.") Goody did that on the program with this fanciful lie, "Well we have covered the Barack Obama aspect of that [NAFTA] quite a bit. What are they saying about Hillary Clinton?" Goody thinks she covered Bambi's NAFTA-Gate "quite a bit"? No, she just thinks her viewers are too stupid to remember reality and that they are too lazy to check the archives.
The debate took place February 27th and Goody judged NAFTA worthy enough of a topic to be included in an actual segment (entitled "Clinton, Obama Hold Final Debate Before Pivotal Votes Next Week") as opposed to just a headline. After that, NAFTA was not worthy of a segment. March 4th, Goody noted this as the third item in her reading of headlines at the top of the show:
In other campaign news, the Associated Press has obtained a memo confirming one of Senator Obama's senior economic advisers met on February 8 with Canadian consulate officials to discuss Obama's criticism of NAFTA. The memo said Obama’s public critque of the trade deal should be seen "as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans." Obama’s economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, says his comments about NAFTA were misconstrued by the Canadian officials.
That's a cute little way to 'cover' someone running for the office of president getting caught in a very public lie. Yes, AP did publish the memo. Click here The New York Times story on it that provides you with a link to the PDF format memo. And note the lede to Michael Lou's article:
"The denials were sweeping when Senator Barack Obama's campaign mobilized last week to refute a report that a senior official had given back-channel reassurances to Canada soft-pedaling Mr. Obama's tough talk on Nafta." Yes, the denials from the Bambi campaign "were sweeping" prior to the publication of the memo. What's the oft repeated bromide? It's not the deed, it's the cover-up. But 'journalist' Goody left that out because she uses her show to campaign for Barack Obama. She never told her audience about the denials. In fact, while the controversy swirled, she never said a word on any broadcast. Had the AP not published the memo, she wouldn't have even been forced to finally acknowledge it. Two days later, she was pleased as punch to try to rip apart the story of Bambi being caught in a lie with this fourth item in her reading of headlines (March 6th):
In other campaign news, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has launched an internal security investigation after a memo was leaked to the press discussing a meeting between an adviser to Barack Obama and Canadian officials. The leaked memo alleged that Obama's senior economic adviser assured the Canadians that Obama's public critique of NAFTA was more political positioning than a clear articulation of his policy plans. On Wednesday, Harper said the leak of the memo was blatantly unfair to Obama. The leak came days before the primary vote in Ohio. CBC and other Canadian news outlets report Harper's own chief of staff, Ian Brodie, was the source of what is now being dubbed NAFTA-gate.
For those not in the know, Stephen Harper is both an ass and a conservative and rarely has his word ever carried such weight on Democracy Now! -- in fact, never. But it allowed her to confuse the issue (Bambi caught lying -- with a government document backing those facts up) by acting as if an investigation into a leak was somehow more important. If it seems familiar, it is the M.O. of the White House and, yes, when they do it, Goody calls it out. But she loves her some Bambi. She loves him so much that she's willing to trash journalistic standards and her audience to get him elected.
So informed viewers were most likely laughing when Goody declared that she had "covered the Barack Obama aspect of that quite a bit." She did two headlines. One minimized what had taken place by leaving out the fact that his campaign had offered non-stop denials over a series of days that only ceased when AP published the memo, the other that attempted to act as if the leaking of the memo was the story. (Yes, this is the same Goody who grandstanded recently on the shutting down of Wiki-leaks. Leaks are only good when they don't effect her candidate. And again, she calls this distract-from-the-discovered-lie-by-launching-an-investigation-into-the-leak nonsense out when the White House does it.)
Despite the fact that the AP had to publish not just the stories of NAFTA-gate but also the memo before Goody could get off her tired ass and note NAFTA-Gate, on Friday, she was eager to set John Nichols up so he could turn an unsourced whisper into a "revelation." It was nothing and not worth repeating. It certainly wasn't journalism but, hey, consider the two goons we were watching.
Finally they got around to Florida and Michigan. In Florida, we were told by Goody (with Nichols telling her she was "precisely right") that Democrats in the state legislature voted to move the primary up (along with Republicans) but that they did so "only because they wanted the more important issue of receipts from their electronic voting machines, a paper record." That's a cute re-telling of history. Did they vote for it? Yes, they did. But Goody's attempting to paint it as a Republican move that Dems were opposed to. Whether they strongly supported it or only half-way supported it, they voted for it. That is reality. If they were against it, they could have voted against it. As if that wasn't enough muddying of the issue, Nichols and Goody made sure to render the people of Florida invisible. Though they'd note the vote in Michigan, neither 'journalist' bothered to note that Florida had a record turn out. As Florida's Democratic Party noted immediately after the state's primary, " Florida Democrats today surpassed the total combined vote in the first four 'early states', topped the total population of New Hampshire, shattered the previous state record for turnout in a Democratic Presidential Primary, and even broke the previous record for turnout in ANY Democratic primary in Florida." That's a lot of people for Goody and Nichols to render invisible, in fact, it's 1,708,489 people. But the DNC has rendered the Democratic voters of Florida invisible and Goody and Nichols know who butters their bread.
They never got around to mentioning who won Florida but John Nichols did repeat the lie he's been telling for over a month now (after he and Goody agree that Hillary didn't play by the rules but Bambi had).
Nichols: All the campaigns made agreements not to go into these states, or at least particularly Florida. And in Florida, the amazing thing is that Hillary Clinton, who had agreed not to campaign there, of course, flew into the Florida on the Sunday before the primary, made a very high-profile appearance at an airport, got photographed with the palm trees behind her, and then went to two, quote-unquote "closed fundraisers" and claimed that was not campaigning. So the fact of the matter is that the Obama campaign was disadvantaged here.
The fact of the matter is that John Nichols needs psychiatric help. Both Obama and Clinton were in Florida after the DNC made their ruling in 2007. Both had private fundraisers. Those were permitted by the DNC though John Nichols plays dumb. Bambi actually broke rules -- he advertised over Florida cable which was in violation. He attempted to claim that the ad buys were beyond his control in terms of where they aired but that was a LIE. In addition, Bambi held a press conference in Florida. He initiated it and only closed it down, in his usual petulant manner, when the press pointed out to him that he wasn't supposed to be holding a press conference, that it was in violation of the rules.
From the January 30th "Iraq snapshot:"
Turning to US politics and the coverage of them. As Mike predicted last night, Amy Goodman would get creative with Florida's Democratic Party. She did so today. "Uncontested," crowed Obama supporter Amy Goodman of the primary yesterday. Others rushed to add more spin. Florida voters spoke. For those who have forgotten it, post-2000 elections, well into 2004, Little Media couldn't shut up about the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election. Then, you understand, people mattered. Their voices mattered. But today? They don't matter. Today all Little Media's railing against the electoral college and pretending to give a damn about the direct vote, the voice of the people is revealed as ONE BIG FRAUD. Liars. That is the word. John Nichols lied yesterday -- as Rebecca pointed out at last night -- and his lie that appeared at The Nation yesterday is all over today including at TPM Cafe "wwjb" embarrasses him or her self by citing Nichols' false claim: "On Sunday, she flew to Florida, violating the pledge all the major Democratic contenders has made to avoid campaigning in the state that scheduled its primary earlier than was allowed by the Democratic National Convention." In fairness to "wwjb," prior to this election, Nichols was someone you could take on face value. However, like so many in allegedly 'independent' media, he's disgraced himself and the stain on his name will endure long after the Democratic primary and long after the 2008 elections. You can't just lie and get away with it. If follows you forever and a journalist -- even a columnist -- is not allowed to do that. Reality noted by CNN yesterday, "Clinton attended permitted fund-raisers in Florida on Sunday and planned to appear with supporters there after polls closed." In addition, Obama ran commercials in Florida (he claims it being a "national buy" allows him an exception but the DNC has said no). Nichols leaves out that, he leaves out the Clinton was a fundraiser which is allowed and he left out the fact that Bambi's been in and out of Florida for fundraisers and, in fact, broke a rule in September while in Florida. Via TaylorMarsh.com, William March and Elaine Silverstrini (The Tampa Tribune) reported that following a Tampa fundraiser, Obama met with the press to take questions: "The pledge covers anything referred to in Democratic National Committee rules as 'campaigning,' and those include 'holding news conferences.' Obama seemed unaware the pledge he signed prohibits news conferences. Asked whether he was violating it, he said, 'I was just doing you guys a favor." The same article notes that Obama pledged at the fundraiser -- regarding the delegates the DNC is threatening to strip Florida of -- to "do what's right by Florida voters." To recap, Clinton attended a permitted fundraiser as Bambi has done. Unlike Bambi, Clinton did not hold a press briefing.
John Nichols has repeatedly disgraced himself with his non-stop lying and that might be shocking were it not for the fact that Amy Goodman has besmirched her own reputation. If you bothered to watch (we know, why bother), you're aware that neither Goody nor Nichols felt the need to note the results of the primary. For the record, Hillary received 50% of the votes and Bambi received 33%. The results were of no concern to the Media Whores when discussing Florida but how they gas-bagged over Michigan to try to paint Hillary's win as something other than a win.
First up was John Nichols smearing a sitting governor, Jennifer Granhol -- apparently so evil that neither Amy nor John could mention the governor's first name when invoking her repeatedly -- suggesting that she only supported the moving up of the primary because she knew somehow it would benefit Hillary. Amy Goodman accepted Nichols' smear as fact and used the smear to note that the vote was fifty-five percent for Hillary and forty-five percent for someone else. Nichols ran with that declaring that the "undecided vote or the uncommitted vote" was "roughly forty-percent" and that "Dennis Kucinich got five percent of the vote". Let's clear up the basics and then correct John Nichols.
Florida and Michigan both moved up their primary dates. All candidates were listed on the Florida ballot. In Michigan, the ballot list included Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd, Mike Gravel and "uncommitted" with John Edwards, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson and Joe Biden not being listed (due to their own actions). John Conyers and many others (not just his wife, as Nichols maintained) campaigned as Obama supporters in Michigan insisting that, if you support Obama, you vote "uncommitted." (The same was done by the Edwards campaign.) Combined, the two campaigns scored forty percent of the vote. Dennis Kucinich did not receive five percent of the vote.*
See, John Nichols wasn't in Michigan, wasn't in Florida and didn't cover either in real time. There was no reason for him to be on the show except for the fact that he writes against Hillary and has trashed her on Amy's cesspool show already this primary season. Dennis Kucinich received four percent of the vote in Michigan. Chris Dodd received one percent. John Nichols is a liar, a fool and a Media Whore but he is not a journalist.
"In fact," he exclaimed on the broadcast, "you see forty-five percent of the Michiganders who went to the poll voted for someone other than Hillary Clinton!" It would apparently kill Nichols to note that Hillary won. She received fifty-five percent of the vote. That percentage was what Obama received in South Carolina and, when it was Bambi, Nichols managed to write ("Chill, Bill") of it as "massive." When it's Hillary, he works overtime to discredit the win. It was interesting to hear him claim that Obama would win Michigan if there was a do-over because "Remember, Jesse Jackson did very, very well in Michigan back in 1984 and '88." Had Bill Clinton made that observation, the likes of Goody and Nichols would again be attempting to tar him a racist (as their crowd did when he noted, following Obama's South Carolina win, that Jackson had won South Carolina). You're seeing Panhandle Media fall apart before your eyes and the only other thing of interest the segment offered was the answer to the question, "Can John Nichols survive what appeared to be a very bad Toni home perm?" The answer would appear to be, "Yes, if he chops it off."
If Nichols' malpractice of journalism on Friday is forgotten (he rewrote reality on Saturday as well), it will only because of the laugh-fest that followed as Amy Goodman brought on Sarah Posner. Posner didn't embarrass herself, but Goody certainly did. The segment was entitled "McCain Embraces Endorsement from Anti-Catholic, Anti-Gay, Anti-Muslim Televangelist John Hagee" and, like a good whore for Bambi, Amy Goodman 'naturally' had to open the segment with Barack Obama from the most recent debate where he had to clarify whether or not he supported Minister Louis Farrakhan. Goody would pout that "Hagee has come under criticism for his controversial statements about homosexuality, Islam, the Catholic Church, women. In contrast with Obama's repeated denunciations of Farrakhan, McCain openly embraced Hagee's endorsement. When confronted about Hagee's controversial views, McCain said he was 'proud' of Hagee and welcomed his support." Goody wasn't done pretending to give a damn about attacks on the LGBT community and felt the need to declare elsewhere, "Finally, Sarah Posner, John McCain continuing to embrace John Hagee, not only around some of these issues that we've discussed, but his comments about homosexuals, about why Hurricane Katrina happened, that it was punishment for the people of New Orleans, his comments about Catholicism."
The casual viewer might have thought Goodman a 'brave' voice who actually gave a damn about homophobia. The reality is that she never uttered a word about Barack Obama's use of homophobia in South Carolina not even, as we noted in January, when interviewing the co-author of "Obama's Big Gay and Black Problem." So spare us all the pretense that Amy Goodman takes any offense to the use of homophobia. She has made it clear that she supports it 100% when it comes from her candidate of choice. Whoring for Bambi has allowed her to destroy her image and it's destroying her reach which is not surprising because her audience has always been smarter than she's ever given it credit for.
January. Yes, back then we were noting how Amy Goodman brought on Professional Liar Melissa Harris-Lacewell twice that month. The first time, Lie Face was allowed to be presented (and present herself, in violation of Princeton's requirements for all academic staff) as just a disinterested observer who happened to catch Obama's speech and was wow-ed by it. The reality would emerge days later when Goody had her back on in what was a set-up (Gloria Steinem was told she was booked for a dicussion but Goody and Harris-Lacewell plotted an ambush before the telecast -- and, yes, they did plot it). On that broadcast, Amy Goodman would finally tell the audience what they had a right to know when Lie Face appeared on the show the week prior, "Melissa Harris-Lacewell is a Barack Obama supporter." Lie Face herself would brag about "the work that I've done on the Obama campaign" -- bragging that, by Princeton's own policy, should have been disclosed on air the week prior when she was praising Obama's speech.
It's not journalism, it's not ethical, it's not academic. And where there is trash, there is Charlie Rose smearing his face in it. Which is how Melissa-Harris Lacewell showed up on his show last Tuesday. It was primary night in Rhode Island, Ohio, Vermont and Texas. The results from Texas would not be known while the show was broadcasting (live for a change) and the topic was the primaries. "Joining me tonight in New York," Rose would offer in that ding-dong voice he's so proud of, "Mark Halperin, editor at large of Time magazine, Errol Louis, columnist of The New York Daily News. And Melissa Harris-Lacewell, professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University. From Cleveland Connie Schultz, a columnist for The Cleveland Plain Dealer and in Washington David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times." See the problem? Harris-Lacewell is not a journalist. Nor was it ever revealed on air that she was an Obama supporter and campaigner. There was no one present from the Clinton campaign and Rose never thought audiences had a right to know that Harris-Lacewell was working with the Obama campaign.
Had they been informed of that, there might have been a huge gasp around the country as viewers grasped that someone with the Obama campaign was threatening a Black-Out. She did just that, after snapping at Schultz, declaring Barack Obama had to be given the nomination and if he wasn't "you don't need these core constituents to vote for Republicans. You simply need them to not vote, to not show up, to not come out." As that point she was referring to African-American and "environmentalist green folks." The latter claim is hilarious because Bambi is backed by the nuclear and coal industry and Harris-Lacewell quickly dropped that issue stating, "There is a longstanding capture of the African-American vote within the Democratic Party." Note the choice of "capture" -- who's disempowering voters with their word choice. She continued babbling on and moved over to "Congresswoman Stephanie Jones" whose, Harris-Lacewell stated, "many constituents are calling for her to follow their lead once she gets to the convention". Stephanie Tubbs Jones is her name and, as usual, 'professor' Harris-Lacewell doesn't know her facts. Harris-Lacewell's referring to an astro-turf campaign that's been very successful in making members of Congress feel threatened but that may be changing due to the fact that we spoke with one member of Congress early last week to explain this 'spontaneous' 'uprising' was not, in fact, spontaneous and that, if he checked, he'd grasp that he'd been astro-turfed by people outside his voting area. He did just that. And by the end of the week, was stating (and we have permission to note this) that he's not announcing he's changing his support for Obama as a super delegate but that he will not be supporting Obama as a super delegate. He will also be speaking with other members of Congress who made announcements under pressure to advise them to check into whether they truly heard from constituents or were just the targets of astro-turf. We were informed of the astro-turf efforts by a student of a 'professor' who feels used and no longer supports Barack Obama and provided us with some background on how the 'movement' was built.
Harris-Lacwell kept referencing African-American voters not voting if Bambi isn't given the nomination and we're not in the mood for her garbage so let's move on to the moment where she revealed on television how these 'spontaneous' pressure efforts work.
African-Americans, Harris-Lacewell informed, have "even called on poeple like Tavis Smiley who generally who has great support among African-Americans a huge critique of his critique of Tavis Smiley's critique of Barack Obama." That is how she worded it (and we're taking that from the transcript faxed to us by a PBS friend who states it's also available for $9.95 at something called "VoxantShop.com"). Yes, she sounded like an idiot but she was lost for a reason, she was lost inside her own echo chamber. The windmills of her mind were creaking.
Harris-Lacewell not only didn't disclose that she was part of the Obama campaign, she also didn't disclose, while promoting this criticism of Tavis Smiley, that she was a part of that. On February 15th, Harris-Lacewell posted "Who Died and Made Tavis King?" at her own website and it was picked up by many other websites though we don't find anyone who ran it in full. A pity because near the end of slamming Smiley, she shares she won't be watching his State of Black Union coverage, "I will be phoning Texas voters to remind them to head out to the polls on March 4." Poor Melissa, her campaign work is never done.
Alleged disinterested party (if you catch her broadcast media appearances) Melissa opened her post with, "Does Tavis realize that Obama is trying to win an election?" She referred to Smiley's actions as "throwing a temper tantrum" and, though we'd agree she's an expert on how to do that, we think she's actually projecting on Smiley. She explains that Obama was too busy ("he was announcing his bid for US presidency") to attend 2007's State of Black Union conference and that he is this year as well (he's "busy trying to win Texas . . . Obama wins Texas; Hillary goes home.") It is a ridiculous post in which Melissa Harris-Lacewell makes clear that Obama is more important than any movement or than the African-American community with declarations such as, "But Tavis and company think Obama should spend precious hours chatting with them about their agenda."
"Their agenda"? She calls Smiley a "Queen-Maker." We just call Melissa a LIAR. She attacks "the old guard Civil Rights leaders" who "are genuinely unwilling to cede power, believing that they have an authenticy claim based on their proximity to Martin Luther King, Jr." and it only gets worse from there. It's one long rant. She wonders if Smiley "is just jealous" and states there's no reason for Obama to take time out from his busy campaign (Lousianna -- the location for the 2008 State of Black Union -- is a Texas border-state) and that they should be happy to have his wife attend (Michelle Obama didn't attend). If you're remembering Harris-Lacewell's non-feminist smears of Hillary as First Lady, she wants to be sure you do by adding: "If Hillary can claim Bill's presidency as her experience, I am pretty sure Michell can talk to Tavis on the campaign's behalf."
Has there ever been a more demented soul? On the right plenty and that's the thing, Harris-Lacewell, by most accounts, isn't even a lefty. She's a centrist (and a brat) and, considering where his real support comes from, that's really not a surprise, now is it?
See, that's how the 'movement' works. On February 15th, Melissa Harris-Lacewell launches an attack on Tavis Smiley and, by March, she's appearing on The Charlie Rose Show and referencing attacks on Smiley without ever noting her own part in those attacks. It's an echo chamber and we're told she's been one of the most effective devisors of the echo chamber the Obama campaign uses.
And she's done her part, assisted by Media Whores and journalists who just don't do their work, by appearing as a 'professor' and not as part of the Obama campaign when she shows up on your TV screens. It's lying. It's dishonest and the only thing that strikes us as justice is news that a record of her violations is now being kept.
Remember how John Nichols and Amy Goodman reminded us of that very bad guest-starring bit by Madonna on Will & Grace? The Charlie Rose Show, and pretty much all the TV gas bagging of the Democratic primaries, reminds us of a season three episode of Mission Impossible which plays out like Hatred Of All Women as the IMF team goes to San Cordova to stop Riva Santel (played by Ruth Roman) from becoming the ruler of the country. That episode, originally broadcast in 1968, targets the woman's weakness which, no surprise, is her looks. It's every cliche and stereotype you could imagine. As the boys team up against a woman, they only succeed because they have a token to do their dirty work, Cinnamon (played by Barbara Bain) who poses as a journalist (repeating, this character is played by Barbara Bain, not Amy Goodman) and pretends to be of advanced years that injections hide. If you've seen that bad, bad episode, you might think it's rare that such sexism is ever so clearly displayed -- but if you really think that, you've missed out on the 'coverage' the media has offered up this primary season in their non-stop efforts to take down Hillary Clinton. Needless to say, the likes of Melissa Harris-Lacewell do the dirty work Cinnamon did in 1968.
Bad TV, it never truly goes away. Nor will the damage so many have done to their own reputations. That's what is known as justice.
** Ava and C.I. note added 5-22-08. It is not our job to spoonfeed you. For some reason, CNN has changed their results on Michigan since we wrote this review. Instead of searching around, The Cult of Obama screams we've made up Chris Dodd's percent in Michigan. We did not.
|Hillary Rodham Clinton||328,309||55.2%||Delegates stripped by party.|
|Dennis J. Kucinich||21,715||3.7|
|Christopher J. Dodd||3,845||0.6|
That is from the New York Times' "Michigan Primary Results."
Need more? You can currently check AP's "Michigan Primary Numbers" via Michigan's WHSV but it won't copy and paste here without running together. Still need more?
|Michigan Democratic Primary Results|
That's from The Washington Post's "Michigan Democratic Primary." It's not our job to spoonfeed you. Why did CNN 'change' the results of the primary since we utilized them on March 8th for this March 9th article? Ask them. Here's their feedback page. But don't bother us with your garbage e-mails again. Chris Dodd received one percent of the vote. In case anyone else wanted to get creative, we've copied and pasted those in exactly. Those are the results and are what they were on May 22, 2008.
Then I got to college and was paired with Ava. Just looking at her books worried me. Actually, looking at her worried me. She's gorgeous enough to be a model. To which she'd always say, "I'm too short. Dona, do you know how tall models are?" Who cares how tall they are, she was (and is) cover girl beautiful.
And there were the books on top of it. All of these feminists books. I grasped that more from the fact that they were all written by women than from knowing the names of any authors.
Very quickly, I was surprised to find out that she had a well developed sense of humor and that she didn't take any crap. She took very strong stands on very serious issues.
She never tried to 'convert' me but probably every other month, I'd be asking her, "Why do you call yourself a feminist?"
She's patiently explain and it sounded wonderful and exciting, needed even.
But I had a huge wall of reluctance.
There was a reson for that and I'll ease into that by noting a non-journalism professor, a woman, with a bunch of giddy girl groupies around her. So 'nurturing' and 'helpful' and so beyond the course she was responsible for.
I worked weeks on a presentation. Having been a journalism major, I grasped the importance of being solid on your facts. A woman got up and gave a speech, one she'd later admit she made up, on the difficulties of being multi-cultural (she was just White). It was a lot of feelings (which she'd later admit she made up) about how hard it was for her being half-White and how her Native American mother (again, she had no Native American mother) bleached her hair blonde and how she (the daughter) saw it as a form of a cultural suicide. Even not knowing the whole thing was a pack of lies when presented, I did notice that there were no facts (not even a statistic on the number of Native Americans in the US) and that all she shared was childhood stories (again, false ones).
The professor applauded her and praised her "deep research" and how "deeply" she went "into our culture."
I gave my presentation and the professor looked bored throughout. When I finished, my major "note" was, "It would be better if you smiled more." For those who fear I'm leaving out serious criticism, that was the only criticism I received in class. When I learned I'd made a C on the presentation and spoke to the professor, I was told that my hair would look better "swept back, to show off your face." Such was the "critique" that resulted in my C. (The only C I have ever 'earned' in my academic life.)
I was furious before I learned of my grade and not really sure what "smiling" had to do with a presentation or, more specifically, what it had to do with a presentation on the Bhopal chemical disaster?
Griping to Ava later the day, I made the mistake of stating the professor was a feminist. Ava quickly corrected me. Yes, the professor claimed to be a feminist but Ava explained that was just the woman's excuse for doing nothing.
And there it was. Why I had run from feminism.
There are serious issues and there are ways to approach non-serious issues that require critical thought but what I saw in high school and in college, outside of Ava, that passed itself off as feminism was the equivalent of a sorority that couldn't come up with a critical thought if they pulled an all nighter. They thought that anything that happened to them -- whether it was who they dated or who wouldn't date them -- was a topic to gab about non-stop and then pass off as feminism even if you might term it all just a gossip session -- especially if you termed it that.
If Oprah hadn't covered an 'issue,' then it was an 'issue' to the gals.
And I really thought that was feminism for the longest. I was reminded of that when I read Jessica Valenti's "The Sisterhood Split"at The Nation. There are points in the piece I could agree with, many of which have been made here some time ago and the bulk of which came from Ava, C.I., Elaine, Kat and Betty most likely.
But between solid points made here (like acknowledging divisions), there was all the crap that Valenti -- or as I like to think of her, "Baby Jessica" -- is so infamous for. This is the woman who didn't know how to dress when meeting a former US president and then wanted to act shocked and whine because the breasts she elected to showcase became a source of talk among the right-wing. I would have no problem had she said, "Yeah, I've got two breasts. I like them. So what?" Instead, she wanted to play weak sister, damsel in distress and moan, "Not fair! Don't talk about my breasts!"
Dress the way you want, however you want, but don't play injured party when it's commented on. Take pride in your choices.
And if you decide to sport your breasts while meeting Bill Clinton, don't whine that someone commented about it. Their critiques weren't "rape," it wasn't an "assault," it was noting that you made a poor clothing choice (and Baby Jessica must agree since she got so bent out of shape over the whole thing) and then adding the usual right-wing spin (which does include sexism) to the mix. But at the heart of it, Baby Jessica made a clothing choice and then, when criticized, wanted to whine.
That's really all Baby Jessica does most days but, every now and then, she works herself up enough to throw a tantrum. It's always a tantrum about how bad Mommy is. Baby Jessica's been launching that attack for some time now and one of the things that offended many of our readers was that Ms. magazine allowed her to do so on the pages of their 35th anniversary issue, that, in the midst of a celebration, we got to hear from the freakish-sullen daughter.
Baby Jessica's big beef is that she's not leading the feminist movement -- thereby sparing the world from the 'feminist' discourse on drunken nights and cheap sex. (Or maybe cheap nights and drunken sex?) She seemed to just know that her really bad book was going to sweep the book industry, was going to set her up as the voice of feminism and, as Ava and C.I. have noted, "What's more feminist than using a headless, nude female body to sell your bad writing?"
They were being sarcastic and you kind of get the idea, from Baby Jessica's writing, that's a point that Valenti would need explained to her.
At one point, her den mother Katha Pollitt (another huge embarrassment but as least Baby Jessica can claim, rightly, to be good looking) attempted to set her somewhat straight but Katha's a bit like a 58-year-old musician trying to stage a 'comeback' via whatever the musical flavor of today is: Always worried about catering to the pre-teens.
If you're going to attack the feminist movement, the place to go is The Nation and that's where Baby Jessica launches her attack. It's all about how Baby Jessica should be leading and how mean people are and blah blah blah. At one point, she tosses out Rebecca Walker as a positive example. I respect Alice Walker but, after the daughter's last book, Rebecca's a joke to me. Maybe she'll come back from that groaner, Naomi Wolf managed to return to her strength after the groaner that was (mis)conception. But reading Rebecca's book, I thought, "What a spoiled, ungrateful child. And what a cowardly one." On the latter because as a Mommy Dearest-type book, it really didn't hold up.
Neither does Baby Jessica's nonsense. I'm speaking right now of "The Sisterhood Split," but you could file her entire body of work under nonsense.
Baby Jessica shakes the bars of her playpen and cries, "It's no secret that Clinton's candidacy has caused waves in feminist circles. Media outlets from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post have reported on the rift between feminists voting for Clinton and those supporting Obama."
Baby Jessica, no feminist can support Barack Obama.
Anyone who claims otherwise is lying.
Barack Obama used homophobia to scare up votes in South Carolina.
Feminism doesn't support or endorse homophobia.
Times change and we all (hopefully) progress. (So maybe someday Baby Jessica can go to the big girl toilet all by herself.) But we're not dropping back into the 90s, we're talking about his current presidential campaign. He announced homophobes (Mary Mary, Donnie the 'recovered' gay and others) would be onstage at a campaign event. The protests came in. He refused to remove the homophobes. Donnie launched an attack as only someone so self-hating could do. The campaign bragged "we got what we needed." That's not feminism.
That's not a feminist candidate.
Barack Obama cannot be supported by feminists.
I know Naomi Wolf is supporting him and I'll put that off on the fact that she's rediscovering her radical roots (good for her) and confused by some of the people around her. Barack Obama has made no speech on abortion or on women's rights. By contrast, Hillary's made many and, in the New Hampshire moment when her eyes moistened and her voice shook, she was speaking about the very real danger to women's rights.
Baby Jessica takes Robin Morgan to take for "Goodbye To All That (#2)" (Women's Media Center). Morgan's piece is an amazing piece of writing and a needed one. It will be a feminist classic for years to come. When feminists look back on this period from a distance and try to figure out what happened, Morgan will stand tall long after she's gone because of the points she makes.
Baby Jessica has never answered (even when e-mailed) the question of how she, an alleged feminist, can support a candidate who traffics in homophobia. That's really not surprising because she can't tell you why she supports him to begin with. Hopefully, when she's out of nappies, she'll begin to use compound sentences and attempt complex thought.
But for now, she's happy to toss her bottle across the room, scratch at her diaper rash and jut out her lower lip.
Her silence would indicate that she supports homophobia but before that scares off people from her really bad website, let me be clear that I don't think Baby Jessica knows about the homophobia because she knows so damn little to begin with.
Is it the latest in feminism for a man to go on his wife's job interview? Somehow that's another detail about Barack Obama that doesn't bother Baby Jessica. Her candidate of choice has nothing to offer women but that doesn't bother Baby Jessica either because by choosing him she can say, "Check me out boys!" -- and grab a lot of flashy publicity. And perpetuate the myth that there's a feminist split as a result of women with higher principles supporting Barack Obama.
I live in the Bay Area now (at C.I.'s) and the LGBT community is neither a hidden nor minor 'note' in the community. In last week's "Roundtable," I made a point to state clearly that we do not support the self-loathing lesbian Laura Flanders. That was due to the fact that a friend in grad school, who is a lesbian, had been checking out this site and seen praise for Flanders. As I noted in the roundtable, you'll find a lot of praise for Flanders at this site. However, those days are gone as a result of her refusal to call out Barack Obama's use of homophobia.
It's not a minor issue and it's certainly not in the Bay Area (where the graffiti is much more graphic than the one piece that Ava and C.I. quoted). When KPFA elected to present her as an 'expert' in their 'debate' coverage, the KPFA blog had at least four people calling out her silence on homophobia. When you grasp how few people were posting on that blog, that's a significant number. If you don't live in a straight-straight world and actually know a wide-section of LGBT persons, it's a rare week that Flanders' silence doesn't come up. (She hosted a show for years in the Bay Area and, at that point, was publicly out of the closet. Going national appears to have forced back in with all but the gay press today.)
I would love for Baby Jessica to be around a group of aware and proud lesbians and have to explain to them how she reconciles her support for Obama with his use of homophobia. I'm sure that would be quite entertaining and Baby Jessica would probably wet her diaper, shake her rattle and scream.
Right now, reproductive rights could be abolished with the next Supreme Court appointee. I don't just mean abortion, but abortion as well. But Baby Jessica and the 'feminists' supporting Barack Obama -- including the Mud Flap Gals' den mother Katha Pollitt -- don't seem at all concerned about that. Considering that Obama's floating in the press the fact that, if he became president, he would appoint Republicans like Chuck Hagel to his cabinet, you'd think the so-called "Feminist for Obama" would be alarmed. But maybe, as with everything else in the world, they don't know Hagel's anti-choice positions? Well, you can only learn so much from beer-soaked marathons of Sex in the City, right? Roe v. Wade and other reproductive rights hang in the balance but "Feminists for Obama" are more than happy to get behind a presidential candidate who will not talk about abortion.
His 'record' as a state legislature includes voting 'present' to avoid having a record. The lie is that it was the strategy NOW's Chicago chapter wanted but that chapter has corrected that lie put out by a former member who was not president when the 'present' votes were made. That's a really weak record and, in fact, 'present' wasn't required for his district which is a liberal one. Equally true is that many men have done a flip-flop on abortion when running for president and that pre-dates this election cycle. But some 'feminists' are willing to roll the dice on the issue of reproductive rights?
Thanks, Baby Jessica, and, when it's outlawed, I'll assume you'll show up at my door with the coat hanger should I need an abortion.
It's equally alarming that Barack Obama belittles Hillary Clinton's record which is a decades and decades worth of activism. But that doesn't bother 'feminists' for Barack. They seem to go into giggle convulsions whenever their Dream Date smears Hillary (and all women) by suggesting she's nothing more than the man she married. I guess Bill was being 'generous' when he 'allowed' her to do the legal aid work and when he 'allowed' her to accept the appointment (appointed by then President Jimmy Carter) to the board of the United States Legal Services Corporation?
But isn't it 'funny' and all the rage to laugh at (and contribute to?) those smears of a woman's public record of work?
For myself, Iraq is a HUGE issue. I know it's not to the Mud Flap Gals or Katha Pollitt. The Mud Flap Gals can only mention Iraq if it's an Abu Ghraib trial they read about where a woman brought a copy of book entitled C**t to the hearing -- which they find amusing. Katha Pollitt's been completely useless on Iraq and only mentioned the gang-rape and murder of Abeer (by US soldiers) after a long-pressure campaign following nearly a year of silence on the topic. (When she finally did acknowledge Abeer, it was in a half-sentence. Robin Morgan, by contrast, wrote a widely circulated column.)
So maybe those 'feminists' for Bambi are just so blown away by the not-so-brave speech he gave in 2002. Am I the only (straight) woman who's gone to bed with a guy who swore he'd rock my world only to find myself thinking I wouldn't have fully undressed, just pulled off my panties, if I'd known the talk was so inflated? (Sadly, the talk was all that was inflated.)
What did he do after that speech? He disappeared it while running for the US Senate two years later. That would be the same period that Elaine and C.I. went to a fundraiser for Bambi eager to donate only to have him tell them to their faces that since US forces were in Iraq, talk of a withdrawal was moot. (As C.I. points out, "It's moot because they are in Iraq? I think talk of withdrawal would be moot if they weren't in Iraq.") That's the same period where he first starts telling the press (with no Republican opponent in sight since Jack Ryan's dropped out of the race) that he's not sure how he would have voted on the 2002 resolution if he'd been in the Senate. He repeats that all the way up until the fall of 2006 yet, in 2007 and 2008, when running for president, he wants credit for his 'judgement.' What judgement? He's stated repeatedly, on the record, that he doesn't know how he would have voted if he was in the Senate.
Once he was in the Senate he voted for the war, he prolonged it. But, running for president, he's for combat troops to be out within 16 months of his being sworn in. In Houston, Texas, he gave a speech that shortened the time line to one year.
And, as C.I. pointed out in Friday's "Iraq snapshot," Samantha Power, while still his advisor, gave an interview to the BBC explaining that Obama didn't mean those words, that he doesn't know what he'll do if he becomes president because things will have changed by then.
Can he make promises to the American people that he doesn't plan to keep? Yes, he can!
So it's really amazing to see all these 'feminists' who support the man. But it seems to be more and more about how much they hate the woman. That seems to be the deciding factor and certainly Baby Jessica will go through life with her Mommy issues.
I need to give credit to Rebecca in here because I left her out earlier on purpose when I was noting statements that have appeared at this site before. That wasn't to short change her. But a lot of the points she makes don't make it up here. Rebecca's point of view (and Elaine and C.I. state that around the time of the attacks on Molly Yard, Rebecca developed this position and has held it ever since), is that there do need to be lines drawn. She thinks entirely too many women who do not stand for equality, let alone support women, have been allowed to use the term feminist. She thinks the movement should have been drawing lines a long time ago. I agree with her. Reading Ms. magazine's 35th anniversary issue, I especially saw the need for what Rebecca advocates. No one needed Baby Jessica's pity-party in the midst of that celebration.
I understand how it came in. They were attempting to be kind and inclusive. Ava and C.I. are the same way. But I really do think lines need to be drawn. On that, Baby Jessica and I agree. But while she sees it as the way she can at last achieve leadership (by default, naturally), I see it as the way for women who really are feminists to stop putting up with the crap of all these weak sisters.
The Mud Flap Gals run a site endorsed by the Charlotte Rae of today's non-movement, Katha Pollitt. And certainly, if you need to know the pressing issue of which starlet was barely clothed in what photo, Mud Flap Gals is your one-stop-source. But if you give a damn about Iraq or anything beyond the push-up bra scene (I'm not sure whether it was Ava, C.I. or Elaine that coined that term to refer to the Mud Flap Gals -- push-up-bra-'feminism' -- but let me give credit), you need to somewhere else.
My parenthetical noted "the need to give credit." That's why I'm writing this article solo. As a group effort what I'm about to address would be stripped out as I move beyond the next three sentences. The Mud Flap Gals are the most ungrateful glory hogs in the world. Baby Jessica's big beef, the source of all her tantrusm, is that she's not the center of the world. I don't traffic in theft or not crediting.
And the reality is the Mud Flap Gals wouldn't now be featured at The Nation were it not for two women: Ava and C.I.
The Mud Flap Gals have a heavily visited site and yet they waste their power day in and day out. When The Nation reduced the number of women they published in 2006, the Mud Flap Gals didn't say a word. Though some young feminists had raised that issue with them. Mud Flap Gals had other things to do.
I know that because I heard about it when writers -- women who were established and women who were starting out, women who were young, middle-aged and old -- brought up the issue. They did so at C.I.'s house. A group of women came over to discuss the issue and ask C.I. if it could be followed at The Common Ills. We (Jim, Jess, Ty, Ava and myself, possibly Kat) were all present for that. C.I. begged off noting that the community had just voted for Iraq to be the focus at The Common Ills and that the year was half-over. But, C.I. asked, looking at us, what if it was followed for 2007 and followed at this site? The women were fine with that as we those of us doing this site.
It could have fallen through the cracks as so many things do here. But Ava and C.I. were in charge of the Christmas 2006 edition (the rest of us were all on vacation) and they addressed the magazine's first issue of the year. They set it up so that we had to track it and, for six-months, we did just that. We published the six-month study at all community sites:
"Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you must have a penis," "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis," "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis," "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis," "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis," "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis," "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis," "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis," "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis," and "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis."
We heard from The Nation throughout the six month period, but as the six-month study was due to publish its report (and had been announced, but The Nation also had a passed on e-mail alerting them), the publicity director shows up with an e-mail sent to C.I. promising changes in the offing, promising female bloggers. Promising that and so much more and it was all about to happen. We were addressing the print edition.
We were sick of doing a write up on the individual issues so we asked the women from the summer of 2006 if it was okay to drop that and just publish a year long study? They were fine with that with one adding that if The Nation thought we were dropping it, we might see their true colors. We, in fact, did. The promises of adding female bloggers and adding women to the print edition weren't kept. So we published the year end study and it yet again shamed them, "The Nation featured 491 male bylines in 2007 -- how many female ones?" The answer is 194. It's twice as embarrassing for the magazine to be called out for such a lousy publishing record when their editor is a woman, when their publisher is a woman (it's the same woman, Katrina vanden Heuvel).
Baby Jessica and her co-horts wouldn't have been published at the magazine's website this year without the work of strong women like Ava and C.I. (and, yes, the work of the rest of us involved, male and female, but also the work of strong women involved behind the scenes). But there's never been an acknowledgement or a thank you. Again, the Mud Flap Gals were informed of the problem and informed before C.I. was. They have a site. They blog each day about such pressing issues as whether or not Justy Timberlake is really sexy or just sexy? They could have used their forum to hold a magazine accountable but they weren't interested or they were just scared.
Baby Jessica has no gratitude for any woman -- at least not any living woman. It's what's behind her attacks on Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan and others. She seems determined to ignore the fact that the smoother road she travels on today came about only due to the work of other women. She wants to be a leader so -- in the name of 'accountability' -- she holds other women accountable. Let me hold Baby Jessica accountable, Ava and C.I. carved out the space for you at The Nation online -- you know it, I know it and let's get it out there so that everyone else knows it. You are an ungrateful brat.
And that's why I had so much trouble with the term feminist for so long. Those are the woman who 'represented' it in my life. The real feminists? I wasn't encountering them. Gloria Steinem, for example, wasn't attending my high school. I didn't know her and I knew only vaguely that she was a journalist. (Women are always stripped of their credit but her essay on advertising's impact on content was so important that it had to be included in my high school journalism classes.) What I was surrounded with were a bunch of ahistorical twits who preached 'sisterhood' but stabbed any woman in the back to get a man or just to look good in front of one. (In fairness and full disclosure, there was a very small group of actual feminists in my high school, four women, that I didn't know personally or know they were feminists, until well after I started college.)
I had a really bad image of what feminism was. On my end, I can pin some of that off to youth and the ignornace of youth. (Not that I'm full of wisdom today.) But I can also lay the blame on what passes for feminism, the push-up-bra types who seem to confuse their right to say "yes" to sex over and over with feminism. (As an unmarried woman sharing my bedroom with my lover, Jim, I'm no prude, nor virgin.) Unlike the push-up-bra set, I am now smart enough to grasp that this put-out-to-please-and-be-desired impulse was also an issue at the start of the second-wave of feminism in this country and that the desire for male approval is always an issue.
Apparently gender is so suspect (when it's female) today, that they must rush to support a man who is not going to end the illegal war, who is not strong on reproductive rights, who is untested and has no record to speak of. And they must support him over a woman*. That's how they'll prove they're not thinking with their vaginas!
Every week, Ava, C.I. and usually Kat are out on the road, speaking to groups about the illegal war, and when I'm lucky enough to go along, Kat always refers to it as their own version of the American Doll Posse (a nod to Tori Amos). As much as this feature is a rejection of what (little) Baby Jessica has to offer, it's an embrace of those who have come before me. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan, Dolores Huerta, Susan Faludi and many other living (and living it!) women as well as many women who have long since passed. (Matilda Joslyn Gage is a current obsession of mine.) It's also an embrace of the women in my life which starts with my mother (a huge supporter of Hillary) and includes my wonderful friends.
As one who works the e-mails account for this site, there's one message that comes in over and over that I'll boil down as "Okay, I get it now." It comes in from people of all ages and it's always regarding Ava and C.I.'s TV commentaries. With a healthy dose of humor, they cover television each week (no vacation for them since this site started) and that humor always keeps people coming back, yes. But it also has allowed for more 'awakenings' than I can count.
We're not allowed to praise them in more than a sentence in joint-features. They don't like the praise, they don't want the praise. When we started, for about a month, the TV commentaries were done by all of us. It was clear that Ava and C.I. were what people were responding to. All the e-mails of praise would cite a line and Jim would usually say, "They're praising Ava and C.I. again." So, though this was supposed to be a group writing site (this is one of the few solo features in three years this site has been up other than Jim's notes to the readers), we wisely turned it over to Ava and C.I. They accepted (unwisely, they'd say today) but with a condition: If the site's not about individual writing, don't give them a byline.
We stuck to that for a couple of weeks but once they were solely responsible, the TV commentaries took off and the praise from family and friends was too frequent. For some it may have been a drag to say, "Thank you, but actually, Ava and C.I. wrote that by themselves." I never saw it that way. I was always thrilled to respond to a compliment by stating, "Wasn't that incredible? Ava and C.I. wrote that." But, point, we began crediting them (over the objection) and I want to credit them now.
Jim loves what they do period but, due to his own interests, he loves it more if they're covering news or public affairs programming. They do a wonderful job of that, they bring "a feminist perspective" (never "the," as they've repeatedly noted, "a") to television commentary regardless of what they do. But the audience they reach with their pieces on entertainment television is huge.
An "awakening" e-mail came in this week on their reviews of "TV Review: The Bull of Malibu" and "TV Review: The Simple Life" -- two reality shows that a reader since 2007 had just discovered. Along with giving credit, I note that because I want to be clear that I'm not insulting pop culture criticism. That's not my beef with the Mud Flap Gals and never has been because what they do isn't pop culture criticism. Sometimes they rise to the level of the most basic cricitism (a man is fully clothed on the cover of Vanity Fair and he's surrouned by nude women! -- if they hadn't caught that, I'm sure the world would have never noticed) but it appears to be a struggle and they have no framework or perspective to offer. Ava and C.I. bring a feminist perspective and framework to what they tackle and the most often cited example this week (possibly because it's either back on air or about to be) is their review of "TV: Aftermath leaves an aftertaste.".
Baby Jessica wants to have her fit that she's not been annointed leader of the feminist movement. While Ava and C.I. have no interest in assuming any leadership, let me note that at least they would have a body of work to point to. It's about acknowledging your power and using it. Feminism isn't about doing nothing and, until the Mud Flap Gals grasp that, the push-up-set will remain a dead-end.
C.I.: Tuesday night, Texas held its primary. Dallas was among the community members participating in that primary as well as caucus because, after voting ends in Texas, the Democrats then have a caucus. Tuesday night, Dallas phoned from his caucus to give a report which was posted here. Hillary won the primary vote in Texas. Dallas voted for her. The caucus presented some problems as outlined in Friday's gina & krista round-robin with members from across that state writing up their report. Dallas?
Dallas: Before I read the round-robin Friday, I thought it was just my city, Dallas. The caucus was billed as a gathering that would take place like other caucuses states hold; however, that didn't happen. At first, I thought it was just my precinct, 1234, that didn't follow the rules, then I spoke to people at work and found that their precincts didn't either. By Friday, reading the round-robin, I saw it was a problem around the state. A caucus is supposed to go through at least one round and we went through none. Everyone I've spoken to and the stories community members shared indicate that we all had the same experience which was we arrived at the caucus, we waited and waited for voting to finish and, when it had, we waited several minutes more when someone would step to the front of the area and declare that we were all going to sign one of two sheets. If you were a Hillary supporter you signed one, a Barack supporter, you signed another. We were told that this was how the delegate count would be determined. But that's not a caucus, that's an attendance sheet.
C.I.: And the people just appeared. Who was it at your precinct?
Dallas: I didn't know him and no one sitting on my row or the one behind or the one in front did. He had been on the phone in the halls prior to the caucus stating that he felt Obama had it cinched. He had blonde hair, wore a suit and tie and was a man probably in his mid to late twenties.
C.I.: You were where?
Dallas: I voted election day, after 6:30 p.m. We have early voting but I was afraid I'd be too tired and skip the caucus if I voted early. So since the voting and the caucus that would follow for my precinct were both at North Dallas High School, I waited until 6:30 to vote. If you'll hold on, I'll check my outgoing text messages and tell you when I arrived at the caucus. Okay, my first text message sent after I was in the school's cafeteria is 6:53 pm. That's where the caucus would take place. The earliest it could start would be 7:00 pm because if voting ended on time, it would end at 7:00 pm. 8:12 pm is when the blonde steps to the front of our section of the cafeteria to speak. He makes the announcement about the sign in sheets. And the thing is, why is he announcing anything? Who is he? We're supposed to vote for someone to be in charge and for someone to be a secretary and this guy just shows up, with sign-in sheets and declares how it's going to be. We're not going to debate, speak in favor of our candidates. This is just how it's going to be. That's not how the rules are written and, again, that happened all over the state.
C.I.: This is guessing, but would speaking have made any difference?
Dallas: I think it would have. We had an idiot, from my area, who is for Barack Obama, has a sign in his yard, and never knows his fact. He was all prepared to explain why Obama should be supported and, had he spoken, he would have most likely sent a few, maybe more, over to Hillary's side because he was basing his support on the disproven assertion that Barack is Muslim. He repeats that and was repeating that to people sitting near him. When someone attempted to correct him politely, he would tell them they needed to learn their facts. This and other details, also false, that he planned to share and the fact that he's known as a kook period might have led people to switch sides.
C.I.: I know the other falsehoods he believed in and I know Dallas doesn't want to go into those but I will note the man also supported Obama for a court battle, not Tony Rezko, that will probably never see the light of the day but a person did file a complaint and the man Dallas is referring to also believes the complaints in that filing are true. Dallas wrote of this in the round-robin which is a more private forum but didn't want to bring that up here because most assume the man filing the charges is unbalanced. We're moving on. Were people shocked by this decision to just sign in.
Dallas: Yeah, we'd all been sitting on these fold out benches at these tables, packed in and were there for the duration. Instead, we're told we can sign in and then go home.
C.I.: And no one had been elected as chair of the caucus or as secretary?
Dallas: No. It's caused a lot of outrage. A friend in another precinct was voted a delegate. He went to Saturday morning's meet-up for that, at ten in the morning, and found that to be even more disorganized. He's also concerned about the issue of delegates because there was talk among some, Obama supporters, that they could pressure state delegates sent to Colorado in August to change their votes. I wasn't sure about that but we were at Kroger, one of the grocery stores in the area, and a guy walks by and my friend pulls him over and asks what he was saying at the meeting about delegates switching over to Obama to give him more support in Colorado. The guy starts piping off about how the delegates aren't "bound" and they can do whatever they want. I'm seriously concerned about that and think the entire caucus system in Texas Tuesday night was a joke.
C.I.: So what do you think needs to happen?
Dallas: The rules were not followed. I think the delegates need to be appointed by the votes in the primary because the caucus didn't follow the rules and now you've got one camp, the Obama camp, actively and I'd say publicly, we were at the customer service desk in Kroger, stating that they intend to attempt to flip Hillary delegates over to Barack. Since all the delegates selected will not go to Colorado, there's a long process determining which ones will go, I'm seriously concerned about how the ones picked to go to Colorado will be selected. The field will be narrowed and since nothing else about the Texas caucus has been done according to the rules, I doubt that they'll start following them now.
C.I.: To repeat, you think that the process was violated, that rules were disregarded and you fear that this will continue to take place so your opinion is that the caucus results should be tossed aside and delegates allotted based on the percentage of the popular vote in the primary?
Jim: Does anyone have a question for Dallas?
Betty: I do. Was this blonde guy who just appointed himself in charge the one I saw the three photos of in the round-robin, the one kissing his girlfriend in three different photos as she stood in the Barack sign-up line?
Dallas: That would be him. And that line got details from him. We didn't. He kept walking over and talking to them and, every time he would, he would stop to kiss his girlfriend. I took a photo every time except once when a pole was blocking the angle.
Mike: You wrote in the round-robin about how there were two series of tables, more than one table, for each side to sign the sheets and how people didn't want to go to one of the Hillary tables, Hillary supporters. Could you talk about that?
Dallas: Who these people were, these ones 'working' for Blondie, I have no idea. But it bothered a lot of people that one table, for Hillary supporters to sign in, was being run by a young White woman in a Barack Obama shirt. A lot of people refused to sign in at that table and the man in front of me was basically ordered to sign in at that table and he refused stating he didn't think someone in a Barack t-shirt should be in charge of gathering the Hillary signatures.
Jim: Okay. So thank you --
C.I.: Wait! I'm sorry because there's an important detail that's not being stressed about the sign up. Dallas, you had your voter registration on you?
C.I.: You went with a neighbor, she did as well?
Dallas: No. She just had her driver's license and the slip of paper she got from the officials over voting to prove she'd voted in the election.
C.I.: And when she signed in, what happened?
Dallas: Oh, yeah, they wrote "VERIFY" next to her name.
C.I.: The point is no one knows the process because the rules weren't followed. "VERIFY" requires that someone is going through the sheets and checking to make sure that those present both belong in the precinct and that they voted. You could participate in the primary and the caucus. You could just do the primary. But you could not participate in the caucus if you didn't vote in the primary. A concern about the sign-in sheets and who is in charge of them would also go to who is responsible for verifying them. With no instructions given, it would be reasonable to assume that the person in charge of the sign-in sheet was also in charge of the verification process and if someone in charge of a Hillary sign-in sheet is wearing a Barack t-shirt, that is a potential problem. It would be very easy, for instance, to say, I'll use Wally, "Uh, there's no Wally on the address he gave according to the voting record. There's a Wallace, but he signed Wally, so I can't verify this person." And that's taking place out of sight and that goes to why they should have had a caucus. The slip of paper that Dallas is referring to was proof that the person had voted, the same as a voter registration card that would have been stamped if the person had their card with them. Did they ask your neighbor for her slip?
Dallas: She showed it to them but they weren't interested and just wrote "VERIFY" next to her name.
C.I.: Again, that slip of paper was proof of voting. There is no "verification" needed. The paper is stamped and signed. That is proof. So there are some serious concerns being raised about the results of the caucus. Before Jim closes this off, for those who didn't read the round-robin, explain the turnout.
Dallas: There were more Hillary supporters. Not a ton of them, but probably 20-plus or even thirty. That's based upon the photos I took on my cell phone of the lines when we lined up. One more thing, had the caucus started on time, that number would be even greater. Had we started before eight p.m. to line up, it would have been greater for Hillary. While still at the table, there were two people calling people and telling them to get up there because it hadn't started. A woman in a jacket, I've got a photo of her walking in after we've lined up, she's wearing a Barack Obama jacket and carrying a Barack Obama yard sign -- with the stick still attached -- was among the many Obama supporters who showed up after what I would consider the start of the caucus since we'd had the announcement and since we'd all lined up. There was no 'ending point'. We were at the back of the Hillary line and when we were finally half-way to the front, a woman walked in with a baby and got into the Obama line. The whole thing was a joke, there were no rules followed.
Jim: Okay, thank you for that report, Dallas. I'm honestly comfortable stopping the roundtable there but we'll continue. Elaine's about had it with CounterPunch and I'm going to toss to her because we've had a number of complaints in e-mails about the fact that we continue to have CounterPunch on our links to the side.
Elaine: I'm the big fan of CounterPunch. Community member Mia and I are the biggest fans, but I'm the biggest fan in the community with a site. I understand everyone's objection and I'm trying to get a cooling off space to decide whether to pull it at my site or not.
Mike: C.I. noted at The Common Ills that if Elaine pulls it, it's pulled from The Common Ills. I noted at my site that Elaine's my girlfriend so if she pulls it, I pull it. I think anyone in the community who has it on their blog roll will pull it if Elaine decides "Enough!"
Elaine: For those complaining, I do understand your complaints. It's one-sided. It's not 'independent.' Cockburn and St. Clair have hated the Clintons for years. I'm not surprised by that hatred. I am surprised by the fact that they repeatedly make excuses for Obama. Their whole bit at CounterPunch is supposed to be exposing the hypocrisy and they're supposedly about how corporatist the Democrats are but they pull punches repeatedly with Obama, they repeatedly run articles slamming Hillary. It's ridiculous. If they have any standards they should apply to them to both. Instead, they appear to be, by their coverage, endorsing Obama. If I could go on just a bit longer, I'll be quiet the rest of the roundtable. But Joann Wypijewski has an article that I would hope wasn't intended to be insulting but it reads as very insulting and as making fun of the poor. It's dripping with a higher-than-thou attitude and that, more than the other nonsense, has enraged me. I need a cooling off period because if I make a decision right now, it's pulled. Her nonsense was embarrassing.
Ruth: I read the piece that Elaine's referring to and I also found it insulting. It read like "Look at these stupid poor people." It was offensive regardless of how it was intended to be. If Panhandle Media now exists to mock the poor, well even they have reached a new low.
Rebecca: I'd agree with that, both the new low and also that the article was blatantly offensive. But as C.I. noted, of Barack supporter Frances Fox Piven, they like to talk about the poor in this country, they just don't like listening to them. That attitude is all over Wypijewski's article. It's offensive.
Cedric: I know C.I.'s knows the woman but I'm about to unleash.
C.I.: Go ahead, I'm not stopping you.
Cedric: First off, let me explain to independent media some basic realities from Christians. I realize that a number in independent media have no belief in a god so they may miss the point on Obama and the accusations of being Muslim that have gained traction. The reason for it is that Christians raised in this country generally were born into their beliefs. They may change demoninations but the bulk come families that believe in God. So what Freak Ass Media is missing on the religion issue is that the questions aren't racist, aren't anti-Muslim so much as going to the fact that Barack keeps repeating "I'm a Christian, I'm a Christian!" That's not helping him. The average Christian was raised that way by parents or grandparents who were. It's a family issue. It's very well known that Barack's mother did not believe in any god. It's less well known what his maternal grandparents believed. What is know is that his father was a Muslim -- I believe Jo-Jo has her facts wrong on the order, according to one of the women who married Barack's grandfather, his father switched to the Muslim religion, not the other way around as Jo-Jo maintains -- and that's where the issue's coming from.
Betty: Cedric's exactly right. Your father was a Muslim, whenever he was one. You're a Christian. You can't stop shouting that. Well Christians who usually make such a public-to-do about their faith, especially those who come to the faith late in audlt life, generally have a conversion story. Barack's happy to say, "I'm a Christian!" But the issue continues for some Christians not because they think he's a Muslim or dislike Muslims but -- pay attention non-God believers in Panhandle Media -- when you're a Christian, you generally have a story. Barack's never supplied that story. Until he does, this will dog him. He's a Christian. He says. But in terms of Christians, where's the conversion story? If you're happy to offer that you're a Christian, why is it you can't also offer the story of how you came to the faith. His book doesn't clear that up -- and indicates he was never baptized. On the latter, he may have been and just didn't see it as important. If so, that's only an example of how little he grasps the messages he is sending. Sticking with just Black America, were he a Muslim, which he's not, the issue would still come up. It wouldn't be because of hatred towards Muslims. Black America has and has had many wonderful Muslims making huge contributions. But regardless of whether he was Muslim or Christian, he would have the same problem he's got now with Black America because we expect the conversion story, we expect to hear the testifying. He's not offering that. And Cedric's correct that Panhandle Media just doesn't grasp that reality.
Ty: To keep this a Black thing, I'm joking, I'll jump in. Everything Cedric and Betty are saying is correct. Regardless of your religion, in Black America, if you're religious, you've generally got a story and you generally share it. He's never shared it, he's just insisted, "I'm a Christian! I'm a Christian!" which really doesn't play well because, in our community, when we hear that it's generally when someone's caught in a scandal. His speech should have been, at any point and he could still save himself today, "I'm a Christian because . . ." That would be, to steal from Kat's review that's not posted yet, the follow-up. And it is expected among Christians. If you weren't born into the faith but came to it, people expect to hear why. Not to provide it is what's created his problem.
Kat: I'll jump in, though White, and back up Cedric's point here on follow-up. I live in California and have my entire life. If I move to Ohio next year and I'm going around saying, "I live in Ohio! I live in Ohio!" people expect me to explain why I moved from California to Ohio. Especially those living in Ohio -- as opposed to those visiting. They're presumably proud of their state and my sharing my reasons for moving to Ohio create a bond between this. Barack's offered no follow-up, just insisting that he's a Christian. People expect the follow-up. His campaign's grabbed a few things from this site and they're welcome to grab that because this nonsense is really get old and is insulting to Muslims. Provide the follow-up, not just the introductory story, or accept the fact that you are the source of the problem.
Ruth: I would agree with the point being made. My sister is a late-life diabetic. She's asked about that and she provides the story. If she didn't, people would wonder how it came about and it wouldn't be out of hatred towards diabetics but because she wasn't always diabetic, now is and people are curious.
Marcia: For the record, I'm opposed to this discussion because I'm opposed to helping Bambi out of his own mess. That said, Ruth and Kat have added to Betty, Ty and Cedric's examples in a way that everyone should be able to comprehend. Panhandle Media doesn't understand the basics on anything -- whether it's Amy Goodman or Jo-Jo or John Nichols or whomever. You convert to Christ late in life, you've got a story to tell. Tell the story. Testify. When you don't, you yourself create the disconnect and Panhandle Media can rush in screaming "Racism!" or "Anti-Muslim-ism!" or any other crap they want to offer, but the reality is the problem is Barack Obama who wants to say, "I'm a Christian," without delivering how he became one when that's what any Christian expects to follow that statement.
Jim: Okay. I'm tossing to Wally for Florida's do-over. Florida is where Wally lives. After that, we'll address a topic with Marcia and any who want to particiapte and then we're closing the roundtable.
Wally: I don't see why we need to spend more money -- whether it's billed to Florida or whether we take in donations -- for a primary. We voted in January and we achieved a record turn-out in our Democratic primary. No one was disenfranchised. We could learn about the candidates the same way many states usually have to, by watching broadcasts and reading up. Barack Obama aired constant commercials, I know I saw them, and that was against the rules. He gamed the system and he still lost. Equally true is that we voted with a wide slate of candidates and picked our choice. Our state doesn't need a do-over, it needs to have its delegates seated and there are a lot of people complaining about that, the elderly and students, in my area, that we're going to have to do the vote over. It's not being seen as a gift because we believe we already expressed our intent and it's also being noted that the residents of Palm Beach deserved a do-over in the 2000 general election and never got one. It's pissing people off.
Jim: In terms of the possibility that instead of a primary Florida might have a caucus?
Wally: We do primaries, we do not do caucuses. That has the elderly especially pissed off in my area. They don't want to spend a day trying to vote. Students aren't thrilled with the prospect but don't believe a caucus can be forced off on us. Obama may be hoping he's going to pick up people who were supporting candidates who have since dropped off but since Obama has been the victor in most caucuses and since we don't do caucuses, any attempt to force my state to do a caucus will be seen as another attempt to game the system by Barack Obama. We made our choice clear. 50% of us voted for Hillary Clinton. I won't weigh in on Michigan because I don't live there. But this is a topic on my campus, this is a topic at the rec center my grandfather hangs out at, it's becoming a topic everywhere. I'm not seeing support for a do-over and allegedly an Air America Radio host is telling us that's what we need to do. She's in the can for Bambi and no one considers her a Florida resident anymore. I'll be kind and not say the loud mouth's name but her likeability has plummeted in Florida.
Jim: Okay. Marcia, last week, you wrote "Melissa Harris-Lacewell doesn't speak for me!" and
"Pt. 2 of MH-L" about Melissa Harris-Lacewell threatening a Black-Out if Barack Obama wasn't given the nomination by the super delegates. The Bambi groupies e-mailed this site repeatedly.
A few called you a sexist and I'm letting you respond to that nonsense. We can't quote the e-mails because every sentence contained a curse word; however, you stated that your mother's feeling was Harris-Lacewell has a young daughter, already works for Princeton, and needs to stop traveling all over the country to get Obama elected and spend some time with her child since she is, as she has stated, a single-mother.
Ava: If I can jump in before Marcia replies. Marcia had one point wrong. She noted she wasn't sure about the age of Harris-Lacewell's daughter. In January, the child was five-years-old. So just to give an exact age, C.I. and I planned to jump in on that. If need be, we're willing to come in on the topic but we support Marcia's posts.
Marcia: Thank you Ava and C.I. If someone's all bent out of shape that my mother stated Harris-Lacewell needed to stop campaigning for a man across the nation and spend some time with her daughter, my first question would be what race are you? I'm African-American. Harris-Lacewell presented herself as the voice of Black America on The Charlie Rose Show. I noted she wasn't the voice and that in my community, in Black America, we're already suffering from the prison rates of many of our males, of all ages. African-American women are carrying their load and then some. If someone wants to say it's sexist that Black America would feel a single-mother of a young child -- a five-year-old one it turns out -- needs to stop traveling the country to elect a man, than say it. I noted very clearly that if this was Harris-Lacewell running for office, it would be one thing and people would be more leniant. But she's not running for office, she's already a professor at Princeton which presumably requires some work. She is a single-mother and, I'm sorry, the attitude in the Black community is not, "Go do your own thing, girl!" The attitude is our children are our future and single-parents, male or female, responsible for raising children need to do their job.
Betty: I'll jump in on this. As everyone knows, I've got three kids. I'm also Black which drive-bys may not know. When I revealed that I wasn't dating until my kids were older, a lot of e-mails came in and no one griped at me, but a few people, White people, thought I was doing something great but wondered about my own sacrifice? I'm not making a sacrifice. And when I revealed that decision already in place, my daughter was five-years-old. My two sons are older. It's not just a Black thing, community member Maria talked about doing that with her own kids, not dating, because they were so young and she too is a single mother. But in my community, no one thinks that my decision is 'strange' or that I've made some huge 'sacrifice.' I'm the mother of young children. I work, as does Melissa Harris-Lacewell, to put food on the table. I love Hillary to death but if she called me tomorrow and said, "Girl, I've got your travel all paid for and you're going to have a blast!" I would tell her that I'm sure I would have a blast but I also have three children and I can't go all over the country, hold down a job and be a mother to young children when they already have no father in their life. Feminism did not foster the myth of "The Superwoman" who can do it all. That was sold to us by Madison Avenue and the mainstream media. Melissa Harris-Lacewell seems to think she can have it all. She's a mother, a single mother and a working mother, adding Barack Obama campaigner flying to California, to New Hampshire and doing non-stop media appearances is adding too much to the plate and I don't know any woman in Atlanta who wouldn't feel that Melissa Harris-Lacewell needs to be watching her child more than her schedule allows. That's not sexism, that has to do with being a parent, a single parent. I will allow that her daughter, when she accompanies her which I would assume is the bulk and maybe all of the time to states, probably has many experiences that will be life enriching but I'll also note that her daughter is also sharing what should be parent-time with a huge amount of people and at five-years-old, as the child of a single-parent, I'd argue her daughter's being short changed. Whether you agree with me or not isn't really the point, the point is that it's a common attitude in the Black community and Marcia didd nothing sexist by noting her mother's opinion and her mother did nothing sexist by voicing it. Black America is under attack every day. All parents need to be there for their children but especially single-parents and especially single, Black parents. There is no safety net, it's been ripped apart, there is only us and if we're not taking care of our jobs as parents, we're not doing our jobs and no one's going to respect a single-parent who already teaches at a univeristy and presumably makes enough to live on from that job, who is also flying around the country for some man's campaign and also rushing back and forth to NYC for this media appearance and that one. I know Ava and C.I. intend to note Melissa Harris-Lacewell's attack on Tavis Smiley and how she pouted so much she announced she wouldn't be following his State of Black Union coverage. That's a real sorrow but a further indication of how out of touch with the community she is. And for the record, yes, this Black woman voted for Hillary Clinton but I don't know anyone in my area who's threatening to stay home on election day in November if Barack Obama's not given the nomination by the super delegates. I doubt very seriously the 'expert' on Urban Radio from New Jersey hears Black radio out of Atlanta to begin with but her threat is unrealistic and, frankly offensive. Ty had wanted to talk about that.
Ty: I know we're short on time but to echo Betty, here in California, I've heard no African-American backing Bambi say they're bolting. That's Melissa Harris-Lacewell and her nutty crew trying to create another 'movement' that the press will run with without checking out their facts. That woman is a professional liar. She has no right to go on Charlie Rose and float a Black-Out and I want to be clear that Melissa Harris-Lacewell did that because I know how offended so many African-Americans who caught her little stunt are and I want to be sure that any just learning of it know who pulled the stunt. Sadly, but equally true, if she wants to play the race card, Black America, and Marcia noted this as well, does not out number Latinos so Harris-Lacewell's threat was stupid for that reason as well. If Democratic super delegates have to start making a choice based on groupings, smart ones would say,'There are more Latinos, they support Hillary and this is our chance to nail down Latino support for future elections.'
Cedric: I have to jump in here, sorry. Ty's exactly right. Melissa Harris-Lacewell lives in alternate universe where Sister Souljah moments never take place. The Democratic Party has taken great strides before to reassure that African-Americans, feminists and labor were not controlling the party. Forced to make a decision, the smart move for super delegates would be to embrace Hillary for the Latino vote. First off, I haven't heard any threats of a Brown-Out. Second off, they're a large group that's only expected to become an ever higher percentage of the population. Third off, despite liars in Panhandle Media stating otherwise, they vote. African-American males, for a number of reasons, have one of the worst turn-out rates on voting date of any voter. Melissa Harris-Lacewell's threat is not only empty, it's begging the DNC to send a show of support to Latinos who do vote and are a larger grouping. Yet again, to advance her candidate, she hurts her own race. That's been her pattern throughout this campaign. She does not speak for Black America. My grandmother read Marcia's posts, she reads everything Marcia writes, and agreed strongly with Marcia stating, "She really does need to be taking care of her baby and not running all over the country for Baracka." That's what my grandmother calls Barack. She's not making fun of him. She calls Usher "Ursher" and Oprah's "Ofrah." The only people who see Melissa Harris-Lacewell as any kind of an authority on Black America are White Media and the other Black elites they've allowed into the system. We rank-and-file don't like her. My girlfriend was griping her out for the rude manner she was treating Connic Schultz in on Charlie Rose. Griping her out by talking back to the TV. And that was before she snarled up her lips and started shaking her head over and over while Schultz was speaking.
Jim: And on that note, we're going to wrap up. Illustration, when it's added, is done by Betty's oldest son.