Sunday, November 09, 2008

Truest statement of the week

The new era of voting for the lesser of the two evils has penetrated the core of America's critical intellectual community, and some of the biggest voices for change have endorsed Obama. In effect, what has taken place is the union between those opposed to imperial ideology and those endorsing it. Although this serious event has gone largely unnoticed, American intellectuals will need to reflect on its consequences seriously if they are to contribute to the building of a stable future for humanity as a whole, and in particular to mending the tarnished corrupt fabric of American society.
One American intellectual, James Petras, has been able to identify the direct social consequences of such a paradigm shift and prior to the elections has publicly expressed his views in an article titled "
The Elections and the Responsibility of the Intellectual to Speak Truth to Power: Twelve Reasons to Reject Obama and Support Nader/McKinney."
As the title of the article clearly states, Petras voices the reasons why intellectuals have the responsibility of voting against Obama just like they should vote against McCain.

-- Pablo Ouziel's "A Paradigm Shift in America’s Intellectual Community" (Dissident Voice).

Truest statement of the week II

Some ardent feminists are such fishes in water that they can't really tell they're in the tank. Gloria Steinem was on post-election Oprah, and the gist was: Palin had no content, wasn't fit to be VP or President, and it's McCain’s fault for choosing her. Gloria said that the more people found out about Palin, the more they went away from her. (These days, I'm feeling that way about Gloria.) She pontificated that women's issues are about substance not form, it’s what you're for that matters, not just being a woman. It's not that she's wrong, I just don't like the holier than thou attitude. Hmmm, more tread marks from another feminist who's absolutely confident within herself, and elated that Obama's in.

-- Lady Boomer NYC, "Both Sides Now" (The Confluence)

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday.

First some house cleaning or taking garbage to the curb. A number of sites have asked us to link to various things in the past and we've been happy to. They've never linked back. A little irritating. But now that we know how backlinks work and know that not only was there not a link back but that we had to be deleted (community wide) to avoid showing up as having linked to the posts we were asked to link to, we're not interested in doing a damn thing for a number of people. If this applies to you, consider this your formal f**k off. And how bad is it? We told C.I. this was going on for awhile and C.I. (being more fair than the rest of us) would say, "Oh surely not." Oh surely yes.

This edition. Along with Dallas, here's who helped out this edition.

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,
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 Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends.

We thank them all. Stan is the newest community member to start a blog. We're glad he's started one. And the "linkback" Blogger/Blogspot option? The reason C.I. believes us now is because C.I. helped Stan set up his site and Stan wanted that option. So they both became experts quickly. And discovered that to prevent a link that was read*, you actually have to delete it by clicking on a garbage can. One guy in particular just lost a link from any community sites ever again. After Stan's blog went up, all other community sites added the link back feature, by the way.

So let's talk content. Here's what we've got.

Truest statement of the week -- We had eight strong nominees. (More than eight nominess, but eight strong ones.) We really feel this is the strongest and hope you agree.

Truest statement of the week II -- This was also a strong one and you should read the post its from if you haven't already.

Greens Gone Wild -- This is our editorial. If you want to be a political party, act like one. That does not include wall papering over what are supposed to be very real differences after an election. In fact, after an election is a good time for a political party to point out the differences. That way when the Dem or Republican elected disappoints, you can say, "We warned you during the campaign, we warned you after the election." Calling out Barack at a later date now leaves the Green Party looking scattered since they failed to call him out after the election. Besides, they keep pushing the meme that he's Black (he isn't) and that's amazing so if and when they criticize him, the question becomes, "Wait, Greens, you said what mattered was his race. Did his race change? No? Then why are you criticizing him?"

TV: The journalists deliver the belly laughs -- Ava and C.I. cover two entertainment programs and two public affairs programs. This accidentally went up before anything else. They were tired and hit "publis" and not "save now". Which allowed early readers to discover it. Gino says thank you for that gift and is among those who've already written to say it's wonderful and (Liza's words), "How's Jim going to screw up in his note this time?" Thanks, Liza. I'll move on.

Roundtable -- Our first roundtable with Stan. We were hoping for Trina joining us but that didn't work out. She is planning on participating during the holidays. We'll include her in a roundtable then. Ty's found one e-mail complaining about 'poor Alice Walker' and the way we treat her. The e-mailer writes, "Don't you know that her daughter has turned on her?" C.I. responds, "Yes, we do know that and we avoid bringing that into the discussion. We could have and some of Rebecca Walker's charges do fit in with the comments being made. That doesn't mean she's right or wrong, it just means we avoided the topic and you're the one raising it."

Barack revisions, hot off the presses! -- We couldhave put a really good photo with this. Why didn't we. Two hours ago we started uploading it to Flickr. It's still going. We have many uploads to Flickr still going on. Dona said, "Post it without it." And on two other things, she said, "Post them with what we do have." If she hadn't done that, you wouldn't be able to read this edition very, very early for us.

We're not buying it -- This was almost the editorial but time ran out. We made it a short piece instead.

Ty's Corner -- Where is Ty's Corner! When will Ty do another one! He does one here. It's brief but it's strong and on an important topic.

Rating the presidential campaign offices -- This is another one where we had better uploads planned but they're still uploading so we ran with what we had.

The 2008 presidential election is over -- Ditto this which was actually going to be a humor feature and include captions for photos. Those photos still load. Ay-yi-yi.

TV with honesty -- The Onion. It's scary because it's true.

Highlights -- Mike, Kat, Wally, Stan, Ruth, Marcia, Betty, Rebecca, Cedric and Elaine wrote this and we thank them for it.

That's it. We'll see you next week.

-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Greens Gone Wild


The Green Party presidential ticket of Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente did not win the White House and did not win 5% of the vote nationally. Some might rush to blame either or both candidates but the same attitudes and statements that hurt their run are already popping up, ready to destroy the Green Party. And that nonsense didn't come from their mouths while they were running and it's not coming out of their mouths now that the runs over. In other words, the problem is not the party's candidates.

At On The Wilder Side, Kimberly Wilder features Long Island's Steve Sloane who can't stop yammering. About his own party's ticket? Please, that wound indicate a sense of purpose and pride. Sloane voted for Nader so why can't he stop yacking about Barack?

Sloane writes, "I have been charmed by Obama and his family. They are lovely. I can feel the happiness that his election has instilled especially for Afro-Americans, but not just for them.
After I voted, I opened the curtain and there was my neighbor Drew, whom I have known all his life." And on and on. No need to worry about actual issues or free and fair elections when you can yammer on about being "charmed." Audrey Hepburn, your greatest fault was apparently in never running for Congress. Well maybe not. Steve Sloane explains, "It is Obama’s color that makes this victory great." Well strut that runway, Miss America. Toss those shoulders back and smile because all that matters is the outsides.

Sloane is only one of the many feel-good testimonials for Barack you can find at On The Wilder Side -- a site run by Green Kimberly Wilder. Yep, Green Party members.

The Greens lost the presidential election. This isn't some New Age Little League match up; everyone doesn't go home with a trophy. But that's how they choose to play it and how the Green Party itself chooses to play it. Take a look at this pathetic piece of crap the Green Party calls a press release:

The Green Party of the United States thanked Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente, Green candidates for President and Vice President, for their strong national campaign in the 2008 election.

The party also congratulated Barack Obama on his election to the White House today, and celebrated the election of America's first African American President.

"Even though we competed with Sen. Obama for votes in the presidential race, we're thrilled that voters have elected an African American President, something unimaginable a generation ago. We're just as thrilled that our own presidential ticket -- Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente are two women of African descent, and Ms. Clemente is Black Puerto Rican -- represented the voices of so many Americans who've been shut out of the system," said Clyde Shabazz, Green candidate for Congress in Michigan's 14th District.

Greens noted that voters expressed a mandate for change in the hope that President-elect Obama would follow through on his pledge of "Change We Can Believe In" and reverse the dangerous direction that the country has taken.

"Voters who were motivated by Barack Obama's message of change will now have to fight if they really want change to take place during the next four years," said Jill Bussiere, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "Rosa Clemente, our candidate for Vice President, talked about the Green Party's 'imperative' throughout the campaign. The Green Imperative will move forward during the Obama Administration, as people demand that change be more than a campaign slogan."

Do you see the problems?

If you don't you're probably either a Democrat or a member from the useless half of the Green Party. The party's candidate was Cynthia McKinney. The candidate outlined many differences between herself and the other presidential nominees including that she was the only one addressing the prison-industrial-complex. She could have added that she was the only one bringing up reproductive rights. She could have added many other issues she was the only candidate to bring up.

But apparently there are no real differences and, since there are no real differences, there's no reason to ever vote Green.

That is the message the party sends out and if it wants to remain a tiny and meaningless party (meaningless in terms of elected office), it can continue on this path where the only 'reward' is basking in their self-defined 'goodness.'

Earlier the Green Party issued a press release entitled "The Real Difference" which they still link to at the bottom of their home page:

Q. What's the difference between the Democrat and Republican parties?
Q. Do they represent your interests and values?

Democrats talk about the different policies, positions, and priorities we'd see from a Democrat in the White House versus a Republican.
Most Democrat and Republican politicians -- including Clinton, Gore, Kerry and Bush -- hold similar positions on major issues --- and that's why we need a real choice at the polls: a party that gives power to "We the People" instead of powerful corporations.
If you look at where the candidates and parties stand on the issues you can see that the Democrat and Republican parties are in basic agreement on most issues OR they agree to ignore important issues.

Judge for yourself -- and compare with Green positions:
Summary Issue Position Comparison
Detailed Version
Print Version
Alternate PDF Version
Alternate PDF (Smaller)

We're not disagreeing with the above but how do you reconcile that and the statements and 'coverage' the party and their online sites have been offering since Tuesday's vote?

Political positions and issues don't matter? It all comes down to skin color?

Well then the Democrats and Republicans should nominate a Latino, an Asian-American, an Arab-American, a Native American and every other possible first in order to ensure that the whole nation is on a feel-good vibe for the next few election cycles.

Remember, it's all about skin color!

Is there a difference between the Green Party and the Democratic Party? When the Greens act like they're acting, there's not a damn bit of difference.

And that message is sent and received far beyond the Green Party. That message becomes an impediment for the party in future elections and with the press (which laughed their asses off at the Green Party's press release last week). See the Democrats stand accused of never following up on their promises to the people. So when the Greens -- who allegedly stand for something -- waste their time (and the limited attention given to them) in order to sing the praises of a Democratic candidate, they're telling Americans that the Greens just offer words as well.

Are the Greens for expanding and continuing the Afghanistan War? Are they for keeping US troops on Iraqi soil? We kind of thought the answer to both questions was no. And yet, there's the Green Party and their members applauding a candidate who stands for just that and for so much more. We kind of thought the Greens believed in ballot access so it's amazing to see them issuing praise for a candidate who won his first race by eliminating all his opponents. We kind of thought the Greens believe fair and free elections came via public financing so it's strange to watch them applaud the candidate who has probably destroyed public financing.

After the election last week, the country should have heard the Green Party explaining why their party mattered and what it stood for. Instead they offered a lot of fluff that telegraphed the message, intentionally or not, "Green Party -- the party even members don't believe in."

TV: The journalists deliver the belly laughs

Last week the laughs never stopped coming, except when they were promised. The biggest belly laugh came from Newsweek's Evan Thomas declaring of Barack Obama, "There is a slightly creepy cult of personality about all this." Like most strong laugh getters, it's funny because it's true.

Before we could reach that comedic high, America had to suffer. Through the two-hour clip job. At a time when NBC has screwed themselves and their own schedules by refusing to air Heroes and Chuck in repeats over the summer, at a time when NBC is desperately attempting to make Monday must-see, both shows were benched last week so that Saturday Night Live could eat up time with their really bad clip-job.

We warned you in September:

You can't comedically cover a political race when you only hurl invective at one side. We have long made that point to friends currently with SNL. As they begin assembling a clip show of election coverage, a few have started to get our point. One admitted he was "dead wrong" about our criticism last year. There's no crime in being wrong. There's crime in not admitting it. We were wrong ourselves. We thought Tina Fey was a performer and not just a "Mean Girl" dashing off bitchy, little lines.

We'll get to Tina Fey, don't worry. But right now let's give the break down of SNL's Monday night special.

The special offered a smattering of clips from past decades. We found the eighties and nineties most illuminating. Take 1988 where George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis (the Republican and Democratic Party presidential nominees) could both be mocked, kidded and joshed. That's a stark contrast to today. So was a 1992 clip where Diane Sawyer (played by Jan Hooks) was questioning independent presidential H. Ross Perot. Carole Simpson. Remember that name? She moderated the town hall presidential debate (Bush, Bill Clinton and Perot). The presidential, not the vice-presidential. For two election cycles now, one woman has been allowed to moderate a debate and it's been the vice presidential debate. It's called regression, not progress. (Although this election cycle, in terms of number of viewers, the vice presidential debate was the one that delivered.)

And that reminded us of how women have been sidelined repeatedly and how (Democratic) Women's Media Center came along in 2004 and has really accomplished nothing. How it wanted to beg for questions to be included in one debate. How pathetic the begging was. How pathetic WMC is and how the pathetic women in charge had years to object to the rollbacks and never did. We remembered calling out the problems with women's role at the Democratic convention coverage PBS broadcast as well as the Republican convention and especially remembered this:

That point was driven home best on Thursday when the boys decided to again explore women. It was interesting to see so many speaking about women and notice that not one person speaking was, in fact, a woman. You had the three male 'historians' (will get back to them), you had Jim Lehrer, David Brooks and Mark Shields as 'analysts' and you had a man from PEW research plus Ray Suarez. Eight voices discussing women -- eight voices and all of the male. Don't count on the increasingly inept watchdogs to call it out. They didn't do a damn thing when women were sidelined by PBS in Denver and they're not going to do a damn thing now.

[. . .]

Listening to Peniel and the other boys slam women as "bitches" (being PBS, they went out of their way to avoid using that word) was really something to witness. "Even Nancy Reagan," gushed Jim, demonstrating that, in their minds, regardless of political party, every First Lady had been a 'ball buster.' Rosalyn Carter, Betty Ford, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Pat Nixon . . . all 'ball busters.' It was an informative segment . . . only not in the way PBS might have hoped. What it informed was just how any woman with power (perceived or real) was a threat to these delicate male egos. It was unbelievable and hard to watch.

If you're wondering how you missed WMC calling this out, you didn't miss it. They never said a peep. They had time to tear down Governor Sarah Palin, they had time to beg a man to ask questions in a presidential debate but they didn't do a damn thing about women being marginalized by PBS at both the Democratic and Republican conventions. (We called it out here and privately. When it was time for the debates, PBS added a female presidential historian to the mix. We thanked PBS friends for that.)

Imagine what could have been done if the useless WMC had led a campaign on any of those issues? Oh, the little girls of WMC, cowardly, pathetic and so afraid to dream, let alone fight.

Which is why they could go into loony tune time (and include NOW's Kim Gandy) over a New Yorker magazine cover but never say one damn word about the damaging portrayals of women SNL offered. On Monday, you got the condensed version of that. You got Hillary (played by Amy Polar Bear), conniving, bitter, power-hungry. You saw that in the first skit (McCain did the cold opening -- John McCain playing himself) where Hillary explained she'd be running in 2012. This was followed by Amy playing Hillary while Fred played Barack in a single camera shot that used the right side of Fred's face and the left of Amy's while their characters spoke and Barack was all sugar and spice and everything nice while Hillary was truly a Bitches Brew all the way to the end when they declared they were running for . . . Barack: "Democracy." Hillary: "Because I deserve it."

Having bashed Hillary twice it was time for Palin so we got the bad sketch with Tina Fey as Palin (the last time she looked good on camera as Palin -- the crash diet that would emphasize her hook nose and the bad bangs would follow in the skits performed after this one) and Amy as Katie Couric. Sarah, in the skit, was dumb as a doornail. Oh, ha, ha, ha.

You got a skit mocking Biden and then it was back to trashing Hillary as Amy (playing Hillary) declared, "I am a sore loser." This clip fest faded into Amy as Hillary on the night before the election bitter about the way things turned out and snarling that "it's like a really bad dream."

Then it was time for Seth to question Bill Clinton (Darrell Hammond) about how his endorsement of Barack didn't sound like much of an endorsement. It slimed Bill including portraying him as a rapist at the end. It only underscored that Michelle Obama was never put through the SNL mill. They were never interested in sending up Michelle, were they?

The way they were never interested in being factual. Will Ferrell came back as Bush for one of the Thursday night specials last month and, of course, Monday's special had to include a clip of that as well. The joke was that Bush was finally endorsing McCain. Really? We remember that endorsement taking place before the press at the White House March 5th but, hey, maybe the audience isn't any smarter than the 'creative' 'geniuses' at work at SNL?

It was really something to watch that skit the first time and it never stops being illuminating. Tina Fey thinks it's funny to play a vice presidential nominee who lifts her skirt up for the camera. Funny, Palin never did that on the campaign trail but who said funny had to be true (a policy our own Isaiah intends to adopt from Tina Fey with hilarious results to come over the next few weeks)? There was Tina with the hawk nose, the saggy skin and the bad bangs, looking like death warmed over.

From there it was time to replay the sketch of the vice presidential debate and you really notice how when Joe Biden says something crazed, there's no double take or scowl from Queen Latifah playing Gwen Ifill though Queen offers it plenty when Fey's Palin says anything. She pulls out a flute at one point, Fey, and asks about the talent portion. Oh, that Palin, she's so stupid!

So it's real cute how SNL flips it from dumb Sarah Palin in their early skits to power hungry Palin. You know, the same bits they used against Hillary. The same bits they use against every woman. A mayor and governor of two years was picked to be the vice presidential nominee of a political party. She's power hungry? But the man who's been a US Senator for two years before running for the presidency isn't?

It was a really bad special. An awful clip job and they had nothing to offer on Barack. That's because they never did Barack jokes in 2007 or 2008. Hillary and Bill? You'd see 'em in bed together in skits. You'd have Bill call her a "witch" and more. Hillary's personal motives? Skits attempted to illustrate them (always negatively -- just by chance, you understand). Now SNL told us back in April that they intended to use Hillary as 'comedy gold' all the way up to the election, even if she didn't get the nomination. And damned if they didn't try to do so.

It must be wonderful to be a presidential nominee that no one ever tells a joke about or makes fun of or ridicules. It must be nice to be given a repeated pass while your opponents face character assassinations in sketch after sketch.

"He is very elusive," Newsweek's Jon Meacham maintained to Charlie Rose on the PBS show Wednesday, "Obama, which is fascinating for a man who has written two memoirs." Like SNL, the press refused to explore Barack but the press is a little more willing to admit it even if they do offer laughable excuses for their bad coverage.

Along with noting the "slightly creepy cult of personality, Newsweek's Evan Thomas would characterize Barack as "a deeply manipulative guy." That could have made for a funny skit and certainly would have matched SNL's attempts to peer into Hillary's brain repeatedly. But while you could laugh frequently at Wednesday's Charlie Rose (especially if you grasped that markers were being laid down by the establishment), you just couldn't laugh at what was billed as comedy.

Tina Fey. Yeah, we said we'd get back to her. Robert Bianco (USA Today) decided to offer up just how stupid The Water Cooler Set (and those desperately wanting in) can be:

No entertainer got a bigger boost from this election than Tina Fey. Her hilariously, witheringly precise SNL imitation of Sarah Palin set the Alaskan governor's public image before Palin had a chance to do it herself, while certifying Fey as a genuine TV-and-beyond star. Armisen's portrayal of Obama has gradually become more accurate, but it hasn't even begun to approach funny. Plus, it has only served to emphasize long-running problems of diversity at SNL, which is using a non-African-American to portray the first African-American president and has no one on staff who can play his wife. That's embarrassing at best, shameful at worst.

Bianco's an idiot, even for someone aspiring to the Water Cooler Crowd. Barack Obama is half White and half Black. There's no reason a Black castmate needs to play him. Fred isn't bi-racial. Fred is multi-racial. Maybe Bianco could try research before he writes? Fred has Asian and Latino roots. And we haven't heard Bianco express outrage that John McCain was played by the Asian-American cast member of Mad TV. Second, Fred's performance has not "gradually become more accurate," it's always been accurate. For it to be funny, however, Fred would have to be allowed to do something other than recite lines and -- pay attention, Bianco -- as we've noted since last January (over and over), they create no scenes for Barack, he exists in a vacuum.

As for Bobo Bianco's whine about the 'diversity,' how many African-Americans are in the cast Bobo? One. If 'diversity' matters to you, tell us how many women are in the SNL cast?

The answer is one. Kristen Wiig. Amy Polar Bear had her baby, she's gone from the cast -- as was known all along. There are nine cast members. One is an African-American male, one is a woman. It's amazing that you didn't notice that. It's amazing that you whine there's no one on 'staff' (do you think it's an employment agency?) who can play Michelle Obama while you didn't bother to object to the fact that they had to 'hire' Tina to play Palin. She's not in the cast.

Bobo is full of crap-crap. And it should be noted Keenan could play Michelle. Garrett Morris played Tina Turner (among other women) and, though we don't care for it, SNL has never tired of dressing men up as women (including on the most recent broadcast). Bobo tells you Tina Fey is a winner. Of what?

No one's watching her damn show still. Last week's show came in third for its time slot (losing to ABC and CBS) and, as we predicted, it was down in the ratings. 8.5 million (nothing to brag about) gave the show its record high two Thursdays ago. Dave Itkoff notes on C2 of yesterday's New York Times that Thursday's broadcast "was down slightly (8 million)". Down slightly? They lost a half-million viewers in one week. All it took was the bad debut and the threat of Oprah (and Fey doing bad Mad TV rip-offs) to send a half-million packing. The show's a bomb. It's never delivered ratings and to call Tina a "winner" requires that you define what she won.

All she appears to have won is awareness -- more people are aware of her and aware that they don't like her. (As females in comedy pointed out when Fey started doing Palin, bitchy is not a road to success for women.) Maybe someone could notice that her half-hour show has a cast of 13 and only three are women including the barely used Katrina Bowden. [Fey and Jane Krakowski are the other two.] Yeah, like Alias' Sydney, Tina Fey's Liz Lemmon works in a world of men. The difference is that Fey is actually responsible for 30 Rock. She created it, she writes it. And Fey would rather be surrounded by men and exclude women.

Maybe she thinks it will make her look prettier? Well now that actually is funny. But this is the woman who also thought pulling the waist line up to below breast level this season would make her look thinner. That didn't work out too well either.

At least she hasn't added a strawberry blonde rinse. Chris Matthews tried to get away with one not all that long ago. Matthews was providing more laughs on MSNBC last week. Along with laughs, he was demonstrating why NBC doesn't want him anywhere near Meet The Press. Chris showed up on Morning Joe to 'explain' journalism to Joe Scarborough who already demonstrated last March that he knows more about journalism than anyone else working at MSNBC. The madcap Matthews bored with the topic quickly and began declaring, "I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work, and I think that --" Scarborough cut him off asking, "Is that your job? You just talked about being a journalist!" The look on Chris' face is really priceless. And it reminds you of how accustomed Chris has grown to having his ass kissed daily. Matthews then responds, "Yeah, it is my job. My job is to help this country. . . . To make this work successfully. This country needs a successful presidency."

If it seemed so very familiar, you may have been thinking back to Dan Rather's appearance on Late Night With David Letterman back in 2001, when he declared, "George Bush is the President, he makes the decisions and you know, as just one American wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where." It's not journalism, but it is a freak show. (Click here to see Scarborough attempt to educate Matthews and here for the Letterman clip via Bill Moyers Journal.)

On The Charlie Rose Show last Wednesday, Meacham could have been describing Chris Matthews when he declared Barack's "core believers have such faith in him that [it's quite possible] they'll forgive him his compromises". The fact that we agree with that call by Meacham doesn't make it any less frightening.


The election was Tuesday, Barack Obama won. That is among the topics for this roundtable. Book discussion lovers should be aware that C.I. has a feeling literary criticism will be brought up in this roundtable as well. This is a rush transcript. Illustration is by Betty's oldest son. We have someone new participating so let's get started. First, The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and me, 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; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ. and Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends. Stan is Marcia's cousin and we're really glad to have him participating. His blog posts so far are "Movies," "Good for Nader," "Stan 411" and "Robin Morgan." Mike spoke with him Friday for "My interview with Stan." Stan will also be writing about participating in this week's edition for the gina & krista round-robin so look for that Friday morning. So let's start with Stan?

Stan: On the election? I voted for Ralph. The results were a disappointment. Barack had to spend how much money and the only thing that saved him in the end was the economic meltdown? I mean that goes to how weak Barack is.

Rebecca: Exactly. And it's no great source of pride that the Dems used the economic crisis, they gamed it. They did damn little to help and what they did was weak ass. Pelosi was popping off about how great the meltdown was for the election.

Stan: Right and yet everytime you turned around Barack's saying 'John McCain said' and quoting -- quoting not McCain but the unnamed friend or advisor who said that it was better to make the campaign about whatever. As a general rule with Barack whatever he accuses anyone else of doing is what he's just done.

Mike: A trait he shares with the current Bully Boy of the United States.

Kat: Won't it be a fun eight years.

Jim: When did everyone know Barack was going to win?

Wally: It was obvious he was going to squeak by to me around four o'clock. But we were on the West Coast so that's seven o'clock on the East.

Ruth: I would agree with that time call. My family and I were watching Katie Couric's coverage on CBS and they went right from the news into their special coverage. It seemed obvious it would be Barack within about five minutes, so 7:05 p.m., 7:06, around there.

Jim: Anyone thinking McCain would pull it out after that first hour of returns coverage?

Mike: I thought there was a chance. We ended up watching movies because I was tense and Elaine wasn't in the mood. But I hoped when we were done that something would have shifted and I go to look and it's Punk Ass Barack.

Betty: And then what do we get? Non-stop, never-ending days of Honky Time. 'Blessed is the United States for electing a bi-racial man that the world shall call "Black".' Half-and-half's already gotten on my last nerve and it's not even been a full week.

Marcia: True that. And let's all remember not just that Barack's bi-racial -- not "Black" -- but also that he just got put in charge of the plantation. They'd never put anyone but an Uncle Tom in charge of the ballet. Yeah, I said it. Ralph didn't, but I did. The high-yellows got to be house slaves, an Uncle Tom got put in charge of the White House.

Cedric: I was actually thinking that around 10:00 p.m. Tuesday when it was obvious Barack was the winner, how they don't turn the plantation over to anyone except someone groomed to make sure the field slaves remain field slaves. Nothing's changing and we can see that with who gets spoken of for his cabinet.

Ty: I'd agree with that and Elaine had a post Friday ["The cabinet, Robert Fisk"] noting how few women are being mentioned for his cabinet and noting the current number of women in the cabinet. Hopey Changey's more of the same-old same-old. It's been amazing to watch adults embarrass themselves over and over all week. Or supposed adults.

Dona: Elaine's post noted that only two women are being mentioned for the cabinet and Bully Boy's 2001 cabinet had four women in it and the current cabinet has five. In terms of adults embarrassing themselves, it's a long, long list and sadly and surprisingly that list includes Paul Krugman. Rebecca?

Rebecca: Friday I quoted Bob Somerby's response to Paul Krugman's ridiculous statment of "If the election of our first African-American president didn't stir you, if it didn't leave you teary-eyed and proud of your country, there's something wrong with you." Somerby's response: "If those are the rules of the current game, sign us up for 'something wrong with you'."

Betty: It is so very, very wonderful of the White people to tell me what the meaning of the first BI-RACIAL president is. My Black ass is still waiting for the first Black president, thank you very much, Paul Krugman. And not only do we not have a Black president, so what the heck if we did? How is that any different than any other election where one candidate wins an office. It's not as if we're talking about a little boy we watched grow into a man. We're talking about creepy Barack who shows up on the scene a decade ago to destroy a Black woman -- Alice Palmer -- and he's broken many toys but he's never accomplished anything. I'd rather have Tyra Banks as president. She's accomplished things in her life and she is Black. Tyra for president!

Jim: Let's note the people mentioned in that article. You've got Robert Gates the current Secretary of Defense and 'change' is apparently considering keeping him on. Then you've got Richard Danzig -- anyone have a comment on a name listed, jump in -- and Lawrence Summers --

Ruth: The sexist. And I believe it was covered at this site in 2005 with "Editorial: Lawrence Summers is an embarrassment." The very fact that he could be considered for Treasury Secreatry goes to how little respect the politician has for women.

Jim: Also mentioned is Timothy Geithner -- also for Treasury Secretary -- for Secretary of State, John Kerry --

Mike: He should take it. He's too weak and he did pretty bad in the primary for an allegedly popular incumbent. Take his ass out of my state officially because all he does is fly-overs anyway. He is not of Big Mass. Take him to DC. We're sick of him.

Dona: And from the Vincent Price's House of Horrors Wax Museum, Sam Nunn's also being considered for that spot. How old is Gramps?

C.I.: He was born in 1938, September.

Dona: 70 years old and that what Bambi thinks makes for a Secretary of State.

Jim: And also mentioned for that post is Chuck Hagel.

Jess: Chuck Hagel of I-Count-The-Votes ES&S, Election Systems and Software. Easy to win a Senate seat when you count the votes. Another sign of how pathetic the Democratic Party has become.

Jim: For OMB, Peter Orszag and Dan Tarullo for US Trade Rep. Eric Holder for Attorney General --

C.I.: Eric Holder Jr. is the first person of color who's been listed.

Betty: Black?

C.I.: Yes.

Jim: Janet Napolitano is also noted for that position --

Betty: First woman.

Jim: For Ag Secretary, Tom Vilsack, Kathleen Sebelius and Charles Stenholm.

Ava: No Latinos mentioned, no surprise.

Ty: Well Half-And-Half didn't get to where he was by embracing color. Of course he'd surround himself with White men.

Jim: So nothing to be impressed by in the cabinet and nothing indicating 'change' -- no surprise.
The Empire has a new driver in the same race. We're turning to an e-mail. I told C.I. there were three e-mails complaining about Betty's "Back to earth Tiny Malice Alice" and Kat's "Return to the earth ALICE ASS WALKER." First up, C.I., Bracey writes you must be outraged.

C.I.: I must be? I don't generally do anything that I must. This is what I was referring to, these e-mails, this topic, when I said literary criticism may take place here. Betty and Kat wrote a joint-post, they were honest in it. Good for them. Were they hard on Alice Walker? Some might think so. Some, like myself, might remember that after Alice wrote that disgusting revisionary essay on Fidel's interment of gay men and caught so much flack, she pledged to always call out homophobia. Alice did not do that. She never once called out the homophobia used to solidify bi-racial Barack's Black support. I can go further into this but it's not my job to comment on what Kat or Betty or anyone else in the community writes.

Betty: While I appreciate that and value that, I also know your vocal tones and the tone in your voice right now means if you continue something very interesting will emerge. So, please, continue.

C.I.: I held my fire on Alice when she made her repeated apologies for that disgusting justification of Fidel locking away gay men. Anyone can make a mistake, especially a half-backed Communists -- I'm referring to someone who never took the time to do the work required and not calling all Communists "half-baked" -- who worships authoritarianism. But I don't give a damn about Alice these days. She refused to call out homophobia and I find that disgusting. Unlike Alice, I've never had multiple or even one same-sex relation. I call out homophobia because its hatred and its discrimination. Alice doesn't have enough self-respect to call it out and lives in fear of what Daddy might say -- when not hopping into bed with women. Or maybe she lives in fear then too and that adds to the sexual attraction? I was surprised that Betty and Kat called Alice a bad writer. I know Alice was once one of Betty's favorite writers. I think Alice writes wonderful essays and that she can't write fiction to save her ass. Her short stories are not fiction. Nor are they interesting. They're bad writing the same as her poetry. There's no argument for 'inclusion' [in the canon] that's vast enough to qualify her poetry or her short stories for 'good'. That leaves us with the essays which are her strongest pieces of writing and strong writing for anyone. It also leaves us with those very, very bad novels. Alice can't write fiction. As Kat and Betty point out, the stilted nature of Alice's writing is covered for in Color Purple by the fact that it's told in Celie's voice. Possesing The Secret Of Joy uses nothing but dialogue, each chapter is a monologue by one character. Those two are readable. Temple Of My Familiar? If you ever wanted Danielle Steele meets Harold Robbins in the Rainforest, that's it. Alice isn't a feminst. She says she prefers 'womanist'; however, she's not that either. It goes to her belief system and you can find out about that in her writing. This is the woman who has no use for women. Celie and her sister are supposed to be the heart of Color Purple -- the book -- and yet what's the final chapter about, Mister's 'growth.' It's always about a man with Alice. Go through any book. You've got the female character that's her stand-in and then you've got all the men and they're always doing more and saying more than does a woman. Again, had she kept her promise to call out homophobia, I wouldn't say a word today. But, in the words of Cass Elliot, she could be on fire and I wouldn't piss on her. And I know the 'girls' have worked overtime to bill Alice as a feminist writer -- even while Alice refuses the label -- but the reality is the text and you can't read her writing and see a woman who thinks highly of women. It's always the man. And it's always an authoritarian man. In her dreams, it's Fidel and maybe that's what she's producing in her book as well? But women do not lead even when they are the main character. Celie and her sister are apart for how many years but for Alice the 'emotional crux' of the book is Mister's conversion. That tells you everything you need to know. Sofia's been bowed and cowed. Find a woman who's standing? But Alice wants you to know that Mister's happy and liberated and changed. That's so very typical of a woman living for a man. And we can go through any or all of her novels. This is true of everything she's ever written. It can also be noted that her essays rarely focus on a woman but will focus on a man. And that's even including the ones she wrote for Ms. into the mix of all her essays. Equally true is she has all but spat on her own mother while writing non-stop praise for her father who, honestly, wasn't worthy of much praise.

Rebecca: I'll play. Tossing this title out In Search Of Our Mothers' Gardens.

C.I.: Alice's book of essays which tells us women have a small garden and men have a country. See "My Father's Country Is the Poor" in that book. You can be deluded by the mentions of Zora Neale Hurston or you can note how often -- in this 'womanist' collection -- men keep popping in, keep trampling over all the flowers such as the essay "Good Morning, Revolution: Uncollected Writings of Social Protest" which should be entitled "Hymn To Langston Hughes." But using that title would only underscore how weak Alice's support for and interest in women actually is. In her so-called 'womanist' book, she's got more praise for men. It's true of all of her work. Do we need more examples? The essay "Beauty: When The Other Dancer Is The Self" is praise for Daddy and talk of dressing as a "cowboy" and being a "tomboy." Emphasis on boy. The next essay, the mother she always spits on shows up -- "One Child Of One's Own: A Meaningful Digression Within The Work(s)" -- and it's time for Alice to spit again. She will sometimes say a kind word about her mother but her written words are nothing but stones, full of tension and anger. "From An Interview" appears in that collection. Notice how many men are mentioned and compare it to how many women. When non-Christian Alice has time to name-check Paul she damn well better have time enough to give her props to women but count it up and see. And for a lot of fun, detract points for the women -- such as "white girl" -- that she mentions but doesn't name. Alice Walker's writing is what it is and her writing advances and glorifies men while Alice wants women to rally around her and see her as some sort of spokesperson for them and their concerns. She's a bad novelist, she's a bad poet and in all the formats she works in, it is always worship the man. No wonder she worships authoritarians like Fidel and Barack, no wonder she thinks it's okay when either harms gay men. In Alice's mind, read her writing, gay men are like women and deserving of what happens to them. That's true even of Celie because a close reading will demonstrate that Celie's overcoming reveals her goodness and worthiness and, had she not, she would have gotten what she 'deserved.' There is nothing feminist about Alice Walker's writing.

Dona: Wow. There was this lengthy silence when C.I. finished. On my end, I was listening and thinking, as C.I. pointed out this or that, "Oh my goodness, that is so true, why didn't I ever notice that?"

Betty: Oh yeah, here too.

C.I.: Instead of pursuing that, I think Betty and Kat should be talking about what they wrote.

Betty: I'll start. Kat called me Friday night to say she wanted to read something she was considering posting.

Kat: I called Betty because, until this election, Alice Walker was Betty's favorite writer.

Betty: She can go set herself on fire these days. But I listened and added a comment. And then another.

Kat: And I said, "Want to make this a joint-post?"

Betty: And C.I. knew what we were writing so for anyone to go running to C.I. to tattle on us, grow up.

Kat: Right, I read it to C.I. who suggested one change. One word was replaced with two. Due to a personal story about Alice [that] Betty and I didn't know. C.I. suggested the word change and explained why. We loathe her and that comes through in our joint-post but we did agree to a change when we found out something.

Betty: Right. Screw her if she's mad but we didn't want to make her cry about something from her past. We weren't referring to that either and it was easy enough to just change the word we'd used.

Jim: So C.I. heard this before it went up?

C.I.: Yes. And it is their writing. If I disagreed with it or agreed with it wouldn't matter, It's their writing at their sites and they need to speak in their voices. I'm not grading them. They are grown women responsible for their own sites and this idea that people are going to e-mail to ask, "Did you see . . ." Grow up. There's nothing wrong with what they said, they were honest and it is their opinion. I happen to think Alice has embarrassed herself to the point of no return but that's just me -- and most publishers.

Jess: I think it's really offensive that she's blathering on -- Alice Walker -- in her latest essay --about Barack and that it's factually unsound. She needs to try landing on earth. I thought the joint-post by Kat and Betty was a strong one. And a needed one. I'm sick of Alice Walker. For all the reasons Betty and Kat outlined.

Ava: And more. I do want to return to the literary criticism because my aunt often talks about the cabal that installed Alice as a 'feminist' writer and I think it's worth noting that in the essay Betty and Kat are calling out, Alice is ripping off June Jordan. The same June that Alice needed for blurbs once upon a time. But today she can rip off the late Jordan. It's tacky. And feminists of a certain age -- my aunt's for example -- will get exactly why and exactly how circumspect I am being in my remarks.

Jim: Okay, so we've covered the election, the possible cabinet, literary criticism --

Marcia: Race.

Jim: Race. What else do we need to cover in this? Ty?

Ty: People are attempting to figure out how long we're going to be doing new content.

Dona: If anyone wants to offer an individual answer, jump in now. Elaine should because I don't believe she's spoken this entire time. I would also encourage Stan and Ruth to grab some time.

Elaine: As long as C.I.'s doing The Common Ills, I'll offer something at my site. When The Common Ills goes dark, my site does.

Ruth: And you have written about being ready to go dark.

Jim: Written and talked about it here. Elaine, weren't you the one most ready to go dark last week?

Elaine: I would guess that I was but I don't know that. Doing a website takes more time than I'd like to put in. That's me. Ruth?

Ruth: I am going to go along with Elaine. As long as C.I. continues The Common Ills, I will post at my site. Stan?

Stan: I guess I am making an announcement here. C.I. is planning to go through April. After that? No one knows. But I started my site Thursday and C.I. helped me set it up. And we talked about it beforehand, on Wednesday and one of my concerns was that I would be starting my site and January 1st everyone goes dark. So C.I. said, "I can probably make it to April without a big problem."

Elaine: I haven't spoken much and didn't know this would be a topic but I do want to weigh in here. I know Ruth wrote recently ["Iraq"] about how she was covering Iraq on Fridays now and trying to do so in snapshot form so that C.I. would realize Ruth could grab a day if needed, grab the snapshot. I know people will be very happy that April is now the apparent cut-off date but I hope everyone gets that C.I. is the only one of us with our own personal site -- I'm talking that posts Monday through Friday -- who has never had a day off. Not one. For four years and counting. While I am noting that, let me also note Trina's "The Common Ills."

Cedric: That was a good post and one that Rebecca and I plan to cross-post at our mirror sites next week. I was thinking that maybe we'd all take a week off -- I don't just mean at Third but community wide. I was hoping.

Rebecca: Cedric, if you need time off I will fill in for you with no problem and you know I have to go into Blogdrive anyway to repost at my own mirror site.

Cedric: No, I appreciate the offer, but I'm not going to take off. And I also think that's a good thing for the community. And for this site's readers. There are so many Kool Aid drinkers and it probably helps that we're here.

Ty: Which was another topic in e-mails, has been for some time. The sites that said they'd never support Barack and then sold out. The sites that kept their integrity but don't post often enough. These are non-community sites. On the latter category, there's a sense each morning of people checking to see if those ethical sites are posting and, if they aren't, people get very depressed.

Jim: Yeah, that's a very common e-mail. But in terms of time off here -- first, anyone can take time off whenever they want. Second, we do have Thanksgiving coming up. I know Elaine and Mike will be working on that edition because they'll be here -- at C.I.'s -- for the holiday. But that's a weekend some of you may want to take off. But I want to get back to Elaine's point because this site posts once a week. And we can pretty much make it through anything because when the last thing's up, we're done for the rest of the week. It's different for people who post during the week. Like Rebecca did, I can volunteer to fill-in for anyone who needs time off. But, as Stan pointed out and announced, the plan now is to make it through April. No one's thinking beyond that. Before we go, I want to put C.I. on the spot again regarding e-mails but this time for something at The Common Ills. Friday's "Iraq snapshot" resulted in questions regarding Rahm Emmanuel who is going to be Barack's Chief of Staff. C.I. knows Rahm Emmanuel. There were a number of e-mails on that.

C.I.: Complaining about Rahm?

Jim: Yes. And also asking that you offer some evaluation.

C.I.: First off, Rahm's job is Chief of Staff, not Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State. As we've seen repeatedly throughout this year and last, Nancy Pelosi's press conferences have fallen apart, Steny Hoyer is a blowhard. The only ones of House leadership that worked were the ones Rahm was included on and he would repeatedly rescue the conference. The job of Chief of Staff is a bit more complicated than that; however, it does involve being able not just to focus but to return the focus. I think Rahm's immensely qualified for the job and that the Obama administration is very fortunate to have him in that role. There is criticism of Rahm for a number of things. I haven't attempted to censor that and do not intend to. We've included it in snapshots. I'm not going to be weighing in on Rahm positively at The Common Ills unless he comes under unfair fire because I do know him and do think highly of him. To make sure that I don't let the fact that I've known and liked him for many years interfere, negative criticism of him by others will be included from time to time. But I'm not getting involved in the back and forth.

Jim: And you're opinion of Rahm?

C.I.: I like him. I know him to be a thoughtful person. Other people may disagree and that's their right. I'm not trying to censor anyone at The Common Ills -- we'll quote criticism of him.

Jim: Some e-mailers feel he's a War Hawk and are surprised you'd be close to one.

C.I.: I wasn't born in 2003. I've known many people for many years. Unlike the faux radical set in NYC, I don't, and have never hung around with only like-minded persons. It's never been a requirement that someone agree with everything I do.

Jess: I won't name him but there's a neocon who is a gas bag that might be a good example here.

C.I.: Absolutely. He wrote into the public account of The Common Ills having a fit about something I'd written regarding his statements on a topic. I hadn't written a word about that and wasn't aware of his statements. As I explained in that snapshot, someone was playing a trick on him, someone who knew me. I know that neocon very well and have known him for many years. Jess saw the e-mail and called because the guy wanted an apology and he couldn't belive it, Jess couldn't believe it. So he calls and I return the call and just started laughing because I knew the friend who played the prank on him. But, yeah, I have friends of all political stripes. I have friends who are Communists, who are Democrats, who are Republicans, who are you name it. I spend a lot of time in DC and I know a lot of politicians. So, in terms of Rahm, he's nothing like me and I'm nothing like him. I don't seek out clones, I do seek out friends. If people disagree with him, more power to them. I've known Joe Biden for years and I like Joe. Rahm will be covered the same way Joe was once he became the vice presidential nominee. Meaning no favoritism. If there's a mistake that I think needs calling out, I'll do so myself. I called out Joe twice after he became the nominee.

Ava: Let me jump in here because I haven't seen these e-mails. Who are these people writing?

Jim: People who saw the snapshot Friday. I've never read an e-mail from them before.

Ava: I don't know what their concern is but as someone around when the snapshot's dictated I want to add that people were always pitching C.I. stuff on Joe Biden. Not controversial stuff. If it was a mistake by Biden and a friend at ABC was asking for a link to their news department, for example, they got it. But if it was something nice or fluff on him, it didn't make it into the snapshot and the reason was C.I. didn't want to be accused of slanting the coverage based on "I like him." Between Palin and Biden, there's no question who C.I. felt drawn to but C.I. never did a snapshot on Joe. If Joe Biden had been attacked unfairly, it might have happened. But he wasn't attacked unfairly. My point is that C.I. didn't play favorites and could have. If someone's thinking Rahm's going to get an easy ride, that's not going to be the case. More than likely, he'll be ignored.

Jim: On that, I want to share something that will lead us into the last question. Because C.I. does like Joe Biden a great deal, Tuesday night I asked the obvious question: "Did you vote for the ticket and justify it by voting for Biden?" C.I. responded, "Tempted, but no." Did anyone vote for the Democratic ticket?

Wally: I already polled on that Wednesday -- with everyone but Stan -- and it was Ralph all the way. Except with Ava and C.I. and Ava told me, "I didn't tell you who I was going to vote for before the election so I don't think I'll tell you who I voted for now that the election was over."

Jess: But it wasn't Barack.

Ava: C.I. and I voted the same and you can narrow it down to Cynthia or Ralph. I won't narrow it down beyond that.

Marcia: A lot of people think the two of you voted for Cynthia.

Ava: They may be right, they may be wrong.

Jim: And on that, we'll wrap up the roundtable.

Barack revisions, hot off the presses!

Maybe it was Michelle's repeatedly insisting Barack was raised by a single mother but they cleaned up Barack's bio (and Ann's) with very little attention from the media.

The wedding

From "Meet The Candidate" at the Obama - Biden website:

Early Years
Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born and raised in a small village in Kenya, where he grew up herding goats with his own father, who was a domestic servant to the British.
Barack's mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in small-town Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs during the Depression, and then signed up for World War II after Pearl Harbor, where he marched across Europe in Patton's army. Her mother went to work on a bomber assembly line, and after the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and moved west to Hawaii.
It was there, at the University of Hawaii, where Barack's parents met. His mother was a student there, and his father had won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams in America.
Barack's father eventually returned to Kenya, and Barack grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983.

Gone is any mention (claim?) that Barack Sr. and Ann were married (or divorced). Also vanished is Barack's step-father -- in his life much longer than his father. Interestingly, he now appears to have never lived with and been raised by his maternal grandmother.

Remember America, history is what Barack says it is. Stay up on the latest revisions. We'll be shooting the pink pages later today. Memorize them!

We're not buying it

Tuesday, California voted to do away with same-sex marriage. Some might like to pretend that John McCain voters allowed that to homphobia to run free; however, McCain only got 3.8 million votes in California and 5.3 million people voted to end same-sex marriage.

From outside the state, some have blamed various factors. (This piece is written by California residents Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, C.I., Kat and Wally.) Among those being blamed are Gavin Newsom. Gavin didn't do a damn thing wrong and he wasn't 'in your face'. The Los Angeles Times is a dirt-bag conservative paper and it has no history of supporting gay rights. It does have a long, long history of undermining LA's own LGBT community that goes way, way back to the immediate post WWII period.


Gavin Newsom (who is the Mayor of San Francisco and is not gay) and others did a very brave thing: They embraced equality. They did so willingly and gladly and didn't feel the need to hedge, cower or play up.

They made history.

So did the homophobes and it wouldn't have killed Barack or Joe Biden to decry the robocalls using their voices. To garner support for same-sex marriage? No, to get people to vote against it.

Barack and Joe didn't call out the robocalls and they may have taken the attitude that they deplore same-sex marriage, so who cares?

Do you believe in equality or not? Do you believe in equal before the law or not?

If you do, you believe in same-sex marriage.

If you don't, you hem and haw and lie repeatedly, the way Barack pretends that Loving v. Virginia had something to do with churches. "Churches" is his excuse for opposing same-sex marriage. "Churches" do not issue marriage licenses, nor do chuches issues divorce decrees. Churches are merely one of many places a wedding can be held.

Barack embraced homophobia, embraced and encouraged it.

When he didn't have the African-American vote in South Carolina, the thing to do was to shore up right-wing African-Americans, pull them from the Republicans, and what better way to do that than by putting multiple homophobes on stage in November 2007, by ignoring the protests from gay rights groups and by having the campaign brag afterwards that they got what they needed? It was time to put homophobia back on stage starting last September as Barack's 'values' tour hit the swing states, homophobes on board and on stage.

Along with Barack, blame also goes to the likes of Amy Goodman.

As Ava and C.I. have documented here, Goody plays like she's against homophobia . . . unless it's an African-American. She can and did play Bernice King (who has actively marched in Georgia against the LGBT community) speaking about 'perversions' and did so without ever calling King out. King's remarks were worth sharing to Goody, and passing on, but not worth condemning.

There's been a pass from the sewer segment of NYC to some members of the African-American community for too long. Homophobia is homophobia and it is something to be called out.

The fact that an African-American is the one pushing it doesn't make it any less distasteful or offenisve. Nor does it minimize the need and responsibility to call homophobia out.

We're not interested in 'civil rights' struggles for one group. Equality across the board. If you're not part of that movement, you're a bigot. You make excuses or look the other way when homophobia goes down? You're a homophobe in our books. So, yes, Robin Morgan, you're a homophobe. Gloria Steinem, Laura Flanders and all you other Barack supporters who refused to call him out for his use of homophobia to scare up voters, you are all homophobes. And we don't tolerate it.

We don't accept it.

And we don't forget it.

Nor will history. Be prepared to live with history's verdict because all of you earned your failing grade.

For those upset about Tuesday's vote, get angry, get mad and get ready to fight because Prop 8 did not end the debate and it did not ignore the movement.

6.3 million voted for Barack Obama. 3.8 voted for John McCain. 5.3 voted to do away with same-sex marriage, that's more than John McCain's supporters. This

[For more on this topic, see Ruth's "Homophobe-In-Chief" and Kat's "NYT can't stop lying for Barack."]

Ty's Corner

Only in America . . .

could establishment Whites be so scared of Black people they have to call a bi-racial man the "First Black President."

I'm not breaking any ground by noting that reality. It was the biggest topic in the e-mails last week. "Only Once (Ty, Betty, Cedric and Marcia)" resulted in many, many e-mails and the most basic question from Black and African-American readers was, "Why are we wasting our first on a bi-racial?" Exactly.

Barack's got his own first to claim. He is bi-racial. Give him that first: "The first bi-racial president." But he's got no right to claim to be the first Black president. He's not Black. It's not a minor point and as a reader who took part in the Selma March noted, "It's his job to correct the press when they get it wrong."

The establishment is comfortable with a "Black" leader provided the "Black" person is actually half White. That's not progress and it is insulting to those of us who are Black. But as another reader pointed out, "As soon as he gets into his first scandal, the Black community will be rushing forward to scream, 'He's mixed! He's not Black!'" Yes, that is correct.

That is how it works.

And it's also true that when a Black man or woman seems on the verge of winning the White House, Barack will be discarded then as well. In fact, you saw how that will play out this year. Bill Clinton was dubbed the "first Black president" by Toni Morrison. But in 2008, when Barack could win it, a number of people rushed forward to strip Bill of his title (including 'fashion plate' -- ha ha -- Toni Morrison). The same rush will take place when a real Black person seems to have a genuine shot at the White House.

Until then, the half-White, White raised Barry Obama will be allowed to stand in as Black because the establishment wants it and the Black community isn't ready yet to stand up. Someday soon, as Judy Collins sings, someday soon.

Rating the presidential campaign offices

Dear Nader Supporters,
Ralph Nader will appear on MSNBC on Sunday, November 9th, from 11:15 to 11:30 EST.
Please tune in to hear Ralph's thougths on the 2008 presidental election and what his next steps will be moving into 2009.
The Nader Team

That e-mail hit inboxes Saturday afternoon and along with offering a heads up, it gives us an opportunity to comment on some of the independent and third party presidential campaigns as well as on the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. The top of the tickets on the candidates we're going to focus were Ralph Nader, Bob Barr, Chuck Baldwin and Cynthia McKinney.

During the lead up to the Democratic primaries (in 2007) we made a comment that needs to be repeated here: Your website is your online office.

That means it needs to be opened 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

That's even more true with regards to independent and third party presidential candidates because there are many areas of the country where they may not be able to open a physical office.

Best online office:

The Ralph Nader - Matt Gonzalez ticket.

Their website started off strong and would have been just fine if it had remained the same but instead they retooled it to give it a different look. They also never stopped thinking of ways to draw attention and to provide new content. It was easy to navigate and provided a variety of mediums: audio, video and text.

Worst online office:

The Chuck Baldwin - Darrell Castle ticket.

Was the election in September? No. Then why did they stop posting new content then? And when October posting finally started, why did it result in so few postings? The Constitution Party is a conservative party and apparently they were trying to 'conserve' the chances that anyone would learn of their ticket.

In the middle?

Bob Barr's was professional but updated too infrequently. Cynthia McKinney's started out an eye-sore (as noted online in plenty of places outside this community) and was retooled. It was a successful makover appearance wise. It could have used more content and it could have used linkable posts for new items.

Over before the election was?

Not just Chuck Baldwin. Mid-way through the last week of October, the Cynthia McKinney - Rosa Clemente ticket's website was down and did not come back up before election day. (It was back up the day after the election.)

Freedom of Speech Award?

The John McCain - Sarah Palin ticket's website. Unlike at the Barack Obama - Joe Biden website, you could disagree with McCain and/or Palin. You could disagree, you could say there was no way you would vote for them. You weren't censored for that. Your comment didn't quickly disappear. Every post on the campaign's blog allowed for comments and it was a rare post that didn't find several people weighing in that they didn't care for McCain or Palin or both.

Online Team?

Matt Lira at McCain - Palin busted his ass and deserves special attention, he's not the only one. Nader - Gonzalez' Jason Kafoury, Ashley Sanders and Loralynne Krobetzky made their presence felt online. Yeah, Barack had a blogger as well. Surprisingly, he didn't impress us one bit.


Nader - Gonzalez won hands down. McCain - Palin offered none because they didn't raise funds. McKinney - Clemente were raising funds but did not have an online store for their merchandise. (You were referred to a third party vendor if you attempted to navigate their site in search of t-shirts, buttons, etc.) Nader - Gonzalez offered as many items as did the three front runners in the Democratic Party primary (Clinton, Edwards and Obama). Looking for a t-shirt? A ball cap? A sticker? A button? A mug? Whatever you were looking for, chances were you could find it at the campaign's online store and, unlike the Barack - Biden, you weren't required to sign over your first born.


Everyone runs for a reason. Can a person click on your site and immediately tell why you're running? In alphabetical order.

Chuck Baldwin? Not only was the message unclear to a casual visitor, it wasn't even clear they were running for office, let alone that Baldwin and Castle were running for the White House. "Let the truth be heard!" proclaimed the website and you'd have to click on some links to find out what 'truth' that was -- provided you didn't mistake it for some sort of conspiracy website. Baldwin's site stands out as the only campaign site whose homepage did not note what office the candidate was running for at the top of the page. Grade: C-minus.

Bob Barr? Did Bob and Chuck have the same photographer? They're certainly posed the same way; however, whomever cropped Chuck's photo did a better job making Chuck appear closer while Bob appears to shrink. Grade: C-plus.

John McCain? Best top of the page for everyone of their webpages. A photo of McCain and Palin and their logo. On every webpage during the campaign. Web fault? Despite complaints from bloggers that the display of campaign photos (slideshow) was not allowing for easy reposting, the campaign waited until last week to fix that. Grade: A.

Cynthia McKinney? After a really bad start online, her campaign site improved immensely and there was never any doubt that she was running an issues based campaign. The top item was almost always a hard hitting take on issues such as the death penalty, prison, the bailout, you name it. Grade: B.

Ralph Nader? If each page had featured Nader and Gonzalez' faces, it could have had an A. That was their only shortcoming. Yes, it's redundant but it's also effective. Grade: A-minus.

Barack Obama? Were Barack and Joe supposed to be starring in a same-sex remake of Lost Horizons? Or was the site promoting Georgia O'Keeffe knock-offs? Who knows, all this time later, who knows? Grade: C.

The 2008 presidential election is over

And it is finally over, election 2008 ended Tuesday and the last gas bag was still spewing.

Debate b

The winner of the votes was Barack Obama who will be sworn in as the next president of the United States in January.

Having run a sexist, homophobic, ageist campaign, it's hard to call Barack a 'winner.' Fortunately for him is his cult is both numerous and vocal. What they lack in logic and reason, they make up for with thuggery.

The second big vote getter was the McCain - Palin ticket. Senator John McCain and Govenor Sarah Palin.

McCain - Palin

Palin is seen as a strong voice in the Republican Party's future so naturally the press violates all the rules to spread a whisper campaign. No, The New York Times is not supposed to allow opponents to attack someone without coming forward. Strange that when they acknowledge that policy these days, it's usually when someone in the entertainment industry threatens to sue the paper. The threat of lawsuit will always force the paper to issue one of those, "Oops, we goofed. It is not our policy to allow character assaults to be launched by unnamed persons." Maybe Palin should threaten to sue?

The third largest vote getter was Ralph Nader.

Ralph Nader Marathon

Today, 11:15 EST, he will be on MSNBC.

Ralph's campaign has to go down as a success in our books because he was blocked out by the media, had to go around and did so effectively.

There's also another lesson that he may or may not have grasped but it's one the Green Party (Ralph ran as an independent, he is not part of the Green Party and hasn't been their nominee nationwide since 2000) needs to. Ralph got invited on ABC's This Week. Others not named "Obama" or "McCain" weren't so lucky. Today he'll be on MSNBC.

How's that happening?

Because reporting is conflict. If it's not conflict, it's a bulletin, a family letter.

Issuing bland or goo-goo congratulations to an opponent? Not going to led the news.

Nader got mainstream coverage when he dared question the Christ-child. It was frequently the only time the MSM nationally bothered to note his campaign. In an environment of Kool-Aid drinkers, he stood out.

There should be a lesson in that for all candidates in the 2008 race and in future races.

And you can count that among Ralph's many accomplishments. He showed how to run a campaign. He showed how to go up against an in-the-tank MSM and still come out on top. He wasn't the favorite 'dark horse' this year. The favored one was Bob Barr for 2008. But he still managed to make waves, get his message across and reach out to new voters.

While a number of people who have long been supportive of Ralph's presidential campaigns did stick on board this year, it's also true that he saw a huge influx of new supporters. And that came about because a message isn't spoken once to a response of everyone saying, "Oh. right!" It takes time to get a message out.

Seeds Ralph planeted in 2000 are only now beginning to sprout.

And each of his races has made it easier for independent and third party candidates.

This cycle he popularized the term "political bigotry." It's a term that needs to be popularized. There are no 'spoilers.' No votes are owned by anyone other than the individual voter (who only owns his or her vote). Votes are earned.

And Ralph Nader educated the country on that. Many of us are among the educated. Ralph got votes from many of us for the first time (Jess voted for Ralph in 2004). It was a good run, it was a noble run. It was an issue based campaign that was slammed, ignored and mocked.

And still Ralph got votes. And still Ralph stayed on the campaign trail. And still Ralph raised funds. And still Ralph raised issues. So we congratulate Ralph Nader, we congratulate his running mate Matt Gonzalez and we congratulate those Americans who -- whether they voted for him or not -- appreciated his running and listened when they could in spite of the media blackout.


Meanwhile, there's Barack singing in front of his mirror. "I love you . . . I honestly love you . . ."

TV with honesty

If CNN had the guts of The Onion, this is what the news cycle would look like.


This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"I Hate The War" -- most requested highlight. C.I.'s talking about the attacks in Iraq on the LGBT community.

"Back to earth Tiny Malice Alice" and "Return to the earth ALICE ASS WALKER" -- Betty and Kat do a joint-post. This post is discussed in this week's roundtable. (Betty says, "Do not miss C.I.'s evaluation of the liteary worth and works of Walker.")

"The Common Ills" -- A long week for everyone and Trina decided to skip recipes and just note where things stood and what she takes inspiration from.

"Her name is Barbra"-- Marcia is a music collector. She hears one artist she likes, she wants to know everything they've ever recorded. Rebecca just turned her on to Barbra Streisand and this post is a treat for music lovers.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Ms. Troll" -- Isaiah's hilarious comic on troll Robin Morgan.

"The cabinet, Robert Fisk" -- Elaine's Friday post noting Barack's manloving ways.

"Joshua Frank, Murphy, Cocktail Weinie Norman" -- Mike addresses the standing and the crawlers (Norman Solomon on the latter).

"My interview with Stan" -- Mike interviews community member Stan who just started his own website.

"And she smells like urine" & "THIS JUST IN! TINA FEY'S A SKANK!" -- Amazingly, some whiners e-mailed to object to this joint-post of Cedric and Wally's. Were these appropriate words? The subject's Tina Fey. The woman who used MILF on network TV. You know, the same phrase that kept Tori Amos' "Big Wheel" off radio just a year ago. And that was one of Fey's more positve terms.

"gail collins is an idiot" -- Rebecca analyzes the loons at NYT.

"Iraq" -- Ruth's Friday night Iraq post.

"Movies," "Good for Nader," "Stan 411" and "Robin Morgan" -- Stan started his site Thursday and we're highlighting all of his posts.

"The failures of 'leadership'" & "Some people always have to lose" -- If these two entries by C.I. hadn't appeared on the same day, one of them might have been able to knock out "I Hate The War" as the most requested. Instead, they come in second and third.

"gossip post" -- We liked Rebecca's gossip post and so did 30 readers who e-mailed this site asking for it to be included in highlights. Liz wrote, "I needed something light after the election. Thank you, Rebecca."

"Homophobe-In-Chief" & "NYT can't stop lying for Barack" -- Ruth and Kat explain how the same faction that elected Barack supports homophobia.

"La la la" -- Elaine and, yeah, a columnist in a newspaper did rip her post off.

"Jeremy Hammond, Shut up!" -- Marcia says what needs saying. Always.

"THIS JUST IN! JOKERS, LIARS AND 1 JOURNALIST!" and "Facts is hard!!!!" -- Wally and Cedric review their campaign press peers and find them grossly lacking.
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