Friday, February 8, 2008

Overheard at the gym

First, a disclaimer...I would very much prefer not to overhear other people's conversations at the gym. I try to go at least twice a week, three times if I'm lucky, and what I want to do is get in the pool and move. I'm not much of a swimmer, but I used to take water aerobics classes, and now I just go to the pool when I have the opportunity and do "freestyle water aerobics for one". I don't ask for much--I just want my own little spot near a wall where I can just do my thing and tune everybody else out. If conditions are right, that's where I can do some of my best creative thinking. But if people within earshot are having a conversation, then conditions are most definitely not right, and I can't seem tune them out no matter how hard I try.

I was actually in the shower, not the pool, so I couldn't see who was talking, but I had passed some older women on the way to the shower. Several of them--I'm guessing at least three--were having a conversation that I kept catching bits and pieces of...

"I stayed up way too late last night watching the returns."
"So, what do you think?"
"I don't knooow!"
"Well, our governor has endorsed Clinton."
"I'm not ready for a woman president."
"Me neither."
At this point, I *really* wanted to be able to tune out, because I was afraid I might hear something that would annoy me enough that I'd feel compelled to butt into their discussion. But the water wasn't loud enough to drown them out, so as I finished up my shower, I heard the conversation turn to the subject of women priests, and how one of the women had a friend who is one, but, "something about that is just not right." Also, apparently the women's movement is to blame for "the mess we're in today". Whatever that is.

But I wouldn't be sharing this story with you now, if it didn't have a positive twist. Here it comes. One of the women said (paraphrased)

"I used to think like that. Then my husband left me when I was 40, and I was totally unprepared to support myself. I vowed that I would never again let myself end up in that situation. ... Sometimes your situation changes, and then you change."
I didn't hear what the other women said in response, but inside I was saying "Right on, sister!" Because every day, in small ways we have opportunities to speak up and give the other side of the story. And an alternative perspective, when shared by "someone like you" has a better chance of taking root and possibly, as time goes on, softening (or even changing) some of the judgments people make.

God Picks McCain

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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I must admit I was a tad surprised that Mitt Romney pulled out of the race. I at least expected him to go another week before wimping out. All of those millions gone and for what? A bronze medal?

I overheard someone say "America is ready for a Black President, but not a Mormon one." I think the correct statement should be "America is ready for a President, not another corporate fascist."

Yes, oh Lordy, I know Mitt saved the winter Olympics. So what? The Olympic Committee was not waging a global, multi-trillion dollar war - they were just trying to get stoned snowboarders to the venue on time. The ability to pull off event management is one thing, but being able to convince the American people that you have Reagan DNA is another matter.

Thank goodness God only made ONE Ronald Reagan - we don't need another.

The Tipping Point, Superdelegates, Obama, Billary and Democracy in America

AAPP: The Democratic Party and/or its Superdelegates, just may try to shut Barack Obama out of the Presidency. It's the color scheme stupid.

The writing is on the wall
. Denver may be the scene of another 1968 like Democratic National Convention. That's if
superdelegates, party leaders, members of congress and other VIP's get an automatic vote on the Democratic Convention floor for a brokered convention. Meaning the winner of the pledged delegates who represent the popular votes across America (which will probably be Obama) loses to the candidate who has the most superdelegates (which will probably be Billary Clinton). So, America, it would appear the Fix just might be in. The Democratic Party and/or its Superdelegates, just may try to shut Obama out of the Presidency. This should alarm the American Democratic electorate. It just may cause a Revolt against the Democratic Party rules not seen since the days of Fanny Lou Hammer and Hubert Humphrey.

This has the makings of ugly
Democratic Politics that may destroy allegiances of progressive voters to the Democratic Party. The question many black bloggers, including the blog What About Our Daughters is asking; Will Barack Obama pull a "Fannie Lou Hamer" or Will he take ne for the team?

But it's just not black bloggers, as John DeSio writes in the Village Voice "Barack Obama’s is locked in a virtual tie for convention delegates with slim delegate lead over Hillary Clinton, but Democratic Party rules could still shut him out of the presidential nomination despite his strong performance in the primaries."

John Desio goes on to write, "At issue are so-called “superdelegates,” former and current elected officials and other Democratic power-players who are appointed as delegates to the party’s national convention and can choose their preferred candidate with no regard for how their state has voted. New York’s superdelegates include, among others, former President Bill Clinton, United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and every Democratic member of the State’s congressional delegation.

Within the primary voting system Obama has put together a small lead over Clinton, with 635 delegates compared to her 630, according to CNN, though other counts vary. But Clinton has maintained a strong majority of those superdelegates that have made their official pledge, and leads Obama 783-709 when those numbers are factored in (other superdelegate counts give Clinton a larger lead.)

Obama is well aware of the disparity and has sent a message to the Democratic establishment on those superdelegates, stating that they "would have to think long and hard about how they approach the nomination when the people they claim to represent have said, 'Obama's our guy.'" Obama’s message is clear: do not subvert the will of the people.

The superdelegate system used by the Democrats was put into effect during the 1970’s, as a means for party officials to maintain their influence in the face of reforms that arose from the 1972 presidential campaign of former senator and liberal stalwart George McGovern, said Tom De Luca ,a professor of political science at Fordham University.

The superdelegates are bound to nothing but their own opinions, said De Luca, and make up a strong 20 percent of the total Democratic delegate count of 4,049. Should Clinton’s lead among superdelegates vault her to the nomination, despite her defeat to Obama at the hands of the people, it could mean trouble for Democrats in November.

“I think it would be very, very bad for the Democrats,” said De Luca. “It might really demobilize some of the Obama constituency in the November election, which could well be very close.”

Harlem State Senator Bill Perkins was the first New York elected official to forsake his hometown senator and endorse Obama’s campaign, and he too is concerned that the will of the people could be cast aside at the convention, all in the name of party politics. Obama’s campaign is one of hope, said Perkins, and those hopes could be dashed by the superdelegate system, shutting Obama out of his rightful nomination “not on the basis of merit.” More here

I agree with David Sirota and his Huffington post article, A Short-Term Solution to the Potential Superdelegate Problem, Americans need to find out who their Superdelegates are in their state, and then start putting pressure on them. As David said, We've got to get ahead of this thing before the horse-trading and backroom dealing starts. We have to watch out and make sure Billary Clinton does not try to buy or steal the election. The message needs to be sent out. Superdelegates: We Are Watching You

AAPP: Here is more historic information on the Superdelegates.


Who: A superdelegate is a Democratic Party representative who carries an independent vote going into a national convention. He or she can be a former elected, or party, official or a current officeholder. A superdelegate is not bound to vote in line with party primary elections or caucus decisions.

How many: The Democratic Party has just fewer than 800 superdelegates headed to the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The exact number of superdelegates is fluid until March 1. They will account for about 20 percent of delegate voting at the convention.

The GOP: The Republicans give each state and protectorate three unpledged delegates: the state party chair, a committeeman and a committeewoman. Also, there are some GOP state parties, such as Colorado's, whose primaries or caucuses are meant to guide pledged delegates but do not bind them to the popular vote.

History: In 1984, Walter Mondale persuaded the Democratic Party to create superdelegates while running as the party's establishment candidate. The Republican system evolved after reforms in both parties in 1972.

Why: Democrats banned winner- takes-all contests in the 1980s to apportion support so that underdog candidates had a fighting chance. But the invention also shelters party front-runners from being overwhelmed by unknown candidates who surge from behind. The real aim is to head off protracted fights on the convention floor, keeping some power for party insiders.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

BREAKING: WMDs have been found!

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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The war against John McCain continues with irrational outbursts from all the usual suspects and now that their rhetoric has run out of steam, they are starting to quote from Matt Welch's McCain: The Myth of a Maverick. This book details what the progressives have known about McCain all along - he is just another nutcase from the political right.

Not a new revelation at all, check out a post on the Carpetbagger Report from 2005:

McCain is a typical conservative Republican. That’s how he refers to himself, and that’s what his voting record shows him to be. On at least one issue, abortion, McCain is to the right of President George W. Bush. In 2000, McCain received backing from Religious Right honcho Gary Bauer after Bauer left the race. Bauer backed McCain because McCain promised him that he would apply an anti-abortion litmus test to Supreme Court nominees. Bush, by contrast, would not go that far.

Prior to his falling out with the Christian Coalition, McCain was much beloved by that group and once received an award from its Arizona Chapter. I predict McCain will, prior to the 2008 run, bend over backwards to kiss and make up with these fanatics. (The New Yorker article agrees with me on this point.)

Sure, McCain worked with Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform and has taken a few other moderate stands. But he’s basically a conservative Republican who will move toward the right to please GOP primary voters.

And this is the disconnect for me. With all the GOP bonafides that comes with McCain and McCain's wide support on the campaign trail, I can't figure out why the far right want the man dead. Why the doom and gloom?

Could it be his balking of ONE tax cut bill? Could it be as childish as that?

Knowing that crowd, it just might be.


Black SuperDelegates: If your voting constituency in your district overwhelmingly voted for Barrack Obama, you owe it to your voting constituency to vote for Barack Obama at the National Convention. We know who you endorsed. Have no doubt we are watching you! PS: White and Latino SuperDelegates representing black constituencies should do the same. We know who you are too. You will be held politically accountable for your actions

AAPP: Today I received a comment on my blog by one of my readers, wrote: "Black politicians who have pledged their super delegates to Hillary over Obama amounts to a smack in the face to the black electorates. Black super delegates must vote in accordance with the aspirations of their black electorate which has overwhelming decided that they prefer Obama over Hillary. I for one will not vote for any black elected official who casts their super delegate for Hillary when the overwhelming aspiration in my congressional district is for Obama. Black people across the country should put their black leaders on notice. : Black Super Delegates belong to the people black officials represent.
Siddhi Shonibare, whoSiddhi Shonibare's remarks were as timely as the article by Judge Greg Mathis who noted in his recent commentary: As the Candidates Cross the U.S. Seeking Votes, Keep your eyes on the super delegates.

Judge Mathis also noted in BlackAmericaWeb Superdelegates are elected officials -- members of the House, senators and others -- who cast votes at the party conventions. Because of their positions as government leaders, they are not bound by the votes of their constituents; they are free to cast a vote for whomever they choose. If a particular candidate can win their support, they can also win the nomination, no matter what that state’s voters decided in their primary elections.

For example, a candidate could come in second in a large state but, if they have enough superdelegates on their side, they could lock up that state’s nomination.

How does this affect African-Americans? The fight for the Democratic nomination is especially tight and, historically, blacks have voted Democratic because the party generally supports social justice issues that affect our day-to-day lives. If, as a voter, you’ve selected one candidate over another, and so have the rest of the voters in your state, you’d rightly expect them to receive the state’s votes for the nomination. It will be an insult to your sensibilities to learn that, because of behind-the-scenes politicking, the votes instead went to the second place finisher.

The nation’s democratic process will only work if the votes of its citizens truly count. Both the 2000 and 2004 elections have proven to this country what can happen when the voices of the people are ignored.

How can you make sure your state’s superdelegates reflect your interests at the Democratic National Convention in August? Call them. Write them a letter. Send them an email. Let them know you expect them to do their job, which is to reflect your interests as a constituent.


Judge Greg Mathis is national vice president of Rainbow PUSH and a national board member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Cross posted on African American political Pundit

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Liberal John McCain and other Limbaugh Fantasies

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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I know a lot of you avoid Rush Limbaugh like a case of burning genital itching, but there have been odd things coming out of the tarnished EIB microphone of late. Limbaugh, Hannity and the clean, Disneyesque Michael Savage have all been on a rampage to discredit John McCain and talk Republicans out of voting for him.

"Romney is the true conservative" they cry.

"John McCain is more liberal than Hillary Clinton" they wail.

By the looks of it, their gnashing of teething didn't help Romney on Super Tuesday. The only person Romney is ahead of is Ron Paul.

You got to give props to McCain for his tenacity. The man went from the GOP darling to broke because of his stance on immigration - almost overnight. Most of his staff was laid off - some joked he didn't have enough money to fill the gas tanks of the Straight Talk Express. But he hung in there - took on step at a time, climbed over the carcases of Fred Thompson and others to emerge as the front runner last night. Super Tuesday was super to John McCain. I also think the moderate GOPers feel betrayed by Bush and now know how ruthless Bush was to McCain in 2000 - there may be some payback.

What really shocks me however is the absolute lack of performance for the talk radio idiots to move Romney up. Could it be after years of lying to the public, the Right Wing woke up and figured out they were being lied to?


When the likes of Ann Coulter endorses her arch-enemy, Hillary Clinton, you know the shit has hit the fan.

P.S. I have made a font change for the strip. Please let me know if it is better than the previous font. Also, this is the first appearance of Mitt Romney.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Obama Fathered A Black Child!

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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This past Sunday, my wife and I were having a bite to eat at a local burger joint when the table next to us started talking about how Barack Obama was a Muslim.

This is a result of the sleaze campaigning tactic known as push-polling or robo-polling.

Anyone who stoops to this level doesn't deserve a seat in a democratic government. Which brings me to Hillary Clinton. The LA Times is reporting there is a Pro-Clinton push poll going around California.

Ed Coghlan was just starting to prepare his dinner in the northern San Fernando Valley the other night when the phone rang. The caller was very friendly. He identified himself as a pollster who wanted to ask registered independents like Coghlan a few questions about the presidential race and all the candidates for Super Tuesday's California primary.

Ed, who's a former news director for a local TV station, was curious. He said, "Sure, go ahead."

But a few minutes into the conversation Ed says he noticed a strange pattern developing to the questions. First of all, the "pollster" was only asking about four candidates, three Democrats -- Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, who was still in the race at the time -- and one Republican -- John McCain.


Every question about the other candidates was negative. If Ed knew, for instance, that as a state senator Obama had voted "present" 43 times instead of taking a yes or no stand "for what he believed," would Ed be more or less likely to vote for him?

"That's when I caught on," said Coghlan. He realized then that he was being push-polled. That malicious political virus that is designed not to elicit answers but to spread positive information about one candidate and negative information about all others under the guise of an honest poll had arrived in Southern California within days of the important election.

This is sad to see... sowing the voters with lies and falsehoods. If you can't win an election on the facts, you must not have much of a campaign platform.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Another Reason to Hate Hillary

Appearing at The Jaundiced Eye, the Independent Bloggers' Alliance, and My Left Wing.

She wants to pick your pocket.

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday she might be willing to have workers' wages garnisheed if they refuse to buy health insurance to achieve coverage for all Americans.

The New York senator has criticized presidential rival Barack Obama for pushing a health plan that would not require universal coverage. Clinton has not always specified the enforcement measures she would embrace, but when pressed during a television interview, she said: "I think there are a number of mechanisms" that are possible, including "going after people's wages, automatic enrollment."

Clinton said such measures would apply only to workers who can afford health coverage but refuse to buy it, which puts undue pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms. Under her plan, she said, health care "will be affordable for everyone" because she would limit premium payments "to a low percent of your income."

Because we all know how good the federal government is at determining what is affordable for average American workers. Just ask all those "Welfare to Work" mothers. Of course it may be hard to reach them between shifts of the two or three jobs many of them work to keep their kids clothed, fed and in daycare.

Yes, Hillary, in her infinite wisdom, has deduced that the ones responsible for our broken health care system aren't insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies or employers who are slashing benefits and pay raises, simultaneously. It's those flush workers who just refuse to pay for insurance.

Make no mistake. This is yet another Republicrat idea designed to utterly fuck the middle class.

But, if Obama is smart, he will take this ball and run with it, because Hill has just handed him a hell of a campaign issue right before Super Tuesday. "Hillary wants to garnish your wages." It just writes itself.