Wednesday, February 06, 2008

When triangulating hurts people

I've never liked the Clintons. It started on that dark day- January 24, 1992- when Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton left the campaign trail to oversee the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a man so brain damaged that he left the dessert from his last meal so that he could have it after the execution. A columnist from the San Francisco Chronicle said in 2002
On that day in Arkansas, the Democratic Party also died. Its body is still with us, to be sure, but its heart and soul died 10 years ago.

In 1993, the heart and soul was put in its grave when President Clinton signed NAFTA.

In 1996, the grave was spat upon when Clinton signed the Telecommunications Reform Act. At the time, Clear Channel owned 40 radio stations. Today Clear Channel owns about 1200 stations, and the media business is dominated by a small handful of companies.

In 2000, the gravestone was kicked over when Clinton signed Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. Do your kids like their lead-tainted toys?

Hillary Clinton has done nothing to lead me to believe she is a different politician than her husband. She supported the war in Iraq "with conviction." Until September, she supported torture. In 2005, she went to Israel, and while standing at the apartheid wall, she stated, "This is not against the Palestinian people." At a recent debate, after Barack Obama said that we should not be scapegoating immigrants for our economic problems, Mrs. Clinton scapegoated immigrants for the plight of unemployed, urban African Americans.

Like her husband, Hillary is a politician who will inflict harm on others for her political gain. I support Barack Obama because he is willing to stand on principle. He opposed the war in Iraq from the start and he has always opposed torture.

Which brings me to cluster bombs. In 2006, an amendment was introduced to a defense bill to block funding for the Pentagon for cluster bombs unless it could ensure that the bombs would not be used in civilian areas. Cluster bombs contain small "bomblets" that explode on impact. Sometimes these bomblets do not explode on impact. When they are later found, sometimes by children, they can detonate.

Obama voted for the amendment to block the funding. Clinton voted against it.

David Rees, creator of the brilliant cartoon Get Your War On, said at HuffPo this week:
Amendment No. 4882 was an easy one to vote against: Who'd want to risk accusation of "tying the hands of the Pentagon" during a never-ending, global War on Terror? As is so often the case, there was no political cost to doing the wrong thing. And there was no political reward for doing the right thing.

But Senator Obama did the right thing.

Democrats have a cult of personality around the Clintons that I do not understand. Either they don't care about the issues I've mentioned here, which I don't believe, or they just don't know the Clintons' record.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

New blog, same blogger, new attitude

If you liked Nasty Little Man, you'll love Kinder Gentler Nation.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Quote of the day

"Are you mad, sir?"
--Michelangelo Signorile, talkshow host on Sirius OutQ, on Vice President Cheney's comment that the British withdrawal from Iraq is an "affirmation" that things are going well

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Why am I doing this?

Ok, I can't resist. I really don't want to write another post about Clinton and Obama, at least for a little while, but I just feel a pull to get this down. It must be the sports-like (or soap opera-like) tendencies of politics that makes it such a draw to watch and comment on.

Yesterday there was quite a dust-up between the campaigns of Senators Clinton and Obama. The Clintons were PO'ed that producer David Geffen, a former supporter and now Obama supporter, took shots at both Hillary and Bill in a column by Maureen Dowd of the NY Times (subscription required).

"Obama is inspirational, and he’s not from the Bush royal family or the Clinton royal family. Americans are dying every day in Iraq. And I'm tired of hearing James Carville on television."

"I don't think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person," Mr. Geffen says, adding that if Republicans are digging up dirt, they'll wait until Hillary's the nominee to use it. "I think they believe she's the easiest to defeat."

"It's not a very big thing to say, 'I made a mistake' on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can't(.)"

"Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it's troubling."

The Clinton camp, through the mouthpiece of communications director Howard Wolfson (who, frankly, should be fired immediately), suggested that Obama should apologize and return the money he brought in at a fundraiser sponsored by Geffen. Mind you, Geffen has no official position with the Obama campaign. He's just a high-profile supporter.

Then Wolfson went on Hardball last night and stated that when he speaks he speaks for "the campaign," not Hillary.

So break this down scientifically: The Clintons are suggesting that Obama should apologize for the comments of a supporter who has no position with the campaign, but when Clinton's communications director speaks, he is not speaking for her, he's speaking for "the campaign."

What this whole thing makes clear is that the Clinton campaign is scared, damn scared, that Obama resonates with the American people and is on the express to the nomination. And after garnering the support of Geffen, yesterday former Senator Tom Daschle endorsed Obama.

Hillary (or was it "the campaign"?) took some shots from the blogosphere for all of this.

The Huffington Post: Hillary's campaign would rather mudsling than get the facts straight

This wasn't the only ludicrous claim Wolfson made. He also suggested that the Obama campaign "put Mr. Geffen up to this." Does Wolfson really expect anyone to believe that David Geffen is taking his marching orders from the Obama campaign?

America Blog: Hillary is Sistah Souljah'ing the entire Democratic Party
It started with Hillary's unique experience on 9/11 - the day she witnessed the world falling apart while the rest of us went to Disneyland. Then yesterday we heard about how Hillary thinks terrorism is a bad thing, while her fellow Democrats think it's no big deal. And today we get an earful about those nasty rich Hollywood Jews - oh, sorry, I mean fags.

Could Karl Rove have written a better script?

It's becoming increasingly clear that Hillary isn't running as a new Democrat, she's running as as a non-Democrat. Her strategy seems to be attacking everything and everyone associated with the Democratic party, and especially its base - and using Republican talking points, at that - in order to somehow position Hillary as a modern-day Diogenes, independent, above-the-fray, alone in the wilderness, forever on the look-out for honest politics.

In other words, Hillary is Joe Lieberman.

(Note: America Blog, for those who are unfamiliar, is serious about LGBT rights. It's founder was one of the organizers of the Stop Dr. Laura campaign. Hence the sarcastic use of the word "fags.")

On top of all of this, Obama is asked to apologize for the comments of a supporter while Clinton refuses to apologize for her complicity in the deaths of 3,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Classy.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Quote of the day

"I'm suspicious of anything with 'Bill of Rights' attached to it."
--right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bigotry overload

I don't know how much hate I can take in one week.

First, there was Glenn Beck on Barack Obama:
BECK: Yeah, I -- you know, I was driving in today, and I was seeing -- because I saw this piece with him on 60 Minutes -- and I thought to myself, he is -- he's very white in many ways.


BECK: And I thought to myself: Gee, can I even say that? Can I even say that without somebody else starting a campaign saying, "What does he mean, 'He's very white?' " He is. He's very white.

Then there was Rush Limbaugh on Obama:
RUSH: So are we to conclude here that he didn't define himself as black, that the way he looks does? (Sigh.) Okay. We’ve got Obama's wife in here. We've got John Howard from Australia coming up, but, "I'm not sure I decided it"? Well, if you didn't decide it, then how did it happen?

Well, when you look like that, that's what you are.

Well, renounce it, then! If it's not something you want to be, if you didn't decide it, renounce it, become white!

Tonight on Countdown Keith Olbermann called this "sleek racism" and noted for a group of people who keep saying that we need to get beyond race they sure are obsessed with race.

Let's face it. The Re-thug-nicans are scared as hell about Obama. They know he brings something to the people that no Re-thug can. Hope.

And finally there was retired NBA player Tim Hardaway:
On a Miami radio show Wednesday, Hardaway was asked how he would interact with a gay teammate.

"First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team," the former Miami Heat star said. "And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room."

When show host Dan Le Batard told Hardaway those comments were "flatly homophobic" and "bigotry," the player continued.

"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people," he said. "I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."

This comment comes on the heels of former Penn State and NBA player John Amaechi coming out in his new book. The NBA wisely banished Hardaway from its All-Star festivities this weekend.

This is what happens when conservatives rule our government and our media.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Iraq, Hillary's albatross

Senator Clinton's stance on Iraq and her explanation on her resolution vote are not flying. Prediction: Clinton will not win the Democratic presidential nomination due to Iraq.

In the last week, she has taken hits from Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and America Blog.

Perhaps most disturbing of all is the Clinton team invoking 9/11 as justification for her Iraq war resolution vote.

Arianna Huffington:
Its latest explanation/rationalization? 9/11 made her do it! That's right, the Clinton camp is now reading out of the Bush administration's wing-and-a-prayer book.

John at America Blog:
I have no idea what Senator Clinton was trying to telegraph in her speech - who exactly doesn't think that we're engaged in a war against heartless enemies? - but speaking as a blog that has a pretty damn good record of treating her fairly, she really crossed the line on this one.

Don't question our patriotism, and don't talk like George Bush, or this is going to be a very problematic race.

And Markos at Daily Kos:
Arguing that since New York was hit, we had to bomb the fuck out of a country that had nothing to do with it, then invade it and lose what will eventually be a trillion dollars and countless lives is really not an endearing argument.

It seems the Clinton team doesn't realize that they are in a different world than they were in 1996. What you could get away with then you cannot get away with now.

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The Joker, William Kristol

I'm losing my patience with TIME magazine over the regular appearances of William Kristol and think it's time to take some consumer action.

The letter below is in reference to this comment by Kristol in his most recent TIME column:
Then last Sunday Clinton, under pressure from antiwar activists in Iowa, reacted indignantly to matter-of-fact statements by Bush that the broader war on terrorism--and the war in Iraq--wouldn't be resolved by the time his successor took office. Clinton took offense

Here's my letter:

William Kristol has been wrong, dead wrong, on his analysis for four years, but he continues to appear in your magazine. Kristol has been so far off base that, in reference to his commentary on Iran, comedian Bill Maher said, "Hey, you know what, Nostrodamus? Why don't you sit this one out?"

Poor analysis is one thing. Using misinformation to make a point is another. Granted, it is the neo-clown playbook to mislead the public, but when Kristol does it in your magazine, it damages your credibility. In his most recent TIME column, Kristol implies that Senator Hillary Clinton believes the entire war on terrorism should be over by the end of the Bush presidency. This is not what Senator Clinton suggested. She suggested that it is irresponsible of President Bush to leave the mess in Iraq to the next president. And she is absolutely right.

I am a 33-year-old middle class consumer, the very kind of customer magazines like your’s are desperate to hang onto. But I can take no more Kristol. Cancel his contract or cancel my subscription.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The power of diplomacy

This story should be blaring across the front page of every American newspaper for days.

North Korea agrees to wind down nuclear program

North Korea agreed Tuesday after arduous talks to shut down its main nuclear reactor and eventually dismantle its atomic weapons program, just four months after the communist state shocked the world by testing a nuclear bomb.

The deal marks the first concrete plan for disarmament in more than three years of six-nation negotiations, and could potentially herald a new era of cooperation in the region with the North's longtime foes -- the United States and Japan -- also agreeing to discuss normalizing relations with Pyongyang.

And it happened without a single bomb being dropped. It happened by talking with those with whom we disagree. Despite the rhetoric of some, war is not always the answer. In fact, it's rarely the answer.

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Quote of the day

"They can't find anything on this guy because he's been right on the issues from the time he started talking about them."
--Ed Schultz, radio talk show host, on Senator Barack Obama

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