Even Cats Show Hillary Obama Divide Perfectly

This is beyond ridiculous. Here I am, with about 10,000 things I want to post about, and the first thing that pops to mind is this excellent post of Bob Harris’s:

As I’ve pointed out a bit on my own site, this large difference in small communication skills is visible everywhere in the Obama and Clinton campaigns — amusingly, right down to their e-mail sign-up buttons. (Obama’s says, invitingly, “Learn More.” Clinton’s says, dourly, and playing directly into every negative stereotype about her, “Submit.”)

I’ll be revisiting the main thrust of his argument later. But for now, consider that, the warm inviting nature of Obama’s rhetoric and campaign, vs the very serious, almost grouchy nature of Clinton’s. Now, observe, thanks to cute overload. Clinton:

vs Obama:

The image for Obama is predominantly warm yellows and oranges.  Support is indicated with a shirt on a cat.  The image for Clinton is predominantly shades of gray, and support is indicated with a book.

Its like the supporters who submitted each photo have internalized the rhetorical style and personality of their candidates.

Biblically Justified Rape

Neil has very cleverly titled post, and I was perusing it when a line struck me sideways (emphasis mine):

Aside from the verses below and the fact that the Bible never claims perpetual virginity for her, it would have been a sin for Mary not to have sex with Joseph.

Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

1 Corinthians 7:5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Sex in marriage is not sinful!  To put such emphasis on the myth of her perpetual virginity is to be make Puritans look downright worldly.

I think Neil is dead on in his interpretation here.  The Christian Bible is clearly stating that once married one must have sex if one partner wants to.  Even if one partner does not want to.  How is that not Rape?

Now imagine the separation of Church and State dissolving, and the Bible becoming a legal text.  Would a theocratic United States amend laws against rape to exclude married couples?

WHNT Censors Politically Sensitive Story

It appears that in addition to sending a politician to jail for his politics (and overriding the will of the people and smashing their right to vote), conservatives are trying to censor the story (WriteChic):

Several blogs and viewers at the CBS website are complaining that the Don Siegelman segment was blocked out in the city of Huntsville (WHNT) and parts of the Mobile market. WHNT said there were having transmission difficulties.

Larisa Alexandrova writes at the Huffington Post:

In other words, in the United States of America, a man is imprisoned for being a Democrat. When reporters attempt to get this story out, they are threatened and smeared. When all else fails, the public is not allowed to see the news.

If you happened to miss the segment you can see it online at CBS. CBS reported federal prosecutors suppressed exculpatory evidence and lied about it to a federal judge in the Siegelman case. That’s huge.

Its damn huge. It means our right to vote means shit if we elect the “wrong” person to office.

UPDATE: Harper’s Scott Horton talked to CBS News in New York they said, “there is no delicate way to put this: the WHNT claim is not true. There were no transmission difficulties.”

This is straight up censorship of a news story with chilling implications for this country.

I want to know who at WHNT made the call to censor this story, and why.

Nader’s Harmful Run

Why should someone with politics to the left of Barack Obama suggest supporting Nader’s run is a waste of time?

(Note: Tom Tomorrow’s decision to not support a Nader run is significant.  He was an eloquent Naderite in 2000.)

After all, while both Hillary and Obama have the same take on universal health care (have people pay for it, don’t move to a single payer model as if we actually cared about our citizens), and Nader would without a doubt share my positions from health care onto the war and media reform, I still cannot support his run.

Why?

The spoiler effect, a condescending meme by which we blame people who voted their conscience for the inability of candidates to compete and fight, hides a valid reason behind it. Al Gore didn’t lose in 2000 because of Ralph Nader. He lost because the election was close enough to steal, and at the time he was too much of a coward to fight it. And we have paid the price. We don’t have to worry about Nader taking so many votes McCain wins. We must worry about Obama losing enough votes to Nader to allow the election to be stolen, and to then sit back and let that happen. If Barack Obama has the skill and the indomitable spirit to fight, he will not lose this election even if Nader campaigns like crazy.

Nader’s run, however, is problematic from a rhetorical standpoint. He knows he is going to lose. Very badly. And yet his run is supposed to be the voice of the left in this country? His run will undoubtedly point out that the Democratic party has brought this on itself, and that it deserves the consequences. Well, yes and no Mr. Nader. You see, the Democratic party will not suffer in a vacuum. If we lose to John McCain in 2008, then we will all suffer, greatly. Can’t he see another 4 to 8 years of endless war, unjust ideologues appointed to every court up to the SCOTUS, and further attacks on civil rights, liberties, and our economic stability? Doesn’t he understand how many people that will hurt, that will kill?

Nader’s run projects an image of callousness to the consequences of a loss, and it aligns the image of authentic left wing politics with that callousness, and loss on top of it all. That is the problem with Ralph Nader’s run.

So what should Ralph Nader do? I think he should begin by asking himself an old and familiar question. Why did liberals like Gravel, Edwards and Kucinich lose so damn badly in the primaries? Why did they lose when most of America has progressive positions on the key issues of our day? When we all share a left-wing legacy that fought the robber barons and established peace when our own streets ran with the blood of dissent? He knows, as do we: The media. Here’s a throwback to 2000. Note the section on the media (a Guerilla News Network Video):

And as long as that media stranglehold exists, a third party run for office is meaningless. Nader should be quietly meeting with Obama about the FCC. Remember, we own the airwaves.

But right now Ralph, you are in the race. So if a man who cast his first vote for President for you in 2000 can offer advice, stay in the race at least until there is a single Democratic candidate. Focus on attacking the destructive conservative policies of John McCain and the media oligarchy. Then when Barack Obama becomes the nominee, withdraw with a flourish. Use the rhetoric of the unexpected and the unorthodox to gain attention and push Obama’s campaign up while pulling McCain’s campaign down. We cannot afford to lose this one Ralph. The consequences for the country are too devastating to sacrifice for the sake of another wake up call to the Democratic party. A wake up call they will likely ignore once again. We need to find a new way to get through.

American Slave Labor

This should be getting a lot more play in the news:

The thirty workers from San Luis Potosi in Mexico have have been living with all-too-typical slave-like conditions — with their passports held by their vicious “employer,” wages as low as $2 an hour and constant threats of deportation (even though they are part of a legal “guest worker” program). The exploitation and mistreatment was brutal. Their strike started on Valentine’s day, with organizing help from the local Workers’ Center for Racial Justice.

This video shows a delegation of African American supporters (from the Alliance of Guest Workers for Dignity) confronting this utter pig, Charles “Bimbo” Relan. Bimo then fired the striking workers. And hunted by the U.S. authorities — they are in hiding in New Orleans. Bimbo has (predictably) not been charged with anything — even though holding the passports of workers is a classic case of felony “human trafficking.”

You can read more here.  Immigration reform is a sick joke, unless there are laws and enforcement to give crimes like consequences.

How Purity Invites Murder

The word theocracy is a powerful one.  It brings to mind the prospect of a religious authority ruling people.  And religious control of politics is always that: rule.  It is a single authority exercising its will on the people.

A subtler form may also take root.  This unfortunate news via Pandagon:

I suppose this was inevitable, but the growing movement of doctors and pharmacists who decide that you’re not worthy of medical treatment if you’re female and engaging in sexual behavior they disapprove of has reached the point where some doctors are refusing to perform Pap smears on unmarried women. I guess you probably don’t really need one if you’re a virgin, because they’re looking for cervical cancer, which is linked to HPV, which is sexually transmitted. For the people who think unwanted pregnancy and STDs are just the proper punishment for unmarried, sexually active women, it follows that death from cervical cancer should go on the “punishments for sluts” list.

Make no mistake about this.  Doctors are refusing to perform a vital medical test on women they personally do not believe should be having sex.  From the article:

To look for answers, I turned to Patricia LaRue, Executive Director at Canadians for Choice, to see what she could tell me if doctors have the right to refuse ANY procedure that they see as going against their religion.  She reminded me that doctors have a “conscience clause,” allowing them to refuse prescriptions for birth control, abortion, and now pap smears.  The conscious clause is put in place by the Canadian Medical Association so that physicians are not forced to act in any way that goes against their personal beliefs.

If a women is denied a vital medical service, and then dies, the doctor is directly responsible for her death.  This is no different than a doctor refusing to help a gunshot victim or test the swollen lymph nodes of a patient because of the color of his skin.

For me, this goes beyond the question of whether or not a person may cite religious objections when going directly against the Hippocratic Oath. I wonder, what kind of religion comes from such a place of cold arrogant judgment that its adherents believe they have the right to commit murder?

The obsession over purity is really an obsession over a lack of control.  A control that should be forever beyond the reach of governments and churches.

How long until doctors claim the right to refuse to treat homosexuals?  Until people of other faiths are off-limits?  Will everything from the Ten Commandments to the most obscure line in scripture become justification for refusing to stand by the Hippocratic Oath?

NY Times: Confused Pictures of Hillary Clinton

Reading a New York Times piece on Hillary, some sections jumped out at me (emphasis mine):

If she is not temperamentally suited to reckon with the possibility of losing quite yet, advisers say, she is also a cold, hard realist about politics — at some point, she is known to say, someone will win and someone will not.

This is an interesting rhetorical double shot. The New York Times essentially said Hillary Clinton is too mushy and emotional to handle the race, oh and by the way, is a completely cold and rational bitch who can totally handle the race. What the hell, Patrick Healy? You’re playing the weak woman and the “bitch” card at the same time?

His article isn’t entirely without merit. This quote alone is worth it (Emphasis mine):

“She has a real military discipline that, now that times are tough, has really kicked into gear,” said Judith Hope, a friend and informal adviser to Mrs. Clinton, and a former chairwoman of the New York State Democratic Party. “When she’s on the road and someone has a negative news story, she says, ‘I don’t want to hear it; I don’t need to hear it.’ I think she wants to protect herself from that and stay focused.

For someone who frequently compares her opponent to Bush, this is quite the revelation!

“That said, she knows that there will be an end,” Ms. Hope said. “She is a very smart woman.”

Thanks for clearing that up Judith Hope. Gosh, I wonder if all her advisors are this insightful?

O’Reilly: Context is Everything

That’s Bill O’Reilly’s late apology for his lynching remarks:

O’Reilly’s exact words:

“While talking to a radio caller, I said there should be no lynching in the case, that comment off Clarence Thomas saying he was the victim of a high tech lynching (he said that on 60 Minutes, you may remember). I’m sorry if my statement offended anybody. That, of course, was not the intention. Context is everything.”

What context could possibly make this look good?

finally, the apology: on his show last night, Bill O’Reilly apologized for saying, “I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence.”

Let’s use the magic of blogging technology to find out! First, the full quote:

“I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that’s how she really feels — that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever — then that’s legit. We’ll track it down.”

(note: context is utterly made up from this point onwards)

Hmmm. That still seems kinda racist Billo. Let’s try again:

Billo: Lynching was great for our system of Justice, only problem was a lack of evidence. You see, we needed a trial first, then the lynching. The dixie’s just got the order out of whack, that’s all. I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. So we have a trial for “unpatriotic speech”, and then an execution if she is found guilty.

Guest: By a jury of her peers?

Billo: Hell no. A jury of white Christian male media pundits.

Ok ok. How about:

Billo: Lynching is a metaphor, see, for killing a person’s respectability, their reputation. Dig? It’s all about perception man. I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. Then see, why should we like, listen to her?

Guest: Could that tact possibly backfire on you Bill?

Billo: Cut his mike!

There’s just gotta be some context that clears Bill O’Reilly’s good name. Golly gee wilikers, I’ve got it!

Billo: Given the disturbing amount of white supremacist activity aimed at Obama’s run for office, using language that applies that bigotry and hatred to the candidate is unforgivable. The media ought to be on the lookout for such perversions and “mistakes” made by high profile pundits, who are actually fueling the fire of extremists so afraid of Democracy they’d happily resort to the language and actions of fascism. How would your recognize this kind of attack? It could, for example, be couched as a defense of the intended victim, as follows: I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. See? See how that seems like I’m defending Mrs. Obama, when I’m actually engaging in wink-nod racism and eliminationism?

Guest: Shit, that’s clever!

Billo: Exactly. Oh God…. What if the liberal media take my media criticism of racist rhetoric out of context? My hard won reputation as a serious critic and unbiased, hard nosed opinion maker would be ruined!

And that must be what happened.

Media Trying to Resuscitate Clinton

She is the media’s candidate, the annointed front runner.  And she’s going down in the face of sincerity, optimism, and practical wisdom.  Barack Obama is winning, and desperate to prop up their favorite, the media is playing hard and fast:

Oftentimes, the write-ups read as if she received the night’s lone standing ovation.

“And at the right time… at the end… earning one of the only standing ovations in the 40-plus hours of debates,” wrote Marc Ambinder.”When she finished,” wrote Newsday, “the audience gave her a standing ovation that took many, including Obama, by surprise.”

“Was it a pivotal moment that could change the campaign, or the swan song of a candidate who may be nearing the end of her U.S. presidential bid?” reads the Reuters analysis. “Hillary Clinton’s concluding statement in a televised debate on Thursday drew a standing ovation from the audience and plaudits from analysts.”

But the response to the senator’s remarks, which came at the conclusion of the debate, may be getting exaggerated attention. “There were standing ovations in and out of almost every break,” a CNN debate producer told The Huffington Post. A review of debate video tape confirms this.

Not exactlyt he pivotal moment its being sold as.  The actual quote (emphasis mine):

Depending on your political vantage point, Sen. Hillary Clinton either resurrected her campaign, ripped a line off of John Edwards, or offered her valedictory address to voters when she declared: “Whatever happens, we’re going to be fine. I just hope that we’ll be able to say the same thing about the American people, and that’s what this election should be about.”

The Clinton camp trumpeted the quote as “the moment she retook the reins of this race,” and her words have received the preponderance of press attention from last night’s debate.

This is a soft reference to the politics of fear and security Clinton has been tapping into from day one of her campaign for President.  Its a gentle way of suggesting that without her in office, we are going to be in danger.  Its the same tactic McCain will use against the Democratic nominee in the general election.

The quote was a defining moment for Clinton.  She resorted once again to her old tricks, sharing a weakness with McCain:

In 1992, the Clinton campaign’s mantra was “It’s the economy, stupid”. This year, I think the Obama campaign’s should be “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. It’s hard to listen to McCain speak in the future tense and take it seriously when the man has no new ideas. Even worse for McCain, when late-night talkshows are already joking about him like he’s Mr. Magoo, you know he’s in for a rough nine months.

If this is the best Clinton’s campaign can do to gain the trust and enthusiasm of Democratic voters, her campaign is going to continue to crash and burn.

Obama’s Substance

I’ve seen this floating all over the internet, but I have to draw more attention to it.  This video is utterly fantastic.  I sent it to my Dad, and he was blown away.  If you are in doubt about who to support for office, or find yourself wondering about Obama’s substance and the intelligence of his supporters, watch this video.  If you already support the Senator, then this will leave you feeling ready to kick some serious ass.  Via Rafael and Nezua:

Another problem with our current system aside from cost, is the ability to turn people down for previous conditions.  Obama’s plan takes care of that too:

Guaranteed eligibility. No American will be turned away from any insurance plan because of illness or pre-existing conditions.

Get Involved.

Fight With the Sword and the Pen

The Rhettorical Butler presents a striking case for Obama’s rising support and Clinton’s flagging campaign (emphasis mine):

I watched bits of a debate recently (Bar v Hil)  in which one person raised her voice to speak over the other. She tried so hard to point out his flaws and smiled so hard I thought her face would fall off. Then, her opponent spoke in his dulcet tones about how she was wrong. It was interesting, because the one who looked less smug and more interested in actually speaking seemed more powerful and convincing to me. She was trying to put on a show, and he was trying to win an argument.

The sincerity factor is central to how we vote.  Sincerity brings trust.  Without it, our support for a candidate is filled with cynicism and apathy.  A candidate who is sincere invites trust, and with it hope, excitement, and activism.  (Emphasis mine):

I like the idea of a leader who wants change for the improvements it would bring, and not just for the sake of change. I like the concept of following someone who is intelligent and idealistic–I don’t want a president that has given up. I want someone who can give a speech without getting flustered or having to use mindless rhetoric to rise above the din. Someone who can see diplomacy before war, and who can present an idea without getting confused or convoluted, or mean. I want someone who will set an example and make a change, not just by using one resource, or one argument, or one idea. I want someone who will put together rhetoric with action. I want a commander in chief who can fight with the pen and the sword, and is willing to use his voice before all weapons.

Hillary Clinton’s failure on Iraq, her long road coming towards a very grudging anti-war position, and her hawkish position on Iran, show that she will resort to weapons before using her voice.  She is not a diplomacy first candidate.

Barack Obama is sincere, optimistic, and bold enough to wield the pen and the sword, but always present the pen first.  In this he is a striking opposite to both Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

Head on over and take a look at the rest of the post.

Fight Racism in Dulles VA

Are any readers near Dulles Virginia?  Want to take a stand against racism and white supremacy?  This weekend cowards and haters are holding their meeting in Dulles, near the airport (via Pam):

I guess the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Hotel is hard up for bucks if it’s decided that hosting a conference for white supremacists is a good business move.

The three-star Herndon, Virginia hotel will welcome the benign-sounding American Renaissance Conference (no, I’m not linking)  Feb. 22-Feb. 24. Subtitled “In the Name of Our People,” attendees can gather for an extraordinary weekend on “racial-realist thought” (I guess the whole supremacy thing has fallen out of favor). Read about it and see some of the speakers after the jump.

Resistance and Solidarity plans to fight back:

Resistance and Solidarity, a DC-based collective, plans to show up at the conference.
Continue reading

Oppose Bush, Go To Jail

We need to pay attention to the heavy implications of the Bush administration’s lawlessness.

Kagro X at Dailykos has the details (emphasis mine):

One of the most shocking stories to grow out of the U.S. attorney firing scandal was the case of Alabama’s former Democratic governor, Don Siegelman. Seigelman was convicted on corruption charges last year. That conviction, and the pressure that came from the Bush Justice Department to secure it, has been a focus of Congressional hearings, and now a 60 Minutes story that will air on Sunday.

Simpson spoke to Pelley because, she says, Siegelman’s seven-year sentence for bribery bothers her. She recalls what Rove, then President Bush’s senior political adviser, asked her to do at a 2001 meeting in this exchange from Sunday’s report.

“Karl Rove asked you to take pictures of Siegelman?” asks Pelley.

“Yes,” replies Simpson.

“In a compromising, sexual position with one of his aides,” clarifies Pelley.

“Yes, if I could,” says Simpson.

Simpson says she found no evidence of infidelity despite months of observation. She tells Pelley that Rove, who had been a top Republican strategist in Alabama, had made requests for information from her before in her capacity as an “opposition researcher” for Republicans running for office.

Siegelman’s supporters (which includes 52 former states’ attorneys general from both political parties) have been working with 60 Minutes for months to get this story aired in hopes that it will bring renewed interest in the case. Given that the show is going to air opposite the Academy Awards, that seems unlikely.

This man has bipartisan support from top legal officials.

Scott Horton has covered this story in excruciating detail over at Harper’s.

If you haven’t heard of this case, or aren’t 100% clear on its details, you owe it to yourself as an American, as a voter, or just as an educated, capable adult human being with any amount of political awareness, to make yourself familiar with this travesty. CBS will only go so far in helping you do it.

This really demonstrates the lengths to which Bush-Cheney’s hyper-politicized Department of Justice can go. If they can railroad the actual governor of a state into prison and have pretty much nobody really sit up and take notice, what does that say about the extent of the damage to the country? Not just the DOJ (which is a goner), but about the supposed watchdogs of the media, who’ve been in large part either cowed into silence, or distracted by an endless stream of shiny objects?

Seriously, this means they can do this to anybody.

If Bush and company successfully took down an elected official on false charges because of his politics, removing him from power and sending him to jail, then everyone involved should be removed from office and jailed, for a long time.  This is nothing less than the destruction of the democratic process for partisan gain.  Can you think of a greater treason against a government of the people, by the people, and for the people?

Talk Back, Walk Away: Get Tasered

Free Speech is a mere privilege when at the whim of authoritarian police officers.  If you dare to question an officer, you are asking to be arrested and potentially violently assaulted with a dangerous weapon.

Via Police Brutality Blog:

H/T MediaTakeOut.com who exclusively learned that last night in New Orleans, police officers beat, tasered and arrested R&B singer Tank. New Orleans Police Taser R&B Singer Tank!

MediaTakeOut spoke exclusively with Tank’s business associate Ira Dewitt, the CEO of Notifi Music Group, who witnessed the entire incident. Ira explained, “We were leaving the NBA All Star Game heading to an afterparty at the House Of Blues … we were walking in that direction and the cops came and completely blocked us.” She continued, “They got all in our face and got really belligerent … Apparently there was a shooting in the area. ”


That’s when, according to Ira – all hell broke loose. “Tank was like ‘Why are you gonna be like that’ and we started walking away. But they grabbed Tank and threw him against the wall. [The cops] bent one of his arms up and the other arm back and asked him to do something. Tank told them that he couldn’t and before you knew it there were three cops all over him … and they tased him.”

H/T The MIXX.com and Rhymes With Snitch are reporting on the arrest outside the House of Blues in New Orleans. Stereohyped is also reporting on this story, so is the blog Bossip.

If they can’t handle the responsibility of a deadly weapon like a taser, sub par officers like those that assaulted Tank should not be armed with them.  Given Tank and his friend were walking away when this happened, they clearly posed no threat.  This was done purely out of malice as a reaction to being questioned.  It was an abuse of authority, and the officers involved ought to be investigated and prosecuted.

Republicans Support the Troops

This striking image is from Harper’s (via Ruins of Empire):

It really is worth a thousand words.  Despite literally drowning in their blood, they just keep mindlessly repeating “support the troops” without budging even an inch to actually save them and end this war.