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.

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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?