Clinton Followers Still Pose a Problem to Obama

August 14, 2008

Still sore from an epic primary battle, some of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s supporters aren’t buying the unity theme planned for the Democratic National Convention.

They weren’t mollified when nominee-in-waiting Barack Obama gave prime-time speaking slots to Clinton and her husband, the former president. Instead, they’re itching for a fight and plan to wage one in Denver.

One group intends to paper the city with fliers, promote a video detailing what they contend were irregularities in the nominating process and unleash bloggers to give their take on the proceedings. Another group has purchased newspaper advertisements demanding that Clinton be included in a roll-call vote for the nomination. Obama and Clinton announced Thursday that there will be such a vote.

“I am a very realistic woman,” said Diane Mantouvalos, co-founder of the Just Say No Deal Coalition. “I don’t think that anything is going to change, but I do think it is important to be heard, and this is our way of doing it.”

Some of the disaffected Clinton supporters are open to supporting Obama; many are not.

Obama needs Clinton’s supporters to beat Republican John McCain. Polls show that he has won over most of them. But some simply don’t like Obama or still feel Clinton was treated unfairly during the primaries.

These groups are not affiliated with Clinton, who has endorsed Obama and campaigned for him. Representatives from the Clinton and Obama campaigns said they are working to unify the party because Obama will champion issues important to Clinton supporters, such as reforming health care, improving the economy and ending the war in Iraq.

“Senator Clinton understands and appreciates that there are supporters who remain passionate, but she has repeatedly urged her supporters to vote for Senator Obama,” Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a swipe at the Clinton diehards Wednesday.

“I think Hillary Clinton has been very gracious,” the San Francisco Democrat told Bay Area talk show host Ronn Owens. “I think some of her supporters have been less than gracious.”

Nevertheless, many Clinton activists plan to voice their discontent in Denver.

Mantouvalos, a Miami public relations consultant, said her network is renting a 5,000-square-foot loft in Denver for its bloggers. Another outfit called The Denver Group is planning a reception the evening Hillary Clinton speaks at the convention. The group has been pushing for Clinton’s name to be placed in nomination.

In announcing that her name will be placed in nomination, Clinton said she hopes the vote will unite the party and lead to an Obama victory in November.

Heidi Li Feldman, co-founder of The Denver Group, said the roll call vote is necessary for Obama to get her support. But, she said, it’s insufficient.

“The only way a Democratic Party will have the credibility to elect a Democrat in November is if the party uses a legitimate process to choose its nominee,” said Heidi Li Feldman, co-founder of The Denver Group. “We are not per se a Clinton support group, we are a Democratic Party get-your-act-together support group.”

The movement has grown on the Internet, where bloggers and readers complain that Clinton was cheated out of the party’s nomination. The Web site for Just Say No Deal links to dozens of other sites criticizing Obama or supporting Clinton.

Some accuse Obama of manipulating party caucuses for extra delegates while others complain that Clinton was the victim of sexist party leaders or was mistreated by the media. Many vent over the way the party divvied up delegates from the Florida and Michigan primaries, two states that were punished for violating national rules and holding their contests early.

With the agreement of all Democratic candidates, the states were initially stripped of all their delegates for violating party rules by holding early primaries. None of the candidates campaigned in the two states, but Clinton won the two primaries and thereafter tried to get all the delegates seated.

The national party reinstated the delegates in May, but gave each a half vote. And it awarded Obama some Michigan delegates, although he had taken his name off that ballot because of the party’s initial decision.

With the nomination clinched, Obama said this month that he would seek to give both delegations full voting rights.

At the very least, the activists want Clinton’s name put in nomination, with a full roll-call vote. Some won’t be satisfied unless Clinton is declared the nominee – an unlikely prospect. Others would be happy if Clinton were asked to run for vice president – also unlikely.

Feldman, a Georgetown University law professor, said she is a loyal Democrat who won’t vote for McCain, but Obama hasn’t won her support. Will Bower, co-founder of the Just Say No Deal Coalition, said he would only support the Democratic candidate if her name is Clinton.

“I have been voting Democratic for 18 years. I only voted for Democrats, from dog catcher to president and everything in between,” said Bower, who lives in Washington. “I will be voting for someone other than Barack Obama come November.”

Article by Stephen Ohlemacher

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Neo-Con Limbaugh Hates McCain

June 9, 2008

One of the best indicators of John McCain’s weakness in the general election is the questioning of his manhood by right-wing pundits.

Rush Limbaugh — who likes to dress up as a general and command his listener’s to foment political violence — took time out this week to besmirch McCain’s maleness, wondering on air if the Republican candidate could really count as “a man” in the wake of his speech in New Orleans (link).

What prompted Limbaugh to make a negative ruling on McCain’s manhood was not that McCain bashed Bush, but that McCain dared to criticize ‘government’ in his New Orleans speech earlier this week. What did McCain actually say in New Orleans that made Limbaugh slap down his dress-up-general riding crop beyond his normal paroxysms? This paragraph gives the main thrust of the McCain speech (emphasis mine):

“The right change recognizes that many of the policies and institutions of our government have failed. They have failed to keep up with the challenges of our time because many of these policies were designed for the problems and opportunities of the mid to late 20th Century, before the end of the Cold War; before the revolution in information technology and rise of the global economy. The right kind of change will initiate widespread and innovative reforms in almost every area of government policy — health care, energy, the environment, the tax code, our public schools, our transportation system, disaster relief, government spending and regulation, diplomacy, the military and intelligence services. Serious and far-reaching reforms are needed in so many areas of government to meet our own challenges in our own time.”

For playground-soldier Rush Limbaugh, when a Republican gives a speech that questions the effectiveness of government, that forfeits said Republican’s status as “a man.” What would have earned McCain his “I’m a man” badge? Blaming the destruction of New Orleans on liberals, of course (as if you had to ask).

But after reading that New Orleans speech by McCain — the one that has been widely ridiculed in the media since he delivered it on Tuesday — I noticed that McCain was actually trying to do something astounding. He was trying to use that speech (1) to bring Reagan-esque themes into the election and (2) to reframe this election as a referendum on “government,” not a referendum on “Bush” (e.g., to undercut the Obama campaign’s framing strategy).

11 times in his New Orleans speech John McCain used the word “government.” 11 times! It was a sure-fire sign that he was trying to set a frame — and that nobody in the media actually noticed he was doing it, nor did they bother to ask why he was doing it.

The reason is simple: McCain is afraid to bash Bush; so he is trying to make this election a referendum on “government.”

If, for example, I swap the words”‘George W. Bush” for the phrase “of our government” in the above paragraph from McCain’s speech, this is what we get:

“The right change recognizes that many of the policies and institutions of George W. Bush have failed. They have failed to keep up with the challenges of our time because many of these policies were designed for the problems and opportunities of the mid to late 20th Century, before the end of the Cold War; before the revolution in information technology and rise of the global economy. The right kind of change will initiate widespread and innovative reforms in almost every area of government policy — health care, energy, the environment, the tax code, our public schools, our transportation system, disaster relief, government spending and regulation, diplomacy, the military and intelligence services. Serious and far-reaching reforms are needed in so many areas of government to meet our own challenges in our own time.”

Yep. That is really what this election is about, but McCain is just too scared to say it. Instead, he will try to reframe debate in terms of “government.”

More importantly, perhaps, by critiquing “government” instead of ‘George W. Bush,’ McCain is going back to the old hobby horse of Ronald Reagan — patron saint of conservative framing and archetypal Republican manly man’s man.

The model for McCain’s speech must have been Reagan’s oft-cited “Time for Choosing” speech (1964) in which Reagan railed against government, against the liberal “elite” who supposedly ran government, and in so doing set a conservative framing strategy that held the debate up to this very year.

In that 1964 election between Barry Goldwater and the incumbent Lyndon Johnson, Reagan set the frame with phrases like this one:

“This is the issue of this election: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

Yep — that is the idea that McCain is trying to dig up and toss into this election almost 45 years later. Interestingly, it is the idea that gets his manhood castigated by the likes of Limbaugh, who no doubt thinks he embodies the true manliness of Reagan.

In reality, the Reaganism that McCain is trying to reclaim is no longer the core idea the guides the voice of American conservatism. Steered by right-wing pundits and fueled by hateful, violent rhetoric, contemporary conservatives no longer say that government is wasteful and inefficient. Instead, they say that liberalism kills, liberalism supports terrorism, liberalism will lead to the destruction of America.

No wonder McCain gets called a sissy by Limbaugh when he tries to channel Reagan rather than bash Bush — because Limbaugh has long since left the Reagan legacy behind in favor of the new violent rhetoric of the right.

And the irony does not stop there, because in all likelihood, Limbaugh’s bashing of McCain will bully him into conformity — will goad him into retooling his campaign into some kind of “liberals will kill you” message. The paradox, of course, is that this will mean that an actual war veteran – -who survived torture and still bears the scars of that experience on his body — will likely allow his manhood to be questioned by a drug addict who cross-dresses as a general and equates salivating on cigars with public service.

Rush Limbaugh, the quintessential military-dodging conservative coward, in other words, will humiliate the war veteran in this election.

This was originally blogged @ The Huffington Post

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Liberia’s Former President A Possible Cannibal

May 19, 2008

Charles Taylor’s former vice-president and his brief successor as Liberia’s leader testified Monday that he never saw Taylor engage in cannibalism or heard him order his fighters to eat their slain enemies.

But Moses Blah refused to rule out the possibility that Taylor ate human flesh or ordered his troops to do so.

In March, a witness told the Special Court for Sierra Leone that Taylor ordered fighters in his National Patriotic Front of Liberia to eat their enemies as a way of striking terror into his opponents.

Joseph “Zigzag” Marzah, who described himself as Taylor’s chief of operations and head of a death squad before the accused became president, said African peacekeepers and even United Nations personnel were killed and eaten on the battlefield by his militiamen.

The rest of this story can be read at: CNN.com

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George W Bush – The Game Show

April 20, 2008

Can you say, lame duck?!

According to reports, “President ” George W. Bush is going to appear on a game show this coming Monday, which will feature a contestant who is a soldier.

No, it’s not Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader. Close, though!

‘W’ is going to appear on NBC’s Deal or No Deal.

The White House PR team is probably doing jumping jacks that this nice, fluffy AND war-related piece actually came their way!

Captain Joseph Kobes reportedly competes in the popular Howie Mandel-fronted show to attempt to win enough cash to pay off his parents’ home. The dealmaking is briefly halted for Kobes, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient who has served in Iraq THREE times. ‘W’ surprises him by appearing on a screen to express gratitude for his service and wish him luck in the game.

The ‘W’ piece was pre-taped.

Hats off to Captain Kobes, though. We can’t wait to hear if he won all the money needed to help his fam. If the Captain didn’t win all that was needed, maybe ‘W’ can make some phone calls to get Haliburton’s charitable contributions gang to cover the debt!

Oprah would pay for the house, even if he lost!

This story broght to you via Perez Hilton.com
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*** Deal or No Deal? Where was that question during the second election? I say, NO DEAL.


Bush Says NO to OIL? WTF??!!

March 5, 2008

YouTube, Revver, DailyMotion, Blip.tv, Veoh, Crackle, Stupid Videos, Sclipo and Viddler


Democracy Means More than One Choice

March 5, 2008

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Reagan. H W Bush. Bill Clinton. G W Bush. Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John McCain?

With the exception of Obama, all of these represent the Establishment. The very same Establishment that refuses to see that they are killing democracy. Democracy inherently means choice. Where is the choice? The Establishment only seeks to do to two things:

1) Maintain power / further the gap between the classes

2) Eliminate choice, covertly or overtly, as a means to maintain power.

Eliminating choice means closing the gap between the right and the left. Since the Carter Administration, the Liberal Left has been becoming more and more disenfranchised, less motivated, and less inclined to even vote. Because the Christian Right Wing tends to vote for their issues as if it was about the word of “God”, the voter turnout on the Right has always been good, thus out performing the Left at the elections. This, in turn, closes the gap between left and right even more, leaving only a moderate center. Where is the choice in that? Democracy was born out of debate and disagreement with the government in England. Our government is slowly reducing the possibilities of debate. “Pick a number between 1 and 10, but it cannot be 1-4 or 6-10!” Wow, what a choice!

The Clintons are the pinnacle of liberal democracy? I voted for Clinton, but I did not realize that he would be responsible for policies that jailed more people (particularly non-violent drug offenders) than almost any other administration previous.  If you look at the record of most of the Administrations of the last two decades, they all said one thing and did another.

Reagan came down hard on crack and cocaine, but then the whole Iran-Contra Affair happened. Hmmm. Bush #1 said, “Read my lips, NO NEW TAXES”. We all know that was a lie. Clinton smoked pot, did not inhale, but was responsible for some of the hardest and most strict drug policies. Bush # 2 has said he is doing what is best for the American people, yet he has the worst approval rating. While he was supposedly elected for the people, by the people, he will not answer questions about some of his activities in office. He has gone as far as to create Executive Orders to avoid prosecution.

Hilary Clinton took money from a pharmaceutical company NOT to talk about Universal Health care, her pet project since she lived in the White House. Hilary also voted FOR THE WAR IN IRAQ when the constituency in her state, New York, was clearly opposed to it at the time. McCain co-authored a bill in the Senate called the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill. Not long after that, after many diatribes about reforming Campaign Financing laws, he came out as one of the first and only Independents, eventually running against Gore and Bush for the presidency. Recently, during the current race, McCain became “conservative republican”. Ha. Is the collective memory of the American people that bad? Have you been smoking with Bill Clinton? It is evident that these people will say and do anything to maintain the power of the Establishment, both fiscally and legislatively. There are so many more things that I could point out, but I think it is pretty clear that they are all the same. Tell me, what is the difference between McCain and Clinton. What they say seems slightly different when it comes to the war and health care, but what will they do given the chance. Their track records should speak for themselves.

Here is to the fight to maintain individualism, choice, and liberty. I would argue that we should not get rid of the Right Wing either, as choice means having a bad option, too. Two-party politics began to die in the last two decades. I do not have a problem with moderates or Right Wingers, per se, but I do have a problem with not having a choice. If we need more voter turnout, then we should be allowed more choices. How many times in the last twenty years have the voters said, “I am picking the lesser of two evils”. UGH!

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iPN Headlines, Feb.15th, 2008

February 15, 2008