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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dem lawyers: Fla., Mich. can't be fully restored

Dem lawyers: Fla., Mich. can't be fully restored By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press A Democratic Party rules committee has the authority to seat some delegates from Michigan and Florida but not fully restore the two states as Hillary Rodham Clinton wants, according to party lawyers. Democratic National Committee rules require that the two states lose at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, the party's legal experts wrote in a 38-page memo. The memo was sent late Tuesday to the 30 members of the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee, which plans to meet Saturday at a Washington hotel. The committee is considering ways to include the two important general election battlegrounds at the nominating convention in August, and the staff analysis says seating half the delegates is "as far as it legally can" go. Saturday's meeting is expected to draw a large crowd, with Clinton supporters among those encouraging a protest outside demanding that all the states' delegates be seated. Proponents of full reseating have mailed committee members Florida oranges and pairs of shoes to get their attention. DNC officials are concerned about a potentially large turnout at the "Count Every Vote" rally outside the event and have asked the hotel staff to increase security to keep everyone safe. The DNC says the roughly 500 seats available to the public inside were taken within three or four minutes of becoming available online Tuesday. The DNC analysis does not make recommendations for how the Rules and Bylaws Committee should vote, but gives context from the party's charter and bylaws for the committee to consider. The analysis said there are two options to include half the delegations — either allow half the number of delegates from each state into the convention or allow the full delegations to attend, but give them each half a vote. "The rule does not actually specify whether the reduction is to be accomplished on the basis of delegate positions or delegate votes," the analysis said, giving committee members some justification for sending the entire delegations with half-votes as some leaders in the states want. The analysis also underscores a prickly problem: If the Rules and Bylaws Committee decides to restore any of the states' delegates, there is not a simple way to divide them between Clinton and Barack Obama. That's especially true in Michigan, where Obama had his name pulled from the ballot. He didn't have the option of removing his name in Florida, but all the candidates signed a pledge not to campaign in either state. Clinton won the majority of the vote in Florida and Michigan and has been arguing that the delegates should be fully restored according to the results of the January primaries. But even if they were, it would not be enough for her to overtake Obama's delegate lead. As it becomes clear that Obama likely will win the nomination, he has been working to win over voters in the two states with visits in recent days. He plans to return to Michigan on Monday. The DNC staff analysis argues that the Rules and Bylaws Committee was fully within its rights to strip all 368 delegates from the two states when they scheduled primaries in January. Party rules said their nominating contests could be no earlier than Feb. 5. Michigan voted on Jan. 15, Florida on Jan. 29. The analysis also said there is an option to restore 100 percent of the delegates — by a recommendation of the Credentials Committee that meets later this summer. However, that would mean a final decision would not be made until the first day of the convention in Denver since Credentials Committee decisions have to be approved by the full convention as it convenes — risking a floor fight. Alice Huffman, a member of the Rules and Bylaws Committee from California who is supporting Clinton, said she has been barraged with e-mails in the past few weeks. She said the senders include Floridians who are upset that they are being disenfranchised, and she has started printing out the messages so she'll have a record to explain her decision. "This is a really, really significant issue to women. Obviously it's a significant item to people of color too. So I'm just preparing myself as best I can," said Huffman, president of the California NAACP. The shoe shipments are being organized by WalkAMileInOurShoes.org and1 the orange idea was promoted by a group called Florida Demands Representation, which plans to bus Floridians to Saturday's rally outside the meeting. Blaine Whitford, a volunteer helping organize the effort, said they are unaligned with any candidate. Susie Buell, one of Clinton's top fundraisers, has formed a political action committee encouraging women to support full seating of the delegates. The WomenCountPAC has taken out ads in USA Today and The New York Times promoting attendance at the rally. ___ Associated Press writer Juliet Williams in Sacramento, Calif., contributed to this report. ___ On the Net:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Special Comment: Keith Olbermann

Via: Taylor Marsh.com A Special Comment Guest post by Grey Five days later, and people are still coming unhinged? Eugene Robinson and Bob Herbert, without an ounce of self-awareness, fed on yet another manufactured controversy like starved pigs at the trough, salivating at another opportunity to slander Sen. Clinton. Still, their opprobrium didn’t match Keith Olbermann’s. After Sen. Clinton's agonized apology; after Randell Beck, Executive Editor of The Argus Leader, issued a statement in support of the Senator's stated intent; after Robert Kennedy’s son defended her, you have the audacity go on the air, as though none of it had happened, to castigate her for all manner of sins, real and imagined? Have you no decency? Your special comment, Keith, was a disgrace. "We"? "We have forgiven"? Do not dare cower behind me to spew your partisan drool, sir. Has your newscast not been sufficiently prejudiced? Have you not taken every opportunity to defend and protect your Chosen One form even the remotest hint of criticism? Your diatribe was irresponsible, a collection of the worst kind of disingenuous prattle one should only hear from FOX News. How gleefully you’ve manipulated and distorted the facts just so you could look into that camera to oh so mournfully share your disappointment in the Clintons, who stood by you when no one else would, who defended you, but. But what, Keith? But she can’t run a campaign? But she can’t make a point? But she can’t make historically sound comparisons? But she can’t run ads? But she can’t criticize her opponent? But she can’t praise a colleague? But she must denounce newspapers you don’t like? But she must not be interviewed by your rivals? But she can’t answer the questions she’s asked in a debate if you don’t care for the premise? Your vituperative sermons are an insult to the memory of the man whose name you carry around like a protective shield. You're no better than O'Reilly, who, for all of his disgusting, hateful rhetoric, at least makes no claims to the pantheon of the greats. You'll be lucky if they let you in with a mop and a bucket. You are not a journalist, sir: You are an impostor. Leave that chair and get a blog. MCL take: If RFK jr didn't take offense why are so many pro Obama bloggers and mouth pieces are going bat shit crazy over her comment? It seems this is the latest effort from team Obama to find excuse for not picking Hillary for VP. Another point I remember when Obama mouth pieces like Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller were doing political yoga explaining what Obama meant when he used the word "bitter" to describe small town or rural voters.

Division, fake outrage

Op-Ed Columnist Divided They Stand By PAUL KRUGMAN It is, in a way, almost appropriate that the final days of the struggle for the Democratic nomination have been marked by yet another fake Clinton scandal — the latest in a long line that goes all the way back to Whitewater. This one, in case you missed it, involved an interview Hillary Clinton gave the editorial board of South Dakota’s Argus Leader, in which she tried to make a case for her continuing campaign by pointing out that nomination fights have often gone on into the summer. As one of her illustrations, she mentioned that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June. It wasn’t the best example to use, but it’s absurd to suggest, as some Obama supporters immediately did, that Mrs. Clinton was making some kind of dark hint about Barack Obama’s future. But then, it was equally absurd to portray Mrs. Clinton’s assertion that it took L.B.J.’s political skills to turn Martin Luther King’s vision into legislation as an example of politicizing race. Yet the claim that Mrs. Clinton was playing the race card, which was promoted by some Obama supporters as well as in a memo by a member of Mr. Obama’s staff, achieved wide currency. Why does all this matter? Not for the nomination: Mr. Obama will be the Democratic nominee. But he has a problem: many grass-roots Clinton supporters feel that she has received unfair, even grotesque treatment. And the lingering bitterness from the primary campaign could cost Mr. Obama the White House. To the extent that the general election is about the issues, Mr. Obama should have no trouble winning over former Clinton supporters, especially the white working-class voters he lost in the primaries. His health care plan is seriously deficient, but he will nonetheless be running on a far more worker-friendly platform than his opponent. Indeed, John McCain has shed whatever maverick tendencies he may once have had, and become almost a caricature conservative — an advocate of lower taxes for the rich and corporations, a privatizer and shredder of the safety net. But elections always involve emotions as well as issues, and there are some ominous signs in the polling data. In Florida, in particular, the rolling estimate produced by the professionals at Pollster.com shows Mr. McCain running substantially ahead of Mr. Obama, even as he runs significantly behind Mrs. Clinton. Ohio also looks problematic, and Pennsylvania looks closer than it should. It’s true that head-to-head polls five months before the general election have a poor track record. But they certainly give reason to worry. The point is that Mr. Obama may need those disgruntled Clinton supporters, lest he manage to lose in what ought to be a banner Democratic year. So what should Mr. Obama and his supporters do? Most immediately, they should realize that the continuing demonization of Mrs. Clinton serves nobody except Mr. McCain. One more trumped-up scandal won’t persuade the millions of voters who stuck with Mrs. Clinton despite incessant attacks on her character that she really was evil all along. But it might incline a few more of them to stay home in November. Nor should Obama supporters dismiss Mrs. Clinton’s strength as a purely Appalachian phenomenon, with the implication that Clinton voters are just a bunch of hicks. So what comes next? Mrs. Clinton needs to do her part: she needs to be careful not to act as a spoiler during what’s left of the primary, she needs to bow out gracefully if, as seems almost certain, Mr. Obama receives the nod, and she needs to campaign strongly for the nominee once the convention is over. She has said she’ll do that, and there’s no reason to believe that she doesn’t mean it. But mainly it’s up to Mr. Obama to deliver the unity he has always promised — starting with his own party. One thing to do would be to make a gesture of respect for Democrats who voted in good faith by recognizing Florida’s primary votes — which at this point wouldn’t change the outcome of the nomination fight. The only reason I can see for Obama supporters to oppose seating Florida is that it might let Mrs. Clinton claim that she received a majority of the popular vote. But which is more important — denying Mrs. Clinton bragging rights, or possibly forfeiting the general election? What about offering Mrs. Clinton the vice presidency? If I were Mr. Obama, I’d do it. Adding Mrs. Clinton to the ticket — or at least making the offer — might help heal the wounds of an ugly primary fight. Here’s the point: the nightmare Mr. Obama and his supporters should fear is that in an election year in which everything favors the Democrats, he will nonetheless manage to lose. He needs to do everything he can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Dems may suffer from an Obama candidacy

Party may suffer from an Obama candidacy By Gene Lyons If Hillary Clinton had no other reason to keep running for the nomination, it would be to demonstrate that Tim Russert, Keith Olbermann, Maureen Dowd, David Broder and the Beltway media gas bags don’t decide American elections. Last week, Obama, the supposedly inevitable Democratic nominee, lost the West Virginia primary by 41 points. Democrats haven’t taken the presidency without winning the Mountain State since 1916. To use a geographically appropriate metaphor, if there has ever been a canaryin-a-coal-mine primary, that was it. Naturally, the media consensus saw a meaningless result in a race they’d already called for Obama. Evidently, bitter West Virginia rednecks don’t watch cable TV. In 2000, the same pundit chorus urged Al Gore to quit in Florida for the sake of the country (and the Republican Party ). Everybody knows how that worked out. Today, Gore’s a Nobel laureate. George W. Bush, like Obama a uniter, not a divider, became the most unpopular, ineffective president in U. S. history. Ever heard any media princelings explain how they went so comprehensively wrong ? Me neither. If nominated, Obama can’t possibly defeat Sen. John McCain without bringing Clinton voters to him. Recently, however, I’ve been hearing from many passionate Democrats who say they can’t and won’t vote for him in November, so I asked a few to explain why. Mine is no scientific survey. Ranging from 26 to 86, my correspondents live in seven states, North, South and Midwest. They don’t know each other personally. None participates in politics except on a local, volunteer basis. I chose them because they’re unusually articulate. Most think Obama a sure loser in the McGovern, Dukakis tradition. They believe he’s totally unqualified. “I’ve voted for every Democrat from president to dog-catcher since 1952. That will end with Obama,” insists H. in Maine. “He won’t get 150 electoral votes, more than he deserves. The Democratic Party’s been teetering on the edge of extinction. Obama’s arrogance will kill it.... “ Just four years out of the state Senate. If he were white or female, his candidacy would be a joke. Imagine if he’d opted to run for vice president with Hillary. Mc-Cain would lose, Democrats would come close to 60 Senate seats and pick up 35 in the House. The Democratic left’s need to swoon after eight years of a moron, coupled with unbridled Clinton hatred, will produce a disaster for the party and country.” It’s the Obama campaign’s cynical use of race beginning in South Carolina that’s the deal-breaker for others. “He is making his way to Denver by dividing our party over race, which is maybe the most idiotic campaign tactic ever,” writes C. in Kansas. “This time the witch hunt is coming from our side. It’s heartbreaking. Obama supporters want you to think Bill and Hillary Clinton are lifelong members of the KKK. The audacity of hope campaign has had the audacity to go there.... This fall, they’ll try to make nice and talk unity, but the people they alienated in the most hateful way won’t be there. They deserve to lose for being so callous and childish.” J. in Florida agrees: “Obama and his supporters’ use of the ‘race card’ against the Clintons (with the help of the in-the-tank media ) is sickening. Now we have vile, racist, crazed-for-power Hillary. Obama means to avoid the ‘divisiveness’ of the Clinton years by blaming it on them. That’s a despicable lie, and he knows it. The only way of avoiding divisiveness is to cave to the Republican agenda, which I believe he’s more than eager to do.” “He and his supporters, “ J. adds, “ have systematically sacrificed the central constituency of the Democratic Party —the poor and working class—on the altar of constituencies who look to politics for reaffirmation of their identity: college students and childish Sixties neo-libs. (The African American constituency makes sense, so no gripes there. )” By abandoning the principle of universality in health insurance, most think Obama has guaranteed that meaningful reform cannot be achieved. Z. in Georgia adds that Obama’s vagueness on economic issues foretells disaster. “He has no perceptible position on the economy other than ‘We can do better. Yes, we can. Say it with me.’ I foresee broken campaign promises followed by belt-tightening austerity measures in a one-term presidency. In short, Jimmy Carter in a better-tailored sweater.” “ I view the Obama candidacy as a narcissistic endeavor by a mediocre politician dividing Democrats along social vs. economic progressive lines, ” J. insists. “He’s forcing a choice between winning in 2008 and possibly saving Roe vs. Wade and promoting gay marriage vs. fighting for the poor and working class. “ I’ve decided I won’t help Obama and his personality cult transform the Democratic Party into an organization that represents only the interests of rich, social liberals.” What do I think? I suspect most will grudgingly return by November, but that non-African American working-class voters won’t. MCL comment: Obama followers have burned too many bridges over the past couple of months. The Obama folks well the grown ups at least now realize they can't win with only 13% of the population not all blacks vote Democratic, college students who are not always reliable when it comes to elections and old hippies. You need to get that blue collar, poor, white vote and Barack Obama can't do it. He can't keep the plan of well that state isn't going to vote for me so who cares about them. Gore did that and "lost" John Kerry did it and lost.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Obama Bolshevik Mentality: Coup, Purge, Purify. Obama, not Democratic, Party

The Obama Bolshevik Mentality: Coup, Purge, Purify. Obama, not Democratic, Party By Bud WhitecloseAuthor: Bud White Name: Joyan and Bud White WhiteEmail: susanunpc@gmail.comSite: About: See Authors Posts (20) on May 15, 2008 at 9:10 AM in Advertising, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Clinton, Current Affairs, David Axelrod, Democrats, Electability, George McGovern, Infrastructure, John Kerry, MoveOn.org, Swift Boat Veterans For Truth Obama is attempting to take control of the progressive infrastructure built over the last 15 years. Ben Smith reports that Obama is seeking to essentially shutdown outside progressive groups and funnel their funding to his campaign: Senator Barack Obama’s campaign is steering the candidate’s wealthy supporters away from independent Democratic groups, calling into question what had been expected to be the groups’ central role in this year’s Democratic offensive against Senator John McCain. Obama’s national finance chairwoman, Chicago hotel mogul Penny Pritzker, told supporters at a national finance committee meeting in Indianapolis May 2, and in other conversations, not to give money to the groups, people familiar with her comments said.“From the beginning of this race Obama has told supporters that if they want to help his effort, they should do so through his campaign,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton, who confirmed that Pritzker has told donors not to give to the groups. “And he means exactly what he says.” Many of these progressive groups were established to counter movement conservatives’ dominate infrastructure. In 1971, in a reaction against the New Left, Lewis F. Powell drafted a memo for business groups and the Nixon administration on building a conservative infrastruture to counter what he saw as an anti-capitalist, anti-freedom movement of the New Left. This plan was followed and we have had a third of a century of conservative governance, interrupted by 4 years of Carter and 8 years of Clinton. Similarly, after what many progressives saw as an attempted coup d’├ętat by movement conservatives against President Clinton, the left began building its own infrastructure to counter the Rush Limbaugh/American Spectator magazine/Newt Gingrich assault on our first progressive president in a generation. MoveOn.org was born as a muscular defensive of Clinton in a era where the left consisted of stale periodically like The Nation and Mother Jones. Now Obama is seeking to use the fragile progressive infrastructure for his own electoral gain: But in recent days, major donors have begun to conclude that Obama is serious in trying to cut off funds to the outside groups. “It’s given donors pause,” said one prominent Democratic donor of Pritzker’s words. Obama’s remarkably swift and complete consolidation of Democratic Party power. It’s an unprecedented seizure of control that has built him, over the course of a year, the most powerful field organization and the largest financial network in American politics, leaving many existing structures – traditional party organizations in many states, the Clintons’ long-nurtured national network – in the dust. Outside groups, of course, can alter the electoral landscape. Just ask Michael Dukakis and John Kerry, both victims of brutal attack ads run by groups more affiliated with movement conservatives than with the campaigns themselves. But some liberal activists argue that Obama is making a big mistake by consolidating all the power and money into his campaign: But Democrats who support the work of the media 527s say Obama’s making a mistake. Progressive Media USA has aired anti-McCain television ads and developed a website intended to be a hub for negative information about McCain. As I wrote previously, the Republicans and their conservative shock troops have prepared their plan to dismantle Obama, assuming he becomes the nominee. Obama may be disarming himself in his attempt to deny Hillary the nomination, and consequently we can look forward to Obama joining the pantheon of defeated Democrats: McGovern, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore [updated], and Kerry.