Red dawn feminism

by twit

Lunchbreath.

image via The Daily What

We’ve come a long, long way.

There’s so much more work to do, but I’m not sure that it is appropriate to continue to fly the feminist banner when doing it.

Since history tends to like dates and such, I’ll be so bold as to say that the day American feminism died was when Cosmo laid claim to the third wave.

When a radical movement goes that mainstream, I think that’s as good a sign as any that the tide has turned.

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The Red Dawn Difference

by lestro

For all the talk of the youth vote being the demographic that put Obama over the top, the truth is that while their energy and legwork was unmatched, the real revolution in this election came not in the 20-somethings, but in the 30-somethings.

It is the Red Dawn generation, the forgotten demographic, that made the difference this time around. We are the 30-somethings who in the past eight years have grown into not only the dominant demographic in the media and commercial sectors, but have also started raising families and buying homes – the time when people start to seriously vote.

We are also the first generation to be raised completely under the ideals the Baby Boomer worked so hard to establish. We are done fighting battles of the 60s and don’t see the world the in black and white ways of our parents and we have reached the point in our lives when people become politically active.

The proof is in the exit poll results. This was not a youth movement, but one led by the tail end of Generation X and the Red Dawn Generation, those of us who came of age in the era of Reagan and Thriller and Mutual Assured Destruction.

In 2004, the youth vote made up 17 percent of the electorate. In 2008, they made up 18 percent. In 2004, they went to Kerry 54-45. This year they broke 66-32 for Obama.

The 30-44 demographic, however, where the real Change took place. In 2004 and 2008, they made up 29 percent of the vote, but in ’04 they voted for Bush 53-46. This year, they went 52-46 for Obama.

THAT was the group that won this election for Obama, not the youth vote. Fifty-two percent of 29 is way bigger than 66 percent of 18.

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She knows your anger, she knows your dreams

by lestro

She’s been everything you want to be.

A full six months after she lost in the primary process and a full two months since she conceded the nomination, Hillary Clinton is not quite ready to give up the ghost of her failed presidential bid.

And her supporters are planning to disrupt the Democratic National Convention:

Frustrated supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) are planning multiple rallies at the Democratic convention in Denver, coupled with television and print advertisements.

The disenchanted Democrats want to express their disappointment with the party’s presidential primary process.

These are Democrats. Trying to kneecap the Democratic candidate:

The Denver Post recently reported that Clinton backers will hold signs that read, “Denounce Nobama’s Coronation.”

some of the Denver Group’s goals are contrary to the Democratic Party’s. Its goals include: an open convention; Clinton’s name placed in nomination with no symbolic roll call vote; speeches allowed by supporters of Clinton on behalf of her candidacy; a genuine roll call vote with Clinton as a legitimate candidate; and “no coronation.”

This is absurd. Hillary Clinton is no longer a legitamate candidate. It is important to note how this call for a revival of the Clinton candidacy is not about the policies offered by the candidates or their goals for this country. The difference between the goals and policies of the candidates are minimal. This is all about Hillary.

The big talk this year was that Obama was creating a Cult of Personality around him. It’s easy to see why. And Democrats have a way of doing that. It’s how they’ve won. Think Kennedy and Clinton.

The Republicans, on the other hand, build a movement and find someone to represent it, like an oligarch puppet. Think Reagan and Bush.

However, for all the talk of Obama as some sort of godhead, it’s not true. In fact, in many ways, it was just the opposite in this year’s primary battle.

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Letter to Obama: Fuck these idiots. Go it alone.

by lestro

Sen. Obama –

I recognize that you have secured an insurmountable lead in the pledged delegate count and continue to pull closer in super delegates, but frankly, it is ridiculous it has taken this much time to decide the Democratic Party nomination and even more ridiculous that the super delegates are still squabbling over the best candidate.

The people have spoken and even the pundits have started talking about what anyone with open eyes could see for months.

If the Democratic Party Establishment ignores their own rules and the major in-rush of new voters yearning for something new, something different, then fuck these idiots; Go it alone.

You can win a three-way race between these candidates. Encourage and support Democratic candidates in their races around the country (though there is nothing wrong with supporting a Republican worthy of support), but run on your own. The Red Dawn Generation will follow.

If the Establishment picks the Establishment Candidate, they are obviously no longer the party we need running things.

Go it alone.

Your supporters are fervent. Most of them have been waiting their whole lives to see a candidate who looks like them and understands their world view. For too long we have had to choose between our grandparents and our parents telling us what to do and I am fed up with it. It is time for someone who looks and thinks like us.

And it’s a testament to the good work of the Baby Boomers and the fact that their old ways of thinking are no longer necessary that a white guy from Upstate New York can say that about a black guy from Chicago.

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birthday parties for unjust wars

by twit

Five years ago I watched the war start on CNN. It had been frustrating then to see how limited the news coverage was of the protests that were taking place in DC and around the country at the time. On the ground, they were huge. On the news, not so much.

Five years ago we didn’t have the internets like we do now, but today, after visits to the main organizing sites and finding no blogs, no updates few updates, no recent press releases or video, I see a missed opportunity here. It looks like whatever fragmentation is happening with the organizers of the protests, it translated into fragmented coverage on the internets and in the news.

so what the hell happened?

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Thanks Boomers, now you’ve poisoned us all

by lestro

Thank you Baby Boomers. Thank you for your total lack of foresight and inability to recognize the consequences of everything you have done. You guys did a great job of making the world great for you and leaving it a total wreck for everyone who comes after you.

This morning’s report that millions of Americans are drinking water polluted with multiple pharmaceuticals reminded me of the movie “Idiocracy,” where all the crops die because the idiots in charge decide that if water is good, Brawndo (a gatorade-like substance) would be better and start using it to irrigate their crops.

It’s kind of like that, only slower and real:

“A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.

But the presence of so many prescription drugs — and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen — in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health.”

But wait, it gets better:

“And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies — which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public — have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife…”

I’m no expert, but isn’t “persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals” ostensibly what killed Heath Ledger?

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Hillary’s big tent

by lestro

No, not her pant suit.

Jesus, you’re horrible. Stop it. That’s just mean and there’s no place for it in intelligent political discussion.

This week the Clinton Campaign launched a new Web site called Delegate Hub to address “The facts and myths about the race for delegates.” It functions mainly as blog to collect articles and clips about the superdelegates that present issues in a Clinton-favorable light.

Here’s the intro statement:

As more voters make their choice for the Democratic nomination, there is growing interest in the facts and myths about the race to reach 2208 delegate votes – the number required for a candidate to secure the nomination with Florida and Michigan included. The Obama campaign is claiming, without precedent or justification, that automatic delegates (commonly referred to as “super delegates”) should switch to Sen. Obama en masse based on arbitrary metrics, with the aim of tilting the delegate balance in his favor. The fact is: no automatic delegate is required to cast a vote on the basis of anything other than his or her best judgment about who is the most qualified to be president.

Did you catch that part about Michigan and Florida? Those are the states whose delegates that Clinton agreed should not count, until she realized she was getting beat pretty much everywhere except the states where her opponent agreed to not campaign in.

One of the first links on the new site is a Slate column in which Christopher Beam reports on some “number crunching” that shows Hillary has actually received 52 percent of the vote among people who identify as Democrats. The post gives some good reasons about why the numbers are a bit hinky, but despite that concludes “Clinton’s lead is still large enough to be significant.”

However, it’s the closing paragraph that disturbs me a little:

It helps you understand why the party gives so much power to its 796 superdelegates. If they didn’t, independents and Republicans could essentially hijack their election. It also makes you wonder whether Clinton should start citing this number, if she maintains her lead through the convention in August. Even if Obama leads in the popular vote and among pledged delegates, it might disturb party gray beards to learn that the nominee has essentially been chosen by outsiders.

While in many ways that is understandable, it is hard to imagine that the Clinton Campaign is actually pushing a message of exclusion. Essentially they say that unless you are a party member, they don’t want you there. The Democratic Party as invite-only.

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Bubba vs. Bubba

by lestro

The Clinton campaign continued the tired experience attack today, with the former president taking personal offense that he is not getting his due for his legacy as president:

Former President Clinton on Friday accused Sen. Barack Obama, his wife’s rival for the Democratic nomination, of trying to ignore any accomplishments they achieved during their years in the White House.

“You have one candidate who’s made the explicit argument that the only way we can change America is to move into a post-partisan future and therefore we have to eliminate from consideration for the presidency anybody who made good things happen in the ’90s or stopped bad things from happening in this decade,” said Clinton

Without mentioning Obama by name, Clinton said the Illinois senator was promoting a position that it’s “actually an advantage to not have any experience because you’ve not made anybody mad.”

But that’s a different tune than he was singing in the first debate of the 1992, when the topic of experience was the first issue they discussed, though nowadays, President Clinton sounds more like his former rival:

President Bush: Well, I think one thing that distinguishes is experience. I think we’ve dramatically changed the world. I’ll talk about that a little bit later, but the changes are mind-boggling for world peace. Kids go to bed at night without the same fear of nuclear war. And change for change’s sake isn’t enough. We saw that message in the late seventies when we heard a lot about change. And what happened? That “misery index” went right through the roof. […]

Mr. Lehrer: Governor Clinton, how do you respond to the President — you have 2 minutes — on the question of experience? He says that is what distinguishes him from the other two of you.

Governor Clinton: I believe experience counts, but it’s not everything. Values, judgment, and the record that I have amassed in my State also should count for something. I’ve worked hard to create good jobs and to educate people. My State now ranks first in the country in job growth this year, fourth in income growth, fourth in the reduction of poverty, third in overall economic performance, according to a major news magazine. That’s because we believe in investing in education and in jobs.

We have to change in this country. You know, my wife, Hillary, gave me a book about a year ago in which the author defined insanity as just doing the same old thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We have got to have the courage to change.

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Hillary may be a top-of-the-line VCR, but Obama is a DVD player

A letter to a Hillary Clinton supporter

by lestro

Recently I discovered that a friend of mine is a supporter of Hillary Clinton and what follows is my response, with links added for reference purposes:

Well, thankfully your reasons for Hillary are actual reasons and not just ‘it’s a woman’s time.’ I hate that shit. It’s so anti-feminist. I am all for a woman President. But not Hillary Clinton. and I voted for her for Senator.

Which is where she belongs, working on the legislation, fighting over the details, making the sausage.

Presidents, however, are about vision, leadership and direction. The policy will follow.

Presidents do not write laws, Congress does. The President sets the vision. Think of your city councils. The mayor doesn’t have a vote. The federal government is supposed to function in the same way on a larger scale.

Presidents provide vision and direction by rallying the country around a set of ideas and a series of goals. Congress then responds to that by writing those laws.

And Hillary has no vision. Obama has vision. He’s the first candidate since Reagan to have vision. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of Reagan’s but he definitely changed the entire political culture of the country. We are still living in Reagan’s America. And I, for one, am done with it.

It is time for something different.

Hillary Clinton will lose to John McCain (you asked who needs Reagan? really? He’s the second most popular president ever. Clinton is fourth. Kennedy is third) because the change she offers is essentially the same he offers. There would be changes in policy, sure, but the time of the baby boomers is over. They are all VCRs and Hillary may be a top-of-the-line VCR, but Obama is a DVD player.

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pimp pimpity pimp pimp

by lestro

Yeah, I said it. And why not, it’s just a word.

But it’s a revealing word, especially when judging someone’s reaction to it.

By now we all know that the Clinton Mafia went apeshit last week when an MSNBC reporter described the Clinton Family Campaign machine like this:

“Doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in a weird sort of way?”

The reporter, David Shuster, was immediately forced to apologize and suspended after Hillary Clinton adviser Howard Wolfsen responded like this:

Asked about Shuster’s “pimp” comment, Wolfson denounced the comment as “disgusting” and “beneath contempt,” adding: “It’s the kind of thing that should never be said on a national news network.”

Then Wolsfon added: “You have to question whether or not there is a pattern here on the part of the network.” He added: “Is this part of a pattern? I don’t know, but [it’s] beneath contempt.”

So I looked up the verb “to pimp” and found this at Merriam-Webster’s Web site:

“to make use of often dishonorably for one’s own gain or benefit”

That sounds about right to me, especially when you add the “in a weird way” part of Shuster’s question. Chelsea has been pulled away from her job and fiance in order to help circle their race-baiting wagons around her mother’s flagging campaign.

But beyond that and the fact that they are sinking and they know it and grasping at straws (MSNBC is apparently part of yet another vast conspiracy to bring down the Clintons. Easier than blaming the candidate or the lack of a coherent, consistent message, I suppose, though it is worth noting that the Campaign Manager and assistant have both been canned this week…).

But what it really shows is the generational divide developing both in the country and especially the campaign. It reminds us that the Clintons, and many of the Baby Boomers, whose time, as we know, is coming to an end, have turned into the Old Guard who are completely out-of-touch with both culture and the changing uses of words.

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The Coming Anarchy of the Democratic Party

by twit

In my ongoing efforts to understand superdelegates and how they operate in primaries, I found this:

Rewind to the 1968 Democratic National Convention, which showcased the undue influence of the party’s old guard.

Fortunately, there’s a cartoon-infused historical documentary coming soon, and other reference materials…

https://i1.wp.com/images.rottentomatoes.com/images/movie/custom/39/1190239.jpg

(image via Rotten Tomatoes)

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Not the Reagan I remember either

by lestro

As part of the Red Dawn generation, I grew up in Reagan’s America. I have no memory of a president before him.

While I remember him as something of a grandfatherly figure whose smiling picture we all saw every day at school, I don’t really remember much of his policies, just the overwhelming sense of fear that Mutual Assured Destruction and nuclear war was all but inevitably on its way from the “Evil Empire.”

I have also looked back at the 80s and frankly, I am appalled at some of the things Reagan did: making ketchup a vegetable for school lunch purposes, ignoring AIDS and of course the whole Iran-Contra trading arms to our terrorist enemies to secretly get money to support some other terrorists in Central America.

Brilliant.

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really?

by lestro

In a speech in Atlanta on Wednesday in front of a Baptist convention, Hillary Clinton talked about going to see Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Staying awake through the revolution” sermon.

Really? Not only do you represent a boomer revolution that is nearing an end, but on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2008, your husband was filmed dozing off behind the pulpit in Harlem.

Are you sure that “staying awake through the revolution” is really the reference you want to make?

ok, you’re the candidate…

Edwards just doesn’t get it

by lestro

On Thursday, the Reno Gazette Journal endorsed Sen. Barack Obama as the best choice for the Democratic party’s nomination. They cited his talk of unity and change and ability to cite both Presidents Kennedy and Reagan as agents of change.

According to a CBS reporter, John Edwards jumped all over Obama for the Reagan reference:

“When you think about what Ronald Reagan did to the American people, to the middle class to the working people,” said Edwards.

“He was openly – openly – intolerant of unions and the right to organize. He openly fought against the union and the organized labor movement in this country. He openly did extraordinary damage to the middle class and working people, created a tax structure that favored the very wealthiest Americans and caused the middle class and working people to struggle every single day. The destruction of the environment, you know, eliminating regulation of companies that were polluting and doing extraordinary damage to the environment.”

“I can promise you this: this president will never use Ronald Reagan as an example for change.”

Edwards isn’t wrong. Reagan fucked over the middle class, sold out the government to private interests, tripled the national debt, ignored AIDS, made ketchup a vegetable in public schools and rolled back a bunch of environmental advances.

But he isn’t right, either. Reagan’s election in 1980 set the tone for the next 12 years. I grew up in the 80s, so I have no recollection of what happened before, but even a cursory glance shows the structural changes and cultural ripple effects that still has all of the Republican candidates drooling all over which blowhard is the most fit to carry Reagan’s jock strap.

For the record, here is the actual quote to which the Edwards campaign was responding:

“I don’t want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what’s different are the times. I do think that for example the 1980 was different. I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.”

There’s been a lot of talk of “change” this election season but the real question is what that change means to the person who says it. Today, we got a look at what two of the Democratic candidates mean when they say change.

Obama apparently means one of those fundamental shifts in the way we look at things. A new generation rising to power and bringing with it a different world view, a new, more interconnected sensibility that draws the best parts of both sides of the aisle.

Edwards version of change is an old definition, a change of faces and rhetoric, but the same world view we’ve been arguing over for decades.

It is time to sluff off the world view of the Baby Boomers. I am appreciative of what they’ve done, but they are still fighting the same fights while the world is moving past them.

You can’t really blame Edwards for wanting to improve the VCR, but i think it might be time to take a chance on this up and coming DVD technology…

UPDATE: Well, Bill and Hillary Clinton both weighed in on this proving they too are just building a better VCR. They are both still struggling with the difference is the word change and are happy to distort what Obama said (though his campaign’s response was admittedly disappointing) in a distinctly Boomer political maneuver.

The report is at TPMelectioncentral and links to Bubba and Obama’s additions are at the bottom.

a tale of two parties

by lestro

I am as guilty as anyone of talking about how both parties suck from the same corporate cock, but yesterday provided an interesting look at the differences between our two major parties – as well as in the parties, especially in the area of the economy.

Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts won the Michigan Republican primary yesterday based mainly on his history as a business man. Michigan has suffered more than any other state in recent years as the auto industry practically collapsed under its own weight, taking all of the support industries (thanks, NAFTA!) with it to the tune of about 300,000 jobs.

They call it a one-state recession as Michigan’s unemployment rate is 7.4 percent, with an increase to more than 8 percent expected in 2008. Because of this, 68 percent of Republican primary voters described the economy as “Not so good / poor” and 55 percent listed the economy as their number one issue in this fall’s election.

Romney’s victory over McCain is generally attributed to the former’s success as a venture capitalist who made his money turning around failing corporations. Romney has pledged to do the same thing for the US economy. Whether he can is a matter for a different day, but that’s the pitch.

For the record, Hillary Clinton received 55 percent of the vote in a Democratic primary that does not count toward the nomination and did not include Barack Obama or John Edwards. One would think she’d have done better considering she was the only candidate in the race…

Meanwhile, in non-Michigan news, Barack Obama admitted in an interview with the Reno Gazette Journal he would be not be a good
chief operating officer:

“But I’m not an operating officer. Some in this debate around experience seem to think the job of the president is to go in and run some bureaucracy. Well, that’s not my job. My job is to set a vision of ‘here’s where the bureaucracy needs to go.'”

In the Democratic debate last night, Hillary Clinton, who has absolutely no business experience herself, challenged Obama on that statement and, drawing from the Bush 2000 playbook (and not for the last time in the debate), compared the presidency to being CEO of a major corporation and then compared Obama’s statements to Bush:

“I think you have to be able to manage and run the bureaucracy,” she said. “You’ve got to pick good people, certainly, but you have to hold them accountable every single day. We’ve seen the results of a president who, frankly, failed at that.

“You know, he went into office saying he was going to have the kind of Harvard Business School CEO model where he’d set the tone, he’d set the goals and then everybody else would have to implement it.”

Obama countered, rather effectively, that Bush does not listen to people who have differing ideologies or bring people together, where he would differ.

But once again, it raises the question about the role of president. Eight years ago, we elected a CEO and, like most CEOs of major companies in the past 10 years or so, he ran the country into the ground, making sure he and his buddies got rich off the whole deal.

Granted we elected a miserable failure of a CEO who ran several companies and a baseball team into the ground, but still…

So the question remains, should a president be able to run the government like a business or can we admit that the role of government is not to make money and we need someone with vision to aim the bureaucracy in the right direction?

The question I most want answered by any of the candidates on either side is what they believe the role of the president is and how they would best fill that role. Truly, this is the debate we need in order to pick the next leader as it is in the philosophy and role of president that the candidates most differ.

But I am still waiting.

de ja vu archives

posted by twit

“Signing a new major-label contract would have killed us straight off,” [Thom Yorke of Radiohead] added.”Money makes you numb, as M.I.A. wrote. I mean, its tempting to have someone say to you, You will never have to worry about money ever again, but no matter how much money someone gives you what, you’re not going to spend it? You’re not going to find stupid ways to get rid of it? Of course you are. It’s like building roads and expecting there to be less traffic.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/arts/music/09pare.html?hp=&pagewanted=all

filed under “some people just seem to …get it” 12.08.07