Our PUMA Anti-Convention

Lady Boomer NYC as Miss Piggy Puma, courtesy of Gary and Mawm

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Our PUMA Anti-Convention

“So, how’d it go at the Democratic Convention?”

I get that a lot from my family and friends. They know I had been working the entire year to get Hillary Clinton elected President while “raging against the machine,” and that I was going to Denver to protest. I replied,

“Ummm . . . good. . . . I, I wasn’t really at The Convention.

We were like . . . the Anti-Convention!”

Post-Denver, although still mourning for what could have been, most hardcore, grassroots Hillary supporters have moved on — in one way or another. They know, or are deciding, what they will do with their votes and/or their efforts. Will they work for one campaign or other at the top, or just support down-ticket candidates? They are mulling over whether to: vote nothing on top, vote third party, write in Hillary’s name, stay home, or cast a protest vote for John McCain. For most, that would be their first Republican vote ever, and they do not take it lightly. The only reason they would do it is to protest Barack Obama and Democratic Party leaders who subverted the democratic process and 18 million voters.

But I can’t fully move on yet. This story is roiling around inside me, unwilling to be forgotten. One week plus is old news, past prime, but I keep getting these “little messages.” Last week I ran into my neighborhood Brazilian Café and struck up a conversation with husband and wife owners, Marcello and Juliet. I’d been socked away in my “Puma Den” for the last six months, making rich stove top espressos at home on the cheap.

Marcello asked, “I heaven’t seen you for a while. Where have you bean? What have you been doing?”

I hesitated protectively, having lived undercover using my handle for so long that I had to consciously produce my real name in my head before saying it. “Actually, I’ve been doing a lot of writing most of the year, political writing. Do you know what blogs are? I have a blog and contribute to other sites and efforts.”

They continued the conversation as they scurried about their business, “Oh really, and who were you supporting for President?”

My personal self gulped inside my political self having been so underground and divided, “Actually, I was supporting Hillary Clinton, working to get her elected. I still support her and believe she would make the best President.”

They both jumped to attention and gravitated back to the counter to face me, “Really? We’re for her too!”

(See why I can’t stop?) “That’s great,” I cooed, as I came clean, telling them about my blog and links to others, our efforts prior to and during Denver, and our work to ensure a roll call, a floor vote, and a record of the truth about this election.

They pointed out to me, “It’s just like 2000, Gore and Bush!”

“Right!” I answered, “and now from our own. It seems so much worse that way. Did you know that Democrats have a weird gene that makes them eat their own?”

They laughed. We talked about the delegates. They had seen the same things that Puma and Just Say No Deal Coalition members have been uncovering, observing, highlighting, and shouting about all year long: the subversion, bullying, and undemocratic processes. They could not believe when they saw the vote halted and delegates switched. “We voted. We went in and pulled the lever. Why should we even bother?”

“I KNOW. How do they do it in Brazil?”

“We vote. It gets recorded. Somebody gets elected. That’s it.”

Continue reading

Hillary’s Convention Speech: Keep Going!

What a speech! Many tears were shed, as we were again touched by the most Presidential, brilliant candidate of our lifetime. For us, “it’s been a privilege.” Here at Puma Headquarters for hours afterward: lots of happy partying — is there another kind? The mood was extremely upbeat and festive, and we are so proud of our true Democratic candidate.

Your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles . . . you taught me so much.

To my supporters, to my champions, to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, because you never gave in, and you never gave up. Together we made history. . . .

And even in the darkest moments, that is what Americans have done: we have found the faith to keep going.

My mother was born before women could vote, my daughter got to vote for her mother for President. This is the story of America, of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.

So how do we give this country back to them? By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her lives to bring slaves to freedom along the underground railroad.

On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice:

‘If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they’re shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop, keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.’

And even in the darkest moments. That is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going.

We do not yet know the results of the floor vote petition. Word is that the ballots went out to the delegations on Tuesday night. In the face of enormous odds, from our hearts, we can do no less. We keep going.

Keep Going (click to play)

[by Pearl Harbor and The Explosions]

[cross-posted from The Confluence]

My One True Friend: Stephanie Tubbs Jones (1949-2008)

From Guilda and GeekLove

“Tribute to Stephanie Tubbs Jones who was the first black Congresswoman representing Ohio and the first black woman to serve on the House Ways and Means committee. She was one of Hillary Clinton’s true friends and a real Democrat.”

May her energetic, committed, and passionate service on behalf of this country be rewarded by inspiring us all to continue her legacy.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones—I Hear A Symphony

We do not yet know the fate of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, as of 5:00 pm ET, August 20, 2008. We do know that she had an aneurysm last night and according to major news outlets was pronounced dead, then the news was corrected to report that she is on life support.

UPDATE: Rep. Tubbs Jones passed away this evening, Wednesday, at 6:12 pm ET, according to CNN: after her condition declined “throughout the course of the day and into this evening,” according to a joint statement from her family, Huron Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic.

The picture above was snapped at Baruch College in NYC on the eve of June 3, 2008, after the final primary totals were in, and Hillary had big wins in South Dakota and Puerto Rico. Terry McAuliffe introduced her as the Next President of the United States, and Hillary was defiant. It was less than one week after the Democrats slammed her at the DNC RBC meeting by awarding Obama Michigan votes that were not his. Through it all, Stephanie Tubbs Jones stayed strong, loyal, and true to the Clintons and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

I feel like playing this Supremes song in honor of the song Congresswoman Jones has been singing through her passionate and dedicated service to Ohio and this country. I hope she’ll hear the symphony, the violins, and the music she’s made wherever she is. According to The Plain Dealer:

Joe Hewitt, a friend of Tubbs Jones’ family, said the congresswoman’s collapse followed a “full day of activity” including planning for a Sept. 4 forum on electoral reform at Cleveland State University.

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I Hear A Symphony

Whenever you’re near, I hear a symphony, a tender melody . .

I feel this joy within, don’t let this feeling end, let it go on and on and on and on.

Baby, baby, those tears that fill my eyes, I cry not for myself,

but for those who’ve never felt the joy we’ve felt. . . .

— A thousand violins fill the air —

Keep standing so close to me, so close to me, I hear a symphony.

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Here’s a portion of her bio from http://tubbsjones.house.gov:

Biography — Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH-11)

Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones is the first African-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives from Ohio. Congresswoman Jones is a lifelong resident of the 11th District, which encompasses most of the East Side of Cleveland and parts of the West Side of Cleveland and includes parts of 22 suburbs.

Currently in her fifth term in office, the Congresswoman, a strong advocate for many issues, has championed wealth building and economic development, access and delivery of health care, and quality education for all. The Congresswoman chairs the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics). Additionally, she serves on the powerful Ways and Means Committee and is an active member of numerous Congressional Caucuses, including the Congressional Black Caucus.

Most recently, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones introduced the “Count Every Vote” Act of 2005 which seeks to provide an all-encompassing solution to a broad range of voting irregularities that occurred during the 2004 presidential election. She is an original co-sponsor of multiple significant pieces of legislation, including healthcare for low and middle-income families and community reentry for ex-felons.

Congresswoman Tubbs Jones has made a number of historic achievements in her distinguished career as a public servant. Prior to her election to the House, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones served as the first African-American and the first female Cuyahoga County, Ohio Prosecutor. She was the first African-American woman to sit on the Common Pleas bench in the State of Ohio and was a Municipal Court Judge in the City of Cleveland.

In Gratitude
Dear Stephanie: We thank and honor you and your lifetime of service. We are so sorry that you had to leave us way too soon, and we pray for your deliverance. May you continue your good works on your next assignment. I know you’ll be watching over us and pulling some strings during the Democratic Convention. Whenever I think of you, I’ll hear a symphony and hope you’ll hear it, too. Although you may be surprised to find yourself where you are now, may you find peace in your new home.

Direction Home: Hillary’s ConCall And My Cabbie

After The Call

I didn’t really feel like going out on Thursday night, but a longtime friend was in town, and we’d made plans to go dancing. Yes, we are young-at-heart baby boomers.

Basement Bhangra in NYC is an upbeat Indian, family wedding-vibe-type club where ‘the kids’ go to flirt, find a mate, etc. They enjoy the kind of dancing they grew up with in their families of first generation Americans from Punjab. Some are trained as professional dancers and have performed in dance troupes, which is really a treat. They move rhythmically and gracefully, arms and hands extended, as they jump around, while entertaining their partner — feels tribal, subtle.

I held my head down, still deep in thought, trying to push away from the computer. I knew that I should leave, but didn’t feel much like it. I’d just gotten off of a 20-minute conference call with Hillary and some of her supporters, followed by a 2-hour commiserative rant and debrief of the call with a fellow PUMA and Just Say No Deal member.

Hillary’s Conference Call: My Notes

During the call, Hillary gave thanks to her fundraising staff in DC, NY and around the country. The support that each of us has provided to her throughout her campaign made it possible for her to show that a woman could compete in terms of the money, and as Commander In Chief. She was the first woman in history to ever win a Presidential primary.

There is a lot to be grateful for. The campaign involved a great coalition of all races, groups, economic backgrounds. What we have done is a strong part of Democratic history, and she is absolutely committed to continuing to fight for our goals and issues for Democrats and Senator Obama. Given the progress we have made in healthcare, the economy and women’s right to choose, the stakes are too high to not elect a Democrat.

She wanted all those to know who raised money, made phone calls, traveled from state to state: all the things we did really kept her going. Many of us are concerned about the attitudes about women, not just about her but about all women. She was surprised at the press’ reaction to women, said it wasn’t right. Part of why she ran was to make it better for women and girls.

Hillary said we needed to do everything we can to help Senator Obama. She wants help paying her debt so she can pay her vendors, saying she was outspent. She’s not asking us to pay her personal debt, and took it as a given that she spent it because she wanted to. She’s asking us to raise the money however we can.

There are big issues in the Fall. She understands that her campaign was a heroic effort of the finest people and bravest women. She is very hopeful that what she stood for will come to pass.

I Heard What She Said, But What Did She Mean?

I phoned my Hillary friend who was on the call, too. I was dumbfounded. We got nothin’. She gave us nothing, not even the teeny tiniest hint that she was fighting the nomination, that there were caucus improprieties, they’d be taking it to the credentials committee, that she thought she’d won, wanted to be on the first ballot in Denver, didn’t support him, or would be dropping out of the Democratic Party anytime soon to form a third party. Nada. Wasn’t there.

Of course, how could she? How could she say any of that? She couldn’t. Even after last week’s garden party “liberal” ex-supporter Superdelegate women senators met without inviting Hillary, but unveiled her programs and policies as their own. That was maddening. Even after nearly every single colleague in her Party turns their back, she continues on. Ugghhh, that’s why I’m not in politics. Couldn’t do it.

I clung to, “but she said ‘first candidate to win.’ She said ‘win’ — that means she’s acknowledging it.”

My friend knew better, “No she meant she was the first woman to ever win a Presidential primary.”

“Oh right, that she did.”

She went on, “It was canned.”

“What? No way!”

“I think it was pre-recorded.”

“Wow, I hadn’t even considered that.”

“No matter what,” says my friend, “I’m not supporting Obama. We need to take it to Denver. Nobody’s the nominee until they vote in Denver. We need to keep up the pressure. Keep petitioning superdelegates. We can’t let them get away with this. It’s not over!”

Beyond Hillary, It’s About Integrity

I went on: “Right, it’s also more than just about Hillary. It’s about the principle of treating a qualified candidate and former First Lady so disrespectfully. The MSM did it, the DNC, Obama and his supporters, women, the blogosphere. It’s about the caucus improprieties, bullying. It’s about the Democratic ‘leadership’ selecting a candidate for us.”

“There’s nothing wrong with getting progressives in office. We want that. What’s wrong with it is that they chose him, early on. That happened with moveon.org too. I was a member from their inception, participated regularly in their action and voter campaigns. They took a members vote early, perhaps in February, and Obama won. I thought, why are they making us decide now? Just like Pelosi and Reid forced the Superdelegates to choose. Now who’s side were they on? Hint: Do you remember when Pelosi came out and snidely replied to questions about a dream ticket, ‘No, I do not think that will happen'”?

“Howard Dean began working on this campaign right after he didn’t get to the White House the last time, and he’s still trying to get there. He formed an extremely organized grassroots organization, and built it from the ground up. They trained thousands of organizers at the city, county and state level, got all their people in there, and then elected Dean to DNC Chairman! Isn’t that the epitome of hubris? He created an organization so he could elect himself. Their initial intentions seemed good, but why did they make it exclusive? Why did they throw the rest of the Party under the bus? Why were Dean and DFA so averse to Hillary, slamming her in their press release after Iowa, taunting brazenly, look at who’s not inevitable anymore?”

“So if she doesn’t want to continue or want us to do so either, what do we do? I mean, besides helping with the debt, I have to get back to work. It seems to me that now is the best time ever for a third party or a new movement, with so many people seeing right through these Dem schemes. But in order to mobilize people, you need a leader, Hillary, or someone with experience in government who can do the job.”

“Perhaps we need to create a more inclusive, compassionate, responsible, and responsive organization than the current Democratic leadership. Millions of voters are angry that they were manipulated, cheated and bullied out of their candidate. They don’t know what to do or where to turn, but they’re not happy. We need to build a group from this which can be a force for shaping politics.”

Americans Are So Stupid

I went out for the evening as planned, and ended up having a lovely time. On my way home, I stepped in to a take-out place to get a bite to eat. There was an older (than me), upscale-looking white guy who was jumping around excitedly. He exclaimed, “Obama! I was so excited to see the sign on the outside, and that’s why, that’s why I came in!” He was beside himself with glee. I’d entered from the other door, and now looked up to read the storefront window-sized sign from behind, Senator Obama, Yes, We Are Ready. “Oh,” I said.

In New York City, sometimes you get a cab driver who talks in mumbled tones on his headset the entire drive. Other times, you have an engaging conversation. Pretty discouraged after the Obama old guy, I must have been a glutton for punishment, because I dove back in. Believing I’d get an Obama answer, because the driver was black, I asked him, “So what do you think about the election”? He was from Haiti:

“Acchhh, He-lah-ree. I was forr He-lah-ree. She haas the expeerience. She knows what she’s doing. She’s smart. I like her programs. That Obama, I don’t like him. Not his wife either.”

“Oh, I’m surprised.”

“Because I’m a black man?”

“Yes,” I admitted. “Well, I supported Hillary too.”

We commiserated all the way across town. In the end he said, shaking his head,

“People in the United States are soo stuu-pid sometimes. They have something, the best candidate rright in frront of them, and they don’t choose it. The US is sooo stuu-pid!

BE SMART. CLICK TO HELP RETIRE HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN DEBT!

Sexism, Misogyny, Hillary Clinton (Video)

This powerful video from ILEwoman was added to YouTube on March 30, 2008, so perhaps many of you have seen it. It was new to me. I thought it was a poignant reminder of what we’re fighting for, and who was and is at the forefront of that fight.

Feat. Clinton supporter, Ed Rendell, before he turned his support toward Obama, endorsing a dream ticket, along with Chuck Schumer, Lanny Davis and others. That’s a link to those who want an Obama Clinton 08. Senator Clinton has disavowed such efforts since suspending her campaign, but what actually could she do? She was pressured out of making any bids, whether she wanted to or not, by saying she was putting on the pressure after the last primary. Who knows? I always thought it was an Obama == DNC ploy. Hillary had always said, whatever, for the good of the Party.

Many supporters say never on that one. It’s beneath her. She’d never, because of how he treated her, Michelle, Bill, yada yada. She’d be blamed if his administration goes south.

I’ll admit, I’m undecided on it. She would be in power and could move forward her agenda. Although, I can’t imagine it happening due to the DNC Chicago HQ chess move of the week. Who’s surprised after Obama announced last week, “I’m the head of the Party now”?

I know I will not accept another VP choice. But what If it so happened, after all this, that the DNC realized they had to have Hillary on the ticket to win, assuming Obama doesn’t self-destruct before that — which I doubt will happen with all this extreme orchestration —

Would you vote for a dream ticket? (Please keep it civil if you’re opposed, thank you.)

She-Deviler Media Gang Unrepentant–Boycott MSNBC!

women men hillary supporters voters BOYCOTT MSNBC NBC RUSSERT MATTHEWS OLBERMANN sexist misogynistc media bias

Click above to Boycott MSNBC and NBC!

* Author’s note: Subsequent to publishing this article, I learned that MSNBC News Commentator Tim Russert had passed away suddenly. I send my condolences to his family, and wish him well on his next assignment. —LBNYC

Women and men have been decrying the rampant sexism and misogyny lobbed at Hillary Clinton during the Democratic Primary season — made especially clear after she was left standing in a thinning field of candidates over the last four months. It seems that the better she did, the more the MSM tried to knock her down. During this time, millions of citizens took notice and protested using the power of emails, blogs, phone calls, and remote controls to turn off offensive network news, MSNBC, CNN, late night comedians, Oprah, and The View. They protested with their hands and feet, as they walked into voting booths and pulled the lever “yes” for Hillary Clinton; and as they walked away from the DNC, stopped contributing, and mailed back their membership cards.

Now, in their post-analysis, The Media appears to be just fine with what happened. Although millions of citizens have decried their actions as degrading to women, not to mention a former first lady, current US Senator, and Presidential candidate, their protests have fallen on deaf ears. Actually network high ups see the hullabaloo as excessive, but more than that: it’s the candidate’s fault — she used the coverage to try to create momentum. I would say to them, “right, blame the victim,” BUT Hillary Clinton is nobody’s victim.

In today’s NYT article, Media Charged With Sexism in Clinton Coverage, co-authors Katharine Q. Seelye and Julie Bosman write that most outlets assess their coverage was fair:

. . . many in the news media — with a few exceptions, including Katie Couric, the anchor of the “CBS Evening News” — see little need for reconsidering their coverage or changing their approach going forward. Rather, they say, as the Clinton campaign fell behind, it exploited a few glaring examples of sexist coverage to whip up a backlash and to try to create momentum for Mrs. Clinton.

The Media sees no mistakes in their coverage.

Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, said: “I have not had a lot of regretful conversations with high-ranking media types and political reporters about how unfair their coverage of the Hillary Clinton campaign was.”

Among journalists, he added, the coverage “does not register as a mistake that must not be allowed to happen again.”

But, never fear, Howard Dean is here. He really gets it now. He’s finally hip to our cause, and I’m sure he’ll handle it.

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic Party, who says he was slow to pick up on charges of sexism because he is not a regular viewer of cable television, [Good one! I guess he forgot to read all of our emails back in February, March, April, May, and June] is taking up the cause after hearing an outcry from what he described as a cross-section of women, from individual voters to powerful politicians and chief executives.

“The media took a very sexist approach to Senator Clinton’s campaign,” Mr. Dean said in a recent interview.

“It’s pretty appalling,” he said, adding that the issue resonates because Mrs. Clinton “got treated the way a lot of women got treated their whole lives.”

Mr. Dean and others are now calling for a “national discussion” of sexism.

Sure, I’m up for that “national discussion.” Do you think that Sen. Obama will hold those after he does the Town Halls with John McCain?

But really, sexism, schmexism. Give us back our legitimate candidate and our votes! Can you do that? Mmm, I didn’t think so.

Any bets that Florida’s new Obama-selected delegates won’t have full voting privileges restored at the Democratic Convention in Denver? Any one?

USE THE POWER OF YOUR CLICKER AND YOUR WALLET! BOYCOTT SEXIST MEDIA COVERAGE!

Where Do We Go From Here? Just Say No Deal (Video)

Where do we go from here?

The Democratic Party has abandoned the true principles of its roots.

“If the voters don’t hold the parties accountable, who will?”

We are joining together, many groups and voices, and making a coalition of our own.

Join us!

Just Say No Deal

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* Video Produced by V4Hill!

LBNYC: Music Library

ACTION: WomenCount PAC’s New Ad

From: WomenCount PAC
Date: June 12, 2008 12:22:14 AM EDT
Subject: Need your help to fund important new ad!

Dear Friends,
We are putting the finishing touches on our next ad, which we’re hoping to run in the New York Times as soon as Monday. We think you’ll love the content – and this is no time to sit back and wait. More than ever, we must stand up and be counted – all 18 million of us. But we can’t do it without you. We are still short of the necessary funds to place the ad.

The headline is “We’re still here. We’re listening. And we’re not going away.” It says we will not rest until we hear from the Democratic party and its nominee about how they will:

  • represent the 18 million Americans who voted for Hillary;
  • acknowledge Hillary’s 35 years of experience;
  • reform a flawed nominating process, especially caucuses;
  • address the flagrant, often hostile, gender bias in the campaign;
  • assure parity to the 52 percent of Americans who are women;
  • apologize for their public silence in the wake of the outrageous attacks leveled by Father Pfleger against Hillary;
  • and support the issues we hold dear, such as health insurance for everyone, a good start for all children, a strong economy, and a smart environmental policy.

It is so important that we speak out and speak up at this critical moment. Hillary’s supporters around the country are launching many different efforts, and WomenCount respects all of those views.

We believe that the points we raise in this ad are shared by everyone, and we hope you will get behind our latest effort.

To contribute, go to www.womencountpac.com. Remember that the quickest way to get the funds to us is to send a check by overnight mail or print out and fax back the credit card form you can download from the web site.

Thank you for your continued support.
WomenCount PAC

WomenCount PAC was created to ensure that the 51 percent of American citizens who are women have their values and votes counted in the political process. So far in the 2008 election cycle, WomenCount has run a series of ads related to the presidential campaign and made contributions to several women candidates for Congress.

Contributions to WomenCount PAC are not tax-deductible. Contributions will be used in federal elections, and are subject to federal law regarding prohibited sources and limits. Contributions to WomenCount PAC are limited to $5,000 per calendar year and contributions from corporations and labor unions are prohibited. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $20 in a calendar year.

Paid for by WomenCount PAC and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
WomenCount PAC ~ 1016 Lincoln Blvd., Suite 303, San Francisco, CA 94129 ~ http://www.womencountpac.com