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.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

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.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

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.

Normalizing Hillary: Connect the Vote Dots

Besides PUMAs, Just Say No Deal Coalition members, and those who have been paying close attention to the 2008 primary process, everyone in the US and some people abroad think that: Obama won the Democratic Primary; therefore, he secured the nomination; and he is being gracious by allowing Clinton’s name to be placed in nomination at the Democratic Convention.

In fact, the Obama and Clinton campaigns issued a joint statement on August 14, 2008 about it, and we have achieved a small victory. Or as Heidi Li Feldman puts it, we’re where we were in the first place. (Oh, forgive me: as Barbra WaWa might say: Were where we whah in the furst pwace.) The MSM is all over the story, asking if we disgruntled old ladies, gays, and republicrats are satisfied now? They claim that we’re just sore losers, and that we want Clinton’s name on the ballot because of her historic win as a woman. They’re touting it as symbolic. It’s not symbolic; it’s normal!

In fact, we are sore winners! Neither candidate won the requisite number of pledged delegates. Instead (rolling eyes, PUMAs repeating themselves, ad infinitum), Nancy Nine Percent Pelosi and Harry Reticent Reed pressured the Democratic Superdelegates to endorse a candidate prior to Denver. This act in turn defies their true purpose: to nominate the candidate who can win POTUS in November. In 2008, there are 855 Superdelegates with FL and MI according to Connect-the-Dots. CNN says it’s 825. Over 200 are uncommitted. Any SD can change their vote through the first ballot in Denver, no matter who they or their state or district endorsed.

Didn’t Hillary run on the assertion that she was the only Democratic candidate who could win the Electoral College in November? The virtual Nobama/McCain dead heat in the polls proves that she wasn’t lyin’, despite Obamamoneys-raised, European jaunts, and a vacay away from the barely investigative, mostly fawning MSM spotlight.

The Obama/DNC presumption is that it’s all a done deal. To dispel any doubts, Invesco Field/Mile High Stadium was booked as the site for what our movement, (and back in the day, Jesse Jackson) calls a coronation. Let’s be clear:

From CNN’s count, we see that neither candidate had the requisite 2,118 pledged delegates as of June 3 to clinch the nomination. Obama had 1763, Clinton had 1640, a 123 delegate lead for BO. It is difficult to find an accurate vote count that shows Hillary Clinton won the most popular votes of any primary candidate in history. Why? Real Clear Politics has Clinton at 18,046,007, Obama at 17,869,542, including MI and FL, with estimates for IA, NV, ME, and WA. There, Clinton nets +176,465 votes.

1. Why does popular vote matter when everyone keeps hammering on the delegate totals? Delegate counts are inconsistent, uneven reflections of the will of the voters, because they include caucuses. Caucuses represent far fewer voters than primaries, yet delegates selected in that process carry more weight.

Worse yet is the impact on the delegate count. While [as of 5/31/08] 2549 delegates earned in the primaries represent an average of 12,225 voters, in the caucuses each of the 515 delegates elected represents a mere 2,110 votes. Each caucus vote, then, is weighted 5.8 times greater than each primary vote when it comes to allocating delegates.

2. Why don’t PUMAs admit that Obama won more caucuses, which is why he won and Hillary lost, and stop changing the rules? In 2008, there are substantiated reports of caucus fraud. Please read Dr. Lynette Long’s research who concludes: “the Obama campaign willfully and intentionally defrauded the American public by systematically undermining the caucus process.”

3. If Obama now has enough delegates when SDs are included, why isn’t he simply the nominee? Superdelegates are party officials — both elected and un-elected. They can vote for whomever they wish at their Convention, regardless of their states’ vote, to make sure the most-electable Democrat becomes the nominee.

4. Why am I still writing about this, when Obama and Clinton agreed on 8/14/08 that Hillary’s name will be placed on the Convention ballot and up for a roll call vote? Because, it should have been automatic, as in every election since 1884. None of the other candidates came anywhere near Clinton, yet it’s a “negotiation”? Look at all these guys who were nominated, without even coming close to their opponents in delegate count. Courtesy of EdgeOfForever:

1972: Ted Kennedy – 12 votes on first ballot
Kennedy had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1976: Ted Kennedy – 1 vote on first ballot
Kennedy had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1980: Jimmy Carter – 1981 delegates
Ted Kennedy – 1225 delegates
Uncommitted – 122
Kennedy had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1984: Jesse Jackson – 465 votes
Jackson had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

1988: Jesse Jackson – 1218 votes
Jackson had no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

2004: John Kerry: 2192.5 Pledged delegates
Howard Dean: 114.5 Pledged delegates
Dean had already dropped out, with no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

2008: Barack Obama: 1766.5 Pledged delegates
Hillary Clinton: 1639.5 Pledged delegates

5. Who are the delegates, and why shouldn’t they just go along with the DNC’s choice, Barack Obama? Delegates are elected by their grassroots supporters to go to the Democratic convention as representatives of the total votes cast in their state’s districts. Although they each may represent thousands of HRC voters, they can just change their votes as if we, the US voters, are not even in the picture! According to CNN,

Pledged delegates are not actually bound to vote for the candidate. Consequently, candidates are allowed on a state-by-state basis to review lists of delegates who have pledged their support and can delete anyone whose support they consider unreliable.

Surprise you? This could account for the DNC’s treatment of Clinton delegate, Sacha Millstone, or even what happened in Florida right after June 3, when Obama’s campaign began replacing his elected delegates with their own. I’m still not getting how someone who represents your, or my, or anyone’s vote could be intimidated into changing it and have that be part of the deal. Our deal. You know, the one we get as citizens. The deal, the one true thing we’ve got in this country that our guys and all those Iraqis are supposedly dying for and about. That democracy one person one vote representative thing.

6. How can the DNC represent the will of the people, if the delegates are pressured to support Obama as if he is the nominee, and they are afraid to publicly declare otherwise? How can there be “unity” if Hillary Clinton is allowed to be booed unchecked at even one of his events? DNC chairs and party officials, and delegates are being intimidated and threatened to not cast THEIR votes for Hillary Clinton. These are not THEIR votes. These votes are OURS. The delegates are merely our proxies. If not us, who DO they represent? How is this representative government?

Whether you agree or disagree, please learn about the process. Watch this three-part series, Democrats ’08: CONNECT-THE-DOTS, with Host Leslie Stevens. The program is sponsored by The Educational Foundation for the Integrity of the Democratic Process, Asheville, North Carolina. Bloggers, please post it! Readers, email it to friends and family.

[Connect-the-Dots Part 1]

[Connect-the-Dots Part 2]

[Connect-the-Dots Part 3]

Have you connected the dots? That’s why we’re not satisfied. It’s about the process being fair and reflecting the will of the voters. And, you can help!!! Call or email your delegates or any that you know. Ask them to sign the 300 delegate petition to ensure that Hillary’s name is placed in nomination. This petition was created by and for delegates. Email: hrc300delegates@yahoo.com.

Still, we’re not ready to make nice. . . .

[160 Years and Still Waiting — Rise Hillary Rise by DemocracyDame]

h/t to DemocracyDame for “Connect-the-Dots” lead and her video above.

Breaking: Hillary on Ballot at Convention!

The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reported this morning, and now officially, that Hillary Clinton’s name will be placed in nomination, meaning on the ballot, at the Democratic Convention.

Of course, Obama decided it best to welcome her participation for the sake of the team — unity and all that, you know. Do ya think? How about: with the most sophisticated bulldog machine and millions of campaign bucks raised, his paltry self is statistically tied with John McCain.

From Ambinder and now from Hillary’s website: A joint statement from the Clinton and Obama campaigns:

Since June, Senators Obama and Clinton have been working together to ensure a Democratic victory this November. They are both committed to winning back the White House and to to ensuring that the voices of all 35 million people who participated in this historic primary election are respected and heard in Denver. To honor and celebrate these voices and votes, both Senator Obama’s and Senator Clinton’s names will be placed in nomination.

“I am convinced that honoring Senator Clinton’s historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion,” said Senator Barack Obama.

Senator Obama’s campaign encouraged Senator Clinton’s name to be placed in nomination as a show of unity and in recognition of the historic race she ran and the fact that she was the first woman to compete in all of our nation’s primary contests.

“With every voice heard and the Party strongly united, we will elect Senator Obama President of the United States and put our nation on the path to peace and prosperity once again,” said Senator Hillary Clinton.

Senator Obama and Senator Clinton are looking forward to a convention unified behind Barack Obama as the Party’s nominee and to victory this fall for America.

Well, madamab, The Confluence‘s playwright-in-residence couldn’t have written this scenario better. Speculation’s a-flyin’ that Hillary will use the occasion to release her delegates to Obama. Hmm. It could happen, but naturally we PUMAs will do all in our power to keep her ROAR fierce and encourage the delegates, who are being systematically threatened, coerced, and pressured to go over to the O-side, to remain strong and committed to the candidate we elected them to support.

And of course after six months, now that Obama has just jumped on the seat-our-delegates train, he needs even more delegates than accounted for in order to clinch the nomination. Now that he’s recognized, well that’s too generous, now that it’s dawned on him that he cannot win in his current incarnation, he’s morphed once again into the candidate whose claim to a vision of change trumps the reality he’s actually produced.

8/5/2008

Senator Clinton Urges Credential Committee to Restore Full Votes for Michigan and Florida Convention Delegates

Senator Hillary Clinton issued the following statement in response to the letter Senator Barack Obama sent to the Credentials Committee urging that it allow the Michigan and Florida delegates to have a full vote at the 2008 Democratic Convention.

“During the campaign, I strongly advocated for the Democratic Party to seat the Florida and Michigan delegation with their full votes. The Democratic Party has always stood up for the principle of counting every person’s vote. Today, Senator Obama has requested that the Credentials Committee give Florida and Michigan delegates their full votes. This is the right position for the Democratic Party and for the country and I urge the Credentials Committee to restore full votes to Florida and Michigan delegates.”

So, now the “magic number” of delegates necessary to clinch the Dem Nom for POTUS is now 2118, according to RealClearPolitics. If you go there, of course, keep in mind that the Superdelegates can change their minds up through first vote on the convention floor.

Great job, PUMAs!!! Just Say No Deal! Keep up the pressure. Buyers’ remorse abounds. The Russia-Georgia conflict is an August surprise that is testing the Dems untested candidate. Call Now: How’s he drivin’?

Hell No, I Didn’t Give Up: I’m Back, Madam President!

Dear Readers,

To those of you who are still here after my 12-day absence: Welcome and Thank You!

I am still here! I did not give up. I am still fighting to elect the only candidate who can save our country’s sorry butt from its current slide into ruin, an extraordinary candidate who is the most electable: Our Madam President, Hillary Clinton!

Where have I been, anyway? What a long, strange trip it’s been. . . .

I was happily minding my own blogness — actually, I’m not so sure about happily. How many of us were going to do our part to help out with the campaign for just a bit? Raise money, make calls. I’d been a volunteer for over twenty years during Presidential campaigns and have worked at the polls, for the Democratic Party, and even for moveon.org since they started in Berkeley, CA. However, I can’t say that I’ve ever been as obsessed as in this season. Right?

I created Lady Boomer NYC blog after I wrote a letter to friends describing why I was supporting Hillary Clinton for President. In response, I received forwarded emails from longtime New Age, feminist, baby boomer friends demeaning Hillary in the extreme. In early March, a dear friend who was connected to Obama’s campaign told me that Hillary could not mathematically win the democratic nomination. After making about twenty voter calls to Ohio and Texas, and being hung up on and cussed out, I decided that I wasn’t cut out for it. I had no idea how Hillary could withstand it. I certainly had a much different experience calling Ohio for Kerry in 2004 through moveon.

As a published author, writing something motivational, inspirational, or informational was how I thought I could best contribute to the cause. Then look what happened: Hillary Clinton was attacked from all fronts, while her junior opponent was nary examined. We, the incensed lifetime members of the Democratic Party, began to hoot ‘n holler about how her opponents were gaming and defrauding the system with sexism, race-baiting, fear and intimidation. With each primary, we thought we’d be done, yet the attacks, her opponent’s outrageous claims and his abnormal friends kept emerging. We were constantly putting out fires.

The best thing, though, was that we could promote and work for a competent, qualified woman who had plans and programs for every segment of our society, plans that she could recite backwards and forwards, numbers included. The other best thing is that nobody said we had to do it. You could say we were called. How else can normal people have the energy to work tirelessly ’round the clock? The other best thing was that we began to create community for the sake of a cause. Yes, the second sixties-era for me. Nobody had to tell me to do it — I couldn’t do otherwise.

After the primaries, many blogs, websites, forums, organizations, artists, and individuals coalesced into PUMAs and the Just Say No Deal coalition. V, an online creative friend, said he felt the coalition’s voice needed to get bigger in the world and asked very nicely for my help in starting a radio station at No Quarter. I’d mentioned my radio station background, and the thought of new technology was exciting compared to the old radio days of two turntables and a microphone plus remote on-site broadcasts.

V, and his amazing technical, training expertise, artistic design dream coat, and I became producing partners and collaborators. In three weeks we had created NQR and aired shows, including: Larry Johnson’s “Security Corner” with guests Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson, “Morning Q” with Betty Jean and Pagan, “Reading Rezko” with Susan UnPC and Truthteller, “Meet Me in Denver” with Murphy and Friends, Bud White with guest Bob Shrum, DC Media Girl, Nocturnal Warrior, and more. After getting things going on the creative, logistical and training fronts, V and I left NQR to pursue other projects. I’m honored to have been part of that effort with him and NQR, and that the coalition’s voice is being broadcast on a larger scale going forward.

During our radio project, I was crazy busy and my blog suffered — I had no capacity to maintain my former writing output. However, during that time, I was still typing up a storm as I had for months in station emails, correspondences and documents, writing blog posts, reading blogs and news for research, plus personal and professional writing and correspondence. Basically, I’d been on my laptop for an entire year, from 10-18 hours per day, beginning when I began revising my 118-page book proposal in June 2007. Whole days passed into night, Summer into Fall, Fall into Winter. In Winter, as a recently transplanted Cali girl in NY, I could justify staying inside like David Mamet and never open the shades. But then, in our fervor to elect Hillary, Winter ’08 turned into Spring, then Summer, and we’re almost at Fall. Like many of us, I work for myself and abandoned it to work on behalf of Hillary’s campaign. How important it was to get her elected and make sure justice was done!

During my last week at NQR, several tumor-like nodules mysteriously appeared in my right palm — overnight! And believe me, I pay attention to my body. Well, of course, I walk my talk, or try to. However, the writing habits I just mentioned would belie that statement! In fact, I was so far into it, that when one of my daughters visited, she said, “What happened to you?” My body was all curled up and I didn’t even know it! As a body-mind practitioner, healer, and author, to say that I was freaked out about my hand condition would be an understatement. I’ve also played piano, guitar, and done painting and drawing my entire life, plus am a gardener. As one of the 37 million uninsured, or is that 47 million, I began to explore my options. Ahhh, what’s 10 million here or there among the uninsured?

Working in complementary health, I have lots of colleagues with whom I consult. I checked with my friend who’s a Physician Assistant and likes to look up weird stuff; when she hit on Dupuytren’s Contracture, the bells of my symptoms went off. Overnight, my palm had grown lumps with adhesions over them, and the texture of my skin changed, growing calloused and swollen, with a red spot that looked like a photo of same. Turns out, it’s hereditary, my mom has it, along with other complications she tells me. In advanced stages, your hand can curl up. My suspicions of its seemingly rapid onset centered on having used a trackpad consistently for several years, especially during this intensive writing. Who knows, it could be tendons or cartilage, but like cysts I’ve had, they and my palm get bigger and smaller throughout the cycles of the day and with usage, sometimes it’s painful or uncomfy, but nothing intolerable. I’m just protecting it from further damage.

In case you’re about to offer a suggestion, I’ve tried various things, including: icing, heat, anti-inflammatories, acupuncture and Chinese herbs, Chinese chi-gung balls, typing only with my left hand (extremely frustrating for a 65 wpm typist), not typing, myofascial release on hand, arm, shoulders, back, favoring left hand in daily activities. I’ve consulted with a doc friend and an Occupational Therapist who gave me pointers on gentle management and acceptance. I could see a $500 specialist, plus xrays, who might give me a cortisone shot, suggest surgery, or say there’s nothing I can do. There’s an experimental needle procedure developed in France. So far, the self-deep tissue work, icing, and not using it have worked best. As you can tell, I go low-tech first. More than you’ve ever wanted to know, right?

All in all, I’d say that the Universe dropped a love bomb on me, as riverdaughter calls it. Love my body, my hands, make wise use of them, rest, develop/bring forth other parts of my life and work in areas of proficiency that I haven’t emphasized. In my intention, I’m morphing the emphasis of what has been a major part of my identity. One thing I find interesting is the change in my logical left brain, right hand hookup: it seems to be on mute. Yes, I can still compute day to day activities, and my list-making is alive and well. I’m just more likely to let things go by, or not care about using initial caps. I don’t care about every single outrageous breaking news story, although I still track many of them. You could say my perfectionism volume is turned down a bit.

Thank you for reading this far. You know I’ve always been honest, so have laid it all out for you. My new commitment is to begin writing here again, but in less quantity. I have about 100 unpublished drafts from before and would like to bring forth a few of those ideas. I have to be more picky about my hand usage and be more selective about what I write, instead of trying to cover it all! Although I hate to not post every single thing about our movement and the news, I’ll have to leave that to the other fabulous bloggers. I’ll leave you to read most calls to action and announcements on the other fantastic Just Say No Deal and Puma coalition blogs.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this: I went to the Puma Conference in DC, helped a bit in the planning, and did a presentation about “Communication and Reaction: Embodying Community.” I met and jammed with so many dedicated and energized PUMAs whom I’ve met online or talked with on the phone. We were privileged to work, plan, and share ideas together about the short-term and long-term goals of our movement and the Democratic Party. I am in this for the long term. I am in this for exposing the injustices in this campaign, and more importantly for reforming the election system.

I uphold the vision of our coalition to nominate and elect our champion, the only Democratic candidate who can win the general election and navigate our country on its rightful course: Hillary Clinton, our Madam President!

Through our journey, and working together, we’ve formed alliances, and learned our strengths. Our friends, families, colleagues, and neighbors can’t understand why we keep on. Sometimes we can have those conversations, other times we just have to shut up. Many dear ones and partners in the struggle have fallen away or say they will if we don’t quit. Yet we keep going, giving our very best to the principles and underpinnings that form the heart and soul of the laws of this country.

[Bob Marley – No Woman, No Cry]

I remember when we used to sit in the government yard in Trenchtown,

Observing the hypocrites as they would mingle with the good people we’d meet.

Good friends we have, oh good friends we’ve lost along the way,

In this great future, you can’t forget your past, so dry your tears, I say.

No woman, no cry.

Everything’s going to be alright.

So, no woman, no cry.

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!

How We Got Here, In Three Easy Steps (Videos)

“Deja Vote” a pagano/parente production

Citizens speak out about how the DNC handled the Florida and Michigan votes and how they treated the democratic candidates.

ONE: Just so we’re clear. The video above shows where we were at on May 31, 2008, rallying to Count All the Votes in Florida and Michigan at the DNC RBC Meeting in Washington, DC. All the votes were not counted.

TWO: The DNC (s)elected presidential candidate Barack Obama instead of candidate Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote.

THREE: So, as the Democratic Party refused to acknowledge our collective voice, 18 million strong, we are selecting ourselves — The People, the original, inclusive base of the Democratic Party — and making our voices heard.

Of course, this is only the Reader’s Digest version of where we’ve been until now, but will serve as reminder and encouragement.

Oops, Didn’t Realize I Was So Late: Dean’s DFA

What and Who Is Democracy For America?

Talk about a bamboozlement. What a strategy. It appears that attempts to organize now, after the Hillary fact, are, well, several years too late, to put it mildly. This one bowled me over, like I’d been hit in the gut. It doesn’t mean that I’m giving up; I’m just saying.

Howard Dean, it seems, has been busy training Democratic operatives and bloggers in a highly organized manner for a while now. Where have I been? I hadn’t heard of DFA until this week. This from fellow blogger, Claudiabl*:

DFA (Democracy For America) along with Netroots Nation are organizations founded by Howard Dean for the purpose of “training” campaign workers and promoting progressive candidates

That makes sense, right? It makes sense to have launched such an operation, considering the ass-whooping Dean and company got in 2000 and 2004. At the time, there were rampant “what hit us?” conversations about how Republicans had organized at the grassroots level, situating themselves in local government and on school boards. And what with the “swift-boating,” we were patsies and pansies and weren’t going to take it anymore. (I can’t help it, even though Democracy For America was on my side and ostensibly formed for good progressively strategic reasons, my mind keeps wandering over to the Hitler youth movement as a comparable. I should be ashamed.)

Why Was DFA Founded?

DFA was founded to reform the Democratic Party:

DFA members are working everyday to build a stronger more progressive Democratic Party. We believe the Democratic Party must be driven by people-power and responsive to the needs of everyday Americans.

Why sure, “people-power.” Me too, I’m for that!

Too often, once leaders from any party get elected, they get tied to a culture of incumbency and insular thinking that is dominated by special interests. DFA members fight for a culture of activism and rebuild policies and platforms for grassroots empowerment. It is our mission to constantly revitalize the party with new members, progressive ideas, and effective actions.

Huh. I guess that the Clintons were among those cultural incumbents. Bill had been so wildly popular as to be elected twice (first time for Dems in 40 years), and accomplish so much for our country, that Dean couldn’t wait to take ’em down.

How Are DFA and The DNC Connected?

Evidently, DFA elected Howard to the DNC Chairmanship — Who knew? I had no idea how screamin’ Dean had gotten that position:

In 2005, DFA members elected our founder Howard Dean to the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. With the 50 State Strategy, Governor Dean has successfully delivered on our campaign commitment to stand up for Democrats and our principles in every district in every state.

Our work hasn’t ended with electing a new chairman to head the party, DFA members have run for all levels of party office from precinct captains to county and statewide party chairs. We don’t just talk the talk. DFA members do the work it takes to make change happen. Join us in our mission to reform the Democratic Party.

DFA, The DNC, and Obama

Dean had run a hallmark campaign in 2004. Indeed, it was the first Presidential primary campaign to make effective use of online technology to mobilize and raise contributions from small individual donors. Dean’s training of campaign workers and bloggers would seem like a dovetail fit with Obama’s so-called grassroots community organizing background, combined with the forces of the progressive grassroots moveon.org. Moveon caught the attention of Congress and the DNC with their effective online protest and voter campaigns beginning in 2003. I was an active member, from their Berkeley inception as they grew into a national movement, until their early endorsement of Obama which I protested.

A Florida progressive blog, Florida Politics carries along the DFA message in their state, and notes that their blogging software is similar the Daily Kos, apparently a bragging right. Lately, they’ve reported on the huge Obama operation being set up there, and the takeover by his campaign of a portion of FL’s previous delegate selection. Just as with Michigan, I wonder if the Sunshine State will Remember in November or warm to the candidate who blocked fair reflection and counting all their votes.

Integrating Activists With Grassroots Media

If you fish around on the DFA website under their trainers and training agenda, you will find that we PUMAs and Just Say No Deal Coailtion Members, and likely Hillary herself, ladies and gentleman, are very late to this table.

Last summer we did a session of Night School live from the YearlyKos convention in Chicago. We featured Chris Bowers from OpenLeft.com and Katrina Baker from Living Liberally to discuss building open progressive communities.

Of course it now stands to reason how the DNC could so “quickly mobilize” to announce their move to Chicago last week, and accomplish it over the weekend.

Early Involvement In Presidential Endorsement

Question: How did all the progressive causes that we — I and other Democratic Party members, now-refugees — fought for over our entire lives get absconded by people who seem ready and able to disregard us and our efforts? Hey, over here, I’m a progressive too. How did they choose to throw Hillary away? Or did she or her old-school campaign staff not see DFA as a force?

It appears that DFA had weight in making their early assessments of the Presidential candidates in terms of progressiveness. I don’t see any mention of Hillary Clinton being engaged with them. Perhaps they were deterred by Mark Penn’s purported initial barriers to her easy access, or perhaps Dean didn’t include her? Obama even used their training manuals for his trainings!

All throughout 2007, DFA members were engaged in the Presidential race. DFA kicked off the year with messages to the candidates demanding to hear their plans for ending the Iraq War and combating global warming – and Senators Edwards and Obama, Gov. Richardson, and Rep. Kucinich responded with special videos to DFA members. Gov. Richardson sent campaign staff to a DFA Training Academy and Sen. Obama’s campaign used the Training Academy manual for their trainings. (emphasis mine) This engagement culminated in November of 2007, with the largest online poll of the election season. Over 154,000 DFA members voted in response to “Vote for Me Messages” from the candidates in the race. As a response to the overwhelming support for progressive leaders, DFA launched the Unite for a Progressive President campaign.

Big Tent No More

DFA appears to send out strident press releases, endorsing their progressive candidates and slamming others within the Democratic Party who don’t go along. Evidently, they deemed Obama and Edwards the most progressive, crediting their organization with Iowa’s win, and challenging an unnamed candidate with: what’s all this inevitability talk, huh? Bwa ha ha ha ha.

So, it’s clear that the DNC Chair, under the auspices of Democracy For America, preferentially campaigned, and built an organization, to defeat Hillary Clinton from within, and from the git go — way before Iowa and months, if not years, before the DNC RBC Committee Meeting on May 31, 2008. Pardon me. I am now officially more than naive. I thought I kept up, but maybe I was just a “holiday Democrat” after all. Until this campaign season, I always thought that the DNC was a neutral body that contained all Democrats in “the big tent.” Oops, my bad.

From DFA, originally dated January 3, 2008:

Progressives Win! Obama Wins. Edwards Second.

Democracy for America Lead the Way in Iowa
Des Moines, IA – Democracy for America, our nation’s largest progressive political action organization with over 9,000 members in Iowa, has shown their power tonight in Iowa. With the one-two finish of Senator Barack Obama/Senator John Edwards in the Iowa caucus, it is clear that progressive voters are the key constituency in this election. DFA’s Unite for a Progressive President Campaign made the difference here in Iowa. Democracy for America’s Unite for a Progressive President Campaign brought together the strengths of the Iowa caucus process and the commitment of DFA members throughout the country. The 675,000 members of DFA gathered tens of thousands signatures on a national call to action, wrote over 6,124 letters to Iowa DFA members, and plastered the Des Moines Register with an ad asking Iowa Democrats to not leave their caucus until a progressive wins their location.“If you listened to people last year, it was as if there was no need to vote. There was all this talk about inevitability, but, tonight, Democracy for America’s members here in Iowa proved that primaries matter, progressive values are what make the Democratic Party strong,” said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. (* bold format mine, itals theirs)

In sharp contrast to 2004, issues of concern to progressive voters have been front and center in this presidential race. The activism and involvement of progressive Democrats have transformed the Party and fundamentally altered the primary landscape. From universal health care to ending the War in Iraq to global warming, every Democrat in the race has seen the need to take a strong stance. Those Democrats who have taken a stance have seen their support increase among voters.

“Tonight’s caucus results are further proof that progressive voters make up the core of the Democratic Party – they are the key constituency in this election. DFA members and progressive Democrats support candidates who fight for progressive values: bringing our troops home from Iraq, expanding universal health care for all Americans, and fighting to end global warming,” said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of DFA.

Dean’s Mission Remains The Same

Now I’m wondering exactly when did my candidate and I get voted out of the Party? It would appear as if the strong-arm tone and tactics that characterize many people’s encounters with the Obama campaign have roots in the mission of an organization that has been at play since Dean’s piercing scream. The fratboy doc never gave up. In fact, he has been very hard at work getting back at anyone who ever laughed at him, and is still intent on going all the way to the White House. Memory lane, y’all.

—————————————————————————–

* Hat tip to Claudiabl for the lead.

Obama’s Return to Michigan: Will They Remember?

It appears that Obama is intent on winning no matter how many longtime loyal Dems or states he has to throw overboard. I wonder if Michigan voters can forgive and forget how he treated them in the primary? 55 percent voted for Hillary Clinton; Obama took his name off the ballot in a state where he was not expected to win, and his campaign blocked various re-vote and fair voter reflection measures. Is Al Gore to the rescue enough?

From The Hill, June 16, 2008 by Sam Youngman, on Obama’s return to Michigan and the AP Story about his nontraditional campaign strategy:

Obama’s two-day visit to the state underscores just how important his campaign views Michigan to its electoral success.

The Associated Press reported Monday that Obama’s campaign is looking at a strategy that would allow the Illinois senator to lose the traditional battlegrounds of Florida and Ohio, but he would need to hold onto three states Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) won in 2004 — Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Michigan. Gore won Michigan in 2000.

Just about every poll recently conducted in the state shows Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) with a narrow lead. The RealClearPolitics average of polls has McCain leading Obama by less than two percentage points.

Obama has an uphill battle against McCain in Michigan in his bid to claim the state’s 17 electoral votes.

Not only did McCain win the primary there in 2000, but he competed vigorously in this year’s primary before losing to native son and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) by nine points. McCain’s defeat there was considered respectable since Romney’s father served as governor of the state.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), one of the only Democratic candidates who didn’t remove her name from the Jan. 15 ballot, won the primary with 55 percent of the vote. Because there was still a full slate of Democratic candidates — former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), New Mexcio Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Joseph Biden (Del.), although they were not on the Michigan ballot — it is difficult to tell how many of those who voted for “uncommitted” did so as a protest vote in favor of Obama.

Yee-upp. Shaking my head. Sigh.

More here on Obama’s new strategy. Hat tip to Riverdaughter. Wha hap-peen here? I thought this was to be a 50 stater. How many are overboard as of now? Apparently when you begin with 57, you can afford to lose a few. Okay, I be nice.

What Don’t They Get About “Voter Revolt”?

Most lifelong Democrats who are defecting en masse from “Our Party” have no illusions about the obvious drawbacks of a John McCain Presidency when it comes to our core beliefs. This is nothing less than a voter revolt. From The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English 2008:

re·volt / riˈvōlt/

• n. an attempt to put an end to the authority of a person or body by rebelling: a countrywide revolt against the central government | the peasants rose in revolt. a refusal to continue to obey or conform: a revolt over tax increases.

Should we stand idly by as our most basic rights of representation are stripped from us by our own Party in nothing less than a calculated coup? And now rumor has it that Clinton’s name will not be placed on the first nominating ballot. Wake up! This isn’t about winning or losing. This is about creeping fascism.

If the leftover and shiny brand-new Party members are so concerned about what would be further lost with four more years of Republican rule, let them fight that agenda themselves. After all, they said they could do it without us.

Obama has gotten new and crossover voters that will take up the slack.

We will win without you.

I wouldn’t be on Hillary’s side, if I were you, when it all comes down.

Since you all have decided that you are no longer Democrats, go to the Republican National Convention and stay away from our convention.

Leave us Democrats alone.

It is time for someone to kick his dumb A out of the party.

The problem is that we have too many of these losers running around parading as democrats.

They belong in the other guy’s party.

They should have considered their base and The Issues, which frankly Obama has no concern for nor record of supporting, before shoving him down our throats. They will not succeed, because in the long run Country and Constitution trump Party, brand, and bully tactics.

Obama supporters who would naysay this as petulance or shooting ourselves in the foot just don’t get it. In case you haven’t tried to swim out of the DNC, Obamalite, MSM net, our issues of contention are much, much broader than the sexism and misogyny that were promulgated freely and without check during the Democratic primaries. Our bigger beef has to do with the willful manipulation and coercion of rules, primaries, penalties, voters, caucuses, committees, delegates, and superdelegates by the Party Elite to select the untested, teflon-like candidate of their choice.

It is incomprehensible that the one candidate in the history of our country who has earned more votes than anyone else ever in a primary contest would not be placed on the initial ballot at her Party’s Convention.

Keep in mind the words of our founding fathers, but make no mistake, lest the thought police be tempted to come haul me off: I am not advocating overthrow of the government. I am providing justification from within our founding principles, to protest and withdraw from Our Political Party, based on same principles that hold representation sacrosanct. Although our 2008 situation is markedly less extreme than the colonies faced under British rule, can you see any similarities? From The Declaration of Independence, In Congress, July 4, 1776: (emphasis mine)

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

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He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.