maxomai: dog (Default)
You might notice, if you watch the Sunday morning political shows as I do, that the major networks typically have two right-wing cranks and two mainstream media figures on any panel, without a single actual progressive on the panel. This serves three purposes:

  1. It keeps actual progressive voices from being heard;
  2. It shifts the debate towards the right by making the middle into the so-called left;
  3. It reinforces the conservative whine that the media is too liberal.


Which is why I was frankly amazed to hear that Juan Williams -- who was one of many Fox News reporters at Yearly Kos -- defended YearlyKos against Michelle "I can't believe she's not a Nazi" Malkin. I'm not going to show the video here because I'm not going to promote Fox, but it shows that bits of reality might be croaking out of this.

BTW: apparently Bill O'Reilly is going to interview a Reservist tonight who came to YKos and tried to make a point about the escalation. The problem is, the guy did it in uniform. He says he was shouted down by the panelists, but the panelists say otherwise. Either way, I think he's likely to get court marshalled. Edit [livejournal.com profile] arkham4269 says no court marshall. "I think a field grade Article 15, reduced in rank (I'm thinking down to E-3 PFC), forfeiture of pay for 45 days, restricted to barracks for 45 days and 45 days of extra duty...." Sounds bad either way IMO.
maxomai: dog (Default)
You might notice, if you watch the Sunday morning political shows as I do, that the major networks typically have two right-wing cranks and two mainstream media figures on any panel, without a single actual progressive on the panel. This serves three purposes:

  1. It keeps actual progressive voices from being heard;
  2. It shifts the debate towards the right by making the middle into the so-called left;
  3. It reinforces the conservative whine that the media is too liberal.


Which is why I was frankly amazed to hear that Juan Williams -- who was one of many Fox News reporters at Yearly Kos -- defended YearlyKos against Michelle "I can't believe she's not a Nazi" Malkin. I'm not going to show the video here because I'm not going to promote Fox, but it shows that bits of reality might be croaking out of this.

BTW: apparently Bill O'Reilly is going to interview a Reservist tonight who came to YKos and tried to make a point about the escalation. The problem is, the guy did it in uniform. He says he was shouted down by the panelists, but the panelists say otherwise. Either way, I think he's likely to get court marshalled. Edit [livejournal.com profile] arkham4269 says no court marshall. "I think a field grade Article 15, reduced in rank (I'm thinking down to E-3 PFC), forfeiture of pay for 45 days, restricted to barracks for 45 days and 45 days of extra duty...." Sounds bad either way IMO.
maxomai: dog (Default)
You wouldn't think that a short geek from El Salvador would fit into the Nazi vision of an "aryan" world, but sure enough, Colbert finds the proof:



There's more utter ridiculousness regarding Daily Kos on the way, all of which can be dispelled in an instant if you just go to DailyKos.com. Tchuss!
maxomai: dog (Default)
You wouldn't think that a short geek from El Salvador would fit into the Nazi vision of an "aryan" world, but sure enough, Colbert finds the proof:



There's more utter ridiculousness regarding Daily Kos on the way, all of which can be dispelled in an instant if you just go to DailyKos.com. Tchuss!
maxomai: dog (Default)
This exchange illuminates pretty starkly why Hillary Clinton doesn't quite sit right with me.

By the way, you can find video of the entire debate here: (Intro) (part 1) (part 2) (part 3).

maxomai: dog (Default)
This exchange illuminates pretty starkly why Hillary Clinton doesn't quite sit right with me.

By the way, you can find video of the entire debate here: (Intro) (part 1) (part 2) (part 3).

maxomai: dog (Default)
The Teamsters are throwing a cookout near the Lake for all the bloggers. Post your jokes here.

The cookout included Kos and Hoffa entering the venue in a semi while AC/DC is blaring.
maxomai: dog (Default)
The Teamsters are throwing a cookout near the Lake for all the bloggers. Post your jokes here.

The cookout included Kos and Hoffa entering the venue in a semi while AC/DC is blaring.
maxomai: dog (Default)
So, we're down to the BIG EVENT: the Presidential leadership panel. Having been thoroughly screened by the Secret Service, we now put on our hip boots and try to sort the bs we're being fed from the truth. There's a ton of media here, of course, and everyone is coveting the sweet seats that SC and I snagged in the second row. Charlie Brown and company are one table over. SC is so excited she could start crying.

This is a quick transcript. If you want the whole thing, it'll be on CNN and CSPAN over and over again.

Read more... )

Overall impressions: Richardson was honest to a fault. Clinton was being disingenuous, and that makes me think she hasn't really learned her lesson on neoconservativism. Obama is trying to be conversational and to appeal to our intelligence, and it sometimes falls flat, but it's also very engaging. Edwards, of course, was sensational, but he left me wondering, still, whether there's any "there" there. Kucinich kept his role of keeping the other Dems honest. Gravel made good points about how politicians are corrupted by the need to raise money, but otherwise came across as a bit nuts. Maybe he should run for Senate again.

After this discussion followed the breakout sessions. SC and I went to the one with Barack Obama, where he spent his time answering questions from the audience. During the Q&A he hit on his themes of lobbyists being a corrupting influence, restoring the Constitution, and being tough enough to handle Chicago (and therefore DC) politics. Lots of media there, and I got the chance to ask him to come to PDX. He's a hell of a lot warmer than Howard Dean was in 2003.
maxomai: dog (Default)
So, we're down to the BIG EVENT: the Presidential leadership panel. Having been thoroughly screened by the Secret Service, we now put on our hip boots and try to sort the bs we're being fed from the truth. There's a ton of media here, of course, and everyone is coveting the sweet seats that SC and I snagged in the second row. Charlie Brown and company are one table over. SC is so excited she could start crying.

This is a quick transcript. If you want the whole thing, it'll be on CNN and CSPAN over and over again.

Read more... )

Overall impressions: Richardson was honest to a fault. Clinton was being disingenuous, and that makes me think she hasn't really learned her lesson on neoconservativism. Obama is trying to be conversational and to appeal to our intelligence, and it sometimes falls flat, but it's also very engaging. Edwards, of course, was sensational, but he left me wondering, still, whether there's any "there" there. Kucinich kept his role of keeping the other Dems honest. Gravel made good points about how politicians are corrupted by the need to raise money, but otherwise came across as a bit nuts. Maybe he should run for Senate again.

After this discussion followed the breakout sessions. SC and I went to the one with Barack Obama, where he spent his time answering questions from the audience. During the Q&A he hit on his themes of lobbyists being a corrupting influence, restoring the Constitution, and being tough enough to handle Chicago (and therefore DC) politics. Lots of media there, and I got the chance to ask him to come to PDX. He's a hell of a lot warmer than Howard Dean was in 2003.
maxomai: dog (Default)
The next panel we attended was a panel on rebuilding New Orleans. The decision to attend this was partially strategic (we want a good seat for the Presidental forum) and partially interest (we want to know what we can do to promote at least a token amount of non-corrupt rebuilding).

On the suckage that is the rebuilding effort. )

BTW, I just saw Kos walk by with his son on his shoulders. His son was playing his head like a drum.
maxomai: dog (Default)
The next panel we attended was a panel on rebuilding New Orleans. The decision to attend this was partially strategic (we want a good seat for the Presidental forum) and partially interest (we want to know what we can do to promote at least a token amount of non-corrupt rebuilding).

On the suckage that is the rebuilding effort. )

BTW, I just saw Kos walk by with his son on his shoulders. His son was playing his head like a drum.
maxomai: dog (Default)
We started the convention proper with the Energize America panel to discuss energy policy. Energize America is a grassroots effort to create clean, renewable energy infrastructure. I strongly encourage you to get involved with this -- start by going to Energize America's website.

The details )

BTW, congrats to [livejournal.com profile] lostambitions on her graduation from Purdue. Persistence pays.
maxomai: dog (Default)
We started the convention proper with the Energize America panel to discuss energy policy. Energize America is a grassroots effort to create clean, renewable energy infrastructure. I strongly encourage you to get involved with this -- start by going to Energize America's website.

The details )

BTW, congrats to [livejournal.com profile] lostambitions on her graduation from Purdue. Persistence pays.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Last night after the Religious Right conference, SC and I stopped by a get-together for several Congressional candidates, including Rick Norriega (running for Senate in Texas), Scott Kleeb (running for the House in NE) and my personal favorite, Charlie Brown (about to run again for Doolittle's House seat in CA-04). I got a photo of me and Charlie (after his wife recognized me from last year). Scott Kleeb, by the way, gets the award for the best swag: a white pine sapling for planting. I gave it to my mom.

The Congressional panel is cancelled, presumably for lack of a Chuck Schumer. So, we're having a nice breakfast at McCormick. The buffet is expensive, but it's pretty good.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Last night after the Religious Right conference, SC and I stopped by a get-together for several Congressional candidates, including Rick Norriega (running for Senate in Texas), Scott Kleeb (running for the House in NE) and my personal favorite, Charlie Brown (about to run again for Doolittle's House seat in CA-04). I got a photo of me and Charlie (after his wife recognized me from last year). Scott Kleeb, by the way, gets the award for the best swag: a white pine sapling for planting. I gave it to my mom.

The Congressional panel is cancelled, presumably for lack of a Chuck Schumer. So, we're having a nice breakfast at McCormick. The buffet is expensive, but it's pretty good.
maxomai: dog (Default)
I'm going to be blogging mostly from my blackberry today, as I won't have the laptop with me. Whether it's because my cousin wants her laptop back, or because the convention organizers will allow no package larger than a purse into the Presidential Candidates' Panel this afternoon, I leave up to you.

This morning is supposed to be the Congressional leadership coffee and discussion. Unfortunately, two of the panelists -- Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid -- have canceled. That leaves Chuck Schumer.

This news isn't so bad.

What IS bad is that they have to be out of town to vote on warrantless wiretaps of US citizens for six months. The Senate already voted on this bill and it passed 60-28. You can thank the following Democratic Senators for voting to do away with the Constitution for six months, since without any one of them, this legislation would likely be dead:

Lincoln (AR)
Pryor (AR)
Feinstein (CA)
Salazar (CO)
Carper (DE)
Nelson (FL)
Inouye (HI)
Bayh (IN)
Landrieu (LA)
Mikluski (MD)
Klobuchar (MN)
Nelson (NE)
Casey (PA)
Conrad (ND)


I think we need to challenge some of these guys in the primary. Anyone in California want to run against Feinstein?

Call your Congresscritters -- in both the House and Senate -- NOW and tell them you don't want warrantless wiretaps. The House is voting on it TODAY. And while it's already passed in the Senate, it's always possible for someone in the Senate to gum up the works. Get to it!
maxomai: dog (Default)
I'm going to be blogging mostly from my blackberry today, as I won't have the laptop with me. Whether it's because my cousin wants her laptop back, or because the convention organizers will allow no package larger than a purse into the Presidential Candidates' Panel this afternoon, I leave up to you.

This morning is supposed to be the Congressional leadership coffee and discussion. Unfortunately, two of the panelists -- Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid -- have canceled. That leaves Chuck Schumer.

This news isn't so bad.

What IS bad is that they have to be out of town to vote on warrantless wiretaps of US citizens for six months. The Senate already voted on this bill and it passed 60-28. You can thank the following Democratic Senators for voting to do away with the Constitution for six months, since without any one of them, this legislation would likely be dead:

Lincoln (AR)
Pryor (AR)
Feinstein (CA)
Salazar (CO)
Carper (DE)
Nelson (FL)
Inouye (HI)
Bayh (IN)
Landrieu (LA)
Mikluski (MD)
Klobuchar (MN)
Nelson (NE)
Casey (PA)
Conrad (ND)


I think we need to challenge some of these guys in the primary. Anyone in California want to run against Feinstein?

Call your Congresscritters -- in both the House and Senate -- NOW and tell them you don't want warrantless wiretaps. The House is voting on it TODAY. And while it's already passed in the Senate, it's always possible for someone in the Senate to gum up the works. Get to it!
maxomai: dog (Default)
I actually came in for the second part of this panel. SC was at the first part, and is with me now.

There's a distinction between the religious right -- a political group that is small but very vocal, and exists for explicitly political purposes -- and Christians in general. There are, in fact, significant theological and philosophical differences between the two. Evangelicals in particular are all over the map from progressives to dominionists and religious right activists. They can be very useful allies in any political movement, including the peace and environmental movements. Younger evangelicals, for examples, seem to be trending left compared to Generation X or Baby Boomer evangelicals. Working with these folks sometimes means putting some issues aside (abortion for example) for the purpose of working together, even if we have to stand apart on issues such as religious freedom.

Sometimes working together allows for dialogues to open up between groups. Katrina, for example, gave religious groups from all over the political spectrum the opportunity to open discussion.

Even so, argues our panel, progressive religious leaders need to get out into the public square, if only to reclaim the label of "religious" for the progressives. But more to the point, this is necessary to fight the forces that, as I see it, are trying to combine "chapter III Thelema (2)" with at least superficial Christianity vis a vie Dominionism, Islamophobia, Authoritarianism, Prosperity Theology, Rod Parsley of Patriot Pastors of Ohio, Family Harvest Church, and so on. The religious left is starting to organize and work together towards this end.

(By the way: the Family Harvest Church is a Christian denomination that represents itself with a symbol of three circles, one for the father, one for the mother, one for the child. When our presenter went into the Church, she didn't find even one cross. Any Thelemite will recognize the significance of this immediately.)

(Generally speaking, these sorts of movements don't believe in dialogue of any kind. They aren't even following the tax laws properly.)

How do we do this?

  • Actually study the religious right. Why more people haven't done this is a good question with few good answers. The religious right converted the GOP in two decades, and thus the United States. Even though the religious left doesn't want to become the religious right, we do need to understand how they happened, or how we allowed it to happen. (Part of the problem is that we never took them very seriously.) In fact, we throw lots of money on programs to counter the religious right's agenda (e.g. Planned Parenthood), but we never study how the religious right really works.
  • Reach out to evangelicals. Not to dominionists, or Christian Nationalists -- evangelicals. There's a difference. If you don't know that difference, learn about it.
  • Focus on Kitchen Table Values. What do we do in the kitchen? Pay bills. Feed people. Talk about school. Note that the kitchen is not the bedroom.
  • Teach progressive religious leaders how to organize.
  • Don't allow oneself to become a tool of any party. Instead, focus on progressive values. Don't trade away gay rights or abortion rights for votes, if that's what you believe. People will vote for a strength and a firm stance over weakness and compromise every time.
  • Keep in mind that black Evangelicals vote 95% Democratic. The phenomenon of the religious right is primarily a white phenomenon.
  • Make the Democrats more friendly to people of faith. Some of the language being put out by the Beltway Democrats is idiotically alienating of the religious, including the religious left. Calling religious people "extremists" isn't helpful -- after all, the religious left is just as much a bunch of religious radicals as the religious right; the differences are in what we want to do.
  • If necessary -- or maybe because it is necessary -- the religious left will drag the Democrats kicking and screaming towards their vision of a better society.
  • Challenge the 501(c)(3) status of churches that represent the religious right, if necessarily using video posted to YouTube. In particular, if a pastor or priest advocates for a candidate from the pulpit, that violates 501(c)(3). (NB: the religious right can, of course, do this back to us if they wish).
  • Learn how to actually help a candidate win. The religious right knows this stuff pat. The religious left needs to know this cold too -- including voter registration dates, absentee voting, and so on. (Of course, I do my best to inform you, my readers, on how to do this). If we don't know this, we'll get beat fair and square. If we know this stuff, we'll kick their asses.
  • Evolve. The religious right were the ones who evolved and won. Now we're evolving and winning. We need to keep evolving or we'll go into another dark age like the one we were just in.
  • Most of all, we need to understand that our greatest threat is Christian Nationalism. This is the Christian Right fully manifested, and they have the potential to change the nature of Constitutional government for along time. This is what created Alito and Roberts. We need to answer the narrative of the Christian Nationalists and tackle them in every sphere of life. We need to remind people that the Founding Fathers overthrew 150 years of monarchist theocracies, including requiring no religious test for public office, in order to establish America as a secular nation. This work is still, unfortunately, in progress. (Barack Obama has made good strides in this direction.)


Some resources I found out about at this lecture:

  • There's a map of the religious political movement at faithinpubliclife.org.
  • There's a blog for the religious left called talk2action.org.
  • By the way, the moderator wants me to plug The Chicago Theological Seminary blog, which is associated with the University of Chicago. So go read it. A lot of the emphasis of the CTS is on social service, and students of this school are all over the map. BTW, this is the only seminary to have a booth at YearlyKos.
maxomai: dog (Default)
I actually came in for the second part of this panel. SC was at the first part, and is with me now.

There's a distinction between the religious right -- a political group that is small but very vocal, and exists for explicitly political purposes -- and Christians in general. There are, in fact, significant theological and philosophical differences between the two. Evangelicals in particular are all over the map from progressives to dominionists and religious right activists. They can be very useful allies in any political movement, including the peace and environmental movements. Younger evangelicals, for examples, seem to be trending left compared to Generation X or Baby Boomer evangelicals. Working with these folks sometimes means putting some issues aside (abortion for example) for the purpose of working together, even if we have to stand apart on issues such as religious freedom.

Sometimes working together allows for dialogues to open up between groups. Katrina, for example, gave religious groups from all over the political spectrum the opportunity to open discussion.

Even so, argues our panel, progressive religious leaders need to get out into the public square, if only to reclaim the label of "religious" for the progressives. But more to the point, this is necessary to fight the forces that, as I see it, are trying to combine "chapter III Thelema (2)" with at least superficial Christianity vis a vie Dominionism, Islamophobia, Authoritarianism, Prosperity Theology, Rod Parsley of Patriot Pastors of Ohio, Family Harvest Church, and so on. The religious left is starting to organize and work together towards this end.

(By the way: the Family Harvest Church is a Christian denomination that represents itself with a symbol of three circles, one for the father, one for the mother, one for the child. When our presenter went into the Church, she didn't find even one cross. Any Thelemite will recognize the significance of this immediately.)

(Generally speaking, these sorts of movements don't believe in dialogue of any kind. They aren't even following the tax laws properly.)

How do we do this?

  • Actually study the religious right. Why more people haven't done this is a good question with few good answers. The religious right converted the GOP in two decades, and thus the United States. Even though the religious left doesn't want to become the religious right, we do need to understand how they happened, or how we allowed it to happen. (Part of the problem is that we never took them very seriously.) In fact, we throw lots of money on programs to counter the religious right's agenda (e.g. Planned Parenthood), but we never study how the religious right really works.
  • Reach out to evangelicals. Not to dominionists, or Christian Nationalists -- evangelicals. There's a difference. If you don't know that difference, learn about it.
  • Focus on Kitchen Table Values. What do we do in the kitchen? Pay bills. Feed people. Talk about school. Note that the kitchen is not the bedroom.
  • Teach progressive religious leaders how to organize.
  • Don't allow oneself to become a tool of any party. Instead, focus on progressive values. Don't trade away gay rights or abortion rights for votes, if that's what you believe. People will vote for a strength and a firm stance over weakness and compromise every time.
  • Keep in mind that black Evangelicals vote 95% Democratic. The phenomenon of the religious right is primarily a white phenomenon.
  • Make the Democrats more friendly to people of faith. Some of the language being put out by the Beltway Democrats is idiotically alienating of the religious, including the religious left. Calling religious people "extremists" isn't helpful -- after all, the religious left is just as much a bunch of religious radicals as the religious right; the differences are in what we want to do.
  • If necessary -- or maybe because it is necessary -- the religious left will drag the Democrats kicking and screaming towards their vision of a better society.
  • Challenge the 501(c)(3) status of churches that represent the religious right, if necessarily using video posted to YouTube. In particular, if a pastor or priest advocates for a candidate from the pulpit, that violates 501(c)(3). (NB: the religious right can, of course, do this back to us if they wish).
  • Learn how to actually help a candidate win. The religious right knows this stuff pat. The religious left needs to know this cold too -- including voter registration dates, absentee voting, and so on. (Of course, I do my best to inform you, my readers, on how to do this). If we don't know this, we'll get beat fair and square. If we know this stuff, we'll kick their asses.
  • Evolve. The religious right were the ones who evolved and won. Now we're evolving and winning. We need to keep evolving or we'll go into another dark age like the one we were just in.
  • Most of all, we need to understand that our greatest threat is Christian Nationalism. This is the Christian Right fully manifested, and they have the potential to change the nature of Constitutional government for along time. This is what created Alito and Roberts. We need to answer the narrative of the Christian Nationalists and tackle them in every sphere of life. We need to remind people that the Founding Fathers overthrew 150 years of monarchist theocracies, including requiring no religious test for public office, in order to establish America as a secular nation. This work is still, unfortunately, in progress. (Barack Obama has made good strides in this direction.)


Some resources I found out about at this lecture:

  • There's a map of the religious political movement at faithinpubliclife.org.
  • There's a blog for the religious left called talk2action.org.
  • By the way, the moderator wants me to plug The Chicago Theological Seminary blog, which is associated with the University of Chicago. So go read it. A lot of the emphasis of the CTS is on social service, and students of this school are all over the map. BTW, this is the only seminary to have a booth at YearlyKos.

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