Ylizaville

We still have a strong woman to support

Posted in Opinion by yliza on June 4, 2008

Now that Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee, Clinton supporters are understandably disappointed, but the complaints of some are just annoying.

I agree that Hillary was the victim of many undeserved sexist attacks. I would much prefer focusing on the issues rather than stupid crap like pantsuits and cleavage. I’m sure that there are some people who didn’t vote for her simply because of her gender, just as some didn’t vote for Obama because of his race. I don’t think that’s why she lost, but it IS an undeniable fact, and a serious problem with our national political discourse.

Now that Hillary is (presumably) out of the race, though, where do you think that misogyny will be focused next?

Yes, that’s right. Michelle Obama.

We will, hopefully, have another strong, intelligent, independent woman in the White House come January. Michelle Obama is as much a role model for young American women as any other successful female public figure, including Hillary Clinton. She is successful in her own right, having come from Chicago’s South Side and going on to attend Princeton and Harvard Law School. From BarackObama.com:

For three years after law school, Michelle worked as an associate in the area of marketing and intellectual property at Chicago law firm Sidley and Austin, where she met Barack Obama. She left the corporate law world in 1991 to pursue a career in public service, serving as an assistant to the mayor and then as the assistant commissioner of planning and development for the City of Chicago.

In 1993, she became the founding executive director of Public Allies – Chicago, a leadership training program that received AmeriCorps National Service funding and helped young adults develop skills for future careers in the public sector.

Michelle began her involvement with the University of Chicago in 1996. As associate dean of student services, she developed the University’s first community service program. Michelle also served as executive director of community and external affairs until 2005, when she was appointed vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She also managed the business diversity program.

Michelle has fostered the University of Chicago’s relationship with the surrounding community and developed the diversity program, making them both integral parts of the Medical Center’s mission.

What an impressive list of accomplishments. If it’s really about empowering women, then Hillary’s feminist supporters should get behind Michelle, right? Right?

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The Presumptive Nominee

Posted in dem primary, Opinion by yliza on June 4, 2008

I never thought we’d actually reach this point, but here we are. I’m amazed, excited, and hopeful for the future. I’ve never worked for a candidate in my life, but I’ll be volunteering for this one.

The debates should be wondrous to behold. I hope there are many. Tired talking points, propaganda and straw men won’t stand a chance. I recall Obama being asked a “what if the republicans say ____?” kind of question during one of the primary debates, and he said he was “looking forward to having that conversation”. I am, too. We need some rational dialoge in this country, and it’s going to be difficult to fight the the media talking heads. The debates, though, that is where he’ll shine.

It’s still a long road to go, but I’m with you, Obama.

OBAMA ’08 !!!!

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A splash of color at the Democratic National Convention

Posted in dem primary, oh FFS, Opinion by yliza on June 2, 2008

The DNCC announced the list of bloggers credentialed for the general blogger pool in Denver. The following blogs of color made the cut:

My congratulations to all of you! I know which blogs I’ll be reading during the convention. 🙂

Hillary’s Snoopy Helmet Moment? (Updated – Update2)

Posted in dem primary, oh FFS, Opinion by yliza on May 23, 2008

Via HuffingtonPost:

Hillary Clinton’s argument for staying in the race took a disturbing turn today. While meeting with the editorial board of South Dakota’s Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, she raised the specter of assassination while discussing why she would stay in the race:

“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it.”

Oh no she didn’t. She did NOT go there.

There is no way that any thinking person could have believed a reference to any assassination would be appropriate, not this year or any year. Obama has had Secret Service protection for a year because of death threats, earlier than any primary candidate in history.

The Obama camp responded quickly:

“Senator Clinton’s statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

Of course, now she’s backpedaling:

“Earlier today I was discussing the Democratic primary history and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns that both my husband and Senator Kennedy waged in California in June 1992 and 1968 and I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June. That’s a historic fact.

The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy and I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, and particularly for the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that, whatsoever. My view is that we have to look to the past and to our leaders who have inspired us and give us a lot to live up to, and I’m honored to hold Senator Kennedy’s seat in the United States Senate from the state of New York and have the highest regard for the entire Kennedy family.”

Well, the historic fact didn’t need to include any mention of RFK’s assassination, did it. And I really don’t see an apology to Obama in that mealy-mouthed explanation, only to the Kennedys. But let’s face it, she can’t defend her statement because it’s indefensible.

My husband is calling this her “Snoopy Helmet moment”. He thinks she has completely sunk her campaign with this outrageous remark. I hope he’s right.

Update: Nobody, nobody has anything good to say about Hillary’s statement. There are already three posts up on Huffington Post criticizing her. Bob Cesca writes:

If nothing else, the superdelegates ought to receive this as a blaring, siren-light warning. A giant red flag. Senator Clinton is embarrassing herself and the Democratic Party. She has ceased to be a viable, respectable candidate and has, instead, become a ghoulish, desperate shell of her formerly strong and admirable self.

Maybe my husband is right.

Update 2: I knew Keith Olbermann wouldn’t let this pass without a Special Comment.

Where the Black bloggers at

Posted in dem primary, oh FFS, Opinion by yliza on May 21, 2008

The DNC has chosen 55 bloggers for its State Bloggers Corps (a list of the chosen bloggers can be found at the bottom of this post on African American Political Pundit). Going through the list, one discovers that the majority of the bloggers are White.

African Americans vote Democratic more reliably than any other group in this country. We vote Democratic at rates of 90%, election after election. Common wisdom states that a Democrat can’t win a national election without the Black vote. Yet there’s no room for us as bloggers within the state delegations, even in states where a large percentage of Democrats are African Americans.

Why am I not surprised?

Anybody remember the Yearly Kos last year? They were so utterly surprised that the convention was mostly attended by middle-aged White men. People contorted themselves into knots making excuses for why it would be so, saying stupid shit like “Black people are too poor to have computers”. Of course they missed the point. DKos has never been amenable to voices that might criticize them for racist or sexist stereotyping, and in fact people have been banned for trying. They act as gatekeepers, reject us if we dare criticize them for exhibiting White privilege, and then wonder why we don’t participate in their convention.

Nobody wants to hear us, not if we insist on speaking as Black people from a Black perspective. They don’t link to us, they pretend we don’t exist (“They” being the Big Dogs, ie DKos, MyDD, Firedoglake, etc. and no they get no link love from me). They insist that on the Internet no one can tell your race, but that’s just bullshit. Anyone who bothers to read THIS blog will know very quickly that I identify as a Black woman. They don’t listen to us or link our blogs because they don’t want to. They don’t want to have real discussions about race, they only mention it when it’s a convenient talking point for their own agendas. Otherwise, we might as well be invisible.

We’re out here, though, and we’re not going away. We are not invisible, we have voices, and we will be heard.

NOTE: Before anyone starts with me, no I didn’t apply to blog at the convention. I do consider myself part of the Afrosphere so I use the term “we”, but that doesn’t mean I think I should be blogging at the convention personally. Miss Thing wouldn’t let me go, anyway.

Erica Jong compares Obama to George W.

Posted in dem primary, oh FFS, Opinion by yliza on May 17, 2008

The desperation of the Clintonistas is reaching new depths. Yesterday, Erica Jong posted an hysterical screed on The Huffington Post, with the jumping-off point being Obama’s unfortunate use of “sweetie” to reporter Peggy Agar of WXYZ-TV in Michigan.

Despite his penchant for saying “sweetie” to shut women up, Barack Obama does seem more likable than Hillary Clinton. But so what?

The press loved frat boy George W. Bush and hated nerdy Al Gore eight years ago. And look what we got? Endless war, economic meltdown, torture, a bigoted Supreme Court, the destruction of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, a desecrated planet. Will Americans never learn that who they think is a “nice guy” is no reason to elect a president? Apparently not.

The lack of any substantive logic to get from “sweetie” to George W. is worthy of the Lee Atwater school of politics. I don’t understand how Clinton surrogates can tout change when their tactics are straight out of Karl Rove’s political handbook.

But as if that wasn’t bad enough, Ms. Jong continues:

So here we go again. NARAL loves the new boy on the block — even if HRC was there at its founding. So does John Edwards. And Ted Kennedy. The fact that Barack has little experience makes him the hot new ingĂ©nue, whereas Hillary is old like your mother.

The truth is we know about her — and we know very little about Obama. That alone makes her detractors scream: Get Out! Off the stage with you! Give us that hot new boy! Give us that sepia Brad Pitt! Old women are so over!

OK sweetie, we’ll step aside. Watch your own cauldron bubble. You’re in a heap of trouble — and you don’t even know it.

Oh no you didn’t. You did not just refer to the first African American presidential candidate as “boy”, not once but twice. And the veiled threat…how very unifying for the Democratic party.

Ms. Jong sounds like a spoiled kid who didn’t get her way. The entire post is a temper tantrum, ending with taking her ball and going home.

Bill O’Reilly’s Producer (Unseen Footage)

Posted in Opinion by yliza on May 17, 2008

I saw this clip on Countdown last night. It’s my favorite version of the Bill O’Reilly Meltdown, courtesy of BarelyPolitical.com:

“Troglodyte homunculus” indeed.

Chris Matthews Schools Kevin James

Posted in Opinion by yliza on May 16, 2008

I don’t usually watch Hardball, but last night I was treated to the following smackdown of radio host Kevin James. (video courtesy of Huffington Post)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

You know you’ve really screwed up when Chris Matthews is the one takes you behind the woodshed. I can’t blame him for getting so disgusted with his guest, though. Kevin James was out of control, almost literally foaming at the mouth, and he clearly had no idea what he was being asked. He seemed to think shouting the word “appeasement” repeatedly was a sufficient response to every question. To quote Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think that means what you think it means”.

The greatest irony, though, is that the US Senators and Congressmen who counseled appeasement with the Nazis back in the late 1930’s were Republicans. Their floor speeches were published in The Illustrious Dunderheads, by Rex Stout. The book is described as

a collection of some of the silliest, stupidest, and most dangerous statements that have ever ben made by men laying claim to being leaders of the American people. . .The quotations in this book are only a sampling of the speeches delivered in the halls of Congress and elsewhere by U.S. Senators and Congressmen who have given currency to Nazi propaganda which is designed to bring about the defeat of the United States, the creation of a fascist America subservient to Hitler’s Germany.

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

Who’s the REAL Nazi appeaser?

Posted in oh FFS, Opinion by yliza on May 15, 2008

While giving a speech in honor of Israel’s 60th anniversary, President Bush ignored the “politics ends at the water’s edge” concept and likened diplomatic talks with Iran to Nazi appeasers. via The Huffington Post:

“Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,” said Bush, in what White House aides privately acknowledged was a reference to calls by Obama and other Democrats for the U.S. president to sit down for talks with leaders like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“We have heard this foolish delusion before,” Bush said in remarks to the Israeli Knesset. “As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American Senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

Of course that means Robert Gates is a Nazi appeaser too, since he has supported diplomatic relations with Iran.

The irony is inescapable, though. Who is Bush’s grandfather? From The Guardian:

George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Apparently the Bush family is still under investigation for war crimes for Prescott’s business dealings. Papa George HW has also had criminal charges filed against him, in Iceland:

George H.W. Bush is charged of initiating a war of aggression against Panama in 1989, in breach of international law and the UN Charter, constituting a crime against the peace, and of ordering the kidnapping of Panama’s President Noriega in violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons. George H.W. Bush is furthermore charged for his command responsibility for the multiple war crimes committed by US forces in the Gulf War in 1991, including the policy of deliberately bombing civilian targets and the massacre of soldiers hors combat. His command responsibility for these crimes is equivalent to those of other heads of states who have been charged, indicted and convicted for international crimes, including torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. George H.W. Bush is also charged for inducing an uprising of Kurds and Shi’ites in Iraq during the Gulf War and then ordering US forces to withhold aid from those who risked the uprising, thus leaving unarmed uprising masses unprotected against Saddam Hussein’s brutal forces. By such policies, he knowingly facilitated the commission of crimes against humanity by Saddam Hussein. He is finally accused for conspiring in imposing deadly economic sanctions against the people of Iraq, with the intent to harm the well-being, health and lives of the Iraqi civilian population, with foreknowledge of the likely consequences and with the subsequent knowledge of the sanctions’ devastating consequences. Such conduct is considered to be a crime against humanity under international customary law. About one million persons are believed dead as a result of the economic sanctions, thereof half a million children below five years of age.

Three generations of war criminals. What else needs to be said?

Edwards endorses Obama (Updated)

Posted in dem primary, Opinion by yliza on May 14, 2008

Finally! via The Huffington Post:

Former Sen. John Edwards is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential candidate Wednesday evening, in a dramatic attempt by the Obama campaign to answer concerns regarding Obama’s appeal to working-class voters, several senior Democratic sources tell ABC News.

Edwards, who ran for president on a platform of eradicating poverty, plans to appear alongside Obama in Grand Rapids, Mich., Wednesday evening.

Edwards actually got seven percent of the vote in West Virginia yesterday. I have always thought he could bring a lot to Obama’s campaign, maybe he can capture some of that WV demographic. With luck, the next announcement will be MY dream ticket: Obama-Edwards ’08!

Update: Here’s some video of the endorsement.

Part 2: Start here if you want to skip Edwards saying nice things about Hillary.