Thursday, August 31, 2006

School of Hard Knocks - literally

NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- On the line at McDonald's on Canal Street (it can't all be gumbo and jambalaya, y'all), your blogstress, wearing press tags, was approached by a woman in her 30s or 40s, who offered a piece of paper bearing the following message:

What is Esther's Haven House?

Esther's Haven House is a non-profit organization that provides emergency safe accomodations for battered women and children. These women are housed free of charge and given the tools to restore their lives. Temporary refuge, job placement assistance, security, access to healthcare, childcare assistance and referral to educational resources for children are all provided. Our ultimate goal is resettlement of the family in a new, safe environment. ALL FREE OF CHARGE. We help as many women as our resources allow.

If you want to help us help these families, please make a donation today!

Esther's Haven House • 1900 St. Claude Avenue

For More Information Contact:

Kiesha Keller
PO Box 19021 NOLA 70119

It was Kiesha Keller who approached your Webwench, explaining, "Domestic violence has exploded in this city since Katrina."

Ms. Keller, herself, lost her home, in which she used to house the battered women to whom she tends. But she since found space in a new building, she said. During the day, she works cleaning the streets. Asked if she was a social worker, Ms. Keller replied with a laugh, "I'm a graduate from the school of hard knocks. I was a battered woman myself, and that's why I started this."

Your blogstress has no way of ascertaining the bona fides of Ms. Keller's outfit, but she surely seemed earnest enough. And mental health problems have reached epidemic proportions in areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina; up 45 percent, according to Catholic Charities.

At a gathering in Congo Square on Sunday, sponsored by Mercy Corps, at which musician and activist Cyril Neville and his lovely wife, Gaynielle performed, a beautiful angel of a child wearing a white dress, her many braids each adorned with a white satin ribbon, handed your blogstress a Mercy Corps pamphlet titled, Helping Children and Teens Cope with Hurrican Season: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers. Here's an excerpt:
Be a Model:

You first. To take care of children and teens, it is important that you nurture yourself. Take time for yourself with friends, faith, music and creative outlets. Try to eat right and excercise. Seek alone time and quietness. Taking just 10 minutes each day for YOU can really help! Talk about your feelings with people you trust; ask for help when you need it. Children often get worried when the adults around them are worried. If you can stay genuinely calm and positive, this will go a long way in reassuring your children. Taking care of yourself will help you be there for your children.

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Dr. John talks to your blogstress

NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- New Orleans legend Dr. John has a message for your blogstress's devotees, and for all Washington liberals. Check it out on TAPPED, the Weblog of The American Prospect Online.

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Audio-blogging from New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- In the coming days, your blogstress will be posting audio she gathered in New Orleans. In the meantime, your Webwench's devotees can satisfy their aural needs with the debut segement of Radio Free AddieStan.


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Holdin' on

NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- Reginald Halsey is a nice-looking, compact man of some 50 years, perhaps -- dark-skinned with greying hair, his two front teeth rimmed in gold. His bus driver's uniform is pressed just so.

Your blogstress met Mr. Halsey on Monday, when he helmed the motor coach that followed a group of Democratic congressmen and congresswomen as they toured sites that offered clues to the state of things in the New Orleans area in the year that has passed since Hurricane Katrina had her way with the city.

After we traveled through the Ninth Ward -- the site of the worst flooding during Katrina -- and St. Bernard Parish, we found ourselves stopped at a light on the London Avenue Canal. "This here canal," he said quietly, to no one in particular, "is the one that took my house."

As we continued through his neighborhood in line with the bus full of congresspeople, Mr. Halsey became a tour guide of his own journey. We passed a number of boarded-up commercial establishments. "Taco Bell -- gone," he said. "Popeye's -- gone." We passed an empty lot. "My favorite grocery store -- gone."

Today, Mr. Halsey lives in FEMA trailer, but tomorrow, he has no idea where he'll hang his hat.

"It's my friend's trailer," he explained, "but his daughter just had her baby and she's coming out of the hospital and needs a place to live. So I've got to move out."

For reasons no one can explain, Mr. Halsey cannot get FEMA to provide him a trailer, even though his house is unihabitable and all of the required services -- electricity, sewers, etc. -- have been restored to his neighborhood. (As I noted in this post, FEMA will not place trailers in neighborhoods, such as the lower Ninth Ward, that have no public utilities.)

"This lady on my block, they gave her a trailer, and she's not even using it. It's just sitting there," he said.

He left his wife and children in Atlanta with relatives, Mr. Halsey did, in order to hold on to his job with Louisiana Coaches, Inc., a charter bus company. When, a year ago, the waters began to rise, Mr. Halsey was pressed into service, he said, to move, via motor coach, a group of immobile elders from a New Orleans nursing home to one in Amite, 75 miles north of the city. He put his family on that bus with the nursing-home patients, but when he arrived in Amite, there was no room at the inn, so to speak. None of his charges could walk, and there were not enough beds for them at the Amite facility. Waiting for the powers that be to find an alternative facility, Mr. Halsey and his family lived on his bus for four days, until word came to bring the elders to a nursing home in Crowley, another 140 miles west of Amite.

Today, Reginald C. Halsey is employed, homeless and missing his family.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jazz funeral

NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- The social clubs and brass bands of New Orleans today led a traditional jazz funeral march to mourn Katrina's dead and celebrate the rescue workers and first responders who answered the call of the storm. The march route began at the infamous convention center, the site of so much of Katrina's misery, to the Superdome, the site of more.

Herewith some visuals from today's event:

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Where's the money?

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Great piece today from Peter Whoriskey of the Washington Post, detailing the lack of resources making their way to the Gulf Coast for post-hurricane rebuilding:

Fewer than 5 percent of the thousands of destroyed homes are being rebuilt, local officials said. Most of the affected homeowners in Mississippi and Louisiana have yet to see any of the billions in federal money approved to help them get back home.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

"Right-sized" = white-sized

In the Ninth Ward. 2006 © A.M. Stan

NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- Today your blogstress took a little tour of New Orleans, courtesy of the Democratic Caucus and the Army Corps of Engineers. The tour was organized for members of Congress, who wanted to check in on the progress on post-Katrina rebuilding. In all honesty, except for a wonderful Habitat for Humanity project in the upper Ninth Ward called Musicians Village, the news is not good. Devastation still abounds.

Democratic members of Congress at Musicians Village with Jim Pait (front), executive director of New Orleans Habitat for Humanity.
2006 © A.M. Stan

In the lower Ninth Ward, which was the scene of the most death and destruction -- the television pictures of people on rooftops and corpses floating in the currents -- there is still no electricity. There is no sewage service. There is no any kind of service. And so, there are no people, because FEMA will not give you a trailer unless there is electricity and running water on the site of your devastated home. The city -- and our nation -- may as well have hung out a sign on the lower Ninth that reads, "Good riddance."

The people who used to live in the lower Ninth are now scattered throughout the U.S., living with whomever was able to take them in. Most, I'm told, would like to come home. But there is no home, and no way to rebuild, and no place for the many who rented their abodes. The Ninth Ward was almost exclusively African-American. And it was totally impoverished.

During the course of the tour, your écrivaine learned that Price Waterhouse Coopers issued a report that describes the city's decimated health care system as now "right-sized" for New Orleans at its current population level -- which is about half of what it once was. Most of those who have not come home are African-American. Welcome to the new New Orleans.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Katrina and all that jazz
Introduction to Radio Free AddieStan debut

Radio Free AddieStan - Part 1
Introduction to debut show

To listen now, just click the "play" button on the Hipcast bar.

MP3 File

Commentary by your blogstress on what the callous response to Hurricane Katrina said about our nation's regard for jazz

Featuring music by the One Man Chris Stan Band and Adele Stan

Introductory theme: "Intuite" by Pierre Bensusan

On Katrina and Jazz
(c) 2006 Adele M. Stan

"Things Don't Seem the Same (Something Smells Texas-sized Funny)"
(c) 2006 Chris Stan

"Intuite" (c) 2000 Dadgad Music

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Katrina cottages

photography: Robbie Caponetto for Cottage Living magazine

Marianne Cusato's version of the Katrina Cottage is a dignified alternative to the FEMA trailer. For emergency housing, the 308-square-foot cottage is remarkably inviting with a traditional front porch, exposed rafter tails, and clever storage to maximize space.
Text and photograph from Cottage Living magazine.

Speaking of Hurricane Katrina, this feature in Cottage Living magazine reveals a tour de force in affordable housing: the Katrina cottage, a trailer-mounted little house that can be used as the core of a new, permanent abode. And get this: one of these starting-over homes costs no more than FEMA pays for one of those trailers it has sitting in yards controlled by the Bechtel Corporation, while former Gulf Coast residents remain scatted throughout the U.S. Alas, the federal government apparently wants no part of this sensible rebuilding effort, and so it is left to private entities to fund.

Here's how you can help.

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Where, oh where, can your blogstress be?

Forgive, mes amis, your poor blogstress, who has been so innundated with work that she has not been able to bestow her ususal shower of wit on her devotees. Foremost among your Webwench's preoccupations has been her prepartions for this weekend's journey to New Orleans, from whence she will report on the various activities commemorating the anniversary of the landing of Hurricane Katrina. With any luck, she will be posting audio material as well as her written stream of consciousness -- if her ailing computer permits.

In the meantime, she welcomes your thoughts about the grander meaning of our nation's response to the Gulf Coast tragedy.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Preview: Radio Free AddieStan
interview with J. Scales

mp3 file

You thought your blogstress was pulling your leg when she promised you a podcast, but herewith, dear reader, find a preview of Radio Free AddieStan, your Webwench's Web-based radio show in development.

In its complete form -- to be launched in the coming week -- Radio Free AddieStan will feature political commentary, an interview with an artist, and an episodic radio play, "Coffee Nerves," written by Tim Caggiano and produced by Frank Gilligan of Beltway Sewer Productions.

Here you will find, mes cheris, an artist segment from what will be our second show, featuring the incomparable J. Scales -- singer, songwriter, musican and poet. On her way to perform at the Serafemme Festival in West Hollywood, J. discusses her artistic process, and what it's like to move, as a performer, between the worlds of black and white, straight and gay, old school and hip-hop. The segment features J.'s music and poetry.

Additional credits:

Uh huh 2005 (c) J. Scales
features DJ Dirty Ice

A Woman Like You 2005 (c) Michaela Harrison
features Michele Hammond on conga and Genny Jams on guitar.

All other music and poetry: 2005 (c) J. Scales

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Loading podcast preview

Your blogstress asks the forbearance of her devotees this morning as she struggles with the technology that will reportedly enable her to upload her podcast, Radio Free AddieStan, for your listening pleasure.

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Breaking terrorism story

MSNBC is reporting that a British jet bound for Egypt has just made an emergency landing in Brindisi, Italy, because of fears of a bomb on board.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

The mail just keeps on comin'

From reader Bill Schultz, your blogstress received this affirmation of her American Prospect Online essay, The Shylock Code, which examines the intent of Mel Gibson's defenders in their word-choices:

So, uh, if Mel can build his own tabernacle, can't he build his own "12 Steps" program?

"I am powerless over the 'Jews' and they have made my life unmanagable."

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on Mel's Hell...Thanks for the good read.

--Bill Schultz
Topeka, Kansas
(Where the new state motto is: "As BIGOTED as you think")
The "tabernacle" to which Mr. Schultz refers is the Traditionalist Catholic chapel that Mr. Gibson has built near his home, so that he need not travel long distances to hear a Latin Mass. Here's Peter Boyer in a 2003 issue of The New Yorker:
At home in California, Gibson worshipped until recently at a Traditionalist church some distance from their house in Malibu. Then he decided that he had the means, and the motivation, to make worship a bit easier. He determined to build his own chapel, a Traditionalist church called Holy Family, in the hills near his home.
This, of course , begs the question, what on earth is the Catholic League doing defending an apostate such as Mel Gibson. Mr. Gibson rejects the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, which was convened by Pope John XXIII, and practices in what is, essentially, a breakaway church. So, why has the church not disavowed both him and his anti-Semitism?

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

More reader mail about Mel and the Jews

It's the gift that just keeps giving: Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic tirade and those who leverage the hatred when Mel sustains criticism for having done so. In response to your blogstress's American Prospect Online essay, The Shylock Code, your cybertrix has received a variety of e-mails. Here is one she finds particularly amusing:

So. Your article says, basically, that because YOU tell the truth when drunk, therefore EVERYONE must tell the truth when they are drunk. How stupid are you?
And above and beyond all of that: Mel has the RIGHT to believe as he wants, as we all do, that includes you. He does not practice discrimination at work as told by the countless number of Jewish employees/associates coming forward and claiming this. So he has NOT broken any law, not crossed any PC line. He has on countless occasions given charitably to many different causes.
The media, that includes you, needs to get off his back, leave him alone to heal his wounds, before this stupid hatred for 'anyone thinking differently' gets any further. It's gone to (sic) far now. And you just propagated it. You should be ashamed.

--Mutant Bunny
It is always the most cowardly of correspondents, n'est-ce pas, who hurl names ("stupid") and scream in capital letters. By that, I mean my suspicion that "Mutant" is not Mr. or Ms. Bunny's real name. And your Webwench takes this occasion to note that, if you call the blogstress names, she will not correct your grammar and/or spelling.

As to the ostensible substance of the missive from our hare-brained friend, your écrivaine reminds the reader that she never said Mr. Gibson didn't have the right to believe what he does; she simply asserted that he shouldn't deny his beliefs. Nor did she say that he had broken a law with his tirade, although he obviously did break a law by driving under the influence. As for the P.C. line, it's hardly political correctness to suggest that Mr. Gibson's apparent disdain for the Jewish people stems from an irrational prejudice.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Confusion over satire

Since the posting of her essay, The Shylock Code, at The American Prospect Online (now featured at CBS News Online), your blogstress has received some very interesting e-mail. As expected, the piece certainly has smoked out some hard-core anti-Semites, as well as a couple of appreciative readers and one truly confused one. Let us begin with the perplexed:

Your article on Mel Gibson leaves me cold.  I really don't understand the flip-flopping you were doing.  One minute you denounce that, God forbid you were taken as being Jewish, then the next minute you refer to Mel as speaking the truth.  Do you like Jews or do you hate Jews?  Which is it?  I am totally confused.
You seem to know all the Shylock words and what they mean.  Do you speak them often?
What are you trying to prove?
I have a lot of questions here but I don't think I will get one answered.

Fear not, Flokay; your cybertrix is here to answer your questions. "The Shylock Code" essay is written in a form known as satire. On his excellent Web site, one Professor Wheeler of Carson-Newman College offers this definition:
SATIRE: An attack on or criticism of any stupidity or vice in the form of scathing humor, or a critique of what the author sees as dangerous religious, political, moral, or social standards. Satire became an especially popular technique used during the Enlightenment, in which it was believed that an artist could correct folly by using art as a mirror to reflect society. When people viewed the satire and saw their faults magnified in a distorted reflection, they could see how ridiculous their behavior was and then correct that tendency in themselves. The tradition of satire continues today. Popular cartoons such as The Simpsons and televised comedies like The Daily Show make use of it in modern media. Conventionally, formal satire involves a direct, first-person-address, either to the audience or to a listener mentioned within the work. An example of formal satire is Alexander Pope's Moral Essays.
For reference, dear Flowkay, your Webwench refers you to that mother of all satirical essays, "A Modest Proposal." Although your écrivaine could never hope to equal the genius of Swift, she nonetheless occasionally dares to execute an opus in that form.

As for your other questions, no, your net-tête does not know all the Shylock words -- only those that have been divulged to her by certain anti-Semites who, by virtue of our common ancestry or faith tradition, presumed your blogstress to be of like mind.

Note that your cyberscribe never wrote that Mel Gibson was speaking the truth; she wrote only that, in his anti-Semitic diatribe, he was being true to himself.

As for what she is trying to prove, your écrivaine simply hopes to expose the anti-Semitism of those who are permitted to spout hatred via the mass media through the use of socially acceptable code.


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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Trash and vanity

Somewhere along the way, as she mulled over the strife in the Episcopal Church, your blogstress apparently included a link to the blog of a conservative Episcopalian -- one dedicated to preserving the orthodoxy that banishes women from the pulpit and gay people from the clergy. The name of the blog is TitusOneNine, so named for a particular verse from St. Paul's letter to Titus: Speaking of the duties of a man of God, Paul writes of the importance of "holding firmly to the faithful word as respects his [art of] teaching, that he may be able both to exhort by the teaching that is healthful and to reprove those who contradict."

Your Webwench's inclusion of the link to the conservative blog,
TitusOneNine, brought forth this reply from a reader who prefers to be known as Wilspon, under the amusing, if irreverent, subject line, TightAssOnline:

From your site I learned of the e-address of the starch-minded American wannebe Anglicans, TitusOneNine, and recommend a meditative reply on TitusThreeNine, "Avoid stupid controversies, geneologies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are trash and vanity."

And don't forget TitusTwoNine: "Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect."

The verse-nine cycle seems to cut in several ways in that arrogant little letter.


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Friday, August 11, 2006

From Pakistan, with love

Not a terrorism suspect.

While doing her occasional perusal of newspapers from exotic locales, your blogstress came across this in the Pakistani newspaper, Dawn:

Leo gets stately reception in US

By Our Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Aug 9: Pakistan’s snow leopard Leo is on the front page of the State Department’s website, not as a terror suspect, but as a welcome guest. [Emphasis added by cybertrix.]

The write-up, complete with six stately pictures of the regal visitor from the Naltar valley, describes Leo’s visit as demonstrating ‘the breadth of US-Pakistani relations’.

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Imagine that!

Crashing the centrist party at Slate, American Prospect editor Michael Tomasky disproves the "Dems-gone-McGovernite" braying of Lieberman partisans, and does so through the clever device of applying that logic to other current Democratic primary races, where it simply does not hold up.

Similarly, Greg Sargent, on his blog The Horse's Mouth, presents a hypothetical mainstream-media news analysis piece that spins yesterday's terrorism news as being good for the Democrats. One wishes that the DNC would grab Sargent's line.

Meanwhile, your blogstress's editor, Sam Rosenfeld, frets over what the anti-war rhetoric does for the Dems, while setting the politics of Connecticut into context:

I agree that the upper-middle-class ascendancy within the Democratic Party over the past decades is a real phenomenon and a problematic one. But again, a Democratic primary in the richest state in the country -- a liberal, anti-war state, lacking any kind of modern populist political tradition -- does not offer very impressive substantiation for that argument. Upscale culturally liberal politics is what's done in Connecticut. The much ballyhooed Lamont/Lieberman socioeconomic and demographic split among Tuesday's voters, while there, is actually less stark than people realize. And to repeat myself -- Joe Lieberman is an odd fit for the role of old-school blue-collar Democrat cast out by peacenik cultural elites. That’s never been his political profile (notwithstanding his penchant for moralizing, etc.). He's not Bob Casey.

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Coded anti-Semitism all the rage
(and we do mean "rage")

Your blogstress asks for the prayers of her devotees in the wake of her publication, on The American Prospect Online, of her latest essay, The Shylock Code. Read it, and you'll understand why your Webwench requires this added cloak of spiritual protection.

And while you're over at the Prospect, do have a look at their blog, TAPPED, where you'll find the musings of an array of clever writers.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

No, Joe, no!

It's been a while since your blogstress received bon mots from our friend, St. Jacques du Fenway, but yesterday's post, in which your Webwench suggested to to Joe Lieberman that he abandon his independent run and instead take an academic post somewhere, raised some hackles:

Ma chère écrivaine,

Please do not foist Lieberman on the pristine world of academia. What have we done to deserve such a punishment?

--St. Jacques du Fenway

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Red Alert: civil liberties on the block

Given the president's statement, just minutes ago, on the apparently foiled U.K.-based terrorism plot, it seems quite clear to your blogstress that this latest turn of events will be used as yet another reason to further concentrate power in the executive branch.

Yesterday we learned that the administration wants to revise the War Crimes Act to exempt the abuse of imprisoned "enemy combatants" from oversight by U.S. courts. We saw how AOL posted online the search history of one its subscribers, and we know that the U.S. is searching such information -- as well as your phone records -- without going to the courts for warrants. And sitting in the Senate is a bill supported by Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter that would officially exempt the administration from obtaining the warrants required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Hold on to your hats, don't use the phone, your e-mail or travel.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lieberman ego knows no bounds

Because of the proliferation of material on the Joe Lieberman/Ned Lamont contest all over the blogosphere, your blogstress has had precious little to say about the primary for the Democratic nomination for Connecticut's Senate race. In short, her blogging colleagues have had that ground more than covered.

However, the announcement by U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman that, having lost his primary race, he will run as an independent, has your Webwench a bit dazed. Does the senator not understand just how vain, pompous and sanctimonious this makes him look? Indeed, he seems intent on proving the accusations against him by the party's left wing: that he never really cared about the Democratic Party to begin with.

Before he sacrifices every last shred of his dignity to his apparently massive ego, it would behoove Mr. Lieberman to step away from the Senate battle and take up an academic post for a while, from which he could maintain his public profile by becoming an analyst for a television news operation or somesuch. It wouldn't be the end of his political career -- just a post from which to wait out the next opportunity.

Lack of adaptability to the prevailing Zeitgeist is a shortcoming for anyone in political life -- or anyone in life in general. When change is inevitable, acceptance is key.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Must-read on today's Conn. Senate primary
E.J. Dionne, Jr., explains what Lieberman travails really mean

As he so often is, the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne shows himself once again to the the voice of reason among the nation's pundits:

Some events are so important that the battle to interpret their meaning begins even before they happen. So it is with today's Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Joe Lieberman in Connecticut.


There is, in any event, a major flaw in the claim that Lieberman's troubles reflect an end to the role of moderates in the Democratic Party: Lieberman is the one prominent moderate to receive serious opposition in this year's primaries. As Robert L. Borosage of the liberal Campaign for America's Future noted, antiwar Democrats limited their challenge to one of the most pro-Bush Democrats in one of the most Democratic states in the country. Moderate Democrats in Republican-leaning states were left largely undisturbed.

Moreover, opposition to the war in Iraq and to Bush has spread well beyond the left. In the latest Quinnipiac poll, Lieberman leads Lamont among Democrats who called themselves moderate or conservative by only 53 percent to 43 percent. If Lieberman loses, it will be primarily because of defections in the disaffected center.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Anti-choice activist buys Susan B. Anthony house

A member of the board of the anti-choice group, Feminists for Life, has purchased the birthplace of feminist icon Susan B. Anthony, offering the probability of a new feminist museum with an anti-choice spin.

If the group's name sounds vaguely familiar to your blogstress's devotees, it's likely because Jane Sullivan Roberts, wife of Chief Justice John Roberts, brought attention to the group when it was revealed that she had served as an executive vice president of the organization, and as its board counsel.

Though revered by many white women as a symbol of their right to vote, few are aware of the racism exercised by Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton when they decided to leave black women out of the suffrage equation. In fact, Anthony and others in her circle were said to be quite motivated by the thought that the black man might achieve the right to vote before white women. One suffrage newspaper editorialized:

What an insult to the women who have labored thirty years for the emancipation of the slave now, when he is their political equal, to propose to lift him over their heads.
So, let the crypto-righties have Susan B. Anthony -- so long as the relics of Alice Paul and Ida B. Wells remain in the hands of those who truly believe in the equality of the sexes -- and the races.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Into the abyss
Bush secrecy plunge yet to hit bottom

Your blogstress would like to think, that with the recently expressed consternation of the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, the Bush administration had hit bottom in its secrecy addiction and was soon to be on the road to recovery. But, alas, your Webwench knows that there are no depths to which these usurpers will not plunge, and that the consternation of Republicans regarding the administration's unconstitutional behavior usually amounts to nothing more than bluster.

In today's New York Times, Mark Mazetti reports on the noise made by committee chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) over the Bush administration's classification of information contained in a portion of a committee report on its use of prewar intelligence. The portion in question focuses on Cheney pal Ahmad Chalabi and the role the latter's Iraqi exile group played in passing bad info to the U.S. Government. From the New York Times:

Congressional officials said Thursday that they were puzzled by White House efforts to keep large portions of that section classified. Mr. Roberts pledged in his statement to maintain the pressure to declassify all of the Senate’s conclusions.

“This Committee will not settle for anything less,” he said. “Neither will the American people.”
Note that this is the same report that is years late, thanks to the stonewalling of one Pat Roberts.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

'Smear merchants' v. fear merchants

From her friends at the Christian Newswire, your blogstress received a press release from a Rev. Jesse Lee Paterson (author of Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America), who condemns "Hollywood insiders" and "media" (read: Jews) for picking on poor, suffering Mel Gibson:

Now there appears to be an orchestrated campaign by some Hollywood insiders and media to personally destroy Gibson.
Hmmm...From your Webwench's vantage point, it seems that Mr. Gibson is doing a pretty good job of destroying himself.
These same people opposed Gibson’s blockbuster ‘The Passion of the Christ’ which despite opposition from liberals was a huge hit among audiences. These ‘smear merchants’ [blogstress's note: read 'Jews'] are using this incident to get back at Gibson.
Note that Rev. Paterson recently partnered with the Heritage Foundation -- the grandaddy institution of the right wing -- to produce a conference on "Moral Reconstruction" in urban areas.


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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sibling rivalry and the End of Days

At last, actor Stephen Baldwin, brother of the famous actor and notorious liberal, Alec Baldwin, has found a way to differentiate himself from big bro and the rest of his brotherly pack: turn right.

From a religious right public relations firm (and our side wonders why they're ahead), your blogstress received the following:

Actor Stephen Baldwin Heads Lineup of Speakers
At Revelation Generation Christian Music Festival
On Labor Day Weekend

King of Kings Skateboard Ministry Will Also Drop-In to Frenchtown, NJ to Perform a High-Adrenaline Skating Demo at the Festival

FLEMINGTON, N.J., July 28 /Christian Newswire/
-- Joining an all-star music line up, several prominent speakers will be featured at Revelation Generation, a day-long Christian music festival over Labor Day weekend. Scheduled for September 2 at Revelation Farms in Frenchtown, NJ, actor Stephen Baldwin and Duffy Robbins top the list of speakers who will reach the teen and youth at the event with their own unique messages. The festival will also feature a demonstration by the King of Kings Skateboarding team.

Stephen Baldwin, known for his roles in over 60 major motion pictures, speaks nationally about Christ’s impact on his life. After becoming a born again Christian in the wake of the September 11 attacks, Baldwin’s Christian activism has led him to tour with the Teen Mania Ministries and produce “Livin’ It”, a DVD that features extreme sports. In January, Baldwin spoke out against the opening of a pornography shop near his home in upstate New York.


In addition to the speakers, Revelation Generation fans can look forward to a high-adrenaline performance by the King of Kings Skateboard Ministry (KKSM) – a team comprised of both professional and amateur skateboarders. Featured on Stephen Baldwin’s “Livin It” skate film series and making appearances across the nation, Zac Archuleta, Corey Denomy, Jared Priest, Dave Voetberg and Warren Miles will attack a 100’ x 200’ bowl to demonstrate their skills at the festival.

The speakers and KKSM join an all-star music line-up, including Newsboys, Relient K, MxPx, Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys, KJ-52, Salvador, The Afters, Plumb, House of Heroes and Nothing More.
Up until this point, your cybertrix had been blissfully unaware of any place called "Revelation Farms" in her beloved home state of New Jersey. She does, however, note its location in South Jersey, many of whose people would like to see secede from the state as a whole. (Hmmm...maybe they really are different from the rest of us...)

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Blogstress on TV

Where, oh where, can your blogstress be -- and why has she deprived her devotees of a post full of witticism today?

Well, mes amis, your cybertrix had to indulge those people who believe her to be a serious journalist or commentator or something, and stand before a video camera at and pontificate. (And you know how she just hates doing that!) This she did in her capacity as a contributor to TAPPED, the Weblog of The American Prospect Online.


(And, yes, your Webwench is now painfully aware of just how badly she needs a haircut. No e-mails, please, on that subject.)

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