Friday, June 13, 2008

Rahm "the bomb" Emanuel plays it cool

Check out HuffPo's Nico Pitney on the Democrats' congressional Chicago strongman and his role in the presidential contest.

Don't worry, he effectively tells Pitney; those who have not endorsed will come along soon.


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Tim Russert

Word of the passing of Tim Russert, NBC News Washington bureau chief and host of "Meet the Press" is sad indeed. Sad because Russert appeared to so enjoy the twists and turns of this year's presidential contest, a contest whose end he will not get to enjoy from this earthly plane.

Your blogstress didn't know Tim Russert, but on the night of the New Hampshire primary, she enjoyed a rather charmed encounter with him. In the bar of the Radisson in Manchester, where tout le monde was eating dinner that night, I was standing at the bar awaiting takeout when Russert walked in with Mike Barnicle. The days and hours leading up to polling day had been quite the ride. Hillary was inevitable, then was destined to lose, according to pundits and pollsters. By the day of the primary, word began circulating that she might pull it off.

Making small talk, I asked Russert how it was looking to him. (The polls had yet to close.) Standing next to me, he unrolled a handful of papers onto the bar. They contained the network's own exits. He went through them with me, exuding the glee of an astonished kid. I just happened to be the bystander in the right spot -- next to a fellow who was looking to share his sense of surprise.

The guy loved his work.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Intersectional orientation

Forgive your blogstress, mes amis, for having neglected you for so long. Your cybertrix, of course, was off doing worthy things, such as attending the National Conference on Media Reform (thanks to a scholarship from the outstanding organization, Free Press, Inc.), getting marooned in the Atlanta airport for a day on her way back to DC from Minneapolis, and then doing a lot of sweating in her 100-plus-degree oppo factory, which happened to lose its air conditioning on the hottest day of the year.

But now -- rejoice -- your Webwench returns with a new collaboration in The Huffington Post. In answer to Linda Hirshman's instruction to the feminist movement (something of a white woman's manifesto) that ran in the Outlook section of Sunday's Washington Post, Shireen Mitchell and your ecrivaine today responded with our defense of what has become known as "intersectionality." (Kinda sexy, non?)

To find out what that means, check us out in HuffPo:


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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hillary as veep pick: a very bad idea

Check out your blogstress's debut on The Huffington Post as a featured blogger commenting on why it would be such a bad idea for Barack Obama to name Hillary Clinton as his running mate -- especially bad for women.


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Great discussion of the Obama movement

It may have taken place last month, but this discussion on GritTV about the phenomenon that is Barack Obama and the movement he leads is particulary timely now, the day after Barack clinches the nomination.

This segment features the force of nature that is Laura Flanders moderating a roundtable featuring three of your blogstress's favorite men: The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg, Afro-Netizen founder Chris Rabb and the brilliant novelist Walter Mosely.


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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Nomination night: history made

And so Barack Obama continues his Taoist path to the presidency, delivering a speech tonight that failed to note the obvious: for the first time, an African-American has clinched a major-party nomination.

After Hillary Clinton refused to graciously concede -- delivering a speech that sought to hang her 18 million voters as a sword over the head of Barack -- Obama could, perhaps, be forgiven for beginning his valedictory with a sourpuss. Nonetheless, his response of praise for the former first lady only advanced his own cause.

I do think that all the hysteria among pundits and journalists about the fact that she did not concede tonight is just that: hysteria. They're all frantic over the fact that she used that opportunity to ask her supporters to write to her via her Web site to tell her whether or not to quit.

Oh, come on, people. What do campaign Web sites primarily exist for? The collection of dough. Her campaign is in debt. She needs more, and luring in her most dedicated supporters to say, "stay the course," gives her the opportunity to ask for more.

As for the veep, your blogstress just doesn't see it. She would be fine, but her husband would wreck it.

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Obama needs to raise McCain's Iraq by one Aghanistan

Watching John McCain speak tonight from Louisiana, throwing down a gauntlet to Barack Obama, it became apparent that McCain's election theme will be that Obama refuses to go to Iraq to meet with Gen. Petraeus to see the good work our troops have done there, even as he promises to negotiate with bad guys like Iran's President Ahmadinejad.

Obama needs to go to Afghanistan and challenge McCain to do the same. There, he should meet with the under-resourced troops who pool their won dollars to help get stuff done for Afghans -- sort of like inner city schoolteachers here.

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The guys are getting nervous

With Barack Obama poised to declare victory tonight as the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, conversations among liberals and progressives now turn to the veepstakes. Suddenly, I feel the nervousness of liberal white guys, many of whom have convinced themselves that the only choice Obama should make is of a white man with a military background.

Is all about the pragmatic goals of winning, they tell me. Gotta get those white, male votes. As if the white female voters who followed Hillary Clinton are chopped liver.

News for yas, fellas: The ladies' are the votes you need. The white guys who love the war are not going to vote for Obama, even if he has an antiwar general on his ticket. Pick an outright sexist like Jim Webb -- whose reasoning during the Tailhook scandal would have one believe that today's generals bear no responsibility for the rampant sexual harassment and assault of female soldiers by their male counterparts in today's Army -- and you'll alienate a whole lot of women while failing to win many white male warmongers to the fold.

Your blogstress's hunch: The prospect of a ticket that features no one who looks like them has a number of liberal white guys very anxious.

Get over it, guys. Welcome to the change we can believe in.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Obama: leaving his spiritual home

And so it came to pass that Barack Obama felt the need to leave his church. After the egomania of retired Pastor Jeremiah Wright caused Obama endless woes on the campaign trail (not to mention a National Review cover story on black liberation theology), your blogstress finds some irony in the fact that the final blow to Obama's ability to remain both a member of Trinity United Church of Christ and a viable presidential candidate came in the form of a sermon from a Roman Catholic priest, Michael Pfleger.

Speaking a guest preacher in Trinity's sanctuary, Pfleger mocked Hillary Clinton's tearful moment in New Hampshire, saying she was crying only because she was losing to Obama, a black man, while she is white, "entitled", and "Bill's wife."

For one, your blogstress is not surprised to hear such sexist and demeaning comments flow from the mouth of a Catholic priest. Only this week, the pope reaffirmed church policy to excommunicate Catholic official who dares to ordain a woman priest, or any woman who would be so ordained. No misogyny there!

Still, I can't help but wonder if, had Chris Dodd or Joe Biden come this close to winning the nomination, they would have been forced to leave their churches for whatever disparaging remarks their pastors may have uttered -- perhaps towards women or queer people -- from their Roman Catholic pulpits.

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