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Fri Jun 06, 2008 at 10:41 AM PDT

She does not need to do anything!

by catfish

All this chatter is unrelenting - she better endorse Obama or else! Earth to Obama fans - he needs her more than she needs him. If she loses her Senate seat so what? So what if she doesn't get anything at the convention? She already lost the primary.

What are you all freaking out about?

I really am a Democrat and I really am not sure who I'm voting for in November. I need to be convinced by Obama (not his supporters, not Hillary) that he can handle the job. And to date, I have not been convinced. I will watch both candidates between now and November. But as of today, it looks like there's only one candidate and he's a Republican.

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Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:24 AM PDT

Unity Ticket or Tooth Fairy?

by catfish

Maureen Dowd yesterday explained why some of Obama's financial backers do not want a unity ticket:

She just urged her supporters to keep the dream alive, and talked privately about what she would settle for. She has told some Democrats recently that she wanted Obama to agree to allow a roll call vote, like days of yore, so that the delegates of states she won would cast the first ballot for her at the convention. She said she wanted that for her daughter.

Obama supporters are worried that it's a trick and she'll somehow snatch away the nomination. Just as Hillary supporters have hardened toward him, many of Obama's donors and fans have hardened against the Clintons, saying it would be disillusioning to see them on a ticket that's supposed to be about fresh politics.

"It would be," said one influential Democrat, "like finding out there's no tooth fairy."

This sentiment is echoed in a letter to the editor of today's New York Times:

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I think Obama's veep should be

8%4 votes
4%2 votes
41%20 votes
14%7 votes
6%3 votes
8%4 votes
2%1 votes
14%7 votes

| 48 votes | Vote | Results

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Well my friends said we should listen to the Republicans when deciding how to vote in the primary. And that, my friends said, was why I HAD to vote for Obama.

I said we can't trust the Republicans - some will say they're voting for Obama now, but will their loyalty hold until November? Still others will say they're voting Obama now, because they think he's easier to beat. I think it's the latter. My friends say I'm in denial.

All I know is: why are the Republicans determining who wins our primary?

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Republican Michael Steele is speaking now at Black State of the Union. He's disarming, engaging, and is speaking frankly about race. (Update: see below for why Steele would be a poor choice.)

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Will McCain pick this guy as veep? He's also speaking about Obama - he's very proud of Obama. "But all of that doesn't mean anything if we don't hold leadership accountable. I want to be held accountable."

Black State of the Union is streamed all day today on C-Span
(click to get video.)

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Black State of the Union Best Speaker so far

34%20 votes
17%10 votes
3%2 votes
29%17 votes
1%1 votes
8%5 votes
5%3 votes

| 58 votes | Vote | Results

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Congressman John Lewis, who had the temerity not to succumb to Jesse Jackson's arm-twisting, is now facing a primary challenge for his seat in Congress from a 30-year-old Markel Hutchins, who says "the civil rights icon who has represented the city in Congress for two decades is un-hip," the Atlanta Journal Constitution has reported.

John Lewis no longer groovy? Hutchins to oppose him

As evidence of a gap between Lewis and young, civic-minded activists, Hutchins points to Lewis’ decision to back Sen. Hillary Clinton instead of Sen. Barack Obama in the presidential race even though Obama is the first truly viable African American to run for president and the overwhelming favorite in Georgia’s Democratic primary this month.

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I think John Lewis

6%8 votes
2%3 votes
4%5 votes
7%9 votes
25%31 votes
3%4 votes
51%64 votes

| 124 votes | Vote | Results

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Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 04:16 PM PST

NAACP Chair: Seat FL, MI Delegates

by catfish

Surely some misguided partisans will spin this and say Julian Bond has no credibility. But here it is:

The Politico reports today:

NAACP Chair Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP, has written a letter to Howard Dean to express "great concern at the prospect that million of voters in Michigan and Florida could ultimately have their votes completely discounted."

The letter, more clearly than the letter from Berry and Wilkins, demands that the votes already cast be counted, rejecting the notion of a new vote or caucus.

It seems unlikely that, given Obama's symbolic power, the black civil rights establishment is going to unite around this view. But it certainly gives Hillary some powerful institutional backup in making a case widely derided as opportunistic.

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You thoughts?

27%12 votes
53%23 votes
18%8 votes

| 43 votes | Vote | Results

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Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 09:24 AM PST

Obama Snubbed Gay Rights Mayor

by catfish

For what it's worth: SFGate is reporting a multiple-sourced story that Obama refused to have his picture taken with San Francisco Mayor Newsom back in 2004 after Newsom aggressively advocated for gay marriage.

In all fairness, the piece also says then-presidential candidate John Kerry also avoided San Francisco.

Though same-sex marriage is still a hot-button issue in 2008, it is no longer the shocker that had the country in an uproar four and five years ago. Until you go back and look at the news stories from those days, it is easy to forget how radical and unpopular Newsom's stand was.

And, no, it wasn't just the right-wingers who were upset. It was Democrats, too, particularly those running in the presidential primary. John Kerry, for example, was careful to stage his Bay Area appearances in Oakland, not San Francisco, after the controversy hit.

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This is a vote I will never, ever regret. I'll be proud of it until the day I die. I'll be proud of it regardless of who wins California on Tuesday.

My journey has been a strange one: I began with a visceral dislike of this woman, searching for the great hope of a star candidate that could beat her in the primaries.

I went to an Obama rally in Oakland, California last spring and boy was that the best-looking, sexiest, most wholesome looking crowd I'd seen in ages. Young families, kids in strollers, people of color, white people.

And then Obama arrived and spoke. He was...fine. No real complaints. Didn't leave me with a feeling of certainty. Didn't leave me jazzed. I think I had more hope looking at the crowd beforehand than I did after listening to the candidate. He stuttered and stammered a bit. And he said the word "I" a lot - coming from the Howard Dean people-powered politics movement I don't subscribe to "the great man theory" and I didn't like Obama's speech that day. But there was time for him to improve. It wasn't his best day.

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I feel Hillary

8%18 votes
1%4 votes
18%37 votes
0%2 votes
3%8 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
8%18 votes
13%27 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%1 votes
0%1 votes
0%2 votes
42%86 votes

| 204 votes | Vote | Results

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Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 07:58 PM PST

Still for Hill - Roll Call Diary

by catfish

You read that right - I'm still for Hill. I prefer her over Bill.

Long ago I started out as an Obama fan and really hoped he could beat Hillary. But I watched him over time and grew doubtful. Then Hillary grew on me.

Earlier today I speculated I might be the only "out" Hillary fan/supporter at this site, only to be corrected by hopscotch1997:

Oh no. There are about 25 of us regular exposed and out Hillary fans, but there are many more who are afraid to come here without a gun to defend themselves, and who poke their heads in once in a while.

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I like Hill because

18%39 votes
29%63 votes
41%89 votes
11%25 votes

| 216 votes | Vote | Results

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Sat Jan 05, 2008 at 04:08 PM PST

Who Still Watches Cable News?

by catfish

We at the catfish household again subscribe to cable after a 24-month-plus hiatus (since the last season of The Wire wrapped, probably.)

Now, we're not against all MSM news. Print news organizations still do some remarkable legwork given the brutal morale they're operating under, with ever-shrinking budgets and staffs. Alternative newsweeklies are the under-appreciated investigative shops of today.

Off the printed page NPR and yes, the PBS Newshour provide informative, substantive reports (do I sound like an old fogey? I like Jim Lehrer's show, so be it.)

But after watching CNN and MSNBC yesterday and today we see the same blowhards sitting around making projections, as if they haven't moved an inch since we cancelled Comcast in 2005. Has nothing changed?

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the tv news I watch includes...

2%1 votes
26%10 votes
15%6 votes
7%3 votes
13%5 votes
34%13 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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It sure is a joy questioning a crackdown on child porn. In December. Heading into primary season.

But this bill called the SAFE Act could make it very cumbersome and expensive just to provide free wi-fi, because cafe customers or library patrons might view child porn. Or images of fully clothed children in "lascivious" poses. Or drawings, cartoons, or paintings of obscene images. Many may decide the cost of free wi-fi isn't worth the payoff.

The SAFE Act was just overwhelmingly approved in the House with no hearings or committee votes, and is very popular in the Senate, CNET is reporting - House vote on illegal images sweeps in Wi-Fi, Web sites:

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill saying that anyone offering an open Wi-Fi connection to the public must report illegal images including "obscene" cartoons and drawings--or face fines of up to $300,000.

That broad definition would cover individuals, coffee shops, libraries, hotels, and even some government agencies that provide Wi-Fi.

What the bill requires cafe owners to report to the government is listed on the flip.

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The SAFE Act sounds

0%0 votes
88%47 votes
11%6 votes

| 53 votes | Vote | Results

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Sat Nov 10, 2007 at 06:17 PM PST

SF Bay Oil Spill Diary

by catfish

Following Wednesday's 58,000-gallon oil spill caused by a ship which crashed into the Bay Bridge (apparently the first time such a ship has ever done so since the bridge was built,) the Bay Area oil spill cleanup effort seems to be crawling along while hundreds of volunteers are being told to stay home and do nothing.

Volunteers who refuse remain idle are being threatened with arrest:

It was much the same in Marin County, where Sigward Moser led a 30-person volunteer group - including 20 monks-in-training from the Mill Valley Zen Center - onto Muir Beach on Friday. For his efforts, he was detained and handcuffed.

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Arresting volunteers strikes me as

3%2 votes
9%6 votes
77%47 votes
9%6 votes

| 61 votes | Vote | Results

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