Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: 3/9/08 - 3/16/08

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Duty Calls - this one is for my husband

From the wonderful "Pandagon" blog and the awesome Amanda Marcotte.

This is pretty much every night at my house.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Holy Out-of-Right-Field Batman!

Posted 10 minutes ago on ADN:
Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell stunned everyone at the Republican state convention Friday by announcing he will challenge 18-term incumbent Don Young for Alaska's lone seat in the U.S. House.

"For too long, we have expected too little from our elected officials," Parnell said. "It is time for change."

Young, the subject of a federal investigation that includes his campaign finance practices, last month refused to answer questions about why his campaign has spent $845,035 on legal fees. Young said only the media, not his constituents, had asked about the fees.

Young refused to answer again when a reporter identified himself as a constituent, but one who had not voted for Young. Parnell seized on that detail in his announcement.

"The notion that an elected official gets to pick who his constituents are based on whether they voted for him -- that is wrong," Parnell said.

Young had briefly left the room and returned to find he had just picked up a formidable primary opponent. He followed Parnell to the dais and delivered a typically feisty reply.

"Sean, congratulations," Young said. "I beat your dad, and I'm going to beat you."

Pat Parnell ran as a Democrat against Young in the 1980 general election. Young received 114,089 votes to the elder Parnell's 39,922, according to the Division of Elections.

Gesturing with his finger toward Parnell, Young said that if Parnell had wanted the U.S. House seat, he should have run two years ago.

"If you wanted to run for this job, you should have done it two years ago instead of running for lieutenant governor," Young said. "You wanted that job. Stay where you are, and that's where you're going to be."

Translation of Don Young's response: He's scared...and he should be.

Lt. Gov. Republican Sean Parnell is the other half of the Gov. Sarah Palin ticket who, per a poll this week, has an 85% favorable rating. (54% of that is highly favorable) The Palin/Parnell ticket ran on "change" and "corruption-fighting"...two things they have followed through on. (Ask Dems how much better things are under Parnell regarding Alaska voting issues.)

Yes, Don Young probably browned his britches when he first found out.

While this probably doesn't bode well for a Democratic takeover of Young's seat, it does bode VERY WELL for Alaska as the chances of Young losing the seat to a candidate that's a vast improvement just skyrocketed.

Yes, I'd much prefer a Democrat. However, it's more important for Don to be gone!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The best quote ever regarding racism.

From digitalmouse's diary on Daily Kos:
When I heard the comments made by Mrs. Ferraro I knew them right away for what they were. No political analysts, nor Media pundits, nor anyone, in fact, who has not lived and experienced racism first hand can say what constitutes racism. If you have not lived it and don’t know what we all know and have to live through in our neighborhoods, at work, and at school – you are no expert and are uniquely unqualified to pontificate on what statements are racist and which aren’t.


Hillary disses Alaska on NPR at the same time she claims Michigan results should stand

Video clip from Anchorage's Democratic Caucus

Here's today's "Morning Edition" interview on NPR where Hillary Clinton once again tells us that Michigan results should stand (because it was Obama's "choice" to pull himself off the ticket).
Clinton to NPR: Seat the Michigan and Florida Delegates
In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, Sen. Hillary Clinton said that the results of Michigan's Democratic presidential primary should count, even if Barack Obama's name did not appear on the ballot.

"That was his choice," she says. "There was no rule or requirement that he take his name off the ballot. His supporters ran a very aggressive campaign to try to get people to vote uncommitted."

She once again lists some of the states that "don't matter"...like Alaska.
Sen. Clinton: "Unless there's a seat change in American Politics, we're not going to carry Alaska, we're not going to carry North Dakota, we're not going to carry Utah." We need to..."

Steve Inskeep: "States that Barack Obama won..."

Sen. Clinton: "That's right. We need to look at the electoral maps more...look at who can anchor the states we need to win in running against John McCain. He will be formidable..."
Well, someone had better tell MSNBC that they have it wrong. From back in October:
Six months ago, anyone predicting that GOP Sen. Ted Stevens would become vulnerable in his bid for a seventh full term probably would have blamed his age. He turns 84 next month. Instead, Stevens is in trouble because of an FBI investigation. The bureau and the senator aren't talking, but most observers think that the probe stems from allegations that Stevens took money for legislative favors

They should warn some of the national experts who think that "Uncle Ted" is in serious trouble:
"People are watching the race that haven't watched a Ted Stevens race since 1970," said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

Sabato publishes the nationally watched Crystal Ball forecasts of congressional races. The latest version of it declares Stevens "mired in a major corporate scandal."

The ongoing federal investigation into corruption in Alaska politics has opened up at least the potential of a political earthquake rocking the state in the fall elections.

"He's more vulnerable than he has been before," conceded Anchorage pollster and political consultant Dave Dittman, who is working for the Stevens campaign.

(A list of articles on the corruption allegations)

The Clinton camp should also alert Sen. Harry Reid and Mayor Mark Begich, who has formed an exploratory committee to run against Stevens - at the urgings of the Democratic leader.
U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate majority leader from Nevada, on Thursday strongly urged Begich to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who has held the seat since 1968.

Begich was in Washington, D.C., for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. He spent 30 minutes meeting with Reid on Capitol Hill.

Most of the meeting was spent discussing Alaska issues, Begich said, until the Nevada senator launched a sales pitch.

"They made their hard sell, I appreciated it, and I acknowledged it," Begich said.

I haven't even discussed Don Young's problems:
Alaska Congressman Don Young said Wednesday he's cooperating with the Justice Department but refused to give details or answer questions about his huge legal bills.

"I have a right to spend my money as I wish to spend it and we are going to continue to do what I think we have to do to get this issue behind us," he said.

Young's re-election campaign spent $854,035 on legal fees over the course of 2007.

Young, 74, has been under investigation for his ties to Veco Corp., for fundraising activities and for his role in specific congressional earmarks, according to various media reports. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

There is one thing I can guarantee...if Sen. Clinton steals the nomination through Superdelegates, we can guarantee that McCain will win Alaska and that our best hopes for unseating Stevens and Young will go unrealized.

A blast from the past: Geraldine Ferraro's unsuccessful VP run and financial controversies

I had completely forgotten about this:
Mondale's campaign was already far behind the Republican ticket when Ferraro joined the ticket, and one issue that hurt her credibility was her disclosure of her husband's tax returns. In July 1984, she said she would release both her and her husband's tax returns. Yet a month later she backtracked and said she would release only her returns. Then she backtracked again, saying her husband would release "a financial — a tax statement" on August 20. But she must not have consulted her husband, because Zaccaro initially refused.
The results:
After the election the House Ethics Committee officially criticized her mishandling of campaign finances.

Eventually it all caught up to both of them:
Still under public scrutiny her husband pleaded guilty to overstating his net worth in getting a loan and was sentenced to community service. Also, police affidavits surfaced detailing a 1985 meeting between Zacarro and Robert DiBernardo, a captain and porno kingpin for mob boss John Gambino.
This was a person you wanted dealing with your campaign finances? Was she the one advising Hillary to refuse release of her tax returns?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Keith Olbermann to make "special comment" about Hillary and her campaign tonight. (4:00 PM Alaska Time)




More from HuffPo
"...but tonight, for the first time and in the heart of the presidential campaign, it will be about Hillary Clinton, her campaign, and how Olbermann feels about exactly what cards she's been playing (hint: It has something to do with her not firing Geraldine Ferraro for her controversial statement saying that Barack Obama wouldn't have been as successful if he weren't black. Last night Olbermann called Ferraro's statement "clearly racist" and likening the Clinton campaign to South Africa under apartheid for not rejecting it and firing her. Okay, that's more than a hint.)"

Olbermann last night discussing the issue.

The only explanation...Hillary wants the votes of the racists.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Yes...this is about "blackness"...and Hillary is courting the bigots - Part 2


I condensed the two parts and made it into a Daily Kos Diary. It's getting quite a response!


(Part 1 link)

Now, the Clintonites have stepped up the racial rhetoric. Ms. Ferraro decided to join those Hillary surrogates who are "playing the race card." From DKos:
More classiness, from one of Clinton's top surrogates, Geraldine Ferraro.

If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.
Ferraro isn't some unknown lower-level or obscure advisor, but one of her top fundraisers, member of Clinton's finance committee, and a former Democratic vice presidential nominee.

And in case folks think this was "just a slip" here's Ms. Ferraro during an interview two weeks ago - from DKos:

I was actually much more offended by the way Ms. Ferraro disdainfully said "the blacks" when she discussed Mr. Lewis changing his Superdelegate vote to Obama.

Thanks again to the intrepid bloggers at Daily Kos, we find that Ms. Ferraro has had that little gem in her toolbox for a long time. From The Washington Post April 1988:
And former representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that because of his "radical" views, "if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race."

Asked about this at a campaign stop in Buffalo, Jackson at first seemed ready to pounce fiercely on his critics. But then he stopped, took a breath, and said quietly, "Millions of Americans have a point of view different from" Ferraro's.

Discussing the same point in Washington, Jackson said, "We campaigned across the South . . . without a single catcall or boo. It was not until we got North to New York that we began to hear this from Koch, President Reagan and then Mrs. Ferraro . . . . Some people are making hysteria while I'm making history."

These are not slips, these are not "senior moments" these are intentional. It is intentional like the "blackening" and "widening" of Obama's face. It is just as intentional as not acknowledging that Obama is and always has been a Christian and not a Muslim, or insinuating that Obama is African not American.

And looking at the exit polls, we can see the polarization:
The state has a larger proportion African-Americans (36 percent, according to the 2000 census) than any other state in the country. And black voters make up nearly 70 percent of registered Democrats.

But Mississippi white voters overwhelmingly backed the New York senator, supporting her over Obama 72 percent to 21 percent.

According to the Associated Press, only two other primary states were as racially polarized -- neighboring Alabama, and Clinton's former home state of Arkansas.

The exit polls also indicated roughly 40 percent of Mississippi Democratic voters said race was an important factor in their vote, and 90 percent of those voters supported Obama.

In Ohio, roughly one in five voters said race factored into their decision. About 60 percent of those voters picked Clinton over Obama.

Hillary spent tons of money and time in Ohio and Pennsylvania while vitually ignoring Mississippi. She claims it was because of the large delegate count. I believe as many do that, like Ohio, the demographics are in her favor...mostly white, blue collar, less educated. My addition - more likely to be racist. I say this as an educated woman coming from a biofamily of uneducated Ohio factory workers who (along with their friends) have mostly rejected my daughter.

Don't take my word for it, let's get some backup from the Wall Street Journal.
Demographically, Beam writes, Pennsylvania is “nearly identical” to Ohio, which Clinton won: “86 percent white, compared to Ohio’s 85 percent. Same with its African-American population: 10 percent compared to Ohio’s 12 percent.” But within that picture, it really is three states: The west, dominated by Pittsburgh; the east, dominated by Philadelphia, and the “wide-open, rural” areas of the center dominated by Republicans. Clinton has the support of 13 of the state’s super delegates, Obama four, with nine still undecided. Clinton has been endorsed by the mayor of Philadelphia and Gov. Ed Rendell, who, “while perhaps not the state’s most important endorser, is certainly the loudest.

Hmmmm...what does Clinton endorser Gov. Rendell have to say about his state? Oh...he says that Pennsylvania is "too racist" to vote for Obama!
“You’ve got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate,” he said bluntly. Our eyes only met briefly, perhaps because the governor wanted to spare the only black guy in the room from feeling self-conscious for backing an obvious loser. “I believe, looking at the returns in my election, that had Lynn Swann [2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate] been the identical candidate that he was –well-spoken [note: Mr. Rendell did not call the brother “articulate”], charismatic, good-looking — but white instead of black, instead of winning by 22 points, I would have won by 17 or so.”

I spent my High School years in Philadelphia during the build-up to the Move members house being bombed by the police (5 children killed). Pittsburgh, formerly a factory town, now has the dubious distinction of having on of the poorest, most segragated black population in the country.

Like in Ohio, it doesn't look to me like a lot in Pennsylvania has changed...at least not fast enough. We always knew that she was targetting the bigger states - however, I'm not sure we always knew or at least discussed ALL of the reasons why.

Everything that I have ever heard or seen regarding the Clintons portrays them as savvy, brilliant, cutthroat politicians and campaigners and that very little is tossed out there without discussion and practice. I believe an overwhelming amount of evidence is there to point to the Clinton rhetoric specifically targetting racial bigots in order to garner their votes. I also believe THAT is one of the BIG REASONS that so many African American voters are more polarized than ever towards Obama.

Yes...this is about "blackness"...and Hillary is courting the bigots - Part 1.

A hysterical video - but directly on point:

This issue has become a definite bone of contention between me and some of my friends.

First, read one of the best pieces I've ever seen on racial issues written in DKos a few days ago. This was the same day I felt like I was "shamed" about even bringing racism up in regards to Obama.
Not so very long ago, there was a great deal of talk around various progressive parts of wwwLand about how the "half-white, half-black" Barack Obama had "transcended" race and racism. Well, actually, not so much talk about that, but rather talk about why talking about racism is by its very nature divisive.

Racism is divisive. However, not talking about it doesn’t make it go away.

Many people find straight-up discussions of the subject uncomfortable. Or irrelevant. One expression I have heard for the past 20 or so years from whites – both friends and others – goes along the lines of: why do black people (Indians, etc.) keep bringing up racial issues? Things are different now. True. In my lifetime, progress has been made. But race and racism still factor greatly in the social, cultural and political life of this nation
. Look at voter suppression. Look at our prisons. Look at our reservations. Look at the Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

Most of the people I know - of all races - want race to no longer be a factor in any negative sense. However, the only people that try to insist that we've "come so far" that it no longer is a negative factor are those who don't have racism touching their lives in an intimate way.

Yes, that means white people.

Please read the entire article - it's that good - but on March 5th there were several parts that struck home powerfully. First this section:
But because of its history, race now has a significance that it is anti-progressive to ignore. Once introduced into human society, race has implications and human experiences are shaped by it. To ignore the implications of those experiences is a wrong-headed approach, I believe. We are all humans, but our histories and experiences have not all been the same. The question isn't to pretend that this isn't the case, but what we do with that knowledge and recognition.

In a perfect world, perhaps, we'd all be colorblind. But in my experience it's mostly been white people who have claimed to be colorblind and black people who have said they want their blackness to be acknowledged. Black and proud. I've heard black people lament how many times they've been told, "I don't think of you as black," as if that's supposed to be a compliment or as if they're being separated out from other blacks and praised as "one of the good ones."
If you're a light-skinned Indian, you get the other side of this: "You don't look Indian."

Since the launching of the Democratic primary campaign, a number of accusations of racism have been made, some of them this week. I’m not going to reprise them and all their nuances now. But if, as seems likely, the presidential contest this fall is between a brown-skinned black man and a cream-colored white man, we can expect more of the same and worse. Perhaps we won’t get force-fed slurs along the lines that Obama fathered a white child, but the idea that race won’t matter in the contest for the Presidency, that it’s been transcended, has pretty much been debunked by events.

As I will discuss later, that is proven even more in the last few days.

And secondly, the section containing Senator Obama's own words:

"If I was arrested for armed robbery and my mug shot was on the television screen, people wouldn't be debating if I was African-American or not. I'd be a black man going to jail. Now if that's true when bad things are happening, there's no reason why I shouldn't be proud of being a black man when good things are happening, too. "
In America, there are two classes of people, white and not-white. If you are white, then you are white, but if you are not white, you are NOT WHITE. Have you ever heard of anyone described as half-white, unless they were visibly another race? No matter how pretty or how smart, if you are not white in America, you are not white.

But Obama didn't have to use the example of armed robbery, all he had to say is if he got into an elevator, some white woman would clutch her purse. The double Ivy League grad (Columbia, Harvard Law) is not white in America, to what degree doesn't matter, he could be half-Mexican like Bill Richardson or Jeb Bush's kids, and they are not white. It's not the degree of blackness you have, but the lack of whiteness.

It doesn't matter what my 10-year-old's skin tone is or the fact that her daddy was Creole (mix of white, black and Native American) and I'm white...society views her as black. When I heard talk of folks asking "why" Obama calls himself black, I laughed.

End of Part 1.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A day at the county convention

Sorry for the delay in posting Celtic, I've been having a bit of fun with the spring plague. This weekend I went to county convention and assembly at the Colorado Convention Center as an alternate delegate. It was wonderful to play my part in the creation of history. This August, Denver will have the pleasure of nominating either the first African American, or first female presidential candidate.

The morning started with bagels with Paul Rosenthal. There was a pre assembly breakfast. The breakfast started at 7, which meant many arrivals were on Democrat time, and showed up 15-20 minutes late (myself included ;) We quickly grabbed our breakfast from the frazzled wait staff and flew off to the catch the 7:41 light rail to downtown. Of course half of the group missed the light rail by seconds, so we had to do some finagling through other trains to get to the convention center on time. On the train, the campaigning began as a cheerful woman handed out flyers announcing her candidacy for National delegate. Competition is fierce this year for the hometown event.

On arrival to the convention center, The blue bear statue outside cheerfully gazed down at a scene of mass chaos. Outside there were protesters for various causes from poverty to the Iraq war, inside there were thousands of people with no idea where they were going. We wandered around, collecting stickers and signs for our various political candidates. There were many raucous calls for Obama or Hillary. One woman walked in front of me with a blue sequined vest and a crocheted hat of red white and blue covered in Hillary stickers.

I eventually found my precinct, and signed in. I was provided a placard to tie around my neck, which included the time I checked in. The alternate delegates would be chosen on a first come, first served basis. I surreptitiously checked out the competition,and was sad to see that I had no chance in hell of being picked. Some of the people had been there since 7am. My check in time was 8:31.

They let in the delegates while we alts stayed outside. After some confusion, they decided to let the alternates come in as well while they decided what to do with us. Here is a shot I took with my cell phone from inside the Wells Fargo building. Normally attendance at these events is scarce, this year the building was packed jam full.

Several Colorado politicans were there. We heard a speech from Ken Salazar, and saw the nomination process for DA Mitch Morrissey. Then they herded the alternates out to find out our fate. We lined up in Pro Hillary and Pro Obama lines. As I suspected, my 8:31 time slot had no chance of being chosen. Considering how packed the building was, I wouldn't be surprised if no alternates were chosen. No one wanted to sleep through history being made.

If this interest and excitement is indicative of how the rest of the election will proceed, I am looking forward to the election of our next Democrat president :)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Country Music on Sunday Afternoons

Stu Schulman ~ Keith Junot ~ Sandy Heikes ~ Doug McCullough

Henry's Great Alaska Restaurant 3pm-6pm every Sunday afternoon
Playing classic country, western swing and more!
Family atmosphere, bring the kids and grandkids -- they need to hear real, live music, too!
8001 Old Seward Highway at 80th, just north of Dimond.
http://www.henrysalaska.com 770-0500

Morrigan and I went to Henry's for the first time today because my friend Patti organized a nice country jam on Sundays. I knew that the band has the best country musicians in the state - Stu Schulman and Keith Junot are internationally known steel guitar and fiddle players respectively not to mention Junot and veteran Alaska drummer Sandy Heikes can do some sweet country crooning!

However, I had NO idea how REALLY GOOD the food was!

Morrigan and I started with a Henry's specialty - the sampler version of their Henry's Famous Crawfish Pie. It was light and delicious! Then I had a Henry's Lancaster Sandwich - roast beef with grilled onions, peppers and melted Swiss on Rye served with Au Jus. On the side I had a cup of their Seafood Chowder - not as good as the Crawfish Pie and the sandwich but still quite tasty.

OK - I wasn't planning on writing a restaurant review!

It was a nice Sunday afternoon family outing. I had my daughter plus many folks also brought their children.

I'm going to suggest this for a KUDO get together as it's enjoyable country for folks that don't necessary listen to country. (While I won't listen to most of the local country stations, I dearly love the music I grew up with - Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Waylon, Willie, Kris Kristofferson, Buck Owens, etc...) My daughter is a country fan and she said she'd like to go back next weekend.

However, she ALSO wants me to bring her cousins because "adults are so BORING!"

For you Dr. Who fans...

Kaerick and Monocot are friends who live in Denver, Colorado. On top of their unique perspective as members of the organizing committee for the Democratic National Convention in Denver, we will also hear from them on other topics - including our shared love of all things geeky!!!!

We are all fans of the show Dr. Who (I was a fan of the original show back in the 70's as well) and Kaerick decided to post a video regarding the series.



This video has some interesting ideas about the current Dr Who series which should prove to be thought (and discussion) provoking for old and new fans alike.