Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: 5/25/08 - 6/1/08

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sadly, odds are she probably reproduced...

I don't think unity is in her vocabulary, but I'll bet I can think of a few words that are.

Please, God, make them go away.

Obama news while we were watching the DNC

He has resigned from Trinity Church:
Barack Obama has resigned his 20-year membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago in the aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his longtime pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and more recent fiery remarks at the church by another minister.

Obama campaign communications director Robert Gibbs said Obama had submitted a letter of resignation to the church and would discuss his decision in a session with reporters later Saturday.

It happened "over the last few days," Gibbs said.

I feel very sorry for the Obama family, that they were forced to renounce a church central to their family life.

Let's make sure that McBush must live up to that same criteria.

Does McSame have a regular church? If he doesn't, why not? How long has he been going to his doctor? That coffee house? Cindy's hairstylist? What have the employees said about politics? How about anyone who has come to the McSame home?

Yeah, we can ALL play this game.

DNC inner-workings - the Rules Committee - ***UPDATE*** - FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN ARE SEATED!!!!!!

I'm an MSNBC junkie today - I'm periodically paying attention to the Rules Committee Meeting.

It's obvious that they are well-aware of the cameras.

They handled Florida this morning (which I missed) but Americablog is liveblogging the whole thing. They were dealing with Michigan when they went to a very late lunch break, which has now lasted almost two hours longer than planned.

According to the press conference with Florida Democratic leaders afterwards, it sounds good for party unity:
After the Florida portion of the meeting was finished, I watched an impromptu press conference in the lobby of the Marriott that included Jon Ausman, Senator Nelson, former Senator Graham, Rep. Wexler and a couple other Florida Democrats. The theme was one of unity. Ausman said he could accept Rep. Wexler's proposal for seating the Florida superdelegates with 1/2 vote each. Generally, the theme was one of unity.


Back from their break (where all kinds of behind-the-scenes action was happening regarding Michigan). The Committee in their speeches is talking about the importance of rules. The vote to seat Florida at 100% went down 12 to 15. Now the 1/2 vote-per-delegate motion is in discussion and it looks good.

Great quote from Alice Huffman, who is resigned that her motion went down and is in favor of the 1/2 vote: "We will leave here a more united party."

Motion passes unanimously.

************UPDATE 2************

The motion is to restore all pledged delegates with 1/2 vote, 69 delegates for Clinton and 59 for Obama.

This is the compromise arrived at by the Michigan delegation themselves, who did research and determined that had Sen. Obama been on the ballot, this is how they would have fallen.

Motion passes 19 to 8 - they are seated!!!!!!!!!!!

Harold Ickes (Committee member, Clinton strategist) was as out of order as the noisy Clinton supporters when he said these votes were "hijacked" and that Hillary Clinton reserves the right to take this to the Credentials Committee.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A sneak peak at young Hillary Clinton - a Friday Funny

My daughter loved this!

So it gets scarier...

Last night I had to threaten to bar a kid from our neighborhood if he ever again decided that coming over with a big stick was a good way to deal with his anger.

I'm also going to have to remind the daughter of the "creepiest dad in the neighborhood" that she's not welcome to play with the kids. (She's 17 years old and says she likes playing with 10-year-olds because "they have so much in common." Yeah, made every one of my red flags go off too.)

Last year when I told her to find friends her old age, her slime-bag dad in a 70's leisure suit got in my face and said that my daughter was no longer welcome to swim in his pool.

OK...first off, what makes you think I'd let my daughter swim in your pool? Secondly, your youngest child is 17, why do YOU WANT my daughter to swim in your pool?

The last two summers of doing day care has taught me to NEVER underestimate what the folks who take care of kids may have to go through just to keep them safe...and how valuable folks are who truly take that job seriously.

So that was yesterday.

This morning, I was awakened at 6:45 by my husband with his hand on my shoulder saying, "Now remain calm, don't freak out" as he's dialing his cell phone. He then tells me that a man is sitting on our deck and that he had been in our house. He also told me that the guy had blood all over his shirt and looked like he'd been beaten up. My husband handed me he cell phone so that he could go to the living room and watch the guy out back (oh joy) while I'm calling 911 in the bed room.

It seemed like it took the police forever to get there (it didn't...about 10 - 15 minutes) and towards the end, the guy started to get insistent about coming in the house so I was scared for Josh. I stood in the hallway and closed my daughter's door because I wasn't letting him down that hall.

The police came and cuffed him immediately. It turns out he was looking for some guy named "Jack" and he'd parked his truck out front of our house pointed straight at the curb with the truck bed hanging out in the road. He also had to come through two gates to get into our fenced-in backyard, which is why we just use the screen door when it's warm at night.

Not anymore.

My landlord (mommy of the boys) decided that since they were leaving to go camping around 1:00 pm anyway she'd keep the boys and give Morrigan and I a break. That's a good thing because it seems that the cloudy weather plus the events of the last two days have sucked the energy right out of us. She's laying in the bed next to me while I'm typing on the laptop.

At least maybe I can catch up on my writing.

DNC Announces the General Blogger Pool

YAY Pam!!!!!!

I just received the email confirming that Pam's House Blend will be credentialed in the general pool at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver on August 25-28. Here's a snippet from the DNCC press release.
Organizers also announced that blogs credentialed by the DNCC will have access to a dedicated "Blogger Lounge" inside the Pepsi Center, equipped with televisions, technology resources and workspace to facilitate their reporting. All bloggers will have access to the Convention floor, press briefing areas, caucus meetings, filing centers and other auxiliary events open to members of the media.

The credentialed blogs represent a large and diverse collection of voices and perspectives. The pool includes blogs covering national, state and local politics and those representing a variety of groups including the African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American and LGBT communities. Blogs focusing on youth issues, women's issues, labor issues, disability issues as well as those focusing on the environment and communities of faith will also be credentialed among many others.

...In 2004, the DNCC credentialed about 30 blogs to cover the Convention in Boston - the first Convention to credential bloggers. Recently, the DNCC announced that 55 blogs focused on state and local politics were selected to be members of the DemConvention State Blogger Corps. Altogether, the DNCC will credential more than 120 blogs for the Convention and many more individuals will blog the Convention via credentials issued through the U.S. Congressional Press Galleries.
One reason celebrate is that it won't just be your humble blogmistress covering the convention, but the diverse barista slate as well - 'Radical' Russ Belville, Daimeon Pilcher, Autumn Sandeen, and the Educated Eclectic (Terrance said he'll be there via his day job). Gee, I haven't notified them via email. I guess they may find out here.

At first glance, I can see a few AfroSpear blogs selected, Pam's, Jack and Jill Politics and African American Political Pundit.

Tomorrow's blog posts will be verrrry interesting!

Congratulations to all the blogs!

I've stepped in it once again...on purpose, even!

My writing time is more and more limited because I'm full-time daycare for the summer. I was trying to figure out how I'd kept up with the writing before...and then I realized that I really didn't. I would mostly take a break for the summer.

Wellllll...not this year!

I've decided that I'll sacrifice sleep but I won't be getting out more than about 1 post a day.

Today, instead of working on posts (unfortunately) every spare minute has been taken up writing emails over a major Veteran-related fight that I just can't talk about right now. If it blows-up the way I think it might, you guys will be the first to know. It's mostly a personalities issue however there is some interesting information regarding a certain not-really-a-Veteran-friend-Senator that may come out.

Like I said, ya'll will be the first to know!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Got home really late from Sutton

See you in the morning!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Heading out to see a Veteran in Sutton

An old friend came back to Alaska from Texas and he's in bad shape - acute renal failure, heart problems, etc...He had undiagnosed diabetes until just a couple of years ago. They had no money and they didn't know what they were going to do.

It turned out he is also a Vietnam-era Veteran and no one ever asked him if he signed up for benefits.

Maurice Bailey to the rescue! (I love working for those guys!)

Morrigan and I are heading out there with a care package today. His wife's health isn't good either and they need to get the place in tip-top shape because his new dialysis will require that the bedroom be almost sterile.

Ms. Patti will be setting up a work crew to clean and do repairs...possibly this Friday. If anyone wants a free trip to Sutton from anywhere along the route from Anchorage (riding in the dually, of course) let me know.

Since physically I'm useless in the cleaning area, feeding people will probably be my job!

Rachael Ray - chef, author, decorator, terrorist

We know this by her scarf:
Dunkin' Donuts yanks Rachael Ray ad

Does Dunkin’ Donuts really think its customers could mistake Rachael Ray for a terrorist sympathizer? The Canton-based company has abruptly canceled an ad in which the domestic diva wears a scarf that looks like a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arab men.

Some observers, including ultra-conservative Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin, were so incensed by the ad that there was even talk of a Dunkin’ Donuts boycott.

"The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad," Malkin yowls in her syndicated column.

"Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant and not-so-ignorant fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons."

So, the black-and-white paisley scarf is now a fashion no-no because you might be mistaken for a male terrorist. I was just thinking how much Rachael resembles Yassir Arafat.

Well...Dunkin Donuts caved. They yanked the commercials.

For her part, Malkin was pleased with Dunkin’s response: "It’s refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists."

Someone quick talk to Rachael. Maybe she's pissed off enough to send a sizable donation to the Democrats!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Communication from the Democratic National Convention Committee regarding perceived racial inequities in the State Blogger Pool

From DNC's Aaron Myers to members of the Afrospear last week, including Francis L. Holland. He has not published this on any posts on his blog...someone else who received it put it in the comments. Francis has been repeatedly courting the media to write his "Jim Crow" story.

Thanks for writing.

The blog list that you're speaking about is the Convention's initial list of state-focused blogs. These blogs report on politics in their home states. The Convention plans to provide credentials to an additional larger list of blogs by the end of the month (next week). Those additional blogs will also have access to the Convention floor -- contrary to some of what has been said online. Like any other members of the media, bloggers with timed "floor passes" will be able to walk around on the floor and conduct interviews with delegates. Floor passes will be available to all of the "General Pool" bloggers.

In the application process, most minority-focused and issue-based blogs did not apply for "State Blog Corps" credentials. They applied for the "General Pool." When the additional list of blogs is announced in a few days, I think you'll be very pleased with the blogs selected. Our goal is to reach the entire Democratic audience. This next group of blogs will be very representative of the entire Democratic family.


Today, Pam Spaulding wrote up a post at "Pam's House Blend" describing the conversation she had with Aaron Myers over the weekend about the DNC's attempts to resolve this issue. At the end, Pam and I had, as she called it, a "pertinent exchange" in the comments. I'll print it here:


I don't think this issue is "solvable" for this Convention... (0.00 / 0)
...not in this short of a time, not with space limitations and not in a way that's going to satisfy anyone.
The best the DNC can do is remove any restrictions that may exist with the General Blogger Pool. It sounds like that is what they are working on. It's not perfect, but it's a start and it's also pretty much the extent of what the DNC can do. The rest must be done within the blogosphere.

The only way to fix this is to continue to pursue integrating state-focused blogs with POC voices, to continue de-mystifying blogs for others (I did a lot of that this past weekend at the AK Dem Convention) and encourage more folks of all walks of life to join the blogosphere, especially encouraging minority bloggers. Also, encouraging more folks to approach blogging from the "50-state strategy" is important for maximum impact in state elections.

We also need to pressure our Local, State and Federal representatives to find more and better ways to provide Internet access to EVERYONE, regardless of urban/rural location or economic status.

Through all of this, I've learned that having a discussion on race is extremely difficult and most Progressives (especially white Progressives) completely shy away from it. Some of them have a wicked case of denial of the problem. However, I believe...I know...that a whole lot of folks are afraid that they will be labeled as "racist" just by discussing their thoughts.

I can attest to that one. My POC boss, friends and family were pretty blown away when that label was thrown at me.

I've discovered that it's easy to get riled and it is easy for misunderstandings to occur on all sides. It is also common to have one's words twisted by folks with an agenda and then pushed for their own personal gain. No matter what is true, some folks will see what they want to see, even if they have to alter reality to do it. That applies to folks of all colors.

The DNC can no more effectively and efficiently integrate the 2008 Convention by itself than white America can fix the racial inequalities in the US by itself. Any of this requires constant dialogue, unwavering teamwork and give-and-take on all sides.

Name-calling halts that process in its tracks.

It makes one wonder what folks who can toss those names around so easily and inaccurately at fellow Progressives...fellow Obama suppporters...are really trying to accomplish?

It also makes one wonder who benefits?


by: CelticDiva @ Mon May 26, 2008 at 23:12:47 PM EDT
[ Reply ]


no one benefits, in the end (0.00 / 0)
I've taken the slings and arrows from both sides.
I get blasted by some white progressives for pointing out their lack of coverage of Jena 6, then I receive the most rank and horrible emails from some POC (selling out, wanting to hold a brother back) for holding Obama accountable for the McClurkin nonsense. It seems to come with the territory for me. I just wish there were more willing to step into the public line of fire with me to try to bridge these gaps.

I agree with what you've said - the PR damage has been done, and thank you for saying how difficult it is to discuss race for the reasons both of us outlined. Admitting this is how you start to break down barriers -- by acknowledging the damage caused, inadvertently, by politically correct culture that makes it difficult to speak frankly with curiosity about our difference (particularly out of benign ignorance) without having the minority group jump down your throat.

On the other hand there is also a strain of willful ignorance in some about issues of concern to minorities results in "it's their problem to solve" because progressive whites see nothing in it for them -- loathing the thought of being perceived as racist even as they try to speak up. It leads to lack of acknowledgment of the very white privilege they enjoy in their silence, and the vicious circle of poor communication, misunderstanding and lack of inclusion or outreach continues.


by: pam @ Tue May 27, 2008 at 06:27:10 AM EDT

Please read the related posts on this and Pam's blog and come back to make comments.

My brand new laptop died last night

Which means I may have lost all of my photographs from the Convention as well as a bunch of writing that was supposed to be posts today and tomorrow.

Heading to Best Buy (and Geek Squad) this morning and praying a lot.

My brand new phone died and had to be replaced over the weekend. Have I angered the electronics gods?

Monday, May 26, 2008

All in all, Mat-Su Democrats outdid themselves - AK Convention wrap-up Part 1

I've decided that I'm giving the entire Alaska Democratic Party special "get out of hot water free" cards this year after the small-but-mighty Mat Su Dems put on such an excellent 2008 Convention. Yes, they picked an awful weekend to do it as this late post will attest. Memorial Day Weekend is usually our family time to clean, plant, sort for the garage sale and barbecue, barbecue, barbecue! I couldn't toss all of it aside to write after spending Friday night and Saturday in Palmer. Secondly, I did run into "issues" with registration and ended up registering twice (as did a number of folks from Anchorage). Considering this Convention was for 353 delegates who represented 8000 caucusing Alaskan Dems in February as opposed to only 750 caucusing Alaskans in 2004, they have a reason to be more overwhelmed than usual. But I can definitely attest that the positives far outweighed the negatives.

The State Fairgrounds, especially Raven Hall was a brilliant place to hold the event. When I walked in, I realized that I'd never paid attention to what a great space it was since I was normally busy looking at all of the State Fair displays. The only event that wasn't held there was the "cocktail hour with John Dean," held just across the way in the Hodgkins Building. Raven Hall and the catering team also did a fairly impressive transformation from Convention workspace to banquet hall when it was time for the banquet.

I cannot go without paying some sort of tribute to "Husky Burger." Because the @#$% IRS Refund check was late, I couldn't get my registration in before the deadline for meals so I figured my daughter and I were going to have to leave to get fed. However, I discovered that the "Husky Burger" traveling food bus was set up right next to the building. Their hoagie did its job at lunch time and I didn't have to miss the speakers to feed the kid.

Thank you, Husky Burger. (I was so hungry at the time, I would have written an "Ode to Husky Burger" but decided that would be over the top.)

The highlights for me were those events that represented Democracy in action...especially those that were unscripted:

- all of our candidates gave respectful speeches that focused on their campaigns and their strengths (I'll discuss the speeches in more detail in a future post);
- there were so many delegates in competition for the National Convention Delegate spots, the speeches turned into something more like an "America's Got Talent" audition, complete with singing;
- the "delegate fan-out" caused several to say, "I don't think Hillary has 25% anymore" (she didn't - she had 22%);
- one delegate held out as "Undeclared" until the very end when rules made him pick (congratulations, Hillary);
- when delegate Jay Cross from Dist. 15 saw how many other Veterans there were participating in the flag ceremony Saturday morning, he took it upon himself to form a Veteran's Caucus of about 50-or-so delegates...I hope to follow their progress;
- for most of the Convention, the "alternative media" far outnumbered the mainstream media -- Yours truly, Phil with "Progressive Alaska," Dennis with "Alaska Report" and his own blog, Steve with "What Do I Know?" and Brendan Joel Kelley with "The Anchorage Press."

Part 2 will discuss the candidates.