Saturday, November 01, 2008

What's on the carpet and in the head

My husband Thomas Friedman was rolling around on the living room floor with failed actress Eve Ensler.

They were 'getting it on.'

In full of the guests.

Now some might think that was what disturbed me and what made me rush to the kitchen for a pitcher of ice water.

But actually I was hoping the guests would leave.

As for their trash talk, hearing two people argue over whose vagina is bigger neither arouses me nor enrages me.

Nor was I bothered by their fleshy actions. I mean, there was the issue of snow blindness, I don't believe Claire McCaskill making out with Ed Beagley Jr. at Calvin Klein's beach house could have created more glare or been any Whiter.

But what bothered me, what really ticked me off, was the fact that Eve Ensler appeared to dredge her limbs in flour and she was getting that 'body dust' all over my carpet which I'd just had cleaned, thank you very much.

By the time I got back to the living room, everyone had gone except Cathy Pollitt who hovered near the lovers offering trash-talk tips: "Say ham! Say grab my ham! And pies! Say, 'Eat that pie!' No! Cheesecake! Eat that cheesecake!"

I thought of the ice water, I realized, because my mother used to raise border terriers and when I was nine, I came across them doing it and wasn't sure if my mother was planning to breed them so I grabbed a pitcher of water and doused them. I flashed on that as I approached Thomas Friedman and Eve Ensler.

"Betinna!" Cathy hollered.

But I ignored her and dumped the water on them.

"You're going to be sorry!" snarled Thomas Friedman.

And, you know what, I already was.

Eve Ensler was now rolling around on my clean carpet in a floury paste and I had no idea how that was ever going to come out?

But, thing was, I really didn't give a damn right now.

A solid, concrete memory, detailed and connected. And others were flooding back as well.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Friday, October 31, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, the treaty remains in doubt, four US Senators speak out on behalf of Iraqi Christians, and more.

Starting with Iraqi Christians. The
Saudi Gazette notes that Professor Ekmeledding Ihsanoglu (Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference) declared, "As we have consistently demanded that the rights of Muslim minorities be respected all over the world, we do emphasize the need to respect the rights of all minorities across the Islamic world." UPI reports that US Senators Sam Brownback, Bob Casey, Carl Levin and Mel Martinez have "called on Iraqi President Jalal talabni and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to take the steps needed to end the violence plaguing the Christian community in nothern Iraq." This is the press release in full from Levin's office:

In a letter spearheaded by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Mel Martinez (R-FL) today urged Jalal Talabani, President of the Republic of Iraq and Nouri al-Maliki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq, to take all necessary measures to end the violence in the north against Iraqi Christians. According to the United Nations, thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled Mosul in reaction to the increased violence and intimidation.
"This violence is emblematic of a larger pattern of severe persecution by extremists that threatens to deprive Iraq of her non-Muslim citizens. It also highlights the possibility of increased violence ahead of provincial elections," the Senators wrote.
They went on to write, "We urge your government to take all necessary measures to increase security in the north on behalf of all Iraqis."
Full text of the letter is below:
Dear Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister:
We write to express grave concern over the recent violence in Mosul that has driven away large numbers of Iraqi Christians. This violence is emblematic of a larger pattern of severe persecution by extremists that threatens to deprive Iraq of her non-Muslim citizens. It also highlights the possibility of increased violence ahead of provincial elections. We urge your government to take all necessary measures to increase security in the north on behalf of all Iraqis.
To this end, we welcomed statements of support from Prime Minister al-Maliki's office calling for an end to these vicious attacks and committing the Iraqi security forces, particularly the additional security forces sent to Mosul, to protect all Iraqis regardless of sectarian affiliation. These actions send a strong signal to the extremists that they will not succeed in spreading division, hatred, and mistrust among Iraqis.
We also hope the Iraqi Parliament will seriously consider the issue of minority representation in the provincial elections law. We believe Iraq's leaders can play a critical role in ensuring that the Iraqi government remains a representative body of all of Iraq's people, including its minorities.
For over one-thousand years, Iraq has been home to people of many faiths who have lived and worshipped side by side, including Shiites, Sunnis, Jews, Yazidis, and Christians. This long and proud tradition has made Iraq a cradle of human civilization. It is a tradition we hope will be restored.
Robert P. Casey Jr. Carl Levin Sam Brownback Mel Martinez

UPI reports that many "Christian communities in northern Iraq are setting up ad hoc militias to secure their neighborhoods, rights advocates said Wednesday." In the last few weeks many Christians in Mosul have fled for safety (and very few have returned). International Medical Corps announces they have "delivered 142 tons of emergency food rations, hygience kits, and household items to more than 2,000 families, or 8,044 displaced persons" and they note "International Medical Corps' most recent reports from field monitoring teams indicate that approximately 173 families have returned to Mosul, 106 families to Hamdaniya, and 67 families to Tel Kef. The Government of Iraq is offering displaced families and returnees financial assistance; however, fears of further violence have prevented many from returning." This page contains links to a slide show of photos from that assistance mission as well as to their [PDF format warning] report entitled "Forced from Their Homes: Mosul Emergency Response Action Report." The report includes a day by day synopsis starting with October 8th:

IMC Iraq's Baghdad headquarters was alerted by field staff in Mosul that groups had been using loudspeakers to intimidate Christians in the western and central areas of this district and that Christians were fleeing the area. IMC's humanitarian programs manger confirmed this report with IMC staff in other locations in Ninewa Governorate and learned that at least 40 families had arrived unannounced in Tel Sqof and were staying at the Assyrian Aid Society, with some families campaing in the facility's garden.

Assyria Times reports that tomorrow in San Jose, there will be a support rally for Iraqi Chrisians (from one p.m. to three, Courthouse and Federal Building): "The support rally will exhibit a unified stance for the reinstatement of Article 50 of the Iraqi constitution; a key clause whose original intent was to erserve seats on Provincial Councils for Christians and other minorities."

And let's stay with Iraqi politics for news of the SOFA, Article 50 and more. First,
Abeer Mohammed and Katherine Zoepf (New York Times) explain that Iraq's Defense Minister Abudl-Kader Jassem al-Obeidi has instituted a policy of being "politically neutral" which is thought to be in response to Iraq's Minister of the Interior Jawad al-Bolani and his Iraqi Constiutional Party. Meanwhile on Article 50, UPI reports that provincial elections could be delayed even further: "The Iraqi Independent High Electoral High Commissions Thursday said, following a meeting with officials from the U.N. Assistance Mission to Iraq, that lawmakers needed to address the articles for minority representation before Wednesday, Voices of Iraq reported." That's the issue of religious minority representation, Article 50, which was pulled. UPI notes this may delay the elections "in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces." From provincial elections to the treaty the White House wants to force off on the puppet government in Baghdad. The Tehran Times reports that Nouri al-Maliki, in conversations with Abdul Aziz al-Hakim (Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council chief) has stated, "We do not call agreement with America a security agreement, but (we) call it a pact of retreating of (US) troops and regulating their presence during the specified time." Iran's Press TV quotes Hoshyar Zebari (Iraq's Foreign Minister) stating, "We must clarify some points such as that on jurisdicition that is to say that the American law has precedence inside their bases but not in the streets. . . . And finally, the sovereignty of the country is at stake over certain aspects such as that of the air space which, for the time being, is still under their control."

Did someone say sovereignty? Sunday the US attacked Syria. Jordan's
Al Bawaba reports Syria has announced it is severing "diplomatic ties with Iraq". Iraq's Alsumaria adds, "However, Government spokesman Ali Al Dabbagh denied in a statement to Alsumaria reports about cutting off relations with Syria hoping it would not reach that point." Farrah Hassen (Asia Times) reminds that 8 Syrians died ("including a farmer, three children, and a fisherman") and that while "numerous questions" continue, no answers are provided. Hassen notes, "By violating Syrian airspace and apparently not consulting the Syrians about its supposed intelligence on Abu Ghadiya ahead of the attack, the Bush adminsitration has confirmed, yet again, its disdain for international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter." Mohammad Akef Jamal (Gulf News) observes that an agreement allowing cross borders raids is one thing but, "Breaking into the borders of any country without a similar agreement is considered a hostile act and a violation of this country's sovereignty, besides being a breach of international laws. This attack raised many questions about its targets and content. First, the US never carried such attacks when the Syrian-Iraqi borders were almost open and Syria was accused of allowing hundreds of militants to infiltrate into Iraq to carry out vandalism operations. However, the situation has changed lately as these accusations decreased and Syria was no longer the country that allows militants into Iraq. Syria has also taken steps to mend its relations with Lebanon and France, which should bring it closer to the US, not the opposite." Yoav Stern (Haaretz) notes, "The Syrian government has demanded Washington apologize for the strike of the Abu Kamal border community and earlier this weeek threatened to cut off cooperation on Iraqi border security if there are more American raids on Syria territory." Atul Aneja (The Hindu) speaks to the fallout, "The news of the attack has strongly echoed in neighbouring Iraq, whose territory was used to mount the raid by U.S. commandos, who used military helicopters for the strike. Analysts say the raid has reinforced the argument within the Iraqi political circles, who have been insisting that an agreement for extending the stay of American forces in Iraq beyond 2008 should be considered only if Washington accepted the condition that it would not use Iraqi soil to mount military strikes against neighbouring countries."

At the US State Dept today, spokesperson Sean McCormack declared, "We did have -- our charge Maura Connelly on the 29th so that's two days ago -- was called into the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We reported that and I think we talked about that. And she received a verbal demarche communicating the Syrian government request that the Damascus Community School known as -- known in Damascus as 'the American scool' be closed by November 6. We are considering our response to that demarche. It is the weekend in Damascus right now. These facilities, in any case, wouldn't be scheduled under normal circumstances to reopen until Sunday."

Turning to some of today's reported violence . . .


Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad bicycle bombing that resulted in no deaths or wounded. Reuters notes a Mosul roadside bombing that left one woman and three Iraqi service members injured and another Mosul roadside bombing that left two people injured

Reuters notes a Mosul shooting that left a police officer injured.

Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 2 corpses discovered in Baghdad.

Turning to the US presidential race and starting with
Ruben Navarrette Jr. (San Diego Union-Tribune):

After defending Sarah Palin, I heard from a member of the angry left who wrote: "Your (sic) from a Third World country, or your family is, stop trying to be white." I also heard from baby boomer activists who regret -- as they see it -- yanking me off that landscaping crew and sending me to the Ivy League. Or as one put it: "Unbelievable that you can sit there and defend Sarah Palin. I broke down doors for you to have a foot into the society you now participate in."
When I praised McCain, a liberal asked: "What are you, the Uncle Tom of Latinos?" She advised, "Make your people proud because you are shaming them."
When trying to assert control over freethinking Latinos and African-Americans, the liberal catchword is "disappointed." Lately, I've received dozens of e-mails from readers who use that word to describe how they feel about me. In the liberal tradition, most of the missives are condescending. Like this: "At one time, your articles were interesting to read but ... it seems you have lost your way." Or this: "You are feeding the ignorant and twisting truths so badly they become lies ...One day my words will resonate, sorry you lost your way in the meantime."
To read their complaints, it seems the last time I had my bearings was -- coincidentally -- the last time I wrote something with which they agreed. It's part of how broken our political discourse has become. We're not allowed to say that we think either Obama or McCain would make a fine president. We can't agree to disagree; we have to destroy the other side. We're trapped in an all-or-nothing paradigm where partisans demand complete agreement and undying allegiance.

It would probably be very wise for certain White Anglo 'helpers' to grasp that they do not control the world or anyone else. That's a point
Marcia makes regularly at her site (including this week with White Tim Wise attempting to tell the African-American community what their lives are like). It is offensive and it needs to stop. Something else that needs to stop is Robin Morgan's public tantrums. It's an election, Robin, and you are not ruler of the universe. Robin's back with more nonsense at (Democratic) Women's Media Center and the latest garbage is entitled "Moose, Mousse, and Spalinism". No surprise, there's no attempt by Robin to apologize for her GROSS FACTUAL ERRORS (also known as LIES) in her previous writing on Palin. It's just more scattered, bitchy comments from a woman who truly should know better but apparently will bow and scrape before any man until her dying day. Wally and Cedric grabbed the previous crap from (Democratic) Women's Media Center this week [see their "Women's Media Center -- fact free for most of 2008..." and "THIS JUST IN! KEEP HER AWAY FROM A KEYBOARD!"] because I was too enraged to tackle that 'historian.' Now Robin shows up for one last cat-fight. It's all so damn pathetic.

But if any actual feminists are concerned about the effect on Women's Movement institutions and energy of this clutch of "formers" (a former chapter official of a national feminist organization, a former editor of a feminist publication, former Democratic funders, former Hillary supporters, and so forth), let me reassure you. The "trust date" had already long expired on these women, who'd been voted off feminist leadership posts, or fired, or quietly asked to resign. Some are confessed consultants to the campaign whose candidates they now--surprise!--endorse. I never imagined I'd see a "feminist" mercenary. But then I never heard of rats climbing onto a sinking ship, either.

I think
Joni Mitchell best dealt with crap like Robin's churning out when noting of Rickie Lee Jones, that Rickie thought she could own jazz and it was her own private sidewalk. Robin writes as if feminism belongs just to her but she will dole it out in morsels to whomever she deems worthy. That's not how it works. Robin's got to have a screaming tantrum again because things aren't working out the way she wants. Someone needs to correct her on her sense of entitlement. She does not own feminism.

There will never be an excuse for Robin's actions in the last three months. She has chosen to attack Sarah Palin repeatedly and she's done so with lies. There's no excuse for her shameful behavior. Certainly not 'an election.' And love Joe Biden though I do, let's stop building him into "feminism salvation." But possibly when you're as frail and pathetic as Robin's become, you need a man to save you.

I'm not voting for McCain - Palin. That's been stated before Palin was on the ticket but, unlike Robin, I at least have enough ethics not to try to tear Sarah apart with lies. Unlike Robin, I have enough sense not to join in Bash the Bitch and, unlike Robin, I realize that actions like Robin's aren't about feminism or empowerment (they're about whoring yourself
out to the patriarchy). All week, numerous strong women (many I know) have stepped foward and I've kept it out of the snapshot but let's bring it in since Robin wants to have her tantrum. Elaine Lafferty is one of the unnamed women Robin's hissing at. Yes, Robin is hissing at Elaine. In public. That's how pathetic Robin's become. That's how decreipt and useless Robin's become. Elaine wrote "
Sarah Palin's a Brainiac" (The Daily Beast):

For the sin of being a Christian personally opposed to abortion, Palin is being pilloried by the inside-the-Beltway Democrat feminist establishment. (Yes, she is anti-abortion. And yes, instead of buying organic New Zealand lamb at Whole Foods, she joins other Alaskans in hunting for food. That's it. She is not a right-wing nut, and all the rest of the Internet drivel--the book banning at the Library, the rape kits decision--is nonsense. I digress.) Palin's role in this campaign was to energize "the Republican base," which she has inarguably done. She also was expected to reach out to Hillary Clinton "moderates." (Right. Only a woman would get both those jobs in either party.) Look, I am obviously personally pro-choice, and I disagree with McCain and Palin on that and a few other issues. But like many other Democrats, including Lynn Rothschild, I'm tired of the Democratic Party taking women for granted. I also happen to believe Sarah Palin supports women's rights, deeply and passionately.

That's Elaine's 'crime.' (It's a well written piece.) I know Elaine, I know
Lynn Forester de Rothschild (The Daily Beast):

First, although I disagree with several of her positions on social issues, I do not fear that she is a threat to the rights we have as Americans. As Governor of Alaska she vetoed a bill that would have denied hospital rights to gay couples because the bill violated the Alaska constitution. In her debate with Joe Biden, she clearly stated her tolerance, with the same position on gay couples as her opponent.
Although she is personally pro-life, Palin has proven she will uphold the law of the land. Like McCain, she will work with a Democratic Congress on acceptable judicial appointments. It is time to stop allowing the Democratic Party to scare voters into believing only they can protect a woman's right to choose.
Second, the attack on Palin's qualifications is sexist, a bias abetted by the media. On CNN, Obama contrasted Palin's experience to his own by saying Wasilla has only 50 employees and a budget of $12 million a year while his campaign has 2,500 employees and a budget of $36 million per month.
Excuse me, but she is Governor of a State with 29,000 employees and a budget of $11 billion. She has actually reduced taxes and cut spending.

Staying with Tina Brown's The Daily Beast,
this is Wendy Button:

The party I believed in wouldn't look down on working people under any circumstance. And Joe the Plumber is right. This is the absolutely worst time to raise taxes on anyone: the rich, the middle class, the poor, small businesses and corporations.
Our economy is in the tank for many complicated reasons, especially because people don't have enough money. So let them keep it. Let businesses keep it so they can create jobs and stay here and weather this storm. And yet, the Democratic ideology remains the same. Our approach to problems--big government solutions paid for by taxing the rich and big and smaller companies--is just as tired and out of date as trickle down economics. How about a novel approach that simply finds a sane way to stop the bleeding?
That's not exactly the philosophy of a Democrat. Not only has this party belittled working people in this campaign from Joe the Plumber to the bitter comments, it has also been part of tearing down two female candidates. At first, certain Democrats and the press called Senator Clinton "dishonest." They went after her cleavage. They said her experience as First Lady consisted of having tea parties. There was no outrage over "Bros before Hoes" or "Iron My Shirt." Did Senator Clinton make mistakes? Of course. She's human.
But here we are about a week out and it's déjà vu all over again. Really, front-page news is how the Republican National Committee paid for Governor Sarah Palin's wardrobe? Where's the op-ed about how Obama tucks in his shirt when he plays basketball or how Senator Biden buttons the top button on his golf shirt?

Or take
Helen McCaffrey's insightful column for the Philadelphia Inquirer that begins with her encountering a male student wearing a t-shirt on campus proclaiming Palin is a c-word:

First, with the candidacy of Sen. Hillary Clinton, who won 18 million popular votes from the people of the United States and was ridiculed, marginalized, and put in her place when she wasn't even offered the vice presidency slot.
But the really big attack on women occurred when John McCain selected only the second woman in history to be on a major-party ticket. He chose a governor of a state critical to our energy crisis. She is a very popular governor with an 80-percent approval rate. She was elected on her own merit without previous political ties. She is her own political creation, not the wife, daughter, sister or mistress of a politician.
I thought Americans would be proud of her nomination, whether we agreed or disagreed with her on the issues. Was I in for a shock.
The sexism that I believed had been eradicated was lurking, like some creature from the black lagoon, just below the surface. Suddenly it erupted and in some unexpected places.
Instead of engaging Palin on the issues, critics attacked attributes that are specifically female. It is Hillary's pantsuit drama to the power of 10. Palin's hair, her voice, her motherhood, and her personal hygiene were substituted for substance. That's when it was nice.
The hatred escalated to performers advocating Palin be "gang raped," to suggestions that her husband had had sex with their young daughters, and reports that her Down syndrome child really was that of her teenage daughter. One columnist even called for her to submit to DNA testing to prove her virtue. Smells a little like Salem to me. I was present at an Obama rally at which the mention of Palin's name drew shouts of "stone her."
"Stone her"? How biblical.
Or take the one and only Linda Bloodworth-Thomason.
From Reuters:

Bloodworth-Thomason and others seemed especially critical of the way MSNBC -- and other media -- has attacked Republican vice presidential candidate
Sarah Palin while demeaning her supporters.
"We should stop the demonizing," she said, adding that Democrats have been worse than Republicans as far as personal attacks on candidates are concerned. "It diminishes us," she said of her fellow Democrats.
Bloodworth-Thomason even suggested a defense of Palin and her supporters should be written into TV programing, just as she went out of her way to portray Southern women as smart in her hit TV show "Designing Women."

Now grasp that all these women and more are "wrong" and only Robin is right. In Robn's mind that's how it works. She really needs to stop embarrassing herself in public. Instead of scraping and bowing before a man,
WomenCount is calling on action: The next president, whomever he or she may be, should "create, withint the first 100 days, a presidential commission on women that will bring together the best thinkers from all backgrounds, sectors, and political parties, to impact the future of women in our nation." Or let's take The New Agenda where Cynthia Ruccia writes:

As women, we have several positions that we fall back on. One is exhaustion, which is where I believe many find themselves now. How can we not be tired when everywhere we turn these days there is one heinous example after another of our national disease: Misogyny. Unlike racism, which we are growing to tolerate less and less in America, sexism is absolutely acceptable. If this campaign year has proven anything, it is that Americans not only tolerate discrimination against women, in many instances they revel in it.
Another position we women take is denial. And why not deny? Who wants to spend a lifetime screaming about this inequity? It's exhausting, and let's face it, joy is a much more pleasant way to live.
But our best position by far is when we decide we are all in this together and we rise up against this injustice. Believe it or not, we have so much to be grateful for having watched these two courageous women, Hillary and Sarah, buck the system. By going where no woman has gone before, they have been human targets, willing to take the incoming fire. Although what Hillary withstood has receded a little in our memories, we have the spectacle of Sarah being eviscerated with glee by the Democrats. They are taking her apart with great creativity and total impunity. Why? Because as a society, we still permit the exercise of sexism without shame.
I could list many examples of what Governor Palin has endured--the ridiculous clothing flap (who cares?), the trashing of her family (after all, women must pay for their sins of the family—Geraldine Ferraro did and Hillary paid for the sins of her husband), the c**t t-shirts that the creators wore with glee (they got more "attaboys" for having the courage to do it than shame for having done it), the constant minimizing of her accomplishments, since, after all, she's only a woman. The list goes on, day after day, on and on and on. And on.
At first we're mad, then we can't stand it and hide, and then we realize that since NO ONE is stopping it, we must make that step ourselves. But once again I note how lucky we have been to have two brave women, Governor Palin and Senator Clinton, who have shown us what courage is. And if they can summon this courage, so can we.

Imagine that, the notion that women matter. A notion Robin no longer subscribes to which is why she hisses and snarls from (Democratic) Women's Media Center in attempts to bully the (small number of) readers into voting her way. She doesn't respect women. We're stupid -- in Robin's eyes. If it weren't for Robin, we wouldn't know how to vote. Or that's what she likes to kid herself. The failed child star who's hold on reality has become increasing fragile (never a good thing for a writer or non-fiction) is going out in one of the most embarrassing slow fades. Robin's hardly the only one embarrassing herself. Kim Gandy's doing a delightful job, such an 'amazing' job that she may be responsible for NOW losing its tax status since NOW's not allowed to endorse a candidate. (NOW PAC is, NOW is not.) As
Mike pointed out last night, Kim Gandy's latest scribble promotes a 'scary' theme at NOW's website: dressing like McCain and Palin. This follows, as Elaine pointed out last month, Gandy using NOW's mailing list and official NOW stationaiy to promote Barack Obama's campaign.

Turning to Kim and Robin's crush Barack Obama,
Jake Tapper (Political Punch, ABC News) reports: "The Obama campaign has told three reporters they have to drop off the campaign plane this weekend. All three work for papers that endorsed Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.: the New York Post, the Washington Times, and the Dallas Morning News." Tapper explains St. Barack got a little snitty over the fact that the editorial boards of all three papers endorsed McCain. Tapper explains the Post and Times importance but skips Dallas. The Dallas Morning News is the paper with the largest circulation in Texas. Not only that, pay attention Cult of Barack, it (actually Belo) also owns cable and broadcast channels in the area -- including WFAA Channel Eight (which also reaches as far north as into Oklahoma). The reporters for the Dallas Morning News are expected not only to file text reports, they also provide reports for the TV channels. In addition, they supply to the the paper's Spanish language paper as well as to the freebies (such as Quick). To the north of Dallas county, to the south of Dallas county and to the east of Dallas county, the broadcast channels and the paper are widely available. As far to the east as Smith County, the Dallas Morning News is the dominant paper (Tyler has one paper under two names, it is not the dominant paper in Smith County -- under either name). (The Dallas Morning News' reach to the west is non-existant due to the understanding it and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram worked out to avoid another paper war -- the sort that allowed the Morning News to take out the Dallas Times Herald.) So this was a vanity move on the part of the Cult of Barack that effects a huge number of people. If the Cult wants to reduce it to 'voters,' no Barack's most likely not going to carry Texas (no Democrat has since Jimmy Carter in 1976) but for a candidate who claims to stand for reaching out, it was a really petty and juvenile move.

Scott Conroy (CBS News) reports Mike Ditka of Chicago Bears fame campaigned in Pennsylvania with Governor Palin today and explained, "I'm not here because I'm a Republican, which I am, and I'm not here because I'm a conservative, which I am. I'm here because I am an American. It's time in this country you put party lines on the backburner and you put your country first." Meanwhile, the Latino vote was never Barack's -- not in the primary and not in the general. But he didn't really want to compete for it and his Cult in Panhandle Media was too busy ignoring Latinos. Point, the campaign is freaking out about the new numbers (which don't just include Florida where Barack's own polling says he's losing the Latino vote). This as McCain-Palin '08 announces:

Today the McCain-Palin campaign announced the endorsement of Maria Conchita Alonso, a Latin American actress who has starred in television and film for three decades. Alonso, who was born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela, recently appeared on CSI: Miami and Desperate Housewives and starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Running Man.
"As a Latina and a new American citizen, I believe in this country and its people, and I believe that we need more than just 'change.' We need a leader who can bring about the right kind of change, and John McCain has the experience and judgment necessary to lead us in these uncertain times," Alonso said. "I grew up in Cuba and Venezuela, and I am appalled that Barack Obama apparently wants to emulate the "spread the wealth" economic policies of those countries and negotiate with their leaders. For me the choice is clear, and I believe it is my duty to share my views even though it might not make me popular in Hollywood."
After a successful career in Venezuela as a beauty queen, telenovela star, film actress and singer, Alonso emigrated to the United States from Caracas, Venezuela in 1982. She has appeared in dozens of films and television shows since then and was the first South American star to star on Broadway.
Apparently Marica Conchita Alonso, like many women, do not take their marching orders from Robin Morgan. Someone help Robin off the floor. Let's see Robin's insulted all religious people, she's insulted Ralph Nader specifically and all third-party candidates and she's insulted a lot of women. At some point, in a functioning feminist movement, she would have been pulled aside and told to cool her damn jets. She would have been informed just how ridiculous she looked and just how much damage she was doing to the movement. Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate and Robin Morgan thinks you're an idiot and an awful person if you vote for him too. So reject Robin Morgan, make it clear to her that she is not in charge of America's vote. Declare your independence from Robin Morgan -- a declaration that's necessary only because her ego is greater than her intelligence (or her reach). Matt Gonzalez is Ralph's running mate and
Team Nader notes:

Happy Halloween.
Today, you can help us Freak Out the Corporate State.
Donate $4 to Nader/Gonzalez now.
Ralph Nader is pulling four percent among registered voters in the latest CNN poll in battleground states.
Four percent in Arizona.
Four percent in Nevada.
Four percent in Ohio.
Four percent in Pennsylvania.
Let's say the predictions are right and 130 million Americans vote.
And let's say the four percent holds up.
That's 5 million voters for the Nader/Gonzalez shift the power agenda.
From the corporations back into the hands of the people.
That's enough to freak out the corporate state.
Even the thought of that this Halloween is enough to freak them out.
But to get there, we need to hit our last fundraising goal of $4 million by election day.
And we're $170,000 away.
So, today, Halloween, 2008, let's freak out the corporate state.
We need 4,000 of you -- our loyal supporters -- to
hit that there donation button.
And donate $4 now.
We're driving toward a winning election day.
When we send a strong message.
We're here.
We're near.
We're not going anywhere.
Get used to it.
Onward to November and beyond.
Public TV notes. On most PBS stations,
NOW on PBS begins airing tonight but check local listings. The topic for the latest broadcast is:What Women Voters Want[Streaming video of this program will be available online after broadcast]Election 2008: Tough decisions for undecided women voters in the swing states.There are roughly eight million more female voters than male, and more women than men say they are still undecided. Senator Hillary Clinton and Governor Sarah Palin have undoubtedly changed the debate for many women voters, but the question is: how will they ultimately respond in the booth?This week, NOW on PBS travels to the swing state of Colorado to get insight from a diverse group of women. These pro-choice, pro-gun women don't fit into neat categories, but they do respond to issues built around working moms: pay equity, family leave, and child care. On the show, NOW also interviews former Vice Presidential Candidate Geraldine Ferraro for her take on the role of women in this election.Will the women's vote decide the election?Also on PBS (begins airing Friday on many stations, check local listings) Washington Week where Gwen sits down for a ghoulish chat and chew with Doyle McManus (Los Angeles Times), David Broder (Washington Post), a mystery guest who shows up costumed as a Bobbsey Twin and, as a special treat, Time's Karen Tumulty offers up her impression of Bette Davis from Beyond The Forest. Watch in wonder as she really digs into the line, "What a dump." Marvel as truer words were never spoken. Oooh. Scary. That's the trick, the treat comes Monday, on commercial TV: Cher makes her first appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.


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