In Germany, “Dueling Breasts” Join the Ad Campaign in the Run-up to the September Election

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

There’s beem some stuff around the internet implying/stating that to criticize Hillary Clinton’s recent words and demeanor in Africa is an obvious case of “sexism.”

Well, I guess this makes me a sexist as I criticize this woman pol in Germany.  From the BBC World Service:

Merkel’s party in low-cut controversy.

Vera Lengsfeld of the Christian Democrats, who is campaigning in the east of Berlin, has billboard-sized pictures of herself in a low-cut dress next to a picture of Chancellor Angela Merkel in an even more revealing number.

The poster’s strap line reads “We have more to offer”.

The image has been dividing opinion in Germany.

more

So, what does the picture look like?  It was on the BBC site, but I copied it from Spiegel Online, which has a full article on the campaign now going on in Germany leading up to the September election and a picture gallery of all the advertising.  (See:  ‘Merkel Is Planning a Campaign with Nationalistic Undertones’ which asks if these first ads are “any good”…)

Here’s the one in question:

GERMANY/

Vera Lengsfeld, a member of Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has already raised eyebrows with a campaign poster displaying the chancellor's ample cleavage alongside her own, together with the slogan: "We have more to offer." She did not ask the chancellor for approval before using her picture.

I’ll answer that question posed about whether this ad, in a particular, is any good.

I think it stinks!  First of all, Vera Lengsfeld didn’t ask Angela Merkel if it was OK to use Merkel’s picture.

The bigger question is: What the hell is Lengsfeld trying to prove? Does the “humorous” reference to cleavage make it OK to bring her body into the campaign?

What kind of judgment does this woman have?  You’d think a woman politician would want to leave gender aside and stick to the issues for the sake of her own credibility.  And why play into the hands of a global culture which zeroes in on a woman’s appearance first instead of her intellect and other qualities? A global culture which pretty much demeans women non-stop.  Even here in the U.S. of A. in the person of Barack Obama and his finger and his speech writer Jon Favreau who likes to grope Hillary Clinton’s chest even if it is only cardboard.  You know, the same country where the media went bonkers over a ‘”hint of cleavage” that Clinton “displayed” at one point?

Is Lengsfeld trying to emulate the sex queens of Italian politics?

Poor Angela Merkel was probably photographed at a function with no intent of being plastered all over a billboard.  Maybe her dress was a bit too much for any public appearance, but who knows when it was taken? Maybe it was before she was elected Chancellor.  No matter…Merkel has never used cheesecake in her political campaigns as far as I can tell.

Until now.  But not because she wanted to.  Lengsfeld has completely cheapened this political season in Germany.   Merkel has been dealing with an economic mess and has had the guts to not get on the Obama bandwagon. She’s tough and smart.   But now she’s used in a “dueling breast” ad at the hands of another woman from her own party, no less.

And I have to laugh that it’s a “Conservative Christian Democrat” who’s dishing out this stuff!  Sort of conjures up images of those family values Republicans, one of whom recently dashed off from the governor’s office to South America for trysts with his mistress…

Men may compare their “packages” in their leisure time chat, but I’ve yet to see an add displaying a male pol’s crotch on a regular basis.  Of course, there is one exception, though not in exact parallel:  Our beloved leader showed off his crotch to a gaggle of women reporters on his campaign plane.  but he did NOT run an ad comparing his crotch to John McCain’s.  Even he didn’t go THAT far…

Women undercutting other women is nothing new, but this little escapade sure takes it to a lower level than usual.

So, am I a sexist for criticizing Lengsfeld?  If you are even considering such a thing, you should have your head examined!

The point is that women who are assholes in public are fair game for criticism, just like male assholes.  It’s not always sexism that’s in play…

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The Financial Filter: How CNBC Handles Howard Dean vs. Susan Boyle

~~By  InsightAnalytical-GRL

Lately, I’ve been testing my mettle by actually tuning into CNBC occasionally. We don’t have FOX Business here, but you get enough of their angle on the regular FOX shows featuring Neil Cavuto and the weekend financial panels.

Yesterday, I caught Howard Dean just around the Noon hour ET (on Power Lunch), slugging it out with that panel they have which features Larry Kudlow among others.  I was wondering what Dean was doing on there following the latest Geithner comments, but perhaps he’s getting warmed up to defend the upcoming healthcare “reform” that will be vomited out of the Congress and Obamaville soon.

Anyway, Kudlow was yelling again about “why can’t the markets be allowed to correct themselves” to which Dean retorted in perfect Obot fashion “Look what the markets did to the American people!” (sic).

Well, I waited for the comeback…I waited to hear one of these panel people, including Kudlow, respond snappily with how Congress, particularly Democratic members, failed to provide oversight over the housing mortgage debacle, which seems to have precipitated much of the mess we’re in.

CRICKETS!

But, as I thought about it, I figured that’s exactly what I was expected to hear. The GE family of companies that “bring good things to life” don’t consider history and full debate healthy for the 5th-grade level critical skills level of the American viewer. Kudlow is probably under orders “not to go there,” so he doesn’t go there. He’s loud and passionate about “the markets” but he pulled up short with Dean.

But that’s the way it is now. The media is in a permanent state of coitus interruptus when in it comes to discussing financial matters…or most political news. Especially since the Obama folks are so cozy with GE…

Sue Herera and Bill Griffeth, still at it after all these years,  are stuck in the middle of all this.  They’ll get a couple of people on and ask some serious questions, but the upcoming segments which follow always involve some provocative pugilism.  After listening to the Dean segment, which included another guest plus Dean and the four CNBC panelists,  I felt whiplashed, not informed. Mission accomplished!

After 3 PM, we get a lot more sober discussion for a brief time as The Closing Bell airs and things settle down.   Gone is the screaming on the panels and the minute-by-minute, breathless spewing that sounds like the coverage of a sporting event while the market gyrates. Maria Bartiromo anchors and does interviews and the discussions are less hysterical. Today, I caught a young guy from the NY Times and a few experienced hands getting down to the real problems with the financial sector…including the one-time things done this quarter courtesy government largesse that won’t be around to play with over the next few quarters when the rubber meets the road.

Yeah, but then it’s over as we get Fast Money then Jim Cramer’s Mad Money to liven the pace for evening prime time with their gameshow approach to finance and to appeal to the young dreamers who want to get rich quick and don’t have a clue. And then Kudlow returns.

In a comment to yesterday’s post, Lee M. had a musing which captures the zeitgeist of CNBC these days, too…I’ve done some word substitutions where appropriate:

…the cretins over at MSNBC CNBC, having crossed the Rubicon, have no where else to go.

They know that those of us who value our Constitution [journalistic integrity] have written them off, so they keep pitching their wares to the far left and the Obots because without them they would have no audience at all.

Like Julius Caesar before them, the die is cast, and they can’t go back. So they will continue their vile jokes [obvious bias and omissions] that would have gotten anyone else censored [fired] before this. They are tolerated because that is the way TPTB want it for now.

So Howard Dean is treated with kid gloves, the facts be damned!

Oh, but the folks at CNBC certainly DO have somewhere to go, if I may quibble a bit with that first line of the above comment. Where? Well, let’s visit the CNBC website where yesterday afternoon I found somebody dragging Susan Boyle along in a “humor” piece that ties the global economy to her performance…with an odd mixture of  admiration (?) and the requisite mockery (of course).  How appropriate…the taunts begin the day after I write about “Smeargate” in the UK and the level of “discourse”  we have here in the U.S.:

Apr.21
1:49 PM ET

As she concluded the song and the crowd jumped to its feet cheering, Susan Boyle blew a kiss. A kiss that, like the butterfly that flapped its wings, set in motion a flutter of dollars, pounds, euros and yen that will get this global economy humming again.

Will YouTube Sensation Susan Boyle Save the Global Economy?
Posted By:Cindy Perman

As the world grapples with headlines about troubled loans at Bank of America [BAC 8.76 +  0.74 (+9.23%)
and pirates wreaking havoc on the high seas, a lone dove has emerged to save the global economy.

SNIP
Boyle rolls her unknown-to-man hips.

Teenage girls roll their eyes. (Yeah, we saw you, eye-rolling girl at 1:24)

SNIP
Susan Boyle has given people a reason to hope.

A reason to look up from their flaming 401(k) statements.

I dreamed a dream in time gone by

A reason to walk over to their computer and log on to YouTube.com.

When hope was high

A reason to buy Kleenex in bulk at Costco. [COST 46.48 + 2.14 (+4.83%) ]

And life worth living

A reason to go to Amazon.com [AMZN 78.75 + 1.18 (+1.52%) ]

I dreamed that love would never die—

SNIP

I dreamed that God would be forgiving

A reason to watch the made-for-TV movie about her on Lifetime and expose themselves to millions of dollars in advertising. [DIS 19.47 + 0.06 (+0.31%) ]

Do you get the feeling that someone RESENTS the fact that Susan Boyle wasn’t manufactured by the entertainment industry and the mass media, but simply appeared and touched people’s souls without a filter? If the “money machine” were cranking up for one of their fake creations, would you get the slights and mockery that we see directed at Susan Boyle in this piece? Or the cheapening of a great performance (and a pretty darned good song, too) ? The vultures find it so distasteful that the the plebes responded spontaneously even though the entertainment biz types will be trying to make money off  her until the well runs dry?  Personally, I hope she makes a bundle on her own terms and then walks away…before we start getting the “whispers” about her single life that will probably be started up to shove her aside for some plastic doll that can be marketed and controlled for public consumption… Like, what? She doesn’t deserve to make any money off her REAL talent??  Mark my words, Simon Cowell will look like a compassionate saint compared to what could come down further along this road…

Yes, just like the filtering of political and financial news, we have to get a filter in place for Susan Boyle so the public can be redirected to enable the opinion/money makers can move onto creating a fab NEW item for which they can take full credit and reward themselves with extra executive compensation bonuses.  Maybe TPTB can recycle the filters they used with Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton and a “feeble” John McCain as they deal with Susan Boyle.

Heart seems to have a short shelf-life these days…

“The Black President”: A 1926 Novel “Predicts” the Politics of 2008 with Some Eerily Similar Details

~~By InsightAnaltyical-GRL

On the morning of January 3rd, a Saturday, I lingered in bed listening to the BBC World Service on my shortwave radio.  I had tuned in in time to catch the weekly “roundup” edition of  the BBC World Service’s daily show on arts and entertainment called “The Strand.”

Suddenly, near the end of the program a woman, who was apparently a critic from Brazil, was talking about an author who wrote a book back in the 1920’s about a black man who became President of the United States.  The host commented on all the uncanny similarities between the events in the book and 2008’s Presidential campaign.

I scribbled a few notes, then later that day went back to the BBC World Service site to try to “re-listen” to the broadcast.  Couldn’t find it.  To this day, I still can’t find it. The site hasn’t been updated since January 3 and I’ve looked through all the full daily programs as well as the show I heard that Saturday morning. I’ve listened to the whole thing, but there is NO discussion of the book…and there is nothing mentioned about it in the show descriptions, either.

So, what’s up with the missing program segment on this story?

All this mystery prompted me to go searching. It took me quite awhile, but I came up with a few bits and pieces of information.  (What I’ve cited in this post is basically all I found.) Curiously, the very last thing I dredged up was a story from Slate dating from this past September.

Finally, I had found out more details on this book!  The author is apparently much better known as a children’s writer, but about half of his output was geared toward adult readers.  This book is one of his adult works, which is described as being on of Brazil’s earliest science-fiction novels. According to the critic I heard, the book was never published in the U.S. and only a few chapters have been translated into English.

Take a peek (my highlighting):

The Black President A 1926 Brazilian sci-fi novel predicts a U.S. election determined by race and gender.

O Presidente Negro (The Black President).Monteiro Lobato is a household name in his native Brazil, best-known for “Sítio do Picapau Amarelo” (“Yellow Woodpecker’s Ranch”), a series of children’s books that has been adapted for television on several occasions. He was an active businessman and libertarian and is considered the founder of Brazil’s publishing industry, but his 1926 science-fiction novel, O Presidente Negro (The Black President)—which foresaw technological, geopolitical, and environmental transformations—is attracting the most interest this year, since it anticipated a political landscape in which gender and race would determine the outcome of a U.S. presidential election.

O Presidente Negro envisions the 2228 U.S. presidential election. In that race, the white male incumbent, President Kerlog, finds himself running against Evelyn Astor, a white feminist, and James Roy Wilde, the cultivated and brilliant leader of the Black Association, “a man who is more than just a single man … what we call a leader of the masses.”

You may notice some similarities to the John McCain-Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama face-off; and so did Editora Globo, the publisher of O Presidente Negro, which reissued the novel during the Democratic primaries in a stroke of marketing genius…

Of course, there are several differences between Lobato’s story and the circumstances surrounding the 2008 election.

(MORE)

I’m not going to go into more detail.  The Slate article includes a FULL PLOT SUMMARY. Let’s just say that the critic I heard on that Saturday morning a couple of weeks back said that there were lessons to be learned and that Barack Obama, hopefully, would be attentive to situations that could be full of threatening tensions, some that could have a personal impact on his life.

Here’s some more background on Monteiro Lobato, his writings and his political views:

From the site, Vidas Lusófonas (translated)

In 1918, he successfully published his first volume of short stories, Urupês. He founded the publishing house Editora Monteiro Lobato & Cia., introducing new standards for printing quality, bringing out new authors and, finally, going bankrupt. In 1920, he published A menina do nariz arrebitado (The Little Girl with the Turned Up Nose), with cover design and illustrations by Voltolino, and managed to have it adopted as a school text, with a record first printing of 50,000 copies. He set up the Companhia Editora Nacional, another publishing firm, in Rio de Janeiro. He was invited to be the commercial attaché in New York, where he served for four years (between 1927 and 1931). He was fascinated by Henry Ford, by metallurgy and by the oil industry. He lost all his money in the 1929 stock market crash. He returned to Brazil and threw himself into the Campaign for the Protection of Brazilian Oil, delivering speeches, sending letters and making the whole country aware of the importance of oil to national development. It was then that he realized how popular and well-known he really was. He was arrested! His feelings about Brazil wavered between enthusiasm and depression. – He was active in Editora Brasiliense, a book publisher, lived in Buenos Aires, became a communist sympathizer…

From Brazzil magazine, March 2001 (translated from the Portuguese)

Lobato thought about development as translated into the image of the machine. In order to build those machines, you needed iron. To move the machinery, you needed oil. For him, the two fundamental pillars are these two things, and the third was bread, that is, food. These are the three elements of modern economic infrastructure.

Let’s talk now about Lobato the children’s author. How did he revolutionize the universe of children universe through literature?

If Monteiro Lobato had written in English, there’s no doubt that today he would be one of the great universal fabulists. First because he gathered all world fables together in his stories. Second, his stories include the fantastic element but it was not the oppressive fantastic, as in most imported fables, but the delirious fantastic. Lobato’s formula has one foot in reality but also has an opening for fiction and dreams. Observe that Lobato, when he produces his fables, he also subverts the relations between children and adults. Suddenly children are interlocutors capable of talking with adults and the adults have to be available and to look at the child as a little human being who is intelligent and thinks. He used to say that he was a children’s writer, not a writer of childish things. There is, in fact, a project behind all his children’s literature. At the end of his life, when he was tired, the oil didn’t work, the iron didn’t work, Getúlio Vargas’s dictatorship censured him, he said he was tired of writing for grown-ups. “What boring people!”, he used to say, “let’s see if I can help train better adults by writing for children”.

More details on his political views from Wikipedia:

Politically, Lobato was strongly in favor of a state monopoly for iron and oil exploration in Brazil and battled publicly for it between 1931 and 1939. For his libertarian views, he was arrested by the then dictatorial government of Getúlio Dornelles Vargas in 1941. This movement, called O Petróleo é Nosso (Oil Belongs to Us) was highly successful, and the same Getúlio Vargas, after being democratically elected president, created Petrobras in 1952.

He died in São Paulo in 1948.

Political ideas

Lobato was really a man ahead of his time, and paid dearly for this, being ridiculed by part of the public and even arrested by the government. His ideas included:

  • English should be taught at schools because it was more important[citation needed] than French or Latin (So he had the children characters learn English in one of its books)
  • Ores and Oil should be managed by the state to prevent their control by international corporations not interested in developing Brazil but in keeping it as consumer market (Viscount’s Oil)
  • The Brazilian folk traditions were the cornerstone of national identity, they should be preserved and more cherished
  • The world was changing fast and those who could not adapt to its pace would end up being “eaten” (The Size Switch)
  • That scientific research could eventually enable man to make deeper changes to nature, and that such changes, if not wisely directed, could result in disasters
  • That war exists only because of corporate greed, political alienation of the masses and racial prejudice (The Size Switch)

All these ideas were published between 1923 and 1944, which makes them even more notable.

Read the full,  detailed description of the book from the article in Slate. And wonder why the BBC seems to have “lost” the interview I heard two weeks ago.

***

Additional Information:

Encyclopedia Brittanica, José Bento Monteiro Lobato (very brief bio)


The $700 Billion Bailout Bait and Switch

~~By American Lassie

In an earlier post, on November 4, 2008 before the Presidential race was called, I expressed a worry about where the $700 billion bail-out money was going. It didn’t seem to be going where we were told it was intended to go.

Now Republican Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma is addressing this in same manner.  On Saturday, November 15, he said we should take back the remaining money given to Henry Paulson in that “blank check.”

First we were told it was to buy mortgage-backed securities.  Then Paulson shifted gears and said it was to use $250 billion to buy stakes in banks.  The “Troubled Asset Relief Program” (TARP) would enable ailing banks to start lending money again and thus boost the economy.

-No homeowner has yet been helped and foreclosures are multiplying.
-Senator Chris Dodd said Paulson’s actions are “beyond belief.”
-Paulson told Charlie Rose  – “The driver is to have healthy banks be well capitalized so they can play for our country right now.”
-Paulson diverted $250 billion to buy stakes in healthy banks to spur lending, but they are not doing this with the money.
-Charles Schumer, Democrat-NY, fears the banks might stuff the money “under the proverbial mattress”.  It appears this is exactly what they are doing.
-Treasury hired the Bank of New York Mellon Corp. as “custodian” of the TARP program.  They also picked Mellon to receive a $3 Billion investment as part of the Capital Infusion Program.

Heads should roll !!!  Greed, corruption, and incompetence – where does it end?
Martha Stewart was imprisoned for lying – but then, she is a woman. Administrators’ neglect brought on this crisis.  It has been coming on for some time.  There were ample warnings (Bush and McCain) but Congress did nothing.  Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is one of the prime culprits.  When warned about Fannie Mae he said there was no problem there.  At the time his live-in partner, Herb Moss, was an administrator at Fannie Mae.  Conflict of interest?  I’d say so, but to paraphrase Katie Couric, “Who am I to judge anyone?”

Now everybody wants a bail-out.  The auto industry appears to be next on the list and Governor Schwarzenegger of California thinks that his state should be bailed out because California has shown discipline. (This has nothing to do with the fire – this is another matter).  Give me a break – when has California shown any discipline?  And why should that entitle them to bail-out money from us tax payers in the rest of the country?  What’s next?  The health industry, the remaining 49 states?  (Except for Alaska which seems to be doing fine, thanks to a smart governor).  Next we will have government-owned 7-11 stores.

I’m with Jim Inhofe.  Let’s demand our money back. It’s our money and we didn’t agree to this giveaway.  In my opinions, bankers can’t be trusted.  Remember Mr. Potter in “It’s a Wonderful Life”?  Greedy, crooked, conniving piece of scum…

***

Check out BailoutSleuth.com to keep up with the bailout developments and who’s getting what…

Find the Sexism in the Picture, Learn “The Code”

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Hey, you guys want to push for the ERA?  According to BettyJean Kling over at FreeUsNow,  it’s still viable and only 3 more states are need to ratify!  (Ironically, one is Illinois, home of Barky. Sounds like a constructive thing to pursue…if nothing else, as an opportunity to retrace some history for young women who have no clue about what was gained with a lot of fighting…and what is slipping away.

Here are a couple of items to spur your interest. Thanks to  our Chicago Correspondent Leslie and frequent commentor, Northwest Rain….

First, Leslie sent along these pre-election cartoons from The Chicago Reader, the in-the-tank publication that we featured in a background piece,  “What Makes Obama Run?” from The Chicago Reader, December 1995.

Note the challenge to Obama…and the not-so-subtle sexism delivered in a cartoon which doesn’t even feature a woman!!

Message to Obama:

Message to McCain:

Gee, I wonder why they asked McCain to “not die?”

***

Then, we just had to re-post a typical exchange that was going on just after the election…(and is still ongoing in different places and forms…)

Here’s a whole series of comments from a thread from a No Quarter piece, Truth v. Fiction, Cheating v. Honor.

Northwest Rain provided IA with the setup…and the great line about “experience” :

The comment that triggers my outrage — is listed first. And in looking back
through the archives and remembering conversations — males have been saying
that Palin doesn’t have “experience” — and yet they would defend O-zero’s non
experience as “experience”. That WORD experience kept coming up. So when I read
the comment below — I exploded. Of COURSE — “experience” means Sarah Palin and
Hillary Clinton don’t have experience because they don’t have a penis.


Below copied from NQ:

Comment by mtc | 2008-11-07 01:37:53

If the Republicans really want to get back into the game, then they should take
a page from Axelrod. Find a charismatic and physically attractive candidate
(like Palin but with a better education and more experience) from a
traditionally disempowered group, groom her, screw public financing and collect
massive amounts of money from people who will be ready by 2012 or 2016 to dump
Obama. It obviously doesn’t really matter who is qualified to run. Just make sure that
the candidate has a stable temperament, fabulous rhetorical skills, and the
ability to make the public think that she is more talented. If I were they, I
would start now.
Reply to this comment

Comment by Northwest rain | 2008-11-07 02:01:47

Sexist pig – sexist pig.

Palin has a very good education — she is extremely smart — she just has a
vagina.

And she has a HELL of a lot more experience that O-fartfart

Right now I have no tolerance for sexist pigs.

You are one of the worst.
Reply to this comment

Comment by Northwest rain | 2008-11-07 02:06:12

Oh I get it — “experience” is the code word for — need penis to apply
— creatures who pee sitting down scare the hell out of pathetic liberals-or
progressives or whatever the hell you sexists pigs are calling yourselves today.
Reply to this comment

Comment by wodiej | 2008-11-07 02:29:14

I agree…I am just so sick of all this sexist shit I could SCREAM. If Palin had been a man they couldn’t have fawned over her enough.
She was extremely qualified and even more so than any of the other 3. IMO, she
was the one most qualified. I asked a friend’s boyfriend why he didn’t think
Palin was qualified to be VP, he said “I don’t know”. I know…she doesn’t have a penis.
Reply to this comment

Comment by fluffy bunny | 2008-11-07 02:27:12

yep
Reply to this comment

Comment by Newly Independent | 2008-11-07 03:39:33

If the Republicans really want to get back into the game

Republicans have won presidencies for decades. They don’t need Axelrod to fix
– er, win elections.

McCain knew what it took to beat Obama. He just wasn’t willing to stoop that
low to win.

Find a charismatic and physically attractive candidate (like Palin but with
a better education and more experience)

CODE FOR: Not a woman.

Sexist trash.

***

There ya go…all you need to know about where we, as women stand…somewhere in the landfill with all those old, rusting appliances…

Attention NeoProgs: You DID NOT Defeat the PUMAs!

~~By Grail Guardian

Enough already! It’s been nearly 2 weeks since the mythical “post-racial” election that would change the world, purify acid rain, halt all crime, turn all hate into love, make rainbows appear simultaneously and permanently in the sky over every nation, end global warming, part the seas, cause God’s light to shine upon us, and make the Unity Pony the universally accepted mascot of the globe – yet still it persists! By it, I mean the gloating, the taunting, the childish harassment across the Blogosphere, the never-ending threats, and of course the omnipresent misogyny alternating between Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.

Our own GRL posted a smattering of the nasty comments we’ve had here at InsightAnalytical earlier this week. The site has been in forced moderation ever since the election due to the attacks of the Oborg and threats promising to shut the site down (and GRL informs me that at least one of our “regular” trolls has been permanently banned due to abuse). In this same article, reader Leslie reports that she is still beset by combative co-workers trying to cure her of her “wicked ways”. The joy is not isolated to IA, however. A recent check at Not Your Sweetie showed someone artfully calling themselves “PUMA FAIL” asking:

“How’s that McCain landslide going?”

more than 10 weeks after the article was originally posted. Useful? I think not. Unprovoked? Most assuredly (note that the comment is preceded by 2 links to probama sites). Isolated? Hardly. At Texas Darlin’s blog, commenter Jennifer Boucher went way beyond the acceptable [Strong Language Warning!]:

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!! HOW IS HAVING BARACK OBAMA AS THE NEXT PRESIDENT GOING TO FUCK UP AND RUIN LIVES AND/OR THIS COUNTRY!!! HAVE YOU BEEN FUCKIN’ BLIND FOR THE PAST EIGHT FUCKIN’ YEARS!! LOOK AT THE FUCKIN’ MESS THAT BUSH HAS MADE! HOW ABOUT THE JOB HE HAS DONE! THE ENTIRE WORLD FREAKIN’ HATES US, THE ECONOMY IS HORRIBLE, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS. DID YOU ENJOY PAYING OVER $4 A GALLON FOR GAS? DO YOU ENJOY PAYING HIGH HEALTH CARE COSTS? HIGH GROCERY BILLS? HOW ABOUT NOT HAVING A FREAKIN’ JOB! MCCAIN WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO FIX THIS MESS! HE’S OUT OF TOUCH WITH WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE AN AVERAGE AMERICAN, HE HAS SEVEN FREAKIN’ HOUSES FOR ONE THING! BARACK OBAMA DIDN’T GROW UP WITH A SILVER SPOON UP HIS FUCKIN’ ASS, AND HE’LL WORK HARD FOR THE AVERAGE AMERICAN! THIS WHOLE FUCKIN’ BULLSHIT ABOUT BARACK BEING A TERROIST, AND HIS MIDDLE NAME IS HUSSEIN IS RIDICULOUS!!! SO WHY DON’T YOU STOP WASTING YOUR FUCKING TIME PUTTING UP THESE FUCKING WEBSITES! WHY DON’T YOU WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE AND OPEN UP YOUR FUCKING EYES WHY DON’T YOU, AND SEE WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON!!

Of course, I could go on with the examples, but you get the drift. They’re still bitter, they’re still hostile, and they’re still blaming the PUMA movement for…uh, gee – I guess for Obama winning the election? Nope. In fact, they’re still insisting that PUMAs don’t exist. To wit, blogger LastPlaneOut:

Nice try, but PUMAs are done.

They never existed.

I have spent every day of the last 5 months thwarting Darragh’s Legion of Lost Typists.

Every prowl she organized, I got there first. I warned the media and the politicos that you were coming for them. I helped Roland Martin at CNN duck you. I telegraphed your email swarms to every targeted delegate and superdelegate at Denver. I have an inbox full of “Thank you” letters from PUMA targets who listened to me and dumped your message swarms into unused voicemail accounts and fax machines in the utility closet. I have fought you on the HuffingtonPost, US News and a dozen other media outlets. I have blocked your disinformation at every turn, bombed your YouTube videos, pretended to be your friend in Denver and spoofed you in a thousand ways.

There aren’t 18 million of you, as tonight’s election proves. Hell, there doesn’t seem to be ANY of you, based on the vote. You’ve been living a fantasy.

Tonight, I am — like Lou Gehrig — the happiest man on the face of the earth,

Bravo, President Barack Hussein Obama.

And good luck, PUMAs, at whatever the hell it is you plan on doing now, at the fringes of American politics.

The conventional wisdom indicates that if we don’t exist we wouldn’t get bothered or even referred to anymore, right? Alas, there is no wisdom in the Oborg. Their attacks continue unabated. Not just against PUMAs, but, of course against, all women. And their favorite 2, of course, Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Hillary Clinton. This week’s Roundup mentions perennially perky “joke” CBS News anchor Katie Couric’s advice to Palin:

I think she should keep her head down, work really hard and learn about governing. But I’m not anyone to give advice to anyone about anything.”

No one seems to be mentioning that Couric could stand to learn something about journalism. Meanwhile, Politico snipes Palin for being more interesting to the press than her fellow Governors at a meeting last week:

While her other governors diagnosed the GOP woes that led to their second consecutive electoral thrashing and plotted a way out of the political wilderness, Sarah Palin did neither.
Two events were added to the annual Republican Governors Association meeting especially for the Alaska governor and former vice presidential nominee, but her objectives were unclear and her message, mixed. For somebody who is now seen as a prominent leader in the GOP and perhaps the party’s instant-front-runner for the 2012 presidential race, it was a less than auspicious return to the Lower 48.

Of course the big news making Obot heads explode was the offer to Senator Hillary Clinton to be Obama’s Secretary of State. At the Huffington Post writer Nico Pitney couldn’t disguise his disdain for the possibility, noting that Team Obama had to create an argument for him to swallow the news and that:

The offer shows that the Obama team is, in fact, serious about bringing all types of political officials — former foes included — into its governing tent. During the Democratic primary, Clinton was often accused by aides to Obama of inflating or over-dramatizing her foreign policy experience.

Enthusiastic HuffPo commenter BeltwayBette showed her support for party unity as follows:

HRC, in spite of huge efforts to pump up her foreign service credentials, which flopped on the tarmac you know where — is not qualitied for SOS.
HRC is not a team player, never has been. As we recall, she allegedly flopped the health plan Bill gave her because no one In DC could or would work with her.
HRC is same ole,same ole — and still too personally ambitious for the presidency to belong to her — or to the latest Clinton to be floated for the POTUS – Chelsea Clinton. The Dynasty refuses to die.
HRC, whose talking points against Sen.Obama fed the McCain campaign for almost two years — will have the power to undermine the man for whom it is said she felt only great contempt . .
BUT this is still only a rumor. I personally wish that President Elect Obama would put a sock in his leaks. And that he would show some loyalty to those who fought so hard for him — like the man HRC’s surrogate Carville villified for his Obama endorsement — Bill Richardson.
In 2012,we may need BR again.

So, to paraphrase the probable future Chair of the DNC Donna Brazile, why not Stop the Hate? No one appears to be immune to the bilious attacks. The Oborg even seems to be defying their beloved leader in opposing his Secretary of State offer to Clinton. The only answer I can offer is that these demented animals need somewhere to channel all the hatred they amassed during the past 2 years. You cannot be that bitter and vitriolic for that long and then suddenly stop. That probably means I should have some tolerance and compassion for these poor tortured troglodytes, but I can no longer muster any empathy or understanding. Instead, I offer the Oborg this thought:

You did not defeat the PUMA movement on November 4th!

You read that right! You couldn’t do it. McCain/Plain was defeated by our old nemesis, the NeoCons. The facts support it; they stayed home in droves! The supposed legions of new registered Democrats (courtesy of ACORN) never materialized. The other voters that never materialized were the Conservatives. According to the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza (yet another h/t to Not Your Sweetie):

much of the Republicans’ permanent political class has concluded that electing Sen. John McCain as president would have amounted to applying a Band-Aid to a gaping wound. Given the state of the party — bereft of a signature new idea and without many fresh faces — plenty of Republican operatives have come to subscribe to what I’d call the Ra’s al Ghul theory of rebuilding: Ghul, a villain in the movie “Batman Begins,” advocates destroying the city of Gotham to rebuild it from the ground up. “It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die,” he says — a sentiment echoed by many Republicans these days, who argue that hitting rock bottom was the only way to allow new faces and ideas to emerge.

What’s more, the final numbers seem to indicate that had Hillary Clinton been the Democratic candidate, she would have slaughtered John McCain according to CBS:

As voters left the polls on Election Day, many were asked how they would have voted if the election match-up were between Hillary Clinton and John McCain rather than Barack Obama and McCain. 52 percent said they would have backed the former Democratic candidate; 41 percent would have voted for McCain, wider than Obama’s 7-point margin over McCain.

Snip

While 85% of Obama voters said they would have voted for Clinton had she been the Democratic candidate, 13% would not have supported her including 6% who said they would have backed McCain and 7% who said they would not have voted. (Emphasis mine)

In short, one man can be considered responsible for Barack Obama’s victory: George W. Bush

The Washington Post concludes that:

…a look at this year’s political atmospherics suggests that the environment was so badly poisoned that no Republican — not Mitt Romney, not Mike Huckabee, not even the potential future GOP savior, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — could have beaten Obama on Nov. 4.

Why not? Three words (and a middle initial): President George W. Bush.

snip

Enter Palin, who was embraced with a bear hug by the party’s conservative base. All of a sudden, cultural conservatives were thrilled at the chance to put “one of their own” in the White House. In fact, of the 60 percent of voters who told exit pollsters that McCain’s choice of Palin was a “factor” in their final decision, the Arizona senator won 56 percent to 43 percent.

For skittish conservatives looking for more evidence that McCain understood their needs and concerns, Palin did the trick. It’s hard to imagine conservatives rallying to McCain — even to the relatively limited extent that they did — without Palin on the ticket. And without the base, McCain’s loss could have been far worse.

So what’s my point? Well, it’s threefold:

1) An admittedly immature STFU to the Oborg

2) To establish that we PUMAs did our part to defeat Barack Obama

3) To remind PUMAs everywhere that we forgot who we should have been fighting and debunk an old adage: the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

It’s time to start ignoring the Obots and realizing how ineffectual they have become. We still have work to do.

The Scanner-International Edition, 11/14/08 (Insight into Obama’s Background, the Luo of East Africa; The Unrecognized Foreign Policy Work by Bush that Will Help Obama; How the Occupation of Iraq May Look in the Future)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Here are a few international stories that have caught my eye over the last few days. The first one gives a detailed background on Obama’s roots, including some of the reputed personality traits of the Luo’s that are evident in Obama. If you think that Bush was in Obama’s camp before the election, the second story may give you even more things to think about. Obama will be taking credit for a lot of the groundwork laid by Bush. The final story discusses some developments that might affect the future of Iraq that the reader might be unaware of.

***

From The East African, Kenya:

An ‘irresistible, awful, marvellous people’: The Luo of East Africa

By DAVID KAIZA

Obama’s name is unavoidable anywhere, but when pronounced at Mpaaro, thereis an added urgency to its sound…

It is not altogether fanciful to say that, some 628 years ago, a time barely thought of now, the seeds of Obama’s ascendancy to the world stage were sown here.

Dates and facts are hard to pin down, details are much disputed. But it was here that a Luo man, perhaps one of Obama ancestors, changed for good the world of his time.

The scale was smaller, distances were not so great, but the assumption of power, in the year 1380, over the lands that now comprise Uganda by one Rukidi Isingoma-Mpuga Labongo, son of Olum, leader of the migrating Luo who entered Uganda from Sudan towards the last decades of the 14th century, set in motion cultural-political changes whose impact echoes in many of the conflicts still taking place in northern Uganda and the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

For Andrea, as indeed for scholars and guardians of the traditions of Bunyoro-Kitara, the emergence of Obama was marked by a polish, drive and determination that had not been seen before in this part of the world.

“These were men of substance,” Andrea says of the Luo aristocracy that invaded and occupied Bunyoro. “They were very, very intelligent. They were generous. The people liked them.”

Historians speak of the “immense impact” that the Luo migration had on the societies they passed through.

Historian and Catholic priest, J.P. Crazzolara in his foundational study, The Lwoo (1950), writes hyperbolically, “They marched on and came upon people who trembled at their sudden appearance. The Lwoo were at sight the absolute arbiters of this population, who had no time left to think and try to repel such an unexpected mass of invaders.”

He describes them as an “irresistible, awful, marvellous people” that “spread (their) shadow” over the older areas of western and southern Uganda.

The displacement of former rulers and inhabitants by this “appearance” is said to be partly responsible for the ethnic pressures and traumas afflicting eastern Congo, for those who lost out in those years were never to regain their footing and continue to be landless, stateless peoples to this day.

Crazzolara’s heraldic language over-privileges Luo achievements, yet 2008, emerging as a hyperbolic year for Africans, is on a scale Obama’s Luo ancestors would never have dreamt of scaling on the plains of Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.

The year started on a bad, but well-publicised note. With the horribly botched Kenyan election, the word “Luo” started to circulate internationally.

Barrack Obama’s candidature would bring in the phrase “son of a Luo father.”

On a smaller scale, outside Kenya, President Yoweri Museveni, in the middle of a face-off with the kingdom of Buganda, sought to reduce the Kabaka’s standing by publicly stating that the latter was a Luo.

Much of the descriptions made of the Luo are stereotypes like those applied to any other ethnic group, but unlike other ethnic groups in the region, the Luo are spread across five countries, forming a continuous chain that runs 1,200km from Sudan to the southern shores of Lake Victoria.

Crozzolara’s contradictory label “awful and marvellous” points to a central Luo paradox: Their descendants’ occupation of Uganda’s thrones contrasts with the depths of their suffering in wars in northern Uganda, southern Sudan and southwestern Ethiopia. The pendulum of Luo history has swang dizzyingly from immense success to immense failure.

However, to traverse this 1,200km is to be overcome by the similarities in the physical, cultural and personal characteristics of the Dinka, Nuer, Anuak, Shilluk, Wau, Acholi, Lango, Alur, Padhola and Kenyan Luo.

The numerous elders along the trail keep track of their kith and kin.

It is an identity with real cohesive power that can break out in a visceral possessiveness on discovering each other.

It grips, whether felt at the entrance of a tomb in one country, or in victory jigs on the streets of Kisumu.

Spread across centuries and continents, similar descriptions are made of their leaders as “intelligent,” “socialist,” “generous,” “driven,” “aggressive…”

Indeed, putting aside for the moment the adjective-defying import of Obama’s achievement, the weird thing is that his oratorical skills, penchant for the extravagant and appeal to the crowd are right out of the standard caricature of a Luo politician.

Descriptions of Obama sound like a recycling of phrases used of men like the Odingas, Tom Mboya, Apollo Milton Obote, Kabalega and Labongo before him.

For East Africans, seeing Obama reduce crowds to tears is oddly reminiscent of Ugandan independence leader Obote, a man said to be devastating with a microphone.

Indeed, Obama, who rose to fame through his “mobilisation skills,” was himself literally the (accidental) product of the mobilisation skills of a man with whom he shares his ancestry, Tom Mboya. It was Mboya who sent Obama Sr to the US.

There are many barroom jokes in Nairobi now. The funnier one is that when McCain elected to deliver his nomination acceptance speech to a modest, indoor audience, and Obama went for a mammoth event, it was typical of the “outsized” egos of Luo politicians.

“When I see Obama, I see a typical Luo man,” says Kenyan anthropologist Othieno Aluoka.

(MORE)
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From Inter Press Service News Agency, Italy

U.S.: Obama Foreign Policy May Not Require a Clean Break

Analysis by Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (IPS) – While much of the world and many of his U.S. supporters are expecting a sharp break with his predecessor’s foreign policy after President-elect Barack Obama takes office Jan. 20, they may be surprised by the degree of continuity between the two administrations.

That continuity — which would be made more concrete if, as expected, Pentagon chief Robert Gates is asked to remain at his post — has less to do with Obama’s hesitation in following through on his more sweeping campaign promises than with the fact that President George W. Bush, has quietly — if grudgingly — moved key U.S. policies in directions that are largely compatible with Obama’s own intentions.

(SNIP)
n addition to earning Obama great goodwill overseas, all of these steps will help dramatise the contrast between his more open and inclusive approach to the world and that of his predecessor, whose unilateralism and cowboy image have brought Washington’s standing among foreign publics to an all-time low.

To be fair, however, that image — so richly earned during his first term when neo-conservatives and other hawks ruled the roost — is somewhat outdated. Chastened by the Iraq war and guided step by halting step by the foreign policy realists, notably Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Gates, and his top military commanders, who have come to dominate the last two years of his presidency, Bush has essentially — if not explicitly — laid the groundwork for Obama’s “new dawn”, especially with respect to key crisis areas that are certain to figure near the top of the new president’s agenda.

Despite loud protests and repeated efforts by hawks around Vice President Dick Cheney to deep-six the process, for example, Bush has stuck by Rice and her top Asia aide, Christopher Hill, in making the necessary concessions to keep the “Six-Party Talks” to de-nuclearise North Korea alive.

Similarly, Bush broke his own diplomatic embargo on Iran — along with Pyongyang, the last surviving member of the “Axis of Evil” — by sending a senior State Department official, Undersecretary of State William Burns, to sit down with his Iranian counterpart as part of a larger meeting including other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany last summer. Significantly, Burns will serve as the State Department’s chief liaison with Obama’s transition team.

The administration also appears close to announcing that it intends to set up an Interests Section in Tehran even before Obama takes office. Such a step will no doubt make it far less controversial for the new president to open comprehensive, high-level talks with Iran without conditions when he chooses to do so (possibly after Iran’s presidential elections in June so as to avoid boosting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad chances of re-election).

And after effectively ignoring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for nearly seven years, Bush finally re-launched peace talks at Annapolis last November. While those talks have made little progress and now, with Israeli elections scheduled for February, have no hope of reaching an accord by the time Bush leaves office, he will bequeath, as Rice, the effort’s most dogged booster, noted this weekend, a process that Obama can use to fulfill his promise to make a two-state solution an urgent priority.

Even on Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush has helped lay the groundwork for Obama’s plans to accelerate the withdrawal of combat troops from the former and rapidly deploying more to the latter, which the president-elect has long argued, unlike the incumbent, constitutes the “central front in the war on terror”. By acquiescing in a still-pending accord with the Iraqi government, Bush has also accepted a 2012 deadline for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops — not just its combat forces, which Obama has pledged to withdraw by mid-2010.

As for Russia, whose intervention in Georgia last August brought bilateral ties to their lowest ebb since the end of the Cold War, Bush, like Obama, has acted with relative restraint, particularly compared to the urgings of Obama’s Republican rival, Sen. John McCain.

And while his insistence on deploying missile-defence systems in central and eastern Europe is clearly more provocative than Obama’s cautious ambiguity on the subject, Bush has also moved in recent days both to address Moscow’s concerns and lay the basis for a new accord on sharply reducing U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, something that Obama is expected to make a high priority in the early days.

In other areas, Obama’s engagement strategy is likely to build on more positive achievements by Bush that have not received nearly as much attention as his “war-on-terror” debacles: most notably in East Asia, where, to the aggravation of the hawks, good ties with China have not only been preserved, but enhanced; India, where the new nuclear deal capped a rapidly growing strategic relationship; and much of Africa, where Bush’s five-year-old, 15-billion-dollar AIDS programme, strongly endorsed by Obama, is given credit not only for saving millions of lives, but also for making the region the most Bush-friendly by far, according to recent public opinion polls.

(MORE)
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From Inter Press Service News Agency, Italy

IRAQ: U.S. Pushes In Their Excellencies

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

CAIRO, Nov 7 (IPS) – More than five years after the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, Arab capitals are beginning to send ambassadors to Baghdad. But some Egyptian commentators question the timing of the move, which they attribute to pressure from Washington.

“Arab governments originally wanted a full withdrawal of foreign forces and a stable security environment before sending ambassadors,” Ahmed Thabet, political science professor at Cairo University, told IPS. “Yet the pending U.S.-Iraq security agreement promises to turn the current military occupation of Iraq into a constitutionally sanctioned one.”

(SNIP)

“Many Iraqis see this new Arab diplomatic drive as against their national interests,” added Thabet. “They see it as little more than a U.S. attempt to legitimise the occupation and bolster Arab support for the unpopular government in Baghdad.”

Thabet (Ahmed Thabet, political science professor at Cairo University) went on to say that some Iraqis fear recent Arab diplomatic activity “could eventually lead to the replacement of foreign occupation troops with a pan-Arab peacekeeping force to police Iraq.”

(MORE)