A Little Civility, Please, Lanny…

I saw Lanny Davis in the lobby here at the Rules Committee meeting. I had my video camera and I wanted to ask him what he thought of his good friend Joe Lieberman who is now running around saying Barack Obama is the candidate of choice of Hamas. But steam was coming out of Lanny’s ears and it didn’t seem like the best of times:

A brief but spittle-filled shouting match broke out in the halls of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee hearing on Saturday between a committee member and a surrogate for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Lanny Davis, the colorful, committed, and sometimes unrestrained Clinton supporter deliberately interrupted a small gathering of press who had come to hear Jon Ausman, a DNC member, explain the basis of his proposed Florida delegation compromise.

"I’ll tell you what," Davis chimed in, "the Clinton campaign’s position has been misrepresented by this wonderful love-fest, and the lady who testified for us was saying that the Obama campaign and your proposal is not generous. But it is in fact unfair. If you want to hear, now that the love-fest is over, why don’t you come over and hear the counterpoint to this completely disingenuous argument.

Lanny, Lanny. Please. In the words of a wise man, can’t we all just get along?

My brief and unhappy experience with the hate and vitriol of bloggers on the liberal side of the aisle comes from the last several months I spent campaigning for a longtime friend, Joe Lieberman.

This kind of scary hatred, my dad used to tell me, comes only from the right wing–in his day from people such as the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, with his tirades against "communists and their fellow travelers." The word "McCarthyism" became a red flag for liberals, signifying the far right’s fascistic tactics of labeling anyone a "communist" or "socialist" who favored an active federal government to help the middle class and the poor, and to level the playing field.

Anger just isn’t the way, Lanny. Politics is a gentleman’s game, part of the fine tradition of Cicero and the great orators. We lower ourselves and our American ideals when we lose our temper and engage in this kind of coarse, angry, spittle-flecked vitriol.

I really wanted to introduce myself and give him a hail-fellow-well-met over Lieberman’s senate victory (something he is no doubt proud of), but I have to say I feared for my very safety lest I approach him and he not be able to control his terrible temper.

Oh for shame. (more…)

Stephen Colbert interviews FRC's Tony Perkins

I forgot to post this gem – Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council delivers his response to the California Supreme Court ruling on marriage to Stephen Colbert. Ah, Tony’s a real masochist — who knew?  PageOneQ:

“I’ve read the constitution forwards and backwards,” Colbert continued, “and I see nothing in there that protects gays.

“Why,” he asks Perkins, “do these judges keep seeing gay things in the Constitution?”

“They’re afforded the same rights and privileges as you and I are,” Perkins responded. “They don’t have a right to marry just as you and I don’t have the right to marry anybody we want to. We don’t have a right to marry our first cousin…”

“No, no, no,” Colbert countered. “I’m from South Carolina.”

“There is a reason,” Perkins continued, “that in public policy, that we work to strengthen and uphold the institution of marriage, because that is…really the building block for society.”

“Do you keep Kosher?” Colbert asks. “I think it would really be better for the anti-gay-marriage side if they obeyed everything in the Bible, not just the anti-gay-marriage part. Don’t you?”

See the whole video below the fold. (more…)

RBC, the Early Evening Edition

We will deal with Florida first, then Michigan. Limited debate.

Alice Huffman is speaking in support of her proposal to seat all of Florida. She got so much mail in support of seating Florida.

David McDonald opposing this motion, because it asks to go back to a time before it was complicated by campaign interests. The standard for FL getting a waiver is more complicated now than it was, given the documents produced (not sure what that means). This is not a problem that the voters in FL caused. It is a problem that impacts both those who went to the polls and those who did not.

Yvonne Gates also opposes. This is about respecting the rules. We’re not trying to penalize those individuals. When you have rules, they must be followed. If they’re not followed, you have chaos. I won’t be able to support the motion.

Hartina Flournoy. It saddens me that this motion has no chance of passing the body. I thought what drove these rules was being a party of inclusion. I’m sad about the fact that we will take a vote that does not bring FL back in. (She confuses MI and FL twice.)

Alice Germond. We told the voters the beauty contest had no meaning. Raises MLK. And Geraldine Ferraro.

Ickes. Want to associate myself with Tina Flournoy and Alice.

Mona Pasquill. Thanks for the gifts of food. There are sometimes when you have to revisit the rules. We talk a lot about respect. I want to be responsible to these voters.

Motion fails by 15-12. Chants of "Denver, Denver" throughout.

Ralph Dawson. Consider reduction of penalty to 50%. In view of offer by Obama’s campaign to afford certain delegates. 1) All pledged delegates be restored, at .5 vote. In addition, all pledged delegate positions shall be allocated Hillary 52.5, Edwards 6.5, Obama 33.5 delegate votes. Unpledged delegates cast one-half vote at the Convention. Fill delegate positions including right of approval.

Alice Huffman. Not the motion I would have liked. I also know that we cannot leave here and not do something, for Florida. When you can leave with unity, what this party needs is unity. We will leave here more united than we came. This is about finding a way to make whole, to some degree.

Lipstick on a pig, someone calls.

Alice Huffman. Do you believe in Democracy? That vote failed. Please conduct yourselves like proper men and women. (more…)

Two Questions about Today’s Deliberations on Florida and Michigan

1. Why did they decide about just doing a re-vote in both states?

2. Why, when the DNC made a new “rule” that Nevada and South Carolina would be inserted between Iowa and New Hampshire, and New Hampshire disregarded that rule and moved its primary up in time to keep their long-held place in the order of the primaries, are their votes still allowed to count?

ee (more…)

A Little Civility, Please, Lanny

(We’re still waiting for the Committee to come back from lunch. Hopefully that means they’re hammering out a deal — jh They’re back….)

I saw Lanny Davis in the lobby here at the Rules Committee meeting. I had my little video camera and I wanted to ask him what he thought of his good friend Joe Lieberman who was now running around saying Barack Obama is a member of Hamas. But steam was coming out of Lanny’s ears and it didn’t seem like the best of times:

A brief but spittle-filled shouting match broke out in the halls of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee hearing on Saturday between a committee member and a surrogate for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Lanny Davis, the colorful, committed, and sometimes unrestrained Clinton supporter deliberately interrupted a small gathering of press who had come to hear Jon Ausman, a DNC member, explain the basis of his proposed Florida delegation compromise.

"I’ll tell you what," Davis chimed in, "the Clinton campaign’s position has been misrepresented by this wonderful love-fest, and the lady who testified for us was saying that the Obama campaign and your proposal is not generous. But it is in fact unfair. If you want to hear, now that the love-fest is over, why don’t you come over and hear the counterpoint to this completely disingenuous argument.

Lanny, Lanny. Please. To quote — well, you — can’t we all just get along?

My brief and unhappy experience with the hate and vitriol of bloggers on the liberal side of the aisle comes from the last several months I spent campaigning for a longtime friend, Joe Lieberman.

This kind of scary hatred, my dad used to tell me, comes only from the right wing–in his day from people such as the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, with his tirades against "communists and their fellow travelers." The word "McCarthyism" became a red flag for liberals, signifying the far right’s fascistic tactics of labeling anyone a "communist" or "socialist" who favored an active federal government to help the middle class and the poor, and to level the playing field.

Anger just isn’t the way, Lanny. Politics is a gentleman’s game, part of the fine tradition of Cicero and the great orators. We lower ourselves and our American ideals when we lose our temper and engage in this kind of coarse, angry, spittle-flecked vitriol.

I really wanted to introduce myself and give him a hail-fellow-well-met over Lieberman’s senate victory (something he is no doubt proud of), but I have to say I feared for my very safety lest I approach him and he not be able to control his terrible temper.

Oh for shame.

Update: Lanny was a busy little beaver during lunch. (more…)

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Charles R. Morris: The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash

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When I was asked if I’d like to review Charles R. Morris’s The Trillion Dollar Meltdown, I replied "why not, it’s a book I should have already read anyway." I’m glad to be able to say that I was right, unless you’ve been intimately involved in financial markets for the past two or three decades, Morris’s book has something to teach you about why the current financial crisis is happening. He explains not just the mechanics of the meltdown, in the most jargon-free prose I’ve seen, but in describing the crises of the past decades, including the crash of 87, the S&L debacle and the collapse of the Collateralized Mortgage Obligation (CMO) market in the early 90s (which I hadn’t even heard of, and I suspect I’m not alone) he is able to show the features all have in common.

Morris does all this in a relatively slim volume, clocking in at 169 pages, not including some fairly extensive notes. The book is well organized, with chapters generally proceeding chronologically, but sections in chapters dealing with classes of securities or financial activities. At the end of it, you’ll have a good grasp of the major types of instruments, how they work and what the problems are with each of them. More importantly you’ll have a sense of the commonalities that underlie all the problems.

At the heart of the book is the process of securitization. If you’ve been following the crisis over the last year or so you’ve heard the acronyms—CDO’s (Collateralized Debt Obligations), ABS’s (Asset Backed Securities), CLOs (Collateralized Loan Obligations), RMBS’s (Residential Market-Backed Securities) and so on. Enough to make one wonder if the financial sector is looking to win the "alphabet soup" crown away from the army. (more…)

Liveblogging the Rules Meeting — When You Break for Lunch at 3PM…

You gotta believe you’re going to be here for a while. I’m hearing estimates that this may go till midnight.

Joy. 

We’re still waiting in the RBC members to return. Remember–they had lunch together, and there’s the sense that they’re close on at least FL, though probably not MI. But there’s also the question of whether they decide the FL challenge before deciding the MI one. After all, if they seat MI at full strength, they’d have to seat FL at full strength … wouldn’t they?

I’ll do a little bit more live-blogging as we go forward this PM, since the feds sound like they’re crummy. Let me know if that’s still true, once we get started again, alright?

The Jena 6: Will Their Biased Judge Be Recused?

The six young people facing trial on a variety of charges in Jena, Louisiana, are now awaiting word on whether their effort to have the white judge at the center of the controversy over their prosecution recused. Yesterday a hearing on the recusal at least gave them some hope of a fair trial, though not a speedy one:

HOUSTON—Lawyers for the five remaining defendants facing trial in the racially divisive Jena 6 incident in Louisiana presented evidence Friday of what they said was bias on the part of the judge presiding over the cases and sought his removal.

After four hours of testimony, a visiting judge appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to hear the recusal motion against LaSalle Parish District Judge J.P. Mauffray asked for more evidence and postponed a ruling until at least July.

Defense attorneys have long asserted that the white-dominated justice system in the small central Louisiana town was biased against their African-American clients: six high school students who were initially charged with attempted murder in the December 2006 beating of a white classmate.

That beating capped months of racial tensions set off after three white students hung nooses from a tree at the high school. Last September, more than 20,000 demonstrators traveled to Jena for a march to demonstrate their concerns about the case against the six defendants.

The problem as the Associated Press reports, is both the kind of language that Mauffray has used when discussing the defendants, as well as the kinds of judicial standards at stake when he evidently admits to considering outside information not presented in the court: (more…)

When You Break for Lunch at 3PM…

You gotta believe you’re going to be here for a while. I’m hearing estimates that this may go till midnight.

Joy.

We’re still waiting in the RBC members to return. Remember–they had lunch together, and there’s the sense that they’re close on at least FL, though probably not MI. But there’s also the question of whether they decide the FL challenge before deciding the MI one. After all, if they seat MI at full strength, they’d have to seat FL at full strength … wouldn’t they?

I’ll do a little bit more live-blogging as we go forward this PM, since the feds sound like they’re crummy. Let me know if that’s still true, once we get started again, alright?

Update: Just a heads up. Things are likely to get contentious here (that is, at the RBC meeting) this afternoon. So in an effort to keep things here (at EW/FDL) polite, we’re going to moderate threads as we would do at FDL.

Blogging for LGBT Families Day

A gentle reminder that the third annual Blogging for LGBT Families Day is this Monday, June 2. Full details are here; the short version is: blog in support of LGBT families on or before June 2, and send me the link. I’ll compile and showcase them at Mombian.

I’m already starting to see some posts trickle in; I’ll start posting the links on June 2 as soon as I get them, so if you want your link to appear all day as people visit, get it in as early as possible.

Please also download a banner and promote the event on your site. The more people who participate, the more impact our voices will have.

Here are a few frequently asked questions:

Do I need to be LGBT? No, just supportive.

Do I need to have kids? What about my cat? Define “family” as you will.

What if I always write about my LGBT family? Great! Just do what you normally do, and send me the link. Or write a special post for the occasion if you want to, but don’t feel obligated.

What if I never write about LGBT issues? If you want to say something in support of LGBT families, then this event gives you an excuse. Feel free to tie it into your regular blog theme, e.g., if you write about kids’ literature, write about an LGBT-inclusive kids’ book.

What if I want to share a photo or video? That’s fine. Post them on your blog or a photo or video sharing site. If you use a sharing site, make sure to set them to be public. Then send me the link.

What do I do if I don’t have a blog? If you don’t have a blog, you may also leave a comment on the master Blogging for LGBT Families Day post I will put up on June 2. If you only post on Facebook or MySpace, you may add me, Dana Rudolph, as a friend to notify me of a post there. (Here’s my Facebook page and my MySpace page. If you do a search for my name, though, make sure to look for the event banner image, as there are multiple Dana Rudolphs.) If you do have a regular blog, I much prefer that you post there, since then your post will be readable even by those who don’t have Facebook or MySpace accounts-and the whole point here is to share our posts. (more…)