Carmella Lewis, second from right, of Denver, Colo., plugs her ears as Sen. Barack Obama speaks to supporters in Unity yesterday afternoon. Lewis, a delegate pledged to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, attended the rally with fellow Clinton supporter Freda Smith, left, of Salem, N.H., to shout support for Clinton.
That’s because Obama’s opponents, like Carol Stone-Oks, a school psychologist who came from Cambridge, Mass., and Carmella Lewis, a Clinton delegate holding a “Hillary” sign who’d come all the way from Denver to express her displeasure at this show of mutual appreciation, seemed to be as good as the campaigns themselves at working the tired, caged-in press. [...]
Almost as soon as crowds began to trickle through security into the grassy field, ready for the first joint appearance of Obama and Clinton since he clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, Stone-Oks appeared at the metal barricade that Obama campaign staffers use to keep reporters apart from those who attend the candidate’s rallies.
At first, she attracted little notice as she complained to reporters that a small group of anti-Obama demonstrators had been moved from the front entrance to the rally site, apparently at the direction of the Secret Service. Early arrivals were more concerned with the opening drudgery of a campaign stop: finding working power strips for laptops, asking if the wireless Internet was working, ducking under tables or shrouding themselves with suitcoats in order to see their computer screens in the blinding sun and grumbling about the conditions foisted upon them by the Obama campaign’s stage management. [...]
But eventually Stone-Oks acquired an audience, for herself and for an ally, Sharon Chang, largely because they seemed to realize that Chang was what the vast array of media was looking for: A quotable detractor of the nominee who would say she’d rather vote for Republican John McCain than anyone other than Clinton. (That threat meant less coming from Stone-Oks, who conceded that she was a Republican anyway.)
”You’re familiar with ‘puma?’ “ Chang asked the veteran reporter David Lightman of McClatchy newspapers, gesturing to the logo of the sneaker company on her shirt, but meaning something very different.
When Lightman raised his eyebrows, Chang spelled it out: “Party unity, my ass.” [...]
Meanwhile, Carmella Lewis was leaning over to tell reporters that Clinton’s backers could still stage an insurrection at the convention in August, and rolling her eyes and groaning as her candidate urged supporters to do the exact opposite. When Obama began speaking, she groaned more, then wadded up bits of paper and jammed them into her ears.
And yet, there was that unity thing.
When a compatriot of Lewis’ felt faint during Clinton’s address, those around her held out campaign signs: a Clinton-Obama canopy. A mustachioed man in a dress shirt leaned forward from behind the tangle of CNN’s cables and tripods to hand Lewis a cup of water, which she accepted immediately, not recognizing David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist.
Carmella Lewis, with her Hillary T-shirt and Hillary placard, came all the way from Denver to make sure there would be plenty of ambiguity, duality and ferocity in Unity.
Just as Hillary was testing out the unfamiliar familiarity “Barack and me” Friday and talking about “his grace and his grit,” Carmella began loudly booing and waving her sign.
“We want Hillary!” screamed the 57-year-old retired ad saleswoman and Clinton delegate.
“It’s over, lady!” yelled some Obama supporters a few yards away.
Standing between the Sharks and the Jets, David Axelrod took pity on an older friend of Carmella’s who was suffering from aridity in the Unity humidity. The chief Obama strategist fetched a glass of water and brought it to the woman, who was wearing five Hillary buttons.
This amenity did not stop the disunity. Carmella and her friends continued to cry, “Nobama!” “We love you, Hillary!” and “We need Hillary!” as Barack Obama sat onstage on a stool behind his former rival, his finger studiously at his lips.
Carmella was not impressed with all the kissing, laughing and whispering that Hill and Bam were diligently doing for the cameras, so that the moment could produce, as Obama press aide Robert Gibbs put it on “Larry King Live,” “a great picture.”
When it was Obama’s turn to speak, Carmella announced loudly, “I wish I had ear plugs.” Then, as Obama tried to ingratiate himself with the Hillary partisans in the crowd by saying that because of the New York senator, his daughters “can take for granted that women can do anything that the boys can do and do it better and do it in heels,” Carmella put her fingers in her ears.
As Obama tried to curry favor with Hillary, looking over at her sensible, sturdy shoes and marveling, “I still don’t know how she does it in heels,” Carmella tore up a tissue and stuffed it in her ears.
When Obama pandered with a line about how he wouldn’t “perpetuate a system in which women are paid less for the same work as men,” she put her hands over her tissue-stuffed ears.
“Maybe she’d like what she heard if she listened,” sighed Axelrod.
When Obama talked about moving beyond “all the petty bickering,” as Hillary robo-nodded at his side and CNN’s Candy Crowley applied pre-broadcast lipstick above her, Carmella glared at people applauding.
So we just met up with a couple of die-hard Clinton supporters who said this unity event had not persuaded them to back Mr. Obama.
Carmella Lewis, 57, a retired ad saleswoman and a Clinton delegate from Denver, was carrying a big “Hillary” sign. She came all the way from Colorado for the event, even though she didn’t believe in it, because she wanted to convey her support to Mrs. Clinton.
“As a politician, she’s got to try to bring the party together,” Ms. Lewis said. “But I have a gut feeling that something’s going to happen so that she becomes the nominee.” She said she would not vote for Mr. Obama and that when he spoke, she stuffed her ears with tissue.
RELATED: The PUMAs are claiming that anywhere from 100 to 140 of them were protesting at the Unity rally (using “pu-math”), but I’ve been unable to find any evidence of this. Via photos and news accounts, there seem to have been only a handful of them in attendance. This young gentleman’s diary about the rally (w/ pics) was cute and I got a chuckle out of this:
There was a Clinton supporter carrying around a sign saying “The Democratic Party is a House Divided,” upsetting some people. I watched her carefully during the speeches, and afterwards she tore up the sign and asked where to volunteer.
LATE UPDATE: Go out for an evening and look what happens in the comments. Thanks to the sane folks who kept guard on the joint while I was visiting with some pals for the night. For the record, mslas from hillaryclintonforum.net, who sent the clown car hurtling in the direction of Rumproast, commented using seven different names tonight including emma, shannen009, donna, nancy, dean, and Rolland76251PUMA08!
The laughably misguided and transparently bogus Stop Barack Obama site (“a Democratic source of accurate information about candidate Obama”) is, sadly, calling it quits. Hardly anyone took it seriously during the primaries, including most rabidly anti-Obama Hillshills, because it was clearly written by one sad white douchebag, sorely in need of a hobby and a modicum of shame, pretending to be four ethnically-mixed fuckheads, ranging from the feisty Latino spitfire Juanita Gonzales (talk to the hand, bitches!) to perhaps the clumsiest attempt at sockpuppetry ever, “brotha” Jamal McCoy (“The amount of melanin in my epidermis has nothing to do with my family relations”).
I know some folks will welcome stop-obama.org’s demise as a harbinger of the future of the fragile network of the nutty anti-Obama blogs, but there’s a small part of me that’s sorry to see it go. I mean, my homie Jamal delivhud de bidness:
A relaxed observation about Barry’s Assassination Myth. Where did it come from, who conceived it, spun it and sustains it?
Answer: As part of his Eternal Victim the Reincarnated Martyr of American fancy-pantsy-elitist-Black Kennedy Liberator of the American Masses… Boz-0 pulled the trigger on himself in order to claim the Championship Title of America’s Ultimate Victim.
The Narrative of “Assassination, ” is as Total Knock Out as it gets. Beats any Blockbuster Hit Black and Blue, in suspense, drama, and Pure Kosher ParveBull Shit!
No, this doesn’t make me happy. The thing I’ve liked about Obama is that he’s been able to effectively communicate why conventional political “wisdom” and/or pandering is just plain wrong (see: gas tax holiday horseshit), so I’m a little baffled as to why he’s taking this FISA chicanery so far. It’s just not the far left loonies (read: me) who will be upset about his decision, there are plenty of moderates, independents and Republicans who are leaning toward voting for him and value the 4th amendment who won’t be pleased about it either. I never thought he was going to be perfect and I’ve certainly never elevated him up to “Messiah” status (quite frankly, I’ve seen very few people who have), but this one’s getting under my skin a bit.
That said, please don’t assume I’ve got buyer’s remorse or anything. Hillary was tacking far to the right during the goddamn Democratic primaries, so fuck yourself right off a cliff if you think I’m stumbling around my apartment in a daze muttering, “What have I done?” I’m fairly certain that even my favorite senator Bernie Sanders would let me down from time to time as president if, you know, hell ever froze over and he got the nod. In fact, there’s only one person who I would ever agree with all of the time in the role: me. But I don’t think any of you would be happy when I picked Susie Fogelson to be my secretary of state.*
My wife and I have a new funny we recently came up with that I figured I’d share with you folks. Whenever one of us says something the other person doesn’t agree with or want to hear, we respond: “Please take me off your mailing list.” Here’s a sample exchange:
Me: I put the new phone next to the cactus because I didn’t like where the old one was next to the window.
Me: Yeah, you had to lean over the rocking chair to get to the answering machine and I don’t like that people can hear our messages coming in if we have the window open.
Her: But doesn’t it look crowded next to the lamp?
Me: I moved the jar with the painted eggs.
Me: It looks good. Trust me.
Me: Please take me off your mailing list.
Feel free to use it at home. If it saves your marriage, we expect some nice flowers or a gift certificate or something.
Gorgeously-rendered esoteric comps like these are hard enough to track down for top dollar, so you’d damn well better go download them for free from the always excellent Egg City Radio:
[T]his three-disc Italian exploitation film soundtrack collection [Nate Thompson] made especially for his blog is too good to let fade away into the ether. Nate sez:
“Given the huge amount of great film music never commerically released in any format, I decided to cut together a series of suites of some outstanding titles that deserved some notice; here the spotlight turns on some of the great (well, in most cases) Italian composers whose work has often never gotten the credit it deserves. Taken from a variety of sources (video, M&E tracks, or whatever’s handy), these have been tweaked to sound as good as I can make ‘em; hopefully you’ll discover a few new gems in this three-part collection, entitled ‘Italian Blend’.
Puma PAC‘s founder Darragh Murphy was on New England Cable News Monday:
You can view another variant of the NECN story here.
In the confounding little world of the “millions and millions” of anti-Obama pity party poopers, Darragh Murphy runs the FEC-filed PAC called “P.U.M.A. PAC PEOPLE UNITED MEANS ACTION,” which is not to be confused with the group Will Bowers heads up that’s also called PUMA, but their acronym stands for Party Unity My Ass. Both groups fall under the “coalition” called Just Say No Deal (say it, go ahead!), which is essentially a tepid web link portal with occasional porn-ish Twin Peaks-style graphics scattered about its surface. All of this poorly-organized, politically-naive tomfoolery, led by dumb-as-doorknobs Dems, has one drool-cup-fueled goal: keep Barack Obama from being the 44th president of the United States to punish the DNC for letting him win the primary. That’s basically it. Confused? Well, you ought to be.
Darragh, like Will, describes herself as a lifelong Democrat who thinks Obama is an “illegal candidate” and invites others to join her who have been “disheartened, discouraged, or disgusted by the actions and inactions, the divisiveness and discriminations of the Democratic party, the press, the mainstream blogs, and many political leaders.” So I thought it was okay and relevant to ask Darragh what was wrong with the Democratic party and its “many political leaders” in the year 2000 when she donated $500 to John McCain’s primary campaign? Instead of posting a link to the easily and legally accessible FEC filings of her donation (Obamathug invasion of privacy!!!), I decided to ask her about the donation via email Tuesday morning:
Don’t you think it’s somewhat relevant as the founder of Puma PAC to disclose that you donated $500 to McCain’s primary campaign in 2000? I’m curious as to what was wrong with the Democratic party, Gore or Bradley that year? Any reason why a lifelong Democrat like yourself decided to jump ship eight years ago as well?
hey thanks for emailing me, and for publishing my personal info on the internet at the same time that you are too cowardly to identify yourself.*
Thank you as well for reminding me that I DID EVERYTHING I COULD in 2000 to prevent GEORGE BUSH from becoming the Republican nominee, including donating money to McCain’s campaign and voting for him in the Republican primary here in Massachusetts because I was confident that my hero, AL GORE, would win the primary for the Democrats.
I then went on to vote for Al in November of course. And WE ALL know how THAT turned out.
I am ashamed that you did not also DO EVERYTHING YOU COULD to prevent a disastrously unprepared and empty suit from getting the nomination in 2000. Oh wait, why should I be surprised? That’s exactly what ARE trying to do now in 2008.
So “lifelong Democrat” Darragh Murphy not only confirmed that she gave a sizable donation to John McCain in 2000 (and never gave a penny to her “hero” Al Gore), but she also admitted that she voted for McCain in the primaries as well.** Confused? Well, you ought to be.
She’ll be on Fox & Friends this morning. I forwarded them all of this info, but I doubt they’ll do anything with it. Fox News has invested too much time pushing this bogus PUMA narrative. The news director at New England Cable News, however, thanked me for the info and forwarded it to the reporter who interviewed Murphy. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
* According to this comment at her blog, Murphy seems to think I published her personal info at Huffington Post, which is patently false. I hardly ever read HuffPo and I have most certainly never commented there. Nor did I publish any info anywhere on the web about her before this post.
** I’m not sure what the rules in Massachusetts were in 2000, but I know currently you have to be registered Republican or “unenrolled” to vote in the Republican primaries in that state.
MORE: You can read my snarky reply to her email below the fold. Never got a response.
In 2001 Peter Lance, an Emmy-winning investigative journalist, was writing the screenplay for a movie called Terror.net for Showtime, a project that retained [Larry] Johnson as a consultant. The September 11 attacks occurred in the midst of pre-production, and as part of his rewrite, Lance followed a tip that Abdul Hakim Murad, a plotter of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, had revealed some of the planning for the next attacks while under interrogation in the Philippines. Johnson told Lance not to follow the tip: “He went ballistic,” Lance remembers. When Lance’s tip turned out to be right, Johnson worked to discredit it and keep it out of the movie. “Larry, to me, is one of the great empty suits,” Lance says now. “He is emblematic of what goes wrong in the agency, emblematic of the attitude that let 9-11 happen.”
I have my own peculiar Pat Buchanan story. I was at the Republican Convention in ‘04. The floor was getting wildly crowded for Schwarzenegger’s speech and, feeling a bit agoraphobic, I slipped out to view it on one of the many monitors available in the corridors. While watching the speech, I sensed someone standing behind me. I turned around. It was Pat, staring at me with something between contempt and hatred. Where did that come from? I had never met the man. Was it his disdain for Arnold or for who I was?
The implication being that Buchanan gave Roger the stink eye because he’s Jewish. Buchanan is renowned for being anti-semitic, but it’s quite a stretch to imagine that he makes a practice of scowling at random Jews, even ones who look like this. The most likely scenario? Buchanan had just rented Scenes from a Mall and someone had told him Roger was the screenwriter. In that case, Rog got off easy. He’s lucky Buchanan didn’t grab the back of his head and start bashing it into the nearest wall while yelling, “A surfing Woody Allen with a fucking ponytail!?! Are you fucking kidding me!?!”