aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Former Georgia senator Max Cleland confirmed Thursday he will not seek a 2008 rematch against Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who won Cleland’s seat in a bitter 2002 campaign.
Cleland, a Democrat who lost three limbs in Vietnam and uses a wheelchair, had campaigned aggressively for other Democratic candidates this year, leading some to speculate that he might be preparing for a run of his own. Still angry over 2002 political ads criticizing Cleland’s commitment to national security, many Democrats had hoped he would try to avenge the loss.
But through a spokesman, Cleland told The Associated Press Thursday that he would not challenge Chambliss. [...]
Democrats said to be considering a Senate bid include Rep. Jim Marshall of Macon, DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Vernon Jones and state office-holders such as Secretary of State Cathy Cox.
Cleland has acknowledged battling depression and said recently he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, possibly prompted by violence in Iraq triggering memories of Vietnam.
Whistle past Schaller!
The more I read about Whistling Past Dixie the angrier I get. And, again, it is not that I disagree with the diagnosis. I disagree with the prescription:
Schaller speaks ill of the South. The very heart of his argument is a taboo notion: that the South votes Republican because the Republicans have perfected their appeal to Southern racism, and that Democrats simply can’t (and shouldn’t) compete.
But, among scholars, this is hardly news. Schaller builds this conclusion on one of the most impressive papers in recent political science, “Old Times There Are Not Forgotten: Race and Partisan Realignment in the Contemporary South,” by Nicholas Valentino and David Sears.
Swell. They prove racism. I stand by my belief that the race problem we’ve got in this country is a national one and that it’s easier to point fingers at the South than it is to honestly address the national problem of our public schools and prison population and urban poverty and all the rest.
What’s more, if Republicans have succeeded by openly baiting a region of the country not really American (the latte-swilling Northeast), Schaller says, “The Democrats need their own ‘them,’ and the social conservatives who are the bedrock of Southern politics provide the most obvious and burdensome stone to hang around the Republicans’ neck.” Democrats should cite “Southern obstructionism as a continuing impediment to the investments and progress the country must make in the coming century.”
The Democratic party played a shameful role in shaping that Southern racism, and how does the Schaller crowd propose to make amends for that historical fact? Well, of course, they don’t. Schaller proposes to use that racism tactically, a tactic that reeks of elitist paternalism and an inflated sense of superiority.
How would his “win in the rest of the country then the South will come around” approach have played out in the Civil Rights era? The Democrats should be on the ground here, not “playing to white voters’ inclinations to see blacks as lazy” but working to buttress and support those who don’t.
I read today of Howard Dean speaking in Texas. The headline was Dems need more gay leaders. But the part of the story that had resonance for me was this:
Flush from big Democratic gains in last week’s elections, Dean emphasized that the “new Democratic Party” reaches out to all citizens, even those less likely to vote for them.
The downfall of the “old Democratic Party,” he said, had been its acceptance to represent half the nation.
Netroots activists balk about DC political consultants acting as beltway operators when what we need, they say, is a means to hear, understand and address the concerns of those of us who live outside the beltway. I hear Schaller sounding like the former, Dean the latter. I’m with Dean.
Comedy Central expires
I was happy to hear of the new Comedy Central embedded player and I agree with Steve who pledges he’ll “embed video directly from the source when the source makes it as easy to share as YouTube.” But now he finds:
The embedded clips from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report expire. That’s right: they only allow them to live online for about two weeks. I was about to embed a clip in this space from The Colbert Report when I noticed fine print that says “This clip expires 12/14/2006.” Why let it expire? ... In order to be a YouTube beater, they’re going to have to renegotiate those licensing agreements. Blog archives go far deeper than two weeks.
Of course, I can imagine the same limits imposed on YouTube videos. Have they never heard of The Long Tail???
I want the Google ad model applied to video. Embed the ads in a border around the player, include click-to-play ads but DO NOT make us sit through an ad to watch the video. And match the ads to the video content. I think that’s advertising magic - or at least as magical as adsense.
REMEMBER: You’ve heard this all before.
Freepers Shaken and stirred by gay Bond scene
Daniel Craig is urging movie bosses to revolutionize the James Bond franchise by including a gay scene involving the superspy in the follow-up to Casino Royale.
The heart-throb actor has also reportedly told studio chiefs he is prepared to film a full frontal nude scene to please both his male and female admirers.
He says, “Why not? I think in this day and age, fans would have accepted it.”
“I mean, look at (British TV series) Doctor Who - that has had gay scenes in it and no one blinks an eye.”
Via Pam, whose gathered a choice collection of Actual Freeper QuotesÃ¢â€žÂ¢
Feed publishing Best Practices
Niall Kennedy’s put together all you need to know about feeds:
Web feed syndication is made up of two base vocabularies: RSS 2.0 and the Atom Syndication Format. These base vocabularies are extended using namespaces to create a common set of expressions for your web feed data. In this post I’ll walk through some best practices for publishers syndicating their data via web feeds. READ ON
Change in Chile
The WaPo reports on those eager shed Chile’s questionable label as the most culturally conservative country in Latin America:
Groups that have historically determined Chile’s cultural norms—including the Supreme Court, the Catholic Church and a traditional class of political elites—are now being tested on multiple fronts.
A new national policy, for example, offers free morning-after pills to anyone 14 or older. Congress is debating proposals to explicitly protect the legal rights of gays and other minorities. Another proposal that would allow “merciful deaths” to terminally ill patients has ignited a debate about euthanasia. And a government-funded AIDS prevention campaign launched this month shows school-age girls and a gay couple, among others, promoting condom use. The campaign has riled Catholic Church leaders.
For a country that legalized divorce just two years ago, the pace of the changes is remarkable.
They have a woman president:
As president, Michelle Bachelet—an agnostic, separated mother of three—stands at the center of many of the cultural disputes. She was inaugurated in March after running a campaign that emphasized social tolerance. Though she is part of the same governing coalition that has held the presidency since Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship was ousted 16 years ago, her style of governance at times has been markedly different from those of her predecessors.
For example, Bachelet, a former health minister and pediatrician, pushed for the distribution of free morning-after pills without extensive consultation with more conservative members of the ruling coalition—lawmakers who for years have successfully put the brakes on culturally divisive proposals. [...]
Though it was a bitter fight in political circles, the morning-after pill issue didn’t affect Bachelet’s approval rating, which increased slightly after the controversy. One poll conducted about three weeks ago placed her approval rating at 59 percent, higher than the 53 percent of the total vote she was elected by in January.