aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Obama regaining in national poll
Via Joe Gandelman who has analysis and a round-up of blog reaction.
Meanwhile, the NYTimes says pastors across the country are planning to weave issues of race into their Easter sermons as a consequence of Obama’s speech.
Not everyone in Georgia loves Wal-Mart
A federal judge today upheld a Georgia man’s First Amendment right to criticize Wal-Mart’s business practices by using satire to compare its destructive effects on communities to both the Holocaust and al-Qaeda terrorists.In rejecting the company’s claim of trademark infringement, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta found that Charles Smith’s parody Web sites (www.walocaust.com and www.walqaeda.com) and related novelty merchandise were protected speech and that a reasonable person would not confuse their use with Wal-Mart’s legitimate trademarks. The court also rejected Wal-Mart’s claim that it has trademark rights in the “smiley-face” that Smith used in one of his parodies.
Public Citizen and the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia Foundation defended Smith after Wal-Mart sued the Conyers, Ga. man in 2006, claiming he infringed on its trademark by creating parody logos and Web sites built around the “Walocaust” and “Wal-Qaeda” concepts, including the image of an eagle clutching a yellow smiley face, similar to the one Wal-Mart uses in advertising. Smith also put the design on T-shirts, bumper stickers and other items that he sold on CafePress.com.
Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr.’s decision reaffirms an important point of trademark law â€“ that even though a parody is placed on a T-shirt and sold, it nevertheless represents non-commercial speech that is fully protected by the First Amendment and, thus, is not a proper basis for a trademark action, said Paul Alan Levy, a Public Citizen attorney, who represented Smith along with Gerald Weber of Atlanta.
Oh. My. Gawd!
Via Matt Yglesias, “I’m speechless.”
LATER: Joe Sudbay (DC) at AMERICAblog, “It’s no Hillary4UandMe."
If it don’t make you ache inside you got no feeling left in you:
Around 1910, [Mary Ellen Noone’s great-grandmother Pinky] Powell lived on a plantation in Lowndes County, Ala., where “she would wash and iron for this white woman.”
“One day the lady had thrown away some of her old perfume and nail polish that had dried up. So [Powell] took it home and added some ingredients to the nail polish that made it pliable,” Noone says. “Well, when Sunday came, she got all dressed up and painted her nails and put on that perfume and went to church.
“On Monday, she went to the general store, and when she was ready to check out, the white owner asked her, ‘What are you doing with your nails painted up like a white woman?’ He proceeded to pick up a pair of pliers and he pulled out my grandmama’s nails out of its bed one by one.”
Noone, 65, says she often wondered as a child why her great-grandmother’s nails were so deformed.
“Every time I look at enamel red finger polish, I have a flashback, and I see red,” Noone says. “I still have that anger inside of me that someone would have that control over one person just because they wanted to feel like a woman.”
Of course I was pleased to hear Bill Richardson say just now on The Today Show that his endorsement came as a result of Obama’s speech on race:
I’m a hispanic. And I felt that what he said about being a nation of all us being together and not stereotyping, really clinched it.
I read Richardson as generous in discussing Clinton, and making the call, but as with John Lewis it was an intensely difficult decision and the Clintons didn’t make it any easier.
An example from the NYTimes today:
“An act of betrayal,” said James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend of Mr. Clinton.
“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.
I once had great admiration for Carville but that’s now long gone. He’s become a smarmy snake-oil salesman who will do whatever it takes to keep his spot on Meet The Press next to his fact-challenged wife.
John Edwards is unlikely to endorse either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton before the nomination is decided, according to interviews with several members of the former candidate’s inner circle.
At least three individuals who have recently spoken to Edwards expect that he will choose to stay out of the fight, though they warn that no one other than his wife, Elizabeth, can be certain of his thinking.
“My gut instinct, at this point: He’s probably going to remain neutral and sort of try to play on that Al Gore status as party elder,” said a former Edwards operative who is in regular contact with the former North Carolina senator and who asked that his name be withheld.
So for the moment it doesn’t look like there are any more big endorsements on the horizon. But then, times change....