Death of a Love Story

This is the first diary I've posted on MYDD in months. What prompted me to crosspost this from The Motley Moose was seeing a diary by MYDD's resident homophobe.

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Death of a Love Story

Life is often like a smooth flowing stream. Day follows day with only small ripples to disturb the surface and then, unexpectedly, a large rock breaks the current. Sometimes that rock is more like a surging rapid and at other times, it takes a sudden plunge over a waterfall. We have little control over the current. We can only ride out whatever the stream brings our way.

When J and R awoke on that quiet Wednesday morning, life seemed tranquil and serene. As on any other weekday, J prepared for work while R set the table for their shared breakfast routine. There was little to indicate that this day would be any different from the days that had come before it. Unfortunately, unknown to this loving couple, a waterfall loomed ahead.

R, as a self-employed writer, spent the day in front of a computer, while J went to work as an accountant at a large corporation. The two loving partners had played out this same routine for nearly thirty years. They both agreed that life had been good to them.

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GBCW diaries and other trivia - update on grassrootsorganizer

In recent days, there have been several diaries bemoaning the level of discord on this site. There have been other diaries that started flame wars that lasted for days. The sad thing about these occurrences is that it is nothing new.

On June 28th, I wrote a diary about the same problem. Mine was titled "Petition to site moderators and owner". It proved fairly popular. It garnered almost 30 recs and generated 165 comments. That makes it obvious that this is an ongoing problem.

There have been several diaries like mine that try to get the site back on track. Most users come here because they believe it is a site dedicated to progressive values and to getting more progressives elected. What they have been finding since this election cycle started is something entirely different.

One valuable contributor to this site finally had enough and wrote a diary that was in some ways similar to mine. Grassrootsorganizer had already contributed several excellent diaries to the site. She was a much needed voice of sanity in the constant troll wars. Her diary was deleted and her account was blocked shortly after that diary was posted. This was quite a shock to most regular users who were familiar with her postings.

She sent me an email earlier today to explain what had happened. I had made a comment in a thread that made it obvious I hadn't known about her getting banned. She decided to fill me in about it. I wrote back asking permission to use quotes from her email in a diary and she gave me the go-ahead. Here is what she had to say about the event.

I'm writing you about your recent comment on MyDD about my diary on Saturday.  So you know, not only was my diary deleted but I was completely banned -- can't post, rate, rec or comment...

The title of the diary was "MyDD: not safe for Democrats and other living things"
It did not slam the administrators or any other posters specifically.  It only said I had gone through the sad process that morning of removing MyDD from my toolbar because I was finding the place destructive to my morale.  I wrote I was tired of waking up every morning and spending most evenings defending the party's candidate from malicious lies and slurs.  I wrote about coming there to engage in intelligent debate and the trade of informed comment and how I had grown tired of recommending substantive diaries only to see them shoved off the rec list by a never-ending supply of troll related diaries.  I also wrote that you know a political forum has jumped the shark when the discussion shifts to personal issues entirely, for example, why my inner child doesn't trust Obama.
MY biggest point however was that the place was sucking the oxygen out of my resolve to see Obama elected -- it was turning me against my fellow Democrats and sapping energy from my support for Obama.  I also made the point that if I wanted to stay in touch with the latest breaking garbage on Obama I didn't need to go over to Redstate, I could count on finding it there first.  
My intent was to start a reasoned discussion on how the nature of the site was effecting folks.  But within two minutes it was on the rec list and within ten minutes it was gone, and so was my account.

I find it completely bewildering why a site would ban someone like grassrootsorganizer and at the same time allow users like this one or this one to continue to post. Many other users wonder the same thing.

Speculating about the thought processes of the mods or owner on this site may be useless, but I do think one of the reasons is based purely on ad revenue. Issues diaries and ones that are positive about the candidates get little attention, and therefore few page views. The controversial diaries get lots of comments and draw visitors from noquarter and other anti-Obama sites.

If I was running the site I'd be very leery about trying to calm things down. Cutting ad revenue means cutting resources dedicated to the site. I can see why the discord has been allowed to run unchecked on the site, since all sites are supported by advertising.

What I don't understand is banning good progressives and letting trolls post whatever they want. It makes me wonder just how dedicated this site is to progessive values. It appears as if it might actually be part of the 2012 Clinton campaign.

Whatever the reason for the way the moderation on this site operates, I'm going to start devoting my time and writing skills to other sites. I came here to be a part of this exciting time in the progressive movement. It's pretty obvious that I'm wasting my time here and letting this historic moment pass me by. That's not something I want to happen.

It won't really matter if I get banned for this diary. I'm not going to waste any more time fighting trolls. The 'Net is a big place. This is only one site out of billions. There are dozens of good progressive sites out there.

Have fun, everyone. See you around the blogosphere. This isn't GBCW it is GBMYDD.

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"The ONE" Obama is the Messiah

The McCain camp has issued a new ad in which they ridicule Obama as being "The One". I first saw reference to this ad earlier today in a diary on MYDD.

When I first saw the ad I thought to myself that it was pretty lame. I watched it several more times and noticed how out of context the statements used in the ad were from the real quotes by Obama.

The ad hits several points of supposed hubris from Barack. The first is to ridicule him as "The One". Of course, we all know Obama has never said anything remotely like this about himself. They use a clip of Barack saying, "We are the ones we have been waiting for..." Not quite the same thing is it?

The next point made in the ad is that he has annointed himself as "The One". Rachel Maddow tears this one apart in the video posted below. She does it far better than I could, so I'll let her do it for me.

Next they use the last few seconds from an interview on Face the Nation where he is asked if he has any doubts. His answer is, "Never." Now, of course, the question wasn't whether he ever has doubts about anything. It was about whether he had any doubts of winning the election. Anyone in his position would be working against himself if they allowed doubts to creep in. The comment comes in the last 10-15 seconds of the video. I've posted the video at the end of the diary if you want to watch it.

Then they hit the speech he gave mocking Hillary for implying that his followers see him as the Messiah. This was about her "the sky will open..." mockery in a speech in Rhode Island. He is parodying the idea, yet they present it as if he really believes that.

The one place in the whole ad where they actually use something that has merit is his comments in his victory speech about "the moment the planet began to heal." They then show a stupid clip of Charlton Heston as Moses.

The Moses clip was the only part of the ad I thought was effective, but it wasn't enough to salvage the whole thing.

I found this video on Matt Yglesias' site. It was there as an example of how good Rachel Maddow is on television. Quote from the post on Matt's blog - "So there are all these liberals in the country. Probably if you took a smart liberal who performs well on television and made her the host of a TV show, those liberals would watch that show. Just a theory."

She is addressing the "Symbol" portion of the ad.

Face the Nation interview where Obama says, "Never."

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Hope once again rears its ugly head - new AIDS research

The July 16th issue of Science Daily included an article about a research program at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston believe they have found a way to kill the virus that causes HIV.

Even though this was published two weeks ago, the news is just now appearing in the MSM. The news is an encouraging sign in the battle against HIV and AIDS.

The core part of the research focuses on antibodies that attack a non-changing part of the virus. Since the HIV virus is very changeable, regular antibody research has failed to produce a vaccine. This new approach holds out great promise.

"The work of Dr. Paul's group is highly innovative. They have identified antibodies that, instead of passively binding to the target molecule, are able to fragment it and destroy its function.  Their recent work indicates that naturally occurring catalytic antibodies, particularly those of the IgA subtype, may be useful in the treatment and prevention of HIV infection," said Steven J. Norris, Ph.D., holder of the Robert Greer Professorship in the Biomedical Sciences and vice chair for research in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the UT Medical School at Houston.

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Obama should hit back - he's too weak.

Every once in awhile someone writes a diary complaining because they don't think the Obama campaign is hitting back hard enough on McCain. Well, here's a new ad that should please those people. I couldn't find a source for the ad only so I used this MSNBC clip that discusses it. The ad starts around 2:30 in.

Update [2008-7-30 16:20:55 by MS01 Indie]: Here is a link to an article with a video of the ad by itself. Thanks to Glaurung downthread for posting the link.

Then, just for the fun of it, there is this new anti-McCain video that has just been released on youtube. It has already been placed in a front page diary. I thought it was good enough to get another plug.

Update [2008-7-30 15:59:10 by MS01 Indie]: I had to add this video. I found a link to it on TPM.

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Is Hillary the worst possible choice? [Updated title]

The discussions about who Obama will pick as his running mate are heating up the closer we get to the convention. While this happens every cycle, it is even more heated in this one, primarily because of the closeness of the primary race.

While no one really knows who he will pick, everyone has their own preference. Where it really gets complicated is when it comes to Hillary supporters.

Many Hillary supporters say she is the only choice. If she isn't on the ticket then they won't vote for the Democratic nominee for president. These are the 'pick Hillary or else' crowd. Other Hillary supporters don't think she should accept even if offered the slot. Their argument seems to be that it would be a step down for her. These are the 'top-spot or nothing' crowd. Still others will accept someone other than Hillary as long as it isn't another woman. I guess these are the 'Don't insult Hillary' crowd. Lastly, there are Hillary supporters who are planning on voting for Obama no matter who he picks for his running mate. These are in the 'I just want to win' crowd.

Like I said, it gets really complicated.

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McCain lies again. The true reason for the drop in oil prices.

Earlier today, I happened to catch John McCain on a news show. He was making the claim that oil prices had fallen because of President George W. Bush lifted the Executive Ban on drilling for oil in ANWR and off-shore areas in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Pacific Ocean.

I didn't really pay much attention to his claim until I received an email from a conservative mailing list I signed up for that made the same claim. It looks like this is going to be a new line of attack from the Right, so I decided to investigate the claim. There should be enough information in this diary and the linked articles to help any of you win a discussion on this issue.

A search for a video or an online article with McCain's quote in it wasn't available. However, here is a quote from the conservative mailer I received. It contains another quote from a columnist in the Toledo Blade who is making the same claim.

More after the jump...

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Obama's Problem with Jewish Voters Debunked - with poll numbers

There has been quite a bit of talk about the problems Barack Obama has in certain demographic groups. The groups that are supposedly problematic for Barack include women, Hispanics, working class whites, and Jews.

While Obama's aupport among working class whites could still prove to be a problem, it is currently as good as Kerry's or Gore's support among this group. His support among the other groups mentioned above, however, has increased markedly since the end of the primaries.

While Hispanics favored Hillary Clinton during the primaries, they  moved strongly to Obama once it became apparent he was the presumptive nominee. A July 2nd Gallup report showed Obama with a 30 point lead among Hispanics.

Female voters are another group that has shown strong support for Obama since mid-June. A July report from ABC shows Obama with a 15% lead among women.

The last group mentioned above and the source for the title of this diary is a small, but important group. Jews have long been a major part of the Democratic party's base of support. Jews not only overwhelmingly support the Democrats, they also are among the most politically active when it comes to giving their time and money to progressive causes. This makes the Jewish vote much more important than the raw voter numbers would indicate.

During, and shortly after the primaries, many articles were written about Obama's "Jewish problem". Apparently, that problem has faded away without much notice. A recent poll, by the Jewish activist group J Street, shows Obama with a 30 point lead over McCain among Jewish adults. Given McCain's 34/57 favorable/unfavorable ratings among this group of voters, I expect this lead to become larger the closer we get to the election.

The support is there for Obama. Now all we have to do is draw a clear line between McCain and Obama. The voters will do the rest.

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Are your hands bloody?

The American people have a high opinion of this country's goodness. Polls show that the majority of people in this country think it is the greatest, most generous country in the world. They also believe it is the moral leader of the world. Sadly, those who believe this the most are nothing more than war crimes enablers.

History is replete with examples of power gone bad, much like the example given by the Bush administration. The truly sad thing is that the people that actually enable this evil will never be held accountable for their support. Without a doubt, every person who voted for Bush/Cheney in 2004 has blood on his or her hands.

Long before the election, it was well known that the Bush administration encouraged the use of torture and was in the habit of imprisoning people with no more cause than unproven accusations. Those imprisoned were denied all legal rights and were held under what amounted to unending imprisonment.

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First the bad news then the good

The bad news (at least, for some), Andrew Sullivan says we are stuck with him.

The good news - a nasty, discriminatory law may finally be repealed.

I would imagine, given the political awareness on this site, that most people who are reading this diary are aware that US policy bars entry to people who are HIV-positive. The ban first became official policy under the guidance of our favorite bigot, Jesse Helms.

That ban has been under review in the latest version of a new Senate bill known as PEPFAR. That bill passed today without an amendment that would have extended the ban.

The bill authorizes funding for HIV and Aids spending in the developing world. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama tried to pick up Helms' bigotry baton by submitting an amendment that would have kept the travel ban in place. That amendment was rejected in the final bill that passed today.

Very few countries have such a travel ban. The ones that do are not countries you would want to have the USA associated with under normal circumstances. It looks like our country may finally remove one stigma on our name.

I will leave it to others with more knowledge of this subject to diary the background of this ban and why it needed to be revoked. I just discovered the news and saw that it hadn't been blogged yet. It's time we had a progressive victory to cheer about, so I decided to write it up.

Oh yeah, about Andrew Sullivan - he's ecstatic. Understandably so. He can now stay in this country and apply for citizenship, something that has been denied him because of his HIV-positive status.

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