Sunday, August 31, 2008

RNC Day 1 Cancelled

I'm not sure how this will affect the events on the RNC Calendar, but Day 1 of the RNC has been cancelled, although a quorum of Republican delegates will be in town tomorrow.

From NYT:

ST. PAUL —Senator John McCain said Sunday afternoon that Republicans would suspend most activities on the first day of their convention on Monday because of Hurricane Gustav.

Mr. McCain, speaking by satellite from St. Louis, also said he was optimistic that the mistakes of Katrina would not be repeated. And he called on his fellow Republicans to “take off our Republican hats and put on out American hats.”

On Monday, the Republican Party will conduct only its essential business of convening the convention, adopting its rules, electing its officers and adopting the party platform. Rick Davis, a top McCain aide, said the convention would only be convened from 3 p.m. Central time to about 5 or 5:30 p.m. The Republicans need a quorum on the floor to conduct their business.

Mr. Davis left open the possibility that Mr. McCain might not attend. He said the nominee is not required to attend, but since this convention is “the culmination of his political career,” he wants to be here but he “won’t do anything deemed inappropriate.”

Earlier in the day, President Bush said he would not attend the convention on Monday because of Gustav, and the White House spokeswoman, Dana M. Perino, said Vice President Dick Cheney also would not attend it.

Dowd: VP in Go-Go Boots

I'm a big fan of Maureen Dowd's columns, she makes interesting points in very enjoyable ways. I highly recommend today's column Vice in Go-Go Boots?

Great paragraphs follow:

Americans, suspicious that the Obamas have benefited from affirmative action without being properly grateful, and skeptical that Michelle really likes “The Brady Bunch” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” reject the 47-year-old black contender as too uppity and untested.

Instead, they embrace 72-year-old John McCain and 44-year-old Sarah Palin, whose average age is 58, a mere two years older than the average age of the Obama-Biden ticket. Enthusiastic Republicans don’t see the choice of Palin as affirmative action, despite her thin résumé and gaping absence of foreign policy knowledge, because they expect Republicans to put an underqualified “babe,” as Rush Limbaugh calls her, on the ticket. They have a tradition of nominating fun, bantamweight cheerleaders from the West, like the previous Miss Congeniality types Dan Quayle and W., and then letting them learn on the job. So they crash into the globe a few times while they’re learning to drive, what’s the big deal?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

RNC Events Calendar

This calendar represents all the current events that I am aware of. This list will continue to grow throughout the week. Check back frequently.

Events on the Calendar are not endorsed by the Carleton Democrats, Carleton College or even myself. This Calendar is only meant to be informative, but does not render judgment on events on the calendar or events that have been left out.

Below you can see the goofy blog version of the calendar or look at it better here.

For our Republican Friends...

Carleton doesn't have too many Students for McCain although I can think of a handful and this post is for them.

Want to support John McCain? Shell out 6 dollars for this nifty green plastic pen (retail 25 cents).

Summer Wrap-Up; Administrative Notes

Since June 1st, Jill Rodde, Evan Rowe, and I have been blogging about Minnesota and National politics, Carleton students and faculty in the news, and other news that we share. Since September 1st represents the end of summer (socially, traditionally), I thought I would provide some descriptive statistics about this summer and some information about the coming months.

First the stats (this information is from June 1, 2008 to August 30, 2008[now]):

1,949 Absolute Unique Visitors
2,261 Visits
with 3,095 pageviews
Average Time on Site: 1:15

All of the authors of this blog are full-time college students and we appreciate the readers who have followed us from the beginning, as well as those who have joined along the journey. Carleton College begins classes on September 15th, and we are all involved in things prior to classes beginning. What this means for you: less frequent posts, but hopefully more authors and a continuation of the commitment to the quality we have provided thus far.

Palin Reactions; One-Stop Shop

Here are a variety of reactions about John McCain's choice of Tina Fey Sarah Palin as his Vice-President. You can see our reactions and posts at the bottom of this post.

First, a background of Palin by MoveOn

  • She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.

  • Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.

  • She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.

  • Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.

  • She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.

  • She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska. also here and here.

  • How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.

  • Reactions from politicians who know her:

  • The reaction wasn't so rosy elsewhere. State Senate President Lyda Green said she thought it was a joke when someone called her at 6 a.m. to give her the news.

    "She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?" said Green, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"

  • Anchorage Democratic state Sen. Hollis French said it's a huge mistake by McCain and "reflects very, very badly on his judgment." French said Palin's experience running the state for less than two years hasn't prepared her for this.

    Alaska Democratic Party chairwoman Patti Higgins, attending her party's national convention in Denver, said she was shocked to hear the news this morning.

    "In this very competitive election for them to go pick somebody who is ... under a cloud of suspicion, who is under investigation for abuse of power. It just sounds like a pretty slow start to me," Higgins said.

  • Reaction from citizens:

    (via Moveon)

    She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. —Rose M., Fairbanks, AK

    She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. —Christine B., Denali Park, AK

    As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. —Karen L., Anchorage, AK

    Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.—Sherry C., Anchorage, AK

    She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. —Marina L., Juneau, AK

    I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.—Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK

    Reactions from Republican Blogs and Commentators:

    (Via Minnesota Democrats

    Thoughts Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 10:46 am

    I’m going to vote for John McCain no matter what, but I don’t like this pick. Lets be honest. Obama lacks the qualifications to serve as President because he doesn’t even have 4 years of experience. Gov Palin doesn’t even have 2 years. It is difficult to argue she could govern on day 1. Same problem Obama has.

    ansel Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    and as the male chauvinist pig that i am, she is d-y-n-a-m-i-t-e for the tv cameras.

    Skydancer Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 11:30 am

    This was a wonderful choice. Perhaps with a McCain-Palin in the White House we’ll finally open up Alaska’s ANWAR to drilling to help our economy.

    Geraldine who?
    Hillary who?

    Their “accomplishments” which are relegated in defeat, will only become footnotes in history when Vice President Palin becomes the first woman to serve at the head of the ticket and WIN!

    Political Muse Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 11:31 am

    But at least she is HOT…

    Abraxia Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 11:50 am

    First, she’s not a Quayle. She’s a fox.

    Second, I await when she beats Tommy down with the butt of a rifle.

    Third, she’s a solid pick and one of the better ones around. I’ve been pulling for her for nearly a month and a half, and I’m glad that I was a part of REAL history.

    RamseyRep Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 1:51 pm


    Does it hurt that Palin is smart and easy on the eye’s?

    This is what your ugly party is used too.

    What the Carleton Democrats have written:

    Palin needs educatin'

    In the above clip we learn that Sarah Palin (pronouced PAY-lin) wonders what the Vice-President does (start wars and protect the president?).

    Sarah Palin is the most inexperienced person to be anywhere near the presidency (there's a chance that some hyperbole snuck in there).

    I hope Alaska doesn't need any governing because Sarah Palin will be busy campaigning and learning everything she'll have know to not look like a fool in her October 2 debate with Joe Biden (she's got 33 days) (she also needs to know that stuff for...governing?). Good thing her Lt. Governor just lost his bid for Congress (by less than a 150 votes).

    Either way, below you can watch her discuss her problems with a legislative investigation.

    Crocodile Tears for Tim Pawlenty

    It's time to wave our hankies at the legions of disappointed right-wing Minnesota bloggers. Tim Pawlenty's lack of any distinguishing political characteristics (like, say, "courage" or "convictions") finally caught up with him. Perhaps he shouldn't have cut the mullet so soon.

    How is a Minnesota DFLer to react? It's fair to say that two more years of Pawlenty, however painful, is better than two years of Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau. Her serial incompetence as Transportation Commissioner and borderline corruption while in the Legislature would leave us pining for Tim's simple lack of principles. While I would have been morbidly curious to see how far down Molnau could take us, it's better not to go down that sewer.

    But then, the hype about Pawlenty was always overrated. He won re-election here by only the narrowest of margins, and certainly couldn't have delivered Minnesota to the GOP. He has no particular legacy to highlight or ideological tendency to cater to. And, most importantly, no one knows (or really cares) who he is.

    John "Keating Five" McCain's ballyhooed "integrity and honesty" is the only reason that anyone expected this political chameleon to get the Number 2 slot. "Pawlenty's been with McCain from Day 1, and McCain sticks with his friends through thick and thin," said the punditocracy.

    Well, Pawlenty found out today what a good chunk of the country has been sadly seeing over the last several months.

    As ye sow, so shall ye reap. Pawlenty has been a shallow governor, and I can only feel the shallowest of sympathy for his "bruised feelings" at being "strung out" by McCain.

    Now all Pawlenty has to do is account for the time he's been playing politics for McCain (and taking many "official gubernatorial trips" to decidedly non-Midwestern states on the state's dime). I'd like my money back, Tim.

    Friday, August 29, 2008

    Another woman

    As Pablo has been diligently reporting, John McCain has chosen Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. I watched the speech. I wasn't terribly impressed by her, not least of all because of what she represents coming out of the McCain campaign.

    The commentary on the cable news channel I was watching described this pick as a chance for McCain to get into the "Change" narrative proactively. Of course, he's trying to win over Clinton supporters who feel slighted because their candidate lost. I'm not sure it will be effective (mostly because I'm not sure there are all that many disaffected Clintonites to recruit) and I can tell you it could turn a lot of women off.

    Why Sarah Palin? Because McCain needs "a woman or minority to counter Hillary or Obama and put to rest the idea that America only elects white males".

    Well, point one, America pretty much does only elect White males. But moreover, "to counter" Clinton or Obama?

    Look, I do look at every female candidate with pride, because it's important to represent a whole spectrum of female experiences--and that includes those of conservative women like Palin--but I don't vote for every one of them.

    Sarah Palin is not going to talk about equal pay. Sarah Palin is not going to talk about gender discrimination in the workplace. She isn't going to talk about how the economy affects women differently, and she isn't going to talk about family and medical leave. She's not going to talk about violence against women.

    I don't want a woman who isn't going to represent women. I don't want a candidate who isn't going to represent women. I need someone who understands what women my age are talking about when we tell them about the price of birth control, or the problem of sexual assault on college campuses. I need someone who understands that I need medical care that respects me, and not my potential motherhood.

    Maybe I'll be wrong, and Palin will stand up for women who don't have the privilege of not caring about those problems. Maybe. But maybe not. It's another 10% chance I'm not willing to take.

    Not curricular

    The U.S. Court of Appeals has, for the second time, ruled against Osseo (MN) Area Schools, which does not want to recognize the student group SAGE (Straights and Gays for Equality) at Maple Grove High School.

    According to the article, Osseo and MGHS do not want to provide the group with the same privileges as other student groups because it is not "curricular", unlike the synchronized swimming team, and the pep squad. To be clear, those "privileges" include use of the PA system and permission to poster the school--no funding is at stake here.

    The Court ruled correctly again. Time to wake up.

    Daily Show Video; Barack Obama: He Completes Us.

    Sarah Palin's Parents Out Hunting Caribou

    This is fun. Sarah Palin's parents almost didn't make it to the radio (yes, radio) because they were out hunting caribou (yes, caribou), and the river was swollen. A very different lifestyle...Alaska.

    Read the full report below.

    From CBS News:

    Alaska Governor Sarah Palin"s parents were called early this morning at their home in Wasilla and told to "listen to the radio" by Palin"s husband, Tim.

    Palin"s father, Chuck Heath, says he and his wife were caribou hunting when they were told to come home and tune into their local radio station to hear "exciting news," but said he did not know if his daughter was the choice for John McCain"s vice president.

    "The river was swollen, so we almost didn"t get back," Palin"s mother, Sally Heath, told CBS News.

    The two said they said the call was "a wonderful surprise."

    "I am shocked!" said Mrs. Heath.

    Clyburn on Palin

    Majority Whip Clyburn put forward the first Democratic critique of McCain's VP choice on South Carolina ETV Radio this morning:
    "I do believe that McCain has to do something to reshuffle the cards, shake up the establishment, do something unexpected and Governor Palin...has all the kinds of things that McCain might see as a way to shake things up. I think (her selection) would be something similar to Dan Quayle...Dan Quayle proved to be sort of an embarrassment as a campaigner. Being thrust on a national stage like that could be very tough. Now Mondale tried to shake things up by going with Geraldine Ferraro...she proved to be a disaster as a running mate. And as a campaigner, she was absolutely awful. And so I just think that it is very risky for McCain to do this, but it may be all he has left."

    Sarah Palin: Republican VP Pick; McCain reads this Blog?

    John McCain makes this interesting!

    He has chosen 44 year old Alaska GovernorSarah Palin as his Vice-President.

    This means several things:

    1. John McCain has undercut the "experience" critique of Barack Obama. Sarah Palin has the following experience: four years on the Wasilla City Council (pop < 1,000), a year on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, a year and a half as Governor of Alaska. If McCain is elected, this woman would be a heart beat away from the presidency.

    2. This election becomes more historic. First Black President or First Female Vice President.

    3. McCain continues his play for disgruntled (lost/crazy) Clinton Democrats. For previous signs of this see here, here.

    4. McCain's age may become a bigger issue, first his mortality seems more dangerous (see point 1), second how can John McCain NOT look old next to a 44 year old former Beauty Queen.

    5. John McCain is trying to get away from Bush. Far away. Picking an unknown governor from Alaska far.

    6. There are HUNDREDS of interns and young staffers around the country researching Sarah Palin.

    7. John McCain's staff reads this blog?
    maybe someone more interesting like Alaska's governor Sarah Palin.

    8. Minnesota is stuck with Gov. T-Paw until 2010.

    In Case You Missed It: Obama last night

    Video (text below):

    Text of Speech:

    August 28, 2008
    The American Promise
    Barack Obama

    Democratic Convention at Invesco Field
    Denver, Colorado
    As Prepared for Delivery

    To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation;

    With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

    Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest - a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

    To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia - I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.

    Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story - of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

    It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

    That's why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women - students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

    We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

    Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

    These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

    America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

    This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

    This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

    We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

    Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

    Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

    But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

    The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives - on health care and education and the economy - Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors - the man who wrote his economic plan - was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

    A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

    Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

    It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

    For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.

    Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.

    You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

    We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President - when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

    We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work.

    The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great - a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

    Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

    In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

    When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

    And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

    I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.

    What is that promise?

    It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

    It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

    Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

    Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

    That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

    That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.

    Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

    Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

    I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

    I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

    And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

    Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

    Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

    As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

    America, now is not the time for small plans.

    Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

    Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

    Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

    Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

    And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

    Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.

    And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

    Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise.

    And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

    For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

    And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

    That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

    You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice - but it is not the change we need.

    We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

    As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

    I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

    These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

    But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.

    The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America.

    So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

    America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

    We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

    I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

    You make a big election about small things.

    And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

    I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

    But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

    For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

    America, this is one of those moments.

    I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.

    And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

    This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

    Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

    That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

    And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

    The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

    But what the people heard instead - people of every creed and color, from every walk of life - is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

    "We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

    America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

    Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    Another Mayoral Link

    In our constant quest to keep our readers informed, I share yet another link from a much more reputable blog...locally grown.

    Bonnie has yet another interview with a Mayoral candidate (I've lost track but maybe 4 of 7)

    See the interview with candidate (and Carleton Cinema and Media Studies Technical Director) Paul Hager here.

    Check out our previous posts from this series:

    I'm currently compiling activities and events for the liberal minded during the supervillans convention Republican National Convention.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Day One Highlights

    These were some of my favorite moments of the first night of the Democratic Convention (which I tuned into after a Project Runway marathon, am I fired from this blog yet?):

    Rachel Maddow does what she does best--be a total badass and smack the heck out of Pat Buchanan:

    Michelle Obama completely brings down the house:

    Sasha Obama is adorable, and Malia Obama is way too poised for being half my age:

    All in all, I was unbelievably impressed by Michelle Obama's speech. We were watching it on MSNBC, and Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman gushed for a solid five minutes; they just couldn't help themselves. Commentary around the blogosphere says many people are thinking the same way.

    Monday, August 25, 2008

    Obama will not be Swift-boated

    Barack Obama has learned from the 2004 campaign and will not accept scurrilous attacks otherwise known as swift-boating.

    Everyone on the right wing (with the exception of most people "officially" associated with the McCain campaign), is pushing this story of Obama being a strong supporter education reformer and former member of the Weather Underground, William Ayers.

    Instead of being distracted by the firewalls that have been set up for John McCain, he goes straight for the jugular and makes it perfectly clear that he will punch back much faster and much harder. (I hate using this trivial "fight" language, but I can't think of anything more appropriate right now...more on that later).

    Check out the ad below:

    Cutler at the Convention

    Alex Cutler, St. Olaf senior, and friend of the Carleton Democrats is a National Delegate from Minnesota and is currently in Denver for the Democratic National Convention. He is posting his experiences at Minnesota Campaign Report. Today he introduces himself and discusses his first night in Denver.
    I got involved in politics when I volunteered for Senator Wellstone in 2002. His death compelled me to take my involvement to a greater level. I have been involved in countless campaigns. In 2006 I ran the DFL Youth Coordinated Campaign which mobilized young voters across the state and achieved the highest youth turnout in the country. Over January I helped to organize young voters in New Hampshire and South Carolina for Senator Obama's campaign.

    Check his blog for constant updates, I will try to update on here as appropriate.

    Society of Supervillans endorses McCain; McCain accepts

    John McCain has been endorsed by the International Society of Supervillans. In the words of the ISS:

    Here's what matters to us: Who is, at heart, a supervillain? We've conducted a scientific study based on eight major criteria of the two major-party candidates (we could include the third parties, but we already know Nader's got that one) to try to get to the heart of the matter.
    Which means John McCain is our winner! Therefore, we give him our full endorsement and hope he will rain destruction upon do-gooders everywhere.

    You can read the full analysis here: International Society of Supervillans Official Blog.

    As the picture here shows, John McCain appears to have accepted.
    (Click to enlarge)

    New Obama Ad; Don't Know Much About the Economy

    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    Torture=Freedom; Fox News at the Convention

    (H/T MR)

    The clip below has Fox News propagandist (reporter?) Griff Jenkins covering a march by a variety of groups which go under the moniker "Recreate '68" which you can hear them claim below is an attempt to recreate the riots of 1968. You can judge for yourself.

    Either way, the clip features Jenkins yelling at protesters who refuse to talk to him ("Don't you believe in the first amendment"), obviously forgetting that the first amendment does not compel anyone to talk, and in fact allows you to completely ignore media outlets if that's your desire. But the real highlight, is when he asks a woman what her "message" is, she responds "stop torture, stop the war." Jenkins then yells to the crowd "DON'T YOU LOVE FREEDOM!"

    I, in turn, ask you, the reader, "DON'T YOU LOVE FREEDOM?" Notice how I actually have a question mark? Jenkins wasn't asking a question.

    View the clip below (warning: the protesters do curse...they say the "f" word). far will this go?

    Did you know John McCain was a prisoner of war? I did. I do. I hear it constantly. In response to every question posed to his campaign.

    I understand that John McCain had a really awful five years, five years that no one should have ever had. He served honorably. But this cannot be a response to every question.

    Check this out, from CBS/Politico (emphasis mine):
    Couric asked about McCain’s answer when Politico inquired about the number of homes he and his wife, Cindy, own. McCain referred the question to his staff, who said he had at least four. Records show the number could be twice that, depending on how you count the family's properties.

    “I am grateful for the fact that I have a wonderful life,” McCain said. “I spent some years without a kitchen table, without a chair, and I know what it's like to be blessed by the opportunities of this great nation.

    You can read the full context here. Just in case you were wondering, John McCain is referring to his time in Hanoi, not any period of poverty in the United States.

    As if Starting College isn't hard enough...

    No doubt starting college is difficult. It is particularly difficult to start at elite schools like Carleton, Willamette, [fill-in your school of choice] or...Duke. Imagine starting college alongside this guy:
    Arthur Leopold, who will begin his freshman year at Duke University on Monday, is something of a prodigy in American politics.

    Before taking his first political science class, Leopold has already raised nearly $1 million for Democratic candidates, is the youngest member of Barack Obama's finance committee, has managed a congressional campaign and is a partner in a political consulting firm.

    Read more about this American/Canadian citizen here. If I was feeling inadequate I would make a Canadian joke here.

    Saturday, August 23, 2008

    Obama Picks Biden

    From the AP:

    The loquacious Delaware senator brings more than verbiage to Obama's side. Biden is a foreign policy heavyweight with a decade longer in the Senate than the seasoned Republican presidential candidate, John McCain. That's almost three more decades of experience than his new boss.

    In Washington, Biden, 65, is known as a collegial figure even when he's competitive — one who can spin flowery praise one moment and biting fulmination the next.

    Friday, August 22, 2008

    Friday Fluff: If you get Lemons, make...

    Got a couple stories for you for today edition of Friday fluff, all courtesy of Ben Smith's Blog (A great blog that's worth checking daily).

    The first is that awesome picture that announces the Daily Show's presence in the twin cities area. Keep checking in for more updates on their activities.

    Second, the press are stalking every possible Vice-Presidential candidate (Obama's announcing tomorrow, did ya hear?), so Evan Bayh's neighbors decided to make a quick buck by setting up a lemonade stand across the street. I hope the price was really high. Great quote here:
    With reporters staked out in their front lawn night and day all week long to monitor Sen. Evan Bayh's house across the street, the three Waldman kids found a way to profit - sell lemonade to the thirsty media throng.

    And boy did they make a killing.

    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    Think McCain's Like You? Think Again...

    Americans like presidents with whom they can empathize. They thought both Reagen and Clinton (two of the most popular presidents ever) were "like them," they thought G.W. Bush was the kind of guy you could drink a beer with (despite the fact that he's a tee-teetotaler).

    Jill already wrote a great post about this, but I thought I would quickly follow-up.

    First, despite the claims by McCain's staff that he owns "about 4" house, he actually owns 7 houses, in three states, worth 13 million dollars.

    Second, this comes on the heels of John McCain's jokes about how rich equals an income of at least 5 million dollars. Of course, this was just a joke and came at the end of an answer which asked him to "define rich" and which he mostly answered by saying he didn't want to raise taxes (that wasn't the question John).

    You can view a transcript of the event here time magazine.

    This is another example of John McCain making jokes that belie his real world view. Hahaha, rich is 5 million dollars. Everyone knows he didn't mean that exactly (or do we?). His real answer? Probably in the million dollar range...who knows, he didn't answer the question.

    Either way John McCain doesn't get it. The Obama campaign has a great ad below.


    Wonkette, as always, is stellar and clairvoyant.

    John McCain said today that he wasn't really sure how many houses he has, please ask his staff. Said staff came up with the answer "at least four". (I wish answers like that worked for the GRE.)

    Barack Obama pointed out that not knowing how many houses you have might signal a bit of a problem--namely, that McCain may struggle to relate to the millions of Americans who are trying to make ends meet in their one house. I don't know, that sounds logical.

    Not to McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers:
    Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people ‘cling’ to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who’s in touch with regular Americans?
    Again with the arugula!

    I've been thinking about this really hard, mostly because I have an hour-long commute each way and I can finish Sudoku puzzles in like ten minutes now, and I've come to the conclusion that maybe the McCain camp just doesn't know what arugula is, and hopes someone will tell them so they can eat some and stop forgetting how many houses John McCain has.

    I'm in college, and I kind of live off of my parents, and even though I spend kind of a lot of time worrying that my $40,000 a year education will make me negative money in the future, "the economy" isn't a particularly pressing issue for me. Gas prices and food prices suck, but I don't really have any expenses other than gas and food.

    And still when I read this, it pisses me off. Not just because I really like Obama and think he's right and think John McCain is kind of a creepy old guy who's mildly senile and seriously wrong.

    But morever, it pisses me off because there are people out there with serious problems who are probably thinking, What the heck do I care about arugula?, and desperately waiting for something to change.

    So can it with the frickin' arugula.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    Exxon John

    DNC web ad that nails McCain for his "Big-Oil-First" Energy policy.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Obama to pick on Friday

    CBS News Reports that Barack Obama will choose a Vice-President on Friday.

    Zeitgeist says Biden.

    You can be the first to know who he ACTUALLY picks by signing up to find out via email and phone call. Click here to sign up.

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    Killing quotas

    There's an anti-Affirmative Action ballot initiative in Colorado. In fact, there are a few across the country, also in Arizona and Nebraska, with a measure pending in Oklahoma. There's one guy behind them, Ward Connerly, who's accused of all kinds of fraud to get those measuers on the ballot.

    Some Coloradoans are mounting a creative challenge to Connerly and his ilk.

    It seems that Americans really, really hate it when you talk about Affirmative Action in terms of quotas--i.e. we need to have x% women students, x% Black students, x% Latino students, etc. Really, really hate it.

    What's interesting is that quota programs were ruled unconstitutional in 1978 in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke.

    Of course, this doesn't keep anti-AAers from busting out the Q word whenever we talk about race and admissions and hiring. John McCain--maybe another one of his funny, funny jokes?--came out against quotas. That's his position on Affirmative Action.
    “I do not believe in quotas.... I have not seen the details of some of these proposals. But I’ve always opposed quotas.” - John McCain

    So, the creative Coloradoans have come up with a plan. They have mounted a counter-initiative to Connerly's, which states that racial quotas should not be used in admissions and hiring decisions, but that less-advantaged statuses should remain a factor, and support and outreach programs based on less-advataged statuses can support a fairer and more diverse school or workplace.

    According to the article, Connerly's people are pretty pissed about it. Let's be clear--Americans are not, by and large, big fans of Affirmative Action. Two-thirds to three-quarters tend to disapprove of AA-type measures.

    But these Coloradoans are doing a good thing, reminding us that Affirmative Action is not a pity-program, but the best shot we have right now of leveling the playing field. Stop talking about quotas, and stop playing petty games with race. If you don't think people of color are disadvantaged in this country (and, if you check out some of those polls I linked to above, you'll see that many people don't) that's what you say. If it makes you look like an asshole, tough.

    Enough with the quotas.

    John McCain laughs in the face of poverty

    Pastor Rick Warren asked Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obamahow they quantified "rich".

    Barack Obama:
    "I would argue that if you are making more than $250,000, then you are in the top 3, 4 percent of this country," he said. "You are doing well."

    (And just to place that in context, according to the US Census Bureau, as of 2006, the highest quintile of earners made more than $97,000 a year. The median income in the U.S. is $48,200.)

    John McCain:
    "I think if you're just talking about income, how about $5 million?"

    His campaign says he was "joking". That is a really funny joke, John McCain--where do you come up with this stuff?!

    But let's remember that more than 36 million people live in poverty--which is not just what happens after you're forced to pay back taxes on your beach properties (I can do jokes, too)--and almost 20% of children live in impoverished families. Let's keep in mind that 47 million people have no health insurance. That less than 20% of all 25 year olds have a 4-year degree. That only a third of elementary students meet grade-level standards of achievement (however bullshit those measures may be.)

    Barack Obama has a tax plan. It would, in fact, raise taxes on his own income group. And it would raise them to examine those problems.

    John McCain thinks those problems are a joke. MORE DRILLING.

    Friday, August 15, 2008

    Link Dump

    Here are the stories that I didn't get to follow-up on this week. I might follow up at another point, but for your enjoyment.

    Michelle Bachmann REALLY wants to drill.

    Also, Bachmann reminds everyone that Jesus ALREADY saved the earth, so we can go ahead and destroy it now.

    Norm Coleman is facing more ethics problems with his housing arrangements.

    Ron Suskind's investigations have piqued the interest of John Conyers et al.

    Barack Obama's campaign continues to push hard against attacks, this time pushing against Jerome Corsi's hit piece.

    US immigration policy and bad personnel kill another (COMPLETELY INNOCENT) man.

    Ohio man buys truck with change.

    Al Franken Dominates YouTube

    Republicans trying to limit voter participation.

    Obama calls McCain a "DC Celebrity".

    Russia's Bombs were aimed at us (symbolically).

    Friday Fluff: Britney + McCain

    Honestly, I think this is a little harsh on Britney. That was a bad point in her life, and she was making all kinds of mistakes. As CNN documents, she is doing better now. Can't say I've seen much change with John McSame.

    Hardcore Journalism

    Again, Aaron J. Brown has an awesome post. This time he has a post showing a Georgian journalist who gets shot, puts on a flak jacket, and continues to calmly report from the same location. All without drama. CNN should hire this woman.

    Video below:

    This reminds me. Russia should really stop being so aggressive. Also, John McCain is not president and is proving everyday that he should not be president.

    "We talk about how there's only one president at a time, so the idea that you would send your own emissaries and really interfere with the process is remarkable," said Lawrence Korb, a Reagan Defense Department official who now acts as an informal adviser to the Obama campaign. "It's very risky and can send mixed messages to foreign governments. . . . They accused Obama of being presumptuous, but he didn't do anything close to this."

    Thursday, August 14, 2008

    Kline LiveBlogs His Waste of Time

    In case you haven't heard, the Republicans spent much of the first part of this month running away from their constituents by playing political theater with tourists at the Capitol. I was there for part of the event and they were basically standing on the floor of the house, with their mics off and lecturing all the tourists that their staffs could herd in from the Rotunda (only the staunchest Republicans stayed to listen once they realized what was going on). Ostensibly, they were staging this protest to call on Nancy Pelosi to call Congress back into session to vote on their pet issue of off-shore drilling (a power that the top Republican is granted in Art. II Section 3 of our Constitution).

    Here's a longer article if you're interested.

    What were their colleagues doing? Working with constituents? Contit...who? Yeah, the people who elected you, the people you represent.

    Check out John Kline spouting Republican talking points below, and making sad excuses. Highlight.
    Kline: "this is not about Republicans vs. Democrats"
    Me: "then where are the Democrats (even John McCain has a token Democrat)"

    John Kline didn't just stay at DC like some of the Congresspeople, no he was so sad that he wasn't there that he spent 1,131 lbs (TerraPass) of carbon gas (not to mention tax-payer dollars) to fly to DC, then back to Minnesota and then again flew back to DC to take part in the Republican games.

    "I wished I had been there," he said. When he found out over the weekend about the protest scheduled for Monday, Kline said, he made a reservation to fly back to Washington Sunday night. He's returning to Minnesota Monday night, but plans to come back to D.C. early next week to help Republicans maintain a constant presence.

    To top it off, Kline did us the great service of (kind of) liveblogging his last day in DC (Tuesday). You can view it here. The entire "live-blog" is riddled with references to their comprehensive energy policy and with the Republican catch-phrase of "all of the above." The assumption here is all energy policies are not equally good. Energy policies that I hope my representatives reject: off-shore oil, nuclear, slave labor.

    Related Posts:
    Republicans Claim To Have Lowered Gas Prices

    Franken's Energy Policy
    Michelle Bachman hates Hippes (Drilling in ANWAR)
    T. Boone Pickens Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
    McCain's Energy Problem
    The Drilling Farce

    More Mayoral Coverage from LG

    As you probably know, we here at the Carleton Democrats blog are trying to do our part in educating you about the mayoral race here in our town of Northfield, MN and we are doing that by passing on all the hard work of our friends over at Locally Grown (along with a little of our analysis). Below you'll find the two newest posts by Bonnie Obremski along with a list of our previous posts.

    Obremski's new newest interviews:

    Candidate David Hvistendahl

    Pseudo-Candidate Brandon Etter

    Our Previous Posts:

    Also, at the Contented Cow page you can find information about the next two candidate meet and greets (the first one was tonight).

    In case you were wondering...

    This blog is worth $1,693.62; anyone buying?

    My blog is worth $1,693.62.
    How much is your blog worth?

    The kids are in charge

    Apparently, we're the most intelligent and powerful people in the world. John Zogby (the pollster) wrote a new book called The Way We'll Be. A chapter is excerpted at the New York Post, in a feature titled "Generation Obama".

    Among other things, Zogby claims that young voters--while generally materialistic and maybe a little ruined by "tolerance" curricula that, really, don't get at the root of institutional discrimination anyway, but that's another post--are more thoughtful, less prone to blind patriotism, and more tolerant, than any other age group. Our peers also think of themselves as "citizens of the world" rather than as only Americans.

    Neil Howe and William Straus wrote some similar stuff in Millennials Rising. According to their hypothesis, generational ideas are cyclical, and our generation, the Millennials--despite using text-speak in college papers--are the new "Greatest Generation".

    An APSA press release divulged the other day that Democratic politicians who appear on The Colbert Report see a 40% increase in contributions. (There was no statistically significant tie for Republicans.) While I'm sure a lot of real adults watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, it strikes me as particularly important to the college-age and slightly-older crowd.

    We're relevant, we're informed, we're ready. Let's go.

    Sunday, August 10, 2008

    Mayoral Follow-Up

    While much of this summer has been spent covering the national campaigns and the Bush administration, we at the CarlDems blog do very much care about local politics and the hoopla that is the mayoral race (see Evan's post for more). Bonnie Obremski over at Locally Grown, is publishing interviews with the various candidates for the mayoral seat. We posted a link to her first interview here, and now we have the pleasure of following with two more pieces of information both from LG.

    The first piece is that they have published a second interview, with candidate for mayor and current city council member Jon Denison. You can video the video and post here.

    The second piece is that there will be a meet the candidates event at The Grand in Northfield today. Those of our readers who will be in the area this afternoon (and Google Analytic says we have many) are strongly encouraged to stop by the Mayoral Candidate Speed-Dating event from 2-4:30 today (Sunday). More information on that here.

    Saturday, August 9, 2008

    Mayoral Hijinks

    It might be hard to notice with all the hot Obama and Franken political action going on, but there is indeed a (nonpartisan) Northfield municipal election coming this November. Seven candidates filed by the July 15th deadline, including Carleton's own Paul Hager, but the candidacy that seems to be gaining the most traction on the ol' InterTubes is the "write-in campaign" of Carleton Bookstore textbooks manager Brendon Etter. His website and campaign blog might seem a little unorthodox, but given the sheer amount of turmoil that's taken place at City Hall these past two years, Etter would probably fit right in.

    All Politics is Local, Even for Presidential Campaigns

    As a community organizer, Barack Obama understands the importance of showing people why they should care. In the following two ads, Barack Obama shows how McCain's policies will effect people in Ohio and Nevada by attacking what McCain sees as his strength, his trust in "free trade" and his support for "clean nuclear energy."

    The first ad hits McCain for his support of German owned DHL purchase of UPS which employed many people in Ohio facilities.

    The radio ad, which you can hear here, hits hard with this line:
    "But there's something John McCain's not telling you: It was McCain who used his influence in the Senate to help foreign-owned DHL buy a U.S. company and gain control over the jobs that are now on the chopping block in Ohio," the announcer says.

    "And that's not all: McCain's campaign manager was the top lobbyist for the DHL deal...helped push it through. His firm was paid $185,000 to lobby McCain and other Senators."

    Connecting John McCain and his campaign manager, Rick Davis directly to a loss of jobs in Ohio will hurt.

    The below ad is playing in Nevada and it focuses on McCain's assertaion that Nuclear energy is clean, but doesn't want it going through Arizona. If it's so clean why don't you want it going through your state Sen. McCain?

    Ohio and Nevada will matter on November 4. These ads could matter on November 4th.

    Friday, August 8, 2008

    Friday Fluff pt 2: Republicans Go Silly

    From The Hill:

    House Republicans on Tuesday said their protest of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) decision not to allow a vote on expanded offshore oil drilling has helped lower gas prices.
    The Republican members did not answer questions about whether they would take the blame if gas prices go up again.

    I'm pretty sure that this is "fluffier" still than the Paris clip. Let me reiterate the argument. They believe, or they claim to believe, that by spewing hot air on the floor of the House of Representatives (to tourists, staffers, and empty seats) Republican politicians are responsible for the drop in oil prices.

    I'm going to go ahead and put my money on a drop in demand. But hey, that's just economic theory, probably nothing to that.

    Olympics + Politics

    Click Picture to Enlarge

    Watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony, and pictures like the one above, it would be wonderful to put politics aside and celebrate human accomplishment (and some commercialism), but when the hosts themselves bring politics in, its tough to ignore.

    From CBS news:

    Joey Cheek won gold and silver medals in speed skating at the Torino Olympics a couple years back. He was awarded bonus money of more than $25,000. Money which he promptly handed over to the movement to save Darfur, the region on the border of Sudan where at least 200,000 people have been killed and millions more have been displaced.


    Why would the Chinese revoke Joey Cheek's passport on the eve of the summer games? China is Sudan's biggest customer for oil. And the weapons that kill the innocents in Darfur come from China. And China doesn’t want anyone, especially their own people, to know that.

    Facts are tough to ignore. GO USA.

    Friday Fluff: Paris Hilton Slam "the creepy old dude"

    In case you haven't seen it, Paris Hilton at her best:

    See more funny videos at Funny or Die

    Could this eclipse her previous video? We'll see.

    In case you've missed out on previous news, this is the video she's referring to:

    Silly right? Friday Fluff.

    A Note on Edwards Affair, from Elizabeth Edwards

    For some time there have been rumors swirling (courtesy the National Enquirer) about John Edwards having an affair with a campaign worker. Get your fill here.

    Unless one of the other blog authors brings this up, then this post will be the one and only post on this subject. I was a strong believer in John Edwards in both 2004 and 2008, and I still believe in his message. Yes, I am disappointed in John Edwards. Also, I think we should all get over it.

    I think that those who are most concerned about how this has affected Edward's courageous wife Elizabeth. She has a post at her Diary on Daily Kos about "Today."

    You should read the full post, but for those who choose not to, please keep her concluding lines in mind:
    I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.