Political Weekly: Live-Blogging Denver

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Bwog’s Political Columnist Jim Downie returns to live-blog some random speech.

No doubt 2012 is wondering why Bwog is employing a political columnist, and why he’s live-blogging alongside almost every other political website in the country. I can’t answer the first question, but, since I’m here, I might as well live-blog the first presidential nominee with a Columbia undergraduate degree.

9:18: Dems have trotted out 25 retired generals onto the stage. Subtle.

9:25: At the bottom of its graphics, CNN has a Nantucket Nectars-inspired “Facts” box. It’s wonderfully distracting.

9:30: Joe Biden introduces a parade of random people to attest to Obama. So far, we have a union man from Michigan and a teacher from Ohio. Again, subtle.

9:33: These are some of the most animated speeches we’ve seen, actually. Though, in fairness, following Al Gore would make anyone look animated. 

9:35: A woman with a graduate degree is shouting “¡Buenas noches!” Lou Dobbs’s head just exploded. 

9:37: While the “average Americans” ramp up the Denver crowd, CNN is talking about John Lewis, MSNBC is trying to shout over its background audience, and FOX is on commercial. Only PBS and C-SPAN are actually showing the speeches.

9:41: MSNBC has been feeding Rachel Maddow lots of questions in advance of her own show. No problems with that here – she’s the rare pundit that gets away with rambling.

9:45: The stadium is packed, and so is Times Square. 

9:50: For those of you who don’t know who John Lewis is, he is the only speaker from the 1963 “March on Washington” still alive (which finished with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech 45 years ago today). The New York Times wrote about him today.

9:51: Fox News claims McCain has made his VP pick, but it won’t leak tonight. Why they would want it to leak is unclear.

9:52: The cable networks have no idea what to do with themselves right now. It’s the same questions they asked each other an hour ago.

9:55: According to Fox, the people who set up this stage say it was much harder to do than the one they did for Britney Spears. Now they’re talking about Oprah’s feelings on this night.

9:57: Speaking of Fox, I’ve seen Brit Hume in person, and I can confirm he looks just as grumpy without the TV makeup.

9:59: Dick Durbin, senior senator from Illinois, steps up to the podium. T minus 15 minutes or so. Also, the wind is moving his hair quite dramatically.

10:04: Obama intro video plays. Normally, you’d only see these on C-SPAN, because the networks see these videos as free advertising (and, more importantly, very boring). But he is the nominee.

10:06: Michelle and Barack are talking about the courtship. Apparently Barack’s the oratorical equivalent of Hitch.

10:08: Now we see the smiling family. Nobody saw that coming…

10:10: Nice choice of David Strathairn as the narrator. After all, he was Edward R. Murrow.

10:12: As usual, he enters to U2. WBAR and WKCR were clearly not consulted.

10:14: It’s a 16-thank you level of applause!

10:16: Takes care of the Clinton tribute right away. Shockingly, John Edwards goes uncongratulated.

10:17: Sitting behind the Obamas are an African-American, a Hispanic, and an Asian-American. Totally by accident, of course. (UPDATE: Apparently, I offended some commenters by leaving out the fact that they were actually members of his family, and that the description of his half-sister as Hispanic was incorrect. I apologize for that – it was a poorly-executed attempt to describe what most Americans would think when seeing the people sitting around Michelle Obama. I knew it was his family, since that’s where they would sit, but I failed to add the context in the rapid pace of live-blogging).

10:20: “America, we are better than these last eight years.” The message has been economic-heavy so far.

10:22: Now pivoting to attack the Republicans. It’s got to be the first time that the VP has been mentioned as a boogeyman eight years later. Heck of a job, Cheney.

10:26: Clearly the plan for this section is to bring back all the slip-ups McCain’s made over the summer (“nation of whiners” etc.). A lot of viewers are hearing these for the first time.

10:28: It appears the “Debbie Downer” part of the speech is wrapping up. 

10:30: We know that 80,000 are in the stadium, but the sound setup doesn’t make it sound much louder than the 19,000 who saw him win in Minnesota. Also, the sheer size of the stadium prevents the standard cheering in unison.

10:34: He’s just launched into the “I Promise” part. Still heavy on the economy.

10:37: To quote Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic, it’s “a stump speech, but a good stump speech.” It’s about specifics right now.

10:39: “Now is the time” has to be an intentional echo

10:41: “While Senator McCain was turning his eyes to Iraq after 9/11…” Obama rakes McCain over the coals of Baghdad.

10:46: The foreign policy section is either considerably more vague or soaring, depending on whom you support.

10:48: The “Uniter” section begins – the make or break section.

10:52: Ramping up to the big, parallelism-filled finale…Sounds like he’s “seen” a lot.

10:55: “Our universities and culture are the envy of the world.” Woohoo! 

10:56: And now the specific mention of King to close it out. It’s a powerful parallel, and he’s incorporating it perfectly. Hard to be cynical at the end.

10:59: And that’s it. The country tune “Only in America” plays in the background, as he’s joined by his family and Biden and fireworks explode in the air.

11:00: So one party has an official nominee. Tomorrow, the spotlight moves to John McCain as he announces his VP, but, for tonight, Barack Obama made a strong case to the viewers at home. The need for specifics, particularly on the economy, prevented it from being the oratory from 2004 or even this past January, but it ended on a strong note.

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  1. fdsjflksd

    Any chance we can get Obama to speak at the 09 commencement?

  2. sigh...  

    and Congress is controlled by who again?

    Economy was actually doing fine until after the Democrats took back the House and Senate. Fat load of good they've done there...

    • Anonymous




      (Ron Paul 2008)

    • not quite

      stupid comment.

      democratic presidents and congresses perform better in every single major economic indicator, always have, always will.

      clinton created 23 million new jobs, bush presided over the first net job loss in history BEFORE THE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS took over, and now there is a 5 million aggregate gain (18 still less than clinton)

      clinton saw a $7450 increase in an average families wages, bush saw a $1900 decrease.

      gdp growth under clinton far outpaced bush.

      and let us not forget that the democrats congress did more good for the economy in the first 100 hours of their power (lower student loan interest rates, minimum wage reform) than republicans did in the previous 8.

      • on the other hand  

        "democratic presidents and congresses perform better in every single major economic indicator, always have, always will."

        Right, like during the Carter years.

        Also, what was that Congress that Bill Clinton worked with?

      • do you even

        check the statistics before you say things? or do you just go to moveon for talking points?

        Here are some bls stats:

        Clinton did in fact preside over an economy w/a huge number of job gains. For the 2 years that he had a democratic congress serving with him the economy grew at about 3 million jobs per year. During the six years of a rupub congress it was also at around that number which suggests your ZOMG DEMS ARE ALWAYS BETTER argument is pretty inconclusive under clinton (not to mention that the first balanced budget he had was achieved w/the republican congress. Furthermore, during Reagan's presidency the economy added nearly 20 million jobs.

        Finally, here are the month by month seasonally adjusted job stats for the past couple years (given by employment to population ratio--series id--CES0000000001):

        The 2 chamber dem majority took office in 07..since then we've seen an about a percent drop in that ratio. The four years prior to that the ratio remained pretty much static (actually slightly postive) and before that we saw the residual effects of the 9-11 attacks.
        As for your bs 5 million aggregate jobs claim..the dems took over in january 07. The difference from january 07 to the past month is about +500k jobs. Since Bush took office in 01 uptil that point it had almost been +5 million jobs (you're beginning to look silly here). [This refers to the Total Nonfarm Employment - Seasonally Adjusted - CES0000000001 table:

        Also if you think lower student interest rates and increasing the minimum wage had some type of large scale positive effect on the economy (judging by your previous statements you seem to believe positive means higher gdp growth/wage growth/job growth) than you have a primitive understanding of economics.

        • Right...

          Lowering student interest rates and decreasing the minimum wage may not have a so-called "large-scale positive effect" on the economy, but it probably has a small scale positive effect on people's lives and general happiness of the sort that doesn't get reported in statistics.

          And yes, "ZOMG Dems ARE always better," because they don't do things that effect Americans' quality of life for the worse just because of some misguided sense of moral righteousness born out of religious fear and backwardness, like interfering with a woman's right to choose, trying to pass legislation that makes it pretty hard for gay and lesbian men and women to think of themselves as real human beings, and shipping soldiers overseas to fight a war that will increase the profits of both oil companies and weapons manufacturers (in which their Vice President has a heavy stake!) alike.

          Bottom line? I don't really give a shit who created the most jobs in a four- or eight-year period over the course of the last forty years, or who's to blame for the economic downturn (the so-called "President" of these last eight years? a democratic congress in the last few?); billions of dollars are going into Iraq instead of into our own country's infrastructure, and we have crisis upon crisis on our hands because of it. Those who think we're better off now than we were eight years ago (just before Bush decided to overlook crucial information that could have very well prevented the 9/11 attacks, by the way) have to be brain dead.

          Well actually, they're probably just Bush-supporting Republicans. But, as Hillary said on Night 2, "let's face it," lately, those two things have been looking pretty much the same.

  3. accuracy

    I think the people behind the Obamas are Obama's mother in law, his sister, and his brother in law(?). So no, not an accident, but not for the seemingly implied reason.

  4. wow

    Maybe Bwog should employ a political commentator who knows enough about the official nominee to recognize that token "African-American", "Hispanic", and "Asian-American" audience members sitting behind Obama's wife and daughters were actually members of his family. The "African-American" was Obama's mother-in-law, the "Hispanic" was Obama's half-sister of Indonesian heritage, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and the "Asian-American" was Maya's Chinese Canadian husband, Konrad Ng.
    The appearance of Obama and Biden's families on stage following the incredible speech should have led this political commentator to realize that this ethnically diverse group of Obamaniacs were not random templates sitting behind Michelle and the kids (adorable) simply for a politically correct, microcosmic photo op, but rather for being (along with Obama's elderly Caucasian great-uncle) his greatest supporters from the beginning.

  5. my feelings (haiku)

    Nice speech, Obama
    I love you even more now
    Change change change change change

  6. ...  

    as much as i like clinton, he doesn't really deserve credit for the economic uptick that took place under his watch.

    it's not very often that a whole new and completely different communications and commerce modality matures, rewrites how large parts of society does business and triggers a huge amount of wealth transfer.

    granted, he does deserve credit for not fucking it up.

  7. alum

    It strikes me that "Jim Downie" is a great name for a political commentator. It sounds vaguely weighty, middle American, etc. Maybe I'm just caught up in my love for Hugh Downs.

  8. omg

    BWOG, POST something about McCain's VP pick asap!

    • middle-ish ground

      McCain's selection is offensive to Hillary Clinton, to her supporters he wants to exploit, to the office of the Vice Presidency and the Presidency (especially given McCain's age), to the environment which she hunts and drills, to McCain's own campaign strategy, to America's LGBT, and to every woman's right to choose.

      Just a horrible, tactless, completely disrespectful move.

      • hahaha

        did you take that off the move on site?

        its misogynistic to suggest that palin was only selected cause she's a women when she's been an anti-corruption crusader who actually has executive experience, actually has first hand perspective on alaska's drilling issue and who actually has stood up to her conservative base in alaska on lgbt rights

        what a pathetic troll you are

        as for the person who responded to my post respond to economics...i have no problem if you think democrats are better for the economy for ideological reasons--my issue is when somebody tries to pass of bold faced lies or ignorance about economic indicators

      • dumb

        1. Why should McCain care about "offending" Hillary?
        2. I don't think his VP pick is offensive to Hillary supporters...I actually think it's pretty brilliant. There is a significant population of die-hard Hillary supporters out there who may go so far as to vote for McCain, so for him to take advantage of that and pick a female running mate when Obama didn't was a pretty smart move.

  9. my updated feelings

    mccain, i don't like you
    hm, but, a woman for veep
    well, touche mccain.

  10. ...

    i think it's incredibly amusing that both candidates have completely contradicted their some of their most prominent campaign messaging with their veep picks:

    1) senator "i am change" appoints mr. washington dc politician fuckbag himself.

    2) senator experience appoints mrs. freshman governor of a state where the population density is close to 1/sq.mile and the population is close to that of santa fe, texas.

    it's kind of interesting, really. mccain charges obama with "no experience" and he reponds by selecting an old school politician. obama charges mccain with being an old school politician and mccain responds with a fresh face for change.

    now it's fun to look at, if you want change:

    it's obama vs palin

    if you want experience:

    it's mccain vs biden

    i think in the end i think it comes down to this: both of the candidates are huge pussies and as such both have failed to stay true to their campaign messaging. usually it seems that politicians wait until _after_ they get elected before they start contradicting themselves and reneging on campaign promises. i'm impressed.

    • yeesh

      First off, a couple of politicians caved a bit and you're surprised?

      Secondly, Obama's pick poses an optics problem more than anything else. He hasn't said DC experience is bad in and of itself (a position that would make it pretty hard to get anything at all done in Washington) -- only that bad, broken policies and their worst enablers need to go. McCain and the GOP, meanwhile, have built practically their entire campaign on the assertion that Obama's level of experience is incommensurate with the office of the president, and now his VP pick outdoes Obama in the neophyte department? I think that's a harder message to walk back.

      #20: I find it difficult to take seriously a woman who opposes abortion in cases of rape and incest, supports teaching creationism in school, believes manmade global warming is a myth, supports drilling for oil in a fucking wildlife preserve, and backed Buchanan in 2000 because W just wasn't conservative enough.

      Oh, she's also the target of an ongoing investigation over the firing of her sister's ex-husband (in which chief of police has stated pretty unambiguously that she lied about her involvement). Such sterling ethicality!

      In fact, the best example of that "legendary anti-corruption streak" the GOP could dredge up was the fact that Palin turned down the Bridge to Nowhere. What they fail to mention is that she originally backed the thing, only to withdraw her support when it became clear Alaska would have to foot most of the bill. It doesn't take much courage to spike a project once it's become a budgetary fiasco, a shining symbol for pork-barreling, and an object of national ridicule.

      Does the fact that she's relatively inexperienced or a woman make her a bad pick outright? Of course not, but her littany of brain-dead policy positions -- and the fact that she's unfit for command if you go by the GOP drumbeat of the past four months -- makes the choice seem like a foolish, addled, and empty pander on McCain's part. Which it is.

      (Yes, McCain may pick up a few ex-Hillary supporters, but I expect the vast majority of those will be people who wrote Obama off a long time ago. I really doubt Palin will sway many to the GOP ticket once her policy positions come into sharper focus, especially with the Dems having shored up their base support this week.)

      • dnc finally

        sent you the talking points lackey?

        First joe biden is as tied up with lobbyists as anyone in the country..beau is MBNA because of Joe's corruption. Secondly, he's also a jerk who more than often has his foot in his mouth (he think every indian is apu). And its funny your dragging up experience when youre comparing the potential vp to your candidate for pres!

        Now here's why your third paragraph is unadulterated bs. 1. She doesn't support the teaching of creationism you cretin: with this as the most important part: "She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum."

        So youre officially a liar.

        Second...the majority of people support drilling for anwr (pg 47) and she obviously has a much much better understanding of the topic than you (so you're ignorant as hell)

        3rd: Go back to that TNR article lackey...Palin was actually Steve Forbes campaign coordinator from alaska in least get your smears correct moron

        as for 'toopergate' i'm glad you're coming down on the side of the trooper who threatened to kill Palin's father, tasered his 11-year-old stepson, drank beer in his squad car, and violated game laws

        and as for who would still support the bridge to nowhere..are you about the guy running for governor right now from her own party? or murkowski? or a dozen other alaskan official? have you ever actually read about this issue prior to today?

        This doesn't even accoutn for the fact that Palin resigned from an oil and gas comission when she found all her party members were corrupt or ratted corrupt ones out in the big scandal you can read about today which has murkowski, young and others indicted. That is that biggest example of her 'legendary anti-corruption streak' but obviously you didn't look at anything else outside of kos and tnr becuase youre a dumbass (here's the info if you ever want to actually get both sides of the story )

        And regardless of what your great liberal overlords tell you she has broken with her party and stood up for lbgt rights and has actually tried to do something about global warming

        so go back and slink under that pathetic rock you hide under until kos, tnr and huffpost give you your next set of laughable smears

        • one

          one correction...its the guy running for SENATOR right now who still supports the bridge to nowhere...Stevens

        • oh yeah...

          just to clarify it for you. I don't have a problem with hunting. I have a problem with her religious views. Indeed, I have a problem with the very idea that religion plays ANY part in the election, and in our government. The founding fathers would are rolling in their graves right now.

        • yeesh

          Where to begin...

          "First joe biden is as tied up with lobbyists as anyone in the country."

          Not even close—hell, take the GOP nominee who spent the whole summer purging his campaign of lobbyists and people with lobbying connections. (By the way, he's not done yet.) The Obama-Biden campaign, by contrast, doesn't hire or take money from them.

          "beau is MBNA because of Joe's corruption."

          This is barely sensical, so you'll have to elaborate.

          "Secondly, he's also a jerk who more than often has his foot in his mouth (he think every indian is apu)."

          The guy has said some stupid, awkward shit before -- no doubt about it -- but that doesn't automatically make him a jerk or unfit to be VP. If gaffes were grounds for removing someone from contention for national office, there wouldn't be an executive branch. (Besides, I seem to recall something about John McCain calling his wife a cunt and a trollop in front of a gaggle one time, yet the GOP sees fit to put him on top of the ticket.)

          He strikes me as an incredibly earnest, hardworking, accomplished guy who's denied himself a lot of the trappings of the senate ( ), but that's just my opinion (and John McCain's, assuming he wasn't lying). Clearly we're not going to find common ground in that arena.

          "And its funny your dragging up experience when youre comparing the potential vp to your candidate for pres!"

          Set aside the fact that Obama's got more experience than Palin, better judgment than both of the GOP nominees, and policy positions that put theirs to shame: it makes perfect sense to compare VP and presidential nominees. Both need to be up to the job of the presidency, because both have a nontrivial chance of holding it.

          But again, I really don't care that much if Palin is new to government: it's her policy positions and lack of judgment that offend me, and it's the GOP that's made it abundantly fucking obvious this summer that they consider experience on Palin's level to be too little for the presidency. If they don't think someone with that degree of seasoning is ready to take the oath at a moment's notice, what the hell is she doing on the ticket?

          "Now here's why your third paragraph is unadulterated bs. 1. She doesn't support the teaching of creationism you cretin: [ external link to ] with this as the most important part: "She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum." So youre officially a liar."

          Okay, much as you'd love that to be the only tidbit we take away from that article, there's the little matter of: "'I am a proponent of teaching both. ... Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject -- creationism and evolution. It's been a healthy foundation for me. But don't be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides."

          Whether or not she pushed the board of education to do anything about it, she clearly stated that a scientifically -supported and -vetted theory should be taught on equal footing with religious dogma in public schools. I, for one, think that betrays a pretty disturbing lack of judgment and regard for the separation of church and state. You want to present creationism as a religious belief as a component of a world religions class? Fine, but claiming it deserves the same attention in a scientific setting is total rubbish.

          So no, it's not unadulterated BS, and I'm not a liar. My statement was 100% factual, as the article you linked to confirms.

          "Second...the majority of people support drilling for anwr [ external link to ] (pg 47) and she obviously has a much much better understanding of the topic than you (so you're ignorant as hell)"

          I didn't say a majority of people oppose it; I said it was a bad idea. A majority of voting Americans reelected Bush, and look how that turned out. Likewise, I'm sure Michael Brown has a better understanding of emergency response than I do, but he still made atrocious decisions as FEMA director.

          Why do I say it's a bad idea? The DoE under the Bush administration did a study which concluded that drilling ANWR wouldn't produce a drop of oil for ten years and would, at the absolute best, lower the price of gas four cents a gallon by 2027. ( ) That seems like a pretty awful reason to go drilling around a wildlife reserve -- and by the way, even the guy at the top of Palin's ticket agrees.

          "3rd: Go back to that TNR article lackey...Palin was actually Steve Forbes campaign coordinator from alaska in least get your smears correct moron"

          My apologies: she just showed up to a rally wearing a "Buchanan for President" button as mayor, and Buchanan just cited her as a supporter after the VP announcement. Did she vote for him? I suppose not, but apparently she showed enough sympathy for his batshit campaign to fool the man into thinking she did.

          "as for 'toopergate' i'm glad you're coming down on the side of the trooper who threatened to kill Palin's father, tasered his 11-year-old stepson, drank beer in his squad car, and violated game laws"

          Where did you see me singing this guy's praises? I agree, he looks to be an abusive asshole, but that's not the fucking point, and you know it. If you, as governor, violate protocol, if you color outside the lines for personal reasons, if you fire another state employee for speaking up about it, and if you lie to the public about your involvement, that's corruption, plain and simple. Being governor doesn't mean you get to flout the legal process and deep-six the truth afterwards.

          Is this the first example of political corruption in a national candidate? Obviously not. And does it mean she's never stood up to corruption elsewhere? No. What it does do is poke a giant hole in the argument that she's a dirt-free, anti-corruption crusader.

          "and as for who would still support the bridge to nowhere..are you about the guy running for governor right now from her own party? or murkowski? or a dozen other alaskan official? have you ever actually read about this issue prior to today?"

          Actually, I've read about it quite a bit over the past couple of years -- thanks for asking. What does the fact that a dozen other members of her party still support this fiasco of a project prove? Why should that be a selling point for the party whose national ticket she just joined? Breaking with your party when the shit hits the fan is a pretty pathetic form of fighting corruption. You're supposed to have the good sense to stay far away from the graft in the first place -- not to have road to Damascus moments every few months.

          The fact remains that she stood up on stage today and cited her rejection of the Bridge to Nowhere as a selling point, conveniently omitting the fact that SHE USED TO SUPPORT IT before it became politically smart not to. Again, that's not the first time a politician from either party has backed a foolish pork-barrel project, but to call her eventual rejection of a disastrous undertaking she once supported an example of fighting corruption is pretty damned disingenuous and really, really weak. That's a towering example of the type of flip-flop Kerry got torched for four years ago, so how the hell is it a selling point?

          "This doesn't even accoutn for the fact that Palin resigned from an oil and gas comission when she found all her party members were corrupt or ratted corrupt ones out in the big scandal you can read about today which has murkowski, young and others indicted. That is that biggest example of her 'legendary anti-corruption streak' but obviously you didn't look at anything else outside of kos and tnr becuase youre a dumbass "

          I suspect the reason it wasn't cited more prominently today by McCain, Palin, or other surrogates is the fact that she sat on the commission for a whole 11 months (at a rate of $125,000 a year!) while corruption swirled around her. Instead, McCain just made vague allusions to her "standing up" to oil and gas companies. Whoopee! I'm sure they just hate her stance on ANWR!

          By the way, I read the very article you linked to this morning, but that definitely wasn't the example the GOP put up front today (with due reason, perhaps). That's why I referred to the bridge as the "best example."

          "And regardless of what your great liberal overlords tell you she has broken with her party and stood up for lbgt rights and has actually tried to do something about global warming external link to"

          Oh wow! She came around to the fact that global warming was occurring a whole year ago! That's like, just a year after that silly movie by Al Gore came out in theaters! Honestly, if you were still out there claiming that global warming wasn't man-made in 2006 (""), I have trouble accepting that your commitment to curbing the threat or understanding of its causes runs very deep. Besides, that article doesn't make any mention of Palin acknowledging that global warming is man-made. Everyone quoted seems to be doing their best to dodge that particular thicket.

          Also, if you'd read that article to the end, you'd notice a lot of other reasons to question the depth of her commitment: a) the subcabinet was purely exploratory, b) her point man was quoted as saying that "Some states have set goals about reducing emissions by a certain percentage. I don't think we have enough information in Alaska at this point to do that" (how progressive!), and c) the emissions effort came on the heals of an otherwise abysmal environmental record that included such gems as "opposing efforts to push the Bush administration to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act" and "opposition to a federal proposal to declare polar bears a 'threatened' species."

          But no worry! She stands up to oil and gas companies!

          I didn't even mention LGBT rights originally, but I assume the "standing up" you're referring to is when she vetoed a bill that attempted to eviscerate the legal authority of Alaska's supreme court after it decided that the state constitution made it illegal to deny members of same-sex partnerships their benefits. She did so only on advice of the law department because "signing this bill would be in direct violation of [her] oath of office," making it abundantly clear at the time of the veto that she disagreed vehemently with the court decision.

          So not breaking her oath of office in the name of bigotry qualifies as "standing up?" Do me a favor and ask a few members of the LGBT community whether they think Sarah Palin is their ally. Heck, it reminds me a lot of her anti-corruption efforts.

          I notice you didn't even touch on her abortion stance, which is possibly the most troubling of her many backward policy positions. I guess it pretty much speaks for itself.

          Anyway, I don't take talking points from TNR, the DNC, Kos, or anything under a rock, and I'm not sure who the liberal overlords you refer to are. I read widely and draw conclusions, just like you. Mine just happen to be better (and not peppered with ad hominems).

          • oops

            This is barely comprehensible*

            came on the heels* of

          • here's

            here's the first paragraph of moveon's most recent parroted nearly all the points:

            Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:

            * 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.1
            * Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
            * She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
            * Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
            * She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
            * 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.6
            * 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.7

          • yeesh

            I suppose it's not worth trying to convince you about my reading habits if you intend to paint anyone left of center with the same, moronic brush, but I do not subscribe to MoveOn. Every one of those points appeared -- one way or another -- in a mainstream media outlet yesterday. As it happens, I looked into them pretty carefully (see #30) rather than linking to a bunch of articles that generally undermine my own case (see #26).

            But even if I did subscribe to MoveOn, what bearing would that have on criticisms that are backed up by independent reporting and quotes from the horse's mouth? You didn't actually bother rebut anything I said, you just pointed out that a liberal PAC raised the same concerns in their newsletter. Good for them -- they're doing a better job of fact-checking than you.

            By the way, I still don't care if she hasn't been in government all that long, and it doesn't matter to me how John McCain chose to vet her. I care about her policy positions and her judgment, and she strikes out in both cases.

  11. pic

    way to pick the stupidest pic bwog...

  12. 2004 + 4

    In Lewis Black's wise words, we again have a choice between two steaming piles of shit, the only difference being how they smell.
    I was all geared up to tell Obama to fuck off and vote for McCain, but now he picks this creationist hunting douchebag for vp? Great. Now anyone with half a brain HAS to vote for Obama, because the other alternative will (dare I say it?) bring this country even lower. Fuck you McCain, FUCK YOU for effectively taking yourself out of the race for any voter who has more than one functioning brain cell.

  13. edward

    Who gives a rat's behind about the minute by minute lowdown on this blog?

  14. oh man

    that's bs..if you don't know about Biden's MBNA connection then there's no way anyone will ever believe you actually look at other sources:

    "First joe biden is as tied up with lobbyists as anyone in the country."

    Not even close—hell, take the GOP nominee who spent the whole summer purging his campaign of lobbyists and people with lobbying connections. (By the way, he's not done yet.) The Obama-Biden campaign, by contrast, doesn't hire or take money from them."

    Even the most passive follower of politics knows beau got his job because MBNA owns Biden and that his other son is a lobbyist..obama's has been workign with lobbyists ever since we all found out his NH campaign chair in the primaries was a lobbyist. Yeah..biden sure is an earnest guy who's denied himself trappings--he's just tried to peddle it all to his sons! The fact that you just spewed this paragraph destryos any credibility you haev. Here's proof:

    Just a small sampling of Biden's links:

    Obama's links:

  15. i also forgot

    these two links..your rhetoric on lobbyists is laughable:

    as for creationism..this is what you claimed "[she] supports teaching creationism in school" then tried to mislead again by not including the other quotes she made on this topic in teh article:

    In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

    "I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

    "It's OK to let kids know that there are theories out there," she said in the interview. "They gain information just by being in a discussion."

    Add that to the fact that she never even requires it to be taught in a science class room and she's a far cry from the fundie you're trying to paint her out to be.

    And I love your ANWR refer to the fact its democratically favored by saying..'well people don't know what's good for them sometimes'...why thank you mr. all knowing anti democratic oligarch..why don't you and your idealogues all just tell us what we need to do because we're all too stupid too read both sides of the argument and decide

    and haha @trying to compare brownie to Palin...the enormous difference there was that brownie was woefully underqualified and put there becuase of the graft and incompetence of the bush administration..Palin has lived all her life around the alaskan wilderness and heard debates about drilling all her life...she has first hand knowledge of the drilling vs environment argument

    and its funny how you try to refer to a cost/benefits argument..your original argument you charlatan was 'oh noes!!!! she driling in a wild life preserve'...well guess what genius..prudhoe bay has been a succesfull drilling operation in a preserve for a while now and is about to go off fact here native american/eskimo husband works there and knows more about it than you could ever glean from the sierra for the 10 yr argument..that's the same argument we heard 10 years ago! and if supply like you and everyone suggests..continues to tighten and prices go up..the price relief will also trend higher...anwr also make us more resistant to international shocks which would devestate our oil supply and economy

    man..the fail is huge with you..i'll address the rest of that junk later...but seriously..the lobbyists thing is the biggest indictment of your stupidity

    • yeesh

      I didn't say I knew nothing about Biden's sons or his involvement with the banking industry -- these are well-documented cases, as you point out. I said your comment was barely comprehensible, which it was.

      No one, but no one, is arguing that lobbyists ought to be done away with completely. They serve their purpose, and they'll continue talk to and attempt to influence every elected official in DC. The goal, according to both major party candidates, is to reduce the scope of that influence. And the fundamental difference between Obama's campaign and McCain's is that one has made meaningful strides towards reducing their involvement in the political process (by sponsoring ethics reform, by not accepting donations from DC lobbyists, returning donations from them before his run, refusing to hire them -- all mentioned in the articles you list), while the other hasn't (or has been playing catch-up all summer).

      But really, any attempt on your part to argue McCain-Palin will be less beholden to corporate interests than Obama-Biden is rendered asinine by this , this , and about 10,000 other analogous stories (which I'm happy to track down if you're unconvinced). Talk about destroying your credibility.

      Would Palin try to force the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in America's classrooms? No. You'll notice I didn't say that. I said I was troubled by the fact that she thinks it's a good idea. If a politician said he thought Americans should be barred from working on the sabbath but that he wouldn't do anything to enforce it, I'd consider that troubling, too. It speaks to judgment and disposition.

      Not a fundie, huh? Evangelical protestant? Beloved by the far right? Unwavering opposition to abortion in all cases? Extolling the virtues of teaching creationism in public schools? Color me unimpressed.

      I don't think Palin is as awful as Brownie -- I'll give her that. My point was that expertise can still be colored by incompetent ideology (Rumsfeld's handling of the U.S. military, for example), and that we shouldn't just accept what she says at face value merely because she's been around pipelines all her life. People who have studied the subject intensely (including a lot of fellow Alaskans) disagree on the wisdom of drilling ANWR; I happen to side with the ones that say we shouldn't make a habit of drilling more wildlife reserves to save a few cents on gas 19 years from now. So, by the way, does JOHN FUCKING MCCAIN.

      (I brought up the cost-benefit analysis because it demonstrates that even if you ignore the environmental impact, its impact on the price of oil barely registers. And I no point did I say anything to the effect of "oh noes!!!! she driling in a wild life preserve." That was all you.)

      So now democrats are the oligarchs? That's rich. Are you really so indifferent to (or ignorant of) representative democracy that you think all decisions should be based on opinion polls? Taxes don't seem very popular -- maybe we should do away with them completely? On the other hand, invading Iraq was pretty popular at the time, and we all know how splendidly that turned out. If the people cared so fucking much about drilling ANWR, they'd vote in a congress and president who supported the idea, but neither of those things is going to happen this year, no matter who wins. A bad idea is a bad idea, even if it polls well.

      Palin may have an interesting bio, she may be a great mom, and she may have moments of sound governance (most politicians do on occasion). But she's on the wrong side of a lot of pressing issues, her anti-corruption image is grossly exaggerated, and she fails the very test of presidential readiness that the almighty GOP has trumpeted for months now. The fail, as you put it, is huge with her.

  16. ...  

    clearly liberally biased, but interesting photo of wasilia, ak and some background of how out of touch she may be to help put things in perspective:

    • seriously

      small town america/rural america is so out of touch with teh majority of america...those podunk hicks shouldn't even have their voices heard! enjoy winning colorado/montana/nevada/new hampshire/etc with that still haven't read the article...obama refuses to hire lobbyists? His NH CAMPAIGN CHAIR right at the beginning of the PRIMARY was a lobbyist! Those are only a small swath of articles on their hypocrisy...there are literally thousands upon thousands of articles on their connections to lobbyists ranging from obama's time in chicago to biden's ball licking of credit companies. Let go of your holier than thou bs (also you clearly haven't read the articles--all the things you claimed have been disproven)!

      As for creationism..again she suggested that it can (voluntary) be discussed..not exactly ralph reed or dobson esque conservatism like your fact your own comments on her decision to actually follow the law and allow equal rights for the lbgt minority suggests she's a government hands off type politican (heck even Big O doesn't support gay marriage)

      and i love how you're trying to retract your initial argument---your statement was simply angry that she was trying to drill in a wildlife you're trying to put forward a cost benefit analysis which even you admit has a legitimate other side to for people who've studied it intensely..i can guarantee you she has studied it just as much---the three interviews about her all have her discussing anwr and how balance environmental conerns with fiscal ones

      as for the second to last paragraph..this is going to be fun to pick apart the hypocrisy.

      First..if you're dismissing polls..then how can the hell can you knock Iraq just because people are against the war now? Now that the surge has worked, americans and iraqi's death rates have plummeted and teh government has started functioning so well that we're even negotiating a withrawal date prompted by them? By your own plan, we would have had a second vietnam if we would have taken your poll based idea. On top of that who decides if a bad idea is a bad idea? you? the minority ideologues who have enough power to filibuster a bill in congress (you well know that it only take a dedicated minority nowadays to kill an idea that even supports something on a congressional level). You can't try to paint her as a conservative wacko nutball when many of the same ideas she's a proponent of clearly fit in the mainstream of america....that's what polls are useful! They're the thing that protects us from uppity arrogant jerks like you who think because you referred to one study you know better than everyone else.

      As for her anti corruption image being grossly exaggerated...what a joke..alaskan republicans hate her because she exposed them...she beat an incumbent gov in the primary because alaskans loved her anti corruption streak and then beat a popular dem ex governor. She's testified against her own party numerously. And the only thing who you and josh marshall are tyring to smear her on relies on a guy who admitted to doing the following:

      • Wooten used a Taser on his stepson.

      • He illegally shot a moose.

      • He drank beer in his patrol car on one occasion.

      • He told others his father-in-law would "eat a f'ing lead bullet" if he helped his daughter get an attorney for the divorce.

      Go ahead..attack her'll remind us of Obama. Attack the fact she's from a small'll piss of the heartland. Attack the idea she's a far right wing nutbag...we'll bring up the fact that Biden and Obama are far left wing nutbags and point out many of her views are shared by Americans. And finally attack her intelligence or for her potential gaffes...we'll point out the dozens obama and biden have already made (biden just made two in yesterday's speech) and we'll celebrate when she holds her own against a guy who's made racist comments as well as brainless and arrogant ones in debate.

      • ...  

        small town america/rural america is so out of touch with teh majority of america...those podunk hicks shouldn't even have their voices heard! enjoy winning colorado/montana/nevada/new hampshire/etc with that

        i don't really understand how "maybe a woman who's primary experience in government involves running a very remote and very small town" magically transmogrifies into "those podunk hicks shouldn't even have their voices heard!"

        oh wait. i know how! the magic of fallacy in argument! the question is, did even realize that your argument was a logical fallacy? just because it sounds good, doesn't mean it makes sense. i got served! ooooooh.

        furthermore... being someone who grew up in a town with a population less than 10k, where the last mayor taught our american government class in high school. i feel confident when i say i think that most small town folks would be utterly frightened at the idea of of small town politicians ending up in the whitehouse.

        in any event, after knocking me with that straw man, you've kinda pissed me off. i'm going to crucify your dearest governor palin once and for all.

        lets suppose, that sarah palin were not sarah palin, but rather, harry palin. same experience, same record. 10 years on city council of wasilla, ak, followed by assuming the governorship of alaska not long after most campaigns this season were just getting started. only difference? ixnay on the oobs-bay and agina-vay and throw on a weenis.

        would mccain have picked harry palin? hell no! who the hell would pick someone with that little experience! especially someone who's primary campaign messaging is "vote for us, we have experience!"

        therefore, ms. palin, was chosen purely because of her gender in a cynical grab for disgruntled hillary voters and an attempt to meet and see the historic nature of the obama campaign.

        i'm sorry dude, but i really don't want to see someone who's prior experience in government = 10 years on the the city council of wasilla, ak followed by 18 months as governor of ak sitting in the oval office in two years after nature takes it's course with dear senator mccain.

        say what you will about obama being green, but this woman makes him look as experienced as mccain + biden combined.

  17. Obama

    is a cutthroat douchebag just like every politician. His own biographer says so.
    But if a person feels that creationist theories--if they can even be labeled as theories in the scientific sense, and not the ravings of lunatics--ought to be discussed in anything close to a scientific atmosphere, to me that person is simply uneducated. If you want an uneducated VP, go ahead. I'd rather have the typical political douchebaggery of Obama and Biden.

  18. Observer

    The McCain person won. That doesn't determine who's better re: Obama/McCain. Just who's smarter re: conservative bwoger/liberal bwoger.


    • Yeesh

      Yeah, have to respectfully disagree there. The McCain guy seems a lot more interested in insults and straw men than formulating a coherent argument.

      Feel free to rebut me ad nauseam, but this debate is starting to go in circles, so I'll make this my last post in the thread:

      -Invading Iraq was a stupid and grossly mismanaged undertaking, start to finish (regardless of where public support stood then, now, or at anytime between). It was built on a litany of faulty and deceptive premises, it resulted in tens of thousands of Iraqi and American deaths, it provoked regional chaos, it sparked sectarian warfare, it set back anti-terrorism efforts rather than advancing them, and it's a gaping sinkhole for the U.S. budget. I don't need a poll to tell me what to think of this little adventure. (As it happens, Palin seemed pretty sour on the idea just a few weeks ago: .)

      -Creationism doesn't belong in public science classrooms, period. Even if Palin and a slim majority of Americans think it does, it doesn't. It is unverifiable religious dogma whose presence in a public science curriculum is both laughable and at odds with the constitution. (Though even if a constitutional amendment were passed requiring creationism to be taught in every biology class in the country -- which of course it won't be -- it would remain a bad idea.)

      -Drilling in ANWR advances a lousy, environmentally shaky precedent for almost zero economic benefit. That's why it's a bad idea, and that's why, for the umpteenth fucking time, the presumptive Republican nominee opposes it. My argument on this subject has remained consistent from the start of this discussion -- I defy you to show otherwise.

      -Breaking protocol, firing a whistle-blower, and lying about having done both smacks of corruption to all but the most witless conservatives, independent of whether the guy she was trying to can was a lawbreaking douchebag. This isn't something a pack of liberal bloggers just pulled out of thin air: it's the subject of an ongoing state investigation. And the fact that she's managed to be less corrupt than her Alaskan cohorts is vaguely encouraging, I guess, but it's not much of a selling point if her file has dirt in it. (See: )

      -Finding a sprinkling of ex-lobbyists hired by the Obama camp and saying it completely derails his efforts to reduce the influence of special interests in DC is shit logic. That's a tiny fraction of his hundreds (thousands?) of campaign members, none of whom rank among his inner circle of advisors. John McCain has padded his campaign HQ with their ilk (Randy Scheunemann is only the most notable and recent example) and taken money from them directly in such volume as to make this back channel/Biden patter laughable, so it's difficult to believe that McCain would advance this cause with any alacrity whatsoever. Obama, at least, has taken a few concrete steps to curb their impact from the get-go. (Since you're so fond of polls, go sample some DC lobbyists and tell me who they'd rather have in the White House. The answer will not be surprising.)

      -Refusing to sign an unconstitutional piece of legislation solely because it would contradict your oath of office doesn't show courage to break with orthodoxy or support for the LGBTQ community so much as a baseline regard for judicial review and the letter of the law (which, unlike some in her party, I give her credit for). Saying she deserves credit for that is like saying Nixon really deserved some credit for turning over his oval office tapes.

      Besides, her signing statement made it pretty goddamn clear where she stood on the issue, and she happens to oppose hate crimes statutes (which by the ZOMG-let's-cling-only-to-the-polls standard puts her way out of the mainstream). Yes, I do find it disappointing that Obama opposes gay marriage, but his stances in the area of gay rights are a helluva lot more encouraging than the trash that comes out of the GOP.

      -She opposes all forms of abortion in all cases, something you've tried to gloss over this whole time. That's just batshit.

      -She insisted that global warming wasn't manmade as recently as 2006 (which, in addition to being out of sync with her running mate, puts her out of the mainstream by that same ZOMG-let's-cling-to-the-polls standard). I guess it's not surprising that her efforts at curbing it have been scant.

      -Re #38 & #4: I don't consider being from a small town a liability at all, and I don't consider relative inexperience in government a weakness unto itself (though if you can think back to like 48 hours ago, the GOP has been arguing non-stop that it is). Both of those arguments were advanced by other people in this thread, but not by me. I do, however, consider shitty judgment and staking out foolish policy positions to be weaknesses, and Palin and McCain both excel in these areas.

      -Obama and Biden are no more left-wing nutbags than Palin and McCain are right-wing nutbags, but both of these labels are completely meaningless in a serious policy debate. I've never said she's got no shot at becoming vice president -- in fact, it disturbs me that she DOES. What I said is that I find her hard to take seriously for the exactly reasons I've enumerated.

      -Obama is surely a cutthroat jackass at times -- just like anyone who rises to that level of politics -- but like #40, I prefer the cutthroat jackass with good policies and judgment to the one without.

      Lastly, I don't adopt opinions on public policy because think they poll well; I adopt them because they hold up to scrutiny. The strength of a policy idea shouldn't be (and never has been) measured exclusively by how it fares in the court of public opinion. In fact, guarding against the fickleness of public sentiment is one of the many reasons we live under a representative democracy rather than a direct one.

      Yes, polls are useful snapshots of public preferences, and yes, elections gauge the public's hunger to see those preferences enacted, but you're either—how do I put this?—"brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated" if you think public opinion and elections always get it right. How else were policies like slavery, segregation, and denial of suffrage allowed to endure? How else do ineffective and impulsive leaders end up in office?

      Also, when did it become the mark of an "uppity arrogant jerk" to advocate a position at odds with public opinion or to cite reliable sources in so doing? What the fuck kind of brainless argument is that? Do you wake up every morning and choose a set of ideals for the day based on a phone poll? Do you think scholarship and research (from this government's own Department of Energy, for example) are universally garbage if they don't support a narrow conservative world view? There are dozens of good reasons to oppose drilling in ANWR; I cited the DoE study in particular because it cuts right through the economic argument used to support the plan. This is not a fringe environmentalist cause, it's sound policy.

      At the end of the day, Sarah Palin has shown consistently poor judgment and routinely embraced bad policies. That doesn't mean America won't elect her -- we've elected misguided, calamitous ideologues plenty of times before -- but it means she's bad news, and it means I'll continue to press the argument against her and her pal.

      • Yeesh

        I lied. One more addendum on the creationism bit:

        Palin's original quote, uttered in a public debate, was: "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."

        Yeah, that's a pretty clear-cut endorsement of teaching creationism alongside evolution. She didn't even try to temper that rhetoric until a newspaper reporter called her on it several days later, and when she did, all she could manage was 'debate it if it comes up' or 'it doesn't have to be part of the curriculum.'

        Sorry, Gov. Palin, a public school science classroom is not the place to discuss the merits of a religious belief (other than to say that it falls outside the scope of a discipline founded on research and verifiability). Not only does it not "have to be party of the curriculum," it emphatically SHOULDN'T be taught in public schools (unless, as I said, it is presented as part of the pantheon of creeds in a world religions class, where it can be taught as a cultural artifact rather than as an evidence-based counterweight to evolution). These are not competing or interwoven scientific theories worthy of equal attention: one is a Judeo-Christian article of faith, the other is a rigorously documented biological phenomenon. Refusal to acknowledge this distinction—in a country where religious freedom is enshrined in the constitution, no less—seems kinda troubling in an aspiring vice president.

        Then there's her own personal stance: "She would not say whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact. 'I'm not going to pretend I know how all this came to be,' she said." Fine, it's her right to ignore a century of biological research if she wants to, but it's also my right to find that a pretty fucking strong indictment of her judgment on science-heavy issues like, say, global warming.

        Lastly, the platform of the Alaska GOP, the party whose gubernatorial nomination she sought and won, reads: "We support giving Creation Science equal representation with other theories of the origin of life. If evolution is taught, it should be presented as only a theory." (All science is theory, of course, but the Alaska GOP wants a unique and insurmountable degree of skepticism applied only to this particular area of biology. I'm glad she's such a maverick.)

        The one thing I give her credit for is not explicitly pressuring the board of education to include creationism in the school curriculum, but I think her unwillingness to call creationism what it is -- an article of faith -- is truly negligent for someone who ultimately oversees a U.S. public school system.

        • yeesh

          I lied again. One slight adjustment: Palin supports abortion if the mother's life is in danger, but in no other cases. I guess she gets a cookie for that, but she's still dead wrong on the issue and still (ZOMG!) far from the mainstream.

  19. the voice of reason

    I now feel free to say something with a conviction I've never had before in my life:


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