Somebody Hand Me A Shovel

“It wouldn’t be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a national disaster.”

John McWeirdsmile told a reporter today that the Republigoats might suspend their convention in Minneapolis because of Hurricane Gustav.

Bullshit. The millions of dollars to be lost in vendor contracts would render any such decision impossible.

Even if they did, what would it prove? How would it help? It would be a symbolic, cynical, political gesture aimed merely at canceling out the tarmac picture above. And that’s something I just don’t think is possible.

It's a Joke, Right?

Sarah Palin is a joke and a true indication of how little respect the Bullshitter party has for our government. How could they think this woman is qualified to be president?

She is also a slap in the face to a number of better qualified women who have served the party for years. There are three other elected woman governors of that party. All three are proven leaders with years of public service and management experience. Linda Lingle (HI) (Journalist and Labor official) and Olene Smith Walker (UT) (educator… older than John McCaine, however) and M. Jodi Rell (CT) for leader in Assembly.

There are five women in the U.S. Senate who are better qualified. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) only marginally so (and so tied to Alaska politics that she would be a bigger liability than Palin). Liddy Dole (NC) and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (TX) are too old (but both meet the beauty queen test). Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both of Maine, are highly qualified.

There are 12 woman in the U.S. House of Representatives who have more leadership experience more education, and better understanding of national issues than Sarah Palin. Here are four examples chosen at random:

Kay Granger (TX) former Mayor of Fort Worth, six terms in the House. She serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee for Defense, and Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services.

Joann Emerson (MO), five terms in House, serves on Appropriations and Agriculture, is vice-president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, a legislative assembly of leaders from NATO member nations which deals with defense capabilities and foreign affairs. She is also vice-chair of the subcommittee on Democratic Governance.

Mary Bono Mack (CA… yes she took over Sonny’s seat after he ran into that tree) sits on the following three subcommittees of Energy and Commerce: the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection; Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, and the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. Bono Mack serves as co-chair of the Congressional Salton Sea Task Force and as vice-chair of the Entertainment Task Force. Also Founder and co-chair of the Recording Arts and Sciences Caucus, and founding co-chair of the Intellectual Property Promotion and Piracy Prevention Caucus and the America Supports You Caucus, which was established to rally support for men and women in the armed services and their families.

Thelma Drake (VA) Two terms in Congress, 10 years in the VA House of Delegates. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee (Subcommittee on Terrorism & Unconventional Threats and Subcommittee on Personnel) and House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Also serves on The House Republican Policy Committee. She is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Human Trafficking Caucus, a member of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus, and a member of the Military Veterans Caucus.

All women, particularly women who belong to the Party of John MCCaine, should take this personally.

Monica Goodling For President

Where are these profound expressions of surprise coming from?

While John McWeirdsmile’s vice-presidential pick wasn’t what was expected, it’s no surprise, no surprise that a Republigoat would select as the number two executive of the nation an inexperienced noob who nonetheless relentlessly carries water for the party’s Dark Ages world view. Let’s revisit a now infamous American catchphrase and see if it rings any bells with ya.

Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.

Remember the former Arabian Horsepoop Association guy? Whom The Current President tapped to run FEMA? Failed candidate for Congress (that’s right, Michael Brown ran for Congress once!)? He didn’t know shit about “emergency management,” but he was pals with Joe Allbaugh, so he must have been okay! Even Charles Farthammer had to acknowledge that Brown was “late, slow and in way over his head” regarding Hurricane Katrina. A perfect Republigoat appointment. Perfect.

Remember Monica Goodling? She’s going to be President someday, I swear go God. Goodling was graduated from the prestegious Jesus Christ University of the United States of Jesus Christ Inc. in 1999, and, 47 minutes after receiving her diploma, became White House liasion to the Attorney General! Yay, Jesus! A half-hour later, they gave Monica Goodling the power to hire and fire everyone in the universe! In fact, you probably have been fired by Monica Goodling, and you don’t even know it yet! Yay, Jesus!

The pick of Prudence Palin, two-year governor of one of the the least populated states in the nation, McWeirdsmile’s running mate ain’t a suprise. It’s standard operating procedure for the Republigoats. It’s the Peter Principle on desoxyephedrine. That’s how they roll. Cronies are more hireable than experts, and idealogues are very much more hireable than are…um…experts. This is, no doubt, a superb pick for the Republigoats. Congratulations to (and, happy 107th birthday to) John McWeirdsmile! Yay, Jesus!

(Note to Obama handlers: THIS is the message you need to move. Effectively draw a straight line from the Prudence Palin pick to Bush cronyism and you’ll do just fine. Americans have immunized themselves already to the “experience” argument; it does not pack a punch enough at this point. Tie this pick to Bush cronyism, run some film from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center circa this time 2005, run “Brownie heck of a job.” This approach kills like seven birds with a single stone. That’s free advice from me to you. My treat.)

Obama Bomaye

There is, truly, magic in synergy. Sometimes, there are moments when all the right points in the universe line up and there’s a cosmic boom and you just see sparks. That’s what happened last evening, when the sublime communicator called Barack addressed a stadium packed with 84,000 people and also drew 38 million television viewers. That was a man at the top of his powers at his highest point yet to date, and it was stellar. It was a stellar speech.

This is my favorite part of the speech.

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.

It has echoes of something Bill Clinton said and offers hope that our party is going to run full tilt with a battering ram not just at the Republigoat candidates, but at the essential, twisted ideas that drive them.

By the way, don’t eat up the common wisdom that McWeirdsmile’s veep pick today has stolen his thunder. I think Big Ed had it right today: It’s GOOD that they’re not vivisecting Obama’s acceptance speech today. This allows the speech to stand on its own without a bunch of stupid punditry interfering with its impact.

What He Did There

Frank Caliendo does a mean Bill Clinton impression. He says that Bill Clinton is so good, he can convince you of anything. He can stand right in front of you, says Caliendo, and say, “I am not here.” And you will suddenly no longer be able to see Bill Clinton in front of you. He’s just. That. Good.

His speech last night was damned masterful. If anyone give a darn, I’d like to show you why. Let’s go through some of it together, shall we?

What a year we Democrats have had. The primary began with an all-star line up. And it came down to two remarkable Americans locked in a hard-fought contest right to the very end. That campaign generated so much heat, it increased global warming. Now, in the end, my candidate didn’t win. But I’m really proud of the campaign she ran.

I’m not sure how that’s possible, but all right.

Now. Watch him set up for the ol’ one-two.

I am proud that she never quit on the people she stood up for, on the changes she pushed for, on the future she wanted for all our children. And I’m grateful for the chance Chelsea and I had to go all over America to tell people about the person we know and love. Now, I am not so grateful for the chance to speak in the wake of Hillary’s magnificent speech last night. But I’ll do the best I can.

Here it comes.

Last night, Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she is going to do everything she can to elect Barack Obama. That makes two of us. Actually, that makes 18 million of us…because, like Hillary, I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama in November.

This was such a graceful, sure way to establish his thesis. But now, for the master stroke that makes Bill Clinton him and us just, well, us.

And here’s why. And I have the privilege of speaking here, thanks to you, from a perspective that no other American Democrat, except President Carter, can offer. Our nation is in trouble on two fronts. The American dream is under siege at home, and America’s leadership in the world has been weakened. Middle-class and low-income Americans are hurting, with incomes declining, job losses, poverty, and inequality rising, mortgage foreclosures and credit card debt increasing, health care coverage disappearing, and a very big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline.

And our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation…by a perilous dependence on imported oil, by a refusal to lead on global warming, by a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders, by a severely burdened military, by a backsliding on global nonproliferation and arms control agreements, and by a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe.

Clearly, the job of the next president is to rebuild the American dream and to restore American leadership in the world.

Clinton has now supported his thesis with two simple reasons that he will further support in the rest of his speech, rebuild the American dream, restore American leadership in the world. This is not just good speech-givin’, everybody. This is good speech WRITING. This is such a solid speech because it is built on a solid expository model. The rest of the speech, all of it pretty much calls back to these two simple pillars he’s started with, which lends his speech a clarity that most speakers are not able to achieve. It is mind-blowing.

Notice later in the speech how he will call back to these pillars:

The choice is clear. The Republicans in a few days will nominate a good man who has served our country heroically and who suffered terribly in a Vietnamese prison camp. He loves his country every bit as much as we do. As a senator, he has shown his independence of right-wing orthodoxy on some very important issues.

But on the two great questions of this election—how to rebuild the American dream and how to restore America’s leadership in the world—he still embraces the extreme philosophy that has defined his party for more than 25 years.

Say what you want about Bill Clinton. Call him a triangulator, a DLC Democrat, spray on him for the Telecommunications Act or for the DOMA. But Bill still knows what time it is and worked it into a speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Barack Obama should carry a transcript of this speech in his vest pocket, and that copy should have highlights and notes in the margins. He should make his campaign staff watch it once a week through Nov. 4. This speech should be a guiding manifesto of the Obama campaign. It was a brilliant speech and should provide many effective messages to propel our man to the White House.

We Have A Nominee!

I was walking off the subway to my garage and managed to tune in The Rachel Maddow Show just in time to hear live sound of the roll call. I was so utterly pleased to have gotten to witness it live in some capacity. I have to cop to some lump-throatedness.

My housemate is an African-American guy, and he’s all about Obama. He says “it’s a long time comin’,” and I agree, though maybe perhaps possibly not for the same reason.

I just happen to think it’s about time we elect a smart guy to be the President. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Now. I’m not usually a Melissa Etheridge fan, but she is givin’ me some chills here. And. Speaking of chills. I have to give Hillary Clinton her props. She did it. She did it. Now let’s see if Mr. Clinton still has the mojo.

If he does, I may even take back the “poop-washed the legacy” comment.

By the way. If you’re not watching on C-SPAN, and if you’re not reading WTF Is It Now?? then you are not getting the full convention and election coverage.

Yeah. We'll See.

Republicans: “Democrat Party” No More

WASHINGTON—Republicans have come up with another name for the opposing party—the right name.

For years now, the GOP has gone after “Democrat schemes,” “Democrat presidents,” “Democrat Congresses”—all phrases from the 1996 Republican platform, repeated many times since. Twenty years earlier, Bob Dole famously declared that all wars of the 20th century were “Democrat wars.”

On Tuesday, members of the Republican platform committee meeting in Minneapolis voted down a proposal to call the opposition the “Democrat Party” in the 2008 platform. Instead, they’ll go with the proper Democratic Party.

“We probably should use what the actual name is,” said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the panel’s chairman. “At least in writing.”

In 1996, references to the Democratic Party were purged from a draft of the platform. As party leaders explained at the time, they wanted to make the subtle point that the Democratic Party had become elitist, no longer small-d democratic.

In the debate Tuesday, Jim Bopp of Indiana echoed that sentiment but said fair’s fair.

“We should afford them the respect that they are entitled and call them by their legal name.”