Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama Accepts Nomination At Mile High

Barack Obama faced a challenge. With more than eighty thousand people surrounding him in Invesco Field at Mile High and millions more on television and the internet, Obama had expectations riding on his back in a way more familiar to John Elway than to a politician.

But even putting aside the question of priorities in an America that often gives more reverence to a quarterback than a President, we are still left with a question we can relate to football. Did he lead the Democrats to a touchdown?

In this age of demagoguery, there will be pundits in the morning who want you to believe that his campaign hinged on this night… at least until their next deadline. But they are wrong. This was not the fourth quarter.

This was an opening drive.

And on an opening drive, quarterback and candidate Obama did what he needed to do. He did what a good team (because Obama has always known he is only one part of America's team) does… He drove down the field and scored. He didn't throw up a bomb on the first play. He went to the ground game…he hammered out first downs. He pushed downfield, mixed it up and put the defense on their heels.

He took up the mantle of Roosevelt and Kennedy and he resisted what must have been an almost overwhelming temptation to turn this into a night all about him and his connection with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That would have been the vertical game, the long bomb.

Barack got into the huddle and he called a run on history around end for eleven yards, tossed a screen pass on national security for sixteen yards, hammered George W. Bush with a run off tackle for eight. And on that play, eight was enough.

Health care for twenty, gay rights for fifteen, specifics on taxes for thirty. This was not what some expected. This was not lightning. This was the trenches. This was where the lineman do the real work that lets the skill players get all the glory.

Offense sells tickets. But you win championships in the trenches.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain's Experience Is In Being Wrong

I have been watching the DNC with interest, staying up late because I have had other things to do in the early evenings and patiently waiting for someone to say what we all should be able to recognize.

Last night, the Democrats finally made the point I think should be made more firmly and consistently. John McCain's experience is as much of a liability as it is an asset.

Bill Clinton, John Kerry and Joe Biden hammered the point. And they need to. Because the one thing that is consistent about a candidate who is willing to change everything else about his ethics and his values in pandering to the GOP hierarchy is his consistent ability to make mistakes.

He has been wrong about foreign policy, constantly advocating positions that are incredibly evident of his faulty judgment. He said Bosnia was another Vietnam and Iraq was not. He said we would be welcomed as liberators. He said no one talked about Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden anymore because they were "yesterday's news."

BTW, does no one else find it horribly sad that the most famous casualty of Afghanistan is Pat Tillman? A man who gave up a professional football career in Arizona and then gave up his life. You would think that the Senator from a state that counts Pat Tillman as one if it's great heroes and examples would avoid downplaying the theater of operations in which he lost his life. But that would require McCain to be in touch with the people below his own income bracket, something that clearly is a challenge for him.

He says the economy is fundamentally strong at a time when it is clearly not and he dares to state this opinion after earlier stating that he doesn't know as much about the economy as he should. Yes, John... we figured that out again when you made that ridiculous statement.

This man's mental myopia should be legendary. John McCain's foreign policy approach is reminiscent of nothing so much as Charlie Brown trying to kick that football, repeatedly attempting the same thing and never learning from his past when he ends up on his back saying "This time I thought I was right."

Experience at being wrong should not be a qualification for the White House. It should be a warning.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dave Stewart's American Prayer



LYRICS

This is my American Prayer
This is my American Prayer

This is the time to finish what you started
And this is no time to dream
This is the room
We can turn off the dark tonight
Maybe then we might see

American Prayer
American Prayer

And this is the ground
That keeps our feet from getting wet
And this is the sky over our head
And what you see depends on where you stand
And how you jump will tell you where you're gonna land

American Prayer
American Prayer

My oh my
Couldn't get much higher
Lets not kick out the darkness
Make the light brighter

And these are the hands
What are we gonna build with them?
This is the church you can't see
Give me your tired, your poor and huddled masses
You know they're yearning to breathe free
This is my American Prayer
American Prayer
American Prayer

When you get to the top of the mountain
Will you tell me what you see
If you get to the top of the mountain
Remember me

LIST OF GUESTS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE:
Dave Stewart
Forest Whitaker
Amy Keys
Macy Gray
Jason Alexander
Colbie Caillat
Whoopi Goldberg
Joss Stone
Buju Banton
Ann Marie Calhoun
Barry Manilow
Linda Perry
Cyndi Lauper
Sergio Mendes
Herbie Hancock
Mike Bradford
Margaret Cho
Cindy Gomez
Speech
Joan Baez
Daedelus
Pamela Anderson
Peter & Gordon
Sierra Swan
Nadirah X
Perez Hilton

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Cost Of John McCain's Soul? $285,000.00?

On June 16th, John McCain was the first of the two major candidates to adjust his position on offshore oil drilling, reversing his previous support of a federal ban (Barack Obama has since also called for a relaxation of that ban in a more limited sense.)

The following day, according to the non-partisan group Campaign Money Watch, ten Hess Corporation Executives and family members donated the maximum legal contribution of $28,500.00 each to the joint RNC/John McCain fund. The big (but not only) question I have?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The change in position or the money? It is perfectly reasonable for oil company executives to jump on the bandwagon of a candidate who is supporting their positions. However, if the money was conditional on the opinion, that would be something very different...and we also have to watch and see what happens when the numbers are reported for the time following Obama's announcement. If the donations were in response to the policy position change, as opposed to being a condition of it, than we should see some similar effect in Obama's numbers.

If we don't, it doesn't meant that McCain is crooked. At least, not as far as I know...

Ohhhh.... I'd best be careful. For a second, I started to sound like a Republican TV ad.

It gets better. A Hess Office Manager and her husband, an Amtrak employee, also gave $28,000.00 each. $57,000.00 from Alice and Pasquale Rocchio of Flushing, Queens. Apparently (according to FEC records), neither of the two have ever donated to a political campaign before each gave the maximum $2300.00 directly to McCain earlier this year. Alice Rocchio, when contacted by a member of TPM Election Central, said the contributions were from their own personal incomes.

The median income in the zip code where the Rocchio's rent their home is $58,069.00.

Is this a Sesame Street bit? One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong...

Friday, August 01, 2008

Latest McCain Ad Includes MisQuote Refuted The Previous Day

John McCain's ads continue to say absolutely nothing about John McCain except how little there is to say and how low his standards are.

Today, the McCain campaign released an ad claiming that Obama is painting himself as a messianic figure, calling him "The One." In the middle of the ad they included a Dana Millibank misquote that had been refuted by multiple sources and last night was a source of great embarrassment for Pat Buchanan when he was shouted down by four of his colleagues when he, apparently focusing on the remarks he intended to give, completely missed discussion concerning that the quote was a fabrication and opened his critical remarks with it.

This is not what we need in the White House, this is what we HAVE in the White House. Believing statements without verification because they seem to support the position that they are searching to support? That is where we got fooled before going into Iraq! That is one of the key and most dramatic blunders of the Bush Administration and it is one we have seen repeatedly by that administration.

Enough already. John McCain's campaign has the people at FactCheck.org, the Washington Post and the New York Times running ragged simply trying to keep up with the number of lies in his advertisements.

The best they can do is compare Barack Obama to Paris Hilton? You know, they are both kinda skinny, but last I checked they looked nothing alike, Paris had never taught Constitutional Law and despite Ms. Hilton's musical ambitions Obama was the one with two Grammy's and Hilton was the one stupid enough to have two ex-boyfriends selling sex tapes.

John McCain swore he would run a clean campaign. Of course, he also claimed to support the troops, then voted against the GI Bill, then allowed people to spin it like Bush and he were responsible for passing it. Being a veteran and supporting veterans are different things, John.

You want flip-flop? Quick, name the Senator who voted against his own legislation when the RNC told him that it wasn't in line with their platform? Name the Senator who hired a man to head his "Truth Squad" four years after he condemned that man for telling lies about John Kerry.

I had hopes that this campaign was going to be different. I guess I was thinking of the John McCain of 2000 instead of the 2008 version.