Saturday, August 30, 2008

The "No He Can't" Speech

You know it's coming.
Someone at the Republican Convention will have to give a speech somewhere along the lines of the "No He Can't" speech. That is, a speech that will take Obama's catch phrase "Yes We Can" and try to turn it against him while giving the delegates something to chant.
It will go something like this:
They will provide a litany of things that Obama is purported to want to do with the appropriate Republican spin and each time they will end with "No He Can't" which will be chanted in unison by the audience.
So, they will say "Obama wants to raise your taxes! No He Can't!!!
Obama wants to cut-n-run from Iraq! No He Can't!!!
Obama wants to redefine marriage to allow gays to marry! No He Can't!!!
Obama wants to prevent us from drilling for oil in wildlife preserves! No He Can't!!!
And so forth.
The question is who will give that speech?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin = Clarence Thomas

Is McCain out of his mind?

That’s a good question. McCain picked someone whose sum total of experience is having served as governor of a teeny tiny state for less than two years.
Alaska? A tiny state?
Yes. Alaska is one of the smallest states by population. San Antonio, Texas has nearly twice the population as the entire state of Alaska.

Some people are calling her Sarah Quayle Palin, but I think the more apt analogy is with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Sarah Palin was picked for two reasons, and experience wasn’t one of them. First, she’s a woman. And second, she is a fundamentalist rightwinger.
There are many other women in the Republican Party far more experienced to take on the job of Vice President starting with Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and former N.J. Gov. Christie Todd Whitman. Then there is Sens. Olypia Snow, Susan Collins and Elizabeth Dole and Govs. Jodi Rell and Linda Lingle, all with more experience than Palin.
But none were apparently rightwing enough to satisfy the James Dobson-wing of the Republican Party.
That is where Sarah Palin fits the bill. Vigorously anti-choice, even in cases of rape and incest, and a favorite of the anti-public education homeschool crowd who pushes for “creation science” to be taught in the classroom, Palin promises to be a reliable rubber stamp on all evangelical religious right issues.

That is the way it was with Clarence Thomas back when George Bush the Elder passed over dozens of far more qualified black jurists to elevate Thomas to the Supreme Court simply because of his hard-right political views.

BeldarBlog has been pushing for Palin as VP since early June and he is clearly elated. Below is a comment I left on his blog back then:

I think Sarah Palin is a very interesting choice. But I am a bit surprised that Beldar is so enamored with her. As others have already noted, she has little experience on the national stage and if she happened to have a D after her name rather than an R would Beldar still agree that she was a good choice for the other party?
Let's face it, she is a one-term governor of a teeny, tiny state. Yes, I mean tiny in the population sense. Alaska has fewer people than Rhode Island afterall. Why, twice as many people live in Hawaii. It is the 47th smallest state population wise and only merits one representative in the U.S. House. Texas has 32 by contrast.
In fact, more people live in Austin than live in the entire state of Alaska. Twice as many people live in San Antonio. So that means that Mayor Phil Hardberger is respeonsible for twice as many people as Gov. Palin.
I'm still betting that McCain will go with a Hispanic VP - someone like Sen. Mel Martinez - to try and make inroads with that ethnic group. You say that identity politics is stronger with Democrats, yet I think it is almost guaranteed that McCain will pick a woman or a minority for his VP. I would be shocked if he did otherwise.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gallup Daily: Obama Moves Ahead, 48% to 42%

Ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out! Wh-wh-wh-wh-what’s it all about?

Sorry, that was a line from a Beastie Boys song that is stuck in my head. But, seriously, check out the latest from Gallup polls.
Mark was in a frenzy the other day when the poll had McCain up 46-44, but now McCain is back down at his normal low-40s level (42) and Obama has jumped up to 48.

So is that the “bounce” that Mark swore that Obama wasn’t getting? Or (more likely) are the polls simply correcting back to the trend where they have pretty much been all along? And what happens when and if Obama gets a real bounce out of the convention?

More of the McSame and Pawlenty of it

Veep speculation on the Republican side has reached it’s high point, which (Yawn!) ain’t all that high.
Who will McSame pick to go down in flames with him this November?
Mitt Romney, the wealthy Mormon from Massachusetts who has flip-flopped almost as many times as McCain has?
Or Holy Joe Lieberman, the turncoat Democrat and No. 1 apologist for Bush’s quagmire in Iraq?
Or will it be that guy who no one has ever heard of - Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota? What’s his story? I haven’t cared enough to try and find out.
Or is there some other dark horse pick out there waiting to surprise us?
The suspense is so high it is ummm, it’s uhhh... Wait. What were we talking about again?

It’s the policies, Stupid!

Presidential campaigns tend to be driven by personalities and political conventions brings it all out in spades. Everyone has a story to tell and they can be heartwrenching.
We’ve heard about how Michelle Obama lost her father to MS; how Joe Biden lost his first wife and a daughter to a drunken driver when he was first elected to the Senate. We’ve heard about Hillary’s struggle to break the glass ceiling on the highest office in the land and we are going to hear lots more about Obama’s personal story tonight.
Next week, John McCain will have his own compelling story to tell about the five years he spent in a Vietnamese POW camp.
And when it comes time to vote, these are the stories that will resonate the most with voters as they go into the voting booths. But that is a shame, because the personalities and the human interest stories are really just window dressing and matter very little in the day to day functioning of our country.
It is the policies that the winning party will implement that matters the most. And what needs to be made clear to people is that after eight years of near total control of the federal government - Republican ideas DON’T WORK!!!
But Democratic ideas, as evidenced by the boom times of the Clinton years, clearly DO WORK.
Regardless of what you think about the personalities involved in this election, the only thing that really matters is which policies will be put into place and the choice comes down to the ones that have consistently failed for the last eight years, or the ones that worked great during the previous eight years. It is as simple as that.

Big Dog Time

Here is President Bill Clinton doing “everything possible to ensure Obama's defeat” this fall.

It is clearly in the Clintons’ interests to have Democrats in the White House this fall, especially if it can be shown that they had a hand in getting them elected.
I think they played this one brilliantly. They allowed the bar to be set real low with this phony media-fed melodrama about them being upset and bitter. They played the rightwingers for suckers and dupes. And then they blew everyone away with their actions at the convention. Well done.

And here’s another great speech....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Olympic flashbacks at the Democratic Convention

I feel like I'm still watching the Olympics.
Every person who gives a speech at the Democratic convention gets judged by the pundits the same way the athletes in Beijing would get judged after every event.
Last night, Hillary Clinton nailed her dismount after a flawless performance on the uneven bars. But Keynote Speaker Mark Warner fumbled badly like a gymnast who landed on his knees after a vault. Or at least that's the way the pundits judged it.
Tonight, Bill Clinton dominated his event like Usain Bolt running the 100-meter dash and made it look easy. John Kerry also impressed with his performance on the rings. But Joe Biden stutter-stepped after his less than fantastic pomel horse routine. Or so the pundits judged.


And now after having watched Biden's speech, I realize that the pundits are just as boneheaded and full of it as many of the Olympic judges in Beijing. That was a terrific speech and just because it was partially overshadowed by Bill Clinton's tour de force doesn't mean it wasn't also great in its own right.

Whose a Bush Dog??

I nearly flipped when I ran across this the other day via Glenn Greenwald.

Matt Stoller over at Open Left has listed MY congressman, Ciro Rodriguez, among the so-called “Bush Dog Democrats” who they want to target for defeat in future elections.

First off, this kind of ideological purging is not healthy for the Democratic Party in the slightest. Second, how in the HELL do they end up placing someone like Rodriguez - who voted 96 percent of the time with the Democratic Party last year - in a list like this??

As it turns out, they only concerned themselves with two votes, one on continued funding for the Iraq War in 2007 (nevermind that Ciro voted against the war authorization back in 2002) and one on their stupid Holy Grail FISA issue.

That is so incredibly stupid that it just makes me want to bash my head against a wall in frustration. And here I had thought that Matt Stoller was one of the leading lights of the liberal blogosphere. Moron!!!

People around here worked their tails off to finally get a Democrat elected in this district and this is the thanks they get. Ciro has a tough re-election battle ahead of him and he needs all the help he can get to keep this seat in the Democratic column. Republican Lyle Larson isn’t going to be a pushover in the general election, and having this “Bush Dog” smear attached to Ciro will only depress his supporters and dampen their turnout on election day.

This is exactly the kind of thing I feared would happen with the stupid “Moneybomb” campaign promoted by Greenwald, Hamsher and a lot of other prominent liberal bloggers who seem to be aping Ralph Nader these days if not Joe Lieberman. The “Shoot Ourselves in the Foot” campaign would be a more accurate moniker.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good news on Senate races

I don’t think the presidential polls will be worth much until after both conventions are over, but these Senate polls are highly encouraging.

Last week we had good news in Minnesota where Al Franken has evened things up and even inched ahead of Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.
Franken has been down in polls for some time and I was concerned that his might be the one race we lose this cycle. Now maybe not.

And today we get this great news out of North Carolina: Democratic Senate candidate Kay Hagan has taken a lead over incumbent Republican Elizabeth Dole.

And the best news of all comes out of Alaska where Sen. Ted Stevens campaign is falling like a rock. I think this graphic from illustrates it best:

Now if Rick Noriega could just get some traction against John Cornyn here in Texas...

Monday, August 25, 2008

What we’re up against

There has been no better example of the “Any news is good news for McCain” theme in the media that Mark Halperin’s latest bit of “political analysis” for ABC News this past weekend.

So, McCain doesn’t know how many houses he owns - a huge political gaffe for someone who has been trying to make the case in the campaign that the other guy is an “elitist” — and this is somehow bad news for Obama.
Halperin holds the title of “political analyst” for Time Magazine and ABC News, but it is very clear that he is little more than a Republican shill for John McCain. It would be one thing if the media would identify him accurately as a McCain partisan when he starts spouting his nonsense, but to play him up as some kind of non-partisan expert is outrageous and unfair. ABC News should have fired him on the spot after this latest idiocy. Instead, this is just a small sampling of what Democrats are up against for the rest of this campaign.

Pleased with Biden

I would have been happy with just about anyone Obama was considering for the VP slot, but I am particularly pleased with Joe Biden. I think my biggest problem with Evan Bayh and Tim Kaine was the prospect of having to listen to the big hissy fit that SOME Democrats were prepared to throw had they been selected. I swear, I have heard far too much carping and whining from people on the Democratic side since the end of the primary season. It’s a wonder that Democrats ever get elected these days.
Nevertheless, I think the hype about all the disunity at the convention is just that — HYPE — and it is best to just follow the advice of Public Enemy and Don’t Believe It.
I think most all of these disagreeable and disgruntled folks will eventually fall in line, just like all those wingnut bloggers who swore a few months back that they would never vote for McCain are now all firmly on board. But first they have to get their time in the limelight, like the handful of South Texas Hillary delegates who keep getting written up over and over and over again by the San Antonio Express-News.
But back to Biden, I think he is an excellent choice. Unquestionably experienced and qualified to step in and take over as president, he will also be a great asset to the campaign as someone who can aggressively strike out at the Republican noise machine.
I remember feeling sorry for Biden when he had to drop his 1988 presidential campaign after one of his speechwriters borrowed too profusely from British Labor Leader Neil Kinock. At the time, borrowing phrases was not uncommon, but a new standard was being set as the global information machine was starting to evolve. My friend Mark is already giddy over the prospects of the “GOP ridicule machine” going after Biden over these past charges of plaigirism. But I think that will be a little difficult to do when their standard bearer likes to crib recipes from Good Housekeeping, does his foreign policy research with Wikipedia and borrows inspirational stories from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
I was glad to see Biden re-emerge as a political force after his failed ‘88 campaign and it was pretty clear that he was in line for a major cabinet post in an Obama administration had he not been tapped as VP. But the VP slot is an excellent place for him right now. Once they finish fumigating the vice president’s office and sweep up all the shredded pieces of the Constitution, hopefully he will be able to get in their and start piecing things back together so that our country can finally get its reputation back.

TPA Roundup 8-25

It's Monday. Do you know what the Texas Progressive Alliance blogs and bloggers have been up to this week? Well, our weekly round-up will tell you. This week's round-up was compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

refinish69 explains why Travis County and Texas doesn't need another Keel at Doing My Part For The Left.

Two White guys in Houston want each others' jobs. Former Gov. Mark might run for for mayor, and current Mayor Bill may run for governor. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has the Frick-and-Frack report.

Prepare yourself for a shock when you visit Bluedaze and see the BILLIONS in handouts given to Big Oil. TXsharon shows how these handouts, paid with our taxes, enable Big Oil to buy influence, work against our best interest, blatantly ignore laws and keep the US dependent on hydrocarbons rather than moving forward.

Mayor McSleaze at McBlogger wonders why, if Washington is broken as McThuselah's campaign says, McThuselah himself hasn't done something to fix it since he's been there more than, you know, 25 years.

The major media outlets may be arguing about whether experience, the war or the economy is the most important issue in this year's presidential election, but jobsanger says there is only one issue that matters , and it's not any of those three.

The Texas Cloverleaf exposes the plan by Congressman Michael Burgess and the Bush DOT to make I-35 from Dallas to Denton a toll road!

BossKitty at TruthHugger is concerned about WATER and what our fearless leaders plan to do about it: "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink."

Justin at AAA-Fund Blog wonders when Houston will find good leadership ñ in government, in corporations looking for good PR, anywhere ñ for recycling.

Off the Kuff criticizes State Sen. Dan Patrick and State Rep. Frank Corte for their request for a ruling from AG Greg Abbott that the Lege can require cities to enforce federal immigration laws.

Off the Kuff criticizes State Sen. Dan Patrick and State Rep. Frank Corte for their request for a ruling from AG Greg Abbott that the Lege can require cities to enforce federal immigration laws.

Texas Liberal says that he is not a bridge builder.

Before she took off for the DNC convention in Denver, and the Big Tent, Texas Kaos frontpager SCCS took a look at the state of the Central Texas Congressional races.

The rich get Visas while the poor were asked to self-deport notes CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chimse.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts about Perry, Dewhursts, and Craddick's new toll road plan, Texas GOP Leaders Want To Use Public Pension Funds To Build Corporate Toll Roads.

Vince from Capitol Annex takes a look at Republican State Representative candidate Van Brookshire's stupid press release about immigration and the incorrect facts he based it on.

North Texas Liberal shares a stunning tribute to Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, penned by a great friend of the late congresswoman.