Friday, July 30, 2004

Kerry's speech: Touchdown!

(Okay, so I've heard the home run analogy one too many times tonight.)

Ever since John Kerry sewed up the nomination, the chattering classes have been going on about what a stiff he is. How dull and windy his speeches are. How he can't stop engaging in the sort of bloviating that plays well in the Senate chamber.

Well, whaddaya know...

The Kerry we saw tonight was a man on a mission. He made his case to the American people in no uncertain terms: It's time to get this nation back on track, and I'm the man who can do it.

For my own part, I'm profoundly grateful to Kerry for volunteering to clean up this mess. Last year, I surveyed the Democratic field and said to myself: He's the one. This guy is presidential material. I kept my own counsel, though, and simply told friends that "all I care about is nominating the guy who can beat George Bush."

You need to realize that I live in North Carolina, and I've been very impressed with John Edwards from the get-go. Every time I dashed off an e-mail to his office, I received a real answer -- not a form letter. He played a pivotal role in blocking the confirmation of Bush's worst judicial nominees. But in an election that would likely hinge on national security, I couldn't envision a one-term senator at the top of the ticket; the Republicans would eat him alive., that was another matter.

As we've heard all week, this is the most crucial election of our time. I decided early on that I was going to donate the maximum -- $2,000 -- to the Democratic nominee. I wanted to make that contribution to the Kerry campaign, but I'm a middle-class working stiff -- I could only do it once. So I had to wait until he clinched the nomination. After Super Tuesday, my check was in the mail. And when John Kerry chose John Edwards as his running mate, I had my dream team.

We've got our work cut out for us -- we're going up against people who will stop at nothing to win -- but I feel great about this election. This week, America got a good look at a winning team as well as an earful of the Democrats' message. The days of letting ourselves be defined by the Republicans are OVER. John Kerry made that abundantly clear tonight -- as did John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton before him.

It's been a great week -- and it's only the beginning.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Ragin' Cajun sets the record straight

Heard James Carville on NPR earlier today. The reporter wanted to know why the Democrats were so well-behaved; where were the floor fights? Carville set her straight:

"Our goal here is not to amuse the news media."

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

For your enjoyment

Check this out. (Warning to cube dwellers: There is audio.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

'A brave, wise, and decisive leader'

Good though he was, Bill Clinton didn't provide the only electrifying moment last night. In addition to the moving tribute to the victims of 9/11, there were great speeches from Al Gore and Jimmy Carter -- and this testimonial from Rev. David Alston, who served with John Kerry on PCF-94:

I am a man of faith, and I did not come here tonight to glorify what we did. I came here to share my personal knowledge of a young naval officer who rose to the challenges and responsibilities of leadership, and who has always shown the courage to speak truth to power.

The 27th Psalm tells us, "Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear. Though war break out against me, even then I will be confident." I stand before you tonight alive, while many of our brothers never made it home. I am grateful to have lived to enjoy my children, to see them grow up. But I stand here before you only because almighty God saw our boat safely through those rivers of death and destruction, by giving us a brave, wise, and decisive leader named John Kerry.

Today, 30 years after Vietnam, American soldiers are once again fighting and dying on distant battlefields, at war with an elusive enemy. We pray for these brave men and women. They are our friends, our neighbors, our loved ones. Their loss brings all of us sadness beyond measure.

In a few short months, we will choose our next President. I believe we need to elect a man of faith, experience, and wisdom. A man who knows that defending America means defending our most fundamental rights. A man who knows that leadership is not just about telling others what to do, but inspiring them to do it. A man who knows the true meaning of freedom, equality, and democracy. And that man is my former skipper, my friend, and our next commander-in-chief, John Kerry.

Googlebomb alert

An excellent suggestion from Scoobie Davis:

Googlebombing is one of the easiest forms of media hacking. Attention, bloggers: help web searchers get the facts on one of Scaife's henchmen, Colin McNickle of the alleged newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. One of the best ways to tell McNickle and Scaife to shove it is to hyperlink the phrase "Colin McNickle" to the following URL:

Your finished product will look like this: Colin McNickle. And it's a great way to spread the word about exactly why Teresa Heinz Kerry has every right to tell Colin McNickle to shove it. So help us tell Colin McNickle and his boss, wingnut Richard Mellon Scaife, to shove it.

Convention viewing

Incidentally, I've started watching the convention on C-Span. I want to hear all of the speeches and see all of the films -- and I don't need the chattering classes (as Molly Ivins so aptly calls them) to tell me what I'm seeing and hearing.

When the session was over last night, I did switch over to CNN to watch Larry King's wrap-up with the wonderfully articulate Ben Affleck. (We'll have no more of this crap about celebrities putting a sock in it, thank you very much.) I also caught a few minutes of Ron Reagan's coverage on MSNBC. I'm looking forward to his speech tonight.

It's already happening

A true story from today's Paul Krugman column:

It's election night, and early returns suggest trouble for the incumbent. Then, mysteriously, the vote count stops and observers from the challenger's campaign see employees of a voting-machine company, one wearing a badge that identifies him as a county official, typing instructions at computers with access to the vote-tabulating software.

When the count resumes, the incumbent pulls ahead. The challenger demands an investigation. But there are no ballots to recount, and election officials allied with the incumbent refuse to release data that could shed light on whether there was tampering with the electronic records.

This isn't a paranoid fantasy. It's a true account of a recent election in Riverside County, Calif., reported by Andrew Gumbel of the British newspaper The Independent.

This is enough to make you wonder if voting machines will be the end of democracy. If people can't trust the results of an election, they'll have no faith in -- or support for -- their government. And no amount of wingnut bluster or Faux News propaganda will change that.

Last night, Republican talking head Victoria Clarke (late of Rummy's Pentagon) said that Al Gore had made a mistake in bringing up the Florida fiasco: She just didn't think people were still obsessing about it.

Maybe not in the circles you travel in, Ms. Clarke -- but those of us who got screwed are still outraged. And we will NOT get screwed again.

Bill Clinton delivers a knockout punch

"Strength and wisdom are not opposing values."

Just one of many highlights from the first night in Boston.

Monday, July 26, 2004

More blazing britches: Molly sounds the fire alarm

The invaluable Molly Ivins provides a reality check on the Republicans' talking points:

Am I the only person around who distinctly remembers an entire 18 months ago?

This is what happened: The CIA was wrong, but it wasn't wrong enough for the White House, which kept pushing the spies to be much wronger. The CIA's lack of sufficient wrongness was so troubling to the anxious Iraq hawks that they kept touting their own reliable sources, such as Ahmad Chalabi and his merry crew of fabulists. The neocons even set up their very own little intelligence shop in the Pentagon to push us into this folly in Iraq.

Which brings us to the second talking point last week: Iraq never happened.

I swear to you that "this war and its disastrous aftermath never happened" is the new official line. Down the memory hole. Never happened. You dreamed the whole thing.

Iraq is now like Ken Lay and Chalabi. They never heard of it. Only met it once. Besides, Iraq contributed to their opponents.

Thoughts on the Gropenfuhrer

Speaking of girlie-men, I saw Schwarzenegger on TV over the weekend and found myself wondering just how much plastic surgery the man has had. From the looks of it, there's a plastic surgeon livin' large in Beverly Hills -- thanks to just one patient.

You go, girl!

So Teresa Heinz Kerry told a reporter from a right-wing rag -- owned by Richard Mellon Scaife of "Arkansas Project" infamy -- to "shove it."

The more I learn about this woman, the better I like her.

Also loved Kerry's reaction: "I think my wife speaks her mind appropriately."

And she didn't even have to drop the F-bomb to get her point across.

UPDATE - Some background from Kevin Drum:

The "reporter" in question was Colin McNickle, the editorial page editor of the Scaife-owned Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. If you want to know why Mrs. Kerry might have a beef with Mr. McNickle, you can read part of the answer here: the Tribune-Review editorial page has been on a disgusting and dishonest jihad against the Heinz Endowments for nearly a year. He's lucky that a fleeting tonguelashing is all he got.