Today I'm wearing this t-shirt:
Which, of course reminds, me of this photo sent to me in 2008 by a friend whose brother works
as a sheriff's deputy in law enforcement in Alaska:
Now that's what I call an American front yard.
That was an absolutely incredible speech. He actually inspired cynical old me. He made an orchestra from my heart strings. I don't know what to say other than that.
Posted by Donolectic | August 28, 2008 8:57 PM
Could he possibly rock harder?
Posted by tsm | August 28, 2008 8:26 PM
That was seriously about the best thing I've ever seen.
Posted by Grant Cogswell | August 28, 2008 8:25 PM
HIL-LA-RY ! HIL-LA-RY ! HIL-LA-RY !!! Go Hillary 2012!!
Posted by hrc2012 | August 28, 2008 10:08 PM
Well I'll be good god damned. I feel like I just saw our equivalent of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address.
I took tons of notes, but none of those words mean a thing next to the pride I feel right now.
Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | August 28, 2008 8:08 PM
I was truly moved.
More importantly, I actually listened to the speech — first politician in a long time who I felt actually said something.
Obama is something remarkable, indeed, and don't worry, David Wright, Obamanomics will enrich this country and you'll be better off even if you pay higher taxes: kind a like the Lasser Curve in reverse. You pay more taxes AND you get richer! Hey!
Posted by David Sucher | August 28, 2008 8:21 PM
Can he really do all that stuff?
Posted by Justin J | August 28, 2008 7:37 PM
Let me guess, everyone is crying, right?
Posted by catnextdoor | August 28, 2008 7:06 PM
In addition to that insanity, people also offered Charles Mudede "Obama Says Knock You Out" buttons on the streets of Colorado's capital while, inside the giant hall holding the 2008 Democratic National Convention, a forever-awaited deus ex Clintonista went down under the watchful eyes of Greg Nickels (who was clearly also daydreaming about one day becoming Washington's Secretary of State).
In that great, healing-by-design moment in Denver, Hillary Clinton strode into the convention hall to stop all the nonsense about counting every single one of her delegates, moved to personally nominate Obama by acclamation, and watched everyone go like this:
While most of the pundits focused on the virtual tie between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney in the Iowa Republican caucus, I was captivated by the possibility of an even less likely scenario: that Romney might exactly match his 2008 Iowa totals.
In 2008, Romney finished second behind Mike Huckabee, with 30,021 votes, or 25.19 percent. Four years and about $3.4 million later, Romney has apparently finished with 30,015 votes, or 24.55 percent, just 8 votes ahead of second place Santorum, and a mere six votes short of his 2008 totals. Of course these results aren't yet official, and Karl Rove hasn't necessarily finished marking all his ballots, so another 6 vote pickup isn't out of the question.
Remember, Iowa was spun as a big loss for Romney back in 2008—a loss from which he never really recovered. But the only difference for Romney between 2008 and 2012, is that this time around, conservative caucus goers didn't coalesce behind a single candidate. Romney's numbers didn't budge at all. Compare that to Ron Paul, the only other holdover from the 2008 nomination fight: Paul more than doubled his Iowa numbers.
It's damn hard to see how anybody but Romney wins the GOP nomination, but if he does, his Iowa numbers suggest that his victory won't be the result of any surge of popularity within Republican ranks. Rather, it's the general weakness of the rest of the field that's proving to be the secret to Romney's success, a formula that doesn't bode well for November.
Ed Harris as John McCain! Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin! I can't wait until this made-for-HBO movie comes out in March.
All right, Sloggers: Who's got HBO? I'm going to need to come over and watch this thing at your house.
Back during the 2008 RNC, police roughed up and arrested journalists who were covering the convention. (A list of them is here.) Now the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as the federal government, is paying some of those journalists for their trouble.
From the AP:
Journalist Amy Goodman, host of the syndicated program "Democracy Now!" and two of her producers will receive $100,000 in a settlement over their arrests during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, their attorney said Monday.
Their attorney, Anjana Samant of the Center for Constitutional Rights, also said St. Paul and Minneapolis have agreed to develop a policy and training for police officers on how to avoid infringing on the First Amendment rights of journalists who cover big protests.
The settlement was reached Friday with the aid of U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan in St. Paul. The two cities agreed to pay a combined $90,000 while the federal government agreed to pay $10,000, Samant said. The lawsuit named the federal government because a Secret Service agent confiscated the press credentials of Goodman and her producers, she said.
Remember earlier this month, when I told you about a new anonymously written novel titled O: A Presidential Novel about Obama's 2012 presidential run? I was really excited to read it.
But now, the author has been kinda-sorta revealed to be John McCain speechwriter/Faith of My Fathers cowriter Mark Salter, and I'm just not that interested anymore. Put simply: Salter's just not that good a writer, and I was hoping that this Anonymous, like the Primary Colors Anonymous, would be a member of the press. (Members of the campaign press get all the good gossip, and we almost never get to hear it.)
Now that I know the author is so unabashedly partisan, I'm much less likely to read the book; it looks like Game Change is still as close as we're going to get to an Obama-starring gossipy narrative for a while yet.
WaPo takes us back to 2008:
Speaking of Palin and nuclear weapons, during the last Silent Reading party, I returned to this passage in The Gay Science (I use the Silent Reading party to revisit underlined passages—my habit is to underline anything that amazes me):
Obama shot back while overseas to sign a nuclear reduction deal with Russia, calling Palin "not much of an expert" on nuclear issues.
Palin counterpunched Friday while addressing the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. Clearly mocking the president, she dismissed the "vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer."
The ultimate goal of science is to create for man the greatest possible amount of pleasure and the least possible amount of pain? But suppose pleasure and pain should be so closely connected that he who wants the greatest possible amount of the one must also have the greatest possible amount of the other...This may not be a perfect description of science in the 21st century (that is still up in the air), but certainly it describes the state of science in the century that followed the one in which Nietzsche wrote all of his work, the 19th century. With nuclear weapons, the greatest amount of pain possible stands next to (and threatens) the greatest amount of pleasure known to humans, advanced capitalist consumerism.
This man? He is at one with the content (core, meaning, substance) of the Bush years:
(CNN) — Richard Strandlof said he survived the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon. He said he survived again when a roadside bomb went off in Iraq, killing four fellow Marines. He'd point to his head and tell people he had a metal plate, collateral damage from the explosion.The of whole of Bush's presidency was the same as his claims. Strandlof was only being honest to his times.
None of it was true. On Friday, the FBI arrested him on the rare charge of "stolen valor."
Strandlof, 32, was held "for false claims about receipt of military decorations or medals," an FBI news release said. Charges had been filed in Denver, Colorado, the week before, the bureau said.
"The penalty for his crime is up to one year incarceration and a $100,000 fine," it said.
Before his deception was revealed, crowds ate up his story. He canvassed Colorado appearing at the sides of politicians. Inspiring and seemingly authentic, he spoke on behalf of veterans at the state Capitol.
He formed a group called the Colorado Veterans Alliance.
The whole thing was a lie...
According to HuffPo, this image is being ciruculated in Tea Party circles as a true representation of the protest on Sept, 12:
There's another big problem with the photograph: it doesn't include the National Museum of the American Indian, a building located at the corner of Fourth St. and Independence Ave. that opened on Sept. 14, 2004. (Looking at the photograph, the building should be in the upper right hand corner of the National Mall, next to the Air and Space Museum.) That means the picture was taken before the museum opened exactly five years ago. So clearly the photo doesn't show the "tea party" crowd from the Sept. 12 protest.So the status of the image is the same as that of Obama's Kenyan birth certificate. For Tea people, the present truth is so painful that any old lie offers some comfort.
Good news from Iraq!
(HuffPo) — An Iraqi journalist imprisoned for hurling his shoes at former President George W. Bush will be released next month after his sentence was reduced for good behavior, his lawyer said Saturday.
Muntadhar al-Zeidi's act of protest during Bush's last visit to Iraq as president turned the 30-year-old reporter into a folk hero across the Arab world, as his case became a rallying point for critics who resented the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation.
"Al-Zeidi's shoes were a suitable farewell for Bush's deeds in Iraq," Sunni lawmaker Dhafir al-Ani said in welcoming the early release. "Al-Zeidi's act expressed the real will and feelings of the Iraqi people. His anger against Bush was the result of the suffering of his countrymen."
He is not just a hero in the Arab world, he is a hero to all cosmopolitans across the globe.
The Ramsey County prosecutors assume, correctly, that they "would have been a distraction at trial."
The conspiracy to riot and conspiracy to damage property—those charges remain.
You can see the alleged conspirators, smiling in their courtroom best, at Friends of the RNC 8.
This looks to be Portfolio Magazine's first big scoop: Sarah Palin is against the Alaska gas pipeline even though she repeatedly said she was for it during the election.
Barack Obama wants the pipeline. It says so right on the White House website, in the section about energy and the environment: prioritize the construction of the alaska natural gas pipeline. But Obama might not realize that one of the biggest obstacles in its path—all Palin’s rhetoric notwithstanding—is the woman who wants to take the presidency from him in 2012, Governor Sarah “Drill, Baby, Drill” Palin.
As Mike Hawker, the Republican co-chairman of Alaska’s House Finance Committee, told me one night in Juneau not long ago, “The only thing standing in the way of an Alaska gas pipeline is the Sarah Palin administration.”
It's a great story, and any Sarah Palin-bashing reportage is fine with me: It's not too early to plan the attack for 2012.
A prime FBI informant against protesters at the Republican National Convention has waived the right to his own trial:
An undercover FBI informant who infiltrated an anarchist group planning disruptions at the Republican National Convention waived his right to a trial on Monday for an unrelated incident in which he is charged with five counts of assault, burglary and damage to property.
Information from the informant—Andrew Darst—is being used against the RNC 8, who will stand trial for criminal conspiracy to disrupt the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. He's waiving his trial, presumably, because is own criminal case (and the public airing of its details) could undermine his credibility as a witness.
His own crime?
On Jan. 11, Darst was arrested for breaking down a door and entering a house in Minnetrista and assaulting two men around 2 a.m. He told police he was "wasn't comfortable with the people his wife was with there." According to the police report, Darst struck two men.
Sounds like this star witness and undercover informant has got some issues.
Journalists and protesters who felt unduly smacked around at the Republican National Convention have begun filing their lawsuits, accusing police officers of wrongful imprisonment, excessive force, intimidation, battery, and, in one case, repeatedly tasering a man without cause.
Attorney Ted Dooley filed seven suits representing eight people last week and said the chaos and police violence in St. Paul last September was "unlike anything I'd ever seen."
His clients say they were peaceably protesting/journalizing and complied with all police instructions, but were still tackled, battered, arrested, detained, shot at close range with projectiles, and/or tasered. One client, Michelle Gross, says she was singled out for a strip-search in front of several men simply to humiliate her.
Another, Michael Whalen, was hosting members of Eyewitness Video (a group that documents police behavior during protests) when his home was raided. That warrant listed, among other reasons for the raid, that Whalen had co-owned a bookstore, that he received large boxes in the mail (turned out to be vegan pamphlets), and that he "had supported Irish independence twenty years ago."
Whalen's complaint alleges that police simply wanted to "punish plaintiff for his exercise of freedom of speech and association with journalists known to document police abuses."
The St. Paul police, Dooley says, were taking "heavy suggestions" about the RNC tactics from Homeland Security and the FBI, resulting in an uncharacteristically heavy-handed approach to the protests. "There's a document that's floating around," he says, "a Homeland Security document on how to 'do' protests that was copied almost page-for-page for the RNC '08 in St. Paul." Dooley also says St. Paul had at least 106 law enforcement agencies "on tap" to come help with the protests.
Defendants in the suits include individual officers and the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
"I was just talking to a guy from the New York Times," he said. He was at the Republican National Convention in New York in 2004 and said this was much, much worse."
Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, the GOP, this is a time of deep trouble:
Sixty-eight percent of speech-watchers questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey had a very positive reaction, with 24 percent indicating that they had a somewhat positive response and 8 percent indicating that they had a negative reaction.
Eighty-five percent of those polled said the president's speech made them more optimistic about the direction of the country over the next few years, with 11 percent indicating the speech made them more pessimistic.
Eighty-two percent of speech-watchers said they support the economic plan Obama outlined in his prime time address, with 17 percent opposing the proposal.
Also, all of those politically powerful people trying to get his autograph—did that happen to Bush during his first address to Congress? I'm not sure.
Sarah Palin is all about Sarah Palin, a fact that her party is slowly learning.
ABC News: When House Republicans planned their annual winter retreat, they extended an invitation to Alaska Gov. Sara Palin, hoping the party's 2008 vice presidential nominee would give a morale-building speech to the more than 130 Republican members of Congress gathered this weekend in Hot Springs, Va.
Retreat organizers tell ABC News that Palin politely declined, giving a perfectly understandable reason. According to the Congressional Institute, which hosted the conference, Palin said she simply could not make it to the retreat because pressing state business made it impossible for her to leave Alaska this weekend.
So where is Palin this weekend? She's in Washington, D.C., attending the super-elite Alfalfa Dinner.
"She lied to us," said a Republican at the retreat
The star of the Alfalfa Dinner?
President Barack Obama shared Washington’s high-society spotlight on Saturday night with an unlikely co-star — Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.Pretty Palin wants to be where that lights are bright and the champagne is flowing, not where the lights are out and a bunch of sore losers are licking their wounds in the dark.
Wearing a black satin evening gown, Palin was spotted by journalists making her way into the ballroom at the Capitol Hilton for the Alfalfa Dinner, an annual closed-door roast of the city’s political and business elite.
With end of Bush, the GOP entered a world that offers no rope to hold and no hard place to a foot on. All is a fall.
'RESPECTING' THE OFFICE.... Former Bush White House chief of staff Andrew Card complained to right-wing talk-show host Michael Medved that President Obama is insufficiently respectful of the presidency. Apparently, one demonstrates respect for the presidency by their choice of attire:
"...I found that Ronald Reagan and both President Bushes treated the Oval Office with tremendous respect. They treated the Office of the Presidency with tremendous respect. And some of that respect was reflected in how they expected people to behave, how they expected them to dress when they walked into the symbol of freedom for the world, the Oval Office. And yes, I'm disappointed to see the casual, laissez faire, short sleeves, no shirt and tie, no jacket, kind of locker room experience that seems to be taking place in this White House and the Oval Office."
Yet another reason for some grave turning.
This age does not know how to stop surprising us.
Michael Steele has won the election to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, becoming the first African-American to lead the party.
Mr Steele won in the sixth ballot, with 91 votes out of a possible 168. His nearest rival, Katon Dawson, received the remaining 77 votes.
HEY JOHN! IT'S OVER! YOU LOST! JOHN? WAKE UP, SENATOR! Oh, nevermind. Somebody put a mirror under his nose.
A fascinating mix of exactly what you'd expect McCain to Twitter ('I am working in my office on Capitol Hill today.", "I'm traveling today with Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Joe Lieberman.", "GET OFF MY LAWN!"), and bizarre use of internet acronyms that no one over 25 uses (ICYMI).
Keep 'em coming, Johnny.
Seriously, less than a week after posting about how I accidentally brushed my teeth with antifungal cream and had to call Poison Center for help (and quickly received that help), I get an email concerning our Governor's plan to cut the Poison Center's budget by 50%!
Writes William Hurley, the Medical Director of Washington Poison Center:
The recent proposed Washington budget calls for a 50% ($1 million) reduction in Poison Center funding. The leadership team at the Poison Center estimates such a cut would leave us unable to continue 24/7 operations & unable to maintain certification as a center. This would lead to our closure. Such a cut would cost lives & multiple millions of dollars.
Is this the same budget that Gregoire deserves so much credit for? A budget with such an idiotic cut? A cut that will endanger lives? Writes William Hurley about my encounter with anitfungal cream: "Glad it wasn’t the hemorrhoidal cream... If it has dibucaine in it, it can be fatal!" People, this is not funny; this is as serious as a heart attack. Poison Control must always run at 100%. It only costs us two million dollars, and every buck is worth it.
Obama's inaugural luncheon was held in Statuary Hall, which is basically a ridiculously architecturally elaborate (the Pantheon blushes and faints) museum of arcane black and white statues.
Were you wondering too what all those black and white men represent? (I'm assuming they were all men because it looked that way on TV and, well, because.) It turns out that each statue represents a state. Here's a map of the statues. Washington's statue is of a man who was "massacred by Indians." Yes.
That covers the sculpture and architecture. But what about the painting that was borrowed for the occasion?
Turns out a painting at the luncheon has been a tradition since Ronald Reagan's inauguration in 1985, when he showed this. Morning in America, sure—and cheesy and religious as hell. This is a painting that tells you to sit back and do nothing; all will happen for and to you. You're nothing but a subject. Hello, 1980s!
For G.H.W., it was humility all the way (and again with the great taste—look at that godhead above the godhead!).
Clinton (first term) goes with this brushy, apple-cheeked young Thomas Jefferson, which makes perfect sense for the apple-cheeked saxophonist. Clinton Two is thoroughly chastened (although he doesn't realize how chastened he's about to be) and picks a homely and lonely-looking John Adams. Adams, notably, is facing right, while Jefferson was facing left.
Wouldn't you know W comes in and blows them all away with his bad, focusless art?
W2 is a dramatic, ominous sublime by Bierstadt. Bush may have meant it to signify the state of post-9/11 America, but instead it clearly symbolizes his frightening presidency.
Now here's Obama's choice: Thomas Hill's View of the Yosemite Valley from 1865, created in homage to Lincoln's setting aside of the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias as a public reserve.
There's the environmental message (look at that broken-off tree trunk on the right). There's also the fact that the distance is hazy, not in an anxious way—but in the way that what's out there is an open question. The colors are fairly muted. The light source has only an oblique presence. As far as 19th-century American landscapes go, this one is pretty low-drama (no-drama Obama).
And most of all, this is a Western landscape. (Most presidencies, with the glaring exception of Reagan, feel Eastern or Southern by contrast.) This is a portrait of pioneering without much of the swagger usually associated with it. Not only are we pioneering, we're pioneering pioneering, quietly. There's a path, sort of, leading straight ahead, downhill, and into a canyon of rocks. Here we go.
Just asking. (What you really want to see starts at about 4:30.)
While Michelle rocked it, Laura Bush was dressed as an eraser.
Joe Biden's wife Jill, in a surprise appearance on Oprah, just accidentally let slip with the fact that, during the campaign, Joe Biden was offered his choice of either Vice President or Secretary of State in an Obama Administration. Joe Biden immediately shushed his wife and said that that wasn't a fact for public consumption.
Investors are faking their own deaths and vanishing into thin air with money that never existed...
The 75-year-old hedge fund manager raked in high returns for his clients but left the luxury cars and the exorbitant lifestyle to others. So confident were investors in his ability to manage their money that they entrusted hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece to his care.
Now they're wondering where Nadel is and what he's done with their money.
The Sarasota Police Department had received at least seven complaints as of Sunday from investors, some of whom say they have lost upward of $700,000. It wasn't clear how much money was invested or how much might be missing, though one investor said the hedge fund had been worth as much as $350 million and might have been completely drained.
"I'm angry," Brad Lerner, a doctor who invested $500,000 with Nadel three years ago, said Sunday. "I'd like to see the truth come out and (the) money returned."
Nadel's family reported him missing Wednesday, and on Thursday, police found his green Subaru in an airport parking lot. He left a note for his family, in which he appeared to be "very distraught," the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said.
A woman who answered the door Sunday at Nadel's home declined to identify herself.
Investigators continued to search for Nadel through the weekend.
"Sarasota is a good sized place, but it's actually a very small community of people," police Capt. Bill Spitler said. "Obviously we have white collar crime. But very few places have anything of this magnitude."