Saturday, August 30, 2008

important information about hurricane gustav

Let's take a break from politics to do whatever we can to help ensure the safety of our fellow Texans and Gulf Coast neighbors as Hurricane Gustav approaches.

Senate candidate Rick Noriega has put politics aside to provide a list of resources on his website that could help anyone that may be affected by the powerful storm.

Friends and neighbors, be safe and follow local instructions regarding evacuation and safety measures. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

barbara boxer on mccain's choice

Sen. Barbara Boxer of California released a strongly worded statement concerning Sen. John McCain's newly-announced running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The Vice President is a heartbeat away from becoming President, so to choose someone with not one hour's worth of experience on national issues is a dangerous choice.

If John McCain thought that choosing Sarah Palin would attract Hillary Clinton voters, he is badly mistaken.

The only similarity between her and Hillary Clinton is that they are both women. On the issues, they could not be further apart.

Senator McCain had so many other options if he wanted to put a woman on his ticket, such as Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison or Senator Olympia Snowe -- they would have been an appropriate choice compared to this dangerous choice.

In addition, Sarah Palin is under investigation by the Alaska state legislature which makes this more incomprehensible.

Friday, August 29, 2008

mccain chooses alaska gov. sarah palin for vp

The day after Barack Obama delivered one of the best speeches in recent political history, John McCain named his choice for the VP slot on his Republican ticket: Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska.

Is this a slick move for the McCain campaign, who we can tell from recent ads are clamoring after disaffected Hillary voters? Or is it an insult to intelligent women everywhere, that McCain picked a woman running mate for the purposes of political pandering? Will it backfire?

Either way, it's a history-making choice: Palin is the first female to ever be on a Republican presidential ticket. She's also the first ever Alaskan to be nominated. We'll have to see what happens, but in the meantime, here's what we do know about Sarah Palin's thin record:
  • Palin is 44 and a first-term governor of Alaska
  • She is an advocate for drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • She holds an degree in journalism from the University of Idaho
  • Before serving as governor, Palin served on the city council and as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska
  • She is a former beauty queen
  • She has objected to listing polar bears as endangered species
  • Palin is pro-life and supports teaching creationism in public schools
  • She is opposed to same-sex marriage, though she did use her gubernatorial veto to block anti-gay legislation
Palin will debate Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, in St. Louis on October 2.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama Delivers Historic Speech

Before a rapt audience of 84,000 at Invesco Field in Denver, Barack Obama put to rest any doubts this evening that he might not be able to live up to his own hype by delivering an acceptance speech that is already being hailed as a turning point in American politics. With soaring rhetoric and hard-hitting criticism, Obama laid out the case for why Americans should trust him with their future.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business or making her way in the world, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

Now, I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped my life. And it is on behalf of them that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as president of the United States.

What is that American promise?

It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate
growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, to look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves -- protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

That's the promise of America -- the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now.

David Gergen called it a "political masterpiece".
As I had a chance to say on CNN a few moments ago, it was in many ways less a speech than a symphony. I also sensed that we saw tonight an Obama who is growing into a new, more mature leader — stronger, tougher, harder-hitting than he had appeared only a few weeks ago.
After the speech, one Democrat watching it remarked, "Can you imagine how the McCain team must feel watching this?"

Anticipating the praise, McCain plans to throw cold water on the Obama convention afterglow by announcing his running mate tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

democrats officially nominate first black candidate

After pushing for a roll call vote on the floor of this week's Democratic Convention in Denver, Sen. Hillary Clinton made the unprecedented move to motion a suspension of the rules of the roll call vote and ask for Sen. Barack Obama's nomination by acclamation.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi held a voice vote, and the Democrats nominated for the first time in history a black man to be their candidate in the race to become president of the United States of America.

[Stay tuned... more convention coverage to come.]

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"i'm hillary clinton and i do not approve that message"

Hillary Clinton, in her first appearance at the ongoing Democratic National Convention in Denver, reaffirmed her cry for post-primary party unity, urging her voters and supporters to work for the election of Barack Obama.

She also took the chance to strongly denounce John McCain's ads that prominently feature her: "I'm Hillary Clinton, and I do not approve that message," she said.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

biden biden biden

So, I'm sure everyone's heard by now that Barack Obama has chosen Delaware Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate. I heard the news late last night on CNN, and apparently Obama's super-secret text message that was supposed to pre-empt the media coverage ended up being sent out at around 3 a.m.

Surely, when Democrats receive a text message at 3 a.m. it's usually from Hillary Clinton.

Eileen at Poll Dancing has a great analysis of Obama's VP decision.

Our take: Biden may not necessarily help Obama win the election the way someone like Clinton would've, but Biden will definitely be a post-election asset when it's actually time to govern.

For a relatively new kid on the block like Barack Obama, he needs the balance that Joe Biden can provide: proven leadership, strength on foreign affairs, bipartisan appeal, and a Washington insider's perspective.

Not to mention, he's really funny. Which will make things more interesting. A lot of folks are commenting on Biden's inability to "roll over and take it," so to speak. He stands up for himself, and will undoubtedly be a fighter for the Democrats and Obama. These attributes will lend a hand for the rest of the campaign season, as John McCain continues to roll out attack ad after attack ad.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

remembering stephanie tubbs jones

column by connie schultz of the cleveland plain dealer

In all the years I have known Stephanie Tubbs Jones, I have never written about her in this column.

She was a public figure, but she was also my friend. That made her off-limits for me as a journalist. But hiding behind professional boundaries now strikes me as not only cruel, but cowardly. Stephanie mattered to all kinds of people, including me.

Whenever I saw Stephanie, she almost always started the conversation by asking one question: Where'd I get my jacket? I do not believe for a moment that she always liked what I was wearing, but there was part of her that was always the cozy-up girlfriend, and that's what she called me.

"Girlfriend," she'd say, her eyes full of mischief. "What is up with . . ." Loyalty prevents me from completing the sentence. Let's just say she was full of opinions, and I was only too eager to hear them.

We became friends after I started dating her congressional colleague, Sherrod Brown. She was the star attraction at our wedding reception in 2004, where she called my burly father "baby," then pulled his face into her bosom and squeezed him like a teddy bear.

He looked like he was about to faint, but for the rest of his life he bragged about the big hug he got the first time he met "that Congresswoman Jones."

We were mothers -- full-time, all-the-time, we used to say, our smack- back to the critics of working mothers. She loved her son, Mervyn -- her "man-child," she always called him. She would reach up to touch his face and say, "Can you believe he's mine?" She loved my children, too, particularly Caitlin, who once spent an evening with Stephanie and then declared that she was "too worked up" to go to sleep.

Our friendship was forged by her to-the-bones understanding of what it means to be a woman willing to stick your neck out for your beliefs. I so appreciated never having to explain the punch line. She'd seen it all.

During the Democratic primary season, Stephanie supported Hillary Clinton early and with the kind of enthusiasm and energy that could humble campaigners half her age. She stumped for Clinton across the country, and she never let Barack Obama's growing momentum whittle away at her loyalty for her friend Hillary.

She paid a price for that, although she never saw it that way. She'd just shake her head at the foolishness of anyone who thought they could bully her into submission, but I worried about the long-term stress of so much hate. There were death threats, and behind-the-scene machination by some leaders in the black community to intimidate her. Their warning was hardly subtle: Support Obama, or we will defeat you in 2010.

"My word is all I've got," she told me during a reception in Washington shortly before Ohio's primary. "This isn't about race. It's about experience, and personal history. I gave my word to Hillary that I would fight for her to the very end, and that's exactly what I am going to do."

She did, too, knowing full well that forces were underfoot to make her pay.

"No fear, girlfriend," she told me. "I got no time for fear."

Stephanie once stood in my kitchen and pointed to a magnet I'd stitched years ago: Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say.

"Got that right," she said, kissing my cheek and laughing. "And we're not shutting up anytime soon, are we?"

Stephanie Tubbs Jones has been silenced by the only force that had the right, or the might, to say her time was up. God always has his reasons, but I am at a loss to explain them.

This I do know: I am braver because I knew her. And I ain't shutting up any time soon.

Count on it, girlfriend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

she can't be serious

I think this election cycle has officially pushed New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd off her proverbial rocker.

She is absolutely nuts.

Not sure how her editors saw this op-ed as fit for publication, to be perfectly honest. Wonkette compares the picture she paints to a dastardly scene from Harry Potter, for crying out loud.

Despite what Dowd may think, Hillary Clinton is not conspiring with the Republicans and is not Satan incarnate (or Lord Voldemort, for that matter).

Give us a break, Maureen!

stephanie tubbs jones reported dead

UPDATE: Major news sources can now confirm that Congresswoman Tubbs Jones has in fact died after suffering a brain aneurysm. We give our apologies for the confusion over this story, and our thoughts and prayers to the congresswoman's loved ones.
Major news sources are retracting their stories reporting the death of Congresswoman Tubbs Jones after doctors revealed that she is alive but in critical condition.

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, suffered a brain aneurysm and died today, sources say.
She was removed from life support at 12:19 p.m. at Huron Road Hospital, the sources said.

Tubbs Jones, 58, served as a Cuyahoga County judge and prosecutor before succeeding U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes. She has served five terms in Congress and is expected to easily win her sixth in November.
Congresswoman Tubbs Jones was a staunch supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton's candidacy during the primary season, though she threw her support to Sen. Barack Obama after Clinton conceded the race.

hey at&t, where's my vp?

The Obama campaign has offered supporters the chance to be among the first to know of his vice-presidential pick by receiving a special text message. Seriously, this guy's all about a new kind of politics. So instead of obsessively checking Drudge and Politico this morning, let alone CNN, I continually lit up my phone's screen to see if I somehow went deaf and could no longer hear my text alerts.

It was supposed to come this morning, was it not? Now they're saying we'll probably know tomorrow afternoon. Bah! And while most sources seem to think that Joe Biden has it in the bag, Biden isn't his own biggest cheerleader. He told reporters, "I'm not the guy."

If it isn't Biden, then who is it? Tim Kaine? Evan Bayh?

Well, here's hoping it's Hillary.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

brimer-davis telenovela set to end friday

Expect to hear a quiet sigh of relief Friday from the Wendy Davis campaign.

Davis, a Democrat who is running against state senator Kim Brimer, a Ft. Worth Republican, has faced several challenges against her candidacy because of "resign-to-run" laws, meaning her opponents don't think she resigned from her city council post early enough before declaring her candidacy for the State Senate.

First, a group of area firefighters said her candidacy was illegitimate, but the motion was denied. Then, Brimer himself tried to get Davis removed from the ballot. State District Court Judge Tom Lowe denied the challenge, allowing Davis to remain a candidate in the election.

The Texas Supreme Court today denied Brimer's request to expedite his appeal, meaning Brimer's last chance will be with the Second Court of Appeals in Ft. Worth.

The deadline to remove a candidate's name from the ballot is this Friday. Here's to an end to this never-ending drama, and a victorious Wendy Davis. We have a feeling Brimer wouldn't be so persistent with this lawsuit if he weren't afraid of losing his seat in November.

joe lieberman, part deux

Brace yourselves, because this is about to get interesting.

Joe Lieberman, senator for Connecticut and Al Gore's running mate back in 2000, is reportedly ready to jump ship. Again.

In 2006, the grassroots and netroots staged a coup against pro-war Lieberman, who lost the Democratic primary to challenger Ned Lamont. Lieberman then decided to run as an independent and he bested Lamont in the general.

Lieberman may be forced to cut all ties this time, though, as rumors swirl that Republican nominee John McCain is seriously considering tapping a pro-choice running mate, with Lieberman's name at the top of his shortlist.

What will happen if McCain gets the Joementum? Word on the street is that we'll hear McCain's vice-presidential pick on August 29.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

maverick no more (dnc responds to mccain ad)

On Friday we showed you John McCain's new ad that features prominent Democrats giving him compliments, which ended with Hillary Clinton mentioning McCain's lifetime of experience and implying that Barack Obama had none.

Well the DNC has responded with a new ad, in which each of the Dems gets a chance to redeem themselves with an updated assessment of McCain.  Sen. John Kerry, who reportedly offered the VP slot to McCain back in 2004, calls him "a different John McCain."

"After eight devastating years under President Bush," Hillary says, "Sen. McCain is simply offering four years more."

The DNC allows President Bush to have the last word, and while it's a good one, it's obviously tying McCain to Bush in an attempt to show that the two are one in the same policy-wise.

View the ad below:

olympics medal tracker

Team USA!

Olympic Medal winners at NBC!

michael phelps wins first beijing gold

Swimming superstar Michael Phelps has taken home his first gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley at the summer games in Beijing, setting a new world record and earning his seventh career gold.

Join us in congratulating Phelps, along with American bronze medalist Ryan Lochte.

Phelps was cheered on in Beijing by President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, as well as their daughter Barbara and former President George H.W. Bush.

Phelps will compete again later today, and you can catch it live on NBC, which is devoting most of its airtime to the 2008 Olympic games.

Cheer on Phelps and the rest of Team USA as they make Olympic history in China.  Go USA!

go team usa

team usa

Friday, August 08, 2008

the attacks continue! (the return of hillary clinton)

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama recently wrapped up a hard-fought, lengthy primary battle that no one could escape from.  Some less politically-informed people I spoke with during that period actually thought that Clinton and Obama would be facing each other in November... the primary season was that big this time.

But Obama secured enough delegates for the Democratic nomination and Clinton dutifully suspended her campaign.  She heartily endorsed Obama and vowed to work for his election, doing whatever she could to ensure his presidency.

That doesn't change the fact that during that primary season, she said a few things that could still come back to haunt her... and Obama.

It was only a matter of time before John McCain's campaign started bringing Hillary back into the equation.

Eileen at Poll Dancing shows us this new ad from the McCain camp, which features a slew of prominent Democrats speaking glowingly about the Republican presidential nominee (though much of the footage is obviously from 2004 or before).

The ad says it'll let Hillary have the last say. And she does. "I know Sen. McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House; and Sen. Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."

It's certainly possible that McCain has taken Clinton's remark out of context, but from her tone it's quite obvious that she was making a jab at her opponent during the primaries.

This cannot be blamed on Clinton, however.  If she had won the nomination and were currently running against McCain, the Republicans could easily release advertisements with Obama making negative remarks about Clinton.  Perhaps it wouldn't have the same effect, though, considering Clinton's stature within the party.

Let's hope that this doesn't negatively affect Obama, especially with former Clinton supporters. She has certainly changed tune these days, recognizing that Obama is a much-needed change in direction in Washington and a far better option than McCain for president.  Not all Dems are on the unity boat, though, and McCain knows that.  Ads like the one above are only playing to those swing voters that haven't yet decided for whom they'll cast their ballot, and we need to do everything in our power to ensure they aren't swayed away.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

wrinkly white-haired dude endorses paris hilton

Recently, John McCain aired a negative campaign ad comparing his opponent, Barack Obama, to mega-celebrities like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

You can view the ad below:

Hilton, a hotel heiress and notorious Hollywood party girl, took this mention as her perfect opportunity to enter politics. She was none too happy about being included in the ad, so she struck back against McCain.

Watch her response ad below.

It's sad that even Paris Hilton has a better energy policy than John McCain.  Now there's only one question... what will Britney do about high gas prices?