Friday, August 29, 2008

I Have A Dream

Well, yesterday was the anniversary of one of the most moving speeches in American history:

Oh, and by the way, speaking in front of 84,000 people, Obama didn't do too badly himself:

Unsurprisingly, the best analysis of the speech comes from Andrew Sullivan, who's gotten Obama from the get-go:
It was a deeply substantive speech, full of policy detail, full of people other than the candidate, centered overwhelmingly on domestic economic anxiety. It was a liberal speech, more unabashedly, unashamedly liberal than any Democratic acceptance speech since the great era of American liberalism. But it made the case for that liberalism - in the context of the decline of the American dream, and the rise of cynicism and the collapse of cultural unity. His ability to portray that liberalism as a patriotic, unifying, ennobling tradition makes him the most lethal and remarkable Democratic figure since John F Kennedy.

What he didn't do was give an airy, abstract, dreamy confection of rhetoric. The McCain campaign set Obama up as a celebrity airhead, a Paris Hilton of wealth and elitism. And he let them portray him that way, and let them over-reach, and let them punch him again and again ... and then he turned around and destroyed them. If the Rove Republicans thought they were playing with a patsy, they just got a reality check.
He took every assault on him and turned them around. He showed not just that he understood the experience of many middle class Americans, but that he understood how the Republicans have succeeded in smearing him. And he didn't shrink from the personal charges; he rebutted them. Whoever else this was, it was not Adlai Stevenson. It was not Jimmy Carter. And it was less afraid and less calculating than Bill Clinton.
Above all, he took on national security - face on, full-throttle, enraged, as we should all be, at how disastrously American power has been handled these past eight years. He owned this issue in a way that no Democrat has owned it since Kennedy. That's a transformative event. To my mind, it is vital that both parties get to own the war on Jihadist terror and that we escape this awful Rove-Morris trap that poisons the discourse into narrow and petty partisan abuse of patriotism. Obama did this tonight. We are in his debt.
Look: I'm biased at this point. I'm one of those people, deeply distressed at what has happened to America, deeply ashamed of my own misjudgments, who has shifted out of my ideological comfort zone because this man seems different to me, and this moment in history seems different to me. I'm not sure we have many more chances to get off the addiction to foreign oil, to prevent a calamitous terrorist attack, to restore constitutional balance in the hurricane of a terror war.\
I've said it before - months and months ago. I should say it again tonight. This is a remarkable man at a vital moment. America would be crazy to throw this opportunity away. America must not throw this opportunity away.
Know hope.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Poor, Bella. As we were out for our usual 2 a.m. walk last night, I noticed her bolt after something. She normally doesn't go after anything at night, but it's not unheard of either. I figured she was after a raccoon or a neighborhood cat. I called her back to me and she came pretty quickly—I was pleased she responded so well. But within ten seconds I was hit with a brick wall of olfactory nastiness and realized she didn't come back quickly enough to avoid being sprayed by a skunk. 

Let me tell you, this is a thing to avoid. I generally don't mind the smell of skunk from a distance, but up close, at ground zero, it is one of the most repellent and nasty scents I can imagine. A combination of burning rubber and boiling acid. It's interesting, though, a split second before I could track what I was smelling, I had a repulsion reflex. It's like my body knew to recoil before my brain registered what it was recoiling from. 

Anyway, I began running to get away from the smell. Once away, I double-checked, and she had indeed been hit. It was a pretty chilly night last night and I didn't really want to make her stay outside, but she was so nasty with the funk, I couldn't bring her into the house. Even my clothes smelled a bit and they didn't get any of the skunk's oil directly on them. Unclear how best to handle it, I woke Annie up. She'd dealt with this before and I thought she'd know what to do. We agreed not to bring her in, so we put her bed out on the patio with a couple of towels for padding and warmth. I felt terrible about her sleeping in the cold, but our house would reek for days if she'd come inside. 

This morning Annie got some cleaning stuff from the Grange and I showered Bella: first I washed her with skunk odor removal stuff, then I rinsed her off. Then I shampooed her, and gave her another rinse. Then some more odor removal stuff and another rinse. Then another shampoo and another rinse. Though it was dramatically reduced, the smell wasn't completely gone even then. But I'd run out of the odor removal stuff, so we let her outside to dry off and play in the sun. 

Twenty minutes later, I bent down to pet her… and immediately pulled away. She still had enough of the skunk smell on her to keep my distance. 

I suppose it's lather, rinse, and repeat again tonight. Poor thing.


Speaking of odiferous and repellent, here's some video footage of PUMAs and other assorted bright lights who claim to be or have been Hillary supporters who just can't—can't, I tell you—support Obama. Enjoy! 

And this:

Kudos to Matthews for not letting this troglodyte get away with a baseless and tired smear. (Notice how xenophobes like her use the word Muslim as a weapon. FOX-tastic!)

And then there's this, which just defies words:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Well, It's Official!

Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for president. 
It's official: Obama is the nominee
DEMOCRATS have made history by nominating Barack Obama as the first black presidential nominee of a major US party.

“It is with great pride that I announce Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for president of the United States by acclamation,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the convention.

“I have been asked to inform you that Senator Obama accepts the nomination,” she said, adding the Illinois senator would deliver his acceptance address at the Invesco field tomorrow.

A state by state roll-call vote was dramatically suspended when Hillary Clinton appeared on the floor of the convention and called for Obama to be nominated by acclamation.

The motion was immediately put to the floor and carried.

Though the vote at the Democratic National Convention offered no surprises, its historical importance was undeniable.

It capped the longest, closest US primary race in memory as Senator Obama, a political newcomer, defeated Senator Clinton, the former first lady whose victory once seemed all but assured.

It also meant that Senator Obama, the son of a black Kenyan father and a white American mother, is now one victory from becoming president of a nation where, just decades ago, many blacks were denied the vote.
Here's video of the climactic moment on the floor:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Finally, The Drought Is Over

The long slog between the last primary battle and the Democratic convention is finally—finally—over. August is never my favorite month, but this year was especially painful, having to deal with a combination of no actual political news and a relentless wall of pseudo-news stories decrying the disunity and disarray among the Democrats. 

But thankfully, the end of August is near, the convention is underway, and the real general election season is about to begin!

Michelle Monday. And, what a great couple of days to be a liberal! Yesterday, Michelle Obama did a fabulous job of introducing herself to the American people, most of whom haven't really been paying attention. She came off as smart, warm, funny, and caring. She hit all the notes she needed to and put the lie to the stupid "angry black woman" trope the Hannitys and O'Reillys of the world have tried smearing her with. Best of all, she was real. 

Check it out if you haven't seen it:

Hillary Tuesday. And as if that wasn't good enough, tonight Hillary knocked it out of the park with a speech that was both gracious, commanding, and spunky. She threw her support unequivocably behind Obama and exhorted her supporters to do the same. She took a few big pieces out of McCain and—by referencing the Underground Railroad and Seneca Falls, as well as other seminal watershed moments in the advancement of human rights— reminded everyone of just why it is they're liberals/progressives/Democrats in the first place. An absolute A+ of a speech.

As an aside, I have to say it was a relief. I was tough on Hillary throughout the primary partly because I judged Obama to be a better choice for president, but also because I found many of her tactics beyond the pale. Mid-primary I was livid with both her and Bill and found myself re-examining my judgment in supporting them for so many years. In fact, they became personae non grata to me. Well, tonight wiped the slate clean. I'm proud to have her as a leader in the Democratic party. 

The speech isn't online yet, but I'll post it when it is. It's definitely worth watching.

* By the way, as Hillary mentioned in her speech, today, August 26, is the anniversary of the day, back in 1920, that women finally won the right to vote in this country. 

Update: As promised, here's part 1 of Hillary's speech last night.

Parts 2 and 3.