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Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:54 AM PDT
Want to know just how good Clinton's speech was? Check this out.
You thought Bill Clinton was good at giving speeches? You have no idea just how good. You've just got to read "Conversation with a Teleprompter" from the New Yorker, published yesterday, September 7th.
I'll give you my own spin of it below the squiggle.
Let's start with this fact: not a lot of information can fit on a teleprompter.
So you're Clinton, and you're standing in front of 40,000 cheering delegates, you're on national TV, you're giving a speech that'll burnish your legacy -- and you see this in the teleprompter:
When times are
conflict may be good
politics, but in the
I'd wager 99 out of 100 politicians read this word for word. Because it's probably all you can do to read it without fumbling and read it with some sense of emotion.
Now, if Bill Clinton did say it word-for-word, he'd have something pretty good:
When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics, but in the real world, cooperation works better.
But where most politicians are reading the final draft and would be too fearful to mess it up by improvising, what Clinton sees in the teleprompter is like the first draft to him. He is playing off the energy of the crowd. He's synthesizing a lifetime of public speaking instantly. And on the spot, he comes back with sheer poetry:
When times are tough and people are frustrated, and angry, and hurting, and uncertain, the politics of constant conflict may be good, but what is good politics does not necessarily work in the real world. What works in the real world is cooperation. What works in the real world is cooperation—business and government, foundations and universities.
The article from the New Yorker is filled with example after example, identifying the poetry in his improvisations. I highly recommend you check it out; you'll have fun reliving the speech, and you'll realize you missed half of what an amazing speech it truly was. And if you want more, you can also check out the full breakdown http://www.buzzfeed.com/nycsouthpaw/inside-bill-clintons-epic-convention-speech-4xje .
Oh, yeah -- one more thing. If you're wondering how many people are aware of how fun it is to hear a speech from Clinton: Clinton's speech outdrew the first NFL game of the year http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/bill-clinton-defeats-nfl-in-wednesday-viewership/2012/09/06/552d7c82-f86b-11e1-8398-0327ab83ab91_story.htmlm .
Posted by FourScore | Sat Sep 8, 2012, 11:08 AM (74 replies)
Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 03:43 PM PDT
Dear GOP: No, You Can't
by Crashing Vor
Okay Republicans, we have to have a talk.
No, no. Look at me.
I understand you are upset today. You have watched this week while the big people you made faces at reached into your political playpen and took away your favorite shiny toys. This wasn't done to be cruel or simply make you bawl. This was done because we, the grownups of our house, have finally come to realize that you cannot be trusted with nice things.
Oh, I know you're frustrated. I hear your inconsolable cries that it's not fair and you waaaaaaaaaant it. Believe me, honey, I know. But you keep breaking our nice things and hitting your brothers and sisters with them.
That's why you no longer get to play with your toy soldiers. You see, they're not really toys. They are real men and women. When you swing them around wildly and bash your brothers with them, it hurts them, too. We can't afford to break any more. So you can't play with them anymore.
We know how you love the toy cash register we got you, but we have to take that, too. You see, we got it for you hoping you would learn about money, how we trade with it, pass it back and forth, get things of value with it. But you don't seem to know how it works. You just want to keep all the coins and bills, to eat them and stuff them in your diapers. So I'm afraid we have to take that as well.
And that word game we used to play, the "USA! USA!" game? I'm afraid you no longer get to play that anymore. You see, the point of that game was for everyone to get excited and have fun. But once you started keeping the rhythm of our chant by beating on your brothers and sisters, it became clear that you didn't understand the game. Until you grow old enough to understand that our chanting game isn't an excuse to hurt others, we can't allow you to play it.
Now, honey, I know you're not going to like this, but we're going to have to take away your special badge, too, the one you're so proud of, the gold star that says, "CONSERVATIVE."
I know, honey, and we're sorry. It's our fault. We really should have explained better what the word means before we let you wear that badge. You see, "conservatives" keep safe the things we have, make sure they are available for others to enjoy, that they're kept clean and working, so that others can play with them and that, someday, they can be passed on to your children, too. That's what it means to "conserve."
I know we didn't explain it well enough. That's why you came to think that "CONSERVATIVE" meant "boss" and "in charge" and "you have to give me all the toys." We don't blame you, dears. The fault is ours.
But, until you grow mature enough to understand what "CONSERVATIVE" really means, we'll have to hold the badge for now.
It has sharp edges and we don't want you to hurt anyone else with it.
Posted by FourScore | Sat Sep 8, 2012, 10:03 AM (0 replies)
Published on Friday, September 7, 2012 by Common Dreams
Voting Rights Under Attack as GOP Seeks to Overturn Historic Civil Rights Law
- Common Dreams staff
Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) told the audience at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, “we have come too far together to ever turn back,” warning that Republican-led voter suppression laws are taking America back to the days when states had the right to deny voting capabilities to minority voters. Voting rights for minority voters continue to come under attack as Republican leaders are now turning to the Supreme Court to overturn historic civil rights legislation.
Several federal judges recently struck down voter suppression laws in multiple states, introduced by Republican legislators and governors, such as voter identification laws, provisional voting restrictions, limits on voter registration drives, and reduced availability for early voting...
...However, as Chris McGreal at the Guardian reports today, "Several state governments are (now) looking to the conservative-leaning supreme court, which has already expressed its doubts about racially-based policy," in order to overturn these rulings. This step would seek to challenge the historic Voter Rights Act of 1965, which gave the federal government some control over voting rules in states with a history of blocking African Americans from voting.
In question is Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires "pre-clearance" for nine states – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia – before making changes to voting laws or procedures.
Civil rights leaders and activists have expressed concern over whether the Supreme Court will actually uphold this anti-discrimination law...
Posted by FourScore | Fri Sep 7, 2012, 08:52 PM (0 replies)
Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 03:00 PM PDT
Why Romney Won't Release His Tax Returns REVEALED
by Little Lulu
...With the Dow Jones doubled since 2008, the reason is simple.
Romney won't release his tax returns because THEY'LL SHOW HE'S BETTER OFF TODAY THAN HE WAS FOUR YEARS AGO!
That is all anybody has to say about it!
Posted by FourScore | Fri Sep 7, 2012, 06:38 PM (15 replies)
Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 11:23 AM PDT
The Onion Gives Up
by Gangster Octopus
(Not really a) Press Release from The Onion:
We regret to inform our faithful readers that upon seeing a video of Mitt Romney defending his omission of the troops from his speech we have decided to pack it in. Because seriously, you are running for President of the United States and you don't think it is important? You don't say that, even if you think it. Christ! We ran that by our editors as a test and they told to stop fucking around. Then we told them it was real and they cried and got into the fetal position.
The task of making outlandish shit up has becoming impossible in light of the real world outlandish shit already happening. The line has become too blurred and quite frankly we are simply not capable of shining a light on the absurdity of the world that is its own fusion reactor of iridescence.
Some may think that it was just this one thing but it wasn't. Did you know a politician made a statement with a number and everything in it and then explained himself by saying it "wasn't meant to be a factual statement?". No really that happened, we didn't make it up. Or get this, there were folks at the Republican Convention espousing how their businesses didn't get built by government, while taking governmental money to survive. Yes that also happened!
Or here's a good one that is totally true. There was a House committee hearing on contraception, that included NO WOMEN. "What?" you say, "That is clearly a lie or a joke", but it isn't. It's real...like real people did that thing.
And then there is this thing called Honey Boo Boo that quite frankly is beyond satire, it is a new pardigm.
So seriously we give up.
Anyway,thank you for your support.
Posted by FourScore | Fri Sep 7, 2012, 05:37 PM (56 replies)
Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:32 PM PDT
Ten True Facts Guaranteed to Short-Circuit Republican Brains
by Richard Riis
As a public service to those who find themselves inextricably cornered by aggressively ill-informed Republicans at work, on the train or at family gatherings, presented here are ten indisputably true facts that will seriously challenge a Republican’s worldview and probably blow a brain cell or two. At the very least, any one of these GOP-busters should stun and confuse them long enough for you to slip quietly away from a pointless debate and allow you to get on about your business.
1. The United States is not a Christian nation, and the Bible is not the cornerstone of our law.
Don’t take my word for it. Let these Founding Fathers speak for themselves:
John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)
Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)
James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)
George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789)
You can find a multitude of similar quotes from these men and most others who signed the Declaration of Independence and/or formulated the United States Constitution. These are hardly the words of men who believed that America should be a Christian nation governed by the Bible, as a disturbingly growing number of Republicans like to claim.
2. The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist.
The Pledge was written in 1892 for public school celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Its author was Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, Christian socialist and cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy. Christian socialism maintains, among other ideas, that capitalism is idolatrous and rooted in greed, and the underlying cause of much of the world’s social inequity. Definitely more “Occupy Wall Street” than “Grand Old Party” by anyone’s standard.
3. The first president to propose national health insurance was a Republican.
He was also a trust-busting, pro-labor, Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmentalist. Is there any wonder why Theodore Roosevelt, who first proposed a system of national health insurance during his unsuccessful Progressive Party campaign to retake the White House from William Howard Taft in 1912, gets scarce mention at Republican National Conventions these days?
4. Ronald Reagan once signed a bill legalizing abortion.
The Ronald Reagan Republicans worship today is more myth than reality. Reagan was a conservative for sure, but also a practical politician who understood the necessities of compromise. In the spring of 1967, four months into his first term as governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed a bill that, among its other provisions, legalized abortion for the vaguely-defined “well being” of the mother. Reagan may have been personally pro-life, but in this instance he was willing to compromise in order to achieve other ends he considered more important. That he claimed later to regret signing the bill doesn’t change the fact that he did. As Casey Stengel liked to say, “You could look it up.”
5. Reagan raised federal taxes eleven times.
Okay, Ronald Reagan cut tax rates more than any other president – with a big asterisk. Sure, the top rate was reduced from 70% in 1980 all the way down to 28% in 1988, but while Republicans typically point to Reagan’s tax-cutting as the right approach to improving the economy, Reagan himself realized the resulting national debt from his revenue slashing was untenable, so he quietly raised other taxes on income – primarily Social Security and payroll taxes - no less than eleven times. Most of Reagan’s highly publicized tax cuts went to the usual Republican handout-takers in the top income brackets, while his stealth tax increases had their biggest impact on the middle class. These increases were well hidden inside such innocuous-sounding packages as the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987. Leave it to a seasoned actor to pull off such a masterful charade.
6. Roe v. Wade was a bipartisan ruling made by a predominantly Republican-appointed Supreme Court.
Technically, Roe v. Wade did not make abortion legal in the United States; the Supreme Court’s decision held only that individual states could not make abortion illegal. That being said, the landmark 1973 ruling that Republicans love to hate, was decided on a 7-2 vote that broke down like this:
Majority (for Roe): Chief Justice Warren Burger (conservative, appointed by Nixon), William O. Douglas (liberal, appointed by FDR), William J. Brennan (liberal, appointed by Eisenhower), Potter Stewart (moderate, appointed by Eisenhower), Thurgood Marshall (liberal, appointed by LBJ), Harry Blackmun (author of the majority opinion and a conservative who eventually turned liberal, appointed by Nixon), Lewis Powell (moderate, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 2 conservatives, 3 liberals, 2 moderates.
Dissenting (for Wade): Byron White (generally liberal/sometimes conservative, appointed by JFK), William Rehnquist (conservative, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 1 liberal, 1 conservative.
By ideological orientation, the decision was for Roe all the way: conservatives 2-1, liberals 3-1, moderates 2-0; by party of presidential appointment it was Republicans 5-1, Democrats 2-1. No one can rightly say that this was a leftist court forcing its liberal beliefs on America.
7. The Federal Reserve System was a Republican invention.
Republicans, and, truth be told, many Democrats, despise the Federal Reserve as an example of government interference in the free market. But hold everything: The Federal Reserve System was the brainchild of financial expert and Senate Republican leader Nelson Aldrich, grandfather of future Republican governor and vice president Nelson Rockefeller. Aldrich set up two commissions: one to study the American monetary system in depth and the other, headed by Aldrich himself, to study the European central banking systems. Aldrich went to Europe opposed to centralized banking, but after viewing Germany's monetary system he came away believing that a centralized bank was better than the government-issued bond system that he had previously supported. The Federal Reserve Act, developed around Senator Aldrich’s recommendations and - adding insult to injury in the minds of today’s Republicans - based on a European model, was signed into law in 1913.
8. The Environmental Protection Agency was, too.
The United States Environment Protection Agency, arch-enemy of polluters in particular and government regulation haters in general, was created by President Richard Nixon. In his 1970 State of the Union Address, Nixon proclaimed the new decade a period of environmental transformation. Shortly thereafter he presented Congress an unprecedented 37-point message on the environment, requesting billions for the improvement of water treatment facilities, asking for national air quality standards and stringent guidelines to lower motor vehicle emissions, and launching federally-funded research to reduce automobile pollution. Nixon also ordered a clean-up of air- and water-polluting federal facilities, sought legislation to end the dumping of wastes into the Great Lakes, proposed a tax on lead additives in gasoline, and approved a National Contingency Plan for the treatment of petroleum spills. In July 1970 Nixon declared his intention to establish the Environmental Protection Agency, and that December the EPA opened for business. Hard to believe, but if it hadn’t been for Watergate, we might remember Richard Nixon today as the “environmental president”.
Oh, yes - Republicans might enjoy knowing Nixon was an advocate of national health insurance, too.
9. Obama has increased government spending less than any president in at least a generation.
Republican campaign strategists may lie, but the numbers don’t. Government spending, when adjusted for inflation, has increased during his administration (to date) by 1.4%. Under George W. Bush, the increases were 7.3% (first term) and 8.1% (second term). Bill Clinton, in his two terms, comes in at 3.2% and 3.9%. George H. W. Bush increased government spending by 5.4%, while Ronald Reagan added 8.7% and 4.9% in his two terms.
Not only does Obama turn out to be the most thrifty president in recent memory, but the evidence shows that Republican administrations consistently increased government spending significantly more than any Democratic administration. Go figure.
10. President Obama was not only born in the United States, his roots run deeper in American history than most people know.
The argument that Barack Obama was born anywhere but at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, is not worth addressing; the evidence is indisputable by any rational human being. But not even irrational “birthers” can dispute Obama’s well-documented family tree on his mother’s side. By way of his Dunham lineage, President Obama has at least 11 direct ancestors who took up arms and fought for American independence in the Revolutionary War and two others cited as patriots by the Daughters of the American Revolution for furnishing supplies to the colonial army. This star-spangled heritage makes Obama eligible to join the Sons of the American Revolution, and his daughters the Daughters of the American Revolution. Not bad for someone 56% of Republicans still believe is a foreigner.
Okay, feel free to drop any or all of these ten true facts on your local Republican windbag. Tell him or her to put any of these choice nuggets in his or her teabag and steep it. Then sit back and enjoy the silence.
Posted by FourScore | Wed Sep 5, 2012, 01:01 PM (10 replies)
Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 06:12 PM PDT
Video: A Real Democrat Gives One of the Best, Most Kick-A** Political Speeches I've Ever Seen!
...I love, love, LOVE this speech. Right here, in less than six minutes, Virginia 6th District Democrat Andy Schmookler sums it all up, better than many better-funded and better-known Democratic candidates have ever done in their lives. Powerful, brilliant...just wow.
So, other than wishing that every Democratic candidate could speak like this and WOULD speak like this, I just hope (possibly against hope?) that this speech gets the attention it deserves. Watch it for yourself, and if you agree that it totally kicks a**, please spread it around, you know that whole "viral" thang? Also, see the "flip" for a rough transcript (I loved it so much I couldn't resist). Enjoy - and once you're done, please forward this around, as it nails it better than any speech by a Democratic candidate this cycle - at least one I've come across. Thanks.
P.S. If NOTHING else, this speech will get you fired up and ready to go - it definitely did for me.
P.P.S. Please click here http://andyschmooklerforcongress.com/take-action/donate-now/ to donate to Andy. Thanks!...
Posted by FourScore | Tue Sep 4, 2012, 08:52 AM (15 replies)
Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 11:09 AM PDT
Matthews to Mitchell: "It's not opinion, it's factual."
by valerie wonder
I have serious problems with Chris Matthews' horserace philosophy, which Jon Stewart expertly sliced up to the point where Matthews just told a Daily Show writer last week to "Please get Jon Stewart to like me." Hilarious. But at the DNC in NC on hackmeister Andrea Greenspan's -- I mean, Mitchell's -- MSNBC show, Matthews just delivered the kind of talk the DNC better listen to (I can't find a link yet so hopefully one will show up shortly). He perfectly countered the "Are You Better Off" BS meme with the pithy brilliant takedown of the GOP:
"To leave this country in hell and now claim it isn't heaven."
But Andrea wasn't having any of it. She had Media Talking Points to deliver.
But Matthews would not let her -- in fact, he brilliantly challenged her "journalism" with one simple line after he listed a litany of the GOP's voter obstructionism and repeated lies and he asked her, "Isn't that right?"
Being the "journalist" she aspires to, she said nothing except, "That's an opinion."
Then Matthews delivered the coup de grace:
"It's not opinions, it's factual."
Andrea literally speechless. Matthews calling her hackery out. Epic Journalism Fail.
Posted by FourScore | Mon Sep 3, 2012, 05:26 PM (23 replies)
Dad Protects Son from Bullies by Wearing a Skirt. Guess What? It Works.
By Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Parenting – 15 hours ago
The German dad has become a role model not only for his son, but for parents around the world, after a photograph of the pair holding hands in red skirts spread across the internet. "Yes, I'm one of those dads, that tries to raise their children equal," he explained in an essay published alongside the photo in Emma, a German feminist magazine.
Pickert never minded that his son liked dressing in little girl's clothes, but when his family moved from West Berlin to a small southern town in Germany, he learned that other people did. In fact, it became a "town wide issue," according to Pickert...
...That's where the red skirt came in, a pants-free option Pickert himself would sometimes take back in Berlin, without getting even a second glance. He'd stopped wearing skirts when they moved to their small village, knowing a man in women's clothes could cause rubbernecking accidents at the very least. But when his son asked his father to wear a skirt again, he decided to step up to the challenge. For that he's been hailed as "Father of the Year" by Gawker, and praised in parenting blogs around the web for his progressive approach to nipping self-esteem issues in bud.
Hand in hand, the Pickerts paraded their custom together around their small village, and soon the shame died away. His son became emboldened again, even giddy at the reactions his father got from slack-jawed strangers. Being different, he found, wasn't so scary after all, especially when Dad's got your back.
After Pickert's son learned that lesson, he began passing the wisdom on to his classmates. If he's teased now, he tells them: "You don't dare to wear skirts and dresses because your dads don't dare to either..."
Posted by FourScore | Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:24 AM (2 replies)
Congratulations to weatherdude at Dailykos on meeting the President!!!:
Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 01:52 PM PDT
I met President Obama today!
Isn't he awesome? I'm forever thankful to Clint Eastwood for introducing us.
Has anyone else gotten to meet him? Tell us your story or post your picture with him!
Posted by FourScore | Fri Aug 31, 2012, 05:06 PM (13 replies)