Friday, September 5, 2008

Roasted Religion's Ranking of Convention Speeches

Best Speeches:

5 Palin/Biden-tie
4 Gore
3 Clinton, H
2 Clinton, B
1 Obama

Worst Speeches:

5 Romney
4 Richardson (and why is noone talking about his mullet???)
3 Guiliani
2 Warner, M
1 McCain

Obama Speech Trumped Any Other Speech--no matter what any media says

Just because Obama is the greatest orator of a generation is no reason to hold other speakers to a lower bar. No one would claim Tiger or Jordan were # 3 just because some rookie had a good night.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Truth Will Set You Free!

The TRUTH is out there.

This is from the Associated Press:

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.
Some examples:
PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."
THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."
PALIN: "There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform _ not even in the state senate."
THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.
PALIN: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."
THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.
He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.
MCCAIN: "She's been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply ... She's responsible for 20 percent of the nation's energy supply. I'm entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America," he said in an interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson.
THE FACTS: McCain's phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she's no more "responsible" for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state _ by population.
MCCAIN: "She's the commander of the Alaska National Guard. ... She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities," he said on ABC.
THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under "federal status," which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska's national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.
FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."
THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.
FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: "We need change, all right _ change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington _ throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin."
THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Bubble of Evangelical/Rightwing Conservatism

This is a very poignant article form the

Oliver Willis --author

The Bubble Convention

Ricardo Montalban and Hervé Villechaize are not the only residents of Fantasy Island. That far-off land of make believe is also the shipping address for many Republicans and the vast majority of the modern conservative movement. The ongoing Republican convention is the sort of evidence that would get Fred Thompson's D.A. on Law & Order to nod knowingly and drawl "go to trial".
Conservatives have spent a lot of time and money
constructing their Fantasy Island. Some of it was planned, but much of it grew organically. From the think tanks propped up by rich lunatics and big business, the demagogic talk shows that blast out twenty-four hours of nonsense, to the television news shows and channels that regurgitate the propaganda and even the right wing blogs that were too pathetic to grow their own communities and instead had to be the product of GOP consultants, the conservative movement has a well oil machine that has sold the nation on ill-conceived wars, tax policy, and the like.
The problem the movement ran into is when it selected then re-elected a leader into the Fantasy that actually believed it. For all their faults, Ronald Reagan knew the religious right was simply his ticket to fortune, and George H.W. Bush recognized the
economics as voodoo. On the other hand, George W. Bush actually believes this crap. And so do their followers and hangers-on. Why do you think they remain so loyal to the least popular president of the last two decades? Why, when every other American saw the Iraq War as a mess and the response to Katrina as a disaster and the idea that we should privatize social security in the same class as madness, do these people persist in holding on? Why do they wrap themselves in the death cult of Bush and conservatism? Because they surround themselves with media that tells them that's the way to think.
Objective reality never comes into play. Rush tells them it's a liberal plot of the drive-by media. Fox assures them that they are in the mainstream of public opinion no matter how fringe their beliefs. The Heritage Foundation and AEI show them cooked up numbers with "research" backing their assertions. It couldn't be phony, it says so right here in the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal!
The convention unfolding is the product of that bubble. A convention where the keynote speakers on night one were a failed president, a b-list actor who couldn't muster a single primary win because he thought he could campaign
from a golf cart, and a senator who got drummed out of his own party and formed his own dishonest party to retain his seat. These speakers spoke in a poorly lit and laid out arena they could not fill. And when they spoke, they threw out red meat to the crowd that gained much applause - but out in the actual world it just looks like the fringe pandering to the fringe. They don't care, because Hannity will praise it, and Newsmax will legitimize it. They can't ever be wrong as far as the bubble is concerned.
The bubble leads to picks like Harriet Miers and Sarah Palin, both insults to American women by a movement that thinks shared genitalia is all that is needed to get women on board. They couldn't possibly think folks like Sarah Palin are grossly unqualified and out of the mainstream. Why? Because even though he
railed against just such a profile a few weeks ago, the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol thinks she is magnificent too. The man was Dan Quayle's chief of staff, how could he possibly not be a good judge of vice presidential character!?
The enemy of the bubble is always reality. It is not a spin machine on the left that can counterbalance the bubble, just cold hard facts. In 2006 bubble pundits
like Hugh Hewitt assured their followers that Republicans were on the verge of painting the entire map red. As late as election day the flock was assured that there was no way Nancy Pelosi could ascend to Speaker of the House. It was insisted that polls were skewed and not to be trusted. Reality, in other words, had a liberal bias. And even after the Democrats took the House and Senate, conservatives used the bubble to convince themselves that their losses were not due to their unpopular president and his policies that had led to the deaths of thousands and global instability. Nope. It was earmarks. As if.
Last week the bubble worked with its regular ally, the mainstream media (who is easily distracted by the shiniest thing and the loudest noise), tried to keep banging the drum for numerous falsehoods about the Democrats. They each dropped like flies as Michelle Obama spoke and was not a militant, the Clintons spoke and called for unity with Obama, and Obama went on the attack and gave specifics while still giving the sort of speech John McCain could not give half of on his best day.
No militant Obamas. No Democratic disunity. No aloof Obama.
No weakling Obama. Now, like any rational being did they accommodate this information into their understanding of the world? No, like zombies they shut it out and proceeded to put on this freakshow in Minnesota which will go on for two more days and then on the road with McCain and whoever his running mate might be.
I'm under no illusions that the bubble might pop with a McCain loss in November. The bubble is resilient! It wraps the right up like a cocoon of ignorance (many of the bubble residents resemble the cast
of Cocoon) and allows no enlightenment inside. At this point, they couldn't live without it.
I would say I pity them, but I'm not sure what positive purpose any of it serves. Good riddance.

BELIEVE--We HAVE good instincts!

This blog is from the Huffington

It is very good and I think we could listen to it--especially the part about taking a breath and believing we chose a GREAT candidate!

Beth Broderick -- author

Trust Me... Him... Us... Yourself

Why have the democrats turned into a bunch of nervous nellies? We have EVERY reason to believe that we will be victorious in November and yet the hand wringing, second guessing, fear of failure set is still dominating the dialogue.
Time and again the press pushes a button and we are spun out by the spin .The latest of these ridiculous suggestions is that McCain might have the last laugh with his ludicrous choice of running mate. Could Sara Palin possibly be a good idea? Maybe Democrats should worry about her appeal? Will this move demonstrate some mystifying tactical genius?
No. She is exactly as she appears to be, she is a terrible choice. There is not a Hillary voter alive who would cast her lot with this creature. They were pissed off and they said so but I know a lot of these folks and they are smart, scary smart and they are not to be trifled with. Mr. Obama was wise to give them credit and to give Mrs. Clinton her due at the convention in Denver. Another thing the press attempted to create drama around. Will Hillary do the right thing? Will the Democrats remain divided? Should Obama give the Clintons so much time? Will the heavens open up and rain toga wearing frogs upon our heads?
No. Hillary not only did the right thing, she was spectacular and she proved that Obama was right to give her a starring role. The Hillary voters have great hearts as well as keen minds and as they demonstrate in Denver they are dedicated Democrats who understand what is at stake in this election. . They are not about to sit down for a bowl of moose stew with some creationist anti-choice, anti-environment Republican nutter, just because she is a woman. The mere thought of it is laughable.Why are we are unable to trust our own instincts? We chose a great candidate and he has made great choices. It is time to breathe deep and believe in this campaign and the folks who are leading it. They are doing a terrific job. They are playing to win and so far it appears they are doing just that. At the very least they have managed to unnerve the Republicans and positively derail John McCain. The man appears to have booked full passage on the snowmobile to Cukooville.
Since the beginning of this process the media have been convinced and have tried to convince us that America is a land of bigots who could not possibly elect a person of color to the highest office in the land. They have waxed on about "fear of the other". They have peered at every statistic trying to find evidence that. White males will never vote for a oh hold on ... it's Latino women who will never vote for a ...oops no wait Asian twins will never vote for a ahem ... well surely some group is out there who will never vote for a .... BLACK man and by God the press is going to find them out. Should we fear that America will turn out to be an unthinking secretly racist land of limitation?
No. Americans will elect Barack Obama to the presidency. They will do this because he is the best candidate for the job. They will do this because they want America to be the best country it can be. They will do it because this is America and in spite of or maybe because of the last eight years we will rise to the occasion. We have made our share of mistakes, but, we have always struggled to right our wrongs. I trust us ...him .. me.

Yes We Can! --a reminder