Saturday, November 15, 2008

President-elect Obama's First Saturday Radio/YouTube Address

I'm not sure if it's me getting older and recognizing these things now or if this is just how information is spread in this internet era, but I didn't know there was an opposition radio response. I knew every Saturday, there was a presidential radio address. I didn't know the other side had one. I figure as many people heed it as those who listen to the opposition State of the Union address. Actually, less than that. Who listens to the radio?

That's why this is sort of important. There are many who have said that President-elect Obama must work the same way President Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression in the face of our economic crisis. Obama lacks the experience FDR did before reaching office. Obama got into the Senate and immediately started running for president. FDR was at least governor of New York.

Still, both of these men know how to reach the people. FDR started his fireside chats over the radio as governor and continued them through his presidency. FDR was the president who garnered the radio age. In the same vein, I remember subscribing to then Sen. Obama's podcasts early on. Now the presidential radio addresses will be over YouTube.

For once, I'm actually going to be looking out for the president's radio addresses because they aren't radio addresses. Radio has been a dying form for some time. Even it's successor is seeing a rather rocky life. Television has certainly thrived but the 24-hour news cycle has fed and, in a way, killed American politics. It will be interesting to see how the internet will continue to change this nation and how the Obama administration will progressively harness it to inform and involve the American public.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"Let the new night bring you peace And the promise of tomorrow, Where we can wake to a new beginning"

Those lyrics are from Against Me's 8 Full Hours of Sleep.

Truer words never spoken.

But I have to wonder...

What happens tomorrow?

How easy will this transition be? What happens in the months left that we still have a Bush Administration? Will the nation be more divided now that a black man is president? Is Sarah Palin going to start running for 2012? Is the G.I. Joe movie going to suck? Where did Waldo go after that latest book?

I'm going to sleep after all these celebratory shots. My voice in hoarse after shouting for a couple of hours and my body weary from all the hugs I've given.

i hope this isn't a dream

I hope this isn't a dream.

"... don't mean a thing to me!"

This is the quickest that an election has ever been called during the time I've been of age to vote.

This election was more than electing the first non-white to the highest office in the land. This election was also about whether or not my entire generation would believe in the political system of the US. Had Obama lost I don't think anyone my age, especially black people, would have voted at all in another election in our lifetime.

Maybe, just maybe, my generation will take over and contribute finally.

It's not all good news

Something has to be said that this is a bittersweet moment for the presumptive President-elect. The woman who basically raised him from age ten died yesterday.

Moment of silence.

Homosexual people across the nation are weeping as their rights have been discarded wholeheartedly in all states with marriage rights amendments.

I really had hope that California's Proposition 8 would not pass. As the night goes on it doesn't look like that will not happen. I kept my registration in California for a reason, and an NO on Prop 8 was that reason. It is a sad day for civil rights.

The congressional races aren't where they should be either. Obama is going to have to live up to his bipartisan talk from his campaign, because Republicans still have filibuster power and looks like they will keep enough votes in both houses to challenge and stop the Democratic majority as far as legislation is concerned.

We can celebrate tonight, but come tomorrow we will all have to face the reality of how much of the same is ingrained into our country.

We may have elected a new leader, but have far from decided on a new path.

"This is something different"

Atlanta is really the place to be right now. Even with all the gunshots. I am glad i;m still here for once.

Yes there are a lot of gunshots. It's the South, almost everyone has a gun.

I'm getting calls and texts about the rest of the city. Atlantic Station is very live right now. Downtown is going craaazzy.

It seems the world is celebrating.

And my ride has collapsed on his couch, snoring hard. He celebrated hard and fast. His happiness tired him out.


Of all the Rappers in all the world...

Young Jeezy
is the soundtrack of the night. All Night. Guess what his new single is gonna be?

Text Messages and other things

Whats going around the text messages world:

"They have a sign up sheet for volunteers to help Bush pack his shit and get the fuck out, Nov 5th. I put us down for the 3-8 shift! Keep this going!"

Thank You George Bush


Anyone who has ever read the Maroon Tiger opinions column knows that the bulk of our writers are cynics. We keep on the negative cause that's the underlying feeling that everyone in the AUC is feeling.

That's not the case tonight.

When Obama won Virginia the bar erupted. Keep in mind it is mainly a G-tech bar, but the room jumped up, the waiters took shots in the kitchen and the dozen of us that were from the AUC went crazy.

I haven't felt this good in a long long time.

I still cannot believe it. I never thought that this early in my lifetime that a black man would be elected President of the United States.

So after we celebrated with an extra pitcher at the college bar we headed down to Morehouse's campus to celebrate with the rest of the paper staff and the school. It turned out that everyone had woken up and was celebrating hard.

I saw some of our more distinguished members with celebratory cigars outside. Inside Fredrick Douglass Hall we circled up and sang our college hymn. It was possibly the most beautiful moment I have ever been apart of.

From there a bunch of us went to the Strip on Clark Atlanta's campus. If anyone awake is reading this now i urge you to go there now. You will never see any more of a positive atmosphere anywhere (except maybe Chicago) in the world.

I can't believe this is happening in my lifetime.

I can't believe this is happening at all.

A Hologram? Seriously?

I don't have a lot of time considering this dying battery but I have to say this. Earlier I asked the question of why Tavis Smiley was on NBC. That moment has been trumped in spades. Why on God's green earth is on CNN in the form of a hologram. Is this Star Trek? Is Data about to embark on a hip-hop adventure? Is this Star Wars? Is R2D2 depicting the moments of this concert? This has reached a whole new level of ridiculous. I don't understand how exactly a 3D hologram is captivating television on a 2D screen. CNN is doing some serious pandering and if it wasn't so trustworthy (despite them calling states much later than all other networks) I'd almost be willing not to watch at the circus this network is.

Also, what's up with no one calling Florida yet?

Fat Commentators in a Little Table

I seriously hate CNN's coverage. I know this is forbidden territory for me to say this in Atlanta, but there's just something that irks me about having cramming that many commentators on a tiny table. If you need to speak to Roland Martin, just talk to Roland Martin. Don't have him elbow to elbow with Paul Begala as though his merely being there is some boon to the integrity of "the most trusted name in news."

In the fight between the news networks, it's clear to see what each channel is doing to attract voters. Some are calling the states earlier than others. ABC had George Stephenopolis give Charlie Gibson a whirl on the interactive map. NBC had Tavis Smiley on (I guess that was supposed to do some good). But CNN has since they put all this together crammed all these commentators into a tiny table with their matching laptops, praying for newsworthy content to fill all the time.

It has to make due for all the bickering they do.

Too much head on my drink (NSFA)

I poured quickly and terribly in my happiness to watch them call New Mexico for Obama. Not quite a party foul but close.

Now there calling Iowa for him. Looks like this'll be am early night cause the West is def going blue.

And now I just correctly answered a trivia question involving porn star history. I believe in a well rounded education, it's why i go to a Liberal Arts school.

They were showing a live feed on CNN of the school election party I am supposed to be at. I'm thinking that maybe my editors are happy I'm not there being my usual surly belligerent self.

Some of the names of the trivia groups participating are as follows:

Nailn' Palin Till She's Walin'
Team Meat
7-11 was an Inside Job
I've Been Wrist Deep In Half the Girls in this Bar
and Deez Nuts (who seem to be a staple at this trivia night)

Obama is ahead 207-83 according to CNN, but the teevee screen is fuzzy.

Tavis? Seriously?

I don't really have much to say at this point but this:

Why the hell is Tavis Smiley on NBC?

Obama Wins Ohio; Likely Elected President of the United States

Nearly all major networks have called the state of Ohio for Barack Obama, meaning that the Illinois senator has now likely been elected the 44th President of the United States. No Republican has ever won the presidency without also winning Ohio, and McCain now faces extremely limited pathways to victory. Networks will not call the election for Obama until he crosses the 270 electoral vote threshhold, which will likely occur when the polls in California close.

Celebration at a Different Venue

It's fascinating following this at Rocky Mountain. Being near Tech's campus shows how essentially unimportant all this is to those who aren't devoted to the cause that is Obama. At least until Ohio was declared in the Obama column and the bar filled with uproarious cheers. But it's still worthy of note that unlike the AUC, Tech goes on. As Alex noted earlier, trivia night is still going. There are still quite a few televisions set on ESPN. Everything is on mute except the various conversations.

The phone calls come in as the night wears on and this night is over. It would be nice to see the cheers of the AUC on this historic night but the AUC doesn't have beer.

Still, it's going to be a short but celebratory night. I've done all I could through all this not to drink the Obama Kool-Aid but I just can't escape the hype. This is going to happen. This is going to happen soon. And I'm fairly certain I couldn't be happier.

We'll I couldn't be happier after another beer or two and some whiskey. This is soon to be rectified.

"My Vote Didn't Mean S#!t"

The above quote was from my boy "Gerald" after we saw the 60% polling for McCain. He's a Georgia voter.

My group of six finally found a bar to watch this election in. So now i am content with a cup of low grade alcohol in front of me and several teevees none of which i can hear over the bar's trivia night session.

We just toasted drugs and the cultivator of marijuana, Jorge Cervantes (it was a trivia answer). All is right in the world for the time being.

Election is polling at 174 -64 in favor of Obama.

Seriously this is silly

I am Maroon Tiger Opinion editor Alexander P. Brown, aka the Ghost Editor, aka "Why weren't you at this meeting?"

It is way too early to be blogging this election dammit.

Nothing is really going to plan tonight for me. I should be in various states of intoxication as I watch the election news so i can either cry into my liquor or accept celebratory shots. None of that is happening right now.

I am sober. Angrily sober.

Wolf Blitzer's annoying blaring is starting to sound like a siren as he launches into a read off of the Senate and House seats. Obama is polling pretty good at 81 to 34 according to CNN. And I am surrounded by people who decided to get wasted before i could find and access my laptop.

There is no justice.

And right now I'm getting an IM from my homies in Cali asking whether or not my state will get it's act together, referencing the fact I live in GA right now. I don't vote in this state, I don't even like this state seventy percent of the time. And while it would be pretty awesome if Georgia went blue this year it doesn't mean my tuition will go down because of it. Maybe I'll get lucky and my professors will be too wasted from the celebrating to actually teach the rest of the week.

Where is my whiskey?

Longtime GOP Staple Lizzy Dole Defeated in NC

In a shocking development few people foresaw just a month ago, Fox News has called the hotly contested North Carolina Senate race for Democrat Kay Hagan over long-time Republican Party staple Elizabeth Dole. Dole, the wife of former Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2002 and considered running for president in 2000, but bowed out of the race in the face of Texas Governor George W. Bush's powerful campaign.


Polls have closed in Pennsylvania. ABC News, Fox News, and others have called the state for Obama, while CNN and others have not. Both candidates' paths to victory depend largely on the Keystone state. For McCain to offset Obama's incursions into red states like Colorado and Virginia, the Republican senator fought hard to peel away Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes. A Pennsylvania victory would be a huge upset for McCain and allow him some breathing room if Obama does indeed win a formerly GOP state. Meanwhile, an Obama victory in Pennsylvania would be pad his electoral college votes and put him just one or two red states away from victory.

A string of traditionally Democratic New England states have been called for Obama, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maryland, among others.

Georgia Too Close to Call

Polls have now closed in the state of Georgia and network news stations are reporting that the results are too close to call. Analysts will wait for more actual results to pour in before calling the state for either Barack Obama or John McCain. Republicans and Democrats did not initially expect Georgia, a solid red state, to be so close. Although McCain may still very well win the Peach State, the fact that the results are this close must be disconcerting for the GOP camp. Networks also have yet to call the heated contests in Virginia or Indiana.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Briefly, On Hair and Spending

Because nothing has been written here in a while, I just wanted to make a quick comment.

I ran across this story about how much money the McCain/Palin campaign has been spending on clothing and hair for the Governor Palin and her family. Yes, it's ridiculous. But while I haven't seen any numbers about the issue, as a black man I can easily guess that Sen. Obama is probably spending at most fifteen bucks a haircut (minus tip, of course) every two weeks. This also includes the fact that some days his hair can look pretty rough. I cannot conceivably think of a situation in which anyone can charge a black man $300 like Sen. Edwards has done in the past. This could be another reason to vote for Obama: you know he won't be spending America's money on haircuts.

Michelle is another story, of course, but who's going to ask a black woman about the details behind her hair? That's like a trade secret or something.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Maroon Tiger 2nd Presidential Debate Live Blog

Tonight: Your favorite publication talking about what you're watching and hopefully talking with you, too. While you're yelling at your TV about how McCain keeps screwing up Obama's tax plan or how Obama is more aggressive about Pakistan than McCain, be here to yell at us at the same time. Tonight: 8:45 until...

Editor-in-Chief Edward T. Mitchell, III
Managing Editor Donovan X. Ramsey
Opinions Editor Alexander P. Brown
Opinions Editor Emeritus Anthony Dean-Harris

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Vice Presidential Debate

The Maroon Tiger's Editor in Chief Edward Mitchell and Opinions Editor Emeritus Anthony Harris live blogged the Vice Presidential Debate (talked on AIM through the whole thing). The discussion is as follows.

[20:50] I, sitting in far off Marietta waiting for staff members to show up online
[21:01:35] Opinions Editor Emeritus Anthony Harris: Finding staff members to take part in this thing is like looking for a needle in a haystack
[21:02:14] Anthony Harris: But I'm entirely willing to do this on my own
[21:03:01] Anthony Harris: At least until Editor-in-Chief Edward Mitchell arrives just as triumphantly as the candidates
[21:03:18] *** Edward Mitchell has been invited to the group chat.
[21:04:17] Anthony Harris: From the moment Gov. Palin and Sen. Palin walked in, I think they two spent as much time together as Sens. McCain and Palin did before he chose her has his running mate
[21:04:26] *** Edward Mitchell has joined the chat.
[21:04:39] Editor in Chief Edward Mitchell: no one here yet?
[21:04:44] Anthony Harris: It's looking bleak
[21:05:34] Anthony Harris: How many people who don't live in the suburbs attend soccer games?
[21:05:51] Anthony Harris: It bothers me that Gov. Palin chose this as the prime example as the barometer of the American people
[21:06:26] Anthony Harris: Gov. Palin is handling the first question well, albeit rigidly
[21:07:01] Edward Mitchell: Count this as the first proof that Governor Palin responds to specific questions with non-specific personal stories.
[21:07:58] Edward Mitchell: "Sidelines!" Turned it against her. Score one for Biden.
[21:08:24] Edward Mitchell: She hasn't stuttered or frozen yet. McCain's people are considering breathing a sigh of relief.
[21:09:29] Anthony Harris: It's interesting how many key stock phrases Gov. Palin can spout in 90 seconds
[21:10:10] Anthony Harris: What's interesting with this American economy is that while everyone is willing to blame the lenders...
[21:10:19] Anthony Harris: People still had to borrow this money
[21:10:28] Anthony Harris: No on is willing to say we are personally at fault
[21:10:30] Anthony Harris: Nevermind
[21:10:47] Anthony Harris: Gov. Palin actually says what I was told long ago
[21:10:53] Anthony Harris: If you can't afford it, you can't buy it
[21:10:58] Edward Mitchell: Wow. Was that another personal story? Thank you, Governor Palin.
[21:11:09] Edward Mitchell: Joe Biden is gaffe-free after 11 minutes. MADNESS!
[21:11:20] Anthony Harris: Keep going with this as much as you can
[21:11:25] Anthony Harris: I'm going on my third beer
[21:12:39] Edward Mitchell: You betcha. Darn right.
[21:12:44] Anthony Harris: Sen. Biden speaks with a personal anecdote about the gas crisis, possibly to counter Gov. Palin's anecdotes
[21:12:50] Anthony Harris: It's the war of logical fallacies!
[21:14:12] Anthony Harris: One interesting thing about this debate format:
[21:14:23] Anthony Harris: The two candidates do not directly address one another
[21:14:26] Anthony Harris: That is until now
[21:14:34] Edward Mitchell: Biden's discussing distractions like the truth, facts, and details. That's not the way to win a debate.
[21:14:46] Anthony Harris: I should have figured Gov. Palin would speak directly to Sen. Biden
[21:14:50] Anthony Harris: But only for a short while
[21:15:14] Anthony Harris: Ifill is quite good as a moderator
[21:15:18] Anthony Harris: She keeps a good bead on things
[21:15:32] Anthony Harris: Checking time limits, noting when questions aren't answered
[21:15:41] Anthony Harris: I think she should be a little more probing, though
[21:16:01] Edward Mitchell: Did anyone notice that subtle dig at Ifill by Palin?
[21:16:27] Edward Mitchell: The Drudge Report and the McCain campaign have been making hay over a book the moderator is writing about Barack Obama, accusing her of bias.
[21:17:23] Anthony Harris: I keep thinking about this argument over the contortion of tax plans
[21:17:46] Anthony Harris: CNN already set all this straight
[21:18:53] Edward Mitchell: Anthony, I'm an American. Don't send me lengthy articles with facts about candidates' actual tax positions. I'd rather believe what the attack ads say. Saves time.
[21:19:05] Anthony Harris: I find it funny that she mentions her husband Todd not mentioning the government not saving everything
[21:20:19] Anthony Harris: I think the reason why Republicans are so in favor of the McCain tax cuts because everyone wants to believe they one day can make more than $250,000 a year one day
[21:20:46] Anthony Harris: People vote in favor of these tax cuts in hope of a future American Dream
[21:20:52] Edward Mitchell: OH!
[21:21:10] Edward Mitchell: Did he just say 'bridge to nowhere?' AND DID THE AUDIENCE AUDIBLY LAUGH?
[21:21:23] Anthony Harris: That is the soundbite of the evening
[21:21:37] Anthony Harris: At least in the first 20 minutes
[21:22:06] Anthony Harris: You know what bothers me: the expression "slow up"
[21:22:16] Anthony Harris: Can Sen. Biden cut that out?
[21:22:18] Edward Mitchell: Nicely done, Joe. The man is on point. This must mean a really bad gaffe is coming.
[21:23:03] Edward Mitchell: Huh, Sarah?
[21:23:13] Edward Mitchell: Is she reading notes?!
[21:23:25] Anthony Harris: She's been writing stuff over there
[21:23:30] Edward Mitchell: Sarah Palin, the potential next vice president of the United States, is reading notes.
[21:23:39] Anthony Harris: She's taking notes
[21:23:42] Anthony Harris: She's attentive
[21:23:45] Anthony Harris: Don't count her out
[21:23:50] Anthony Harris: She's not a bad debater
[21:24:00] Edward Mitchell: I'm not. I have a feeling that polls will show her as the winner.
[21:24:10] Anthony Harris: She didn't get a laugh
[21:24:32] Anthony Harris: What bothers me is what she can do for states that don't produce energy
[21:24:44] Anthony Harris: What can she do for states like Utah?
[21:24:59] Anthony Harris: Rhode Island doesn't produce oil
[21:25:13] Anthony Harris: Can she give money away to them like she did for Alaska
[21:27:31] Edward Mitchell: Brilliant moment by Biden. Agreed with her.
[21:27:52] Edward Mitchell: And then said that McCain is the out-of-touch one who needs to agree with Biden/Palin/Obama on windfall tax profits.
[21:29:48] Edward Mitchell: This is amazing. She never responds to new points that Biden makes. She redirects the conversation back to her talking points on other issues. She appears unable to respond on her feet.
[21:30:01] Anthony Harris: Hey, there's a lot of wide open space in Alaska...
[21:30:15] Anthony Harris: Why can't they just cover a lot of land with windmills and solar panels?
[21:30:20] Anthony Harris: Why always the oil?
[21:30:53] Anthony Harris: Plaster Death Valley with solar panels and we'll assuredly be energy independent
[21:31:27] Edward Mitchell: How can you stop global warming if you won't address how it's caused?
[21:31:47] Anthony Harris: With fairy dust
[21:32:03] Anthony Harris: Or you have a pastor pray it away like witchcraft
[21:32:48] Anthony Harris: That witchcraft joke
[21:33:51] Edward Mitchell: Priceless.
[21:33:59] Anthony Harris: When will someone say there's no such thing as clean coal?!
[21:34:46] Anthony Harris: I think hearing "Drill Baby Drill" was one of the most chilling moments of the RNC
[21:35:40] Anthony Harris: I don't want to hear Gov. Palin say the word "rape"
[21:35:45] Edward Mitchell: And your response to Biden's contention that the oil you want to drill for won't come her for ten years is....?
[21:36:45] Anthony Harris: Isn't a constitutional standpoint and a legal standpoint the same thing?
[21:37:02] Anthony Harris: Or are all squares rectangles but not all rectangles squares?
[21:37:14] Edward Mitchell: And we have a gaffe!
[21:37:30] Anthony Harris: He held out as long as he could
[21:38:08] Anthony Harris: I have a "very diverse family" = my daughter shouldn't have slept with that boy, damnit
[21:38:30] Edward Mitchell: Very true. The Obama campaign is cringing right now and secretly thinking "Damn it Joe, did you just accidentally imply that we support gay marriage?!"
[21:39:21] Anthony Harris: Ifill is seriously good at this
[21:39:29] Edward Mitchell: Really? Think so?
[21:39:30] Anthony Harris: I can't tell her bias at all
[21:39:37] Edward Mitchell: I'm not impressed with her questions.
[21:39:44] Anthony Harris: I have heard better
[21:39:49] Anthony Harris: But she has good control of these two
[21:39:51] Edward Mitchell: Oh Tim Russert
[21:40:30] Edward Mitchell: He would have done quite a number on these two.
[21:40:52] Anthony Harris: I like how she says winning in Iraq will strengthen us in Afghanistan
[21:40:56] Anthony Harris: She admits the other conflict
[21:41:02] Anthony Harris: It'll be interesting to hear Biden's response
[21:41:04] Anthony Harris: Aha!
[21:41:08] Anthony Harris: She didn't have a plan
[21:41:21] Anthony Harris: Palin - Check
[21:41:24] Anthony Harris: Biden - Mate
[21:41:45] Anthony Harris: It's interesting hearing clearly what Biden studied for
[21:41:56] Anthony Harris: Obama and McCain voted similarly in key issues
[21:42:02] Anthony Harris: This is clearly an appeal to moderates
[21:42:32] Anthony Harris: Hearing a Democrat say this shows that it's the more inclusive, open minded party who can accept Republican ideas
[21:42:45] Anthony Harris: A Republican would rarely admit a Democrat is right
[21:42:48] Edward Mitchell: Looks like Joe Biden finally realized that he needed to look at the camera-i.e. the audience-and not Gwen.
[21:42:49] Anthony Harris: At least that I have heard
[21:42:59] Edward Mitchell: Whoa. Was anyone else afraid she was about to freeze up right there?
[21:43:40] Anthony Harris: Palin got a laugh!
[21:43:43] Anthony Harris: Albeit smaller
[21:44:41] Edward Mitchell: Whoa. "Let me say that again."
[21:45:42] Anthony Harris: Whoa Greece!
[21:45:48] Anthony Harris: Watch out for Pakistan!
[21:46:02] Anthony Harris: Sicily better not piss anybody off!
[21:46:26] Edward Mitchell: Uhhh haven't the Pakistanis been democratically electing people friendly to the United States? Or have I just been living in some sort of alternate universe?
[21:46:44] Anthony Harris: He can't get 'em all right
[21:47:14] Anthony Harris: Biden on Pakistan: that's where Bin Laden is and we will go after him?
[21:47:18] Anthony Harris: Aren't we doing that right now?
[21:47:32] Anthony Harris: It's something I'm actually in favor or President Bush doing rightnow
[21:47:33] Edward Mitchell: Nucular. She said nucular. NOT AGAIN.
[21:49:02] Anthony Harris: The other day, The Daily Show had a guest saying the power in Iran is largely with the Ayaollah
[21:49:09] Anthony Harris: Ayatollah*
[21:49:14] Anthony Harris: Not the president
[21:49:20] Edward Mitchell: That is true.
[21:49:29] Anthony Harris: Besides, the president of Iran is on his way out soon, anyway
[21:49:45] Edward Mitchell: "Ready to back ya up there
[21:49:46] Edward Mitchell: "
[21:50:08] Anthony Harris: I'm honestly not worried about Iran because the people of Iran think their president is just as crazy as the rest of the world thinks he is
[21:51:01] Anthony Harris: Beer # 4!
[21:52:06] Anthony Harris: We "have got" to assure them
[21:52:13] Anthony Harris: We have to assure them
[21:52:26] Anthony Harris: The grammar there just bothered me
[21:53:48] Anthony Harris: It would be interesting to see what Fareed Zakaria would say about this section of the debate
[21:54:09] Anthony Harris: This intricate talk about foreign policy is a little too detailed for me
[21:54:13] Anthony Harris: Either that or I'm drunk
[21:54:41] Anthony Harris: Of course, this really shows that Sen. Biden knows what he's talking about spending years on foreign policy
[21:55:09] Anthony Harris: And that's why Gov. Palin can merely "respect his opinion" and move back to the generality of the people being "tired of the ticket"
[21:55:52] Edward Mitchell: Sarah Palin says: I <3 Israel. So, please, Jewish voters, forget all that scary church witchcraft stuff.
[21:55:53] Anthony Harris: He's using repetition like he's going for call and response
[21:56:03] Anthony Harris: It's like he was waiting for an amen
[21:56:43] Edward Mitchell: Now I can't even tell if she's saying nucular or nuclear.
[21:56:57] Anthony Harris: How can Gov. Palin be against nuclear weapons for other nations but not our own?
[21:57:01] Edward Mitchell: Back to nucular.
[21:57:09] Anthony Harris: Is America that hypocritical on this issue?
[21:58:48] Edward Mitchell: Sarah Palin says America is not air-raiding villages and killing civilians in Afghanistan.
[21:59:21] Anthony Harris: John McCain has opposed Republican bills?
[21:59:25] Anthony Harris: That's why he's a maverick
[21:59:40] Edward Mitchell: But then again, we all know the New York Times is run by liberals and therefore what they say is untrue.
[22:02:34] Anthony Harris: With the US Military as overextended as it is, is it really worth it for America to be interventionist?
[22:03:25] Edward Mitchell: How about we pull a Jed Bartlet and announce we will militarily intervene for humanitarian causes, not for issues relating to our personal aggrendizement (sp).
[22:04:28] Anthony Harris: Funny thing is, Gov. Palin is willing to gloss over the details of each bill and the explanations for rejecting bills while demanding politicians explain their reasoning for rejecting bills
[22:06:19] Edward Mitchell: This debate just got boring. It's clear by now that Biden isn't going to call Barack Obama a Muslim and Sarah Palin isn't going to start stuttering and slobbering on herself.
[22:06:21] Anthony Harris: I realize 66 minutes in, there hasn't been any astounding moments
[22:06:43] Anthony Harris: We came at the same idea at the same time
[22:06:50] Anthony Harris: Hopefully they get this too
[22:07:04] Anthony Harris: I need a "you are no Jack Kennedy" moment
[22:07:51] Edward Mitchell: Closest thing you're going to get to that was the 'bridge to nowhere' moment.
[22:08:00] Anthony Harris: The lost of President Obama is a question that is only not uncouth coming from a black woman
[22:08:57] Anthony Harris: This is the most important election since 1932?
[22:09:08] Anthony Harris: When did Geraldine Ferrarro run?
[22:09:15] Anthony Harris: Ferarro(
[22:09:23] Anthony Harris: Aw crap, I don't know how to spell it
[22:09:36] Anthony Harris: Ferraro
[22:09:39] Edward Mitchell: Uhh, John Kennedy, who helped avert the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Richard Nixon, who destroyed a generation's faith in government, would disagree
[22:09:49] Anthony Harris: I'll clearly fix this when I'm editing this before posting
[22:10:50] Anthony Harris: "Go to Home Depot with me where I spend a lot of time"?
[22:11:00] Anthony Harris: Joe Biden: builder of sheds
[22:11:14] Anthony Harris: Owner of a mean riding mower
[22:11:27] Anthony Harris: Knows his wood paneling
[22:12:02] Anthony Harris: Was Gov. Palin just brusque with Sen. Biden's late wife?
[22:12:11] Anthony Harris: Am I more offended at that because I'm possibly drunk?
[22:12:28] Anthony Harris: Or was that offensive overall?
[22:12:31] Edward Mitchell: His new wife is a teacher. And uh, is she honestly dismissing any mention of George Bush as the past? I thought he was still in office....
[22:12:47] Anthony Harris: Oh, thanks for elucidating my ignorance
[22:13:02] Anthony Harris: Because that "her reward is in heaven" thing really got to me
[22:13:57] Edward Mitchell: Oh yeah that would have been fatal
[22:14:05] Edward Mitchell: Uh, to the campaign, I mean
[22:14:21] Anthony Harris: I like that she had to answer what a VP does in this question
[22:14:40] Anthony Harris: When your ignorance is in question, it's best to lay that down when the time comes
[22:15:48] Anthony Harris: Joe Biden: Vice President in the post-Cheney age
[22:16:29] Anthony Harris: It's almost scary that another guy will be in the room, looking over the president's shoulder, watching every major decision
[22:16:47] Anthony Harris: And Palin will be the leader of two branches of government
[22:17:01] Anthony Harris: Not only has Cheney destroyed the vice presidency of the present
[22:17:05] Anthony Harris: But also of the future
[22:17:34] Edward Mitchell: You say Dick Cheney and all I think is quail-hunting.
[22:17:50] Anthony Harris: That's just what he wants you to think
[22:18:06] Anthony Harris: Laughable anecdote
[22:18:17] Anthony Harris: Not shadow emperor of the nation
[22:18:36] Anthony Harris: Beer#5!
[22:19:00] Anthony Harris: Every time she brings up her kid in Iraq, I say folks should bring up her pregnant daughter
[22:19:07] Edward Mitchell: "Hmm, my approval ratings are in the dump. People are onto my evil plan to destroy the Jedi and take over the universe. I know what I'll do! Shoot an old guy in the face."
[22:19:12] Anthony Harris: You don't get to pick the kid that helps you politically
[22:20:26] Anthony Harris: Oh!
[22:20:32] Anthony Harris: He played the widow angle!
[22:21:10] Anthony Harris: He plays the emotional angle!
[22:21:13] Anthony Harris: Wow
[22:21:16] Anthony Harris: That's a moment
[22:21:26] Edward Mitchell: JOE BIDEN JUST WON THE DEBATE
[22:21:36] Anthony Harris: I don't say this often
[22:21:39] Anthony Harris: Or at all really
[22:21:39] Edward Mitchell: And she just made a mistake by going back to politics.
[22:21:40] Anthony Harris: But
[22:21:42] Anthony Harris: lmao
[22:22:24] Anthony Harris: Lieberman: the Republican in Democrat's clothing
[22:22:25] Edward Mitchell: did it look like hw
[22:22:36] Edward Mitchell: *Did it appear as though Biden choked up there?
[22:22:44] Edward Mitchell: When he mentioned having a child that may not make it?
[22:22:49] Edward Mitchell: That clip will likely get replayed.
[22:22:52] Anthony Harris: It totally did
[22:22:56] Anthony Harris: I love that moment
[22:23:23] Anthony Harris: This is a great moment here
[22:23:37] Anthony Harris: Yeah, I know he voted for President Bush's initiatives 90% of the time
[22:23:45] Anthony Harris: But what specifically did he not help me with?
[22:23:56] Anthony Harris: Biden was saving this moment
[22:24:54] Anthony Harris: Five years isn't long?
[22:25:25] Anthony Harris: It took him five years on the Senate to learn not to approve inflammatory judges?
[22:25:39] Edward Mitchell: The debate is effectively over. Call it a draw. Sarah Palin succeeded by not falling apart. Biden was Biden-solid.
[22:25:45] Anthony Harris: The vice presidency is a four year job with an option for another four
[22:25:59] Anthony Harris: There isn't time for a five year learning curve
[22:26:28] Anthony Harris: How on earth did Sarah Palin get out of specificity for the majority of this debate?
[22:27:02] Anthony Harris: Knowing John McCain, he might actually be here
[22:28:10] Anthony Harris: She said "diverse family" again
[22:28:22] Anthony Harris: So your husband is half Inuit
[22:28:25] Anthony Harris: I got it
[22:30:02] Anthony Harris: How can Palin talk about the lack of the filter on the mainstream media when I'm watching this on CNN with a graph taking up a fourth of my TV?
[22:30:29] Edward Mitchell: Excellent point!
[22:30:37] Anthony Harris: What is Palin talking about?
[22:30:45] Anthony Harris: Is slavery coming back and I didn't get the memo?
[22:30:57] Anthony Harris: Is Bush repealing the 14th Amendment?
[22:31:00] Anthony Harris: I wouldn't put it past him
[22:31:50] Edward Mitchell: Oh even he's not THAT crazy.
[22:32:24] Anthony Harris: Biden: Folksy
[22:32:59] Anthony Harris: He goes to Home Depot, his mom and dad gave him advice, he knows you talk about stuff at the kitchen table, he takes the train
[22:33:33] Edward Mitchell: Underwhelming, but good debate.
[22:33:54] Anthony Harris: I still want my "you're no Jack Kennedy" moment
[22:34:09] Anthony Harris: Alrigiht, summation
[22:34:29] Edward Mitchell: Summation: Palin did what she needed to do. So did Biden.
[22:34:56] Anthony Harris: Gov. Palin stood her ground, proving she was eloquent and mostly not didn't ramble.
[22:35:22] Anthony Harris: Yet she didn't show herself to be knowledgeable on most issues of the day.
[22:35:28] Anthony Harris: Sen. Biden did.
[22:35:48] Anthony Harris: He managed to related to the American people in his auspice of being folksy
[22:36:00] Anthony Harris: But it's still indeterminate if he is actually folksy
[22:36:30] Edward Mitchell: He's not.
[22:36:35] Anthony Harris: Were his responses about visits to Home Depot and remembering the hard times in his family scripted?
[22:36:39] Edward Mitchell: But he came off that way, so all good for Obama's people.
[22:36:40] Anthony Harris: But well acted?
[22:36:46] Edward Mitchell: And yes, probably.
[22:37:13] Anthony Harris: Gov. Palin showed she can contort anything to a script
[22:37:20] Anthony Harris: She was cool headed and stayed on message
[22:37:49] Anthony Harris: In actuality, these attributes prove she'd be an excellent Vice President for the 21st Century
[22:38:14] Anthony Harris: Or really, her senior staffers would be an excellent Vice President for the 21st Century
[22:38:38] Edward Mitchell: Underwhelming debate!
[22:38:55] Anthony Harris: After I gave golden material, you give one sentence?
[22:39:08] Anthony Harris: Seriously EiC: blog for real here
[22:39:26] Edward Mitchell: I'm underwhelmed!
[22:40:13] Edward Mitchell: And that was not "golden" material
[22:40:22] Edward Mitchell: Those beers are getting to you.
[22:40:29] Edward Mitchell: Let's blog the pundits!
[22:40:34] Edward Mitchell: What channel are you watching?
[22:41:14] Anthony Harris: I switched to C-SPAN
[22:41:32] Anthony Harris: Well that and I just went to relieve myself
[22:41:43] Anthony Harris: You can't just keep drinking without breaking the seal
[22:42:19] Edward Mitchell: That is information that the bloggers and humanity at large did not need.
[22:42:39] Anthony Harris: I can edit this out
[22:42:46] Anthony Harris: Or not for humor's sake
[22:43:04] Anthony Harris: I'll try FOX News tonight
[22:43:14] Anthony Harris: Maybe I won't be so pissed off watching it if I'm drunk
[22:43:43] Anthony Harris: Fortunately, I haven't been making copious grammatical errors this evening because of it
[22:44:06] Edward Mitchell: Actually, I don't think I can handle the pundits tonight.
[22:44:23] Anthony Harris: Good enough
[22:44:30] Anthony Harris: I never watch the pundits afterwards
[22:44:33] Edward Mitchell: David Gergen is the only one worth listening to and he says everything he needs to say in the first few minutes.
[22:44:34] Edward Mitchell: OH
[22:44:38] Anthony Harris: I just read the articles the next day
[22:44:49] Edward Mitchell: CNN Insta-Debate poll coming in a few minutes.
[22:44:52] Anthony Harris: I don't care that much for punditry like I used to
[22:45:20] Edward Mitchell: CNN's focus group is about to sound off
[22:45:32] Edward Mitchell: Biden wins
[22:45:35] Anthony Harris: Funnily enough, the pollster on FOX is the guy I saw on C-SPAN a few weeks ago
[22:45:38] Edward Mitchell: According to the group
[22:45:43] Anthony Harris: He's actually pretty good
[22:46:12] Anthony Harris: I know he's a Republican pollster, but he's really good at what he does
[22:46:24] Anthony Harris: I still think this group is skewed, though
[22:46:35] Edward Mitchell: Frank Luntz?
[22:46:38] Edward Mitchell: Is that the pollster?
[22:46:46] Anthony Harris: Yeah
[22:46:59] Edward Mitchell: Yeah, he seems good
[22:47:21] Edward Mitchell: What does his focus group on Fox say?
[22:47:42] Anthony Harris: This debate will be influential in changing minds
[22:47:43] Edward Mitchell: People who are still undecided should be banned from voting.
[22:47:50] Edward Mitchell: Bunch of ignorant Hamlets they are.
[22:47:57] Anthony Harris: Gov. Palin appeals to the people on a basic level
[22:48:05] Anthony Harris: Etc. Etc. Etc.
[22:48:26] Anthony Harris: [to be said like Yul Brynner in The King and I]
[22:49:06] Edward Mitchell: Ha
[22:49:10] Edward Mitchell: Which I haven't seen
[22:49:16] Anthony Harris: CNN's group seems skewed as well
[22:49:28] Anthony Harris: You've never seen The King and I?
[22:49:37] Edward Mitchell: Nope
[22:49:41] Anthony Harris: One of the few musicals a straight man should actually see?
[22:49:43] Edward Mitchell: Or maybe when I was a kid
[22:50:02] Edward Mitchell: I did, however, see the Jodie Foster/Chow Yun Fat remake Anna and the King
[22:50:05] Edward Mitchell: THAT was epic
[22:50:11] Anthony Harris: It was
[22:50:18] Anthony Harris: But you need to see The King and I
[22:50:20] Anthony Harris: Totally different
[22:50:26] Anthony Harris: Still really god
[22:50:28] Anthony Harris: good*
[22:51:49] Anthony Harris: I'm about to post this in a minute
[22:51:54] Anthony Harris: Anything else you want to say?
[22:52:03] Edward Mitchell: UNDERWHELMED.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin Packs A Punchline

"And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities."

"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."

"But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?"
Last night, Governor Sarah Palin walked onto the stage of the RNC and was met with a standing ovation. She, then, opened her mouth and reminded us of how all of the applause was unnecessary. 

In a time when her vetting process has been taking place on CNN and ABC, opposed to the McCain headquarters, maybe she should have talked more about herself and her experience. It seemed like days went by as she reminded us all that John McCain died for our sins in Vietnam (or something along those line) as he put our country first. What she failed to mention was our struggling economy and how the same working mothers- that she identifies so heavily with- can afford healthy foods for their kids and gasoline to go buy it. 

There, undoubtedly, were good lines delivered by Palin during her speech last night but that's all that is was; effective delivery. It seemed mostly full of one-liners and praise for McCain because it wasn't written by her. It was, most likely, composed by a group of McCain writers who all got their best Obama-bashing lines in and put small-town values in as filler. Meanwhile, no one in the country knows who she is and we're being asked to put her a heartbeat away from the presidency based on a distaste for Obama and the fact the fact that we all like mothers. 

Moreover, what's been most evident to me is that Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton. It's been a week of, "just leave her alone" and cries of sexism. Now all of a sudden Sarah "Barracuda" Palin or the "pitbull in lipstick" (as she likes to call herself), is the champion of the Republican party and not just the token damsel in distress. Could you imagine Hillary Clinton allowing her party to make her out to be a victim? 

Maybe I'm just annoyed. I know that I'm offended and most importantly, I'm impatient because I can't wait to see Joe Biden go hardbody on her without a script.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gov. Sarah Palin is Certainly an Orator

Gov. Sarah Palin delivered an excellent speech this evening. I mean that. I mean that very truly, and very literally. This address was efficient at showing she has a body of work (albeit small), puts John McCain back in the limelight (as he should be), and shows she's competent enough for the job.

As she discussed energy policy, she spoke at length about various nations and their relations to the United States with oil trade, showing she "has knowledge" about foreign trade and policy. She showed she is open to other alternative energy sources. She also somehow showed she was a magical oil prospector by stating with certainty that there's enough oil in Alaska to save America without doing any actual drilling there, yet.

She spoke at length about the record of John McCain as a senator in relation to "her opponent" (more on this later) and rebranded him as the maverick America thought he was in 2000, which pales in comparison to the conservative panderer he's been in this campaign.

She compared herself to the average American with average American problems and painted the Democratic party as elitists, which played well with the crowd and could work on the national level. It's not like there isn't some validity in it. But what's disconcerting is that she played America as though it were a collection of small towns instead of a nation. While many in the media and her opposition feel that her background doesn't reflect the expertise to lead the nation, she rebuked this at length. It seemed appropriate, but America isn't a small town, as much as we like to think we are. Thornton Wilder wasn't exactly writing Our Town with the idea that it represented a place that threatens Russia for using excessive force or needs to find some other place to put the mill because the neighboring town is fighting for the river.

But what bothered me the most, while I know what she was doing, was not referring to Sen. Obama by name. She called out Joe Biden. She even called out Majority Leader Harry Reid. But she just wouldn't give credence to Barack Obama. It's clear that even uttering his name gives him attention, but he should have attention: he's the other candidate. But saying his name also still draws attention to the fact that they're both young and relatively inexperienced. She could only hold off that claim so much and mentioning Obama wouldn't have helped that situation. Still, I'm reminded of an episode of The West Wing in which Jed Bartlett was running for president the first time and had complaints about his staff recommending he not refer to his opponent by name. He thought it would make him look dotty and aloof. While Palin was successful in looking relatively competent, she still had an aura of not being all the way there.

And this is why I believe Sarah Palin "delivered" a great speech instead of "gave" a great speech. She proved she knows her way around a teleprompter, something Sen. McCain still needs work on and has very little time to learn that lesson. She proved she has an excellent speechwriter who can write for the big leagues and knows how to accentuate points well. This person knows the rule of three, comparisons, proper omission, and how to present the right evidence (while ignoring the evidence that doesn't necessarily help). Obama has been painted as elitist, epic and flashy without substance, and largely ignorant and irrelevant. For this, I praise Gov. Palin's staff and especially her speechwriter. But I still feel that due to her lack of experience and age, she doesn't know what she's talking about.

What leads me to believe this is her specificity. She has too much going on in a speech like this. Sure, Sen. Obama is extremely vague and his speeches make him sound like a messianic Santa Claus (and any Christian who knows me may smack me around a bit for that juxtaposition right there) but I can trust his vagueness. He really isn't all that qualified, but I have faith enough that he would be capable of knowing how to govern on his own. Gov. Palin seems to be a spectator in all of this. She can deliver a speech of facts and plans in which she had no part because nothing in her experience prepared her for this. Someone is pulling strings here and I find that highly troubling.

John McCain is old but capable, but he panders to his base too much in his later years. This could be to the detriment to the nation that really looks to a nation beyond partisanship. I recall McCain on Meet the Press years ago saying he wouldn't become an Independent because his is the party of Lincoln. Now it's the neo-conservative party of Reagan and he is transforming himself to appeal to these people. They are divisive and they are in some ways destructive. Now they have a head cheerleader running for vice president and she seems to know well enough to do as she's told.

Frankly, I find tonight just a little bit frightening at how well it went all because I could see behind this ruse. Hopefully others would see this with me.

The Token Minority Night

I'm looking at Michael Williams, Railroad Commissioner in Texas. He's black. He's promoting "clean coal". He's promoting odd energy policy and lower taxes. It's all really just a confusing image to me until I noticed something that made it all work: he's wearing a bow tie.

I'm looking at Luis Forturno, Republican Congressman of non-voting Puerto Rico. He's promoting the search for oil and calling it a clean source of energy. He's talking about supporting Sen. McCain in a very thick accent.

Gov. Palin speaks at 10:35. She's going to say some really contradictory statements as well to the detriment of the group she's a member of. This is the evening where the party finds groups of people to which they are appealing and trying to feed them their party lines. It's perplexing to watch, which is partially why I didn't want to turn on my TV for this.

Why am I blogging this again?

EDIT @ 9:01 - Hey, former Lt. Gov. of Maryland Michael Steele is talking right now with a snappy catchphrase "Drill, Baby, Drill." He really seems like he could be actually sort of sincere. He's speaking in call and response. He's filled will all sorts of energy. Sure, I may have only been watching him for a few minutes but I get a good feeling from him. He's seems like a different sort of American instead of some real partisan hack. He thinks drilling in Alaska will be good for us while others think it's a temporary fix that won't even see results for a few years. He's likely wrong, but he's not malicious or vehement about it. He could be a token black guy, but at least he doesn't seem like the kind of guy the party is using or something.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

As We Shift Gears Around Here...

The second verse is clearly the same as the first. I don't feel like watching all the pundits (although technically what I'm doing right now is punditry, so does that make me a bit of a hypocrite?). I know that these conventions are pep rallies made solely to rally the base of the party. Every star of the Republican party will come through to state their talking points ad nauseum. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So expect the same from us as before.

Funny thing is, it's hard for me to find my colleagues right now. Hey, Donovan, Ed, Wendell, where are all y'all?!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Archiblog the 2008 Democratic Convention- Thursday-Obama's Acceptance Speech

It’s hard to believe that the final day of the Democratic National Convention has finally arrived. In the early afternoon of our final day in Denver, my team members and I rode the light rail train to the Invesco Stadium. During our 30 minute ride to the stadium, I began to reflect upon my various experiences at the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC). As I ruminated, I then began to consider the timing of the upcoming Republican National Convention. Did the Republicans employ tactics that I learned in my years as a member of my high school varsity debate team? In policy debate, the affirmative team presents its case or platform first. Thereafter, the negative team rebuts the arguments made by the affirmative team. If the negative team effectively rebuts the major points of the affirmative team, the negative team will win. Applying the lessons that I learned in policy debate, here’s my theory: if the Republicans effectively rebut the Democrat’s message of change, the American people may elect a Republican over a Democrat for president.

When our train reached our stop, we exited the train and traveled on foot (about half a mile) to the Invesco stadium. When I was finally able to see the stadium, I was surprised to see thousands of people standing in line, in front of what appeared to be only 2 points of entry. I glanced at my watch and noted that we had reached the stadium almost 6 hours before Senator Obama was scheduled to speak. I became concerned that it would take more than 6 hours to enter the stadium. But, I soon realized that our press credentials authorized us to enter the stadium through an express passage. Having press credentials, however, did not protect us from the taunts of those already standing in the incredibly long line. As we walked by, some people began to yell at us. “They’re cutting the line,” one woman screamed. “That’s not fair,” another man screamed.

Now, in all honesty, I could fully understand their frustration. It was really hot and they had probably been standing in line for more than an hour. And, as my colleagues and I continued to walk to the front of the line, I remember looking back and wishing that I could share my press credentials with the people who had shouted at us. But, it soon became evident that even though we cut through the line, it would take another 15 minutes to pass through the final checkpoint.

Once we were actually inside the stadium, I felt a little choked up because I knew that in a few hours I would be present when the first African-American ever nominated by a major American party, gave his acceptance speech. I felt even more emotional when I saw how close I was to where he would be speaking. Although I wasn’t initially on the floor of the stadium, I was really close and I had a fabulous view of the speaker’s podium. Soon after we took our seats, Rep. Nancy Pelosi called the closing session of the DNCC to order. Next, a series of speaker such as Howard Dean and David Pluff, Barack Obama’s campaign chief came to the podium. Pluff informed the audience that this weekend the campaign would launch its initiative called the “weekend of change.” He invited everyone in the crowd to take a few hours this weekend to register people to vote. A few minutes after he invited everyone to send a text message to a designated Obama campaign number, he announced that over 30,000 people had accepted his challenge and were now directly connected to the Barack Obama campaign.

After Pluff left the stage, Sean Johnson, an Olympic gold medalist led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Jenifer Hudson sung the national anthem. They both did an excellent job. The next speakers were national civil rights and political leaders, such as: John Lewis, Bernice King and Martin Luther King III. All three spoke about Dr. King’s dream for America. Martin Luther King IIII made reference to his dad’s speech, and quoted directly from that speech and reminded the audience that his dad dreamed of the day “that one day people would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Hearing Dr. King’s children state that their dad’s dream had finally come true, gave me goose bumps! The crowd, after these dynamic speakers ended their remarks, gave the trio a standing ovation. At that moment, I realized that Obama’s famous phrase, “change you can believe in” was quickly becoming a reality. For starters, for the first time in American history, a Black man had received a major party’s nomination for the office of President. This fact became more poignant when one considered that Senator Clinton made the motion to nominate Senator Obama by acclamation. In addition, Senator Obama had succeeded in engaging young people around the country. He encouraged and motivated them to get involved- something other candidates have been unable to do.

As the evening progressed, several other performers and speakers took to the stage. During, and in between, these presentations, the energy in the stadium was electrified. The spectators were waving flags, dancing in the isles, and showing their enthusiasm for everyone who entered the stage. Some of the spectators created a human wave, which spread across the entire stadium. Those who were waving were not the convention delegates because the convention delegates sat on the floor of the stadium. The human wave seemed to symbolize the effort of the spectators to be relevant and to mark their presence; and, it was amazing to watch the delegates watch the stadium spectators having a great time.

As time grew closer to when Barack Obama was scheduled to speak, I could feel the growing anticipation of the crowd. They began to shout “O-BAM-A! O-BAM-A!” It was electrifying. Literally. Flashes of light could be seen throughout the stadium as people took pictures of one another and of the stage. Everywhere I looked I saw American flags. Obama’s staff had obviously decided that signs and banners would not be enough. They wanted to emphasize the fact that their candidate was very patriotic. This was a brilliant idea. With thousands of flags being waved around the stadium, every picture of Obama would very likely include an American flag in the background.

When Barack Obama, finally reached the stage, the crowd erupted into applause, which lasted more than 5 minutes. Then, after he said “ I accept the nomination” the audience clapped for another 5 minutes. But, once Barack Obama silenced the crowd, they listened attentively for his approximately 50 minute speech. Although there were reportedly over 80,000 people in Invesco Stadium, it was incredible to sit among them in a silence that you could almost feel.

Senator Obama’s acceptance speech was full of memorable phrases. I particularly liked when he said, “I don’t think Senator McCain doesn’t care. I just think he doesn’t understand.” Obama then proceeded to describe the many examples of things McCain did not understand. His attack on McCain was very specific and clear. Overall, Barack Obama’s speech was very appropriate and very well put. When Barack Obama concluded his speech, the crowd chanted his name for many minutes. The crowd continued to shout his name and “yes we can” long after Senator Obama had left the stadium. The people were not rushing to find the closest exit. They seemed suspended in time, relishing the moment.

After the event, my colleagues and I decided to go down to the stadium floor. We took lots of pictures to memorialize the sights and symbols of this historic night. When we finally left the stadium, I remember looking back at the entrance and thinking “I will never forget this day. Today I witnessed an event which will forever impact American politics.”

The DNC in Retrospect

Donovan X. Ramsey
Atlanta, GA

Democrats went to Denver to seal a deal that was made to their party during primary season but left stronger and more unified than many imagined.

The grind of the primaries, left the party scattered and at odds with each other. It turns out that more than Hillary Clinton supporters were in need of catharsis and they just may have gotten what they came for.

It would seem that those who attended the convention, and Democrats at home, got something back this week.

They certainly got back Senator Ted Kennedy as "the lion" of Congress, they got to look at the Clintons foundly again (the all important first step in getting back Hillary supporters) and the points made by Barack Obama, in his speech last night, restated their purpose.

Edward Mitchell
Atlanta, GA

Just when John McCain was surging in state and national polls, sparking jitters among Democrats nationwide, the Democratic convention may have stopped that downward slide and finally united the Party behind nominee Barack Obama.

Four days of stagecraft worthy of Steven Spielberg managed to rip McCain (happy 72nd birthday, btw!) a new one on the all-important economy, pacify Hillary backers (except for the utterly rabid ones), and inspire Democrats to once again feel like they really can win this one.

Whether or not Mac's selection of a woman as his vice president stops Obama's momentum is unclear, and at the moment irrelevant. The Democrats could not control that. What they could control was their convention, and by any barometer, it was a rousing success. The Gallup daily tracking poll now has Obama up by a sizeable eight points (49-41) and 38 million people watched Obama's speech (reportedly more than watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics).

Anthony Harris
Marietta, GA

For an event that I largely didn't care for, what I did see convinced me to be at least relatively impressed. For three days, what was expected to happen, happened. Every star of the Democratic Party toed the line and didn't betray their people, much to the chagrin of various pundits and news managers who were waiting for an extended floor fight. And, as has been previously reported 38 million people witnessed history as Barack Obama addressed America. Although that figure doesn't count those who watched the coverage on PBS or C-SPAN (as I did) or the various people who watched the convention in bars and parties across America.

But one more thing I have to mention about Obama's speech: it did more than what it needed to do. For a few segments near the end, Sen. Obama appealed to moderates. When he noted the differences in America and the need for us to unite, one must note that he was completely aware that the world was watching. While staunch Democrats may have been watching the previous three days, on that evening Obama knew he had the ear of the world. On that evening, Obama had a responsibility to uphold; to ensure that he not only energize his devotees but to do as a politician must do and win the hearts and minds of the nation. He had to convince the other nations of the world that he was ready to stand on a global stage and lead. He had to convince the moderates and even the Republicans that even in our differences, we are all part of one nation and have to work together. Republicans aren't the enemy, they just have a different view for America, a view with its own merits.

I hope all those reading this will note this and I hope my colleagues will be ready to do this all over again next week for the Republican National Convention. It'll probably be just as fun for us to be more critical next week anyway.

Yeah, yeah D-Rams. You converted me.

Breaking News.....MAC CHOOSES FEMALE VP!!!!!

McCain chooses his vice presidential running mate: 44 year old Alaska Governor (and staunch conservative) Sarah Palin. Last night I wrote that Palin would be the smartest move Mac could make, but that he would probably go with Tim 'No Jaw' Pawlenty of Minnesota.

I was half right. Or, half wrong, depending on how you want to look at it.

Either way, point is: the McCain campaign is smart. Republicans (destructive policies aside) have appeared to be smarter campaigners for decades, but this certainly proves it. In a year in which the Republican Party has almost no chance of political survival, McCain had to do something to shake up the race.

Palin does just that.

Is it desperate? Incredibly. However, it's the best move he could have made for several reasons:

1) Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. There are still plenty of Hillary supporters out there who aren't quite ready to hold hands with Obama backers and sing kumbaya. Choosing the 44 year old female Palin is clearly meant to not only snag female voters, but specifically disaffected Hillary supporters. Obama is currently running well-ahead among women and a Democrat cannot win the presidency without substantial female support. Just ask John Kerry.

2) Ethics! She's supposedly very ethical-at least as ethical as a Republican politician can be nowadays-and McCain of 2000 was big on ethics reform. Is Mac trying to get a little of his old mojo back?

3) Change. Up until now, Obama has embodied change, freshness, and progress. Had McCain picked a stiff like Romney or Pawlenty (i.e., a middle aged man), the GOP ticket would have appeared incredibly boring in the face of the Obama juggernaut. Now, though, placing a female in contention ensures that one way or another, history will be made come November.

4) The Republican Convention. Honestly, was anyone initially planning on watching this? Now, though, everyone-and I mean EVERYONE-will want to at least see Palin's convention speech. A Rasmussen poll out this morning showed that upwards of 60% of the country couldn't offer an opinion of the Alaska governor. A lot of curious voters-once again, especially women-will tune, injecting some much needed enthusiasm into the convention

Bottom line: Palin is a smart gamble. McCain/Palin may still lose big (after all, Palin is a lifetime member of the NRA and staunchly pro-life; policies hardly appealing to many American women), but it's safe to say that McCain's chances of pulling off an upset victory increased this morning.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I landed in Denver, Colorado at 2:13 pm CST on Sunday, August 25th, the day before the official start of the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC). Shortly after arriving, I was met by throngs of Barack Obama supporters. It was like a huge welcoming committee.
Almost everywhere I looked, there were Barack Obama and DNCC volunteers welcoming everyone who arrived in the airport. It was exciting. In fact, it made me excited to see their enthusiasm. Making my way through the airport, I couldn’t believe the number of notable figures I saw. I saw people like Mike Thurmond, the Georgia secretary of labor; major news reporters from Atlanta; and Rza from the Wu Tang Clan.
Once everyone from the team had arrived, we stuffed ourselves and our luggage into a white mini van. I still wonder how all 7 of us were able to fit into the van with our entire luggage. But, somehow, we managed to do it. As the team and I traveled to our home, away from home, we saw solar panels outside of the airport and lots of billboards that reminded us to protect the environment.
It took approximately 40 minutes to get home and 30 minutes to get to downtown, Denver by car. To most that might sound like a long time (especially with the sky rocketing price of gas). But, in the DNCC atmosphere, that’s absolutely okay. In fact, that’s probably the norm. Let me explain. Due to the high demand for housing near the convention center, hotels cost more than $200.00 per night; and, nearby homes, cost even more. For example, word on the street is that Oprah Winfrey is staying in a home that she leased for 50K per week. So, as you can see, renting a home in the suburbs, 30 minutes away from town for the week, seems logical. Not to mention, our house is pretty cool! It’s an eco-friendly home! And although some of us are sleeping two to a bed, the experience of the house is phenomenal. Oh, and did I mention that the fridge is loaded with toms of healthy vegetarian food for the team.
Once we unloaded our belongings, we decided to find out about the Denver transit system and acclimate ourselves to downtown Denver. I must admit, the Denver transit system is a little complex. The kiosks, for the Denver transit system, have somehow managed to be very unhelpful in being helpful. Fortunately for us, there were locals around who were able to provide us with assistance. It didn’t take too long for our train to arrive. And, after loading onto the train, I noticed that there was nothing to check our transit passes; which, might I add, is very reminiscent of the Austrian transit system.
After getting over the shock that no one was interested in checking our bus passes, we finally reached Downtown Denver. I was amazed by the beautiful landscape and clean streets, the lack of people walking around, and the number of police officers situated around the Downtown area.
I felt like I was in a police state! There were tons of police officers and lots of barricades being put up around the Pepsi Convention Center. There were Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Denver police officers, private security staff, and members of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) staff everywhere and, one of my colleagues mentioned that some of the police officers were geared with high tech headphones that had the ability to pick up conversations from far away distances.
Surprisingly, there weren’t a lot of protesters. And, the few that could be seen focused on Barack Obama’s pro-choice stance or their support for Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Signs such as “a vote for Obama is a vote for dead children”, “Hillary for President”, and “McCain for President” floated around the Pepsi Convention Center (PCC).
When the members of my team and I, finally reached the security for the PCC, I was surprised at how easy it was to get into the convention center and onto the floor of the arena. I must admit that we couldn’t help taking thousands of pictures of ourselves in front of the building and on the floor of the PCC. I mean, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity! In fact, one of my colleagues was so excited, that he illegally took a picture at the podium where Barack Obama is scheduled to speak on Thursday. But, his time at the podium was short lived because he was practically yanked off the stage by a security guard.
Our first day, in downtown Denver, was brought to an abrupt end when it started to rain. But, fortunately for us, “there’s always tomorrow.”


I think I’ll call this morning “comedy of errors”! So, Rebecca- a senior producer for Youth Radio, and I were off to a great start. We were up by 6:30 a.m., in and out of the showers by 7:00 a.m., and out of the house by 7:45 a.m. to catch the 8:00 bus into downtown Denver. This was pretty good for us, since we went to bed well after 2:00 a.m.
Luckily, we only had to walk to the end of the street to reach our bus stop. Or so we thought, When we finally reached the end of the street, we unfortunately watched our bus pass by. We had arrived too late, But, all was not lost.
We could ride the bus into town from either direction and we had only missed the southbound bus. So, we stood beside what we thought was the bus stop, only to find that it was some other kind of orange city marker- Maybe something to measure the snow level? And, it wasn’t until 8:15 that we finally reached the bus stop (which was 4 blocks away from our house) and 8:30 that we were finally able to get on the bus.
I forgot to mention that I was scheduled for a 9:00 a.m. interview with Senator Peter Groff, head of the Colorado state senate; and that to get to town it takes approximately 15 minutes on the bus and then another 20 minutes on the rail. But, we were “saved by the bell” when Senator Groff’s assistant called to tell us that he was running behind schedule. So, our tardiness turned into the new early. We ended up being approximately 20 minutes early for the new scheduled interview time. Interviewing Senator Groff was absolutely great! He was such an interesting person and was a lot of fun to talk to.
After the interview, Rebecca and I headed over to the Pepsi Convention Center (PCC). When we finally arrived at the PCC, I felt like I was entering into a military zone. There was this long black fence that traveled along the perimeter of the PCC. People, from all walks of life were standing in this line. In fact, I ran into Al Shapton. After getting through the first line of security, we ran into another set of gates that outlined the immediate perimeter of the PCC.
We were sent through a second line of very rigorous security, only to reach heaven, there were so many cool people inside. I ran into Al Franken, Angela Bassett and Larry Willmore from the Daily show; and, some of my personal favorites, due to my Atlanta roots were Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, Georgia Congressman John Lewis.
When I finally reached the arena, of the PCC, it was nothing like I observed yesterday. The security was extremely tight; and, the halls were filled with thousands of people. I couldn’t believe it! Shortly after entering the arena, I participated with Nico and Rebecca in a few impromptu interviews. Our focus, at the time, was to gauge older voter’s perception of youth involvement in this election.
Then, I wondered off to listen to some of the speeches offered by different elected officials, on behalf of Barack Obama. It was very interesting to watch the delegates interact with one another on the PCC floor. Instead of listening to the speakers, the delegates were more interested in having fun with one another. They were playing with a beach ball- bouncing it across the aisles, wearing bright colors, QWERTY glasses, and Uncle Sam hats, and laughing. It was also interesting to notice that the halls of the PCC were filled with thousands of people, while the stadium seats remained empty.

But, the delegates’ stopped their ball games as the speakers became more popular or better known. People like Edward Kennedy were able to grasp the attention of the delegates and the thousands of people in the halls. In fact, when it was time for Michelle Obama to speak, people were very attentive and interested in hearing what she had to say. Not a single seat was empty. As she approached the stage, a sea of Michelle Obama signs flew into the air all over the stadium! It was an absolutely amazing thing to see. Her speech received a similar response along with emotions of the crowd was electrifying. The audience’s focus was almost deafening. Their focus was connected to her every word. As I looked around the room, I could see hundreds of people crying and rooting her on as she sparked a feeling of hope that many American’s have been yearning for a long time.

Play by Play of "The Speech"

10: 20
Smile and repeatedly say thank you to the adoring crowd? Check.

Officially accept the nomination and pause for more chanting? Check.
Soothe the egos of Bill and Hillary by praising them again? Check.

Obama is doing a fine job so far, but it's hardly his most compelling speech. The repeated applause seems to be holding him back from becoming completely fired up. It's only the beginning though....

And the gloves are off. Five minutes in, Barack Obama has torn into Mac on one issue and one issue alone: the economy.

"Let me spell out exactly what that change would mean..." Listen up, all you people convinced the man has never so much as said whether he thinks the Earth is round or flat.

Tries to turn the energy crisis (an issue McCain managed to find traction on) against the Arizona senator

Specifics are important, but he's definitely more enthralling when he uses all that 'high-falutin' language.

By the way, did anyone spot Gray Davis in the audience? Remember, ex-governor of California? Infamous for presiding over massive energy shortage....terminated by Arnold in the '03 election, etc, etc

Here comes the personal responsibility section. This one's for you, disaffected Republicans.

Anthony Harris!

Senator Patrick Leahy in the house! Anyone see his cameo in "The Dark Knight?" He was the old guy in Wayne Manor who stood up to the Joker and ended up-oh, hold on, here's some hard-driving foreign policy

"Won't even follow [bin Laden] to the cave where he lives." Oh snap!

Twenty minutes in. It's a solid, meaty speech, but I don't think he's reached the level of his '04 keynote address....or even his "race" speech. Yet.

There we go! A rift on his "there is not a blue America and a red America" line from '04 brings the house down.

The A-word. "We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of abortions in this country."

Just brought the crowd to their feet by declaring that "Kwanza Fisher is awesome!"

Ok, not really, but he was thinking it. Latest soundbite: "If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people have to run from."

"This election has never been about me. It's about you."

They should be using this "8 is enough" chant a lot more often. Slap it on a bumper sticker and over a picture of George and Mac embracing.

Ooh, here comes some thematic language......and the first acknowledgment that today is the 45 year anniversary of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech.

"America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must walk forward into the future."

Ends by quoting scripture. Translation: "Evangelicals, vote Democratic! I'm not a Muslim. Ahem, not that there would be anything wrong with that, of course. And the Republicans won't really pass a federal gay marriage ban, anyway....and I promise, I'm really not the Anti-Christ!"

Wow. A Southern man (Toby Keith, maybe?) sings an extremely patriotic song as Michelle and those talkative daughters come on stage.

Barack Obama: "Here's President Biden! I mean, Vice President Biden. No one noticed that right?" Yeah, he really did that:

Don't turn around Joe! We can see your giant bald spot!

Now they're playing theme music from "Remember the Titans." Really.

Or maybe it was "Rudy," or "Hoosiers."

Can we get some John Williams?

Nope. Definitely "Remember the Titans."

I'm very curious about what the pundits will say about his speech.

Pundits=happy with the specifics.

A hardcore (ahem, black male) Hillary supporter just knocked on my door, walked in the room, extended his hand and said, "You got me." Job well done, Barack.

Over on Fox News, Juan Token Williams is giving Brit Hume what he wants, nitpicking the speech.

William Kristol (uber-neocon responsible for the deaths of just a few hundred thousand Iraqis) actually says that the speech met and exceeded expectations. Those neocons....always surprising you.

I wish I had MSNBC so that I could see Keith Olbermann and Chris 'Thrill Up My Leg' Matthews swoon over their dear Barack.

Anonymous Republican woman backs up Token, says the speech is typical liberal Democratic fare. In other news, Brit Hume breathes a sigh of relief.

If Mac wants to keep Obama from running away with this thing, he'd better run an attack ad with Paris Hilton, Jeremiah Wright, and William Ayers all together. And just for good measure, run another add that takes it even further. Voiceover: "Barack Obama's father was alive at the same time as Adolf Hitler. Barack Obama is just a few years younger than Osama bin Laden. So can we really trust him to lead?" Ah yes, that's the ticket.

Darth Krauthhamer is speaking after the break? NOOOOOOO!

Mac announces his VP tomorrow morning. He's big on relationships, so I doubt it'll be Romney. And Mac may be crazy, but he's not suicidal, so Lieberman is out. The smart move would be a woman like Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.....but I'm thinking he went with Governor Tim 'No Jaw' Pawlenty. No, really, look at a picture of the man.

"The speech wasn't great, but it was exceedingly smart." I'm sorry to say it, but I think Darth Krauthammer hit the nail on the head. Night night everyone.

Sen. Obama's Address: Minute by Minute

10:12 - He emerges with rather generic music. I mean really generic music. Who wrote that stuff? And these people are serious with these standing ovations. They got to President Clinton last night and they continue to drag on here.

10:16 - There's something about Sasha Obama. She sees everything with her youthful eyes and she has no clue about anything going on. She's surprised to hear her name and anyone in her family's name. How long will it take for the media to get too close to her?

10:18 - Could you really imagine that this guy would be the candidate four years ago? Yeah, he made a good speech but geez!

10:20 - It's interesting that Obama mentions New Orleans right here. Due to an impending hurricane, the Republican Party is mulling over postponing their convention. In this reference, Sen. Obama pits the Republicans in a damned if they do/damned if they don't scenario.

10:24 - Even when gone, Phil Gramm is an albatross around Sen. McCain's neck.

10:25 - Sen. Obama does the typical Democratic attack. Respectfully saying his opponent is wrong. He's not saying McCain is completely wrong, just really out of touch. The Democrats could be meaner.

10:26 - "You are on your own." This has been my problem with the Republican Party. While I do believe in the free market, we have to note we're a socialist-capitalist nation. It's a mix people forget.

10:27 - My friend Louis once said "politics is being able to go to the grocery store and take your kids to school." Obama echoes this statement here. America is the small things. It's the people who work everyday. The waitress living on tips, the steel workers, the self-made stories, the hard workers.

10:29 - Sen. Obama's life narrative is crucial to his campaign. While he solidly makes the retort of his elitism here, he needs to ensure this is said more often. He is the rags to riches story. Oliver Stone would have a field day with his biopic.

10:31 - If Obama can state the purpose of government so clearly, and these are ideals that we've always had, is he promoting change or reversion? Or is he saying his actions will reflect his rhetoric. We shall see.

10:33 - "Listen now..." The black vernacular just kicked in.

10:33 - His proclamation on oil had a Kennedyesque tone to it. But while it's good to here, it's no "we choose to go to the moon and do the other things not because they are easy but because they are hard."

10:36 - While Obama is promoting a variation on a new GI Bill it sounds an awful lot like Sen. Jim Webb beat him to it.

10:38 - Wasn't equal pay already legislated?

10:39 - Auditing the federal budget is a task that will certainly take more than his first 100 days in office.

10:40 - Did a Democrat just promote personal responsibility and family values?! Unheard of!

10:41 - "John McCain says he'll follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives." Now that is a good line.

10:43 - This is a well written speech with plenty of soundbites. The delivery conveniently packages these soundbites. It's not made for buildup. It's not even made for call and response. But the speechwriters are clearly political minds.

10:46 - Obama is above the fray but he legitimizes being above the fray. What kind of nation is this when we have to legitimize and remind people that it's best to be above the fray? He really just said it's best to not cause dissension in America, but he ironically does this at one of the most partisan gatherings in the nation.

10:48 - For the first time in four days, I'm seeing someone actually pitch for the moderates instead of rallying the party. While Obama spends most the speech doing what is expected of him in the convention, he does what's unexpected here and tries to find a common ground for the other Americans who have differing views about abortion, gun control, immigration, and gay marriage. Good move.

10:50 - And now he's fighting Rovian campaign strategies.

10:52 - Did he just say he's best because he's fresh and actually sort of inexperienced?

10:55 - People were wondering if he'd invoke King. He did. He most certainly did. Funny thing is, he knows people know without him having to say. Obama is a candidate who doesn't always have to say things because he knows the media has said it ten times over.

10:57 - HOLY CRAP, A RETRACTABLE PODIUM! Oh, and what on earth is this song? And where are the balloons? I knew there'd be something wrong with having this speech in a stadium. No balloons, no confetti. Yeah, history was made and the speech was good, but where are the balloons?

10:58 - Nevermind, fireworks are much better than balloons.

10:59 - Ooh, and confetti and streamers. At'll do, pig. At'll do.

On Chicago

It's an interesting time to be Chicagoan.

The loss of Bernie Mac
The Cubs and Sox are doing well
The Dark Knight pretty much ignored the city of Gotham and essentially put Batman and the Joker in Chicago
The legions of music festivals wrapped up in the city
And their senator got the Democratic nod

I may hate the cold, but I really love Chicago.

The Main Event

Tonight is the night that many people have patiently waited for. Tonight, in Denver, Barack Obama will accept the Democratic Party's nomination for the President of the United States.

I never thought that I'd see the day. Born only 21 years ago, even I couldn't have imagined a day where the country and a united political party would gather around someone that looked like me. My parent generation and the one that preceeded would echo the same sentiments. We've been waiting for a while but this is the moment.

Our country has been gripped, since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, in an effort to roll back the incredible opportunity and life-giving social policies of the 1960's. The two-term administration of George W. Bush has represented a pitiful valley in the landscape of societal improvement. People have died, been tortured, lost homes, and hope in those eight years. Progressives have been waiting for a while but the moment is here.

After days of masterful political presentation and tradition, the main event is ready to take stage. At 10:00pm, Barack Obama has the honor and responsibilty of seizing this moment in time and to see to it that all this waiting was not in vain. His speech is the last piece in a complicated puzzle whose resolution, his presidency is resting on.

Obama's star was launched in 2004 with a powerful speech that reminded Americans of the audacity of hope. Now is the time to seal the deal with a promise of change, a fiery look at the alternative, and a sound plan. I wish Senator Obama the best of luck tonight. This is the time. This is the place and. May he seize the day.

What does Barack Obama's acceptance of the nomination mean to you? Do you think that the speech he gives has any bearing on the race?

Shawdy, my leaders talk black

This blog post is a shout-out to the new class of young black male leaders that defy the stereotype (that excludes Kwame Kilpatrick) and morph black politics from one of victimhood to a politics of possibility. This is a shout-out to those leaders who are confident enough to be themselves and use language that they would use in comfortable company. This is, in fact, a shout-out to the shout-out.

During his nearly prime time speech, Deval Patrick shouted out a number a people. No one blinked. Hillary, eventually gave a few herself. Some might call this a simple term going mainstream. But I think its a bit complex. As more black leaders become serious players in the game, the more they have probably conceded to "the mainstream" and the more they get to influence the mainstream. Language, as always, plays a central role.

African-American vernacular is distinct in two ways from other American dialects: grammatically and lexically. Slang is the lexical component. For AAV lexical items to be widely accepted, on a political level, says something of the pressure that this new class is having on political discourse (on a basic and meta level).

I think this is an example, too, of how something can be integrated in the whole while retaining its identity. It doesn't have to scream that it is x. It will be x.

So, true, Obama might not spend all day talking about black issues, but I'm wiling to wager that we'd see some mudcloth in the oval office.