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Democratic National Convention Day 1
Author: BobR    Date: 08/25/2008 12:23:00

Today it begins. The Democratic Party National Convention opens in Denver. It looks to be 4 days of celebrating a new beginning, a Party party for flushing away the past 8 years of fear, incompetence, selfishness and self-righteousness (okay - maybe we'll still have a little of that last one). It will be 4 days of amazing speakers and music.

Last night was a celebratory concert. It included performers and speakers Dave Matthews (with Tim Reynolds), Sheryl Crow, Sugarland, Laurie David, Van Jones, Bill McDonough, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Bruce Springsteen will be playing the last night after Barack's speech. It's almost like LiveAid. Meanwhile, the Republican convention is more like Rolaid. :P
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261 comments (Latest Comment: 08/26/2008 04:08:34 by m-hadley)

Author: velveeta jones    Date: 08/24/2008 12:45:57

Its come to this. Velveeta has turned into a drooling idiot. I'd always known this would eventually come to pass, but I held out hope that I'd reach such an age where I wouldn't know the difference.

Yes, dear readers, last night I stood in a small cubicle and felt as if I was Varya from Chekov's "Cherry Orchard" hearing the harp string break. Though in this case, it was not the demise of the aristocracy and the rise of the middle class; it was my small brain trying to take in more information than Our Dear Lord ever imagined.

I recently accepted a promotion at that place that pays me money - and it has already taken its toll on me. As I stood in said cubicle office and listened to an explanation of my responsibilities - there came the breaking of the harp string. I heard it as clear as day; right over the drone of "....then you look up the person's account number and enter it..........recount the money even though you counted it twice..........sort the slips of paper..........login to the ............fill out this form, and then this form..............answer the phone while counting........"


And so my dear readers, I feel little remorse in presenting to you, today's blog, which is just short of an Open Thread. Call it: Stuff to ponder.
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47 comments (Latest Comment: 08/25/2008 11:43:02 by trojanrabbit)

Cleaning out the drawer of the Blog Mind
Author: TriSec    Date: 08/23/2008 13:36:48

With apologies to Bob Ryan, from whom I steal this idea from time to time..

Anyway, I checked my phone this morning, and the first words out of my mouth were "that bastard!" I don't know about anyone else, but my message was received at 3:20 EDT (am!) here on the East Coast. Curiously, our own Raine made this call yesterday:

Comment by Raine on 8/22/2008 5:38:13 PM HEy... I just had a thought... wouldn't it be hilarious if we all got the text message from Barack Obama at 3 am?

It's Three Am, and this is barack obama

Dude, can you say "anti-climactic?"

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96 comments (Latest Comment: 08/24/2008 05:55:34 by livingonli)

The POW Card - or, how I learned to love myself for my Country
Author: Raine    Date: 08/22/2008 05:27:39

"Thanks to my prisoner of war experience, I had, as they say in politics, a good first story to sell."
From John McCain's 2002 Book, Worth Fighting for.

Oh, He's selling this story alright.
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235 comments (Latest Comment: 08/23/2008 13:38:37 by TriSec)

POTUS Debates Announced
Author: Raine    Date: 08/21/2008 14:41:21

Joint statement from Obama and McCain:
The Barack Obama and John McCain campaigns have agreed to hold three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate in September and October sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The campaigns have come to the earliest agreement on presidential debates reached in any general election in recent history. This announcement reflects the presidential campaigns' agreement on dates, locations, and the formats for the fall debates. Campaign-appointed debate negotiators House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said they were pleased to have reached an early agreement to provide the American people with the opportunity to see and hear the candidates debate the critical issues facing the country. The two campaigns have accepted sponsorship of the debates by the Commission on Presidential Debates, subject to the debates being conducted under the terms of their agreement.

Summary of McCain-Obama Debate Agreement
The two campaigns agreed today on a framework for four General Election debates, to be sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Key elements of the agreement are:

First Presidential Debate:
Date: September 26
Site: University of Mississippi
Topic: Foreign Policy & National Security
Moderator: Jim Lehrer
Staging: Podium debate
Answer Format: The debate will be broken into nine, 9-minute segments. The moderator will introduce a topic and allow each candidate 2 minutes to comment. After these initial answers, the moderator will facilitate an open discussion of the topic for the remaining 5 minutes, ensuring that both candidates receive an equal amount of time to comment

Vice Presidential Debate
Date: October 2nd
Site: Washington University (St. Louis)
Moderator: Gwen Ifill
Staging/Answer Format: To be resolved after both parties’ Vice Presidential nominees are selected.

Second Presidential Debate
Date: October 7
Site: Belmont University
Moderator: Tom Brokaw
Staging: Town Hall debate
Format: The moderator will call on members of the audience (and draw questions from the internet). Each candidate will have 2 minutes to respond to each question. Following those initial answers, the moderator will invite the candidates to respond to the previous answers, for a total of 1 minute, ensuring that both candidates receive an equal amount of time to comment. In the spirit of the Town Hall, all questions will come from the audience (or internet), and not the moderator.

Third Presidential Debate
Date: October 15
Site: Hofstra University
Topic: Domestic and Economic policy
Moderator: Bob Schieffer
Staging: Candidates will be seated at a table
Answer Format: Same as First Presidential Debate
Closing Statements: At the end of this debate (only) each candidate shall have the opportunity for a 90 second closing statement.

All four debates will begin at 9pm ET, and last for 90 minutes. Both campaigns also agreed to accept the CPD’s participation rules for third-party candidate participation.

:peace: and :heart:

Our War Economy, Our Warrior Psyche
Author: Raine    Date: 08/21/2008 12:24:26

What is the state of the economy? Repression? Depression? Upswing? Down swing? According to this article...We have a War Economy. Not a "manufacturing" economy. Not an "agricultural" economy. Nor a "service" economy. Not even a "consumer" economy.

Forget the free market, forget capitalism... this economy, our nation, is very deep in a war mindset and everything that comes out of it is related to war. It's been that way for a long time, Smedley Butler warned us about it in 1934, when he wrote War is a Racket. We have known about the Military Industrial Complex for quite some time as well.
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224 comments (Latest Comment: 08/22/2008 02:45:57 by Random)

Weaving Iron into Drapes
Author: BobR    Date: 08/20/2008 12:32:49

For those old enough to remember, we were once engaged in a "cold war" with Russia (then - in combination with other countries such as Georgia - known as the USSR). There were no missiles fired, no battlefields but for those of ideology and politics. The division between East and West was referred to as the Iron Curtain, coined by Goebbels, popularized by Churchill, and symbolized by the Berlin Wall. When the wall fell about 29 years ago, it was cause for worldwide celebration.

One of the darkest symbols of the cold war was the constant threat of nuclear anihilation. There was a constant tit-for-tat build-up on both sides creating an enormous military-industrial complex that was always coming out with newer better missiles, bombers, and fighters. Russia finally blinked (financially) and the rest is history. This - and the war in Afghanistan - broke Russia's back and bank.

The iron curtain was maintained by a paranoid political machine in defense of its ideology, and reinforced with brutality and fear. It's demise brought hope for a kinder, gentler world where people could disagree with their (or other) governments and not worry about retribution. When the curtain fell, however, the curtain rod remained behind, and now it seems that the U.S. is trying to create a new set of drapes to hang there.

This time, things are different.
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217 comments (Latest Comment: 08/21/2008 03:46:12 by Mondobubba)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 08/19/2008 10:26:33

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,980th day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from the warron terra, courtesy of antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4144
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4005
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3683
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3285
Since Election (1/31/05): 2707

Other Coalition Troops: 314
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 574
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 348
Contractor Deaths: 444

We find this morning's cost of war passing through: $ 546,663,200,000.00

Cutting right to the chase, we'll start this morning in Afghanistan. Once again, another US military installation has come under attack.
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173 comments (Latest Comment: 08/20/2008 06:58:44 by livingonli)

Random Numbers Blog
Author: Random    Date: 08/18/2008 09:19:06

Now, I’ve spent the last few weeks…days…hours…trying to figure out how best to use all the data I’ve been collecting and use it to practical purposes. It finally occurred to me, I am going to dispel some myths about the current campaign and how well someone may have done, and how poorly another one would do.

First, I’ll discuss what is talked about, ad nauseum, by the media. And that is, Obama and McCain are in a close race. Of course, how can you blame them, in a culture that loves the 5 second sound bite, who has time to listen to in-depth analysis of state-by-state polls? Hell, some states haven’t had a proper poll since February. So, if we were to look at what National polls say…


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159 comments (Latest Comment: 08/19/2008 04:00:38 by BobR)

Sunday Review
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 08/17/2008 12:28:06

Apologies that today's blog may be a tad short and slightly incoherent. It may not matter to ya'll, as I’m assuming that most of you played the "John McCain 'my friends'" drinking game, so you'll still be in bed, the hospital, or in an alcoholic blackout.

Let's revisit a couple of stories that may have been missed this week, shall we? Especially those few that were not, nor will not, be picked up by the "main $tream media".

George "Gilligan" bush's Pastor, the guy that refused non-Christians to attend the coronation of bush in 2001, has actually come out against John McCain! Well, that's weird. Seems McCain may not be "moral" enough. Also seems, the proverbial "straw" was the fact that McCain offered his wife up to dance nekkid at Sturgis.

The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell of the Windsor Village United Methodist Church was the pastor that gave the official benedictions at Bush's inauguration in 2001 and 2005. More recently, he presided over Jenna Bush's wedding ceremony. I'm not sure if he allowed non-Christians at the wedding, but he previously convinced our pResident to exclude them at the benedictions.

In a conference call interview he had this to say about Mr. McCain:

"Well, I don't know a lot about John McCain's family history, I do know, however, that as recently as last week I think it was, the Senator made a comment in South Dakota regarding his wife entering some Buffalo Chips contest which is this topless deal and if she were to enter she would probably win it and my personal opinion and based on my understanding of the Christian faith, that's not not, N-O-T, not the type of expression that a presidential candidate, or anyone for that matter who is a follower of the Christian faith, ought to make," said the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell. "I don't know if that is a perfect case in point, but it surely does help to juxtapose the DNA of Senator Obama, if you would, versus the DNA of Senator McCain."

But wait, it get weirder. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers responded to Caldwell's criticism with this:
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64 comments (Latest Comment: 08/18/2008 06:18:49 by livingonli)

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