And Bill Clinton is speaking tonight. W. Bush was a no-show at the Republican Convention except for a brief video appearance. And the Dems bring in the only President to be impeached since Andrew Johnson! - neither one removed from office, though. I won't go into the Clinton impeachment here as I could easily slip into diatribe. Let me just say, I did NOT vote for him in 1996 (protest vote for Nader). I did vote for Bill in 1992. Hillary seemed very sincere in standing by her man and I thought he deserved a chance. But in 1996, I had soured on his apparent personal deficiencies although he was a very good President otherwise - and that was before we ever heard of Monica. Right now Paul Ryan is praising Bill Clinton to Piers Morgan. So, I guess it's OK for the Dems to bring him in. Bill is wily enough and Obama astute enough that I think another trap is being set.
Keep checking back. I'll try to keep updating.
Wasserman Schultz just stretched the truth (lied) when she was trying to explain away the controversy on "God" in the platform. She's not even running for Vice President (yet). See- I will hold Dems accountable too.
OK, I switched to PBS because they are showing the convention with minimal commentary. The convention has been highlighting Vets. But now PBS pundits are interviewing Gov. Deval Patrick. So maybe it's not much better. I'll try C-Span. But C-Span doesn't seem to be in HD and has a weird camera or formatting problems. Either that or Gov. Hickenlooper of Colorado has a really stretchy face. I'll keep flipping channels. OK, FOX Business is funny because they are right in front of the Utah delegation. Go, Utah Dems! Weird. And O'Reilly is offering punditry on regular FOX so that's out.
Now Sister Simone Campbell is speaking from the "Nuns on the Bus" tour. This is the liberal side of the Catholics - "Faith, Family, and Fairness."
Former Sec of State Madeline Albright quizzed by Wolf Blitzer on Romney's claim that Obama has thrown Israel under the bus, "One of the more ludicrous statements that was made . . . makes absolutely no sense."
We heard some pretty angry people who claimed to have lost their jobs in Bain takeovers and restructurings. That was pretty negative. I guess that's how business goes.
Sandra Fluke is speaking now - she's one of Limbaugh's favorite (bad-word favorite) young women. Editorial comment here: When I went to a John Kerry speech in 2004, The NARAL pro-choice signs made me a little nervous. I'm not so nervous anymore. I guess people do change. (See my piece on the culture wars.) Back to Sandra - pretty good speech for a law student.
Elizabeth Warren - one of the worst candidates the Dems could ever nominate for the Senate (mainly because she's losing to Scott Brown!) - is speaking now with red meat on what the other side will say is class warfare. But she's trying to promote leveling the playing field to give everyone a chance. (She actually said "reduce the debt" in reference to growing the economy from the middle up. The debt has been generally ignored in Charlotte.) "Corporations are not People. They don't have hearts . . . ." "We don't run this country for corporations we run it for people."
Video intro for President Clinton. Big play for Clintonian nostalgia - and his current foundation work. "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" plays. He's having fun and so is the crowd. Were they any past stars of the Republicans presented in Tampa?
Clinton speaks. Wants to nominate a man who is "cool on the outside and burns for America on the inside." And a man who had the sense to marry Michelle Obama. Proudly nominates him to be the standard bearer for the Democratic Party.
[Clinton was speaking fast and my typing is often in his first person without quotation marks. My editorializing is generally in brackets or parens.]
Republican alternative universe, "we're all completely self made." Every politician wants others to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself. We think the country works better with a strong middle class, business & government working together. "We're all in this together" is a far better philosophy than "you're on your own." Historically, Democratic Presidents have produced many more jobs. [we'll see the fact-checking on this.] Education etc., increase jobs. [he's hoarse and talking too fast.] Never learned to hate Republicans the way the far right that now controls their party hates our President and a lot of other Democrats. It's impossible for him because of Eisenhower & Little Rock and highways. When he was governor, he worked with Reagan, George HW Bush. And he's worked with both Presidents Bush on natural disasters. He's working all the time with all kinds of people because they work and are not fighting all the time. The politics of constant politics doesn't work in the real world. Cooperation works in the real world.
In the cities, Republicans and Democrats are working together. "Nobody's right all the time and a broken clock is right twice a day." The faction now dominating the Republicans doesn't see it that way. They believe Government is the enemy. They defeat their own for cooperating with the other side. One of the main reasons we ought to reelect is that President is still committed to constructive cooperation. Shout out to Joe Biden. The President's 'Team of Rivals.' President Obama appointed members of his cabinet even if they were Hillary supporters. "Heck, he even appointed Hillary!" Proud of her and the National Security Team. They have made the world safer. Democracy does not have to be a 'Blood Sport.' [reference back to Clinton adversaries.]
Grateful for Michelle and Jill Biden supporting Veterans and families. President tried to work with Congressional Republicans. "It didn't work out so well." Cites Republican Senate leader that their priority was not to put America back to work but to put the President out of work. But we're going to keep the President on the job. In Tampa, the Republican argument was simple - "We left him a total mess and he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough to fire him and put us back in." They convinced me they all loved their families and grateful they were born in America. No, he really believes them. He holds them to their commitments but we're going to tell you what they are. Cut taxes for wealthy even more than Bush did, get rid of pesky regulations monitoring the markets, enormous cuts in the budget that help children and middle class. As another President once said, "There they go again!" [Reagan. Well, if they can say Clinton's a great guy, why not?]
Are we happy with where we are? Are we satisfied? Are we better off? We were losing jobs and we are not now. A lot of Americans are still angry and frustrated about this economy. Too many people do not feel it yet. Same as in 94, 95. It was working but people didn't feel it yet. In 96 economy booming. Difference now is circumstances. President Obama started with much worse conditions than I did. No President, no one could have repaired all the damage he found in just four years. He has laid the foundation for a new economy. If you support the President's policies, you will feel it. He believes it. [Hopefully, no finger wagging is coming.]
Let's get back to the story. in 2010 as the Presidents policies came into effect, the bleeding stopped. And we have produced 4.5 million private sector jobs. We could have done better but the Republicans blocked our jobs plan. President Obama 4.5 million - Republican Congress 0. Auto save saved a million jobs - he even counts the ones down the line. Gov. Romney opposed. Another job score - Obama 250,000 - Romney 0. Agreements with labor, enviros, and manufacturers is a good deal - saves money, cuts energy use, more jobs. Presidents energy strategy "all of the above" is helping too. Oil and gas is up. Renewable had doubled. We need a lot more new jobs. Already 3 million jobs open and unfilled because people applying don't have the skills to fill them. The old economy is not coming back, we have to educate people for the new jobs.
We have dropped to 16th in the world in the percentage of young people with college degrees. President's plan is good to lower cost of student loans and sets fixed payback. It means no one has to drop out for fear they can't repay debt. If you take a modest job, their debt obligation with be determined by salary. This will change the future for young Americans. In all these issues, I know we're better off.
That brings me to health care. The Republicans call it derisively "Obamacare." But the admin costs are already being cut. Some insurances have agreed to lower premiums. Kids up to 26 cans stay on family insurance. Seniors and others can get preventative care. Many new covered so insurance will benefit and no pre-existing conditions. Health care cost increases are going down. Are we better off because Pres. Obama fought for health care reform? Yep.
Allegation of robbing medicare. It's not true. Here's what really happened. No cuts to benefits. What the Prez did was to save money to cut unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance that were not making people and healthy and he closed the donut hole. And he added 8 years to the life of medicare trust fund to 2024. Prez didn't weaken they strengthened medicare. Ryan - "biggest coldest power play" but Clinton didn't know whether to laugh or cry because it's the same cut he had in his own budget. "It takes some brass to do what you did." At least on this one issue Gov. Romney has been consistent. He wants to repeal those savings and give them back to the insurance companies - reopen the donut hole and reduce the trust fund. Medicare will go broke in 2016. We won't have to wait until voucher program kicks in in 2023, it will be done in worse.
They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third. But a lot of it is even spent on Medicare seniors. It's going to end Medicare as we know it. It will affect disabled like Down's Syndrome. He doesn't know what those families are going to do. We can't let it happen.
The other big charge the Republican's made. It's a real doozy. They say Prez Obama wants to weaken the work requirement for welfare. Here's what happened. Some Republican governors asked if they could have new ways to help put people back to work, the Obama administration listened. And they agreed to give waivers if they had a credible plan and it worked. More work not less. This is personal to me. The claim that Prez Obama weakened welfare to work is just not true. They keep running adds. Their pollster said, "We are not going to let our campaign be run by fact checkers." I can say, "That is true!" I hope every American remembers that when they see those ads and it turns into an ad for what Prez Obama wants to do.
We have to deal with long-term debt or it will gobble us up. The Prez had offered 4 trillion in debt reduction over a decade. 2 1/2 to 1 on cuts to revenues. His plan is way better than Gov. Romney's plan. Romney's plan - the numbers don't add up. We're going to increase tax cuts, mostly for the wealthy. We'll make it up by eliminating tax loopholes. But they won't tell you what you're going to do. "See me about that after the election." How did we balance the budget? "Arithmetic." One of three things is bound to happen - they'll have to eliminate so many deductions that middle class taxes will go up. Or 2, they'll have to cut so much spending they'll cut the national parks, health and everything (long list). They'll hurt the middle class and put the future on hold for the middle class. Or 3, they'll cut taxes way more than spending, expecially with big defense increase and explode the debt. Republican economic policy quadrupled the national debt before I took office and doubled the debt after I left because it defied arithmetic. He came from a country place where he thought 2 + 2 =4. "We cannot give the reins of government who will double down on trickle down."
We will be deciding what kind of country. "Winner take all society" - Republicans. "We're all in this together" - Obama and Biden. If you think it's wrong to change voting rules to suppress younger and other voters, vote Obama. If you think it was right to open doors to young immigrants to serve in military or go to college, if you want a future of a shared economy where we grow and promote peace - vote for Barack Obama. I love our country and I know we're coming back. We've always come back. Every single person who's bet against America has lost money. We champion the cause of the MORE PERFECT UNION.
Well, It was a pretty good speech. He did help clarify the confusing Republican charges. And he pretty much cut off Ryan at the knees after Ryan was singing his praises earlier today.
And here comes the President to hug and photo-op. That was a good entry. But they're heading off the stage quickly. That's probably smart too, you always leave the audience wanting more. David Brooks says it was an effective speech. The crowd is charged.
This pic says it all:
|No question. The First Black President supports the First Black President.|
|And, by Owl Express, this item from Harry Potter's Daily Prophet|