Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Convention News from DemConWatch

- There are 13 days left until the opening gavel.

- Coloradans will have their chance tomorrow to tape their questions or stories to be aired at the convention
11:30 AM - 5:30 PM MT
16th Street Mall
Corner of 16th Street and California St
Denver, CO 80202
Info for the other Open Calls can be found here

- Watch The Big Tent Construction Cam. Live streaming video of an empty parking lot! Construction begins today

- Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will speak on Monday and Colorado Governor will speak on Thursday.
Mark Squier, the producer, said that bookending the convention with prominent Colorado Democrats was part of a larger strategy to showcase the party's rise in what has become a political battleground. - Denver Post
- The Brown Palace Hotel is ready for its second convention.
  • On Aug. 12, 1892, The Brown Palace Hotel opened its doors in the heart of downtown Denver. The hotel has remained open every minute of every day since opening.
  • Every U.S. president has visited The Brown Palace since Teddy Roosevelt (1905), with the exception of Calvin Coolidge.
  • Four of the hotel's suites are named for their famous residents: The Beatles Suite, Eisenhower Suite, Reagan Suite, and Roosevelt Suite.
  • Teddy Roosevelt was the first president to stop at The Brown Palace Hotel. He came to Colorado to hunt bear in the spring of 1905. During his trip, he spoke to a group of businessmen at an elaborate banquet at the hotel. Roosevelt preceded the trend for cigar smoking; 1,500 cigars were smoked during the event.
- Ohio Governor Ted Strickland will speak on Tuesday night
Gov. Ted Strickland has been given a prime speaking spot at the Democratic National Convention to talk about the economy. Strickland told reporters in a conference call that the Barack Obama campaign asked him to speak Tuesday evening at the convention. - PolitickerOH
- Focus on the Family has removed their video asking everybody to pray for rain at Invesco.

- The DNCC announces "Countdown to America's Future" daily webcasts.
In recognition of the growing power of the Internet and online video, now the primary source of news to millions of Americans, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced today the launch of “Countdown to America’s Future,” a series of daily webcasts about the 2008 Democratic Convention, featuring campaign officials and Convention insiders who know what’s happening behind the scenes and the inside scoop to watch for during each night’s televised Convention program.

- Our friends at Georgia Politics Unfiltered interviewed one of the finalists in the DNCC's "Why Are You A Democrat in 2008" contest. You can see the other videos and vote here.

Did Senator McCain Lift Georgia Speech From Wikipedia?

In the wake of the Russia, Georgia conflict we have a new small scandal involving the speech Senator John McCain gave on Tuesday calling for Russia's withdrawl from the former part of the Soviet Union. According to Taegan Goddard that may be so. This is what he reports at CQ Politics:

A Wikipedia editor emailed Political Wire to point out some similarities between Sen. John McCain's speech today on the crisis in Georgia and the Wikipedia article on the country Georgia. Given the closeness of the words and sentence structure, most would consider parts of McCain's speech to be derived directly from Wikipedia.

First instance:

one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity as an official religion (Wikipedia)


one of the world's first nations to adopt Christianity as an official religion (McCain)

Second instance:

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia had a brief period of independence as a Democratic Republic (1918-1921), which was terminated by the Red Army invasion of Georgia. Georgia became part of the Soviet Union in 1922 and regained its independence in 1991. Early post-Soviet years was marked by a civil unrest and economic crisis. (Wikipedia)


After a brief period of independence following the Russian revolution, the Red Army forced Georgia to join the Soviet Union in 1922. As the Soviet Union crumbled at the end of the Cold War, Georgia regained its independence in 1991, but its early years were marked by instability, corruption, and economic crises. (McCain)

Third instance:

In 2003, Shevardnadze (who won reelection in 2000) was deposed by the Rose Revolution, after Georgian opposition and international monitors asserted that the 2 November parliamentary elections were marred by fraud. The revolution was led by Mikheil Saakashvili, Zurab Zhvania and Nino Burjanadze, former members and leaders of Shavarnadze's ruling party. Mikheil Saakashvili was elected as President of Georgia in 2004. Following the Rose Revolution, a series of reforms was launched to strengthen the country's military and economic capabilities. (Wikipedia)


Following fraudulent parliamentary elections in 2003, a peaceful, democratic revolution took place, led by the U.S.-educated lawyer Mikheil Saakashvili. The Rose Revolution changed things dramatically and, following his election, President Saakashvili embarked on a series of wide-ranging and successful reforms. (McCain)

Granted the third instance isn't as close as the first two, which seem quite obviously taken from Wikipedia.

It should be noted that Wikipedia material can be freely used but always requires attribution under its terms of use. Whether a presidential candidate should base policy speeches on material from Wikipedia is another question entirely.

Yikes. This isn't something commonly done. Having written speeches for a number of politicians from former Mayor Elihu Harris of Oakland to Jerry Brown, I can explain that seasoned speakers generally have talking points or bullets. Full text is saved for a major speech, but then the writer tries to capture the "voice" of the speaker. You can't do that using Wikepedia.

Another McCain mess.

Laure Manaudou v. Federica Pellegrini In Olympics (Nude?) Love Triangle Showdown


Female French Swimmer Laure Manaudou has had a hard go of it of late. Just on top of the swimming World two years ago and in love with Italian Swimmer Male Luca Martin, Laure Manaudou saw her life change rapidly.

After breaking up with Luca Martin, tossing the ring he gave her into the pool, nude photos of her surface on The Internet, embarrasing her in the process.

Fast Forward to Beijing. Luca Martin has taken up with another female swimmer, Federica Pellegrini. Beautiful, athletic, and stunning, Federica Pellegrini has Laure Manaudou's ex-boyfriend and her ex-coach.

Then on Sunday, Laure Manaudou suffers a total performance collapse, coming in last in the 400m Freestyle race. Then, to add insult to injury, Laure Manaudou's 2007 200m Freestyle record is broken by none other than Federica Pellegrini, who also turned her back on Laure on Sunday.

The only way Laure can prevail and salvage a wrecked career is to beat Federica Pellegrini in the finals on Wednesday.

I'm rooting for Laure Manaudou, as she's been through far too much and is too talented for the treatment she's gotten.

What's fascinating about this is the level of attention female swimmers are given in Europe; much more than in the United States. Swimmers like Laure and Federica appear on talk shows and in the front page of magazines, and are chased by photographers.