Sunday, August 31, 2008

Post DNC Convention Thoughts - AshPolitics

So I've had a few days to consider my overall impression of the Democratic National Convention. While it was certainly a fantastic experience (excellent networking, exceptional star gazing, fantastic speeches, interesting panels and round tables), I think, for me, it boils down to an almost catastrophic waste of resources.

Let me say at the outset that I recognize the need to rile up the base for the election season. I understand that without an energized, hardcore set of volunteers, the party would be sunk. I'm not sure, however, that the party needs to spend the millions of dollars it did to achieve that effect. I sat in the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night watching the multi video screens scrolling text and flashing stars wondering if we really needed all of that? The party spends four years raising money from major donors just so they can spend a chunk of that money to throw lavish parties for said donors at the Convention. It seems a little nuts.

Yes, it all looks great on TV and that certainly is another goal. Yes, more people watched Barack Obama's acceptance speech than the Olympics. What those people don't see is all the wasted money behind the scenes: the piles of speech copies left at the end of each night (even though they had also been emailed to all press members); the concerts and parties thrown for donors; the lavish (yeah, I'll admit it) party thrown for the media. Certainly, much of the money to fund this was donated by major corporations, but doesn't that introduce another issue with which we should be uncomfortable?

Hats off to the Dems for throwing the "greenest" Convention ever. Heck, the beer cups at the media party, which appeared to be generic plastic and were emblazoned with the Coors logo, were actually made of corn and compostable. But in light of the interview I had with the taxi driver from the Sudan, maybe all that money would be best spent somewhere else.

Hurricane Gustav: Twitter "Tweets" of New Orleans Residents Show They're Leaving

I just happened to check out the Twitter "tweets" -- messages -- left by New Orleans residents, or at least those who listed as living in that city which seems to be the target of yet another Hurricane, this one called Gustof.  How I did it was by simply typing "New Orleans" in a search on Twitter.

Some of the messages are from people who have already departed, like aliciammyers, who reports that she's "Driving towards Nashville. Want eggs so badly. Traffic is non-".  Then sarahmparks writes that she's "keeping an eye on Gustav".   Emmaleigh3 reports that she's "Watching pirates of the carribean and waiting for the storm".  

She'd better get out of there!!

Twitter's a good way to determine the mood and place of people in a region during a disaster like Gustav.  I'm going to follow the New Orleans people via Twitter in the days to come.  

Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska In Mini-Skirt

Cementing the perception that Alaska Governor and now Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin is a hottie, we have this photo of her in a mini-skirt.  It's not real; as it turns out, it's photoshopped.

UPDATE: Sarah Palin in a swimsuit shows legs.


But with this, comes another perception: as one who's not ready to be Vice President, let alone President of the United States.

For example I present this article that was posted on the "Writers for Obama" web listserv. I don't know who the person is, no one does, but it's worth reading:

From a Classmate...the word on the GOP VP Candidate.

[I'd feel better publishing this if I knew the author's name, and could
verify it, but assuming this is not ghostwritten, it is very telling and
very insightful....This came from the most interesting Yahoo! group, Secular
Humanist, from the Moderator, Greg Dempsey]

Dear classmates -

As an Alaskan, I am writing to give all of you some information on Sarah
Palin, Senator McCain's choice for VP. As an Alaska voter, I know more than
most of you about her and, frankly, I am horrified that he picked her.

The most accurate description of her is red neck. Her husband works in the
oil fields of Prudhoe Bay and races snow mobiles. She is a life time member
of the NRA and has worked tirelessly to allow indiscriminatehunting of
wildlife in Alaska, particularly wolves and bears. She has spent millions of
Alaska state dollars on aerial hunting of these predators from helicopters
and airplanes, dollars that should have been spent, for example, on Alaska's
failing school system.

We have the lowest rate of high school graduation in the country. Not all of
you may think
aerial predator hu nting is so bad, but how anyone (other than Alaska wolf-
haters, of which there are many, most without teeth), could think this use
of funds is appropriate is beyond me. If you want to know moreabout the
aerial hunting travesty, let me know and I will send somelinks to
informative web sites.

She has been a strong supporter of increased use of fossil fuels, yet the
McCain campaign has the nerve to say she has "green" policies. The only
thing green about Sarah Palin is her lack of experience. She hasconsistently
supported drilling in ANWR, use of coal-burning power plants (as I write
this, a new coal plant is being built in her home town of Wasilla), strip
mining, and almost anything else that will unnecessarily exploit the
diminishing resources of Alaska and destroy
its environment.

Prior to her one year as governor of Alaska, she was mayor of Wasilla, a
small red neck town outside Anchorage.The average maximum education level of
parents of junior high school kids in Wasilla is 10th grade.

Unfortunately, I have to go to Wasilla every week to get groceries and other
supplies, so I have continual contact with the people who put Palin in
office in the first place. I know what I'm talking about. These people don't
have a concept of the world around them or of the serious issues facing the
US. Furthermore, they don't care. So long as they can go out and hunt their
moose every fall, kill wolves and bears and drive their snow mobiles and
ATVs through every corner of the wilderness,
they're happy. I wish I were exaggerating.

Sarah Palin is currently involved in a political corruption scandal. She
fired an individual in law enforcement here because she didn't like how he
treated one of her relatives during a divorce. The man's performanceand
ability weren't considered; it was a totally personal firing and is
currently under investigation. While the issue isn't close to the scandal of
Ted Steven's corruption, it shows that Palin isn't "squeaky clean" and
causes me to think there may be more issues that could come
to light. Clearly McCain doesn't care.

When you line Palin up with Biden, the comparison would be laughable ifit
weren't so serious. Sarah Palin knows nothing of economics (admittedly a
weak area for McCain), or of international affairs, knows nothing of
national government, Social Security, unemployment, health care systems -
you name it. The idea of her meeting with heads of foreign governments
around the world truly frightens me.

In an increasingly dangerous world, with the economy in shambles in the US,
Sarah Palin is uniquely UNqualified to be vice president. John McCain is not
a young man.

Should something happen to him such that the vice president had to step in,
it would destroy our country and possibly the world to have someone as
inexperienced and inappropriate as Sarah Palin.

The choice of Palin is a cheap shot by McCain to try to get Hillary
supporters to vote for him. When McCain introduced her today, Palin had the
nerve to compare herself with Hillary and Geraldine
Ferraro. Sarah Palin, you are no Hillary Clinton.

To those of you who, like me, supported Hillary and were upset that she did
not get the nomination, please don't think that Sarah Palin is a worthy

If you supported Hillary, regardless of what you think the media and the
democratic party may have done to undermine her campaign, the person to
support now is Obama, not Sarah Palin.

To those of you who are independent or undecided, don't let the choice of
Palin sway you in favor of McCain. Choosing her shows how unqualified McCain
is to be president. To those of you who are conservative, I guess you have
no choice for president.

But please try to see how the poor choice of Palin tells us a great deal
about McCain's judgment.

While the political posturing inherent in the choice of Palin is obvious,
the more serious issue is the fact that the VP is, literally, a heartbeat

I have to disagree with the perception of Governor Palin as "redneck" as she's said nothing but good things about Senator Obama and his Energy Policy Proposal.