Friday, September 05, 2008

No Way, No How, No McCain-Palin

I could go into what the Repubs were on about last night, but we all know what it was -- a charade to convince those who don't know any better or who prefer not to know the truth that the GOP is on the side of ordinary Americans. It was very difficult to listen to McCain profess his desire to "reform Washington" when we know his remarks were written by Bush's former speechwriter and that he has pandered away any credibility he once had to gain the support of the wacky neocons and religious fundies he used to disdain. I'm sure you had a very similar reaction. So let's move on.

Now that the GOP dishonesty-and-denial-fest has ended, here's a just released statement by Hillary Clinton about where we stand:

The two party conventions showcased vastly different directions for our country. Senator Obama and Senator Biden offered the new ideas and positive change America needs and deserves after eight years of failed Republican leadership. Senator McCain and Governor Palin do not.

After listening to all the speeches this week, I heard nothing that suggests the Republicans are ready to fix the economy for middle class families, provide quality affordable health care for all Americans, guarantee equal pay for equal work for women, restore our nation's leadership in a complex world or tackle the myriad of challenges our country facses.

So, to slightly amend my comments from Denver: NO WAY, NO HOW, NO McCAIN-PALIN.

Hillary says NO WAY at DNCC

Hillary will be in Florida on Monday campaigning for Obama. Also on Monday, the Obama campaign plans to begin a volunteer campaign to register 30,000 voters in 30 days right here in New Mexico. What will you be doing? Join Vote for Change 30/30 and be a part of the solution.

If you share Obama's sentiment of ENOUGH in terms of failed leadership and failed policies, now's the time to do something about it. VOLUNTEER!


From Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic Convention in Denver:

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

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September 5, 2008 at 09:30 AM in 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 Republican Convention, Obama NM Campaign | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Obama on GOP Convention: You Haven't Heard a Word About ...

Today in York, PA

Sarah Palin may claim to be on the side of ordinary people, but Barack Obama really IS on the side of ordinary people.

September 4, 2008 at 03:26 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 Republican Convention, Economy, Populism | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tonight: Former Hillary Delegates Host Watch Parties for Palin Speech

Sarah (center) and some fans

Looks like the GOP gimmick to try and attract former Clinton supporters to vote Repub by putting any old woman on their ticket isn't working too well in Dem circles generally, and certainly not in New Mexico. The Democratic Party of New Mexico has announced that former Hillary Clinton delegates and supporters will be hosting watch parties for Sarah Palin's acceptance speech at the Republican convention. Priscilla Chavez of Las Cruces and Kristine Jacobus of Albuquerque are two former Clinton delegates who will gather around their TV sets with friends tonight at 7:30 PM. I imagine they'll will be doing a lot of talking back to their TVs during the speech. I know I will.

"If the McCain campaign thinks women who supported Hillary Clinton will vote for Palin simply because she is a woman, then they are sorely mistaken," said Conchita Cruz, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of New Mexico. "Women who voted for Hillary Clinton did so because she shares their values. These same women will vote in November for change, with the issues that impact their lives in mind, like equal pay for equal work, the squeeze on the middle class, high gas prices and the war in Iraq. By promising more of the failed policies of the Bush Administration, John McCain represents more of the same, no matter who he puts on the ticket with him."

Still, I guess we should consider ourselves lucky to be seeing Palin at all tonight. She's been kept incommunicado in St. Paul since the start of the GOP convention, reportedly practicing rote memorization of McCain talking points and generally being schooled in how to pretend she's ready for the national spotlight. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall.

As prep for tonight's performance, you can read the lastest laundry list of revelations about Palin that call into question her qualifications, honesty, judgment and ethics. And be sure to check out her campaign's bogus claim that Sarah's refueling stop in Ireland constituted a "visit" there. These Repubs are going all out.

Palin photo from

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September 3, 2008 at 04:55 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 Republican Convention, Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bloggers Report Outrageous Police Actions in Minneapolis

"Defense Control" vehicle in Denver

There were plenty of mucho macho, paramilitary-style displays and actions by law enforcement and Secret Service officers in Denver during the DNC Convention. As I reported before, we'd run into one person holding a peace sign surrounded by a dozen officers in riot-SWAT gear with assault weapons, or a small group of older women wearing peace teeshirts drawing a crowd of mounted police, bicycle cops or guys in suits wearing earpieces. Or streets would be closed down for blocks because a small group was walking together and chanting a slogan.

However, as far as we know, nothing came close to the kind of police state behavior that's already going on in Minneapolis as the GOP arrives for their Convention in St. Paul.

Check out this piece by Glenn Greenwald, who's on the story with Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake -- which also has several articles on the situation in Minneapolis. Police in riot gear have been raiding houses, forcing people to lay on the floor while handcuffed, seizing their computers, arresting journalists and lawyers and generally running amok claiming they are uncovering potential "conspiracies -- without any evidence of lawbreaking of any kind. I sure hope the whole world is watching, but maybe it's our own citizens who should be paying the most attention and admitting certain dangerous realities about certain "security" obsessed law enforcement officials.

Cops in Denver

Serve and Protect?
We personally endured a few over-the-top, in-your-face intimidations in Denver. The worst came when the battery-operated scooter I was using to traverse the long distances between events broke down right before we were past the blocks long "security perimeter." The defective battery (one of two we encountered in my rented scooters) had been giving me trouble all night because it wouldn't hold a charge for long. I had gotten help from Convention volunteers and firefighters to recharge it enough to keep going very slowly, but it gave out again when I neared the exit from the Pepsi Center's secured area.

Two Secret Service agents were clearly peeved at this and ordered us to get the scooter out of there immediately, or else. They had beet red faces, were yelling loudly and were trying to be as intimidating and wise ass as they could. Oh, how they relish their power. When we explained we couldn't carry the heavy scooter ourselves and it shouldn't be pushed, they went ape shit. Questions or comments aren't allowed.

The beefy agents refused to help us or call anyone else over to help and just kept demanding we get the thing past the last barriers. One of them finally ordered me out of the scooter. He then half picked it up and half dragged it past the perimeter and threw it so hard against a concrete barrier that it almost overturned. Next came a nasty-assed grin. Pride in service!

We had the temerity to ask what we could do to get farther and they spouted a few epithets and said they didn't care if we spent the night there. They clearly detested being asked any questions, as they apparently perceive themselves as having unassailable and unlimited power to act as they desire, period. These types are really tough when it comes to dealing with a pair of gray-haired women, one of whom has mobility problems. After letting the scooter sit there for 20 minutes or so, it regained enough juice somehow that we managed to get it started so we could move at a snail's pace to an area where we could hail a cab to take us to our car.

A Cowed Citizenry
It was also instructive to watch our fellow citizens watch the inexcusable rudeness with which we were being treated. They stared, they saw, they fled. After all, the message was clear -- they could be next if they said a word. I'm convinced the authorities could have done whatever they felt like doing to us and nobody would have made a peep in our defense.

You see, intimidating tactics like those we witnessed do in fact work. The goal is to keep everyone quiet, obedient and unquestioning of any behavior on the part of "the authorities" and, quite often, it works. In fact, I'm sure it makes many people feel "safe" from "the terrorists" -- but it makes me feel like our civil liberties could easily go the way of video cassettes if the brutes among law enforcement are allowed to operate unrestrained.

It's especially ironic when Convention speakers are going on about enforcing the Constitution and Bill of Rights while right outside the door there are law enforcement entities acting like citizens exercising -- or even thinking about exercising -- their civil liberties are "the enemy." Not to mention the extreme threat posed by gray-haired women with a scooter with dead batteries. Priorities, priorities.

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August 31, 2008 at 01:27 PM in 2008 Republican Convention, Civil Liberties, Crime, NM Legislature 2008, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (1)