Archive for the ‘Hillary Clinton’ Category

Live Analysis of President Obama’s Health Care Speech to Congress

September 9, 2009

I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post (other than the one I did yesterday), but I figured this was an important issue to talk about, and I’ll probably be writing a column on health care sometime this week, so this will help me get some ideas down a little early.

President Obama is about to give  a speech to a joint session of Congress, and I’ll be giving my live analysis of his speech.  And this is live, so excuse any typos – I’m not always great at typing quickly.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has just gaveled the session into order, so we’ll begin in about 10 minutes here.

The President’s speech is expected to last about 45 minutes (not including applause), so I’m guessing that it will run close to an hour (maybe a little over) when it’s all done.

Speaker Pelosi has now called the session to order – Vice President Joe Biden by her side.

The Escort Committee is now leaving to follow behind President Obama when he enters the chamber.

Michelle Obama is now arriving.  The Cabinet is now coming into the chamber.

President Obama is now coming into the chamber – and he’s getting a lot of applause (as every President does during these joint sessions).

He’s now up to the podium – Speaker Pelosi is trying to bring the chamber to order.  She is now introducing President Obama.

He’s talking about the last time he spoke here – that it was during the worst economic situation we’ve faced since the Great Depression.  “We are by no means out of the woods … a full recovery is still months away.”  He’s saying that he won’t let up until “those who seek jobs can find them.”

Wow – Hillary Clinton looks out-of-place – she’s wearing this red suit and she’s surrounded by men in black suits.

President Obama is thanking Congress for their help and support in trying to fix America’s economy.  He’s talking about building a future for America, and that health care is central to that future.

“I am not the first President to take up that cause, but I am determined to be the last.”  It’s a nice quote, but there’s always going to have to be reform – things change – nothing will ever be perfect.

He’s talking about Teddy Roosevelt talking about health care reform, and Representative John Dingell (D-MI) introducing a bill every session to reform health care.

Talking about the hardships facing those who are uninsured – not those on welfare, but mostly the middle class.  He’s talking about people being denied insurance because of previous conditions.  “We are the only democracy … the only wealthy nation who allows such hardship for its people.”  But we’re also the democracy who other countries turn to for certain health care needs (such as Canadians needing some quick emergency treatments).

Talking about insurance companies dropping patients in the middle of treatment for bogus reasons such as having acne and not claiming it – and I’ll agree with him here – that’s a problem that SHOULD be addressed.

Talking about insurance premiums going up, and leading to businesses not being able to open/survive because of health care costs.

It’s “placing an unsustainable burden on taxpayers. … We will eventually be spending more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other program combined.”  Again – he’s right here – Medicare/Medicaid costs are getting out of control – it’s just the solution where I disagree with him.

Talking about a single payer system like Canada’s or a plan that individuals should buy their own health care, but both of these are radical shifts that would disrupt the health care system.  He’s saying we should use what works as a template and fix the problems in our current system, rather than switch to a Canadian-style system or a completely individual style system.

He’s now talking about the 5 committees coming up with health care bills in Congress – an amount of reform that has been unprecedented in history – and again – this is a good thing – if we have multiple ideas, we have more to choose from and more discussion going around.

Now he’s talking about opponents to reform using scare tactics and just trying to score political points.  “The time for bickering is over.  The time for games has passed.”  Games and bickering are part of the American political system – it’s a sad fact, but it’s true.  And both parties do it, but getting into a “Well the other party did __________” kind of mentality is bad for America.

“If you already have insurance … nothing in this plan will require you to change what you have. … What this plan will do is make this insurance that you have work better for you.”  It’ll make it illegal for insurance companies to deny you based on a preexisting condition.  And that got a LOT of applause.  It will be illegal for them to drop you when you get sick.

“No one should go broke because they get sick. … Insurance companies will be required … to cover routine check ups … and preventative care. … It saves money and it saves lives.”  And that was all for people who already have insurance.

For those who don’t, this plan will give you an opportunity to get quality insurance.  “We’ll do this by creating a new business exchange.”  Insurance companies will want this because it gives them more customers.

And for those who still can’t afford insurance, tax credits will be provided.  The exchange will take effect in 4 years.

He’s talking about immediate relief for those who get sick before then, citing a plan that Senator McCain proposed during the plan during the 2008 campaign – and Senator McCain just got a huge grin on his face.

He’s saying that some people may not want to pay for insurance, but when they get sick, we wind up paying for their health care when they wind up in the hospital.  “Under my plan, people will be required to carry basic health insurance” just like states require people to have basic auto insurance.

And this is where I disagree with the President.  Personally, I don’t think we should be forcing people to buy insurance; however, I also don’t think that we should then be paying for their hospital visits.  If someone decides not to get insurance, and they get sick, then we shouldn’t be footing the bill – they should just have to pay for treatment themselves or not get it.

Now, moving on to “key controversies that are still out there:”

  • Saying that there won’t be plans to try to kill off the elderly who are sick.
  • No money will go toward illegal immigrants. – and somebody just shouted “Lie!” and Speaker Pelosi gave him a stare of death – whoever it was, that was pretty unprofessional and immature.
  • No money will go toward funding abortions.
  • This will not be a takeover of the entire health care system.

These are all good points, and I’d encourage EVERYBODY to read the bill that finally gets introduced instead of just listening to either the Democrats’ talking points or the Republicans’ talking points.

“Consumers do better when there’s choice and competition.”  And he’s absolutely right about that – but instead of setting up a government program to do this, we should open insurance markets to cross state lines, so that companies can compete nationwide, adding more competition all over the nation.

He’s saying that he doesn’t want to drive insurance companies out of business, just hold them accountable.

He’s saying that he would like a non-profit public option (which that surprised me that he still pushed for that – I figured that he wasn’t going to try to push that tonight).  It would be an option for those who don’t have insurance, and people wouldn’t be forced to chose it.  He estimates that less than 5% of Americans would sign up.  He’s saying that this public option wouldn’t be funded by the government, but would have to be self sufficient.

But what would happen if it stopped being self sufficient?  Would it essentially turn into a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

He’s saying that some are suggesting that the public option only go into effect where insurance companies aren’t competing well, or that we have a private co-op instead.  Saying that he won’t back down from giving a choice to people who can’t afford health care.

And the screen just panned over to the Republican section and they really do not look happy about this.

“Now he’s talking about how we’ll pay for the plan – “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficit – either now, or in the future. … Period.”  He’s saying that in his plan, there will be a section that will require spending cuts if the means of saving money aren’t there.  He’s now talking about the past administration making a mistake in passing tax cuts that we couldn’t afford as well as the Iraq War.

And while he does have an excellent point with the Iraq War part (which is a whole separate issue), I don’t think that that jab at the Bush Administration is going to help win any Republicans over – and with Senator Kennedy gone, they’re going to need an additional Republican vote in the Senate.  That was a bad strategic move on the President’s part.

Talking about ensuring that Medicare will be there for future generations.  Saying that seniors pay too much out-of-pocket for prescription drugs.  Saying not to pay attention to “scary stories that your benefits will be cut.”  GOP members don’t look happy.  “I will protect Medicare.”

“Making [Medicare] more efficient will [help make] the entire system more efficient.”  Saying that if we reduce waste in Medicare and Medicaid, that will pay for his plan.  Well why don’t we just reduce waste in Medicare and Medicaid anyway!  Why do you need to add one “good” thing to get rid of one bad thing?  Why not just cut waste out of M&M whether or not the other health care reforms pass or not.

Talking about malpractice reform bringing down costs of health care – and all the GOP members stood up and started cheering – even Biden stood up for that one.  Saying that we need to put safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine.  Saying that the Bush Administration wanted to test some of these ideas in individual states, and he likes that plan too.  So now he’s playing to the Republican side a bit – which is good because he’s going to need to do that if he wants this to pass the Senate.

Now talking about it’ll cost $900 billion over the next 10 years, but that’s less than the Iraq War…and I think he said something about the Bush tax cuts – I didn’t catch it.  Whatever it was, the Dems liked it, but the Repubs looked pretty pissed off – Rep. Thad McCotter (R-MI) really didn’t like whatever was said.

Saying he won’t stand by as the special interest groups fight to keep things the way they are.  “I will not accept the status quo as the solution.”  And he’s right – we DO need reform – I just disagree with him on the type of reform we need.

Talking about reforms leading to saving lives.

“We cannot fail … there are too many Americans counting on us to succeed.”

Talking about the late Senator Kennedy (D-MA) on his death bed talking about this year being the year that health care reform will be passed.

Health care reform has been a source of “rigorous and intense debate”.

Obama’s talking about Senators Hatch (R-UT) and McCain (R-AZ) and Grassley (R-IA) working with Senator Kennedy.  That his p”assion was born out of his own experience … having 2 children stricken with cancer.”  He’s saying that “concern for others … is not a partisan” issue.  “We are all in this together, and when fortune turns against us, others are there to give us a helping hand. … Sometimes government has to step in.”

Saying that Republicans and Democrats joined together in 1965 when they created Medicare.

“When any efforts to help people in need are attacked as unAmerican … and we can no longer engage in a civil conversation” … I missed that last part.  Whatever his point was (I’m sure it was something about engaging in civil debate) – I agree here – we need to discuss it, not try to drown one side out.

“I still believe we can act when it’s hard.”  Saying we need to have “civility” and not gridlock the process but make progress.

“I still believe we can do great things, and that here and now we will meet history’s test.  Because that is who we are.  That is our calling.  That is our character.  Thank you, God Bless You, and may God Bless the United States of America.”

Now the Republican response by Representative Charles Boustany (R-LA):

Republicans are ready for reform.  We’ve lost jobs since February.  “Americans want health care reform … [They're saying] it’s time to start over with a … bipartisan plan.”

He’s saying that Obama’s plan will cost Americans more – that even the Congressional Budget Office agrees – it’ll create 53 new bureaus and raise the deficit.  It won’t make the program better for seniors.

“The President [could have] taken government run health care off the table, but he didn’t.”

Americans should be able to get insurance with preexisting conditions.  We should give incentives for healthy choices and preventative care.

“We’re grateful that the President mentioned medical liability reform.”  “Junk lawsuits drive up the cost of medical care.”

We should establish a plan that would enable people to buy insurance across state lines – and that was one of McCain’s big pushes during the ’08 campaign that I really agreed with.

“This Congress can pass meaningful reform soon … working together in a bipartisan way, we can lower the cost of health care.”

Alright – I wasn’t able to catch that much of the response because there weren’t any pauses in that speech, but it was basically the same thing that McCain said during his Presidential campaign.

Overall, I think the President did a moderately good job.  I wish he would’ve gone into detail a little more than he did, and there are some things that I definitely disagree with, but there were some good points:

Malpractice/tort reform is a huge part of the plan that will help lower costs of health care.  Eliminating waste in Medicaid and Medicare is another great thing that we need to do.  Ensuring a way that people can keep their coverage even when they get sick is another necessity that almost everybody agrees with.

I disagree with the public option, and I disagree with forcing people to have some sort of insurance plan.

I wish that he would consider adopting the plan to allow people to cross state borders to purchase health care plans.

Overall, it was a good speech, but I think he took a couple too many jabs at Republicans and the Bush administration (he’s going to need some Republicans’ votes, and that wasn’t a way to win them over).  I also wish he would’ve had more details of his plan, but with only having 45 minutes, that’s hard to do.

I’m not sold on the President’s plan, but I do think there are some good parts of the plan that I’d like to see develop.

We’ll see what’s introduced and what Congress does with the bill(s).

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican

Hillary Clinton to Be Secretary of State; Bill Richardson to be Secretary of Commerce

November 21, 2008

This has just broke in.  We’ve been suspecting it all day, but today, sources have just confirmed that Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has been offered the position of Secretary of State by President-Elect Obama, and a source close to Senator Clinton has confirmed that she is expected to accept the position.

Meanwhile, Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) has been chosen to be the Secretary of Commerce.

Now, personally (and my liberal roommate agrees), I think that Richardson should’ve been made Secretary of State.  After all, he was the Ambassador to the United Nations.  I think that Richardson would’ve brought more to the table than Clinton will.

But, Secretary of State is a higher position than Secretary of Commerce, so Obama probably did this to appease Clinton.  This definitely keeps her in the spotlight, and we may see a Clinton Presidential run again in 2016 (or 2012 if you believe the crazy Clinton followers who think she’ll challenge Obama in a primary).

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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“Barack Osama” Listed as Candidate on Ballot in Rensselaer County, New York

October 10, 2008

In Rensselaer county New York, some funny typing went on when the absentee ballot was made up.  In row 1A for the Presidential election, “Barack Osama” is listed instead of “Barack Obama.”

Once the error was pointed out, new ballots were sent out to the approximately 300 people who received the bad ballots, and the rest of the old ballots were shredded.  Voters can send in either ballot and the vote will be counted.  The error appeared on only 1 of 13 ballot version for that county.

The two commissioners in charge of the elections released statements:

Edward McDonough, the Democratic commissioner said, “No question this is an honest mistake innocently done.  We catch almost everything.”  He later told the Associated Press, “It’s human error, it’s very unfortunate, it’s an embarrassment to our office, obviously.  We wish we could turn back the clock, but we can’t.”

Republican Commissioner Larry Bugbee said, “This was a typo.  We have three different staff members who proof these things and somehow the typo got by us.”

One voter, who was interviewed by the Times Union (who broke the story of the typo), said, “It’s a little suspicious and at least grossly incompetent.  If I crossed out the name and wrote in the right spelling my ballot would be invalid.”  I’m not sure how valid that claim is, but it’s very well possible.

And I was thinking, how on earth did this happen?  I could understand “Ovama” or even “Ogama” or even “Onama,” but “Osama” is typed completely differently.  Part of me wonders if this wasn’t a bitter Clinton supporter with a Republican who said, “I’ll look away.”

Either way, it’s somewhat funny, but somewhat sad that a team of public officials could be that incompetent.  I doubt anything serious will come out of this, but if anything else does develop, I’ll keep you updated.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Did Barack Obama’s “Lipstick on a Pig” Comment Refer to Sarah Palin?

September 10, 2008

OK, so I’m sure that many of you have heard accusations that Barack Obama said the phrase “lipstick on a pig,” referring to Sarah Palin.  Let’s put that phrase into context.  This is from an Obama speech in Virginia on Tuesday:

“John McCain says he’s about change too, and so I guess his whole angle is, ‘Watch out George Bush–except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy, and Karl Rove-style politics–we’re really going to shake things up in Washington.’  That’s not change.  That’s just calling something the same thing something different.  You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. You know you can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, it’s still going to stink after eight years.  We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”

Now, the McCain campaign is claiming that Obama used that line in a response to Palin’s convention speech where she said, “You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?  Lipstick.”

The McCain campaign has claimed (and I can verify this) that the crowd errupted when Obama made the comment.

McCain, while comparing Hillary Clinton’s 1993 health care policy with her current (back during the primaries) policy, said the following: “I think they put some lipstick on the pig, but it’s still a pig,” using the phrase in the traditional sense.

Brian Rogers, a McCain spokesman told reporters that the McCain campaign saw a “big difference” between McCain and Obama’s uses of  the phrase, saying, “McCain was referring to a policy proposal.  Obama was referring to Governor Sarah Palin.  It’s obviously disrespectful and offensive. … Who has been talking about lipstick lately?  It was obvious.  The crowd went crazy because of it.”

Another McCain/Palin spokeswoman, Maria Comella, “Barack Obama’s comments today are offensive and disgraceful.  He owes Governor Palin an apology.”

Obama adviser Anita Dunn told reporters, “The McCain campaign’s attack tonight is a pathetic attempt to play the gender card about the use of a common analogy–the same analogy that Senator McCain himself used about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health care plan just last year.  This phony lecture on gender sensitivity is the height of cynicism and lays bare the increasingly dishonorable campaign John McCain has chosen to run.”

The McCain campaign has even put up on their website, a Web ad, “Lipstick,” (viewable below), which says, “Ready to lead?  No.  Ready to smear?  Yes.”

So, what do I think?  I agree with Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR).  Let’s see what he said on Hannity and Colmes: “It’s an old expression, and I’m going to have to cut Obama some slack on that one.  I do not think he was referring to Sarah Palin; he didn’t reference her.  If you take the two sound bites together, it may sound like it.  But I’ve been a guy at the podium many times, and you say something that’s maybe a part of an old joke and then somebody ties it in.  So, I’m going to have to cut him slack.”

And I absolutely agree.  Did Obama mean it against Palin?  No.  Did the crowd think he was referring to Palin?  I think many of them did, but this doesn’t mean that that’s what Obama intended.  I think Palin’s line was stuck in the heads of some in the audience, and when they heard that, they thought it was a joke against Palin, but that’s not Obama’s fault.  Looking back, should Obama have picked a different phrase?  Probably – it wasn’t wise to use that right after Palin’s speech, just for the mere fact that some WOULD connect the two, but I don’t think it was intentional or malicious.

The McCain campaign needs to get back to the issues, not this sound bite crap.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Analysis of Rudy Giuliani’s Speech at the RNC

September 4, 2008

Here’s my next speech analysis.  This one is for Wednesday’s keynote speaker, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani:

He’s talking about him supporting John McCain, just like he said he would.  “This year, with what’s at stake, 2008 IS the most important election in our lifetime, and we’d better get it right.”  A great quote from Giuliani.  It’s emphasizing the fact that, sure we say that every year, but this year its actually true.  This is a major cornerstone for American and whoever wins will have a huge impact on the future of this nation.

“This election represents a turning point.  It’s a decision to follow one path or the other. … The citizens of  the United States get to decide the next President [then he lists liberals].  Not anyone else but the people of America.”  And the crowd begins to chant “USA.”  And that’s just basically him saying, “Don’t pay attention to Hollywood and the media bias.  Go out and vote for a good candidate, John McCain.”

“To those Americans who still feel torn in this election. … Think about it this way: you’re hiring someone to do a job, an important job, a job that relates to the safety of yourself and your family. … You have 2 job applications in your hand with the name and the party affiliations blocked out.  They’re both good and patriotic men … You have to decide, “Who am I gonna hire?”  He’s talking about McCaain having “passed every test. … Even his adversaries acknowledge … that John McCain is a true American hero.”  And he’s talking about McCain’s sacrifice, and that really appeals to the undecided voters, and it especially appeals to military families.  He’s talking about McCain knowing that “America comes first,” and that McCain has shown that he knows this.

He’s talking about McCain running for House and Senate as a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution.  Then he switches over to Obama, a man who’s gifted with a great education, who “worked as a community organizer.  What?”  And the crowd really liked that.  “He worked!  I said–I said–Okay, okay, maybe this is the first problem on the resumé.   He worked as a community organizer.  He immersed himself in Chicago machine politics.”  Talking about him being elected to the State Legislature, “and nearly 130 times, he couldn’t make a decision, he couldn’t figure out whether to vote yes, or no.  It was too tough.  He voted, ‘Present.’”  And these were some great quotes here.  He first went and took Obama’s “experience” as a community organizer and showed that it’s basically useless.  Then he went and showed that Obama basically did NOTHING when he was a state legislator.

“‘Present’ doesn’t work in an executive job.  For President of the United States, it’s not good enough to be present.  You have to make a decision.”  And that was a great line there – it really shows just how inexperienced Obama is.

Now he’s talking about Obama being a “celebrity Senator.”  He’s saying that Obama has never run a city, state, business, military unit, and he’s never had to lead people in crisis.

“He is the least experienced candidate for President of the United States in at least the last 100 years.  Not a personal attack, a statement of fact.  Barack Obama has never lead anything, nothing, nada.  Nada.  Nothing.”  People are really liking Giuliani.  This is so far a much better speech than I expected.  He’s really emphasizing that Obama doesn’t know how to run anything when it comes to executive power, and Giuliani is an expert when it comes to this.

“The choice in this election comes down to substance over style. … This is no time for on the job training.”  Another great quote!

“We agree with Joe Biden.  One time.  One time, when he said that, until he flip flopped and changed his position.  And yes, being President means being able to answer that call at 3 in the morning.  And that’s the one time we agree with Hillary.  I bet you never thought Hillary would get an applause at this convention. … Well no one can look at John McCain and say that he’s not ready to be Commander in Chief.  He is and he’s ready and we can trust him to deal with anything, anything that nature throws our way, anything that terrorists do to us.  This man has been tested over and over again, and we will be safe in his hands, and our children will be safe in his hands, and our country will be safe in the hands of John McCain.  No doubts!”  Those are some great quotes.  He’s really firing up the crowd, and really pushing the fact that McCain is ready to lead, and he’s shown before that he CAN lead.

He’s talking about Obama saying that this election is about change vs. more of the same, but it’s actually good change vs. bad change.  “Because change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.”  GREAT quote showing that Obamahas no knowledge on what to do with Iraq, let alone most key issues.

Talking about McCain will lower taxes and reduce govnerment to strengthen the dollar, lead us to energy independence, and get us to drill off shore.  The crowd chants, “Drill baby drill.”  And Giuliani is just laughing and so happy.  He’s really enjoying and feeding off of the energy of the crowd, and then putting his own energy back into the crowd.  They are loving him and this speech.  He can’t even get a sentence out.

He’s saying that McCain will promote growth, jobs, and prosperity.  “We need John McCain to save our economy and make sure it grows.  But we need him for a more important purpose … John McCain will keep us on offense against terrorism at home and abroad.”  And this is where McCain’s strong points are – national security.

“For four days in Denver, the Democrats were afraid to use the words, ‘Islamic terrorism.’”  He’s saying that they’re afraid they’re insulting someone if they use that phrase.  “Who are they insulting when they say, ‘Islamic terrorism’?  They’re insulting terrorists!”  He’s saying that they hardly mentioned September 11th.  He’s saying that they’re in denial “about the biggest threat that faces this country.”  “John McCain can win and bring victory for this country.”  He’s talking about McCain supporting the troop surge.  Now he’s just rapidly emphasizing McCain’s strong points when it comes to national security, and he’s really showing how great McCain is when it comes to these issues.

“In the single biggest policy decision in this election, John McCain got it right, and Barack Obama got it wrong!”  Showing just how bad Obama is when it comes to national security, a huge contrast to McCain.  He’s saying that McCain took a political hit for the good of the country.

Now he’s talking about Obama flip flopping on public financing, an undivided Jerusalem, and wire-tapping.

“I tell you.  If I were Joe Biden, I’d wanna get that VP thing in writing!”  That was a GREAT line.

Now, he’s quoting McCain, “I’d rather lose an election than a war.  Why, because that’s John McCain.”  Again, a great quote – showing that that’s McCain’s personality, showing that McCain has America’s best interest at hand.

Now he’s talking about McCain’s stance on the Georgia/Russia issue and that Russia has to respect the integrity of other nations.  Quoting McCain, “We are all Georgians.”  Obamafirst said that both sides were equally responsible, just like he described the relationship between Palestine and Israel.  He later changed his position and said that the UN Security Council could find a solution.  He’s saying that apparently nobody told him that Russia has veto power in the UN Security Council.  So he changed again, and put out a statement basically the same as McCain’s.  “I have some advice for Senator Obama: next time, call John McCain.”  And hat was such a GREAT example.  He showing that Obama flip flops on so many foreign policy issues.  He’s changed his timetable for Iraq so many times that I don’t even remember how long he’ll keep us there anymore.

He’s saying that like Ronald Reagan, McCain will enlarge our party.  He’s saying picking Palin was a choice for the future, that she represents a new generation.  And that she has more executive experience than the Democratic ticket combined.

He’s talking about her being a mayor, and that he likes that about her.  He’s saying that Obama said it’s not flashy and cosmopolitan enough for him where she was mayor.  He’s talking about her reducing taxes and government spending and her stances on energy.  He’s said that she’s one of the best governors in the country.  “She has an 80% approval rating.  You’d never get that in New York City.”  “This is a woman who stands up for what is right,” talking about her stopping corruption and standing up to corruption INSIDE the Republican party.

“Can you imagine how they’re gonna shake up Washington!  Look out!”  Talking about them being Mavericks.  “How dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her children and be Vice President.  How dare they do that.  When did they ever ask a man that question?”  And they’re flashing over to Cindy McCain and the Palin family, and they’re all agreeing, including Bristol Palin, by nodding their heads.

He’s talking about giving people the right to work, giving parents choice for where kids go to school, and believing in America’s success, “a shining city on a hill” – a Reagan quote!  “So my fellow Americans, we get a chance to elect one of our great heroes and a great American.  He will be an exceptional President.  He will have with him an exceptional woman who has already proven that she can reform and that she can govern.  And now the job is up to us.  Let’s get John McCain an Sarah Palin elected, and let’s shake up Washington and  move this country forward!  God bless America.  Thank you.”

Wow - wow – that was the BEST speech I’ve heard from both conventions.  That right there my friends is a 10/10.

He hit everything he needed to hit.  He shored up the moderates, the conservatives, the economic conservatives, the national security conservatives.

That was a great speech, a very energetic speech, and one of the best speeches I’ve ever seen.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Live Analysis of McCain’s Speech Officially Making Sarah Palin His Running Mate

August 29, 2008

I’m watching the live speech in Dayton, Ohio, waiting for McCain and Palin to come out.

Until then, I’ll give  some thoughts about the pick of Palin:

  • It definitely puts some of the angry Clinton supporters back into play.
  • I think it hurts McCain’s chances of winning Michigan now.  I think Romney would’ve been a much better pick to help McCain win Michigan.
  • This really takes experience off the table, since she’s in her first term as Governor (although Governor is a better position to have when running for President than a legislator).
  • She’ll secure the religious right voters.
  • She’s going to have some pull with women, and that’ll really help McCain.

Alright, here the speech goes.  John and Cindy are coming out.  And the crowd loves him.  He’s getting birthday wishes.  They’re singing happy birthday to him, for the third time now.

“I’m very happy today, to spend my birthday with you, and make a historic announcement in Dayton.”

“I found someone with an outstanding reputation” for ending corruption, executive experience, using tax dollars well and cutting taxes, reaching across the aisle, “someone with strong principles, a fighting spirit, and deep compassion.”  Well, that was a very good description to sell a VP candidate who’s somewhat of a rookie to politics.

Talking about her and her husband being union members in the past, and knowing what people are going though today.  Talking about her winning “on a message of reform and public integrity.”  Now talking about celebrating the anniversary of women’s suffrage – and that got a great response from the crowd.

“She’s not from these parts, and she’s not from Washington, but when you get to know her, you’re gonna be as impressed as I am.”

“She knows where she comes from and she knows who she works for.  She knows what’s right and she doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down.”

“She’s exactly who I need.  She’s exactly who this country needs.  To help me fight the same old Washington politics of ‘Me first and country second.’”

“My friends, I am very pleased to introduce to you, the next Vice President of the United States, Governor Sarah Palin of the great state fo Alaska.”

And Sarah is walking out now.  Getting a great reception from the crowd.

“Thank you so much!”  And the crowd continues to love her.

“Senator, I am honored to be chosen as your running mate.”

And I have to go to class – sorry, I’ll post more stuff about this late hopefully.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Live Analysis of Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech at the DNC

August 28, 2008

Alright, I’ll now be doing my last live blog of the DNC, Barack Obama’s acceptance speech:

Video’s starting.  Talking about his grandparents (the white ones), and him being born.  Talking about him going to school, college, then moving to Chicago.

Talking about him meeting Michelle.  Talking about him becoming an Illinois state Senator.

Talking about him move  up to the U.S. Senate.  Talking about his ethics reform bill.

Talking about his mother passing away.

Now talking about the start of Obama’s campaign.

And Barack has entered the stage.  The crowd loves him.  And some girl’s crying – that’s a little over the top.

“With profound gratitude … I accept your nomination for President of the United States.”  There you go, he’s officially the Democratic nominee.

And I just got interrupted – something about thanking Hillary.

Thanking Bill for his speech last night.  And he just thanked Joe Biden for being his running mate.

And thank you to his family and Michelle.

Talking about being at war, “the economy’s in turmoil,” and other struggles.  Talking about not being able to afford credit card bills – WELL THEN DON’T BUY WHAT YOU CAN’T AFFORD!  Blaming it all on “the failed policies of George W. Bush.”  Because it’s all Bush’s fault.

“America, we are better than these 8 last years.  We are a better country than this.”

“The same party that brought you 2 terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney, will ask you for a 3rd” – McCain really isn’t like Bush, but it’s good for them to compare McCain to Bush.

Talking about McCain’s service and that “we owe him our gratitude and respect.”  Talking about McCain voting with Bush for 90% of the time.  Didn’t they say 95% last night?  That’s not too consistent.

Talking about health care, education, and the economy, “Senator McCain has been anything but independent.”  Again, it’s good for them to compare him to Bush.  Talking about his economic plan writer and that we are “suffering from a mental recession … and a nation of whiners.”

Talking about soldiers complaining about the Bush administration.  That’s only a minority of them though.

Now he’s talking about tax breaks, and that McCain’s tax cuts for big business and rich people will hurt the economy.  Well, he’ll cut taxes for the middle class, and cut SPENDING!

“Out of work, tough luck, you’re on your own” – Obama said is McCain’s plan.  “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  If you don’t have boots, you’re on your own.”  OK, that was a clever line.  He’s doing a good job talking about the economy.

He’s running to help fix the economy.  Talking about veterans coming back from Iraq.  Talking about a student who works a night shift, so he can pay for college.  Talking about a worker whose factory was shut down.  Talking about difficulties in starting their own business.

“We have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect. … The economy should reward drive and growth.”  THEN LET THE ECONOMY RUN ITS COURSE!

“Let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President: Change means that (couldn’t hear it) doesn’t reward the business who wrote it, but the workers who deserve it.”  Appealing to workers – good.

“I will cut taxes for 95% of all working families” – so is he going to give a tax break to everybody except the top 5% of the country?  I can guarantee you that that is NOT his plan.

“Now is the time to end this addiction [to foreign oil].”

“As President … I will invest in clean coal technologies, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power.”  I like the nuclear part!  We need to have a LOT more nuclear power plants.

Talking about cleaner cars and making them more affordable.  “An investment that will lead to new industries and pay well.”

“America, now is not the time for small plans.  Now is the time to meet our moral obligation, to provide every child with a world class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy.”  OK,  sure everybody needs a good economy, but that’s something the states need to fix, not the federal government.

“If you commit to serving your community for your country, we will ensure you can afford college.”  What’s that supposed to mean?  That’s a pretty BROAD statement.

Talking about health care, and giving people the same plan as the one that Congress has.

“Stop those companies from discriminating those who are sick … those who need it most. … Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and paid leave.”

“Now is the time to change bankruptcy laws to protect those with pensions.”  OK, that I’ll agree with.

Talking about equal pay for men and women.

Talking about parents “to provide guidance and love for their children.  Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility.  That is the essence of America’s promise.”  OK, that’s good – individuals need to be responsible, but that applies to EVERYTHING, including health care and economic issues.

Talking about McCain having a debate about judgment.

“I stood up and opposed this war [Iraq], knowing it would distract us from the real threats.”

“You know, John McCain says he will follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but he won’t even follow him to the caves where he lives.”  Bull crap.  McCain has made it clear that his number ONE goal is to capture Osama.

“John McCain stands alone in” defending this war – how the heck does he stand alone?  Our troops support the war, as does about half of the Senate and House!

The Democrats will restore the legacy that America once had – you mean, the legacy that we help countries who need it?

“I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against Al Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.”

“I will build new partnerships to defeat” the threats we face.  He says this, but he’s changed his policy on Iraq how many times now?

“These are the policies I will pursue, and we can afford debating them with John McCain.”  Then agree to a debate!

“These times are too serious.”

“I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain.”  That I can agree with.

The troops “have not served a red America, or a blue America.  They have served the United States of America.”  That was a GREAT line, and the crowd exploded.  That was a really great (and true) line.

“So I’ve got news for you John McCain: We all put our country first.”  Well, I’ve talked with people, and I know that’s not true.

“We don’t agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing” abortions.  Bull crap.  End abortion, don’t just try to lower it.

Talking about guns, but I missed what he said.

Talking about gays being able to visit loved ones in hospitalized.  I agree with that, but that’s about the only right I think they should have that they don’t already.  (Marriage benefits are a PRIVILEGE, not a right – such as tax breaks, etc….).

“If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone you should run from.”  Since you’ve voted present so many times and missed so many votes, are you talking about yourself?

“I realize that I’m not the likeliest candidate for this office.  I don’t fit the typical pedigree.”  So he’s just brought race into it?

“It’s not about me.  It’s about you.  It’s about you.  For 18 long months, you have stood up 1 by 1 and said enough to the politics of the past. … You have shown … that the chang we need doesn’t come FROM Washington, the change we need comes TO Washington.”  Well, then it must not be you, because you’re FROM Washington!

“I believe that as hard as it will be, the change is coming.”

Talking about giving better care to veterans – good, and keeping nukes out of our enemies hands – sure you will.

Talking about “Republicans who never thought they’d pick up a Democratic ballot, but they did.”  TRAITORS!

“You know, this country of ours has more wealth than any other nation…  We have the most powerful military on earth, but that’s not what makes us strong.”

“That promise is our greatest inheritance – the promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in to bed. … The promise that led workers to picket lines … and women to vote.”  I missed what he said, but he tied it all in to Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech.

“America, we cannot turn back. … Not with so many children to educate. … Not with an economy to fix. … America we cannot turn back.  We cannot walk alone.”  Something about the promise – I couldn’t keep up with him.

“Thank you, God bless you and God bless the United States of America.”

And there you have it.  Honestly, I didn’t think it was THAT great.  It was good, but compared to Clinton’s and Biden’s, it wasn’t that good.  I’d give it a 7.5-8 out of 10.

He talked a LOT more about issues, which was his job, instead of getting people fired up, but it didn’t seem as charismatic as he could’ve been.  Perhaps it was that he was tired, but it wasn’t his best.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Live Analysis of Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner’s Speech at the DNC

August 26, 2008

I will now be blogging about Virginia Governor Mark Warner’s (the keynote speaker) speech:

Mark Warner just entered the stage.

“No American need be left out or left behind.”

“The global competition won’t be one with yesterdays ideas,” and something about a President who  can’t lead.

Hang on – got interrupted.  Stupid Alan Colmes.

Now he’s talking about getting into the cell phone industry (just like Nebraska Senator, Chuck Hagel the Great).  And he only could’ve been successful like that here in America.

“It’s not where you come from that counts; it’s where you want to go.”

“Obama is running to restore that fair shot for every American. … For far too many Americans, that fair shot is becoming a long shot.”

“These threats were more severe and more threatening because of … the policies of this Administration. … The President never tapped into our greatest resource, the character and resolve of the American people.”

Now he’s saying, Bush should’ve gotten us off foreign oil after September 11th, and America would’ve supported it (and we should just get off oil almost totally).  John McCain will continue the same (Warner said) – but he won’t.  He said we can’t afford more of the same, but that’s not what McCain will give us.

“We have one shot to get it right, and the status quo just won’t cut it.”

Now he’s talking about American technology and American workers.  On to health care.  “In 4 months, we will have an administration that actually believes in science.”  What the heck was that supposed to mean?  Is he referring to evolution?  Stem cells?  What?

“If we rebuild our military [and] alliances, we can restore … America’s leadership around the world.”  Well, our military doesn’t need to be rebuilt.  Reformed, yes.  Rebuilt, no.

“Barack Obama knows … we need leaders who see our common ground as sacred ground … who appeal to us not as Republicans or Democrats, but who appeal to us first and foremost as Americans.”

“If an idea works, it really doesn’t matter if it has a “D” or an “R” next to it. … This election is about the future verses the past.”  There you go!  I’m tired of partisan crap!

Talking about kids, good education.  “We’re all in this together.”

Talking about his job as Governor, bad budget, bad economy, and gridlock in the legislature.  Talking about working across the aisle to “make record investments” and help the economy.

Talking about Lebanon, Virginia, in the coal fields.  A small town.  “Seen the industry that’s sustained it downsized, outsourced, or shut down.”  Some say, “Tough luck, you’ve lost.”  Warner said, “We shouldn’t give up.”  Talking about bringing jobs in to small towns.  “Barack Obama and Joe Biden will get it done.”

Talking about Thomas Jefferson writing a letter to John Adams.  Jefferson wrote, “‘I like the dreams of  the future better than the  history of the past.’  Jefferson got it right at the dawn of the 19th century, and we must get it right at the dawn of the 21st century. … The race for the future will be run when” something about ending partisanship – I couldn’t keep up with him.

“Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.”

And that’s the end of Warner’s speech.

I thought that was a great speech.  I disagreed with it at points, but it was definitely a good choce to make him the keynote speaker.  It was good to see him address a whole slew of issues from Iraq to health care to science.  It was the speech with the most substance so far, but it got the crowd fired up too.

I’ll be doing Hillary Clinton’s speech in less than an hour.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Analysis of Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC

August 25, 2008

I’ll be live blogging this.  I’m watching the video now.

Looking good so far, but not as inspirational as Ted Kennedy’s.  “Who names their kid Barack Obama, so this kid has to be weird” – that’s a great quote (sorry if I screwed it up a bit).

“I didn’t see a ring on her hand.”  And he made his big move at a comapny picnic – buying ice cream, and that’s what put the relationship over the top.  I wish it were that easy for me.

Lost my video feed – hang on.

OK – video’s over, and I’m back up.

Now it’s Michelle’s brother.

Talking about caring for her family.  Talking about working and studying hard.

About Barack: “He won’t back down from any challenge.”

Michelle Obama is walking out on to the stage.  Getting a decent reception, but nothing compared to Ted Kennedy.  Actually, it’s a really calm welcome – she’s not getting a lot of enthusiasm.  Now she’s getting a little more.  And there’s a really energetic woman yelling now.

Talking about her father now – looking down on her now, and watching over her.

“The improbable journey who has led us to this moment.”

Something like “all my stake is in this election.”

Good inspirational story about her father, struggling with MS.

“The American dream endures” – that one got a nice response from the crowd.

And my liberal roommate just asked, “Who’s that old guy they keep showing?”  I said, “Joe Biden?”  “Oh, that’s who that is!”  I got a kick out of it.

Talking about Barack going to neighborhoods in need, and rebuilding communities.  “Ordinary folks doing hte best they could to build a good life.”

“America should be a place where you can make it if you try.”

Talking about military men and women going overseas to defend the country.

She mentioned Hillary Clinton – “who put those 18 million cracks in that glass ceiling.”

She mentioned Joe Biden – he got a LOT more cheers than either Clinton or Michelle did, probably more than them combined.

Something about “a tide of new hope” “and that is why I love this country.”

“I’ve tried to give back to this country that has  given me so much.”

I just got interrupted – now we’re back on welcoming troops with cheers, jobs, benefits, “health care, including mental health care.”

“Barack is running … to end the war in Iraq responsibly.”

Everybody should have “a world-class education, from pre-school, to college.”

“He’ll achieve these goals the same way he always has, by bringing us together, and reminding us how much we share, and how alike we are.”

Something about, “that thread that connects us, our belief in America.”  “One nation, even when we disagree.”

Hope to, mothers of troops, students, people in Chicago….

“Barack will fight for people like them … and bring, finally, the change that we need.”

Now she’s talking about their daughter, “determined to give her … father’s love (what she said didn’t quite make sense to me – I must’ve misheard something).”

“This time, we listened to our hopes, instead of our fears. … we decided to stop doubting and decided to start dreaming.”

“The son of a single mother from Hawaii can go all the way to the White House.”

“Tonight … let’s stand together to elect Barack Obama the President of the United States of America.  Thank you, and God bless America.”

And there’s Biden again – looking VERY happy.

It was a good speech, a little bit slow right before the end, but overall, a GREAT speech.  A good charismatic speech, a little light on substance (not as light as Kennedy’s), but these aren’t meant to be policy speeches.  I’d say it was the perfect mix of substance and “fluff” (which seems like a bad word, but it’s not) for a convention.

And now it’s on to Barack.  And his daughter keeps interrupting him.  No offense, but it’s kinda getting annoying.  But she is kinda cute.  She said, “I think she [mom] did good.”

And that’s pretty much everything for tonight, other than some closing stuff.

So, that’s all for today.  Good night, and good luck!

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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McCain Ad: Former Clinton Delegate Turned McCain Supporter

August 25, 2008

This is one of McCain’s latest ads, Debra.  Watch the video, and I’ll post my thoughts below it:

It’s a good ad.  I would’ve liked it better if she’d have done that on her own, instead of going to the McCain campaign to do it, because it looks more forced that way, but it still shows the fact that a lot of Clinton supporters are 1) mad about Obama being the nominee and 2) willing to actually do something about it.

Also, Obama is more liberal than Clinton, and the fact that McCain is a moderate conservative means that Clinton supporters are  going to be more willing to cross the party line than they normally would be.

I say, good for Debra Bartoshevich (the woman in the ad), who was a former delegate from Wisconsin.  She was removed from the position of delegate when the Wisconsin Democratic Party found out that she violated (or intended to violate) a a pledge that she signed when she accepted the position (a pledge to uphold the local rules, which apparently wouldn’t allow her to vote for McCain at the convention as she intended), they voted not to seat her at the convention.

Hopefully she brings over some more former Clinton supporters!

And I’d better never hear Obama say that George Bush stole the election because he lost the popular vote, since Clinton beat Obama by 223,243 votes (including caucus goers).

Originally, I was saying they should’ve picked Edwards.  Obviously that would’ve gone badly, so now I think they’d  have been screwed no matter who they picked.

Clinton supporters are going to make this easy for McCain!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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