Shorter Question Everything
There were so many powerful moments from last night’s DNC that I could easily lose myself listing them. Anyone not moved to tears by Gabby Giffords may be broken inside. Lewis made us remember, and Biden spoke to all of us where we lived. Crist, a Republican, was moving, even if he didn’t agree with Obama’s politics; he was willing to respect the office and the man, and that’s to be admired. Sister Campbell told us what REAL pro-life policies are. So many moments. And to top it all off and make my crying complete, Obama at the end, with his Lincoln reference and his belief that – opposed to all the childish and twisted “you built that!” crap from the right wing – you, we, really did build it. That the change he spoke of 4 years ago belonged to all Americans that hoped and that all Americans could choose to do the same again.
• President Barack Obama’s Remarks at the 2012 Democratic National Convention – Full Speech
• Obama: “Now, our friends at the Republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America, but they didn’t have much to say about how they’d make it right. They want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan. And that’s because all they have to offer is the same prescription they’ve had for the last thirty years: “Have a surplus? Try a tax cut.” “Deficit too high? Try another.” “Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!””
• Obama: And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet – because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future. And in this election, you can do something about it.
• Obama: I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the President. I know what it means to send young Americans into battle, for I have held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn’t return. I’ve shared the pain of families who’ve lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who’ve lost their jobs. If the critics are right that I’ve made all my decisions based on polls, then I must not be very good at reading them. And while I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together, I’m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.”
• Vice President Joe Biden’s Remarks at the 2012 Democratic National Convention – Full Speech
• Gabrielle Giffords Pledge of Allegiance at DNC (C-SPAN)
• Former U.S. lawmaker Giffords wows convention crowd. Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, still recovering from being shot in the head, made a moving appearance at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night to lead the pledge of allegiance. The hall erupted into a standing ovation as Giffords walked across the stage – limping, but without a cane – accompanied by U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the president of the Democratic Party and a close friend. Giffords’ voice was clear as she led the crowd in the short pledge, but her somewhat hesitant speech showed she is still affected by her injuries.
• John Kerry’s DNC Full Speech
• John Kerry lampoons Romney as flip flopper, knocks his foreign policy cred. “It isn’t fair to say Mitt Romney doesn’t have a position on Afghanistan,” Kerry said. “He has every position.” … “Talk about being for it before you were against it,” Kerry said, a reference to the line Kerry himself infamously used to describe his record on the Iraq War. “Mr. Romney, here’s a little advice: Before you debate Barack Obama on foreign policy, you better finish the debate with yourself.”
• It’s like John Kerry’s been sitting on a big can of whoop-ass for 8 years.
• John Kerry: “Ask Osama bin Laden if he’s better off than he was four years ago.”
• John Lewis On Voting Rights Attacks: ‘I’ve Seen This Before’.
Brothers and sisters, do you want to go back? Or do you want to keep America moving forward? My dear friends, your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful, nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union. Not too long ago, people stood in unmovable lines. They had to pass a so-called literacy test, pay a poll tax. On one occasion, a man was asked to count the number of bubbles in a bar of soap. On another occasion, one was asked to count the jelly beans in a jar—all to keep them from casting their ballots.
Today it is unbelievable that there are Republican officials still trying to stop some people from voting. They are changing the rules, cutting polling hours and imposing requirements intended to suppress the vote. The Republican leader in the Pennsylvania House even bragged that his state’s new voter ID law is “gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state.” That’s not right. That’s not fair. That’s not just.
And similar efforts have been made in Texas, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina. I’ve seen this before. I’ve lived this before. Too many people struggled, suffered and died to make it possible for every American to exercise their right to vote.
And we have come too far together to ever turn back.
DNC: Sister Campbell
• Sister Simone Campbell Remarks at 2012 Democratic National Convention
In other news
• Exclusive: Paul Ryan Quietly Requested Obamacare Cash:
Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan is barnstorming the country, promising to repeal every provision of the Affordable Care Act if the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected. But a letter he wrote to the Obama administration may undermine this message.
On December 10, 2010, Ryan penned a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services to recommend a grant application for the Kenosha Community Health Center, Inc to develop a new facility in Racine, Wisconsin, an area within Ryan’s district. “The proposed new facility, the Belle City Neighborhood Health Center, will serve both the preventative and comprehensive primary healthcare needs of thousands of new patients of all ages who are currently without healthcare,” Ryan wrote.
The grant Ryan requested was funded directly by the Affordable Care Act, better known simply as healthcare reform or Obamacare.
The letter, among several obtained by The Nation and The Investigative Fund through a Freedom of Information Act request, is a stark reminder that even the most ardent opponents of Obamacare privately acknowledge many of the law’s benefits.
• Civil rights under threat as states plan assault on anti-discrimination laws. A rash of legal challenges to a core piece of US civil rights legislation is threatening the foundations of nearly half a century of laws to combat racial discrimination. Republican-led state legislatures from Florida and Texas to Alaska have engineered a series of legal showdowns with the federal government over the 1965 Voting Rights Act that, following several court rulings last week, appear likely to end up before a US supreme court which has already hinted it is ready to revisit the heart of the law.
• R.E.M. orders Fox News to stop playing ‘Losing My Religion’ during DNC. “R.E.M.’s ‘Losing My Religion’ was used in the Fox News coverage of the Democratic National Convention last night,” a statement on the R.E.M. HQ website said. “R.E.M. today, through its music publisher, Warner-Tamerlane Music, demanded that Fox News cease and desist from continuing its unlicensed and unauthorized use of the song.” “We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage,” lead singer Michael Stipe said. “Our music does not belong there.”
• Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo
(above), an outspoken supporter of marriage equality who has appeared in videos for HRC and Marylanders for Marriage Equality, is being targeted by Maryland House of Delegates member Emmett C. Burns Jr., who has asked Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to stop him from talking about it. “I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football League Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employees and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing.”
COMMENT: There was a time when the idea that contraception could be made illegal or that personhood amendments could be a real thing were crazy too. When there’s always a drive to be more extreme than the last guy, when there is a drive for ideological purity and the need to prove it, it’s not such a big leap to make. Demonize anyone that isn’t exactly like you, and it becomes possible to make this nightmare a reality. It seems farfetched now, but what is common in the right wing now was unthinkable even for them not that long ago.
Plenty has already been said about one aspect of these rights. We know that our access to both contraception and abortion are being eroded and women are increasingly facing a scenario of forced birth regardless of their economic or emotional situation, health consequences, or the manner in which they became pregnant. Paul Ryan recently called rape “just another method of conception.” This threat is clear, but the stories told by Jessie, Swords, and Black are instructive. I am beginning to wonder if forced birth is all we have to worry about.
Since we know it is possible we may soon be told we must give birth, how much of a stretch is it to imagine someone might tell us we can’t? The Eugenics Board once published glossy brochures that bragged, “North Carolina offers its citizens protection in the form of selective sterilization” and “The job of parenthood is too much to expect of feebleminded men and women.”
Swords and Jessie were deprived of their ability to be mothers because they were poor; Black for having developmental disabilities (a term that can cover everything from Autism Spectrum disorders, Cerebral Palsy, and hearing loss to intellectual disabilities and vision impairment). If these were reason enough for half of U.S. states to forcibly remove a person’s ability to reproduce, couldn’t the same be said about other perceived defects, like practicing an unsanctioned religion, getting a tattoo or being a liberal?
• Fox News contributor Elaine Chao has recently appeared on Fox Business to criticize Obama over the economy and push the falsehood that he stripped the work requirement from welfare. During these appearances, Fox didn’t disclose that Chao is a national chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Fox News has made it a regular practice to not disclose some of its frequent guests’ ties to the Romney campaign.
• Good. there’s enough of that hateful garbage on the right: Julia Rodriguez, a DNC delegate who said in a video interview with the Blaze that she would kill Mitt Romney if she saw him, should expect to be hearing from the Secret Service.
• Canada has suspended diplomatic relations with Iran and is expelling Iranian diplomats from Canada, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced in a statement today. “Canada has closed its embassy in Iran, effective immediately, and declared personae non gratae all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada,” Baird said in a statement. Those diplomats must leave within five days.
• While we wait for the evening’s events to kick off, I thought I would share a fresh dispatch from crazytown. This one comes from old Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland who told an audience that Federal involvement in student loans will take us down the path Germany followed in the 1930s to Hitler.
• Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland apologized Thursday after video emerged of him comparing student loans to the extermination of Jews in German concentration camps.
• Petty: Tens of millions of people are expected to tune into President Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night. But Mitt Romney doesn’t plan on being one of them. “Haven’t watched so far. Don’t plan on it,” Mr. Romney said at a surprise visit here with a group of veterans.
• Tens of thousands of dead fish, along with dead seagulls, washed up on the shores of Lake Erie on Wednesday afternoon in yet another mysterious mass animal death. Rick Nicholls, Member of Provincial Parliament for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, is mystified by the mass Lake Erie animal death, telling NewsNet5: “First thing that crossed my mind, is there any potential danger to humans from a health point of view? Secondly, as I got more and more into it, what’s the cause of this sudden fish kill in the lake?”
• Confidence: The stock market is going absolutely bananas today. The Nasdaq hit a 12-year high, and here’s how the Dow looks at the moment. That red arrow there indicates the reaction to the European Central Bank announcing that it’s going to start buying government bonds from Europe’s struggling countries.
• Republicans debuted a new ad Thursday in which a frustrated former Obama supporter expresses her disappointment with the president. The only problem: The woman in the video is actually an RNC staffer. The new ad features Republican National Committee Director of Hispanic Outreach Bettina Inclan, who in the ad purports to be an average woman voter who supported Obama in 2008. She describes her disillusionment with the president in the ad as a romantic relationship gone awry.
• Republicans signaled this week that they might have given up hope in two important swing states. The Romney campaign and conservative groups like Crossroads GPS have pulled TV ads in Michigan, Romney’s home state, according to the Detroit News. Nor are the campaign and super PACs running advertising in Pennsylvania, after unleashing a barrage there over the past five months.
• The US economy added a poor 96,000 jobs in August, but the overall jobless rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
• Judge To Woman Sexually Assaulted By Cop: ‘When You Blame Others, You Give Up Your Power To Change’ – “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you,” Hatch said. “I hope you look at what you’ve been through and try to take something positive out of it,” Hatch said to the victim in court. “When you blame others, you give up your power to change,” Hatch said that her mother used to say.
• Montreal – The suspect in a deadly shooting at a rally following the election of Quebec’s new separatist premier was arraigned Thursday on 16 charges, including murder, attempted murder and possession of explosives. Richard Henry Bain, 61, of La Conception, Quebec, made his first appearance in court behind protective glass after being accused of opening fire outside the midnight victory rally Tuesday for Pauline Marois of the Parti Quebecois. Prosecutors said that after the shooting, Bain used a flare to light a small fire.
• Beijing– At least 43 people were killed and 150 injured when two shallow earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.6 struck southwest China on Friday, officials said. Another 100,000 people were made homeless by the quakes, which struck on the border of Southwestern Yunnan and Guizhou provinces around the middle of the day.