Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sixty-Eight Days People!!!

Whew! Can you believe it is only 68 days until the election? Okay, not only am I an uneducated housewife, but I am scatterbrained too. I used to think I had Wonder Woman multi-tasking skills but... someone has apparently placed some kryptonite nearby. Wrong super hero? Anyway, my invisible plane is also missing in action. So, I am changing it up again!

Rather than spend my time researching things and trying to pretend that I really do understand things enough to turn around and articulate that here on this blog, I am going to be asking questions. Some very awesome people have agreed to take part by being contributors to this blog by answering my questions... and any questions y'all might have (I am sitting here typing this out, imagining that someone other than those who have agreed to take part are reading. That's a little weird).

I am going to be putting information about the contributors with links to their sites on my sidebar. I just want to get with them first and find out what they would like to be said in their little blurbs. If you are reading this and would like to be a contributor, please e-mail me at

What is the BIG thing going on this week? Yep, The Democratic National Convention. I'll tell you a little secret... I haven't watched much of it. Why? Because... I really don't understand why it is such a big deal. It would be much more interesting if the outcome was more uncertain. To me it is just an outdated formality and a bunch of posturing for the cameras. I won't watch much of the Republican National Convention either. The expense of these little docu-dramas bothers me too.

Liam, who is one of the new contributors, gave an excellent run down on the history of the Democratic National Convention in the comments.

Well luckily you happen to have someone who has a degree in History and a minor in Political Science... and is a politics junkie to boot.

So... the Democratic National Convention... It meets every 4 years to decide a couple of things... First is the biggest... Who the Democratic presidential nominee is going to be. The primaries and caucuses are MOSTLY about deciding how many delegates a candidate has to send to the convention. Those delegates are the ones who vote on who the nominee is going to be.

Going into the convention, Sen Obama has 2,345 delegates and Sen Clinton has 1,972 delegates. 2,210 delegates are needed for the nomination. On Wednesday night they'll have the role call of states. At that time each delegation will have an opportunity to cast it's votes. "The great state of Colorado casts 36 votes for Senator Barack Obama and 19 votes for Senator Hillary Clinton!" yadda yadda...

You may hear some things about "releasing delegates". Senator Clinton won a number of delegates in the primaries and caucuses and those delegates are pledged to her. She may go ahead and tell them "It's ok, you don't have to vote for me, vote for Senator Obama". That's the rumour at least.

The other major task of the Convention is creating what is called a "platform". This is essentially a listing of all the things the party stands for. Individual issues are called... planks (go figure).Since Sen Obama will undoubtedly be the nominee, most of the the things he stands for will be in the platform. Hope that helps...

I then e-mailed Liam and asked him if delegates can change their votes. I did not think so... but something in the back of my mind was still wondering. This was his response:

First you have to remember there are two different types of delegates... Pledged and unpledged.

Unpledged delegates, or superdelegates, are party officials and elected people like senators and congressmen... they are unpledged and can vote for whoever they want for whatever reason and can change whenever they want...

Pledge delegates are delegates won in primaries and caucuses... They are pledged to the candidate that won them. Now what THAT means depends on the state. Some states require pledged delegates to remain loyal. Some states require them to remain loyal through the 2nd or 3rd ballot (ie if someone doesn't get enough votes to win on the 1st ballot). Some states make no rules on pledged delegate loyalty.

So... yes and no to your answer.

My questions are:

What do y'all think about the party conventions? Are they still important?

What do you think of Barak Obama's running mate Joe Biden?

Any thoughts on the speeches so far? (Go here for transcripts of the speeches... Michelle Obama's is on the very bottom of the page)

Liam answers:

First off... the roll call was last night and as you may have noticed not all of Clinton's delegates voted for her... Why? well because earlier in the day she "released" her delegates, essentially telling them they could vote for whomever they wanted.

Then of course came the big moment... Sen Clinton asked the convention to suspend the rules and nominate Sen Obama by acclamation. What does that mean? Essentially they ask the convention a big yea/nay and if they thing there were 2/3 of them say "yea" then it's over. Now that we have the "what" covered... the bigger question is the "why"... Because of "unity". Sen Clinton wanted to show her supporters that they'd better get behind Obama...

So tonight Sen Obama will give his acceptance speech... 45 years to the day MLK gave his "I Have A Dream" speech.

Now your questions...

What do y'all think about the party conventions? Are they still important?

The conventions are big infomercials for the parties... And that's not a bad thing. Every 4 years they get together and show the country what they supposedly believe.

What do you think of Barak Obama's running mate Joe Biden?

Biden's the perfect little pitbull. He has great experience and he's a fighter... they call him a "happy warrior"... He'll be smiling the entire time he's sticking a dagger in your back.

Any thoughts on the speeches so far?

Maybe I'm nuts, but I've never thought Hillary was a great speaker... they've always said how great this speech was or how great this one was... I'm just like "eeeehhhhh"... not impressed. Bill on the other hand... he rocked it. My wife and I have debated whether he was going senile after all the stupid things he's said during the campaign... but his speech last night was outstanding. Biden had the unfortunate timing of going after Bill... His speech was good, but not as good Bill... Tonight's the big one... Obama's speech in front of up to 80,000...

August 28, 2008 12:30 PM

Roland answers:

Q: What do y'all think about the party conventions? Are they still important?

A: I think I agree with Liam's suggestion that they're a sounding board. This year, what with the party being split between Obama and Hillary, I think it was more important than ever to show unity and have the Hillary and Obama camp combine and march off in a unified direction (against McCain.)That being said - it's all party political and that's quite boring. A lot of back slapping and hand shaking. I think what promises to make this campaign so interesting is that McCain, at least, used to be a bit of a bipartisan and he used to do his own thing instead of towing the party line (like the Democrats are currently doing.)When it comes to Obama, I think people will vote for the party as much as the man, so the convention is important. With McCain, I think a lot of moderate Democrats might vote for him because he's kind of centrist and a maverick - and the Republican National Convention might scare them off (once the right wing loonies get rolling.)

Q: What do you think of Barak Obama's running mate Joe Biden?

A: I think ol' Joe's not as good a bet as Obama might have suspected. He's got a big mouth on him and those soundbites of his will turn around to bite him on the rump during the election.I admire Biden because he's down to earth. He takes the train to Washington everyday, he still lives in his district and he's stuck to his guns on his beliefs. But I don't like the fact that he's been caught plagiarizing, lying and talking rubbish on more than one occasion.I suspect Obama picked him to sew up Pennsylvania - a vital state in the election. Who knows if that strategy will work or not.

Q: Any thoughts on the speeches so far?

A: I thought they've all been pretty good. Ted Kennedy is a powerhouse, Michelle's speech was a bit sappy, but sweet (although when she kept going on about needing a persistent president, I couldn't helping remembering how dogged Hillary had been) and both Clintons reminded me of why they're such effective politicians when they took to the podium.

August 28, 2008 1:06 PM

Two Dogs answers:

Since I was asked, I shall reply. With no cussy words either, no matter how bad I want to let them just slide off my tongue on this topic.

1. I don't think that conventions have been important for some time now. I am even beginning to question the importance of parties. I am a Constitutionalist and neither party comes even remotely close to honoring the Constitution. To have a NATIONAL party endorse abortion and produce legislation to FORCE states to allow it, is a travesty. That is a state issue in that the Constitution doesn't even mention the word "abortion" and the Consitution expressly forbids the federal government to have an opinion on anything that is not expressly granted to the federal government. Welfare is a direct violation of the Consitution. Nationalizing criminal aliens? Uh, they are CRIMINALS, what part of their breaking the law is so hard to understand? Education? Same thing. FEMA? Yes again. National "healthcare?" Puhleeeze. We have completely lost our way and I see no end in sight until there is honesty from our media which will never happen. Freedom of the press doesn't grant them the power to print whatever they want despite it being lies.

2. Joe Biden is more liberal than 98.2% of of our national representatives and tugs us further away from the Constitution. He is far from "middle of the road." I guess if you believe in the Democrat platform of fascism, he is great, almost as good as Obama. Please recall that fascism is a system of government that states plainly that the state or nation is the highest priority, rather than personal or individual freedoms. I think that fits the Democrats perfectly and the Republicans are not far behind. Call a spade a spade. Words mean something.Obama and Joe Biden both are currently fighting to restrict the first amendment rights of citizens trying to keep the commercials placing Obama with William Ayers, the terrorist. They are fighting it using the provisions laid down by the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law, how ironic? They are also completely agsint the Second Amendment and both have "F's" from the NRA while holding 95% ratings from the Brady Ban all the Guns, Forget the Constitution Political Action Committee. Recall Barry saying to PAC money? He lied, bald faced. He has also taken money from oil company executives, despite what he has said. Executives from Exxon have even given him more money than they have McCain. By the way, despite what Obama says, it has been illegal for corporations to donate money to political candidates since the early 1900s. So neither candidate has taken money directly from oil COMPANIES. Obama lies.

3. I have no desire at all to listen to either party pander to stupid people. And that is exactly what they do. It is a get together to promise to spend the money of hard working people by giving it to nonworking people and "nonprofits" that back stuff that is far from what normal people deem just. Have you heard a single new idea escape from someone's mouth at the DNC? Of course not, they have to hide the fact that their candidates think nothing of slaughtering a baby that actually survived an abortion attempt. You have also heard Nancy Pelosi say, day before yesterday, that the Catholic Church has never been able to determine when life starts. Another lie that the media let slide. The Catholic Church has maintained SINCE THE FIRST CENTURY that life begins at conception. The Church has NEVER waivered on this issue. The Speaker of the House of Representatives lied to the nation on national television and no one said a word.

Michelle Obama is a blithering moron, just like her husband. She also makes over 300,000 dollars a year to influence her husband to funnel money to UoC hospital. Which he has done on many ocassions. Check it. When rich people get up on stage and tell you that they are just like you normal folks, don't believe it, you know better. Do you think that someone that grossed 4.5 million dollars last year knows what it is like to worry about paying 4 dollars for a gallon of gas? Or even knows which combo meal to order at Wendys? The Kerrys didn't even know what CHILI was.

Obama is just another PROOF of beauty being skin deep. No intelligence at all, just a thirst for power with no accomplishments, like the majority of other elected officials. And the farthest left of any national elected official. And has never in his very short history reached across the aisle to vote with the Republicans. Ever.

McCain? Absolute Centrist, which is not good either. True enough, he would slow our slide toward fascism, but slowing it is not enough. The news media heralded him a mere four years ago and said that he would have been a great VP pick for Kerry, now they are dumping him like a piece of garbage. Why is that, do you think? It is because the Obamessiah has arrived to save the sheeple.

Here's a couple of salient thoughts about your federal government: Wonder what one cancer has never reduced in percentage of population affected since the anti-smoking people lobbied Congress to place restrictions on an industry that was producing a legal product? Lung cancer. Wonder where the attorney that brought the initial lawsuit is right now? In a federal penetentiary for attempting to bribe a judge to allow him to keep more of his fee that he kept from another attorney that participated in the lawsuit.

Lastly, when the Republicans are considered the party of fiscal conservatism and STILL raise spending 47% in ten years, you know that something is wrong. And of course, there is no recession now either. There has been not a single negative growth quarter since 1983 (much less two) which is required before the economy can be considered in a recession. Consider your news source and determine what they are trying to accomplish with their reporting. And know that the New York Times has lost almost 90% of their stock value in the last three years.

Those of you that actually like Obama, only God can help you in your ignorance. it will take a miracle to teach you to feed yourselves.Remember 1994 and the groundswell to turn the rip-off artists out of office? We can do that again at some point and enjoy the fruits of our own labor yet again if we are diligent.

August 28, 2008 1:21 PM


Roland Hulme said...

I didn't agree entirely with what Two Dogs said - except this: "Lastly, when the Republicans are considered the party of fiscal conservatism and STILL raise spending 47% in ten years, you know that something is wrong."

I stand up and applaude you for that, Monsieur Les Deux Chiens!

Anonymous said...

I find it quite humourous when people talk about strict interpretation of the Constitution...

Many of our most cherished rights come from Supreme Court decisions on things NOT mentioned in the Constitution...

After all... the Marshall Court based it's Marbury v Madison decision on the construction... After all it clearly states in the Constitution that the Supreme Court can rule laws unconstitutional... right?

Article III: Section 2 - The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.

And in Griswold, the Court based its decision outlining the right to marital privacy, especially where it concerns the right to contraception, on the construction... Doesn't an amendment cover right to marital privacy and the right of a woman to take the pill?

Amendment IX - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

And in Brown, the Court based its decision of "separate is inherently unequal' on the construction... I swear I remember reading that some where in the Constitution...

Amendment XIV: Section 1 - Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

And in Gideon... the Court based its decision that the state must provide counsel if the defendant needs it on the construction... After all the 6th Amendment does say we have the right to FREE counsel.... right?

Amendment VI - In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

And in Schenck... the Court based its decision to restrict the freedom of speech in cases of clear and present danger (aka shouting FIRE in a crowded theater) on the construction... after all the the 1st Amendment clearly says that some speech may be prohibited...

Amendment I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

But of course we should always apply the Constitution ONLY as it is written. But doesn't that mean we should disband the Air Force? After all, Article I, Section 8 authorizes Congress to fund an Army and a Navy... but it doesn't mention an Air Force...

And shouldn't we give back the Louisiana Purchase? I mean where in the Constitution does it authorize Congress or the President to buy land from foreign governments?

And definately West Virginia should be merged back with Virginia... as it clearly violated the Constitution when it seperated from Virginia, after all it didn't have Virginia's permission did it?

Article IV, Section 3: New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.

BLBeamer said...

The West Virginia issue is interesting because that section of Virginia seceeded from a state that was in a state of rebellion and had seceeded from the Union. So wasn't West Virginia really remaining where it originally belonged? They were, in effect, "rescued".

BLBeamer said...

Yes, I know I misspelled seceded!

BLBeamer said...

I've observed that many people (across the political spectrum) are all for a strict interpretation of the Constitution when it suits their purposes or their political biases. Likewise, those same people are perfectly willing to loosely interpret the Constitution in the name of expediency (another term for "politically preferring the outcome of that loose interpretation").