Live-Blogging the Clinton Acceptance Speech


Here we go! Press F5 to update occasionally. Enjoy!

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7:05pm MST – As we begin, Chelsea is giving a speech introducing her mother. She still looks quite a bit younger than I think she should.

7:07 – Hillary used to leave notes for young Chelsea detailing her plans for improving childcare in Arkansas. Cute, but…I mean, c’mon.

7:10 – We’re getting a good framing of “Hillary as caring mom”, which is nice. She’s always handled mothering well.

7:12 – The image of “Hillary as a fighter for you”, is also a good one.

7:16 – The speech is over, and now we go to the obligatory candidate video, narrated by Morgan Freeman, because of course it is.

7:19 – We’re getting repeats of a lot of the bits we heard the other night when Bill spoke. It’s a bit eh. The watermelon bit was amusing, though.

7:22 – Glad to see that the Democrats aren’t above exploiting 9/11. I really look forward to when this is no longer something viable for candidates to talk about.

7:24 – Ah, “the bin Laden situation”. Another thing I am kind of tired hearing about, and btw, we didn’t “bring him to justice”, as people like to say. That would have involved a trial, which we didn’t bother with.

7:25 – “There is more than enough of the American dream to go around…” Excellent.

7:27 – Finally done. It wasn’t terrible, but…eh. Now on to the main event!

7:28 – Whatever problems the Clintons might have had during their marriage, I still get the impression of two people who care deeply about each other. It’s nice to see.

7:29 – Ok, the video has been done for two minutes now. Can we stop with the song and get to the speech?

7:31 – She certainly seems quite choked-up, which is understandable!

7:33 – A few moments of self-deprecating humor. Always welcome!

7:35 – A thank-you out to Sanders. A smart idea, given the Sandernistas who continue to agitate.

7:38 – An emphasis on compromise by invoking the Founding Fathers. Quite wise, especially given the way the Republicans (and the extreme left), have viewed compromise as vice rather than virtue.

7:39 – “Rise together”. There’s a campaign motto for you.

7:42 – She’s taking Trump head-on. This is good.

7:43 – Now they’re chanting her name. Seems spontaneous, but my guess is that it’s an effort to drown-out some Bern Victims.

7:47 – “Love trumps hate” is also a great motto.

7:49 – She’s directly addressing her public perception and personality issues. That’s good.

7:54 – She’s never going to go down as a great public speaker, but she is making some excellent points about what really matters.

7:57 – Sanders looking dour. But to be fair, I suspect he’d look dour even if someone handed him a gold brick on a platinum plate.

7:58 – “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit!” I do like some of these lines.

8:02 -Appointing the right kind of justices is a good first step. Second? Making the Senate give them hearings.

8:04 – “I believe in science!” It’s quite sad that that’s a campaign point.

8:06 – Interesting to see how many non-white faces are out there. From what I understand, only about 20 of the delegates at the RNC were black. 20. I also like that she’s calling it, “Donald Trump’s convention”.

8:09 – Now talking about student debt. A definite plus for the Sanders crowd. And a sop out to those who want to go to technical schools. An excellent idea.

8:13 – Now calling out Trump on his various shady and hypocritical business practices. A wise move. The idea of “Trump as successful businessman” needs to be stomped down hard.

8:15 – She’s right to tout the Iranian deal, even if it was done after she left office.

8:17 – I’ve seen others talk about it, now I will, too. It’s strange, fascinating, and a little neat to see the Democrats co-opting all the religious and patriotic imagery that the Republicans have relied on for the last 35 years. It wears better on the Democrats than it did on the Republicans.

8:18 – “A man you can bait with a Tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”

8:20 – “I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to get shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.”

8:26 – A reminder of how important it is to stand up to bullies. I like that.

And that’s that. I enjoyed it for the most part. Good, but not quite great. She said what needed to be said, and said it well enough, though. Even if she didn’t quite hit it out of the park, it was still a solid triple, and that’s fine.

Trump and Russia


I don’t know if there’s collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. I strongly doubt that there is. But I do know that today, during a press conference, Trump urged Russia to interfere with our electoral process.

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Yes, this is Photoshopped. Don’t get your undies in a twist.

This from the nominee of the “law and order” party. This from the nominee of the “God bless America!” party. This from the party that wears its Bible and flag with equal fervor.

Trump has refused to release his tax returns, which is something that every other candidate has done for the last fifty plus years. It’s a way of proving that one’s sources of income are on the level.

Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, with the lame excuse that he’s being audited (which a: may be a lie, and b: didn’t stop Nixon from releasing his during an audit), leads me, at least, to suspect he’s probably been receiving a lot of money from Russian investors. That isn’t illegal, but it sure doesn’t look good, and it really isn’t good when you look at everything else that’s going on with him and Russia.

I do hope everyone keeps up the pressure for him to release his tax returns. There may be nothing there; there probably isn’t anything illegal (I certainly agree that he’s probably not directly working for the Russians). But if he won’t release them, it means he’s probably hiding something, and that’s not acceptable.

She Has Done It


Now she just needs to keep doing it right through November! Congrats, Hillary, on your history-making nomination!

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention via a live video feed at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention via a live video feed from New York during the second night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

How to Regain My Respect


Bernie Sanders is doing it right now. He’s making a full-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton, and talking about how much more important it is to elect her than it is to allow Trump to win. It’s a good speech, and I’m glad he’s making it.

And I really, really hope that the Bern Outs I know are paying close attention, and will vote for Hillary in November. I know it sounds like a cliche at this point, but it really is true that a vote for anyone else amounts to a vote for Trump.

To My Fellow Liberals: Stop Acting Like Spoiled Brats


So did you hear? It’s such a scandal. Apparently the Democratic party leadership did whatever they could behind the scenes to ensure that the Democratic party nominee for president in 2016 was someone who had been a Democrat for their entire political career, had campaigned for Democrats, raised money for Democrats, supported the Democratic party, and generally helped the Democratic cause.

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Yes, apparently they went out of their way to support the Democrat that was in the race instead of supporting the guy who became a Democrat only a few months before deciding to run as one.

The horror.

First off, this scandal isn’t really much of a scandal at all. As I pointed out, it’s perfectly understandable that the party leadership would support someone who has supported the party. That’s reasonable, right, and proper.

Second…you know, there really isn’t a second here. The first is all that I need, because it’s entirely correct.

Since 1992, the right wing in this country has been consumed with Clinton Derangement Syndrome. Since that year, they’ve hounded Bill and Hillary like no other president has ever been hounded. Hearings? Yes. An impeachment? Oh, yes. Actual convictions? Not really.

The Republican establishment has spread lies, innuendo, and blown every little possible thing out of proportion for the last 24 years. Republicans soak their minds in this. They believe utterly in the evil, corrupt, lying bitch version of  Hillary.

So it’s no surprise to me that people who have been alive about that long, even liberals, also share that view.

But it is very sad.

It’s sad because Hillary is a fantastic candidate. She’s the ultimate survivor in politics, taking everything that can be thrown at her, and remaining a decent person. She would really be an amazing president.

It’s also dangerous for liberals to share this “evil bitch” view of Hillary. You may not have noticed, but this past week the Republicans selected a neo-fascist white nationalist to lead their party. There is a very real chance that this person could be the next president of the United States.

If you are a liberal, that should trouble you way more than any problems you think the Democratic party has or that Hillary has. You have issues with the party? Join the party, work with the party, and help change the party. You have issues with Hillary? Suck it up and deal.

Because no candidate is perfect. None. But while both Trump and Hillary are imperfect, there’s a gigantic difference between the levels of imperfection. Donald Trump is the single most unqualified person ever nominated by a major party, and he has plans to advance a large number of extremely un-American goals.

And Hillary? She’s not quite as liberal as you might want, and might try to enact only 50% of what Sanders promised rather than the 100% he would have tried to enact. It’s worth noting that she’ll probably succeed in that 50% where he would have largely failed.

So you don’t get to vote for your perfect candidate? Tough shit. Be an adult. You can’t afford to be a spoiled brat right now and say, “Well, they’re both the same, so fuck her, and fuck Trump, and I’m voting for Jill Stein!” Because, yes, voting for the anti-science Green party is a smart move!

Politics is about compromise. It’s about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. It’s about accepting that you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you can get enough of what you need.

Hillary may not be what you want. But she’s substantially better than Trump. She’ll preserve and expand the ACA. She’ll preserve gay marriage, and the right of gays and transgendered people to serve in the military. She’ll protect abortion rights against the forced birth crowd. She’ll work to increase the minimum wage. She won’t start a war with Poland because of what someone said about her hair. She will be a pragmatist who will work hard to bring what change she can to improve all our lives.

So grow up. Stop whining. Accept reality, and quit looking for excuses to not vote for Hillary. The stakes are just too damn high.

Citizen Kaine


Yeah, it’s the obvious headline, but there you are.

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This is a rather predictable and boring pick. Yes, it sews up Virginia for Hillary, and probably helps prop up Pennsylvania, but…man, how dull. We have a race with three white guys and a white woman. She could have had Julian Castro, which would have given us someone under 50 and not white, but she didn’t.

Kaine is a safe choice, I suppose. There’s nothing wrong with him, really. But…I could just wish for better.

On a side note, I find it very interesting that both campaigns have chosen boring, safe candidates as their VP pick.

Yes, There is a Difference, and No, the Democrats Don’t Do it, Too


I got into a bit of a text argument last night with a friend. We were discussing the Republican convention, and I mentioned Christie’s efforts at building a lynch mob to go after Clinton, and the chants of, “Lock her up! Lock her up!” that echoed through the convention floor.

My friend pooh-poohed all this, saying that, hey, Democrats did it, too! They wanted to have Cheney, Bush, and Rice all thrown into jail!

So let’s examine this claim.

Last night, Chris Christie gave a speech that was basically a hatchet-job against Clinton, talking about all the great and evil things she’s done (followed by Ben “Grain Storage” Carson telling us that she’s an agent for Lucifer). Not only was this speech full of lies and distortions, it was also very reminiscent of your basic witch trial, with a pre-determined verdict and a mob out for blood.

This never happened at any of the Democratic conventions.

Sure, many of us wanted Cheney, Bush, and Rice on trial for war crimes, and the fact that they haven’t been remains a great source of national shame. But we have never, on that public of a stage, had anything like this. Ever. No major party has. Well, at least not in America.

There is no longer any soft way to pedal this, nor any way to deny it: the Republican party has become a fascist party. Their nominee is a fascist in every way that matters. They’ve also become a white nationalist party of the sort that ran South Africa during the apartheid era.

This is a party that has gone from high-minded ideals that I could at least understand, even if I disagreed with them, to a party that embraces-doesn’t just “not reject”, but outright embraces-a racist, sexist, anti-American, fascist agenda. There is no other rational way to look at this.

It’s very sad. I continue to believe that a decent, sane, conservative party that acknowledges science, isn’t under the sway of the religious right, and agrees that maybe, just maybe, taxes aren’t entirely evil, is essential to our country. Having the Democrats completely run the show isn’t a great idea. Loyal opposition is important.

It’s just a shame that the opposition right now is terribly disloyal to America and its ideals.

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