C-SPAN has gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Democratic convention for those times you prefer to hear the speakers instead of talking heads. C-SPAN's convention coverage is also online. Day 2 (Wednesday) begins at 4:50 pm ET. The schedule of speakers & events -- it has times today! -- is here. ...
E. J. Dionne: The Democratic convention "should be seen as a three-day tutorial designed not only to defend President Obama's economic stewardship but also to advance a view of government for which, over the past 40 years, Democrats have often apologized ... with Republicans putting forward the most emphatically pro-business, anti-government agenda since the Gilded Age.... Building their convention around an out-of-context quotation from Obama, Republicans offered a counter-theme, 'We built it.' But the message of Tampa often came off more as: 'We own it.'"
Michael Crowley of Time: "Bill Clinton's blockbuster speech is the highlight of a week that so far feels like a home run derby. One after another, Democratic speakers have been making full contact with the ball -- and their audiences. Anyone who's been watching at home must sense how much more energy is roiling here than it was [at the Republican convention] in Tampa. Republicans have been the 'motivated' ones in recent years, but the past two weeks suggest something might be shifting."
Bill Clinton's speech is worth hearing in its entirety. It's a piece of Americana. The New York Times has the transcript:
... Tim Noah of The New Republic: "Clinton Is Better than Obama at Explaining Why Obama Is Better than Clinton." ...
... Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times: Clinton's "commanding presence, his let’s-just-chat manner, the familiar sound of his southern growl were the perfect counterpoint to the Republican Party's assault on President Obama at its convention in Tampa last week. He skewered the Republicans gently, biting his lower-lip in characteristic fashion. He spoke more in sorrow than in anger -- while also making it clear that the Republicans had almost destroyed the country and now want to finish the job." ...
... Jonathan Bernstein in the Washington Post: "Bill Clinton tonight showed them all how it's done. He gave a master class in how to combine folksy and poetic language, stinging one-liners and policy nuance, empathy and rip-roaring partisanship. It was as good as it gets."
... Greg Sargent: "...it looks plausible that Clinton's unique role as 'referee,' and the authority he has among the undecided voters Obama needs, may have enabled him to go some way towards redefining this race." ...
... Joe Conason of the National Memo: Romney & Ryan must be sorry today they've been citing Bill Clinton as a model president. ...
... Ditto Joan Walsh of Salon: "Republicans will rue the day they dragged Bill Clinton into this fight with their welfare reform lies and their silly claims that Obama is a socialist defiling Clinton's centrist legacy. Clinton can say things Obama can't. He vividly laid out the depth of the economic challenge his successor faced, as well as the right-wing hatred."
Elizabeth Warren was the "warm-up act for President Bill Clinton":
... Sports! Steve Kornacki of Salon: Warren gave an excellent speech -- "the most direct attack on Wall Street yet heard at the convention" -- but she may have been upstaged by conflicting sports programming.
Sandra Fluke speaks to the DNC:
Sister Simone Campbell addresses the Democratic convention:
Thanks to Akhilleus for reminding us that Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, did indeed kick ass:
Rich Trumpka, President of the AFL-CIO, addresses the convention:
The Best Fucking News Team on Television develops a new Obama 2012 campaign slogan:
Obama will be in the convention hall Wednesday evening, according to MSNBC. (No link.)
Kevin Liptak of CNN: "In a rare display of just how quickly a tightly scripted national political convention can unwind, Democrats on Wednesday struggled to complete a voice vote amending their party platform to include language referring to Jerusalem and God. It took three attempts from Democratic National Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa before the platform was amended, and a loud chorus of delegates yelling 'no' met each attempt to pass the changes by voice vote." ...
... Jessica Yellin of CNN: "Democrats voted to update their party's platform Wednesday evening at their convention to include a reference to Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, as well as the insertion of the word 'God,' neither of which was included in their platform this year but was in previous platforms. President Barack Obama himself intervened regarding the Jerusalem language...." ...
... David Atkins of Hullabaloo explains how the change went down. ...
... David Dayen of Firedoglake: "The Republican noise machine, then, successfully changed the Democratic platform document, a day after the fact. For context, there were lots and lots of liberals who spoke out about deficiencies in the platform, on housing, on civil liberties, on all kinds of subjects. None of them merited a change. But when one Weekly Standard writer and a group of trolls carp, Democrats leap to attention."
Gail Collins writes this & that about the convention. Eventually she gets around to endorsing higher taxes.... Collins' column has been totally updated to incorporate her reflections on Bill Clinton's speech. CW: first time I've ever seen that happen with a column.
The Pew Research Center has released public reactions to the Republican convention. Biggest highlight: Mitt Romney's Clint Eastwood's speech.
Women, you need to wake up. Women have to ask themselves who is going to ... be there for you. I can promise you, I know that Mitt will be there for you, he will stand up for you, he will hear your voices, he knows how to fix an economy, he's a can do kind of guy, he's a turnaround guy. -- Ann Romney ...
... Steve Benen: "There are ... key flaws to the pitch.... Mitt Romney's jobs plan doesn't really exist beyond vague platitudes and promises of tax cuts for the wealthy.... Romney's platform is a disaster for women's health; Romney doesn't have the spine to endorse the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; Romney won't endorse the pending Violence Against Women Act; Romney took the coward's way out when Limbaugh targeted Sandra Fluke; Romney has offered support for a 'Personhood' measure that's so extreme it would ban some forms of birth control; Romney intends to destroy the Affordable Care Act, which would be a huge setback millions of women; and Romney's running mate has one of the worst voting records on women's issues in Congress."
Travis Waldron of Think Progress: "San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro cited a well-known study from the Tax Policy Center when he stated that Republican candidate Mitt Romney's tax plan would 'raise taxes on the middle class.' FactCheck.org, however, found that claim to be misleading because Romney 'has promised he won't' raise middle-class taxes.... It is absurd to base that conclusion on the candidate's promises. Romney has, indeed, promised not to raise taxes on the middle class. But he has also promised that his tax plan will maintain current revenue levels. Those promises, by any measure, are totally incompatible, something the Tax Policy Center study made abundantly clear.... FactCheck.org needs to check its own facts instead of relying on baseless promises from political candidates." ...
... CW: I think FactCheck.org is just taking its place in the media-wide effort to be "bipartisan." Republicans lied, so they have to find some Democratic "lies," even if the only "fact" the so-called fact-checkers have on their side is Mitt Romney's promise to do the impossible. If you'd like to know how normal people can vote Republican, blame the "bipartisan" media. ...
... NEW. The Worst "Fact-Check" in History???. Matt Apuzzo & Tom Raum of the AP:
CLINTON: "Their campaign pollster said, 'We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.' Now that is true. I couldn't have said it better myself -- I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad."
THE FACTS: "Something, something, Monica Lewinsky, something."
We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers. -- Neil Newhouse, Romney pollster, way last week.
CW: I have no idea what the AP reporters are objecting to. I guess they're just being "bipartisan."
** Lee Fang of the Nation: while leading the charge against ObamaCare, Paul Ryan requested funds from the program. His plea: "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." CW: I expect that's true. Since Ryan has voted to repeal & defund the ACA, obviously that means he thinks it's okay to leave "patients of all ages ... without health care."
Chloe Albanesius of PC Magazine: "Hackers today said they gained access to the network file servers of Pricewaterhouse Coopers and stole tax documents for ... Mitt Romney. A spokeswoman for the firm, however, said there is currently no evidence of a hack.... A spokesman for the Secret Service confirmed that the agency was investigating the report."
Nicholas Kristof grades President Obama's job performance.
Adam Serwer of Mother Jones: the percentage of Guantanamo ex-prisoners who return to terrorist activities is much lower among those released during the Obama administration than during the Bush administration.
Ben Swann, a reporter at Fox 19 Cincinnati, shows the big boys how to analyze a politician's slick answers. Via Conor Friedersdorf (a libertarian) of the Atlantic. Swann really shows viewers how President Obama dissembles when Swann asks him about kill lists & drone strikes. Obama must think he can get away with it with a rube reporter; after all, network reporters let him get away with it all the time.
Other News & Opinion
Miranda Green of Newsweek reports on the "juiciest bits" from Bob Woodward's new book on the debt crisis. CW: Nothing very juicy. Woodward, top Very Serious Person, thinks we should care that President Obama hurt the feelings of those honorable fellas Eric Cantor & Paul Ryan. How did he hurt their wittle feewings? He said no to their nonsense. According to Green, "The president's arrogance is described many times in the book as having a negative effect." Why, oh why, am I reading "uppity black" into Woodward's white-bread interpretation. Arrogance, like every human trait, knows no color, but what Woodward -- perhaps vicariously -- describes as "arrogance" sounds to me like "standing his ground" against GOP intransigence, something most of us think the President did too little, not too much. ...
... Rick Klein of ABC News has a longer overview of Woodward's book. CW: doesn't sound to me as if there's a lot of news in the book; I've heard most of this before.
Turns out that even in Tennessee, you can't go around brandishing a loaded AK-47 in a public park.
New York Times: "A Roman Catholic bishop was found guilty on Thursday of failing to report suspected child abuse, becoming the first American bishop in the decades-long sexual abuse scandal to be convicted of shielding a pedophile priest. In a hastily announced bench trial that lasted a little over an hour, a judge found the bishop, Robert W. Finn, guilty on one misdemeanor charge and not guilty on a second charge.... Bishop Finn was sentenced to two years of court-supervised probation."
Washington Post: "Western spy agencies suspect Syria's government has several hundred tons of chemical weapons and precursor components scattered among as many as 20 sites throughout the country, heightening anxieties about the ability to secure the arsenals in the event of a complete breakdown of authority in the war-torn nation, U.S. and Middle Eastern officials say."
Washington Post: "Amazon sent a shot across Apple's bow Thursday with the introduction of a 4G tablet that's hundreds of dollars cheaper than the iPad. Actually, the company introduced four tablets and a new e-reader: the light-up Kindle Paperwhite e-ink reader, a new version of the Kindle Fire and three versions of an enhanced tablet called the Kindle Fire HD."
New York Times: "The European Central bank took its most ambitious step yet toward easing the euro zone crisis, assuming sweeping new powers to throw its unlimited financial clout behind an effort to protect Spain and Italy from financial collapse."
New York Times: "A federal judge on Thursday approved a settlement with three major publishers in a civil antitrust case brought by the Department of Justice over collusion in e-book pricing, paving the way for a war over the cost of digital books in the coming months."
AP: "Human Rights Watch said it has uncovered evidence of a wider use of waterboarding in American interrogations of detainees than has been acknowledged by the United States, in a report Thursday that details further brutal treatment at secret CIA-run prisons under the Bush administration-era U.S. program of detention and rendition of terror suspects."
Space.com: "NASA's Dawn probe has departed the huge asteroid Vesta, its orbital home for the past year, to begin a journey to its next destination: the dwarf planet Ceres. Dawn's asteroid-mapping mission aims to shed light on the evolution of our solar system by studying huge space rocks, which scientists think are its leftover building blocks."