Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Campbell Brown calls on McCain Campaign to end Sexism

in their treatment of Sarah Palin. Great twist. Campbell Brown has stepped up to the plate a few times in the last few weeks. Good for her.

“Tonight I call on the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower that will wilt at any moment,” said Brown. “This woman is from Alaska for crying out loud. She is strong. She is tough. She is confident. And you claim she is ready to be one heart beat away form the presidency. If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now. Allow her to show her stuff. Allow her to face down those pesky reporters… Let her have a real news conference with real questions. By treating Sarah Palin different from the other candidates in this race, you are not showing her the respect she deserves. Free Sarah Palin. Free her from the chauvinistic chain you are binding her with. Sexism in this campaign must come to an end. Sarah Palin has just as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do. So let her act like one.”

HT: Notes From Off Center

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Conservative Commentator George Will eviscerates McCain

McCain Loses His Head
Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.


The political left always aims to expand the permeation of economic life by politics. Today, the efficient means to that end is government control of capital. So, is not McCain's party now conducting the most leftist administration in American history? The New Deal never acted so precipitously on such a scale. Treasury Secretary Paulson, asked about conservative complaints that his rescue program amounts to socialism, said, essentially: This is not socialism, this is necessary. That non sequitur might be politically necessary, but remember that government control of capital is government control of capitalism. Does McCain have qualms about this, or only quarrels?

On "60 Minutes" Sunday evening, McCain, saying "this may sound a little unusual," said that he would like to replace Cox with Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic attorney general of New York who is the son of former governor Mario Cuomo. McCain explained that Cuomo has "respect" and "prestige" and could "lend some bipartisanship." Conservatives have been warned.

Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Best First Wedding Dance Ever

This is too good to miss and I figure with all the bad economic news out there, we could all use a mental health break.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A true conservative comes out for Obama

I apologize for not writing my own thoughts on all this. They are coming. I'm too busy leading the phone bank effort here in West Chester and trying to recover from the power outage to give much more time to my blog. On the other hand, I do peruse the daily offerings of political speak that the Internet serves up to me and this one caught my attention. I wish I were as eloquent. As a lifelong conservative, THIS piece finally addresses my core anxieties about what has happened to the Republicans. It worries me deeply that some of my best friends who I consider good thinkers continue to buy the Republican line that they represent conservatism!

The second part of this article that especially connected with me is the writer's clarity about the kind of man that Obama is: prudent, wise, has read the Federalist Papers (has taught them!). It is in Obama's books (which he authors) that he gives the most comprehensive vision of how his viewpoint would address the core issues of our nation at this point in time. Obama may not resonate with all of the Republican ideological platform items, but he is not a reckless, "without blinking" politician who would rather rattle our sabers against perceived evil than thoughtfully deliberate how to best protect both our interests and our reputation.

A Conservative for Obama
THE MORE I LISTEN TO AND READ ABOUT “the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate,” the more I like him. Barack Obama strikes a chord with me like no political figure since Ronald Reagan. To explain why, I need to explain why I am a conservative and what it means to me...


But today it is so-called conservatives who are cemented to political programs when they clearly don’t work. The Bush tax cuts—a solution for which there was no real problem and which he refused to end even when the nation went to war—led to huge deficit spending and a $3 trillion growth in the federal debt. Facing this, John McCain pumps his “conservative” credentials by proposing even bigger tax cuts. Meanwhile, a movement that once fought for limited government has presided over the greatest growth of government in our history. That is not conservatism; it is profligacy using conservatism as a mask.

Today it is conservatives, not liberals, who talk with alarming bellicosity about making the world “safe for democracy.” It is John McCain who says America’s job is to “defeat evil,” a theological expansion of the nation’s mission that would make George Washington cough out his wooden teeth.

This kind of conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse....


Barack Obama is not my ideal candidate for president. (In fact, I made the maximum donation to John McCain during the primaries, when there was still hope he might come to his senses.) But I now see that Obama is almost the ideal candidate for this moment in American history. I disagree with him on many issues. But those don’t matter as much as what Obama offers, which is a deeply conservative view of the world. Nobody can read Obama’s books (which, it is worth noting, he wrote himself) or listen to him speak without realizing that this is a thoughtful, pragmatic, and prudent man. It gives me comfort just to think that after eight years of George W. Bush we will have a president who has actually read the Federalist Papers.

Most important, Obama will be a realist. I doubt he will taunt Russia, as McCain has, at the very moment when our national interest requires it as an ally.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Harry Truman

"The underlying differences between the Republican and Democratic Parties boils down to a very simple thing. The Republicans believe that the power of the Government should be used, first of all, to help the rich and privileged people of this country. With them property comes first. The Democrats believe that the powers of the Government should be used to give the common man some protection, and a chance to make a decent living. With the Democrats the people come first.

"The Democratic Party is a political organization that has a heart--it cares about the people--it cares about all the people, rich and poor alike. The Republican Party is ruled by a little group of men who have calculating machines where their hearts ought to be.

"Sometimes the Republicans aid their clientele by special favors--like the rich man's tax cut bill which was passed by the 80th Congress over my veto--or like their attempts to give away the Nation's oil resources to all the big oil interests.

"Sometimes the Republicans aid their special friends by doing nothing--by a philosophy of each man for himself and the devil take the hindmost. That's why they've fought such measures as minimum wage laws, social security, and the protection of the right of labor unions to organize. All these things and others like them have been opposed by the Republicans."

Harry S Truman
October 6, 1952

I don't know if this is a true quote for Truman. I've tried to find it on the Internet for confirmation but to no avail. I read it in the comments section of an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. Regardless, I thought it worth discussing. I agree with the overarching theme - that the Republicans seem to believe that providing for and protecting the interests of those with property (and wealth) is better for the rest of us than looking out for the common person in the middle and lower classes. The rhetoric goes that when you give monetary breaks to those who create jobs, they will pass along the wealth to the consumers and to their employees which will in turn foster healthy economic growth.

That's not what happens, as we can see by the ever expanding gap between what CEOs of corporations earn versus the wage earners they pay at the low end. I found this information from 2005:
  • CEO compensation is out of orbit: At the 350 largest public companies, the average CEO compensation is $9.2 million. Compensation for oil and gas execs increased by 109 percent between 2003 and 2004.
  • In 2004, the average CEO received 240 times more than the compensation earned by the average worker. In 2002, the ratio was 145 to 1.
  • These levels of CEO compensation are not the norm for the industrialized world. Typically, CEO pay in other industrialized countries is only about onethird of what American CEOs make.
  • Highly-compensated CEOs are not being rewarded for performance with the interests of shareholders in mind, the “textbook” explanation of CEO compensation, according to an extensive body of research and reporting.
  • After-tax profits are booming and corporate America can easily afford to offer fair wages and benefits to rank and file employees. Unfortunately, while CEOs have enriched themselves, middle-class families have taken hard hits to their paychecks, their health coverage, and their pension plans.
Something's not right. And I don't know why we think that the Republicans will be motivated to fix it.

Also, don't you find it scary to think that we've been urged to tie our retirement earnings to the stock market rather than retaining our social security?

Politico's Elizabeth Drew

writes a piece (after having authored the book Citizen McCain... and is clearly a fangirl) that shows her disappointment in her candidate.

How John McCain Lost Me
While McCain’s movement to the center was widely popular (if not on the right) – and he even flirted with becoming a Democrat – there’s now strong reason to question whether it was anything but a temporary, expedient tactic. (In his 2002 memoir, “Worth the Fighting For,” he wrote, revealingly, “I didn’t decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I’d had the ambition for a long time.”)

When he decided to run for president in 2008, he felt he couldn’t win without the support of the right, so he adapted.

In retrospect, other once-hailed McCain efforts – his cultivation of the press (“my base”) and even his fight for campaign finance reform (launched in the wake of his embarrassment over the Keating Five scandal) now seem to have been simply maneuvers. The “Straight Talk Express” – a brilliant p.r. stroke in 2000 – has now been shut down.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ah the joys of the lightbulb

In honor of Thomas Edison, after our power returned, I cuddled the lowly light bulb and turned it on. What a difference!

Today I face a mountain of email after being away all yesterday assembling IKEA furniture in Johannah's college apt. She has three feisty roommates (as all girl roommates-in-college-apts. ought to be if at all possible). We purchased a futon and screwed the frame together with a power drill... my first solo drill-age outing. Drill, baby, drill!

The sun is out, the air is cool, I ate the newly discovered oatmeal in an adorable cup at Starbucks (yes, I'm a sucker for good packaging as all southern Californians worth their sea salt are) with my tall one pump decaf vanilla latte. I allowed the sun to bathe my back. Ahhhhhh. There are so few days left like this. I've got my solar panels hooked to my spine to soak up the last rays in time for the per youzh dark winter days rapidly advancing.

More Obama soon, I promise. Coming up: Why Obama is qualified to be president, even if you doubt his experience.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Power out in Cincinnati

Over one million without power now in Cinci, due to the ravages of Ike. Findlay Market (right across the street from my church downtown!) caught fire and several of the buildings adjacent as well. Hope my church is okay. :(

We are all congregating at Panera in the great Y2K diaspora, 8 years late. Wi-fi and hot coffee have drawn every small business owner and "out of school" teen to the electricity-providing bagel place.

We may be without electricity for a week. It's all McCain's fault, by the way. And Bush's. You know if Palin is such an energy expert, where is she? Hmm? Just sayin'.

Anyway, one more reason to vote Obama, obviously.

See you soon, I hope!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Facts about their tax plans

One of the chief reasons my Republican family is voting McCain is that they think Obama will raise their taxes. And, perhaps he will, since some members of my family make a whole lot of money (a lot more than the typical middle class family who earns less than $250,000 per year). If, however, you fall into that vast group of families who earn under the quarter million a year mark, there is good news for you. Obama will help you more.
McCain's new ad says that Obama plans to impose "painful tax increases on working American families" and past ads have said Obama wanted to raise taxes on "families" making just $42,000 a year.

Here's the truth: Obama's plan would substantially cut taxes to all but the wealthiest families — far more than McCain's tax plan would. But if you're yearning for some more hefty tax cuts for the nation's rich, then McCain's your man.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has analyzed both campaigns' tax plans and found that Obama's would cut taxes for 81.3 percent of all households and for 95.5 percent of households with children.

Going with Obama's plan, according to the center, would reward middle-income taxpayers to the tune of $2,200 in tax cuts annually by 2012. While taxpayers in the top 1 percent of income would face an average tax increase of $19,000.

Under McCain's tax plan, middle-income taxpayers would see a rise of $1,400 in after-tax income by 2012. But for those in the top 1 percent, McCain would cut their taxes by more than $125,000 annually.

McCain's plan would increase the national debt by $5-trillion by 2018, while Obama's plan would increase it by $3.5-trillion, according to the center. Yet McCain's ads warn that Obama's plan would bring about "years of deficits."
Check out the whole article.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Obama's foreign policy judgment

In light of Sarah Palin's interview with Gibson last night and this a.m., everyone is talking foreign policy. One pressing question may be: How can Obama address our international concerns when Illinois can't see a single foreign country from any of its borders?

Andrew Sullivan today offers a run-down on the foreign policy judgments Obama has offered over the last year. Each one had been "smacked down" as being misguided... until Bush decided to adopt them himself.
The Bush administration - when guided by the saner forces within it such as Gates and Rice - eventually follows Obama's advice. In that sense, Obama has been president for quite a while already. And proving he could be a shrewd, pragmatic and prescient one.
Read it all. Discussing foreign policy is not a quiz to see if you know the right policy answers based on your party's established viewpoint. It's a question of keen interest, thoughtful reflection, investigation into the dynamics of each region and how they impact each other and our national security, filtered through superior and sober judgment. One reason I'm an Obama fan.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Another look at Palin from an Alaskan native

The following is a diary from dkos that shares one woman's experience of Sarah Palin. She admits up front that she is an Obama supporter and she tries to give a fair treatment of Sarah by sharing both good and bad impressions of her work in AK.

Sarah Palin: My Alaskan Opinion

Investigative journalist looks at Palin

This article is the first of its kind that I've seen and I don't have any way to verify it. Take it for what it's worth (I can't reprint the lead; too despicable). I expect we'll see a lot more investigation into Palin's reputation etc. in AK since she is currently unwilling to meet with the press.

60 days to go...

And my email and facebook message box is filling up. Even though it's been obvious that I've thrown my support behind Obama for months, friends, Internet contacts, former neighbors, even family are asking me why.

A good question. Having voted Republican every single election except my first (when I liked Carter better than Reagan), it's surprising for some to discover that I'm not only disgruntled with Bush and co. but that I've jumped the fence to whole-heatedly back a Democrat, to work for Obama's campaign, not just to vote for him.

Over the next little bit, I want to talk about why I've switched teams and how Obama helped me to do so. I also want to ask in all sincerity some questions of our undecideds and Republican-leaning readers. I hope you'll share.

We've only got a few weeks left to decide this thing. We've got to get it right. McCain or Obama will be our next president. Not Biden. Not Palin. (Barring tragedy) The most important question to ask between now and then has to be: "Is it right to give another four year chance to the Republicans after 8 years of Bush?" (Bush, who lied about intelligence, WMD's, Iraq's role in terrorism, who has violated the Geneva convention in using torture against our prisoners, and who has allowed the economy to tank.)

One of the things Americans are good at is holding those they elect accountable. That's why congress swings from Democratically controlled to Republican and back. That's why it's hard for one party to win back-to-back-to-back presidential elections, if the incumbent has dropped the ball.

We expect better and we are anxious about empowering any one person or party with too much faith, too much trust, too much power!

This election ought to be a blow out for the Democrats. And it may yet be. President Bush has the lowest approval rating on record (29%). We have a struggling economy (record highs for unemployment just yesterday and the Dow struggling) and an unpopular war. That's usually enough.

But the difference maker this time is that there is an unacknowledged anxiety around electing a black man (just to point out - half black and half white). I'm running into it more and more. I heard from a CA friend recently who wrote to me that she thinks Obama is a terrorist! Really? Like the U. S. gov't. would allow a known terrorist (a convicted terrorist) to run for president?

A local friend of Jon's told him that he could never cast a vote for a "black man." On my canvasing route last week, I ran into the "But how can I trust Obama?" meme several times. I have yet to hear anyone ask that question of McCain (the "can he be trusted?" question), yet his campaign, vice presidential candidate and current president with whom he has proudly voted 90% of time have all lied directly to the American people. Somehow McCain's "trustworthiness" is not an issue.

The widespread, unrelenting, willful ignorance of the electorate as relates to Obama can only be explained by the unconscious anxiety that a half black man creates in white voters. Fortunately, the under 30 set seem oblivious to skin color. They love Obama and they can't relate to McCain.

I invite you over the next couple of weeks to share your thoughts and to think about why Obama is the better choice for president over McCain and his Republican party, no matter how "maverick" he wants you to believe he is. My aim is to at strip away the mischaracterizations of Obama that persist, to give reasonable support to how a conservative could vote for a democrat this time around and to expose the hypocrisy of the Republican party. Should be fun. :)

Friday, September 05, 2008

How Obama explains his community organizing

Question: How is community organizing relevant for the presidency?

This is very curious. They haven't talked about the fact that I was a civil rights lawyer, or taught constitutional law, my work in the state legislature, or US Senate, they focused on this 3 years where I worked as a community organizer, right out of college. As if I'm making the leap from 2-3 years out of college to the presidency.

I would argue that doing work in the community, trying to create jobs, rejuvenate the communities that have fallen on hard times, bringing people together, set up job training programs in areas that have been hard hit where the steel plants have closed—that's relevant only in understanding where I'm coming from, who I believe in, who I'm fighting for and why I'm in this race.

The question I have for them is: Why would that kind of work be ridiculous?

Who are they fighting for?

What are they advocating for?

Do they think that the lives of those folks struggling each and every day, that working with them to try and improve their lives is somehow not relevant to the presidency?

I think that is part of the problem, that they are out of touch and don't get it because they haven't spent much time working on behalf of those folks.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Community Organizing

I wanted to make one comment about Sarah's point that Community Organizing is somehow not a job with responsibilities (like being mayor) and that it is not worth putting on a resume of service to the country.

I was reading along at a political blog site where a woman called "Homeschool marm" made the remark that community organizing might be a worthwhile resume item if running for dog catcher, but not president of the United States. Her comment stunned me even more than Palin's weak snipe.

Any of the movements that the right cares about have been fostered and advanced through community action. Homeschooling as a free and clear right in all 50 states came through grassroots, jail time, trials and activism. My goodness - homeschoolmarm wouldn't even have the moniker she bears online without community organizing. The pro-life movement (pregnancy crisis centers, Operation Rescue, abstinence only movement) all owe their existence to community organizing. Campaigning for McCain requires community organizing - that's all campaigns are!

We don't even need to cite women's suffrage, the Civil Rights movement, unions and both sides of the gay marriage debate.

I find it utterly incredible that someone wanting to lead the country would caricature and put down Obama's choice (after being editor of the Harvard law Review) to give his first years of adulthood to serving the needs of inner city poor through community organizing as though that was somehow small potatoes compared to the noble service of being a mayor in Wasilla. Why must these compete for merit?

Meanwhile, Obama refuses to attack her family, asks his campaign to leave them in peace and has yet to make a single snide remark about her speech. I think he's still waiting to hear where she stands on issues, like the rest of us.

Update: Aha, apparently I'm not the only one wanting to defend the value of community organizing.

Here's a fact check for Palin's speech assertions and record

for those who emailed and asked (from Yahoo):

Attacks, Praise Stretch Truth

PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."

Obama's legislative record

Palin over-reaches and lies about Obama's record:

Andrew Sullivan has a great round up of Obama's legislative experience.
At last count, sponsorship of 820 laws in Illinois, and authorship of 152 bills and co-sponsorship of 427 in Washington. The 2007 Ethics Reform bill alone cannot be dismissed as simply non-existent. And since part of Palin's own claim to substance is an ethics reform bill, it seems extremely weird that she should believe that Obama's record is a total zero.

Politics: My busy head speaketh

Here's where I am this week.

How can we possibly reward the Republicans with four more years of governing? Really, how in good conscience can anyone do that? There seem to be two key reasons people still support the Republican ticket.

1) Lower taxes. Somehow these R's have convinced everyone that they won't raise taxes. They believe that life will be less expensive under Republicans. Even George41 couldn't keep his "Read My Lips" promise after the Gulf War. Do you really think this new administration won't have to raise taxes to pay for a war that has cost us 10 BILLION dollars per month? There will be taxes. There will be new taxes. And both Dems and Reps will vote for them.

Additionally, let's look at the "tax rebate" from Bush this year. If you take into account the gas price hikes, the foreclosures, the job losses, the creeping inflation, how far does $1800 for a family like ours go? For other families? The Republicans may pretend they have your financial well-being at heart, but they are responsible for the horrendous mess we're in right now that makes the cost of living too high and the stakes too risky. Lower taxes in the form of inadequate rebates are unhelpful when gas prices make your pay check shrink every week.

Even more, why are we so fixated on taxes? The Republicans pretend that they care about the Middle Class - yet they haven't even mentioned the middle class by name once in their convention so far! I phone banked last night and the anger and outrage by disgruntled Ohio Republicans was palpable! One lady basically yelled for twenty minutes about how she felt taken advantage of by the R's for her Christian beliefs... and that they couldn't care less about her currently in-peril job at the Ford plant, the fact that she's going into debt to pay for gas to drive to work and that she is literally one pay check away from foreclosure. Near tears, she couldn't imagine how she could vote for McCain yet she's voted Republican her entire life.

Which brings me to my second point:

2) Being Prolife.

Final comment of the disgruntled R caller: And I'm pro-life so what am I supposed to do?

The real problem for these Republicans who feel betrayed by their party is their fidelity to the pro-life commitment. They have been so deeply influenced by the arch-conservative leadership of their churches and party that they literally feel they are breaking with Jesus and will be destined for hell to vote for a pro-choice candidate. I understand this. This is how I voted Bush instead of Kerry last time, making my decision IN the voting booth itself. I couldn't bring myself to pull the lever for a Democrat.

But let's talk about what it means to be "pro-life." Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis and Rick Warren all talk about being "whole life." This is not just "fetal" protection, but genuine care for human beings from start to finish. The Republicans have successfully scared voters into voting "pro-life" as their wedge issue for thirty years while virtually doing nothing about it.

Legislating against abortion will not happen this cycle either, even with Supreme Court Justice picks. That's because the country is not ardently pro-life. The idea of putting a 16 year old girl in jail for attempting an abortion will not sit well with Americans. Criminalizing abortion when there is still vigorous debate over what constitutes the start of life will only exacerbate the culture wars, not resolve them.

Remember Sandra Day O'Connor, selected by Reagan, to be our "conservative" justice who would help overturn Roe v. Wade? How did that work out? Don't bet on Mccain whose record is pro-choice, not pro-life, to pick arch conservative justices. Not going to happen.

Creating a compassionate, more just society where unwed mothers can find the services they need to have their babies is the way to curb abortions. Becoming an advocate for whole life (pregnancy, birth, maternal and childhood healthcare) is how mothers-to-be can face the demands of child-bearing and rearing without anxiety and fear.

Now is not the time to reward these Republicans who think they can pretend that the liberals are the problem with Washington when they have been in power for 8 years!! The cheek!

We can't vote on money (whether we are taxed more and by whom) and we can't vote on abortion (because neither side will actually bring legislative change). Both of these issues have been grossly misused by Republicans to convey power to themselves. They have little respect for the Americans who put them in office.

It's time to put them on notice. They have to earn our votes, not just count on them.

And what did I think of Sarah Palin's speech?

She's got panache, spunk. Love the accent. I don't have any idea what her views are on, well, anything. I was expecting her to go over the McCain platform. I don't mind hearing what she did as governor, but she made misstatements. She was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. She left her town with millions of dollars of debt after she left it. She has used lobbiests to get earmarks for Alaskans. I don't mind if she changes her views. I just wish she'd say so.

I hate cheap shots politics and I especially don't like sniping by a virtual unknown in the political world. She spoke as though she and Obama knew each other and she could offer some kind of window into his soul. McCain can do that. She shouldn't, imho.

I do think her family is beautiful-looking and that she will appeal to small town families. I don't know how that qualifies her to be vice-president.

We did find on the phones for Obama last night that suburban moms in my city don't like the Palin pick and can't relate to her at all. That was startling. Didn't expect it. Also discovered that the couple of Hillary supporters we talked to are offended by the comparison of Sarah to Hill and they are now breaking for Obama. And then, of course, we had many McCain supporters (lifers in the Republican party) who wouldn't talk to us. :) That's West Chester for you.

By the way, my favorite comment on the speech last night came from Rick via txt message this a.m. (woke me up!): She jumped the shark.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Gawd, Country, Bush, POW, Gawd, and even Clinton

get the most applause at the RNC tonight. Lieberman actually commended Clinton's record, though applause were polite, not enthusiastic.

McCain's POW experience was not described as torture by either Bush or Thompson. Sullivan points out that this may have been accidental, but the truth is, the techniques used on McCain are currently used by our own government.

I love the big screen (stroke of genius). Don't love the speeches.

I'll write more tomorrow. There's so much going on in my head about these two weeks of politics. Join me then for a journey through my very busy head.

Rick Neuheisel can exhale now

Gary A. Vasquez/US PRESSWIRE

Bruins beat Vols 27-24 in OT

What a game... er, 4th quarter and OT. The Bruins' brand-spanking new QB, Kevin Craft, sent groans through the Rose Bowl after an atrocious first half wherein he tossed up four miserable interceptions. Boos followed him to the locker room.

Somehow, someway as a result of Neuheisel's commitment to relentless optimism, his reminder that he threw four interceptions in his first game as a college QB (I couldn't help but wonder which sports investigative journalist is going to track down that fact - is it mythology or rooted in reality?), Craft got back in the driver's seat, demonstrated that he has the essential, magic quality of a great QB (amnesia!), and led that team to two TDs (one drive flawless with 6 for 6 completed passes).

The two minute drill looked masterful! This is not Dorrell's Bruins who managed to squander 3rd and long every damned time they were confronted with one. This time Norm Chow created the tricks, the spin, the fun that made Bruin football a pleasure to watch and now to anticipate.

Gene Wojciechowski gets it right.
Don't ask how -- I'm not sure Craft even knows -- but the first half from hell turned into the second half from heaven. Craft began throwing completions, this time to his own teammates. And by the end of UCLA's 27-24 overtime win, Craft had become part of gutty little Bruin football lore...

Craft's second-half total: 18 of 25 for 193 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions. By game's end he had completed passes to nine different Bruins receivers. He also had withstood everything Tennessee and the crowd could heave his way.