Archive for August 2008

1942 Joe Biden born.
1964 Sarah (Heath) Palin  born.
1965 Biden graduates from University of Delaware in history and political science.
1966 Neilia Hunter marries Joe Biden.
1968 Biden graduates law school.
1969 Admitted to Delaware bar, Biden begins practicing law.
1970 Biden elected Castle County councillor.
1972 Biden wins election to United States Senate, the fifth youngest senator in U.S. history.
1972 Joe Biden’s wife and daughter killed in automobile collision.
1977 Biden marries Jill Jacobs.
1982 Palin on team that wins Alaska small-school basketball championship.
1984 Palin wins Miss Wasilla, Alaska beauty pageant and then wins runner-up Miss Alaska.
1987 Joe Biden becomes chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
Biden runs for Democratic nomination for president.
Palin graduates from University of Idaho in journalism and political science.
1988 Sarah and Todd Palin marry.
1994 Senate passes Biden Crime Law (Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act)
1992 Palin serves as Wasilla, Alaska, councillor.
1996 Palin becomes Wasilla mayor.
1999 Palin elected president Alaska Conference of Mayors
2001 Biden becomes chairperson of the U.S Senate Committee on Foriegn Relations.
2002 Biden wins sixth Senate term.
Biden votes for military force against Iraq.
2003 Palin appointed Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
2006 Palin beats the incumbent governor for the Republican nomination.
Palin elected Alaska’s youngest governor and first female governor.
2007 Biden runs for Democratic presidential nomination for second time.
2008 Joe Biden named Democratic running mate.
2008 Sarah Palin named Republican running mate.


Wasilla, Alaska, population 8,471, is the adopted home of its governor, Sarah Palin for 36 years, and is no backwater. As recent as 1994, fourty-five per cent of Alaskans voted to move the state capital from Juneau to the picturesque community of fishing boats, float planes, two lakes and a mountain view.
An hour’s drive to the south-west from Wasilla, finds you in the states’ largest city, Anchorage, and about a third of the working population of Wasilla make that commute.
Until now, likely the most notable celebrity to come out of Wasilla is April Flowers, exotic dancer and porn actress.
That is, until today. John McCain has picked his running mate and it is Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a Wasilla resident and governor of the State of Alaska since December, 2006. The hockey mom lives in Wasilla with her husband Todd, a First Nation Alaskan and oil patch worker on the North Slope.
McCain’s pick is a suprising choice. Not long ago Palin was a town council member, the former television sports reporter earning her journalism degree with scholarships in a 1984 state beauty pageant. She is a former Miss Wasilla, won Miss Congeniality, and went on to win runner-up Miss Alaska.
She has been turned out to be less than congenial in Alaskan politics, challenging the toughest and winning over long-time politicians, attacking high spending, and not afraid to dismiss entire boards to appoint her own to obtain favourable decisions.
She was never mentioned as a possible running mate for McCain, who chose her over the business-savvy Mitt Romney, swing state notablesTim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania and even former Gore running mate Joe Lieberman, who’s views on the Iraq war match McCain’s. Lieberman, a Democrat, endorsed McCain’s candidacy.
Palin lives her pro-life values. Even though Palin knew beforehand the chances of their youngest child, now just five months old, would be born with Down’s Syndrome, she became a mother for the fifth time.
The Palins’ oldest son, in the infantry, will ship out to Iraq in September.

If there was any lingering doubt, after Bill Clinton’s speech in support of the young, black, one-term junior senator from Illinois, that he  could be a competent commander-in-chief, the show of support by a parade of retired generals may have erased those doubts for Barak Obama.
Speaking for the generals, who were introduced by Susan Eisenhower, the granddaughter of one of the great Republican presidents of the 20th century, Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration said he had travelled with and had been impressed by the young Illinois senator. He said he admired his judgment, integrity, and that Obama had shown he understands the threats to America in the 21st century.
Just before, former Vice-president Al Gore reminded the crowd of 80,000 people at Mile High Stadium in Denver that another Illinois member of Congress had served eight years in the Illinois legislature, like Obama had, and hadn’t done so badly as a wartime commander-in-chief. That was the first of two references to Abraham Lincoln, an eloquent  man in an eloquent time, during the evening.
Gore spoke, as expected on the 21st century threat of global warming, but also reminded Americans of the Latin motto on the dollar, E Pluribus Unum, Out of Many, One, meaning every kind of American is one of us. The crowd was, after all, to witness an historic event. The first black man in American history to be nominated for president.
In the remaining few minutes before Obama’s acceptance speech, a half-dozen ordinary people, dressed living-room casually, pledged their support.
In one of the best speeches of the convention, brief though it was, a life-long Republican, Pam Cash-Roper, a retired nurse, said even though she worked in health care she could not afford health care. Her husband needed open heart surgery five years before and lost his job. With that job went the family’s health insurance. Then she got sick. Bills overwhelmed them.
“I can’t afford four more years like this. Can’t do it. Can’t do it,” she said.

That was the very sentiment Obama expanded upon in his acceptance speech, attacking the Republicans, mocking the trickle-down theory of Reaganomics, expressing concern for lost wages, exported jobs. In the lead-up to his speech on presented video, and in his speech, he told the crowd and the television audience that he understood and he was one of them and that the Republicans had failed them all.
“It is time for them to own their failure,” he said.
Expressing genuine respect for McCain’s military service, he stood above politics for a moment, with the words, “Patriotism has no party.”
But he noted that McCain’s voting record matched the politics of President G.W. Bush 90 per cent of the time.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to take a 10 per cent chance on change.”
The crowd roared.
The end of the speech was a reminder that day was the fourty-fifth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in Washington. His voice rose and one half-expected to hear him actually say those words, but he didn’t. But there is little doubt that most, if not all, of the 80,000 in that stadium thought it.

What better election plank than food safety?
Fifteen Canadians dead eating tainted lunch meat, and Canada’s Health Minister doesn’t pause in his playing Obama groupie in Denver, rather than considering the Maple Leaf Foods listeriosis crisis is crisis enough to come home to attend to.

All this on the heels of government plans to cut health inspections.
Luc Pomerleau, a Canadian Food Inspection Agency biologist and union steward, was fired last month for forwarding by e-mail to his union a note (apparently made public by accident), describing cabinet plans to cut government food inspection services while transferring more responsibility to the food industry.

Even with all this on its plate the government has shown it still doesn’t get it.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz had said Pomerleau may face charges, that he was no whistleblower, and that title should go to the individual who turned Pomerleau in.
No issue more clearly illustrates how government can be more than uncaring, but mean-spirited and dangerous.

The longest minority government in Canada’s history is about to end, with Prime Minister Steven Harper’s expected election call keeping Ottawa on the edge of its over-stuffed seat.
Parliament is in summer recess, due to reconvene September 15.
Four byelections are coming up soon, all in Ontario and Quebec, with three slated to take place on September 10 and one September 22.
An election call before then would cancel the byelections.
The possibility of an election call has been made almost certain as Governor-General Michaëlle Jean has been asked to stay in Canada, and cancel a trip to China she had scheduled for September 6 to 10.
A chief reason for Harper’s leaning toward an election is his complaint that parliament has been dysfunctional.
That complaint has had little credibility for months.
The May discovery of a 200-page Conservative handbook on how to disrupt parliamentary committees has already established the Conservatives, not the opposition have raised havoc with parliamentary committee process.

The Clinton’s double-teamed the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
The speech by Hillary Clinton Tuesday asked for Democrats to unite behind Obama, even declaring “Barak Obama is my candidate” but it was not a personal endorsement. It was a professional endorsement.
Just enough of her speech was self-promotion, what she worked for, what she would do as president, to keep the door ajar should something go wrong in November.
It was husband Bill the following night who made the personal endorsement, the former president nailing the questions on every delegates’ mind. Do you think Obama too young, too inexperienced? Do you think he can take that 3:00 a.m. telephone call? Do you think he has a good grasp of the issues?
Hillary stepped to the podium first, but answered none of those questions.
Instead, she strongly emphasized the need to elect a Democrat was urgent.

“This is a fight for the future. And it’s a fight we must win.
I haven’t spent the past 35 years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women’s rights at home and around the world … to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people.
And you haven’t worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership.
No way. No how. No McCain.
Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our president.

The “No way, no how, no McCain” sound bite effectively distances her from her diehard supporters, some of whom have said they will vote for McCain rather than vote for Obama.
To emphasize the urgency of making certain every vote was needed, toward the end of her speech, she said:

“We are Americans. We’re not big on quitting.
But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president.
We don’t have a moment to lose or a vote to spare.
Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance.”

Mid-speech, for 10 paragrahs, she told the convention why she ran for president. The list ended with these words and it was very cleverly done.

“Most of all, I ran to stand up for all those who have been invisible to their government for eight long years.
Those are the reasons I ran for president. Those are the reasons I support Barack Obama. And those are the reasons you should too.
I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him?”

One of the biggest complaints of Clinton was that she did not know when to quit, or when to bow out gracefully, that she thought the fight for the nomination was all about her and that the party came second, that she could not do the math, never knew when she had lost.
Those complaints came early. Canadian columnist Diane Francis pointed out during the race that Clinton was a spoiler and just didn’t care.

The convention was provided theatre when the state-by-state roll call, declaring who had won how many delegates, was expectedly halted by Sen. Clinton when it was New York’s turn. She asked the roll call be halted to make Obama the choice by acclamation.

It took husband Bill to make the personal endorsement in his speech, and to use the words of CTV’s Tom Clark at the convention, the former president “swallowed himself whole” in his full-throated, whole-hearted, support of Obama.

“And so, my fellow Democrats, I say to you: Barack Obama is ready to lead America and to restore American leadership in the world.
Barack Obama is ready to honor the oath, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States.”

He kicked away that 3:00 a.m. ad to say Obama was up for the job, by saying he, too, was criticized as a young newcomer to presidential politics.

“My fellow Democrats, 16 years ago, you gave me the profound honor to lead our party to victory and to lead our nation to a new era of peace and broadly shared prosperity.
Together, we prevailed in a hard campaign in which Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief.
Sound familiar?”

Obama, who made a suprise appearance after Joe Biden’s speech that mixed family pride with his apparent role as Democrat campaign attack dog, invited everyone to Mile High Stadium where he will speak tonight before 70,000 people to wrap up the now unified delegates.


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  • wordbeeps: No, he doesn't deserve an apology. Who tweets during a funeral? If you do, expect feedback. I didn't say the mourners were faking it. I think they we
  • Holly Stick: Look you fuckwit, are you too stupid to realise that Ghomeshi was an actual friend of Layton's, when you tweeted to him that the mourners were faking
  • aardvarkcola: Thank you. I see the rest of your message now. i'm honoured to to have your words on my blog. That alone is a delight. Lawrence