Friday, August 29, 2008

John McCain and Sarah Palin are the Republican Ticket for 2008

Live: Right now Governor Sarah Palin has stepped up to the mike to introduce herself to America and the world. John McCain spoke to the suffrage movement and the historical implications of this choice for the Republican ticket. Sarah Palin is now introducing her husband and family. She has been married for twenty years as of today. Over the next few days leading up to the Republican National Convention the Republican party will be working to introduce the voter to Sarah Palin.

CNN/MSNBC Reports: John McCain picks Sarah Palin Governor of Alaska

John McCain has chosen Governor Sarah Palin to be his Vice Presidential candidate. Sarah Palin is the mother of five children. One of her children is a person with a developmental disability, Down Syndrome. She is 44 years old and has been the Governor of Alaska for over a year. She has an 80% approval rating in her home state. Governor Palin is credited for cleaning up government in Alaska.

Governor Sarah Palin.

Waiting on McCain's Choice

Media is a buzz with guesses on who Senator John McCain will choose as his Vice Presidential running mate. The announcement will be made today in Dayton, Ohio. NBC, MSNBC, and CNN are reporting that Mitt Romney and Governor Pawlenty are not being tapped for the job.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain Will Announce His VP

Tomorrow Senator John McCain will announce his choice for Vice President. The announcement will be made in Dayton, Ohio. We will bring you that news when we have it. With one convention down there is still one to go. The Republican National Convention will begin on September 1.

Democratic National Convention Ends

The Democratic National Convention has come to a close. There will be more on disability policy issues that were discussed during this convention tomorrow.

Text of Barack Obama's Speech

Barack Obama, Illinois
Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 08:00 PM

To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation;

With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest - a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia - I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story - of the briefu nion between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women - students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives - on health care and education and the economy - Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors - the man who wrote his economic plan - was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.

Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President - when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great - a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.

What is that promise?

It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.

Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.

And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise.

And just as we keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice - but it is not the change we need.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America.

So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.

And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead - people of every creed and color, from every walk of life - is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.

Special thanks to the DNC.

Barack Obama Has Accepted the Nomination in a Historic Speech

Barack Obama has just completed his acceptance speech on a historic evening in Denver. He is now the first African American to be the Presidential candidate for a political party. We will be posting the text of Obama's speech on this site. It detailed his plan for education, healthcare, foreign policy, economic development and the environment including reducing America's dependence on oil.

Video Introduction: Barack Obama

The time for the "big" speech is almost here. First we have the traditional video introduction of the candidate. A retrospective that tells us who the candidate is, where he came from and why he believes what he believes.
This video will be followed by what is estimated to be a one hour speech by Obama that will detail his platform and plans for his presidency.

CNN Reports the Facts

Here is a cool fact. Almost 4 percent of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention are Americans with disabilities.

Tribute to Dr. King's "I Have a Dream Speech"

Representative John Lewis (D-Georgia) is introducing the tribute to Dr. King's "I Have a Dream Speech". Representative Lewis is a leader in the civil rights movement. "We must march like we have never marched before to elect the next president of the United States, Senator Barack Obama".

Day Four: Democrats Wrap Up their Convention Tonight

Representative Nancy Pelosi just called the last day of the Democratic National Convention to order. Here is what you can expect to see and hear this evening.
The convention has moved to Mile High Stadium/INVESCO field. This evening on the 45th Anniversary of Reverend Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream Speech", Senator Barack Obama will address an audience of 75,000 people and accept the Democratic Party nomination as their Presidential candidate.

Governor David Paterson's Address to the DNC

David Paterson
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 03:45 PM

Let me express my profound gratitude for the magnificent privilege of addressing this convention. I was born in Brooklyn, and I grew up in Harlem and on Long Island. I graduated from Hempstead High School, Columbia University, and Hofstra Law School. In 1985, I was elected to the New York State Senate. In 2006, I was elected Lieutenant Governor. And today, I am deeply honored to address this majestic assembly as Governor of New York State.

My story may be unique in its particular facts and events. But, in a fundamental way, it is not. For it is part of the promise of a glorious nation where anyone who works hard enough can make the most of their God-given potential. This is the promise of America.

What has become of this promise under President Bush? Since last summer, more than 1 million Americans have lost their homes. Wages are declining, while inflation is at a 17-year high. And, this year alone, 463,000 Americans have lost their jobs.

The promise of America has also diminished for people with disabilities. Only 37 percent of Americans with disabilities are employed. Only 30 percent of blind people are employed. And, over the past 8 years, the employment gap between people with disabilities and the general population has increased.

There is only one question in this race: which candidate offers the change we need to restore the promise of America? Is it John McCain? He claims that, under President Bush, we made “great progress economically.” In 2007, he voted with the Bush Administration 95 percent of the time.

Only one candidate in this race offers the change we need to restore the promise of America: a person of integrity, honesty, and love for his country, Barack Obama. Barack Obama has the right strategy—from middle class tax cuts, to fair trade policies, to investment in infrastructure-to get our economy moving again.

And just as he fought for people with disabilities as a civil rights lawyer, Barack Obama will fight for us as president. For example, he has pledged to work with Congress to overturn Supreme Court decisions that wrongly narrowed the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Here is the choice America faces in 2008. John McCain offers us four more years of the broken politics, broken policies, and broken promises of the past.

I have a better idea. Let’s give them four more months—and then elect Barack Obama, who will restore prosperity; deliver the change we need; and write a new chapter in the promise of America.

Special thanks to the DNC for posting this text.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Senator Joe Biden Closes the Evening

Senator Joe Biden has become the vice presidential candidate for the Democratic party.  In a speech that showed the nation the character of this public servant, Senator Joe Biden spoke to the need to never give up.  He spoke of his personal challenges, his wife and daughter both died in a tragic car accident and both of his sons were critically injured.  He was sworn into office as a junior senator at the bed side of his son Beau.

Joe Biden's speech was highlighted by his strong knowledge of foreign policy. His son Beau will be serving for one year in Iraq with JAG.  

At the end of the speech he was joined on stage by Barack Obama and his family.

Roll Call Update: Clinton Calls for Suspension of Rules and Unanimous Vote for Barack Obama as Presidential Candidate for the Democratic Party

New Mexico yielded its turn to Illinois so that they could cast their votes for Barack Obama.  This was followed by a historic moment when Hillary Clinton stepped to the mike and spoke for the state of New York.

She called for a suspension of the rules and for the party delegates to unanimously support the candidacy of Barack Obama as the presidential candidate of the Democratic party.

Rules were suspended.  A unanimous vote was taken and we have a presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket

Roll Call Update

Here is the update which includes the votes from Montana



2210 needed to nominate.

Florida Votes!!!

Florida with 211 votes!  Cast their  votes...166 for Barack Obama and 51 for Hillary Clinton with 1 vote abstaining.  

With a big warm welcome, the state of Florida cast its votes.  Its full votes.  This is a major victory for the state and it was very much in question heading into the convention. Florida had elected to move up its primary against the rules of the Democratic National Party.  This set off months of debate and discussion regarding how to handle a state's decision to push up a primary to gain political leverage.  The original penalty for Florida was to have no voting rights and after much negotiation the penalty was altered to 50% of votes to be counted.  As the convention began this was altered again to provide both the state of Florida and Michigan to have full voting rights this evening.

Watch the Roll Call Online


The Roll Call Vote Is Underway

The roll call vote begins. We start with Alabama and a brief speech by its representative.  They have 60 votes.  All votes will be counted this evening.

Representative Artur Davis (D-Alabama)

Representative Artur Davis sets the stage for the historic moment in US election history as the Democratic Party is about to officially put on its national ticket the first African American Presidential candidate.

Representative Davis is also hitting the major point of the evening which is the Iraq war.  The need to better serve and support our military men and women. 

Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Florida)

Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz hits the platform points in her speech seconding the nomination of Barack Obama.  Representative Wasserman-Schultz was a leading supporter of Hillary Clinton and was part of the Florida contingent that fought to have full voting rights restored to her state.

In her speech she hit all the talking points of the campaign: economy, education, housing, and employment.

Senator Ken Salazar Seconds the Nomination of Barack Obama

Senator Ken Salazar "no matter who you are, no matter where you come from anything is possible in America".  

Barack Obama is being Nominated

Michael Wilson, a registered Republican and an Iraq War Veteran who served in the Air Force as a medic is giving the nominating speech for Barack Obama.

Hilary Releases Delegates

Earlier today Hillary Clinton released her delegates to vote for the candidate of their choice and urged them to support Barack Obama.

Meanwhile...right now Hillary Clinton is being nominated to be President of the United States/

Day Three is Underway in Denver

Nominations for Presidential candidates are underway.  There are two names in nomination Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

There will be a "Roll Call" vote.

The Disability Message at the Democratic National Convention- Governor David Paterson

If you missed it last night, and you would have if you were not watching C-SPAN, you missed an electrifying speech by Governor David Paterson (New York).  Governor Paterson is the second legally blind Governor in US history and the first to deliver an address at the Democratic National Convention.

Governor Paterson addressed the growing difficulties with securing employment if you a person with a disability.  90% of all deaf Americans are unemployed. More than 37% of Americans with disabilities are unemployed.

C-SPAN's coverage of Governor Paterson's address to the Democratic National Convention.

Text of Governor Paterson's speech.

John McCain's Choice for Vice President?

All major news networks are reporting that Senator John McCain the presumptive Presidential candidate for the Republican Party will announce his vice presidential running mate on Friday.
One name that keeps coming up as a possible vice presidential candidate is Mitt Romney.  The Republican National Convention starts September 1, 2008.

What's On the Schedule for Day Three in Denver??

Tonight at the Democratic National Convention we will have the "Roll Call" vote.  A quick update on the standing of delegate votes for Florida and Michigan.  Both state will have full voting privldges this evening and will be seated on the floor.

A different roll call event: CNN, MSNBC and CSPAN are all reporting that the roll call vote will begin and then at some point Senator Hillary Clinton will stand and stop the process by requesting full delegate support of Barack Obama.

Where is Barack Obama you ask??? Well he just arrived in Denver.  His plane is right now on the tarmak at Denver International Airport.  He will not be at the convention center this evening.  

Who will be the big speeches to watch tonight??? President Bill Clinton and then the acceptance speech by Vice Presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden.

Topic for the evening??? Yesterday was healthcare, the economy, and education.  Expect tonight to be about foreign policy.

Hillary Clinton's Speech Closes Day 2

Senator Hillary Clinton gave the closing speech on Tuesday evening at the Democratic National Convention.  After a hard fought primary Mrs. Clinton stood up and addressed a packed auditorium with these words "No Way, No How, No Mc Cain".
Senator Clinton spoke about the importance of unifying behind Barack Obama and his message of hope and a strong America.  It was an important message as the convention moves into "Roll Call" night.
Senator Clinton's name will be put into nomination on Wednesday evening.  At some point during the roll call she will step up to stop the process directing the full delegation to support Barack Obama.

Video of Hillary Clinton's speech is available at C-SPAN.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Message from Katherine Marcano

Katherine Marcano from is discussing how her sister who has cerebral palsy has to wait for services. She attends school and works two jobs to help support her sister and her mother.  She just stated that she is tired of hearing that there is no funding for the services that can help her sister.

Now there is a story we can understand.

Picture Time at the Convention

Gotta love C-SPAN!  Right now they are showing the official taking of the commemorative panoramic photo.  What more can I say.....

Campaign Spin...

The Obama campaign is rolling out its new slogan.  During the primary the campaign used the phrase "The Change We Can Believe In".  During the Democratic National Convention that slogan has gotten a makeover into "The Change We Need".  

Day Two at the Democratic National Convention

Day two of the Democratic National Convention and the speakers are discussing the following topics, healthcare, education, downturns in the economy, the increase in home foreclosures, jobs moving out of the United States and the rising cost of college.

Tonight the Democratic Party platform for this election is being unveiled speech by speech.  This is basically the function of these party conventions. Each party gets a chance to showcase what they believe in and what their candidate will do if they are elected.  

There are some headliners tonight of interest.  The most talked about today in media circles is Senator Hillary Clinton.  MSNBC was reporting that as of late this afternoon Senator Clinton speech was still being worked on.  After a very tough and long primary this may be a pivotal evening for the political future of Senator Clinton and for the Obama campaign.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Democratic Convention Night One is Over

So..that is it for the evening.  We will be back tomorrow night to cover night two of the convention.  Between now and then we encourage you to register to vote if you have not done so already.  If you have registered to vote might we suggest you register a friend?

We encourage you to visit the websites of both Presidential candidate.  Here are the addresses...
John McCain.......and........Barack Obama.

Michelle Obama Takes the Stage

Michelle Obama was welcomed by overwhelming applause!! 

Opening comments from Michelle....
"I come here tonight as a sister, I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president, i come here as a mom my girls are the first thing I think about each morning and the last thing I think about each night."

" What struck me when I first met Barack was his funny name and that even though he grew up all the way in Hawaii, his family  was so much like mine. Raised by a single mom who struggled to pay the bills just like my family. You work hard for what you want in life, your word is your bond, you treat people with dignity and respect even if you do not know them or agree with them. "

This week we celebrate the 88th Anniversary of the Women's Right to Vote and 45th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech...
"Current of history meets the new tide of hope."

On the message of hope...
"Each of us  has something to contribute to the life of this nation and it is something that Barack shares it is at the heart of his work."

On the importance of this election....
"This time we listened to our hopes instead of our fears."

Mrs. Obama tonight introduced the American voter to her husband, Barack Obama's platform for President.  More importantly she introduced the American voter to the human story or the American story of Barack Obama.  She created a image of the candidate as a man who lived the American dream but had to work to achieve all of his goals.  She explained that his story, being raised by a single parent is a story that many share.  Her story, growing up in the south side of Chicago to parent who had to struggle to pay for college for their kids. Also an American story that many can relate too. In her speech this evening she also set out the issues that make up Barack's presidential platform which includes access to healthcare, education, economic stability, and a plan for Iraq.  

As Michelle Obama was speaking the camera panned the audience. There was complete attention on her message as she echoes the platform of change and restoring the American Dream. 

At the end of here speech Michelle Obama was joined on stage by her two daughters.

Then thanks to technology...a quick visit from Barack Obama via video hookup was broadcasted to the rousing applause of the audience.  The girls blew kisses at their dad and told him how much they love him. Just can't script that folks.....

Film Introducing Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama grew up on the south side of Chicago. To read more about her check out wikipedia or visit the Obama website.

Who closes out the evening????

Well...Senator Claire McCaskill is about to introduce her....Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama will close the evening by introducing the American viewer to her husband Barack Obama.  

Senator Harkin Signs A Special Thank You

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) opened his speech by using American Sign Language to acknowledge the many individuals with disabilities attending the Democratic National Convention.  He thanked them for coming to the convention and supporting Barack Obama.  Senator Harkin has been a tireless advocate for the ADA Restoration Act. 

Senator Edward M. Kennedy Makes His Return

Some words from Senator Edward M. Kennedy........

"It is so wonderful to be here. Nothing will keep me away from this special gathering tonight.  I have come here tonight to stand with you to change America to restore its future to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama President of the United Sates.  As I look ahead i am strengthened by family and friendship. Together we have know success and seen set back. But we have never lost our belief that we are called to a better world.  I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor of the US Senate as we begin a new administration."

"This is a season of hope for a just and fair prosperity for the many not just the few. This is the cause of my life, that we break the every American north south decent quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege. We can meet these challenges with Barack Obama yes we can and finally yes we will!"

"The work begins again and the dream lives on!"

Senator Kennedy was joined on stage by his family after a momentous and moving return to the political spotlight.

Welcome Back Senator Kennedy...

A Tribute to Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy has taken the stage to pay tribute to two people who have changed her life. Barack Obama and Edward Kennedy.

Senator Ted Kennedy recently underwent brain surgery at Duke Hospital to remove a brain tumor.  Since this surgery, Senator Kennedy has taken a break from politics to heal.  He did cast the deciding vote to protect Medicare.  Which speaks to his strong devotion to the disability community and aged community of the United States.

Caroline had these words regarding her Uncle Teddy.
"In our family we call him Uncle Teddy.  If you see a nurse at community health center, if you have child getting early boost in life through headstart, if you are a person with a disability living a better life, human rights, human dignity, and disability rights. He is your Uncle Teddy too.  He took a strong stand against the war in Iraq.  He is a man who always fights for what he knows is right and always fights for others.  In our family he has never missed a graduation or a change to walk a niece down the aisle.  The best cookies and best laughs are always found at Uncle Teddy's."

Senator Kennedy has been a strong advocate for the disability rights movement.  He has led on education policy, health policy and social justice policy.  Tonight the Democratic Party honors the long service and dedication of Senator Ted Kennedy to our nation.

Caroline also brought the torch from another Kennedy to Obama with this quote.
"I have never had anyone inspire me the way my father inspired them. But I do now! Barack Obama."

In Between the Speakers You Have..Lots of Music, Dancing and the Joe Biden Cam

If  you are not watching C-SPAN, you just missed a really long still shot of Senator Biden, his wife and Howard Dean chatting it up.

Obama is campaigning today so he is not yet at the convention. But, Joe Biden is at the convention and C-SPAN keeps giving us some great candid shots of him with his wife and family.
I am now referring to it is "Biden Cam".

Maya Soetoro-NG

Maya is the half-sister of Senator Barack Obama.  She is telling the viewers about their family. Talking about their mom, "parents are our first and best teachers, encouraged us to explore and ask questions, she brought us to telescopes and microscopes and that there was a vast world beyond our reach."

"Barack open my mind and spirit to a broader world. He introduced me to people of many backgrounds. He taught me to stand up for what we believe. In these challenging times we need those skills."

Ms. Soetoro-Ng is a school teacher.  She has taught in New York and Hawaii.  

Her job tonight is to add texture to the Obama story.  

Margie Perez

"There is hope on the horizon...Obama offers the change we need and the hope we deserve."  She met Mr. Obama during a rally in New Orleans.
Ms. Perez is a musician and a survivor of Hurricane Katrina.  She lived in New Orleans during the flood.  She now lives in a Habitat Home part of the restoration of New Orleans.  

New Faces at the Convention

Throughout the evening the Democratic National Party is highlighting the "first timers".  The Obama campaign is really working the idea of new people getting involved in the the political process either as delegates or volunteers.

Democratic Convention is Underway....Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Gives Prime Time Address

The pre-show is over and the race for the White House has started.

Right now Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling on the Democratic party to be unified, organized and stronger then ever and to support Barack Obama and Joe Biden for President and Vice President of the United States.

Election 2008: Watching the Convention and Blogging

Tonight we will begin our coverage of the Democratic National Convention.  During the convention we will be doing some blogging on the topics and how they affect people with developmental and cognitive disabilities.  

We encourage you to watch the convention, visit the candidates website and learn more about the Democrat's platform.

Quick reminder: We will also be covering the Republican National Convention in September.