Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ask the Speaker; Al Gore's in the House NN08

Gina, the famous Gina who has essentially herded us progressive cats to three major conventions in the last three years, has just announced that disruptions at this even will not be tolerated. "Badges will be taken and you will be escorted out." She's moderating the questions from
Lloyd Doggett, local progressive Texas congressman is introducing Pelosi. He's talking about his entrance into Congress in 1994 and the nightmares that were Gingrich and DeLay and lauding Pelosi. I'm trying not to throw up a little in my mouth. Many others are having the same response although they are being polite.
0919--I wish he weren't singing her praises so. It's just pissing people off.
0922--She's massaging us, "You made [my speakership] possible," and Doggett in return. Yes, this is protocol and polite. The natives are a bit restless however.
0925--Young people everywhere have the same message: "They're tired of war." "Words not weaponry" will change things and "you are part of that." "God bless the impatience of youth."
0927--This war is the "biggest national security blunder in the history of our country." Heckler in the back; a bit of shooshing.
0929--:"You make America more American." You should be "persistent, relentless."
0930--First question: Impeachment. She says she supports Conyers and Sanchez's motion for contempt. "What the Administration is doing is saying 'We rule.'" Next is a motion for contempt against Karl Rove. Mucho applauso.
0933--Q. Can we expect 'y'all to arrest Karl Rove and "put him in that little jail cell." Standing ovation.
0935--FISA: Pelosa says 17 Democrats in the Senate made the FISA bill as it stands possible. Five criteria, Exclusivity; protection for those overseas; all electronic communication falls under FISA; she's on a tangent and/or I lost the thread for the other two.
0940--Q. Who are the obstructors to the improvement of this bill? Pelosi's not exactly answering, she's certainly not naming names.
0941--My House democrats voted in unison.
Jeffrey Feldman moderates from the floor. What is the Democratic vision of what government should be?
Four domestic issues: health care; innovation and education (shorthand--science, science, science and science); infrastructure of America, in particular the green infrastructure--spend as much here as we have spent in Iraq; energy security--especially green energy.
0949--Right now in Washington it's faith or science. We're saying it's faith and science--she may even have said faith in science.
0953--"We have to have universal access to quality, care." "It's a competitive issue, not to mention a moral issue."
0955--"Abstinence only is dangerous to women's health." "If you're against abortion, you should love contraception."
0957--Local broadband for our communities? What can Congress do to address the blackout zones? In beginning of our country, communication and transportation were the same thing...with the genius of technology...universal broadband is part of our innovation agenda. In order for us to be fair, it must be universal. There should be no difference. Everybody has to be in on this.
1000--The whole country has to be wired. Net neutrality--I am a strong supporter. People (telecoms) standing in the way are the same people who didn't innovate in the first place.
1002--Q. from Timroff: Why are our soldiers being forced to beg for care packages for sundries like toothpaste and tampons. That is emblematic of bigger needs that aren't being met.

It just dawned on me: I am less than twenty feet from the third most powerful person in the country. She's flawed and human. If we can believer her, though, she wants what we want to a much greater degree than anyone on the other side. Jeffrey Feldman is such a great guy. His follow-up question has to do proposing bills that will symbolically address this and bring it to the front of the conversation.
1007--What more do we have to ask that the Administration ....

1010--Al Freaking Gore just arrived. I may have a heart attack. Standing ovation. He looks mahhvelous. I can hardly listen to what he's saying, though I think it's something about accountability. "The founding bedrock of our nation...we will have a well informed citizenry." The internet is a great new hope that we can reclaim a great new hope to regain the integrity of American Democracy.
1016--We have a great challenge with climate change...North Polar ice pack is normally the size of the lower 48 give or take a medium-sized state. Scientists now say that it could be completely gone in the summer months in as little as five years. If it can come back, if we act very quickly. If we continue to procrastinate, if we fail that test, if we reject the test of being stewards, then it will never come back.
1018--Climate crisis connected to the economic crisis and to national security. The economy is being hurt by rising oil and electricity rates. New emerging economies have been based on imitating economies ...making ravenous demand on oil, price skyrocketing. "The idea that we can drill our way out of this is just so absurd."
1021--"When you're in a hole, stop digging."
1023--"The engines of distraction...[are] already hard at work." More realistic to just sleepwalk off the cliff. There is the possibility right here in this vast room to mobilize public opinion." The Alliance for Climate Change is a bipartisan group focussed on this single objective: We want an army of men and women and families to build a consensus across party lines. I need your help. You connect with so many millions of people I respectfully ask for your help. I promiste you will not see us ...I promise you we will not slow down we will not let up.
1027--Use currenttv to democratize the television. You will tell your grandchildren that this is the beginning of the reclamation of American Democracy and you were here.
I feel like a teenager at a Beatles concert in the 1960s.
1033--Q Will you accept a position in the Obama campaign. Gore doesn't exactly answer. Q. Is meat responsible for more carbon than cars? Takes responsibility for not addressing this issue more forthrightly. Q. Mountaintop mining? A. "Mountaintop mining is an atrocity." Refers to a documentary on the topic--gave an award to the filmmakers. Facilitated by the moral blindness as climate change facilitators. We should guarantee a job in fresh air and sunshine for each former coal miner. "The idea that we can get liquid fuel out of coal is just insane."
1040--Pelosi sings Al's praises. "Without him there would be no Netroots Nation." As a grandmother I see that we have a choice between the past and future. The current administration doesn't even give us the present. Hecklers exit stage right. Pelosi keeps her cool under duress.
Al Gore is still here! Yeeee-hawww!
1047--AG: It's really harmful to have, not only science, but arts, pushed out of the curriculum in order to teach to a test; E-waste--I'm on the board of a computer company; we're focussing on this, Dell and HP are too; we've made progress and could do a lot more.
1055--Even with a Democratic administration and more Dems in Congress, we'll still have a problem. That's why what you're doing here is so critical to reclaiming American Democracy.
1057--Q. Storage for power. Photovoltaic resources prices have dropped.--"When demand for oil goes up the price goes up; when demand for solar and wind goes up the price goes down."
1101--Developed countries must help developing countries to address carbon. It will address injustice and economic growth as well..
1103--Q. Maliki says he endorses Obama's plan for withdrawal, naming Obama. Pelosi says, "the end could be in sight." "This will not happen without the election of Barak Obama." Again, "we have the choice between the past and the future." "We need the information

I shook Al Gore's hand! All I could think to say was, "Thank-you." What a dolt!


Alna Dem said...

OMG OMG I'm passing out from the relative happiness of knowing you.

The only cool thing I did today was (1) sing Beethoven's Choral Fantasy with a professional orchestra, (2) drink gin & tonics down by the water and (3) eat lobster with bearnaise sauce. Compared with lobbing volleys from Al & Nancy, I might as well not even have bothered to get up this morning.

I wish I were there! Aaaaaaarghhhh!!!

Thanks for the blow by blow. It does help.

snoozetska said...

It was fantastic! At the risk of making your NN08 envy more deep purple than it is, we talked at length with Matt Stoller--who, as I'm sure you know, is NO fan of Al's; Jeremy Scahill; Dahlia Lithwick; David Kurtz (of TPM fame); and a woman who's defending us against FISA and ATT, Cindy Cohn of EFF.

I, however, have never, ever sung a note of Beethoven, at least to my limited knowledge.

Save us a G & T for a debriefing session soon.