I Witnessed History! Barack at Invesco Field, Denver 2008 0 comments





I went to Denver knowing I had arranged access to the Big Tent for "new media" and that was great (see previous accounts earlier in the week!) I didn't expect to go in the Pepsi Center (and didn't) and even more did not expect to get into Invesco Center the last night. My brother had a ticket but I was geared up to watch on a big screen in a bar or at MSNBC stage.

I got a phone call around noon from Washington Dems and if I headed out to Hyatt Tech Center I might be able to score a ticket! I had to figure out which light rail and it took over an hour to get there but I got my ticket! Then I think that I was in line for at least a couple of hours - it was the longest line I'd ever seen let alone been in. It was lively enough though - Trick or Vote vampires, Obama merch entrepreneurs, people screaming that both parties are the same, some guy dressed as a Pope with a naked boy facsimile on his back and one of those inbred Phelps Family people going nuts into a megaphone that we'd all be going to hell.

My seat was way up in the nosebleed section and the stadium was so vertically inclined that it introduced a kind of vertigo. I got ahold of my brother via cell phone and he was directly across the stadium but we had to stay in our own sections. It took me a long time to get around the upper level of the stadium to even find my section but I could hear Will-I-Am singing his viral video song! Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald, Stevie Wonder and Al Gore, Dick Durbin, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, surely I'm forgetting someone, and then finally Barack Obama!

After he finished his speech, there were fireworks in the manner of the Chinese Olympics Opening (on a smaller scale but certain more than the Republicans could ever pull off, though I've seen the Rolling Stones do it!) & it was cool to see the podium descend right into the ground, like one of the trick sets of Cirque du Soleil.

Notice on the photos that I was enjoying photographing people going up and down in the stands, the security marksmen way up high, the changing colors of the sky and anyone who had unusual regalia or made me feel especially happy. It was a logjam getting out, with people converging from all directions to try to cross a single bridge to the light rail, and trains packed Tokyo-style.



Palin is McCain's Pick! 0 comments

It's official! The Words "Palin is McCain's VP Pick" have just streamed across my desk, and let me just say that this, in my opinion, changes completely the race dynamics. What a brilliant pick! What out-of-the-box thinking on the part of Senator McCain, to chose to elevate legendary Python Michael Palin to this exaulted (potential) position of number two (potentially) a mere (probable) stopped heartbeat away from the presidency of the United States.

Some will question the constitutional legality of this move - Palin, after all, through his long career as both funny man and professional explorer, has made no effort to hide - flaunted, indeed, some might say- his not having been born in the United States of America, and in fact, having never actually been an American Citizen but actually a silly British Person. But I say if a maverick like McCain (himself born in the Panama Canal Zone, then as now the most wretched hive of scum and villany in the Western Hemisphere) can't bend the rules, who can?

Who indeed?

What does this mean for the all important "silly vote," thought to have thus far been titled heavily towards Barack Obama? Might this notoriously fickle demographic now suddenly swing towards the newly minted McCain/Palin ticket, burying Obama/Biden under an avalanche of poorly quoted Holy Grail lines? Or will Senator Obama, in an effort to retain the Silly Vote, announce early (as suggested last week in this very column) certain key cabinet picks, floating certain key names bound to titalite this capricious coalition? Can we expect to see a newly-created cabinet level position, "Secratary of Impractical Strides" similtaneously created and offered to John Cleese, carrying the on and off-screen rivalry between two comedic juggaurnuts into the political realm? Whatever happens, I again salute you, Michael Palin, for making history as the first Silly English Person to run alongside the most elderly presidential candidate ever to grace the American political stage. Please, Mr. Palin, pace well your steps; Senator McCain is a slow, brittle man, who will bruise easily on anything even resembling a forced march.

...Excuse me. I've just been informed that John McCain has, in fact, chosen as his running mate someone called Sarah Palin. Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Not, in fact, Michael Palin.

Never mind.

You're On Your Own 0 comments

Last night settled the debate as to who is a more natural speaker, Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama.

Peggy Noonan, eat your floppatini heart out.

"In Washington, they call this the ownership society, but what it really means is - you're on your own," Obama said. "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."

DiAnne: LIVE from Denver 0 comments

LIVE from Denver - Obama Girl


Obama just clinched the nomination (I think ,, 2/3 of the delegates have voted.) A reporter from Barcelona, Spain is interviewing a guy who writes for Group News Blog. The reporter is basically getting his mind blown because what he's hearing from this blogger bears little resemblance to what the corporate media covers. The Spanish reporter is doing a good job too - he is going over what was said to make sure he has it right, and he is listening carefully. This is something I have been wishing for - that more reporters world wide would come and talk to regular people. This blogger is also a Canadian.

I know this doesn't have much to do with Obama Girl .. or does it?

LIVE from Denver - the Texas Delegation & a Colorado Cowgirl



FOX Reporter Gets Dollar Bill Stuffed in Her Bra

Andrew at NW Progressive Advocate told me his story on Dan Rather made the front page of reddit.com and when I went there, I didn't see it but I did see this! What do you think will happen to me if I try this stunt? Should I try?

Speaking of "money" - look what Wingnuts were handing out back home in Washington State at the Evergreen State Fair? (HorseAss blog, today) It was also in the Everett Herald - supposedly the Pukes "apologized."3dollarobama

LIVE from Denver - Another Governor comes to the Big Tent

This time, it was Governor Gregoire, from my own state. She is up for re-election against the reactionary/regressive Dino Rossi who pretends to be "GOP" rather than "Republican." She was an early and strong backer for Obama, and her daughter is here with her, helping with her campaign. DailyKos, Northwest Progressive Institute and Horseass all did interviews and I took some of the photos. The one postsed here is on the contextual side, as I love the looks of the theatrical lighting equipment used for interviews.

I have learned a trick for when I leave the couch. I hide my equipment UNDER the couch.


Live from Denver - T. Boone Pickens is in the House & Vincent Bugliosi just blew up at Markos


From the couch, slightly behind me and to my left, I heard a loud ruckus. An elderly man in a suit was going off at Markos and he had a copy of his book under his arm. An Italian-looking woman told me, "That's VIncent Bugliosi and he's mad because DailyKos didn't review his book." All I heard was something about "you people," and Markos saying "You're an asshole." Then I saw the backside of the guy as he headed out of here in a huff. It seemed nobody from DailyKos remembered being sent the book in the first place.

I was told the guy pictured below is head of the Sierra Club. Pickens' book is called "The First Billion is the Hardest." He is 80. Bugliosi's book is called "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder." He is 74. (They are older than McCain!) Pickens is known for 1) being an energy magnate, and 2) backing Swift Boaters. Bugliosi is known for 1) prosecuting Manson, 2) writing a book about JFK. They both come off as nutty, as far as I'm concerned.


LIVE from Denver - Governor Schweitzer & Markos


Governor Schweitzer of Montana stole the show last night. He had all the best lines. He woke me up after the snoozey Warner speech. Bill Clinton looked pretty revved up by him, judging by the reaction shots on the tube.

This morning when I got to the Big Tent, I reclaimed my primo spot on the couch right next to the one that says "Reserved for DailyKos Bloggers." I have a nice long cord so as long as I can work it under the carpet where all the vendors don't trip on it, I'm fine. I had stopped off at Tattered Cover Books and paged through Markos' (of DailyKos) book and soon after I sat down over here, Markos came over and gave me a copy, and autographed it on the spot (see photo.)

Shortly after that, I sensed an entourage approaching and looked up from my couch to see Govern Schweitzer. He had come to get an autographed copy of Markos' book and he also gave Markos a bolo tie. "It's like being knighted, in Montana," he told him.

(Thanks to Mr. Goldberg of Horseass Blog for loaning me a camera cable. I also saw him being interviewed on the hybrid-powered Free Mall bus this morning by someone from the Starz place.)

Ron Paul Adds to Twin Cities Political Billboards

The billboard says "We are being taxed to blow up bridges in Iraq and rebuild them, while ours at home are falling down."

The media should be all over this group of disenchanted Republicans in the same way they harp on Hillary supporters. Paul's supporters comprise a significant percentage of the electorate in some key battleground states.

Here are Paul's results from the Republican primaries from some of those states:

Virginia and Ohio: 5%
Colorado and Indiana: 8%
Iowa: 10%
Kansas: 11%
Nebraska: 13%
Nevada and New Mexico: 14%
Minnesota and Penn.: 16%
Montana: 25%

This story is much bigger than the media fabricated story about the rift between Hillary Clinton and Obama. The two democratic candidates agreed on policy for the most part. Ron Paul's positions are the antithesis of McCain's. Another clear example of media bias.

Iberian on Dailykos responded to a post of this photo with the following:

If Ron Paul were a Democrat you would have fascist republican millionaires giving him money, he would have been in every tv show, his delegates interviewed by Anderson Cooper. We need to capitalize on him and Barr bigtime.

The Photo is from Ron Paul's website.

This one is mine:

Our Intepid DiAnne Literally In The Eye Of The Hurricane 0 comments

CBS has the "Eye" logo and Hurricane Gustav is just south of Cuba, on the same exact track as Katrina was 3 years ago and should hit the Gulf Coast just as the RNC is starting and well, no, nevermind.

Isn't it awesome that DiAnne's got Katie Couric coming to hang out where she's at?

DiAnne Live Blogs From Denver 0 comments

I've only seen a couple women with huge Hillary buttons - on the train. I was talking to some bloggers over in the Tattered Cover Bookstore, and they were speculating about what sort of pantsuit she should wear tonight. We favored leopard skin.

A bit ago Governor Schweitzer of Montana rocked the house (I am watching in the Big Tent on what looks like an ordinary old school movie screen.) I noticed that Bill Clinton was cheering and that he was sitting right next to Michelle Obama.

He's cheering again and Hillary is wearing orange, a new color, but upbeat. I am visualizing that this goes well tonight, the roll call goes smoothly tomorrow, the media shut up and someone quite rigging the polls. I am visualizing that we really have registered more Democrats and that they will show up and be allowed to vote. & that the Swift Boaters will be defeated and McCain will make many faux pas.

She is having her night. She is emphasizing being a Proud Democrat so I hope she sticks primarily to that meme. I think she will. Quite a few people here clap when she emphasizes unity. I don't know why so many doubted she would be professional at this stage in the game.


(cross-posted at NW Progressive Institute Advocate)

I was just interviewed by a woman from the New York Times and earlier Katie Couric was running around here with an entourage. Dan Rather spoke upstairs (see story below) but I did not leave this prime couch location, for it's great people watching and eavesdropping, as well as a place to plug in the laptop, drink Blind Roast Coffee (actually roasted by a blind man) and watch representatives of corporate media try to find out what goes on in the Big Tent.

It was enjoyable to tell the reporter why I don't watch television, even to see what others are watching. I don't necessarily eat fast food every day to see what that's like either. I told her that my primary news sources are NPR and the internet and have been ever since the 1991 Gulf War, which the media seemed to treat as a video game. It was amusing when she asked me my cell phone number and I would have had to look it up (since I use it as little as possible) so gave her my email instead. She also found out that I had attended both YearlyKos conventions, NetRoots Nation and the 2004 convention in Boston as well as this one.

Like Rick Steves the travel guru, I believe strongly that it is better to travel "close to the ground." It is pleasant to sit here on my couch and watch an interview going on not ten feet away from me, but I'll soon venture upstairs for the talks or out on the street. Andrew has been able to head over to the Pepsi Center, so will be close to the action. One thing I know - the food will be better here - and cheaper.

LIVE from Denver - Assassination Plot by Tweakers Interrupted 0 comments


Aurora police arrested a tweaker during a traffic stop and he had two rifles and two handgunsin his pickup. They found his accomplice in yet another place I drove by recently and this dude dived out of his 6th floor window onto an awning and took off running like in a cartoon. They got him though and local news said one of the tweakers had told cops they were "going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a ... rifle … sighted at 750 yards." Another cop told local news that one of them "was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative." Some statement for our liberal gun laws and the so-called "war on drugs."

LIVE from Denver - Dan Rather on Media 0 comments

LIVE from Denver - Dan Rather on Media


Former CBS anchor Dan Rather (a hero of mine) just spoke upstairs in this very Big Tent. As we suspect, media consolidation has had a nefarious effect on the news coverage we receive. News media have beens swallowed up by conglomerates that often have nothing to do with the news. Rather encourages more independent media who are not money-driven and here we are! We also need to pressure corporate or commercial media en masse.

DiAnne Live Blogs From Denver 0 comments

LIVE from Denver - The Pecking Order for Access


I drove up from Manitou Springs yesterday and had to figure out the logistics - finding my suburban lodging, calling the owner to find out how to lock the place back up, finding a place to park the rental car at the Park & Ride, and figuring out the light rail. So I forgot my photo upload cord and AC adaptor for the laptop. I got out right next to the Investco Center where Obama will speak and it was crawling with tactical police. There were some Minnesota delegates on my train and the bunch of us walked the metal perimeter fences to where they could present their credentials and enter the Pepsi Center. I continued through the No Man's Land further on to the streets of Obama cottage industries. It looked like a Third World Nation with only pedestrians, pedicabs and bicycles.


I headed to the Big Tent, sponsored by Daily Kos, Google and Digg and the Alliance Center next door. This section consists of a gymnasium-sized space full of chatty bloggers and engrossed, typing bloggers. Upstairs is the Digg Stage, where RFK Jr spoke yesterday, among others. The Alliance Center has toilets that flush at two rates and lights that sense daylight and shut down some. Arianna Huffington is running this New Age space with vegan food, masseuse services - it's like a spa and in one of the photos I'll post you will see Arianna blogging. I ran into my friend Ari Melber from The Nation (& HuffPo) and met his brother who is working for Obama. We heard some guys saying "Do you think we'll see Obama Girl again?"


The Pepsi Center is where the delegates, politicians and other honchos are (plus innumerable press) and once inside, nutritional sustenance is limited to things like expensive water and hot dogs. I do see alot of people with passes for there wandering around the streets though, picking up their Obama merch and hitting the parties. Everything is corporate-sponsored but at least for Democrats, some of the corporations sell things like wheat grass or fair trade candy bars. I am drinking Blind-Roasted Coffee and notice that the guy who sell sit is actually blind. The Tattered Cover bookstore is great. New Belgium Beer has a booth out front that loans out hundreds of bicycles for free. Fat Tire Ale is flowing as well.

Big Tent is where I saw Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama on the tube. I "saw" them on one of the cable network feeds but the audio we had was C-Span, after we screamed for it. I don't want to hear pundits. Today I got up, took the light rail back here, and claimed my spot on this couch (most people are at tables) and refuse to move. I had done some blogging last night for Northwest Progressive Institute (on their computer) but today wanted to catch up with the blogs I'm representing at the Big Tent (though I'm helping Andrew at NPI), which are Silenced Majority Portal and Democracy Cell Project.


A little while ago, Katie Couric was here with her entourage and I didn't even move. Some press org interviewed a guy from DailyKos (don't know his name) and he did a good job dealing with their leading questions. (He was sitting on this very couch.) They were asking him leading questions like "Do you think it was gracious of Michelle Obama to acknowledge Hillary Clinton last night, but don't you think Hillary should have been vetted for VP, even if it was just going through the motions." If I got on camera at all, I hope I was rolling my eyes. I overheard one guy say, "Yesterday Daryl Hanna .. today Katie Couric."

McJoan from DKos is standing about 10 feet from me and she is talking to some of these snoopy outside "real" press but I heard them complaining that bloggers are too "busy" to talk to them. Ha Ha Someone else is talking about what they said to Fox and just now someone came up and tried to give me literature. It gets to feel like Moonies. Alot of people are wearing these cool buttons that look like McCain buttons with the little decoration on the top, but then they say "Ask Me How Many Houses I Own."Dsc09903

LIVE from Denver - the streets for Obama 0 comments

This is just another temporary "tent city" - a mirage that lasts a week, like Burning Man or some convention of acousticians. The self-promoting exists at each level - from the corporate donors wanting favors on down to the delegations wheeling and dealing to the media old and new looking for scoops and connections to the vendors both of natural foods and progressive books and cottage industry street t-shirts. It's a fairly positive upbeat atmosphere - sorry Republicans - but it's also a collection of people with agendas. Mine is partly to relax, since this is my vacation time and savings that I'm using for this.