August 28th, 2008



Why doesn't the DNC make the audio of the convention speeches available online? I was able to download many of the speeches from, but it's not a comprehensive collection. For example, they don't have Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer's speech, which by all accounts was terrific, nor the speech given by retired U.S. Army CSM Michele S. Jones, which was also said to be very good. What's up with that?
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    Dandy Warhols - We Used To Be Friends
10-S, 10-D

Ten random things: August 28

Ten speakers at the 2008 Democratic National Convention:

  1. The Honorable Amy Klobuchar (U.S. Senator, Minnesota)
  2. The Honorable Miguel Del Valle (City Clerk of Chicago, Illinois)
  3. The Honorable Jim Doyle (Governor of Wisconsin)
  4. Dr. David Gipp (Member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; President - United Tribes Technical College)
  5. The Honorable Barbara Mikulski (US Senator, Maryland)
  6. Tammy Duckworth (Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs; Helicopter pilot and wounded Iraq war veteran)
  7. The Honorable Madeleine Albright (Former Secretary of State)
  8. Beth Robinson (Stay-at-home mom from Hampton Roads, Virginia)
  9. The Honorable Tim Kaine (Governor of Virginia)
  10. Susan Eisenhower (Granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower)

Number of people on this list met by members of the Heaton family: definitely two (nos. 1 and 5), probably three (no. 3), possibly four (no. 6). And maybe others Of the one I've met, Barbara Mikulski, I can say this: she is extremely short. I'm not that tall, but I am to her what Dr. J is to me.

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    Madonna - Crazy for You

Speeches redux

Some people complain about not being able to find downloadable audio of convention speeches online; others do something about it. And thanks to the DNC YouTube feed, the developers of WM Recorder and VLC Media Player, and blogger Arron Washington, I am in that latter category.

Governor Brian Schweitzer - Remarks to the 2008 Democratic National Convention (MP3, 17.7mb)

Yeah, I know it's huge, but the method I have for converting FLVs to MP3 doesn't work that well at bit rates lower than 192kbps. You're lucky to get it at all.

As for the speech by CSM Michele S. Jones, it's not available on the DNC YouTube feed, nor anywhere else on YouTube for that matter. But here's the text of the speech, courtesy the DNC website:

Good evening. It is my honor and privilege to speak to you tonight. I stand before you not as a politician or government official, but as an American citizen and as a soldier for more than 25 years.

I was proud to serve my country as a noncommissioned officer in the greatest army in the world. And for the last five of those years, I served as the Ninth Command Sergeant Major of the Army Reserve, representing all enlisted men and women in the Army Reserve and their families within the Department of the Army and Department of Defense, and before Congress and the media.

It is without hesitation, and with much conviction, that I endorse Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States of America. I am endorsing Senator Obama because I believe he is the best, most qualified and able candidate to serve as my commander-in-chief. He is the type of commander-in-chief that America's soldiers need and deserve. Barack Obama will bring America the change we need.

Senator Obama's record speaks for itself, supporting America's soldiers and families in every stage of their service. And he'll continue to make sure that the men and women risking their lives for us in Iraq, Afghanistan, around the world and here at home have the equipment, training and resources they need to accomplish their mission.

Senator Obama understands veterans and our needs—all veterans, active and reserve—and knows the differences between the two. He'll fully fund the VA, so all our returning heroes get the quality care they deserve. And when it comes to the national shame of too many homeless veterans, Barack Obama has one simple policy: Zero tolerance.

Senator Obama truly exemplifies what a commander-in-chief should be: a leader who understands the threats we face and who cares for every young man and woman under his command.

I first became impressed with Senator Obama when he took the time to call a young soldier who was unable to complete his initial training, not because he was injured but because he was terminally ill with brain cancer. Senator Obama did not do it for the publicity or a photo op.

He did it because I asked, and he did it because he cared.

America's service men and women need a president and a commander-in-chief with the courage to serve, the gift to lead and the ability to get things done. That president is Barack Obama.

Ladies and gentlemen, God bless each and every one of you. God bless Senator and Mrs. Obama. And God bless America.

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    The Beatles - We Can Work It Out


Copied from Kevin Drum's blog at, because the permalink to it is malformed:

QUOTE OF THE DAY....From Michael Dukakis, in an interview with Katie Couric where he described George Bush's tenure as "the worst national administration in my lifetime":

"Look, I owe the American people an apology. If I had beaten the old man you'd of never heard of the kid and you wouldn't be in this mess. So it's all my fault and I feel that very, very strongly. So this is an important election for us. Let me tell 'ya."

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    Buster Poindexter/Yma Sumac - Medley Three (Three Inches Is Such a Wretched Height): Castle in Spai