In the interest of finish my trip without having any unpleasant chats or encounters with security personnel, I have decided to take a seat in the back half of the room and observe and listen, and keep my damned mouth shut.
Whoa - Speaker Pelosi has agreed to accept an extended question session - but any disruptions and the program stops and the jackboots take our credentials and throw us out. Since Harold Ford got heckled, I can understand, but Harold Ford needs heckled - and there is a case to be made for heckling Pelosi, too, even though I won't engage in such activity.
9:05 Lloyd Doggett, local favorite and Democratic Congressman from Austin is kicking things off. I maybe shouldn't say this, but we could let him talk till 11:00 and I wouldn't be disappointed...
9:18 - She is taking the stage. I am neither standing nor clapping. But she does look fabulous. She is lauding Lloyd Doggett for his dedication to the Constitution - I think she could use a lesson or two from him in that regard.
9:25 - she knows everyone is tired of war - so why doesn't she do something about it? Oy - now she is quoting Hannah Arendt. I could hurl.
9:27 - it's all the 'publicans fault. Who knew they had the majority?
9:28 - First question is about Inherent Contempt and why is impeachment off the table still? "Given that the constitution calls for impeachment if high crimes or misdemeanors have been committed, and the current president has flouted constitutionally mandated checks and balances, why is impeachment off the table? How do you intend to not give him free reign if you remove one of the only constitutionally given ways of limiting a president's abuse of his authority?"
Um, I didn't hear much of an answer....
9:32 - Telecom Immunity - why did you fuckers cave??? She says she went to the House to protect civil liberties? She blames the Senate and the blue dogs, like that miserable PoS and bitter disappointment, Claire "Bond Girl" McCaskill. I see a trend emerging in her answers...it's the Senate's fault. It is always the Senate's fault. We passed a bill that wasn't as bad as theirs. Pathetic.
9:40 - She keeps repeating that it's only 107 days 'til the election (Impeachment could happen tomorrow, however, and we every one damned well know it.)
9:49 - Is a GM bailout coming? She doesn't think so, and instead of addressing the question she is yammering about how she got CAFE standards raised.
9:53 - A question on healthcare. Abstinence only wastes money, will you take steps to correct this misguided idiocy? "Yes." Abstinence only is not just bad policy, it is dangerous. Mindful of the health of young women. "So why are abstinence only earmarks holding their own?" We need more pro-choice congressmembers.
9:56 - back to telecoms...Article I Section 8...founders had in mind keeping us in touch with one another...can congress step in and put broadband access on a par with the post office? Communication and transportation used to be the same thing. Universal Broadband is a Democratic goal. Everyone needs to be connected.
10:01 - Why are soldiers forced to beg for care packages that contain toothpaste, protein bars and tampons - things that our government isn't providing for the troops in the field? "It isn't right but it is emblematic of other needs that aren't being met." WTF??? "Debt of gratitude" blah, blah blah. Just DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. What is so hard to understand about that???
10:06 - Now I will stand and clap and stop snarling - Al Gore is on the stage.
10:14 - Okay, I am listening with rapt attention. More later...
10:20 - you can play along at home...stream it here.
10:30 - Questions: Would you accept a position in an Obama administration? Meat causes more emissions than cars. What should we do? West VA and mountaintop removal? Telecom immunity?
He is honored by the idea that we want him in th Obama administration, but he doesn't think that is how his talents will be best utilized. He is concerned with the climate. (He better hurry up with the answers, I am almost out of battery power...) Meat intensity is a problem for the environment. Mountaintop mining is an attrocity and an outrage. It is part and parcel of the same dysfunctional energy policies of this country. The idea of coal fueling our cars is insane...stream it, he explains why...
Out of battery. More later...