DNC 3rd night

I won’t elaborate a whole lot.

The convention love fest finally began with the conclusion of the delegate roll call vote, with Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York playing the pivotal role.

The theme of the evening was supposed to be national security, but the early speakers seemed to be stuck on last night’s theme until U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland delivered his speech.  Having said that, Cummings’ speech was lackluster.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton delivered the home run speech.  Really.  His speech included everything Obama could have hoped for, and the delegates, universally, ate it up.  Naturally, I disagree with some of Clinton’s assertions, but the speech, as a device to unify the convention, structure the dialog for the upcoming general election campaign, and bolster morale, Bill Clinton brought the goods, and the resulting elation brought down the house.  For those who deny Bill Clinton has a knack for politics, they just need to see and hear the speech, and they’ll develop an appreciation for just how expert he is.

I’ve never been a fan of the Clintons.  I’m still not.  Even as Bill Clinton was talking about Barack Obama rebuilding our military, a voice in the back of my head was saying “And isn’t Bill Clinton partly responsible for why our military needs to be rebuilt?”

Nevertheless, as I said, Bill Clinton hit it out of the park.  For those who were wondering how Barack Obama could possibly get a double-digit bounce in the polls from his convention, Bill Clinton might have single-handedly garnered that bounce.  Polls in the next few days will reveal how effective Clinton was, but I suspect it was very effective.

The remainder of the speeches of the evening paled by comparison.  That crescendo of emotion that was experienced during the Clinton speech never reached those heights for the remainder of the evening, not even when VP nominee Joe Biden spoke.

There were some tender moments, though, when some former military personnel spoke, and a video montage paid tribute to our veterans.  The thought that passed through my mind is that I hope Code Pink of Berkeley, California, is watching, and that I hope Code Pink will rethink Marine Corps recruitment.  Our nation would not be the greatest nation on earth without our men and women in uniform.

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd doesn’t want Romney on McCain ticket?

After the roll out of Joe Biden, there’s been a chorus of “I can’t believe Obama didn’t pick Hillary!”  Yet, pundits had been pooh-poohing the “Dream” ticket for weeks prior to the selection, saying Hillary wouldn’t be sufficiently compatible with Barack Obama.  Obama was probably relieved to hear the pooh-poohing, as it allowed him to plausibly choose someone else.

Will we hear “I can’t believe McCain didn’t pick Romney” if John McCain picks someone other than the former Massachusetts governor to be his VP?  If McCain wants to hear some pooh-poohing to relieve him from the pressure to choose Romney, it’s certainly out there.  But, just as the “Dream” ticket would have been the biggest juggernaut Obama could have assembled, McCain-Romney may be the biggest juggernaut McCain could assemble.  So, bypassing Romney could be a boo-boo.

The networks like to engage in Veepstakes speculation several times a day.  MSNBC‘s Chuck Todd, during his Veepstakes segment this early afternoon, asked two guests to predict McCain’s VP.  Their prediction?  Both predicted Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, as the “safe,” “do-no-harm” pick.  Chuck Todd wanted more discussion, so he asked who else might be out there?  Both guests agreed that if partisanship were no obstacle, John McCain really, really, really would like to pick Joe Lieberman.

Chuck Todd was not getting the opening he was hoping for.  He had to create his own opening.  So Chuck Todd noted aloud that neither of the guests had rated Romney among the most likely, and then read a Mitt Romney quote from primary season in New Hampshire that predicted Barack Obama would be a formidable opponent for John McCain despite McCain’s resume.  Chuck Todd concluded that Romney would have too much explaining to do if he were McCain’s pick as there’s a lot of video footage from the primaries showing Romney and McCain expressing differing views.

Chuck Todd had to manufacture an excuse to make use of the cherry-picked Romney quote.

Naturally, with this week’s Hillary drama, I thought of how this might be a manipulation by the pundits:  thumbs down on a Romney pick in a hope that McCain will follow suit, then “Gotcha!” if and when McCain picks someone else.

I think Chuck Todd really knows that Romney would be a formidable VP pick that would easily neutralize Biden in a VP debate.

Democrat “Machine” in Lorain is as defiant as ever

The good old boys of Lorain Democrat inner circles are laughing their heads off today. They are laughing because of the impotence of their opponents. They are crowing loudly and shouting “Na-na-na-na-na,” in the most taunting way possible.

When they win a victory, they like to run up the score, and rub their foes’ faces in it.

Here are the 3 stories appearing today in the local newspapers:

First, the Provenza resignation vigil update, as reported in the Lorain Morning Journal:

Lorain Law Director Mark Provenza is back at work, days after being arrested in Lakewood for drunken driving.

Provenza returned Monday. He was on vacation last week when he was arrested.

“My case is pending at this time,” he said yesterday. “I have been advised by my attorney to not say anything about the case. At the conclusion of the case, I will have something to say, but until such time, I’m going to continue to work on behalf of the city of Lorain as the law director.”

Provenza, 52, was pulled over about 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 20. Lakewood police said he plowed through the front porch of a house at 2224 Bunts Road. Within minutes, officers spotted him going west on Madison Avenue near Belle Avenue with a flat left front tire.

Since the drunk driving arrest, his fourth since becoming the city’s law director in 2000, some people have called for his resignation.

When asked about that possibility, Provenza referred back to his statement.

Smug defiance, wouldn’t you say? He knows he has the backing of the “Machine,” even if he lacks the support of the public.

Second, State Representative Joe Koziura (D-Lorain) is again unopposed in the November election for the 56th District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. The 56th District includes Lorain, Sheffield Lake, Sheffield Township, Amherst Township, a very tiny slice of Amherst, most of Elyria Township, the 5th and 6th Wards (south and west sides) of Elyria, South Amherst, New Russia Township, a very tiny slice of Carlisle Township, and Oberlin. The 56th District, economically speaking, is easily the most distressed of the 3 Ohio House districts that divvy up Lorain County. The Democrats have a virtual lock on the district, yet, for all the years of Democrat representation, the plight of the district continues to worsen. For the good of the 56th District, they ought to try Republican representation to see if they can experience some improvement. Obviously, Democrats who represent the area don’t need to feel compelled to produce much in the way of results, as the voters reward them with landslide victories at every election for doing nothing. By contrast, the swing districts in the county are the bright spots in the county’s economy, as representatives of either party have a strong incentive to deliver in order to have a chance to stay in office.

An excerpt from the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram includes a quote from Mr. Koziura:

“I don’t really worry about whether I’m opposed.”

Koziura, the 62-year-old former mayor of Lorain, has faced opposition in the past, but not since 2004.

How about that? No worries, eh? That 56th District is a real cakewalk for the “Machine” candidate.

The opposition Koziura faced in November 2004? Yours truly, Daniel Jack Williamson, the Buckeye RINO. In subsequent elections, I resided in other Ohio House districts, and I’ve felt sorry for 56th District voters that they had no alternative candidates to choose from on their ballots in 2006 and 2008.

Third, the Lorain Mayor, Tony Krasienko, and Lorain City Council have decided to increase taxes and fees, but some local Republicans sought to move those measures to the ballot for voters to decide upon. In Lorain, no good deed goes unpunished. The Auditor for the city of Lorain, Ron Mantini, found some errors on the petitions, so he’d like to see felony charges brought against the tax referendum petition’s circulators. Here’s another excerpt from the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram:

The petitions were circulated to give voters a say on the city’s plans to cut the income tax credit and increase the license plate fees in the city from $5 to $20.

Mantini said each person who circulates a petition must affirm they witnessed each signature. If the same person signed twice, that means either the person wasn’t paying attention or knew that the signer had signed twice, Mantini said.

In either case, it could be a felony, he said.

“I’m not trying to discourage referendums, but people need to understand there are rules and regulations and they need to be followed or there’s consequences,” he said.

After disallowing the duplicate signatures, though, there were still enough valid signatures on the petitions to place the referendum on the ballot. I, myself, have always been careful with petitions I’ve circulated to make sure that I have valid signatures. I use the most recent walk list that I can obtain from the Board of Elections to help me identify who the registered voters are as I go door-to-door. I certainly don’t approve of illegal shenanigans when it comes to petitions, but I’m struck by the selective enforcement of the rules. Most of the time when there are petition irregularities, signatures are invalidated by the Board of Elections, and that could impact whether enough valid signatures were obtained or not. Sometimes, entire pages of petitions are invalidated. I’ve often heard news stories of candidates or issues that failed to make the ballot, but I’ve not often heard of criminal punishment meted out against petition circulators unless signatures were forged. Why pursue felony charges this time, but not in other cases when petition irregularities have invalidated signatures or whole petitions? Perhaps there’s a double standard, but, at the least, it would seem that the Democrat “Machine” in Lorain wants to make an example of these circulators and send a strong signal not to try to thwart the wishes of City Hall.

Today, in view of this trio of news stories, I’d venture to say that Lorain’s Democrat “Machine” prefers not to spell “democracy” with a lower-case “d.”