Saturday, July 19, 2008

NN08: Ask the Speaker

9:00: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will be joining us shortly, apparently she's running a little late. The Code Pink ladies are in the room all dressed as superheroes with the message: "It doesn't take a superhero to stop George Bush." Bush is here, too, dressed in prison fatigues and chains. As well he should be.

9:15: Finally getting started, Gina Cooper is doing the intro, explaining the origins of the "Ask the Speaker" event. Lloyd Doggett, a Texas congressman, is up first. He has introduced Pelosi to a standing ovation. Good to see that the Netroots can disagree with someone and still support them, much like Markos did when he was on with David Gregory yesterday. Gregory tried to paint Markos into a corner repeatedly, with the goal of getting Markos to criticize Obama and Markos wouldn't give Gregory the soundbite he wanted.

9:31: Pelosi says that the primary reason the war hasn't ended yet is that Bush has vetoed their attempts and the Senate Republicans have filibustered it.

9:33: She says we should continued to be persistent, committed and dissatisfied that things haven't gotten to where we want to yet.

9:36: Pelosi said that the contempt charges against Bush administration officials, such as Karl Rove, for defying Congress are now in the hands of John Conyers and the judiciary committee.

9:38: She says that once 17 Democrats in the Senate caved on FISA, that her options were limited so she went for the best bill she could.

9:45: Good line: The bigger our victories in the elections, the more bipartisanship you'll see in Congress.

9:47: Pelosi says that science and innovation are the keys to the party's vision of what America should be. This means better health care, better education, rebuilding our infrastructure, and energy security in a green way.

9:54: She says that she doesn't think Congress is going to bail out GM. She says we should help the workers and retirees, but not the shareholders who made a bad investment.

9:57: Pelosi opposes abstinence-only sex ed programs and says they are dangerous to the health of young people, particularly women.

10:05: She says she supports net neutrality and expanding broadband access to areas that don't have it, including rural areas.

10:13: Al Gore is in the house!

10:14: Gore says it's important for bloggers to continue what they are doing with the creativity that we're showing.

10:16: Even more important, he says, than many of the constitutional protections we have to prevent corruption and bad government is a well-informed citizenry. He thanks us for our role in making that happen.

10:22: Gore says the idea that we can drill our way out of our energy problems is absurd. They are offering a "hair of the dog" solution to our oil problems -- we have a shortage of oil, let's go get more oil. He says instead, that when we are in a hole, stop digging.

10:24: The defenders of the status quo are the ones who got us in this hole. We need to transform our energy-supply grid completely within the next 10 years. We don't need to increase oil drilling now, which will only produce oil in 10-15 years, which'll only be sold to China anyway.

10:28: The Alliance for Climate Protection is working on changing this problem. He wants us all to join the We Campaign. Stop reading this now and go sign up. Now. Go. Are you signed up yet? No, then what are you waiting for? Go.

10:35: Gore says that he doesn't think that the best use of his time is to take a government position in an Obama administration. Instead he thinks his best approach to solving problems is through creating a new climate of being able to discuss and pursue change, so he's focused on that through the We campaign and

10:36: He says that the idea of turning coal into liquid fuel for our cars is insane. And he says that mountain-top mining is an atrocity.

10:41: Pelosi thanked Gore for his devotion to the future and that the enemies of progress are not even in the present, they're wedded to the past.

10:45: Pelosi says that we need to end speculation, drill only in areas that are environmentally sound and release no more than 10% of the strategic oil reserves.

10:52: Pelosi says Gore's challenge for 100% change to renewable energy resources in the next 10 years is completely possible.

10:55: As an aside, Pelosi has done a great job of making sure that everyone's questions get answered, even when moderators try to move along.

10:56: Pelosi says No Child Left Behind won't be renewed this year.

10:58: Gore says that one of the many problems with using nuclear power is that it means putting potential weapons-creation facilities in parts of the world we don't want them. We should be helping poor countries convert to renewable energy sources.

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