I met the guy who was dancing during Katy Perry

What is it about Katy Perry?  First Left Shark, and now this?

Walter Weeks and BMG’s David

Anyway, video of this gentleman dancing has been making the internet rounds. So, maybe you’d like to know who he is. Happily, I bumped into him on the floor of the convention, and we had a brief chat. His name is Walter Weeks, and here’s what he said:

It's the last day! Follow BMG on day 4 of the DNC

Bumped, for today's grand finale. - promoted by david

Another day, another whole lot of walking, talking, snapping photos, and posting audio clips on SoundCloud. Most of the content will be on Twitter @bluemassgroup, or you can follow the stream here (I’m using hashtag #bmg16).


Jim McGovern talks to BMG about Hillary and Bernie

Congressman Jim McGovern addressed the MA delegation breakfast this morning, and I was able to catch up with him afterward.  McGovern takes a backseat to nobody in terms of progressive bona fides, and he’s been with Hillary Clinton from the beginning.  I asked him about that, and about how to encourage Bernie Sanders supporters who are skeptical of Clinton to vote for her this fall.  Here’s what he had to say.  As always, I’m grateful to Rep. McGovern for taking the time.

Follow BMG at day 3 of the Democratic National Convention

Bumped, for Philly. - promoted by david

Day 3: more of the same.  Wandering, talking, taking photos, and posting to Twitter.  I’m hoping to have a photographer friend contributing higher quality photos today. Follow @bluemassgroup, or watch the stream here.  Enjoy!

For overnight contemplation: Lord Gorgonzola

Here’s your late-night snack, before the sun rises on day 4.  I met this fellow on the way into the arena this evening.  The costume is good; his explanation for why he’s at the convention is better.

I agree with Bernie Sanders [...]

Together we can. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

… who negotiated what I call a coalition result, and said “Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.”

I liked Bernie Sanders coalition building and stated coalition goals as demonstrated and show cased in his convention speech last night, 7/25/16.

If I use some of my still limited physical energy on politics it will be in trying to ensure the keeping of promises as to that coalition and those goals. This is what I call “coalition building, this is a quote from Senator Bernie Sander’s speech 7/25/16 at the Democratic National Convention:

“”It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That’s what this campaign has been about. That’s what democracy is about.

But I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Among many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street and the passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” I agree with these negotiated, coalition goals. [Emphasis added]

I also agree with what Bernie Sanders said, next:

“Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.”

President’s cannot make this kind or level of change, alone. It does take allies, coalitions, and dare I say it, good manners from all involved, which means Democrats, all of them, treating one another with respect. Respect builds alliances and keeps allies; juvenile antics [which it seems were going on in several, if not all, quarters] are just not effective. So enough with booing, calling fellow change agent progressives [whether "Democrats" or allied independents] ridiculous. Consider this a call for maturity, manners, and the kind of behavior that makes a coalition effective.

I expect it will take every ounce of Sen. Sander’s tenacity, courage, leadership skills and energy to “…see that platform implemented,..” and that is a push I can add my energies, such as they are, towards bringing about. You can read the full remarks here.

Meet Keri Thompson, UIP candidate for state rep

A frequent knock on third parties is “hey, why are you just running for president?  Run serious candidates for state rep.  Build your farm team.”  So, here’s Keri Thompson, who is trying to do just that: she’s running for the soon-to-be-open Third Plymouth District seat as a United Independent Party (UIP) candidate.

We talked for about 15 minutes about Thompson’s role in the Bernie Sanders campaign (she was an elected Bernie delegate, but she resigned that position after registering UIP, giving up her position to an alternate delegate who is reportedly delighted to be here), and about her UIP candidacy.

A Senator, a Speaker, and a Sheriff talk to BMG

Bumped, for America. - promoted by david

This morning’s interviews at the MA delegation breakfast include Senator Ed Markey, Speaker Bob DeLeo, and Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins.  All very interesting and worth listening to.  As always, I very much appreciate their time.

Senator Markey:

Speaker DeLeo:

Sheriff Tompkins:

Follow BMG at day 2 of the Democratic National Convention

Bumped, for all the progressives in Philadelphia. - promoted by Bob_Neer

I’ll spend today like I spent yesterday: wandering around Philadelphia looking for interesting things to see and people to talk to.  I’ll post most of it to Twitter, again using the hashtag #bmg16 to keep track of things.  Follow me @bluemassgroup; you can also watch the tweet stream here.  And let me know if there’s anything in particular I should see or do!

DNC Day 2 wrap-up

Just a couple of thoughts on yesterday before day 3 kicks into high gear.

  • The roll-call of states is awesome.  Listening to representatives of every state and territory talk about their home as they cast their delegation’s votes for president … well, it’s political junkie heaven.  And if you haven’t watched Bernie Sanders’ brother Larry cast his vote for Bernie, watch it now.  It was among the most moving moments of the entire convention.  There literally was not a dry eye in the house.
  • Bernie Sanders’ motion at the end of the roll call, after every other state had cast their votes (the delegates were not informed when Hillary went over the top, which I think was after South Dakota voted) to nominate Hillary Clinton by voice vote was exceptionally gracious.  There were some audible “no” votes, but the ayes vastly outnumbered them.
  • Bill Clinton’s speech was the other big event of the evening.  I wouldn’t call it electrifying, as some of his past speeches have been.  But, of course, his role at this convention is very different: to introduce and make the case for his wife.  He did that at length (there were many Twitter comments along the lines of “oh God, we’re 20 minutes in and only up to 1980!”), and I thought effectively.  A good setup from the more personal side, in preparation of what we can expect tonight from President Obama and VP Biden.
  • There was far, far less audible protesting inside the hall tonight than there was last night.  I heard very little in the way of boos, or even “Bernie! Bernie!” chanting.  However, a number of delegates left the floor after the roll call, and there were protests outside the arena.  Here’s a photo of one of them (click for larger).  The woman closest to me is an elected Bernie delegate from Oregon.

Hillary Clinton nominated!

Bumped, for victory. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Woo hoo! She’ll be an infinitely better president than worse-than-Voldemort Trump. I’m glad to see her nominated, glad to see a woman finally making substantive progress toward the highest office in the land, and looking forward to working hard for her until victory in November.

This Democratic Convention is much more exciting than any one I can remember since, perhaps, Bill Clinton was nominated to defeat George Bush senior and his tired old ideas, and did, or Barack Obama was nominated to defeat John McCain and his tired old ideas, and did . Bernie Sanders has brought that to Philadelphia, and enormously strengthened the Democratic Party as a whole, and especially the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. His vote to put her over the top with Vermont was an act of political courage. Presumably, Clinton has offered him something worthwhile for his efforts, which is right and proper. He promises to keep bringing it until November. Bravo!

Go Hillary!

My eyes stung 12 years ago

I hear you! I worked for Dean, then Kerry after he was nominated, and dragged David into that effort from which, like a phoenix, BMG was created (after the monstrosity Bush II was elected), with Charley and everyone else. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Watching the convention tonight, I felt pulled back in time.  Sometimes it seems that many activists have one campaign that remains steeped in rose and gold, enthusiasm with no cynicism, adoration without suspicion.  For me it was Howard Dean in 2004.  I wore an orange hat and went door to door in Hiawatha, Iowa for him.  Distributed literature in Cedar Rapids.  Crashed on a cousin’s couch in Nashua passing out video tapes as people entered a supermarket.  Made phone calls to South Carolina and Wisconsin from home.  Then, lo and behold, I managed to snag a pass to the Convention in Boston on the night to hear Dean (and before him some senate candidate from Illinois).  My eyes stung when he came out.  Yelled my lungs out from the second mezzanine and loved how long that applause lasted.  Still have that pass; still have one of the signs I held.

That was the beginning of my streak of primary disappointment.  I liked Bill Richardson for his foreign policy experience.  He dropped out, I went with Hillary.  In 2016, I was mesmerized by Bernie Sanders’s message of economic justice.  But it was the Dean loss that hurt the most.  I believed in Dean….told him at our last conversation that I felt he was the Robert Kennedy of my generation.  God did it rankle to see John Kerry up there receiving applause and nomination.  Him!  Ugh!  It rankled to see him supporting Hillary twelve years later, too.  Thankfully, I did find a state representative candidate I could support with vigor in that cycle; that was a life preserver in a sea of ennui.  But the top line of the ballot still loomed.

It probably wasn’t until September that I came to terms with voting for John Kerry in 2004.  Not because of the platform.  Not because of the healing of time.  I voted Kerry in November 2004 because I was expecting people in Florida and Ohio to do the same.  God did I want those swing staters to do the right thing as I sat in electoral college irrelevance in the Bay State.  Wow was I hoping, deeply urging them to suck it up and vote Kerry.  No more wars, no more disasters…because a vote isn’t a self-indulgence.  A vote isn’t a weapon, a cudgel, an expression.  A vote is the strut you place in a bridge to the future, a bridge that I would be walking across; one my neighbors and someday my children would cross.

It may grate on me to hear from some of the Sanders delegates, the inconsistencies in their statements.  Their flexible definitions of trust and truth to serve their dislike for Hillary.  But….I probably would have said much of the same about John Kerry in 2004.  In August, with tears in my eyes.  I just hope my fellow Sanders supporters make that same journey I did in 2004.  It’s never easy; it’s never fun.  It’s never been more necessary.