8:59PM - Anderson Cooper is back safely from New Orleans after covering Gustav. Wolf Blitzer is glad.
9:02PM - John King: "McCain has to convince people he's a good Republican." Hahahahaha
9:05PM - George H.W. Bush and Barbara are getting a standing ovation.
9:09PM - Ok, honestly I really did think Bush's speech was supposed to be at 9. But I guess I'm going to do some talking-head blogging first.
9:13PM - Anderson wants to know whether TH#1 thinks the "lack of red meat" so far in the Republican convention is as bad as the lack thereof in the Democratic convention, when it was at this point. This misses the forest for the trees. The reason Obama is throwing "red meat" at voters is that he has something to attack: namely the pretty crappy state of the nation and its affairs. McCain has rather limited options in that regard.
9:17PM - TH#2 says "You cannot have a Republican convention without hearing 'They will raise your taxes and we won't.' I guarantee you you will hear that all night." She's right that we'll definitely hear that, but it's simply not true, not by a longshot.
9:20PM - TH#3 has a very distracting lightup sparkle flag pin on her lapel. Someone should tell her to turn that thing off.
9:24PM - Interesting that people keep equating Reagan's and Bush41's legacies with tax cutting. Reagan and Bush41 both raised taxes in the later parts of their terms, actions which happen to coincide with periods of increased economic growth. Somehow that part always gets left out.
9:28PM - Ok, 20 minutes ago Anderson Cooper said they were expecting Bush43 in 10 to 15 minutes. Now we've got two videos and THEN we've got Laura introducing Bush43. Geez.
9:30PM - Alright, I have to disagree with TH#2 here, John McCain's time as a POW wasn't "just a moment in his life", it was several years. Regardless of McCain's penchant for using it as an all-purpose response to any question, it really shouldn't be minimized.
9:32PM - CNN reporting that tear gas was just used to disperse protesters outside of the convention.
9:34PM - Who is Michael Monsore (sp?), and why are we hearing about how he mixed plaids and stripes when he was in kindergarten? (seriously, they said that) Ok, Mike Monsore is the Navy SEAL who saved two of his colleagues by jumping on a grenade in Iraq. And why, exactly, are they playing this? Because they can play "Someone else who put his country first" at the very end of the video. What were they just saying a few weeks ago about Obama using the military for political gain?
9:40PM - Wow, this is a pretty transparent and craven. If any of these former soldiers (who really do deserve the title 'hero' by the way) were endorsing McCain or making a speech or whatever then I could understand it. But they aren't doing anything, they're just playing videos and pointing the camera at vets. All they're doing is implanting a 'Republican = hero' message.
9:45PM - Laura calls Palin a "strong executive and proven reformer". The official talking points have officially coalecsed.
9:47PM - The microphone keeps picking up some guy going "YIIHH" that sounds something like a nasal grunt.
9:51PM - Laura, on Bush's African AIDS legacy: "You might call that change you can really believe in." oh snnnnnnap
9:53PM - Bush43 is on! And talking right over the crowd's applause.
9:55PM - He runs off a list of examples about what he's had to do as president, every single one of them about terrorism.
9:57PM - Shorter Bush: John McCain is pro-choice, will lower taxes, and will drill offshore. Heh, took me longer to type that than it did for Bush to say it.
9:59PM - "We live in a dangerous world, and we need a man who understands the lessons of September 11th."
10:01PM - The mike is still picking up that guy, only now he's changed to "uh ih uh ih uh iiiiiihhhh". Wow that is annoying.
10:01PM - Bush is done? Yep, he's done. Wow, that was short. Allow me to paraphrase: "Sanctity of life! September 11th! Angry left! Spreading freedom! God bless!"
10:05PM - Were Ronald Reagan's father's first words to his son really "fat little Dutchman"? Learn something new everyday.
10:07PM - More on Reagan and how he cut taxes. Still no mention of how he later raised them several times.
10:10PM - Fred Thompson is on.
10:11PM - Thompson: "Palin is being attacked for having actually governed, instead of just talking and doing the DC cocktail party circuit." Is he attacking Obama or McCain?
10:12PM - "She's the only nominee in the history of either party who knows how to properly field wrestle moose." .... yeah, I'm just gonna leave that one go.
10:13PM - "When she and John get to Washington, they won't care about how agitated the alligators get, they're gonna drain the swamp!" Is it animal night at the RNC tonight?
10:17PM - John McCain dated somebody named "The Flame of Florida" while in flight school? Ok, interesting fact, but wasn't really necessary for the speech, and wasn't really incorporated in any way. Kinda weird.
10:22PM - The camera just caught two people leaving during Thompson's speech. Whoops.
10:23PM - Ok, moving speech about McCain's POW experience. But, as Fred Thompson just pointed out, "Being a POW doesn't qualify you to be president." He goes on about how it shows character, but the country doesn't run off of character, it runs off of the policies he's going to implement. I have no doubt that McCain sincerely believes in the policies he's advocating, but that's a separate question from whether those policies are right for America. They're not.
10:28PM - "Not a teleprompter speech designed to appeal to America's critics abroad." Oh please. God forbid we share some beliefs with the Europeans.
10:29PM - "History making nominee. History making because he's the most liberal and least experienced in American history!" They were talking about red meat, and Thompson is certainly giving it to them, but this could backfire. He sounds bitter and confrontational and shrill. People are going to start tuning him out.
10:31PM - *sigh, the taxes thing again. This is just patently false: Obama's plan would reduce taxes for 95% of all Americans. And the supposed "increase" for the remaining 5% would be returning them to pre-Bush levels.
10:34PM - Annoying guy by the mike again.
10:39PM - Lieberman is up. Ok, if Joe had any hope of maybe keeping his committee chairmanship come next January, he pretty much just killed it.
10:42PM - The crowd just applauded Liberman saying the troops "Just see Democrats and Republicans fighting each other, when it should be Americans fighting for them." I wonder if they realize he just insulted them.
10:43PM - "I'm here to support John McCain because country matters more than party. The person who will keep our country safe is John McCain!" Killed it, and now nailing the coffin shut.
10:49PM - Oooo, broken immigration and global warming got a decided lack of applause. Know your audience, Joe.
10:51PM - Hmm... Lieberman is now arguing against Obama ... by complimenting Bill Clinton. That's an, umm, interesting choice for the RNC.
10:56PM - Lieberman speaks directly to Democrats and independents. "I want you to believe with me that this is no ordinary election, because these are not ordinary times, and trust me John McCain is no ordinary candidate. You may not agree with John McCain on every issue, but you can always count on him to tell you exactly where he stands." Again, I know. And knowing exactly where McCain stands on each issue is exactly why I don't intend to vote for him.
10:58PM - "Vote for the person you believe is best for the country, not the party you happen to belong to." Nailed shut, and now shoveling the dirt. This is precisely the reason Democrats get so vexed with Lieberman; not because he disagrees with the party on a few issues, but because he goes out of his way to make a really big deal about those disagreements.