Thursday Morning Reads: About Last Night

Good Morning!!

Thanks to everyone who helped with the live blogs last night. You guys are the greatest! I’m still fired up from Warren’s and Clinton’s speeches last night. The comparison between those two and Lyin’ Ryan and Etch-a-Sketch Willard could not be any greater. Tonight we’ll see both Joe Biden and Barack Obama. It should be another fun night, so please join us tonight if you can.

Here are some of the early reactions to Wednesday night’s speeches.

TPM: Bill Clinton to Mitt Romney: Barack Obama is My True Heir.

Bill Clinton offered an impassioned defense of President Obama as a leader in the mold of his own image Wednesday night, praising him for rescuing an ailing economy even as Republicans sought to thwart him at every turn.

Mitt Romney has tried to position himself as Clinton’s heir in recent months, employing a false claim that Obama gutted Clinton’s signature welfare reform bill, comparing the two presidents on jobs and claiming he’d follow Clinton’s lead in working with the other party.

Clinton made clear that there was only one candidate in the race who embodied his values.

“If you want a future of shared prosperity, where the middle class is growing and poverty is declining, where the American dream is alive and well and where the United States maintains its leadership as a force for peace, and justice, and prosperity, in this highly competitive world, you have to vote for Barack Obama,” he said.

NYT: Transcript of Bill Clinton’s speech.

ABC News: Elizabeth Warren: The System is Rigged.

Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, speaking ahead of Bill Clinton tonight at the Democratic National Convention, delivered an acid rebuke of Mitt Romney and Republican economic policy.

Their vision is clear, she said: “I’ve got mine, and the rest of you are on your own.”

Warren, who founded the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010, is the Harvard professor who became a YouTube hero among Democrats when she asked a small gathering of Bay State supporters, “You built a factory out there? Good for you — but I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.”

LA Times: Sandra Fluke: GOP positions ‘offensive, obsolete relic’ of past

Sandra Fluke on Wednesday offered a dire vision of the future if Mitt Romney is elected president, one where rape would be redefined, women would be forced to have ultrasounds against their wishes, and access to birth control would be controlled by men.

Calling GOP positions “an offensive, obsolete relic of our past,” Fluke told delegates at the Democratic National Convention that “we know what this America would look like and in few shorts months that’s the American we could be, but that’s not the America that we should be, and it’s not who we are.”

Fluke was referring to a host of Republican moves, including measures to narrow the definition of rape to include only those that are “forcible,” as well as attempts by Republicans in some states to force women seeking abortions to undergo a vaginal ultrasound and efforts to curb funding for Planned Parenthood, a leading source of contraception for poor and younger women.

HuffPo: Randy Johnson Speech Attacks Bain: Mitt Romney Lacks A ‘Moral Compass.’

Bain Capital became front and center at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, with three speakers knocking the private equity firm that GOP nominee Mitt Romney founded for costing them their jobs.

First up was Randy Johnson, who has needled Romney has far back as 1994 when he ran for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, the same year Johnson was laid off.

“I want to tell you about Mitt Romney’s record of cutting jobs. Mitt Romney once said — quote — ‘I like being able to fire people,'” Johnson said, quoting a remark Romney made in January about keeping the competitiveness of the health care industry, rather than workers.

“I don’t think Mitt Romney is a bad man. I don’t fault him for the fact that some companies win and some companies lose. That’s a fact of life,” he said. “What I fault him for is making money without a moral compass.”

Connie’s friend Cindy Hewitt also spoke.

Cindy Hewitt, interviewed by The Huffington Post about layoffs at the plant where she worked, echoed Johnson’s sentiment about Romney Wednesday, along with David Foster, another employee laid-off by a Bain-controlled company. All three speakers acknowledged that business had “winners and losers” or some variation — perhaps to stave off sounding too “anti-business” — but proceeded to attack Bain’s model of capitalism.

A couple more general links:

Here’s an interesting piece comparing Michelle Obama’s convention speech with Ann Romney’s: Study: First Lady’s convention speech seven grade levels higher than Ann Romney’s

The speech First Lady Michelle Obama delivered at Tuesday night’s Democratic convention read at a twelfth grade level, according to an analysis by a University of Minnesota political scientist, making it, by that measure, the most complex speech delivered by a presidential candidate’s spouse at a nominating convention.

By contrast, the speech delivered by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, checked in at a fifth grade reading level. Romney’s speech marked the lowest reading level for a spouse’s convention speech since the practice first began in 1992, according to Eeic Ostermeier, the Minnesota political scientists.

Ostermeier reached his findings using the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, a metric that rates sentence structure and difficulty of word use, and then computes numbers corresponding to grade levels to indicate how verbally advanced a given text is. For example, longer sentences and words score more points, while monosyllabic words score fewer points.

Hmmm…5th grade level vs. 12th grade. Interesting. I wonder what grade level this Lyin’ Ryan Speech would test at?

Ryan praises Bill Clinton, compares Obama unfavorably to the former Democratic president.

Void of a single reference to Clinton-era scandals, Ryan’s praise was a way to paint Obama as a failure on the GOP ticket’s terms.

“Under President Clinton we got welfare reform,” Ryan told an audience outside a small-town courthouse west of Des Moines. “President Obama is rolling back welfare reform. President Clinton worked with Republicans in Congress to have a budget agreement to cut spending. President Obama, a gusher of new spending.”

I’m guessing that one is about 3rd grade level.

I’ll end with this video of Lewis Black talking about how long-winded Bill Clinton’s just how white Mitt Romney is and lots more.