The local coffee shop in St. Paul is singing a familiar refrain. It opened early on Monday -- 5 a.m. -- to serve the hordes of delegates and media we've been hearing about for the last two years.
On the other side of the river, hours earlier, there were plenty of customers. Wrong city. Wrong hour. Wrong drink.
(h/t: Tom Weber)(1 Comments)
Twitter, the "micro-blog/instant messaging" program is proving to be an excellent way to follow the convention from a variety of perspectives.
For the delegates/bigshot view, check out @sanuzis. It's coming from Saul Anuzis, the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. The delegation is also writing a blog, but it's nowhere near as interesting as the Twitter feed.
However, we do get word via that blog that the Michigan delegation is starting a blood drive at the Northland Inn, where the delegation is staying. The drive, of course, is directed at the victims of Hurricane Gustav, although it seems that the only people in harm's way are the TV reporters, standing out in the middle of the street, telling us to get out of harm's way.
Another state party chairman -- Chris Healy of Connecticut -- is Twittering (tweating?), but mostly just to call attention to the blog posts Healy is writing (Today a Medal of Honor winner spoke to the delegation).
For the well-connected-but-not-a-delegate view, the A-List is headed by David All, a Washington communications consultant (@DavidAll).
Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, Twitter gets props from media analyst David Brauer, for coverage of Friday/Saturday police raids.
If you've got a favorite, please add it below. (And please use html to do so if you can)(1 Comments)
The hottest rumor sweeping the blogosphere in the last day or so was the accusation that Palin's youngest
daughter son is actually Palin's daughter's daughter son. It started with some research that showed that Palin didn't announce her pregnancy until she was 7 months pregnant, and her staff couldn't tell.
Close enough for Daily Kos.
I've stayed away from it for the last two days, the problem is I can't report the actual news today and ignore the rumor's existence, because it was announced today that Palin's unmarried daughter is five months pregnant now.(20 Comments)
The Daily Show is being created. The show has taken over the basement of the McNally Smith College of Music in the History Theatre, 10th and Exchange streets downtown.
Early gossip on tonight's show. The show will focus on today's protest march which is happening just outside the taping area. Staff, however, is watching it on TV.
As the troops redeployed from the Capitol at the end of today's official protests in St. Paul, the police marched down the protest route. My first clue that they weren't on some way to a conflagration (yet) was when they started smiling and waving to us in the world headquarters of News Cut.(2 Comments)
Posted at 5:09 PM on September 1, 2008
by Bob Collins
While all the politicians are taking great pains to express their thoughts and prayers for the victims of Hurricane Gustav, a few businesspeople in the Twin Cities are praying they won't be victims of the scaled-back Republican National Convention. The five-day soiree is shaping up as the biggest bust in Minnesota since Dimitrius Underwood.
One hotel in Minneapolis was told by a media organization to hold 120 seats in a restaurant for the whole week. Today, 23 people showed up.
So far...so good, however for Amy Brown...
and Heidi Andermack.
Heidi is handling the St. Paul side of things, which means providing meals to the staff of The Daily Show and PBS' NewsHour. Amy is working in a kitchen in Northeast Minneapolis that easily reached 100 degrees this afternoon, preparing a meal for one of the hotter tickets in town -- the Political Chicks A Go Go fundraiser, which -- with the newfound sensitivity for the Gulf Coast -- has been renamed the "RightNOW!, Lifetime Networks and Rock the Vote Relief for the Gulf Coast."
"We have people working around the clock in our kitchen," according to Heidi. A van driver is working 12-hour days, delivering the food and navigating security.
Jim Lehrer's show wants healthy food, and Daily Show wants "hearty, easy-to-understand food. It has to be 'very hearty'; no mistake about it. NewsHour today gets salads and rotisserie chicken. And fruit. Lots of fruit."
Heidi hasn't met Jon Stewart... yet. But she knows a few things about his dietary habits. "He doesn't like melon or kiwi in his fruit salad." Lehrer, on the other hand, "needs a turkey meal every day because of a health condition."
The Daily Show's executives made it clear after the first day that Andermack needed to dial back the quality. It was too good. She suspects it was the honey butter that pushed the execs over the edge, to the point that they worried the worker-bees would be expecting too much this week.
Meanwhile on the Minneapolis side, Amy Brown says "people are starting to get a little crabby. The kitchen's hot, people are crabby. Nobody's broken down yet, though" she says.
Brown says she thought she'd be cooking for a star tonight. Sarah Palin was supposed to be in the party's VIP room, "but I don't think she'll be there now," she says.
Is there much concern about the great disappearing convention? "Yes," Andermack says. "I woke up from a call from one of my staff telling her that someone from Lehrer called at 2 this morning and didn't leave a message. I do have concern, I don't know how it's going to affect us." Her biggest concern is the convention will be delayed. The firm has two weddings this weekend. Lehrer has already skipped town, but his healthy-eating colleagues are still around.
Brown figures there's a built-in safety net to their operation. "We're catering the fake news. We've got the Daily Show, so most of those clients have stayed on site. As opposed to doing CBS or the major media, we've got most of our eaters still in the Twin Cities."
The catering firm isn't entirely on the hook if the media leaves town. "We've gotten deposits for half the amount, we have another payment coming in, and then the rest of it 15 days after the convention is over," according to Andermack.
The firm got the party gig because the Right Now group, which is all women, looked for an all-women catering firm. But a News Cut investigation on Monday revealed men working in the kitchen... on Labor Day.
Should we still believe the whole "we're just engaged in peaceful activities" mantra from the more extreme groups who gathered in St. Paul for the Republican National Convention? We don't know -- yet -- whether the people inflicting the damage on downtown St. Paul at this hour are the same people who claimed innocence after last weekend's police raids, but they succeeded in muting the point made by thousands of peaceful protests. And the Republican National Convention went on as scheduled at the Xcel Energy Center.
The RNC Welcoming Committee sent out an email to the media with a subject line "grain of salt."
Just a quick note for all you media folks to remember. The police and the mayor are charged with maintaining order and the semblance of order. They lie to the media and they lie to the public. The people are in the streets and the spectacle of the RNC has been crashed.
And now for coverage of people who protested without violence:
And some video of the police preparations:(10 Comments)
The era of good feeling about the Twin Cities and the visiting Republicans is over.
The Connecticut State Republican Party blog posted this message this afternoon:
83 year old Fred Biebel, the Chairman emeritus of the Connecticut Republican Party, was hit with a small amount of bleach and water as the CTGOP delegation attempted to enter the GOP Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Biebel said that it wasn't the worst he's seen - saying 1968 was worse. After the altercation, he experienced shortness of breath and seemed to lose his color in the face. EMTs on the scene reviewed his condition and eventually allowed him to enter the Convention with the use of a wheelchair.
The Daily Show evaluates the St. Paul cops vs. the "anarchists" and casts its lot with the latter:
As it turns out, just a little while earlier in the day, a group of about 9,000 anti-war protesters had decided to follow in the footsteps of other great change-makers like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi by going ape**** retarded crazy and busting the **** out of a bunch of police vehicles (as well as the officers who drive them).
But I have a feeling that their message was well-heard by all the innocent Republican delegates who have absolutely no power whatsoever to remove troops from Iraq. I expect those troops to be re-deployed anytime now.(2 Comments)