Archive for the ‘Republican’ Category

This is a beauty. Via ThinkProgress.


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Ellis said there were concerns about Grussendorf’s party affiliation. Grussendorf was a registered Republican until just weeks ago. He changed his registration to Democrat to qualify for appointment to the seat that opened when Juneau Democrat Kim Elton resigned for a job in the Obama administration.

Palin, who must choose a Juneau Democrat for the seat, appointed Grussendorf on Sunday. It was a controversial pick that the Democratic Party fought hard to block, saying state House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula should get the job instead.

Grussendorf ran for state office and lost in 2002 as a Democrat, and his father, Ben Grussendorf, is a former Democratic state House speaker. He said he never meant to be a Republican.

Grussendorf said he registered in 2006 as undeclared so he could participate in the closed Republican primary. His registration was then mistakenly changed when he wrote “Republican” on the absentee envelope that year, since that was the primary ballot he wanted, he said.

He said he didn’t know his Republican status until it became an issue for Elton’s seat, and he changed back to Democrat when he found out what happened.

Never heard that one before.

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It’s kind of important.

Info on Mt. Rainier, here. This excellent photo is via Seattle rainscreens photostream.

Update: CNN article, here.

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A little late

It seems that now Republicans all of a sudden care about preserving white house emails.

A California Republican congressman has called on President Obama to put in place a system that ensures all White House emails be preserved even if official business was done through private e- mail accounts.

Rep. Darrell Issa, the senior Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, made the request in a February 18 letter to White House Counsel Greg Craig.

Issa specifically mentioned the new administration’s brief use of Gmail accounts after Obama was sworn in last month, as they waited for the official White House e-mail accounts to become active.

“As you know, any e-mail sent or received by White House officials may be subject to retention under the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” Issa wrote Craig in the letter.

“The use of personal e-mail accounts, such as Gmail to conduct official business raises the prospect that presidential records will not be captured by the White House e-mail archiving system. Consequently Gmail users on the President’s staff run the risk of incorrectly classifying their e-mails as non-records under the [Presidential Records] Act.”

This is the problem Republicans face today. Even when they bring up a perfectly reasonable idea, they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever in the matter. And it will be like this for a long time.

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I’ve always thought religious extremism was really the same all over the world if you swap out the religion with another. Pete Sessions (R-TX):

“Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban,” Sessions said during a meeting yesterday with Hotline editors. “And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person’s entire processes. And these Taliban — I’m not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban. No, that’s not what we’re saying. I’m saying an example of how you go about [sic] is to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message. And we need to understand that insurgency may be required when the other side, the House leadership, does not follow the same commands, which we entered the game with.” […]

When pressed to clarify, Sessions said he was not comparing the House Republican caucus to the Taliban, the Muslim fundamentalist group. “I simply said one can see that there’s a model out there for insurgency,” Sessions said before being interrupted by an aide.

Via  ThinkProgress.

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John Aravosis asks the question:

What is with the Republican obsession with intellectual lightweights? From Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush, Republicans have not just tolerated a decided lack of brainpower in their political icons, they’ve actually embraced these characters precisely because they’re so “regular guy.” The problem, of course, is that regular guys are great fun at a kegger, but not so great at running the free world.

Look at the GOP presidential candidates. Not all of them, but Reagan and Bush come to mind as recent candidates who weren’t particularly bright, and weren’t particularly adept at the day-to-day running of the country (let’s face it, in his second term Reagan’s lack of attention to detail unraveled much of his presidency). But Republicans loved them. They loved them because of their lack of qualifications, lack of smarts – euphemistically known as “outsider status.” Same thing with our female Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin. Not just unqualified, but like W. Bush (and Quayle), kind of dumb too. But the GOP loved her, partly, it seems, because she’s not quite all there. Then there’s Joe the Plumber. Again – tough guy, regular guy, but not particularly bright (and politically damaged to boot). They love him too. Joe is even off being a “war correspondent” in Israel, even though he doesn’t think there should be any war correspondents anywhere.

Isn’t it obvious? The dumb are a lot easier to lead.

The link has the transcript from the Joe-the-Plumber video for those of you like myself who cannot get up the nerve to actually watch it.

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According to Rep. Paul Broun (R) from Georgia that’s what Obama is. It’s quite brilliant to get that two-in-one combination to work out logically.

A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship.”It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he’s the one who proposed this national security force,” Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. “I’m just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may—may not, I hope not—but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism.”

Broun cited a July speech by Obama that has circulated on the Internet in which the then-Democratic presidential candidate called for a civilian force to take some of the national security burden off the military.

“That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did,” Broun said. “When he’s proposing to have a national security force that’s answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he’s showing me signs of being Marxist.”

Thanks Paul, but I’m afraid your first statement was right. It does sound a little bit crazy and off base. Just a little.

Are there any Republicans left who actually know what Marxism is?

Photo via superbastards.com.

Update: In case you were confused as to how one could be both fascist and communist, here’s another mindbender from Broun for you.

“The point I tried to make is that he is extremely liberal, he has promoted a lot of socialistic ideas, and it just makes me concerned,” Broun said Tuesday.

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Giving further proof that right-wing Republicans haven’t a clue what socialism is, we find this statement from Rush Limbaugh:

We’re going to get some rank and file, average American Democrats that are going to vote for McCain.  But these hoity-toity bourgeoisie…

Well, they’re not the bourgeoisie, but… Well, they are in a sense. They’re following their own self-interests, so I say fine. They have just admitted that Republican Party “big tent” philosophy didn’t work. It was their philosophy; it was their idea. These are the people, once they steered the party to where it is, they are the ones that abandoned it.

Gee Rush, you toss out words like socialism, communism and marxism and yet here you are whining about the bourgeoisie. Do you know who popularized the term bourgeoisie in his Communist Manifesto when he vilified the middle class? That would be Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. By your own standards you’re as commie as they come.

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I’ve been interested in reading about Christopher Buckley’s removal from the National Review following his endorsement of Barack Obama. Most conservatives see Buckley, the son of The National Review founder William F. Buckley, and his endorsement as a betrayal to conservatives. Some conservatives like Kathleen Parker disagree saying “What does it mean that the right cannot politely entertain dissenting opinions within its ranks?”

As much as I would never want to be part of a party that didn’t allow me to use my own mind on various issues, Parker is forgetting that one of the Republican party’s greatest assets is that they don’t allow dissent. While we Democrats are fighting over getting out of Iraq now versus later, the economic bailout and immigration issues, the GOP can firmly assert one way or another. I’ve been to a few demonstrations that range from anti-war to filibuster in topic. You see people holding up about twenty different posters that have nothing to do with the demonstration.

I’m happy to vote Democrat, but sometimes the hardest and yet most effective thing in the world is presenting a unified stance. It’s an advantage to be able to do so.

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Because of course there was never any evidence to convict in the first place. Besides the objective to eliminate the protester’s right to free speech was already accomplished.

Charges will be dropped against journalists who were arrested and charged with misdemeanors for unlawful assembly during the Republican National Convention, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said today.

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This is absolutely hilarious.

A campaign official for the Virginia Lieutenant Governor cancelled an order for 150 guidebooks to entertainment in Minneapolis-St. Paul after discovering they included a 6-8 page section for gay and lesbian nightclubs.

“Having a section dedicated solely to GLBT will be a BIG problem for many of our folks. We simply can’t hand them out,” wrote the aide, Melissa Busse, in an email to the guidebook publisher, Rake Publishing, obtained by ABC affiliate KSTP.

You’ve got to be kidding me right? Like a group of adult Republicans can’t handle possessing a guide book because there are 6-8 pages devoted to the gay and lesbian night life of Minneapolis St. Paul? What are they going to turn gay if they read it? Maybe that’s what happened to Larry Craig. Maybe in fact this would be a great resource to Republicans.

I think this does say a lot about the worldliness of this Melissa Busse. I mean doesn’t she know that nearly every travel guide has a gay and lesbian section?

But it gets funnier when ABC interviews some gay club owners in Minneapolis.

“We’ve had quite a spike, mostly people who are curious come down and they wind up leaving and having a good time,” said Robert Parker, the manager of the Gay 90’s club in downtown Minneapolis which features a popular “drag queen” show.

“Mississippi, Alabama, California, Arizona, I’ve seen people from all over, said Parker.


Photo via http://www.minneapoliseagle.com.

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Sure sounds like Mitt Romney was a bit miffed about being passed over for Vice President since he’s already talking about his own presidential run should McCain fail.

“I saw my dad serve in the Cabinet, and I learned something from that experience,” the former Massachusetts governor said Tuesday. “He felt he was kind of soldiered (manhandled) by the young folks in the White House, and then there’s the big bureaucracy that you try and move. It’s hard to do that. I just don’t have any interest in a Cabinet position.”

Since ending his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination in February, Romney has done everything asked of him to advance McCain’s candidacy.

He played attack dog in media interviews arranged by the McCain staff, enduring hoots and hollers last week as he visited news sets on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He recommended one of his best advisers, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, to McCain. And he and his team raised more than $20 million for his once cash-strapped rival, all of which prompted McCain’s top advisers to chat up the possibility that Romney might become the Arizona senator‘s running mate.

Yet last Thursday, as Romney traveled the California coast urging supporters to give McCain’s campaign more money, McCain offered the vice presidential nomination to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. McCain told Romney his decision Friday, the day Palin’s selection was announced.

In one sense, it was a crushing blow. But in another, it was liberating.

While Romney wished McCain and Palin well, his friends and advisers say if they fail in the general election, Romney is primed — even anxious — to mount a second bid for the White House.

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During the last eight years, I’ve thought a lot about my high school civics class. That’s where I was indoctrinated with the greatness that is the American constitution, but these eight years I’ve found everything I learned was mythology. I’ve come to resent fact that I was force to learn something that I loved only to see it trounced upon.

Following up on this weekend’s extreme raids on various homes, at least 250 people were arrested here today in St. Paul, Minnesota. Beginning last night, St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city be, even more so than Manhattan in the week of 9/11 — with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations. Humvees and law enforcement officers with rifles were posted on various buildings and balconies. Numerous protesters and observers were tear gassed and injured. I’ll have video of the day’s events posted shortly.

Perhaps most extraordinarily, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now — the radio and TV broadcaster who has been a working journalist for close to 20 years — was arrested on the street and charged with “conspiracy to riot.” Audio of her arrest, which truly shocked and angered the crowd of observers, is here. I just attended a Press Conference with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Police Chief John M. Harrington and — after they boasted of how “restrained” their police actions were — asked about the journalists and lawyers who had been detained and/or arrested both today and over the weekend. They said they wouldn’t give any information about journalists who had been arrested today, though they said they believed that “one journalist” had been, and that she “was seemingly a participant in the riots, not simply a non-participant.” I’ll have video of the Press Conference posted shortly.

What are they afraid of?

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Advocacy groups that fight prostitution in the Twin Cities are gearing up for what they believe will be a surge in activity during the Republican National Convention—even though police say they aren’t expecting it to be a problem.

The Twin Cities will see an influx of 35,000 visitors during the Republican convention from Sep. 1-4.

Vednita Carter, executive director of Breaking Free, a St. Paul organization that helps women escape from prostitution, told the Star Tribune that talk among prostitutes is that there will be a lot of money to be made.

I think the city should be more worried about prostitutes along the lines of Mike Jones coming to town.

Photo via eatenbythemonster’s photostream on flickr.

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The price of gas is a topic that has consumed Americans for the last year. Now Republican senator John Warner has made a surprising suggestion: reduce the national speed limit to stretch gas mileage. It sounds perfectly reasonable. In fact, there is a precedent. In 1974 faced with an energy crisis Congress decided to create the limit. Furthermore, this national limit was only removed in 1995 when the price of gas was a mere $17 a barrel.

Warner cited studies that showed the 55 mph speed limit saved 167,000 barrels of oil a day, or 2 percent of the country’s highway fuel consumption, while avoiding up to 4,000 traffic deaths a year.

“Given the significant increase in the number of vehicles on America’s highway system from 1974 to 2008, one could assume that the amount of fuel that could be conserved today is far greater,” Warner wrote Bodman.

Warner asked the department to determine at what speeds vehicles would be most fuel efficient, how much fuel savings would be achieved, and whether it would be reasonable to assume there would be a reduction in prices at the pump if the speed limit were lowered.

I have to give Warner credit for a smart idea that may not be popular among his party. Given the national importance that gas prices seem to have, it will be interesting to see if Americans embrace Warner’s suggestion or not. If they don’t, then it’s hard to feel that they truly feel the grip of the price of gas. I love this part about the Energy Department’s response:

Energy Department spokeswoman Angela Hill said the department will review Warner’s letter but added, “If Congress is serious about addressing gasoline prices, they must take action on expanding domestic oil and natural gas production.”

Instead of implementing a speed limit that has proven in the past to reduce oil consumption, let’s instead make our oil friends rich. Isn’t that a better idea?

Many of our Republican friends are so often upset at increases in taxes cite the need for public officials to make sacrifices. Social services should be reduced instead of raising taxes, they say. The government should learn to make do with what they have like the rest of us, they say. Warner is using the same logic in return. Instead of opening up domestic oil production, why can we not make do with what we already have? Can we not sacrifice a few moments of the day by reducing our highway speed?

Photo courtesy of americansforsharedsacrifice.org

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I’m the type of person who worries a lot. If I have nothing to worry about, I assure you I will think of something to worry about. My worries are primarily comprised of rare happenings like terrorist attacks, plane crashes, car seat problems, medical mishaps, child abductions, exploding cell phones, re-useable plastic bottles — you know the things that pop news tells me to be worried about.

The Republicans aren’t doing very much to assuage some of my fears. In fact, they seem to be hoping that something will happen to re-heighten my fears.

  • Lieberman told the show’s host, Bob Schieffer, “Our enemies will test the new president early. Remember that the truck bombing of the World Trade Center happened in the first year of the Clinton administration. 9/11 happened in the first year of the Bush administration.”

  • First, Black described the assassination of Pakistani political leader Benazir Bhutto in late December as an “unfortunate event” — but one that boosted McCain’s stock just before the must-win New Hampshire primary. The candidate’s “knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who’s ready to be commander in chief. And it helped us,” Black said. Then the longtime Washington lobbyist went further. Asked what the political ramifications of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil might be for McCain, Black told Fortune, “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”
  • John McCain predicted the general election race would come down to the buzzer Friday, declaring himself the underdog but quipping that he’d ride to victory in the last “48 hours.”

Now just what could they be planning? BTW, if Lieberman is supporting the Republican candidate for President then he is a Republican in my book.

The question is whether we carry on with the same course because we are too afraid of an alternative? Do we stay the course as George Bush wants us to? There is no question in my mind that diplomacy leads to a safer country. The ideals of the conservatives do not include being diplomatic or playing nice. They rule (or not as the case may be) by force. To them the answer to all of our problems is force. Yet this war is proof that their strategy has no credit to it. We as a country are less safe, and this country has lost a bit of its intimidation factor. Do we continue with a course that is failing us because we are too afraid of an alternative? Do we stay the course?

The Republicans want you to be afraid of taxes, of environmental regulation, of the price of gas, of your money being taken away. But we already know what their answer is. We pay more for gas, we pay more for food, we pay more to repair the damage done by hurricanes and floods than environmental protection would have cost, and our money is being taken away and given to the richest individuals in this country. To quote Dr. Phil: how’s that working for you. Do we stay with a known course of folly or do we try an alternative?

The politics of fear are very powerful. Voting out of fear — how is that working for us?

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Police on Sunday were investigating vandals’ spray-painting of dozens of city vehicles here, some with disparaging messages about the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Authorities think the vandalism to about 60 vehicles, estimated at $10,000 in damage, was done Saturday afternoon, police spokeswoman Sgt. Barbara Jones said.

The vehicles were parked across from City Hall and investigators said culprits tagged messages including “Obama smokes crack” and a racial epithet.

They even left business cards on the vehicles that disparage both the Illinois senator and his rival, Republican John McCain. The cards voice support for Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama’s former opponent.

Well that’s completely brilliant. I’m sure all of those people who got their cars damaged are now going to vote for McCain because that’s completely logical. That’s about as smart as taking your jihad training VHS tape to Circuit City to get transfered to DVD. I suspect the Hillary cards were put there to throw the scent off Republicans. I have a hard time believing that Hillary supporters would go out and tag cars.

Update: Then again, where was Bill Clinton on June 28th?

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From The Huffingtonpost:

As a rule, Republicans appreciate the value in defining the Democratic presidential nominee, and the GOP is usually pretty good at it. In 2000, Al Gore, they said, was an “exaggerator.” This was not only effective, thanks to a quick embrace by the media, it was also part of a narrative — when Gore takes credit for some of the successes of the ’90s, don’t believe him because he exaggerates

In 2004, John Kerry, they said was a “flip-flopper.” This, too, was relatively effective, and was once again parroted by the media. The narrative here was equally clear — in the first post-9/11 election, in a time of war, we don’t want someone who’s inconsistent.

Four years later, the effort to define Barack Obama is proving to be more difficult for Republican attack dogs. The GOP keeps experimenting with new memes, but not only are they not sticking, some even contradict each other.

It’s true the GOP are great at branding. If the GOP is the Bud of marketing, then the Democrats are the Coors (the Coors founder famously didn’t believe in marketing.) I marvel at the fact that I’ve heard repeated the nonsense that somehow Barack Obama is an elitist but George Bush, John McCain and even Hillary Clinton are everyday ordinary folks. It’s powerful stuff.

What’s really interesting is that John Kerry and John McCain are virtually the same person. They are both war heroes from rich and established families and both of their second wives are rich heiresses. But you rarely hear the jabs about John McCain’s wealth that we heard about Kerry. And certainly John McCain is the biggest flip-flopper of them all.

Marketing is key to the Bush Administration. Time and time again we have heard them describe their failures as being image problems only. Rumsfeld regretted calling the war the War on Terror as if it was called anything else it would have been a success. George Bush recently said:

Bush “admitted to the Times that his gun-slinging rhetoric made the world believe that he was a ‘guy really anxious for war’ in Iraq. He said that his aim now was to leave his successor a legacy of international diplomacy for tackling Iran. Phrases such as ‘bring them on’ or ‘dead or alive’ [in reference to Osama bin Laden,] he said, ‘indicated to people that I was, you know, not a man of peace.’

So why is the GOP having a hard time branding Obama? I have two suggestions to add to the mix. Americans are weary of the Republicans right now and almost everything they say lacks credibility. It’s a case of the boy crying wolf too much. People are suspicious of their attacks knowing that the alternative they offer is bleaker. Fear was a decider in the 2004 election. People may feel duped that they voted out of fear and got something far worse in return. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Second, the Republicans are sounding increasingly like whiners. What America desperately wants right now is a positive message to put forth and the Republicans are coming up short.

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Upon meeting me for the first time, it’s fairly regular for a person to tell me how much they like Thai food since I am part Thai. I understand it, after all that may be the only connection a person has to Thailand. Better that then mentioning a sex show you saw in Thailand (sadly that happened to me.) Another is “oh, you’re Taiwanese” (happened!). So I guess it’s really understandable that our President, the guy who rubbed the shoulders of a female head of state, would say the following to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo President of the Philippines:

Madam President, it is a pleasure to welcome you back to the Oval Office. We have just had a very constructive dialogue. First, I want to tell you how proud I am to be the President of a nation that — in which there’s a lot of Philippine-Americans. They love America and they love their heritage. And I reminded the President that I am reminded of the great talent of the — of our Philippine-Americans when I eat dinner at the White House. And the chef is a great person and a really good cook, by the way, Madam President.

Actually, it is kind of embarrassing isn’t it?

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One has to give credit to the BBC for the juxtaposition of this photo and headline. The article is here.

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In his own words, John McCain tells us what his judicial philosophy is. I am struck with how the current president and John McCain really do speak in code. He never uses the word abortion yet there is no doubt that the primary purpose of this speech is to ensure that he will appoint the same kind of judges that have approved bans on some abortions. Instead he uses more widely agreed upon examples of undesirable decisions like the following:

A local government seized the private property of an American citizen. It gave that property away to a private developer. And this power play actually got the constitutional “thumbs-up” from five m embers of the Supreme Court.

And then there’s this knock on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals:

Then there was the case of the man in California who filed a suit against the entire United States Congress, which I guess made me a defendant too. This man insisted that the words “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance violated his rights under the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The Ninth Circuit court agreed, as it usually does when litigious people seek to rid our country of any trace of religious devotion.

John McCain cannot be more specific when he says:

I have my own standards of judicial ability, experience, philosophy, and temperament. And Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito meet those standards in every respect. They would serve as the model for my own nominees if that responsibility falls to me.

There probably isn’t a person out there who isn’t disappointed in our Supreme Court in some way although those ways may be drastically different, but I think the above shows McCain’s willingness to continue the tradition that George W. Bush has set — however favorably or unfavorably you think that tradition may be.

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Fox News anchors think Abraham Lincoln ran for President against a black man. Those were such progressive days after all. In this clip, the TV hosts discuss the stupidity of their intern while never noticing that the photo that is meant to be Lincoln’s opponent Stephen Douglas is actually abolitionist Frederick Douglas.

Nice work dumb asses.

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Bar and restaurant hours during the Republican National Convention might be able to stretch into the wee hours of the morning after all, with new legislation that some prior naysayers are tentatively embracing.

A proposal for allowing bars to remain open until 4 a.m. around the time of the convention passed unanimously Tuesday through the House Commerce and Labor Committee.

The action follows the failure of two previous proposals — including one by Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, which was removed from a budget bill Thursday.

In contrast, the new bill allows bars within the seven-county metro area — including the border cities of Northfield and New Prague — to stay open later from the evening of Sunday, Aug. 31, through the early morning of Friday, Sept. 5. That’s five nights, rather than 11 — and no Friday or Saturday.

Via Wonkette.

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If the polls are correct and Americans

  1. Think the country is on the wrong track
  2. Think going to war in Iraq was a mistake
  3. Think we should leave Iraq

then I can’t see this man winning. With the exception of being a slightly better public speaker than George Bush, I ask you what does he say in this clip that Bush has not already said? It’s almost like Bush’s speech writers are now working for McCain. This man offers us nothing and this speech makes it painfully obvious.

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