(Video UPDATE) Rage Against the RNC Machine

I rode over to St. Paul after work yesterday to see what was going on... I figured that, if the RNC insisited on having their stupid convention in my metro area, I might as well go see what they were all about.

I arrived at the capitol building to find a full-on hippy festival, complete with hula hoops, pot, and music.  I texted a friend, and she responded, "Yeah, 93X [a radio station] texted me that Rage [Against the Machine] would be there."

A free Rage show?  It was too good to be true...

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I just got the text: Obama/Hypnotoad '08

In hindsight, it was so obvious from the start.

Let's look at how I knew it would be Hypnotoad:

Obviously, the most important question is: Is this person ready to be president? Can this person help me govern? Are they going to be an effective partner in creating the kind of economic opportunity here at home and guiding us through some dangerous waters internationally?

Notice that he doesn't say "he,""she," or "it" in this discussion.  The pronoun game would suggest that he is, in fact, going for a non-human vice-president.  With Hypnotoad, the answers to all of the above listed questions are "yes! ALL GLORY TO HYPNOTOAD." Not even Vladimir Putin would contest Hypnotoad's credibility on the international stage.

I want somebody who is going to be able to challenge my thinking and not simply be a 'yes person' when it comes to policymaking.

You can accuse the Hypnotoad of being a lot of things: beloved by all, a wise and caring master, a fine dancer... but a "yes person" is not one of them.  Hypnotoad isn't even a person at all!

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Rice Denies Obama access to State Dept. resources

'If they want to rent a bus, show them where they can rent a bus'

The night before presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) left for Afghanistan, Iraq and Western Europe for a tour of US bases overseas, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a cable to US missions forbidding them from holding events for presidential candidates or arrange meetings for them.

Rice issued no such cable prior to foreign excursions by presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

You're all class, Condi.  

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Ventura to announce tonight for MN Senate race?

Dean Barkley was briefly my Senator after Paul Wellstone died tragically in a plane crash in 2002.  Then-Governor Ventura installed him to finish Wellstone's term as the national nightmare that was the 2002 elections were played to their tragic conclusion.

Barkley has been urging Ventura to run for his old job, most famously a bet on a golf game that Ventura lost. Now Barkley has given an interview for MinnPost where he admits to suggesting that being a Senator is "not as tough as being governor."

Ventura is going to be on Larry King tonight to perhaps announce his candidacy.  In preparation, let's look at Barkley's comments and determine their impact on the existing Coleman vs. Franken race.

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Franken: Ban politicians from ever becoming lobbyists

Al Franken has come out with a new ad in his embattled Minnesota Senate bid:

The gist of it is responding to the question of how to deal with the epidemic of ex-politicians using their contacts and influence to make obscene amounts of money after their political careers.

Let's reflect on this.

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I know what Nader's Problem is (UPDATE)

Well, aside from the obvious.

Turns out he's a racist.

Like our friend Geraldine Ferraro, Nader is stuck in the past, and has certain expectations of a black politician:

There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American," Nader said. "Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards."

Let's look at his remarks a little more closely.

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*UPDATE x2* Steny Hoyer's "Bad Date" FISA legislation

When I heard that FISA was back, and this time at the behest of our own side, I determined that I wouldn't get complacent... that's what this is all about:  If they keep bringing it up, and we stop caring, the Bush Administration and the complicit telecoms will get away with spying on us and abridging our rights.  

This is not good bipartisanship, this is the bipartisanship of a bad date: they walk out on you, and you get to pay the bill.

Glenn Greenwald has some analysis on the issue here: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2 008/06/19/telecom/

It's even worse than expected. When you read it, it's actually hard to believe that the Congress is about to make this into our law. Then again, this is the same Congress that abolished habeas corpus with the Military Commissions Act, and legalized George Bush's warrantless eavesdropping program with the "Protect America Act," so it shouldn't be hard to believe at all. Seeing the words in print, though, adds a new dimension to appreciating just how corrupt and repugnant this is.

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Ex-Evangelical to Republicans: Go negative and you're toast

Frank Schaeffer, the son of Francis Schaeffer, one of the founding fathers of the Religious Right movement, has switched over to Obama after supporting McCain's 2000 candidacy and offers some grim advice for his former colleagues:

If the Republicans -- not to mention their bedrock supporters, such as evangelical Christians, neoconservatives and others -- do not grasp the Obama moment, and then rise to the occasion, when it comes to understanding the significance of having the first black American to become an authentic presidential aspirant, they will have doomed themselves to political obscurity and moral opprobrium forever.

In a time where we are seeing more and more evidence that the only hope John McCain has is in destroying Obama, this man, one of our former enemies, has an intriguing message.  Let's see what else he has to say:

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The fate of Minnesota could hang on a golf game

Curiouser and curiouser.  Dean Barkley, who then-Governor Jesse Ventura appointed to fill Paul Wellstone's seat prior to the 2002 election, has challenged his old boss to a golf game tomorrow.

The stakes?  The loser has to run for Norm Coleman's Senate seat.

"Whoever wins the match does NOT run for Senate,'' said Barkley. "And believe me, I can beat Jesse."

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Letter to a Senator, RE: Impeachment

I just wrote the following letter to my Democratic senator, Amy Klobuchar, regarding the Articles of Impeachment that that lovable leprichaun of a man, Dennis Kucinich, unleashed into the House of Representatives yesterday.

As Democrats, we all know in our hearts that the Bush administration has been corrupt from the start; but we're very cautious about doing anything about it; we figure that we can wait it out, fix things after Bush is done.

Well, I see the advantages of that, but if you'll humor me for a moment, I'll let you in on my argument that this shouldn't be ignored, that we'll be better off, both politically and ethically if we take this fight to Bush's doorstep.

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