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Mellencamp, Durbin and Harkin

We're back up after our server had an overload and had to be rebooted by our hosting company.


We just finished interviewing Senators Richard Durbin, one of our heroes in the Senate, and Sen. Tom Harkin, another favorite liberal. As we were getting back to our seats, John Mellencamp started singing. We ran all the way down the hall and up to our seats to catch the last minute of his song. The crowd was on its feet--

Betwen the time we left to go down to the DNC press office to do our interviews and the time we left to return, the atmosphere had radicallty changed. The buzz in the hall is unbelievable. Everyone is so energized, so psyched. This is just the greatest experience. The unity, the solidarity, the resolve to win.

Bill Richardson is speaking now. We'll be posting our interviews with Sens. Harkin and Durbin early tomorrow morning. There's too much happening right now. Here's a picture we just took of Sen. Harkin as we were interviewing him:

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Wednesday: It Just Got Better

It's Wednesday, we've been on Blogger's Alley since 3 and this is the first time our wi-fi connection has lasted long enough to get a post up. The DNCC has been very responsive and Adam, a tech guru, just took our computer and worked his magic and we're back up.

Dianne Feinstein just finished. We missed her speech but don't mind because we think she is the least liberal Democrat in the Senate. She co-sponsored the ill-advised gang bill. She co-sponsored the unnecessary federal Victim's Rights Amendment. She loves joining up with that paragon of democracy,Orrin Hatch. Spare us. If we were watching on tv, we'd mute her. The audience was restless. It's a restless crowd tonight, impatient for John Edwards and other luminaries.

No one is listening to the current speaker either. It must be horrible to be scheduled for the dinner hour when the delegates are just arriving and more interested in their seats and saying hello than listening to the speakers.

The hall is about 60% full. Tonight after John Edwards speech, the DNCC is throwing a blogger bash. We'll stop by for a while and report later. The main event for us, tonight, is John Edwards speech. We believe he will get a stronger reaction than anyone we've heard to date. The crowd will be pumped by then.

There's a recess now until 6:50. We're going to go down to TalkRadio Row to do an interview and then we'll be back.

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Random Bag Searches to Continue in Boston

A federal judge today upheld the random bag searches Boston authorities are conducting of public transit passengers.

U.S. District Judge George O'Toole said the searches were a response to a genuine security concern, the intrusion on passengers is limited, and that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has adequately prepared riders to expect the searches. At a hearing Tuesday, the National Lawyers Guild and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee argued that the inspections were unconstitutionally intrusive and violated personal privacy rights.

Since we've been in Boston, we've undergone at least two such searches a day. Of course, we know if advance we are going to be subjected to the searches, so we're careful about what we put in our bags. What about if we weren't on our way to the convention but just going about our daily business in our home city and every time we wanted to board a bus or train, the cops got to see what we were carrying? We'd resent it and wonder how we got to be living in such a police state.

So, to the citizens of Boston, whom the media has reported as being "fine" with the searches, remember that what you don't object to now, may stick around a lot longer than you think. Once we give the Government new powers, it rarely gives them back. The Bush Administration tells us the war on terror is here to stay. How long before these Fourth Amendment "emergency" exceptions become the rule rather than the exception? How many are you willing to tolerate? We're all accustomed to airport searches. Metal detectors have become no big deal. Now public transit searcghes are becoming acceptable. What's next? The grocery store? The movie theater? Outdoor concerts?

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Daily DNC Analysis

Check out the Democratic National Convention Report, a collaborative effort by Biz360 and LexisNexis, providing media analysis of the people and topics making news at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

As voters turn to press outlets for information and perspective on the election, leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties will be keeping a close eye on how the media portrays the candidates and campaign issues.

The war in Iraq and the economy, jobs in particular, have dominated election year coverage to date. Standard election year topics, such as healthcare and taxes, are competing for coverage against divisive issues such as gay marriage. Interestingly, Vietnam has become a prominent topic as the media examines the military records of Kerry and Bush and to a lesser degree because of comparisons between the wars of Iraq and Vietnam. Former President Clinton has remained a prominent topic in political coverage, both for his new book and the 9/11 investigations into the failures that led to the terrorist attack.

The report has readable graphs with figures and analysis.

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Name That Blogger

Eight bloggers left the DNC Tuesday night and headed into Cambridge for drinks and conversation. This photo was taken after last call at 1:30 a.m.

The first person (who's not in the picture) to correctly name each of them and their blogs, wins $25 from our paypal account.

A larger version of the photo is available here.
[Copyright ©2004, All Rights Reserved, TalkLeft.com]

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Open Thread: Who Had the Best Speech Tonight?

Ron Reagan is on now. Obama just finished and the crowd loved him. Howard Dean also spoke tonight--as did Dick Gephardt. Who did you like the most? The least? Who was the most sincere--and the least? We're asking you because we're up here in the bleachers and while we can see and hear and feel the crowd, and while we have press copies of the text of the speeches, it's hard for us to make out the words and see their facesas they are speaking.

Update: Electablog and Matthew Gross talk agbout Obama.

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Mainstream Media Cops Our Picture

The Providence R.I. Journal reprints our photograph of Atrios. Hey, isn't that a copyright infringement? It's okay, we don't mind. At least they gave TL credit in the text, even if they mispelled Jeralyn.

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Deaniacs Galore

Howard Dean is just finishing speaking. The music is playing. He's at the edge of the stage waving to delegates and shaking hands. He got a standing ovation. It was an eerie feeling watching him end his speech--we were wondering, was he thinking this crowd should be here for him instead of for John Kerry? We don't think so. Yesterday, we watched him up close at the blogger breakfast and listened carefully to what he said. He seemed a man at peace with what happened to his campaign.

What did you all think of his speech?

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Bloggers Alley Gets a Guest

Jerry Springer just came down to Blogger Alley for a tour and to meet and greet us. He took pictures with lots of bloggers. He was very gracious. He told us all the political shows he has been on this week.

Thats' Jesse of Pandagon and Jerome of MyDD in the background.

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Protest Photos

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Who's Doing the Protesting?

According to the Boston Globe, the protesters in the "free speech zone" include:

....white supremacists passed out anti-gay leaflets at the entrance of the zone, while on the other end, about 100 people rallied in support of Palestinians. Socialists trolled through the crowd hawking newspapers, while supporters of U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign handed out his schedule.

In a protest of the zone itself, several dozen demonstrators walked inside the area in black hoods, hands bound with cord. David Meieran, 42, of Pittsburgh, said they were drawing comparisons between government treatment of terrorism suspects and political protesters.

Sounds like street theater. We're waiting for the bus to leave to check it out for ourselves. Right now we're the only one on the bus and it leaves in ten minutes.

Update: We just got settled in at Bloggers' Alley. We're going to edit our protest photos and upload them.

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Tuesday at the DNC

It's Tuesday, Day 2, and we don't want to repeat ourselves. We're about to head down to Fleet Center to observe the protesters. We'll try to get some pictures. We also want to check out the press pavilion today.

We are planning on giving the "play by play" a rest today to focus on issues. We are interested in hearing our favorite Congresswoman, Diana DeGette, talk about stem cell research. Her office sent us an email that she'll be on at 2:45, but we think that's Denver time and for those in the east, that's 4:45.

We will also go down on the floor tonight. Like the rest of the media, we're allowed entry by trading in our press passes for up to an hour of floor time.

Logistics are difficult here, particularly with moving hotels every day and having to get to the Westin in Copley Square every morning to pick up our day's press pass. We're back in Cambridge now thanks to the great folks at Starwood Hotels who moved us in from the burbs. The buses have to take a lot of people and there's a lot of wait time involved, since everyone has to be searched getting on the bus and then again once we get to the Fleet Center.

We watched a repeat of the coverage on CNN last night from midnight until 3am. The view of the speakers and delegates and the clarity of sound is a lot better on tv than it is from inside the hall--but we don't think CNN captured the spirit and energy--we didn't feel like we were really there while watching it. The hotel didn't carry MSNBC or Fox News, so we couldn't compare the coverage. We have noticed the print media is very fast with the highlights--but they all seem to pick the same quotes to write about.

We're also trying to keep up with our fellow bloggers coverage. So much to do, so little time....We'll be back later.

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