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Tuesday TV Coverage

Hardball tonight --it's impossible to distinguish between the journalists and the Republican strategists--and there's no one providing balance. What's up with that? It's David Gregory, Howard Feineman, Christy Whitman and an unknown woman.

Live--a protest disrupts the Hardball set, the police chase the protester right through the broadcast set--MSNBC switches to the Garden.

Turned over to Fox News and the reporter is covering John Kerry's movements and the French journalists. Good for them.

There was a protest at Fox News today and it got a little out of hand with the arrest of Medea Benjamin. Atrios went but didn't have a camera.

Update: Some country singer named Larry Gatlin is on Hardball now making a total a** of himself. He 's talking about shopping at Saks. He just asked the passersby to be quiet because they're on television. What on earth is he doing on a political show? The guy should stick to crooning, assuming he's any good at that. Who's next, the Osmonds?

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Free Speech Takes a Hit

Why did a 21 yeear old student from Yale get arrested and charged with assaulting a federal officer for shouting an anti-war slogan?

A 21-year-old Yale student, posing as a volunteer at the Republican National Convention, got within 10 feet of Vice President Dick Cheney and shouted anti-war statements before being dragged away, authorities said Tuesday.

Secret Service Agent Shannon Zeigler said Cheney "was never in any harm or danger" during the incident Monday night in Madison Square Garden. The suspect, Thomas Frampton, was charged with assaulting federal officers and impeding the operation of the Secret Service.

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Bush Flip-Flops on Terror War

A few days ago Bush said we can't win the war on terror. Now he says we can. Flip-Flop. Drip. Drop.

And Bush may be losing support with undecided voters.

AP-Ipsos polling shows that persuadable voters are more disappointed than others with Bush's job performance. Their negative views track almost every issue, from Bush's handling of the war in Iraq to his foreign policies, the economy and domestic initiatives. Nearly seven in 10 of them believe the country is headed on the wrong track. They're eager for a new direction, even in a time of war, if Kerry can convince them that it's safe to change.

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Where's the Domestic Agenda?

Did anyone notice that none of the Republicans discussed domestic issues last night? Sidney Blumenthal did, and writes in Salon about the strange omission and the repackaging of Giuliani and McCain.

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Tuesday Night Events

Here's tonight's hot Republican event tickets:

  • Texas delegates groove to the Fabulous Thunderbirds at BB King's Blues Club & Grill (237 W. 42nd St., 8-11 p.m.)
  • The Distilled Spirits Council, Weekly Standard, The Economist and Roll Call fete Bill Frist at the New York Yacht Club (37 W. 44th St., 9:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.)
  • Oscar de la Hoya, Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro are expected for the Gran Fiesta Salsa Party at the Rainbow Room (30 Rockefeller Plaza, 11 p.m. - 2 a.m.)
  • The Warehouse party resumes at the Tunnel Nightclub (220 12th St., 10 p.m. - 3 a.m.)

[Via National Journal]

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Ron Silver: Whats' Driving Him

What is driving actor Ron Silver in his support for Bush? I can't figure it out. I've always thought him to be bright, articulate and talented. He used to be a liberal. He supported human rights. Now he's a war monger who drools over Bush.

I wish he'd get back on the right side. If you missed his speech last night, here are his prepared remarks.

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Tuesday Events

Some events for today:

  • Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, ABC's George Stephanopoulos and others discuss "urban politics and the Republican Party" at New School University (55 W. 13th St., 8-10 a.m.)
  • Former Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry moderates a WNET Channel 13 discussion called "Red God, Blue God: The God Gap in Presidential Politics" (450 W. 33rd St., 10 a.m. - noon)
  • Batting practice and barbecue at Shea Stadium (11 a.m. - 2 p.m.)

(from National Journal)

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Rocking for Choice

Here are our pictures from the Planned Parenthood concert, Stand Up for Choice, at the Beacon Theatre (74th and Broadway) tonight. It was a great show. Joan Osborne, Moby, Patrice, the house band (GE Smith), Lewis Black and Lou Reed were the standouts. They came together at the end to sing the Buffalo Springfield song that begins "There's something Happening Here...." Moby opened his set with Neil Young's "Four Dead in Ohio."

A delegation of Republicans for Choice was present and they were duly applauded and saluted. The goal of Planned Parenthood now is to pass a federal choice act that would codify Roe v. Wade. That way, even if Bush wins, and gets to appoint three more Supreme Court justices who would reverse the decision, (three on the High Court already lean that way,) they would be powerless in the face of a federal statute. The Planned Parenthood spokespersons talked about the war on choice and said we are in danger of losing this freedom. So go help them out if you can.

Ok, now the pictures:

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Giuliani: Could You Just Gag?

If anyone is the personnificaton of the opposite of freedom, it's former federal prosecutor and Mayor Rudy Guiliani. Herr Guiliani is a more apt name for him. How could anyone just not want to retch listening to Guiliani tonight as he tried to sell himself and the Republicans as the party that would bring freedom to the world.

Guiliani cleaned up the streets in New York by arresting the poor, the homeless, the squeegee cleaners, the mentally ill and the addicted. Yes, New York became cleaner, but at what price? At the price of freedom....which he now fraudulently pretends to champion. Sickening.

Here's what the New York Times said on April 7, 2000 (available at Lexis.com)

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Here at the Tank

Atrios, Brian and Tom of Campaign Desk , Markos of Daily Kos , Matt Yglesias, Jerome of MyDD --we're all here at the Tank with our laptops--the Wi-Fi works great, there's pizza, beer and cokes, and its so much more relaxed than the Fleet Center. No security police, no long wait lines to get from point A to point B, no repetitive theme songs blaring and we can have actual conversations.

When the speeches start they will be displayed on the wall. But, by then we'll be gone. We're heading to the Planned Parenthood event featuring Moby, Lewis Black and others.

Best t-shirt tonight: "No Bush, No Dick."

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Repub Schmoozing

For anyone who's interested, here's where the Repubs will be congregating tonight--before heading to the Garden:

  • Karl Rove parties with the College Republicans at Windfall Bar and Grill (23 W. 39th St., 5 p.m.)
  • Grover Norquist hails pols who've signed his tax pledge at the New York Yacht Club (5 p.m.)
  • Ed Gillespie is the guest of honor at Guastavino (409 E. 59th St., 6 p.m.)
  • Wachovia serves up cocktails for Eric Cantor at the New York Public Library (5th Ave. & 32nd St., 6 p.m.)
    *Newsweek takes over the Four Seasons Grill Room (99 E. 52nd St., 6 p.m.)

(from the National Journal Convention Alert)

TalkLeft and the TL kid will be blogging from The Tank in about an hour.

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Street Vendors Near Garden Evicted

It was only a matter of time. Remember, this is the city Rudy Guliani cleaned up by throwing the little people in jail--from National Journal Convention Alerts:

The New York City Police Department has evicted street vendors from 24 square blocks in the vicinity of Madison Square Garden. In banning street sales between 27th and 35th streets, from 6th to 9th avenues, city officials say they acted out of worry about pedestrian traffic. Vendors note that other businesses were not shuttered, and complain that the GOP is costing them money. "We've got to pay the rent at the end of the month," grumbled hot dog vendor Abdul Prince. "Mr. Bush is not going to pay the rent."

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Say Hello

For up to date coverage of the protests, check out the Nation's New York Minutes--Street Heat.

Say hello to Culture Kitchen with up to the minute scheduling events:

At 4pm is the Shut-Up-Athon and at 8pm is the Evildoers remix at Postmasters Gallery (19th Street, 9/10 avenues). There's a big bloggers event with John Perry Barlow, Wonkette, Jeff Jarvis and others at PS 122 and a whole lotta parties throughout the week as well. And we need guerilla dancers for Barlow's gig.

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Open Thread: Convention Monday

I'm going to be wandering around the streets for a few hours. Here's an open thread for convention-related thoughts.

[For new readers, please refrain from name-calling and profanity, and if you post urls, please put them in html format.]

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Tonight's Speeches: Cover or Not?

I really hadn't planned on listening to, let alone writing about the Republican Convention speeches. I have a particlular visceral dislike for Rudy Guliani, who speaks tonight. I'm much more interested in what the Democrats' response will be and in any security and law enforcement issues that arise.

But here's a heads-up for those of you who feel compelled to watch: The speakers are expected to be far more moderate than the very conservative delegates to whom they are speaking. The Republican platform is very conservative on social issues like gay marriage and abortion. Mainstream media is predicting tension between the delegates and speakers on these issues that may become evident during the speeches.

There was no such disharmony during the Democratic convention. The speakers and the delegates (with rare exception) were one.

Unable to portray itself as a party of unity, the Republicans now say they are a cohesive unit "under a large and diverse tent." I don't think you will see any dissension during the speeches. Republicans are too good at hiding the truth.

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