Craig’s lawyer calls ‘foot-tapping’ protected free speech

So, now foot-tapping is protected by the First Amendment. What’s next? Nose-scratching? Coughing?

CNN’s Political Ticker blog reports that lawyers for Idaho Sen. Larry Craig argued in court today that foot-tapping — the infamous alleged sex solicitation signal between Craig and an undercover cop in a Minneapolis-St. Paul men’s airport bathroom — is free speech. Craig is asking the court to throw out his 2007 guilty plea.

I was recently in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport to attend the Republican National Convention. There was a a bit of talk about sending me to find the bathroom and write about it. I didn’t.

For one, I couldn’t go into the men’s bathroom without attracting law enforcement attention. Two, it’s not like Craig is still there. Three, the airport has a lot of bathrooms and it hasn’t put up an identifying plaque on THE bathroom door, such as the “The Foot Tapper Crapper.”

But if you really, really want to see it what the door looks like, check out my intrepid colleague Carla Marinucci’s blog at the San Francisco Chronicle.


CCT phones down? Turn to Twitter

I came into the office this morning after taping two segments of Comcast’s “Newsmaker” series only to learn that I cannot make a phone call out and I cannot receive phone calls. Nobody can.

The phone system is inexplicably down and the phone guru is on vacation. Now, I’m hearing that our email system is “spotty.” Great.

It’s quiet in here. Too quiet for a newsroom.

Maybe it’s time to get that Twitter account set up. While I was at the Democratic convention visiting the blogger tent in downtown Denver, I heard about Twitter. I can do it. Heck, I conducted interviews via texting at the two conventions, uploaded video and filed stories for the daily paper. It can’t hurt to have another mode of reporting at my fingertips, right?


Dem convention: Big Tent a big hit

Take a look at a story I helped my colleague San Jose Mercury News reporter Mary Anne Ostrom write about the bloggers’ “Big Tent” at the convention.

It’s literally a tent erected in a parking lot for bloggers denied credentials to the Democratic National Convention. We visited on Monday and the place was packed.

A talented Mercury News designer produced a great video to go with the piece, and I’ve also pasted below links to my Flip video shots of the outside and inside of the tent.


Dem convention: Visit Lea Austin’s blog

Check out Obama delegate Lea Austin’s blog from inside the convention at http://www.leaslagniappe.blogspot.com/

Lea is from Tracy and she’s terrific. I profiled her as an East Bay delegate even though Tracy isn’t technically quite in the East Bay. But she works at Mills College in Oakland and that good enough for me.


Vorderblog: Calling all delegates

I deployed the Flip camcorder tonight during my interview with Democratic delegate Kath Delaney from Kensington. It’s one of a series of taped interviews we’re doing with East Bay delegates headed to the national political conventions in Denver and St. Paul in late August and early September.

Here, I’m asking Delaney how she feels, as an elected delegate for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, about the near-certain nomination of Sen. Barack Obama as the party’s nominee in Denver. Delaney is a longtime Clinton supporter.

We’ll offer prior to the conventions a full package of video and online interviews with delegates for Sen. John McCain, as well as Clinton and Obama. (Don’t worry. The quality will be much better. You can’t see it in this video but our expert photographer Karl Mondon was taping the interview using a fancy camera. I’m using my new Flip video as an experiment to see how it would come out.)


New blog hits Discovery Bay

Discovery Bayite Jennifer Mixon has started a new community web site — www.AllthewaytoDiscoveryBay.com.

It’s title sounds like a bit of a play on HalfwaytoConcord.com and the author warns on the home page that folks without a sense of humor should stay away.

Is Mixon suggesting that Halfway founder and blogger Mr. Bill Gram-Reefer of is humorless? Surely not.

But the web site’s discussion topics and entries from Mixon do indicate that she supported the June re-election of Discovery Bay resident and Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Piepho while Gram-Reefer sided with challenger Guy Houston.

Discovery Bay is often a political maelstrom, so this already sounds good!

Check it out.

(4:04 p.m. Fixed Bill’s name. Sorry, Bill!)