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.


Post GOP convention: WC delegate sends pictures

Buddy Burke and Donna Brazile at the CNN Grille in St. Paul at the Republican National Convention

Buddy Burke and Donna Brazile at the CNN Grille in St. Paul at the Republican National Convention

As an alternate to the alternate, McCain delegate Buddy Burke found out very late that he could go to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul last week.

But it didn’t stop him from making a new friend: Democratic Party super-delegate and CNN commentator Donna Brazile.

He even sent over pictures to prove his stories:

Buddy Burke of Walnut Creek at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Buddy Burke of Walnut Creek at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.


Post-convention update: Local bloggers

I somehow missed these emails about local blogs amongst the many I received while I was on the road at the two political conventions.

Jeff Nibert, an Obama delegate from Pleasanton, blogged on his convention experiences at   http://kephalos.blogspot.com

You can also read Obama delegate and Tracy resident Lea Austin’s blog at http://www.leaslagniappe.blogspot.com/

If I had it to do over again – dare we even think about 2012? — I would definitely do a better job of promoting the local bloggers. I also suspect that a lot more people will be blogging in four years as the technology becomes more familiar to more people.


GOP convention: The final scenes

John McCain is officially the Republican Party’s nominee, signaling the start of what promises to pitched battle leading up to the Nov. 4 general election.

He strode to the stage tonight and delivered, in many ways, a classic McCain speech that focused heavily on service over self. (See the full text below.) Crews revamped the stage overnight and built a runway-style platform in Excel Center more suited to McCain’s style and reminiscent of Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s stage at Mile High Stadium in Denver a week ago.

Critics say McCain failed to deliver adequate policy details, that he repeated again the details of heroic military background as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

But some voters may find it more difficult to reconcile the two very different tones between last night and tonight. On Wednesday night, his veep nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and his former challengers such as ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, ripped into Obama with the very kind of partisan rancor and scorn that McCain decried tonight.

The only unscripted moment in the speech happened when a young woman in the audience attempted to unfurl a banner and yelled out something I couldn’t quite hear.

She was relatively close to me and I could see security guards rip the banner out of her hand and haul her up the stair as she went limp. (I tried to videotape it but the stands were too dark and I figured my editor wouldn’t like it if I got myself arrested, too.) I assume it was an anti-war protest; a CodePink women reportedly pulled a similar stunt during Palin’s speech on Wednesday but it was on the other side of the stadium and I didn’t see it.

Here are a couple of videos of McCain’s entrance and the famous balloon drop.

Read more for McCain’s full speech. He followed it fairly closely: Continue Reading


GOP convention: Take a tour of the floor

I wrangled a floor pass and wandered through the delegates gathered for the start of the final night of the Republican National Convention.

I particularly enjoyed the Texas delegation, whose cowboy hats and patriotic clothes really stand out in this stadium with 20,000 people.

Check out my videos on my tour: