Posts Tagged ‘barack obama’

Twin Cities Inauguraul Festivities

This list has a Minneapolis/St. Paul public place focus and is by no means exhaustive. You can also search for events closer to you using MoveOn.


  • If you will be stuck at home or work, every television network will be airing it. It will also be streamed online by CNN, who have a deal with Facebook. Lifehacker has a good list for keeping up with the Inauguration online, too.
  • Riverview Theater will be showing the Inauguration on their screen. The event is free, open to the public (though non-perishable food donations encouraged), and begins 9:30AM.
  • Minneapolis Central Library will air live coverage and pre-Inaugural commentary from Dr. David Schultz about inaugurations in history, the importance of the first 100 days and the significance of Obama’s election, with a post-Inaugural discussion led by the League of Women Voters Minneapolis.
  • Little Wagon will show the Inauguration at 11AM.
  • Bulldog NE will feature food and drink specials, $3 beer, door prizes, and Inauguration coverage beginning at 11AM and lasting into the night.
  • Gold Thyme Cafe will serve light refreshments and cake during their party running from 9-4PM.
  • Gluek’s will be running an “extended Happy Hour all day” with half-priced appetizers and other drink specials beginning 11AM until close.
  • The Birchwood Cafe will begin airing Inauguration coverage at noon, with a replay of highlights from 5-9PM. They will have an Obama-inspired menu and a special kids menu
  • Parkway Theater will show the Inauguration on their screen at 9:30AM, with an open mic afterward for people to talk about whatever.
  • Lee’s Liquor Lounge will show the Inauguration and follow-up with live music at 10PM.
  • Walker Art Center will show the Inauguration on their Cinema screen at 11:30AM, there’s no admission required to watch.


  • Black Dog Cafe will have snacks, a cash bar, music, and a photo exhibit of St. Paul during the RNC beginning at 7PM.
  • SEVEN will be replaying the Inauguration on 20+ TVs starting at 8PM. The event is free and open to the public (though non-perishable food donations encouraged), with Henry Lake from KFAN as Emcee and local artist Kerry Dikken “has created a limited edition Champagne Bottle with the face of Barack Obama.”
  • Dakota Jazz Club will have Yolande Bruce, Ginger Commodore, Debbie Duncan and Tonia Hughes-Kendrick performing and large screens broadcasting the events from the Capitol, for $10 from 7-11PM.
  • First Course is having a bash, and coincidentally, has half-priced wine on Tuesdays.
  • Epic will be having a huge party with live music, DJs, and spoken word performed after Obama’s speech at 8PM. 21+ / Doors 7PM / $15 Advance / $20 Door
  • The Caterpillar Lounge will be having a party at 10PM, with DJs playing “the best in underground house and techno music.”

Graywolf Press Poet Reading at Inauguration

The poet who will be reading at Obama’s inauguration, Elizabeth Alexander, is published by local Graywolf Press:

Elizabeth Alexander, who teaches at Yale, was plucked last week from the relatively obscure recesses of contemporary poetry for a moment on the world stage. President-elect Barack Obama has commissioned her to compose and read a poem for his inauguration, making her only the fourth poet in American history to read at one and elevating the art to unaccustomed prominence in the national psyche, at least for a day.

Mr. Obama’s inauguration, on Jan. 20, calls for an “occasional poem,” written to commemorate a specific event. This is not precisely what Ms. Alexander does, but she is preparing for the challenge.

“Writing an occasional poem has to attend to the moment itself,” she said in an interview, “but what you hope for, as an artist, is to create something that has integrity and life that goes beyond the moment.”

What are your plans for election night?

pjchmiel via Flickr CC

pjchmiel via Flickr CC

The most recent Survey USA poll in Minnesota (from Wed/Thurs/Fri of last week) shows an extremely close race: Obama/Biden, 49% and McCain/Palin, 46%. Other polls are different, of course, because polls are only a guesstimate on what the general population is thinking. Btw, I haven’t been called for any polls because I work during the day, only own a cell phone and somehow didn’t get on any lists. Nobody I work with has been polled either.

Anyway, I know Pawlenty was on Fox & Friends this morning claiming the Presidential race in Minnesota is a toss-up, and I believe that.

I voted this morning so I can go see Dungen tomorrow night at the 400 Bar. I don’t plan to watch the results come in, but I’m sure I’ll be checking the Gregberry every so often just to see where things are at.

What are your plans for watching the pundit play by play? Throwing a party? Drinking scotch by yourself in the dark?

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State Law on Campaign Yard Signs

I had an Obama/Biden yard sign up in my “yard” for just a few days before it was removed. I thought at first that our homeowner’s association may have had something to do with it, but I’m not so sure that’s the case anymore. I don’t know what happened to it and it doesn’t really matter at this point.

So when you have a complaint, the first thing you do is you blog about it, right? My friend KathyHowe kindly pointed me towards the state law on campaign yard signs.

Some municipalities have ordinances restricting the placement of lawn signs. In a state general election year (even years), these ordinances are overruled by Minnesota Statutes 211B.045 from August 1st until 10 days after the general election, and campaign signs may be posted in any size and number. In municipalities which have no sign ordinance, campaign signs may be posted in any size and number throughout the year.

Additional information on the legal placement of signs may be found in the DOT Letter to Candidates (pdf).


In any municipality, whether or not the municipality has an ordinance that regulates the size or number of noncommercial signs, all noncommercial signs of any size may be posted in any number from August 1 in a state general election year until ten days following the state general election.

So display your yard sign proudly. Even though you might not catch the bastard thieves, you can feel whatever you need to feel knowing your display was not illegal.

Things That Are Making Minnesota Look Bad (and Also Making My Head Explode)

Chris Baker’s Trifecta of Ridiculousness

  1. On Tuesday this week Chris Baker of conservative talk radio station KTLK calls Barack Obama a “little bitch.”
  2. On Wednesday of this week Chris Baker promotes a video of a pastor who calls Barack Obama’s mother “trash.”
  3. Also on Wednesday of this week Chris Baker’s co-host Langdon Perry says Magic Johnson faked having AIDS, and Chris Baker agrees.

This woman in Lakeville today. From The Uptake:

Gayle Quinnel, a John McCain supporter says at a McCain Rally that “Obama is an Arab”. She is quickly corrected by John McCain who takes away her microphone.

Quinnel of Shakopee says she obtained the information on Obama being an Arab at “her local library” and from a pamphlet obtained at a local McCain campaign office (provided by a fellow volunteer not the campaign itself).

She has taken it upon herself to redistribute the information as widely as possible by making copies of the pamphlet and sending it to random names in the phone book.

I love how John McCain, refuting her statement, says that Barack Obama is “a decent family man, a citizen” as if Arabic people are not. Hello, fearmongering!

My antidote to that little old lady from Shakopee is this little old lady from Texas.

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Minnesota Election Polls Impacted by Third Party Candidates

This is just fascinating. Even though the third party candidates weren’t included in this local poll, SurveyUSA is editorializing how much of an impact they could have on the election day outcomes.

Minnesota Presidential Teeter Totter Tips Toward McCain:

In an election for President of the United States in Minnesota today, 10/02/08, 33 days from the vote, John McCain and Barack Obama finish effectively even, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, WDIO-TV in Duluth, KAAL-TV in Rochester, and KSAX-TV in Alexandria.

The nominal advantage today goes to McCain, who is atop Obama 1 percentage point, 47% to 46%, within the survey’s 3.7 percentage point margin of sampling error. But: Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll 20 days ago, Obama is down 3 points.

How much of this is movement and how much of this is “noise” is unclear. Minnesota behaves unlike other states in some respects. Among women, there is movement to McCain, at a time when McCain is losing ground among women elsewhere. Among voters younger than Obama, there movement to McCain, at a time when Obama is consolidating support among young voters elsewhere. Among voters older than McCain, there is movement to Obama, at a time when older voters elsewhere are sticking by McCain. In Western MN, which abuts the Dakotas, there is movement to McCain. In Northeastern MN, which overhangs Michigan, there is see-sawing back to Obama.

Complicating this analysis is the emergence of a possible protest vote. 12% of Independents, 8% of young voters, 6% of men, 6% of those who almost never go to church, 5% of Conservatives and 5% of Twin Cities voters tell SurveyUSA that they will vote for neither McCain nor Obama, but rather “some other candidate.”

How much of this protest can be attributed to the failure of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass an economic recovery bill, the day before interviewing for this survey began, is unclear. Ron Paul held his campaign “convention” in Minnesota a month ago. Bob Barr and Ralph Nader are on the ballot in Minnesota. Voters who tell SurveyUSA they are for “some other candidate” also tell SurveyUSA they are likely to change their minds.

It is unclear how many actual votes will be siphoned from McCain and/or Obama on Election Day, however, polling results from the Norm Coleman / Al Franken U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, also released today by SurveyUSA, suggest the protest may be non-trivial.

Here’s Bob Barr’s new TV ad, which has a resonating message with a significant percentage of Minnesotans (if they can get past the techno pRon music):

I think the findings above prove that future polls should include Dean Barkley, Nader, Barr and other significant third party candidates.

Anoka is So Not Post-Racial

Minnesota Public Radio has a story on the secret racists of the Twin Cities and how they’re not comfortable voting for Barack Obama.

For those who don’t think race will be a factor in this year’s election – you only need to listen to George Ziegler, a semi-retired barber from Anoka.

“I wouldn’t vote for that n—-r,” he said. “I wouldn’t vote for him. No way in heaven’s name would I give him a chance to take my vote and go in there. I’m smarter than that.”

This is the kind of shit that makes me want to stay as close to the city center as possible. This is the kind of shit that you think, at the very least, that people have the good sense not to say out loud. To a reporter, no less! And so it still surprises me, and scares the shit out of me.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union rep Bernie Hesse has this to say about the membership. Note that his union officially backs Barack Obama.

I also think with some of the older members, it’s a thing of entitlement. And they don’t think of it as race but think of it as, how dare a young black person run for president? He hasn’t put his time in, and why is he entitled to this?

“Entitled”?! *head explosion*

So is it better for folks like George Ziegler to be up front about their racism or for folks to be sneaky about it? Ron Walters, a political science professor at the University of Maryland who studies race and politics, says plenty of folks are sneaky about their racism.

“People may have a racial motive, but they may say that Barack Obama lacks experience,” he said. “So they may use any pretext not to vote for him and support him when the real reason has to do with race and not something else.”

I never have a good answer to my question. And I’m staying the hell away from Anoka.


The Twin Cities is celebrating National Park(ing) Day today. Participating Minneapolis parking spots are conveniently mapped for you. The Park(ing spot)s will be on display from 11am-2pm. There’s a community gathering/happy hour from 5pm-8pm sponsored by Community Design Group and Solutions Twin Cities. All the deets about the parks and today’s events are at TC Streets for People.

Solutions Twin Cities is also hosting a big ol’ game of Urban Capture the Flag on Northrop Mall tomorrow (Saturday, 9/20) at 4pm. Info and RSVP at that link.

Max went to the grand opening of the new W Hotel downtown, which I think of as “the Foshay, where Keys’ Cafe is.” He hated the event and liked the 29th-floor bar Prohibition. (When Max, as a cocktail connoisseur, says drinks are good, they are really good.) You should read his review as much for his opinion as for the fact that it’s very well written. It’s long, but it’s worth it.

Minnesota Public Radio now has an application in the iTunes App Store. It allows you to stream MPR’s three stations (news, classical, The Current) on your iPhone or iPod Touch. I couldn’t find any mention of this on MPR’s website, so thanks to Future Tense‘s Jon Gordon for the heads up.

MinnPost is hosting debate watching parties. See the presidential candidate debate on Friday, Sep 26, the VP candidate debate on Thursday, Oct 2, the Minnesota Senate candidate debate which is still TBD. All events hosted at Trocadero’s. Admission and snacks free, cash bar, RSVP required. Only open to MinnPost members — which technically means it’s not free — so you can join online or at the door.

The Minnesota Campaign for Change (i.e., the Obama campaign) is hosting four National Security Townhalls this weekend. Saturday in Duluth and St Cloud, Sunday in Rochester and the Twin Cities. Free and open to the public. RSVP required.

Barack Obama Rally

Barack and Michelle Obama Fist Pound
Barack and Michelle Obama pound fists. Originally uploaded by chad davis.

More flickr photos from Barack Obama’s appearance in St Paul last night, by Minnesotans and by the Obama Campaign. Bob Collins posits that the almost-two-mile-long line outside the X was the real story.

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