Posted tagged ‘St. Paul’

Freight Trains Collide Near Minnesota/Wisconsin Border

December 17, 2008

Two freight trains collided this morning near the Minnesota/Wisconsin border, sending derailed cars plummeting into the Mississippi River and sparking a liquid ammonia leak.

From the Associated Press:

Emergency crews were sent to the scene near the Wisconsin border after the collision at around 5.30a.m. local time.

NBC News affiliate WTMJ reported that up to 40 railway cars were involved but it was unclear how many were in the river.

Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand told KAGE Radio that two people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Officials said the ammonia leak posed no danger to the public.

One train had reportedly left Portage, Wis., and was heading to St. Paul, Minn.

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Keith Olbermann Apologizes to Viewers for 9/11 Video at Republican National Convention

September 6, 2008

Keith Olbermann apologized to viewers last night during his broadcast for the graphic 9/11 tribute played in the lead-up to John McCain’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. He stated that the content was a subject of great pain and it was probably not appropriate to be shown.

From the Huffington Post:

Olbermann said of the video:

“If at this late date, any television network had, of its own accord, shown that much video tape and that much graphic video tape of 9/11…it, we, would be rightly eviscerated at all quarters, perhaps by the Republican Party itself, for exploiting the memories of the dead, and perhaps even for trying to evoke that pain again. If you reacted to that video tape the way I did, I apologize. It is a subject of great pain, for many of us still, and it was probably not appropriate to be shown.”

Here is the full video shown from the Republican National Convention last night:

I too was pretty shocked that they used 9/11 as a means of promoting the party and John McCain as their nominee. I guess, though, everyone has a right but this may not have been the most tasteful display. Although it did bring a standing ovation. Thoughts?

John McCain Vows to Bring Change to Washington

September 5, 2008

John McCain is preparing to give the biggest speech of his political career. With polls indicating a close race between McCain and Obama, the outcome will likely be decided in scattered swing states in the Midwest and the Southwest. McCain hopes to reach out to many of these voters tonight at the Republican National Convention with a speech which will discuss changes in Washington.

Reuters

Credit: Reuters

From the Associated Press:

John McCain, a POW turned political rebel, vowed Thursday night to vanquish the “constant partisan rancor” plaguing the nation as he launched his fall campaign for the White House. “Change is coming” to Washington, he promised the Republican National Convention.

“I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again,” McCain said in remarks prepared for the a prime time address. “I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not,” he said of his rival for the White House, Sen. Barack Obama.

McCain also invoked the five years he spent in a North Vietnamese prison. “I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s,” he said. “I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.”

McCain’s speech was the highlight of the final night of the party convention, but before he took the podium, delegates unanimously awarded the vice presidential nomination to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. She is the first female ticketmate in Republican history.

McCain, 72 and campaigning to become the oldest first-term president in history, faced a delicate assignment as he formally accepted his party’s presidential nomination: presenting his credentials as a reformer willing to take on his own party and stressing his independence from an unpopular President Bush.

He and Palin were departing their convention city immediately after the Arizona senator‘s acceptance speech, bound for Wisconsin and an early start on the final weeks of the White House campaign.

Palin has been the object of intense scrutiny since McCain tapped her as his running mate last week. “I’m very proud to have introduced our next vice president to the country,” he said. “But I can’t wait until I introduce her to Washington.”

The last night of the McCain-Palin convention also marked the end of an intensive stretch of politics with the potential to reshape the race. Democrats held their own convention last week in Denver, nominating Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden as running mate for Obama, whose own acceptance speech drew an estimated 84,000 partisans to an outdoor football stadium.

Sarah Palin to Address Republican National Convention

September 3, 2008

Tonight may be the biggest speech in the political career of Alaska Governor and Republican running mate, Sarah Palin. Tonight, Palin will be formally introduced (again) to the nation in a speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Also scheduled to speak on Wednesday is former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

CNN

Credit: CNN

From Reuters:

Sarah Palin has dominated the Republican convention for days without making a public appearance but on Wednesday she takes the spotlight with a prime-time speech that will introduce her to American voters.

Since John McCain made the nearly unknown Palin his No. 2, the Alaska governor has been at the center of a media storm fueled by disclosures about her unmarried teenage daughter’s pregnancy, a probe into her role in an Alaskan official’s firing and questions about the her political record.

McCain, 72, an Arizona senator, and Palin will be nominated by the convention on Wednesday to face Democrat Barack Obama and his vice presidential running mate, Joe Biden, in the November 4 presidential election.

Palin’s anti-abortion and pro-gun record have excited conservatives and party activists but the appearance on Wednesday will be her first chance to directly tell American voters her life story and philosophy.

It comes just five days after McCain shocked the U.S. political world by introducing the 44-year-old first-term governor as his running mate at an Ohio rally.

From CNN:

GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin took a Wednesday morning tour of the podium at the Republican National Convention, hours before she’ll return to give what will be the most scrutinized speech of her career.

The Alaska governor walked through the nearly empty Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul and spent about 10 minutes checking out the podium where she’ll give her prime-time acceptance speech as Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential nominee.

Palin told reporters that she feels “great.”

“I’m excited to speak to Americans. This will be good. It’s about reform,” she said.

Top McCain staff, including campaign manager Rick Davis and senior adviser Nicolle Wallace, accompanied Palin on her tour.

The governor’s address is sure to generate a lot of attention since McCain surprised many political observers last week with his selection of Palin over better-known contenders such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

This should be a very interesting speech with a very large audience of Republican, Democrat and undecided voters. You don’t normally associate one speech in determining an election, but the importance of this speech could be felt all the way to November. With the controversy of her daughter, Bristol Palin and her “soon to be husband” Levi Johnston, as well as other situations involving her husband and other political questions, it should bring the country together to watch. Thoughts?

The Republicans Strike Back…

September 3, 2008

No, Darth Vader did not appear, lightsaber in hand. But Fred Thompson did take Vader-like control of the evening with a rousing speech criticizing the inexperience of Barack Obama.

Republicans, led by Thompson, assailed Barack Obama as the most liberal, least experienced White House nominee in history this evening and President Bush led the praise for GOP candidate John McCain. Republican delegates rallied behind vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin in the face of fresh controversy.

Jim Young, Reuters

Credit: Jim Young, Reuters

From USA Today:

Eight years after he accepted the vice presidential nomination at the Democratic convention, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the featured speaker Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention, made the case for Republican candidate John McCain.

AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

Credit: AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

“I’m here to support John McCain because country matters more than party,” Lieberman said. “I am here tonight for a simple reason, because John McCain’s whole life testifies to a great truth: being a Democrat or a Republican is important. But it is nowhere near as important as being an American.”

From the New York Times:

If John McCain wants voters to conclude, as he argues, that he has more independence and experience and better judgment than Barack Obama, he made a bad start by choosing Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Mr. McCain’s supporters are valiantly trying to argue that the selection was a bold stroke that shows their candidate is a risk-taking maverick who — we can believe — will change Washington. (Mr. Obama’s call for change — now “the change we need” — has become all the rage in St. Paul.)

To us, it says the opposite. Mr. McCain’s snap choice of Ms. Palin reflects his impulsive streak: a wild play that he made after conservative activists warned him that he would face an all-out revolt in the party if he chose who he really wanted — Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson defended John McCain’s running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as a victim of left-wing media attacks who fear what she represents. The crowd went wild.

“What a breath of fresh air Gov. Sarah Palin is,” Thompson told the cheering delegates tonight. “She’s from a small town with small town values. Well, apparently that’s not good enough for folks that are out there attacking her and her family.”

Thompson by Emmanuel Dunand, AFP/Getty Images; Lieberman by Susan Walsh, AP

Credit: Thompson by Emmanuel Dunand, AFP/Getty Images; Lieberman by Susan Walsh, AP

Palin disclosed Monday that her unmarried 17-year-old daughter is pregnant and will marry the father. She’s been under intense media scrutiny in recent days for a variety of reasons, including an investigation over whether she abused her office to try and fire her former brother-in-law and her history of securing earmarks for her state. McCain regularly touts his opposition to earmarks on the campaign trail.

Thompson blamed “media big shots” who attack her because she doesn’t “talk a good game” on Sunday talk shows and “hit the Washington cocktail party circuit.”

Palin has “got the other side and their friends in the media in a state of panic,” Thompson said, touting the one credential she brings to the Republican ticket that no one else can claim. Well, besides being a woman. “She’s the only candidate who knows how to field-dress a moose,” he quipped.

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Credit: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

From the Associated Press:

“God only made one John McCain, and he is his own man,” declared Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee, awarded a prime-time turn at the Republicans’ convention podium.

Obama drew criticism when Lieberman said the Democratic presidential candidate voted to cut off funding “for our troops on the ground” in Iraq last year.

And again when former Sen. Fred Thompson scoffed at the 47-year-old Illinois senator, who is seeking to become the first black president.

“Democrats present a history-making nominee for president. History making in that he is the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee ever to run for president,” Thompson said as delegates roared their agreement.

Republican Convention Suspends Activities

September 1, 2008

With Hurricane Gustav quickly approaching New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, Senator John McCain announced that Republican Party activities on Monday in St. Paul, Minnesota, would be suspended except for necessary business. He called on his party members to “take off our Republican hats and put on out American hats.”

From the New York Times:

Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, delivered a statement via video at a news conference here in which Republican officials announced they would hold only essential party business required under its rules on Monday. They also pledged to refrain from the kind of political rhetoric that traditionally opens conventions and said they would mobilize corporations who have contributed millions of dollars to put on the convention, as well as the campaign’s top fund-raisers, to raise money for relief efforts.

“This is a time when we have to do away with our party politics and we have to act as Americans,” Mr. McCain said, appearing from St. Louis, where he was campaigning with Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, his running mate.

Amid extraordinary circumstances that remain extremely uncertain, many questions remain unanswered, including whether Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin will actually appear at the convention here to accept their party’s nominations and what the schedule might look like for the rest of what had been expected to be a four-day political coronation for Mr. McCain and his vice presidential nominee.

Rick Davis, the McCain-Palin campaign manager, said organizers are proceeding on a day-by-day basis, monitoring the course of the storm and its damage.

For now, he said, party officials have decided that Monday’s session will open at 3 p.m. Central time and probably end at 5 to 5:30 p.m. and will be limited to official business like adopting the platform and electing convention officers. President Bush, who had been slated to speak on Monday night, said Sunday that he would not appear at the convention, and White House officials said Vice President Dick Cheney would not appear as well.