Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Damn our democratic process.

The streets of Tempe are barricaded, and not even a greased up Bill O'Reilly will be able to slip through the steely grip of the laser-eyed Tempe police force. Our very presence has been met with surprise by event organizers, who suggested those of us working on the same street as the auditorium holding the debate not even come to work today.

I'd wanted to go down to campus and eyeball the press (oh, Judy Woodruff... why do you elude me, you sly fox?). Chris Matthews has been down by the Union throwing gas on the fire, from what I hear. Good for him. Tempe, for being a college town, is some serious political deadwood. I hear Brendan, a kid I know, actually made it on Hardball.

I can't go down there during lunch, as I've been scheduled for a lunch meeting (hey, free lunch). And I can't get out of here early as my boss can't make it to his 2:00, which puts me and Al in there as his back-up until probably 4:00.

No signs of protestors yet. But the place we're going for lunch has a balcony overlooking Mill, so maybe I can see the sign-wavers while I eat some noodles.

But the buzz in the air is not particularly positive. People don't talk politics in my office (thank God), and everyone is wondering how they're going to leave work today as the fuzz is closing down most of the streets near campus. These streets are also the main thoroughfares to get in and out of downtown. So, terrorists, you're going to either have to take a sidestreet or walk. Those are your fiendish options.

I was told yesterday that Gammage, the site of the debate, was originally designed by Frank Llyod Wright for some Saudi nobility who didn't pay up, so Wright gave the plans to ASU. I need to take another look at the building, because I never looked to see if there's any eastern flair to the building. I don't think so, but you never know.

***update*** Turns out the building was designed for Iraqi officials in the mid-1950's. Unfortunately, the monarch of Iraq was assasinated, and the approval for the project didn't go through. Apparently, my source for the originally story was not ot be trusted. ****

Anyway, I'll be spending the morning running up and down Mill looking for snipers and dudes with ear pieces and sunglasses. Good-bye relaxed workplace, hello peek into a police state.

By the way, the reports regarding Bush's "hidden" Wi-Fi pack are true. Using the bleeding-edge resources available only at League HQ, we've tapped into the President's transmissions. He's listening to all of Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" on a loop. Those odd pauses..? Flute solo.

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