I arrived at the Minneapolis airport a couple hours ago, schlepped on a bus to downtown St. Paul to deposit my bags at the journalist tent, and found out … that downtown St. Paul is completely shut down. They have about a five-block perimeter blocked off and aren’t letting anyone in without a credential (Kate and I are sharing one, and she’s got it). Apparently there was some pepper gassing and arrests yesterday.

It’s a weird situation, made weirder by the fact that a hurricane is battering the Gulf coast right now and, oh yeah, Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant.

Now I’m sitting in a pub eating curry fries, drinking a beer, and trying to catch up on all the news I missed today, which apparently was plenty.

Strange world we live in.

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UPDATE: I’m struggling not to submit to stereotypes here. But lots of folks fresh from the GOP convention are streaming into this pub, and … the guys are fresh-scrubbed, square-jawed, and all-American. And the girls have lots of make-up. I’m sure it’s a distorted sample! I reject and renounce all stereotypes!

UPDATE: Greg Sargent does a rundown on the Palin meltdown today.

Things are looking awfully grim for the GOP right now. Coming right off a successful Dem convention, they badly needed a week of Barack-attacks and happy Palin-displays. Instead they got a harsh reminder of Katrina, lost a day of the convention, and had McCain’s VP pick exposed as a hasty, poorly vetted disaster.

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