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Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama

The best Republican president of the 20th century was probably Ronald Reagan. The man could deliver a speech, and the country loved him.

Why do the Republicans hate Barack Obama for being able to do exactly what Reagan was most famous for? What makes Obama's ability bad and Reagan's ability good?

This is what I hate about politics. It's the hypocrisy. If you don't like a person's political views, fine, but don't attack a characteristic that you would otherwise praise if the candidate was of your party.

And as a writer, I'm offended when Republicans now claim, as Palin did in her speech tonight, that memoirs and speeches don't matter, aren't really "doing anything" and don't have the ability to promote real change.

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Summer Day Trip #1: Caledonia, Minnesota

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I've lived in Minnesota for over ten years, sure, but that doesn't mean I've actually seen much of the state. Like most people, I know what I know, and I go where I go. And that's the extent of it. But once I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to make it to Alaska this summer, it occurred to me that I had plenty of sites to explore in the immediate region.

First stop: Caledonia, Minnesota. Where's that? It's a small town in the southeast corner of the state. Before I opened my Rand McNally Road Atlas, I had never heard of it, and before I punched the town name into Trip Advisor, I didn't know if there was anything there worth visiting.

Distance from home: About 75 miles.

Challenge #1: Leaving by 6:30 a.m.

Challenge #2: Taking my dog, Atticus.

Actually, Atticus is a good dog on a road trip, but the forecast indicated that it was going to get into the 90s. I wanted to leave early in the …