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Welcome, Mr. President 

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Everybody is real excited that the leader of the Free World will be visiting Salt Lake City this weekend, Aug. 25. OK, enough of the Dick Cheney jokes. Everyone knows we have a dork for president and a heart patient for vice president. It’s the heart patient who will be making an appearance at the State Republican Convention.

But lookit, George W. Bush isn’t really a dork. Some people just think he’s an intellectually challenged, spoiled son of a rich guy. But Republicans like him and often draw comparisons to Ronald Reagan, who they’d like to see on Mount Rushmore. Like Reagan himself, Republicans have forgotten what his tax cut did to the country.

But why revisit boring historical accounts of how we became the biggest debtor nation on Earth when we’ve got Dick Cheney coming to town? It’s time to celebrate. Anyone who wants to meet the vice president only has to bring a concealed weapon to the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy. Well, maybe you won’t get to meet Cheney, but you will get a face-to-face with some nice folks from the Secret Service. The joke’s on the conservatives—concealed weapons won’t be allowed at the Republican Convention, Second Amendment or not.

That, apparently, is really burning some of the GOP faithful, according to Trib reporter Dan Harrie. It’s kind of a rude awakening for gun rights advocates—in order to see the leader of the Free World, they have to leave their God-given right to carry a concealed Colt .357 magnum at home. What was that about a well-regulated militia? Never mind.

Speaking of big excitement, a big bonus for Utah is that NBC—which will televise our Olympics—will also air The Today Show and The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno from our area. For some, no doubt, that’s more thrilling than pairs ice dancing and curling combined. Katie Couric and Matt Whatshisface will be airing Today from the posh Canyons resort, within spitting distance of the bobsled and luge runs at the Olympic Sports Park. And Jay Leno will be hosting The Tonight Show from the Rose Wagner Theater just up the street from City Weekly.

For TV critics like the Tribune’s Martin Renzhofer and the D-News’ Scott Pierce, that’s huge—a chance to sit in the Tonight Show audience. But for Bill Frost at City Weekly’s Tube Town (The Only TV Column That Matters™), it just can’t compare to sitting at home in the Barcalounger with a bottle of Wasatch Slickrock watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

And finally, this from our “Heads Up Calendar”: Liza Franzetta, an animal rights activist, is visiting the City of Salt to protest the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. She brought a nude protestor painted like a tiger who is being confined to a cage. No word yet on whether the painted person is male or female. Looks like another investigation for the staff here at SmartBomb.

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