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Oh Those Dems!

I spent some time Saturday evening hanging out with reporter colleagues who'd been covering the state Democratic convention all day in downtown LA, people from John Myers with ''The California Report,'' to Carla Marinucci of the SF Chronicle-- both of whom you hear me talking to about California politics -- to LA Observed's Kevin Roderick, USC analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, and Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine of the Calbuzz website.

These are always such useful chat-fests, to spackle in the gaps and crannies of California politics, and Saturday was no exception. One nugget out of the day's news-panning: Mickey Kaus, the political blogger who decided to take on Senator Barbara Boxer in the Democratic primary, was at the convention, of course, and managed to get a handshake from Boxer, who, my colleagues told me, made some remark about wanting to meet her opposition.

I'd seen Mickey Kaus two days earlier; I was sitting behind him, and he was sitting next to conservative tiradeuse Ann Coulter, at the Writer's Bloc event in Beverly Hills, where David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, was talking about his new biography of President Obama, ''The Bridge.''

Several listeners to an ''AirTalk'' interview with Remnick the next day called him on the fact that he put Occidental College, President Obama's first alma mater, in Pasadena, not in Los Angeles, in the Eagle Rock neighborhood.

I'll be at Occidental College on Thursday evening -- you can, too, for a public ''Deconstructing Obama'' panel with the New York Times' Charles Blow, Tom Edsall, the former Washington Post political reporter who's now at the Huffington Post, and Occidental professor Thalia Gonzalez.

There's plenty for the panel to assess. No president since FDR has inherited such an economic mess, and that, along with the two-front war, and now a diffuse but palpable anger from some sectors in the country, have made President Obama's one of the most challenging presidencies in decades.

-- Patt Morrison