This will be the first in a series of posts concerning the Energy Tour taken by Elwyn Tinklenberg through various facilities that represent what he is calling a "comprehensive plan" to achieving energy independence. According to Tinklenberg, we need more than the drill oriented strategy touted by Michele Bachmann for our energy future. While he said that we should consider more exploration, he continually made it clear that it represents a small part of an overall long term strategy to move beyond oil and towards a renewable energy future. Despite her best efforts to claim that she is for an "all of the above" strategy, her voting record represents more of an all of the drilling all of the time strategy and it clear that Tinklenberg is the "all of the above" candidate while Bachmann is the oil industry candidate.

One of the locations on the tour was a facility known as Sartec based in Anoka, Minnesota. Currently, SarTec is working on a process in conjunction with Great River Energy by which it can convert algae oil into a biodiesel fuel. Known as the "Mcgyan Process", it takes vegetable oil or animal fats combined with alcohol and when run through a reactor it is almost instantly converted into biodiesel.

Dr. Mark Rasmussen (Senior Microbiologist):

"The goal of the project is to develop efficient algae production systems that allow for the capture of emissions from coal burning power plants and then to extract the algae oil from the biomass and produce biodiesel using the Mcgyan process. This technology could then one day be transferred to the farm. The potential for biodiesel production from algae is vast; using less than 3% of our current crop land we could produce the 63 billion gallons of bio-diesel fuel that we currently need in the United States. Thus all of our diesel fuel could be produced domestically. This would also have a tremendous effect on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and solve the issue of food versus fuel since algae is not a food and it can be grown on land that is not used for food production."

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
As if the money for Bachmann's re-election campaign coming from magical sex elixirs wasn't bad enough for the woman who claims to fight for "traditional family values". Now it seems as though some of that campaign money is coming from family friendly strip shows in Las Vegas.

H/T to America Blog & Firedoglake:

Pete Sessions (R) from Texas and his leadership PAC, People for Enterprise, Trade, & Economic Growth (PETEPAC) held a little party at a Las Vegas "Club" back in March of this year. By the end of March, PETEPAC generously gave our 6th District Congresswoman a contribution of $2500.

This is how the club's owner, Ivan Kane, describes his brand of burlesque.

Ivan Kane: The key component would be to have girls who were dancers taking their clothes off, not just girls taking their clothes off.

Not only did Bachmann receive some of this stripper money, 3rd District Republican candidate, Erik Paulsen received $5000 from PETEPAC. In an election where Minnesota Republicans are faux outraged about satirical comments made by Al Franken, it appears as though they are concerned primarily with comments and not with instances in which women are actually exploited and in which they benefit from said exploitation. Between the erotic elixirs of William Hudlow and stripraiser money from PETEPAC, it might be safe to say that the sex industry is throwing its support behind Michele Bachmann, Erik Paulsen, and the Republican Party of Minnesota. I guess I had never realized that family values meant strippers and horny goat weed.

Interestingly, Bachmann may have some explaining to do to her overlords at Eagle Forum because they are none too pleased with Pete Sessions and his stripraiser:

Aides to Mr. Sessions, a self-described conservative, and others said the act was a mild burlesque show, but some conservative activists were aghast that the event was held at an adult club.

"What's the difference?" asked Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum. "I don't think that it's representative of the constituents of the district. I'm in shock."

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
I am going to attempt (key word, ATTEMPT) to give updates on the Tinklenberg Energy Tour going on today through the Political Muse Twitter feature located exclusively on the right side bar of Liberal in the Land of Conservative.

Also, consider this an open thread to discuss differences between the Tinklenberg and Bachmann energy agendas.
Tomorrow I will be riding along with the Tinklenberg Campaign as they travel the 6th District on their Energy Tour. If you have energy related questions for Mr. Tinklenberg, I encourage you to leave them in the comments section of this post. During the tour, I will try my best to get those questions answered by the candidate hoping to become your representative.

This is your chance to ask Tink a question about energy policy...

Keep your questions civil and on topic or frankly, they will be ignored. Check back on Thursday for updates and answers to your submitted questions.

Cross Posted on St. Cloud Times & Dump Bachmann
It appears as though the Bachmann Campaign strategy is to run a re-election battle from afar. From stops in Alaska to Colorado to Louisiana to Texas, who would have thought that Minnesota's 6th Congressional District was so large? Unfortunately, Bachmann seems to be campaigning everywhere BUT the place in which she was elected. Certainly, she has graced us with her appearance in a few parades in which she sits atop a float far from the people she represents but her presence in the district and in the state beyond those appearances should be a source of concern to constituents who deserve local representation rather than self promoting politicians seeking only to advance up another step on the political ladder.

In yet another absentee appearance, Bachmann will be sending her "office" to the annual Farmfest:

Next week, my staff will hold Mobile Office Hours at FARMFEST. They will be on hand to talk to you about any issues you may be having with a federal agency or program and to talk to you about your thoughts and concerns on current events and legislation. If you are having a specific problem with a federal benefit or program and have letters or documents that might help my staff get answers for you quickly, please bring copies of that paperwork when you visit.

Where, then, will Michele Bachmann be? Two of her congressional colleagues, Tim Walz and Collin Peterson will be there and participating in the candidate forum. Also in attendance will be her opponent, El Tinklenberg. So, where in the world will Michele Bachmann be? Has Bachmann become so enamored with the national exposure that she has forgotten that she is a representative of one district in one part of Minnesota rather than representative of the Republican Party across the country? It is absolutely shameful for her to send what amounts to the "C" squad to Farmfest while she gallivants around the country speaking in mythical terms of $2 gas and continuing to outright lie about supporting "All of the Above". The Tinklenberg Campaign ought to be hammering her on this absenteeism day after day. Perhaps we need a Where in the World is Michele Bachmann booth or demonstration at Farmfest this year.

Cross Posted on St. Cloud Times & Dump Bachmann
H/T to Larry Schumacher at his blog, Political Quarry:

Joanne Dorsher (DFL), candidate for House District 15A against Steve Gottwalt, will be teaming up with Tarryl Clark (DFL) for a discussion about education at Caribou Coffee this Saturday (8 am). I have some things going on this weekend but I am going to make every effort to cover this event.

As I have noted several times before, Steve Gottwalt is far from being a supporter of a strong public education system. All Dorsher need do is show up at the Capitol in order to become a better friend of education. I would encourage everyone to go and judge Dorsher for themselves.

Let's just hope that Dorsher doesn't treat potential constituents with the same contempt that Gottwalt and his friends in the blogosphere have in the past:

While Michele Bachmann tours on your dime and mine everywhere EXCEPT the district which she purportedly represents, Elwyn Tinklenberg will be going on an Energy Tour of his own. The difference being that Tinklenberg will keep his focus on the very people he would like to represent and their efforts to bring us closer to kicking the habit of oil and nonrenewable resources. He will be meeting with local leaders in the area along various stops to highlight the things going on right here at home in the 6th District.

Tinklenberg kicks off Sixth District Energy Independence Tour on Wednesday, July 30

While Rep. Michele Bachmann tours the nation to encourage ANWR drilling, challenger El Tinklenberg will tour the Sixth District to highlight Minnesota projects that support energy independence, conservation, and job creation.

Itinerary: Wednesday July 30, 2008

9:30-10:15 AM:
Capitol press corps offices
Capitol building, St. Paul

10:30-10:45 AM:
Woodbury Park-and-Ride
1400 block of Queens Drive, Woodbury

11:30 AM-12:15 PM:
Sar-Tec Algae Plant (McGyan Reactors, LLC)
617 Pierce Street, Anoka

1:30-2:00 PM:
Elk River Refuse-Derived Fuel Plant (Resource Recovery Technologies, LLC)
10700 165th Ave NW, Elk River

1:00-1:15 PM:
Elk River Northstar Stop
Approx. 1/2 mile east of 10/169 on 171st Ave NW,
which turns into Tyler Ave NW

3:00-3:30 PM:
D.H. Blattner and Sons (wind turbine manufacturing)
400 County Road 50, Avon

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
In 2006, I had the honor of representing my local at the biennial AFT (American Federation of Teachers) Convention in Boston, Massachusetts. One of the speeches given at this convention was by Senator Ted Kennedy. It is a passionate speech about the value of the labor movement, the value of teachers, and the overall value of public education. With so many politicians disparaging the work of public educators and public education across the country, it is refreshing to hear a powerful voice stand up and give credit where credit is due.

The introduction is given by recently retired AFT President, Ed McElroy.

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Keep fighting, Senator Kennedy!
11:30 PM | Posted in
On this date in 1940, we were introduced to one of the iconic figures of American cartoon history. Bugs Bunny appeared in his first Merrie Melodies episode entitled, "A Wild Hare".

I was not around for this introduction of Bugs Bunny but I certainly remember watching this and many other episodes when Saturday morning cartoons were still cool and unsullied by crap.

The basic plot of A Wild Hare, which centers on Elmer Fudd's hopeless pursuit of the much smarter Bugs, would serve as a template for many subsequent cartoons. In addition, many of the specific gags and plot devices in this cartoon became part of the template for later Bugs/Elmer confrontations, with subsequent shorts repeating them or varying them for comic effect. Examples include Elmer failing to recognise Bugs as a rabbit, Bugs kissing Elmer,[6] and Bugs feigning death.

Finally, the frustrated Elmer driven to distraction by the rabbit's antics, walks away sobbing about "wabbits, cawwots, guns", etc. Bugs tells the audience, "Ya know, I think the poor guy's screwy!" Bugs then begins to play his carrot like a fife, playing the tune The Girl I Left Behind Me, and marches with one stiff leg towards his rabbit hole, as with the fifer in the painting, The Spirit of '76.

8:56 PM | Posted in ,
Amy Klobuchar took to the floor of the United States Senate to discuss the outrageous spikes occurring in prescription drug prices:

Part 1:

Part 2:

From the speech:

We were privileged to have one of the families from Rhode Island, the home of the Presiding Officer, there with us at the hearing. Danielle Foltz was the mother who testified--I will never forget her story

about how her little baby is sick in the hospital, suddenly having spasms. These could actually have affected his brain. His name is Trevor. He is in the hospital and she tries to get the drug that helps with this, this Acthar. She found out it is about $1,700 per vial at the initial stages. That is what they thought it was going to be. Then what happens? Once it was sold to Questcor, when her little baby needed this drug, the price of the drug skyrocketed to $23,000 per vial--that is a 14-fold increase. This mom and dad are in the hospital with their little baby Trevor and this drug has gone up to $23,000 per vial. What do you think is going to happen? Do you think the insurance company, when they used to pay for it when it was $1,700, was going to say: Oh, no problem. They had to negotiate for 5 days with the insurance companies, they had to get their neurologist involved, and she had to write a letter saying that this is going to affect this baby's life, the baby could be mentally retarded if he doesn't get the drug. It is actually a short-term treatment. I think the baby had the drug for a matter of months and then went off the drug--talk about short-sighted. Eventually, after 5 days, she was able to get the drug approved.

These people were missionaries in Africa. They had worked in Africa. They didn't have the money, they didn't have the house to mortgage, but they were able to save their little baby's life because finally they fought hard enough to get it covered.

This is a continued effort to highlight the floor speeches of Minnesota's Democratic delegation in Congress. For more floor speeches, visit the MNMuseTube Page.
On a tip from a frequent reader:

It seems as though Brandon Lerch, former Press Secretary for crazy Congressman, Steve King, is set to become the Campaign Manager for our very own Michele Bachmann:

Brandon Lerch, who has been press secretary to King, is departing to head up the re-election campaign for Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican elected in 2006.

Now, as a former press secretary, you would think this guy could have kept a lid on the craziness that is Steve King.

Apparently NOT:

A transcript of King's comments made at a Republican fundraiser in Boulder's Conference Center showed he compared illegal immigrants to stray cats that wind up on people's porches. King said at first stray cats help by chasing mice, so people feed them. King added that the stray cats then have kittens, which are liked for their cuteness, but eventually the strays, fed by the people, end up getting lazy, just like illegal immigrants. King would not comment on what he said on that day. Sioux City Journal, 10-13-2006

Mr. King said about the recently killed al-Zarqawi, "There probably are not 72 virgins in the hell he's at. And if there are, they probably all look like Helen Thomas." Helen Thomas was an 85-year-old award-winning journalist at the time. Most Iowans don't insult old ladies. (The quote is from a recording transcribed by Radio Iowa at the 2006 Iowa Republican convention.) Sioux City Journal, 6-22-2006

"... My wife lives here with me, and I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, she's at far greater risk being a civilian in Washington, D.C., than an average civilian in Iraq." Of course, King is completely wrong and is comparing apples and oranges -- the city of Baghdad has a murder rate about three times higher than the city of Washington D.C. June 6, 2006 on the floor of the House of Representatives

And the most high profile whopper:

"I don't want to disparage anyone because of their race, their ethnicity, their name, whatever the religion of their father might have been." Said Congressman Steven Arnold King in a radio interview March 7th, just before he disparaged Senator Barack Obama's race, ethnicity, name and father's religion. He continued, "I'll just say this, that when you think about the optics of a Barack Obama potentially getting elected president of the United States, I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world? What does this look like to the world of Islam?... And I will tell you that if he IS elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al Qaida and the radical Islamists and their supporters will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11th." Specifically regarding Obama's middle name: "It does matter. His middle name does matter. It matters because they read meaning into that and the rest of the world, it has special meaning to them. They'll be dancing in the streets because of his middle name. They'll be dancing in the streets because of who his father was ... So there are implications that have to do with who he is and the positions that he has taken ... There will be dancing in the streets if he's elected president and that has a chilling effect on how difficult it will be to ever win this global war on terror." Odd, isn't it, that middle names are so very important to a man apparently named after a famous American traitor? You can watch the interview here. You can see the AP story here, and you can see Congressman King defend his remarks on FOX News here.

Good Job, Michele! You keep bringing the crazy...

With Julie Quist of Anti-Public Education Edwatch and Brandon Lerch of racist Steve King fame joining the woman who believes there is a secret Iranian Plan, you have a veritable cornucopia of crazy on your hands.

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
This represents Part 2 of a larger series about the fundraising efforts of Michele Bachmann. In Part 1 we covered only a small fraction of the "leadership PAC" contributions currently propping up the 2nd quarter numbers of Bachmann.

Yet, for all of this attention and media coverage (most of which is with outlets far away from her district) her latest FEC report reflects a candidate being propped up, not by those in her district or even those in the corporate world but rather, by the helping hand of over 40 leadership PACS and campaign committees of ultra-conservative candidates across the country. These groups typically seek to help candidates in vulnerable districts and not candidates in areas deemed safe. Perhaps this swell of support from her "friends" in Congress is less indicative of friendship and more indicative of a campaign afraid of just how vulnerable it actually has become.

So, how vulnerable is Michele Bachmann? Well, if these contributions are any indicator, she is nearly $100,000 worth of vulnerable.
Let's take a look at some more "Friends of Bachmann" who have chipped in to keep those fundraising numbers looking slightly more than anemic:

Issa for Congress $1000
Darrell Issa (R) from California who recently took the occasion of Tim Russert's death to advocate for drilling offshore also got into some trouble awhile back for claiming that the 9/11 attacks were nothing more than a plane crash and did not merit the amount of money being allocated to its victims.

Midnight Sun PAC $1000
Despite her strong opposition to earmarks, Bachmann is more than willing to take cash from Mr. Earmark, Don Young. You may remember Don Young from his Bridge to Nowhere, the connections to Jack Abramoff, and the fact that he is under investigation for various illegal dealings.

PETE PAC Ppl for Ent, Trade, & Econ Gro $2500
Bachmann certainly does love those representatives connected with Jack Abramoff. Pete Sessions (R) of Texas is yet another of these embroiled in the Abramoff scandal.

RED PAC $3500
Adam Putnam (R) of Florida who has tried to lambast Speaker Pelosi about requesting an "Air Force Three" Jet and who has claimed that the "rednecks" who didn't come out to vote were the reason Republicans lost in 2006 is yet another "Friend of Bachmann" making sure that her numbers look more impressive than they would have without leadership PAC support.

Rely on Your Beliefs Fund $5000
"Rely on Your Beliefs" is the PAC of Roy Blunt (R) of Missouri. Blunt has in the past been named as one of the most corrupt members of Congress by Citizens for Ethics:

Rep. Blunt’s ethics issues stem from his abuse of his position for the benefit of his family, including providing legislative assistance to his wife and son and using his clout to solicit contributions for another son’s campaign. Details of Rep. Blunt’s egregious activities can be found at

Texas Freedom Fund $2500
The fund of Texas Congressman, Joe Barton (R). Barton refused to allow the Combating Autism Act out of his committee setting up a battle with the most unlikely of people, Rick Santorum (R). He also chose to vote against the Hurricane Katrina Emergency Relief bill. In a strangely relevant case, it seems he and other Republicans were deeply divided on oil drilling and refineries when they were in the majority:

On September 26, 2005, Barton introduced the Gasoline for America's Security Act of 2005 to the House of Representatives in what he said was a response to the present energy crisis. The most significant part of the bill gave the authority for the government to subsidize the construction of new refineries for petrochemical companies, despite the fact that the oil companies had intentionally been closing down refineries for years prior to the hurricanes. It would allow for oil companies to construct refineries on military bases and government controlled areas offshore. The bill also included a clause in which several environmental restrictions on the oil companies would be repealed.[citation needed]

The bill passed by two votes on October 7, 2005, with a narrow 212-210 vote. The bill, which was supposed to be open for vote for only five minutes, was held on the floor for almost 50 minutes, to the chagrin of Democrats who chanted "Shame! Shame!"[6] During that time, the Washington Post reported that Rep. Tom DeLaymoderate Republicans who were originally opposed to the legislation, ultimately convincing them to vote for the bill. Environmentalists and their allies from both parties argued that the country could not stand any relaxation of the Clean Air Act.[citation needed] (R-Tex) twisted the arms of

The critics argued that the oil companies themselves should be paying the construction costs of new refineries in a year when they were getting ready to announce industry-record profits, especially since they had been the ones who shut down now-needed refineries just four years earlier.[citation needed]

From 1995 to 2001, American oil companies shut down 24 oil refineries along the West Coast. Gas prices in the mid-1990s were low — too low for the likes of the oil companies. Refineries were operating efficiently, producing large quantities of gasoline and therefore cheapening the cost of gas at the pump.[citation needed]

According to, a watchdog group that monitors monetary contributions to politicians, Barton alone has received close to $2 million in campaign contributions from energy companies and their political action committees since he has been in office. The oil and gas industry has been the top industry contributor to his campaign. This does not include contributions from individuals who work for petrochemical companies, though. Last year, employees from Anadarko Petroleum alone, contributed $50,000, reports.

The New Republic magazine has called Barton a "Big Oil lackey." According to TNRHurricane Katrina to jam through still more energy subsidies, ease environmental regulations on refineries, and press for more offshore oil and gas drilling." writer Michael Crowley, "Barton champions a pro-industry agenda with no apparent concern for appearances. Just two months after [the Gasoline for America's Security Act], he exploited concerns over energy supplies in the aftermath of

The Freedom Project $10000
This $10,000 coupled with the $4,000 already given by John Boehner makes a total of $14,000 from this guy pal of Bachmann. You remember John Boehner, the guy who assisted in the Mark Foley coverup and was an ardent supporter of failed Secretary of Defense, Don Rumsfeld.

Bachmann maintains a who's who of Republican representative supporters who will continue to make sure that her fundraising appears to be more substantial than it actually is. Unfortunately for Bachmann, her support continues to come from the scandal ridden members of her party but she will continue to support them as long as the cash keeps flowing.

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
11:55 AM | Posted in , ,
An article in the Sherburne Citizen about the upcoming special election to replace District 16 Senator, Betsy Wergin, has an interesting quote from one Republican candidate slamming the other Republican candidate in the race. Alison Krueger has this to say about soon to be former Representative Mark Olson:

"Many people have asked me to run. I decided to do so because there was a need. If it were possible as a woman to support Mr. Olson I would but I can't in good conscience, therefore I stepped forward," she said.

Is this the shot across the bow signal that a battle is brewing between members of the same party in Senate District 16? This can only help the DFL candidate, Lisa Fobbe, as she can stay positive and on message while Republicans appalled by Mr. Olson battle against Republicans pleased by Mr. Olson. From all of the anectdotal evidence I have collected there is a real divide regarding Mark Olson in his district. Few Republicans will admit it, but there is a large faction of voters who truly believe that this man was wronged by both his party and by the charges levied against him. It is interesting to note this sentence conveniently placed into the article:

Rep. Mark Olson did not receive his party's endorsement to run for his own seat in the house. District 16 B Republicans nominated former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer. Olson was ejected from the State Republican Caucus after being found guilty of one count of domestic abuse last year. He is running with the support of his wife, Heidi.

Was it really necessary to add this sentence? It is going to be interesting to see how this endorsement battle shakes out. Thus far, I have not heard back from either Lisa Fobbe or Alison Krueger after emailing them about their campaigns and issue positions (I don't like to talk to Olson because he honestly deserves to be ignored).
8:54 AM | Posted in ,
Dan Severson, Republican from House District 14A, has been serving the district since his first election in 2002. Unfortunately, during that time his legislative record reflects a partisan unwilling to support even the most bipartisan of measures.

On education, I have already discussed the meaningless platitudes offered by Severson on his error riddled campaign site. However, his voting record reflects a bias against public education on the scale of the anti-public education organization known as Edwatch. In the past two sessions he has consistently voted against funding for both K-12 education and higher education. He voted against a one time revenue increase for K-12 education and last year voted TWICE against funding for higher education. The higher education funding Severson opposed would have provided $10 million in grants to veterans and their families in the state. In addition to these grants, the higher education appropriations bill would have established a Minnesota GI Bill Program.

Severson has been a consistent voice against working people in his district and throughout the state by voting against minimum wage increases as well as appropriations for a medical study to "conduct an industry-specific study of workers' health that includes a comprehensive study of lung health."

On vote after vote, Severson demonstrates that he is unwilling to provide even the most basic support to the people living within his district and people living throughout the state. He appears to be much more concerned with providing the public with overtly racist videos and forcing citizens to remain married through government imposed mandates.
5:58 PM | Posted in
The Young Turks lambasted the newest attack ad put out by the Coleman Campaign as one of the most patronizing videos they have ever seen:

My question: Norm Coleman doesn't believe that Al Franken is qualified to be a United States Senator. So, he creates an ad with "average" Minnesotans who say that they are just as qualified as Al Franken. Does Coleman then believe that the average Minnesotan is unqualified to be a United States Senator? Is that really the message you want to be sending to the people of Minnesota? I'm better than you and since you aren't really qualified, let me handle things. Nice work, Norm! Isn't that what Republicans like to decry as ELITISM?
4:49 PM | Posted in ,
Yesterday, Tim Walz introduced a piece of legislation he is referring to as the Middle Class Tax Fairness Act:

Today, I am introducing legislation that will restore balance to our tax code and do something unusual: help reduce the national debt. My bill will be a jump-start to this slumping economy. It will double the standard deduction for the next 2 years, providing an annual savings of $750 to 61 million Americans. It will expand access to the child tax credit and provide relief on property tax.

My legislation allows the middle class to keep their income and does so in a fiscally responsible manner, by fully being paid for.

This is a continued effort to highlight the floor speeches of Minnesota's Democratic delegation in Congress. For more floor speeches, visit the MNMuseTube Page.
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4:13 PM | Posted in ,
Amy Klobuchar (DFL), discusses S. 3268 (Stop Excessive Energy Speculation Act of 2008) on the floor of the United States Senate:

In related news, it appears that the canard of drill now, drill everywhere, drill is the only solution we have is having little affect on the voting public. A new poll out has an overwhelming majority supporting investment in renewable energy sources over increased drilling on public lands and they don't believe that increased drilling will bring down gasoline prices.

A significant majority of Americans (63%) said that the Presidents proposal to open up public lands to oil and gas drilling is more likely to enrich oil companies than to lower gas prices for American consumers. A substantial majority (66%) said that the small percentage of public lands still protected from oil drilling should remain off limits because they are valuable natural resources that cannot be replaced.

When asked the question, Do you think that allowing oil companies to drill in public lands and offshore areas that are currently off limits to drilling will result in lower gas prices for American consumers or not?, 54% of poll respondents said they did not believe more drilling would lower gas prices. Although Americans were initially divided on a general question of opening protected public lands and offshore areas to drilling, with a slight majority (53%) in favor, and 41% opposed, the poll found that support for drilling weakened significantly when those polled were presented with other energy policy options. When asked the question: Looking to the future, which one of the following do you think should be a more important priority for government: Investing in new energy technology including renewable fuels and more efficient automobiles, or expanding exploration and drilling for more oil?, more than three-quarters (76%) of respondents favored new technology and renewables, and only a small number (19%) favored expanded oil drilling.

This is a continued effort to highlight the floor speeches of Minnesota's Democratic delegation in Congress. For more floor speeches, visit the MNMuseTube Page.
4:00 PM | Posted in ,

As with anything having to do with the representative from the 1st Congressional District of Minnesota, my friends over at Bluestem Prairie (check it out here and here) have more information on the amendment.

This is a continued effort to highlight the floor speeches of Minnesota's Democratic delegation in Congress. For more floor speeches, visit the MNMuseTube Page.
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3:51 PM | Posted in , ,
Both Betty McCollum (DFL) and Keith Ellison (DFL) spoke out in support of H.R. 3999 (NATIONAL HIGHWAY BRIDGE RECONSTRUCTION AND INSPECTION ACT OF 2008) on the floor of the House of Representatives.

This is a continued effort to highlight the floor speeches of Minnesota's Democratic delegation in Congress. For more floor speeches, visit the MNMuseTube Page.
3:24 PM | Posted in ,
Jim Oberstar (DFL), discusses H.R. 3999 (NATIONAL HIGHWAY BRIDGE RECONSTRUCTION AND INSPECTION ACT OF 2008) on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Oberstar discussing the I-35W bridge collapse and the need for increased bridge inspection:

Oberstar discusses structurally deficient bridges as well as addresses complaints about the bill in question:

An article from the Star Tribune addresses the bill:

House backs $1 billion initiative to upgrade nation's bridges

The $1 billion bridge reconstruction program -- Congress' first nationwide response to the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis last summer -- would ensure that states beef up inspections and upgrade bridges that are deemed the most critical to safety.

The new federally mandated system has run into resistance from officials in Minnesota and elsewhere who say they are better positioned to decide which bridges are in the most urgent need of repair. Minnesota transportation officials say they have already begun to realign their bridge priorities in response to the bridge collapse.

"The concern is valid," said Brad Larsen, a federal relations manager for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). "Some of the things the bill is asking for we're already doing. And we're likely to continue doing them whether or not the bill passes."

This is a continued effort to highlight the floor speeches of Minnesota's Democratic delegation in Congress. For more floor speeches, visit the MNMuseTube Page.
3:16 PM | Posted in ,

This is a continued effort to highlight the floor speeches of Minnesota's Democratic delegation in Congress. For more floor speeches, visit the MNMuseTube Page.
3:02 PM | Posted in ,
Jim Oberstar (DFL), discusses the Clean Boating Act of 2008 on the floor of the House of Representatives:

The Recreational Boating Industry put out this press release on the passage of the bill:

Bill prevents imminent, unprecedented EPA regulations on boaters and protects water resources

July 23, 2008—Yesterday, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) hailed the passage of H.R. 5949/S. 2766, the Clean Boating Act of 2008, in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Passage of this legislation, which has been the top legislative priority for NMMA during the 110th Congress, will permanently and fully restore a longstanding, commonsense regulation that excludes recreational boaters and anglers from the federal and state permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act designed for land-based industrial facilities and ocean-going commercial ships.

Introduced by Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in the Senate and by Representatives Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) and Candice Miller (R-Mich.) in the House, the Clean Boating Act of 2008 will prevent federal and state permitting of water-based, non-polluting incidental discharges that occur in the normal operation of a recreational boat, such as weather deck run-off and engine coolant water.

“The Senate and House have acted swiftly, and we appreciate the bipartisan nature of their action to protect the recreational marine industry, the American boating public and our natural resources. This is an historic victory for our 1,700 members and for boaters across the nation who just love being out on the water unencumbered by unnecessary government red tape and significant legal jeopardy,” said Scott Gudes, NMMA vice president of government relations. “Congress has acted decisively to keep boating fun, safe and simple.”

This new regulation, set to become law on October 1, 2008 if Congress had not acted, was the result of an overbroad federal court decision in a case focused on commercial ship ballast water. The unintended consequence of the decision would have meant that recreational boaters and other vessel operators would be required to follow a multitude of new rules and regulations and been exposed to fines (up to $32,500 per day, per violation) and citizen lawsuits.

“Both the House and Senate have sent a positive message to the nation’s 73 million boaters through the passage of these critical pieces of legislation” noted NMMA president, Thom Dammrich. “After a long road on Capitol Hill, the bill is now ready for the President’s signature into law. We encourage the President to act fast in signing this bill to stave off unprecedented and unnecessary new regulations on America’s boaters and anglers.”

Passage of the Clean Boating Act, a genuine bipartisan, good-government bill, was made possible by a large number of committed legislators on both sides of the political aisle. NMMA extends its special thanks to Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and all of the 39 cosponsors of the bill in the Senate. In the House, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee James Oberstar (D-Minn.), Ranking Member John Mica (R-Fla.), Representatives Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) and all the many cosponsors of the bill are to be thanked and congratulated for their hard work and skillful leadership.

At the same time it passed the Clean Boating Act, Congress also passed H.R. 6556/S. 3278, legislation to provide a moratorium on permitting for commercial vessel discharges until the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completes a review of certain incidental discharges. This legislation was the product of extensive negotiations between Senators Murkowski, Boxer, Nelson and Murray as well as Representatives Oberstar, Taylor and others. NMMA congratulates these Members of Congress on achieving this consensus measure to provide relief for commercial craft.

NMMA and BoatU.S., along with more than 60 partners in the Boat Blue Coalition, led the charge to attain passage of the Clean Boating Act of 2008.

About NMMA: National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters in the United States. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy, market research and data, product quality assurance and marketing communications.

This is a continued effort to highlight the floor speeches of Minnesota's Democratic delegation in Congress. For more floor speeches, visit the MNMuseTube Page.
2:50 PM | Posted in ,
Jim Oberstar (DFL), discusses his bill, Aviation Safety Enhancement Act of 2008, on the floor of the House of Representatives:

Aviation Safety Enhancement Act of 2008 - Amends federal transportation law to establish in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) an Aviation Safety Whistleblower Investigation Office to receive and assess complaints and information relating to possible violations of aviation safety laws and regulations. Directs the FAA Administrator to modify the FAA customer service initiative, mission and vision statements, and other policy statements to:
(1) remove any reference to air carriers or other entities regulated by the FAA as "customers";
(2) clarify that in regulating safety the only FAA customers are individuals traveling on aircraft; and
(3) clarify that air carriers and other entities regulated by the FAA do not have the right to select the FAA employees who will inspect their operations. Prohibits any person holding an air carrier operating certificate from knowingly employing, or contracting with, an individual to act as an agent or representative of the certificate holder in any matter before the FAA if, in the preceding two-year period, the individual:
(1) served as, or was responsible for oversight of, an FAA flight standards inspector; and
(2) had responsibility to inspect, or oversee inspection of, the operations of the certificate holder. Prohibits any individual serving as a principal maintenance inspector of the FAA from being responsible for overseeing the operations of a single air carrier for a continuous period of more than five years. Directs the FAA Administrator to establish a process by which the FAA air transportation oversight system database is reviewed by a team of FAA employees on a monthly basis to ensure that:
(1) any trends in regulatory compliance are identified; and
(2) appropriate corrective actions are taken.

This is a continued effort to highlight the floor speeches of Minnesota's Democratic delegation in Congress. For more floor speeches, visit the MNMuseTube Page.
7:00 AM | Posted in ,
Now it is understandable, given that Bachmann is not a "Geography Legislator of the Year" recipient, that she might mistake the city of Dallas, Texas for the 6th District of Minnesota. However, it would be helpful to us in the district if she could find us on the map and pencil us into her self promotion tour just once or maybe even twice.

Over the next couple of days, Bachmann will be at the 9th Annual Freedom21 Conference with her gal pal, Phyllis Schlafly, and several other notable figures in the ultra conservative world. Awhile back I emailed the folks putting together this conference and was informed that this was not a first appearance for Bachmann.

"She has spoken at our conferences in the past and we look forward to hearing her again this year."

What is Freedom21?

If you travel over to their page entitled "Who we are and how we operate" page you find out less about who these folks are than you do about giving them your money. So, can we safely assume that who Freedom21 is is interested in your credit card information?

1. is owned and operated by Tom and Carolyn DeWeese. Click here for Tom DeWeese's Bio.

2. Subscription payments to through online, recurring credit card debits is the preferred method of subscription payment. Monthly credit card payments of $4.99 ($59.88 per year) provides the member with a subscription, an on-line subscription to The DeWeese Report, plus special offers throughout the year. Accepted credit cards are Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Checking account bank cards may be used, only if they contain the Visa or MasterCard logos. Bankcards not authorized by Visa or MasterCard will not be accepted. cannot provide monthly billing statements. In case a member decides to cancel their subscription, the paid monthly fee is not refundable. Service will be provided for the full month and cancellation will go into effect starting with the next calendar month after cancellation. Partial months will not be prorated. This policy will also cover those who pay memberships a year in advance. Refunds will be issued based on the number of months remaining in the subscription at the time of cancellation, beginning with the next calendar month.

What is the Freedom21 Conference?

This Conference is a veritable who's who of the right wing world with sponsors ranging from the Heartland Institute, Eagle Forum, and the organization that has long been the driver of Michele Bachmann, Edwatch. Their keynote speaker for this event, Jerome Corsi, of swift boat fame will join other notables such as Ron Paul, Arizona State Senator Karen Johnson (who happens to be a 9/11 Truther), and of course Phyllis Schlafly.

Bachmann continues to cozy up to the fringes of her party that are currently conspiracy theorizing about everything from 9/11 to some sort of North American Union while the citizens of her district are consistently ignored. At this point of the summer she should be spending every available moment here in the district listening to the people whom she represents. Unfortunately, we have seen time and time again that Bachmann is more interested in her own fame within the right wing of the right wing of the Republican Party than she is in actually being the representative of Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District.
In Minnesota, in this election season, there has been considerable discussion about remarks made by Al Franken that have been deemed pornographic. Much of this discussion has been streaming from the Republican Party attack machine known as "Minnesota Democrats Exposed". While the Better Know A Contributor series has been exclusively about those people and individuals supporting 6th District Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, it is time we expand out slightly and discuss a contributor of concern to Bachmann, Coleman, and the rest of the Republican Party of Minnesota who have been outraged (OUTRAGED I TELL YOU!) by the writings and past satire of Al Franken.

A name appears in the 2nd Quarter FEC reports of Michele Bachmann:
Who is Mr. William Hudlow?

Well, he just happens to be the owner of a business known as Hampshire Labs. What, might you ask, does Hampshire Labs produce or sell?

It seems that the Bachmann Campaign is being financed, in part, by a man who produces and sells everything from elixirs to improve your sex drive, improve your "sensual performance", provide you with natural "stimulation" (affectionately referred to as Horny Goat Weed), give you "male enhancement", prolong "delay" spray, to many other interesting creams that I don't even know how to comment on.

But Muse, what does this have to do with Norm Coleman and the Republican Party of Minnesota?

Well, in addition to the loads of money this pedaler of sex elixirs is giving to our very own Michele Bachmann, there is the previous donations given to the 2002 Coleman campaign and the whopping $15,000 in support for the Republican Party of Minnesota going back to the year 2000. Apparently outrage over "pornography" only applies to those that oppose them and is thrown out the window entirely with the writing of a large check.

It is interesting that King Banaian would ask me if I will be voting for a "pornographer" when he appears to have been supporting a party and candidates funded by actual pornographers. So much for Bachmann and the Republican Party being opposed to pornography.

Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann
8:59 PM | Posted in , ,
Joanne Dorsher invited my children and myself to the Lake George Municipal Complex today for some reading time. Dorsher has a background in supporting education and educators that her opponent simply cannot match.

Community Service and Leadership:

  • 1993 Outstanding Lay Person in Education for District 742
  • Facilitated groups in Math Masters, Odyssey of the Mind, Academic Triathlon, tutored math and reading.
  • Member of advisory and site councils of Talahi Elementary and South Jr. High
  • District 742 Curriculum Committee member
  • Troop leader and past member of Land of Lakes Girl Scout Council, St. Cloud Friends of the Library, American Association of University Women, St. Cloud Area League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club and the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce
  • Great River Educational Theater Board member since 1998 and past president
  • District 742 School Board member since 2001
    • Served as Board chair and led the Communications, Community Linkages, Personnel and Legislative Committees.
    • Currently is Board Treasurer and on the Legislative Committee
She was kind enough to allow me to do some YouTubing:

Also, this evening I attended the DFL Picnic and Softball Game over at Wilson Park. While I have never claimed to be the best athlete, I have to say that I did pretty well (it might have been the lax manner of the game though). As my old basketball coach used to tell me: "The sun shines on a pig's ass every once in awhile".

Cross Posted on St. Cloud Times
2:05 PM | Posted in ,
While I disagree with many or most of the issue positions taken by Mr. Behling, I do have to respect his willingness to answer back promptly on a recent post of mine.

Here is his response:

To be honest I had forgot about that blog. I haven't posted on it for some time now. I had tried to get into blogging a while ago as a way to help keep people informed as well as a way to vent frustration. Much like you seem to do. I found however that with a new family and work, I couldn't seem to find much time to devote to the blog, so it never really went anywhere. Since it was free and there was no renewal charge, I never thought much of closing it down. I think it's great that you are able to find the time to blog as often as you do; it looks like a hobby you really enjoy.

In response to the specific question you had for me. That picture was one that was emailed to me a long time ago. I was trying to remember when I got it, and I think it was when I was still working in Buffalo, which would have been sometime before 2003. I didn't create the picture, since to be honest I wouldn't have the slightest idea how to use Photoshop. That being said, I don't teach my son to use words like that. In case you are interested my son Hunter's first word was "Dada" his second was "deer" and his third was "duck". He doesn't talk a lot yet, but he sure does try hard. As a parent I'm sure you get as big of a kick out of kids trying to learn how to talk and experience life for the first time as much as I do. I know my wife, who I am in love with more and more each day gets as big of a kick out of it as you and I do. I would like to think that we have a great family, and a very happy home. Although I'm sure every father and husband thinks that about their family. Right? I don't support kids using bad language nor do I support hitting a woman. I'm sure my wife and anyone who knows me would say I am a great father and husband. (Or at least I hope so).

In the short 18 months I have been a father I have already tried to teach my son right from wrong. He knows that throwing his food on the floor is wrong, but sometimes kids do things that they think are funny that mom and dad don't. I know we learn at a pretty young age when things are meant to be a joke and when they are meant to be taken seriously. I'm sure you know also. I am very much pro-family, but I also understand that every now and again we need humor in our lives. Is hitting a woman humor? No. Is a child using bad language humor? No. Do I know when something is meant as outside of reality humor? Yes.

Thank you again for your email, please email me any time.

Enjoy the summer!

Thank you,

Joshua Behling

I too realize when something is outside of reality humor. However, in this election season where every written word and spoken word of a known humorist/satirist is being used to portray him as a "pornographer" (in the immortal words of King Banaian) it seems that the Republican Party and its candidates should realize that they have made everything fair game.

Those that know me also know that there are a variety of reasons why I may not vote for Al Franken. However, that does not mean that I will not expose the hypocrisy of attacking his humor while claiming that the off color humor of Republican candidates is perfectly acceptable. If the Republican Party would like to play a game of faux outrage politics, then they must realize that the tables can be turned quite quickly. From "It's About Freedom" videos to photoshopped images disrespecting women, the Republican Party really ought to take a good look at their humor before chastising others.
1:11 PM | Posted in
On a tip from a secret source, I was able to listen in on a media conference call about energy with Representative Michele Bachmann. It will take a little time to sift through the propaganda but I will have more coming soon...
10:53 PM | Posted in ,
Lisa Fobbe (DFL), a member of the Princeton School Board and serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota School Board Association, is running to replace Betsy Wergin (R) in Senate District 16. With Mark Olson and the heir to Mary Kiffmeyer, Alice Krueger, running against her on the Republican side you can bet that the common sense middle ground will lie firmly on the side of Fobbe. This story continues to develop and I assure you I will have more on Fobbe and ways in which you can be of assistance.

She put out a press release this evening:

Lisa Fobbe Announces Senate Campaign
DFLer Promises to Continue Wergin’s Bipartisan Approach

For Immediate Release

ZIMMERMAN—Lisa Fobbe, the chairwoman of the Princeton Public School District Board and the Oakland Cooperative School Board, announced her candidacy for the Senate District 16 seat being vacated by incumbent Betsy Wergin.

A DFLer, Fobbe said she’ll work hard to continue the bipartisan approach Wergin, a Republican, championed during her six years in office.

“The political bomb-throwers are the ones who get all the attention,” Fobbe said. “But they’re not getting anything done for Minnesota. I will continue to reach across the isle and look beyond party labels. Minnesotans don’t care who’s a Republican and who’s a Democrat. They’re looking for leaders willing to do the hard work to get things done and that’s the approach I’ll bring to the Capitol.”

Fobbe also serves on the Minnesota State High School League Board and is a director on the Minnesota School Board Association. She has worked as director of youth ministry and religious education for the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and as a child care counselor for an Amhurst Wilder Foundation residential treatment center.

In 2006, Fobbe won the Princeton Rotary Club distinguished service award and in 2007 was a candidate for the Princeton Chamber of Commerce’s volunteer of the year award.

“In serving the community, I know people have real concerns about Minnesota’s future,” Fobbe said. “But we can accomplish anything if our political leaders are willing to empower the people who make our state great.”

Fobbe has a degree in social work from the College of St. Benedict and lives in Zimmerman with her husband, Americo Fraboni, and their three children, Angelo (18), Domenic (15), and Gino (12).

For more information, call 763-389-9584

Cross Posted on St. Cloud Times
9:48 PM | Posted in , ,
Mark Olson filed today to fill the Senate District 16 seat currently being vacated by Betsy Wergin. So, in honor of this special occasion, I bring you a video from the archives:

There will be more to come as Lisa Fobbe, a DFL candidate from Princeton, prepares to take on one of the most outrageous candidates this state has ever seen. Stay tuned to myself and Blue Man for the information.
4:28 PM | Posted in ,
Josh Behling, future former candidate for House District 15B, would like you to take a look at his campaign site and believe that he is a classy individual worthy of replacing Larry Haws in the Minnesota House of Representatives. However, Behling may not want you to know that he also had a blog (not that there is anything wrong with that).

What IS wrong with that is the classless use of pictures and photoshop used by Behling to put curse words into the mouths of infants. Just below his profile you will find an image of former candidate, Hillary Clinton, with a young child and an added speech bubble reading, "A little closer b*tch... closer...".

I emailed Mr. Behling for comment and am currently awaiting his response. Perhaps he will explain to us why he feels the need to put offensive curse words into the mouth of an infant as well as advocate violence against women.

Mr. Behling,

Would you like to comment on your photoshopped image of an infant child using curse words currently found on your blog? Do you often advocate children using such language? Is it your belief that hitting women is in some way humorous?

Thank You