12:00 PM | Posted in
Here are some videos uploaded this year for my MNMusetube channel:

This one set off quite a firestorm from Delta Queen supporters










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Here are some of the videos uploaded this year for my litloc channel:



















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Here is the first in another series of posts I did examining the contributors of Michele Bachmann.

Originally Posted June 28, 2008:


This will be the first of a several part series examining some of the organizations and individuals who have decided to contribute to the Michele Bachmann for Congress Campaign. Bachmann is a darling of the ultra-conservative/religious right movement and nothing typifies that support more than the contributions she has received from the ultra right Eagle Forum PAC.

In the past nine months, Bachmann has received a total of $3,500 from the organization led by conservative icon, Phyllis Schlafly. Eagle Forum touts itself as "leading the Pro-Family Movement since 1972". Unfortunately, the actions and rhetoric of the organization and its founder are more anti-immigrant, anti-equality, and anti-education than pro anything.

Take, for example, their continued opposition to a mythical "North American Union".

We oppose opening U.S. northern and southern borders to a North American Community, or Security and Prosperity Partnership, or any kind of economic integration.


Even the Bush Administration, hardly your left wing group, has called the idea "comical".

Can you say today that this is not a prelude to a North American union, similar to a European Union? Are there plans to build some kind of superhighway connecting all three countries? And do you believe all of these theories about a possible erosion of national identity stem from a lack of transparency from this partnership?

PRESIDENT BUSH: We represent three great nations. We each respect each other's sovereignty. You know, there are some who would like to frighten our fellow citizens into believing that relations between us are harmful for our respective peoples. I just believe they're wrong. I believe it's in our interest to trade; I believe it's in our interest to dialogue; I believe it's in our interest to work out common problems for the good of our people.

And I'm amused by some of the speculation, some of the old -- you can call them political scare tactics. If you've been in politics as long as I have, you get used to that kind of technique where you lay out a conspiracy and then force people to try to prove it doesn't exist. That's just the way some people operate. I'm here representing my nation. I feel strongly that the United States is a force for good, and I feel strongly that by working with our neighbors we can a stronger force for good.

So I appreciate that question. I'm amused by the difference between what actually takes place in the meetings and what some are trying to say takes place. It's quite comical, actually, when you realize the difference between reality and what some people are talking on TV about.

Apart from buying into conspiracy theories such as the "North American Union", the leader of Eagle Forum, Phyllis Schlafly has made numerous statements of questionable value:

She has hypothesized that the Virginia Tech shooting was actually a result of the English Department, that married women cannot be raped, and that women are simply too emotional for scientific debate.

The outburst by feminist professors simply confirms the stereotype not only that they are too emotional to handle intellectual or scientific debate, but that they seek to forbid any research that might produce facts they don't want the public to know.


"Women in combat are a hazard to other people around them," she said. "They aren't tall enough to see out of the trucks, they're not strong enough to carry their buddy off the battlefield if he's wounded, and they can't bark out orders loudly enough for everyone to hear."


"By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape," she said.


The relationship between Schlafly and Bachmann is hardly one of simple monetary support. Bachmann will be spending considerable time during the month of July attending conferences either sponsored by Schlafly or where Schlafly is also in attendance. One has to wonder if Bachmann buys into all of the conspiracy theory rhetoric or the idea that women are unfit for military service?
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While it ultimately did not work, as Michele Bachmann remains my representative, I still feel as though the biggest meme not sufficiently touched upon was her constant absenteeism. Below is the start of that and series and HERE is the rest.

Originally Posted June 19, 2008:

During this summer campaign season, a season in which Michele Bachmann has yet to update her campaign website, Bachmann will be attending conferences at some of the nation's ultra conservative organizations. Rather than courting the votes of independents in the 6th District, she will be pandering to the far right wing of the Republican Party and not even here in her home district.

Some time this week, Representative Bachmann will be a speaker at the Young America's Foundation Leadership Conference. I sent an email to the organization to see if I could get some information about the date of her appearance and was told that this was a "private conference". So, rather than holding public appearances for her constituents, Bachmann is currently holding private meetings with folks in Washington DC that have no connection whatsoever to her district.

What is Young America's Foundation?

According to Sourcewatch, the foundation is "the principal outreach organization of the Conservative Movement". That sounds innocent enough until you learn that many of the conservative movements most controversial figures are regular guests of the organization. From George Allen of "Macaca" fame to the likes of Anne Coulter and Michele Malkin, Young America's Foundation is catering to the most fringe elements of the Republican Party and the "Conservative Movement".

So, the next time you hear Michele Bachmann claim she is fighting for the "people of Minnesota" you can be certain that those people she speaks of do not include moderate Republicans or independents and they certainly DO NOT include anyone who even remotely describes themselves as a Democrat. Her main concern, it seems, is gaining the attention of the ultra-conservative elites in Washington DC and elsewhere throughout the country.
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At the end of April, I created a series of posts to highlight the shining star of the Minnesota Congressional delegation.

Originally Posted April 25, 2008:

Living in the 6th Congressional District of Minnesota there is very little to be proud of in the way of congressional leadership. However, if you gaze your eyes to the southern swath of Minnesota you can find a leader that exemplifies everything good about our people driven government. Tim Walz, 1st District Representative, gave an exemplary speech this week on the floor of the House of Representatives.

The speech is split into five parts (Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, & Part 5) and highlights the economic realities facing average middle income Americans. With a folksy demeanor, Walz cuts through the rhetoric of Republican talking points and makes the case for continued Democratic leadership in Congress.



Mr. WALZ of Minnesota. Thank you for this opportunity to speak on the floor and to give this Chamber a demonstration of what is so great about this country. The previous gentleman's district actually borders mine, but you may not find a more diametrically opposed view of what is happening in this country than you may get in the next 28 minutes.

You hear a lot of statistics and you hear a lot things thrown out. You hear a lot of economists talking about different things. The one thing I have found, and I think maybe it comes from being new to this business of politics, coming from a high school classroom, coming out of what most middle class Americans are experiencing is, is that many of those things do not matter to people.

What matters to them is the reality in their everyday lives. And that reality doesn't take a whole lot of background from them. It doesn't take a whole lot of statistics. It doesn't take a whole lot of anything, other than for them to make some simple judgments.

One of those judgments that the American public is going to ask themselves, and they are going to get to ask themselves in November, after 12 straight years of Republican control of the House of Representatives, after 6 years of total control of both branches of the legislative procession, the American people got a chance to see by the fall of 2006 the direction that those policies had taken us in.

In watching that, they made a decision come November. They chose about 45 new Members of this body, many of them without elected office experience, but many of them who came from the ranks of middle class working people, many of them like myself that never had a salary over $50,000. Teaching for 18 years, my salary when I left my teaching position was $48,000 a year. My insurance costs coming off the top of that were $7,200 a year, and then the taxes that came after that.

One of the things the American public will ask is, were they better off before that time when President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress took over, or were things going in the wrong direction? Were decisions made that were affecting their lives negatively, and what were those decisions doing to them?

What was happening, as you saw the previous speaker talk about, what was happening to the price of fuel? Why was gas going up and who was benefiting from it? Why was the cost of their produce, why was the cost of groceries going up, and who was benefiting from that? What was happening to the cost of tuition? What was happening to their paycheck? What was happening to insurance costs?

Those were questions that they don't get to stand here and theoretically talk about and come up with some cute alliteration that I always hear. My colleagues are wonderful at the alliteration, and somewhat weak on the policy that impacts people's lives.

So as I listened this week and I watched a concerted effort, and one of the magazines on Capitol Hill wrote about that our friends in the minority have decided they are going to try and pin the energy policies on the new majority, understanding that President Bush will veto any attempt we make to change policy.

The policies that we are operating under in this economy are the ones that were put into place by the minority and put into law by the President. The changes that have been attempted and those that have been made, such as CAFE standards, the fuel efficiency standards and improving them for the first time in 35 years, are so overwhelmingly accepted by the American public, those could not be ignored.

The ideology being expressed by the previous speaker I think is reflected in some. You don't need the polls when you go out and talk to people, but if you want to get to the data you are hearing them talking about, 72 percent of the American people disagree. Twenty-eight percent of the American people agree that President Bush's economic policies are the right direction for this country.

So when I hear talk about supply and demand, as if it is gravity, as if there have not been decisions made to influence either the supply chain or the demand by interests, by the growth, the astronomical growth of lobbyists, especially energy lobbyists at this place, it is bordering on the ridiculous. And when I hear about Adam Smith being talked about, the only "invisible hand'' that is operating in our energy markets is that invisible handshake that happened in the White House between the oil company executives when they created this current energy policy.
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Back in April, I attended a Global Warming Denial Forum put on by representatives in the area in conjunction with the Heartland Institute. Below is one of a series of posts examining their claims. For more, click HERE.

Originally Posted April 19, 2008:

This will be the first in a multi post address of the "debate" that occurred after the one hour viewing of An Inconvenient Truth. James Taylor returned to the stage in order to "shed light" on some of the issues mentioned by Al Gore. Mind you, there was no one allowed on the stage who could have challenged the assertions made by Mr. Taylor which is precisely why this was in no way an honest discussion of global warming.





Stop for a moment and think about what Mr. Taylor just attempted to accomplish. His entire argument from the start has been that ALL of the science refutes the concept of anthroprogenic global warming. Yet, he is using the work of two scientists who believe in anthroprogenic global warming but are studying what other factors are in play at Mount Kilimanjaro.

In fact, even though Taylor cherry picks the sentences he feels suit his argument best, if you go and read the entire article you will find that the two scientists in question do not claim, as Mr. Taylor does, that global warming has nothing to do with the ice loss on Kilimanjaro. Rather, they have this to say:

Year-to-year variability and longer-term trends in the seasonal distribution of moisture are influenced by the surface temperatures of the tropical oceans, which, in turn, are influenced by global climate. On many tropical glaciers, both the direct impact of global warming and the indirect one—changes in atmospheric moisture concentration—are responsible for the observed mass losses. The mere fact that ice is disappearing sheds no light on which mechanism is responsible.


The fact that the loss of ice on Mount Kilimanjaro cannot be used as proof of global warming does not mean that the Earth is not warming. There is ample and conclusive evidence that Earth's average temperature has increased in the past 100 years, and the decline of mid- and high-latitude glaciers is a major piece of evidence. But the special conditions on Kilimanjaro make it unlike the higher-latitude mountains, whose glaciers are shrinking because of rising atmospheric temperatures. Mass- and energy-balance considerations and the shapes of features all point in the same direction, suggesting an insignificant role for atmospheric temperature in the fluctuations of Kilimanjaro's ice.


It is possible, though, that there is an indirect connection between the accumulation of greenhouse gases and Kilimanjaro's disappearing ice: There is strong evidence of an association over the past 200 years or so between Indian Ocean surface temperatures and the atmospheric circulation and precipitation patterns that either feed or starve the ice on Kilimanjaro. These patterns have been starving the ice since the late 19th century—or perhaps it would be more accurate to say simply reversing the binge of ice growth in the third quarter of the 19th century. Any contribution of rising greenhouse gases to this circulation pattern necessarily emerged only in the last few decades; hence it is responsible for at most a fraction of the recent decline in ice and a much smaller fraction of the total decline.


Interesting that Mr. Taylor doesn't add in the evidence provided by these scientists indicating possible indirect connections to anthroprogenic global warming. If he was truly interested in the science as he claims he would not have been cherrypicking his evidence so clearly. For other, more detailed rebuttals, you can check out Real Climate.
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8:00 AM | Posted in
Merry Christmas!

While I am not generally a fan of Christmas music, I do have a few that are acceptable (Generally, the classics) and that I consider my favorites. As sung by Celtic Woman:











Some more modern stuff...

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2:09 PM | Posted in
Funny stuff! Merry Christmas everyone!

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I began the year as a strong supporter of Bob Olson to take on Michele Bachmann in the 6th District. By March, not so much...

Had he been able to more effectively communicate his message, I still believe he would have been the stronger candidate to take on Bachmann.

Originally Posted March 16, 2008:

I have been a supporter of Bob Olson for some time now. After he came to me last fall and asked for my support and discussed the issues I was impressed enough to devote significant time on this blog advocating his positions. Through these past months I have worked hard to portray Mr. Olson in a positive manner and tried to convince others of his virtues. He is a good man with a good heart and progressive beliefs which closely mirror my own.

However, our beliefs diverge in how campaigns and campaigning should run. It is NOT my belief that slash and burn politics are an effective means to win an endorsement and it is NOT my belief that it is necessary to bloody our opponents in order to achieve victory.

Over the past few months I have witnessed a campaign that has gotten either progressively more desperate or progressively more bitter in its tone. In my naivety, I tried to justify this tone as the game of politics. The tipping point came tonight as I watched one of the most painful sights I have witnessed in my life. Mr. Olson took his campaign down a road that even his campaign team urged him not to travel. A campaign team that appears to be heading for the lifeboats while its captain pursues the "white whale" to his own eventual demise.

It is time, Mr. Olson, to take your exit from this race. It is time, Mr. Olson, for you have done significant damage to your image and to progressive politics. It is time, Mr. Olson, for you to apologize to Mr. Tinklenberg for the disrespectful way you carried yourself at the debate.

While the Tinklenberg campaign may need to do some courting of this blogger in order for me to fully embrace his candidacy, I can no longer count myself as a Bob Olson supporter.

On the other hand, it was equally disheartening to watch high level Tinklenberg supporters (campaign managers and such) openly mock, laugh, and ridicule as Mr. Olson spoke. The actions of Mr. Olson were certainly not excusable or even the slightest bit defensible but it also does not make supporting Mr. Tinklenberg easier when you watch the unprofessional manner that his staff display. Elwyn Tinklenberg handled himself well and I admire him for that but his campaign team does him a disservice by claiming the high road but acting in such a manner as they did in full view of the public. I have chastised the likes of Steve Gottwalt for similar actions and it would be hypocritical of me to ignore those actions when coming from a Democrat.

Within the next few days I will have up video segments of the debate for people to judge for themselves, but I can no longer be party to a campaign as vitriolic as the one I saw tonight. For now, I will be focusing on Michele Bachmann as I still believe she needs to be replaced but I will not be posting on the Democratic candidate in the 6th District until I can be convinced that they are respectful enough to warrant discussion.
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10:17 AM | Posted in ,
A message for Christmas from President-Elect Barack Obama
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There are few things I will miss more this coming year and especially this coming legislative session than hearing the incoherent ramblings of Mark Olson. We always have the memories...

Originally Posted February 2, 2008:

Over at the Sherburne County Citizen, amongst several letters to the editor touting the upcoming caucuses, there is a letter from Representative Mark Olson. While I am not in his district, and believe me I thank the good Lord every day for that, I believe this man needs to be defeated. Obviously, I would like to see a Democrat take his place and have endorsed Steve Andrews, but to be honest, both Republicans and Democrats should be doing everything in their power to rid themselves of this character. If I absolutely HAD to choose between another Republican and Mark Olson, I would gladly choose another Republican.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Letters To The Editor

TO THE EDITOR:

Thank you for encouraging citizen involvement in Tuesday's precinct caucuses. Whether we are Democrat, Republican, Independent or none of the above, long standing reasons remain for our attendance. These reasons only begin with this process to guide and restrain government. Please consider these important additional thoughts.


I too have some thoughts on restraint and guidance, Mr. Olson. Perhaps I could share them with you? How does one take seriously an agenda of restraint from someone who apparently cannot restrain himself? How does one guide the direction of government when one isn't man enough to guide his own emotions? Do you think, Mr. Olson, that there is something particularly egregious about a man unwilling to give up the reigns of power even when his personal life crumbles around him? For a man to tout guidance and restraint when a simple game of monopoly with a child sends him into irrational fits of emotional and then physical abuse is truly the definition of hypocrisy. If the Republican Party in District 16B cannot find someone more honorable than this man to put up for election, then there is truly something sad about its principles. There are few others that deserve to be removed from power due to their lack of guidance and restraint than Mark Olson.

As Thomas Jefferson once stated: "The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." It is our duty as citizens to continue this faithful watch on government. There are so many issues facing our nation. Any failure to serve our country and protect our liberties is historically shown to have one result: Servitude to government, and liberty lost for all.

December 23, 1776 Thomas Paine stated that, "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

When Benjamin Franklin was asked what type of government they had given us at the close of the Constitutional Convention, he replied: "A Republic, if you can keep it."

Rep. Mark Olson
Big Lake, MN


Now I know Mark Olson fancies himself an expert on American heritage and history, but I would appreciate it if he would actually do some basic research into that history before he goes around attributing quotes to founders who never actually said them. Thomas Jefferson DID NOT, as Mr. Olson claims, say

"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."


In fact, the quote does not even come from an American, let alone a founder. John Philpot Curran, an Irish judge, in 1790 was speaking about the election in Dublin when he made this statement. Aside from the obvious poor research skills displayed by Mr. Olson, he must also be given an 'F' for his analysis of said quote. It is NOT a wholesale rebuke of government, but rather a call for all people to be active in that government. Thus, if we all participated in our government and that government reflected that participation it would not be citizens serving government. It would be government serving its citizens, even if that servitude included such egregious measures as providing food for the poor, medicine for the ill, and "pod" free transportation.
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I wrote a letter to Canada upon learning that the United States had been placed on a list of countries that torture.

Originally Posted January 17, 2008:

I understand you have placed the United States on a list of countries where someone could potentially be tortured.

The manual - part of a training course on torture awareness for diplomats - also includes Israel, China, Iran and Afghanistan on its watch list.

While I understand your concern with the current practices of the United States, I would like you to remember that the actions of this administration and a small, but incessantly obnoxious minority, do not represent the views and values of most Americans. Also, we are currently in the process of remedying the situation. I assure you, in roughly one year we will have expunged the problem and will once again be a safe place to visit. We look forward to seeing you again in the future and hope you will not hold the mistakes of our past against us.

Thank You,

The United States
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The year began with Michele Bachmann still claiming that the economy was so great that it had been all but recession proofed by George W. Bush. Good call, Michele!

Originally Posted January 4, 2008:

In November, Michele Bachmann spoke to a group of loyalists on the economy and how we are currently living in a "recession proof" economy due to the tax cuts graciously bestowed upon the wealthy in 2003.

She made this claim:

“That’s what happens when you stimulate the economy from the private sector,” she said. Such stimulation makes an economy “recession proof,” she said, marked by “competition and prosperity.”


It is evident that Bachmann takes her economic cues from George W. Bush by living by the theory that if you say something long enough it becomes truth but here in the world of reality the economic forecast paints a far different picture. Previously, I gave significant evidence that this economy is far from great and certainly not "recession proof" as Representative Bachmann claims (see here, here, here, and here). Touting conservative economic stimulus ideas is one thing but Bachmann represents a vision so divorced from reality that it is inconceivable that she could possess the leadership needed to get us out of the current economic situation.

From the Washington Post:

Jobless Rate Hits 5 Percent, 2-Year High

Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, January 4, 2008; 4:27 PM


The jobless rate rose to 5 percent last month, up from 4.7 percent in November, the Labor Department said today. That marks the highest jobless rate in two years and the largest single-month rise in joblessness since the 2001 recession. There are 1.1 million more people looking for a job but unable to find one than there were a year ago.


Bachmann can claim that the economy is growing all she wants, but the reality is that evidence over the last six months shows that while this economy has been prosperous for the wealthiest amongst us, the poor and even the middle class continue to lose ground. The people of the 6th District need to be reminded over and over again that Republican economic principles benefit the few over the masses and that despite their rhetoric that someday you may be one of those few it becomes increasingly difficult for anyone without a hefty trust fund to survive under this type of system.

"We are on the verge of recession now," said Robert Dye, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group. "We are teetering on the edge of the precipice, and it will not take much to push us over."

Economists have been counting on a strong job market to fuel Americans' incomes, helping make up for the loss of wealth due to dropping home values. Thus, the weak report was a deep disappointment. The stock market fell on the news, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing down 257, nearly 2 percent, at 12,800. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost nearly 2.5 percent, dropping 36 points to 1,412. The Nasdaq composite gave up 98 points, about 3.8 percent, to end the day at 2,505.


We may not be in a recession as of yet, but to make a claim as bold as "recession proof" is utter nonsense and whomever wins the nomination to run against Bachmann had better highlight this complete disconnect from the realities of every day life for people in the district, across the state, and across the country because avoiding it would be absolute foolishness. If we are unable to pull out of this economic tailspin, Bachmann is going to be in real trouble using phrases such as "recession proof".
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Over the past year Michele Bachmann has been honored SEVEN times with a worse, worser, or worst person in the world award by Keith Olbermann. Congratulations 6th District, this is who you have chosen to represent your values:

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Dear Readers,

I am not claiming that reading this blog has any any curative power nor am I claiming that clicking on the various ads along the right sidebar will bring you eternal happiness.

Do you really want to take the chance though? Everybody is doing it & it will make you feel good.

For a smooth flavor and eternal happiness, call on Liberal in the Land of Conservative...

That being said, on to the daily romp:

John Marty (DFL) is running for Governor. It doesn't appear that everyone is keen on this decision by Marty. My problem is not that Marty is an also ran. Rather, it is that I have already decided on the official DFL Gubernatorial ticket. VOTE Ollie Ox/Blue Man! On a happier note, this news seems to have at least for a day pushed out slightly the worse and worser recount news that has dominated the blogosphere.

So, who is your ideal candidate?

Apparently, George W. Bush is almost done doing that President thing. Check out this presidency in review...

Damn you liberals for ignoring the "morlas"...

King Banaian tweeted Hugh Hewitt? Why are they trying to redefine the definition of tweetage?

I have tried for a long time to make sense out of the caricature that is Michele Bachmann. What I have come to learn is that attempting to make sense of the incoherent ramblings of the Congresswoman from the 6th District will only leave one tired and needing many alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, Jeff Rosenberg is now trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.

In what I would consider the post of the day, Across the Great Divide lays out the case on why the Rick Warren invocation battle is the wrong battle to be fighting. Coming in a close second is a conversation with Spot concerning the definition of charity.

One of my favorite things about conservatives is how quickly they will kick you out of the movement the moment you stray from the strict party line.

That Anti-Strib! They never fail to disappoint when you are looking for your daily dose of incomprehensible stupidity. The only information they have to go on is a sentence claiming that a woman "became a single mother this year". Their conclusion? Well she obviously DECIDED to be a single mother and live off the dole. Granted, she has TWO jobs and is working to become a nurse but that doesn't matter, she's a DEADBEAT!

It's bad news for the imaginary "War" on Christmas! Apparently, we need to redouble our efforts to finally destroy this Christmas beast.

So Barack Obama likes the Spam. Is there any way we can use this information to prove that he is not really an American or is a terrorist? No true American REALLY likes Spam!
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Young Republicans, a dying breed throughout the United States, are desperately trying to avoid extinction according to a story by ABC News:

"I think young people could play a very central role in creating a more moderate and more pragmatic Republican notion of conservatism that is about change, but about change that is more consistent with traditional Republican principles," says Professor Michael Delli Carpini, an expert on generational differences in politics at the University of Pennsylvania. [emphasis mine]
There are two problems with this thesis: first, the establishment of the Republican Party completely rejects the notion of a more "moderate" platform and second, change is entirely antithetical to conservatism because by its very nature and definition, it rejects change unless that change is backwards to revert to some mythical golden age which doesn't actually exist. The party establishment has already begun demanding a rightward shift and entirely rejects those who would moderate the party in order to win elections. Here in Minnesota, the Republican Party has gone so far as to target for defeat those that do not tow the party line.

It will be a tall task for young Republicans to rebuild the party into something acceptable for large portions of their age demographic. The ideologues that currently run the party are not going to give up control without a fight and will take the entire party down with them if they don't get what they want.
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6:56 AM | Posted in
This DSCC email hit my inbox yesterday.

Dear Hal,

Thank you so much for all your hard work and generous support. Together we made history this cycle - electing Barack Obama, putting a sweeping Democratic majority in the United States Senate, and helping other candidates like Mike Ciresi run impressive and strong campaigns.

After all you've done, we don't want you to lose touch with the arm of our party solely responsible for electing even more Democratic senators: the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

We at the DSCC are proud of our sustained record of success, and we know that dedicated supporters like you are a huge part of everything we have accomplished. Together, we took back the Senate in 2006. This year, we won at least 7 more seats, giving President-elect Obama 58 votes for change in the Senate.

Our continuing work over the next few months will be vitally important. Careful and strategic preparation now will be crucial to victory in 2010. The map is very favorable to our side again this cycle, and we need as many Democrats in the Senate as possible to help the President-elect clean up the mess George Bush and the Republicans made in Washington.

It will be a long process. We cannot let up now.

You were an essential part of all our historic success this year. Because of all your hard work and generous support, we're putting our country back on track. The tasks ahead will not be easy, but knowing we have you in our corner gives us all great confidence that we will succeed.

The American people are counting on us.

Sincerely,
The DSCC

P.S. The DSCC is already looking ahead and planning for Senate victories in 2010, and we want you to play a major role in our success. However, if you do not wish to receive future emails from the DSCC, please click here to opt out.

Some DSCC intern must have been hoping what most of us were hoping last June. Seriously though, doesn't anyone proof that stuff? I read the email on my phone yesterday thinking it was some sort of hoax. Nope, it's the DSCC praising Ciresi and being as factually accurate as their Franken Social Security ads.

Nice work DSCC!
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Apparently, George W. Bush travelled back in time just to talk to Ghengis Khan. What ever happened to NOT talking to evil terrorists bent on world domination and destruction?

What concessions was Bush able to get from the khan?

Does anybody else wonder if they compared notes on how to effectively lay waste to large swaths of a continent?

On to your abbreviated and late Daily Romp:

Tim Pawlenty is going to cut the crap out of you and you are going to love it!

As usual, Ron Carey is wrong...

Some guy is whining about how unions aren't all that bad. Let me tell you something, if we would just let owners do whatever they want, then they will be super nice to their workforce. The lessons of the early 1900s teach us that.

Ollie Ox is still obsessed with statements about new Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack. Does it seem to anyone else like she is trying to dig up some dirt so that she can take the position for herself?

Let me get this straight, the right is always pissing and moaning about media bias and the left is always pissing and moaning about media bias. Doesn't that mean everything is just right?

Aaron Brown is on the air up north... (No podcast link? WTF)
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I received this message from Representative Larry Haws today:

Federal-State Programs Important to Minnesota Economic Recovery

I'm honored the citizens of District 15B elected me to represent them and I'm looking forward to the challenges. This is not a time for fear; this is a time for courage, a time for reform and reinventing government, and a time to work together in the upcoming Legislative Session.

To say we have our work cut out for us is an understatement. The current state of the economy is clearly affecting our pocket books as we contend with increasing unemployment, ever-tightening credit, increasing foreclosures, weak consumer spending, and declines in the stock market.

Although we are facing a historic budget deficit and a long, deep economic recession, I am heartened by the anticipated change in national leadership. I think our President-Elect Obama will be good for the nation and good for the state of Minnesota, first and foremost because he is a leader who understands the importance of partnering federal and state governments together in these challenging times.

The federal government can help stimulate Minnesota's economic recovery by investing in existing federal-state programs. My top five picks for where federal monies should be invested include:
1) Fully fund No Child Left Behind and special education mandates so that we can continue to invest in workforce development,
2) Provide Medicaid reimbursement by temporarily increasing federal medical assistance to sustain those in need of health care coverage during this slow economy,
3) Reauthorize SCHIP to increase the reimbursement for children's health insurance,
4) Extend unemployment benefits to help stabilize our workforce, and
5) Invest in infrastructure projects that will put our skilled labors to work.

The federal government could be a very helpful partner with the state government and I think it's a key to helping us through this recession. Other keys include the state showing the same kindness to our counties, cities and schools. Let us extend the same understanding to these entities as we are asking from the federal government.

This is a time to put policy in front of politics. It's time that we're one Minnesota. Once we get through these challenges, we must have a vision for the future that includes job creation and establishing a recession proof Minnesota.

Sincerely,

Larry Haws
State Representative
6:50 AM | Posted in
With the margin in the Minnesota Senate race down to 2 votes now, I've had a few people ask if I regretted my vote for Dean Barkley.

Simply put...

No.

My vote was not a "protest vote".  I was not trying to "send a message."

I listened carefully to what the candidates had to say.  I watched or listened to every debate and informed myself of where the candidates stood on the issues important to me.  

In this race, I liked where Dean stood on many issues and I like him as a person.  I felt as though he would better represent people like me and that Franken and Coleman were simply the status quo.

Considering the guy was outspent 1600-1 by Franken and Coleman each, I'm proud of what he was able to do.

Candidates have to earn my vote, you don't just get it because you have a D or an R behind your name.  

The notion of a wasted vote is a fallacy.  I would have wasted my vote voting for Al Franken, because I do not believe in him.  I do not think he will be a good United States Senator.  That's my feeling, my opinion.

To follow the flawed logic of the wasted vote,  I should throw out any concept of principle and simply vote for candidate one or two based on who will do less evil.  Of course, if the race is a blowout, feel free to vote for the candidate of your choice, but if it's close...you should regret that decision.  "It's all your fault".

Where does this logic come from?  Seriously?  This is what is wrong with American politics.  

To use a sports analogy...

You can only root for the Yankees or the Dodgers, since they have all the money.  Or Duke, or the Patriots, Celtics, etc...

To root for any other team is a waste of time.  

BS

So, no regrets from November 4th by this kid.  In fact, seeing the incredible drama coming from both the Coleman and Franken legal teams, I'm proud of my vote for Barkley.


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7:06 PM | Posted in
What in the world did we ever do without all the useless crap to be found on the internets? For example, I never used to have a need to incessantly poke a penguin with my mouse until it magically attacked a virtual finger. There has to be a metaphor in there somewhere about how vapid and useless we have become as a society but I am too busy poking a penguin to create it.




On to the daily romp:

I have tried desperately to avoid discussing the recount between worse and worser. However, King Banaian is actually providing real evidence why we should all ignore it and start paying attention to his analysis of coffee and gasoline. Also, there is at least a little bit of humor to come out of this mindnumbingly boring process.

Do you want to help out with the budget deficit problem so that the people we elected don't have to actually do any work? Well, you can either visit some useless blog that only Gary Gross visits to offer a incoherent tirade OR you can go right to the source and tell those actual government people.

Is progressive republican an oxymoron? Probably not, but if republicans keep on their current path, then we might soon see Minnesota Republican as an oxymoron...

I hate to quibble with some guy who is a mayor but wouldn't it be helpful if you provided some actual evidence when calling something a MYTH? Also, there is this:

Second we need to engage St. Paul to redefine a new Minnesota Miracle that fits 21st Century economies and politics. It means fundamental reform (sometimes painful reform) for state and local unit of governments alike. Only then will everyone know the new rules so true innovation can take place. [emphasis mine]


How does one redefine something that is a myth, in your mind, to begin with? Furthermore, if there was no first Minnesota Miracle, then how does one create a NEW Minnesota Miracle? Maybe I am just not a super smart mayor from some town...

Jeff Rosenberg continues to make us all look like amateur slobs with his fancy schmancy graphs and charts...

Why in the world is everyone SHOCKED that Darth Cheney admitted to torture? Would you really expect anything less from the guy that can shoot someone in the face and get an apology for it?

On a serious note, someone is going to have to explain to me why everyone is so upset about the Rick Warren thing. Fine, the guy is a bigot. Haven't we been arguing all along that guilt by association is a ludicrous argument though?

ALERT! Michele Bachmann is still a bigot with a big mouth prone to spew idiotic statements. That is all...

Damn you, Barack Obama! You might talk to a small island nation filled with super communists with no ability to harm us and a leader who is on his death bed. I'm so afraid now...

ALERT! ALERT! Education is bad and dam you liberals for tryin to tech us!
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8:44 PM | Posted in
In a recent post about the upcoming budget deficit, Gary Gross left this comment:
You want solutions? You want bipartisanship? Fine. Let's start with a fair, fact-based discussion of cutting taxes the minute this deficit is eliminated.

If you aren't willing to engage in that discussion, then I'll know that this is all happy talk.
While I am more than willing to have a "fair, fact-based discussion of cutting taxes", it seems to me that we have to first figure out how to eliminate this deficit. I am also willing to consider ALL options in solving this crisis even if that means part of the solution is raising some taxes. It seems, though, that Republicans are NOT willing to discuss tax increases of any kind.

Given that situation, let us begin the discussion of making upwards of $5 billion worth of budget cuts. My State Senator, Tarryl Clark, has indicated that this is the discussion we need to and will have as a state so let's start it here.

As we begin, I have a few guiding questions:
  • What general area of the budget do you feel could or should be cut the most? Why?
  • Within each budgetary area, what specific programs could or should be cut? What reasons do you have for cutting this program?
  • Within each area, what specific staff positions could or should be cut? Why?
  • How much will each of your cuts save?
  • What other specific ideas do you have for solving the current budget crisis?
As we have this discussion I will create new posts with the updated information. On things that we disagree about we can have a vigorous debate about why it should or should not be cut. At the end, perhaps we will be part of the $5 billion solution.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate...

How is that for bipartisanship?
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7:00 PM | Posted in
The comedy portion of this evenings daily romp comes from that master of wit, Dick Cheney. That's right, under the circumstances what more can you expect from Cheney and Bush? You weren't expecting that we would have a thriving economy, were you? You weren't expecting us to think before we jumped into an unrelated war, were you? You weren't expecting that people wouldn't be tortured, were you? You weren't expecting competence, were you? You weren't expecting that our cities would be protected from hurricanes, were you? Because if you thought these two would leave the country in better shape than they found it, the joke is on YOU!

[Photo from TIME Quote of the Day]

On to the daily romp:

Ollie Ox has a mixed review to the news of Governor Tom Vilsack as the new Secretary of Agriculture. Although it appears like Collin Peterson is on board. Unfortunately, I cannot make snarky comments of Ollie or her posts because, as we all know, YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE OX!

If there is one thing to say about King Banaian, it is that he provides some of the most original work throughout the blogosphere.

There is a Drinking Liberally holiday party and they want you to bring toys for tots. Unfortunately, they will be ultra liberal toys meant to bring on the communism and destroy Christmas...

It has been cold lately and that OBVIOUSLY means there is no global warming. When will people stop listening to the vast majority of scientists who believe and start listening to the tin foil hat conspiracy theorists?

As usual, all the James Oberstar news that nobody really cares about is being graciously provided by Aaron Brown. I do enjoy the snark though:

I hope LaHood likes bike paths. Because he's going to get some damn bike paths whether he likes them or not.

PLEASE, if you have any instances in which you have been oppressed by the liberal bogeyman or woman occupying your college campus or other educational facilities, then please contact Gary Gross so that he can compile an extensive list of all the mean things educators are doing to make students consider all sides of an argument!

If anyone has firsthand knowledge of Minnesota college faculty who are using their classrooms as an indoctrination center, please contact me by leaving a comment. Also, anyone who has firsthand knowledge of professors using intimidation tactics on students should contact me by leaving a comment. Only I can see your email address.

I’d be stunned if indoctrination and intimidation aren’t commonplace on university campuses. It’s time we started pushing back.

I know I use my classroom as an indoctrination center ALL THE TIME. In fact, I even indoctrinate them into believing that indoctrination is the only way they should learn and if they aren't being indoctrinated then they really aren't learning.

Jeff Rosenberg agrees with Newt Gingrich? Will someone please take away his liberal card? Come on, bipartisanship can only go so far!

When will people realize that Jesus was obviously NOT dark skinned. I mean, he was born in the Middle East and people in that area of the world are known for their milky white skin! When will the wholesale oppression of the white man end?

It's a twofer from Gary Gross! Two republicans win in republican areas and a republican wins in a democratic area because the Democrat is as equally corrupt as say, Tom Delay, Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, Don Young, or Ted Stevens. The conclusion? Democrats are going to lose from now on because the momentum is over! As usual, Gary will be hoping in one hand and...

Some lady named Katherine Kersten is whining about people not liking her and such...

Dear sweet mother of god if I have to hear or see one more conservative whine about the fairness doctrine that no one else is even discussing, then I believe I might start a crusade to bring it back just so they will actually have some facts to back up their ludicrous claims.

Gavin Sullivan is trying to start a fight with Chris Truscott? Guys, don't you remember the first rule of fight club?

Last, but certainly least, Leo Pusateri has something to say about something that is really pissing him off right now. Let me take the liberty of a translation: "liberals bad, Bill Clinton, blah, blah, blah..."

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8:00 PM | Posted in
Dear Eliot,

Don't you mean to say that the problem is that being a Salon columnist doesn't suck whereas being Governor offered the potential for suck and THAT is what, in fact, sucks? That is all...

[Photo from TIME Quote of the Day]

Am I the only one who doesn't obsess about columnists who write for the Star Tribune? Or, even worse, base my entire life around demonizing a newspaper? The drawback here is that now you people have to get your information from useless bloggers...

So, this genius gets a hit on his blog from a school district ip address apparently looking for Anna Nicole Smith. His conclusion? OBVIOUSLY, a teacher. Never mind the possibility that this could be some teenage student using school resources improperly. NO, let's blame a teacher and turn that into a larger comment about ALL education.

King Banaian doesn't have enough to do examining how much this economy sucks so he is obsessing about the market forces of a cup of coffee. Can anyone say obsessive compulsive disorder? All sniping aside, it is an interesting read...

A conservative guide to the twitter...
1. Twitter is good for you and all the cool conservatives are using it...
Roosh needs a reason for he and other conservatives to stay in Minnesota. I know, I'm stumped too...

ALERT! MNPublius has information that leads them to believe El Tinklenberg has more than $500,000 left in campaign funds. Oops, it would be news if Ollie Ox hadn't already discussed it more than 10 days ago. Lesson learned? Don't mess with the Ox...

Aaron Brown has the Rukavina solution to the budget crisis. I've got nothing here other than to say that everytime I hear the name Rukavina, well, I giggle...

There is something about how some conservative is mad that minorities are expressing pride and should be more ashamed at their terrible racism towards the downtrodden white man.

Somebody learned 5 things from Michele Bachmann this year. Really? That is kind of generous, don't you think? Granted, they are not very flattering things but lets not give Bachmann so much credit that she was somehow the originator of FIVE original, even if humorously absurd, thoughts.

The smartest guy I know (although I don't know very many people) has some great post election analysis.

Being a progressive means that you are opposed to George W. Bush? Really? Is the movement THAT shallow? Perhaps I was wrong about being a progressive...

Leo Pusateri went to the movies. I know, it sounds like the start of a really bad joke and it probably is but he did go see a movie. His conclusion? Conspiracies! Conspiracies! Liberals! Enviro-whackos! He made it safely home and got his tin foil hat on just in time...
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5:21 PM | Posted in ,
A Tarryl Clark press release yesterday puts our current economic situation into a weather related analogy:

When it comes to the state’s finances, we are in the first day of the storm. This storm has already gone from rain to sleet and ice to snow. The snow is falling and it’s going to keep coming for days. Sometimes you wait for the snow to stop before we grab our shovels, but we can’t do that. We have a $457 million gap in our present 2008-09 budget. That needs to be fixed quickly, probably before the holidays. Although we have $155 million in reserves, we will have to do $302 million in cuts.

I don't disagree that we need to begin immediately finding solutions to a crisis that has not fully developed yet. However, we need to make sure these decisions are made in a thoughtful and strategic manner. Even if we start shoveling before the snow stops, we would still want to shovel those areas that are in need of immediate attention.

Clark is on the right track though as she and the other leadership are keeping ALL options on the table and looking to the people of Minnesota for input. This is precisely the people powered politics we need in this state and this country.

We brainstorm and come up with practical and resourceful solutions. We come together and help each other out. If a neighbor needs help clearing their walk, we get out the shovel. If a car is stuck, we get out and push. We are going to need to do all of that and more. But we know that a day will come when the snow and wind stops and the clouds will clear. We know that, together, we can overcome this. Together, we can build a stronger Minnesota. Together, we can put Minnesota back on a road to prosperity—even if we have to bring road graders in to clear a path first.


Unfortunately, the signals I have seen so far from the Republican Party is both combative and unproductive. We can only hope that a handful of sensible Republicans will ignore their leaderships divisive rhetoric and come to the table to solve the problem. Minnesotans will understand cuts and will be generally forgiving if they see that a comprehensive plan was developed to find broad solutions. It is when a myopic vision is offered that people get frustrated and in a punishing mood.
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8:24 AM | Posted in
Woke up to -20 outside and struggled mightily to get my paper as the paper dude chucked the Strib into a snowbank.

Going through the Strib this morning I came across a great story.

Paul Ostrow will not seek reelection to the Minneapolis City Council.

The article named two challengers thus far, Doron Clark and Kevin Reich.

Doron works with our friend Nolan down in the Twin Cities at Target Corp, thus our strong support for Doron.  He's also got a great platform and despite the cold, is working hard to represent the 1st Ward of Minneapolis.

More to come as this race generates more heat this winter.


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7:00 PM | Posted in
After having reviewed the video of the shoe throwing incident I have two observations. First, whatever I may think of the Presidential performance of George W. Bush no one deserves to have a stinky shoe thrown at them. Second, you have to admire the ability of W. to duck and weave around the incoming footwear. You have to wonder if he is used to people throwing things at him...

[Photo from TIME Quote of the Day]

On to the daily romp:

Ollie Ox is now using the twitter...

They are celebrating Bill of Rights Day over at Grizzly Groundswell by rambling on about how ironic it is that Franklin Roosevelt established the day. Is it at all ironic that this group of conservatives accuses Roosevelt of violating the Bill of Rights while supporting George W. Bush?

Keynesian economics is WRONG! So wrong, in fact, that all you have to do is call it wrong without providing any additional information to support your thesis:
Now THAT is some hard hitting reporting...

Andy Aplikowski would like to be appointed to the Senate seat of either New York or Illinois. An Aplikowski FREE Minnesota? I am willing to chip in for that one...

There is some decent analysis of a potential Pawlenty run at a third term versus stepping down and beginning his run for the Presidency in 2012. Unfortunately, I think the article underestimates the ability of the DFL to hand gubernatorial elections over to the Republican Party. For more Pawlenty news, you can check out Ollie Ox comparing him to King George and his policies to that of the Stamp Act (Great Stuff!).

Jeff Rosenberg appears surprised at the willingness of Republicans to step into the abyss of insanity. Really, Jeff, are you really surprised?

Mitch Berg is pimping out some top ten article by the Young America Foundation. Forgive me if I don't put too much credence in an organization that welcomes Michele Bachmann into its midst and advocates action against liberal educators.

I do so enjoy the whole "liberals hate guns" meme! As usual, the hatemongers over at Anti-Strib rise to the occasion:

You can even give one to your liberal friends and have them spend some time with you on the range. Most liberals have never shot a gun and thus fear them. Maybe if they understood guns better they wouldn't hate them so much?

I would encourage this 'il duce to travel up north and visit my liberal relatives who live just on the edge of the northwoods. Perhaps they will think twice about this foolish notion once they have been bear baiting with some liberals!

Apparently Tim Walz has decided to be a selfish jerk and only govern the lower portion of the state of Minnesota!

Although there is some humor to be found in this story from none other than Michael Brodkorb. Humor, you say? From Michael Brodkorb, you say? YES! On learning the information that Walz would not run, Brodkorb pulled out the old pictures to go along with the post. To top off the humor, he chastises his commenters with this line:
Yeah, folks! personal attacks are meant for the body of the post and NOT the comments section. I believe the phrase, You reap what you sow applies to this particular situation and most definitely to this particular blogger. That Brodkorb, what a humorist!
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