Thursday, September 30, 2004

Tonight's Debate will hit Rock Bottom

The Doctor and I will be having our own little debate gathering at the Rock Bottom Brewery in Downtown Minneapolis.

It was a struggle finding a venue. The NARNiacs will be at a '"Yes, Man" bash, and the local DFL will be over at O'Gara's for some more partisan back slapping. Doc and I prefer the more bipartisan venue, where we can feel free to 'let our hair' down without having to worry about glares and stares.

Tonight's event could be the turning point in the Kerry Campaign, or the nail in it's coffin. We know ole JFK will have his hands full with the “Master Debater” Bush. But if he can hold his own, that may be enough to move those fence sitters back into his camp. Tonight we will find out, and if nothing else, the beer is good there.

Without Ohio

Some of those less objective left leaning bloggers seem to think that Ohio is the key. That there is no way GW could pull off an electoral victory without that great state. Granted, its been forever since a GOP candidate has captured the White House without Ohio, but today's Electoral Vote Predictor has Bush with 280 and Kerry at 254 . . . . and that is wthout Ohio.

So it is possible . . not probable, but possible.


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Coleman's Blogger Rant

Nick Coleman has never been a favorite of Mitch's. Personally, I don't have much time to read the 'columns'. My reading time is limited to headlines and major stories. Then comes along this offering (via New Patriot) The part that bugged me:
Bloggers don't know about anything that happened before they sat down to share their every thought with the moon. Like graffiti artists, they tag the public square -- without editors, correction policies or community standards. And so their tripe is often as vicious as it is vacuous.
It has been said several times, that Bloggers, especially the popular/high profile ones have the most editors (their readers and commenters), the quickest correction policies (without Credibility, no one would read you) and higher community standards then the average Minneapolis 'main stream' newspapers.

Nick, you're out of touch. I have struggled with the Strib for sometime now. I switched over from the PiPress when the fallout of the U of MN plagiarism scandal prevented me from even looking at a PiPress masthead. But time has healed that wound. I still live in St. Paul, and maybe it's time to take a look at my local paper, and keep my money on this side of the river. I wonder when my subscription is up on the Strib . . . . it can't be too soon for me!


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Stoned Slackers?

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, recently visited Bill O'Reily on The Factor. In what may have been a tongue and cheek exchange, O'Reily said.
"You know what's really frightening? You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it's true. You've got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote."
Not wanting to let the misconception persist, they did a little research with the help of Nielson Media. What did they find?:
Viewers of Jon Stewart's show are more likely to have completed four years of college than people who watch "The O'Reilly Factor"
Now, I gues you can still be a stoned slacker and have a four year college degree. I have a Degree, and since I lean Left, by definition the Righties say I am a slacker.

Comedy Central President Doug Herzog was asked how he would describe O'Reilly's audience, he simply stated
"I'm not getting into that game"
O'Reily will be making an appearance on the Daily Show October 7th. It will be interesting to see what Stewart has in store for him.

Phone scam

From the PiPress:Phone scam using voter info in ruse

Be on your toes:
Late Monday, the League of Women Voters and Minnesota Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer issued an alert to Minnesotans about the telephone scam. Several residents have complained about groups calling them, telling them they need to register to vote and can do so by giving personal information such as Social Security numbers over the telephone. Several callers misrepresented themselves as from the League of Women Voters.
The Internet is bad enough. I have received several of the latest CitiBank E-Mail requesting 'updated' account information. But the phone can trap even a skeptical victim. Just be aware, and be safe!
If you should get such a call, authorities suggest contacting a local county prosecutor, the state's attorney general's office at 651-296-3353 or the FBI at 651-291-7100.
Not Soon Enough

The remaining leg of the LRT system will open several weeks early. The current stretch, from Fort Snelling to Downtown Mpls doesn't do anything for me. But once they connect up with the MegaMall, I find myself using it periodically.

Now, if only they could connect St. Paul with Minneapolis.


Monday, September 27, 2004

Biden was Brilliant

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) was brilliant on Sunday. In making the talk show rounds, we has determined and forceful in making it clear the present administration is using smoke and mirrors to describe their efforts (or lack thereof) in Iraq. Sen. Joe had probably his best moment on FauxNEws Sunday. My favorite exchange involved Chris Wallace setting Joe up with an apparent inconsistency between what Kerry said last Winter, and what he is saying now.:
BIDEN: . . . And the fact of the matter is, that what we have done, we have traded a dictator, who, in fact, no one wanted to stay there, happy they're gone, like to have him gone, thinks it's good we're gone, and it's resulted in chaos because of the incredible mismanagement, as Dick Lugar said, of this president.

That's a statement of fact. It's very, very good he's gone. Kerry's happy he's gone. Kerry would have done everything to get rid of him. But he would not have mismanaged and sent so many mixed signals that this administration has, so that the end result is today we have something close to chaos in that region.
and while he was still on fire, CNN Late Edition:
BLITZER: John Kerry is going to have a chance to debate the president this Thursday night. What advice do you have for John Kerry when it comes to national security, foreign policy, which is the subject of this debate? What must he do to come from behind? Because in all the national polls right now he's behind.

BIDEN: Well, first of all, John doesn't need my advice. He knows a great deal about this, and I wouldn't presume to tell him. But I'll tell you what I think should be done.

Whether the president does it in a debate, John Kerry should level with the American people. He should say, for example, "Mr. President, when you became president, there was only possibly one nuclear weapon in North Korea. There are now six. Why? Because you had sent mixed messages, you were in paralysis for five and a half months. And then for a year and a half, you've watched those 8,000 nuclear rods get taken out. You watched them, you never -- you never had a plan, Mr. President.

"Mr. President, in Iraq, Mr. President, in Russia, when you took office Putin was moving toward democracy. Now, democracy is in retreat in Russia, Mr. President. Mr. President, you need to listen either to Mr. Powell or to Mr. Rumsfeld. You can't continue this mixed message you're sending to the world."

That's the message I would try to deliver. I don't know what John will do. It's a very different thing.

And look, here's the point. General Abizaid said people say we can't win. John Kerry is saying, we can and must win. Joe Biden is saying that. Dick Lugar is saying that. John McCain is saying that. The CIA is saying that.

What we're saying is, Mr. President, unless you take your blinders off, level with the American people, the course you have us on, Mr. President, is a losing course.

What else did General Abizaid say? General Abizaid, when asked whether we needed more forces in Iraq, said yes. What's the president say? No, we don't need more forces.

I always liked Joe, and this was one of the reason why!

Anything for a Buck

I was trolling the Powerline pages, something I've been doing since before it was fashionable. (I think their hits have quintupled since the Memogate affair) As I was scrolling down I noticed a BlogAd. It was the 'Two faces of Bush' ad from the DNC.

It kind of caught me off guard. I would assume they would have some control over ad content, but either they don't, or they have no problem promoting the other side's point of view. If the latter is the case, I wish they would be more objective in their writings. I'll have to ask them about it?


Friday, September 24, 2004

O'Reily's Spin Zone

In an AP article I ran across on CNN, O'Leily talks about how MIchael Wallace, 60 Minutes, was a big influence in his career. But the article later mentions Bill's political leanings:
O'Reilly, long a favorite of conservatives, surprised Wallace with some of his views on political issues.

He said he is pro-gun control, against the death penalty, for civil unions and for gay adoption (as a last resort instead of state custody). And O'Reilly said he's not necessarily voting for President Bush this November.

"I've known (Democratic presidential nominee John) Kerry for 25 years. He's a patriot. I'm listening to what he has to say," he tells Wallace.
SPIN Batter!!

Leaving Children Behind

Crazy day today, but wanted to share this great article. It begins:
“No Child Left Behind”: That poll-tested slogan is the centerpiece of an artfully designed, meticulously implemented p.r. campaign designed to portray Texas as a hotbed of educational reform and achievement.

Certainly, the Texas accountability system has put some focus on teaching basic literacy skills to low-income children who may have been ignored in decades past. However, it also ranks schools based mainly on the rates at which students (both whites and minorities) pass a single standardized test.
But then it points out the reality that frustrates me:
There is another story, however—one that many Texans, particularly those with children in the public schools, know—that is little told outside the Lone Star State. It is a story of education policy based not on helping all children learn but on creating headlines about a “miracle” in Texas education. It is a story of students doing multiple-choice testing drills instead of reading Shakespeare.
Read the whole thing, and keep in mind, if all we do is teach kids to test, instead of teach kids to be lifelong learners, we are leaving them behind!


Thursday, September 23, 2004

Smear Boaters not so Swift

No more links to these Liars, but an article in the Billings Gazette, tweaked my interest.

Some excerpts:
Swift boat veteran Bob Anderson of Columbus is ticked.

It bothers him that Sen. John Kerry's swift boat history has become such a political hot potato. But he's even more irritated that his name was included - without his permission - on a letter used to discredit Kerry.
So I continued reading the article, figuring 'Bob Anderson' was a pretty generic name. Maybe it was a different guy, there probably were several of them overseas.

Bob went on to recount an incident on the delta:
Anderson's boat was about the fourth boat back in a string of 10. He describes the scene as an Armageddon. Fellow swift boat sailor Bob Wedge was so badly wounded, Anderson doubted he would survive.

"That boat was like a slaughterhouse that day," he said. "He (Wedge) just about bled to death before we got a tourniquet on him and the chopper got him."

Wedge, who lost a leg, was flown home. Thirty-four years passed before the two met again. Now they find themselves on the same side of another conflict.

Wedge, 60, of Mesquite, Nev., said his name, too, was on the list - and he's mad.
Hmmmm . . . Bob Wedge, now that isn't an everyday name. But the plot thickens.
Anderson said he first learned about the situation last week when he received an e-mail from a third party. The e-mail, from a Tom Pyle, said Pyle had contacted a dozen men whose names showed up on the list. Of the dozen, three said they had not given permission, Anderson said.

"That leads me to believe that as many as 25 percent of the names are fictitious supporters of that group," he said.
So of the thousands of Swift Boaters in 'Nam, only about 300 signed the letter, and it looks like maybe a quarter of them never gave permission to use their names. And the Right continues to treat their words as gospel.

Who's Anderson going to vote for this year? He doesn't know, but he DOES know who he isn't going to vote for:
Anderson describes himself as an independent, saying he has voted both sides of the ticket when it comes to presidential races. Neither he nor Wedge, a registered Democrat, say they know who they will vote for this election.

"I don't know enough about Kerry to say whether I will vote for him," Anderson said. "I know enough about Bush that I won't vote for him."

Regardless of political loyalty, Anderson said he has a message he'd like to pass along.

"Don't believe everything you read. All it tells me is there is some politics going on there."
Great Ad

The NDN (New Democrat Network) has posted a fantastic ad. It is a must see!


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Tide is shifting

Shhhhh, don't tell the Right, but GW's High Water mark is receding. For the first time since the RNC Fear Factor convention, Kerry is ahead in two of the Electoral Projection polls (see Sidebar). The states are coming back where they were, and the National poll numbers are returning as well.

But don't tell the other side, they might start thinking up more ways to scare the electorate . . . Shhhhhhh!


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Why the Double Standard

Minnesota Republican Watch points out what bugs me about the Right. It is not about objectivity, it is not about the truth, it is about winning, plain and simple.

For the record, I just want what is best. I'll admit when I'm wrong, and I'll call them out when I think they are wrong. The Right, on the other hand, will only believe that which supports what they want to believe, and will totally ignore anything that may stand in their way!

Those of us with an objective mind know that the recreated Memo's presented by CBS were totally unnecessary to support the primary premise of the story. First hand interviews, official naval documents, and other corroborating evidence support the original story. But like everything else, the Right wants you to ignore that reality, and through the use of blogospheric slight of hand, concentrate on that which doesn't really matter.

So will they ask the same questions when it doesn't favor their point of view. Where were the calls for investigation of the forged Niger documents? Why hasn't Robert Novak released the name of his confidential sources in the Plame matter? Why is it OK for them to make these demands of CBS, but won't challenge their own insiders about similar, and more devastating issues?

Why . . . Why . . . Why . . . because if they acknowledge it, they might have to admit they were wrong!

Twin Clinch

The Twins clinched their third straight divisional title. Here is a club who does it the old fashioned way. Building from within, use the farm system, and grab a free agent now and then to fill in the holes. I look forward to the playoffs!

GREAT job, Skipper!

Who will bin Laden Really vote for?

With the Fear Factor tour promoting that the terrorist don't want GW to win, we get this from the UK.

"If anyone is ready to celebrate the eventual re-election of Bush, it's al-Qaida. Whereas it is clear that the Palestinians hope that a Kerry victory will unblock the situation," he said.

The Foreign Office, which warned before the war that Iraq could become a breeding ground for al-Qaida, did not deny yesterday that Sir Ivor made the remarks. "We are not making any comment other than the fact they do not represent government policy," a spokesman said.
Of course, this was after a frustrating weekend for the Bush camp, as even their Conservative loyalists appear to be bailing from the administration's talking points.

Bottom line is, these terrorists will be on the run regardless of who gets elected. There will be no appeasement, or softening of policy when Kerry gets in. And should Bush squeak this one out, we will see more of the same.


Monday, September 20, 2004

Mitch Berg Interviewed

Doug over a Bogus Gold is giving us a peak inside the mind of Northern Axis Radio members. Stop by to read his first installment, an interview with Mitch Berg.

The Debates are on

I wasn't sure what was going to happen here. The Master Debater, GW Bush, was trying to lower expectations. I mentioned several weeks ago, that there would be no change in the debate schedule. See, GW was trying to weasel out of the town hall style debate. I guess he is a little apprehensive taking questions from real people, rather then the soft balls being hurled by those who have signed loyalty oaths.

With that, there is reports that the respective camps have tentatively agreed to the debate schedule proposed LAST November.

The debates will be more important this year, then in any other election I have followed. It will be Kerry's last chance to convince people he is up to the task. He'll be going up against a well tuned, well oiled, and most formidable opponent. If he can hold his own, he'll be in good shape.

First debate is September 30. The rest of the debate schedule is here.


UPDATE: Looks like Yglesias has them pegged, too!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

One Liner

Great snippet from this morning's political niblets. A segment on how late night TV is handling this political season.

My favorite was from Jay Leno this week.
What do you call CBS after they have lost all credibility . . . . . . FOX News.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Bush raised my Taxes, Again!

From CNN:

I am an educator, On occasion, we need to purchase supplies on your own to support the classroom. The expenditures are necessary to provide for timely instruction and to keep the students engaged. The federal tax return provides for a modest reimbursement up to $250 for these expenses. Not any more:
a $250 federal tax deduction for teachers that helped defray out-of-pocket spending expired this year.
Keep in mind, I have received no raise in the last three years due to tight state and local budgets. Health insurance costs are taking a bigger bite out of our paycheck, and now my taxes are going up. Welcome to the Bush economy.


Friday, September 17, 2004

Butt Kickin'

As usual, the questions at Keagan's were far beyond what I would describe as 'General Trivia' . They usually throw in a couple stumpers, but last night, you had better have been an Irish citizen, or read an Irish Trivia website, to make any headway.

The Doctor and I snuck over to give it a whirl. Fortunately we had the assistance of PinkMonkeyBird and Bogus Gold to help. Without them, we may have gotten 3 right. With their help, a still embarrasing 13.

Fraters had a 20. But the winner, was just one guy, all by himself, who I think got them all.

Another day, another Trivia defeat at Keagan's.


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Create Good jobs

Kerry had a fantastic Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal today. It is also cross posted on the KerryEdwards Blog. These are the things that are getting lost in the Right Wing Media Machines obsession with typewriters, service records, and other Vietnam War era issues. It is also why Bush will get his ass kicked, if the issues ever do make it to the maintream media:

Kerry on JOBS:
• I strongly believe that America must engage in the global economy, and I voted for trade opening from Nafta to the WTO. But at the same time, I have always believed that we need to fight for a level playing field for America's workers.

I am not trying to stop all outsourcing, but as president, I will end every single incentive that encourages companies to outsource. Today, taxpayers spend $12 billion a year to subsidize the export of jobs. If a company is trying to choose between building a factory in Michigan or Malaysia, our tax code actually encourages it to locate in Asia.

My plan would take the entire $12 billion we save from closing these loopholes each year and use it to cut corporate tax rates by 5%. This will provide a tax cut for 99% of taxpaying corporations. This would be the most sweeping reform and simplification of international taxation in over 40 years. In addition, I have proposed a two-year new jobs tax credit to encourage manufacturers, other businesses affected by outsourcing, and small businesses that created jobs.

Something REALLY Important

Fecke talks about something really important:
If Johann Santana doesn't win the AL Cy Young, it will be a crime against the Baseball Gods.
I must agree!

Pay no attention to the stack of FACTS right in front of your nose

Ole 'Shoot from the Hip' Berg is doing a nice job of misdirection this AM. Sometimes it is a struggle knowing how painful it must be to ignore the obvious.

Fact is, Mitch, NO ONE, has disputed the basic tenets of the CBS story, all the Right can do is promote the authentication issue.

Well, what do we know today, that those docs are at the very least, an accurate reconstruction of known memos written and typed be Killian's own secretary. Now that the source has been outed, and his identity is no surprise, we'll find out the true story. What would really be funny, is if it turn out it was Killian himself who recreated these documents in the early 80's.

Anywho, here are a couple links for ya Mitch, to keep your Guard posts going. I know you don't want to talk about the issues:

"Bush's own records show that he fell short of that requirement..."

"Bush failed to fulfill his duty to the Air National Guard..."

Rebuilding Iraq

One of Kerry's banters on Bush is 'He went to war, without a plan for the peace'. Seems some GOP congressional types are starting to think the same:

From the Strib
. . . the Bush administration did not make adequate postwar preparations, said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

"It's beyond pitiful. It's beyond embarrassing. It's now in the zone of dangerous," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., describing the administration's pace in meeting its promises to rebuild Iraq's schools, hospitals, water, sewer and electricity systems.
If the actual debate on the issues is ever allowed to happen, BushCo knows they wouldn't have a prayer in this election. So now they have to figure out how they are going to spend the next 40 plus days using the Right Wing Media machine to distract the electorate. If only they would use the same effort in Iraq.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Wiggle Room

Seems Dan is acknowledging the possibility, while trying to redirect the discussion back to the main premise of the story:
"Although these particular documents may be forgeries, the information in them is known to be true. Also, although many people are claiming these documents are forgeries, no one has ever attacked the central premise, that Mr. Bush got preferential treatment to get in the guard and once there did not finish his service."
Dan Rather - 60 Minutes 9/15/04
I wonder if they GOP really wants a speedy investigation, knowing that the content of the memos are accurate.


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Docs Redux

From the Dallas Morning News:

OK, one more snippet on the Docs. Killian's Secretary has been contacted and believes the documents to be fake, BUT she defends the content. It has always been the content that has been important to me, and once again, along with Hodges ("these are the things that Killian had expressed to me at the time,"), the content is corroborated:
Marian Carr Knox, who worked from 1956 to 1979 at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, said she prided herself on meticulous typing, and the memos first disclosed by CBS News last week were not her work.

"These are not real," she told The Dallas Morning News after examining copies of the disputed memos for the first time. "They're not what I typed, and I would have typed them for him."
This just might be enough for this objective sole to now admit the docs are less likely to have come from the Killian Files directly. But what of those files, this mystery file drawer that his family said he wouldn't have kept:
Mrs. Knox said she did all of Lt. Col. Killian's typing, including memos for a personal "cover his back" file he kept in a locked drawer of his desk.

She said she did not recall typing the memos reported by CBS News, though she said they accurately reflect the viewpoints of Lt. Col. Killian and documents that would have been in the personal file. Also, she could not say whether the CBS documents corresponded memo for memo with that file.

"The information in here was correct, but it was picked up from the real ones" she said.
Unfortunately, this story is tarnished so bad that the Right wins again, the truth will be buried on page 6A with a couple column inches and we all move on to the next flying piece of shit mud.

Look what they found

Lost nuclear bomb possibly found
The hydrogen bomb was lost in the Atlantic Ocean in 1958 following a collision of a B-47 bomber and an F-86 fighter.
I would hate to catch my anchor on that!


Monday, September 13, 2004

The Second Amendment

Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
I call myself pro-gun, but struggle with allowing some of these weapons on the streets. I am aware that there are federal regulations that prohibit the nastiest, but many of the weapons included in the now expired ban just seem unnecessarily accessible.

So then I begin to think of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Amendments, and even the 10th. The rights that were being restricted, or challenged, or reduced, with the Patriot Act. Where are those beholden to the protection of the Bill of Rights when other rights are having less of a meaning.

Just seems frustrating that this White House will defend the 2nd amendment and it's literal interpretation without considering the full ramifications, yet turn it's back on the other nine.

Typical . . .


PS: I even read Assault-Weapons Ban, R.I.P. while contemplating this post. The Elder might even talk to me again!

Sunday, September 12, 2004


I believe the Killian memos to be real. I admit that some doubt has been created in my mind, but not enough to contradict the overwhelming evidence regarding the accuracy of their contents, and the ability of the document to be created in that era.

Here is the reality, those that believe the docs to be fake, were going to vote for GW anyway. And most of the people that read their snippets are the same group of people that is going to vote for GW anyway. So I say, let 'em keep talking to themselves. AS long as they're busy doing that, they can't reach a voter who may truly be undecided! That's where we come in!


Friday, September 10, 2004

My 9/11 Story

September 11, 2001, has multiple meanings for me. Most people think of the tragedy that shocked our nation. So do I! But 9/11/01 would have been a powerful day in my life regardless of it's now historical significance. I was in a custody battle, and ever since May 2001, I knew that September 11, 2001, would be "Custer's last stand".

For added perspective, you really need to read this first. It is a post regarding the last time I saw the towers, and the first time I bonded with my stepson.

91101 Part 1

I woke up that dreadful morning with a high level of anxiety. I never shared much with my kids (who were 3rd and 4th graders at the time), regarding the legal struggles of a custody battle. I was in a position of strength! Primary caregiver, stable home, quality family environment, etc. My Ex was living out of state, several thousand dollars in arrearage, and had violated the terms of the custodial arrangement.

In our May 2001 hearing, the Ex appeared via telephone. The Referee made it clear, that the Ex was in violation of the Marital Termination Agreement (MTA} and in significant arrears. Furthermore, she ruled in my favor for full legal and physical custody of both our children. The Ex was furious! Furious to the point that the Referee told her to relax. And this was over a speakerphone.

The referee stated that my Ex could appeal the ruling. The Ex demanded a court date for the evidentiary hearing. The referee made it clear, that this would be a 'body only' appearance! No phone-in allowed, no delay, last chance! The date was set, then and there, September 11, 2001.

An awkward Summer passes, including a tumultuous situation in ensuring my boys return to Minnesota. See, I still was obligated to fulfill the current custodial arrangement while the appeal was in process. That meant having my kids cross state lines, and hoping they would return. It wouldn't have been the first time law enforcement was necessary to insure their safe return.

September 2001 brought a new school year , and we were still getting used to the routine. The morning of the 11th, I brought my suit down to have available post shower. I am up early, that day, as it was difficult to sleep. I knew how important the decisions that would be made later would effect the rest of my life. I used my work laptop to plug into the world, kicking back on the couch since I have a mini network running in the house. I happen to hit the CNN site when my boys are coming down to leave for school, There is mention of a single engine plane having crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. I think it is a tragic accident, and grab the remote to flip CNN on the TV.

The one tower is burning, my young boys are curious, and I am preoccupied with the reality of seeing their mother, in a court room, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. I needed a shower, and off I go.

While I was still in the bathroom, I heard one of my boys say: "Another plane just hit the building" I yelled out through the door "I am sure it is just a replay"

To my horror, It was not.

- - - - - - Part 2 - - - - - -

I began getting dressed, staring at the TV, still somewhat preoccupied with my day ahead. My boys were not really aware of the magnitude of what they were witnessing. It was clear the second plane was a passenger jet, and no single engine Cesna.

It was time for them to leave, and I needed to get to the court house. The vehicle was filled with the breaking news coming off the radio on my way downtown. Sketchy reports were starting to reach the airwaves; hijackers, attack, missing plane, and then . . . the Pentagon! I sat in the car after I parked, listening to the radio, waiting till the last minute, before I enter the media black hole within the courthouse.

I was the first one there. Seemed like forever as I paced the quiet, somber, desolate, waiting area. My attorney arrived moments before the scheduled time. No sign of the Referee, or her court reporter. We chatted briefly about the events evolving in New York. But most of our conversation centered around the pending hearing. Eventually, My Ex's attorney arrived. She had not heard from my Ex, and was unaware of whether she would show up.

Almost an hour after we were suppose to begin the hearing, the court room door opened. The court reporter invited us in to the court room, where we awaited the arrival of the referee. Still no Ex, my mind is completely unaware of what is transpiring in New York.

The referee finally arrived and the proceedings began. The adjudicator revealed she had received a letter from my Ex the prior week, explaining hardship and other circumstances. She was requesting a postponement of the hearing. My stomach sank, my eyes rolled, and I was convinced I was facing yet another delay in this perpetual case.

I don't recall exactly what the referee said, but there was clear disdain in her voice, while making it clear that the request before her was totally unacceptable. She stated in open court, that there would be no delay. She had made it clear that my Ex's total lack of respect for the court system would not be tolerated. Furthermore, it was discovered that the court documents sent to the last known address of my Ex were undeliverable. This is in direct violation of court orders requiring both of us to provide our most recent addresses to the system.

It was now time for the ruling. A Contempt of Court arrest warrant was issued for my Ex. I was awarded full physical and legal custody of both my boys. Visitation was modified to 'supervised only', requiring my Ex to contact County child services, where she would be allowed to visit the children in their visitation rooms.

I was ecstatic. I expressed sincere gratitude to my attorney for all his help in making it to this point. For the first time in several year, there was a level of closure. I no longer had to wonder what would happen to my boys. I now had court support, to ensure their safety, and continue to provide the quality, secure, and healthy environment they deserved.

When I had arrived at my car, I had completely blocked out what had been happening in New York, It wasn't until I turned on the radio that I was reminded in a most horrific way.

A tower had fallen!

- - - - - - Part 3 - - - - - -

The drive home was awkward. The relief I now felt regarding my children, was overshadowed by the new found concern I had for their safety in this world. While one level of security was assured, another, taken for granted, was shattered.

I was away from the media for about three hours, 8:30 - 11:30 Central Time. In that time everything happened. All the planes had crashed, the towers had already fallen, and the reports were starting to steam in. Terrorism, attack, al Quada, the horror that unfolded, and the bravery of the NYPD and NYFD. I no longer was thinking of my experiences of that morning. As powerful as the decision was, it seemed dwarfed by the magnitude of what other will be facing in the days and weeks to come. Families shatter, lives to rebuilding, and commerce to recover.

I spent a lot of time this weekend accepting how fragile life is, and how precious our children are. We can never take any day in our life, or any moment with our children, for granted. I will not allow them to think for an instant, I won't be there for them in anyway I can!


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Minnesota Blog List

Checks and Balances linked up a set of Minnesota Blogs today. A nice mix! Here is the list.
Angry Queer
Captain’s Quarters
City Pages Blog
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Visit them all. Everybody needs balance in their political diet.


Guard Stuff

Fecke is on the Bush -vs- ANG story. More files found that were supposedly already release. More credible information and official documentation that show GW sloughed off his obligations.

I don't get into the dirty pool, there are issues to be debated and philosophies to discuss. But in the immortal words of the school yard bully:

"They started it!" *laughing*


Wednesday, September 08, 2004 Problems is having problems publishing my updated sidebar. Not even sure if this post will make it through. They are working on the issue.

I'll catch up once the bugs are scared away.


Monday, September 06, 2004

Rasmussen Explains

From Rasmussen:

Our current poll (showing the President ahead by just over a point) includes a Saturday sample that is way out of synch with all the days before it and with the Sunday data that followed. In fact, Saturday's one-day sample showed a big day for Kerry while all the days surrounding it showed a decent lead for the President.

It seems likely that Saturday reflects a rogue sample (especially since it was over a holiday weekend). But, it remains in our 3-day rolling average for one more day (Tuesday's report). If we drop the Saturday sample from our data, Bush is currently ahead by about 4 percentage points in the Rasmussen Reports Tracking Poll.

That's still a smaller lead than shown by Time and Newsweek. Those polls appear to have the mirror image problem of a Los Angeles Times poll in June reportedly showing Kerry with a huge lead. That LA Times survey included too many Democrats in their sample. Today, it seems likely that Time and Newsweek included too many Republicans.
So, depending on today's polling, look for Rasmussen to show a 3 or 4 point Bush lead tomorrow. But keep in mind, we have just seen the top of Bush's bubble. If this is the best he can do, following a month he couldn't have dreamed of, he's in big trouble.

Minnesota a Battleground?!?

So here we are, in the midst of the faux bounce of the GOP convention, and Rasmussen has Minnesota at 46 to 46.
In Minnesota, the race for the White House is now a tie. The latest Rasmussen Reports survey, conducted during the week of the Republican National Convention, shows both Senator Kerry and President Bush earning 46% of the vote in this Battleground State.
If that is the best the GOP can muster, with their best guns firing, it isn't even a contest.

Chalk up MN to Kerry, and most of the rest of the battleground states. It's on the verge of becoming a yawner, people!!


Sunday, September 05, 2004

What Bounce?!?

Much has been made of the Time and Newsweek bounce Bush has over Kerry post Convention. Chatter is that these polls pushed leaners into making a pick. Not an accurate methodology.

The Rassmussen rolling average, which has been expanded to 1000 people per day from the prior 500, already shows the race tightening back up again.

Funny, how people were leaning Bush during the convention, but once he spoke, the electorate went back to Kerry.

Today's results include 2/3rds of those who were polled after Bush's speech.

Maybe the GOP should consider running Zell Miller instead.


Saturday, September 04, 2004

Debating Debates

BushCo has pulled out a play from their 2000 playbook. There is already chatter that the Bush campaign would prefer only two debates.

Let me make this clear, there will be NO change in the debate schedule, all four (3 Pres, one VP) of them will take place.

See, in 2000, the Bush campaign pushed the meme that GW was not a very good debater. By the time they rolled around, all George had to do was show up with a heart beat. In fact, some reports stated Vice President Gore came off as a bully.

Make no mistake, this ploy is about lowering expectation and has nothing to do with a sincere attempt to cut out one of the already schedule debates.

Kerry, of course, has already been on this. In his Daily Show appearance he specifically made a point to say what a 'Master Debater' GW is.

Sorry GOP, we're on to you, and it won't work this time. Should I be wrong, and one of the debates gets cut, Kerry has a perfect opportunity to show up anyway and take questions. Of course, they would make sure that there was an extra podium there, with an empty suit draped over the stool behind it, and GW name emblazoned across the front. Sorry, I don't think even the GOP is that stupid to let that happen.


Friday, September 03, 2004

What Health Care program

Medicare premiums to jump 17%

This is the largest increase ever and is mostly due to the drug company rebate program prescription drug plan.

The reality
Robert Hayes, president of Medicare Rights Center, called the increase "a body blow to millions of older Americans living on fixed incomes"
Earlier in the article, I caught this line:
When asked why the news was released at 4 p.m. on the Friday before a holiday weekend, a Medicare spokesmen would only say "I'm not touching that one."
Of course we all no the answer, it is the weekly, cowardly, Friday night bad news doc dump.

NOW what is GW going to run on. Oh yeah, 'Kerry bad'.

Busy Week

Been a little hectic for me this week. As the school year approached, I received my new job placement. Following the closing of my school last Spring, it was a little touch and go to see if there would be a placement for me. I had enough seniority to end up somewhere, but the pickings where pretty slim. Over 20 staff members in my Job class, and several in my specific category were layed off indefinitely. But for me, they have found me a home at a new Middle school. I was welcomed warmly, as my reputation as a top notch Tech was well known. It should be a good year, one a make it through this awkward transition.

I have some comments about the RNC Fear Factor tour this week, and will hopefully post them later this afternoon. For now, Elder live blogged the speech while attending a Rightie gathering last night. There is actually a level of objectivity to his comments. Kind of refreshing coming from that side of the aisle.

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend, and the official end of the Summer!