Sunday, October 31, 2004

Making the Rounds

A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican
By John Gray Cincinnati, Ohio - July - 2004

Printable version: Click here!

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should loose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home. He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.
I still believe we need to evaluate how much it is government's job to provide for us. But I also wonder how many times a Middle Class Republican sits down and counts their blessings that the Democrats were there for THEM, and not the fat cats and big businesses!

I have confidence in the intellect of the electorate, and look forward to Tuesday evening, as the returns come rolling in.

Hope is on the way! . . . . My predictions tomorrow!

Flash

Friday, October 29, 2004

Minnesota's Democratic and Republican electors

From this morning's STRIB
Depending on the outcome of Tuesday's election, one of these groups will be called on Dec. 13 to award Minnesota's 10 electoral votes. If Kerry gets more votes next week, the DFL electors will be called on; if Bush prevails, Republican electors will vote in Minnesota for the first time since 1972.

DFL Party electors

Sonja Berg, St. Cloud
Vi Grooms-Alban, Cohasset
Matthew Little, Maplewood
Michael Meuers, Bemidji
Tim O'Brien, Edina
Lil Ortendahl, Osakis
Everett Pettiford, Minneapolis
Jean Schiebel, Brooklyn Center GO MOM!!!
Frank Simon, Chaska
Chandler Harrison Stevens, Austin
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Republican Party electors

George Cable, Lindstrom
Jeffrey Carnes, St. Paul
Ron Eibensteiner, Minneapolis
Angela Erhard, Eden Prairie
Eileen Fiore, Andover
Walter Klaus, Farmington
Michelle Rifenberg, La Crescent
Judie Rosendahl, Madison
Lyall Schwarzkopf, Minneapolis
Armin Tesch, Waldorf

Flash

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Who are the Electors

In a follow up to yesterday's post, I want to share a brief E-Mail exchange I had with my Mom last night.

She received a phone call from an AP reporter, checking for voter' 'loyalty. It seemed strange to me, at first, that they would be calling a lifelong DFLer like my Mother, but then I found out why. She is a 2004 Kerry Elector, one of 10 in the state of Minnesota. The reporter was checking to see if there was any movement possible within the slate of electors currently assigned to each party.

That she got the call was cool, to find out my Mom is an Elector was gratifying. A staunch, grassroots, hardworking, multi tasking, Democrat like this more then deserves the honor of actually being able to cast a vote for the President himself. All we are stuck doing, is voting for a slate of Electors, and this year, I'll be voting for my Mom!

Congratulations, Mom!!! You've earned it!

So now it is up to US, to give her the chance to cast her vote, and place Minnesota in the Kerry Column. Polls are nothing more then a picture in time, it is the votes counted on Election day that matter, so GOTV!

Flash

UPDATE: The Elector List in Mr. Fixit's column the other day was 2000 Electors. The Strib will be publishing the full slate of Electors from the GOP and DFL on Page 2A of this weekend's Sunday edition.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

269-269

The Blogging Caesar, a Righty Tightie blog, has his current electoral projection at 269-269. If you thought 2000 was a nightmare, can you imagine what a tie would do to whomever is ultimately inaugurated.

The Detroit Free Press has a quick Electoral College Q & A the handles the basics.

Bottom line, the House elects the President by a simple majority of state delegations (each state gets one vote) and the Senate chooses the Vice President. This would be the newly elected 109th Congress, not the current congress.

The division and bitterness we have endured over the last almost 4 years occurred due to a contested election and a Supreme Court ruling. I can't begin to imagine the division and awkwardness if Congress were to choose the next administration.

Can you imagine Kerry/Cheney, or Bush/Edwards, serving the next four years. Unlikely, but certainly possible.

Flash

UPDATE: CNN posted it's own story: Electoral College tie could be mother of all messes

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Endorsement He Never Thought He'd Write

Conservative Blogger, writer, and TV panelist Andrew Sullivan had already hinted he wouldn't be endorsing GW Bush this time around. Conventional Wisdom had him sitting the endorsement process out entirely. It seems he changed his mind.

Risk Management

It is actually a very balanced and objective look at both candidates. It addresses their accomplishments and failings as it culminates in his awkward decision.

It is by no means a rah rah endorsement, even tepid at best, but it does point out why many of us are frustrated with the current administration, and why we believe Kerry is the best candidate to lead this country for the next four years!

Flash
Iraqi Hotdish

From this AM's STRIB:
Leaves a bitter taste

Recipe for Texas-style Iraqi Hotdish:

• Melt two sticks of 9/11, fold in tears of an anguished America, let simmer.

• In an undersized Afghanistan, drop in a small amount of troops, pound one Bin Laden into a corner, and set aside.

• Then, in a large State-of-the-Union crockpot, marinate public opinion in one quart of fabricated Iraqi imminent threat, one cup of nonexistent WMD, a teaspoon of mythical African yellowcake uranium and whip into a froth. Strain, discarding all doubts, thoughtful planning and experienced wisdom.

• Grease a misguided plan with evaporated oil revenues, layer with fictitious jubilant Iraqis, stir in froth and thousands of American soldiers. Insert into a desert inferno and bring to a chaotic boil.

• Baste with simple-minded clich├ęs and bake until who knows when.

• Garnish with election-year name-calling.

Serve with arrogant confidence wrapped in a flag.

It's time for a new chef. Elect John Kerry.
Sometimes, it is as simple as a hotdish recipe!

One week left . . . GOTV!

Flash

Monday, October 25, 2004

Mathiaas Muddles while Kline Krumbles

Swiftee put himself through some torture last night, watching the Congressional debates on television. What does he have to say about 'his' GOP candidate in the 5th district:
". . . this guy made a complete fool of himself"
or
the best explanation for his performance could only be that he was drunk, or perhaps battling the first stages of a world class hangover.
Now, Sabo is secure in an urban district that will elect him as long as he chooses to run. The former Minnesota Speaker of the House represents his constituents well, and it is know wonder that the GOP struggles to find a competent candidate to run against Congressman Sabo.

But what was more telling, was Swiftee's take on the 2nd district race. Kline finally edged out multi term incumbent Bill Luther two years ago. Redistricting created a more Right leaning 6th and inadvertently drew Mark Kennedy out of his own digs. With the inclusion of St. Cloud in the New 6th, that made it a challenge for Luther to combat a Right Wing incumbent, so Kennedy ran in the 6th, against Janet Roberts (who now leads Straight Talk Radio and JR Broadcasting) leaving the quasi Incumbent to run in the Conservative 2nd, against Kline.

This year, Kline is running against Burnsville City Council member Teresa Daly. Teresa is turning out to be a formidable candidate, and Swiftee has concerns:
Now we get to the extreme humiliation.

John Kline is supposed to represent the best of Republican ideology, he's the guy who was trusted with "the football" by two Presidents, and yet when asked to come up with two federal spending programs he will cut next term he couldn't. No, worse than couldn't, he outright REFUSED!

Questions to Republicans about cutting government programs are not softballs, they are wiffle balls..and Kline wiffed!

Teresa Daly also ripped-Kline-to-shreds on tax policy, domestic policy and foreign policy...I might vote for her myself!
I doubt that he will actually reach for the lever of a lefty, but it is refreshing to see one of their own call out an 'empty suit' when they see one.

Kline will win in a walk, but now that his vulnerabilities are once again shining brightly, I suspect Daly will regroup with the experience of this campaign under her belt, and make her next run a true challenge!

Flash

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Kennedy -vs- Wetterling Poll

KSTP Ch 5 (the local ABC affiliate) will be releasing an exclusive poll of the contentious 6th district congressional race. This race is probably the only one in Minnesota that has a shot at being close come November 2nd.
Sunday evening on 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS at 10 p.m see the results of our exclusive poll on this race. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS conducted the survey through Gonzalez/Boyd Political Consulting. Independent pollsters contacted 351 voters in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District who indicated they were "likely to vote" on November 2nd. A cross-section of phone interviews were conducted in each county of the district to reflect general election voting patterns. Voters were asked several questions including beliefs on specific issues, the impact of name recognition, and their overall choice for the Congressional seat. The margin for error, according to customary statistical standards, is no more than plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Watch for Kennedy and Wetterling's debate live from 6 to 7 p.m. on 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in the metro area. 5 EYEWITNESS news will reveal it's poll results Sunday at 10 p.m.
Here is a poll in July from Victoria Research and Consulting (D).

{7/11-14. MoE ~5%}

Kennedy (R) 46
Wetterling (D) 43

So we'll see what tonight's number look like.

Flash

UPDATE:

Full article:

MN-06 Poll Wetterling -vs- Kennedy
(10/18-21/04)
34% Wetterling D
52% Kennedy R i
14% Undecided

2002
57% Kennedy R i
35% Roberts D

Gonzalez/Boyd Political Consulting. Independent pollsters (10/18-21/04)

351 voters in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District who indicated they were "likely to vote" on November 2nd

Saturday, October 23, 2004

A POW Story

Norwegianity suffered through the Sinclair faux news special last night. Bop on over there for his review.

Flash

Thursday, October 21, 2004

From the Victory Tour

FANTASTIC time at the rally!. Thanks again to Luke at the New Patriot for 'hooking me up' with the VIP tickets getting me close enough to experience this excellent event.

The one thing that stood out to me was how much Kerry really energized the crowd. He is definitely not the snobbish aristocrat the Right tries to portray him as. He comes across as a regular guy with a sincere hope for our future and a clear vision on how to get us there. I look forward to his presidency.



Stumping


Just as he finished speaking


Working the Crowd


Just before I shook his hand

Next time I meet him, he will be President!

Flash
Kerry Victory Tour

The Kerry/Edwards Victory tour comes to Minnesota. A big rally will be held just outside the Metrodome this late afternoon, with gates opening at 4:30.

Thanks to Luke Francl, of the New Patriot, I have myself a VIP ticket. I'll still be part of the mob, but at least I'll be in the front part of said mob.

More later when I return.

Flash
An Afternoon with Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward was the keynote speaker at the Education Minnesota convention. I was fortunate enough to make it in time to get a nice center aisle seat, 5 rows from the front.

He opened to a standing ovation, receiving a warm greeting from a crowd who wasn't really sure what he was going to share. He waved us down stating

"Please sit down, it's not that good", which was greeted with a room full of chuckles.

He spoke on his preparation for his book 'Plan of Attack', gathering information and documents over the course of many months. He reached a point where it was now time to approach the possibility of sitting down with George Bush. He prepared a 21 page memo to present to him, outlining his desire to speak with him personally. Woodward commented that he was told he was crazy, Bush isn't going to read a 21 page memo, but he did read it. It was the precursor to a 3 1/2 hour, over 500 question interview. Unprecedented access in the history of the Presidency Woodward said.

The book came out and now both sides are promoting it on their campaign websites. Woodward quipped that can only mean that neither side has read it.

This spiel was no rah rah speech like those that preceded his keynote. Prior to him, both Senator Mark Dayton and Garrison Keillor pumped up the crowd in a 'Political Forum' But Woodward was more candid. He made it clear that we would hear some of the things we wanted to hear, but also those that would make us feel 'uncomfortable'.

He spoke of Bush defining the new evil of the 21st Century. In the 1800 it was slavery, in the 20th century it was Nazism, but now we look at the evil of terror. Regardless of how history looks at the Bush administration, it should be acknowledged for defined this new evil that exists in this young century.

Towards the end of his remarks, he brought up Richard Nixon's impromptu final remarks to the members of his staff. Nixon closed those remarks with:
Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.
Woodward acknowledged that although it was too late for Nixon to go back and fix the wrongs, he at least recognized what was the catalyst of his downfall. Woodward went on to say that he has met both John Kerry and George W Bush, and they are not haters. They only want what they feel is best.

I support that contention. I don't honestly believe that the current administration is hateful, just misguided. They may feel what they are doing is what is best, but they act without the understanding of how their actions have been detrimental to us as citizens, and to our nation as a whole. The Right disagrees, and feels a strong animosity towards the Left. I hope, that under the Kerry administration, they will not continue their disdain for their dissenters.

I am committed to working with and supporting whichever candidate is inaugurated next January, and work towards solving the problems that exist today. I am not so sure my colleagues on the Right are willing to make that some vow.

Flash
Bob Woodward

This week was a short week for most educators. That annual early year respite for the Teacher's Convention. Some of us wonder why they don't have these gigs in the Summer, but as long as they exist, I'll milk it for all it's worth.

I don't usually go to the convention, myself. But once in awhile there is a keynote address that sparks my interest. This year is one of those exceptions. Bob Woodward will be speaking at the RiverCentre today, at Noon. His legacy was established through the uncovering of the Watergate scandal, but recently has been in the news with his book 'Bush at War' Both sides have grasped 'Bush at War' as proof of the administrations incompetence, or justification of GW's strength and leadership. I am not sure what Mr. Woodward will be talking about, but I am going to take advantage of his appearance to see what he has to say.

The event is free, and open to the public.

Flash

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I didn't mean what I said

Shot in the Dark posted some John Kerry Quotes along with other slams. It reminded me of a very useful site called Dubya Speak.

Here are some of my favorites. All from the mouth or GW himself. Some of them have been modified on the White House transcripts, but DubyaSpeak links the audio in most cases, so you can hear for yourself what was actually said
I made it very plain, we will not have an all-volunteer army. - Daytona Beach, Florida, Oct. 16, 2004

Uhh -- Gosh, I -- don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those, uhh, exaggerations.
- Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 13, 2004

I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. 3/13/2002

QUESTION: Can we win [the war on terrorism]?
I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the -- those who use terror as a tool are -- less acceptable in parts of the world.
-- NBC's "Today Show", Aug. 30, 2004

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
-- Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

After the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, this nation resolved to fight terrorists where they dwell. We resolved to arm the terrorist enemy.
-- Charleston, West Virginia, Jul. 4, 2004
= = = = =

Can you just imagine the free-for-all the Right would have if Kerry were to say these things!

I have more, this is a fun game!

Flash

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Back in Time

Pandagon takes us back to 2000, and a look at how the polls were shaking out two weeks before the election:

No matter who you think they're favoring, the polls are proving wildly unreliable, and it occurred to me that, no matter who wins in November, the polling companies are going to have a lot to answer for if they want to be taken seriously in the future. But I spoke too soon. In checking my thesis, I went back to 2000 andl ooked at the polling released during the exact same period. Here are the 2000 results for October 18th and 19th:



Polling FirmDateBushGoreBush-Gore
ABC10/1948%43%+5%
Gallup10/1950%40%+10%
Opinion Dynamics10/1945%42%+3%
Reuters/MSNBC10/1944%44%0%
Voter.com10/1944%39%+5%
ABC10/1848%44%+4%
Gallup10/1849%39%+10%
NBC10/1845%43%+2%
Reuters/MSNBC10/1844%43%+1%
Voter.com10/1844%40%+4%


Note that not a single one of these polls gave any advantage to the actual winner of the popular vote. So while the media crows about this or that metric, remember that they were all wrong at this point in 2000. While the polls did tighten in the ending days of the race, only 3 of the 20 polls taken in the final two days gave Gore any sort of lead. And we're much closer than he was, with much more money and a ground organization he could only dream of. We're in good shape, folks. Just keep working your asses off, keep volunteering with ACT, keep telling your friends, keep offering your services to the Kerry campaign. We're going to win this thing, and Frank Newport's walk of shame is going to make it all the sweeter. Now, if only it would convince the media to stop relying on data that's proven unreliable and only serves to needlessly distort coverage, life'd be so sweet. Fat chance I know, but I can dream.

Go read the rest. They have some updates.

Flash
87 Billion Dollars

The Real GW (paraphrased) "I threatened to veto funding for the troops in Iraq, before I signed it."

Just more GOP Hackery.

Flash
Bogus

I've been looking to expand my blogroll, especially the Righties. I happened to bop over to Bogus Gold yesterday, and scrolled down to read his Live Blog of the 3rd Debate.

I met Doug this past Summer at the First MOB (Minnesota Organization of Blogs) gathering at Keagans, and it wasn't our opposing views the drove our conversation, it was Drum Corps.

I thank him for the kind words he posted today,
Short answer, I'm blogrolling Flash's Centrisity site. All the good stuff I said about him above is true. Good enough for me (and to be honest, a hardcore leftist who truly does party with hardcore righties... on purpose... regularly is damn compelling).
and will gladly console him on November 3rd, when he joins the largest unison 'What Went Wrong' Chorus in GOP political history!

Flash

UPDATE: The ole brain mush, either from leaning left, or just too much happening in everyday life causes me to blur my Rightie blogs all together. Shawn, from 'The American Mind' is the one whom I chatted Drum Corps with at the first MOB gathering. Doug, at Bogus Gold, is whom bailed The Doctor and I, along with pinkmonkeybird, out of what could have been a humiliating defeat, rather then a mere humbling one, at a recent Keagan's trivia contest. All the same, great people and good conversation, even tho they are as wrong as they are Right *grin*!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Not Even Close

Polls , shmolls, this election is shaping up to be not even close. The Polls don;t even consider some of the trends we have seen from the inside, and when you read Byron William's take on this, it is rather compelling.

He notes that voter registration is significantly up in strong Democratic counties of the swing states of Ohio and Florida, especially when compared to the RNC voter registration efforts.
According to the New York Times, voter registration campaigns in heavily Democratic areas have added tens of thousands of new voters to the rolls in the swing states of Ohio and Florida, a surge that far exceeds the efforts of Republicans in both states.

The analysis by the Times of county-by-county data shows that in Democratic areas of Ohio -- primarily low-income and minority neighborhoods -- new registrations since January have risen 250 percent over the same period in 2000.

In comparison, new registrations have increased just 25 percent in Republican areas. A similar pattern is apparent in Florida: In the strongest Democratic areas, the pace of new registration is 60 percent higher than in 2000, while it has risen just 12 percent in the heaviest Republican areas.
The other issue mentioned is that a re-elect ion campaign is more of a referendum of the sitting President, and with Wrong Track numbers in the upper 50's, the Undecided will certainly break quite heavy for the challenger.

I am not quite ready to return to my 'Kerry in a walk' meme, but I tend to believe that this year won't be anywhere near the nail biter of 2000. And with the polls showing Bush slightly ahead, that mean the Right will relax, and we'll catch them off guard!

Flash

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Unprepared

Early edition PiPress has this banner headline above the fold

Planning for after the war in Iraq non-existent
It begins:
WASHINGTON - In March 2003, days before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American war planners and intelligence officials met at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina to review the Bush administration's plans to oust Saddam Hussein and implant democracy in Iraq.

Near the end of his presentation, an Army lieutenant colonel who was giving a briefing showed a slide describing the Pentagon's plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war, known in the planners' parlance as Phase 4-C. He was uncomfortable with his material - and for good reason.

The slide said: "To Be Provided."

A Knight Ridder review of the administration's Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country. The administration also failed to provide some 100,000 additional U.S. troops that American military commanders originally wanted to help restore order and reconstruct a country shattered by war, a brutal dictatorship and economic sanctions.
To be provided?!? That was our exit strategy when the Armed Forces got the GO!

Maybe I'll have more later after this sinks in.

Flash

Friday, October 15, 2004

A Touchy Subject

The Doctor and I had one of our many spirited debates, this time on abortion. I am personally Pro-Life, and Politically Pro-Choice. Kerry did an eloquent job describing this balance in the Town Hall debate:

But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that.
Now many can take this view that I share and chastise it, and that is fine. The Doctor's big issue was why should 'his' money go to fund someone else's abortion. To that. I see why should someone else's money go to fund the loss of innocent life in Iraq. Now please don't get distracted by this comparison, even Doc accepted it is a valid comeback.

But now we are seeing what happens when you restrict access to social services, when joblessness creates unaffordable family environments. when an administration is so wrapped up in itself, thereby being out of touch with the real world, and the plight of those directly effected by it's policies.

This all brings me to an article written by Glen Harold Stassen. He is a Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary. He states:
I look at the fruits of political policies more than words. I analyzed the data on abortion during the George W. Bush presidency. There is no single source for this information - federal reports go only to 2000, and many states do not report - but I found enough data to identify trends. My findings are counterintuitive and disturbing.
What did he find? First, he confirmed that national abortion rates were at a 24 year low after a 17.4 decline during the 1990s.

What has happened during the last 3 3/4 years of the current administration? Of the three states with statistics through 2003, all show an increase in abortions rates. of the 13 states that have data for 2001 and 2002, 8 show an increase averaging 14.6 %, and 5 show a decrease averaging 4.3%.

His reasoning for the increases include, lowered economic status of Women, lack of a reliable mate, and lack of access to reliable health care.

There is more to the rhetoric of saving babies in this battle, when we have an administration that is creating environments where it is difficult to adequately care for these newborns. I am certainly not saying that there shouldn't be more personal responsibility, but if the pro-lifers are sincerely for protecting the life of the unborn, then they need to start rallying their supporter around a candidate that will promote an economic environment where these women can afford to raise their children. The trends of the last 3+ years show GW is clearly not that candidate!

Flash

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Debate #3 - Expanded Comments

Here is the transcript

Interesting evening!

When Mitch first pitched the Hilton gathering, I was under the impression it was going to be more of a Minnesota Blogger thing. It wasn't until I went to Captain's Quarters that I saw the reality. It was being sponsored by 'The Patriot'

Now I have placed myself in situations where I am surrounded by those who don't necessarily share my political viewpoint, but last night was nothing more then a Bush/Cheney rally. The only objectivity in the room was mine so it was easy to get confused regarding who was performing well, and who was not.

I was sensitive about my comments, considering the environment I had placed myself in. Bush looked rested, sounded prepared, and was much quicker on his feet. It seemed clear to me that Bush would probably be declared the winner in this final stand-off. Not because he bested Kerry, but due to the fact he far surpassed expectations. Kerry was prime Kerry, strong and articulate. But he set his own bar very high after the first two debates. Bush, and I am beginning to wonder if this was an intentional strategy, had set the bar low, very low.

My comment to Mitch, at the end of the evening:
"I'll go with what I said before - Bush looked rested up. I think the polls will show Bush won -he far exceeded expectations. Thought Bush was sharp (in delivery) tonight..."
Unfortunately, Kerry was at an obvious disadvantage in this room. I wasn't able to hear most of what he said. The constant cat calls, booing, and razzing going on prohibited anyone who truly wanted to be open minded from absorbing the debate. I only heard George, and I thought George did a fine job.

When I got home, I watched a different debate. Oh it was the some one I just witnessed with a bunch of Righties, but I was home, in the comfort of my own living room, and I found a channel that had just started the replay.

There was no doubt who was more poised, more presidential, more factual, more in touch with the views of the majority of Americans, and that man was John Kerry. It was amazing how different the debate actually was now that I was able to put all comments and rebuttals in their appropriate context.

So I have this great idea now for the next time there is a big debate. Whether it is in 4 years when Kerry is up for re-election, or any local debate that stirs up interest. You stage a viewing event, and have everyone try to bring at least one friend who is a fence sitter. Don't tell them that it is a partisan event. You prohibit the opposition from passing out literature, or sharing their views. And during the debate, you drown out the other side so that your 'guests' can't even hear the opponent. Those undecideds will sway your way. They will become engulfed by the partisan environment and feel they must join the momentum train.

That didn't happen to me last night. I skipped the punch bowl, not knowing what was in the 'Kool-Aid' But I did go up to the bar, and whispered to the server "I'm surrounded by Republicans, make it a double" So I took my Double Crown Royal, and set in the back with "The Doctor:, and took my lumps.

Next time it will be his turn, when we will be at the Kerry victory party on election night. He will be the one surrounded by the opposition, and his clock will have run out.

Flash

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate Party at the Hilton

The Doctor and I will be crashing the bipartisan NARNy bash at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Minneapolis. I won't be bringing my laptop. I prefer to absorb the event without the distraction of technology.

Hopefully, some of you will join me. But even if I am the only Left leaner there, I'll be able to hold my own.

See ya tonight.

Flash
Masking the Polls

Mitch posted a screed on a Halloween mask poll several weeks ago. It is a tongue and cheek look at Halloween mask sales, and how they have successfully predicted the last several elections. But what he didn't do, was look into the 'internals' of this poll.

First, that GW's support is slipping:
As of Sept. 30, President Bush masks were outselling Sen. John Kerry masks, 55 percent to 45 percent. One week later, on Oct. 7, Bush's lead fell to 54 percent. The Monday after the second presidential debate, Bush's lead slipped even further to 53 percent.
But more importantly:
A shortage of Kerry masks may skew this year's poll results at other retailers, admits Krohn. While the Bush masks have been around since the last presidential election, the Kerry masks were not released until mid-August. As a result, smaller costume shops, which have less clout with big mask manufacturers, may have had a harder time securing shipments than large shops, says Krohn. "Even now most shops haven't had any Kerry masks in stock, and don't plan on it," she adds.

AnyMask.com has already sold out of the Kerry masks, says Bryan Kerrigan, president of ABM Mask & Costume Enterprises, Inc., which runs the Ashburn, Va.-based shop. But despite the shortage of Kerry masks, sales figures still show the Kerry mask in the lead, and AnyMask.com predicts a Kerry-Edwards win in November. "We always goes for the underdog," says Kerrigan, who also foresees the production of a John Edwards mask after the election.
Aaaahhhhh, so the Right is stifling the supply of Kerry masks to influenced the poll. What will they stoop to next *grin*

Seriously, this is all tongue and cheek and only shows that we can find a poll to support our view depending on how hard we dig. The only poll that matters is the one taken on November 2nd, not October 31st.

Read the whole article, it was a fun way to start my day.

Flash
Franken on AM950

I haven't been able to listen to much of "The Al Franken Show". The weak signal at 740 was only accessible in my van. I couldn't get it in the house, out in the garage, or in my car. Now that has changed, with the purchase of KSNB 950 by JR (Janet Roberts) Broadcasting.

"Straight Talk Radio," has been broadcasting from 950 since October 1st, and will soon expand their line-up upon FCC approval of the sale.

Along with Franken, is a spattering of local programming and Fast Eddie Schultz in the afternoon.

Tune in!

Flash

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

GW is a nuisance

From the diaries:

Can we win the war on terrorism? Yes, I think we can, in the sense that we can win the war on organized crime. There is going to be no peace treaty on the battleship Missouri in the war on terrorism, but we can break its back so that it is only a horrible nuisance and not a paralyzing influence on our societies.

-- General Brent Scowcroft
Bush 41 National Security Advisor
Bush 43 appointee to the Forum for International Security

"9/11 a Year On" conference, Sept. 2002
My problem with the Right, is that it is OK for them to say something, but if someone on the left says it, it is wrong. Why should there be a difference.

Flash

Monday, October 11, 2004

Superman Gone

Christopher Reeve, most noted for his staring roles in the modern Superman films, has died. He was 52.

Following a debilitating equestrian accident in 1995, he became a strong proponent of the use of Stem Cells, and stem cell research. He hoped to walk again using the advancements made in this area. Unfortunately, a severe infection ravaged his body to the point his heart could no long hold on.

May his legacy for the betterment of society continue.

Flash

Saturday, October 09, 2004

"Don't Vote" Revealed

As predicted, the "Don't Vote" billboards that some people, including Minneapolis Mayor Rybak, were whining about, is nothing more then a harmless Radio promotion.
At least one of the 15 was updated Friday in downtown Minneapolis. It now says, "Don't Vote for Dave," a reference to morning radio host Dave Ryan of KDWB-FM.

The sign tells viewers to "Make your vote count!" next to a photo of Ryan, wearing an Uncle Sam outfit and giving the thumbs up.
There is now a webpage on the KDWB site encouraging people to vote, and listing the steps in the process.

Flash
Iraq Reality Check

Nice job, Jeff!

Flash

Friday, October 08, 2004

Town Hall

I'm solo, in the garage. Nothing like a Kegerator and WiFi to make it through this debate. 19" TV, Channel 11 (NBC) through the air.

Mitch is live blogging.

And here is the Kos Rapid Response.

Flash
The Final Jobs Report

The report's in! Keeping in mind you need to create 150,000 jobs just to break even with new employees entering the workforce, we missed the mark with 96,000. Another month of negative job creation, another month of wallowing in a Bush economy stalled by failed policies, less then a month before we can begin the transition to prosperity.

We've tried it 'his' way for three years and change. We need to start putting money into the hands of those who will stimulate the economy and spend money for durable goods and services. Heaping more money on the already tall pile of a few will NOT do the job.

Flash

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

A Picture of the President

Listening to 'The Good Neighbor' on my way home from work, there was a report about a Middle School teacher who walked of her job because she was ordered to take down her picture of President Bush. It was just a teaser, and my commute wasn't long enough for me to here the whole story, so I looked it up.
Pillai-Diaz, 33, a volunteer with the Bush campaign and an English teacher, has had a publicity picture of the First Couple hanging in her classroom since the start of the school year, she said.

The photo became an issue last week.
Now, if it just became an issue last week, even I have a problem with making her take it down. If people had sincere objection, it should have been raised much earlier then this.

I see no reason why a teacher can't have a photo of the sitting president, on a wall with the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Even my Dad had a photo of the current President in his den, regardless of political affiliation. I am not sure if he still does, but he did when I was younger. I was raised to respect the office, regardless of the party affiliation, and it seems that is all this teacher was doing.

A good compromise would have been to display a photo of Kerry, as the Democratic nominee. But this wasn't a history class, or Civics class, it was freaking English. And if this instructor simply had a static board, where she displayed our nations documents, along side a photo of the first couple, it should be honored.

The question I have, is did she have Clintons's picture up when he was President, and would she switch it to Kerry on Inauguration day. THAT would be the definitive resolution of this matter. But since she walked out, we may never know.

Flash
Obligatory Veep Debate Post

I watched the whole thing (transcript).

The one thing that stood out for me is Sen. Edwards command of foreign policy. Excellent understanding of what is happening overseas, and not just in Iraq. He needed to do well there, to show the American people he isn't just some hick from North Carolina.

Cheney did well also. He stuck on message, sometimes repeating himself (and don't think Edwards didn't so the same). Cheney's most awkward moment was when he had to address the Haliburton question, and all he could come up with was a website. Funny, that when you go to the website he mentioned, http://factcheck.com, it forwards to GeorgeSoros.com. He probably meant http://factcheck.org, which still isn't all that flattering to this administration.

Flubs: There were a few, the most powerful at the moment was when Cheney chastised Edwards for his attendance in the Senate, finishing with "The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight." That was Cheney's most powerful moment for me, and it turned out to be untrue. The Right will be hard pressed to spin this one, but they'll find a way

Edwards had his own gaff, and repeated it. On a question where the candidates were directed to answer WITHOUT using their running mates name, Cheney had a brilliant response, one of his finest moments in the debate for him. Edwards did fine, but twice mentioned Kerry's name, and like a giggly frat boy, stated both times "I'm sorry, I broke the rules". I suspect the mea culpa will appear in a GOP campaign commercial coming to your TV sets soon!

I actually learned more from this debate, then from the one last Thursday. It seemed both candidates had more meat and substance. This was a GREAT transitional moment leading to Friday Night. I look forward to it!

Flash

UPDATE:Sometimes we overlook the good deeds, the simple things that show our human nature. The gaff Vice President Cheney made, regarding the factcheck.com website, could have been a coup for George Soros. I can only imagine what would have happened had the situation been reversed. I can only speculate, but the tactics of the Right makes me think they would have jumped all over that situation, and totally re-worked the website to beome another hate filled Kerrybashing screed. Not Soros. Here is what he posted on his sidebar, at GeorgeSoros.com, which is where factcheck.com is forwarding:
http://factcheck.com Correction
We do not own the FactCheck.com domain name and are not responsible for it redirecting to GeorgeSoros.com. We are as surprised as anyone by this turn of events. We believe that Vice President Cheney intended to direct viewers to http://factcheck.org.
I have new found respect for the responsible and professional move Mr. Soros made in regards to a situation he could have very easily taken advantage of. He didn't and for that, I thank him!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

School Choice Flawed

Mitch pointed me to a great screed on Public education and its inherent problems. There was a lot of quality insight there, not that I agreed with it all. See, I have my own concerns, and even though I tend to lean left on many issues, this is one I just want to help fix. Let me expand (and copy/paste parts of my comments to Swiftee):
As a victim of the only school closing in St. Paul, last year, I was hit from both ends. As an educator, who was now being displaced due to tight funds and declining enrollments, and as a parent, whose child now has to travel across town to Ramsey, since the 'neighborhood' middle school program 4 blocks away was closed. I didn't passively let this happen. I attended the community meaning, and wrote a letter to the School Board not only sharing my concerns and frustration, but provided detailed remedies that could have prevented this closing.
There is much more, but then I open up the paper today and what do I see:

St. Paul School Choice System Flawed
As I read the article, I started seeing not only my concerns being addressed, but some of my ideas being considered.

Back in February, I said this in the letter:
I support choice, and bread based opportunity within the district, but maybe we don't have that luxury anymore. If we are beginning to close our schools, maybe it is time for the district to re-evaluate how they deliver educational services.

One area of bulging waste in the district is transportation. To stand on a corner and count several busses driving down the street with only a few students in them is disheartening. Every school has their own busses, and if a neighborhood has students attending each of the schools of choice, that many busses will be driving down the street of that neighborhood.
And now the district is addressing it, or so it seems.

The school community task force, of which I was NOT a part of, just released it's final report, and makes no recommendations, other then the current system is in need of a change. How typical of a body within our district. Didn't we know that going in? Isn't that why we assigned the task force to begin with?. They do however, present some options, some that looked surprisingly familiar to me. Specifically the regional transportation plan, the would provide choice, but only within your defined geographic region. My letter does a better job of explaining it:
3) Regional Choice: Currently, there are 5 area Superintendents. Areas A, B, and C include the traditional schools that encompass the school district. Choice can still be provided, but the choices could be limited to the schools within your Area, be at A, B, or C. This would build community, limit transportation miles, and undoubtedly save money.
I left Swiftee with this comment:
I may tow the 'party line' from time to time, but education is an area I just want to improve. Sometimes you need to just work at fixing something, and not spend so much time arguing about the fact it is broken.
Maybe the arguing is over at the 5 story tower at 360. Even superintendent Harvey admits:
"The timing is right for us to do one or the other: Acknowledge it's broken but we're not going to fix it, or say we're going to fix it"
Isn't the first step in any twelve step program admitting you have a problem. Maybe the local school district has finally taken step one, albeit a baby step, but a step nonetheless.

I'll be watching them, and I bet Swiftee will too. Be sure you read his whole post from the weekend. You'll find that even though we don't share the same philosophy, we do share the same goal. We both agree it is broke, and needs to be fixed.

Flash

Monday, October 04, 2004

Don't Vote

The Kossacksare in a mini furor about the teaser campaign that popped up on billboards here in the Twin Cities. What does the article reveal about the campaign:

1) The billboards are owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc.

2) the end of the campaign has value and a positive message,
positive benefits for the community

3) the sponsor, (paying about $60,000) is not advertising a product.

4) the "reveal," would be Oct. 11.

The local minority is the most vocal in their concerns regarding this teaser message. I'm not so sure they need to be. When I first saw the ads, I didn't even think they were going to be political in nature. I figured Clear Channel was rolling out some new DJs, like they did with the Ugly Kids teaser from a few years ago. But a letter to the editor in this morning's Strib may shed some light on where they are going with this:
If you stay home Nov. 2

Don't vote. We'll decide to raise your taxes, or not. We'll decide to educate your children, or not. We'll decide to kill you or your relatives in war, or not. We'll decide to pay your medical bills, or not. We'll decide whom you should marry, or not. We'll decide if you retain freedom of speech, or not. We'll decide what private records are of interest to us, or not. We'll decide to save your forests and lakes, or not.

Stay home. Don't vote. But when it's over, don't complain.
Now, considering the leanings of Clear Channel, I doubt this is where they are going, but maybe they have 'seen the light'.

Flash

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Rapid Response

John Kerry did NOT say that the protection of the country would have to pass some Global Test. That doesn't stop the RNC and the Bush Campaign from making stuff up. Kerry will not put up with this latest misrepresentation, and has an ad of his own:
Narrator: "George Bush lost the debate. Now he's lying about it. This is what you heard John Kerry really say:

John Kerry: "The president always has the right for pre-emptive strike."

John Kerry: "I will hunt and kill the terrorists, wherever they are."

Narrator: "But here's something new about George Bush - newspapers report he withheld key intelligence information from the American public so he could overstate the threat Iraq posed. Bush rushed us into war. Now we're paying the price. It's time for a fresh start."

John Kerry: "I'm John Kerry and I approved this message."
What did John Kerry actually say, within it's context:
John Kerry: "...No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America.

But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons..."
Big difference! Anyone, with an objective mind, who read the full quote, or saw it live during the debate, would realize that a President Kerry would act, preemptively if necessary, to protect this country. The term 'Global' was NOT used in the context of the World, it was used in the context of "your countrymen, your people". When I do a global change in a database, I don't change everyone's database in the world, I change only the data within my own file. If GW thinks he's King, and doesn't have to explain his actions in a clear and coherent manner so the "people understand fully " he's just plain wrong. And when Kerry did talk about the World, he spoke of proving to them after the fact, in past tense, showing he WOULD act without waiting.

But the Right doesn't want you to realize that, and that is why they continue their Fear Factor tour. They can't run on their own miserable record. They have to make stuff up and run against their opponent. Simply embarrassing.

Flash
Right Track/Wrong Track

A Newsweek poll from Polling Report.

Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2004. N=1,144 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3. Sept. 30 interviewing limited to Pacific and Mountain time zones, after the presidential debate concluded

"Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?"

- - - - - - - - Satisfied Dissatisfied Unsure
9/30 - 10/2/04 - - 36 - - - - 57 - - - - 5
9/9-10/04 - - - - -39 - - - - 53 - - - - 8
9/2-3/04 - - - - - 43 - - - - 49 - - - - 8

'nuff said!

Flash

Friday, October 01, 2004

Round One - Kerry

Well, it wasn't a knock down, drag out fight, but it was informative. Even The Doctor agreed that Kerry probably came out ahead in this one. This is significant because this was GW's forte, Foreign Policy and Homeland Security. George needed to hit a homerun on his number one campaign theme. He didn't do so well, left openings for Kerry, and came across as flat, aloof, and even annoyed.

We watched the CSPAN feed. No cut-aways, no pans, just a constant camera on both candidates in a split screen. You could see the smirks and pouts of GW while Kerry was speaking, and the stoic presidential patience of Kerry while George had the floor. Bush came across as unprepared, relying on a handful of soundbites from his campaign commercials. Kerry tackled all the questions with clear and concise arguments.

It wasn't beautiful. There was no 'There you go again' or 'You're know Jack Kennedy' moments. But Kerry did a couple things he needed to do. He needed to not fall on his face and he needed to show the world he has a plan for the war on terror, a plan that will work, and a plan that will assure us victory. I think he accomplished both tasks, and at the same time, made George look like the challenger, not the incumbent.

Flash