Tuesday, September 30, 2008

van Palin: Best Pick Evah!

The Fix shares what most of us knew all along:
The trouble began late last week with what was widely seen as a disastrous Palin interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric in which the vice presidential nominee was barely intelligible on relatively basic questions of foreign policy.
. . .
That "performance" was -- luckily for the McCain campaign -- largely drowned out by coverage of the ongoing fight on Capitol Hill over the bailout of the country's financial institutions.
Like Linda said in the comments of this post
What really made the SNL skit so hysterically funny, was that much of the script was taken straight from what Palin said verbatim
Oh, but it gets better. Parker over at Offical ScaifeNet Headquarters:
Parker added -- more cuttingly:

"If Palin were a man, we'd all be guffawing, just as we do every time Joe Biden tickles the back of his throat with his toes. But because she's a woman -- and the first ever on a Republican presidential ticket -- we are reluctant to say what is painfully true."
There;s is more, so much more at The Fix.

I can't wait till Thursday, I already have the popcorn ready and a full keg of beer. I hope it last thought the whole debate . . . the beer, npot the popcorn *laughing*

Flash

Monday, September 29, 2008

Palin/Couric Interview, Part IV

In case you missed it, it was pure gold!


I'm not sure what's left to debate come Thursday. The Governor has fixed the economic crisis and solidified ties with Iran, Pakistan, North Korea and Russia. I guess we could just sit around and talk about taxes. Either way, I'll be in the garage . . . playing the VP Debate Drinking game.

Flash

Dear Zygi; RE: Vikings Floundering

Dear Zygi:

How are things at the ole playground. I know it can get a bit frustrating when you have all this talent and no one that can bring out the best in it. Kind of like having a HEMI in your truck, and trying to run it on water instead of Gas.

So, here's a thought. Brian Billick is still available and Scott Linehan was recently released. Maybe it's time to shake things up before it is too late. I mean, seriously, could you do any worse!?

WhatDoYaThink?

Forever Bleeding Purple,

Flash

(Yes, I did send this via E-Mail to both Zygi and his son, Mark)

The Bailout

My gut says no to the $700,000,000,000 monstrosity - (PDF), but I don't know enough about the nitty gritty to make a commitment one way or another. Today I am going to try to learn as much as possible about the deal. Your job is to tell me one thing you think is very bad, and one thing that is urgently needed, that is in the bill.

CNN has a nice Bailout Tracker to keep us updated.

Your help is appreciated.

Flash

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Puppy Blogging; Twins Edition

Kurly and I are watching the Twins pick their way to another American League Central Title.I got Curly for my wife the Valentine's Day of 2006, just before Kirby Puckett died. I tried to talk her into changing his name to Kirby, without much luck. I did, however, get her to compromise and adjust the spelling of his name to Kurly. She even went down to the Vet to change the medical paperwork and get a new name tag, While I went back and corrected blog posts..

So that is the story of Kurly's name.

Soon we'll go out to the garage to enjoy the end of the tilt. Kurly has his own chair and patiently waits for garage treats to get tossed his way. I'll put a garage pic up later.

Flash

UPDATE: Bottom of the 9th, down by 2. The only saving grace is the White Sox gave up a tater already in their game. Here is the Garage Pic I promised. Kurly so proud in his chair.

Paul Newman; 1925 - 2008

When it was announced that Newman had cancer back in June, deep down I really hoped he would beat it. He has always been a fight and never back down from a challenge. Yesterday, the cancer won:
Paul Newman, the legendary actor whose steely blue eyes, good-humored charm and advocacy of worthy causes made him one of the most renowned figures in American arts, has died of cancer at his home in Westport, Connecticut. He was 83.

He died Friday, according to spokeswoman Marni Tomljanovic.

Newman attained stardom in the 1950s and never lost the movie-star aura, appearing in such classic films as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Exodus," "The Hustler," "Cool Hand Luke," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Sting" and "The Verdict."

He finally won an Oscar in 1986 -- on his eighth try -- for "The Color of Money," a sequel to "The Hustler." He later received two more Oscar nominations. Among his other awards was the Motion Picture Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Newman was a Method-trained actor who blazed his own career trail and didn't shy away from risky roles -- inside and outside films.
The list is extensive, and the aforementioned films barely touch the scope of this great performer.

But he will be remembered by me for his stellar performance in the original The Hustler, taking on Minnesota Fats (played by Jackie Gleason) and the post egg eating belly thumping in Cool Hand Luke.
Other favorites include "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Sting" and his amazing and stellar performance in "The Verdict."

Rest in Peace Mr. Newman, you will be remembered fondly by those you have left behind. No I need to go find a copy of The Hustler to watch in his honor.

Flash

Closed Circuit to GiGi: I am sending you a hug, I know Paul was one of your favorites!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain Folds Like a Blanket

As predicted, I mean, really, he had no choice:
OXFORD, Mississippi (CNN) -- Sen. John McCain will attend the first presidential debate as planned Friday night, his campaign announced.

McCain said earlier this week he would not attend the debate if an agreement had not been reached on a $700 billion bailout plan for Wall Street.

The outcome was up in the air Friday as lawmakers scrambled to agree on a plan.

But by midday, McCain's campaign said the Republican presidential nominee believed enough progress had been made for him to travel to Mississippi to participate in the debate, set for 9 p.m. ET at the University of Mississippi campus.
Translated, the hit they would take by having a cut out appear in his place was greater than the flip flop on a very poorly planned strategic and politically pandering move.

Seems this campaign has been all about pandering starting with the van Palin pick. Tonight we'll see what elese they have up their sleeve. We know they have already declared victory in the Debate that hasn't even happened yet:
John McCain has apparently already won it -- if you believe an Internet ad an astute reader spotted next to this piece in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal this morning.
Screenshot here.

And they talk about Obama being presumptuous! It does, however, show their hand in that they never seriously planned on skipping the debate.

The Debate Shell Game

I had a great Cartoon for today, but with the debate itself up in the air, it isn't quite as appropriate.

Now, we all knew this week was going to be the 'Lowering Expectations Game', and Sen McCain has taken it to the extreme. Listen, I can't imagine this debate not happening and Sen. McCain allowing Sen Obama to have the stage all to himself. Seriously, that is exactly what will happen, so McCain will be there. But any flub, miss step, miscue, et al. will be written off as limited prep time.

Personally, if I can put on my conspiracy hat for just a moment (No, Tom, it isn't surgically attached *laughing*) I think this was a ploy to delay this debate so it could be replaced with the VP one, thereby sparing Governor Duck n Cover from her tilt with her Democratic counterpart. But we know McCain would NEVER play politics and the time of crisis.

OK, here's the cartoon anyway!


Maybe more later.

Flash

UPDATE: Seems my conspiracy theory was pretty spot on:
McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis.
McCain isn't showing everyone that he is unprepared to debate, he is showing them, definitively, he is simply not prepared to be President, and all the multiple tasks that go with that job. McCain took some bad advice and dug himself a big whole, with no ramp to get out via.

Obama will be in Mississippi tonight, and McCain will be best served to be there as well. It is the least damaging of options he has left. A no show will all but destroy his candidacy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Magic Number 4; Three Games Left

Great comeback, fantastic post season type atmosphere.

Twins are now up by 1/2 game with three left against KC.

The White Sox have a three game tilt with the Tribe, followed by a make up game with the Tigers on the 29th.

This is very doable, folks!

Flash -- Just trying to extend the Summer one day at a time!

Chew and Walk Gum

Seriously, Sen. John McCain definitively showed yesterday that he does NOT have what it takes to be President. He quite frankly admitted yesterday that he simply can not juggle more than one ball at the same time. Not a trait I want to find in our next President.

Sen Obama showed true leadership by his initial call at 8:30 AM to reach out and resolved this situation in a mutually beneficial way. All McCain did was steal the idea and try to make it his own. He went from being a follower to a fibber,

Then last night, we get President Bush's malaise speech.
"our entire economy is in danger,"

"We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis"

"The market is not functioning properly. There has been a widespread loss of confidence."

"America could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold."

"Even if you have good credit history, it would be more difficult for you to get the loans you need to buy a car or send your children to college. And, ultimately, our country could experience a long and painful recession." (ed- I just bought a vehicle, Tuesday at 3.9%. Painless and uneventful transaction. So I am not sure what he is talking about)
I tell ya, if there was any doubt the Right Wing of the Right Wing party was running scared, yesterday events resolved all doubt.

I'll leave you with a bit of lyrics from one of my favorite bands, Pablo Cruise from their song 'Running':
Running will get you no where when you're runnin' away . . . where are ya goin' . . . . talking goes no where when you ain't go nothing to say, who are you foolin'


Flash
(I'm out on a field trip the rest of the day, so have at it but try to be gentle *grin*)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Late Night Fix

The Letterman crew nails it. Boys was I in stitches:
George W Bush Ideas for Fixing the Economy

10) Why fix it if it ain't broke

9) Drill Arctic National Wildlife refuge for loose change

8) Sell cupcakes in front of the White House

7) Flip all them charts upside down (ed- My Favorite)

6) Encourage Americans to spend more -- if they don't, Cheney peppers them in the face

5) Most things seem better after a half bottle of Jim Beam

4) Let's just say the Lincoln Memorial is now the Tostitos Lincoln Memorial

3) Invent a car that runs on root beer. COme on, wehave an unlimited supply of root beer and we make it here iin American. Am I the only one thinking?

2) Put on a pair of glasses and shoot moose.

. . . and the #1 George W Bush idea for Fixing the Economy

1) Is Hillary still available for a 3:00 AM phone call!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Finger Pointing

There is more than enough blame to go around during this 'correction' of our markets. But the people, by 2:1, place most of it on the Right:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- By a 2-to-1 ratio, Americans blame Republicans over Democrats for the financial crisis that has swept across the country the past few weeks, a new national poll suggests.

That may be contributing to better poll numbers for Sen. Barack Obama against Sen. John McCain in the race for the White House.

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey out Monday afternoon, 47 percent of registered voters questioned said Republicans are more responsible for the problems currently facing financial institutions and the stock market; only 24 percent said Democrats are more responsible.
Personally, I don't think that is fair. Members of both sides of the aisle scuttled away opportunities to catch the economy before it went into complete and total free fall. Because of those decisions the country will need to take its lumps.

One thing we do know, is tax gifts to the rich don't work during troubled times, especially during times of war. They may be an effective strategy for short term reinvestment into capital in peace time if a recession is looming, but that isn't what happened with the Bush Gifts. The money was invested into the market to enhance personal wealth, creating an over valued market that has now virtually collapsed. The money that was suppose to be re-invested in the people was reinvested in self, and now everyone is losing.

So lets be clear, there is plenty of blame to go around, and regardless of what we think, the electorate gets to decide A) Who is responsible, and B) who they want to fix it!

Flash

UPDATE: A Senatorial candidate actually behaving . . Senatorial!!
Franken announced that he would only support a bailout plan if it adhered to these principles:

1. No blank check. “Not one dime should go to this bailout without independent oversight, real accountability, and complete transparency.”

2. Taxpayers get a stake. “If we’re footing the bill for keeping these companies afloat, taxpayers should get an equity stake so that we can share in the benefits when and if they get back on their feet.”

3. No golden parachutes. “In the public sector, there’s no such thing as a golden parachute. And if we’re going to sacrifice $2,000 for every Minnesota taxpayer to bail out these companies, these executives are going to learn about sacrifice, too. So, all excessive compensation, bonuses, and severance agreements are hereby cancelled.”

4. Bring back oversight. “We need to restore the regulatory framework dismantled with George W. Bush in the White House and Norm Coleman in the Senate so that this doesn’t happen again.”

5. Help homeowners. “The foreclosure crisis caused this problem, and we still haven’t taken the steps I’ve been proposing for months to address it. We have to freeze foreclosures and allow bankruptcy judges to re-set mortgages on primary residences.”

6. Protect consumers. “I’m calling for a new Financial Products Safety Commission with similar duties and powers to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

Monday, September 22, 2008

MN Still Presidential Toss Up

Don't mind my MDE type spin, I couldn't help it!

Right leaning Republican Pollster has the race all knotted up:
In Minnesota, Barack Obama has opened an eight-point lead over John McCain.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Minnesota voters finds Obama attracting 52% of the vote while McCain earns 44%
Oh, and you gotta love this one:
Obama is now viewed favorably by 64% of Minnesota voters, McCain by 52%. That’s quite a change from August when McCain drew the higher ratings.
And there is a reason that Coleman is running scared as well. Ole Senator Rubber stamp's best friend is struggling even worse then before.
President Bush’s job performance ratings have fallen this month in Minnesota. Now, just 27% rate his performance good or excellent, compared to 33% a month ago. Fifty-four percent (54%) say he is doing a poor job.
Later today a MN Senate poll will be released, but they already hint at those results:
The Senate race in Minnesota between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken remains a toss-up.
I can only presume that is a fore shadow to the release of their numbers later today, since the polling was done at the same time.

However, don't fret my GOP brethren, MN is a toss up! Get out there and spend spend spend your time and money here. Make sure McCain visits as often as possible. We like keeping you guys busy . . chasing your tail!

Flash

UPDATE: MN Senate still within margin of error:
Republican incumbent Norm Coleman has inched ahead of Al Franken in Minnesota’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race, with the introduction of a third-party candidate having virtually no impact on the contest so far.

Coleman, who is seeking a second term in the Senate, is ahead of Franken, a TV comedy writer and longtime Democratic activist, by a statistically insignificant one percentage point, 48% to 47%, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of voters in the state.

Last month Coleman and Franken were tied at 45% each.

Coleman has been under the 50% level of support in eight-out-of-nine polls conducted this year, always a sign an incumbent is potentially vulnerable. He was first elected to the Senate six years ago, with just under 50% of the vote.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

MBI FFL Week 3

I am three weeks into my first official foray back to Fantasy Football. It wasn't that long ago I was in two leagues, running one. But a few years back, with the kids becoming teenagers, I needed to move most everything off my plate. Now, I am taking small bites back, FFL being another chomp.

Last year I inherited a team, and it took me four weeks of wheeling and dealing to re-assemble a club that could win, but it was too little to late. This year I drafted my own team, and after a couple adjustments, I am 1 - 1 and ready to make my playoff run. Here is this weeks match up.

GO OPTIMATOR!
(click to enlarge)



I will probably be venturing to the Happy Gnome's Scotch and Whiskey Fest (complete with Cigar tent) after the game. Stop by if you are in the 'hood!

Flash

Quie on TPaw

On Sunday's, I do it the old fashioned way, I sort through the dead tree and go through it from cover to cover. What I found in today's 'Opinion' section was intriguing:
"I would wish for Tim a time at the end of his governorship when he would not be running again," said the state's 35th governor about the 39th. "That way, you can totally divorce yourself from politics" and focus on the good of the state.
Hmmmm, do you think TPaw may even be leaning this way. Is there a chance he may declare, soon after November, his own lame duckness and strive for repairing the damage he has done without the burden of a Right wing base pulling his puppet strings?

Quie understood those realities back in the 80's:
By the start of 1982, state revenues had dropped roughly 15 percent. School, city, county and state agency budgets were in tatters because of repeated cuts.

Quie, a fiscal conservative (though not of the no-new-taxes variety) had already swallowed a sales-tax increase.

The bleeding wouldn't stop. So in January 1982, Quie allowed a temporary income-tax surcharge to become law without his signature. And, on Jan. 25, he announced that he would not run again.
Recall the last time a Republican in this state . . . actually put the state first instead of their own political future. Now THAT's leadership!

Then he lays out the simple math that those of us that truly understand how things work, knew all along:
Before Quie left office a year later, more spending was cut and the income-tax surcharge grew. The economy improved. ("Don't wait until completely out of recession to increase taxes," Quie advises his successors. "People start thinking you can get along without that money. That's not good. The state has a responsibility to carry out the work society has given it. The longer you delay, the more damage you do to that work.")

By the time Gov. Rudy Perpich closed the books on fiscal 1983, the state was $500 million in the black. The surcharge disappeared, and government was stable until the next recession struck.
Now, you can't tax your way out of a recession, but a vulnerable state (and especially Federal) treasury can be as damaging, if not more so, to the fundamentals of the economy, than an increase in investment from those who can sustain the hit the best.

Look, I don't propose we raise taxes, and I don't propose we extend the tax gifts to the rich, but I am one of the many realists that believe everything should be on the table when entering good faith negotiations. Those that feel it is acceptable to immediately declare non negotiable revenue enhancements or decreases are not acting in good faith. And I will not vote for someone who has shown they will not act in good faith. That pretty much rules out anyone carrying the Republican brand, along with a handful of Democratic candidates as well.

Flash

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shortening

Regardless of the market situation, a broker, or market gambler can make money either way. In a short sell, you find someone that will 'borrow' you their stock and then YOU sell it (ie $10.00). You are betting the price will drop, so, after a period of time passes, you buy the stock back ($8.00) at the lower price, and return that stock to the original owner. In the example, you make $2.00. Bonus, huh! Not anymore:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission took what it called "emergency action" Friday and temporarily banned investors from short-selling 799 financial companies.

The temporary ban, aimed at helping restore falling stock prices that have shattered confidence in the financial markets, takes effect immediately.

"This will absolutely make a difference," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economists at Avalon Partners. "Short sellers are going to have to cover their positions very heavily."

Short sellers borrow stock with the aim of selling it, then buy it back at a lower price, hoping to pocket the difference. The commission said short sellers add liquidity to the markets during normal conditions, but recent unbridled short-selling has contributed to the recent tailspin in the stock market.
I can appreciate the attempt to control the wild fluctuations during this correction, but I hope this 'temporary' fix is a very limited one. The longer you mess with the market, the harder it will be for it to recover on its own. Eventually, the leash will have to be taken off again, and the longer it is on said leash, the more difficult the transition will be.

Flash

Thursday, September 18, 2008

ROCKtoberfest

ROCKtoberfest is this evening.
Rocktoberfest Kickoff!
Join Brewer Bryon Tonnis on Thursday, September 18 as we kick off another Oktoberfest season with the tapping of our Rocktoberfest Marzen Bier at 6pm. Stop by for a complimentary pint and “toast the fest” with Rock Bottom…PROST!
The lovely Mrs. Flash and I will be traveling via bicycle to DTown Mpls for the festivities. A most yummy German styla Marzen will be tapped. I suspect some Oompa Loompa band will be there. If you are in the neighborhood, stop down to 9th and Hennepin. Tapping is at 6:00, we should be there by 5:00.

Flash

Human Ingenuity at its Finest

The Bridge is Open:
Traffic is moving across the new 35W bridge that opened at 5 a.m.

The procession was led by representatives of agencies that were the first responders in the bridge collapse: fire, police, Hennepin County and North Memorial. They were followed by MnDOT trucks with sturdy, wide bumpers that kept drivers in line. The procession rarely went over 10 mph.
A part of the Twin Cities is whole again, but lest not forget those the most effected:
For more than a year, Andy Gannon has lived with the image of the Interstate 35W bridge heaving and tossing cars as it crashed into the Mississippi River and dropped out from under him.

With the 10 lanes of the gleaming new span set to open to regular traffic this morning, Gannon is eager to drive himself over it. He knows in his head that the bridge is safe, but he feels a strong need to physically prove to himself that he can trust it.
Unfortunately, the parkway isn't ready yet:
The Minnesota Department of Transportation had said the freeway bridge and the parkway would open at the same time. But MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said Tuesday that the parkway needed more paving and would reopen a few days later than planned.

Paths along the parkway will open when the road does, he said.
I guess our trip to Rock tonight will bee along the normal route. The Grand Rounds trail will have to wait for another day.

Flash

Sherry Engebretsen
Artemio Trinidad-Mena
Julia Blackhawk
Patrick Holmes
Peter Hausmann
Paul Eickstadt
Greg Jolstad
Scott Sathers
Christina Sacorafas
Sadiya Sahal
Hanah Sahal
Vera Peck
Richard Chit

UPDATE: CNN has more!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to the Future Past

DOW Closing 5/2/2008 -- 13,058

DOW Closing 9/17/2008 -- 10,610

Total Drop --> - 2,448 points

Percentage Drop --> NEGATIVE 18.75%

==

DOW Closing the day after President George W Bush's first inauguration

1/22/01 -- >> 10,578

Just sayin'

Flash

Dumping

via Cagle:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Catch a Falling Star . . .

. . . and put it in your pocket!
a funny thing happened: Palin lost some of her luster. Since Sept. 13, Palin's unfavorables have climbed from 30 percent to 36 percent. Meanwhile, her favorables have slipped from 52 percent to 48 percent. That's a three-day net swing of -10 points, and it leaves her in the Sept. 15 Diageo/Hotline tracking poll with the smallest favorability split (+10) of any of the Final Four. Over the course of a single weekend, in other words, Palin went from being the most popular White House hopeful to the least.

What happened? I'd argue that Palin's considerable novelty is starting to wear off. In part it's the result of a steady stream of unhelpful stories: her unfamiliarity with the Bush Doctrine during last Thursday's interview with Charles Gibson (video above); her refusal to cooperate with the Troopergate investigation; her repeated stretching of the truth on everything from earmarks to the Bridge to Nowhere to the amount of energy her state produces. That stuff has a way of inspiring disapproval and eroding one's support. (Interestingly, Palin's preparedness numbers--about 50 percent yes, 45 percent no--haven't budged.) But mostly it's the start of an inevitable process. Between now and Nov. 4, voters will stop seeing Palin as a fascinating story and starting taking her measure as an actual candidate for office.
Should have saved this candidate for a raining day. Instead, even McCain's Victory 2008 chair Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, is off message:
Palin would've been unqualified to lead HP--a slightly less demanding role than leading the free world. Today's exchange:

HOST: "Do you think she has the experience to run a major company like Hewlett Packard?"

FIORINA: "No, I don't. But that's not what she's running for."
The bounce has all but faded, recent Swing State Polls were taken during the post RNC Honeymoon. The world is slowly correcting itself.

Flash

The Day After the Market Crashed

The cleansing has begun, and those fiscal organization living on the edge are now facing the realities of this unstable economy. The GOP candidate for President can try to claim the fundamentals of the economy are strong, but one would have to admit the Stock market is a prime fundamental and, after yesterday, anyone whose sky is blue knows the stock market is at its most vulnerable.

The market is expected to open up mixed today. Buyers looking for bargains, sellers looking to unload. The fate of AIG hanging in the balance could be another straw on the camels back:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The pressure on American International Group reached fevered pitch on Monday night as the troubled insurer was hit by a series of credit rating downgrades.

The cuts could prove deadly to AIG, the nation's largest insurance company, which is scrambling to raise much-needed capital.

Late Monday night, Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services each said they had lowered their ratings.
Both candidates railed on the regulators; Obama:
"For eight years, we've had policies that have shredded consumer protections, that have loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans," the Illinois Democrat said during a rally in Grand Junction, Colorado. "The result is the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression."
but most interesting was Palin's GOP finger pointing and back stepping:
"Guys and gals, our regulatory system is outdated and needs a complete overhaul. Washington has ignored this. Washington has been asleep at the switch and ineffective, and management on Wall Street has not run these institutions responsibly and has put companies and markets at risk," Palin said during a rally in Golden, Colorado. "They place their own interests first instead of their employees and the shareholders who actually own these companies."
More regulation "our regulatory system is outdated and needs a complete overhaul. Washington has ignored this." from a GOP candidate. Funny thing is, she sounds more schooled on the realities of the economy then her ticket mate:
People are frightened by these events," McCain said. "Our economy -- I think still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong"
Ya know, in a 12 step program they say you can't fix something till you admit it is a problem to begin with. Maybe Sen McCain should check into an economic treatment program.

Flash

What is She Hiding?

Palin refuses to cooperate:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) -- Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin will not cooperate with a "tainted" legislative investigation into the firing of her public safety commissioner, the McCain-Palin campaign announced Monday, accusing supporters of Democratic rival Barack Obama of manipulating the probe for political motivations.
Of course, this is pure posturing, the investigation is a bi partisan effort that began before Palin was selected as McCain's VP and a clear signal to the lack of adequate vetting by the candidate himself.
Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, is battling allegations that she and her advisers pressured then-Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to fire a state trooper going through a bitter custody dispute with her sister -- and that Monegan was terminated when he refused. Palin says she fired Monegan over budget issues and denies any wrongdoing.

Monegan says while no one directly demanded Trooper Mike Wooten's dismissal, he felt pressured to do so by Palin, her husband and staff. He believes his refusal to fire the trooper led to his own firing. Upon the dismissal, Monegan was offered a position as executive director of the Alcohol Beverage and Control Board, but turned it down.
What we find in situations like this, is that if there is nothing to hide, then put yourself out there, got through it, get over it and move on. Now, if there is a there there, the best tactic is to scream foul and play the delay game until after the election.

If the McCain/Palin camp wants to complain about something legitimate, how about demanding CNN stop using this awful picture of her. That would at least be a fight worth fighting.

Flash

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

via CNN:
Pink Floyd keyboardist Wright dies

LONDON, England (AP) -- Richard Wright, a founding member of the rock group Pink Floyd, died Monday. He was 65.

Pink Floyd's spokesman Doug Wright, who is not related to the artist, said Wright died after a battle with cancer at his home in Britain. He says the band member's family did not want to give more details about his death.

Wright met Pink Floyd members Roger Waters and Nick Mason in college and joined their early band, Sigma 6. Along with the late Syd Barrett, the four formed Pink Floyd in 1965.
I saw Floyd back in '94 (June 22) during the Division Bell Tour. Wright was there, along with most of the crew (David Gilmour, Nick Mason with Jon Carin, Dick Parry, Guy Pratt, Tim Renwick, Gary Wallis, Durga McBroom, Sam Brown, Claudia Fontaine)

Flash

UPDATE: Mitch at his BEST!

Darkness before the Dawn . . .

John McCain states, today "The Economy is fundamentally sound . . .

-464.50
(-4.07%)
Dow 10,957.49

-74.89
(-3.31%)
Nasdaq 2,186.38

-53.98
(-4.31%)
S&P 1,197.72
The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 500 points, or 4.4%, according to early tallies. It was the biggest one-day point decline for the Dow since Sept. 17, 2001, when the market reopened for trading after having been closed in the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (SPX) index lost 4.5% and the Nasdaq composite (COMP) lost 3.6%.

Global markets tumbled as investors reeled after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch was forced to sell itself to Bank of America and investors awaited AIG's restructuring announcement.
Remember, it is all the Democrats fault . . .

Flash

Message from Texas

From a good friend who lives in a Houston Suburb:
Just to let all of you know, Hurricane IKE came and went and left major destruction in it's path. Luckily, we were spared any major destruction. However, we do have some major clean up ahead of us. We have no electricity (it's been off since 1:30am on Saturday. Hopefully we will get it back on today since many areas near us have had their power restored.

Believe me when I say that all of us in this area appreciate your prayers and concerns. We will make it through this as we always have in Houston. Based on the latest information, only 3 confirmed deaths has been attributed to IKE. When people were told to evacuate, most heeded the request.

One interesting side light was that the people who went around Galveston Island, where there was a mandatory evacuation, told those residents who didn't want to leave to please write their Social Security Numbers on their arms with a magic marker so they would be able to identify their bodies. Not surprisingly, many of them decided to leave. Unfortunately many did not. Galveston was virtually leveled.
Ways you can HELP!

Bridge to Open this Week?

All signs point to a return of a major traffic artery this week:
Gov. Tim Pawlenty and a host of other politicians will gather on the nearly completed bridge at 11 a.m. today to announce when the first cars will drive across, which could be as early as Tuesday. They'll also unveil details about the location and design of a memorial to the 13 people who died when the previous bridge collapsed on Aug. 1, 2007.
The completion of the bridge so early proves two main frustrations we have with Government. A) The system works . . when we really want it to. And B) if a financial carrot is big enough, work can get don e in a timely manner.

I suspect that they won't be popping champagne bottles for this one, considering the tragedy that got us to this point. But there is nothing wrong with controlled back slapping. Human ingenuity should be acknowledged and properly rewarded.

Personally, I just can't wait to have the West River Road bikeway restored for those Saturday afternoon workouts.

Flash

UPDATE: Thursday is the day!
Motorists can begin driving across the new Interstate 35W bridge at 5 a.m. Thursday, just over a year after the old one tragically collapsed into the Mississippi River and cut off a key Minneapolis artery.

Local, state and federal leaders gathered this morning on the replacement bridge to announce the completion of construction. They also explained plans for a permanent memorial to the 13 people killed in the August 1, 2007, disaster and the 145 who were injured.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering

All my hopes to the family and friends of those who lost loved ones on this tragic day. Below is a picture my son, Josh, who I took to NY in August of 2000. less then 13 months later, the towers were gone.
If you haven't read 'My 911 Story' you should. I was already preoccupied that day with life changing business.

What's YOUR 911 story?

All my hopes to a better tomorrow.

Flash

In Honor of Positive Politics Day, this will be my only post. I hope MDE joins us on this solemn day. (And he did, Thanks Michael.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Klobuchar Writes on van Palin

No, not the Senator, longtime STRIB columnist and papa to Amy. He shares an interesting take on the Palin Pick:
For all of her qualities, the attractive ones and the invented ones, she was brought into the campaign carrying one primary identity. She was going to be a distraction from the economic and political chaos and ruin the Republicans have created in the eight years of the Bush government.

And she is suddenly the principle player in the smoke and mirror strategy that was the one hope of the demoralized Republican cadres looking at an almost certain defeat.

Now, we are told by the pollsters, they are not.

The irony in this is that if they’re right, and the Republicans can pull this out amid the growing befuddlement of the American public, the country will be putting the keys to power back into the hands of the same invisible manipulators who have been running it into the ground for eight years, victimizing millions of powerless people and driving the richest country in the world to the edge of bankruptcy.. In other words, the Republicans want voters to re-elect the agents of their misery.

Nothing in the White House is essentially going to change, of course, if that happens. It may worsen.With McCain fumbling in the White House while reminding us daily of his biography, the Pentagon’s favorites will still hog the money. The financial industry, whose greed plunged millions of people into de facto poverty and out of their homes, will continue basically unregulated. A Democratic Congress can act, but today it needs 60 votes to pass anything of substance and you can usually subtract Joe Lieberman.

None of this has to happen if the American public looks seriously at the spreading ugliness of the country’s condition today. The government bureaus are filled with hacks whose primary condition of employment is to undermine the regulatory powers they were supposed to enforce. So the mortgage and credit card industries went wild and turned customers into paupers. Profiteers raided the people’s treasury. Failing financials and businesses demanded a bailout by the taxpayers. Shameless tax cuts to millionaires and endless war have shredded the schools’ ability to compete with the rising powers of China and India in the technical skills not only of the future but in the here and now.

The same behind- the-scenes operators who ran the government under George Bush will be back in a McCain White House, one likely to be even more inept and clueless. So essentially it will be guided by the same ventriloquists who will do most of the governing. The victims will be the same—the uninsured, the unemployed, the fading middle and working classes, and the faith all of those people put in the hands of a government once dedicated to the common good. There is a reason why American veterans, who fought to preserve that ideal or were put in harm’s way needlessly, are looking increasingly to Obama to bring the country back to its senses.
He;s still got it!

Flash

Mitch Makes Up the Definition . . .

I use it:
I know some of you leftymedia types read this blog. Where were you when your people attacked the delegates?
So I ask The Right ScaifeNet media (pardon the redundancy, I always like that one) where were YOU when YOUR People attacked at the DNC.

To wit:

ANARCHISTS GET GASSED BY RIOT POLICE AT DNC 2008
Protesters say police used overkill; cops say anarchists had rocks
DNC Protesters Say They Feel Like Political Prisoners

OK, back to reality, a place where Snark in the Dark hasn't visited in several years. Who exactly is "Unconventional Action"
Unconventional Action is an emerging network aiming to complement the work of local organizers in Denver and the Twin Cities with regional organizing throughout the rest of the country. Our goal is to build a horizontal, inclusive framework for protests that will disrupt the upcoming Democratic and Republican National Conventions. We are currently organizing meetings, propaganda, and consultas in our communities and encourage those in other regions to do the same.
The troublemakers bused to Denver first, then came here. Their goal is anti government, ant establishment, and has no ideological affiliation. But the bold faced liars at Snark in the Dark want to re-write reality. Since, well, reality isn't in their favor.

Flash

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I'm Number 3

Walked into my polling place just a few moments after they opened. I was voter #3. Only four races undetermined in my precinct, US Senate, and three judgeships. My Sample ballot can be found here. (PDF)

If you are not sure where to vote, hit up the precinct finder and get out there!

NOW VOTE!!

Flash

Monday, September 08, 2008

From Iraq via MySpace

Without comment, from Sgt. Tom:
Sep 8 2008 8:14 AM

I'm the coolest person on your myspace.
And man is it HOT OUT HERE! I'm longing for some of that 95 degree 100% humidity Minnesota summer weather! beats 135 in the shade any day!

Electoral Map Comparison

From Electoral Vote, a comaprison of the Electoral map today, and this moment 4 years ago:Sometimes a little perspective doesn't hurt.

I want NoDak to turn Blue, just for spite *grin*

Flash

Heard at the VMA's

via the AP:
Host Russell Brand drew hearty applause when he said in his opening monologue he hoped the U.S. would elect Barack Obama in November.

He said that "some people — racists" may not be ready to elect a black man as president, but then he noted that the nation was open-minded enough to put a "dumb cowboy" in office for eight years.
Hey, I didn't say it, he did. In the words of a cable news station, I just report, you decide!

Flash

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Coming Together

The egg shell dance as we approach the 9/11 anniversary has been successfully resolved as the two Presidential candidates have come together.

Both these candidates should, and will, visit Ground Zero. But the ability of the talking heads to twist this into a political use of this tragedy made for some awkward logistics. But now we know that both candidates will visit the hallowed grounds . . . together.

The Two Camps issues the following statement:
“On September 11, 2008, we will join together to mark the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at Ground Zero.

“All of us came together on 9/11 - not as Democrats or Republicans – but as Americans. In smoke-filled corridors and on the steps of the Capitol; at blood banks and at vigils - we were united as one American family. On Thursday, we will put aside politics and come together to renew that unity, to honor the memory of each and every American who died, and to grieve with the families and friends who lost loved ones. We will also give thanks for the firefighters, police, and emergency responders who set a heroic example of selfless service, and for the men and women who serve today in defense of the freedom and security that came under attack in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.”
It doesn't get much more American than that!

Flash

Time on Palin

As a subscriber to Time, I received their latest Issue with a Sarah Palin cover story. Gov. Sarah continues to be a mystery. Although I believe she is dead wrong on most every ideological issue, it is important for me to get to know her, to understand her, to relate to her. Reality is, she may be our next Vice President, so I am making a reasonable effort to learn as much as I can.

The Time article is a great mini bio. It humanizes her. I encourage anyone else who is as intrigued as I am about this candidate to take a moment and educate yourself. This article is a good place to start.

It begins:
Thursday, Sep. 04, 2008 By NATHAN THORNBURGH / WASILLA, ALASKA

They called themselves the elite six — and the name was meant to be ironic. This was Wasilla, Alaska, 30 miles (about 50 km) north of Anchorage, in the early 1990s — when the sagging economy meant, as a local recalls, "everyone had dust on their ass." There was nothing √©lite about this little town on the stretch of highway along the railroad. And there was nothing √©lite about the group either — six stay-at-home moms who sought one another out to escape the house and get some exercise in the long northern winter. They would do their step aerobics, then drive to a local diner for coffee and dessert. It was a lifeline in lean times.

The women are still friends 15 years later, still living in the same valley, still meeting up, though less often than before. They make time for their annual Christmas-ornament exchange the first week of December, just the six of them. They used to make the ornaments by hand, but who has the time now? This year they exchanged store-bought pieces.

All of the Elite Six gathered at a bridal shower in Wasilla on Sunday, Aug. 24. But one of them was in a rush. She showed up to say hi and drop off a present. She talked about her plans to take the kids that Friday to the state fair, a once-a-year festival of giant cabbages, salmon quesadillas, hippie jewelry and gun-rights information booths. "That was just her doing her Sarah thing," says Amy Hansen, 45, with a laugh. "Showing up in sweats, saying 'Oh, I can't stay long.' But can you believe she came by at all?"

It turns out Sarah Heath Palin wasn't actually going to the state fair. Three days later, she was secreted to a waiting plane that took her to Flagstaff, Ariz., and then driven to John McCain's ranch near Sedona.
Now, go read the rest!

Flash

Friday, September 05, 2008

VP Swap

If the Presidential candidates swapped VPs even up, would that effect your vote?

In my case, I would be more inclined to vote for a McCain/Biden ticket over a Obama/Palin ticket.

Discuss.

Flash

On Teen Pregnancy

This is NOT a post about teen pregnancy (its about 1:45 in), it is a post about Shrill O'Liely's hypocrisy. DAMN, I played the Name calling card. I try not to do that:

Falling Flat

The RNC ended last night . . . with a thud.

Once Mr. America came out on stage, and glided down the runway to accept his crown and sash, it was all downhill for him. The start was slow, the delivery sluggish. He couldn't even control his ownn crowd of 'fans', yet expects to control the country.

Look, I have a lot of respect for Senator McCain. He served nobly and honorably in service to his country, be it as a navy pilot, a captive, or in Congress. But he has sold out on all the things that built that respect. He parked his independence and maverick status at the door of the Republican Party to attain a personal goal of being President. He voted correctly on the Bush tax cuts that have decimated our economy, but now has flipped to ensure the support of his base. He was right the first time, and we have an economy to prove it, a true Maverick would be pointing that out right now, not pandering for a few more votes.

Now, to be fair, Sen. McCain did do something that most Republicans struggle with, and that's accept responsibility:
I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us.

We lost -- we lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger.
. . .
We lost their trust when we valued our power over our principles.
But the Senator went on to say, later:
instead -- instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn't think of them first, let's use the best ideas from both sides. Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, let's try sharing it.
and although it is the correct thing to say, one thing popped into my mind, and that was Candidate GW Bush's refrain, "I am a Uniter, not a Divider" and look how that worked out for us. One of the most divisive times in our nation, and a cynical electorate that is in desperate need of change.

For all the riot and rancor the Right dumps on Senator Obama, they must take pause and realize they created the environment for that star to shine. They nurtured a disgruntled society to a point they were looking for a fresh face and a new voice to lead us out of the failed policies and practices of the Republican controlled environment. They have only theirselves to blame, and no one to share it with.

We are in the final two month of the campaign, and it will get worse before it gets better. I will do my best to stay above the fray, and talk difference in issues, frustrations with proposed policies, and correct the lies and misdirection that will most certainly play a roll in this campaign. For in the end it isn't about me or you, or Obama/Biden or McCain/Palin. McCain is right about several things, but most importantly he is right about this:

Country First!

Flash

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's About van Palin

Right now, lets not talk about the content of the spiel specifically. Sure, we could fisk the lies, deceptions, whoppers and wallops, but lets talk about the Governor.

Just like the jockeying before a debate, the GOP was careful not to boost up Palin too much. The low expectation game was played to ensure that the Governor was not too intimidated by her new found stardom. When she took the stage, she took command.

Governor Sara Palin made it clear to the viewers that she was here to stay, and was not going to pull punches. She did the yeoman's work for a national campaign by going right at the jugular of her opponents. It is one thing to be able to speak from a teleprompter, while preaching to the choir. But it sure looks like she'll be able to hold her own.

The Governor is no longer a small player in a championship game. She'll need to be able to think on her feet, watch her mouth, and be concerned about what her every move, and every word could mean to the campaign. But as far as last night, she did the job, and did it well.

Congratulations, Governor Palin, today you get a pass, for last night was your night, and you met the challenge. But don't think I'll always be this nice for long. You are still wrong on most every issue, and issues matter . . . . unless of course you're John MCcCain's campaign manager.

Flash

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Should She Stay or Should She Go Now!

Plot thickens as we get to the acceptance speech this evening. Remember, I think van Palin is a perfect pick. This choice has nothing, nothing to do with the Governor and everything to do with the knee jerk reaction of the Republican nominee at the top of the ticket.

Atlantic Monthly has some interesting factoids. They Call it the Eagleton Scenario:
(B)y Monday night discussion among Republican operatives and reporters had turned to whether Palin would survive or become the first running mate since Thomas Eagleton in 1972 to leave a major-party ticket.
Oh, I loved this nugget:
On Monday, the InTrade futures market opened trading on whether Palin would withdraw before the election.
Re-Vetting?!?
With reporters and opposition researchers crawling through Alaska, and with the McCain campaign having dispatched its own team of lawyers to re-vet Palin, Republicans are wondering what shoe might drop next. If further revelations prove damaging enough, McCain could decide to replace Palin or she could choose to withdraw. While such an event seems unlikely given her popularity in some quarters of the party—Jacob Heilbrunn has suggested that social conservatives would view her ouster as “political infidelity”—her rocky reception makes the “Eagleton scenario,” and how it might unfold, a subject of more than academic interest.
A the day unfolds, you know the rumor mill will be churning. But lets be clear, I think van Palin is the perfect VP Pick for Sen. McCain. It shows the world the kind of strong judgment he truly has. really, I mean, truly . .no fooling . . .*grin*

Flash

Found on a Forum

Although I had on Channel 2 when she was speaking, I missed this:
RNC CO-CHAIRWOMAN JO ANN DAVIDSON. Thumbs down. Tonight in the X, you proudly exclaimed the "next Vice President of the United States" would be "Sarah Pawlenty!" Now, cumon. We're still busy enjoying the fruits of John McCain's 30 minutes of careful judgement in selecting Sarah Palin. No need to invent people

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

First Day of School

Crazy morning after a crazy day.

Obviously a lot of tumult in the downtown St. Paul area thanks to a handful of anarchists. It was nice to hear that the actual pro and anti marchers themselves were quite peaceful and respectful. There is always a few bad apples to ruin the fun for everyone else.

As for soon to be Grandma van Palin, the family is totally off limits. There is far too much low hanging fruit for anyone to want to risk distraction by saying things that are not germane.

Off to work, maybe more later.

Flash