Thursday, July 29, 2004

Hittin' the Road

I'll be hitting the road in a few hours. I won't be back until Tuesday evening late, possibly Wednesday. Sidebar updating will be non existent, so just hit their links to find out any changes while I am gone.

For those who are curious, here is a link to my primary destination.

Sounds on the Susquehanna

You all have a great weekend, and I'll be sure to have an update of my adventures upon my return.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Touring the Country

Well, not really the whole country. Thursday PM I will be heading out to central New York with my oldest. Some quality bonding time with my 14 year old stepson, while taking care of some Drum Corps business.

We'll be driving straight through to Endicott (about 17 hours) and spend the weekend there. We['ll pitstop in Flint, MI, where my in-laws live for a short visit, and then complete the journey home.

There is no better way to get a feel for the country's pulse then to hop on the Interstate and drive. Gas prices, bumper stickers, regional talk radio, and other nuances that are unique to each area.

New York City, a major democratic base, is what swings the state blue. Central New York, I suspect, is much more conservative. So for the most part, I will be spending my time in battleground areas. Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, PA (briefly) and through to NY.

I'll be touring in a Pontiac Transport van, comfortable and practical. It will not be a billboard, so no bumper stickers or other political paraphernalia. I'll be stealth, in my travels, and will see if I can get a feel for how other parts of the country are gauging this election season.

Being in Minnesota, where any credible poll shows Kerry in a walk, I need to get to where the true battles will take place.


Sunday, July 25, 2004

Good times were had by all!

Welcome to many of you who I met last evening at the Minnesota Blogger Blowout hosted by the Northern Axis crew. There are several 'reviews' of the event, be sure to check out Shot in the Dark's perspective, and then stop by Fraters who have the most comprehensive list of those in attendance.

By sure to stop back, as most of you are on the wrong Right side of the aisle. Everyone can use a little balance in their political diet.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Minnesota's Best Kept Secret

I digress periodically, from political punditry, to promote what I have always called the best kept secret in the country, Drum and Bugle Corps. Tonight on the KARE11:Extra viewers will be treated to the passion of the marching arts.

I have been involved in the activity for over 25 year. Most of my career has been spent with Minnesota Brass, Incorporated. As recently as 2003, I marched a Spanish themed 'Dreams and Fantasy' show. Even while in ones 40's, I could still hold my own with the young pups that fill the corps today. We defended our Midwest Championship, and captured 4th place at World Championships.

Unfortunately, the time and energy to perform at a World Class level, prohibits a family man like myself from participating every year. I hope to return in 2006, for the corps' 60th anniversary.

This year, the corps is 'Moondancing', and KARE11 will spend about 5-7 minutes taking the viewers on a highspeed tour of the corps' development. The segment follows a first year member, and a seasoned vet, from the first rehearsal in the fall, through Midwest Championships in DeKalb, IL earlier this month.

Although I won't get any 'face time' in the production, I was the primary contact with Reporter Allan Costantini, so feel some ownership in the final product. The promos I have seen already have me excited.

I think you should be sure to tune in, Thursday, the 22nd, Channel 11, during the 10:00 PM newscast.

You don't want to miss it!


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Swinging Lifestyle in our Political World

The Elder over at Fraters has a great screed today. He begins with a Tongue and Cheek review of Hugh Hewitt's latest book, (which I'll be glad to read if he wants to borrow it to me when he is done) being sure to mention the perpetual pissing contest that exists between these to 'boys' You'd think they were Frat Brothers or something.

But more interesting to me, was a conversation (more like debate it seems) with a 2000 Bush voter, who will be pulling the Libertarian lever. Elder goes on to mention:
For the most part he supports the actions taken in the war against Islamist militants and agrees that Bush's tax cuts have helped stimulate the economy out of recession. But he's not voting for Bush in November. He's pulling the libertarian lever instead.

We went round and round with him on this decision. How a vote for the libertarian candidate was a vote for Kerry, how you could never find a candidate with perfect views to fit yours, how this was the most important election in years (at least since 1980), how you needed to weigh the most important issues and vote on them, how Bush could actually win the state this year, etc. etc. All to no avail.

See, what the 'Right' continues to ignore, is that there is a growing dissatisfaction with the current administration, but the 'toe the line' mentality is blinding those from the dissent among their own ranks. The Elder recognizes this, but has no answer. Even an extended debate with 'one of them' was all for naught.

There is much talk of the ABB hatred. But never on the 'Right' do I hear any of them try to understand why that hatred exists. I have my guesses, and as the 'honey do' list becomes a little more manageable, I hope to tackle it. For now, as long as the Righty Tighties ignore the alienation this administration continues to project, Kerry moves closer and closer to victory, and THAT is fine with me!


Saturday, July 17, 2004


My favorite from the STRIB this AM:

What was his name?

Republicans have a point about John Edwards' lack of experience. The last time an inexperienced politician took office, he alienated most of the world by abandoning global treaties, ignoring international law and starting a war for no apparent reason.

David G. Theisen, Minneapolis.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Martha, Martha, Martha . . .
Martha Stewart will spend some time in federal prison.
Pending appeal, Martha will begin with 5 months of incarceration, followed by 5 months of house arrest. The edict included two years probation and a $30,000 fine.
Meanwhile, a group of the Domestic Diva's supporters are petitioning the White House for an act of clemency. The petition bore over 14,000 signatures as of this morning. No word on where GW is on this, but you can suspect that there won't be anything until after the election. Maybe George has a special Christmas present for all his corporate friends.
The walls . . . come tumbling down . . .

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Shot in the Foot

"Judge declares state's gun law unconstitutional"

On a technicality, Judge John Finley decided it was unconstitutional to package the 'Minnesota Personal Protection Act" with what he described as a "totally unrelated bill relating to the Department of Natural Resources."

Personally, I don't have a problem with the MPPA. Reality is, we have good guys walking around with a few guns, instead of just all the bad guys who would have guns anyway.

Attorney General, Mike Hatch, said he will appeal the ruling. How vigorous he does so, will be interesting to see.

Rasmussen State Polling

For your perusal:

Any poll with 5 percentage points is considered a Toss-Up.

254 Kerry
197 Bush
87 Toss-Up

= = = = = = = = = = = =

July 12, 2004

Kerry 50% Bush 42%

Kerry 46% Bush 45%

Kerry 53% Bush 39%

Kerry 50% Bush 41%

Bush 63% Kerry 31%

Kerry 50% Bush 41%

South Carolina:
Bush 53% Kerry 36%

New York:
Kerry 58% Bush 30%

July 11, 2004

Bush 52% Kerry 38%

Kerry 53% Bush 37%

Bush 52% Kerry 41%

July 10, 2004

Kerry 46% Bush 44%

Bush 48% Kerry 45%.

July 9, 2004

Kerry 48% Bush 43%

Bush 46% Kerry 42%

July 8, 2004

Bush 48% Kerry 44%

Kerry 48% Bush 44%

Kerry 46% Bush 45%

July 7, 2004

Kerry 60% Bush 31%

Bush 55% Kerry 37%

New Jersey:
Kerry 51% Bush 41%

July 6, 2004

North Carolina:
Bush 49% Kerry 42%

July 5, 2004

Kerry 52% Bush 38%

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Bouncing Ball

Several polls have come out over the last week, showing various degrees of improvement now that Edwards is on the Ticket. The RNC high-balled their bump prediction, claiming up to a 15% up-tick by the end of the DNC convention. Those of us that actually pay attention know that the bases were shored up long ago, and a few point movement of undecideds might creep into the results based on current events, with the possibility of them becoming unsure again. There is so much that can happen between now and November, but the trends are clearly moving into a 'vote the bum out' direction!

My greatest fear, however, is that Bush will actually make a leadership decision and can the dead weight on his own ticket, Dick Chenney.

Hypotheticals were thrown out in the Newsweek Poll (7/8-9/04), with these results:
 Bush/Cheney Kerry/Edwards Other/Undecided   

45 51 4

Bush/Powell Kerry/Edwards Other/Undecided
53 44 3

Bush/McCain Kerry/Edwards Other/Undecided
49 47 4

Bush/Frist Kerry/Edwards Other/Undecided
43 53 4

Even I would consider voting for a Bush/Powell ticket. The best advice to the Kerry campaign I've seen lately, is Kerry should DEMAND for Cheney's resignation or replacement. That will back GW into a corner, and leave him stuck with Tricky Dicky on his ticket, virtually assuring Kerry victory. See, GW is to damn stubborn to admit mistakes, and he certainly would not even consider making a decision suggested by the evil Left.

Funny how easy it is to have BushCo play right into the game.


Friday, July 09, 2004

We coulda used Ken

In a return to the Keagan's Thursday evening trivia contest, the Minnehaha All-Stars improved their score, but were still unable to dethrone the Frater's Boys. With knowledge of the Global Position architecture, and obscure Country Western Grammy questions, we may have made a better run for it.

Now, if we would have been able to corral Ken Jennings, we would have been unstoppable. For those Jeopardy fans out there, Ken won his 27th game on Thursday and has accumulated $868,960 in winnings. What is more amazing, is that come Final Jeopardy, he is almost always dealing with a run-away, whereby his total is already double his next closest opponent. The next record in sight for him, consecutive game show appearances. The current record, is 46, on the old Tic Tac Dough show.


UPDATE: Ken tied the single game Jeopardy record today. He added $52,000 to his total, bringing him to $920,960. I think I'll have to start a 'Ken Watch' on my sidebar. That oughta jinx him for sure!
Sack in the AM

The latest from Steve Sack, editorial cortoonist for the Strib:


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

First Choice, yeah right!!

The Tony Snow Show, FOX News Radio, July 7, 2004
SNOW: . . . Now John Kerry, is it true that John Kerry asked you to be his vice president?

McCAIN: Uh, no. No, it was never offered.
Just add the 'First Choice' charge to the long list of deception emitting from this administration. It's no wonder Bush is a failed leader, no one trusts him anymore. He is no longer believable.

In less then 120 day, we will be on our way to restoring credibility to the White House.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Kerry-Edwards: A New Team for a New America

Kerry campaign E-Mail

In just a few minutes, I will announce that Senator John Edwards will join me as my running-mate on the Democratic ticket as a candidate for vice president of the United States. Teresa and I could not be more excited that John and Elizabeth Edwards will be our partners in our journey to make America stronger at home and respected in the world.
You are the heart and soul of our campaign. You've shattered records and expectations every step of the way. Every time someone said you couldn't do it, you proved them wrong. Because of your incredible grassroots energy and commitment, I wanted to make the first official announcement of my decision to you -- more than one million online supporters at

I want you to know why I'm excited about running for president with John Edwards by my side. John understands and defends the values of America. He has shown courage and conviction as a champion for middle class Americans and those struggling to reach the middle class. In the Senate, he worked to reform our intelligence, to combat bioterrorism, and keep our military strong. John reaches across party lines and speaks to the heart of America -- hope and optimism. Throughout his own campaign for President, John spoke about the great divide in this country -- the "Two Americas" -- that exist between those who are doing well today and those that are struggling to make it from day to day. And I am so proud that we're going to build one America together.

In the next 120 days and in the administration that follows, John Edwards and I will be fighting for the America we love. We'll be fighting to give the middle class a voice by providing good paying jobs and affordable health care. We'll be fighting to make America energy independent. We'll be fighting to build a strong military and lead strong alliances, so young Americans are never put in harm's way because we insisted on going it alone.

I can't tell you how proud I am to have John Edwards on my team, or how eager I am for the day this fall when he stands up for our vision and goes toe-to-toe with Dick Cheney.

This is the most important election of our lifetime, and a defining moment in our history. With you by our side every day of this campaign, John and I will lead the most spirited presidential campaign America has ever seen and fight to lead our nation in a new and better direction.

Thank you,

John Kerry

Now the question is who is Bush going to run with. I honestly doubt it will be Cheney. Any guesses?!?


Sunday, July 04, 2004

On This Day, 228 years ago . . .

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--

Read it all here, everyone should!

Have a safe and healthy Independence Day holiday!!


Friday, July 02, 2004

Light Rail incident

Some have predicted that it won't take time before there is a serious accident related to the new Light Rail system that began service this week.

Although there is nothing in the local media, the chatter at Rock Bottom last night was buzzing about an emergency room trip due to a train related accident.

I'll keep my eyes open too see if there is any confirmation.


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Fecke is back to Fisking

Jeff Fecke is back. After a multi month hiatus sorting out domestic realities, he has strapped the keyboard back on. It couldn't have happend at a more opportune time!

Glad things are working our for ya, Jeff!


I had stated my Veep preference soon after Kerry became the presumptive nominee. The conventional wisdom has the money on Edwards, but I am not sure if that would be the best pick right now. You know the Clinton establishment has their eyes set on 2008, and don't want to have to deal with an up and comer like Edwards, should Kerry let the elections slip away.

Now, the question is who WILL he pick. I still think Edwards is too ambitious of a politician for serious consideration at this point. If I were a betting man, I'd go with Iowa Governor Vilsack. Iowa polls show Kerry leading, and this pick will not only lock in those electorals, but provide the geographic balance needed of a veep pick.

We'll all find out next week.