Monday, October 31, 2005

Good News, Bad News

Recent polling in the Twin Cities' Mayoral show a spilt decision for incumbency:

Good news
for Rybak, who was sputtering after a surge by McLaughlin during the Summer:
According to the University of Minnesota poll, 44 percent of likely voters said they would vote for Rybak while 35 percent would vote for McLaughlin. The two DFLers face off in the Nov. 8 election.
and Bad News for Kelly, with the results of the latest number crunching confirming the dismal news (61 - 28) from last week:
A survey conducted by the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs found that 61 percent of likely voters said they supported Coleman, a former St. Paul City Council member, while 26 percent said they would vote for Kelly. About 13 percent are undecided. Kelly and Coleman are both DFLers who will meet in the nonpartisan election on Nov. 8.
If these number hold, it will make for a yawner come next Tuesday.



At the half way point of the NFL Season. It is clear I have met my match for point spread prognostication. Although neither of us had a very good outing this weekend (both going 1-2), I am willing to call this match-up based on the unwritten 12 Pack rule. With a nice round number of 12, I can find various malted beverages that are packaged in a nice dozen (I know, 11 isn't 12, but if LF has any heart at all, we'll crack open that baby and share a beverage in his honor). A fifteen pack would limit Foot's selection to a small variety that may not adequately allow him to enjoy the spoils that victory brings.

My hat is off to Freddie the "Foot' and I encourage him to pick on someone his own size for the remainder of the season. Seems King has been taunting him all year anyway. Maybe it is time he put him money where is Foot is.

Game, Set and Match to the Learned one. I call for a rematch next season. Of course, we have hoops season just around the corner. I have had better luck in that environ, anyway.


Snip, Snip, Here, Snip, Snip, There

More 'useless' programs on the chopping block. I guess all the pork has been trimmed already:
House Republicans voted to cut student loan subsidies, child support enforcement and aid to firms hurt by unfair trade practices as various committees scrambled to piece together $50 billion in budget cuts.

More politically difficult votes -- to cut Medicaid, food stamps and farm subsidies -- were on tap Thursday as more panels weigh in on the bill.
With the midterms campaigns slowly gearing up, I guess the Right needs to do the painful work sooner, rather then later in hops the electorate will forget. Either that, or they realize that their days are numbered and they better get the butcher knife out while they still have control.


It's Scalito!

Samuel Alito has been tapped to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. Alito replaces Miers name being offered to the senate as her nomination was scuttled by the once loyal Right Wing Fringe.
Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. has been a strong conservative jurist on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, a court with a reputation for being among the nation's most liberal.

He is to be nominated today to the Supreme Court, according to news reports.

Dubbed "Scalito" or "Scalia-lite," a play not only on his name but his opinions, Alito, 55, brings a hefty legal resume that belies his age. He has served on the federal appeals court for 15 years since President George H.W. Bush nominated him in 1990.
Let the games begin.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Footblogging #7 (NFL #8)

OK, I had this nice post all ready to go. I said wonderful things about the Foot and King and was prepared to except defeat. Then it was all lost in the click of the Blogger Publish button.

I don't have time to rebuild it at this point, but may make everything all fancy looking later. But in the interest of timeliness, here is my call for the weekend.

1. Arizona @ Dallas (-9).

Cowboys fail to cover, take Arizona

2. Miami @ New Orleans (-2).

Miami huge in a much needed breakout game for them

3. Jacksonville (-2.5) @ St. Louis.

Jags cover, and then some.

Oh, and one more thing, FOOT!! What kind of beer do you like?


Friday, October 28, 2005

Scooter out, Addington In

The indictment of Scooter Libby, today, begins the shake up of the White House staff. David Atkinson is slated to replace Libby as Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff.
If Libby is indicted, Cheney counsel David Addington will replace him as chief of staff, sources close to the Cheney's office say. Addington is another longtime Cheney aide who worked for him at the Pentagon.
Although Rove dodged an indictment today, he is still under investigation as it is clear Fitzgerald wants to be thorough in preparing a strong prosecution case. Former RNC Chairman Ed 'Dizzy' Gillespie is marked to replace Rove once the indictment comes down.
A source familiar with Bush's worst-case plans said he would likely tap ex-GOP Chairman Ed Gillespie to replace Rove if he is indicted.

Also under consideration is bringing back former White House political director Ken Mehlman. He is the GOP chairman and is considered to be valuable to the Republicans for the upcoming midterm congressional elections.
The blind leading the blind. At what point do you think this President would recognize it is time for a fresh start to salvage his second term

Doc dump should be available here.


Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was indicted today by a grand jury on one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury in the CIA leak probe. A news release from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald says Libby allegedly lied "about how and when in 2003 he learned and subsequently disclosed to reporters then-classified information concerning the employment of Valerie Wilson by the Central Intelligence Agency."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

St. Paul Mayoral Poll Released

Results (emphasis mine):
Former City Council Member Chris Coleman's nearly 2-to-1 primary election lead over St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly appears to be widening significantly, according to a poll conducted this week for the Pioneer Press.

Coleman now leads Kelly 61 percent to 28 percent, according to a telephone survey of 400 registered St. Paul voters who say they plan to cast a ballot on Nov. 8. The poll, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, has a margin of error of 5 percent.
Although I am undecided, which is movement away from Kelly whom I voted for in the primary, I am not yet sold on Coleman yet. However, it looks like that there isn't much hope for the DINO, as he will have to come up with a miracle finish to close that +30% gap.


Back to the Drawing Board

Miers Out:

The fringe wins, and the President is even more of a lame duck then he was already. I guess all that talk about the President having the right to pick whoever he wants, every nominee deserves a fair hearing and an up or down vote, doesn't mean anything unless it is the person you personally want.

As usual, Jeff says it better than I ever could:
What this does do, in the end, is destroy the ability of the right to paint the Democrats as partisan should the next nominee be filibustered. While the spin from the right will be that Miers was scuttled due to Democratic opposition, nobody is going to buy it. It was the right that prevented Miers from getting her "up or down" vote. That makes it harder for them to complain the next time the left takes similar action.
Two Term George has been so marginalized over the last several weeks I am not sure how much power or control he has anymore. It's going to be a long three years for him.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Outing of an Anonymous Blogger

MNGOPWatch is now reporting that the purported identity of MDE has caught the eye of a "major national political publication".

If MDE's identity is confirmed, I believe it will only go towards his ultimate goal of "fostering a truthful discussion on Minnesota Democrats." Debating political ideology anonymously, in the US, has it's roots during the birth of this nation. But once you leave the confines of ideology, and enter the realm of personal attacks, the line has been crossed. Now, keep in mind this is only my personal view, the courts have recently ruled otherwise.

Regardless, MDE may now have to join us all in taking credit AND responsibility for every post.


Three Years Ago Today

I man, his wife and daughter, along with three staffers and the two pilots passed away three years ago today.

The man may have left us on this earth, but his dream lives on.

Thanks, Paul, for making this world a better place!


Monday, October 24, 2005

An Inspiration to us all!

An Icon passes:
Rosa Parks, whose act of civil disobedience in 1955 inspired the modern civil rights movement, died Monday in Detroit, Michigan. She was 92.


In March, I shared my frustration regarding the anonymity of MDE, specifically related to his cybersquatting on potential DFL campaigns' domain names. MNGOPWatch is reporting, and MDE confirms, he relinquished those names.
Minnesota Democrats Exposed is dedicated to truthful discussion on the activities, statements, and tactics of Minnesota Democrats. I realized that if I kept the website domain names, I was preventing and not fostering a truthful discussion on Minnesota Democrats.

My decision to voluntarily relinquish ownership of the domains should not be misunderstood as a repudiation of this tactic.

But if I had the chance to do it over, I would not have purchased the domains.
I have a new found respect for MDE. I still feel it is over the line to participate in personal attack, rather then the discussion of political ideology, anonymously. But if Mr. MDE was willing to make this move in the interest of 'truthful discussion' I will give him the benefit of the doubt.


In the Beginning . . .

The website is ready, and indictment speculation is running wild. Even the President is in a tizzy as what could be the worst week of his presidency begins.

But the new game is town is how did it all begin, and who was the one who was the catalyst in the early stages of the conspiracy. An interesting name has surfaced, and it is one you will all be familiar with, John Bolton:
A little bird told another little bird who told me:

"As the Valerie Plame case comes to a head and indictments handed out, the underlying question should be where did this effort to undermine Plame/Wilson begin? Who is patient zero in this viral spread of retaliation? A theory brought to me by a trusted source inside the government is below. Curious to hear thoughts and reactions as the more I read it, the more it sounds believable.

"One name being vastly overlooked as it pertains to Plame is that of John Bolton. And when I think of it even more, this has a lot of Bolton's prints on it.
I'm not agreeing or disagreeing, just throwing it out there. Speculation is healthy and it keeps the mind fresh!


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Footblogging Week 6 Complete

It's been a busy weekend for me and I am awfully tired. With a 5:00AM Red eye flight, I am going to have to take a quick nap here so I can be relatively fresh for the hour drive to Buffalo. The bonus for me is I will be home by 10:00AM and able to witness the Toilet Bowl at Noon. I guess it is the Packers, so maybe if the newsies can make it more then 5 minutes without mentioning Das Booty, we will be able to concentrate on the game itself. But I still have two more games to lock in before kick off tomorrow, so here goes:

2. San Francisco at Washington (-12.5).

I simply can not expect any NFL club to cover a 12.5 spread. I just can't. Unless of course it is the Colts playing the Queenies. And as horrid and San Fran may be, they are still not the Queens.Take Frisco and the points

3. Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (-1).

This may as well be a pick'em game. Conventional wisdom should convince me that the Steelers are a cinch, but they are pretty banged up. I am not sure if even a gimpy Sophomore Quarterback will be able to hold of the team that is no longer bungling. I was going to just flip a coin on this one, but I have to believe the Bengals are for real.So take Cincy in a close one, but not closer then one

So that's it. Foot's are here. I'm taking a nap now.


UPDATE I officially suck worse then the Vikings. After correctly giving the Chiefs the nod on Friday (But so did Foot), I swing and miss on the other two. The Vikes . . . .it wasn't pretty, but any win over the Packers is a good win!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Footblogging Week 6 - Partial

I'm off to the airport, but with Wilma approaching, one of the games this weekend has been moved to this evening, so here is my take on that tilt. The rest will come later in the weekend.

1) Kansas City at Miami (-2). I'll go with the early spread that had KC the favorite. Chiefs over the Fishies

More later if I have Net Access. Should arrive in hotel by dinner time.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Hatch Letter

I received the Hatch letter today.

Many other sites have been reporting the confirmation of Hatch's announcement on October 24. Below is a quick scan of the letter and the accompanying bumper sticker.

Game on!


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

National Geographic: Inside 9/11

The DVD "National Geographic: Inside 9/11" was released today. I have had both parts sitting on my TIVO for some time. I must say, this is the definitive 9/11 documentary.

Crammed into under 4 hours of video time is a step by step look at the events leading up to that horrific day (Episode 1: War on America)
"War on America" opens with the dramatic 1993 World Trade Center bombing and tracks terrorist activities aimed at U.S. targets throughout the 1990s leading up to the horrific morning of September 11, 2001. With each successful attack, terrorist networks become more emboldened. The organization and the legend of Osama bin Laden grow.

Meet Osama bin Laden as a young Saudi businessman who arrives in Afghanistan to raise funds to help those hurt by the war. Follow this wealthy and privileged son of a self-made billionaire as he rises through the ranks of Islamic terrorist society and remakes himself into a mujahedeen warrior. Hear how bin Laden is schooled in the teachings of radical Palestinian leader Dr. Abdullah Yusuf Azzam as Azzam calls for violent jihad, or holy war, against all enemies of the Islamic state, including the United States, most Western nations and Israel. The extreme hatred for those outside the Islamic faith becomes the cornerstone of al Qaeda's ideology from the mid 1990s until today and is the basis of bin Laden's power.
and a detailed look at the unfolding of the attacks themselves (Episode 2: Zero Hour).
It is a beautiful morning. Nathan Goldwasser is starting his usual day at work in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, as are Ed Nichols and Stanley Praimnath in the South Tower. Sheila Moody arrives at her office at the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, the 19 terrorists are boarding planes in Boston, Newark and Dulles, Virginia. They monitor the flight crews, waiting for the right moment to execute their evil plan.

At 8:14 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 is hijacked. Relive the last precious moments as flight attendants call their supervisors on the ground to report the murders of fellow crew members. Listen as they describe the scene on board.
If you haven't seen it yet, you simply must. Check your cable listings or TVGuide, or better yet, buy the DVD for your archives. That is what I plan on doing.

There is plenty of blame to go around. Clinton gets hammered for wag the dog missile attacks and lackadaisical efforts following the USS Cole attack. Bush is cornered regarding his failure to acknowledge the signals coming his way regarding terrorist activities leading up to the attacks.

This documentary is the most objective take on the myriad of events surrounding that infamous moment in history. Both those on the Left and Right should be sure they digest this film in its entirety.

Now go watch it . . . . NOW!


L'Affaire Plame

A short work week for me, and then I fly out to Rochester, NY for Fall Drum Corps meetings. But the PlameGate Grand jury is getting close, and Fecke at BotML is your source for the latest. He points us to Talking Points Memo with these tidbits:

There's mention of this involving Cheney again; Fitzgerald's office made a point of noting that when an announcement is made on indictments, it will be made in Washington (where the Grand Jury is empaneled) and not in Chicago (where Fitzgerald is based); There are a series of names mentioned as interviewees, including Mary Matalin, Catherine Martin, and Jennifer Millerwise.

Jeff also mentions Wonkette, who thinks Wednesday will be the big day.

So while I finish up my work week, and prepare for my flight, you now have the links necessary to watch the Bush admin implode.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Time to Remember

The following E-Mail has been circulated throughout the Drum Corps and Marching Arts community. I felt it important to share these kind and thoughtful words to those of you who may not be aware of the positive things that are being done in the Public School extra curricular environment. The author is Pat Seidling, current corps director of the Phantom Regiment drum and bugle corps. Although Pat and I have had differences regarding the future of the drum corps activity, we share in the grief of losing individuals who play such a selfless role in nurturing the young people who participate in our activity. Hopefully you will have a new understanding of the great loss the Chippewa Falls' community is feeling this day:
This past Saturday night the Wisconsin State Marching Band Championships were held in Whitewater. Though not near as serious of a competition as we see in states like Indiana, and certainly few if any bands are as sophisticated as are in Texas, it is nonetheless an enthusiastic event, with over 30 bands in 4 classes competing.

Chippewa Falls High School from north-west Wisconsin has proudly sent their band to compete at this event and has done so since the early 1980's. They always do well and place near the top of the largest class. This year they took 3rd, and no doubt the kids had a ball. After the show the band loaded their buses and headed back up interstate 94 west and towards home, 4 charter coaches in all.

With only 30 miles to go, at about 2 am this Sunday, the lead bus came over the top of a hill only to meet a jack-knifed semi head on. With no time to react, and really no where to go anyway, since the semi blocked both lanes, the bus hit the semi.

Band director Doug Greenhalg, his wife Therese, his 11-year old granddaughter Morgan and student teacher Brandon Atherton were all seated in the front row of the bus. They, along with the driver Paul Rasmus, were killed.

About 30 students were hurt, as many as six med-evac helicopters flew the injured to hospitals in Eau Claire, St. Paul and other places. I can only imagine the horror of that night for those kids.

This tragedy is not about me in any way, shape or form. But it hits home in that Doug, his family and Brandon were doing what we all love to do: teach kids, create music and travel. That they died is so tragic; that they died while doing what I know they loved to do is bitterly ironic.

I was born in Chippewa Falls, my Dad went to that school. I grew up in the town next door (Eau Claire). I first met Doug Greenhalg 22 years ago when he was hired at that school. We remained friends ever since. He was a good man.

He was a drum corps guy too, marched in the Wausau Story and taught at my home-town corps (Sundowners) off an on over the years, and for a few years he judged extensively in the DCM circuit. Red-beard, leather jacket and always easy-going and friendly. Maybe some of you Midwesterners reading this recall him?

The story of the Chippewa Falls (us locals call it "Chi-Hi") band is a story in itself: 25 years ago this small town of 20,000 people had little to point to with pride. In fact, a national news story proclaimed that it had one of the highest teen-pregnancy rates. The other schools in the area boasted great sports, or jazz bands, or theater. Someone in that district realized no school in the area was doing marching band seriously, so they thought they could perhaps claim that as their point of pride. They hired Doug (because of his drum corps experience), gave him a very nice budget to work with and off he ran. Doug has been the man at Chi-Hi ever since, and there is no question he not only created a good band, but he gave an entire community a special gift.

Thank God none of the students were killed. We all know that is our deepest fear, each and every time we load those buses and hit the road. These kids don't come here to get hurt.

That the students lost their teacher in such a tragic and instant way is profoundly sad. The assistant band director Brian Collicott, (an alumni of Guardsmen and Madison Scouts), was injured and airlifted away. As I type this he is alive. I know Brian from my days with Madison. A wonderful man: hilarious, extremely talented and a fine teacher. He needs to live.

I haven't seen Doug nor Brian for a few years. I hope that the last time I spoke to either it was in kindness and joy, because they are truly good people.

Tonight I am reminded of how important our work as teachers are - and how all of us who teach or work to provide this experience, be it band, corps, drum line or guard - are truly blessed. In this cold manner of electronic communication, I hope you can sense my deepest appreciation for all you do, and for being my friend. I am so thankful to get to live this life with you. I wish I had taken the time to say so to Doug.

Be safe my friends, Pat
UPDATE: Band parent Tom Arneberg has built this webpage to provide updates on the status of those injurred and other news articles.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Tragedy on 94

At least 5 are dead, including some students, in a Bus/Semi crash on I-94 this AM:
A bus carrying high school students home from a band competition collided with a semi truck early today, killing five passengers, the Wisconsin State Patrol said.

About 30 people were transported to area hospitals after the crash, which took place shortly after 2 a.m. on Interstate Hwy. 94 west of Osseo, patrol spokesman Brent Pickard said. The students from Chippewa Falls High School were returning from a competition at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, some 200 miles to the southeast of Chippewa Falls. Osseo is approximately 115 miles east of Minneapolis.
Some pics here.

I've been on many coach busses in my travels with the drum corps I have performed in. I have marched on the exact same field in Whitewater where these students were returning from. I have broke down, stalled, delayed, and have witnessed mishaps on the bus requiring trips to emergency rooms. But never have I been a part of a bus convoy that was involved in an accident. I can only imagine the horror and hurt that unfolded during this tragedy.

My heart and prayers go out to the members, family and friends of the Chippewa Falls High School community.


UPDATE: I received the following in an E-Mail this AM.
I am personally worried about the two band directors . . . Doug Greenhaugh is also a band director that has been involved heavily in the drum corps community as a member, instructor and even judge.
And this unfortunate news a short time ago.
Among the dead were band director Douglas Greenhalgh, 48, known throughout Wisconsin for his work on motorcycle safety; his wife, Therese, 51, and their 11-year-old granddaughter Morgan, students and friends said. Also killed was the bus driver, Paul Rasmus, 78, and a 24-year-old man who wasn't identified.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Footblogging #5

Last week I continued my dismal performance. Although it is basketball that is a game of runs, not necessarily football pickens, I know my due will come. This week I have solicited the assistance of my oldest son, a Junior at Highland Park Senior High, and also a member of their varsity football team. He has chosen the monicker MasterMind, and will guide me through the tilts selected by King. I had absolutely no problem with siding with him on all three choices, even though he went with the dogs in every match-up. Here's why:

1. at (-3)
Sunday, 3:15 p.m. on CBS

MasterMind: Jets by 7 mainly because of their veteran Quarterback. And since Buffalo doesn't have a very good defense, Martin will rumble all over them.
Hard to argue with his point of view. TesticleVerde had all but retired from football until the Jets begged for his return, but this 41 year old Stallion (as Curtis Martin called him) has several good games in him. This weekend will be one of them.Take the Jets over the favored Bills.

2. (-2) at
Sunday, 3:15 p.m. on CBS

MasterMind: Oakland will win by 2. I only have 2 words why, Randy Moss! He'll have 2 TDs to aid in the victory.
Good ole Randy doesn't look like much of a Bad Boy now, does he. The Chargers have been turning some heads this year, and this was the only pick that I reconsidered. But my track record hasn't been all that good as of late, and it is hard to bet against Randy Mawesome.Take The Raaaaaiiders at home, over the favored Bolts

3. at (-3)
Sunday, NOON on FOX

MasterMind: Vikings by 3 since Culpepper will be rested because of the bye and ChiTown has no defense at all.
Well Chicago is ranked 3rd in defense, so I am assuming the MasterMind means they won't have any defense at all this weekend. I've steered clear of the SS. Minnows three Hour Cruise story this week, mostly due to my disdain for the media's desire to capitalize on immoral escapades of public figures. Now the Queenies need to do something desperately to distract the media from pounding out this story, and the best way to do that would be to run roughshod on another football club. The Bears are prime targets. If the Pillagers can't make it past the Bears, look for them to have more then just legal troubles in Hennepin County. Heads will certainly begin to roll.
UPDATE: Vikings SUCK!.
How about Tice just resigns and Ziggy inserts Foge in the interim.

Foot's picks are here, I haven't even looked at them yet. Maybe tomorrow.

OK, I peeked. Looks like I'll fall deeper into the chasm I have created, or take back some ground. Once again, the Foot and I are on opposite ends of all three choices.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Developing the Midway

The continuous evolution of the Midway area may take place soon as plans for the demolished MTC Bus Barn site is unfolding.
St. Paul officials are moving forward with plans to bring Best Buy and Lowe's to the site of the old bus barn at Interstate Hwy. 94 and Snelling Avenue, despite opposition from some community groups that say the project isn't ambitious enough.
The PiPress reports on some frustration with the move:
The plan, however, is angering residents and University Avenue community groups in both neighborhoods. They blame the city for not informing them of major decisions along the corridor.

"When you look up, one minute there's a vacant lot, and the next minute, something's being built, and you're saying, 'What is it?' " said Jolene Mason, community organizer of the Community Stabilization Project, one of several groups planning to protest at the bus barn site this morning. "We're protesting the process that didn't take place."
I have lived in the Midway for almost 10 years now, after spending about five years in the Selby/Dale neighborhood. Being a transplanted Minneapolitan I have had to ease my way into what I continue to perceive in St. Paul as a cluster of neighborhoods rather then an urban core like in Mpls.

Selby/Dale has had it's own rebirth, with store fronts transitioning and empty lots being replaced with thriving businesses and housing opportunities. The Midway had lacked in that area for sometime. But that seems to have changed, since there is now multiple projects that have been either completed, in progress, or in latter stages of planning.

The old Knox Lumber yard site sat vacant for awhile, but now Menards is open and seems to always have a nice assortment of vehicles in the lot patronizing their store. An Aldi's is going up in what was a perpetual rundown corner of Lexington and University (Not sure if Aldi's will be the answer to a that, but we'll see). I mentioned, in June, the impending Super Target possibility on the Current Four Season's Sheraton plot.

On the other side, I did read about a significant change on the University strip that will certainly change the look and feel. Multiple car dealerships are spread out between University and Snelling, but one is leaving:
Ron Saxon Ford, a retail fixture on St. Paul's University Avenue for nearly 50 years, plans to close its city auto dealership on Oct. 31.

The dealership's owners disclosed their plans Monday to the store's approximately 45 employees, blaming the imminent closing on a drop in sales.

Car and truck buyers, they said, have mostly deserted the St. Paul store to shop at the Saxon family's newer, more attractive Ford dealerships in Inver Grove Heights and New Brighton.
When I was looking for vehicles, I shopped most of the dealers on the strip, but in both cases (one used, one new), I ended up at Wally World in Roseville. The reason was more due to selection and availability, then location.

As the evolution continues, the biggest piece of the puzzle is still in limbo, the long awaited Light Rail University corridor to Minneapolis. I will be Googling all about it today, in hopes I can find some updates. I just hope I still live in the area to be able to take advantage of this much delayed project.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005


My wife generally grabs the paper in the AM. When I came down, I glanced on my chair and then went outside to get the latest news. Hmm, nothing there. So then I go back to my chair and there was a newspaper there. Much to my chagrin, the long awaited facelift arrived. One word, AWFUL.

Tough to read, tough to navigate, tough to stomach. I've seen Junior High kids create better lay outs in PageMaker then this fiasco. Maybe I am an old curmudgeon that hates change, but shouldn't a newspaper's articles GRAB a readers attention, not be buried in disorganized column clutter.

So I figured I'd just go to the website for my news. NOT, haven't been able to get into their website since I got to work.

Off to the PiPress.


UPDATE: I was finally able to access the website. Actually, I like the web redesign. Much cleaner, softer look to it. I guess you can't have everything.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Presidential Pals

Via the Wege:
"Apply" now to secure a lucrative career both decrying and luxuriating in the spoils of Big Government! No experience necessary! Don't miss your chance to suckle greedily at America's soon-to-be-bankrupt bureaucracy teat!
Find it Here! Only Righty Tighties need apply!


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Home at Last!

Gophers WIN! Would you believe there are kids on the roster that weren't even alive the last time the Jug was home. Hopefully this is the beginning of a trend. I'd hate to have to wait another 19 years.


Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ah, Harriet

Ah, Harriet. You're unloved. The right hates you, the left doesn't know what to make of you. The only one who loves you is the most brilliantest man in the world, who is currently only slightly more popular than pond scum.
Read Fecke!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Footblogging #4 (NFL #5)

The King has spoken, and has designated the following tilts for our analysis. They aren't getting any easier. My fear isn't the close point spreads as much as it is the parity in the NFL, and the difficulty in reading trends this early in the season. I may even have to try a dart board strategy, if for no other reason, to just compare the results.

Here we go:

1. at (-3)
Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX

The NFC Norris is probably the most pathetic division in the history of pro sports, at least at this juncture of the Season. In CNNSI's Power Rankings of all 32 football teams, the Norris comprises 4 of the last 6 spots on the list (27 MN, 28 CHI, 29 DET, 30 SF, 31 GB, 32 HOU) Until one of these clubs can start winning CONSISTENTLY, I will be hard pressed to favor any of them to win. Makes things real scary when they start playing each other. Take the Browns, handily, over the Bears.

2. at (-1)
Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS

See above on my feelings about a member of the NFC Norris. Detroilet would be my current choice to survive the bloodletting and finish atop the division. But they won't start here against a strong, yet still struggling Baltimore club. The Kittens will have a tough time getting anything going, and since they have yet to display a formidable arial attack, points will be hard to come by. Baltimore will have a chance to show what they are made of, and the Motor City Kitties will be easy pickin’s for them. Baltimore takes this match-up, by more then the measly point the bookies allotted them.

3. at (-3)
Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS

OK, I said it would be a challenge for me to give up on last years' world champion until something happened to knock them off the hill. That something (the Indianapolis Colts) happened last Sunday in my only miss of the weekend. Even though Atlanta QB Michael Vick is a little gimpy, so is a good chunk of the Patriot's defense. Atlanta proved last week (OK, hard to call it proof when they were playing the inept Queenies), that even without Vick, the system rolls along. Atlanta looks for real, if for no other reason, they have proven they are deep enough to thwart off injuries to key position players. That will make the difference in this match up. The Dirty Birds continue to roll, and handle the Pats by more then a field goal.

So there's my take. Now off to KAR to see if LFoot has rolled the dice yet . . . . . Oh goody, I get a chance to make up some ground. And judging by the chants I heard as I left Keagan's last night, I have a lot of people pulling for me.

"Beat the Foot, Beat the Foot, Beat the Foot!!"


UPDATE: I Suck! The one game I did get right was the same one I picked with Foot, he got the other two, and puts on the spread. TIme to pull out the dartboard.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hatch to Announce Soon!

Reliable sources have informed me that Attorney General Mike Hatch will be announcing his gubernatorial candidacy by months end. The AG will be the front runner in an already crowded race.

Recent Zogby Polls have him leading Pawlenty, but early polls, just like any polling, is only a picture in time.
48.6% AG Mike Hatch (DFL)
45.2% Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R)

47.9% Mike Ciresi (DFL)
45.6% Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R)

45.3% Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R)
39.4% Former State Rep. Bud Philbrook (DFL)
With the GOP on their heels, it isn't all that surprising that they are trailing at this early date. An awful lot can happen between now and next November, so let's not count the votes just yet.

In other news, MDE will claim this as his exclusive by the end of the day, and flash it on his blog with a banner headline. He'll probably even include the announcement date (which I believe will be the week of October 24.) You heard it here second, since he will claim you heard it their first. (All in fun, put away the snow balls *laughing*)


UPDATE: Grand Forks Herald confirms:
Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch says he'll likely make an announcement about his political future in the next couple of weeks.
I say pencil in Monday the 24th

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Some on the Right are having fits regarding the Miers appointment. They are finding out what those of us who can be objective have been seeing throughout the entire Bush Presidency. Two Term President Bush will tell people what they want to hear, knowing he is going to do whatever he wants when it comes decision time. But the flurry of dissent is reminiscent of the Filibuster Battle.

Remember how the Right got all in a tizzy when the Filibuster deal went through. Some on the Left weren’t all that pleased either, but seemed content when they heard the Right carping.

With Miers there isn’t much outrage at all from the Left, and there is significant infighting on the Right. Hewitt is one of the leaders of the ‘It will be just fine’ brigade, while the far Right is in solid ‘but Bush owes us’ mode.

However, Mitch’s take yesterday seems like the most sensible ‘hunch’ I have seen from either side, and one I think is spot on.
My hunch - and it's just a hunch, although it seems good enough for Hugh Hewitt - is that the President knows Miers well enough to know that, despite dalliances with the Democrats, she's reliably conservative enough in her legal views to be an improvement over O'Connor. He's learned a lesson from the failures of his father, who nominated a dark horse more or less unknown to him in David Souter.

With this, Bush:

* Conserves political capital for the battles he's fighting right now - over the war and hurricane recovery
* Moves the court incrementally to the right. Think about it; is a court with Roberts and Miers more conservative than one with Rehnquist and O'Connor?
* Saves political capital for the battle over the Stevens seat, which may well open up later in his term, and will constitute a battle royale. Stevens, a paleoliberal nominated by Woodrow Wilson Jimmy Carter, is a seat the Dems know they have to keep rigidly left of center.
I don’t think the President is the most brilliant man Miers’ has met, even though she claims that. But I don't think he is the fool that many on the Left decree. To me, this choice is a calculated risk, supported by Rove, and encouraged by the inner circle. I don’t underestimate this administration any longer. And anyone that thinks this is a change in Bush strategy, or even a bone to the Left better watch their backs.

The President knows exactly what he is doing, and he knows exactly where Miers’ stands on the ideological issues that are at stake. I credit him for this stealth pick, but cringe every time he says’ She was the best candidate’, cause she isn’t. THAT is where my true concern is. President Bush thinks he can bold face lie to the American people and we’ll except it.

Not me, and it appears, not some on the Right either.


The Curse

From the Letters at the STRIB:
The curse of the Bush

Coincidence or curse? Vikings fans, you be the judge.

On Oct. 29, 2004, Minnesota Vikings had a 5-1 record. Head Coach Mike Tice was on top of the world, feeling confident, virile; no one could touch him.

That day in Minneapolis he introduced President Bush and presented him with a personalized Vikings jersey with the number 1 on the back.

Since then, the Vikings have gone 4-10.

Coincidence or curse? Vikings fans, you be the judge.
I think Tice has had more then enough opportunities to skipper this club. Time to find a new guy. But I like the Bush curse angle, makes for interesting reading in the morning.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

TV's Poet Laureate, Gone

Nipsey Russel has died:
Often called "the poet laureate of comedy," Mr. Russell may be best known today as one of the polyester-wearing guests on TV quiz show reruns, cracking wise and rhyming couplets in the company of such B-list celebrities as Paul Lynde, Fanny Flagg and Charles Nelson Reilly. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he was a frequent guest on "To Tell the Truth," "Match Game 73," "Masquerade Party," "What's My Line?" and "Hollywood Squares." He hosted a daytime game show called "Your Number's Up."
You know you are getting old, when most people reading this blog don't even know who Paul Lynde, Charles Nelson Reilly and Fanny Flagg are. Of course, Missing from the list are notables Charlie Weaver and the always loveable, Wally Cox! Reilly and Flagg are still with us, the rest are gone.


Monday, October 03, 2005

DFL Governor's Field Filling Up.

With Kelly Doran's switch to the governor's race, other hopefuls are starting to throw their hat in the ring.

Bud Philbrook is taking a shot:
Advocating for education, an improved economy and environmental protection, DFLer Bud Philbrook officially announced his bid for the governor's office Sunday afternoon.

Philbrook, 59, also criticized Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty for failing to prioritize "core values" and for using disingenuous rhetoric harmful to political participation.

"I'm running because I am deeply concerned about where Minnesota is being taken, not where we are willingly going," Philbrook said at his campaign launch at a Maplewood park.

Philbrook served as a state legislator from Roseville 30 years ago.
Also, there is strong indications that State Senator Becky Lourey will make a run.

Throw in the almost certain bid of Attorney General Mike Hatch, with Steven Kelley's announcements last Spring, and we have a horse race. And don't think that this will be it. The field will get more crowded before the candidates start thinning out.