Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Alberto, define 'hypothetical'

Tom points us to this tidbit. See, During a Senate Judiciary hearing back in January 2005, Feingold asked Gonzales about:
where the president's authority ends and whether Gonzales believed the president could, for example, act in contravention of existing criminal laws and spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant.
We know that the warrantless surveillance was already taking place, and don't you think the Attorney General of the United States in waiting and at the time White House Counsel would have known about it at the time. Apparently not. Or so he claims.
Gonzales said that it was impossible to answer such a hypothetical question but that it was "not the policy or the agenda of this president" to authorize actions that conflict with existing law. He added that he would hope to alert Congress if the president ever chose to authorize warrantless surveillance, according to a transcript of the hearing.
Hmmm, hypothetical, but the President said: in December of 2005 that Gonzales authorized the action.
The activities I authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days. Each review is based on a fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to the continuity of our government and the threat of catastrophic damage to our homeland. During each assessment, previous activities under the authorization are reviewed. The review includes approval by our nation's top legal officials, including the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President. I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups.
As Tom said, the AG 'has some splainin' to do'


Old News

As mentioned last week, and now being reported by local media, Patty Wetterling has decided not to be Mike Hatch's running mate:
Wetterling was not available for comment Monday, but her campaign spokeswoman, Carol Butler, confirmed that the former U.S. Senate candidate had told Hatch she would not be his running mate.

"She is considering Congress," Butler said, and Wetterling will make an announcement about her political future soon.
The spokesman stopped short of commenting on her future plans other then to say:
But Wetterling is still considering running for Congress.
And just like the obligatory Ciresi quote at the end of every article on the senate race, this boiler plate line continues to be used regarding Patty's 6th district aspirations:
Elwyn Tinklenberg, former mayor of Blaine and former state transportation commissioner, is the only announced DFL candidate in the 6th District race. He has said Wetterling has assured him several times that she would not run for the seat again this year.
However, King at SCSU Scholars ran my comments by some of his DFL friends, and they pointed out:
I asked some DFL party people about this over the weekend and they confirmed it. They are using a "draft Patty" campaign including a rally here in St. Cloud yesterday afternoon. Theory goes: If she breaks the promise she will receive negative press, but it would fade rather quickly and not be a problem for her by the time the district convention arrives. Makes sense to me.
Timing is everything, so the inevitable announcement regarding her run in the 6th may be delayed.


UPDATE: WOW! A Gitmo deferral. Thanks guys!

Monday, January 30, 2006

It's Only a Game

Broken Nails provides us a release from the monotony that can be the annual State of the Union Address to be given by the President, tomorrow.
(T)his year, I've decided that my party needs me to foster an interest in the State of the Union amongst people ages 18-35 who feel otherwise disaffected by the Bush Administration. (In other words, everyone I know.)

Therefore, my downhearted liberal brethren and Conservative brothers-in-arms alike, I give you:

Click here for State of the Union POTUS Bingo (PDF)! the .doc version
Looks like fun, I think I'll play along!


Round 2 Begins

The beginning of the second semester is reminiscent of the beginning of the year. New classes, new schedules, new routes to figure out, and then some. Just as we were all, staff and students, getting comfortable in our routines, everything gets shuffled up.

At home it is a similar story, but all the cherubs are even, no late work or missing assignments, and another opportunity to show us that they have it all figured out.

Here's to a productive second half of the year. I know my day has been bonkers, I'll be curious to hear how my kids fared.

A great discussion evolved over the weekend in my comment threads below. Plenty of fodder for me to touch on as the week continues, but for now, back to the grind.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Dear Fringe of the Left

You MUST rally behind a candidate soon to assure victory. If you give up this senate seat to the GOP when they are as vulnerable as they are, you have only yourselves to blame.

I will not sit back and watch the likes of Liberal Loonies like Alice Hausmen splinter this party at a time when you can coalesce behind the most electable candidate and concentrate on the ultimate goal, defeating the Rovian Machine. You must put behind the pettiness that exisits in this big tent party and play for the middle. If you endorse a 'cut and run' candidate, like Ford Bell, you lose the middle, people like me. You MUST look at big picture here and what the ultimate goal is.

I believe Amy Klobuchar is our best bet at victory. People can say all they want about the great things Ford Bell can do, but there simply isn't enough time to sell that to those outside the metro, and THEY are the ones who decide elections.

The same thing will happen in the governor's race. The DFL is Peroting themselves and allowing 3rd party splinter candidates to grab the middle that the Left needs to win. Instead, the likes of a Peter Hutchinson now will run as an independent, siphoning off votes of whoever wins the bloodletting that is to be the DFL Primary. The Right will use all the attacks that we used against each other during the process, and Tim "tax them plenty" (but call it a fee) will win another term with a plurality of the vote.

If the Democrats of this state don't realize in an awful hurry that the ultimate goal must be to defeat the Rovian Right, instead of taking potshots at each other, another election cycle will pass with GOP dominance.

I will not sit back and let that happen. Too much is at stake!


Friday, January 27, 2006

Amy for Senate

I was going to let this process run it's course, but events over the past day have made the choice clear. I will be supporting the candidacy of Amy Klobuchar for the US Senate seat in Minnesota.

In other news, I will NEVER vote for Alice Hausman again, EVER, in anything, not even dog catcher!! More later . . .


UPDATE: I'm sneaking this in here just to see if anyone actually pays attention. Patty Wetterling has said no to Mike Hatch, and will be running in the 6th. Expect an official announcement early next week. I may expand on this later, or maybe not. But I will be at Rock Bottom Brewery for Happy Hour mulling over the tumult that is known as Minnesota politics with my good friend 'The Doctor'. Stop by if you're in the neighborhood.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Conspiracy Theory Ahead

DFLSenate posted on an interesting tidbit found at the NRSC website. When you went to the '2006 Races' page, there was a message that said:
No Information available at this time or there is no Republican challenger
(screenshot here). Since then, the page is updated, and now displays:
"Senate Race Update Coming Soon."
Now this doesn't really seem like much, but I do have a couple observations. First, mrw points out:
The NRSC used to have a page full of news clips from the race, but now there's nothing left.
Which tells me there WAS activity in that section, and for whatever reason, it was all pulled off. The other thought pounding in my head, is that if they took the time to change the site to say "Senate Race Update Coming Soon", they could have just as easily added the names of the announced candidates pursuing the GOP nomination and links to their websites. Kennedy has been their anointed candidate for sometime, wouldn't they want to get his name out there to the party faithful as quick and efficiently as possible to drum up contributions.

I am sure I am reading way too much into this, but it seems to me that either someone dropped the ball, or maybe, just maybe, there is some cold feet on the Right side of the aisle. Call it buyer's remorse after you've signed the contract, but before you even get a chance to take the ole jalopy out for a spin.

Kennedy does absolutely nothing for me as a moderate. Too bad Ramstad didn't throw his hat in the ring. That would've made an interesting race. Minnesota is still more Blue than Purple, without the middle, it will be kind of tough for a hand picked Roveian candidate to win. But as we saw a few years ago, not impossible.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Significant Legal and Practical Issues

Jeff points us to this discovery. Be sure to read his take, and the original screed he references. The meat:
In June, 2002, Republican Sen. Michael DeWine of Ohio introduced legislation (S. 2659) which would have eliminated the exact barrier to FISA which Gen. Hayden yesterday said is what necessitated the Administration bypassing FISA. Specifically, DeWine's legislation proposed:
to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to modify the standard of proof for issuance of orders regarding non-United States persons from probable cause to reasonable suspicion. . . .
In other words, DeWine's bill, had it become law, would have eliminated the "probable cause" barrier (at least for non-U.S. persons) which the Administration is now pointing to as the reason why it had to circumvent FISA.
WOW! Almost exactly what the Administration is making clear they should be able to do now. What's all the fuss, the GOP controlled Congress and White House will sail this baby through with a tip of the hat and the Our Gang 'Hi' Sign. But WAIT! Not so fast:
a Statement from James A. Baker, the Justice Department lawyer who oversees that DoJ's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review....[R]egarding DeWine's specific proposal to lower the evidentiary standard required for a FISA warrant, Baker said that:
The Department of Justice has been studying Sen. DeWine's proposed legislation. Because the proposed change raises both significant legal and practical issues, the Administration at this time is not prepared to support it.
With that statement, can we assume that the Administration's behavior regarding their use of surveillance outside of the FISA requirements "raises both significant legal and practical issues". I mean, they said it, so it must be so!!


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

St. Cloud Times on Wetterling

Reporter Dave Aeikens, of the St. Cloud Times, was able to get a peek into the mind set of former US Senate Candidate Patty Wetterling.

Here are the Cliff Notes:

On Lt Governor:
Patty Wetterling . . . said Monday she has met with Attorney General Mike Hatch about being his running mate in the 2006 governor's race.
On the 6th:
she also is getting pressure from people in the 6th Congressional District to take another run at what is now an open seat. Kennedy is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Elwyn Tinklenberg, a former mayor of Blaine and transportation commissioner, is the only declared Democrat. Tinklenberg, who opposes abortion rights, gay marriage and restrictions on guns, is more conservative than Wetterling.

Wetterling said she talked briefly with Tinklenberg on Saturday at a Democratic Party meeting and plans to meet with him again about the 6th District race.
and more:
"At this point, I am gathering information and taking a look at my life," Wetterling said.

She also would not rule out a run for Secretary of State against Republican Mary Kiffmeyer and said she has several offers for jobs in the private sector. She said she has not had a paycheck in 2½ years.
I am sure there isn't a Vegas line out there, but you would think the smart money is on Lt. Governor. We'll know sooner, rather then later. Just a hunch.


Monday, January 23, 2006

'West Wing' Cancelled

One of my favorite shows of all times will be leaving the air this Spring:
NBC's political drama "The West Wing," which briefly made bureaucrats hip and won four Emmy awards for best drama, will end this spring with the inauguration of a new fictional president.

NBC announced the series' conclusion after seven seasons on Sunday. In the end, it fell victim to television's democratic process: sinking ratings, particularly after this season's move to Sunday nights.
They do comment on the impact of the untimely passing of John Spencer, the Democratic Veep Candidate on the series:
The decision to cancel it was made before actor John Spencer, who played former presidential chief of staff Leo McGarry, died of a heart attack Dec. 16, said Kevin Reilly, NBC entertainment president.

Although "The West Wing" briefly considered calling it quits after Spencer's death, or remaking episodes featuring him that were filmed but not yet aired, Wells said the producers ultimately decided to use the late actor's work.
It will be an interesting ride to the end, but The End, is what it will be.


How To . .

get Minvolved!

You know how it is, ya take a day off work only to have twice as much to do when you get back. Makes ya wonder if the respite was worth it. So while I get these various issues moved off my plate, YOU need to check out how to get MINVOLVED in this years' election.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hatch's Wink and a Nod

A reader sends in the following observation from the State Central Committee meeting:
when Mike got up to speak he started by telling us (paraphrased)

"When I proposed to my wife Patti, she told me she would think about it, It took her 5 years to finally say yes.."

Then he turned towards Patty Wetterling in the audience and said. something like.

"I am a very patient man Patty.."
That is the closest I have heard to anything resembling a Hatch/Wetterling ticket, but one never knows. I'd be curious if anyone else at the meeting may have caught this comment.

DFLSenate reports on Ford Bell's statement at the same meeting. I simply don't know why he thought those remarks added value to his candidacy. I know they have now made my decision much easier.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Rosie O'Grady's

I made it. Landed at EWR about 10:30 and was driving out of the airport with my rented G6 by 11:30. Got a GREAT tip to just hop on the 1/9 north and look for the Newport Mall . It worked out slick. We dumped off the car, took a $1.50 PATH train to NYC. Now I am sitting at Rosie's waiting for my thick juicy burger while sipping on a Foster's, just a mere block away from Time's square.

After lunch I'll be hopping on a subway to the Financial District to pay my respects at the World Trade Center site, and then back on a PATH train to the Mail for the 2 hour drive to Scranton, PA.

I did a quick scan of the Blogosphere regarding the Wetterling situation. It seems everyone is in agreement that she will drop out, but broad speculation regarding what will happen next. My sources have informed me that Mike Hatch does not have anything on his schedule that would allow for his presence at the Press conference, which means I doubt that there will be a Lt. Governor announcement. But I think the positive buzz that potential ticket has received, along with the message I posted yesterday regarding their collaboration on polling, would lead one to believe that is the more logical direction her campaign will take.

Of Course, I'll miss all the excitement, I'll be at Ground Zero, and thinking about this moment.

Burger's here, time for lunch. I hope to check back in once I am in Scranton.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

More on Wetterling

I received an E-Mail from a reader sharing the following information

I got a call poll call last week surveying likely DFL delegates about Hatch and Wetterling. Although it did not ask specifically about a Hatch/Wetterling ticket, I found it odd that they were doing a combined call.

. . .

The potential of a Hatch/Wetterling ticket makes sense to me and answers many of the questions I had about that call. Also, Patty has said in very certain terms that she does not want to run in the 6th.
Just some food for thought as we await the press conference.

Of course, I have a 7:00 AM flight tomorrow, which means I'll miss all the excitement. So I'll have to keep tabs on this while dining in Manhattan tomorrow afternoon.


Wetterling's Future?!?

OK, today I get an E-Mail from the Wetterling campaign touting the latest Wall Street Journal/Zogby Numbers:
I wanted to make sure you all saw this... A new Wall Street Journal poll done by the Zogby organization confirms yet again that Patty is the choice of a majority of Minnesotans.

She leads Mark Kennedy 50.8% to 39.9%, a larger lead than any other DFL candidate.
But now Checks and Balances reports this tonight:
U.S. Senate candidate Patty Wetterling (D) has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in room 125 of the State Capitol. She is prepared to announce her withdrawal from the U.S. Senate and we are hearing there is a possibility she will even support Amy Klobuchar. It bears watching who is present at the announcement and we know, but are not telling just yet.

It is not clear whether Wetterling jumps directly into the 6th Congressional District race, we understand she plans to take some time to listen to people in the area. This because she wants people of that district to express their feelings on the issue. The decision to remove herself from the contest for U.S. Senate gives Klobuchar an open runway for the DFL endorsement. The choice made by Wetterling is the best of all options for Democrats in 2006. If Wetterling runs in the 6th, which we think is likely, she makes that open seat a hotly contested race and lends strength to both Klobuchar's campaign and all other statewide DFL candidates.
Now C & B has made bold predictions before and been wrong, but this one, if proven untrue, could kill them in the blogosphere. If true, it could return them to a level of credibility they once enjoyed.

As for the Senate/6th race, I made my predictions long ago:
I would still put my money on a Klobuchar Senate, Wetterling 6th pairing.
I have a request out to the Wetterling campaign regarding the C&B post. I'll be sure to let you know if I hear anything.


UPDATE: via DFL Senate, 'CCO is reporting the same:
Late Thursday afternoon, WCCO-TV learned Patty Wetterling may be dropping out of the race for the U.S. Senate.

. . .

Her campaign spokesperson said he is "not going to confirm, but will not deny" she is leaving the race.
MNPublius has a take on her future plans:
Future plans? She's going to announce tomorrow a run for Lt. Governor. If she were dropping out of all races, the announcement would be at her home; if she were dropping to the 6th, the announcement would be in the 6th; but the announcement is at the Capitol, that means she's taking up Hatch's Lt. Gov offer.

I received the following E-Mail
There will indeed be an press conference tomorrow, at the time and place listed in the C&B story, but his speculation as to its content is premature. Patty will be making an announcement regarding the U.S. Senate race.

Thank you,

JC Quirin
Wetterling for Senate
The plot thickens!

One Step Forward, Another Step Back

Via Smartie at The Power Liberal(s)
I'm always going on and on about all of those countries that have the guts to stand up and legalize gay marriage or civil unions, you know, Canada, the Netherlands, Great Britain, etc...so I would be remiss if I didn't mention countries going the other way such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and now Nigeria. Hey, at least they don't cut off your head in Nigeria, just throw you in jail. Nice company you keep, conservatives.

Wege Would be Proud.

Must be traffic from Norwegianity.

A 23 minute visit last night from an IP address that resolves to:
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

I just thought that was kind of cool! (Can you still say 'cool')

Speaking of Wege, you gotta LOVE this headline:

1st Place is a copy of Blog, 2nd Place is 2 copies of Blog

Carry on!


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Remember Buffalo - April 2004

The eaves dropping/wire tapping -gate is getting some play again. I've shared my thoughts here. I respect the right of the President to do whatever is necessary to keep our borders safe. I also believe he could have done exactly what he did, within the law, rather then skirting it, but I won't getting into a pissing contest with rabid Righties about the legalities.

What has always concerned me, is the deception that emanates from this administration, which makes it difficult for this hawkish moderate to defend his actions, at time of war.

When a Democratic President lies about sex, that is an impeachable offense, but when the current President lies about denying individuals their Constitutional protections, that is acceptable in the interest of national security. So when you hear the GOP spin, and the administration defend what some are calling an illegal action, remember what President George W. Bush said in Buffalo, on the campaign trail, in April 2004. And understand the context, he is offering this information, not even responding to a specific question:
"(A)ny time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."
Just read that over a few times, and then review the facts. I have already been accused of emboldening the enemy by not unconditionally supporting the Administration, but doesn't a President whose own words can't be trusted embolden them even more. If not, maybe my standards are just to high for the leader of the free world.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Didn't Kennedy Get It the First Time

MNPublius is exposing the potential illegal antics of Kennedy's campaign again. I am not the one to cast judgment, so you review the facts at determine for yourself whether this behavior is appropriate regarding this event. Here are the Cliff Notes:
So, what do we have so far?

* Coleman sets up tour with the head of the VA department and invites Kennedy but not Sabo

* VA head, James Nicholson, apparently tells Minneapolis VA hospital that he is inviting the whole delegation but only informs Dayton and Sabo that he "will be in the area" through an after-hours courtesy call

* Dayton and Sabo receive no invite to the Minneapolis VA event

* VA has a no campaigning policy, and it would in fact be illegal to do so in a federal building. Yet, Mark Kennedy ventures outside of his district to go to the Minneapolis event even though there is going to be another event in St. Cloud, his district.

Is any of this starting to sound familiar? Mark Kennedy was already reprimanded by the House for venturing outside of his district for a Hmong event because it clearly consituted campaigning with federal, taxpayer, dollars. And then he did it again! Now, once again, Kennedy is clearly using tax payer dollars to hold campaign events in public, federal buildings! There is absolutely no way that Kennedy's being there can be classified as official business when the Representative for the district (Sabo) wasn't even invited, not to mention the state's other Senator, Dayton.
What should be frustrating for Kennedy supporters, is that this isn't the first time he has done this.

Any advantage Rep. Kennedy may have had in jumping out early, eliminating the competition and clearing the field for himself is slowly turning into an implosion. At some point, a serious case of buyers' remorse will set in, but they will be stuck with the guy they anointed.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Prohibition approved in St. Pauli Girl

I'm no Dementee or Learned Foot, but let's give this a shot.

- - - - -

The Saint Pauli Girl city council, with the support of the newly elected Mayor has outlawed the use of liquor in public establishments. A variety of reasons were given for this move, including public safety and health risks to those who don't use alcohol.

"Why should I have to risk my life on the road because someone else is coming home drunk from a local smoke shop. They should be forced to drink at home where they don't have to go anywhere.", stated a prohibition supporter. "I don't care about freedom of choice and the right of the market to control itself. We must take steps to protect society when enough people are making these poor decisions"

Those against the ban were furious!

"What right does the government have to control the use of a legal product that is the driving force of my business, stated Smokey Joe's Owner Cameron (Cam) L. Joe; "People come in here to have a beverage with their smoke of choice. Now they won't have any desire to go out and socialize with other patrons without being able to have the ability to sip on my wide assortment of cognacs and brandies. Several of my colleagues in Happenen County were forced to go alcohol free and tried nonalcoholic juice beverages. Some of them had to cut staffs and others had to close their doors permanently. Fortunately, Happenen County leaders rolled back the ordinance to allow for at least some smoke shops to continue serving alcohol.

A strong supporter of the ordinance, President Tamra T Toteler of MADD (Mommies Against Daily Drinkers) was clear in her support of the move.

"Our streets will be safe again without these daily drinkers polluting the roadways with their obnoxious and unsafe behavior. Furthermore, the incidence of smoke shop brawls and other dangerous activities in these environments due to drunk patrons has dramatically increased. We MUST protect the employees, who are forced to work under these unsafe conditions.", she stated

Phil Meop, the leader of the recently formed DAMM (Drinkers against Mad Mommies) proclaims. "This is a travesty. We live in a free market system, and to prohibit the use of a legal substance in a private establishment is preposterous. No one is forcing anyone to work in these environments. These employees knew the risks of working in these establishments when they applied. The government shouldn't be legislating away our freedoms. What's next, smoking? Like that'll never happen. Smoking causes far more deaths then alcohol ever will, why aren't they putting the pressure on the tobacco companies if their goal is to save lives and protect the citizens. The reason is because it would never work, and on one in their right mind would try to banish smokers. If for no other reason, the loss of those tax revenues would bust the public coffers."

Recent polling of local leaders does show that smoking in the city is relatively safe, however, there is a growing concern regarding obesity and a proposed ordinance to banish fast food from the jurisdiction is quickly gaining support.

- - - - -

Bob 'The Lung' Moffitt sighting in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . .


Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Drum Corps Fantasy Come True

Many of you have followed me in my 'other life'. Most all of us have hobbies that aids in distracting us from the monotony of every day life. Some golf, others bowl, play softball, or fish; I march in a Drum and Bugle Corps.

Drum Corps is a glorified marching band without the woodwinds. We perform several field shows and a few parades throughout the season. Last year, I fulfilled a long time dream of mine be performing with the oldest all age drum corps in the world, the St. Peter Govenaires. This year, which will be my last for several years anyway, I return to the ranks of Minnesota Brass, Incorporated(MBI). An organization I have been affiliated with since March of 1978.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the most successful Drum Corps in Minnesota, MBI will return to it's past and perform music from the late 90's and 2000, a time when the organization went from being a footnote in national competition, to consistently placing in the top five in the world. Our most successful year, was 1999, placing 4th, with a 95, a mere 8 tenths of a point from second place. I was proud to have been a performer in that year.

Selections for the 2006 version of the corps include a Bill Chase montage featuring two of his biggest hits, 'Open Up Wide' and 'Give It One'. Next we will play an Earth, Wind, and Fire Medley which will include strains of some of their most recognizable tunes like Fantasy, September, Getaway, and others. Our third piece will slow down a bit as we mesmerize the audience with what we affectionately call, the constipation song. You guessed it, Tower of Power's ballad, 'So Very Hard To Go'. The show will close with an energetic arrangement of Chicago's "Free", concluding with a fleet of screaming trumpet players howling in the stratosphere.

The first performance of the 2006 season will be the MInnesota Drum Corps Showcase on April 20 at Highland Park Senior High. Be sure to mark your calendars.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

SuperTarget Redux

I reported on the pending SuperTarget deal in the Midway last June. It now looks like the plan is coming to fruition:
St. Paul's Midway neighborhood will be getting the Twin Cities' first urban SuperTarget store, and community groups there already are pushing for a more inviting design than the traditional suburban-style big box.

Officials of Minneapolis-based Target Corp. on Monday confirmed long-circulating reports that the company would build an estimated 174,000-square-foot super center adjacent to its current discount store near Hamline Avenue and Interstate 94.
The saturation of the Midway with grocery stores may hold prices in check, but at the expense of one of the current vendors. Cub all but pushed Rainbow off the table, but Roundy's assuming control of the Rainbow has helped create a better store. But a Third grocer in almost as many blocks, could spell doom for one of the three, and I don't think it would be Target or Cub.

The Midway has been through a resurgence of late. Maybe a Super Store destination will bring in more consumers to the strip malls that spot the avenue. This is an evolving process. I'll be looking forward to reading about more specifics of the plan after they are unveiled on Thursday.

What's next, a Best Buy!


Monday, January 09, 2006

Waving the White Flag

Feeling pressure from within his own party, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) gives up.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Tom DeLay announced Saturday he will not try to reclaim the House majority leader post he had held for three years, but the Republican said he will seek re-election in his Texas district when his term expires in November.
The White House response:
White House spokeswoman Erin Healy issued a statement saying: "We respect Congressman Delay's decision to put the interests of the American people, the House of Representatives, and the Republican Party first."
Shouldn't that be how it always is. Maybe if DeLay would have put the People first all along he wouldn't have backed himself into this pickle.

The GOP is finally recognizing the damage their affiliation is with the corruption that is being uncovered within their ranks. Sure, there are less then honorable Democrats out there as well, but as is generally the case, the party in power tends to have the microscope on them a little tighter. With the all important mid terms coming up, the GOP needed to gather themselves, set a new strategy, and elect new leadership. Only a new start will allow for the electorate to evaluate their situation.

Now it is up to the Democrats to see this adjustment in strategy. One issue the Kerry campaign had a problem with was beating the unemployment dead horse, while the employment numbers slowly improved leading up to the election. I am not saying they have to abandon their desire to make sure the populace is aware of what the GOP has done while in control, but the Dems need to start formulating and promoting an alternative plan, not just another warm body because the other guy is corrupt.

But that's just me!


Friday, January 06, 2006

I Met MDE!

I was able to make a brief foray into the publicly announced 'coming out' gathering for MDE. I wanted to meet the man behind the mask of MDE.

I was pretty sure I would be the one of the only admitted left learners in the group, but I wasn't the most surprising visitor to the event. Eva Young also was in attendance. I know, that sounds kind of surprising, but for the short time I was there, it was clear that she was welcome, as was I. You see, although I don't agree with them on political ideology, the common bond we all shared, was a show of solidarity to a frivolous lawsuit filed against the man behind MDE.

MDE was gracious and very generous with his kind words towards me, not only for my work here at Centrisity, but for my willingness to attend the gathering and show my support to him in regards to his legal wranglings.

I didn't take up too much of his time, and I was there only about a half hour, but I was able to share a few things with him. I mentioned how he took a huge jump in credibility with me when he relinquished the campaign domain names that he squatted on last year. He agreed it was a 'big mistake', which only further solidified his standing in my book. I also shared that even though he may have to think twice from now on, as he crafts his screeds, his words will carry much more weight in the eyes of many. I very fair trade off if you ask me.

However, the biggest bonus regarding him revealing his identity, is he know longer feels alone. For all this time he had been hidden in an electronic cabal, but now he looks forward to grippin' and grinnin' with other MOB members, and those like myself who may not share his political views. For the beauty of this great nation we live in is that regardless of how far apart we may be in our political beliefs, we are able to break bread and share drink, in a peaceful environment.

Mr. MDE, I was honored to meet you last night, and I look forward to visiting with you again soon at a future MOB event, at a Keagan's near you (there is only one, right *grin*), or maybe even a Drinking Moderately once the weather improves.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

MDE outs himself

The mystery behind the identity of MDE, has been solved. Although a slip on his part awhile ago pretty much revealed his identity, MDE chose to go public today. I applaud him for this courageous decision.

I support anonymous blogging of political ideology, but always had issues with those that chose to hide behind nom de plumes when attacking individuals. Now that he has confirmed his identity, and I may regret this I am sure, I hereby proclaim:

"MDE, Fire at will!"


Emotional Rollercoaster

Last night, I was distracted from a very exciting football game. As it should be, human interest prevailed over fun and games. When the reports started coming in that 12 of the 13 West Virginia miners were found alive, I was waiting and hoping for the scene of the jubilant miners, adrenaline canceling any effects of their 40 hour entombment, emerging. I had just told my wife, that like the Pennsylvania accident, I had pretty much reserved myself that there wasn't much of a chance left. I was wrong again, thankfully!

I flipped back and forth from the game, but soon succumbed to sleep deprivation and dozed off. I awoke a few hour later to the CNN ticker. I had to shake my head and rub my eyes.

** 1 of 13 miners found alive **

"That has to be a typo" I thought. How could reports of a miracle, including word that the men were well enough to go straight to the church to reunite with their loved ones, be so wrong.

Well, they were, and the hopes of 11 families were dashed (One miner had already been found earlier, and their family was already aware of his passing)

My heart goes out to these families, who went through the most traumatic and emotional experiences of their lives. Let's all pray for the quick, quick and full recovery of the surviving miner. Experiences like this make the trivial turmoils in our own lives seem pretty meaningless!


Monday, January 02, 2006

The Feckes Brownies

The BotML tradition continues. If you haven't seen this year's honorees, it is a must read for all. His review of Last Year's prognostications was simply uncanny.

I'll skip right to this year's prediction paragraph and see how it aligns with my take:
Amy Klobuchar will defeat Mark Kennedy for Senate, 54%-45%. Tim Pawlenty will edge Mike Hatch in the governor's race, 51%-48%, marking two decades of DFL futility. The Democrats will retake the Minnesota House by a few seats, though, setting up four more years of gridlock.
This is probably the safest bet. Gov. Pawlenty is a pretty charismatic guy, and even after breaking his No New Tax pledge, conservatives and enough moderates will rally to hold the Governor's seat.

As for Kennedy, I couldn't have hand picked a better lamb to throw to the wolves. The GOP figured if they anointed their King early they would have a great chance in grabbing this seat, but watch for some Buyers remorse out there once they realize they are stuck with him. A Senate Campaign is a marathon, s watch Kennedy fade after sprinting during the first year of this two year campaign
Nationally, the Democrats will not retake either house but will gain significantly in both, further eroding the GOP's ability to function.
Hmmmm, I think the Senate is within reach. If there isn't significant progress in Iraq, and a major victory in the War on Terror, watch the electorate give someone else a try.
Tom Delay will be acquitted in Texas, but it won't matter as he'll be indicted in the ongoing Abramoff scandal.
Delay is politically dead and he needs to worry more about retaining his seat in his hand drawn district. Even if he is acquitted, the Abramoff fiasco should stifle him enough that even far Right Wingers in TX may just stay home on election day.
The furor over wiretapping will reappear with a vengeance, apropos of nothing, in March. This time it will not be easily dismissed. And an additional scandal will embroil the Bush administration as it follows the trajectory of the Clinton, Reagan, and Nixon administrations.
I had a debate/discussion on this issue while being tag teamed by two Conservatives, one further Right then the other. What was frustrating is their total lack of acknowledgment that this President bold faced lied to the American people about a matter of National Security. I am not ready to hop on any impeachment bandwagon, but if the Right thought it was impeachable to lie about sex, then where is their furor when a President lies about National Security matters. All comments made by the Right that refuses to acknowledge the FACT that this is a far more serious issue then anything any other president has done will simply be ignored.
Meanwhile, we will finally start withdrawing troops from Iraq, throwing Iraq into chaos.
This is what will decide the Mid Terms, a Chaotic Iraq will create enough animosity in the electorate to 'throw the bums out', progress and subtle troop re-deployments will preserve the status quo.
Osama bin Laden will still be breathing at the end of 2006, but Fidel Castro will not.
I thought they were both immortal, and maybe even the same person for all we know. Have we ever seen them in the same room together; Hmmmmmmm!
And Finally: Mike Tice will be fired, and the Vikings will go nowhere in 2006; the Twins will continue their slide into 1995esque territory; the Timberwolves will win their division but lose in the first round of the playoffs; the Wild will continue to be mediocre at best;
Welcome to Minnesota Sports. The 87/91 Twins were merely an anomaly,
Flip Saunders and the Detroit Pistons will win the NBA championship;
The North Stars had to move out of town to get a title, maybe that is all Flip needed!
the Chicago White Sox will repeat in baseball, and my beloved Chicago Cubs will finish fourth in the NL Central, 23 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jeff, you gave the Cubbies their best shot at a world title by not predicting them to win. Where's the dreamer in ya?!

If you haven't seen the post yet, go NOW! You'll find all the winner's, HERE!

Another 2006 preview, with extra Snark!