Friday, March 31, 2006

Amy and Ford both lead Mark

Latest WSJ/Zogby poll (click on Minnesota), March 22-27

49.2 Amy Klobuchar
41.4 Mark Kennedy

45.7 Ford Bell
41.8 Mark Kennedy

Granted, a poll is merely a picture in time, but I'd rather be 8 points up then the alternative.


Another Record

The Moderate Voice points us to the continued decline in support of this President, via the Right's favorite pollster:
Forty percent (40%) of American adults approve of the way George W. Bush is performing his role as President. That matches the lowest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports. The slight increase in Approval seen last weekend was clearly nothing more than statistical noise.
This election year will be crucial in determining the direction of the state and the country. Traditionally, loyal Republicans (ie, Mark '97% voting record with the President' Kennedy) will be using every opportunity they can find to distance themselves from this administration. Issues like Immigration and ANWR will be used to distract us from thinking they are the puppets we know them to be. Watch as these wedge issues are thrust into the news cycle, to give these folks an opportunity to mask who they really are. It will be our job to make sure the electorate realizes that they are nothing more then an extension of this failed administration.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Concealed and Carried

I've been waiting for Mitch to comment on Tom DeLay's attempts to get his Carry privileges restored.
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Rep. Tom DeLay, once one of the most powerful figures in the U.S. Congress, wants his right to pack a pistol restored after the state of Texas revoked his permit following his indictment last year.

The former House Majority Leader's license to carry a concealed handgun was taken away after he was indicted on campaign finance charges, but he has appealed the revocation, DeLay spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty said on Tuesday.
Even if one is willing to argue that the charges are trumped up, the charges still exist. To make an exception for anyone who is indicted of felonious behavior would open the process up to a precedent we may not be willing to accept.

Is this an issue where both the Left and Right can at least agree, that regardless of how we may feel about the validity of the charges, the law is the law, and the rules must be followed consistently if they are to have any merit at all.


AI - American Insufferable

In an E-Mail, GiGi says it best:
"If this were the first night I was watching Idol..I probably would have switched the channel."
What has been hailed as the best Idol season, with the most talented pool of finalists, this weeks' episode was simple AWFUL.

Song choices were unbearable, but we kind of expected that being restricted to songs of the 21st century. It hasn't been a very good decade for music.

I thought Ace or Chris would do Green Day, which would have been a much better choice then what they picked. Ace was worse then ever, Chris stayed to his rocker roots and remains a front runner.

Bucky didn't do too bad, although he garbled the lyrics so bad I wasn't sure if he didn't know them, or was just spending too much time sucking on the mic.

Katharine did well, although she did show her vulnerability, as did Mandesa, who should avoid wearing denim throughout the rest of the show.

My Dad can rest easy. Kutey Kellie will be around for another few weeks, before the competition passes her by.

Chris and Taylor were the only ones that I thought remained on target.

Paris, who had one of the better performances of the evening, probably needs to stay younger before she gets to outside of her safety zone. Tonight she acted a little older then her age.

Even Elliott 'the voice' either bagged his song or just made an awful choice. Not sure what the judges were listening to.

Lisa, Bucky and Ace are in the lower tier. Know telling who the viewers will diss this week, but for me, I could tolerate listens to Bucky or even Lisa for another week. Ace is just wearing thin.

I won't even bother with tonight's reveal, I'll just visit Doug in the morning.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

More from the Middle

Just stumbled on a recent moderate blog called Midtopia. Judging by his mini bio on the sidebar, we have much in common. I was particularly interested in his take on preemption, and the need for the US to take a role in getting the 'bad guys' around the world.
I often describe myself as something of a "baby neocon." I support the idea of America being a force for good in the world. I cheered the first Gulf War and the intervention in Kosovo. Why? Because I thought (and still think) that it's high time the world got off its butt and did something about the bad guys. Sure, the Gulf War was probably about oil, but I was able to support it because it was opposing aggression. And this was while many of my friends were active duty military and in harm's way.

I would support a doctrine that called for taking out bad guys like Saddam. However, such a doctrine requires a few key things:
The first item, the screed continues, is that the definition of 'bad guy' needs to be clear.

Go give him some business!


Just a Click Away

Taking an idea from MNCampaign Report:
Before the weekend starts: You may notice that there's a new link over on the left: IM Me! I can be reached via AOL Instant Messenger at screen name MNCampaignReport, pretty much whenever you see me online.
So I've swiped the coding off his site, added my AIM handle (anokaflash) and there it is on the sidebar.

There was a time I always had AIM running, but that hasn't been the case in a while. But now that I have the link there, I may just fire it up more often. Blogging is a timely practice, and the opportunity to get information real time is very intriguing. Hit me up sometime!


Shuffling the Card

So Andy's out. Unless there is some mystery we don't know about, this isn't a really big deal. Presidents run through Staff Chiefs often. Reagan had a few, PaPa Bush had three, I think, during his one term, Clinton had several.

If a troubled and dogged Rove, or a trigger happy Cheney resigned, then we would have some breaking news. This is nothing more then a guy needing a break, after staving off an awkward presidency for five+ years, and preparing for his career post Bush.


Monday, March 27, 2006

Moussaoui Tells All

Had we known, 9/11 may not have happened:
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) -- Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui told a stunned courtroom Monday that he and would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid were supposed to hijack a fifth plane on September 11, 2001, and crash it into the White House.
This is the first I have heard of Richard "The Show Bomber" Reid's involvement, but it isn't a big surprise.

As each day passes, more and more is found out about the plot, the intricacies behind it, and the opportunities that were available to prevent it. I just wish someone would have listened to Rowley, but hindsight is always 20/20. If you haven't read it lately, read her memo (edited version) to FBI Director Robert Mueller dated May 21, 2002. It is pretty compelling.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Pickin' and grinnin'

We lost Buck today:
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Buck Owens, co-host of television's "Hee Haw" and who shaped the sound of country music with hits like "Act Naturally," has died. He was 76.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Taking a Stand

This week has been quite busy at my school. Dozens of students who have survived the first round of judging will now be attending the Regional competition for National History Day

The theme for this year's even is 'Taking a Stand in History: People, Ideas, Events' (PDF). Projects consisted of folded presentation boards, multiple page term papers, and various different media. I spent my day working with students putting the final touches on their video presentations in iMovie, and then transferring them to DVDs. I must say these kids are incredible. One project was on the Minnesota Power Line protest. A pretty unique subject area for a bunch of middle school kids.

I've had a long week, and a busy day. Have a great weekend.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Our Visit with Amy

Another fantastic evening of Drinking Liberally. I arrived a bit after 7:00, knowing that the guest of the evening wouldn't be there till later. When REW disappeared just before the scheduled arrival of 7:45 I suspected that she had 'gotten the call'. A few moment later REW returned with Amy at her side, along with two members of Amy's campaign staff.

I have already endorsed Amy, so I observed from the periphery to witness how Amy would choose to engage the attendees. She clearly showed her desire to mingle with us and began at one end of the table introducing herself to each and every person there. She definitely has a handle on the blogoshpere, as she was eager to finally meet Wege, even-though she was aware of where his current support was. My turn was towards the end, and I was glad to find out that Amy really likes 'Centrisity' (I wonder why *grin*). We visited briefly and talked a bit about my mother, who has worked on many of Amy's campaigns (Mom, Amy says Hi *waving*)

At this point, our NEXT US Senator found a comfortable spot in the middle of the group and shared with us her views, her vision, and her passion for the people of Minnesota. She mixed in personal reflection intermixed with snippets from her stump speech. There were no surprises on her comments. She systematically dismantled the Right wing propaganda, yet in a respectful way. There is no need to sling mud at this point. Amy has a lot to offer the state of Minnesota as our next Senator. Only those candidates who have nothing to run on have to resort to slime and smear, with a dose of deception to try to steal this seat.

I had only one question to ask our guest. I was not going to take up her time knowing there were others that either supported the endorsement of Dr. Bell, or were still undecided in this race. But I did want to know where Amy stood on the Feingold censure resolution. I explained to her that I supported the censure of President Clinton, and that I currently support Feingold's resolution as well. Amy was clear in her response. She would NOT support the Feingold resolution at this time. She does believe there needs to be an investigation, and would consider whatever consequences the investigation would recommend, but at this time, which was my question, she said she would vote 'NO'.

Amy took the time to visit with everyone, to make sure their questions were answered to their satisfaction. We may not have always gotten the answer we wanted to hear, but this 'tiger from the range' took a firm and convincing stand on every issue that was thrown her way. Do not believe the men behind the curtain, when they spread their 'memes of misinformation'.

Amy Klobuchar is one of the BEST things that will happen to Minnesota as we begin to take back this country. It's time we elect representation that adequately and accurately represents the constituency they serve, not the corporate interests of a select few.

I am proud to support the candidacy of Amy Klobuchar for US Senate, and last night, she only made it more clear why!!


Doug at MOBange has a fair and respectful liveblog of the event.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

AK at DL

I'll be venturing to the 331 club this evening to visit with our next US Senator. I'll also be sure to wish REW a happy 29th. I think she is actually 29, not a Jack Benny 29.


AI Top 11

Those who loved the 50's would have loved Tuesday's show. For me, it was too much Barry Manilow and not enought energy. We fell asleep half way through the show (literally) and I viewed the second half this morning. I thought the show was bland and that there wasn't any stellar performances.

In order of my performance preference:

A = Katharine; Best performance of the evening, but no ++, just an A for quality and consistency. She'll be tough to beat, but America will probably be looking for something other then a clone of a former Idol (ie Clarkson)

A- = Taylor; What a performer. the song was not for me, but Taylor has a way of projecting his professionalism and talent that just separates him from most of the other contestants. It will be a travesty if he is not in the thick of things 6 weeks from now.

A-- = Chris; The only thing that kept him from being my #1 this week was the vocal performance itself. He took this song and totally changed it, which kind of distracted me. I think maybe he went a bit too far with it. The second half, and the ending specifically is what saved it for him.

B+ = Paris; Great job! Vocally struggled at beginning but really built up the energy throughout with a Fantastic finish. Her performance immaturity showed a bit which kept her out of the A area for me.

B = Mandesa; When you are a front runner, and have nailed the last couple weeks you make yourself vulnerable by projecting high expectations. Her performance tonight was simply not up to the standard she set for herself. She has an opportunity to be the Next Idol since she is unique and incomparable to past winners, but she can't start coasting now. Tonight performance was a safe one, but not eye opening.

B- = Elliott; Inconsistent vocal throughout, Not sure what the Judges were listening for unless they are trying to push him into the later rounds through their words. Elliott has one of the best voices in the competition, but tonight he showed what happens if he doesn't control it. Maybe it was just the song choice.

B-- = Kellie; Kellie was good tonight, one of the better vocal performances on an off night. She really struggled with the key change though and I could see the horror in her eyes. She pulled it off with a powerful finish so those 70+ year old men out there will vote in flurries while wiping the drool from their chin.

C++ = Lisa; She should have taken Barry's advice and taken the opening up and octave. The lowness of her voice at the beginning was difficult for her to control and may be enough to place her in the bottom three tonight.

C+ = Ace; another rough night for Ace. One of the poorest vocal performances of the evening with limited control. I;d be surprised if he is NOT in the bottom three. Looks can only carry you so far in this gig.

C = Kevin; What a nice job. Ya know, this kid isn't bad, he is just not able to make the transition into Idol or Superstar that some of the upper tier folks have been able to do. Kevin is way out of his league. Fortunately for him, the votefortheworst cronies will keep him in the game a bit longer, so there is a chance he can make the run. But I think it is too late. If he doesn't leave tonight, he'll be gone in t he next couple weeks.

D = Bucky; Oh Boy, stick a fork in him. Made me wish melissa was still here. Bucky's ride should be over tonight. He just doesn't have the ability that Chris has of being able to take any song and form it around his own style. Buck looked uncomfortable, unsure, and out of place. I think we might just be waving good bye to him this week.

Bottom Three tonight: Bucky, Ace, and should be Kevin, but probably Lisa
Going Home: No Brainer, Bucky, but the Voters decide, not me.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Third of Forth

Anyone else notice how most of the media acknowledged the 3rd anniversary of Iraq War II. It wasn't the Third Anniversary, it was the beginning of the fourth year. I always use that to taunt those who have a birthday. Like explaining to my brother this AM that he isn't 43, but beginning his 44th year. I didn't think the media would take a page out of that handbook. I'm not one to tout media bias, as it exists on both ends of the political spectrum. But this one was pretty conspicuous to me.

As for the war. let me remind you. I have been in favor of liberating Iraq since our first excursion into the country. I understand why President PaPa Bush held off, but hind sight tells me we should have just finished the job while we were there. I dismissed most of the current President's justifications, with WMD's being the most visible and primary reason. Some have made up other excuses, but anyone who looks at the build up with some level of objectivity knows it was all about WMDs. SoDamn was bad, he needed to be dealt with. If this President would have parked his arrogance at the door, and talked to the American people sincerely and honestly, he would have found much more long term support, instead of the dwindling acceptance of this fiasco we have now.

Honesty is the best policy, especially if you are the leader of the free world.

But that's just me!


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Kansas Krumbles, AGAIN!

Once again Kansas busts my bracket. At least I was smart enough to have them losing the title, but I did have them running all the way to the Semis.

I have a small lead in this years' KAR's BasketBlogging event. However, even though I had fewer wrong in the first round, I had key misses that effect my S16, E8, and like I mentioned above, the Final 4 and Semis. Next year, I'll just have Kurly do my picks.Flash

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sabo Retirement?

Listening to 'The Neighbor' on my way home I heard a somewhat surprising announcement. They stated that Congressman Martin Sabo would be making a major announcement early next week. The speculation is he may not run for re-election. I scoured the news wires and local blogoshpere and didn't see any other mention of this. Not even on 'CCOs own website.

Maybe I misheard them . . . or maybe not.


UPDATE: STRIB just posted confirmation!

Dancing Fool!

"hear that beat; I jump outa my seat, But I can't compete, 'cause I'm a Dancin' Fool"

Ah yes, one of my favorite Zappa tunes. After the first day of dancing I have survived the bracket busters. I am still not as confident about my board as I was last year, when I had a pretty good run. This years' picks were done late Wednesday night in a sleep induced stupor. I am hoping my gut and my brain stem will carry my through.

I did call a couple of the upsets yesterday. Montana (12) over Nevada (5) and Alabama (10) over Marquette (7), Over all I was 13 for 16 after the first day. No too Bad. Maybe I CAN compete, but I'm still a 'Dancing Fool'!

My final four has Kansas beating Duke in the one Semi, with Ohio State defeating Tennessee in the other. Ohio State will then finish of Kansas for the championship.

You heard it here first . . . . or as the song says:
I may be totally wrong, but I'm a
I may be totally wrong, but I'm a
I may be totally wrong, but I'm a
On the other hand, the Learned one is hurtin' early.

Here is my complete bracket (click to enlarge):

UPDATE: Brackets are busting today. 3 seed Iowa downed by lowly #14 Northwestern St. 64-63. Ohio State avoids embarrasement by squeaking by Davidson. I hope this evenings games are as engaging.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

What I've Been Trying to Say

In my conversation with Dr. Bell, I respectfully requested that we all keep our 'eye on the prize'. We need to ensure the US Senate seat is in the hands of a competent and qualified individual, rather then giving it up to a pawn of political ideology who can't think any further then the latest Rovian memo received.

I stumbled across this post at MN Campaign Report. The comment posted mirrors what I feel we need to do to restore decency and common sense to our state:
In this game, you have to know that one year you're working against someone who may be working above/beneath/or with you in the next election. It does no good to eat your own and burn bridges for a short term gain. You make your case for your campaign, then if it works out, you reach out to the others, if it doesn't, you call them up to ask how you can be helpful in taking down the Republicans. That is the end game- a DFLer in office.
Keep our eye on the prize. The Right has no problem making stuff up, let's not give them the opportunity to use our own words against us.


I Met Ford Bell

It was a great evening of Drinking Liberally, last night. I arrived a bit late, but Dr. Bell was still mingling with other DLers and had not yet begun what turned out to be a very productive and positive exchange with the group.

Dr. Bell had no problem taking a seat at the head of the table and engaging anyone who had questions for him, regardless of whether they agreed with his position or not. I found him respectful, professional, and most importantly, very Senatorial. I was honest with him in that I have already thrown my support behind Amy, but did make it clear that I honor and admire his candidacy.

I would have no problem supporting him should he get the nomination. He does meet the first and most important criteria of all. He is not Mark 'The Puppet' Kennedy and can think for himself. We won't have to worry about him being a marionette of the Bush Administration.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bell at DL this evening

I plan on attending the Drinking Liberally event this evening.

Ford Bell is scheduled to mingle with the crew. I promise to be gentle.


AI Top 12 Quickie post

In a just world, Kellie would be gone tonight. But little Miss phoney will sail through to torture us for another week. She was cute at first, but now isn't even in the same league with Melissa, let alone any of the others.

Ranked based on this evenings performance. At some point I will do a power ranking based on my prediction of order of finish, not my personal preferences.

1 Chris
2 Taylor
3 Elliot
4 Katharine
5 Paris
6 Mandesa
7 Bucky
8 Ace
9 Lisa
10 Melissa
11 Kevin
12 Kellie



Monday, March 13, 2006


A few years ago I was out shoveling my driveway on a beautiful Winter morning after a fresh blanket settled on the Earth. I was preparing for my short walk to work, only to be flagged down by my neighbor, also a school employee 'They just cancelled school'.

"WHAT!!? . . for this?" Sure enough, a day off work and an opportunity for the boys to take a free day. Most of that snow was gone by noon, and Spring returned by the next day.

Today was different. 12 inches of snow on the ground, visibility down to maybe 15 feet or so. I was pretty convinced I wasn't going anywhere. This was not to be, The District decided to stay open so I sent my boys off to their busses and fought the traffic, that I could barely see, to my school. No more three block walk for me. When they closed my former school just down the road I was transferred across town.

I get to work and most all technology was down. Power outages in the area took out one of the main network hubs for the district. My wife's school is closed due to power outages and my lab is dead in the water without authentication services at the district's main technology hub. Needless to say, it was been a weird day with maybe just over a third of the students in the building.

I never thought I would say this, but, 'Thank God for AOL dial-up' *laughing*

More later when I have something quicker then a 26,400 bps dial-up connection!


UPDATE: Final count, 285 students out of about 730 total enrollment.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Good Times

I had a few people over tonight. A little mix of the Left and Right for a low key Drinking Moderately kickoff.

Attendees included my good friend Clive (the Doctor), Bogus Doug, Wege, MNObserver, Rew, Smartie, Tracy and Julie, Capt. Fishsticks, Mitch and neighbor Jerry.

I hit play on my VCR to watch Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. We awaited the infamous 3rd inning Puckett catch that robbed Gant of extra bases to toast in tribute to this fallen Icon of Minnesota Sports. Here's Mitch Craig, and Clive glued to the set (or is that Mitch's inner liberal drooling over the Carter/Monday poster *laughing*

Once the weather is more predictable, I'll have an open invite for all to enjoy bipartisan camaraderie on a Friday evening in the near future.


Friday, March 10, 2006


Just read it. Here is a tease:
More and more people, particularly Republicans, disapprove of President Bush's performance, question his character and no longer consider him a strong leader against terrorism, according to an AP-Ipsos poll documenting one of the bleakest points of his presidency.

Nearly four out of five Americans, including 70 percent of Republicans, believe civil war will break out in Iraq Â? the bloody hot spot upon which Bush has staked his presidency. Nearly 70 percent of people say the U.S. is on the wrong track, a 6-point jump since February.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

AI - Guys Top 8

It's been a busy morning (actually the whole week has been bonkers for me), So here is a quickie review of last night's performances. Idols are ranked in my order of preference based on last evening's performance alone.

A+ Taylor; First WOW! Moment of the season

A Gedeon; Solid! Definitely in the upper tier

A- Chris; Weird song. Seemed off his game

B+ Bucky; Good, but dry. He is vulnerable

B+ Elliott; Way off his game. Simon was spot on in his comments here.

B+ Ace; I didn't like Ace, tonight.
C Will; Good solid performance from him, but not the showmanship of the
upper tier. I don't think it will be enough to save him.

C Kevin; I really like Kevin, But his version of Vincent was no Clay
Aiken. I don't think his cuteness will save him.

Top 6 Locks: Taylor, Gedeon, Chris, Elliot, Ace

Bubble: Bucky, Will

Gone: Kevin, sorry to say, and probably Will. Bucky is the dark horse.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

AI - Gals Top 8

Pretty good night for the ladies, the following is in the order of how I thought they did this evening:

Mandisa was #1 again. After her first week fiasco, she has now put together two leading performances.

Katharine had a strong performance, but no WOW factor. Still in at the top of the ladies

Ayla chose a weird song for this week. She performed it well and should be safe on selection Thursday

Lisa continues to perform above well for her age. She complete the upper tier

Kellie had a GREAT performance this week with the exception of her pitch failing at the end of the song. Still not amongst the upper tier, but will make top 6 for her talent ability, not just her heart tugging likeability

Paris was not very good last night. Serious problems in the middle of her performance. Since Paris was first on, it was the only performance I looked at again to see if maybe my impression was due to her early on time. It wasn't. I think she'll be find going into Thursday, but she has shown she is vulnerable.

I really liked Melissa, but the 6 gals ahead of her are clearly better. Melissa was one of the few in the Top 24 who received hardly any, if any, TV time prior to the live performances. This will cost her in votes, and a slot in the top 6 gals

Kinnik is already on borrowed time. Her performance last night was good, but I don't see her able to survive the cut. The gals above have put a big spread on her.

Top 6 Women: Mandisa, Katharine, Ayla, Lisa, Kellie, Paris

Gone on Thursday: Melissa and Kinnik

What do you think?


Reality TV Magaizine's take.
Bogus Doug's review following his attendance at the GOP caucuses. That may have effected his ability to think objectively. You know how those Republican mind camps can be *laughing*

Straw Poll results has current results of the straw poll with 75% reporting:
Senate (22,821)

76.9 Amy Klobuchar
15.9 Ford Bell
7.2 Undecided/other

Governor (22,697)

38.3 Mike Hatch
22.7 Becky Lourey
22.4 Steve Kelley
9.8 Undecided/other
6.4 Kelly Doran
00.3 Ole Savior

Attorney General (20,729)

81.8 Matt Entenza
18.2 Undecided/other

Secretary of State (19,427)

40.9 Undecided/other
38.3 Mark Ritchie
15.4 Christian Sande
5.4 Dick Franson

State Auditor (19,157)

46.8 Rebecca Otto
41.1 Undecided/other
12.1 Reggie Edwards
Biggest surprise to me is Lourey's strong showing in the Governor's race followed by low undecided numbers in both of the contested races.

Amy's in Good shape right now. I hope that everyone in this race keeps their eye on the prize and does not do anything foolish in an attempt to garner what little undecided support remains.

The Governor's race will be a shoot out. For me it is between Kelley and Hatch and I will continue to watch their campaigns closely.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

An Amy Endorsement

MNPublius offers their support to the next US Senator from Minnesota:
More than just a great candidate, however, we believe that Amy will be a great Senator once elected. We find her proposals for energy independence refreshing and enlightened, and, as members of a younger generation, we share her concern about our ever-increasing budget deficit. Finally, Klobuchar's candidacy is one of the few chances we have to elect a woman to the United States Senate this year. Not only that, but Minnesota has never elected a woman to this high office. MN Publius does not believe in endorsing candidates on the basis of their gender, but it is a nice bonus in this case.
Caucus tonight, and support your candidate of choice. Hopefully you agree with me and others that Amy is our best hope to promote Minnesota values in Washington.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Kirby's Gone

Kirby Puckett succumbed to the effects of a massive stroke, he was 45.

Puckett by the numbers:

In 12 seasons with the Twins he accumulated a

.318 BA
207 Home Runs
1085 RBIs
10 All Star Teams
6 Gold Gloves
5 200 hit seasons

He was rewarded with a 2001 1st ballot Hall Of Fame Induction.

Thanks for bringing it home, Puck! You will be missed!


Quicky bio from WiKi:
Kirby Puckett (March 14, 1960 – March 6, 2006) was an American center fielder in Major League Baseball who played his entire career with the Minnesota Twins from 1984 to 1995. Puckett led the Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991. After being forced to retire at age 35 due to a loss of vision in one eye, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001 in his first year of eligibility. He passed away at the age of 45 due to a massive stroke.

Date of birth March 14, 1960
Place of birth Chicago, Illinois
Date of death March 6, 2006
Position(s) Center fielder
College Triton College
Draft 1982 / Round 1
All Stars 10

Statistics BaseballAlmanac
Mitch at his best!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

In the Game of His Life

Kirby's hurting after suffering a stroke this AM. News is sketchy as to the severity, but it doesn't sound good. Gardy says what we are all thinking:
Said manager Ron Gardenhire: "Our hearts and our prayers are all with Puck. We know it's a tough situation out there."
We're pulling for ya Kirby.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

In the Blog House

My first Blog House entry.
It's going to a tough session for the governor, who has yet to announce that he's open to another term. Noting how his numbers have fallen in the latest Rasmussen Poll, Flash at Centrisity (6) said Pawlenty "will be walking on egg shells this session. It will be interesting to see how much he moderates over the course of the next few months. It's clear that he has his work cut out for him if he hopes to keep his political ambitions alive through re-election."
I am now looking forward to the Drinking Liberally/Drinking Conservatively article that is in the works. A Strib reporter and cameraman visited the two events over the last couple weeks and is writing an article for an upcoming Sunday Signature edition. We'll see if my mug makes the cut.


tis the Season

Spring has sprung in the Midway, I tapped my first keg of the season. Now it's time to check the schedule and see when I can have the first 'Drinking Moderately' gathering.

Neighbor Jerry and I enjoyed the crisp evening as we broke in the garage for the season. It's going to be another great year!


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Performance Pay for Legislators

HF 2966:
Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, members of the legislature may not receive salary or per diem living expenses after May in an odd-numbered year until the legislature has passed and presented to the governor all of the bills designated as major appropriation and revenue bills by law, or by rules of both the house of representatives and the senate.
How could anyone vote against this. My only amendment would be to strike the back door clause:
This section does not apply to a member of the legislature who files a signed statement with the presiding officer of the body in which the member serves, stating that the member wishes to receive salary and per diem notwithstanding the fact that the legislature has not passed all of the major appropriation and revenue bills. This statement must read as follows:
"I request continuation of my legislative salary and per diem living expenses beyond the May adjournment of the legislative session. I understand that the health and welfare of Minnesota citizens may be imperiled as a result of the failure of the legislature to pass all of the bills designated as major appropriation and revenue bills. I further understand that failure of the legislature to pass all of the bills designated as major appropriation and revenue bills may result in the shutdown of critical government services and lost wages for public servants affected by a shutdown.
The sentiment of this legislation is lost in the opportunity for legislators to simply sign a document buried in bureaucracy.

Let's just keep it simple. If you don't get your job done, you don't get paid!


AI - Guys Top 10

A = Elliott - Best performance of the evening. Great voice, solid pitch
A = Chris - Nice way to finish the show. One of the strongest in the competition.
A- = Taylor - Little Flat tonight. His style is vulnerable to songs like this. Still one of the best, though
A- = Gedeon - Slow start but powerful finish. First sign of nerves from him. If he can settle down he will be around for the alter rounds
B+ = Ace - Off his game, but still Top 6 material

--Significant separation here --

C+ = Bucky - Nice job, but nothing special. Not part of the elite tonight
C = Will - Better then least week but is vulnerable do to Kevin's like-ability factor
C = David - Not spectacular. He was in his safe zone and still couldn't sell it
C = Kevin - Flat, off tonight. Will his cuteness carry him through to the Top 12
C- = Sway - He's gone. He had a chance to distance himself from last weeks falsetto fiasco and I don't think he did it. He should his weakness and I would be surprised if he makes it past tonight

= = = =

Current Top 6 prediction:
Locks: Taylor, Elliott, Ace, Chris
Almost: Gedeon, Bucky
Bubble: Will, David, Kevin

Gone tonight: Sway and either David or Will.

Great breakdowns on Reality TV Magazine.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Rassy's Governor Poll

The Governor continues to slip:
Pawlenty currently trails Attorney General Mike Hatch by five percentage points--45% to 40%. Last month, Pawlenty led Hatch 47% to 44%. Pawlenty is also now neck-and-neck with State Senator Steve Kelley, 42% to 42%. In our January poll, Pawlenty led Kelly 46% to 37%.
We saw similar movement from Rasmussen in the Senate Race, where the front runner added slight gains, and the other candidate made increases large enough to prove their viability.

Governor Pawlenty will be walking on egg shells this session. It will be interesting to see how much he moderates over the course of the next few months. It's clear that he has his work cut out for him if he hopes to keep his political ambitions alive through re-election.


Updated Truth

We had a great discussion on the Midwest Heroes ad in the thread below. One of the items in questions was the statement:
"American troops overwhelmingly support the mission President Bush has given us"
Keeping in mind the definition of overwhelm is:
Overwhelm=to cover over completely : SUBMERGE b : to overcome by superior force or numbers c : to overpower in thought or feeling
Now let's look at a recent Zogby poll of our military.
U.S. Troops in Iraq: 72% Say End War in 2006

* Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll shows just one in five troops want to heed Bush call to stay “as long as they are needed”
* While 58% say mission is clear, 42% say U.S. role is hazy
* Plurality believes Iraqi insurgents are mostly homegrown
* Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11, most don’t blame Iraqi public for insurgent attacks
* Majority of troops oppose use of harsh prisoner interrogation
* Plurality of troops pleased with their armor and equipment
Rasmussen has the goods on the views of American Citizens as well:
Just 39% of Americans now believe the U.S. and its allies are winning the War on Terror. That's down from 42% earlier this month and from 44% in January. With just one exception, this is the lowest level of confidence ever measured by Rasmussen Reports.

Even more dramatic is the fact that 36% now believe the terrorists are winning. That's up five points over the past two weeks and up ten points since our January survey.
At some point, this administration will no longer be able to play the slight of hand spin game. Both the military and the populace are wising up to that strategy.