Sunday, April 30, 2006

Minnesota Music Showcase TODAY

If you are looking for something interesting and entertaining to do on this gloomy Sunday, consider venturing to Highland Park Senior High School. Today is the Minnesota Music Showcase featuring Minnesota's three premier Drum Corps along with other musical talents. A five spot gets you two hours of unique and enjoyable entertainment. First note is at 2:00 p.m. so ya better hustle!


Friday, April 28, 2006

MN-Governor; DFL Endorsement Battle

Both MNCR and Northern Debater are doing an excellent job in following the DFL gubernatorial endorsement battle. I have been pretty quiet on this topic as there isn't a candidate that has really shined brightly to me. In fact, Sue Jeffers is the one candidate that has peaked my interest more then the others. Hatch has been staying out of the mix, so most of the fireworks have been between the Kelly and Lourey camps.

Initially, Hatch looked in trouble when you considered anti-Hatch numbers to Hatch numbers. But over the last several weeks the bickering has been between the two anti-Hatch candidates. For me, I was leaning Kelley, but now I don't see a scenario where I could support him, the Molligator controversy being a biggy for me. Second, one would have thought that the Kelley-Lourey delegates would eventually joined forces and capture the nomination away from Hatch. But that appears more and more unlikely considering the animosity that has built up over the last few weeks.

What does this mean? I see that Hatch is looking more and more like a slam dunk. That he played it wise to lay low during this process, and that the most unbeatable ticket the Dems could put forward right now is a Hatch/Lourey one. There traveling together of late may even have given them the opportunity to mend fences and work towards the common good of the State.

But that's just me

The Right is Down

Some of the major Right Wing Bloggers (Capt. Ed, Powerline, Instapundit, SitD) Are having server issues today. I gave Mitch a heads up and he responded with something that made me laugh:
(Someone) once noted that having Powerline, Ed and Instapundit all on the same server is like leaving all the P-40s lined up wingtip to wingtip at Pearl Harbor.
And so it goes, The Left controls the Blogosphere, until the tech at Hosting Matters gets thing going again! Meanwhile the free hosting site that many chide at will, is purring like a kitten (knocking on every piece of wood I can find).


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is T-Paw Running?

Ya know, this whole Jeffers thing can be nipped pretty quickly if the Governor would formally announce his re-election plans. As of yesterday, there is only ONE announced candidate for the GOP nomination and she is being treated like a pariah by the Party.

Why wouldn't someone with gubernatorial aspirations line-up with a major party that has a similar ideology, and no announced candidate. As long as the incumbent refuses to declare his candidacy, the race is wide open. It is difficult for me to sit back and watch MDE and Andy at RF get all up in a tizzy defending the non-existent candidacy of the current Governor.

Until he officially announces, the race is wide open. But then, of course, he would have to give up his free Friday campaign ad.
WCCO will probably continue to air the show until Pawlenty makes a formal campaign announcement or receives the Republican endorsement in June.

Powerline Plays Favorites

North Star Politics found this gem from Powerline:
Klobuchar has proved to be an excellent County Attorney. She has vigorously supported the prosecution and incarceration of the gangbangers without the slightest public display of hesitation, handwringing, or apology. Although the competition is not stiff, she is the best Hennepin County Attorney of the past 30 years. Today's Star Tribune has a good profile of her: "Amy Klobuchar talks about life, politics, and family."
Could an official endorsement be in the offing? Unlikely, but it kind of puts a damper on the allegations at KvM.


RIP - Tom

He will be missed:
Laughter silenced as Tom Moore, MBI drummer, passes

On April 22nd, former MBI lead snare drummer Tom Moore passed away suddenly in his sleep.

Here is the funeral notice that was in the newspaper:

Thomas W. Moore, Jr., Age 41, suddenly on April 22, 2006. Preceded in death by parents, Tom & Betty. Survived by close friend Janelle Indridason and her children, Kaitlyn and Emily; brother, Ray (Nancy); sisters, Carla (Richard) Holland, Dorene Berg, & Roberta (Scott) Brown; many nieces and nephews; 7 2 great nieces. Graduate of Como High School. Attended U of W, River Falls. 19 year MPLS letter carrier. Lifetime friend-ships were made through St. Paul Scouts, St. Croix Rivermen, and Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as his darts and softball teams.

Service Friday at 11am at FAITH LUTHERAN CHURCH, 499 Charles Ave., St. Paul. Interment Elmhurst Cemetery. Visitation TODAY 4-8pm at BRADSHAW, 1078 Rice St. at Magnolia, St. Paul (651-489-1349), and one hour before the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.
I performed with Tom back in the 80's. It has been awhile since I saw him last, but I will always remember his boisterous laugh, good spirits, and his opinionated demeanor. It was all good.

Take care my friend!


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Its Official

Updates on a couple stories I have been following this week.

Tony Snow
Acknowledging the challenges ahead, former Fox News analyst Tony Snow began his second stint at the White House on Wednesday, this time as press secretary.

President Bush appeared with Snow in the White House briefing room to announce his choice 15 years after the commentator was a speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush.
Two more weeks of Scotty, then the blizzard hits.

Sue Jeffers
Sue Jeffers will make an official announcement, Thursday, April 27 at 12:00 o'clock noon that she will seek the Republican Party endorsement for governor. The announcement will be held in the Rotunda of the State Capitol Building. Voters of all parties are invited to join Sue in this effort to make People Before Politics a reality.

Although Jeffers has not officially accepted the Libertarian Party endorsement, she is seeking support from various parties, in order to win this election. Since no one is challenging Tim Pawlenty from within the GOP, Jeffers had no other choice but to enter the race.
I would like to see the MN GOP reach a compromise with the Jeffers camp that will allow her an opportunity to present her ideals to the State Convention.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More on Jeffers and the MNGOP!

Andy at Residual Forces challenges my centricalness with a post Centrist my Arse. He concludes:
This whole thing by Jeffers is an attention grabbing scheme, and lefties like Flash will be shouting this from the roof tops.
To imply that this is just some sort of strong arming by Carey and the Republicans is just plain Leftristic.
So lets look at some others who, by Andy's definition must also be 'Leftristic':

Tracy at Strib Forevah:
Sue Jeffers took our advice and decided to challenge Tim Pawlenty for the Republican endorsement for Governor. Good going Sue! Unfortunately the MN Republican party is run by assholes.
kb of SCSU Scholars in the comments:
Let Jeffers come and let her speak, and then let her hear how Pawlenty's view is the right view for Minnesotans. You DO think he'd clean her clock, right?
And there is Tony from 'Always Right, Usually Correct' who shared his frustration with the MNGOP a few weeks ago. He seems to share similar concerns in the same comment thread above,
If the GOP were interested in anything more than power/control (and I doubt they are) they would seek to find the best candidate/person/representative in every race. Instead they shut down competition in the Senate race, are on the verge of accepting an immoral girl in the 6th and blindly rally behind a Governor that has, to use the GOP vernacular, flip-flopped on nearly every major plank of his own campaign platform.

Good luck in 2006. Fighting to keep Jeffers from speaking at the convention will look incredibly negative. And I have a feeling that is something that the Strib & Press will jump all over. Fighting to let her speak will push Pawlenty to the right again.
He also laid it out in his most recent Podcast (yes I listened to it. About 6 minutes).

I have no dog in this fight, I merely pointed out the spiraling collapse of a power hungry party. The MNDFL has similar issues, but hasn't resorted to exclusionary tactics . . . . . yet!


Snowing in DC

Looks like Tony is going to take the gig:
Sources close to the White House said Monday that Fox anchor Tony Snow is likely to accept the job as White House press secretary, succeeding Scott McClellan.
On his health:
The sources said Snow, who has been battling colon cancer, got a good prognosis from his doctor last week and that Snow resolved his concerns about taking the job over the weekend.
I'm glad he is doing better. I also look forward to his tenure in the Flak Jacket.


Monday, April 24, 2006


OK, so one of the stories brewing over the weekend was the fledgling GOP Gubernatorial Campaign of Sue (Stub and Herbs) Jeffers and her attempt to get access to the GOP delegate list in order to pursue the nomination. Now, I don't even believe she thinks she has a legitimate shot at the nomination. But she should have a reasonable expectation to what should be an open process. Her conservative cred is clear, both fiscally and regarding the restrictions of property rights. But the State GOP is blowing her off:
She faces just one big obstacle: Top party officials say Jeffers is not a real Republican and are blocking her attempts to participate in the process.
Carey said the party's executive committee will not provide Jeffers with the lists of some 1,500 recently elected state convention delegates, an essential tool for organizing an endorsement campaign.
The MN GOP is in rough electoral shape, and why they would want the negative press that goes along with their persistence in anointing candidates and demanding unity, rather then having the body selecting their nominees and uniting behind them seems backwards. I have already seen buyers remorse with Mark Kennedy after pushing Grams and Gutknecht off the cliff to clear the path for Mark. Here was an opportunity for the Party Leadership to show they are the party of inclusion rather then exclusion and simply allow Jeffers her moment to express the frustration probably shared by many within the party. Instead they are pushing her aside, and we may see this disenfranchisement fester throughout the campaign.

What sparked me on this issue was a message sent to the Minnesota Political Discussion forum this AM. In part:
It has now come out that Ron Carey has refused her access to the GOP's state delegate list, even though she is seeking the GOP endorsement. The GOP has an incumbent governor, and conventional wisdom dictates you stick with that, but the republican party claims to be built on open, inclusive and democratic (small d) principles. Not only has Carey refused Sue Jeffers access to the delegates list, but he's suggested changing the rules of the state convention to block her even entering!!!
The writers adds this at the end:
Any republican delegates or alternates who believe as I do that it is up to the delegates of the convention to decide who to endorse, and not one man (Ron Carey), contact me. I'd like to begin organizing a walking caucus ahead of the convention.
I am totally undecided on this year's Governors race. So much so that I am looking at all candidates from all party's. Jeffers will be getting an extra look from me.


UPDATE: I admitted I was late to the ball on this. I stumbled across this post with some interesting comments.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Cold and Icky

I taunted the lovely Mrs. Flash when I called her from Scranton yesterday. While you folks back home were dealing with gloomy skies and pouring rain, I was basking in warm sun and 70+ degrees. Well that all changed today. Pissing rain and low 40s that feel more like low 30s. That'll teach me to brag about being out of town in warmer weather.

I catch a red eye in the morning and will be home by 10:ish. I am ready to go now, but when you aren't in a city that is a hub you take what you can get.

If you haven't picked up on this story yet, be sure to check 'Still Free'. It s a video of a couple guys sneaking onto Andrews Air Force base and spray painting graffiti on Air Force One. It was so realistic it prompted the Air Force to do an inspection of the aircraft. The Filmographer later admitted the hoax and explained how they did it.
The pranksters responsible for the grainy, two-minute web video -- employed by a New York fashion company -- revealed Friday how they pulled it off: a rented 747 in California painted to look almost exactly like Air Force One.

"I wanted to do something culturally significant, wanted to create a real pop-culture moment," said Marc Ecko of Marc Ecko Enterprises. "It's this completely irreverent, over-the-top thing that could really never happen: this five-dollar can of paint putting a pimple on this Goliath."
Watch it HERE.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Off to Scranton

I'll be incommunicado for most of the weekend. I'm off to Scranton for Spring Drum Corps meetings. Play nice while I'm gone.

If you haven't locked in next Wednesday yet, it should be the best Drinking Liberally ever. Be sure to attend the 5th Congressional District Candidate Grip 'n Grin with most all the contenders:
Saavedra and Erlandson have confirmed, and Schiff has moved to a definite. This is in addition to Ellison, Pond, Dorfman, and Nelson-Pallmeyer, whom I mentioned yesterday but didn't link.

All the above candidates will be at the 5th CD Meet and Greet at the 331 Club on Wednesday, April 26th from 6-9 pm.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it, but sitting back and watching the interactions will be entertaining enough.

I'll be back by noon Sunday, but checking in periodically while I am gone!


I'm a Centrist

Shocked, SHOCKED I say!!
CENTRISTS espouse a "middle ground" regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice.

Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind, tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.

The RED DOT on the Chart shows where you fit on the political map.
Take the Quiz here.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Williams 2, Prosecution 1

Another chapter in Das Booty is closed (from the PiPress):
Jurors found former Minnesota Vikings player Moe Williams guilty today of disorderly conduct, but acquitted him of two indecency charges related to a bawdy team party on Lake Minnetonka last fall.

A Hennepin County judge sentenced Williams to 10 days in jail and ordered him to pay a $500 fine. But the jail term and $200 of the fine will be stayed for a year, provided Williams stays out of trouble.

The judge ordered Williams to perform 30 hours of community service during the next six months with agencies that serve women and children.
I can't help but think Williams was made some sort of scapegoat. I am not defending his actions, I just don't think it amounts to being criminal, at least when compared to the behavior of others. The difference was defined as a public -vs- private issue. But there are reports that others engaged in similar, if not more egregious, public interactions:
defense attorneys Earl Gray, for Culpepper, and Joe Friedberg, for Williams, alleged that Hennepin County sheriff's investigators have evidence that the captain of one boat kissed a woman's exposed nipple while he was at the wheel. The papers allege this happened immediately after the manager of a strip club paid the woman and also touched her with his mouth.
Yeah, the race card is in play, but I even wondered why others were not charged.

I'm sure we haven't seen the end of this mess, but another chapter is closed.


Two Days Late, 400 Billion short

MN Publius tips us all to the latest Mark Kennedy two step. And this is a two days late step.

Seems the Congressman posted a Press release on his website yesterday touting FREE tax service. However, this former accountant seemed to forget that taxes were due Monday, making his heads up on this assistance moot.

If that isn't bad enough, Rep. Kennedy's staffers have now backdated the press release to 4/11/06. Thanks to a heads up, MNPublius was able to grab a screen shot before the switch.

Talk about pandering. And to think this guy was an accountant. An accountant that helped facilitate the budget transition from a 130 Billion dollar surplus to a 400+ Billion dollar deficit. I wouldn't hire him to oversee my measly household budget, I can't imagine anyone giving him the PIN code to the federal coffers.


Here's an interesting Graphic. Average Deficit based on GDP Percentage:

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Scotty Skates

McClellan resigns:
WASHINGTON — White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove gave up some of his responsibilities and White House press secretary Scott McClellan announced his resignation Wednesday, continuing a shake-up in President Bush's administration that has already yielded a new chief of staff.
I'm not sure if I really like the word 'shake-up', a simple restructuring is what is going on. The President has been surrounded by the same people for quite some time, if anyone needs to have new voices and clear heads surrounding him, it is this President. Who's next to acquire the flack jacket:
McClellan is expected to remain in his job until a successor is named. Among those under consideration are Tony Snow, a former White House speechwriter under the first President Bush, former Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke and Dan Senor, a former coalition spokesman after the invasion of Iraq, according to Republican officials.
Tony Snow, now that is intriguing. I traded E-Mails with Tony when he announced his health issues just over a year ago. I hope this means he is doing better.

I wish Scott well, he had a tough job.


Al being Al

Rob Nelson from City Pages has a sit down with Al Franken.

Here's a snippet:
CP: Because your view of politics is grounded in satire, is there an even greater risk of your platform being too reactive in that stereotypically liberal way? Can reacting to right-wing nonsense have the effect of reinforcing right-wing power, of allowing them to keep the serve?

Franken: People are going to be so sick of [Republicans] by '08—they already are, really—that a campaign is going to have to include a critique of the last eight years. It'd be crazy not to include that. But it'll also have to include a vision going forward—the vision that we have.

CP: What is that vision?

Franken: It's the vision of a more just society in all respects—certainly in economic respects. There was a report out in the New York Times recently from David Cay Johnston—who we have on the [Air America] show a lot—about how much the wealthiest Americans have benefited from the latest tax cut. Tax justice is going to be part of this [vision]. And simple things like the living wage. Fair-trade deals. Health care for everyone. Investment in our schools—which we in Minnesota used to lead, and now we're not anymore. Using science again [laughs]. Addressing the real problem, which is global warming—that's just a common-sense issue and a moral issue. Renewable energy, bio-fuels. Pension reform, making sure that people have safe retirements. Addressing the stupid bankruptcy stuff. Establishing a foreign policy where we respect the views of other countries—where we make ourselves more secure by doing that.
Great stuff, but it is Al Franken. The Left will praise it, Right will cherry pick it, and I'll just read it!


From the Old Media to the New

Mitch (via Nihlist) points us to Mark Yost's (former PiPress) new digs (here and here). With a son in the Atlantic as we speak, I'll be following Yost's offerings closely.


AI - America's Songbook

Finally, a show I could kick back and enjoy. 6 of the 7 performances were all of a high quality. As for the 7th, I actually felt bad for Kellie.

Here's my quickie take, the order is based on my personal opinion of last night's performances only, not overall ranking:

1 - Taylor; Everything Simon said about Katharine should have been said about Taylor. He is in a league of his own and showed it once again last night

2 - Elliot; The only thing he is battling is his looks. But once again he showed last night he has the overall best vocals of all remaining contestants

3 - Chris; He gets bonus points for removing himself from his rocker image and showing he can nail an old standard as well as a hard rocking tune

4 - Paris; Paris was so very good tonight. The only reason she is sitting at 4 is simply because the others are better.

5 - Katharine; To be fair, I didn't know the song or care for it for that matter. I even said as much to my wife, that I 'think' she did pretty good but was distracted by the song choice. Again, she could be as high as #2 but the competition is heating up.

6 - Ace; Probably Ace's best performance of the competition, but that just shows he is not in the upper tier. Even at his best, he is lacking that of the upper top talents.

7 - Kellie; When Kellie made that first turn into the key change, and missed it totally by a half step I cringed. But then to have to put up with her singing the rest of the song like that was horrifying. She had an opportunity at the next turn to correct herself, but she couldn't pull it off. Not the sign of an American Idol. To her credit, I was impressed by her maturity and composure during the critique. She let slip out how bright and intelligent she really is, and only confirms her Country Bumpkin persona is nothing more then a schtick.

Bottom Three - Ace, Elliot, Kellie Dark Horse: Paris (Should be Katharine, but Simon saved her booty last night)

Going home - Ace has met the end; but I wouldn't be surprised to see Kellie go. Her performance last night was dreadful enough that there may not have been a flocking to the polls for her.

= = = =

DialIdol Rankings
(DialIdol guestimates results based on Busy Signal frequency)

1-3 Taylor Hicks 30.774 1.574 -
1-3 Elliott Yamin 30.29 1.579 -
1-3 Katharine 27.763 1.608 -
4-6 Kellie Pickler 27.188 1.614 -
4-6 Chris Daughtry 25.409 1.634 -
4-6 Paris Bennett 24.376 1.645 -
7 Ace Young 20.5 1.687 -

= = = =

As always, Bogus Doug has the best Idol coverage on the Net. Be sure to stop by.


UPDATE: DialIdol nails it. The Bottom three were Chris, Paris, and Ace, with Ace going home. Nice to see Elliott getting the vocal respect he deserves.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rice Street Revitalization

Why Mitch continues to bag his own town, in favor of pushing ridiculous memes is beyond me. If you didn't know better (I work just off Rice street at a public middle school) you would think this part of town is a gulag.

Mitch's fiction:
Rice Street, for non-Saint Paulites, is a toilet; from University Avenue all the way up to the border with Roseville, Rice Street is a morass of skeezy bars and junkyards and blight - a little piece of Minneapolis in a part of Saint Paul that has defied the city's generally good trends, home both to nihilistic gang-bangery and blue-collar white moronism (a couple of beating deaths of black guys at biker bars over the years punctuate the endless stories of drug killings, violence, and general awfulness).

- snip -

Rice Street, in the shadow of the Capitol, is a monument to the the limits of Minnesota's "Better Life through Better Government" philosophy that obtained here from the forties through the nineties.

- snip -

It doesn't take a baloney detector to see Rice Street needs to be cleaned up; it's one of Saint Paul's most miserable main drags.
and the reality for those that chose to pay attention:
The North End Business Association formed the Rice Street Action team to identify opportunities for redevelopment and to help guide SPARC in the facade improvement effort. The Rice Street Action Team is expecting another 10 to 20 facade improvements to occur over the next year (currently 7 or 8 are in design/negotiation). Through my office (Councilmember Lee Helgen; Ward 5), I have made available addition STAR fund from the Ward 5 NIIF account to fund a crime prevention through environmental design program (CPTED) administered by District 6 and the Rice Street Beat cops.

Below are some specific examples of recent work along Rice Street:

Mama's Pizza - Facade improvements and new signage
Healtheast Clinic - New building and landscaping
Dar's Double Scoop - New ice cream shop and renovated building
Ace Auto Parts - New building with brick exterior and landscaping
Best Car Wash - New business with substantial exterior improvements
857 Rice Street - Facade improvement underway to address the blight of a 20 year vacant building
Tin Cups - New sign
Lonetti's - New sign
Father and Son Auto Parts - New sign
Monster Ink - New sign (along with several other businesses)

Projects in the works:

The Winnipeg - 28 unit housing / mix use project
The Winnipeg II - Housing / mix use project at the old flower hut site
Twin Cities Roofing - New office building / show floor
SPARC Facade Improvements

Projects with some possibility:

New grocery store
New senior housing
New KFC and other development at the Club Cancun site
New coffee shop
New restaurant next to Dar's Double Scoop
I am not trying to claim that Rice street, in the tough North End of the city, is a bed of roses, but it is a far cry from the blighted toilet Mitch claims it to be. Community leaders, neighbors, and local businesses are working diligently to improve the area and shake the stigma Mitch chooses to propagate. We as citizens have two choices, be part of the problem, or part of the solution. I look forward to the day my neighbor down the street quits his beefin', rolls up his sleeves and joins us in being part of this revitalization. But first, he needs to recalibrate his baloney detector!


Monday, April 17, 2006

Left of Centrisity

I have been taunted recently by my Right leaning friends that I should change the name of my Blog to 'Left of Centrisity' I have never masked my Left lean to the various platform issues out there. I say as much in my tag line up on the banner. I maintain my Moderate credibility when I distance myself from the Left on key issues. I support the Minnesota Personal Protection Act, I am open to the funding of private schools through a public compensation formula as long as it protects the needs of the public school system, and I have not wavered on our need to use whatever force necessary to battle the evil and terror in this world. So it did not surprise me when I read Jeff's quicky blurb a BotML:
I’m still a moderate overall, but the past four years have pushed me further to the left than I once was. In part this is a natural reaction, I think–above all else, I’m a pragmatist, and if the Bush administration hasn’t proven the moral bankruptcy and intellectual vacuity of the right, I don’t know what else could.
Some claim the moderate middle is just a bunch wishy washies who can't make up their mind. I believe the middle is a large group of individuals with strong beliefs and a commitment to finding common ground to move our society forward. Unfortunately, the far Right has a strangle hold on power and aren't all that willing to debate, discuss, or even negotiate towards this common good. It is a 'their way or the highway' mentality. I believe that is why the President's poll numbers continue to plummet:
Sunday April 16, 2006--Thirty-nine percent (39%) of American adults approve of the way George W. Bush is performing his role as President. That's the lowest level of approval ever measured by Rasmussen Reports.
I believe the American public is becoming more disenfranchised with the current status quo.

So I will agree that I may have moved a little bit further left over the past couple years, but would maintain that the electorate has moved left with me. And if we could count those who were on either side of me, that number probably hasn't changed much over the last several years.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

He has Risen!

Matthew 28:1-10:
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Tax Day Delay

Since April 15th falls on the weekend, Americans have until midnight Monday, the 17th, this year. Mine were filed long ago. If you're curious, the President and Vice President have already released theirs to the public. You can find them here.

Have a safe and enjoyable Holiday weekend!


Retire Rummy?

November 2004:
(T)he job of the Commander-in-Chief is to set the strategy and to set the direction of policy and say to those who are in charge of implementing the policy, you'll have that which you need. And I have said that ever since we've begun operations in Iraq; I said it when we began operations in Afghanistan. And it's still true. And if the commanders were to bring forth a request, I would look at it -- I would listen to it very seriously and implement the request. They have yet to do so.
April 2006:
Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who led troops on the ground in Iraq as recently as 2004 as the commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, on Thursday became the fifth retired senior general in recent days to call publicly for Rumsfeld's ouster.
Well, Mr. President, when does the implementation begin? I know, they're retired now so I suppose their opinion doesn't matter.

The Moderate Voice has much more!


The Chief Speaks

The good folks at K v M have been taunting the Hennepin County Attorney as they try to pin the increased crime rates in Minneapolis on her. REW, in a post on DFL Senate, did a great job of systematically dissecting and expunging that argument.
Bush Administration cuts in the popular COPS program have contributed to this significant decline in the number of officers on the street.

Also partially at fault is the officers who were cut thanks to Governor Pawlenty's previous gouging of the Minneapolis LGA.

In Hennepin County as a whole, the serious crime rate has decreased every year from 1997 through 2004 - with an overall reduction of 36% in that period.
And now we have the out going police chief of Minneapolis weighing in on why he feels there has been a spike:
Remember, crime was up prior to my arrival, and the rise in crime was and remains a direct correlation to staffing reductions. The [Minneapolis Police Department], as with many departments around the country, was decimated by budget cuts ... and it will take some time to recover.
There are multiple reasons why Minneapolis is having problems right now. If the surrogates of the Kennedy camp want to try to pin the problems in Minneapolis on a County Attorney, then they can sit back and watch as our Next US Senator touts success after success!


Thursday, April 13, 2006

St. Paul Ford Plant to Close in '09

The union members got the word this AM:
"The international union informed your union leadership at 7:20 a.m. today that Ford Motor Company will be announcing that the Twin Cities assembly plant will be closed in 2009," a written bulletin from the plant's UAW local said. "Although this is not good news for any of us, we still have the opportunity to turn this around. It's not over until it's over."
But Ford is hedging:
Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said, "We've made no such announcement, and we have nothing to announce at this point."
UAW Local 879, has scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m., where I suspect everything will be more clear.

The Ford Plant, in the Highland area of St. Paul, has been a long time staple for the community. The closing was inevitable as the budget axe was being wielded over the last few years. What will be important, is how the Mayor and Governor work together to assist displaced workers and how to best use the land that may be vacated.

We should know more after the press conference this afternoon.


UPDATE: The linked article above has now been updated with a confirmation from Ford:
The Twin Cities Ford assembly plant will close in 2008.

Ford officials confirmed the St. Paul plant's planned closing, along with the closing of a truck plant in Norfolk, Va., at noon today."The decision is final. The plant will be idled in 2008. That is the time frame," said Ford spokesman Dave Reuter. He added that the precise date for shuttering the St. Paul facility has not been determined.

Ford won't pursue an offer made this past winter by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the local union to locate an alternative fuels research facility in Minnesota. State officials had hoped the offer would entice Ford to keep the St. Paul plant open.
The closing will effect almost 2000 workers. UAW will assist in transitional opportunities for those that opt for that option:
"I can't comment beyond 2007, but I can tell you that we are working with the HAW, which will help our employees through this transition period," Reuter said. "This may involve some retirement, some educational and some separation packages. But it's a little bit too soon to get into those specifics. What I can tell you is that we will act with sensitivity and compassion."
It may be too soon, but as mentioned in the comments below, it's never to early to prepare for the inevitable.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

TPaw's Future

MN GOP Watch speculates on the a possible hidden meaning behind McCain's visit today:
If Tim Pawlenty is planning on joining the Republican Presidential ticket, the people of Minnesota deserve to know that he does not intend to finish his term if re-elected this November.
So the first chance I get, I would like to ask the Governor the following questions:

If re-elected, are you willing to commit to us right now that you will complete your second term?

Under what political scenario would you see yourself not completing your second term as Governor should the people of Minnesota give you that opportunity?

I'll be sending these two questions to the Governor. I'll let you know if I hear back from him.


sans Team Work

(via Midtopia)
Truth Surfer points out that Republican Tax Committee member Rep. Lanning was unaware of the latest bribe the House GOP wants to dole out just before the election:
Kind of makes you wonder just who in the GOP lead MN House is making decisions. Why bother with representation if only a handful (at best) are calling the shots. We knew that the House Republican leadership has refused to reach across partisan lines to House Democrats but apparently that now extends to their own party's elected officials. Even those that serve on boards that vet tax issues! Tell me this doesn't stink of a desperation to be re-elected....
Great Plains View seems to echo what I have shared in the past regarding one time fiscal carrots on a stick:
While that might help some GOP lawmakers get re-elected, what practical purpose does that serve? The average person will shoot through $205 in a hurry and when the money's gone we're still stuck in the same boat.

Rather than pandering, let's get our state's services back up to par. Once we're on solid budget footing, we can address real tax relief.
The Right is scrambling to save face following a 2004 where they almost let the House slip away. This is their last shot to retain their fragile hold on political power in MN. And we all know what happens when a rabid animal is backed into a corner. They will stop at nothing to escape. We better keep a close eye on them.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Spring Cleaning

I'm doing some sidebar cleanup, today

I added the conspicuously missing, yet must read North Star Politics along with Polinaut to the sidebar.

Unfortunately, I have removed Swiftee's E-Domicile due to its inactivity. Maybe if he stops by he can give us all an ETReturn. DFLBlog is also MIA

To bring some more balance to the Centrisity sidebar, I've started a Righty Tighties' section so I can have quick access to some of the National Righty blogs. And to make up for Swiftee's absence, you will find Always Right, Usually Correct added to my daily reading list. A refreshing Right side of the aisle location who doesn't continuously drum on with the latest RNC meme's that can make most of the other far Right sites quite dry.

I'm also including Rambix and the Red Star for their partisan take on Crime in the metro and their feeble attempts to pin it all on Amy. Someone's gotta keep an eye on them *grin* (see, Swiftee, it took two blogs to make up for you)

And finally, in the 'How could I keep forgetting to add this link' category. The most important addition of all. It is in the 'My Other Interests' section:

MN Beer!

That should do for now.

(Speaking of Beer, it is the second Friday of the month this week.)

Voter Simplicity

The resident Republican columnist at the STRIB takes her share of shellackings from the left side of the Blogosphere, but Sean at Midtopia has cause for one to sit back and evaluate her latest effort:
Kersten does a good job of laying out the issue, and the solution -- some form of photo ID or provisional ballots -- seems obvious. But Kersten, perhaps because of space limitations, doesn't really get into what we should do. She mentions a bill by Rep. Tom Emmer that would require a photo ID to vote; but all she does is ask "Is Emmer's bill perfect? Maybe not." She does not get into why she thinks it might not be perfect or what she would do instead.

-- snip --

The key is to have some sort of safeguard against fraud without raising undue barriers to voting. The electoral system hasn't collapsed with the current lenient rules, so draconian new rules aren't called for.
It is clear to me that the current Republican administrations are not interested in providing everyone the best opportunity to cast their ballots. But there is a legitimate concern regarding fraud and the ability for individuals to vote improperly, repeatedly, and/or ineligibly. Sean has a simple answer:
Some form of photo ID, with a fallback option for people without such an ID, should do the trick.
Seems simple enough. Make sure you have proper identifications, and if you don't we'll provide you an opportunity to cast your ballot anyway, while preserving the integrity of your and everyone else's ballot through some alternate from of authentication.

Besides, some people simply make mistakes:
Palm Beach County's elections supervisor has given Universal Press Syndicate columnist Ann Coulter 30 days to explain why she voted in the wrong precinct, according to a Wednesday piece by Palm Beach Post columnist Jose Lambiet.

-- snip --

"Florida statutes make it a third-degree felony to vote knowingly in the wrong precinct. Lying on a voter's registration can cost up to $5,000 and five years behind bars."

Coulter could not be reached for comment.
WHAT, Ann Coulter at a loss for words! WaHooooo!! . . . . but I digress!


Hillary Troubles?

Joe Gamdleman of The Moderate Voice shares "Nomination Problems For Hillary Clinton?" I've been pretty clear on where I stand with regards to a Hillary candidacy (11/2004):
For me, I'll go on the record. I can't think of a single scenario where I would vote for Hillary Clinton.
And it seems that I am not alone.
Are Democrats starting to feel afraid of nominating Hillary Clinton because she is perceived as too polarizing and too risky? According to this report, the answer is yes
From that Link:
Democrats are so intent on winning the White House in 2008 they may be afraid to nominate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., several top pollsters conclude.

Convinced that Clinton is too divisive to win a general election, many Democrats are looking for a candidate with more crossover appeal, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday.
Which is exactly where I am at. It is not about how good of a President Senator Clinton would be. It is about how distracting the campaign would become as the Right would have a variety of opportunities to distract the electorate with their Smear Boat tactics. I have a feeling that the Left will slowly begin to realize that they can not afford to put forth such a polarizing figure, and that one of the several other competent and qualified Democratic leaders will emerge as their best hope for reclaiming the White House.


Monday, April 10, 2006

EXCLUSIVE:5 Minutes with Sen. Barack Obama

Following is a 5 minute exchange I had with one of the rising stars in National Politics, Senator Barack Obama. The transcript is virtually verbatim, however I did take some liberties in transfering our words from an impromptu dialogue to this post.
Upon the arrival of the Senator, we made ourselves at home in a small teachers' lounge or workroom. There was a small round table, with an assortment of snacks, where I set up my laptop and notes. Seated at the table were Sen. Obama, Sen Mark Dayton, and myself. Sen. Dayton was not participating in the interview, but was taking advantage of the time to go over his prepared remarks leading up to the rally. Nate Tamarin, Political Director for the 'hopefund', was also in the room.

We only took a few moments to get set up and comfortable. Sen Obama cozied up to the table, grabbed a handful of snacks, popped a couple in his mouth and said "Whataya got for me" or something to that effect.

Sen. Obama in Bold

Please to meet you Sen. Obama. I’m very honored to have this opportunity.

Thank you

I’ve been doing a little research. I read your comments in Connecticut talking about 'it's time for the Democratic Party to get over it’s identity crisis' and to not let anyone tell them that they don’t know what they stand for. But then I also read your comments when you visited with the Blogger in Kansas where you talked about being ‘flexible’. So how can the Democrats be flexible at a time when the Left is trying to shake this Right Wing ‘meme’ that they don’t have a defined plan

I think we have to be absolutely firm on our values and the ends we are trying to achieve. We have to have some flexibility in thinking of new ways about how to achieve those ultimate goals. So I’ll take an example. I think that we have to, as a party, be in favor of Universal Health Care. The idea that we have 45 million uninsured or that people can be bankrupt if they get sick is unacceptable. Now, does it have to be a single payor plan, should we look at what they are doing in Massachusetts under a Republican Governor and a Democratic Legislature to create a system of mandatory insurance. We should be flexible in terms of seeing what is the best way to achieve the goal. But never give up on the goal.

Right, you mentioned that to Josh.

Especially when we are in a contested race here, both Gubernatorially and in the Senate, with the Republicans kind of coasting with their anointed candidacies, how do we make sure we have a healthy debate within the party without providing ammunition to the opposition during this process?

You know, by talking about issues. I think it is entirely legitimate for Democrats to have a debate about the best way to achieve universal health care, what is the best way to bring our troops back home from Iraq, what is the right balance between security and civil liberties. Those are all, I think, legitimate topics to debate. I would hope that in a Democratic primary we make sure that we always assume good faith on the part of our opponents.


I think that if people have healthy debate but at the end of the day each party is acknowledging that the other person is doing this for the right reasons.

Right, I’ve talked to both Dr. Bell and County Attorney Klobuchar and my comments to both of them was that I honor and respect their candidacies, I’ve decided to support Amy, but ‘Keep your eye on the prize’.

Yes, exactly! And from what I have heard Dr. Bell is a good guy!

I understand you went to Law School, Harvard, with RNC Chair Kevin Melhman

I did!

And you continue to have a relationship with him. Now I have a gathering about once a month where I bring bloggers from all across the political spectrum over to my garage and we have some beverages . . .

That’s great

Yes it is. Because what I find is that it sometimes can soften the rhetoric and keep our eye more focused on issues and things like that. Do you think your more active involvement on the National party scene may improve the level of discourse between the two parties.

You know, one of my dear friends and political mentors was a guy named Paul Simon.

I’m aware of him

He was one of these guys who had what would be considered a very liberal voting record. Yet he always did well in conservative areas. Nobody could ever figure out why accept for the fact that he had mastered the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable. I think that’s one thing that American politics generally would benefit from is being able to disagree, sometimes forcefully, without name calling and without viciousness.

Right, you had a little harsh criticism from Sen McCain about a month or so ago. How would you meet the challenges you face now as you risk your independent perception and are more public traveling at various Democratic events throughout the country.

Well, you know, look, I’m a Democrat and I’m proud of being a Democrat. And I’m proud of what the Democratic Party Stands for. You’ll notice that most of the time when I’m talking I’m talking affirmatively about what the Democrats stand for. And if I’m critical of the Bush Administration, for example, it’s going to be based on their philosophy. I'm not going to call them evil, or bad intentioned, but I am going to say that they have made a lot of big mistakes in terms of running the country.

I certainly agree. As we finish up, how do you see your role in the 2006 elections cycle evolve as we get closer to November.

I just want to help elect as many Democratic Senators as I can, and when I got a little spare time I’ll try to help some House Members as well.

Incredible. I am so honored to have this opportunity.

Great to See ya.


Thanks . . . Flash, I’m going to look you up!

= = = =



A Teaser
Star Power!
A Stroke of Luck

Sunday, April 09, 2006

With Deep Gratitude

Yesterday's experience would not have been as successful, or even possible, without the assistance of a few individuals.

Thanks to Jim and Nate with Sen. Obama's staff for securing the logistics.

Thanks to Franny with the Klobuchar campaign for making me feel warm and welcome at the event.

Thanks to Josh at 'Thoughts from Kansas' for assisting me in preparation. Josh had a similar interview with Sen. Obama back in March.

And finally, Mitch. Now Shot in the Dark is deep in red country, but Mitch and I have known each other too long to let our differences in political ideology interfere with our friendship. Mitch was very helpful in sharing with me several of the things he has learned during his time in the radio business.

Thanks again, folks.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Obama Interview; A Teaser

What a fantastic afternoon.

Senator Barack Obama is one of the most amiable and genuine individuals I have ever met. Once he arrived, and we took care of the initial pleasantries, he sat down, cozied up to the table, grabbed a handful of snacks, popped a couple in his mouth and said "Whataya got for me" or something to that effect.

Knowing my time was limited, I dug right in. The Senator was very engaging, yet personable. I was able to get through my material in the allotted time, with an opportunity for a couple photos at the end.

I hope to share some comments about the rally, and its overflow crowd. But my desire to get the interview transcribed in a timely manner may prohibit that. For now, you'll have to settle on this photo, so I can at least prove I was in the same room with him. *laughing*

Sen. Dayton, Sen. Obama, Cty. Aty. Klobuchar, The Anoka Flash

UPDATE: For those looking for Rally reviews, I strongly suggest visiting DFLSenate (teaser), Broken Nails, or ShotGunFreude

Star Power!

KvM posted the latest MN GOP jab at the Klobuchar campaign, for Rallying with a "Washington Celebrity".

Now, granted, Sen. Obama's rise to prominence has been quick, and it would be tough to argue away his celebrity status. But let's keep in mind that he is only a freshman in the US senate, having been at the job just over a year. What I found really humorous, was the last paragraph in the STRIB article today:
He joked about a new book, too. While many thought it was presumptuous for him to write an autobiography at age 33, he said, the book had done well and he had a title in mind for his second: "The Senate Months: My Remarkable Journey from 99th in Seniority to 98th."
If the GOP wants to compare a Freshman in the US Senate with the likes of their own 'Washington Celebrities' that have stumped for Kennedy (ie, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, need I go one) then by all means, go for it!


Friday, April 07, 2006

A Stroke of Luck

I have been granted a 5 minute Blog exclusive with Senator Obama prior to the start of the Rally tomorrow and have recently finalized logistics with his staff.

I have some thoughts after reading up on the Senator's latest spiels. I even found another blogger who had a similar opportunity.

If all goes well, I'll have the transcript up on Monday, hopefully with a couple photos.

So, what ONE question would you ask the Senator, if you had this opportunity.


UPDATE: Interview went GREAT. What a fantastic opportunity. I did print out ALL, yes all, the questions in the comments and handed them to his Political Director with the caveat that I don't expect responses, but if the Senator has time to look them over and have someone get back to me with answers it would be appreciated. I hope to post the transcript Monday, time permitting,

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bush Authorized Leak - CNN

CNN is breaking news that Scooter Libby has informed prosecutors that President Bush authorized the leak of Valarie Plame.

This could get real interesting. Raw Story has more:
A former White House aide under indictment for obstructing a leak probe, I. Lewis Libby, testified to a grand jury that he gave information from a closely-guarded "National Intelligence Estimate" on Iraq to a New York Times reporter in 2003 with the specific permission of President Bush, according to a new court filing from the special prosecutor in the case
Smoking Gun has the filing.

Raw Story is working off a NY Sun article that does go on to say:
The court papers from the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, do not suggest that Mr. Bush violated any law or rule. However, the new disclosure could be awkward for the president because it places him, for the first time, directly in a chain of events that led to a meeting where prosecutors contend the identity of a CIA employee, Valerie Plame, was provided to a reporter."

In a court filing late Wednesday responding to requests from Mr. Libby's attorneys for government records that might aid his defense, Mr. Fitzgerald shed new light on Mr. Libby's claims that he was authorized to provide sensitive information to the Times reporter, Judith Miller, at a meeting on July 8, 2003.
So even though there isn't a suggestion that the President violated the law, you would think he would have known better. You can slice and spin it anyway you want, but this isn't good for the administration, and if those on the Right want to say otherwise, they should take a moment and evaluate how they would react if the shoe was on the other foot.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Full Disclosure

Polinaut has a request of local bloggers:
Now that the FEC has decided not to treat bloggers as potential independent expenditures and allow them the freedom to say what they want and do what they want, perhaps it's safe to answer these questions.
So I did! Here are my answers:
-1- Are you paid in any way by a campaign or candidate?
No. This is a public stump for me to share my own views and visions. I have an ad free blog and have refused to become part of any group blog so as not to be tied to anyone else's viewpoints.
-2- Do you consult with campaign officials or party officials as to how the content on your site can be most beneficial to a particular candidate or party?
As part of any investigative or research process I have contacted campaigns for their views and input. But the content decisions are mine and mine alone.
-3- Are you as an individual paid by a campaign or affiliated with an organization or company that has as a client, a particular campaign or political party?
Definitely not, and if it ever happens I would presume I would either have Centrisity go dark, or would fully disclose such, prominently

There, are we clear now. Any more questions!


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Delay Done

What he said:
"I refuse to allow liberal Democrats an opportunity to steal this seat with a negative personal campaign," DeLay said in a video announcement Tuesday, a few hours after news broke of his decision.
Of course, he's thinking "That is OUR job, to slime and smear the opposition with rumor, conjecture and innuendo. What will the public think if the Left has a chance to go negative with actual facts and indictments. They will demand the same factual information from us, and frankly, the facts aren't on our side.

I'll miss Tom, but I will make sure no one forgets him as we get closer and closer to taking back this country in November!


Monday, April 03, 2006

Spring Break

I'm off this week, Spring break in the St. Paul schools. My 'honey do' list isn't too bad, but I have a bunch of Drum Corps administration to finish up, so it will almost be like a work week.

I've decided to take a break from Drum Corps. After 28 years of involvement, the last 15 or so in administration, I figured it was time for others to assume new roles. Maybe in a few years, when my kids are closer to graduation, I'll march again. But for now, I am moving all that is drum corps off my plate, which will make more room for family . . . . and politicking.

Now I am going to stare at my partially completed new front steps. If anyone knows a good Wrought iron railing maker, send them my way.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Snip Snip Here!

Wege noticed they posted the Drinking Liberally/Conservatively story on the STRIB site. I ended up on the cutting room floor, but there is a subtle mention:
and they occasionally gather for a joint party they call "drinking moderately."
There was some concern the article might get buried, but there it was this AM, in the Signature section, complete with pictures. They didn't use the one I had hoped, but you can see me in the background of the Keagan's shot.

Go read it!