Wednesday, May 31, 2006

TPaw to announce, FINALLY-UPDATE

So the Governor has made up his mind, we think anyway. The STRIB is reporting that TPaw and the Lt. Gov. will be officially announcing their re-election bid. MNGOPWatch does a nice job of detailing why any rational person may be unsure of the Governor's true intentions. But he'll hide behind the party and focus on November, and leave us in the lurch should political winds begin to blow in his favor. Of course, once he looses he may regret this decision. And if the GOP Smear machine is successful in deceiving the electorate once again, citizens need to realize a vote for TPaw is really a vote for Molnau as the next Governor.

As for his radio show, even-though 'The Good neighbor' stated that once the Governor announced, they would discontinue to the show, they will give him another month of free campaign advertising:
Pawlenty's office and WCCO Radio announced jointly Tuesday that the governor's weekly radio show, "Good Morning Minnesota," will be suspended after the June 30 broadcast.
I look forward to the full gamut of Gubernatorial candidates to get their equal time during that month of June.


UPDATE: So the Governor makes it official, and then some:
Tamping down speculation he has his sights set on Washington, Gov. Tim Pawlenty launched his re-election campaign today with a promise to stay in Minnesota for a full term.

"If I run for governor and win I will serve out my term for four years," he said at a park in Eagan, a suburb of St. Paul.
Now, the Governor has made promises before, like his Taxpayers League Pledge, and we all know how that turned out. But he has learned from his experiences.
Pawlenty said he won't renew the tax pledge even though he still embraces the philosophy.

"I'm not going to sign any pledges for any interest group for any reason," he said, adding that the Taxpayers League pledge has become a distraction.
Probably the smartest thing he has said since he became Governor.


Dear Tanya:

What the heck are you thinking! In a few months you wouldn't even have been on Kirby's radar, but in his death you want to create an aura of discontent for as long as possible, I don't know if you are pining for publicity or simply as cold hearted as you appear.

Ms Jodi Olson was the new love in Kirby's life. She has been very respectful and warm during this process, yet you are still trying to get your final digs in. Let it go! Be reasonable and open to the needs of not only your children, but the one woman who was providing the love and companionship to Kirby in what turned out to be the end of his time on this earth.

It's not too late to make amends and work out an acceptable conclusion to this awkward process. But if you wait too much longer, the lawyers will get more then anyone, and if that happens, you will appear to be the spiteful person that you are leading me to believe you are.

Let it go!



Tuesday, May 30, 2006


OK, so I had one of those wierd mornings followed by a busy day. Fortunately, Mrs. Flash and I have tickets to the theater and will be going out to see CATS tonight.

You'll have to wait till tomorrow for more of my political bickering.


Monday, May 29, 2006

The Greatest Generation

I went to a funeral last Wednesday. A childhood friend of mine lost his father who was 81. They lived across the street from my parents and we palled around a lot when we were kids. His dad was a great man, avid hunter, and engaged in the rearing of his only child with his wife.

As I was reading his biography in the obit, I learned something more about him. It was something I didn't know, or may have forgotten over the years, but it was moving to me. From his Bio:
He honored his country in World War II serving as a turret gunner in a B-17 and earning the distinguished Flying Cross for heroism. He also earned Ace status and several other highly honored awards.
Today we honor the service of Dan, and others who risked the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedoms.

But most importantly, we honor those who did not make it home, while defending this great nation. Have a safe and restful Holiday, and remember those who allow for us to enjoy this day, FREE!


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bell No Longer Clear

As recently as March 2006, Ford Bell agreed to abide by the DFL endorsement.
Bell says he will abide by the endorsement if the delegates overwhemingly endorse Klobuchar.
Now he says he's not:
Ford Bell has just announced on Almanac that he has decided to run in the primary.
So what is he going to change his mind on next. The Bell no longer rings clear, in fact, it never really did.


Friday, May 26, 2006

Capitol Hill Commotion

Reports of gunfire in or near the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill created a lock down situation. Reports are broad and conflicting. Here's the latest from CNN:
Police were searching the Rayburn building in the Capitol complex Friday after reports of gunfire in a garage in the building.

"At 10:30 this morning, we received a report of shots fired inside the Rayburn garage," Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a public information officer for the Capitol Police, said.

"At this time, we continue to investigate. We have tactical teams inside the building."

Armed officers were searching "the old-fashioned way," Schneider said, going door-to-door checking the 50 acres of office space in the 169 suites in the building.

CNN's Brian Todd reported at 1:30 p.m. that law enforcement officials said the search of the Rayburn building was "winding down."
Most interesting, is a staffer in Rep. Jack Kingston's (R-GA) office is Live Blogging from within the locked down environment.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Enron Verdict Reached - Guilty

CNN has the skinny
The jury in the Enron case has reached a verdict, and the decision in the corporate fraud case will be announced in less than an hour, a court clerk announced Thursday.

The jury of eight women and four men reached their verdict on the sixth day of deliberations in the case of Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling, who were charged with conspiring to hide the financial losses that brought down what was once the nation's seventh-biggest company.
Enron former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling and founder Kenneth Lay were found guilty Thursday of conspiracy and fraud in the granddaddy of all corporate fraud cases.

On the sixth day of deliberations, a jury of eight women and four men convicted the former executives of misleading the public about the true financial health of Enron, whose collapse in late 2001 symbolized the wave of corporate fraud that swept the United States early this decade.

Skilling was found guilty on 20 counts of conspiracy, fraud, false statements and insider trading. He was found not guilty on eight counts of insider trading.

Lay was found guilty on all six counts of conspiracy and fraud.

In a separate bench trial, Judge Sim Lake ruled Lay was guilty of four counts of fraud and false statements.

Both Lay and Skilling could face 20 to 30 years in prison, legal experts say.

Hoffa Humor

via MV
Late Teamster Boss Twits FBI For Failing to Find Him

Late Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa appeared in a new video broadcast worldwide today in which he taunted the Federal Bureau of Investigation for failing to find him in their recent search for his remains.

For the FBI, whose credibility as the nation’s top crime investigation unit has been somewhat tarnished in recent years, the surprising appearance of the Hoffa video is just the latest in a series of setbacks.

Looking surprisingly vigorous for a man who has not been heard from in over thirty years, Mr. Hoffa twitted the FBI agents for failing to locate him in Milford Township, about thirty miles north of Detroit.
Read the rest. if you dare!


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Erlandson's In

via Polinaut, Erlandson's in:
"Today, I answer the calls of my supporters to officially join Ember, Paul, Erik and Keith in the DFL race for Congress in the Fifth District. I believe there should be an open and vigorous debate about the issues facing our community, state and nation. Each of us brings a different set of skills, experience, background, and themes in a year that is extremely important to Democrats.
Ya gotta figure the endorsed candidate is in good shape when there is multiple challengers. With Ellison garnering the votes of the DFL Loyalists, the remainder will be divvied up four ways.

I believe a party's best chance at winning is to rally around the endorsed candidate as early as possible, and set your sites on the 'real' opponent on the other side of the aisle. But the 5th is a different beast, considering how late in the game the retirement was announced. Without the opportunity to make full use of the precinct caucus process, it seems acceptable to continue on to the primary.


Idol Final

While Kat struggled, Taylor proved worthy of the title. The votes won't even be close, unlike last week where everyone was biting their nails.

Dial Idol also has Taylor in a walk

1 45.583 Taylor Hicks
2 37.097 Katharine McPhee

Tonight will be an anticlimactic coronation. I'll watch, though, if only to see the reunion of the finalists.

Doug, of course, has much more.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Lloyd Bentsen, Gone at 85

From CNN:
Lloyd Bentsen, a former congressman, senator and treasury secretary, is dead, his family told CNN on Tuesday.

The 85-year-old Texan died of natural causes at 8:45 a.m. (9:45 a.m. ET) at his home in Houston surrounded by family, son Lan Bentsen said.
Tonight we will see repeated replays of the best debate smackdown ever:
As the Democratic 1988 vice presidential nominee, Bentsen was perhaps best known for his curt dismissal during a debate against Republican candidate Dan Quayle, who had compared himself to former President John Kennedy.

"Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy," Bentsen said. "I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
Bentsen was a class act, he will be missed.


Friday the 100.3

Chainsaws are rattling again.
It's the hottest rumor no one wants to talk about on the record, but it goes something like this: Former local talk-radio personality Jason Lewis will return this fall to take up residence on Clear Channel's KTLK (100.3 FM) -- the new rival to his former station, KSTP (1500 AM).
Mitch hinted at this last fall here, and here.

Love him or hate him, Jason Lewis is good radio. He is part of the formula the Right needs to slow down the hemorrhaging in Minnesota. Fall may be too late, or it could be the perfect storm. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the rumor unfolds.

Mitch has the inside baseball, so I bet he'll have something more definitive soon.


Monday, May 22, 2006

New Digs for MN CR

Be sure to stop on over to MN Campaign Report and check out his new digs. He put a nice sheen on that baby! Go take a look.


Pawlenty's Priorities

I think stadiums are a good thing. They create a quality of life in the community that is rare. When the teams are doing well it brings a level of pride and camaraderie that is difficult to conjure any other way. The economic opportunities are also advantageous. Not only fans coming into town providing business, but also the opportunity to bring in other cooperate interest, be it conventions, headquarters or expansions. People want to live where there is vibrant activity, not the 'cold Omaha' analogy that we hear often.

Governor TPaw is expected to sign the legislation. A bill that carries a tax increase. Yes, we have a Governor who signed a No New Tax Pledge, and the last time he needed money he pulled out his dusty old smoke and mirror tricks and called a tax a fee. Now it is a tax, plain and simple. When City Governments were being stripped of their LGA creating difficult decisions regarding crime and safety, taxes weren't an option. When children were being cut from Minnesota Care, taxes were off the table. While public education is reeling from increased energy costs, transportation expenses, and other uncontrollable budget items, taxes were not in the mix. But when the billionaire businessman wants a new playground for his team, Gov TPaw didn't even blink an eye about taxes.

I like the idea of a new stadium, and I have always said in any negotiations that everything must be on the table to have successful debate. When you limit your options, you limit your strength at the table. Governor Pawlenty has showed his weakness once again. Crumbling before the feet of private interests, at the expense of those who are unable to have expensive lobbyists defend their goals.

Yes, I was in favor of the stadium, but I am still in favor of healthy children, an educated society, and safe streets. What were Governor Pawlenty's priorities?


UPDATE: Pledge breakers
The following elected officials have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, thereby promising to "oppose (and vote against/veto) any and all efforts to increase taxes." yet voted FOR the stadium tax increase

State Senators

Paul Koering (Fort Ripley)
Bob Kierlin (Winona)
Mike McGinn (Eagan)

State Representatives

Frank Moe (Bemidji)
Bud Nornes (Fergus Falls)
Paul Gazelka (Brainerd)
Greg Blaine (Little Falls)
Rob Eastlund (Isanti)
Bob Gunther (Fairmont)
Jerry Dempsey (Red Wing)
Gene Pelowski (Winona)
Barb Sykora (Excelsior)
Mike Charron (Woodbury)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What a Difference a Year Makes

Survey USA Polling

May 2005

MAY 2006


2006 Crystal Ball

The Moderate Voice points us to the 2006 Election Forecast Map from Congressional Quarterly. Let's see what they have to say about MN.

Safe Democratic

Minn. 4 -- McCollum
Minn. 5 -- Sabo*
Minn. 7 -- Peterson
Minn. 8 -- Oberstar

Leans Republican

Minn. 6 -- Kennedy*

Republican Favored

Minn. 1 -- Gutknecht
Minn. 2 -- Kline

Safe Republican

Minn. 3 -- Ramstad
Tim Walz's campaign in the 1st is putting that race on the radar. I would have assumed in any other year that seat would have been listed safe with Ramstad. The 6th will be a dog fight, but it is an uphill battle for the Dems to take.

No Clear Favorite

Minn. -- Dayton*
CQ has it a toss up. Most recent polling from both sides of the aisle show this a lean Dem in what will be a bitterly fought battle. This Seat is Amy's to win, but it will take complete focus on the issues, and rapid response to the brutal attack we expect from the Right. It will be an interesting Summer.

No Clear Favorite

Minn. -- Pawlenty
Governor TPaw is in trouble, and with all the stadium talk going on in conference committee I am still not sure how he will reconcile his no new tax pledge with stadium bills that will have some form of revenue enhancement in them by the time they reach his desk. Since these bills are passing with very slim margins, a veto over-ride is unlikely. So Tim will have to balance his pledge to the Taxpayers League with the possiblility of being stuck with the label of 'The Governor who kicked the Twins out of the State' legacy. He's broken the pledge once already, what's one more shot for political ambitions sake.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It's Official

My youngest turns 13 today. Add that to my 14 and 16 year old and you have boy teens to the third power. Yes, it is an exponential thing. My loving, caring, sharing, mother always hoped I would have a son just like me and cackles at my current situation. I still love her! *grin*

Corporal Tom, currently finishing up a predeployment float on the USS Iwo Jima, left the teens on Monday, hitting the Big 20. His current deployment status will most likely keep him in Europe, with a chance at pirate hunting around Cape Horn. For now, he did not draw the Middle East card. He has a 10 day leave coming up where he will be with his new bride, and then a 6 month tilt. At that point, we'll know for sure.


Idol Quickie-Top 3

Taylor was spot on, rock solid, once again. I don't see anyone able to overtake him if he continues his poised and professional performances.

Kat's first and last songs were tragic. Her "Over the Rainbow" rendition could have been a 'Summertime' moment if she wouldn't have stumbled in the beginning and allowed her nerves to show through. Even Elliott had the old 'deer in the headlights' look last night.

Taylor was composed, calm, cool, and had the presence of a true Idol.

DialIdol numbers from last night:

1-2 Taylor Hicks - - - 31.638 1.512
1-3 Katharine McPhee - 28.759 1.544
2-3 Elliott Yamin- - - 28.286 1.549

I'll go with Simon in that Elliott will take the walk tonight. The guys are still splitting votes, and Taylor gets more of them.

Bogus Doug will have his moment by moment breakdown up around Lunchtime.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

SitD TC Radio Review

Mitch does a relatively balanced job in reviewing the state of Twin Cities talk radio. He gives some kudos to a few of the Lefty talkers, bags on some righties, and buries KFAN.

I like the 'FAN', but I am much more of a sports junkie then Mitch. I'll defer the Poli Talk reviews to him, but I'll expand on his KFAN krunching just a bit. Here is where Mitch starts off:
KFAN - Try as I might - and I have - I can not drum up the faintest scintilla of interest in sports radio. Seriously. I get more pleasure from watching paint peel. But nobody said Clear Channel was stupid. The Fan is a solid performer in its niche.
After the paint peel slam, he at least acknowledges a true performer. On to the shows:
KFAN - The Power Trip - Alleluiah - a sports show that sucks less than most other sports radio shows. I'll cop to it; I rarely follow sports, and it was an especial effort to listen to any of the Fan's shows. But it goes to show ya - after a decade of trying, at least something on the Fan is broadcast-quality.
*rolling eyes* The Power trip is the most juvenile morning show on the air. I don't listen to it much anymore, and when I do it is because I miss-hit my preset and they were playing a heavy metal lead in. I'll give kudos to the Superstars taste in music, but it ends there. Thank God my commute is short, there is really nothing on morning drive that has drawn my interest consistently.
KFAN - PA and Dubay - I know the guys have fans out there. I really do. And I can understand why they like them. But I have incredibly little patience for sports radio, and it shows whenever I try to listen to PA and Dubay. I can't make myself tolerate more than a couple of minutes. Like someone taking a rat tail file to my eyes.
Duckies and Bunnies (copyright Dan Cole) is a must listen for all sports junkies. The best analysis of local sports in the metro. It does have a homer tilt, obviously, but they don't pull any punches when the local clubs are whiffing. At least Mitch understands why us fans are fans, and I recognize that if you aren't knee deep into all the intricacies of the subject, you can find yourself lost at times.
# KFAN - Dan "The Common Man" Cole - I've tried. Oh, Lord, I've tried. But try as I may, I can't work up a reason to care about Cole's show. So I won't.
If radio is about entertaining, then Dan Cole is the answer. He is, by far, the most entertaining personality on the air. Sure his rants can get tiring, if you don't care for his schtick, but nothing is more engaging then a Common Man rant. Sorry, Mitch, try harder. There's some great stuff packed in the most enjoyable two hours of radio in the Twin Cities.
# KFAN - Chad Hartman - I've heard Hartman maybe three times. Each time, it felt like I was in a lecture on emergency medicine; I had no idea sports was such serious friggin' business..
# KFAN - Dan Barreiro - I started doing a review of Barreiro, and the biggest thing I noticed was...well, before I get to that, let me explain something about Dan Barreiro; he worked for many years as a sports columnist, before I get to that, have you ever wondered why they call them "columnists"? Like, columns? Roman columns? Hey, before I forget, what about those generals who were knocking on the President? That's some food for...say, speaking of food, there's this new Polish place in Northeast Minneapolis that makes the best ham sandwich...and speaking of ham, did you check out Ben Affleck? What's up with that...hey, while we're on the subject, what about that Katie Holmes? Do you think she was actually pregnant? She's a scientologist, which means, no drugs...which is never a problem for the drug gangs in South Minneapolis. What's up with that? Did you catch the Seinfeld re-run last night? I'm so glad I got cable...speaking of cable, time to take a break!
We're on the same page here, Mitch. I like the paring when they were on together. At least they could keep each other in check. Now it is a just a Hartman rant session, followed by a disorganized mess. I couldn't handle it anymore.

So what do I listen to. Morning Drive is all but 10 minutes tops. I listened to Coleman when he was on, but now it is usually a CD. There just isn't anything on in the AM worth focusing on. During football season I make it a point to catch at least a couple segments of PA and Dubay. I try to catch the Common man as often as I can. Streaming at work if possible, and on in the garage during the Summer. I also enjoy Franken when there is a hot Political topic in the news cycle. He'll bump Common once in awhile.

But there is only one personality I try to listen to as often as possible, and that is Eddie Schultz. He is clearly the best political talk talent there is. Mitch doesn't care for his politics, but at least acknowledges his talent.

Finally, I do listen to the NARN. It is more difficult with their expanded double-shot, but I do try to catch their second shift. There are times it is top notch quality radio, especially on a fresh topic where they haven't been tarnished by the rhetoric from the Right. When they are talking from t he heart, they rival talkers who have been in the business much longer. I complimented Mitch last weekend when they were talking about the rumors of Hayden becoming the next CIA chief, and the baggage he would bring to the confirmation hearings. It was great radio.

So that's my listening pattern, and a better vibe for KFAN from someone who actually likes sports. What do YOU listen to?


9/11 Video - Pentagon

The Department of Defense will release their video showing AA Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon. The release of this tape is in response to a Freedom of Information request by watchdog group, Judicial Watch. CNN states:
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request, but the government had refused to release the video until after the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the convicted al Qaeda conspirator who was sentenced earlier this month to life in prison.
As expected, the site is being bombarded, so until some mirror sites are set up, it may be later this afternoon before you can get though to their web page.


Hack Job

MDE hinted at the latest attack site the MN GOP was putting up yesterday. I was curious to see what it would be, but didn't plan on linking it. I took a gander at it this AM and what a pathetic attempt to disparage the next US Senator. It is almost satirical.

This site will go the way of other feeble attempts by the MN GOP, alla Mike UnHatched, to attack personalities instead of debate issues. Yeap, scour those Right wing bloggers and notice how they always say it is the Left that is all about attack without substantive ideas. But the facts show that it is the Right that choose to continue their Smear Boat tactics for fear if the truth came out, they would lose for sure!

Go take a look, but don't drink anything while you look at it, you may find yourself laughing so hard you'll have a mess to clean up!


Monday, May 15, 2006

Fecke's 2008 Power Rankings

Jeff has updated his 2008 Presidential Power Rankings. Here's the top 5 in each, but you'll have to scurry over to BotML for the complete lists:

1. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (Last Ranking: 1)

2. Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-WI) (LR: 5)

3. Fmr. Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) (LR: 6)

4. Fmr. Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) (LR: 2)

5. Fmr. Sen. Albert Gore, Jr. (D-TN) (LR: 9)

Other Notables:
9. Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) (LR: 3) (My personal favorite)

280,000,000. Fecke's 3 year old Daughter

280,000,001. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) (LR: NR)


1. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (LR: 2)

2. Sen. George Allen (R-VA) (LR: NR)

3. Fmr. Speaker Newton L. Gingrich (R-GA) (LR: NR)

4. Fmr. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R-NY) (LR: 4)

5. Vice President Richard Cheney (R-WY) (LR: 3)

Other Notables:
11. Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) (LR: 6)

13. Alan Keyes (R-MD and/or IL) (LR: NR)
Go read the rest, complete with explanations!


Sunday, May 14, 2006

It was a Finger'ling'

So the Fishy story all came clear over the weekend. Turns out the deception within the Kennedy Kamp wasn't in the doctoring of the photo, it was in the deceptive staging of it. The little minnow was being held so close to the camera the nuckle on Kennedy's finger looked so big it was mistaken for an arm. Oldest trick in the book. He needed to tuck his finger behind the fish better. Now you go look at the photos, look at your fingers, and guess about how big that fish is, if it is even big enough to call it a fish. We'll just call it a 'Finger'ling.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Patty Endorsed

7th Ballot virtually assures endorsement to Wetterling.

82 needed to endorse, 135.5 ballots total

59.1%/80.0 votes Wetterling
40.9%/55.5 Votes Tinklenberg

El concedes


6th District DFL Decides Today

If the DFL wants their best shot at retaking the 6th, Tinklenberg is the person to do it. However, I have a feeling they'll go with the Name rather then a candidate that best matches the ideology of the district.

REW and Smartie will be live blogging from Monitcello, so be sure to stop there for the latest skinny. I'll post the endorsement here once it is official.

MINvolved will also be covering the convention.


UPDATE: 6th Ballot:

134.5 ballots, 82 needed for endorsement

58.5 Tinklenberg
76.0 Wetterling

These numbers haven't moved much at all through 6 ballots. A few have moved to Tinklenberg on one ballot, only to move back to Wetterling on the next. Rules allow for a NO Endorsement motion after 10 ballots. Power Liberal(s) and MINvolved continues to have excellent play-by-play coverage.

A Peak into DMod

Had a great time last evening. The crew had a clear Right lean to it but IP Candidate Robert Fitzgerald provided great balance. Here are some shots of the evening:

Mitch, Wege, Bogus Doug, and Robert Fitzgerald

Robert hanging on to Mitch's every word. Bogus Doug and Gary ( K v M) look on. Tracy from Anti - Strib in the background

A debriefing later in the evening.

Flash and the Candidate!

And yes, Polinaut, Rew and Gary in the same space and the world did not implode on itself. It can happen.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Too Much at Stake

For the record, I will support the DFL endorsed candidate for US Senate, whomever that may be. Should a candidate decide to run in the primary against the endorsee, they will be ignored, marginalized and written off. Too much is at stake to allow for some internal squabble in the party, while the Right sits back collecting interest on their campaign war chest while the DFL spends all their money running against each other.

It is almost a forgone conclusion that Amy Klobuchar will receive that endorsement, and probably on the first ballot. There is a 'Peace First' contingent within the party. These individuals are mostly Bell supporters, but will most likely vote uncommitted on the first ballot in a show of solidarity. This will in effect cancel out any possible opportunity for Bell to even compete for the nomination.

I'm with Matt at MNPublius on this one:
I think Ford Bell is a good man, but he's just simply not the right man for the Senate seat. Say what you will of the benefits of a contested primary, true democracy, et cetera, but the real question is should Bell be in this race? This is one of the biggest races in the country this year, the GOP's best chance at picking up a Senate seat, and Bell's going to stay in the primary just because he can? With all due respect Mr. Bell, please take a look at your numbers, it's too big a gap to make up at this point. You might gain momentum, but you're months behind everyone and their engines are already chugging.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bush - "We're not trolling"

via CNN:
AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth telephone companies began turning over records of tens of millions of their customers' phone calls to the NSA program shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, USA Today reported, citing anonymous sources it said had direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The telephone companies on Thursday declined to comment on national security matters, and would say only that they are assisting government agencies in accordance with the law.

"We have been in full compliance with the law and we are committed to our customers' privacy," said Bob Varettoni, a spokesman for Verizon.

The White House defended its overall eavesdropping program and said no domestic surveillance is conducted without court approval.
The White House has claimed to get court orders in the past:
When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so.
only to find out they were pulling our legs. You're credibility on protecting civil liberties, Mr. President, is non existent!


Coulter Conundrum

Sean at Midtoipa has the Skinny:
Embarrassing! Conservative pundit Ann Coulter, who makes a nice living commenting on the political process, may temporarily lose her right to be a part of that process.

The blond Democrat slayer has not responded to an April letter from the Supervisor of Elections office asking her to explain why she voted in a Town of Palm Beach precinct that wasn't hers earlier this year.
Sean's punch line:
Of all the possible outcomes, I didn't consider the cagey tactic of simply ignoring the letter. Brilliant!
I almost feel bad for Ann . . well, almost!


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Surly Beer News

Crazy day today, so all I have for you is a notice regarding Minnesota's newest brewery. (and for all your beer news, visit the award winning MN Beer Blog)

Todd, the former brewer at my regular haunt, Rock Bottom, is the chief brewer of Surly Brewing. This weekend they are having their open house.
Everybody listen - tour info one last time.
Friday 4-8
Saturday 12-4
You do not need a reservation.
Samples will be provided , if you are planning on getting drunk, you're gonna have to go and buy some more Surly at a bar.
Sorry we can not sell you any growlers - maybe we can convince the city council!

Our location is 4811 Dusharme Drive in beautiful Brooklyn Center, MN, 55429. We are just south of 694 and Highway 100, just off of France Ave North.

Here is the link to mapquest directions. Google does not have the correct directions, so use mapquest!
Mapquest Directions
I'll probably make an appearance Saturday afternoon. So stop by for some free samples, and to check out the new digs. And if ya see Todd, tell him Flash sent you. That oughtta put a scowl on his face.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Kennedy - Mums the Words

So the MN GOPs rising star, and great hope for the MN US Senate seat doesn't even know the words to the Star Spangled Banner:
Kennedy: …the dawn’s early light, uh, the uh, uh, I’d- I’d have to continue, I’d- I don’t have- I’d have to sing it, I’d probably be better off singin’ it than otherwise.

Shipman: See if I sing it with you. What so proudly we hailed, at the-

Kennedy: …dawn’s early light?

Shipman: …twilight’s…

Kennedy: blank stare
Video here from Nightline (It's about 20 seconds in).

I bet he has all those talking points down, though!

H/T Ruth


Doin' the Right Thing

The Wege is taking an extended sabbatical from blogging, he was just hired on by the Ford Bell campaign:
I don't think this will shock, surprise or awe many of you, but I've just signed up as an independent contractor with the Ford Bell for U.S. Senate campaign. I'll be responsible for web content as well as doing some editing of campaign documents and materials.
as for Blogging:
Taking a sabbatical from posting at Norwegianity is not a requirement of this job, but I personally believe it is a necessity. Instead of reading eight newspapers and several dozen blogs a day, I need to begin focusing in on key issues. Rather than being an inch deep and worldwide, I need to gain a deeper understanding of health care and other issues of concern to Minnesotans. The two jobs simply are not compatible.
I respect the Bell campaign, and their desire to present their ideas and philosophies to the electorate, but Amy is a rock solid candidate who has the best chance of capturing this Senate seat. The sooner the party comes together and can use its resources for the main goal, the better that chance will be.


Monday, May 08, 2006

The Hillary Test

The busy endorsing weekend has provided us with an interesting peak into what could happen if a polarizing candidate is endorsed for the 2008 Presidential nod. I have made it no secret that I do not see a scenario where I could vote for Hillary Clinton for President. The party needs to rally behind a candidate with conviction, a concern for the future of our country, and most importantly, no baggage. What we saw the Rovian Right do to Kerry with the assistance of the Smear Boaters, a Hillary run would be like shooting fish in a barrel. With all the talent the Left has to offer, they would be wise to steer clear of Hillary. And now we can see why as we watch the race in the MN 6th district.

The 6th District GOP has endorsed Michele 'The Hater' Bachmann. Ms. Bachmann is nothing more then a one trick pony. She has no respect for peoples' right to live their lives under the law. She wants to impose her own religious views and beliefs on everyone, with no respect for their constitutional rights and protections.

The Delegates of the 6th had three other candidates to choose from. Traditional budget hawks with tight purse strings and a shared social platform. But they have now made 'hate' their modus operandi. Two of these candidates Krinkie and Knoblauch are experienced legislators who raised serious concerns to the Democratic opposition. What happened in the 6th, is what just may happen in the '08 Democratic Presidential race. The delegates went with Bachmann, the most vulnerable and beatable candidate on the ballot.

Even those on the Right are concerned about her candidacy. In listening to the NARN show over the weekend, some of them have even stated they are going to sit this one out. And if enough GOPers stay home in the 6th on election day, that would effect the ballot all the way up the line, including Kennedy and Pawlenty. The 6th was the reddest district in the state last cycle, and now it has turned a shade of purple, with the endorsement of Bachmann.

Here is what some GOPers are saying:

If Michelle Bachmann feels she needs to obfuscate and perform sleight-of-hand with republican delegates in order to win, then what is to keep her from performing sleight of hand and obfuscation with regard to her campaign promises? If she can't be above board with her own delegates, who's to say whether she will be above board and true to her conservative rhetoric?

Will the real Michelle Bachmann, please stand up?
I didn't stay for the victory speech. Like Psycmeistr, I have mixed feelings.
Tony at ARUC:
Seriously, this woman is so bad for the state and the country that I see less danger in electing Patty Wetterling than in electing Michele Bachmann. And expect that to be something I repeat often during the election cycle. "I'm a hard-line conservative, but Michele Bachmann is more of a danger to this country than Patty Wetterling."
I can only assume the Dems will come out negative early. Regardless of who the DFL endorsed candidate is, you can be sure party operatives are already blocking and scripting commercials that will present Bachmann as the person she is. Here's an early hint:
DFL Party officials like their own chances. Party Chairman Brian Melendez talked about the 6th District campaign during an appearance at the 5th District DFL convention in St. Louis Park.

"Now we've got a couple of great candidates. But if the Republicans were to choose someone with intelligence and compassion and courage, they're probably going hold on to that district. That's the bad news. The good news is they just endorsed Michelle Bachmann," Melendez said.
Yeap, the GOP just turned a slam dunk safe seat in the 6th to a vulnerable one. I still believe the district is red enough that the GOP will hold. But with a competitive race, monies will be spent there that could have been used elsewhere, specifically in the US Senate and Gubernatorial races. And if the dissension within the ranks is enough to keep solid GOP voters at home in November, it will create opportunities all across the ticket for the DFL.

The exact same thing that will happen if the Left nominates Hillary.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Convention Day

A couple biggies today. The 5th District will attempt to endorse Sabo's replacement following his surprising retirement and the 6th GOP will attempt to cull their list down to one.

Busy doing chores today, but there are several bloggers who have rolled up their sleeves for the day. Go check them out:

3rd District DFL

MN Campaign ReportRound-up


Power Liberal(s)


Residual Forces
SCSU Scholars Post Convention Wrap Up

Of course, now that I built these links I find MDE and Polinaut did the same thing. Neither had King from SCSU Scholars, though. He'll be update blogging while covering the convention via the NARN show on 1280AM. If there is anyone else out there following conventions in the metro, drop a note in the comments and I will link.


Friday, May 05, 2006

The Incompetence Defense

The latest White House Meme on the Spanish National Anthem Kerfluffle:
Critics have accused Bush of hypocrisy for opposing a Spanish language version of the anthem.

They pointed to a book called "American Dynasty" by Kevin Phillips, who wrote that Bush "would drop in at Hispanic festivals and parties, sometimes joining in singing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' in Spanish."

McClellan said the assertion did not ring true to him because, "The president speaks Spanish, but not that well."

"I'm saying that not only was that suggestion absurd, but that he couldn't possibly sing the national anthem in Spanish. He's not that good with his Spanish," McClellan said.
Next up, ya can't blame the President for the failures in Iraq and the Middle East because he doesn't know foreign policy that well.

If it limps like a duck, yet quacks like a duck, it is a lame duck!


Puppy Blogging

Kurly has a favorite play toy:
An Ice Cube!


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bogus Doug is ALIVE!

. . but is still lost. His domain name resolution is all quirky. The powers that be are working on it. Until then, use the straight URL and you'll see him in all his glory.


Throw Away the Key

Without comment (via P/L):
Brinkema firmly refused to be interrupted by the defendant as she disputed his claim that his life sentence meant America had lost and he had won.

"Mr. Moussaoui, when this proceeding is over, everyone else in this room will leave to see the sun ... hear the birds ... and they can associate with whomever they want,'' she said.

She went on: "You will spend the rest of your life in a supermax prison. It's absolutely clear who won.''
And she said it was proper he will be kept away from outsiders, unable to speak publicly again.

"Mr. Moussaoui, you came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory,'' she said, "but to paraphrase the poet T.S. Eliot, instead you will die with a whimper.''

At that point, Moussaoui tried again to interrupt her, but she raised her voice and spoke over him. "You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending.''

Selling Books

K v M falls into the trap of believing Drudge. Sometimes things aren't always as they appear.
A book hyped by major media as documenting a progressive revolution of "blogs" and political power, DAILY KOS 'CRASHING THE GATE,' has sold only 3,630 copies since its release last month, according to NIELSEN's BOOKSCAN.
I won't argue the numbers, because frankly I have no idea what they mean. But I can compare them to other notable books so at least we can do the Apples to Apples thing. Let's compare 'Crashing the Gate' with Instapundits latest tome released a MONTH earlier. Sales to date:
As of this morning, for Reynolds' An Army of Davids (February 2006), Bookscan reports 1716 retail sales and 2609 'discount' sales, for a total of 4325.

As of this morning, for Armstrong and Kos's Crashing the Gate (March 2006), Bookscan reports 2598 retail sales and 1804 'discount' sales, for a total of 4402.
Oh, how about Hugh's numbers
these are the Bookscan figures for Hugh Hewitt's Painting the Map Red:

1712 - retail
931 - discount
2643 - total
Again, these figures don't include online sales, but we can look at Amazon rankings.

"Crashing the Gate" Sales Rank: #377 in Books (See Top Sellers in Books)
Yesterday: #444 in Books

"An Army of Davids" Sales Rank: #2,436 in Books (See Top Sellers in Books)
Yesterday: #2,882 in Books

"Painting the Map Red" Sales Rank: #8,303 in Books (See Top Sellers in Books)
Yesterday: #5,763 in Books

Even Glen the Pundit himself cast doubt on the Drudge Report.
I don't know whether to put any credence in those numbers or not. I haven't read all of Crashing the Gate, but I thought what I read was pretty good, and given his audience and exposure I'd be surprised if the Drudge numbers were right.
So K v M continues to push false memes as they hang on to false hope. I still get a kick out of them promoting Amy by constantly quoting the mission statement. "To protect the rights and safety of people in Hennepin County" Yes. I said promote, because all available date shows she is doing just that!

So thanks to K v M for giving me an opportunity to set the record straight. And a double thank you for your support of the Amy Klobuchar campaign. She will be a Senator even you will be proud of!


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Idol Five

Everyone got to sing twice tonight, for some, that was very fortunate. Here is my take, in order of preference.

Taylor: 2 fer 2, SImply amazing. Taylor Played that Funky Music from Wild Cherry and was the showman we have come to enjoy. Then he slowed down a bit for a Beatles classic ("Something") that allowed him to show his softer side, with a touch of power. Taylor is still the one to beat, but there is another right on his heals

Chris: Right up there with Taylor. In fact, had I not listened to the judges, or re-watched his performances I would have given Chris the #1 nod tonight. He nailed 'Renagade' and was in a position to secure himself into the top slot. But his performance of 'I Dare You' started out great, then he clearly strained towards the end. Over sung more then tired Vocal Chords. Chris needs to relax a bit and respect his talent. If he can do that, Taylor may just end up #2

Katharine: Her attempt at 'Against All Odds' was the #10 performance of the evening. She redeemed herself with "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree". Kat was in her element during that performance. She milked the crowd, owned the song, and once again showed why she was still in the competition. She saved herself from elimination.

Elliot: Bad night for Elliot. Still one of the better vocalists in the show, but tonight he was a bit off. On Broadway was just plain, and 'Home' seemed out of place in this night of some pretty rock solid performances.

Paris - Taking on a Prince song was pretty brave, choosing 'Kiss' as that song was suicidal. Only Prince can pull that off, and Paris was not even close. Her second performance was much better. Her rendition of 'Be Without You' may save her from the cellar, but at this stage of the competition I think it was too little too late.

Its Paris or Elliot going home tonight. I'd put my money on Paris. Here is DialIdol's take:
1 33.232 Taylor Hicks
2 27.774 Chris Daughtry
3 27.643 Elliott Yamin
4 24.583 Katharine McPhee
4 23.375 Paris Bennett
These stats, based on busy signal frequency, confirms Taylor's 'One to Beat' status. However it also shows that Elliott's base continues to grow. With Katharine's number waning, even after a pretty good second performance almost ensures an all male Final Three.

Bogus Doug has a mini-review up, but you'll have to check back later for his full review.


UPDATE: I nailed it! Elliott and Paris in the Bottom. Bye, Bye, Princess P. You are an amazing talent and have a bright future ahead of you. Ta think, she is only 17!

Kossacks Gather

Great time at DL. Kos really packed em in and worked the crowd. After mingling for awhile he got up on the stump and gave a little spiel and then took questions for quite some time. He didn't pull any punches, and not all the answers were what this Left of Wellstone audience wanted to hear. But they were all supported by facts and convictions. Kos continued to push a key tenet, and that is to get away from an inside the beltway mentality and get these politicians to see what is going on outside their enclosed world. Otherwise, vote them out of there.

Aside from the guest of honor, I was able to meet a couple local bloggers whom I hadn't seen in person. MNCR at MN Campaign report and Good 'ol Spotty from The Cucking Stool. To be honest, I think I enjoyed my conversations with them more then the Kos' spiel.

Other DL Tuesday reviews can be found here (or here and here).

Wege has his own reflections.

More from Three Way News.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

He's Baaaaaack!

Swiftee is back in all his glorified colorful metaphors. Seems the City Pages Best Cheap Thrill was enough to pull him out of his self induced sabbatical.

Then with a flurry we have a, PZ Whamo Slamo, a BlogoRoundUp, and his translation of the Spanish version of the Banner back to English.

I hope he sticks around for a bit. Even a couple posts a week is enough to keep my sense of humor in tact.


Crash the 331

One of the premiere bloggers in the country (World?) will be in town promoting his new book, 'Crashing the Gate'

Drinking Liberally was moved to Tuesday this week to accommodate an appearance by Markos "DailyKos" Moulitsas Zuniga. I suspect that there will be a good crowd tonight, so be sure to stop by early and visit with Kos and the rest of the DL crew. I hope to stop in for a moment, but suspect I'll be one of the furthest Right in the bunch. Kos and his collaborators are from the Left of Wellstone branch of the party. There is some common ground, but it can be a challenge to find at times.

I look forward to spirited discussion and open debate. Come join us.


Graphic stolen from Wege and deTildified.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Whose Minneapolis is it?

Shot in the Mitch is joining the chorus of Righty Tighties blaming all that is bad in Minneapolis on the current Hennepin County Attorney. In his comments, I thought I would redirect his thoughts using those pesky facts that always seem to get in the way of Mitch and the boys making stuff up.

I know, this is broken record stuff for those that pay attention, but I will be reciting them every time the Right tries to sneak in their latest fallacies.

To the tape:
Is it the fault of the Minneapolis Police Department? No - despite a quarter-century of lousy choices for chief of the beleaguered department, the cops in Minneapolis do their best.

No. The problem comes from upstream.

RT Rybak and the city council, and their predecessors in the office, bear their share of the blame.

It's the city and county law-enforcement leadership whose job it is to make the streets safer.
So I am a tad confused. The Chief stated:
(T)he 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.
Cuts tied directly to a the GOP pillaging of the budget to provide for their tax cuts:
In Minneapolis, $6 million in COPS grants allowed the police department to hire 81 cops and boost the city's number of officers to 938 by 1997. But officials have had to cut 140 positions since then, including 38 this year. Officers are being shifted from neighborhoods to handle emergency calls; robberies are up by 20% this year, and burglaries are up 3%.
So wouldn't that make it Pres. George Bush's Minneapolis. Or when the Stage GOP along with Governor TPaw strips LGA from the formula and the Urban environments can't even replace the lost federal funds with local resources. Can we then say it is Gov TPaws Minneapolis.

Mitch 'n Co. are being disingenuous to try to pin the increases in MPLS crime on a county attorney who, through the most recent available data, has REDUCED Hennepin County serious crime by 36% from '97 to 2004

Minneapolis Crime rates are also down 30% from 1997 to 2005

So you guys keep pushing this little meme, and when the campaign gets into full steam, and the true facts are presented. We'll let the electorate decide who's Minneapolis it is. They'll start finding out things like this:
Before the latest budget cuts in Minneapolis, Police Officer Catherine Casey and her civilian partner in the community policing program, Karen Abrahamson, were scrambling to cover the needs of three neighborhoods in south Minneapolis.

They attended community meetings and spent months recruiting block leaders who could alert police to problems such as neglectful landlords and illegal drug sales.

Now Casey and Abrahamson are responsible for seven neighborhoods. They're too busy to recruit block leaders. They two rarely attend community meetings. Personal contact with residents has been replaced by apologetic e-mails from the pair.
We can hang around the watercooler and point fingers, or we can roll up our sleeves and work together to change this course that faces us. That's what I want to do, regardless of whose fault it may be! Because regardless of where you live, or who's in charge, it is really OUR Minneapolis!


UPDATE: The folks at DFLSenate sang a similar refrain a few weeks ago.