Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tapping Mayor RyeBock

My regular downtown haunt, Rock Bottom Brewery, will be tapping a special recipe this evening (Thursday; 3/29/07). In honor of the Mayor of Minneapolis, they are introducing RT RyeBock.

No word on whether the mayor himself will be there, but I would be surprised if he wasn't. Nevertheless, The Doctor and I will be in attendance.

Tapping is at 6:00. If you make it down, ask any of the bartenders where 'Flash' is, they will know where I am hiding.


07-08 SPPS School Calendar

The most recent draft of next year's school calendar finally incorporates a change that I have advocated for some time. St. Paul, due to the proximity of the School Bus Garage to the State Fair Grounds, is virtually forced to start school the Tuesday after Labor Day. Fair traffic is a challenge already. To even consider having buses maneuver in that area, especially in the afternoon, is simply not feasible. Because of that, School has been running until mid June, this year getting out on June 13th.

I have always thought 2 weeks off for the holiday break was excessive. Another myth involving the Holiday break is that although staff is forced to take those two weeks off, they only get paid for one of them. Not a great time of year to get half a pay check. The most significant change in the proposed adjustment to the 07/08 calendar is to trim the holiday break to 7 days, instead of 10. This helps, shift the end of the school year to a more reasonable June 5th date.

I'll be watching to see if this common sense calendar adjustment makes it to the final version.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Senate Race Rumor Mongering

I am hearing rumblings that Speaker of the House Kelliher just might dip her toes in the US Senate race waters. Curious as to what my readers may think of:

A) the likelihood of this happening, and

B) her chances.


Waiting For November

As you peruse these, highlighted by the one below, understand I would have voted against the funding bill with provisions for any type of immediate troop withdrawal. To begin pulling troops now would effect the successes we are seeing with the surge, and retrict our commanders on the ground.

There is no reason we have to lay out our strategy to outsiders. The President said he would turn over Iraqi security by November, and then begin re-evaluation troop strengths at that time. I will hold him to it. We can't be there at this level forever, can we!?!


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Shut and Open Case

Goodling's refusal to testify illustrates the rising political and legal stakes surrounding the removal of the federal prosecutors, and underscores the fissures developing among Gonzales and his current and former senior aides as the attorney general struggles to keep his job.

The decision means a senior aide to the nation's top law enforcement official is in the remarkable position of refusing to testify for fear of implicating herself in a crime. Her lawyer portrays the move as strategic and says she has done nothing wrong.
Goodling's refusal contrasts sharply with the approach of her onetime colleague D. Kyle Sampson, Gonzales's former chief of staff, who resigned March 12: He has agreed to testify before the same Senate committee. Sampson has also disputed allegations by Gonzales and others that he withheld information about White House participation in the firings, which were initially portrayed as a routine Justice Department personnel matter undertaken without significant White House involvement.

Sampson is expected to testify that "the fact that the White House and Justice Department had been discussing this subject for several years was well known" to many senior Justice officials, including Goodling and others who had briefed department witnesses, according to a statement issued by his attorney March 16.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Whacking Fredo!

Raw Story on Frank Rich's NYT Op-Ed:
Once Gonzales can no longer fulfill his role of protecting the president, he will be tossed overboard, Rich surmises in the column entitled "When Will Fredo Get Whacked?" Fredo is a reference to a character from the still-to-this-day bestselling Mario Puzo book, The Godfather, which was turned into a critically acclaimed film trilogy by director Francis Ford Coppola. In the cultural classic, Frederico "Fredo" Corleone ends up being killed by his own brother, new Godfather Michael, after betraying "the family."

"In popular culture, Fredo has become representative of the 'weak link' of an organization," an entry at Wikipedia explains. "Referring to someone as 'Fredo' indicates that the person is not competent enough to be trusted with important tasks or knowledge. It is usually used to suggest not treachery, but weakness and stupidity."
Ole Frank Rich didn't pull any punches on this one!


BasketBlogging v.03.25.07

I'm holding my own with two of my final 4 in, and North Carlina posied to make it three. My bracket buster Wisconsin was my 4th but they are long gone. My board is actually in pretty good shape yet. And if Ohio St. pulls it off I'll have another pretty good year.

Notice my first round, 29 out of 32. Thought that was pretty impressive.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Best Wishes, Elizabeth!

I was prepared to publish a different type of post today. But with the recent developments in the Edwards campaign, I have decided to delay that screed:
Former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) and his wife, Elizabeth, have scheduled a news conference for noon today in their home state of North Carolina, in what aides described as a major development in his 2008 presidential bid.

Advisers declined to discuss the details of the hastily arranged announcement ahead of time. "He's talking tomorrow," said Jonathan Prince, Edwards's deputy campaign manager, last night. "Listen to what he says tomorrow."

The appearance comes on the heels of a last-minute decision by Edwards this week to cancel an event in Iowa to accompany his wife to a doctor's appointment on Wednesday. Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of her husband's unsuccessful 2004 campaign as the Democratic vice presidential nominee. She subsequently underwent extensive treatment.
What I had to share can wait another day or two. Sometimes it is best to put life into perspective and in times like this, politics just doesn't seem important.


John Edwards is suspending his campaign for President, and may drop out completely, because his wife has suffered a recurrence of the cancer that sickened her in 2004, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, an Edwards friend told The Politico.

"At a minimum he's going to suspend" the campaign, the source said. "Nobody knows precisely how serious her recurrence is. It’ll be another couple of days before there’s complete clarity."
UPDATE II: Not so fast:
CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said Thursday his wife's cancer has returned but his bid for the White House will continue.

"The campaign goes on," the former senator from North Carolina said at a news conference, contradicting earlier media reports.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Did It!

The following cartoon is even more funny if you have already read Fecke's brilliant piece of work here. So do that first, then look on.

Monday, March 19, 2007

March 19, 2003; The Anniversary

As we begin our 5th year in Iraq, I ask and pray for the following things:

- That security of Iraq is in the hands of the Iraqi people by year's end. The President has stated that this will happen by November.

- Once Iraqi security is turned over, there is a significant redeployment of troops out of the region. This is similar to what I said following the President's 'Surge' speech:
I may be in the minority, but I am willing to give President Bush till November, and then I expect a timetable for redeployment. Iraq needs to take ownership, and we will now give them a deadline, not open ended promises.
- The safe return of National Guard troops so they can be home with their families and protecting the homeland here, on American soil.

Ya know, Governor Bill Richardson lays it out pretty clearly:
Bill Richardson has offered a four-part plan for Iraq. He supports withdrawal of all troops by year-end 2007; transfer of security duties to the Iraqi government; accelerated reconstruction of Iraq’s infrastructure; U.S. facilitation of a national reconciliation effort between Iraqi religious and political factions; and diplomatic talks with Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran and Syria.
This isn't really all that different from what the President is saying, but you can bet a President Richardson would stick to it, not waffle and squirm the moment things aren't going well.

This is a difficult time, but we can not stay in the region forever, and we need to commit to a plan with contingencies for a variety of outcomes. I stand by my closing words from January:
My support doesn't come unconditionally, for I have a son who just may be a part of this process. But we must be aware of the consequences of an unstable Iraq in an already unstable region. Walking away now is not an option, presenting the Iraqi government with our ultimatum is.
Cpl. Tom is still in Southern California and is currently training. The earliest he would redeploy is June.

Godspeed to our troops in harms way with strength to those who are tasked with making the difficult decisions. Let's hope when we hit the five year mark, our conversation is centered more on rebuilding their economy and infrastructure, not lives and families!


Thursday, March 15, 2007

BasketBlogging; NCAA v.2007

The darts were flying the other day, and I now have a clear picture into my crystal ball. Call it a homer board if you like, but it will be an All Big 10 finals with a rematch of the Conference championship from just a few days ago. The result will be the same.

My Final Four has Wisconsin beating UCLA, with Ohio State over powering North Carolina. The Buckeyes eventually will take it all. Last year's defending champion, and current favorite will fall to 'Sconi in the Elite 8 game.

Complete bracket below. You heard it here first!


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Miers, Back in the News

Does this really come as a shock to anyone. Well, anyone who has an open mind that is:
Administration officials have portrayed the firings as a routine personnel matter, designed primarily to rid the department of a handful of poor performers.

But the documents and interviews indicate that the idea for the firings originated at least two years ago, when then-White House counsel Harriet E. Miers suggested to Sampson in February 2005 that all prosecutors be dismissed and replaced.

Gonzales rejected that idea as impractical and disruptive, Justice officials said, but over the next 22 months Sampson orchestrated more limited dismissals.

"I recommend that the Department of Justice and the Office of the Counsel to the President work together to seek the replacement of a limited number of U.S. Attorneys," Sampson wrote to Miers in January 2006. A "limited number of U.S. attorneys could be targeted for removal and replacement, mitigating the shock to the system that would result from an across the board firing."
Good ole Harriet Miers. The base underestimated the loyalty of this crony. Do you think they regret not giving her the free pass to the Supreme Court.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Richardson in WaPo

The Washington Post had a great article on Gov. Bill Richardson over the weekend. It is a real eye opener for those who haven't been following his esteemed career and presidential candidacy. It is laid out as a series of 'letters' or comments from individuals during various points in Bill's life. From an upstart pitcher at a New England Boarding school, to his time on the cabinet. He is a well rounded individual and ideal Presidential material.

Some Snippets:
In our junior year, Bill took it upon himself to recommend, plan, raise money for and implement a spring baseball trip to Mexico to ready the Tufts varsity team for the 1969 season. Bill's vision went far beyond a typical tourist trip of 10 days of baseball with a siesta thrown in here and there. Rather, he saw this as an opportunity for cultural immersion, long before such quaint ideas were popular. Between daily games with university teams in Mexico City, he planned trips to architectural ruins, museums, embassies and social gatherings.

-- Rich Giacchetti, Richardson's Tufts baseball teammate.

A friend suggested that I meet Bill, the foreign relations aide to Sen. Hubert Humphrey, when I made courtesy calls before my confirmation hearing. It snowed the day before my appointment with Humphrey and many people had not made it to the office that Friday morning, but Bill was waiting for me when I arrived. I saw a tall, imposing figure in a corduroy jacket and boots. He looked more like a Hispanic ranchero than a legislative aide. As we waited for Humphrey to arrive, I told Bill that I was unaware that there were any Mexican Americans in Minnesota and asked how he had come to work with Humphrey. He replied, "I am not from Minnesota, I am from New Mexico!" He said it with such assurance and conviction that I assumed he had been born and raised there. Sometime later, I learned that he had visited New Mexico only twice before. But already, he had committed to adopting it as the state where he would pursue his political destiny, not knowing quite how but confident that he would find a way to win.

-- Abelardo L. Valdez, former chief of protocol in the Carter administration

I worked for Bill Richardson on the Hill and at the Energy Department and am married to one of his college friends, so I know something about his demanding and inexhaustible style. During Bill's first campaign for Congress in 1980, my husband Steve's job one day was to hold the "clicker" to keep track of the record-breaking number of hands the candidate shook at the New Mexico State Fair. Bill did so with such vigor that en route to a campaign event that night after the marathon effort, they had to stop at a drugstore to get a sling for his arm. Bill works harder than anyone else and it's a challenge to keep up.

-- Melanie Kinderdine, aide to Richardson in Congress and the Energy Department

I can recall traveling in a car through the most desolate area of the state, listening to a radio station out of some tiny town. In a very short time, we had heard two or three radio commercials for Richardson. There wasn't a station we could turn to without hearing about him, in English or Spanish. He bought up every bit of radio advertising time. We had tried to respond, but it was like going up against an M1 Abrams tank with a small sword.

-- John Sanchez, 2002 Republican candidate for New Mexico governor
Richardson is the most experienced and career balanced of all the current candidates. He's got it in him to win, if the media will let him!!


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Boston's Brad Delp; 1951 - 2007

It was August 21, 2003. I was gimping around on a bum leg after blowing out my ACL. I was quite frustrated being it was the push to Drum Corps nationals. Doc said to wrap my leg in an immobilizer and stay off of it for a few days. With some Tylenol and TLC he felt I could still perform with a hinged knee brace and postpone surgery till later.
Then I got the call. My good friend 'The Doctor' told me that he had a couple freebies for the Boston Concert at the State Fair. His old high school chum was touring again, this times as a guitar tech for Boston. Buddy had set us up many times, from sitting on the tour bus with Great White, to back stage with Nine Inch Nails. This time he had lined up some cozy seats for Boston, one of my all time favorites. Afterwards, there was an outside shot we may be able to get behind the scenes. Gimpy or not, I wasn't going to pass up this opportunity.

I made it to the show, and what a show it was. Brad was in prime form, with a fantabulous show. Fran and son Anthony Cosmo were spot on. And the addition of Kimberley Dahme was just what the band needed to enhance some of the upper range that is signature Boston, and which Brad admitted later, was not quite within his ability anymore. Tom Scholz continued to prove he was still one of the best in the game.

As the show wound down, we staged ourselves near the backstage entrance, in hopes to meet-up with Buddy, and wish him our best. There was a line-up of KQ fans, winners of back stage passes, also hanging out. We looked at our credentials and they seemed different from theirs. We didn't know what that meant, yet. The gate was opened and we were waved in with the rest of the groupies. There was a tent off in the distance, which was clearly the destination of the throngs. To the left was a grouping of Motor-homes, and we peeled off. A few fans followed us, but they were immediately hustled back with the cattle, our passes had more clout than I thought. We huddled amongst the motor homes, awaiting Buddy. We saw Tom (Scholz) sitting down by himself, plucking away at a guitar, almost seeming reclusive. At that moment Buddy approached and greeted us like it was old home week. He noticed my leg and after sharing my story he said "Let's get you off that and find a place for you to sit" He motioned us to one of the motor homes, and in we went.

After navigating the creaky steps, we entered a plush looking motor home. We all found a spot to rest, while Buddy asked if we were thirsty. I passed for now, only to hear the door ease open. I can't recall whom came in first, but several people walked in and it didn't take me long to recognize who they were. Buddy had brought us into the 'Green Room' and in walked Brad, Fran, Anthony, and Kimberley. I was in awe, and immediately tried to get up so as not to invade on their space. Brad looked at me and said something like "You relax their partner, I'm fine"

Buddy took care of the introductions, and we all started chatting like we were best friends. All four of these rock stars treated us like long lost friends. We hung out for over an hour just chewing the fat. At one point Brad asked me if I wanted a beverage, this time I was feeling parched, and without even nodding he was right there handing me one of their beers from the fridge. I simply couldn't believe how accommodating and personable they were. Later, Cosmo was stressing a bit about their next gig. They were off to Syracuse for the NY State Fair. This was his old stomping grounds and there was a level of apprehension every time he went 'home'

I have fond memories of this experience, and when I heard of Brad Delp's passing I couldn't help but think of what a 'regular Joe' he was to a common schlep like me. The picture above is from the Boston Website. The caption reads "The nicest, kindest, most caring, down to earth rock star the world has ever known." I can attest, from personal experience, how spot on that statement is.

Thank you, Mr. Delp, for giving us all the gift of your music, and for accepting me into your world like I was one of the guys.

May you rest in peace!


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Missed Me by THAT Much!

BRILLIANT!:It's been a crazy week, but I I'll get back up to speed once things settle down.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fork meet Scooter

Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been found guilty on four of five counts in his perjury and obstruction of justice trial. CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said, "He is virtually certain to go to prison if this conviction is upheld."
The Right keeps saying this was a wtich hun since know 'laws' were broken. I just want them to explain to me WHY Scooter felt it necessary to lie than. There is still more to this and we may never know the real truth of how dirty the Veep and his boss's hands were in all this.

Now, the Pardon watch begins!
there's also the clock. And that's going to be very important -- the calendar. Because the time for presidential pardons of controversial people is in the lame duck period, after a president is leaving offfice. So the real issue here is, can Scooter Libby extend his time outside of prison long enough to get to that lame duck period when he might actually get a pardon?

So let's do the math a little bit. He's apparently going to be sentenced in June. Post-trial motions will probably keep going through most of the summer. His appeal probably won't even begin until the fall. An appeal probably takes three or four months to be resolved. That would take us into January, February, March of 2008. If, like most defendants, he loses, he could then go for a [certiorari] petition. He could ask the Supreme Court to get involved in the case. That really might take him up to November 2008.

So it is possible that he will be out of prison pending sentencing during his appeal enough time for President Bush, then, to pardon him following the presidential election in 2008, before he leaves office in January 2009.

Culling Coulter

The Right's abandoning her and advertisers are distancing themselves. But for the life of me, I can't find a single editorial cartoon about this incident. Come on Sack, and the rest of your ilk, this is like picking real low fruit, here. I expect something by tomorrow morning.

Thank you.


Deliberations Winding Down?

As the Libby trials drags on for another week, the 11 remaining jurors seems to be getting closer to ending it all. Yesterday the Jurors sent another query out to the judge. The questions regards what some seem to believe is the weakest of the charges against Cheney's former Chief of Staff. From what can be gathered from the lawyers' debate about the questions with the judge, it looks like they deliberators will vote 'aye' on that count as well:
heir debate revealed that jurors had asked whether they could use Libby's grand jury testimony, which was played in court, as evidence that Libby lied during an earlier FBI interview.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said the answer should be "yes" in the sense that all the evidence in the case helped establish Libby's state of mind. Libby's lawyers said the grand jury testimony could not be proof of the earlier statement. Walton agreed with both arguments, but said an instruction encompassing both would have to be crafted carefully.
I have a sneaking suspicion that today may be the day, or tomorrow . . . or by the end of the week . . . . the perpetual deliberations.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Puppy Blogging-Snow Day v2007

My daddy made me a path, but I think it was really so he could get to the beermeister in the garage:
My snow beard:

I have a snow kennel:


Really, Spring is almost here

In a few weeks, THIS:Will look like this:
I can dream, can't I.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Coincidence, or not?!?

MDE is vacationing?/working?/blogging/exposing Democrats, from the beautiful Bahama beaches. Today is Anna Nicole Smith's funeral in the Bahamas. Was he lucky enough to get one of the limited edition invites. Curious people want to know! (Well, not really, but I did find it a funny coincidence!)


One down, One to go!

An arrest has been made in the January 1st Sexual Assault of a 57 year old woman in St. Paul.
Police have arrested a teen in connection with the New Year's Day rape of a woman in St. Paul's Payne-Phalen neighborhood.

The 16-year-old male was visiting Racine, Wis., when police arrested him there Thursday night. He is being held there.

DNA evidence linked the suspect to the rape, said Sgt. Paul Schnell, the case's lead investigator.
More details from a St. Paul Police Department press release:
On Thursday March, first, Investigators received information from the BCA that a voluntary DNA sample given earlier matched the evidence obtained after the Assault at Payne and Lawson. Investigators acted quickly and were able to locate the suspect. He was taken into custody by the Racine Police Department. A petition has been forwarded to the Ramsey County attorney’s office and extradition proceedings will commence soon.
Now lets get that other monster!


Thursday, March 01, 2007


I just got the call that St. Paul Schools will be closed tomorrow. Looks like I might have some free time on my hands.

via SPPS:
WEATHER ALERT: Saint Paul Public Schools has officially canceled all after-school and evening activities for Thursday, March 1st. In addition, schools will be closed and activities and events have been canceled for Friday, March 2nd due to inclement weather. Only emergency personnel are to report to buildings on Friday, March 2nd.

Who Spoke to Who When

In an E-Mail to Ms Stassen-Berger, the reporter on this story, I wrote:
In your article referring to the 'A plea for a bathroom break", you quoted Paid political operative and former MN GOP oppo Research Michael Brodkorb as saying

""In my heart of hearts, I just don't believe that we need legislation that dictates that level of involvement in businesses,""

He claims there was no contact between you and him regarding this story. Specifically he stated to me ""I didn't "pressure" anyone, nor did I "push" this story with anyone. I posted it on my blog…that's all.""

However, when I do a search on his blog, the quote you used does not exisit anywhere on his site. So my questions are simple:

1) From where did you derive the quote from this paid republican operative.

2) Did you speak with him directly while researching this article.

and 3) Who contacted who first.

Thank you for your time.
She finally responded, but only to state that she does not discuss with anyone how she assembles a story. I followed up to that comment, merely pointing out I was not concerned with the assembly of the story, just the potential misrepresentation by this Republican operative and party official. I'll update as necessary.


Arthur Schlesinger Passes

From the WaPo:
Historian and intellectual icon Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., a Kennedy confidant and liberal standard-bearer who was a fixture in Washington political life for decades, died Wednesday night in Manhattan at the age of 89.

Schlesinger suffered a heart attack while eating dinner in a New York restaurant with his family, his son Stephen told the Associated Press. He died at New York Downtown Hospital.
Read the entire WaPo Obit, it is very informative. The generational transition continues.