Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dem Debate in South Carolina

Tonight we will begin to see whom in the Democratic field is a Presidential contender . . . or pretender:
"People are going to be able to see these candidates face to face for the first time and start to evaluate them," said Joe Erwin, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. "Each candidate has supporters, but a lot of people are still shopping."
While the media focuses on Obama and Clinton with a hat tip to Edwards, the other five prospects have a chance to show their stuff:
Five other contenders who are trying to elbow their way into the top tier also will participate -- Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Sens. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Joseph Biden of Delaware, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska.
I suspect that after tonight, a gorge will be created between the top and the bottom. It will be interesting to see if one of the 'five' can jump that crevice before it gets to daunting.

WHAT: South Carolina 2008 Democratice Presidential Debate
WHO: All Eight Candidates
WHERE: Orangeburg, South Carolina on the SC State Campus
WHEN: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Central Time
TV: MSNBC will have live coverage including pre and post debate analysis.


UPDATE: I have the TIVO set up, as I have a prior commitment since it is the annual SPIF (St. Paul Issues Forum) Membership Meeting tonight. However, The Fix will be there live-blogging. They have isolated each candidates' status and challenges going into the debate. Here is a sample:
Bill Richardson: As anyone who has spent any time with Richardson knows, the New Mexico governor is immensely personable and charming. And as anyone who has spent any time with Richardson also knows, he tends to go off message rather regularly -- much to the chagrin of his campaign advisers. All of those traits are likely to be on display tonight. Richardson needs to use this debate (and the myriad others scheduled in the coming months) to show viewers that he belongs in the first tier with Edwards, Obama and Clinton. How can he do that? By highlighting his experience as a chief executive (the only one left in the field) and contrasting what the three senators have said versus what he has done.

Testing Tangle

We finished the new online testing yesterday. This was a high maintenance journey to comply with a new testing instrument specifically for ELL (English Language Learners). The first day last week was filled with issues, but the succeeding days everything smoothed out. Yesterday, my lab ran virtually flawlessly. The other, larger lab, hit some bumps at the beginning of the process, but later smoothed out to complete the task.

It appears that other districts had far greater problems than we had:
Computer problems forced the shutdown of the new online statewide test in Minnesota this week, when one-fourth of the school districts using the test couldn't run the program.

The problem involved the alternative state math test for 26,000 English as a Second Language students.

The test malfunctioned in 26 of the 99 school districts using it, according to Minnesota Department of Education spokesman Randy Wanke.
The instrument itself is a great concept, but poorly designed. The very rudimental process of scrambling the questions so students weren't sitting next to each other on the same question was not in the code. Maybe when the government imposes these mandates they will include some Educational techno geeks to be part of the process. Education Commissioner Alice Seagren, have your people contact my people, I have some changes and adjustments in mind.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Best Of . . .

The annual Spring ritual is upon us. City Pages has released their Best of the Twin Cities for 2007.

CONGRATULATIONS to Spot and MNObserver for capturing the "BEST LOCALLY GENERATED BLOG (LEFT-WING)" says CP:
Written by an anthropomorphized Dalmatian from Edina named Spot, and MNObserver, a lawyer and mother from St. Paul, the Cucking Stool delivers its partisan bons mots with humor, bordering on partisan snark but tempered by the self-deprecating notion that the author poops in the backyard and drinks out of a toilet. Spot, that is—not MNObserver.
No word yet on when they will ever add a Best Blog for us Moderates.

Others of Note:
BEST ARCHITECTUAL TIME CAPSULE:St. Paul Union Depot: Worth a walk through anytime you are nearby. The Light Rail had hoped to revitalize this historic landmark. However, recent cost cutting options may for the LRT line to stop short of the intended end of the line at the Union Depot.

Corn ethanol: I wonder what Tom, at Sky Blue Waters, will say about this one.

Minnehaha Park on a warm spring day: No out of town visitor to my house is allwowed to return home without a visit to the Falls and a walk down to the river. And for a double bonus, guess where the BEST FISHING HOLE (URBAN) is!

Norm Coleman Sr.'s special delivery: The behavior of poppy should have no bearing on Juniors re-eletion efforts. However, if his party was fifferent, it would, cause that is just how the Right works.

I didn't have time to go through them all this AM. So expect me to highlight items from some of the other catgegories as time permits.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Buy Bill Sell John

via The Billings Gazette:
This is partly an expectations game. McCain was long considered the Republican frontrunner, so when he trailed both Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney in the fundraising sweepstakes, the whiff of disappointment was unmistakable. McCain only aggravated the anxiety surrounding his campaign by firing staffers and re-organizing his finance team.

Richardson, on the other hand, has long been relegated to second-tier status, so his money numbers marked a surprising success. And then, in an unscientific but widely noticed straw poll, conducted by the grassroots organization, Richardson finished second to John Edwards.
and then they lay it out for everyone to see:
Gubernatorial advantage

Bill Richardson will turn 60 next fall and seems full of energy. In recent months he has traveled to Darfur and North Korea on diplomatic missions, which underscores the fact that he has actually held more government posts than any candidate in either party.

Congressman, cabinet secretary, U.N. ambassador and now, two-term governor. And remember, we elect governors, not senators. In the past 30 years four governors have won the presidency; in our entire history, only two senators have accomplished that feat.
I am really liking this guy more and more everyday.


Monday, April 23, 2007

News IQ Correlation

A recent Pew Research Study sampled the "Public Knowledge of Current Affairs". They then went a step further and correlated that with the preferred news source of the individuals. The results may surprise you, or not!:

Yeap, the most savvy on current events watched . . wait for it . . . The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. And what comes as no shock to me, is what those on the lower end of the Current Events IQ scale are watching; FoxNews.


Friday, April 20, 2007

A Day of Mourning

The West Virginia Blogger created a list of the victims with their MySpace pages. I have posted that list below. Please visit WV Blogger for complete details and updates.

Today we mourn, for tomorrow we must begin to heal our hearts and work together as a community to cure that which ills our society.
Virginia Tech
Maxine Turner, Vienna, Va.
Senior, Chemical Engineering

Henry Lee; Roanoke, Va.
Freshman, Computer Engineering

Matt La Porte, Dumont, N.J.
Freshman, University Studies

Christopher J. Bishop, 35 yr. old Georgia Native
Instructor, Foreign Languages and Literatures (German)

G.V. Loganathan, 51 yrs. old from Chennai India
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Virginia TechJuan Ortiz, 26 yrs. old from Puerto Rico
Graduate Student, Civil Engineering

Jarrett Lane, 22 yrs. old from Narrows, Va.
Senior, Civil Engineering

Ryan “stack” Clark, 22 yrs. old from Martinez, Ga.
Senior, Biology, English, Psychology

Leslie Sherman
Sophomore, History and International Studies

Caitlin Hammaren, 19 yrs. old from Westtown, NY
Sophomore, International Studies and French

Virginia Tech Liviu Librescu| alternate page, 76 yr old Israel native and holocaust survivor
Professor, Engineering Science & Mechanics

Kevin Granata
Professor, Engineering Science; Mechanics

Reema Samaha, Centreville, Va.

Emily Hilscher, 19 yrs old from Woodville, Va.
Freshman, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Equine Science

Ross Abdallah Alameddine, 19 yrs. old from Saugus, Mass.
English Major

Virginia TechMary Karen Read , 19 yrs. old from Annandale, Va.

Daniel O’Neil, from Lincoln, R.I.

Julia Pryde, 23 yrs. old from Middletown, N.J.
Department of Biological Sciences grad student

Daniel Perez Cueva, 21 yrs. old from Peru
Studying International relations

Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, from Montreal
French language teacher

Jeremy Herbstritt, 27 yrs. old from Johnstown, Penn.
Grad student studying civil engineering.

Austin Cloyd, Majoring in international studies.

Virginia TechBrian Bluhm, 25 yrs. old from Winchester, Va.
Master’s student in water resources.

Lauren McCain, 20 yrs. old
International studies major

Michael Pohle, 23 yrs. old from Flemington, N.J.
Degree in biological sciences.

Rachel Elizabeth Hill, 18 yrs. old

Erin Peterson, from Centreville, Va.

Minal Panchal, 26 yrs. old from Mumbai, India
Grad student in building Sciences

Virginia TechWaleed Shaalan, In his late 20's from Egypt

Nicole Regina White, 20 yrs. old from Carrollton, Va.
International studies; German

Matthew G. Gwaltney, 24 yrs. old from Chester, Va.
Grad student in civil and environmental engineering

Partahi Lombantoruan, 34 yrs. old from Indonesia
Civil engineering doctoral student

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Darkness before Sunlight

I was pointed to the Sunlight Foundation yesterday to learn that a Senator has placed one of those double secret holds on a piece of legislation. The legislation is simple, and cures an outdated ill of the Senate's current FEC reporting process. WaPo explains:
Instead of filing forms electronically, as candidates for president do, senators print their reports and deliver them to the clerk's office. The staff scans them into a computer so they can be electronically transmitted to the Federal Election Commission. The FEC then prints the forms again and hires workers to type the data into a database so it can finally be made public online.
You would think the party of small efficient government would embrace this upgrade in procedure. However, that is not what is happening:
(B)efore Feingold's bill could move forward, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) rose and announced, "Mr. President, on behalf of a Republican senator, I object."
Steven Weissman, a Campaign finance reform advocate, paints a pretty clear picture:
"Secrecy is being used to reinforce secrecy."
Ahhhh . . . the New GOP, what's good for the goose, shouldn't apply to the gander!


More Media Missteps

I watched ESPN this morning. Usually I have CNN on, or the CBS morning show. Unfortunately it is all Cho all the time. I grieve for the victims and families of Virginia Tech, and wish the Media would spend as much time telling us about their lives. But that is not to be. With the 'package' received by NBC, this crazed lunatic, Cho, is receiving the glory he so desperately searched.

I was embarrassed for us when I saw his double fisted weaponry displayed on the front page of the Strib, and cringe as much now as I did the first time they played his Video Manifesto.

My comments about the Imus fluff pointed out my dismay that the media was more to blame for thrusting those despicable comments into the public domain. And now I am even more perturbed that NBC and the rest of the mainstream press are giving this crazy man the amount of face time they are. It is only queuing up the next dick head who now knows how to fill your TV screens.

If you still aren't sure where I am coming from, this graphic should clinch it for you. It was drawn during the I-mess, but is just as valid today, and most likely in the future as well!


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

V Tech Tragedy

We've all heard of the horror at Virginia Tech by now. Filling the morning shows are updates of the nightmare, and the desire by various public institutions to re-evaluate their security plans.

Yesterday, Mitch at SitD, posted 'My Advice To My Kids'. Several of his comments made sense. The basic premise was to run and run fast as it is harder to hit a moving target. But he carries it a bit too far when he suggests that students should ignore lock down policies. My comment:
There is a variety of reason that a lock down is preferred. You never know if there is someone sitting outside ready to pick you off as you hop out that window, and there is no telling what is going on in the halls. We are to lock down, go to the safest area away from the door so we are not seen and we have the lights off. We are to not open the door or answer it for anyone INCLUDING the principal. For you to even hint at creating a panic where kids should run rampant in an attempt to ‘escape’ is unfortunate.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and after each event like this, lock down rules are reviewed and procedures adjusted to provide the safest environment possible for the kids.
My heart and prayers go out to the victims of this tragedy along with courage to the administrators throughout the country who are now tasked with making us all safer in this fluid world we live in.


Monday, April 16, 2007

WaPo World

My Internet is down at home. The beginning of a transition to a new ISP. I still don't have the software, yet, so I am hoping it comes in todays mail or I will be dead in the water another day. We can't have that now, can we!

I am leaving the confines of my local ISP ( to sign on with the MSN/Qwest package. I'll jump from 256k DSL to 1.5 Mbp and it will be a dollar less than what the combination of Qwest/TCQ was. Seems like a no brainer, providing they can get me online with minimal down time.

So here are some WaPo link to bide your time and hopfully later today I'll have more time after getting my new connection up and running.

Poll shows Attorney firings were political:
Two thirds of Americans, including a narrow majority of Republicans, see political motivations behind last year's firings of eight chief federal prosecutors. But the nation is deeply divided along partisan lines about whether Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales should lose his job over the scandal.
Obama raised more, but Hillary has more:
Sen. Barack Obama raised more money than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for their Democratic primary clash during the first three months of the year, but Clinton heads into spring with more in her campaign account than all Republican presidential candidates combined.
and finally, a lead in to Tax day. Unpaid taxes Tough to Recover:
Judging from his tax returns, Dinh Kim Huynh wasn't getting rich in the manicure business. In 2000, Huynh and his wife claimed taxable income of just $7,578 from their two nail salons in Southern Maryland -- so little that they qualified for a tax credit for the working poor. Their tax bill was $195.

But like millions of American business owners who trade primarily in cash, Huynh was not altogether honest with the Internal Revenue Service. When IRS agents poked around, they discovered four cars in Huynh's name, including a $77,000 Mercedes; receipts for diamonds and Rolexes in a closet at his Waldorf home; and a videotape of Huynh flashing a five-carat ring during the purchase of yet another vehicle at a local Honda dealership, court records show.
Hatch raised a similar issue with the loopholes in corporate taxes and off shore escapes. Before the state, or federal Government for that matter, roll the dice on a knee jerk tax increase, they should build legislation tightening the loopholes that allow for the Corporate escape and Huynh's of the world.

That should keep you busy for a while.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ward 4 Convention Coverage

I thought of poking my nose into Hancock for the 4th Ward's endorsing convention. I really should get more involved in local politics, but the far left elements of the city stray far from my more grounded left leaning moderacy. Maybe once the kids are out of the house that will free up my schedule a bit.

There is GREAT blogosphere coverage of the event at MNBlue. For a more cynical perspective, give Wege a visit (Part 1, Part 2). He doesn't hold anything back. Would you expect anything different from him *laughing*.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Imus in Toon

This one is the most consistent with what I have been feeling about this whole kerfluffle:

Which should not deter from the fact that what Imus said was simply despicable. But I believe it was a commentor at SitD who said some thing like

"A shock Jock says something shocking and everyone is shocked?!?"

However, this final snapshot is the best rendering of the current state of this issue:

The rest are here.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What Liberal Media?!

Strib Headline: County DFL fined over Hatch lawn signs
The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ordered the Lac qui Parle County DFL and its treasurer to pay $3,000 apiece for violating six campaign reporting regulations.
7 total paragraphs all BUT one talking about the fine and allegations against Mike Hatch and others. What is in that sole paragraph at the end of the story:
Separately, the board fined the state Republican Party $3,000 for using the wrong disclaimer on a brochure produced on behalf of Phil Krinkie, who was running for reelection to the state House.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Snakes and Arrows

Rush is releasing a new album this Spring, before hitting the tour trail. Presales for the September 9th date at the Excel became available just a few moments ago. Boy did I get lucky


Man am I pumped!!


Monday, April 09, 2007

Gov. Richardson in North Korea

Presidential hopeful, Gov. Bill Richardson, is on an administration authorized mission to North Korea to recover remains from the Korean Conflict. But the North Korean's weren't going to pass up a boasting opportunity:
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Monday toured a U.S. warship captured by North Korea in the 1960s that is now used to inspire anti-American sentiment in the reclusive communist regime.

The North Korea colonel who served as Richardson's guide smiled as he told the governor the ship was an example of continued U.S. aggression toward his country. Richardson and his traveling companion, former Veteran Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi, were then shown bullet holes circled in red paint and a video describing the maneuvering of "brazen-faced U.S. imperialists."
The Governor commented:
"Despite the success with the remains, this is a relationship with a lot of tension, and this shows that," Richardson told reporters after the tour.

He called the Pueblo visit "a lot of propaganda, but we're guests here."
The Governor continues to display the most impressive resumé of active presidential candidates from either side of the aisle. Soon the US electorate will start to catch on and the race for the White House will become even more interesting than it already is.


The Blogger Code of Conduct

The NYTimes brings us a movement to establish a Blogger 'Code of Conduct' like this:
Chief among the recommendations is that bloggers consider banning anonymous comments left by visitors to their pages and be able to delete threatening or libelous comments without facing cries of censorship.
The current draft of the Code is posted on the Blogging Wiki:
The Bloggers Code of Conduct

We celebrate the blogosphere because it embraces frank and open conversation. But frankness does not have to mean lack of civility. We present this Blogger Code of Conduct in hopes that it helps create a culture that encourages both personal expression and constructive conversation. One can disagree without being disagreeable.

1. We take responsibility for our own words and for the comments we allow on our blog.

We are committed to the "Civility Enforced" standard: we will not post unacceptable content, and we'll delete comments that contain it.

We define unacceptable content as anything included or linked to that:

* is being used to abuse, harass, stalk, or threaten others
* is libelous, knowingly false, ad-hominem, or misrepresents another person,
* infringes upon a copyright or trademark
* violates an obligation of confidentiality
* violates the privacy of others

We define and determine what is "unacceptable content" on a case-by-case basis, and our definitions are not limited to this list. If we delete a comment or link, we will say so and explain why. [We reserve the right to change these standards at any time with no notice.]

2. We won't say anything online that we wouldn't say in person.

3. If tensions escalate, we will connect privately before we respond publicly.

When we encounter conflicts and misrepresentation in the blogosphere, we make every effort to talk privately and directly to the person(s) involved--or find an intermediary who can do so--before we publish any posts or comments about the issue.

4. When we believe someone is unfairly attacking another, we take action.

When someone who is publishing comments or blog postings that are offensive, we'll tell them so (privately, if possible) and ask them to publicly make amends. If those published comments could be construed as a threat, and the perpetrator doesn't withdraw them and apologize, we will cooperate with law enforcement to protect the target of the threat.

5. We do not allow anonymous comments.

We require commenters to supply a valid email address before they can post, though we allow commenters to identify themselves with an alias, rather than their real name.

6. We ignore the trolls.

We prefer not to respond to nasty comments about us or our blog, as long as they don't veer into abuse or libel. We believe that feeding the trolls only encourages them--"Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it." Ignoring public attacks is often the best way to contain them.

7. We encourage blog hosts to enforce more vigorously their terms of service

When bloggers engage in such flagrantly abusive behavior as creating impersonating sites to harass other bloggers they should take responsibility for their clients' behavior.
There is also a proposal to have a range of rules:
For example, anonymous writing might be acceptable in one set; in another, it would be discouraged. Under a third set of guidelines, bloggers would pledge to get a second source for any gossip or breaking news they write about.

Bloggers could then pick a set of principles and post the corresponding badge on their page, to indicate to readers what kind of behavior and dialogue they will engage in and tolerate. The whole system would be voluntary, relying on the community to police itself.
Personally, people should do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Problems is, there is a wide range of opinion as to what the 'right thing' is.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

RIP Johnny Hart

I saw this in the funnies this AM:Turns out it was one of his last. "He died at his storyboard", yesterday:
ALBANY, New York (AP) -- Cartoonist Johnny Hart, whose award-winning "B.C." comic strip appeared in more than 1,300 newspapers worldwide, died Saturday while working at his home in Endicott, New York. He was 76.

"He had a stroke," Hart's wife, Bobby, said Sunday. "He died at his storyboard."

"B.C.," populated by prehistoric cavemen and dinosaurs, was launched in 1958 and eventually appeared in more than 1,300 newspapers with an audience of 100 million, according to Creators Syndicate Inc., which distributes it.

"He was generally regarded as one of the best cartoonists we've ever had," Hart's friend Mell Lazarus, creator of the "Momma" and "Miss Peach" comic strips, said from his California home. "He was totally original. 'B.C.' broke ground and led the way for a number of imitators, none of which ever came close."

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter v2007

via Cagle

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her,
"I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me will live,
even though he dies;
and whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Other Season

What lies ahead the next 6 months:And thats just the metro map. Details are here.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Twins win, 3-0 Start

Thanks to "The Dr.", for serving up some very nice seats for the Twins game last night. Although the tix say row 7, row 1-3 is the Twins Dugout, so we were actually 4 rows back. See for your self:

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Long before many of us even knew what blogging was, Cursor was cultivating links and writing tight copy to entice you to click along. I've only recently discovered this faunt of information. Here is your chance to find out what you have been missing, and chip in a few bucks to keep them around even longer. There is a T-Shirt in it for you.


Richardson Makes His Move

Gov. Bill Richards is beginning to distance himself from the other 2nd tier candidates. His fund raising success, and shocking victory in Presidential Madness clearly show his candidacy is credible.

Although less than the money makers at the top, Richardson's 6 million dollar effort (with 5 million in the coffers) is a boost to his candidacy:
The $6 million dollars raised by Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico would, in 2004, be seen as a triumph. We're impressed by the campaign's $5 million cash on hand, which indicates a low burn rate. Still, Richardson has a fully functioning policy staff -- his gubernatorial executive office -- and he spends half his time or more tending to the business of his state. So he hasn't had to spend as much money as the rest of the lot.

Says Pahl Shipley, Richardson's communications director: "We're very pleased with where we are. We're on goal, on budget, and we're in it for the duration."
The supportive comments mention many of the reason I like Bill, especially his broad based experience:
Hopefully, the rest of the country will start to discover what we New Mexicans know - Bill is the most qualified candidate in the race. Fill in this experience chart for the other candidates:
DIPLOMACY - The diplomat of choice when there is a problem,i.e., North Korea, Sudan, Iraq and others.
ENERGY - Secy. of Energy and Governor of an energy-producing state who believes in conservation.
IMMIGRATION - Governor of a border state dealing with the issue daily.
ADMINISTRATOR - Running a State Government, not just a Senate office.
And another testament:
Bill Richardson may not have movie star good looks, but America isn't a movie. It's not only real, but it has real problems, problems that Bill Richardson is far and away, the best qualified to solve, not only by virtue of his leadership, qualifications and diversity of experience, but because of his honesty, candor and truthfulness he will bring to the White House. Bill will unite our Country to solve problems at home, and re-establish our moral leadership and strength around the world.
But that wasn't the only good news for the Governor this week. ProgressNowAction held there own little Final Four called Presidential Madness. The Governor was seeded 4th, top of the 2nd tier. Hilary was given the #1 slot, followed by Obama with Edwards at 3. In this non scientific poll, Richardson easily handled VP Gore in the #5 slot, and then shocked even myself by defeating the #1 seed Sen Clinton. Just when I thought that would be his peak, Bill complete the upset run by tackling Sen Obama, and it wasn't even close:
Richardson came out ahead of Illinois Senator Barack Obama by almost 20% in the final round.
This little fun and games may not be a scientific representation of the current state of the race, but it very well could be a precursor to what the future holds.


Kline Kontrols Konstituents

MN Monitor has the best coverage of John Klines 'Town Hall' event. The only controversy it seemed was the tale of two sets of rules. GOP Bloggers didn't seem to get the Meme that MN Monitor received directly from Kline's staff. No Live Blogging:
Had Jeff chosen to blog from the event via phone after being asked by the staff not to, he would have broken the rules of the event that were set out by Kline's staff to him. Obviously, you were given different rules.
Classic manipulation by the Right. Two sets of rules, for the two 'Universes' they have created. And to think that President Bush ran as a uniter not a divider. I think he has created one of the deepest chasm in political history.

Jeff Fecke of MN Monitor did file a story after the event. And it is clear he did not let his experiences with the Kline Staff effect his professional reporting of the story:
A town hall meeting held in Lakeville by Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., drew an enthusiastic and passionate crowd on Tuesday night. But strong arguments and questions from both sides of the aisle did not translate into any significant rancor.

In a two hour session, Kline heard from constituents on a variety of issues, but the Iraq war was the dominant theme from supporters and opponents alike. Constituents also highlighted concerns about union organizing, postal reorganization, education, and immigration.

While rhetoric at times grew heated, all sides remained reasonably civil, and generally behaved according to guidelines put out by both Kline's staff and by anti-war protesters.
Read the rest, it is like you were actually there.

Inside MN Politics has some early video up, with a promise of some more. Also some comments from Christopher Truscott.


UPDATE: YouTube:

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Small Bump Along the Road of Life

Not long after I got home yesterday, I received a phone call from Mom. Dad's in the hospital. It doesn't sound too serious (Gall Bladder issue), but with a 77 year old man, you never know what may be serious. Other than that, he is healthy as can be and still working as a controller/accountant for a manufacturing firm. I doubt this will slow him down much, if at all.

I talked to him this AM and he was his fiesty ole self, making it clear that 'this is no fun place to be'. I'll be off in a bit to pay him a visit. Your thoughts are appreciated.


Monday, April 02, 2007

LIVEBLOG: Connecting with Government

Sen. Klobuchar has been introduced, she will be speaking on Environment and global climate change. Also in attendance is Vice President Mondale, and I did have a moment to visit briefly with famed STRIB Columnist Jim Klobuchar.

The Senator is taking a moment to review the successes of the congressional session to date, highlighting the minimum wage increase and the passing of the 9/11 commission recommendations. She shared several humorous anecdotes as her and her family make the adjustment to Beltway lifestyle.

We begin:

A Universe of Opportunities: Technology and innovations will be the key to solving our climate crisis.

Science of climate change report concluded that changes in climate are effecting biological processes. Early reports will indicate that coastlines are experiencing rising sea levels.

Weather related economic damages have increased almost $300 Billion worldwide.

This issue has left the scientists and science labs and into the conversations of every day individuals. There is an outpouring of support for change. Even business leaders are stepping forward and demanding actions seeking tangible results.

New leadership against the fight of global warming, specifically the 2025 legislation. Governor's from 5 Western states are working together.

Taking Action:
- Establish a 'Cap and Trade' system
- Create a Carbon Counter
- Strengthen energy efficiency and conservation efforts
- Promote greater vehicle efficiency
- Promote renewable energy
- Harness the potential of the agriculture sector to develop renewable energy
- Lead the International community

(Franken is here)

Ethanol has proven to be one of the great successes in Minnesota's economy.

(Tom from Sky Blue Waters is here. Also Michael Brodkorb from MDE, along with Jeff Fecke from BotML/MN Monitor)

The address has concluded. Very informative and filled with specifics. I am still one of those who think we should promote energy efficiency and conservation because it is the right thing to do, not necessarily spend time arguing whether Global Climate change is real, or just a cyclical weather pattern we are experiencing as our planet evolves. The Center, along with Larry Jacobs, are now seated at center stage, away from the podium to have a 'conversation' and take questions from the audience.

Via Jeff:
12:47--Says that according to Xcel, energy efficiency can be achieved with no rate increase. Also notes that DuPont saved billions by reducing greenhouse emissions. And that unchecked global warming would have devastating effects to the economy.
Amy states she is a big fan of allowing the states to act, but that we need Federal standards as well. Recognizes growth in regional mass transit and pumps commuter rail, specifically the North Star.

Question on the competition that bio fuels will have on the food supply: As we get more and more refined in our technology, we will get better at increasing output. We need to go down this road smartly and gradually. We need to be aware of the environmental effects. We need to build on those as we move on to the next stage. So many of our farmers have diversified.

When asked what people can do now, the Senator mentions the rally on April 14 (Noon - 4:00) at the Captol.

I'll have some closing remarks later this afternoon.


Connecting with Government

I have been invited to sit in Blogger's row for the inaugural lecture of the 'Center for the Study of Politics and Governance'; Connecting with Government series. Senator Klobuchar will be doing the kick off. Others slated for the series include:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum
Monday, April 9, 2007
Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Congressman Tim Walz
Thursday, April 12, 2007
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Congressman Jim Ramstad
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Although I will have live access at the site, watch for my comments later int he afternoon, or tomorrow morning.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

To the Press Box in the Sky

Herb Carneal, the voice of the Twins since 1962, is gone. A legend in Minnesota sport's broadcasting has passed.

I remember Ray Scott more for his network experiences, but I grew up with Halsey Hall and Herb Carneal. As I reached my teen years, Hall retired, and Herb become the stalwart.
I almost always have the radio tuned in to the Twins, but especially for those home games to catch Herb and his calls. In 1998, he had downsized himself to limited duty, but that didn't effect his delivery.

The final voice of my youth has been silenced. With the move to KSTP, this season was already going to have a different feel to it on the airwaves. But now that Herb is gone, it won't ever be the same.