Monday, December 29, 2008

Ramstad for Senate

I believe the recount will be settled soon enough, and an election certificate issued to the victor. But if there is any chance MN will be short a Senator when the US Senate convenes, I feel it is imperative that our representation be complete, and that someone is occupying the seat currently held by Sen Coleman.

Now, it would make sense, I guess, to just appoint Sen. Coleman, but that brings its own set of political baggage and awkward presumptuousness. With the Governor not showing his electoral hand, be it a 3rd run for Gov, or maybe a Senate seat of his own (would he dare challenge the popular and effective Sen. Amy) he needs to tread lightly. But there is an option out there, and one that would meet with much less dissension for either side of the aisle; retiring Congressman Jim Ramstad. I not only support, but encourage this transitional option.

Discuss . . .



Great Letter:
From shoe bomber to show thrower

As the saying goes, progress is often measured in small steps. With that in mind, we are making measurable progress in the war on terror. We have moved on from apprehending the "shoe bomber" to dealing with the "show thrower." Our leaders have perfected the skill of dodging reporters' inquisitive missiles, but our president had to take this skill set to a whole new level.

The only question remaining: Was it a Nunn-Bush shoe?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Flash Fam

The picture of the homestead looks strikingly similar to last year's. The only significant change is a slightly larger flag, and the service star in the window. I sent Sgt. Tom Holiday wishes last evening, and received them in return this morning
Things out here are very bland, not much changes from day to day. Everyone is a lot more reserved today though. I think they are all thinking of their families and what this day normally means to them all. I know it makes me miss home a little more. I can't imagine what the people who have kids here are going through. Well give my brothers Hugs for me and tell the family I said hello and I love and miss all of them.
-Your son
We are about to begin the traditional gift ritual.

Last year we just huddled the gifts under the radiator, as the Christmas tree is out on the porch for all to see. But this year, we decided to convert one of our tropical trees into a festive one. And of course, the stockings were hung from the window with care: So now we sit around the tree, read Luke 2:8-14, and then share family and fun. Soon after the pasture will be laid out for grazing, and as soon after noon as possible, a little sip or two of Holiday Cheer *grin*

From my family to yours, all the best this Holiday season, and joyous New year.

Kurt 'Flash' Schiebel and Family

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Moon

With a h/t to Buhl:
On December 24th, 1968 as Apollo 8 orbited the moon the following message was broadcast back to earth.

William Anders
"We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Jim Lovell
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Frank Borman
"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."
May you and yours have a blessed and wondrous Holiday experience.

Flash and family!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Songs for the Night

It looks like this ole Drum Corps Vet just may have to emerge from his sabbatical a year early:
This dark and rich program will explore various moods of the night. Earle Hagen's "Harlem Nocturne" provides the thematic backdrop for the production. Additional selections will include an edgy and mysterious take on Stan Kenton's "Commencement" as well as his "Aspect." A lush rendition of "My Immortal" from Evanescence will serve as the ballad while the intense energy of Dizzy Gillespie's, "A Night in Tunisia" is sure to bring drum corps fans to their feet. The music and expressive visual program will transport our audiences through the scariness, the sadness and the playfulness of the night.
That's your pre season tease. You'll have to show up at the Open House to find out more.
The 2009 season gets under way with our Open House on January 3, 2009!

The Open House begins at 1:30 p.m. at Highland High School in St. Paul. Alumni and fans are welcome to join us at the open house (even if you don't currently plan to march).
There is more to life than politics, and for me it is Drum Corps. Rearing teenagers brought a set of challenges that have prohibited me from being on the field the last three years. The 2009 season looks like it may set up for a return to the field.

It all begins on January 3rd. You should stop by!


Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Break

The annual holiday respite from school. Of course, with three teenagers in the house, it isn't much of a break, especially with this weather. Fortunately, things will warm up a bit over the next day or two, so that may help down the road.

Now, the downside is, we are forced to take two weeks off, but only get one week vacation pay. Not the best time of year to get half a pay check, but we'll manage.

I'll be back later this AM if I find any good news nuggets to share.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Should Coleman Keep His Word

Senator Norm Coleman, November 5, 2008:
If you ask me what I would do, I would step back. I just think the need for the healing process is so important. The possibility of any change of this magnitude in the voting system we have is so remote, but that would be my judgment.

Here is where we are at today. Franken leads by over 250 votes. The Strib has basically factored in remaining challenges that have been withdrawn, and rewarding them based on the call of the election official at the recount table. That still put Franken ahead by almost 80 votes.

To quote Coleman, ""The possibility of any change of this magnitude in the voting system we have is so remote""

Maybe Sen. Coleman needs to take his own advice ("If you ask me what I would do, I would step back."), since it will take a mathematical miracle at this point for him to retain the Senate Seat.

Now that this process is all but over, that would be the correct thing to do. But when has Sen Coleman ever made a decision based on that!

However, I want this process to run its course, and be declared over by the Canvassing Board by an issuance of a Certificate of Election. THAT is when this process ends.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Mark 'Deep Throat' Felt, Gone!

One of the first stories I received national links off, was my Deep Throat speculation back in February 2005. At the time, John Dean wrote an Op-Ed hinting Deep Thrat was dying. Woodward and Bernstein had always said they wouldn not reveal the source until A) they had permission, or B) the informant passed. There was even talk of Ben Stein being the stooly. Speculation was rampant, I believed at the time it is L. Patrick Gray, the FBI Director. We later found out, it was Gray's right hand man, Mark Felt.

Yesterday, Mark Felt passed:
(CNN) -- W. Mark Felt, who leaked information to reporters under the moniker, "Deep Throat," about the Watergate break-in, died Thursday at the age of 95, sources told CNN.

Rob Jones, Felt's grandson, said his grandfather died at his home in Santa Rosa, California. According to published reports, Felt died of congestive heart failure.

Felt admitted in a 2005 Vanity Fair article he was the Washington Post's source for many of its 400 stories on the Watergate affair during the early 1970s. The Watergate break-in eventually led to the 1974 resignation of President Richard Nixon.

"I'm proud of everything that Deep Throat did," Felt, 92, told CNN's "Larry King Live" in 2006, his first public interview on the subject.
We always love a mystery, but we love more to have the mystery solved. Mark Felt will live on in political history. May he rest in peace!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nurse Chapel, Report to the Bridge in the Sky

Majel passed:
LOS ANGELES — Majel Barrett Roddenberry, "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry's widow who nurtured the legacy of the seminal science fiction TV series after his death, has died. She was 76.

Roddenberry died of leukemia Thursday morning at her home in Bel-Air, said Sean Rossall, a family spokesman.

At Roddenberry's side were family friends and her son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr.

Roddenberry was involved in the "Star Trek" universe for more than four decades. She played the dark-haired Number One in the original pilot but metamorphosed into the blond, miniskirted Nurse Christine Chapel in the original 1966-69 show. She had smaller roles in all five of its television successors and many of the "Star Trek" movie incarnations, although she had little involvement in the productions.

She frequently was the voice of the ship's computer, and about two weeks ago she completed the same role for the upcoming J.J. Abrams movie "Star Trek," Rossall said.

Roddenberry also helped keep the franchise alive by inspiring fans and attended a major "Star Trek" convention each year, Rossall said.
Majel appeared in just about every Star Trek incarnation. She joins Scotty, Bones, and of course her husband, the creator.


Coleman Apex Reached

At the end of yesterday's review, Coleman's pendulum has reached it's apex. With all Franken's challenged now resolved, we turn tot he over 1000 Coleman challenges.

If those ballots break the same way as Franken's challenges, that would result in an almost 500 vote differential. This virtually assures a Franken lead by the end of this phase of the process. A process that has been open, transparent, and respectful of the rule of law.

I ironically, on the STRIB ballot challenge page, once all ballots are reviewed, it shows Franken winning by as much as 275 votes.

For the first time in this entire process, I now sense I was wrong, and that it looks more and more like we will be sitting a Senator Franken come next January.

Does that mean it will be Franken's turn to claim victory and demand votes stopped being counted. No, we still have improperly rejected absentee ballots to count, and they will be Coleman's final hope.

I repeat from yesterday, I want every legally cast ballot counted and the final results certified by the canvassing board, followed by an issuance of a Certificate of Election. Whomever bears that Certificate will be my Senator, and I will be frustrated by any further legal challenges.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Break Glass

via Sack from Last month:
More culling, more frustration, more ballots closer to closure.

The Board will take a break around 1:ish for the Supreme court hearing on the absentee ballots.

I am also frustrated that some media, and the Franken Campaign are claiming Coleman wants to stop counting wrongfully rejected absentee ballots. It is my understanding that all the Coleman Camp is asking for is the Supreme Court to rule on a specific uniform standard to be used throughout the state, rather than individual county interpretations. I believe this is a fair and reasonable concern and support Coleman's efforts in this area. See, in the end, when Franken pulls ahead after the challenges are culled, those absentee ballots will be Coleman's only hope.

Bottom line, I want every legally cast ballot counted, and counted once, and the final results certified by the canvassing board, followed by an issuance of a Certificate of Election. Whomever bears that Certificate will be my Senator, and I will be frustrated by any further legal challenges.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

As the Ballots Turn

The soap opera continues today. In the latest episode, the Franken Campaign makes more ground, and independent analysis shows they may be in the drivers seat come the end of the challenged ballot review:
The AP also found that of the 3,500 challenged ballots that easily could be assigned, Franken netted 200 more votes than Coleman. But Coleman has withdrawn significantly fewer ballot challenges than Franken — that is, the pool of challenges that can now be awarded to Franken is larger, and both campaigns announced Sunday that they would withdraw more challenges by Tuesday.

Of the remaining challenges, the AP found that only about 1,640 couldn't reliably be awarded to either candidate. More than 400 possible Franken votes were being held up on grounds that those voters identified their ballots through write-ins, initials, phone numbers or some other distinctive marking. At least 300 possible Coleman votes were in limbo for the same reasons.

Franken could also get a boost because a few more of his potential supporters than Coleman's were among the nearly 600 ballots that had two filled-in ovals as well as crossed-out votes, an X above or below their darkened oval, or different-size partial marks in more than one oval.
As of the deadline, yesterday, Franken had whittled his challenges below 500, as promised. The Coleman Camp claimed they would be under 1000, but missed the deadline. As of this morning, I believe the Coleman Campaign was able to get their withdrawals in, but that still leaves a 500 vote differential between the two. And the 500 vote swing could just give Franken t he eventual lead.

The irony in all this, is that the Coleman Camp has been fighting to have improperly rejected absentee ballots counted. If the AP analysis holds true, those absentee votes may be Coleman's only hope. It will be interesting to see if he changes his tune and does the flip flop dance.

All I want is all legal votes to be counted, including improperly rejected absentee ballots. And in the end, the canvassing board will issue a certificate of election. Whomever is the bearer of that piece of paper, will be my Senator. I have been firm and consistent on that pledge. We'll see if Senator Coleman is as consistent on his.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Today, We Elect a President

Four years ago I attended the Electoral ceremony. Today, I will not. Last time my mom was an elector and I had the honor of witnessing that historical event, even with the twists that went with it.

I suspect to day will be different. I;d be curious to see what the nballot looks like, to see if any changes have been made.

This year, Dave Lee is blogging as an Elector. I am sure he;ll have a reports after the ceremony.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Bailout Blues

The Senate, and to their credit it was mostly Republicans, stopped the nonsense:
NEW YORK ( -- The future of the U.S. auto industry was in doubt Friday morning after a proposal for $14 billion in federal loans died in a late night Senate vote.

The Senate voted 52-35 to bring the measure for a vote -- short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation. The failure followed the collapse of negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans seeking a compromise that both parties, as well as the companies and the United Auto Workers union, could accept.
Ford's in better shape than the other two, but they all are struggling due to poor management, bad business plans, and lack of foresight.

Not to worry, President George "I have to save my butt somehow" Bush will come to the rescue:
However, the Big Three could still wind up getting government funding. Bush officials warned wavering GOP senators earlier Thursday that if they didn't support the legislation, the White House will likely be forced to tap funds from the Wall Street bailout to lend them money, two Republican congressional officials told CNN.
There were only 87 votes cast, of the 100 Senators. Notables were Vice President Elect Biden, the vacant Illinois seat, doomed Alaska Senator Stevens, Both Massachusetts Senators Kerry and Kennedy, amongst others.

The MN Delegation canceled each other out. Sen. Coleman voting No (thank you), and Sen Klobuchar voting yes (we'll talk). The four sensible Democrats: Lincoln, Arkansas; Both Montana Senators Baucus and Tester, along with Majority Leader Reid, who I suspect voted Nay in a procedural maneuver. Lieberman sided with the majority of Democrats . . . I do not!

For all the talk of tax cuts and tax breaks for those who take the risks, than dagnabbit, they need to take their lumps when the risks they take fail. The market will sort this out far better than any government loan will.

I bought my new Chevy vehicle (Equinox) a couple months ago. If the Government wants to stimulate the economy, they should put that 14 billion in a consumer credit pool at bargain basement interest rates. Let the consumers decide who should get the money.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Was He Thinking?

Stupidity outlined:
Here's a fellow who knew he was under investigation for "pay to play" schemes, who then allegedly continued to extort campaign contributions -- and more -- without any thought that someone was actually watching.

The Illinois governor retires the stupidity trophy currently held by soon-to-be-ex-Rep. William Jefferson, who stuffed $90,000 into his freezer.
I'm not going to get into the tit for tat 'they (Republicans) do it too, meme'. Stupid is what stupid does. It knows no party or political affiliation.
The breadth of the governor's behavior -- as outlined in a 78-page criminal complaint -- reads like a caricature of dumb and crooked political behavior.
Seriously, this is in the 'you can't make this stuff up' catagory!

But we'll clean house, or 'throw him under the bus' as they say! Because that is what we do. That is one of the main differences I am seeing between this case, and the coddling we saw on the Right during Plamegate. There won't be pardon talk and blankies issued. Bluto is toast, and rightly so!


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

IL Governor Accused of Dealing for Obama's Replacement

Blagojevich is in federal custody:
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is in federal custody on corruption charges, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.

Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Federal prosecutors say Blagojevich, Harris and others conspired to gain financial benefits in appointing President-elect Barack Obama's Senate replacement, according to the statement.
What type of evidence do the Feds have:
A 76-page FBI affidavit says the 51-year-old Democrat was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps over the last month conspiring to sell or trade the vacant Senate seat for personal benefits for himself and his wife, Patti.

The affidavit contends Blagojevich discussed getting a substantial salary for himself at a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions. It also says Blagojevich talked about getting his wife placed on corporate boards where she might get $150,000 a year in director's fees.

The affidavit also quotes Blagojevich as saying "I want to make money" in one conversation.
If true, this is simply despicable. This not only continues the stereotypical take on Chicago politics, but tarnished the excellent start, and positive feelings since Obama's election.

It astounds me how those who have the most, seem to want more.


UPDATE: Complete FBI Complains with Affidavit (PDF)
Later on November 3, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with Advisor A. By this time, media reports indicated that Senate Candidate 1, an advisor to the President-elect, was interested in the Senate seat if it became vacant, and was likely to be supported by the President-elect. During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated, “unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying.”

ROD BLAGOJEVICH later stated, “I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I’m saying. And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself.” Later, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the Senate seat “is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”
There is way too much more stupidity in this document then I have room to write.

The Missing 133, My Resolution: Part Deux

In my missing ballot resolution post from last weekend, we have this:
So if both sides acknowledge that an envelope is missing, why couldn't they just agree to use the original count from election day and close this chapter of the recount.
Yesterday, we found out this:
A decision about whether to count the precinct's votes as tallied on Election Day is likely to be made this week when the state Canvassing Board meets.

The Coleman campaign questioned suspending the search and expressed worry that the Franken campaign may have influenced a suggestion by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie that there is precedent for counting vote totals from Election Day when similar mistakes have occurred.
So looks like Team Franken is fine with it, and the Secretary of State points out their is a precedent but the Coleman Camp "expressed worry". Yeap, all is as predicted.


Monday, December 08, 2008

I'm Old, Again!

A couple years ago, I made this post:
A mortality gauge for me was the age of the players in professional sports. Morten Anderson, an NFL Kicker, happens to share my birth date:
Morten Andersen
Position: K
Height: 6' 2'' Weight: 221
Born: 8/19/1960, in Copenhagen, DEN
Today, he retired:
Andersen, 48, hangs up cleats as all-time top scorer
Associated Press
Updated: December 8, 2008, 11:33 AM ET

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Kicker Morten Andersen, the NFL's career-leading scorer, is retiring because of knee problems.

The 48-year-old Dane, who scored 2,437 points during his 25-year career, played for the Atlanta Falcons the past two seasons but wasn't able to get a contract this year. Andersen said Monday he has given up his search and his NFL career.

Morten Andersen cited old knees and lack of a contract Monday when announcing his retirement in his native Denmark.

"I realized I no longer can train in an optimal way because of my knees," Andersen told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "So I am retiring."
With that, I am officially older than every player currently active in the NFL. Another Milestone achieved.

Of course, I am not as old as long time reader, and occasional commenter, Pat Byrne, who turns 55 today. Happy Birthday, Godzilla!


Growing a Beard

One hilarious, yet true, cartoon:

I especially liked Englehart's kind words words the soon to be Commerce Secretary:
During the early part of the 2008 presidential campaign, I thought Bill Richardson was the best candidate of the bunch. He's done everything and been everywhere. Talk about experience. I was right in my assessment,

Sunday, December 07, 2008


It's been 67 years:

This aerial shot shows how vulnerable the harbor was:

The Strib shares the focus of this year's commemoration:
HONOLULU - With an eye on the immediate aftermath of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, thousands of World War II veterans and other observers are expected on Sunday to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the devastating Japanese military raid.

The theme of the event — "Pacific War Memories: The Heroic Response to Pearl Harbor" — is something of a departure from the past.

Usually, the commemoration focuses on the attack on the USS Arizona, Pearl Harbor and several other installations on Oahu. But this year's remembrance ceremony will center more on the months following the raid, said Eileen Martinez, chief of interpretation for the National Park Service.
We've had our own modern day Pearl Harbor with September 11th. May we never forget our vulnerability as we traverse the evolving global tumult.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Missing 133, My Resolution

On Election day, 2008, in Ward 3 Precinct 1, The following ballots were cast:

BARKLEY 247 12.57
COLEMAN 595 30.28
FRANKEN 1090 55.47
ALDRICH 25 1.27
WRITE-IN** 4 0.20

So if both sides acknowledge that an envelope is missing, why couldn't they just agree to use the original count from election day and close this chapter of the recount.

I reviewed the recount numbers from the surrounding precincts (CSV File). The cumulative number of ballots cast in W1P7, W2P2, W2P3, W2P4, W3P2, W3P3, W3P4 was 12,816. The total number of challenged ballots was 16. Yes, 16 out of 12,816. From what I can tell, no precinct had a differential from election night to recount, other than the challenged ballots.

Both campaigns can recognize that we can accept the election day totals of W3P1 as the definitive number for that precinct. There are many things to debate and litigate. This should not be one of them.


11/4 - - - - - - - Recount - - - - - - - Challenged by
Coleman - Franken -Coleman Franken Other Franken Coleman

W-1 P-07
277 - - - 743 - - - 275 - - 741 - 219 - - 2 - - - 2

W-2 P-02
273 - - - 1641- - - 273 - -1641 - 207 - - 0 - - - 0

W-2 P-03
434 - - - 1355- - - 433 - -1355 - 312 - - 1 - - - 2

W-2 P-04
391 - - - 673 - - - 391 - - 673 - 188 - - 0 - - - 0

W-3 P-02
315 - - -1154 - - - 314 - -1152 - 238 - - 1 - - - 2

W-3 P-03
543 - - -1742 - - - 543 - -1736 - 319 - - 0 - - - 1

W-3 P-04
295 - - -1241 - - - 292 - -1238 - 251 - - 1 - - - 4

Friday, December 05, 2008

OJ for 1000, Alex; About 6 years!

What is the minimum amount of prison time for Orenthal James Simpson on his kidnapping and burglary charges.
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- A Las Vegas judge sentenced fallen gridiron great O.J. Simpson to at least 15 years in prison for leading an armed hotel room confrontation over sports memorabilia in 2007.

Simpson could become eligible for parole in about six years. Grimacing, his head cast down, Simpson was escorted from the courtroom in shackles.

Judge Jackie Glass said the sentence was not meant as "payback for anything else," apparently referring to Simpson's acquittal 13 years ago in the slayings of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
OJ's life has always been about putting himself in jeopardy. Now he has plenty of time to think about it!!


UPDATE: They have re-worked the math based on consecutive and concurrency and now say it is minimum 9-15:
A Las Vegas judge sentenced fallen gridiron great O.J. Simpson to at least 15 years in prison for leading an armed confrontation last year at a Las Vegas hotel room over sports memorabilia.

Simpson could become eligible for parole in about nine years. Grimacing, Simpson was escorted from the courtroom in shackles.

With 98.88 Counted; Franken WINS

Sorry, there are still ballots left. I had a GOP streak in me that required me to declare victory as soon as we were in the lead. This is where we get to say Coleman should honor his word and drop out. Remember, he said if he was in this situation, with 99.37% of the precincts reporting, he would drop out. I'm calling him on it *laughing*

From the SoS:

Nov. 4 Ballots Cast for Norm Coleman 1195885
Nov. 4 Ballots Cast for Al Franken 1200533

= = =
Recounted Data Totals Percent
RECOUNT Number for Coleman (as recounted) 1193307 41.33
RECOUNT Number for Franken (as recounted) 1197965 41.49
RECOUNT Number of All Other Ballots (as recounted) 489577 16.96
RECOUNT COLEMAN and Other Ballots Challenged By FRANKEN 3197 0.11
RECOUNT FRANKEN and Other Ballots Challenged By COLEMAN 3311 0.11

Franken +4658

Franken +10

So here is how it really works. There is much work to be done, and regardless of who comes out on top, it is important that all legally cast ballots are counted. Once that is over, and the challenges culled, a certificate of election will be awarded. THAT is who my Senator will be.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Going Green?!?

Remember several weeks ago when the Big three automakers came to Congress 'whining for dollars' and it later turned out they flew there in their private jet:
(CNN) -- Some lawmakers lashed out at the CEOs of the Big Three auto companies Wednesday for flying private jets to Washington to request taxpayer bailout money.

"There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they're going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses," Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York, told the chief executive officers of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee.

"It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious."

He added, "couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled or something to get here? It would have at least sent a message that you do get it."
After agreeing to only take a buck in salary, this time, they showed up in . . . wait for it . . . hybrid vehicles:
GM CEO Rick Wagoner, Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli all drove to Washington in fuel-efficient hybrids. And they all have agreed to cut their salaries to $1 a year if they get federal loans.

Will that be enough to convince a skeptical Congress to grant Detroit the help it needs?
Pandering much!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Gates on Obama

The President Elect is committed to a smooth transition, and a National security team with some big name holdovers. Although it seems the relationship is lukewarm at best, one of those staying on is current Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President-elect Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates may have policy differences, but Gates said Tuesday he was "impressed" by statements Obama has already made on issues such as the Iraq War.

A day after reluctantly agreeing to remain as secretary of defense in the incoming administration, Gates, 65, said he looked forward to taking an active stance on several key issues.

"I spent a long time hoping the question would never be popped ... and then yesterday, it became a reality," Gates told reporters. "It should go without saying that I have no intention of being a caretaker secretary."
That he admits his reluctance is of no surprise, but his emphatic statement that there must be some long term arrangement is. He certainly informed the President Elect that he would not stay on as a place holder, and certainly received assurances that would not be the case.

Gates also seems supportive of Obama's redeployment plans:
Obama has called for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq within 16 months, and Gates said he does not necessarily oppose the president-elect's views.

"He also said he wanted to have a responsible drawdown, and he also said that he was prepared to listen to his commanders," Gates said. "That's exactly the position a president-elect should be in."

Gates said Obama impressed him last month when the two men met in the fire station at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. On the same day, Obama met with Bush and shortly before he met with Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"I was impressed by his reaching out to Admiral Mullen, to come sit down and talk with him, and he has made clear that he wants to have a regular dialogue with the chairman and the chiefs and the commanders," he said.

Gates also said he was impressed by Michelle Obama's desire to work on behalf of military families.

"I think all of these send very positive signals to our men and women in uniform about the way the new commander-in-chief looks upon his responsibilities as commander-in-chief, but also as the person for whom all of these men and women in uniform work."
While the whiny Right wobbles like weeble dolls to grasp for relevance in this adjusted power structure, the bigger heads, and smarter members of their party continue to acknowledge what those of us who supported Obama knew all along. That he is ready, committed, and determined to correct the wrongs of the last almost 8 years.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Frying a (K)egg

It was a cool crisp late winter day, on February 29th of this year. But it is when I officially began garage season, and tapped the first keg. It was also the same day we found out about longtime 'CCO reporter Bill Carlson's passing.

Tonight I will be attempting to finish the last keg of the year. I've been milking this last one till December, to have another 11 month season. However now it is time to finish it off, and reclaim the fridge space for winter use. With the temps above freezing, now is the time.

I will still spend some time in the garage during the course of the Winter months, to enjoy a cigar now and then. But for the most part, the garage season is ending, the holidays are fast approaching, and the new year just around the corner.


Hillary Redux

I'm still somewhat confused by the pick, but there is no doubt she will be a solid Secretary of State. It is just that it seems to sidetrack any further political ambitions. Also, she has always driven the bus, not sure how good of a bus rider she will be.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Queenies Win?!?

Ya know, just when you thought this club was going to fold, they come out and play a nice solid game. If that club plays for the rest of the year, they could go deep. But that isn't the norm for Minnesota teams. So I'll just relish in this victory, and take it one week at a time.


Saturday, November 29, 2008


I'm on my annual holiday respite. But if you can squeeze it into your holiday plans, think of throwing some coin the way of the U S O.

You can share HERE!

I hope your Thanksgiving weekend is going well


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Being Thankful!

I was sauteing vegetables at about 6:30 this morning. The bird went in the oven right on schedule at 8 bells. I try to shoot for halftime of the first game, so everything is on track. Now I have a little break before I begin to prepare my special White Cheddar Mashed potatoes. MMmmmmm! Yes, my wife gets the day off. She deserves it!

Kurly loves Thanksgiving. He stares at the floor, right at my feet, waiting for something to nibble on to drop to the floor. Sometimes I do it on purpose, other times it is just a crouton, or piece of mushroom that gets away.

We are now kicking back to watch the parade. As a long time marching aficionado, I always love a good parade. I was fortunate enough, back in 1991, to have been selected to represent our corps in the Drum Corps Midwest All Stars that attended Macy's that year. Here is our performance on the first half or so of this YouTube

The only major parade I have yet to be in is the Rose Bowl. Someday.

So sit back, prepare for the feast, enjoy the parades, and be thankful for all the lord has provided for us!


Oh, and don't forget, I am a pilgrim, which brings an extra special meanign to this day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Do the Math

A letter to the editor from a colleague at my school:
Graduation math
Let's see if lawmakers can pass the test

A driver's test does not include questions about pop music or nutrition; it determines if the test taker has the knowledge necessary to be a competent driver. A graduation test should determine if students have the skills necessary to be successful adults.

If we deny students a diploma because they can't find the center point of a line segment connecting (7,-2) and (-3,6) in a Cartesian coordinate plane, what are we saying? That they can't be successful adults?

Sure, we need more engineers, but we don't need everyone to be an engineer. We need chefs, too, but we don't need everyone to be a chef.

A coworker suggested an elegant solution. Require all legislators to take any graduation test and publish the results.
No, I wasn't the co worker that made the suggestion, but I am going to find out.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Franken Fading?

After the first few days of counting, my assumptions were playing out. Candidate Franken was picking up votes in redder districts, with the bluer ones to come. This could only bode well from Team Franken, right? Not so fast:
Are the piles of recounted ballots from red counties, where Republican Sen. Norm Colman might be expected to pick up a few stray votes? Or blue counties, where DFL challenger Al Franken might have the advantage?

But Minneapolis — the biggest, bluest pile of all — is turning that logic on its head. With nearly half of its ballots recounted, the city Franken calls home isn't doing the candidate any favors. And that could be dimming Franken's hopes of catching Coleman before the state canvassing board meets Dec. 16.

"Things are clearly moving in the wrong direction for Franken," said Larry Jacobs, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.

With fewer than half of the ballots counted in Minneapolis, Franken has lost 86 votes, while Coleman has lost just 37. In other words, the city could be blunting any recount advantage Franken might have in the rest of the state as the recount rolls toward its Dec. 5 deadline.
My theory was that for Team Franken to have any real chance, they needed to have gains in higher density precincts, and that trend isn't playing out.

That is the bad news.

The good news is, based on a recount reports I received last night, was that Franken observers where challenging ballots based on the rule of law, regardless of who the ballot was cast for, whereas Coleman challengers first rule of challenge was it had to be a vote for Franken before they would even consider a challenge. And then they would analyze the ballot, both front and back, for even the slightest smudge to claim 'distinguishable mark' and have it placed in the challenge pile. So where virtually all Coleman Ballot challenges will go for Team Franken, a significantly lower percentage of Team Franken challenges will go to Coleman.

The other point made in the conversation, was that there was a clear attitude difference between the two camps. The Franken Folks were upbeat, yet professional, while the Coleman Camp was distressed and moody. Part of that was attributed to the significantly lower number of volunteers and more specifically legal guidance for the Coleman volunteers. Where there were several volunteer attorney's to ease the load from Franken concerns, there was only one for Colman, and this individual was constantly bouncing from table to table, in some cases holding up the count while Coleman representatives waited for guidance. I can clearly see how this would create a level of stress and frustration. It is also why my correspondent felt that Coleman's challenges were erring on the side of caution, creating a pile that will go for Franken at a much higher percent then Franken's for Coleman.

Still, bottom line, I am not as optimistic as I once was for Franken's chances. But maybe that is part of Coleman's plan all along, to drive challenges as high as possible, regardless of how frivolous, to create an aurora of momentum for his candidate and keep him in the lead before the canvassing board meets. That way they can claim victory once again, and blame the canvassing board for overturning the election, rather than acknowledging it is simply the way the people voted.

Only time will tell.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Richardson to Commerce

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson will be named Commerce Secretary in the Obama administration:
Two Democrats close to the transition tell CNN that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is now expected to be nominated as Secretary of Commerce by President-elect Barack Obama, pending the final vetting process.

Richardson, one of the leading Hispanics in the Democratic Party, had been seeking the Secretary of State post but lost out to Sen. Hillary Clinton. Obama aides have told CNN that Obama is “on track” to nominate Clinton as his secretary of state after Thanksgiving.
In this global economy, Gov. Bill's broad international resume, including UN Ambassador, will be key as we dig out of this economic mess.

You can read my interview with Gov Richardson, here.


Friday, November 21, 2008


via Mike Keefe of the Denver Post:I'm still pulling for Governor Richardson for SoS, but he looks in line for Interior Secretary instead

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tapping the Tripel

Bryon Tonnis is tapping one of his finest tonight at the Rock:
Bryon will unleash his Belgian Tripel. This Strong Golden Belgian Style Ale is the perfect warming addition to the coming of winter…it is full flavored and spicy with a rounding fruitiness from the Belgian yeast strain used to create this Belgian classic.
This is the yummiest of beers. Strong, yet smooth, with a subtle banana-esque fruity finish. MMmmmmmmm!

Tapping is at 6:00, Rock is on 9th and Hennepin. The Doctor and I will be there. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop in for one.

For Becky Young

Eva Young's mother passed, and we know where Eva gets her political spunk:
She won election to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1984 representing the 76th District, serving seven terms and retiring in 1999. Among her major awards were NOW Feminist of the Year (1996); Eunice Zoghlin Edgar Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Civil Liberties Union (1997); Outstanding Legislator Award from the Wisconsin Counties Association (1998); Vote for Choice Award from Planned Parenthood (1998); Luan Gilbert Award for Outstanding Activities in Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention, from Domestic Violence Intervention Services (1998); Eleanor Roosevelt Award, from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (2005); Extraordinary Commitment to Justice Award, from the Benedict Center (2008); Inspiring Leadership to Countless Women, from Wisconsin Assembly Democrats (2008); Lifetime Advocacy Award from Disability Rights Wisconsin (2008), and the Marlys Matuszak Statewide Impact Award for positive and lasting impact on the Democratic Party and State of Wisconsin (2008).
All my hopes to the Young family during this difficult time.

via Spot

UPDATE: MNO points us to this article in the Wisconsin State Journal:
"She was just so respected. There was nothing slick about Becky Young, she was so smart it was almost intimidating," said Terese Berceau, who succeeded Young in the Assembly.

Hers was a tall figure in Madison politics, taking progressive but seldom exclusive stands on issues — education, welfare, transportation — that would dominate the social agenda for the decades beginning in 1970. That was the year her youngest daughter began kindergarten and she became a county supervisor. Instantly recognizable with curly hair, wide-rimmed spectacles and a ready grin, within a year, in 1971, she got the county's conservative administrator George Reinke to declare an "Un-Car" day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Backfiring Tactics

Seem Coleman's attorney is a bit worried:
U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman’s attorney, Fritz Knaak, said he foresees the U.S. Senate making the ultimate decision on the winner in the race between Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken. Citing actions and potential actions by the Franken campaign, Knaak said, “We’re being set up for a Senate decision in the U.S. Senate. That’s my perception.”
Now, his partisan finger pointing is noted, but independent observers, and those without blinders, know it has been MikeDEceit and the Coleman Camp that has been casting aspersion on the election and recount before it even began.
For Coleman, the narrative is that his campaign won fair and square on election day but has now watched in horror (mock or real is anybody's guess) as a re-canvassing of the vote has narrowed his lead over Franken to just 206 votes. Coleman and his team have repeatedly sought to raise questions about the impartiality of Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie -- one of the five members of the canvassing board and a Democrat -- as well as Franken's tactics in the aftermath of Nov. 4.
They have brought doubt into the process by ignoring the rule of law and repeated claims of victory, where, in fact, no winner has yet to be declared.

Their complaints of Franken's 'tactics' of course, is their refusal to allow all legal ballots to be counted.
From the Franken perspective, the candidate and the campaign are simply seeking to ensure that everyone who cast a ballot -- for either candidate -- has his/her vote counted.

"It is clear that the Coleman campaign's strategy, executed with the help of its surrogates and allies, is to undermine the process and disenfranchise just enough voters that they can win," Franken deputy campaign manager Eric Schultz wrote in a memo sent to reporters late last week. "Minnesota law, unfortunately, doesn't allow them to do that. And, for our part, we're going to see to it that those laws are applied to protect Minnesotans' right to choose their Senator."
See, their disregard for the rule of law rivals their disrespect for democracy. Sad, really, for a sitting US Senator. Our independent observer echoes my frustration, albeit a bit more gently than I.
What does all of this sturm und drang add up to? That depends.

On the one hand, the rules governing a manual statewide recount are very clear. The five person board is set to meet tomorrow to certify the vote and, if expected, the Coleman margin is under .5 percent of all the votes cast, a recount will begin on Wednesday. (For more on the who, what, when, where and why on the recount, make sure to check out the Strib's handy-dandy recount guide.)

On the other, veterans of the 2000 Florida recount between George W. Bush and Al Gore know that the law can -- and will be -- interpreted in a flood of legal maneuvers that are already underway in Minnesota.
But, again, this is no Florida. The repeated attempts to undermine the process by the Coleman camp is what is creating doubt. And if there is enough doubt, regardless of who comes out on top, this could very possibly be thrown into the Senate. The Coleman Campaign seems to have ignored that detail, for if they knew that, they would be promoting this process as the most airtight and rock solid process possible to not in anyway cast doubt on their candidates potential victory. But they jumped the gun, and have turned their back on the very process they need to claim re-election. Kind of like cutting off your nose, to spite your face.


AK-Senate; 58 down, Two to Go

Following the completed counting of the remaining absentee and provisional ballots, Former Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich has an insurmountable lead:
With 100 percent of Alaska's precincts reporting, Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, had roughly 47.7 percent of the vote, compared with about 46.6 percent for Stevens, according to unofficial results posted on the Alaska Secretary of State's Web site.

He appears to have bested Stevens by 3,724 votes, according to the posted results.

Alaska elections Director Gail Fenumiai said 2,500 overseas ballots remain to be counted.

She said officials hope to make an official announcement during the week of December 1 -- and that Stevens would then have five days to request a recount.
Alaska has a similar .05% automatic Recount Law, but with the spread at 1.1%, that law doesn't kick in. Convicted Felon Sen. Ted Stevens can prolong the inevitable by requesting a recount, but that is unlikely.

With the olive branch offered to Lieberman, yesterday, and two senate seats still in play, the filibuster proof 60 is still within reach. Minnesota is likely to flip for #59, pointing all eyes on Georgia for the ultimate upset.

Over two weeks since election day and we are still crunching numbers. At lest us wonks are lovin' it.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No Winner Certified in US Senate Race

Sen. Shameless and his mouthpiece MikeDEceit are missing that special Certificate of Election to make their lies become truths:
"The report triggers the counting by hand of the four races which will begin tomorrow morning," said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, chair of the five-member canvassing board.

In addition to the Senate race, the results in two state House races and one state Senate race also will be recounted. The board declared winners in all other state elections this month.
That's correct, no winner was declared in 4 races, including the US Senate race. By certifying the canvas report, showing Coleman with a slim and surmountable lead of 215, triggers state law. But we know that the MNGOP and their henchman have no respect for the rule of law, or democracy for that matter. Fortunately, the people of the State of Minnesota have laws that will be followed, whether the GOP likes it or not.


The Canvassing Board Meets

Today is the end of the beginning, and tomorrow is the beginning of the end.
The eleventh-hour maneuvering occurred as the five-member state Canvassing Board prepared to meet at 1 p.m. today in St. Paul to review results showing Republican Sen. Norm Coleman with a lead of 215 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast.

That margin includes the canvassed results submitted by Minnesota's 87 counties, plus an additional nine votes in Coleman's favor that emerged from a post-election audit conducted in a sampling of about 200 precincts to check the accuracy of voting machines.
WHAT!, Nine votes in favor of Coleman, Didn't they get the memo that all votes changes are suppose to go to Franken, MikDEceit says so! But I digress.

The cool part is once the canvassing board certifies the results, and MIkeDEceit put up another Coleman Victory post, state law kicks in and the recount progresses.
Ritchie released a final list of 107 sites across the state where recounts will take place and when they will begin. To help the public follow the recount's progress, his office is creating a special website that will keep an unofficial running tally of the number of votes counted for Coleman and Franken, the number of ballots challenged by each campaign and the number cast for other candidates.
At the end of the hand recount of all ballots, a winner will be declared, a certificate of election will be issues, and only then will we have a winner. That person will be my Senator, regardless of party.

Flashback : The Recount Rules

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kiss and Make Up

The combatants meet:
"It's well-known that they share an important belief that Americans want and deserve a more effective and efficient government, and will discuss ways to work together to make that a reality," Obama transition spokesman Nick Shapiro said in a statement Sunday.

Obama and McCain will be joined in the meeting by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Obama's new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.
McCain, now int he twilight of his public service career will be looking at legacy building. There is incentive for him to work with the incoming administration. I suspect strongly, however, it will be done within the confines of the Senate. I doubt there is a spot on the cabinet, or that he is even interested in one.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Obama's Bid Adieu to Senate

au revoir:
Today, I am ending one journey to begin another. After serving the people of Illinois in the United States Senate -- one of the highest honors and privileges of my life -- I am stepping down as senator to prepare for the responsibilities I will assume as our nation's next president. But I will never forget, and will forever be grateful, to the men and women of this great state who made my life in public service possible.

. . .

I learned to disagree without being disagreeable; to seek compromise while holding fast to those principles that can never be compromised, and to always assume the best in people instead of the worst.

. . .

The challenges we face as a nation are now more numerous and difficult than when I first arrived in Chicago, but I have no doubt that we can meet them. For throughout my years in Illinois, I have heard hope as often as I have heard heartache. Where I have seen struggle, I have seen great strength. And in a state as broad and diverse in background and belief as any in our nation, I have found a spirit of unity and purpose that can steer us through the most troubled waters.

. . .

With your help, along with the service and sacrifice of Americans across the nation who are hungry for change and ready to bring it about, I have faith that all will in fact be well. And it is with that faith, and the high hopes I have for the enduring power of the American idea, that I offer the people of my beloved home a very affectionate thanks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Channeling Sen Coleman: Begich Wins (AK-SEN)

In the eyes of the Coleman Camp, the US Senate race in Alaska is now over:
Republican Sen. Ted Stevens has fallen 814 votes behind Democratic challenger Mark Begich as vote counting continues in Alaska.

The Anchorage mayor was trailing Stevens in the initial count, which did not include at least 90,000 absentee, early and provisional ballots.
See, Sen. Shameless has set the precedent this year. Once you are in the lead, you can declare victory and demand the votes not be counted anymore. In the real world, that isn't how it works:
. An estimated 40,000 ballots have yet to be counted – a majority of them from the area of the state that includes Anchorage, according to state elections officials.
Clearly this doesn't bode well for convicted felon Sen. Stevens. But lets disconnect from the fantasy land known as the Coleman Campaign and come back to reality.

It doesn't matter if it is a Democratic candidate, or a Republican one. All votes need to be counted. And if there is doubt and/or state law provisions, counted again. This isn't about winning at any cost, like the Republicans actions have shown, this is about getting it right. The people have spoken, both here and Alaska. It is up to us, and the systems we have put in place, to listen to them


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Veteran's Day Reply from Sgt. Tom

I sent Sgt. Tom a Veteran's day Thank you. Here are excerpts from my letter, and his response:

I just wanted to take the time to tell you how proud I am of you, and all the armed services who are, and have, defended this great nation of ours. Hardly a day goes by were I am not thinking of you and praying for your safety.

I had several people come up to me yesterday asking about how you were doing. It is nice to know they have you in their thoughts as well.
Thanks dad that means a lot.
So your last E-Mail said you reconsidered re-upping so you can go to school. Did the desert change your mind? As for a school, the U of MN has a great program *wink* Would LOVE to have you back in the state. We miss you to death!
The desert didn't really affect my state of mind, it was more looking at the way the machine affects the people who have been in for a long time. . . . On the other hand you also get stronger in other areas. I guess its a hand off. I look at it as I did my time, now its time to move on. With the new GI bill taking effect in Aug 2009, I will be properly equipped to move on to the next level. If you ever have time to kill you should Google "new GI Bill" (ed- I did). They started a site for it. Its pretty good stuff.

I would like to be a structural engineer, or do something in developing more efficient alternative energy. I'm not sure but I will figure out as I get further down the path. Right now I have 9 months left on my contract. pretty crazy to think its been near 5 years since I got out of High School.
The Boys passed all their classes first quarter, which was a relief. Things were kind of touch and go for awhile there,
Well I am glad the boys got through the first quarter, I just wish they knew what I know now. The value of an education. If I have gotten anything from the Marine Corps its an appreciation for higher learning lol.

Well I gotta run dad, It was great hearing from you.

Love your son

That's my boy, I am so proud of him!!

Proud Marine Dad!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembering PFC. Robert Dummer, KIA

I never knew my Paternal Grandmother. Not long after my father was born, she passed away, in March of 1930. My Grandfather was left with two young children, and being a single father back in the 1930s, was no simple task. Soon he met a wonderful lady, Marie Dummer, whose husband had also passed way to soon. She was also a single parent, and the two of them found comfort in each other, and the needed piece to the missing domestic puzzle.

It was agreed that although Marie would take her new husband's name, her children would retain their father's surname. This explains why my Paternal Uncles, have the last name Dummer. One of those young boys, was Robert. Since my dad was also named Robert, one was referred to as Bob, and my dad Robert. We always knew when dad got a call from someone in St. Peter, they would ask for Robert, the locals would always say Bob.

My dad wasn't even a teenager when WWII broke out, but his dad, and three of his step brothers eventually went off to war. Grampa Otto was a Sea Bee, having been an ambulance driver in WWI. Stanley, stationed in the South Pacific with the Navy and Lamoyne, a Merchant Marine, also in the South Pacific, and Robert. Youngest Brother Vane was in high school. They all came home, accept Bob. Some snippets of News article in the local St. Peter Herald
St. Peter Herald
Friday October 6, 1944

An infantryman of eight months experience in the army, Private Robert Dummer, son of Mr. and Mrs, Otto Schiebel of St. Peter, died on German soil September 16. Notification was received by his wife at Montevideo and by his mother, Mrs. Schiebel, Wednesday.

The War Department telegram simply said that he died of wounds in Germany.

The young St. Peter soldier would have been 21 years old in December. Born near Henderson, he came to St. Peter with the family when he was about 10 years old and had gone through St. Peter grade and high schools. He entered the army in December 1943 and after training at Camp Blanding, Fla. Infantry Replacement Center he was sent overseas last May. Just a week ago his mother received a letter saying he was then in Belgium.

St. Peter Herald
Friday October 13, 1944

A member of the Eighth Infantry, Robert was awarded the citation which had been given his outfit and he also wore a combat medal. He was home last April on Furlough and shortly thereafter went overseas
Pfc. Robert Dummer was buried in Europe, and at some point over the years his remains were moved to the Family Plot in Henderson MN. I visit him most every Memorial Day.


UPDATE: I have since done some digging, and found out how small of a world this is. Robert's only son Wayne, was later adopted by the man Robert's Widow would remarry. They would go on to have two daughters of their own. One of those daughters married a Stephen Hartwell, and they had two sons. One of those sons, I have discovered, marched with me in the Govenaires back in 2005. I have E-Mailed Aaron and it all checks out. Simply amazing. So, in case they start searching around, if there is a Michael Roozen, Shelbie Roozen (Dawkins ?), or Chelsea Roozen (Moffatt ?) out there that stumble upon this post, PLEASE contact me (flash -at- centrisity dot com ). Thanks

Thank You Dustin!

My Nephew, the former Infantryman. 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.:

Remembering Ansel

About 10 years ago I got knee deep in my genealogy again. I was once again scraping and scrounging to find my roots. Persistence allowed me to make several connections, one of which was the resolution to the old Eaton family story that we were descended from the Mayflower. Although not definitive, strong circumstantial evidence supports the claim.

Along that road of research, I met Ansel. Ansel is my Great Great Grand Uncle on my mother's paternal side. Ansel was born in upstate New York on Jan 6 1840. On August 15, 1862, he enlisted in the service at Fort Snelling. He was a private of Company E, 9th Regiment of the Minnesota Infantry (click to enlarge):
Ansel returned home safely, and married a fine young Southern MN lady, Sarah Oliver, of Blue Earth County [MN Marriage Records (to Sarah OLIVER, 28 Jun 1866, at Shelbyville, Blue Earth County, MN]. They had several children (9 according to my records).

Sarah passed in 1909, and Ansel was alone. He spent his final years, battling cancer, in a Soldiers' home in Cumberland Wisconsin. In late August of 1917, Ansel decided to travel to St. Paul, to visit with long lost friends from his days in the Civil war. A newspaper account at the time describe his jubilation upon meeting his friends after so long. The excitement got the best of him. He died of a heart attack that day.

Ansel was laid to rest, in an unmarked grave, at Oakland Cemetery here in St. Paul, just a few blocks from where I currently work.
In 1878, lots were set aside in the "Soldiers Rest" area for the free burial of Civil War veterans and the Army provided the headstones. Lots were also designated for free burial of Spanish-American War dead and veterans. The St. Paul Firemen's Association bought a group of lots in 1868 for burial of their members and a lifesize statue of a fireman was erected in 1890.
He's in good company.

I visited the sextant of the cemetery to find Ansel, and was able to locate his plot. After all these years, he was still unmarked. I worked with the local Civil War historian (Pat Hill) who was working to identify and gather paperwork to get as many stones as possible in place for the 150th anniversary of the Cemetery, in 2003. It was not very long before Ansel was properly marked.

I visited him this morning, and placed a small bouquet of flowers at his head. It was the least I could do, to remember one of my ancestors on this important day. In the past I have listed all my family who have served, or are serving, in the armed forces.

Take a moment to thank a vet, and just a bit longer to pray for those still in harms way, especially, my son Sgt. Tom.

More later.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Premature Electionation

Senator Shameless, Captain MikeDEceit, and the Water 'Carey'er are playing the 'ignore the man behind the curtain' game.
“I am pleased to see the canvassing results have confirmed Sen. Coleman was re-elected on November 4th. He remains the winner despite several discrepancies with the original vote tally from election night"
Requests for a copy of the 'Certificate of Election' have gone unanswered.

It reminds me of when we were kids playing Monopoly and someone got Park Place or Boardwalk and started jumping up and down in victorious excitement. Then the banker reads the rules to you. DFL Chair Brain Melendez as the banker:
“Minnesotans can wait a few more weeks to find out the definitive result of last week’s election, no matter how much Republicans want to rush us through it. The Republicans can declare Norm Coleman reelected as often as they like, but this election will be decided by the voters, and not until every vote that was properly cast has been properly counted will we know the people’s will.”
This is about the time that the brat kicks the playing board and runs home crying.


Coleman's attorney Gets It

Sen Norm Coleman's attorney on the first lawsuit of the senate election:
Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak said, based on a Saturday hearing, he was assured by the Minneapolis city attorney’s office that those ballots should be included in the count. Knaak said it is not the campaign’s intention to appeal the judge’s decision.
. . .
“We did what we had to do,” Knaak said Saturday. “There was a real concern that what was going on here was wrong and unfair.”

Knaak said he feels assured that what was going on with the 32 ballots was neither wrong nor unfair.
Nice to know at least someone in the Coleman Camp respect the process.

Today, final canvassing results are due from all counties. There WILL be changes; normal, common, adjustments. Whichever direction they go, will be just part of the process. I have full faith and canfidence in the process. Sen. Coleman, most of his staff, and his shameless operatives, only care about winning. Sad, really!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Recount 2000, NO, not FL, MN!

Sit down my readers and read a story of the MN 2000 recount in the 2nd CD. Remember, SoS Kiffmeyer was in her first statewide election. I have as much confidence in the process now, as I did then!

I am going to see what I can dig up from the evolution of that recount, compared to now. Here we also have an incumbent candidate, and opposing party as SoS, and a tight race.
Minge concedes defeat to Kennedy
This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 12/20/00.

Mark Kennedy The second closest Congressional election in Minnesota history came to a close last week when Rep. David Minge (DFL-Montevideo) conceded defeat to his Republican challenger, Mark Kennedy of Watertown.

Minge had requested a recount in the Second Congressional District, which had been done in 29 counties, including Meeker and Kandiyohi. The ballots for the city of Paynesville, Paynesville Township, the city of Eden Valley, and a precinct of Eden Lake Township were recounted.

Disputed ballots had been brought back to the Wright County District Court for ruling when Minge gave in. Around 2,000 ballots were brought back to court for rulings, and lawyers for both candidates agreed on splitting 1,600 of them, leaving some 300 ballots to wrangle with in court. One day in the courtroom, on Monday, Dec. 11, produced rulings on only a handful of ballots.

Even Minge's most favorable projections had him losing by 50 votes, so he conceded on Tuesday, Dec. 12, just hours after the Press went to press last week.

Minge's staff claimed the recount had narrowed Kennedy's lead to 148, while Kennedy's team announced last week that his lead had grown to 234.

The concession means the official tally will be the one certified after the Nov. 7 election. Kennedy officially got 138,957 to Minge's 138,802. In percentage points of the vote, the difference was less than a tenth of a point, 48.10 for Kennedy to 48.05 for Minge.

The closest Congressional election in Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune, was the 1986 race between Arlan Stangeland and Collin Peterson in the Seventh District. Stangeland won by 121 votes.

In comparison to Florida, the recount process in Minnesota worked well. "Minnesotans can hold their heads up high," said Kennedy in a written statement. "The result of the hand recount of the more than 290,000 ballots in the Second District proves how accurate our elections are here in Minnesota."

No appeals here. the recount was handled in one courtroom. Three-person teams with a representative for each candidate and a neutral third party visited each county and any contested ballots were brought back to court for rulings.

When the numbers indicated Minge had lost, he admitted defeat to his challenger.

"In Minnesota, the will of the voters was the basis of victory," Kennedy said in a radio interview last week.

Minge pledged to help in transition for Kennedy, who will be sworn in on Jan. 3. Minge is serving his fourth term in the House of Representatives. He participated in the December session of Congress. He announced no definite plans for his life after Congress, other than to stay active in policy making.

"I have tried to work extremely hard every day to represent all the citizens of southwestern Minnesota," said Minge in a written statement to the media. "I have enjoyed working with the people from both parties on important matters like protecting the Minnesota River, restoring fiscal discipline to the federal budget, fighting for family farmers, and working to help rural communities. I hope these efforts will continue into the future."