Monday, June 30, 2008

On Drilling

This weeks issue, to appease those who want issues debates rather than ideological sniping will be domestic oil production.

So with all this hub bub on off shore drilling and ANWAR and such, I have a question. What good would it do? We don't have the refining capacity, we don't have the delivery capacity, and frankly, isn't there multi millions of acres of unused leases out there to drill already.

It is easy to say 'Lets poke a few holes in the ground, but from what I have discovered over the weekend we have more enough places we can be drilling right now that is authorized and the domestic supply issue has more to do with Refining capability and transportation mechanisms.

So without mentioning increased drilling opportunity, tell me where the supporting infrastructure exists to make this practical. Can you?


UPDATE: Somewhat related, or unrelated I don't know, is this great article Linda mentions in the comment section on Hypermiling. Interesting read!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Red2BlueMN; Double Down

The generosity of our readership smashed our modest goal, so now we are committed to doubling it. Please take a moment to check your coin purse snd see what YOU can do to help us enhance the war chest of 4 very electable incumbent challengers.

An ACTBlue page has been set up specifically for this push. You can divvy up your donation to one, some, or all 4 candidates. If you have been thinking about putting a little coinage in their coffers NOW is the time as we end the quarter!!

Give early, give often!

Thanks for your generosity!!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

On Heller

The Supreme court of the United States has struck down Washington DC's Gun ban.
Answering a 127-year old constitutional question, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a gun, at least in one’s home. The Court, splitting 5-4, struck down a District of Columbia ban on handgun possession.
Political and campaign ramifications abound.

Listen, the 2nd amendment was written in the days of the Revolutionary War, where 'Minute Men' stored their weaponry in their home for use to fight off the invaders. The framers wanted to protect these individuals from the very government they were creating. By instilling in the Bill of Rights the right of individuals to keep and bare arms, those protections were provided.

Why states and municipalities continue to try and pass laws that only prohibit the law abiding from having guns, while the criminals, who already have no respect for the law continue to carry, is beyond me.


On Polling

Newsweek laid it out quite well yesterday, using much of the language you've seen here at Centrisity. You know, moment in time, snapshot, outlier, etc.

With the two Gallup polls spread out pretty far, the tracker showing a dead heat (45-45) while the spot poll shows a 6 point Obama advantage (50 - 44), let's take a moment to put June numbers into perspective, and that is exactly what Newsweek did.

You really need to read the whole article, but here is a snippet of the more technical reasons why polls may vary based on methodology:
There are some other, more technical, reasons why the Newsweek poll might differ from, say, the Gallup Tracking Poll. Every polltaker has his or her own theories of how best to do the job. Ours come from Larry Hugick, the chairman of Princeton Survey Research, who has been in the business since 1978, and polling for Newsweek since 1993. Unlike some firms, he explained to me, PSR always asks the "horserace" question first; his theory is that this ensures that answers aren't influenced by the wording of earlier questions.

PSR only calls landlines; Gallup calls cell phones, too. There is a big dispute among the experts as to whether this matters. In fact, according to Hugick, it may mean that Newsweek didn't sample enough voters under the age of 30, who've grown up with a cell phone in hand. If that's true, then Obama did as well as he did in our poll in spite of a cell phone handicap! We also poll in the evening; Gallup does so throughout the day. And our latest poll was taken over two days, June 18 and 19. Gallup's "tracking" poll is a "rolling average" over three days.
I try not to look at one poll and/or jump on favorable results while admonishing or down right ignoring unfavorable ones. However, I do look for trends and movement. And a favorite game of the Right, is to beat down a particular pollster, see MN Poll, so that when they get the result they like, they can stand back and say Look, and that is from the Poll we just got done telling you is invalid. I know, it doesn't make sense.

So have fun with the numbers this Summer, but don't put too much weight into one or the other, be sure to look at them all. Good places to do that are the Polling Report and Real Clear Politics. But always remember, that polls are only a moment in time, and the only poll that really counts, is the one taken by the people on the Tuesday following the first Monday in Novmeber.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Several of us are making a commitment to work, support, and ensure that 4 Democratic challengers have the best chance possible for victory in November.

We have set a modest goal of $250 per candidate as we do our part to make a little push here as we end the current FEC reporting period.

Please join us (MNCR, MNPublius, Blue Man, Chris Truscott, Power Liberal) and others to help us reach this goal.

An ACTBlue page has been set up specifically for this push. You can divvy up your donation to one, some, or all 4 candidates. If you have been thinking about putting a little coinage in their coffers NOW is the time as we end the quarter!!

Give early, give often!

Thanks for your generosity!!


Post Watergate Campaigning

I cut my political teeth in the mid 70's building lawn signs for then State Representative Bill Luther's successful State Senate Bid. several years later he would later go on to become a multi term Congrssman.

The one thing this naive kid noticed was that the Democratic candidates proudly displayed their DFL endorsements. If you saw a sign that did not bare a party endorsement on it, you could be pretty sure it was a Republican candidate. This race away from their party identification, thanks to President Nixon's shenanigans, was rampant. The local party even abandoned their own name by masking it with the word 'Independent' back in 1975. It took 20 years before the MNGOP had the guts to stand behind their given name.

So now after almost 8 years of Neo Con leadership, it looks like the Right is running from their brand again.
Smith, the lone Senate Republican on the Pacific Coast, is trying to keep his seat in a state that's been tilting toward Democrats. Polls show him running ahead of Merkley, the Oregon House speaker, but with less than a formidable lead.

Smith has studiously avoided any mention of his GOP credentials in his ads and campaign literature. A recent ad featured two Democrats, including former Oregon Rep. Elizabeth Furse, praising Smith for speaking out against the Iraq war in December 2006, after Republicans lost control of Congress.

Tim Hibbitts, an independent pollster in Portland, said the ad shows Smith is "legitimately, seriously concerned about this year." He said Smith runs the risk of alienating GOP voters, but that he apparently has concluded the greater risk is to be seen as a steadfast conservative.
This is just one example that I stumbled upon today, but something tells me there are many more out there.

Why are they hiding? (rhetorical question, those of us with enough common sense left in our minds know the answer)


Placing Posturing in the Back Seat

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin; 1937-2008

Back in the early 80's I went to the Carlton Supper Club for a treat. We had no tickets but were going to roll the dice with Rush seating. It paid off. A couple of spots just a half dozen or so seats from the spoked tables off the stage. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I finally got to see this comedic genius live, and boy was he on.

It was the same stage show we would watch later on "Carlin at Carnegie", I had thought about seeing him again, to reminisce and remember, but now it is too late, George is gone:
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Comedian-actor George Carlin, known for his raunchy but insightful humor, died of heart failure Sunday in Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 71.

Carlin performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

Jeff Abraham says Carlin went into St. John's Health Center on Sunday afternoon, complaining of chest pain. Carlin died at 5:55 p.m. PDT, The Associated Press reported.
Carlin was a self professed cynic and his take on life was somewhat unique:
"When you're born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front-row seat."
Good Bye, George!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Eight Amazing Years

Eight years ago this morning we were on a plane for Vegas. We had only booked our itinerary a few days before, so it seemed like a whirlwind. We weren't sure what we were going to do once we got there, just that we had 5 days and 4 nights in our first trip to this gambling haven.

Upon arrival we knew we were going to grab a shuttle to the Lady Luck. We hopped into the van with some other folks and struck up a conversation with the driver. Once he caught wind of our plans to marry at some point over the weekend he said:

'Let's drop off these other folks and I'll take care of everything from there" and the roller coaster began.

He completed his other drop offs and first took us to the court house. It was early enough in the morning that there was no line. We filled out a couple cards, paid a fee, and before we knew it we were stepping back into the van, marriage license in hand. Now it is off to the chapel, but which one. He chose the same chapel he was married in several years before, the Silver Bell. We bought a small package that included video, a simple ceremony with standard vows, and a deep passionate kiss sealed the service. I looked up at my bride with a big cheesy grin on my face, as I glance down at my watch. Within an hour of touchdown, we are husband and wife and on our way to the hotel. It couldn't have been a more perfect beginning to a weekend that became our Honeymoon.

The Lady Luck is long gone. It was a tired hotel when we were there. The Silver Bell met a fiery fate a few years ago while undergoing a remodel. It has since been rebuilt on the same site, and now goes by the name Mon Bel Ami.

I've already shared what happened upon our return. Needless to say it was a bitter sweet summer for us. But 8 years later we are still going strong. The toddlers are now teenagers, bringing a fresh set of challenges, but we have each other. I got this one right, thank God. Who would have thought I would have been able to find such a wonderful lady who was willing to put up with me this long.

Thanks, My love, for being my wife!!

YOUR Hubby

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Go Big El!

No vote splitting in the 6th:
In the Sixth District race, where Tinklenberg is challenging Republican incumbent Michele Bachmann, a wide majority of delegates at the party's state convention passed on a party member, which is not unprecedented, said party chair Craig Swaggert.

"It happens from time to time," he said. "We tend to want to support good candidates and Tinklenberg was much more in line with our platform and beliefs than the Republican."
Now let's be clear, the 6th is about as red a district there is in Mineesota. Bachmann is the safest GOP Congress Person in the state. But Tinklenberg is as close a match as the DFL, and now Independence Party, can find for that district. Without an IP vote Split, this is a 50/50 district. Now, with enough money, and an open minded constituency, this is about as close as Minnesota may ever get at a chance of turning all the CDs blue.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Bought and Paid For!

Mikey got a gig:
I am excited to announce that starting today, I will be a part-time research consultant to Representative Erik Paulsen’s congressional campaign. I am not a full-time paid campaign staffer, but rather a part-time research consultant.
Oh, and he continues to publish this howler
I am not now, nor have I ever been paid to blog.
Regardless, I am sure his family is thrilled after almost two years of unemployment. I mean, he makes it clear what his career is and with his insistence that he would disclose and hasn't for almost two year one can only assume he has been out of work, right?

May this 'Paid by Paulsen' Blogger have as much luck as the 'Paid by Mark Kennedy' Blogger did a couple years ago.

It does make one wonder why Paulsen needs a hit man. But as I have shown here repeatedly, when you can't win on issues, go for the sucker punch!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The There, There on Franken!

Mitch asks:
So here are a couple of questions for you Franken supporters:

1. If we’re supposed to leave his comedy, “satire” and freelance writing careers out of how we gauge Franken for office, what can we use to try to figure if Franken is someone we want in office?

2. Please give me some affirmative reasons - one, two, three, whatever -why anyone should vote for Franken. Caveat; these reasons need to relate to Franken; “he’s not Coleman”, or “he’s not in bed with the Administration”, or “”Halliburton Cheney Wide Stance Bush Brought Down The Towers Duke Cunningham” don’t cut it. In other words, leave out the reasons not to vote for Coleman (because those would apply to Ciresi or Nelson-Pallmeyer or Jerry Janezich for that matter, any of the people you DFLers could have, but didn’t, nominate); they have to be reasons to vote for Franken.

Can y’all do it?
Well, of course anyone can do it. Anyone who is willing to slip off the blinders and put down the GOP Grog long enough to actually care about the future of this state and country, rather than a "what have you done for me lately?" selfish attitude proudly displayed but most Right Wingers.

I don't read Mitch much anymore, and it really isn't worth commenting over there. The once popular blog that pulled in over 3000 hits a day is lucky to muster six hundred these days. Still more than me, but he has a radio show and a screaming cheerleader section, all I gots is the truth.

But back to his questions:

What can we use to try to figure if Franken is someone we want in office?

I use his words and actions of today. In fact, I actually sat down and talked to him. I asked him questions and told him whether I agreed or disagreed. When we talked about Iraq I showed him a picture of my son and shared with him my commitment to seeing this war on terror through to victory. He wasn't afraid to tell me where I was wrong. He wasn't going to tell me what I wanted to hear and move on. He told me what he felt was the best strategy and the proper way to WIN while protecting our fighting forces and out country. There is something to be said for a man of candor who is willing to tell you the truth, even thought it isn't necessarily what you want to hear. That is important to me in a candidate and a character trait seriously lacking in 'finger in the wind' Coleman.

Please give me some affirmative reasons - one, two, three, whatever -why anyone should vote for Franken.

I have time for one, so will pick the easiest! Mr Franken is a known. There is absolutely no doubt where he stands on the issue and in many cases quite clearly and specifically. Unlike his 'finger in the wind' opponent, you can quite clearly predict what side of the issues Franken will be on. Now I'll admit in a few of those cases he would vote differently than I would like, but with his opponent I don't even know which way he would vote on some of the important issues. I am much more comfortable voting for a candidate who you can at least count on. Paul Wellstone was able to win over the needed moderate not because his far left position on the issues matched theirs, but because he was a man of character who you could count on!

There, piece of cake. But Mitch knew that. He only proposed the questions because he has managed to bully the left voices on his site away or has literally banned them from commenting. He'll claim 'crickets' without acknowledging that his site has become nothing more than a preach to the choir! Sad really!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No Billary

Aside from Englehart's fine interpretation . . . . . . the VoteMaster at Electoral-Vote has it figured out:
Speaking of dog-whistle politics, Obama's announcement yesterday that he had hired Patti Solis Doyle is a clear example of same. Hillary Clinton belatedly fired her former friend for poor campaign and financial management. Now Obama hires her--as chief of staff to the Vice Presidential candidate. Can you imagine Clinton being saddled up with a chief of staff she thinks is incompetent and whom she at least partially blames for losing the nomination? The message seems clear: Clinton is not going to be the Veep candidate.
On the other hand, wouldn't ones Chief of Staff be someone THEY would want to pick. I never thought of Obama as a Micro Manager.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Pasture Pool

I am extending my weekend by one day to watch the 18 hole US Open playoff.

Tiger is amazing, even with a bad wheel, but I am still pulling for the Fossil.

You can watch the stream live, right HERE!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bye, Tim!

I was watching the golf tournament in the garage yesterday afternoon. Tiger was making his move, Phil was fading, and I was just catching up on some reading, mug in hand, while visiting with the lovely Mrs. Flash. The familiar tune rang in and there was a 'SPECIAL BULLETIN' slide on the TV screen. Generally these spook me, not knowing what it could possibly be. Today, however, I thought I had it figured out. With all the inclement weather and specifically the flooding in Iowa, I figured they were breaking in to say that Des Moines was being evacuated, or a major levy broke, or some other weather related calamity. I was wrong . . . Brokaw broke in to tell us about Tim.
Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after suffering a heart attack at the bureau. He was 58.

Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” broadcast when he collapsed. He was rushed to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, where resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

Russert’s physician, Michael Newman, said cholesterol plaque ruptured in an artery, causing sudden coronary thrombosis.
You could feel the tension in Brokaw's voice, not quite quivering, but taught yet determined. One could sense the emotion, but the consummate professional held it together to bring us the news of his friend that had passed.

Russert was a unique newsman, able to separate himself from his mission of bringing the news and asking the tough questions. It was a fine art, and Tim was consistently painting masterpieces. One of his guiding principles was the advice given him by the late Meet the Press founder, Lawrence Spivak:
(He) told me before he died that the job of the host is to learn as much as you can about your guest’s positions and take the other side, . . . And to do that in a persistent and civil way. And that’s what I try to do every Sunday.”
And that he did.

Tomorrow, Sunday, Father's Day, Tim will be honored on his stomping grounds at Meet the Press as Tom Brokaw hosts a special remembrance. You can bet that leaders from all over the country, and even the world, are standing in line waiting for an opportunity to pay tribute to a man taken way too soon.

RIP, Mr. Russert, you will be remembered as passionately as you will be missed!


Friday, June 13, 2008

Answers That Just Ask More Questions

This whole debate, well argument mostly, with The Doctor began when he attempted to claim that Obama is all sizzle and no steak and then threw out a grocery list of questions. What is really noticeable, however, is that 'his' candidate hasn't even begun to get as specific as Sen. Obama in proposing detailed politics and programs to get this country back on track.

The whole thread below was not much at all of, 'but McCain's plan will . . . " It was, in one breadth, attempting to claim there is no specificity in Obama's proposals, yet there seems to be enough detail that the likes of Doc and Swiftee can claim it is nothing but tax and spend liberalism. So who is using talking points now?

However, I will try to clarify by answering some of the Docs specific questions.

Doc asks:--> Expanding unemployment benefits is one of the smaller dollar cost to this total, has the least impact to the overall economy but is your main focal point. Why?

Because it is a small dollar cost IS the reason it should be expanded, and I don't agree that is has the least impact. It can have the greatest return on investment of some of the other stimulus proposals and THAT is what we need more of. I noticed today that the House, along with some common sense Republicans have passed a 3 month extension with a veto proof majority. We can't help with the pressing problems the Bush's recession has created if we don't address some of the rudimentary results. I believe extending unemployment benefits is one of the most cost effective ways to do it

Doc asks:--> How about a good old fashion approach of reducing costs or other great ideas like energy conservation, business stimulas ( tax incented reinvestments that lead to jobs ) Increased oil production/ exploration and refineries.

So are we talking economic recovery, energy policy, or small business protection. Sen Obama supports a good old fashioned Apollo Program type mission to tackle out energy situation. EXACTLY what you are asking for. THAT is the kid of commitment we need from a President. Poking holes in ANWR for a 20 year band aid won't get us anywhere but a giant sludge-filled ecosystem and back to where we are now. We DO need more refineries and we DO need to explore nuclear options.

I do think we should provide incentives for those businesses who remain committed to domestic productions. And we can fund those incentives by closing tax loopholes on business who have chosen to move their operations, in part or in whole, over seas.

Doc asks:--> So let me also be clear Flash you are NOW in favor of stimulis checks? Are you NOW saying middle class income is up to 250K? Are you NOW in favor of foreclosure bailouts?

My concern with the first round of Stimulus checks was whether they would be spent and actually stimulate the economy. The growing debt load people were carrying led me to believe that most people would not spend this money, but use it to pay off debt and therefore not stimulate at the level needed. We won't know the full impact of that first round until later in the Summer, but since we are already committed to that series of checks, a second, somewhat reduced round would appear as additional monies and would be more likely to be spent and therefore stimulate.

Doc asks:--> Are you NOW saying middle class income is up to 250K?

No, I'm not. I like to use a more reasonable and true definition of Middle class, one where the incomes is, in the middle. The Doctor is uncomfortable accepting actual data to determine where the Middle class is. Household income broken down by Quintiles (via NYT) is by far the best determiner or where the. We can take the true middle class, and just use the 35rd Quintile, or we can expand it to the more broad 2nd - 4th segments.

Using the Middle 5th, we have a household income range of 34,000 - 55, 000. If we include 2nd and 4th we have a range of 18,500 to 88,030. The lower limit of the top 5% is $157,000.; Now I am sorry, but it woul dbe a very tough sell for me, and many others, to imply that someone in the upper 5% of the household income category can claim to be Middle Class.

Doc asks:--> Are you NOW in favor of foreclosure bailouts?
I don't believe I was ever against Foreclosure bailouts. I do recall expressing frustration as someone who made the good choices, didn't raid my equity and took advantage of refi to lower my rate and reduce my term while preserving my equity. I asked a rhetorical question "What about those of us that did the right thing?"

The Tax Policy Center has attempted to do an analysis of the candidate's tax plans to see how things shake out

Household incomes in the true middle class range of 38,000 - 66,000 shows McCain's tax break at a mere $319 where Obama's is at $1,042. in the 66,000 - 112,000 range it is $1009 to Obama's $1290. Even as high as 161,000 now well into the Top 5% if households Obama's plan provide for $2204 savings to McCains $2614. It is only when you get into the millions of dollars of household income that you see the huge differences in the plans. One committed to helping the most people rather then a plan that targets the rich and wealthy.

Now this post is far longer than I like to go. I don't claim to be an expert but do feel I have a well rounded perspective. Some would rather attack attack the opponent, and some want to defend their own positions as the correct ones. But those that attack, without defending their own position tells me their position is weak out of the shoot. So if anyone wants to say Obama isn't being specific, I expect them to say McCain is and defend it. But I will be hard pressed to give credibility to those who choose only to attack. At least the Doctor is willing to acknowledge both sides of the argument.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Paul Newman, Fighter!

Word came out yesterday that Paul Newman is in the fight of his life:
On Wednesday, a longtime neighbor and business partner confirmed to The Associated Press that Newman told him about the disease about 18 months ago.

"It's a form of cancer and he's dealing with it," said A.E. Hotchner, a writer who partnered with Newman to start Newman's Own salad dressing company in the 1980s.

Hotchner did not specify what kind of cancer Newman had, but said the actor is in active treatment.

His resumé is extensive, but I liked him best opposite Jackie Gleason in the original Hustler. the Color of Money remake with Tom Cruise was a nice sequel, but nothing compared to the original.

I wish Paul and his family and friends my best!


Answering Questions

To be clear, I may have a Finance Degree but I am no economist, that would be King's territory, but I will tackle some of The Doctor's questions, soon. Understand, I am still working this week, I do have teenagers out of school, I do have other priorities in my life. Blogging is not even in the Top 5 of those priorities. So my inability to have a rapid response to every little question thrown at me is me having a life, not hiding from the questions. Doc knows this and chooses to poke the monster anyway, Swiftee just does it for sport! Doc did come over yesterday, but ironically we didn't talk much politics.

This AM I had very very minor surgery and once I feed the boys breakfast it is back to work to finish up a project for the week. In the interim I have been reading up on the candidate's economic plans. I'll have more on that tomorrow. For today, I have other priorities in my life that will get my attention. I have better things to do then hover in the blogospshere playing gotchya games.

I like these issues debates, can't wait till we get into the Social issues *grin*


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Obama Calls for More Stimulus

The Doctor is getting antsy:
Are we ready to discuss issues yet?

How about the new "economic plan" rolled out by Obama with "details to follow". Did that 50 Billion in new spending include the new round of stimulas checks or is that in addition too?
Obama's specific proposal is being rolled out.
"Such relief can't wait until the next president takes office. ... That's why I've called for another round of fiscal stimulus, an immediate $50 billion to help those who've been hit hardest by this economic downturn,"
Now, Doc, if you want a multi page itemized audit of the proposal, then you don't want to discuss issues, you want to nit pick the details. While Sen Obama is proposing ways to get us 0out of the self inflicted mess the current Presidents mismanagement has gotten us into, so be it. Meanwhile, Obama wants to send out a second round of checks, and do what the first bill should have done, extend unemployment benefits.

I know what you are going to say. It is their own dang fault they are unemployed and they don't deserve any assistance. They should suck it up and get out there looking for a job (that doesn't exists) and we shouldn't help at all. I can't tell you how much it burns me when these conservatives simply turn their back on the less fortunate and blame them soley for the predicament they are in. They call it 'personal choices' and how the 'publc' shouldn't have to help those that did it to themselves.

To continue his detailed plan, Obama also discussed tax relief, you know, to the people who actually need relief:
Obama has pledged to keep the tax cuts in place for everyone except those making roughly $250,000 and up. He has also made proposals to cut taxes further for the middle class, some of which he reiterated in his speech: exempt seniors making less than $50,000 from having to pay income tax; give a tax credit worth up to $500 per working person ($1,000 per family) to offset the Social Security tax on the first $8,100 of earnings; and expand the earned income tax credit.

To boost retirement savings, he has also proposed a 50% federal match on the first $1,000 of savings for families that earn under $75,000.
So as is consistently the case, Democratic candidates are out there with clear ands specific proposals to rescue this country from the dire straights of Republican mismanagement. It is why the GOP doesn't want to talk about issues, they are on the wrong side of them.


Support Steve Sarvi

I'm a little late to the game, but noticed a little ground swell on the local left leaning blogosphere in support of Sgt. Steve Sarvi.

I first met Steve, electronically, here at Centrisity. He was active duty and stumbled on this little blog site during the end of his deploy. Once he made it back to the states we exchanges some E-mails, and it wasn't long before I was reading about him in the paper as he announced his candidacy.

When my son Sgt. Tom was in town last February, it was also the night Sgt. Sarvi was attending the Drinking Liberal gathering at the Chatter Box. I got a shot of them after they discussed what may lie ahead for my son during his 6 month deploy set to begin in just a few months.

So if you find it in you heart, or in your pocket book to place a few coins in the coffers of this honorable man who now is destined to become our next Congressman from the 2nd, hop on over to his ActBlue page. I know he would be grateful . . .and so would i!


Monday, June 09, 2008

Summer Transition

Schools out. IT will be a weird week as I poke my head into work to finish up end of the year stuff and get the building ready for Summer School.

Posting will be erratic till I adjust to my new schedule. But you all are used to that.

Things I noticed over the weekend:

Jim McKay passed. A HUGE part of my years growing up. He WAS the voice of all that was sports.

Minnesota Monitor is now the Minnesota Independent and a spankin' new design to go with it.

Oh, and Al Franken cleared the endorsement hurdle ont he first ballot. Its going to be an interesting Summer!


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hillary Suspends, Some Quotes

""The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand to take our energy and our passion and our strength to do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States""

""Today as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run, I ENDORSE HIM AND THROW MY FULL SUPPORT BEHIND HIM. I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for him as you have for me!

"We have come too far to let this opportunity pass" and then she invokes 'YES WE CAN!"

At least five times now she has said ""That is why we must help elect Barack Obama as President""

Compared to the wishy washy spiel on Tuesday night, this is the most unequivocal she could possibly have been. There isn't a single political spin-meister out there who could twist anything short of 100% full support for the presumptive nominee.

""There are no acceptable limits and there are no acceptable prejudices in the 21st century!""

""Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward. Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama is our next president.""


DFL Convention Links

I am not able to be in Rochester this year, but several of my colleagues are there to cover the fireworks. I still expect Al Franken to be enthusiastically endorsed on the first ballot, it won't be without some drama. Here is a list of some key sites you'll want to visit to follow the battle:

MNCampaign Report
MPR Live Audio Stream

If you know of others, let me know and I will add them.


Friday, June 06, 2008

The World Changed!

It was a Wednesday Morning. A seven year old boy awakes and crawls down from his upper bunk. The groggy child walks through his room and opens the door with one hand, while the other is still rubbing an eye. A short jaunt across the hall and into the bathroom he stares up at his father, brushing his teeth. The dad pauses for a moment, looks down and says:

"Robert Kennedy was shot last night"

The memory is as vivid now as it was that day. Even as a 7 year old I was politically aware. I went into the living room and simply stared at the black and white TV. Network news sharing the haunting news, graphic placards of the brain pointing out the areas of Bobby's injuries. He was alive, just barely, and it was only a matter of time before he slipped away.

40 years ago today we lost another Kennedy to an assassin's bullet. We will never know what type of world we would be living in today had Kennedy made it to the White House. What we do know is what a tragic loss it was for the nation when he was gunned down.

There are many quotes attributed to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, here are some you may have seen:
"What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."

"The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country." (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 24, 1967)

"We can master change not though force or fear, but only though the free work of an understanding mind, though an openness to new knowledge and fresh outlooks, which can only strengthen the most fragile and most powerful of human gifts: the gift of reason."

"One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time."

"Fear not the path of truth, for the lack of people walking on it." (delivered in his speech at the Ambassador Hotel just prior to the assassination)
And from a speech he delivered two years to the day before his death:
At the heart of that Western freedom and democracy is the belief that the individual man, the child of God, is the touchstone of value, and all society, groups, the state, exist for his benefit. Therefore the enlargement of liberty for individual human beings must be the supream goal and the abiding practice of any Western society. Robert F. Kennedy 'Day of Affirmation' address University of Cape Town, South Africa, June 6th, 66

First, is the danger of futility; the belief there is nothing one man or woman can do against the enormous array of the worlds ills--against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant Reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and the thirty-two year old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal. Robert F. Kennedy 6-6-1966
May you continue to rest in peace, Bobby.


Happy Birthday, Baby!

It is the birthday of the Lovely Mrs. Flash. D-Day has a completely different meaning in the Flash household. Anyone who can put up with me under the same roof for over 10 years is nothing short of a saint.

THANKS for being my wife!!

YOUR Hubby

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hillary to Suspend

HIllary Clinton will officially end her bid on Saturday . . . and unconditionally support our next President, Senator Barack Obama:
On Saturday, I will extend my congratulations to Senator Obama and my support for his candidacy. This has been a long and hard-fought campaign, but as I have always said, my differences with Senator Obama are small compared to the differences we have with Senator McCain and the Republicans.

I have said throughout the campaign that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party's nominee, and I intend to deliver on that promise.
The Washington Post has a GREAT write up on the beginning of the end of the Hillary campaign. It is a fantastic inside look at how the final months of the campaign evolved. The bottom line; 'She Could Accept Losing. She Could Not Accept Quitting.':
Clinton emerged from Pennsylvania with a victory that nearly matched her 10-point margin in Ohio. Her campaign responded with the message "The tide is turning."

Lifting spirits further still was a new campaign apparatus. Gone was Patti Solis Doyle, the less-experienced loyalist, replaced by the older and firmer Williams -- a professional management consultant who knew, in the words of one adviser, "how to say no."

Williams and another longtime confidante, Cheryl Mills, closed ranks around the candidate -- demanding an end to the backstabbing that had poisoned the campaign early on, returning phone calls and running meetings on time, making decisions that had lingered. Not everyone was happy. But for the first time, the office seemed to run relatively smoothly.
This article is a must read for every political wonk out there.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Now the Work Begins

Senator Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. If the election were held today, he would return the White House to a semblance of sanity following years of egotistical mismanagement. However, the election isn’t until November, giving the GOP more than enough time to dodge the issues and slime their opponents.

I think we have found over the course of this campaign, that the American electorate has become smarter over the last several years. They have seen the two faces of the Republican Party, the one face that says all the right things, and the other that does the opposite. Change is a big word, but change for change sake is not necessarily healthy. Change for the need of change, even if it is returning to the days of peace and prosperity, rather than war and recession, can be considered change. But the people have spoken. At least the sensible common sense folk who truly care about this country and believe our role in this world is contrastingly different than the path we have been led down. In fact, there is less than 30% of the population in tune with the current President. That means that Democrats and Republicans alike are looking for a new direction, a direction that will restore the faith and confidence not so much of the American people, but of the world.

Senator Obama has remained on the high road throughout this campaign, and I suspect he will remain there. But he has also shown he won't take the slime and the smears lying down. Senator McCain has made attempts to reel in the Right Wing slime merchants, but time will tell if his efforts are sincere. The changes in 527 laws prohibit some of the character attacks; especially the large number of unsubstantiated ones hurled at Senator John Kerry last cycle.

This general election race will return to debating the issues, issues that the Left has a far better grasp on than the floundering GOP party. The splintering of the Right will be a far more difficult breach to heal, than the one between the Obama and Clinton camps. We saw last night how Sen. Obama can reach out to those he will need to be victorious in November, and I an convinced he will succeed.

I make no predictions, today. I just look forward to a healthy debate. Lets put all of our cards on the table and let the people decide the direction we take. Lets start by having both sides declare that we won't tolerate the hate speak from either side. We will support everyone’s right to make their case, and in the end the people will decide the future of this great American experiment!

My sidebar picture has been updated!


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama Clinches; Rally Links

Senator Barack Obama has clinched the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the Untied States!

Game On!


ObamaRama Live Blogs

Moderate Left
MN Campaign Report
MN Monitor Twitter

Obama Rally, Xcel

Looks like too much is going on in my world to attend this evening's HUGE media event. I will opt out and monitor the events from the InterTubes. Watch this spot later for links to those who will be there, and the delicate balancing act Hillary will be performing throughout the evening.


Reading Material

Over the last few weeks a couple excellent blogs have started up. I am proud to say that both of these individuals are frequent commenters to Centrisity and have added much to the debate here.

Start by hassling Hasslington at his new home. Recent Veep-stakes analysis and other interesting intrigue. He recently talked about the Unite factor now that the primary season is winding down.
He may suggest otherwise, but it's become obvious to me that my friend (and fellow blogger) Anoka Flash is a Clinton-supporter (though, like me, he originally supported Governor Richardson until he ended his campaign this past January). Flash has suggested over the past several months that Senator Clinton is "more experienced" and "more electable" than Senator Obama.
To be clear, however, I remained undecided in the race following Governor Bill's defeat. My 'leaning' towards Hillary was not an endorsement as much as it was a realization of electability. I do believe that the need to recapture the White House after 8 year of mismanagement will be more than enough to sway any fence sitters towards the eventual nominees camp.

Then we have A Penigma, authored by Leftout. He has as much fun ripping Mitch and Shot in the Onion as I do. It's really not the tough when the facts are on your side every single time!!
Now, Cole certainly pays a great deal of attention to the Arab world, as opposed to Israel, but I've never seen even the faintest hint of any anti-Jewish comment from him. Berg, and others like him, claim that reporting on only one side of an issue doesn't represent bigotry or bias, but claim that Cole doing the exact same thing IS in fact, bigotry. What's worse, Berg, became incensed when someone suggested he just might have a little bit of bigotry too - the commenter said we all do - and demanded an apology - which the commenter provided.

One wonders when Berg will apologize to Cole? (well, not really, double-standards are Berg's calling card, his 'raison d' etre' as they might say in France, or Senegal)
Read 'em both, daily, you'll be better for it.


Monday, June 02, 2008

It All Ends Tomorrow

Today is the last full day of the Clinton Campaign for President. Now that the Florida and Michigan issue has been resolved, Sen. Barack Obama will, by the time he arrives at the podium tomorrow, have more than enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination for President of the Untied States. Sen Clinton has hinted she may take the decision the Rules committee made over the weekend to the credentials committee, but I suspect she will see how futile that will be. There may not be enough elected delegates to put Barack over the top tomorrow, but you can bet there will be a significant surge of Super Delegates to his camp once the last votes are cast. These delegates waited patiently till the people spoke, and will embrace their decision with an endorsement of Senator Obama.

The Campaign has made a very strategic choice for their declaration of victory. By waving the flag in the very building where the GOP will anoint their candidate is a clear statement that this will be a campaign that will not pull any punches. I have put in my request for press credential. Hopefully the end of the year surge at work, coupled with the pressure of getting a couple teenagers through another year of high school will wane just enough to allow for me to be there for this historic occasion. You can bet if that happens, you all will be right there with me.

We've been standing in line at this amusement park long enough, time to get on the roller coaster and see what this thing's got!