Sunday, August 31, 2008


Other Media Reports:

KARE 11 (includes a KARE11 EXTRA of the 2004 Season from start to finish)
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

It is hard from me to even imagine what happened in Rochester NY tonight. A drum corps I have been affiliated with for over 30 years has just broke all records and all barriers in their history. Tonight, Minnesota Brass, Incorporated placed SECOND at World Championship finals. I am so proud of my folks; I wish I could have been there.

2008 DCA Finals Scores:

01st - 97.913 - Reading Buccaneers
02nd - 96.513 - Minnesota Brass
03rd - 95.063 - Empire Statesmen
04th - 94.913 - Hurricanes
05th - 93.625 - Caballeros
06th - 93.425 - Bushwackers
07th - 90.013 - Brigadiers
08th - 89.675 - Renegades
09th - 86.763 - CorpsVets
10th - 83.738 - Rochester Crusaders

High Brass - Empire Statesmen
High Percussion - Buccaneers
High Visual - Buccaneers
High Total Effect - Buccaneers
High Color Guard - Hurricanes
Best Drum Major - David Bruni Empire Statesmen
Showmanship Award - Bushwackers Color Guard

01st - 82.750 - Alliance
02nd - 82.463 - Fusion Core
03rd - 79.225 - Chops Inc
04th - 77.438 - SoCal Dream

High Brass - Fusion Core
High Percussion - Alliance
High Visual - Fusion Core
High Total Effect - Alliance
High Color Guard - Fusion Core
Best Drum Major - Alliance

A live Forum thread of the event, including short video clips of ALL competing corps can be found at Drum Corps Planet.


UPDATE: Tom Peashy DCA Public Relations:
with this computer age, I had the scores way early... and intentionally stuck them under my clipboard as there was a large crowd in the area... (Fran appreciates that)... finally after some time... I peaked... the shock on my face must have been obvious as several around me said "is it THAT bad"... naturally I just smiled...

Buccaneers pulled off their 4-peat tonight and are a GREAT champion but in many ways, the night belonged to Minnesota... congrats to all...

This was by far the best dca finals EVER...

TPaw meets McCain at RNC

Spot deserves a Spotty:
Scene: Backstage at the Xcel Center during the Republican National Convention. Tim Pawlenty and John McCain find themselves standing next to each other as the little knot of people they were talking with drift away. There is an uncomfortable silence for a while, then the stilted beginning of a conversation.

JM: Oh, hi Tim! It's nice to see you.

TP: [not meeting JM's gaze] Pfffft - -

JM: I'm sorry, Tim. I didn't hear you. Just had my 72nd birthday, you know! I must say you're looking good.

TP: Hullo, Senator.

JM: That's John, Tim.

TP: Thanks, Senator.

JM: Whoa! I'm sensing a little hostility here.

TP: [after a pause] No. [another pause; TP is looking at his shoes the whole time] Not really.

JM: Not really?

TP: [another pause; TPaw still looking down] Why do you like her more?

JM: [chuckles] What? You were auditioning for the job of girlfriend?

TP: [TP looks at McCain] Ha ha. Very funny. You know what I mean.

JM: [evenly] No. Tell me.
Oh, it gets better . . much much better!


van Palin is a Solid Pick

Why is Mitch and the ScaifeNet boys trying to misquote most of us common sense bloggers. I think Sarah van Palin is an amazing pick, that does a fine job of complimenting Sen. McCain in an attempt to take the age meme off the table. It goes to reinforce the decision making consequences that goes with being President. It echoes everything that is wrong with current politics. But most importantly, it goes to reinforce the common misconception of Republican politics, This walk the walk, talk the talk front. Oh No . . . in van Palin's case, she says one thing now, while she did something completely different, then.

Here, I'll show you an example. In her stump speech she says:
“I championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress — I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that Bridge to Nowhere. ‘If our state wanted a bridge’, I said, ‘we’d build it ourselves’.
The right, thing at the right time, but what was she saying back then, when the Bridge to no where was on the table:
Check out these entries from the Ketchikan Daily News:

“People across the nation struggle with the idea of building a bridge because they’ve been under these misperceptions about the bridge and the purpose,’ said Palin, who described the link as the Ketchikan area’s potential for expansion and growth.

Palin said Alaska’s congressional delegation worked hard to obtain funding for the bridge and that she ‘would not stand in the way of the progress toward that bridge’.

‘We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative,’ Palin said.”
Ketchikan Daily News 9-28-06
Oh, and there's more:
asked in Oct. 2006 to state her position regarding the bridge:

5. Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?
Yes. I would like to see Alaska’s infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now - while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.
Let's be clear, I along with over 80% of the electorate (yes, I made up that number, I leanred it from Mitch) is ecstatic about his pick, albeit for different reason.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

2008 DCA World Championships

It is Labor Day weekend and the start of . . no, not the RNC Convention, Drum Corps Associates World Championships. I am sure the Minnesota participants who are flying had no problem getting out of town, but I'll be curious to hear what their return trip is like.

For now, here are today's Preliminary scores to determine who continues on till Finals, Tomorrow.

I marched many years with Minnesota Brass, going back to 1978. I also marched a year with the St. Peter Govenaires, a corps my father, and grandfather both performed with.

This post will be updated until Preliminary Scores are final!

Here are the numbers:

2008 DCA World Championship Preliminary Scores


98.138 Buccaneers
96.013 Empire Statesmen
95.875 Caballeros
95.113 Minnesota Brass
94.913 Hurricanes
93.788 Bushwackers
91.400 Brigadiers
90.688 Renegades
88.288 CorpsVets
86.188 Crusaders

^^ Perform Sunday in Finals ^^

85.538 Music City Legend
82.788 Kilties

Class A

83.838 Alliance A
83.025 Fusion Core A
80.900 Chops Inc A
80.788 SoCal Dream A
^^ Perform Sunday in Finals ^^

80.650 Grenadiers A
77.413 Govenaires A
77.313 White Sabers A
75.888 Carolina Gold A
73.563 Gulf Coast Sound A
72.538 Frontier A
72.963 Lakeshoremen A
67.500 Shenandoah Sound A
UPDATE: Waiting on MN Brass's Numbers, but here is a peak at their opener. Gotta love real time technology (may take a bit to load):

van Palin Census Data

Just sayin' . . . Cities with larger populations then the State of Alaska

New York, N.Y. 8,143,197
Los Angeles, Calif. 3,844,829
Chicago, Ill. 2,842,518
Houston, Tex. 2,016,582
Philadelphia, Pa. 1,463,281
Phoenix, Ariz. 1,461,575
San Antonio, Tex. 1,256,509
San Diego, Calif. 1,255,540
Dallas, Tex. 1,213,825
San Jose, Calif. 912,332
Detroit, Mich. 886,671
Indianapolis, Ind. 784,118
Jacksonville, Fla. 782,623
San Francisco, Calif. 739,426
Columbus, Ohio 730,657
Austin, Tex. 690,252
Memphis, Tenn. 672,277
Charlotte, North Carolina 671,588

Minneapolis 369,051
St. Paul 287,151
TOTAL: 656,202

Powerline Disses van Palin

You know the Right is in rough shape regarding the dart toss pick of van Palin when their Temple on the Mount is concerned:

I'm worried about Palin. I'm afraid she may be the Geraldine Ferraro of 2008. If she really is the nominee, will it come across as a desperation move, a Hail Mary, as Mondale's choice of Ferraro did in 1984? I'm afraid so. Her experience just doesn't justify a place on the ticket. If McCain really wanted to go radical, Bobby Jindal was the far sounder choice


The AP says the McCain camp "hopes the announcement of his running mate will stunt any momentum that Democratic rival Barack Obama might get from the just concluded Democratic National Convention." If it really is Palin, I'm afraid the opposite will happen. Press reaction will be 100% negative; the emphasis will all be on Palin's inexperience--she's been Governor of Alaska for less than two years--and the fallout will augment, not limit, Obama's convention bounce. The most important thing McCain has going for him in this race is the perception that he is the serious candidate. Choosing a running mate who will be widely perceived as unqualified would go a long way toward squandering that advantage.
I'm very disappointed that John McCain would put someone as inexperienced and lacking in foreign policy and national security background as Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Like John and Paul, I was disappointed when I heard this morning that Senator McCain had called on Sarah Palin to be his running mate. I was disappointed mostly because I thought that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was the right man for the job.
At least these guys are trying to be real about the choice. But most others in the echo chamber are desperately trying to put lipstick on this . . . . choice. Personally, I think it is a perfect pick, I couldn't have hoped for a better one!


Fecke Went There!

As usual, he nails it:
Buchanan is a raving bigot, a homophobe, a sexist, a racist…pretty much everything Pat Buchanan’s for, I’m against, and vice versa, with the exception of the Iraq War — and even there, Buchanan opposes the war because he opposes all foreign entanglements of any kind.

And it is this man, this bigot, that Sarah Palin chose over George W. Bush in 2000, a man Palin chose to abandon her party for, because Bush was insufficiently conservative.

And so to Sarah Palin and John McCain, I have a simple question: why? Why did you support Pat Buchanan in 2000, despite his long history of bigotry and Antisemitism? Why did you support him, even though his positions were considered radical even by the Republican Party? Is Pat Buchanan who you are, Gov. Palin? And if not…well, why should we believe you?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Yeap, It's Palin

Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska is Sen, John McCains pick for running mate.

See what happens when I make a grocery store run.

McCain, the gift that keeps on giving. In one fell swoop he has taken the inexperienced meme off the table.

Romney was the safest pick, TPaw the smartest pick . . Palin is the pandering pick.

Biden will have to watch himself as they will try to pain him as a woman hater when he goes into VP attack mode.

Now, explain to me why, with a sitting Republican Senater FROM ALASKA under indictment, would they even consider someone from that state. Did they vet her with Yahoo search instead of Google.



With TPaw officially out (CNN reports he received the Not You call) there is talk that a corporate Jet, carrying the Governor or Alaska to Ohio, arrived last evening.
But there is a great big buzz in the Dayton area, where presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain is to announce his running-mate, about a private plane that arrived last night from Alaska.

John McCain and his campaign have sent a lot of signals about wanting to put a woman on the ticket.
I have spent a chunk of my morning sorting through YouTube videos of McCain and Romney attacking each other during the primaries. The more I watched, the more I convinced myself there was way too much fodder for McCain to risk Mittens being the pick. When you think of how they are using Clinton's primary words are gainst Sen Obama, you have to think that will play a roll in who McCain chose.

For now, the buzz has switched to a little known 44 year lady from Alaska, Gov. Sarah Palin.


TPAw says No to Dayton Ohio

Well, it looks like it is not Gov. Tim. The Governor just told 'CCO that he will NOT be in Dayton Ohio, this afternoon, when McCain introduces his running mate.

Romney, and several other former primary combatants were already schedule to be there which will quell further speculation. But if it was down to TPaw and Mittens, looks like Mittens it is.


Ready to Lead!!

Without comment:
If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Sen. McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has $79 billion in surplus while we are wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice -- but that is not the change that America needs.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans -- have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As commander in chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Grand Slam

Last evenings speech makers took an oratorical turn of proportions unmatched in recent times. They layed out a clear convincing map if the past, and a way to forge a path towards the future. The honored and respected Senator John McCain, but took the opportunity to show how clear he is wrong to want to follow the same failed policies of the last 8 years.

I though John Kerry was brilliant, and in his finest moment, he showed, that if Obama is 'so inexperienced" then why has he been right on key Foregin policy issue that even the administration balked at first, but now are following verbatim (excerpt edited for clarity):
When Barack Obama promised to honor the best traditions of both parties and talk to our enemies, John McCain scoffed. George Bush called it the false comfort of appeasement. But today Bush's diplomats are doing exactly what Obama said, talking with Iran.

When Democrats called for a timetable to make Iraqis stand up for Iraq and bring our heroes home, John McCain called it cut-and-run. But today, even President Bush has seen the light, and he and Prime Minister Maliki agree on -- guess what? -- a timetable.

The McCain-Bush Republicans have been wrong again and again and again
President Clinton later came out and made it so clear how he knows Sen Obama is ready willing and fully capable to be Commander in Chief.
My fellow Democrats, 16 years ago, you gave me the profound honor to lead our party to victory and to lead our nation to a new era of peace and broadly shared prosperity.

Together, we prevailed in a hard campaign in which Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief.

Sound familiar?

It didn't work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it will not work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history.

Now, Sen. Obama's life is a 21st-century incarnation of the old-fashioned American dream. His achievements are proof of our continuing progress toward the more perfect union of our founders' dreams.

The values of freedom and equal opportunity, which have given him his historic chance, will drive him as president to give all Americans -- regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability -- their chance to build a decent life and to show our humanity, as well as our strengths, to the world.
And, Joe, Joe Biden. He put to rest all those concerns about his ability to be succinct and sincere, a true sign of leadership, and regular guy . . a Regular Joe!
You know, John McCain is my friend. And I know you hear that phrase used all the time in politics. I mean it. John McCain is my friend.

We've traveled the world together. It's a friendship that goes beyond politics. And the personal courage and heroism demonstrated by John still amazes me.

But I profoundly disagree with the direction John wants to take this country, from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Amtrak to veterans.

You know, John thinks that, during the Bush years, quote, "We've made great economic progress." I think it's been abysmal. And in the Senate, John has voted with President Bush 95 percent. And that is very hard to believe.

And when John McCain proposes $200 million in new tax cuts for corporate America, $1 billion alone for the largest companies in the nation -- but no, none, no relief for 100 million American families, that's not change. That's more of the same.

Even today, as oil companies post the biggest profits in history, nearly $500 billion in the last five years, John wants to give them another $4 billion in tax breaks. That's not change. That's the same.

And during the same time, John voted again and again against renewable energy, solar, wind, biofuels. That's not change. That's more of the same.

Millions of Americans have seen their jobs go offshore, yet John continues to support tax breaks for corporations that send them there. That's not change. That's more of the same.

He voted 19 times against the minimum wage for people who are struggling just to make it to the next day. That's not change. That's more of the same.

And when he says he'll continue to spend $10 billion a month, when the Iraqis have a surplus of nearly $80 billion, that's not change. That's more of the same.

The choice in the election is clear. These times require more than a good soldier. They require a wise leader. A leader who can change -- the change that everybody knows we need.
Tonight, the finalé, and tomorrow it is 'their' turn.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits

Look, I wasn't a big Hillary fan from the start, but I became to realize what a force for the American people and the American Dream she really was. Anyone who could generate so much bile and venom from the Right had to be doing something correct. After Gov. Richardson stepped away from the race, I stayed on the sidelines, but there was a part of me that was pulling for Hillary. When Senator Obama became the presumptive there was no doubt in my mind that Hillary would be doing everything she could to ensure the election of Barack Obama. Last night, she proved that commitment is her reality as well as it should be all of ours:
Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our president.
Sen. Clinton didn't pull any punches. She said all the right things. And where the Right Winger mumble machine will pick nits all day long to create a narrative that doesn't exists, we all know exactly where Hillary stood last night, with the future of this country, and the citizenry she works so hard for everyday!
I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that young boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

We need leaders once again who can tap into that special blend of American confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet our toughest challenges. Leaders who can help us show ourselves and the world that with our ingenuity, creativity and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in America.

Now, this will not be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don't fight to put a Democrat back into the White House.

We need to elect Barack Obama because we need a president who understands that America can't compete in the global economy by padding the pockets of energy speculators while ignoring the workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas. We need a president who understands that we can't solve the problems of global warming by giving windfall profits to the oil companies while ignoring opportunities to invest in the new technologies that will build a green economy.

We need a president who understands that the genius of America has always depended on the strength and vitality of the middle class.

Barack Obama began his career fighting for workers displaced by the global economy. He built his campaign on a fundamental belief that change in this country must start from the ground up, not the top down. And he knows government must be about "We the people" not "We the favored few."

And when Barack Obama is in the White House, he'll revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our time. Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, we did it before with President Clinton and the Democrats. And if we do our part, we'll do it again with President Obama and the Democrats.
Hillary delivered, and tonight we begin to close the circle of Unity with the Spiel from President Clinton, and the coming out party of Sen Joe Biden.

Tomorrow the circle will be complete, when Senator Barack Obama delivers the most historic speech of this campaign.

It;s no wonder the Right is in a fury, they are beginning to realize what they are up against, and will do everything to create false memes and incoherent spin. Its all they got, cause when it comes to issues, they have no platform to stand on.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Torch and Transition

I was feeling a little uneasy before Sen. Kennedy came on stage. He hadn't made a public appearance in some time. The brain tumor removed, and chemo in progress, the trip across the country had to be draining, and then he walked out.

This was no wake for the living. Sen Edward Kennedy was vibrant and animated. He was almost himself, and he had something to say:
My fellow Democrats, my fellow Americans, it is so wonderful to be here.

And nothing -- nothing is going to keep me away from this special gathering tonight.

I have come here tonight to stand with you to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals, and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States
And off he went, in true Kennedy fashion. He spoke of hope, and of the future. He was positive, yet persistant. He told it how it is, and how it must be:
Barack Obama will close the book on the old politics of race and gender and group against group and straight against gay.

And Barack Obama will be a commander-in-chief who understands that young Americans in uniform must never be committed to a mistake, but always for a mission worthy of their bravery.

We are told that Barack Obama believes too much in an America of high principle and bold endeavor, but when John Kennedy called of going to the moon, he didn't say it's too far to get there. We shouldn't even try.

Our people answered his call and rose to the challenge, and today an American flag still marks the surface of the moon.
This election seems almost like we are reaching for the moon. We are asking much of this country, and its citizens during this time of war, wonder . . . economic tumult and domestic turmoil. But America has always stood tall in times of need, and Sen. Kennedy provided the necessary encouragement:
this November the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans, so with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.
And in January, the dream becomes a reality, and this country will begin a new course, one of hope in place of the despair of the last almost 8 years.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mitch Was Against the War, Before He Was For It!

Shootin' from the Hip, as it where, Mitch gets caught up in the pre-canned ScaifeNet meme before he had a chance to realize what he was saying:
Joe Biden forty-odd years in the Senate where has been utterly wrong on every foreign policy issue from the Cold War on down“
Repeat, utterly wrong on every foreign policy issue . . . Hmmmmm, for those that pay attention, Senator Biden voted FOR the use of force in Iraq, so I guess he was wrong on that issue. I am sure there are many others.

Marionette Berg should cut those strings he has had tied to him since the '06 elections and start reading those ScaifeNet messages a little more closely before he virtually copy/pastes them into a post. There was a time he actually was on his own and could muster up some independent thought, those days are long gone.


It's Biden

via CNN:
(CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama has selected Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate, according to his official Web site and a text message the campaign sent to supporters on Saturday.
Delaware Sen. Joe Biden is Sen. Barack Obama's choice to be his vice-presidential running mate.

Delaware Sen. Joe Biden is Sen. Barack Obama's choice to be his vice-presidential running mate.

"Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee," the text message, sent at around 3 a.m. ET, said.

Word that Biden's was Obama's choice first came early Saturday when Democratic sources confirmed the decision to CNN.

Obama was expected to appear with Biden at a Saturday afternoon rally in Springfield, Illinois.
I don't mind being wrong, Biden is a solid pick.

Hass had it nailed all along!

More later.


Friday, August 22, 2008

MN-US Senate; Up For Grabs

If there is one race where polling has been all over the place, it is the contest between Sen Norm Coleman and Democratic Candidate Al-lan Franken.

For all the troubles Franken has had to explain, and the tumult in Norm's own personal and political world, the latest entry is the MPR/UMN-HHHInstitute numbers:
Forty-one percent of those answering the poll said they support Franken, the DFL endorsee, while 40 percent support Coleman.

The telephone survey of 763 likely voters was conducted Aug. 7-17. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
It's no lead at all, really, when you consider the margin of error. But one must also look at the blatant deception being thrown at the electorate regarding Franken. The false Check Cards ads, the over paying of taxes, his professional writings, all which are explainable when the truth is injected into the debate.

On the other side, Coleman has legitimate, demonstrable ethics lapses. These are not isolated instances, but patterns of behavior that is really starting to cause concern amongst the voters. Concern that is so great, that those voters not only are considering Franken but have moved into his camp.

Polls are nothing more than a picture of a moment in time. But at this point, an incumbent that can barely muster 40% of the vote after being in office almost 6 years is in far greater trouble than a political neophyte who has the issues on his side.

I'll let the ScafeNet spin doctors try to defend Norm's weak and waning support, for if they tried to debate actual issue, Norm would just drop a few more points. And come on, I want a little excitement this election season, not a bunch of runaways that turn into yawners.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fair Day

It is the first day of the Fair, my favorite day to go. Everything is clean, grease is fresh, and workers aren't testy yet.

I'll have the camera and will post anything interesting I may find.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A True Blue Patriot

Today is Ashwin Madia Blog day, so we encourage all those folks who actually look towards the future of this country to take a moment and reflect on what it will take to get this country back on track.

For the last 7 1/2 years, this country has been spiraling into an economic wasteland as the Republics in power have lined the pockets of their rich friends at the cost of the middle class and the future strength of America. They have no vision passed their nose, nor desire to do anything that will strengthen this world for our children and our children's children. They only care about today and what have you done for me lately. We have seen what that kind of short sighted mentality can do for our society.

We have an opportunity to put Ashwin Madia in congress to help right these wrongs, and with your contribution today, we can take another step closer to that ultimate goal.

While the Right is wallowing in negative attacks and misleading memes, the true patriots will do their best to stick to the issues and properly present to the electorate a plan to get us out of this mess. Please consider making a contribution to the Ashwin Madia campaign to keep us on track. Be a part of the true patriotic future, one where the actual citizens of this country come first, not off shore corporations hiding behind a mask.

Make a secure donation to Ashwin Madia: $


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm Old!

I'm tired, crabby, and 48. After I get through a 4 hour power shot at work this AM, I have a wonderful lunch out planed with the lovely Mrs. Flash. Not even Swiftee can bring me down today *laughing*

Unless something really newsworthy happens, I don't plan on doing much more blogging. So enjoy the day without me.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Transition Week

I am coming off a drum corps weekend filled with fun, friends, and some fantastic music in motion. Today, and probably tomorrow will be spent relaxing and tying up some loose ends as we begin the transition to full time work and full time political tumult.

Next Monday is opening week at school, a three day training marathon in preparation for the students to arrive the day after Labor Day. Also, by the end of this week, we'll confirm that Obama has chosen Evan Bayh as his running mate in the run up to the DNC. Whether McCain will follow suit and confirm his choice of T-Paw right away, or will wait till after the DNC convention is yet to be seen.

For me, though, I have a distraction, and Drum Corps keeps me grounded. My long time Alma Mater, Minnesota Brass, is sitting in one of the best positions they have ever been in. Currently ranked 3rd, a few tenths out of second, with a shot at the title. Realistically, the title is a long long shot, but a couple caption championships are there for the picking. Here is the current rankings using most recent scores from this weekend.

**** DCA All-Age Corps - Based on Newest Score ****

01 (01) - 93.238 (3) - Buccaneers
02 (02) - 91.425 (3) - Empire Statesmen
03 (05) - 91.013 (2) - Minnesota Brass (St. Paul, MN)
04 (03) - 90.850 (3) - Caballeros
05 (04) - 90.675 (3) - Hurricanes
06 (06) - 86.663 (3) - Bushwackers
07 (07) - 86.038 (3) - Brigadiers
08 (08) - 85.075 (1) - CorpsVets
09 (09) - 84.325 (2) - Kilties
10 (11) - 82.538 (1) - Alliance
11 (10) - 82.375 (3) - Crusaders
12 (13) - 80.250 (6) - Renegades
13 (12) - 80.238 (1) - Music City Legend
14 (14) - 79.338 (2) - Chops, Inc (Minneapolis, MN)
15 (15) - 77.550 (4) - Fusion Core
16 (16) - 77.325 (2) - Govenaires (St. Peter MN)
17 (17) - 75.538 (4) - White Sabers
18 (18) - 73.363 (6) - Dream
19 (19) - 73.075 (5) - Grenadiers
20 (21) - 70.900 (5) - Carolina Gold
21 (20) - 70.888 (2) - Frontier
22 (22) - 69.763 (1) - Gulf Coast Sound
23 (23) - 66.725 (2) - Lakeshoremen
24 (24) - 65.925 (1) - Sun Devils
25 (25) - 62.075 (1) - Shenandoah Sound


(1) = 08/17/08 - Alphraetta, GA (DCA)
(2) = 08/17/08 - South St Paul, MN (DCA)
(3) = 08/16/08 - Scranton, PA (DCA)
(4) = 08/09/08 - Kingston, NY (DCA)
(5) = 08/02/08 - Waterloo, NY (DCA)
(6) = 07/20/08 - Fremont, CA (DCI)

As we enter the mud pit of political debate, we should all have something in our lives that allows ourselves an opportunity to escape and remember what life is really about.


Closed Circuit to JC: Keep Harmon away from the TV, he is starting to buy into those McCain smears and is getting delusional . . well, more delusional than normal *laughing* Great seeing you this weekend, the Kilties looked simply amazing!!!! Best of luck out East!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Military Vote Slipping?!?

Seems another base demographic is escaping the Right:
U.S. soldiers have donated more presidential campaign money to Democrat Barack Obama than to Republican John McCain, a reversal of previous campaigns in which military donations tended to favor GOP White House hopefuls, a nonpartisan group reported Thursday. Troops serving abroad have given nearly six times as much money to Obama's presidential campaign than they have to McCain's, the Center for Responsive Politics said.
Did you catch that, this isn't just a barely edging him out thing, this is Troops serving abroad have given nearly six times as much money to Obama. Now we can't presume that this indicates the complete loss of the Military vote by the GOP, but last time I spoke with my son, a Bush voter in 2004, he was a leans Obama. Now that he is in theater, that view may adjust to either a swing back to McCain, or a stronger support of Sen Obama. I'll have to ask him some time, but I'll wait till we get through October.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dr. Davis, Anti Nutirion

Our favorite Heifer from the First busts the Right's endorsed lame duck on another 'hoof n mouth' gaff. Or maybe he was serious:
The bad parts are about 70% of it are not really farm programs- they’re food stamps and entitlement programs.
What are those items in the naughty 70%, well, they're food programs to keep people healthy.

Yeap, a Doctor against nutrition, and he is running for congress. Great plank for the platform!


Foreign Policy via Wiki

When a campaign's sole dig against their opponent is inexperience and unpreparedness, maybe they shouldn't go running to Wiki for speech snippets when an international crisis is developing:
A Wikipedia editor emailed Political Wire to point out some similarities between Sen. John McCain's speech today on the crisis in Georgia and the Wikipedia article on the country Georgia. Given the closeness of the words and sentence structure, most would consider parts of McCain's speech to be derived directly from Wikipedia.
Of course, if Sen. Obama had done the same thing, he would be given a free pass as well, right?!?


Bayh's Veep Chances

The NYTimes discusses the risk and reward of a Bayh Veep pick. It clealr ywould put Indiana in play, but at the risk of alienating the Peaceniks of the party:
“There is reluctance in my heart, as I know there is in the other senators, to contemplate the use of force,” Mr. Bayh said, adding that he concluded “we were simply left with no other credible alternative to protect the safety and well-being of the American people.”

Six years later, Mr. Bayh is one of the leading candidates to be the running mate of the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, Senator Barack Obama, associates of Mr. Obama say. But Mr. Bayh’s advocacy for the war could complicate his prospects for getting on the ticket.
I don't see this is a hindrance. There are left leaners out there like myself who continue to support the war on terror. we just have some problems with how the current administration is executing it.

Besides, intelligent people are willing to make adjustments to their positions based on new information. We won't say what we call those who are so stubborn they aren't willing to modify their positions at all, even when they are beginning to stand alone on many issues.

Anywho, the article is well worth the read, especially if you are not up to speed on Bayh's history, his dad's accomplishments, and Evan's recent successes.


Monday, August 11, 2008


I've been biking about 20 miles every other day. Sore, sure, but the gas in my car lasts longer.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

2008 DCI Finals Scores

CONGRATULATIONS, Phantom. You now have a title you can call your very own!!


DCI World Championships
World Class Finals
August 9, 2008
Bloomington, IN

01. 98.125 - Phantom Regiment
02. 98.100 - Blue Devils
03. 97.325 - The Cavaliers
04. 96.800 - Carolina Crown
05. 94.750 - The Cadets
06. 93.175 - Bluecoats
07. 93.025 - Santa Clara Vanguard
08. 90.425 - Blue Stars
09. 88.250 - Blue Knights
10. 87.275 - Boston Crusaders
11. 87.200 - Glassmen
12. 85.225 - Madison Scouts

2008 DCI Semifinal's Scores

DCI World Championships
World Class Semifinals
08 August 2008
Bloomington, IN

01. 98.050 - Blue Devils
02. 97.675 - Phantom Regiment
03. 97.550 - The Cavaliers
04. 96.700 - Carolina Crown
05. 95.450 - The Cadets
06. 93.625 - Santa Clara Vanguard
07. 92.800 - Bluecoats
08. 90.575 - Blue Stars ** SIMPLY AMAZING!!
09. 89.700 - Blue Knights
10. 88.975 - Boston Crusaders
11. 88.125 - Glassmen
12. 86.375 - Madison Scouts
^^^ Advance to Finals ^^^

13. 85.950 - Crossmen
14. 85.175 - Colts
15. 83.175 - Spirit
16. 81.100 - Troopers
17. 79.650 - Pacific Crest

Tonight, Saturday evening, the champion will be crowned.

Friday, August 08, 2008

2008 DCI Quarterfinal's Scores

The top 17 perform again tonight to lock in the Top 12 finalists for 2008. My Alma Mater, the Blue Stars, are poised to return to that elite stature with a 9th place Quarterfinal finish. The Madison Scouts look to return after missing out last year, but the Crossmen are breathing down their neck.

Four corps are within 1.5 of each other for the title. I don't recall it ever being this close, certainly with 4 different corps in the hunt.

= = = = =

**** DCI World Championships - World Class Quarterfinals ****
**** 07 August 2008 - Bloomington, IN ****

01. 97.375 - Blue Devils
02. 97.000 - The Cavaliers
03. 96.575 - Phantom Regiment
04. 96.075 - Carolina Crown
05. 94.225 - The Cadets
06. 92.625 - Santa Clara Vanguard
07. 92.175 - Bluecoats
08. 88.425 - Blue Knights
09. 88.100 - Blue Stars
10. 87.925 - Boston Crusaders
11. 87.625 - Glassmen
12. 85.075 - Madison Scouts
13. 84.825 - Crossmen
14. 84.450 - Colts
15. 83.350 - Spirit
16. 81.500 - Troopers
17. 79.350 - Pacific Crest
^^^ Advance to Semis ^^^

18. 78.850 - The Academy
19. 77.925 - Mandarins
20. 74.125 - Pioneer


(the photo of me was taken in August 1980 during the Blue Stars' DCI Semifinal's performance in Birmingham Alabama. It would be our last show of the season.


UPDATE: Madison returns to Finals in no worse than 12th!! Way to go Gentlemen!

86.375 Madison Scouts
85.950 Crossmen
85.175 Colts
83.175 Spirit
81.100 Troopers
79.650 Pacific Crest

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Exxon-McCain ’08

OK, talking points ahead, but this was too dang funny to let slip by.

Now, you may have heard of the tire gauge stunt that totally backfired on the McCain campaign (I really want to type McSame, but am forced to backspace for civility's sake. That's easy to do when you are correct on the issues). It back fired, because, well, Obama a) didn't say what McCain implied, and b) what he did say was correct and made perfect sense. See, he wasn't setting some time National Energy policy when he spoke of tire gagues, he was answering a Citizens question:
"So now the Republicans are going around - this is the kind of thing they do. I don't understand it! They’re going around, they're sending like little tire gauges, making fun of this idea as if this is 'Barack Obama's energy plan.'

"Now two points, one, they know they're lying about what my energy plan is, but the other thing is they're making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4 percent. It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.

"You know, they think it is funny that they are making fun of something that is actually true. They need to do their homework. Because this is serious business. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears they should go talk to some energy experts and actually make a difference."
Oooo , sting . . . burn!!

And now, the DNC is joining forces to make sure the electorate is very clear on what motivates McCain and the GOP this cycle, by launching Exxon-McCain ’08. I like how they put McCain in the Veep slot *laughing*
“The oil industry was so generous with its campaign largesse,” a party official says, “John McCain has not only put Exxon on the ticket — but he has graciously stepped aside and is allowing Exxon ... to run at the top of the ticket."
Anyway, 'Are you Pumped?"


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Speaking of Debates

In case you missed it, the dates are set and the moderators have been announced:
First presidential debate
Friday, September 26
The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss.
Jim Lehrer
Executive Editor and Anchor, The NewsHour, PBS

Vice presidential debate

Thursday, October 2
Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.
Gwen Ifill
Senior Correspondent, The NewsHour, and Moderator and Managing Editor, Washington Week, PBS

Second presidential debate (town meeting)
Tuesday, October 7
Belmont University, Nashville, Tenn.
Tom Brokaw
Special Correspondent, NBC News

Third presidential debate

Wednesday, October 15
Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.
Bob Schieffer
CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent, and Host, Face the Nation

Crossing Over

A Republican who has wised up:
A guy gets 70% of the Republican primary vote, and how does he repay his party? By endorsing Barack Obama for president and the Democratic challenger to an incumbent Republican for Senate. At least that's how Joel Haugen, challenging Oregon Rep. David Wu, decided to thank his party's leadership for their support.
My favorite part:
If McCain was serious about competing on the West Coast, he's going to need a more loyal fan base.
When issues are at the fore front, the Dems win, every time. That is why the Right needs to play games (see juvenile floor antics over the last couple days), create something out of nothing ('The One' commercial, which I think in the long run will probably backfire) or completely make stuff up.

Bring on the debates and lets put a nail in the GOP coffin!


Monday, August 04, 2008

DCI Championship Week

This is Drum Corps International Championship week. Tonight was the final contests leading up to Quarterfinals Thursday. In fact, live via satellite, you can watch Quarterfinals at several Twin Cities Theaters. There they will trim to 17 for Semifinals. At Semis, Friday, we will found out who becomes World Championship Finalists and claim one of the coveted Top 12 slots for 2008. Saturday the Champion will be crowned.

Drum Corps Scores and Rankings for 04 August 2008
**** Final DCI Regular Season Rankings ****

01 (03) - 96.15 (1) - Blue Devils
02 (02) - 96.00 (2) - Phantom Regiment
03 (01) - 95.90 (4) - The Cavaliers
04 (04) - 95.15 (3) - Carolina Crown
05 (05) - 93.90 (3) - The Cadets
06 (06) - 92.35 (1) - Bluecoats
06 (07) - 92.35 (1) - Santa Clara Vanguard
08 (11) - 88.80 (1) - Boston Crusaders
09 (09) - 88.30 (2) - Glassmen
10 (10) - 87.95 (1) - Blue Stars
11 (08) - 87.65 (2) - Blue Knights
12 (12) - 85.05 (3) - Crossmen
13 (13) - 85.00 (2) - Madison Scouts
14 (15) - 83.55 (2) - Colts
15 (14) - 83.10 (1) - Spirit
16 (16) - 82.25 (1) - Troopers
17 (17) - 79.95 (2) - Pacific Crest
18 (19) - 79.00 (1) - Mandarins
19 (18) - 78.10 (2) - The Academy
20 (20) - 74.95 (2) - Pioneer


(1) = 08/04/08 - Massilon, OH (DCI)
(2) = 08/04/08 - Toledo, OH (DCI)
(3) = 08/03/08 - Westminster, MD (DCI)
(4) = 08/01/08 - Allentown, PA (DCI)

- - - -
****Average of Last 5 Shows - DCI World Class Corps****

01 (01) - 95.090 - Blue Devils
02 (04) - 94.330 - Phantom Regiment
03 (02) - 94.235 - The Cavaliers
04 (03) - 94.200 - Carolina Crown
05 (05) - 93.270 - The Cadets
06 (06) - 90.810 - Bluecoats
07 (07) - 90.410 - Santa Clara Vanguard
08 (09) - 87.520 - Glassmen
09 (08) - 87.420 - Blue Stars
10 (10) - 87.150 - Blue Knights
11 (11) - 86.360 - Boston Crusaders
12 (12) - 84.525 - Madison Scouts
13 (13) - 83.835 - Crossmen
14 (14) - 83.480 - Colts
15 (15) - 82.580 - Spirit
16 (17) - 80.705 - Troopers
17 (16) - 79.895 - Pacific Crest
18 (18) - 78.105 - The Academy
19 (19) - 77.305 - Mandarins
20 (20) - 74.060 - Pioneer

Sunday, August 03, 2008

T-Paw Joins Fray

Timmy tries to dig at Sen. Obaama during the opening of McCain's campaign office in Ames Iowa:
Pawlenty, named as possible running mate to presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, was responding to Obama's statement on Friday that he would support offshore drilling if it were the key to an energy policy compromise.

"He's put so many contingencies around it that I wonder, in fact I question, whether he would do it at all," Pawlenty said after he helped open Republican campaign office in Ames. "It may be a way for him to gain favor during the election, and tube it later because all the contingencies weren't met."
It wasn't the challenge in Obama's policy that was surprising. I mean, since we are dealing with a floundering McCain campaign, desperation is expected, but it was this comment I found humorous:
He said a vote for Obama "is the political equivalent of bungee jumping."
SInce we already know that a vote for McCain would be like continuing to beat your head against the wall, I guess I'd rather go bungee jumping.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Tom's Boots are on the Ground

My son, Sgt. Tom, is in Iraq:
Hey Dad just wanted to drop you a line and let you know I'm alive! Just got settled in out here in Iraq. Its not to bad. Pretty hot and the sand storms suck but other than that its not to bad.

It's been pretty quiet out here. In the few days I have been here I have heard nothing in the way of combat, explosions, and hardly any aircraft flying around. I am at Al Asad Airbase. its in the Anbar providence about 80 miles east of Iraq.

So whats new out there? how are the boys? Well keep in touch the more news i get the better lol, It gets pretty stagnant out here! Love you dad! later!

He is in for a 6 month stint. It will be a LONG 6 months for me.

Proud Marine Dad!

Remembering - I35

I have nothing more to add so I will just point you to the posts from a year ago:

35W MIssissippi Bridge collapses

Minnesota Nice * I-35W

Photos * I-35W

Corps Family * I-35W

Photo Credit Kyle Krohn, used with permission