Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bailout Blues Part Deux

I haven't had a chance to dissect the preposterous pork program passed by the House, yesterday. Hopefully I'll have time over Lunch. To be clear, I was against the Bush Bailout, and I am against this one. If you use duct tape and bailing wire to try and get something working again, it may seem like it works over the short term, but becomes even worse down the road. This is the time we need to suck it up and let the market take care of it. That is what will produce the long term sustainability we need. These band aids cost money, too much money, and don't give us what we need in the long term to get out of this mess.

Understand, I am not against provding some assistance in some areas, but this bill seems to have been crafted way to fast, to appease way too many, with out the necessary debate to do what is truly needed. Hopefully in the Senate, calmer heads will prevail.

CNN has a nice little breakdown, that is where I'll be going after morning testing, and a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Digital Delay

The big transition is coming up February 17th . . . or maybe not:
(CNET) -- Overcoming partisan divisions, the Senate on Monday night unanimously voted to delay the digital television transition until June 12.

Senate Republicans earlier this month blocked a bill to delay the national switch from analog television broadcasting to digital broadcasting, which was originally scheduled for February 17.

The so-called DTV Delay Act, though, was brought back to the Senate floor after Democrats and Republicans in the Senate reached a compromise.
I talked about the transition almost a year ago. I have two boxes, one for the bedroom and one for the garage and I can't begin to tell you how amazing the signal is on these older analog TVs.

I do not support this delay. Much money and time has been spent and if you aren't ready now you won't be ready by June. Some people need a kick in the butt, not a legislative reprieve. The people who need to make the switch will drag their feet until they wake up to a blizzard on their TV. No piece of legislation is going to change that.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Trial Begins

The Election Contest trial begins about 1:ish, today. theUptake is you best one stop shop for great analysis, live streaming video, and active Live Blog.

I wish we had two Senators, but am glad this process is going forward. The Coleman Camp is on record so many times saying they will abide by the outcome of this process. Now, i know, former Senator Coleman stated he would concede if he were in the same situation on Election night, but the statements we have heard over the last few weeks are much more definitive.

The Contest panale will determine if the canvassing board did everything according to law. I suspect the only adjustment that may be made, that could possibly change the outcome is related to absentee ballots. I believe the only real error that took place, was the allowing of veto power to the campaigns during the review of absentee ballots. I believe those vetoed ballots should all be counted. In fact, I would be open to the panel reviewing for a final time all rejected absentees and applying the statutes accordingly.

The wild card this week is the outstanding motion before the Supreme Court regarding Senator Elect Al Franken's claim to an Election Certificate. If the MN Supremes uphold Odegard v Olson, Franken could very well have that coveted piece of paper that even Coleman claims is required to be seated. To prevent the issuance, the court would have to overturn the prior ruling, a much more difficult determination.

Fireworks being today, and will last for weeks to come.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Frequent commenter GiGi and Hubba (in case you haven't figured it out, yet, my mom and dad) are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary, today.

Please take a moment to stop over at Green Tea for a before and after picture, and an opportunity to wish them the best on this GREAT day.

Currently they are in Las Vegas, so I won't be in too much trouble till they get back *laughing*


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Historical Do Over

The 20th amendment states:
Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
When I was watching Yo-Yo Ma perform, as the clock struck noon, I wondered what that meant. Originally, the oath was to be administered at 11:56, so CBS was saying that since Obama hadn't received the oath yet, Vice President Biden was technically President. The XXth Amendment is pretty clear that, regardless of the timing, at Noon, Sen Obama became President Obama. You'll never hear anyone else mention it, but in reality, Chief Justice Roberts flubbed twice that day. Since it was ale=ready after noon, he should have looked up and stated "President Obama, are you ready"!Article 2, Section 1, Clause 8:
Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
So it's in quotes, so must be said word for word, right. Yet, it appears that Chief Justice Taft flubbed the oath administered to Hoover. In an unusual offering, Taft recited the entire offering, only requiring Hoover to say "I do". But in Taft's version, he said ""preserve, maintain and protect." instead of "preserve, protect, and defend".
In 1929 Chief Justice William Howard Taft administered the oath of office to Herbert Hoover. Taft had been a President. He’s the only President then to serve as Chief Justice to administer the oath of office to a President. But when Taft read the oath of office he made a mistake. In stead of asking Hoover to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution he said, “preserve, maintain and defend.” Well, it seemed to have just passed by, but this was broadcast on the radio. A 13 year old student heard this and she said that’s wrong. She had memorized the oath. She wrote Taft a letter. She said you goofed. He wrote her back and said you're quite right. In fact she said, you said “preserve, maintain and defend.” He said you’re right, I didn’t get it right, but I didn’t say it that way. I said, “preserve, maintain and protect.”

Well she was sure she was right, and sure enough, the news media checked their recordings and she was right and Taft was wrong twice.
Later, when concern was raised, Hoover figured no big deal and never retook it. Of course, Hoover didn't turn out to be the greatest administrator of the country, so maybe President Obama was concerned about Karma.

So here is my take. President Barack Obama assumed office, without an oath, automatically, at Noon Eastern Time on January 20th. However, he could not begin the EXECUTION of the office, until the oath was administered. There is precedent that the oath itself doesn't have to be perfectly recited so President Obama decided "out of an abundance of caution," to have a do over.

Clear as mud, right *laughing*


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Den, After

There is a new dawn in America!
"Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust our selves off, and begin again the work of remaking America"

President Barack Hussein Obama II

Inaugural Address
January 20, 2009

The Den, Before

As mentioned previously, I have a Presidential frame in my den. It currently holds the sitting President. But in about an hour and a half, while the country is in transition, so will my den.

Peaceful Transition

Today is when we show the world how a civil society creates change.


32 Years Ago

This is a virtual copy past from this post four years ago. It has been edited for timeliness:


Today is inauguration day. Over 46% of the country will not be doing back flips or backslapping today. Their guy lost. The inaugural event may be likened to the Super Bowl. If your team is in the big game, you are tuned in closely to enjoy the event and relish in the spoils of the victor. If you are on the outside looking in, you may have a keen interest in the festivities, but probably won't be glued to the TV, hanging on every word throughout the day. This year howevrer, may break that mold, for reason that have been repeated for months.

I have a somewhat different perspective. I've been there. I have been in DC during an inaugural week and was engulfed in the moment of leadership transition. My experience was similar to what the Fergus Falls Marching Band is experiencing, and I am sure they are having a blast.

Soon after Jimmy Carter's victory in 1976, an all out lobbying effort ensured by various musical organization seeking to be selected by the governor to represent the State in the inaugural parade. As a member of the Anoka High School marching band, we felt our chances were pretty good. Three time Minnesota State Fair champs, 3 time Tri State champions, and coming off our Victory over Buffalo Grove IL for the Manisphere title in Winnipeg Canada during the Summer of 1976. These laurels did not go unnoticed, and we were the pick.

The trip was fantastic, aside from the 24+ hour bus ride. Our schedule was tight and structured, but still included many of the important venues that DC has to offer. Here is a picture of a 16 year old Flash, presenting the city to the viewer.

The morning of the parade was an early one. Security was pretty tight even back then. All the busses carrying the various musical groups had a specific route to take, and were required to be in their parade order. What a logistical nightmare for the organizer, but as a participant, I was none the wiser. We were going to be playing for the President, and there wasn't much that was going to hinder us from completing that mission. Here is a shot of those busses lined up:

The parade went off without a hitch. It was chilly. We had a 'special' valve oil mixture, including a few drops of antifreeze to prevent our horns from locking up. The parade moved at a quick clip, almost to the point we were running. We didn't have any time to play during the parade route itself, but of course, performed the Minnesota Rouser, along with Johnny Comes Marching Home for the dignitaries in the box. I tried straining my eyes to see the new President and Vice President, but the rules were the same then as they are now. No stopping, no looking, no nothing directed at the President's box.

We left the next day, with our heads full of memories, and an honor not many have experienced. I even managed to get a little sleep on the way home:

So I honor and respect President Elect Obama and his supporters today. Enjoy the moment before you roll up the sleeves. Just because I relish in victory doesn't mean I will roll over and play dead. It is the job of the winner, to carry out their platform, and the duty of the opposition, to keep us all in check!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Thank you, Mr. President!

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you, for committing that last 8 years of your life to the people of the United States of America!

We haven't always seen eye to eye, and there were certainly times I took a pot shot or two here and there. But never did I doubt that the decisions you made, you believed, were in the best interest of our nation.

Thank you for keeping our country safe. Thank you for keeping my family safe. Thank you for giving of yourself, for others.

May God watch over you in your time of respite.


Kurt 'Flash' Schiebel

Friday, January 16, 2009

Miracle on the Hudson

I would be remiss for not acknowledging the heroism and spirit of Americans displayed before the world once again. From the incredible aeronautical skills of the pilot, the speedy response of the ferry boat captains, and anonymous pedestrians there at the right time, and the right place.

On 9/11 these same selfless acts were engulfed in an aura of remorse, but not today. This morning about 155 human beings wake up to experience the gift of life for another day, and for that, we can thank one man, the Captain, but also his gallant crew!
(CNN) -- Passengers on the US Airways flight that crash-landed into the Hudson River Thursday afternoon praised the actions and courage of the pilot, a safety consultant with 40 years of experience in the aviation industry.

Sources tell CNN that Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger was piloting US Airways flight 1549 from New York's LaGuardia airport to Charlotte, North Carolina, when at least one of the plane's engines failed.

Passenger Jeff Kolodjay offered "kudos" to Sullenberger for a landing that minimized damage to the aircraft and its 155 passengers and crew.

"All of a sudden the captain came on and he told us to brace ourselves and probably brace ourselves pretty hard. But he did an amazing job -- kudos to him on that landing," said Kolodjay, who was sitting in seat 22A.

Sullenberger's wife told CNN that she was stunned to hear the news from her husband after it was all over.

"I hadn't been watching the news. I've heard Sully say to people, 'It's rare for an airline pilot to have an incident in their career,' " said Lori Sullenberger of Danville, California.

"When he called me he said, 'There's been an accident.' At first I thought it was something minor, but then he told me the circumstances and my body started shaking and I rushed to get our daughters out of school."

US Airways said all 155 passengers and crew are alive and safely off the plane.
Thank you Captain 'Sully" and your amazing crew.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gophers' Squeaker

You thought I was talking about the men . . . well, before the Gentlemen Gophers played, the unranked ladies were in a tilt with the #13 Buckeyes.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ashley Ellis-Milan scored 17 points, including two tiebreaking free throws with 17.3 seconds left, leading Minnesota to a 59-56 win over Ohio State (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) on Thursday for its first win on the Buckeyes' home court.

The Golden Gophers (12-5, 4-2 Big Ten) never trailed after the 9:31 mark of the first half, although the Buckeyes (14-3, 5-1) pulled even twice in the second half.

Minnesota was 0-23 at Ohio State.
The testosterone Gophers win, in OT, 78 - 74. So, unfortunately for the ladies, that will be your lead story.

I all but wrote the men off at just under a minute, and then Westbrook took over.
MADISON, Wis. -- Lawrence Westbrook hit a 3-pointer to tie the game with two seconds left in regulation, then scored nine points in overtime as Minnesota (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) rallied for a 78-74 victory over Wisconsin on Thursday night.

Westbrook scored 29 points to lead the Gophers (16-1, 4-1 Big Ten), who rallied from a nine-point deficit with 3:24 remaining to steal a rare road victory at the Kohl Center. Minnesota hadn't won at Wisconsin since Feb. 12, 1994
What a club!

This game ranks up there with the day Bobby Knight's Indiana was up by 7 with 22 seconds left. Gophers tied that game as well, and got the W in over time.

I bleed Maroon as much as I bleed Purple. If you aren't paying attention to Tubby and the boys, you are missing some high octant roundball!



Ricardo Montalban is gone:
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Actor Ricardo Montalban, star of the hit TV series "Fantasy Island," died Wednesday in Los Angeles, a family spokesman said.

Ricardo Montalban attends the opening of a theater named for him in 2004 in Hollywood, California.

Montalban, 88, was in deteriorating health over the past several days but "died peacefully" at 6:30 a.m. at his home, son-in-law Gilbert Smith said.

He understood "it was his time," Smith said. The cause of death was not given


Without comment:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On the Seventh Day

When the 7 day waiting period for issuance of a Certificate of Election was adhered to, Senator Elect Al Franken's attorneys sent letters to the Governor and Secretary of state requesting the Certificate. To be clear, I thought this move was poor form on the part of Franken's attorney's. However, they wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't show due diligence in doing everything in their power to serve their client.

After digging around, it seems there is case law to support the move. Case law that has superseded State election statutes in the past. Federal law and court precedent (Odegard v Olson 1963) support a position that an election certificate should be issued despite MN Statutes

In Odegard v Olson, , the MN Supreme Court ruled:

After carefully examining these statutory provisions, we must come to the conclusion that § 204.32, subd. 2, has no application to a contest in the United States Senate or House of Representatives. Our courts are divested of jurisdiction by U.S. Const. art. I, § 5, which provides: "Each house shall be the judge of the election returns and qualifications of its own members, * * *." The determinative fact in the mechanics of this particular election is the act of the state canvassing board in declaring the election of the respondent pursuant to [*443] authority of that board under Minn. St. 204.31, subds. 3 and 4. The certificate of election as provided by § 204.32 has no greater significance than a publication by the secretary of state of
the official action taken by the canvassing board. The effect of any order of this court enjoining the secretary of state from performing the ministerial function of furnishing respondent a certificate of election would be gratuitous and of no force as bearing upon the merits of the election contest pending in the House of Representatives. It would, as expressed in State ex rel. 25 Voters v. Selvig, 170 Minn. 406, 408, 212 N.W. 604, be "officious and nugatory."

The contest is pending in a forum, the jurisdiction of which this court is bound to respect. The House of Representatives may seat members elected without a certificate, just as it might refuse to seat members who have a certificate, if it chooses to do so. Since the House of Representatives is the final and exclusive judge of the legality of election or qualification of its members, this court should not gratuitously issue a prerogative writ which might be considered a tactical advantage for one or the other candidate.
This has been interpreted to me to mean that the certificate itself has no bearing, as int he House (or Senate) decided who their members are. Not issuing a certificate places the canvassing winner at a disadvantage, whereas Issuing the Certificate means nothing as it has no legal bearing.

So, under MN case law, Franken's attorneys do have recourse, but wouldn't have been able to take the next step without getting a denial first. They received their denial, and now have filed in MN Supreme Court I presume in hopes that Odegard v Olson will be upheld:
In Franken's petition to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, he asks justices to order Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to issue him an election certificate. Pawlenty and Ritchie on Monday refused to do so, saying state law did not permit it. Franken lawyer Marc Elias cited another part of state law Tuesday in arguing that Franken should be certified and seated pending the outcome of Coleman's contest in court.

"The impetus for this is the need for Minnesota to have full representation in Washington, D.C.," Elias said.
Frenken's attorneys continue to school the Coleman Camp, it is surprising that Coleman has not gone to the bull pen for this extra inning final game of the championship.

If O v O is upheld, they would most certainly win in the court of law, but take a huge risk in the court of public opinion.

*I've cribbed this post together from various legal analysis of this situation. It is possible some edits are not properly block quoted. Google is your friend if you want to research on your own.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bert Misses Hall, Finishes 4th

Congratulations to Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice for their election to Baseball's Hall of Fame!

The ONLY retired pitcher in the 3000 strikeout club to not be in the hall, Bert strikes out again.
Rickey Henderson 511 (94.8 percent); Jim Rice 412 (76.4 percent); Andre Dawson 361 (67.0 percent); Bert Blyleven 338 (62.7 percent); Lee Smith 240 (44.5 percent); Jack Morris 237 (44.0 percent); Tommy John 171 (31.7 percent); Tim Raines 122 (22.6 percent); Mark McGwire 118 (21.9 percent); Alan Trammell 94 (17.4 percent); Dave Parker 81 (15.0 percent); Don Mattingly 64 (11.9 percent); Dale Murphy 62 (11.5 percent); Harold Baines 32 (5.9 percent); Mark Grace 22 (4.1 percent); David Cone 21 (3.9 percent); Matt Williams 7 (1.3 percent); Mo Vaughn 6 (1.1 percent); Jay Bell 2 (0.4 percent); Jesse Orosco 1 (0.2 percent); Ron Gant 0; Dan Plesac 0; Greg Vaughn 0
From his Wiki Bio:
Blyleven is often considered to be the best eligible pitcher not yet in the Baseball Hall of Fame; his first year of eligibility was 1998 and if not elected by the 2012 ballot, he will lose eligibility for election through the writers' vote. If that happens, he can still enter the Hall of Fame through the Veterans Committee. He currently ranks 5th all-time in Strikeouts, 9th all-time in Shutouts, and 27th all-time in Wins. He is the only retired member of the 3000 strikeout club not in the Hall of Fame. Though he received only 17.55% of the vote for Hall of Fame admission in 1998 (first year of eligibility), by 2006 this total had increased to 53.33%. In 2007, Blyleven's total dipped to 47.7% (75% is the minimum required for admission to the Hall). In 2008, he received 336 votes, or 61.9% of the vote.
So after a startling dip in votes in 2007, he made up for it in 2008, and continues the climb this time around.

I'd like to think it is inevitable, but one never knows.

Next year, voters, Circle Bert!


Together For Israel

There hasn't been a moment that I can recall, when Senator-Elect Franken, and former Senator Coleman, have agreed on much of anything, let alone policy. Yesterday, they stood in solidarity, in support of Israel:
The show of unity for Israel stood in sharp contrast to recent dealings between Coleman, the Republican incumbent now in political limbo, and Franken, his Democratic foe and declared winner (for now, by 225 votes). The two have been engaged in a bitter recount battle for Coleman's former Senate seat that has dragged on for almost two months, and now Coleman is contesting the results in court.

Coleman and Franken sat apart, on opposite sides of a center aisle. But at the close of his speech, Coleman leapt off the 2-foot dais and enthusiastically pumped Franken's hand; and after Franken's remarks, the DFLer shook hands with a number of people seated in the front row, including Coleman.
The world could learn from the US as we build towards the inauguration, and the peaceful transition our republic has displayed for over 200 years. Yesterday, at the Sabes Jewish Community Center in St. Louis Park, our two Senatorial candidates displayed that same respect and professionalism you would expect of Senators.

My hat (or Yarmulke) is off to both of them for putting their differences behind them, and displaying, for all to see, what they agree on.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bean Soup, MMmmm

I made my special, yet simple, bean soup yesterday.

* 2 pounds dry great Northern beans
* 16 cups water
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 ham shoulder or shank bone
* 1 lbs package carrots, chopped
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 2 to 3 medium/large onions, chopped
* 2-4 cloves garlic minced
* 1 teaspoon mustard powder (or Tablespoon Brown Mustard)
* 2 to 3 bay leaves
* 2-4 cups chopped ham
* 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and the beans and remove from heat. Let beans sit in the hot water for at least 60 minutes.

After soaking, return the pot to high heat and place the ham bone, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, mustard and bay leaves in the pot. Stir well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 more minutes.

Remove ham bone and clean meat off, returning ham to pot. Discard bone.

Stir in the chopped ham and simmer for 30 more minutes.

Remove Bay Leaves

Season with ground white pepper to taste.
It sure turned out yummy!!


Friday, January 09, 2009

Vetoed Voters Get Letter

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie decided to send letters to the almost 400 absentee voters, whom the local election official deemed were improperly rejected, but were vetoed by one of the campaigns.
The 400 voters also could file separate lawsuits to insist their votes should have been counted in the race.

Local elections officials believe they were correct in not counting the vast majority of the 12,000 ballots that weren't included in the Election Day tally or the recount. But after Election Day and before the end of the recount, the officials realized poll workers mistakenly rejected about 1,350 absentee ballots.

Through a process ordered by the state Supreme Court, the Coleman and Franken campaigns and local elections officials received veto power over which of those would be included in the recount.

In local meetings statewide last week, the campaigns used that power to exclude 381 ballots. The ballots were not opened, so the candidates could not see whom the voters picked in any of the races.
The providing of veto power to the campaigns was the biggest error made in the recount process, in my opinion. In fact, I believe if the Contest Board rules on anything, they will rule that ALL improperly rejected absentees, as determined by local canvassing board, be counted. They may even go through all 12,000 themselves and re-evaluate. Either option is acceptable to me. All valid and legal ballots need to be counted.

Those receiving the letters have some recourse, but are under the same 7 day deadline Coleman's campaign was, in order to file and election contest:
The voters do have some recourse.

The letters, sent Wednesday, tell them there are "at least two possible options for voters who believe that their right to vote has been wrongly denied."

The voters could file a claim that there was an error or omission in the election or could file an election contest, claiming there was some irregularity in the election or questioning who received the highest number of legally cast votes.

"Only the results in the United States Senate race are still open to contest," said the letter signed by the secretary of state's legal adviser, Bert Black.

But if the voters want to file such a contest on the Senate race, they'd better step to it. According to Black's letter, Monday is the deadline to file an election contest.
Although it would be nice to have a seated Senator in Washington representing us, I am thankful for Coleman's decision to contest. It will put and exclamation point, instead of a question mark, and the end of the long run on sentence that is or US Senate race.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

My Guitar Hero

Part of a message from Sgt. Tom I received today:
You may be a little proud of me, I learned to play the guitar out here, I'm not good yet but I have all of the basics down. I'm working on "Tom Sawyer", "Limelight", "Farewell to Kings" Well see if they are recognizable by the time I get home lol. Probably not though. Rush is pretty complicated for only being a 3 piece band.
I am so proud of him for so many other reason, but nice to see a chip off the old block showing.


Maplewood 06

Of the few nits that Senator Coleman is going to pick in his election contest, the ONLY one that has caught my eye is the charge of duplicate counting, specifically with regard to more votes than voters. Only ONE precinct in the entire state, has more votes cast, than voters signed in on the rolls.

I had to dig around, at first, to find info on the only precinct whose numbers seemed very screwy. I found this article from early December that talks about the tumult in that precinct. A machine malfunction that snow balled due to human error.

The Machine malfunction causes 171 ballots to not get counted that night because there were never rerun through the machine after a counter was fixed.

County election officials said Tuesday the problem started on Election Day morning at the Hazelwood Fire Station in Precinct 6 in the heart of Maplewood. When a ballot counter kept jamming, officials called for a runner to swap out the broken counter with one that worked.

By then, 171 people had voted and their ballots had been fed into the ballot box. Ninety-one of those votes were cast for Franken, 54 for Coleman and 26 for other candidates.

When the new counter replaced the one that malfunctioned, officials said an election judge should have re-fed the 171 ballots back in so they would be counted on the official tape. Instead, they sat in the ballot box and then in secured transfer cases until they were discovered by recount officials Tuesday at the Ramsey County recount site on Plato Blvd.

The error was blamed on an election judge's failure to follow proper procedures, according to Karen Guilfoile, Maplewood's director of city services. She stressed that all the votes were properly cast and securely protected the last month.

And the more votes than people signed in controversy, it was simply human error not recording Absentee registrations.
A second election judge error in the same precinct had Coleman observers wondering why there were 31 more ballots than voters who had signed in on Election Day. Guilfoile said the mistake involved absentee voters who properly sent in their registration cards, but whose names judges failed to record on the voting rolls on Election Day.
The burden of proof is on the Senator to PROVE his case. Reasoanble explanations will properly explain the realities of election night workers and will eventually support the numbers as certifed this week

This was the only issue I thought Coleman had any real hope in showing serious electoral problems. Now that I know what happened, Norm is even more toast than I thought.

I welcome this contest, it will close the book and write the final chapter without prejudice.

Bring It On!


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Love Seat

Sack had a GREAT idea a few weeks ago:

Considering the campaign we were all subject to, I think they both should sit in the seat till the contest is over. Maybe they'll find out that neither of them is all that bad after all.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Coleman to Speak at 3:00

Republican Norm Coleman, who received 225 fewer votes than DFLer Al Franken in the U.S. Senate recount, will speak to the media at 3 p.m. today in St. Paul.

It will be Coleman's first public appearance in Minnesota since the recount results were certified Monday by the state Canvassing Board.

Coleman's campaign didn't say what he will talk about, but it's expected that he will announce whether he will file a lawsuit challenging the results of the recount.
PLEASE fight one, Senator, with all your might. Show the citizens of Minnesota who you really are!!

In other news, high ranking Republicans start lining up to wave the white flag:
Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson says Republican Norm Coleman should concede to Democrat Al Franken in the U.S. Senate race.

Carlson says Coleman shouldn't sue over the results of the recount.

. . .

Carlson predicts that Coleman would probably lose a legal challenge to the recount. He says delaying a finish to the race would damage Coleman's image with the public and says, "There's no disgrace in losing."
Don't listen to him, Senator, you need to FIGHT . . FIGHT ON!!!!

*trying to get the tongue out of my cheek*laughing*

Monday, January 05, 2009

Franken's Lead Certified

he Minnesota State Canvassing Board on Monday certified the results of the recount of Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's fight to retain his seat against Democrat Al Franken.

The results showed Franken with a 225-vote lead.
In other news, former Senator Norm Coleman closed his Senate offices.
Norm Coleman has closed his U.S. Senate offices.

Coleman's U.S. Senate term expired Saturday and is expected to be declared the loser this afternoon in his re-election bid against Democrat Al Franken.

The closure, announced by Coleman himself early this afternoon, affects four offices in Minnesota and one in Washington, D.C., all of which are paid for by Senate funds.
Could an official concession be far behind. Remember, he was the one that said the healing should begin!


Message from Bill; RE:Commerce

From the AP:
For nearly three decades, I have been honored to serve my state and our nation in Congress, at the U.N., as Secretary of Energy and as governor. So when the President-elect asked me to serve as Secretary of Commerce, I felt a duty to answer the call.

I felt that duty particularly because America is facing such extraordinary economic challenges. The Department of Commerce must play an important role in solving them by helping to grow the new jobs and businesses America so badly needs.

It is also because of that sense of urgency about the work of the Commerce Department that I have asked the President-elect not to move forward with my nomination at this time.

I do so with great sorrow. But a pending investigation of a company that has done business with New Mexico state government promises to extend for several weeks or, perhaps, even months.

Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact. But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.

Given the gravity of the economic situation the nation is facing, I could not in good conscience ask the President-elect and his Administration to delay for one day the important work that needs to be done.

So, for now, I will remain in the job I love, Governor of New Mexico, and will continue to work every day, with Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, to make a positive difference in the lives of New Mexicans. I believe she will be a terrific governor in the future.

I appreciate the confidence President-elect Obama has shown in me, and value our friendship and working partnership. I told him that I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful. And like all Americans, I pray for his success and the success of our beloved country.

I've included President-elect Obama's statement in response to my own:
Statement of the President-elect:

It's with deep regret that I accept Governor Bill Richardson's decision to withdraw his name for nomination as the next Secretary of Commerce.

He is an outstanding public servant and would have brought to the job of Commerce Secretary and our economic team great insights accumulated through an extraordinary career in federal and state office.

It is a measure of his willingness to put the nation first that he has removed himself as a candidate for the Cabinet in order to avoid any delay in filling this important economic post at this critical time.

Although we must move quickly to fill the void left by Governor Richardson's decision, I look forward to his future service to our country and in my administration.
Thank you for your past and continued support.

I look forward to putting this matter to rest and in the meantime I am preparing for the upcoming New Mexico legislative session.

All my best wishes,

Bill Richardson
Governor of New Mexico
Gov Bill is an honorable man who will not allow anything to stand in the way of President-elect Obama's mission to hit the ground running. There is much work to be done and not a moment to waste. This selfless act shows the class and character of the Governor, and exemplifies all the reasons I supported him in his run for President.


Setting the Bar

I find it simply hilarious that the Right is setting the bar for a potential Franken Senatorial term so low that all he has to do is survive with a heart beat to be successful. Reality is, should a Senator Franken come to fruition, many of us, including myself, will be in for a big surprise.

As for President Obama, the past administration already set that bar, and even I could out perform that reality!


Sunday, January 04, 2009

She Said 'Former'

With the expiration of his Senate term yesterday at noon, and the doom and gloom prospect following the relative completion of the recount, PiPress reporter Stassen-Berger states (emphasis mine):
More than 930 mistakenly rejected absentee ballots have now been counted in the Minnesota U.S Senate recount and they've added 176 votes to Democrat Al Franken's total, giving him a lead of 225 votes.

Franken had held a 49-vote lead over former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman before the absentee ballots, which election officials mistakenly rejected on Election Day, were tallied. The ballots were counted by state officials today.
Tomorrow it may become official, but the process isn't over yet. The candidate who carries the certificate of election to Washington DC will be my Senator, and there are a few barriers in the way for either of them to have that luxury just yet.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Final Countdown

Thanks to AMAZING coverage at theUptake, we are watching them serialize the ballots and envelops for potential later challenges. They are doing it in a way that will, to the best of their ability, protect the anonymity of the voters, but still allow for a three stepp track back if necessary.

Counting, which was suppose to being this AM, is somewhat delayed due to the process.

In other news, Nor Coleman is officially unemployed. His term expired at Noon Easter time, which was just a few minutes ago. I don't know if that makes Sen Amy our Senior Senators, but, for now, it does make her our ONLY Senator.

Between Gopher round ball, MN Brass Open House, the Black Out watch, and the recount, I will be one distracted cookie.


UPDATE: FRANKEN WINS RECOUNT -- With less than 200 votes left to count, Franken has an over 200 vote lead. Now, I didn't say Franken wins the election, that is not for me to decide. But after all votes have been counted, Franken has the lead.

PS: Corps rehearsal was AMAZING!!