Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Airman Countdown

Airman Nick is scheduled to fly in for the Holiday Exodus, Wednesday evening. He graduated from Lackland this past August, and has been attending Tech School in Keesler, MS ever since.

He'll be gone before the new year begins, but anytime to catch up will be good times. I am hoping to get him downtown Thursday night, But I understand I do have to share him with the rest of his friends.

Thinks have been hectic on my end, thus the snails pace of posts. I;m sure I'll find some time to rattle some cages soon enough.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Joel is Home . . . for now.

Spotted on Facebook:
This isn't over by a long shot, but it is a good first step.

Welcome home, Joel!


Joel Juked

Joel Rosenberg, MOB Member, friend, carry advocate, renowned carry trainer, author, and MPD Gadfly, is in jail . . . STILL!
A Minneapolis man who claims to have a right to carry a gun in City Hall faces charges for bringing a loaded weapon into the police chief's office last month.
Now, we reap what we sow, and all that. But as you read the case you'll see that the Police officer A MONTH AGO, return the gun to Mr Rosenberg after disarming him and politely asked him to return the gun to his vehicle. Sure would imply to me that that would be that. Not in this case.

Remarkably, the court is holding Joel on $100,000 bail and continued his hearing till after the first of the year. Just plain senseless.

Other 2nd Amendment and MOB blogs are getting the story out. They have a much better handle on the details then I do, so give them a look:

Political Prisoner
Sgt. William Palmer
Joel Rosenberg: Alpha Male of the Day
Free Joel (Update)
The Empire Strikes Back
25% of Windypundit Blog Team Now In Jail

Latest news on civil rights activist Joel Rosenberg from Ellegon.com

I'll be following this to see if/when the court comes to it's senses.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Congratulations, Governor-Elect Dayton

Dear Mark,

OK, it's finally over, and what we have known all along will become official within the next few hours.

Now, the political landscape isn't quite what you were hoping for, but that doesn't mean there isn't opportunities. The local Right Wing smear machine is taking a page out of the national playbook, already. They are planning, hoping, and praying for you to fail. The Legislature will do whatever they can to set bugs and booby traps in your way. Let them. The Minnesota electorate will see them for who they are.

The MN GOP has never been a forward thinking bunch, pacifying their base until the real people get hurt enough that they vote them out. It will happen again, in a couple years. For now take the high road. No need to roll over or capitulate. We learned from the outgoing Governor that there are a variety of options for you when working with an opposition legislature. Relax and be relieved. If their pattern holds true, they'll implode soon enough. And you'll be there to pick up the pieces, and show everyone the true leader you are.

Godspeed Governor Elect Dayton!

Kurt 'Flash' Schiebel

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Sometimes I wonder if the Democratic Party actually has a plan. These tax relief negotiations are something that should have happened BEFORE the midterms, especially the vote. The Left would have been in a position of strength, whereby they could DARE the Republicans to vote against Tax Cuts for all before the midterms. This would have saved their house majority. But they didn't, and now they are backed into a corner.

The new vote on the Framework gives the Right a second chance, and now puts the 'double dare ya' on the Democrats, instead. How much are we spending now . . . estimates are between 600 and 800 BILLION. The deal:


- Bush tax cuts: $458 billion. The package would extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone for two years

- Unemployment benefits: $57 billion. The package would also leave in place for 13 months the option to file for extended federal unemployment benefits

- Social Security tax break: $120 billion. The package would also offer workers a 2% payroll tax holiday next year

- Individual tax credits: $40 billion. extend for two years the increased value of a number of tax credits that benefit low- and middle-income tax filers,

- Business tax breaks: Cost unclear. It is still not clear how many business tax breaks are in the package. Some, like an extension of the research and development credit, has drawn bipartisan support and is typically renewed annually. But also included is a new temporary option for businesses to write off 100% of their expenses in 2011. A cost estimate was not immediately available.

- Estate tax: $88 billion. exemption level would be raised to $5 million and the top rate lowered to 35%.
Another deficit killer. Everyone wants to give away money, but no one wants to make the tough budget cutting decisions that need to happen. And I mean meaningful cuts, not Freezing salaries and chopping apart Earmarks, feel good actions that are pennies to the budget.

GOP, come back to me when you have meaningful tax cuts, like a 20% cut in defense!! Dems, let me know when you are willing to do the same in Health and Human services, or even Education.

Isn't there at least some group of true fiscal conservatives who have the guts to do what is needed, regardless of personal electoral peril?

I doubt it!!


Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Chess Game

There is a reason I tend to support Democratic candidates in the face of my right leaning moderacy. The Left is a forward thinking compromise based group, whereas the Right is a power hungry unmovable behemoth. The current stunt they are pulling nationally, block everything and anything until they get their way, is no different than what is happening here in the recount. It's all about power and the base. But what happens when the base begins to wane. Lets look at that.

From the Strib:
The Dayton campaign said that of the 2,776 ballot challenges Emmer workers have filed, 98.2 percent have been declared frivolous. By contrast, 39 Dayton challenges have been ruled frivolous, according to the campaign.
Does the Emmer legal team even know what they are doing to themselves. With control of both houses of the legislature they have a chance to lead, and govern. They have an opportunity to show the MN electorate how they believe things should be done. Even with a Governor Dayton, there is much room to show what they can do. But the hunger for power, even briefly, seems to be more important than long term improvement of the state. Some Emmer supporters are getting fed up:
Those challenges were wearing thin even on some Emmer voters.

"I'm an Emmer supporter, but I think what's going on here is a bunch of nonsense," said Steven Camp, a Robbinsdale resident and small-business owner who worked as a Hennepin County table official.

But Camp didn't blame Emmer. He suggested larger forces may be at work. If Republicans delay the recount long enough or contest it in court, the planned Jan. 3 swearing-in of the next governor could be delayed.

"It seems to me, frankly, that Emmer is something of a pawn in this situation," Camp said.
Being a pawn is NOT the mark of a leader. If Rep Emmer wants any hope for future political viability he needs to recognize a couple things; 1) there is no path to victory for him; and 2) The behavior of his recount team and the MNGOP smear machine is causing frustration even within his base.

Rep Emmer has a choice to make, if it is his choice and that is to simply recognize reality. If there is a decision to move forward with an election contest post recount, we'll have our answer. No sensible leader would continue after the process is complete . . . unless, of course, he is merely a pawn.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yes, That's Her!

Yes, that;s my sister leaning over the table on the front page of the Strib. Both her and my mom participated in the recount efforts, yesterday. My take is very simple numbers:
By day's end, more than 400 ballots were challenged, with the vast majority coming from Emmer's side. County officials declared half of those challenges "frivolous," meaning they remain in the current count but could get another look.

According to a final tally released by secretary of state Monday night, taking challenged votes out of the count did little to change the overall vote

margin. Dayton picked up 20 votes while Emmer lost four.

Dayton now leads Emmer 43.6 percent to 43.2 percent -- a margin of 8,794 votes.
Folks, according the the SoS site, almost half (44.65%) of the votes have been looked at, and the results have barely budged. There is not path to the Governor's mansion for Emmer. So the question that becomes more clear, is whether the Right risks losing the independents and moderates to go on a wild goose chase to suppress the will of the electorate.

It seems to me, that cooler heads will prevail. The Right has a prime opportunity to show the people of Minnesota they can be sensible, and then govern from the platform that they ran on. If they try to do that with an end around of the electoral system, they could become a permanent minority in two year. I would think the last thing they want is for the DFL to hold all three branches of government. If they are willing to see the writing on the wall, they will have a much better chance of keeping their majorities in both chambers come 2012.


Friday, November 19, 2010

8 Years!

Eight years ago, today, Centrisity was born. In that time. congressional controls has swung Left, and back Right. The President is of a different party. My grade school kids are now fledgling Adults, well except for the youngest, who is a Senior in high school, now.

My oldest spent 5 years in the marine corps, including a trip to the sandbox. And the #3 son is active duty in the Air Force. I've lost two best friends, watched my nephews grow up and marry. My parents enjoy good health, I'm still madly in love with my wife, and the Drum Corps has gone from middle of the pack to Championship contenders.

I haven't written much, recently. Attempts to stick to policy get drowned out by members of the smear machine who can't even take time to see the good that is happening right now. I'm not sure what will happen next, on these pages. But an 8 year investment isn't something I just want to walk away from. I still plan on lying low as I watch the recount, the holidays, and the world. At some point the fire will burn again, but time is a treasured resource. As I shuffle my priorities, Centrisity will soon find a place on that list.

Thanks to many of you for sharing this journey with me. 8 years is a long time, let's hope that time will continue to grow.

Kurt 'Flash' Schiebel

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanks for your Service!

I special Thank You to the newest Veteran to be, Airman Nick!

He is currently excelling at Keesler AFB on track for Tech School Graduation in mid December. He will then get a couple weeks off for Christmas Exodus where we'll have much to catch up on.

He had an opportunity to go to Japan for his first assignment, but decided that getting more training and being involved in the meet of the Air Force beet going over seas to a Sit down Help Desk Job. He's got 6 years, I am sure he'll get to travel some over that time.

Also a salute to Sgt. Tom, who continues to enjoy his inactive reserve status. He is attending College in San Diego and actually called last night. He needed to check up on his brother still at home.

Thanks, gentleman! You have made me very proud!


Other Veteran's Day Posts:


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Please Vote!

The fear and Smear from the Right is over. The failed campaign of the Left is done.

The Right successfully deceived the electorate, as is their practice. The Left limped along without even attempting to show where we were at two years ago, and how much better we are today.

Fortunately, Minnesota is ahead of the curve. We tried it their way and it has cost us dearly, in jobs, in education, in basic infrastructure needs.

So while the US House slips away, the US Senate majority narrows, and Nationally the midterm massacre will take the President's working majority away, Minnesota will be a bright spot. For the first time in almost 20 years there will be a Democratic Governor and a House and Senate willing to work together to steer this great State back into economic prosperity.

The news tonight will be bleak for common sense Moderates, and progressives, but the talking heads will come back to Minnesota as that oasis of sanity. We tried it there way, it simply doesn't work. The memory of the National electorate is short, but that is not the case in the great state of Minnesota.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Myth and Magic

Something strange happened a few months ago. I was starting to get drawn into the smear that is the Tea Party Republican hate game. As a real fiscal conservative, small government type I started buying into their spin. But then I woke up, and started researching on my own.

As mentioned in Monday's post, it is actually the Democratic administration and congress that is reducing Government jobs while increasing private sector job opportunities. You would think, if the Tea Party brigade was sincere about what they want, they would reject the failed policies that got us here, and embrace the very practices that are delivering the exact goals they claim they want. But the Right Wing noise machine continues to push false memes and myths, for the truth would simply destroy them.

With their unlimited foreign money and corporate contributions, they have controlled the media. The electorate now actually believes the opposite of reality. Here is one of those falsehoods:

1) Job Killing Taxes -> Would you know that 40% of the stimulus was directed straight to tax cuts:
In a troubling sign for Democrats as they head into the midterm elections, their signature tax cut of the past two years, which decreased income taxes by up to $400 a year for individuals and $800 for married couples, has gone largely unnoticed.
See, the Right doesn't care about tax cuts, they care about winning.

Fortunately, Minnesotans are smarted than that. While many around the country have been suckered by the myths perpetrated by Right Wing extremists, the Minnesota electorate has dismissed them. The GOP wave, with assistance from their slush fund money, may fool those most vulnerable, but not us, here! Democratic candidates are doing well, as the folks here know what is at stake. Too bad others around the country don't get it . . . yet!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Job Creators!

The Tea Party brigade and their dutiful minions keep harping two main things, JOBS and Smaller government. What's interesting, is the current party in power is delivering on both:
This is the 9th straight month of private sector job growth in the midst of a devastating recession that has put a serious strain mostly on the poor and middle class. There has been a total of 863,000 private sector jobs created in 2010, exceeding the total created under the Bush/Cheney regime.
Recall in President Bush's last month, we shed over 700,000 jobs in January 2009 alone. Now we have much further to go, and for many the picture isn't all that rosy, but for the 'Drown Government in a bathtub' contingent, you would think they would be jumping for joy (NYT):
But over all, the economy lost 95,000 nonfarm jobs in September, the result of a 159,000 decline in government jobs at all levels. Local governments in particular cut workers at the fastest rate in almost 30 years.
So we have consistent Private Sector growth, albeit not enough, coupled with significant shrinkage in government. A perfect Tea Party storm. In fact, consistently, the Left has had much more success in economic growth than the Right.So what;s the gig . . . POWER! The Right has shown they aren't at all interested in working towards a better future. They aren't at all interested in acknowledging what works, and what doesn't. This is about pushing myths and mysticism into the election cycle, in hopes the electorate has short memories.

There are several myths being pushed in the waning moments of this election. I'll point some of them out this week.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beginning of End in Afghan?

NYTimes reports:
KABUL, Afghanistan — Talks to end the war in Afghanistan involve extensive, face-to-face discussions with Taliban commanders from the highest levels of the group’s leadership, who are secretly leaving their sanctuaries in Pakistan with the help of NATO troops, officials here say.

The discussions, some of which have taken place in Kabul, are unfolding between the inner circle of President Hamid Karzai and members of the Quetta shura, the leadership group that oversees the Taliban war effort inside Afghanistan. Afghan leaders have also held discussions with leaders of the Haqqani network, considered to be one of the most hard-line guerrilla factions fighting here; and members of the Peshawar shura, whose fighters are based in eastern Afghanistan.
Optimism, maybe, but I haven;t seen a very organized leadership structure within the Taliban. It only takes one to go off on their own and create havoc. But this time, it is sounding more positive:
American officials said last week that talks between Afghan and Taliban leaders are under way. But the ranks of the insurgents, the fact that they represent multiple factions, and the extent of NATO efforts to provide transportation and security to adversaries they otherwise try to kill or capture have not been previously disclosed.

At least four Taliban leaders, three of them members of the Quetta shura and one of them a member of the Haqqani family, have taken part in discussions, according to the Afghan official and a former diplomat in the region.

The identities of the Taliban leaders are being withheld by The New York Times at the request of the White House and an Afghan who has taken part in the discussions. The Afghan official said that identifying the men could result in their deaths or detention at the hands of rival Taliban commanders or the Pakistani intelligence agents who support them.
Read the whole article, it is a great insight into the next phase of this ongoing struggle!


Monday, October 18, 2010

The Strib Endorsement

In the STRIB's endorsement of Emmer . . I mean Horner, they state

"Don't let fear cause you to vote for a candidate you consider to be the second-best choice."

Which, ironically, is the reason most people ARE voting for Horner, out of FEAR! I will NOT vote for an unelectable only to inoculate myself from criticism. I will proudly vote for Dayton knowing he will right the wrongs of the TPaw fiasco!

Some people confuse ideological perspective with voting pattern. I'm not one of them. I tend to vote more Blue than Red since the GOP candidates of late have been to the extreme. Of the two electables, I am going for the more moderate of the two, and it isn't Emmer. For Congress, as an example, I will NOT vote Blue for the same reason.

This isn't about party, its about progress. The state has stagnated for 8 years and we have lost our status of leader in the country. Time to change that, make the tough decisions, and get this state moving again.


Friday, October 08, 2010

Good News Great News

Good news for everyone:
Private businesses added 64,000 workers in September,
GREAT news for small government Tea Party Conservatives:
the government shed 159,000 workers,
Certainly not anywhere near the private sector jobs growth we need. Here, lets take a trip in the time machine, to the booming years of the Bush economy:
Employers slashed another 598,000 jobs off of U.S. payrolls in January, . . .

The latest job loss is the worst since December 1974, and brings job losses to 1.8 million in just the last three months, or half of the 3.6 million jobs that have been lost since the beginning of 2008.

The loss since November is the biggest 3-month drop since immediately after the end of World War II, when the defense industry was shutting down for conversion to civilian production.
How does the saying go, those who refuse to remember history are doomed to repeat it. If we go back to the policies that ravaged this economy during the Bush years, we will, be doomed! Think about that when you review your ballot this fall.


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Airman Update: Classes Begin!

Coming off Basic Training in August, these well training and prepared men and women are eager and ready to begin their new paths. And then it all comes to a screeching halt. A hurry up and wait situation where significant downtime is experienced following an 8 1/2 week adrenaline push. That's what happened to my son.

He arrived at Keesler AFB (Mississippi) immediately after graduation weekend. A 16+ hour bus ride to his new home. However, there was no opening in his classes, so duty assignments like Security, loading dock, and PT conditioning was his world . . . but no classes. That all changed this week.

After 6 weeks of waiting, with early signs of frustration beginning to set in, he began his next step in his journey. The Airman is going into Cyber Systems Operations, so his class schedule start with Cyber Systems Basics, Windows & introduction, and high tech classes that will prepare him for his first duty station.

Anticipated Graduation is the 2nd week of December, where God willing, he'll get some much needed leave including about 2 weeks of uncharged leave as part of the Recruiter Assistance Program. IF the timing works out, it will be a very merry Christmas at the Flash homestead.

Now that he has begun Tech School, within a few weeks, we may found out more specifics of where his first assignment will take him. HE is hoping for over seas, Japan or Germany, but he he will go where he is needed, and serve out country proudly.

My son, the Airman . . . I'll keep you posted.

Proud Air Force Dad; AB Nick
Proud Marine Dad; Sgt. Tom (inactive reserves)
Proud Dad; Josh and Bob

Monday, October 04, 2010

How to FInd a Trillion!

There are various estimates to what the deficit currently is, but here is what we do know (Careful, ScaifeNet link). When President Clinton left office, he had a surplus. During the Bush years the deficit climbed to close to half a trillion. With the much needed stimulus, unfunded, the deficit jumped to over a trillion. So where can we find a trillion.

Lets start by reviewing the budget breakdown. As you can see, no meaningful dent can be made on the budget without significant cuts, reforms, or cost savings, in the area of Health & Human services and defense.

Of course, the other option is to look at potential revenues. By extending the Bush era tax cuts to ALL Americans, yet allowing the top tier to expire (a modest 3% increase in each earned dollars over $250,000) would fuel a 700 Billion dollar revenue in flux. Without this balanced approach, where does the money come from.

See, it is ease to scream cuts, it is simple to buy into the Liberal spending spree, but NONE of these Tea Party Republicans have any solid details as to how they would do it.

You wanna slice of reality, lets cut the entire Department of Educations, but that is only 100 Billion dollars, where do you find the other 900 Billion, OH, that would be the same as the Defense Budget . . . . . . If you want to get real serious, the Interesting on our debt is almost 400 Billion dollars. You want to start taking the debt, you need to eliminate the deficit. And like we have found here in Minnesota, you can't do it with cuts alone, a balanced approach is required.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Poll Trends Confirmed

I love when the Right Wing Smear-o-sphere spends two days bashing the MN Poll and, right on cue, another poll comes out confirming the trend and showing RepublicanMussen as the true outlier.

38 (34) Dayton
27 (34) Emmer
16 (13) Horner
9/29/10 (8/29/10)

Its not over till its over, but I hear MNGOP heads exploding already. And this tidbit was very revealing and just may be a national trend:
So what's changed?

"The big story in September is that the Democrats have woken up from their summer slumber," said University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs, who oversaw the poll.

"When you go back to August, you find 57 percent of Democrats who are likely to vote saying that they had only a little or really no interest in voting come November," Jacobs said. "Now we found a substantial 83 percent of Democrats saying they have a great deal or a fair amount of interest in this election."

That 83 percent enthusiasm number for Democrats matches the Republicans', meaning the GOP has lost the edge in election excitement it had enjoyed over Democrats.
Remember, just a moment in time . . . .


Monday, September 27, 2010

Balancing Acting!

It's hard cutting over a trillion dollars from the budget, while holding Medicare/caid, defense, education, et. al. harmless. I mean, those are the biggest chunks of the budget, forcing even deeper cuts elsewhere which would virtually eliminate some of the programs. And don't misread me, that just may be part, but not the complete, solution. Also, with the goal of continuing tax cuts, we can't count on significant revenues to help. But one advantage I do have, while we heard all the attacks going on this election season, I don't have political viability to sorry about. So I am still reading analysis, from both side of the aisle, as I juggle numbers. But here is a question for you.

When is reform not a cut, or when is a cut, really reform. I think we all agree that there is much opportunity to save, via reform, without effecting the service being provided. Locally, Tea Party Republican candidate Rep. Tom Emmer talks about reform and savings while improving service delivery, specifically in education. Yet the Right wing attack ads against the 'Affordable Health Care Act' talk about deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, when, in reality, there aren't cuts at all, but a plan to streamline and create a much stronger and better program through efficiencies.

When is the electorate going to stand up against the spin words and silly talk? At what point will the people demand honest answers? When will a candidate have the guts to actually present the cold hard facts, make the tough decisions, and put themselves out there to do what is right?

I am no candidate, yet, but I'm trying to give it a shot!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pledge to America Preview

I haven't had time to delve into the 'Pledge' (PDF), but it does touch on the Spending cut issues I am working on. I am delaying that post till I review the GOP's options. Specifically:
Our Plan to Put Government on a Path to a Balanced Budget

We will have a responsible, fact-based conversation with the American people about the scale of the fiscal challenges we face, and the urgent action that is required to deal with them. We will curb Washington’s spending habits and promote job creation, bring down the deficit, and build long-term fiscal stability.

• Act Immediately to Reduce Spending:
There is no reason to wait to reduce wasteful and unnecessary spending. Congress should move immediately to cancel unspent “stimulus” funds, and block any attempts to extend the timeline for spending “stimulus” funds. Throwing more money at a stimulus plan that is not working only wastes taxpayer money and puts us further in debt.

• Cut Government Spending to Pre-Stimulus, Pre-Bailout Levels:
With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to begin paying down the debt, balancing the budget, and ending the spending spree in Washington that threatens our children’s future.

• Establish a Hard Cap on New Discretionary Spending:
We must put common-sense limits on the growth of government and stop the endless increases.

Only in Washington is there an expectation that whatever your budget was last year, it will be more this year and even more the next.

We will set strict budget caps to limit federal spending on an annual basis. Budget caps were used in the 1990s, when a Republican Congress was able to bring the budget into balance and eventual surplus. By cutting discretionary spending from current levels and imposing a hard cap on future growth, we will save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

• Cut Congress’ Budget:
This year, Congress increased its own budget by 5.8 percent at a time when families and small businesses across the country are cutting back. We will make Congress do more with less by significantly reducing its budget.

• Hold Weekly Votes on Spending Cuts:
Earlier this year, House Republicans launched the YouCut initiative to combat the permissive culture of runaway spending in Congress. Over the course of nine weeks, YouCut produced proposals to save taxpayers more than $120 billion. We will continue to hold weekly votes on spending cuts.

• End TARP Once And For All:
Americans are rightly outraged at the bailouts of businesses and entities that force responsible taxpayers to subsidize irresponsible behavior. We will cancel the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a move that would save taxpayers roughly $16 billion.

• End Government Control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
Since taking over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies that triggered the financial meltdown by giving too many high risk loans to people who couldn’t afford them, taxpayers were billed more than $145 billion to save the two companies. We will reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by ending their government takeover, shrinking their portfolios, and establishing minimum capital standards. This will save taxpayers as much as $30 billion.

• Impose a Net Federal Hiring Freeze of Non-Security Employees:
Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the engine of our economy and should not be crowded out by unchecked government growth. We will impose a net hiring freeze on non-security federal employees and ensure that the public sector no longer grows at the expense of the private sector.

• Root Out Government Waste and Duplication:
Once created, federal programs almost never go away, even if the problem they were created to address is no longer relevant. More than 20 states have addressed this problem by requiring that programs end – or “sunset” – by a date certain. We will adopt this requirement at the federal level to force Congress to determine if a program is worthy of continued taxpayer support.

• Reform the Budget Process to Focus on Long-Term Challenges:
We will make the decisions that are necessary to protect our entitlement programs for today’s seniors and future generations. That merequiring a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, setting benchmarks for theseprograms and reviewing them regularly, and preventing the expansion of unfunded liabilities.
There are some good ideas in here, if you get past the spin. I'm not going to nit pick the spinner bait, that is left for those who want to totally give up on the policy debate and waste time bogging down the conversation in bickering. There are plenty of sites for that.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Doing Both - 1st, Tax Cuts for All

In order to reel in the budget, we can still support and encourage tax cuts for 100% of American's, but still allow the top bracket to return to its old level. All wage earners would still receive the extension of cuts up to the top bracket cut off of $250,000.

Now the Tea Party Republicans, and their 'in the pocket' media drones have tried to tell Americans that only 97% of wage earners would receive cuts. But that simply isn't true. EVERYONE will benefit from the extension all the way up to the upper teir break point. That is tax cuts for 100%. Former tax hawk and Federal Reserve chair Greenspan, disagrees:
"I don't think we have time to wait," Greenspan said. "Our choice is not between good and bad, it's between terrible and worse."

Greenspan said he feels so strongly about the issue that he is now in favor of raising taxes -- a position he could hardly have imagined earlier in the decade, when he famously came out in favor of former President George W. Bush's 2001 and 2003 plans to cut taxes.

Greenspan said all the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to lapse -- a position that conflicts with Republicans' desire to extend the cuts and the Obama administration's efforts to let them stand for those making less than $250,000 annually. He said he still believes taxes should be cut, as a general principle, but not at a time when the government is digging a deeper and deeper fiscal hole.
Greenspan is in that small group of people of the 'smarter than me' set, but in this case I believe he is simply wrong. The fragile economy would struggle with an across the board tax hike. But allowing the upper Tier to lapse would begin the stream of much needed revenue. And seriously, would someone making $500,000/yr really notice a $600 tax bump (ed - To be clear, $600 is the average tax bump for wager earners making between 250,001 and $500,000. The additional tax on a $250.001 is 3 pennies, the actually tax burden on a $500,000 is about $7,000, still a pittance at that level of income). They certainly wouldn't change any business decision based on that pittance.

But we can't do it with revenues alone, cuts need to be made. Unlike the State, who has a revenue problem, the federal Government has a spending problem. Tough choices need to be made. And since I'm not running for anything, yet, there are no sacred cows in my budget. We'll get back to that.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Can You Do Both!

As a true fiscal conservative, it is necessary that we reel in the deficits while not further inciting the recession. The problem, of course, is no one wants to cut what needs to be cut to make a difference. The big three, Education, Defense, and Health and Human Services are difficult areas to campaign on cutting. The backlash would be incredible, while the commercials write themselves.

Steve Sack

So where do American's want to cut. The Economist shined a light on this a while ago. Leading the way is Foreign aid. 71% want to cut foreign aid, and easy foil and not to political reality. However, the reality is "• Foreign aid makes up less than 1% of America's total spending." so although a start, it would have minimal actual effect on the budget. In a nut shell:
The most expendable programs, according to poll takers, were mass transit, housing, agriculture, environment and foreign aid, the runaway winner at 71 percent. The problem? These programs together barely comprise 3 percent of the federal budget. Even if the programs were entirely eliminated, the cuts would do nothing to solve the United States’ long-term entitlement program. Indeed, the responses had no obvious correlation with spending size.
I go to thinking when someone tried to tell my that 50% of all Americans receive some form of entitlements, I believe it was from this WSJ article. What it really says is 50% of all households have at lease one person in it receiving government funds. We're going to look into that this week.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Reviewing Cuts, A Policy Debate

A Republican candidate for MN Senate District 64, Tony Hernandez, has listed 10 places he feels we can save about 2 billion dollars. I thought I would share where I am on each of his items:
1. Reduce legislators' and constitutional officers pay by 10%: $1.3 million
No more than a token gesture, but I could support this. However, the consequence of this is making it more difficult to attract competent and qualified individuals to run for these thankless positions.
2. Freeze state employee salary increases for two years: $18.7 million

3. Freeze U of M employee pay increases for two years (via U of M's
"General Compensation" appropriation request): $95 million
To expect only certain groups of employees to be 'taxed' by having their pay frozen seems unfair. If this Republican candidate is in favor of only taxing public employees he should state that. If he is serous about 'freezing wages' which in effect is nothing more than a tax by taking away the nominal increase, maybe he should consider an across the board payroll withholding surcharge so that everyone see a freeze in wages. I am not in favor of this, but I am in favor of fairness. Expecting small slivers of the workforce to bear the brunt is not fair!
4. Change Renters Tax Credit to actual percent of rent paid toward property tax: $60 million
I am open to this
5. Eliminate Integration Revenue- The Intergration Revenue program, a component of the K-12 education funding formula, is supposed to provide money to certain school districts for integration-related activities: $132 million
I am not familiar with this program
5. Reform the Social Security Title IV-D program so child support services are paid only to parents that qualify for public assistance. $258.3 million
I am not sure what this means, Does it mean my ex, who is $60,000 in arrears and hiding in another state would no longer have to be responsible for her obligation. The need for inter agency cooperation is the only way I have seen any of the court ordered payments. Furthermore, a portion of any payments received is deducted from the support I do receive to pay for the services.

I can manage with my ex's refusal to pay her obligations, but how many families currently 'not receiving public assistance' would by thrust back into said assistance if their ability to collect support through this programs help dried up. Now we are back to not only paying to help them collect support, but also to provide for their welfare. This idea might save a dime in one area, only to spend a dollar in another
6. Merge Child Care assistance programs into one for greater efficiency. $23.3 million
I'm all for greater efficiency as long as service remains consistent
7. Eliminate family, Friend, & Neighbor grants--this program puts the state in charge of monitoring and directing childcare by relatives. $743,000
I would have to learn more about this program, but I think I could be persuaded
8. Sell excess state lands-the DNR, the DOT and the IRRB together hold millions of acres of idle, acquired, and commercial lands that should be sold back to private parties.
I would be open to long term, unrestricted leases agreements but am adamantly opposed to selling title to any publicly owned lands.
9. Repeal the public school staff development mandate: $175 million
I have always been an proponent of more local control, so anytime we eliminate state mandates is a good thing.
10. Reduce LGA payments by weaning local units of government off over a four-year period would save the tax payer substantial amounts of money and push cities to enact more responsible, locally oriented budget priorities. $1.069 billion over next 2 biennia
The LGA battle is interesting as it has been shown to not really save taxpayers anything, it only has been shown to shift the tax burden for the state to local property taxes. I do feel the state has some responsibility to compensate local units of government when it is unrealistic to expect their property taxes to maintain local services. Whether this is public safety in rural Minnesota, or local infrastructure support int he larger cities.

As is usually the case here at Centrisity, policy before politics.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tom Spoiler

First, reality at this moment:
38 (46) Dayton
36 (32) Emmer
18 (09) Horner
04 (13) Undecided
This is real simple math, a vote for Horner is no different than voting for Emmer. If those 8% that left Dayton's camp think they'll get change with a Horner vote you are doing nothing but furthering the Mississippiazation of Minnesota. At least have the guts to just pull the Emmer lever.

Oh, and on this media 'in the bag for Dayton' Smear Meme from the Tea Bag Republican set. KSTP using Democrat where Democratic is more appropriate is, frankly, juvenile. I expect that from the Smear Merchants. Liberal Media my ass!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My State Budget Plan

I am not going to raise taxes!

I am going to increase Spending!

The deficit doesn't exists

If you elect me Governor, the budget will miraculously balance itself, because I said so!

I am the Necromancer!

Flash, and I approved this message!

The Spiteful Face of the Tea Party

The extremist Palin Brigade cuts off another nose:
(CNN) -- Christine O'Donnell's upset win over Rep. Mike Castle in the Delaware Republican Senate primary is also another major victory for the Tea Party Express and for Sarah Palin.

"I also want to thank the Tea Party Express," said O'Donnell in her victory speech Tuesday night.

The Tea Party Express, a leading Tea Party organization, endorsed O'Donnell on July 21 and spent more than $250,000 to help the once long shot candidate defeat Castle, a brand name in Delaware thanks to two terms as governor and the past 18 years as the statewide congressman.
With this latest result, the Democratic Party, once left for dead just a few weeks ago has new life. The Senate is majority is in much better shape than a month ago. Delaware was prime picking with a Castle victory, but now with an extremist candidate in the R slot, it is a leans Blue, now.

The next 6 weeks will bring a battle in Congress to continue tax relief for the Middle Class, an effort that the Right will resist. Unless the recognize the error in their ways, this just may be enough of a fools errand for the House to remain in the hands of the Democratic Party. You would think the Right would see that, but political intellect has not been their forté of late.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to School Spiel

The President will deliver his back to school message today. Unlike last year, the Right is steering clear of controversy. See, last time they went public with concerns of the President politicizing the event. Of course, all they needed to do was read the pre=released text to know this was about motivating the children, and encouraging them to stay on track. This years' message is quite similar:
But here is what I came to Masterman to tell you: nobody gets to write your destiny but you. Your future is in your hands. Your life is what you make of it. And nothing – absolutely nothing – is beyond your reach. So long as you’re willing to dream big. So long as you’re willing to work hard. So long as you’re willing to stay focused on your education.

That last part is absolutely essential – because an education has never been more important. I’m sure there will be times in the months ahead when you’re staying up late cramming for a test, or dragging yourselves out of bed on a rainy morning, and wondering if it’s all worth it. Let me tell you, there is no question about it. Nothing will have as great an impact on your success in life as your education.

More and more, the kinds of opportunities that are open to you will be determined by how far you go in school. In other words, the farther you go in school, the farther you’ll go in life. And at a time when other countries are competing with us like never before; when students around the world are working harder than ever, and doing better than ever; your success in school will also help determine America’s success in the 21st century.

So, you have an obligation to yourselves, and America has an obligation to you to make sure you’re getting the best education possible. And making sure you get that kind of education is going to take all of us working hand-in-hand.
May everyone have a successful and productive school year!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Oh, I'm Back!!

I had a GREAT Summer, capped off by a trip to San Antonio that many of you shared as we witnessed the graduation of my Son to Airman! He is currently studying in Tech School at Keesler AFB.

But with less than two months to go before mid terms and State races, I simply can't stay away any longer. It seems that the memories of some is short. You would think that the incredible economic turnaround instituted by the President and his party would be enough to show the people that the old way, which created this mess to begin with, is certainly not a solution. Sure, things are not going as quickly as we'd like, but slow incremental change is far more sustainable than large burst of help for political gain.

The job of both sides is to let the electorate know what happens AFTER November 2. We can continue down the path of growth and recovery, or we can go back to the flawed policies that created this economic tumult.

The choice is easy, and for those still having difficulty, I'll be around to help you along.


San Antonio Shots for those that are interested:

Coin Ceremony and Base Liberty Thursday, 8/19/2010

Graduation Parade and Town Pass Friday, 8/20/10

The Arne Endorsement

The governorship is the DFL's to lose, and they have been good at that. Four years ago the seat was all but secured, but then a mis-step, and mis-speak, and a Right Wing smear machine that can twist reality better than Dune was folding space, turned the tide.

Now the Republicans have a new tool in their arsenal. A Republican Independent Candidate with a plan to protect corporate interests on the back of the Low and middle class. This candidate wants to expand the most regressive of taxes into the sacred cow of clothing. I am convinced it is a way to make him look liberal, to siphon votes, see, it is the only way the Right can win. And Arne is in on it:
Former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson is climbing on a campaign bus this morning with Independence Party candidate Tom Horner, whom he is endorsing in the governor's race.

"I'm calling this the Common Sense Tour and common sense indicates you can't grow Minnesota by taxing those people who grow jobs," Carlson said.
But they think they CAN grow jobs by raising taxes on those that don't even have them.

Seriously, the Right knows they have an unwavering base that will vote for anything with an R on it, as long as it is moving, and in some cases, it doesn't even have to be moving. But this base isn't quite big enough to ensure another plurality victory, so they need a splitter, a spoiler, someone who can balance out the remaining voters to allow their candidate to sneak in again. Lest not forget the last two elections:
2002 Gov Race
46.7 Rep
45.7 DFL
06.4 Indy

2002 Gove Race
44.4 Rep
37.2 DFL
16.4 Ind
So in comes Former Republican Governor Arne Carlson with an attempt to keep Horner in the news, with a perception of bi-partisanism. The Right won't budge, they have an election to win, but the Left may start to move which may make Horner appear viable. And THAT is all the Right needs to find an opening.

It's part of the plan, and Arne is in on it!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

The day the world changed . . .

All my hopes to those most closely effected by the horrendous actions of 9/11. And a deep and sincere thank you to those that displayed what the America spirit is all about during the aftermath.

My 9/11 story is here.

As fall approaches, I am going to ease back into the blogosphere following my Summer hiatus. Stay tuned.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

RUSH - Row 6

Sold, crisp, clean!! No other group mimics their studio performances on a live stage as well is the three man band form Toronto!

Amazing Stage presence!

Sell out crowd:

Rest of the pics are here!

Can't wait till next time!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ladies and Gentleman, Meet the NEW Airman!

Words can not begin to describe the pride I feel. Not only as a dad, but as an American watching around 700 young men and women take the ultimate step to be part of the strongest fighting force on this planet.

I proudly share my Airman whose next step is a 16 hour bus ride to Keesler, Mississippi where for about two months he will attend tech school for Cyber Systems Operations. Some time towards the end of October, or early November, he will graduate from Tech School and earn some much needed leave. He will get 13 days of uncharged leave by participating in the Recruiter Assistance Program, where he will acts as an aid to his recruiter here at home. He is considering using some of his personal leave as well to give him about 3 weeks total back home. This means I should have much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving *smile*

Thanks to everyone's kind words. This is only the beginning of this journey, so I will look for continued support. We won't know what happens after Thanksgiving, that we will find out a few weeks into Tech School. However, I do know this much, odds are either Japan or Germany for starters!

Thanks again!

PROUD Air Force Dad

Monday, August 16, 2010

Graduation Week

Can you believe it's been 8 weeks. WOW!

This afternoon we leave for Lackland via Dallas. Will stop at Dealey Plaza, tomorrow, and arrive in San Antonio Weds AM. I assume Internet will be limited, but I am pretty sure there is WiFi at the Hotel.

The Trainee called Saturday. He passed all physical tests and got a 97% on the academic exam. He's on the bubble for honors grad, but incredibly proud no matter what. I'll keep you posted.



– Airmanship and core values
– Formal retreat/Airman’s coin ceremony
– Haircuts
– Technical school briefing
– Commanders departure briefing
– Town pass briefing
– Graduation
Thursday: Airman's Run, Orientation Briefings, Retreat, Honor Graduate Ceremony, and Base Liberty

Airman's Run (8:00am): Cheer the Airmen. Please look below for specific squadron colors.
320 TRS- Red t-shirt
321 TRS- Dark gray t-shirt
322 TRS- Gold t-shirt
323 TRS- Tan t-shirt **Trainee Nick's squadrom **
324 TRS- Maroon t-shirt
326 TRS- Dark blue t-shirt
331 TRS- Black t-shirt

Airman's Coin Ceremony (11:00am)
Honor Graduate Reception (11:45am):
Airman, Spouse and Parent Orientation (1:00pm):
Buffet Dinner Opportunity (12:00pm-7:30pm):
End of Liberty (8:00pm):

Friday: Orientation Briefing, Parade, Open House, Family/Spouse/Parent Orientation, and Town Pass
Transportation to Parade Ground (7:15am-8:30am):
Graduation Parade (9:00am):
Squadron Open House (10:15-11:15am):
Lunch Opportunity (11:30-1:30pm):
Airman, Spouse and Parent Orientation (12:00pm):
Town Pass (12:00pm-8:00pm)
End of Liberty (8:00pm): Airmen are due back in their dormitory.

Town Pass (9:00am):  
End of Town Pass (8:00pm): Airmen are due back in their dormitory

Religious Services (6:30am-4:00pm):
Special Town Pass (9:00am-6:00pm)
Base Liberty (9:00am):
Sunday brunch (9:30am-1:30pm):
End of Liberty (6:00pm):

Friday, August 13, 2010

GOP Cleansing or Simple Purity Test

Let me share anther reason as to why, even though I would argue I lean Right on the overall ideological spectrum, I struggle with even considering being a Republican.

Two term GOP State Senator Paul Koering loses primary and is now leaving the party. Why?
Koering begrudges the Minnesota GOP for asking local sheriffs for his law enforcement records in July. He said the state GOP is imposing an increasingly exclusionary "purification process" on members.

"The party that I've called home for 14 years has kind of, in essence, went off the cliff," Koering said. "I always tried to stay with the party to hopefully be a voice of reason within the party. But I found through this campaign that that doesn't work anymore."

The primary appears to have vanquished Koering's appetite for politics; he told the Times his "political days are over."

Koering said he wants Stevenson to succeed him because Gazelka is too ideological to find common ground with DFLers and independents.
Yes, he says his party "went off a cliff". I believe that happened many years ago and is nothing new. Sad really!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dayton -v- Emmer: The Bloodbath!

I was pretty disconnected from this primary race. Of the three candidates in the DFL Primary, I felt Matt Entenza was clearly the best possible person for the Governor's seat. I know his past was a distraction, but when I put 'Minnesota First' it seemed he had the best ideas, the most balanced approach, and a solid foundation to get the state back on track.

But in the end, I voted for MAK. If I had any regrets I would go back in time and have worked towards a MAK victory. A MAK nomination would have put Emmer in 'stick a fork in him' land. Democrats, moderates like myself, and sensible Republicans would have been able to support her, we would have a issues based campaign, and the people would decide.

So with Dayton the nominee, and Emmer, the Tea Party and Palin chosen one, I expect a blood bath. The greatest fear the Right has is having to run on issues. They know their policies and practices have gotten us into an economic and social mess. A MAK candidacy would have kept this race cleaner. Now the Right will cherry pick the quirks of Senator Dayton and keep the electorate in confusion. The Left will then be on the defensive and continue with the DUIs smear.

The airwaves will be filled with blood and mud. The people will grow weary of juvenile style junior high politics. Classic Right Wing "I know you are but what am I' defenses along with the 'I'm rubber you're glue' gambit will replace what we should do to fix the pending 6 billion dollar deficit without further gutting the budget. We won't here one candidate's desire to further chip away at the bone, cracking into the budget marrow, and sucking it dry, just to appease his rich donor friends. But we will hear about how the other candidate wants to steal every one's money through taxes, rather than the truth of tweaks to bring fairness back into the tax rates.

And sitting back is the IP candidate, who will proclaim he is above all this and if you want to end 'politics as usual' that is where your vote should go.

Sorry, this state can't afford another 4 years of a Governor who is selfish and out of touch while the rest of us suffer. I never thought I would say this, as Senator Dayton was on my 'no way in Hell' list. But since the Right has opted for a Palin style Tea partier, they've alienated me.

Senator, have your people call my people, we have a state to rescue!


UPDATE: MAK bows out gracefully:
“I just spoke with Mark Dayton and congratulated him on winning the DFL primary. I offered him my full support. He will make an excellent governor.

“I am so grateful for all of the hard work of our volunteers and supporters over the last twelve months. This was a people-powered, grassroots campaign and we should all be proud of what we achieved together.

“In Minnesota we value every person’s voice and count every person’s vote. And that’s what happened this election.

“Today we will come together as DFLers. We will unite behind Mark Dayton, and beat Tom Emmer in November.”

Margaret Anderson Kelliher

Monday, August 09, 2010

WEEK 7 Almost there!!

Can't believe we are int he home stretch. I leave a week from tomorrow for Lackland AFB. Where has the Summer gone!


– Air Force history
– Combat stress recovery
– Sexual assault prevention and reporting
– Suicide awareness and prevention
– Financial management
– Sexually transmitted diseases
– Ethics
– Evaluation of drill, reporting and courtesies
– PT (Physical Training) evaluation
– Written test

= = = = = =

On an unrelated note, I have really enjoyed taking some time away from serious posting. I've been doing this for some time and needed to just take a few steps back. Soon I will be re-engaged, but that may not happen till after I get back from Texas.

Enjoy your week!


Friday, August 06, 2010


Koua Fong Lee: A free man after 2.5 years in prison for fatal Toyota crash
"It is not a dream."

That's how Koua Fong Lee responded Thursday afternoon when asked how it felt to have his wife's hands clasped around his arm at a St. Paul hotel, to have her stand next to him and to feel her touch after two years and seven months in prison. And after thinking he would spend several more years away from her and their four children.

"Sometimes, when I was sleeping in the cot, I dreamed (I was at home), and then I woke up still in the little room," he said, as his wife, Panghoua Moua, leaned her head against his shoulder and protested, "No. ..."

"But now," Lee said, "my dream has come true."
He always said he was innocent; now he's free
After Ramsey County District Judge Joanne Smith ruled that Lee is entitled to a new trial, County Attorney Susan Gaertner said there would be no retrial and no appeal.

There are still unanswered questions here, not the least of which is why the County Prosecutors would so vigorously proceed in a case where it was pretty clear the driver, Lee, had no reason or intent to cause this accident. It was simply that, an accident, a tragic loss of life due to factors beyond human control.

May all those involved find peace in their lives as we move on from this tragedy.


CNN posts the story on their front page:
Minnesota judge frees man convicted in acceleration crash of Toyota
(CNN) -- A Minnesota man sent to prison after the deadly sudden-acceleration crash of his Toyota Camry has been freed by a judge, and the local prosecutor says he will not be retried.

Ramsey County, Minnesota, District Court Judge Joanne Smith on Thursday ordered Koua Fong Lee released from prison pending a new trial related to the 2006 crash that killed three people. Ramsey County Prosecutor Susan Gaertner immediately said she would drop the charges.

"Mr. Lee will be a free man," Gaertner said in a written statement.

Monday, August 02, 2010



– SERE (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape)
– Deployment briefing
– Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training (BEAST)

I've booked my hotel and am set for Graduation. We'll be driving down and probably staying in Dallas for a day. I've never been to Dealy Plaza so I can't just drive through without stopping.

The Trainee called Saturday, but we missed his as we were out. Dag Nabbit!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Up Nort' 2010

We are leaving for our annual excursion Up Nort' to da Range. We'll be on Lake Leander, near Britt, MN north of Buhl.

My View will be something like this!

Place nice while I am gone.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gov. Timmeh Asks for Help

Steve Sack

WEEK 4 - BMT and another phone call


– CBRNE/chamber training
– Anti-terrorism/Force protection level I
– Security programs
– Obstacle course
– Weapons evaluation (breakdown and assembly)
– Second clothing issue
– Dress and appearance (service uniform)


Got another phone call from Trainee Nick. All is still well and on track. His first words were 'I just got out of the gas chamber' I had to ask if it was some kind of punishment, but it was related to the CBRNE/Chamber training. He even sounded somewhat excited about it.

From here on out things start to get better, TIs (Training Instructors) are more in 'build up' mode rather than 'tear down' mode.

The letter I had sent hi on Saturday already had arrived yesterday so it is good to know mail flows fast. The bad news is, the letter sits in his security locker till Sunday as he isn't allowed to read mail unless authorized.

So he is half over. We are finalizing travel arrangements for BMT graduation towards the end of August and I just can;t wait to see the new man he has become.

Have I mentioned how proud I am!!

Proud Marine and Air Force Dad!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Emmer Supporter, "This is a Catastrophe"

I was able to make it to the Waitergate Spin Fest at Ol Mexico yesterday afternoon. By the time I get there the back room was already sealed off, pretty much. Well dressed doorman were restricting access signaling the room was full. However, an Emmer button or a Shirt stating "Proud Conservative" would still get you in. If you were wearing one of the "I am not Overpaid" stickers, you were denied. This didn't mean there was many friendlies int he room. Emmer, for the most part, was flustered, even showing edgy emotion. I found his tone angry and bitter. You could sense the regret.

He attempted to pass blame on the media for misrepresentation, but then a server at the microphone read the transcript back to him, using his own actual words. Lots of cheering for the pro Working Class group. Emmer was spiraling downward, fast, and it was clear as the microphone was being passed around he was waiting for the clock to run out, in fact, ending the even early, and clearing the room accept for the very press he ridiculed.

Since I was not in the room itself, I hung out in the bar area. The audio was being piped in, so you could hear what was going on. But what I found really interesting was the groups of Emmer/GOP supporters with the long faces, growing frustrated as the event wore on. Soon a supporter came out of the back room and approached a group of other Emmer supporters, I overheard:

"What is he doing . . . this is a catastrophe"

And that was pretty much how it went all the way to the end . . . until . . . a lone egotistical idiot became Emmer's best friend. In a rude and improper stunt, this idiot gave Emmer the out he needed, dumping a bag of pennies on the table in front of Emmer. And then started preaching about immigration and the hypocrisy of the Emmer campaign staging their little Town Hall in a Mexican Restaurant.

So what did the media talk about on the news. Did they focus on Emmer's unwillingness to actually engage the very hard working Minnesotans he wants to drive into bankruptcy. Oh hell know, it was all about the pennies. One brief moment within an hour of major Fail for the Emmer campaign. DBrauer did a breakdown and posted on Twitter.
Tale of TV tape: #EmmerFest time devoted to penny-pourer: @KARE11 41 sec of 1:58; @KSTP 1:26 of 2:30; @WCCO 8 seconds of 2:29. @fox9kmsp TBD
'CCO did the most balanced job, KARE11 even interviewed the idiot and I would expect nothing less from KSTP as the in the bag channel for the MNGOP.

Liberal Media my ass!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 3, BMT and a call from the Trainee

Finally heard from Trainee Nick. He sounded GREAT and was very committed to his decisions. I heard no frustration and second guessing.

We had about 15 minute for our first 'conversation' following a couple other phone calls that were very robotic and rushed. This time he was very relaxed, almost excited about 'Hell Week' coming up.

He has passed all inspections, is ahead in his studies and memorization, doing well in PT, and get this, he is in the band *Smile* Now, what that means is he is playing the bass drum to help keep the cadence during marching drills, but still, hey, better than latrine duty LOL.

He gets his Blues this week, and soon the first set of official photographs. Can;t wait to put the fresh crisp Trainee up on the family wall. It will look sharp!

I have his address if anyone is interested, just shoot me a note to:

flash at centrisity dot com

The adventure continues . . .

Proud Air Force dad!


– Drill Precision 

- SABC (Self Aid/Buddy Care) under fire
– Bleeding control
– Bandages and dressings

– Combat application tourniquet

– Blood clotting agents

– Splint fractures

– Internal bleeding

– Burn treatments

– Shock management

– Airway management

– Spinal injury

– Job Classification Interviews

Friday, July 09, 2010

Gubernatorial Manicure

via Steve Kelly at Comics.com

Steve Kelley

And in case you missed Lindsey's nails at her sentencing, take a peek.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Doublespeak from an Auditor Candidate

She couldn't do her job the first time, and now she can't even audit her own words. From former Auditor and now perennial Candidate Pat Awada Anderson:

First She Says:
"giving local units the ability to levy a half-cent sales tax"
And later she says
"The last thing we want to do is raise taxes," Anderson stressed."
So which is it, do these folks even read what the speak, know what they say, believe what they think?


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Em and Emmer

Just when I think the faltering DFL campaigns are handing the Statehouse to the GOP for another 4 years, Emmer shows he is the gift that keeps on giving:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer rekindled a smoldering debate Monday when he said minimum-wage workers who earn tips should have their wages reduced.

Minnesota is one of seven states that forbids employers from using a "tip credit" to avoid paying the full minimum wage otherwise required by law.
Now, from a policy stand point, the debate is fair enough to have, but from a political standpoint, this is nothing short of shoving his foot down his throat.
In 2008, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed a bill that would have raised the minimum wage to $7.75 because it didn't include the tip credit for hourly service workers. Emmer voted against that bill. In 2005, DFLers defeated a tip credit amendment.

Emmer said he supports reinstituting the credit, which he said hasn't existed in Minnesota since 1990. He quoted a 2008 Hospitality Minnesota survey of restaurant owners that said state servers make an average of $15.43 an hour in wages plus gratuities.
And in case there is any confusion, this proposal is nothing more than a redistribution of funds from hard working Minnesotans to the wealthy business owners. And the GOP calls the liberals, socialists?!? Maybe they need to look in the mirror.


2nd Week

Second Week of Training

Integrated Defense
Weapons Cleaning
Career Guidance
Recruit Living Area Progress Check

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mustangs: The Cutting Edge

323d Training Squadron

Mission Statement:
Provides world-class military leadership and training necessary to transform recruits into highly motivated Airmen possessing the foundational warrior attitudes, knowledge, skills and abilities to sustain the world’s greatest Air Force.

Squadron Lineage:
Designated 3703d Training Squadron, and organized, on 26 Aug 1948. Redesignated: 3703d Basic Military Training Squadron on 7 Feb 1952; 323d Basic Training Squadron on 25 Aug 1992; 323d Training Squadron on 1 Apr 1994.

The “Mustangs” proudly wear a TAN colored t-shirt during the Airman’s Run.

The Smart Kid

via Cagle:

Eyes on Franken

The Fix knows who to keep an eye on:

Six Senators to watch in Kagan confirmation
Making the list, our very own:
* Al Franken: The Sotomayor hearings amounted to a public debut of sorts for the comedian turned Minnesota Democratic Senator. And, while Franken did occasionally crack wise, he was generally a low-profile presence on the committee. With another year of Senate service under his belt, does Franken take a different approach to this confirmation? With liberals expressing some concerns about Kagan's past policy positions (or, more accurately, her lack of past policy positions) will Franken take the mantle as liberal champion on the committee and try to draw her out?
Franken has turned the heads of even the most staunchest Conservatives, but they would never admit it publicly, the Tea Partiers are watching and any sign if weakness means you are out!


Monday, June 28, 2010

The Kagen Hearings

"While her confirmation is considered likely, Republican senators on the panel questioned Monday whether Kagan can be an impartial justice, "
If the Activist (read extreme partisans) Conservative judges on the bench set the bar for being 'impartial' than a Justice Kagen could be defined as a strict constitutionalist, for those of us that actually care about the constitution.

One thing I've learned from watching the Tea Party movement and their cheerleaders, it has nothing about what is best for the country, just what is best for them.


What is Normalcy?

Summer School begins so it is back to the grind at the new environment. Will be double duty settling into the new place while providing service to the over 500 students attending at our Arlington location.

The Airman to be is working hard at BMT I am sure, although we haven't heard from him since he called the night he arrived. I understand that is generally the procedure. We'll hear from him soon enough.

I am going to get back into the saddle, as the Gubernatorial race heats up, Supreme Court hearings begin, and other political excitement rears its head. It will be as normal as normal can be.


Monday, June 21, 2010

The Last Day, Going Away

Fantastic weekend, GREAT party, and now the final day. Leaving this AM for Al's Breakfast and then to the recruiter for final debrief.

Afternoon will be spent shopping for those boot camp essentials, maybe a visit to the cemetery to say goodbye to Grand Ma, and then a last meal at Rock Bottom, Mpls. We expect to be there between 5:00 and 7:00

First curfew is 9:00 pm this evening, at that point he is one of Them, and my job is done.

Bittersweet is the understatement, but I am confident in his preparedness.


Here is a shot of us at Al's, shopping done, leaving for Cemetery soon.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One week List

What would you do if you had a week to go for basic. I asked Airman to Be Nick to make a list of what he wanted to do before he left. Hopefully we can hit more than half of them, but it is interesting to see what he wanted to do:
1) Visit Gramma's Grave
2) See the inside of the Cathedral (where he was baptized)
3) Go Camping with the guys one more time
4) Get Sandals and new Razor
5) Hit up a Rave
6) Finish Fable
7) Eat at Al's Breakfast
8) Ride every ride worth riding at Camp Snoopy
9) Visit Burial Mounds
10) Visit Science Museum
11) Visit Como Zoo
12) Run a 5 mile trail
13) One more Twin's Game
14) Paint balling
15) Whiskey River; St. Peter, MN
16) Patrick's in St. Peter, MN
17) 3-D IMovie theater
18) AMC
19) Visit Veterans Memorial
20) Rock Bottom for pizza and Sarsaparilla
21) Spend a day with Grandma and Grandpa
22) Visit Thole, Mr Modelli, Capt Karimi (former teachers)
23) Visit Art Museum (MIA)
24) Visit Capital
25) History Museum
Pretty grounded list if you ask me. This guy will do just fine. I think we can knock off at least 20/


Thursday, June 10, 2010


Its official:

The proud parents still in somewhat of a state of shock LOL Twelve days to boot camp. This morning the graduate is finishing scraping and prepping the garage for a coat of paint. Going to milk him for all the free labor I can before he disappears and turns into a man.


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Graduate

Rehearsal this morning, commencement, tonight. I have seen the transcript but will not believe it till he is holding his diploma *laughing*

13 days till he embarks on his next journey in life as an Airman int he US Air Force.

Pics late tonight, or in the AM


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Latest MN-Goober Poll

The latest picture in time . . . Looks like people are not happy with wallowing in mediocrity:
All three leading Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidates for governor hold firm leads over Republican endorsee Tom Emmer, a new statewide poll shows.

The poll also showed Gov. Tim Pawlenty's popularity has sunk to a new low.
Ole' Gov. TPaws sell out tour will have everlasting effects on his legacy. Its what happens when you live inthe now, rather than the tomorrow. The Gubanatorial numbers:
Among the three main DFL gubernatorial candidates, former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton has the biggest lead over Emmer, 40 percent to 28 percent.

House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL-endorsed candidate, led the GOP candidate, 38 percent to 28 percent.

Former House DFL Minority Leader Matt Entenza also topped Emmer, 34 percent to 27 percent.

Tom Horner, the Independence Party's endorsed candidate for governor, finished third in all three trial heats, receiving 17 percent to 19 percent of the vote.
Time for the Right Wing SmearisSphere to slime these numbers in 5 . . 4 . . 3 . . 2 . . 1 . . .


Friday, June 04, 2010

Cap n Gown

The future Airman is another step closer, he picked up his Cap and Gown yesterday. I think that is a sign he may actually pull this off *laughing*

Today is the last day of classes for Seniors, commencement is Wednesday evening. Countdown to boot camp deploy continues on track for June 22nd. I think both our worlds will change greatly at that time.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

9 days left

The countdown begins, and the next few weeks will be pretty hectic.

As one of the schools effected by the downsizing in St Paul, there is much to do. Fortunately we are moving, not closing, but it is still bag and tag boxes in preparation for the slide down Rice Street to the Arlington building.

My Air Force bound Senior is wrapping up his last week of school. Still on track, he has many countdowns going on, Friday is last day of classes, Next Wednesday is Commencement, a week and a half later is the Graduation party and Boot Camp send off. Then, on the 21st, he has his final de-Brief before spending his final afternoon with family and friends. He has a 9:00 Air Force Curfew that day, where he checks into the hotel with an early wake up call. The next morning they are hurried to the MEPS center for final orders, official swearing in, and then the flight to Lackland for 8 1/2 weeks of fun in the sun.

At that point, the week just begins. It will be a crazy month.


Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorializing 2010

From my 2004 Memorial day tribute I shared a little bit about my ancestry and their involvement protecting our freedom's:
My dad was the youngest in the family, and his father, being a widower soon after my dad was born, remarried. Gramma who was also a Widow, had several boys whom joined the clan, and it was a nice size rural farm type family. My dad enlisted in the Navy, and is a veteran of the Korean War. The other boys, including Grampa, were all vets of WWII. Gramma had 4 Star flags hanging in her window. One for Grampa Otto, who was a mail carrier in WWII (Otto drove ambulances in WWI) and one for each of her boys, Vane, LaMoyne, and Bob.

Bob didn't make it home. He was a casualty in Europe (from 2008 post). His body was eventually returned and is interred in the Dummer family plot in Henderson, MN.
And Mom's side:
My maternal background is more domestic. I only have to go back a few generations to find Civil War veterans (one even buried right here is St. Paul) and a few more generations to find Revolutionary War descendancy.
In fact, an Eaton family homestead, in Green Lake Wisconsin, was acquired through a War of 1812 Bounty Land Warrant.
While you are enjoying the beautiful day, and the amazing weather, don't lose site of what this day is really for.

Have a SAFE and HEALTHY holiday.