Saturday, January 30, 2010

Into the Lion's Den!

Without Comment, that will wait till Monday!:

The entire 90 Minutes can be viewed, unfiltered, in the CSPAN Video Library:

I strongly suggest you watch every moment for full context.


PS: The Lion's Den reference is just the phrase many other news outlets are using to describe the event

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Offering a Hand, a SOTU Excerpt

From the White House:
Rather than fight the same tired battles that have dominated Washington for decades, it’s time for something new. Let’s try common sense. Let’s invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let’s meet our responsibility to the people who sent us here.

To do that, we have to recognize that we face more than a deficit of dollars right now. We face a deficit of trust – deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years. To close that credibility gap we must take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; and to give our people the government they deserve.

Debunking the Debunkers

So when these set up artists tricked some ACORN workers into talking about prostitution, the Right Wing Smear machine called it a smoking gun. When the Global Warming E-Mails were hacked, stolen, then released, it was called a smoking gun. In both cases, they claimed, definitively, that it ended the story on both issues, The Global Warming 'hoax' and the ACORN voter fraud.

Now, we find out, that the man behind the ACORN sting, is nothing more then a felonious criminal who edits peoples words in a way that would make Frank Luntz Proud. Yesterday, he was busted, breaking Federal Law:
(CNN) -- A conservative activist who made undercover videos of the liberal community-organizing group ACORN was one of four men charged Tuesday with attempting to illegally access and manipulate the phone system in a district office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.
Oh, it gets better:
O'Keefe is the same activist who dressed up as a pimp last summer and visited ACORN offices to solicit advice on setting up a brothel, among other scenarios, law enforcement officials confirmed. He secretly recorded the visits on videotapes that were posted on the Internet, leading to a media firestorm.

Flanagan is the son of William Flanagan, the acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, his office said.
Their very bad awful day didn't end there, they were sued for the illegal videotaping since they were in a state where both parties were requiring to give permission
O'Keefe and a female associate were named in a lawsuit filed January 21 by an ACORN worker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who accused them of illegally videotaping an interview with her last July and distributing it on the Internet.
In the Right Wing world, once you have clearly and definitively debunked the credibility of the messenger, then you can claim full vindication for their work. Or are they going to flip flop, and start quoting the 'fake but accurate' mantra LOL


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The Special Election to fill retiring Sen Dick Day's Senate seat in District 26, today. I am sure the Right was giddy with glee as the weather moved in. Reality, is that that Scrub candidate has been fighting off his pile of baggage the whole campaign he never really got much traction. And with the support of Mikey/MDE/MNGOP (pardon the redundancy) that makes the chances for the far superior DFL candidate, Jason Engbrecht, to break through the smoke screen.

Bluestem Prairie
and MPP along with many other new media outlest have been working hard on the issues in this election. If you are from the area, those are you go to sites.

But it will be tough, in this Right leaning district, to pull off the win. So GOTV is key.

A win is within reach, and the involvement of the local Smear Boat brigade generally means an upset int he making. I mean, look at how well their hard work a diligence did for Kennedy and Coleman . . remember them LOL


Monday, January 25, 2010

On to the Stadium!

I feel much better then most Queenie fans this AM. I had minimal emotional investment in this season and game, so another self destruction in the NFC game means little to me. But one thing I did see over the weekend was IP Candidate for Governor, Joe Repya's Stadium proposal. First:
I would agree to public financing of a new Viking stadium only if Ziggy Wilf and the NFL agree to sell a 51% equity of the Vikings to the State of Minnesota with a never to relocate iron clad clause.
And then:
We will increase state revenues by allowing Minnesotans to purchase one share of non-voting, non transferable interests (like the Green Bay Packers "stock" program") in the Minnesota Vikings.
Simple, but effective.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Reality of MA-Sen

The Right claims it was national referendum, the Left is hunkering down like they believe it. However, if you talk to someone who was actually there, you get a different story. He is a MA resident who stopped by yesterday with a comment (emphasis mine):
As a voter in the election for MA this past week I wanted to comment on this thread.

Scott Brown won simply because Martha Coakely never showed up. It was not the national referendum they are playing it out to be. She didn't campaign until the poll came out that showed Scott Brown ahead just two weeks ago. Scott Brown won in part from running like a Kennedy. He showed up everywhere, talked to anyone, and partnered with the strong blue collar sports fans that once motivated are a true force. (Think Red Sox fans). Her lack of effort alienated the strongest of democratic supporters in a state that has more registered independents than either democrats or republicans. I am very upset at the prospect of not having health care reform because of this result, but, if Scott Brown doesn't show up in DC as an independent voice for MA he will not last more than this term. If he pushes the national republican agenda he will not be the senator from MA for very long.
That folks is reality, without a dose of spin!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sen. Elect Scott Brown, . . RINO?!?

So the more I read up on the newly elected Junior Senator from Massachusetts, I wonder if the GOP took a very close look at his credentials before they hopped on his band wagon. Senator Elect Brown was down almost 30 points untill he fond some traction with the anti Health care movement. And once the polling started to trend his way, the National GOP was there for him in full force. But who is this guy.

Is the new GOP pro choice?!?
this decision should ultimately be made by the woman in consultation with her doctor,
Does the new GOP support Gay Marriage?
States should be free to make their own laws in this area, so long as they reflect the people's will as expressed through them directly, or as expressed through their elected representatives.
And where is this new GOP movement on Health Care?
Health Care
I believe that all Americans deserve health care coverage
. . .
I support strengthening the existing private market system with policies that will drive down costs and make it easier for people to purchase affordable insurance. In Massachusetts, I support the 2006 healthcare law that was successful in expanding coverage, but I also recognize that the state must now turn its attention to controlling costs.
He still embraces the 2006 State Health Reforms that many are claiming as proof why the President's plan won't work.
Romneycare was a disaster, an entirely predictable one.
Something tells me that the new Senator from Mass may just like being a Senator, and will be willing to at least make some moves to color himself Purple if he wants more then two years in Congress.


UPDATE: And unlike the Obstructionist party, Senator Franken remains consistent in when to seat Senator Elect Brown:
despite the fact that he waited eight months and three days after Election Day to be sworn in, Franken wants Brown seated as soon as he's officially certified the winner in Massachusetts.
That is a Senator, being Senatorial regardless of party affiliation!

Any percevied delay will simply be waiting for reults to be certified:
Under Massachusetts law, cities and towns must wait 10 days for absentee and overseas ballots before certifying their own results. Working at breakneck speed, it's possible Brown could be sworn in as early as Jan. 29, though the Boston Globe estimated that Feb. 3 is a more likely date.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On MA-Senate . . .

Best quote I have heard on why this race is close:
The strategist spoke approvingly when he quoted a fellow Democrat who said, "'I'd rather have Scott Brown for two years than Martha Coakley for the rest of my life."
It's tough to win if the base won't embrace the endorsed candidate. However, the Right will continue to spin this as some sort of referendum on Obama, let them! Remember how they work, when they lose they say 'All politics is local', when they win, it is a national referendum! Remember that next week when they lose Dick Day's seat to a Democratic Challenger!


UPDATE: On why the Dems need to grow a spine and not be wrapped up on the Rights attempt to hijack President Obama administration. Jon Stewart lays it out:
"Let me see if I have this straight. You need to replace perhaps the most beloved liberal in the history of the Senate with a candidate that believes Curt Schilling is a Yankee fan. Because if this lady loses, the health care reform bill that the beloved late senator considered his legacy will die," Stewart said. "And the reason it will die is because if Coakley loses, Democrats will only have then an 18-vote majority in the Senate. Which is more than George W. Bush ever had in the Senate when he did whenever the f**k he wanted."
60 is a dream number, if the Left can't get anything done with a majority on both sides the least they can do is not let the Right blame them for all that is wrong in the world, but they will, because that is what they do.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sen. Coleman Out for MN Gov!

Tom Hauser posts the Senator's statement:
"I love Minnesota and I love public service, but this is not the right time for me and my family to conduct a campaign for Governor.

Timing is everything. The timing on this race is both a bit too soon and a bit too late. It is too soon after my last race and too late to do a proper job of seeking the support of delegates who will decide in which direction our party should go. The commitments I have to my family and the work I am currently engaged in do not allow me to now go forward.
Like I said the other day:
Now, if Senator Coleman's internals show numbers even remotely close to this, he's out, right? I mean, would he want to risk another devastating political loss virtually ending his political career. Is that a risk he is willing to take?

I'd have to say no, I'd have to think that he is going to sit this one out and let those who have committed to this race long ago to have their shot. No sense in him being a sacrificial lamb.
I guess his other polling sources probably supported the numbers in the public domain.

It's a crap shoot now, hang on for the ride.


h/t to DJ's twitter feed

Friday, January 15, 2010

Global Warming Confirmed, Spring Arrives in Midway!

Yes folks, Global Climate Change has been officially confirmed.

Today, January 15, 2010 at 4:22 PM, Spring arrived in the Midway. On tap, Natural Ice! I need the 5.9% alcohols to keep the lines clear LOL

You'll know where to find me this weekend.


Coleman Shouldn't, But Probably Will

Buried in a story about polling done on the chances for a new Queenie stadium, are trial heats for Governor. Mark Dayton creams the Two GOP candidates, and so does MAK (Speaker Kelliher)
In a trial heat in the governor's race, former U.S. Sen. Dayton beat both former Republican U.S. Sen. Coleman and state Rep. Marty Seifert, the front runner for the GOP gubernatorial endorsement.

Dayton topped Coleman 41 percent to 31 percent, and he beat Seifert 41 percent to 25 percent. Coleman hasn't announced whether he will run for governor.

In another trial heat, the poll showed House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the leading contender for the DFL gubernatorial endorsement, would beat Coleman or former state Auditor Pat Anderson, who dropped out of the race Tuesday. Kelliher edged Coleman 33 percent to 31 percent, and she defeated Anderson, 33 percent to 23 percent.
Now, if Senator Coleman's internals show numbers even remotely close to this, he's out, right? I mean, would he want to risk another devastating political loss virtually ending his political career. Is that a risk he is willing to take?

I'd have to say no, I'd have to think that he is going to sit this one out and let those who have committed to this race long ago to have their shot. No sense in him being a sacrificial lamb.

But the consensus is he is all but in, and PiM shares that his running mate is already being groomed:
I figure the odds on Norm Coleman getting into the governor’s race now stand at 3-1 in favor. And for what it’s worth, the level of excitement around Coleman’s camp seems to be growing palpably.

But there’s an even better bet to be made if Coleman does get in the race: Rep. Laura Brod (R-New Prague) will be Coleman’s lieutenant governor running mate.
A Conservative's dream, sure, but virtually assures the DFL will take the State house for the first time in a very very long while.


Haiti Helpers

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hurting for Haiti

All my hopes and prayers to those effected by this horrible tragedy.

CNN Full Coverage here

Help needed:

American Red Cross
Direct Relief International
Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders)
International Medical Corps
Medical Teams International
Mercy Corps
Operation USA
Save the Children
Partners in Health

. . and good thoughts help to!


UPDATE: From the Comments:
Please consider adding Partners in Health to your list of agencies. They're the largest provider of health care in rural Haiti, and have systems in place on the ground to provide immediate help. For more information, see today's NYT column by Tracy Kidder
They have been added.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Miep Gies 1909 - 2010

Miep Gies 1909 - 2010

Everyone knows the story:
Gies was the last of the few non-Jews who supplied food, books and good cheer to the secret annex behind the canal warehouse where Anne, her parents, sister and four other Jews hid for 25 months during World War II.

After the apartment was raided by the German police, Gies gathered up Anne's scattered notebooks and papers and locked them in a drawer for her return after the war. The diary, which Anne Frank was given on her 13th birthday, chronicles her life in hiding from June 12, 1942 until August 1, 1944. Gies refused to read the papers, saying even a teenager's privacy was sacred. Later, she said if she had read them she would have had to burn them because they incriminated the "helpers."

Anne Frank died of typhus at age 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, just two weeks before the camp was liberated. Gies gave the diary to Anne's father Otto, the only survivor, who published it in 1947.
If only there were more Miep's in the world!

Read the whole Obit, you'll learn something.


The Big White Smile in the Room! MN-Gov Poll

Speaking of RepublicanMussen, some MN numbers make it look likes Senator Smiley (not to be confused with Senator Smalley) is all but a lock to enter the race (emphasis mine):
A new Rasmussen Reports poll of likely Republican voters in the state finds former Senator Norm Coleman with 52% of the vote in the contest for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. All of his challengers are in single digits, marking little change from a survey in November.

Among likely Democratic voters in Minnesota, Mark Dayton, who served in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2007, now captures 34% of the vote to lead three other hopefuls in the race for his party’s nomination. In November, Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak were tied with 30% support each. Rybak now picks up 25% of the Democratic vote.
Not surprised that Sen Coleman is leading, but somewhat taken aback by how he just out distances the competition

52% - Coleman
09% - Seifert
09% - Emmer
05% - Anderson
07% - Other
18% - Not Sure

Dayton's lead is as insurmountable, but certainly shows why he has not only chosen not to abide, but has totally forgone the caucus process all together be seeing that his name isn't even on the caucus ballot.

34% - Dayton
25% - Rybak
12% - Kelliher
05% - Entenzaw
10% - Other
13% - Not Sure

After the parties get together in a few weeks, things will thin out, and polling at that point will give us a much better picture.

As for Norm, the GOP still likes him, but his statewide electoral success is spotty at best, a lost this time pretty much ends his political career, I still questions whether he is willing to take that risk.


The Cat's Getting Away!

I know, it is RepublicanMussen, but it still isn't good for the LEft:
The Massachusetts’ special U.S. Senate election has gotten tighter, but the general dynamics remain the same.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley attracting 49% of the vote while her Republican rival, state Senator Scott Brown, picks up 47%.
The trend Line:
A week ago, the overall results showed Coakley leading by a 50% to 41% margin. The closeness of the race in heavily Democratic Massachusetts has drawn increasing national interest, and Brown made it clear in the final candidate debate last night that a vote for him is a vote to stop the national health care plan Democrats are pushing in Congress.
Massachusetts went on their own during the Romney administration, and their Health Care experiment isn't doing all that great:
Massachusetts is struggling to keep the state's groundbreaking coverage program running. Against a massive budget shortfall, lawmakers are planning to cut about 30,000 legal, taxpaying immigrants out of the system, which requires nearly everyone in the state to have health insurance coverage.

Whalen said the state health care plan did not have a sufficient revenue stream from the start, and that Romney could face sharp criticism for that from fiscal conservatives in a 2012 Republican primary.
I have to believe the tightness in the race may be due to the apprehension the citizens of the state have to go with national health care reform, after enduring what they have. You would think since the GOP Governor at the time is taking some of the heat for that, they would hold Coakley harmless. Also, with their unconditional support of Kennedy. and his of the current plan, you would also think it would be such a main issue. I think it is.

Less then a week to go. The Dems can't afford to lose this one, but maybe the country can. Would mean that two sides would have to start talking, again, and that is all I ever wanted during this process.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How the GOP will Blow It

On the PoliWire, they list "Five Reasons Republicans Could Still Blow It":
* The economy could revive
* The Republican Party is still unpopular
* Republicans are disorganized
* Republicans have no agenda
* The tea parties are not enough
I say #1 is the main reason, the economy will be going from a sputtering restart to an Idle right around the time November rolls around. The Right will be hard pressed to take credit when they have been blaming the administration right as the inauguration was in full swing.

The PArty is still unpopular, which is why in a recent poll the Tea Party Movement received higher numbers then both major parties.

I accept there is a power vacuum within the GOP, but still believe they are far more organized the the Left will ever be. To hold all their Congressional caucus members to the No votes is proof of that.

Their agenda is clear,just say 'No', but I believe as the economy returns, and the Right obstructionist tactics are revealed the public will become very frustrated and allow the President an opportunity to finish the job with the people he needs to accomplish that.

Finally, it is no that the Tea Party Movement won;t be enough, it is that it will splinter the votes of reliable conservatives, leaving open the opportunity for vulnerable Democratic Candidates to sneak in.
Seriously, we have almost a whole year in a p[political environment where a week is an eternity. WAY too early for the Left to be panicking, and the Right to be measuring curtains in the majority leader or Speaker's offices.


Its Thickness not Color

Monday, January 11, 2010

On Glass Houses . . .

It is interesting to see the Right get all up in arms over the somewhat dated statement of the Majority leader. Comments made by Harry Reid, albeit insensitive, were still stated in a positive way and a positive light. In the best context presented, there was clearly no ill will intended, and the full and complete context may even show the Senator defended the President to be, rather then disparaging him. From The Atlantic:
On page 37, a remark, said "privately" by Sen. Harry Reid, about Barack Obama's racial appeal. Though Reid would later say that he was neutral in the presidential race, the truth, the authors write, was that his:
encouragement of Obama was unequivocal. He was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a "light-skinned" African American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one," as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination.
Steele is livid, demanding a resignation and attempting to compare this to Trent Lott's embracing of segregationist candidate Strom Thurmon:
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott issued a written apology Monday evening over his comment that the United States would have avoided "all these problems" if then-segregationist Strom Thurmond had been elected president in 1948.
Clearly, not even close.

But what of Steele and his glass house. There are several examples of him 'misspeaking', but lets start with this one:
Steele: I'll Woo Blacks To GOP With "Fried Chicken And Potato Salad"


Yes, that's right. To lure African-Americans into the GOP, Steele is offering "fried chicken and potato salad."
Maybe everyone just needs to put the rocks down. We have work to do, maybe placing ourselves above the fray will put us on a track to reconciliation. But then the Right would have to allow President Obama to succeed, and they have clearly shown that is not their plan, even it it means the country stalls.


*UPDATE* dot.comments, WaPo goes through their feedback section to look at the various points of view. Interesting read.


More from Anthony Cooley at CNN (emphasis mine):
By Sunday morning, Beltway Republicans -- ignoring Reid's long commitment to equality and justice, including the decades-old effort to integrate the Las Vegas Strip and gaming industry -- were calling for his resignation.

But along the way, they forgot one important point: African-Americans, like everyone else, are more concerned with what politicians do than with what they say. And on that measure, Harry Reid is second to none.

When it comes to issues that matter -- affordable, quality health care; good-paying jobs with benefits; safe schools and communities; more middle-class tax cuts; less government waste -- Reid gets it right.

He has a 100 percent rating on the NAACP's legislative report card. As for Jon Kyl and John Cornyn, the two Republican senators who have called for his head? An F for each of the past six years.

Coming from these guys, this latest attack is weak and pathetic. Perhaps it would have more weight if they were consistently on the side of the issues that matter to African-Americans or if Reid wasn't. Neither is the case.

Friday, January 08, 2010

da Ranger at DL

Gubernatorial Candidate, Representative Tom Rukavina, stopped by Drinking Liberally last evening. I made one of my rare visits just for this event. Rep. Tom is on my short list of candidates, not so much because he lines up with me ideologically as he is much to my Left, but more for him as a person.

What is refreshing about him, is his no hold barred attitude. He is certainly trying to win your votes . . .

"I don't have a million dollars, but if I have a million of you supporting me, that is all I need"

. . . but he is therarest of candidates who is a straight shooting tells it like it is kind of guy. Yes, he would probably raise taxes, but he would do it fairly and across the board. Yes, he seems to lean in favor of a Viking Stadium because he recognizes not only the economic impact of the build and/or loss of the team, along with the importance of having professional sports in our community. This from someone who admitted 'I don't even read the Sports page"

I am not committed, heck I am not even committed to voting for the Democratic Candidate (lthough none on the Right are coming across yet as fiscally responsible), but I am still keeping an open mind.

Give Tom a look, you might be surprised at what you see.


PS: *closed circuit to Buhl* I mentioned to Tom that I visit da Range every Summer and as soon as I mentioned your last name he went on about your dad as being the former mayor, and your brother Mark, etc. Such a personable fellow, and he clearly knew his constituents!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Fix - "Um, not smart"

Chris at The Fix picks up on an evolving story broke by the local Blogosphere/Twitterverse:
5. Here's part 4,786 in our continuing series entitled: "Why politicians shouldn't use Twitter." In Minnesota, a Republican running for an open state Senate seat apparently tweeted back in May that President Obama was a "Power Hungry Arrogant Black Man." Later, according to a report from Minnesota Public Radio, the same candidate sought to link Democrats to pedophilia. Um, not smart. [MPR]
Chris Cillizza
"The Fix"
The Washington Post
Local sites like MN Progressive Project, and Blue Stem Prairie, along with several others, have been investigating this from the out set.

Yes folks, this is the candidate endorsed by the 'Turn your back on the people' party. Sad, really!


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Ooops . . . No Virgins For You!

Well, they aren't getting any smarter at least . . . .
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Fourteen suspected terrorists died Tuesday night when the bus they rigged with explosives blew up prematurely, police said.
The war on terror will be a perpetual one, most of us know that. But stories like this show us that there is a level of desperation in the enemy. I consider that a good thing.


Monday, January 04, 2010

The Field of 17

MinnPost does a great breakdown of the current list of 17 announced gubernatorial candidates:
Analysis by Doug Grow | Monday, Jan. 4, 2010

Running on the fumes of holiday optimism, the army of active gubernatorial candidates marches into this new year. The seven GOP candidates and 10 DFL candidates all seem to think they have the wherewithal to win party endorsement, a process that begins early with the Feb. 2 precinct caucuses.

That so many candidates remain is an indication that no one has been able to take command in either party. It’s also an indication that you can run for high state office on a small budget, at least in the early stages.

Where do things stand?
You'll have to read the rest over there.

I hope to, by tthe end of the week, not so much rank them, but group them into pods of predictability. The Maybes, the Possibles, and the "Are you Kidding me?!?" sections. I am still on the fence for a favorite, but I have some candidates I am watching, and some I don't even pay attention to anymore.



The tallest man made structure in the world officially opens today:
The city-state's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is due to lead celebrations to unveil the majestic silvery construction that houses a luxury hotel, apartments and offices.

Six years in the making, the Burj Dubai reaches 818 meters, or half a mile, into the sky above Dubai, with dizzying views of the ambitious building program that has transformed the emirate and left it swamped by debt.

The structure's architects, Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, have called the Burj "a bold global icon that will serve as a model for future urban centers."
Just to give you some perspective, take a look: