I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Pawlenty Drops The Puck

Team USA played the Canadian Team at the Excel Center tonight. MN Governor Pawlenty came out before the game for a ceremonial dropping of the puck. Instead of being met by 'Minnesota Nice', Pawlenty got 'Minnesota Ice'!

The very lukewarm applause for him was drowned out by spontaneously loud booing and hissing when he was announced. It seems hockey girls (and their moms) don't much care for our current Governor.

This is the second slap shot in two weeks for Governor Pawlenty. Check out Minnesota Blue where Pawlenty gets failing grades at school by a similar chilly reception.

In hockey terms it looks like Pawlenty is in the penalty box and close to being ejected from the game...er..Governor's office?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Selling Your Democratic Soul

Since mnsky's posting on Democratic Cannibals , earlier today,
I actually went to Blois Olson's New School Communication's website and found this screenshot.

It says at the New School's website
'Winning is Everything'. Their website says "We make winning for our clients our only priority. Sometimes the old way needs New Thinking, New Ideas, and New Attitudes."
I would offer up that those of us that are really New School as in progressive...believe 'Winning is Important' but not if you sell your soul along with other Democrats and Democratic values. Hopefully MDE is just loudly bellowing hot air because if not...New School (as in Blois Olson) cheated...and that's more like old school.

Bu$h's Spying Violates FISA

The New York Times had a full page ad from the ACLU calling for a special counsel to investigate Bush and the NSA warrantless electronic surveillance. President Bush has acknowledged giving explicit and secret authorization for warrantless electronic eavesdropping and physical searches by the National Security Administration.

The actions of the president, the FBI and the JTTFs are part of a broad pattern of disregard for the rule of law in the name of national security.

According to the ACLU press release, President Bush's actions are a clear violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
"President Nixon was not above the law and neither is President Bush," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.

"President Bush cannot use a claim of seeking to preserve our nation to undermine the rules that serve as our foundation. The Attorney General, who may have been involved with the formulation of this policy, must appoint a special counsel to let justice be served."

ACLU Letter Calling for Special Counsel
ACLU Requests Agency Records
FOIA Request to the National Security Agency
FOIA Request to the Department of Justice
FOIA Request to the Central Intelligence Agency
Learn More About Government Spying

ACLU Calls for Special Counsel: Add Your Voice

MN Democratic Cannibals

Why must we eat our own?
Linking to MDE is like sucking on mud... but...
he’s got a story on Politics in Minnesota co-publisher Blois Olson that shouldn't be ignored…

I don’t know who I’m more pissed at, Blois Olson for trying to hoist his own petard at Coleen Rowley’s campaign expense and ultimately all Minnesotan Democrats, or the anonymous source that took the story to a rethug blog instead of any one of the fine left leaning MN blogs. Either way, Blois and anonymous source have some serious explaining to do.
Oh yeah...read my lips...Democrats need to stop eating their own!

From MDE:
Later today I will have a post defending Coleen Rowley's campaign. I am not drunk, nor is a gun pointed at my head.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My New Years Resolutions

Well it's the dawn of a new year, and time to make resolutions. Maybe this year I'll even keep a few of them. I like making resolutions because they're a great way for me to feel like I'm becoming a better person, without having to do anything to actually be a better person. So, in no particular order, here they are:

* When calling the White House comment line at 202-456-1111, I resolve to make my comments more constructive; as I know that our preznit listens to and values my opinion. That time I called claiming that I was changing my name from George Bush to something less offensive like Jeffrey Dahmer, because he'd killed fewer people? That was just mean.

* When calling Norm Coleman's office at 202-224-5641, I resolve to stop calling him a Big Republican Rubber Stamp. The proper term is The Honorable Big Republican Rubber Stamp.

* If I really must call the Republican National Committee at 202.863.8500, I resolve to stop asking whether GOP stands for Get Out of Power or Go Off to Prison.

* When calling John Kline's campaign office at 952-890-9430 and asking for literature, I resolve to actually use my real name, rather than Arnold Ziffel, the pig from Green Acres, like I did last year.

* If I ever call Mark Kennedy's campaign office at 651.644.2506, I resolve not to ask if he's a robot low on batteries or a deer trapped in the headlights. That could be The Honorable Big Republican Rubber Stamp II we're talking about, and it's important to make a good first impression. It's also impolite to ask why even people who have never held political office are beating him in the polls.

Well that's it. If you have any New Years Resolutions you'd like to share, please feel free to add them below.

The MN Times Are A-Changin'

Minnesota DFL candidates won two elections by picking up a state Senate seat and retaining a state House seat!
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'
Two great wins for the voters in St. Cloud! Senate-elect DFLer Tarryl Clark soundly defeated Republican local personality Dan “the Ox” Ochsner in SD15 by 2,000 plus votes (55%). And, DFLer Representative-elect Larry Haws scored an overwhelming victory (70%) over Republican write-in challenger Kay Ek in HD15B.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'
The Democratic Party is the party that fights for working families, not special interests. Throughout its history, the Democratic Party has been a leader in advancing the goals of this nation. Some examples of this are: Social Security and Medicare, Family & Medical Leave, Federal Aid for Education, The New Deal. Women's Suffrage, Minimum Wage Acts, The Voting Rights Act, The Civil Rights Act, Environmental Protection. All values that are also Minnesotan values! Our wins in St. Cloud weren't just by chance but clear indications that Minnesotan are tired of partisan game playing such as Pawlenty declaring this special election just two days after Christmas.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'
As DFL Chair Brian Melendez says:
"The policies of the governor and the Republican Party are not resonating with Minnesotans. People are tired of Republicans playing games with the budget and driving a wedge through this state. We will keep talking about the issues that are most important to Minnesotans: education, health care, jobs, and transportation.”
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'
With the exception of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, every single progressive piece of legislation enacted into law has been a result of the Democratic Party. This means that the more Democrats we elect to local, state and national level office, the greater the chance of moving this nation forward. So as we prepare to move into the next millenium we must have progressive leaders that will fight for working families. This is the core of what the Democratic Party & Democratic candidates represent. This is why Minnesotans yesterday voted for DFL candidates and why by electing DFL candidates the great state of Minnesota also wins.
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'

Isaac Vells on them there 'libruls'

My un-imaginary friend Isaac is at it again...this time he's velling on 'libruls' ruining the holidays:

Onward Christian Soldiers
Well, Christmas has passed, so that must mean the librul War On Christmas (tm) is over now too. For now anyway.

See, those godless libruls just can't pass up any chance to persecute the helpless people in this country that call themselves Christians.

Polls show that upwards of 80% or so of people in the US profess to be Christians. Do you see what that means?

It means that 20%--probably less--of this country's population has cleverly orchestrated a massive conspiracy to hold the vast majority of this country hostage. Christians just can't get a break in this country any more, and are at the mercy of the liberals, who run everything now.

Librul atheists just aren't happy unless they're trying to keep people from worshiping God in the schools, force everyone to have abortions, marry a homosexual, view pornography, and (horrors!) treat women and black people like they really were people.

It doesn't stop there.

With atheist's threats of boycotts and intolerance, it's a wonder that shows like Touched By An Angel, Highway to Heaven, Joan of Arcadia, Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, Providence, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, The Brady Bunch, Shining Time Station, Davey and Goliath, Adventures From the Book of Virtues, ABC After School Specials, manage to even get on the air to go up against the Simpsons and balance out the blatant homosexuality of the TeleTubbies and SpongeBob Squarepants and all those other atheist programs.

Sunday morning television and atheist cable networks have got so sinful, there's only Pat Robertson and the 700 Club, D James Kennedy, Robert Schuller, Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts, Robert Tilton, Jimmy Swaggart, Creflo A. Dollar, Benny Hinn, Marilyn Hickey, Peter Popoff, William Branham, Carl Baugh, John Ankerberg, Garner Ted Armstrong, Kenneth Copeland, Paul and Jan Crouch, James Robison, Trinity Broadcasting, CBN, Jack Van Impe, Frederick Price, Ron Phillips, Rod Parsley, Joyce
Meyer, Hal Lindsey, Zola Levitt, Bob Larson, T.J. Jakes, Jack Hayford, John Hagee, and Mother Angelica and a few hundred others on the tube these days, since the atheists ran them off.

AM radio has got so godless, you can only find Beverly LaHaye on about 600 stations around the country. Her husband Tim, author of the Left Behind series of books and merchandise dealing with the Rapture, have only managed to eke out an anemic estimated $1 billion in sales.

And don't even get me started about all those liberals and atheists in the US government and the ACLU.

So what's left for the heathen hordes to ruin for everybody?

Christmas. The most important holiday of the year to real Christians.

Just forget for the moment that there is little to no actual direct evidence that there really was a Jesus. Forget that, even if there was a Jesus, he was probably born early in the fall rather than on December 25. Forget that there is literally no archeological or contemporary historical evidence that there was a Jesus. Forget that much or most of the Bible appears to have been lifted from earlier religions and Christians rituals and observances were copied straight from the Pagans.

Just forget about all that: Christmas is a holy day, and being religion, that's all the proof it needs. If enough people believe a thing, that means it's true.

Retailers were so scared of the atheists they had to stop telling shoppers "Merry Christmas." The holiness of Christ's birth was defiled because retailers had to say "Happy Holidays" when they were selling X-Boxes to soccer moms. And when salespeople had to say "Season's Greetings," the significance of the Holiest of Holy Days was completely ruined for people shopping for IPods.

But Christians did manage a few defenders of both the faith and the holiday.

Bill O'Reilly selflessly offered himself up as a sacrifice to the hazards of the ungodly liberal hordes, and used his (sadly overlooked) little cable TV program to alert us all to the danger. When O'Reilly loudly protested the liberal conspiracy to force people to stop saying "Merry Christmas," the forces of darkness tried to change the subject and direct people to O'Reilly's web-site, which offered "holiday gifts," which they claimed showed him to be a hypocrite who made up the whole issue for ratings and money and to stir up tension.

To prove he wasn't a hypocrite, O'Reilly quickly eliminated that objection by changing his web-site.

But the damage had already been done. Liberals had somehow infiltrated the White House and managed to hijack George and Laura Bush's Christmas card list. The Bushes found themselves in the embarrassing position of having sent out thousands of Christmas cards with the dreaded, atheist, politically correct "Happy Holidays."

The liberal plot against Christmas was exposed in detail with Fox News "personality" John Gibson's book "The War on Christmas." When the liberal Rob Boston of the anti-American group American United for Separation of Church and State claimed on Gibson's program that Gibson had made it all up, Gibson cleverly and effectively exposed the weakness of Boston's criticisms by yelling loudly and talking over him so no one could hear what Boston was saying.

But the defenders of all that is good and right are a lonely bunch in the media.

Michael Moore and Molly Ivins have such a stranglehold on the media that, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Brit Hume, John Gibson, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Thomas Sowell, Michelle Malkin, Cal Thomas, Pat Buchanan, John Stossel, John Mclaughlin, George Will, Lucianne Goldberg, Bob Grant, Oliver North, Gordon Liddy, Ken Hamblin, Armstrong Williams, Michael Reagan, Laura Schlessinger, Joe Scarborough, Tony Snow, Mara Liasson, Chris Matthews, Dennis Miller, Michael Medved, Cokie Roberts, John Hockenberry, Robert Novak, Tucker
Carlson, Paul Weyrich, Andrea Mitchell, Brian Williams, Wolf Blitzer, Bill Schneider, Candy Crowley, Peggy Noonan, Bernard Goldberg, Matt Drudge, and Howard Kurtz just can't get a word in edgewise to speak for the other side.

If it were up to the librul media, you wouldn't even know there was another side. We all know the librul media did everything in iys power to cover up how evil Bill Clinton was. Remember how hard it was to find anybody willing to talk about how he and Hillary murdered Vince Foster just to laugh at him while died and how Bill was raping interns? And remember, you heard it here first: patriots in the legislature stood up to the liberals and barely managed to call an impeachment inquiry. But it failed because the librul media did everything in its power to cover it up.

And now the beleaguered Christians have once again used their meager resources and stood up, against all odds, David vs. Goliath, to the heathens that want to take out the "Christ" from Christmas and just leave it with the rancid commercialization that otherwise defines the season.

Thank goodness we all still have Santa, the reindeer, and all the elves at the North Pole, and the Grinch Who Stole Christmas to remind us how dearly we hold the birth of the baby Jesus at Christmastime.

So another Christmas came and went with no problem, no thanks to the godless atheist liberals. Until next year, that is.

Or Easter.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Amen, Pass the Olive Oil

Quote of the Day
"Let the student decide."
-- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), quoted by the Arizona Daily Star, summing up his view on the teaching of "intelligent design" along with evolution in public schools.

You know school's have come a long way since I've been enrolled. Use to be you'd have to learn what was taught, not decide what was taught. What's the point?

Being a pastafarian, I choose door number...er...lesson number 3.

Sock It To Me!

What do you call a political party that thinks postage for a Presidential cat's fan club requires a full-on Congressional investigation, but a President who admits on national television to breaking Federal law, repeatedly, merits some committee "oversight," and spotty oversight at that?

Like Firedoglake's Jane Hamsher I had also forgotten the Clinton era "Socks-gate." Naturally, like all the Clinton related 'gates', the claim was without merit.

Hmmmm...let's see: misrepresent intelligence to Congress and the American public to get us into the Iraq war; out a CIA NOC for political payback; misrepresent war costs once we are there, so that Congress has to continually appropriate millions billions; spy on the American public without warrants, violating the Fourth Amendment and the Presidential requirements of Article II of the Constitution requiring the President to faithfully follow all laws and the FISA laws as established by Congress; and...well, there's more, but we all know that.

Clearly that cat fanclub thing was way more important than actual, publicly admitted lawbreaking.
The President has seized power through legal machinations, but it was not his for the taking -- and his breach of his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States should no go unpunished. No matter what his intentions, breaking the law is a serious matter -- for the ordinary citizen and for the President. The law makes no distinction, and neither should any of the rest of us.

FISA & NSA: Coleen Rowley sounds off....

Thank you Coleen for a clear concise summary regarding FISA and NSA in addition to clarifying those pundits who are using the Moussaoui case to justify Bu$h's lawlessness...

Saturday, December 24, 2005; Page A15 in WashingtonPost.com
This LTE,
A Zeal to Defend Secrecy
In their zeal to defend President Bush for ordering the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on communications of American citizens, William Kristol and Gary Schmitt got key things wrong regarding the FBI's terrorism investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui ["Vital Presidential Power," op-ed, Dec. 20]...

...That means the FISA procedures were not the reason the FBI failed to inspect Moussaoui's computer files. Rather, the FBI's failure to share and analyze intelligence sufficiently is what enabled Moussaoui to escape further investigation.
This debate is carried over to Daily Kos...--

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Soulful Holiday

The family decided to be 'soulful' this Holiday Season.
It was a good decision...something we may continue through the year...

Our souls will cast a beautiful bright light around the world so all may find their promise land.

I grew up listing to the music of James Brown, Otis Redding, Jr. Walker, Wilson Picket, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cook...and like the ghost of xmas past...it's time to revisit my roots if for no other reason that to assert my faith in soulful goodness. No matter how down trotten, how mistreated, how cheated, how looked down upon, how despied or how abused... your spirit can raise above. You can be soulful...

Go down to the river Jordan: I ask that all those I have offended, hurt, or wronged to forgive me for just as the Jordan has two banks on either side of where she runs, so too can hurt go both ways.

Minnesota is land of hot dishes and cold snow. While reminded of past seasons in other places, we now live in the sometimes unbearable icy present of here...and for an old hippie like me that means getting back to...the garden of soul. Feel free to join in...we'll be the house open to all, playing soul music and eating ribs, mixed greens, sweet potato pie, black peas and pecan delight. And we'll be discussing the past, dwelling in the future, but looking foward to the promised land.

Happy Holidays...may you find peace,love and the promised land.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Poor - Poor - Pityful Ek(s)

When I saw the injustice of it ... it just hit me that someone had to do something about this," she (Kay Ek) said.
Someone should explain the difference between injustice and 'not getting your way because you violated the law' to Kay Ek. I guess the apple didn't fall far from the tree when it came to ethics?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I Spy A Slimey Lying President Bu$h

President Bu$h has continue to flaunt our constitution and U.S. laws to carry out his own personal agenda. First the lies of WMD, then the killing of civilians by the illegal use of chemicals, followed by the torture of prisoners, and now spying on US citizens within the United States. It's wrong, evil, against the law, against our constitution, against our values, and UnAmerican!
Bush’s SnoopgateThe president was so desperate to kill The New York Times’ eavesdropping story, he summoned the paper’s editor and publisher to the Oval Office. But it wasn’t just out of concern about national security.

The oath. "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

The Lying "Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."

The Coverup Saying that Sept. 11 "changed everything," McCain told ABC's "This Week": "The president, I think, has the right to do this."

"We all know that since Sept. 11 we have new challenges with enemies that exist within the United States of America - so the equation has changed."

The Impeachment Coming soon!

Speak Melendez To Me!

MN DFL Chair Brian Melendez nails it. Isn't it time the GOP grows up, starts playing by the rules (and laws) while looking out for Minnesotan interests?

ST. PAUL (12/20/05) – "The Republican Party must take responsibility for this Ek mess," said DFL State Chair Brian Melendez. "Trying to blame Attorney General Mike Hatch and the DFL Party is laughable. Republicans from the top down somehow believe that they are above the law—first by offering up a candidate who lied about living in the district, now by whining about having to follow the law about getting on the ballot. The Republican culture of corruption that is plaguing this state and the nation is intolerable.

"For the Republican Party to say that they want the voters to have a choice is hypocritical. The Republican governor set the special election for two days after Christmas to ensure low turnout. This date also disenfranchises more than 15,000 students at St. Cloud State University, as they are on winter break. And it was Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, a Republican, who told county officials
that Kay Ek could not be on the ballot."

"For once, the Republican Party should admit its mistake and not blame others.

"DFL-endorsed candidate Larry Haws is an honest, deserving and straight-shooting 32-year public servant to the St. Cloud area, and he will represent the Granite City admirably at the State Capitol."

"I Broke the Law and the Law Won"

The Ek Family Saga has come to an end.
At least for the St. Cloud Special Election on January 27.

Note to self
- Give Ron Carey some candidate tips...the GOP (Get Out of Prision?!) seem to be scraping the barrel...I guess it's the best you can do when your President also breaks the law !

Ek- Out with the Old, In with the Older

Well now that St. Paul Sue Ek has been shot down by Minnesota Supreme Court in her bid for office in St. Cloud, enter a new GOP candidate...Kay EK...Mother to Sue. Wonder if Sue got her values from mom?

Ron Carey, MN GOP State Chair:

On Monday, Republican endorsed candidate Sue Ek was removed from the ballot by decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court. While we were disappointed with the decision and the DFL's partisan game-playing, we have moved quickly to ensure the voters of St. Cloud have a choice in the special election on December 27.

Republican Party activists in House District 15B and the Republican Party of Minnesota Executive Committee endorsed a replacement candidate and will run a write-in campaign for Kay Ek while also seeking to have her name placed on the ballot.

Guess Ron doesn't understand why someone who misrepresentated where they live should be removed from the ballot...perhaps he along with Sue need to go back to ethics 101!

Here's the no spin truth:
DFL Chair Brian Melendez says:
“Today the Supreme Court of Minnesota confirmed what the facts have already shown: Sue Ek doesn’t live in St. Cloud, and wasn’t telling the truth when she ran for elected office saying that she did.

“From day one, the Republicans have been playing political games with the people of St. Cloud. Gov. Pawlenty scheduled the special election two days after Christmas, which would ensure low voter turnout, and disfranchise the students of St. Cloud State University. Then the Republicans advanced a candidate who didn’t even live in the district. The Supreme Court wasn’t fooled. The voters won’t be fooled either.

“The voters have a clear choice in Larry Haws. Haws has proven himself with over 32 years of public service to the people of the St. Cloud area. He is honest, trustworthy and the best choice to represent the Granite City at the State Capitol.”

Monday, December 19, 2005

Randy Kelly Redux

From DownwithTyranny ...Isaac (a local MN writer) writes a 'What and Why' Re: St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly losing 69 to 31%. It was an interesting read.

Instead, he insisted that a stupid thing he did was the right thing, and in the face of evidence to the contrary, he refused to back down or admit it had been a mistake.

In the end, Randy Kelly came across as a surrogate of the Bush administration, and that was a dumb association to hold onto in a solidly Democratic city.

I wouldn't worry about ol' Randy though: It wouldn't surprise me to find out he has a cushy future ready and waiting in the Republican Party.

Had Enough? Vote Democratic!

Had enough?
Vote Democratic!

December 18, 2005:
Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Bush Claims U.S. Forces Are On The "Road To Victory"

May 1, 2003:
White House Admits 'Mission Accomplished' Banner
Bush incorrectly disavows 'Mission Accomplished' banner
Bush Disavows Mission Accomplished Banner
White House Clarifies 'Mission Accomplished' Banner

Merry Holiday, Can't We All Get Along?

Why do they want to trademark anything red and green?...
Aha, now I get it!

Merry Holiday-)
Kudos to Jesus' General.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

MN CD2 Gossip Roundup

Coleen Rowley will be adding a manager shortly in her bid for office. The short list has several excellent picks but look for a ex-minnesotan now working in California who has DCCC connections. A decision and announcement by the first of the year.

Teresa Daly (who ran against Kline last election and lost by 16%) will be running for Burnsville City Council. I like Teresa but she had a hard time defining herself on national issues that differ enough from Kline's stance and also resonated with the second CD voters. I look for her to continue fundraising for DFL candidates. Teresa has shown herself to be of real value and I hope the DFL is paying attention to that fact!

Sharon Marko (Rep in 57) will be deciding if she's running for congress in the next few weeks. Because Sharon is politically savvy, I predict she'll stay out of it for the following reasons... Marko will have a hard time explaining her support of Randy Kelly who got soundly defeated by the voters of St. Paul. Her decision to support Randy in his re-election bid given his support of President Bush will not sit well with CD2 activist. Additionally Sharon doesn't have the same national profile, media coverage or ability to raise money as Coleen.

The first of the year may bring a challenger to Jim Carlson(38) in his bid for MN Senate. Don't know all the issues but seems to stem from some dissatisfaction with Jim in the last election. Look for more on this as it develops.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Just Call Me St. Paul Sue

Checks and Balances attended GOP St. Cloud candidate Sue Ek's hearing...He's reporting that based on the evidence and the testimony...

St. Paul Ek 0
Rick Studer 1

Game over!

Shelley Madore (MN-D) A Good Day for Minnesota!

Shelley Madore, DFL Candidate for State Representative in MN 37A which covers western Apple Valley and the southeastern corner of Burnsville, posted this up on her website.

For what it's worth, Rep. Fran Bradley did do one good thing (and probably only one!), he got Shelley Madore to run for office.

According to the Star Tribune today, Rep. Fran Bradley, who won his last election by only 311 votes against DFLer Kim Norton, will not seek reelection in 2006. In the article by Dane Smith, Bradley says that "DFLers are making inroads in the Rochester area, once considered solid GOP territory."

As chairperson of the Health and Human Services committee, he was a major player responsible for the 2002 state budget cuts that have hurt so many families, especially those with children with disabilities. One of his most famous remarks, one that prompted me to get back into politics, was regarding state supplemental insurance program payments. Raising TEFRA fees was a primary objective for the 2002 budget session. I remember the quote being "Paying for this service is like my kid playing hockey, as a family you have to decide what your priorities are." This was the most ignorant and disrespectful statement I had ever heard, blaming families for needing extra help to keep their kids out of hospitals or state run facilities.

For those of you who don't know about this program, here is some detail. Parents can obtain this supplemental policy for additional coverage for medical supplies and services that their disabled children need to remain in their home. Oftentimes, the child's medical needs are not met by general employer based programs or the coverage is minimal. This policy is paid through TEFRA, a federal program that allows parents to buy into Medicaid services. The fees for this program have skyrocketed and many families cannot afford to provide the services for their children and look for help through the counties, school districts or just go without. Remember, this policy is supplemental to general employer based coverage. The fees run about $200 to $400 a month generally, although I have heard from families where the fees are several hundred dollars a month.

Many families have had their state refunds withheld because they just cannot afford to pay the TEFRA fee. Imagine your family being asked to pay for increased employer based insurance plans and then another $400 a month so your child could get coverage for his/her medical supplies, physical therapy or medications not covered by the employer plan.

Remember too that we have not yet provided coverage to the 40,000 folks taken out of the Minnesota Care program in 2002. The budget just passed in this session only stopped more people from being cut.

Another reason to vote for real change in leadership on November 7th.
Shelley Madore
HD 37A

Thursday, December 15, 2005

MN Help Wanted: Any Honest GOP Candidates?

Does the MN GOP have no honest members left willing to run for office? It seems both Republican candidates for St. Cloud's Special Election, upcoming on December 27, find themselves with legal problems.

Sue Ek is being challenged (with plenty of good solid evidence) that appears to show she 'mis-stated' her residency in order to run for office. And now it looks like Minnesota State Senate candidate Dan Ochsner (R) has broken campaign law by 'doctoring' literature.
“The watchdog group raises some serious campaign violation issues,” DFL Associate Chair Donna Cassutt said. “We believe that this is an issue that deserves further investigation and look forward to Ochsner answering these charges.”
MN GOP Chair Carey needs to do some recruiting among the faithful for some honest, ethical and law abiding republicans...It won't be easy. My advice: Be sure to screen and do a background check.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Bachmann Amendment: Smoke and Mirrors

I've been married forever (30+ yrs). During that time I lived in states that recognize gay marriages and states that don't. But never was my own marriage endangered by gay marriages. Not once! In fact, I'd like to see one that was? Yes marriages have a tough time (there's a reason why so many fail) but I willing to bet it isn't because Paul married John.

If an elected official or candidate feels that the 'sanctity of marriage is in jeopardy' 'endangered' or 'threatened', or it's 'integrity' is at risk... then start by removing the issues that cause divorces. I believe the economy would be high on the list followed by lack of services to young working families such as affordable day care and adequate education and transportation. Those are the real threats to marriages.

Don't want a gay marriage? Don't have one. Remember separation of church and government? Let churches decide, but governments should treat all the same and equal under the law. The Bachmann amendment is smoke and mirrors meant to elicit a scapegoat for all the daily wrongs within our society that affect marriages while disenfranchising a whole class of Americans citizens. Substitute the words Black, White, Latino, Native, Jewish... for Gay and read the amendment again. Then let's call this what it is...Discrimination, meanness, small mindedness, unjustified and specific targeting against a group of Americans. It's simply unacceptable.

I quoted John Lennon a few days ago and his words come to mind again "I'm sick and tired of hearing things from uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites - All I want is the truth - Just gimme some truth"

St Cloud Times Online Debate
What is your stand on the state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman?
Larry Haws:
Current Minnesota law does not allow marriage between same sex couples. We do not need to reinforce the law with a constitutional amendments. I believe that the language already codified in state law is strong enough.
Sue Ek:
I support the constitutional amendment and would vote YES to allow voters in Saint Cloud and Haven Township the opportunity to decide if THEY believe the state constitution should recognize marriage as a union between one man and one woman. This is a key difference between me and my opponent.

Lloydletta's Nooz and Commentary :
Actually another key difference seems to be that Haws lives in St Cloud and Ek lives in St Paul.

St Cloud Senate Candidates: What is your stand on the state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman?
Dan Becker
I will vote in favor of this. I do not support changing the definition of marriage between a man and a woman. I think if the gay community had supported the civil union concept during the Clinton years, this would have been done. Let me also say I do not like to amend the constitution often because it takes away from the integrity of it.

Tarryl Clark:
It is currently against the law in Minnesota for gays to marry. As I stated in Q5, IÂ’m opposed to amending the state constitution unless thereÂ’s a real need to. That standard applies here. Much of the last two years have been wasted on legislative debate on this issue, mainly by politicians who hope to push voter turnout one way or another in the next election. ThatÂ’s not the purpose of the constitutional amendment process. If it were the case that MinnesotaÂ’s law, which has been on the books for years, were overturned, then the question could be put to the voters.

Dan Ochsner:
I lieve the sanctity of marriage is in jeopardy. I will fight the Senate DFL MajorityÂ’s position against the DOMA amendment and will work hard to allow Minnesotans the right to vote to permanently protect and define marriage.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Ford Bell Wants To Know Why?

Bell posed the question of why, in a time of war, isn't President Bu$h having his picture taken and giving the funds to veterans, rather than funding someone else's campaign.
"This is the first war since the Civil War where regular people are holding bakes sales and garage sales to buy the body armor and tools our military needs."

I feel compelled to point out the obvious, Bu$h doesn't care. Never has, never will. That's why I see 30 percent in his future along with several indictments.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I'm sick and tired of hearing things from uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics

All I want is the truth

Just gimme some truth

October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980


Happy Xmas (War is Over)
John Lennon, Yoko Ono

(Happy Xmas Kyoko
Happy Xmas Julian)

So this is Xmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Xmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Xmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Xmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Xmas
And what have we done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so happy Xmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Happy Xmas

Ek Now Must Face The Music

The Minnesota Supreme Court prepares next week to decide whether one of the candidates, Sue Ek, should be removed from the ballot. Attorney Alan Weinblatt filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of St. Cloud resident, DFL volunteer and Progressive Caucus Chair Rick Studer.

The suit maintains that Sue Ek's name is wrongfully included on the ballot as a candidate for House seat in 15B as Ms. Ek doesn't meet the residency requirements. According to Lloydletta's Nooz and Comments,the lawsuit has several pieces of information that list her home address in St. Paul. Clever Sponge has a screen shot from a cache file showing Ek as vice chair in District 4 as of November 2005. I like his analyst:
By no means do we think this is a conspiracy, but surely the folks in the 4th Congressional District Republican group would have told the MN GOP that...well, Mrs. Ek wasn't exactly a St. Cloud resident. Stupidity is much more fun than conspiracy.
This is fairly open and shut...The fat lady is finishing up with her aria...On July 9, Sue Ek officially declared that she was a resident of St. Paul. She signed an affidavit stating so. As this is within the six month residency requirement, she is not eligible to be a candidate for the State House from district 15B.

I heard her attorney stating on the radio Ek was 'confused' about what the affidavit was asking for...Seems fairly straight forward to me. It's up to the judge now to decide if she lied then or if she's lying now. Either way, not much in the way of character credibility left for Ek to run on.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Eugene McCarthy had Minnesota Values

Eugene McCarthy's political career was launched using the mimeograph machine at the College of St. Thomas in Saint Paul MN, where he was a professor of economics and sociology. He won what most said was an unwinnable race, and was elected to the House of Rep. in 1949. He was the first member of Congress willing to stand up and debate the anti-Communist Irish bully, Joe McCarthy.

Through the years, he took on many bullies not the least of which was the vietnam war. He was quiet, thoughtful, and purposeful, speaking out with heart on causes like healthcare and welfare. America is far better today because Eugene McCarthy took his ideas to the people in open debate, campaigning and speaking.

To paraphrase his famous 1960 nominating speech of Adlai Stevenson, McCarthy was a favorite son not of any state, but of many states of mind; not of any one short-term campaign, but of the longterm campaign for rationality, responsiveness, and dedication by government to raise the living standards and security of the American people.

The press dubbed him Clean Gene when he ran against the war in Vietnam. The Needle was his nickname on Capitol Hill, because of his quick and wicked wit. The poet Robert Lowell declared him, "A One-man Greek Chorus."A friend says, "He is Renaissance Man Super-squared." But I like to think of him as just another Minnesotan with 'Minnesota values'.

Pryor No Longer 'Here Now'

In the 60's and 70's, anything Richard Pryor did seemed to support an irreverence that poked itself in the eyes of the establishment... Especially Nixon and bible thumpers. He was willing to laugh at what he was and how others framed him.

For weeks after he released a new routine, everyone would mimic it. His art both provoking and entertaining but often edgy just beyond acceptable...Still, Richard had a little boy's charm that made us forget what went before. Yes I know he was self destructive, hot tempered, a brawler, homemaker, drug, boozer...All of which made him and his comedy more shocking, more tragic, more real.

Richard just recently (Oct) got the Mark Twain Prize. He had trouble and others present had to accept and talk for him, but he knew and commended "It's nice to be regarded on a par with a great white man -- now that's funny!"

Toward the end of "Richard Pryor: Here and Now" he does a bit about Hell. "Had so much fun they kicked me out that motherfucka," he says, looking simultaneously mischievous, embarrassed and smug. "I know I ain't goin' to heaven, I'm just going."

I guess I'll see him down the road some.

Question of the Day:

Will America ever be completely out of Iraq?

I was just watching TODAY and they were talking about the Iraq war and the administration.

Chris Mathews (from Hardball) was asked about the President's upswing in the polls. Chris said that since 9/11 Bush's ratings have gone down every month. This is the first time that it has gone up. He said that it wouldn't be a trend.

Here's the real interesting part - when asked what the problem was for the President. Chris said Iraq. He said that he's been in contact with numerous people from the administration and the interesting thing about all of his conversations is that no one has ever mentioned a time when we would be out of Iraq. "We will be the military presence in the middle east for ever".
He followed with a question: "The question is will America ever be completely out of Iraq?"

So the question for the day is:
Will America ever be completely out of Iraq?

Another questions:
Is it the administration's goal to be the military presence in the Middle East - permanently?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Peace Love and Christmas...or Else!

Bill O'Reilly steps up for Christmas:

I am not going to let oppressive, totalitarian, anti-Christian forces in this country diminish and denigrate the holiday and the celebration. I am not going to let it happen. I'm gonna use all the power that I have on radio and television to bring horror into the world of people who are trying to do that. And we have succeeded. You know we've succeeded. They are on the run in corporations, in the media, everywhere. They are on the run, because I will put their face and their name on television, and I will talk about them on the radio if they do it. There is no reason on this earth that all of us cannot celebrate a public holiday devoted to generosity, peace, and love together. There is no reason on the earth that we can't do that. So we are going to do it. And anyone who tries to stop us from doing it is gonna face me.
Adaptive version: If I don't see a little generosity, peace, and love from you assholes, I'm going to start bustin' heads.

Be Merry...or else!

Sue Ek: Lying Then or Lying Now?

Tasty tidbits from the St. Cloud Time has Sue Ek living in St. Paul 12 days after the deadline to establish residency in St. Cloud. Minnesota law requires legislative candidates to establish residency in the district(15B) at least six months before the election. For this election, the deadline was June 27.

However Sue Ek signed an affidavit on July 9 that reads:
"I, Susanne Ek, the undersigned, certify that I reside (as a renter) in the dwelling located at 1258 Niles Avenue in St. Paul. I would like to establish a nonprofit/home office type of business at the aforementioned address. I understand and agree to comply with the conditions stipulated for home occupation.

When questioned Thursday Ek said she didn't exactly mean that and it shouldn't make her ineligible as a candidate.

???!?!??!wtf...so she signs off on living there to qualify for being a home business but in fact she doesn't???? Either way she's lying then or lying now.

Under Minnesota law, only if someone mounts a successful challenge through the courts can a candidate can be removed from the ballot. Which brings me to my question of yestarday, Will the DFL file a legal challenge?

Ek - One Way or Another

I posted yestarday that while Ek is claiming to be a 'life long' resident of St. Cloud, MPR had an interview (last April) where Ek stated she lived in St. Paul. Now she's flip flopping to say 'she may have misspoken."

Ms. Ek also finds breaking the law
“...kind of funny…to me it's a non-issue. Home is St. Cloud.”
The rest of us find it not so funny and want some answers.

Ek has either broken the law regarding the residency requirements in her run for office in St. Cloud or...She broke the law by stating St. Paul is her residence and voting there.

Which is it? One way or another...the law appears to have been broken.

“Ms. Ek has painted herself into a corner,” said DFL Communications Director David Ruth. “She either broke laws regarding residency or, as it’s been our contention all along, she has recently been living in St. Paul breaking state law by running for office in St. Cloud. Her St. Paul neighbors are the ones who reported this to us. They say Ek has been living in St. Paul as recently as the past month or so. Add the fact that she was listed in the phone book, registered and voted in Ramsey County, and was a vice chair for the GOP 4th congressional district, it is hard to believe otherwise.”

“If Ek did not, as she claims, live in St. Paul, then she has to answer to breaking state laws,” said Ruth. “If she always maintained residence in St. Cloud, then the votes she cast in St. Paul between 2001 and 2004 may be in violation of Minnesota Statute 201.016.”

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Will the DFL File a Complaint Against Ek?

The Republican candidate for St Cloud representative, Sue Ek might not be a resident of St Cloud. Checks and Balances posted about this earlier.

NPR last night had an old interview from last year with Ms. Ek where she claimed to live in St. Paul but now she says she's always lived in St. Cloud...perhaps there's two of her.

Off CD2 listserver:

Page 16 of the MN Election Judge guide, "People can only vote in the precinct where they live......If someone lives in more than one place, he or she must decide which place is his or her principal residence for voting"..."A person can have only one residence".....

On page 17, Voter Registration Application, number 15: "Be sure to tell voters to read the oath on the card and sign it only if all parts apply to them. By signing, they affirm that all the statements on the card are true and correct and that they meet the requirements....Giving false information to register to vote is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000."

If Ek used a utility bill to prove residency, her name had to be on the utility bill (even though her parents own the house) - unless she used a driver's license with the St. Paul address. And she's trying to state that she was really a St. Cloud resident???

Wonder if the DFL will file a complaint? Based on everything I've heard...they should.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Coleen Rowley Tied for 'Progressive Patriot'

If you haven't already, please take a moment and vote for CD2 MN candidate Coleen Rowley as Senator Russ Feingold's "Pick a Progressive Patriot"

The results so far (Dec 6, 945PM) have Coleen tied for first place. Tell your friends! Whichever candidate has the most votes at midnight on December 14th will be awarded a $5000 contribution from the Progressive Patriots Fund. Click to vote.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Among Likely CD2 Delegates, Coleen Rowley Wins!

In a newly released unscientific survey where mnpACT! collected data from those most likely to be delegates in CD2 (loosely based on how they answered),,,
This was an invitation survey to 3 activist groups:

(1) mnpACT core group
(2) CD2 Listserv
(3) MN Progressive caucus Listserv

We opened this survey for 24 hours on November 26th and received 143 responses.

The results are here but it appears that CD2 likes Coleen Rowley and think a lot of Amy Klobuchar. The other candidate matchups were closer but still showed some interesting results.

Vote for Coleen Rowley

Senator Feingold's leadership PAC, the Progressive Patriots Fund, is conducting an online voting event from December 5 through December 14. The candidate receiving the most votes wins a $5,000 contribution.

Coleen Rowley is one of 11 candidates identified in the Senator's Feingold's group. Please help her win by casting a vote at here!

Money is one of the ways we can elect our own...so go vote Coleen Rowley!!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Agonist Vells for Coleen Rowley

"Rarely do we do activism here at The Agonist. In 2006 we may adopt 1 or 2 candidates, tops. Coleen Rowley will be one of them so I ought to explain why. Anyone who stood up to the President, John Ashcroft and the Director of the FBI for reasons of pure, unadulturated patriotism, deserves my support and yours. Coleen is not a politician. She doesn't talk like one, she doesn't act like one but, there is no question in my mind that if she is elected (and she'll probably be running against a Tom DeLay crony, from Texas to boot!) she will become the conscience of the Congress. We need that.

So, if you have a few shekels, will you please toss them her way. Her campaign is a worthy cause so please donate HERE. This won't be the last pitch on her behalf you hear from me but I promise you I will keep them to a minimum. Sometimes we have to support those who exemplify our ideals. And Coleen does that, she's Agonist approved."

In case you couldn't tell, Coleen Rowley is also Truth Surfer approved for all the above and then some!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Innuendo, Gossip and the Pioneer Press

Pioneer Press Reporter Rachel E. Stassen-Berger gets an ‘F’ minus for her story on congressional candidate Coleen Rowley (D-MN-CD2).

Rachel quotes in her recent article on Coleen Rowley “Her fundraising has been disappointing, some say.”

Hmmmmmmm… the number one DFL congressional fundraiser in Minnesota during the last reporting cycle and sixth nation wide…give me a break…if that’s disappointing what qualifies in ‘some’s’ book? And just what other DFL candidate want2b in CD2 will be able to even match that, let alone exceed it?

Rachel stated "Daly lost by sixteen votes" ...hmmmmm.. 16 votes plus another 158,000+++ votes. It’s about as close to the truth as anything else she writes in her article.

When did reporters go from reporting facts to innuendo, gossip, and unsubstantiated ‘comments’ based on unnamed sources like ‘some’, ‘some analyst’, ‘and my personal favorite ‘money watchers’. Shouldn’t they ask for at least the resemblance of unbiased, fair and truthful reporting? Haven't we've had enough from the 'Judy Miller' school of reporting ...er... transcribing ...er.. spinning ... er.. oh hell just plain passing bad air for reporting!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Does Kiffmeyer Eat Worms?

"Nobody likes me, Everybody hates me, I'm gonna to eat some worms!"

Hey what's not to like about Madam Mary Kiffmeyer (R), Minnesota's Secretary of State? Just because...

She won't do anything unless forced by law,
She can’t interact with others fairly,
Likes scaring Minnesota voters by exploiting terror fears,

Well, I could go on but why when City Pages says it all:
Ten Million Kiffmeyer Critics Can’t Be Wrong

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Quote of the Day

Wilkerson said that Cheney must have sincerely believed that Iraq could be a spawning ground for new terror assaults, because "otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard."

I'd go with letter D. - all of the above

Interesting story - who's really running the country?

"Ex-Powell aide: Bush 'too aloof'"

Epiphany This!

''It was an epiphany.'' exclaimed Rumsfeld while smirking like a chimp.

Meaning: A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization.

Rumsfeld is so close…and in a small way he’s half right, almost right, well he's extremely too 'right' (if you know what I mean).
'They can’t be called insurgents' because they are part of the legitimate Iraqi government!

So in 7 years, Rumsfeld has come to being half wrong!
That's not really considered an epiphany...but given how dense he is…I expect it will come on judgement day while on his way to hell.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Faribault Daily News Jeers Pawlenty

In their Cheers & Jeers article in Saturday's edition of the Faribault Daily News - they Jeer Tim Pawlenty. Here's what they said (taken from the Faribault Daily News, November 26, 2005 edition):

"Jeers to Gov. Tim Pawlenty and his administration for taking no responsibility for rising property taxes around the state. The state Department of Revenue reported that property taxes will jump an average of 10.2 percent next year thanks to school levies and hikes in city and county taxes. It's true local governments set property taxes, but many local governments are increasing taxes to offset burdens passed down from the state in one way or another. Taxes are the result of many factors, including decisions made by state leaders, and the Pawlenty administration cannot absolve itself of all responsibility like they are trying to do."

Can you say trickle down taxation?

Ironically, on the same page was a letter to the editor from our State Auditor - Pat Anderson talking about "Truth-in-Taxation Hearings" being held locally, dealing with how the local governments impose taxes on its citizens. It seems that the Pawlenty administration is now shifting the spot light off of his lack of leadership to trying to turn the heat up on the local governments in regards to taxes. Read the letter "Attend Hearings" for yourself.

Do you remember "No new taxes."
What will Pawlenty say about his broken promise?
Maybe he'll say: I cannot control local government, in regards to taxes... If you hear this, you know it's another lie!

There's no excuse for Pawlenty's lack of leadership - none! Our local governments should not have to be put in a spot where they have to constantly raise taxes. The leadership should come from the top officer in the State - the Governor!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

MN Governor Pawlenty 'Who Stole Christmas'

If Republicans love Democracy so much, why are they limiting voter participation?

Below is from Senate Majority Leader Dean E. Johnson

November 22, 2005
The Governor who stole Christmas
Senate Majority Leader questions special election decision

Senate Majority Leader Dean E. Johnson questioned Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision to call a special election on Dec. 27- two days after Christmas. Pawlenty issued the order to fill the vacancies of Dave Kleis in the Senate and Joe Opatz in the House of Representatives.

"It's clear from the governor's actions that his highest priority when considering special elections is low voter turnout. It is difficult to understand someone who claims they believe in democracy and then makes decisions that ensure the fewest number of people participate in the process," Sen. Johnson said.

The 2006 Legislative Session convenes March 1. Thus, the governor could have chosen any date before mid-February which would have not coincided with the holidays.

"Gov. Pawlenty has minimized the Christmas holiday and shown a blatant disregard to our families, all in the name of partisan gamesmanship. His decision is disrespectful to the voters, university students, and the local taxpayers who must pay the election bill," Sen. Johnson said.

On Monday, Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, the state's highest election official, publicly expressed concern in the rising number of special elections and said they force unnecessary costs and contribute to low voter turnout. She has proposed a maximum of four dates per year for special elections.

"I would be surprised if the governor could give the public one rational or logical reason why this date encourages voter participation. It is obvious that he wants the next elected representatives of the St. Cloud area to beelected with the fewest votes possible. He has put politics ahead ofcitizenship. Thankfully the people of St. Cloud take their civic responsibilities seriously and will respond to the governor's shallow and transparent decision accordingly," Sen. Johnson said.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Wait One Second!

"Congress helped itself to a $3,100 pay raise on Friday, then postponed decisions on bills to curb spending on social programs and reduce taxes in favor of a two-week vacation." - Star Tribune, Saturday, November 19, 2005

So let me get this straight...

Congressmen Mark Kennedy, Gutknecht and John Kline voted to cut funds that help the poor and children - in Mark Kennedy's words "It’s never easy to restrain the growth of spending, even modestly." Well, no I guess not - I wish I could give myself a raise.

Maybe the Congress and Senate should put a freeze on all of their pay raises until the war in Iraq is over! If they want to support this war they should lead by example by putting their pay raises towards paying down the deficit, that has been created in large part by the war. That would be fair! Wouldn't it?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Minnesota Values? I don't think so Mark!!!


Pressured by best friend George W. Bu$h, Congressman Mark Kennedy votes against the poor, and students!

In a tie breaking vote on Friday, Congressman Kennedy voted to cut $14 billion to student loan programs and voted to cut $12 billion in Medicaid funding (Medicaid is the health care program for the poor and disabled).

What does Mark have to say?

“Washington shouldn’t have a blank check, and as a CPA and businessman I’m happy to see us act to reduce our federal deficit. This bill reduces spending in a way that reflects our Minnesota values and sets priorities. We owe it to our children to lower the deficit." (from Mark Kennedy's campaign website)

So we can give the President a blank check for an unwarranted war? And instead of rolling back the tax breaks to the richest Americans, we'll reduce the deficit on the backs of the poor and our children??? THOSE MOST CERTAINLY ARE NOT MINNESOTA VALUES!!! They sound more like the Bu$h Republican's (DeLay, Bush, Cheney, Frist, Ken Lay, etc.) values!

14 Republicans had joined a unified Democratic front to stop these cuts to the poor and children. One of them, Jim Ramstad of Minnesota disagrees with Mark Kennedy's "priorities":

"We should cut the massive pork barrel spending instead of cutting health care for the poorest of the poor, the elderly and people with disabilities," Ramstad said.

According to Ramstad, the bill could cause 6 million children from low-income families to lose health care benefits under Medicaid. He also said student loan cuts would cost University of Minnesota students $6.3 million next year. (Star Tribune Article)

In this case I totally agree with Mr. Ramstad.

You have to wonder who Mark Kennedy is really working for in Congress and who he might be working for in Senate, if he's elected (Bu$h Inc.) - IT MOST DEFINATLEY WON'T BE FOR THE PEOPLE WHO HE SHOULD BE WORKING FOR - THE PEOPLE OF MINNESOTA!!! This is proof of it!

What others are saying:

"They are targeting programs for poor people to pay for tax cuts for rich people," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wisconsin.

MN Senate Candidate Amy Klobuchar issues statement following Budget vote (Here)


And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Matthew 19:24


House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., says:
“I wish (the needle) had a little bigger eye.”

... Ok, I took his quote out of context - but it's relevant here as well.

** Original Quote and context **

On drilling in ANWR:

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., says that resolving the drilling issue will be like threading a needle.

“I wish (the needle) had a little bigger eye,” Hastert said.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Something Fowl In Minnesota

It's that time of year again!
The annual staging with completely new scripting of the 'Fake Turkey Photo Op' in Iraq Day!

Will we see a repeat of the ‘fake turkey’ in Iraq?
Will it be the same shallow plastic unreal turkey?
Will there be new turkeys also attending?

My advise, not that anyone asked, is this:
Bu$h, Kennedy and Kline have been basted enough...
Stick a fork in ‘em… they’re done

Let Me Count The Ways!

Let's see....
The illegal war in Iraq, torture, using banned weapons, lies, corruption, cronyism, no-bid contracts, the deficit and borrowing more foreign money than the previous 42 presidents combined, secret prison camps, chemical warfare, conspiracy with big oil to deceive congress, fake intelligence, obstruction of an investigation into pre-war intelligence, media manipulation, chief of staff indicted for covering up his role in outing a CIA operative for political revenge, secret energy meetings with big corporations....

Yeah so what was it Cheney said about Democrats and war critics?

Oh yeah...
we're "dishonest," "reprehensible," "irresponsible" "opportunists".

Umph, yep it's official, Cheney lies.

Someone Is Lying!

Either ex CIA Director or Bush Administration VP Cheney is lying...
"I am embarrassed that the USA has a vice president for torture. I think it is just reprehensible. He (Mr Cheney) advocates torture, what else is it? I just don't understand how a man in that position can take such a stance."

click here to see who!
**warning** picture in browser may be closer to an indictment than it looks.

Congressman John Kline Flying NWA's Bucks

Quick Quiz: So why wouldn't John Kline join with 87 other members of Congress in signing a petition asking North West Airlines to put a stop to outsourcing thousands of jobs?

Answer: John Kline who is on a first name bases with NWA CEO has taken $2500 from Northwest Airlines this cycle alone.

more at Dump John Kline Blog

Talk Liberal To Me!

Ah...Obama, I love it when you talk liberal to me!
"I know there are Democrats who don't want to give up spending, Republicans who don't want to give up any tax breaks for the wealthy and members of both parties who don't want to give up pet projects back home, but now is a time for shared sacrifice. Americans want members of both parties to put all options on the table to start solving this problem.

I believe that we can quickly find $100 billion for Gulf Coast reconstruction with a balanced approach that finds half the money in spending cuts and half the money in the delay and repeal of tax breaks, primarily for millionaires.

To cut $50 billion in spending, we could put a two-year moratorium on all pet projects and other local spending. We could defer projects such as the $10 billion mission to Mars or eliminate unnecessary business subsidies.

We could drop funding that gives private companies extra incentives to participate in the new Medicare drug program--as the Senate already has agreed to do, though the White House has refused thus far. We could save Medicaid money by increasing the rebates that brand-name drug manufacturers owe the program.

Rather than this measured approach, some in Congress have advocated indiscriminate across-the-board cuts. This is an irresponsible approach. In their own budgets, Americans don't cut back on essentials such as food, heating and health care before first forgoing luxuries, and Congress shouldn't either.

Others intent on cutting spending have pointed to Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere" as a wasteful project. I agree and believe that it represents the first type of project we should cut. But it's wrong to single out one state's pork project. If we're serious about shared responsibility, let's eliminate all pork projects in all states. To find $50 billion in tax breaks, we could postpone a planned tax break for millionaires, and we could temporarily roll back one of the tax cuts for those who make an income of more than $2 million per year."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

We Do Not Torture, But I Lie

President Bush defended his policy regarding American held prisoners this week by stating ""We do not torture".

and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again....he lies.

Bush Drives Up the Cost of Local Eggs!

Bush is coming.
Do I buy the eggs now or wait?
Ahhhhhhh, guess I better get them now...
Imagine the run on eggs as we get closer to his royal ass appearing in Minneapolis. Local egg vendors could really make a killing by raising their prices. On second thought, given recent polls, they probably will give the eggs out!

It's exciting to have the Bush come to Minneapolis to show that his lack of ethics extends to Mark Kennedy et al.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Vets Get Dished By Republican House Committee

Veterans Day Outrage: Conservatives End 55-Year-Old Practice of Hearings for Vet Groups

From Think Progress: "On Tuesday - three days before Veterans Day - House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Steve Buyer (R-IN) announced that for the first time in at least 55 years, 'veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees.' "

A Veteran Letter to Bush

A Veteran Speaks to President Bush on Veterans Day

Bob Geiger writes: "President Bush, As our nation celebrates the contributions and sacrifices of America's Veterans today, I thought I would take the time to let you know how one Veteran feels about your commitment to our military and your true level of patriotism. After all, the Republican party smears anyone they oppose by questioning their support of the troops and their national loyalty so that's all fair game, right?"

Onward Kansas Into the Dark Ages

This fall, when we set our clocks back an hour, Kansas got confused and kept going back...into the dark ages. It's understandable, afterlife they're not real good with scientific facts.

What did Dorothy say when her government grade school taught her that marriage and the family were outdated social constructs of privilege that Jesus had two mommies?

"Well Toto, it looks like we're not in Kansas anymore!"

What is happening in Kansas?

For starts, science has been undermined by the narrow view of the religious right. Proponents of ID (intelligent design) believe and want taught a version of creationism but without it having any bases in facts or having it proven in scientific terms.

Like all religion, 'ID' is based in faith. Supporters say 'you must believe because...Well, because! Or else!' And framing is everything, down to even the naming...ID? Intelligent? It should be called My God is better than your Science.

Naturally if you don't believe in their half baked religious tenet, you're labeled confused, Satan, unpatriotic, un-American, or a 'radical'. The religious right has shown us that they are willing to destroy any social system, any science, any culture and any society in order to replace it with their 'beliefs'. Personally, if you want to believe in the holy muffin man...have at it. But we left the 'dark ages' a while ago and really it's time to move forward.
more here and here.

P.S. The earth isn't flat and evolution is a proven fact... no amount of closing your eyes, wishing real hard, and clicking your heels together will change that! Any more than teaching half baked fairy tales in public schools will make them true.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bush's War on Veterans

story here

On Friday, November 11, Americans will observe Veteran's Day. This is a day set aside to honor our war veterans. I cannot think of a more worthy purpose for a holiday.

Now let me guess: this Veteran's Day, George W. Bush will strut his way into a specially choreographed photo opportunity and smirk and say some carefully crafted yet predictable and hollow-sounding words about how the American people appreciate the sacrifices that our veterans have made in the noble quest to defend freedom and democracy.

And he will be right. We the people do appreciate the sacrifices that our veterans have made.

After all, our brave veterans made those sacrifices while Dubya's congressman dad pulled enough strings to get his boy out of harm's way and into the elite Texas Air National Guard to avoid Vietnam.

Our brave veterans made those sacrifices while Dick Cheney arranged for five separate deferrals because he had "other priorities."

Our brave veterans made those sacrifices while Congressman Tom DeLay managed to draw a high draft number and then orchestrate some convenient deferrals, while stating that he really wanted to serve, but that all the slots were taken by blacks and Hispanics.

Our brave veterans made those sacrifices while House Speaker Dennis Hastert avoided duty due to bad knees - the same knees that didn't stop his college wrestling career.

And so on.

Okay, so these guys don't have what it takes to earn the title of veteran. But they do seem to have what it takes to be hypocrites and punish those veterans who actually had the nerve to serve, while at the same time praising them for their selfless sacrifices.

Yes, these self-proclaimed "compassionate conservatives" are punishing our veterans.

Some examples:

Earlier this year, Republican leaders in Congress blocked $2 billion in emergency funding for veterans' health care from the $82 billion supplemental funding bill. They felt that the money would be better spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we're producing more and more injured soldiers for whom we cannot afford adequate medical care.

Then the Bush administration requested a mere 2.7 percent increase in Veterans Affairs (VA) spending, even though the VA's under-secretary testified last year that the VA health care system needs a 13 to 14 percent increase annually to maintain their current level of services.

Thousands of veterans of the first Gulf War are suffering the effects of exposure to depleted uranium, or have died from that exposure, yet the U.S. government denies the effects and continues to ship depleted uranium munitions for use in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Some wounded U.S. soldiers have returned home from the current war in Iraq only to learn that they are being referred to credit agencies who want the soldiers to pay for equipment they lost when they were injured; or for charges for military housing.

And about one-fourth of all homeless Americans are veterans. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Two percent of them are female. Most of these cases are attributed to lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse, compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.

This is how our government treats those who have so bravely fought for their country. It's no wonder that the military recruiters are finding it so difficult to meet their quotas, even in the "red states."

The Bush administration would be wise to consider the words of George Washington, our first Commander-in-Chief, who said: "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."

Happy Veteran's Day.

Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist. E-mail mary@maryshawonline.com.

How We Honor Minnesota Veterans?

Veterans account for nearly one-third of all homeless men in America, even though the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says they comprise only 13 percent of adult males in the general population.

Veterans are twice as likely as other people to be chronically homeless... One in five of those who live at or below the poverty line are veterans or widows of veterans.

In addition to the complex set of factors affecting all homelessness … extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income, and access to health care … a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse, compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.

Minnesota FACT: 42 funded beds for 1,961 homeless Minnesotan Veterans!

What can you do?

Determine the need in your community. Visit with homeless veteran providers. Contact your local mayor’s office for a list of providers.

Involve others. If you are not already part of an organization, pull together a few people who might be interested in attacking this issue.

Participate in local homeless coalitions. Chances are there is one in your community. If not, this may be the time to start bringing people together around this critical need.

Send a financial donation to your local homeless veteran provider.

Contact your elected officials, and discuss what is being done in your community for homeless veterans

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

32 Months and 2000+ American Deaths Later

Thirty-two months and 2,000+ American deaths into Bu$h's illegal and immoral war -- is possibly the first published image of a U.S. military fatality to appear in the MSM.

Has the NY Times published the first picture of a dead US soldier in Iraq of any corporate media outlet? Is anyone paying attention? This just isn't right.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

City of Lonsdale (Minnesota) Election Results

In Brief:
Lonsdale Mayor Re-elected.
One City Council Member Re-elected.
New City Council Member elected.

Here's how the numbers break down:

In the Mayor's Race Tim Rud won re-election with 477 votes against mayorial candidate Roz Carson who received 123 votes.

Blaine Smith recieved the most votes in the City Council race with 306 votes and in second was Fritz Duban with 238 votes.


It is apparent that a majority of those who voted are concerned over public safety with electing Blaine Smith.
Smith ran on his experience as a current Rice County Deputy Sheriff and his wealth of Law Enforcement knowledge.
From Smith's flyer: "As this town continues to grow, I for one want to know that we can depend on Lonsdale to keep our kids, homes, schools and streets safe... At election time, vote for me to be your voice on quality of life and public safety concerns."


The Governator is Special!

There's just not end to their arrogance and abuse of power. Ask yourself, if the roles were reverse, how would you be treated...

from Raw Story:
Due to a problem with Electronic Voting Machines in Los Angeles County, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was told he had already voted when he showed up at the polls today to cast his ballot in the Special Election that he himself declared for California today!

He was told he'd have to use a provisional ballot, but unlike most American voters, he was eventually allowed to use a regular ballot anyway.

Los Angeles County Registrar, Conny McCormack (a huge fan of Diebold machines, and a very good friend of their sales rep here in Southern California) is trying to mitigate the damage...big time...Though she admits that someone "breached protocol in advance of the election"

It should be further noted, that the Governator was attempting to vote in Sacramento! Not in Los Angeles County! So the "breach" which would have kept a normal citizen from voting in one county, occurred in a completely different county!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Coleen Rowley: The Real Thing

There's a posting at Daily Kos on Coleen Rowley (CD2 Congressional Candidate), saying Coleen is the 'Real' thing.

Maureen Dowd did an OpEd, in the NY Times. She was relating women she thought were heros. On the list was Minnesotan Coleen Rowley.

Coleen risked a twenty year career at the FBI to do what she thought was ethically correct. She was in Time as 'Women of the Year' for 2002.

And not satisfied to leave it at that, Ms. Rowley running as a Democrat for congressional office in Minnesota's second district. She's going up against GOP John Kline who has sullied his name by voting straight bush/delay agenda.

Judging from all the GOP party hacks that have lined up to take a shot at Coleen in recent weeks, they must be worried she'll win! Even the ever poisenous Ann Coulter has chimed in and taken a swipe at Rowley for being 'too right' (there's just no winning with these folks!)....fortunately for those of us in the second district, Coleen Rowley is the 'Real' thing!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Poor in America: Introduction - Katrina and Outrage

I, as most of the world, watched in horror as Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. What was uncovered was something worse than the storm. It was the conditions that most of the victims of Katrina were in... the conditions before the storm.

Those mostly affected by Katrina's wrath were the poor. Those living in poverty, right here in the United States of America.

I was glued to the television reports on Katrina. I could not believe what I was seeing. I became mad at various people and then latter in that week rage set in. Outrage and anger combined in me. I don't ever remember being so outraged and angered in my entire life. The thing was, I didn't know what I was angrier about - that there were so many people living here in America - the richest country in the world, who were poor and forgotten or that our government failed these individuals on so many levels.

Outrage and anger can destroy you, or if you use them in your efforts to create change - they can end up helping people. I have chosen to take this outrage and anger and redirect it to create positive changes in regards to the poor and working poor in America. It is my hope that we can begin discussing this issue. And hopefully in doing so, create change.

This is an introduction to a series of postings that I'll be doing on the poor & working poor in America. Please feel free to add your comments or any helpful information to the postings.

Here is a good place to start this journey - with words from local Religious Leaders: A Question of faith: Where is religious outrage for the poor?

And then with pictures:
Portraits of Home - Families in Search of Shelter in Greater Minnesota

Saturday, November 05, 2005

True Colors... And He's Still Being PAID!!!

Michael Brown quit as Federal Emergency Management chief, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina - he should have been FIRED!!!
There's something deeply and morally wrong with this picture. In a recent story on CNN.com, e-mails that Brown made during Katrina have been made public. Brown's lack of leadership and lack of a moral compass have been exposed through his e-mails. In one e-mail he asks 'Can I quit now?' - Don't believe it? Here's the article: 'Can I quit now?' FEMA chief wrote as Katrina raged

I don't know what is worst:

1. Brown's lack of leadership
2. Brown's e-mails
3. President Bush's lack of Leadership (Why he didn't react faster to Katrina? Why he didn't fire Brown?)
- or -
4. That Brown is still being paid by the American people!!!

To me, it all equals a morally deficient administration.

Take action NOW - write your Senator, and Congress Person! Let them know that it is not OK for us to be paying a person who has failed miserably at their job.

I don't know about Washington D.C., but here in Minnesota if you fail at your job, you get FIRED!!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

SOBs Just Don't Care

"Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them."

DeLay aide Mike Scanlon, in a memo read aloud at the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

SOBs...every damn one of 'em.

Did you get that folks? They don't care about you. Even if they count on you, THEY DON'T CARE!!! They really don't care.

Hat tip to VirginiaDem at Kos.

A Pig with Lipstick is still....

...A 'Moral Disaster of Monumental Proportion Reconciliation Act'

Just two days after Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) forced a closed session to highlight an alleged lack of progress into a probe of pre-Iraq war intelligence, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) staged another act of political disobedience today.

Lautenberg filed an amendment to change the official name of the "Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act 2005" to the "Moral Disaster of Monumental Proportion Reconciliation Act." (Click for PDF screenshot)

"Let's call this bill what it is -- a moral disaster," explained Lautenberg. "This bill would close the door of opportunity and cut critical services to the poor, elderly, sick and hungry.

This bill...
Medicaid is cut by $9.5 billion over the next five years, $7.4 billion of which will fall directly on low-income Americans in the form of increased co-payments and premiums, so-called "flexibility" that will allow states to cut benefit packages for certain individuals, and provisions that will make it harder for some seniors to access needed long-term care.

Food Stamps are cut by $844 million over five years. These cuts could affect some 300,000 people nationwide, including legal immigrants who would have to wait seven years before becoming eligible, up from the current five years.

Child Support is cut by $4.9 billion over five years. This will reduce states' capacity to enforce child support orders, and result in children receiving $7.1 billion less in child support payments over five years.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is cut by $425 million over five years. This cut is achieved by requiring some persons with disabilities to wait up to an additional year to receive all of the benefits they are owed.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) is reauthorized in the House bill, which significantly increases work requirements but does not provide adequate child care funding for families making the transition from welfare to self-sufficiency.

Student Loans are cut by $14.3 billion over five years, primarily through increases in the interest rates and fees that students pay. At a time when college costs are rising faster than inflation, the House is poised to make the largest cut in the history of the student loan programs.

The House Budget Committee will compile all of the budget cuts into one big omnibus budget reconciliation bill which will go to the House floor for a vote. The House reconciliation bill cuts 44% more than was agreed to by the House and Senate in the original budget reconciliation conference report in April. The House cuts are $11 billion higher than the reconciliation cuts being considered in the Senate.

While it may appear that the deep cuts in the House bill are necessary to reduce the federal deficit or offset the costs of hurricane relief efforts, the reality is that these spending cuts, imposed mostly on low-income people, are being used to offset $106 billion in tax cuts - $70 billion of which will occur in the tax portion of the budget reconciliation process. Consequently, the House budget reconciliation bill does not reduce the federal deficit; it increases it by $16 billion to $40 billion over the next five years. These growing deficits threaten the country's ability to address a wide range of priorities in education, environmental protection, affordable housing, energy, transportation, and more.

This action alert for this is available online at www.mncn.org/bp/housealert.pdf