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.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Angel's Singing 'Get On The Good Foot'

First time I saw James Brown in person was at a show in Sacramento in 1970 at the old Memorial Auditorium. It was unforgetable...to this day I could re-enact the whole show...it was just that great. From the long red cape lined with white rabbit fur to the crown, the horn section, the backup singers and the loud crowd as much a member of the band as the band themselves...he earned his title of 'the godfather of soul' with his rich performances and unique vocals.

Along the way James ran afoul with drugs, booze and violence...not surprising giving the life style, background and his talent... enough said...he paid a price with time served and then was given a pardon.

A few months ago (summer) I had a dream where I went to South Carolina to meet with James Brown and do a book about him. It seemed so real... For days afterward I thought I should go just to see what would happen...a kind of dream quest. I didn't, and now more than ever, think I should have. At least I have his music... and all those #1's:

  • Papa's Got A Brand New Bag ('65)
  • I've Got You (I Feel Good) ('65)
  • It's a Man's World ('66)
  • Cold Sweat ('67)
  • I Got The Feelin ('68)
  • Say It Loud - I'm Black and Proud ('68)
  • Mother Popcorn ('69)
  • Super Bad ('70)
  • Get On The Good Foot ('72)
James Brown had an additional 89 top 40 songs...

"Everyone should listen to James Brown first thing in the morning, for medicinal reasons." -Van Morrisson R.I.P.
I'm taking my medicine right now...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

This Is Only A Test...

Yeah and if you believe that then you'll believe in Minnesota's Rep. John Kline's Magic recruitment wand...

It appears that the federal government is going to "test" the selective service system:

"The agency is not gearing up for a draft, an agency official said Thursday. The test itself would not likely occur until 2009."

Meanwhile, the Secretary for Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson said that ''society would benefit'' if the U.S. were to bring back the draft. He later issued a statement saying he does not support reinstituting a draft. Which sounds a lot like John Kline's saying he doesn't support reinstituting the draft but wants to increase active military personnel.

...Wonder how that's going to happen?...oh yeah...a 'test'...

PS. Who is Uncle Sam and why does he want you?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Tibits

Keith Ellison: Enlightening the GOP - One idiot at a time!
Minnesota's own Rep. Keith Ellison in replying to Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) letter:

I’m not an immigrant,” Mr. Ellison, who traces his American ancestors back to 1742. “I’m an African-American.”
Ellison went on to say:

“I’m looking forward to making friends with Representative Goode, or at least getting to know him. I want to let him know that there’s nothing to fear. The fact that there are many different faiths, many different colors and many different cultures in America is a great strength.”

As if we didn't already know how bad it is...Bu$hCo even lied about the numbers! Attacks in Iraq at record high: Pentagon. Want more...visit Carpetbaggers Report.

Bu$h doesn't care about the Generals. He doesn't care about the Congress or the Constitution or the Laws. And get a clue, he certainly doesn't care about you, your family or friends. That would require something called empathy...and they don't hand that out in a limo or at the ranch.

Oh, READ MY LIPS! I have a co-worker that informed me that now that the Democrats are on board with Bu$h, we're (demos) going to increase the troop numbers...so IT boy: Democratic leaders have united in opposition to Bu$h's idea of escalating the number of troops in Iraq. Republican leaders are generally silent on the unpopular idea.

The madman in the Oval Office has indicated that "he will listen but not necessarily defer" to military leaders on the question of an escalation of troops - and deaths - in Iraq, cuz he's the Decider.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued a statement yesterday that he's no longer open: "I don't believe that more troops is the answer for Iraq."

The next Majority Whip, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters this past weekend that "sending more soldiers to Iraq after the holidays would further drain an already depleted military."

House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a statement today rejecting the idea of a surge.
And House Majority Leader-elect Steny Hoyer (D-MD) earlier released a similar statement.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It's Time to Stop Spitting In The Wind

There are 12 or so million undocumented –or illegal aliens- living within the United States borders. That number doubled since a decade ago. Once found primarily in the fields of the Southwest, they now occupy the front lines of the service industry in almost every state. Minnesota is no exception to this.

They are all lawbreakers, here only because they violated our borders and broke the laws governing legal immigration. A majority of Americans feel that these immigrants have no rights here and should be sent back to where they came from….

I have a friend, David. I’ve known him for over thirty years, and he’s an undocumented worker. He’s from Mexico, living here illegally. His mother came to the United States when he was eight years old. She came because there were jobs (housekeeping) that allowed her to feed her two sons. They lived with other undocumented workers in a series of rundown one bedroom apartments. Now in his fifties, David went to school here, works here, got married here, and raised a family here. David has worked and virtually lived in the United States his whole life. When I look at David I don’t see an illegal alien. I see a friend, a good family man and an American. When ICE comes knocking, they won't see any of that...

In many ways David and his family represent an insoluble problem for the United States. There is simply no way that all 12 million illegal aliens can be swept up and shipped back to Mexico. Yes, they are all lawbreakers, here only because they violated our borders and broke the laws governing legal immigration. And in David’s case (like most of the 12 million), he's a vital part of the community and America's economy.

On December 12, in nationwide raids 1,300 undocumented immigrants were rounded up. 230 of those were arrested in Worthington Minnesota at a meat packing plant. If ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement ) had raids like this every day for a year, they would still only have 3% of the illegal population! It does nothing to control or stop illegal immigration.
Continuing down the path of enforcing immigration crackdowns will only increase taxpayer’s financial burdens (yes you pay for the raids, processings, and the incarcerations and deportation); and finally, the cost to the families themselves when social services has to be invoked in dealing with what’s been left behind or broken apart.
“Immigration raids cause more problems than they solve, the raids do not address the root causes of immigration and this is why we call for a moratorium on all deportations and raids,” said Mariano Espinoza, Ex. Director of MN Immigrant Freedom Network.
What we have currently is a system that fails to honestly address the immigration and border security issues facing this country. The raids on December 12 were an outrage that amounted to spitting into the wind, with the same net affect.

The United States immigration system is completely divorced from the real demands for legal entry visas in our economy. Take for example Minnesota which currently has a skilled laborer shortage. Couple that with the simple economics of a ruined Mexican economy where the wage differential between the U.S. and Mexico is about 11 to 1. Some studies suggest that in the agricultural sector there’s a 20-to-1 differential. And add in the passage of the 1994 NAFTA agreement which further depressed Mexican rural wages and accelerated the immigration wave.

No amount of fence building, fortifying the border with heat/motion detection, stadium lighting, infrared scopes or Blackhawk helicopters and aerial drones will stop people from trying to survive and make a better live for themselves elsewhere.
Enforcement-only measures will not stop illegal immigration. Taking less than .01% of those here illegally will not make the rest go back, stop them from working, or keep those sent out from re-entering. Again, let’s be clear, a raid like the one last week, repeated every day over the next year will only result in 3% of the illegal population being affected. Not a very good use of tax dollars or much of a deterrent. And the only message it sends is that we're helpless to address the real issues or root causes for our undocumented population.

The issues surrounding undocumented workers in this country have to do with pay inequity, human rights, and corporate greed. When we start addressing these issues in real terms then we might begin to affect change.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Link to the DFL Links

I told the Minnesota's DFL Links organizer (Jason B) that I would post up the DFL Links icon on my blog(s)because:
  1. Jason asked me to and we're friends
  2. DFL Links is a great way for Democrats to meet one another and organize
  3. It links out to the group(s) at Zanby (another great tool built by and for Democrats)
  4. And lastly, because I can!

If you haven't done so already...check out both DFL Links (attend a meeting in your local area) and check out Zanby. As a reminder I've posted the icon up with a link under archives on the right hand side.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Getting Hot Outside the Kitchen

Headed toward 50 degrees today, in Minnesota…yeah right, global warming is just a myth! Oh pleazze...On Saturday night, Al Gore with assistance from MOVEON, is organizing viewing parties for 'An Inconvenient Truth'. See it, just so you know all the details of 'the myth'.

Along the same lines the Bush Administration feels they need to keep a closer track on US Geological Survey (you know, those folks who, amongst other things, study global warming).

“New rules require screening of all facts and interpretations by agency scientists who study everything from caribou mating to global warming. The rules apply to all scientific papers and other public documents, even minor reports or prepared talks, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.”
Naturally there will be victims besides science: The ‘Goddess of the Yangtze’ dolphin is now extinct due to increased ship traffic with the use of sonar. Congratulations to us all on killing a nearly blind white dolphin species that existed for 20 million years.

So you ask yourself…How? How do things like that happen? Why do we allow it? Well, this is how: Closure of 6 federal libraries angers scientists

The NASA library in Greenbelt, Md., was part of John C. Mather's daily routine for years leading up to the astrophysicist's sharing of the 2006 Nobel Prize for shedding new light on the big bang theory of creation. He researched existing space hardware and instrumentation there while designing a satellite that collected data for his prize-winning discovery.So when he learned that federal officials were planning to close the library, Mather was stunned.
And before you go all marshmallowy because it's not our local libraries…think again. Most Minnesota libraries have banking hours, abbreviated to save on budgets. I love how Pawlenty is touting a budget surplus while our schools and libraries have to fight each other for donations of used books.

But good news, for those that have perpetuated the lie of a global warming myth, hell will be even hotter (or so I’ve heard!)… Wonder if you can buy off the devil?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday's Wankers

Surprise! Bush is still a Moron.
Sure it's going badly but it can get worse: A new poll finding that 70 percent of Americans disapprove of the president's handling of Iraq.


Duh, I'm rendered speechless just like those now dead and wounded by his arrogance!

Food for Thought? Bite Me!
Elizabeth Schulte's article Hungry for the Holidays at Counter Punch cites:
"The Average Food Stamp Application is 12 Pages, the Federal Firearm Application is Two Pages"
It goes on to mention the wordsmithing being played by the USDA replacing the word 'hunger' with 'very low food security'.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ouch! Eagan Gives GOP A Lickin'

Ho Ho HO
Santa came early for the voters in SD38 this year by electing new Rep. Sandra Masin and Senator Jim Carlson. Couple that with the narrow defeat (160 votes!) of Democratic candidate Mike Obermueller, and it’s easy to see the times are a changing in Pawlenty’s backyard.

MnpACT blogger Chris Truscott had some interesting insight into the lone Eagan GOP Rep. Lynn Wardlow, and his pending demise:

"As Eagan grows, new residents are starting to cancel out those who know Wardlow as "my kid's old teacher/coach." These new District 38B voters expect answers on real issues and aren't interested in perpetuating Wardlow's taxpayer-funded retirement job in the Legislature."
And naturally the very cheap (but true!) dig at Wardlow’s inability to do anything except as directed by the GOP rank and file…

"He [Chris] thinks if new District 38A State Rep. Sandy Masin is smart, she'll stand where Wilkin used to sit and flash Wardlow a thumbs up or thumbs down before each vote. If Wardlow's smart he'll listen to Masin."
I also would give credit to the great Democratic activists and candidates in SD38. They worked night and day to turn years of RED into a Democratic BLUE. While Wardlow traded on his name recognition, Mike Obermueller was establishing his own name and stances on issues.

Mike is an all round great guy that's smart and caring, with a strong family and community base. Mike hasn't said if he'll run next election, but if the voters in SD38 are lucky, they'll see Obermueller make a second try against Wardlow. Of course, finding anyone better that 'lock and step' Wardlow is easy.... Still it would be great to have such a outstanding Democratic candidate like Mike Obermueller. Eagan Democrats gave the local GOP a lickin' and they're not done yet.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Right-Wingnuts Batsh*t Insanity Over Keith Ellison

Okay, it's a little over a month after the midterm elections and while some of the ramifications of the Democratic landslide are still open to debate, two facts are crystal clear: Keith Ellison is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, and that fact is driving the right-wingnuts batshit insane.
Two examples of right-wing pundits racing at top speed to see who can be the stupidest have been pretty well publicized:

Dennis Prager, in an opinion column about Ellison's desire to be sworn in not with a bible, but the Koran: "...Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison’s favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don’t serve in Congress...

"CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck, ...""Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."

The only thing Keith Ellison is guilty of is subscribing to a faith that hate mongers have decided to use in an effort to keep the gullible and the bigoted afraid.

Maybe some of it can be understood, since from day one, the majority of the media coverage has focused on Keith's religion to the exclusion of all else. Maybe it is understandable that some people in this country are asking how Minnesota could do such a thing as send a member of the "enemy" to represent them in Congress.

In all the hoopla about Keith Ellison's spiritual beliefs, no one seemed to get around to actually examining Keith's legislative record. After all, unlike his two opponents, he did have one, and it was exemplary.I covered the Minnesota state legislature for three years as a journalist, and I saw Keith in action day in and day out. I know Keith's record because I saw him establish it. I think it's safe to say that while Minnesota picked another elected official that defied "conventional wisdom," Keith Ellison is not another Jesse Ventura.

To those frothing at the mouth about how Keith is going to represent America in the United States Congress, I will just say this: Calm down. Keith did an outstanding job representing his constituents in the Minnesota legislature, and he will do a fine job representing them in Congress.

For those manufacturing a fake issue out of Keith's desire to be sworn in using the Koran, I want to point you to an article I wrote back in 2003 about the debate over a bill introduced in the Minnesota House.

I called the article "Food Fight" and it covered the efforts of the then GOP House majority to reduce the number of meals provided to inmates. The GOP had a sizable majority at the time, and the loony mean spiritedness was thick in the air.

Here is the relevant paragraph:"In a 90-minute debate, which was heated at times, DFL Representatives strongly spoke against the proposal. In an impassioned appeal to fellow Legislators, Minneapolis Representative Keith Ellison confronted the characterization of prisoners as rapists, murderers, and child molesters. Pointing out that more inmates are actually non-violent drug defenders, and that the majority of them are of color, Ellison invoked scripture: " However you treated the least of you, my brother, that's how you treated me."

Note that Keith didn't quote the Koran. He didn't quote Mohammed. He mentioned the Bible, and he spoke of compassion, which is a common theme of his. Keith spoke with passion and he spoke with obvious heartfelt concern about those who had fallen to the bottom rungs of society.

This is not the only example I could have used to illustrate these qualities, but it is the one that was easiest for me to find--none of the articles I wrote exists online any more.This is the kind of performance that sent Keith Ellison to DC and returned the GOP to a minority in the Minnesota legislature.

Others have already debunked the lie that members of Congress must be sworn in with the Bible, so I'll just refer to another right-wing loudmouth that was shot down earlier this year with the words, "You didn't put your hand on the Constitution and swear an oath to uphold the Bible. You put your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution."

Swear to uphold the Constitution is what Keith will do next month, and uphold the Constitution is what he will do after that. I know, because that's what he's done his entire adult life. And he will represent his constituents using the same values his detractors have shown they don't share. The ones they only give lip service to, while they hide behind overwrought shows of faith and use their Bibles to sow hatred and fear.

-Isaac Peterson is a friend, twincities writer and occassional guest blogger on Truth Surfer and Down with Tyranny

The New Domino Theory From Bob

Bob's boat load of lawyers might sue me for mentioning his 'New Domino Theory©' but he stated the obvious and it deserves to be repeated:

"As I pointed out in that diary, there will be no successful training of a competent Iraqi force that is not sectarian, and, short of adding an additional 300,000 to 400,000 American troops, there will be no quelling the insurgency.

So we should get out. "
Amen brother, let's do it now because we sure as sh*t are going to have to do it and the results minus more dead will be the same!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Get a Clue People!

You've got to watch this especially you're like me and fed up with all the self indulgent religious idiots trying to promote 'their' importances due to 'their' personal pipeline to the 'only true g*d' verse anything or anyone else...especially at the risk of all of us and...

...science and technology and common sense and humanity, heck...even the life of earth!

Get a clue people!

God is real. And he's unbelievable!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Living in Infamy

The Pearl Harbor Naval Station on the Hawaiian island of Oahu is the hub of United States Pacific naval power. Most of the Navy's major commands have headquarters there. Yet even after sixty-five years, its name is still synonymous with the surprise Japanese attack of "December 7, 1941".

I've lived in both locations being a military brat (and naval)...as always with war, there are two sides with stories. I think we tend to see black and white but in reality the world has a lot of grays. And just like 911 and the slogans of 'never forget', time has a way of making us all into fools.

Admiral Yamamoto:
"A brilliant man will find a way not to fight a war."
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt:
"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy. The United States Of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Naval and Air Forces of the Empire of Japan."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Holiday Spirit

"Abu Clause is coming to town."
From News Corpse:
Please visit my entry in the Huffington Post Contagious Festival. Then put the link above on your blog, MySpace/Facebook page, and any place else you can. Email it to your friends, family, strangers.

Watch it!

Significant Find On Mars?

What's up on Mars?

NASA Schedules Briefing to Announce Significant Find on Mars
"NASA hosts a news briefing at 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Dec. 6, to present new science results from the Mars Global Surveyor. The briefing will take place in the NASA Headquarters auditorium located at 300 E Street, S.W. in Washington and carried live on NASA Television:

"The agency last week announced the spacecraft's mission may be at its end. Mars Global Surveyor has served the longest and been the most productive of any spacecraft ever sent to the red planet. "

Could it be....they've discovered more regarding the 'Cydonia face'?!

It is generally understood to be an optical illusion, an example of pareidolia. A few, most notably Richard C. Hoagland, believe it to be evidence of a long-lost Martian civilization along with other features they believe are present, such as apparent pyramids, which they argue are part of a ruined city.
Or is it something else like finding a 750 mile fence to keep illegal earthlings out? Or perhaps they've found signs of life from discarded cigarette butts at the base of pyrimids. Or maybe it's just how Marvin the Martian said:
"K9 do you suppose all earth creatures behave like thataway?"

To answer, yes, sigh, sadly, we do.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Boo Effing Hoo

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…

Sabo is still whining that the DFL didn’t do as he wanted…and he’s right. Instead the DFL elected Keith Ellison as Minnesota’s first Black Muslim to Congress. That’s a win:win:win!
“Endorsements play a role, but they are an optional thing for a party. They are not something they have to do. There are times when no endorsement makes sense.”
Now that’s something I would push for if Sabo ever runs for office again. Fortunately the day of the dino is in the past.... ancient history... the end.

The War Is Over

John Lennon - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

If you want it to be...
The xmas spirit is about caring, family, helping, loving, understanding, sharing, and peace... Maybe it shouldn't include sadness but it does and we need to stop looking away.

2,899, and that’s not all. This administration policy on the war has spent any credibility it had left. It’s time to shut down the war machine. It’s time for xmas. John had it right, the war is over if you want it to be...and I want it to be.

When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup." - Sam Lefkowitz

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Baker Lays An Egg

Well it's here...the report that was suppose to resolve America's role in the the Iraq war. Unfortunately, it's a muddle as the rest of the Neo-Con's pipedreams of being greeted by cheering Iraqis...The much touted Iraq Panel led by James Baker chokes on offering any specifics: no specific dates, numbers, plans or details. As Hirsh spells out:

"This meant that somehow, in ways they could never spell out, the Israeli-Palestinian issue would be resolved after democracy was achieved in Iraq. Now Baker's thought seems to be that the road to Baghdad goes through Jerusalem. This is just as silly as the earlier idea. Take this down: the road to Baghdad goes through Iraq."

American can't seem to grasp that Iraq will determine it's own future. We are no longer in a position to dictate actions or terms. It will be what it will be and our involvement on any level but humanitarian is criminial. It's what lead us into this mess:

"What's happening in Washington right now is the worst sort of cover-your-backside politics. The nation's officialdom, Republicans and Democrats both, continue to indulge in the outer-galactic notion that Iraq is "winnable" or "losable." President Bush still seems to be deluding himself that "Al Qaeda" is behind the violence in Iraq..."

Yeah the report language sezs it all -Bush will be urged to start troop withdrawal soon, the "implicit message" being that it should begin in 2007. As for the American combat brigades presently in Iraq, it was unclear whether they "would be brought home, or simply pulled back to bases in Iraq or in neighboring countries." Can't get much more cloudy than that. What a joke.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

On Iraq's Hearts and Minds

Bush started this war without a plan. None of the Republicans in Congress ever asked for a plan. Now, every day, American soldiers and Iraqi citizens pay a price for their incompetence. But, Bush and the GOP is acting like none of this is his fault. They want us to believe it’s the fault of al-Maliki or Iraq itself. But the civil war, the deaths, the break down and destruction of infrastructure is wholly the responsibility of Bu$hCo. Blaming the Iraq government, prime minister, the different sects or others is akin to blaming the victims. This is Bu$h’s legacy…

That said, I have a long rant on my take of what is going on and what America needs to do. Briefly, we’re chest deep in the tibia river. Going forward is certain death as the river is too deep to stay on the current course. Staying or not backing out of the river will not get us where we want to be. It’s time to leave.

The War in Iraq has failed by any standard. There were no WMDs, it didn’t bring democracy or freedom and we took a murderous bully that gave the region stability and replaced him with us (another equally murderous bully to the civilians there!) and no stability.

The U.S. brought Iraq a civil war but it won’t (can’t) bring Iraq a peaceful end. American diplomatic means won't be successful because we waited too long, harmed too many, failed others and marginalize what could have been allies. Armed militias (many armed by the U.S) are in most of Iraq’s cities and towns. The militias are small, loosely associated tribal gangs with no real central control. Much of the current chaotic violence has to do with revenge and turf rivalry. America can’t bring any degree of stability or end to the violence mainly because it’s widespread but not centralized. There is no one group to negotiate with…no one issue…no one bargaining chip... no one potential ally to break the now hourly cycle of violence that the U.S. Iraq war put in place. Plainly speaking this is our mess but there is no solution other than withdrawal.

The larger militias are splintered in power and leadership (by design or rival power plays?). Still the most powerful and influential is the Iraqi Shiite militia (called Mahdi Army). It's leader is Moktada al-Sadr. Whenever you hear about uniformed Iraq soldiers infiltrating or kidnapping or killing, they are most likely members of Moktada Al-Sadr’s group. Every young man (age 13-35) either directly or passively supports the Mahdi Army and it's leader al-Sadr. It is a very powerful group among the profusion of groups in Iraq that carry out executions and paramilitary operations.

“In a reflection of the growing new dimension of civil strife" a senior U.S. intelligence official said yesterday that the militia of radical Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr has grown eightfold over the past year and now fields 40,000 to 60,000 men. That makes it more effective than the Iraqi government’s army! The official also said “Sadr is so powerful that if provincial elections were held now, he would sweep most of the south and also take Baghdad.” The Mahdi Army and leadership is one of the main forces in Iraq.

Currently the U.S. (under Bush) would like to disarm the Mahdi especially in Baghdad. This Shiite militia has a close association with Iran and to broker peace the Mahdi must be dealt with…but at what cost? Surely we will see genocide of the Baath and Al Qaeda supporters in Baghdad (we already are). Add in the Badr and Fadhila militias, various tribal leaders, Iraqi private security contractors, quasi religious and government militias, criminal gangs and local town militias and you have a cauldron already boiling over and threatening to explode throughout the region. Disarming the Mahdi Army won't be possible. It will just ignite the explosion.

The U.S. military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq or counter al-Qaeda's rising popularity. As it stands today, Iraq will likely become several states instead of one larger country. Each area will be determined by local militias that identify by both ancestry and religious grouping. And each area will have 'ethnic cleansing' carried out by rival groups. There's more death and destruction to come but make no mistake, it was set in motion by the United States.

I’ve hear talk of replacing Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, including comments from the Bush administration that they are disappointed in his inability to control the violence. But al-Maliki wouldn’t abide one day in Parliament without Mr. Sadr’s support, just as anyone we might replace him with.The U.S. talks about putting in a ‘strongman’ that would be independent of the Mahdi…but that’s a long dead pipedream... It was left too late. Power bases have been established and external forces shored up. America must now accepted that the devil they got rid of (Saddam) was much tamer and controllable and stabilizing to the Middle East than the outcome of Bu$h's ill advised war. Iraq is not on the "edge of civil war". It is in the midst of it. It's a steep price to inflict on Iraq and the middle east for the pleasure of seeing Saddam Hussein die.

As to stability in the Middle East….Jordon has so many refugees that have fled Iraq (est. at 1 million) that it’s borders have crease to function and it will probably crease as a country in the near future. Look for a land grab in the next five years by neighboring states. Syria and Iran have both taken in hundreds of thousands and have taken an active role (at least behind the scenes) to move Iraq toward a stronger state in lending them stability and more power through Shiite rule.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia would like to see the U.S. continue to try but obviously fail to re-establish a more pluralistic and passively controllable government. Neither is willing to risk their armies and name to such an outcome. The most America can look for is money and arms with some behind the scenes string pulling.

Recent reports have the Mahdi army sending 300 fighters to Lebanon, ostensibly to fight alongside Hezbollah. There seems to have been a strategic decision taken sometime over late winter or early spring by Damascus, Tehran, along with their partners in Lebanese Hezbollah, to provide more support to Sadr to increase pressure on the U.S. I don’t really believe this was a mutually agreed upon joint decision but one that played out to the benefit of Lebanon and Iran and especially for al-Sadr. The Mahdi army can now clearly call the ‘shots’ in determining Iraq’s future. They certainly have more influence and power than the U.S. et al combined.

The United States needs to fold their tents and slink back into America. There can be no clear victory or win. Military force or a gradual draw down of troops will not prevail or change conditions on the ground. The outcome will be the same regardless. It is civil war (yes we created it!) but there is no strategic move that will bring both stability and peace that would be acceptable by the current power players or the general population. The best we can do is withdrawal and lend humanitarian assistances for the coming days while the state of Iraq determines its own destiny.

It's a f*cking mess but it's time to leave. Here’s what Riverbend said when she started her blog Baghdad Burning:
"For me, April 9 was a blur of faces distorted with fear, horror and tears. All over Baghdad you could hear shelling, explosions, clashes, fighter planes, the dreaded Apaches and the horrifying tanks heaving down streets and highways. Whether you loved Saddam or hated him, Baghdad tore you to pieces. Baghdad was burning. Baghdad was exploding … Baghdad was falling.”
It's hard to imagine a worse scenero but she blogs today with more dismay at what is going on:

It’s not about the man- presidents come and go, governments come and go. It’s the frustration of feeling like the whole country and every single Iraqi inside and outside of Iraq is at the mercy of American politics. It is the rage of feeling like a mere chess piece to be moved back and forth at will. It is the aggravation of having a government so blind and uncaring about their peoples needs that they don’t even feel like it’s necessary to go through the motions or put up an act. And it's the deaths. The thousands of dead and dying, with Bush sitting there smirking and lying about progress and winning in a country where every single Iraqi outside of the Green Zone is losing.
I wish I had a magic wand to wave over Iraq and fix what the United States put into motion. But the reality is "it is what it is", the United States must take responsibility, face up to what has come to pass, and withdrawal immediately. Iraq must determine it's own destiny. American can only look on, give humanitarian assistances, and any additional aid if determined by the international community. Yes we created this mess, but now the United States will do the right thing, the only thing, that can possibly help, we'll withdrawal from the region while offering help and assistance to Iraq in determining it's own future.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


What would Jesus do?

Instead of reducing poverty and global warming:

The president-elect of the Christian Coalition of America, which has long served as a model for activism for the religious right, has stepped down, saying the group resisted his efforts to broaden its agenda to include reducing poverty and fighting global warming.

Would he fixate on a conservative right-wing agenda comprised of issues like abortion and same-sex marriage? Which one really helps families?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gobble Gobble, Minnesota Turkey Talk

Smile and enjoy the holiday and warm weather.

Watch The Bush Turkey Connection.

Minnesota Turkey facts:

250 turkey farmers
600 turkey farms

Minnesota produces more turkeys than any other state... over 46 million each year!

The only major meat animal native to North America is the turkey.

Over all the U.S. produces 155 million turkeys a year (not counting Bush et al!).

The turkey is a variety of the pheasant.

A male turkey is called a tom, and a female turkey is a hen. Only tom turkeys gobble. Hen turkeys make a clicking noise.

A large group of turkeys is called a flock.

Domesticated turkeys cannot fly.

45 million turkeys are eaten at Thanksgiving, 22 million at Christmas, and 19 million at Easter.

About 675 million pounds of turkey is consumed in the United States on Thanksgiving Day.

The costume "Big Bird" wears on Sesame Street is made of turkey feathers.

Abraham Lincoln's son, Tad, had a pet turkey. When it was suggested that the bird might make a fine holiday dinner, the boy set up such a howl of protest that the President finally issued a "Presidential Pardon" for Tad's pet.

Each year, the live turkey is "pardoned" by the President and sent to a historical farm to live out the rest of its years.

When Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin sat down to eat their first meal on the moon, their foil food packets contained roasted turkey and all the trimmings.

The Madness of Peace

A group in Abu Dhabi where Papa Bush delivered a folksy leadership speech whooped and whistled in approval as members directed hostile comments to Bush 41 about 43.

“We do not respect your son. We do not respect what he's doing all over the world"
Papa 41 told the audience how deeply hurt he feels when 43 is criticized. Papa stated that 43 is working hard for peace…

But peace isn't shock and awe, lying, wiretapping, torture, or death…

This is what we’ve done in Iraq for peace! Month after month, year after year of deaths. 3709 in October… This isn’t peace, it’s madness.

Wal-Mart Verses AFA

WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price -- teaser trailer

Now that the home team has won…
The Evil Empire of Wal-Mart seems to be busy back peddling.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Ghost of Turkey Past

Never forget the price for this 2003 turkey dinner...
Since war began (3/19/03):
2350 dead in combat

Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03) (the list)
2729 dead in combat

Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03):
2043 dead in combat

American Wounded
Total Wounded:
22000 - 100000

Random Ramblings

Not much left to laugh at!
Don’t eat the sushi in Piccadilly!
No more bragging rights!
If marriage is between one man and one women, then this is wrong!
And if marriage is sacred, what gives with this?
Look, the world is still almost flat, to them.

Franken is running against Coleman and he'll win big. Nothing official yet, but it's happening or my name is truthsurfer (okay point taken!).

Nobody should be loudly praying on a plane unless it's losing altitude and death is imminent. In that case, exceptions are okay. However, it appears that this was more a case of fear mongering.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Just Do It!

I say we look behind door number 3!? But somehow we need to get this football home. I say we just 'GO':

The Pentagon's closely guarded review of how to improve the situation in Iraq has outlined three basic options: Send in more troops, shrink the force but stay longer, or pull out, according to senior defense officials.

Insiders have dubbed the options "Go Big," "Go Long" and "Go Home." The group conducting the review is likely to recommend a combination of a small, short-term increase in U.S. troops and a long-term commitment to stepped-up training and advising of Iraqi forces, the officials said

It's Not A Game...Or Is It?

When I read this my thought was perhaps I woke up in a Dune novel. But no, the Army of al-Sunnah Wah Jama is real as the Mujahideen Shura Council. Which brings several thoughts to mind…but for now, let’s have a game of 'spot the meaning', shall we?

Russain Amish
A leading Pakistan-based militant group fighting in Kashmir
Rouge Scientologists who refute Tom and Katie’s marriage.

Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM)
An all women ‘soft terrorist’ group in Kashmir valley
A town in the Punjab region

Largest terrorist group operating in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Pakistan
Brother to the Mujahideen Shura Council

A Hindu Sect
An area in Pakistan
What you call burnt muffins

A group that stages attacks in Kashmir
A character in star wars

Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM)
An all women ‘soft terrorist’ group in Kashmir valley
A town in the Punjab region

Winner of the Kentucky derby
Official puritanical ideology of the Saudi Arabian kingdom.
Hot mustard

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday's Smackulator

It's Friday which makes me a 'ray of sunshine'. Have a great weekend but first some smackdowns...

Who says that newspapers are dying? Well maybe if they report the news instead of making up fruity trash that panders to Minnesota's monkey queen. The MN Strib went that extra mile in crowning Bachman...

"Instead, she's [Bachman] arrived in Washington as a ray of sunshine in a gloomy GOP establishment stunned by a storm of voter discontent that gave both houses of Congress to Democrats."

--When I read Carville's call to replace Howard Dean I got mad and wrote a lengthy retort. But then I realized anyone with a brain wouldn't believe his hacking...so here's the very short version of my rant:

James Carville is a boneless bat faced shrill that couldn’t direct traffic out of a high school parking lot. His armchair 'Emanuel' venom against Howard Dean’s phenomenally successful 50-state strategy is nothing short of ludicrous. Those of us working the field in Minnesota knows where our added political might came from and it wasn't the DCCC!

My advise to Carver: Step away from the DCCC gun being thankful that this time you only shot your foot.

--I've heard lots of conspiracy theories. Some I believe, some I don't disbelieve, but this one is just plain stupid...

"Al Gore flies in to warn about global warming and -- he's done it again! -- Victoria gets snow in November. Call it the Gore Effect -- the uncanny ability of the world's most famous global warming alarmist to cool any place he tours. You see, this has happened to [him] rather a lot..."
Next thing you know, there'll be tales of Minnesota being warmer becaue Gore visited here!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

When Violence Hits Close to Home

October was National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. What's that you say, you missed it? So did most of us because for the most part, the media chose to ignore the issue. That makes the media coverage of Minnesota's Rep. Mark Olson arrest this week for domestic abuse even more ironic.

Mark Olson, a Big Lake-area legislator recently reelected to his eighth term, was charged with fifth-degree domestic assault for hitting his wife (forcing her to the floor). Instead of using it as an opportunity to educate the public on the epidemic level of abuse in America (and Minnesota), the media has instead made it into just a problem for Olson his political party.

But it’s a lot more than just another story. Not when domestic violence accounts for over 25% of the crimes reported in Minnesota yet we know that 80% of all domestic abuse goes unreported. The story of Mark Olson is played out everyday over and over again in Minnesota’s homes.

Given Olson’s past aggression against a women and his refusal of treatment, his current punishment should be the maximum that can be given by both the court system and his legislative peers.

Orvell’s Grave has a good perspective on this issue and well worth the read especially for men!

Most men in this country are not violent, most do not beat their wives and girlfriends. Despite that fact, domestic violence is really a gender issue. Men commit 90 to 95 percent of domestic violence acts. I think most men instinctively know this is true, but most men find it really hard to talk about it, think about it, or much less do anything about it.

Some men believe that because he is not violent or it's not happening in his family, he needn't do anything. Some men believe it is a "woman's" issue, so he can really ignore it. Some men can't imagine talking about this issue with other men, some of whom he might suspect are abusing women in their lives.Let's face it. This is an embarrasing issue for men. It's much easier for us to simply let women try to take care of this problem. It's really hard for most men to admit that this is our problem.

Violence against women is men's violence. Can we find a way to help men own this problem and work together to solve it? How can we end the pervasive silence? How can we help our communities get past the attitude that this happens someplace else, certainly not where we live?Given the prevalence of male violence against women, why has this not been a very public men's issue. Isn't it really in men's self-interest to address gender violence? Don't most of us really care about the women and girls in our lives?

Ignoring violence, not responding to it, looking the other way, or worse yet treating it like an isolated act flies in the face of all we know about domestic violence. Here are some facts about domestic violence in Minnesota. After you read it, have a heart to heart with the women and girls in your life. They deserve respect and a safe place in our culture:

  • Twenty-six women and four children were murdered in Minnesota in 2005 as the result of domestic violence or child abuse.
  • In fiscal year 2005, 36,550 women and children were served by community advocacy programs for battered women.
  • In fiscal year 2005, battered women in Minnesota spent 98,622 nights in safe shelter and children spent 105,448 nights in safe shelter.
  • One of every three homeless women in Minnesota is homeless at least in part due to domestic violence.
  • In 2004, 998 Minnesotans received emergency department or in-hospital care for domestic violence related injuries. 97% of the victims were women.
  • 70 percent of domestic violence victims were victimized more than once in 2001. Domestic violence victims accounted for over a quarter of all violent crime victims in 2001.2002 Minnesota Crime Survey
  • Over 80 percent of victims of domestic violence in Minnesota did not report the incidents to law enforcement.
  • 12,376 Orders for Protection were filed in Minnesota in 2004.
  • Domestic violence victims account for over 25 percent of all violent crime victims [in Minnesota].
  • Domestic violence is a major public health problem that exceeds $5.8 billion each year in the United States in health-related costs.
  • Over 1.7 million workdays [in the United States] are lost each year due to domestic violence. Employers lose between $3 billion and $5 billion every year in absenteeism, lower productivity, high turnover, and health and safety costs associated with battered workers.
  • On average [in the United States], more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. In 1999, 1, 642 murders were attributed to intimates; 74 percent of the murder victims (1,218 total) were women.
  • During the six months following an episode of domestic violence, 32% of battered women are victimized again.
  • Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.
  • Fathers who batter mothers are two times as likely to seek sole custody of their children. 40 to 60 percent of men who abuse women also abuse children.
  • Each year, an estimated 3.3 million children are exposed to violence by family members against their mothers or female caretakers.
  • 90 - 95% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner
  • Women of all races are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate.
Will American's Change Course?

We haven't been able to depend on John Kline to be truthful and honest with the public regarding Iraq. Watch this video and listen to what the military has to say.

"A war shouldn't be about a way to make money."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Say What?

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), the potential next chair of a key national security subcommittee, calls for congressional hearings into how and why America invaded Iraq, and demands “accountability” for those who led America into a “war based on lies.”

"Rumsfeld may no longer be secretary of defense, but he made decisions based on lies that took people to their deaths. He has to be held accountable—secretary or not.”

I'll be honest, Dean was my guy and still is but Dennis has worked his magic on me. And really, I've never met a Kucinch supporter that I didn't like...really..

It’s our Lott in life…More of the same from the GOP leadership! The KKK must be very happy… Video-WMP Video-QT

"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
While I couldn’t agree more with the powerline boys, especially the part about how Republicans are stupid, but I think it’s probably for much different reasons. Still it’s a common middle ground.. Who knows, there might be hope for the dopes...na, probably not!

But now that the Republicans have lost an election, its leaders are stupid once more. Exhibit A consists of recent appointments and selections. Mel Martinez's selection as RNC Chair proves that the Republicans have learned nothing. Trent Lott's election to the position of Senate minority whip proves that they have forgotten much.

The Gates nomination to run the Defense Department suggests that the administration may have lost its nerve in Iraq and elsewhere (I've been guilty of making that case, but at least the top job at DoD is potentially a helluva lot more important than Senate minority whip).

Wow this took me by surprise! I must slept in on Sunday… what do we do now?
Dear Friends and Supporters,
On Sunday, November 12th in Racine, I will hold my 1000th Listening Session with the people of Wisconsin. Before reaching that milestone, I want you to know that I’ve decided to continue my role as Wisconsin’s Junior Senator in the U.S. Senate and not to seek the Democratic nomination for President in 2008.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

No Surprise Here

Minnesota Rep. Mark Olson, a Big Lake-area legislator recently reelected to his eighth term, has been charged with fifth-degree domestic assault. The drill with most of these criminal politicians is to check into an alcohol rehab center for a few days then release a statement about personal responsibility.

"I strongly believe that I am an alcoholic and have accepted the need for immediate treatment for alcoholism and other behavioral problems," Foley, a Republican, said in a statement, Roth told the AP.
But as most people who deal with domestic violence can tell you, by the time the police get involved, it’s been going on for some time. I personally always felt that domestic violence doesn’t stem from drugs, alcohol, or even other stresses but from a lack of respect and trust in your spouse. The rest is all window dressing. And yeah, a bully is a bully and the rethugs have a lot of them.

Not Much Of A Majority If You Count Lieberman

Are the voters in Connecticut mad?
“Lieberman, a Democrat who won reelection as an independent, also said he wants to be called an Independent Democrat.”
Hmm, an independent Democrat?! I don’t think so…more like an independent opportunist:

“…because I retained my seniority, I become a committee chair, but also I want to continue to work to bring the party back to its historic traditions of strength on national security, foreign policy, and innovation and progress in domestic policy"

And of course he did it all because he’s a democrat!
“And, and I must say, and with all respect to the Republicans who supported me in Connecticut, nobody ever said, 'We're doing this because we, we want you to switch over,' "

Saturday, November 11, 2006

They Lost But Still Cheated!

From Marc Baber (Truth in Voting) on voting fraud:
"So, the Democratic victory was no mere "Thumping" as Bush described it. We smited them. We devastated them. We completely overwhelmed, stomped, creamed, killed, slaughtered and trounced them. We beat them so bad, they couldn't even win by cheating.

Yes, indeedy, we sure did. Oh, yeah. Big time.

But, make no mistake, they're still cheating. There were at least 30-40 different cheating tactics used in 2004 and they weren't just invented in 2004-- no organization can build such a smoothly operating racket overnight. What we're up against has a measure of business-as-usual to it, developed over decades of corrupt "worst practices" that may take another decade or two to expose and stop. "

Read the whole post here. If we're going to keep electing Democrats, we're going to have to stay ahead of the cheating.

Bush Tips 31%

Waiter, I'll have the crow ala carte.
"After voters gave Republicans “a thumpin’” at the polls, handing Democrats control of both houses of Congress, Bush banished his contentious defense secretary; invited the presumptive leaders of the new House and Senate to lunch (would-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had pasta; the president ate crow, a Bush aide joked);"

Funny...sad, pathetic, funny

Friday, November 10, 2006

I Think For Myself On Fridays

And because I think, I'm Democratic!
Oh yeah, have a great weekend.

You Are 60% Democrat

You aren't a full fledged Democrat yet, but it's likely the party that fits you best.
You probably consider yourself an independent Democrat. You usually support the party, but you also think for yourself!

What? You mean to tell me that the ‘party of personal responsibility’ would stoop so low as to collect tax payer government funded unemployement. I’m shocked! (okay not really) As CL says:
Hard-core conservatives who have spent the last year telling us that the economy is robust are now having to get in line side-by-side with those "lazy, entitlement queens" they've maligned. How bad are those socialist programs now, kids?
Terrorist. They’re not just non American anymore.

Ribbit, Are we cooked yet? Where's the wassabe?

Should we go or should we stay? The evangelical Christian community is pissed at the GOP for not having fulfilled their promises on abortion and gay marriage. And the GOP can't figure out how a keep stringing them along. "Come on, just one more vote for us and we'll give you the kingdom of g*d here in America...really!" It's a dilemma alright, almightily. Perhaps if the GOP prey on more of the over-moral sunday crowd, they'll wake up.

Aren't you glad Howard Dean works for Democrats? We're winning because of him and those that work toward his vision like DFL State Chair Melendez. We have an agenda, a plan, a goal and a message. They all support the Democratic vision.

Dean stuck to his principles in rebuilding the party. He and his supporters in the netroots movement believed that their party needed to rebuild from the ground up in every state, including many where the party existed in name only. Here in Minnesota that kind of committment has made all the difference. In the area I live in (south suburbs) we've put Democrats into office after hearing for a whole year that we lived in too red an area to elect democrats. Well, we're a very bluish violet today.

Thank you Mr. Dean. All the long hours and endless lit drops and doorknocks were worth it if for nothing else than the soon-to-be ex RNC chair Ken Mehlman.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Governor's Race & My Election Summary

FIrst I want to state that I am very pleased with the outstanding victories here in MN and across the nation. This was an Historic Victory, we won the State and National House, we won the State and National Senate, and we all should be proud for the work we did to ensure this very needed course correction.

We still have problems though. If government were an orchard and politicians the farmers, people like Tim Pawlenty and George W. Bush are the types of orchard farmers that do not understand how to prune their trees in a way that yields a healthy crop, they have actually given up on proper conservation and don't believe we need healthy trees at all, and have embraced the ideology that the only way to prune a tree is by its roots, and if that means the trees die, who cares - they only get in the way of the strip mall that they want to put there anyway. Our infrastructure, our cities, and our health will continue to be under attack from them and their administrations, but now we can fight back and try our best to keep our values front and center so we can continue to fight for the common good, and keep our trees well pruned and bearing a healthy bounty for all the people of Minnesota, and hopefully all the people of the United States.

There is going to be a great deal of talk about the Governor's race and why exactly Mike Hatch was unable to capitalize on this year's democratic momentum. We all will have our takes, and it is doubtful we all will agree, but for my own take I want to start with the core of the problem as I see it.

The depth of potential gubernatorial candidates that claim the DFL label is very shallow. I don't know if this is a structural problem of the party, or a general disconnection between party activists and what it takes to win a statewide Gubernatorial race. I did not feel going through the entire DFL Convention process this year that we ever had a strong candidate that could lead a large coalition through the general election. Why don't we have good administrative candidates? Why was the pool so shallow?

The one thing I do know though is, the DFL as an organized party has its act together. The new GOTV efforts with all the bells and whistles, like the one the GOP bragged about for years, the DFL quietly implemented and successfully used to ensure the victory of the State House, the State Senate, ALL the constitutional offices, and of course, Amy Klobuchar. So, the question is, Why not Hatch? It sure was not the DFL's fault, they did the quiet and deliberative work for months and deserve the credit for engaging the base and building the wave that swept the state. It was an honor to volunteer my time for them.

I could simply leave all the blame with Mike Hatch for his defeat, and he does have the primary fault, it was his campaign - he ran it in his way, by his rules, and was completely insulated from any outside advise. It was a bold and controversial strategy, that almost worked, but I fully believe if he would have simply allowed himself to be more open to the grassroots and netroots energy that swept the rest of the DFL ticket into office, we would have had a different result. He was uncompromising in his strategy, and unwilling to hire a full staff that could satisfy some of the needs of a campaign of that breadth and unwilling to embrace new technologies. It was a difficult balancing act. Hatch was able to compete on the media market, something that has been out of reach for previous DFL candidates, and we cannot discount that factor, and something that none of the other DFL hopefuls would have been able to achieve. But in the end Hatch lost this race, the primary fault is his. Coming closer than any DFL challenge in years is small comfort.

Then there is the Hutchinson factor. Up until the final week the Hutchinson vote was equally split (according to many different sources) between the GOP and the DFL. But in the final days more liberals moved away from Hatch and moved towards Hutchinson (for many reasons). This very small minority of people undoubtedly disproportionally helped elect Pawlenty and have as much to blame for the future repercussions of his policies as Hatch or Hutchinson himself. They voted against their own professed values out of some self-righteous and naive idea of “voting their conscience.” I lay my most damning fault for these people, for Peter Hutchinson and the Independence Party. They obviously have the right to vote however they wish, but most likely will not directly take any responsibility for their misguided actions. They never fully understood how dangerous Pawlenty is to our state and handed him the few points that gave him the keys to his second term. No matter how much discomfort it was for some to fill in the bubble for Hatch, he would have been much better than the only alternative - Tim Pawlenty.

The Independence Party is nothing but an election year gimmick, and are being undeniably used by the GOP to help them win tight statewide races. They have legitimate frustration with a faulty electoral system but deflect their anger away from the real problem and think that running token candidates will build some sort of movement away from the two party system. It is abundantly clear that they failed. 93% of Minnesotans voted for one of the two major parties, and proved without a doubt that under our current electoral system third parties have no attraction. They have two choices now, to either continue their level of work from now until the next election cycle and build their base, or switch their focus and work to enact Instant Runoff Voting which could fix the problem with the electoral system they are so bugged by (and for which I happen to agree with them). I have no faith that they will work to build their base, nor do I see many of them interested in actually addressing the real problems they face. They have failed to do this over the last few cycles, and I see no hints that they are going to give any of this a go. If they don't do one of these two things, they will continue to hand elections to those who help fund their campaigns but oppose their values most.

Basically there is a great deal of blame to go around. Hatch failed to reach out to the base that was riding a wave, and ran a very insulated campaign, he missed the energy and was too paranoid to reach out to it. The DFL needs to broaden its range of potential gubernatorial candidates, third parties need to realize where their anger originates and focus on real solutions that fix problems, not cause them, and when it comes to races like this all the people on the left side of the spectrum in MN need to get off their high horses and realize that their vote is a strategic tool not some sort of emotional expression of their own frustration, and that to have your values at the table is better then voting them down the toilet.

Congratulations to Amy Klobuchar, Mark Ritchie, Rebecca Otto, Lori Swanson and their amazing staffs and to the State House and State Senate majorities. We are all proud of you and honored to have you representing the state.

Now, despite Hatch losing, we have the opportunity to Govern with our values, and we need fight the fight with the respect that was never offered us. If we believe in justice and honor, we need to walk the walk and I have every faith that the new DFL and Democratic majorities will do just that, despite the very strong policy differences we have with the Governor and President. It is time to bring Minnesota and the Nation back together and put the “United” back into the States of America.

What were the Chances?

That MN's Insane Duet: Bachman and Kline are cast as Sandman and Venom in the new Spiderman 3 movie?
In Spider-Man® 3, based on the legendary Marvel Comics series, Peter Parker has finally managed to strike a balance between his devotion to M.J. and his duties as a superhero. But there is a storm brewing on the horizon. As Spider-Man basks in the public's adulation for his accomplishments, Peter becomes overconfident and starts to neglect the people who care about him most. His newfound self-assuredness is jeopardized when he faces the battle of his ife against two of the most feared villains ever, Sandman and Venom, whose unparalleled power and thirst for retribution threaten Peter and everyone he loves. Watch the Trailer.

That gas price went up the day after elections?
Crude oil, which accounts for about half the price of gasoline at the pump, rose past $60 a barrel in New York futures trading. That bolstered the stance of analysts who had been predicting that retail fuel prices were poised to rebound

That Allen won't drag it out while he tries to get a grasp reality?
Republican leadership aides privately acknowledged that their Senate majority was gone, but they declined to say it on the record in deference to Burns and Allen.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rummy's Out, In With The New Oldie

UPDATE: AP reports that Rumsfeld’s replacement will be Robert Gates, a former CIA Director (1991-93) and National Security Council official. He is currently the President of Texas A&M University.

An Oldie but goody:

President Bush said Wednesday he wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to remain with him until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most-vilified members of his administration.
“Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them,” Bush said in an interview with The Associated Press and others.

Is The Fat Lady Singing?

Centrisity brings up some scary but real points when he talks about the balance of power:
Joe [Liebertman] pledged to caucus with the Dems, and I only hope he honors that pledge. Regardless of what he does, there is a Chairmanship for him. But there is another scenario that is even more intriguing, and that has to do with the future of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. President Bush seems to have as much power in determining the balance of the US Senate as Cheney would if it were 50-50. With the tumult that has surrounded Rummy, culminating over the last several weeks, The President has a Win-Win option before him. Fire Rummy (or accept his resignation, same difference) and appointment Joementum to the post. This allows for the GOP Governor to appoint the replacement, and what do you know, 50-50 and Cheney breaks the tie.
We now know the Rumsfeld is out, so did Flash nail the scenero? If so, then the fat lady is gonna sing and soon with Bu$h schedule to speak any time now.

Rumsfeld Out!

It's a start for the new Democratic House and soon to be Democratic Senate...

Minnesota's CD2 Get's Bluerrrrrrrrrrrrr!

The front yard of Governor Pawlenty (awful), Anderson (Awada), and MDE just got a whole lot bluerrrrrrrrr.

In CD2: Coleen Rowley was a long shot even from the start for a number of reasons but….John Kline’s days are numbered. We’ve shown we can make in-roads in CD2 by picking up several new seats in the MN house and senate. So what was once red is now a violet and will be blue shortly. This race will come down to (a) money, lots of it to fight off Kline's sleezy negative campaigning (b) committment, from the old guard politico (3) a candidate with Coleen's credentials: strong in NS issues, ethical, and supportable by the grassroots. Coleen says she won't run again, but in life, things can change.

Here’s the gains from tonight: MN HOUSE
Democrats in CD2 have added 6 seats!
  • David Bly in 25B
  • Sandy Wollschlager in 28A
  • Shelley J. Madore in 37A
  • Sandra Masin in 38A
  • Will Morgan in 40A
  • Carla Bigham in 57A
Kept: Joe Atkins 39B and Patti Fritz in 26B

Democrats in CD2 have added 2 seats!
  • Jim Carlson in 38
  • John Doll in 40
Kept:Katie Sieben in 57 (replaced outgoing Sharon Marko), Jim Metzen in 39 and Steve Murphy in 28

Some thoughts on the State Level:
Okay, there’s some kind of Democratic governor curse. Hatch should have taken it. And maybe next time besides doing the whole white guy old guard union thingy, whoever runs for Governor will also reach out to the grassroots & netroots activists. (yes Hatch I'm talking to you!) I’ve talked with so many local grassroots activists that were never brought into his campaign. I believe they alone would have carried him over the top. It’s not enough to have us vote, you need us to network out and bring in the independent and leaning voters. Just my 2 cents.

Congrats to all the new Democratic constitutional office holders: Swanson, Ritchie, Otto. Each one of them intelligent - well deserving of office-ran good campaigns and have great credentials!

Amy Klobuchar is the first women MN has elected to the U.S. Senate. Hopefully she’s starting a new trend both in MN and the US. We could use more strong women in office.

Keith Ellison the first African American/Muslim, Minnesota has elected to Congress. And…Keith is the very first Muslim in Congress! He’s breaking new ground all the way around. Once again, Minnesota is again showing its politcal firsts on the national scene.

Tim Walz took it to Gil and help win control of the House away from the Republicans. I look forward to his congressional future.

I guess I’ll never understand who would vote for Bachman. She’s insane. And certainly given the choice between Patty Wetterling and insano…this is one race where I’d have to question either the drinking water in that district or the election itself…

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Want To Be A Hero?

Get your family, neighbors, friends and drag them out today to vote. Ask them to support their values and community by voting Democratic.
Ask them to be an American Super Hero!

Monday, November 06, 2006

One Final Note

I will be helping the DFL today in the Get Out The Vote efforts all day. I encourage all of you to do the same. We will achieve an historic victory if we all come together tomorrow and seal the deal.

Good luck and go get'm and thanks for everything everyone does to ensure this win!


MN Supreme Court Orders Kiffmeyer to Respond

You won't find this yet on any "Professional" Media Outlet, but the MN Supreme Court has ordered Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer to respond to the complaint filed against her last week. It is outragious that this story is not making it into the local media outlets.

Again, MNCR has a good post up about it.

Mark Ritchie's response:

To make it harder for battered women and tens of thousands other people living in residential facilities to exercise their most fundament right - to vote - is just unconscionable. The people Minnesota should not have to petition the Supreme Court to compel our Secretary of State to do critical parts of her job. Whether the Court again orders her to make changes, or she does it in response to the petition itself, it is just not the way to do business. We can and should do better.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Kiffmeyer not doing her job, again

This has been written about in a few other blogs, but when is the MSM going to look into this? Joe at MNCR has the basic goods, so please check him out, and especially check out his post on this at Daily Kos, and give him a few recommendations to lift this story up there.

The basics:
* A. Secretary of State Kiffmeyer’s official website fails to adequately inform voters about statutory provisions enacted in 2005 regarding the verification of residency for same day voter registration for voters in residential facilities…
* B. Secretary of State Kiffmeyer has failed to notify residential facilities about the statutory requirement that they submit a list of employees at least 20 days before the election, allowing employees to vouch for the residents…
* C. Secretary of State Kiffmeyer’s official website provides erroneous information about the polling locations for 42 precincts. See attached Exhibit A…
* D. Secretary of State Kiffmeyer’s official website fails to use the language that the legislature enacted in 2005 and 2006 to describe voting eligibility for people under guardianship and for ex-felons…
Vote Mark RItchie and then we will be able to be confident again in our elections in MN

Top Ten Reasons To Vote For Coleen Rowley!

Top ten reasons to vote for Coleen Rowley.

Sentenced To Die

It's ironic that hanging is also a crime against humanity.
What exactly is the lesson we're showing?!
Where's the christian/legislative outcry?
Oh I get it, he's not Terri Schiavo.
Are only certain lives deemed sacred?

No matter how it was done,
this will be how America will be viewed by Arab states,
afterall, it was Osama Bin Laden that attacked us.

Somewhere between the two extremes, there was another way. صدام حسين عبد المجيد التكريتي‎

Saturday, November 04, 2006

No More "Pretty Pawlenty"

I thought it might be good to think of some reasons on why exactly Tim Pawlenty is such a horrible Governor and thus should NOT be reelected. I came across this wonderful post by James Clay Fuller entitled "Take gnarly Hatch over pretty Pawlenty" which should be a must read for every voter in Minnesota

Here are a few excerpts on "Pretty Pawlenty"

In 2002, Pawlenty intended to run for the U.S. Senate, but Dick Cheney telephoned and told him to step aside for Norm Coleman and he did. (Both Coleman and Pawlenty jump to orders from the White House as quickly and unquestioningly as a West Point cadet for a general.) Pawlenty then chose to run for governor. There always has been a strong implication that Bush/Cheney will provide something better for him at some point.

From 1998 to 2002, Minnesota state and local taxes dropped. Since Pawlenty took office, and Republicans gained control of the Legislature, income and sales taxes of the middle class have increased substantially and are continuing to rise, but taxes paid by very high-income individuals have continued to decline. The rich have been given breaks on both income and property taxes and pay considerably smaller percentages of their income in taxes than do middle class taxpayers. (StarTribune and other sources.) Middle class suburanites, the core of Pawlenty's support, haven't figured this out.

Most importantly, Pawlenty pledged himself to dance to the tune of the Minnesota Taxpayers League, a small group of very rich people, and to refuse to allow any new taxes or raises in taxes of any sort under any circumstances. He actually signed such a pledge. The rich tax dodgers pumped money into his campaign.
Here are a few good points on "Gnarly Hatch"

The Democrats are running the state's attorney general, Mike Hatch, for governor. Hatch is one of those rarities these days, a genuine populist.

He has fought, usually successfully, against insurance company and HMO ripoffs of the public, and hammered at health care executives who have drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the system for their personal treasuries while slashing services and raising the costs of health care for individuals and families. He took the lead in the national campaign to make tobacco giants pay for at least some of the damage they have done to society and to individuals.

He's also fought, usually successfully, to make the state's big polluters clean up their acts and the ground and water they have despoiled, and to make corporations follow the law in protecting workers' health and safety.

If you believe the public needs protection against the rich, powerful and conscienceless, he's your guy. And, in fact, it's hard to find anyone whose personal holdings are less than a few million bucks who would deny he's done good things for the citizens of Minnesota.

So despite Mike Hatch being a bit "gnarly" he is the genuine populist this state hungers for, and which the common Minnesotan needs to set things back on the right coarse. As cliche as it sounds, Minnesota needs a change, and the only one who can bring that change is Mike Hatch. For the sake of the common good, please vote Mike Hatch on November 7th.