Thursday, November 30, 2006
"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
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
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
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.
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.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
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
22000 - 100000
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
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
A leading Pakistan-based militant group fighting in Kashmir
Rouge Scientologists who refute Tom and Katie’s marriage.
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
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.
Friday, November 17, 2006
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
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.
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
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..
"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.”
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!
Wow this took me by surprise! I must slept in on Sunday… what do we do now?
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).
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
"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.
“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
"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.
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
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
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.
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 $60 a barrel in New York futures trading. That bolstered the stance of analysts who had been predicting that retail fuel prices were poised to rebound
That Allen won't drag it out while he tries to get a grasp reality?
Republican leadership aides privately acknowledged that their Senate majority was gone, but they declined to say it on the record in deference to Burns and Allen.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
An Oldie but goody:
President Bush said Wednesday he wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to remain with him until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most-vilified members of his administration.
“Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them,” Bush said in an interview with The Associated Press and others.
Joe [Liebertman] pledged to caucus with the Dems, and I only hope he honors that pledge. Regardless of what he does, there is a Chairmanship for him. But there is another scenario that is even more intriguing, and that has to do with the future of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. President Bush seems to have as much power in determining the balance of the US Senate as Cheney would if it were 50-50. With the tumult that has surrounded Rummy, culminating over the last several weeks, The President has a Win-Win option before him. Fire Rummy (or accept his resignation, same difference) and appointment Joementum to the post. This allows for the GOP Governor to appoint the replacement, and what do you know, 50-50 and Cheney breaks the tie.We now know the Rumsfeld is out, so did Flash nail the scenero? If so, then the fat lady is gonna sing and soon with Bu$h schedule to speak any time now.
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
Democrats in CD2 have added 2 seats!
- Jim Carlson in 38
- John Doll in 40
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
Monday, November 06, 2006
Good luck and go get'm and thanks for everything everyone does to ensure this win!
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
* 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…Vote Mark RItchie and then we will be able to be confident again in our elections in MN
* 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…
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
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.Here are a few good points on "Gnarly Hatch"
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.
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.
Democratic Senator Chris Dodd blasted the government's Website as "irresponsible" and politically motivated:
"The idea that you'd allow this stuff to go up without censoring it, looking at it carefully, just throwing it up and leaving it up there for March on, without knowing that you have material there that could provide our enemies with needed information for them to produce the kind of weapons that the article describes here is the height of irresponsibility," Dodd said. "And it was all designed to do one thing, and that was to help them out politically, disregarding the national security implications."
Near as I can tell most Republicans like John Kline are corrupt. They have involved us in a war by lying and giving false data, with no planning and now with no end in sight. They have removed oversights and protections and placed themselves above the law. They have voted for big business over American interests, the country's best interests, and our children's future. And when confronted with the results, they blame Clinton, or the victims (war civilians), or nature (katrina).They all need to go. Let's start by electing candidates that will make decisions in our best interest instead of war profiteers. Let's elect candidates that are moral, truthful and have our Minnesota values.
There's plenty of good value-based Democrats. They have made a committment to change the course Bus$hCo has put us on, and return to the programs and policies that made America a leader among all countries.
This Tuesday let's clean house! It's time to vote as if your life depends on it.
Friday, November 03, 2006
The Web site, “Operation Iraqi Freedom Document Portal,” was a constantly expanding portrait of prewar Iraq. Its many thousands of documents included everything from a collection of religious and nationalistic poetry to instructions for the repair of parachutes to handwritten notes from Mr. Hussein’s intelligence service. It became a popular quarry for a legion of bloggers, translators and amateur historians including Hinderaker to use in trying to show evidence of WMDs.
But in fact the website has now literally handed classified nuclear-bomb-making research to countries like North Korea and Iran or anyone else who surfs the net!
Here are the real unclassified documented facts, as reported in the Key Findings of the Duelfer Report regarding Iraq's nuclear program:
- “Saddam Husayn ended the nuclear program in 1991 following the Gulf war. ISG found no evidence to suggest concerted efforts to restart the program.”
- “Although Saddam clearly assigned a high value to the nuclear progress and talent that had been developed up to the 1991 war, the program ended and the intellectual capital decayed in the succeeding years.”
- “The former Regime had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMD after sanctions.”
SOP - When caught instead of the usual 'blame Clinton', in a new twist, the Bu$hCo blamed those that asked them to be removed from the site. Moreover, U.S. officials were warned last week by the International Atomic Energy Association that the information available “could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms.” The web site wasn’t removed until last night, after the Times began its inquiry.
Let's step back in time to this comment from Hinderaker:
As far as I can tell the Left doesn't care about terrorism, doesn't care about the Islamofascists, doesn't care about hundreds of thousands of people being murdered. All they care about is their own power. [...] The whole mainstream of the Democratic Party, I would say, is engaged in an effort that really is a betrayal of America.
Harsh words from someone who helped spin nuclear secrets out on a public website, don't ya think? I think this falls more under 'betrayal of America' than voting Democratic. What do you think?
So do you feel safer yet? No? then stop listening to the spin and vote these clowns out...you have until this Tuesday!
Minnesota rejected Bush and his policies back in 2004. Minnesota knew then what the Country knows now, that the Republican controlled government was on a destructive path and we had to try to change the coarse. We knew Iraq was a quagmire before the rest of the country, Katrina was not a surprise because we knew that the philosophy of the GOP wants to make government small enough to drown in a bathtub, and Katrina is the real example of that metaphor. We knew that the middle class was being squeezed in favor of the super wealthy and the common good was being lost with all the corruption and greed in Washington.
We knew all this and fought a valiant fight, and we Won what we could win here in MN.
Now we are entering the final few days of the 2006 election cycle. We are on the verge of an historic change in this country. A change to embrace the common good, a change to put some oversight back into Washington, a change to bring integrity back into our government. Our DFL candidates in Minnesota all hold the best interest for us all in their hearts and we must work twice as hard as we did in 2004 to instill this needed change into our state and national government.
We can do this, we can win bigger than we won in 2004, and this win will actually bring the change we desire because this win is more fully in our hands. We can send 1 fantastic US Senator to Washington with Amy Klobuchar, we can send 8 DFL US House Representatives to Washington with Tim Walz, Coleen Rowley, Patty Wetterling, Wendy Wilde, Collin Peterson, Jim Oberstar, Betty McCollum, and Keith Ellison. We can dramatically change our state government with Mike Hatch, Mark Ritchie, Lori Swanson, Rebecca Otto, plus all the state legislators who will help return our state back to sane are reasoned leadership.
With all your help, we will win and win big. If you have not already please sign up to do what you can in these final days.
Click HERE to add your energy to this historic election!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
- Step 1; Avoid talking about any issue - because your party has been a complete failure on every issue
- Step 2; Wait for your opponent (normally Democrats), so say something unrelated to anything that you can spin against them
- Step 3; Call you buddies in the Main Stream Media (you know the ones the GOP owns) and tell them to talk about nothing else but the mole hills until they become mountains.
- Step 4; Wash, rinse, and repeat.
We are not fooled, not distracted, and as resilient as ever to bring Minnesota values back to the leadership in this State, and representing us in Washington.
Stand up and keep fighting! Even if it means we have to step over their pathetic mole hills.
When you are afraid that your right to vote may be threatened, students don't keep quite. Here is a message that they are sending to Mary.
Kiffmeyer accepted a $250 contribution from Peter Hafiz (PDF), the owner of Deja Vu -- the strip club (warning link contains pornography). Again, from the party of “Family Values.” That doesn't sound like “family values”to me.
From a Mark Ritchie press release:
Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer continues to misstate her record on Election Day Registration. Kiffmeyer challenged Mark Ritchie, the DFL candidate for Secretary of State, on his statement that she has been quoted attacking Election Day Registration in books and newspaper articles, and that she had promoted a change to a new system requiring voters to register to vote at least thirty days before the election.
Kiffmeyer said, “That is absolutely not true, and you know better than that. And it is just that type of negative campaigning that is just plain wrong”
In the Secretary of State debate sponsored by the League of Women Voter's and KSTP, Secretary Kiffmeyer went even further by saying, “There's absolutely no truth to that I have ever spoken anywhere, including our state, against any of our policies.”
Despite these recent claims, Kiffmeyer has been quoted repeatedly around the country criticizing Election Day Registration.
In Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, Kiffmeyer said that she is “tired of hearing her state's same day registration extolled,”and she compares Minnesota elections to holding a party and not knowing how much food to buy because no one sent in an RSVP. “Some precincts run out of ballots while others are overstocked.” (pg. 140)
Kiffmeyer was quoted in an opinion piece in the Times Republican (Iowa) as saying, “We have long lines because of same-day. People get frustrated and leave.”(“Same Day Voter Registration Addressed,”11/21/05)
In an article in the Los Angeles Times, Kiffmeyer said that Minnesota has had mixed results with Election Day Registration. She admitted that it has led to higher turnouts, but also said that Same Day Registration has led to long lines and confusion at the polling places. She said that she suspects that Same Day Registration has led to more voter fraud and advised, “You need to have integrity with your access. It is just as important and I highly recommend that California be careful about maintaining its integrity.”(“Voters Consider Signups at the Polls,”10/1/02)
Kiffmeyer told the Star Tribune that she would not recommend election voter registration to other states. “Pre-registration is the standard in most states, and that's the norm. It's much easier when you have a cutoff date for registration” (Sabo introduces national same-day voter registration bill, 9/25/03).
According to the Senate District 41 Republicans, Kiffmeyer said that voter fraud would be significantly reduced in the state if we switched to a 30-day pre-election registration period like most states. (“The Homegrown Optimist,”2/24/04: www.sd41gop.org/febuary_24_fcm_dinner.html)
“Given these documented statements, it clear that Secretary Kiffmeyer has spoken out against Minnesota's policy,”said James Haggar, campaign manager for the Ritchie campaign. “If she does support Election Day Registration she should stop attacking it outside of our state.”
And then some extremist statements from Kent Kaiser one of Mary Kiffmeyer's main campaign staffers talking about why homosexual individuals should not be allowed in leadership positions with 4-H: Saint Paul Pioneer Press; December 18, 1996
“This unhealthy and immoral lifestyle is being forced upon her. ”Kaiser said that children shouldn't be exposed to homosexuals but that parents who want their kids to participate in 4-H won't have any way to protect them against such exposure. “If she's a leader and a gay person wants to serve as a junior leader, she should be able to say 'no, we don't want a young person in Hamburg to be exposed to that lifestyle,”' said Kaiser. “She's being told she doesn't have the right to weed out the bad elements like that.”
________So, she hires staffers who hate gay people (which begs the question does she feel they have the right to vote?), takes money from smut profiteers (now that is an unhealthy and immoral lifestyle), and lies about where she actually stands on same day registration.
It is way past time for a change, and way past time to go straight down your ballot and vote for every Democrat you can. This level of partisan Republican hate, perversion and dishonesty has to stop and it is time to throw out the Republican's Culture of Corruption.
Vote Democrat on November 7th!
...and Kiffmeyer no paradigm of voting virtue
Here are the Top Ten Reasons Why Kiffmeyer Should Not Have Been Endorsedby the News Tribune (“Keep Kiffmeyer as secretary of state,” Oct. 30):
10) When she took office, Kiffmeyer replaced virtually all of the nonpartisan civil servant staff with partisan political appointees.
9) In 2002, when Senator Wellstone was killed, Kiffmeyer tried to stop local elections officials from sending replacement absentee ballots to voters who requested them. (Overruled by the Supreme Court).
8) In 2004, Kiffmeyer banned Independence Party candidates from the ballot despite their major party status. (Overruled by the Supreme Court)
7) In 2000, she published informational brochures with the wrong date for the DFL caucuses. Even after the DFL complained, Kiffmeyer continued to spread this misinformation.
6) Kiffmeyer tried to stop Hennepin and Ramsey Counties from distributing federal voter registration forms, the effect of which would have been to thwart voter registration drives. The Department of Justice ruled in the counties’ favor and admonished Kiffmeyer.
5) According to the Wall Street Journal, “Minnesota’s Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer is tired of hearing her state’s ‘same day’ registration extolled.” She has hinted a number of times that she would like to see it abolished.
4) Kiffmeyer has neglected to implement a law, whose passage she opposed, which allows residents of battered women’s shelters and group homes to have absentee ballots delivered to them.
3) Kiffmeyer has repeatedly tried to make it hard for Native Americans to vote by fighting to limit the use of ID’s issued by tribal governments. She has gone to court twice over the issue and been overruled.
2) Local elections officials overwhelmingly report that Kiffmeyer is autocratic, arbitrary and singularly unhelpful — just ask them.
1) Kiffmeyer said at a “National Day of Prayer” gathering in 2004 that “the five words” that are “probably most destructive” in the nation today are “separation of church and state.”
Neil Young does it again, listing the reasons Bu$h should be impeached. I don't care what kind of 'deal' the so-called Democratic leaders have made, once we have control of the legislature back, I will use any means to make sure this idiot is impeached and branded for the what he is: a traitor to American values, a killer, a liar, and a dictatoral bully.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Mary Kiffmeyer, Katherine Harris, George Bush, we have had enough!
Vote Mark Ritchie!