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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Don't Shut Up!

As usual...he's mad...but not wrong...we need to continue to demand that the truth be heard...

"What this country needs is more dissent, more shouting, more boisterous and angry and confrontational debate. We need to become more furious, more engaged, more passionate and ugly in our politics. For too long, only the right was fighting. For too long, only one party played to win, and thus reduced the “other” party to nothing more than rubber stamps. We need raised voices, we need red faces, we need to put EVERYTHING on the table. Citizens need to start giving a damn, to stop ceding the debate to the fringe right. We are in such great danger, pursuing two disasterous wars and being led by madmen toward a third, more dangerous conflict. We have more and more people sinking into poverty. If Reid and the others had been in the Continental Congress, we wouldn’t have a United States of America ... we’d be proud servants of the Crown. Reid and the rest of them are proud servants of this era’s mad King George. They aren’t fit to hold their offices.

We can’t fight the fascists destroying this country until we reawaken a spirit of political conflict. Politics IS conflict, not “bipartisanship” or “centrism” or any of the other idiotic nostrums that come out of the nation’s press. Fight the right by fighting the centrist conservatives like Senator Clinton. The only hope we have is for more of us to raise our voices in disgust just as Mr. Geffen did. "

Friday, February 23, 2007

Drinking Liberally

Well, I braved my first Drinking Liberally last night and finally met many of the great progressive bloggers in MN face to face. If I try to list everyone I met, I am sure I'll forget and leave someone out, so I won't go there, but I always find it very refreshing to go to a group of very politically in-tune folks and not see a familiar face. That is getting more and more difficult these days.

Oh yeah, Al Franken was there too last night. It was good to see him mingle, and even though Jeff and Flash and a few others hogged Al most of the night, it was fun chatting with him and see him break some of that “celebrity” impression his career has given him. He was very real and down to earth, plus it is a given I guess to say he's naturally funny. I still have some reservations about his run, but if he plays this right, and keeps up the type of mingling he did last night, he just might pull this thing off. It is very important for any candidate to get out and meet everyday Minnesotans, and this early on - 8 days into the campaign as Al kept pointing out, is a great start.

To compare the first meeting I had with Norm Coleman, back in the day when he was a Democrat and the Mayor of Saint Paul, with the meeting last night of Al Franken, Al wins hands down. Lets just say after the meeting with Al, I did not walk away saying “If that is a Democrat, I sure don't want to be one.” Norm didn't keep me wondering for long, during the chance encounter with Norm way back when, he was slimy and weasely through and through. I was not surprised that he soon shed his fake exterior and let the political winds of the day blow him into the GOP. If there is anything 'real' about Norm, is that he is a republican who will lie and slime his way to whatever best suits him.

Whoever the DFL backs, will need plenty of mops to clean up the mess Norm has left on that seat. At least with Franken, we know exactly what we'll get, and it will be fun watching him give this race a go.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Real WMD - School Lunches

Sure lunch period at school is the favorite of all kids but let's be honest...school lunches suck.
Haunt Cuisine not!

Still a Rosemount kid has taken it to an all new level...perfecting the cure for rising obesity rates among children and teens. If they can't eat it, they won't get fat from it!

I'm not ruling out he was just trying to spice up his seriously taste-lacking school lunch, but there are other ways.

Are They Even Paying Attention?

Let’s see, while Bush surges up our troops in Iraq, the rest of the ‘coalition of the willing’ use it as an opportunity to withdrawal…what’s wrong with this picture?
Britain’s Tony Blair desurges their troops…as does Denmark

Nobody recommended a surge... not Bush’s appointed Iraqi Review Committee, not the generals on the ground, nor the Congress. Bush thought this up on his own, without supporting evidence and once again the House and Senate allow him to carry out an initiative that will result in lives lost, destruction of property with no progress …way to go folks….Say what you will about the mandate to end the war from the last election, the cretins in office still don’t seem to get it….dragging out the war won’t make it better or change anything..geez..pass the gun to me, at least I know what to shoot to finish this off and it won’t be my foot or fellow American soldiers…

Friday, February 16, 2007

Going Up In Smoke

The question for debate is: at which point is government required to act to limit one group’s rights for another group’s safety and well being? -- Minnesota Senator Kathy Sheran, SD23

The answer: government's purpose is to serve the collective will of the people while protecting and safeguarding their interests and rights...seems pretty easy...let folks smoke in the privacy of their own home (with out exposing any children). Any other policy allows the following unwanted results:

  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke. Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.3

  • Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700-69,600 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year.4

  • A study found that nonsmokers exposed to environmental smoke were 25 percent more likely to have coronary heart diseases compared to nonsmokers not exposed to smoke.5

  • Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work are at increased risk for adverse health effects. Levels of ETS in restaurants and bars were found to be 2 to 5 times higher than in residences with smokers and 2 to 6 times higher than in office workplaces.6

  • Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to young children. Secondhand smoke is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children under 18 months of age, resulting in between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations each year, and causes 1,900 to 2,700 sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) deaths in the United States annually.11

  • Secondhand smoke exposure may cause buildup of fluid in the middle ear, resulting in 700,000 to 1.6 million physician office visits per year.12

  • Secondhand smoke can also aggravate symptoms in 400,000 to 1,000,000 children with asthma.13

  • Approximately 50-75 percent of children in the United States have detectable levels of cotinine, the breakdown product of nicotine in the blood.15

  • New research indicates that private research conducted by cigarette company Philip Morris in the 1980s showed that secondhand smoke was highly toxic, yet the company suppressed the finding during the next two decades.16

  • The current Surgeon General's Report concluded that scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to second hand smoke. Short exposures to second hand smoke can cause blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart rate variability, potentially increasing the risk of heart attack.17
    • Wednesday, February 14, 2007

      Franken Makes It Official

      Having spoke with Al Franken on many different occasions, he's bright, intelligent, funny, and knowledgeable. And as if that wasn't all, he scares the behozafelts out of Minnesota's GOP...what's not to like?!

      Franken actually rolled up his sleeves and help the DFL last election cycle by attending fundraisers, hosting fundraisers and giving his time and energy over to the local parties...can't say the same for some of those still deciding if they'll run. (note- I said 'some' before you jump all over me). Sure the GOP will try and paint him as a comedian...and he is, but there way more than a few laughs...

      Franken grew up in St. Louis Park, MN. He went to the local high school, then Blake school, then attended Harvard University where he graduated cum laude with a BA in government. Initially a Republican like his father who supported men like Herbert Hoover, Alf Landon and Thomas Dewey. Franken like his dad changed party affiliation to the Democrats in the wake of the '60s civil rights movement and Barry Goldwater's staunch opposition to civil rights.
      Besides...it wouldn't be a bad thing to have more humor injected into politics...

      Monday, February 12, 2007

      Ritchie Keeps Minnesota Number One

      Minnesota's Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has taken the lead in keeing our State in first place for voters...During the election Ritchie campaigned as the 'Champion of Democracy' and is now living up to that title (and I might add I couldn't be happier!) by proposing the follow Legislative Agenda that will both save tax dollars while making voter registration and voting easier...a win-win for all Minnesotans!

      SAINT PAUL, Minn.—Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie today unveiled his legislative agenda.

      “Minnesota has a reputation for doing elections right,” said Ritchie. “I want Minnesota to continue to be #1 in elections, and I believe my legislative proposals will help to accomplish this.”

      Ritchie proposed the following legislation:

      Automatic Registration Bill would provide for the automatic voter registration for anyone who has a driver’s license or state ID card and is eligible to vote. Voters should not be forced to fill out yet another form to exercise their right to vote when the government already has the information it needs to determine if someone is eligible. An added bonus is that local governments will realize substantial cost savings due to a reduction in the need to re-enter this data. Hennepin County alone spends over a quarter million dollars after major elections on data entry that would be largely avoided by this system.

      The same bill will also allow for Automatic Updates of Voters’ Addresses any time a voter files a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service. Currently voters have to re-register every time they move. This proposal would reduce the bureaucracy involved with moving, shorten lines on Election Day, reduce stress on polling place workers, and save local governments money.
      Ritchie’s legislative agenda also includes the following:

      Online voter registration

      • Expanded opportunities for voting by soldiers serving overseas.
      • Study group on ranked voting options, including Instant Runoff Voting
      • Expanded options where candidates may file—both at the county and at the secretary of state’s office
      • Increasing the size of rural communities given the option of mail balloting

      In addition to these proposals on which he is taking the lead, Ritchie is also supporting proposals by legislators that would:

      • Allow voters to vote absentee for any reason
      • Allow election judges to serve who are not affiliated with a major political party
      • Make it easier for Minnesota voters living overseas to participate by moving the primary election from September to sometime earlier in the year
      • Expand the options that may be used to prove residency for Election Day Registration

      “These proposals will improve Minnesota election administration by making things simpler and less costly” said Ritchie. “I want to thank everyone who provided input to these proposals—we’ve included the ideas of a wide array of stakeholders. I look forward to discussing these proposals with citizens all across the state.”

      Flying Low With The Warning Lights Blinking

      Two-thirds of Americans oppose the idea of a troop surge.
      • Asked if 20,000+ additional troops should be sent to Iraq, 66% of Americans said no. [CBS News Transcripts, 1/22/07]
      • A Newsweek poll showed that 68 percent of Americans oppose Mr. Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq. [NBC News Transcripts, 1/20/07]
      • A Fox poll found that 59 percent of the American people are against sending more troops to Iraq. [Fox News, 1/20/07]

      Yet, on February 5, 2007, the Senate voted to stop the Senate from considering a bi-partisan resolution opposing President Bush's plan to send 21,500 additional combat troops to Iraq. The procedural vote was 11 short of the 60 needed to begin debate on the bipartisan resolution.

      The Resolution:

      Disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.
      Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That—
      (1) Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served
      bravely and honorably in Iraq; and
      (2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

      The same Republicans that blocked this resolution are willing to send tens of thousands more troops to face danger and death, then to see them return home to inadequate care and slashed veteran benefits...

      What frightens me more is the belief by many (myself included) that the 'surge' will end up in Iran.... Bu$hCo's inability to understand the area, culture, people coupled with their complete lack of any cohesive long term foreign policy, and refusal to work within the established diplomatic community will only put more strain in a powder-cake area...to my way of thinking this administration is striking matches in a gas filled room...it's only a matter of time.

      Are we going to sit around one more time while Bu$hCo puts into even more war entanglements in the middle east? It's time to pull the plug...heck...it's 4 years past the time to shut her down.

      Friday, February 09, 2007

      Stop Me If You're Heard It Before

      We invade Iraq on faulty (madeup?) intelligence that was spoon fed by the Bush Boy....

      Breaking news: A young women has died...and it isn't Anna Nicole Smith !

      Is it icy cold in here or has Junior been playing with the thermostat?

      The Cheney- Anna Nicole Connection...makes you wonder...

      Talk is Cheap, meanwhile people are dying.

      Thursday, February 08, 2007

      Kline Doesn't Walk The Talk

      Congressman Kline (R- CD2) seems to be supporting all sorts of things verbally, but voting differently...
      - first minimum wage (which he's for but voted against while taking his own pay hikes)...
      - and now earmarks (which he's against but also voted to keep)...

      Come on Mr. Kline...you can't sit on both sides of the fence at once...obviously you're playing unfaithful with the voters claiming one thing and voting another.

      Wednesday, February 07, 2007

      A History Lesson For Marty Seifert

      Open mouth, insert one large Seifert foot!
      Funny how Marty Seifert (GOP) conveniently forgot his own history when pointing fingers at the legislative MN House performance in January. Fortunately, Rep. Tony Sertich (DFL) gives out history lessons for free:

      “Let me share with you some history,” Sertich said. “In the first two months of the session in 1993, 10 bills were passed by the House. Two became law.“In 2003, when (Seifert and the Republicans) were in charge, two bills passed the House in the first two months and zero became law. And in 2005, when you were in charge, seven bills passed the House and only one became law.“Hopefully, you will remember when you were in charge, Mr. Seifert, when you toiled two months without passing a single (bill) into law.”Sertich then listed issues this year’s House has tackled and approved and said, “I think we’re doing a good job.”

      What kind of person would call for eliminating food from poor and needy seniors?