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

Friday, July 30, 2010

Emmer Hits Smarmy On Yuk Scale

It's official, Emmer has hit smarmy on the yuk scale...It's not so much that he apparently has a drinking problem (well come on 2 DWIs!), but that he sees them as 'no big deal' and sponsors a bill to lessen the penalties for DWI (gives a whole new meaning to self serving!). With that kind of history I wouldn't let my dog ride in a car he was driving regardless of how long ago he got 'caught' arrested. Once is a mistake, more than that is a pattern of behavior that show a lack of judgement, control, and personal disciple.

What's next...will Emmer defend Target's spending as freedom of speech?...er..sigh...just keep saying "Government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the people, for the corporation..." This sure as hell ain't Kansas America any more.

PS...On another track: This sounds down right ominous: Speaking from an undisclosed location in London this week, Assange told Forbes that WikiLeaks' coming disclosures will include information on BP. Can't wait for this one...

We made it another week...enjoy the weekend and don't drink and drive like Mr. Emmer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Corporate Take Over of Minnesota?

"…of the people, by the people, for the people…" er...strike that...get use to saying: "…of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations,"
Now that the Supreme Court's January 21, 2010 ruling has opened the floodgates of cash, we're just now seeing the tip of the iceberg regarding PAC spending and marketing of candidates in Minnesota...expect lots more cash to be spent promoting candidates with policies that are not necessarily best for humans, communities, families and America...but in the best interests of corporations and the 1% of wealthy CEOs.

Corporate control of our government is not only easy...it's now assured.
In 2003 the top 1% of income earners did receive 17% of all income, by 2006 it was up to 21.3% . This parallels what is happening with the wealth distribution and further support for the inference that the power of the corporate community and the upper class have been increasing in recent decades.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oh Look! A Bright Shiney Object In CD2!

Wow, This just in: According to Strib writer Eric Roper only millionaires or fully employed candidates should run for office in CD2...how pathetically unnewsworthy is that especially when Congressman Kline has such a rich history of voting corporate interests while feeding at the special interest tough.

OMG, what's next a job fair with no jobs to be had? Deciding to balance the US deficit on kid's school lunches instead of war profiteers? Give me a break, no wonder newspapers are failing and dying when they shrill meaningless crap instead real news!

Earth to Roper, a lot of Americans are unemployed, it's not a sin, a sign of weakness, or a criminal act! Our economy is suffering, there's five people for every one job opening! Maybe your story would have been significant if you pointed our Congressman Kline brought us to this point by eight years of voting his far right ideology including voting for bank bail out but against finance reform. Now that is a story based on facts that affect us all.

Friday, July 23, 2010

CD2 Loser Awards

CD2 Loser Awards.

Huh? Why on earth would the winner want to continue to debate the loser. Been there done that already...You lost...Move on.

John Kline's Security and Freedom PAC is donating to criminals politicians with strong greed moral values just like him. MN Political Roundtable has the story...Is it just me or does his PAC name sound like a feminine hygiene product?

It's Friday...go out and have fun this week. I'll be right along side ya!

I love this video: "Forces of Evil in a Bozo Nightmare"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's A Bachmann Tea Party

Minnesota's own Queen of Hearts, Michele Bachman (GOP-MN-6), threw a tea party in Washington, DC...She invited all the mad hatters and cards to join her. Bachmann describes her tea party as "a listening ear to tea parties" 

You can view the guest list up on her website. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the number of mad hatters.

There was some confusion regarding who was and wasn't on the guest list verses who supports the tea party Queen but looks like it's been sort of resolved!

Caucuses are informal groups sanctioned by the House. They vary by size and issue..such as the 'out of Iraq Caucus, the Blue Dogs, the Hispanics Caucus, or the Steel Caucus.

While Congress allocates no money for a caucus, some congressional resources (like postage) may be used to handle the official business of the caucuses.

Wells Fargo and Money, Lawyers, Lobbyists

It's about damn time we had some sort of finance reform...Obama Signs Overhaul of Financial System.

It couldn't have come a second too early! Wells Fargo Reports Net Income of $3.06 Billion; Up 20% from Prior Quarter.

"The law subjects more financial companies to federal oversight and regulates many derivatives contracts while creating a consumer protection regulator and a panel to detect risks to the financial system."
I'm not sure the bill is enough, but it's a start. To show a net profit of billions when everyone is hurting is just plain criminal. Oh and they did get a government bail out:
"Wells Fargo hit the jackpot. It was one of the first banks to get bailout funds - the biggest amount awarded in a single shot: $25 billion tax dollars."
But don't expect change anytime soon...old habits will be hard to break and since banks have so much in the way of money, lawyers and lobbyists, expect a fight.

Warren Zevon was a genius...I miss him...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Root, Root, Root For The Home Team!

In an effort to promote voter participation Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is taking it to the field today...Ritchie will be throwing out the game opening pitch for the "Step Up to the Plate and VOTE! day at the new outdoors Twins's stadium Target Field.

Fans will be greeted at the gate by Mark Ritchie staff who will distribute voting information and reminding fans about the August 10 primary as well as the November 2 election. They will be easy to spot in bright red t-shirts that say 'I Will Vote'. In addition, there will be special videos from the Minnesota Twins to the score board encouraging fans to vote.

This is another in a series of ways that Mark Ritchie has engage Minnesotans to vote. Minnesota broke it's all time voter registration record in 2008 as a result of his office outreach efforts. Looks like Secretary of State Ritchie wants to break another record in encouraging all eligible votes.  Baseball is America's greatest past-time so it should be no surprise that it's fans be encouraged to 'Step up to the plate and VOTE!

As an aside, I didn't grow up in the States as my parents were military and we lived just about everywhere overseas. After we came back to the states in 1970 my dad took me to see my first professional baseball game. It was easily one of the best days of my life. We saw Vida Blue pitch a no-hit against the Minnesota Twins at the Oakland Coliseum. It was the perfect sunny day under a beautiful blue sky watching baseball and eating peanuts. It's the day I fell in love with baseball.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BP And The MST3K Connection!

AMERICAblog showed BP has photoshopped a version of it's command center...so natural when I saw this on Upper Left I couldn't resist reposting:

"BP has apologized for the Photoshopped version of its command center, and it has just released this new, unedited version"

I miss MST3K!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Throwing Up Voter Fraud Hail Mary's in Minnesota

It's the end of the game, seconds to go, you've got the ball, but you're so far down field...your teams only chance is....a Hail Mary play. Statistically speaking such a play has no chance of completion...it's a long shot born out of a desperation to win by any means...

This week we've seen the Minnesota Republicans throw up their Hail Mary in a last ditch effort with to take attention away from their own failed gubernatorial candidate's meltdowns in waitergate, trying to make a case with smoke and mirrors against Democrats while promoting one of their favorite causes voter suppression.

Here's some of the plays in this game:

Governor Pawlenty: "I suspect they [felons] favored Al Franken"
Off Sides: Seriously do you think it's a good Presidential quality that Pawlenty goes on assumptions and not facts! Political analyst David Schultz of Hamline University said he was surprised to see Gov. Pawlenty buy into the theory that felons tipped the election..."One, it makes an assumption that it's been proven that these felons have voted illegally, which isn't the case, And, two, it makes the assumption that these felons voted overwhelmingly in favor of Franken."...In fact the one case that has been proven shows the Felon voted for Coleman.

MN GOP: "The Minnesota Republican Party wants county attorneys across the state to investigate if ineligible felons illegally voted or registered to vote in 2008."
Bad Call: So based on allegations by a conservative activist group (Minnesota Majority) which it has ties to, the GOP wants to spend resources and taxpayers dollar when even they say it won't change the outcome of the election. This is just another stun to draw attention away from real issues and candidates...oh look a bright shiny object!

Minnesota Majority: With a volunteer base of conservative teabaggers, they want to trump up cases against all Democrats for everything wrong with the world. Today it's some kind of Democratic conspiracy that allowed Felons to vote, tomorrow it will be another whacked out claim like how gay marriages threaten world peace...er...or something like that!
Failed Pass: First off their methodology is not proven nor any claim of statistical significance. Secondly, already the numbers they claimed have been cut by half or more, and thirdly, many of the cases were already reported my the Secretary of State and prosecuted. In reality, we are talking a handful of cases left to be examined. So to be blunt, this is a huge waste of tax dollar (something they and all conservatives vell against!)

FOX News: Fox News (GOP propaganda outlet) has promoted baseless claims of fraud in the Minnesota race giving airtime to assumptions rife with distortions.
Bad Coaching: Minnesota had a fair, completely opened recount process where both political parties helped monitor the process; Then a three panel judge reviewed the process and out come; Then the Minnesota Supreme Court reviewed that review; It was all done bi-partisan, openly, and fair.  Sure it isn't as interesting as the claims of foul play being thrown up now as hail Mary's. The truth seldom is as entertaining or news worthy...er..at least not to Fox.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shshh...Be Vewy Vewy Quiet, I'm Hunting Waitresses

In the cartoons Elmer Fudd spends most his time hunting Bugs Bunny, but always ends up messing up. In real life, Tom Emmer hunts for a fictional 100K a year waitress but always ends up messing up. Lets review...

1. Emmer advocates paying wait staff less than minimum wage because "many earn $100,000 a year or more with tips". (video here)
2.  Servers (~45,000 in Minnesota alone) get mad at the complete out-of-touch Emmer. (video here)
3. Emmer makes more statements...deny, repeat again, scrubs his video with new comments, denies, changes (but it's unclear to everyone how!), blame the media, tries to placate with a stunt, then another stunt and video, more messing up, then exits early through the back door....

Is the Republican-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer related to the fictional cartoon character Elmer Fudd? Seems like it! One thing for sure, given the scope of Tom Emmer's Waitergate, it's getting harder and harder to tell which one is the real 'Looney Tune' character. I don't want my next governor to be a cartoon.

In one cartoon, Elmer Fudd declares himself vegetarian, hunting for sport only...stay tune for our next Emmer Fudd  cartoon moment.

OMG Just Kill Me Now!

It's a wonder that we aren't all dead yet given that 43% of the US budget is spent now on death ...i.e our grossly bloated military spending). The U.S. is also getting closer to out spending the world collectively (yes the whole world) in military spending! This is just damn frightening. The kind of stuff that keeps me awake at night wondering if the sun will rise tomorrow. 

We can't afford the cost of schools, books, food, housing, transportation...but we can buy more guns and war toys? Add into the mix that currently, the U.S.'s military budget is woefully inadequate to provide proper medical care for returning veterans of its two “wars of choice!

Has the lack of money for community development in favor of defence presented America with a Trojan horse?  We have a model in the Soviet Union that continued to dump money into their military budget, while their economy became stagnate and died.

Maybe there's a silver lining or rosy glow to this....  Recently there has been bi-partisan support that failure to curb defense spending, would “do substantial damage to our economy and dramatically reduce our quality of life.”  In other words, the longer the US maintains and feeds this bloated war machine, the close we come to become a 3rd world nation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Singing Patriots

I love America. I love the values my parents taught me of love for the environment, community responsibility, lending a helping hand to all and most of all to never be afraid to speak out for those values you believe in.  Anyone who gives voice against injustice is my hero...and today heroes are out there everywhere....I got on this train of thought when I read that if Woody Guthrie had been alive, today would be his 98 b-day.

I  grew up with one foot in Woody Guthrie land...living in an around the area changed so dramatically by the BPA  and living with his music...so many memories. Along with him is Pete Seeger (now 91)...and of course, Arlo...and others including my father (a Texas guitar picker) and my deceased husband (banjo/fiddle player) ...Dead or alive they sing on to give voice to our hopes and beliefs. The least we can do is sing along.

Deep in my heart I do believe...the whole wide world around! Keep singing it...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Emmerize Me!

Just who is Tom Emmer referring to when he talks about his Freedom and Prosperity Project? Well one things for sure, Emmer’s Freedom and Prosperity Project doesn’t include servers…er…well actually it does but they are just to pay the way for business owners to have Freedom and Prosperity…they don’t actually get a piece of the action.

Emmer says government shouldn't stand in the way of jobs, but his vision is shallow and one dimensional. While jobs will help our economy...more low paying positions will not! Here a fact to think about:

“There's a one-sided war going on between financial elites and the rest of us. They've engineered the economy to enrich themselves at our expense, with Wall Street taking the lead. The numbers don't lie: In 1970 the top 100 CEOs earned approximately $45 for every dollar earned by the average worker. By last year, it was $1,081 to one. There is no economic theory that can explain this obscene gap.”
So yes we need more jobs, but those jobs need to be a living wage with benefits like medical or we're just 'making hay for the lords rich' while more and more serfs servers (est. 50,000 in Minnesota)  fall into poverty.  How about if Emmer advocates for jobs that provide us with the ability to sustain ourselves and families instead of more below average paying jobs to serve the wealthy.

What's so intriguing about this is that a suppose GOP conservative (as Emmer defines himself) is asking for wealth to be redistributed (can you say socialism!). Only the idea isn't to make wealth more equable to all Minnesotans...nope... What’s next form Emmer? Can we expect a request for a return to slavery?

Fact Check on Emmer 

Congressman John Kline Tries Job Fair Promotion Over Legislation

In today's tough economic times, many use any resources available to find jobs including job fairs. My Congressman, John Kline (R) sponsored one such fair at Inver Grove Community College this week. It had good attendance (lots of out-of-work folks) but as the guys in suits said on their way out, all the positions were lower paying entry jobs so they dressed up for nothing.

The jobs offered through job fairs need to have sustainable wages with benefits...most of those at Kline's sponsored fair didn't and were designed toward entry level administration or manufacturing positions...not higher paying positions like engineers or programmers.

I also don't think Rep. John Kline should be in the job fair market...but in the legislation market supporting the creation of living wage jobs. After all that's why he was elected!

Unfortunately his past eight year record indicates lots of self promotion through job fairs, but no legislation in creating those jobs. So he'll waste tax payer money and resources on hosting job fairs that account for only a small percentage of employment hires -- 3 percent! (as self promotion goes, it's really a very small number that will ever land a job through a job fair but lots of community visibility!)

If Kline really wants to host job fairs, he should go to work for a marketing firm or a personnel service like Kelly's. The voters elected Kline hoping for more, you know, like possibly promoting legislation to create jobs as Rep. Tim Walz has done with the HIRE ACT. (sigh...which Kline voted against!)  I'm left wondering what we can expect next...Will his next self promotion be Kline becoming a game show host?

Friday, July 09, 2010

If Emmer Is Elected, Can Minnesotans Expect More Frivolous Lawsuits?

When you use the system for personal ideology gain (or try to) and are unsuccessful, shouldn’t there be a price to pay?

GOP candidate for MN Governor, Tom Emmer has a history of asking for investigations and filing complaints in his six years in the MN Legislature. All of the complaints, ethic charges, lawsuits and formal requests for investigations have been dismissed. Yet, he continues in the pattern of characterizing himself as a victim while using the system to try and ‘bully’ and ‘intimidates’ opponents with a repetition of meritless complaints, while wasting court resources and public tax dollars. Perhaps Emmer will need those server tips to pay for more frivolous legal shenanigans.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

MN Tip #1: Don't Dine with Emmer!

Emmer Fudge Time
Sure Tom Emmer, Republican gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota, has given us the myth of the $100K a year waitress but I’m going to give everyone a free tip that probably isn’t a myth…don’t accept an invitation to dine publicly by Tom Emmer. I’m thinking many of the waitresses probably resent him trying to steal from their puny salaries. I’m not saying waitresses will retaliate but why take a chance, lots of videos of food being mess with  on the Internet (warning may make you sick!)..just don't bite-)…on second thought the best way to get even is just not vote for the jerk!

The Local Cupboard
The number of Minnesotans that use food shelves is already up 10% from 2009. But there is some good news in that the Minneapolis Farmers Market has just rolled out their EBT acceptance program. As of July 1st, it joins the Midtown Farmers Market and the Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market in helping bring low-income families and healthy foods together. Hopefully most local farmers Market will soon join this trend to offer wholesome, local and sustainable food to low income families.

Show Me The Bacon
Remember when happy hour had some pretzels and half priced beer! Well show me the bacon! Bacon is the latest fad including here in Minnesota . Ah “a basket heaped with a fistful of the stuff [bacon].” And beer! Must be getting close to lunchtime because I can smell the bacon. This reminded me of that dog commercial where the dog repeatedly screams BACON! Bacon! Bacon! Show me the Bacon!...or is that me? Did I just scream Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, out loud? LOL

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Some Emmer Food For Thought

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer is calling for waitstaff tips to be factored into their base wage.  He says that tying the base pay to tips will 'level playing field so the employers can continue to exist, survive and thrive'. Hmmm...what's next, advocating bringing back slavery to 'level the owners profits?'

My favorite part of this fantasy is when Emmer claimed many waitresses earn 100K or more a year. Well here's some food for thought dished up by a former waitress now blogger... Years ago while going to school, I worked as a waitress (in a casino!), and while tips were great, they keep food on the table while my mimimun wage check went to school. I made around $15,000 a year. Many days we went to school hungrey. But it was a long time ago...so, I  wondered where Emmer got his figure of many waitresses getting over 100K a year. Did the industry change? Should I be comtemplating a come back? Another career change back to being a server? Just in case I did some research...

While most wait jobs are part time, (nature of shifts and dining) the average salary for a full time waiter/waitress is $37,000 a year. In 2008 the median hourly wage (including tips) is $8.54. Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development reports the state median wage for servers now is $9.36 per hour. The highest 10 percent earned just under $15 an hour. That leaves us to ask the question...just who the heck is getting 100K a year waiting tables?

For the honor of being the working poor, wait staff are on their feet most of the time, carrying trays of food and glassware, under pressure to serve customers quickly, efficiently and correctly. Most servers have to split tips among their team (bartenders, busboys, food runners, hostess). Their industry has a higher incident of injuries due to slips, cuts, and burns than many other occupations. And finally, there is relatively no advancement, no sick leave, or health care.

Really of all the pressing issues facing our community and state, the best Emmer can do is attack servers? How about asking for tooth fairy money get declared income? Maybe we should tax allowances? My mom's 'pin' money?

BTW, good news for women, larger breasts do pay off for waitresses...as do women with blond hair and slender bodies. Maybe Emmer will mandate that to increase business. It's just about as pitifully ridiculous and sad as taking from the working poor.

Shelley Madore's Broken Promise

Dan Powers, Congressional Candidate in Minnesota's Second Congressional District was endorsed in a very open and well attended convention by grassroots activists made up from each Senate District in CD2. Much like the other eight Congressional Districts in Minnesota.

During the convention both candidates (Dan Powers and Shelley Madore) promised to abide by the CD2 endorsement. Yes they said it, out loud, on stage for all to hear (see the below video!). Unfortunate in Shelley's case it appears to be a promise made when she thought she would win...(sigh...doesn't anyone believe in keeping their promises?) This really goes to character...how good is your word? Do you keep your promises? Shouldn't the candidate you elect keep their promises?

Shelley Madore broke her promise and is running without the DFL Party's endorsement. What's worse is when her campaign, instead of focusing on John Kline, attacks the legitimately endorsed Democratic candidate Dan Powers.... Just for the record it's not dodging when the already declared winner chooses not to debate the loser!

Additionally Shelley's campaign's game of side stepping the Democratic political process of endorsement by implying it came about in a smoke filled back room...really? That's as good as lying...er...it is a lie!
I'm not trying to demonize Shelley, she's done a lot of good in the past and will continue to do so, but let's not do the opposite and demonize those that participated in an open, fair, balanced and honest caucus system that lead to an endorsed DFL party candidate like Dan Powers!

Had Madore won CD2's endorsement, we wouldn't be having a debate by her staff regarding the viability of party endorsements over primaries. If there's a civics lesson here, it's how to win or lose gracefully without breaking promises, resorting to half truths, calling out the winner, or malingering the participants. 

CD2 has been under the worse kind of right wing Congressman (Kline-R) for eight years. All Democrats need to unite in fighting John Kline to win this election.  Until Shelley drops her anemic, failing campaign, and actually joins with us in helping to defeat Kline... all CD2 Democrats stand to lose.