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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Is Dennis Prager a Casualty of the Activist Judges in Massachusetts?

Dennis Prager is getting a divorce.

Lloydletta's Nooz Makes the Hotline Again

It's about the Drama Queen.

Here's what the Hotline has to say:

IN THE STATES II: Minnesota Democrats Exposed Exposes Himself

As the AP reports, Dem consultant/Politics in Minnesota co-publisher Blois Olson "disputes a series of postings" at the controversial blog Minnesota Democrats Exposed "about criticisms Olson made" of FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley's (D) campaign. MDE's now-revealed ex-MN GOP official Michael Brodkorb claims he was told "that the Rowley campaign refused to hire" Olson's firm, "prompting Brodkorb to ask why Olson didn't disclose that when he criticized Rowley in several news stories."

On 1/3, MDE hinted at a big announcement, and then on 1/4 admitted, a bit AA-ishly: "I am Michael Brodkorb and I am Minnesota Democrats Exposed." (On 10/25, we noted a post at Lloydletta's Nooz and Comments fingering Brodkorb as the site's author.) He now promises the site will continue, and hours laer followed up with a post expressing vindication re: the lawsuit's substance -- that an employee of Olson's had sought out Rowley's camp.

Conservative Pair O Dice: "This is nothing but a thinly veiled attack on a blogger who has been shredding the DFL. They hate him and will do anything, even admit to blatant stupidity, to stop him." Meanwhile, Lloydletta is "skeptical" of Brodkorb's claim "that he wasn't paid to blog and the party didn't know what he was up to": "This is NOT a case of trying to suppress anonymous blogging. It's a defamation suit -- and the claims will be settled in court." North Star Politics: "People sue too much. In looking for the easy way out, looking for something for nothing, people too often turn to litigation, giving a bad name to an option which is often the only one."


Go to the Hotline blog to see the links. I wouldn't call Swiftee's blog Pair O Dice "conservative", I'd call it fringe.

The Star Tribune published an oped by Blois Olson which talked about how Blogs are the new 527s. Andy from Residual Forces has a thoughtful response.

Blois writes:

Now, as Minnesota gears up for a competitive campaign season, anonymous blogs are emerging as a tactic comparable to the 527 groups of the 2004 election. The difference between the two tactics is that anyone can start a blog in 10 minutes, while not just anyone can buy millions of dollars in television ads.


I think this is a healthy development. I'd never have been able to do what I did with the Dump Michele Bachmann blog if I had to buy advertising. I actually think the internet allows for more voices to get heard. That's going to be threatening to mainstream media and to PR firms who are used to being the filters for news.

What bothers me is the Strib has devoted much time to this non-story, while they neglected to follow up on this tip:

Subject: FW: PB Meeting
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2005 20:54:56 -0600

Last night's PB meeting was an interesting one. Thought you might be interesting in the following:

Two highlights: one was the $900,000 settlement of the failed Naegle skatepark lawsuit, which was filed by the subcontractors against the Park Board. Very little information was provided at the meeting. The Park Board is self-insured so it's not clear to me where the money to cover the debt is going to come from. Those of us who have been paying attention to the PB are of the opinion that the PB management was negligent in not requiring a performance bond as it had done in other contractual situations, or in getting a personal guarantee signature from Naegle.

The other highlight was that the Fujiya sale was tabled AGAIN with Bob [Fine] changing his position on selling--suddenly doesn't want to sell--and Walt wanting more $ because the project (on the Fujiya land) is practically doubling in size. Walt is right in wanting more $. As for Bob [Fine], I wonder if his new position has anything to do with the fact that the Fujiya land is adjacant to Klodt's recently-converted-to-condos River West Building and a taller project on the Fujiya site would interfere with River West sightlines. Afterall, Klodt poured $10,000 into the PIP's coffers and that $10,000 helped Kummer win back her closely contested seat. Had [Carol Kummer] lost her seat, the voting power would have tipped away from the old guard.


Follow the money..... KaCHING! Park Watch is an excellent resource for more on the Minneapolis Park Board shenanegans.

Irv Anderson, Al Juhnke and Matt Entenza - Oh My!

UPDATED AND CORRECTED: January 8, 2005.

I got this comment on a post about the internal division within the house dfl ranks over the leadership of the caucus.

Why are you removing posts....can't handle negative comments?

So very sad to see someone like you who thinks so very highly of herself and her so called journalistic integrety (cough) actually remove negative comments aimed at herself.

Booooooo!
schoolsout |

As I said before....Irv Anderson is one of the nicest legislators in St. Paul. And, Al Juhnke is a key rural DFL leader in the state.

Now for your education: the legislature does not fall under the 'freedom of information act' you cast about so flipantly. But, if you would have bothered to do any research (not that you ever have) you would have known this.

Perhaps Anderson and Juhnke should sue you like Blois is suing MDE. Unless you are sure of your statements, you should not wrote them.
schoolsout


Thanks for pointing out that the Freedom of Information Act doesn't apply to the legislature. I'm rather surprised by that - but will ask around.

I do not censor comments. I also don't always see them right away.

I'd put money on the leaker being Al Juhnke the PAC Man who is co-sponsoring Otremba's idiotic bill to allow pharmacists to get state protection for refusing to fill birth control prescriptions. This email was to legislative caucus members - not staff. So it rules out a staff leak. This doesn't rule out a staff leak because staff often access legislator's email. Who would be interested in leaking such an email exchange? And who reads the blogs? I believe Entenza didn't get Al Juhnke's vote the last time. I don't have proof. I didn't have proof when I posted that I thought Michael Brodkorb was MDE - and when I asked him whether he was MDE.

I believe the commenter - whose writing style seems eerily familiar - is referring to this post. It's a post that shows up in a blogsearch on Al Juhnke. But it shows as a bad link. Originally I spelled Juhnke's name incorrectly in the title, so I edited the title. That unfortunately has the effect of changing the link. If people have questions about Lloydletta posts, feel free to email me at lloydletta@gmail.com. I can get better search results by using blogger from the posting interface to search rather than searching with google or technorati.

CORRECTION and UPDATE: MN Politics Guru notes: "Staff members have access to their legislators' e-mail accounts, so it could be a staff leak."

Juhnke was saying he did not want to run for minority leader. That's good. He would never win. My impression is that Junhke's modus operendi is always bashing the urban legislators - and the cities - and talking about how oppressive they are to the poor old rural DFL caucus.

Juhnke is a "pro-life" democrat - which means he supports making abortions criminal. The problem is when this "pro-life" or "culture of life" deal is taken to the extreme - as in the Otremba-Juhnke legislation to allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for conscience reasons. Well there are religious objections to all sorts of medical treatments. Is it the pharmacist's decision to make whether a woman uses contraception - or a men uses viagra. I don't believe that constituents in their area would be too happy with them if they knew they were working to restrict access to contraception - which is the end result of what this bill does.

A commenter at the Minnesota Votes website wrote:

These pharmacists should lose their license for failing to fill ANY legal precription. If it's against their so-called morals, they should find another profession.

Otremba pretends to be the friend of rural health providers. With "friends" like this proposing idiotic legislation restricting access to health care, who needs enemies?


The media needs to call the MCCL for comment whenever they do stories about Mary Ellen Otremba's idiotic bill. When the Women's Press did a profile of Erin Matson of NOW, who has been very effective in getting this issue out there in the media, they neglected to call the Minnesotans Concerned for Life (MCCL). MCCL needs to be called out on this issue.

Al Juhnke is welcome to respond here. If he wants to write a response, I will post the response verbatim - as a post to the blog.

UPDATE: A blog search for Matt Entenza reveals:

Entenza Done?
6 Jan 2006 by Gary M. Miller
A little birdie just told KvM that Matt Entenza will be stepping down. More as
we know more.
Kennedy v. The Machine


When I clicked on the link, the post is gone. What's up with that? Did KvM want to pass the rumor, and then not have it on his main site? Or did he post it - and Entenza got on him. I think a retraction is a better answer than a deletion of the post.

Swiftee Gets the Boot from the St Paul Issues Forum

Anyone who reads local blogs is familiar with Swiftee.

To: stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 10:59:17 -0600
Priority: normal
List-Id: stpaul-issues
List-Post: mailto:stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org
X-Loop: stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org
X-Beenthere: stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org

Subject: [SPIF] Notice of Member Suspension

Based on the mission responsibilities section of the rules for E-Democracy.Org's St. Paul Issues Forum, Tom Swift has been suspended through January 4, 2007.

A public notice of the suspension is posted on the right hand column of the rules page: http://www.e-democracy.org/rules/

It may be discussed here:

http://forums.e-democracy.org/stpaul/groups/stpaul-feedback

Discussion of forum administration in the main forum is a rules violation.

This suspension is based on established due process procedures which we have taken on voluntarily. It involved three weeks of investigation and deliberation within the Board in consultation with the St. Paul E-Democracy Steering Committee and Forum Manager. This is the first official suspension by Board issued outside the context
of the normal Forum-specific warning/suspension procedure in a decade.

Steven Clift
Board Chair, E-Democracy.Org

P.S. Other warnings and possible suspensions are taking place via normal rule procedures. Specific complaints about violations may be sent to: stpaul-fm@e-democracy.org

^ ^ ^ ^
Steven L. Clift - - - W: http://publicus.net
Minneapolis - - - - E: clift@publicus.net
Minnesota - - - - - - T: +1.612.822.8667
USA - - - - Skype/MSN/Y!/AIM: netclift


Well I was booted from the Minneapolis Issues List for a year a while back. That was because I'd posted CJ's blurb about Peter McLaughlin and an "amusing if it doesn't happy to you" story.

There's discussion of the suspension here.

Posted 04 Jan 2006 16:42 by Steven Clift

After three weeks of investigation and deliberation within the Board in consultation with the St. Paul E-Democracy Steering Committee and Forum Manager, the following suspension was release today.

Steven Clift
Board Chair, E-Democracy.Org

Mr. Swift:

While the forum manager of the St. Paul Issues Forum has the primary responsibility for management of the forum and rules enforcement, the E-Democracy.Org board of directors has governance responsibility for all E-Democracy.org forums and maintains the right to intervene and remove participants whose behavior jeopardizes the overall mission of our organization.

We recently received a number of complaints about your post on December 15th, "Has A.... M.... been beating his wife?"

A copy of the message we are referring to may be found at http://forums.e-democracy.org/stpaul/groups/stpaul-issues/messages/view_email?id=82741

As a board, this post was referred to us as an example of a history of disruptive behavior in the St. Paul Issues Forum (as well as other E-Democracy.Org forums). After reviewing your history in the St. Paul Issues Forum, we have come to the conclusion that you do have a history of inflammatory and abusive behavior that warrants special attention, above and beyond the warnings and responses taken by the St. Paul Issues Forum Manager.

While we acknowledge the legitimate point that you were trying to make with this particular post, we strongly object to the inflammatory means by which you made your point and recognize a pattern of such behavior which warrants removal from ALL E-Democracy.Org forums for a period of at least 1 year.

Over the last 4 years, we have observed your record of disruptive and inflammatory comments including:

1) Unfounded accusations of illegal behavior, without evidence to support it, of several members of the forum.

2) The use of unnecessarily vulgar language to make a point. For example "fisting" and "barebacking."

3) Ongoing and unnecessary attacks and insults directed at several forum members.

4) Inflammatory and threatening offline exchanges with several members of SPIF.

5) A pattern of sarcastic and insulting comments aimed at all those with whom you politically disagree.

In the interest of "open discussion" and in consideration of the "context" of some of these behaviors, we have exhibited a great deal of tolerance and patience. However, in light of this ongoing pattern of behavior, we have come to the conclusion that your participation in E-Democracy.Org forums is disruptive to the goals of our organization.

You are hereby suspended from any participation in any E-Democracy.Org forum for at least one year beginning January 4, 2006. After one year, you may petition the board for reinstatement, subject to an agreement that you will adhere to the rules and guidelines of our forums.

Sincerely,

Steven Clift
on behalf of The E-Democracy.Org Board of Directors


Tom Swift got banned from commenting here and at Dump Bachmann when he started impersonating others in the comments. Swift has impersonated me on one occassion over at Powerliberal.

It seems that the MOB hasn't taken up his cause. Swiftee isn't posting about this on his blog.

Immigration Politics

There are legitimate issues with illegal immigration. When Pawlenty ran in 2002, he used an ad that tried to exploit fears from 9/11 to promote his candidacy. Pawlenty was proposing to tie the VISA expiration date to Driver's liscense expiration date. I haven't seen good arguments against that proposal. Color coding liscenses, there is a strong contrast between an immigrant liscense and a citizen liscense goes too far. In 2002, both Penny and Moe opposed Pawlenty's proposals, but neither candidate articulated why this was a bad idea. Saying that this is hateful, or that it's a distraction from other issues doesn't explain why this is a bad idea.

I know from participating on the USQueers list, that Illegal Immigration is an issue that resonates with many gays. Gays are well aware that the immigrant areas tend to have the highest votes in favor of Bachmann amendments. Some of the most viscious anti-gay rhetoric is on spanish speaking radio. Fred Phelps now has God Hates Fags en espanol.

I also know from going to the Minneapolis City DFL convention that there was a fair amount of anti-immigrant sentiment at that convention.

Alberto Monsarrate started threads on the Minneapolis and St Paul lists about the issue.

The speculation is that Pawlenty will be trying to take away from the cities of Minneapolis and St Paul enforcement on their ordinances that prohibit police and city workers to ask someone their immigration status.

If this is the case, it's time now for every elected official in Minneapolis and St Paul to fight this with every bit of energy they have. Its also time for business to begin their fight against what will be more anti-immigrant and therefore anti business proposals. It's time for the business community to think real hard of who they're going to raise money for in the next campaign for governor. One of the biggest problems business is having right now is finding enough employees to work for them. Pawlenty's anti- business legislation will make it even harder.

Seems like we have two anti-business candidates for governor now. Mile Hatch and Tim Pawlenty. Time for the other candidates to speak louder.

So much for the defering to local government that Pawlenty's party preaches so much.

We're on for a brutal fight in 2006. We will win.

Alberto Monserrate
South Minneapolis Nokomis


He followed up with this:

Its worse than I thought, and I think Minneapolis and St Paul city attorneys already feel they can fight the proposal to go over Minneapolis and St Paul ordinances that prohibit city employees and police officers asking people
they serve for immigration status. I imagine anyone with "brown skin" will now be asked every time they get a government service for proof of citizenship.

I also see like I predicted that the legislation is anti-business. Its time for the chambers of commerce to stand up and fight the governor.

I've had several people confirm that the governor has confirmed publicly recently that he feels he can't get re-elected unless he uses this issue. So there's only two ways to stop this.

One is lobbying the legislature. I know we have the support of most DFL'ers on this issue (I hope) , but it is not unanimous. We also need to pressure pro-business republican legislators. This legislation alone, will close down, hundreds of restaurants, Roofing companies, meat packing plants, construction companies, and manufacturing plants. No gray area here. This legislation is devastating to our economy and to all of your property prices. It will be devastating to business in Albert Lee, Fairbault, Willmar, and many other rural communities.

Second, working with everything we have to defeat Tim Pawlenty, so we stop this nonsense once and for all about being anti-immigrant is good politics. There's a very interesting poll today in the Washington Post today that shows voters are very ambivalent on this issue.

Basically voters feel we're not doing enough to keep illegal immigrants out of the country (I might agree on that, too many people dying trying to enter the country illegally) but that they support that people who are illegally in the country, who work and pay taxes, play by the rules, and don't break any other laws, should be allowed to stay and eventually become citizens. Also two thirds of Latinos compared to a minority of non-Latinos, feel undocumented workers are good for the US. So much for that swing vote folks. Republican proposals on immigration will get people who already vote for them, to vote for them, and they will loose Latino voters that elected Bush. Can we say president Bill Richardson?

And please spare me the this is not against immigrant this is against illegal immigrant e-mails. I still haven't seen Pawlenty support a guest worker program, so until he supports pro legal immigration legislation, he is anti-immigrant.

One more thing I want to clarify. We support at Gente de Minnesota efforts to deport undocumented people, or even legal permanent residents that have committed serious crimes. We've even worked closely with the department of homeland security (believe it or not we have an excellent relationship with the department of homeland security, and their communications person has always been very responsive to our newspaper requests, and very professional with us), in providing our readers information about these individuals, and in helping them capture these individuals. We want these people out of the US. We're talking about allowing the millions of hardworking, tax paying, abide by the rules, immigrants to stay in the US, and contribute to our
countries success.

Looks like the war's just begun.

Alberto Monserrate
President CEO
Latino Communications Network (LCN Media)
Weekly Spanish Newspaper Gente de Minnesota
Bi-weekly Latino Entertainment Publication Vida y Sabor
Yearly Minnesota-Iowa Hispanic Yellow Pages Directory
Radio Station La Invasora AM 1400
1516 E Lake Street #200
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Office: 612-729-5900
Office: 612-243-1283
Fax: 612-729-5999
E-mail: alberto ( at ) lcnmedia.com
Web: www.lcnmedia.com


The Minneapolis City Republican Committee has been working hard to reach out to immigrant communities. They have been having tables at Cinco de Mayo - and have been well received.

Margaret Martin, David Strom's has an astute observation:

I won't speak for David, I am sure he has a response to all the monday morning quarterbacking going on saying that the League was a big loser this year. In the non-profit world, if you can keep the paychecks from bouncing, you live to fight another day. Looking at the political scene from a strictly tactical point of view, the league would be in great shape if Hatch (or Lourey) became governor because at least we'd know where the bullets were coming from (from the front). With Pawlenty, the conservative base has been repeatedly shot in the back since year one of his administration. I've already said my piece on this subject on this blog and last weekend, on the air.

(And if Pawlenty thinks he can redeem himself with a little illegal immigrant bashing, all I can say is, be careful Governor, this way there be dragons. I don't know yet what he has in mind but we'll see after he makes his announcement tomorrow. McClung’s shop has outdone itself this time in providing the headsup to the local media and blogosphere.)


Britt Robson at City Pages suggests that Pawlenty maybe overplayed his hand.

One sign that Pawlenty may have overplayed his hand occurred in Wednesday morning's Strib, with an op-ed piece by the Governor's communications director, Brian McClung, entitled, "Article attacked messenger." Claiming that the Strib supported illegal immigration, McClung fumed that the paper had engaged in a "classic attack: If you don't like the message, attack the messenger." He then launched into a raft of figures showing "the recent explosive growth of illegals in our state." He concluded by criticizing the $300 million estimate of the annual contribution illegal immigrants make in Minnesota, saying that "the state's leading economists criticized that report for overstating the impact of illegal immigrants in Minnesota."

This begs an obvious question: If the state's leading economists know that $300 million is too high, they must have some idea of what number is about right. If Pawlenty wasn't just playing cheap and dirty politics with anti-immigrant prejudice, then why didn't he seek out and utilize that best estimate from his economists?


I talked with a number of Republicans who are not happy with the party taking this direction. It's pretty clear to me that they are moving from the gays to the immigrants. I talked to some gop strategists at Michael Brodkorb's "coming out" party and told them that these wedge issues work really well - but they only work for one election cycle - and the long term costs are turning a generation of people away from the party.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Parotting the Talking Points

A week or so back, on Dump Bachmann, I mentioned Mitch Berg's habit of Parroting talking points.



Illustration by Avidor.

As is his wont, Mitch Berg stomped on over:

"Blogger Berg seems rather defensive about being called on the regular parrotting of talking points on his blog."

Called, huh-wha?

For starters, it was a criticism of leftyblogs in general - not just your fatuous blathering.

But since you brought it up, please show us how I "parrot talking points", if you don't mind.

You can't, of course - you're just whoring for traffic - but try anyway.
MBerg


Well Michael Brodkorb the Drama Queen wrote up the talking points, and fed them to the Parrots in the MOB. Mitch Berg acted like a dutiful Parrot.

Over on his comment thread, there are several people impersonating me.

Polly wanna cracker?

[link to this post]

Posted by: Eva Young at January 6, 2006 11:20 PM

Eva,

THAT took you a week to put together?

Mwahahaha!

I will crush it at my leisure.

And quit posting off-topic comments, would you please? You are ethically vacant - that's a given - but are you stupid as well?
Posted by: mitch at January 7, 2006 08:32 AM


It didn't take me a week to put together. It just took a few minutes. I just had other priorities. It was a big news week.

Now the fake commenters:

Poeple quet makeng fun of me! Quit posteng saterecel posts about me! I well also su you, you rediculous loosers!

Eva Young
Read My Blig
Posted by: Eva Young at January 7, 2006 10:51 AM

Curious...is it true that I maintain a prodigious girth to camoflage birthing stretch marks?

Redeculous!

"http://restraininorder.blogspot.com/2005/12/prediction-1-for-2006.html"

Developing............

read my bong!


Posted by: Eva Young at January 7, 2006 03:09 PM

Why didn't anyone report that I discovered Mitch's identity ages ago?

Like, gaw-hawd. I'm SO unnoticed.

C'mon guys: Read my blog. Everyone does. Just look at my site meter that I artificially add on to daily by hitting my refresh button.
Posted by: Eva Young at January 7, 2006 03:52 PM


None of these three posts over on Whine in the Dark were written by me.

Toto We Aren't in Kansas Anymore

Now Texas Governor Rick Perry is calling for IDiocy in the biology curriculum.

The Chair of the State board of education isn't too happy:

Tincy Miller of Dallas, chairwoman of the State Board of Education, called intelligent design a nonissue in this year's elections. Board members voted in November 2003 against endorsing only biology textbooks that presented the most qualified characterizations of evolution, with words such as "may" or "could." Publishers at the time refused to make major changes to the evolution sections of the books.

"We had a huge discussion; it was just put to bed," Miller said. "We teach evolution in Texas." The board is slated to consider revised biology textbooks in 2008 at the earliest.


Hat Tip: Pharyngula.

Community of Grace Church

Dennis Sanders, President of Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota is also an ordained minister. He has started a church that is open and affirming for GLBT people. You can check out the Church at the Community of Grace website.

Here's the email from Dennis about the next service.

Greetings all. Just a reminder that Community of Grace gathers for Worship and Communion this Sunday, January 8 at 6pm. Our worship location is at United Church of Christ-New Brighton, 1000 Long Lake Rd in New Brighton (Corner of Long Lake Rd and I-694).

Hope to see you there!

Dennis Sanders
Co-Pastor


I encourage folks to stop by and check it out.

Poinkback Mountain by Swiftee

Here.

Over at the POD, he has a post going after PZ Myers and I. Swiftee has the wierdest fantasies.

The existance of the mysterious "Bat Boy" is confirmed.

It turns out that he is the result of a mad experiment gone terribly wrong (don't they all?) after it is revealed that there was a bizarre mating between Eva Young and PZ Meyers sometime in the early 1990's in an effort to prove the theory of evolution as scientific fact.

It is not determined which one of the two gave birth.

Unfortunately for Young and Meyers, their progeny finds redemption in Christ and is accepted into the Christian Brothers Monastery where he lives a life of quiet meditation.

Rumors of a strange half human, half zebra fish continue to be unproven throughout the year and Meyers refuses comment although his wife moves out of the family's home claiming that she's "just had e-fucking nuff".....


Note to Swiftee: It's Myers, not Meyers.

It goes without saying that Swiftee is one of Michele Bachmann's biggest supporters.

Al Juhnke and Irv Anderson Unhappy with Entenza

Michael Brodkorb has the email string.

My guess is MDE's source is either Al Juhnke or Irv Anderson. A freedom of information act request could confirm my suspicions.... but I won't bother.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

In Which Eva Young Meets Michael Brodkorb

I got this in my inbox from the Drama Queen (who loved my post title by the way, just showing that he lives up to the name)......

MEDIA ADVISORY - MINNESOTA DEMOCRATS EXPOSED "COMING OUT" PARTY

Michael B. Brodkorb


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Brodkorb
Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006 (612) 618-1168
michael@weberjohnspa.com
MINNESOTA DEMOCRATS EXPOSED "COMING OUT" PARTY

Who: Minnesota Democrats Exposed - Michael Brodkorb & Friends
What: Celebration and public-show of support against lawsuit filed by Democrat consultant against Minnesota Democrats Exposed
When: Tonight, January 5, 2005, 6:00 p.m. - ??
Where: Loto - 380 Jackson Street (on Sibley between 5th & 6th)

###

__________________________________
Michael B. Brodkorb
Weber Johnson Public Affairs
Phone: (651) 454-3002
Fax: (651) 789-0063
E-mail: michael@weberjohnsonpa.com


I think Michael is happy to be out of his self-imposed closet of anonymity.

There are pictures of the event. I don't have these photos - but when they are posted by others, I'll link to them.

I also saw my old friend/sometimes internet sparring partner, Eric Mitchell - who is political director for Becky Lourey's campaign.

Michael is a charming person when you meet him in real life. I am glad he is out, because you can never really trust someone when they are anonymous.

Blois Olson's Perspective on the Lawsuit

Blois Olson has a blog.


New School's lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and MinnesotaDemocratsExposed.com (MDE) is not an attack on anonymous bloggers, or free speech and the First Amendment, but our legal rights to correct a wrong. It is very well known amongst members of the media, elected officials and capitol insiders of all political parties, that I personally, and New School as a firm, do not do political campaign work for candidates. We will continue to refrain from campaign work as long as I am part of New School Communications.

Mr. Brodkorb's assertion that New School pursued political work, and that my comments related to the Coleen Rowley campaign were retribution for the fact that New School wasn't hired, is a lie that ethically demands to be corrected.

So why was New School attacked?

It may have been my writing at PoliticsInMinnesota.com about anonymous bloggers needing to "get a life," or it may have been the Rowley campaign playing hardball with me after my personal opinions about her campaign were were published as a result of my opinion being solicited by political reporters.

Either way, I respect hardball politics but if I wanted to waste my time with it, I would have stayed in the campaign world.

After requesting a retraction, New School had no choice but to use the justice system to set the record straight. Our firm is often hired by clients who demand there be no political work being performed along side of theirs--this misinformation will hurt our reputation and business if not addressed.

If anyone publishes things as "fact" anonymously, I would only hope they would make sure the information is true and hold themselves to the same or higher standards of a journalist. And if they aren't willing to do that, the innocent deserve protection.

When advising clients, I would advise them to do as our firm has done: protect yourself, your reputation, and when it is false or defamatory and there is no willingness of the publisher to correct the inaccuracies, then pursue your legal rights.

Now back to work...not on campaigns.


I talked to Blois briefly today. Blois told me that he was not interested in finding out who Brodkorb's source was. His issue was with Brodkorb. He also said that he was not aware of Buck Humphrey's other work.

So at this point it's he said, he said.

The Tragedy of Jack Abramoff

Dan Blatt, aka GayPatriotWest explains.

I'm sure Abramoff must have been inspirational to young Reagan conservatives in the 80s.

I have no sympathy for Jack Abramoff - but I didn't know him personally. I sympathize with Dan. It must be awful to see someone you respected highly let you down. I think many Democrats who admired Bill Clinton felt the same way after he wasted his presidency with the self-inflicted Lewinski circus.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Goody Goody

I'm hoping to get a reviewer's copy of the Science of the Souls. It sounds like excellent material for the Skeptics Circle.

Michael Brodkorb is Such A Drama Queen

AP has a story in the Pioneer Press on the Lawsuit here.

Media Consultant Blois Olson is suing Michael Brodkorb for defamation because Brodkorb claimed that Olson - through his employee Buck Humphrey, had attempted to get consulting work with the Colleen Rowley campaign. After failing to get this work, Blois Olson made negative comments about Colleen Rowley in the press. If this is true, this looks bad for Blois Olson - and truth is the defense in a defamation suit. Unfortunately it's not clear whether Michael can prove his claim. Blois Olson claims through his attorney that Buck Humphrey never told him that he had approached Rowley's campaign.

Michael Brodkorb has the full text of the article reprinted on his site. On the Pioneer Press website, it gives the option of "reprint or liscense this".

I think the more important question comes from this claim by Brodkorb:

I have never been paid to blog, nor has anyone I have every worked for or contracted with known that I am truly M.D.E. My blog is not created, endorsed, sponsored, or authorized by any political party, candidate, or candidate's committee.


I believe I first heard of the blog, Minnesota Democrats Exposed, when Michael Brodkorb - in his capacity as communications director for the Republican Party of Minnesota - posted this press release to the MN Politics Discuss list (an E Democracy list) on .

From: "Michael Brodkorb"
Date: Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:07 pm

PROTEST AT THE STAR TRIBUNE

This email has both discussion and announcement aspects:

The Republican Party of Minnesota has been leading the charge against the Star Tribune over their polling. Last week's press conference has played out exactly as Chairman Eibensteiner predicted:

* Star Tribune will come out with a poll showing Kerry with a huge
lead
* Polls released at the same time show a much closer race.

All political parties should agree that polling can affect the outcome of the race and that media outlets need to responsible with their polling.

This has nothing to do with presidential politics; The majority of Star Tribune's polls are about Minnesota politics and issues, so this is a Minnesota political problem.

Now a group of concerned citizens has announced that they will be gathering outside the Star Tribune's offices on Monday to protest the Tribune's polling methods.

This is not an official Republican Party of Minnesota event, but I wanted to pass along the details.

http://minnesotademocratsexposed.blogspot.com
/2004/09/breaking-news-protest-at-star-tribune.html
_________________________________

Michael B. Brodkorb mbb@...
Research Director
Republican Party of Minnesota
651-842-0115 (Office)
651-842-0215 (Fax)
www.mngop.com


I'm skeptical of Michael Brodkorb's claims as to his reasons for anonymous blogging. I am also skeptical that he wasn't paid to blog and the party didn't know what he was up to.

I asked Michael Brodkorb publicly on the St Paul Issues list whether he was MDE and whether he was the "Mike Nelson" who had posted opposition research on Chris Coleman. Brodkorb stated out by giving a crypic reply to my question about MDE. He followed up by denying being the fake poster, "Mike Nelson" on the St Paul Issues list who posted what appeared to be opposition research on Chris Coleman. Later someone called me and told me that Mike Nelson was someone who worked at River Center - but the person would not give me their name, and so I never went with this story.

I'd advise Brodkorb to get his own attorney, and not use a Republican party attorney. I will not be contributing to his defense fund. He has no excuse for not knowing election law.

This is NOT a case of trying to suppress anonymous blogging. It's a defamation suit - and the claims will be settled in court. That is where such claims should be tried - and not in the media.

Ken Miller Talks at Case Western the Dover ID case

I listened to it by webcast last night. It was an excellent presentation. I'd like all legislators to listen to it. The title is: The Collapse of Intelligent Design.

The presentation is now available on the web.

I would love to see some of these donated to Minnesota High Schools. Let's get kids more interested in Science.

The IDiot who was going debate Ken Miller bravely ran away. I'm still trying to find out who it was who was supposed to debate him.

Who is Judge Alito?


He is a nominee for the US Supreme Court who, I think, will do considerable harm to this both women and men, and therefore to this country.

Thse most obvious harm is to women. I think he is a poster child for overturning Roe v. Wade, and with it the right to prvacy inherent in the Constitution. With the right to privacy gone, the right to not be spied on by the government - without oversight - will be gone; the right to express and opninion that is different from the current Administration rhethoric will be gone; the right to obtain contraceptives for a variety of reasons - usually Family Planning - will be gone; the right to hold pharmacists and the Board of Pharmacy accountable for unacceptable refusals to fill certain perscriptions, perscriptions that as far as I know only affect women, will be gone; the right to seek and get medical advice without hinderance will be gone; the right to have a confidentail relationship with your Doctor may be gone; I doubt that the Catholic Church would allow the confidentiality between Priest and Confessor to be gone - but it would be in a predicament because the right to privacy would not only exist for the confessor but for women as well (come to think of it how come none of us has jumped on this anomaly before?; and of course, the right to a safe legal abortion would be gone, and we would be back to the bad old days when abortion was not stopped but was not legal either.

In fact. none of the Privileges and Responsibilities provided for in the Constitution would work without and underlying Right to Privacy. I am struck by the reasons many organizations give for thei opposition to Alito:

NAACP: "(his) confirmation would cause a substantial shift in the Supreme Court's juristprudence on civil righs ....to the detriment of the nation";

NARAL: "Samual Alito Jr. of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is an anti choice jurist. (He is ) called a "favote son of the political right" (and) would likely vote to eviserate or eliminate the protections of Roe as a member of the Supreme Court."

Note: The case of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA v Casey was the result of a change in Pennsylvania's abortion law. This change/amendment required that minors seeking abortions must have the consent of one parent, and that married women notify her husband of her intention to get an abortion. The case went to the Supreme Court, and in a bitter 5-4 decision the Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade. Judge Alitos was a member of the three judge panel for the Third Circuit; he dissented arguing that even more resrictions.

For the first time the Supreme Court imposed an "undue burden" test to state regulation.

Sierra Club: "Unfortunately Judge Alito's opinions and other statements, combined with a disturbing lack of candor since being nominated, show that Judge Alito cannot be trusted to protect protect (indidual) rights and freedoms."

Americans United for Separation of Church and State: "Replacimg Justice O'Connor with Judge Alito would fundamentaly alter First Amendment law and immediately put at risk many of the crucial protections for religious minorities that the Supreme Court has recognized and consistently enfoced iver the past sixty years."

The list goes on. Mostly negative. However, American Bar Association said he was qualified (not exactly a ringing endorsement).

For my part I think he lacks the intellectual vigor to use the law to tackle the tough questions. It is tough to sort through the thicket of human behaviors and find the applicable law that either supports them or denies them, and makes them punishable. It is the toughness that I think all Supreme Court Justices should have. I am not much interested in those who use that high office to give voice to their views; it is the view of the law that interst me. As I said, I do not think Judge Alito has that intellectual vigor.

Old News

Michael Brodkorb acknowledges what Lloydletta's Nooz suggested on September 25. A month later, a blogger sends proof that Michael Brodkorb is MDE.

This got picked up by the National Journal Hotline blog:

Since 7/04, the anonymous Minnesota Democrats Exposed blogger "has been taking pot shots at the" MN DFL while claiming the blog "is not created, endorsed, sponsored, or authorized by any political party, candidate, or candidate's committee." However, center-ish Eva Young at Lloydletta's Nooz and Comments posts evidence that ex-MN GOP comm./research dir. Michael Brodkorb "is at least one of the authors behind" MDE. When posting one entry via e-mail, Brodkorb apparently left his e-mail signature in, which included his name and cell phone number. Although the error "was quickly corrected," but a reader checked Safari browser "downloads the RSS [feeds] as they come in"; Young posts a Flickr-hosted screen shot of Safari's RSS page for the site. Indeed it shows Brodkorb's name and telephone number. On Young's site, MDE is now linked under the name "Michael Brodkorb." Source: The Hotline, 10/25/05


I think both political parties - and major campaigns with paid staff should have a policy about paid staff and blogging. If I was running, my policy would be no anonymous blogging on campaign related issues from my staff.

The question is whether Brodkorb is the only MDE blogger, or whether he has accomplice(s).

I appreciate Michael finally coming out. I find Blois Olson's use of a lawsuit a bad tactic - which will backfire on Blois. Truth is the ultimate defense in lawsuits.

Shawn Towles has complained about the mainstream media using stories he broke without attribution. In his article with the backstory about the lawsuit, Towles failed to mention that I had posted proof of Brodkorb's identity over two months ago.

Bloggers aren't just competition for mainstream media. They competition for people like Blois Olson, Shawn Towles and other pundits that are regular guests on Almanac.

I commend Michael Brodkorb for coming out publicly. I also still believe some of the tactics he used with his blog were ethically suspect.

Lying and Spying - Part II

Apparently we not only have a rogue President, who does not need (or follow) the
simple procecdures for spying on US Citizens, but we also have a rogue agency which expanded its own authority, and began domestic survillance without a Presidential directive.

As I said before I do not question the domestic survillance. I do question, and in fact am apalled that nobody seemed to be in charge, nobody was overseeing the operations, and that nobody thought it necessary to make sure that oversight was in place.

Is that scary or what?

Phyllis Schlafly Hopping Mad Over the Kitzmiller Decision

Recall this?

Evolutionists claim that their battle against creation-science is primarily a "scientific" issue, not a constitutional question. But our treasured U. S. Constitution is written by persons and for persons. If man is an animal, the Constitution was written by animals and for animals. This preposterous conclusion destroys the Constitution. The Aguillard Humanists leave us with no Constitution and no constitutional rights of any kind if they allow us to teach only that man is an animal.


Well now she's being quoted by the Discovery Institute ranting on about Judge Jones judicial activism.

Those poor charlatans over at the Discovery Institute. I expect we'll see more articles about how oppressive those evil scientists are towards religion.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Park Board Settles Lawsuit, Loses $900,000 at Ft. Snelling

There's more at Minneapolis Park Watch here. The strib has been given several tips on this story and can't be bothered by the Park Board negligence costing taxpayers close to a million dollars. Word on the street is that Park Board staff, Siegelkow was the one who drafted the contract - and he failed to run it by Park Board lawyer/lobbyist Brian Rice.

I'm trying to get my hands on the contract.

Developing. . .

Stupid Bill Introduced by DFLer Mary Ellen Otremba

Regular Lloydletta readers are familiar with the DFL Sue Ek clone legislator, Mary Ellen Otremba.

The Minnesota Women's Press has an excellent profile of change maker Erin Matson, the 23 year old President of the Minnesota National Organization of Women. The article mentions that Otremba is introducing a bill to require pharmacies to allow pharmacists to refuse to fill contraception prescriptions. From the article:

Matson wants Minnesota to pass a law modeled after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's emergency order, issued last April, which requires pharmacies to fill contraceptive prescriptions without delay.

This session, however, MN NOW may have to play defense: state Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba, DFL-Long Prairie, is expected to propose legislation that would prevent the state pharmacy board from penalizing pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for contraception. Public opinion is overwhelmingly against such a law, said Matson.

"When I debated Mary Ellen Otremba on the radio in the fall, we had 20-30 minutes for callers. It was WCCO radio, not exactly a radical station, and every single person from all over the state, man, woman, old, young, was incensed by what she was saying. There was a lot of anger at what she was saying," she said.

"I think this is more than a partisan issue," Matson added. "Ninety percent of women use some form of contraception between the ages of 15 and 44. This is basic medical care that touches everyone."


Why stop at contraception? Why not amend this bill to allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for Viagra?

I'd like to get some language for the bill Matson is proposing. If there is language for such a bill, there are some legislators who might want to introduce such legislation. I believe that Ron Abrams (R, Minnetonka) might be happy to get such a bill. I'd think Ron Erhardt (R, Edina) might also be interested in a bill like this.

What will be next from Mary Ellen Otremba? A bill to ban in vitro fertilization? Other legislation Otremba has pushed includes putting creationism into the state science standards using the "teach the controversy" canard, banning all state funds to the University of Minnesota unless the University quits conducting privately funded stem cell research, the Bachmann amendment and all sorts of legislation attempting to restrict access to abortion and contraception.

Her district is close to St Cloud. How do these bills play to her constituents?

Elizabeth Noll, the Women's Press reporter doesn't mention Mary Ellen Otremba's political affiliation. Otremba is a DFLer. I assume she's part of Janet Robert's group, Democrats for Life. Janet Robert, Air America owner, and active in Democrats for Life is similarly goofy on the issue of family planning.

I'd suggest that Republicans target Otremba's seat. They could do this by running a pro-life candidate who supports family planning - and paint Otremba as an extremist - which she clearly is.

UPDATE: I've had it with Otremba's idiotic legislation. I've started a blog to document why she needs to be retired from the legislature.

John McCain and His Support for the Arizona Bachmann Amendment

From the comments to this post.

McCain proved what a traitor he is to GLBT Americans when he began helping circulate a petition, in Arizona, for the local "let's get hysterical and ban gay marriage" law.

This is the same Senator McCain who, not too many months ago, promised me, in a letter, that he would stand up for our rights.

Anti-gay-marriage laws violate three existing amendments to the U.S. Constitution (if passed at the state level), and four if the thing ever goes federal. Not only is any legislator who supports such a boondoggle an enemy of limited government, but he or she is a political quack.
Lori Heine


Lori has a blog. From her blog profile:


Name:Lori Heine
Location:Phoenix, Arizona, United States

I am a Libertarian Lutheran Lesbian (try saying THAT three times fast), dedicated to countering the Radical Right with Something Better.


Thanks Lori for stopping by Lloydletta.

SPYING AND LYING

Spying:

I always assumed that our government would protect us by wiretapping some phones, and some phone calls, to do so. I also assumed that there was a Legal procedure to be followed (and that sometimes that procedure would be a justification for what was already underway) to undertake such wiretapping. I further assumed that this Legal procedure had a dual pugpose: 1) to give court approval, and oversight, so such actions; and 2) to give the ordinary citizen (that would be me) comfort that some legally approved body had given its sanction to go ahead.

Lying:

What I did not assume was that this administration would say that the minimal and limited procedures were too slow and cumbersome, and it could go ahead without them. So it did. Then it lied, and said this was done in the interest of nationl security.
Somehow, when my own government says it can break the rules when it chooses.

Well its behavior certainly does not make me feel more secure. In fact, if I had told such a whopper when I was growing up, I would have been sent to my room, or worse.

Whopper is a euphamisem for BIG LIE. I am incensd! The protections I had expected were thrown aside and replaced with arrogance. Not even close to a fair trade.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Becky Lourey Hires Staff

Michael Brodkorb/Minnesota Democrats Exposed has the story.

Lourey has made some interesting hires.

Strom on Pawlenty


Here
.

Unfortunately, as I connected to the internet again I caught this wonderful story. I really don’t get it. Pawlenty apparently wants to go into 2006 fighting to maintain his tax/fee increase, despite its unconstitutionality, and add to that wonderful issue raising taxes to pay for a new stadium for the Twins. With the tobacco tax/fee, Pawlenty is pretty clearly defying the judge’s ruling by ordering the Revenue Dept to continue collecting the tax, and flirting with a constitutional crisis of minor proportions.

Both of these issues could die a quiet death if Pawlenty would let them. The stadium deal was set to expire on New Years day, but apparently Pawlenty wants to ride into the New Year on two issues that divide his conservative base.

I frankly don't get it, and not just because I oppose Pawlenty on this issue. For instance, I have it on great authority that Pawlenty's #1 transportation issue will be Northstar, which I oppose, but at least I understand his reasoning. On these issues I am simply perplexed. The stadium is a clear political loser from any angle, and the tax/fee hurts him because it keeps an issue alive that has hurt him deeply already. He had almost completely recovered from the political damage the issue had caused him with all but the most faithful conservatives (like me), but now everybody will be reminded of the silly doublespeak he employed to get this passed.

Bad, bad, bad idea. What are they thinking?


Pawlenty is hoping the social issues - gay marriage, abortion and immigration - will keep his base energised, and he's listening to the big business types on the stadium boondoggle. Pawlenty should get calls to ask that he publicly state he will veto a stadium bill that doesn't have a referendum.

McCain's recent IDiotic Comments

From ProfessorBainbridge:

McCain Just Doesn't Get It

John McCain told MTV re intelligent design that we should "Let the student decide." What a crock. Should I let my students decide whether the business judgment rule should be taught? It's the worst sort of pandering.

And another thing. McCain also told MTV that "There's great uncertainty out there .... We have to provide a lot more certainty for young Americans. That's my job." Huh? Since when is it government's job to provide "certainty," let alone it being the job of a solitary senator from a minor state? Once again, as with campaignh finance, steroids, and a host of other things, McCain proves he has no sense - none, nada zilch - of what limited government means.


Here's the MTV interview. It's really pathetic the way MTV covers this. They are just fawning all over McCain.

Wilde Roast Cafe Has Blog

If you haven't been to Wilde Roaste - it's a great place. They now have a blog. Currently they are discussing - and soliciting feedback about having wireless free times.

I had to make the decision this time

My cat, Kiddleleewink had been deteriorating and not eating much. She also had some infection in her mouth. I took her to the vet, and the vet said it was a tumor - and said recommended euthanasia. I agreed with that.

The house is rather empty without her. I'll miss her - but I think I did the right thing under the circumstances. She died very quickly after she was injected.

A couple years ago, my other cat, Lloyd died. In that case, he had a stroke - and I found him in the morning - and he was still breathing, but he was obviously gone. I didn't have to make the decision that time.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Lloydletta's Nooz Mentioned in Pioneer Press

Here.

Lloydletta's Nooz
Who's behind it: Eva Young
Viewpoint: Claims she's an independent and doesn't fit into any one ideology.
Background: Young lives in the Twin Cities and works at a local university in information technology. She calls herself an informed citizen, who subscribes to political listservs. Her other blog Dump Michele Bachmann attempts to oust the Stillwater state senator from political office.
How she got started: Young commented for years on political lists. Lloydletta's Nooz went online two years ago after she said she became aware of blogs.
Why blog: Self-expression. "It's a hobby," she said. "I wouldn't write these blogs if I didn't enjoy writing." She comments on a number of issues, ranging from gay rights to creationism. She also dabbles in local politics on this blog, but isn't afraid to enter the national political realm.
How blogs will affect the 2006 elections: Going online is the one-stop shop to get information about political candidates, she said. Young also said candidates are looking to blogs to get the goods on their opponents.


Gary at Kennedy v the Machine isn't happy.

The idea that Lloydletta's Nooz should be on anyone's short list of influential blogs in this or any universe is absurd. It's author, Eva Young, is a running joke in the local blogosphere among both lefties or righties (you are an utter failure if Young doesn't troll your blog). Shame on Brady Averill for allowing Eva to define herself as "an independent [who] doesn't fit into any one ideology." This is true only to the extent that Young’s ideology is a venomous amalgamation of hatred for Michele Bachmann specifically and evangelicals more broadly.


That must be why Blogger Berg is huffing and puffing. His blog wasn't included.

Ned Luddington disagrees:

Eva Young: Queen of Blogs
Eva Young is amazing. She deserves an award for Lloydletta and Dump Bachmann. Eva's blogs are always interesting and provocative. She knows her stuff and she backs up everything with solid research and links. Before I read the morning paper, I read Eva Young.


I'd read the morning paper before reading Lloydletta and Dump Bachmann. I appreciate Ned's kind words though.

Brady Averill's article is here. She interviewed me for the article, and I gave her the names of other bloggers to interview.

I talked with Brady on this several months ago. I can't recall how she got my name.

In general my philosophy about blogs and politics is similar to my philosophy about the use of email lists and usenet to do politics - it's a good way to quickly get a message out to a wide variety of people.

I'll agree with Gary on one thing: Powerliberal is a good liberal blog. Rew from Powerliberal is the host for the local Drinking Liberally chapter. These gatherings do bring together liberal bloggers. I believe some politicians will start dropping by the gatherings. I didn't see local Minneapolis politicians drop in on those during the 2005 election.

It seems like the Frat boys aren't happy either.

Craig Westover, who blogs at craig westover.blogspot.com and contributes to the Pioneer Press opinion pages, says he and his fellow bloggers are outworking the traditional media outlets on this big story, devoting more time and attention.

"They're going to eat the newspapers' lunch," Westover said.

Westover is one of the of the most thoughtful and insightful writers in town and to reduce his interview to seven words tells you all you need to know about the worth of this piece of journalism. What exactly was ol' Captain Fishsticks talking about with that quote? Was the lunch quote specifically about fish sticks? We'll never know from reading the article. But we do know he's wrong about whatever he did say. Not only is he taken out of context, he's used as the straw man for the "expert" refutations to come.


Give me a break, Fraters - that's what happens when you get interviewed by the press. The reporter will summarize from what you told them. This wasn't a profile of Craig Westover. It was an article about the effects of blogs on elections.

St Paul at Fraters continues his huffing and puffing:

There are some right-wing blogs that even if you tried to have a conversation with them, it's essentially a bunch of frat guys having a party and doing a beer dance,'' said Michael McIntee, producer for the Inside Minnesota Politics blog and podcast. "And that's not useful; it's pretty much making noise."

Woo hoo, we may have gotten a mention. We'll commence the beer dancing as soon as someone let's us know exactly what that is.


Well when you read stuff like Marty Andrade's account about MOB gatherings, it's hard to shake that impression of MOB.

It's not that I don't like Learned Foot, I find the man hilarious, but he was using me as an ash tray. He was yacking at me about something. I think it had to do with college. He was trying to convince me that I didn't waste five years of my life in college. He kept saying the word "college." It was driving me nuts, as I went to a University, not a college. Slight difference in meaning but who cares.

As The Foot is talking, he is swaying back and forth like a tree, his branch like arms moving in sharp, almost uncontrolled motions that defy biology. In one arm is a cigarette that he occasionally brings to his mouth to gather up a precious puff of tar laden nicotine death gas. Then he continues in his spasmic body convulsions, a large chunk of ash sitting at the end of his cigarette. I watch in horror as that ash defies gravity and the laws of physics (And Learned Foot has studied law, he should know better).

Mind you, I'm sitting down, The Foot is standing. He's practically on top of me. Then the ash gives in to it's battle against gravitons and falls off the cigarette, hitting my arm in a spectacular mini explosion of gray dust. He apologizes then offers to kiss "my boo boo and make it better." For a second I thought about stabbing The Foot with my butterknife, but in the end he gave up on his strange maternal instincts and continued discussing "college" and "law."

I could live with this, if it wasn't for the fact that in the other hand of "The Foot" was a big glass of beer. Unfortunately, The Foot had the same kind of control over his Beer hand as he had over all the other limbs sprouting from body. Eventually, just as he's finishing, he makes a jerky movement and spills a healthy amount of beer on my leg. He doesn't even take notice and continues on his merry way.

All I can say is thanks Learned Foot.


Reports of the recent MOB gathering suggest that conservative politicians stayed away from the event. Kennedy had a staff member there.

If I was doing the article, I would have called the recent special election candidates and asked them whether they used blogs as part of their press strategy - and asked why or why not. I'd have also discussed recent candidate forays into the blogosphere. Minnesota Governor Candidate Steve Kelley recently did a Q & A session at MyDD. Amy Klobuchar did a similar session at Daily Kos.

Blogs on Recent Minnesota Special Elections


GOP Wingman


Andy from Residual Forces - what this means for the Republican Party - lots of comments on this one.

Andy again: an emailer is POed about the St Cloud effort.

Mary Tambornino at Lloydletta.

Greenhouse Gas is for Real

A study, published in November, says there is more carbon dioxide in the atmostphere now than at any point for 650,000 years. It is really a crime, and discouraging to boot, to know that some think we need more study to make sure global warming is really exacerbated by the amount of carbon dioxide we put in the atmosphere. Global warming is occurring and is a natural phenomenon. The only question I have is how much are we hastening its effects?

Special Elections

Once considered the property of the Republicans, the DFL has had two victories in the last two Special elections. Terri Bonhoff and now Taryl Clark will join thoughtful and careful colleagues in the Senate. This is a major victory for all of us. The session, which starts in mid February, is bound to be difficult; some very big issues are on the agenda. However, they will not be cluttered up, at last by these two, with discussions about Reproductive Rights, Gay Marriage and other fundamentalist "hobgoblins". How refeshing. Refreshing too is the fact that neither feels that any of these are at the forefront of voters minds. They believe, like me, that abortion should be safe, legal and rare. Abortion is not the problem; lack of choices, povery, despair, and old fashioned "it would not/cannot happen to me" and many other things are. I look forward to a session in which this subject is dealt with in the real world and wihtout paranoia.

MCCL Big Loser in Senate District 15 Race

The anti-abortion group, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life is the big loser in the recent St Cloud special election.

The St Cloud Times wraps up the race:

Social issues

Clark bristles at being described as an abortion-rights supporter, saying she seeks a third way in the abortion debate that reduces abortions while keeping them legal and safe.

But she went on the record opposing abortion restrictions during the campaign, as well as opposing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages and civil unions that the Senate will be pressured to vote on next year.

Both her opponents took the socially conservative position, yet she received 55 percent of Tuesday's vote.

"I think people want to focus on issues that impact their lives directly," said Scott Wells, co-chairman of the Senate District 15 DFL Party. "The issues that affect people's everyday lives are good jobs, good education and good health care, and that's what both (DFL) candidates talked about."

Republicans didn't do a good enough job of highlighting Clark's positions, said Roger Knauss, Senate District 15 Republican Party chairman.

"Her campaign was very effective at making her appear moderate on social issues and we did nothing to correct that misimpression," he said.


That's bunk. Both Dan Ochsner and Sue Ek - and later Kay Ek, campaigned on the social issues. Ochsner had the MCCL endorsement - and the endorsement did not help him. If you look at Ox's issues page on his website, you can see that Ox included both abortion and gay marriage on this page.

Protecting the Unborn – I am firmly pro-life, and will be a vocal advocate for pro-life issues in the Minnesota Senate.

Marriage – I strongly believe we must protect the institution of traditional marriage. I will work to ensure the people of Minnesota have the chance to vote on the Defense of Marriage constitutional amendment in the next general election.


The St Cloud Times continues:

Clark's election may dispel the myth that candidates must oppose abortion rights to win in St. Cloud, but only more evidence from future elections will tell, Frank said.

"The reason abortion-rights supporters don't win in St. Cloud is because they don't run. They don't run because of the perception that the area is so anti-abortion," he said. "But this area, particularly St. Cloud, is not as conservative as most people think."


The question isn't whether a candidate supports "abortion rights" - the question is do candidates believe that abortion should be criminal. Does emergency contraception count as "abortion"? What about the use of the birth control pill? Extremists on the abortion issue - such as Sue Ek, Janet Robert (Air America Minnesota owner) and Mary Ellen Otembra believe that life begins at conception and are opposed to all contraception except for "natural family planning". If a candidate believes abortion should be criminal, they should state what they believe the criminal penalty should be?

The MCCL took a bath in this special election.