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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Tinklenberg Trying to Raise Money from Out of State

The blogger supporting him on Daily Kos is pushing candidates who all happen to favor criminalizing abortion, and favor the Federal Bachmann ammendment.

This blogger also discussed Wetterling. It's interesting how many of these DC/out of the 6th District types like to define the 6th district.

Though Tinklenberg has soaked up some key Democratic funding sources, there is one organization that would make the MN06 primary brutal: EMILY's List. An EMILY's List endorsement absolutely does not secure a victory for any candidate, but it does guarantee an extremely expensive race. EMILY's List just frickin' pours the money into races, and would turn Tinklenberg's current general election campaign back into a primary campaign quickly. Whoever emerged would be bloodied.

I still think Tinklenberg would have the advantage over an EMILY's List endorsed Wetterling, simply because even the Democrats in MN06 are moderate. Abortion is most definitely frowned upon in MN06, and might not even be a defining issue for MN06 voters who would still vote for someone who didn't share their view on abortion. New polling should back this up soon.

Yes, Tinklenberg, like Al Juhnke is PAC-Man.... I'd assume if Wetterling gets into this race, the HRC might decide to do an early endorsement - since Tinklenberg supports the federal marriage amendment.

A commenter - who lives in the 6th district responded:

Minnesota Raindog said...

Let's see, Janet Robert ran in the 6th CD as a Tinklenberg Democrat (anti-gay, pro-gun, anti-choice) against Mark Kennedy for an open seat in 2002. Vote totals: Kennedy 57%, Robert 35%. Even add IP candidate Dan Becker's total to Robert's and you get only 42%. Then Patty Wetterling ran against incumbent Kennedy in 2004 as a pro-choice, pro-gay candidate. Vote totals: Kennedy 54%, Wetterling 46%. And you're saying the 6th won't support a pro-choice or pro-gay candidate? That Tinklenberg is a better "ideological fit?" Sorry, Andy, the numbers just don't back your conclusions.

The DFL platform is pro-gay marriage/civil unions and pro-choice. Democrats need to stop rewarding candidates like Tinklenberg and Robert with their votes when they thumb their noses at core issues like that. And they need to stop the DC Kingmakers from annointing their candidates. Piling on money from outside the district is no sign of support from within the 6th. As has been noted, Tinklenberg seems to be having a hard time raising money since the initial influx of his outside-the-district money. That should tell you something.

The DFL should reject Tinklenberg and draft Wetterling or another true Democrat in the 6th.

Developing. . .

More Problems With Ethanol

The rising price of gasoline is fueling a political debate about ethanol and bio-diesel.

Is ethanol the simple solution to Minnesota's energy problems? Eva explains some of the chemical properties of ethanol that make it an unsuitable replacement for gasoline in a cold, damp climate.

This Grist article points out that foreign producers of ethanol have the edge over Minnesota corn growers. We are more likely to be burning cheap, imported ethanol from Brazil than subsidized ethanol from Minnesota .

Ethanol distilleries cannot be located in corn-growing regions that are dependant on underground aquifers. The ethanol factories use a lot of water...500 gallons a minute.

The production of corn causes environmental problems due to topsoil erosion and pesticide contamination. Growing, transporting and distilling corn into ethanol is done for the most part with fossil fuels. The energy efficiency of corn-produced ethanol or is not very good and a source of controversy.

Ethanol factories pollute the air with harmful chemicals.

George Monbiot has written several columns on bio-fuels. In his most recent, he suggests that bio-diesel may actually be more damaging to the environment than fossil fuels. He quotes a Friends of the Earth Report that documents the destruction of habitats caused by palm-oil plantations, a growing source of bio-diesel:

"Almost all the remaining forest is at risk. Even the famous Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan is being ripped apart by oil planters. The orang-utan is likely to become extinct in the wild. Sumatran rhinos, tigers, gibbons, tapirs, proboscis monkeys and thousands of other species could go the same way. Thousands of indigenous people have been evicted from their lands, and some 500 Indonesians have been tortured when they tried to resist(9). The forest fires which every so often smother the region in smog are mostly started by the palm growers. The entire region is being turned into a gigantic vegetable oil field."

Minnesota imports a great deal of fossil fuels. Finite supplies of petroleum and natural gas are diminishing. Foreign sources of petroleum are uncertain as they face a growing threat of war and political instability. Global warming is another serious problem caused by burning fossil fuels.

It's clear that ethanol, on its own is not a solution to our dependence on fossil fuels or global warming.

Energy and transportation are serious, complex subjects. In the future, I hope politicians won't resort to endorsing false "magic bullet" solutions.

Will Matt Entenza Be Dumped from House Leadership?

Checks and Balances speculates:

House to Retreat

The DFL House Caucus is having a retreat on Saturday at the Minnesota Historical Center. During the meeting the issue of whether the minority caucus' leadership needs to change in expected to be broached. We are not expecting a leadership change from Rep. Matt Entenza (DFL-64A, St. Paul) but the anointment of a number two may be the ultimate result.

There are members who are now and always have been disappointed with Entenza’s leadership and that is not expected to change. Members of the caucus seem to be getting fatigued with the phone calling and conversations about the issue. In the head counting game Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-60A, Minneapolis) is leading over Rep. Loren Solberg (DFL-03B, Grand Rapids) and Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-39B, Inver Grove Heights). We plan on keeping a close eye on the issue and will keep you apprized.

Al Junhke with his constant grandstanding and whining about metro democrats not understanding greater Minnesota is the ringleader in pushing for leadership change. He started an email discussion on this issue with DFL house caucus members - and I'd lay odds that either Juhnke or his staff leaked this email exchange to Michael Brodkorb. The leaked discussion made the Star Tribune the next day.

Sviggum: Taxation without Referendum Fine in Hennepin County, Referendum Required Outstate

What a weasle.....

Sviggum backs new DECC arena
POLITICS: The Minnesota House speaker says if Duluth can pass a referendum to raise money for half the project, other lawmakers, including Gov. Tim Pawlenty, will add their support.

Minnesota House Speaker Steve Sviggum on Friday pledged support for a new hockey arena at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

Sviggum, who leads the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, said that other lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty probably will add their support -- if city voters approve a nonbinding referendum Feb. 28 to add another 0.75 percent to the city's restaurant food and beverage tax.

"I will support the DECC upfront, wholeheartedly, as speaker," Sviggum said. "But the local folks have to be there, too, if it's going to be in the final bill. That's a given."

The city wants the state to pay for $33.5 million of the $67 million arena, which would be home to UMD hockey and would host concerts and conventions. The local sales tax increase would cover the other half.

The project will need the support of the governor, House and Senate to be included in the final state construction bonding legislation.

Sviggum, R-Kenyon, said local financial commitments and referendums will be crucial if major convention center/arena projects are approved by the state for Bemidji and Marshall, and that a Hennepin County referendum probably will be required before lawmakers approve a new Twins stadium for Minneapolis.

Why are referendums "probably" required for Hennepin County, and "crucial" for these greater Minnesota projects".

But Sviggum noted that with major Twin Cities stadiums on the agenda, there's support for large projects outside the metro area.

So does that mean that Sviggum supports statewide funding/financing for the Twins ballpark? What bothers me is greater Minnesota legislators voting to increase MY taxes without a referendum to pay for a Twins stadium. If the Twins stadium is a statewide asset and quality of life, then let the cost be borne statewide.

Sviggum also said there appears to be strong support for state construction money for a new school of business at UMD and for an upgraded polar bear exhibit at the Lake Superior Zoo.

"Speaker Sviggum has always been a good friend to me and to Duluth. His support on this is instrumental," Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson said Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, agreed Friday that Duluth's support to pay half of the arena project would improve its chances of being approved. Johnson said he was just starting to review individual projects and hadn't formed an opinion on the Duluth arena.

Johnson said the Senate's version of the bonding bill could go as high as $965 million and still stay below the guideline of spending only 3 percent of the state budget on debt service.

Passing a state construction bonding bill will be the top priority of the 2006 Legislature, which will meet for about 10 weeks starting March 1.

Sviggum said he agrees with Pawlenty that a roughly $900 million construction package is likely, but only if the state has enough money in its budget to make the annual payments on that debt. The state borrows money for big projects by selling bonds paid back over many years.

Sviggum also said Friday that he would support legislative action to allow Duluth to establish an irrevocable trust fund that would be stocked by various city funds to pay for the city's skyrocketing costs for retired employee health-care benefits.

But Sviggum said the state will not bail out Duluth, the Minneapolis school district nor any other municipality that is facing financial crisis because of health-care commitments for current and future retirees.

"These were city decisions that got them there. It will have to be a city solution," Sviggum said. "But if it's just authorization to set up a fund, that probably wouldn't be a problem."

Bergson said city officials already are lobbying for legislation to set up the trust.

"It's been a very positive reaction," Bergson said. "We are leading the way on this, A lot of other cities and school districts are going to need to do this down the line."

Is Sviggum going to support the Carlson School expansion - and other University of Minnesota bonding packages in the Twin Cities?

What would a session be without social issues?

Sviggum said Republicans will continue to push in 2006 for a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages and will work to tighten laws to battle illegal immigration, which he said is a statewide problem. Sviggum said his caucus also will push for a constitutional amendment to dedicate 3/16th of one cent of the state's sales tax to conservation and natural resource funding.

Constitutional amendments must be approved by voters in November. All 201 state lawmakers, the governor, constitutional officers, members of Congress and one U.S. senator will be on the ballot this year.

Well the Bachmann amendment will be dead in the Senate. I hear that DFLers in Bev Scalze's district are unhappy with her vote in favor of the Bachmann amendment. Scalze had received Outfront endorsement in 2004. Apparently Scalze had told people she would vote against the legislation. Rep. Karen Clark had told me that Scalze had always told people that she supported the Bachmann amendment. A Scalze constituent told me point blank that Karen Clark was wrong on this point. I've heard similar stories about Denise Dieterich. This advice to "vote your district" came from others besides minority leader Matt Entenza. According to one of the DFL freshman legislators who voted NO on the Bachmann amendment, Ann Lenczewski told freshman DFLers that they should vote their district unless they wanted to see billboards that had the two gay men kissing with the slogan "Want Gay Marriage? Vote Democratic" in their district. Ofcourse this was nonsense. The anti-gay Al Junhke voted in favor of the Bachmann amendment and still got the "Want Gay Marriage? Vote Democratic" billboards in his district. Ann Lenczewski should be reminded that passing the amendment will not ban gay men from kissing in public.

Abramoff Bringing Down Ralph Reed

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy. I'm looking forward to Reed's perp walk.

Many of Reed's former supporters aren't too happy about supporting him now.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Is Brodkorb's Lawyer's Pleading in Proper Form?

An astute Lloydletta reader made a good point about the Drama Queen's Lawsuit response....

There's a problem with the Answer served by Brodkorb's lawyer in the suit brought by Blois. Rule 11.01 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure specifically state that there has to be an attorney registration number on all pleadings signed by an attorney. The Answer posted on MDE's website doesn't have that, despite it being something too obvious to ignore.

Picky, yes, but that's just how we lawyers are.

Picky, picky, picky...

Seems like Brodkorb's "breaking news" over comment spam got some response:

Jeff Fecke said...

Oh no. Not a dormant forum suffering a spam attack. Next you'll tell us that every day, DFL staffers receive emails telling them that they can get "Gr8 Erekshuns" from "Herbal V1agra." Or that staffers have received email contact from the Most Honourable Mbeki Seko, the brother-in-law of Mbuto Sese Seko, who has four million dollars in a Swiss bank account that he's willing to share....
8:01 AM
cleversponge said...


Young DFL members are being held prisoner in East African nation!! Only you can help. Please click on this paypal link and help the legal defense fund!!


Attention Tim Obrien! This breaking news clearly belongs in the Bloghouse.

Oh the Drama, the Drama.....

In the olden days, Blois Olson and Michael Brodkorb would have settled their differences with a duel - now they grandstand in the press.

And now for today's episode.... Someone, we don't know who, has purchased a Ciresi Domain name - and pointed it to Brodkorb. Michael has been in a tizzy over this all day, because he's added three breathless updates to this "Breaking MDE News".

With no evidence, he suspects Ciresi's campaign of being behind this. Matt from MN Publius has been fingered on this, but has denied the accusation.

The Kool Aid Boys play these sorts of jokes.

UPDATE: Jerry Plagge does a little cybersleuthing.

Amy Klobuchar Meet and Greet at Town Hall Grill

UPDATED: Corrected some of my descriptions of the mixtures. I am talking about two component mixtures (assuming that you think of gasoline as a single component) with various alcohols. Thanks to Bob Johnson for the correction.


I'm not sure how I got on the invitation list, but I got a call yesterday to come to a meet and greet with Amy Klobuchar at the Town Hall Grill. I haven't seen Amy do her stump speech, so I checked it out.

I was impressed with Amy's general stump speech and her explanations of her position on Iraq. (Despite what the Drama Queen says, Amy does have a position on Iraq.) She also has a position on Alito now that the hearings are over - she would oppose his nomination.

Her energy policy doesn't come from sound science, it comes from supporting two boondoggles - Ethanol subsidies and Biodiesel. This is how both democrats and republicans reach out to the rural areas - with pork.

I asked Amy if she was familiar with what happens with a 20% ethanol/80% gasoline mixture, when you add a little water to it (something that happens automatically with condensation). I asked her if she knew how much water needed to be added before producing a phase separation? Amy wasn't aware.

So I explained to Amy that I used to test gasolines for the state and had done this experiment comparing a 10% methanol in gasoline, vs 10% ethanol in gasoline mixture, vs 10% isopropyl alcohol gasoline mixture. I added water dropwise to each mixture. The methanol/gasoline mixture very quickly separated into the two phases - the water brought the methanol out of the gasoline solution - and you had 10% ethanol layering out with the water - kind of like oil and vinegar salad dressing. The ethanol/gasoline mixture layered with more water, and the isopropyl alcohol/gasoline could tolerate the most water before causing a phase separation. I did not do this experiment with 20% ethanol. I suggested to Amy to imagine what a phase separated mixture of ethanol/water and gasoline would do in her gas tank.

I also told Amy that biodiesel fuels have a problem that they gel up in cold weather - and in Minnesota we have lots of cold weather.

When considering these types of renewable energy "solutions" it's always worth looking at the physical properties of the liquids involved.

I'm sure Amy's not going to change her position on this issue, but this cemented in my mind the need for more scientific literacy in this country.

King Banaian addresses the economics of this idea effectively over on SCSU Scholars here and here.

For those chemists in the audience, what causes the difference between methanol, ethanol and isopropyl alcohol in these alcohol/gasoline mixtures?

UPDATE: Why did Bob Muffit (aka "Mr Lung") comment that I'm "clueless" on this issue? This might explain it.

Bob - you didn't answer my chemistry question. (Hint, draw the chemical structures of these molecules and you will find the answer.)

Is This a Reason to Support Alito?

Letter to the St Cloud Times:

Letter: Republican Party has changed its direction
Norm Tempel Rice

As a former delegate in the Republican Party, I am very disappointed to see a great party move into the hands of fascist activists and fundamentalist extremists.

How can anyone who has read the record of speeches, statements and opinions by Samuel Alito support his nomination?

These are sad times in America.


Zippit from St. Joseph
Norman, there are rules for changing the constitution. Alito is in favor of following those rules, rather than pretending he was elected to make the liberal supreme court picks do
Zippit from St. Joseph
Not sad times. it is morning in America!

Fascist?! You have no clue. The left is fascist. The left won't even let you take a drag on a cig in public. But killing the fetus, smoking pot, having anal sex with men, which spreads aids...which puts a strain on healthcare services for all,...the left that wants to strip oil company investors of their "windfall" profits,.... the left that makes war on Christianity, while giving the religion of death and female oppression, (islam), a pass , ..the same fasist left that is undermining our efforts to reform the Middle east, (origin of the deadliest attack in 60 years on our homeland)...that is AOK with the fascist left...because the fascist left sees twice elected George Bush as our enemy. Good luck with that in 06 and 08.

What is it with these people - wanting to bring anal sex with men into every thread? By the way survey data clearly show that straights engage in that activity also. Some use it as a method of birth control.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ron Carey has a Blogger Breakfast

Minnesota Republican Party Chair Ron Carey invited the bloggers to breakfast. For some strange reason, Lloydletta's Nooz wasn't invited. Craig Westover and the Drama Queen give summaries.

And as long as were on politics, yesterday morning I attended a breakfast for local bloggers hosted by GOP State Chairman Ron Carey. It was an informal session, not unlike some of the editorial board meetings I've attended at the Pioneer Press -- except the questions were somewhat tougher.

It was clear from Carey's comments that the GOP is taking bloggers seriously, both as a vehicle for getting out information unfiltered by mainstream media and recognizing the damage blogs can do putting out bad information. Carey made it clear that bloggers have the same access to party sources as MSM journalists and repeatedly made the point that they should use that access to check out rumors and verify facts before posting. Among those attending, Minnesota Democrats Exposed and Peace Like a River have posted their impressions of get-together. Also present from the GOP were Executive Director Ben Golnik, Communications Director Mark Drake and Research Director Gina Countryman.

Perhaps Ron Carey ought to take his own advice. The GOP Newsline sent out at 5 PM tonight (Jan 26) said:

State of the Union Party At State Party Headquarters

Be sure to join Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Ron Carey and other
Republicans leaders for the President's State of the Union Address on
Tuesday, January 24, 2006. The speech begins at 8 PM so get there early to
get a good seat.

We are located at 525 Park St., Suite 250 in St. Paul.

If you are interested in attending, please email to RSVP.

Free pizza and soda will be provided.

Silly me. I thought the State of the Union would be on January 31, 2006.

Usually I refer to the Democrats as being too stupid to win. At this point, the Republican Party of Minnesota clearly seems to be the gang that can't shoot straight. They are not only geographically challenged, they are also chronologically challenged.

Do you take political provided information as fact? If you are a good blogger or reporter, you fact check press releases that come from political parties and campaigns.

The Drama Queen is now breathlessly reporting comment spam on the MYDFL site. Will the mainstream press take the bait and cover the pissing match between Blois Olson and the Drama Queen? The Drama Queen has posted the initial legal response to Blois Olson's defamation suit. Brodkorb continues to claim: "As I have said before, this lawsuit was never about defamation, but about the right to blog anonymously." Nope, this case is a defamation case - and let the courts decide the case.

Feds Remove LGBT Health Website Under Pressure from the Anti-gay FRC

Andy from Eleventh Avenue South has the story here. This is following up on a story that Pam Spaulding and Lloydletta reported earlier.

This is quite discouraging. You can call President Bush to express your opinion on this nonsense at 202-456-1111.

Tinklenberg Campaign Releases Poll

Interestingly enough the results included poll Elwyn Tinklenberg opposing Michele Bachmann and Phil Krinkie. The reported results don't include data on Jim Knoblach.

The Wind Beneath the Right Wing cites Roll Call:

He lead state Rep. Phil Krinkie 29 percent to 28 percent despite Krinkie being 9 points better known. State Sen. Michelle Bachmann led Tinklenberg 32 percent to 29 percent "despite the fact that Bachmann is twice as well known as Tinklenberg," according to Secrest's polling memo.

The poll did not test two other candidates who are seeking the GOP nomination, state Rep. Jim Knoblach or businessman Jay Esmay.

Did the poll not test Jim Knoblach, or did the poll not report Jim Knoblach? Roll Call would have done better due dilligence if they had asked that question. This poll was commissioned to jump start more donations to Tinklenberg's campaign. Tinklenberg's fundraising decreased drastically between the second and third quarter. He raised 106K second quarter and 66K third quarter. Should Patty Wetterling get into the 6th District race, she will be able to raise big money. She will also be able to get interested and excited volunteers. Elwyn Tinklenberg will have to pay for all the campaign help he gets.

A Dump Bachmann reader sent me the pdf release from the Tinklenberg campaign. I'll be contacting the pollster to get more information and will report back on the results of the call.

Wendy Wilde Show Cancelled

The Wendy Wilde Show will no longer be broadcast on local Air America AM 950.

The producer at the station says a syndicated program will replace the local program.

Wendy Wilde was suffering from an allergic reaction to mold and needed time to recuperate.

Wendy Wilde created the very funny Bachmann Morality Minutes.

I will miss the show... I hope that she returns to the air when she recovers.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Will Mike Hatch Get Sick for this Event Also?

Screening / Endorsement Convention
Sunday, January 29, 2006
1:00 PM

Hennepin County Government Center Minneapolis, MN

This is the Endorsement Convention for Stonewall DFL. Lloydletta contributors Mark Hanson and David DeGrio will be attending and reporting back. Stay tuned.

It will be interesting to see how Stonewall will react to Hatch. First order of business should be to smoke out Mike Hatch's position on the Bachmann amendment. From the Pioneer Press:

"As far as I know, we have identical positions on gay marriage. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman," he [Mike Hatch] said. But he declined to support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that Pawlenty backs. Source: All bets are on a clash of political titans, Bill Salisbury, Pioneer Press, Nov. 14, 2005

Hatch is claiming to the press that his internal polling shows he's got 50% of the delegates. I've heard from an informed DFL source that Hatch's internal numbers are showing between 38-42% for Hatch. Hatch claims 50% to the Pioneer Press.

The party's leading vote getter and its highest state officeholder, Hatch said he seems to be gathering the support he'll need to win the endorsement. A survey by his campaign of 7,000 DFL activists who have been delegates or alternates to party conventions since 2000 showed "we had about 50 percent support," he said. "That's pretty strong, but you don't know whether they'll be delegates again."

My DFL source also told me that Hatch was committed to blocking the DFL endorsement. My question remains - if Hatch runs in the primary, will he try to get MCCL's endorsement as he did in 1994?

Gasbag of the Midway

Googling "Gasbag of the Midway" correctly retrieved Mitch Berg's blog.

Now King Banaian reports on another uninformed rant by the Gasbag of the Midway.

Now, I could hardly care less about the goings-on on the nation's campuses, personally, although since my children are approaching college age, I'm certainly paying attention. Personally, I took a look at the graduate-school paper chase when I was still in college, laughed, and scratched it off my to-do list; I figured life would be more productive running on a Habitrail wheel. Other conservatives see it differently, no doubt.

But I don't see life from the academic's perspective. So someone tell me - why is it a problem to academics if a private group reviews professors' political biases for non-commercial, copyright-law-compliant, critical use?

I mean, doesn't the First Amendment apply to students and other consumers of the education system?

King Banaian puts Mitch in his place:

I commented to Mitch that what UCLAProfs does not appear to be a "non-commercial, copyright-law-compliant, critical use." My lectures are a creative act, paid for by the university. The university may claim rights to that act, or may let me retain rights. The battle over intellectual property on campuses -- particularly for research funded by outside grants -- is replete with stories like this. First, Jones raised money in return for "getting the goods," making the enterprise a form of commerce. Second, he was careful to tell students that they needed to ask permission of the faculty, but it may be that UCLA doesn't give faculty transferable rights. I may be able to give my (paying) student permission to view or even record my lecture for her individual use, but the university may not give me the right to tape it myself and sell it off-campus, and it may not allow students to do likewise.

As does commenter PB:

Leave it to Mitch, he sees "Thought Police" and reacts with "GREAT!, now I won't have to think any more!"

Gee Mitch, you REALLY see no problem paying people to inform on teachers for speaking out against the administration.. I'm SURE it wouldn't have a chilling effect on free exchange of ideas. And, just an aside here and all, since when did identity politics become a hiring requirement? If you seriously want to suggest that colleges ALREADY use a liberal identity requirement, go PROVE that sometime, or are you merely about making unprovable allegations? If college campuses are bastions of intellectual analysis and consequently questions about stupid and unsound policies, it is the POLICIES that make them so, not the individuals. Apparently though, to you, the right thing to do is to blame the students and the teachers, for thinking.

Wow.. you're an amazing wit, perhaps next you'll tell us how the TIPS program, in the hands of this collosally screwed up administration, would be just peachy. I mean, they certainly aren't secretive, increadibly political, and, Joe Wilson wasn't retaliated against, we don't have secret wiretap programs collecting data on citizen to citizen contact INSIDE the United States without judicial assent, and certainly with Karl Rove at the helm, we'd NEVER see any sort of misuse of this kind of data...

You are a joke, and frankly, no longer worth the time to read.

Posted by: pb at January 24, 2006 11:36 AM

Predictably Blogger Berg had a meltdown in response. Clearly the gasbag hasn't seen PZ Myers' modest proposal:

I'm liberal, a partisan Democrat, and I'm also outspoken as a flaming godless atheist—a perfect target for their partisan hackwork.

I'd like to turn myself in. I'd be happy to surrender copies of my lecture notes and make tape recordings of every class for that $100 bounty. The money would come in handy (I'm sitting in the orthodontist's office waiting for my daughter's appointment to end…boy, would $100 help.)

Jones said he has lined up one student who, for $100 a class session, has agreed to provide tapes, detailed lecture notes and materials with what the group considers inappropriate opinion. He would not name the student or the professor whose class will be monitored. Jones characterized the work as non-commercial news gathering and advocacy that does not violate university policy.

Holy crap! It isn't per term—it's per class hour! I'm in class for 7 hours and 45 minutes per week, for 15 weeks per term. That would be $23,250 a year! Feeding the persecution fantasies of the wingers could be a rather lucrative occupation.

Unfortunately it sounds like this money making opportunity has dried up.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Welcome Pharyngula Readers!

Very nice of of PZ Myers to mention this post about the Discovery Institute.

From the Pharyngula post and comments:


Nick, I feel for you. Here in Minnesota, we've lucked out -- we got our first LRT line built, and not only has it greatly exceeded ridership expectations, but the business along the route love it.

Families use it to come to down Minneapolis on the weekends: Unless you have a HUGE family, transit tickets are still cheaper than parking. And several restaurants have noticed an uptick in family clientele, even the "sports bar/meat market" types such as Old Chicago (the OC nearest the Warehouse District stop has invested in crayons and high chairs to cater to its new clientele). And since it goes to the Mall of America via the airport, it's very handy for travelers wanting to get to a hotel or to just kill some time before their next flight.

Posted by Phoenix Woman


Personal Rapid Transit is absolutely a tool of anti-mass transit interests.

This tinfoil-hat "technology" is older technology than light rail, has never had one success anywhere, and does nothing but derail funding and research from real mass transit options. The PRT folks here in Minneapolis basically get together in diminishing numbers and bitch about how Metro Transit deliberately "underestimated" the projected numbers of LRT riders, in order to "manufacture" a success. Considering that the LRT is mostly packed all the time now, I guess the "underestimate" meant people not pressed against the windows.

Posted by Kristine

Democrats Attack Mike Hatch

Three Way News:

A good reason to not vote for Mike Hatch

Posted by: Jambo / 3:52 PM

From today's Strib:

If he's a close 2nd, Hatch would run in primary


Hatch said he isn't willing to see his candidacy die at the June convention because he falls just short of the majority needed for endorsement.

Now I'm willing to vote for someone who is running against an endorsed candidate, I've done it in the past. But I'm not willing to vote for someone who is either a weasel or math illiterate. Since it takes a 60% vote to get the endorsement there's either no endorsement or you lose it by at least 20 percentage points. To say you will run if you are a "close second" is to either admit you can't do simple math or are trying to have it both ways by claiming you support the process, and thus hang on to the delegates who won't support candidates who don't honor the endorsement, while having no intention of abiding by the endorsement. The former is unlikely, tho sadly not inconceivable, while the former is the sort of double talk we expect from empty suits like Norm Coleman. Either way, it makes Hatch the kind of guy I don't want running my state.

And by the way, is there no one at the Strib who knows this and could have mentioned it in the article?

Democratic opponent Steve Kelley hits hard:


DFL candidate for governor Steve Kelley ready for the
challenge, calls for “decisive victory”

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (Jan. 24, 2006) - Senator and candidate for governor Steve Kelley today responded strongly to Attorney General Mike Hatch’s comments in the Star Tribune. "Attorney General Hatch today challenged the rest of the DFL candidates to beat him 'decisively' for the DFL endorsement. I accept that challenge," Senator Kelley said. "My campaign has been organizing throughout the state and we are poised to win in June.

"DFLers understand that we have to win in November and that's why my campaign has been receiving so much support," he said. Kelley pointed to fundraising success in 2005. "We were able to raise over $250K in 2005 because people throughout the state understand what it takes to win. Frankly, they're starting to realize that my campaign is working the hardest in this race. We will pull off a win by doing the hard work it takes to organize throughout the state and raise the money necessary to compete with the Republican machine."

Senator Kelley is focused on winning in November. He declared: "It's time to stop dividing the party - I am abiding by the DFL endorsement because Democrats need to be united to win. I know that DFL delegates want to win in November. Those delegates are smart—they will choose the candidate who can win. I disagree with Mike Hatch that the winner at the DFL convention will win because of some political purity test. The DFL has changed since Hatch last ran for governor. Thousands of new people have gotten involved in recent years: moms and dads who care about health care; business owners who are concerned about early childhood education; workers who care about renewable energy. These diverse people can't be boxed in by Hatch's old-hat way of thinking."

Kelley continued, "We can win the DFL endorsement and the general election in November. We are running a campaign that brings people from all walks of life together—exactly what being a successful governor is all about.

"If I win the DFL endorsement, it will be because we have the strongest campaign. It will be because I have drawn the clearest contrast with Tim Pawlenty. It will be because I am the only candidate with a clear, positive vision to return Minnesota to being the national leader in education, health care, transportation and renewable energy. That is what DFLers, like many Minnesotans, want to see in a candidate. And that is what they want in a governor."

Kelley's got to post his more recent press releases on his website.

As I've said before, I don't know why anyone pays any attention to what Mike Hatch says on any topic. He's doesn't have a history of telling the truth, and I don't see a reason to expect that he's changed.

If there are 4 democrats in a crowded primary (Doran, Hatch, Lourey and Kelley), will Hatch re-run his 1994 campaign - getting the MCCL endorsement, and attacking his opponents for supporting gay marriage?

Developing. . .

Dembski Bombs in Kansas

Red State Rabble was there and has a first hand account. Several other pro-science blogs add their two cents.

Dembski, who may have been led to expect a warmer reception for his ideas -- he was in Kansas, after all -- seemed to grow testy as questioner after questioner expressed doubt about his assertion that evolution is a failed theory and that patterns in nature are best explained as a result of intelligence.

Dembski, who was both expansive and patient early in the question and answer period -- even allowing follow up questions -- became more combative, frequently interrupting questioners to ask them to get more quickly to the point, as it became clear that many in the audience, perhaps a majority, remained unconvinced.

One young woman, apparently frustrated by the apparent sophistry of Dembski's demand that evolution explain every single step in the evolution of bacterial flagella, while refusing to provide a similar step by step explanation of how intelligent design might have acted to create biological structures, repeatedly asked Dembski to cite physical data or observations that support intelligent design.

Dembski responded by saying that she was asking him to give a different talk. After further prodding, he urged her to read one of his papers.

Dembski's assistant over at his blog tries to spin this as a win for Dembski.

Kudos to SOMA - the Society of Open-minded Atheists and Agnostics - who did by all accounts were quite effective at challenging Dembski at this forum.

Democrats Unhappy with Idea of Entenza for AG

Over at Democratic Underground:

Let's hope her supporters get themselves to the caucuses. Hatch said today if he loses the endorsement decisively, he'll run for AG again. I like Hatch and I think he'd be a good governor, but I'd rather keep him in the Attorney General's office than see Entenza get it.

Also here.

There is a story in the print edition of the Strib today about Hatch running in the primary if he "comes close" to winning the endorsement.

Even though that position of Hatch's has been known for some time, this is what caught my eye:

(from the article

If he doesn't get close, he said, "I would run for attorney general. It's a job I love. I like to think I'm pretty good at it."

So wouldn't that be a nice situation to find ourselves in: Becky Lourey stomps Hatch for the endorsement, we get a real progressive for a governor's candidate AND the bonus: Poor Millionaire Matt Entenza has nowhere to go if Hatch runs for his current job. With any luck, by that time, the House DFL Caucus will have given The Great Pretenza the boot as minority leader and we could be rid of this creep.

Michael Brodkorb seems to have missed this angle of this story.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Zimmerman Indicted, Conspiracy Theories Abound

All in a days work over at Minneapolis Rumors.

The Discovery Institute Personal Rapid Transit Connection

PZ Myers in an article titled "Microsoft and the Discovery Institute " asked the following question:

"The one issue I haven't seen anyone address, and one the Salon article didn't touch, is whether the Discovery Institute's Cascadia Project is an effective tool for resolving transportation problems in the Pacific Northwest. I have no idea. It could be a font of innovation, or it could be wasteful money sink that publishes white papers and organizes pointless meetings that go nowhere. I'm inclined to suspect the latter, given the incompetence of the director in my field of interest, but my suspicions, the fact that Microsoft officially sucks, and that the Institute is stocked with right-wing theocrats, just aren't enough to rouse me to call for condemnation.

"I would like to call for an objective summary of Cascadia's accomplishments, though…anyone know of one?"


PZ Myers is right when he says the Discovery Institute's theocrats are infamous for promoting "Intelligent Design". Also infamous is the Discovery Institute's support for "Intelligent Transportation". Intelligent Transportation is a term that includes various unconventional transportation ideas that are only a smokescreen for the organization's pro-highway, anti-transit agenda. One of the Intelligent Transportation ideas that the Discovery Institute has fooled around with is "Personal Rapid Transit" or PRT.

Like Intelligent Design, PRT is used as a "wedge" tactic. Its not surprising that promoters of Intelligent Design like Senator Michele Bachmann, also promote PRT.

In a discussion on the Seattle Post Intelligencer web board, someone with the screen name "Soul not sold to Road Warriors" makes the connection between The Discovery Institute and other Puget Sound-based anti-transit organizations that have promoted PRT:

Ted Van Dyk's Greatest Hits / Bloopers Collection

Last Spring, Ted Van Dyk got all excited after attending what he called a "highly informative" Discovery Institute transportation forum at Microsoft - and wrote this column.

Of course, the usual lies and distortions were present - but rather than reel them off (which is so easy to do with an untrained hack like Van Dyk) I want to look at what this conference actually led to. Sure, it got the anti-transit forces fired up, but what came of this expensive endeavor, aside from just more elitists' whizzing in the wind? Plus, our pal John Niles organized the whole thing.

I attended said forum, and was struck by the absurd level of vagueness attached to the whole thing. While the region is poised to actually start BUILDING a modern transportation system, these pin-headed think tank types always seem to have a new, untested, unreliable, "re-inventing the wheel" approach. Naturally, Van Dyk was attracted to the pin heads.

Of course Niles' results-free "Intelligent Transportation Systems"garbage
came up, as well as the perennial right wingers' idea that we can just drop a bunch more buses on the freeways, and that will do it. And, naturally, Libertarian Reason Foundation road warrior Robert Poole had his Niles-like presentation on "Highways and ITS Technology."

At the end of his column, Van Dyk encourages people to log-on to the Darwin-challenged Discovery Institute's website, for a "worthwhile immersion in common sense transportation solutions."

So, what was the immediate follow-up meeting to Van Dyk's inspirational conference?

Yep, you guessed it: yet another stupid Personal Rapid Transit snake oil sales pitch!

And, since Mr. Niles organized the whole thing, of course his CETA pal Jerry "Moonbeam" Schneider had to have a paper to present*.

As if Van Dyk hadn't already discredited himself enough! I can just imagine this cranky elitist sitting back with his wine and cheese, while listening intently to our local PRT geek-cult whackos (who think taking transit can be just like "surfing the internet") pitch their latest simulation.

So, Ted, we know you're just a mouthpiece for the anti-transit crowd over at CETA; and we know you are one of the last people so poorly informed, you would take Mr. Niles' ill-conceived views seriously (along with Bruce Chapman, apparently) repeating his inane claims....but please, Ted: do you really consider PRT "a common sense transportation solution?" CETA has been stupid enough to hitch their wagon to the Jetsons' Golf Cart, but are you really that dumb, too?

On second thought, Mr. Van Dyk, I hope you endorse PRT. It would make your anti-transit / phoney progressive portfolio complete.

[*CETA is the Coalition for Effective Transportation Alternatives, an anti-LRT group. Schneider promotes PRT and other gadgetbahn fantasies on his wacky website -Avidor]

Is there a Double Standard with Gay Organization Reaction to Schwarzenegger and Kaine?

A post at GayPatriot on Kaine's recent actions generates lots of comment.

#GPW and NDT, you've made good points about the hypocrisy of those who criticize Schwarzenegger, but not Kaine, if and when he does sign the anti-marriage bill. A couple of things though. I’ve spent a lot of time in Virginia the last couple of years (in the blue city of Alexandria), and a lot of it wasn't pretty regarding the anti-gay attitudes in the state in general. Although NOrthern VirginiA is a blue region with mostly progressive views on gay rights, it appears that any anti-gay proposals of legislation, etc., was from the Republican side. Anyway, the sad fact is that in order to win the governorship of Virginia, one cannot be supporting of gay marriage. In fact, my recollection (although possibly incorrect) is that one of Kilgore spins against Kaine was that, if Kaine was elected then gay marriage would become legal. So, I’m hoping that Kaine hasn't decided to sign the bill yet, but clearly, if Kilgore was governor, the law would have been a done deal already.

If Kaine does sign the bill, he does deserve the same criticism from the gay community. I do see a difference here though. Kaine would be signing the bill, as opposed to vetoing it like Schwarzenegger did. Also, the consequences of allowing gay marriage are different here too. Had Schwarzenegger signed the bill, that would not have put him in danger of reelection. Kaine's vetoing the bill would have guaranteed a Republican win the next election. In any case, I see some hope in the near future for California, but not the same for Virginia. I no longer travel regularly to Virginia, and I'm afraid to say I don't miss it.

Comment by Pat — January 20, 2006

So, Pat in #44, you basically make it clear that it's all about keeping a Republican from being elected governor of Virginia.

Gov. Schwarzenegger actually did a good thing for gays by vetoing the bill as it decreases the likelihood that a harsh anti-gay marriage anti-civil unions referendum could pass in the Golden State. (Indeed, social conservatives are having trouble gathering signatures for their proposed referendum.) If the legislature enacts gay marriage (and the Governor signs the bill), watch for those supporting a referendum to gain momentum.

And as to the difference between signing a bill and vetoing one, that’s not the real issue here. The real issue is the political cowardice of Democrats on gay issues. If they can get votes by appealing to the gay community, then they will do so. But, if they risk losing votes from centrist voters by supporting pro-gay legislation, they run for the hills.

Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 20, 2006

GPW, you've got to be kidding me. I thought it was only the Democrats that were good with spin. Let me see if I understand this. It is wrong for Kaine to sign the legislation because it will help keep Republicans out of office and thus help gay rights, but Schwarzenegger's veto will help gay rights. So basically, you are essentially justifying the same type of action you and NDT are criticizing the liberals. Don't you think there will be backlash if Kaine vetoes the bill? My point is that I don't like either's actions. But they are both doing it for political reasons. Either side can have arguments as to which actions will help gay rights in the long run. It just seems like that when a Democrat does it, it is praised by Democrats and criticized by Republicans, and vice versa.

Also, a good point was made above about both parties being anti-gay. The Democrats will say nice things to gays and then stab them in the back, whereas, supposedly, you know where you stand Republicans. Sounds like a big philosophical difference, but it’s not. Both parties are simply saying things that will get more votes from their voting bases, period. We saw this with the President. While governor of Texas, he supported keeping homosexual sex a crime. But in order to become President with a broader voting bases, his position conveniently changed. I don't like it, but the political reality is that politicians like Schwarzenegger, Kaine, Bush, and Kerry are going to do the politically expedient thing many times.

NDT, I understand your distaste for the HRC as well as their hypocrisy. I understand that they have endorsed anti-gay Democrats and criticized Republicans that are more pro-gay. But I am curious if there is an example where in a race between a Republican and a Democrat where HRC endorsed a Democrat over a Republican who was more pro-gay. This goes way back, but I remember HRC endorsing Alphonse D'Amato over a Democrat for Senate once, and although he was relatively progressive towards gay rights, I don't recall him being more pro-gay than his opponent. Personally, I can only remember one instance where the Republican was more pro-gay than his opponent (in an election I cast a vote for). He got my vote easily.

The other thing is that the perception by most gays is that the Democrats are more pro-gay (or less anti-gay) than the Republicans in general. My view is that it is more than a perception, factoring in the hypocrisy of both parties. I do believe that anti-gay actions by Kerry and others should be criticized, and that (if everything else is about equal) should vote Republican if that candidate is better on gay rights. But I kind of liken liberals closing their eyes to anti-gay Democrats to liking a favorite sports team and hating their rival. When your rival does something bad, you tend to point it more than when it's your team doing the same thing. Yes, it's still hypocrisy, but that's the way it is. And one can say the same about Republicans who say that they are no more anti-gay than the Democrats. It sounds to many people that they say that to excuse their support for Republicans.

Many gay groups - including OutFront Minnesota - tend to be appoligists for Democrats, and blame the republicans. This doesn't move the ball forward.

Letter Writing Campaign to the Anti-Gay Democratic Tim Kaine at Daily Kos

I posted Dan's letter to Virginia Governor Tim Kaine earlier. Dan has now posted his letter to the Daily Kos. A commenter there wrote another letter:

Dear Governor Kaine,

I am on my County Democratic Committee, and my partner and I worked very hard for you in your campaign. I live in a rural Republican precinct and worked to get out the vote both in Nelson County and in Charlottesville where I am employed. I worked the polls and forced myself to be pleasant to some very rude people. I believed in you and what you stood for. Our county went blue on all races.

My partner and I sat through the rain for three hours at your inauguration. I was moved to tears in the hopes that my home state was heading in a direction away from bigotry and corruption. I have never felt so proud to be a Virginian. We danced at your ball at Williamsburg and had a wonderful time, and no, we really couldn't afford it, but we felt that it was that important. That is the first time I have ever been to such an event.

Now I understand that you plan to sign the amendment from the legislature which would prohibit marriage and "similar arrangements" in Virginia for same-sex couples. I am sure that you have read that law in its entirety. My partner and are middle aged. We work hard and want to feel safe physically and economically. More importantly though, we want better opportunities for the young gays and lesbians who live in Virginia. The additional language in that bill does not provide for that. It makes us second class citizens.

Governor Kaine, we do not have equal rights under the law and we know it too well. I want to share something personal as one example. In 1986 my bright, beautiful son was eleven years old. We were living in Charlottesville and my ex-husband came from out of state demanding physical custody of our son, though I had legal custody. Even though I told him I would terminate my relationship, had I not cooperated with him, he planned to use my sexual orientation in the courts to obtain custody. Rather than put my son through that, I felt that I had no choice but to go along with him at least in the short term. For brevity I have to omit details, but less than six months later, my son was struck by a pickup truck while his father was sleeping. My son was a heart donor to a father of four. This is the kind of thing that happens when all citizens do not have equal protection under the law. Sometimes victims are innocent. My son would probably be alive today, if I had been in no relationship, a heterosexual relationship, or even several heterosexual relationships.

But somehow, I was left behind, and I really think it was to remind people like yourself what the consequences of prejudice and inequality are. I realize that this bill passed the Senate unanimously. And again, I ask you to please consider the additional language, and make a statement for fair-mindedness for all Virginians. That additional language creates an underclass in our society, and makes a mockery of Virginia's Constitution.

Please veto this amendment and give a voice to those who have supported you. I realize that it may go through anyway. So be it. That is no reason for supporting bigotry and hatred.


Enlisted USMC Vet

Commenter "tiponeil" adds:

Isn't it amazing that here on dKos (none / 0)

every time a Republican makes some anti-gay remark everyone trumpets their bigotry in diaries and headlines.

And every time a Dem does the same thing - not a whimper or a recommendation from the same people ?

Very true. The outrage from many liberals over anti-gay actions is very selective - that is, they are outraged when the usual suspects in the Republican Party are the perps, but stay silent, or say that gays are asking for "too much, too fast" and defend democrats who do the same thing.

Pam Spaulding posted her criticism of the Democrats chosing Tim Kaine to give the response to the State of the Union address to Pendagon. There are a number of interesting comments in response to this.

james Jan 20th, 2006 at 3:22 pm

i voted for Tim Kaine, and i don't regret it. while it's true that his stance on the Marriage Amendment is lamentable, on other issues he's a fine cantidate. especially in comparison to Jerry Kilgore. . .

to characterize what went on during the election as "gay-baiting" is hardly fair; for those not familiar, here's a quick re-cap:

Jerry Kilgore, who was running as the Republican cantidate for governer, has a preposterously effeminate voice. he sounds like a cruel parody of the homosexual-male stereotype, except that that's his actual speaking voice. the Kilgore campaign went with the brilliant stratagy of never allowing their cantidate to speak publicly and not using his voice in radio and TV ads. which meant that they refused to hold any debates between the cantidates for a really long time, and then finally agreed to debate only if no TV or Radio news was present; and the debate happened in West Virginia, as in: a whole different state.

essentially the Kaine campaign just kept saying "why won't you let you cantidate speak in public?" which put the Kilgore camp in a weird position of not being able to answer, because the answer would have been = "our cantidate is running on a platform based on persecuting homosexuals, yet his speaking voice sounds absurdly 'gay' and we don't want conservative voters get confused and think he's gay"

among many other things, Kaine was the only cantidate who presented himself as even remotely competant, and he's hardly a gay-basher. i'm glad he's my governer.

I still think the editorial in the Cavalier Daily says it well (via Pam Spaulding):

So, Jerry Kilgore has a "gay-sounding" voice. This is apparent to almost anyone who has heard him speak. The Republican candidate also has a rural accent, but that's not what his Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine, has been making fun of. Few outlets have dealt with this issue honestly, though several papers have danced playfully around it, such as the Staunton Daily News Leader, which has commented on "the 'Ned Flanders meets Mr. Rogers' whine that passes for Kilgore's voice."

These comments are, of course, meaningless, and insinuations drawn from Kilgore's "gay-sounding" voice are based solely on unfounded stereotypes. There is no distinct correlation between voice and sexuality and Kilgore, for his part, is married and has two children.

But for Virginia Democrats, the idea of connecting Kilgore to a slate of negative stereotypes associated with gay men -- and to therefore weaken his support among conservative voters -- has proven tempting. Discussion of Kilgore's effeminate tone has been all over the Internet for months, and prominent Virginia bloggers have repeatedly speculated on Kilgore's sexuality and the effect his voice could have on the election. Suggesting that Kilgore's "gay-sounding" voice gives the impression that he is "weak" and effeminate, some online commentators have implored the Kaine campaign to take advantage of Kilgore's voice in order to implicitly connect him to gay stereotypes.

Last week, the Kaine campaign debuted a radio ad, "Weak." As the title would suggest, the spot suggests that Kilgore is "too weak to lead Virginia." Has Kilgore done anything, more than most other politicians, to define himself as "weak?" That's not clear. What is clear is the throwaway line in the "Weak" spot: "Jerry Kilgore is not being straight." The Kaine camp fails to add the obligatory "with voters;" the ad simply observes, "Jerry Kilgore is not being straight," period.

But even if one accepts the principle that ends can justify means, it is not clear that Kaine could ever benefit the gay community as much as he is damaging it with a campaign that insinuates that sexuality is a matter of public discussion and fair ground for humiliation. After all, if such indignity can happen to a conservative, married father of two with a flutter in his inflection, what keeps it from happening to a self-avowed gay man?

Very well said. Pam Spaulding got lots of grief from democrats for raising this issue about Tim Kaine before the election.