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Friday, July 07, 2006

Dualing Political Hacks

On a personal level, I find Michael Brodkorb to be a nice guy. I also find the MN Publius kids very amiable people. That said - they are political hacks - and I don't think Brodkorb's blog - or the comparable democratic blog - MN Publius - as being blogs which improve political dialog on the issues. In both cases, the blogs are partisan hackery - and say little if anything about political principles. It's what Tony Garcia has described aptly as "party over principles."

It appears that political reporters tend to follow the nonsense from Brodkorb and the MN Publius blogs. While I mentioned the MN Publius story about the Mark Kennedy website makeover, I didn't think it deserved all the state and national coverage it got. I've also mentioned the criticism of Keith Ellison over his past associations with hatemonger Louis Farrakhan.

Now MN Publius has taken Ford Bell up on his challenge to bloggers to ask him five questions. Matt from MN Publius asked 5 questions - which really reiterated the question "how dare you run against an endorsed DFL candidate", and Ford Bell dodged the questions.

None of this really helps inform voters about the candidates - and the mainstream media spends too much of their scarce political coverage over petty campaign spats - rather than good substantive coverage about where candidates stand on the important political issues facing us as a state and a country. This is also the type of stuff that turns off the average voter from politics.

I'll be posting my interview with 5th District candidate Keith Ellison as well as my impressions of last week's rally with Jesse Jackson later this weekend. I talked with Keith about GLBT issues, creationism and federal Research and Development funding.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Creationist, Anti-gay Talk Show Host Bob Enyart Interviews Michele Bachmann's Hero

Bob Enyart interviews Michele Bachmann's hero Anne Coulter about her recent book, Godless. They make a good match.

Several years ago, I called into Bob Enyart's radio show to ask him what he thought about a study that compared homophobic and non-homophobic men (as measured by the "index of homophobia"). The results of the study showed that the homophobic men got sexually aroused by watching gay pornography.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"Light Rail Hysteria" is a National Phenomenon

Jannice Eisen writes about LRT hysteria in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Most of us find that there are certain topics of conversation we need to avoid in social situations if we want to keep things civil. Abortion and gay marriage are two that come immediately to mind.

But one subject is unique to the Milwaukee area in the frenzied response it prompts: light rail.

I've been watching the light rail battle with bemusement for the past decade, and I just don't understand why the topic is so radioactive. We can't even discuss it rationally: Ordinarily sensible people start to turn red and foam at the mouth.

Janice Eisen is wrong about only one thing; LRT hysteria is not a local phenomenon. It's a national phenomenon created in part by right-wing and libertarian anti-transit organizations. Even with the success of the Hiawatha LRT, there are still hold-outs of LRT-haters in Minnesota... mostly on the right-wing and left-wing fringe.

Last week, the Green Party's Eddie Felien and Republican right-winger Phil Krinkie showed up at the Met Council to speak against the Central Corridor LRT line. It was no surprise for me. I've known for some time that many of the Green Party members have attitudes toward rail transit that is not very different from the right-wing Republicans.

I have seen how the subject of LRT can turn some Greens totally irrational. Last year at a forum, a Green Party member started screaming at me that "Light rail will kill people!". Former Councilman Dean Zimmermann, who worked closely with right-winger Mark Olson on PRT, also parroted that line. That hysterical nonsense about LRT killing people was repeated at least 3 times in Felien's vituperative PULSE article on the Central Corridor.

Transportation will be an issue in many elections this Fall. Michele Bachmann, Ray Vandeveer and Mark Olson have targeted LRT and the Northstar Commuter line. How does it help Patty Wetterling, David Francis and Jim Huhtala when PULSE has advertisements on AM 950 saying LRT is dangerous and expensive? When are Green Party members going to stop helping right-wing Republicans defeat progressive Democrats?