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Saturday, January 13, 2007

I've Never Thought Much of Barbara Boxer

But Condi Rice is reaching for straws here:

In an interview Friday, Rice suggested that Boxer had set back feminism by suggesting during the hearing that the childless Rice had paid no price in the Iraq war.

"I thought it was OK to be single," Rice said. "I thought you could still make good decisions on behalf of the country if you were single and didn't have children."

During the Thursday hearing, Boxer told Rice: "Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price ... with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families."

In an interview Friday, Boxer said her comments had been misunderstood and were now being turned against her. "What I was trying to do in this exchange was to find common ground with Condi Rice," Boxer said.

During the hearing, Rice did not appear to take issue with Boxer's comments. But White House spokesman Tony Snow had suggested earlier Friday that Boxer's comments were anti-feminist.

This is nonsense from the White House trying to distract attention from the issue at hand.

UPDATE: Americablog speculates more.

UPDATE2: Malcontent weighs in.

A Fun Little Chemistry Experiment

Buzz Minnesota at the Strib.

Here's the experiment.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Drama Queen's Senate District Fined by Campaign Finance Board

MN Publius reports:

38th Senate District RPM Fined by State of MN

* Posted by Jon-David
* January 12, 2007

…for Acceptance of a Contribution from an Unregistered Committee

From the Finding:

There is probable cause to believe that the 38th Senate District accepted a contribution that exceeded $100 from the Swift for City Council Committee, an association that is not registered with the Board, without receiving the required disclosure resulting in a violation of Minnesota Statutes, section 10A.27, subdivision 13. There is no probable cause to believe that this violation was intentional or done with the intent to circumvent the requirements of Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 10A.

Michael Brodkorb agreed to talk to me on the record about the finding. He said that the district had cooperated fully with the investigation, and that he has learned from the experience. The district intends to take responsibility and comply with the ruling. He added that he would remember this and would be "vigilant in watching for this type of violation when exposing democrats."

I've got your 'augmentation' right here.....

From Thursday's cage match between Condi Rice and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

Hagel: I think this speech, given last night by this President, represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it's carried out.

Rice: I think that I don't see it and the President doesn't see it as an escalation. What he sees...

Hagel: Putting 22,000 new troops, more troops in, is not an escalation? Would you call it a decrease? And billions of dollars more?

Rice: I would call it, Senator, an augmentation that allows the Iraqis to deal with this very serious problem that they have in Baghdad.

If Senator Chuck Hagel were to decide to enter the 2008 presidential race, he might stand a chance of bringing some disaffected Republicans (like me) back to the GOP.

Rep. Mark Olson; Loose Cannon

I'll bet Rep. Steve Sviggum is kicking himself for writing this endorsement of Mark Olson last November:

From The Sherburne County Citizen:

Sunday, November 05, 2006

To The Editor,

I often refer to your state representative, Mark Olson, as the "conscience of the Legislature." Mark is one of the most principled and thoughtful persons I know - certainly one of the most principled legislators I've ever had the opportunity to work with.

Mark makes a positive difference for governing at the State Capitol. He is a person who gets results and that you can work with, but you better have your facts and information correct and supported. For instance, Mark led the repeal of the Profile of Learning before it was the popular thing to do. In the middle 1990's he stood almost alone gathering support every year until in 2003 the repeal passed the Legislature almost unanimously.

Yes, the State Legislature needs a whole lot more people like Mark Olson. At times his standards and expectations are difficult to meet, but Mark's makes me, the Legislature, and the State of Minnesota so much better.

Steve Sviggum

Speaker of the House

St. Paul, MN

Now that Olson has slipped his MNGOP moorings, he's rolling around the deck of the legislature like a loose cannon.

Lawrence Schumacher:

The point is that Republicans wanted to put Democrats on record opposing a rebate, which is former Speaker Steve Sviggum's, R-Kenyon, main goal this year.

Added fun: Republican-non-grata Rep. Mark Olson of Big Lake is arguing with Sviggum on the floor, agreeing with the Democrats that the Republican amendment is not germane.

Watch Sviggum's reaction to Olson on this video taken from the House website:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

So Called "Defender of Marriage" Playboy to Head Democratic Leadership Council

Pam Spaulding:

The fundie-courting centrist Democratic Leadership Council, according to, is going to tap former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford head up the think tank, replacing Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (Vilsack has announced his 2008 prez candidacy).

Boy, that's no surprise. Vilsack has no name recognition, and Ford is right up the DLC alley, a real wet dream for CEO Al From. Ford, in his close loss to Bob Corker, had no problem kneeling before the right wing, carrying business cards with the Ten Commandments on back, and bleating his head off about the evils of the NJ marriage equality ruling.

"I do not support the decision today reached by the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding gay marriage. I oppose gay marriage, and have voted twice in Congress to amend the United States Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. This November there's a referendum on the Tennessee ballot to ban same-sex marriage - I am voting for it."

And here's more "centrist" blather, that must have won over From's heart.

"People who are giving me this money know that I'm for the Second Amendment, they know I'm against same-sex marriage, they know I'm for the display of the Ten Commandments in public places, they realize I'm not for abortion on demand, and they also understand that I don't want to see the flag desecrated.

From Pam's comments:

These people make me want to puke
It amazes me that no one has considered that possibly one reason Ford's ass was kicked in this election was because he so thoroughly alienated any GLBT voter in Tennessee, effectively leaving them little/no choice for Senate from that state.

And Democrats should make no mistake about a growing anger among members of our community who are used for our money and our votes but receive little more than weak defensive moves in the legislatures - we don't vote for cowards. I wrote my own name in for Congress in my district, and one of the leading reasons was the failure of my Democratic congressperson to sing onto the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." In a rather naive move by his staff, the congresscritter constantly reassured us that, if the legislation left committee, he would certainly take an active interest. Of course, he also knew that under Republican control, that legislation wasn't gonna leave committee.

The protest from our community should be loud and angry toward the DLC. The kinds of things Ford said publicly about our citizenship rights strike to the very heart of how every American should consider voting. And no gay American should EVER vote for ANY candidate who believes we are somehow second-class citizens yet should be so grateful that a homophobic heterosupremacist doesn't want us executed - just put in our place.

Yep, yep, and yep. All I heard after Ford's defeat was about his family's scandal. They never thought to think that maybe, just maybe, a few thousand queers that live in TN decided they wouldn't settle for his hateful crap. Just about every gay person I talked to were voting independent.

We may not have the power of numbers (i.e. being the heterosupremist majority), but we can fuck up your election chances.

Pawlenty Not Happy With Bush


"I am extremely disappointed and frustrated that the tour of duty for 2,600 Minnesota National Guard soldiers in Iraq apparently will be extended. This decision by federal officials is not consistent with the expectation or understanding provided to our soldiers. It's unfair to them and their families. It's extremely important that all of us continue to support members of our military and their families in every possible way."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What Will Tom Prichard, Michele Bachmann and Peter LaBarbara Say About This?

Pam's House Blend:

Oh my -- this will give Porno Pete the vapors -- actually maybe he's more on top of these things than I am. New York Magazine shares some data from the Centers for Disease Control's National Survey of Family Growth and the bottom line is that heterosexuals are enjoying more back-door action than ever before...

Note to House Republicans: Quit Trying to Micromanage

The Drama Queen posts a press release from the house republicans:

ST. PAUL - The police and fire departments of Minneapolis and Saint Paul would get all state aid to the cities under a plan unveiled today by Minnesota House Republicans.

"The first test of any city is public safety, and our state’s largest city - Minneapolis - is failing that test," said Representative Steve Smith (R-Mound), the lead Republican Member of the House Division on Public Safety.

"Minneapolis and Saint Paul need to get their priorities straight. Police and fire are the safeguards of our communities. They must have the resources necessary to keep our cities, streets and families safe."

Under the proposal, all state funds under the Local Government Aid (LGA) program for Minneapolis and Saint Paul would be dedicated by the Minnesota Legislature for strengthening public safety.

"We need more police on the beat, and more boots in the fire stations," Representative Smith said.

Let's just get rid of the sales tax for municipalities - and Minneapolis and St Paul wouldn't need LGA - and legislators should quite trying to micromanage the cities. Let's tell Seifert's district - Marshall isn't it - exactly how they should spend their LGA.

Republicans are going to need to quit alienating people who live in the urban core if they want to start winning again. This isn't the way to do so.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Turning Tail and Running

Never forget, elections really do have consequences

January 9, 2007
Four Judicial Nominees Ask to Withdraw
Filed at 1:01 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a concession to the Senate's new Democratic majority, four of President Bush's appeals court appointees have asked to have their nominations withdrawn, Republican officials said Tuesday.

These officials said that William Haynes, William Myers and Terrence Boyle had all decided to abandon their quest for confirmation. Another nominee, Michael Wallace, let it be known last month that he, too, had asked Bush to withdraw his nomination.

Haynes is the Pentagon's top lawyer, and was an architect of the Bush's now-abandoned policy toward treatment of detainees in the war on terror. He had been tapped for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Boyle is a federal judge in North Carolina, and his appointment to the 4th Circuit provoked opposition from Democrats who cited his rulings in civil rights and disability cases, as well as his higher-than-average turnover rate by higher courts.

William G. Myers III, nominated to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sparked opposition from environmentalist organizations and their allies among Senate Democrats.

Wallace's appointment to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals drew opposition from Democrats, civil rights groups and the American Bar Association.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has said only ''consensus nominees'' are likely to win confirmation under the new Democratic majority -- a declaration that effectively doomed the chances for the four men whose appointments were left in limbo when the Senate adjourned last year for the elections.

Several Republican officials said the White House was likely to make the announcement later in the day.

They said Bush also intends to appoint 33 other judicial nominees, including three whose appointments were not acted on by the Senate in 2006.

The officials who described the developments did so on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt a formal announcement.

I was wondering when we'd see a story like this one.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Response from Don Samuels to My Email

It took close to a month, and he wrote to "Sally"... even though I sent him an email from "Eva Young".

from Samuels, Don H
to Eva Young
date Jan 7, 2007 11:26 PM
subject FW: Role of libraries in Minneapolis

Hi Sally,

Believe it or not, I have great respect in the public library system. As I said in the council meeting, I still remember my first “big” book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which I borrowed from the bookmobile that stopped three blocks from my home in a community too poor to have its own branch. Ironically, it was my first intimate introduction to American life.

I also worked my first job at the main library of the Jamaica Library Service. Today, that country of 2.5 million now has 1,600 homicides every year because the leadership continues to undervalue the humanity of huge segments of the population.

In any event, the statement I think you refer to was made, not at the council, but to a reporter, Terry Collins, who asked how I justified spending so much additional funds on public safety when libraries are closing.

While my answer seems glib, be assured, it comes from a place of deep thought, reflection and frustration. I have seen annual reports of the dire academic failure of the kids of my community, yet I have never heard the outcry in response similar to what comes from the closing of a single library. And yet, these young people grow up to have the next generation of failures before they are adults and the males go to jail at a rate of 60%, their incarceration costing us each annually, the salary of a librarian or a teacher.

These young men occupy our corners terrorizing their peers and others, heading to the store, to school or to the library. They make the carrying of a library book a sign of cultural betrayal.

Sally, I know these guys, they are scary and annually, they become more brutal. It makes me anxious that we allow them to continue unabated. We are callous as a community, considering pathology to be normal for a whole segment of our youth. And I do not simply blame the white community or the political leadership of the community. This decline has been in process for a generation and ALL of us have responded feebly. The youth sense their lack of worth in our response both to their endangerment and their social pathology. Corrective and preventive methods of intervention MUST become our top priority. It is the only civilized thing to do.

So when a reporter poses a question that suggests public safety and its accompanying social significance might be sacrificed for libraries, a terse retort hardly reflects the bizarre condition of our community.

And by the way, I have heard of the destructive behavior of so many unsupervised African American young people after school at North Memorial, prior to its closing. And I am very aware that a bizarre disproportion of the kids hungrily consuming the after school opportunities there are children of immigrants. America and Minnesota must begin to come to grips with our inability to fix the pathologies we created in the descendants of families who have been with us for centuries and not continue to look for redemption from the children of families nurtured in other distant cultures.

This is at the heart of our refusal to deal holistically with the crime problem. It has become an African American problem and historically, African Americans are allowed to rot intellectually, spiritually and occupationally. Until this changes, a thousand libraries cannot prevent the eclipsing of our national economy within 4 decades by China, India and Argentina. We will be dragged down by the repercussions of our own neglect.

Sorry if this is a downer. I am not a prophet, but on this issue, I see the future clearly.

Don Samuels
Minneapolis City Council
Fifth Ward
(612) 673-2205

I'll fisk this letter later this week.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Lawrence Schumacher's CapitolCast

I'm a big fan of the Saint Cloud Times.

The SC Times has a free-wheeling, state-of-the-art web forum on every article and opinion piece. Unlike the Minneapolis Issues which has too many rules and technical glitches to make it worth the bother (every time the Mpls Issues threatens to flare up into something interesting, the participants' knuckles are rapped by the schoolmarmish "List Manager"). The Saint Cloud Times forum also permits the posting of graphics.

Another great thing about the Saint Cloud Times is Lawrence Schumacher. . In addition to Schumacher's reports from the Capitol, he has a blog and does podcasts.

Norm Coleman Blogs

The Hill Blog:

Balancing the Budget Is Our Responsibility
January 4th, 2007

I am pleased to support President Bush's call to balance the budget by 2012. For the sake of our nation's future prosperity, it is our responsibility to meet this goal. Working families across Minnesota make tough choices to live within their budgets and the federal government should be no different. Since coming to Washington, I have upheld the promise I made to the people of Minnesota to be fiscally responsible by voting against $4.636 trillion in Democratic proposed spending, voting for the Deficit Reduction Act and supporting line-item veto authority for the President. As we seek to meet the President's goal, we should make permanent the successful pro-growth tax policies that have resulted in record revenues, 7 million new jobs since August of 2003 and higher incomes for Minnesota's hardworking families. I look forward to working with Senate colleagues on meeting the President's goal.

Did Norm write this himself? It sounds like standard, boiler plate, republican talking points. Balancing the budget by 2012 doesn't mean paying off the debt. It just means finally getting it so that the country isn't going more into the hole.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is calling for DC Voting Rights.

Axis of Soros

The Drama Queen plays a starring role, as does the MOB Parrot Mitch Berg and his sidekick Swiftee in a hilarious photoon strib by Jeff Fecke.

Axis of Soros - Starring Mitch Berg, Swiftee, Michael Brodkorb


Swiftee goes over the edge in the comments:

# Swiftee Says:
January 3rd, 2007 at 7:32 pm


Every time one of you idiots post a picture of my bird I just die laughing….look into my eyes Feckless, this one’s for you, you cowardly scumbag!

# Swiftee Says:
January 3rd, 2007 at 7:38 pm

At least you are not denying the identity of your sugar daddy!

Hey, Feckeless, why not put my bird on your header? That way I can greet all of your scumbag pals at the door!

I'll send you a high resolution copy, so that everyone can see the sincerity in my eyes..

# Swiftee Says:
January 3rd, 2007 at 7:54 pm

Oh wait! Click here for an interactive experience to watch me “jump into action”!


For best results, click every sixty seconds. Ahahahaha!
# Tim Says:
January 3rd, 2007 at 9:43 pm

So Swiftee's a balding tattooed cracker sporting a wife-beater. Who woulda guessed?
# Jeff Fecke Says:
January 3rd, 2007 at 10:06 pm

Yeah, I know, shocked us all.
# Swiftee Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 7:15 am

Did that soft, pasty white little punk just call me a "cracker"?

Heh, the festering, inherent racism of the liberal bubbles up.

Tell us pasty white little punk, do you go comment on black websites so you can purge yourself of all those "niggers" you've got boiling in your chest but just can't find the balls to say outloud?

¿Usted susurra "spic" bajo su respiraciĆ³n cuando usted pasa a mexicano?

Look into my eyes you pathetic little bigot..Ahahaha!
# MBerg Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 9:29 am

Well, you're better than Avidor. But then so's my dog.

But my dog would know better than to refer to "unsubstantiated claims" after five years of writing what you do, Jeff.
# Swiftee Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 8:57 pm

I've read your dog's work Mitch. Feckeless’s dull witted electronic drool makes Nosemarie's efforts look like a Faulkner masterpiece…plus, if I’m not mistaken she got more votes than Feckeless last election.

Too bad she's not a Dumpocrap…Soros would be putting a relief “New Journalist” on the mound..ahahahaaaaaaa!

Berg is just jealous of Avidor.