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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Norm Coleman's Ad About Laurie Coleman Gets on Americablog

Americablog. Americablog is a national blog. The story is also in City Pages.

Hot Video

"I kissed a girl". The song is playing big time on the Top 40 stations. The usual suspects are howling.

No on Nunn Blog

The purpose is pretty obvious - to point out that Sam Nunn is an unacceptable VP candidate for Barack Obama.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Norm Coleman Ad Starring Laurie Coleman

Perhaps the ad is intended to squelch rumors. It appears to be doing the opposite, since many are wondering whether Laurie Coleman and Norm Coleman were in the same room during the taping of this ad. There are a number of odd things about the ad, including the camera flashing on Laurie Coleman's wedding ring.

The Coleman campaign is a bit concerned. They've released a statement on this:

These left-wing, liberal, Al Franken bloggers are as goofy a bunch as I’ve ever seen. They’ve spent the entire morning concocting a conspiracy theory, wasting valuable bandwidth on the Internet. The Senator and his wife were both in the kitchen of their home where the commercial was filmed.” Source: Pioneer Press’s Political Animal, June 19, 2008

Calling the bloggers names (Al Franken bloggers) is an ad hominem attack. Since I was one of the bloggers who mentioned the ad (repeating observations from other sites), I was rather offended by this. If I'm such an "Al Franken blogger", then why won't Al Franken's campaign grant me an interview? Why won't Al Franken's campaign show the courtesy to respond to my emails? I think both candidates are deeply flawed.

Here's the ad. Decide for yourself.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Call Governor Jindal - Tell Him to Veto Creationism Bill

PZ Myers posted the alert. Myers points out:

You can call him at 225-342-7015 or 866-366-1121 (Toll Free); fax him at 225-342-7099. Anyone anywhere in the country should hammer the message home. If Jindal has any national political aspirations, this willful destruction of science education in his home state is going to follow him around like stink on a skunk.

The Louisianna Citizens for Science posted an open letter.

LA Coalition for Science
June 16, 2008

Honorable Bobby Jindal
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Re: Veto of SB 733

Dear Governor Jindal:

SB 733, recently passed by both houses of the legislature, purports to enable teachers to help students “develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.” This is a seemingly noble-sounding but deceptive goal.

SB 733 is a thinly disguised attempt to advance the “Wedge Strategy” of the Discovery Institute (DI), a creationist think tank that is collaborating with the LA Family Forum to get intelligent design (ID) creationism into LA public school science classes. John West, associate director of DI’s Center for Science and Culture, has even presumed to interpret SB 733 on DI’s website so as to favor his group’s agenda. (See West’s “Questions and Answers About the Proposed Louisiana Science Education Act.”) Within minutes of the Senate’s passage of the bill on June 16, West posted the news of Louisiana’s passage of the “landmark” LA Science Education Act on DI’s website. According to one Louisiana news account, West indicated that DI hopes to see its own creationist textbook, the deceptively titled Explore Evolution, used in our science classes as one of the supplements that SB 733 will permit teachers to use (Opelousas Daily World, 6/16/08). DI apparently has a financial as well as a religious and political interest in this legislation.

Creationism, which includes both young-earth creationism and ID, is not science but a sectarian view based on the Bible. Young-earth creationism is based on Genesis, and ID is based on the Gospel of John, as was established in federal court in the case of Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District (2005). The Bible was never intended to be a science textbook. Evolution has long been accepted by the Catholic Church and most other mainstream churches. The late Pope John Paul II said in 1996 that “new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis.” (Truth Cannot Contradict Truth, October 22, 1996) As the pope recognized and other mainstream religions also recognize, there is no conflict between teaching children the scientific fact of evolution in school and providing religious instruction at home and in church. Millions of Americans lead committed religious lives while fully accepting modern science.

Since you hold a biology degree from Brown University, one of the nation’s most prestigious schools, you certainly appreciate Theodosius Dobzhansky’s famous insight, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” You also surely understand that there is no scientific controversy over the fact of evolution. The current controversy is a political one, manufactured nationally by the Discovery Institute and here in Louisiana by the LA Family Forum, which does not represent the majority of Louisiana’s citizens but would impose its agenda on our entire state, even our children.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is violated when the government endorses a sectarian doctrine, as SB 733 would do, despite denials by the bill’s supporters. The section of SB 733 stipulating that the bill “shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion” actually comes from the DI’s own model academic freedom act. If SB 733 were truly about teaching science, no such disclaimer would be needed.

If SB 733 becomes law, we can anticipate the embarrassment it will bring to the state, not to mention the prospect of spending millions of taxpayer dollars defending the inevitable federal court challenge. Consider also that federal courts have uniformly invalidated every effort to attack the teaching of evolution in public schools, including, among others, (1) Edwards v. Aguillard, a 1987 case that Louisiana lost in the U.S. Supreme Court; and (2) Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District (pdf), a 2005 Pennsylvania federal court case in which a conservative Republican judge appointed by Pres. George W. Bush thoroughly examined and rejected a school board policy that presented ID to students as an alternative to evolution.

With our state still recovering from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, does Louisiana need the expense and embarrassment of defending – and losing – another lawsuit in federal court? What image will this legislation convey to high-tech companies and skilled individuals who might consider locating here? On your “Workforce Development” website, where you tell readers that “I am asking you to once again believe in Louisiana,” you acknowledge that because of a “skills gap,” the “training and education of our citizens does not meet the requirements of available jobs.” You state that “the lack of economic mobility discourages many Louisianans, including thousands of young people who have left our state in search of greater opportunities.” You also highlight Louisiana’s low educational ranking as one cause of the “workforce crisis in LA”: “In a 2007 national Chance-for-Success Index, Louisiana ranks #49 in the nation based on 13 indicators that highlight whether young children get off to a good start, succeed in elementary and secondary school, and hit crucial educational and economic benchmarks as adults.” SB 733 will degrade the quality of science education just when the state is so working hard to improve public schools.

Surely you agree that SB 733 sends the wrong message to the nation if we want to develop additional high tech companies such as the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, LIGO, and other research universities and centers across the state. SB 733 will sacrifice the education of our children to further the political and religious aims of the LA Family Forum and the Discovery Institute, an out-of-state creationist think tank whose only interest in Louisiana is promoting their agenda at the expense of our children.

You have repeatedly stressed your commitment to making Louisiana a place where our young people can build families and careers. You can help to make Louisiana that place by proving that you support the hundreds of science teachers and thousands of students in the public schools and universities across the state. You can demonstrate your commitment to improving both Louisiana’s image and our educational system by vetoing SB 733. The state and the nation are watching.

We call upon you to veto SB 733 in the best interests of our children and to protect the reputation of our state.


LA Coalition for Science

Norm Coleman's Latest Ad Features Ms Blo N Go

It also features Norm Coleman putting trash into a dumpster. Didn't he injure himself doing this once?

UPDATE: The Big E observes -

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) released a campaign video without a press conference or press release. Just an email to his supporters. The really bizarre part of this is that his wife, Laurie, looks like she was filmed in California then edited into the ad. What does this say about their marriage? Will Norm answer questions about the state of his marriage when it appears that Laurie won't come to MN to film an ad?

I agree that the lighting does look odd, and it doesn't look like she was filmed in the kitchen the ad was filmed in.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Laurie Coleman Dumps Norm Coleman from Her Blo N Go Promotions

MN Blue has the scoop. Did Norm Coleman's campaign have something to do with this?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Origin of Life to Beethoven's 9th

Beethoven was completely deaf when he wrote his 9th symphony.

Michael Brodkorb Links to Interesting Blog Post

In a recent post, Brodkorb linked to Lambert to the Slaughter. Most of Lambert's post was critical of Team Franken for tactical errors (as it should be). Team Franken does come across as the gang that can't shoot straight. For some reason Brodkorb didn't include this pull quote:

As I said a few days ago, Franken has to turn that vast library of jokes, skits, standup routines, and even recreational drug use into an asset and ASAP. (And am I the only one annoyed with the complaint that he should have "got all this stuff out there" months ago? To date, everything that has been erpped on him by the opposition has been something he has published or recorded. It has been "out there". Whatever you might think of Franken's sophomoric sex jokes or skit ideas, it isn't like he was hiding them. It isn't like, you know, he is some high-profile politician hiding a reputation for chronic womanizing.)

I left the pull quote on his comments, with the comment - "I wonder who he is referring to". The comment was deleted.

The Fix: Norm Coleman's Ad Emphasizes Pork, Distances from President Bush


GOP Incumbents Are Serving a Familiar Dish
By Chris Cillizza And Ben Pershing
Sunday, June 15, 2008; A08

Faced with one of the worst national political environments in modern political history, Republican incumbents are turning to a tried-and-true approach to win reelection: pork.

In recent ads for Sens. Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Elizabeth Dole (N.C.) and Norm Coleman (Minn.), the incumbents highlight their ability to work across party lines to deliver dollars for their respective states.

Call it the clout factor.


In Coleman's ad, he touts his ability to bring compromise. "The business of serving the people is about making a difference and about doing something, not just fighting about it but doing something about it," he says.

What's not in the ads is as important as what is. In none of the three commercials is President Bush's name mentioned. The limited use of the Republican brand is particularly striking in Kentucky and North Carolina, which Bush carried with 60 percent and 56 percent, respectively, during the 2004 election. Coleman's qualifying his party ties makes more sense, given that in 2004 Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) won Minnesota by three percentage points.

It appears as though McConnell, Coleman and Dole have all reached the conclusion that the only message that can win for a Republican in the current environment is a purely transactional one: Reelect me, and I'll continue to bring home the bacon.

While pork-barrel spending is decried by many politicians in Washington -- including, loudly, by presumptive GOP nominee John McCain -- there's a reason it remains a staple. Many voters like to see their politicians providing "deliverables" back home.