Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Franken vs. Comcast

Interesting article by entrepreneur and Maverick owner, Mark Cuban, writing about our senator:

Senator Al Franken is Requesting User Caps on Internet Bandwidth ?


The greatest MEME ever! (and other hyperbole)

It turns out Miss me yet? is becoming something of an Internet Sensation MEME. And I don’t use Internet Sensation lightly, this thing is viral huge. Huger than anything you’ve ever done on the web. Huuuuuuuuuuuugeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Citypages has Pres. Bush’s ‘Miss Me Yet?’ billboard: the alternate slogans and Tildology can’t resist answering the question with Since you asked.

Here are my feeble attempts using the highly advanced Microsoft Paint.

Talking Minnesotan – 02-05-10

Image Uploaded on January 27, 2010
by Individual_romance
There’s been plenty of talk in Minnesota this week. Most of it about bacon and eggs, some of it about beer, and occasionally someone has brought up the topic of the weather. Typically, we kill that person with kindness while secretly thinking thoughts of the Caribbean. Since it’s Superbowl weekend I’ll open it all up with some football talk.

Bob Collins has The case for a Vikings stadium discussion

The Minnesota Legislature begins its 2010 session today (MPR’s Midday is originating its entire show from the Capitol today) and the chief topic is how to to close the state’s budget deficit.

But the slightly smaller gorilla in the room is a stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Still, it has no significant chance of coming up for discussion this year.

Gov. Pawlenty tried to put the discussion in play yesterday during his appearance on MPR’s Midday when he offered several possible ways to raise some revenue for the Vikings, whose lease at the Metrodome expires at the end of next season.

Sooner or later, the issue has to come up for discussion. The question is: Should it be sooner? Or later?

I like the first comment by BSimon

You’re absolutely half-right, Bob. I say half right because the necessary discussion isn’t just about a hypothetical Vikings stadium, but the entire list of requests for state funding. What really needs to happen is a prioritization process, that includes analysis of the payback we’ll get from any given expenditure. For instance, how much do we spend on schools & what’s the return? Are we properly educating our future workforce such that they’ll be productive members of society, contributing back to MN? What about law enforcement – is the investment in law enforcement, the courts & prison system the best way to provide security & safety to the populace? Or can we achieve the same or better results by spending differently? So, back to the Vikings stadium. Supporters claim there’s an ROI, through taxing players’ salaries, or an intangible benefit of building a sort of community. Ok, how do we quantify that & prioritize it against other obligations? Should we build a stadium or hire more public defenders & fix some bridges? How about building a ditch around Moorehead? If we consider a new dedicated source of funding, like racinos, why would that revenue be earmared for a stadium, rather than addressing the enormous budget shortfall?

So, yes, lets discuss it. What are our priorities & how much are we willing to pay for them? In bang for the buck, a stadium falls a bit on the priority list, in comparison to ensuring our state’s future standard of living remains high.

Check out my buddy Marsh getting hammered

Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s Steve Marsh and reporter Brian Lambert imbibe the latest cocktail creations by La Belle Vie’s star bartender Johnny Michaels while chatting about the politics of Michele Bachmann, Brian’s new radio show Brian and Sheletta on FM 107.1, and the death of happy hour at the state capital.
, Brian’s new radio show Brian and Sheletta on FM 107.1, and the death of happy hour at the state capital.

Remember when I talked about the Art Shanty Black Bania? Citypages points us to this video of Spoken word artist Paul Dickenson.

bigboxcar confirms: Yeah, Cheeseheads are still bitter.


Minnesotan Jeff Severns Guntzel says what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate on War and makes a great video.

I ravaged the Utne Reader library looking for covers from the alternative press that helped to tell the complex and terrible story of our war in Iraq. Utne Reader librarian Danielle Maestretti and art director Stephanie Glaros helped me. Here’s what we came up with:

Video: The Iraq War as Told Through Magazine Covers

Great work.
Fellow Cloquet escapee and writer CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER writes a fascinating story about Wille Murphy

Did you see that guy’s hair?

Speaking of hair Jason Derusha says
“The Good Question intern @allisonjanney has been researching hair. Not mine, obviously.”

Check it

Enough about hair, let’s close it out with the nicely waxed Brother Ali

Our Governor, the idiot?

Salon reports about Minnesota’s Governor Tim Pawlenty’s budget plan and it is not very kind. Nope, not kind at all.

a balanced budget proposal from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2012. Pawlenty says the debate over the deficit “is no longer between competing political philosophies — it is a matter of basic mathematics.”

Pawlenty then calls for a balanced budget to the amendment to the Constitution and simultaneously recommends that “the Bush tax cuts should be made permanent and tax burdens on individuals and businesses should be further reduced.”

So who exactly is it who doesn’t have a handle on the math? As Bruce Bartlett observes in a blistering rebuttal to Pawlenty, the governor’s numbers don’t even begin to add up.

Here’s Bartlett’s rebuttal and it puts a serious crimp in Pawlety’s style Tim Pawlenty: Not Ready for Prime Time

Read them all, but my favorite is

It’s doubtful that Mr. Pawlenty has any clue as to the composition of federal spending. In FY 2009 we would have had to abolish every discretionary spending program, including national defense, to balance the budget and that still wouldn’t have been enough without a penny of higher revenues, as he insists. We would have had to cut more than $300 billion out of Medicare and Social Security as well. Good luck with that.

Mr. Bruce then wraps up with

In conclusion, Tim Pawlenty is not ready for prime time. He may think he has found a clever way of appealing to the right wing tea party/Fox News crowd without having to propose any actual cuts in spending, but it isn’t going to work. It’s too transparently phony even for them.


What do you think?

(h/t DBrauer)

Sitting in a D.C. Jail Cell

Dr. King reminded us during the Vietnam War buildup: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Spiritual and psychic death is what we encountered in our tour of the DC jails. We continue to sow death and reap the whirlwind.

The powerful words of the late Dr.King is how Minneapolis peace activist and T.C. Daily Planet journalist Steve Clemens ends his report, Adventure at the White House. He then goes on to describe his recent experience with a Justice System that may be described as far more more systematic than just.

After 28 straight hours in four different jails, I was physically and emotionally exhausted. We had been arrested the day before as part of a civil disobedience action against the wars in front of Obama’s White House the day before his first State of the Union speech. I think all 13 of us who had been arrested had been traumatized by witnessing the continual crushing of the human spirit by the cruelly named “justice system.”

So when I was led into the courtroom with leg irons, and a waist chain attached to the metal handcuffs, I looked like a hardened criminal facing murder or kidnapping charges. Was the overkill on the part of the Washington, DC Metro Police strategically designed to demoralize and denigrate the “criminals” caught in its web, or was it merely a bureaucracy gone amuck with no idea how to discriminate and apply sufficient restraints where needed.

(h/t DBrauer)


We are broke. (A song for the dumped)

Minnesota has ran out of money. I guess there’s no big suprise there as many states have ran out of money due to increased spending and lower amounts taken in by taxes due to the recession. (both sales taxes and payroll taxes are down)

The Strib reports State may force schools to lend it $1B

In a sign of the gravity of the state’s fiscal crisis, Minnesota budget officials may force public school districts to loan the state money so that it can continue paying its bills.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s administration could withhold nearly $1 billion in state aid payments to public schools through May, to ensure the state’s checkbook doesn’t run dry, under a plan unveiled Wednesday at a legislative committee meeting.

The state already has the legal authority to do so, although it has never exercised it.

The state has never exercised it’s right to do this, but now it’s under strong consideration. That is broke. I don’t know how many times it’s been considered, but I can’t recall any. My gut instinct tells me to go get some numbers and point out the insane spending policies that have dovetailed with the poor economy and brought us to the brink of bankruptcy, but prior posts have lead me to believe that numbers just get in the way. It seems the only number people are interested in is “more”. More money for police will stop crime! Hell, we almost have this drug war won. So let’s throw some more money for prisons. More money for trains! More money for planes! More money for automobiles! More money for stadiums! More money for everything!

Well, except for anything that helps people. We don’t want to be a welfare state, after all.

Meanwhile Minnesota Public Radio’s question of the day is “How could Minnesota schools get and keep the best teachers?” To which I respond

This is a false choice as Minnesota does have the best teachers. Our teachers can go anywhere and teach and are sought after across the country.

There are multiple issues here, one is that funding keeps getting cut and the first thing to be cut along with funding are the teachers,typically the youngest and most enthused about teaching.

So often, after years of trying to get a stable job teachers simply give up and switch professions which is, in part, responsible for the average career of a teacher being 3-5 years in Minnesota.

We don’t have a teacher talent issue in this state, we do have an administration problem. Administrators that work in a revolving door world where each new big boss decides to impliment some new teaching philosophy and by the time things start to roll a new Big Boss comes to town. Wash rinse and repeat.

We also have a problem with parents that have checked out on their children, but there’s no way the state can legislate a cure for that.

We also have a problem with NCLB.

Sure, there are a lot of problems with the Minnesota Eductional System, but teacher talent is not one of them.

*Note, I am not a teacher.

Suprise, suprise the predominant answer boils down to “pay teachers more money”

I guess if we paid teachers more money the state would have more money it could withhold in order to keep things running.

Is that a system we can all get behind?

Cynical much?

Here’s a little song for our hard working gov’t officials.

Talking Minnesotan – 12/18/2009

It was eerily quite in Minnesota this week. No major media brawls, no yelling at kids to get off the snowbank, no polite discussion about the weather, it was strange. All told there were maybe three words uttered in the entire 7 days, but my team of fact checkers were unable to verify they actually happened.

I suppose this is part of an inevitible shift towards texting and twittering all communications.

Though, Minnesotan Al Franken has had a few things to say in D.C. and my homies at In The Loop made this video in his honor.
Night Before Christmas (Joe Lieberman -style)

Finally, someone is speaking again. Now maybe now we can get back to the accustomed “Cold enough for ya?” and “LEARN TO DRIVE YOU MOTHERF*&$#NG SON OF A WH@RE” that usually permeates the air this time of year.

Speaking of air, The Uptake has real time Climate Conference video and check out their tweet bar for some sweet data. mmmmmm data.

Need some food-N-Booze? SOTC has Holiday Cocktails and Beyond

Have you heard that They think they found Dark Matter at the bottome of a Minnesota mine? I’m sure it’s either that or a hockey puck.

Marrina ponders beauty MeiselPic: What Your Facebook Friends Might Look Like If They Were Super-Hot Models

Want to hear something cool? Cathy Wurzer of Minnesota Public Radio brings us the Minnesota Beatle Project

a new CD that features 16 Minnesota-based artists interpreting Beatles songs. One of the more intriguing tracks in the collection is a version of “Norwegian Wood” by Jeremy Messersmith and Zach Coulter.

Sadly, I wasn’t invited to sing; even though it’s widely known no one in Minnesota can cover McCartney like I. JET! Whooooo ooooooo JET!
Though I’m not bitter,but there will be blood. Fake blood made of pistachio pudding and and boiled okra.
Using fake blood clots to train real nurses

Blood not your thing? Fair enough, not really mine either so let’s calm down Minnesota style with some Owl City.

Talking Minnesotan – 12/11/2009

MPR has a picture of a man in a snowsuit and somepeople think it’s a sasquatch sighting. And here I thought dope wasn’t legal yet.

Tis the Season and How Was The Show has The Guthrie’s 2009 A CHRISTMAS CAROL by the numbers

Minnesota’s prodigal video son Chuck Olsen is in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference and he’s live tweeting the entire event. You can also follow #COP15

The uptake has video and here’s some protestors being arrested

My favorite Chuck tweet so far?

I openly questioned the value of covering any more #COP15 demonstrations. @kk notes: Coverage is valued by people outside my jaded bubble.

Here’s Chuck’s Flickr feed, check it.

Is there still a media war going on?
Minnpost interviews “a lovable little fuzz ball” and things explode. Citypages responds with flair and hyperbole The worst of MinnPost’s Michele Bachmann puff piece and once again BrauerPower is the voice of reason

You know? What’s so civil about war anyway?

So I’m going to close out with the gents from In The Loop jamming with Kermit the Frog.

Talking Minnesotan – 11/27/09

RIP uptown bar Uploaded on November 19, 2009
by the queen of subtle

Pictured above is the hole in the ground where The Uptown used to be, so sad. You can still hear people talking about the bar, mostly in sad whisper fueled rumor. I hear it’s reopening on 28th and Hennepin, but my source admits it’s a weak lead.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks in the T.C. While the temperatures have cooled most everything else has heated up.

Media Wars:
Aside from last week’s Citypages kerfuffle and the Minnpost playing nicey nice with Katherine Kerstern story, oh and let’s not forget David Brauer getting cheeky

Yes, you’d think that would be enough of a local media battle, but there’s more as Strib’s Mike Sweeney goes after MPR in Mike Sweeney: With level playing field, future is bright for news

There was plenty of backlash from the MPR’ers, but the write up I liked the most came from Minnpost’s David Brauer Minnesota Public Radio: punching above its weight

Double whew, all that and a challenge?

BigBoxCar challenges Chuck Olsen

“@Chuckumentary Perhaps you could submit your opinion piece as our first Community Voices VIDEO post? #justdoit “

All because Chuck asked

“@dbrauer Seriously, why would your boss give either @brodkorb or Brian Melendez any screentime on MinnPost? Not sources of solid info. “

You know what I think

I’m telling you, it’s on.

Speaking of wars.
Warlord has a sword, or three.

Special thanks to Newsbobber for adding Minneapolis Metblogs posts to their “Alternative Sources” section! I credit the new bloggers that have been doing such a bang up job, well that and my conversation with Bob Ingrassia. Thanks Bob!

Speaking of doing a great job, I’m certian my favorite Strib commentor whom I call “Fire Childress Guy” is weeping a tiny purple tear with the new contract signing.
As for me? I’m going off the rails on a Viking Train!!!
Metro Transit revises Northstar schedule, adds Vikings train

Also, I’ve been working on an interview with the Unknown Prophets who have just released their third CD. Check them out, on last Sunday’s Local Show appearance.

Listen – 128k mp3

Their CD release in next week ( on my Wife’s birthday) Decemeber Third at First Avenue.

I’ll be there!

( Unless you’re my wife reading this post,love you sweetie.)

Here’s some older Unknown Prophets to warm up your day.

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and are thankful for life’s many blessings.

This place is going nuclear

Strib reports A push to scrap Minn. law barring new nuclear power plants gains influential supporters

Two congressmen — Democratic Rep. Tim Walz and Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen — joined leaders of labor unions and the state Chamber of Commerce in seeking the repeal of Minnesota’s nuclear moratorium.

Their public backing could put pressure on legislators from their areas considered swing votes in the debate. In April, a bid to lift the ban fell eight votes short in the House after convincingly winning approval in the Senate

Walz, who represents much of southern Minnesota, said he doesn’t discount concerns over long-term waste storage. But he said there are environmental consequences to keeping the nuclear ban in place, too.

“Without a baseload of other alternatives here in Minnesota, quite honestly we’ve encouraged people and forced them into the coal business,” he said. “We want to give them other options.”

I have no questions that ending this law and building nuclear is the right thing to do. I believe that newer nuclear technology is safer and more efficient than the plants of the past. (See Also: Wind vs. Nuclear Power: Which Is Safer?
) And it’s my understanding that we are now able to get more power due to recycling nuclear waste.

Still, that’s just like, my opinion man.

What do you think?


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