Wednesday, November 18, 2009

They assume they know you 

While I was reading Eric's post, I came upon a title on that same site "Fear and Loathing in White Cloud." 'White Cloud' is a smear that people put on my fair city, and has been one I've heard pretty much since I moved here in 1984. At that time I was probably in the darkest 10% of the population here (unlike all you European descendants, my father's family is actually from the Caucasus.) Not to claim any minority status, but to say that I am aware of the whiteness of the place, particularly after moving here from Los Angeles.

Calling the place White Cloud has become in the last decade more than a joke about Stearns County residents, in-breeding, etc. It has become a cudgel taken up by race baiters, and the article linked contains the old saw about our town police picking up "too many minorities." What one should note about those studies is that they never correct for people of color who come from other countries (who might not have a firm grasp of the rules of American roads) or that minority groups might have a younger population, and younger people get stopped by police more than those over 50. The people who did the study said simply they didn't have the Census data.

The writer dredges up the swastika story, which we've covered here at length. The only person found to have drawn a swastika turned out not to be from this area, assuredly not Sherburne County, and is not white. That young man probably did not draw the others. We don't know who did, but the writer of this article assumes he does.

So instead this writer relies on a document of the Sherburne County GOP and a police report that someone burns a cross in Seberger Park on Halloween night. From this we get
Even though the 6th District is among the least diverse in the country and Sherburne County is the whitest county in that district, the GOP still uses the fear of forced integration and public access for everyone as a reason to fear Democrats. To them, patriotic principles are at odds with protecting the weak. Many of us were taught that America is a �melting pot,� but here in Sherburne County you�re either one of us or one of them.

...There is a stain on this part of the state. It�s ugly and real and always right under the surface of any political conversation. It�s played a big part in every election and yet it�s never come up in a debate or candidate interview.

Maybe it�s time it did.
Now for some reason we have to first assume that the only reason anyone burns a cross is because of racism. The fact that it's Halloween, or even Guy Fawkes Day, has nothing to do to change that inference in this writers world. (BTW, did you ever wonder where Jack O' Lanterns came from? I did too, now I know.) The SherCo list is a bit more problematic, but it was written in 2007 by someone unknown, and it took me some time to find it on their page (it's at the very bottom of their main page, in small font.) And let me again point out that very little of Sherburne County is in east St. Cloud.

The writer of this, a director of the 6th Congressional District DFL and a max-dollar contributor to 2008 Congressional candidate Bob Olson, has thus concluded that if you vote for the GOP you are a racist, no matter what you do. And it's a dirty secret in Minnesota, even though he uses a common slur for a city in central Minnesota, as well as the derogatory term "tea bagger". This dismissive arrogance of those with whom you disagree is even more galling given he does not live in St. Cloud.

But this won't matter to them, and no doubt my post will show up as fodder for more of their childish behavior. Remember this moment though: It's clear that the DFL in this district believes that its opponents are evil and probably racists. So when you put out your lawn signs, what's on them really doesn't matter. If you don't vote for their gal, they assume an awful lot about you.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

For those of you scoring at home 

The "Blue Dog" Democrats, 44 'fiscally conservative' congresspersons, did not acquit themselves well in this year, says the Heritage Foundation, via Stephen Moore:
On three votes that would massively expand the size of government -- the stimulus plan, cap and trade, and health care reform -- Blue Dogs mostly were AWOL. "Of the 52 House Blue Dogs, only four voted against all three," says Mr. Franc. Sixteen voted for two of the three, and 17 voted for all three.
The four who voted against all three? Bobby Bright and Parker Griffith of Alabama, Walt Minnick of Idaho and Gene Taylor of Mississippi. Rep. Collin Peterson of MN voted for cap-and-trade but did vote against the stimulus and the health care bills.

These are the ones Heritage identifies who supported Obama on all three bills: Leonard Boswell of Iowa, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, Baron Hill of Indiana, Dennis Moore of Kansas, Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania and Zack Space of Ohio. It's interesting that of this list of Democrats being supported by K Street that Gary pointed to last week, only Boswell is getting a thank-you note from AFSCME and health care reform advocates. (There are two other blue dogs on their list, but those did not vote 3-for-3.) Are the others all bark and no bite?


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ABCs of Obama's Foreign Policies 

Nice and simple, people: The Obama administration has shown it knows very little about history, cultures, and basic human nature. Thus, their foreign policy boils down to this:

A - Apologize
B - Betray
C - Cave

You can find multiple examples for each verb.

Labels: ,

ACORN - Why Do They Need Our Money? 

Based on recent ACORN events, I wonder why tax dollars are being used for this organization. Many of us have heard about the voter fraud, questionable voter registration programs, etc. perpetrated by ACORN, the nationwide community organizing organization.

Recently, there have been videos of undercover work done by two rather rookie reporters (as compared to the NYT, LA Times, Washington Post, along with the alphabet soup group of television networks) exposing ACORN for giving "advice" as to how to set up brothels with underage girls yet avoid taxes and being caught.

The US House of Representatives voted to totally stop the flow of all federal money to ACORN and the US Senate requested the Dept. of Health and Human Services to stop that funding.

Now, it seems that within a week of supposedly losing all their funds, ACORN distributes a fundraising letter to its lists requesting money. On top of this, they have a mystery donor who promises to match all new donations up to $20,000.

My question? If ACORN can raise this kind of money on its own, why are we taxpayers footing the bill for any of their activities?

Hat tip - Ed Morrissey, Hot Air.

Labels: ,

Monday, September 14, 2009

Want Government Control? 

President Obama and Democrats in Congress continue to push to establish sweeping government control of huge sectors of the US economy: autos, banking, health care, energy (via cap and trade legislation and centralized control), even student loans (see my post here). Well, let's take a look at the actual performance of a nation with almost a century of experience in the theory and practice of such centralized economic control. From Bloomberg News today, September 14:
Bank Rossii cut the refinancing rate to 10.5% from 10.75% (note, double digit) and lowered the repurchase rate charged on central bank loans to 9.5% from 9.75%, effective September 15. Russia's benchmark refinancing rate is the second highest in Europe, after Serbia's and Iceland's who pay 12%.

Russian output shrank a record 10.9% last quarter after a decline in global trade undermined demand for Russia's commodity-reliant exports of raw materials from steel to oil....Consumer prices rose an annual 11.6% in August.

If we continue on the Democrats' desire for centralized control, we will have far more to worry about than just the debt we're leaving our kids and grandkids.

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Congress' idea of stimulus 

Gulfstream is getting a real dose of stimulus, courtesy of Nancy Pelosi.
At the end of July, the House approved nearly $200 million for the Air Force to buy three elite Gulfstream jets for ferrying top government officials and Members of Congress.

The Air Force had asked for one Gulfstream 550 jet (price tag: about $65 million) as part of an ongoing upgrade of its passenger air service.

But the House Appropriations Committee, at its own initiative, added to the 2010 Defense appropriations bill another $132 million for two more airplanes and specified that they be assigned to the D.C.-area units that carry Members of Congress, military brass and top government officials.

Because the Appropriations Committee viewed the additional aircraft as an expansion of an existing Defense Department program, it did not treat the money for two more planes as an earmark, and the legislation does not disclose which Member had requested the additional money.

An Appropriations Committee staffer said the military was already planning to replace its passenger fleet, and the committee �looked at the request and decided they should speed up the replacement.�

The Gulfstream G550 is a luxury business jet, which the company advertises as featuring long-range flight capacity that �easily links Washington, D.C., with Dubai, London with Singapore and Tokyo with Paris.� The company�s promotional materials say, �The cabin aboard the G550 combines productivity with exceptional comfort. It features up to four distinct living areas, three temperature zones, a choice of 12 floor plan configurations with seating for up to 18 passengers.�

h/t: Ed, who calls it a hidden earmark. Now if you think this is wasteful, you would be right if you don't believe government spending is stimulus. But if the reason for government spending is to improve the macroeconomy, then how do you protest spending money on Gulfstream, which produces planes in several places around the US, Mexico and London, in a depressed manufacturing sector. Hey! If you use the calculations this government uses, you've created 1.57*$195 million = $306.15 million in GDP and 2076 jobs! (Y'know, I could really do that Council of Economic Advisers job. I got math!)

And goodness knows, there's been a recent increase in demand for Gulfstream travel in Congress, so why not expand supply? The Speaker is just giving the people the business doing the people's business.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Questions on health care for your townhall for today 

There are plenty of copies of H.R. 3200 now for Congress to read. If you are going to a townhall with your Congressperson or Senator (which means you don't live in MN-7, since Rep. Peterson has decided he doesn't want to meet with you), you should read and bring specific questions about this bill. I intend to offer one a day.

Today's comes from Secs. 141 and 142. In these sections we read:
There is hereby established, as an independent agency in the executive branch of the Government, a Health Choices Administration (in this division referred to as the �Administration�).

The Administration shall be headed by a Health Choices Commissioner (in this division referred to as the �Commissioner�) who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(1) QUALIFIED PLAN STANDARDS- The establishment of qualified health benefits plan standards under this title, including the enforcement of such standards in coordination with State insurance regulators and the Secretaries of Labor and the Treasury.

(2) HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE- The establishment and operation of a Health Insurance Exchange under subtitle A of title II.

(3) INDIVIDUAL AFFORDABILITY CREDITS- The administration of individual affordability credits under subtitle C of title II, including determination of eligibility for such credits.

(4) ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS- Such additional functions as may be specified in this division.
Questions for your congressperson or senator:
  1. Will this commissioner have the power to terminate one's insurance plan and place one in a government plan if he or she decides the private plan does not qualify? Dr. Bernadette Healy says yes.
  2. She also says that assignment is "random". Indeed it is; see Sec. 205. Does your Congressperson support random assignment of people to plans that the Health Choices Commissioner says do qualify?
  3. What will be the relationship between the Health Choices Commissioner and the IRS as regards the enforcement of the 2.5% tax on individuals who do not have coverage, as defined in Sec. 401?
  4. Will the Commissioner hire his or her own staff to administer "random compliance audits"?
  5. If I disagree with the determination of the Commissioner, to whom may I appeal? What are the checks and balances on the Commissioner's power?
  6. We heard recently of a massive Medicare fraud case that lead to many arrests. How would this new Health Choices Administration assure us that fraud would not explode in these government exchanges?
If you go to these townhalls, take these questions on index cards and distribute to your neighbors and friends. I'll bring more as I get them.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 03, 2009

Health Care, Ellison, Town Hall Meeting 

On very short notice, Representative Keith Ellison (D) of Mpls., called a town hall meeting to hear people's opinions on the monstrous health care bill the DC Democrats want to pass. I've written about the this absurdity as have others across the Internet.

Late Friday, I distributed notice of Ellison's meeting. Even with short notice, the meeting was packed. Net, as you will see in this video, sent to me by a friend and attended by some from our 2nd Congressional District, people are not in favor of this program. To Mr. Ellison's credit, he did let constituents talk but this clip shows the concerns that people have with this program.

Please view it yourself. You can go here to understand the Top Ten reasons you do NOT want the government to take over YOUR health treatment decisions.

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Health Care Plan, Too Big To Grasp 

According to this article in Politico, our esteemed DC politicians are having a problem grasping what is in that monster of a healt care bill. Democrats cannot deliver specifics because they have not settled on a plan themselves. This is a multi-trillion dollar solution ($n,000,000,000,000) to a problem not yet defined.

MN's Collin Peterson (D) admits frankly, "The members don't even understand what's in it [the health care bill]."

Americans are getting very nervous about this bill. Has any Congressman read it? When the Republicans attempted to mail this diagram of the Rube Goldberg monstrosity being proposed, the Democrats stopped it. Why? The Democrats didn't correct the diagram, they just refused to release the funds to mail it (funds available for all Congressional mailings). Maybe it's accurate!

Capitol Briefing

So what's the real problem? Too much, too fast, too complex. Having worked with software development, I've learned that when a project is simply too big, it won't work. This convoluted boondoggle of an idea won't work and we shouldn't have to pay for it. It's time to go back to the drawing board.
Far too many questions remain:
1 - If this is such a good solution to an unspecified problem, why don't members of Congress agree to participate?
2 - Can someone sue the government for malpractice under the government plan?
3 - Why haven't any versions of the bill addressed the problem of malpractice insurance and frivolous lawsuits? (Could it be that the trial lawyers are the #2 fundraiser for Democrats - will the trial lawyers turn around and sue the federal government for malpractice?)
4 - Just when has the federal government ever improved anything? (Military excluded)
5 - Just how will you cut costs without denying treatment to people?
Seems to me the Democrat "Leadership" in Congress cannot explain where we're going but has no intention of stopping this - they are out to spent OPM (other people's money) and figure we're just too ignorant to object.

Other resources: Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, Citizens Council on Health Care

Wake-up time - contact your legislator today. 202.224.3121

Labels: ,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Contempt for one's neighbors and constituents 

The Republican Party of Minnesota is releasing this PM a call for Rep. Collin Peterson to apologize for remarks about the people of his district (which is just west of where I live.) In response to a question about how his constituents feel about the Obama birthplace issue, Rep. Peterson is reported by Politico as replying
�Twenty-five percent of my people believe the Pentagon and Rumsfeld were responsible for taking the twin towers down,� said Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat who represents a conservative Republican district in Minnesota. �That�s why I don�t do town meetings.�
Republican Party of Minnesota chair Tony Sutton says this is evidence that Peterson doesn't want people to know his liberal views. Of course, Peterson is best known as a Blue Dog who sold his district for thirty pieces of silver on cap and trade.

But contempt for rural conservative Minnesotans is commonplace from the Anointed. Take this letter from one Betty Johnson of Cold Spring, who wants her Anointment well-known:
We recently returned from a trip to the Middle East along with people from 16 other states. Several well-informed people asked me if I lived in the area that Michele Bachmann supposedly represents in Congress.

Then they said she is a �laughing stock� in the nation and must be and embarrassment to me! They said she talks but doesn�t seem to know the facts and that her sponsors must want people to be confused and not pay attention to the facts.

My answer was the 6th District and Stearns County conservatives don�t care what the rest of the country thinks of them and their representative! They really did vote that woman into office twice.

How embarrassing! Is she stupid? No, she is just singing the song her sponsors want her to do. Voters need to understand she does not stand for us, the people. Her sponsors are big business and coal and gas interests.
Betty Johnson to voters in the 6th District: "You're all stupid stupid poopyheads! Stop voting for her! I know better! I go to the Middle East. What is wrong with this country? Isn't anyone a real Minnesotan anymore? Why don't they listen to me? Can't they read without moving their lips?"

Explanation of link: I sent a piece of humor regarding Obama to one of my liberal aunts last night along with my father. She sends back how she gets it and it was refreshing after watching Palin's valedictory, characterizing it as "double-speak and glaring 'pseudo-humility.'" Of course, my aunt lives in Los Angeles, a place that has made pseudo-humility an art form.

It's bad enough when Hollywood thinks all of Minnesotans can be described by the natives in Fargo, Grumpy Old Men and New In Town. It's worse when the Collin Petersons and Betty Johnsons think it's their way of getting accepted in polite society or the Politico.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Party of the Rich..........................Democrats! 

For too long the mainstream media has parroted the Democrat Party mantra that the Republicans are the party of the rich. Bubble burst - false. While there are a few large Republican donors (Austins, Taylor and Cummins), according to this report, most of the largest donors to political causes are the Democrats.

What is very discouraging is many of these Democrat donors are businessmen (Opperman, Dayton clan, Burnet Realty, Pohlad, etc.). Why would those who have worked to build successful operations employing thousands of people support a party that wants to tax, control and blame others? It just seems counter to the mindset and skills required to make an organization successful. Guilt? Power? I don't know.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 06, 2009

Shovel ready vs environmentally friendly 

We can have our recovery just as soon as the enviros tell us it's OK.
The $6.6 million 28th Avenue corridor project would increase future traffic flow in the southwest corner of Waite Park by connecting Minnesota Highway 23 and a realigned Stearns County Road 137, Waite Park City Engineer Terry Wotzka said.

�It�s a project of regional significance,� he said. �We�re ready to go on it.�

But Federal Highway Administration officials have not cleared the project to receive nearly $2.8 million in federal stimulus funding because of concerns about its potential environmental impact.

...Waite Park officials almost lost the stimulus funding last month, when a Minnesota Department of Transportation deadline to clear the necessary bureaucratic hurdles passed.

But some political arm-twisting convinced state transportation officials to give Waite Park more time. Now, they have until July 25 to satisfy federal officials that the project is worth the environmental impact of putting the extension through about 3.5 acres of wetlands, said Doug Hecox, spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration.

Environmental reviews are rigorous because they have to be,� he said. �Whether it receives (stimulus) money or not, we only have one shot to make sure we do it right.�
Highlight added. Why does it have to be? What is it about 3.5 acres of wetlands that is worth however many jobs this project was supposed to "create or save"? We had Sheriff Joe Biden up here a few months ago. Can't he move a little red tape for us? He's supposed to be on the job.

This is a perfectly good example of how the regulatory state supported by the Democrats ties itself in knots. And how, when faced by a revolt from its base supporters in the Greenocracy, the more mundane things like jobs and cars fall aside.

Labels: ,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Case AGAINST Socialized/Obama-ized Medicine 

When I first saw this post by my friend, David Thul, I couldn't believe it. Well, it's true. One of our great soldiers, Sgt. Dan Powers, took a 4" knife stab to his head. He was keeping Iraqi citizens away from a bomb scene. Powers actually grabbed the insurgent who stabbed him, yet was unaware that he had a 4" blade in his skull.

What happened next could only happen with a nation that values life, innovation, technology and ingenuity. Powers' survival relied on the Army�s top vascular neurosurgeon guiding Iraq-based U.S. military physicians via laptop, the Air Force�s third nonstop medical evacuation from Central Command to America, and the best physicians Bethesda National Naval Medical Center in Maryland could offer. The entire story is here and the video is here.

I listened to Stephen Forbes on the radio a couple of days ago. He mentioned a critical point I'd not considered in the socialized medicine debate (or lack thereof). While we spend a substantial amount of money in the last 6 months of life, (and one must decide whether or not to pursue all alternatives), a benefit of pushing the last six months is this: we learn (because we Americans make a point of learning and asking questions, etc.) what does and does not work. Compiling what we discover in extensive treatments has lead to advances in medicine, for all to benefit.

Yes, there are times when extraordinary measures are not wise. But there are other times when, perhaps, extraordinary measures should be taken. If what we learn from these extraordinary measures turns out to extend lives by years for future patients, then is the extraordinary measure worthwhile? Perhaps these measures save lives in the future. And, perhaps, Obama and the Democrats just might want to consider what knowledge they will be missing by forcing the rest of us non-elites to settle for less medicine and a shorter life. I agree that we need to do something to address our medical costs but is rationing and a two-tier (one for thee but not for me) the answer? I don't think so. The Brits, Canadians, etc. don't really think so, either. Finally, what if tort law were changed, nationwide, to "loser pays"? Just how much would we save in reduced insurance costs, court costs and the avoidance of frivolous lawsuits?

Labels: ,

Obamacare: Just for Thee, Not for Me 

This Obama answer from last night's Heathcare Infomercial sponsored by ABC says all you need to know about "fairness" and "social justice" - key mantras of the Democrats. Dr. Divinsky, a neurologist from NYU raised the fear (legitimate, I might add) that proposed public healthcare solutions limit access, etc. for the general public but not the elite. Obama was asked if he would use the public (restricted) solutions for his daughters and wife:

Obama's answer: �it�s my family member, if it�s my wife, if it�s my children, if it�s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care.["]

So, Obama and his wealthy, influential cronies won't use the public healthcare system. Do you think Ted Kennedy did? Nah, I didn't think so.

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 22, 2009

Democrats Know Words Matter - Check This 

There have been a number of posts on this site regarding global warming, or lack thereof.Now we discover that the Democrat Party think tanks are warning their Congressional representatives to play down the term "global warming" and others. Hmm Why? Could it be that the global warming push isn't as critical as the media and Democrats have portrayed it to be? Could it be because the public is wising up to the fact that there is another side to this supposed catastrophe? (Check this site for a readable summary of the GW components, many of which are ignored by the media and people who have already drawn their conclusion.)

Regardless, here's what the Democrat think tank advisers are asking their Democrat supporters of major government "reform" to address this GW "problem" to do:

In a strategy memo, Democratic think tank Third Way and top party strategist Stanley Greenberg warned Democrats that swing voters don't care about fighting global warming, and said terms like "cap-and-trade" are useless. Instead, the memo suggests that Democrats tap into Americans' optimism that clean energy can help improve the faltering economy.

"For most voters, global warming is not significant enough on its own to drive support for major energy reform," the memo says. "So while it can be part of the story that reform advocates are telling, global warming should be used only in addition to the broader economic frame, not in place of it."

Thus, the words the Democrats and their media microphone chose to use will be changed. Watch for new vernacular regarding GW. It seems they are more concerned about wording than accuracy. Reading this, one sees that the Democrat agenda to control more of our lives via taxes and energy restrictions is alive and well, but it is also an admission that the terms they have been using no longer carry the necessary clout (fear?). Now we are to be guilted into buying into the Democrat agenda about global warming because we need "clean energy to improve the faltering economy?" (Hint, there are other ways besides DC to "fix" our economy.)

I was once asked if it would be wise for us to do nothing about GW and find out we should have? The reverse to that question is this: Would it be wise to spend money on something that is highly debatable, possibly unprovable (earth has been around for a very long time; civilizations about only 3000 years), and would add even more $n,000,000,000,000s of debt to our kids for a theory that may well prove to be false or may fix itself?

For the record: Animals exhale CO 2, plants inhale it; plants expel oxygen, animals inhale it. My 4th graders knew this - this normal exchange keeps plant and animal life in balance. Gee, maybe we should just let Mother Nature do her thing and get out of the way.

Labels: ,

Monday, June 15, 2009

What Media Bias???? 

Just another day showing the media support of Democrats. Cindy Sheehan stages her own protest and the media is everywhere. What mainstream media covers 600 protesters of Nancy Pelosi? The latter happened in Houston on Friday, January 12. Did you see anything about this in the media?

Zip, nada, zero, etc. Why? Maybe the media doesn't want the American people to know what is really happening in the US. But, thanks to Politico, we have a video.

Americans are being cheated when their news is filtered through the lens of a media beholden or whatever to one political party. Our mainstream media has become so enamored (?) with the Democrats that they refuse to show anything that portrays their ignorance, arrogance or negative attitudes. This omission is unfair and unjust to all of us. Freedom of the press means the good, bad and ugly of BOTH sides is covered as evenly as possible. Silly me, I thought the First Amendment meant that.

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 07, 2009

It Ain't Your Money to Spend 

Thanks to Powerline, I listened to this song. It's true - at all levels of government - our money is not yours to spend.

Take a couple of minutes and go here to listen to this song. She nails it!

Labels: , ,

Friday, February 27, 2009

Message from Representative Paul Kohls 

Yesterday, I received the following update from Representative Paul Kohls' office in St. Paul. He is one of the Republicans working against the Democrats who seem to think taking our money and leveraging our kids' for posterity is ok. It's not. He proposed a spending freeze that would limit MN spending to the amount of money taken collected. (Gee, what a novel concept!)

Not only have Democrats refused to use this sane, responsible approach but they, along with their 'big brothers' in Washington DC have refused to even let any debate occur on the floor of the legislature in St. Paul. I've lifted a few quotes from Rep. Kohls' email and cross-referenced his website here.
"On Monday, February 23, on the House Floor I tried to offer a resolution
that would have capped the expenditures of our state to the amount it
takes in.......
"When it came time for this resolution to be reported to the House for
its consideration the Democrats abruptly ended session. They did not
even let a discussion on this topic come to the House Floor......
"Our country, our state, and our legislature have a long standing
precedent of allowing all voices to be heard......
"That is why I will push to get back to Economics 101: Don�t spend more than you earn."

A government that claims to solve all problems, only creates more problems and freedom can die in the process.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Misery Tour - Latest Stop 

Tonight, the DFL "listening" aka "misery" tour made its stop in Burnsville. There were close to 300 people there, 130 of whom had signed up to speak.

Representative Paul Thissen moderated the session very well. He emphasized proper behavior, no booing, and no other indications of agreement or disagreement. The legislators introduced themselves and then an overview of the budget was given. Speakers were limited to 90 seconds and all were pretty much held to the time limit.

In the two hours allotted, approximately 80 spoke (a number of the original 130 were no-shows). The breakdown closely resembled this: 40-50 "don't cut my program, don't cut human services (over 30% of the General Fund expenditures), etc." but none offered any way to save money. The other 20 or so were from the private sector. They made some very poignant observations, including:
- The private sector creates the funds for all the programs, therefore, support business
- People can move out of the state
- Businesses are laying off people and cutting pay - the state employees can experience the same
- Families are cutting back, so can the government
- The recession of 1920-21 lasted less than a year b/c the government did nothing; the recession of the 1930's lasted a decade b/c the government "created" jobs, raised taxes, and tried to control far too much;
- State spending is increasing simply too fast
- Many state programs have zero eligibility requirements, thereby resulting in people using them who should be paying for them
- The rate of expenditures will be passed on to our kids - they are the people who will feel the real pain.
- Support the Racino (casinos at racetracks)
In summary, it appeared the legislators were not ready for the number who spoke in favor of "cutting spending." The officials were polite but, unfortunately, I'm not sure they understand.

A government safety net is one thing, a sticky web of entrapment is something else. Unsustainable government expenditures sap life and liberty from humans. Nothing good happens when people are forced to become wards of the state and others are forced to become servants of the state. Cut the spending, NOW.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Taxes, taxes, taxes 

Our son, a recent college graduate, just completed his first 12 months of full time employment. He was shocked when he calculated the governments' take - 27.9% of his income.

Then, I stopped at my local Starbucks for my favorite treat and spent time with "my" Starbucks server. We've discussed politics and economics when no one is behind me in the drive-thru lane. I told him about my son's reckoning with the tax system. To my surprise, "my" server said the same thing and added, "I don't make what your son makes."

If only more people looked at the totality of the taxes they pay instead of just take-home pay, maybe they would realize the real cost to real people for all these socialist tendencies on the part of Democrat legislatures. Yes, I know Bush did some, but no where near what the DFL is proposing in MN nor what Obama and crew have done in DC.

Our children will pay and pay and pay unless someone has the guts to say, "Stop, enough!"

Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Real Summary of the Dems Pork Fest 

Jeff Jarvis: �We are bailing out the past. Instead, we must bail out the future.� We could start by not saddling the future with trillions more in debt for bailing out the past . . .

Labels: ,

Monday, January 19, 2009

Equal Pay for Equal Work 

Yesterday's feminists are at it again - the Equal Pay Act of 1963 is being revived with the old claim that women still make roughly 78 cents to a male colleague's dollar, according to this "Intelligence Report" in the January 18, 2009 issue of Parade Magazine. There are two problems with this meme:

1 - Maternity leave: The report sort of addresses the time off for raising kids, which when factored into pay for women, negates the differences. The phrase the article uses is "A log of 'maternal profiling' goes on." Well, when you take time from work to raise kids, you lose those years of income, period. It's a choice. If you want to go back to work, you can and you won't lose time. (I chose to return to work after a six week maternity leave - for me, it was the right thing to do. Two years later, I was raising my son myself and did for another 14 years.)

2 - The idea that businesses intentionally treat women unfairly. The anti-business Democrats want the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to override the Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear. In this case, the Court ruled that women must sue within 180 days of the start of pay discrimination, not years later. While I agree that 180 days might be too short a time limit, removing all time limits is simply beyond the pale.

Ignored in all the hyperbole is the fact that individual preferences are key to the wage gap. This quote from this Washington Post article drives home the point:
Surveys have shown for years that women tend to place a higher priority on flexibility and other personal fulfillment than do men, who focus more on pay. Women tend to avoid jobs that require travel or relocation, and they take more time off and spend fewer hours in the office than men do. Men disproportionately take on the dirties, most dangerous and depressing jobs.
While the mantra of "equal pay" sounds good, it must be tied to "equal work" and performance.
And will this law support men getting equal pay in areas where women now out earn men? (Some 30 professions including engineering management, speech-language pathology, and radiation therapy)

By allowing employees to sue anytime after they "feel" they've been discriminated against, in other words remove the statute of limitations, and placing the burden of proof on the employer, the result will be fewer jobs. There simply is no way, other than the market to value jobs and there is no way an employer can be held accountable for something that may have happened 10, 20 or even 30 years ago.

The US House passed the Lilly Act - if it becomes law, it is one more nail in the coffin of free markets.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Coleman Press Conference 

This afternoon at 3:00 Senator Norm Coleman gave a press conference.

There is much at stake here. While Mr. Franken may think he won, the recall has raised many, many questions,regarding the: clarity of the beginning recount rules; training of city and county clerks; and consistency of the application of rules during the recount.

Senator Coleman thanked his supporters and all who helped with the recount. Then he explained why the lawsuit is being filed. The certification process is not complete. Because of controversial actions that occurred in the recount process, MN must go through this final step. More specifically, the following questionable irregularities must be resolved:
1 - Some votes that were counted twice (original ballots and duplicate ballots)
2 - Some precincts had more ballots than the number of people who had voted in this election race
3 - The inconsistency of the counting and discarding of absentee ballots
4 - A desire to make sure the votes that are valid, are counted.
As the Senator said, speed is not the first objective. It is far better to get it right than rush through a process. In a democracy, it is important that all parties obey the law. It is also important that the law be applied as fairly and justly as possible. Fairness to MN voters should take precedence over "getting it done."

Senator Coleman is a quality individual. His grace and composure came through in this press conference. As he stated, "No one is indispensable." This is true, Senator, but some of you are less dispensable than others. Your class was very apparent this afternoon.

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 05, 2009

Democrats Fair? No Way; and We Pay 

US Speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, has decided to re-write the House rules today to ensure that the Republican minority is unable to have any influence on legislation. Her proposals are so draconian and will so polarize the Capitol, that any thought President-elect Obama has of bipartisan cooperation will be rendered impossible. (Hmmmm - is Obama in on this scam?)

Democrats had controlled the US House of Representative for decades before the Gingrich Revolution of 1994. During that time they implemented abusive practices that: had no term limits for committee chairs; encouraged backroom deals; denied debate on the floor of the House; denied Republicans the ability to expose and offer proposals to eliminate tax increases hidden by the Democratic majority; many other unfair, unjust, and secretive practices.

When Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, they opted for transparency. They opened committee meetings to the public and media, thereby making Congress actually subject to federal law. They set term limits for committee chairs, thereby ending committee fiefdoms. They guaranteed the then Democratic minority party the ability to offer amendments to legislation.

Democrat Pelosi's proposed repeal of procedures to provide accountability by elected members of Congress exposes a tyrannical Democrat leadership and mindset that is detrimental to the legislative process. A return to a Democrat "my way or the highway" of previous decades means we will all pay, and pay, and pay and pay........

Labels: , ,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Democrats, the $$$$$$ Party 

For seven days I worked on the Dakota County recount. Someone with some big bucks footed the bill to provide food for at least 40 Democrat observers. Every day, boxes of Caribou coffee and bags of bagels and cream cheese arrived in time for breakfast. Lunch? A dozen or so pizzas, meat and cheese deli trays, Subway sandwiches, pop etc. (One day, the Republican team was provided lunch by the Republican National Committee.) I don�t mind that someone fed the Democrat count observers � not at all. What I do mind is the false meme that the Republican Party is the party of the rich � it�s not.

I asked one of the Dems, "Who's feeding you guys?" I thought maybe every Democrat volunteer was �pitching in� for the food. His response: �I think the Franken campaign is paying for it.� This is the Franken campaign partially financed by funds raised or provided by George Soros who not only now has his man in the White House, but wants them in the Senate and US House. Directly or indirectly the $$$ Dems were footing this food bill, a minimum of $400- $500 a day, seven days, for how many county counts? Literally $1000s a day.

Who�s the party of the rich? The Democrats, the party of the party of billionaires and multi-millionaires.


When Democrats Lose, Well, Sort Of........ 

In 2005, the Republican candidate for governor in WA won the "first" election but the vote was close enough that a mandatory recount was done. The Republican won the first recount, the next three recouts but the Democrats didn't quit until they found some ballots in a couch. Yep, a couch. The Democrat finally won with 136 (?) votes. After monnths, they �found� enough votes: homeless people claiming residency at government buildings, strange people voting�. Result, the democrat finally �won.� Sound familiar?

We�re seeing the same thing here. Mr. Ritchie now wants all those rejected absentee ballots revalued. Seems that all those city and county clerks and judges trained by the Secretary of State�s office couldn�t do their job right the first time. Is this "do-over" because Mr. Ritchie�s candidate is losing? If so, he undermines the very workers he trained for the election.

Sure he says he wants to be fair. Face it, if he did want to be fair, he wouldn�t undermine the election system by demanding that the very people he trained redo their jobs. Just how sloppy does he think they were? Ask this question � if the Republican candidate were behind, would these absurd gyrations be occurring? Would the majority of "found" votes have gone in Norm's favor, against all statistical probabilities? I doubt it.

Update Dec. 10 - appears some county legal groups refused to recount these already considered ballots; others are showing a meager 50+ in the "5th" pile. Point remains - most judges and clerks know what they are doing.

Update Dec. 13 - Is Franken getting what he wants from the canvassing board. If 133 missing ballots can be counted for Franken, the 9 votes for Senator Coleman from Lakeville's Precinct 10 should be counted. At least Lakeville HAD the ballots. The Lakeville discrepency was between originals and the duplicates run through the machines on Election Day. The duplicates were all there; one envelope of originals was missing. Franken got his way here, too - only the originals were counted. At one point in this process, only the ballots that went through the machine were to be counted. This changed during the recount. I know, I was there.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Phrase of the Day 

Today, the Republican Party of Minnesota (RPM) held its state central meeting in Bloomington. It was very well attended. Many speakers had their say: Chairman. Ron Carey; Deputy Chair, Dorothy Fleming; Secretary/Treasurer, Tony Sutton; Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann; Congressman-elect, Erik Paulsen; Governor, Tim Pawlenty; RNC Co-chairs, Brian Sullivan and Evie Axdahl.

Marty Seifert, Minority leader of the MN House also spoke - he covered what he wanted to do in this upcoming legislative session and used the best phrase to describe our Democrat groups: the "misery parade." Now, let's think about it - the leftist Democrats are always telling us what's wrong - never what works. Even their own plans are never good enough.

I'm no Pollyanna but being around doom and gloom all the time is downright unpleasant. Marty's description of these groups that will approach the legislature for more and more of our money to address their tales of woe is quite apt: they are the "MISERY PARADE."

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Recount: Propaganda Smokescreen by Democrats 

Democrat US Senator Majority Leader, Harry Reid said, "�As the process moves forward, Minnesota authorities must ensure that no voter is disenfranchised.� In an accompanying statement, Reid said �A citizen�s right to have his or her vote counted is fundamental in our democracy.� These statements indicate that the Democrats will use any words to make an empty case that AL Franken won the MN US Senate race, against Norm Coleman.

" voter is disenfranchised" is in complete opposition to the behavior I witnessed at the recount in Dakota County, MN's third largest county. I was a floor lead the entire recount process - one where more than 226,000 votes were recounted by hand. There were a few problems - some of which will be discussed in later posts. For now, I will address two:

MN has electronic voting whereby voters identify their choice by filing in an oval next to the name of the candidate. This is done with a special ink pen provided by the precinct or with pencil. Both can be read by the voting machine. Extremely questionable challenges included the following:
1 - When a spot no larger than a pencil dot, a pen rest most likely, appeared in a Franken oval, even when Barkley or Coleman ovals were totally filled in, the Democrats (DFL) claimed "vote for Franken; voter intent unclear; a non-Coleman/Barkley vote." This was their excuse for a challenge.

2 - If there was a stray mark anywhere on the ballot, a pen scribble, an "X" when all other voting marks were completed ovals, the DFL claimed that these were "identifying marks" and the ballot should be discounted.
This type of irresponsible behavior was led by Democrats. After multiple requests by the Dakota County recount election official to back off these kinds of challenges (and all requests were simply ignored by the DFL), the Dems were berated publicly more than once - to no avail. Result? The Coleman team had to begin to make the same type of challenges in self-defense; otherwise, an unexpected, adverse ruling could potentially lead to a disastrous swing.

If the Democrats were serious about disenfranchisement (as Mr. Reid insists) these ballots never would have been challenged. It would have been responsible of the DFL to direct their observers to use common sense and honesty in making their challenges. As it was, DFL observers refused to change their tactics. Theoretically all these "challenged" ballots could be accepted and voters would be disenfranchised. My belief, based on Dakota County and talking to peers in other counties, the vast majority of the so-called 5000+ challenged ballots will be counted as valid votes.

When you look at behavior, the empty Democratic rhetoric of "count every ballot" becomes "make every possible challenge to try to disenfranchise Coleman voters while counting every Franken ballot," whether a legitimate vote or not.

Don't be fooled by the blatant propaganda.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Use the Label, Please 

Political insiders throw around names: Pelosi, Reid, etc. as though people know that these abysmal leaders are Democrats. Hello, conservative pundits - John Doe does not know these people are Democrats.

As Henry Ford was reported to say, "I don't care what the reason is, just spell my name correctly." When conservatives and Republicans only throw out names. it provides free publicity for them.

Hint: "Democrat Pelosi, Democrat Franken, Democrat Reid, Democrat Barney Frank, etc. "

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Leftist Whiners 

Why answer questions when you can whine, whine, whine. I've been at the Republican Convention so I missed a lot of the whining going on by the Obama crew. Listen, people, it's time to grow up.

You are no longer the perfect, baby boomer kids who had most everything handed to you. Your careers and kids are not perfect. You are now experiencing something called "life" and life has its ups and downs. You're experiencing downs, now, Your messianic candidate can't talk without a teleprompter, can't think on his feet, and your lapdog media pundits are reeling. Why? Far too many of you, though innately gifted with gray matter, were coddled for so many years, and rarely experienced losing anything. Now, you don't know how to think in a tough situation. The world is not your oyster. And, hello, you are not perfect nor is your candidate.

McCain lived a life of hell for six years while your mentors in the MSM trashed our nation and our military. You think that's normal - it's not. Palin is a self-made woman who has guts (you know, the stuff the so-called liberal feminists claimed they had) and can take care of herself and her kids. She has a loving husband (her guy) and what appears to be a solid family. (OK, take your shots at her daughter but Palins did not suggest abortion as Obama has insinuated).

So, grow up, quit whining, and get to work. On second thought, don't. We and the rest of solid Americans don't really need you to do so. We'll do fine without you.

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 09, 2008

And I'm proud still I hung doorhangers for him 

The key provision of EFCA is a change in the mechanism by which unions are formed and recognized. Instead of a private election with a secret ballot overseen by an impartial federal board, union organizers would simply need to gather signatures from more than 50% of the employees in a workplace or bargaining unit, a system known as "card-check." There are many documented cases where workers have been pressured, harassed, tricked and intimidated into signing cards that have led to mandatory payment of dues.

Under EFCA, workers could lose the freedom to express their will in private, the right to make a decision without anyone peering over their shoulder, free from fear of reprisal.

There's no question that unions have done much good for this country. Their tenacious efforts have benefited millions of workers and helped build a strong middle class. They gave workers a new voice and pushed for laws that protect individuals from unfair treatment. They have been a friend to the Democratic Party, and so I oppose this legislation respectfully and with care.

To my friends supporting EFCA I say this: We cannot be a party that strips working Americans of the right to a secret-ballot election. We are the party that has always defended the rights of the working class. To fail to ensure the right to vote free of intimidation and coercion from all sides would be a betrayal of what we have always championed.

Some of the most respected Democratic members of Congress -- including Reps. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, George Miller and Pete Stark of California, and Barney Frank of Massachusetts -- have advised that workers in developing countries such as Mexico insist on the secret ballot when voting as to whether or not their workplaces should have a union. We should have no less for employees in our country.

Former Sen. George McGovern, yesterday in the WSJ. H/T to Gary. I'll have more details later, but they are still trying to silence our ads rather than debate the point. Mr. Melendez, my offer is still good: Let's debate the facts, and I promise to quote at least Sen. McGovern as a good Democrat.

(And yes, in 1972, this then-fifteen-year-old did hang literature on NH doorknobs for McGovern. Michael will have a fit about this on air next week.)

So who gets to ask Elwyn Tinklenberg why he disagrees with George McGovern?

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 04, 2008

Congresswoman Bachmann Nails It - Energy Wise 

Just watched Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, on CNN. She along with Republican Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi represented the accross-the-board, sound Republican solution to energy demands for the USA. Governor Richardson (D - NM) and a Phd from UC Berkeley tried to paint Senator McCain as someone who opposed all their pet topics: solar, wind, etc. Richardson also attempted to justify releasing oil from the Strategic Reserve ala The Ego-bama's "plan." (The reason it's a "strategic" reserve is that it is for national security, not a stopgap solution to the Democrats' blocking energy independence for us.)

When Larry King returned to Bachmann for her comments in response to Governor Richardson, it was over. She nailed the problem clearly and succinctly. She and Barbour showed how the Democrats have been obstructionists for decades on energy. After the commercial, the topic was changed. Score one more for the Republicans.

A few minor points: the Phd. was big on blaming the US for not investing in solar (and wind power) for the past 10 years. I know for a fact that there were windmills and solar experiments in CA for at least the past 25 years. Perhaps the Phd. never traveled to southern CA to observe them. What he conveniently omits is that if solar and windmills were financially sound, we'd have more than 1% of our energy from them. It's not for lack of investment, it's because it's not economically sound.

Labels: ,

Democrat Hypocrisy on Oil Drilling 

Until the U.S. opens its offshore waters to oil drilling, it will be seen as the world�s worst energy hypocrite.

The above is the lead sentence in an article in The American magazine. At the World Petroleum Conference in Madrid, Spain, the leaders of OPEC in essence told American reporters, (paraphrased) "Quit telling us to produce more oil - get your own from your own shores." The big three talkers included the Algerian head of OPEC, Chakib Khelil, who told the press that there are bidding wars in Algeria (not in the US, home of the free market concept) and Americans should open the OCS.

The Petrobras (Brazilian oil company) CEO, Sergio Gabrielli, told the press to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali Al Naimi said, "The limits to future petroleum supplies have more to do with politics (in the US, it's the Democrats) than with geology and resource availability. ...The most promising acreage remaining in the U.S. is located offshore, most of which is off limits to the industry."

The obstructionist attitude of Democrat politicians is just phony rhetoric. These Democrats denounce the Saudis and OPEC; they complain about the price of gasoline and claim that $10 a gallon is OK; they rant about the evils of Big Oil while The Ego-bama talks about taxing only Big Oil but no other industries (like high-tech, Democrat Warren Buffet's funds, George Soros funds, etc.). Until the US opens its offshore waters to oil drilling, the world will continue to hate us - not for protecting them or removing thugs but hate us because we will be seen as the world's worst energy hypocrite.

A final point - for all the whining by the leftist Dems, their obtuse concept to "protect the planet" in reality hurts the little guy and their union base. This vague "save the world" mindset stifles innovation, ignores the safest oil drilling system on the planet. The Democrat impediments to increasing domestic oil production along with nuclear plants and mining of clean coal ship jobs overseas, jobs that could be in the U.S. Their behavior increases the federal deficit thereby penalizes our kids and grandkids. I hope Americans wake up in time to make the change in November that will provide more energy, better food, safer drilling, warmer homes, and jobs for all of us.

Who were these speakers? Only the leaders of the world 's oil producing nation.

Labels: ,

A Repeat Winner? 

By now most people have seen the reports that John Edwards has fathered a child with a woman who is not his wife. This story is totally ignored by most of the mainstream press. But I could not pass up this element of hypocrisy about a Democrat who just might have been vice-president.

On June 7, 2007, John Edwards was named "Father of the Year" in New York City. This site had the video but now, surprise, surprise, the video is gone. Maybe "cabinet member to be" should be a candidate for a repeat "New Father of the Year" award.

This man has so little class. His wife deserves better, then again, it's more hypocrisy on the left and it just disgusts me. Why is the press refusing to cover this? Hint - from this story in The Independent. What is really odd, papers in the USA are losing readership left and right but hey, if it's a Dem who commits a crime, we'll just pretend it doesn't exist. Heck, any kind of real balanced coverage could save the industry but the herd mentality of the mainstream press will just lead it over a cliff.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Complaint returned 'incomplete' 

Michael has posted a copy of the administrative law judge's dismissal of the complaint about our ads regarding Al Franken and card-check legislation. That doesn't necessarily end the story of the complaint; the judge found that Melendez and the DFL had failed to provide any documentation of their claims that the ads violate section 211B.06 of the election laws. So they could file again. It's like getting your paper back from the professor who says "I failed this because you didn't follow directions. You can send it back in for a grade if you will finish your work."

It's weird to see my own name in a complaint like this, but we feel the ad is on relatively solid ground. The principle of free speech allows us latitude to interpret EFCA in its practical intent. We do not need to be literalists, to use David Brauer's term, to meet the requirements of the law. For the 50% minus one workers who do not sign (or are not offered the opportunity to sign) union membership cards, the last protection of their right to a secret ballot would be lost if card-check legislation passed.

I believed from the moment the complaint was filed that its audience was the media, not the campaign board. Call it vapor-complaint. Its intent was to keep us off the air. However, that has failed, as more ads are currently running.

One can hardly accuse us of being anti-labor. A Zogby survey done on behalf of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy found that 53% of union workers, when offered a choice between card check and the current secret ballot form of organization, chose the government protection of a secret ballot, as opposed to 41% favoring card-check. 84% of the respondents agreed with the statement "workers should have the right ... to vote on whether they wish to belong to a union." No wonder the union leaders and the DFL have tried to squelch these ads. Their own rank and file do not agree with them.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stop the Pork #2 

In this post, I mentioned Congressman John Kline's pork busting effort, his website, Stop the Pork - where you sign the petition to say, "enough is enough" get control of US spending!

Today's Wall Street Journal notes on the Opinion Page, "Voters Want Less Pork, Even in Their Own District." As an active supporter of John Kline, I was glad to see this. Some letters to the editors slam Congressman Kline for taking his strong stand against pork. Turns out, this "get me my money" attitude represents the minority. Kline supporters are in the majority.

The Club for Growth recently conducted a nationwide poll on government spending, and the results were exactly the opposite of what most politicians have been saying for years. Voters are fed up with Washington's out-of-control spending. Bringing home the bacon is NOT what people want. Rather this earmark practice is simply funneling money to special interest groups, including local politicians. Voters want officials to cut the fat.

Survey Question: All things being equal, for whom would you be more likely to vote for the U.S. Congress: 1) A candidate who wants to cut overall federal spending, even if that includes cutting some money that would come to your district or 2) A candidate who wants to increase overall spending on federal programs, as long as more federal spending and projects come to your district?"

The results are unambiguous:
Voting Subset.......Candidate.....Candidate
General Voters.......54%................29%
Independents........61%..............not specified
These results indicate the Democrat Party mantra of tax and control, raising taxes everywhere are NOT what we, the taxpayers, want. Reminder, the MN legislature, now dominated by Democrats passed the largest tax increase in 150 years in 2008. We pay more for anything and everything we buy, use, etc. Obama wants to increase taxes for all Americans, across the board.

People, it's our money and while we're telling "them" to stop, we also need to vote in people who will stop. As Kline indicated on his blogging conference call Thursday morning, the Democrats in the US Congress have now decided that there will be zero appropriation bills because the Democrat chairman of the appropriations committee, David Obey, is afraid to address the real issue, pork. It's time to hold Congress accountable. Vote in DC politicians who believe in sound fiscal policy - as Nike says, "Just Do It."

Updated 7/26

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"I protest your invitation" 

I've written twice before on the Orwellian-named Employee Free Choice Act, which would make the heretofore voluntary agreement between workers and firms to use card-check systems (allowing a union to be recognized as sole bargaining agent for all workers if a majority of workers sign cards agreeing to be so represented) binding on firms who do not agree. Firms currently can request a vote to be administered by NLRB; those workers who do not wish to be unionized would have the opportunity, along with the firm, to argue why a union would not be in workers' best interest, and a vote would be held with workers' privacy protected by the NLRB. No such protections are provided under the proposed card-check program. Those who did not sign the card, or those who were not even approached by union organizers, would find themselves in a union, obligated to pay dues, without recourse, without a check or balance. The equivalent would be to imagine you waking one morning and reading in your newspaper that organizers had gone to other homes, had others sign a card that signified that they wanted King Banaian to be president of the United States, and that because they had enough cards signed, Banaian was now president without any further action required. You've never heard me talk, you don't know my views, but I now represent you on Pennsylvania Avenue. That'd be pretty bizarre, yes?

After the DFL accused the ad put out by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (the TV ad was put out by them alone) of falsehoods, I wrote a letter to DFL state party chair Brian Melendez to invite him to debate the issue. We had recorded Al Franken answers twice to be sure we understood his views on the bill, and by their own admission Franken supports EFCA. So we assumed the debate would be on the merits of the bill. A discussion of the issue, I thought, might be a refreshing change to thirty-second ads.

So imagine my surprise last night to find out that the DFL would rather file a complaint. They'd rather debate through lawyers than in the state capitol. We are, of course, happy to have this debate any place Chairman Melendez chooses, but isn't it interesting that he needs to employ lawyers to assist his side?

We appreciate the coverage by the news and bloggers (Andy's post has both of the TV ads; I bet he watches them on his iPhone.) And we don't intend to go away; a new ad is running from us today.

A statement put out by J. Justin Wilson, managing director of the Employee Freedom Action Committee, said in a prepared statement,
It appears that Mr. Melendez is complicit in the scheme to deceive the public and take away working Minnesotans� right to a private ballot vote. The irony of Mr. Melendez�s �complaint� is that he is the one who is misleading the people of Minnesota in order to advance a union boss� power grab that will generate millions in new forced dues dollars.

If Mr. Melendez truly cared about the best interests of working Minnesotans he would reject these absurd political games and agree to a substantive public debate on the private vote issue.
I reiterate that invitation, Chairman Melendez. I'm available almost any day in the month of August.

Labels: , , ,

Stop the Pork 

Congressman John Kline of MN's Second Congressional District (CD 2) has just completed a blogger conference call where he discussed his Stop the Pork initiative. The earmark/pork system was originally created to help states with special projects not expenditures like this one: The US House passed a bill that would spent $5 million to prevent the interstate sale of monkeys. John Kline voted against this one, thank you. But excuse me - monkeys? Our money for monkeys?

Ludicrous decisions like this one show the extent to which the earmark system has deteriorated. Funds now are totally dependent on party power and committee assignments; the definition of an earmark is unclear.

Starting in January of 2007, Republican Congressman John Kline refused earmarks. 11 other Congress members joined him. In 2008 the number increased to 50, from both parties. They were hoping to bring the issue to the entire US House but were stopped before they could begin by the Democrat "leadership" of Nancy Pelosi, Denny Hoyer and others. Net, even though there are Democrat house members who support a moratorium, the Democrat "leadership" refuses to even discuss the matter.

John Kline has had enough. He's begun a website, "Stop the Pork" where you can sign a petition to tell Congress, "Enough is enough." Please go here to sign. The goal is to obtain enough signatures to get Congress to stop all earmarks until standards can be designed and implemented.

Those who think we're not getting our fair share of the pork are missing the point - it's our money that goes to fund lighting in a fashion district in CA, olive fruit fly research in Paris, France, etc. It is up to us to take back our money.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Democrats- All Inclusive Party? Nah! 

This article from the Owatonna (MN) People's Press appeared in the print edition on Sunday June 8, 2008:
The Steele County DFL [Democratic-Farmer-Labor party] Central Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. on June 12 in the Gainey Room at the Owatonna Library. Please note that at this meeting we will be electing a new Secretary and Director to the Executive Committee. The secretary position is open to a member of either gender and the Director position is to be filled by a person of the male gender. If you or anyone you know is interested in screening for either of these positions, screening will take place from 6-6:30 p.m. in the Gainey Room on June 12.
It's not just Hillary supporters who have reason to believe that Democrats discriminate against women in their party politics.

Full disclosure: I, Janet, am the current Chair of Minnesota's Second Congressional District Republican Party organization. Owatonna is less than an hour down the road from my home.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, June 09, 2008

Feminists - Democrat Style 

On June 7, Minnesota's Democrats (DFL = Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party) held their state convention in Rochester, MN. They endorsed Al Franken as their candidate to the United States Senate, to oppose incumbent Norm Coleman.

For those of you new to this story, Mr. Franken has had a number of financial issues, all blamed on his accountant and others in the past few months. Among them: non-payment of state income taxes in 17 states for several years; non-payment of workers' compensation insurance in NY; and receiving a seven figure salary while his New York Employer stiffed a Boys and Girls Club charity for a"loan."

By Friday, June 6, it became known that Mr. Franken had made "jokes" about rape and bestiality. That doesn't show much class let alone sensitivity towards women, the backbone of the Democrat Party.

In spite of his record, MN Democrats rallied behind Mr. Franken. US Representative Betty McCollum was one of the minority of Democrats who had the courage to disavow Franken because of his poor taste in "jokes." She was booed by convention goers and had to watch as other feminists made nicey nice to Mr. Franken. On Sunday, June 8, Mari Urness Pokornowski, of Cokato, MN, the president of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Democrat feminist caucus resigned in protest of Franken's endorsement.

Too many of today's feminists :
- whine, moan and complain about their perceived unfair treatment but only by white males outside their political party;
- ignore the real atrocities against women in so many other parts of the world;
- brainwash far too many young women with misleading "statistics;"
- inculcate the belief that women are entitled to safe, secure government and non-profit jobs or private sector executive positions for which there is some supposed "glass ceiling" while dismissing other factors that come into play.
These feminists seem only to want political power. NOW mercilessly trashed Chief Justice Clarence Thomas for alleged verbal sexual harassment. They hounded former Republican Senator Robert Packwood from office for what turned out to be one woman's unwanted "kiss on the lips." But these actions paled by comparison to Democrat Bill Clinton's abuses. No CEO of a corporation would have held onto his position under similar circumstances, but most "feminists" made excuses because Clinton was "their" guy. Using women for sexual favors is wrong, period. These feminists are hypocrites when it comes to political parties. If a Republican acted like Al Franken, they and the press would pound away incessantly. Yet, when one of their own behaves in a slimy, condescending, sexist and abusive manner towards women, they simply ignore the behavior and support him - "he's really on our side."

But such political opportunism is short-sighted. As the editor of Feministe, Jill Filipovic said yesterday in the Washington Post, "Mainstream liberal Democratic guys don't have to take feminism seriously because they know that, at the end of the day, we're going to be there." Filipovic supports Obama, but recognizes that "most of the time, appeasement is not the solution."

At least two of Minnesota's female Democrat leaders, Rep. Betty McCollum and Mari Porkownowski, had the courage and integrity to say that Al Franken went too far to warrant election to the Senate. I applaud their actions.

Equality comes when you are equally qualified, work equally hard and are held to the same standards. When all women can take a stand against nasty and stupid behavior by men such as Al Franken, we will have made major strides.

The Democrat "feminists" have no moral authority until they are willing to hold their own men accountable to the same standards they piously assert for those outside their party.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Obama, Wealthy Democrats, and the Rest of Us 

I've not commented on the Obama craze the past few months. I'm happy to let the Democrats duke it out among themselves. But, this San Francisco fundraiser displays such an incredible example of the hypocrisy of what the Democrat Party says it is that I decided to post.

The Democrats bill themselves as the party of the working man. I've even seen the old bumper sticker with words to the effect: I can't afford to be a Republican. I've got news for you - the billionaires are overwhelmingly Democrat - you can't afford to be a Democrat.
Most media moguls, Democrats;
Dot-com mega-millionaires and billionaires, Democrats;
Stock market honchos, Democrats.
These people, most of whom earned their mega-fortunes, have now decided they are smarter and better than the rest of us. They have their fundraisers at multi-million dollar mansions with their mega-rich friends, and agree with the condescending, snide remarks made about the rest of us peons.

What made America great was our environment that fostered, encouraged, and supported new ideas as well as the knowledge that with enough intelligence, hard work, and sometimes a few breaks, people could create and earn more than they ever dreamed. Most of these incredibly rich Democrats earned their money in our free-market system.

What happened to their attitude once they became so wealthy that money no longer meant anything to them? Did they put their efforts to encouraging others to repeat their successes? No.

Obama's behavior is that of a privately schooled, east coast educated elitist. He was at home with the San Francisco mega-money crowd. He and his super rich supporters do not understand that we Americans are capable of making our own decisions and we don't want others telling us what to do or how to think. This elitist attitude may well have cost him Pennsylvania tonight.

I don't want their money, I don't want their houses, and I surely don't want their arrogant, elitist attitude. What I do want is the continued opportunity to support the nation that gives people a real chance.

There will always be elitists - it's just that too many of today's elite Americans are far too socialistic minded. They are totally out of touch with the very people who buy their products and made them wealthy beyond belief.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Genorisity and OPM 

A local DFL activist and Wellstone! award winner writes about the Democrats she knows as being charitable:

The Democrats I know live and promote the value of personal responsibility. They believe in hard work, honesty, persistence and self-reliance.

But the Democrats I know also understand the value of social responsibility.

They know that there are many areas such as transportation, public education and police and fire protection where responding as a community for the common good is more effective and efficient than only responding individually.

I can't remember who said this last week, but it bears repeating: Do you ever notice that when liberals want to justify government spending they always go to transportation and police and fire? At least Pat includes public education, for which there are private substitutes. K-12 education in MN consumes 39.9% of a $34.5 billion state budget; public safety only 5.4%. Transportation comes out of a different fund. Tell you way, Pat, let's make a deal. You restrict us to police, fire and transportation and even K-12. How about that part called "health and human services"? Ready to privatize that?

But I digress. What does it mean for her to be socially responsible?

These Democrats also know that for many in our society, the playing field is not level, and that if we believe in our democratic principles, we must live the value of social responsibility.

The failure of a market-driven health care system is one example where all of this comes together.

Personal responsibility alone will not solve that mess.

When you hear "level playing field", what you should translate that to is "egalitarianism", and often we are talking about ex post egalitarianism. I have more than you, so that's not right. And there's plenty to that the person alone could do. Bob Collins notes that 87% of people in a survey by the Northwest Area Foundation said they agreed that "I would like to do more to help people struggling in my community", to which Bob wonders, well, what's stopping you?
It would seem that if the 87% who would like to do more, actually did more, then not quite as many people would be struggling. Armed with only anecdotal evidence, I'm going to theorize that 87% of the people are not going to do more and a sizeable number aren't doing that much now.

...A closer look at the survey shows that a large percentage said they would be willing to get together to talk about ways to help. Others said they would be willing to talk to an elected official. Seventy-eight percent said they would take part in a church project to help someone. A somewhat smaller group said they would adopt a family temporarily if they were struggling. About the same number said they would pay another $50 in taxes.

Times are tough for a lot of people, of course, but could it be different if we did as we say? As individuals, what's stopping us, aside from our belief it won't make a difference? And what do you consider to be a definition of doing something?
I suspect for most of them it's the opportunity to get together and talk about someone else doing something. Learned Foot makes the point well:
...why on earth would someone volunteer time, money and / or effort when they can just vote for [someone] who will make them feel as altruistic. The only effort required is 5 minutes at a polling station, a pull of the lever for your local machine Democrat, and then you can go forth and proclaim to the world how compassionate you are. Giving feels good. To the feeble minded and selfish, feeling like you gave while doing nothing feels just as good.

And let's face it: in most cases that compassion is going to be extracted forcibly from someone other than yourself.

The takeaway from all this, I think, is that people are well-meaning, but lazy.
We refer to this as "self-interest", Foot. And the statements like those of Mrs. Welter are simply "cheap signaling". Anyone can be generous with OPM: Other People's Money.

Mrs. W then doubles down by assaulting the church-goers while reviewing the evidence of Arthur Brooks' study Who Really Cares?:
Conservative people are a percentage point or two more likely to give money each year than liberal people, but a percentage point or less likely to volunteer. And while conservative people do give more to charities and churches, when religion is factored out, charitable giving between liberals and conservatives is not distinguishable.
This shows only the most shallow reading of Brooks' work. He notes that religious people are more charitable towards non-religious charities than the secularist population. "A religious person is 57% more likely than a secularist to help a homeless person," he writes. And the last sentence seems to suggest that the only thing a religious person gives to is a church, and thus for reasons involving his or her own salvation, not to help the poor. There's nothing about conservatism or religiousness that would necessarily encourage one to go to the Red Cross, but according to Brooks' estimates, the amount of blood banked in America would rise 45% if liberals gave blood as much as conservatives do.

If they ever figure out how to tax blood, Heaven help us!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bumper Stickers, DFL Style 

This afternoon, which is totally gorgeous, I was driving to meet a friend for coffee. The mini-van next to me had three political stickers on its rear bumper:

Klobuchar - DFL Senator elected in 2006
Sarvi - DFL candidate to take on Congressman, John Kline of MN's 2nd Congressional District

and the winner...... Bush Must Go.

Don't know about the awareness of the van owners but Bush has less than nine months, by law.

Oh, well.....