Friday, December 29, 2006
Yesterday, rather than play his funky new state of the art Zelda, Smartie spent 5 hours playing through the first Zelda so I could see how it ended, as I never made it all the way through growing up.
Just for that, I'm not laughing at his numchucks.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The two biggest attempts at anti-choice legislation this year in Minnesota were the Abortion Regulation Act (ARA) and the Pharmacist Bill of Rights, both pieces being unsuccessful. Among other issues such as releasing documents on judges and providing more regulations for abortion providers, the ARA was an attempt to overturn Doe V Gomez, a decision that "interprets our State Constitution to protect reproductive privacy, and it protects access to reproductive health care for low-income women according to NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), who considered the bill one of their key priorities for the year, felt that taxpayers should not be forced to pay for abortions if they did not agree that abortion should be practiced. Rather than agreeing that Doe V Gomez provides equal access to all women regardless of income, they stated that low-income women were being 'exploited.' "Low-income women have become the number-one target of the abortion industry, which is desperate to recoup revenue losses from falling abortion numbers," claimed MCCL executive director Scott Fischbach in a April press release. The bill passed the State House by a wide margin but never made it to vote in the Senate due to Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, who then lost his reelection bid as a campaign target of MCCL.
The second piece of anti-choice legislation was HF 3032, a bill that would allow pharmacists to refuse dispensing birth control or emergency contraception should he or she have a moral objection to it. The bill became a large priority of the national group Pharmacists for Life, especially after the announcement earlier in the year that the morning after pill was approved for over the counter sale to women 18 and older. HF 3032 was introduced into legislation by Tom Emmer, R-Delano on behalf of Michael Barrett, a concerned pharmacist and eventual Republican challenger for Congressman Colin Peterson (MN 7). Much like Barrett's campaign, the bill received little support and quietly disappeared.
After the success the pro-life movement had in Minnesota in recent years, passing both the 24 hour waiting period for women seeking abortion and the Women's Right to Know bill, best known for causing an uproar in the Minnesota Department of Health for content linking breast cancer to abortion, which has since been revised, to simply hold off more anti-choice legislation in itself is a victory. Our neighbors to the west would likely agree, as South Dakota was able to hold off what a majority of the state considered to be an overly regressive and likely unconstitutional abortion ban this November. But Minnesota has made a few positive moves as well.
All states have benefited from the most helpful change in the choice movement; approval of over the counter sales of the morning after pill to women above age 18. As access to emergency contraception grows, the rate of abortions can only continue to drop. And as new Express Clinics open up in Minnesota to provide quick non-subsidized birth control as well as a retail services, Planned Parenthood appears to be on a path to raising more funds that can be spent on low-income women who desire but cannot afford services. According to the Pioneer Press, who interviewed Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, the group hopes that, "If profitable, the express clinics would help provide Planned Parenthood services at other locations that primarily serve women who are poor or uninsured."
With the predominatly pro-choice DFLers in control of both the Minnesota Senate and House and Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty appearing eager to try out bipartisanship, will next year be the year that Minnesota begins rolling back some of the legislation that has made this state number 21 in reproductive rights? Next Tuesday I will be doing a look ahead to choice issues in the Minnesota legislature for 2007.
We were listening to KFAN on Christmas Eve as went over the river and through the woods, and they were dong some pretty heavy Moss speculation, but I don't reall see that happening. Childress seems to take a pretty hard line on obedience based on his chucking off all grumblers. We can go happy draftpicks, since we're likely going to be pretty high up in picks as we're goingto get creamed on Sunday. They again, look at our number one from last year.
What's a Viking got to do to get a good pair of hands?
Speaking of sports, my cousin Will got a copy of "Uncovering the Dome" signed by Jim Klobuchar for Christmas. I may have to borrow it from him. Wait, no I won't...
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
updated to add, I like this quote from Stooge:
Technically, the Vikings aren't eliminated from the playoffs. Technically, I could one day be President. Good luck to both of us.
Another update...Jackson looks really good. Now if only he was not throwing to Williamson.
And another...my goodness, did the Packers finally get a penalty called on them?
One more - Dred Pirate, that lemon corriander beer rawks.
Sigh - our line sucks
I'm back. SMOOOOOOOOOT!!
btw- classy, cheeseheads. If any other fans had done that the refs would have said something. Of course these guys were too busy apologizing to Farve for letting us score.
Heh, I bet that felt good, eh, Sharper.
Sheesh - nice dive, Farve. "I'm Brett Farve and I'm lying on my back - throw flags throw flags or I can't stand up again!"
HeeHee - We're in your pile, takin your ballz... (and screaming for a safety)
sigh, oh well. At least it was vaguely exciting
I assume that afterwards they have the "no tv or computer for two weeks while you think about what you've done, young lady" addendum to pass.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Except for this one:
Darcy Sawatzki proposed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) announce her candidacy on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on Feb. 3, 2007. ("Live from New York, I'm running for president!") Why SNL? Sawatzki said it would give Clinton a national audience, turn the preconceived notion that she's a too-serious political wonk on its head, show that her political career is still rooted in New York, and also serve as a potent lead-in for the Sunday talk shows the following day.
Personally, I want to see John Kerry on Kingda Ka, then step off and say "It's still less scary than running again."
Oh, whom am I kidding, I don't want to see him run again.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Katherine Kersten's Dec. 14 column on the End Racial Profiling Act made my blood boil. The reason we scrutinize people of Middle Eastern descent in airports isn't because we are intolerant bigots, it's because several Middle Eastern men hijacked and crashed airliners, killing thousands.
Profiling is simply using our limited resources in the most practical way. We know who committed those acts and who has vowed to do more of the same.
If people of Middle Eastern descent were truly on our side in the war on terror, they would gladly accept additional scrutiny and inconvenience in the name of safety for us all.
Jimmy G. Moron, BURNSVILLE
Now, I've been accused before of not being "serious" about the war in terror. Brother, the scales have fallen from my eyes. I agree with Mr. Moron's letter, and would like to post an open letter of my own below.
Before I do that, though, I feel I should share what momentous event has led me to this new understanding. It's an important story and people should be aware of. An important story that no doubt most of you don't know because the LIBRUL MEDIA hasn't told you. Just a few weeks ago there was a milestone moment in the War on TERROR; an extremist who was arrested in a plot to blow up this nation's capitol and spread death and destruction via C4 and Sarin gas was convicted and sentenced for his crime.
This has lead me to believe that if we are to survive as a nation, we need to confront this menace head on. Thank you, Demetrius "Van" Crocker for awaking me to the danger posed by white, male conservatives.
Now, before anyone accuses me of race baiting here, I like white, male conservatives just fine. I have white, male conservative friends. I know that not all white, male conservatives are out to blow up federal buildings. Still, the fact remains that every federal building that has been blown up in this country has been blown up by a white, male conservative and obviously these dangerous extremists have not given up on their plans to blow up more of them. So, without further ado, my open letter to the American People:
Katherine Kersten's Dec. 14 column on the End Racial Profiling Act made my blood boil. The reason we scrutinize people of white, male conservative description at federal buildings isn't because we are intolerant bigots, it's because several white, male conservatives blew up a federal building, killing more than a hundred people.
Profiling is simply using our limited resources in the most practical way. We know who committed those acts and who has vowed to do more of the same.
If white, male conservatives were truly on our side in the war on terror, they would gladly accept additional scrutiny and inconvenience in the name of safety for us all.
So, flame away, liberals. The safety of our nation comes first. If a couple of white, male conservatives can't rent cars or cross the border or find themselves harassed by the police I'm sure they'll be only too happy to accept it as doing their small part in the war on terror.
Hat tip to David Neiwert from whom I first learned about the Crocker story.
The Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) recently issued a frightening report documenting the growing practice of public executions of women by Shia Militia. One of the report's more grisly accounts was a story of a young woman dragged by a wire wound around her neck to a close-by football field and then hung to the goal post. They pierced her body with bullets. Her brother came running trying to defend his sister. He was also shot and killed. Sunni extremists are no better: OWFI members estimate that no less than 30 women are executed monthly for honor related reasons.
Almost four years into the Bush Administration's ill fated adventure in Iraq, Iraqi women are worse off than they were under the Baathist regime in a country where, for decades, the freedoms and rights enjoyed by Iraqi women were the envy of women in most other countries of the Middle East.
Be sure to read the entire guest post, by Kavita Ramdas, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Global Fund for Women.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Salazar and Dean had a 30-minute conversation about Denver's bid and afterwards, Salazar put Denver's chances at "50-50." Salazar felt Dean's questions were legitimate about Denver's capability to host such a huge event without a problem. "It's our belief that we can and our job here in Colorado is to convince him we can do this," he said.
Denver Mayor, John Hickenlooper said Denver can host tens of thousands of visitors on busy sports nights. He noted for some events, Denver has had up to 140,000 visitors. Salazar pointed out that when the pope visited in 1993, a half million people came and there were no security problems.
The decision should be coming any day now...
The full bit isn't up yet, but this short clip is.
(link opens the video clip, so put on your headphones if you're at work)
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Yep, it's time for the Drinking Liberally Holiday Party...
It's Time To Get Back to Santa's Good Graces...
Drinking Liberally will be celebrating the Yule with beer, laughs, and a visit by Santa Wege!
Drinking Liberally Holiday Party
Thursday, December 14th, 6-9 pm
(Laughing Liberally Video at 7pm - laugh at political jokes or find coal in your stocking!)
331 Club, 13th and University in Northeast Minneapolis
Please bring one new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots, and you will receive a free beer!
Ho Ho Drink!
McCain says to Bush, "I dare you to send 20,000 more troops"
So Bush takes him up on it and says, by God he'll send 20,000 more.
Now McCain says he double-dares Bush to send 30,000 more.
How soon until Bush takes that dare and ups the number?
And how many troops will be sent when McCain double-dog-dares Bush? 50? 60?
And let's cut to the chase here, the dreaded triple-dog-dare. Reinstatement of the draft, anyone?
Even worse, as far as I can tell, the reason we need all these extra troops isn't because we're trying some new strategy...it's just to keep doing what we're already doing only MORE of it.
I'm so glad those people who are *serious* about national defense are in charge.
"We're taking back Christmas," Robert Marley told The Boston Herald. The Lynnfield, Massachusetts brothers will be picketing in front of local malls and stores that refuse to display or say "Merry Christmas."
"This year, I will not shop in any store that does not display the words 'Merry Christmas,'" Marley said. "Someone has to take a stand. We're going to get 'tolerated' right into hell," he added.
Why yes, I do seem to remember something about the path to hell being paved with lots of tolerance...
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Our Constitution states, "Each House [of Congress] shall be the judge ... of the qualifications of its own members." Enough evidence exists for Congress to question Ellison's qualifications to be a member of Congress as well as his commitment to the Constitution in view of his apparent determination to embrace the Quran and an Islamic philosophy directly contrary to the principles of the Constitution. But common sense alone dictates that in the midst of a war with Islamic terrorists we should not place someone in a position of great power who shares their doctrine. In 1943, we would never have allowed a member of Congress to take their oath on "Mein Kampf," or someone in the 1950s to swear allegiance to the "Communist Manifesto." Congress has the authority and should act to prohibit Ellison from taking the congressional oath today!
It appears Moore's grasp on Constitutionality has not gotten any firmer.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
(While you're over there, be sure to check out the new community calendar on the righthand side, which provides events sponsored by the Citizen's League and the Humphrey Institute)
After the lunch, I'll be heading over to the Air America station in Eden Prairie to guest host Minnesota Matters from 5-6 pm. Be sure to tune in to 950 AM, or click here to listen online.
After, sushi with Smartie and a night of booze and friends at a double birthday party.
If we don't post early tomorrow, you know we had a good night...
Thursday, December 07, 2006
A second reason often cited by those who support the draft is the overuse of our National Guard and Reserves. While it is true our National Guard and Reserves are being stretched thin, it is not because we are failing to reach the recruitment goals for our active-duty forces.Anyone at the Pentagon have a "light bulb moment"? Of course! Just increase the size of the military. Why hasn't anyone suggested such an inovative idea before now?
As the Cold War neared its end there were more than 2 million members of the active-duty military. To realize a "peace dividend" we embraced a policy of reducing the size of the military, which now stands at barely 1.4 million members -- down 30 percent. I've had my differences with this administration and the Pentagon over the size of our active-duty military and the overuse of our National Guard and Reserves, which is why I have led the fight on a bipartisan basis to increase the Army and Marine Corps by 30,000 soldiers and 10,000 Marines. We must find the political will necessary to increase the military as well as the political will to pay for it.
But why stop there? We don't we have all of these new soldiers ride magical flying unicorns who can shoot lasers out of their eyes? That would truly be a force to be reckoned with!
But wait, you say, magical laser shooting death-a-corns are a myth! Of course they are, just like this new bit of wisdom that we could somehow produce
Is there really is a large group of willing volunteers who simply can't get in because the ranks are full? If there is, then why is the army resorting to stop loss orders , lowered standards, thuggish behavior and accepting potential drug addicts in order to simply maintain its current levels?
Perhaps most importantly, how can we ever get out of this mess when our leadership steadfastly refuses to acknowledge reality?
*See the comments.
Family planning group sounds alarm on birth control prices
The Associated Press - Thursday, December 07, 2006
Minnesota family planning advocates worry that a price spike in birth control pills will make them unavailable to thousands of low-income women in the state.
The Minnesota Statewide Association for Family Planning alerted Gov. Tim Pawlenty this week to what they see as a pending "disaster for many poor women."
More than 100 publicly funded clinics in the state got word last week from drug manufacturer Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical that they might become ineligible for subsidized rates for birth control pills.
Peg LaBore, the family planning group's chairwoman, is seeking help from Pawlenty and U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman to reverse expected price spikes. She estimated that a clinic patient's monthly supply of a popular oral contraceptive would rise from the current $3.25 to $35 or more.
"It would be wise for the administration to monitor the rate of unintended pregnancies in Minnesota over the next few years because we as health care providers are certain our clients are not filling their birth control prescriptions due to costs," LaBore wrote in her letter to Pawlenty.
She said the price spike comes after the clinics were several years ago from a multi-state drug buying program, which provides bulk discounts to public health providers.
Pawlenty spokesman Alex Carey said the governor received the letter late Wednesday and will "consider it closely."
Rebecca Wind of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based research and education clearinghouse on reproductive issues, said the price increase stems from a 2005 federal law. The Deficit Reduction Act eliminated eligibility for subsidized contraceptives.
"This is something that a lot of people are working to get fixed, including Ortho," Wind said. "Hopefully, a remedy can be found in the near future."
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Oh, and Norm...
Senator Norm Coleman (R) MN - Claim to fame is 81 year old father who was busted for having sex in public.
In comparison to the rest of the group, Norm kind of looks like he's not trying...
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
First, the story of Congressman-elect Keith Ellison swearing on the Qu'ran has moved into the rural papers. The New Ulm Journal, the only paper in the 1st District to endorse the Republican Congresional candidate in the last election, has written an op/ed piece supporting Ellison's right to swear by whatever is sacred to him. And according to the new blog Forum Focus, which is dedicated to tracking the 20 Forum papers located in Minnesota, Dennis Prager's original column attacking Ellison ran last week in the Morris Sun Tribune but none of the AP or MCclatchy wire follow-ups ever ran.
Moving out of Minnesota and on to Washington, Michele Bachmann has picked her new Chief of Staff , choosing Brooks Kochvar, the formerly the Chief of Staff for Chris Chocola, the defeated Representative from Indiana. Congressman John Kline (R -MN 2), has been named to the transitional team for the new chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Congressman Tom Cole of Okalahoma, a move that makes sense with the 2008 GOP convention being held in Minnesota.
And a reminder that Arianna Huffington will be in town on Friday to speak at the Minnesota Women's Political Caucus, and tickets can be purchased until the end of the day. We will have our interview with Ms. Huffington later this week.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
So, as a tribute to the new multimedia powerliberals, here is our dinking around video while we figured out how to use the camera:
and an audio of me on Minnesota Matters last week
Now I must figure out how to add flash animation to the site so I can have the multimedia trifecta...
(If you like listening to me making abit of a fool of myself on the radio, be sure to turn in next Wed from 5-6 on Air America, Minesota, where I'll be a guest host for the whole hour)
Friday, December 01, 2006
One of my favorite professors died of AIDS related pneumonia 6 and a half years ago. He taught a course on literature of AIDS, where I read the collected poems of Paul Monette.
our ground through August let the material go
what you cannot buy or have in your name
is the ghost of a touch the glancing stroke
as a man passes through a room where his love
sits reading later much later the nodding head
of the one on the other's shoulder no title
usurps that place this is its home forever..."