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Friday, December 28, 2007

Media Trickery: Part 2

Lack of comparison
Picking up with the aforementioned billions and billions of pounds of CO2, I will continue this series. 580 billion pounds of CO2 is so large it is hard to compare it to anything that is comprehensible. How much is it? Most people have a very difficult time guessing the weight of familiar things like their car, their TV or a sack of groceries. In fact, an extremely high percentage of the populous could not identify the weight of a gallon of water.

The Christmas dinner article (mentioned previously) attempts to make a comparison of the 51,000 tons of CO2 involved in a British Christmas to auto emissions. It alleges that amount of carbon dioxide equals "A carbon footprint equivalent to 6,000 car journeys around the world . . . "

The problem with this comparison is that it is meaningless to the average individual. The article’s comparison is not meant to make it understandable. It obfuscates true understanding; they just want you to think about a mammoth amount. In an article such as the Christmas dinner, the author knows no one wants to have a thorough math explanation. Just get to the point. Hit ’em with the enormity of their sin against Mother Earth and get on with it!

But let’s consider the math because it will be beneficial. A trip around the world at the equator is 24,900 miles. 6,000 of those trips is 149,400,000 miles. No one understands that distance. We have a difficult enough time imagining 24,900 miles of travel.

I propose a more understandable comparison. The average person drives about 10,000 miles per year. It would take all the people in 15 towns of a thousand people each to drive a combined 149,400,000 miles. That is how large the total carbon footprint is that is created by the British Christmas dinners. That's impressive!

But this still does not tell a Brit his own personal carbon footprint for Christmas dinner. The Christmas dinner under consideration in the article is for one-third of all 61 million Britons. Take the distance of 149,400,000 miles divided by the 20,333,000 Brits and you have the individual’s personal impact.

Ready for the terrible news? Are you ready to feel real guilty and hang your head in shame for what you did to Gaia?

Your individual carbon footprint amounts to a drive of 7.35 miles. Whoop-de-do! What a let down. Who cares? But that’s for your whole Christmas dinner. You were going to eat anyway so let’s be liberal and say you splurged twice as much for Christmas dinner as a regular meal. Your extra carbon footprint amounts to a drive of 3.675 miles.

Whenever your personal carbon footprint is calculated, it is small. It is so insignificant that it is irrelevant. In order for the news media to make a mountain out of a mole hill, they must aggregate individual carbon footprints for large blocks of people. Then the numbers are huge, but not understandable to us. That’s the way they want it. They don’t want you to know your extra carbon footprint for Christmas dinner is equivalent to driving 3.7 miles!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Media Trickery: Part 1

The news media loves hype. A recent article warned us that tons and tons of carbon dioxide were created to provide Christmas dinner for Britons. Or tons of CO2 were produced flying to the global warming conference in Bali.

The Gaia-loving media has some tricks they use to pull on the heart strings of their readers. Let’s consider a few.

Perspective is everything
Many in the media do not want you to have perspective when you are reading their claptrap. They do not want you to be able to focus clearly on what is presented. So they distort the picture deliberately to keep it out of focus.

Here is an example. A writer hypes billions and billions of pounds of CO2. 580 billion pounds of the stuff is incomprehensible. It’s a big number, but nondescript. That’s the intention. It is intended to overwhelm you. Whatever the size, volume or weight 580 billion pounds of the awful stuff is, it is intended to remain amorphous, mysterious, deadly and your fault.

Bigger numbers
In the above article, notice the writer hyped 580 billion pounds of the poison. Why talk about pounds? That is deliberately designed because it sounds worse than 290 million tons.

They love to use bigger numbers to make it sound better (or worse, depending on the situation). They figure we are like the little kid who will choose the ten pennies over the dime. The number, not value, is in the little one’s inexperienced mind. The bigger the number, the better (or worse) it is. 580 billion is more than 290 million, but when we know that 2,000 pounds are in a ton, then we are dealing with the same weight. Yet the larger number sounds worse. Most Americans are so mathematically challenged they are like the little kid.

Remember your math teacher said it would be useful! It is. Don’t be fooled by the media’s use of numbers.

The media loves to raise awareness about climate change. It's time we raise awareness of their tricky use of numbers.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gore Files Lawsuits Against Time

By Pat Sajak

Lawyers for former Vice President Al Gore have filed numerous lawsuits against Time magazine, alleging a series of voting irregularities they maintain deprived Gore of Time's "Person of the Year" Award. It has been announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin received the 2007 award, with Gore finishing second.


Read the rest here to catch Sajak’s drift.

Al Gore Opens Mouth, Increases Carbon Footprint

By Selwyn Duke

Speaking today to COOL-IT (Communists for Only Onerous and Lofty Industrial Taxation) in Nome, Alaska, former vice-president Al Gore criticized the United States’ failure to adequately address climate change. Mr. Gore warned of future consequences of inaction while emphasizing that we have already felt the effects of a lamentably low suicide rate. Gore mentioned the extinction of species, the melting of the polar ice caps, and his loss of Florida in the 2000 presidential election. Said Gore,

Florida is a very hot state – even in November. And members of lower-income socio-economic groups – who are most likely to vote Democrat – often can’t afford air-conditioning. Now, if you’re sitting around in a pool of your own sweat drinking Thunderbird, what are the chances you’ll be motivated to vote on election day?


I always enjoy Selwyn Duke’s writings. Read the rest of his article to be sure and catch his drift.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Why U.S. kids rank 33rd in math

Walter E. Williams

American education will never be improved until we address one of the problems seen as too delicate to discuss. That problem is the overall quality of people teaching our children. Students who have chosen education as their major have the lowest SAT scores of any other major. Students who have graduated with an education degree earn lower scores than any other major on graduate school admissions tests such as the GRE, MCAT or LSAT. Schools of education, either graduate or undergraduate, represent the academic slums of most any university. As such, they are home to the least able students and professors with the lowest academic respect. Were we serious about efforts to improve public education, one of the first things we would do is eliminate schools of education.

This paragraph should grab your attention, but read the whole article here.


The amount of money spent educating a child has little or no relationship to that child’s learning according to Williams. We all knew that, but these numbers substantiate it. Senator Olseen needs to put that in his pipe and smoke it before he wastes more of our tax dollars as noted in the previous post.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Olseen Pandering to Raise Taxes

The Chisago County Press carried the following December 6, 2007 appeal by Senator Rick Olseen (D-17). His article entitled, We must find a better way to fund schools, can be found online at the Forest Lake Times and at Olseen’s Senate site. Please read it online and then consider my comments.


Former Governor Jesse Ventura brought about a higher level of state funding for education and a corresponding lowering of property taxes that funded schools. That legislation allowed local property owners to vote on school levies for more dollars to augment state funding, which many districts have done.

Senator Olseen says, "...we must move away from our reliance on operating levies to fund education in Minnesota." He wants to move beyond Ventura "...to ensure that ALL kids receive a quality education"—more money from the state so local referenda are not needed.

Of course this is for the kids—children get dragged into everything the Dems want. They are the excuse to soften up the taxpayer to be willing to let go of more hard-earned money.

Olseen is empathetic with local taxpayers who are stressed to come up with the cash to pay for local school operating levies. In fact he is so empathetic that he wants the state to pay for the extra cash for education so we taxpayers don’t have to do that. Wow! Isn’t that generous of him?

Apparently Olseen thinks the state is an ATM machine; it can tap into cash that just magically appears. This is how Dems always talk—it’s free so you would be stupid not to go along with it. We voters are not so stupid to realize that those who are stressed to come up with the cash to pay for local school operating levies are the same ones who will be taxed by the state to pay for the increased state funding of education. We will have the same stress either way, Senator Olseen.

Olseen is also in favor of taking away the local taxpayer’s voice in local funding. He is much in favor of the legislature usurping that say. The vote of thousands in each school district in his senate district will be preempted by his vote in the Senate. By one vote he will dip into your pocketbook to fund schools at the level he thinks is right. Who made him a god over us? I don’t want that kind of stress either!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Carbon cost of Christmas dinner

A carbon footprint equivalent to 6,000 car journeys around the world will be produced by the UK tucking into Christmas dinner, researchers say.

It is claimed the UK's love of the traditional turkey dinner will generate 51,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Academics calculated the production, processing and transportation costs of the festive ingredients.

The Manchester researchers estimate a dinner for eight generates 20kg (44lbs) of carbon dioxide emissions.

They arrived at the total emissions figure by assuming one third of the UK population eats a typical Christmas meal.

Methane emissions

Project leader professor Adisa Azapagic, from the University of Manchester, said: "Food production and processing are responsible for three quarters of the total carbon footprint, with the largest proportion - 60% - being related to the life cycle of the turkey.

"All stages in the supply chain have been considered, including raising the turkey, growing the vegetables, food storage, consumer shopping, cooking the meal at home and waste management.

"This includes the emissions of carbon dioxide due to energy consumption along the turkey supply chain and the emissions of methane and nitrous oxide generated due to the agricultural activities to raise the turkey."

The cranberry sauce alone, normally imported from North America, contributes half the carbon footprint related to transport.


Oh, who cares? These people need to get a job; they have too much time on their hands. I will feast on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. And I won’t feel one bit guilty about it. Please join me with relish as we stamp our individual, momentary carbon footprints on the face of the earth.

The above story is one-sided and part of the truth. It leaves out so much—well life itself. All life is carbon based. Carbon based life is passed up higher and higher in the food chain. At every step in that chain, life has a carbon footprint. Carbon footprints are recycled and reused. When we consume the carbon based life called turkey, we recycle carbon in one way, for example, as carbon dioxide, which becomes a feast for vegetation.

The cycle starts over as oat plants consume carbon dioxide to make grains of oats for the turkey to eat so we have a meal for next Christmas. Vegetation isn’t interested in oxygen for itself, but it uses carbon dioxide for itself and gives off oxygen for us. Human-caused-global-warming-doomsayers don’t ever want to balance the carbon equation because that would kill their fear-mongering.

So while you are feasting on Christmas and releasing carbon dioxide, remember the wind will blow your carbon dioxide so the trees can have a feast. Eat up and rejoice without guilt. And who cares if the Goracle feels guilty!

Tax Poem

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his cars,
Tax his trucks,
Make sure you
Take all his bucks.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers,
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.

Put these words
upon his tomb,
" Taxes drove me
to my doom..."

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Tax
Export Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Import Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Wheelage Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Author: Anon E. Mus

Is there anything that isn't taxed? I doubt it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Skeptical Scientists Urge World To 'Have the Courage to Do Nothing' At UN Conference

BALI, Indonesia - An international team of scientists skeptical of man-made climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore, descended on Bali this week to urge the world to "have the courage to do nothing" in response to UN demands.

Lord Christopher Monckton, a UK climate researcher, had a blunt message for UN climate conference participants on Monday.

"Climate change is a non-problem. The right answer to a non problem is to have the courage to do nothing," Monckton told participants.

"The UN conference is a complete waste of our time and your money and we should no longer pay the slightest attention to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,)" Monckton added.

Monckton also noted that the UN has not been overly welcoming to the group of skeptical scientists.

"UN organizers refused my credentials and appeared desperate that I should not come to this conference. They have also made several attempts to interfere with our public meetings," Monckton explained.

Here is the rest of the story. The last paragraph is truly scary. Human-caused-global-warming-religionists don’t want to hear any evidence against their ardently held beliefs. These closed-minded activists intend to rule the world and manipulate our lives. If they have their way, we will all be forced to worship at their altar.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mn/DOT Discipline

Now that three Mn/DOT supervisors have been disciplined for inadequate oversight of Sonia Pitt, the fired Homeland Security and Emergency Management director, the Dems still want more according to the Press here and here. It doesn’t make any difference how many layers of management there was between Pitt and Commissioner Molnau, the Dems will not be satisfied until they remove the Commissioner.

To the Dems, it won’t make any difference that Pitt was a difficult employee according to the report—belligerent, aggressive and "difficult to work with." It won’t make any difference that the report says many Mn/DOT managers "did not want to have her under their supervision." Somehow this is all Molnau’s fault.

To the Dems, like Murphy, Clark and Kalin, it won’t make any difference that an investigation into Pitt had already commenced before the I-35W bridge collapsed. This investigation may very well have lead to discipline or dismissal of Pitt that would have gone unnoticed by DFL legislators. Of course in that case, Molnau would never have received praise for the good work in her department.

But the collapsing bridge exposed Pitt before that ongoing investigation could be completed. And now Molnau is charged with guilt. If Molnau is to be that involved in the daily activities of each of the 4,700 Mn/DOT employees and supervisors, she would never have time for running the department. But for too many Dems, any excuse will do to get at Pawlenty by attacking Molnau.

Sad to say, if all this had happened under a Democrat administration, none of the Dems would have made any complaint about their Commissioner of Transportation. The issue isn’t about Mn/DOT spending tax dollars wisely; it is about increasing taxation. The issue isn’t about misconduct; it’s about getting rid of Molnau for any excuse. At the same time any Democrat excuse will excuse Mark Richie.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Pitt Appeals Firing

Now that Sonia Pitt has appealed her firing from Mn/DOT, maybe Tarryl Clark will learn a lesson in patience. Earlier we had noted that she said, "Pitt's firing was welcome "but three months late"."

Mn/DOT was wise to take its time to make a proper case for firing its employee, knowing that it could be appealed. It takes time to dot the "i"s and cross the "t"s, not just to prepare the case for the firing, but be prepared for an appeal.

Meanwhile, Steve Murphy and other Democrats have been castigating Mn/DOT for its incompetency. For all their eagerness to get rid of Pitt (Jeremy Kalin included), what will they say if Pitt is reinstated? I suppose they will condemn Mn/DOT for being incompetent once again.

Vacations at Government Expense

More than 10,000 jet into Bali for global warming conference
U.N. official rejects notion attendees adding to problem

BALI, Indonesia -- Never before have so many people converged to try to save the planet from global warming, with more than 10,000 jetting into this Indonesian resort island, from government ministers to Nobel laureates to drought-stricken farmers.

Finish reading the article.


Imagine 10,000 people attending this conference. That’s equivalent to 1 out of every 4 people in Chisago County or everyone in North Branch flying to Bali to talk about global warming. It is inconceivable that 10,000 people are needed in a single conference to evaluate and propose solutions for any sort of genuine problem. Imagine if every one in North Branch attended a city council meeting to talk about a proposed Comprehensive Plan. It would be madness and pandemonium.

Actually, this conference will be bad for all of us because they aim to set the stage for the upgraded Kyoto treaty. When this many loony environmental, liberal, one-world-government, human-caused-climate-change do-gooders get together, nothing but evil can come of it.

Let’s pray they have such a grand time on vacation that they miss the conference.

A Hippie Generation Apology

A baby-boomer apology
By Dennis Prager

We live in the age of group apologies. I would like to add one. The baby boomer generation needs to apologize to America, especially its young generation, for many sins. Here is a partial list:

Prager hits many of the baby-boomer generation’s sins.

Miserable Liberals

Divorce can be bad for the environment.

In countries around the world divorce rates have been rising, and each time a family dissolves the result is two new households.

"A married household actually uses resources more efficiently than a divorced household," said Jianguo Liu, an ecologist at Michigan State University whose analysis of the environmental impact of divorce appears in this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More households means more use of land, water and energy, three critical resources, Liu explained in a telephone interview.

Read the rest of this nonsense.


One does not need a degree in any subject or be an ecologist to realize the inefficiency of divorce. And we don’t need to study it; we know the conclusion without being paid to collect data. We all know intuitively that two can live as cheaply as one....well half the time.

These people would love to cram everyone into drab concrete high-rise prisons, 20 to a small flat, Soviet-style alongside of light rail to be squeezed in for the ride to work. These know-it-alls will find inefficiency in everything no matter how conservative we are with land, air, water and energy.

They are ridden with the guilt of being alive and want to make the rest of us miserable.

Meanwhile, they expend great energy, time, money and take up space to study the imagined problem and then get paid for it--- all to "raise awareness" of the guilt of living. Talk about production efficiency!

More global warming nonsense...leave one candle unlit at Hannukah to save the earth! Next the Christmas tree lights will need to be turned off for an hour a day. And those dazzling houses will have to tear down their exterior Christmas lights.

The energy and CO2 from the burning Hannukah candles is an infinitesimally small amount compared to that produced by the fires that raged worldwide this past year. Not burning the candles means nothing to the world. It's just a feel good, knee-jerk reaction.

From now on, to be consistent, liberals should never hold a candlelight vigil.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Celebrity Endorsements: Does Anyone Really Care?

A great thought from Pat Sajak:

"Trust me, one's view of the world isn't any clearer from the back seat of a limo."

Monday, December 03, 2007

This is Not a Joke

View Franken vs. Franken on the war in Iraq.

From the Coleman For Senate Campaign.

Update: This Strib article addresses Coleman’s video. Author Kevin Diaz also posted it here.

Ten Commandments

Here is the real reason that we cannot have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse.

The commandments "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," and "Thou Shalt Not Lie" create a hostile work environment in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians.

If the shoe fits, wear it.

House GOP Responds to Budget Deficit

Seifert Says: "Stop growing government. Start growing jobs."

Saint Paul - (November 30, 2007) - House Republican Leader Marty Seifert today said the state's $373 million budget deficit demands fiscal restraint and accountability in the upcoming legislative session.

"We need to spur the economy with business development and job growth," said House Republican Leader Marty Seifert. "Government should not grow at a faster rate than the private sector. Government needs to make sacrifices so we don't increase the tax burden on job creators and families. Our financial ground will continue to erode until we acknowledge that we cannot grow government and tax our way to prosperity.

"The state's budget forecast reflects the impact of a national economic slowdown that is being largely driven by slower projected economic growth, record high oil prices, an increasingly weak housing market and the resulting tightening on lending.

"Minnesotans across the state are seeing less discretionary income and that has a direct impact on the state's economy," Seifert said. "While businesses, families and farms are looking to tighten their budgets, the Democrats are working on plans to raise their taxes to fuel the growth of government."

Government spending has grown rapidly in the past 10 years. State general fund spending has increased nearly 40 percent in the last 10 years from $24 billion to $34.5 billion.

"Now is not the time to raise taxes. We do not need more money from taxpayers to fund unsustainable growth in government programs. We need to prioritize, cut wasteful government spending and use taxpayer dollars more efficiently," Seifert said.

Seifert said the budget deficit presents many challenges to the spending proposals and large bonding bill already being discussed for the next legislative session.

"The state budget should operate like the family budget. When there is less revenue, we spend less money," Seifert said. "The Democrats already spent the $34 billion in the state's budget and squandered away a $2 billion surplus. We simply do not have the money in the checkbook for more spending. The bonding bill must stay within the $965 million threshold. It should focus on fixing our state's core infrastructure needs. Festivals, theaters and ice rinks come in a distant second to funding for safe roads and bridges.

Seifert said the budget deficit could have been higher if the Democrats tax and spend proposals were all signed into law. Governor Tim Pawlenty line-itemed veto more than $32 million in spending and vetoed a pork-filled bonding bill.

"The Democrats overspent last session and then tried to raise our taxes," Seifert said. "Government doesn't need relief. Minnesotans do. We need to protect the taxpayer pocketbook, not use it as a never-ending cash machine."

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Short on Science, Long on Politics

Need a legacy? Al's got a hot one
By Wesley Pruden

All the wiseheads keep telling us that Climate is headed south, but Weather keeps getting in the way.

Global warming is scheduled to kill us all before next Christmas, but since Christmas is going the way of the hula hoop to avoid offending Osama bin Laden, the ACLU and assorted grinches, we might yet muddle on.

The United Nations sponsored a session for wiseheads the other day in Valencia, where they dined in expensive Spanish restaurants, basked in luxury hotels and took the waters on a government dime, obligated only to listen to each other talk about the coming death in the afternoon for those who don't die first of bird flu, AIDS, staph infections and other plagues that were supposed to dispose of us by now.

Read the whole article, but notice the following two paragraphs.

Short on science, the faithful are long on politics. Politics, says Michael Crichton, the novelist and inventor of Jurassic Park who made cloning popular, leads to belief and science leads to facts. Or ought to. He recalled in a speech to the National Press Club two years ago how quickly politics can intimidate science.

"In the first Earth Day in 1970," he said, "Kenneth Watt [of the University of California-Davis], said: 'If present trends continue, the world will be about 4 degrees colder in 1990, but 11 degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.' International Wildlife warned 'a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war' as a threat to mankind. Science Digest declared that the world 'must prepare for the next ice age.' The Christian Science Monitor noted that armadillos had moved out of Nebraska because it was too cold, glaciers had begun to advance, and growing seasons had shortened around the world."


Kenneth Watt missed it by a mile in 1970. So has Al Gore in 2007, but he doesn’t care about the science. The alleged science is junk science, but it serves the politics of government control of people. The doomsayers must have a sufficient reason to justify all the governmental regulations they need to save the earth.

Also read this Brit’s comments on measures to counter global issues in England, which he calls "planet-saving madness." He understands.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Economic Forecast for Minnesota

You can find the November 2007 Economic Forecast at Minnesota’s Department of Finance. A budget deficit of $373 million is now projected for the biennium. Previously a balance of $294 million had been expected.

House Minority Leader Marty Seifert held a brief media response to the budget forecast. His comments include:

We do not need tax increases.

Sacrifices need to take place. The question being asked is who is doing the sacrificing? Republicans believe sacrifices need to take place within government. Democrats believe sacrifice happens with businesses and families.

Republicans and Governor Tim Pawlenty brought fiscal discipline to the legislative process last session. Without the Governor's line item vetoes, bonding bill vetoes the budget deficit could have been more than $500 million. We need fiscal accountability. The Democrats should stay within the debt limit of $965 million for the bonding bill. The bonding bill should be focused on infrastructure like roads and bridge. It would be irresponsible to blow that limit and put that much more on the state credit card.

All levels of government must live within their means — state, county and local.

The House GOP will look toward cuts in government spending to resolve this budget deficit. We talk about fiscal restraint but we need cuts in wasteful spending. FY2010-2011 has a projected major deficit. We need to prepare and get spending under control.

We will again bring fiscal discipline to session. There should be no permanent spending with one-term money, the bonding bill should stay within the debt limit and we don't need to raise taxes.

Sen. Dave Senjem also responded:

This is a wake up call.

We live in a highly taxed state. Our business climate is suffering. We rank 42 in the nation for business climate. We need to create investments in our business climate. We should be in the top 10. Business expansion is not happening in Minnesota because there are no incentives to grow business.


This is good advice from our Republican leaders. By incentives, I assume Senjem means cutting government regulation and taxes that drive businesses out of the state. Minnesota needs to compete in a world economy. More importantly, Minnesota must compete with all other states. If Dems keep creating a deleterious climate for business, they will leave for other states that do not make business unprofitable.

We keep hearing the ads from Sioux Falls begging for business to leave Minnesota’s high tax rate behind. That’s not good for Minnesota, but Sioux Falls doesn’t realize it’s creating its own growth problems with congestion and the need for ever more infrastructure.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Income and Hype

Income confusion
By Thomas Sowell

Anyone who follows the media has probably heard many times that the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and incomes of the population in general are stagnating.

With that enticement, read the rest of this good article.

And read what Walter E. Williams has to say about this subject in his article entitled The truth about taxes and 'the rich'.

Regional Global Warming Pact

A while ago I posted comments on Governor Pawlenty’s involvement in global warming prevention. Here are Senator Michael Jungbauer’s comments posted by Drew Emmer. Jungbauer is rightly concerned.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This Can't Possibly be True, Can It?

Democrats party of rich, study finds
By Donald Lambro

Democrats like to define themselves as the party of poor and middle-income Americans, but a new study says they now represent the majority of the nation's wealthiest congressional districts.

Read more about the rich....

Mankind 'shortening the universe's life'

By Roger Highfield

Forget about the threat that mankind poses to the Earth: our activities may be shortening the life of the universe too.

The startling claim is made by a pair of American cosmologists investigating the consequences for the cosmos of quantum theory, the most successful theory we have. Over the past few years, cosmologists have taken this powerful theory of what happens at the level of subatomic particles and tried to extend it to understand the universe, since it began in the subatomic realm during the Big Bang.

But there is an odd feature of the theory that philosophers and scientists still argue about. In a nutshell, the theory suggests that we change things simply by looking at them and theorists have puzzled over the implications for years.

Continue reading here....


Not all that long ago, cosmologists loved to tell us how insignificant we are compared to the vast universe. We were told we are specks of dust, vacuous and trivial in the cosmos. Of course the aim of that was to belittle the Christian and Jewish belief that each individual is made in the image of God and therefore significant.

Now some cosmologists have the arrogance to suggest a theory that we are so significant that by looking at the cosmos we can shorten its life. Not content to be insignificant specks of dust, and not wanting to acknowledge the Christian God, some cosmologists arrogate themselves to be gods. Oh the audacity of some!

Continuing the series

How 1 scared Marine redeemed himself
Surviving in Haditha: A secret side of military life the press never reports
By Matt Sanchez

Reporter Matt Sanchez, currently embedding with military units throughout both Iraq and Afghanistan, has been providing WND readers with a glimpse into the Iraq war most Americans have never seen.

Read his article.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thank God on this Thanksgiving Day

World should give thanks for America
By Mark Steyn

Speaking as a misfit unassimilated foreigner, I think of Thanksgiving as the most American of holidays.

Read the rest of this nice piece by an outsider who knows America well. Steyn concludes:

Americans should, as always, be thankful this Thanksgiving, but they should also understand just how rare in human history their blessings are.


It is good to reflect, as does Steyn, how different America is from other countries. Our European ancestors and immigrants said no to the concept of kings and queens of European monarchies. They said no to the class of lords and ladies of the governing aristocracy. They repudiated the concept of a state church which bound the conscience in forced worship. They adopted the rule of law, a republic, as their form of government in which no one is above the law.

The American experiment has not been perfect because it truly was an experiment, shaping a society, nation and government that had never existed previously in the world. And of course it could not be perfect because human beings are not perfect. However, our ancestors created, through dependence upon God, a marvelous, unique place to exercise our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

But we are letting this greatness slip away from us quickly. We look for utopia in this world instead of the modest and realistic goal of living out our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In the utopia moderns are pandering for, God is excluded. Pandering after that utopia, we hanker to create rights that God does not give us. So we ourselves desire to give them to ourselves. Collectively, we look to government to create and grant those rights to us. We twist and torture our Constitution to grant us those selfishly desired rights.

In the American experiment we have returned to looking to government to meet all our needs, which our predecessors rejected. Rule of law is fast becoming the rule of lawyers–a new class, which inherently creates a ruled class. Judges play God, creating law rather than applying law. Too many presidential candidates cannot wait for their coronation. Senators all too eagerly have become lords and ladies. And we are satisfied to conceive of ourselves as commoners who must appeal to lords and ladies, kings and queens.

My fellow Americans, it is time we back up at least 75 years in our American experiment and start afresh. We have freedom when we recognize that each of us stands equal before God in this world and are accountable to him for all our actions toward all others who should enjoy that same God-given right to freedom. Thank God today for what we have remaining in the American experiment. And work to keep America free.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

UN, AIDS and Global Warming

Public policy is generally determined by data and government spending is determined on the basis of that data. Spending on AIDS has increased to $10 billion per year and is classified as a pandemic.

Now the United Nations has greatly reduced the estimate of the worldwide number of AIDS cases. Read the story here.

Daniel Halperin, an AIDS epidemiologist, said, "the numbers are probably still on the high side."

Helen Epstein, author of "The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS," was quoted as saying, "There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda."

Public policy, pandemic, fundraising––these are words that should lead to far more analysis of the data presented for a myriad of other issues on which governments want to spend your money.

On a related note, if the UN can’t get a good handle on the number of AIDS cases worldwide, how is it possible for the UN to have any credibility regarding global warming in its recent warning? The latter is vastly more complex than the former. But you can be certain that the "unequivocal" UN data will be used to drive fundraising through scare tactics. The manipulators are at work, the do-gooders must save the earth from you.

The climate views of John Coleman, the founder of the Weather Channel, will go unheeded. His non-alarmist declaration doesn’t require spending tax dollars or public policy created by manipulators. Have project, need data. Just manipulate the people with manipulated data.

Talk about faulty data. Check out this on official thermometers. We called attention to this back in July.

Update Nov. 27: Of course the UN needed to offer its denial of cooking the books.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Reflections on Sonia Pitt

Sonia Pitt was properly fired from Mn/DOT for several violations. Read the Pioneer Press accounts here and here and here and the Star Tribune report.

Governor Pawlenty agreed that the firing was proper according to this Press article.

And Governor Pawlenty has called for an investigation to ascertain if Pitt had proper supervision at Mn/DOT (Press accounts here and here and Star Tribune).

Given the vast number of state employees, perhaps every day there are employee firings and/or disciplines of varying degree. This one made the news because it was high profile. A collapsing bridge made her conspicuous by her absence.

Government waste and even fraud is legendary. Taxpayers hate it, as we should. To be fair, we must recognize that the vast majority of state government employees are honest and hard-working, but a few bad apples can make the whole barrel appear rotten. And many a supervisor has been driven to misery by a wayward employee who is protected very much from firing.

What Pitt did is bad enough, but the real odious ones are the politicians, the supercilious ones. According to the Press article, "Senate Assistant Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said Pitt's firing was welcome "but three months late"." That’s easy to say to score political points for herself against the Republican administration; she probably would have said little or nothing if it were a Democrat administration.

The investigation should have been lengthy in order to be thorough. There was a massive amount of documents to review and there were numerous people to interview. The investigation needed to be fair to Pitt and the state needed to be correct in its assessment in order to avoid an employment lawsuit. Mn/DOT needed to do the personnel investigation properly so that no one could say it was not thorough. Thus Senator Clark’s criticism of Mn/DOT’s timetable is self-serving.

Another odious politician in this affair is Jeremy Kalin (D-17B), concerning whom we have posted several times on the issue. Like a vulture from beginning to end in this case, he has been waiting for Pitt to fall. For a freshman legislator, he sure has thrust himself into the limelight through his web site and local paper declarations and pandering after Twin Cities papers and radio regarding Pitt and the bridge collapse to get his name in the media. This is self-serving at the expense of a failing state employee and a state tragedy that took 13 lives and injured scores. He has played partisan politics with calamity for his own personal benefit. He has demonstrated clearly that he puts politics (especially his own) before people, contrary to his mantra.

Kalin was salivating over Pitt’s spending of tax dollars for personal gain. Even though she spent tax dollars for herself and cost the state more to investigate her misdeeds, that total amount is nothing compared to the tax dollars legislators spend. They can bellyache about Pitt, but think nothing of appropriating billions of our dollars, much of which is wasted or has dubious purposes. This last session, the Dems, including Kalin, approved bills that would have cost the taxpayers more than $4 billion if Governor Pawlenty had not vetoed over 50 bills.

This highway robbery makes Pitt look like a small time operator. It’s Kalin and the big time Democrats who should be fired. In order to fund "local property tax relief" for some, Kalin was willing to reach brazenly and shamelessly into the pockets of 61 Chisago County "rich" taxpayers to fund it. What’s the difference between Kalin and Pitt? As an employee, her acts were illegal; as a legislator, he can make wrong legal.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Governors sign energy pact to cut use, build new resources


MILWAUKEE—Midwestern governors and a Canadian premier agreed to two pacts Thursday to reduce greenhouse gases, increase alternative fuel production and raise renewable energy standards.

Other regions of the country, including the Northeast and West, have adopted similar climate accords. The Midwestern deals, brokered by the 12-state Midwest Governors Association, blast the federal government for not dealing with global warming.

"The U.S. federal government has not met the challenge to date of crafting a comprehensive national response to climate change," one agreement says. " The effects of climate change present growing economic, social and environmental risks in the Midwest and the world ... we must begin to take action now."

The governors of Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa and Michigan as well as Gary Doer, premier of Manitoba, performed a symbolic signing in Milwaukee Thursday. Not all states in the association have agreed to every part of the two deals.

One agreement calls for developing a cap-and-trade mechanism to reduce greenhouse gases. Under that system, businesses that don't meet the goals would be able to obtain credit from ones that do.

The plan calls for laying out concrete goals within the next eight months and establishing the cap-and-trade system within a year, with the entire agreement implemented within two-and-a-half years.

Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Manitoba, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin agreed to that deal, according to an association ballot circulated among the states. Indiana, Ohio and South Dakota have agreed as observers.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland believes the federal government should deal with greenhouse gases, not the states, his spokesman said.

South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds said he wants to understand the costs to energy consumers and producers before signing.

"We're not convinced we have in front of us the answers we can all agree to," Rounds said.

Under the other pact, biofuels produced in the Midwest and other low-carbon fuels would make up at least half of all transportation energy consumed in the region by 2025. A third of retail gas stations in the region, or about 10,000 stations, would offer the ethanol-based gasoline E-85 by that year.

Thirty percent of electricity in the region would come from renewable sources by 2030. All new coal plants would capture and store carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, and a multi-jurisdiction pipeline would be permitted by 2012 to move carbon dioxide captured from new plants to a reservoir.

The deal calls for working groups, state officials and gubernatorial and premier staffs to being making recommendations early next year on how to reach those goals.

Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Manitoba, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin agreed to all parts of that pact, according to the ballot. Other states agreed to parts.

"If we continue on with the status quo, we are in serious, serious danger in terms of quality of life," Doer said.

Doyle, a Democrat, praised the deals, saying they would create "enormous" economic opportunity for Midwestern energy researchers and manufacturers.

"Our strong manufacturing base and rich agricultural industries, along with the wealth of resources in our vast northern forests and our world-leading research universities, position the Midwest to become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy," he said in a statement released by his office.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, said the accords could serve as a national model.

"In the not-too-distant future, we want to see national improvement and we hope the states can lead the way," Pawlenty said.

Minnesota state Sen. Michael Jungbauer, R-East Bethel, called the accords a "boondoggle" and criticized Pawlenty for being part of it.

He accused Pawlenty of focusing on a politically popular issue at the expense of more pressing concerns such as transportation.

"I'm mad as heck at our governor for implementing policies that cost a lot of money," Jungbauer said. "There's no cost-benefit analysis and really what they end up being is huge tax increases."

Source: Pioneer Press.


Senator Jungbauer is right. Gov. Pawlenty has just laid the groundwork for a huge tax increase. The no new taxes governor is no longer that. It is disturbing that a governor would commit a whole state to an agreement such as this. Carbon dioxide pipelines are a mere 4 years away. More and more subsidies will be needed to move toward alternative fuels while cost effective fuels are ostracized. Energy costs will skyrocket. This is taxation without representation.

Government is attempting to solve a problem that does not exist. It is the height of audacity to think that humans are creating global warming. Belief in human-caused global warming is not science, but a religion. Minnesota has now endorsed a state religion with Pawlenty as high priest and evangelist. We will all be forced to worship at this shrine. This is a sad day for Minnesota.


House Minority Leader Marty Seifert Says: "It's time to cut government."

SAINT PAUL -- (November 7, 2007) -- Citing the more than 80 committees, subcommittees, working groups, task forces and commissions in the Minnesota House of Representatives, House Republican Leader Marty Seifert today criticized Democrats for the expansive and expensive growth in government.

"The explosive growth of government shows what happens when Democrats take over," said House Republican Leader Marty Seifert. "The complicated and bloated process is confusing to the public, time consuming and expensive. There is very little to show for the excessive amount of meetings taking place. When all is said and done, there will be a lot more said than done."

Seifert said it is nearly impossible to determine how many groups are working on legislation and how much this process is costing Minnesota taxpayers. To view the process, click here:

"There seems to be a lot of repetition without reason. We question the necessity of having so many subgroups working on legislation that a standing committee should be able to accomplish on its own and the great number of meetings being held at taxpayer expense to hear about the problems but not bring forward solutions," Seifert said. "The Democrats have turned a part-time citizen legislature into a full-time job."

Seifert said at a time when schools and nursing homes are struggling to make their budgets, House Democrats chose to almost double its operations budget from $324,000 to $646,000 during a House Rules Committee meeting in August.

"We gave schools a mere 3 percent increase for the biennium and nursing homes received even less than that but then gave gigantic increases to the Legislature," Seifert said. "This is a matter of priorities. The Democrats ran on fiscal responsibility and leadership. They have failed to demonstrate either during their reign of confusion in the Minnesota House. When House Republicans are in charge, we will restore fiscal sanity by cutting the number of committees by more than 50 percent and returning costs to prior levels."

Seifert said he is most concerned about the upcoming legislative session.

"We have important issues we need to resolve and this process doesn’t make me confident that we will achieve those results," Seifert said. "In the private sector, failing businesses are often over managed and under led. The more than 80 House Democrat committees are too busy mopping the floor to take time and turn off the faucet."

Source: Marty Seifert

Also look at the House Committee structure chart under Democrat "leadership."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

DFL Woes

Right now, the D in DFL stands for debt

The party needs a $5,000 contribution just to meet this week's payroll. Competition among political campaigns, internal party disillusionment and extra staffing are complicating budgeting. State Republicans, meanwhile, have off-year fundraising troubles, too.
By Doug Grow
Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007

The DFL, which always has presented itself as the political party of the little guy, should have more empathy than ever for all of those Minnesotans living check to check.

A year before a huge election, the party is in debt. Meeting its own payroll has become a week-to-week, white-knuckle ride. One of its big fundraising events of the year lost $48,000. And to complicate matters, a major union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), is on the verge of leaving an important DFL campaign committee.

Read more....

And another article by Doug Grow....

DFL party problems go deeper than finances and debt

There were no signs of unrest. No hard questions about the red-ink budget.

When the DFL Central Committee, a vast body of activists who run the party, met Saturday at Prior Lake High School, good feelings filled the air about financial and electoral successes that surely are just around the corner. Even when the party's chairman Brian Melendez said the party may not be out of debt until January, no one blinked.

All the good will inside the building almost covered the fact that there seem to be structural fissures in the party that could affect its campaign effectiveness next year. Some large bodies of the labor movement are "re-evaluating" their relationships with the DFL.

In both words and actions, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is the union showing the most unrest. But the AFL-CIO, the umbrella organization of unions representing 300,000 Minnesotans, also is cautiously expressing concerns about DFL leadership.


Take heart conservatives. I have a hunch the real cause of low contributions to the DFL has been misdiagnosed. Just maybe the high tax load the DFL always throws on taxpayers is affecting DFL donors! Maybe there isn’t enough moolah to go around. This is probably the case even though DFLers are frustrated that they could not get a $4 billion tax increase passed the conservatives and Gov. Pawlenty in the last legislative session. If they had won, then they would really be in a pickle for donations!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Washington Times Commentary

Socialist oil death spiral
Richard W. Rahn

Socialism always plants the seeds of its own destruction, and state-owned oil is no exception. Most people do not realize that about 90 percent of the world's liquid oil reserves are controlled by governments or state-owned companies. Exxon Mobil, the world's largest privately owned oil company, owns only 1.08 percent of the world's oil reserves, and the five largest private global oil companies together own only about 4 percent of the world's oil reserves.

There is enough liquid oil in the ground to last generations; and when oil sands and oil shale are included, there is enough oil to last centuries. If there were a truly free market in oil, with both the reserves and production owned and controlled by many competitive companies, the price of oil would be a fraction of today's price.

For the rest of the commentary, read this.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Continuing the Series

Making Haditha safe from car-bombs
How U.S. Marines license vehicles in Iraqi-style DMV operation

By Matt Sanchez

It's Tuesday morning, and the 5th battalion 10th Marines out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., are up early and won't be returning to their 'racks until very late.

By 0700 (7 a.m.), Iraqis have begun to form lines in the waiting area just in front of the Civil Military Operational Center, or CMOC, set smack dab in the center of downtown Haditha, directly across the street from the mayor's office.

The Marines had pinned tarps from the rooftop to the gates, so the growing line would have a bit of comfort. As the temperatures rise, a Marine hands out bottled water. Between the dirt-filled Hesco barriers and the C-wire (concertina wire, a modernized and much more effective version of barbed wire), the outside waiting space offers few places to sit. Iraqi women are led to the front of the line so they won't have to wait among the men.

Continue reading more by embedded reporter Sanchez.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Now you know

If you’re white, you’re racist! End of debate. Find out here.

Governmentium is active in Venezuela

Governmentium has been catalyzed by Hugo Chavez and is morphing into the radical form of totalitarium. Check it out here.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Rukavina on the Kool-Aid

Check out this article on True North.

Waterboarding with Ted

Source: Steve Kelley.

Ellison Drubbed By Massie

Mychal Massie
Vote fraud: Democrats' meal ticket

Claiming that to require photo IDs to vote in federal elections would disenfranchise minorities, the poor, women, elderly and young people, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., with the support of John Conyers, D-Mich., has introduced legislation in the House making any such requirements illegal. He asserts that "while photo IDs seem harmless, they are in fact the modern-day poll tax."

Read more....


A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element known to science. Its existence was proved during the hurricane, gasoline, and other issues of the last year or two. The new element has been named *Governmentium*.Governmentium (Gv) has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.These 312 particles are held together by forces called mo-rons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called pe-ons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take over four days to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of four years. It does not decay, however, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, as each reorganization will cause more mo-rons to become neutrons, forming iso dopes. This characteristic of mo-ron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever mo-rons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium -- an element which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium because, though it has only half as many pe-ons, it has twice as many mo-rons.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A Fine Officer

I just wanted to post this story as it focuses on one of the many heroic soldiers serving our country in Iraq. The following appeared in this Friday's Patriot Post:

Profiles of valor: Marine Corps Staff Sgt Bogart

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Daniel Bogart, leader of the 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon serving in Iraq, had just completed the disposal of two IEDs while under enemy fire. A traveling Humvee suddenly detonated another IED mere feet away from Bogart and a fellow team member. The explosion left Bogart’s eardrums damaged, and his fellow Marine sustained shrapnel wounds. As medics attempted to assist the injured Marines, Bogart insisted they stay clear, knowing there was another live IED in the area. Bogart then located and dismantled the explosive device, evacuated his partner, and then came back to conduct post-blast analysis before finally allowing medics to treat him.

Bogart is credited with disposing of over 11,000 pounds of unexploded ordnance during a seven-month tour in which his team conducted 170 missions. The father of two was recently awarded the Bronze Star with combat “V” for valor. “I wish they could give this award to my whole team,” Bogart said. “Nobody gets anything done on their own. When your team sets you up for success like this, you can’t go wrong.”

Elephant Herd Finally Returns

A while back I was presented with the following story, but it had consequences.

Sally was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a liberal Democrat, very much in favor of redistributing wealth.

She was deeply ashamed her father was a staunch Republican. Based on the lectures she had heard and chats with professors, Sally felt her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he earned.

One day she challenged her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and more welfare programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father.

He responded by asking how she was doing in school. Taken aback, she answered haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA. She let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is your friend Audrey doing?" She replied, "Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, never studies, and barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus. For her, college is a blast. She's invited to all the parties and lots of time she doesn't even show up for class because she's too hung over."

Her wise father suggested, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who has only a 2.0? That way you both will have a 3.0 GPA which certainly would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA."

Sally, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I have worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!"

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, "Welcome to the Republican party."

After reading this story, they asked if I agreed with it. I said, "Definitely! I believe in conserving what I have!" That was a mistake. They sent me away for diversity training and rehabilitation. However, try as they might, they could not convince me that it was fair. But when I discovered all the diversity trainers had 2.0 GPAs in college, they kicked me out! So I’m back, but not rehabilitated!

Elephant Herd

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Prayer For America

"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of speech and expression. We have ridiculed the time honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Robert Novak's Outlook

  1. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) committed the biggest blunder of her tenure by pressing the Armenian genocide resolution and then having to back down when her support vanished. She should have taken the advice of Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), who has opposed the Armenian proposal dating back to his days as an aide in the Clinton White House. Democratic support, once at more than 225 members, collapsed when Gen. David Petraeus, the Iraq commander, briefed congressmen individually and pointed out serious problems with Turkey created by the genocide resolution.
  2. The present inclination by Democrats is to quickly pass a slightly scaled-down version of SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program). That would present a tough decision to President George W. Bush. Should he veto the bill, even though he is likely to get overridden the second time around? Prominent congressional Republicans want a veto, advising that an override would not be all that bad.
  3. The "mother of all tax reforms" -- to be unveiled Thursday by House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) -- is for show rather than play. It certainly won't pass the Senate and probably won't even get to the House floor.
  4. In a rare public Democratic split between two important Senate committee chairmen: Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) argues that the party's Pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules don't require offsets (tax hikes or spending cuts) to compensate for an AMT (alternative minimum tax) "patch," while Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) insists on PAYGO offsets. Baucus's position is a huge plus for Republican supply-siders.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Newt Tells It Like It Is

Of all the leftwing calls for surrender in Iraq -- of all the insults to our troops and hysterical attacks on our President -- one stood out this week.
It was even more outrageous because it came from an 18-term member of Congress.
And it was more outrageous still because it was said on the floor of the United States House of Representatives.

But first, let me give you some context, so you understand the full disgracefulness of the statement.

Last Thursday, House Democrats tried and failed to override President Bush's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) expansion bill.

Just as the President's rejection of the bill was about to be supported by a vote of the House, Congressman Pete Stark (D-Calif.) took to the floor and showed that just when you think the level of debate among the leftwing lunatic fringe can't sink any lower they surprise you.

Here's what Congressman Stark said on the floor of the House, accusing Republicans of funding the war in Iraq but not children's health: "You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people -- if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement."

By my count, in one ugly statement, Congressman Stark manages to level at least four vicious attacks: He accuses Republicans of indifference to children's healthcare needs; he demeans the sacrifice of our troops in Iraq; he grotesquely accuses the President of being amused by the deaths of our troops in Iraq; and he attacks the honor of the House of Representatives by uttering the words in the first place.
Of course Republicans immediately objected to Congressman Stark's comments. They demanded that he retract his statement and apologize. So what did he do?
Stark issued a statement saying Republicans should apologize for voting against SCHIP.
Newt Gingrich
Please Comment...Let us know how you feel.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Another Opinion on Kalin's Food Stamp Charade

Sometimes the clear differences between two politicians don’t show up in campaign debates or fancy literature. Instead they show up in a person’s everyday behavior and reveal the true depths of their character. I believe such behavior was displayed last week by our new state representative, Jeremy Kalin.

Kalin spent a week living on $3 worth of food per day to “raise awareness” that the government apparently doesn’t give enough food stamps to those in need. To the best of my knowledge, Kalin’s “raise awareness” stunt put no food on anyone’s table.

Now contrast that with his predecessor, Pete Nelson. During his years as a butcher, Nelson helped raise and donate thousands of pounds of food to local food shelves. He has volunteered his services in the Cows, Cows, Cows program since 2000, which has donated literally tons of food throughout east-central Minnesota. Countless thousands of our neighbors ate meals borne from Nelson’s sweat equity and generosity.

That to me shows better than anything what each person has to offer as a public servant. One spends his time making a symbolic plea for more government; the other rolls up his sleeves and goes to work, earning real results. Even though Pete Nelson is out of office, I am sure his generosity continues, because he didn’t do it for personal recognition. He did it because helping those less fortunate is the right thing to do.

I can’t say the same for Jeremy Kalin. I’m afraid we took a step backward last year by electing someone who apparently thinks symbolic gestures are enough to pass as public service. Our communities deserve better than that.

Kalin Does It on Three Bucks a Day

My reaction to Jeremy Kalin’s phoney attempt to live off a food stamp budget can best be described as “disgusted”.

I’m disgusted by the blatant hypocrisy Kalin engages in. On the one hand he pretends to be in sync with the plight of poor Minnesotans by only allowing himself $3 per day for food. But according to a recent report by WCCO television, Kalin’s other hand has been busy stuffing his pockets full of meal money to the tune of $66 per day, six days a week.

According to the report, Kalin took home $7,854 in daily per diem payments in his first session as our representative. If it’s true that food stamp recipients only have $3 per day to spend on food, then Kalin’s meal money from just this year would be enough to fund 7 years worth of food stamps for just one person.

Legislator’s per diem is not automatic, it must be specifically asked for. For Jeremy Kalin to ask for and receive 22 times more meal money per day than a typical food stamp recipient and then claim to be sympathetic to their plight is hypocritical and disgusting behavior.

Jeremy Kalin should be ashamed and we should all be disappointed that our representative believes he is entitled to such a lavish standard-of-living at taxpayer expense.

What Am I Doing On a Blog?

Ode to Elephant Herd

Oh! Elephant Herd where art thou?
Your thoughts and words are gone.

You left us without a leader,
Now, you sing an East Coast song.

Oh! Elephant Herd where art thou?
It’s gone, but not Goodbye,

If travel you must, I understand
I accept with a gasp and a sigh.

Oh! Elephant Herd where art thou?
Your instructions were so soothing.

You left me in charge and that’s OK,
But, I don’t know what I’m doing!

Oh! Elephant Herd where art thou?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Reagan Day Dinner Enjoyment

Check out this blog for an account of the Reagan Day dinner hosted by the Taylors Falls Republicans on September 14. Thanks to Teddy Bear for posting all the pictures. It was a success because you had an enjoyable evening.

Kalin doesn’t know Barrett answered him

The following letter to the editor from Kalin (D-17B) appeared in the October 18, 2007, issue of the Chisago County Press. It is reproduced here for the convenience of the reader since it is not online.

Let’s stick to the facts
To the editor:
I am writing to correct factual misstatements in Bob Barrett’s letter last week’s County Press. He disagrees with my effort for more accountability from MnDOT, and I respect him for expressing his views. However, I want to be sure that we are all working from the same basic facts.

First, stipends for the losing bidders of the I-35W design competition were originally set at $300,000 for each of the three losing design teams. Later, that amount was increased to $400,000 and then finally set at $500,000. Assistant Commissioner Bob McFarlin explained the increase due to adding a "light-rail ready" component to the bridge. However, on Public Radio’s Midday show on October 1, Linda Figg, the lead designer of the winning project, said the light-rail ready addition was "very easily incorporated into the design." McFarlin has yet to clarify the increased stipends in light of Ms. Figg’s statement.

Second, the letter writer accused me of making "false allegations" that a MnDOT employee spent as much as $26,000 of public money on personal travel. I only wish it were false. Sonia Morphew Pitt is being investigated by James Nobles, Legislative Auditor, for exactly this reason. Further, Mr. Nobles publicly stated that MnDOT likely violated the law by not alerting him of the possible violation when they learned of it. I have spoken personally with Mr. Nobles, and asked him to also verify that Ms. Pitt, the director of emergency management for MnDOT, is trained and certified in emergency management. An initial report is due in several weeks.

My hope is to have a bipartisan discussion about the best transportation policy options to make Minnesota’s roads, bridges and transit safe and well-maintained. To do so, we must all work from a common ground of verified facts.

Rep. Jeremy Kalin


Kalin is correct that facts are essential to a discussion about transportation. But Kalin can’t seem to get it straight what Bob Barrett wrote.

Point 1
Kalin claims Barrett "...disagrees with my effort for more accountability from MnDOT."

Barrett actually agrees with him for he previously wrote, Kalin "...rightfully complained that a MNDOT employee responsible for emergency management stayed at an east coast business conference and couldn’t be bothered to come home for 10 days after the bridge collapsed. This is a good and important question and deserves, at minimum, an honest answer."

Barrett is right. Kalin is wrong.

Point 2
Without any stated acknowledgment, by using the word "stipend" in the most recent letter, Kalin accepts Barrett’s corrective that "bonus" was the improper term for the stipends paid to the losing bridge bidders.

Barrett is right. Kalin now accepts the right term without acknowledging correction.

Point 3
While Barrett stated factually that "Stipends are common in very large design-build transportation projects and are paid out for legitimate public purposes," his main point was that Kalin used the term "excessive bonus" which makes it sound "...much more sinister..."

Barrett won this one as well, because Kalin stripped the prejudicial terminology from his discussion of the stipends in his letter above. (Kalin’s stipend paragraph above is written factually.) Kalin has a right to question the size of the stipends, but the size of stipends is dictated by state law. See here. As a Representative, he should know that.

Point 4
Kalin claimed Barrett "...accused me of making "false allegations" that a MnDOT employee spent as much as $26,000 of public money on personal travel" (italics added). Kalin misquoted Barrett who actually said Kalin made "...false accusations that this employee spent $26,000 of taxpayer paid travel on what Kalin referred to as "personal pleasure"." Kalin originally said, "...up to $26,000 of her taxpayer-paid travel was for personal pleasure" (italics added, see source).

Bear with me. Let’s sort this out to learn Kalin’s methodology of fudging on the facts.

Point 4a
Barrett is right again. Kalin now tones down "personal pleasure" to "personal travel." That doesn’t sound as bad.

Point 4b
The $26,000 comes from a Star Tribune article which states:
"Since July 2006, Pitt has scheduled 17 out-of-state business trips for herself, including an eight-day training session that was scheduled to start today in Emmitsburg, Md., for "crisis communication during emergency situations."

Including per diem payments, hotel, air fare, registration fees, ground travel and other expenses, all the trips combined cost at least $26,400, documents show."
Clearly not all $26,400 was for personal pleasure because at least one training session is identified. Kalin hedged his words by saying, "...up to $26,000 of her taxpayer-paid travel was for personal pleasure" (italics added, see our earlier comments).

Kalin hedged his words, but clearly intended to make this sound as bad as possible. Barrett identified it as a false accusation because he apparently looked at the intent of the statement.

Barrett is right because Kalin’s intention is obvious, while he tried to cover it up with "up to."

Kalin wants facts, but Kalin can’t even represent Barrett accurately. There is major spin in almost everything Kalin writes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kalin’s Spin Machine

The LAC approved $60 million for Mn/DOT from cash reserves until federal money arrives. Rep. Kalin (D-17B) posted this press release on the subject.

He wrote, "It became clear that the Governor's temporary request was not to keep the bridge replacement on track but rather the other projects around the state on track. The TCAG short-term authorization ensures that 2008 planned projects can proceed, along with the unexpected 35W bridge replacement."

It’s getting impossible to believe what Kalin writes. Either he has a distorted view of reality so that he writes what he believes or he deliberately changes reality to smear and gain votes.

Of course Mn/DOT can’t replace the bridge and do the scheduled transportation projects on the budget that it had for the scheduled transportation projects! It is a given the bridge needs to be rebuilt even if that means putting other projects on hold. No one in the administration or Mn/DOT wants that.

Furthermore, no one was asking for more money for scheduled transportation projects until the bridge collapsed and until the promised $195 million for the bridge from the feds was jeopardized by a threatened veto because of excessive pork in the bill. Apparently Kalin refuses to understand basic cash flow.

Kalin wants to turn it on the Governor that his request for $195 million (with $60 million approval) was to cover un(der)funded 2008 planned projects rather than the I-35W bridge. Kalin is playing politics again.

The Star Tribune article does not support Kalin’s take. It says, "In legislative hearings over the past three weeks, MnDOT officials revealed an upcoming cash crunch related to replacing the I-35W bridge (italics added)." It cannot be clearer than that. The Pioneer Press does not support Kalin’s statement either.

Kalin loves innuendo, stretching the truth, ignoring facts, manufacturing suspicion and operating the spin machine. I cannot trust anything he says.

Krinkie on Mn/DOT

Chisago County is GOP has had a poll open, asking if Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau should resign. While the Dems want to make political hay by calling for her resignation, Phil Krinkie attempts to address the real problems. This opinion piece is found on True North, which got it from St. Paul Legal Ledger.

A New Commissioner At MnDOT Would Have Little Impact

By Phil Krinkie

When the state legislature wrapped-up a special session in one day last month, Minnesotans thought that they would get a break from politics for a few months until state lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene in February. But it seems some legislators just can't pull themselves away. They persist to debate transportation funding with a "he said, she said don't blame me, it was MnDOT's fault" attitude. All of these discussions seem to end with a standard DFL solution, a call for Lt. Governor Molnau to resign as Commissioner of MnDOT, a position she has held for the past 4½ years.

Some of the loudest voices calling for her resignation are State Senator Steve Murphy, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, and Speaker of the House Margaret Kelliher.

While they are certainly entitled to their opinion, after serving in the Legislature for 16 years, I would take a very different tack. What seems to be lost to these legislators, and the public at large, is that MnDOT is a huge bureaucracy, and given its current structure, it is doubtful that anyone can manage that Department effectively. A change at the helm will not fundamentally change MnDOT's operations. Real change will only come through a great deal of legislative leadership and the courage to change the status quo.

Read more....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Design-build Bid Explanation

The Mn/DOT web site has a significant amount of information about the process of selecting the contract for building the I-35W bridge.

There is an explanation of the evaluation for the bridge replacement proposals. The scores for each of the bids that were determined by each of the six people on the technical review committee are provided on page 12 of this document.

The Department of Administration has also submitted a document entitled Bridge Replacement Project Protest Determination. The bidding process is reviewed in this document. I call attention to one specific point made in the introduction.

Finally, it goes without saying that the enormity of the I-35W bridge tragedy has understandably resulted in unprecedented scrutiny of every aspect of the removal and rebuilding processes and has been the focus of intense public dialogue. Consequently, it is essential to provide assurance that significant efforts have been made to ensure that this protest response is as independent, objective and free of politics as possible. Specifically, the individuals signing it are its sole authors [identified on page 1]. Both are civil service employees who are protected in their jobs even if they happen to displease their agency head or other stakeholders. No elected or appointed officials were involved in any way with this document’s content. None attempted to influence the outcome. None requested or received a draft copy. None were aware of the findings and conclusions prior to its publication. The only other individuals who saw this document prior to its release were legal counsel assigned to this matter by the Office of the Attorney General and a state manager and an in-house legal resource in the Administration Department’s Materials Management Division who reviewed for form and clarity.

Bridge Funding

Pawlenty asks Legislative Advisory Commission to approve request for additional appropriation

Today, October 15th, the Governor sent a letter to the LAC to request approval of sufficient funds to commence building the bridge. Read the news article....

The LAC is comprised of Senators Larry Pogemiller, Richard Cohen, Steve Murphy and Michael Jungbauer and Representatives Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Loren Solberg, Bernard Lieder and Doug Magnus.

The LAC met today. Here is the story.

Stopgap spending on roads, bridges sets up showdown
Legislators OK spending $60 million to stop delays. Pawlenty sought at least $145 million.

By Pat Doyle

Seeking to avert a threatened slowdown in road and bridge construction, legislators on Monday authorized the state to spend $60 million more over the next several months to keep projects on schedule.

But Gov. Tim Pawlenty said the extra money probably won't be enough to rebuild the Interstate 35W bridge and keep other needed construction projects on pace through the first half of 2008.

Finish the story here.


The Dems just can’t give all the necessary funding for the bridge because that would remove the most significant reason to conduct their desired oversight of Mn/DOT and make political hay. Kelliher thinks there is a veil of secrecy at Mn/DOT. If this were a Dem administration, the LAC would have itched to give more to Mn/DOT than what was requested. These people go out of their way to stick their fingers in the eyes of the Governor and Lt. Governor.


Here is the Pioneer Press article on LAC approving $60 million for bridge work.

And now two Minnesotans have filed suit against Mn/DOT for awarding the bid for the bridge. Read here and here.

Brian McClung, communication director for the Governor, wrote an editorial, stating that federal regulations make the state-hired bridge collapse investigation information confidential until the NTSB report is final. Here is one paragraph he wrote:
"Nevertheless, the Strib reporters, in what has become an all-too-common occurrence, virtually ignored the information provided to them in order to stir up a tempest with their article. Although the Minnesota Department of Transportation told the reporters that federal law required the investigative information to be nonpublic prior to completion of the NTSB's investigation, that fact was buried in the eighth paragraph, and the opposite sentiment was expressed in the headline."