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Some swing state updates…Ohio looks like Romney is sneaking up.

The strong lead Obama was carrying in Ohio is seen as a tie in this poll. While other polls may be different, this one from the Cincinnati Enquirer is still upsetting:

You get what you pay for…

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 49% (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Minnesota: Obama 47%, Romney 44% (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (Priorities USA Action)

I’m really hoping that all these polls are not reality at all. They all  seem to  be set up to one side, left or right, by pollsters before they are taken.

For instance:

“…the Cincinnati Enquirer, a reliably conservative paper that virtually always endorses Republicans.  In 2008, they deftly endorsed John McCain without one word mentioning the walking time-bomb he had chosen as his Vice Presidential candidate.”

 – The Daily Kos

See what I mean?

Comedy Writer and Saturday Night Live Alum Tom Davis has Died


From the L.A. Times:

Franken & Davis on SNL

Davis died Thursday at his home in Hudson, N.Y., his wife, Mimi Raleigh, told the Associated Press. He had throat and neck cancer.

Classmates while growing up in Minneapolis, Davis and Franken developed stand-up routines in Minnesota and Los Angeles before landing the gig on “Saturday Night Live.” They wrote and performed on the show, creating the Coneheads characters and skits featuring Bill Murray‘s Nick the Lounge Singer.

As performers, Davis was the quiet one, overshadowed by the flashier Franken, who is now a Democratic senator from Minnesota. Davis told the AP in 2009: “If we were Sonny and Cher, he would be Cher.” The two had a falling out in 1990 but later reconciled.

Davis stayed with “SNL” from its first season until 1980, then returned for another run from 1985 to 1994 and again in 2002-03. He was among the “SNL” writers who shared Emmy Awards in 1976, ’77 and ’89. He won another writing Emmy in 1978 for a Paul Simon variety show.


Why is Ames, Iowa, the new Comedy Capital of the World?


Michele Bachmann won a straw poll of Iowa Republicans Saturday, confirming her status as the front runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in the state that kicks off the real voting next winter.

“Bachmann, a U.S. representative from Minnesota, edged out Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota finished a distant third, a disappointment for a man who freely invested time and money in search of a strong showing to boost his flagging campaign.”

The rest of the nation looks on with astonishment.

Minnesota: Is this the upcoming National Crisis in Miniature?

By Barb Kucera, editor of Workday Minnesota, where this articleoriginally appeared

Minn. government shutdown puts thousands out of work.

ST. PAUL – “Where are the damn jobs?” was the question posed by a sign at Thursday night’s State Capitol vigil. Not only were no jobs created during the 2011 legislative session, the state

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government shutdown that began at midnight put thousands of public and private sector workers out of work.

Minnesota’s sluggish economy, struggling to recover from the recession, will be rocked by the layoffs of 23,000 state employees and thousands of others as the effects of the shutdown ripples through local units of government, businesses and communities.

Some 10,000 construction workers immediately face unemployment due to the closure of all state-funded construction projects, said Harry Melander, president of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council.

At a vigil Thursday night, state workers filed before a microphone to list the litany of public services affected by the inability of state lawmakers to reach a budget agreement before Friday’s start of a new fiscal year. They ranged from adoption services and addiction programs to business licensing, pollution prevention and public health efforts.

“We want to work!” participants in the vigil chanted as darkness fell on the state Capitol. A sign on the building said it was closed until further notice due to the shutdown.

Failure to compromise

Minnesota labor leaders said Republican lawmakers, by refusing to address the state’s revenue shortfall, were to blame for the impasse that led to the shutdown.

“Their insistence on protecting millionaires has now resulted in a government shutdown that leaves thousands of public and private sector workers without a job,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson.

“While this shutdown will be harmful in the short-run, it is only a preview of what the GOP‘s all-cuts budget would look like.

“Governor Dayton has met Republicans halfway with a balanced solution that will hold the line on taxes for 98 percent of Minnesotans. We call on Republican legislators to join Governor Dayton in the middle and forge a compromise that will create jobs and protect the middle class.”

Jim Monroe, executive director of MAPE, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, said state workers “are being used as pawns in a budget impasse,” adding “It seems that legislative leaders do not understand the value that public services give to the quality of life in this state.”

Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5, the largest union of state workers, said, “We are saddened the Republican legislators would dispose of us like we are yesterday’s trash.”

In the coming days, both unions will be operating phone banks so members can call lawmakers to demand an end to the crisis and a fair budget.

They also plan a mass rally at the Capitol July 6 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dubbed the “Downeyville Rally” after state Rep. Keith Downey, who sponsored legislation to slash the state workforce, the event will dramatize the effect of the shutdown, in the same way impromptu encampments called “Hoovervilles” portrayed the devastation of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

A moral crisis

Participants in Thursday night’s vigil were joined by clergy from various faiths. The Rev. Paul Slack, pastor of New Creation Church in Brooklyn Park, spoke for many when he framed the debate in  moral terms.

Thousands of Minnesotans, especially the state’s most vulnerable residents, will be hurt by the shutdown and by many of the proposed budget cuts, he said.

“We need to pass a budget – not just a budget – but a budget that works for us all,” he said. “This is not a budget crisis. This is not even a revenue crisis. This is a moral crisis.”

For more information

View more photos on the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation Facebook page

AFSCME and MAPE have resources for laidoff state workers on their websites.

A local group, ShutDownRiseUp! will offer a free meal every day at 5 p.m. in Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis and the opportunity to organize around the shutdown.

What a great Sunday Morning…

Our friend the blackbird

Talked to Elly on the phone this morning while I was walking the dogs (and having the fifth day of our friendly red-winged blackbird following us around and making tight circles in the air around us!)  and she’s coming back tonight (her plane leaves Minnesota at 4:30 and I think she has to change flights in Milwaukee…2 hour delay) and my boys will be thrilled. They have so missed their Mama.

G. Bradley Sanders

I didn’t have to water Elly’s gardens this morning since we had a night of rain and thunderstorms (where Byron, my dog who is afraid of thunder, crawled under the bed where he barely fits to sleep in safety) which more than took care of all the plants. So, I went over to Mellow Moods where I had coffee with G. Bradley Sanders, who owns the Timberframe Folly site out in the woods south of town. This was a guy I really wanted to meet for three reasons: his creative history is pretty exceptional, he is putting together a “Folly” at the Folly in August… a 22nd Century Carnival… that I want to be involved in, and I wanted to talk to him about producing Philip Glass‘s chamber opera, The Photographer, at the Folly in a year or so.

The Folly

It’s nice speaking with another 65-year-old who, incidentally, told me he listens to John and me on WSHC Friday mornings. Anyway, now I’m a volunteer for his Carnival Folly… if you’d like to find out more about it, go HERE. Bradley also is willing to let me do The Photographer at the Folly, now I can proceed to my next stage… finding someone to coordinate the music and finding out how much this is going to cost, royalties and such, so I and get into fundraising.

So now I’m going to do the Cartoon(s) of the Week and then get back and give the boys their lunch.

Wow… three hours went by as I played with my new iPhone 4…

… so, of course, I didn’t do a damn thing on the blog (even though in the back of my head I could hear the broadcast of the House arguing about cuts to one thing or another and who is doing more to preserve Medicare) as I downloaded freebie apps and tried out the silliest ones I could find… moved my favorite iTunes songs over to the iPod in the phone and called Elly in Minnesota to tell her the phones came.

I’ll bet she can’t wait until Sunday to get back and play with hers.

At least the Podcast next Tuesday will have much better sound quality (and I finally found a music intro…a little snip from Offenbach) for those of you who tune in.

Oklahoma being hit by tornadoes RIGHT NOW!

5 to 6 funnel cloud storms around Oklahoma City are currently 9in progress…like something the local news commentator has “never seen before.”

Given this week’s tornado in Missouri and more in Minnesota, this year seems to be one of the most violent storm seasons in recent history.

Here in our area we have been soaked with long-running rains (although we are now in a two or three day dry period) and our rivers and streams are high and running with strong currents. I took my dogs for a walk today down by the Potomac and they didn’t have to go very far down the boat launch ramp to get their feet in the water.

Our climate is changing and it may now be giving us an indication of what the future may be like.

Quote of Stupidity



“God is not capricious. He’s given us a creation that is dynamically stable. We are not going to run out of anything.”

— Republican State Rep. Mike Beard of Minnesota on God’s infinite largesse and why it should put our minds at ease about strip mining the planet

(Thanks to Chez over at Deus Ex Malcontent.)


But retired environmental lawyer Chuck Dayton sees it another way. This from

He explains that the United Methodist Church said, “We, as stewards, have failed to live into our responsibility to care for creation,” the U.S. Catholic Bishops said that the Church’s “response to global climate change should be a sign of our respect for God’s creation,”  and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said, “We see the despoiling of the environment as nothing less than the degradation of God’s gracious gift of creation.”

“It’s just plain wrong-headed to think that divine intervention will fix everything,” Dayton says. “One could say, ‘Well, life persisted and got better [after the six mass extinctions in the Earth’s history], ’cause here we are, the pinnacle of creation, so that was all a part of God’s plan.’”

What? I’m not a Gemini any more?

Gemini Symbol

Gemini... the Twins

I was born on May 24 and for the entirety of my near 65 years on this Earth I have known that my Zodiacal Sign was Gemini (The Twins.) Now the Minnesota Planetarium Society’s Parke Kunkle claims that, due to a celestial accident in the Zodiac Chart made possible by millenia of small shifts in the planets annual Solar Rotation, the signs we all cast our futures by must be changed.

The new list:

Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16.
Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11.
Pisces: March 11-April 18.
Aries: April 18-May 13.
Taurus: May 13-June 21.
Gemini: June 21-July 20.
Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10.
Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16.
Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30.
Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23.
Scorpio: Nov. 23-29.
Ophiuchus*: Nov. 29-Dec. 17.
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.

(* Discarded by the Babylonians because they wanted 12 signs per year.)

So I am now a Taurus?


What if I want to remain a Gemini (think of all the symbolic tie clips and cufflinks that need to be changed worldwide… not to mention the framed fabric creation my late Grandmother made that hangs on my wall.) At least my wife gets to remain a Sagittarius (her fabric creation by my Grandmother can survive intact.)

And who the hell is Ophiuchus (the Serpent Bearer)?

The “Poster Boy of Close Campaigns” gives a hell of a speech…

Al Franken last week in Minnesota… and why we don’t give up when the pollsters and Chris Matthews and everyone else does in the last 6 days before the election…

Quote of the Day – Garrison Keillor on Michelle Bachman’s Reelection Campaign

“It’s embarrassing to me and a great many Minnesotans that Michele Bachmann, a politician who is so busy grandstanding and giving interviews on Fox News that she doesn’t have time to serve the people who elected her, represents the 6th District in Washington. Minnesota‘s 6th District has some of the highest foreclosure and unemployment rates in the state, but in an interview with the St. Cloud Times, Congresswoman Bachmann was unable to name any “substantive” legislation she had passed.”

– Garrison Keillor of A Prairie Home Companion

From The Raw Story: Bachmann says Bill Clinton trying to ‘take me out’

clipped from
The Minnesota Republican congresswoman who claimed that President Barack Obama nationalized “51 percent” of the economy has concocted a yet stranger fiction.
She believes former President Bill Clinton is trying to “take me out.”

bachmann Bachmann says Bill Clinton trying to take me out
“Because I’m using a statement like ‘gangster,’ I’m responsible for creating the climate of hate that could lead to another Timothy McVeigh and another Oklahoma City bombing,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) remarked at a recent fundraiser, referencing an earlier comment she made in which she called the Obama Administration a “gangster government.”
She continued: “I’m in my second term as a Congresswoman and the former president of the United States decides I’m important enough to take me out!”
The Minnesota congresswoman also referred to the League of Conservation voters as “radical extremists.”
“They’re all in to make sure I go down,” she added, to applause.

Listen to her here:

You gotta see this…

Ed Schulz was speaking at the Blue State Bash in Minnesota, and he really let the Obama administration have it… especially Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. After contending with Gibbs twice on the air last week, Ed had words with him off the air that he reported to the Minnesota crowd:

“I told him he was full of sh*t is what I told him. I mean I did. And then he gave me the Dick Cheney f-bomb the same way Senator Leahy got it on the Senate floor.”

“I told Robert Gibbs, I said ‘And I’m sorry you’re swearing at me, but I’m just trying to help you out. I’m telling you you’re losing your base. Do you understand that you’re losing your base?'”

You can listen to Ed here:

So…is there anything worse than an angry liberal? I sure hope not. Someone has got to make it clear to Gibbs and the rest that they are losing the base. You go, Ed!