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Tis The Season…

January 9th, 2009 by Kevin

…to watch your wallets.

It\’s that time of year again! The politicians are back to work.

Our state legislature is back in session, with new legislators taking their oaths earlier this week. Now they begin to deal with the $5 billion dollar deficit that Minnesota faces. And it will be an interesting battle since the DFL is apparently unwilling to make any sacrifices themselves….no, that\’s just something the common folk do.

But even worse….our Congress critters are in session as well. And while it\’s amusing to watch the drama that is Franken vs Coleman and Blagovich/Burris vs Everyone, it\’s also serious. With Obama ready to let the US run over a trillion dollar deficit, it suddenly makes Minnesota\’s troubles look petty.

But the drama doesn\’t stop there. On the first day of the 111th Congress, over 400 pieces of legislation were introduced. Some of them mundane and routine, others…..not so much.

H.J.RES.1: Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
I applaud the effort, but with his Holiness already talking trillion dollar deficits, it seems a bit unlikely to happen.

H.J.RES.5: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.
The author Rep. Jose Serrano must be a big Obama fan and is already setting him up to be declared King-For-Life. Just when I thought we were getting over the dynastic presidential politics we\’ve been stuck in for the last couple decades.

H.J.RES.7: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution to provide for a balanced budget for the United States Government and for greater accountability in the enactment of tax legislation.
There were actually quite a few of these. There were also a lot preventing the automatic pay raise that our Congress critters get. Once again, I applaud the effort

H.R.19: To require employers to conduct employment eligibility verification.
Baby steps….in a week all federal contractors are required to use E-Verify, and already 100,000 businesses are using it. This is the next logical step….it\’s that L word that\’s the reason it hasn\’t a chance in hell of passing Congress.

H.R.24: To redesignate the Department of the Navy as the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps.
Well this is just gonna piss off a certain Marine I know who loves to say that \”Yeah, the Marines are a department of the Navy…..the Men\’s Department\”.
Psst, CC, send your complaints to Rep. Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3]

H.R.25: To promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national sales tax to be administered primarily by the States.
Abolishing the IRS… God bless you sir!! Although I\’m not sure I like the administered by the states part. I\’m already paying out my ears for a \”better Minnesota\”, I don\’t think I can afford the whole country as well.

H.R.39: To preserve the Arctic coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, as wilderness in recognition of its extraordinary natural ecosystems and for the permanent good of present and future generations of Americans.
Declare ANWR off limits? Sure!! After all, no need to drill further. It\’s not like gas prices will ever go up ever again. That whole supply vs demand thing is just a myth!!

H.R.48: To amend section 42 of title 18, United States Code, popularly known as the Lacey Act, to add certain species of carp to the list of injurious species that are prohibited from being imported or shipped.
Well the economy is going to hell. We\’re still at war. Terrorists are everywhere. Iran damn near has the bomb. Tom Cruise is making movies again. But heh, at least we got that carp thing figured out right?? We\’re making possession of carp a felony offense….God bless America!

H.R.73: To provide for the collection of data on traffic stops.
Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee is still on her racial profiling kick. Everyone say it with me….\”Aaaaaah, isn\’t she cute!\”. Heh, at least I wasn\’t being racist! At the very least, at least Rep. Jackson has given up her search for the flag Neil Armstrong planted on Mars……no, seriously.

H.R.157: To provide for the treatment of the District of Columbia as a Congressional district for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives, and for other purposes.
Proposed by the non-voting delegate from DC…..everyone say it with me….\”Aaaaah, isn\’t he cute!\”. See now it\’s not sexist! Wait…..it\’s a woman?? Seriously? Wow, I mean I guess I looked at the picture and just figured. Well shucks….sorry, my bad.
Either way I can just imagine her stamping her feet on the house floor, whining that she wants to join the club.

H.R.201: To provide that no automatic pay adjustment for Members of Congress shall be made in the year following a fiscal year in which there is a Federal budget deficit.
I think every member of Congress proposed a variation of these. That\’s gonna be a fun conference committee.

H.R.226: To prevent the Federal Communications Commission from repromulgating the fairness doctrine.
Even Obama has suggested he\’s not going for this but never hurts to be sure.

H.R.257: To prevent children\’s access to firearms.
Oh I see!! I didn\’t realize it was that simple!! If we have a law saying don\’t do it, then it won\’t happen!! Oh it makes perfect sense!!! Too bad we don\’t do that with things like murder, rape, robbery, assault, etc. Actually it\’s just Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee off her racial profiling kick and now on her \”guns are evil!\” kick.

S.J.RES.1: A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to limiting the number of terms that a Member of Congress may serve.
But if they can\’t serve in Congress, what else are they gonna do? Who the hell is going to hire an ego-driven drooling moron for any other job??

S.6: A bill to restore and enhance the national security of the United States.
It\’s amusing this was proposed by Senator Harry Reid. Yeah the guy that declared that the war in Iraq is lost and The Surge© has failed wants to lecture the rest of us on how to keep America safe. See what I mean about ego-driven drooling morons?? Seriously, not even McDonalds would hire this guy!

S.38: A bill to establish a United States Boxing Commission to administer the Act, and for other purposes.
Because with all our nations problems, the one that really stands out is the state of boxing. This one was proposed by John McCain, which kinda makes you wonder. Was this one of his big agenda items if he had been elected President?

Oh and there were approximately one metric shit ton of bills on immigration….from both sides of the issue. Kinda making me re-think my prediction that immigration would not become a huge issue this session.


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Minnesota Needs To Learn The First Rule Of Holes

December 19th, 2008 by Kevin

First Rule of Holes : When you find yourself in one, stop digging.

It would be awfully nice if our Minnesota legislators could comprehend that simple fact.  Minnesota faces a huge budget crisis this next legislative session.  Exactly figures depend on who you ask but it seems to fall around the $5 billion range.  With a deficit like that severe across the board cuts are all but a certainty.  However, to at least stop the bleeding it seems like we should stop digging our own grave and stop the out of control spending.

Fortunately, at least one legislator, Rep. Kohls, understands this basic concept and is asking Minnesotans to join him in demanding a spending freeze.  You can sign the peitition here, but you should also talk to your legislator.  Explain to them the First Rule of Holes.

[Crossposted at True North]


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What Is A Wild??

October 7th, 2008 by Kevin

\"\"That is the question which has bothered Minnesota sports fans since the beginning of time….assuming time started in 2000. The logo doesn\’t help either….trees, a star, a moon, a stream and some type of, presumably predatory, animal.

What exactly is a Wild is something hockey fans were wondering as soon as the name was announced. However, at the time it was mostly important because what the hell do you put on a jersey?? Once the previously mentioned species-ambigious logo was created it became less important….one unlikely to ever really be answered.

\"\"That is until the Wild decided they need a mascot. So now the age-old question of \”What is a Wild\” would be answered. Then again….apparently not, because the \”answer is this…..thing, named \”Nordy\”, that looks like Yogi Bear had a torrid affair with Alvin the Chipmunk…probably right before he ate him.

At the very least at least they didn\’t have to come up with a mascot to go with this jersey.


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Post-Wrapup Wrapup

June 3rd, 2008 by Kevin

There were a few responses to my MN GOP Convention Wrapup, and I think there is more that needs to be said on a couple points….and the following points are almost going to guarantee I piss everyone off.

First of all, just because a group is a minority, doesn\’t mean they don\’t have the right to be heard.  And while one commenter tried to pass them off as an extremely small minority it\’s clear they weren\’t.  Roughly 400-500 people attended Paul\’s rally on Friday morning.  That\’s a quarter of the convention delegates.  It\’s certainly not that 1.x% that some keep passing them off as.

But really doesn\’t the percentage matter?? No.  It\’s not up to any committee or party leader to decide who gets heard.  That\’s up to the delegates.  For the nominating committee to pre-emptively decide that certain groups should even have a chance to make their case is wrong.  For a chairman to exclude someone who has a clear following, no matter how small is wrong and demonstrates bias.  That is wrong.

Of course the Ronulans share some blame here as well.  As a group they engaged in very caustic behavior early on, which raised the hackles of many Republicans early on.  Early on they left the impression as a tinfoil hat crowd intent on a no-prisoners scorched earth approach to politics.  Clearly they made no friends up front and the repercussions of that continue to haunt them even today.

Perhaps even more to their disadvantage was the clear inexperience of most of their numbers and clearly their leadership.  While I know for a fact that at least some of their numbers have been party members for awhile and are not new to the process, as a group they clearly were.  Parliamentary chess is an art form at best, and a mind-numbingly pain in the ass at worst.  But knowledge of Robert\’s Rules and parliamentary politics are a pre-requisite for anyone hoping to achieve anything.

That knowledge was not evident amongst most of the Ronulans.  More than a few times I quite clearly saw where they were trying to go and what they were trying to accomplish.  How to get there was obviously unknown to the Ronulans, but was pretty obvious to many others.  I remember several instances where I remarked to the person standing or seated next to me that \”Ohhhh, I think [the Ronulans] got [the chairman] on this one…..\” but predictably the Ronulans would foul up the attempt by insisting instead upon abusing points of order/privilege by grandstanding.  Guess what?  Points of Order/Privilege don\’t actually accomplish anything…you have to make a motion.  And here you just screwed up your chance at the mic with whining instead of progress.

The Ronulans had a heck of a networking system setup, including text messaging like an infinite number of monkeys on a infinite number of phones.  But instead of offering up a work of Shakespeare they offered up pointless complaints rather than a substantive motion.  Almost depressing really that a sizeable group can reach that leave of cohesion and organization but not be able to accomplish anything.

In the end I think one of my commenters said it best, and I think it can be applied to all sides, and that is the old adage:

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

Here\’s to hoping we wise up before November, although I bet a round of drinks against it.

[Crossposted to True North]


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MN GOP State Convention Wrap-Up

June 1st, 2008 by Kevin

If had to describe the entire convention in one word, it would be \”clusterfuck\”.

Very poorly run and I don\’t think it\’s unfair to blame the party\’s leadership for quite a bit of it. This thing was destined to fail before the doors were even opened. The rules stated that all had to meet with the nominating committee far in advance in order to be placed on the ballot. Many delegates were not made aware of this in advance. I know at least one person in my own BPOU who intended to run for national delegate and felt that he was on the list but had not been informed he had to inform a phantom nominating committee a week ago and had to be down in Rochester far in advance to interview with them. Having such items in the rules and then not distributing them before said deadlines is definitely in poor form and gives the impression that results are being dictated by leadership.

Speaking of leadership, every single one of the chairs could take a few lessons in class and please check your ego at the door. Chairs are supported to remain unbiased, but that was clearly not the case. An aura of arrogance wafted over the front podium the entire convention. I don\’t think it needs to be said that making faces and rolling your eyes at people who ask questions is not exactly good etiquette for a \”leader\”.

And while having an arrogant ego-driven chair is bad enough, if the body feels they have no say in anything, it\’s only going to encourage bitterness. There was quite often that votes were taken and yeah we held up cards and stood up, but there is no way votes were actually counted. Repeated requests were made for that to happen and they never did. I\’ve never seen this done before, at other conventions if a vote is close a vote count is done. You can\’t tell me that can\’t be accomplished….what do we have tellers for? Nothing encourages bitterness against an arrogant chair than feeling you don\’t have a vote and your voice is silenced.

Speaking of being silence, the Ron Paul folks got a raw deal at the convention. And anything that has read any of my material knows I am no fan of Ron Paul and his more boisterous supporters. But what possibly could have been the harm in allowing him to speak?? It\’s not like anybody didn\’t already know what he\’s about?? And even if they didn\’t, what are you afraid of?? And what would be the harm of allowing Ron Paul delegates on the ballot. If the didn\’t have the votes to get them in, which they almost certainly didn\’t, then what does it hurt?? Why is the party leadership so afraid of letting a sizeable minority be heard and/or representing. The only thing they accomplished is alienating many of his supporters.

And who set up the schedule of this convention. First of all, here\’s a concept….breaks. Especially the lunch related ones. People need a break occasionally. Lunch is a necessary function, and people get crabby when they don\’t get it. Plus all day Friday we were constantly doing grind work. As a result tempers and bitterness compounded. Past conventions were frequently interrupted with rah-rah speeches and words of wisdom from various people. It breaks up the convention, let\’s tempers cool and let\’s everyone catch their breath. Instead we had 12 straight hours of work work on one day and then a full day off speeches and fun stuff the next day….a day when many people had already gone home.

It probably doesn\’t need to be pointed out that parliamentary fights and Robert\’s Rules knowledge contests absolutely kill the enthusiasm of new folk. If I was a new delegate this year, I doubt I would return next year. Hell, if this is how our current leadership is going to run things every year, I\’m not sure I will be back. Why bother if nobody has a word about anything??

And leadership has to do a better job of checking out the physical location of the convention. Very poorly laid out. Everything was scattered all to hell and back. Why one would choose to hide the concessions and boothes in a side room, or put credentials a block away is beyond me. Nothing was labeled very well so getting around was difficult. And having a setup where the chair couldn\’t see the audience was not only inconvenient for all involved, but gave the impression that the chair was intentionally ignoring certain folk….and it did certainly appear that way at times.

And the leadership should have been out in front of the whole McCain campaign. It is clear they were behind the Conservative Delegate Team, whose infamous letter started things out very poorly right from the start. The also made their presence very very apparent on the floor as well. Every time there was a vote, they run up and down the aisles holding up signs telling people how to vote. Guess what….we\’re adults, we can figured out how to vote by ourselves. Not to mention they need to realize that very few of the delegation were McCain delegates. For most of us McCain was about our 12th option and there is no loyalty there to their cause. In fact, they mostly just pissed people off and very likely just drove a wedge between themselves and some delegates.

I fear we concluded this convention more divided than every before. And because of many of the words that were spoken and the arrogance and incompetence displayed by party leadership, I doubt that many of this rifts will ever truly heal. This year may be quite a bit more interesting than it needs to be.

[Crossposted at True North]


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Elephant House Still Open

May 31st, 2008 by Kevin

Well….we\’re still here.

Today kicked off with songs, lots of patriotic songs. An interesting start to the day. I\’m wondering if they were trying to sooth away the rough edges from yesterday.

Today started off with a speech by Pawlenty and as usual his speech was an excellent one, and hopefully started us off on the right foot.

So far it\’s just been speeches. Reports from party officers. Dorothy Fleming, in her speech, remarked how the Republicans Party is not the party for \”Al Gore wannabes\”. I\’m not sure if that was a poke at McCain or Coleman or both. Both have revealed their \”I wanna be like Gore\” stripes in the last few days…much to the disgust of many.

Hopefully today is a calm boring day….but I\’m not optimistic. I\’ve talked to many delegates who are expecting some of the delegates to try to revoke Pawlenty\’s credentials as national delegate again. Reason for this is he never met with the nominating committee as the rules dictate he had to….and which all other candidates had to.

UPDATES :

10:22 – Basically it looks like we\’re just doing speeches today….Brian Davis is an AWESOME speaker. He went on about how he rejects Cap-And-Trade and the \”global warming religion\”. The ENTIRE delegation stood up and applaud. Why Coleman thinks it\’s a good idea to support the upcoming Warner-Lieberman \”I love Al Gore\” bill is beyond me.

10:36 – We took a break from speeches to hear the results on platform resolutions voting yesterday. Basically everything passed with two exceptions…

Item #13 failed to such a large degree that according to the rules it is not subject to further debate. It deleted the following from the platform:

That the lawful definition of a \”Human Being\” shall be : \’When the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) of Mankind is joined\’

Item #49 also failed to reach the 70% margin, but barely….it didn\’t pass by 0.1% (actually failed by one vote reportedly). But according to our rules, it can be debated. It was briefly debated and then voted on again. It passed. This item reads as follows :

Ending United State participation in the United Nations

Debate was barely necessary as it then passed overwhelmingly.

10:44 – Battery getting low….time to charge.

10:50 – Nevermind, the fine folks at 1280 AM – The Patriot allowing me use of one of their plugins and are letting me just hibernate in their corner of the convention. Yeah for electrons!

10:57 – Barb Davis just spoke….excellent speaker! Her personality and energy always comes across in her speeches. Definitely perked the crowd up.

11:00 – Oh by the way, for those that didn\’t know….Karl Rove is our keynote speaker today…due to speak in about one hour.

11:09 – Ron Carey is proposing a potential new agenda for the Republican Party, as he terms it a \”Common Sense Agenda\”. For the most part it is a fairly good one, and is being well received.

11:10 – Ron Carey is giving out Volunteer of the Year awards.

11:26 – Marty Seifert is here in The Patriot area now….presumably to be on air soon. It\’s fun watching Chad and Brian talk on air. Alot of the usual conversational stuff (hand gestures, etc) happens but never makes it on air….slightly amusing.

12:30 – I wasn\’t posting because there was a lot of parlimentary shenanigans going on that I wanted to pay attention to. There was an effort to adjourn to head off any attempts to revoke Pawlenty\’s national delegate credentials.

It failed….so we had the battle on the floor. And it was quite \”interesting\”. Ultimately an exemption was granted to Pawlenty. However, in the midst of it a particularly statement was made on the floor that argued for the exemption, both Ron Carey and Tony Sutton stood up from their seats at the front of the room and vigorously applauded. Absolutely classless act by both of them.

Then another attempt to adjourn was made to head off any further shenanigans. It passed and we are now officially adjourned.

Karl Rove is speaking….he\’s good….

….lots of red meat for the base. Karl Rove knows all the key points and he hits every single one.

After this is the State Central Committee Meeting….I may pick up this liveblog again there.

4:30 – Eh, nevermind….nothing much happened during the State Central Committee meeting.  The Bylaws were changed to make it more difficult to call an unscheduled State Central Committee meeting.  And the results of the FEC audit were released.  Let\’s just say the Executive Committee was unreasonably sensitive about anyone asking questions about the results.  But basically the end results were that there were a couple bookkeeping errors, mostly because the FEC rules are f-ing impossible to comprehend.


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The Elephant House Opens

May 30th, 2008 by Kevin

The state convention has begun….as usual, very late. It\’s 10:30 and we\’re just now seating alternates. Although being a delegate, not an alternate, I barely care.

While bloggers did get the shaft this year from the GOP we are definitely in attendance. So far I\’ve seen Andy Aplikowski, Derek Brigham, Scott Brooks, Martin Andrade, Jerry Ewing, Chad Elder and Michael Brodkorb. Presumably Andy and Michael will both also be live-blogging.

Ron Paul folks had their rally this morning outside. Ron Paul is still outside shaking babies and kissing hands, because they won\’t let him in the door. His supporters tried a reshuffling of the agenda which was roundly defeated. So either they have very little support here or else unlike most of their other actions it wasn\’t very well organized.

The Minnesota Conservative Team, which I mentioned yesterday, is definitely in attendance. They have their banners and fliers all over the place. From the nature of their letter it appears they are mostly an anti-Ron Paul group. And on all the chairs is lots of anti-Ron Paul literature….although none of it has text identifying the person or group that distributed it. I believe that is a big no-no by the rules….even if not, it is definitely a cheap and underhanded ploy….and I say that as someone that is no fan of Ron Paul.

I\’ll update if anything exciting happens….but more than likely I would expect this spot to be rather silent for
a couple hours. It\’s mostly parlimentary hullabalooh at this point.

UPDATES:

11:38 – A nice rowdy debate happening on the floor now. Basically the delegates are not taking to the State Party\’s collective power grab at the expense of the BPOUs. Ron Carey even got booed at one point when he tried to defend the state party.

12:00 – A motion was just made to have all literature that wasn\’t endorsed collected from the floor….basically all the anti-Ron Paul stuff. It\’s a very good point and very valid. Although I suspect that most of this material had the unofficial approval of the state party.

12:15 – Ok folks are STILL making a shit-storm about the \”illegal material\” on the floor, asking for those that distributed it are removed from the floor. Problem with that is that the reason the material is illegal is nobody knows who distributed it since it\’s not endorsed by anyone.

2:30 – Ok sorry for the gap in time there, but there are no outlets on the floor so I had to recharge my battery. Luckily the fine folks at 1280 AM – The Patriot were kind enough to allow me to plug into one of their outlets and keep an eye on my laptop so I could return to the floor.

Basically things have been rather crazy here on the floor. There has been a great deal of complaining and disagreement. Recently the chair had to go to the mic to remind people that we\’re all supposed to be respectful of each other here…..basically a \”calm down, same team\” speech.

Most of the debate has been on the ability of the Ron Paul people to have their names entered into consideration for nomination as a National Delegate. They\’ve been defeated and turned down at every turn, both from rulings from the chair and votes from the floor. I actually kinda admire their spirit and they have gotten pretty creative with their motions…I thought they even had the chair beat on one motion, but a technicality of Robert\’s Rules got them. I do have to say though that their delay tactics and repeated complaining is not winning hearts and minds here on the floor. In fact it\’s really starting to piss people off.

4:45 – I got sick of the bickering and chaos, so half of my BPOU left to go get a beer (or three) and a bit to eat, as there was no break for lunch. So we did that. If you\’re ever in Rochester, I\’d like to recommend Newt\’s Bar near the corner of 2nd St and 1st St NE. Good burgers, good beer, good atmosphere, good times.

Came back and was met at the door by Chief of Freedom Dogs who let me know that yeah we endorsed Coleman while I was gone but now two delegates are tying things up with a pissing contest about some shenanigans at the CD1 Convention. Why the rest of us care, is beyond me but apparently according to the rules it must be resolved here at the State Convention.

Coleman apparently gave a very impassioned speech and hit on a number of topics. Apparently one of the corner stones of his speech was border enforcement….which is very amusing considered he\’s never voted in favor of border enforcement.

5:00 – SHIT! It just started hailing….marble sized….my vehicle is stuck on the top level of a parking ramp. I sense an insurance claim coming on.

5:05 – 1280 AM The Patriot is on the air…I should give them a plug since they\’ve been charging my laptop for me. On the plus side though, Chief of Freedom Dogs, Andy of Residual Forces and myself have commandeered the TV camera platform….and there are power outlets up here!!!

5:10 – John Kline just spoke….probably the only uncontested portion of the convention so far.

6:00 – Had to go move my vehicle….parking was scarce down here this morning so I got stuck in a garage that was going to be cleaned and had to get my vehicle moved by 6. Personally I think it was just the union\’s way of sticking it to the GOP that the cleaning was rescheduled for this weekend.

6:30 – Yeah! We\’re voting on platform resolutions….is it possible that we may get out of here on time???  I don\’t believe that!


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EckerNet Has Arrived….

May 29th, 2008 by Kevin

….at the Minnesota Republican State Convention in Rochester, MN.

Attended the pre-rally and the reception afterwards. Rally was pretty nice…as far as rallies go. I mean one can only put up with so much rah-rah speeches before it gets stale. But it was nice to hear from legislators I\’ve seldom heard from, from areas of the state I seldom get to.

Brian Davis was a fairly impressive speaker, as was Ed Matthews. Now normally one would label Ed Matthews as the sacrificial lamb in the 4th District race, since it is pretty safe DFL territory, however, Ed certainly has a plurality of energy.

\”Surprise\” speaker of the night was Tom Coburn, the Republican stalwart of Oklahoma….whose young granddaughter apparently thought that Minnesota was a type of soda. He\’s one of the good guys in the US Senate and it was a pleasure to hear him speak. He repeated his appeal for Republicans to behave like Republicans. Although this mesage was somewhat muted since he then talked about how great McCain was.

Marty Seifert was the final speaker of the evening. For those of you that have never had a chance to hear Marty speak it\’s always a treat. And it helps that his words have always been backed by action.

But for the most part it was a relatively dull evening. Probably the most exciting moment was when a Ronulan briefly interjected Ron Paul\’s name into Coburn\’s speech which was met with spotty applause. However, Coburn\’s later rebuttal was met with overwhelming applause. This was just the opening rally so it\’s hard to determine what the breakdown will be but things may get interesting tomorrow.

I have a feeling that the anonymous anti-Ron Paul letter that was sent out to delegates/alternates earlier this week did more harm that good….at least from a unity perspective. There was much talk about the fact that Ron Paul will not be speaking at the state convention, although he will be speaking at a rally outside the state convention tomorrow morning. Personally I would support just letting Ron Paul speak at the convention because honestly….what\’s the harm?? It\’s not like any of the delegates doesn\’t already know what he\’s about.

In any case, so far the state convention is off to a relatively uneventful start. It may or may not continue that way. I\’ll liveblog anything exciting but otherwise I\’ll do my best to keep awake by catching up on political computer work.


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MN Legislature Closed For Business

May 19th, 2008 by Kevin

Finally our wallets and checkbooks are safe….for at least a little while. The MN legislature finished up their business. Sure we have to learn to live with the aftermath, but at least more abuse isn\’t coming down the pipeline from our legislature.

Good luck…


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GM For A Day

April 22nd, 2008 by Kevin

Well the MN Wild proved their Minnesota roots by bombing out in the first round of the playoffs again.  It\’s good to see that some traditions never die.  So it\’s time to look forward to next season.  Certainly changes need to be made, both out of necessity (salary cap) and to also improve the team.  So let me play GM for the day.  Good news is there is a young core that is locked into multi-year deals.

Goalies

Ok I think this is probably the one solid part of the team.  Backstrom didn\’t play bad, he just didn\’t have an offense to support him and defense didn\’t always do their job and clear away the garbage.

Yeah, there are some things to work on, controlling the rebound and improving on shootouts, are probably top on the to-do list right now.  And Harding is a pretty capable backup in my opinion, needs some experience but that will come with time.

Defensemen

First the obvious move, trade Skoula for a used puck bag…..or assuming we can\’t get that, I\’m willing to accept a set of broken laces.

I\’d like to keep a core of Schultz, Foster, Reitz and Burns to build a new team of blue-liners.  Keith Carney, Sean Hill and Petteri Nummelin are all unrestricted free agents and I\’m inclined to let them go.  I\’m not overly set on Johnsson but his contract isn\’t up yet so he would work as a decent stop gap measure for now.

Obviously we need to bring in a few blue-liners to replace our castaways.  I\’m not aware of any internal talent that is ready for the big league, so that means trading for something.

Forwards

First of all.  We. Need. Centers.  We need centers that can win faceoffs in the worst way.

We also need a cleanup man, Parrish was a step in the right direction.  But we need someone who can park his ass in front of the goals and get the garbage goals lucky bounces that make the difference in today\’s NHL.  Yeah, they aren\’t pretty but they count the same on the scoreboard.

I think we can split up the Hanson Brothers can\’t we???  Simon is an unrestricted free agent, let him go.

Short on contract time are Aaron Voros, Branko Radivojevic, Todd Fedoruk, Brian Rolston, Marian Gaborik, Pavol Demitra, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

Radivojevic is a tough call.  He seems to be making genuine efforts but when it comes down to it, his performance is sub-par.  At worst I would call him trade fodder, at best let\’s see what he\’s asking for a single year deal.

Todd Fedoruk….okay he\’s getting up there in years (UPDATE : wow…how sad, I just realized we\’re the same age) but he\’s got that rough edge I think we still need in a journeyman type player.  I\’m inclined to sign him for two years if the price is right

Aaron Voros….ooooh, Aaron, why do you do this to me.  I\’m still naive enough to think he can get that spark back.  I\’m probably wrong, but I\’d be tempted to see if he can\’t be resigned for a year.

Brian Rolston has been a workhorse for us….a very cheap workhorse.  His slapshot, his work-ethic and his \”See the hill, take the hill\” attitude would inspire me to resign the guy.  Yeah, he\’ll probably be more expensive but I think it\’s worth it.

Bouchard is probably our only young talent that isn\’t on a multi-year, let\’s rectify that.  I\’m not sure it\’s really that difficult to justify this one.

Now we\’re down to Gaborik and Demitra.  Which are basically a package deal, without Gaborik there is no reason for Demitra.  Personally I\’m of the opinion that Gaborik needs to go.  He\’s a good player yeah, but not for the price.  It\’s fairly obvious he\’s not happy in Minnesota, every season he\’s injured for several weeks and even when he\’s healthy he\’s streaky.  So when it comes down to it, you get half of a season out of a really expensive talent.  Yeah, he lost alot of his bargaining power with his flop in the playoffs but I still think now is the time to get something for him in a trade.

And I\’d like to point out that I wanted to trade Randy Moss after his first breakout year when we could still get something for him.  At the time it was \”crazy talk\”, years later we trade him for peanuts.  Do we need to put ourselves in the same bag with Gaborik??  And since he\’s being traded away, do the same with Demitra.  It\’s just too bad we had to lose O\’Sullivan for him.

A few players in there we can lose that should be good trade fodder to meet most of our needs.

Coaching

Ok coach Lemaire is a good coach yeah, but someone needs to sit his ass down and explain to him that calling out players in the local press isn\’t exactly going to inspire loyalty and hard work, just bitterness.  And the last thing we need is hockey players clinging to religion and guns on the ice.  Not to mention that anti-immigrant sentiment in sport of mostly Canadians and Europeans is a bad thing.


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