Thursday, June 30, 2011

But it can't create jobs, right?

With teeth -- and arse -- firmly clenched, Craig Westover, the current mouthpiece for the Republican Party of Minnesota, has for a long time quoted dead Austrians for the proposition that government can't create jobs. It isn't true, but it is so far beside the whole point as to render a discussion with Captain Fishsticks a complete waste of time.

An article in the Strib today gives us a glimpse of why: State shutdown would put a big crimp in lending. Here's the lede:
Banks, auto dealers, farm implement dealers, new business start-ups and other enterprises are bracing for a significant disruption in commercial lending in the event of a government shutdown this week.
What you say? These people don't depend on the damn gubmint!

Sorry; they do. If the Secretary of State's UCC division cannot accept or file financing statements, lenders aren't going to lend. So borrowers aren't going to borrow.

It's too bad, too. Since you won't be able to occupy the state park campsite you reserved this weekend, you may have thought about going out to kick some tires or sit in that shiny new boat in the showroom. Just don't plan to buy it unless you have cash.

This is one small example of how business relies literally every minute on government.

We can hope this will be a teachable moment for guys like Westover.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mikey's on the bubble!

And so is Chas Anderson and David Strom and Margaret Martin. Just like the people who clean the restroom at the rest stops.

Here's Conclusion of Law #6 from Judge Kathleen Gearin's order appointing a special master to oversee the shutdown:
Is puppet master Brodkorb "core" or not? Someone will have to plead Mikey's case before Special Master Kathleen Blatz (a retired Supreme Court Chief Justice).

With a straight face.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Drinking Liberally: Bye Bye, Beck

Thursday evening's Drinking Liberally could be a wake for state government. But wouldn't you rather have a party?

That's what we're going to do. Thursday is also Glenn Beck's last evening on the air with Fox, so we're having a Bye Bye, Beck Party, an idea dreamed up by the boys and girls at the Other 98%.

Bring a sign, your best Bronx cheer, or a raspberry toast for Beck. It's the least you can do.

We'll be at our usual place, the 331 Club in northeast Minneapolis, from six to nine PM.

This is the map in the moving van

As it pulls out of Winterset, Iowa this morning with Marion Morrison's ancestral home disassembled and crated inside, this is the map in the cab.

Meanwhile, both Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin have advertised for the newly-created campaign position: revisionist historian.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Keeping Wikipedia revisionists busy

It is humbling to know that in my most uninhibited dialogues involving Michele Bachmann I cannot out Michele, well, Michele. Even someone who has not lived in Iowa for forty years knows, without looking it up, that Marion Morrison - John Wayne - was born in Winterset, Iowa. The fact that John Wayne Gacey was born in Waterloo, Iowa is pure bonus.

Heck, you can see Winterset from, say, Des Moines.

It is clear the the Wikipedia revisionists have their work cut out for them with both Palin (maybe) and Bachmann seeking the Republican nomination.

The image is Tild's.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The exorcism of Michele Bachmann

Bachmann is in the news, so I thought I would repost a link to a little serial I wrote when she ran for Congress the first time. Unlike Bill Prendergast's comics - which are based on Bachmann's actual quotes - Michele Bachmann's exorcism is fiction. Mostly.

Just to give you a flavor of the serial - the whole thing is at the link above - here are the first two episodes:
God: Listen up Michele!
God and Michele talk again
The photo is from Hardball.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Deputy's Six Percent Solution

As one of the chief Republican confidence men, Il Vacario always bears watching.

The Deputy's Six Percent Solution from Steve Timmer on Vimeo.

In the clip, Geoff Michel repeats the current meme of the MNGOP: we're proposing a six percent increase over the last budget. But that involves a sleight of hand that Two Putt Tommy explains:
In a nutshell, here's what happened during the 2009 Legislative Session: the February 2009 Forecast predicted revenues of $31.1 Billion (rounded).  Knowing that number, Gov. TBag proceeded to sign Spending Bills of $33.8 Billion (rounded) anyway.   
This created a deficit of $2.7 Billion (rounded) from Governor-approved spending -- remember, when TBag signed those spending bills, they were now law).  A bill to balance that deficit, HF-2323, was passed and presented to Gov. TBag to sign.  Except, TBag didn't sign that revenue bill to balance the budget; he vetoed it
Upon creating an unbalanced budget, rather than call a Special Session, TBag immediately claimed unilateral power to fix the problem he created, and then hit the campaign trail.  As to TBag's actions creating an anticipated budget problem, then using powers to deal with unanticipated budget problems?  The Court was not amused
The only reason GOPers today can use that "$32 Billion" number, is because in 2009 Pawlenty did something the Supreme Court ruled he couldn't. 
The reality is that the "$34 Billion" compromise number the Kochzellerstan crowd is crowing about today, is really the same "$33.8 Billion" number that Pawlenty signed into law, before he went all Nixonian by utilizing excessive  -and illegal - Unitary Executive Power (Nixon would be so proud!)

The Deputy brags about “hundreds of million more” for K-12 education. But ask your school board if it would get six percent more under the Republican plan (especially if you live in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or Duluth). School districts around the state are planning to make budget cuts and lay off staff. Health care facilities are in the same boat, or worse. And never mind what the Republicans want to do to local government aid for our largest cities.

One more point: the Deputy challenges Governor Dayton to sign the non-controversial (less, anyway) parts of the budget and avoid the shutdown.  If he did that, health and human services, among others, would be left entirely in the cold. The only way to negotiate a budget is comprehensively: put everything on the table, not to give your adversary what he wants then beg for the rest.

You know how far that will go with the current Republican crowd.

Netroots Nation Drinking Liberally: the slide show

Here's a brief slide show of the guests at Netroots Nation Drinking Liberally at the 331 Club in Minneapolis on June15, 2011.

Netroots Nation Eve Drinking Liberally from Steve Timmer on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Drinking Liberally tomorrow night: June 23rd

There were several DLers at the Netroots Nation conference in town last week. Since not everybody could be there, those who were will be talking about memorable speakers, great sessions and more, tomorrow night at our regular DL meeting: six to nine PM, Thursday, June 23rd, at the 331 Club.

If you couldn't make it, here's a chance to catch the flavor of Netroots Nation.

If we're really lucky, we'll get to sit outside.

The photo, incidentally, is from the great show we had last week when Netroots Nation was in town. Papa John Kolstad (with his sidekick Gary Schulte) provided the music. Photo by Zach Roberts.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nukes in the news!

The really great news for the nuclear industry just continues to pile up

First, it is becoming obvious that something is seriously wrong with the Fort Calhoun nuclear facility north of Omaha on the Missouri River:
A shocking report prepared by Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency (FAAE) on information provided to them by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) states that the Obama regime has ordered a “total and complete” news blackout relating to any information regarding the near catastrophic meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant located in Nebraska.
And sure enough, here is the NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) just issued by the FAA:
!FDC 1/6523 ZMP NE.. TFR, FORT CALHOUN NUCLEAR POWER PLANT BLAIR,NE Pursuant TO 14 CFR Section 91.137(A)(3) To provide a safe environment for FLOOD RELIEF EFFORTS Effective immediately until further notice SFC- 3,500 MSL Aircraft flight operations prohibited within 2 NMR 413113N/0960438W
It is complete and transparent bullshit that the no fly zone has anything to do with "flood relief efforts." Why not upstream or downstream of the plant?

The second item of interest is that the Fukushima situation is worse than authorities have been letting on:
"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera. 
Japan's 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant. 
Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed.
Finally, for the hat trick, there is another troubled plant in Japan that occurred before the earthquake:
TSURUGA, Japan — Three hundred miles southwest of Fukushima, at a nuclear reactor perched on the slopes of this rustic peninsula, engineers are engaged in another precarious struggle. 
The Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor — a long-troubled national project — has been in a precarious state of shutdown since a 3.3-ton device crashed into the reactor’s inner vessel, cutting off access to the plutonium and uranium fuel rods at its core. 
Engineers have tried repeatedly since the accident last August to recover the device, which appears to have gotten stuck. They will make another attempt as early as next week.
My efforts to interview Julie Rosen, the champion of the bill to lift the nuclear moratorium in Minnesota have been thus far rebuffed.

But the art market is HOT HOT HOT!

"A man's Self is the sum total of all that he can call his." William James, 1890

America is sinking deeper into a managed depression. Corporate profits are at all time highs, executive compensation is booming, and the stock market has recovered much of what it lost in 2008. Simultaneously, unemployment seems intractable, wage growth has stagnated, and the political climate is poisoned by calls to further reduce wages and benefits.

Austerity is fashionable for the masses. But not as fashionable as the baubles the superrich are collecting. Today, Marilyn Monroe's "Seven Year Itch" dress sold for $4.6 million, well above the predicted $2 million sale price. Mega-art show Art Basel sales "were spectacular and fast." “We’ve seen a feeding frenzy of buyers and some very good works on sale fetching world record prices, above 2007-2008 levels,” stated Phillip Hoffman, CEO of the Fine Art Fund Group.

And why not? The superrich are rolling again. Declaring 2010 the year "the empire snuck back" Crain's New York Business noted that financial CEOs have returned to their pre-recession posts atop the list of highest paid New York CEOs. Of course, they are showing some restraint:
“There is a bit of sensitivity now on what amount of pay is too much, and what people are going to say when they see the numbers,” said Steven Hall, a Manhattan compensation consultant. “Some of what you're seeing is companies and boards trying not to look like pigs.”
It's a tough task, but I'm sure their flacks are up to it!

They'd better start by doing something about the fantastic Washington Post article outlining the rise of income inequality in the U.S. from 1970-2008. Please read it - it's depressing and enlightening and infuriating all at the same time. Here's the stat that grabbed me - from 1970-2008 the income of the top 0.1% in the US grew 385%, over the same period, the income of the bottom 90% decreased by 1%.

According to the CIA, American income inequality has grown to the point where our income inequality peers are banana republics and autocracies. The following list is from the CIA Yearbook, and rates countries by the Gini index, a measure of unequal income distribution.

35 Rwanda 46.8 (2000)
36 Philippines 45.8 (2006)
37 Uganda 45.7 (2002)
38 Jamaica 45.5 (2004)
39 United States 45.0 (2007)
40 Cameroon 44.6 (2001)
41 Cote d'Ivoire 44.6 (2002)
42 Iran 44.5 (2006)

Iran, a repressive, authoritarian, oil-dependent regime, has a more equal income distribution than the U.S. At least we're ahead of the Philippines, a country whose unequal distribution of wealth was famously embodied in Imelda Marcos's shoe collection.

Meanwhile, the superrich build their own collections of dresses and art. Don't worry about the shrinking job market and cuts in wages and benefits, Americans. At least the art market is booming.

Follow me on Twitter @aaronklemz

(Image: Detail from Raphael's Sistine Madonna, public domain, Wikipedia)

EDIT: Corrected - Marilyn Monroe's dress came from "The Seven Year Itch."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Consider David Hann

Although heaven knows why we should; he doesn't consider anybody else. You can read about the archbishop's letter and Hann's response referred to in the tweet in Two Putt's Tommy's post.
The Spawn of Paulsen asks a question with a faulty premise, a premise so puerile, so egotistical and narcissistic, that Hann really doesn't deserve an answer.

The premise? That people earn their wealth all by themselves.

But we'll let Warren Buffet (who has a much better claim to having earned his money than, say, the Koch brothers, who got it the old fashioned way: they inherited it) respond:
I personally think that society is responsible for a very significant percentage of what I've earned.
 There is a report at the link exploding the myth of the self-made man.

David Hann is a moral midget.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Well, okay, how about this?

I have been distracted for a few days. What did I miss? Nothing, as it turns out.

Oh, the Republican leadership from Junior Achievement came up with a new major compromise to drop tax cuts from the agenda.

It's like saying we'll take our foot off the accelerator just before hitting the tree.

Governor Dayton was suitable unimpressed. Contempt would have been in order, but the governor is a gentlemen.

Boy, there hasn't been much posting around here

It has been a busy week for the whole Cucking Stool crew. There should soon be some information, pictures, and video about Netroots Nation and the marvelous Drinking Liberally session we had last night at the 331 Club.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Your shutdown roundup for June 13th

* The Star Tribune had a great writeup about the far-reaching effects of a shutdown. I recommend it for the quality of the information, but also couldn't help but notice the conclusion:
"We're still hoping they [leaders] can come to some agreement," said Beth Kleinboehl, an administrator for Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester. "They're still meeting, so that has to be considered progress."
Yes, that Beth Kleinboehl. She must have the "one special session" option in the betting pool.

* Over 40,000 state workers have received (or soon will receive) layoff notices.

* The ad wars are heating up. There are ads supporting Governor Dayton from Alliance for a Better Minnesota and a coalition of unions (AFSCME, MAPE, IFO, and MMA). These ad buys total $1 million and include specific targeting of legislators. Rep. Doug Wardlow shrugs; "who pays attention to TV ads anyway?" Perhaps someone with the GOP media staff can explain it to him.

* Well, maybe Rep. Wardlow could give some of the folks generating ads on the right a call to ask them. Minnesota Business Partnership says they'll run ads starting next week. Minnesota Majority is apparently parking the soup truck and holding a fundraising competition for their ads. As of Sunday evening, they claimed around $5700 in donations. The one I find most amusing features cigar-smoking union bosses taking your hard-earned money to line their pockets. Here's a screen shot...there's a resemblance here, I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe you can help.

* Sen. Barb Goodwin (DFL - Columbia Heights) says the GOP budget will cost 80,000 jobs and that 140,000 will lose health care. Meanwhile, the Senate Ethics Subcommittee looks into Sen. Gretchen Hoffman's (R - Vergas) tweet stating that Goodwin called folks with mental disabilities "idiots and imbeciles" during a floor debate. The hearing is at 1:30 in Capitol Room 107. Goodwin will hold a press conference in Capitol Room 125 immediately following the conclusion of the meeting.

Follow me on Twitter @aaronklemz

Bill Green addresses Jason Lewis

Well, not a direct riposte, but he surely addresses the foundation of Lewis' scrabbling; more on Dr. Green in a moment.

In his bi-weekly column in the Strib on June 12th, Lewis writes about the Affordable Care Act, but he calls it, as all conservatives do, Obamacare; he tells us that it is ensnared in the courts and cites two U.S. District Court opinions finding it, or parts of it, unconstitutional.

Lewis doesn't mention that other district courts have found the act to be constitutional; the Affordable Care Act is undoubtedly headed for a showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court. But before counting it out, go to this video, fast forward to about the 7:45 mark and listen to Law Professor Jessica Mason Pieklo of the Hamline Law School.

But back to Professor Green. In an interview he gave for the Standing on the Brink of Insurrection and Treason videos I did before the election, Professor Green make some comments that are as applicable to the Affordable Care Act as they are to the efforts of South Carolina to nullify a federal tariff law in 1832.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Netroots Nation Drinking Liberally update

National progressive radio host Thom Hartmann has just confirmed that he will be our guest at Netroots Nation Drinking Liberally on Wednesday evening, June 15th at the 331 Club in northeast Minneapolis. The Minneapolis - St. Paul chapter of Drinking Liberally starts its meetings at six o'clock and the guest program that night will start at seven o'clock. We expect a big crowd, so come early.

Thom's radio program is heard in the Twin Cities on KTNF - AM 950, weekdays, 2 to 5 PM. He often plugs Drinking Liberally nationally, and it's really great that he will come to visit us while he's in town.

Thom is also, of course, a New York Times bestselling author on a variety of topics, including psychology, ecology, culture, politics and economics. If you have a recent book of Thom's, bring it along and he'll sign it for you. He'll be speaking at an event sponsored by Common Good Books on Friday, June 17th as well.

You can read about the whole program that evening - until we added Thom Hartmann, that is - by clicking the photo of Lizz Winstead in the sidebar. Or, here's a link to the same page.

In addition to Thom, our guests are Lizz Winstead, Mayor R.T. Rybak, Nick Coleman, and DL founder Justin Krebs. Music will be provided by Papa John Kolstad and Gary Schulte and later by Dan Newton and the Daddy Squeeze Band.

The evening's entertainment is being underwritten by the 331 Club.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Republican Leadership Light Comic Opera Company

Presents: Il ratto del Governo

Here, in a scene from the opening act, soprano Amy Koch, in the lead role Agrippina, sings the famous aria O, Mia Pista Offa. She is surrounded by her fawning court, including her obsequious squire - Il Vicario - Fredo.

Meanwhile,  no sign of the smallest willingness to compromise on the budget by the Republicans.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Fukushima!

Only this nuclear reactor, about to go for a swim, is in Nebraska.

Pledging fealty to the number 34

Brian Rusche, who had to explain things very slowly to Doug Wardlow,  penned a great op-ed in the Strib's paper edition yesterday. Here's the online version, and here's the lede:
Minnesota's legislative leaders are locked in a protracted dispute with the governor, not about the quantity or quality of government output, but out of devotion to a single number: $34 billion. 
Legislative leaders insist that all other policy considerations must take a back seat to the singular goal of keeping general-fund revenues and expenses at that amount for the next biennium.This is numerology without principle. It treats one general-fund number like an idol, a number to be prized above the concerns and needs of our citizenry.
 Rusche is just so lucid that it would be in poor taste for me to even try to summarize what he wrote. Please just go read it yourself.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Your shutdown roundup

* Tuesday, the LCPFP met and waterboarded Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans and Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter. Objecting that terms like "fair" were partisan shots, chippy Republican legislators lambasted Frans and Schowalter for carrying "partisan water" for Dayton.

* Governor Dayton and GOP legislative leaders will meet Wednesday afternoon in their first meeting since the GOP's "counter-offer" of no new revenue, accept all of our policy provisions, and we'll act like we compromised. Expect GOP tweeters to be demanding concessions to match their generosity.

* Republican House Majority Leader Rep. Matt Dean is making the rounds to greater Minnesota newspapers. He gave interviews to the Grand Forks Herald and the St. Cloud Times on Tuesday.

* The immediate impact on higher education is currently blurry. Both MnSCU and the University of Minnesota rely on state funding for a significant portion of their budgets, but may be able to draw on reserves to avoid immediate closures. MnSCU's Board of Trustees meets in an emergency session tomorrow to discuss the impact of a shutdown. The U of M says that a shutdown will force them to halt construction projects, and that work on Central Corridor would halt immediately.

* MinnEcon (MPR) reports that northern Minnesota would suffer more in a shutdown than the metro area because it has proportionally more state workers. In a worst case scenario (where education workers are laid off) northern Minnesota could lose 5.6% of total wages.

* Road contractors are have been notified that without a budget resolution, they will have to cease work on July 1. This would force layoffs for thousands of private section construction workers at the peak of the season. Contractors are already planning to wind down projects so that they can be idled more effectively if a shutdown occurs.

* A Dayton-led agricultural trade mission to China scheduled for August has been indefinitely postponed due to funding uncertainty.

* Uncertainty about the impact of a shutdown includes questions about the impact on K-12 education. KVLY/KXJB (Fargo/Grand Forks) looks at the impact on local school districts. While the Minnesota Constitution guarantees students a right to an education, it also says that no money shall be spent without an appropriation. Shutting down the state parks before July 4th is bad enough; if the kids don't go back to school after Labor Day, then we'll really see a political crisis in Minnesota.

Follow me on Twitter @aaronklemz

Which Sarah is different?

If you picked the middle one, you're wrong. It's the one on the left. That's Improbable Sarah. The other two are just Ordinary Pandering, Grifter Sarah.

The original photos are from Dependable Renegade; I didn't note the original source(s), but you can undoubtedly find it if you check there. Avidor did the photo edit.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Reading between the lines

"They're still holding at $34 billion, if I read between the lines, and that is something that I will not agree to." - Mark Dayton

The latest "compromise offer" from legislative Republicans is mere posturing, but the shape of an eventual compromise is starting to emerge, if you read between the lines.

The "compromise offer" contains:
$80 million more (over the vetoed GOP bill) in K-12 funding, contingent on the acceptance of Republican "nation-leading reforms of education"
$30 million more in Judiciary and Public Safety funding
No new revenue
This means that the gap between Dayton and the GOP is exactly where it started. You might even say that it's grown to $1.91 billion since the $110 million will have to come from somewhere. Revenue will be one part of a viable budget compromise. Despite Dayton's desire to give the GOP some credit for moving, this offer does nothing but repackage the GOP's intransigence. Set your watches. By 3 PM Tuesday, Republicans will be demanding a Dayton counter-offer to their non-offer.

Reading between the lines, the takeaway from this offer is that language ("nation-leading reforms") will be a key negotiating point. Education Committee Chair Rep. Pat Garofolo seems ecstatic at the inclusion of demands for all the policy language in the offer. The "reforms" passed by the Republican-led Legislature include private school vouchers, restrictions on teacher collective bargaining, elimination of school desegregation aid, and other goodies.

These "reforms" have been one of the top talking points of the GOP and they want them included in any agreement. They're also specifically mentioned by Dayton as one of the many reasons he vetoed the K-12 bill. The HHS bill is full of similar policy provisions the GOP dearly wants included in a budget deal. Talk of these provisions has been notably absent up until now, but they represent key bargaining chips.

If the GOP wants their reforms (even some of them,) they are going to need to do better, much better, on a revenue offer. But where would that come from? The GOP staffer betting pool sheet contains the following list of possible revenue sources:
Expansion of gambling
Expansion of the sales tax
New fees on tobacco and booze
Increase fees
Increase in MN income tax
Bonding bill larger than 500 million
The revenue sources aren't anything new, but their inclusion on a sheet intended for distribution among GOP staffers indicates a recognition that some revenue will likely be part of a eventual compromise. The specificity of the bonding bill item is also interesting. While it will be difficult for Republicans to walk back their opposition to "running up the state's credit card," it will be easier to do that than back off their full-throated opposition to any new revenue.

The zone of possible agreement between the Republicans and Dayton is just starting to emerge. Could Dayton and the GOP live with a compromise of no new revenues, little GOP language, a more widespread LGA cut that doesn't annihilate Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, and a big bonding bill? Alternatively, could Dayton and the GOP live with a blink off millionaire surtax, victories for GOP on health care and education policy and a $200-300 million bonding bill? I don't know, but the shape of a final package will force tough decisions from both sides.

Packages like these represent the moving parts of any viable compromise. Just remember, Dayton's right when he stresses that both sides will be unhappy with parts of any compromise. Policy provisions will ultimately be a big part of that unhappiness. Koch and Zellers's first "counter-offer" starts that process.

Follow me on Twitter @aaronklemz

(Image credit: Office of the Governor web page)

This is not bar trivia

Rep. Mary Franson (R - Alexandria) demonstrating that this really is a game for the GOP. Laying off thousands of workers, cutting tens of thousands of people off of their health care, all a game. With teams. And winners. BTW, her team will win!

Maybe Rep. Franson has a stake in the Minnesota Senate GOP staffer pool on the impending government shutdown (as reported by WCCO on Friday.)

It really is a game to them. Minnesota deserves better.

You can let Rep. Franson know what you think about her view of the budget situation here.

Follow me on Twitter @aaronklemz

Friday, June 03, 2011

Sarah Palin: intelligence extractor

We are all a little dumber because of this:
During a visit this week to Boston, [Sarah Palin] recounted a twisted take on Paul Revere’s historic ride. In a nearly incoherent stream of phrases full of folksy dropped “g’s” (ringin’ those bells, warnin’ shots), Palin appears to have said that Revere warned the British, when in fact he warned Americans about the British. 
With the dropped g’s and the history flub, Palin is such a caricature of herself that it’s hard to tell if this now-viral video is a Saturday Night Live skit or the real thing. 
But  gauging by the excited people around her — none of whom went “huh?” at the Revere reversal — she’s lost none of her star power. That should concern the Minnesota Republicans who also harbor presidential ambitions.
Editorial writer Jill Burcum also said that Michele Bachmann was sometimes unfairly derided as "Palin Lite." It is unfair; they are two pea brains in a pod.

Observation about diminishing America's intellect from Roger Ebert.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Drinking Liberally news

First of all, we do meet tonight, June 2nd, at the 331 Club from six to nine. Here's hoping that the sunshine holds for sitting at the tables outside.

But here's the big news:

On Wednesday (not the regular Thursday) night, June 15th, DL Minneapolis - St. Paul is sponsoring a special Netroots Nation Eve program. There will be music by Papa John Kolstad and jazz/blues violinist Gary Schulte, visits by a DFL office holder or two, legendary Twin Cities newspaperman Nick Coleman, maybe a national blogger, Justin Krebs who founded Drinking Liberally eight years ago, and the evening will be headlined by Lizz Winstead. Lizz is of course one of the creators of the wildly entertaining - and informative - Daily Show starring Jon Stewart.

We'll start getting together for the evening around six and the show will get underway at seven. And we'll be at our regular haunt, the 331 Club in northeast Minneapolis.

When it's over, you'll want to stick around for the music of Dan Newton and the Daddy Squeeze Band.

Update: Out of towners have asked about bus transportation from the convention center (where NN is taking place) or downtown generally, to the 331 Club. There is a good bus route; I don't personally use that route, but I will get the information and publish it, either here or in a subsequent post. But it's a piece of cake.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Ménage à trois

What were Bill Pulkrabek and his paramour doing in Brian LeClair's bedroom?

Well, we know they weren't protecting the institution of marriage. That's inferable from the facts in the City Pages' post.

The police report on this one, and perhaps the criminal complaint too, are going to be page turners.

When he served in the Minnesota Senate, LeClair was a member of the Health and Family Security Committee. Not kidding; you can look it up.

Here's an update on the case.

Tim Pawlenty: A progressive vision for America

This "ad" features a collection of some of Tim Pawlenty's more reasonable moments. Too bad they are all of the positions he's scrambling to repudiate as he courts GOP primary voters.

Follow me on Twitter @aaronklemz

New poll confirms: Minnesotans agree with Mark Dayton

Every recent poll that asks Minnesotans which budget they prefer shows a clear majority support Governor Mark Dayton's approach. The most recent, by Public Policy Polling:
Q12: Would you support a tax increase on the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans to help balance the state budget, or do you think the budget should be balanced through cuts only?
Would support a tax increase on the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans 63%
Budget should be balanced through cuts only 32%
The same poll finds that 2010 Minnesota Republican voters are experiencing voter's remorse, and that Dayton would romp to a 12-point victory in a rematch of last November's election. Dayton has a 51% favorable rating, compared to 29% favorable opinion of Republican legislators. In a generic contest between DFL and Republican legislators, the DFL leads by 9 points, 49-40.

These results are not outliers. Although PPP is a Democratic polling firm, KSTP pollster SurveyUSA found similar sentiments. 62% supported some version of raising revenue to balance the budget (31% supported raising taxes on the wealthy, 4% supported raising taxes on all, and 27% supported a mix of cuts and taxes.)

Simply put, there's not a single poll that the GOP can point to that indicates Minnesotans support their budget. It's time for them to compromise on revenue with Governor Dayton.

Follow me on Twitter @aaronklemz

These people are pushing education reform?

This new ad hitting Governor Dayton and pushing for the GOP budget was apparently written by someone who needs remedial grammar lessons.

EDIT: The video was removed, proofread, and fixed. If you want to see the corrected version of it, go here.

I don't usually get too snarky about grammar and spelling, but come on.

Follow me on Twitter @aaronklemz