From today's Strib letters section:
"I have been enjoying Kersten's columns in the Star Tribune since the days when she was associated with the Center of the American Experiment. The pleasure I receive from her work is multiplied several times by the vicious and predictable responses from her critics. She has been singled out as Minnesota's worst writer by some of Minnesota's top literary snobs -- seen as quite an achievement by us little people. When will her critics realize that her easy-to-read, common-sense opinions are among the top reasons we continue to maintain our subscriptions? RUSS PAUMEN, MAPLE LAKE"
Katherine Kersten is a talentless hack who does nothing but recycle the same rightwing talking points again and again, but dubbing her Minnesota’s Worst Writer ™ is actually a Google Bomb we set off about 5 years ago. It's nice to know the meme took hold.
And it's nice to know that Mr. Russ Paumen of Maple Lake doesn't do any better research than Kersten does.
Labels: Kersten3 comments
Yeah, so, was having a beer with Libby Mae on Tea Bag day and it seemed like an hilarious idea to have a counter protest of some kind. Started toying with the idea of Dirty Sanchez day, which seemed awfully funny after a few Golden Monkeys. Then, not so much.
Then, Colbert runs the same joke this week. Turns out, it was a funny idea, with the proper execution.
Finally, damn you, Colbert!2 comments
Huge announcement coming up for May 15.
Huge, I tells ya! Huge!2 comments
This isn't the biggest deal in the world:
Newsweek has been so far in the tank on the homosexual issue, for so long, they need scuba gear and breathing apparatus,” said Richard Land, who heads the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
but to say someone needs scuba gear AND breathing apparatus is kind of dumb, seeing as how scuba is an acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. I guess when you're convinced some guy walks on water you don't pay much attention to what goes on under it.2 comments
But I'm not one of them. I could have made a pretty good guess about the rankings in the latest national health assessment just based on voting patterns. As it turns out 8 of the 10 healthiest states voted Democratic this year while 9 out of the 10 least healthy states voted Republican. What does it all mean? Beats me, but if we ever do get a national health insurance program it will be one more case of the progressive Blue states having to carry all those proudly backwards Red states.0 comments
Sarah Palin is now saying she might consider a run for president in 2012 if God tells her to. Why is it that God never tells anyone to just shut the fuck up?1 comments
While Obama managed a much bigger win in the electoral college than he did in the popular vote, the Republicans still have a built in advantage due to their popularity in sparsely populated states, like the one where I grew up.
All states get a number of electors proportional to their number of representatives in congress along with another two each for their two senators. This means that the "empty" states get a bigger bonus, percentage wise, from those extra two.
For example, my old home state of SD has 800,000 people and 3 electoral votes while my current state of Minnesota has 5.2 million people and 10 electoral votes. That's one electoral vote for every 267,000 people in SD but only one for every 520,000 people in Minnesota. A SD vote counts almost exactly double what a MN vote does. (California gets only one vote for every 664,000 people.) If we have to keep the electoral college it would be far more equitable to drop those extra two votes per state and make the elector count more in line with a state's population. The current system is horribly unfair to folks in big states but it's also generally unfair to Democrats.
5 out of the 7 states with populations under 1,000,000 are traditionally Republican. Their outsized electoral clout is a small but real advantage to republican presidential candidates. John McCain won 32% of the electoral votes this year but if we were to take away the two votes that each state gets for its senators he would have only won 29%. That's not a huge amount but sometimes it's hugely important. If in 2000 the electoral votes had just been alloted in proportion to a state's population (i.e. if two electoral votes had been dropped from each state) Gore would have won, even without Florida, 226 to 211.
(The people who should really be pissed about the system are Californians. You have to add up the population of the 20 smallest states to get the number of people in California. Those 20 states get 91 electoral votes to California's 55.)2 comments
A sitting United States Senator should know this little rule. It comes from Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution (unshredded edition):
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law.
Norm Coleman/Minnesota GOP mailer today contains these charges:
A veto-proof 60-vote majority in the U.S. Senate means the Democrats and special interests can do whatever they want, without any compromise. (emphasis in original)
With razor-thin margins in Senate races around the country, Minnesotans will not only choose our own Senator, but there's a good chance we may be the ones to decide whether or not there will be a veto-proof Senate. (emphasis supplied)
ON NOVEMBER 4TH cast your vote AGAINST a veto-proof U.S. Senate and FOR a politically balanced government. (emphasis supplied, capitalization in original)
Is Norm Coleman unaware of his mailings? Or is he unaware of the U.S. Constitution? Or does he not want to mention the Senate rule that's actually at stake here -- that if the Democrats have a 60 vote majority, then Republicans will be unable to continue to filibuster at a breathtaking rate?
After all, as a member of the majority, Smilin' Norm hated the filibuster, because every bill merited an up or down vote. That's why he voted for cloture on an energy bill that would have allowed drilling in ANWR. As a member of the minority, Smilin' Norm has felt very differently about the filibuster. Over the last 2 years, he has voted to filibuster over and over again. And now he has the gall to claim he can work across party lines?
Heaven forbid that the Senate actually be able to pass a few bills without Republican obstructionism.
Labels: Smilin Norm0 comments
I don't know what it says about the failed bailout bill yesterday other than it's either controversial, confusing, or both, but Tim Walz and Michelle Bachman voted "no" while Keith Ellison and John Kline voted "yes". I'm going to go out on a limb and say we aren't likely to see that vote distribution ever again. Unless they vote on the same bill again and even then we might not see it.0 comments
I'm wondering why we can almost casually dump $700 billion into a bank bailout but it's unthinkable that we would spend an equal amount to provide universal health insurance.
Some quick math that may or may not be in the ballpark: Current health insurance prices are about $4400 per person/year or about $12,000 for a family of four. If we assume everyone buys as an individual and there are 300,000,000 Americans it would take $1.32 trillion to cover everyone. The US already spends about quite a bit on healthcare with Medicare (health insurance for old folks) costing about $440 billion and Medicaid (for poor people) about $300 billion. For an extra $580 billion we could buy a health insurance policy for every man, woman and child in the country.
If you propose that conservatives howl, "Oh no, way too expensive, we can't afford that." But a week ago a handful of people in government decided (perhaps correctly) that we suddenly needed to pump a lot more than that into the banking and finance industry, and while there's some grumbling, pretty much everyone just accepts that it's something that needs to be done and does it. When the hell will we decide that assuring that every American has health insurance needs to be done and just do it? (These are all pretty rough numbers I pulled up in a few minutes of Googling but I also left out the money currently spent by states who fund part of Medicaid, as well as all the federal spending on military healthcare. If anyone has petter numbers I'd be happy to see them.)
Labels: health care0 comments
No. Of course John McCain didn't say anything of the sort. It's gutter politics to even suggest it. In honoring the courageous passengers of United 93, McCain said:
“No American living then, should ever forget the heroism that occurred in the skies above this field on September 11, 2001,” McCain said, referring to the passengers who wrested control of the plane that may have been intended to crash into the Capitol.
“They, and possibly I, owe our lives to the passengers who summoned the courage and love necessary to deprive our depraved and hateful enemies their terrible triumph.”
Under the current McCain rules, the fact that the terrorists intending to crash United 93 into the Capital or White House were deprived of triumph means, perversely, that the terrorists who struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon must have triumphed.
But, damn it, it's too ugly even to pretend. Some things should above politics. Like terrorist attacks. And protecting kids from pedophiles.0 comments
Poor Smilin' Norm. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. He only made CREW's dis-honorable mention on the list of most corrupt members of Congress.
CREW’s Most Corrupt Members of Congress provides a detailed analysis of the unethical and sometimes illegal activities of 24 congressmen and women who have most egregiously betrayed the public’s trust. The full report can be found here.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Clinton's budget plan from 1993 pass without any Republican support? So why is Lieberman claiming Clinton worked with Republicans to balance the budget.
Wikipedia agrees with my memory:
Clinton signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 in August 1993, which passed Congress without a Republican vote. It cut taxes for fifteen million low-income families, made tax cuts available to 90% of small businesses, and raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.2% of taxpayers. Additionally, through the implementation of spending restraints, it mandated the budget be balanced over a number of years.
I hope Biden is practicing his line. The first time Palin mentions Hillary Clinton he needs to look over at her and say, "I know Hillary Clinton. I work with Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a friend of mine. Governor, you're no Hillary Clinton."4 comments