Saturday, December 17, 2005 

JibJab

New JibJab is hilarious mostly because it's all so, so true. Watch it.

 

Eavesdropping

I don't even know how to begin to describe how angry this domestic eavesdropping story makes me. What can one say, really, no matter where on the political spectrum you fall? This is illegal, this is stupid, this is scary, and it's just wrong.

The Constitution, and all the laws that Congress has ever passed, are just ideas and pieces of paper. They only work because we believe in them. When the President of the United States tells us that he not only personally ordered others to violate the law, but he did it repeatedly and he doesn't regret it, we should be really, really scared. This is the same man who commands the United States military, the most powerful fighting force in the history of the world. This is the guy who has the power to launch our nuclear (noo-kle-ear, not nook-yuh-lur) weapons - he is, quite literally, a man who has the fate of the world in his hands, every minute of every day. And here he is, not only publicly, proudly admitting that he's a law-breaker, but he's criticizing the Times for having revealed the government violating the law. This is about as scary a thing as I can imagine the President doing; it really is the first step towards a police state. Nothing holds the President back from doing anything other than the idea of the law.

A lot of people, when they see things like this, say, "Oh, it doesn't matter, it won't affect me; I don't do anything wrong." What are you doing right now? You're sitting at a computer somewhere, reading a lefty blog. If people are being flagged in libraries for reading the Communist Manifesto, it's not too much of a leap to imagine that they'll start spying on readers of left-wing blogs next. Do you really want the government to be in this business? Think about your life; are you sure that there's nothing in it that you don't want the government to know?

Pretty often these days we hear the word "anti-American" tossed around at people who support the separation of church and state or who oppose the war in Iraq. Those two things aren't anti-American, not at all. What is true anti-Americanism, then? It's when you oppose the most basic ideas that this great country is founded upon. If you and I disagree about, say, abortion, or gay marriage, or affirmative action, we can agree to disagree about it, and I'm not going to call you a traitor. But if you're opposed to the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the right to privacy, you're against America, because these ideas are America.

The only thing between George W. Bush, POTUS and George W. Bush, Dictator of the United States, like all presidents, is the Constitution. When you show a willingness to blatantly scoff at the law, you're moving a little closer to the latter than the former. God help us all.

 

Misleading Lead

Politics|Bush Raps Senators on Blocking Patriot Act

Updated 3 minutes ago.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush said Saturday that senators who are blocking renewal of the terrorism-fighting Patriot Act are acting irresponsibly and standing in the way of protecting the country from attack getting rid of the last vestiges of privacy in America.

Fixed that for you, Strib.

Friday, December 16, 2005 

Trouble in St. Cloud

For Sue Ek, that is. C&B has information from today's hearing regarding Sue Ek. It doesn't sound good for her.

 

POTUS

I've been thinking about the presidential race, and especially the Democratic side of it. Until a few days ago I was totally undecided on who would be best, as long as it wasn't somebody like Lieberman or Biden, God help us. As of today, I'm very much leaning towards Russ Feingold. Too many Democrats have rolled over too many times, and I have the feeling that, had someone on our side of the aisle not stepped up and taken the lead on this issue, just enough might have again on the PATRIOT Act. Feingold has today shown not only that he believes in the right things, but also that he's a leader of our party. And as of today, that's enough to make him deserving, more than any other candidate I've seen, of the Democratic nomination in 2008.

Thursday, December 15, 2005 

Huge News in Rochester

It's been a huge day in Rochester politics. While I probably don't have the time to take away from studying for finals, I couldn't hold off on bringing readers this news.

Rep. Fran Bradley (R-29B) announced today that he will not be running for re-election. Bradley is a six term legislator who represents northernish Rochester. He is the chairman of the House Healthy Policy and Finance committee and sits on Ways and Means. As dedicated followers of Minnesota politics will remember, he was the primary advocate for cutting working folks off MinnesotaCare this past session, and his antics in his committee have been well-covered by the media.

The DFL candidate for his seat, Rochester School Board president Kim Norton, faced off against Bradley in 2004, losing by only 311 votes (1.64%). I believe that with Rochester as a whole creeping towards the left, coupled with her previous candidacy and the fact that she will now be running against a non-incumbent, Ms. Norton has an excellent chance of winning this seat in November. This race, a good opportunity already, now has to be considered at or near the top of the DFL's chances for a House pickup. Those I've talked to so far are excited - Bradley has, in his twelve years in the Legislature, been a very misguided public servan. At his announcement today he used that ever-recurring politician's line about wanting to spend more time with his family, but the political reason for his retirement, if there is one, has yet to become public. Neither Bradley nor Speaker Sviggum has announced a Republican candidate for that seat. They'll have to find an awfully good one to beat Norton.

I neglected to mention a week ago that Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-30A) will be challenged by former Rep. Carla Nelson, who Liebling beat in 2004 after losing in 2002. Both elections so far have been close, with Nelson winning by 888 votes in a three-way race before losing by 277 votes. Nelson's M.O. after her 2004 loss was to complain about dirty campaigning by the DFL and Liebling. Sore loser all the way.

Rep. Andy Welti (DFL-30B) is expected to be challenged by former Rep. Bill Kuisle, whom Welti beat in 2004. I'm not sure whether Kuisle has officially announced, but I don't believe he has. I'll write up this race when he does, if he hasn't already.

The Rochester Senate races haven't shaped up yet - no DFL candidates in either. Again, more on these as they develop.

UPDATE: I beat the Strib to it. Their story is here.

 

SD63 Oopsie

I've had SD63 on my blogroll for a while, though I'm not entirely sure why. I added it to my daily reading list the other day, though, and, while commenting on Jerry's latest post, I noticed this:
H/T MDE: Not all protestors are too intelligent.
He's referring to a protest sign which read: "Imagine" if Bush were'nt president".

Is spelling a particularly big deal in the blogosphere? No, and I think that's unfortunate - you'll very rarely find a spelling error or particularly serious grammatical error on NSP, because I take the writing seriously. Should you spellcheck your damn post before you insult other people's intelligence? I sure think so. Who's the idiot now?

UPDATE: The Dictionary.com definition of protestor.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 

D"Ox"tored

Minnesota Republican Watch has an amazing catch of election shenanigans by the OTHER St. Cloud Republican, Senate candidate Dan "Ox" Ochsner. Despite claiming to be "Central Minnesota's Voice of Integrity", his campaign has been caught red-handed in doctoring campaign photos. This could well bring down his campaign. Go read.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 

"Joseph Alito"

As of right now (8:12 PM CDT), The Worst Blog In The World shows this:
Democratic Senators have had little or nothing to say against Joseph Alito's Supreme Court nomination [emphasis mine]
I have nothing at all to say about Joseph Alito's nomination, or lack thereof. Samuel Alito's nomination? I'd be happy to talk about that. Good work, morans.

 

Finals Week

Those of you not in an academic setting are likely completely oblivious to the event that most college students' worlds are revolving around: finals week. Posting will be extremely light, if any happens at all, until next week at the earliest.

Monday, December 12, 2005 

Question for Sue Ek

Just a quick question for Ms. Sue Ek of St. Cloud/St. Paul: why are you still in this race?

Ms. Ek, even if the MN Supreme Court rules in your favor (which, based on my understanding of the law, it probably won't) you'll almost certainly lose the election. Voters won't think they can trust you; your credibility has already been deeply undermined by this debacle, win or lose the court battle. If you leave now, a small chance remains for a Republican to take the seat, but if you stay, you give the next candidate (should there be one) a smaller timeframe in which to campaign. If the Supreme Court rules against you, you'll be extremely lucky to escape criminal charges.

This whole affair has bad news written all over it for you. Withdraw now, and things will turn out better for everybody.

 

DFLers Plan: Cut Pawlenty Tax

House Minority Leader Matt Entenza yesterday presented a plan for Pawlenty tax relief. This is what we need to be using the state's surplus for: those that have to work for a living. It's those people who were hit the hardest by the Pawlenty tax, in opposition to the Governor's no-new-tax pledge.

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