Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The News Stories of the Year, 2014 Edition!

Happy New Year everyone!!!  I hope 2015 is wonderful for you.

Let's put a cherry on top of the sundae that is 2014 with a countdown of, what I consider to be, the news stories of the year!  This is solely my opinion, and a story might be here for good or bad reasons.  It might be a local story, a Minnesota story or a national story.  Many of these just make me laugh!  WARNING - some adult themes involved!

Before we get to the countdown, three honorable mentions:

HM #1 - The Midtown Greenway Self Gratifier - May.  Let's set the tone early, shall we.  This really doesn't need too much explanation.  

HM #2 - Reid Sagehorn's Twitter Mistake - Feb.  I understand the people who insist this was a joke gone wrong, but with the new technological age we live in, we allow kids to wander in an adult realm without them comprehending the real world consequences for their actions.  If there is a silver lining to this story, I think a lot of parents sat down and talked to their kids about online social media etiquette after this story broke.

HM #3 - Grape Salad - Nov./Dec.  This was one that made no sense, but at least the NY Times admits  it was a touch off with this holiday recipe selection.

That's it for the also rans.  Let's start with...

#10 - Ed Hansen and his Confederate Flag - Jan.  The main reason I was fascinated by this story was how, even after people pointed out the Confederate Flag represented the south during the Civil War, a south which killed a lot of Minnesotans during that war, he was incredulous.

#9 - The War Eagle Sheila Kihne, and the war between the GOP establishment and the Tea Party - Jul.  I stumbled upon this gem of a political sign:

I love this campaign poster.  Forget about the fact she had some extreme views, some of them religious, and that she stated she went to my church, a church which never put forth those ideals, Sheila epitomized the war inside the GOP with traditional Republicans across the country fighting off tea party challengers left and right.

#8 - Nolan Defeats Mills - Nov.  A race which saw the groomed Republican challenger receive insane amounts of cash, obscene media bias, and talking points once only reserved for the greatest of spin doctors, Rick Nolan fought off a tremendous onslaught to win re-election in the tightest US House race in the state.

#7 - Michelle MacDonald gets the MN GOP nod for the Supreme Court - Jun.  There clearly are problems in the Minnesota GOP when it comes to screening candidates for their nomination process and the process of nomination on their convention floor.  She should have been forthright about her legal issues, but it was the doe eyed Republican leadership after the convention which told the whole story.

#6 - Roger Weber cuts his neighbors garage in half - Sep.  Another entry that doesn't need too much explanation, just know he is the man the GOP pegged to try to beat Carly Melin for her MN House seat.  That's right, he was endorsed by the Republican Party of Minnesota.

#5 - Fiscally conservative State Senator Sean Nienow and his wife sued for defaulting on a $748K federal loan - Jan.  Once again, a massive hypocrite of a Republican, talking about cutting the fat and trimming the waste in budgets, someone who rails at social safety net programs as wasting government tax dollars, showing he not only can't manage his money, but the government money he pursued for his own personal use.  Sad and funny.

#4 - #Pointergate - Nov.  Seriously, KSTP, if you would have just said sorry in the days after the initial story, you wouldn't have been the laughing stock you became.  For God's sake, you were trending GLOBALLY, on Twitter, for your self induced ignorance.

#3 - The Minnesota GOP State Fair Booth Implosion on the first day of the Fair - Aug.  The only two things the State Fair is politically good for is forgettable photo ops and unforgettable photo ops.  What happened when the GOP tried to prevent their tarnished endorsed Supreme Court candidate, the aforementioned Michelle MacDonald, from appearing at the fair, within hours of the Fair opening, was a public relations nightmare which haunted the GOP in Minnesota for the rest of the election cycle.

#2 - Minnesota gets the election right - Nov.  I have been asked by a lot of people why Minnesota was one of the few places in this country that bucked the GOP wave.  I think it comes down to an eclectic variety of voices in this state, from all viewpoints.  Minnesota is spoiled with the variety and depth of media, and even the Republicans in this state have options beyond Fox News.  A well informed public votes with a lot of common sense and with all statewide races going the DFL's way, that theory gets proven.  It also points to why the GOP won the rural state house seats; less media options and easier to distort message.  What does it tell you about a person who wants the public uninformed and confused about the issues in order for their guy to win, well outside of their Republican political affiliation?

#1 - Sarah Palin, the GOP nominee for Vice President in 2008, and her family, were all involved in a drunken street brawl in Alaska - Sep.  Gold, pure freaking gold.  I am guessing at least $50 Million was spent on obtaining all of the cell phone footage of the incident, at least $50 Million.

Have a great New Year everyone!   Here's to 2015!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hey Hey, It's a Louisiana Racist!

A few years back, right after I started at AM 950, when I was doing the old evening show, I was asked by a regular listener/pseudo friend if I could come and speak at his group's monthly event.  I said, "sure," even though I really didn't know too much about his group.  That was my mistake.

When I realized this was a fringe, bizarre, conspiracy gathering, I could not go through with it.  If I was to have spoken that evening, unless I went up and did a scathing speech, condemning their cause and calling the groups members delusional idiots, I would've been endorsing the groups message, by proxy, even bringing my employer into the mix.  I said I couldn't speak and I had to go.  It's what you do when you realize you've agreed to speak to a extreme fringe group, a group you didn't understand was that extreme when you agreed to talk, and you have to prevent your mistake from becoming a much larger one.

This brings us to the case of Representative Steve Scalise, Republican from Louisiana.  Rep. Scalise was just elected the incoming US House Majority Whip, and, when he was a State Representative in Louisiana, he also spoke at a conference of white supremacists in 2002, according to white supremacist website Stormfront.  The organization he spoke to was one dedicated to the promotion of white rights, and the website states he spoke about "civil rights and heritage related activism," went after HUD as an "apparent give-away to a select group based on race," and later was a receiver of white supremacist support, them saying [Scalise] offered "his support for issues that are a concern to us."

Also to note, then State Representative Scalise was only one of six state representatives who voted against the MLK Holiday in Louisiana.  He also is taking the position Eric Cantor held, the only Jewish Republican in the US House, who was recently run out of the party by right wing extremists.

Now, let's get the obvious out of the way.  In my opinion, Representative Scalise is a racist pig.  In my opinion, he knew exactly who he was speaking to when he agreed to speak before them, and even if he didn't, the KKK and Nazi paraphernalia likely adorning every aspect of their white power pride rally should have been a big red flag...if he wasn't a racist pig (in my opinion).  My guess is he insisted on being there to let his loyal followers know exactly where he stood.

The excuses he's frantically trying to get to stick to the wall are hilariously weak.  "I don't have records from back then"?  Really, from WAY back in 2002, or are you having a hard time 'finding' them over the sounds of staff members frantically shredding paperwork and hitting delete keys?  "I detest these types of groups"?  Then why did you stay when you realized what they stood for?  Was there a nice buffet (probably a lot of white sauces)? "I was only speaking about slush funds"? But, according to Stormfront,  it seems you did so with a sickening racist slant which won rave reviews from the racist conference goers.

These excuses are not sincere, heartfelt or honest, instead they are designed with three purposes.  First, to give his Republican colleagues the ability to defend their new US House Majority Whip by deflecting to Scalise's deflections.  Second, to give his followers a thin Kleenex veil to hide their racism behind, but the real purpose of the excuses is a jab at the American people.  What racist politicians really want to say is, "you caught us red handed as the racists we are, but, in America, we allow people to hide behind 'innocent until proven guilty.'  We'll throw these nonsensical excuses out to muddy the waters just enough to prevent us from ever having to acknowledge the behavior we so proudly express."

Now, we get to see what the rest of the GOP does.  This is supposed to be an open arms Republican party today, but what do they do with a politician with a race issue which sizes up the mindset of a large percentage of people who vote Republican?  This guy is the Whip, partially due to his popularity with the Republican voting base.  If he didn't want his name associated, by proxy, with racists, then he should have never spoken at that conference, and if the GOP wants to avoid to endorse his decisions, by proxy, whether they voted for him or not, whether they knew about it or not, they need to remove him.

Representative Scalise could learn a lesson from another Louisianan, Harry Connick Jr.  While appearing on an Australian variety show Hey Hey It's Saturday, he was to judge an act who did a Jackson 5 parody in blackface.  Did Harry condemn it like I wish he had?  Sadly no, but for him to speak out like he did, criticizing the 'act' in a later segment (something he received a lot of grief from some Australians for doing), it was an appropriate response to being caught off guard in a situation he didn't agree with or endorse.

But let's face it, for Scalise and the GOP, it's not about admitting a mistake, it's about trying to hide in plain sight.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Friday Link for 12/26/14

Colbert Part 2!!!

I will miss this guy so much.  I am posting this epic moment from Stephen Colbert's testimony to the US House Judiciary Committee in 2010, in regards to the issue of immigrant farm workers.  Colbert had taken a day to work as a farm laborer and was truly shocked by the pay and working conditions.  He was invited afterwards to share his thoughts with the committee.  Jokes aside, he actually makes a lot of great points here.  First is his opening remarks:

Next is the monstrous take down of Rep. Steve King, from Idiot...Oops I meant Iowa:

And finally is the great response to Rep. Judy Chu.  Wait for the final minute of the response:

Two notes:  King clearly stayed at the hearing in a weak attempt to embarrass Colbert.  It doesn't work out too well for him in the end, but there were a lot of Republicans who ran out of that hearing as soon as they could.  A lot of empty Republican seats.

Also, watch the people in the back trying not to laugh with his responses.  Dana Bash is one of my favorites, to the right a few rows back.  Enjoy!

Water Boarding George Bailey

I have often made an observation in regards to the classic film, It's a Wonderful Life.  I have said many of the modern Republicans, and those who vote Republican, would actually find the Potter character, the miserly, power hungry banker, as the true hero, and George Bailey, a man, who also ran a bank [Building and Loan], as the villain, for trying to help the needy and recent immigrants in his community.  The Raw Story has a very good article about how the anti-Communists which fueled the McCarthy era in this country went after the movie something fierce.  Here is the link:

Ayn Rand, self centered, delusional idiot, anti government zealot (who actually used the country's social safety net programs under a false name to prevent from being called out as the hypocrite she was), and hero to many Republican politicians today, was part of a group that hated the movie, and insisted Lionel Barrymore's portrayal of Potter was pure anti-capitalist propaganda.  Two of my favorite parts of the Raw Story story include the narrative coming from the anti-communists that all bankers are great individuals and should be portrayed as such (the relation to the banking crisis of 2008, the bankers insistence on public help, then turning viciously on the tax paying public who helped them, all while putting out ad campaigns of how banks "are here for you," does not go unnoticed).

The second is what I eluded too above.  The portrayal of Potter verses George Bailey is not Capitalism verses Communism, it's greedy individuals who worship power, using the money they have been entrusted with to promote their own agenda, verses a system which represents what America is supposed to be, the American dream, that anyone can make it with hard work, and if the banking industry and capitalism encourage such dreams, we become better overall as a society.  When someone pointed this out in one of the hearings, it apparently created a ruckus.

Notice Reagan was mentioned in this story, selling out friends and colleagues to promote his own aspirations.

I want to reiterate, Ayn Rand and the rest of the modern GOP template from the paranoid late 40's/early 50's felt as if portraying a bank to help the neediest people, the lower class, the middle class, and recent immigrants, even going out of their way to prevent Potter from railroading the town when there was a run on the Building and Loan, was the bad role model, and Potter who tried to take advantage of the banking crisis, who proudly brags how he would have never loaned money to many of the Building and Loan's customers, and whose Machiavellian dream was realized in the non-George Bailey world where the town, so under his control, had even been renamed Pottersville, was what we need to celebrate.

At Christmas, many Republicans do a lot of last minute switching.  For most off the year, they cheer on the actions and ideas of a Potter, and only acknowledge such blind devotion to money and power are bad when they hear the jingle jangle of Santa's sleigh.  They insist all lives are sacred and precious when the presents are being opened, but then will insist unarmed African American male teenagers deserved to get killed by police after the wrappings are in the trash, and they will talk about honoring the bravery and sacrifice of the American soldier when they are in their church pews, but God forbid a week later you suggest W. Bush and his administration, whom sent those beloved troops to their death, into an unnecessary war justified under false pretenses, face any charges for the thousands of coffins returned to American soil.

It's a Wonderful Life is a great American film.  We can learn a lot about being better people from paying attention to the Bailey's of the world, instead of trying to validate the actions of the most realistic character in the film, Potter.

Good night Bedford Falls!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas 2014!

Merry Christmas to everyone!  As far as the radio gig goes, I will have new interviews over the next two weeks, Jack Rice is in for me on Monday the 29th and I will do the show on New Year's Eve.

Attached is a link to a video a friend of mine did about Christmas.  Her name is Daniela, and she is very dear to me from my military days.  She told me, "I bleeped out the bad words, so it's okay for the kids."  NO!  It really isn't.  It's not as bad as the MadTV bit they did that one year (heck that thing gave ME nightmares), but you've been warned.

Regardless of what you do or do not celebrate, all my best to you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Place for Protesting in Your Life

The Mall of America was the latest scene of protest.  On Saturday, a few thousand supporters of the “Black Lives Matter” campaign, occupied the mall’s rotunda for a few hours, during one of the busiest shopping days of the year, trying to bring public awareness to the deaths of young African American men at the hands of law enforcement.  Considering they are a private business, I do feel bad for MOA, to a point, but the squelching of the public’s right to protest over the last few years is a main contributor in protesters looking for new, much higher visibility venues.
            I feel as if Mall of America mishandled and misunderstood this protest.  If they would have maintained a more subdued tone, my guess is a much smaller crowd would have shown up, and probably would have dispersed quicker, likely visiting some of the mall stores as they left.  But by initially asking the protesters to not protest, then trying to push them into a parking lot away from the Mall, and then using a threatening tone, they basically dared the protesters to show up in force. Mall officials said afterwards, “these political activists were more concerned about making a political statement and creating a media event…”  Well of course they were, but the larger point is being missed.  When people try to silence protest, the people protesting have a tendency of getting louder and more visible.
            The First Amendment of the US Constitution preserves the rights of freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble.  The country’s early leaders wanted to make sure people’s voices were heard.  Some of the worst moments in American history have come at the hands of people abusing the public’s right to protest.  The Boston Massacre, the labor riots of the early 20th Century, Selma, Kent State, and many others are examples of peaceful protests met with horrific violence, but the repression of the right to protest has been usurped lately, not by blunt force, but by city ordinance, hastily made legal loopholes and a desire to make the protesting voices as quiet and as ignorable as possible.
Law enforcement during the Republican Convention of 2008 in St. Paul was all for people protesting, but not on public land near the Xcel Energy Center.  They created protest zones nowhere near the venue, and detoured marching routes away from the main event, creating a new hindrance to protester’s rights, distance.  When the Occupy Movement rose up in this country, city governments, including the leaders of Minneapolis, created hurdle after hurdle for protesters, making sure the protests were discouraged, limited, and non-intrusive, especially for the nearby banks whose actions riled up the masses.  It seems the only type of unrestricted protest allowed today is when individuals strap a loaded assault weapon to their back and visit a large store.
A main reason the Mall of America, Interstate 35W and the main terminal at MSP were targeted was the limiting of the public’s right to be seen and heard when it comes to voicing protest.  Would these protests happen if people were allowed to, or encouraged to, go to highly visible, public land in the Twin Cities, and peacefully protest, as long as they didn’t break any laws?  By trying to silence the public through quickly written laws or herding ‘undesirables’ into pre-approved protest zones, we are only asking for more of this. The protesters are not backing down.

I encourage people, even people I disagree with, to make sure their voices are heard and embrace public protesting, just like the founding fathers wanted.  If protesting becomes something only allowed in a desolate industrial area, behind some dumpsters, in a fenced in barbed wired lot, surrounded by an intimidating police presence, between the hours of 4 and 6, on Tuesdays and every other Sunday, not only are worse off as a society, we are erasing one of the base rights we have as Americans.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Friday Link for 12/19/14

Stephen Colbert will be sorely missed.  His last show on Thursday night was as funny and brilliant as his first.  Some of his GOP takedowns are must watch, and his lambasting of Fox News was epic.  My personal favorite Fox News takedown was when their idiot male morning show hosts insisted women can get their pap smears taken care of at Walgreens.  His eager endorsement of such an insanely stupid comment, and his ensuing natural comedic indictment, is so funny, even he can't keep a straight face.  For more laughs, search for anything where he goes after Sarah Palin, and the shows from around the elections of 2008 and 2012 are pure gold.  And then there is Colb-chella...

When he started his show, I don't think a lot of people got it.  The artistic challenge to stay in character for as long as he did is so underrated.  His persona was such an "in-your-face" challenge to the right wing zealots who did, and still do, monopolize the media circus, I think some just wrote him off as the same.  He was so good (and subtle) at mocking self congratulating talking heads, he initially fooled many Republicans into thinking he wasn't a made up character.  This led to some hilarious outcomes early on in his run.

Colbert's show was never meant to be The Daily Show junior, and he strove to find it's own tone, it's own vibe.  It became a great counterpart to Jon Stewart's show, must watch every night, or for me, in the morning.

I've often wondered if whomever suggested Stephen Colbert to be the keynote speaker at the 2006 White House Correspondent's dinner, with then President George W. Bush, was oblivious to the act, or knew exactly who Colbert was and suggested him, thinking he would never actually be chosen.  When they called Mr. Colbert with the offer to be the main talent for the night, he didn't pass up the golden opportunity.  Considering this was the same president who had people dragged out of public town hall meetings for wearing t-shirts his team deemed offensive, this is the gutsiest comedy performance I have ever seen.  He did this to the President's face!!! He didn't back down.

Apparently, the speech didn't hit it off that well with the live audience, with reports of some people walking out.  It was only after the speech was posted online, and everyone saw Stephen Colbert dismantle W. Bush and many other conservatives for the political clowns they were (check out the hand gestures he throws at Justice Scalia!), did the country stop and say, who is this guy.  This speech was also an overdue bashing of the media, who had been willing puppets to their Rovian puppet masters.

Follow it up with an amazing appearance at the 2007 Emmy awards, and he cemented his place as one of the all time satirical greats.  Here is the speech from that night.  Watch and be amazed.  It's your Friday link!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Franken, Clinton, Biden, Warren

I've had a few listeners ask if I'm angry with Senator Al Franken for endorsing Hilary Clinton.  No, I'm not.

Clinton learned her lesson in 2008.  If you act like you've won before you've won, you'll grab defeat from the jaws of victory (thanks Jeff Stein for that line!).  She is being very cautious, getting one of the more liberal Senators from one of the most liberal states on board before the Primary season.  She understands the primaries are won by appealing the more traditional part of the Democratic Party.  In my mind, her getting Franken in the fold this early for the 2016 race is a smart move.

People who do seem upset by Franken's endorsement then ask, "what about Elizabeth Warren?"  Funny, we skip over the candidate who I think is most likely to give Clinton the biggest primary challenge, if he decides to run, Vice President Joe Biden.  I like Biden, and as of right now [these things can change.  I went into 2008 supporting Edwards before jumping on the Obama bandwagon by late February], I'd lean towards him in a straight up head to head with Clinton.  I think she is an exceptional candidate too.  The Democrats once again have a good problem going into an open Presidential seat.

Elizabeth Warren reminds me of the idealist I, and most Democrats, have inside ourselves.  I believe she would make Wall Street a much better place and would tackle the unfair tax code if she became President, but she doesn't stand a chance.  The Wall Street bankers would do anything, ANYTHING, to stop her if it looked like she would win.  At the very least, they would all hand over half of their paychecks to the Republicans in an effort to wipe her out and maintain the corrupt system they thrive in.

Warren will also be a hard sell in non-liberal states in the primary season.  She will get accolades in Minnesota, California, and Massachusetts, but with the Democratic parties of states like Georgia, Texas, Virginia and Arizona, she will have a much harder time selling her wares.

I trust Senator Al Franken.  He is my favorite politician outside of Congressman Keith Ellison, and his judgment and rationale are exceptional.  He is entitled to his opinion, and his thoughts on an issue or individual will have a lot of weight with me.  More power to him.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Hi all!  Been real busy with the holiday stuff, professional and personal.  Good news, I have my holiday cards finished and we are going to have a ton of great shows over the holidays, pre-recorded, original stuff.  A treat for you!

So with holiday cheer in the air, here's a quick note on the evil SOB that is our former Vice President, Dick Cheney.

The disgusting display he preformed on Meet The Press this last Sunday was beyond words.  The coward has hidden behind 9/11 when anyone ever questioned his actions, and he continues to trample on the dead with his invoking of 9/11 victims to justify torture.  He used 9/11 victims to validate the killing of an innocent man, a man who died of exposure after being beaten and chained to the wall.  An innocent man died under the guidance of American foreign policy, and Cheney is proud of it.  The reality: under the 'leadership' of Cheney, we probably did a lot worse under the shadow of the Stars and Stripes.

At one point, Chuck Todd asked the jerk, "didn't we prosecute the enemy when they water boarded our guys during WWII?" That fact punches a huge hole in Dick Cheney's validation argument.  When we tortured, we were following in the footsteps of the Nazis, not the Founding Fathers.  Cheney did what he always does when he can't answer something, he bloviated and screamed "How dare you," at Todd. He insisted it was out of line to bring up such a comparison, and by proxy implied our water boarding was far more dignified and classy then when others did it to our guys.

Cheney then hid behind the "these guys are bad people" defense.  No one is doubting the actual guilty parties are bad guys.  I think we all agree on that, but weren't the Nazis, Italians and Japanese all bad guys in WWII?  They did mass execute the Jewish people and there was that whole surprise destruction of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, yet we never stooped to an actual US policy of torturing the enemy (internment camps were bad enough).  These extremists we are fighting in the Middle East, and worldwide, are the latest incarnation of the "bad guy," but by torturing, we have now lost the moral high ground.  We have become no better than them, wallowing in their gutter slime, even torturing the wrong people.  But at least Dick Cheney has found a happy home in the filth.

I worked with the late John Lundell when I was reporting traffic.  John was far right on the political spectrum.  When Minnesota lawmakers were having the discussion about Carry and Conceal, John bragged it was the best thing that could ever happen.  He insisted Carry and Conceal would end all crime in Minnesota, and when I called him on that outrageous claim, he then threw out the most preposterous scenario, ever(!), to try to validate carrying a concealed weapon. "Matt, what happens if terrorists have taken your kid's daycare hostage and they are holding your son, with a gun to his head.  You'd want a loaded weapon then, wouldn't you?  Are you a coward Matt?  Are you just going to let them shoot your son in the head?"

I really liked John, and I miss him, but that was the most insane argument I've ever heard.

If, to validate your actions or opinions, you have to wrap yourself in the worst moments of American history, or story lines so outrageous that even the Die Hard movie series would think are unbelievable, you clearly can't see how extreme your actions and opinions really are.

Dick Cheney, you are a disgusting pig of a man.  Your blood lust and blood money, all hidden behind your fake 9/11 piety, are the true legacy you will be remembered by.  You are a horrible human being.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Friday Link for 12/12/14

For me, the Blues Brothers were a transitional comedy for my family.  It was a movie my parents would watch, laughing hysterically, and I loved it too.  I remember when it was the Saturday Night Movie of the week.  They would have Bond films, the disaster films or the 70's, some musicals, but the Blues Brothers was always a hit when it aired.  We'd make some popcorn and settle in for a good ride, with me on the floor in front of the TV.

The main reason I was a fan at 13 was simple, they destroyed a lot of cars in this movie.  There is no CGI or computer animation.  They are just crashing cars constantly in this film.  The final chase scene is a demolition derby on steroids, an over the top celebration of carnage.  Watch it in letterbox to get the full impact of it.

The mall chase, which I have linked to here, also has another distinction, capturing the American Mall in all of it's late 70's/early 80's glory.  This was right before malls became the iconic hangout of the Reagan 80's teenagers, and some of the stores they mention are friendly reminders of the culture before big hair, British New Wave, and shoulder pads.

Watch the movie for the music too.  The music in Blues Brothers is so good, it has rarely been matched for soundtracks.  As a matter of fact, I would even recommend the sequel (I'll wait for the boos to die down) for the music in that one too.  The one exception in Blues Brothers 2000 is Riders in the Sky, a clear take off of Rawhide from the first movie.  Also the sequel has as much hilarity as a Dick Cheney interview on Fox.  Still, the music is very good.

Enjoy a trip inside the mall!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The High Ground has a Gutter

This is an e-mail I wrote in response to Bob from Eden Priarie who, this morning, tried to dismiss the torture issue by focusing on a small element of a military story I only brought up to make a minor point. This is what John Fugelsang and Jon Stewart mean when they talk about the left leaning media having zero room for error.


Bob in Eden Prairie,

I don't think there is a need to follow through on reporting this incident from my military days over 25 years ago.  It wasn't forced rectal feeding or constant beating and water boarding.  It was one punch, in 1988.  If you decide to follow through on this, for the record, you are not speaking for me, or acting on my behalf.  Do not imply you are speaking for me in any capacity.

But to tell the truth, you have a point.  The "non-punching by drill sergeants" rules, although new, were in place at the time.  If you want to follow through on this, you are welcome to, and I won't deny the incident took place.  Whether the military would spend a second on it or not remains to be seen. 

You're clinging to a flimsy patch on your high ground when you say I should have, at 20, as a private in Basic Training, sternly walked up to the nearest officer and filed a report on that Drill Sergeant for his misguided attempt to make a point that the US Army doesn't torture.  Technically, you're following the letter of the law, but you clearly don't understand the dynamics of the military.  It's like the newest 2nd Lt. putting a 25 year Master Sergeant into attention.  Technically they can do it, but they don't do it.  Doesn't mean they can't, but no one in the military will back them up if they do.  I'll let you tackle that problem next.

It is not fair to label you a hypocrite before hand, so I apologize, but let's make sure you understand the choice you have to make.  

If you decide you want to follow through with this, e-mail me back and let me know.  I will forward you the name of the Drill Sergeant from 1988 for you to pursue.  At that point, you have only two options.  The first would be to follow through in a misguided attempt to prove you're a better person than I am.  Go to the Army and report the incident and work to get the Staff Sergeant prosecuted for his actions.  If you're successful, you may be able to strip a decorated NCO of their retirement benefits.  Since you insist you are proudly taking the moral high ground, I'll promise to keep the listeners up to date on your personal efforts to strip a retired NCO of their benefits, all in an effort to prove me wrong.  Afterwards, if you are successful, we'll have a get-together, where I will invite the VFW, Marine Corps League, Wounded Warriors, and all other veterans for you to high-five, and I'll let you explain to them why you did what you did.  You shouldn't be afraid of doing that.

If I do send you this name, and you don't do anything, well, you'd then be a massive hypocrite for suggesting I was a bad guy for having knowledge of an incident and not reporting it, and then in turn not reporting it yourself when you the opportunity to do so.  

If you decide you do not want the name, and in turn do not want to file a report, I will take it as your agreeing with my point of view on this matter.  These are your three choices right now, that's it.  Your call, your decision.  I am sure you'll try to wiggle into some other option, but really these are your only three choices.

I am going to post this e-mail to the public, using only "Bob" (for the time being).  Let me know what your decision is.

Thanks for listening!

Matt McNeil
Morning Host - The Morning Grind
AM 950 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Response to Randy

This morning, I talked about the Senate's torture report, a disgusting revelation of violent abuse and the unconscionable cover up by the CIA and the W. Bush administration.  The bipolar mentality by the Bush administration, sized up primarily in former Vice President Dick Cheney, highlights the internal struggle the Republican Party has with this sort of thing.  On one side, if they admit they tortured, they know their eternal legacy will be tied to the heinous act, so they tip toe around it, acting as if the worst thing that happened was a purple nurple, and the end result is 1500 thwarted attacks.  On the other side, they so want to brag about it, thrusting their freedom boners at anyone who questioned their decisions, with an "F-yeah we tortured them.  We did it with a smile on out faces and got nothing in return.  That's right, we did because we could!  U-S-A, U-S-A!"

Randy in Coon Rapids, a regular caller from the conservative side of life, chimed in this morning.  In back to back sentences, he said he was 1) a Christian and 2) glad we tortured people and hope we do it again.  One might ask how can Randy, and many other Republicans, so blindly defend the un-defendable, making a mockery of their humanity.  They can because they follow one core belief, no Republican could ever be wrong, regardless of how much it compromises their own dignity and morality to defend them.

Imagine Pavlov's Dog.  The master rings the bell, the dog salivates waiting for the kibble to come.  Now, replace the bell with a Republican position they want to sell or a Republican crisis they need to defend, replace the dogs with brainless Republicans who never question, replace the drool with the conservative talking points fed to the right's fervent supporters, and the kibble is the promise of money.  The GOP knows they never have to deliver the money, as the drool starts the minute the Republicans ring the bell to rally their troops.  They just have to make vague promises of "someday" bringing out the bowl of money.  The drool flows so freely from the right's lemmings, they've gotten to the point where they will trample upon the two things they swear they defend most of all, Religion and American Values.

To justify their belligerence, the right has created a jaw dropping, stunningly stupid series of defensive positions:

  • Obamacare, trying to give millions affordable healthcare, must be stopped due to "Death Panels!"
  • Gun Violence must never be addressed because the founding fathers wanted everyone to have a machine gun, the only people with guns if you make them illegal will be criminals, and all of these shootings are actually perpetrated by the anti-gun community as "false flag" operations.
  • An unarmed Michael Brown being gunned down in the street was justified because he was a "demon!"
  • Benghazi, with the tragedy of four American dead, is FAR worse than the Iraq war, fought under false pretenses, at a cost of trillions of tax payer dollars, with near 5000 dead American soldiers and over 30,000 permanently injured American soldiers, and Iraq is no better off than it was before we got there.
  • Voter ID is justified, because spending millions of dollars and knowingly disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of voters is a small price to pay to stop a one or two miscast votes, votes which are generally miscast purposely by Republicans trying to prove the system is broken.
  • Sarah Palin is not an embarrassment, it's just the Liberals are jealous.

I could go on for days...

The amazing thing about the Republican voter never ending drool is how in states like Oklahoma, Mississippi, Kansas and South Carolina it still flows so freely.  The GOP has firmly been in charge of these states for many years.  They never have delivered on their promises, quite the contrary, the quality of life for most of the residents of these God forsaken nether regions is horrid.  But the drool never stops, like a simpleton's Old Faithful.

Now we have torture, and the Republicans saliva patrol is out in force, making a mockery of the principles of this country and the religion they wear on their sleeves.  They will scream "partisan politics," desperately trying to dismiss the truth, just so they can get back to investigating Obama's birth certificate, starting another Benghazi investigation, revisiting Whitewater and debating whether to impeach President Obama, you know, their "non-partisan' agenda.

Don't worry, I am prepared for the next Randy call.  I just hope I don't laugh out loud when he starts his version of a thoughtfully constructed counterpoint.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Pot Luck

Here are some random thought from this weekend.

1)   It is amazing how much control conservatives have over media in this country.  Right now, we are in a bit of a dead zone for news.  Most people don't care about the day to day goings on in the world as we are in December, the time for holiday shopping and good cheer.  If you did pay attention to the news, you'd have heard the country is in the best hiring year since 1999, the deficit has been slashed dramatically under the Obama administration and oil prices have plummeted, partially due to the Presidents handling of world crisises and his international policy.  I had a conservative friend, ask me on Facebook, "this is very impressive, so why didn't the Democrats mention this before the election?"

From August to Election Day, the media in this country, not only the clearly corrupted by agenda and money big 5 (CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC), but other, more trusted outlets such as NPR, Huffington Post and Yahoo, did the journalistic equivalent of running around, waving their hands in the air and screaming "EBOLA!!!!"  Then, the day after the elections, they just stopped.  There wasn't a grace period, there wasn't a transition, they just stopped.  The only 'news' outlets who didn't seem to be controlled by the news disinformation machine were the BBC and Al-Jazeera.

There was a concerted effort by the media in this country to prevent the American people from hearing anything positive about the President and the Democrats prior to the election.  They buried all of this positivity until after the election was over, and now, with no agenda driven message to present to the masses, and all of the Christmas sales securely in place, they stumble back to their original job, reporting news.  In the future, one thing the media in this country will be judged on is not only their failures to report the truth for the last 20 years, but their complicit nature as accomplices to Conservatives in driving the right's agenda.  I swear, if I hear another 'bought and paid for' journalist or editor bloviate their insistence about how they are fair to both sides and hold Republicans accountable...BULL!

2)  To be fair, the media wasn't the only thing which cost the Democrats the Senate in this last election, it was God awful Democrats as well, whether incumbents or candidates, who should have never been part of the party in the first place.  It's with that, I say "let the door hit you in the ass on your way out" to soon to be former Senator Mary Landrieu, the fake Democrat from Louisiana.  She lost.  She was an embarrassment to have in the Democratic Party anyway, so good riddance.

3)  This brings up a third point about elections, and the real important one coming up.  No, I'm not talking about 2016, although that is very important.  I'm talking about 2020.  In 2020, the state legislatures who win get to decide if the current unabashedly unfair US House districts stay the way the GOP gerrymandered them, or do they get redrawn to represent people fairly.  That year, 2020, the President is the biggest office up for grabs, but now, due to the wins in 2014, the GOP has to hold a ton of Republican Senate seats they likely will not be able to hold, the US House will have their biannual money suck, and the GOP will be pouring money into individual state legislature and governor races at never before seen, incomprehensible levels.  My guess is, since the total cost for the GOP will likely be in the trillions, they will have to take off the 2018 election cycle in order to stockpile cash for 2020.  If the right wins in 2020, well may God have mercy on us all.

4)  If you still insist the police used acceptable force in Ferguson and on Staten Island, and have never once condemned Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who has stolen a million dollars from the American people, a person who when Bureau of Land Management employees, law enforcement, came to enforce the laws, his followers pointed loaded weapons at the heads of said law enforcement, clearly threatening them with deadly force, you are not worth listening too.  If you condemn Cliven Bundy just as vigorously as you condemn Michael Brown or Eric Garner, I won't agree with you, but at least you're consistent.  If you insist there is a difference, you're not fooling anyone.  You back up Bundy, whose crimes were far worse than Brown or Garner's, because he is white, and you hate the two dead men because they were black.

5)  Minnesota ranked 5th in a 24/7 Wall Street poll of best run states.  Unlike a lot of polls, there wasn't the usual Democratic states are in the top half while the Republican states are in the bottom half outcome, but rather the states are scrambled nicely.  Minnesota is the highest rated state with a major metro area (with all due respect to Omaha and Des Moines, both lovely towns, you're not the same as Minneapolis/St. Paul.  But with all sincerity, if you are looking for a fun weekend, those are great towns).

Democratic states like Minnesota can be well managed, business friendly, economically sound and worker and middle class strong, even top five in the nation.  What this proves is not what the GOP wants you to believe.  They want you to think states like Mississippi, Kansas and Wisconsin are great, but they are only great for the wealthiest of wealthy and largest corporations.  I'll put it bluntly, I know a lot of people moving to Minnesota from Wisconsin, I don't know one person who has moved from Minnesota to Wisconsin in the last two years.  Seriously.  That's a new trend.

6) Finally, and completely away from politics, I made a really interesting observation about eggs the last two weeks.  Yes, you read right.  I needed eggs around Thanksgiving and my wife picked up a dozen while running an errand.  They were not the eggs we usually get.  For many years, I've been only buying organic eggs from cage free chickens.  The eggs my wife bought were from some corporate farm.  It was really scary how different they were from my usual eggs.  The shells were very fragile, the yokes broke way too easy and they did not taste like eggs.  They tasted (pardon the pun) like a hollow shell of themselves.  This is one of those things you need to be used to the organic ones to really notice the difference, but it was undeniable to me.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Friday Link for 12/5/14

So, I have been busy this week.  No seriously, I have been so freaking busy.  I had to go buy all of the gifts for my friends in Ireland, pack them and ship them, I had to get all of the photos from the last year sorted and mailed, I had to dismantle a turkey carcass into turkey soup and turkey tetrazzini (both delicious FYI!) and we now have a tree upstairs decorating the living room for the next month.  Thanks to some cool music and food from Park Tavern, tonight I am keeping my sanity...

No excuses though.  This is my blog, and the buck stops here.  I do have about 40 posts I want to get written and I promise a new one this weekend...sometime...I hope...

I am punting...

Arrested Development is the funniest show ever written and it is amazingly dirty at times.  They bleep this all out but let's face it, you get the idea.  In case you are missing my point, this is dirtier than I usually post, but most of it was on network TV so...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Black Friday Rules

I'm not a fan of Black Friday.  I don't like throwing myself into the mosh pits which pop up in our retail stores during and after Thanksgiving.  In my mind, these are completely made up frenzies by corporate America who convince people there's something truly American about rushing out the door, abandoning family and friends, going shopping, and, knowing some people can be enticed by a $50 video game system or a limited edition Barbie doll, creating a false urgency inertia which sucks others into thinking there is something cool about it.

I do not know anyone who really loves shopping on Black Friday.  I'm not saying there aren't some out there, but most people I know who jettison family on Thursday, or wake themselves up at 2 AM on Friday, need a day to recover, looking exhausted and unfulfilled, all while trying to convince me, through a strained grin, "it was SOOOO worth it."  To me, the stores will be open the next few weeks and they will have big deals throughout the holiday season.

Two observations: the corporate executives who have convinced us to abandon one of the last remaining non-religious holidays of the year (and force 95% of their employees to have to work Thanksgiving day), don't need to do this.  They can offer these deals anytime between now and Christmas and they would sell just the same.  Black Friday has become the cherry on top of the Age of Greed Sundae.  They destroy the idea of Thanksgiving, because they can and we allow them to.

Second, all of this is being done under the false celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, a man who preached about throwing aside worldly possessions to help out the needy.  Trust me, Jesus and his disciples would not be elbowing 80-year old grandmas out of the way at a Wal-Mart to get the last half price juicer.  Jesus would hate the 'buy-buy-buy' culture the United States has turned his birthday into.

Some look at me and insist I am just being a fuddy-duddy, insisting this is the America Way.  No, it's not.

Quick story, my children and I love listening to old radio shows, the classics.  To watch younger kids choose to put away their glowing rectangles and listen to a radio play is very cool.  The other day we were listening to a Dragnet episode from December 14th, 1952 or 1953.  I'm not sure of the year, but  positive on it being from Dec. 14th.  In the episode, as they were working their case, Friday and his partner were talking about a 'handful' of early Christmas shoppers.  A handful of early shoppers on December 14th.

The world does change, but not necessarily for the better.  This celebration of consumerism is new, having evolved over the last few decades (I personally blame Cabbage Patch Kids), and something even the conservative god Reagan was against.  "My fellow Americans, let us keep this Thanksgiving Day sacred." (1985)

Sorry for quoting him, but it does lead to a question for conservatives.  If Jesus, and Christianity, are against consumerism and corporate greed overall, and your Republican icons even wanted to keep Thanksgiving "sacred," then if you are for this Thanksgiving shopping debacle, aren't you placing consumerism, corporate greed, and cheap baubles ahead of everything else?

If you really want to shop, be safe and all my best.  Please try a locally owned small business first.  They might not have a cheap, slave labor made TV for $25, but the ripple effect of buying local will help your community for months, not just guarantee some corporate senior executive's great, great, great, great, great grandkid, a spoiled trust fund brat, has their beachside bar tab covered.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Friday Link for 11/28/14

So I'm enjoying a lot of time with my kids this Thanksgiving weekend and mailing this weeks link in!

Watched a lot of Disney movies already this weekend and for a laugh, I will send you the way of the Screen Junkies guys for one of their Honest Trailers.  The one for Frozen is very funny.  Check out all of their other videos.

This isn't NSFW, but it does have some adult themes.  I promise a new post or two this weekend!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Hi all!  I hope everyone drives safe this weekend.  I have been busting my caboose the last few days making this feast:

Appetizers - Shrimp and Irish cheese

Turkey (Terry's brine recipe is so good!)
Cornbread stuffing
Mashed potatoes
Green bean casserole
Brussel spouts
Cranberry sauce (also Terry)
Pumpkin and Pecan pie

I am giving into my wife a little with a few menu items this year.  My Thanksgivings as a kid were on the east coast in Rhode Island, so seafood played a role in our dinners.  I love mussels and clams, but my wife is not the biggest fan.  Shrimp is making an appearance as an appetizer, but that's it.

I'm a Minnesota boy and this is my first Thanksgiving in many years without wild rice.  I love it, but my wife wanted cornbread stuffing.  I'm making a huge turkey and so that means turkey soup and turkey tetrazzini served over wild rice on Saturday.  I'm good.

I'm thankful for a lot this year.  I have a great producer, Bryan, who makes me sound good.  Everyone at the station is great to work with.  Chad the owner, Ian the PD, and everyone else make my job fun and easy.

Thanks to the listeners.  You guys really do make my job great.  I thank you for the support and being there.  Somedays this job is not easy to do, but I can always depend on you.  Thank you.

Thank you also to great guests.  The regulars:  Ken Martin, Ben Johnson, Jeff Stein, Dan Brooks, Aaron Rupar, Briana Bierschbach, and Cliff Schecter.  The rest - John Fugelsang, Carlos Alazraqui, Dessa, The Walker, The Soap Facotry, The Historical Society, Speaker of the Minnesota House Paul Thissen, The Minnesota Orchestra, Astronaut Abby, Jon Tevlin, Terry John Zila, Congressmen Keith Ellison, Tim Walz and Rick Nolan, Senator Al Franken, Secretary of State Elect Steve Simon, Vinny Howard from the Marine Corps League, Dave Randall, Scott Wolter, Jayne Jones and her crew, Kate Tracy, Senator Melisa Franzen, Holly Muñoz, Mike McIntee, and all the great authors I've gotten to talk to.

Please support the sponsors of the station.  These are a lot of great businesses supporting the station. I want to say a special thanks to The Park Tavern, Rudy Luther Toyota Scion, Great Clips, The Minnesota Historical Society, and Semper Fi Marines for sponsoring the show itself.

One note about Black Friday.  Please remember, buy local and buy American made!  These are very important not just this time of year, but all year long.

Have a great Thanksgiving and I'll be back with the Friday link.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Terry Zila's Thanksgiving Recipes 2014

Apple Cider Brine
1 fresh or thawed turkey
2 oranges, sliced
8 cups apple cider
2/3 cups kosher salt
2/3 cup sugar
8 slices fresh ginger root
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons allspice berries, crushed
4 cups cold water

1.     Combine the cider, salt, sugar, ginger, onion, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns and crushed allspice berries in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from the heat, add the cold water, and cool to room temperature.
2.     Have ready a pot large enough to hold the turkey and the brine. Place a plastic oven bag inside another to create a double-thickness.  Rest in the bags in a pot or roasting pan to collect any possible leaks and to make moving the turkey easier. Wash the turkey inside and out and remove the giblets and neck and reserve for gravy or stuffing if desired.
3.     Place the turkey inside the double-thickness bag and stand it upright. Place orange slices in the main cavity. Cover the turkey completely with the brine.
4.     Cover or tightly close the bag and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Turn the turkey 3 or 4 times during the brining.

5.     Before roasting, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels before roasting.

Cranberry Relish with orange zest and roasted pecans
Serves 8 to 12

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 cups fresh cranberries
Zest of 1 orange
½ cup pecans

1.   Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the pecan on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
      Remove from oven and set aside.
2.   In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium
      heat to dissolve the sugar.
3.   Add the cranberries and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook until the 
      cranberry skins begin to pop.
4.   Stir in the pecans and serve hot, warm or chilled.

Brussel Sprouts
Serves 8 to 12

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots
Serves 6 to 8

Poaching the Brussels Sprouts in milk , water and sugar before sautéing eliminates much of the bitterness in the sprouts.

4 cups vegetable oil
6 ounces shallots, peeled and sliced 1/16 inch thick, separated into rings
Kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Maple syrup to coat
6 slices bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

1. Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or high sided saucepan to 350°F. Fry the shallots in
batches until crisp and golden. Remove fried shallots from the oil and drain on
paper towels. Season with generously with salt and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, bring the milk, water, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil.
Add the Brussels sprouts and blanch until just tender, or about 3 to 4 minutes.
Drain and set aside.
3. In a skillet, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté just until
beginning to color.
4. On a large lipped baking sheet, covered in foil, place the dries off sprouts. Coat with maple syrup, and broil them until they have a nice color (make sure not to have it too close to the heat or the syrup will burn).
5. Transfer the sprouts to a serving dish, mix in garlic and bacon and garnish with fried shallots.
Serve immediately.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Friday Link for 11/21/14

Was there any doubt I would be going with the WKRP in Cincinnati's Turkeys Away episode for the Friday before Thanksgiving?

I've said for years, whomever wrote WKRP worked in radio for many years.  Every character in that show is an amazing representation of the true corresponding real life employee.  Andy, the exceptional program director everyone likes, Les, the nebbish newsman, Herb, the smarmy sales guy, Venus, every night radio host I ever worked with, Bailey, the plucky, ever competent assistant.  The only one who was off is Gordon Jump's Mr. Carlson.  Not saying I didn't work with my share of owner's relatives who were complete boobs, but the GM was never as incompetent as Carlson.  Watching that show might not give you the complete picture, but it'll give you an pretty good idea what working in radio is like.

I'm so glad they are finally releasing it with most of the original music.  Another thing that show had was a very cool music consultant who gave the radio station the music credentials of a real rock station.  Radio people have told me they would watch an episode and immediately demand the songs from the episode for their own playlists.

This is the greatest Thanksgiving episode ever made for television, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving a close second.  Everything about this is perfect.  I am linking to the entire episode, but go to the 16th minute for the real fun to begin.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  It's your Friday link.,p5,d0

Grape Salad

The New York Times shocked everyone with their "The United States of Thanksgiving" article where they match a specific dish to each state.  They made some goofy choices, but the one which has most people scratching their heads is the choice for Minnesota, grape salad.  Here is the link:

I've never had grape salad, for either Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other Minnesota based meal.  I've had fruit salad, which may or may not have grapes, but the recipe they describe in the article is about as Minnesotan as lobster, grits and persimmons.  No Minnesota friend of mine has ever had a grape salad.  The only person I know who claims to have had it is a listener who had it back in the 70's at a fondu party in Stillwater (savor that image).  She said it wasn't that good.

The New York Times food people are not taking the unwillingness of Minnesotans to accept what they say is a good Minnesota dish, lightly.  Julia Moskin, a reporter with the Food section, is quoted with the following:

“The recipes were not intended to be traditional, popular, or fully representative of the state’s traditions — agricultural, Thanksgiving, or culinary,” she wrote in an email to me. “We didn’t make stupid errors, or fail to check our facts with perfunctory phone calls. We worked hard — writers and especially editors — to generate a mix of 52 recipes that would not be cliched, repetitive, unhealthy, or unappetizing.”

If that's true, why does the article state, "we've scoured the nation for recipes that evoke each of the 50 states..."  Grape Salad does not evoke Minnesota!  My grandparents were stranded in the Duluth Hotel in a blizzard long ago, and they were forced to eat crackers, peanut butter and horseradish, together!  I would not play that off as a Minnesota favorite, even though my family occasionally has it, as a fun salute.

This error, and the resulting comments from Ms. Moskin, at least from our northern tier view, reek of East Coast elitism.  Don't come and tell us what we eat, come see what we eat and then write about it.  If the New York Times wants to publish recipes they like, more power to them, but leave the 50 states out of it.  If you'd have done that, you wouldn't be getting the grief you are getting now from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Ask us next time, don't tell us.  Wild rice, walleye, heck even Spam would be more representative of the state than grape salad.  At least the New York Times can take credit for what one listener pointed out this morning (@RaisingOneBrow); the Minnesota State Fair is almost guaranteed to have deep fried Grape Salad on a stick in 2015.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


For anyone who wants to accuse President Obama of being dishonest in regards to the passage of Obamacare, let me remind you of something from the end of the last President's reign.  The W. Bush administration supposedly lost millions of e-mails.  Millions!  They lost them off of the sending computer's e-mail program, off the cache on the sending computer, off the internet server/router, off the cache of the receiving computer and off the receiving computer's e-mail program.  They said this with a straight face, insisting the e-mails were just lost.

This was no "ctrl-alt-del" mistake or cat running across a keyboard.  A team of computer pros working around the clock for months had to have deleted all traces of these e-mails.  E-mails dealing with Iraq, Al-Qeada, the Saudis, Katrina, the re-election campaign, strategy e-mails about legislation and correspondence with certain media outlets.  The American people were told one of the most outlandish, easily provable lies ever, and the GOP acted as if it was just one big oopsie!

So a person who worked on Obamacare got a little too graphic in describing the sausage making that is writing major legislation.  The program works when it isn't purposely derailed by agenda driven Republicans, but even under the harshest light, there is no comparison of the honesty ratings of the current and last President.  The W. Bush administration was probably the most dishonest, deceitful and self-serving administration in US history.  Harding is the only one giving him a run at that title.

FYI, no Federal level Republican office holder has called for a full investigation of the failures that lead to the Iraq War, which created more than 4000 dead American soldiers, more than 30,000 permanently injured soldiers and cost the US tax payers TRILLIONS.  Not one.