Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Governor's Masterpiece

It just keeps getting better...

Two weeks ago, after the special session negotiations between Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and Republican Speaker of the Minnesota House Kurt Daudt (K-Dogg) fell apart, I wrote a detailed piece, referencing the political negotiations from this summer, proving definitively Governor Dayton was FAR smarter than Daudt.  Here's the link:

I had no idea how much smarter Dayton really was until today, when his masterpiece was displayed for all to see!

After the special session failed, due to the Democrats demanding the Southwest Light Rail Line (SWLRT) needed to be in the bill, and Daudt's insistence mass transportation has never ever worked (ignore the other Twin Cities light rail lines, all major cities, Europe), Kurt hatched a plan.  He decided he would turn the 2016 election in Minnesota into another rural verses metro territorial fight, with the "last straw" being SWLRT.  Mind you, many conservative elements of the metro area want SWLRT, any politician who thinks every community should only build transportation for their own immediate area is incredibly dumb, and outstate Minnesota loves billions in (mostly metro area) tax payer dollars being spent on a new football stadium for a billionaire owner, not for needed transportation improvements, but deep thoughts seem to avoid K-Dogg, whose party is tied to Donald Trump this election cycle.  He needed to find something he could campaign on.  The warped righto fan fiction of how Twin Cities area Democrats wanted to steal every dollar from outstate Minnesota to build SWLRT was his new rallying cry.

Slight problem.  Governor Dayton was expecting this move, and completely outflanked Daudt and the Republicans.  He called upon three different agencies (the Metropolitan Council, the Hennepin County Rail Authority and the County Transit Advisory Board) to offset the remaining 140 million needed to secure the billion dollars in federal transportation funds available for the SWLRT project.  They all agreed.  Yesterday, HCR passed their portion, and today, the other two boards did the same, a unanimous decision in regards to the Met Council.  The funding is secured.  SWLRT will be built.

What was destroyed in these three votes was the Republican strategy to keep their heads above water this election cycle.  How much money was already spent on campaign literature geared at stopping a light rail line which has now been approved?  How many campaign speeches had already been given about a now dated issue?  It's spoiled milk the MNGOP is trying to pour on their voter's bran flakes.  I'm sure the GOP will try to insist light rail is still the devil's monkey bars, but voters are no longer going to be energized by anti-SWLRT arguments, similar to how most Republican voters ignored the gay marriage issue after the Democrats made it legal in Minnesota.

Put the last two weeks together with the entire summer, and Governor Dayton just had one of the most vicious political smackdowns I've ever seen.  When you think back to the last day of regular session, K-Dogg thinking he had all the power, defiantly rejecting the mutilated Bonding/Transportation bill because SWLRT was on it.  Then think of how the Governor out maneuvered Daudt at every turn this summer.  Fast forward to today and survey Dayton's path of destruction through the Republican flanks.  The ONLY thing moving forward from those last days of the regular session is SWLRT.  The Governor did all of this pretty much by himself, and then, as an afterthought coup de grĂ¢ce, he annihilated the GOP's one talking point for the fall election cycle.

Standing Ovation, Bravo, Encore, DAAMMNNNN!

Hey Speaker Daudt, and the rest of the MNGOP, you might want to rethink the next time one of you decides to insult or demean the Governor, like you did at the beginning of special session in 2015.  He doesn't like it, and he'll get payback.  He didn't just beat you, he beat you so bad, your parents are saying "Ow!"  Then he torched your car.  Scoreboard!

I need to revise the last sentence from the article I referenced:  Speaker Kurt Daudt, Rep. Joyce Peppin, Sen. David Hann and the entire Minnesota Republican Party, you all need to run home and grab your shine boxes!


The Weird Pacific Northwest

Hey all!  I've been enjoying a week of 1) the MNGOP being revealed for the incompetent organization they really are, and B) the Governor getting ready to spank Speaker Daudt's caboose, again! But before I write about the later issue, I wanted to give you a post on the weirdness that is the Pacific Northwest.

I loved visiting, but they're a weird people.  The best story I heard was about the Mayor of Portland, in 1970(?), making up a fake Woodstock-esque concert to keep the hippies and protesters aways from a Nixon speaking engagement.  He lied about the superstar artists who would be there, but he also came up with the brilliant plan; whatever went on in the concert venue would not be prosecuted, hence hedonism!  He also gave strict instructions to take any protesters not to jail, but out to the concert venue, to see a few local bands who were really scheduled.  It worked like a charm.

I will say, as much as the Pacific Northwest gets credit for the homelessness issue, I think all they have done is create a new way to ignore the problem.  By allowing the homeless to be around, you give the green light for your citizens to ignore them even harder.  I'll try to elaborate more on that in a later post.

Here are some photos highlighting the weirdness that is the Pacific Northwest.  I'll explain if needed.

Pretty impressive you can get a name one letter off of two horrible medical conditions, E-coli and ebola.  I'll pass...

That's a clear sign...

I've dated this woman, multiple times.  I have a type...


The Portland and Seattle community seem to be embracing their new cash crop...

Sadly, this barn will likely disappear.  The intersection it was located at is getting a major casino, and hence a new facelift.  

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Friday Link for 8/26/16

I'm so mad at the Twin Cities news media.

Let me see if I can break this down:  For some inexplicable reason, the Minnesota Republicans failed to fulfill their state Constitutional mandated requirement at their convention.  According to state law (not GOP bylaws, STATE law), they were supposed to nominate a President and Vice President, 10 electors to serve on the Electoral College, and 10 alternate electors.  They never elected the alternates, something which HAS to be done at a convention, by constitutional law.  They also waited until the last minute to get their paperwork to Secretary of State Steve Simon in order to have their Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates listed on the November ballot.  The deadline to get those names in, along with the names of the electors, alternates, and all other proper paperwork, is Monday, August 29th.  It was at a MNGOP meeting on Wednesday the 24th where the wheels of the party came off.  They realized their mistake about the alternates, and, illegally, tried to amend the rules and nominate the alternates within this small group meeting, something they can't do.  The alternates have to be voted on by the party, at the convention, not hastily in a conference room by party leadership.  They then had MNGOP party chair Keith Downey certify the "results," and sent them off to the SOS, knowing they had a mess on their hands, a mess which could end up being a valid, stinging legal challenge.  The end result could be Donald Trump not on the November ballot in Minnesota.

Wow, that's incompetent!

The story of all of this was broken by Michael Brodkorb, a former blogger and columnist for the Star Tribune, who now works independently.  The media in this town, partially due to resentment they didn't discover the story, partially due to the undeniable pro Republican slant of media and news media today, and partially due to many journalists forgetting how to do journalism, pretty much ignored the story.  Their 'nothing to see here' mentality is mind numbing.

Journalists, you owe it to the public to ask questions!  Why haven't you all asked "why weren't the alternates chosen at the convention?"  How about "when you realized the mistake, why did you take a course of action which will clearly be challenged in court?" "Didn't you do a massive disservice to rank and file Republicans by appointing alternates which were supposed to elected at the convention?" "What will be your response if Trump's November ballot placement is challenged?" "Considering the Republicans have insisted they're the party of voting integrity, how does the party codify such a clear violation of voter and election law?"  And I haven't even gotten to the biggest question, "who exactly is responsible for this mess?"

For the news media of Minnesota to willfully ignore a legitimate and important news story is inexcusable.  It was bad enough when you guys allowed a billion in tax payer dollars to be spent on a football stadium with little or no question until AFTER the stadium was approved.  It was bad enough you went out of your way to avoid talking about the Tara Mack/Tim Kelly sexual encounter story, even though they both were married to other people, they both came from the political party which insisted marriage was between one man and one woman, both served on the House Ethics Committee, and they initially went after park police who discovered them.  It was bad enough you allowed an extremely questionable credit card debt forgiveness for Speaker of the MN House Kurt Daudt to go unchallenged, even though the credit was forgiven in an incredibly suspicious manner, the law firm who forgave the debt wasn't Kurt's, but rather the law firm for the credit card company itself, and the law firm has a lobbying wing in St. Paul.  The news media made plenty of excuses for why they couldn't, or didn't want to, cover these stories, even though it's not their place to determine what news they get to cover.  This is intentional incompetence, for whatever the reason.


If I'm stuck with looney tunes news, then I guess I'll embrace funny news for today.  Here are a series of top notch news cuts from Newsradio, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and a phenomenal piece form Murphy Brown.  Enjoy!


The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Murphy Brown

Try to have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Quick Hits for 8/24/16

I should actually title this Two Greedy's and a Jerk.

Warning, I'm going to use a bad word or two towards the end of this post.
  • The country is moving away from for profit run prisons, because (SHOCK!) they run far less efficiently or competently than government run prisons.  When profit is your first priority...  The Corrections Corporation of America was pressing hard to try to get the state of Minnesota to use their Appleton facility in the last legislative session, but the proposal went nowhere.  The state didn't want  to work with a private prison.  Apparently CCA met with the Governor and state officials to offer the state a lease option, hence allowing the state to operate the facility with state employees and staffing levels, and presented a further option for the state to outright purchase the facility, kind of like an AMC Pacer.  The cost to lease would be 6 to 8 million a year, but if the state opted to, they could purchase the facility for 99 million dollars, this according to Republican Representative Tim Miller of Prinsburg.  The price was questioned by residents of Appleton, who pointed out the assessed property tax value on the facility was only $15 million dollars.  Tim Miller's response basically boils down to "well that's the offer."  Fiscal conservative my caboose.  The good news is Governor Dayton has said the state has zero interest in the Appleton facility, but can someone in the media ask Tim Miller why he's implying the state should even entertain the idea of paying over six times the value for the prison.  For the on going saga of the prison, Blue Stem Prairie has been coving it:
  • There clearly is a new business model in the medical word, one created by greedy jackasses: buy up the rights to a product, such a medical device or pill, to a point where you control the entire market, or a substantial part of the market, and then inflate the cost of the product hundreds of percent, raking in tons of money.  Think 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli who took a life saving drug to treat toxoplasmosis and raised the cost 5500%, just so he could light cigars with 100's and finally fulfill his life goal of being scum of the earth.  This must be an actual business model.  Meet Mylan Pharmaceuticals CEO Heather Bresch, 'Pharma Gal.'  The company cornered the market on EpiPens, the life saving devices which save people with serious allergies.  EpiPens are a necessity if you have violent reactions to allergies, particularly food allergies.  Heather looked at EpiPens, and must have said, "How much would the pathetic masses be willing to pay to keep breathing?"  The price of them has gone from $56 in 07, to $317 last year. Consequently, Heather has increased her salary from $2 million to $18 million in the same time frame. I don't know what's more tragic; the fact people have likely died because they couldn't afford the cost of an EpiPen to treat their severe allergic reaction, or that there are other greedy jackasses who are trying to figure out a way to corner the market on a different life saving drug.  The EpiPen fiasco has got people's attention, including Rep. Tim Miller's opponent for 17A, former Representative Andrew Falk, and MN Senator Amy Klobuchar is calling for an investigation on Mylan's price gouging.
  • Finally, we had another case of a conservative reading a parody/satire news story, thinking it's true, going off on an unhinged, deranged rant, and then having reality smack them in the face like a two by four.  Let me introduce Neal Larson, an incredibly stupid, right wing idiot from Idaho, a proud graduate from Idaho State University (Go Fighting Dysentery's), who not only has a far righto radio talk show, but also a newspaper column.  He took on Neil deGrasse Tyson, the incredibly intelligent astrophysicist, because of a parody story Larson thought was real, even going as far as to personally insult deGrasse Tyson with cheap shots (Hey! Insulting people with cheap shots and salty language is my gig!).  I don't want to give Mr. Larson any more credit, or story clicks, than he's already received.  Trust me, he's dumb, beyond dumb, to think this fake story was real, and to not do basic research to see if the story was real.  deGrasse Tyson penned a very eloquent response, far more than Larson deserved, where he counterpointed every one of Larson's ignorant claims, and pointed out the basis of Larson's story was a made up parody piece.  Let me take a moment:  There's no win for Larson on this.  He just got bare bones exposed for being a jackass.  He should take his shame and wear it.  The only thing he can do to save face is to profusely apologize, and appreciate how gentle deGrasse Tyson's smack down was.  But then again, the modern conservative's a**holery knows no limits.  This morning Neal Larson admitted on Twitter he used a fake news story, and IMPLIED he made a deep apology.  The link for his 'apology' was a story of another anti-Neil deGrasse Tyson story from The Federalist.  No apology, so Larson's a liar, and clearly Idaho State University's degree programs suck!  Larson opted to try to find a path where he could attempt to claim victory, when there was no path to victory for him.  I don't need Neil deGrasse Tyson's intelligence to make a final conclusion on Neal Larson; he's a d!ck.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Not Equal

When I ask Christian Republicans how they can still support Donald Trump, the least Christian candidate I've seen in my lifetime, the usual response is something in the vein of, "well he's still more Christian-y than Hillary Clinton!"

First, that's called deflection, a way for you to desperately avoid answering my question by trying to hide in plain sight.  Second, the Christianity standard isn't the Democrats standard, it's yours.  You've spent the last 40 years insisting all Republicans are Jesus and all Democrats are evil.  When I ask you how you can stand by Trump,  I'm holding you to YOUR standard.  And thirdly, no he's not.  It's not even close.  Hillary embodies far more Christian values.  Trump says, and stands for, the most un-Christian statements and policies of ANY presidential candidate.

The Republicans are going to vote for Trump.  They are, they know it, and they hate themselves for it.  They're sycophants, desperately trying to validate the unconscionable act they're about to perform in November, and they seem to be focusing on the excuse, "Hillary Clinton is no better than Donald Trump, so what does it matter?"

It matters a lot, but I'm not going to get into a policy discussion with grunters.  I've spent the last 15 years trying to talk policy with you guys, and you refuse to even acknowledge the sun rises in the east.

No, I'm going to spend this article proving without a doubt Trump and Clinton are not equal.  Hillary Clinton is one of the most qualified candidates in the history of Presidential politics.  To prove my point, I'll compare her to Trump.

The Republican prism is two fold.  Not only do they float conspiracy theories about Clinton which even a bath salts addicted Florida face eater would find illogical, they purposely and willfully deny 99% of Trump's actions and statements, just to make him an equal meal to the Bizarro Hillary crap sandwich they've made up.

Let's start with the Christianity issue.  Jesus wouldn't ever contemplate nuclear weapon usage, or war, or denying needy people food, shelter, and medical care.  The Bible is also crystal clear when it comes to welcoming in strangers from strange lands.  Trump, and the Republican Party, have introduced and supported policies and platforms which embrace an EXTREMELY anti-Christian mentality.  Hillary Clinton has not.

Trump and the Republican Party have embraced the idea of running the country like it's a corporation.  This is a really bad idea.  The country is far more of a union than a business (you can't just lay off Delaware when you are having a bad year), but with the GOP's wealth worshipping turned up to 11, they've become enthralled with the image of a 1980's, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous type of businessman candidate.  The problem with Trump?  There seems to be enough evidence he's a sketchy businessman, AT BEST!  We know he's had a lot of financial troubles over the years, and where exactly his current creditors are based should concern everyone.

Hillary was a First Lady, US Senator and the Secretary of State.  She's very familiar with how Washington DC operates and is experienced on foreign stages.  She's never had the personal financial problems of Trump, and although the right desperately wants to make Clinton Foundation donations into an issue, the Clinton Foundation has been held to a much higher standard than other charitable organizations, even ones run by former Presidents.  There's no smoking gun, regardless of how much the Republican voter wants it to be true.

Trump implied his supporters could assassinate Hillary Clinton.  Trump attacked numerous military families of soldiers, the same families 2003 Republicans treated with respect (Remember "Support the Troops"?).  Trump has embraced, and is likely deep in financial dealings with, Russia, even encouraging them to hack into US Government computers and release the information they find to the world.  Russia's run by a tyrannical despot in Vladimir Putin, and is a country the Republican God Reagan would've never trusted.  All of these things are skimmed over by Republicans, conveniently ignored to try to make Trump more palatable.

Hillary hasn't done anything remotely as traitorous or anti-American, but the GOP has convinced themselves she has.

You want double standards?  Here are four pages, 97 examples, of things that Trump has done which if Hillary would've done, ANY of them, we'd have Democratic Candidate Sanders (Courtesy of John Stoehr, @JohnAStoehr on Twitter.  Not sure why but 14, 38 and 42 are missing. Watch for language!):

Once again, not only is this a list of things Hillary Clinton HASN'T done, it's a list of things Donald Trump HAS done!  Pretty much most of these things would end Clinton's candidacy, and in the case of the hat and the tan, she'd be relentlessly mocked.  The Republican logic mind wipes must be overloading.

Republicans will insist Hillary is just as bad as Trump because of the 'e-mail scandal.'  She's been investigated numerous times, and ZERO charges have been filed against her.  NONE!  Facts and reality don't matter to the right.  To prove this, let me ask: if Clinton using private e-mail was a criminal offense tantamount to treason, then why was the right never bothered by any of these scandals; either equally as bad, or in the case of W. and Trump, FAR WORSE! 

I know GOP'ers, the next point is Benghazi.  Once again, numerous investigations, and even the Republicans have admitted the Obama Administration, including then Secretary of State Clinton, did nothing wrong.  Once again, if embassy attacks are the worst thing ever, warranting dozens of investigations, where was ANY Republican outrage at these attacks:

For the record, I'm not the biggest fan of internet memes, but sometimes they do prove a point.  

I'll end the beat down there, but I could go into a long post about Melania verses Hillary and Michelle Obama.  Remember when Hillary was un-First Lady like when she wanted to get involved in health care policy and wore pant suits?  Remember when Michelle Obama was a disgrace to the First Lady position because she wore a sleeveless top and wanted help make school lunches healthier?  A lot of Republican internal denial going on in regards to their potential First Lady.

Republicans, give it up.  You're fools to imply Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are equals.  This is not to say you have to vote for her, but at least be honest with WHAT you're voting for.  Donald Trump is a disgrace on a lot of levels, but he's your disgrace.  Republicans, repeat after me:

"I'm voting for a candidate, Donald Trump, who embodies many traits I find repulsive, a candidate who's in many ways very anti-Republican, but I'm doing so because I've been told to hate Hillary Clinton, even though most of the justifications for my hate are based on pure fiction!"

Then again, I'm not fooling myself.  Most Republican voters will never read this.  They automatically turn away when they get the faintest glimpse the man behind the curtain.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Friday Link for 8/19/16

The world of comedy was upended when three of the funnier guys on television were shown the door this week.

Saturday Night Live made two unbelievable cast decisions when they decided to not bring back Jay Pharaoh and Taran Killam, the two best male performers on the show.  Jay was best known for spot on Obama and Ben Carson impressions, and Taran was the best everyman on the show since Phil Hartman.  It blows my mind these two are not coming back.  Here are skits featuring both individually, and then Boy Dance Party, a top 10 skit from the last ten years, which features both of them.

Warning - some salty language and adult situations!  YOU'VE BEEN WARNED:

Jay's My Girl Sketch with Kerry Washington won't post video, so please click on the link:

The other goodbye was Larry Wilmore.  The Nightly Show was unceremoniously dumped by Comedy Central, even though, most nights, it was better than The Daily Show.  That shouldn't be taken as a shot on the Daily Show, as Trevor Noah has gotten a lot better over the lest few months, but Wilmore's comedy was so wonderful.  His removal must solely be ratings driven, but that's unfair too.  Colbert was a hard act to follow, especially with a completely different type of comedy show, one that focused on trying to understand the world from a minority perspective, and wildly succeeding most of the time.  Here is his goodbye with Jon Stewart, whose comment about not confusing cancellation with failure is great.

Here is the video link from Huffington Post:

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

K-Dogg is Really Not That Smart

The Legislative Special Session for 2016 is dead, done in by the Republican Speaker of the Minnesota House, Kurt Daudt.

This was Daudt's mess.  With a lethal combination of attempting to double-cross the Democrats on the final day of regular session, and incompetence when it comes to proof reading tax bills, very little got done this session.

The mutilated Transportation/Bonding Bill, chock full of tax payer gravy for a handful of Republican Districts, including Speaker Daudt's, was derailed by Daudt's huge ego.  He had agreed with Democratic Leadership to allow giving the Hennepin County Rail Authority the option of finishing the funding of $135 million dollars needed to build the Southwest Light Rail Line, or SWLRT.  When the bill finally emerged for a vote in the Minnesota House, it was in the final moments of the legislative session, not giving House Democrats enough time to find out the Republicans had purposely left the Hennepin County Rail/SWLRT agreement out of the legislation.  In the Senate, Ron Latz caught the omission, amended the bill with SWLRT, got 18 Senate Republicans to vote for it without batting an eye, and sent it back to Speaker Daudt for a final vote.  Daudt decided to gavel the House out of session as opposed to allow the amended bill, which would've passed, to come up for a vote.

As far as the tax bill, the Republicans themselves didn't seem to even know they made a wording error.  This mistake would've led to taxes being raised, as opposed to them being cut.  Governor Mark Dayton wisely vetoed the bill, leading to discussion of a Special Session.  Initially, Daudt seemed to be willing to pass the tax bill and the transportation/bonding bill, with SWLRT, but then negotiations stalled.  Governor Dayton had his wish list for Special Session, and wanted a few items passed, including a guarantee on SWLRT.  At some point, Daudt decided SWLRT would not happen, and Dayton said enough with the games.

Mr. Speaker, Kurt, K-Dogg, you're a fool.  After Governor Dayton called your bluff today, you ran around throwing a temper tantrum, screaming SWLRT was dead.  You knew you had just lost, and you lost badly, so you tried guttural grandstanding, grunting your anger to the world.

Mr. Speaker, I have one question; do you know what your biggest mistake was in this process?

Kurt, it wasn't your buffoonery with your Special Session negotiations, even though you clearly thought you had FAR more power than you really had.  I'm not sure if you kept thinking the Democrats were going to cave, but your best case scenario from the minute the regular session ended was to get the same bills from the end of session signed into law, with SWLRT, and hope the Governor's demands didn't require too much sacrifice.  You went into this acting like you had all the power.  The Governor has all the power when it comes to Special Sessions.  You thinking you could create some sort of sweetheart deal for the GOP in return for passing SWLRT was foolish, a serious rookie mistake fueled by your bluster and arrogance.  I broke down the GOP's fight against SWRLT in this piece from the end of regular session -

It also wasn't your ignorant bravado on the final day of the Legislative session.  When you got caught trying to sneak the bill through without SWLRT, you should've sat back for three seconds and realized you and Majority Leader Joyce Peppin still had a bill chock full of tax payer money for your districts.  These bills were designed to keep you in office for decades to come, allowing you to weather the Trump storm in November.  Instead, you decided to play a childish game, acting as if you had no idea the bill was returning back to the House from the Senate, even though it appears you clearly knew. You would've had to eat SWLRT, but in the long run, you, Peppin, and the handful of other GOPers, were set to ladle tax payer dollars all over your districts.  Now you have nothing; that's why you're really throwing your temper tantrum.

It also wasn't your backstabbing of the Democratic leadership, people who I've talked to, people who've said YOU, Kurt Daudt, had agreed to the Hennepin Country Rail Authority verbiage.  The Democratic leadership clearly was expecting you to try to double cross them.  That should tell you what they really think of you.

It also wasn't your insanely dim-witted decision to fight the unemployment benefit extension for Iron Range Workers at the beginning of the year, a decision which poisoned your relationship with the Senate Majority leader and Iron Range resident, Tom Bakk.  If you two were on the same page as you were last year, you might've had a chance.  Instead, you burned the bridge and blew up the foundations, as evident by the fact Bakk was one of the strongest voices in regards to SWLRT being in the Special Session bills.  I broke the GOP's Iron Range mistake down in this piece -

No Mr. Speaker, your biggest mistake came at the beginning of the Special Session last year, in 2015.  It was a pretty bad sting for the Democrats, as you masterfully used your personal relationship with Bakk, and more last second shenanigans, to get sweetheart bills out of the Special Session negotiations.  At the beginning of the Legislative portion of the Special Session in 2015, you, Peppin, and the rest of the MNGOP got a great big laugh when you took a picture of Governor Dayton participating in the ALS ice bucket challenge, and passed it around, saying it was you pouring cold water over the Governor.  This petty chest thumping, this juvenile bragging was the MNGOP showing the world they were just a toolbox full of massive tools.  As you jackasses high fived and chuckled away, Governor Dayton watched.

That was your biggest mistake.  You thought your superficial antics and personal relationships meant you were smarter than the Governor.  Kurt Daudt, you're nowhere near as smart as Mark Dayton.

Governor Dayton just politically spanked you, taking you Kurt, an unruly brat, and giving you the beat down you deserved. Mark Dayton was always ten times smarter than you.  You got him once, and as all you GOP simpletons danced your victory dance in 2015, he remembered.  He studied how you did it and he planned his strategy to ensure it didn't happen again.  You were masterfully outmaneuvered this session, Kurt.  Thank goodness your term as Speaker will be over in November, but if it's any consequence, I'll start a petition to make sure you're the first rider of the SWLRT when it does finally get built, which it will.

Since Governor Dayton is above doing a victory dance over your beaten down zealotry and fake piety, let me do it.  Hey Speaker, why don't you run home and grab your shine box...

The Bestiality Jokester

Once again a Republican, in what they think is a safe GOP only environment, tries a little comedy.  Once again, they fail completely, leading to mock and ridicule, with them insisting it was meant only for a select few, how we're all taking it out of context, and this is just liberals looking to embarrass Republicans (Guilty as Charged! But to be fair, when you serve it up on a platter like this...).

Meet Republican from Albert Lea, Representative Peggy Bennett from district 27A, a former elementary school teacher who "encourages healthy debate" to "find common ground."

She showed up at the Freeborn County Republican Summer Picnic on Monday (Try the noodle salad - now even whiter!).  As a political tracker recorded, unbeknownst to her, she broke into her comedy bit, a David Letterman-esque Top 10 list on "Why I vote Democrat!"

Let me start right there.  A Letterman Top Ten list?  How cutting edge.  Does she know Letterman has been off the air for over a year?  Letterman was one of the greatest of all time, but the Top Ten list was pretty weak most of the last ten years he was on, when he even had one.  Then again, when the average age of your typical voter falls in the category of 'founding father,' maybe we should be grateful she didn't break out an Amos n' Andy skit.

To read the nightmare that follows from a real news source, the fine folks at BlueStem Prairie have it all right here:

Keep in mind, Peggy is delivering this as "comedy satire," by a Republican who thinks she's so familiar with Democrats, she can present "comedy" about them.  She's clearly making things up and distorting reality, to portray Democrats as something they're not, but by trying to make jokes, she's offering her lies and distortions as pseudo-reality, a set up for her dull and lifeless punchlines.  It's stereotype comedy, and it's usually unfunny and insulting, unless your audience is against the group you're hating on.  It's the same type of comedy racists use to ridicule African Americans and every other minority.  On to the Countdown:

#10 - I vote Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I can even marry my German Shepherd

We're starting fast.  This is a pathetic attempt at humor, one geared for the dumbest, most ignorant, most intolerant, sub human troglodyte.  There's no funny here, or anywhere on this list.  Not only does her 'humor' fail, but she doesn't seem to understand state and federal law which recognizes marriage as between two consenting adult humans.  And then there's the bestiality/implied dog sex joke.  Normal human beings don't make bestiality jokes.  They just don't.  You're a sick twisted person if you're thinking of how you can work dog sex into everyday conversation, let alone a speech at a GOP picnic.  Representative Peggy Bennett, you're a weirdo who needs help.  And you consider yourself a Christian?  I'll come back to this one later.

#9 - because I believe oil companies profits are 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon 15% is not.

Apparently she thinks the oil companies are building our transportation system.  They're not.  You'd think someone who represents Albert Lea, one of the busier Interstate crossroads in the upper Midwest, would understand the government builds the roads, and other transportation.  Plus oil company profits are obnoxiously high, as we subsidize the industry with billions of taxpayer dollars for free, while cleaning up their consistent messes at tax payer expense as well.

#8 - because I believe the government will do a better job of spending money I earned than I would. 

The state does a very effective job with state tax dollars, taxes we all have to pay for a better quality of life.  Minnesota was voted one of the best run states in the nation.  Representative, we're not talking about your home checkbook.  This is a multi layered, complicated accounting system, but considering the GOP rushed a tax bill with faulty language through the session, forcing the Governor to have to veto it before it caused budgetary damage to the state, Peggy, and the rest of the MNGOP, must not know this.  Minnesota is running a budget surplus, which means we are not recklessly running up GOP fever dream deficits.  If Peggy Bennett had her say, she'd likely be one of those Republicans who would want to cut all funding, for all programs, outside of the ones in her district, as she thinks her district should be able to spend double.  Thank God she doesn't have control of the state budget, but it's terrifying she even has a say in it.

 #7 - because freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

Sarah Palin strikes again!  For someone to be offended by what you said, you have to have already said it, hence your Freedom of Speech is fully intact, moron.  You're confusing Freedom of Speech with Freedom from Criticism, which is NOT in the Constitution.  You can't embrace Freedom of Speech if you're desperately trying to silence your critics.  Let me express my Freedom of Speech, as well as my right to criticize:  Peggy Bennett, you're amazingly stupid.  You actually were a teacher?  You taught young children?  Did you throw the dog sex joke out to the young kids, too?

#6 - because I'm way to irresponsible to own a gun and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves, I'm also thankful that I have a 9-1-1 service that gets the police to your home in order to identify your body after a home invasion.

First, when did Albert Lea become The Road Warrior's apocalyptic wasteland?  Your town, with all its murderers and thieves, sounds like it sucks.  Yes, most people are WAY too irresponsible to own a firearm, so common sense training, background checks and limiting what types of weapons (all legal according to the Supreme Court) would go a long way to keeping people safe.  It also sounds like you are insisting the police won't ever save you.  Why would you insult law enforcement like that?

#5 - because I'm not concerned about billions of babies being aborted, so long as we can keep Death Row inmates alive and comfy.

Our first delve into distorted Republican Christianity.  Peggy is so concerned about some lives, but others?  Screw them!  Who Would Jesus Fry in the Electric Chair?  Peggy, I have to ask, you know you live in, and represent(!), Minnesota, a state without the death penalty, right?  I'm not sure what state Peggy Bennett thinks she's a Representative in, but if she thinks we have the death penalty, it's not Minnesota.

#4 - because I think illegal aliens have a right to free healthcare, education, and social security benefits and we should take away social security benefits from those who paid into it.

As far as healthcare, more distorted Republican Christianity.  It's not very Christian of you to deny people healthcare, regardless of status.  I'm pretty sure Lazarus was a pre-existing condition, plus there were the others, the meekest of us all, strangers from strange lands, who Jesus insisted we take care of.  As far as education, if the families of undocumented workers are willing to come here and work the jobs white America refuses to work, then by all means their children should be able to get the benefits of American society.  And as far as Social Security, the only people who are talking about taking Social Security away from those who've earned it are the Republicans.  You must not get your own party's newsletter.

#3 - because businesses should not be allowed make profits for themselves, they need to break even and give the rest to away to the government for redistribution as the Democratic Party sees fit. 

Peggy must be on bath salts.  This is the GOP fan fiction they've convinced themselves is true to validate their money for the wealthiest only economic policies.  Have you seen the list of WILDLY profitable companies who are supporting Hillary Clinton, much to my chagrin.  You're confusing a fair tax rate for all with Communism.  That's really dumb, purposely dumb.  And you were a teacher???

#2 - because I believe liberal judges need to re-write the constitution every few days to see the fringe groups who would never get their agenda's past the voters.

MNGOP Representative Peggy Bennett doesn't seem to understand the three branches of government, and how they work (YIKES!).  The Legislative Branch writes and passes bills, the Executive Branch signs the bills into law, and the Judicial Branch acts as a review of the laws passed to see if they are Constitutional.  The Supreme Court, a court which MN House District 27A doesn't have any direct relationship to, evaluates laws.  Your confusing legal review with a three year old screaming for a candy bar, insisting the three year old should override the Supreme Court and the Constitution.  Mind you, Peggy probably LOVED the legal review when it gave us Citizens United and Hobby Lobby, but her mind doesn't seem to be able to hold onto facts or memories, let alone do comedy.

#1 - because I think it's better to take pay billions of dollars in oil to people who hate us, but not drill our own oil because it might upset some endangered beetle, gopher, or fish here in America. We don't care about beetles, gophers, or fish in the oil countries, just as long as they're in America.

There is so much stupid in this one...let's start with Peggy's desire for a good drilling, oil drilling EVERYWHERE in the country!  She sure seems to want to kill off all beetles, gophers and fish in the USA.  Sounds like a personal issue.  She also doesn't seem to understand companies that drill oil in the rest of the word would be the ones drilling and buying the oil in the United States.  And she doesn't seem to understand that under Obama, domestic drilling for oil, also much to my chagrin, has expanded dramatically, even after the Deep Water Horizon disaster.  Is she for stopping all oil usage, or for the country to take over all domestic drilling?  She gets lost halfway through.  I'll giver her a pass. She had to count backwards from ten, so she must've been tuckered.

My commentary aside, the bestiality/dog sex joke bothers me, especially when you see Peggy Bennett around dogs.  Animal abuse isn't funny, and the fact a supposed lover of animals would be joking about it in any capacity, in such a personal way, concerns me.  I think the state and Humane Society should investigate the welfare of her dogs to make sure they're in a safe environment.  Peggy, you might want to go talk to a therapist.

Republicans, no one comes to you for comedy.  You're not funny.  Maybe at one point in the 1890's (McKinley knew some wicked limericks!), but the modern GOP is a very unfunny place.  Avoid making a fool of yourselves, and stick to non-comedy based scripts.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Pacific NorthWest

I spent a week in the Pacific Northwest, running around with friends, from Portland to Seattle.  We had a blast.

Here are some random photos of the trip.  I'll leave an explanation if I think it needs one.  Enjoy.

I loved the Pacific.  Cannon Beach is this little hidden gem.

I found a new hat...

My favorite shot of nature of the entire trip.  This is the Columbia River, with Washington state on the left and Oregon on the right.  The sun eventually came out, and after me and my friends had hiked a few trails, we were rewarded with this view.

This is Bellevue, Washington.  This town was freaking spotless.  No graffiti, no trash anywhere.  It was weirder than Portland.

Mt. Rainer is hiding to the right of the skyline.


The damage of the Mount St. Helen's blast from 36 years ago is still visible.

My favorite picture of the mountain.

I know a woman who'd love this...


The only photo I could get of Mt. Hood.  Mt. Jefferson is in the background.