The Watering Hole: Monday, December 17, 2012 – Can We PLEASE Talk About Guns In Our Society Now?

On the morning of December 14, 2012, it was Newtown, Connecticut.
Before that it was Clackamas Town Center, Oregon.
Before that it was Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Before that it was Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Before that it was Aurora, Colorado.
Before that it was Seattle, Washington.
Before that it was Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Before that it was Oakland, California.
Before that it was Seal Beach, California.
Before that it was Carson City, Nevada.
Before that it was Tucson, Arizona.
Before that it was Manchester, Connecticut.
Before that it was Fort Hood, Texas.
Before that it was Binghamton, New York.
Before that it was Carthage, North Carolina.
Before that it was Northern Illinois University, Illinois.
Before that it was Kirkwood, Missouri.
Before that it was Omaha, Nebraska.
Before that it was Virginia Tech, Virginia.
Before that it was Salt Lake City, Utah.
Before that it was Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Before that it was Seattle, Washington.
Before that it was Red Lake, Minnesota.
Before that it was Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Before that it was Meridian, Minnesota.
Before that it was Fort Worth, Texas.
Before that it was Atlanta, Georgia.
And before that, on the morning of April 20, 1999, it was Littleton, Colorado.

These are all places where someone, or several someones, took a gun, or several guns, and began shooting people at some location, or several locations. Does this list strike you as being rather long? These are just ones since Columbine. There were others in between and before that. Many people died in those mass shootings. Too many. And too many were children. Far, far too many. And yet, we can’t seem to have that talk about all these mass shootings and the prevalence of guns in our society.

How many people have to die in mass shootings before we are allowed to talk Continue reading

The Watering Hole: Saturday September 8, 2012 – Wherein I Salute Chris Kluwe

Our story, at least the part that immediately pertains to us, begins in February of this year when the state of Maryland passed a marriage equality law. In order to gain passage in the House of Delegates, the bill’s authors had to agree to allow for someone to try to get a ballot referendum vote in November. At the time, polls were evenly split on the issue among the people of Maryland. But that was before President Obama came out in support of marriage equality, after a little prodding by Vice President Joe Biden. (How can you not love Joe?) Between those two events, opponents of the new law managed to get the issue onto a ballot referendum. After Obama announced his support for marriage equality, polls among African American voters showed increasing support.

Enter Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo. A long time supporter of marriage equality, his support only recently came to the attention of long time marriage equality opponent, Delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr., who voted against the bill when it came up for a vote. (And, yes, he is a Democrat, and a Baptist Minister.) Delegate Burns let out a sound like a startled chicken squawking and, using his official Delegate letterhead paper, fired off a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, demanding that he “take the necessary action, as a National Football League Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employees and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.” One has to wonder how someone who took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States (similar in wording to the one I took nearly thirty years ago) could advocate the suppression of anyone’s First Amendment Rights. One of those who wondered was Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.

And this is where Mr. Kluwe earns my salute. In a series of posts on the Twitter, Mr. Kluwe, in no uncertain terms, expresses his distaste for what the Delegate has done.

Holy crap. I leave Twitter for a couple hours and I come back to find this garbage? This guy is literally an asshole.The only way I can fathom spewing that type of shit out of your mouth is if your colon reversed flow and you vomited actual fecal matter. And yes, I’m referring to the politician, though to call him that denigrates the few politicians that still deserve the name. It honestly baffles me that in this day and age, someone can think stifling another’s right to free speech is somehow ok. There’s not a lot that gets me seriously angry, but that’s one of the few things on the list. Demand better from your government. Demand better from yourself.

And just to make sure there’s even less chance of uncertainty as to where Mr. Kluwe stands, he posted an open letter on Deadspin.com, laced with profanities, essentially telling Delegate Burns off.

Mr. Kluwe, I salute you. It is people like you who make me proud to have worn the uniform in service to this country, defending the very rights you so freely exercised. I thank you for writing the letter, and I thank you for being on the right side of history.

This is our open thread. Feel free to discuss any topic you want.

[Cross-posted at Pick Wayne’s Brain.]

Minnesota Supreme Court orders Al Franken is winner of Senate race

Senator Franken (D-MN)

Senator Franken (D-MN)

MSNBC

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered that Democrat Al Franken be certified as the winner of the state’s long-running Senate race.

The state’s top court rejected a legal challenge from Republican Norm Coleman, whose options for regaining the Senate seat are dwindling.

Norm Coleman, be a man and drop your ridiculous suit.

Governor Pawlenty, the ball is in your court — sign the election certificate.  Your state is depending on you.

UPDATEThinkProgress has more on the court decision.

UPDATE:  Norm Coleman is holding a news conference at 1:00 pm (PT), 4:00 pm ET).  Al Franken will hold a news conference an hour later.

UPDATE: Coleman has surrendered.

Trying to Protect the Poorest from Governor Pawlenty

On Sunday, the Democratic-controlled House failed in a push to override two of Pawlenty’s vetoes — on health care and on a $1 billion tax plan.

Final-day action comes after an emotional night of debate that reduced several members to tears on the House floor, DFLers failed Sunday to override Pawlenty’s vetoes and said he would have to make further cuts on his own and be responsible for the consequences.

The no-compromise tone was set earlier in the day, when DFLers made a last-ditch attempt to turn back a line-item veto that would remove 30,000 of the poorest Minnesotans from the state-funded General Assistance Medical Program (GAMC).

No Equal Suffrage In Senate Until June. At Least.

The Minnesota Supreme Court will not hear oral arguments in the Norm Coleman/Al Franken Senate race until June 1. In the meantime, this leaves Minnesota’s current US Senator Amy Klobuchar as their sole representation in the Senate. At some point, we have to wonder if Minnesota can be said to be denied its equal suffrage in the Senate. Article V of the US Constitution Continue reading

Rep. Michele Bachmann: Helping Your Community = Brainwashing Young People

The Senate voted Thursday to give tens of thousands of people more opportunities to mentor children, clean parks and help the poor, a sweeping call to national service in a time of need.

The legislation would triple the size of the Clinton-era AmeriCorps and broadly expand incentives for students and seniors to give back to their communities, at a cost of $5.7 billion over five years. It also would create five groups to help poor people, improve education, encourage energy efficiency, strengthen access to health care and assist veterans.

To hear Rep Bachmann describe this AmeriCorps bill, would be to believe that “young people will be put into mandatory service,”  and “That there are provisions for re-education camps.”

We evil liberals are trying to subvert the youth of our nation and put them into servitude to further our cause.  It’s not about putting people to work and helping the poor, that is only our cover story.

Al Franken to be declared certified as winner in Minnesota Senate race

Reuters

Democrat Al Franken will be declared the winner of the tight U.S. Senate contest in Minnesota, emerging from a ballot recount with a slim margin over Republican Norm Coleman, state officials said on Sunday.

But Coleman, the incumbent, has asked Minnesota’s supreme court to require that a few hundred additional absentee ballots be included in the recount — and he could then ask the court to investigate the contest all over again.

“At the moment, Franken has a 225-vote lead,” after the weekend counting of what were deemed the last uncounted absentee ballots, said Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a Democrat who oversaw the process.

Ritchie said unless the supreme court acts on Coleman’s request and orders more ballots to be counted, he will reconvene the state’s Canvassing Board on Monday to certify Franken as the winner of the November 4 contest.

Woo hoo!!!  Go, Franken!!

UPDATE: The Free Press, Mankato, 11/6/08

“Yesterday the voters spoke. We prevailed,” Coleman said Wednesday at a news conference. He noted Franken could opt to waive the recount.

“It’s up to him whether such a step is worth the tax dollars it will take to conduct,” Coleman said, telling reporters he would “step back” if he were in Franken’s position.

I guess we’ll see what Norm Coleman will do, now that the shoe is on the other foot.  😉

HT:  Dr Hussein Matt on ThinkProgress

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Only the lonely….

Larry, my sweet —

Only the lonely...

Only the lonely...

The months have slowly passed since you tapped your way into my U bend.

Oh, how I miss your bold wide stance, and your furtive moans of pleasure.  My days are cold and empty now that you’re gone. I flush with the memory of your warm, moist hand.

Though many have tried, no one makes my bowl weep for joy like you…

With lust and longing,
Minnesota Loo

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Our own Wayne A Schneider wrote a song parody about Sen Craig, called “Senate Queen.”  See it here.

For more of Wayne’s brilliant song parodies, go to Pick Wayne’s Brain.

Larry Loses Again

Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) was turned down today in his appeal to have his guilty plea overturned. In the Minnesota Court of Appeals decision, they rejected his claims that the sentencing judge didn’t have all the facts. In part, this was because it was Craig’s job to provide them and he didn’t. Also, it’s pretty tough to try to go into court to have your own guilty plea overturned.

According to Politico.com, Sen Craig issued this statement Continue reading

Michelle Bachmann’s Blues

This is a great article by Katrina Vanden Heuvel at The Nation, it gives an update in this Minnesota race.

Ever since Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s poisonous comments on Hardball ten days ago, it has looked increasingly possible that her deep red district might turn blue next week.

Her Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg, a former mayor and state transportation commissioner, has raised more than $1.5 million since Bachmann channeled Joe McCarthy on MSNBC. The Washington Post reported today that Tinklenberg’s fundraising “in a single week, is more than what any other Democratic challenger has raised in a fundraising quarter in the entire two-year election cycle.”

Continue reading

GOP Is Dumping McCain – “He Has Turned Into A Troll”

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There are some who feel that McCain can turn this disaster around in 30 days. I had to laugh at that quote, because the election is in 23 days. The GOP must be so upset they have forgotten basic math skills. This is from a NYT’s article on Sunday.

“The main thing he needs to do,” said Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman from Minnesota, “is focus on a single message – a single, concise or clear-cut message, and stick with that over the next 30 days, regardless of what happens. He’s had a lot of attack lines. But it’s time to choose.”

Republicans are coming out left and right making their displeasure known about McCain.  My suggestion to McCain this morning, don’t read any newspapers.  A former Republican Governor not very happy with McCain speaks out.

Tommy Thompson, a Republican who is a former governor of Wisconsin, said it would be difficult for Mr. McCain to win in his state but not impossible, particularly if he campaigned in conservative Democratic parts of the state. Asked if he was happy with Mr. McCain’s campaign, Mr. Thompson replied, “No,” and he added, “I don’t know who is.”

Gail Collins from The New York Times op-ed is wishing for “Dear Old Golden Dog Days.” The whole op-ed is a great read. Here is her wish list and her view of McCain.

Remember how we used to joke about John McCain looking like an old guy yelling at kids to get off his lawn? It’s only in retrospect that we can see that the keep-off-the-grass period was the McCain campaign’s golden era. Now, he’s beginning to act like one of those movie characters who steals the wrong ring and turns into a troll.

Continue reading