Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Nader Sues Democrats

WASHINGTON — Even as the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates prepared to debate Tuesday night, Ralph Nader, a controversial figure from the last two presidential campaigns, sued the Democratic Party, the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign and affiliated groups for allegedly sabotaging his 2004 campaign.

Read it all here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Once, Twice, Three Times an Impeachment Call

Not only did Kucinich lay out a blue print for a better America, he laid out a plan of how to do it now.
Three times in the debate Tuesday night he called for the impeachment of Bush/ Cheney and chided the Democratic party powers that be for not doing enough to stand up to them.

"The war in Iraq is illegal, even planning for the war with Iran is illegal," Kucinich said. "I want to know when this Democratic Congress is going to stand up for the Constitution and hold the president accountable with ... an impeachment act. I think our democracy is in peril and unless the Democrats and the Congress stand up for the Constitution we are going to lose our country."


Zogby has released a poll saying 52% of Americans favor bombing Iran as to prevent them from getting a nuclear bomb.


Zogby is also the polling group that predicted Sen. John Kerry would win more than 300 electoral votes and the presidency. They admitted later that projection was flawed after the election.

Anyone who believes a preemptive strike against Iran would be the best idea should read the last chapter of "Blind Into Baghdad" by James Fallows. The main point is:
In war games on Iran, Fallows explored three escalating levels of intervention: raids on Revolutionary Guard units, a preemptive strike on possible nuclear facilities, and regime change. The panel made up of former government officials and Mideast experts concluded: "You have no military solution for the issues of Iran. And you have to make diplomacy work."

A further conclusion was that air strikes would only slow Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, not stop them, and only strengthen their resolve to get one.

Iran getting a nuclear weapon is not desirable by any means. But a really upset Iran that will eventually get one anyway is worse.

Gravel will not be silenced

Sen. Mike Gravel will be making himself heard.

He will be broadcasting LIVE via WebCast tonight from Philadelphia across from the debate site at Drexel University and he will be answering all of the same debate questions that Hillary and the others are answering at the MSNBC debate. That WebCast will be LIVE at 8pm central.

You can visit his campaign here.


A kernel of truth? Nation's obese are corn-fed 10/30/2007
Kevin DiazFarm bill advocates want Congress to channel more subsidies to fruits and vegetables.

Video: Trailer from 'King Corn' 10/26/2007
Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney's documentary film, "King Corn," might have found a rapt audience among fringe public health advocates and then been promptly forgotten. But this year, obesity has become a national obsession just as Congress is embarking...

Max Blumenthal: Theocracy Now

Do yourself a favor and watch it here.

Hillary Who?

An online poll being done by Democracy for America is having some interesting results:

Candidate- # of Votes- % of Votes
Al Gore (write in) 26,813 26.47%
Dennis Kucinich 24,609 24.3%
Barack Obama 18,373 18.14%
John Edwards 15,215 15.02%
Bill Richardson 5,745 5.67%
Hillary Clinton 4,489 4.43%

You can still vote there if you click on the link.

This plus another polls showing an alarming support for Stephen Colbert is evidence the presidential candidate field is anything but sorted. It's been a constant theme in the media lately that "It's Hillary and that's it."
But there is still votes to be counted and as polls show, minds to be made up.

John Edwards Moral Test Speech

Remarks by Senator John Edwards
St. Anselm's College, Manchester, New HamphshireOctober 29, 2007

Many of you know that I am the son of a mill worker -- that I rose from modest means and have been blessed in so many ways in life.
Elizabeth and I have so much to be grateful for.
And all of you know about some of the challenges we have faced in my family. But there came a time, a few months ago, when Elizabeth and I had to decide, in the quiet of a hospital room, after many hours of tests and getting pretty bad news -- what we were going to do with our lives.And we made our decision. That we were not going to go quietly into the night -- that we were going to stand and fight for what we believe in.As Elizabeth and I have campaigned across America, I've come to a better understanding of what that decision really meant -- and why we made it.Earlier this year, I spoke at Riverside Church in New York, where, forty years ago, Martin Luther King gave a historic speech. I talked about that speech then, and I want to talk about it today. Dr. King was tormented by the way he had kept silent for two years about the Vietnam War. He was told that if he spoke out he would hurt the civil rights movement and all that he had worked for -- but he could not take it any more -- instead of decrying the silence of others -- he spoke the truth about himself.
"Over the past two years" he said, "I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silence and speak from the burning of my own heart."
I am not holier than thou. I am not perfect by any means. But there are events in life that you learn from, and which remind you what this is really all about. Maybe I have been freed from the system and the fear that holds back politicians because I have learned there are much more important things in life than winning elections at the cost of selling your soul. Especially right now, when our country requires so much more of us, and needs to hear the truth from its leaders.And, although I have spent my entire life taking on the big powerful interests and winning -- which is why I have never taken a dime from Washington lobbyists or political action committees -- I too have been guilty of my own silence -- but no more.It's time to tell the truth. And the truth is the system in Washington is corrupt. It is rigged by the powerful special interests to benefit they very few at the expense of the many. And as a result, the American people have lost faith in our broken system in Washington, and believe it no longer works for ordinary Americans. They're right.As I look across the political landscape of both parties today -- what I see are politicians too afraid to tell the truth -- good people caught in a bad system that overwhelms their good intentions and requires them to chase millions of dollars in campaign contributions in order to perpetuate their careers and continue their climb to higher office.
Read the rest of the speech here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sen. Bernie Sanders Says Enough

"It has become an American aphorism that ours is a government of laws, not men. We need an attorney general who understands that, so he can explain it to a president who does not."

That is Senator Bernie Sanders' summation on the confirmation of Michael B. Mukasey. Sen. Sanders will vote "no" on a person who refuses to call waterboarding torture. You can read the rest here.

How will our Senators vote?

A staffer at Sen. Amy Klobuchar's office said that they did not know how the Senator was going to vote. You can call them yourself at 202-224-3244 and tell her to vote "No."

Senator Norm Coleman's office would not say how the Senator was going to vote. You can call him at 202-224-5641. Tell him to vote "No" too.

If Politics Makes for Strange Bedfellows How About War?

Here is who the United States is cozying up in the lead up to the war in Iran:

The Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK)

Who are they? This comes courtesy Frontline:
Self-styled "Islamic-Marxists," the MEK targeted Americans in the '70s and the State Department considers it a terrorist group. After the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the MEK was disarmed, but it remains under the protection of U.S. forces at its base north of Baghdad. Iran says the MEK is supplying intelligence to the U.S. on Iran's covert nuclear program and Iranian operations in Iraq.

That's right Islamic-Marxists. Wow.

And as the U.S. is beating the wardrums to start a war in Iran. Who is keeping time?

Here is a Q & A with a former MEK member here:

Q:... The Iranians officials told us that in the meetings in Baghdad they laid out what they said was evidence that the MEK was providing intelligence to the U.S. military. Are they?

A:The Mujahideen-e Khalq have been providing information about the Iranian regime's operations both in terms of their terrorist operation and their nuclear weapons program in open, public press conferences to the whole world. (From Frontline)

The MEK has wanted to have a Marxist style overthrow of Iran for some time. What kind of intellegence do we think we are going to get from them?

Friendly Reminder

If you want to voice your opinion on the Iraq war you protest here.

Saturday, October 27th is national mobilization to end the war in Iraq day.
From noon to 1pm there will be an Anti-War Protest on Hiawatha & Lake Street in Minneapolis.
Be there to show where you stand.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Poland Soon To Exit Iraq

This is from the Voice of America News from the Polish election today:

Poland's pro-business opposition Civic Platform Party has emerged victorious in Sunday's parliamentary elections.

With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, Donald Tusk's Civic Platform has captured more than 41 percent of the vote. About 32 percent went to outgoing Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski's Law and Justice Party.
Mr. Kaczynski has conceded defeat, and Mr. Tusk has pledged to help Poles feel comfortable in their own country again.
Mr. Tusk is expected to seek a coalition with the Peasant Party.
Civic Platform is pushing for lower taxes on businesses, a smaller bureaucracy, and closer integration into the European economic system. It also wants to withdraw Polish troops from Iraq.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wal-Mart: Watch For Our Falling State Taxes

This is the lead on the Wall Street Journal:
In May 2001, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. issued an appeal to big accounting firms: Find us creative new ways to cut our state tax bills.

Ernst & Young LLP swung into action. Senior tax experts at the big accounting firm swapped ideas via email and in a series of meetings. At least one gathering, according to an internal Ernst & Young calendar, took place in Wal-Mart's headquarters in the "Tax Shelter Room."

How the heck is it fiscally responsible to let this big corporation get corporate welfare?

They shelled out millions on a new ad campaign to help change the company's image. The main theme is that you should feel lucky Wal-Mart came to your town and how much money you save if you did all of your shopping there. But while consumers may enjoy a short-term saving in their pocket, what is happening in the long term?

So they are skiming a few million dollars in taxes to keep prices low. But compare that to the figure of $18 billion. That's the amount they imported from China in 2004. How about paying a little more taxes and a little less importing?

Wal-Mart busts up unions, pays low wages, provides health care to a selct few employees, doesn't pay it's fair share of taxes, and forces manufacturers to outsource to meet their price strategy. In return they kill small businesses because they can sell stuff cheaper.

Ain't that America?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Why NBC and the DNC Want Gravel Out of the Debates

Why NBC and the DNC Want Me Out of the Debates

By Senator Mike Gravel- Courtesy the Huffington Post

In the past year, I have attended 11 national Democratic debates of which two were sponsored by corporate media giant NBC. However, last week, the network suddenly conjured up arbitrary polling and fundraising requirements specifically designed to exclude me. None of the previous debates I attended held such requirements.

When my staff called NBC directly to find out why I was now barred from attending, Chuck Todd, NBC news' political director, told us that there were three criteria we did not meet, namely that I had not campaigned in New Hampshire and/or Iowa at least 14 times in the past year, that I was not polling at 5% and that I hadn't raised $1 million.

It is abundantly clear that NBC just wants me out of the race. This was made evident by the fact that NBC did not even inform me of its arbitrary criteria before making the decision to stifle my campaign. NBC's Todd waited until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, to inform my staff that I was not invited to the Oct. 30 debate at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Since I announced my candidacy for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States on April 17, 2006, I have certainly traveled to New Hampshire and Iowa at least 14 times. And, according to a recent CNN poll, I am tied with Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd.

NBC claims I haven't raised enough money to qualify. I'm proud of the fact that I don't collect millions from special interests (or fugitives like Norman Hsu). The reason why Senator Hillary Clinton seems to have a fundraising scandal every month is because money has corrupted our democracy. By stifling my voice on the basis of fundraising dollars, NBC is reinforcing the power of money over our national political discussion and our freedom.

But why has NBC suddenly come up with "requirements" designed to exclude me from the debate?

NBC's decision is proof that our corporate media do not want a genuine debate over our impending war with Iran. During the last debate I was the only one to aggressively confront Senator Clinton over her vote to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Had I not brought up the subject, seasoned NBC commentator Tim Russert, the moderator of the Sept. 26 debate, would not have even asked about it.

Most Americans still don't appreciate the gravity of that vote and they don't understand that our government is intentionally raising roadblocks to diplomacy. Corporate media have once again failed to investigate how Bush and a compliant congress have set us on the warpath. Instead the media simply parrots the demonization of Iranian President Ahmadinejad and the administration's unproven accusations against Iran. NBC and the other corporate media have jumped on the war bandwagon and they are determined to shut up anyone who tries to stop it.

The fact that NBC is owned by General Electric, one of the world's leading military contractors, is frightening and certainly smacks of censorship directed at the most outspoken critic of the influence that the military-industrial complex holds over this great nation. In the past decade, GE has benefited financially from the global war on terrorism and currently holds almost $2 billion in military contracts.

So I ask that anyone, who is as concerned as I am about the power of the mainstream media and the military-industrial complex, speak out in support of my campaign today. And, even if you support another candidate, surely you understand the implications of NBC's decision for our democracy and the future peace and security of our nation.

And since the powers that be now require that I raise $1 million in order to participate in the debates, please make a donation to my campaign. Unlike my fellow candidates, I am not focused on raising million of dollars; I am focused on fixing representative government. Help us reach that arbitrary threshold, and I will continue to fight for democracy and peace.

How Do You Make Minnesota Better?

Answer: You get involved in the political process.

Learn how to do that here.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rukavina calls Pawlenty’s jobs record: “A Failure”

“Minnesota is facing a jobs crisis like never before in state history,” said Rukavina, who noted that the state has traditionally enjoyed job growth and unemployment rates that were better than the nation as a whole.

“I'm calling on Gov. Tim Pawlenty to call a special session to address our deteriorating unemployment situation and other neglected state needs,” said Rukavina, a Democrat who heads the state House committee dealing with work force issues.

“We are the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and we were the land of plentiful jobs, but since Tim Pawlenty took over, a dangerous and disturbing pattern has affected our job market,” Rukavina said. “Instead of the North Star State, we're becoming the No Jobs State.”

Friday, October 19, 2007

Learn More About the Candidates

This Friday, October 19, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer will appear on TPT's Almanac. The show will air live at 7:00 pm on Channel 2 in the Twin Cities and on other PBS stations around the state.
If you miss it tonight, you can click here to see where you can catch it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

GOP Kills Gauranteed Health for Kids

The House failed to override the President's veto today.

On passage, the objections of the President to the contrary notwithstanding Failed by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 273 - 156

You can read the roll call here.

Farmer-Labor Rallying Call

From time to time, we bring up things on here that you can do to advance the progressive cause keep moving Minnesota forward.

In the short time this blog/caucus has been up and running, we have already pointed out Rep. Jeremy Kalin as one of the shining lights on the progressive horizon.

Yesterday on the Daily Kos, Kalin started a fundraising campaign asking for $17 to fund his campaign. So we in turn are asking you to do the same.

The link to donate to Kalin is here.

$17 for him to keep his seat in 17B is well worth it. He is an important voice for Minnesota.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Fringe" candidates?

In a letter addressed to "the Ron Paul Faithful" posted last week on, managing editor Allen Wastler defended his decision to pull a post-debate poll that asked readers who they thought had won. He believed the poll had either been "hacked or the target of a campaign" because after a couple hours and 7,000-plus votes Ron Paul was at 75 percent and Wastler hadn't seen him "pull those kind of numbers in any 'legit' poll." This was a fairly reasonable assumption. After all, 71 percent of Republicans polled by Gallup this month hadn't even heard of Ron Paul. But does that mean Wastler was in the right to retract a harmless survey--something even he described as "just a way to engage the reader"--because he didn't like the results? Or better yet, as you might be asking: "Does it even matter? I'm not voting republican and I'm especially not voting for any fringe candidates."

Finding the answer to the first question is complicated and perhaps unfulfilling, as the efficacy of Wastler's decision has been debated somewhat endlessly by both Paul's rabid online support community and other talking heads at CNBC. The answer to the second question, however, is a concrete "yes, it does matter!" You may not care about Ron Paul, but you should care about the way the media directs our attention to mainstream candidates.

There's no doubting that the media has a bias towards candidates that are "electable"--a term that has much more to do with money raised than ideology. Take Ohio Congressman and Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich as an example. During the first Democratic debate in April, The Nation's Bob Moser, wrote that "As the first big question about Iraq was lobbed at the Big Three--Clinton, Obama and Edwards--the mediocracy collectively pounded away at their laptops, taking down every word in a veritable symphony of typing. When the same question then went to Kucinich, the man who intrepidly preached against the war in 2004 when the others would not, all hands rested. All typing ceased. The music stopped. Attention wandered."

It hasn't just been the media marginalizing Kucinich (The New York Times, for one, hasn't mentioned his name since June and left his opinion of the war out of its coverage of the debates), but his party has also left him high and dry. Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman recently passed Kucinich over for chairman of the National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee, which he was in line to take over.

Never-the-less, polls have shown that the electorate are very much in sync with his positions. Of over 153,000 people who filled out an online form asking for their opinions on 25 issues, 57 percent were found to identify with Kucinich more than any other candidate--Democrat or Republican. This may not be a broad representation of America, but unlike other online polls (the one, included) it was a "blind" analysis rather than a popularity contest, meaning respondents voted on issues, not candidates. Also worth noting is that Paul was the highest ranked Republican with 28 percent of those polled identifying with his positions.

Yet another candidate being left out of the debate is Democratic hopeful (and former senator of Alaska) Mike Gravel. He spurred a lot of "Who the hell is this guy?" interest after the first debate--which by many accounts he won. Then a few months later at a forum held at the NAACP's annual convention, Gravel explicitly attacked Hillary Clinton and John Edwards for authorizing the use of force in Iraq in 2002, as well as Clinton's husband for the devastating effects of NAFTA on Mexico. Moderator Russ Mitchell of CBS shot down any chance of rebuttal under the technicality that it was a forum, not a debate. Clinton and Edwards were caught on tape conferring afterwards about the possibility of limiting the number of Democrats in presidential debates. Edwards, in particular, said, "We should try to have a more serious and a smaller group."

Gravel poses an interesting threat to the current political power structure. For the past ten years he has been conducting research and working with constitutional law experts to enact a law called the National Initiative for Democracy that would make the people a fourth branch of government. Much like local and state initiatives, voters would have a say on what becomes law in this country. That means people would be able to address issues such as the Iraq war, climate change, healthcare, or even the electoral college.

Ralph Nader has praised Gravel and his initiative, saying "No candidate for President from the two major parties has ever demonstrated such a detailed position regarding the sovereign power of People to amend the Constitution and make laws." Of course Nader's endorsement probably doesn't help Gravel's cause among the Democratic faithful, being that many still hold him personally responsible (and quite unfairly so) for the election of Bush in 2000. It should, however, stir some thought as to why such a disparity in ideology between so-called "fringe" candidates and mainstream candidates within the same party can exist--not to mention why so many people identify more with the "fringe" candidates.

With the primary elections creeping up, Americans should stop and consider who more embodies their opinions on the issues and not who has the most money and power to be a viable force against the other side. When you think about it, that's really a vote for Democracy and a vote against the marriage between the mainstream media and the political status quo that has for too long undermined our values.

Bryan Farrell is an independent journalist in New York.

Kucinich Has Colbert In His Pocket....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Can Al Gore Be Trusted?

Published on Saturday, October 13, 2007 by CommonDreams.orgCan Al Gore Be Trusted?
by Jeff Cohen
This is a repint of a vintage 2006 CommonDreams column exploring an Al Gore presidential candidacy and the old Gore vs. the new Gore.
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
The wise old Chinese proverb on who is to blame for repeat gullibility was famously mangled by our Embarrasser in Chief: “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you,” Bush stammered, with that deer-in-the-headlights look. “Fool me — you can’t get fooled again!” The video of that golden Bushism can bring down the house on The Daily Show.
But these words of wisdom are no laughing matter when applied to the man who defeated Bush in the 2000 election: Al Gore.
Many solid progressives want Gore to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2008. A recent AlterNet reader survey (in which Noam Chomsky won the MVP for “Most Valuable Progressive”) showed Gore way in front of the pack — with Russ Feingold second and corporate media “front-runner” Hillary Clinton way back.
If Gore does run in 2008, big questions will nag: Didn’t he fool a lot of us once before? Can we trust him?


Monday, October 15, 2007

The Man Behind the Curtain

Be sure to check out Cheney's Law on TPT at 9pm on Tuesday. The main focus on this look at Cheney is his disregard of the constitution and his desire to consolidate power in the White House. It's stuff you're going to need to know.

Interesting Race to Watch

Looks like Rep. Joe Mullery will have a progressive challenger for his House seat 58A.
Joe Bodell at Minnesota Campaign Report breaks the story here.
58A is a pretty safe seat for the DFL and while there has been no specific issues mentioned for the challenge, observers in St. Paul at the Capitol could point out Mullery's chaotic chairman style, general aloofness and sponsorship of a bill that would allow officers to detain parolees without probable cause as causes for concern.
Mullery is a classic progressive liberal of the old guard and can campaign on a career of being "one of the good guys."
His challenger, Peggy Flanagan, has very good progressive creds too.
Will this race shape up to be a battle of the new guard versus the old guard?
Stay tuned.

The Money Race

While there aren't really any head to head polls in the DFL Senate Race except on the right hand side of this page, the money race seems to be showing a definite trend towards Al Franken.

In numbers released by the campaigns, Ciresi was trailing Franken by about about one-sixth the total Coleman and Franken reported raising during the same period. Ciresi reported raising a little over $300,o00 for this quarter and about a million total. Franken raised over a million in the last quarter alone.

It will be interesting to see how much money really matters at this point in the race. But the constant drone of money aspect of politics is uglier this year than any other.

Biden, Brownback Have A Plan for Iraq

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Presidential candidates from opposing parties, Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Sam Brownback, took the unusual step Friday of holding a joint event to tout their proposal for a political solution to the war in Iraq.

Biden, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been the most prominent advocate of a plan in Congress that would limit the power of Iraq's central government and give more control to three ethnically divided states.

Read it all here.

Everthing You Need To Know

OK maybe stuff you don't NEED to know. But Radar Magazine breaks down the 08 Presidential race in a way now one else does. Is Dick Cheney going to Hell? Who's more unpopular the President or Paris Hilton? All that and more is here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

National Review Says Tim Pawlenty Ready To Go #2

National Review Online is running an article called: "Presenting the next Vice President."
They say MN's very own "I won by how much?" boy, Tim Pawlenty is all set for the VP slot.
But wait there's more.
The NR column spouts off such nuttiness as "Republicans still have a good shot to win next year" and talking about a solid Bush win in Ohio in 2004 while Wisconsin was lost by fraud and tricks. That's right the Dems stole Wisconsin.
The best part is when the column talks about all the wonderful things Pawlenty stands for and what he would bring to the GOP.
Things like saying the GOP needs to be “the party of Sam’s Club, not just the country club.” 
Then the article just goes off the rails of reality. 
For instance, is says that Pawlenty's stance FOR an increase on the gas tax will hurt him with conservatives. NR must have missed the memo from Pawlenty saying: screw paying for the 35W bridge I want to be popular with the neocons.
You would think someone at National Review would have read a Minnesota paper in the last month to see where he stood on that now. 
Then there is the astounding comparison of a hometown convention nominating Dole to Ford's ticket in 1976.
Anyone at NR look up who won that one?

Nelson-Pallmeyer, peace activist, enters U.S. Senate race

Nelson-Pallmeyer, peace activist, enters U.S. Senate race

Outside of Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman's St. Paul office, Democrat Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer today announced his own candidacy for the Senate and solicited his supporters to dial their cell phones.
"Friends, start up those cell phones," Nelson-Pallmeyer asked the crowd of cover 100 supporters who turned out to see him officially declare his bid to unseat Coleman. "We are launching the largest mobile phone bank in Minnesota history."
And indeed, immediately after his brief announcement speech, supporters spread out in a nearby parking lot and on the sidewalk to pitch the candidate to Minnesotans. Among his supporters today were several of the more liberal members of state Legislature, including Minneapolis Reps. Karen Clark and Jim Davnie, and former state Sen. Becky Lourey.
The cell phone gimmick may be one way Nelson-Pallmeyer, 56, plans to counter the superior fundraising capacity and name identification of the two Democrats considered frontrunners in the race - comedian Al Franken and attorney Mike Ciresi. Attorney and environmental activist Jim Cohen and frequent candidate Dick Franson are also running for the seat.
Like Nelson-Pallmeyer, Franken, Cohen and Ciresi have said they will abide by the DFL endorsement next summer.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, a peace and justice professor at the Univ. of St. Thomas. The endorsement went to Keith Ellison, who went on to win the general election.
In that race, Nelson-Pallmeyer was seen as the strongest opponent of the war in Iraq and today he maintained his "peace candidate" status.
He proudly said that before the Iraq war started he debated Rep. Jim Ramstad about the potential conflict.
"I said then we were being lied to. I said then that we were being manipulated by a well-crafted politics of fear. I said then that the Bush administration was leading us into a pre-planned war for oil. I said then that the war would be a disaster for Iraq and for the United States," said Nelson-Pallmeyer, who referenced Paul Wellstone in his announcement speech.
Today Nelson-Pallmeyer expanded his pitch to include:
-Health care, he wants a national single-payer system.
-Environmental issues, he wants use of more alternatives to oil and more public transit.
-Immigration, he wants to welcome immigrants not crackdown on them, and raising the minimum wage.
"Minnesotans, we may not always agree but I promise to listen and you will always know exactly where I stand," Nelson-Pallmeyer said. "Together, we can solve problems."

Sen. Klobuchar Struggles to Keep Base

You know you are in trouble when you are a newly elected Senator and a major poll shows huge approval ratings for you but you are worried about your party's base bolting because of your wish washiness to become popular in the first place.

If this is happening to you, then your name is Sen. Klobuchar.

Recently she meet with bloggers to try to stem the tide of people calling her on her phony views. Progressives are waking up to the fact that we could have nominated anyone to beat Kennedy, but we picked Norm Coleman's twin.

You can read about her attempt to keep the left wing from bolting here and here.

Coalition of the willing?

How important is a stable Iraq to the rest of the world?

Let's ask Spain and New Zealand who pulled out troops in 2004. Ask the Netherlands, Hungary, Singapore, Norway and Ukraine who left in 2005.
How important is a stable Iraq to Japan and Italy? It'll be hard to find one of them to ask in Iraq. They left last year.

Now the British are leaving. They will be down to 2,500 troops and possibly gone in the spring. Did they do their chores in Basra so they could go home earlier than the Americans? Nope. The violence there persists. But not for ideological reasons. As the LA Times points out: "[The violence] has plenty to do with who controls lucrative smuggling, as well as the port through which much of Iraq's oil moves." And much of it is Shiite-on-Shiite fighting.

Every argument that has been made in favor of the war in Iraq has turned out to be wrong.
And now the arguments to stay are turning out to be just as faulty.

End the WAR NOW.

Other Voices

Thanks to big-brained people at Liberal Media Elite for pointing out this cartoon.
Sums up a lot of what is wrong with some of the Democrat "progressives" that were elected in 2006.
Also over at Liberal Media Elite, they do an excellent job of putting Katherine Kersten of the Star Tribune in her place.
Click here for that.
I can't wait to see if Liberal Media Elite does anything with today's ridiculous Kersten column comparing the Vietnam pullout to a pullout in Iraq.
You can read it for yourself here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bush Adminstration Aids al-Qaida

NEW YORK (AP) — The director of a group that monitors Islamic militant Web sites said the government leaked an Osama bin Laden video that was passed along to senior U.S. officials on condition that they keep it secret. She claimed the leak rendered certain intelligence-gathering capabilities ineffective.

Rita Katz, who runs the Washington-based SITE Institute, said her decision to pass the video to an official in the Bush administration has had an impact on the ways that the group has for obtaining these videos before they are made available by al-Qaida.

"Due to the leak, sources that took years to develop are now ineffective," Katz told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "A rare window into the world of al-Qaida has now been sealed shut." She declined to elaborate on whether she meant people or methods.

Read it all here.

When will the madness end?
Oh yeah

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Too Good To Pass Up: Ghost of Nixon says Fred Thompson "Dumb As Hell"

In a recently released secret recording, Nixon calls Thompson: "Dumb as hell."

When told that Thompson was going to be the lead Republican on the Senate Watergate investigation, Nixon's response was:"Oh Shit."

Not because he thought Thompson was going to be smart enough to uncover any corruption, but because he would not be smart enough to help defend the Nixon White House.

Today, Thompson brags about his role in the Watergate investigation. He especially likes people to remember when he asked White House Aide Alexander Butterfield: "Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?"

Butterfield responded: "I was aware of listening devices, yes, sir."

It was a bombshell that opened up Nixon's White House to the public. Every conversation was recorded. Every illeagal deed saved for posterity. Every opinion of who Nixon thought was an idiot saved for ever.

But Thompson may not be as valiant a hero as he likes to portray himself now. Thompson admitted that he tipped off Nixon and his henchmen that he was going to ask Butterfield the quesiton to give them time to prepare for what would happen next.

In fact a former investigator for the committee, Scott Armstrong, outlined Thompson's role in the Watergate hearings this way:

"Thompson was a mole for the White House," Armstrong said in an interview. "Fred was working hammer and tong to defeat the investigation of finding out what happened to authorize Watergate and find out what the role of the president was." 7/4/07 Boston Globe

Thompson said that he thought that the tape system would provide evidence Nixon wasn't guilty.

Thompson's role in Watergate did prove one thing. Nixon was right. Fred Thompson is dumb as hell.

Monday, October 8, 2007

War Is Over If You Want It

Saturday, October 27th is national mobilization to end the war in Iraq day.

From noon to 1pm there will be an Anti-War Protest on Hiawatha & Lake Street in Minneapolis.
Be there to show where you stand.

To make you own End the War Now poster:
Click on the picture.
Save it somewhere you can find it.
Or find the option to "Print."
And Spread the word.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

2008 Peace First Standard

1050 Selby Avenue, St. Paul MN 55104
Minnesota Wins!
Minnesota will win only when we decide what we really want for our families and communities —
justice, peace, jobs and a clean environment. Let’s put our money where our values are —
let’s improve national security, cut reckless military spending and debt, and convert the savings
to investment in a stronger Minnesota!
Toward this end, we expect Congressional candidates and ourselves to commit to
bold action to end U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq, rebuild our
democracy and create a green economy.
• Peace in Iraq
Secure funding for our troops
Vote to fund troop pay and protection during responsible and prompt
withdrawal of forces and bases from Iraq, and to fund full veterans’ benefits.
Cut off funding for war in Iraq
Vote against funding for military action and bases in Iraq and the Middle East.
Convert funding to rebuilding Iraq
Vote to fund emergency relief for Iraqi refugees, Iraqi-led reconstruction,
and regional diplomacy.
• Peace Conversion to Sustainability and Justice
Secure funding for essential security
Vote to fund essential national and domestic security programs, such as harbor
security and first responders, as identified by the 9/11 commission.
Cut the defense budget to reasonable levels
Vote to cut the defense budget 25% by eliminating funding for obsolete and wasteful
Pentagon programs.
Convert funding to equal rights, a green economy and constitutional integrity:
Equal Rights
• Medicare expansion to cover all Americans by 2015
• 100% funding for education including Special Education, Head Start,
and the Dream Act, and replacement of "No Child Left Behind" by 2012
A Green Economy
• $10 Billion increase in annual federal investment in renewable energy and
“green collar” jobs each of in the next 5 years
• 50% cut in fossil fuel burning by 2018
Constitutional Integrity
• 100% verified paper ballot for every vote in every state by 2012
• Full investigation and punishment of racist disenfranchisement by 2010

Friday, October 5, 2007

Pretty Much Sums It Up

Word on the street is that it's not looking good for an override to the veto.
That story is here.

That is why the Farmer-Labor Caucus is calling on you.

Michele Bachmann voted against this thing and will probably vote to uphold the veto to make sure kids don't have access to health care. You can call her at 202-225-2331 or 651-731-5400 or 320-253-5931. Leave a message at all three just to be sure.

Then you can call these Democrats who voted against it in the House.
Reps. David Boren (Okla.), Betty Castor (Fla.), Bobby Etheridge (N.C.), Baron Hill (Ind.), Jim Marshall (Ga.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), and Gene Taylor (Miss.).

Also in the list of Dems who voted "nay" is Dennis Kucinich who didn't vote for SCHIP because it doesn't do enough.

“HR 676 [not SCHIP] guarantees full health care coverage for all children. When considering a universal health care proposal, HR 676, the Medicare for All bill, is the only health care plan that addresses three important issues: quality, accessibility, and cost. HR 676 stands alone in an increasingly crowded field of efforts to provide health care coverage to all,” Kucinich said.

He is a person of integrity that is for sure. It will be interesting to see how he votes on the override.

How do you think Kucinich should vote on the override?

Iraq vet to challenge Kline in 2nd District

This appeared in the Star Tribune:

A 19-year Army veteran who recently returned from a 22-month deployment in Iraq with the Minnesota National Guard filed papers on Thursday as a Democrat candidate to oppose incumbent Republican John Kline in Minnesota's Second Congressional District.
Steve Sarvi, the former mayor of Watertown and currently the city administrator of Victoria, said he gave a great deal of thought to running while serving with the Minnesota Guard in southern Iraq. His father, acting as a surrogate, crisscrossed the district to find out what the issues were and what chances Sarvi might have against Kline, a 25-year Marine veteran serving his third term in Congress.
"Sometimes when you are away as long as I was, you get a chance to think about things that are really important in life," Sarvi said. "I'm just worried about the way we're going not only internationally but domestically as well."

Read it all here

Best quote in the article:
"It's time for us to start stepping back out of there [IRAQ], pulling our forces back and making the Iraqis step up and take charge of the country," said Sarvi, who did civil affairs work with Iraqis and helped to train Iraqi police as a first sergeant. "At some point we're getting in the way."

How's that for listening to the troops on the ground?

Check out the campaign here.

Spotlight on a DFLer

Rep. Jeremy Kalin has shown time and again that he has what it takes to be a voice for progressive Minnesotans.

His website and blog are packed with great information and ideas for progressives on local issues.

This is regular website:
And this is his blog:

Check 'em out.

Government Memo Approves of Torture

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate and House Democrats demanded Thursday to see two secret memos that reportedly authorize painful interrogation tactics against terror suspects - despite the Bush administration's insistence that it has not violated U.S. anti-torture laws.
White House and Justice Department press officers said legal opinions written in 2005 did not reverse an administration policy issued in 2004 that publicly renounced torture as "abhorrent."
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller sent a letter to the acting attorney general saying the administration's credibility is at risk if the documents are not turned over to Congress.
The memos are "critical to an appropriate assessment" of interrogation tactics approved by the White House and the Justice Department, Rockefeller wrote to Acting Attorney General Peter D. Keisler. "Why should the public have confidence that the program is either legal or in the best interests of the United States?" the West Virginia Democrat asked.
House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., promised a congressional inquiry into the two Justice Department legal opinions that reportedly explicitly authorized the use of painful and psychological tactics on terrorism suspects.
"Both the alleged content of these opinions and the fact that they have been kept secret from Congress are extremely troubling, especially in light of the department's 2004 withdrawal of an earlier opinion similarly approving such methods," Conyers, D-Mich., and fellow House Judiciary member Nadler wrote in a letter Thursday. Their letter to Keisler requested copies of the memos.
The two Democrats also asked that Steven Bradbury, the Justice Department's acting chief of legal counsel, "be made available for prompt committee hearings."

Thursday, October 4, 2007

In the Valley of Elah

It's a pretty good movie that makes you think about the state of modern America.
It's inspired by true events and has a powerful emotional effect.

Michael Moore on Progressive Healthcare

The Farmer-Labor Platform

When America had progressive leaders:

On November 19, 1945, only 7 months into his presidency, Harry S. Truman gave a speech to the United States Congress proposing a new national health care program. In his speech, Truman argued that the federal government should play a role in health care, saying "The health of American children, like their education, should be recognized as a definite public responsibility." One of the chief aims of President Truman's plan was to insure that all communities, regardless of their size or income level, had access to doctors and hospitals.

If we were to put together a platform for a Farmer-Labor platform this would be plank one in my book. What should the other planks be?

Another GOP exit: Domenici to retire

The New Mexico senator is expected to end his 35-year career, leaving as many as five GOP Senate seats open in 2008.
By Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer October 4, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Just when it looked like things couldn't get worse for the Republicans, Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, a 35-year Senate veteran, is expected to announce today that he plans to retire at the end of his term -- boosting Democrats' hopes of expanding their control of the chamber in next year's elections.Domenici, 75, a leading voice on budget and energy policy, would become the fifth GOP senator to announce his retirement. The lawmaker, who was entangled in the scandal about the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, scheduled a news conference for today in Albuquerque. Two Senate Republican sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the decision, said Domenici would not seek a seventh term.
TOP OF THE TICKET Blog on the GOP's Senate Troubles
"So, yet another seat that Republicans have to defend that's going to be tough," said Jennifer Duffy, an analyst at the independent Cook Political Report.The Senate's 49 Democrats, who usually are joined by its two independents, control the chamber, but often are blocked from advancing their agenda by Republican-led filibusters, which take 60 votes to overcome.Also retiring at the end of this term are Republican Sens. John W. Warner of Virginia, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Wayne Allard of Colorado, all states where Democrats believe their party can be elected.Republicans also are dealing with Idaho Sen. Larry E. Craig's guilty plea to disorderly conduct in a men's restroom. Craig has said he plans to retire if he loses his effort to withdraw the plea and clear his name. But with Idaho a reliably red state, the seat would be expected to remain in GOP hands.Next year, Republicans must defend 22 of their 49 Senate seats, compared with 12 for Democrats, in an election where the war in Iraq is likely to weigh heavily on GOP incumbents. Political handicappers already have declared the New Hampshire Senate race a tossup. Republican incumbent John E. Sununu faces a challenge from Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, a former governor.In New Mexico, Gov. Bill Richardson is a Democrat, as is the state's other senator, Jeff Bingaman. President Bush barely won the state in 2004."As our longest-serving senator in the history of New Mexico, Pete Domenici has earned a position of great respect in our state and Washington," Bingaman said. "I consider him a good friend and greatly admire his public service to the people of New Mexico."Richardson is running for his party's presidential nomination but is considered a long hot who might opt to go after Domenici's seat instead. The state's three House members -- Democrat Tom Udall and Republicans Heather A. Wilson and Steve Pearce -- are considered possible candidates as well.Domenici, the son of Italian immigrants who ran a grocery in Albuquerque, was a minor league pitcher for the Albuquerque Dukes. He is second only to Alaska's Ted Stevens as the most senior Republican in the Senate.He spent two decades leading the Budget Committee, which put him in the center of major battles over spending. More recently, he has been the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where he has been among the leading champions of nuclear power and helped write the 2005 energy bill.This year, Domenici got caught in the controversy surrounding the U.S. attorneys' firing. One of the dismissed prosecutors, David C. Iglesias, the former U.S. attorney in Albuquerque, said Domenici expressed disgust that there would be no indictments in the investigation into alleged Democratic corruption before the November 2006 election. The senator also contacted top Justice Department officials to complain about Iglesias' performance.Domenici denied attempting to pressure the prosecutor. Iglesias was fired in December.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bush Vetoes SCHIP

No surprise there. Can congress get it together and override this one?

The story is here.

How Is This Possible?

Despite blocking key progressive legislation at session at the beginning of the year, controversies with at least two of his commissioners, an uneasy Minnesota economy and a clear lack of leadership in doing something decisive in the wake of the 35W bridge disaster, Tim Pawlenty is tops with 59% of Minnesotans. You can read it here.

You really have to hand it to Brian McClung. He could sell ice to Eskimos.

Score One For Diplomacy

It seems that negotiating with one of the “Axis of Evil” countries has paid off.

Will this set an example for the saber-rattling, war drum beating let’s got get Iran next crowd? Probably not. But it is interesting to think what would have happened if we had just spent all the billions of dollars the war Iraq is costing us on diplomacy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Moving Minnesota Forward Again.....

The Minnesota Farmer-Labor party was first formed in 1918 to represent coalitions of farmers, trade unionists and small business people with progressive politics.

Now, 90 years later the need for the Farmer-Labor party as a voice of the common person may be just as great.

For those who believe the Minnesota DFL party has forgotten its "FL" roots, this website can be a place for information and action. We hope to give a voice to Minnesota progressives a place to discuss ideas and ways to move Minnesota forward again.