Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fire Brad Childress

Granted the Minnesota Vikings probably did score 2 TD's today which based on the Chiefs 13 points should have produced a victory there is no excuse for the final drives down 3 points in the 4th quarter. It is clear that we have no back up QB options, but that's OK because we do have an elite running back, and amazingly when we decide to hand off to our best running back the offense does work, so why in the 4th quarter do we think a horrible at best quarterback will be able to pass to mediocre at best receivers. This may not be a great team but it does have playoff talent if the coach knows how to manage a game. Mike Tice was horrible Dennis Green was stupid, but the NFL shouldn't have room for people as incompetent as Brad Childress.

Independence Party, 3rd Congressional District?

While the candidates on the Republican and Democrat side are already getting active, I have yet to hear word of anyone looking at running with the Independence Party. I would still imagine a capable candidate will emerge fairly soon, but unlike the Democrats and Republicans who are all active politicians that are looking to step up to a higher level chances are an Independence Party candidate will come from the outside making the decision to run more difficult and the ease of transitioning into a candidate for congress more time consuming.

I don't know what kind of opportunity exist here should an Independence Party candidate along the lines of Peter Hutchinson or Tammy Lee emerge. I'm not so sure an Independence Party candidate will change the game much for the Democrats and Republicans, my best guess is a good candidate gets 8-10% and both the Democrats and Republicans choose moderate candidates along the lines of Ramstad.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Iraq war?

While it is easy to be against the Iraq war, I have to ask the question, when over the course of 4 or 5 years you only lose 3,000 Americans in battle why are we so concerned? I don't personally know why we are fighting this war, but I have to assume my president is aware of much more then me. The possibilities behind this war scare me, big things may very well be happening, but if we look at American history the combined deaths of the 9-11-01 attacks the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and even the Oklahoma Bombings and all school shootings over the course of my life time add up to a comparably insignificant number compared to other 28 year periods in American History.

As the Iraq war goes I would prefer an anti war candidate not because I necessarily think this war needs to end, but because I want see if this war is justified, and an anti war candidate would be the only way of proving the war is justified.

We can all make really awesome Bush is a moron jokes, but for whatever reason I don't think he is. He's either pure evil or he knows what he's doing, there is no middle ground, he is not simply bad at making political decisions. He might not be the best, but the worst president is still among the smartest Americans.

Gopher nation!!!

Wow I know this isn't a good team but how the heck do you drop the ball with a sure Touchdown ? Bobble the ball and somehow lose it fine, but simply have a 40 yard dash in front of you and 10 yards into it no longer have the football? What? What? What?

Can we get hockey season to start a little sooner?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

National Independence Party?

There is talk from those within the New York Independence Party among others about starting a national Independence Party. While there are risks in aligning with a national movement, this would be a huge step in the right direction for Minnesota's Independence Party especially if it comes with a meaningful presidential candidate.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Jim Ramstad set to retire

Let the speculation begin. I haven't yet scanned the blogs to see what the DFL or Republican speculation is but by checking my E-mail I can say this will be a race the Independence Party focuses on assuming the Republicans don't find another moderate. No names to speak of yet, but at this point this becomes the Independence Partys money race (besides a potential Bloomberg for president connection) for 2008.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

50 new cops campaign Independence/Republicans?

The Independence Parties 5th district along with those Alan Fine loving Republicans have called on Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak to honor his commitment to add 50 new cops. What is more interesting then the Independence Party demonstrating a specific stance on an issue is the willingness for the 5th district Republicans to work with the Independence Party. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come as I am hopeful that Republicans want to see Keith Ellison defeated at some point, and will no longer resort to running a candidate for the sake of running a candidate. I have no problem if they put someone like David Strom up even if they know his fate, but half ass Republicans like Alan Fine are a waste of ballot ink. If Republicans are willing to half ass it they might as well let the Independence Party candidate gain their support, that way somebody will find reason to care about the background and competence of the DFL's main opposition in the 5th district

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The politics of unions

I'm a strong believer that unions are overall a bad thing for the economy. And yet I am a union member mostly because I don't need to deal with some of the crap non union members have to take. In any event I found out today that my union has endorsed Hillary Clinton, and hey I can't complain to much. I am proud my union dues in no way will support Obama or Edwards, still it is absolutely sickening that I have to pay into an organization that will mislead it's members into supporting a Democrat.

The future of America is about more then us as individuals and our current employer. I hope more Americans remember to vote for their country first rather then their selves.

What is a fiscal conservative social liberal to do

The easy choice for a fiscal Conservative social liberal in the 2008 presidential election would be Michael Bloomberg, or Ron Paul depending on a few issues. Unfortunately Paul is a long shot at best for the Republican nomination, even though if all his supporters did participate in the Republican process he might just win. Maybe he will be just competitive enough in the early states that his supporters will be motivated in the later states, and at least split the vote enough that it's up in the air going into the convention with Ron Paul being a factor in that. Bloomberg of course isn't even running yet and right now it's about 50-50 at best that he does jump in. Like Raul he has enough support that some people will have hope, but probably doesn't have the ability to put it over the top.

If we decide that neither Paul or Bloomberg won't win then of the other options it's easy to first rule Barack Obama and John Edwards, and while I don't think I want Hillary Clinton she is the closest thing to a safe Democrat should a real fiscal Conservative not make it, although I would feel a lot better if instead of Hillary it was Bill Clinton. Some would say Rudy Gulianni is the best bet for true fiscal Conservative social liberal voters although given his stance on the war he could otherwise be the most fiscal Conservative of the bunch and still outspend every other candidate including a John Edwards. I think the other Republicans are at least reasonable on the war and would end it early on in their term, with the safest bet among the front runners being Fred Thomson. Problem is if your a social liberal Fred Thomson is not your man, to that I say who cares, Republicans talk and talk and talk about social issues, but they never do anything on them and given the current makeup of congress the chances of them starting to do anything are slim. I don't by any means endorse Fred Thomson, but of all the front runners I would feel best with him.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11th 2001

The thing I remember most about Terrorist attacks of 2001 (I refuse to call it 9-11 as it cheapens everything else that has ever happened on a September 11th) and the aftermath is how focused people were that the terrorist wouldn't win. I felt like the only person in America that was focused on us and not them, after all those directly involved were all dead, and those that were responsible for planning it were already our enemy's.

Since the terrorist attacks of 2001 it seems to me we have became a nation of cowards. We have politicians saying don't vote Democrat because another attack might happen. Or for that matter don't vote Republican because of Iraq. We have let single events multiply themselves into life altering events, and that would be fine if those changes could prevent a major attack, but while some improvements have been made we are still wide open for an attack, and yet nobody has felt the need to kill us all.

We're to the point where it is normal to consider a traditional Muslim a bad person because they look like those that were involved in the attacks. We get offended because Muslims have a right to sue those that violate their freedoms. We find it OK to attack our president in the most scary possible ways. And yet actually trying to back up the kind of claims that the majority of Americans find accaptable is looked at as crazy. Either our president is doing what he thinks is right and reasonable, or we need to look into what he's doing thats wrong, but Americans are cowards and can not face the idea that Bush is a good president nor can the face the fact that he is a borderline evil man as the accaptable accusations against him would indicate.

Since September 11th 2001 we as Americans have changed, and not for the better. It is safe to say the terrorist did win, but more importantly we lost, and we did it to ourselves.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

How bout them Vikings

I hate pro football, most involved are stupid from the players to the refs to the coaches to the fans. But every once in a while it can be entertaining and this Vikings team looks like it has a real chance to do something significant this year despite the experts expecting them to be an average team.

For the first time in my life I actually considered purchasing a Vikings ticket to the point that I actually drove downtown and took a few laps around the dome. The Ron Paul supporters were there in force handing out lit, but that's about it for politics. I think I might have to join them at the next game, hopefully a Pauley will find me because I'm not yet energized to find them.

In any event I ended up joining an old friend at a bar to watch the game, but these Vikings look very good. People might be worried about the QB but its all a matter of avoiding mistakes and for today Jackson did his job and then some, and of course Adrien Peterson did not disappoint. This might not be the 15-1 team Randy Moss brought us. And offensively it will be dull at times but I have to say this might be the 2nd best Vikings team of my lifetime and 12-4 or 13-3 is not the least bit out of the question, nor is a super bowl appearance.

Go Vikings, Go Ron Paul, and in the words of Jack Kemp go football.

September presidential prediction

It's official Fred Thomson is in, Michael Bloomberg remains out. We should know in the next few weeks if Thomson will contend or not, I think he will simply because the other options are compromises toward the middle, and unlike Democrats I don't consider Republicans cowards when it comes to nominating candidates. I think once it becomes time for Republicans to decide which direction they want to go in they kick Rudy Guliani to the curb, and pick whoever is in the lead among real Republicans, I really don't see a scenario where that ends up being anyone but Thomson.

On the Democrat side it's all Hillary. Obama has strong support, but it's still a question if his support will show up, Hillarys support is to solid to be beat.

In any event it unless Mitt Rommney or Mike Huckabee win the Republican nomination, Bill Richardson wins the Democrat nomination, or Jesse Ventura shocks everyone and runs as an independent we will for the first time in my life have a president who never served as Governor.

While I still think there's close to a 50% chance he still runs I will for the first time predict Michael Bloomberg will not enter the race. There will still be an independent candidate of some status but at this point you have to think around 2 or 3%. So basically this is a prediction of wether or not the country will be ready for a Republican again in 14 months.

Hillary Clinton 49%
Fred Thomson 48%
Other 3%

which would for the 3rd consecutive election put the winner totally in control of the electoral college.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Since politics is in a lull

I might as well make this more and more of a hockey blog.

The end of the state fair has always represented the sadness of the end of the summer, but the excitement of the upcoming start of hockey season, the only sport where a preseason game is worth the price of admission. The Wild kick off the preseason in two weeks with very few changes from last years playoff loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The key losses were long time goaltender Manny Fernandez who despite a strong start to the 2006-7 season was injured and benched for the majority of the 2nd half. And Todd White who also had a similar season as Fernandez doing next to nothing the 2nd half as he battled through injuries.

The most talented additions will be rookies like Peter Kalus, Beniot Puliot or Jack Sheppard, but none of them should be relied on to make an impact even if they might show up on the stat sheet often. The biggest addition really is probably defensive defenseman Sean Hill who will serve a 19 game suspension before joining the lineup.

The real key for the Wild will be the continued development of young talent in Mikko Koivu Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Brent Burns all of which really demonstrated they will be impact players in this league for a long time last year. Burns really showed he has what it takes the last 20 games of the regular season and into the playoffs, if he can give a full season of that kind of play that alone will lead to an extra win or two, and chances are he will give the Wild that and then some as he continues to develop.

While I loved Manny Fernandez and honestly would prefer him to Backstrom the goalie position has to be considered as strong as ever with Josh Harding waiting in the wings having a handful of very impressive performances behind him. Overall the talent level probably is about the same as a year ago, but this is still a team that relies on young talent so if they continue to develop at a normal level this team should be better then last years.

This is as close to a no doubt about it playoff team as the Wild have ever had, even a major injury or two shouldn't keep them out. So the big fun of the regular season will be seeing if they can win a division title and gain a top seed for the playoffs.

Al Franken versus Jesse Ventura

A lot of national sources like to make the point that because Minnesotan's elected Jesse Ventura it is more reasonable to expect us to elect Al Franken. That argument may be true to the extent that Minnesotan's do a better job of giving all candidates a fair shake, but the argument ends there as Franken and Ventura couldn't be more different.

First of all Franken is your basic Democrat, while Ventura was something different from the typical Republican or Democrat. Basically we had to elect Ventura to get his politics. We already get the politics of Franken or very close to it with Amy Klobuchar, Keith Ellison and other Democrats across the nation.

Second Ventura ran as a third party candidate meaning it didn't take anywhere near 50% of the vote for him to win, he had the luxury of not worrying as much about those that he would turn off. Franken on the other hand needs to convert 1 extra voter every time he turns someone away from him.

3rd if were going to run with the assumption that we elected Ventura because were just a bunch of morons and would elect Franken for the same reason then we have to look at the popularity of pro wrestling in 1998 as compared to the popularity of a sketch comedy cast member today. It's laughable to think there are people out there that think people would vote for the sketch comedy guy with the same attitude they voted for the wrestler.

4th and possibly most importantly Ventura held a significant political office in the past as mayor of Minnesota's 6th largest city, and he was reasonably succesful in accomplishing what the voters wanted him to accomplish in that role.

Franken might win, but if he wins it will be because he is a Democrat not because he was on Saturday night live. If I was a betting man I would however say he will get a lower percentage of the vote then Ventura received.

Last day of summer!!!

It's time for school buses, the occasional college football game, and in a few short weeks hockey good TV and playoff baseball. And hey as summer ends a few more people are going to start to pay attention to politics and the 2008 elections. I really wish I could say I knew I would have a candidate worth supporting for something in 08, but at this point Ron Paul is about the best I can do, and Michael Bloomberg remains the only realistic hope otherwise.

Still it will be fun to see what will happen with Al Franken, how long Republicans will continue to support their John Kerry, Rudy Guliani? What will happen with Fred Thomson? Is this Ron Paul cult like support anything more then good fun with a tiny bit of hope or is it something that resembles a movement the same way the Green party represents something of a movement? But the most important questions that will be answered before kids are back out of school for the summer is how good will the St Cloud State hockey team be, and will the Minnesota Wild still have a few more games left to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs?