consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This one, a reminder that with a three hundred vote edge out of three million, every vote mattered a lot.

Click the image, from here, to read this current press release.

You saw it first on Crabgrass.

This shows Barack and Betty appear to be on the same page:

THE WHITE HOUSE -- Office of the Press Secretary


Statement from the President on the Minnesota Supreme Court Certifying Al Franken as the Winner of Last Year’s Senate Election

"I look forward to working with Senator-Elect Franken to build a new foundation for growth and prosperity by lowering health care costs and investing in the kind of clean energy jobs and industries that will help America lead in the 21st century."

Joe too. Largely so. Not Joe the Plumber. Joe the Biden, here, days ago:

"Once the Minnesota Supreme Court has issued its final ruling in this case, the President and I look forward to working with Mr. Franken on building an economy for the 21st century."

I bet Joe the Lieberman feels the same way, friends agreeing with friends. Yet, it is uncanny that the McCollum and Obama statements are so closely paralleled in wording - seizing on the same issues. Is she writing his stuff? He writing hers? Sharing a writer, given the hard times we all face?

Ramsey's Sister City.

In China. That one. That sister city. Does anyone remember the name?

Who is the last person you remember going there, and why that memory?

I recall the former mayor went there.

Then the former city administrator and a former city councilmember went.

I wonder if there are any former-this or former-that wannabe people who would want the queue lead for going there these days. If they are present-this or that, is there a historical risk of some kind, or coincidence only at work?

Does any reader know any single person in Ramsey, or even in all of Anoka County, who ever made even one buck of trade cash in business opportunity from Ramsey having a sister city in China?

If so, please share details, via a comment.

I would love to see the Ramsey police stand by and smile while thugs destroy your house. You have to be severely retarded!

The headline text was left [anonymously] as a learned comment to a prior Crabgrass post. June 26. Which post it was attached to does not matter.

Everyone's a critic. I left a comment on Brodkorb's MDE blog, when he took the GOP inner party job and turned the blog over to the new GOP outer party guy, (Winston Smith, Winston Flynn, Ryan Smith, O'brien, whatever his name is), and while I am politically distanced from what Brodkorb supports my comment was agreeing with Brodkorb, the litigation he was in was a SLAPP, (the letters standing for Strategic Litigagion Against Public Participation, a litigious thing in California where there's a dedicated website, but the SLAPP issue is seldom pleaded in Minnesota, Brodkorb's claim being a pioneer effort). Some other person left a subsequent comment saying I was a "hate-filled recluse."

Calling me that for agreeing with Brodkorb I suppose. The lesson, that's the last time I'll agree with Brodkorb about anything besides day of the week or season of the year.

That headline comment. I could have snuffed the thing as I did for a while, publish it and let it stand where it was put, or do what I am doing, making it a focus of the quality intellect of an individual having time and willingness to read the blog.

There are professionals who can help this individual through such feelings.

Marcus Bachmann perhaps could help on anger management, (a prominently listed clinic speciality), and Schadenfreude disorders, etc., can be clinically managed (Valium probably works as with anger, so I suggest the commenter aim to use high dosages).

I think seeking help would be a productive direction for this person to take.

Ramsey's finest. On the most recent thuggish thing I had done to me in the last year or two the Ramsey Police did not stand by. Officer Wieler of RPD was on the phone Apr. 8, at about a quarter to seven in the evening about it before I even knew I was being thugged.

Jim Way and I exchanged a few emails. While there may have been some smiling, (I could understand if there was), there was no standing by. The RPD was helpful as a drop point for individuals to come and go and sign papers.

And if willingly helpful that way I cannot envision them idly standing by during thuggish property damage crime.

No time for losers --- 'Cause we are the champions - of the world -

Not yet up, as I write, on the Franken website [source of the one color photo] but the AP story is here, and Strib, PiPress and MPR reported it pronto -- and with Pawlenty having said he'd sign a certificate for whoever the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled as Senate race winner; it looks to be Senator Franken - deserving of the headline.

Everyone will have it up all over the web in minutes, the blogs and MinnPost and MinnIndependent, Google News, the usual suspects; so no links beyond the first I saw, given above, from the Bay Area.

Now This.

From Wikipedia:

"I have to win people over, otherwise it's not a successful gig. It's my job to make sure people have a good time. That's part of my duty. It's all to do with feeling in control. That song "We Are the Champions" has been taken up by football fans because it's a winners' song. I can't believe that somebody hasn't written a new song to overtake it."
-Freddie Mercury (1985)

[italics added] And Frankenian lyrics for this day:

I've paid my dues -
Time after time -
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime -
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face -
But I've come through

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for Coleman
'Cause we are the champions - of the world -

I think I got that right. Now, about those suits and the Kazeminy money to Hays Companies ---

Would any reader encountering a Garrison Keillor comment on this latest result please post what he's said as a comment.

________FURTHER UPDATE________
Coleman called it quits on the Senate race front, about 3 pm. same day as the 5-0 opinion was announced. Does this mean he's positioning for a Guv run? Or does it mean he's positoning for something such as the Richard Cheney Vice Presidential Papers Memorial Library leadership post, including speaking appearances? Handling the Cheney documents would be light work, allowing much time for other effort, given how getting documents loose from the man is like pulling hen's teeth. But who knows how speechifying and the gratuities would be? Coleman could take a run at the Gingrich cash-cow that had fifteen minutes of fame; "Drill here, Drill Now, Pay less." Norm probably has people in that sector who could be helpful. But Newt's not likely to voluntarily move off the milking stool.

The Brad Blog, a site that should be regularly accessed by everybody liking good stories well presented, and by anyone worried about the vote fraud at the counting end, not the voter's end; Brad Blog reports our latest "Championship" judges decision, no split decision victor after fifteen hard fought rounds - all the judges cards went the same way - with a few insights:

Franken's seating would give Democrats a theoretical 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, following Arlen Specter's recent move to the Democratic party. [With the 60 number relying on loose cannons such as Specter and Lieberman, don't expect enactment records set during the New Deal to be altered too soon.]

Franken, an author, former radio talk-show host, and comedian, was found, by a three-judge, tri-partisan election contest panel to have won the election by 312 votes following an historic, painstakingly careful hand count of nearly 3 million paper ballots cast in last November's election. Coleman may now appeal the decisions of the state canvassing board, the three-judge election contest panel, and the unanimous decision of the state Supreme Court to the U.S. Supreme Court. [The Coleman concession was noted as a posting update].

Washington Post notes "a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the earliest Franken would be seated is next week because the Senate is out of session for the July 4 holiday." Reid's spokesman also reported that the court's decision "stopped short of explicitly ordering the governor to sign the document, saying only that Franken was 'entitled' to it."

The decision is now posted here [PDF] and finds: ""Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled under Minn. Stat. § 204C.40 (2008) to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota." [It's a 32page item, and he's stated the nub of things; he has not updated that Pawlenty signed the certificate to promptly get us a second seated Senator.]

Working on a piece for UK's Guardian about all of this. But, bottom line: hand-marked paper ballots are the gold standard. Counting them by hand, publicly, in front of everyone, is what makes this election different from FL 2000, OH 2004, San Diego 2006, Iran 2009, etc. Transparency is the key. And the result is an election that is very difficult, for all but the most insane and/or disingenuous, to dispute when all is said and done. The voters of Minnesota, and its Sec. of State Mark Ritchie, are to be applauded for their superb, public, transparently handled election. Nice to see the voters win one for a change!

[That piece for the Guardian is now posted here: "Franken laughs last: The long-running battle for Minnesota's Senate seat is finally over. Democracy – and Al Franken – won fair and square"]

The BRAD BLOG has been covering virtually ever notable beat in this contest since last November. If you'd like to review our coverage over the past nearly eight months, click here for a trip back through the time-machine...

[Italics and links parallel the original; bolding added.] Read that Guardian item. It reemphasizes how a ballot paper trail was essential to the system allowing a decent and fair shot at legitimate recount - there was something to look at and publicly subject to adversarial approvals and objections to ultimately allow the Courts to have a basis for decision. It worked better than other past close and challenged elections, the Gore v. Bush case in 2000 being the poster child of the worse in the US approaching the worse in Iran [with Fletcher's police-state tactics during the RNC, the photos of it, being indistinguishable to me from street photos recently from Iran].

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dumb and dumber.


Will this VA hospital thing be built of Jim Deal's land? Or will the City sell? If the City, will it discount the land price? If Jim Deal, will there be a premium?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

WORDS you can believe in? Hopefully so. Perhaps not.

FUTURE SCIENCE FUNDING: Whether rhetoric has content or is empty, if it's good rhetoric with little of a track record, usually requires a passage of time to determine. In that light:

[April 27] We will devote more than 3 percent of our GDP to research and development. We will not just meet, but we will exceed the level achieved at the height of the space race, through policies that invest in basic and applied research, create new incentives for private innovation, promote breakthroughs in energy and medicine, and improve education in math and science. (Applause.)

This represents the largest commitment to scientific research and innovation in American history.

Just think what this will allow us to accomplish: solar cells as cheap as paint; green buildings that produce all the energy they consume; learning software as effective as a personal tutor; prosthetics so advanced that you could play the piano again; an expansion of the frontiers of human knowledge about ourselves and world the around us. We can do this.

In low keyed delivery but with Kennedyesque implications harking back to "the height of the space race" science funding will not remain orphaned as with Cheney-Bush.

Or so the man says.

It would be a "change". Is it too early to believe in it? Probably.

And then, Congress has to deliver its share, and we all know how one branch can play blame games with the other.

The President's tilt toward application-related realities and anticipated outcomes is rhetorical, for the public, but the audience he was speaking to at the time well knew the truth of basic research being the necessary predecessor to any deployed capital for producing and marketing devices or services.

In the mid-sixties while I was in college NMR was something a few professors pursued with very specialized one-off Varian spectrometers needed to do the work, glass cylinders fitting into the field cavity, all that and a professor in the basement of Louderman Hall doing that kind of research, now recently deceased - one of the Manhattan Project scientists who after the war rejoined academia, that specialist and his graduate students getting and interpreting a spectrum output to see what resonated at which energy levels, and what that at a pure basic research level meant for science - that was NMR reality in a nutshell. At the time no thought was given to, "In two decades or so this methodology will allow non-invasive radiological study in medicine in ways not yet imagined." (It's a tautology - if not yet imagined, would we expect anyone to be saying that?)

The application did, however, follow in time after the basic breakthrough work.

Basic research and campus faculty quality must be built over decades but can be easily lost in a few years to other institutions, in other states or at the nation's ivy league schools or at Standford or Rice or Case-Western Reserve, or Carnagie-Mellon - that class of private institutions - quality faculty cherry-picked that way, and lost from campuses such as the U.Minn. Twin Cities to others not having stingy government purse-string holders --- that is a truth the particular audience knew when Obama was speaking.

The speech transcript is here and a video can be downloaded here.

Here, is the released speech excerpt which I excerpted above. The photo appears here.

A thought on the DFL. And briefly on the GOP.

Matt Entenza seems to have done grassroots work. After what he did to Hatch, and with his wife a built-in conflict-of-interest, other choices such as John Marty, Paul Thissen or Steve Kelley exist. The wife-as-HMO-honcho thing, and Hatch's tough love for the HMO-Insurance cabal; with that as background context Entenza's private eye shadowing of Hatch is poison in the well.

There's hardly any other way to say it. Mark Dayton, he did not like being a senator; the iron ranger, well --- not a universally appealing individual and there's that Mall of America stuff; and Gaertner has her local sheriff to thank for poisoning her chances with the heavy, heavy, heavy RNC badge and handiwork and such.

Fletcher made the streets of St. Paul then look like those of Iran these days, citizens being hammered and dragged and not allowed to peacably assemble in an American way; and there seemingly was a comparable press persecution in each instance as I understand things - especially against the more critical non-mainstream press, where, mainstream, nothing much was said about the truth in the streets of St. Paul.

In the Sixth District, Elwyn Tinklenberg warmed over but still not hot, and Marvelous Matt the Hatch shadower, that as a combo surely could hurt down-ticket.

And down-ticket in 2010 will be BIG because control of both legislative houses and the Guv's house might, just might, have some effect on redistricting lines while recently the DFL has had momemtum but could lose steam, with losers atop a ticket.

Just a few random thoughts.

The GOP seems to be healing its wounds, and has Carey out and new leadership including Brodkorb on board.

Interesting times, these days.

The GOP is not entirely unmindful of the Entenza-Hatch fallout, and presumably would not decline to make anything of it, out of kindness and decency, or such.

Progress Report on Bank of Elk River, Ramsey Branch [located in the Town Center Coborns store - work progressing].

Scheduled to open mid-July, a Bank of Elk River branch in Ramsey.

Earlier on May 20, I posted a report on "planning." Now there is activity according to the plan. Consturction workers presently are onsite at the Town Center Coborns store where the branch is being built inside the store, near to the store's front, along its west wall. They are making it a reality.

It is important to me and others who will bank there. It is a progressive step for Ramsey, with its stalled and questionable development goals and spending efforts. This opening of a new business is a good step, there is no question to that. It is good for the community, for me, and for Coborn's and the Bank of Elk River.

Construction continues day-to-day, (as the Coborn workers in customer service and the store's pharmacy realize). The construction project has its construction sounds, and the service and dry cleaning outlet desk is "next door" to the noise, with the pharmacy equally adjacent.

Buck up folks there, it's for a good cause, and it will be over soon. They then will have their new banking-outlet neighbor. In a May 21 email reply to email, Stewart Wilson, Bank of Elk River Sr. Vice-President, indicated:

We still anticipate opening in mid-July and are in the final stages of finalizing our construction plans. The good news is we will have a nice size location, about 775 square feet. It will have two private offices and three stand-up teller windows and one sit-down teller window. We are currently assembling our staff for the location and the manager will be Michelle Thatcher. Michelle has been managing our Elk River Walmart office and is extremely enthusiastic about opening our Ramsey office and becoming involved in the Ramsey community.

As soon as we finalize our plans, we will be sending out a press release. We are very pleased to be working with a company like Coborn’s. Our organizations share many of the same values and are both family owned companies.

In my earlier May 20 post about the bank branching to the Town Center, I misstated one thing, a belief that the Elk River Walmart branch of Bank of Elk River was a limited-services outlet, not full service. I was wrong. A comment to that May 20 post clarified things.

Presuming Ms. Thatcher continues to be intended to head Ramsey operations for Bank of Elk River, please welcome her to our community.

When the bank's main office expansion in downtown Elk River between Hwy. 10 and Main Street was completed there was a public ceremony in the parking lot, for the community. Perhaps something similar is planned to happen in Ramsey - at least a ribbon cutting with Anoka County Union present and reporting. I recall getting a freebie bamboo house plant and a high-quality free Vanman baseball-style cap - Vanman being the contractor for that site work then. The bamboo plant's repotted, and has a third shoot to go with the two original ones, and the cap keeps my glasses dry in the rain. I enjoy both.

So --- Hey Guys --- Any freebies this time, when the Ramsey branch opens?

There should be. It's apparently the same players again.

The Business Journal has reported:

Friday, April 10, 2009 - Elk River bank to open in Ramsey
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
- by Jennifer Niemela Staff Writer

The Bank of Elk River received approval to open a branch in a Coborn’s grocery store at the Ramsey Town Center.

The Elk River-based bank will open the branch in July, said Pat Dwyer, president of the bank.

The new branch will employ four or five full-time workers, Dwyer said.

Vanman Architects and Builders Inc., based in Golden Valley, is designing the branch. Construction of the facility will cost about $150,000, Dwyer said.

Congratulations to all!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Big market NBA champs.

Photo from here.

A buried but interesting finals stat line: D.Fish -- FG made-attempted 21-42 [.500]; 3-PT attempted-made 7-16 [.438]; perfect from the line; 6-6. When Orlando doubled off Fisher he nailed the open shot. If the approach was make Fisher beat you, he did.

One thing the Lakers' win-in-five finals did was to make Denver look like quite a strong team, and George Karl like a very outstanding coach. Denver did well without being as big as the Lakers inside and the anticipation was with Howard and Lewis and the three-point game Orlando would do even better. Not so. Not at all.

While GOP discord over list availability exists, I expect the DFL would be list-democratic, especially among Sixth District hopefuls.

First, why say there are "list availability" problems in the GOP, where I am not privy to any inner workings or practices? The evidence is, actually, hearsay, Drew Emmer blogging:

And let's talk about lists. One way that our leaders deprive those they are supposed to serve in this party is the hoarding of lists. How stupid is it that we do not let the members of the State Central Committee know who else is on the State Central Committee? This was brought up at the last Executive Committee meeting and promptly tabled. Tabling such an issue is profoundly cowardly when you consider what is at stake. If this business of being on the State Central Committee is so doggone top secret should we not consider equipping everyone with a mask to wear at the meeting?

Well, yes, that's the bad old GOP, I understand. The DFL has its lists, that's a big part of what the leadership does there at caucus, getting lists. And, well, Elwin Tinklenberg and Maureen Reed are, so far, the only two declared hopefuls for a shot at the Bachmann position in Congress. The hope and expectation is that DFL leadership would be fair in making all its lists available to each, for donor solicitation since in politics money talks. Reed especially is vulnerable that way, since Tinklenberg as last cycle's hopeful has lists from that - the emailings and those who sent checks or used PayPal. Reed, without that headstart should expect at least a recognition of an unlevel playing field from her DFL leadership, and consequent list availability.

Or am I wrong?

Would Maureen Reed be a "security risk" with such a thing because of her past Indepence Party ties? Well, the fact is, Elwyn's got that crony-tie problem at an even greater level, given how Bob Anderson's candidacy was treated by IP insiders wanting chum Tinklenberg favored.

So, does each candidate get such party help at this early stage, or does the party sit back and say, "We wait, we see"?

Any reader with either opinion, or better, with DFL inside thinking to share should leave a comment.

Isn't all that secrecy stuff what is practiced by exclusionary groups such as the Masons, or Skull and Bones? But supposedly not by "big open tent" political parties wanting to tell each of us we should be allies and belong.

Is exclusionary list-keeping appropritely "Minnesota nice" -- for either of the two parties in our unfortunate two-party dilemma to sit on secret lists?

At least there are FEC reports that someone like Maureen Reed can consult to get donor information. It is nice that besides the disclosure function, the "challenger" status is less prejudiced by having those rays of FEC sunshine. The king-makers cannot exclude folks from those online info sources.

Blogger Andy Aplikowski live-blogs the GOP in action.

Here is the link. Have a look. It was closed to recording so the extreme effort of live blogging pulled back the curtain a bit, and Aplikowski deserves praise.

But hey GOP guys, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Heh, heh, heh, ...

Again, seriously, live-blogging is quite difficult. Aplikowski did an excellent job factually and by giving a window into his own feelings and reactions. It was more than dry reporting that way. It is worth having a look. If nothing else, the questions prepared [by some inner-party mechanism not made too clear] that each candidate for the Minnesota GOP leadership and first deputy positions had to respond to are indicative of how at least one influential state GOP committee views its future uncertainties. Looking at the questions alone is informative.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blogger Andy Aplikowski on record as pesimistic over Minnesota's GOP future. Gary Gross has yet to post, but was clear in the past.

Gary Gross and Andy Aplikowski are my two GOP blogger-barometers, each opinionated, with opinions both differing and at times overlapping.

And -

This post is about the mid-June 2009 reporting of the spiffy new GOP party leadership honchos in Minnesota, where MPR reports:

Tony Sutton elected as new chair of Minnesota GOP
Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio - June 13, 2009

St. Paul, Minn.
— Republicans have elected businessman Tony Sutton as the new chair of the Minnesota Republican Party.

The delegates elected Sutton on the first ballot. He received 195 votes, while radio personality Dave Thompson received 133 votes and former state Senator Carrie Ruud received 17 votes.

Sutton said he's committed to rebuilding the party.

Sutton will be responsible for recruiting and backing candidates, organizing grass roots support and turning out the vote in elections. 2010 is a critical year because there's an open race for governor and every legislative seat is on the ballot.

A handful of candidates who have said they're running or are open to running for governor talked with delegates at the meeting. The list includes former House Speaker Steve Sviggum, former Rep. Bill Haas, current Rep. Paul Kohls, R-Victoria and Rep. Laura Brod, R-New Prague and state Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie.

Delegates also elected blogger Michael Brodkorb as Deputy Chair. Brodkorb, who writes for the website Minnesota Democrats Exposed and is also communications director for Republicans in the Minnesota Senate, said he will not blog when he takes his job on July 1.

Message is same-old-same-old, MPR's report giving this Sutton quote:

"We've got to get back on track philosophically," Sutton said. "The party of fiscal responsibility was spending like crazy in Washington. We've got to regain credibility with folks for whom fiscal issues are important."

Ho, hum. Heard that already (from Elwyn Tinklenberg and Maureen Reed, each blue as a dog can get, each intent in out-bluing the other, as well as from actual and declared GOP types).

Pawlenty spoke - routinely Pawlenty stuff:

"Next year, we don't have a U.S. Senate race," Pawlenty said. "We can focus solely on the governor's races and the state legislative races. And this is only once in a twenty year or so phenemenon where we can focus exclusively on the future direction of Minnesota and Minnesota state-based races. That's going to have a dramatic effect and opportunity for our party. I predict we're going to have a good year."


Same old gray guv.

Move On, TP.

What's interesting, Triple A - Andy, on his design-upgraded blog, [screen shots below, the well-designed new header-banner first, the GOP affairs post next], went into weekend GOP inner-party deliberations with an opinion on record:

I use the screenshot, because historically Triple A in Bachmann's first Sixth District Congressional run went into things a Krinke backer, even a bit critical of Bachmann, but revised and extended his views. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the new GOP leadership once he sees it at work rather than in anticipation.

As of authoring this post, Gary Gross has not directly mentioned the inner-party affairs, but in the past his feelings were clear; see, here, here, here, here, and here.

And as we await healthcare reform and the straddle the GOP and Dems will do - entrenched friends wanting favors kept, an expectant electorate waiting, waiting, and waiting for something good - beyond business as usual for the pharma-HMO-insurer cabals for whom the strutting turkeys in both houses in DC will doubtlessly with smooth words deliver; the question being where Obama will be, in lockstep or pushing decency for the people of the nation and their health needs.

As he promised. As "change" would dictate.

All that will be interesting theater. The autoworkers have been example number one; and healthcare "reform," I fear, will be example number two of Washington DC at its money-run worse.

Maybe we need a Huey Long to show up, wanting to push the for-now totally novel notion, spread the wealth.

He'd/she'd have my vote.

Obama, he's not going to spread any wealth, he's saying he and his Clinton carryovers will render the fat out of the hog and we can live on that; here, here, here and here. Excuse me, I am a skeptic. Go back and read that Sutton quote and then look at the stuff. It sounds as if Obama and Sutton are shooting baskets on the same team. Who exactly are both playing against? Who are the referees?

__________FURTHER UPDATE_________
Here's the Suttonesque Obama at the podium, East Room of White House, on "Pay as you go."

Paying for what you spend is basic common sense. Perhaps that's why, here in Washington, it's been so elusive. Of course, there have been those in Washington leading the charge to restore PAYGO, and many of them are here today. I want to recognize Congressman George Miller, who introduced the first PAYGO bill in the House. (Applause.) I want to thank the House Blue Dogs and their leader, especially Baron Hill, who has been a driving force in favor of PAYGO. (Applause.) I want to acknowledge Senator Claire McCaskill, who's shown real leadership on this issue in the Senate. (Applause.) And as I said, I want to acknowledge the Speaker of the House, as well as leader Steny Hoyer, who are here because they understand the importance of this principle and are fully supportive of our efforts.

In fact, two years ago, a new Democratic Congress put in place congressional rules to restore this principle, but could not pass legislation without the support of the administration. I want you all to know you now have that support. (Applause.)

The fact is there are few who aren't distressed by deficits. It's a concern that crosses party lines, geographic boundaries, and ideological divides. But often, in the give-and-take of the political process, the vested interests of the few overtake the broader interests of the many. The debate of the day drowns out those who speak of what we may face tomorrow. And that's why "pay as you go" is essential. It requires Congress to navigate the ebb and flow of politics while remaining fixed on that fiscal horizon.

Speechifying you can believe in. I am more distressed by untrue posturing than by deficits, whatever that last paragraph starts off saying ...

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
More rendering fat from the hog as a solution to something, Strib online this morning:

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the president's remarks before they were delivered.

The nation's doctors, like many other groups, are divided over the president's proposals to reshape the health care delivery system. The White House anticipates heavy spending to cover the almost 50 million Americans who lack health insurance and has taken steps in recent days to outline just where that money could be found.

For instance, Obama wants to cut federal payments to hospitals by about $200 billion and cut $313 billion from Medicare and Medicaid. He also is proposing a $635 billion "down payment" in tax increases and spending cuts in the health care system.

To an audience of doctors Obama plans to say the United States spends too much on health care and gets too little in return. He says the health industry is crushing businesses and families and is leading to millions of Americans losing coverage, the administration official said.

I suppose the speech today the Strib item preludes will be posted on

What about rereading the Wizard of Oz, instead of his speeches?

The man's had time enough - tell me - what's he delivered? More troops in the poppy fields with a new McChrystal at the levers. Ho, hum. In closing Gitmo, what's he going to do, put them all on a skiff as if they were Haitians aiming to reach the mainland?

That Sutton quote, one word stands out, in context, " ... We've got to regain credibility with folks ..." and so far, has Obama earned the "c-word"?

Do you honestly think the GOP will? Uncle Sam, HELLLLLLLLP!!

___________LAST FURTHER UPDATE___________
Craig Westover is a conservative blogging voice, and had his pre-conference say on the direction he'd prefer; no quotes, but please have a look, here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And he will travel the nation, and be a "tremendously popular" voice of constancy and hope - as long as the bicycle tires don't go flat.

OUR NORM COLEMAN! From place to place. "Can you hear me now?" "Can you hear me now?"

We learn online of a Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) expenditure notice:

Matt Brooks announced today that Senator Norm Coleman (MN) has agreed to join the RJC as a consultant and strategic advisor. In this capacity, Coleman will help the RJC as it plans for the future and looks at ways to continue its historic record of growth and success. Coleman will also provide strategic guidance on important policy matters affecting the organization and the Jewish community. In addition, Coleman, a tremendously popular speaker, will travel around the country on behalf of the RJC, speaking in Jewish communities across the country on the state of current affairs.

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, "We are thrilled and honored to have Norm Coleman join us at the RJC at this critical time. We look forward to having the benefit of his experience and wise counsel to help the RJC plot its future course. We are confident that in a few months Senator Coleman will return to his seat in the Senate, but until that time, we are eager for him to travel across the country on our behalf and to be an important voice within the organization."

How was this pearl of wisdom found? Well, the photo dates itself a few years but is found at multiple web locations, and the RJC article dates itself a few months from January of this year but after missing it first go-round, I read of it as "Politics in Minnesota" circa June 12:

Here's Texas Sen. and National Republican Senatorial Committee chair John Cornyn back in April:

"This is about making sure every legal vote is counted, this isn't just about Norm Coleman. This is about protecting the rights of voters. It's to my mind a very noble endeavor and one in which, frankly, I admire his perseverence. I support getting it right, and if that includes a federal lawsuit, then so be it. I do think there are important legal issues that don't just affect Minnesota, or affect this race. They affect elections all around the country -- a uniform standard to make sure which votes are counted, and which are not."

And here's Cornyn earlier this week, per Hotline:

"I think it's entirely up to him. Frankly, I've been amazed that Sen. Coleman's been willing to persevere as long as he has, and I'm proud of him for doing that. I think we will support him until he decides to hang it up one way or another."

It sounds like Norm is wanting out. The conventional wisdom is that it's a matter of salvaging a political future for himself. Really? He's already toasted his immediate future (i.e., a run for governor in 2010), and it's not clear that what he does from here on out will have much impact on his longer-range future.

But there may be another, more immediate reason Coleman is getting impatient: He needs to get on to some sinecure in the ever-lucrative world of influence-peddling that awaits practically every ex-senator who's so inclined. His current gig, with the Repubican Jewish Coalition, is the barest start.

Currently we know of at least two signs of pressure on Coleman's personal finances:

* As first reported at Politico and later elaborated by the Star Tribune, Coleman has refinanced his St. Paul house many times, [...]

* Coleman has also had to retain legal counsel--expensive legal counsel--in conjunction with a pair of lawsuits (in Texas and Delaware) that allege Coleman friend and patron Nasser Kazeminy funneled $75,000 to Coleman [...]

[the link in the original post was italicized above, in excerpting, to highlight it as my opening source]. Then, doing a Google uncovered this "Letter to Norm Coleman" stating -

[...] time for you to step aside, admit defeat, congratulate Al Franken on his hard-fought victory, and permit him to take the oath of office. And then you can go about the task of looking for a high-paying, high-profile job . . . perhaps replacing Michael Steele at the RNC?


Many of us remember that on election night -- when you appeared to be the winner by an eyelash -- you majestically warned that a recount would be extremely costly and expressed deep, honest concern about Minnesotans being denied full Senate representation. At that point you sounded more like a statesman than a politician. But now that the margin of victory -- slim though it may be --belongs to Al Franken, you are whistling a tune [...]

There was a time long ago when you would have picked up a bullhorn and raged against what you are currently doing. Once upon a time in the late '60s and early '70s, you stood foursquarely on the side of "the people." Back when you were student body president at Hofstra, you protested the war in Vietnam, took over the administration building, railed against the inherent unfairness of "the system," and vowed to knock the "entrenched elites" down a peg or two. Heck, you were even a roadie with "Ten Years After" and spent your 20th birthday with them up at Woodstock.

I know that since you stopped receiving your Senate salary, you have been working part time for the Republican Jewish Coalition. These are all things for which you should be grateful; to a certain extent, you are on a path taking you back to your roots. Hopefully you will continue on that path back to the old-time student activist who would have been aghast at the former Senator's obdurateness. If I were you Senator, I would let Governor Pawlenty, Senator Cornyn and the rest of your friends in the Republican Party know that you want them to cease and desist; that the time has come to act like a mentsch and gracefully bow out. [...]

PS: I must admit to having a personal reason (beyond what is written above) for hoping you will bring an end to this nonsense: Without closure, I cannot finish my biographic piece on either you or Al Franken for the next edition of The Congressional Minyan: The Jews of Capitol Hill, to be published by Rowman & Littlefield.

(Now how's that for a shameless plug . . . ?}

©2009 Kurt F. Stone

Finally, Norm, besides hanging it up, stay home. Keep Laurie happy in the remodeled home, be steady company. Those speeches will expose things about your Woodstock-to-Washington mind, current, razor-sharp, attuned to speech usages and nuances:

Clearly, Norm Coleman isn't exactly tech-savvy. After a speaking engagement in St. Louis this week, he told a video-camera wielding supporter that the key to success for Republicans "lies in the ethernet."

Coleman, who was in Minnesota Supreme Court this week appealing the Senate election results, was in St. Louis to give a speech at the Conservative Heartland Leadership Conference.

Huffington Post | Susan Crile
Posted: 06- 5-09 02:20 PM

[italics in original]

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fridley contractor, Stock Roofing Company LLC, in hot water with Union Local 96 over Target Center "green roof," NLRB complaint, and organizing drive.

The union claims unfair labor practices, wants changes, and to establish a bargaining unit. The contractor generally says nothing was amiss and opposes organizing the workforce; and an NLRB complaint has been filed by the union.

Strib twice reported things, here originally on May 29, and again yesterday, here. Other Twin City outlets report, here, here, [here and here for union press coverage, search the second item for "Stock Roofing" for the proper blurb], and lastly, MPR, here.

KARE 11 has a terse and neutral report, in relevant part stating:

MINNEAPOLIS -- Workers updating the top of the Target Center are off the roof and on the street Thursday [yesterday] morning.

The crew from Fridley-based Stock Roofing Company is on strike.

In mid-March they began working to make the Target Center's roof "greener."

The workers are demanding Stock Roofing Company recognize their right to unionize.

BizJournal, yesterday reports worker activity and contractor quotes:

Laborers employed by a roofing company that’s working on Target Center’s green roof project went on strike Thursday, claiming they’ve been forced to work in unsafe conditions.

The employees of Fridley-based Stock Roofing Co. are demanding that Stock recognize their right to unionize.

They also claim Stock has forced them to work on the Target Center’s roof “without proper safety harnessing and other protective gear,” according to a statement released by the workers.

Roofers and Waterproofers Union Local 96, along with the striking workers, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board regarding working conditions at the site. Stock Roofing employees are not currently affiliated with Blaine-based Local 96, said Robb Leer, a spokesman for the workers.

Stock Roofing said work was continuing on the $5.2 million project, which is publicly funded. "It's truly unfortunate, but we believe that the protesters may be grandstanding because of the high-visibility of this publicly-funded project," said Warren Stock, president of Stock Roofing.

“We take every precaution to be sure that work is being performed in accordance with industry safety practices, and actually exceed requirements in most cases,” said Mark Santacrose, president and CEO of Skokie, Ill.-based Tecta America Corp., which owns Stock Roofing, in the statement.

About 30 workers were striking in front of Target Center Thursday, and the strike will continue Friday, said Leer. | (612) 288-2138

[links and italics in original]. BizJournal previously reported May 28, here, paralleling the pair of Strib reports. Next, a screenshot from the earlier Strib item:

There is much more info, hence, readers are encouraged to scan that entire opening set of reporting links for a spectrum of fact-and-belief detail. A union press release is online here, explaining their position, and this next screen shot is from their website [click to enlarge -- go to the original online union page, for hot link access]:

The Union posts the workers' NLRB complaint with their attorney's cover letter [Brenden Cummings of the Miller, O'Brien & Cummins firm], here.

The above screenshot of the Union's webpage indicates the page's links to employee affidavits, this one chosen at random as representative [cut from Adobe Acrobat pdf format to jpg images, click each to enlarge and read - the allegations are interesting - only the English version is presented below]:

The roofing firm has an online Flash Player video, but I do not use Flash Player and have captured no screenshot. Please check the contrator's site; One employer subpage, here, indicates:

No one can afford to have their roof unprotected when disaster strikes whether it’s in the form of torrential rains, tornadoes, hurricanes or earthquakes. When it happens, you need an immediate response. That’s why we offer the most sophisticated Disaster Response Program in the industry.

In a major emergency, either natural or man-made, all Tecta America companies nationwide are placed on standby notice, ready to dispatch the trained manpower, specialized equipment, materials and other support needed to get customers back in business quickly.

[emphasis added]. We've had a couple major hail storms and hail damage in Anoka County and the general metro area. That "disaster readiness" text may be self-touting, but in labor relations it arguably is a can of worms, as it can be in meeting local code and intermediate and final inspection and completion requirements.

If crews get moved around to cover local storm damage elevated demand, excess work can be booked that strains firm supervisory personnel resources, and if the TectaAmerica operation is not unionized nationwide, or differing union jurisdictions exist at different locales, there can be jurisdictional disputes arising upon itenerant crew movements; and crews from Oklahome or Mississippi might not know of cold weather needs and local code nuances, so that enhanced local firm control and monitoring is necessary, and presumably that's a met need and Minnesota requirements for weatherguard material at residential roof perimeters, for example, are complied with and not ignored or forgotten at your home or mine.

And that "trained manpower," in the above quote --- that's a promise you presumably can sue under, a representation to all consumers, hence, arguably a part of any homeowner's contract. I think building permit officials at local cities might have "war stories" about itenerant crews and less than perfect work, but -- go ask them. Each speaks for himself.

With contractors, I find litigation search helpful, with recent online district court docket information accessible here and recent appellate opinions here.

One "unpublished" appellate decision is online here, and about a half-dozen or so docketed items were uncovered per searching the lower court link for "Stock Roofing" or "Stock Roofing Company LLC" or "Warren Stock" [firm founder and qualifying person on whose expertise the contractor license is grounded; see also, BizJournal quote, above].

Of the trial court online info, in Anoka County one file stands out online as representing more court filing and case churning activity than most others, you can examine the file at the Courthouse in Anoka on Main Street at 3rd, it is public data, File No. 02-CV-07-165 [hopefully the link works w/o going through access pages, if not use the above "District Court" docket link and navigate]. It involves a homeowner I know as a friend and regard as a person of unquestioned honesty and care for detail, claiming negligent roofing, etc. That person is Terry Hendriksen, a former City of Ramsey Councilman and Planning Board Member with a record of over thirty years of public service in Ramsey, and owner-operator of a long-established Anoka County professional phone-and-computer-networking consultancy, Enterprise Communications, (or "ECI," online at Multiple affidavits and memoranda are listed in the online docket. Hence, there likely is good information there, (some under oath), for any interested reader.

Interestingly, at least one California "Green Issues" blog also reports, here.

Crabgrass hopes things are resolved in a fair and proper manner for all concerned.

Here are screen shots of that one highly-churned Anoka County online docket list:

-lobster photo credits, here and here-

________FURTHER UPDATE_________

The employer's side of the story is well argued here on Business Wire. Readers can access that directly or click the thumbnail.