consultants are sandburs

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Occupy Movement. Beyond the 99%.

I am the 1%
OCCUPY my rentals.
The upper diagonal banner was added this morning. It speaks for itself. It links to where you can have one too. However, it is not wholly intuitive how to edit a Blogger template.

NEXT: In honor of the Occupy movement having durability, sustainability, and extended life beyond immediate fad and fancy; reaching instead years into the futures of City of Ramsey, Minnesota, and Village of Orland Park, Illinois; there is the image - suggesting durabilty and even mainstream-to-right-wing establishment percolation.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Game's over. The Winner's been decided. Tea Party is entirely second place.

This link

Actually the article notes that "Tea Party" search traffic peaks in April, around mid-April.

This is the hummer in that report that should have the two-party mainstreamers - the traditional owners of politics as usual - wetting their pants:

Veteran Democratic Party pollster Douglas Schoen, reports the Wall Street Journal, had a researcher ask those who are physically occupying Wall Street about the comparison. The firm found that 35% of them have “goals to influence the Democratic Party the way the Tea Party has influenced the GOP.”

Barny Frank on TV once said things used to be Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi meeting with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and working things out but with the tea party faction, it's now those four having the take recognition of the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit. And there was the feeling that McConnell and Boehner might have not challenged that characterization too much, in private.

Now there is the hope that a progressive energizing of the same-old same-old Dems may happen, and there is nothing but good to anticipate from that. And of course, the comparable co-option efforts as the vanilla GOP has pushed for with the Tea Baggers will happen. It is inevitable. The attempt. Successful co-option is less clear a prediction.

Of course for that to come about, the Occupy movement coalescing into a real and enduring thing, the Occupy movement has to last through the Winter.

In Tahrir Square snow and cold were non-factors.

And we've all seen Network.

And we recall Kent State -&- Jackson State leading to quelled enthusiasms once the level of evil power to be unleased was brought to public awareness - and that led to the re-entrenchment of the entrenched interests.

That was the Big Nixon, and Henry K, then; i.e, total evil and meanness incarnate; so who have we now and how will they respond? Betting on an iron fist in a velvet glove has often proven wise.

Look at the carried sign in that image. It could be a leftover from a Ron Paul rally. People perhaps are showing reawakened feelings.

So who likes the banks and Wall Street, besides Bernanke, Paulsen, and Geithner? And Greenspan.

Occupy the Fed? Occupy the Banks? Occupy a Voice?

While attracting a host of comments with each post, James Howard Kuntsler shares thoughts on the Occupy awakening he sees as happening. In reverse chronological order, here, here, and here. And he says the message of some of the young people politely but resolutely making a public statement is not as obtuse or disorganized or inconsequential as mainstream media would paint. From the earliest of the three posts, the last link given, Kuntsler sees a coherent explanation of what is cause to complain within one succinct sign of one individual Occupant:

All last week across the media landscape, in pod, blog, flat-screen, and crunkly old newsprint columns, fatuous professional observers complained that the Occupy Wall Street marchers "have no clear agenda" or "can't articulate their positions." What impertinent horseshit. I saw a statement on one OWSer's sign that said it all:

$70,000 College Debt
$12,000 Medical Bills
I'm 22
Where's My Bailout?

     What part of that is unclear to interlocutors of what we called "the establishment" back in the day? That would be the day of the Vietnam War and the Aquarian Upsurge. One difference being that in 1968 we at least had some solidarity in the older generation coming from figures of gravity like Senators Robert Kennedy (bumped off), Eugene McCarthy, J. William Fullbright, George McGovern, Rev Martin Luther King (bumped off), and even one US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark. Today, the entire "establishment" is a clueless, hopeless blob of self-interested, craven opportunism. Even the arty fringe - the people who pretend to be an avant-garde - are nothing but narcissistic self-branding operations masquerading as culture leaders.
     The worst offender this past week was the prating empty vessel Nicholas Kristoff at The New York Times who affected to offer the OWSers his own tidy agenda of nit-picky, arcane tax reforms (e.g "Close the 'carried interest' and 'founders' stock' loopholes") and limp-dick banking regulations (e.g. "[move] ahead with Basel III capital requirements"). David Plotz and his Gen X sidekicks at the Slate Political Podcast were equally mystified. I have some heartier suggestions: bring the full weight of the RICO act and the federal anti-fraud statutes down on Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, Brian Moynihan, Angelo Mozilo, and a host of other impudent schmekels still at large in their world of Escalade limos and Gulfstream vistas. Or, if that's just too difficult, how about a handy lamppost and about 40 feet of stout nylon cord?

I wish them well.

If they last out the winter, they will be less easily dismissed by those running government at all levels.

USA Today photo - accompanying this report

Crowds most numerous drawn by Bullhorn Bachmann never were this size.

Occupy Oakland, photo, Kos, here. Lots of people. Real protesting.

Bullhorn Bachmann, with suits/sunglass/security. Plastic protesting:

photo from Guardian - this link

Crooks and Liars. Award winning web-oped. Offering a few recent good reads.

Love for the charitable hearts at BOA, here.

Raising Cain, here and here. Read that last one to the end. It is worth the time.

No excerpt. No description. Read it.

Marco Rubio. His parents left a fascist dictatorial regime in Cuba, Battista's Cuba in 1956, to come to the US and have raised a fascist son after doing so. Here.

We now have an "Occupy the Board Room!" website, hence things should go to the next logical level.

That's right, check it out, here. The Board Room. Do you think Obama would finally pay some attention if there were an "Occupy the White House" effort by those disgruntled with the Wall Street bailout and the banking cartel's self serving lust for power and for all the wealth? It might jog the man to embrace more than a few long-overdue politically motivated present bandaid executive orders which he simply could have issued January 2009, were he to have then been sincere. He was, after all, no less the Chief Executive back then that he is now. He could have started discourse with a few real and powerful orders reaching beyond what's been offered us recently. Back then, what effective things were possible instead of his singing his Blue Dog Blues bit for so long, and embracing a deceptive let-us-reason-together approach starting from somewhere quite to the right of what the majority of the people want to see while then subsequently and dramatically giving inch-by-inch concession and retrenchment to those on the far right. Yielding ground from a right of middling start while pointing to "them" as "unreasonable" just seems to be more politics than substance.

Why did he do nothing when he had party majorities in each house? It was because he wanted to do nothing and was in harmony that way with each of his majorities in each house. Now with a GOP majority in the House, he can posture and blame. He could not do that when the forces of repression of the regular people were, in the majority, in his own party.

He had no choice but to diddle, unless of course, had he meant "Change" when he sloganeered "Change."

Final question - if Warren Buffet is sincere about how it is greatly unfair that he paid a lower percent of his income in taxes than many who worked for him and were earning far, far less, why does he not simply give the government more of his money first, before speaking out about the obvious injustice of things?

Do as I do almost always has differed from do as I say. A true cynic might even say that Dayton is a bit relieved by the last election turn in the Minnesota House and Senate, by having an excuse to no longer be saying, "Tax the Rich." A cynic might also find it disingenuous when the likes of Paul Ryan over-demonstrate personal Angst over "class warfare," when it was the Gipper on his white horse who long ago started it by assisting the rich in looting the rest of us, and so on, without Ryan until now noticing that class warfare was a current event. Buffet did note that. But beyond saying so, did anyone notice whether he'd actually laid down any war weapon? I am unaware of any Berkshire Hathaway operation turning out "class plowshares" via lessening any stockpiles of swords of wealth. The firm seems more focused in wielding its stockpile of swords of wealth, to gain further wealth. But that's only an outsider's view. Unlike Crabgrass readers, I do not have a big portfolio stuffed with cozy BH shares.

Loansharking. This link.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A day late and an NSL short.

I was going to entirely skip posting about Oct. 26 marking the 10th anniversary of Bush signing the ill-named patriot act. I was not intending any celebration either.

However, this image I discovered today from Empty Wheel, [a site you might want to bookmark], is reposted.

If you do not know what an NSL is, there might be one existing with your name on it.


And what might they say?

Michael Brodkorb's handpicked successor for second elephant behind Sutton.

Kelly Fenton of Woodbury.

photo from 2008, MPR, this link
Read text of a Brodkorb message, yet how it presently looks to be less than a done deal, (or how at least some thinking in Anoka County drifts that way). Here and here.

UPDATE link, here. A Google, here.

FURTHER UPDATE: A local Woodbury outlet, on the Fenton proposal, here:

Fenton is a former teacher and school administrator, and served under the leadership of former Secretary of Education Dr. Rod Paige while he was the Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District.

Fenton is a graduate of Marquette University and holds a master’s of administration and supervision from the University of Houston.

Can't these people simply put in a date? "When Rod Paige was Superintendent" in Houston, that's simply poor reporting. It is taking a politician's chosen canned wording and not translating it into a date folks can grasp.

And Houston, that's not particularly Minnesota, so why is Fenton not still there and still holding that job? Why here, and when moved? Circumstances and motives, please speak up. I doubt she left Houston to work on the Coleman campaign, so what's the story?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Harrisburg Pennsylvania. An excellent detailed analysis of a town on a gambling bender.

This link. It is extensive, detailed, and educational. Read it. Only one early paragraph is excerpted.

The vast majority of Harrisburg’s bonded indebtedness stems from improvements made to the city’s trash incinerator plant. According to the Patriot-News, Harrisburg’s local newspaper (a lot of the information in this post is derived from their excellent coverage), the incinerator plant has been a major source of financial trouble for the city since it opened in the early 1970s, yet city officials have demonstrated an inexplicable devotion to throwing money at the project. (This story is, in fact, one long lesson in not allowing sunk costs to influence decision-making. Not everyone pays attention in economics, apparently.)

[red highlighting added]. There is much wisdom to extract from the story of Harrisburg, and aside from that it is an interesting story. One presenting a snapshot of how a distant municipality consistently acted to put and keep itself behind the 8-ball, over irrational ongoing dedication to a single failing municipal project (indeed, a project first embarked upon with great expectations and not without early promise of success).

Again, please read the entire detailed analysis. It is an excellent analysis of an intriguing story - this link.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The State. Downgraded. What town might be next?

BizJournal, this link. Connect the dots.

Vikings stadium analysis. At The Deets.

This Link.

Ed Kohler uses the term "Wilfare."

That should give you a hint of his thinking before linking over to The Deets for detail.

What Kohler writes makes sense to me. Strangely, it appears the Republicans in the legislature may be the ones to kill giving one of their own a pile of free money -- Mutating it from taxpayer money to private use, Ramsey style. I say "Ramsey style," since we face another out-of-state wealthy gentleman, Flaherty on a smaller scale than Wilf, being subsidized. While there are differences of scale, the principle of subsidizing the wealthy with cash extracted from the non-wealthy is the same.

So, will the legislature's Republicans turn out to be like Ramsey's? Talking conservative, and touting government-hands-off market mechanisms. Then doing otherwise.

What should be given Zygi? If it comes to it, give him best wishes in LA.

On a recent but less than current post, here, Kohler looks at the Marty-Runbeck proposal to give Zygi the Dome. For one dollar and a contractual promise to remain in Minnesota for a term of years.

See more on that line of thought, this Google.

I believe Kohler's extended excerpt of Marty's explaining his proposal is from MinnPost, here.

Best rejoinder in the entire circus show, from Strib reporting online here:

Marty and Runbeck said they prefer that solution to Ramsey County’s plan to build a $1.1 billion stadium in Arden Hills, which would include subsidies from both the county and the state — a total $650 million public contribution that Marty claimed would be “the biggest taxpayer subsidy of any sports team in history.”

The idea of simply turning over the Dome to the Vikings is not a new one, and team officials in the past have labeled it a nonstarter.

But Marty, referring to the Vikings rookie just named the starting quarterback this weekend against Green Bay, quipped: “Last week, Christian Ponder was a nonstarter.”

Under the proposal, which Marty and Runbeck said they would introduce in a special session if one is called for the Arden Hills plan, the Vikings would get the Dome for free and sign a 25-year contract to run it.

The stadium’s assessed value is just under $42 million. But the city, county and school district would get that money back in the form of annual taxes that the team would pay on the property. It’s estimated that the stadium would yield $1.67 million a year in taxes.

[emphasis added] Ed Kohler nails it, here. Zygi does not want to pay property taxes, while a team without a stadium truly is "a nonstarter" this would be a team with its owned stadium. However, Zygi is a greedy f**k. Take that as a starting point of any analysis about Mondale and Zygi's barkers saying the Marty-Runbeck proposal is a "nonstarter." The proper response to Zygi and his flak-pack - and to Ted Mondale - is to tell them to go do to themselves what they would do to taxpayers. Three-quarters of Minnesotans feel that way, so what's up with the politicians?

Bottom line, what's wrong with having a Referendum? Do so, and follow the will of the voters. It would work with Zygi, it would work elsewhere.

Puzzle of the day.

To which tedious Minnesota politician would you apply this image:

Hint: Current events. New Hampshire. Initials M.B.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Apartment House Blues.

Strib horror stories; here and here.

Plus, one man's ceiling is another man's floor.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ramsey - Ramp expansion, not vertically, but westerly from the existing structure.

The photo is from today, from across Sunwood Blvd, showing the contractor's board, the prior entrance road now closed (with ingress-egress presently from the ramp's southeast corner, off of Veterans Drive by the bus stop. The initial column pourings are shown, with rebar set for the next pour, etc. I am unsure of when/how the flooring for each level is placed before another column pour, so watch and see. There obviously would have to be rebar between columns, unless support bridging is all prestressed truss-work, delivered on site and lifted by crane into place. My guess is tying iron, setting forms, and doing onsite pours vs. prestressed/delivered.

In Harrisburg Pennsylvania it was money dumped into trying to rehab a failed incinerator the EPA had shut down that led to its bankruptcy filing. In Ramsey, money is being dumped into trying to rehab a failed Town Center that the market shut down.

Via an AP wire feed, Strib reports on Harrisburg, here.

The state of Pennsylvania and Harrisburg's mayor are fighting a 4-to-3 City Council vote that authorized the city to file for bankruptcy protection. The city of 50,000 is saddled with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, and six pending lawsuits, mostly related to an aging trash incinerator.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shut down the incinerator in 2000 for excessive pollution, and then officials backed a plan to spend $125 million on upgrades that were supposed to fix the problems and return the incinerator to profitability. But the fixes only led to more problems and debt.

The City Council majority and Thompson have clashed over a recovery plan developed with state officials, leading area state lawmakers to push a bill that would let the governor declare a state of fiscal emergency and install someone to make decisions about government services and spending.

That measure, supported by Gov. Tom Corbett, has passed the House and is expected to be taken up by the Senate this week.

Municipal bankruptcies are rare, with only a few dozen filed in the United States in the past three decades, and some of those were dismissed. Among them are Orange County, Calif., which took the action in 1994, and Vallejo, Calif., three years ago.

More recently, a state receiver filed for bankruptcy for Central Falls, R.I., in August, and the recovery plan includes cost cutting, higher taxes and pension reductions. Jefferson County, Ala., is considering Chapter 9 as a solution to a $3.1 billion sewer debt problem.

Harrisburg Town Cashburner.
(Apparently not yet rebranded.)
More detailed coverage, Business Week, here. WaPo, source of the photo, here.

The basic story -- Past politicians and their decision making have put the present Harrisburg city government into a largely untenable position. In Harrisburg. It is a step ahead of other towns where current decision making and politician activity is building debt for future town governments to cope with. Harrisburg offers a learning curve.

Finally, from what I have read Harrisburg has NOT rebranded the incinerator in an effort to hide itself from past municipal shame.

Hence Harrisburg officials, at least from present online reporting, for now appear to be above any such crass and deceptive foolishness.

click the image to enlarge and read

Source: WaPo, this link.

______________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
This Google, for more Harrisburg detail. Latest update on an item there, this link - a Nov. 23 bankruptcy court hearing has been set on the legal issues surrounding the State action and the municipal 4-3 council decision to file.

There is no such difficulty currently for any Minnesota municipalities, or their EDA or HRA operations to file, with the Minnesota statute being silent, however,  as to Port Authority bankruptcy filing authorization; Minn. Stat. Sect. 471.831 (enacted Laws 1997, Ch. 148, Sect. 1 and unamended since). I am unaware of any Minnesota or 8th Cir. bankruptcy court filings citing the statute, or involving municipality bankruptcy reorgs.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Today's thought from Harriet.

Ten years ago we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope, and Johnny Cash.

Today we have no jobs, no hope, and no cash.

Big, big, big news for Ramsey Town Center . For Ramsey. A RESTAURANT. Looking to be fine food, Wells Catering will be opening "The Falls Cafe," seating over a hundred, November 1, give or take a week or so.

It appears Wells Catering has moved its entire operation to Jim Deal's Plaza building, (diagonally across Sunwood from Ramsey's City Hall).

With The Falls banquet room already there for special occasions, and the Cafe and kitchen area taking up the entire west side of the building (with Jim Deal himself even surrendering ground floor space and moving upstairs to accommodate the Wells consolidation), Ramsey will finally have a dining option to Acapulco at Town Center.

This is BIG. Bigger than any Flaherty cramdown of yet more housing. NO MULTI MILLION DOLLAR SUBSIDY IS INVOLVED EITHER.




And a promising one. Wells Catering is already known for excellent quality food via its catering business.

Now there will be a daily menu, with the below menu scans showing what we can anticipate - at the start at least, and with daily featured additional options to supplement the regular items.

The scans are not good quality, but the best I can do with home network equipment, so to be readable I have not compressed them to normal page size. The hope is that the blog software will not try to, as the resolution after image compression is insufficient to read the thing.

I did not have a camera when stopping so I can only now present menu scans and not site preview photos.

But for a restaurant the menu is the biggest part of what's happening. There will be seating for over a hundred. Driving Sunwood, you cannot miss the new Red Awnings on the Southwest corner of Deal's building. That's the place.

Due to open very soon - Nov. 1 being the guess, plus/minus a week or so.

Contact info for the catering operation is online, here, with the Falls Cafe having a separate service phone:


With things soon to be open, but not yet so, I am certain that the Wells folks would be at the catering numbers if you draw a blank on that number. Once open, I am sure the number will be active. Things look promising.

The menu is a trifold, with a fourth "wing panel" having desserts on one side, appetizers on the other. (The thumbnail images hopefully can be clicked to enlarge and read - however - if you only click an image the software gives you a "march-through," sequence where even at full screen the browser text is hard to read; hence,  readers are advised to right-click the mouse and open each image in a new browser tab or window, for legibility.)

menu unfolded, front and back

main back panels and desserts wing

left and center inside panels

right inside panel and Appetizers wing

Mayor Bob Ramsey sent an email:

While the Falls Restaurant is going to be wonderful, it is subsidized by the EDA. I would also argue that the amount of subsidy given to the Falls, if analyzed on a cost/benefit perspective of the COR and city, you would find that the amount of subsidy given to the Residents At the COR has much more benefit to the overall project.

I understand what Bob is saying, but the simple truth is, the Flaherty ramp-wrap-rental thing, if built and fully 100% occupied by 285 Darren clones, is a question of "benefit" Bob and I could debate until time itself ceases. I simply do not think the thing is of any value to the community - and a first rate restaurant is something all of us have craved.

Bob and I would do cost/benefit balancing in different ways. I think over time the Wells operation has consistently been a first rate benefit to Ramsey. More of the same, of that nature and quality, would be an immense benefit.

I understand that Bob is not saying that Wells in the community has been of minimal benefit and I am not implying that's his point. His point is he thinks the ramp-wrap-rental will be a benefit, while I think it will be a big boat anchor and it will not be occupied fully if built at the rents Flaherty has been projecting and it will not be, or remain, "upscale" with the understanding that such a term is loaded with subjectivity.

Furthermore, I see no multimillion dollar city risk attaching in any way whatsoever to the Wells restaurant.

Here are three "from the outside" photos in anticipation of where we soon can be getting first rate restaurant food in Town Center.

Viewed from driveway to parking behind building

From across Sunwood - showing scale.

Side plantings and outdoor dining area.

Look for the distinctive red awnings while driving Sunwood within Town Center. You cannot miss it.

And again, while the new photos suggest there will be an attractive ambiance, the menu and food quality is any restaurant's nitty-gritty. Wells has a record of quality in that regard. Anticipate the best.

There appears to be more than enough convenient parking in the lot behind the building. For overflow parking or inclement weather the empty ramp is a short walk away and can be used to avoid vehicle hail damage while dining.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Harrisburg in the news.

If it happens in Harrisburg, it can happen in Oz.

HARRISBURG - This link.

OZ - This link.

The wizzzzzzzzzard and a risk willing council majority could lay a couple of big ones, sequentially, or one big killer risk goes way bad; and a new council majority may have to face a spending spree outcome forcing it to make a decision.

Harrisburg style.

In Oz.

Bill O'Reilly over the top; and Tony Perkins has developed a strange eye affliction that affects his ability to see Ron Paul right in front of him. Strange people, Republicans are.

BillO, fantesy minutes, here. Rupert must just love his number one barker. Tod Browning would.

Perkins, reported as apparently unable to see his own straw poll results as meaning somebody [guess who, the hint being initials "RP"] came out as decisively more favored among the candidates, by those within the Perkins' Dobsonian-Browningesque FRC tent show extravaganza attendees:

Perkins, their new leader and Value Voters organizer dismissed Paul's victory as an outlier and in essence denounced his own voters and the legitimacy of his own poll.

The "Values Voter" summit was held in Washington this past weekend. The event was sponsored by The Family Research Council, a social conservative group. The weekend got off to a rousing start Friday night when Robert Jeffress, a prominent Texas pastor, criticized Mitt Romney and his faith, calling Mormonism a "cult."

And in the Values Voter straw poll, Rep. Ron Paul came out on top with 37 percent of the vote.

This morning on American Morning, CNN's Carol Costello talks with Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, about Jeffress' controversial remarks and why he believes Ron Paul's straw poll win is insignificant.

He was so ridiculous that the TeaNN host just laughed at his rationale for dissing Paul's win.

Costello: So Ron Paul probably means nothing and Herman Cain does.

Perkins Well, this is...the majority of the people came there for a summit to hear all of the candidates. They didn't come there to support a particular candidate. They came to listen to the candidate and express their preference. Ron Paul bused in over six hundred people on Saturday morning not to attend a conference, but to just to hear his speech and vote.

There was early news made at this summit when Pastor Jeffress openly attacked Mitt Romney's Mormon faith by calling it a "cult." The results of the straw poll show a couple of other bad signs for Romney, the Republican Villagers choice for the nomination. First, the type of evangelical that is attracted to the FRC does indeed not trust Romney's religion at all and secondly, he finishes behind everyone one of the remaining GOP candidates outside of Gingrich, who align themselves with religion. Well, they all pander there, but still. Not good, Mittens.

Paul 37%
Cain; 23%
Santorum: 16%
Perry: 8%
Bachmann: 8%
Romney: 4%
Gingrich: 3%

Cain's strong showing is also indicative of the dissatisfaction the right-wing base has with its field and with Romney in general. Perry's immigration stand has eroded his support entirely in the Christian community and put his bid in terrible jeopardy for the nomination. So, they are trying to show America that they aren't racists this early in the process and are flocking to Cain, even though he has no chance of winning.

See the original, again here, for the quote within quote delineation and for active links. I just put it up as one excerpt, Perkins seeming worth little time beyond a quick post to flag his qualities. See also, here, here and here.

Other than the sociologically interesting phenomenon that Ron Paul is being studiously and universally ignored by the press (stretching the term to even include Murdoch's minions), the side-show is extremely dismal as the machine hurtles inexorably to its Romney-Rubio ticket, (with Timmy feeling rejected), and the remainder of the world's civilization finally being able to say,

"Why, why, why did it take them so long, in such a strange meandering way - with all that book-seller pandering and the one crazy woman finally going back to Minnesota."

RightWingWatch catalogs the usual suspects.

An unrelated note, now is a good time of year to have the septic tank pumped.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mark Olson, Topeka Kansas is your calling.

Mark Olson, for those not remembering, was Mary Kiffmeyer's District 19A Republican predecessor in the state legislature; see, Wikipedia, here; see also, here (source of the image).

Guilty, of misdemeanor behavior causing his wife to fear harm. That's his lawyer Jill Clark in the photo, not his wife. I do not know if he'd dare to tangle with Jill Clark. Likely as not he'd fear harm.

So, you wonder, what has this to do with Topeka Kansas? The point is Olson possibly might not have been prosecuted there for such behavior, these days, because of how the good city and county leadership folks there face up to their budget realities.

Perhaps it is "wants" vs "needs" in their unique Kansan-conservative perspectives on life, on America, and on life in America's twenty-first century. reports:

A vignette from a nation in the final stages of dementia:

Last night, in between approving city expenditures and other routine agenda items, the Topeka, Kansas City Council debated one rather controversial one: decriminalizing domestic violence.

Here's what happened: Last month, the Shawnee County District Attorney’s office, facing a 10% budget cut, announced that the county would no longer be prosecuting misdemeanors, including domestic violence cases, at the county level. Finding those cases suddenly dumped on the city and lacking resources of their own, the Topeka City Council is now considering repealing the part of the city code that bans domestic battery. [...]

Since the county stopped prosecuting the crimes on September 8th, it has turned back 30 domestic violence cases. Sixteen people have been arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery and then released from the county jail after charges weren’t filed. "Letting abusive partners out of jail with no consequences puts victims in incredibly dangerous positions," said Becky Dickinson of the YWCA. "The abuser will often become more violent in an attempt to regain control."

Well, at least we have our priorities straight. Better to decriminalize things than to pay enough in taxes to allow the government to enforce the law. And if you have to decriminalize something, why not start with wife beating rather than, you know, something important like possession?

Yes, I understand that part of this is a political pissing match between the city and county, each trying to embarrass the other as they quibble over shrinking budgets. That said, legalization schemes of this type are like cannibalism: if you're seriously considering it, you're either beyond desperate (say, on a desert island) or completely divorced from reality. We're beyond desperate, alright – desperate to cling to a failed, debunked political and economic ideology no matter how absurd the costs.

I could harangue or moralize. But the item speaks for itself. There also are reader comments.

The "vignette" link over from sources the story -- it is real. It is not made up.

This really happened in the windy heartland of the US of A, early twenty-first century. Our times.

Despite our own local county council's intensive (obsessive?) will to trim so as not to tax, (a new thing since the last election and curiously not reaching so far as to impact wants vs needs along commuter rail routes), my hope and expectatation is the Topeka situation would not happen in Anoka County. First, there are awake and vocal anti-domestic violence voices here, and second, Tony Palumbo in the County Attorney's office has character enough so he would never play at any such politics. Moreover, his friend and campaign director Natalie would be jumping on him with spurs on, if he even had one thought in the Topeka direction. Yes, no?

photo from here
Presumably Olson would not mess with his successor in office either.

With that degree of tightness to a shooting pattern, a shoot-to-maim intent and action might prove fatal.

We do not know about Hackbarth. And accuracy.

He carried but kept it holstered.

Finally, the Brown vs. Board of Education case striking down school segragation of the races involved defendant, Topeka Board of Education. Not my kind of town folks with them appearing so consistent over time.

Anyway, I do not live in Kansas, I live in Oz.

I googled = "Mark Olson" "Jill Clark" trial. I was generally aware of the charges during the time of the trial, but not detail.

Material from the trial reporting was still online.

Olson had delayed trial while the legislature was in session, a perfectly legal step, and had changed lawyers, to Clark.

Prior to trial it was reported that he and Clark would advance the "battered husband" defense, painting Mark Olson as victim and Heidi Olson as spousal abuser. The five children were Heidi's by a previous marriage, the home on Big Lake was hers, (insurance from when her first husband was killed in a road accident had paid the mortgage for her and family). The home had been built on the site during her marriage to snowmobile racer Darcy Ewing. Mark Olson had been a friend of the Ewings, and Heidi remarried to Mark shortly after Ewing's fatal accident while bicycling, being hit by a vehicle attempting to pass another while unaware of a bicyclist on the road.

Events from earlier in the marriage as well as the final event leading to the misdemeanor charges were in evidence, with each spouse blaming the other. There was never any indication that Heidi Olson had domestic dispute or trouble in her first, durable marriage. Nor was any evidence reported on Mark Olson's status and affairs before this marriage.

Olson online legislative bio materials are here. During the marriage Mark Olson prominently featured his family status on his campaign website. A marriage dissolution proceeding was pending, Heidi Olson as filing spouse, at the time trial was held.

Both spouses expressed remorse that the marriage had failed, and each did so from a "Christian " perspective, Heidi saying she believed Mark needed counseling. Reporting was that Heidi Olson outweighed and was taller than Mark, and admitted that during the four-year marriage she had once struck Mark, facts brought out at trial by Jill Clark's questioning, as suggestive of a battered husband situation being more credible because of that.

Bottom line, I was not there when the Olson spouses intereacted and cannot say which spouse instigated what, and whether one was more abusive than the other. However, the Clark-Olson battered husband defense failed to convince the jury, with the entire affair tried in Sherburne County instead of being conflicted out to another venue, (as was the case with Bebig, the former Anoka mayor and his conduct re Rod Grams' son, Morgan, while Bebig was acting as a part-time sheriff's deputy).

Readers should look here, for a very thoughtful and balanced analysis of "DV" uncertainty (this is one of the items the Google search returned further down the list from direct local contemporaneous reporting that remains online).

Reporting indicated Mark Olson, aside from legislature service, was a carpenter and Heidi Olson a nurse in Wright County. Curiously, both of the Kiffmeyer spouses have nursing professional backgrounds; and Kiffmeyer did take over the district seat after Olson left the legislature in large measure because of the notoriety of the charges, trial, and conviction. The Republicans at the tail end of his final term stripped him of house privileges, and he was staffed at the end as the legislature's sole "independent Republican." The ins and outs of Sherburne GOP politics is a dark matter to me, one which I expect would on examination be distasteful to me, but I could not locate any online ties between the Kiffmeyers and Heidi Olson.

HOWEVER: That was all several years ago, and I do not aim to let uncertainties about it detract from the absolute immorality and indecency of how the Topeka politicians are acting now, with regard to the real and constant problem of spousal and child abuse in the community. I am only qualifying my initial reaction to tie Olson affairs into the Topeka situation. The trial was had. The result was a guilty verdict.

Jill Clark argued the battered husband thing, and elicited testimony in support of that theory, from the defendant, her client, Mark Olson. If there was much supporting testimony to bolster Mark Olson's version of "truth" it was not adequately reported.

I made little effort to see if the Clark-Olson team did actually pursue [i.e., fund] an appeal, but post trial statements reported as those of Clark indicated that some pretrial judicial activities and decisions might serve as a basis of an appeal. In a Google listing of cases argued by Clark or involving her as a party, she was no stranger to the appellate courts, but there was no State v Olson listed. This more favorable photo of Mark Olson and Jill Clark than the one from Strib in the opening part of the post is from local county reporting.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Those in Texas know Perry better than the rest of us do.

A sign at Occupy Austin, that BradBlog featured.

Ouch. Politico reporting. Do you see Christie seating Perry in the chair, Romney pulling the switch, or would you assign the roles the other way?

Chris Christie told reporters in New Hampshire that the Rick Perry campaign showed itself to be "beneath the office of president of the United States" by associating with a Texas pastor who criticized Mitt Romney's religion.

Christie's remarks came during a Hanover press conference where the New Jersey governor announced his endorsement of Romney.

"These type of religious matters have nothing to do with the quality of somebody's ability to lead," Christie said. "Any campaign that associates itself with that type of conduct is beneath the office of president of the United States."

Romney piled on, giving his strongest comments yet on Robert Jeffress's description of Mormonism as a "cult."

"I would call upon Gov. Perry to repudiate the sentiment and the remarks," Romney said, alleging that Perry had "selected" Jeffress to introduce him at the Values Voter Summit on Friday.

The Norm on the Romney train, the Timmy too, and now you can CC the support to New Jersey.

________________FURTHER UPDATE_______________
My money is riding on Michele Bachmann declining to dip an oar into any such troubled waters, all things considered.

_______________FURTHER UPDATE______________

Worth passing comment, I Googled "Robert Jeffress" and limit reporting of my findings to three items. First, the photo is from here (the item suggesting Jeffress feeds higher on the food chain than Mac Hammond, inheriting a ministry, although Hammond's converted warehouse might yet think to aim to equal Jeffress' First Baptist style and elegance (same photo source)).

Next, a perhaps too easy juxtaposition - so read the items and think for yourself.

Here, headlined "Robert Jeffress Trades Jabs with Newspaper Columnist Over Pedophilia in Islam," a story that mirrors its headline. With original quotes, and then reporting of a glide-and-slide event. Think of those CSPAN Congressional floor speeches, "... and I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks ..."..

Then this, curiously buried deep within a "christianbookpreviews" preview of the pastor's book,

"Hell? Yes!"

Just two hours northwest of Dallas, his thriving church has been described by Christianity Today as the new “Mecca” of evangelical Christianity.

Moving on --- Does any reader know of Gov. Perry taking any stand, publicly, over any of this? Has he no passions on the question?

_______________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Does anyone know what's the thing with reactionary authors of works of dubious cultural value? And Red? It seems that when once sorted by gender, they look alike too. And of the gentlemen, it is kind of scary to see the two. As if there's some uptight Faustian core of kinship, perhaps of conviction too. And when I read that Amazon Kindle stuff about these works, it makes me think, "kindling." Any reader thoughts?

This link.

This link.

This link.

This link.

________________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Criswell, predecessor to Jeffress at the Dallas First Baptist business venue, was a segregationist during Eisenhower years when Dixiecrat was in vogue in South Carolina, and by 1968 had reevaluated his concept of brotherhood in Jesus, (with some doubting the latter being as sincere or as bedrocked in the man, as the former; this link). Criswell has his Wikipedia page, and sermons online. Jeffress seems an apt successor in business. Perry seems fine with both Criswell and Jeffress, intellectually, and seems disinclined to say a single thing which might lessen the esteem the Tony Perkins crowd has for Perry.

Guard your children. They are as susceptible as you to money-bag propaganda.

This post.

There clearly is a concern among the Tea Baggers' puppeteer crowd about their astroturf thunder being stolen by the Occupy Wall Street astroturf effort. So what do they do?

They buy counterpropaganda against the counterpropaganda to their propaganda. They have more than their fair share and pay less than their fair share to maintain the state that has allowed them such prosperity and wower-power. They have discretionary money, very much, for propaganda.

This Google. (From the list, this item.)

This guy pictured below was good at it, having the attitude of a present day "conservative" and then some, for doing his job as best he could, in his time, as he saw his job and enjoyed his job - despite the workload.

“Our starting point is not the individual:
We do not subscribe to the view that one should feed the hungry,
give drink to the thirsty, or clothe the naked …
Our objectives are different:
We must have a healthy people in order to prevail in the world.” 

Question: Would either of the Koch brothers* look good in that style of uniform?

Both? With one of those nice hats? (They could share one hat between them, big head size, or each could afford a separate hat, however they'd choose. Sharing a hat would make sense, one in public wearing it with the other hunkering in the bunker at all times the one's in public, never both exposed together to ordinary people - who carry diseases you can get from a handshake, etc.) Chris Christie in Vail, in uniform?

If a market develops I expect Armani would come up with a neat highest-quality, understated design.

* This image, from this blog link (click the image there to read the fine print):

Love that mountain air.

Ritz-Carlton Beaver Creek Resort - near Vail, Colorado - photo: BradBlog

Brechtesgaden - Eagle's Nest, image from here; this Wikipedia entry

_______________FURTHER UPDATE______________
I think this might relate to propaganda. From here, (send an email if you don't get it and I'll explain).

A unionized public employee, an ill-informed citizen, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the ill-informed citizen and says, "Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie."

Monday, October 10, 2011

RAMSEY - Text of a Google Alert, with links.

Agreement for Ramsey rail approved
Coon Rapids Herald
by Tammy Sakry While all the necessary agreements are still being worked out, Ramsey's Northstar Commuter Rail station project is moving ahead. At its Sept. ...

Ramsey renews bus service contract
Coon Rapids Herald
by Tammy Sakry The Ramsey City Council unanimously approved a new contract with First Transit Sept. 27 for the service. To provide the four morning and ...

This once a day Google Alert is brought to you by Google.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Tammy Sakry of ABC Newspapers reports on the 4-3 vote to proceed with the Flaherty fiasco, Strommen, Backous and Tossey voting against it.

Thorough coverage. This link.

It was Bush and Paulsen and Bernanke who tanked the economy and it now is Obama and Geithner, and Bernanke still, who are keeping it down while mouthing previously unavailable platitudes that are available now that the GOP has a majority in the House.

Strib, here.

WASHINGTON - The American dream of homeownership has felt its biggest drop since the Great Depression, according to new 2010 census figures released Thursday.

The analysis by the Census Bureau found the homeownership rate fell to 65.1 percent last year. While that level remains the second highest decennial rate, analysts say the U.S. may never return to its mid-decade housing boom peak in which nearly 70 percent of occupied households were owned by their residents.

The reason: a longer-term economic reality of tighter credit, prolonged job losses and reduced government involvement.

Unemployed young adults are least likely to own, delaying first-time home purchases to live with Mom and Dad. Middle-aged adults 35-64, mostly homeowners who were hit with mortgage foreclosures or bankruptcy after the housing bust in 2006, are at their lowest levels of ownership in decades.

Measured by race, the homeownership gap between whites and blacks is now at its widest since 1960, wiping out more than 40 years of gains.

"The changes now taking place are mind-boggling: the housing market has completely crashed and attitudes toward housing are shifting from owning to renting," said Patrick Newport, economist with IHS Global Insight. "While 10 years ago owning a home was the American Dream, I'm not sure a lot of people still think that way."

He noted the now-diminished roles of mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which for decades at the urging of government helped enable loans to borrowers with poor credit, many of them minorities. In a shift, the Obama administration earlier this year said it would move from a longtime government focus on promoting homeownership for all and instead steer people with low incomes toward renting where appropriate.

Congress has been considering whether to eliminate the federal tax deduction for home-mortgage interest, a popular incentive to home-buying that's been in place since the early 20th century.

It's a much longer article, with a strange range of comments; so again, this link. The headline saying "fading American dream."

Beyond the immediate story: With Obama's sorry record the GOP and its press allies offer what, the mechanical stock broker and the jackass from Texas?

We lack Wellstonian figures. We are hurting. Fiddling, there is plenty of that. Rome is burning.

Locally, in Ramsey in Anoka County where I live, I find it hard to see David Flaherty's promised high-end rental demand, affluent young people yearning to live in culture and activity starved Ramsey, in the Clown Center, adjacent to the very busy and loud freight train tracks.

I wonder who among the rental demand sector would think to rent there. And how price might have to realistically be adjusted down to avoid an occupancy disaster.

Unlike others, I CAN see how it could fail.

You be the judge. Count the ways.

With Pawlenty having run out of cash and incentive, his rats went adrift, looking for a promising landing.

Excerpting, Devin Henry at MinnPost writes:

Coleman, who lost his bid for re-election in 2008 by the narrowest of margins, had been a Tim Pawlenty supporter before Pawlenty dropped out of the race.

Now the chairman of the American Action Network and a member of the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Coleman praised Romney's ability to forge strong diplomatic relationships around the world, including in Israel.

Romney, meanwhile, said, "[Coleman's] advice will be critical as I lay out my vision for improving our economy at home and strengthening our partnerships around the world."

Coleman follows fellow Minnesotan Vin Weber in moving from Pawlenty to Romney.

Do you get the drift? That is restrained MinnPost, at its most restrained level. Mike Mullen at City Pages tells it better. This opening screen capture is indicative, but go to the original for the full post, and workable links.

Excitement? Norm? As in what, the before-after dental photos? Be real. "Bringing hockey back to Minnesota," seems remote from any presidential dimension that Romney might want to enlarge via expansion of the consultant group. Excitement relative to what? Romney himself? More exciting than a Mitt Romney? That's faint praise.

They have to pass a Jobs bill.

In honor of Steve. Two key segments.



He would like the focus and simplicity. The naming.

The problem is as with Steve's later stuff. Made in China.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

I will believe this is sincere and not beltway bloviating when we see Ben Nelson, Max Baucus, and Joe Lieberman packing to leave.

This screen capture. From here. Quotation too.

-- blue dog trails --
“We will just keep on going at it and hammering away until something gets done,” Obama said in the final flourish of the news conference. “And I would love nothing more than to see Congress act so aggressively that I can't campaign against them as a do-nothing Congress.”

Earlier, he suggested he had no choice but to be out in the country campaigning, trying to get the American people to exert pressure on Congress, because he hasn’t seen constructive action from the Republicans.

“I think it is very clear that if members of Congress come in and say, ‘All right, we want to build infrastructure; here's the way we think we can do it; we want to put construction workers back to work; we've got some ideas,’ ” Obama said, “I am ready, eager to work with them.”

[...] “If Congress does nothing, then it's not a matter of me running against them: I think the American people will run them out of town because they are frustrated, and they know we need to do something big and something bold,” Obama said.

When asked about the Occupy Wall Street protests, which have blocked streets in New York and spread to other cities, Obama offered his analysis: “It expresses the frustrations that the American people feel that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street, and yet you're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place.”

When asked why his administration has not been very aggressive in prosecuting the people who brought about the financial and subprime lending crises, Obama said that a lot of the actions were not necessarily illegal – just immoral, inappropriate, or reckless.

And besides, they're Geithner's and Bernanke's cronies. Not mine, no sir, but - Friends of friends, are my friends ...

The Mittster reenacts dad's "brainwashing" moment --- "Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney on Tuesday compared the current anti-Wall Street protests to 'class warfare.' 'I think it's dangerous, this class warfare,' Romney said to an audience of about 50 people in response to a question about the protests over such issues as high unemployment, home foreclosures and the 2008 corporate bailouts."

photo from here

For younger readers (or others not wholly politicized or sentient in the '70's), read of father George's gaff reported by Time. The apple did not fall far from the tree (and the tree was neighboring third base where others get by hitting triples).

The headline quote is from Sarah Boxer reporting for CBS news.

click the thumbnail to enlarge and read

ABC news reporting here, (with the above screencapture), on the Wall Street hate-in - poor people in numbers, dangerous numbers some might say, but not too poor to lack air and local transit fare. But in numbers, Mittster, get that, chew on it.

This Google on young Mitt's defining moment. This one on George, decades ago.

The Wall Street protest appears short of a Tahir Square sized crowd, but things grow.

And while protesters were nonviolent Bloomberg's finest were not inactive bystanders, per the ABC photo caption.

The nonviolent tone of things probably is what disoriented young Mitt into making his gaff, since as Governor of Massacheusetts, he doubltessly knows the anything but nonviolent state motto, "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" - ( By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty). His mind probably imagined crowds of that size (of non-elite people), alll assembled, and dangerously chanting in unison, "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem!!" Over and over again. With a double exclamation point to make it all seem yet more dangerous, even evil if viewed from third base.

Mittster imagining what beyond that, we can only guess, but "class warfare" is his chosen characterization. It after all is the refrain his people always chant, (in unison but restrained and without exclamation marks), whenever somebody says "Why are those rich dudes getting a free pass?" It is knee-jerk schooling from early pre-school home happenings, reinforced through the prep school loop, and onward to where charging "class warfare" against those wondering what kind of tide they experience that is not raising their boats, becomes a bare, naked, but enjoyable instinctctual elitist reactionary mantra:

Doubtlessly young Romney has had his elite advisor corps, minions that represent the best money can buy, none of which will publicly stand forward to take credit for the class warfare characterization by declaring, "I programmed the mechanical stock broker to talk that way," etc. But we can imagine a few words from the elite and swift "Corporations are People" advisor pool.

Finally, for Mitt to gain a perspective on people collectively expressing discontent, there is this.

One image from that Google, here - from Tahir Square:

Roughly translated, that sign says, "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem." Massachusetts style.

More of the same, with a different riff, tidbits after the opening excerpt from here:

Republican presidential candidate and former Godfather’s CEO Herman Cain joined former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney on Wednesday, criticizing a series of protests taking place across the nation.

Speaking Wednesday, Mr. Cain, who continues to skyrocket in recent polls, slammed the protest movement, saying their criticism of Wall Street was misplaced. The Georgia Republican said, instead, that protesters should blame themselves.

“Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!” Mr. Cain said. “It is not a person’s fault because they succeeded, it is a person’s fault if they failed. And so this is why I don’t understand these demonstrations and what is it that they’re looking for.”

The former businessman joined Mr. Romney in criticizing the movement. Speaking earlier in the day, Mr. Romney said the protester were engaged in “class warfare,” adding that the movement is “dangerous.”

Asked Wednesday whether President Obama supports or opposes the movement, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the administration “understands” why people are frustrated.

With the Republican presidential field likely set, polls continue to show Mr. Romney and Mr. Cain among the leaders. Texas Republican governor Rick Perry remains well ahead of Mr. Cain, however, a series of straw polls continue to show support for the Georgia Republican.

Meanwhile, Democrats slammed Mr. Romney and Mr. Cain, saying the statements were indicative of how a Republican administration would handle the economy.

“In New York and across the country, thousands of Americans have taken to the streets, certain of the morality of their message: bringing fairness to Main Street,” Rep. John Larson, the House Democratic Caucus Chairman, said in a statement. “The silent masses aren’t so silent anymore. They are fighting to give voice to the struggles that everyday Americans are going through.

The movement, which has called on Wall Street to create jobs and put people back to work, has slowly spread across the nation. In a sign that it is shifting from a loose-knit fringe group to a bloc that could draw in mainstream America, the movement added thousands of people to the streets of New York on Wednesday after major labor unions gave their backing to its anti-greed message.

So, now do we have a new litmus test? Never mind the poor embryos, will we have Santorum and Bachmann next in line saying, "Shame on you, you're poor and foreclosed and not knowing how to cope. I got mine, what's your problem?"

With "prosperty gospel" mongerer Mac Hammond on board her campaign train, can a Bachmann moment be far away?

And what I've missed seeing, is Perry's public reaction to Romney's comment, and to the protest effort of the downtrodden and disadvantaged. The longer he takes, the phonier his response will sound. He wants to say, what? So what's stopping him?

Two other signs of campaign season upon us as the leaves fall a year before the general election.

Same outlet as supplied that extended quote, an item headlined, "Elizabeth Warren to Scott Brown: ‘I Kept My Clothes on’." I will leave interested readers to pursue the item, this link.

Finally -- POP GOES THE WEASEL: Coleman endorses, schmoozes up unctuously to Romney - pick your reading from this Google. How about that for a ticket? The mechanical stock broker and the Kazeminy Deep Marine oil slick?

Mitt's fine with me. With us.
Let me recount the reasons ...

_________________FURTHER UPDATE_______________
Minnesota nice meets the voicing of despair and disdain from the downtrodden and disadvantaged, first planned for nearby the Mpls. Fed, scaled back to a different venue, but wherever it happens, be there or be square? This link. Here, here and here.

Gotta say it.

It is looking more and more like the Tea Party infiltrators at the town hall meetings during the healthcare theatrics.

Puppets and hidden-from-sight string pullers. Probably an event worth taking in, from a psycho-sociological student's perspective if for nothing else.

Free beer, and I'd go, but so far no such luck.

Astroturf is as astroturf does, and grassroots is something discernibly different. We wait. We see.