consultants are sandburs

Monday, September 30, 2013

Why are Boehner and this Cruz idiot messing with my Social Security?

And, shouldn't they stop?

Obamacare [aka Romneycare] IS flawed. But not for what idiots whine about.

This link. Cruz and others lie. Big time.

By propagandizing a blind alley, the Ted Cruz cadre has distracted us from the brightly lit street to efficiency. And that is precisely why Republicans love Ted Cruz. They are heartless bastards. Wolves in wolves' clothing.

They don't like Ike.

Bernie explains.

Bill O'Reilly. Christ.

This Google.

Amazon.

More Amazon.

The gentleman made 60 Minutes.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

There is a propaganda technique called, "The Big Lie."

This link. Ted Cruz is an honorable man. Pigs can fly.

Well I made it to Ramsey's fall recycling day. But I missed the big auction.

DNR, yesterday. Here, here and here.

That Brainerd Dispatch item, with the photos, big turnout then, and expected for yesterday?

You do understand, readers, that the DNR catalogs serial numbers before the sale, and then they take personal information, your name, address, phone number - all that. And they keep records. They maintain databases. They are there when NSA, FBI and other initialed operations show up with secret court subpoenas. Or never mind the "probable cause" court part. You do understand?

Where then, are the NRA voices when needed? Busy touting handgun ownership, willy-nilly along our open borders, while our own basic freedoms and treasured Second Amendment rights might be under threat from government operatives at multiple levels of oversight. Shameful, that's what it is. We need more from those folks than their orange cards in the mail whenever there's an election for dog catcher or higher office. We need them and they fall silent.

Fast and Furious? For all we know from the Brainerd Dispatch photos, the DNR might have had a room full of cartel frontmen [there appears that gender bias - no frontwomen], and not a roomful of true Minnesota outdoorspersons. It could be shameful, that way too. Just look at some of those faces ...

___________UPDATE____________
Beware of pheasants holding cameras ...

Pancake breakfast pancakes - with microchips ...

Do you know who Martin Zellar really is in his day job? And what about the Hardaways?

An interesting juxtaposition. Of course it might just be an artifact of how I have my open web browser configured, so check it out from your workstation, tablet or smart phone.

Formatted to resemble a mugshot composite? A pompous filibusterer [there is such a noun, really], and a job creator [ask Jesse, not Gus]. Done twice, suggesting publisher intent and not serindipity:

From here ...

... and here.

And I and others foolishly wondered, how do you get a follow-up act with Bachmann retiring. We needn't get one, one dutifully arrives for us, in time and as if prompted by some theatrical cue. Scripted by higher beings than you or me. By Republicans. But not without some hedging by clearly lesser beings. Equivocators.

Our nation's P3 dilemma.

Not public-private partnership. That exited main stage with Darren and Heidi, in Ramsey.

This is the newest P3. The Poor Persecuted Plutocracy.

Krugman sympathizes, sharing their crying towel in his puckish way.

The wealthy were called "Atlas" in the days before "job creators" was invented as a 21st Century phrase to be uniformly disliked and hissed at when hearing it from Republicans, self-sanctimonious Republicans in particular (and their watchdog running dogs); with hissing deserved because hearing the phrase is akin to misstepping in a pasture.

Yes, they took their football and went home in Ayn Rand's 17,000 page epic, Atlas Shrugged.

My favorite review of that epic, the suggestion it should have been named Atlas Yawned.

So, what brand of fool would name a child after Ayn Rand?

I suppose "Galt Paul" was considered, but ruled out by one of the parents.

___________UPDATE____________
If joining Taxpayer League is too doggish for your taste, there is this. Tailored for you, if you've that frame of mind and if you strive for membership in something close to heart.

Stranded in a limousine
And the Galt speech, you can read it here; and like the rest of that dreadful book, it too could have been shortened, "We Took Our Football, and Went Home." Same as it's ever been, their football to take where they want, (like Zygi).

Saturday, September 28, 2013

RAMSEY - FALL RECYCLING DAY - Compliments to the City's Public Works Department.

There was a fall recycle day lineup at 8:00 am. Signs were in place to facilitate lining up to wait.

KEY POINT: Public Works was well organized, well staffed for the project, and courteous and helpful.

They moved people through as efficiently as I can imagine possible. They had payment arrangements optimized.

Now, outside it is raining. A cold rain and those poor guys are out in it.

They deserve nothing but praise.

SO FOLKS: If you read this during the Sept. 28 pre-noon timeframe, and were thinking of procrastinating to do the recycling until noon [their closing time], please get moving now and don't stick them with a long line of cars at the end of their 8:00 am to noon recycling workday. Be nice, be prompt.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Earlier Crabgrass noted we are in the midst of Banned Book Week.

Earlier Crabgrass had this post. Now, regarding book banning will of a few in our county, this Strib link. Is it a misperception that our beloved Anoka County has an inordinate proportion of rambling raving idiots? Worse, they are parents, progenitors of the next generation of, what, other than successor idiots.

A bigger question in my mind, is paying four grand to bring in a speaker a wise use of scarce funds? Libraries generally are tasked with assembling and managing books and related items, for users. This is four grand spent outside of that mandate.

_____________UPDATE_______________
Creationist stupidy abounds and astounds; in New Ulm, this link. And, here. Follow the links.

It staggers the imagination that Michele Bachmann is NOT alone that way, that dumb creationism has a following beyond her, Marcus, and the family.

WOW! Where is Sinclair Lewis, when you need him because Elmer Gantry was inadequately appreciated.

Local links, City Pages, and Bluestem Prairie. Amazingly, the New Ulm actors studio effort back in August slipped Peter Pan by that bunch. Someone must have noticed Peter Pan and thought about insidious erosion of the underpinnings of everything American and treasured by stories of magic and dreams, and said, "Never Again! Eternal vigilance ...".

A Seattle friend sent a news link to a sometimes you're the Liousville Slugger, sometimes the ball story. A story with a moral? You decide.

Keeping the baseball analogy going, a "Say it Ain't So, Joe" discovery by (hopefully) embarrassed Seattle pubic officials. And Joe, ending up not the Slugger. This link.

Switching mega-sports, the New Jersey courts have given our public officials a "Say it Ain't So, Zygi" moment. The difference - Seattle Joe draws jail time, Jersey Zygi nonetheless gets his stadium.

Justice in America is served.

ZW - Smile and purple tie, all the accoutrements of privilege. An ego that could fill the old dome, hardly leaving room for citizen-spectators. And the Wilfs will appeal, ya betcha. Their lawyer said many errors of law were made in the course of the trial and decision by that Jersey judge. Bless her.

Clearly as an email I received suggests, the Wilfs are fodder for parents saying stay in school and study hard to their children, so that you may as an adult use your knowledge and skills to prosper. Kind of. But would you be proud of Zygi's New Jersey judicial experiences, were you his parent?

Another difference, Joe and Zygi, Joe has not enhanced our language, while Zygi has yielded the new terms, "Wilfare" and now per Jersey litigation, "Wilfal fraud." Benefits flow.

In the Seattle Times report, this:

[Joe] Phan, who was unable to post his $750,000 bail, has been on work release since April 2012. Court records indicate he is a laborer with a Seattle company that vacuums and cleans out industrial and marine tanks and that he returns to detention each night.

Some may think it unfortunate that Zygi's court experience lacked any such penance, work release as "a laborer with a [... New Jersey] company that vacuums and cleans out industrial and marine tanks and that he returns to detention each night." Such a scenario might just shrink that boundless ego a tad, were it to have been. But you simply ask, "Build me a stadium, Mark," and lo, Mark delivers, that scenario bolsters or would bolster any ego; Zygi not being unique that way. He must be a poster of pride among NFL ownership. Making his money the old-fashioned way.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Anoka County - DNR well testing reporting online; Northstar commuters will be enjoying on-train WiFi.

DNR and water quality survey concerns, here.

WiFi, here.

Ramsey Franchise Fee info page on the City website is now up and working.

That page is:

http://www.cityoframsey.com/Franchise_Fee

Most Crabgrass readers probably already know the City will hold an Open House relating to franchise fees that will be held on Tuesday, October 1 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. It will be in the Lake Itasca Room at City Hall

- and -

there will be a public hearing scheduled at the regular televised Council meeting, on the agenda for Tuesday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers. A public hearing is where any concerned citizen can succinctly state an opinion and rationale about an agenda item, in this case the item is the Franchise Fee proposal. It is not a place where citizens are expected to argue or debate at length, but the intent is more for council members to get a sense of how citizens concerned enough to show up and voice something feel, and why.

It helps the decision process so long as those on council remain open-minded and willing to hear. An ultimate vote might not go as you, a participating citizen might wish, but at least you will have a "soapbox" opportunity that, if passed up, gives you less grounds to complain about outcomes.

Often in the past Tom Gamec as mayor would either rush a public hearing on something controversial, or filibuster as if people did not see what he was doing. Mayor Strommen should not adapt either obfuscating tactic, but also, nobody wants a meeting to drag on until sunrise with person after person taking lengthy time to state a redundancy. There has to be a balance.

Last, a special October 2013 issue of Ramsey Resident discussing the franchise fee proposal was mailed recently, many readers may hold that double-sided single page item, and it also has been posted on the City Website, where on the homepage you can scroll the left sidebar to "Ramsey Resident" or simply use THIS LINK:

http://www.cityoframsey.com/sites/default/files/documents/RamseyResident/Special%20October%202013.pdf

A day or so ago the website was not up to date, but all of that stands correct now, with ample time for all of us to read and think, and participate as each of us thinks best. But, do remember, Oct. 1 for the open house, and Oct. 8 for the public hearing. If you cannot attend that council meeting, remember it will be televised on QCTV so that citizens wanting to hear what others say, without being there and speaking, will be able to watch and learn.

___________UPDATE__________
Some may think this is information overload, but additional information has been posted online by ABC Newspapers, i.e., this item authored by Eric Hagen, from yesterday.

RAMSEY - An attempt to use Google Forms to conduct a "Franchise Fee" survey.

I have tried sidebar surveys before. This is a new trial. It may not work.

To take the survey, go to

THIS LINK.

If you experience problems, please leave a comment stating what's not working correctly.

The Wilfs. They took what they wanted, they now are ordered to pay. "Attorney Alan M. Lebensfeld, who represents the two partners [who were held to have been grossly defrauded by the Wilfs], had wanted the judge to award $100 million in punitive damages. He argued that 'the level of egregiousness' by the Wilfs warranted a hefty punitive award."

We got the owners. We are giving them a stadium. Why, because we love them.

Reporting on $84.5 million in damages - is it enough - here (source of the headline quote), here (with a fine photo and caption), and here, telling it like it is:

Zygmunt “Zygi” Wilf, principal owner of the Minnesota Vikings, and two relatives must pay Ada Reichmann of Toronto a total of $51.8 million, including $12.6 million in compensatory damages, $20.4 million in punitive damages and $18.8 million in interest.

The Wilfs must also pay $32.7 million to Reichmann’s brother, Josef Halpern of Brooklyn, the longtime former on-site manager at the Rachel Gardens complex, including $6.5 million in compensatory damages, $16.4 million in punitive damages and $9.8 million in interest.

Judge Deanne Wilson had ruled on Aug. 5 that the Wilfs systematically cheated their partners by not giving them their fair share of revenues from the 764-unit complex.

She ruled the Wilfs committed fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty by such practices as charging the partnership unauthorized management fees and interest payments.

It is unclear why other reporting did not go into the fact that punitive damages substantially exceeded actual damages; i.e., that the Wilfs were hammered to a thin layer of pulp, via punishment damages, for their degree of willful harm inflicted on those trusting souls who entered into business dealings with the Wilfs.

Is there a lesson, for Minnesotans with a learning curve?

Our Wilfs. Purple pride. Our legislature and our governor, letting them have their way.

Minnesota Nice can be carried far when meeting New Jersey snatch and grab.

Those loveable rascals plucked their partners, while never resorting to handguns or violence.

Aren't they something special?

____________UPDATE____________
That lawyer quote in the headline, "egregious" is old hat legal jargon. But we face a new dawn in legalese, now. Instead of the shopworn phrase, "willful fraud," we can say, "Wilfal fraud" meaning doing a fraud as if doing it as a Wilf, which in essence boils down to be the same meaning as the older term, while being a neat trick on words.

A Senate bill is introduced with bipartisan support aimed at curbing NSA excesses, with a bandaid safeguard thought despite retaining the present secret court usage.

Strib carries the AP feed, here, stating in significant part:

Bill to end NSA's bulk collection of phone records put forward by bipartisan group of senators
By: DONNA CASSATA , AP - Updated: September 25, 2013 - 6:25 PM


WASHINGTON — Spying by the National Security Agency has cost the United States economically and angered allies, a bipartisan group of senators said Wednesday in unveiling legislation that would end the collection of millions of Americans' phone records and data on Internet usage.

Three Democrats — Oregon's Ron Wyden, Mark Udall of Colorado and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut — and Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky outlined their legislation to end longstanding NSA surveillance practices and open up some of the actions of the secret federal court that reviews government surveillance requests.

The lawmakers argued that their bill is the appropriate response to disclosures this past summer about the sweeping surveillance programs — one that gathers U.S. phone records and another that is designed to track the use of U.S.-based Internet servers by foreigners with possible links to terrorism.

Wyden said the programs and revelations have undercut U.S. businesses required to provide data to the intelligence community while infuriating foreign leaders. Earlier this week, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff accused the United States of violating her country's sovereignty by sweeping up data from billions of telephone calls and emails that have passed through Brazil, including her own.

In protest, Rousseff scuttled a scheduled state visit to the United States.

"This is not a small hiccup," Wyden told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference.

Efforts to rein in the once-secret surveillance programs have attracted an unusual coalition of liberal Democrats and libertarian Republicans, pitting them against House and Senate leaders who have expressed strong support for the NSA programs.

The bipartisan group unveiled the bill on the eve of a Senate hearing with the nation's top intelligence officials, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, in hopes of jump-starting the debate over the programs.

"Americans with no link to terrorism or espionage should not have to worry that the NSA is vacuuming up their private information," Udall said.

The bill would change current law to prohibit the bulk collect of Americans' phone records and their communications data. The government could still obtain records of anyone suspected of terrorism or espionage and of an individual in contact with a suspected terrorist or spy.

Paul said he didn't understand how a "warrant that has 10 million unnamed people, all customers of Verizon" is consistent with the Constitution.

The legislation also would establish an independent, constitutional advocate to argue against the government in the secret Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court and require the attorney general to declassify court opinions that address significant interpretations of the Constitution or current law.

Blumenthal, who served as Connecticut's attorney general, said secret courts were one of the reasons the colonists rebelled against the British government.

President Barack Obama has said he might be open to setting up public advocates who could oppose government lawyers at Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court proceedings. But the administration continues to argue that the NSA programs are crucial tools in combatting terrorism.

The ombudsman thinking, a secret advocate representing you and me, get real. Yes, better than nothing and given the attitude of other politicians that the spying is good, it might be all sound reasoning folks can expect. But the evil is the government working in secret, and this adds another government official to the payroll with lassitude and co-option being the regular evils one can expect with the doors closed. More reassuring, if passed, is the above language, "require the attorney general to declassify court opinions that address significant interpretations of the Constitution or current law," but when it's the Attorney General making the decision of what's "significant," things degenerate to same old, same old, seen before to not really work. The AG is tasked with avoiding wretched excess now, in going to the secret court for secret orders to do mischief in secret via secret people on secret payrolls; and that's not really worked out in super trouble-free fashion. So, go figure.

I read somewhere that the likelihood is greater of your being killed by lightning than being killed by a terrorist, and each is very low. Perhaps the distinguished pair, Clapper and Alexander have some (of course secret) data collection goals to curb lightning. Massive collection of weather data, specific to your own back yard (didn't you notice the sensors being installed or was that done one time when you took the kids to a soccer game). That's needed since lightning can strike anywhere, and it only has to strike once, whereas we must be vigilant in efforts to curb lightning strikes with an aim to win every time. A needed ongoing War on Lightning. Likely there is a secret presidential order about starting and funding the War on Lightning, one dating from one of the Bush eras, Clinton or Reagan, but not from early post-Watergate since that era dealt with secret White House enemy lists and such. Not that it generated any learning curve, just that a mood then prevailed, briefly, before a return to business as usual.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

RAMSEY - Some things are vexing. Some things result from inadequate attention to detail. Some things are both. THE LATEST NEWS ON THE FRANCHISE FEE FRONT, sort of.

Today, in the mail, a flyer, an October 2013 special front/back Ramsey Resident page.

Subject = you guessed it, the Franchise Fee Saga, variations on a theme, info on a special meeting, but again - sort of.

First, going to the city website, clicking the left sidebar, Ramsey Resident, and guess what?

Zippo on this special item. Not important enough one guesses, for attentiveness and coordination of message. Oh well, it's Ramsey ...

However, this life saver, the flyer said, "Visit the city website at

www.cityoframsey.com/Franchise_Fee

Don't bother. Or make that not yet - sort of.

Here's a screen capture that says enough, if not saying it all:


Please note how carefully the screenshot was done to show the URL address line.

Our Town. Right or wrong. On top of things. Or trailing edge.

Same old, same old. Go figure.

At some point the right hand learns what the left hand is doing --- sort of.

PETTIFOGGERY OVER DETAIL ASIDE - The hummer in the mail did say:

Attend the upcoming Open House any time from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 1st

Contact your city councilmember via the city's web site at www.city of ramsey/ramsey-city-council [sic] [perhaps www.city of ramsey.com/... just might work better if it works at all]

Contact city engineer Bruce Westby at bwestby@ci.ramsey.mn.us or 763-433-9825

Perhaps that info may make the city webpage, access allowed, on or before Wednesday, October 2nd. Perhaps not.

In any event, Oct. 1 is the magic get-together date, so be there or be square.

____________UPDATE__________
One more item of note, the City website has a search function, if you'd not known that before; this screen capture:


I am --- At a loss for words - sort of.

____________UPDATE____________
Doing a search in past council records [using the DOCUMENTS left sidebar menu tab from the City of Ramsey web homepage] there was franchise fee mischief afoot back in 2003, besides starting anew last year, (before the change in council makeup per the election), so that it seems there is a 10-year Ramsey franchise fee cycle, much as with sunspots. Residents who were around then can go back and check utility bills, or their Quicken records for the 2003-2004 time period. There were review and sunset provisions for that hummer back then, more of the same, nothing new under the sun ... except my understanding is that then it was six bucks total per household per month, $3 gas, $3 electric, but money buys less these days and now it's to be $8 a pop, per month, each utility. And road mileage grows as number of households grow. At least the shared-wall folks get each unit hit, as with each of the town's single family detached homes. There is some justice. Also, last "sunspot cycle" if memory serves correctly, the franchise fee was to pay half the road re-tarring cost with the other half assessed per property unit. Reader help on historical detail, via comments, would be appreciated.

Little known facts of the calendar. We, right now, today, are in the middle of Banned Book Week, ending Saturday, Sept. 28. (Ramsey's fall recycling drop-off day).

I think the calendar thing is coincidental. No cognitive link, book banning, recycling. Just how it is. Banned book info, the ALA, here.

This link.

General City of Ramsey recycling info, here. The specific fall drop-off info, online here.

That's all, folks.

Is there a common thread of total uselessness among two Strib items online today?

Uselessness and waste, here and here.

Bullheadedness?

Sayings of the Chairman.

THE CHAIRMAN. You know, this chairman --


THE CHAIRMAN has written:

For decades, the Good Ol' Boys engaged in narcissistic self-aggrandizement by pursuing legacy projects that meant little in terms moving the county forward and creating prosperity for all.

Enabled by stooge commissioners who lacked the back bone to challenge them, Good Ol' Boys like Dan Erhart enjoyed dinners with lobbyists at restaurants average citizens could never afford while taking taxpayer-financed junkets to places most county taxpayers will never see.

We now have a commuter rail line that sucks in massive operating subsidies while attracting little more than yet another tranche of "affordable" rental housing that does nothing to enhance the tax base, prosperity, or the county's image.

Another boondoggle in the news is that casino in Columbus that masquerades as a horse track.

Running Aces has provided nothing more than financial problems, low paying service jobs, and more image problems for the county.

What business would be attracted to the county by a struggling race track with dubious ties to former regulators?

What middle class family wants to make a proactive decision to move to Anoka County because of an abundance of subsidized rental housing?

History will no doubt show that this board will bring good jobs, prosperity, and an enhanced image to Anoka County through conservative governance.

That Good Ol' CHAIRMAN, that we all know so well. How he goes on. Sympathy for those low earners tasked to muck the stables at Running Aces Harness Park. Of course, history has yet to vote, a bit of a complication despite crystal-balling by our best and brightest.

And dislike of "an abundance of subsidized rental housing?" Can you imagine, a restrained but steadfast CHAIRMANESQUE distaste toward Flaherty? (Perhaps even toward Collins. Perhaps even toward those former Ramsey council members who lavished out the rental housing subsidies.)

However, there is this:



Did I spell Darren wrongly? Lazan? Or is the good ol' hounddog just blind in one eye while not seeing well out the other? Or, ... can one not say "CHAIRMAN" without in the same breath saying, "Republican?"

It is hard for lesser mortals to discern the ways of the CHAIRMAN.

What is that term Mike Hatch allegedly used, in Duluth, that one time, years ago?

Delusional meanderings?

Our respected friend Larry Klayman at the "RenewAmerica" website, writes:

September 23, 2013
Obama's reckoning to come on November 19!
Klayman Calls for the Masses to Force Resignation of Convicted President

By Larry Klayman


[..] Of course, Obama will not willingly obey the law of the people. He will attempt to hide behind the iron fences of the White House, perhaps cowering under his desk for fear that the people will rise up and demand his ouster.

On November 19, 2013, a day that will hopefully live on in the history of our once great republic, I call upon millions of Americans who have been appalled and disgusted by Obama's criminality – his Muslim, socialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda – among other outrages, to descend on Washington, D.C., en masse, and demand that he leave town and resign from office if he does not want to face prison time.

I further propose that we borrow the techniques perfected and used by such epic crusaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, to show Obama and his enablers that the American people are more than fed up and will not take it any more. [...]

To advance the process along I suggest Klayman adopt the practice of Mahatma Ghandhi of fasting until he gets his way. No meals, until those millions of like-minded true patriots fill the streets of Washington, DC, exactly as Klayman advocates.

______________UPDATE______________
There is this, in parallel to Crabgrass thinking.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

One of the worse things about the NSA and its spying on you ...

You are paying a ton of money for it. This link.

Buying Big Brother. What a privilege. Like the honor of having W and Cheney running things. Their way. Their benefit. So, bucko, where's that CHANGE?

Snookered feelings are not always out of place.

Especially when you've been snookered.

Jim Abeler, too "liberal" for Harold Hamilton? Abeler? Abeler! A stupid thing to be thinking that one disinclined to worship at the shrine of the Taxpayer League is tainted. Not only that - he has support of Natalie Steffen, and the Watchdog's Erhart trees.

A candidate, like a man, is known by the company he keeps.

In the race for U.S. Senate, candidates are lining up some of the biggest names in GOP circles to back their candidacy.

For example, Saint Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg recently secured the endorsement of media mogul Stanley Hubbard.

For some candidates, the list of supporters isn't so big, and in this case, isn't so Republican.

The Watchdog has obtained an invitation to an upcoming fundraiser for Abeler that is hosted by individuals with, ahem, a rather "obscure" record of supporting the GOP or GOP candidates.

Check out some of the names on the host list:

Bill Erhart
Dan Erhart!
Jim Kugler
Leo Luskey
Natalie Steffen
Sarah Strommen

Really? Dan Erhart? What candidate thinking clearly would want the Judas Kiss of Erhart's support? Really? Dan Erhart?

A review of state and federal campaign finance records shows that the folks listed above certainly have no meaningful record of supporting the GOP or GOP candidates.

In fact, many have donated to causes and candidates opposed to Republican candidates and Republican principles.

For example, Dan Erhart has made numerous contributions to DFL candidates.

Natalie Steffen has donated to Women Winning, a liberal special interest dedicated to electing women who support abortion on demand.

According to their web site, the mission of the group is to "encourage, promote and support pro-choice women's leadership in all political parties and levels of public office."

So Jim Abeler counts among his strongest supporters a person who has donated to a pro-choice special interest?

[Bolding and punctuation as in original, link cleaned up from Hamilton's tracking link to a real one because it is plain bad manners to use tracking links against one's readers - something politicians' websites do, but then Hamilton's a politician after all, so ...] This link.

BFD. Abeler does not wish to stone Natalie Steffen. Shame. Shame on Jim. Make Abeler himself wear a hairshirt and a Scarlet Letter. A Scarlet "A." Just as in the book. The gall of not refusing the support of Ms. Steffen. [The other guy got Stanley Hubbard, wow, what a coup, the uber-right-wing broadcasting mogul, a kindred canine, yes, yes, yes.] Keelhaul Jim Abeler for respecting Natalie Steffen, who respects choice, unlike the dogmatic dictatorial sorts for whom having the Liberty of Choice is anathema (liberty in truth not being their forte). Get the tar. Get the feathers. Get the rail.

Is this a scene from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? A witnessing of Abeler's odyssey? It seems so.

And what's a screed by the Anoka County Rabid One, without some reflexive autistically obsessing comment, per usual, about the woofer's personal devil Dan:

To be fair, Abeler's invitation lists these individuals as "business leaders" and not "conservative leaders" although we think the former label is nearly as ridiculous as the latter.

Since when has Dan Erhart been a "business leader?"

So just how many jobs have these "leaders" created?

It seems rather odd that in a crowded GOP field for U.S. Senate, Abeler would tout the support of folks who have so little influence in GOP circles.

Perhaps Abeler doesn't intend to run as a Republican?

After all, he has very little chance of securing the endorsement or winning a GOP primary.

Is a third party candidacy in the offing?

Time will tell.

"To be fair ...". Yeah. Sure. If you bark it, so be it, fair as can be.

Then in that blog post, a woofing segue to a new face at the Chairman's league.

What a guy, that dog.

Who knows? He may even bark at Al Franken, some day. Any day now. Possibly and Perhaps. Al's people can just laugh and laugh. And laugh.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Does any reader know whether any media outlet has looked at NSA activity, as best as the public may know it, and how that activity squares with the Privacy Act of 1974?

I forget the search trail that led to this interesting Federal Registry entry [I decline to use social media of which others are enamored, including LinkedIn], but it is both interesting of itself, and as an example of something else [existence of a Privacy Act of 1974, of which I was previously unaware, but Nixon after all was Nixon and Watergate was Watergate]. It is all something I have not researched, it being a tedious prospect at best, but others might have an interest.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Spinning Syria. Each side has a vested interest in painting the other as the bad guy.

Firedog Lake, "Guilty! UN Report on Syria Does Not Say What John Kerry Says It Said -- By: Peter Van Buren Friday September 20, 2013 5:52 pm," here; linking to the actual underlying document, the UN report, here. Firedog Lake reporting notes:

Kerry goes on to make his circumstantial argument:

We, the United States, have associated one of the munitions identified in the UN report, the 122-millimeter improvised rocket, with previous Assad regime attacks. There’s no indication – none – that the opposition is in possession or has launched a CW variant of these rockets such as the kind that was used in the 21st of August attack. Equally significant, the environmental, chemical, and medical samples that the UN investigators collected provide clear and compelling evidence that the surface-to-surface rockets used in this attack contained the nerve agent sarin. We know the Assad regime possesses sarin and there’s not a shred of evidence, however, that the opposition does.

Guardian, here, reports:

[Syrian regime spokesman Qadri] Jamil said that last week's UN report on the 21 August chemical weapons attack which killed more than 1,000 people was "not thoroughly objective".

He said Russia had produced evidence showing the rockets that were identified by the UN inspectors as carrying sarin were indeed Soviet-made. But he said they had been exported from Russia to Libya in the 1970s.

"They were loaded with chemicals by Gaddafi and exported to fundamentalists in Syria after Gaddafi fell," he said.

On Friday Vladimir Putin said he could not be sure that Assad would fulfil the US-Russian plan to identify and destroy his chemical weapons stocks, but "all the signs" suggested the Syrian regime was serious.

"Will we be able to accomplish it all? I cannot be 100% sure about it," said Putin, speaking at a discussion forum with western politicians and Russia experts in the north-west of the country. "But everything we have seen so far in recent days gives us confidence that this will happen … I hope so."

Details of Russia's position on who should represent the opposition at Geneva Two have also emerged. Members of the National Co-ordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria, an umbrella group for several internal parties, met Sergei Ryabkov, a Russian deputy foreign minister, in Damascus on Thursday evening.

So, allegedly shipped to Lybia, from there ending in Syria, and people killed. That squares with Kerry's version like a square peg in a round hole. I was not there and cannot say who did what, and if there, would I have been gassed? Firedog Lake reporting is correct that the UN report drew no conclusion on who instigated chemical weapons use.

We should ask Colin Powell. He might hold definitive trailer photos.

Fallout from NSA spying on us in the US. Good things come to an end. Despondent reactions happen to revelations we all knew and felt, becoming too real to avoid.

Groklaw shutting down, here and here.

Secure email too odious to the spy-freaks to tolerate. Here. Surprise in it, they are not odious to themselves, for who they are. Nor to Lord Blair. Other things get his dander up.

____________UPDATE____________
This is pathetic: here, linking here, with the two page letter imaged, here and here.

It is so pathetic that it generates doubts about the veracity of the item. Who are these people, who reached top rank in such an operation? A pair of idiots, from that letter, if it is legitimate.

Is the Chromebook the new little tramp?

Do many remember the disdainful way IBM "branded" its PC upon its initial entry into the giant firm's product line? It's Apple II killer machine? This image:

photo credit

Related Stuff: here and here.

It took DEC down, Ken Olson saying as his ship sank, that going down with it he would not "obsolete" the VAX.

The thin appliance, the cloud access device, SUN had that imagination, but did not sell it cheap enough with a known consumer image and presence, technology and the market being what it was.

The IBM PC. Powered by an 8-bit Intel chip while Motorola had a 16-bit chip that it marketed differently than aiming for the desktop. The 286, and 386. Microsoft getting lucky by getting the product's OS, reasons now being murky and mired in history of a time when IBM was so big it had antitrust dyspepsia. Stories abound about Gates' gateway to nation's wealthiest, being as widely circulated as his speeding mugshot.

Well, Intel is Intel, and Wintel was an invented word, without any single firm so named.

Now, e.g., this, this, this and this.

Google has its Android presence in the smartphone arena, and its Chrome browser, now distanced from WebKit. And the Chrome OS, a stripped down Linux powering its line of low price Chromebooks.

Will it sell? Same question as with the IBM PC. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Howard Beale writes for Residual Forces.

This link. Then, here. You do not introduce change against the things that trouble you via Scott Honour, Mike McFadden, or Tom Emmer. You perpetuate things if making those choices. And saying Obama is little different from Bush is true, but I have no answer on how to kick the political machine away from an interlocked two-party machine running as its elite wants, because that elite owns both parties. The closest reach to CHANGE appears to be within the Ron/Rand camp, yet those folks have no real sense of social responsibility. Werner Herzog made a film titled in German, in a way that makes me think of how I perceive the basic social policy of the Ron Paul faction. It is too bad that it seems so. I have not yet encountered any Ron Paul advocate who can or wants to dispel that notion. They seem enamored with "markets work" despite evidence of markets being oscillating things with oscillations worse, more disruptive, when left to themselves or to the use of "austerity" in response to down markets. "Austerity" as the fix to a tanked economy, to make it "recover." Economics is far from being a science, because science does not load the dice.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Election Funding -- TPM reports a Texas appeals court overturned Tom DeLay's money laundering conviction, including a link to the actual court opinion as issued.

TPM, here. Judicial opinion, here.

Without studying, but by scan reading, it all seems moot under the Citizens United decision.

It involved charges DeLay ran a PAC that funneled corporate contributions to candidates while election statutory law designated such a channeling to be criminal. The opinion includes much detail beyond that. Election code provisions that "unduly" restrict corporations' speech rights, per Citizens United (like it or love it), has been stricken as unconstitutional so that now giving is permissible in ways that then had corporations using indirection in funding favored persons.

Now indirection is not needed. The middleman is superfluous. While the appellate court did not analyze things that way, it seems to be how things stand. Fictions, evasions and fig leaves apparently are not now required.

Give directly, or is there still a corporate wall of some kind distinguishing between hard and soft money? I do not claim expertise in such hairsplitting. Others may know and care more.

Any reader wishing to qualify or correct my analysis is invited to submit an on-point comment. The post is based on a cursory reading, at best.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

RAMSEY - As with most things the town does, cost and utilization statistics would be interesting to see.

Free bike rental. Exercise is good. Ben approves, despite his mobility problems.

However, this has the odor of Ramsey Town Center promotion [as well as Flaherty favors] fitting to the last "rebranding" council before this one [did I say, "Flaherty favors?" should I say "Darren Rebrand?"].

So, this page, who/how many use it, etc.

I realize the same thing can be said of the parks, and when the ball diamonds are in use at Alpine Park the parking lot is full and that's serving a public with one kind of park, while natural conservancy and habitat maintenance is another kind, and multiple uses of parks in a community is a good public benefit situation.

That said, is there much going for the bike usage?

Perhaps not enough people know of the program. In that case:

Here is the story. If of value to you, go for it, and enjoy.


Perhaps the city might provide pony rides for kids. Kids like ponies. Great idea, eh?

RAMSEY - In the News - from the city homepage, a link, "167th Avenue and Saint Francis Boulevard (TH 47) Node: We Want Your Input"

They really want my input, eh?

Well, I think they should spend a bundle of public money coddling the whims of property owners there and the neighbors who want to walk to pleasant and cordial retail - with others further away to pony up needed cash.

I think they should pay for it via a "franchise fee." After all, the only other way to fund public expenditure is via a good old honest "tax," while by calling it a "fee," euphemism trumps reality.

Spend a bundle to aid a few local folks, spread the cost but don't tax - franchise fee it into existence, and it will not hurt as much, like a tax would. Sure. If they say so.

Putting that aside, the operative links for information, and a date/time for a meeting, here and here, with the latter item stating:

The Planning Commission, in conjunction with the Economic Development Authority, will likely be reviewing potential amendments to the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan over the next several months. In order for that review to be effective, your feedback and assistance in developing a potential, new Future Land Use Map for the area is critical. We want you to be part of the process, not simply reacting to future proposals

Wow. They could fund it from the EDA budget, since it's an EDA proposal. With several hats on the table, EDA, HRA, general funds [not yet any Port Authority], spending can be hidden under any one, hiding it from the others. I have always believed, fees and taxes should ALL go into one general fund, and it would be the spending pot, and then all disbursements would have to come from it, each with its relative merits open to debate and adjustment, without any earmark, liquor taxes going to buy politicians their liquor being one not yet proposed, but, wait and see ... Time passes. Things evolve. Bureaus proliferate. Simplicity, one general fund for everything, falls by the wayside.

____________UPDATE_____________
That "part of the process" rhetoric is a bit galling. Surely we all understand that we can participate and then not like the final outcome, but that 2030 thing was awful. The City hired a brick for a consultant, Phil whoever, and there was that parallel session thing with the temple chimes guy. Bottom line - Met Council proposes outrageously high growth quotas so that in giving it its demanded comprehensive plan the thing has so much capacity in view that developers can cherry pick. So, Ramsey being Ramsey, the administration/council authorized more, beyond the Met Council's outrageous quota, so that developers could cherry pick more, it being the goal to serve developers, or that seeming the case. It was distasteful. It was alienating. I may pass on "being part of the process" this go-round, since it is irrelevant when planners have their own minds set on - what else - doing their plans, their way, and so on, so forth.

RAMSEY - The town has a strategic plan. Woo woo.

I cannot fathom why there needs to be a pair of links to the strategic plan, one from the homepage "in the news" to an intermediate page, which then serves to do absolutely nothing but link to a page with three subpages. Figure it out, then explain it to me. (Government efficiency being my guess.)

WebPage redundancy must be part of the strategy.


And that title, "A New Day Beginning ..."? It sounds like one of the 1950's Sunday radio program lead-ins.

A New Day Beginning. Where Will You Be ... When ...

In Ramsey, more likely than not, for most of us. There, paying franchise fees. Along with Ben.

RAMSEY - Jason Tossey opposes the consensus among other council members to impose a "franchise fee" tax upon us, vs generating road-upkeep revenue by levy rate, as would be the more conventional approach of raising public revenues to fund public expenditure.

Tossey sent an email to an undisclosed list of recipients defining his belief about the regressiveness of "franchise fee" taxation.

I agree with Tossey that the idea is a bad one.

However, in fairness to Tossey and others, I will simply recommend that readers wanting to review Tossey's belief send him an email requesting that he forward his item to them also. It would burden him somewhat, but as a declared candidate for office he should welcome being approached by concerned citizens simply wanting to know more about the "franchise fee" taxation issue. His city email address is:

Jason Tossey:

jtossey@ci.ramsey.mn.us

Just copy and paste that address into an email, and request that he reply by forwarding his email:

"The proof of a regressive 'franchise fee' tax"

Clearly, one opinion might not prove definitive, and other council members may be contacted to provide their analysis of the "franchise fee" taxation issue.

With a current focus on NSA excess; there is this: "An FBI job announcement for the DCAC that had an application deadline of May 2 provides additional details. It asks applicants to list their experience with "electronic surveillance standards" including PacketCable (used in cable modems); QChat (used in push-to-talk mobile phones); and T1.678 (VoIP communications). One required skill for the position, which pays up to $136,771 a year, is evaluating "electronic surveillance solutions" for "emerging" technologies. "We would expect that capabilities like CIPAV would be an example" of what the DCAC will create, says Steve Bock, president of Colorado-based Subsentio, referring to the FBI's remotely-installed spyware that it has used to identify extortionists, database-deleting hackers, child molesters, and hitmen."

Oh, yes, we only want to use it against bad guys. Chester Molester, beware, but Joe Citizen, don't worry, be happy.

The headline quote is from here.

NSA is not alone, nor unique. FISA and the FISA court deal with J. Edgar's progeny too.

The date of that bellweather warning: May 22, 2012

Be thankful for Snowden. Without him the sleeping beast of public outrage would not have awakened. That in part is why government lackeys have so much hate for him. He prodded awareness. To them, an unneeded complication to what they do.

“markets work, morals matter, America must be strong in the world”

A Residual Forces retrospective post, with the headline in quotes within Andy's post.

Whatever happened to "God, Gays, and Guns?" Times change?

That was a 2007 post from Andy live-blogging a presentation gala by the propaganda mill now handing out today's present Scott Honour candidacy. McFadden likely agrees.


But is the headline's simplistic motto somewhat out of tune with the Ron/Rand Paul faction's

markets work, you deserve Liberty, America has no manifest destiny to police the world

SO - What will have traction in the 2014 primary election among our Republican friends? We wait to see.

____________UPDATE_____________
To be clear, markets don't work. Laissez-faire economics, when tried, has been a failure. A cyclical disaster, because market forces, undamped, run amok and cause havoc. Behavioral economics is a discipline that has grown because the classical capital asset pricing model - the random walk - rational investor public with perfect knowledge - model has proven inadequate, there being herd effects, overreaction, insider profit taking or dumping, and, the yin-yang between bull-and-bear collective market mental states is real. Momentum and latency are contributing forces making cyclic boom/bust worse than if we apply damping (countercyclical) forces against irrational exuberance or irrational despair. Contrarians are a good thing. The "markets work" is the unifying fictional thread our Republican friends want to sell you, while manipulating as best they can for profit, the markets they are selling and touting. Having "us" believe markets work is a most important thread tying together the entire "big tent," it is the big lie of the whole big tent.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
More on the "markets work" myth, some directions of those asking how/why do markets work as they do; this link, which links over to "scholarly" work where you can access the two featured "studies" going beyond the rational choice theory of market perfection in pricing that which is available in a market; here and here. It seems many have a vested interest in promoting a general belief that markets work, while intent on themselves working the markets. They want to do what they do, they do not want "transparency," or sunshine on what they are doing, and they surely do not want angry mobs with torches and pitchforks in pursuit over what they've been doing [Tea Party bleating is different, okay, so long as they vote right when told to - sheep bleat, but do not effectively resist shearing].

The banner image slideshow image Tom Emmer's people omitted from his website.

This incredibly informative Emmer campaign website homepage:

http://emmerforcongress.com/index.cfm

How can those Emmer folks convey their message, pictorially, without this?

A Freudian slip? "God Save our Gracious Queen, ... ". Rhonda will "... reign in government ...". She says so herself.

Sure. It's a simple mistake, but simple mistakes on a campaign website indicate trust in staffers/volunteers where the light bulb is burning at less than 100 watts of brightness.

This screenshot, from

http://www.rhondaforcongress.com/

click it to read - focus: second paragraph second line

The campaign is young, the error minor in the grand scale of things, but please fix that website. It grates on the nerves to see that level of inattention from one wanting trust and votes.

This:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Guess who.

On Sept. 11, 2013, a dangerous and viral strain of Muslims invaded Washington, D.C., to march and declare victory over Christians and Jews and to otherwise thumb their noses at everyone who does not believe in allah. While only 30 or so had the "courage" to actually appear on the streets of D.C., having been surrounded by a horde of "Rolling Thunder" Harley Davidson motorcycle riders, and despite the fact that the Muslims secured a permit and the motorcyclists were denied one by Barack Hussein Obama's National Park Service, let us take a lesson from our Islamic "friends." It is time that we Christians, Jews, people of faith and all true patriots say enough is enough and ourselves, in a very real way, "Occupy Washington" to cleanse the nation of the half-Muslim, anti-white, socialist fraud in the White House before the nation goes under for the final count.

Lesioned mind Larry.
This link. Who else, but?

For something entirely different.

Here

I encourage readers to not draw any parallels. Separate things. Really.

Larry K. dresses quite fashionably.

Tidy dresser.Untidy mind.



______________UPDATE______________
TPM seizes on Klayman speak, here, the item titled, "Conservative Attorney Larry Klayman Calls For Coup Against Obama." It is an analysis that is not generous toward the distinguished litigator and bon vivant.

It includes a photo of said litigator.

The man looks so level headed ...

And he dresses so well for one characterized as a "coup" advocate and would-be coup instigator. Remember, however, "coup" is TPM's wording, not mine. "Raging asshole" would be my characterization*, if pressed for one, that seeming, in truth, to be more fitting than "coup" instigator.

Yet the recently filed Klayman lawsuits seeking mega-damages against the NSA and private sector anti-privacy media/web collaborators prove blind pigs on occasion can find a truffle or two.

___________________________
* In the sense of usage per Bebo v. Delander, 632 NW 2d 732, 739-740 (Minn.App. 2001) ("Expressions of opinion, rhetoric, and figurative language are generally not actionable if, in context, the audience would understand the statement is not a representation of fact. [...] Courts consider four factors when determining whether a statement is one of fact or opinion: (1) the precision and specificity of the statement; (2) the statement's verifiability; (3) the social and literary context of the statement; and (4) the public context in which the statement was made.")

Pynchon has a new book out. I would like to arrange a blind date between Pynchon and Michele Bachmann. "Oh, and what do you do for a living ...".

Each deceives their public, things always being inexact, incomplete, tangible but elusive with the intangible so close. They would absolutely hate one another, the very sight of one another but deeper than that, and it would be fun to watch.

"Bleeding Edge," NYT review, here. LAT, here. Publishers Weekly, here. Guardian. I like the LAT one best among the four, but it's wholly a personal matter of taste.  I did not read any of the four entirely. Reading how reviewers handle his work, you understand his reclusiveness.

UPDATE: Rupert disses. Amazon praises. Is that a surprise?

FURTHER UPDATE: One review of the four, longer than needed, did capture a spirit, saying:

Still, reading Pynchon for plot is like reading Austen for sex. Each page has a little more of it than the one before, but you never quite get to the clincher.

Luckily, Pynchon and Austen have ample recourse to the oldest, hardest-to-invoke rule in the book --when in doubt, be a genius. It's cheating, but it works. No one, but no one, rivals Pynchon's range of language, his elasticity of syntax, his signature mix of dirty jokes, dread and shining decency.

It's a peculiarity of musical notation that major works are, more often than not, set in a minor key, and vice versa. Bleeding Edge is mellow, plummy, minor-key Pynchon, his second such in a row since Against the Day (2006)--that still-smoking asteroid, whose otherworldly inner music readers are just beginning to tap back at. But in its world-historical savvy, its supple feel for the joys and stings of love--both married and parental--this new book is anything but minor. On the contrary, Bleeding Edge is a chamber symphony in P major, so generous of invention it sometimes sprawls, yet so sharp it ultimately pierces. All this, plus a stripjoint called Joie de Beavre and a West Indian proctologist named Pokemon. Who else does that?

In times of NSA overreaching, should users consider StartPage?

https://startpage.com/eng/

UPDATE:  Press page, here.

Stamp "Past Due for Retirement" on his forehead and put this nasty warhorse out to pasture. No, tattoo it.

The esteemend General, heading the flawless NSA; this link. Captain Kirk wannabes have no place but out to pasture.


Remember General Scheisskopf, from Catch 22?

We got a live one. Scheiss and all. Not Alexander the Great, despite self image likelihoods.

____________UPDATE_____________
I tried to access the "architectural" firm's page

http://www.dbia.com/projectpage/LIWA.pdf

which Greenwald linked to in his "Inside the mind of NSA chief Gen Keith Alexander" Guardian item [opening link, above]. It gave an informative access error message:

...........................................

Bandwidth Limit Exceeded

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.

Apache/2.2.22 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.22 OpenSSL/0.9.8e-fips-rhel5 mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 Server at www.dbia.com Port 80
............................................

Clearly, this is a design-conscious firm Flaherty should incorporate into any/all of his future uber-apartment design projects (it can't get any worse, Dave, can it). Their motto? Yes We Can.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
This page; and here. Heller never did include any image of General Scheisskopf. Wikipedia does.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Do you figure the good General wrote or oversaw his own Wikipedia page [as it stands as of posting this blog entry, not necessarily as it might get rewritten in the near future].

More important a question, do you figure the good General knows who did?

Rumsfeld put him there. Who else would you expect?

Sometimes an idea that seems good in the abstract can be put to the test of usage. Sometimes it's the Liousville Slugger. Sometimes the Ball.

For a local "good idea" described on the "about" page, here -

http://www.qirina.com/about.html

Local, as in our beloved metro area.

So, keyspace. The invented buzzword. Defining a site, it's Gestalt, by its keyspace. Wow. What a neat idea.

So, the test of usage, a site I often access, MN Progressive Project -- find where is it objectively "niched" via its "keyspace" -



OUCH. A problem with taking one randomized screenshot, and keeping it into staleness when we all know the web is a fluid thing. But come on. Tim Pawlenty is yesterday's fish, (and always had that aura about him).

At a guess the MPP folks likely would feel misjudged. Cabined, cribbed, confined ... all that.

YET - One trial does not define Slugger/Ball status, and for local folks, cut some slack.

This:



Harold might feel a bit deflated. Gotta bark a bit louder, I guess. If you wanna be noticed. By local folks, touting a service/product. Tested with a couple of slow-pitch softballs.

Need we wait for strike three?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Power corrupts, and it arguably has, over some time, corrupted absolutely. Even permeating into mass acceptance of counterproductive belief systems implemented against us in part through globalization.

This link. People have been conditioned to accept hypotheticals about inevitability and economic efficiency that cut against their own best interest. Is this what we mean by "public education?" A cynic might say let them have their Tea Party meetings, it's a powerless venting of dissatisfaction, and there's nothing they really can do against our elite calling all the shots for and more frequently against all of us. How it is. Edsall links here.

Intervention in Syria? By our US of A? Opinions differ and reading an NY Times OpEd from abroad may prove useful to having an understanding.

Putin, online, here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Strib reports: "Twin Cities retail construction leads U.S., thanks to $100M Eagan mall."

To land a big fish like that, they must have had Darren working for them. Probably he steered the project to a sound and safe docking, for less than a million dollars in fees and payments. Efficiency being the byword.

This link.

Baltimore-based Paragon Outlet Partners is building the outlet mall, with six buildings housing more than 100 shops, including upscale stalwarts Coach, J. Crew, Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren — one of the few outlet malls nationwide to be located in a metropolitan area.

Construction is “well underway” on Paragon’s 400,000-plus-square-foot mall, expected to open next August, said Jon Hohenstein, Eagan’s director of community development.

“Paragon was looking for opportunities in Minnesota, and we were ready for the opportunity,” he said. The outlet mall is part of the city’s Cedar Grove redevelopment area at Cedar Avenue S. and Hwy. 13.

But beyond the outlet mega-project, Colliers Senior Associate Sara Martin says square footage surged locally in part because of the apartment boom here, whether it’s upscale digs targeting millennials and baby boomers, or student housing. “Many of the cities are requiring a retail component on these projects,” she said.

Yeah. Requiring retail. Darren's big score with the Flaherty give-aways; a McDonalds. Eagan's the windshield. Ramsey's the bug.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Sutton and Brodkorb recently were the Republicans' dynamic duo. Batman and Robin (debate which was which). Now Sutton appears as broke as the party was in the way he left it, and Brodkorb's firing by Republican legislative operatives is costing all of us a bundle. "There they go again," as the Gipper used to say.

Strib reporting, here and here.

BATMAN. (photo credit)

____________UPDATE_____________
Some people hit hard times and it is polite and deferential to not show Shadenfreude. However, Sutton; Brodkorb; those are horses of a different color, Tevlin of Strib in an OpEd following Strib's initial report having said it well:

There have been few political operatives as combative and ornery as Tony Sutton. He eviscerated political opponents and lambasted those in his own party who didn’t follow every line of the party script. He once called major donors to the Republican Party “quislings,” a reference to World War II traitors.

In many ways, Sutton became a caricature of himself, a localized version of Karl Rove or James Carville. For a City Pages profile, Sutton posed with a baseball bat. It was an image he relished, the tough guy who liked to tell everybody to suck it up and take responsibility.

Sometimes it takes a hard fall to humanize somebody. Whether it will also humble Sutton is hard to say. As reported Monday, Sutton has filed for personal bankruptcy, owing creditors more than $2 million. This comes after running his party into a $2 million hole.

My gut instinct is to have sympathy for Sutton and certainly for his family. He is likely a guy in a lot of pain right now. If he’s like most people who get into a bad place, it’s partly self-inflicted and partly circumstantial.

But as the top spokesman for the Minnesota Republican Party for several years, Sutton was the voice of its philosophy. That philosophy is contained in scores of Sutton’s rants over the years. If you search the newspaper database for the words “Sutton” and “financial responsibility,” you get scores of references. If you search Sutton and “compassion,” you get zero.

Tevlin also noted:

In going after Tim Walz, Sutton once remarked: “We’re going to wrap the [healthcare reform] public option around his neck.”

One wonders whether Sutton wouldn’t mind a little of that public option now. The court filing shows he has no health care. Not coincidentally, he also owed money to several hospitals, including Abbott Northwestern and Children’s Hospital. Now, Sutton will wrap his lack of responsibility for his own health care around the necks of the hospitals and those of us who pay for insurance.

And that as much as anything else about the Sutton family is why Schadenfreude is okay for bast confrontational gentlemen. This Google. Nick Coleman commentary.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Sutton family, here and here. Brodkorb's cash drain on your pocket - because of how other Republicans torpedoed this suing Republican, see, e.g., here. There's more. Here.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Simple statements for the simple minded.

Our beloved and kind-hearted Secretary of State, with a Frenchman in tow (to add legitimacy?).

This link, these unbeguiling words:

Quai d'Orsay, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Paris, France
September 7, 2013

FOREIGN MINISTER FABIUS: (Via interpreter) -- Kerry. I would like to commend both your energy and your ability to convince as well as your very reliable judgment or point of view. Together with the Secretary of State we discussed a number of topics, including, of course, Israel and Palestine and as well Syria, of course.

Let me start with a few comments. What we’ve been seeing very clearly over the past few days, notwithstanding a number of side comments of briefings, the first one is that the Damascus chemical massacre is proven and bears a signature. It is Mr. Bashar al-Assad who is the only one to hold the arm that was used for the massacre and to be in a position to use it, and he did use it. And we have to keep back to this because these are the facts.

In addition, and it is also what explains the fact that when people are comparing to the situation in Iraq, it has nothing to do. You remember that France did not participate in the intervention in Iraq. But at the time, the weapons of mass destruction did not exist, therefore, it was a mistake to go there; whereas, here, weapons of mass destruction exist and the fault, the mistake would be not to sanction.

Second, this massacre requires a strong reaction in order to sanction and in order to deter for an obvious reason which everybody will understand. Mr. Bashar al-Assad – as was said by the Secretary General of the United Nations, said this is a crime against humanity and we have to deter him from doing it again.

Then there is a third element which is obvious, even though it may require some thinking. The sanction is not in contradiction with a political solution. It is a prerequisite. Mr. Bashar al-Assad will not join any negotiation as long as he believes he is invincible.

From that, people were saying that France and the United States would be isolated. It is pretty much the opposite, and let me get back to what happened over the past 48 or 72 hours. Now, seven out of the eight G-8 countries share our views as to the necessity of a strong reaction. Twelve of the 20 G-20 countries, including Germany now, share in this reaction. And this morning, the 28 countries of the European Union supported the number of key elements: first, the 21st of August massacre is an abominable crime, it is a crime against humanity, it is a crime of war. [...]

Saying it, even saying it ad nauseam, does not make it so. Was this Frenchman there, on the ground, observing? "They fell around me like dominoes, I witnessed it but lived to tell." Or did someone tell him this and that - about such and so - with a due admonition to believe and say it is how things went down in Damascus? Perhaps the Frenchman is so certain because he had an epiphany of some kind while on the road headed there. You tell me.

Perhaps the simplemindedness was because of a limited skill set of the State Department interpreter? You think so?

Words delivered with yet more Coalition of the Willing flim-flam stirred in to boot.

"Even the Germans" this Frenchman noted.

There is history, isn't there?

My man of the moment, Francis, holding out. This link, proving our government pundits understand the Pope's no dope. Or is it that they understand selling unpopularity requires feigned sympathies, (so long as they are not voiced any louder or longer than the building drumbeat)?

While it's lawyers and guns, Klayman is suing for the money.

Klayman's NSA spying related lawsuits for damages have been noted in Crabgrass before, e.g., here and here.

Larry's chasing the money end of things, it being akin to his basic nature, but as ex-guv Jesse will tell you, Zevon sang of Lawyers, Guns and Money.

This post's headline does say "lawyers and guns," so what is afoot? The ACLU sued for relief other than damages [other than, judge/jury award me money with more better than less], and now this:

NRA joins ACLU in suit against NSA's surveillance program

Looking to protect gun owners' privacy, the NRA files a brief supporting the ACLU's lawsuit aimed at halting the NSA's spying program.
by Dara Kerr - September 4, 2013 10:46 PM PDT


The two have bonded in their fight against the National Security Agency's mass spying program that came to light in June. The NRA joined the ACLU's lawsuit against the government agency on Wednesday by filing a "friend of the court" legal brief.

"The mass surveillance program threatens the First Amendment rights of the NRA and its members," the NRA writes in the brief (PDF). "The mass surveillance program could allow identification of NRA members, supporters, potential members, and other persons with whom the NRA communicates, potentially chilling their willingness to communicate with the NRA."

The ACLU filed its lawsuit, ACLU vs. Clapper, in federal court in New York. The suit aims to get a preliminary injunction issued against the NSA that will stop its phone-surveillance program and also force the agency to expunge all of its phone call records.

Besides the NRA, other groups have also signed onto the lawsuit, including the Reporters Committee for Freedom and several news organizations. The ACLU welcomes the array of support.

"The range of voices joining the protest against mass government surveillance -- not to mention the bipartisan storm that has swept Congress since the recent NSA disclosures -- is a real testament to the fact that the government's dragnet surveillance practices are offensive to Americans from across the political spectrum," ACLU communications strategist Noa Yachot wrote in a statement on Wednesday.

[... read the rest, again, this link]

[lawsuit and statement links above are from the original]

Put that on your iPhone, and smoke it. NSA probably does not even need the Wayback Machine. They just need more, more, more data mining capability, to keep up with the infinite data they take, subject to having the finite (but large) number of folks they pay [Booz, Allen still, but with Snowden off the payroll now].

Larry's patriotism must compel him to form the third leg of the Zevon lyrics, in seeking to discipline the NSA. With the gun bunnies aboard, how can the runaway train of quelling NSA mischief fail?

Handguns for privacy? Sure. After all, it is conceal and carry they love.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Poor Ben Dover, The Ramsey Taxpayer. He is getting it again - But, yo bro, it is not a tax.


The powers that be, soon, will be charging Ben a monthly franchise fee of eight bucks, for sunshine. That, and an eight buck a month franchise fee, for moonlight.

There's a road between Ben and the Norman Castle to his south, where the sunlight and moonlight fees will be going, since Ben enjoys adjacency to a road.

But, don't have too much sympathy for Ben Dover The Ramsey Taxpayer. Because why?

Because:

It's not a tax.

The politicians say so, and if it were a tax they'd call it one, and honestly tell you and Ben and everybody that taxes are being raised despite EDA budgets being fat, HRA budgets being fat, Flaherty being happy with all his subsidy, and whatever - so it comes down to a clear need -- gotta "fee" the folks, because we do not want to impose more tax on them.

So bend with the prevailing wisdom, as bending with the wind, so you don't snap over what quacks like a tax, walks like a tax, looks like a tax, but is not one because government officials like the notion of feeing everybody out of hard earned cash.

There will be a new colloquial usage. "Get feed." Having a double meaning, food and the past tense of the verb, "to fee." As in "to tax" but somehow, inexplicably, different.

Expect all that very, very, very, VERY soon. As sure as the sun rises and the moon shines at night. Ben will be made to pay.

Talking Heads sang, "It's the same as it ever was ...".

Ben does not sing, but he smiles a lot...

______________UPDATE_____________
Can anyone tell me, at Flaherty's adventuresome rental palace, are individual units individually metered for electricity?

For gas?

Not that an answer either way would stop Ben Dover's smiling while it all happens. However it happens. When it happens. You might not even hear it happening.

Where do they mail Ben his utility bills, that's another thing I'd like somebody to tell me.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Bob Dylan has a new song out:

Well, they’ll fee ya when you’re trying to be so good
They’ll fee ya just a-like they said they would
They’ll fee ya when you’re tryin’ to go home
Then they’ll fee ya when you’re there all alone
But I would not call it public greed
Everybody must get feed

Well, they’ll fee ya when you’re walkin’ ’long the street
They’ll fee ya when you’re tryin’ to keep your seat
They’ll fee ya when you’re walkin’ on the floor
They’ll fee ya when you’re walkin’ to the door
But I would not call it public greed
Everybody must get feed

They’ll fee ya when you’re at the breakfast table
They’ll fee ya when you are young and able
They’ll fee ya when you’re tryin’ to make a buck
They’ll fee ya and then they’ll say, “good luck”
Tell ya what, I would not call it public greed
Everybody must get feed

Well, they’ll fee you and say that it’s the end
Then they’ll fee you and then they’ll come back again
They’ll fee you when you’re riding in your car
They’ll fee you when you’re playing your guitar
Yes, but I would not call it public greed
Everybody must get feed

... and say that it's the end ...

And gentle reader, you too shall be feed. Identically, each month to the feeing of Coborn's, Ace Solid Waste, everybody gets feed and feed alike.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
With Connexus drooling over putting a "data center" at the former City Hall location on Nowthen across from Ramsey Elementary, will the feeing there be one electricity account, only, the same eight bucks a month you'll be stung for; or eight bucks per server plus per cooling unit, plus per air conditioner? What's just? What's expected of those calling this new tax a "fee?" Justice, justice you want? Look elsewhere. Get feed.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

MN Progressive Project has some solid new posts online.

The homepage link:

http://mnprogressiveproject.com/

Sibel Edmonds, "The Needed Ingredients For A Real Alternative Information Gateway."

This link. Read it. Check out some of her links.

Chemical weapons in Syria.

This link. Here. Angry Arab had those links, also this and this. John McCain is at a loss for what to say, since Syria has one more syllable than Iran. So, let him say "Thank God," and he then can exit, stage right. Sibel Edmonds, who, like me was not there to know for certain what may have happened, when. Does any reader have a link to supply to possible Colin Powell speeches about chemical weapons trailers in Syria?

___________UPDATE____________
MN Progressive Project, here.

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Woo woo. A Coalition of the Willing. Hat tip to J.O'C.

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Hostage taking? By them Rooskies? Ms. Power flexing her muscles?

Get real. How many times has the US blocked resolutions on Israel? In the days of neocon Bolton, before, and afterwards. But that is a horse of a different color?

Again, get real.

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Syria has become a hot petition-the-pres topic, here.

As usual there, on a topic with high consensus in a direction the Obama administration does not like or want to consider, somebody seeds the site with multiple petition versions, thereby diluting the appearance of a decisively strong consensus.