Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From a fan, to a freind...

I remember it as if it happened yesterday. KSTP-AM 1500 had rolled out a new duo in its 9am-1pm slot. Shawn Prebil and Chris Murphy brought a fresh approach to what had become a stagnant, heavily right leaning line up of talk shows on that station. The pair debated on many issues of public interest without becoming uber-political.

I became an instant fan of the show, however, Prebil and Murphy did not catch on with long time listeners of the station which were used to the likes of Jason Lewis and Bob Davis. The duo was chided on a regular basis on the station's web forum. I, on the other hand, defended the show on quite a few occasions.

I remember attending last year's Minnesota State Fair, hanging out at the AM1500 booth, where all of the station's hosts, sans divas Joe Soucheray and Patrick Reusse, were participating in a interactive game with the live crowd. After the show, I caught up with Prebil and Murphy, to let them know how much I enjoyed their show. I had never met the duo before, yet Chris, who apparently was reading the forum, recognized me immediately. To my surprise, he invited me to join him for a cold one at the beer garden. We must have sat and talked, over a few adult beverages, for over an hour. It was like we were old friends.

That personal relationship made me a loyal listener to the station for my entire 12 hour shift.

When the station went to an all sports format and canceled Prebil and Murphy, earlier this year, I really felt a loss. Even to point of vowing never to listen to AM1500 again. Through this, I maintained my friendship with Shawn and Chris, including a few meet ups for a couple of beers and some BS-ing. Chris has even been so nice as to take me out to a couple of ball games at the new Target Field.

My long work day does not allow me to be a social butterfly, so I do cherish the few close friends I have. Chris Murphy is indeed one of them. But as volatile as the radio industry is, I knew it wouldn't be long before Chris moved on to another gig. Although I knew it was in the works for a couple of weeks, Chris made it official, that he was moving back to Springfield, Illinois, to take a job as an Assistant Program Manager, or as he put it, an Ass-O-Man for a station in that market. While I was happy that he caught on with something, I couldn't help but get a little misty eyed, knowing that a close friend was leaving town.

So Chris, good luck to you. This opportunity couldn't have come to a more deserving guy.

And if you ever have a need to add a commentator who has seen life at street level, give me a holler. I would be honored to work for you.

Adios, my friend...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blogcast: Uniform education standards a good idea?

These days, one needs an education to get anywhere. But some kids whose parents move quite a bit, cross country, can find inconsistencies in education levels from state to state.

Click here to listen...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I don't think I'm your average Progressive...

I had to chuckle at the observation made that was made about the Beckapolooza rally at the Lincoln Memorial, yesterday. It was noted by someone on my Twitter feed that it looked like Beck was addressing a good sized Weight Watchers' convention.

So I began to wonder, am I one of the few lard assed Progressives in this country? Then it dawned on me, I'm not your run of the mill Liberal.

As should be obvious by the 6th grade grammar used in this blog, at times, I know I am not nearly as educated as many of my acquaintances on the left. This also handicaps me on the income level. I have a Facebook friend who I know is unemployed, yet he doesn't seemed very panicked. I can only assume that he was able fall back on savings, made by having a pretty good job at the time. My idea of savings over the last 20 some years had been an empty Folgers can, for my loose coin.

No, I'm nowhere near as well bred as some of my other lefty friends. But like most of them, I have compassion for my fellow man, despite being unable to do much to help their cause. I only wish I had the means to help the destitute people I see most every day in my travels.

I can only hope that this blog reaches enough people that do have the means to help others and thank them for what they are doing. But remind them that there is so much more to do.

One of the things that I think is important is to get the poor involved in the election process. These people can't pony up funds for campaigns, but if educated, they can properly offer their vote, in order to attempt to make their community better.

I understand that it's tough for some candidates to go into neighborhoods and speak to people they normally wouldn't associate with, but the good politicians find a way. For the sake of what's important to Progressives, more focus on these communities is needed.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Don't mess with the cabbies...

A few days ago, a cab driver, in New York City. was attacked, with a knife. The attacker asked the driver, before the attack, if he was a Muslim.

I admit, over the last couple of years, I have been hard on the Somali cab drivers, here in the Twin Cities. My feelings were based on their driving and customer service skills and nothing to do with their ethnicity or religion. That said, as cab drivers, they are my brothers. And no matter how white or Christian I may be, I will not tolerate anybody harassing these drivers because of their religion.

I think Minnesotans are smart enough to understand that we are not at war with Islam. But I'm afraid this incident in New York City my spawn copy cat actions against cab drivers nationwide, many of which are Muslim.

Just remember, for those Islamophobs out there, you attack one cab driver in this town, you'll have one big, angry white boy on your hands.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Possible transit strike?

On a professional level, I'd welcome a strike by Metro Transit drivers. The last time they walked the picket line, cab drivers made bank.

Seriously though, area bus drivers earn every dime they make. Most of you that read this, probably never ride the bus or at least not some of the more problematic routes. It's not by chance that On a professional level, I'd welcome a strike by Metro Transit drivers. The last time they walked the picket line, cab drivers made bank.

Seriously though, area bus drivers earn every dime they make. Most of you that read this, probably never ride the bus or at least not some of the more problematic routes. It's not by chance that Metro Transit has it's own police force.

Couple that with having to operate their bus in sometimes horrendous weather conditions and have to play dodge dummy with motorists that still don't get it,that buses have the right of way, you have a job that is taxing on both mind and body.

On Monday, Metro Transit drivers overwhelmingly rejected a new contract that would freeze wages and make changes to their medical plans that would bring them more out of pocket expenses. In summary, the drivers told management to put down the crack pipe.

Transit officials say that a drivers strike is not imminent. Bet your ass it will be if management does not come up with a much better package.Metro Transit has it's own police force.

Couple that with having to operate their bus in sometimes horrendous weather conditions and have to play dodge dummy with motorists that still don't get it,that buses have the right of way, you have a job that is taxing on both mind and body.

On Monday, Metro Transit drivers overwhelmingly rejected a new contract that would freeze wages and make changes to their medical plans that would bring them more out of pocket expenses. In summary, the drivers told management to put down the crack pipe.

Transit officials say that a drivers strike is not imminent. Bet your ass it will be if management does not come up with a much better package.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I need a better paying job...

Unfortunately, cab driving doesn't pay well enough to pay all the bills I've acquired over the years, so I figure I will run for governor of Minnesota in 2014.

Here's my platform...

  • I'd help any Minnesotan who had the desire to better their lives. As for those who insist on living a life of crime, I'd provide long term housing, at a nearby penitentiary.
  • I'd promote an extension to the State sales tax, to include food and clothing. In doing so, I'd offer an exemption card or rebate to Minnesotans with incomes less than $50k.
  • (Pretending the Vikings' lease at the dome did not expire until 2015) I'd allot for $1billion for a new multi-use facility that the team could rent for $20million, per season, on a 40 year lease.
  • I'd press for the legalization, regulation and taxation of casinos, non-penetration prostitution and marijuana.
  • I'd insist on lowering the legal drinking age to 18. If a young man can fight and potentially die for his country, he should be able to enjoy a cold one, now and then.
  • I'd raise the legal blood alcohol limit to .10, but insist on mandatory jail time, even for first time offenders.
  • I'd give any Mexicans escaping the drug cartel war on the border refugee status.
That's all I can think of for now. E-mail shannon14@johnshannon.net, to join the campaign.

Blogcast: It's still up to the voters...

Click to listen to the blogcast

It seems to me that no matter how much corporate money gets thrown in the mix, the voters still have the last say.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Is this going to be a vote for Clark or just "Anybody but Bachmann?"

I find myself wondering, this morning, does Tarryl Clark have have any chance of derailing the Michelle Bachmann machine. The darling of the Tea Party and Fox News has hit the ground running, with radio ads targeting the Nancy Pelosi controlled House of Representatives. It's plain to see that Bachmann has plenty of cash to be able to run so many radio spots so early in the campaign. She also had a spot that ran a few weeks ago, dubbing Ms. Clark "Taxin' Terryl." The former State Senator did have an ad out on TV and radio early in Gulf oil crisis, calling Bachmann out her comments advising BP not to be President Obama's "chumps." Since then, we haven't heard much from the Clark campaign, unless you follow her on Twitter.

I, indeed, have been following Tarryl Clark on Twitter. What I see on her "tweets" is that she is spending her weekends walking in parades in the rural part of CD6. It's the same style of grass roots campaigning that almost won Margaret Anderson Kelliher the nod in the DFL primary for governor. Almost...

I will never be accused of being a campaign strategist, but, in my opinion, if Ms. Clark wants to unseat Michelle Bachmann, she better start focusing on that same portion of the voting public that swept Barack Obama into the presidency, 2 years ago. I'm talking about the 18-30 crowd that went to the polls with an unprecedented fervor. The message would be corny, but simple, "keeping hope alive." This section of the electorate needs to be re-awakened with the warning that everything that the president has and hopes to accomplish is in jeopardy if Bachmann and her teabagging buddies take control of the House.

I'd also like to see Ms. Clark spend a little time in my neck of the woods, in Anoka.

I will be there, at the polls, casting my vote on November 2nd. But I can't say I'm not real energized much beyond an "Anybody but Bachmann" decision.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Public assistance should be a tool, not a cash cow...

Don't worry, my blown out knee has not caused me to start leaning right...

That said, I do think there is something seriously wrong with our welfare system.

There are too many people, these days, who have nothing more to look forward to than the first of the month, when their government benefits hit the EBT card. There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that just hands off a reward to those who continue to bear children that they cannot afford to raise.

Problem is, the cost to truly help these people is far greater than it is to just give them a monthly check and send them on their way.

The solution, for some, goes further than job training. Some folks need help with everyday life skills. This my friends, is the true definition of socialism.

Many of my friends on the left have no idea what's going on in our inner-cities. I am in the middle of it, every day I get behind the wheel of my cab. Just last week, I picked up a woman and her 5 kids. One teen, a ten year old and 3 that couldn't have been over five. Throughout the ride, the mother was yelling at the unruly kids, at times, threatening to "punch" them. Sadly, this scene plays out in homes all over our inner-cities.

Simply throwing money at these folks is not the solution. Any public assistance program should come with mandatory, intensive life skills training. This will cost money. Money that Conservatives will tell you that we can't afford to spend. Folks, we can't afford not to make this investment. Many of society's problems such as gang violence and other criminal activity come from broken homes, where people are bringing ill-conceived children into the world. It is a brutally vicious cycle.

Many of these very life skills can be taught in inner-city schools. Unfortunately, these same schools can barely afford to teach the "three R's."

Yes, it will take money to solve this problem. But we have spend this money wisely. To do this will take a complete overhaul of our public assistance program.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

John F. Kennedy Speech (wisdom on religious intolerance)

Brought to my attention by @copyFDR on Twitter

Excerpt from his address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, September 12, 1960:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute–where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote–where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference–and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish–where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source–where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials–and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew–or a Quaker–or a Unitarian–or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim- -but tomorrow it may be you–until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.

Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end–where all men and all churches are treated as equal–where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice–where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind–and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe–a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a President whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blogcast: Just what is free speech?

Listen to the blogcast...

Dr. Laura I gave up her radio talk show, stating she could no longer express her First Amendment rights. So I ask, what are those rights?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Mark Fiore cartoon on the Islamic center near ground zero.

Funnier than hell and oh so true...

Cat and Mosque

Like it or not, Dr. Laura was on to something...

Let me go on the record as saying that I feel Dr. Laura is just as big a blowhard as Rush Limbaugh, only not nearly as entertaining. When she announced she was leaving her syndicated radio show, you could almost hear a collective "so what?" from this country.

That said, I found myself agreeing with her on the topic that got her in so much hot water.

Now, I am as appalled as most on how the discussion with her caller had degenerated into her unleashing about a dozen "N-bombs" at a caller that wanted to talk about race relations, but the fact is she does have a point. Black Americans are pretty much given a pass on uttering that vulgar term.

Yes my friends, the N-word is just as ugly of a term coming out of a black person's mouth as it is with any other race. I don't care if the "er" at the end is subsituted with an "a," the word has no place in our society.

I'm no angel here. I am as guilty as most uneducated white folks of using the N-word in like company. As I look back at that part of my life, I aint real proud of myself. But as I've made a conscientious effort to eradicate that word from my vocabulary, I become more disgusted every time I hear it.

Black folks need to remember, both Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X met with untimely deaths in part as so black Americans did not have to hear the N-word. Every time Chris Rock or Nas (I'm assuming here) belt out that term, the deaths of those civil rights leaders are all for naught.

I'm not looking for a pass here. I just want black folks to know that they too are judged by their words, righteously or not. And I feel with all my heart that we will not completely evolve as a society until we delete all racial slang from our vernacular.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hard-hitting political cartoon on the Ground-Zero Mosque controversy


A really hard-hitting political cartoon on the Ground-Zero Mosque controversy, by Rob Rogers.

Flap over Islamic center near ground zero unwarranted...

Until logic took over, my first reaction to the proposed Islamic center near ground zero mirrored that of many on the right. I felt kinda like it was the old salt in the wound analogy.

To help me get past this emotion, I rationalized that the attack of 9/11 was not and act of war, rather a mass murder. We were not attacked by a country (aka Pearl Harbor), we were attacked by a group of individuals.

I don't pretend to know anything about Islam. I'd know even less if I weren't surrounded by several hundred cab drivers of Somali heritage. What I do know is that most Muslims take their religion very seriously. I've heard that the Qur'an dictates to "kill the infidels," but I know there are verses in the Bible that suggest that non-believers are also to be condemned to death. My point in this is that any religion can spawn fanaticism. Though not known, it could be argued that Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh was a Scientologist. Would that city be right in banning construction of a Church of Scientology within a few blocks of the Federal building memorial?

What bothers me the most is that this is a New York City zoning issue and nothing more. While I may understand the president issuing a statement, why the hell is Harry Reid, whose constituents are nearly 2,000 miles away, saying a damn thing about this?

Eventually the Islamic canter will be built and with any luck, we can get beyond this issue and focus on getting Americans back to work.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blogcast: "Don't snitch" a huge obstacle in solving north Minneapolis murders...

Click here to listen to the blogcast.

With 20 murders in north Minneapolis alone, police are not getting much cooperation from people in the neighborhood.

Murray's: A high priced disappointment...

For a while now, Lori has wanted to dine at the iconic Murray's restaurant, in downtown Minneapolis. It had been nearly 25 years since I'd been there, so I was looking forward to it as well.

Unfortunately, we were a little disappointed with our experience. First, the dining area just looked old, and not in a charming way either. I know I'm getting up there in age, but it took a family with a 12 year old girl to bring the median age down to about 55. I swear, it resembled the dining hall of a nursing home.

Lori and I both had the 20 ounce rib eye. I know that's not the leanest cut of meat, but 3-4 ounces of the steak comprised of uneatable fat and gristle. Lori's cut looked a little better, but not much. All this for about $115 for the two of us. And all we had to drink was iced tea.

I will say the crab cake we had for an appetiser was ok, even if it was a little small.

All in all, not a great deal for the money. The service was ok at best. The food did not live up to the price tag, and the dining area just looked worn out.

It's a shame. Murray's has been a part of the Minneapolis landscape for decades. I think, however, they need a little bit of an upgrade.

As for us, next time we want a good steak dinner, we'll just go back to our old faithful, Texas Roadhouse, in Coon Rapids. A great steak dinner at about half the price of what we paid at Murray's.

Much better atmosphere, as well...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A couple of great additions to downtown Minneapolis...

Sales tax expansion really a bad idea?

As I mentioned briefly on the blogcast, the idea of expanding the sales tax to apply to things like food and clothing, as well as some personal services may not be all bad. The idea has been put forth by IP gubernatorial candidate, Tom Horner. The plan has been dismissed by DFL candidate, Mark Dayton as being a regressive tax, while GOP candidate, Tom Emmer is against any increase in taxes whatsoever.

Now, I agree such an expansion of the sales tax would be hard on low income families, but I would think there would be a way to exempt those folks with either a rebate or an exemption card.

There is no way Minnesota can close the $6 billion budget gap on spending cuts alone, there is going to have to be some new revenue to draw from. Senator Dayton's plan to up taxes on wealthier Minnesotans is a good start, but will it be enough?

As election day draws closer, it will be interesting to see if any of these candidates can offer real solutions or just more rhetoric. Any budget deal will have to include both cuts and added revenue. The cuts should be more along the lines of consolidating some services, as opposed to dropping the services all together. Any increase in revenue should come from various sources, including increased taxes on the wealthy, expanding the sales tax as explained earlier and possible increases in the fuel tax. Further taxes on booze and smokes would not be a bad idea either.

What I'm saying is that everything needs to be on the table. Regardless of who wins in November, the governor will have to work with the legislature to find a truly balanced approach to solving the budget crisis.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Busy docket for this Saturday's show

Some of the things on my mind for this Saturday's show are the results of August 10th primaries, as well as an early look at what to expect in the upcoming gubernatorial election, in Minnesota.

Also, the events leading to the release of Koua Fong Lee and what needs to happen to get Americans back to work.

Your calls are always welcome. The fun begins at 4pm, Central time.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The solution seems so simple...

I'm not an economics major, but it seems to me the the solution to our economic woes should be simple. Feel free to comment if you think I'm way off here.

The more folks are working, the more they are spending on goods and services, right? So, what if every company boosted the number of workers their payroll by as little as 5%. It would be tough on these companies for a month or so, but eventually, these workers would be pumping money back into the economy and in theory, it would be enough to cover the wages spent on the extra workers.

We all want to see a robust free market economy, but someone has to step up to the plate and start hiring, to get the ball rolling again.

This administration needs to get tough on these companies that are shipping jobs overseas. You want Americans to by your products, you better put Americans to work making these products.

I said it earlier in a tweet... If I were president, I'd tell big business, either you put these folks to work or I will. And I'd tax the hell out of these multi-national companies until a decided majority of their workers were Americans.

I guess I'll never be president, huh?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not exactly as I'd hoped it would go...

My (rather large) gut feelings after yesterday's primary...

Despite what the polls said, going into the election, I'm a little surprised Matt Entenza did as poorly as he did. Entenza tapped a part of the population that many pollsters overlook, in the poorer urban neighborhoods. Unfortunately, that sector of the electorate either let him down or was not enough to carry him. On a personal level, I liked Matt. I think he did wonderful job of getting his message to the voters. I will always be appreciative for him taking the time to come on the blogcast last May. If there was a knock on Matt, it may have been his heavy emphasis on scrapping No Child Left Behind. In a climate of a shaky economy and budget shortfall, education tends to be a back burner issue.

When Entenza announced his concession, I was pulling more for Margaret Anderson Kelliher. When I went to bed, she was up by enough of a margin, that I was sure that she was going to get the nod. Needless to say, the news of Dayton being in the lead, when I got up, this morning, came as a bit of a surprise.

So, it will be Mark Dayton representing the DFL, in the general election for governor. Wasn't my first choice, or my second choice, for that matter. But the fact remains that a majority of people who share the same ideology as I voted for him, so come November, I will do my civic duty, once again and cast my vote for the candidate I feel will best serve the people of this state. Out of the three candidates to choose from, in my opinion, that would be Mark Dayton.

As for the notion that 60% or so of DFLers did not support Dayton, I'd be hard pressed to believe that many people that voted for Matt Entenza or Margaret Anderson Kelliher would ever consider voting for Tom Emmer or even Tom Horner, for that matter.

I expect this to be a mean campaign, with much more focus on personal demons than actual issues. I really hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Poll: Who did you vote for in Minnesota's primary?

I originally found this poll on The Raabe Review.

Poll: Who did you vote for in Minnesota's primary?

Minneapolis cab drivers need to wake up and smell the coffee...

The following is a message I received on Facebook earlier today. I took the liberty of cleaning up the grammar a bit, as my writings on this blog slaughter the English language enough, as it is.

Lyn L. F. Lynner
August 10, 2010 at 3:37pm
Subject: interview

Just to let you know that Eid and I did not value your pulling all that negativity during the interview concerning the east African driver's body odor, lack of perfect English, and cell phone usage.

We felt betrayed and further insulted.

There has been enough garbage about the drivers, and, unbeknown to us, you chose to slip-in the comments after my Star-Tribune interview-- how low of you.


This made a good story for you, this incendiary stuff, but also brought in trash-- little did you support us after first contacting me, and I do not want anything to do with you again.

Apparently, your concern is yourself, your ego, and money.

Do not contact me again. I am erasing you from my Facebook site.
-------
Well dear, as you not only "unfriended" me on Facebook, you also blocked me, so I really didn't get a fair chance to reply to you in private. So you leave me no choice but to do so here.

It was never my intention to belittle what Eid and the other drivers were talking about having gone through. I do think, however, that your rational that the east African drivers are being unjustly singled out is hogwash. Like I said in the interview, if 95% of the drivers are of one particular ethnic make-up, it would only stand to reason that 95% of any citations issued would logically go to that particular group of drivers.

As far as the concerns I expressed from the general public, did you think I was making this shit up. Even if 50% of the comments expressed were from bigoted fools, there is still plenty of dissatisfaction from the taxi riding public, as well as too many legitimate complaints from motorists about the driving skills of area cab drivers, again, 95% of which are of east African descent.

I don't give a damn if these drivers are from east Africa or west Bumfuck. There is nothing I can do about the fact that both Minneapolis and St. Paul have exploited willingness of these immigrants' desire to drive a cab, thus tripling the number of taxis on the streets from that of just a few years ago. All I can do, is try to make the taxi industry a more palatable option in the overall transportation picture.

Your organization has the ability to reach out to the drivers that have less than desirable driving and customer service skills and try to make them understand that we're all in this together.

Or you can continue this poor me mentality, that will only serve to further drive away customers. Public opinion is not on your side.

Ballot box is open with no waiting...

Have you voted yet today? I did, at about quarter past seven, this morning. Pretty simple ballot for us folks in Anoka.

You know, I never have quite figured out why something as simple as casting a ballot is done by so few of us that are eligible to do so. We'll park 200 yards away from the front door of our closest Wal-Mart to save 75 cents on 12 rolls of toilet paper, but most of us can't take 5 minutes to help choose our leaders.

Yet, it seems these are the same people that piss and moan about the direction the country is going.

In my opinion, you have two fundamental rights in this country. The right to vote and the right to shut your pie hole if you are just too concerned with your own little world to take a few minutes to do so.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

May have been wrong about Dayton's health condition.

It seems I might have underestimated the health condition of Mark Dayton. For the first time, I actually got a chance to watch the three DFL candidates in their final debate at the Fitz. At no time did Dayton seem winded or uncomfortable. I swear, I heard him almost gasping at times, when he was interviewed by MPR's Gary Eichten, earlier this last week.

If so, I'm glad I was wrong.

The choice is becomming more clear...

As a fan of the idea of single payer health care, if that were the only issue of importance to me, I'd have to write off my preference for Matt Entenza. Other than that specific heath care model, there's not much difference in the agendas of Entenza, Mark Dayton or Margaret Anderson Kelliher, at least in my opinion.

So you may ask why I'm so steadfast in my support of Matt Entenza. I know I've bored you by now with my story of how Matt did a nearly half hour long interview on the blogcast, when the Kelliher and Dayton camps couldn't even reply to the request. But as I've watched this campaign unfold, I'm beginning to think that Entenza may be the only one of the DFL candidates that will have enough political moxie to drive his agenda across to what may prove to be a more evenly divided State House and Senate.

I don't mean this to be a knock on Kelliher or Dayton. Well.. Maybe I do. I like some of Mark Dayton's ideas, but I can't get over that whole "Five Worst Senators" label that Time Magazine tagged him with, seemingly with good reason, according to what I've read. I'd discount this whole thing if it were the Weekly Standard writing this, but Time Magazine? And I'm having a real problem with the whole, I won the endorsement, so you should support me, aura surrounding the Kelliher campaign.

Like I've said in the past, I will support whoever wins the DFL nod. But as long as I have a choice of who that may be, my vote will still go to Matt Entenza.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Co-pilots...

Taxi talk could have gone for 2 hours...

Click here to listen to the archive...

As it was, we only had an hour and so many issues to talk about. I want to thank Lyn Lynner and Eid, from the Minneapolis Taxi Drivers and Owners Association for joining me on the show.

This will not be the last time we address this subject, as so many people's way of making a living, including my own, is at stake here.

Entenza: Still a good chance...

In response to: Why I'm sticking with Matt and Robyne...

I'm not quite ready to hand the trophy to Senator Dayton just yet. Matt has done a remarkable job of reaching out to potential voters that just aren't on the radar screen of Dayton, Kelliher or anybody conducting polls. Entenza even took the time to grant a nearly half hour long interview on my blogcast. A request Dayton or Kelliher couldn't even reply to.

Don't count Matt and Robyne out, by any means. I think the party may be in for a big surprise next week.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Taxi talk, this Saturday...

Click here to listen, Saturday at 4pm

I don't claim to be an expert on politics, government or race relations. But after 29 years, I think I know what I'm talking about when it comes to the taxicab industry.

Saturday afternoon, on the blogcast, I will dedicate a full hour to the Minneapolis taxi industry. Lyn Lynner, from the Minneapolis Taxi Owners and Drivers Association will join me to talk about alleged harassment some drivers claim happens regularly. We'll also talk about the city's plan to remove the cap on the number of taxis licenced to operate.

As always, your calls are welcome.

A little concerned about Mark Dayton...

I write this with complete sincerity...

Over the last few days, I've listened to DFL gubernatorial candidate, Mark Dayton in debates and other interviews, where he sounds like he's a little out of breath, especially when he's answering a pointed question.

I have no insight into Dayton's heath history, but if I didn't know any better, I'd swear the DFL front runner was dealing with some heart issues.

On several occasions during a mid day interview, yesterday, on MPR, Dayton sounded like he was actually gasping for air.

I know this feeling, first hand, as I've dealt with shortness of breath on several occasions, while doing the blogcast. I have mild cardiomyopathy, myself. I hate to say it, but I'm a little concerned about the former senator's health.

In no way am I suggesting that even if he did have a heart condition, that it would disqualify him from being a an effective governor. Hell, one of our greatest presidents was stricken with polio. I would just ask him to take these apparent warning signs seriously and take care of himself, regardless if wins the primary and goes on to the general election or not.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Were we really ready for a black president?

There was a panel discussion on NPR, today. The topic: Has there been a noticeable change in race relations in the 18 months since President Obama took office?

In my opinion, that would be a big yes. Just not in the way I was hoping for. I'm afraid there has been a slight uptick in vile racist statements in this period of time. Look at how some of the black congressmen were treated after the Health Insurance Reform Act was passed. It's one thing to be angry about the policy, but to spit on someone and use racial slurs, completely unacceptable.

As a white man, it makes me sick to hear hear some ignoramus utter something like "that nigger president" or see caricatures with his likeness in an obvious racial parody. Look, I'm no angel. I'm not about to pull a Mark Fuhrman and try to say that I've never cracked a racial joke. But if I did, it was within a small group of people and it was a passing remark, nothing we dwelt on.

Who I feel sorry for is the Obama children. I'm sure the president and first lady do all they can to shelter the kids from all this garbage. But I'm sure some of it gets through the filtering process.

I pray for this president, like no other. I'm so worried that some wacko that can't deal with the fact that we have a black man in the White House, he'll be driven to extreme measures of some sort. And trust me friends, this hatred has a lot more to do with the color of his skin than it does his politics.

So when someone asks the rhetorical question, was this country ready for a black president? Unfortunately, it looks like we weren't.

God help us all...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Curiosity almost killed the cat...

I felt I needed a little change of pace on my radio dial today, so I tuned in the local Conservative babblefest on FM 100.3, KTLK in Minneapolis. I only had to stomach about 10 minutes of Glenn Beck, fortunately most of that was commercial time.

Then came king blowhard himself, Rush Limbaugh. He started out by suggesting that the president's subdued tone when he announced that BP's effort to "static kill" the blown out Gulf oil well had seemed to be successful, somehow suggested that he was disappointed. He also stopped just short of suggesting that there may be a strain in the Obama's relationship, just because Michelle and their younger daughter, Sasha, were in Spain while he spent his 49th birthday in his hometown of Chicago. I heard him babbling about someone playing the race card, but I was too busy to pay attention to that or much of the rest of the show.

Next, it was Sean Hannity. Oh, excuse me, a special edition of the Sean Hannity Show. I guess every edition is a special edition, so I guess none of them a really that special. Am I the only one that is beginning to think that convicted felon, Oliver North is a quasi co-host on that show? Seems to me the disgraced colonel is on just about every show I've heard. The two took the time to boo-hoo about a city panel's decision, clearing the way for construction of a mosque a couple of blocks away from ground zero, in New York City. They also blasted a planned official apology from the US to Japan for dropping the H-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

One of the things that really hit a nerve with me, was the fact that one of my all time favorite bands, Lynyrd Skynyrd, was agreeing to appear on Hannity's propaganda fest, better known as the "Freedom Concert." To me, Skynyrd's music always represented life in the dirt poor south, a portion of the population Hannity's kind could care less about. Sad to see them sell out like that.

It was late in the Hannity show, when it was reported that US district judge, Vaughn Walker, ruled that the California's Proposition 8 ballot initiative denying marriage rights to same-sex couples was unconstitutional. That, of course, brought up all the brow beating about state's rights.

Both Limbaugh and Hannity's shows featured the obligatory suck up call, that thanked them for all they were doing for their country.

I pretty much had my fill by the time Jason Lewis came on the air. Time for some relief from the oldies station, KOOL 108.

So there you have it, my friends. I took one for the team, just to see what the neo-con's heroes were talking about. As this blog does not offer me hazzard pay, it will be a while before I subject myself to that again.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Seen enough orange yet?

Orange, orange, orange... Everywhere I look, see orange...

Signs, barrels and cones that is... Road closed, lane closed, detour... It's enough to make someone who drives for a living pull his hair out. If I had any left, that is.

Of course, our friends on the right say "Blame Obama and all that stimulus money." Sorry man, just can't go there...

Our roads and bridges are in such disrepair, it will take 2-3 more years of this type of road work just to get them back into the condition I remember before I left the area in '98.

Only problem is, like most of the rest of the stimulus package, nobody seems to know how to pay for it. Politicians, these days, are just too chicken give it straight to the public and just say we need to raise more revenue.

In the case of the roads, the solution is simple. Just a penny per gallon fuel tax would generate a good chunk of change that could be dedicated to keeping our roads drivable. In a years time, I figure my contribution would be an extra 30 bucks. Not bad, when you figure the cost of allignments and replacing blown tires.

Hopefully, whether it's Entenza, Dayton or Kelliher (I know better than to think Emmer would go along) our new governor will understand that rebar, concrete and asphalt cost money. And everybody that uses our Minnesota roads, myself included, need to pony up, so we don't need to go through 5 years worth of road construction in a single season.

According to government estimations of our nation's fuel consumption, a single penny per gallon fuel tax increase would raise 1.4 billion dollars annually.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Kelliher's assessment of support base delusional...

Unfortunately, I was out of town and didn't have a chance to see any of the DFL gubernatorial debate this last Sunday. I'll try to catch some highlights, later on this afternoon and maybe have some more commentary then.

One thing that did catch my attention was Margaret Anderson Kelliher's claim that Matt Entenza's support was "astroturf" in comparison to hers. As a Entenza supporter, this is the type of statement that would turn me away from supporting her in the general election, if she were to win the primary.

With a legitimate choice other than Tom Emmer and the DFL winner looming, I think it's unwise to belittle the support base of one of your primary opponents. At times, it seems Kelliher is resting on the laurels of a few endorsements, instead to reaching out to the actual voters.

Even though Entenza has been lagging in the polls, his numbers are strong enough to suggest that he could pull off the win in the August 10th primary. Just remember, the only poll that really matters is the one at the ballot box.

The only thing that may be dragging Entenza down, in my opinion, is his heavy emphasis on education. While it is an important issue, I think DFL voters are more concerned with jobs and the economy. Matt has addressed these issues, but his latest ad campaigns have been much more heavy on education. Also, Mark Dayton's plan to increase taxes on the wealthy has seemed to resonate with blue collar voters in the DFL.

I just don't see where Margaret Anderson Kelliher thinks she's getting all this grass roots support. She seems to be more popular with groups than individuals. The GLBT community loves her, but other than that, her DFL endorsement and a wishy washy nod from the Strib, I just don't see her having enough support to overtake Dayton or Entenza.

A lot can happen in the week leading up to next Tuesday's primary. Call me crazy, but my money's still on Matt.