Well, and out of touch, too.
That screen shot, to the “far right” (pun intended)? Those are tweets that were fired off last night by Bob Koss – who bills himself as, and this is a quote: “Free thinking conservative. Proud staffer at the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus.” Koss is a Legislative Assistant for Joe Gimse.
The target of Koss’ tirade? Republican State Representative John Kriesel, an Iraq War Veteran. Rep. Kriesel’s offense, to “earn” comments such as “RINO” & “Piece of (stuff)” & “SOB” & “shameless self promoter”?
Kriesel had the audacity to speak his mind on the floor of the House of Representatives and then allow that speech to be included in a television ad advocating a “No” vote on the marriage restriction constitutional amendment.
Predictably, the media picked up on Koss’ WAY out of line attack; KSTP TV reported on it this morning – “Twitter War Breaks Out Between Rep. Kriesel, Staffer Koss” – and City Pages not only wrote about it; they have screen shots of the entire exchange.
This so-called “twitter war” is simply the latest example of an out of control Republican Senate Caucus.
And where are the Republican Senators? Senate Majority “Leader” Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, is in Rochester trying to save his political skin. Asistant Majority “Leader” David Hann, R-Eden Prairie (the alleged co-chair of the Republican Senate Re-Election effort) is, well, who knows where? He’s been ducking the press ever since Fox9 TV ran a story: “What Does Hann Do For A Living?”.
As far as I can tell, it’s understandable the Senate Republican Caucus’ Communications “Director” – Steve Sviggum – couldn’t jump into the fray and stop Koss, a caucus staffer, from committing poltical hari kari on twitter last night – because as far as I can tell, Sviggum – the Communications “Director” – isn’t even ON twitter.
It’s an insult to clown cars to call the scandal plagued Senate Republican Caucus a “clown car.”
Hopefully next Wednesday, they WILL be called “the MINORITY Republican Senate Caucus.”
(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)
These days, republiCons are wailing and gnashing teeth over their belief that the media bends over backwards to push a liberal/leftist/socialist/french fry APPEASER narrative for the Democratic Party nationally, the DFL here in Minnesota, and all office holders and/or candidates with a “D” after their names. Indeed, noted local Gas Bag Of The Midway even has a blog category labeled “TC Media Bias”.
If that were true – which it is NOT – one would think that leftist local “traditional” (a/k/a, “MSM”) media would be all over a story about an incumbent Republican State Representative that owes over $140,000 in tax liens for failing to pay withholding taxes and sales/use taxes, yes?
After all, this story has been in the blogs, most notably at Left.MN (“GOP Rep. Ernie Leidiger owes over $144,000 in unpaid taxes”) and BrickCity.com (“Do You Stand With Ernie Leidiger?”).
So, what does a just-completed google search turn up, about all the stories written by all those liberal/leftist/socialist/French Fry eatin’ APPEASER reporters, about Ernie? Let’s look!
OK, a different search (“web”) did turn up a recent commentary about Ernie in the Chanhassen paper, but: that had to do with Ernie’s boorishness, not his personal fiscal irresponsibility.
Ladies and Gentlemen, all the right wing ranting about “liberal bias” in the media can best be summed up by what I always say:
Keep in mind, that the right wing nut job wailing and gnashing of teeth over their so-called media bias is, after all, coming from the Party Of Cooked Books and it’s apologists.
(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)
Monday January 16th is Martin Luther King Day. I just got an email in the ol’ in box – let’s look!
“(W)e refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.”
We’ve come a long way since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke those words on a fateful summer day in 1963.
But despite the great strides that have been made over the last half century, there is still work required of us to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity of which King dreamed.
While we are a rich country, too many children attend failing schools.
While many Americans prosper, too many are working too hard for too little.
While bigotry and intolerance are rightly shunned, too many politicians in Washington still quietly seek to perpetuate divisions–based on race, religion, gender and sexuality. They still tell us that those who differ from us are to be feared.
Yes, we’re a better, stronger, more just society than we were in 1963, but there is work left to be done.
So as we honor Dr. King on Monday, let us also take time to renew the calling of his life and make it our own–in this election and beyond.
Brian Barnes has announced his candidacy to replace the guy on the “right” – Erik Paulsen. What can I say about Paulsen in just a few words? Well, career-politician Erik Paulsen first door knocked me WAY back, when running for the Minnesota State House – I didn’t like Paulsen’s politics then and I damn sure don’t like them now. Oh – and his voting record closely resembles Michele Bachmann’s. If you believe the 1% needs devoted water carriers in Washington D.C., Paulsen’s just the guy.
Brian Barnes, on the other hand, has been a union member. He’s been active in the Democratic Party (“DFL” here in Minnesota). He’s a graduate of the
Coast Guard Merchant Marine Academy, achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserves, is a successful businessman. Oh – and Brian is an Eagle Scout, too.
It’s a clear contrast. And if you support the 1% and Erik Paulsen, you need not do a thing – Wall Street Fat Cats are making sure Paulsen has PLENTY of dough for November’s election. If you support the 99%, Brian can use your help, and you can help out via Brian’s Act Blue page.
It’s fitting Brain Barnes took that quote to honor Martin Luther King Day; that quote is from MLK’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech, which Dr, King delivered on August 28, 1963. As Brain said above, we HAVE come a long way since Dr. King’s speech – and there’s work left to be done. So, let’s DO IT!
To help you get ready for Monday’s Martin Luther King Day, here’s a YouTube of Dr. King’s speech, over music – enjoy!
(the song above – “Spiritual High (Part 3)” – is from the album “Mood Food” by Mood Swings, and is available where I buy my music – The Electric Fetus. If you like Chrissie Hynde, check out “Spiritual High (Part 1)” – Chrissie singing at her best!)
(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)
(OK, Jeff Strate wrote the following post – but hey! I’m in the YouTube, so I’m reposting Jeff’s post here!)
The Junk Yard Democrats (Tommy Johnson, Norb Gernes and Doug Lind) pay homage to Johnny Cash’s signature song and Erik Paulsen’s signature record in Congress with “He Talks the Line.” The Timid Video Theater production premiers on Democratic Visions next week, but here’s a sneak peak:
The song has been retro-fitted with lyrics by Lind who claims in local saloons that he once wrote jokes for comedy legend (2nd tier) Jackie Vernon. Democratic Visions is produced through DFL Senate District 42, Eden Prairie/Minnetonka.
(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)
Democratic Visions ON CABLE
Comcast Channel 15 – Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, Richfield and Eden Prairie Sundays at 9 p.m. and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
Bloomington Cable Channel 16 – on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m.
MTN Channel 17- Minneapolis Sundays at 7 p.m. When MTN’s webmaster gets around to it, repeats will be posted in “TV Guide” at http://www.mtn.org/.
Democratic Visions has become Minnesota’s best and most supportive broadcast/video venue for Progressives and Democrats. The program is produced by Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Edina volunteers for DFL Senate District 42.
(segment cross posted from MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)
I got the Media Advisory from the DFL: DFL Chair to Discuss Irregularities in GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Emmer’s Finances. I figured it had to do with Emmer’s campaign finances, so I figured I’d attend. After all, GOPers are notorious for their finances; for instance, take a look at The Tostenson Memo pointing out highly irregular and exceedingly questionable “reporting” – and after all, the now-GOP State Chair was then- GOP State Treasurer: FEC Tony.
So I figured this was just gonna be another case of a GOPer campaign demonstrating, once again, that old adage: “Numbers Don’t Lie (but Republicans use numbers)”.
Especially with Emmer’s… well, how shall I say this? OK, I’ll say this: with Emmer’s documented aversion to telling the truth on the campaign trail.
So, I was a little surprised when I got there and the topic o’ the presser wasn’t Emmer’s “campaign” finances, but his “personal” finances – specifically, according to the media handout, “Tom Emmer’s Mortgage History” (image below the fold).
And I got a background in real estate; as does a family member. And when I saw that handout, I immediately thought:
If you don’t know what “Liar Loans” are, google it (or, just click on the previous link).
Now, I’m not sayin’ Emmer did “Liar Loans” personally; what I’m saying is that those 7 mortgages in 8 years (on just one property) listed by the “Prepared by the Minnesota DFL Party. Printed in house. Labor donated.” handout sure raises the ol’ red flag up the flagpole!
And DFL Chair Melendez didn’t “say” Emmer was doin’ the ol’ Liar Loan Shuffle; Melendez was simply saying Emmer needs to come clean about his mortgage financing record.
IMNSHO, I agree. An appraiser pal did some quick research into some easy-to-understand background on Liar Loans for me – and for you, the Gentle Reader! Let’s look!!!
From Slate.com, good description of liar loans in the marketplace:
Inside the Liar’s Loan
How the mortgage industry nurtured deceit.
By Mark Gimein
Posted Thursday, April 24, 2008
The term is mortgage-industry slang for what’s more formally called a “stated income” mortgage—a mortgage that a lender gives without checking tax returns, employment history, or pretty much anything else. Many of the loans that are in trouble now, or will be in trouble soon, fall into this category. But the term gives only the barest hint of the pervasive failure involved.
The original idea of the stated income mortgage was that it would benefit salespeople who work on commission, people who own their own businesses, and others for whom predicting next year’s income isn’t just a matter of looking at last year’s.
At the height of the mortgage boom, however, especially in pricey markets, the liar’s loan became a routine way of doing business; for some lenders—both smaller ones like IndyMac and WMC as well as big ones like Countrywide and Washington Mutual—it was the main way. In 2006 in some parts of the country, these loans made up as much as half of new mortgages, for both subprime borrowers and for homebuyers with high credit scores.
From 2005, RealtyTimes.com, before the fraudfest became widely known:
New Report: Housing Boom Stimulating Mortgage Application Fraud Boom
by Kenneth R. Harney
The national housing boom is producing a companion boom — one that you don’t read about as much: Dishonesty and outright fraud by home buyers and mortgage and realty industry professionals on loan applications has exploded in the past two years.
A newly-released national study by a research group says fraud-related cases on mortgage applications reported to the FBI more than doubled between 2003 and 2004.
The Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARI), which pools fraud information supplied by hundreds of mortgage lenders, says loan fraud is worst in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Utah and North Carolina. Individual cities with high fraud rates — based on “serious early delinquencies” on home loans closed during 2004 — include Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Orlando, Charlotte, Memphis and Scranton.
From PBS.org – and this one should just make you plain sick because it is completely dead-on:
April 3, 2009
The financial industry brought the economy to its knees, but how did they get away with it? With the nation wondering how to hold the bankers accountable, Bill Moyers sits down with William K. Black, the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. Black offers his analysis of what went wrong and his critique of the bailout.
Now, this type of fraud – “Liar Loans” – isn’t new; Appraisers have been trying – TRYING – to raise Holy (Heck) about it for a long, Long, LONG time. For instance, here’s a petition started by Appraisers back in December, Y2K:
“The ASC’s mission is to ensure that real estate appraisers, who perform appraisals in real estate transactions that could expose the United States government to financial loss, are sufficiently trained and tested to assure competency and independent judgment according to uniform high professional standards and ethics.” From the ASC website.
The concern of this petition has to do with our “independent judgment” in performing real estate appraisals. We, the undersigned, represent a large number of licensed and certified real estate appraisers in the United States, who seek your assistance in solving a problem facing us on a daily basis. Lenders (meaning any and all of the following: banks, savings and loans, mortgage brokers, credit unions and loan officers in general; not to mention real estate agents) have individuals within their ranks, who, as a normal course of business, apply pressure on appraisers to hit or exceed a predetermined value
Now, again – I’m NOT sayin’ Tom Emmer was involved in Liar Loans; I am – AM – saying Melendez is correct: it’s time Emmer opened up his finances; the same way the State GOP demanded an accounting from Horner:
“In the face of mounting public pressure, Tom Horner has dug in his heels by repeatedly refusing to release his client list,” read a MN GOP statement. “Horner likes to talk about having ‘honest conversations’ with Minnesotans, but he won’t be honest with them about how he’s lined his pockets over the years with special interest money. It’s past time for Horner to come clean and release his client list.” (MinnesotaIndependent.com)
Take the above and take a look at the following list (prepared by the DFL) and it’s clear:
Tom Emmer, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!
Especially considering FEC Tony’s recent quote in story in MinnPost:
“This gets to a core issue. You can’t hold yourself to a different standard than you hold everyone else.” — MN GOP Chair Tony Sutton
(cross posted from MnProgresiveProject.com; comments welcome there)
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, just 4 days ago, a lot of DFLers took the time to help Paul Thissen celebrate the opening of his campaign office. And I mean ” a lot.” I was surprised by the turnout. Some of them are already confirmed and dedicated Thissen supporters, such as the couple that made the trip down from Duluth. Others were curious about Paul, and what they told me is that they are finding out that Paul Thissen is a serious guy running a serious campaign. One of my questions was how a metro area DFLer would do in Greater Minnesota; I was told a YouTube addressing that very issue would be posted on Team Thissen’s website. Since it now is, let’s take a look!
With yesterday’s “developments”, the race is wide open. Running hard is Paul Thissen. Team Thissen is a team to watch.
(crossposted from MnProggressiveProject)
Those that have received an e-mail from me may have noted I end each message with:
It’s just before the privacy disclosure; it’s also at the bottom of my comments to others on threads at MnBlue, too.
And it came from an old saying back when I served on active duty; a saying that we repeated proudly when the duty was cold, or wet; when we were miserable, tired, hungry and hadn’t slept for God knows how long; when we were low on supplies, outmanned or outflanked, or any and all of the above – “It’s a great day to be a soldier.” It served as a motivation tool – that when the going got tough, the tough got going.
I thought of this after Erik’s “Veterans for Paulsen” rally, yesterday. In a room full of veterans, Paulsen addressed the crowd and whined:
“They’re lying about me; they’re smearing me!”
Cry me a river, Erik.
Paulsen started his campaign denying who he is – a far right extremist. Even the right-leaning Star Tribune didn’t buy that one:
“Paulsen was a fiscal and social conservative in the Legislature, voting for measures that this newspaper opposed. Why he’s casting himself as a moderate in this race is unclear. His conservative credentials are solid; he should have run on them.”(Star Tribune Editorial)
Paulsen started his campaign distorting his record:
“Paulsen launches this bid after years of working in bipartisan fashion, across the aisle, to get results in the business world and in the Minnesota legislature.”(PaulsenForCongress)
If anyone knows someone that thinks Erik Paulsen rose within Republican ranks to the role of Majority Leader in the State Legislatute during this decade by “…working in bipartisan fashion, across the aisle…” send ‘em my way – I got some
swampland “waterfront property” I’d like to sell ‘em.
All this, and more, yet Paulsen has the nerve to run a TV ad, whining “My opponent is LYING about me!”??!?
Seems like Paulsen’s been doing some lying himself, about himself.
Not just content to distorting who he is and what his record is, Paulsen reached a new low with a recent ad: according to an October 29th Twin Cities Public Television (“TPT”) press release, Paulsen’s campaign was using TPT copywrited video footage in a different campaign ad. TPT reports they twice asked the Paulsen campaign to essentially cease and desist; the campaign didn’t – which necessitated the press release. From that release:
As a non-partisan public television station, tpt has never consented to use of our copyrighted materials by any political candidate or party. In previous campaigns, we have requested that candidates – Democrats, Independents and Republicans – cease use of similar material, and all have complied.
Twin Cities Public Television has sent two formal requests to the Paulsen campaign to remove all tpt footage from their ad; as of today, that request has not been honored.
We are therefore issuing this statement, taking appropriate legal action, and would like to alert all stations broadcasting the ad that it represents a clear copyright violation. We furthermore request that broadcasters cease airing the spot until our proprietary footage has been removed.
City Pages notes:
We would show you the ad, but TPT’s tenacity has paid off. After notifying YouTube of the copyright violation, the website pulled down the ad. “Since the Paulsen site was using an embedded version from YouTube, the ad was effectively removed from their site as well,” says TPT spokesman Stephen Usery.
And I’m not going to bother to detail the disgusting spectacle of Republican Party Chair Ron Carey’s nor Republican Geoff Michell’s thinly vieled bigotry concerning Paulsen’s opponent, the honorably discharged Marine, Ashwin Media. Suffice it to say Paulsen didn’t have the spine, nor guts, to do the despicable himself; he hid behind others doing his dirty work.
It’s no secret I’m not a fan of Erik Paulsen, but that’s only because I’ve followed his political career since he first doorknocked me in 1994. For fourteen years I’ve watched Paulsen and followed his record, so I’m not surprised at the shenanigans he’s pulled this during this election cycle.
But I was surprised to see and hear him whine in front of veterans. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Erik Paulsen, on the other hand, whines.
(cross posted at MnBlue.Com)
(originally posted at MnProgressiveProject.com)
“We’re never been stay the course, George.” — George W. Bush, attempting to distance himself from what has been his core strategy in Iraq for the last three years, interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, October 22nd, 2006
I picked this Bushism for a very special reason. Just as Boy Blunder tried to distance himself from who he is and what he believes, “right” here in Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District there’s a Republican candidate for Congress that’s tried to pull the same stuff concerning who he is, what he’s done, and what he believes – Erik Paulsen.
Let’s go back, and look at what part of what I wrote concerning Erik Paulsen’s campaign announcement, in January:
At his announcement, Erik Paulsen claimed to have, and I quote from his press release: “…years of working in bipartisan fashion, across the aisle, to get results in the business world and in the Minnesota legislature.”
Yeah, “right.” Anyone even slightly paying attention understands Erik Paulsen did not rise to Republican state House leadership position by being “bi-partisan.”
Right out of the box, Paulsen forces the interested citizen to question his credibility.
The very first line of the press release says, and again I quote: “Saying ‘Congress is broken, I will work to fix it,’ Erik Paulsen….”
Just who does Erik Paulsen think he’s kidding?
Jim Ramstad tried to fix it, and for that he was rewarded by GOP Leadership with backbench status.
If Jim Ramstad couldn’t fix it, what reasonable person could possibly believe Erik Paulsen could?
Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America” fundamentally changed how power is structured in the Republican Party, in Congress.
Serious academics can explain exactly how power was removed from committees and placed in party leadership, leading to things such as the strong-armed ouster of Gingrich and the installation of Dennis Hastert as Speaker, with Tom DeLay the muscle. Not to mention the Abramoff Scandal, the K-Street Project, etc etc etc.
To the layman, the following explains it clearly: when it comes to Republican Congressmen, “the people elect them, but the GOP Leadership directs them.”
Paulsen’s claim he’s going to “work to fix it” is simply not credible.
Like Erik Paulsen is really – as a freshman congressman – going to take on and challenge John Boehner and Roy Blunt’s power and authority?
Quite frankly, in a one page press release, Paulsen seems to have a knack of saying things that simply don’t ring true.
Consider this: “Failed ideas and yearning for the past stand in the way of change. So do the politics of blame, division and partisan spin. Minnesotans are weary of this brand of politics.” (emphasis added).
THAT’S YOUR PARTY YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.(MnBlue)
On that day, January 29th of this year, I asked “Just who does Erik Paulsen think he’s kidding?
Well, who Erik Paulsen didn’t fool, was the Candidate Endorsement Committee at The Star Tribune:
“Paulsen was a fiscal and social conservative in the Legislature, voting for measures that this newspaper opposed. Why he’s casting himself as a moderate in this race is unclear. (emphasis added) His conservative credentials are solid; he should have run on them.”(Star Tribune)
Hmmm….sounds familiar: “We’re never been stay the course” and “I’m a moderate in the mold of Frenzel and Ramstad.”
Simply not credible; simply not believable. Paulsen has run his entire campaign on a house of cards – trying to portray himself as something he clearly is not. It was noted immediately after his campaign announcement, and it was cemented in today’s Star Tribune non-endorsement.
In 83 days, January 20th 2009 will mark The End Of An Error. In one week, Americans go to the polls. Just as George W. Bush’s political career will be over, hopefully career politician Erik Paulsen’s political career will be over, too.
(crossposted at MnBlue)
(originally posted at MnProgressiveProject.com)
Well, it seems that John Kline is outraged – OUTRAGED! – that a candidate is taking footage of Marines in uniform, and using said Marines in an ad. And he’s outraged. Here’s what Blogger Michael Broadkorb is reporting Congressman Kline said, over on M.D.E.:
I am outraged that Ashwin Madia would exploit uniformed Marines to advance his political ambitions. … He should immediately pull down the ad and issue an apology to the drill team and the brave men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps.” (M.D.E.)
Well, one would think, by Congressman Kline’s outrage, that he, himself, would never have used the military, or military veterans, to further HIS “political ambitions”, wouldn’t one? Or, if he HAD used the military, or military veterans, to further HIS “political ambitions”, Congressman Kline would have apologized, right?
Let’s take a look at a John Kline incident, from just two years ago.
On August 12th, 2006, John Kline attended an event with the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), in St. Paul. Randy Pleva, National President of the PVA, sent Congressman Kline a letter on August 28th, thanking Kline for showing up.
Now, it’s important to remember, that the PVA is a 501(c)3 not for profit.
So, what did Congressman Kline do, with that letter, from a not for profit Veterans Organization?
If you guessed Congressman Kline shamelessly used that letter to further Kline’s political career, you would be correct.
Here’s the entire verbage from the SECOND letter the PVA sent to Congressman Kline, dated 31 October 2006:
Dear Congressman Kline,
I write to you regarding a recent campaign flyer distributed by the Kline for Congress campaign (copy attached) that implies my endorsement, as President of Paralyzed Veterans of America, of your reelection. As a 501(c)3 not for profit organization we are precluded by law from endorsing or opposing any candidate for office. Not only was this language taken out of context and used without our knowledge, the fact is that this may put or organization’s good standing in jeopardy.
The language contained in the flyer comes from a letter (attached I sent you August 28, 2006 thanking you for your attendance at a fund raising event conducted by PVA’s Outdoor Recreation Heritage Fund. I find the selective editing for use in the flyer disingenuous at best.
I would appreciate that you and the campaign cease using this implied endorsement.
Randy L. Pleva, Sr.
cc: Federal Election Commission, Office of General Counsel
Here’s the first letter, that John Kline disingenously took out of context:
Here’s the second letter, that the PVA essentially said “cease and desist”:
Now, fastforward to yesterday, and remember Kline demanding someone else issue an apology. Ask yourself this: do you think John Kline ever apologized to the PVA, for shamelessly and disengenuously using Paralyzed American Veterans to shamelessly advance Kline’s career?
If you think Kline did NOT apologize, you would be correct; I know – because I called Randy Pleva, National President, and asked.
John Kline – as usual – is acting like the shameless and disengenuous hypocrite that has caused “GOP” to now stand for GreedOverPrinciples.
“Hypocrisy, thy party is GOP”