While I focus on covering the corruption and dirty politics of the Republican Party, I do keep an eye on what’s happening in the Democratic Party. I just usually don’t write about it. Today, I will.

The redistricting maps have been approved, the lines are drawn and set in stone. I’m not hearing of anyone deciding that based on the new lines, they’re in. If anyone was sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what the new CD3 political landscape looked like, the time to jump into the race has come and gone.

So we’re down to to candidates, and I’ve made my decision who to back – it’s Brian Barnes.

But quite frankly, it doesn’t matter that no one else jumped in; the right candidate – Brian Barnes – was already in!

Brian is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and has served in the Navy Reserves, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Been there, done that: Brian has been a part of the greatest military in the world.

And Brian understands – as all with a military background do – that we, as a country, should only go to war because we HAVE to; unlike Republicans, who think we should go to war because they WANT to.

Brian has a real business background, working for a Minnesota based Fortune 200 company. Been there, done that: Brian knows what it takes to be successful in business.

But it’s more than just a successful background; it’s how Brian has conducted his campaign so far: he’s attracted top-notch talent to his campaign team, he’s attracted young and energetic volunteers, and he’s worked hard to polish his public speaking ability.

Since last summer, Brian’s stump speeches have gotten better and Better and BETTER! In all facets of this campaign, Brian keeps getting better and Better and BETTER! While I’m excited at where this campaign is now, I’m absolutely ecstatic at where it will be as it continues to gain momentum and heads towards the general election!

When I look at what Brian has – and will! – accomplish, it’s easy to understand why: Brian achieved, in his youth, something that sticks and is always with him: Brian is an Eagle Scout.

From the Boy Scout Handbook:

Be Prepared.

That’s the motto of the Boy Scouts.

“Be prepared for what?” someone once asked Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting,

“Why, for any old thing.” said Baden-Powell.

The training you receive in your troop will help you live up to the Scout motto. When someone has an accident, you are prepared because of your first aid instruction. Because of lifesaving practice, you might be able to save a nonswimmer who has fallen into deep water.

But Baden-Powell wasn’t thinking just of being ready for emergencies. His idea was that all Scouts should prepare themselves to become productive citizens and to give happiness to other people. He wanted each Scout to be ready in mind and body for any struggles, and to meet with a strong heart whatever challenges might lie ahead.

Be prepared for life – to live happily and without regret, knowing that you have done your best. That’s what the Scout motto means.

Page updated on: August 05, 2007

Quite frankly, Brian Barnes has the background, the training, the resume, and the temperament to take on Erik Paulsen and win.

Career politician Erik Paulsen first door knocked me in 1994; I didn’t like his politics then and I damned sure don’t like them now.

It’s time to send career politician Paulsen to the private sector – full time – for employment – which, of course, would be a first for him.

And Brian Barnes is the candidate to do just that.

Join me, and help send Brian Barnes, a man you can trust, to represent us – ALL of us – as Minnesota’s next Representative in the United States Congress!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

Last Saturday in Iowa, a “conservative Christian” group held a “Thanksgiving Family Forum” in which 6 GOPers running for president attended. I’m guessing Mitt Romney ducked out declined to attend ’cause he figured – as a Mormon – he might not be welcomed with, shall we say, open arms? I saw the following YouTube on Crooks and Liars in a post titled “Gingrich Claims the U.S. Is ‘More Ruthless’ and ‘Tougher’ When Going to War Because We Send Our Family Members” and predicatbly, Newt got applause – let’s look!

“I think what makes us different and what makes us in some ways when we have good leadership, much more ruthless and much tougher than any other country in the world, is we don’t send soldiers and sailors and Marines and airmen to war.

We send our children. We send our fathers. We send our brothers and sisters. We send our mothers, and therefore there’s a preciousness to this decision, unlike any other country I know of. I think our position has been historic.”

So Newt “Is My Wife Well Enough To Divorce Yet?” Ginchrich – a former college history professor – thinks it’s only Americans on the battlefield that have children, fathers, brothers, sisters & mothers??!?

It should be noted that Gingrich himself, was never on a battlefield, let alone in uniform.

But this one, this one, is so typical of today’s GOPer: they just don’t care what others think:

“…and we frankly couldn’t care less what the rest of the world thinks.”

Why does serial adulterer and Chicken Hawk Newt get away with spewing that cr@p, before an alledgedly “conservative Christian” group, at an event titled “Thanksgiving Family Forum” – and get applause?

Because, as I always say: “Those that forget the lessons of history tend to vote GOP.”

Of course, another explanation is what Ronald Reagan told the adoring masses at the 1988 Republican National Convention: “Facts are stupid things.” Reagan said it, today’s GOP lives it.

And this sordid story is just anther example of You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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The LT & Me – #RoadTrip2011WarmUp, Or….

On August 24, 2011, in Military, by tommy

…Fort Sam Or Bust!

Some folk know that the ol’ TwoPutter’s youngest child recently graduated college (thank God!) and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) (thank GOD!!!). Da Kid reports for Active Duty next month; Da Kid knows that both Great GrandDaddys both were involved in WWI (the “War To End All Wars”); that GrandDaddyCap’nBob did five War Patrols in a submarine in the South Pacific during WWII; that UncleGatorDave and DaddyTwoPutt served…. and the ol’ TwoPutter was fortunate to get to know this ROTC Graduating Class.

But hey! This trip isn’t about Da Kid; this trip is the “warm-up” – Da Kid (as previously noted) doesn’t report for Active Duty as an officer in Uncle Sam’s military until the end o’ NEXT month!!! This trip (and blogpost, an subsequent tweets under the hashtag #RoadTrip2011WarmUp) is about a fellow graduating senior and fellow ROTC classmate o’ Da Kid’s; said fellow also bein’ a newly-minted 2LT!

Said 2LT called the ol’ TwoPutter and said: “Hey! TwoPutt!! How would you, like to accompany me, a freshly minted 2LT, on a Road Trip to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio where I have to report for Active Duty on Friday?”

Ummm… I was speechless…..

For about 2 seconds.

#RoadTrip2011WarmUp, here I come!!!

Timing is a wonderful thing – last week, I wouldn’t be able to make the trip; next week, neither. This week? Sing it, Willie!!! “On the road again….”

And it just so happens, this weekend is the VFW’s National Convention. If you’re in San Antonio this Friday, look for me at Texas’ Oldest VFW Post

It’s an honor to escort the 2LT to Fort Sam for Active Duty- and hey! What a delightful warm up to #RoadTrip2011 – which will be traveling with Da (2LT) Kid to report for Active Duty in California!

And if you’re into a few “on the road again” yucks, like what’s for late lunch/early dinner later today, follow me on Twitter!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

In a State Republican Party known for it’s mendacity, GOPer Mike Parry is making his mark. First gaining notoriety in 2009 as a candidate for scrubbing his twitter account of racist comments, now Parry is cherry picking from a letter written by Tom Lannon, Commander of the Minnesota American Legion on May 9th to GOPers Mike Parry and Morrie Lanning, with a cc: to Gov. Dayton.

Parry took that letter, and proceeded to write one of his own to Gov. Dayton. Here’s how Parry starts it off:

Dear Governor Dayton,

This morning, I received a letter from the State Commander of the American Legion that recognizes the legislature has openly and publicly defended our stance to hold veterans and the Department of Military Affairs harmless in our budget. The State Commander correctly recognized that the honorable men and women that serve in our armed forces have been a top priority with both the Senate and House for the entirety of this session.

OK, no problemo there; here’s the exact cut ‘n paste from the American Legion’s State Commander:

9 May 2011
From: State Commander of the Minnesota American Legion
To: Chairman of the Conferee Committee of the Senate and House State Government and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Mr. Chairman,

You, as well as your co-chair, have openly and publicly defended your stand to hold Veterans Affairs harmless in the difficult issues of pending budget cuts this year. For that we are both thankful and grateful.

Here’s where Parry takes leave of his senses cherry picks – Parry continues, in his letter to Dayton:

The rhetoric being used by your administration completely disregards the legislature’s intent to provide the funding necessary to provide care to our veterans in our state’s veterans homes, to assist veterans in securing federal benefits and to maintain the readiness of our national guard. At the first hint of discretionary authority, you directed your staff to cut veterans and military affairs.

Complete BS. Of course, coming from the party of Tim “we leave with money in the bank” Pawlenty and Mary “I didn’t own that bank” Kiffmeyer, it’s not surprising.

Here’s what the American Legion’s State Commander wrote:

Last Friday, in testimony the Department of Veterans Affairs had to make recommended cut projections based on guidance from the administration in the event that a cut scenario played out. This is exactly what Commissioner Shellito did, and we respect his actions.

In that hearing, the House and Senate again reaffirmed their stance to hold harmless the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Military Affairs in possible cuts. The Chairman asked if anyone had any way to make that more clear to offer a suggestion. Well, sir, I would like to offer two.

#1
Add specific language in The Ominous [sic] Bill UES1047-2 on both sides (House and Senate) on page R19 when addressing any overall general cuts and on pages R20 and R21 at the opening of both Military and Veterans Affairs budgets.

Let’s look at that again:

Last Friday, in testimony the Department of Veterans Affairs had to make recommended cut projections based on guidance from the administration in the event that a cut scenario played out. This is exactly what Commissioner Shellito did, and we respect his actions.

And why did General Shellito have to do that? Because the House version wasn’t tight enough; basically, the House version – despite it’s “intent” – just said “trust us.” The American Legion recognized that problem, and made specific recommendations to tighten it up.

Again, Governor Dayton got the same letter; Dayton sent Parry and Lanning a letter based on it (and when I can get a link to Dayton’s letter, I’ll update) that recognized the American Legion’s point and asked to meet to work it out and get it done.

Apparently, Dayton’s letter to Parry crossed paths during delivery, with Parry’s letter to Dayton.

But while Dayton’s letter was professional, Parry went off the deep end. Here’s how Parry finishes his letter:

I grew up in a military household. I served eight years in the National Guard. I have been around the military and veterans my whole life and I know what leadership looks like. What you have done to the military and veterans community is not leadership.

And that’s why I’m saying Parry is cherry picking the American Legion Commander’s letter. Parry starts out taking the credit and praise the Commander gave; then ignores the part about General Shellito’s testimony and goes for an insult: “that’s not leadership!”

No surprise there! Hey, if he’ll scrub a twitter account, why would it surprise anyone that Parry’ll cherry pick and make (stuff) up?

What did General Shellito testify last Friday? My take on it is here; here’s a cut ‘n paste from the Strib:

State VA chief: Budget cuts by GOP would hurt veterans
Article by: RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER , Star Tribune Updated: May 5, 2011 – 11:18 PM

Republican committee chairman in the House called Shellito’s analysis “a complete overreaction.”

Republican budget cuts could trigger the closure of at least one veterans’ home, higher burial fees for veterans’ families and elimination of the Bronze Star grave marker program, according to state Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito.

Shellito, who led the state National Guard under former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, said the budget as it stands would result in layoffs and other cuts, even though Republicans had pledged to protect veterans from spending reductions. “I’m very concerned,” Shellito said.

Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, the House State Government Finance chair, said the administration’s estimates are a “worse, worse, worse case scenario.” He called Shellito’s analysis “a complete overreaction.” (more, at StarTribune.com)

“overreaction”? Nope – that’s not how the American Legion Commander’s letter of Monday reads. Not at all.

Bottom line: the Commander of the American Legion made a concrete effort – through his letter – to fix the problem General Shellito testified about; Governor Dayton sent a professional letter to Parry and Lanning offering to meet to fix the problem using the Commander’s suggestion, but Parry fired back like a powder keg at a Tea Party.

Yet it’s Parry claiming “Today, I saw a very angry governor,” Parry said??!?

Dayton could have easily – EASILY – said: “This morning, I read a letter from a very angry Legislator” – but he didn’t.

Could of, but he didn’t.

Parry did.

But hey, that’s the kind of guy Parry is; that’s the kind of party Parry is from.

It’s time Parry quits pandering to his angry Tea Party base, gets that bill tightened up, passed, and sent to the Governor’s desk.

In other words, it’s time Parry starts doing his job.

Well, not just Parry; the GOP majorities need to get their act together and get some bills to the Governor’s desk.

Just don’t hold your breath….

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

I often say “those that forget the lessons of history, tend to vote GOP”. And it’s no coincidence that that link was to a blogpost about Generals and the GOP ChickenHawks that were supervising them.

In short, even before the Reign Of Error by Boy Blunder And The Plunderers began, Neo-Cons had this swell idea of invading Iraq. Along comes 911 and Osama Been Forgotten Osama NowBe Dead – PNAC’s “New Pearl Harbor”, and these boys are in business.

One of the first casualties in the misAdministration of Bush The Lesser’s switch from The Powell Doctrine (war of overpowering force) to The RumsFailed Doctrine (war on the cheap) was General Erric Shinseki, who had the audacity to tell Congress what they needed to hear – not what Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et al wanted them to hear. Here’s what Wolfowitz said, following Shinseki’s testimony that Iraq would (correctly) require hundreds of thousands of troops to secure the peace: “wildly off the mark.” So Shinseki was sacked.

To recap – the Good Soldier, General Shinseki, called it like he saw it – and the GOPers trashed him. That was then.

This is now:

State VA chief: Budget cuts by GOP would hurt veterans
Article by: RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER , Star Tribune Updated: May 5, 2011 – 11:18 PM

Republican committee chairman in the House called Shellito’s analysis “a complete overreaction.”

Republican budget cuts could trigger the closure of at least one veterans’ home, higher burial fees for veterans’ families and elimination of the Bronze Star grave marker program, according to state Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito.

Shellito, who led the state National Guard under former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, said the budget as it stands would result in layoffs and other cuts, even though Republicans had pledged to protect veterans from spending reductions. “I’m very concerned,” Shellito said.

Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, the House State Government Finance chair, said the administration’s estimates are a “worse, worse, worse case scenario.” He called Shellito’s analysis “a complete overreaction.” (more, at StarTribune.com)

Then, Wolfowitz: “wildly off the mark.” Now, Lanning: “a complete overreaction.”

Me? I’m going with the guys that served with honor – the Generals.

Especially since GOPer these days, when caught tellin’ whoppers defend it by saying (stuff) like “His remark was not intended to be a factual statement.” Of course, there’s also the simple fact that Lanning and his cronies have been using Enron-style accounting to get their numbers.

GOP “Leadership” is completely shameless in covering for their mendacity – and Lanning is simply today’s example of a GOPer that happily wraps himself in a flag every chance there’s a camera around – and stabs a veteran in the back every time there’s not. Wolfowitz, Lanning – they’re all the same.

The more things change, the more they don’t – and “those that forget the lessons of history, tend to vote GOP.”

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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