Long story short: the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis used to be a pit. Among the Home’s campus were old buildings that had not been well maintained along with others that even had they been properly maintained were obsolete anyway. And, a dangerous one. In addition to the deferred maintenance there were problems with care to the point that patients had died. So a plan was put in place, and the turn around began. From an October 14, 2010 Strib story:

Outside, earth movers were starting work on a new nursing home that in two years will replace a Depression-era building condemned after steel supports began rusting away.

Last Friday a group of veterans representing nine major veterans groups called The Commanders Task Force held a press conference at the State Capitol concerning this. From their press release:

“The state veterans community is alarmed that funding for the project is in limbo at this time in both the House and Senate.”

The plan called for three phases. The first, referenced in that Strib story, was fully funded and completed. Phase II, the demolition of the north half of a building that veterans groups contend is far short of minimal standards for a quality nursing home, is funded. But, Phase II is on hold, because Phase III is the demolition of the south half of the same building. Quite simply, Phase II can’t move forward as planned if Phase III isn’t funded and scheduled.

Last Saturday, at the Minnesota 7th District VFW (“Veterans of Foreign Wars”) Convention, the Legislative Committee gave their report: DFL Leadership in neither the House nor the Senate seem to consider finishing this project a priority; in fact, House Leadership announced appointment of the Speaker’s Select Committee On Veterans Housing minutes before the Commanders Task Force’s press conference on Friday. This Committee, appointed by Speaker of the House Paul Thissen (DFL-61B) , was charged with “examin(ing) housing issues facing Minnesota veterans, including veterans with long-term care needs and homeless veterans. The committee will issue a report with their recommendations by February 1, 2014.”

To put it quite mildly, the Legislative Update report was not warmly received by the veterans in attendance. For many, far from it.

The House and the Senate’s priorities differ with Governor Dayton’s as Governor Dayton has called for fully funding Phase III. This puts the Governor’s Office squarely at odds with the Legislature on an issue that American Legion Commander Don Pankake called the number one legislative priority for the nine veterans organizations holding last Friday’s press conference. Governor Dayton’s proposed Capital Bonding bill includes funding for Phase 3 for the Minneapolis veterans Home. “Governor Dayton has committed to funding the next phase of the Minneapolis Veterans Home in his last two bonding proposals,” said Dayton spokesperson Katharine Tinucci in an email statement today. “For the benefit of our veterans, who have given so much, the Governor will continue advocating for that position throughout this legislative session.”

The State House of Representatives bonding proposal does not. A request for comment to the DFL House Caucus regarding Speaker Thissen’s thoughts about including Phase III funding this session was not returned at time of publication. With the Legislature Constitutionally required to finish its work by Monday, May 20th, Veterans groups will be watching closely to see if Legislators follow Governor Dayton’s lead by including funding for a project underway.

(cross posted from Twin Cities Daily Planet)

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“Let’s Do The Time Warp Again!”

The call went out, to far and wide (even Facebook!) for The WingNut Faithful to gather at a bar in Arden Hills (where presumably, they didn’t have to tip because Waitrons make $100,000 a year! for a special, heart-searching event: “MnGOP Panel: Where Do We Go From Here? – What went wrong in 2012, and moving forward in 2013″

And what a panel it was! “Moderated” by EXTREME right wingers Mitch Berg and Jeff Johnson, Senator Dave Thompson, Walter Hudson, Andy Parrish, Sarah Janecek, Dan “Dac” Severson, Marianne Stebbins and Mark Westphal were the main draws!

I didn’t go; watching the action on Twitter Hashtags #wdwgfh & #MnGOP13) was entertainment enough for yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter!

And clearly, these assembled party faithful have not a clue.

Which, for a Progressive, is GREAT news! But, the best news, is the apparent formation of a “Draft Emmer” clown car – here’s the tweet that clued me in!!!


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And here’s the photo in that tweet!

YES!!! That’s THE ticket!!!

Dear Tom Emmer – I hear Brad Biers is available! Of course, that might get Brad in a little hot water with his boss….

In all seriousness, I didn’t catch a tweet that got to the nub of what is wrong with today’s scandal-plagued Mn GOP; especially how you couldn’t trust the GOP then, you still can’t now, and tomorrow won’t be any different – “right”, Senator Hann?

For those that are interested in what’s REALLY wrong with today’s GOP, Hamline Professor David Schultz recently penned “The Moral Crisis of the Republican Party”. I highly recommend those reading this, read it.

Obviously, those in attendence last night hadn’t.

Here’s an example of the candidacy of Tom Emmer in 2010, and why those GOPers that are electable are not endorsable (and those GOPers endorsable are not electable) in today’s MnGOP – via YouTube:

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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Who Is Election Energy, And Why It Matters

On November 28, 2012, in Candidates, Justice, by tommy

Last week, we discussed Verified Twitter Accounts – specifically, that Minnesota Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson had one. On Monday, we looked at Chief Justice Lorie Gildea’s expenses on her Campaign Finance Reports (“CFB”) for her campaign website – well, specifically, the lack thereof.

Today, we’re going to look at website expenses for the campaign of Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson – and several other prominent Republicans. We’ll start with one such prominent Republican, the soon-to-be former GOP Senate Caucus Leader Dave Senjem – a screenshot from Senjem’s CFB report is above. On Sen Senjem’s CFB report, you’ll note the expenses of $250 and $12 on 31 July and 17 September 2012 for website related fees to “Election Energy” to a street address in Apple Valley. That street address matches the address listed which was found during a Domain Search for www.ElectionEnergy.com; link to screenshot here.

Justice G. Barry Anderson also used Election Energy as a vendor; on his latest CFB report it’s his largest vendor – accounting for almost 30% of his campaign’s expenditures (almost $19k). Except, on Anderson’s CFB report, there’s a different address for Election Energy; it’s listed as a P. O. Box.

Hmmm…. Time to check property tax records for the address reported by Senjem’s campaign! And what do we find? It seems the address used by Senjem, and NOT used by Anderson, is owned by: “Grant B. and Louise H. Anderson”.

Sources have confirmed the address used by Senjem, but NOT by Anderson, is indeed Justice G. Barry Anderson’s home.

Of course, it’s possible that “Election Energy” – using a business address of State Supreme Court Justice Grant B. Anderson, who goes by “G. Barry Anderson” – isn’t owned by Justice Anderson; it’s possible it’s owned by his son, Grant Anderson, who is acting as Justice Anderson’s digital director.

Better check with the Secretary of State’s Office, and find out who is the registered owner(s) of “Election Energy”!

Hmmmm….. An on-line search, via the Secretary of State’s office reveals: “No results match the criteria entered.”. Hmmm, maybe I’m doing something wrong? No, said the nice person at the Secretary of State’s Business Services Section – they couldn’t find any record of registration either.

Does a website company that’s physically located in Minnesota, has customers in Minnesota, and is soliciting for more business need to be registered? Well, according to the nice person at the Secretary of State’s office, who did NOT know the nature of the people involved – a sitting State Supreme Court justice, for one – said while not an attorney, it appears that under statutes 303 and 331 – the short answer is yes.

To recap: what we appear to have is an unlicensed business being run out of the home of a Supreme Court Justice that has said Justice as a customer. Additional customers include current GOP Senator Senjem, former GOP State Rep Keith Downey, soon-to-be GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, and fellow Supreme Court Justice David Stras, whose campaign sent $5,000 to Election Energy’s P.O. Box.

Here’s what I wrote in the post about Gildea:

If there is anyone who’s campaign finance reports should be squeaky clean and transparent, it’s a judge running for re-election – especially the judge running to retain the seat for Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court.

Consider that said about Justice G. Barry too. There’s some ‘splainin’ to do….

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

Last week, we discussed Verified Twitter Accounts – specifically, that Minnesota Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson had one, and we were looking at his re-election Campaign Finance Reports. And we are; stay tuned for what’s turned up! While doing so, we also took a look at two of the other candidates for re-election to the Supreme Court – Justice David Stras, who also had a Twitter Verified Account, and Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, who didn’t. Something stuck out while going through Chief Justice Gildea’s reports – by omission.

Everybody these days has a campaign web site; candidates for State Supreme Court being no different. And as anybody that’s ever set one up knows, they cost dough. Pick a domain name, register it, build the website, host it… Well, picking the name is free. Registration and building a website and hosting it? Not so much. The image, above, is from 2007, back when Pawlenty Appointee Justice Gildea first ran for re-election; the domain for the website is www.JusticeLorieGildea.com.

A review of Justice Gildea’s Campaign Finance Reports for 2007 does not show an expenditure nor an in-kind donation for any of that. Nor does her 2008 Report. Clearly it’s there; registered 09 Feb 07.

Fast forward to February 2012, and the image to the right. It’s the “Who Is” Domain Registration (www.ChiefJusticeLorieGildea.com) information for the Pawlenty appointed Gildea, who is now running for re-election for Chief State Supreme Court Justice.

On Chief Justice’s campaign website, the disclaimer on the bottom reads “Prepared and paid for by Minnesotans for Chief Justice Gildea, P.O. Box…”

Yet again, a review of Chief Justice Gildea’s Campaign Finance Reports for 2012 does not show an expenditure nor an in-kind donation for the new campaign website domain. Nor for building a new website, nor for hosting a website.

If there is anyone who’s campaign finance reports should be squeaky clean and transparent, it’s a judge running for re-election – especially the judge running to retain the seat for Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court.

An email and phone call for an explanation to the Campaign Treasurer for both campaigns have not been returned.

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

About Those Twitter “Verified Accounts”

On November 23, 2012, in Candidates, Justice, by tommy

Regular Readers will probably remember yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, had media credentials for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. And we had a LOT of fun covering Charlotte 2012, beginning with finding fake lemons in the tree outside of failed Veep Candidate Paul Ryan’s WI Office. While in the media area of Charlotte 2012, I happened across the Twitter Office of, well, Twitter – picture to the right.

So I stopped to talk to the nice people at Twitter, and asked ‘em how yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, could get one o’ those elusive, but coveted, blue checkmarks for my Twitter account – signifying a Twitter “Verified Account”. There’s a screenshot, below, on what these check marks look like.

Here’s what Twitter says about ‘em:

What kinds of accounts get verified?

Twitter proactively verifies accounts on an ongoing basis to make it easier for users to find who they’re looking for. We concentrate on highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, advertising, business, and other key interest areas. We verify business partners from time to time and individuals at high risk of impersonation.

We do not accept requests for verification from the general public. If you fall under one of the above categories and your Twitter account meets our qualifications for verification, we may reach out to you in the future.(emphasis added)

I figured it’d be a slam dunker; there I was with the media credentials, and I already had worked with Twitter to get a few nasty fake twitter accounts (stuff)-canned that had been causing problems for yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter.

So when I asked the nice person at Twitter, in the media area, at Charlotte 2012 about it, the nice person handed me off to another nice person working for Twitter – in sales.

Yes, “sales.” And here’s what I was told:

For most folks, it takes dough to get one of those elusive, but coveted, blue check marks that indicate a “verified account;” a blue check mark like you see to the right on a screen shot of Minnesota Supreme Court G. Barry Anderson’s Twitter account.

How much dough, I asked. $15,000.00 was the answer; but not necessarily all at once – it could be spread out over a couple of months. I explained I had read the Twitter “Verified Account” policy; it seemed I qualified for a freebee for two reasons (as outlined above). Reply? Nope. Cash. Well, it was also explained that if someone who was already spending dough on Twitter ads and promoted tweets, etc already had one, Twitter often gave one o’ those elusive but coveted check marks to a friend/associate/whatever of one of said spenders as a comp.

I checked around with a few media types in the media areas while in Charlotte, and heard in essence: yep, that’s how the “Verified Account” game was played. Did a little digging on google too. No biggie; if that’s the way the game was played and since I didn’t have – let alone plan on spending – $15 biggies, no blue check mark for yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter.

Fast forward to October 8th, 2012, and a story by Strib Reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger: “Promoted Justice On Twitter”. Rachel writes about the blue “verified account” check mark that’s shown on the screen shot you see just a little bit above on the Twitter Account of G. Barry Anderson, running for re-election for his seat on the bench on Minnesota’s Supreme Court.

Here’s Rachel’s lede:

Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson may be making history, 140-characters at a time.

The justice, first appointed to the high court by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2004, is using promoted tweets to advance his campaign to stay on the court. He is among the first prominent Minnesota politicians to use promotion, Twitter’s version of online advertising, in his campaign. (emphasis added)

Rachel also noted that Justice Anderson’s Digital Director is the Justice’s son, Grant Anderson. Noted now is that Justice Anderson’s campaign web page is credited, on the web page, to Election Energy.

Didn’t think much of Rachel’s story, at the time. And pretty much forgot about it, until I saw and retweeted the tweet to the right. OK, a lot has been said by a lot of people about Michael Brodkorb – including by me – for, ahem, “a variety of reasons.”

One thing a lot of people that have said a lot about Michael Brodkorb also say is that when it comes down to political skills and instincts, it pays to pay attention to Michael Brodkorb. So if Michael thought “the campaign spending & contribution report” of Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson was “interesting” – well, yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, pays attention.

And said report is indeed interesting – and we’ll get to what yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter has found.

So – stay tuned!!!

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

The scandal plagued Republican State Senator from Eden Prairie, David Hann, was elected by his fellow Senate Republicans to lead their Caucus as Minority Leader. No surprise there! Beginning in January 2011, when the Senate Republicans took over, it has been scandal after scandal after scandal by these Republican scoundrels.

The latest scandal coming from these State Senate Republicans has to do with their newly elected leader, David Hann, and it has to do with a conflict of interest and his perceived cover up of it. Boiled down, it is in essence: who does Hann work for, what does Hann do, and when did Hann start doing it?

And Hann ducked the only major news outlet in the Metro – Tom Lyden of Fox9 News – that picked up on this scandal. To be fair, MinnPost picked up on Fox9 picking the story up. Everybody else? Cue the crickets!

Now, when Hann’s fellow campers in the scandal plagued Republican Senate Caucus elected him, they also sent out a Press Release describing Hann as follows:

“Senator Hann was elected to his fourth term in the Senate earlier this week. He was first elected in 2002. Prior to his service in the Senate, Hann was elected three times to the Eden Prairie School board where he served as clerk and treasurer. He was also employed at E. A. Sween Co. (Deli Express) for 22 years, where he served in several capacities including Director of Forecasting and Logistics.”

What we’ve found since the Hann Scandal first broke is that Hann is now a licensed insurance agent, works for an insurance company (Boys And Tyler), and serves on the Board of Directors of an insurance industry trade group (Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters).

To no surprise, no mention of what has come to light about Hann (not the industry, nor the company, nor his job, nor his trade association position), in the Senate Republican Caucus’ press release, announcing and describing their newly elected fearless leader’s new job – Minority Leader.

During his recent campaign, David Hann clearly demonstrated he did not believe the public deserved to know his source of employment. Based on the press release by the Republican Senate Caucus he now leads, they don’t think so either.

***
Photo Credit to Minnesota Public Radio for the image above – which pictures the so-called Gang Of Four at the infamous December 2011 Press Conference.

Previous coverage of Hann’s ongoing scandal follows:

“Republicans pick the most corrupt Senator to lead them, David Hann” — Friday, November 9th, 2012

“More Questions For The List Of Questions David Hann Hasn’t Answered” — Thursday, November 8th, 2012

“GOP State Senator David Hann Endorsed For Re-Election – By His Boss” — Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

“BREAKING: David Hann On Board Of Directors For Trade Association He Oversees — Monday, October 29th

“BREAKING: David Hann Scrubs His Website, or: “Let The WhiteWash Begin!” — 9:35 pm, Friday, October 26th

“TV station sees conflict of interest for Sen. Hann, others” — 2:12pm, Friday, October 26th

“Fox9 News Scandal Coverage: “What does Sen. David Hann do for a living?” — 10:41am, Friday, October 26th

“What does Sen. David Hann do for a living?” — 7:55pm, Thursday October 25th

“When is a Conflict of Interest, a Conflict of Interest? You Decide.” — Thursday, October 25th, 2012

“Conflict of Interest? David Hann, GOP Health Insurance Salesman” — 5:00am, Thursday October 25th, 2012

*** related, but not directly:

“Minnesota Senate Republicans Are Out Of Control” — Friday, November 2nd, 2012

“Brodkorb Fallout: Consider The Source” — Monday, October 15th, 2012

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

At the local watering hole, a guy who’s economy has been BushWhacked asked if the ol’ TwoPutter was gonna cover Willard’s #DineAndDashWithCash event at the Lafayette Club on Lake Minnetonka. These days, he commutes to work on a bicycle and wanted to catch a ride. No problemo! We met and left, arriving in the land of the one percent around 5pm; and twitter action commenced! Tweets with links to pictures, below.

I wasn’t planning on writing this up, but a blogpost, “An Evening With Mitt Romney”, by noted right winger John Hinderaker changed my mind.

I’m not going to fisk Hinderaker’s whole babbling; just a few lines. Here they are:

Rounding the corner to pull into the Lafayette Club’s parking lot, security was tight. Across the road, a pathetic, ragtag group of left-wing protesters were chanting, as usual, “We are the 99 percent.” There were conservative counter-protesters too; I couldn’t tell which group was more numerous. The largest sign said “Romney Creates Jobs.” I wanted to park my car, get out and confront the leftists, but unfortunately the security arrangements didn’t permit that. Otherwise, I would have approached some of them and taped interviews. The question I always want to ask is, “If you are the 99 percent, why are there only 11 of you?”(emphasis added)

As has been noted here on MPP before, most recently with regards to the GOP State Senate’s “Lunch Hour Lit Drop” scandal, right wingers seem to always say: “Who ya gonna believe – us, or yer lyin’ eyes?”

So let’s look at the tweets, and keep in mind what Hinderaker wrote, above!

@TwoPuttTommy KMSP TV covering protest at #Romney’s #DineAndDashWithCash event in #MN #StribPol #2012 http://twitpic.com/amxtep

(ok, to be fair – that may be where Hinderaker got his “only 11 of you?” line…)

@TwoPuttTommy 1st bus arriving with protestors at #Romney’s #DineAndDashWithCash event at Lafayette Club on Lake Mtka #2012 #StribPol http://twitpic.com/amxytw

(clearly, there were WAY more than “only 11 of you?”…)

@TwoPuttTommy Protestors yelling “we are the 99%” at #Romney’s #DineAndDashWithCash event #2012 #Stribpol http://twitpic.com/amy0o0

(yep! Protestors did indeed yell that, as noted by Hinderaker…)

@TwoPuttTommy Another bus with protestors arriving at #Romney’s #DineAndDashWithCash event #2012 #StribPol http://twitpic.com/amy1nc

(“…only 11 of you?” Yeah, “right”)

@TwoPuttTommy Norm Coleman just arrived at #Romney’s #DineAndDashWithCash event! Think I saw McClung, too. #2012 #StribPol http://twitpic.com/amy74m

(Normie, it should be remembered, is the The Court-Certified “4th Most Corrupt” Senator in Congress, which explains his popularity in today’s GOP – “Greed Over Principles” – Party)

@TwoPuttTommy And ANOTHER bus arrives with protestors at #Romney’s #DineAndDashWithCash event #1U #2012 #StribPol http://twitpic.com/amy8pp

@TwoPuttTommy Protestors at #Romney’s #DineAndDashWithCash event in MN have a message of him #1U #2012 #StribPol #p2 http://twitpic.com/amyckh

(ok, remember, above, “The largest sign said “Romney Creates Jobs.””? That’s the truth, the PARTIAL truth, and nothing BUT the partial truth. But, hey – who ya gonna believe, right winger Hinderaker, or yer lyin’ eyes??!?)

@TwoPuttTommy Workers at #Bain owned companies talking about #RomneyEconomy at Mitten’s #DineAndDashWithCash event #1U #StribPol #p2 http://twitpic.com/amye0m

TwoPuttTommy “what’s outrageous? #Bain Capital wages!” #Romney #DineAndDashWithCash event #1U #p2 #2012 #StribPol http://twitpic.com/amyf34

@TwoPuttTommy #Romney motorcade arrives for #DineAndDashWithCash event, has to pass in front of protestors #1U #2012 #StribPol http://twitpic.com/amyn3w

OK, @JaviMorillo followed up that tweet; ya gotta see the picture!!!

@javimorillo Did Paul Ryan come with Mitt Romney to Minnesota? I think we just saw him drive by. #fb #stribpol pic.twitter.com/F2eBSTYN Retweeted by Tommy Johnson

Had to put Javi’s tweet in here!!!

Anyway, the point of all this, is Hinderaker gives a GOPer “Point Of View” (think: “fact challenged”) on Willard’s #DineAndDashWithCash event; Willard didn’t take any time to meet with anyone that wasn’t willing to pay for that privilege. No surprise there!

And Hinderaker’s pathetic post is just today’s example of: You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

For the local Fox TV Station’s take on the event, link here. At the 1:06 mark? The guy I went there with, that’s been BushWhacked. And IMNSHO, he’s spot on, with his comment about Romney. Of course, he could have been referring to Hinderaker, too….

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

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Whilst watching the tweets on #MNCaucus results, this one caught my eye:

That, Ladies and Gents, is a Tweet from the Independence Party Of Minnesota, the Party that (for now) has Major Party status.

Overwhelmingly, Democrats in Minnesota oppose the GreedOverPrinciples Party’s bigoted and hateful proposal to amend Minnesota’s Constitution by restricting the rights of our LGBT Brothers and Sisters. Specifically, they want to deny the right of our LGBT Sisters and Brothers to marry, thereby insuring Minnesota stays a state where marriage is an institution of “One Man And One Woman (at a time).”

And according to that tweet from the Independence Party, they reject Republican bigotry and hate, too.

Add into that Ron Paul’s strong showing in Minnesota last night, and it looks like Minnesota may be the very first state to reject an anti-LGBT amendment to a State Constitution!

To ensure defeat, there’s a lot of work to be done. Fortunately, Minnesotans United For ALL Families is out there working hard – I saw ‘em at my Caucus Precinct last night, and was told they were all over this great state.

Go show ‘em some love, would ya? When I pledge allegiance to the flag, it ends: “…with Liberty and Justice for all.”

Yes, “all” - which includes my LGBT Brothers and Sisters.

Yours, too.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

Over at MnPublius, Jeff wonders “how many (constitutional) amendments they’ll (the GOP) ultimately put on the (Minnesota) ballot” and that by doing so, the GOP is over extending themselves.

Overextending themselves with, for instance, today’s State House Hearing on the GOP’s proposed Constitutional Amendment to use the Constitution to limit freedom and cement RightWingNutBigotry into stone. And that’s just one “for instance.” As bad as the GreedOverPrinciples party is here in Minnesota, we have a Gov. Dayton preventing this state going down the Wisconsin GOPer wHoleBunchOfCraziness.

The image to the right is “Today’s Most Popular Articles” from Madison’s The Daily Page. What started in February, in Wisconsin, is still going strong. Six Wisconsin GOPers face recall action. To be sure, GOPers are targeting Wisconsin Democrats, even going so far as allegedly offering Shots For Signatures. What hasn’t been seen on the GOPer side is people – as in people in the streets. Like at Hudson, on March 15th, and there were hundreds protesting GOPer Governor Scott “Baseball Bat” Walker – and eight – EIGHT – there to support him. People are still out and about and making their voices heard; the following YouTube was made from scenes from the Wisconsin Capitol from April 25th to the 29th. (I got the link from First Draft via email notification Crooks&Liars).

“The future belongs to those who are passionate and work hard.” And what the GOPers have started – in Minnesota, in Wisconsin, in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and elsewhere – is far from over.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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Enjoying The Frozen Tundra! Or…

On December 14, 2010, in Environment, by tommy

…”Swimming In A Winter Wonder Land.”

A lot of people know I’m a “snow plow jockey” – I’m in the snow plowing business. Of course, for essentially the last decade, that’s been theoretical; it simply hasn’t snowed much. This year? We’ve gotten essentially a season’s worth of snow in a month and a half. And that season’s worth of snow has come down in basically three big dumps: the November 13th blizzard (which was really wet snow), the December 3rd thru 4th storm, and December 10th thru 11th blizzrd, the 5th largest dump in Minnesota history. What is notable about these three storms that were all over 8 inches in depth, is (according to the Univ. of Mn) we only average a greater than 8 inch snowfall every other year.

Through recorded history, Minnesota’s snow came mainly in the form of “Alberta Clippers” – which are fast moving storms that dump a quick inch, two, even up to four inches of light powdery fluff that’s easy to plow, easy to shovel, and generally are more of a nuisance (for those that don’t ski, snowmobile, or otherwise play* in the snow. The last decade or so? Not so much; it’s these big dumps we’re getting. From someone in “da bidness” – let me tell you, I’d much rather have five two inch snowfalls, than one ten inch snowfall.

Those big dumps are a lot of work and they are hard on equipment. Dangerous, too. I’m kind of caught up on sleep; still sore all over. Most (nobody makes everybody happy) of the ol’ TwoPutter’s customers are happy over the service they received; we’ll see how happy they are when they get the bill….

So it was nice to see MN2020.org give a shout-out to Plow Jockeys – even if they were talking about the guys that drive the really, Really, REALLY big trucks that keep the Interstates, the State Highways, and County and City roads open. They really, Really, REALLY did a fantastic job during this last record-setting storm. From MN2020′s “For Those About to Plow, We Salute You”:

Despite steady, predictable conservative policy rants declaring that government is failing, city, county and state snowplow drivers achieved an impossible level of street clearing in a remarkably short of amount of time. Government did this, acting on our collective directive to maintain safe, free-flowing and commercially vital transportation infrastructure. As a consequence, emergency calls were answered, people traveled safely to and from work, and Minnesota quickly returned to the business of Minnesota prosperity.

They nailed that one – even if they didn’t mention the small guys with trucks (like me!) that also did yeoman’s work. That said, Gentle Readers, after finishing the work of cleaning up that storm, yours truly, the ol’ TwoPutter, decided to relax with a quick dip to refresh myself. You may have noted the asterisk above, behind “play.” Unbeknownst to me, my wife decided to take a picture of me at play – the link is below.

Winter weather does strange things to tundra trudgers up here in the frozen north. And quite frankly, if you’re gonna live here, you gotta figure out how to love the snow. That said, I’d like to remind our Gentle Readers that while driving during snowfalls – SLOW DOWN. Oh – and “Happy HanaRamaKwanzMas” to you and yours!

* those easily offended, or that can’t take a joke, shouldn’t look at the link. You’ve been warned!


(link here for “swimming in a winter wonder land…”)

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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