Thursday, November 30, 2006

Scary Kerry.

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” recently to explain his “botched joke” which appeared to have denigrated our military.

In a speech given in California in late October, Kerry made the following remarks:

We're here to talk about education, but I want to say something before that. You know, education -- if you make the most of it and you study hard and you do your homework and you make and effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.

On King’s show, Kerry once again attempted to clarify his remarks.

But what's important, Larry, is, look, I left out one word, the word "us." They get "us" stuck in Iraq.

Oh, I get it. So the insinuation is that President Bush didn’t make an effort to be smart and as a result got “us” stuck in Iraq. Yes, George W. Bush, Yale graduate with approximately the same grade point average as…um…John F. Kerry.

This blast from the past was no present.

The other night while driving home I was saying to my wife how I have never felt physically or mentally better in my 37 ½ years on this planet. Of course, I had just completed a day where I ate incredibly healthy, had a good workout at the health club and successfully expanded our business into Rochester. Yes, life was good.

But then reality sunk in a little bit when I received this notice via e-mail:

Announcing the Harding Class of 1987, 20 Year Reunion.

Yes, leave it to my High School classmates to knock me off my high horse. It wasn’t bad enough I went through a tremendous amount of teenage angst while at Harding High, I now have to be reminded that it was over 20 friggin’ years ago!!

The good news is I might be eligible for some of those reunion awards. At our ten-year gig they handed out prizes to the classmates who had the oldest child, youngest child, most children, etc.

If the M.O. is the same, I have a great opportunity to capture the “youngest child” award. After all, the reunion is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 22. If my math is right, that’s ten months from now.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Guns, Shmuns.

Given the fact this happened less than three miles from my home, this particular story caught my attention:

Anthony J. Parks, 17, was shot once by Gerald Whaley, 73, who police said was within his rights to defend himself against a burglar who appeared in his bedroom doorway about 11 p.m.

Whaley told police he heard voices as someone broke in through a garage door in his two-story home. Investigators don't know why Parks was there and are seeking two acquaintances of his who may have information about that night, said Anoka County Sheriff's Capt. Robert Aldrich. He said it's not clear whether Parks had accomplices or if there was a getaway vehicle.

Yes, I am a firm believer in the second amendment. This incident in Anoka County, while devastating for the young victim’s parents, demonstrates that thieves and robbers should think twice before partaking in such hobbies.

Ah, but “DFL” Don Shelby of WCCO news had his own spin on the Whaley shooting. DFL Don normally likes to show how magnanimous he is when opining in his nightly “In The Know” commentaries.

He certainly didn’t disappoint Tuesday.

I'm not so sure.

Years ago, I was pretty sure what I would do, with a wife and three daughters to protect. I didn't have a gun, but I did store a big league baseball bat within reach.

Here, Donny placates his DFL bobos by eschewing the notion he would ever stoop to owning a gun.

And one night, there was a noise downstairs. I grabbed the bat, and determined to use it to kill the intruder if necessary.

Nice touch! DFL Don conveys to the viewing audience that he indeed is the alpha male in a household full of women.

In the kitchen, I snuck up behind the man, sized up the room for a full swing and I reared back. He turned around just then, and asked me where he was. An old fellow, with Alzheimer's, completely lost, had found his way into my house.

With the money Don saved on not buying a gun, perhaps he could have invested in a better alarm system.

We sat him down on the sofa and my wife, knowing someone would be looking for him, flagged down an older woman frantically driving the street.

The woman gathered him up, saying she was sorry and this kind of thing happens from time to time. I don't blame the Coon Rapids guy for shooting the intruder,…..

Here comes the “BUT” monkey.

….but I keep thinking, if I had a gun that night, that nice lady would be a widow.

The moral of the story? Gently approach someone robbing your home and ask them if they merely took a wrong turn.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Who knew?

I was surprised to read of the latest developments surrounding “Kramer” and his racist diatribe.

Bosses at the Los Angeles comedy club where former Seinfeld star Michael Richards shocked fans with a racist rant have demanded the comedian pay $1 million to charity for every one of the 'N' words he used on stage. Richards has been banned from The Laugh Factory for repeatedly calling two African-American hecklers "n**gers" during a foul-mouthed rant onstage there earlier this month. The comedy club bosses now want him to pay for his ill-advised remarks. The comedian has publicly apologized for his comments and appeared on African-American civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson's radio show Keep Hope Alive on Sunday in an effort to make amends.

I can’t tell you how absolutely appalled I was when reading that story. Of all the outrageous things I’ve ever heard, that has to take the cake. I mean, the Rev. Jesse Jackson has a radio show?

Who knew?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

What's next for John Edwards? Exxon gift cards?

Super retailer Wal-Mart has often been the subject of heavy scrutiny by Democratic politicians. The issues often put out by the demagogues are the lack of union employees, poor benefits and low wages. But as was reported earlier this year in The Wall Street Journal, said issues are merely a front to expanding big government.

What Maryland's Delegate James Hubbard, a Democrat from Prince George's County, had to say was revealing of both why he backed his state's "Wal-Mart bill" and what this fight is really about: expanding Medicaid and other taxpayer-funded health-care entitlements.

Let's first understand that the drive to enact anti-Wal-Mart legislation has very little to do with the retail giant except in two respects: dipping into its very deep pockets, and using the controversy surrounding the company to mask the larger agenda of expanding already-bankrupt entitlement programs.

John Edwards, former Senator from North Carolina and VP candidate on the failed Democratic ticket in 2004, has consistently used the issues surrounding Wal-Mart to enhance his potential Presidential run in ’08.

Apparently, the anti Wal-Mart message wasn’t properly conveyed to one of Edwards' lackeys.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday that a staff member for former Sen. John Edwards — a vocal critic of the retailer — asked his local Wal-Mart store for help in getting the potential 2008 presidential candidate a Sony PlayStation 3. Edwards said a volunteer did so by mistake.

Edwards told The Associated Press that the volunteer "feels terrible" about seeking the game unit at Wal-Mart a day after his boss criticized the company, saying it doesn't treat its employees fairly.

The press release issued November 16th by Wal-Mart shows the super retailer will not sit idly by when liberals again decide to use them as their whipping boy.

Just like the millions of Americans who turn to their neighborhood Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT - News) for their holiday shopping needs, Wal-Mart announced today that former Sen. John Edwards is seeking to be one of the first to get a Sony PlayStation3, one of the most coveted holiday gift items this Christmas season.

Yesterday, a staff person for former Sen. Edwards contacted a Wal-Mart electronics manager in Raleigh, North Carolina to obtain a Sony PlayStation3 on behalf of the Senator's family. Later that night, Sen. Edwards reportedly re-told a homespun story to participants of a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union-sponsored call about how his son had chided a fellow student for purchasing shoes at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart welcomes Sen. Edwards to visit his local Wal-Mart store and explore the extensive line of home electronics as well as the Metro7 line shoes for men and boys.

The Company noted the PlayStation3 is an extremely popular item this Christmas season, and while the rest of America's working families are waiting patiently in line, Senator Edwards wants to cut to the front. While, we cannot guarantee that Sen. Edwards will be among one of the first to obtain a PlayStation3, we are certain Sen. Edwards will be able to find great gifts for everyone on his Christmas list - many at Wal-Mart's "roll-back prices."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a beautiful Thanksgiving morning this was!

My wife and I went for about a one hour walk starting at 9:30 this morning. I always enjoy these walks with my gal because it gives us uninterrupted time to talk about anything and everything. It also helps pass the 60-90 minutes quickly. Otherwise we’d have to focus on the rigorous pace at which we are walking.

During the conversation, something dawned on me. In all of my time on this planet, I have been through 38 Thanksgiving days. I have been with my Dad on this Holiday only three times. Those years celebrating Turkey Day with Pop were 1969 (the year of my birth), 1970 and ’71. Mom and Dad were on the brink of divorce in 1971 with the dissolution becoming official in October of ’72. Instead of the usual disdain I start to feel for my father, I actually became thankful for all of the Holidays I have now.

Our tradition is to have Thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws’ home, with my Mom and brother also attending. I suddenly realized today that the five people I’m having dinner with on this day are easily the five most cherished people to me on this earth.

-Mom and Dad Yerger. From the very first day I ever met them (Labor Day, 1998) they have received me and welcomed me into their home. Any parent’s first inclination is to be suspicious of a young man looking to marry their younger daughter. However, they always loved me unconditionally because their daughter did so and they had unshakable faith in their little girl.

-My bro, Eric. As a kid I was an insufferable bully to my brother, who is two years younger than I. I grew up with a lot of misplaced anger, in part because Eric & I didn’t have a man around the house to show us how to be respectable. Thankfully, Eric & I are good buds today, in large part because we empathize with each other in how difficult our growing up years became. That and we always have many good laughs at our Dad’s expense. Hey, I’m not saying we’re being the most dignified by ridiculing the man who abandoned us at ages 3 & 1. But, in this case, laughter is the best medicine.

-My Mom. What can you say about a woman who was thrust into the ranks of single-motherhood at age 30 and yet never displayed her bitterness in front of her young kids? I remember vividly when Eric and I were ages 3 & 5, respectively, and living with Mom in the Highland Park area of St Paul. We could not afford a car at the time and Mom would have to take two MTC buses across town to get to work at 3M. The winters were the worst. We’d get up at 5:30 am and walk to the babysitters in those brutal conditions before Mom would catch her bus. It was dark leaving our house in the morning and going home in the evening. Thankfully, Mom found a two-bedroom apartment in St Paul that summer. It was literally across the street from an elementary school and two miles away from 3M. While we lived in that apartment for 11 long years, Mom always made it feel like a home. She spent all of that time saving every extra penny to someday achieve the dream of living in a home of our own. So in the Summer of 1986 when Mom bought a townhouse, it might as well have been a 10,000 square-foot mansion! Yes, at ages 17 & 15, us kids FINALLY had our own bedrooms!! All of those years of Mom putting her own personal needs aside finally paid off in the blessing of a new home!

-My wife, Jennifer. I could literally take up several pages in a novel writing about my favorite gal. Her gentle, sweet spirit is a great balance for my somewhat temperamental demeanor. In 1997, I compiled a list of the top 20 qualities I would like to see in my ideal woman. I prayed diligently over that list for about a year. It wasn’t until a May 1999 car ride from Green Bay, WI that I realized I had that list in my planner. I read it to my fiancĂ©e, whom I’d been engaged to for three months. Not only did Jen fulfill all twenty desires on that list, she has even more wonderful attributes about her which I adore. It has been the #1 blessing in my life to have a person with whom I can share all the joy and happiness which God has bestowed upon me. Jen & I have a motto for our life together: The Best is Yet to Come! Given that every year in our relationship has been better than the preceding year, we are expecting continued supernatural blessings for our lives!

So on this day which is set aside specifically for giving thanks to all that is good in life, I can say I am truly blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Scarlett's letter

In the almost six years of his Presidency, George W. Bush has drawn the ire of many of the Hollywood elites.

Indeed, the likes of Rob Reiner, Barbra Streisand and Sean Penn regularly savage President Bush regarding his policies on Iraq, the environment and his handling of Hurricane Katrina. You can now add Bush’s faith to the laundry list of what irks the sanctimonious Hollywood folks.

Scarlett Johansson has slammed President George W. Bush for his staunch conservative views on sex, criticizing the Republican for being too unrealistic in his opinions on the topic. The Lost In Translation star last month boasted about being so "socially aware" she gets tested for HIV twice a year.

And somehow Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank were the ones who ended up with the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.” Boy, if that description doesn’t fit ol’ Scar, eh?

A staunch Christian, Bush is vehemently anti-abortion and is seeking to have the operation made illegal in all US states. During his time as Governor of Texas, Bush overhauled the state's sex education system and high school students were taught abstinence was the only way to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. Johansson says, "We are supposed to be liberated in America but if our President had his way, we wouldn't be educated about sex at all. Every woman would have six children and we wouldn't be able to have abortions."

However, a recent study shows that the teen birth rate is at its lowest point on record. That would mean that young girls are either embracing the abstinence message or having abortions.

The same study also determined an all-time high in out-of-wedlock births.

Unfortunately, that is more a reflection of the Hollywood life than the family message which President Bush advocates.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Juiced (UPDATED).

In January 2005, Joe Buck was the head announcer on FOX TV for an NFL playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. After Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss simulated mooning the Green Bay crowd in the end zone, Buck called it a "disgusting act."

I wonder what Joe has to say about his own network for this particular “disgusting act.”

O.J. Simpson will tell FOX "how he would have committed" the slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in an interview to air later this month.
Simpson, who was acquitted of the crimes in a 1994 criminal trial, agreed to an "unrestricted" interview with book publisher Judith Regan. The two-part interview, titled "O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened," will air Nov. 27 and Nov. 29.

"O.J. Simpson, in his own words, tells for the first time how he would have committed the murders if he were the one responsible for the crimes," FOX said in a statement. "In the two-part event, Simpson describes how he would have carried out the murders he has vehemently denied committing for over a decade."

On a positive note, it’s good to see O.J. has enough energy to put into this TV special. After all, he’s spent the better part of the last 11 years in exhaustive searches for the real killers in the various country clubs all across the globe.

I think Dan Barreiro said it best when referring to FOX’s taste in programming.

The next time somebody at Fox's network level tries to get on their high horse about anything relating to morality, remind them of this: Their network said yes to pond scum.

UPDATE: O.J. TV special gets the juice!


Saturday, November 18, 2006

I have a prediction.

I am actually working on a Saturday but I thought I would take a couple of minutes to check Right now, late in the 2nd quarter, the Gophers football team leads Iowa, 20-17. However, if the Gophs lose, they will fall to 5-7 and will not be bowl eligible.


If indeed the Gophers do not defeat Iowa today, perpetual Gopher apologist Star Trib sports columnist Sid Hartman will no doubt refer us to the U of M’s loss to Penn State earlier this season. That was a game where the Gophers were penalized in the overtime period allowing the Nittany Lions to capture a 28-27 win. In the aftermath, Hartman stated in his column that the Big Ten conference issued the University of Minnesota an apology because the pass interference penalty which was called was an officiating error. Come to find out, the Big Ten did no such thing. However, Sidney took the liberty of conveying that lie because the Big Ten does not comment on such matters. Therefore, Sid felt safe that he would not be refuted.

So if the Minnesota Golden Gophers fall one game shy of a bowl bid, Sid Hartman has the built-in excuse of one official taking that prize away. Look for that to be the essence of his column on Sunday.

UPDATE at 2:21 pm: Gophers win, 34-24. However, Sid may still express his dismay on how the Gophers lost an opportunity at a more high-profile bowl game due to the Penn St loss.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Plenty of drama precedes marquee matchup.

Even if you’re not a fan of college football you have no doubt heard about this weekend’s premier match-up. The #1 Ohio State Buckeyes will host the #2 Michigan Wolverines on Saturday afternoon. This promises to be an epic moment in what is college football’s equivalent to the Hatfields and the McCoys. Yes, these two Big Ten stalwarts have been bitter rivals since the early 1900s. It may sound like a clichĂ© to say that won-loss records have never mattered in this long-standing feud, but it’s a fact. However, it’s quite the serendipity that these are the top two teams in the land.

As if there was any doubt where this game ranks in Wolverine-Buckeye lore, Michigan players received a visit this past week from a very prominent figure in this storied rivalry. Bo Schembechler, Michigan’s coach from 1969-89, paid a visit to the team. The intense Schembechler, characterized as a “tyrant” by Minneapolis Star Tribune sports columnist Patrick Reusse, no doubt emphatically conveyed to the players how much Saturday’s game means to him. There was even a rumor that the 77-year old former coach skipped a doctor’s appointment to speak with the team.

Shockingly, as we learned just today, the iconic former coach will not even see the big tilt.

It won't be the same without him.

Not Saturday. Not ever.

Michigan and Ohio State will play a huge football game Saturday afternoon, but something profound will be missing. Glenn E. "Bo" Schembechler will be missing.

One of the very few events that could mitigate the towering anticipation for this matchup between the Wolverines and Buckeyes has stunningly transpired, on the eve of the game. Bo Schembechler has died. Just when it appeared he might stubbornly live forever.

It's a flabbergasting, karmic coincidence -- the Hall of Fame coach dying the day before the biggest of all 103 games in a rivalry he helped enliven. Emotions will be in powerful conflict in Ohio Stadium on Saturday. The game will still be played at a passionate level that Bo would both demand and applaud, but there will be shadows across many hearts in two states.

It's a terribly sad loss for the winningest football school of all time.

In a bizarre side note to all of this, a punk rock group made up of Buckeye faithful has been scheduled for some time now to hold a big concert tonight on the Ohio St campus.

The name of the group? The Dead Schembechlers.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cruise jumped on her couch and now her pride.

The ultimate snub:

Tom Cruise may have famously jumped on Oprah Winfrey's couch to declare his love for fiancee Katie Holmes, but Winfrey won't be attending the couple's wedding in Italy on Saturday. The celebrity couple and their entourage arrived in the European country on Monday and are reportedly getting married in a castle on Lake Bracciano. Winfrey tells US entertainment show Extra, "It's not that I'm not going. It's that they had a limited number of people that they could invite. I was not one of the invitees.”

I think Jimmy Kimmel said it best the other night during the monologue portion of his talk show:

“When you have a guest list of 1,800 people you have to draw the line somewhere. I mean it was either Oprah or the guy who played 'Goose' in Top Gun.”


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Andy Griffith loses in bid for sheriff.

Did you hear? Andy Griffith was running for sheriff of Grant County in Platteville, WI.

A local music store co-owner who changed his name to Andy Griffith to run for sheriff won't be turning Platteville into Mayberry any time soon.

The former William Fenrick finished last among three candidates in Tuesday's race for Grant County sheriff.

He had changed his name earlier this year to that of the actor who portrayed the fictional Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry on TV's "The Andy Griffith Show" in the 1960s.

As if finishing dead last in the race for sheriff wasn’t bad enough, Andy Griffith now faces a lawsuit brought by…uh…Andy Griffith.

The lawsuit, filed Nov. 3 in U.S. District Court in Madison, alleges that William Harold Fenrick, 42, violated trademark and copyright laws as well as the privacy of actor Andy Samuel Griffith when he used his new name -- Andy Griffith -- to promote his candidacy for sheriff in southwestern Wisconsin.

The lawsuit says the former Fenrick changed his name for the "sole purpose of taking advantage of Griffith's notoriety in an attempt to gain votes" and asks the court to order Fenrick to go back to his original name.

Griffith's suit also asks Fenrick to publish disclaimers and an apology in Grant County newspapers, saying he has no association with the actor. It seeks unspecified damages and court fees.

"Now that the election is over, if Fenrick is willing in some fashion to clear the record, we probably could find a way to resolve it," said Griffith's lawyer, Jim Cole.

Maybe if you just give Fenrick Season 5 of “The Andy Griffith Show” on DVD, he’ll comply with the requests of the suit. One of the best episodes ever, “Opie Flunks Arithmetic”, takes place that season!

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Border battle.

Lost in all the political craziness this week was the Minnesota Vikings preparation for their match-up with the Green Bay Packers Sunday at the Metrodome.

This week’s contest is extra special since it may be the final appearance of Packer QB (and future hall of famer) Brett Favre at the Dome. While Favre has certainly been one of the elite quarterbacks of all time, you would never know it by his 4-10 record in the Humpty Dome.

Favre’s personal “House of Horrors” has featured some of the most bizarre moments in the 45-year Vikings-Packers rivalry.

1993: The Pack led 13-12 with under a minute to play when the Vikings found themselves trying to get into field goal range. With the Vikes near midfield and no timeouts, diminutive wide receiver Eric Guliford found himself at the 10-yard line with no Packer defender within 20 yards. QB Jim McMahon lofted a pass to Guliford, who caught it and was knocked out at the 5. Fuad Reveiz booted the winning field goal to give Minnesota a 15-13 triumph.

1994: After throwing an interception which was returned for a touchdown, Favre left the game with an injury. Green Bay backup QB Mark Brunell ran for a TD to give the Pack a 10-7 lead, only to see the Vikings tie at 10 near the end of regulation. Reveiz kicked the game-winning FG in overtime for a 13-10 Vikings win. It was at this point that then Packer coach Mike Holmgren seriously considered pulling the plug on the 2-year Favre experiment and going with the talented Brunell.

1995: With Favre in the midst of an MVP season (his first of three straight), his Packers had the look of a serious playoff contender. However, Favre would also leave this game early due to injury. Backup Ty Detmer played well but was also injured in the second half. Enter third stringer T.J. Rubley. Late in the game, with the scored tied 24-24, Rubley inexplicably audibled out of a quarterback sneak on 3rd down and inches, deciding to go with a pass play instead. The throw was intercepted by Vikes LB Jeff Brady and Reveiz once again came on to kick the game-winning field goal. 27-24, Vikings.

1997: Favre brought the defending Super Bowl champs to the Metrodome on a Monday night and got his first dome win in six tries with a resounding 27-11 Packer victory. While the game was pretty non-descript, it was an off-field incident earlier that morning which captured the biggest headline. An FM radio personality who called himself Cabe (pronounced Kah-Bay) knocked on the door of a hotel room allegedly occupied by Favre. A man sounding like Favre answered the door. In the background radio listeners could also hear the voice of a woman who was not Favre’s wife, Deanna. After the incident was broadcast live on 92 KQRS, word got back to Deanna Favre that Brett was caught with another woman. The whole thing proved to be a hoax since it was not Favre in that hotel room. Cabe was fired and Favre sued the parent company of KQ92. An out-of-court settlement was eventually reached.

2002: Despite his reputation as a consummate professional, Favre had a rare lapse in this season’s contest. After Vikings safety Jack Brewer picked off an errant Favre pass, Brett proceeded to hit him out of bounds, drawing a 15-yard penalty. After the 31-21 defeat, Favre was asked if he deserved the flag. With a half-smile, Favre replied “Yeah”.

2005: In a game which was a microcosm of the 4-12 season registered by Green Bay, they blew a 17-0 halftime lead and lost 23-20 on a 56-yard Paul Edinger field goal at the gun. I never saw Favre with a more stunned look on his face.

If indeed Brett Favre retires at the end of this season, he will not remember his Minnesota visits fondly.

However, all NFL fans will definitely see him again in the Summer of 2012 at a podium in Canton, OH.

That is when he’ll accept his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dems look to have seized Senate also.

The Democrats take over of the Congress looks to be completed.

In the Virginia US Senate race, Republican incumbent George Allen appears to have been ousted by Democratic challenger Jim Webb.

Allen's campaign issued a statement noting that state officials are conducting a canvass of the votes cast in Tuesday's balloting.

"At the conclusion of those efforts, Senator George Allen plans to make a statement regarding the outcome," it said.

As of this post, Webb has approximately a 7,200 vote advantage, which is a 0.30% margin. The law states that a recount can be called for by the runner-up (in this case, Allen) if the deficit is less than 1%.

However, with a 7,200 vote margin, it is highly unlikely that a recount would yield a dramatically different result. Here’s hoping Allen concedes the race so we don’t have to endure another Florida 2000.

By the way, where are all of the folks who were screaming “disenfranchisement” in 2004 when President Bush had a 130,000 vote victory over John Kerry in Ohio?

I can’t help but notice the stark contrast in styles between the parties. The Democrats lost in 2000, 2002 and 2004 and all we heard was “Voter fraud!!” or “Our message didn’t quite get out.” But when the Republicans were defeated in ‘06, they actually took a look in the mirror and determined “Maybe running to the center is a flawed strategy.”

Commence 2008 campaign!!

UPDATE: Allen concedes!

Side note: This is the 200th post in the first two years of this blog! While it took me 18 months to compile the first 100 posts it has taken only 7 months to accumulate the second hundred.

However, I still have a ways to go before I get into the league of 100 comprehensive posts within two weeks, a la Captain Ed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Morning After.

There’s no way to spin this election cycle. The Congressional Republicans pretty much got what they deserved.

It has been said that the GOP did nothing but play defense during this campaign season. But in the grand scheme of things, what else could they do? The Iraq war has become increasingly difficult with no tangible benchmarks in months. Combine that with President Bush’s approval rating hovering around 35-40% for the past year and you had the perfect scenario for a Democrat onslaught. Despite the fact the Democrats never came out with a discernible agenda, they were able to win by linking Republican incumbent’s voting records to the President’s policies.

I also have to give credit where credit is due. Rahm Emmanuel, who was named Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2005, put together an aggressive recruiting strategy. He successfully went into Congressional districts which were considered Republican strongholds and wooed Democratic candidates who were moderate to conservative. If the Democrats learned anything from getting shellacked in 2004 it was that liberalism is widely rejected throughout “fly over” land. For the first time in my lifetime, the Democrats were able to raise funds (thanks mostly to radical left-winger George Soros and dollar-for-dollar with the GOP in ’04….and they still couldn’t get it done.

So the Dems have captured the majority in the House (and, in all likelihood, the Senate, too). Now what? For 12 years, the Democrats have been like the proverbial dog chasing the pick-up truck down the road. Rarely is a dog ever able to catch the vehicle. But I have always wondered what would happen if the dog closes the gap and finally pulls ahead.

That query will be answered emphatically within the next two years.

Election Day/Night recap.

As of this post, the Democrats have gained 24 seats in the US House. It’s been pretty well conceded that the GOP would lose the majority in the House but maintain a razor-thin majority in the Senate. Now, that’s far from a sure thing.

With three key Senate races still up in the air, the Democrats need to win all three in order to take control. It looks as though Claire McCaskill will defeat Republican incumbent Jim Talent in Missouri and Democrat Jon Tester has a solid lead over GOP incumbent Conrad Burns in Montana.

That leaves Virginia.

With 99.6% of the precincts reporting, Incumbent George Allen trails Democrat challenger Jim Webb by a scant 1,800 votes. That is a lead of approximately 0.08%!

After all votes are counted (including absentee ballots) and certified, the runner-up may request a recount if the margin is less than 1%.

In 2000, all eyes were focused on Florida.

In 2004, it was Ohio.

If the results hold in Montana and Missouri, this year the Commonwealth of Virginia will have all eyes on them.

(Sigh) I’m going to get a cold compress for my head and go to bed.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Election Day is here!

There’s something about guys and reminiscing about the crazy things we’ve done as youths.

I’ll never forget a conversation I had with two good friends of mine some years ago. My buddy Dave was sharing a tale of when he had a case of road rage on a country road near his home in Hendersonville, TN. Dave proceeded to smash a guy’s headlights with a crow bar. Another friend in the group, Rob, talked about how he tried to flush a man down the toilet because he asked Rob to dance.

After those anecdotes were shared, both guys looked to me for a story in my sordid past. I thought for a second and then told them how I once accidentally shot a kid in the leg with a .32.

Their eyes got as wide as saucers. “No kidding??!!!” they exclaimed.

“No, not really”, I said. “But it’s a lot more interesting than ‘I voted for Dukakis’.”

Yes, you always remember your first time.

The first time you were eligible to vote in an election, that is (Sheesh. Get your minds out of the gutter).

I have stated many times on this blog that I grew up in an environment where my Mom was indifferent and my Dad was a staunch liberal democrat. Add to that my paternal Grandmother believing that Ronald Reagan and the Republicans were evil incarnate, the choice seemed clear when entering the voting booth in November 1988.

Since then, I have learned my values are more in line with the GOP. While I am among many conservatives unhappy with some congressional Republicans and President Bush for abandoning certain conservative principles (i.e. fiscal responsibility, border security), that doesn’t mean I will sit home on election day. If conservatives don’t like the candidates the GOP has to offer this election cycle, then we need to take that up in the primaries in 2008.

For now, we need to grasp the feeling in our collective guts when we ask ourselves “Which candidates will act in this country’s best interest in this unprecedented war we are fighting?”

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Dave Roever.

At church this morning we were honored to have Dave Roever as special guest speaker.

Dave’s remarkable story began in 1969 while serving in the Vietnam War. While attempting to throw a grenade with his right hand, the device exploded leaving Dave burned beyond recognition. Fourteen months in the hospital and multiple surgeries later, Dave made a miraculous recovery and has been sharing his story of hope ever since. Not only does Dave speak at churches, he has been to several schools and military bases all around the world.

He has a tremendous speaking ability, one in which he effectively blends humor and passion.

Needless to say, Dave is very concerned about the troops today and the war which is being fought. We are not battling a specific country in this global war on terror, but we are engaged in a conflict against religious fanatics. Dave’s outreach ministry is aimed at those soldiers who not only have lost limbs but are also bearing the burden of emotional scars.

Dave has a phenomenal vision for his ministry. He is looking to mentor those soldiers who are looking to continue their purpose in life of serving others. The brave men and women in our armed forces have courageously served the USA by defending this nation’s liberty. Now, some war veterans look to continue that service by ministering to others in this country. Eagles Summit Ranch, located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Westcliffe, Colorado, was established in late 2004. This beautiful area will be the location of the mentoring center for military leaders and those who have been seriously wounded in the war on terror and in need of emotional reconstruction. Dave’s goal is to train these young heroes to turn their tragedy to triumph and show to a hurting world the difference Christ can make in life.

Dave also has a vision of mentoring 3,000 wounded soldiers to go out and carry on the awesome legacy he started almost forty years ago. The number 3,000 represents the number of American lives lost in the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01.

Oh, and the estimated completion date of Eagles Summit Ranch?

September 11, 2007.


Letter to Doug.

An open letter to commenter Doug.

Since my buddy Mitch Berg has had his comment section down, some vapid, vacuous putz guy named Doug felt the need to go elsewhere with his thoughts.

My wife, Jennifer (who is A LOT nicer than I), has decided to write Doug a letter.

Dear Doug,

Occasionally I get a wild hair, and post something on my husband’s blog. I am not a blogger, so this method of communication is uncomfortable for me. I have something to say to you. It has been bothering me for a while. So here it is.

God loves you. Yes, I know it sounds simple and silly. But sometimes the truth is. I sense from your numerous posts on various blogs that you are angry about something. I just want you to know that God cares about whatever it is that is bothering you. I have a few scriptures to share with you.

God’s word says to “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5: 8 Sometimes it is really hard to hear God, when the enemy is making all that racket. It’s all around us. The news, war, family squabbles, work issues…..I could go on and on. Don’t let the enemy drown out God. We are sinful creatures. We make mistakes. Sometimes we lose our self-control and the enemy ‘devours’ us. Don’t let other peoples errors (big or small) be the reason you listen to the roaring and tune God out.

I think God is sometimes like the wind. It can be fierce and gentle. God doesn’t roar at us. He whispers like a gentle breeze. It can be really easy to miss. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God”. Tune out the roaring, Doug. Be still. God has something to say to you. No, I don’t mean he will speak out loud like a human voice (not that He couldn’t or wouldn’t), but you can actually have some real peace in your life. You are precious to Him. His love for you is inconceivable. You matter.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Revealing an identity.

Back in June, I dissected an e-mail sent to my wife by her union president, who remained nameless. My wife is a public school teacher and said union prez sent an e-mail explaining his reasons in running for the Minnesota House of Representatives.

One of my semi-regular commenters, Douglas Bass, said I should reveal this person’s name since he is running for public office.

Douglas, I wasn’t ignoring your request. Your comment was caught up in my “comment moderation” section. I have no idea how that happened since I never requested such a function until today.

But, I digress.

The name of that candidate is…..


He’s running for State Rep in House District 51A.

His Republican opponent is a gentleman by the name of Brad Biers.

Although Biers is not running in my district, I wonder if he needs any last minute volunteers.

The 72-hour push.

Oh, it’s been said many different ways. Whether this election is a referendum against Bush or that conservatives are too disgusted by the Foley scandal to vote GOP, Republicans have been pegged to take a big hit in this year’s mid-term elections.

While the Republicans may ultimately lose their majority, many of their volunteers are not going gently into that good night.

This morning I took the liberty of venturing into a liberal bastion, a/k/a Minnesota Congressional District 5.

Our good friends, Nancy & Tina, were out at 42nd & Winnetka in Crystal waving signs on behalf of candidates Mark Kennedy (US Senate), Alan Fine (US House), Derek Brigham (MN Senate district 45) and Gregg Prest (MN House district 45B).

Nancy left behind a major renovating project at her home to enter the fray. And Tina came out this morning with her two-year old TRIPLETS in tow!

Just two of the many great examples of the 72-hour push being put forth by the MN GOP.

Note: In my video narration I mistakenly referred to Brigham and Prest as running in MN District 49. They are actually running in SD 45 & HD 45B, respectively.

Separated at birth: Joel Osteen & Rick Santorum.

Joel Osteen (left): Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX.

Senator Rick Santorum (right) of Pennsylvania.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

More Debate stuff.

After last evening's Congressional debate, Michele Bachmann hung around to chat with some of the folks (Patty Wetterling snuck out the back door left when the debate ended).

Bachmann signing autographs for adoring fans.

Here, Bachmann graciously thanks a military vet for his service.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Debate night in Andover.

The final debate between candidates for Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District took place this evening at Andover High School.

Republican Michele Bachmann, Democrat Patty Wetterling and Independent candidate John Binkowski engaged in, at times, a lively exchange which was moderated by Minnesota Public Radio’s Kerri Miller.

Of course, Bachmann’s faith was a big issue in the debate in light of her recently telling a Brooklyn Park church “God called me to run for the United States Congress."

"Does that mean God wants you to win?" Miller asked.

"No," Bachmann replied. "God calls us to duty... but the results are his."

Later, we in the audience had the opportunity to hear the audio for a TV ad put out by the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee. It was an ad implying Bachmann is soft on crime.

Who would vote against a bill that would put repeat sex offenders behind bars for life? Michele Bachmann. Against a bill that makes operating meth labs close to children a crime? Michele Bachmann. Against a bill letting police alert parents when dangerous out-of-state sex offenders move to their neighborhood? Michele Bachmann.

Of course, that rhetoric is absurd on its face. Bachmann actually supported a bill which she felt was much tougher on crime as opposed to the bill she voted against, which was weaker and loaded with pork.

"That's not true," Wetterling injected.

"I was there on the floor," Bachmann said. "I read the bill."

While I don’t live in the 6th CD, I am pulling for Bachmann to win!

After this evening’s debate, there is no question in my mind that she is the right person for the job.

Does John Kerry deserve the benefit of the doubt?

By now, you’ve all heard the firestorm created over controversial comments made by Senator John Kerry (D-MA).

While campaigning on behalf of California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides on Monday, Kerry said this:

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

In a press conference held today, Kerry explained his comment as "a botched joke about the president and the president's people, not about the troops ... and they know that's what I was talking about."

I must admit that I found Kerry’s rebuttal quite impassionate. But can he be given the benefit of the doubt? Was it really a misunderstanding on our part?

In a December 2005 appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation”, Kerry made a baseless accusation regarding military operations in Iraq:

“…There is no reason that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the historical customs, religious customs.”

So you’ll have to forgive us for the confusion, Senator. Defaming comments about the military are not unprecedented for you.